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Newstalk – November 19

Tonight at Sally O’Brien’s, 335 Somerville Ave.,  Alderman Ward 3 Rob McWatters, the “constituent service alderman,” will be holding a fundraiser. He’s very popular here in the city and we wouldn’t be surprised to see the place packed. We did hear he’s going to have some surprise guest of honor, the newly elected Middlesex District Attorney will be present. A nice person who is from Somerville and Ward 3.

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November 19

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Our View of the Times – November 19

powderhouse_viewWhat’s in an old building anyway? Memories, and plenty of them. That’s for sure. Such is the case with the much-beloved Somerville High School auditorium, which just this week celebrated its official reopening with a short ceremony that brought city officials and the public together to welcome the old landmark back into service in grand style.

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Gas tax repeal an opportunity to get transportation funding right

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

Governor-elect Charlie Baker faces a huge challenge on the first day he takes office—how to maintain an aging transportation system that is the backbone our economic strength. Last year, the Legislature passed the first gas tax increase in 22 years and, in doing so, also linked the tax to inflation rates. On Election Day this year, Massachusetts chose to roll back that provision linking the gas tax to inflation, which will cost the state $1 billion over the next decade in transportation funding. This is a challenge for Gov. Baker and all our state legislators, but it’s also an opportunity to address the inadequacies in our transportation funding. If we’re going to stay economically competitive as a region and a state, we must explore bold and innovative ways to fund the strong transportation system we need if our economy is to thrive.

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Goodbye, Tommy – we’ll miss you so

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

I once told a psychiatrist acquaintance of mine that he should stop prescribing medications for patients suffering depression. Instead, he should prescribe an hour a day of Car Talk, National Public Radio’s syndicated show wherein Tom and Ray Magliozzi dispense weekly wisdom on car repair and life.

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College Ave. Speedway

del_ponte_4_webLife in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte 

My stories are usually lighthearted looks back at Somerville in days gone by or some other hopefully amusing local subject. This article however is a bit more serious because it is about safety. As a lifelong resident of the College Ave. area, it is time to speak out about the horrendous habits of drivers on the dangerous stretch between Powder House Rotary and the lights near Wedgewood-Crane and Connolly.

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Newstalk – November 12

Join The Chaille Family of Green and Yellow Cab for the 8th Annual fundraiser for senior transportation: The Family of “Edith Chaille Memorial Transportation Fund” coming up on November 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Holiday Inn here in Somerville. The Somerville Council on Aging and Somerville Elders Services are jointly hosting the fundraiser. A buffet, DJ, live and silent auctions will be available for all. This is a great cause in honor of Edith Chaille given by the family to help the elderly here in the city to have free transportation. If you’d like to donate or have any questions please contact Director Karen Tamagna at ktamagna@comcast.net.

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November 12

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Our View of the Times – November 12

powderhouse_viewThere are few, if any, of us who don’t look fondly back to our childhood days and the fun we used to have riding our bikes to school and back home, or out on adventures through undiscovered territories, and so on.

For many, these pleasures extended far into adulthood as well. And for certain others, cycling serves as a pleasurable and healthy alternative means of transportation on a regular basis.

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Attracting more office businesses strengthens our city

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

We learned some great news this week, as software company SmartBear announced that it will be the first tenant in Assembly Row’s Class A office building, following Partners HealthCare’s announcement that it will build a new office building in Somerville’s newest neighborhood. In choosing Somerville, SmartBear’s CEO specifically cited public transit options, moving closer to other technology companies in the urban core, and amenities that tech workers seek—the culture, art, food scene and more that make Somerville attractive. The company’s move is an important indicator that the years of community planning we’ve done around smart, transit-oriented development, are building a stronger local economy for all our businesses, expanding our tax base and bringing high-quality jobs to Somerville. And we’ve done all this by staying true to ourselves and leaning on our strengths.

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Southern Junior High School

del_ponte_4_webLife in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte

There used to be three junior high schools in Somerville for grades 7,8 and 9. The Western Junior High School on Holland Street near Teele Square, The Northeastern Junior High School on Marshall Street near the High School, and The Southern Junior High School on Summer Street near Union Square. My mother graduated from the Southern in 1941 and I was a substitute teacher there in the 1980’s. It’s now basically a dog park and a pretty nice field.

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Newstalk – November 5

The Somerville Homeless Coalition is hosting the 6th Annual Tina DeLellis Luncheon this Friday, November 7, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Highland Kitchen at 150 Highland Avenue, Somerville. The luncheon is held in memory of Tina DeLellis, a founder of Johnny D’s, the popular Somerville restaurant and music venue. The luncheon recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to helping improve the quality of life for individuals in Somerville. DeLellis, who passed away in 2008, is survived by her daughter, Carla, who now manages Johnny D’s and continues the community involvement the business has supported for many years. This year’s honoree is Maryanne Manfra. Requirements for the Tina DeLellis Distinguished Service Award are that the individual “continues Tina’s spirit and values of straight-shooting, honesty and fairness,” said Mark Alston-Follansbee, Executive Director of the Somerville Homeless Coalition.

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November 5

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Our View of the Times – November 5

powderhouse_viewIt goes without saying that not everyone gets their way when election time rolls around. There are winners and losers, the satisfied and the disgruntled. As passionately as we may feel about our pet issues of interest, the inevitable day comes when our convictions are put to the test and the results are set in stone, for better or worse, depending on which side you are standing on.

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The proposed Stop and Shop development

mclaughlin_webBy Matt McLaughlin, Ward 1 Alderman

Dear Mr. Chairman, Members of the Planning Board, and the East Somerville community:

The proposed development at 771 McGrath Highway/Stop and Shop is without a doubt the most contentious issue I have dealt with in my short tenure as Ward 1 Alderman. I agonized over the pros and cons of this development for more than ten months. I held four community meetings, canvassed the neighborhood and made phone calls to gauge the feelings of the community. I put together a community survey that generated more than 100 responses so that the voice of the community would be heard clearly. My ultimate goal was to negotiate an amicable deal between the developers and the neighbors that would move our community forward.

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