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August 22, 2006


Somerville Republicans

Although Rebekah is a progressive Democrat, and while we would not agree on many issues of national policy (e.g., whether abortion is constitutionally required), I, as a conservative Republican, can stand in support of Rebekah. As an Alderman, she has shown her commitment to the community (Someday Cafe, Wall of Respect for Women) and fiscal restraint (voting against the supplemental appropriation for reverse 311, which eventually was free anyway). Those are qualities a Republican can stand for.

Martini Edin

Since we are on murals I just discovered my favorite -- one in Harvard Square, It says Rachel Carson was right. And then it is says at the bottom "Indication of harm, not proof of harm, is our call to action," then above it is was one of those faded ads painted on the bricks, I think is about the theatre, along with a touch of graffiti. I like the whole thing.

Ron Newman

That too is a Be Sargent mural. Here is her web page about it.


Somerville Republican above said;

"while we would not agree on many issues of national policy (e.g., whether abortion is constitutionally required), I, as a conservative Republican, can stand in support of Rebekah"

And what, may I ask, are your thoughts on the 10th and 16th Amendments? Did you vote for Goldwater in '64?

HTML fix

If I add the right HTML tag here, maybe all the comments will stop being in italic


I know that Ms. Gewirtz thinks she has a handle on the "issues" facing the residents of her ward because she "listens", but the jury is still out on her performance.

Eight months into the term and she points to three "issues", a mural, a coffee shop, and listening to concerns over water bills to demonstrate that she's up to par.

Ms. Gewirtz, it takes a lot more than "listening" to "issues" to get the full faith and confidence of the people who voted for you.

The clock is ticking. How about some results?


Hey, don't forget about the sandwich board in front of the Extreme tanning salon. That makes at least 4 things, not just 3. The Ward 6 alderman is on that like white on rice.
And by the way, for the info of another earlier posting about oldest cafes in the square, LaContessa's been there since at least the 60s and it kicks ass on any of the newer places as far as sitting down and having a cup of coffee with friends and having a big meeting a la anything in Paris or Florence. The pastry is the best anywhere. Someday is/was a dive as far as my opinion goes. Diesel's OK. Starbucks sucks, D'n'D? Good place to find a cop if you need one and consistant quality of their product.
I'll give the new alderman a B for effort. She's trying, but needs to start broadening her base out to the long timers in the ward. Just a suggestion Rebecca.



The problem with LaContessa is that you have got to beat "FP" in there if you want anything leftover before he leaves!

Charlie on the MTA

Is Rebehah married ? She's kind of cute. How about taking on the bums hanging around the Davis T stop ?? The stink is aweful.
Speaking of Ward 6, how is former Alderman Connolly these days ? Does he still have that City part-time job that was made for him, so he can steal health benefits ? I'll see everyone at JP Licks tonite for an overpriced ice cream !!!!!



I don't know what your talking about. FP always used to leave at least one profiterole for me. Years ago I used to have Phil the night baker put one aside in a secret hiding place to make sure! The moccah slices are a different situation though.
Why do you think I said "big" meeting?



That's hilarious! If I had the inside track with Phil the baker maybe I would have frequented the bakery more!

You are too funny!

Jack back

As a new resident of the city and in Davis Square, I paid enough $$$ for my condo, we have words for city councilors like this lady where i am from. I am new to the city use to be a democrat to now and independent and voted proudly Republican in the past and will in this election as well.


Rachel Carson is right up there with Betty Friedan...

...bald-faced liars for the Cause.

Born Here

Hey Jack Back,
If you're new to the City and bought an over-priced Condo.....welcome to the land of high taxes, poor city services, and corrupt government.......sucka

Grab Me A Coffee

Hey Alderman Rebekah
how about getting me a coffee large with milk no sugar and a plain dounut at the dunkin dounuts on elm street up the street from someday. You are wrecking our city from all your liberal causes and those so and so progressives yeck. go back where all you barneys come from.
Best fishes
Grab Me A Coffee milk no sugar
P.S. Every dog has his day

Not A Barney born and raised here in SOMERVILLE

Alderwoman of Ward 6
Your issues are so much like Senator Jehlen. Could it be you are a clone of the senators. Oh my thats all we need in somerville 2 somerville jehlens yeck. to Grab Me A Coffee i agree with you about the Barneys, they should go back where they come from, or sit down with us and talk with us and tell you how the old days were in somerville before the barneys came to town. also for all of you in ward 6 i am sorry. davis square is starting to look like a bedroom community, so many barneys Oh My.
Just a oldtimer from Ward 5

Panty raid

Who knows the next thing our alderman in ward 6 will do get her girlfriends and burn there BRAS..

