Following a national trend of local newspaper closures, the Somerville Wire — a municipal news service which has now served the city of Somerville for the better part of three years — will soon close its doors for the final time.
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The Massachusetts Department of Correction announced on Jan. 24 its plans to close the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord, a medium-security men’s prison, by summer 2024, falling in line with Gov. Maura Healey’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget recommendation.
The City of Somerville has created an overnight warming center for unhoused residents that will stay open for the winter season. Located at The Armory at 191 Highland Ave., the new center is a partnership with two local nonprofits: Housing Families and the Somerville Homeless Coalition.
Community members gathered at the Somerville Public Library West Branch on Jan. 29 to critique an updated commercial area plan for Davis Square. Somerville city planners shared their progress on their plan to redesign Davis Square’s commercial core, then opened the floor to local residents for feedback.
In late January, Somerville became the first city in Massachusetts to pass a resolution calling for an enduring ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution, which was brought forth by City Council President Ben Ewen-Campen, was passed in a 9–2 vote after close to three hours of testimony and deliberation on Jan. 25.
Representatives from the City of Somerville gathered feedback from community members at two public meetings earlier this month in order to update the city’s conservation and recreational development goals for the next seven years.
Mayor Ballantyne rejects police chief candidate, sending search for a replacement into a fourth yearBy Anna Fattaey | December 4
Somerville Mayor Katanja Ballantyne and Somerville’s Police Chief Search Committee announced on Nov. 9 that their search for the next chief of the Somerville Police Department will continue. Somerville has been in the process of selecting the new chief since December 2020, when former Chief David Fallon retired.
Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and City Clerk Kimberly Wells officially removed the gender identification requirement from Somerville marriage certificates on Oct. 19. Rather than having to select either “male” or “female” on their marriage certificates, Somerville couples can now choose to leave this field blank.
On Nov. 2, the City of Medford broke ground on the half-mile Clippership Connector which will connect over 10 miles of preexisting greenways and bike paths whichreach from Boston to as far north as Lynn.The path, expected to be completed by 2025, will be the culmination of over 10 years of work by the city and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as multiple civil society organizations.
Somerville has a rat problem. “I mostly see them in parks and around my house, especially at night,” Elizabeth Lohr, who lives near Davis Square, said. “You can hear them scurrying around and sometimes darting into the path.”
A Tufts student might soon represent local residents as city councilor in Somerville’s upcoming election cycle. Jack Perenick, a member of the Class of 2025, is running for the Ward Five city councilor position against Naima Sait, an Algerian immigrant and long-time educator. At bimonthly meetings, the Somerville City Council is responsible for passing ordinances on issues ranging from zoning laws, creating special boards and commissions and approving mayoral budget modifications. Ward Five encompasses the center of Somerville and includes the business districts of Magoun Square, Ball Square and Porter Square. Council positions are part-time and span two years.
Medford City Councilor Rick Caraviello is running against incumbent Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn in the city’s municipal election on Tuesday. Both candidates plan to give Tufts students more recreational and dining opportunities and revitalize the city as a whole.
Shortly before the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Affirmative Action in June, Massachusetts legislators introduced a state bill that, if passed, would discourage colleges and universities from using admission practices that favor wealthier applicants.
Clean Water Action and the Mystic Valley area branch of the NAACP held a public forum at Medford City Hall on Saturday to discuss the problem of lead contamination in drinking water and how communities in the Mystic Valley area can protect themselves against it. The presentation was hosted by Maureo Fernández y Mora, Clean Water Action’s state co-director for Massachusetts. Fernández y Mora focused on the relationship between environmental contamination and social justice.
Somerville hosted its first-ever Civic Day on Sept. 30, where visitors were invited to learn about a variety of city-wide departments. In an interview with the Daily, Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne shared details about the city’s aspirations and priorities. The event, which took place at Somerville High School, focused on introducing residents to the city’s government services and programs. Along with the mayor, the city’s Rat Czar and several councilors were also in attendance.
The Medford City Council voted to proceed with plans for a $50 million to $60 million state-of-the-art research and lab building designed by Ci Design — an architecture firm specializing in science and research — at a meeting on Oct. 3. The development will be located at 243 Mystic Ave.