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December 14, 2007



What a disaster!


Disaster? Do you mean the fire or the fact that Gretchen has to ask for cash donations? I pay taxes. Taxes are supposed to pay for the school system. Now the school, the parents and I'm sure even the students have to pony up to replace what was destroyed? If I believe what I read in comments here on the News Stan the Seaman Kotty can get funding for a 250K stump remover. Yet the City can't fund replacing what was lost in the fire? Is the school system now only responsible for the building itself? What about insurance? Shouldn't there be an insurance claim that will cover the losses?

Sorry to rant but much like the response to yesterday's killer blizzard it appears to me that Government is failing us again. Gretchen, please understand the bottom line point is you shouldn't have to or need to ask for donations to run a public school.

Ron Newman

I thought Somerville did a pretty good job responding to the "blizzard". And even if the school is insured, there's probably a high deductible, not to mention that insurance claims take a while to pay. The school needs to replace materials quickly so that it can reopen (in displaced classrooms).


The school fire is a disaster! They have the right to ask for money, right? You don't have to give anything, obviously.
JN, I think the "wish list" disappeared. The text is blue, but there is no link...

Nathan Henstra

Cabbie consider the difference between planned and unplanned expenses. The purchase of an expensive piece of machinery is researched, planned and budgeted, over time. A fire that burns an elementary school, disrupts its operations and scatters its staff and students is clearly different. It is immediate, dangerous, unplanned and there is no procedure for action when swift action is required. It is a DISASTER and asking for help is not unreasonable.
As for the governments failure during the blizzard, I must agree with you. It would have been better if the city had not caused it to snow that day. In retrospect, the city government probably regrets the choice.


How much money has been donated to date by the very well-compensated Administrators and teachers of the Somerville Public Schools, and School Committee members? These people should certainly have started quite a healthy fund before they need to ask parents for more money than they already give!


Tell us more about what you know about the compensation of Somerville Public Schools' employees.

Tank McNamara

A call by the Mayor to Staples and Home Depot will resolve many of the non-essential academic instructional resources.

You're Right

You're right....Staples, Home Depot, Target, Christmas Tree Shop, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid.....are all making lots of money operating their businesses in Somerville. Have they been approached? I should think Target or Home Depot or Staples could deliver a small truck load of school supplies! Target for one touts their community service projects. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! I guess it's easier to turn once again to the parents and the taxpayers.


Good point. And it would be great publicity as well. Joe, you bragged about how you got NStar to sponsor the fireworks, right? WHy cannot you get Staples and HomeDept to pitch in in this serious situation?


Despite any insurance that the ESCS may have, these kids need to be placed back in a school ASAP... if it requires Somerville residents helping out in the meantime, I have no problem with that. My daughter goes to a different school in Somerville... I just wonder how would I feel if it was HER school this happened to - and would I want everyone that could help assist these students get past a scary situation, in a new school environment...? if a goodie bag with basic student needs helps, I will help! I hope others will too! Some situations require immediate action while all the other logistics are sorted out and I think for the kids' sake, this is one of those situations.


the schools and the city have been working together to get donations from a ton of local big box businesses like target, staples, office max, and ikea. donations from tufts and mit have been delivered, book companuies are helping and so are groups like the somerville math fund, and many people who live here and in places all over the state like the towns of newburyport and worcester. the city isn't jsut asking parents and in fact left it to eht pta to ask parents if they wanted.

Good News

It's good to know that the city has worked successfully with schools and colleges in the area to help out. However, issuing a press release with a plea for help in finding school supplies, without including that information, appears to indicate that the residents alone are being asked to re-supply the school! I'd still like to know whether the fund was started with large donations by school and city administrators and elected officials. They can well afford to help and hopefully they have.

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