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November 11, 2006

Comments

That is all well and good

That is all well and good, and I agree with DaSilva’s lawyer's reason for why they should have an establishment of their own. Nobody can dispute those reason for them having their own place. The question that is being disputed is whether or not the middle of residential neighborhood is a suitable location for liquor joint. It sounds like the place is going to be packed!

I think they should purchase or rent another location which is more suitable for a drinking and eating establishment. A buisness that opens late and caters to crowds of people eating and drinking will decrease the quality of life for the neighbors. The food and smell of grain beverages will undoubtably attact rats to the neighborhood. The old neighborhoods and streets in somerville with their thin wooden houses were not built and designed for noise and urban mixed use. Where will all these people park?

The mayor and local alderwoamn spoke up for the people who wanted to keep that coffee dive shop alive. They offered to find a new location and put out a big community effort to help them. As a communtiy, why don't we find a better location for this place so that everone can have what they want? How about giving them their own area at Good times emporium or building something new and good for them in assemblly square?

Steve Cockneck

Whats the big deal? Let them have it!

Ron Newman

I wouldn't really call the corner of Marshall and Broadway the 'middle' of a residential neighborhood -- more like the edge of one.

Well and good

Steve,

I don't know what the big deal is. We are not hearing from the neighbors mentioned in the article. We don't exactly know what their side of the story is. But I think as abutting neighbors they are the biggest stake holders in this. I would realy like to hear more from them.

Ron, what buffers the neighborhood from whatever it is next to? Is this place on the neighborhood side of the buffer or the other side?

Steve Cockneck

Well and Good,
That's not the real Steve Cockneck. I am. My email address is real if anyone wants to converse or question whether I really wrote something. Apparently I've been away a little too long.

brickbottom

"Acting Police Chief Robert R. Bradley spoke in opposition to the club’s request for a liquor license. He said the club had already racked up three alcohol-related violations in 13 months without a license."

I wonder how many alcohol-related violations the second floor of the Police station has racked up in the past 13 months? Along with their four most popular words they love to hear........."It's On The House"!

Maria

Do some of you believe a building has to be butt-up against a home to be called 'in the middle of the neighborhood'? I'm against granting this 'Club'; Marshall St. is a one-way, and this so-called Club is at the beginning of the one-way. Imbibing club-members, upon leaving the 'Club', if they are driving and have parked on Marshall St., will likely drive nearly the entire length of Marshall St., past the Playground. If you have to defend one side over the other, I'm surprised you won't choose the side of the neighborhood residents, this case. These people bought their homes or rented their apartments on this street, before this 'Club' took up residence there. The only benefit that I can see, in approving the liquor license, is to DaSilva's bank account.

Ward X

I would not be surprised if most people on your street feel the same way? Believe it or not, there are tons of issues like this in our community. It is sounds like your Alderman is involved and on your side. So you are one of the lucky ones. I have seen posts in various groups about contractors who don't live in our community buying houses then adding an additional story and blocking all the neighbors views just so he can make profits. to top it off he gets the permit the day the majority of the work is done without sending the notice to abutters. (I think someone at the local post office can hold mail until work starts if he gets the proper white envelope) I might feel different about this particular case if were the owner trying to expand his home. But these people don't even live in this community.

I toatlly agree , we need to make quality of life decisions about development, pertmits, and licenses. These decisions need to be based off of what is best for who lives here now and not who we are trying to move in or how much money we are trying to make.

Maria

Brickbottom - I understand the point you're making; but I believe it's unfair to the Neighborhood, to discount Chief Bradley's opposition to the approval of this particular liquor license. Let's not weaken the Neighborhood's argument against this liquor license, by opposing the Chief. You know that saying, "Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water". Those 3 strikes against the 'Club' speak for themselves.

Maria

I suggest that you read the article written by a member of the Marshall Street Neighborhood, in today's Somerville Journal, on-line. It presents their side of the story.

Dominic Santos

I read the article on the Journal website. Maria is correct when she states that "[i]t presents their [referring to the Marshall Street Neighborhood Association] side of the story."

Interestingly, what occurred here (I am assuming that the International Soccer Club will receive its license based upon the end of the Journal article) is exactly what should occur procedurally in every license hearing: conflicting views presenting persuasive arguments before the Licensing Commission. Our democracy works best when government, in general, and municipal boards, specifically, are infomed of both sides of an issue, or the merits of a pending application, before making a decision. Being informed, however, does not guarantee a substantively correct decision. Democracy, at work again, provides an appeal process for both concerned citizens and a harmed license applicant.

