Local Somerville Politics

whighlander

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I hope the interior finishes are as delightful to the eye as the exterior. After all, students and teachers will barely enjoy the exterior.
Mike -- the way things are going in Somerville -- they will barely enjoy the interior
the Mayor of Somerville seems to be dedicated at keeping people from going to work, to entertain or to educate in Somerville -- not sure who he is trying to protect from what
 

chrisbrat

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not sure who he is trying to protect from what
This is the stupidest thing ever posted here. You may not agree with it, you may believe whatever aspects of what's going on in the world today are a hoax (maybe you think all of it is a hoax. I have no idea or interest), but you know damn well who he's trying to protect and from what.
 

whighlander

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This is the stupidest thing ever posted here. You may not agree with it, you may believe whatever aspects of what's going on in the world today are a hoax (maybe you think all of it is a hoax. I have no idea or interest), but you know damn well who he's trying to protect and from what.
Chrisbrat -- No actually we don't know -- its not factious or cynical
You can certainly make a good case for most of the restrictions such as wearing a mask outdoors being totally illogical [
For example -- there is no virus in outside air which you are breathing without you being in "kissing cousin distance of someone who is infected and emitting virus
The same is basically true of indoor places with a lot of volume of air which is being frequently exchanged [such as a supermarket with its high ceilings and lots of air flow]

However the point here is specific to Somerville which is trying hard to break-out of its traditional persona to become a "Cambridge-light"

Most recently -- Boston has opened up to the Commonwealth's permitted level of 40% capacity -- Somerville however hung back at 25%
I'd really appreciate it if someone could actually give a legitimate logical reason for the decision on the part of the Mayor of Somerville
 

bigpicture7

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Did the CTRL-X/CTRL-INS sequence to the "Please Stop" thread malfunction in-transit and accidentally create...whatever this not-a-topic is supposed to be?
Today was not a high point in the life of this forum. And I don't think too many particular people were to blame.
 

Reznor

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Chrisbrat -- No actually we don't know -- its not factious or cynical
You can certainly make a good case for most of the restrictions such as wearing a mask outdoors being totally illogical [
For example -- there is no virus in outside air which you are breathing without you being in "kissing cousin distance of someone who is infected and emitting virus
The same is basically true of indoor places with a lot of volume of air which is being frequently exchanged [such as a supermarket with its high ceilings and lots of air flow]

However the point here is specific to Somerville which is trying hard to break-out of its traditional persona to become a "Cambridge-light"

Most recently -- Boston has opened up to the Commonwealth's permitted level of 40% capacity -- Somerville however hung back at 25%
I'd really appreciate it if someone could actually give a legitimate logical reason for the decision on the part of the Mayor of Somerville
You may not agree with his restaurant decision, fine. But come on, wearing masks outside is about behavior habit changes. People who wear masks when they’re running errands on foot or bike are significantly more likely to wear it when they go into spaces where people are nearby.

The fact you’re so upset about wearing masks in a Home Depot speaks volumes about your fragility. Happy 2021! Pick a new conspiracy theory. You’re tired.
 

George_Apley

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I opened this thread because I live in the ville and was interested in the intelligent comments people might beoffering that had some bearing on development, urban planning, aesthetics, and the like.

And this is all eww.
Hopefully it will be that someday...
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Hopefully it will be that someday...
Right...the original unrepentent threadjacker is far, far too lazy an individual to follow his inadvertent creation over into one of the lesser subforums.

Everybody back in the pool now, ya' hear!
 

George_Apley

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On the topic of school reopening, this just in from the Mayor's office:

Joint Statement on Behalf of Mayor Curtatone, School Committee Chair, Somerville Educators Union President and Superintendent Skipper - February 12, 2021

Dear Families and Staff:
Yesterday, the membership of the Somerville Educators Union (SEU) overwhelmingly voted to approve a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Somerville School Committee to begin our phased in-person learning. Originally, the School Committee had scheduled a Special School Committee meeting for tonight at 6:45 pm to vote on the MOA. However, out of respect for Shabbat, the School Committee has rescheduled the vote on the agreement for Wednesday, February 17th at 6:45 p.m. The negotiating team is recommending approval of the MOA.

This is an important step in the process and is the result of many months of negotiation to ensure that students and staff can begin safely returning to school buildings. The agreement outlines a process for re-opening school buildings in phases, prioritizing our students in our High Needs Special Education programs, English Language Learner programs, and Pre-K and K with other grades to follow, as long as specific conditions are met, including building readiness. Students will be invited to return to in-person learning in groups with an anticipated start date of March 4, based on their grade level and educational program. Any family who prefers their child to remain in remote learning may do so.

Pending a favorable vote by School Committee on Wednesday, we will provide families and staff with details about the re-opening plans next Friday, including information about the in-person groups and phases, learning schedules, health and safety protocols (including face coverings, physical distancing, sanitization and disinfection, baseline and routine Covid testing, etc.), as well as the negotiated public health metrics for re-opening that are part of the MOA.

We are also excited to share that the new Somerville High School building has passed the remaining tests necessary to attain a Certificate of Occupancy by the end of February. Additionally, the City continues to work to address the remaining ventilation and air filtration in our other buildings so that we can finalize a schedule for additional phases of students.