Somerville Republicans on Alderman Gewirtz

All of the authors of the past comments need to take a moment and learn about Alderman Gewirtz's contribution to the City of Somerville.

Progressive Democrats of Somerville

Most Somerville residents know that Rebekah co-founded the Progressive Democrats of Somerville ("PDS"). PDS has been instrumental in getting Somerville residents active in politics and civic life. Whether it is progressive Democrats working with the organization, or conservative Republicans learning from their experience as a group in Somerville, PDS has certainly benefited the City with its efforts. Without Rebekah and Marty Martinez, we would not have PDS and all the good that has come from it.

Ward 6 Alderman

As Ward 6 Alderman, Alderman Gewirtz has done a good job of representing her constituents. As my first post to this article shows, she has delivered on many occasions.

The Future

In the future, I expect Alderman Gewirtz only to improve in her service to our government and our community. She cares about her community, and, most importantly, is open to listening to different viewpoints (a fact that I can not say about many progressive Democrats).

In conclusion, "old school" Democrats should understand that Somerville is changing. If you feel that you are too conservative for the new progressive wing of the Democrat party, then unenroll, or perhaps become a Republican. After that, become active in civic life, participate, let your voice be heard. After all, that is what PDS did many years ago, and, now, they control much of our state delegation, and at least two seats on the Board of Alderman.

Martini Edin

You guys all suck. Those liberals are damn good and you know it. Name one thing that is worse in your life because of them? See you can't really blame that on them can you?

It is your life.

& -- liars for what cause?


I like short tracks. You'll see more wrecks. And about a million screamin' rednecks.


Marty Martinez has been a complete failure with anything he was involved in with this city.

The verdict is still out on Gewirtz.

Republicans will never, ever do what the "PDS" did. Simply because the Republicans are in a firmly entrenched Democratic city. Simple as that.

Somerville Republicans


Thank you for your post.

1. Marty is smart, cares about Somerville, and participates in civic and political life. I don't agree with all of the ideas that he brings to the table, but the fact remains that he is at the table. He would make a great Alderman. I disagree with your comment, and do not believe that it is supported by facts.

2. I am happy to hear that you doubt whether the Somerville Republicans ( will succeed
and reach the same level of success that PDS has reached. I am sure that PDS faced that same opposition when it was created.

The Somerville Republicans will remain a positive organization seeking to work with PDS and groups of any political ideology. While we question liberal policy, we respect the liberal voice in the discussion and seek to arrive at a policy that is in the best interest of the Somerville taxpayer and the Somerville resident.

As discussed in our Yahoo! group, we seek to accomplish many of the goals that PDS likely also seeks to accomplish. For example, the Somerville Republicans and, I am sure, PDS are committed to safer neighborhoods and improving public education. The difference, I think, is that our organization seeks to achieve these goals while respecting hardworking taxpayers by implementing policies that lower property and excise tax burdens.

While we do not expect to win every debate, we believe that in time, the Somerville Republicans will be a force in this City and will happily work with groups like PDS to achieve a more perfect City that we can all enjoy and call home.

Ron Newman

So you "voted proudly Republican in the past and will in this election as well." And you just moved here from somewhere else, into an expensive condo in Davis Square. May I ask what attracted you to this neighborhood full of liberal Democrats?

Somerville Republicans


Republicans like liberal Democrats. They are usually intelligent, passionate about their position, and active in civic life. Republicans are the same way, and enjoy a good fight.


Somerville Republican,

Tell me one thing that Marty Martinez has achieved to make Somerville a better place to live in?

Somerville Republicans


I will tell you two things that Marty Martinez has achieved to make Somerville a better place to live. There are more, I am sure.

