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April 12, 2007

Comments

Mike Hunt

If you saw the picture in the farm league paper of the Mayor’s disappointing look, you should have seen him this morning at the DPW scolding every appointee who has anything to do with the Youth Soccer league. Everyone from the Skipper to Boss Hog was tongue lashed and how Dilboy Stadium is in dire straights.

Nothing is getting done and they are all over me he stated. What the Hell are you people doing? It seems like nothing at this point. Well Mr. Mayor, if it is too hot in your kitchen at home, don’t bring it to the Office.

Simon

So what were the vote totals?

Painters DC #35

First a thanks for reporting on the strike situation at Clear Channel. 25 members of Sign & Pictorial Local #391 were forced out on an unfair labor practice strike on March 19th after Clear Channel implemented its own working conditions. The Texas-based corporation unilaterally implemented changes that included: a so-called productive pay plan (piece-work) that cuts wages by $60 a day or 30%; a 7-day work week; ended payments to pension and annuity plans, ended the grievance and union security parts of the contract and cut health insurance payments to a point that effectively ends health coverage for their workers. When Clear Channel bought AK Media five years ago there were almost 50 Local #391 members working - they have reduced the workforce to 25.

Clear Channel has flown in paid strikebreakers from FLA, Texas, Georgia and other parts of the country to take the jobs from Massachusetts workers. Billboards have always been a bone of controversy in communities and our union has always said that the single redeeming feature of outdoor advertising is the good jobs created by the industry. Clear Channel appears intent on destroying these jobs. It raises the question for every Somerville resident -if the jobs don't offer wages, benefits and working conditions that improve lives in Massachusetts do we need billboards in our neighborhoods?

An order will be offered at the Board of Aldermen's meeting tonight (Rebekah Gewirtz contacted our union and offered her assistance with the initial order)that District Council #35 hopes will be supported by all the Aldermen.

Clear Channel recently fought and has won the initial right to bypass Somerville's Planning Board to locate billboards on MBTA property. Clear Channel showed it true colors in its position that local residents have no say in billboard locations in there own communities and that local workers have no rights.

Painters DC #35

You can see the strike at Clear Channel from a striking union member's perspective at www.artonetheline.com

Painters DC #35

Sorry. that should be www.artontheline.com

Mike Hunt

President Browne, SMEA, how do we feel today? Better than Wednesday? It's Friday the 13th today.

MEOW

Tricky

Regarding the Mayor's demeanor, there was an email campaign organized by Somerville Youth Soccer regarding lack of scheduled playing time at area facilities, and not all of this was directed at the city - part of this due to continued turf problems at Draw 7, part of this due to the league growing by leaps and bounds.

Still, there are the schedule problems, both for practice time and for game times. The U18 team, for example, doesn't have a "home" field, and must play all its games out of town. It's tight all over, and the league put together an organized campaign to address the issues. Whatever the Mayor got, the BOA and state reps got a helping of the same.

But - let me throw this out, intended to provoke another round of old-school/new-school bumping of heads: Is the Somerville Little League going through the same sort of pressure regarding playing times on fields? I'd bet not.

JARfromWard3

Tricky;

Regarding the new school/old school bumping of heads as it relates to the current soccer vs. baseball paradigm, may I respectfully state the following...

I am always somewhat wary of sports that both (a) use a clock, and (b) require that, as an integral part of the game, the spheroid be bumped off the heads of the players. That said...

I am not aware of any particular pressures being placed on Little League regarding playing times on fields beyond what we have always been required to do.

Field permits traditionally defer first to Somerville Public Schools (at least in the case of City-owned facilities--I don't know how the DCR permits assign preference). This concerns primarily high school varsity and junior varsity softball and baseball. None of these permits specifically address practice times, but I am told that the same holds true with regard to Little League vs. City scholastic sports; school usage always trumps Little League.

