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July 26, 2006

Comments

Fred Sullivan

so anything that turns up missing must of been in that drawer? I am curious, how much does all that jewlery and money weigh exactly? I remember they were being lauded for coming out right away and admitting to "everything". I would keep searching pawn shops. That jewelry may turn up again.

Ronny Newmint

if that's true that KSS is going to screw Somerville then why is Sean O'D sponsoring proposed zoning ?? Is this Assembly Square deal all over again?
Regarding the missing jewely, who's suprised i am not and i pitty anyone that has valuables being stored at that Police Station. How bad can this get?

FYI

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2006/07/26/somerville_police_goof_has_a_higher_price_tag/

Ron Newman

Questions for NewsTalk: Does the 'church group' want to build housing, or to use the property for religious purposes?

If Tufts bought the property, what would they do with it? It seems too far from campus to be used for student housing.

Fred Sullivan

either group that buys it does not have to pay taxes on it. We can not afford to have anymore non profits owning land tax free.

Ron Newman

Depends on what they use the property for. If Tufts were to build academic buildings there (unlikely), they would be tax-exempt, but if they built condos purely as an investment, they would be taxable.

Green Cabs win ellections

I quote becaue I can't link: "If New Yorkers had their way, the
majority of taxis in the city would be converted to less polluting hybrid
cars. According to poll results just released by the Coalition Advocating for
Smart Transportation (CAST), seven in ten New Yorkers say it is important to
make the switch now, and a majority report that even sacrificing a few inches
of legroom or interior space would make no difference in their support for
cleaner air cabs. Two-thirds of taxi riders and majorities of voters from
both political parties throughout the city said they would be more likely to
support a candidate who endorsed hybrid taxis.
"The poll results are loud and clear: New Yorkers want less polluting,
more environmentally healthy taxis to replace the gas-guzzling, emission-
spewing cabs that pollute the city's air today," said Todd Sigaty, Executive
Director of CAST. "New Yorkers are concerned about air pollution, they want
hybrid cabs, and they'll take the issue to the voting booth."
The survey shows that air pollution is overwhelmingly the No. 1
environmental health concern for New Yorkers, a top priority for 55% of those
surveyed; trash and waste rates a distant second (10%). Three out of four
consider air quality in the city to be poor or fair, and the number who feel
it's getting worse is double those who see improvements (49% and 24%,
respectively).
New York City has the highest asthma mortality rate in the country and is
ranked as the third worst city in air quality in 2004. Transportation sources,
including taxis, are responsible for 54% of all air pollution in the in the
New York City metropolitan region. All five boroughs received failing grades
for air quality in the American Lung Association's recently released State of
the Air: 2005 report.
"New York's high levels of air pollution are making people sick and
cutting lives short. By using hybrid taxis and reducing unhealthy emissions,
we will take a step in the right direction to help all New Yorkers breathe
easier," said Louise Vetter, Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung
Association of the City of New York.
Hybrid taxis, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor and
batteries to help the conventional engine operate more efficiently, would
reduce air pollution by more than 4 million pounds per year if the city's
fleet were fully converted. The difference in efficiency and emissions is
greatest when a vehicle is idling or in slow traffic, making city taxicabs an
ideal application for hybrid car technology.
Seventy percent of those surveyed support a bill recently introduced into
the City Council to encourage the use of environmentally healthy hybrid taxis.
Intro 642, the "Clean Air Taxicabs Pilot Program Act," introduced by Council
members David Yassky and John Liu would require the Taxi and Limousine
Commission (TLC) to approve one or more hybrid vehicles for use as taxis. The
Council passed legislation two years ago requiring 9% of new taxi medallions
to be for alternative fuel vehicles, but the TLC has failed to approve a
hybrid vehicle or implement a pilot program even though nineteen taxi owners
invested money to purchase the special medallions. Supporters hope to see
the legislation passed by the end of June and less polluting hybrid taxis on
the road by autumn.
"This groundbreaking bill will set New York City on the road to smarter,
healthier, less polluting and more energy-efficient taxis," said Mark Izeman,
Senior Attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "The New York
yellow taxi is an American icon. What better way to showcase a great solution
to our air pollution and oil dependence problems?"
"Hybrid taxis will improve air quality and improve public health. Hybrids
will save taxi drivers thousands of dollars annually on fuel costs and
significant time refueling -- all at no additional cost to the city or to
taxpayers. The plan is simply smart for New York City," said Todd Sigaty,
Executive Director of CAST.
Hybrid cars, which reduce up to 90% of traditional vehicle emissions,
could significantly help New York City reduce air pollution. Moreover, there
are hybrid cars on the market -- such as the Ford Escape -- that promise twice
the fuel efficiency of the Ford Crown Victoria, which comprises more than 93%
of the city's taxi fleet today.
"Hybrid taxis offer a simple way to make New York's air cleaner and
healthier to breathe, and New Yorkers are smartly rallying behind the idea,"
says Jack D. Hidary, a CAST board member. "When New York City converts to less
polluting hybrid taxis, we will once again set an example for other cities
around the world. Hybrid taxis are a smart idea whose time is long overdue."

