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September 18, 2007



I think everyone can agree the overall improvement of our infrastructure is a necessity. Better roads and the green line extension are critical to spur development. Assembly square and Union square have the potential to bring in needed tax dollars. Smart development of InnerBelt can also potentially bring in needed tax dollars. And for gods sake keep that jail out of Somerville! That can toss these ideas for the betterment of Somerville completely out the window.

tax payer

Union Square may have potential, but not by adding more and more residences, and not enough commercial (when will we learn?). Especially when the residences are 'affordable, but for artists only' (NFNA - NO FAMILIES NEED APPLY!).

Charlie D.

Mayor Curtatone, it's great to hear that you are strongly behind sustainable transportation such as transit, walking, and bicycling. I am a bicyclist myself, and I've noticed how much better many of the roads are in Somerville in terms of pavement quality, especially compared to Boston.

My bicycling wishlist for you is this:
- Repave the parts of Beacon St that have not been paved recently
- More bike lanes! Continuing the Hampshire St bike lanes in Cambridge onto Beacon St in Somerville would be terrific. I know this and other roads are narrow, but it may be worth eliminating parking in some places to make them more bike-friendly.
- Keep pushing forward with the Community Path extension. This will be the primary car-free route to Boston, a real jewel for Somerville once built.
- Work with the state to make McGrath Highway more bike-friendly. It's really pretty inhospitable right now!

Thanks for being some forward-thinking with transportation. I look forward to see how transportation in Somerville gets better and better!


Yeah, I'm with tax payer above. I would like to know why we are coddling the so called artists? Why is there an arts overlay for Union where ONLY 'artists' can apply? Why isn't groth focused around the Davis Square model - build a T and business and people will follow? Is there a single person who actually goes to work on a regular basis who appreciates the talent level of the 'artists'? Does anyone actually appreciate trash sculptures under McGrath, a trash Wolly Mamouth in Davis, and 'artistic' reflective tape covering the Union Square buildings? Come on, art is not your trash, stop playing into a segment which has too much time on their hands because they are unemployable. They aren't adding a revenue stream by sifting through the local garbage pickup to create the next 'masterpiece'. Did I mention keep the jail out of Somerville?


Air traffic? I don't know as I lost my hearing about 2 months ago with all the flights flying over.

Bike paths are good, but maybe get businesses or individuals to fund those and start reducing the tax burden on residents and small business owners. Let IKEA or Home Depot "sponsor" the bike path. Let them throw little billboards up - I mean who cares?

The T extensions can only help. I remember before the T came to Davis that everyone complained about how it would bring in a bad element and ruin then neighborhood. Just the opposite happened a the area improved... well....except for the PDS'ers and moonbats that moved in. I guess it DID bring in a bad element after all!

Reduce our taxes and water bills - we're dying here! Get more WORKING families in.


I cant wait until we get the casino at the dpw yard u can do it.


How are you fighting, Joe, what is your game plan? When does the lawsuit start? The state is calling our bluff, so its time to get mean and get the extension we deserve. Please don't make this just a vague election advertorial.

Go Figure

Has the city decided upon the cap that it's going to place on Union Sq. building regarding the height of the buildings? If so, does it only apply to residential buildings or across the board?

Mole Fan

The only building allowed to be higher than usual will be the Pat's Tow Casino Resort Hotel. Located at the current site of the Public Safety Building. OOPS the secret is out.

Richard G.

Be aware Somerville residents, with the addition of more train stations in the city, the more gentrification will spread and soon a person with a boston accent in Somerville will be an endangered specie, as if they aren't already.


I heard that the zoning request was withdrawn due to the election. Look for it to return front and center after November 6. Then the administration will jam it down Union Square's throat without public input.

Good Luck Union Square.

To somerspaek

Have you noticed that a couple of the Zoning board members have bailed out on the Mayor? I heard they wouldn't be a rubber stamp for the Mayor, so they left with their heads held high.

What is the height?

What is the height/number of floors they are zoning for?


"...all of which adds to our tax base as well as the strength of the local economy."

Yes but how does that help me, the average citizen of Somerville? I can see how that benefits the city a little, I can see how that benefits the businesses that thrive. But if my property taxes are going up and city services to my house and neighborhood are not being provided, then this means squat to the average person in Somerville. In fact this may act to run people out of town.

Unless you reduce our property taxes. Make the businesses and developers pay and give us some more breaks. That is what a strong affluent community does for itself. It takes care of itself first. Are we going to do that?


