mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Welcome to the Winter Hill discussion forum. Some members of our community are eager to have a place to post interesting news, chatter, events, or any sort of discussion related to living in the Winter Hill neighborhood of Somerville, MA.

This is an outgrowth of the Winter Hill Neighborhood Association's (WHNA) outreach efforts.

This is modeled on the successful community forum of Davis Square: https://davis-square.dreamwidth.org/ Thanks to Ron Newman for help in learning about the features of community forums and for wise moderation advice.

We hope to collect useful information about community issues, businesses, services, and sometimes just gossip or interesting tidbits related to our neighborhood.

Other Winter Hill relevant links:
Facebook group: https://is.gd/mAymd3

Google groups (mailing list): https://is.gd/RqRw95

WHNA is currently holding regular meetings on the first Wednesday of each month, 7pm, often at the St. Polycarp community room. But sometimes the meeting will be held in other neighborhood locations. We'll post the current meeting details prior to each meeting. 

I am Mary Mangan, current admin, and we'll see how this goes! Feel free to offer comments, suggestions, guidance, or any other thoughts you have on how this community should evolve. 

Off we go!

mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Let me cover the highlights from my side of the Hill:

Crime: city at a 30 year low, a 63% decrease since 1987. Same old stuff, a few house and car break-ins, package theft. More calls are of the nuisance and mental health (including substance abuse) issues. They are working on new strategies for handling those, more training. SPD committed to "procedural justice": fairness, transparency, opportunities for voice, impartiality. All police procedures now online + searchable.

NIT (neighborhood improvement team): program to address properties with chronic problems (abandoned, disrepair stuff). 38 cases from Sept 2016-Aug 2017. 20 active, 18 closed. Some of these need escalation to courts. They are working on them, challenges to closing them. But good to know that there's a way to kick these things into a process.

Airplane noise: considered the changes to Winthrop Tower plan a success for the city. Someone from da Ville is now officially on 33L Task Force. But still a known issue. 

https://www.somervillema.gov/somervision

Somervision review. 5 years into this process, where are we? Updates from several city departments. New jobs on track. Housing + affordable housing a hard problem in a hot market. But city has 100 homes permanent affordability initiative, trying to compete on buying units. Looking at developing a tool for tenants getting first option to buy property at market value (I'm not entirely clear on this, sounded like Denise Provost was working on this?). 

Development in "transformative" areas associated with Green Line. Includes an upcoming visioning meeting for Magoun-->Ball Sq area (see flyer here: https://imgur.com/a/j64rs ). Oct 24, 6-8pm at the VNA 259 Lowell St.

Green space: possibly the toughest thing in our high density situation. But re-furbing many existing parks, looking to create new. Look for upcoming meetings on Foss Park and Draw 7 park. 

Mobility issues: walking, biking, traffic calming strategies all underway. "Neighborways" slow street painting projects (might be one we want to look at as an event?). Watch for Vision Zero action planning meetings (reducing bike/pedestrian harm). Frustrated neighbor complained about insufficient bus service, city answer was unsatisfying. But MBTA is not easy to work with.

Sustainability/climate: carbon neutrality studies + planning underway. City wants input on climate--see this survey: tinyurl.com/y7dI4fc7  See also the Sustainaville site for these reports: https://www.somervillema.gov/sustainaville





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[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Yesterday I learned about a murder in our neighborhood, and I wanted to pass along what I found out. First reports incorrectly located the death to Assembly area, but it was actually in the Mystic housing. (There is a Canal St in Assembly, and a Canal Lane in Mystic).

Local coverage:

Patch https://patch.com/massachusetts/somerville/fatal-shootings-somerville-cambridge-overnight

Cambridge Day http://www.cambridgeday.com/2017/10/14/pair-of-fatal-overnight-shootings-took-place-in-cambridge-somerville-authorities-say/

WCVB: http://www.wcvb.com/article/two-men-dead-after-shootings-in-cambridge-somerville/13021764

I talked to Jesse Clingan about it at our community event last night, and he has posted this on his site: https://www.facebook.com/JesseClinganForWard4/posts/865060993643874

My heart goes to all who knew and loved this young man. Kevin Raymond, aged 20, was senselessly murdered early Saturday morning in Somerville.

Kevin attended the Healey Elementary School and graduated from Somerville High School in 2015. He was an athlete who excelled at football, playing for Somerville High and then going on Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire.

