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January 16, 2008



It's too bad that Captain Cabral wasn't appointed as Chief of Police in this city. It wqould have saved this city taxpayers dollars and we would have had a Chief who knows the city.

I guess you can chalk this up to the Mayor's administration as not being able to see the forest but for the trees.

One of our own being considered to work for a potential President of the United States but not good enough to run this city's police department. Unbelievable!

Ron Newman

Was that next-to-last item really necessary?


I don't particulary care how many visitors your website gets, but I'm a web nerd. When you say "visits" do you mean hits (page loads) or unique visitors?

Bill Shelton

Plowing was much better before gentrification. Clearly we need plowing to be done by the DPW only on streets with many affordable housing units or longtime residents.

The rich yuppies can pay for their own plowing, and a $10,000 plowing tax should be assessed on yupppie households and condo owners to pay for the extra affordable housing and longtime resident plowing.


I think DPW does a great job of plowing out the streets. Every snow storm I have been impressed with how quick they are able to clean off the various streets, and I do not live on a major street. Personally I find it safer for me to walk in the street on my way to work, compared with the various sidewalks I walk on, which most landowners do not bother with shoveling their portion of the sidewalk. I often see many other commuters choosing to walk in the street because they feel it's safer than walking on the sidewalk.

Air Force 2

I heard a rumour that Captain Cabral may be moving over to a major position of management/investigation in the Boston FBI office. Cabral is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is thought to be well suited for the Bureau by many people in the know.

It would be a tremendous loss for the city but in either case, but he certainly deserves it. Good luck, Mike!


I've got a hunch that's not the real Bill Shelton above. Whoever you are - where do you get off? Whether they're rich yuppies or condo owners or both they pay taxes they're citizens of Somerville just like you are.

Why is it that so many "long time" residents feel such a bitter hostility towards anyone who's done better than they have and those who moved to Somerville after the 80s ? --- the 1880s that is.


Krystle - I agree with you. Re: residential sidewalks that aren't properly cleared -- I think those in question should be fined, by adding on a charge to their property tax.


You have got to remember cabbie that at one time this city was a city of Brahmin's. When the first Italian family moved onto my street 60 years ago a few of the Brahmin's started moving out of the city and then God forbid the Irish starting moving onto my street back then and the Brahmin's moved out so fast they left their maids and butlers wandering the streets!

"And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God"

John Collins Bossidy

It's all about what "class" your in and always will be.

To Kate

What if that was your elderly little grandmother that couldn't shovel her sidewalk and can't afford to have someone do it for them?

What then?

Riddle me this.....

Tell me is it that the sidewalk becomes your property only when there is snow on it. Answer: It does not, it is still city property. You cannot be legally required to clear city property of snow. I do it for my own convenience, and my own safety. However, it is the city's responsibility. Plus I don't care to be the test case. How would City Hall react if I tore up the sidewalk this summer and put down flagstones? Care to venture a guess?

Ron Newman

Would you prefer that the city raise taxes so that they have enough funds to clear all the residential sidewalks? That's the only real alternative that I can see to the current law.


Yeah, I'd rather shovel my sidewalk then pay extra taxes so someone can be paid $15 an hour to do it really really slowly. I'll shovel my neighbor's too if they want me to.


I like the defecation story. Kudos to the Somerville News! In theme with the newspaper's quality.
Mr. Norton, you should start a Fecal Matters column. I think it would work well, as many contributions already belong there.
Furthermore, I nominate the Somerville News for the Fecal Online Newspaper of the year!


To: To Kate - You're correct, I don't know why I didn't think of that aspect.

Bill Shelton

Cabbie is correct. I did not make the post that has my name on it. Apparently, some reader couldn't make it to the restroom and left that on the website. I understand why he or she would be embarrassed, but we really should take responsibility for what we leave behind, especially if it's the best that we can manage.