Somerville Community Corporation

Marty is a Director on the Board of Directors of the Somerville Community Corporation. Through his leadership and the leadership of the Board, the Somerville Community Corporation has been able to create significant supply of affordable housing in the City.

City Youth Director

As the City Youth Director, he assisted in organizing a conference in Somerville to teach residents about improving their health.


Somerville Republican,

As the City Youth Director he was a complete failure. That program went down the drain real quick and the kids of this city suffered and continue to suffer because of his incompetance.

You also go on to say: "has been able to create significant supply of affordable housing in the City."

Where? When? For whom? Give me some facts!

He is a complete phony who I took to task when he rang my doorbell looking for a vote....needless to say he lied, looked befuddled and left my porch with his tail between his legs.

Somerville Republicans


You stated:

You also go on to say: "has been able to create significant supply of affordable housing in the City."

Where? When? For whom? Give me some facts!

I reply:

Where: Visit

When: See weblink above.

For whom: It depends on the funding subsidy used to finance the project. The income level ranges from 50% to 80% of area median income. I know of funding sources that fund projects that are for residents at 100% of area median income as well.

Hope that helps.

Martini Edin


When you say they created affordable housing in Somerville do you mean that rich yuppies can afford it? How is the housing affordable? How much is it, and can we get my tenants in it?

My guess is that it is either not affordable, or it is just not available!


Martini Edin and Somerville republican,

I think brickbottom is right, as he usually is, and I think you guys are too to an extent. That term affordable housing is a convenient illusion thrown out there by politicians. Its like the phrase "working families". You know, so "working families can get affordable housing" etc, etc. As soon as someone starts with that BS, I tune them out.
A lot of what these PDS people seem to want to portray is that they are stealing from the rich to give to the poor. I think that's the basis of all the progressive ideas. My thought is that if someone is stealing FOR you, their probably also stealing FROM you. I know that anyone who creates jobs and then fills them with their cronies or families are, in reality, stealing FROM me since it all comes out of my house taxes.
MM seemed like a nice enough guy when he came to my door, but its apparent, or at least to me, that he has an agenda and an ax to grind with City Hall. Maybe its me, but I just got that feeling. What does he do in the offseason though. I mean, things around town that are not funded by the city or some other government thing. You say he was the youth coordinator. Is he involved as a volunteer coach in Youth Soccer or baseball or hockey? Everyone screams about being a community activist but nobody really seems to be able to say what that means.
Enough though. I have to go see the Contessa for my morning coffee and lemon square.



I wish I could join you......mmmmmm Lemon Squares!


Somerville Republican,

You are reaching so far for this guy your going to tear a rotator cuff.

I know people in this city who have dedicated their lives to helping to make this city a better place to live. Whether it be volunteering for our youth or elderly or many other causes ( without blowing their own horn, unlike MM )who in reality has nothing to blow his horn about.

He is a flash in the pan who tried and failed to run for office, but the people of this city saw him for what he was....a phony.

Cement Head

Somerville Republican;

You sound very confused, carrying on about a socialist liberal disguising himself as a "progressive democrat" as if his ideas will actually work in the real world (which they have not, and will not). Where are you on the issues like stem cell research? Woman's choice? Education funding? Rolling back the state income tax? Gun control?

I guess my point is, if you want people to embrace your ideas and eventually maybe even see things as you see them philosophically, you need to STAND for something and be not afraid to tell it like you see it. I guarantee if you showed up on brickbottom's doorstep and stood your ground, although he may not agree with you, he would at least respect what you were trying to do.

What it seems to me like you're doing now with respect to MM is pandering in an attempt to placate a group which, although they believe strongly in what they are doing, are driving the agenda and certainly not TOWARDS what the Republican Party is trying to accomplish (whatever that may be).

Just my opinion, but based on the past recent elections locally, there's a large part of the voters out there who are not being reached because they perceive that one party isn't any better than the other. If you morph your ideas to conform to the PDS, or if it SEEMS that you're doing that, you won;t get off square one.

Be bold, be proud. You're the party of Lincoln and Goldwater and Reagan. Make your own mark, win or lose.

