January 24 Newsletter

Explore and Discover Union Square

What better way to get a great sampling of what our local establishments have to offer than joining us on the 2nd Saturday of every month. Thankfully, even without the Farmers Market, this fun initiative will continue through the winter months.  Mark your calendars now for the February 2nd Saturday on 2/11.
Also, as you start to make your Valentine's Day plans, remember the great options for a delicious, lovely meal, music and gifts to be found in Union Square!

Parenting Journey Courses

The first Parenting Journey Group of 2017 starts today, and there are may still be some spots available. No matter where parents are from, no matter what their background, they are welcome at Parenting Journey. Parenting Journey works with mothers, fathers, and caregivers from all walks of life, raising children of all ages.

Their programs help mothers, fathers, and caregivers increase their confidence, capability, and resiliency - as individuals and as parents. While nurturing oneself and their children, each parent lays the groundwork for strong family relationships

In a Parenting Journey program, a small group of parents and caregivers meet for 2 hours a week for 12 or 14 weeks. The program includes activities, discussions, a family-style meal, and complimentary childcare. During the final session, family and friends are invited to attend a Graduation Ceremony. At this celebration, we honor the participation, accomplishments, and strengths of each program participant.

More information about the courses and the dates available here.

City News

Mayor Highlights Thriving Economy, Flourishing Schools, Safer Streets

"Our economy is growing and thriving. Our schools are among the best in the state. Our public safety teams are proving that low crime and urban living can go together." 

That's how Mayor Joseph Curtatone described Somerville in his Jan. 9 midterm address. The Mayor pointed to other marks of Somerville's success:
* In the past two years, Somerville has gained 250 new businesses.
* When its expansion is complete, Somerville's Greentown Labs will be the largest green tech incubator in the world.
* Somerville shares the lowest unemployment rate in the state.
* The city has the highest financial reserves in its history.
* Somerville remains the top urban school district in Massachusetts for student growth.
* In 2016, the overall crime rate fell 21 percent.

Priorities for ongoing work include increasing affordable housing and passing a modern zoning overhaul, according to the Mayor. Among other things, he addressed continuing work in connection to veterans, social inclusion, the arts and open space. "We must continue to serve as a beacon for civility, diversity and social progress," he said. You can find a transcript of the Mayor's full address at somervillema.gov. You can also watch a video of speeches made by the Mayor, Board of Aldermen President, and School Committee Chair on the City's website.

Somerville Celebrates its 175th Birthday 
Planning is underway and will be shared soon. In the meantime, the city is looking for your ideas on how to celebrate and your memories of Somerville. Visit #Somerville175 website to share.

Help Guide Funding of Community Projects
The Community Preservation Committee is considering 12 open space and historic preservation projects that have applied for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding this year. The Committee is seeking residents' feedback to help guide how this year's funding is spent. A meeting took place on Jan. 11, and another is scheduled for Jan. 31. If you can't attend, you'll be able to watch videos of the meetings and read about the proposals online. Here are three links where you can learn more:
City of Somerville's press release

This year, $880,415 in CPA funding is also available for affordable housing projects. The Affordable Housing Trust Fund will manage the application process for these funds.
Upcoming meeting: Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association, 259 Lowell St.

Mark Your Calendars!

Third Annual Chili Cook-Off
Experience the best chili around and help end domestic violence! Sample chili from many local restaurants and chefs and cast your vote for Crowd Favorite! Our friends at Just Add Cooking are sponsoring this year's Chili Cook-Off in a very special way! The Crowd Favorite Chili will be featured in a Just Add Cooking box this spring, and hundreds of home cooks around Boston will be making it in their kitchens. Plus, $1 from each box sold that week will go to RESPOND. Be there to cast your vote for Crowd Favorite!

Also enjoy avocado ice cream from JP Licks, prizes, Hot Sauce Taste Off and spicy margaritas at the cash bar. Join us for the fun!

Tickets at http://www.respondinc.org/chilitickets/

When: Thursday, January 26, 6:30PM

Where: Holiday Inn Boston-Bunker Hill

Maple Syrup Season with Groundworks



The season will be kicked off with a Maple Tree Tapping at Tufts University from 3PM to 6PM. This is the first step in the maple syrup making process, and one of the most fun! After you've learned to tap, you can enjoy a tasty Maple Brunch at The Independent on Sunday, Februrary 20th at 10AM. YUM! But don't forget the main event -- Somerville's annual Maple Syrup Boil Down Festival! On March 4th from 10AM to 2PM, the sap from local sugar maple trees is boiled down into pure maple syrup over a warm fire.  
Email Eli Bloch at eli@groundworksomerville if you have questions about any of these events or if you'd like to volunteer!

Gracie's Ice Cream Events:

Jaju Pierogi Dinner 

Gracie's Ice Cream and Jaju Pierogi got together to put on a dinner a few months ago and it was such a blast, they are doing it again! Enjoy a plate of four savory handmade pierogi, followed by Gracie's homemade ice cream and two dessert pierogi. Pierogi + ice cream = the perfect union you never expected. Since it got pretty crowded last time around, they are pre-selling tickets for specific time slots. These are informal, and it's not the end of the world if you miss your slot, but it helps!

Tickets available in advance and at the door! Visit the Facebook page for more info about what a ticket buys for adults and kids and to purchase a ticket.

When: Saturday, 2/4 from 5-9 pm

Union Square Semi-Formal 

The semi-formal. The highlight of any middle school year. Who doesn't have fond memories of middle school? Well, probably everyone. In any case, the Union Square Semi-Formal includes stops at 4 different businesses. Your ticket includes an ice cream from Gracie's, along with special drink selections at Juliet, The Independent, and Brass Union! Since it's a Semi-Formal, they will be playing your favorite music from middle school dances. And since it's a Semi-Formal, semi-formal attire is suggested. Go with a group of friends, or ask your sweetheart, this is the Semi-Formal and it doesn't matter who you go with, you just have to show up. Attendees will start at Gracie's and Juliet and then head over to The Indo and Brass Union. More details soon, and additional info on the Facebook event page

When: Saturday 2/11 from 3- 6 PM

Gracie's is located at 22 Union Square.


Ambient Music for Space Station featuring an installation / sound art / live show.Visit the Maw Facebook page for more info.

When: Jan. 30, 8pm (7:30 doors) 

Where: Warehouse XI, 11 Sanborn Ct.