2008 General Election Voter Information

The 2008 general election will be held this Tuesday, November 4th. It will mark the end of a long and historic election season that has generated enthusiasm and interest here at home and across the world. Here are a few questions people may still have:

Where do I vote?
There are dozens of polling locations in Cambridge and Somerville, and yours should be very close to your home address. To help you find your polling location, the state elections division has created an online resource:
wheredoivotema.com

What will be on my ballot?
This is a general election, so there will be offices up for election at every level. This will be your chance to vote for president after a long and grueling campaign, as well as three ballot questions.
Detailed information on the ballot questions can be found at the state’s election website:
2008 Massachusetts Statewide Ballot Questions

Question 1: State Personal Income Tax
A YES VOTE would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for the tax year beginning on January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in state income tax laws.

Question 2: Possession of Marijuana
A YES VOTE would replace the criminal penalties for
possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties.
A NO VOTE would make no change in state criminal laws concerning possession of marijuana.

Question 3: Dog Racing
A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races on which betting or wagering occurs, effective January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.

Community Bocce Court

This past month, the long awaited (by some) public bocce court opened outside the King Open school on Cambridge St. Bocce is a great, simple game, and can be played by people of literally all ages, from children as young as three or four to senior citizens well into their nineties.

From Bocce

The first incarnations of the game date as far back as 5000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians threw polished rocks at a smaller target. The goal of the game then, as it still is now, was to get your rock or ball to land closer to the target than anyone else’s. The game has evolved since then, taking many different forms along the way. The first official league and the Bocce World Championships formed in Italy in 1947, and the game has only grown in popularity since then.

From Bocce

Over the past hundred years in Cambridge, various bocce leagues, clubs and informal organizations have come and gone, although recently – especially after the closing of Bertiucci’s and its basement bocce court in Somerville – local players have not had courts available to them without leaving town. The new court is an excellent place for players of all levels of skill and seriousness to come to gather and play a game.

At the unofficial opening of East Cambridge’s very own public bocce court, I tried my hand in a friendly match, and I learned very quickly that the game actually does require some degree of skill to win. Whether you are a long time player or a relative newcomer to the game like myself, the new court is an excellent place to bring a small group of kids or have a relaxing game of Bocce with friends on a weekend afternoon.

From Bocce

From Bocce

Visiting Le Cordon Bleu

Last spring I visited the brand new Boston campus of the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Originally founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has developed a reputation for academic and culinary excellence, and the residents of the larger metro-Boston area are very lucky to now have the institution’s newest campus in our own backyard.

When I first visited, the halls were quiet and the first group of students had just arrived. When I returned at the end of September, the halls were bustling, the classroom kitchens were filled, and good smells filled the air. I had the opportunity to speak with several chefs as well as students about their experiences so far, and their responses were overwhelmingly positive.

From Le Cordon Bleu

Chef Ying-Wei Luo, who is currently the pastry chef at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and teaches Introduction to Baking and Pastry, invited me into his classroom to meet his students and try a freshly baked roll. The students were all very engaged in their work, and their rolls were excellent.

From Le Cordon Bleu
From Le Cordon Bleu

I also spent time speaking with a few students from Cambridge and Somerville, who were all very glad to have the opportunity to attend this world-class school of culinary arts right outside of Boston. All-in-all, this is a fantastic institution, and is a great addition to the already thriving academic community in Cambridge.

October Calendar

This monthly calendar represents only a small portion of the many interesting things happening in Cambridge and Somerville. If you would like to add another event, or a link to your own calendar of events, please email my office at toomeyblog@gmail.com.

Other Local Calendars:


October in Cambridge
City Calendar

October in Somerville
City Calendar
The Growing Center

Green Line Extension Calendar


Wednesday, October 8 @ 7-9pm
East Cambridge Planning Team (ECPT) Meeting

East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge map
ECPT meets to discuss East Cambridge issues twice every month on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 7–9pm.

Sunday, October 12th @ 10:30am
St. Bartholomew’s 100th Anniversary Service
St. Bartholomew’s Church, 239 Harvard St., Cambridge map
St. Bartholomew’s Church in Cambridge is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and as the final event of its year-long celebration, Bishop M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE will be guest preacher at the Anniversary Homecoming Service.

