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Councilors consider how to improve internet access for all in Somerville


Councilor-at-Large Jake Wilson addresses the thorny question of parking in and around the new housing units, encourages Somervillians to attend upcoming ZBA hearing


At Long Last, Five New T Stations

The Green Line Extension is finally complete. Passenger service will begin on the Medford Branch’s five new T stops—East Somerville, Gilman Square, Magoun Square, Ball Square, and Medford/Tufts—next Monday, Dec. 12. Passenger service begins at 4:45 a.m.

The City is hosting two community celebrations. The first will be a morning rush-hour celebration in Ball Square on opening day. Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, advocates, and City staff will greet riders at the Ball Square T Station, which has a good-sized public gathering area. The community will celebrate the occasion with a band and free opening day memorabilia. Exact timing is dependent upon MBTA activities planned for the day. The City will announce specific times soon and will post them to

The main event, “Go Green Line!” will take place on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Somerville High School, 81 Highland Ave. from 2-4 p.m. (rain or shine). The indoor-outdoor celebration will feature a kid’s choo-choo train ride outside (weather permitting), indoor children’s activities, an oral history project, live music, a food truck, hot cocoa, and more. 

“We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the beginning of full Green Line service in Somerville. Expanding public transit access is vital to creating a more equitable future, more jobs, cleaner air, and greater sustainability,” said Ballantyne. “As a frequent rider myself, I look forward to seeing my neighbors on the T soon – and at our two upcoming celebrations.”

Get Festive

The annual Holiday Lighting on the City Hall Concourse, followed by a meet-and-greet with Santa Claus in the Somerville High School Cafeteria, will take place Thursday, Dec. 8. All children who attend will receive a special gift and have an opportunity to take a photo with Santa. Activities begin at 5 p.m. with live entertainment prior to the lighting. In addition to a fresh-cut tree, this year the City is also lighting up and decorating a stand of six living pines on the City Concourse. Santa Claus will, as always, be escorted by the Somerville Fire and Police Departments making his grand entrance atop a shiny red fire truck. Light refreshments will be served.

The eighth annual Union Square Holiday Stroll is Saturday, Dec. 10 from noon-6 p.m. Dozens of locally-owned businesses are ready to help stuff your stockings, deck your halls with local art, and fill you with tasty treats. Storefronts will be decorated and the “snazziest” storefront will win a prize. If you take a selfie and post it on Instagram, you could win up to $500, and for every tagged post, SOMERNOVA will donate $25 to the Union Square SNAP match (supplemental nutrition assistance program) to help fight food insecurity.

A ceremonial Menorah Lighting event will take place on the City Hall Concourse on Sunday, Dec. 18, beginning at 5 p.m. All members of the community are invited to join Mayor Ballantyne, Rabbi Eliana Jacobowitz, and city staff for a brief ceremony and photo on the City Hall Concourse. A short informal program of traditional songs and sing-alongs will be performed, special gifts will be available for children, and light refreshments will be served. The Menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.

The self-guided Illuminations Tour will return this year. The Somerville Arts Council will provide an online map featuring the best and brightest holiday displays. Homes and businesses will be listed on the Illuminations Tour Map, which will be available on or around Thursday, Dec. 8. The Illuminations Bike Tour will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17 (rain date Dec. 18), departing from City Hall at 6 p.m. City-wide caroling will take place on Thursday, Dec. 15 from 6-8 p.m. (rain date Dec. 16).

For more information on the city’s holiday events, please call 311 (617-666-3311 from outside the city).

Low-Income Rental Opportunities

The City’s Inclusionary Housing Program currently has two income-restricted rental opportunities at 126 Cross St. & 29 Alpine St.

126 Cross St. is a four-bedroom unit in a three-story, six-unit building near the East Somerville MBTA Green Line station and the Capuano Early Childhood Center. 29 Alpine St. is a 2-bedroom unit in a three-story, three-unit building near the Magoun Square MBTA Green Line station and walking distance to Davis Square.

Applications are are due Thursday, Dec. 22, by 2 p.m.

Photo credit: “Got Junk? Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts.” Photo by Jason Pramas. Copyright 2022 Jason Pramas.This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

All Somerville Wire articles may be republished by community news outlets free of charge with permission and by larger commercial news outlets for a fee. Republication requests and all other inquiries should be directed to Somerville Wire articles are also syndicated by BINJ’s MassWire state news service at


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Linda Pinkow is a reporter for the Somerville Wire. She is also a development consultant for the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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