February 21 Newsletter

The Definitive Story of Fluff

Our own Mimi Graney, the former director of Union Square Main Streets and creator of our fabulous Fluff Festival, will be releasing her new book, Fluff, The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Icon on Thursday, March 2nd at the Somerville Brewing Company. To sign up for this event and get your own personal signed copy, click here.

While Mimi's book is about Fluff, it is also about far more.... In her book she brings to life the factory floor, and explores New England's forgotten candy industry, changing social roles for women, the supermarket revolution, and more. Ultimately, through the story of Fluff, the reader learns about the merits and pitfalls of adaptation and innovation. 

Also, the first official celebration of the 100th anniversary of the invention of Fluff will take place on March 4th at the Somerville Winter Farmers Market. There will be a 100th Birthday Party for Fluff, and customers who wear a Fluff Festival t-shirt (Don't yet have a Fluff Festival t-shirt? Click here to purchase one) or say "Archibald Query sent me" are eligible for special discounts. Some vendors will be selling Fluff inspired treats, and Mimi will be there selling and signing books. 

And, of course, it Is not too early to mark your calendars for the What the Fluff "FluffCentennial" Festival which will take place on September 23rd this year.Check out more Fluff, The Sticky Sweet Story of an American Iconrelated events under "Mark Your Calendars" below.

Snow Storm Brings the Boston Yeti to Union Square

Greater Boston's favorite urban legend resurfaced last week, sporting a snazzy beige sport coat. WGBH tracked the yeti's movements through Somerville's Union Square. To read more about the Boston Yeti and see a video of his visit to our Square, click here.

Union Square Farmers Market News

Planning for the 2017 Union Square Farmers Market is moving along. If you are or someone you know is interested in participating in the Farmers Market, please fill out an application and send it our way! We will be accepting applications for Season Vendors and Farm Wineries until Tuesday, February 28 - less than two weeks away. Don't wait until it is too late. For more information, please contact Tiffany Leung at tiffany@unionsquaremain.org

Supporting Artisans' Asylum

Late last year, Artisan's Asylum was recognized by the state of Massachusetts for the opportunity they provide for craftsmen, designers, engineers and makers and the positive impact they make on the economy. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing & Economic Development Jay Ash announced a $100,000 matching grant to the Artisan's Asylum through MassDevelopment. The grant has been earmarked for three areas:
- Upgrade of computer systems
- Acquiring a laser etching machine and building out digital fabrication
- Design and construction of an accessible and engaging entrance to the building

As you might guess, a matching grant means they need to raise $100,000 in additional matching funds to make the most of this grant. If you would like to help Artisans to match their grant to support their teaching, learning and practice of fabrication, click here to donate.

Canopy City Co-working Space Relocating to Tyler Street

Canopy City, a co-working space for startups, nonprofits, political candidates and all groups of community people, plans to relocate from Davis Square to 14 Tyler St, above Aeronaut Brewery. Co-founder Matt Hoey hopes to create a culture within Canopy City that is dedicated to giving back. He wants the startups, nonprofits and businesses working in the building to put themselves out into the community, fostering involvement. His goal is to have the work space reflect the diverse community in Somerville.

GLX News

'Real Momentum' on GLX, But Questions Remain

"On the brink of potential elimination a year ago, the Green Line Extension has steadily progressed to the point where design-build bids should go out by this spring and a finance plan should be submitted to federal overseers by March, according to the state's timeline."  Click hereto read the entire Somerville Journal article.  More GLX information is available on the Somerville STEP website.

City News

Union Square Land Disposition Agreement Submitted to SRA
The Master Land Disposition Agreement (MLDA) between the Somerville Redevelopment Authority (SRA) and Union Square Master Developer US2 was submitted to the SRA for review at their meeting on February 16 and is scheduled for consideration at a special meeting scheduled on Thursday, February 23. Individuals are encouraged to send public comments on the draft MLDA to: Emily E. Hedeman, Somerville Economic Development Assistance, 617-625-6600, x2546, ehedeman@somervillema.gov. Comments need to be submitted before February 23.