This process, while it may not always produce a "good" result, does provide everyone with notice of hearing, an opportunity to be heard, and an opportunity to seek review of the Licensing Commission's decision. What more can we ask for in our democracy?

Franky G.

don't forget that we should get the elected officials views on this issue and put on record whether they are for the neighgorhood, against it or want to ride the fence. The other great thing about democracy is that maybe many of these bone heads can lose their jobs as a result.

Maria

I, personally, feel very strongly about this issue; let's give the Marshall Street Neighborhood Group our support. This situation, or another problem equally as serious, maybe even more-so, could happen in your/our/my neighborhood. This is not merely opposition to more affordable housing construction, or enforcing covers on your trash barrels. It is opposition to approval of, yet another, license to consume alcohol on the premises on an establishment located in a neighborhood – this one being located on the same street as, and just half a city-size block from, a Playground.

Maria

We are all constantly reading about accidents and deaths caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. Sadly, some of us have been personally devastated by drunk drivers.

We CAN’T CONTROL the in-home alcohol consumption, and possible DUI, of our resident neighbors, on our own street --- but we DO HAVE A SAY in controlling the on-site consumption of alcohol in a ‘Sports Club’ located on our own street, in our own neighborhood.

This approval of the liquor license, simply, is not necessary. Enjoy your ‘Club’, but don’t bring in more alcohol sale AND on-site consumption to this Neighborhood -- it’s simply not necessary.

Fredie Mac

Are they renting the property or do they own? Who owns the building?

Maria

Ward X - You make some very good points!

Franky G - Bingo!

Dominic Santos - Very good points! In response to your question "What more can we ask for in our democracy?", I would like to ask for a healthy dose of common sense mixed in with our democracy.

WOW

WOW! Three alcohol-related violations in 13 months??? That's about equal to a slow thursday afternoon at Good Times. And their alcohol-related violations are sometimes also life-threatening and involve violence. Oooops, I forgot, it's the location of choice for every political time in the city!

Wow we

Except that good times is in a different location. (No toddlers on bigwheels there) And they have a liquor license.

You know what lets take the place through emminent domain. That is another great thing about democracy. Or is that hypocracy. all these ocracy's are so confuseing!

brickbottom

If anyone knows how many residents make up the "Marshall Street Neighborhood Group?

it *is* funny

I can't find the Journal article. I'm disappointed to hear the Marshall Street Neighbors were overruled, if that's what the article says. In my opinion, this Club isn't a good neighbor after getting three violations *already*. Can anyone provide a pointer to the article?

Ron Newman

it's a long letter in the "Opinion & Letters" section of the Journal web site. It's also currently featured on the Journal's home page.

Toddlers At Night

How many of your neighbors have their toddlers out in the street riding their Big Wheels and tricycles at the late hour when all of the drunken drivers will be pouring out of the social club?


The referenced item about this in the "other" paper is a very long letter in the Letters to the Editor section. It is online.

James Norton

To anyone who is thinking rationally today -

I wish I knew how many members there are of this supposed neighborhood group - I wish I had the chance to join it and have my voice heard - I live in the neighborhood - one house in off of Marshall Street. This supposed group has claimed they haven't been able to get their side of the story out to the people - and that's a complete lie.

At the public hearing, we had the Publisher of this newspaper, the General Manager of this newspaper (me) and the Editor of this newspaper there to report on the hearing and gather ALL the information that could be obtained. Not only did the woman who respresented this supposed neighborhood group decline to give any comment to our newspaper, but so did the Alderman. Yes, the same Alderman who stated that no compromise could be reached (my new personal favorite statement from him).

How difficult do people think it is to present both sides of a NEWS story when one side and the public offical refuse to talk about it?

How much credibility can a supposed neighborhood group be given when not every neighbor is given the chance to join this supposed group or make THEIR opinion known?

I live in that neighborhood. My whole family does. We have for over 20 years. I have to drive past that club several times per day to get to my house. I have never been invited to join that neighborhood group - and I have to assume they have a unanimous agreement amongst EVERY single member of the supposed neighborhood group to be able to come out so rabidly against something.

Hey, don't get me wrong - I didn't say this supposed group didn't have good points, I think they do. I didn't say I would even be against their opinion. The problem is, I wasn't given the chance to be part of the process, because they automatically think I'm all for the club getting it's license and wouldn't listen to reason. How stupid of them to assume that - I have kids, I like a nice quiet and peaceful neighborhood, I have concerns. Just like they do - supposedly.