Kevin held such promise and now thanks to this violent act we will never know what could have been.

I trust the Somerville Police Department is working hard to bring Kevin's murderers to justice, but they need the public's help. If you have any information you think may be helpful please call the Somerville Police Department. Our community must not let this crime go unpunished. This was a violent act against us all. Rest In Peace Kevin.


Well said, Jesse. We will need to know what happened and think about ways we can work to prevent additional situations like this in the future.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
I know this is the far side of our Hill, and it appears to be mostly in Medford. But FYI, from Mark Niedergang's newsletter today:

The biggest development news in Ward 5 is the proposed 55-apartment, 5-story, mixed-use development at 519 Broadway (Somerville)/87 Medford Street (Medford). There will be a community meeting at the site this Tuesday, October 17, 6:30 PM, 519 Broadway, in the Office Liquidators store. The developer, Charlie Zammuto, will present the plans & address questions and concerns. I have a copy of the plans, if you would like to see them email me and I will send them to you.

Only a tiny portion of this development is in Somerville, most is in Medford, set back from Broadway along Medford St. So it is unlikely that the Somerville Zoning Board of Appeals will have much say over the project. The Medford Board of Appeals (zoning board) will be making the decisions about this project, possibly at their October 24th meeting.

Concerns so far in Somerville have focused on traffic impacts in the Magoun Square neighborhood. I don’t see parking as a likely concern. There are 91 parking spaces in the plans (more than enough in my opinion and that of Somerville Planning Director George Proakis) and it is highly unlikely that residents of the building will be able to get stickers or guest passes to park in Somerville. I would certainly fight against that with everything I could muster, if necessary.

I am waiting to take a position on this project until the meeting is held and we can hear from the neighbors and the community. At the Medford Zoning Board meeting on September 26, Joe Lynch, a few other Magoun Square residents, and I asked for more time to consider the plans and express our views. They granted that. Their next meeting is October 24th at 7 PM at Medford City Hall. I plan to attend to express concerns that Somerville residents have. If you have objections you can express them there, at the community meeting on October 17th, let me know, and/or email the Medford Board of Appeals c/o their clerk, Denis MacDougall, dmacdougall@medford-ma.gov
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Just spotted this in the Resistat newsletter this week.

Green Line Extension Meeting, 10/23
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Green Line Extension Team is holding a meeting to update the public about the project and about ongoing early construction in Somerville.

When/where: Mon., Oct. 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave. Contact info@glxinfo.comwith questions.


PS: if you aren't signed up for the Resistat newsletter, you should. Lots of great info on city programs, events, news, etc. Everyone I talk to at the Powder House says they heard about the access from Resistat. Here's this week's in full: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1106537889473&ca=94372e1c-7e68-4ae9-87d5-28456f2983fb
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Some folks may be aware of the lots on Sewall Street that are just sitting around, unloved, and under-used. The neighbors have decided that there could be some fun uses of this space, and so we're piloting a number of things to change the tune.

To get things rolling, some of the interested folks have started a web site to begin to drive the conversation. See it here: https://www.sewallcommons.org/ You can see a couple of "events" in that tab. I'll also post them here for ease of reading.

Sat, Oct 14: 5:30pm. In addition to thinking and talking about the space, we are trying out some events too. This Saturday (which looks like a lovely night) we're gonna have a drive-in movie. Ok, it's a walk-in movie. It will be a kid-friendly film. Bring your lawn chair or a blanket and let's try it out. Bring snacks. Let's gather and laugh.

Sat, Oct 28: 3-7pm. We're gonna have a Halloween festival. Let's bring food, fun, candy, decorations, costumes, whatever. Give the local kids another chance to wear their gear, meet the neighbors in a safe public space, and talk about what we might want this space to be. 




mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
This is actually the sign of fall that usually starts to put me in the mind of the upcoming cold weather--time to get your flu shot! Not only does this protect you from the misery of aches and fever and missed work days, it's a community service to get a shot.

We have neighbors who are getting cancer treatment, and they are counting on you to help us keep the flu away. When my nephew was getting leukemia treatments, I was so worried he'd get an otherwise-preventable infection that would be so hard on him. But--thanks to the neighbors, he was ok and now in remission (and all his vaccinations are back up to speed).

So please--for yourself, for your vulnerable neighbors--get protected.