CAST (http://www.smarttransportation.org) is dedicated to improving the
health of New Yorkers through smart transportation solutions. We are a
coalition of health, civic and environmental organizations working together to
improve our lives through such innovations as hybrid taxis and buses.

Survey of New Yorkers' Attitudes on Hybrid Taxis

Key Findings

By any measure, New Yorkers support hybrid taxis.

* 70% support, 43% strongly, the City Council bill that would encourage
using hybrid cars as taxis.

* 70% think it is important, 34% very important, for a majority of taxis
in New York City to become hybrids in the next five years.

New Yorkers of every stripe want their elected officials to support hybrid
taxis.

* Two-thirds (66%) of taxi riders are more likely to vote for an elected
official who supports hybrid taxis."

It *is* funny

I just sent a link to this discussion to the Mayor's email address. Hopefully he (or Tom Champion more likely) will read it and see the golden opportunity to turn Somerville's reputation around.

ccollins

Enough with the cab sh*t. We have a column about ethics violations and how the city is allowing itself to be used by those with connections to the city. How more stuff is missing from the inept police department and how this city contiunes to sell out the hardworking people who live here. Let's get angry, tell the administration to stop hiring its friends, making back room deals with contractors, stop changing zoning for developers. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Ronny Newmint

i agree with Coolins enough with the green cab shit......this stuff if true even half true in Newstalk today is another devasting blow to our city. Sean and his family are taking advantage of us, someone either this paper or the Farm Team need to do a full story on weather this shit is true. Are you waiting for the other foot to drop?

You guys don't know

what about the backroom deals that keep a monopoly un-regulated city subsidised cab company in business in Somerville? I know there is a story there.

Too Funnt

Re: you guys don't know
Unregulated Cab Co? It is regulated by the Board od Alderman, and inspected by the Somerville police. It is not a monoply, its call an association. Any privately owned cab can go out on his own and start his own association. So I gues i have to aske "who doesn't know here?"

to too Funnt

Ok you got me,

But there is still a story there. There are listing for Somerville cab companies with different addresses and numbers on the web, but when you call any of them, you get the same dispatcher... something is fishy there... And we don't have french benifits?

somerspeak

My Fellow Somervillians -

HAD ENOUGH YET? NO? THEN WAIT AWHILE. THERE'S MORE TO COME. TRUST ME.

Ron Newman

French benefits? Do you mean croissants?

Clean Air

I don't about fringe benefits but we should deffinetly hire a lobbyist. If we had one, we would have our green line extention already. With other cities using them we losing out on a lot of cash.

" City officials in Mobile, Hunstville and Birmingham said they disagree with Bright's philosophy.

"By looking at some of the benefits the citizens of Mobile have gotten -- $3 million for a federal COPS Grant to improve law enforcement, money to improve the historic GM&O Building and several improvements to the city's waterfront -- it is easy to see the reasons for having a lobbyist," Mobile Mayor Samuel Jones said in a statement. "With a more than $25 million return coming in just the past seven years, these dollars have been well-spent to improve the safety and well being of our citizens."

Perry Roquemore, director of the Alabama League of Municipalities, said the federal government has cut a lot of programs that affect cities.

"Some cities may be looking at other avenues to reach what money is there," Roquemore said. "I would think they like lobbyists because they are getting more for the cities than they have before."

Slumerville lives

It sounds like we're returning to the days of 'Slumerville'. It's too bad, after so much time and energy was spent to change the image of the city!

Corruption_happens

The fish rots from the head first. And with Joe C in charge nothing should surprise anyone.

corruption_happens

Joe and his inner circle are clearly the most corrupt group to hold the Mayor's office since the pre-Lester Ralph days.