How is it a "neighborhood group" if not every neighbor is asked their opinion? How does a supposed neighborhood group speak for every neighbor and refuse to sit down and listen to both sides of an issue? How can we have elected officials who refuse to find some kind of solution that helps the community - a community which includes businesses and neighbors/residents?

You can't is the answer to each of those questions.

Maybe it's me.

JN

it *is* funny

Got it, thanks. Wonder what the compromise will be? Maybe they have a three strikes and you're out kind of deal. Oh, forgot, these guys already have three strikes. Man, I'd be pissed.

businesses don't just become community members

Businesses don't become community members except by serving the community.

Now that is a broad statement. Put into the context of Somerville zoning it means something different. The only residential zone that allows businesses is a zone called R-3 . It allows multifamily dwellings and certain business which serve the neighbors, residents of these dwellings. I.e. a local bakery , laundry or corner store that most immediate neighbors in the multi-family zone R3 find useful. If the abutters and most other neighbors don't find this place useful and don't go there it does not fit spirit of the zoning code of Somerville.

Unfortunately decisions in many of these cases don't follow the laws, Instead decisions are based off of who and which side is more likely to sue the city and put up an fight. Or it is based off who can swing the most votes.

Until we can come up with real long term vision and back it up with real principals, rules, and ethics we are going to have these problems.

Maria

I believe it’s important for DaSilva’s lawyer, a member of the legal community, sticking to the truth, not stretching the truth to fit the particular interests of a particular client – no matter how minute the detail.

I don’t know if my points, listed below, make a huge difference in the case, but I believe they're worth making. That being said, here are some quotes by DaSilva’s lawyer:

“International Soccer caters to the Brazilian and Portuguese-born residents of Somerville.”

It’s been my personal experience (15 years worth), and as far as I know, and from what I see, the two nationalities rarely mix, intentionally – Just because they speak the same language, doesn’t mean they see each other as ‘brothers/sisters’, so to speak. So, this ‘Club’ caters to the Brazilian residents of Somerville. Nothing wrong with that at all, but, is DaSilva’s lawyer including Portuguese-born residents, to try to show that there is more widespread support for the Club, than there actually is?

“The International Soccer Club is a non-profit enterprise that could serve the social needs of the Portuguese and Brazilian communities in Winter Hill, he said.”

Again, I must give my opinion, that this ‘Club’ caters to the Brazilian residents of Somerville, and they should be able to have there social needs served, but not at the expense of the rest of the community. By the way, the Portuguese community has their own Social Clubs.

“They want to attend an establishment where the other members speak the same language. The International Soccer Club serves as a gathering point for a foreign speaking population, many of whom only recently arrived and are trying to assimilate."

This makes perfect sense, I support this, and I’m not trying to prevent the ‘Club’ from being a gathering point, per se. We all have relatives that were, at one time, new to the United States. We all seek out certain people, with whom we’d like to spend our time. However, do you imply that the ‘Club’ members can’t do this just as well without alcohol as they would with alcohol? I don’t think you mean that, but I sense the inference to it. Additionally, it is the Brazilians, not the Portuguese, who are are 'recently arrived'.

“DiGirolamo said that in the Portuguese and Brazilian cultures it is almost an affront not to welcome a guest with alcohol and that the International Soccer Club’s future without a license is tenuous.”

No, of course not, let’s not offend anyone visiting the ‘Club’ - Oh, please, are you kidding?! You think it’s OK to offend the tax-paying, rent-paying residents?

Regarding the alleged, possible affront - This is a sweeping statement. My husband is Brazilian -- neither he, nor his family, nor our many Brazilian friends feel any affront by any of us not welcoming the other into the home (whether in the U.S. or in Brazil), with a drink. We’re visiting each other, to see and spend time with each other – sometimes we drink, sometimes, we don’t. (Also, there is a very large segment of the Brazilian community in Somerville (and Brazil) that does not drink, for religious reasons.)

Maria

Marcello Santos, of Brazilian Times said clubs such as International Soccer were integral to the community’s wellbeing.

“Well-being”?
How does serving alcohol at a private club, up the street from a children’s playground contribute to the well-being of any community.

“Places like the International Soccer Club bring us closer to home but also closer to America,” he said.

“Closer to America”?
How do figure that one? It’s a private club for Portuguese-speaking members, as you, yourself, state in your next sentence.

“The Portuguese-speaking community deserves a place to gather as a community.”