These socialists/progressives around here didn't get where they are overnight. It took years and years of rent control affordable housing in Cambridge for them to be able to get into Somerville and effect social change.

Rebecca stands on the shoulders of a lot of people before her. Pat Jehlen, George McGovern, HHH, and so on. I don't agree with much of what they say, but I respect that they have been so dogged and determined in moving their agenda forward. This is their time, at least in Somerville, so they are making the most of it.

If you want Somerville to become a Republican bastion, make it happen, or at least try. But please, spare me the accolades for MM and others. They can do a perfectly good job of tooting their own whistles.

Torn rotator cuff... that's a gem brickbottom!

Somerville Republicans

Cement Head:

I am being respectful and merely stating facts. Being respectful to those you disagree with is a good way to live life. In addition, I am always happy to recognize people who contribute to our community. I appreciate your comment.

On the issues you raised, I reply as follows:

Stem Cell Research: Our Government must promote life. Stem cell research kills human embryos in the hope of finding cures for others. As President Bush stated: "Each of these human embryos is a unique human life with inherent dignity and matchless value." Stem cell research which uses embryonic stem cells from human embryos is wrong and should not be supported by public dollars.

Woman's Choice: I assume that you are referring to the so-called "Right to an Abortion." Because the U.S. Constitution contains no right to an abortion and because the Supreme Court's decision in Roe and later cases erroneously stretches the so-called right to privacy to include the right to abortion, the U.S. government and state governments are not required to permit abortion under any circumstances. I also feel that permitting abortion is bad social policy. If others disagree, they should organize their neighbors, elect representatives sympathetic to their position, and have them vote. To seek what could not be achieved in the Legislature through the Court is wrong, and that is what occurred in Roe decision.

Education funding: Funding the education of our children is one of our most important responsibilities. Labor unions, however, have put issues of tenure before the quality of education that our children receive. If a teacher is not performing, they should be quickly removed whether they have been serving for 10 days or 20 years.

Rolling back the State Income Tax: The Supreme Court once said that the power to tax is the power to destroy. Massachusetts voters understood this reality and voted to roll back the State income tax to 5%. The Legislature, controlled by Democrats, refused to honor the vote of the people. The State income tax must be rolled back.

Gun Control: The right to hold arms is an express right in the Bill of Rights (unlike abortion, see above). Notwithstanding this, Democrats have constantly attacked this right by imposing waiting periods to purchase guns, and erecting mountains of red tape to obtain a gun permit. Gun control is wrong.

James Norton

Brick -

I know I haven't had much time to interact on here with you, but I agree with Cement Head - you hit comedy gold for a moment there with that rotator cuff remark.

Also, I'm not sure if you meant it or not when you created a certain subliminal message with the particular verb and noun you had in there, if you did - you hit intellectual wit gold there, if you didn't mean it, then you only struck a pocket of silver, but it's one hell of a lot more than most on here.

Just my opinion.




You are a moron. What is it about two-party democracy that ticks you off?

How did you vote on the 2nd amendment or the 9th?

Anyway, Goldwater told the American people if they re-elected LBJ, Vietnam would spin out of control, the youth would get lost in drugs and free love, and the cities would erupt in violence and crime. Pretty accurate.

No Barneys in Somerville


brickbottom to JN


Thanks for the compliment, you too Cement Head.

JN, so when are you going too find the time to answer my e-mail to you? I feel like a jilted bride!

Martini Edin

Hey Cement head,

What Ideals have not worked in the real world?

And guess what, they can now remove a single cell from the embryo without killing the embryo. Like taking a blood sample from an adult.




Is it true that Marty M. makes out with guys?

Cement Head

Hey Martini;

I said IDEAS, not IDEALS.

The idea that just a few cents more in taxes will solve a problem is ludicrous. All it does is lead to bigger and ever more invasive government. In my opinion, government has no business in about 90% of what its involved in now. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that the progressives want government to be able to "help people" every opportunity they have. It can only do that if it hurts some though. No matter which way you slice it, that's an unavoidable truth. I wish it weren't that way, but you pick ANY government social program that has "worked" and I'll show you how it has probably, when all is said and done, hurt the very people it was supposed to help.

