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August 15, 2007


Craig completely missed the point. Utterly and completely. It wasn't your readers who played the race or gender card, it was you. You write above: "And when someone does something wrong or stupid then it’s his or her own fault. Sometimes it’s just better to take your lumps and be big about it and move on, instead of sending in your troops to bring out the race or sex card all the time." That's EXACTLY what we were asking for, and what you DIDN'T do last week. Last week, instead of just identifying the "lumps" a local politician should be taking (in your opinion), you infused your comments with terms that were unnecessarily loaded. So, why don't you follow your own advice from now on and leave gender/race/ethnicity out of it when it's not relevant. Otherwise you undermine your own message. Also...blaming your critics for your own blunders is an old strategy, and it's easy to see through.

Go Figure

Funny, I think they were right on point with their comments.

Ron Newman

Fred Berman is perfectly capable of campaigning by himself. I saw him do so at the city's Family Fun Day in June. Perhaps you were elsewhere?


I don't think they were off with the point they were making. I too find it frustrating when people find sexist, racist, etc. intent where it is truly absent. In this particular case, however, News Talk made an error (not a huge or unforgivable one), and I just think it would serve them to follow their own advice about keeping gender/race stuff out when it's not relevant. The term "princess" does nothing to advance the discussion, and it is a bit loaded. It's also disingenuous when they paint the ensuing valid critique as the precipitating problem. But I'm also not too up in arms, as I don't expect serious news reporting here - the comments are often where I pick up valuable pieces of information.


I am glad to see the various ward candidates going around door to door and asking people what they think about the important issues of the day. This is democracy in action; a battle to be fought with the power of persuasion through words. Ward Six Alderman candidate Charles Chisholm has been moving around the ward at a very fast pace and getting a hearty Ward Six response. It seems that, according to voters on the street, Alderman "Princess Rebekkah" has lost a lot of her former support in Ward Six. What a surprise? How could this be? Could it be the fact that "Princess Rebekkah" has alienated nearly every member on the Board of Aldermen? Could it be that her screaming matches with the President of the Board of Aldermen did not go over very well and made her appear, shall we say, unprofessional at best; naive and uniformed at worst. Could it be that numerous Somerville political pundits have deamed her a dangerous radioactive isotope...not to go near? Could it be that her constituent services, for lack of a better word, suck? Could it be that there is an angry reaction in the ward towards "Princess Rebekkah's" voting to double her own Alderman salary...while continuing to do the same "part time work" that she has barely been doing all along? Could it be that Princess Rebekkah has not a clue about parlimentary procedure and can't get anything done? Could it be that there there are suspicious and embarrassing quid pro quo dealings that "Madame Du Princess" has not yet informed us about that could hurt her even more. She is currently rated the incumbent alderman most likely to lose...and she should! This half wit should never have been elected in the first place. In 2005, a lot of people were thrilled by her electrifying win. Today, they sit in stunned silence by her shocking performance. It has been quite a comedown for this Princessa. Alas, she has only herself to blame. I have said this before and I will say it again. It is time for a change in Ward Six; the candidate to get the job done, and done right, is Charles J. Chisholm. He is a doer; not a talker. Working with the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen in harmony, he will do great things for Ward Six. That is the type of alderman the citizens of Ward Six want.


Joe Lynch is smart & will win this election, he is getting to know the people in ward 5! And he will do something. What has O'Donnevan done in all these years?

Ron Newman

And could it be that you don't know how to spell Rebekah? Once is a typo; five times is something else.


It's like when Fox News reports scandals involving one of the Republicans Congresspeople and keep putting the "D" under their name...
Ah, the "Dean scream" script... Without video and audio the trick does not work well, guys. Mr. Charles Chisholm will suffer a humiliating defeat.


Don't be so "happy" for Joe Lynch just yet. I agree he is smart, he seems to be an independent voice, knows the issues etc. But, he will be up against Curtatone and Koty and their merry band of misfits in their efforts to keep O'Donovan around the horseshoe.

I wish Lynch all the best. Watch your back Joe.

Ron Newman

I'd also love to have Joe Lynch on the board. He has an excellent grasp of local issues, and showed it well during the MaxPak negotiations.

