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July 05, 2006



The fireworks didn't start until 9:15, but events at Trum Field started at 6:30. That's why the roads were closed earlier. I guess News Talk prefers traffic noise over music?

Working Stiff

I prefer getting home from work on time.

Tom Champion

Reluctant as I am to pierce the veil of anonymity that surrounds so many comments on the Somerville News blog, I just wanted to drop News Talk readers a quick note to mention that:

1. The City notified residents of fireworks-related parking restrictions and road closures by press release, by postings to our Web site and the Cable Cable news line and by a Connect-CTY call to all households and businesses on Tuesday, June 27. We apologize to those who did not receive the message, but it is simply inaccurate to allege that the closures occurred "without warning."

2. Also, the City does indeed have a GLBT liaison in the person of Antoinette Curry, a Somerville resident and human resources professional with more than six years experience doing advocacy work in the GLBT community in Greater Boston. The Mayor introduced her publicly at the Gay Pride Flag Raising event on June 10th, and her picture appeared (unfortunately without her new title) in the June 14th issue of the News. Toni has been making the rounds of the GLBT community here in Somerville, but your comment serves as a timely reminder that we need to get her contact information posted to the City's website. In the meantime, if you need to reach Toni, you can call the City's Human Rights Commission at (617) 625-6600 ext. 2165.

Jimmy D. on Tom the Rookie

I can only assume that really was Tom "the Rookie" Champion writing the last post. Tom, we appreciate your comments but can you please leave your sarcasm at home. Frankly, it sucks. When you wrote, "Reluctant as I am to pierce the veil of anonymity that surrounds so many comments on the Somerville News blog..." were you making a witty take on the legal-ese about "piercing the corporate veil?"
Here's a hint for your future job security: Don't start your PR release by attacking the platform and the people who use it. As for the anonymity, people are just trying to protect themselves in a dog-eat-dog city. When you think about what happend to you predecessor Mr. Horan, you might want to be a little more anonymous. That poor guy came back from lunch to find his things packed up and found out you were his replacement.
I must say I find it comforting to know that you read the News and know what's happening outside of 93 Highland. Could you please pass it on that we (the people) are still waiting on a resolution to the T&P money, Desk-gate, ridiculous water bills, the Sycamore Street Bridge, Assembly Square, and the list goes on and on.

James Norton

Jimmy D -

Does his comment, his sarcasm or his attitude really surprise you? Please.


The Handsome One

Dearest Tom;
Some of us wear "the veil of anonymity" because our faces or names are known to some of your cohorts.
Did you know that "retribution" is a word that is well known to some in power?
I did not get your call on June 27th.
"Damn it." I must have forgot to give you the Fall River City Hall number.


Yeah, Tom, leave the sarcasm to the whiners club that posts here who apparently can't keep up with public events. How dare you intrude and spread "facts."

Tom Champion

For Jimmy D.

I honestly didn't mean for you or anyone else to take offense. The fact is that many of the posts here are anonymous. Mine was not, and that's all I was referring to.

As for my reluctance, the simple truth is that I figured that some wise guy would take the opportunity to slime me if I posted in my own name -- and I guess I was right about that, wasn't I?

When it comes to "attitude" and "sarcasm" -- not to mention mean-spirited invective and threats -- it's clear that I'm just not ready to swim in the deep end of the pool with big boys like you. What was I thinking?

You've certainly proven your point that posting anonymously is a wise, and even necessary, precaution.

But thanks for the career advice. It's nice to know that you have my best interests at heart.

Bob Lothrope

Re Tom Champion's post that Somerville issued press releases and website notices about Broadway closing at 6 pm: I don't make it a habit to check the websites of every town I'm going to drive through before I go home from work every day, especially on a non-holiday Thursday. And I have no way of watching Somerville cable TV (and if I could, I shouldn't have to). And the city shouldn't be pestering everyone with phone calls over something like this -- it should be restricted to true emergencies, like if we shouldn't drink the water or shouldn't go outside for some reason, and it doesn't help nonresidents anyway.

What they *should* have done was post large signs in the area a few weeks in advance.

Re the original post about resident parking permit ticketing on June 1: were you trying to say that it was impossible to renew the stickers because the computers were down? Or just that there should be a grace period with warnings issued instead of tickets? A grace period would certainly be nice, especially since it's safe to assume that someone with a 1-day-expired sticker still lives in the neighborhood.