This, from the other paper:

Seniors Say They’re Snowbound and Can’t Get Help

Thu Jan 17, 2008, 10:44 AM EST
SOMERVILLE - For some, it’s time for skis and snowball fights. For others, it’s a matter of missing a meal or being stuck in the house for days. Longtime seniors complain last month’s snowstorm had them housebound because of the poor condition of the sidewalks and corners. “This is the worst I’ve seen in 77 years, and I think it’s going to get worse,” said Vernon Street resident Ethel Christian, 91, who was stuck in her house for two days after the snowstorm last month. “I live in a corner house, and the snow plows plowing around me piled the snow right up my sidewalk. I couldn’t get out because I was plowed in. It blocked my driveway and froze up … I’m so mad at the city.” As a woman who worked for the city and shoveled many driveways and sidewalks in her time, Christian is very upset at what’s going on in her neighborhood today. Part of the problem is that she doesn’t know her neighbors any longer, and there are no kids in the neighborhood to help shovel her out. “They plow the snow up on my corner and sidewalk. No one could walk up the sidewalk here,” she said. Bailey Road resident Mary Pasanisse, 91, said she called several city departments and 311 several times, but received no help and was also stuck home after the last snowstorm. Finally after two days, the Council on Aging sent over a kid from the Boys and Girls Club who shoveled her out. “I just needed the stairs and sidewalks cleared, but no one came to clean it,” she sighed. “I couldn’t get out, and I was afraid someone would fall.” That’s just what happened to Meals on Wheels driver Donna Talbot, who slipped on a stretch of icy sidewalk and stairs, hurt her face and got a black eye while trying to deliver a meal to a senior in a Beacon Street building.
At least two Meals on Wheels drivers were injured from slipping on icy sidewalks in Somerville. “I couldn’t find a clean, safe area or anything to hold on to,” Talbot said. “It was really hard to park, too. They did such a poor job of cleaning the snow. There was no way you could park near the curb — there was no curb!”
She also noted that the building management had not bothered to clean up, even though a number of seniors live in the building. She also called 311 and reported it, but never heard back. Age 61 and delivering 30-35 meals a day, Talbot speculates that if it’s hard for her, how much worse it is for older seniors in a city that did not do a good job of cleaning up after the snow. “If it’s not safe for us to deliver food, how do they even get to the store,” she asked. Janet Hand, a manager at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services, pointed out that when winter comes, there are certain issues that need to be taken care of.
“Public safety is a concern. Cleaning the streets, but banking the snow on street corners and bus stops, is unkind,” she said. “When the city just concentrates on cleaning main roads, it makes it hard for a lot of seniors and disabled people.”
City officials said Somerville did a better job of snow removal this year, and that plows and DPW workers were busy cleaning the streets around the clock. But where sidewalks and driveways are concerned, it is the responsibility of residents and businesses, and the city urges folks to respond after a snowstorm and help their neighbors if they are not able to shovel themselves. But that means little for folks who are snowed in and have no neighbors to help them. During last month’s snowstorm, Hand said they received 15-20 calls a day on snow-removal issues, and lost four volunteer escorts, who use the MBTA system, to snow-related injuries in Somerville. They invested in gravity aids that can be clipped over shoes for added traction for all their Meals on Wheels drivers after two got injured from falls last month. Hand fell on ice last year. She injured her leg and had to have a metal plate inserted in a surgical procedure. She was one of many who pointed out that where snow removal is concerned, Cambridge did a much better job of clearing sidewalks and corners than Somerville, and none of their volunteers were hurt in Cambridge. One reason is that Cambridge has a snow abatement program in which seniors can call the city so they don’t get ticketed. It also has teens signing up with the Council on Aging to help shovel people out when they need help. Residents can also call the city reporting dangerous areas so the city can respond to clean them. “Here in Somerville, we have seniors calling us when they get tickets, and all we can tell them is to appeal. Sometimes I will go for them if they can’t,” Hand said. Cindy Hickey, director of Somerville Council on Aging, is trying to start a similar program for seniors in Somerville, but that could take a while. Meanwhile, Somerville seniors facing the rest of winter and more snowstorms remain helpless. “I’ve been working 10 years with Elder Services, and I just can’t believe how bad it is,” Talbot said. “Something’s got to be done,” Christian said. “It’s more about people bonding together and helping one another because we are going to have more snowstorms this year,” Hand added.


Hey Kate, stop being so much of a cityhall kiss ass!

Captain Cabral

Does anyone know if Captain Cabral is still with the Somerville P.D.? Or did he accept any of the jobs tthat were offered to him recently?

If he left it would be a great loss to this city.


HOME DEPOT should carry diapers or just have an area where you can push one out if the bathroom is full.

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