Our Special Education Department and family liaisons will begin contacting families in Groups 1 and 2 as early as next week with information about intent to return. We will also be updating the district’s website to provide important information about the re-opening plans. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. We are excited to welcome our students back into our schools for in-person learning.
 

kjdonovan

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Somewhat relevant question for all Somerville thread-watchers:

The "Billy Tauro for Mayor" signs are starting to appear fast and furious all over town. Tauro, for those who don't know, is a MAGA/Know-Nothing/conspiracy theorist who REALLY doesn't like Joe Curtatone. He hocks his self-published tell-all book about Somerville corruption that has the delightfully redundant title "Stealing Somerville: The Death of an Urban City."

Anyway, lots of dumpy buildings around town are now promoting his mayoral run. And they are uniformly the dumpiest buildings in what is admittedly a town full of dumpy buildings (And don't get me wrong-- I love Somerville). So I'm wondering, does he own all these places? Or is there a close correlation between the owners of dumps and his particular kind of politics?

And to give the guy a little credit, he is catering to small business owners who are very upset at Curtatone's holier-than-thou approach to pandemic lockdowns. But most of the buildings I see his signs are apartments and not commercial real estate.
 

George_Apley

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Somewhat relevant question for all Somerville thread-watchers:

The "Billy Tauro for Mayor" signs are starting to appear fast and furious all over town. Tauro, for those who don't know, is a MAGA/Know-Nothing/conspiracy theorist who REALLY doesn't like Joe Curtatone. He hocks his self-published tell-all book about Somerville corruption that has the delightfully redundant title "Stealing Somerville: The Death of an Urban City."

Anyway, lots of dumpy buildings around town are now promoting his mayoral run. And they are uniformly the dumpiest buildings in what is admittedly a town full of dumpy buildings (And don't get me wrong-- I love Somerville). So I'm wondering, does he own all these places? Or is there a close correlation between the owners of dumps and his particular kind of politics?

And to give the guy a little credit, he is catering to small business owners who are very upset at Curtatone's holier-than-thou approach to pandemic lockdowns. But most of the buildings I see his signs are apartments and not commercial real estate.
Bill Taruo gets support from a certain breed of townie that likely includes some small-time property owners. These are folks that likely used to enjoy some degree of clout in city politics a few decades ago but have seen that power dwindle with Somerville's gentrification. There's definitely a lot of petty personal beef in the mix here too. Tauro supporters are constantly trolling Curtatone's social media with vague corruption accusations that appear to have little basis in reality.

Not sure about Tauro's commercial property holdings but his family used to own Pat's Towing. I think one of his relatives (Ada Tauro–not sure of the exact relation) owns Bostonian Florist right across from City Hall. He's also the editor of the "Somerville News Weekly," a local news blog that he pretends is a real newspaper and brands himself as an "investigative journalist". He literally just makes stuff up like the supposed FBI racketeering investigation of the Mayor, the supposed plot of black and brown middle school students to form a 'kill whitey' club, etc. There's also some sort of beef between Tauro and the Somerville Times, which he used to have a byline with.

A great example of small-city petty personal politics.
 
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Hubman

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I love the name "Death of an Urban City" as if cities are anything other than urban
 

kjdonovan

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As a resident, I can attest this is troubling for the "Massachusetts middle" where you have an executive who is ferociously liberal on social issues and strikes a balance with respect to a free and open market. Curtatone got a lot of heat for being too Democrat on things like the coronavirus lockdowns and too Republican on things like large-scale development. The candidates to succeed Curtatone will be Bernie Bros and MAGA Men. Some of the hot issues that will take up all the oxygen:
- Property owner rights vs renter rights (evictions, rent hikes, condo conversions, affordable housing mandates)
- Development (size and density, use)
- Environmental resiliency (a lot of fuss over things mostly beyond the ambit of a 4-mile large town)

Some things I think Curtatone did very well will be deprioritized if a less talented and hardworking person gets the job:
- Predictive analytics and data-driven planning. Both were a passion of Curtatone's, from rat heat maps to traffic studies.
- Dense urban environments. From US2 to Assembly, you can critique the aesthetics but you can't deny the quality urban density. Future development sites such as Inner Belt and Brickbottom could end up as Cambridge Crossing rather than Assembly without passion for urbanity.
- Complete streets. Bus lanes, cycletracks and wide sidewalks all mean saying no to a lot of small business owners and property owners, both of whom want a lot of on-street parking.
- Fun and funky. Fluff fest, Honk, Porchfest, all those 5ks... They all require prioritizing public gathering and loose regulation of things like public drinking--and they are all inconvenient if you don't want to participate.
 

tysmith95

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What helped Assembly is the fact that it was a single developer, one that prioritized building a vibrant city center in order to sell more ground floor retail/restaurant space.
 

Blackbird

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Some things I think Curtatone did very well will be deprioritized if a less talented and hardworking person gets the job:
- Predictive analytics and data-driven planning. Both were a passion of Curtatone's, from rat heat maps to traffic studies.
- Dense urban environments. From US2 to Assembly, you can critique the aesthetics but you can't deny the quality urban density. Future development sites such as Inner Belt and Brickbottom could end up as Cambridge Crossing rather than Assembly without passion for urbanity.
I dunno. Despite its reputation as a pro-growth city, Somerville has lagged behind Cambridge and Boston in % growth over the last decade.
 

George_Apley

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I dunno. Despite its reputation as a pro-growth city, Somerville has lagged behind Cambridge and Boston in % growth over the last decade.
Somerville is fairly maxxed out as far as lots are concerned. Assembly is being built up and Boynton and Inner Belt will be forthcoming. It's hard to add a lot of percent growth when the majority of the neighborhoods are old-stock residential.
 

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