I do know that SYSL uses approximately two-thirds of Conway Park on Saturday mornings until, I believe, noontime, with the balance of the field being used by Tee-Ball. I don't believe Soccer is allowed on any of the field surface at Trum. Perhaps that has changed, or will change. Likewise, I don't know the City's policy on Hodgkins, Dilboy, or the small field at Lincoln (which is where I usually try to schedule my team's Little League practices) regarding Soccer.

Little League, with all its combined divisions, is currently at 450 or so participants. This is down considerably from where it was 10 years ago. I'm not sure where SYSL's numbers are at presently, but I have only to assume that, with the rise of soccer's popularity, it is much larger than it was 10 years ago.

73
JAR

Soccer

There are not enough usable fields in the city. I don't think it's fair to infer that little league gets fields and that soccer doesn't. Believe me, little league has the same problems as everyone else when it comes to field use. Here's one of the problems with soccer - they play 2 seasons a year, unlike little league. For this reason, it would almost seem fair to give little league preference in the spring. Also, partly because of the nature of soccer and partly because they play 2 seasons, they absolutely destroy the surface of the field. The grass gets totally torn up and never has a chance to 'rest' and to re-grow. Look at the field at the Capuano School. The damage there was done by Youth Soccer over-use. And JAR I agree with you (English Translation: heading the ball, or hitting the ball with your head)!

Tricky

John, don't *really* mean to thump your head (I guess I'm guilty of trolling for trouble, with the new-school/old-school, my apologies)

I'm not entirely sure of the city's policies regarding all their fields either; the situation outlined in the email (which I'll forward to you) wound up describing almost a "Perfect Storm" type situation, with all sorts of unrelated problems all coming together at the same time.

If the situation laid out in the first post is true, seems like the Mayor is taking this a wee bit too personally...sounds like he was curious (as am I) if the "good ol' boy" mentality of the DPW was contributing to the problem. If it is, it's far from the only thing.

JARfromWard3

Tricky:

I kid!!! We're all in this together. I just happen to be a baseball fascist and could not resist answering your new vs. old challenge in the same context of soccer vs. baseball.

Truth be told, some of the best athletes I've had on my teams over the years have played soccer as well. One of the things I've found myself telling parents over the years at the conclusion of games, no matter the outcome, is that if nothing else, they just went through two or three hours during which their child was NOT sitting in front of the TV or playing video games. I trust the same can be said for Soccer or any other youth sport. Kinda makes everyone feel like a winner.

Soccer:

My observations have been the same regarding fields not being able to recover adequately where more than one season of Soccer is played on them. That is a problem we will always be faced with in Somerville I'm afraid. There just isn't enough open space. Somerville DPW does, in my opinion, an excellent job--and always has--given the hand they're dealt every spring.

BTW, does youth soccer use the new field at Dilboy?

73
JAR

Tricky

You mean the future site of the Kotydome (boy, that* was an epic thread...[wipes tears]) at Shannon Stadium at Dilboy Field? If they don't, I think they'd like to. Did they install artifical surface similar to the one at Danehy Park in Cambridge? That would be a sweet but pricey solution to field wear and tear all over town.

You know what tears up fields worse than soccer? Football. Where do the SHS teams practice? (I've seen Pop Warner at Conway)

Lucky

Dear Mr. or Ms Hunt, You know Mr. President was not in attendance Wednesday. He is extremely ill and hospitalized. I surely hope he will never learn about your charade. I (along with many others) will deal with the likes of you for him.

Conteggio dei giorni

Woof!

Ron Newman

Arlington High School and Russell Field in Cambridge also have recently installed artificial turf (I think it's FieldTurf)

JARfromWard3

I don't know whether it's the same type of surface as Danehy Park, but it's the same surface as Gillette Stadium.

Yes, Pop Warner does practice at Conway.

soccer/football

You're right, football certainly damages field surfaces as well as soccer. However, since they only use it for football in the fall it has a resting season to recover from the effects. Dilboy Field does indeed have artificial turf. It is a newer kind, thankfully, because the original artificial turf was not very user-friendly! I'm not sure if this type requires a special type of cleat, which swome artificial turf does.

