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Combating the rodent problem in Somerville, a Bow Market book fair, and a game night at the Armory



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Somerville pilots new rodent-control technology

The City of Somerville is launching a five-month pilot program “to bring the latest rodent-control technology to Somerville,” as part of Mayor Katjana Ballantyne’s 100-Day Agenda and the City’s work to combat rodent activity. The City and a partner, Modern Pest Services, will install and maintain 50 SMART Boxes in four neighborhoods, at least through July of this year. These boxes are non toxic, industrial grade traps that catch rodents above ground and offer real-time data for proactive pest control.

“Rodent activity is a critical quality-of-life issue here in Somerville, so I’m very pleased to bring this new technology to our neighborhoods and to get this pilot underway,” said Ballantyne. “We need to be committed and forward-thinking in our approach, which makes the SMART system so compelling. It will not only catch rodents – it will expand our ability to collect data, to quantify the issue, and to identify additional steps we can take to make the greatest impact citywide.”

According to a press release, “When a rodent enters a SMART Box, sensors detect movement and body heat and activate a “catch” function, immediately killing the rodent with an electrical current. The rodent is deposited into a closed container, then the trap automatically resets. SMART Boxes monitor and record rodent activity 24/7 and alert Modern Pest when activity is detected. SMART Boxes do not use poisons and are securely locked, so they don’t pose risks to people, other animals, or the environment.”

Bow Market Book Fair

Now in its third year, the Bow Market Book Fair will be taking place on March 13. A schedule of the events is included below:

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Book Themed Workshops in Remnant Brewing

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Book Seller and Artists Market in Bow Market Common Spaces & Variety Dining Room

Refresh your recipes! Cookbook Swap on Saus Patio

11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Readings, Poetry & Open Mic @ Wild Child

(full schedule to be posted)

Plant Medicine Palooza

Bay Staters, a grassroots team that has decriminalized possession of all controlled substances, as well as growing entheogenic plants in four cities, including Somerville, is hosting an event called Plant Medicine Palooza on March 12, from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. It will be held at 43 Paulina Street. There will be expert trainings on mushroom growing, cacti growing, trip sitting, and meditating. The event will be attended by groups such as Fenway Health, Northshore’s Healthy Streets Outreach Program, and Worcester’s Edward M. Kennedy Center. Bay Staters is calling for city councils to pass resolutions with two goals in mind: to allow adults to grow and distribute entheogenic plants and to prioritize transition services over incarceration.

The schedule for Plant Medicine Palooza is as follows:

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Check in, lunch

12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m.: Meditation training

1 p.m. – 2 p.m.: Introduction to trip sitting

2 p.m. – 3 p.m.: Mushroom grow training

3 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Cacti grow training

“Two truths and a lie” at the Armory

The Center for Arts at the Armory is holding an event where audience members can play the game “Two Truths and a Lie.” The event will take place on March 11 at 7 p.m. Three amazing storytellers will share “hilarious and heartfelt stories about intimate moments in their lives,” and audience members will guess which one person is lying, telling a fictional tale. “It’s up to our audience to sort the facts from the fiction in the only storytelling show that encourages you to ask the difficult questions,” reads a press release.

The game is part of a Performance Opportunity Program series, and initial funding for POP has been provided by Cambridge Trust, Mass Cultural Council, and the Somerville Arts Council.

Find out more information here.

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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Shira Laucharoen is assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and assistant editor and staff reporter of the Somerville Wire.



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