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August 09, 2007



I wonder if this sight will be converted into condos. Dig deeper.

Whats Hot???

What was the "hot" merchandise they were suspected of having? Copper from someone's downspouts or from N-Star electrical wires that were salvaged?

Ron Newman

Given the location, my guess would be parts from stolen cars.

Who else?

I suspect 'condomania' could have hit on something. They've already built some condos in that area, and I'm sure the plan is to clear out the area and build more...especially with the re-zoning/development issue in Union Square. While it's nice to make the area 'pretty', there is still a need for these businesses, and they deserve to be exactly where they are - an area which is mostly industrial. If this were a true 'raid' they would have started with Pat's Tow!!

Whats Hot???

Newman, I think you have Atlas metals confused with Nissenbaum's. Atlas metals, which is the business in question here buys scrap metal. The price of copper is at record hights at the present times and a lot of it that gets brought in for cash is from sources that are not traceable or at least questionable. if a scrap metal dealer buys copper from someone who has stolen it from somewhare else, such as an electrical line like what NStar guys deal with, then the dealer is guilty of accepting stolen merchandise. Get the point?

Ron Newman

You could well be right. I made my guess based on the signs in the background of the photo, which read "USED AUTO PARTS" and "JUNK CARS". Do these belong to a neighboring business rather than to Atlas? Google lists Atlas Auto Co. at 461 Columbia St, right next to Atlas Metals at 475 Columbia.


It amazing how people can somehow make a connection between the illegal and unsafe business practices discovered here to gentrification. This is clearly a serious issue that needs to be looked into and should not be used as a platform against gentrification. There is a difference between progress and gentrification. Please realize that improvements to our safety and security do not equal gentrification. If it is determined that these Atlas was conducting illegal business, then they should be evicted and an honest, hardworking business person should have the opportunity to take over this site. It even suprises me that they were allowed to obtain a certificate of occupancy without penalty. I agree though, we already have too many residents of somerville and a condo complex won't do any good. We need to help improved the commercial side of the city. So hopefully another business will replace Atlas if they are forced to close. I don't know the owners personally though so I will just say "Best of Luck" and I hope that if they are honest and hard working people, they make it though this difficult situation.


I bet most "used auto parts" business in Somerville are just cover operations for shady businesses.

give me a break

I try so hard not to respond to the idiots that post here but like a moth to a flame it just sucks me in.

I have to agree with JR, How the hell does clamping down on a business that is dealing in stolen property have to do with gentrification? The place is unsafe fire hazard in close proximity to a residential neighborhood. I for one applaud the work of the Neighborhood Impact Team and the Somerville Police on this one.

As far as that area goes it is an environmental wasteland and these places should be shut down and moved out of this city. Now I know that Condomania believes this as some sort of conspiracy to build more condos but if he had one brain cell in his head he would know that the condo market is dead, dead, dead. Try going to a bank in the current climate and tell them you want a loan to build condos. They will laugh you out of the building.

For far to long these types of salvage businesses have operated with little or know oversight. The earth where these places are located is contaminated with heavy metals, chemicals and countless numbers of known carcinogens. They have polluted our air, earth and water and it is a legacy we are going to have to live with in the years to come. When the day does come that these places disappear we will be the ones that will be left with the task and cost of cleaning up these sites.

These locations are a product of a bygone era that our city forefathers allowed to proliferate long before many of us bloggers were even born. They are fast becoming the type of industry that should be shut down and cleaned up.

Answer one question for me and I will return to my deep meditative trance. If you lived next to this filthy rotten cesspool of chemical and metal waste would you want to see it gone?

PS Ron Newman, could you please stop acting like Arnold Horshack and put your hand down. You don’t have the answer to every question and Frankly I don't give a rat's @#$ about your opinion.


I'm interested in hearing Ron's opinion on various topics. Usually, it makes good sense.


Give me a break,

You should have followed your instincts and kept your mouth shut. Who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool who uses 5 times as many words to argue with the fool?


"Who is more foolish, the fool, or the fool who uses 5 times as many words to argue with the fool?"

I'd say the fool who thinks in the current market that anyone could secure financial backing for a condo development on top of what's practically an EPA Superfund site - which would only double the cost.

If the city wanted the area cleared they'd just seize it by eminent domain. A move that has been ruled to be Constitutional by the Supreme Court after all.