More info

Wednesday, October 15th @ 6-8pm
Discuss Future Renovations to Clement G. Morgan Park
Fletcher-Maynard Academy, 225 Windsor Street, Cambridge map
From the city website: Renovations are planned to begin in spring 2009, and will include replacement of all the playground equipment as well as the “tot play” and waterplay area at Pine Street upgrades to pathways and lighting, new seating and furniture, additional grass, trees, and other plantings, new signage, and emergency call box and a community posting board. Community members are invited to join us for an “Open House” to meet with City Staff, review design options for the park, and tell us your thoughts.

Thursday, October 16 @ 7pm
Wellington Harrington Neighborhood Association (WHNA) Monthly Meeting

Vin-Fen, 950 Cambridge St, Cambridge map
The WHNA meets monthly on a Thursday. Check out their website for updates on the agenda.

Friday, October 17th @ 3:30pm
Cambridge Portuguese Credit Union 80th Anniversary
493 Somerville Ave, Somerville map
The CPCU celebrates it’s 80th Anniversary with free food, raffle prizes, coat drop-off for the Somerville Homeless Coalition, and the chance to meet and learn about the CPCU and local businesses.

CPCU website

Wednesday, October 22 @ 7-9pm
East Cambridge Planning Team (ECPT) Meeting

East End House, 105 Spring St, Cambridge map
ECPT meets to discuss East Cambridge issues twice every month on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 7–9pm.

Wednesday, October 22 @ 2:30-3pm
Free Blood Pressure Screening
Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge map
Take part in important free preventative measures for your health. Anyone over the age of 60 will receive a free blood pressure screening.
Call (617) 349-6060 for information.

Register to Vote: Deadline is October 15th!

More info on voting: Massachusetts Elections Division
To order a form: Elections Division Voter Registration Form Request

If you aren’t registered to vote yet, time is running out to take part in this year’s big general election. Along with local and national candidates, there will also be three statewide ballot questions on the November 4th ballot, where voters will have the chance to vote directly on initiatives eliminating the state income tax, decriminalizing the possession of marijuana, and prohibiting betting on dog racing.

If you are already registered and involved in the process, I hope you will take the opportunity to get others involved and remind anyone you know who may not yet be registered to get a form filled out and mailed to City Hall before October 15th.

If you need to get a registration form, there are several places you can pick them up. You can stop by my district office to get registration forms (Contact me if the office is closed to set up a time you can stop by), or you can order forms online from the elections division. You can also pick them up at Cambridge or Somerville City Hall or a local post office.

Interpreting East Somerville Through Photography

SOMERVILLE
More information:
Interpreting East Somerville web page
East Somerville Main Streets home page
Somerville Journal article
Update: Somerville Newstalk 10/8 mention

If you have a digital camera and find yourself taking pictures in East Somerville over the next few weeks, you could wind up in an art exhibit at City Hall!

East Somerville Main Streets along with the Mayor’s office is sponsoring a community photography exhibit, featuring selected photographs of East Somerville (defined as Route 28 [McGrath Highway] to the west and north, Route 93 [Expressway] to the east, Washington St. to the south).

I think it’s a great idea and a chance for people who live here and know the neighborhood to share their own perspective on it. It’s not every day non-professional artists get a chance to be in an exhibit. Anyone can enter, and there is no age limit so it might be a fun trip to walk the neighborhood with the kids and a camera! The deadline for submissions is October 20th and the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter, so the sooner the better.

How to enter, from the Interpreting East Somerville website:

Interpreting East Somerville is a juried exhibit. Entries will be judged on originality, photographic quality, and how well the images capture a unique flavor or perspective of East Somerville. As many entries as exhibition space allows will be considered.

1. Take photos somewhere in East Somerville!
(Route 28 [McGrath Hwy] to the west and north, Route 93 [Expressway] to the east, Washington Street to the south.)

2. You can submit up to 3 pieces for consideration.

Either email digital images in jpg format to:
InterpretingESO@hotmail.com

or drop off or mail a CD of digital files or sample prints of film images to:
East Somerville Main Streets
114 Broadway Ste. 112
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 623-3869

3. Include your name, address, phone and email, and any special information about your entry.

4. Entries must be submitted by the actual photographer, or a friend or relative. Contact info for both the photographer and the person submitting the work is required.

Chosen entries will be asked, if possible, to provide a high quality print of the final piece. Unless specified, chosen photos will be reproduced at an 8×10 size. Collages, digitally retouched photos, and multidimensional works will also be considered.

The exhibition itself will be in Somerville City Hall starting November 6th.