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A Veterans Day ceremony, a staged reading of “The Birds,” and an event at the Somerville Museum



Mayoral candidates also weighed in on whether the Commonwealth should build this entity


The new East Somerville space aims to be inclusive


“TOPA would allow communities to slow displacement and gentrification by removing some homes from the for-profit, speculative, escalating market, and making them permanently affordable.”


Election Day Results!

Congratulations to Mayor Katjana Ballantyne!  The former City Councilor won 55.8% of votes, while her opponent, Councilor Will Mbah, won 37.6%. Ballantyne posted a message on Twitter:

“Thank you #Somerville. I am humbled to be the next Mayor of Somerville. Somerville voters showed they want bold, inclusive experienced leadership to move us forward! Now let’s get to work!”

Mbah released a statement following Ballantyne’s victory, extending his gratitude and well wishes for the new mayor.

“While I had hoped for a different result, the people of Somerville have spoken and I respect their decision,” wrote Mbah. “I want to congratulate Councilor Katjana Ballantyne on her victory and on the honor of being selected to represent the great city of Somerville. I also want to thank my supporters who invested their time, energy, and money into a campaign that was bigger than any single person and was dedicated to putting the needs of our city’s residents first. Your belief inspired me and sustained me over the past six months. My campaign may have ended tonight, but our fight for affordable housing and racial equity here in Somerville continues. I look forward to remaining involved and organizing in this community that has given me so much and continuing to fight for bold progressive policies. Onward.”

In the City Council races, the following candidates won positions:

Councilor-at-Large: Kristen Strezo, Willie Burnley Jr, Charlotte Kelly, and Jake Wilson

Ward 2: J.T. Scott

Ward 5: Beatriz Gomez Mouakad

Ward 7: Judy Pineda Neufeld

Veterans Day Ceremony

The City of Somerville is holding a Veterans Day ceremony to honor those who have served in the military. It will take place on Nov. 11, at Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery on Broadway at North Street. Remarks will begin at 10 a.m., and featured speakers are City Council President Matt McLaughlin and Somerville Director of Veterans’ Services Ted Louis-Jacques. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on the CityTV Facebook page and broadcast after the event on GovTV (RCN channels 13 or 613; Comcast channel 22) and on the City’s YouTube channel.

Job Creation and Retention Trust Annual Meeting

On Nov. 9, members of the public are welcome to join the annual meeting of the Job Creation and Retention Trust at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held as a virtual forum, and it is intended to be “an opportunity to learn about the JCRT’s members, hear about this past year’s investments, and give input on future investment ideas,” according to a press release.

“The Job Creation and Retention Trust Fund was created in 2018 to use the linkage fees collected from commercial development to provide and enhance employment opportunities for Somerville residents,” reads the press release. “The Fund has allocated $254,000 over the past year toward contextualized ESOL and experiential learning opportunities, in addition to continuing to support industry-specific training programs and workers’ rights trainings funded in the previous year.”

To learn more about the JCRT and register for the meeting, visit

Theatre@First presents “The Birds” 

The all-volunteer, community theater company Theatre@First is presenting an evening of live theater on Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. The performance will be “The Birds,” inspired by the story by Daphne DuMaurier, and it will be “just as chilling as the classic Hitchcock film,” according to Theatre@First. Written by Conor McPherson, the show will be directed by Jaie Deschene. A description of the play is below:

“It’s the near future and nature has turned against mankind. Swarms of birds have gathered, joining forces to destroy and devour any human they manage to catch. In an abandoned New England lake house, strangers Nat and Diane try to survive, listening to and learning the birds’ habits and patterns, along with each others’ secrets. Matters are complicated by the man across the lake who may be watching them, and the arrival of a young woman named Julia whose intentions may not be as they seem. Inspired by the same story, and just as chilling as the classic Hitchcock film, The Birds asks us how we would choose to write our own story, and just what we’d be willing to do to survive.”

The performance will be playing for one night only. It will be staged at Unity Somerville. All audience members are required to wear masks while in the building and must also provide proof of vaccination. Suggested donations must be in cash or through PayPal on a mobile phone.

“Heaven’s Hardware” at the Somerville Museum

The Somerville Museum will be holding a new event, “Heaven’s Hardware: The Roundhouse and the Architecture of Hope.” It will be held on Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 per person and free for Museum members. There will be a talk by E. R. Butler.

“A leading hardware manufacturer with showrooms in NYC and Boston, E. R. Butler has not only kept Enoch Robin—son’s visionary line of products alive but has also become a leading scholar of Robinson’s life and work,” reads a Facebook post by the Somerville Museum. “Currently completing the first comprehensive biography of Robinson, Butler will discuss the innovations and challenges that led to the construction of the roundhouse, that extraordinary building at the corner of Atherton and Beech Streets.”

Space is limited to 35 people. All reservations must be made online prior to the event. Tickets will not be available at the door. All visitors are required to wear a mask while indoors.

Tickets can be found at the link below:

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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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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