The fact that allegations and missing money have surfaced at the Police Station, DPW, and Parking Office is only the tip of the iceburg.

Joe spent $250,000 to get the job. I see him shaking down everyone in sight to get that back and more. There are no scruples or ethics this adminstration has.

Joe flips from being conservative to liberal. Republican to Democrat because the guy has no principles or morale compass.

He comes from the Vinnie Piro School- take what you can when you can.

Wondering Union worker

To the SMEA
Why were firemen dunping rubbish when there
are building custodians on the payroll?

Jimmy D. on Jewelry

It just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? I just read the link that was posted above. It said, "At the time, officials made no mention of the stolen jewels, which Lieutenant Dan Cotter confirmed yesterday were also disposed of after being recovered from an Everett pawn shop."

If they failed to mention the jewelry, then they failed to mention other things. The real question is what are those other things? What quantity of drugs were in the desk? Any weapons? Any MORE jewelry? What a disgrace. Please oh please don't tell me that Captain Femino is remaining in chrge of this case.

Brickbottom, what's you're take on this?

Astonished

To envision what is exactly going on around this City, I would like to propose a situation which I encountered just the other day.

The President of the SMEA Union, Mike B, decides to do some MAJOR renovations to his residence here in Somerville. Now to do this you obviously need to pull permits. He would go where anyone other resident would go, to the DPW ISD Office where he works at Franey Road. The permit cost is calculated by a formula associated with the total cost of the job. On that permit would be information regarding disposal of debris.

I find it interesting that there is a Russell Dumpster in front of his house. Reading what I have been reading on the blog about how he is up the asses of Koty and Curtatone, I can easily draw the conclusion that that dumpster is a favor from his buddy, Highway Yard Foreman Tom, B, that along with Mike B, both made close to or over $100,000 at the DPW last year. These figures were published by the Farm League back a few months ago. That was the first time in City history that the Yard Foreman every made the 6 digit figure.

Anyway, Tommy B has the power to call Douglas, owners of Russell and huge contributors of the Mayor, and 5 other Aldermen, to call in favors. So now Mike B, President of the SMEA has received, in all likelihood, the cost of the permit, disposal fees and the cost of placing a dumpster on the street instead of his driveway for nadda, zilch, nothing.

It pays to work for this Administration. It cost us the taxpayers for having this Administration in office.

PS, I forgot to mention who the contractor was that was replacing his porch didn't I? If you drive by the residence just off Central Street and before Medford Street traveling North bound up Central from Highland Ave., you will see for yourself. It is astonishing.

PS, PS, Again I was negligent in informing you that Appointed Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds, The Skipper, is listed on the city Voters list as residing at Mike B house. But so his Mike B’s in-laws/parents listed at the same address. It is only a two family from what I saw on the City Register. Now if memory serves me correctly, after the Skippers’ boat was seen parked in the Homans garage, he then moved it to his in-laws driveway, where he resides with his new wife of two years on another Street closer to City Hall. I guess it really pays to work for this Administration. You can live where ever you want at any given time. By listing his residence at Mike B’s house he can now vote for his other buddy SOD. Of course, the Mayor is his best friend don’t you know.

How tangled a web they build. Keeping it all in the family.

brickbottom

Hi Jimmy D,

I am surprised that this would surprise anyone. I am sure that more "mistakes" will rear their ugly head in the near future.

As long as the Acting Midget is in charge and their continues to be no respect garnered by the Chief's position then it will continue to be a free for all down at police headquarters. We are the luaghing stock of the NATION and no one in power has the balls to admit they made a mistake by giving the Chief's job to an incompetent clown.

The House of Hate is now turning into the Den of Thieves!!!!

Surprise!

Of course, we all know, don't we, that Russell Disoposal is owned by the family of
__________Russell Koty. Surprised???

Astonished

Surprise!, I beleive the owners of Russell disposal are Langton & Douglas, not Russell Koty.

Really Astonished

Astonished,

What amazes all of us, is that you actually had time to write this considering the OWNER of Russell is throwing HIS garbage in your hopper.

You go ahead and run your mouth (when C.R. isn't using)and us hard working DPW workers will be here working away.....

Less is more

And this is why less is more. The less they know, the more we make.

The less that they are involved the more we can get away with.

Less is more. Keep the progressives out. They ask too many questions. Less is more, the sky is falling. Less is more. More or less.

Juan Maud

I am so glad I moved to Medford with two D's.

