Fourth of July Festivities, Tackling Sewer Overflows, and More!
Streets throughout Somerville to be designated “Neighborways” with reduced vehicle speeds
The City is currently planning a broad new system of bicycle routes throughout Somerville. The preliminary plans, which are being vetted in small pop-ups around the city this spring and summer, would add more separated bike lanes and also improve protection for bicyclists on big and small streets throughout the city.
Fourth of July on June 30
Mayor Katjana Ballantyne and the Somerville Arts Council will host a Fourth of July celebration with fireworks and live entertainment this Thursday, June 30 (rain date July 1) from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at Trum Field, 541 Broadway.
Festivities start at 6:30 p.m. with DJ Philip Tan playing pop, soul, funk, and other classic tunes, followed by live music by Pressure Cooker at 7:45 p.m. Recent Somerville High School graduate Britney Flores will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.
To ensure public safety and pedestrian access, traffic and parking restrictions will be in place at Trum Field and the surrounding area, including Broadway. MBTA Buses 80 and 89 will be rerouted from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Due to the large crowds and loud noise associated with the Fireworks Celebration, the City recommends that attendees leave pets at home and not bring unnecessary bags or backpacks. All bags are subject to inspection.
Somerville, Cambridge Tackling Combined Sewer Overflows
The City of Somerville, the City of Cambridge, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority invite you to a virtual public meeting to discuss ways to protect and improve our local water resources, including the Mystic River, the Alewife Brook, and the Charles River.
Combined Sewer Overflows can contaminate rivers with bacteria and other pollutants that pose health risks to people and animals. Somerville, Cambridge, and the MWRA are collaborating on long-term plans to minimize CSOs in our region. Feedback from residents will be an important part of developing those plans.
The public is invited to the first joint public meeting to learn more about the water quality of nearby rivers, and have a voice in potential improvements.
The meeting will take place virtually on Wednesday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. Interpretation will be available into Portuguese, Spanish, Amharic, and Bengali. The presentation materials and the recording will be made available in additional languages following the meeting.
You can register to attend the meeting and find more information at: somervillema.gov/cso/.
People who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the meeting can contact Adrienne Pomeroy at 617-625-6600, ext. 2059, or ADA@somervillema.gov.
Help Stop Black Swallow-wort Invasion
The City of Somerville is partnering with community groups again this year to raise awareness about black swallow-wort, a very aggressive and invasive, non-native weed that can be found throughout Somerville.
BSW displaces native plants and habitats, threatens butterflies and songbirds, and is toxic to deer and livestock. It is especially harmful to the monarch butterfly population because it resembles milkweed, where monarchs lay their eggs, and once the monarch larvae hatch, they die from eating the toxic BSW leaves.
BSW pods have already started to appear in Somerville this season, and the City and community groups are asking residents to remove BSW when they see it. The BSW plant has shiny green leaves that come in pairs along winding vines often found around fences and shrubs. It has slim green pods that appear in June, which are imperative to remove before they turn brown and disperse wind-borne seeds. BSW also has small, dark purple flowers that grow in clusters with five petals and a green center.
Whenever possible, BSW should be uprooted completely and the pods should be removed. To dispose of the plant, be sure to place all of it in a sealed trash bag. Do not compost or place BSW in paper or yard waste bags because it will resprout.
To help spread the word, the City is seeking volunteers to distribute informational door hangers about BSW and how to remove it. Door hangers are available for pickup through mid-July at Somerville City Hall (93 Highland Ave.) and all three Somerville Public Library branches.
Photo Credit: “What’s a ‘Neighborway?’” Photo by Jason Pramas. Copyright 2022 Jason Pramas.
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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.