The big questions that Linda Bohan was raising on the Planning Board about the new IKEA were "all about transportation." I heard this morning that the Mayor's thuggish City Solicitor intimidated her into withdrawing from the discussion and vote on the IKEA permit. Anyone know the full story?


The sox are in Big trouble. Go yanks!!!!!!!!!!!

Fool on the Hill

I don’t know the whole story, but I can give you a couple of pieces of the puzzle. Last Winter, the mall and Ikea developers asked the Planning Board to approve a Planned Unit Development for about half of Assembly Square. Linda Bohan asked a lot of hard questions about what Ikea traffic would do to surrounding neighborhoods.

When the time to vote came, she had a bunch of conditions that she wanted to put on the approval. John Gannon, the city solicitor, maneuvered her into withdrawing those conditions by telling her that the time to consider them was when Ikea came for its own permit. According to the Somerville News, that’s right now.

By the way, the night of that vote, the Planning Board took a recess so that James Kirylo could go up to city hall and watch his son sworn into a job that the Mayor gave him. Mr. Kirylo is also a Planning Board member.


Ah Fool, and here I though I was the only one watching the comings and goings on the Planning and Zoning Boards. After all, once any city project that gets the Mayors stamp of enforcement, I meant approval, and it goes before the Planning and Zoning folks, it's pretty much a done deal.

Looks like the Board of Aldermen are not the only rubber stampers in the city.

As for Ms. Bohan, she is the only one on the Planning board that has ever, ever once said she has a difference of opinion with the Mayor. Makes you wonder why we even need a Planning Board.

I say we get rid of all the boards, School, Alderman, Planning, Zoning, Lic and Permits, get rid of them all.

The Mayor would be a lot happier.

City Hall Veteran

I can provide another piece, although I didn’t know that it was part of the puzzle until I read this thread. After that approval of the Assembly Square Planned Unit Development by the Planning Board last winter, the mayor asked the Board of Alderman to expand the Planning Board from five members to seven. I assume that those two new members would outvote the old majority of three members who were stating concerns about IKEA.

The Board of Aldermen wouldn’t create two new positions, but they created two alternate positions. As I understand it, these alternates would vote if a member of the Planning Board resigns or recuses herself. Does anyone know on what grounds Gannon got Linda Bohan to recuse herself?



I have a problem with you continuing a friendly, hand holding relationship with Deval Patrick... as you did with Kerry Healy and Mitt Romeny when they where in office.

I’m becoming convinced that Deval Patrick is really a Republican in Democratic clothing.

His latest decision to support 3 new casinos in Massachusetts may raise more money for the state. But who will be footing the bill- the poor, working class, and people with gambling problems. Statistic clearly show Somerville pays more into the lottery than it gets outs. I think casinos will be a significant negative to Somerville overall. You should speak out against this now...

Patrick's actions to allow competitive insurance in Massachusetts will almost guarantee a giant increase in rates in Somerville. Recently Mayor Menino spoke out against the changes.... You need to tell Patrick to back off on this issue...

And his willingness to delay the green line extension, support a sludge plant and a new jail in Somerville… tell me that I made a horrible mistake in supporting him... and you make a terrible mistake in playing nice with him... He is not a friend of Somerville.

Thank you

Bill Shelton

Heaven help me, I agree with Observer.


Well he must have got his legal license the same place as Joey Cakes that makes him "The Fool in the Hall" I think the news should ask him for his written opinion, and also the Ethics Board. then we will see if this was just a ploy to make sure all bills are paid in full.
Come on Joey Cakes do you really think that every body are that stupid, some times some folks really do live up to their own principles. You GO GIRL!!!! they are good at good at picking on Ladies.

Truth Fan

If Gannon is saying that Linda Bohan has a conflict of interest in the IKEA matter because she lives in Ten Hills, then something stinks to high heavens. State ethics rules say that a conflict must be "direct" and "intimate."

It's hard to imagine why Ms. Bohan wouldn't challenge that, unless she thinks that the Mayor will reappoint her if she behaves. It's too late for that. She's already demonstrated enough intelligent and independent thought that she is gone as soon as her term is up.

You don't have to look further than high-profile high performers like Bill Fowler and Jim Kostaros to know that loyalty and competence aren't sufficient without slavish and mindless obedience.


Well said it seems that some folks de respect HONEST FOLKS.

Come on the News lets see some real TRUTH SEARCHING. or are you needing the ads that bad?


Whatever Linda Bohan decides to do from here on out, I respect the courage that she had showm so far. As Well put it, "some times some folks really do live up to their own principles."


Joe don't you wish that you had never told your "fool in the hall" to open his mouth. It really shows that you have no real use for honest folks with real ethics.

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