Somerville Redevelopment Authority Vote on Land Disposition Agreement

Agenda: The Union Square Master Land Development Agreement (MLDA) between the SRA and the master developer (US2) will be discussed. The SRA anticipates taking a vote on the MLDA. 
When: Thurs., Feb 23
(Location and time to be announced)

Nunziato Park & Stormwater Project - Construction Impacts
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Alderman Robert McWatters invite all interested community members to the next community meeting in a public meeting series to discuss construction updates and park design for the upcoming Nunziato Field Stormwater and Park reconstruction project. Nunziato Field and Off-Leash Recreation Area is the location of an important stormwater infrastructure project that will alleviate flooding in the surrounding neighborhood during severe rain. The renovation project will also include installation of a new grass field, dog park, and seating areas.
When: Wed, Feb 22, 6:00 PM
Where: Somerville High School Library, 81 Highland Ave

Somerville Turns 175
In honor of Somerville's 175th birthday, the City has begun a Storytelling Project, encouraging members of the community to share their Somerville experiences. An event was held at the Somerville Public Library (MA) to kick off the project. Click on this Somerville Neighborhood News link to watch the video!

Immigration Resources
About one quarter of Somerville residents were born outside the United States, according to the U.S. Census. To help these newer residents, the Somerville Public Library has compiled a list of immigration resources. It includes links to internet resources, immigration law organizations and local services, among other things.

Equity and Inclusion Conversation Series
Somerville is committed to making sure all residents feel safe and included. Toward this aim, it re-established in 2015 a conversation series. Among other things, these conversations have discussed matters of race and sexual orientation, and they provide residents with information about support services and strategies for moving forward. A new round of this Equity and Inclusion Conversation Series has been scheduled, and here are the dates: 

Feb. 27: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Community Action Agency of Somerville, Inc., 66-70 Union Square
March 9: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at The Welcome Project, 530 Mystic Ave.
March 22: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Somerville High School Highlander Cafe, 81 Highland Ave.

Each date will focus on a different topic; visit Somerville's Facebook pagefor updates. These events are free and open to the public. To RSVP and make accommodation requests, contact Betsy Allen at 617-625-6600 ext. 2323 or ballen@somervillema.gov.

Get City Alerts
Make sure you're signed up for City of Somerville alerts so you can keep updated about snow emergencies, public safety announcements, and other important stuff. You can sign up at somervillema.gov/alerts.

Mark Your Calendars!

The Union Square Neighborhood Council Working Group

The Union Square Neighborhood Council Working Group is a group of interested persons who are organizing around how to create a Union Square Neighborhood Council. The working group is developing a set of bylaws for the Neighborhood Council and is also organizing around current concerns of the Union Square neighborhood including zoning. Interested residents, business owners, representatives of non-profit organizations, and other area stakeholders are encouraged and welcome to attend.
When: Wed., Feb 22, 6:00 PM
Where: Public Safety Building, Cadet Training Room, 220 Washington Street

Boston Free Radio "Monday Mixdown"

Boston Free Radio and Brass Union are at it again, bringing you another night of local radio DJs, drinks, and dancing--and it's all 100% FREE. Bring friends for a game of shuffleboard, take on a stranger in tabletop Galaga, or try a specialty cocktail!
When:  February 27th, 8-11pm

Where:  Brass Union, 70 Union Square

Fat Tuesday Fundraiser for Artisan Grants
Join Artisan's Asylum for their first ever Fat Tuesday Fundraiser for the next round of Artisan Grants! Enjoy live performances by the Dirty Water Brass Band, bake sale treats and meeting Artisan members and Somerville community members. This event will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the creativity and community made at Artisan's! More info here.  
When: Tuesday, February 28th, 6:00-9:00PM
Where: Artisan's Asylum Social Area, 10 Tyler St.

11th Rough Cut Media Screening

SCATV presents the 11th Rough Cut Media Screening at the Arts at the Armory Cafe on Tuesday, March 7th from7pm-9pm. This is a free quarterly community screening for video works in progress and completed videos looking for feedback. Or please come to just enjoy local videos, no submissions required. This event is co-sponsored by our friends at Women in Film and Video New England and RoleHat Filmmakers Club! Come show love for free speech, creative media and community building. Submit your work to be screened here!

When: Tuesday, March 7th from 7-9pm 

Where:  Arts at the Armory Cafe (191 Highland Ave)

Fluff: The Sticky, Sweet Story of an American Icon Events

March 10: Catch Mimi at Spindler Confections from 5 to 7 p.m. Get your signed copy of "Fluff" and sample Spindler's tasty caramel swirls, made with-what else?-Marshmallow Fluff.

March 22: Learn about Fluff's sticky 100-year legacy from Mimi herself at the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation for a book talk and signing at 6:30 p.m.

March 26: Join Mimi in Fluff's hometown of Somerville for a book talk and signing at the Somerville Public Library at 3 p.m.

April 1: Chat about all things "Fluff" and snag yourself a signed copy at the charming and funky Somerville gift shop Davis Squared from 3 to 5 p.m.

For more information about these events, contact caitlin@unionparkpress.com