Schedule available here: https://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/10/05/free-flu-shot-clinic
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Just spotted the announcement about the garages. The surface lots switched to 3hr parking around the time Trader Joe's opened. But I have to say it's not as bad as I expected after TJ's. The only time I had trouble parking there was on Saturday night. I'm over 2x a week for my workout class and it's not bad at all around 6pm on weekdays at least.

Here's the shareable tweet: https://twitter.com/AtAssemblyRow/status/915297917988196352

And here's the link to details: http://assemblyparking.com/

Starting October 16th, Assembly Row is introducing a new and improved rate structure to ensure visitors always have a place to park. Based on the changes, Assembly visitors can now park for up to 3 hours for FREE. Longer stays will be charged a nominal, hourly rate.

We have also simplified parking by implementing at each of the garages, ticketless gate systems that allow for credit/debit card entry and exit. Cards will not be charged before the 3 hour time frame, and your information will be automatically erased once you exit the garage.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Mary at Old Powder House, Sept 2017From the city website, an upcoming party with a special birthday brew. It's fancier dress than usual, but colonial outfits are also welcomed.

I'm pasting a snip here, see the link for full details.

Somerville to Cap off 175th Birthday Celebrations with “Birthday Soireé” in November

SOMERVILLE – Join the City of Somerville and Tufts University on Saturday, November 11, for the finale in a series of events celebrating the 175th anniversary of Somerville’s separation from Charlestown. The “175th Birthday Soireé” will be hosted in Tufts’ Aidekman Arts Center from 7 to 9 p.m. on November 11, and will feature live music by local and University artists, food from local restaurants, and a cash bar in addition to samples of a special edition 175th Birthday beer by Aeronaut Brewing Company. Attendees will also have access to the Aidekman Art Gallery and its current exhibit “Chinese Myth, Folklore, and History,” featuring a 74 foot mural by artist Yuan Yunsheng.


ratushebarl: (Default)
[personal profile] ratushebarl
A small question: is it just me or am I, located near City Hall, hearing church bells more this year? I notice two different peals sounding the hour at 3 and 6 PM. Not complaining, I love them, just curious which churches it is and whether that's new or I had just not been noticing them in previous years.
[personal profile] ian_winterhill
The Affordable Housing Organizing Committee, the Union United Coalition, and the Winter Hill Neighborhood Association are hosting a candidates’ forum in the lead-up to the November municipal election. The questions posed during the forum will focus on issues of affordable housing, development, and displacement in Somerville.

All candidates have been asked to fill out a questionnaire on affordable housing and development without displacement. The questions asked at the forum will be a subset of the questions in the questionnaire. We will publicize the answers online a week before the forum, to allow the greatest possible number of residents the chance to learn about the candidates’ positions on these important community issues.

Hope to see you there!

You can RSVP here
 
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Mayor Joe Curtatone meets with Winter Hill neighbors on park issueA number of Winter Hillens gathered near the open lots adjacent to the Star Market to talk with the Mayor about possible ways to add more park/greenspace to our neighborhood. It was a productive meeting and we were offered the city's support for taking the ideas further.

We gathered near the Sewall St open lots to discuss some ideas and ways to proceed. But these conversations will continue, and we want to hear your ideas too. Our next WHNA "social" meeting will be held there--come by and have a look and think about the potential for the space and what would work for the neighborhood.

Next WHNA: the parking lot at 24 Sewall St, on October 4 at 7pm

(in case of rain we'll go to Winter Hill Brewing again)





mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Just saw the city announcement of the upcoming Resistats. I have a commitment already for the Ward 4 night, but that's fine since I'm in Ward 5 anyway. I just prefer the Ward 4 info as it's usually more relevant for me. Maybe someone can report back in the comments about ward-specific stuff for any wards we are in. 

City link: https://www.facebook.com/SomervilleCity/photos/a.106724362713791.3870.106715832714644/1631907100195502/?type=3&theater

Copy/Pasted details:

Come one, come all to this fall's ResiStat neighborhood meetings. Twice a year we hold these meetings in each Ward to bring you neighborhood updates, city data, public safety information, and to give you a chance to connect directly with the Mayor, Aldermen, School Committee members, other elected officials, and City staff.
 
This round we're also going to be doing a deep dive on SomerVision (somervillema.gov/somervision), Somerville's community-written comprehensive plan covering 2010 to 2030. Since we're nearly at the halfway point of the plan, now is a good time to look at what's been accomplished in key areas like affordable housing, job creation, open space, transit, and development; and to look at what's still in the works.
ResiStat meetings run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and we serve pizza and other snacks starting at 6. (Come straight from work and don't worry about being hangry!) Spanish, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole interpretation will be available at all meetings.

