A proposal to extend the eviction moratorium, a theatrical reading, and Taste of Somerville’s new dining passport program.
Welcome to the Somerville Wire’s June 15 Weekly Roundup—a fast look at local news published every Tuesday at somervillewire.news. Readers with Somerville-focused news tips or press releases or calendar items or letter and opinion submissions can send them to Wire staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us at (617) 209-9511.
A team of public health researchers ultimately concluded that Somerville would benefit from at least one supervised consumption site
One in ten elders lead troubled lives, but the issue is not commonly disclosed
“The time has come for evictions to end for good in Somerville!”
City proposes extending eviction moratorium
This month, Mayor Joe Curtatone plans to submit a request to the Board of Health that would extend the City’s current residential eviction moratorium for 90 days, until September 1. The BOH will be considering the proposal at its June 17 meeting.
“The proposal would, as of the date of its passage, end the commercial eviction moratorium and allow landlords and their agents to enter residential units for non-emergency reasons, with 48 hours advance written notice to tenants, an opportunity to reschedule where necessary, and provided that COVID protocols are followed,” reads a press release. “The City’s emergency declaration will remain in effect throughout this 90-day period.”
Curtatone spoke to the need that residents have for an extended moratorium.
“As we move into a period of pandemic recovery, we have to continue to support residents who lost work and wages over the past 15 months,” wrote Curtatone, in a statement. “We can’t realistically expect that residents can immediately make a full economic recovery from such a disruption. I also want to urge any residents who have fallen behind on their rent to contact our Office of Housing Stability. Don’t wait for an eviction notice, help is available now.”
In March 2020, Curtatone had issued an Emergency Order Establishing a Moratorium on Eviction in the City of Somerville.
“Firstworks” reading to be performed online
Theatre@First is Somerville’s community theater organization. On June 18, they will be holding “Firstworks” reading, a program meant to feature new playwrights. The reading will be of a play called “Covenant” by John Minigan and directed by Jamie Lin, and it will be followed by a talkback session with the playwright and the director. It will be performed for one night only and will be presented as a virtual production.
In “Covenant,” an undercover agent named Jordan takes on an assignment in an apocalyptic religious group that ends in disaster. Fatal results bring scandal to the Justice Department and questions from above. In the story, Jordan must not only confront what went wrong but also grapple with the destructive nature of belief itself—including her own. The five-person cast includes actors Addie Pates, Trevor St. Pierre, Rebecca Greene, Amy West, and Michael Lopez.
Taste of Somerville to be held as dining passport program
Both the Taste of Somerville and Taste of Cambridge will be reimagined this year as a “dining passport program.” Typically held as festivals, the programs will take place between July 1 and August 15, and 100% of proceeds will benefit local restaurant workers and nonprofit organizations.
Every guest who donates $30 will receive a dining passport. They will earn $100 in “dining dollars” to use at participating restaurants. They can bring their passports to these restaurants, and they will receive a stamp every time they spend $25 during a visit. Once they have received four stamps, they will be granted four $25 vouchers for future use at participating establishments.
“The passport program is a ‘win-win-win’ initiative that directly benefits restaurants, hospitality workers and local diners,” said David Maher, president and CEO of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, in a press statement. “We are grateful for the opportunity to directly support restaurant workers in Cambridge and Somerville.”
“The Dining Passport program is exciting because it will help our local economies get back to work while providing relief for workers in the hard-hit hospitality sector,” said Stephen Mackey, president and CEO of the Somerville Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to offer this program to local diners.”
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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.