Hogs next Boss

That's why I decided to check out the Republican Party and the progressives. This was not easy for someone who was raised as a Democrat.

I know the Republicans would welcom me with open arms.

Sometimes people ask me, "How could you turn your back on your Democratic roots?" It's a good question.

I have nothing against Democrats. As you now know, I used to be one. Most Democrats are good, hard-working, well-intentioned people. In many cases, including in mine and my wife's, it has been a family tradition to vote for Democrats. Our parents and grandparents voted for Democrats for reasons that were good and noble ... in the past.

THE CURRENT wave of favoritism and corruption is not due to something being wrong with people like us raised as Democrats, but to one group and one party's having had absolute control for too many years.

Too many officials and city appointees did not have to work hard to get where they are now. They consider public service their right, not a privilege. Without the checks and balances of another point of view, they have become arrogant, self-serving and corrupt.

Single-party rule is now just a big problem here. We need to think about reviewing laws and policies to ensure that local whistle-blowers are fully protected and that potential corruption is identified early. Let's provide anonymous counsel to those unsure if superiors are asking them to bend the law. And lets eliminate any loophole that inadvertently protects wrongdoers.

History teaches that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." The current abuse of power in Somerville is not random. It is the predictable result of one-party or gourp domination. We need competition in the political arena, and we need it now.

You don't have to be a member of any particular political party to want honesty in government, a stronger economy, better schools, a green line and a healthy environment. These are everybody's goals.

Republicans Porgressives, and Democrats may differ over how best to reach them, but we all want the best for Somerville.

Francis Puertos

Yes I see what you mean. That governor of ours is doing a good job with getting the tunnel fixed up and the crooks out of there. But on the otherhand, without things like stem cell research, our biotech businesses are going to pot man. Our country and town is in trouble.

What is best?

The pension system figured heavily , reflecting the major role it plays in city politics. Today it has a deficit from years of benefit increases, underfunding and investment losses in recent years. The city also has more in unfunded retiree health care costs.
who calls for benefit rollbacks – a position that should be adopted as well – and who will agreed to return some of thier own benefits? as an example.

What is most important to somerville? Pensions or green line extensions? Which of these issues should take up our time and resources? Which ones benefit the whole more than the few?

Max Warwick

So let's see if I have the story correct so far -

Five acres of polluted land is sold to a member of the Kennedy family who happens to be the developer.

All the asswipe politicos fall all over themselves to get a piece of the action and to further their political careers.

The developer woos the neighborhood into thinking he'll give them everything they want and the City says the same.

The ward five alderman sponsors the zoning change proposal to the Board of Alderman.

The ward five alderman just happens to be on the committee that will "study" the zoning change and make a recommedation to the Board of Alderman.

Now the developer appears to be ready to pull out after permits and wish us all well with a few million in profits in his pocket.

The same ward five alderman is now embarking on a new career as a real estate agent in Somerville. The company he's doing business with has a slogan of "Somerville for Sale."

Yup. Sounds about right.

So Somerville News, what's your point of running the clip in NewsTalk?

Your paper endorsed the Mayor and Ward Five Alderman. You get what you endorsed.

to Max,

Max,

you make it sound like that was there plan from the start. The developers never would have walked away from the project had their Condo Ordinance slid through and got passed. But I agree it was a no win for us from the start. And win win for them no matter which way they went. When will the leaders stack the chips in our favor instead of theirs all the time?

Max Warwick

To To Max;

Don't hold your breath.

Clyde Murdock

If this is the way it's gonna turn out, tell this guy to take his development down to hyannisport and shove it. maybe he can put his energies into blocking the windfarm so teddy can have an unobstructed view of the harbor.

I don't get it?

The old Somerville police station is now high price condos. So the police were evicted from their old home so that it could be converted to condos? And their new home has dangerous and hazardas mold growing in it? Why did they ever leave their first home? Who made all the money on that deal?

Ron Newman

No, the "very old" Somerville police station (on Bow Street) was recently converted to condos, after first serving for many years as a veterans post.

The more recent "old" Somerville police station was in Union Square, and now houses Toast Lounge and other private businesses. During the Capuano administration, the police moved from this building to their current one.

Wake Up

So why did they leave a perfectly good building? Did someone profit off of this move?(which developers)?
Thanks,

Not Capuano -- Brune

Ron you're mis-remembering (to quote W).