A place to together, of course, but not at the expense of the tax-paying, rent-paying residents who live in the same neighborhood as the ‘place to gather’. Not at the expense of those same residents who have present concerned, valid opposition to the potential hazards of the gathering place in question. There is a greater issue at stake here, now. Furthermore, it’s not a matter of whether or not a certain group deserves a place. Nobody has a right to certain things, at the expense of others.

"Santos brought his daughter to the club for her first birthday party."

That's very nice, no one could object to the existence of a facility in which the Brazilian community would feel comfortable holding social events. The issue, the problem, the bone of contention is the everyday availability for the consumption of alcohol.

furthermore

in Jones, Sebastion and Bach Vrs the city of Newton and several other cases dealing with zoning it has been determined that any business on the edge of a business zone that also abutts a reseditial zone shall be treated as residential when auto access and parking brings traffic through such neighborhood zone.

The zone the neighbors are in are zone RB the definition of wich is.

"Purpose. To establish and preserve medium density neighborhoods of one-, two- and three-family homes, free from other uses except those which are both compatible with and convenient to the residents of such districts."

Ron Newman

From looking at the online Somerville zoning map, this address appears to be in the Business A (light blue) zone, not the adjoining Residence B (yellow) zone.

different business zones

This is no ordinary business zone. The definition of this zone is as follows:

"BA. Purpose
To establish and preserve areas for small-scale retail stores, services and offices which are located in close proximity to residential areas and which do not have undesirable impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods."

Maria

JN - No, it's not you; I'd feel the same way about any Group, purportedly representing the best interests of the very neighborhood in which I live, if I was kept out of it. (I'm not a member of the MSNG and have never met any of its members.)

Maria

Do any of you know if it's possible to secure a one-day liquor license in Somerville. This could be used for one-day social events at the 'Club'. Boston has such a thing - the cost is approx. $195.00, per day, per event. One must submit an application stating the approx. number of guests, along with other relevant info. The application is then reviewed and a decision is made. Could this be a solution?

Ron Newman

Also, zoning and liquor licensing are separate laws and separate processes. If the previous use on this site was similar to the current one, it is 'grandfathered in' regardless of whether it conforms to the current zoning.

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Oh for Christ's sake. All this chatter is keepin me up. Now I'm gonna weigh in here and that will be the end of it.

First, DaSilva is not a poor immigrant just trying to make a living and provide a "comfortable setting" for his fellow Brazillians. DaSilva is a businessman who pumped $300k into the joint, knew he had to have the proper licenses, snubbed all the city ordinances, did not obtain the proper licenses, opened his "club" before it was permitted, and this is the point, served alchohol without a license.

He got caught at least three times serving hootch(for cooking my ass) by the police, has been fielding complaints from the neighbors for months, publically calls the ward Alderman an asshole(no comments Jamie) and in general has made no attempt to make amends in order to get his license approved.

So let's approach this from a common sense standpoint. If this guys past behaviour is any indication of how he will conduct business (if he ever gets his license), then the neighbors are in for even more trouble. Including the Nortons.(sorry kiddo)

So the facts are:

The commercial space DaSilva occupies is in a commercial district.

DaSilva is perfectly within his rights to apply for a liquor license.

The nieghbors are perfectly within their rights, no matter how many, to question the granting of the license.

Based on DaSilva's past behaviour, his application for a liquor liscense should be denied.

If he and his patrons can behave themselves for at least the next 6 months, he can come back and apply again.

Jamie, sorry you and I disagree on this one. And sweetie, if you want to be part of the neighborhood group in your neighborhood, get off your ass and go join it. I know you're not shy.

And that is the final ruling from Judge Dr. Mrs. McCarthy.

NEXT CASE...................

James Norton

Mary my dearest -

I appeal to you to indulge me an odd way of addressing your ruling...here goes:

1. only half true - it is more complicated than one line
2. while a bit more to it ill agree to yes three times, yes the alderman is an asshole, and dasilva has been good - even campbell said it - since march
3. i dont agree we are in for more trouble

as far as the facts:

1. true
2. true
3. true
4. thats your opinion and not based on the entire story
5. i agree completely

and listen, you're right, I'm not shy...but I didn't even know they existed for one thing, and for another, considering how rabid they are over this issue and making the wild claim that they speak for EVERYONE in the neighborhood, I believe the onus is on them to be able to quantify their own statement through due diligence.

I ask that in all fairness to the parties, that the good court of Cambriville allow this matter to be continued until both parties and someone of decent official capacity (this negates any elected offical from Ward 4) can come together, find a solution, a compromise, some kind of mediation so that all parties concerns are addressed in a rational and fair manner.

Chew on that.