Go Figure

I agree with you Ron. Go Joe. Lynch, that is.


In following up to Salivating and Ron Newman...I would like to offer a sincere apology for my misspelling of the current Ward Six Alderman's name "Rebekah". However, since "Princess Rebekah" has blundered so many times in public office, and both of you have looked the other way, I am sure you will cut me some slack for the oversight. P.S. Charles Chisholm is going to do very well on election day. You can count on it.


I agree that Charlie Chisholm is going to do fairly well on election day, but I'm not so sure he'll unseat the incumbent. Charlie still hasn't asked me for my vote and neither has Miss Gerwitz.

Fred Berman did ask for my vote for Marty Martinez a number of months ago, so I would say he does have experience going door to door even it was for another candidate but so far I haven't seen him around. Tony laFuente hasn't been around at all so far that I can see so I don't know what his plan is.

The quote about getting out of the kitchen is usually credited to HST.

I wish I could move to Ward 5 so I could vote for Joe Lynch. Not that I don't like Sean, but Joe would just do a better job, he knows more. Facts are facts.


NO FRIEND - You're well spoken and articulate, but your continued use of 'princess' when referring to Gerwitz sounds sophomoric. Obviously, you harbor a great deal of disdan for RG, so why elevate her to royal status?

Philip Fitzgerald

"Say what you want about the Farm Team Paper or us, but at least names are attached to our work. "

Oh yeah? Who wrote this?

Philip Fitzgerald

"instead of sending in your troops to bring out the race or sex card all the time. It gets sickening."

Nice paranoia - nobody is sending troops out against you dimwits. Just stay in your bunker and keep imagining things.

And you want sickening? Read Reality Bites while looking at the author's head-shot. That whole column is a head-scratcher at best.

James - do everyone a favor and keep a journal. Just because your Daddy owns a rag doesn't make you a writer.

Get Over It

Fred Berman has been out knocking on doors on his own. He can't help it if he has community support and people want to knock with him. Why not have someone you know introduce you to their neighbors? Berman has already knocked on my door and he's very smart when it comes to the issues. Just because it is August and he hasn't knocked on your door yet doesn't mean he won't- the vote is November 6th for crying out loud.

All Connolly has been doing is standing outside the post office targeting seniors to shake hands with. Why is our Alderman at Large standing on a street corner thinking hand shaking is going to get our votes? I don't think so. I'll take someone who knocks on doors with his friends over someone who shakes hands with no substance any day.

Sure, Berman might be considered the underdog, but he's doing his job. Thats more than you can say about a few of the people holding the Alderman at Large seat right now(Bill White does his job, of course, I have nothing against him whatsoever- and Dennis Sullivan is fairly active in the community as well).


The alderman-at-large seats should be eliminated.
The "princess" is being raked over the coals here, but at least she is willing to challenge the rubber stamp votes at the BOA meetings.
When watching the BOA meetings I wonder if Bruce Desmond even knows where he is after his long days at his "public sector job"

Ron Newman

So you want to get rid of Bill White? I'd like to keep him, thanks. Another much-needed independent voice.


Can your ward alderman not take care of you needs?

Ron Newman

I like to have some people around who have a broader view of the city's needs. Bill is very good at this.


I don't have a horse in this race, but when I see some of the salaries being handed out in this city for limited work (starting with Halloran at 80K), I think it's time to start cutting back.


Speaking of wasting money, could someone explain to me how or why Mrs. Antonelli is in charge of the water dept.?

Get Over It

I said I wanted to Keep Bill White, I think he does a great job. Dennis Sullivan isn't too bad either. I think Fred Berman should replace either Connolly or Desmond. Where have they been?

Ron Newman

Ny comment was addressed not to 'Get Over It', but to 'whatacroc' who proposed to eliminate all the alderman-at-large seats.