Sporty Spice

times have changed, baseballs numbers are off, soccer is up, and I have to guess that the number of kids in the City is actually down. There never has been enough field space. Draw 7 has never been maintained by the State (much like ALL their property, Foss gets ripped up by weekend adult pickup soccer games. Forget Tufts, we dont exist to them. There isnt a short term answer in the most densley populated City. Maybe a small athletic field at Assy Sq or Cobble Hill. Wouldnt take much to put in a small area for the little ones. What ever happened to the Kemps Nut site on Walnut St., I thought the City was putting in open space with tennis courts back in the Capuano days ?

Tricky

Apparently in town over 600 kids now involved in soccer at all levels.

Tufts has been decent enough to turn over that little parcel at Powderhouse Square for the wee ones - talk about funny, there are three tennis-court sized courts for 3-on-3 for the kindergarten (and preschool) set. It's dedicated to the league for practices on weekdays (18 teams!) and also for the three hours of games on Saturdays.

The fields in rough shape even now, I'm pretty sure those hard-hat sized divots didn't come from some five-year old, even if they were making mudpies for a month.

Still, you could figure Tufts could turn over one of their teams for a brief weekend clinic...

-

On the bright side for everyone, it does seem dog owners are acting more responsibly as the years pass regarding picking up after their charges. I remember picking up a monster turd at Nunziato a couple of years ago, only to step in another dog doot on the way to the garbage can (Full disclosure: that karmic episode was paid back in full with a parking spot right in front of Anna's Taqueria later that evening, to the utter delight of the Trickettes.)

Seriously, the wear and tear on all fields (regardless of stewardship) might need to be addressed at some point. What's George Toma up to these days?

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Tricky,

There you go again. Making sense and being nice. Are you sure you live in Cambriville?

I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Steve

To Sporty Spice:
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which camp you're in), the kemp nut site is slated to become a "tranquility park" for the elderly - mainly because they're the ones who showed up en masse for the community meetings for that site. Probably because the meetings were held at Pearl St. Park, where they all live!
I would hope people lobby for additional sports field(s) when the powers that be present us with their plans for a new jail in East Somerville - their are plenty of "brown fields" here for the taking if we can get the $ to clean them up.

Did You All Forget

You must have all forgotten that, even thought it be small, the field area where the new Capuano Early Childhood School is built, is in fact a soccer field with irrigation and crowned top. I remember going to those meetings held by the Superintendent and the City guy incharge, and that was one of the stipulations when taking over Glenn Park.

"Play Ball"

Un-Civil Servant

.....and THAT, ladies and gentlmen, is why they call the place the "House of Hate".

Youth Soccer Charade

The poster above is absolutely correct. East SOmerville gave up TWO baseball fields (one suitable for little league the other suitable for adult softball), and a basketball court, and in return were given a dedicated youth soccer field. I don't think that Youth Soccer should be griping, although I suspect they won't be happy until all of those nasty baseball diamonds become beautiful soccer fields! Youth Soccer Leagues in general seem unhappy that soccer has not become more popular in this country, and I think they're trying to make it seem more popular than it is. I speak as someone who's kids played youth soccer, and I can tell you that there may be lots of little kids playing soccer with mommy and daddy, but the vast majority do not play the sport in high school. They gravitate toward the more 'mainstream' sports (football, basketball, hockey, baseball). For all the years we've had youth soccer in Somerville, it simply has not gotten a foothold and reached the level of popularity, for high schoolers and beyond to adulthood, that these other sports have. How many people do you know who have ever attended ONE professional or college soccer match, or even watched one on TV? Youth Soccer seems to be creating a problem where none exists.

Don't worry, be happy....

Don't worry, once Union Square is re-zoned and re-built to resemble Inman Square or downtown Manhattan, many more families will be forced out of the city. Youth Soccer, as well as other youth sports, will probably die a slow and un-timely death. Perhaps as the families and children leave, in 10 years time, we will be discussing what to do with the all of the abandoned fields around the city!