For the record, I never said where I stood on Stem Cell research (I'm for it, by the way). You get no argument from me on that.

Peace to you too.


I love this paper so much. To answer your question on what a Community Activist is, here is a good definition. A trust-fund baby from the suburbs who got a Masters Degree is something useless so they are bitter and have alot of free time on their hands to cry. Who will be joing me in NH if Defraud Patrick wins the Governors race?


A Community Activest to me is someone who takes the time out of his/her life to coach Little League or any other type of sports that kids are involved in. It is someone who takes pride in their neighborhoods and get involved with Crimewatch, Neighborhood cleanups and the likes. Someone who gets involved in the political process and is not told for whom to vote for. I could go on and on but by the tone of your post I don't believe it would do any good.


Barry G.;

Since you obviously speed read and then shoot from the hip rather than analyzing what a person is saying before hitting your send button, I'll look past your first sentence to the second and just say; please; show me a present-day two-party Democracy. If we actually HAD ONE, it would be great.
What we have now is, unfortunately, a "lesser of two evils" plutocracy where both horses in the race are bought and paid for. It didn't used to be that way.

That said, I am a GOLDWATER republican. Note, I do not capitalize "republican". Reason being, I have not been a registered republican for longer than I can remember. After the GOP threw Nixon under the bus I cast off the lines. And speaking of Nixon, there's another guy who I believe history will view kindly.

Reagan, who was originally a Democrat by the way, was an opportunist and of course a bit of an actor, and was being run by the wrong people. How's this for starters; George Schultz, Sec. of State (formerly of Bechtel--the same people who brought you the Big Dig). Basically, as a true conservative Reagan couldn't carry Barry Goldwater's camera. Check out old issues of Arizona Highways magazine if you want to see some examples of Barry's camera work. But RWR did espouse "a new Federalism" as per the 10th amendment which I agreed with. The National government (it is NOT the "Federal" Gov't., yet another accepted latter-day
misnomer) imposes way too much sway on the individual states. I presume you agree with that. If not, I feel sorry for you no matter which party or political philosophy you favor.

The 16th amendment question was a bit of a cheap shot and I apologize. It wasn't really among the original Bill of Rights. It was actually aimed at the so-called "progressives" since the 16th is regarded one of the crowning achievements of the Progressive era.
Ironically, the other Progressive-era achievement was the 17th amendment.
Had that not passed, it is doubtful Barry Goldwater would have ever become a US Senator.

More about the "AuH20" thing later. In the meantime, go to Google and type in "failure" in the search window. Then check out the first thing that comes up. Seriously. Try it.

Moronically yours.


By the way Barry G. That part about Barry's warnings if LBJ were elected made my day. I'd never heard it put exactly that way Spot on! Thank you.

martini Edin

Cement head,

These ideas do work We may be rich as hell as a nation, but a great many of us are struggling just to keep it together. A truly prosperous country, on the other hand, ensures the greatest benefits to the greatest number of people. Prosperity is Competitive and it works. In this country lobbiests set morality by telling us download MP3's will get you sued by greedy Record industry mouguls. in other countries the people reap the reward of new technologies and national resources.

Here's the kicker: a prosperous society is also an economically competitive society. Contrary to what the Bush administration and block head may claim, giving Americans a decent shot at the good life is not incompatible with building a strong economy. The world leader in per capita GDP is Norway, a nation that offers its citizens long vacations, generous paternity leave programs, strict environmental regulations and well-developed social safety net.

According to rankings put out by the World Economic Forum -- an industry group of big multinationals -- the most competitive economy in the world is a social democracy: Finland. So are seven of the 10 most competitive economies in the Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. And seven of the 10 most 'economically free' countries in the Economic Freedom Index -- which is published annually by the uber-conservative Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal -- are social democracies. The Fraser Foundation -- a Canadian version of Heritage -- publishes a similar index and, lo and behold, seven of its 10 most competitive economies are also social democracies.