Columbia Avenue

I think the reason there are questions about the
'raid' on this site is because this city is very selective in enforcing its' regulations. It's all a matter of who owns the property, and what they're willing to do for the administration. And as far as getting rid of businesses like this - Everyone always agrees, get rid of these businesses, but it's the first place you look for if you need used car parts. There are many people who can't afford to go to a dealer to replace a radiator, or who can't afford the insurance coverage needed to get a brand new door or bumper after a fender bender. In other words, there is a need for these businesses to exist, and they have to exist somewhere. They've been located in the Columbia Ave. area for decades, and the only housing right in the middle of them is NEW housing.


give me a break - wha, wha wha - you're a big whiney baby, and you think much too highly of yourself. Who do you 'imagine' yourself to be? Have you ever considered that people don't give a rat's axx about your opinion either? Our opinions are posted, and you can choose not to read them.

"Answer one question for me and I will return to my deep meditative trance. If you lived next to this filthy rotten cesspool of chemical and metal waste would you want to see it gone?"

I wouldn't be stupid enough to buy or rent in an area that held businesses like this.
Many of the abutters have moved in knowing these businesses were there, so it was there choice to live next to them.

Ron Newman

The city has wanted to clean up this area for many years. The Boynton Yards Improvement Project goes back to the Capuano administration, and has already removed some of the most noxious businesses (remember Research Foods, near South Street?)

give me a break

Kate,,don't you live in West Somerville in s huge single family house. Perhaps some of the people that live in this area could not afford to live like you do. I bet the ones that do got building permits before they did work to their houses, unlike you.


PS Ron Newman, could you please stop acting like Arnold Horshack and put your hand down. You don’t have the answer to every question and Frankly I don't give a rat's @#$ about your opinion.

Posted by: give me a break | August 09, 2007 at 05:58 PM

BEST POST EVER on this site! I am still LMAO over this one. Newman does have too many damned opinions and they're always way, way out there on the left fringe. HORSHACK!!! LMMFAO!!!


Break - actually, I'm a renter on Winter Hill. Apartments/condos/houses in the Webster-street area are no bargain.


"I'm a renter on Winter Hill" - Kate.

Well that shitass area... no wonder you have the UN for neighbors! Kate, get a real job, become a republican and maybe we can get you out of the barrios!

Ron Newman

And now I wonder if you live in Somerville either. You do know that Mike Capuano lives on Winter Hill?


Ron, I've lived here far longer than you have. I hate Capuano...I always have. I remember the days when we'd see the liberal little geeks riding their bicycles down the street and we would "door" them. Ahhh.... those were the days my friend ...we thought they'd never end. Oh and Ron unless you were born here... you're not from here.

Anything beyond Ball Sq is a shithole now with the illegals that have swarmed in.


Cheech - you were beginning to sound slightly civilized, but you've slid back to sounding like a Neanderthal. (sorry, Neanderthals)

"Ron, I've lived here far longer than you have." Have you ever seen any of the world, outside of Somerville?

"Oh and Ron unless you were born here... you're not from here."
Hugh? I don't think being born in Somerville is something to be proud of or ashamed of. Ron Newman is an active citizen of Somerville; what civic activities are you a part of?

"liberal little geeks riding their bicycles down the street and we would "door" them." First of all, don't you mean 'duh'? Secondly, how ridiculous you and those of your ilk are to think it's silly for adults to ride bicycles. I can't believe an adult would admit to such foolish behavior/backward thinking.

"no wonder you have the UN for neighbors!" I like living in the real, multi-cultural world.

Ron Newman

No, he probably really means 'door', as in 'open a car door in the path of an approaching bicycle'. Which counts as assault and battery if done on purpose.


Thanks, Ron - isn't my face red. Actually, his face should be red. That's really a pathetic thing to do and to admit to.


Ron, don't let the "door" hit you on the ass on your way out of our fine city! Just remember there are plenty of oldtimers like me around who still believe that cars are meant for streets and bikes are meant for trails or bikepaths.

Hey...I have a friend who is a scientologist. Want to attend a meeting? Bring your bike.


Cheech - it's too bad that you haven't grown intellectually or

give me a break

Kate, I could have sworn you were the head nut of PDS, but maybe I'm wrong. But i doubt it.Your not fooling anyone.


Kate is cool. Leave her alone.


Shut up idiot.

William Hurst

I honestly hope that none of the people in this forum are here to suggest, that this business was shut down so that some FOJ can but it and build condominiums.
Are we trying to get in the a Guinness Book of World Records for the amount of people per square foot a community has?


I think Somerville already holds a record for density:

From Wikipedia:

Somerville is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, just north of Boston. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 77,478, and was the most densely populated municipality in New England, and the most dense in the United States outside the New York - New Jersey metropolitan area.

Krazy Haole

stolen?? how about fire dept connections, made out of brass, and aluminum worth big bucks,missing from your condo, rest home super market, school and hospital not to mention various businesses.i hope there's not a fire and u have no sprinkler connection.this co buy them from thieves.

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