Planning Board to continue discussing Federal Realty’s affordable housing waiver

This story was originally published in the Somerville Journal

Tensions were high at Thursday night’s Planning Board meeting, as Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) again asked the board for an affordable housing waiver.

Multiple aldermen and dozens of community members stood up in the Aldermanic Chambers April 24, urging the Planning Board to deny the request. Though the board fully intended on voting on the waiver, they decided to continue the discussion and reconvene on May 18.

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Somerville Spotlight: Poet GennaRose Nethercott

This post was originally published in the Somerville Journal. 

Growing up with a writer as a father, GennaRose Nethercott has always loved literature. For her, the arts provide connections with the world, connections with human beings.

The Somerville resident can remember being a little girl, listening to her father recite classic poems. And she remembers dictating her poems to her father, before she was able to write, and he would record them for her.

“I have a very well-bedazzled Lisa Frank folder with my poems,” Nethercott said with a laugh. “Both of my parents have always been very encouraging of me and my brother’s creativity and passions.”

After receiving her poetry degree from Hampshire College in 2013, the Vermont native picked up her 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter and hit the road, traveling throughout the United States and Europe, writings poems-to-order, which typically feature a free verse narrative style.

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Somerville’s Teen Empowerment hosts 11th annual Peace Conference

On Saturday afternoon the East Somerville Community School auditorium was filled with elected officials, families, students, and other city residents, eagerly awaiting the 11th annual Youth Peace Conference.

The conference, hosted by Teen Empowerment, stemmed from Boston’s own Youth Peace Conference, started in 1993 to combat gang violence between five rival gangs.

According to a press release from last week, the conference “set the stage for dramatic improvement in the lives of thousands of youth.”

This year’s conference, “Views from the Ville: Fact vs. Fiction,” tackled topics such as immigration, racism, displacement, policing, and “fake news.” Shaheim Grant and Janelle Messina were the masters of ceremonies.

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NBC’s Lester Holt visits Tufts University for annual Murrow forum

This story originally appeared in the Somerville Journal. 

In a time when journalists often find themselves in the cross hairs of national debates over what’s truth and what isn’t, students at Tufts University had the chance to hear from one of the country’s most recognizable newsmen.

Tufts hosted their 12th annual Edward R. Murrow Forum on Issues in Journalism Wednesday, April 12. This year, the guest speaker was Lester Holt, anchor for NBC Nightly News.

Sponsored by the university’s Tisch College, Murrow Center, and Film and Media Studies program, the forum is designed to tackle issues facing the media. The forum is dedicated to Edward Murrow, a legendary CBS journalist who pioneered mass media efforts.

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Somerville’s Hoyt-Sullivan Playground to see renovations in coming weeks

In just a few weeks, the Hoyt-Sullivan Playground on Central Street will be undergoing major renovations.

The playground was last renovated in 1995 after the community pooled their resources to cover a portion of the funding.

“There’s a real community spirit about this park,” said Director of Parks and Open Space Arn Franzen.

Franzen said the new design will feature more compartmentalized areas designed for specific age groups and uses, better lighting and visibility and a more natural playground environment.

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Aldermen approve bond authorization for new Somerville High School

This story was originally published in the Somerville Journal.

Somerville High School will soon begin a massive transformation.

On Wednesday the Board of Aldermen voted to authorize a bond for additions and renovations at the school.

The vote was approved by all nine of the 11 aldermen present. Matt McLaughlin and Alderman Dennis Sullivan were not in attendance.

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Somerville High to supply free feminine products

This story was originally published in the Somerville Journal. 

Three Somerville High School students are fighting the stigma attached to menstruation.

In February, Samantha Fillmore, Vivian Ferraz and Katia Mathews started a conversation about the often-taboo subject, and created a petition for the school to supply free feminine hygiene products in all of the girls’ restrooms.