Sporty Spice

In most cities and towns, the youth soccer programs actually HELP keep the fields playable. Stop complaining, we played in the streets. Remember "timeout" when a car came by. You were lucky if your street was a one-way !

Tricky

I'm not sure if the Capuano School field was built correctly - I've heard accusations it wasn't. Maybe someone more in the know could chime in.

- -

How many kids were playing youth soccer when your kids were, Charade? Soccer's got a tremendous foothold in the international community, and its popularity in the US is slowly taking root. How long did it take the NBA to become hugely popular? Despite the success of the Celtics in the 50s, it probably wasn't until Magic and Bird came on to the scene in the early 80s (and only then because CBS caught on to this). Part of the problem is that soccer's not a terribly telegenic sport, whereas the "traditional" sports have been made so over time.

As for kids not continuing on to play soccer as they get older, come on. As you move up the ladder, there's attrition at almost every level in every sport. How come we don't have hundreds of fourteen-year olds playing organized baseball? Because they lose interest, the competition gets better (I was out of baseball by the time I was 12, I couldn't hit the curve ball), travel teams complicating matters.

Soccer's the same way, except there are more kids getting in at the lowest rung of the ladder, which translates to more kids moving up. I think there were 10 teams at the lowest level three years ago, now there are 18. And the 10 teams three years ago have at least doubled the number of teams needed for 7- and 8-year olds. And this is where the field crunch around town is starting to be felt.

- -

Sporty (and others), how can soccer and other sports organizations help maintain fields? Turf maintenance is going to be hard to accomplish with so many people needing access to so many fields. I suppose you could go out and re-seed during the offseason, but beyond that, what? The balkanization of the whole territory (DPW, DCR, Tufts) doesn't particularly help, either. And try to convince any one of them you're "helping", I can imagine someone getting P.O.ed about you intruding on their turf (never mind your assistance).

Are there fields in other towns going unused that could provide relief? Probably not, even so you probably need to cough up some more tax $$$. No thanks.

Soccer Fields

Once again, look to Tufts for their non-help to SOmerville. They used to allow Somerville Youth Soccer (older kids) to use several of their fields (not the corner mini-field). Someone must have asked one day why all those townies were hanging around the campus, and that was the end of that! They used to let Somerville use a baseball diamond, too. Andm yes, there's attrition in every sport but it seems more acute with soccer. Again, perhaps because soccer is less 'accepted' as a mainstream sport. At SHS there is freshman, JV & Varsity for basketball, football, baseball, softball. Not so for soccer where the last few years they were lucky to field a varsity team! I'm a non-sports person, but always enjoyed watching my kids play soccer at all levels, but most adults I know absolutely hate soccer and find it tremendously boring. And soccer may be popular with the international community, as a rule, immigrant children are not joining youth soccer. Some for financial reasons, some because they are involved in international soccer clubs - and girls from the immigrant community are even fewer and further between, for several other reasons. Your comment about re-seeding during the off-season is, I believe, one of the points that started this discussion...there is no off-season. You can't re-seed during the winter. You can try it during the summer, but unless the fields are closed off to people walking on them, the grass you can grow will be minimal, especially if it's a dry summer. Too many people competing for too many different uses of too few fields.

Tricky

This has been a great discussion, thank you all.

FWIW, there are Varsity and JV soccer teams (both boys and girls) at SHS this year. Part of the tango is having dance partners: you can't field a freshman soccer team if no one else is. We'll see what changes time will bring.

Fields, your point about club teams etc. affecting the number of available players is well taken. Our high school's hockey team (it was the largest high school within 150 miles or so) pretty much stunk up the joint. Why? Every decent player in town wanted to get on the Midget AAA travel team, and they wound up winning the national championship one year. My guess is if you're already on an established travel team, you can't afford the time to go out for a high school team.