Here's the schedule:
Ward 4 (Winter Hill, Ten Hills): Wed., Sept. 27, Healey School, 5 Meacham St.
Ward 1 (East Somerville, Assembly Sq.): Tue., Oct. 3, East Somerville Community School, 50 Cross St.
Ward 2 (S. Union Sq., Perry and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, Beacon St. area): Wed., Oct. 4, Argenziano School, 290 Washington St.
Ward 3 (N. Union Sq., Prospect Hill, Spring Hill, Central Hill): Thurs., Oct. 5, Somerville High School cafeteria, 81 Highland Ave. (Use the Field House doors for an accessible entrance.)
Ward 6 (greater Davis Sq. neighborhood): Tues., Oct. 17, Somerville Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave.
Ward 5 (Magoun Sq., NE Ball Sq., Cedar & Lowell St. areas, NW Porter Sq.): Wed., Oct. 18, Kennedy School, 5 Cherry St.
Ward 7 (West Somerville, Teele Sq.): Wed., Nov. 1, West Somerville Neighborhood School, 177 Powder House Blvd.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Just saw this announcement and wanted to share with the neighborhood. Please alert your networks to this help with DACA at this precarious time. It also says "sponsorships available". 

https://www.facebook.com/SomervillePublicSchools/posts/10154697912157015

Residents are invited to join a legal clinic on September 22nd and September 29th at The Welcome Project. The focus will be on DACA renewal paperwork support. www.welcomeproject.org
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
I was reading some of the emails associated with the airplane noise issue and came across this group today. It looks like some of their issues are quite similar to ours. Maybe we should have them talk at one of our meetings in the future.

Here's what I was pointed to in the email: http://www.cambridgeresidentsalliance.org/2017_platform

Might be worth looking at this "Right to the City" resource as well.

Anybody know these folks?  
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
Just saw this new board forming. I know some of our membership fills these descriptions. Have a look and see if you would be interested in this community service.

http://somerville.wickedlocal.com/news/20170914/somerville-seeks-members-for-innovation-and-opportunity-lab

[sample snippet]

Somerville recently announced the launch of the Innovation and Opportunity Lab advisory committee to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the city....


The committee will be made up of nine members, each serving two-year terms with options to serve longer, and will be from local nonprofits, academic institutions, residents and workers.



Here's the city post about it: https://www.somervillema.gov/news/mayor-curtatone-launches-somerville-innovation-and-opportunity-lab
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
HeatSmart CoolSmart SomervilleAt the Climate Commission meeting last night, we got an update on the heat pumps program that's running now. If you have been thinking about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you really ought to take a look at these new and high-tech super efficient devices. Or if you know your heating equipment is getting up there in age, you should at least come and learn about these. And they can do heating as well as cooling. In my house, it looks like I'll be able to reduce my natural gas heating a lot and rely on my solar for much of my heating and cooling.

I've been resisting air conditioning over the years for a variety of reasons, but this new style of heating and cooling tech I can have both, with much less environmental impact (and noise). Also right now there are big rebates and low interest loans. It's hard to know how much longer good programs like this will run in our current political environment, you know?

So this event will give you the backstory on the tech. https://www.somervillema.gov/events/2017/10/04/heat-pumps-101

Wed Oct 4 2017 - 6:30pm

LOCATION
West Somerville Community School Cafeteria
177 Powderhouse Blvd.
Somerville, MA 02144
secretlyironic: smug bird icon (Default)
[personal profile] secretlyironic
This isn't strictly in Winter Hill but it's just down the way-- there's a candidate meet & greet  this evening at Workbar in Union Square if you want to shake hands with alderman & mayoral candidates and see what's going on with them.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
The TEKKK Waypoint that leads aircraft over SomervilleI attended that semi-impromptu meeting in Medford the other night, that I heard about at the last minute. Since it was at the bottom of Main St it was easy for me to get to. It ran from about 7-9:30pm, and about 80 people turned up for this. They mad.

Presented by a couple of Medford volunteers who have been monitoring airplane noise for a long time, it was a very helpful overview of the issues and an attempt to drum up support for some actions we need to take. They had done the presentation earlier this summer and the summary of that can be found on the city of Medford's website here: Aircraft Noise Update, June 7, 2017.