JN

Run Run

JN, do you live in Ward 4? Maybe you should run for Alderman in that Ward next time. Or maybe you know someone in your neighborhood who should.

James Norton

Run run -

I'm running for my life, nevermind me running for Ward Alderman. I did that dance when I was the Ward 4 School Committeman back a lifetime ago. I've been saying for a while that if I ever ran for office again, I would consider running for an office I could actually contribute to based on my experience - something like Register of Deeds...

Ward 4 is a very odd ward to begin with, always has been...who knows if any of the four or five people I can think of off the top of my head that would be excellent as the Ward 4 Alderman will even think about running. Who knows.

JN

Maria

JN - I've changed my mind, IT IS YOU! Do you have some personal axe to grind? It certainly sounds like it. Your rant/profanity is unprofessional and immature. Some young man needs a nap! As to not having previously been aware of the MSNG - that's impossible to believe. I live 3 1/2 blocks from Broadway, and I've known about MSNG since the Summer. You speak of a 'rational and fair manner' -- take your own advice.

brickbottom to Sabot

So tell me Maria how many "MSNG" members are there? I think that is a pretty simple question.

Ward X

Give that place a liquor license you will see that the membership will increase.

Maria

Brickbottom - I have no idea.

Maria

I must clarify that I don't live in the Marshall Street neighborhood. I heard about this situation, just yesterday, in the Somerville Journal. It hit home; I sympathize with, and give my moral support to, the residents that will be adversely affected, if this liqour license is approved. I imagine that you all can understand their concern, too.

Ron Newman

Something I brought up before, but wasn't really answered: if the first block of Marshall was made two-way, so that people exiting this club didn't have to drive into the residential neighborhood, would that help matters?

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Butters,

I think we should make it part of the Bike Path.

There would have to be "mixed use" though. We would have to make exceptions and make accomodations for the Nortons vehicles, Alderman Pero's limo, an off leash dog run, a soccer field for the Brazillians, a dedicated lane for speeding DPW pick-up trucks, a Wall of Respect for Cross Dressers, a docking berth for Frankie's boat and to get some federal funding, we could make Marshall Street part of the Greenline extension.

Whadda ya say little buddy? Sounds like a good plan huh?

And to top it all off, we could employ a half dozen members of any of the Alderpeople's extended family to become a "Marshall Street Marshalls" to hand out tickets and ensure compliance to the rules you and the Progressives come up with. Of course we would have to have 3 years worth of community meetings just to get a draft of the rules. Then we can have the Mayor appoint a new hearing officer to waive the tickets issued to his friends.

Butters, I think you just might be onto something here. Why don't you ring up Alderperson Geewiz and run it by her?

Let me know how you make out,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Maria

I think Marshall Street is too narrow to support traffic in two directions, even for just one block.

Ward X

Hey now, Don't forgot a full-court basketball setup with boomboxes and a kool-aid stand.

Anyone else want any more of that kool-aid?

Maria

I can't help myself; I must readdress the absurdities, in the following statement made by DaSilva's lawyer.

“DiGirolamo said that in the Portuguese and Brazilian cultures it is almost an affront not to welcome a guest with alcohol"

We certainly welcome guests and offer them a beverage, BUT WE DON'T CHARGE THEM!

Some welcome, huh?
Hi, come on in, nice to $ee you, what can I get you to drink? That will be $5.50, plea$e.

"and that the International Soccer Club’s future without a license is tenuous.”

Ya think!! DaSilva's not running a non-profit, but that's his problem -- $65,000 for the liquor license, $300,000 in renovations, made without securing the required paperwork, adhering to ordinances, etc. A prudent businessman would have done his homework, beforehand.

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Ward X,

Thanks for the suggestion. A full court basketball setup it is. But the City is rolling in dough for this type of thing, so we're gonna include a top of the line Musak system to pipe in the music, and 44 Wide Screen Plasma TV's. But the Kool Aid will have to go. The International Soccer Club has exclusive rights to the concession stands and will be serving up the best hootch in the City. The Mayor has given a special dispensation to the Club(as they are a non-profit) and will not require them to secure a liquor license.

Your suggestion is the kind of stuff that makes Cambriville the truly diverse "Athens of the East".

Cambriville Rocks,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

brickbottom to Sabot

Maria,

If you have no idea how many people are involved with the "MSNG" then how do you know how many of your local residents are against the club? There could be more local residents for the club then against it.....no?

brickbottom

Sorry Sabot but i forgot to change the heading from my last post. Talk to you soon.

Brick

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