The Mole

The Mole

The Mole

Talk is cheap. Rumors are not worth the air they fly in on. But when your right your right.

I can hear them now setting up the trip to Gaeta later this month. The entourage is gathering their belongings and getting ready to flutter away to the picturesque Mediterranean. Making sure all passports are in order, traveler checks are signed and the Speedo’s are packed. The little fishing port, home to the Mayor, will be setting up for the festivities when all our dignitaries show up. The village woman will be stomping those red grapes 24/7 until they arrive.

Once be it told about 3 months ago, when the Mayor, J. Delori and at the time, Mike Buckley were scouting out the prospects of wining and dinning, we knew this event would be taking place. It is only a matter of days now until it comes to culmination.

Just one thing. Who will be paying for this festive trip of dignitaries? I am sure they can’t afford it on their salaries.

The Mole


Isn't the mayor's new son too young to travel?

Lola wants you!

Hi Tom, It's me Lola! Remember me? The extra twist of lime at the bar! Why did you stop calling all of a sudden? To busy on the website now? Oh well! Another time.

Love ya!

Ps: Doesn't he look like the guy on the Chrysler commercial?

Two sets of Rules!

I don't know why you would think better lawyers are going win these cases. It is your stupid city leaders that get you in trouble. No lawyers in the world can win these cases. The city is just plainnly operating on the wrong side of the law. It follows the rules in one case and then throws them out of the window when it servers their purpose to do so. Its like there are two sets of rules here. One for the connected and then one set for everyone else.

traffic tickets

I got one of those tickets. When I showed up at T&F monday to pay the ticket and renew my expirec sticket the lady through my ticket aside and said they are suppose to wait 10 days to ticket us. A warning would be nice too I thought. Anyway, I did not have to pay for the ticket. Maybe they were training someone new for the job so it is not such a big deal.

I would still like to see cars that don't have stckers get towed off of my street though.

A Waiting Period?

They're supposed to wait 10 days to ticket after your permit expires?? I wish I (and many others) had known that before! The first of the month is like a feeding frenzy, when anyone who forgot to renew their sticker will have a ticket for sure. Sometimes at 12:01 a.m. That's been going on for years!

traffic tickets

That is what the lady said. She thru my ticket aside and told me to go have a party with my 40 dollars.

I have an idea. Someone open a ticket at the Somerville city website in the 311 form that they have setup there. We can ask the city about 10 days and then report the answer and how long it takes them to respond back here. It will be a great test and evaluation of the new service!

Lets see how well it works and let everyone know!
BTW -- If my email was not broken I do it myself!

Bob Smith

Just getting caught up here on the best blog around and i get hit with this jerkoff that the mayor hired to replace that gentleman Mark Horan. Where the hell is this guy from? who is he? has anyone "goggle" him ??. This Mayor has to go, dare i say it? bring back Dot Gay and quickly, this guy makes her look like the best mayor we've ever had going all the way back to "lester the molester".

lady in the beauty shop

"Spectular" eh? Sounds great. Sorry I missed the show.

Meanwhile, the bus shelters are lovely and needed, but imagine trying to get a walker or wheelchair past most of them. Isn't there a restriction about obstructing sidewalks in this city?

No one's home.....

You're order to make them look more modern and 'artistic' than the old bus shelters they've made them much too big for our sidewalks. Once again, noone's minding the store!

Bob Lothrope

There has to be a 3-foot clear space in front of bus shelters, according to Americans with Disabilities Act. Are there any in Somerville that don't meet this standard?

Re Mr. Traffic Tickets wanting non-permitted cars to be towed: It's bad enough that non-residents have to risk a $40 ticket to park on a public street for a few minutes, while residents can drive all over the city and park for days on end for free, and now you want the city to confiscate their cars, waste their entire day, and charge them about $100 for having the nerve to use an automobile on a street that has houses on it? If people had any alternative to risking a $40 ticket, they'd already be using it.

Sam Shepard

You argument leads me to believe you live in the middle of a quiet neighborhood and you have enough off-street parking for plenty of cars. Not all areas in Somerville are created equal though. That is why flexibility by the city would go a long way to prevent backlashes when passing and enforcing new rules.

You might be right, if they continue to ticket enough our street does stay clear more. Otherwise, I have no issue with certain problem areas towing cars. In most of the city, ticketing alone does a good job of allowing residents to park on their own street.

