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March 22, 2008



"A dozen people" who want the mural painted over -- out of how many people who don't want it repainted. I don't understand why these so-called dozen are being given a voice. Why is this subject, just now, being addressed. I feel it's an insult to what the painter's were trying to convey/portray, which is that we are a diverse community.

Save the mural!!!

Please join our cause to save our mural from the ignorant!

Ron Newman

I agree with both of you. How can people join your cause?

I weep for the future

This is the 'gentrification' that people like Matt McLaughlin and Save Our Somerville have so eloquently discussed. People move here, pay way too much for their home, then want to change the community to fit their idea of what it should be. This is what started the problems in the Lexington Park area several years ago. And unfortunately, you ask why these people are given a voice? Because they are intelligent, vocal, organized, and they vote. The politicians fell all over themselves to make them happy when the Somerville kids let it be known that they didn't want their neighborhood to change. They can share it, but they can't take it!

Ron Newman

I don't think it's a gentry-vs-oldtimers issue, though. Nobody I know among the 'newcomers' in Davis Square thinks that destroying public art is a good idea.


Newcomers love arts. They appreciate arts. It's the blue collar types who think art is a luxury that only the spoiled elite can support.


Ron, you're correct. Many people move here BECAUSE of what they know about Somerville. Not everyone wants to turn it into Wellesley.

Ron, Peter Ungar of the Foss Park Neighborhood Task Force (I think it's called that) should have the info your requesting. I'll look for his e-mail and post it.


I disagree. Many of the people moving here want to be in the city, and close to Boston, but are horrified when they learn that this isn't Wellesley. Parents of young children using Lexington Park were aghast at teenagers being in the park. They were horrified if they heard a swear. There are some moving here as you describe, Ron, but many others who have paid $400,000 to $700,000 for a condo and want the city to be like the suburbs. I've seen it.

Ron Newman

Kate - I'm confused by your reply, because Peter Ungar is the guy who wants to destroy the murals. (See the article, and others in the Journal and Globe.)

dapper dan

This was a terrific project and I've been around long enough (more than long enough!) to remember the original idea to paint these murals. Many people in the community wanted the teens from the neighborhood to take pride and perhaps some ownership of the look of their own environs. It worked! It was a great idea. Unfortunately, time has worn down the paint and the scenes are not as contemporary as they could be. So, why not, with the cooperation of SOS and a few other youth groups and the Somerville Arts Council, re-commission the paintings of the murals? Take lots of photos of the current murals and invite any and all of the original artists to contribute. Come on, Walter, what's wrong with that idea?

it *is* funny

There is a facebook group of people who want to save the mural. If you log onto facebook, do a search on "Foss Park" and you'll see it. Not sure what they plan on doing, but that's a place to start.

also disagree

i think the Lexington Park issue is a bit understated. Some parents of young'uns were indeed too fussy, but shouldn't teenagers be requested to tone down the F.U.'s when two year olds are playing? Not an unreasonable request. But I know from personal experience that a larger issue was arriving at the park early a.m. with toddlers and finding condoms and needles. (yes, both used) If teens and their adoring parents refuse to attend to these very serious concerns, yes, you WILL "LOSE" your park. I don't believe anyone ever found a used condom or needle left behind by the obnoxious parents group.

New people certainly have the same right to come in and have their needs be respected. When that doesn't happen, they will say screw you and just take over.


Sorry, Ron - I better go back and read it again.


"but are horrified when they learn that this isn't Wellesley"

I can't believe that, unless they're from out-of-state and haven't done their homework. How stupid is that, to pay $400,00 - $700,000 for a home in a community you know nothing about. Shame on them. Everyone knows that parks are magnets for teenagers at night.

Save foss park

Foss Park looks alot better with the new trash barrels. The pool house has been painted and it does look better. Painting over the mural sends the wrong message to our community.

Foss Park is located in an urban area. There are going to be many people using the park. Diversity is what makes Somerville a great place to live.

Mr. Ungar thinks that if we do not live up to his vision of what our neeighborhood looks like, we are the enemy. If you read what he writes, the words he chooses gives him away immediately. He uses code like "properly maintained homes", Standards, gangs, etc.


the mural needs to go it is old clean up the park that mural was about gangs back then and unity those gangs are gone lets start with a clean slate get rid of the mural and MS-13 that hangs out there all summer

Ron Newman

The mural is not "about gangs" in any way.

The mural sucks

Look, it's not exactly a Da Vinci mural that needs preservation, OK? It's a rather amateurish mural that is fading away and looks like shit. Just paint the freaking thing over. Why don't they get some artists to paint it over with another mural? It could still depict the same dynamic kind of scene.


Here's the latest on this subject:

Sciortino: Keep the Foss Park mural, and support its Neighborhood Association. Foss Park is an incredible resource for Somerville. This valuable open space brings together a wide cross-section of our community for recreational opportunities throughout the year. In response to the recent discussion about the mural being painted over, I would like to see this issue laid to rest. I believe the mural adds incredible value to the park, depicting the diversity and vibrancy of the Somerville community. The question of whether to paint over it was raised by some neighbors, tossed out for public feedback, and the message was heard loud and clear. The mural is here to stay. I am excited to see so much recent interest in Foss Park, its history, and its value to Somerville residents. In recent years we have seen noticeable improvement in Foss Park. This has been the result of collaboration between city and state officials and the tireless advocacy of Peter Ungar and the Foss Park Neighborhood Association (FPNA). Together we have secured additional state funding, and have seen a number of improvements, with more to come. With the question of the mural behind us, I hope we can turn all of this recent attention into a positive, and get more people as committed to Foss Park as FPNA has been over the last several years. I would encourage residents to get involved with FPNA, and to support its dedication to this wonderful public resource. Moving forward, I know we can work together as a community to improve this valuable open space.


It is really funny how politicians and wannabe politicians cover each other.

Now the FPNA and the state are slapping each other 5. What a joke.


I personally think that the mural at foss park should stay on those wall because it shows the diversity and the closeness of the community that surrounds it. As someone said earlier in this forum, its not hurting anyone, its not "gang-related" and in all honesty, it is a "public" work of art. You don't see people complaining in italy over the Sistine Chapel. i happened to be lucky enough to be one of the terrific artists that painted it when I was in high school. I say "if it isnt broke, dont fix it." Thank You

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