Gene Brune was mayor....when the City put the PD in the former MBTA Car Barn (or whatever they called it). Steve Post referred to it as the proudest accomplishment of his first go-round in what was then the Office of Planning and Development.

Can't blame Mike for that one..

The Mole

Oh O! OH O! There is something brewing somewhere in Somerville. There seems to be a strong rumor amid the coffee shops that a certain Alderman has their residence up for sale. Yes a certain Alderman.

I really don't want to say who that might be only because it is only a rumor. But, I can give a hint I think.

It may have to do with certain condo conversion permits being pulled and strengthening another rumor about grooming a certain female on Highland Rd. about to come into the "Anointing Position". Or even better, maybe due to the lack in property sales this Attorney/Alderperson may be going home to where their roots are planted, one street over.

Again, it is just a rumor among the coffee shops in and around town so I am not sure how much substance it holds. But it sure could solidify the other rumor about C.C. getting into position for her anointing party.

I think Drs. Mrs. McCarthy should put the whole damn team on this one.

The Mole

Ron Newman

I think the police moved out of the Union Square station because it was too small. And you had to climb steps to get into it, so it wasn't handicapped-accessible.

ccollins

Where is Sean moving to and are the people of ward 5 stupid enough to vote for carlyne

I heard Stank is Bakin Carlyne

I heard STANK is Bakin Carlyne.

Sean's Eyes are bigger than his Stomach

Sean O' Donovan's eyes are bigger than his stomach. Sean thinks that he can go further than he can in politics. It looks like he hates being an Alderman. Its almost like he's going through the motions. What has his attendance been?

POOPS

what's going on? did you like what they slipped in today? this union is beautiful
god bless somerville

Now we will be even for Somerville Lumber!

Rumor has it that the other big retail home improvement giant that is competing for The Home Depot's territorial business and The U-Haul's biggest competitor have a big interest in Somerville. The word is that Loews Home Improvement and Ryder Truck Leasing have been trying to attract the attention of our towing company giant in the city for the purchase of their land to put up a State of the art Loews store or Ryder Moving and storage warehouse right here in our city. The towing giant as far as we know have so far refused any offers that were made. Just imagine a Loews or a Ryder in that location would just crush The Home Depot or U-Hauls business in the area. The same way that Home Depot destroyed The old Somerville Lumber. Why not, competition is good for business!

Just thinking....

Of course Ward 5 is stupid enough to fall for this scam. They've voted for Sean for years through thick and thin, and before that for Stan (both for alderman and school committee!) and last year they sank to a new low and voted for Niedergang! And wasn't CC someone else's girlfriend first?

brickbottom

To Ron Newman,

The second "old" police station was in perfectly fine shape ( it was actually considered a bomb shelter because the building was so strong) and there was no reason at all to move it to an area that was used to fix buses and trains for over 60 years. Handicap access could have very easily been installed if need be and if they needed more room there was plenty of space in the back of the building to add an addition.

A very wise old sage I knew said from the start that they were going to have tons of trouble moving into the new police station as he compared it to moving into a junk yard whose soil (under the floor of the building) should have been cleaned up because of all the oil and other fluids used to fix up the buses and trolleys.

It was and is a joke from beginning to end. Just look at all the wasted space as you enter the front lobby of this building, someone was either a complete idiot to make this move or made a lot of money in the process.

As I recall when they were considering the move there bothe the Market Basket area and the old Bradlees area was vacant.....two perfectly logical places to put a new police station. I could go on but it would be like beating a dead horse.

Francis Puertos

Thanks brick bottom, There is always two reasons for whatever they do, the reason they give and the reason behind it all. All we ever hear is the reason they give, the political reason they sugar coat and use to get everyone to back it up. If you want find the real reasons you need to find the puppeteers pulling the strings and follow the money. Always follow the money.

And to the lowes guy , we need more competition in somerville, we need it politics and we need it from small localy owned businesses that want to strat up here. But we don't need outsiders that have efficient systems of syphoning money out of the community to come here and set up shop.
Not unless Somereville strong enough to stand up to these guys and pass a living wage ordinance. My guess is Somerville is so busy getting sued for stupid things that now they can't risk gettting sued for right things. We can't fight the fights we should be fighting.

money makes the world go 'round

WHen the new police station was proposed, testing was done, and it was stated that 'nothing should be built on this site'. It was built regardless, and has had problems ever since! No AC, mold, mildew, etc, etc. Why do you think the Fire Dept has been using a trailer all these years? They were smart enough to get their guys out of the building.

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