In response to Kate's comments, I would just like to say that I have never elevated "Princess Rebekah" to royal status. Incumbent Alderman Rebekah Gerwitz, in her own demented way, has been trying to elevate herself to that level for a long time. Unsuccessfully too! With her nose in the air and her "let them eat cake" attitude, it comes as no surprise that many residents of Ward Six are in rebellion and crying for this impudent snobs beheading. I do agree with Kate that the "Princess Rebekah" moniker may be getting a little stale, and that a new one should probably be unveiled at a future date. I confess that I have tried to think of something more flattering to describe "Madame Du Princess", but nothing really came to mind. My runner up monikers were: "Valley Girl", "Alderman Inertia", "Insipid Cypher", "Cabbage Head", "Parliamentary Prozac", and "Seismic Moron". But anyways, I am sure that whatever the new moniker is, it will accurately sum up who she is, what she is, and what a dismal alderman she has been for Ward Six.

Ron Newman

You have a lot of rhetoric but not much substance, so far. How about telling us a few specific instances where you disagree with Ms. Gewirtz's positions or actions? Leave off the insulting adjectives and speak plainly.

How low will it get?

How low can supporters of Mr. Charles Chisholm go? It's sad to see an old and fragile man such as Mr Chisholm commit political suicide by proxy.


In response to Ron Newman and "How low", I would like to ask them each a couple of questions. Let's say, for sake of this discussion, that each of these "Princess Rebekah" apologists had $100 million dollars in personal wealth each. Would they willingly and knowingly give their $100 million dollar portfolios to Alderman Gerwirtz to invest and manage? I have a funny feeling that everyone who reads this forum knows the real answer to that pregnant question. But let's be open and honest about their likely response. Publicly, both of them might say (with quivering lips), "Yehh..Ahh..Sure". But privately, we know that they would most likely give it to someone a little more financially savvy (like Mitt Romney). When it comes to investing one's money..political lines can get blurred. That having been said, can either one of these guys please explain to the people of Somerville why the residents of Ward Six should entrust the City of Somerville's finances(around $100 million) to a nattering fool like "Princess Rebekah"? I bet neither one of them has a good answer for that one!

Ron Newman

Your question is irrelevant. I would not entrust $100 million in personal wealth to any of the Aldermen, nor any of their opponents, nor to the Mayor, nor to any of his opponents. And certainly not to Mitt Romney. I would find someone who specialized in this esoteric domain -- someone like Warren Buffett, perhaps.

Mr Chisholm supporter, shut up, please.

You are making a fool of yourself. Sure, why don't we give 100M to wiz hedge fund manager Jeffrey B. Larson? He's financially savvy. Our money will be safe.

Please, spare us these silly arguments. What is needed are decent, creative and smart people (honest, above all). They can always consult with advisers on matters they are not experts on.


I just wanted to thank Ron Newman and his friend for their answers on where they would invest their money. They indicated: Warren Buffett and Jeffrey B. Larson. And NO...they would not give their money to Alderman Gerwitz. Just as I suspected.

Ron Newman

Either you have no sense of irony, or you didn't actually read the comment above yours very carefully.

Would you entrust Charles Chisholm with your hypothetical $100 million?

Somerville Resident

Charles Chizholm with $100 million? Let me think. 1. Washed up math teacher; 2. Looks like a brain eater zombie.
It's a close one.


Not that I care, but to be fair, ridiculing Chisholm for the way he looks is not different from the haters making comments about how Alderman Gerwirtz looks or sounds. Pretty childish posts.


My response to Ron Newman and Somerville Resident will be very clear and to the point. Mr. Chisholm has been a highly respected teacher of advanced mathematics and advanced calculus for many years. He was also chosen, by his college peers, to be President of the Faculty and Professional Staff at Bunker Hill Community College. Mr. Chisholm is a very well educated man and is more than capable of making strong financial decisions based on his background and knowledge. So YES, I would trust him with a $100 million dollar portfolio. As for Ron Newman, who would give all of his money to Republican Warren Buffett and his friend who would give his $100 million dollars to Republican Jeffrey B. Larson, isn't it strange that not one of these guys would give 2 cents to Alderman Gerwitz. The old saying, "Actions speak louder than words" rings true tonight and on this forum. Even the most impartial of spectators can no longer refuse to acknowledge that this is definitely a vote of no confidence for the current Ward Six Alderman. Once again, thanks Ron Newman and friend for your opinions. And no, you are not the only residents in Ward Six that think the current Ward Six Alderman is a not ready for prime time player.

