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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, April 14, 2024

News | Local


Somerville School Committee approves evangelical private school

The Somerville School Committee voted on April 25 to approve Real Life Learning Center’s application to establish a K–8 private school. The vote came after a months-long standoff between Somerville’s subcommittee on Education Programs and Instruction and Vida Real Church, the founders of RLLC, who say they were unfairly targeted based on their religious beliefs.


Somerville will open a supervised consumption site where people who use drugs can use safely

The city of Somerville partnered with Fenway Health in March to prepare for the opening of a supervised consumption site where people who use drugs can consume drugs in a safe environment under medical supervision to prevent overdoses. Somerville signed a $40,000 contract with the healthcare and research organization — which caters specifically to people in the LGBT community, people of color and other underserved communities — to determine optimal locations for the supervised consumption site, establish a community advisory board and study existing models of drug use monitoring to determine how the site should operate.


Somerville to construct $2.5 million Poplar Street Pump Station

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley announced last month that she had secured $8 million of federal funding for the Massachusetts 7th Congressional District, which she represents, and that $2.5 million of that funding will be allocated for a Somerville project called the Poplar Street Pump Station. The project is slated to begin construction in fall 2022 and will provide critical stormwater management infrastructure to the city.


Somerville police staffing study sparks controversy over speed of reform

Local activists and some elected officials have criticized a recent study of Somerville Police Department’s staffing. The City of Somerville announced on March 8 that its Racial and Social Justice Department had contracted a consulting firm to conduct a study on the Somerville Police Department’s staffing procedures, prompting frustration over the speed of police reform in Somerville.


Green Line Extension contributes to increased displacement risk of Somerville tenants

The MBTA Green Line Extension officially began service with the opening of its Union Square Branch on March 21, 2022. The addition extends the Green Line’s service from Lechmere station to the new Union Square station in Somerville. The Medford branch of the GLX, which will terminate at the Medford/Tufts station currently under construction next to the Joyce Cummings Center, is slated to open in summer 2022.


Fare-free buses are a possibility for Medford and Somerville

A bill proposed by representatives of Medford and Somerville that would establish a one-year fare-free bus pilot program within the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is moving through the Massachusetts House and Senate, having recently been referred to the Joint Committee on Transportation.


Massachusetts ballot initiative to reevaluate employment of app-based drivers

Voters in Massachusetts may see a ballot question about the employment and benefit status of gig drivers during this November’s elections. Senator Elizabeth Warren and a coalition of labor groups have vehemently opposed the ballot question, while rideshare companies like Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart have backed the initiative. There is a possibility that the state legislature intervenes before then, eliminating the need for a ballot question.


Tufts faculty, students collaborate with local organization to study community climate resilience

A team of Tufts students and faculty members is working with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), a Cambridge-based grassroots organization that helps communities prepare for climate change-induced severe weather, to survey Chinatown and Roxbury residents on their level of preparedness for extreme weather events. The aim of the survey is to examine how social connectedness within communities can help build climate resilience. 


Somerville awards $2.7 million in Community Preservation Act funding

The City of Somerville awarded $2.7 million in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to various organizations in the area. This funding is funneled annually to organizations that work to preserve historic sites, maintain open spaces, develop outdoor recreation facilities or create affordable housing. Funding recipients include the Elizabeth Peabody House, the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development and the Somerville Museum.