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Bay State aims to become the Bike State

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

Last November, we celebrated Somerville ranking first among northeast cities for bicycle commuting, a sign that our investments and commitment to making our community accommodating for all forms of travel were paying off. May is National Bike Month, and now we are celebrating a state-wide achievement. Massachusetts has jumped six spots in the League of American Bicyclists’ rankings of bike-friendly states and is now the fourth in the nation. This is a great achievement for the Commonwealth, and one that has a great impact on our community, because we know that creating vibrant and accessible neighborhoods is work that crosses municipal borders. The Greater Boston region and all of Massachusetts needs to work together to build those connections between neighborhoods that spur economic vitality and improve our residents’ quality of life.

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Newstalk – May 20

Tonight, Wednesday, May 20 at The Somerville Theatre in Davis Square beginning at 6:30p.m., a film that shows the effect of the social stigma of overdosing. The moms and dads, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters – all bringing the power and proof of recovery to our communities. Together we will change public perception, and ultimately the public response to the addiction crisis…FOREVER. Will you join in? The Anonymous People is a feature documentary film about the more than 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Deeply entrenched in the social stigma, they have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. WHAT: Overdose Prevention & Narcan Training & Screening of The Anonymous People. WHO: Somerville Overcoming Addiction and the Cambridge Needle Exchange. WHEN: Wednesday, May 20, 6:30 p.m. WHERE: The Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, Somerville.

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May 20

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Our View of the Times – May 20

powderhouse_viewNever mind Texas. The latest hot spot for a hostile take-over is right here in our own back yard.

The city has announced its plan to utilize its potential eminent domain rights to force some redevelopment activity at the long-forsaken Star Market site in Winter Hill.

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Newstalk – May 13

Ward 4 Alderman Tony Lafuente has worked very hard pressing the administration over the past few years to get rolling on Winter Hill and apparently his efforts have worked out. On Tuesday night about 100 residents of Ward 4 Winter Hill showed up to hear news on what will be happening along the Winter Hill Central Broadway run.   The owner of the Star Market lot has fought the city over the years with a difference of opinion on what he wants and what the city wants for that area. Apparently, as late as Tuesday a 12.5 million dollar offer was rejected by the owner from a developer. Now the city is starting the process of taking the property as eminent domain, which process will take a little time, but not so much. The entire Winter Hill area is one of the last places for getting development in the area.  

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May 13

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Our View of the Times – May 13

powderhouse_viewDrum roll, please. This year’s installment of PorchFest will be hitting the city this coming weekend.

Those who have, in the past, taken notice of the event – and it is an event that is rather difficult not to notice – usually have fairly strong opinions of approval or distaste for the goings on.

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Teen Empowerment a model for community and police unity

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

This past weekend, Teen Empowerment held its annual Youth Peace Conference at Somerville High School. I had the honor and privilege of briefly sharing the stage with teenagers who are not only future leaders of our community—they are already leaders today. Teen Empowerment is one of the great success stories in our city. We faced an epidemic of drug overdoses, juvenile crime and teen suicides a decade ago that we stopped because our youth stood up. They joined with us and changed the way we approached the problems that plagued our community. The lessons we’ve learned through Teen Empowerment’s success are still relevant today, as we face a nationwide opioid abuse epidemic, and as our country grapples with a criminal justice system that features militarized local law enforcement and systemic discrimination. It’s only by working together and building relationships that we can beat back drug abuse and have an effective police force that works in cooperation with and is part of the community.

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Hijacking Mother’s Day…and history

shelton_webBy William C. Shelton

Six years after her successful campaign to create a national holiday honoring mothers, Anna Jarvis pursued a new goal that would consume the rest of her life—to abolish the holiday.

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Newstalk – May 6

Tonight Wednesday May 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 celebrate with Ward 4 Alderman Tony Lafuente at his third annual Cinco de Mayo fundraiser Party at Cantina La Mexicana in Union Square. Tony sure is popular. It seems like no one is going to run against him again this year. Many of us here at The Times reside in Ward 4 and we think he’s doing a great job. Join him, his family and friends in helping to kickoff his campaign.

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May 6

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Our View of the Times – May 6

powderhouse_viewOne thing can be said for sure about our beloved city: there is no want for creative energy and enterprise. Just look at the 100+ artists who participated in this weekend’s Somerville Open Studios (SOS) event. Artisans and crafters of seemingly limitless disciplines and choice of media work and thrive right here among us humble, regular types who wouldn’t know a palette knife from a chainsaw.

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Supporting Nepal and our community after the earthquake

mayor_webBy Joseph A. Curtatone

Thousands have died in a massive earthquake that has ravaged Nepal, thousands are injured, and the death toll will likely climb even higher. This is a humanitarian crisis that requires a massive response. The coming months are critical. Supplies are needed and could quickly run out, and getting supplies to affected areas across the mountainous country is difficult with widespread damage to roads and bridges. Hospitals are tending to the injured while services and utilities, already challenged in Asia’s second-poorest country, are disrupted and unreliable. Almost a million-and-a-half people are in need of food assistance and many require temporary shelter. Last week, we held a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the earthquake’s victims and to support Somerville’s Nepali community. Our community will continue to step up to support our friends, neighbors, and Nepali community here and in their native country.

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