"The first SomerStreets event along Shore Drive in May was a tremendous success, and with a variety of upcoming summer events, this is another great opportunity to celebrate the Somerville community through arts and music," Mayor Curtatone said. "With community-oriented, family-friendly activities throughout the day, I hope this will serve not only as another celebration, but also a way to meet residents and community members from all of our neighborhoods and squares, and from all ethnic backgrounds."
|Cataldo ambulance employees implicated in bribe scheme|
Several unnamed Somerville emergency medical technicians were falsely re-certified through bribes without completing the training required by the Commonwealth.
Over 200 Boston-area ambulance workers were suspended on Thursday after a Department of Public Health probe into possible falsification of training records. Cataldo Ambulance Services , one of the many providers implicated, has a 911 contract with the city.
Two weeks after Massachusetts senators passed a far-reaching crackdown on illegal immigrants, a group of Somerville immigrant teenagers opened their photography exhibit at the State House.
The teens, working with the immigrant advocacy group Centro Presente, took pictures of their everyday life in Somerville - lower Broadway barber shops, stores, landmarks, Mr. Quintanilla, "one of the few Latino teachers at Somerville High" - to add a face to the simmering immigration debate.
The exhibit is on display through Friday.
"We want to show people that we can contribute to the future of Massachusetts," said Dimas Avila, who graduated from Somerville High School last week.
The photo exhibit is the latest pro-immigrant measure to come out of Somerville, where 30 percent of residents were born in a different country and ethnic restaurants are a staple of the local economy.
"[Immigrants] don't get harassed in Somerville," said Juan Carlos Acosta, an eighth grader at Winter Hill Community School with a photo in the State House exhibit.
|By William Tauro|
Somerville Police are investigating today's double stabbing at 60 Washington St. Two males were transported to an area hospital and are in stable condition, police said. Somerville police are investigating the incident.
By Tom Nash
As Mayor Joseph Curtatone prepared to present the city's proposed FY11 budget on Tuesday, he stressed jobs would not be spared if services can be maintained in other ways.
The $8.1 million budget gap faced by the city, due mostly to aid reduction from Beacon Hill, means another year of layoffs. Eighteen city positions and 49 school custodian positions have been cut. City officials said they would outsource.
By George P. Hassett
A Somerville housing inspector arrested for selling oxycontin on Friday, allegedly met drug customers as he conducted lead inspections for the city, court records show.
George Duffney, 53, of Norwell, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to violate a drug law, possession to distribute a class B drug and drug violation near a school or park.
He told drug unit investigators he met James Chiodo, 60, of 11 Dresden Circle, when he did a lead inspection in his home. Police said this week the two men conspired to sell oxycontin. Chiodo was also arrested with two ounces of marijuana.
Duffney was hired by the City in October, 2008. He worked as a lead inspector inside the city's Housing and Community Development office.
|By Tom Nash|
Faced with an audience of striking Shaw's supermarket workers, the Board of Aldermen approved a resolution last Thursday asking for the grocery chain to get back to the bargaining table.
Around 300 warehouse workers went on strike in March after the final contract presented by Supervalu, the parent company of Shaw's, included steep benefit cuts. Ward 4 Alderman Walter Pero had earlier tabled the resolution, sponsored by Alderman-at-Large Dennis Sullivan and Ward 6 Alderman Rebekah Gewirtz, saying it was not the board's place to get involved.
(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)
"In budget-cutting season, politics can be brutal," wrote the author of a recent View from Prospect Hill column. With an $8.1 million budget gap, it is imperative that the city cut costs. However, the current, shortsighted approach will sow the seeds of discord for years to come.
Somerville honored one of its most dedicated citizens on Sunday June 14, when Vito Vaccaro, 86, former alderman and School Committee member was given his own square outside his family home.
Vito Vaccaro Square was christened with a little help from current aldermen Dennis Sullivan, William White and Jack Connelly, as well as a few words from Mayor Joseph Curtatone.
Vaccaro settled in Somerville after leaving the Navy in 1947, working for General Electric. Over the years, he dedicated himself to the community, eventually becoming an alderman in 1978. He has spent the last three decades sitting upon the licensing commission of Somerville.
The event was attended by friends and well-wishers, including Vaccaro's four children, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Children who have grown up with the Washington Street Boys & Girls Club will be spending their last summer there, following a decision by Boys & Girls club directors to sell the building.
The club, in operation for 37 years, cited changing needs and low enrollment as the reason for ending its programing in August. But the immediate reason became more clear last Thursday after its tenant, the Somerville Public Schools administration, received approval to move into a new building.
"[The club] has been considered a second home for kids," Executive Director Chile Eng said. "We are like one big family, so it's very emotional."
As the race for governor heats up, Governor Deval Patrick made a stop in Somerville to address concerns of the arts community.
In a campaign stop at Q Division Recording Studios on Highland Avenue Friday, Patrick also announced plans to host an international music festival in Boston as part of an to revitalize the arts economy in Massachusetts.
In addressing a packed room of musicians, graphic designers and producers, Patrick immediately mentioned his father, Laurdine "Pat" Patrick, a saxophone player for the Jazz musician Sun Ra for nearly 30 years. Though he said he doesn't have his father's talent, he said he was "one of us, a member of the arts community."
"The kind of stuff I go to, the diversity would blow your mind." He recounted sitting in on a 4th grade rendition of Don Quixote in Richmond, and attending events "in folk's basements."
Patrick said unlike many other politicians, he doesn't "think of the arts as something nice on the side, but as something that completes us."
Artists pressed Patrick on concerns that new casinos in Massachusetts may compete with existing local arts venues and stifle initiatives.
In his speech, Patrick emphasized the economic woes of the arts community during the recent economic downturn and the subsequent actions of the state government. He highlighted the problems that the creative community faced as sources of funding dwindle and donors are harder to come by.
|By Tom Nash|
As Mayor Joseph Curtatone confronts an estimated $8.1 million budget gap, the city is seeking input from residents about their priorities as his administration eyes how to cut costs.
A survey has been put online asking residents to choose from nine budget priorities, and also seeks opinions on how services can be improved without increasing costs.
The Somerville Retirement Board met today in special session to discuss the decision of Associate Justice James H. McGuiness to reverse the Board's action taken on January 22, 2010 to revoke the public pension retirement allowance of former Middlesex County Register of Probate, John Buonomo, pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 32, Section 15(3) (theft of governmental funds) and 15(4) (violation of the laws applicable to his office).
As the end of the school year approaches, students look forward to summer vacation, but for those involved in renovating the East Somerville Community School, the work is just beginning.
Sixty parents and community members met with architects and elected officials at the Capuano Early Childhood Center on Glen Street Tuesday night to discuss ideas for the renovation of the East Somerville Community School.
The school has been closed since it was ravaged by an over night electrical fire in December 2007.