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September 03, 2007

Comments

breath_of_life

I think there are segments where this has occured.

It's fairly small when compared to Greenwich and South Boston.... but you could make the argument for Davis Sq and some other small pockets... have pushed out some longer term residents

On the other hand more if not most rest of the city seems to be heading toward a more Chelsea/ East Boston/ Dorchester type area... with immigrants and working class being the dominant resident

Imux

The PDS "vision" of Somerville: elite trust fund liberals living in Davis/Union and West Somerville and the underclass they love to keep down living in the rest of Somerville. Somerville is headed to a harsh 2 class city - the elite lefties (trust fund and daddy's money kids) in Davis/West Somerville and the illegal immigrant / underpaid slaves in East Somerville.

Has anyone else noticed how the PDS just loves the illegal immigrant community? Why would they not? These lowlife PDS scum love to have the immigrants around to "champion" their cause and then use the poor SOBs to clean their toilets and toil for wages under the going rate. The leftist PDS'ers can't deal with middle class people who demand a fair wage - they want the illgeals who they know they can cheat.

Bill Shelton

Pam, I appreciate your raising this issue. But I believe that if "it" is displacement of long term residents by newcomers who bid up the cost of housing, then it has been going on for at least 20 years, and intensely so for the last 10.

I believe that the greatest toll this has taken is the unraveling of the community fabric as people who made up real neighborhoods, and maintained extended families, and coached the little league, and volunteered for civic activities, and kept neighborhoods safe by looking out for each other have have been squeezed out, along with their children. Some of these are artists, but a lot more aren't.

I would like to know if our city's leaders have any proposals at all to deal with this.

Bill Shelton

Pam, I appreciate your raising this issue. But I believe that if "it" is displacement of long term residents by newcomers who bid up the cost of housing, then it has been going on for at least 20 years, and intensely so for the last 10.

I believe that the greatest toll this has taken is the unraveling of the community fabric as people who made up real neighborhoods, and maintained extended families, and coached the little league, and volunteered for civic activities, and kept neighborhoods safe by looking out for each other have have been squeezed out, along with their children. Some of these are artists, but a lot more aren't.

I would like to know if our city's leaders have any proposals at all to deal with this.

Matt

I think that the only way to protect yourself from "it" is to own your home (something I unfortunately don't right now) - If you do that, then you would actually like gentrification, because your investment would pay off bigtime when the property values go up.

Yorktown Street

Matt, my wife and I do own our home, but we don't like gentrification. We're not planning on selling and moving to Billerica (unlike a number of people who grew up in Somerville!). We chose to live here, and we choose to stay. So, it hurts us when friends and neighbors who rent can't afford to stay here any longer.

Tricky

Ron - there's a parallel universe of involvement (to some extent) to the Little League-Pop Warner axis. The youth soccer program in the city has been growing by leaps and bounds every year, as witnessed by the dust-up earlier this year over available playing time on city fields.

I'd also be willing to wager that, despite the involvement of every yuppie family in town, the soccer crowd is still more diverse than what you'd find at a Little League game (JAR's selfless involvement notwithstanding).

Ron Newman

You addressed a comment to "Ron", but I haven't posted here at all. (If someone else here is also a Ron, my apologies.)

Tricky

Sorry, Ron; the last day before school with the Trickettes is frying my brain cells. My comment was directed towards Monsieur Shelton.

no quarter for artists

Ron: I'd wager that the increase in soccer players has more to do with Latin youth in the city than yuppies, as most of them don't have children.

In regards to the entire story: gentrification is a serious problem for many low income families, not just artists. I'm sick of hearing this whining about the needy artists when my friends' families are being forced out. Why should an "artist" get priority for affordable housing over any other profession?

Tricky

No Quarter: I'll wager you've never been anywhere near Powderhouse Square on a Saturday morning in the fall or spring. It's quite a mix of people - old Somerville, new Somerville, yuppies with kids, first- and second-generation immigrants from all over. Check it out.

In regards to your issues with gentrification: Any idea what can be done (if anything) to keep long-term renters in place? I'd like to see some sort of sliding property tax rebate for seniors who've been in their homes for 30-40 years, but I'm puzzled as to what can be done with the rental situation (which is what I assume your friends' families are dealing with).

I'm not sure


Imux

The article is discussing artist work spaces... not living spaces.

I have no idea what this article is intending to do except maybe throw a big pity party for the "artists". I've seen some of their work and 90% of the "art" over there is just not art to me. No wonder they're broke. Plus, if they decided to lay off the weed, booze and drugs they could maybe get a real job and afford their work spaces.

SOMERVILLE SPY

I agree Imux. I too have wondered about the artistic talents of these individuals.

Basically this article is trying to promote the artsy fartsy crowd that thinks they are the Soho of Somerville. Not so. They suck!

Artists?

I have artist friends who feel that the city should not be providing housing for artists. Go figure. We already have the Brickbottom Building, a huge building, devoted entirely to artist living and working spaces. Why do we need more? How about providing living spaces for underpaid gardeners, or custodians, or handymen, or even teachers?

YankeeH8ter

If we give more money for 'artists' we will be basking in the glory of their great talent. Remember when the Somerville Arts Council put up reflective tape on the Union Square buildings? That was such a profound artistic statement! I would have loved to be at the meeting. Moonbat #1 "So we put tape on the buildings to symbolize the heeling fabric of Somerville". Moonbat #2 "Dude, how about REFLECTIVE tape. That would be like a reflection on the soul. Don't bogie the bong man, pass it here.".

So why don't gardeners, custodians, teachers get special housing? Oh that's right they are EMPLOYABLE! They can actually relate to the world around them and have an actual skill or ability. They aren't spending the entire day sitting alone creating 'art' from their latest dumpster diving trip. They don't have time on their hands. Just because a hippie can't hold down a real job doesn't mean they should be subsidized. That holds for 95% of the alleged 'artists' out there. The other 5% while may not be your thing does show talent and mad props to them. The problem is 100% of the 'artists' falsely perceive their own talent.

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