I'm going to relay what I gathered from this meeting. Note that aviation is not my field, and some details may be flawed. It will be a little long, so I'm going to put the rest below the cut for the ease of reading on mobile. Click the "more" for the rest of the details.

Read more... )
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill
My housemate and I have been commenting and grousing about the uptick in airplane noise lately. So this tweet from Christine Barber caught my attention:

https://twitter.com/Barber4StateRep/status/907299353139847177


Check out this mtg on airplane noise tonight: Logan Aircraft-Noise Working Group, on Mon, Sept. 11 at the South #Medford Fire Station, 7-9pm


My housemate also remembered this post at the Davis Square Dreamwidth that is relevant: https://davis-square.dreamwidth.org/3628591.html "Millennium Tower Boston and effect on Runway 33L & plane noise". It seems we could be in for a more permanent problem with this noise if we don't start making some of our own noise about it.

Maybe we should discuss this at an upcoming meeting.
[personal profile] ian_winterhill
Below are the notes from our September meeting. Please note that our next meeting will be outside, in the parking lot at 24 Sewall St, on October 4 at 7pm. In case of rain, we’ll just meet at the Brewery.

ABJ Property

  • Sold to a developer for $2.7M
  • No development plans have been proposed yet, but it is assumed , that it will be a 4 story building (1st floor retail, 3 floor of apartments) as it is proposed in the Gilman Square Plan (see: https://www.somervillebydesign.com/planning/station-areas/gilman-square/)
  • The site has a sewer main bisecting it so there is possibility for a land swap with the city and a reconfiguration of the intersection.
  • Neighbors are concerned about building height, the possible tenants for the commercial space and green space, among others
  • Justin sent a letter requesting to talk with the developer. It was agreed that the WHNA also send a letter and ask to meet with the developer

Star Market Site
  • At a meeting about the Art Farm, the Mayor said they are reviewing three possible sites for a new Police Station and the Star Market site is one of those three.
  • Stephen hosted a neighborhood gathering in one of the lower Star Market parking lots on Sewall St (the one closer to Temple St.). He’s been working to retake the space as active, outdoor, community space. The Mayor showed up at the event and said that it is possible the City could take just that lot by eminent domain and turn it into a park. Stephen will keep us updated. He’s planning a September movie night in the space. TBC
Climate Action Plan
  • Matt, Mary and Ian are all participating in different working groups for the City’s Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan. More info here: http://www.somervillema.gov/sustainaville
Zoning Overhaul
  • A few folks went to the Zoning Overhaul Open Houses. The Mayor and his administration have put together a revised proposal for an overhaul of zoning for the whole city. This is a big deal and challenging to really engage with it as a resident. No one could report back exactly what it will mean for Winter Hill. There are no more open houses, but it is likely that the Alderman will now take it up in earnest. To find info about past and upcoming Board of Alderman meetings, go here: http://somervillecityma.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx and for info about the zoning overhaul as proposed by the Administration: https://www.somervillezoning.com (I think Article 14, “Administration” is worth trying to read).
Candidate Forum
  • Ian has been in touch with folks from Union United and the Affordable Housing Organizing Committee about jointly hosting a candidate forum for the contested seats on the Board of Alderman (and possibly the Mayor).
  • The proposed date is Tuesday, October 10 and the theme will be "neighborhood development and affordable housing." The questionnaire is nearly complete and will be sent to the candidates. The in person event will repeat and follow up on some of those questions. The filled out questionnaires (with responses from candidates) will also be made available.
  • Let Ian know if you want to help with organizing the event.
Web Presence
  • Mary has been administering our Dreamwidth page: https://whna.dreamwidth.org
  • No way of knowing the traffic, but folks have visited it some. Seems like FB is still the dominant platform and people appreciate the reminders via the google group emails.
  • So we are still in testing mode. Mary is going to create a “digest” of the dream width page and distribute that via google group.
  • A couple other options were suggested: Next Door, and a learning platform (Jen will check on Harvard’s)
Next Meeting
  • Vacant Lot Take Over, October 4 @ 7pm, 24 Sewall St. This is one of the back parking lots for the Star Market Site that Stephen has been transforming into community space. If we get rained out, we’ll meet at the Winter Hill Brewing Company
  • We also decided to try a social type meet up every other month and the formal, business meeting the other months.
  • Jeff also offered to host a future meeting at the Brewery if we scheduled it on a Monday night.

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