So Cement heads across this planet want to claim social benefits reward laziness and inertia, then we should point to Bernard Wasow's research. The economist with the Century Foundation found that between 1970 and 2000, per capita GDP increased by 64 percent in the United States and 60 percent in France: "In America, [however,] this came about because productivity per worker rose by 38 percent and hours worked per worker rose by 26 percent. In France, it came about because productivity rose by 83 percent while hours worked fell by 23 percent."

The best antidote to this right wing nut job fanatic post Cold-War triumphalism is an economic prosperity for the whole community. The defeat of Communism was, for many, a vindication not of capitalism generally, but of a Darwinian concept of capitalism following Milton Friedman's model. Today, maintaining economic growth and competitiveness has become conflated with an entire gamut of pro-rich policies: privatization, deregulation, keeping taxes at a level that squeezes government, maintaining low wages and "labor flexibility," and not being too strict about those pesky issues of corporate accountability.

In reality, economic competitiveness is as much a question of technological savvy; the availability of capital; a strong rule of law; a healthy and educated workforce; extensive infrastructure and a good location on global trade routes. In other words, a competitive economy requires greater investment in the public sphere, not less -- especially in education, high-tech R & D and infrastructure .

martini Edin

Oh yea, block head , I almost forgot,

A better vision for America embraces the free market, but also recognizes the need to curb the worst excesses of the system. Capitalism is a lot like Winston Churchill's view of democracy: it's the worst possible arrangement, except for all the others.

Many Americans are tired, stressed out, depressed, hooked on drugs, relatively poorly educated and with few opportunities for a better life. They need something new, something other than the usual scare-tactics of the right. And you can't build enough prisons to hold them all if you don't do something abou it. A truly prosperous country ensures the greatest benefits to the greatest number of people. It is happening in other places, just not here yet.

Andy Dufresne

How about issues we can agree on, Progressive Democrats and Republicans do have some of the same values on the local level.

If I were a politician or candidate looking for an anti-corporate-welfare issue to champion, one that would resonate with ordinary voters and small business owners; that would increase government revenues progressively; that would win the support of most academic economists and newspaper editorial boards; and that would put my crony-capitalist political opponents in an immensely awkward position, I would figure out a way to champion a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. The New Yorker's incomparable James Surowiecki explains the decision here.

The case involves tax credits that the city of Toledo gave to Daimler-Chrysler, a major local employer, in order to lure the company into building a new plant there. Such sweetheart deals are, of course, extremely common. Giant manufacturers and big-box retailers routinely play cities and states off against each other in order to get their tax burdens lowered or lifted entirely tax. The governments play along because doing otherwise risks watching jobs go elsewhere. But as a general economic matter the incentives make no sense. They don't increase the number of jobs or the amount of economic activity in the country overall. They deprive governments of needed tax revenue. And they put smaller firms at a disadvantage. Your average auto repair shop or florist or small software company doesn't have the clout to get its taxes reduced by threatening to relocate.

These are all good arguments for disallowing such tax incentives. But the Sixth Circuit decision puts forth another one: they violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. I'm no lawyer, so I don't know if this is a sensible or tortured interpretation of the Commerce Clause--read the decision yourself here. Certainly the ruling will be appealed. Still, as Surowiecki notes, "for the moment at least, much of what we know as corporate welfare may be technically illegal."

But why leave it solely to the courts? Politicians ought to weigh in, too. Let's see some smart Democrats--and maybe some honest Republicans--sponsor a bill to outlaw this kind of corporate blackmail.

Yorktown Street

Marty M did some good things while he headed the Youth Department, but like every other youth director for the past fifteen years, he was cut off at the knees by mayors who a) didn't want to spend money on youth, b) didn't want to do anything controversial to help youth, or c) wanted to put their own people (including incompetent former football players) at the expense of the youth. Now, we don't even have an independent youth department. It's part of the rec department. Is it any wonder young people in Somerville feel ignored?


Most of the comments posted over the last few days on how to fix the economy, crime, political affiliations, the education of the young, the security of the old and so on are all very valuable and most times make for good reading.

Can any of you bloggers that are fixated on how you would rule the country or world, focus a little more on Somerville and help us out here.

Most of you seem like intelligent and enlightened people, so tell me, what do you do personally to help the neighborhood/city you live in?(assuming you actually have some roots here and are not just passing through)

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