Ask yourself where cars should be towed from then? Do businesses have the right to tow cars? What if someone parks in front of someone’s driveway? Or what if someone does not have a driveway and relies on permit parking but can not park on their street because a local business is drawing a huge crowd? And the area a block away that they might find parking in is notorious for broken windows and theft. What then? On top of that, the business that is drawing the crowd is in a residential zone, not zoned for business or commercial use, making the legality of their business permits highly questionable. Especially when one of the stipulations for the special permit is to provide parking which has not occurred.

It hurts business when there is not parking for their patrons. But most of Somerville is a neighborhood, one of the most densely packed neighborhoods on the east coast. Businesses can't expect to open a business in a neighborhood and then have the zoning changed so that their patrons can park in front of our houses any more than John the Auto dealer can expect to park his inventory all over the street and sidewalks. The city should Tow the cars or make the business pay extra for attracting so much traffic. Even better, not allow the place to get a special permit to do what it does inside of a neighborhood.

So, should cars parked in street cleaning areas be towed if the street cleaner can not do its job? Or snow emergency plowing areas? Or anywhere? I can see your point, if the price of the ticket and the chance of actually getting one is high enough, then you probably won’t have to tow anyone. But if I can’t park on my own street I am not at all against towing people who illegally park.

Bob Lothrope

It's not "your" street -- it's a public street. If you want a spot you can tow people from, then you should rent an off-street space.

It shouldn't matter where *I* live for purposes of this discussion -- my opinions would be just as valid if I lived in the woods 2 miles from the nearest neighbor.

Zoning that separates businesses and residences is a great way to encourage *more* car-dependence in cities.

Towing should be an absolute last resort, and should only be allowed when someone blantantly takes up space that someone else has an exclusive legal claim on. Or if there's an emergency, like a fire. It certainly should not be used just because there are a lot of cars parked on a public street, causing some privileged people to have to park a block or two away.

Is your "broken windows and theft" scenario based on an actual place, or is it hyperbole? If it exists, what are *you* doing to help the situation, besides advocating rules that allow you to park elsewhere at the expense of others?

Sam Shepard


It sounds like you are advocating removing residential parking that we pay for in order to proovide free parking to everyone?

Go park your car in a residential zone near the north end. Then go tell them how you feel.

"Ticketing alone does a good job of allowing residents to park on their own street." For now. My neighbors and I are very happy to have the city ticket cars here. And if it becomes like the north end where every feels they can park here so much that I can not we need to start towing.

It is not a public parking area. It is residential permit parking only. You have to live here to park here. If you don’t want a ticket (or towed in the future) then you can go 'RENT a spot'. Go pay a meter or find a garage! You can even ride a bike, take a bus or the T or call a cab before you have to park in our residential parking.

For now, I am advocating more ticketing. I not just speaking for myself, my neighbors agree.

It is not hyperbole; my car has been broken into, kicked and dented, and hit. My neighbors have had the same and many of them have had their cars hit in the night by other cars that did not stop or leave a note. And here is excerpt from a recent email from a neighbor of ours a couple of blocks from my place:
"I am not sure if you are aware of this or not, but there has been a lot of brake ins around the neighborhood over the past few weeks. Three houses on Springfield Street (the end closer to Cambridge St) and few on Concord Ave., two of my mom’s car windows were smashed in on Saturday night. Her car was parked in front of XX Dickenson St. There was also a few cars’ on Springfield St that had their windows broken over the past week as well. A motorcycle was stolen out of a back yard on Dickenson St over the weekend. Just wanted you to be aware of what is going on in the neighborhood if you didn’t already know. "

Besides advocating rules at the expense of people who don't have Somerville permits to park on my street I am raising awareness and continuing this discussion.

In all fairness it is not "at the expense of others." I don't expect to have free parking in the north end. If your street becomes over-crowded I would agree to change the rules on your street to accomadate you and your neighbors.

Bob Lothrope


If your street gets undercrowded, can nonresidents petition to have the restrictions removed? The answer is clearly no, and right there is the problem.

Just because people somewhere else are selfish doesn't justify it everywhere.
You *are* trying to have the city reserve spots on supposedly safer streets for you, at the expense of others who want to park there.

My street has permit restrictions, and the residents do a good job of crowding it up themselves. Except when most of them aren't there, like during the workday, and then the spaces sit empty. There are no garages or metered spots nearby, and there isn't much transit either. So what are nonresidents supposed to do?

Why should nonresidents have to take a cab from who-knows-where just so you can park a block closer to your house? Why don't you take a cab if it's such a good idea?

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