I think one needs to see a high-level soccer game live in person before leveling charges of boring. It flat out doesn't work on television, even if you had as many cameras as you do at the Super Bowl; there's no time for replays with the continuous action. And although the level of (English-language) commentary has improved over the years, there's nothing that compares to the energy level of an Andres Cantor when it comes to announcing. (Would that even work in English, without being overly cheesy? Is Gus Johnson college basketball's version of Cantor? Paging Bill Simmons...) Then again, I'm a baseball fan, so I can deal with perceived boredom...

I'd bet soccer is more diverse than any other youth athletic program; children from all cultures are signing up and playing at the lowest levels. The parents of half my team one year were either first- or second-generation Americans; and from all over as well - Haitian Creole, Chinese, Portuguese, Middle Eastern, Latino.

The lack of girls from certain immigrant communities is troubling; I'm not sure how you address this without gettting into deeper cultural issues. You'll get families where the boys are just gung ho to get out there and run around while no one gives a second thought about the girls sitting around watching.

- -

It looks like too many people and too few teams is going to be a problem for some time to come.

I'd suggest that even if re-seeding during the summer is going to be rough, if the city is collecting money from all these groups (ostenstibly for field care), the DPW or other regulatory agencies have to go the extra mile and figure out something to do.

James Norton

What is the world coming to? Tricky using acronyms and words like "ostensibly"??? You go, trickster - I think Dr. Mrs. would agree with me when we say that we love it when you "bend it like Tricky"...

While I'm visiting Cambriville, didn't anyone get my reference to "The 1608 Society" a while back?

And to think they only let me out on rainy days like today. Well, at least I know how to spell, for the most part.

JN

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

Jamie,

"The 1608 Society"? Nope. I'm still trying to figure out this "Save the Cheerleader" thing.

But while all of you are talking about kicking balls, what about that pig Don Imus? I think the greatest punishment they could have given this Mouthpiece of Hate is to sentence him to travel with the Wrong Reverend Al Sharpton for a solid year. I'm sure it would teach a valuable lesson to both attention starved dimwits.

And while the Creme de Menthe is still warming the cockles of my tasteful little heart(among other internal organs), I'm writing a guest editorial for "Essence" magazine and asking the recording community to clean up that crap they pass off as music. It's called "Gangsta Rap" or something like that. I call it "Let's Use Every Vulgarity, Degrade Women and Set a Tone for How Whitey Views Us" Crap.

Welcome Back to Cambriville Pumpkin.

On this dark and dangerous night,

Dr. Mrs. McCarthy

1608

1608 society = Bushmills whiskey

James Norton

Pookie -

Thanks for the warm welcome back. I'm so glad you didn't tell anyone about drizzling the Creme de Menthe on my body and then...oh shit, there I go again.

1608 -

Close enough. The 1608 Society is a "group" maintained by generations of families who have worked and still work at the Bushmills Distillery in Antrim, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland and membership is also open to visitors of the main distillery in Antrim (and not the other distillery in Dublin, I might add). Bushmills Irish Whiskey is not as smooth in 10 Year form as Jameson, and certainly not nearly as popular, but, there is much more variety with the Bushmills brand if you know what to look for (although I will give it up to Jameson for creating its own sub-brand called Redbreast which is fabulous and on par with the only very recently importable Tullamore Dew).

Yes, I know entirely too much about Irish Whiskey, of this I am well aware.

Have a happy Monday everyone - I know I will!

JN

Cambriville News

CAMBRIVILLE NEWS
Monday April 16, 2007
Marathon Monday

Hopkinton, MA - In a stunning announcement this morning from the LSOP(that's Little Sisters of the Poor for the Japanese press here covering the event)our very own Dr. Mrs. McCarthy, 103 years of age, has qualified as a "late" entrant in this year's running of the Boston Marathon.

McCarthy will be placed at the head of the elite runners in her custom built Lark scooter. The vehicle will fly the Papal flag, the flag of the United States, the flag of Cambriville(depicting Cambriville's official seal, the Geico frog) and the unofficial flag of the LSOP(depicting the likeness of McCarthy drawn on a fully extended Depends).