Not politically correct

Ahahahahahah! President of the Faculty and Professional Staff at Bunker Hill Community College! Now, THAT's quite an achievement! Sounds like "Chair of the Pathetic School for Demented Adults". Talk about big fish in a small pond.

Ron Newman

"and his friend who would give his $100 million dollars to Republican Jeffrey B. Larson"

Once again you have proved that you can't read or can't understand what you are reading.

And, by the way, being a math teacher hardly qualifies one to manage finances.

How many logical fallacies can 'No Friend of Princess Rebekah' commit in one hour?


Ron is correct, many logical fallacies here. One thing is certain: "No Friend" won't get to manage my $100 million.

The Patriot

Being a math professor doesn't disqualify one either from effectively managing finances, so let's not correct one logical fallacy with another.

Somerville President

But being a brain eater zombie does disqualify one. I'd think.

Ron Newman

Exactly Being a math professor has no relationship, positive or negative, to his ability to manage finances.

Also, we're not electing a City Treasurer, we're electing a ward alderman.

The Patriot

To "think," Somerville Resident or Somerville President or whatever you are, requires a brain. So you needn't be afraid of the zombie, now should you?

Oh God

Somerville Resident,
If Charles was a brain eater, he would go hungry if he tried to eat yours. Imbecile.

And while I

I think the poster above with the 'riddle' about the $100 million dollars was trying to make a point.....that, in effect, all of the aldermen have already been entrusted with that amount of money and more, because they control, to a certain degree, the city's finances. They are making decisions right now on how best to save, spend, invest, etc., OUR money. The fact that people would not willingly give that sum of money to any particular alderman says a lot. When they were elected, they received that amount and more of YOUR money!
Also, to weigh in on the 'personal, sexist attacks', although of late the attacks seem to be directed at Gewirtz, there have been many demeaning remarks directed at Chisholm, for his appearance primarily, and there does not seem to be an outcry...why is that?
And, Ron....oooops! I think it's 'MY', not 'NY' - just a typo, I know, just like the many mistakes you have been quick to point out over and over again!


To all of those who have commented on my remarks on this blog, I thank you. Democracy and freedom of speech is alive and well in Somerville today. I have read some of the recent comments with keen interest. The arguments of Ron Newman, Democracy, Someville Resident, and the Patriot appear to indicate that they don't believe that Mr. Chisholm, a mathematics professor and former President of the Bunker Hill Community College Faculty Association, can manage a budget of $100 million dollars, nor could he invest $100 million dollars if given it. Yet still, not one of them would give $100 million dollars to Alderman Gerwitz, a social worker, to manage and invest. Once again, there silence on this fact speak volumes. If they can't trust "Princess Rebekah" with managing $100 million dollars, why are they supporting her for alderman? I am sure they all have hysterical answers for that question as well.


Ron, you continue to prove why you are Somerville's Illogical Phallus. You want to entrust the City's budget of $100 million dollars to Warren Buffet or "find someone who specialized in this esoteric domain -- " It's a budget Ron. We all work off of them in our lives. Some of us better than others. I think you misuse the word "esoteric." Is budgeting understood by so few as to be "esoteric" or are you just trying to impress everyone with your vocabulary again? Why wouldn't you trust Mitt Romney with the money? He ran a $30 billion dollar a year budget for four years and the state was in great financial health... until Coupe Deval showed up. You wouldn't trust Romney with the money for the same reasons you do trust the Princess, their propensity to spend on your frivolous liberal causes. Romney wouldn't and the Princess wouls spend it all.

Ron Newman

You asked who I would entrust a hypothetical personal fortune to -- most of which is to be invested, not spent. That is very different from a city budget, most of which is spent rather than invested.


NO FRIEND - Anyone can invest $100 million dollars, but being a professor of mathematics, alone, is no assurance that one is a wise investor.

AND WHILE I "I think the poster above with the 'riddle' about the $100 million dollars was trying to make a point....."

I thought so too, but he/she didn't make it. Of course, no one would give $100 million dollars to someone unqualified to invest it.

Ron Newman

And why this focus on Rebekah Gewirtz? Would you entrust $100 million of your personal fortune to Sean O'Donovan, or Joe Lynch, or Jack Connolly, or Bill White? I'd still vote for some of these people even though my answer is "No" for all of them.

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