A letter of protest from "Manbreasts" Champion in the office of Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone("Tickets" is also participating in today's running), condemned McCarthy's late entry and her use of the suped-up scooter. "This type of backroom deal degrades the spirit of the event." said the letter. "The Mayor thinks this is a shameless publicity stunt by McCarthy to only further her political aspirations in an election year."

McCarthy could not be reached this morning for comment, but her running coach, former First Lady Barbara Bush, only flipped us the bird when asked to comment on Curtatone's allegations.

Stay tuned to the Cambriville News' live coverage on UTube and Boston Catholic Television for up to the minute details on this developing story.............

Cambriville Political Notes....... Contrary to some foolish statements by other Editor's of local rags, there is no such thing as "Irish" Whiskey made in the north of Ireland. The only true "Irish Whiskey" is made in the Republic of Ireland. End of subject. Jameson Rocks!!!!!

Tracking Mayor Joe

Boston Marathon runner #21022 Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville hit the 5K mark with a time of 33:15 minutes. His projected finish time is 4 hours 41:12 minutes.

Developing.......

Hope

Hope he is frozen and catches pneumonia or at least hypothermia. Maybe the pills help I am sure Boss Hog can help?

Cambriville News

CAMBRIVILLE NEWS
April 16, 2007
Marathon Monday

DEVELOPING STORY..............

Kenmore Square - Boston Police are still searching for Dr. Mrs. McCarthy after her disappearance in Kenmore Square. McCarthy, the leader of the elite rollers until her myterious drop from the race, was in first place throughout the race. The good Doctor was last seen in front of Pizzeria Uno in Kenmore Square. After a futile search for McCarthy, special forces were able to find the Papal flag and an empty bottle of Jameson Whiskey dispalying the McCarthy coat of arms. An additional search of several watering holes on Landsdowne Street, produced the Cambriville flag and an empty package of Beano.

Information now coming in, and this, we repeat, is unconfirmed, is that McCarthy's Lark scooter was seen at the luxury box entrance of Fenway Park. We'll update you as soon as new details beome available.

In other marathon news, ...............

Tracking Mayor Joe

Update.....

Boston Marathon runner #21022 Joseph A. Curtatone of Somerville hit the 10k mark with a time of 1 hour 7:22 minutes. He hit the 15K mark at 1 hour 41:03 minutes. His projected finish time is 4 hours 44:42 minutes.

Developing.......

Cambriville News

CAMBRIVILLE NEWS
April 16, 2007
Marathon Monday Update

McCARTHY IN ONE PIECE......ARRIVES HOME SAFELY

In one of the more bizzare stories in today's 111th running of the Boston Marathon, reports have just come in that after missing for six hours, Dr. Mrs. McCarthy is back at the LSOP in one piece. Dr. Mrs. disappeared in Kenmore Square minutes before an assured win in today's race. McCarthy was seen being assisted by Red Sox owner John Henry and Manny Ramirez from a black SUV driven by Mayor Tom Menino. Shakey on her feet and clearly inebriated, McCarthy was able to fire off a string of obscenities at bystanders before being hussled into the residence.

Still no sign of her Lark scooter or Mayor Curtatone. We hope both are OK.

Next time in Cambriville Science - "Should Cambriville Allow Cloning Labs at Assembly Square?" commentary by Butters Newman and Stan Koty.

Steve

What about the totals by ward? I thought the "progressives" were going to lose. I heard a rumor that Mayor Joe, was making seen deals with team Marty.

say it ain't so Joe?

the babe

well just to let you know the biys highschool baseball team was supposed to get on trum field on april 2 but the good old DPW didnt have the field ready untill a week and a half lata doesnt surprise me the boys in the parks dept are all playin keno and doing other things besids doing their work on the fields dont get me wrong a few guys do their jobs and they know who they are!!!!!!

Happy

I know Bert S ain't playing Keno, they must have transferred Curly!

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