Archive for the “News You Can Use” Category

FireworksJuly 4 is coming up, a day for fireworks, cookouts and spending time with friends.   Here’s a brief guide to local fun on Independence Day.

Somerville’s July 4th festivities will be Thursday evening at Trum Field. Live music  starts at 6:15, fireworks at 9:15. Everything you need to know, including rain date information, is here.

If you want to go to the banks of Charles, hear the Boston Pops and see fireworks you need to read this guide by cbslocal.

You could also listen to the Pops and see the fireworks on a big screen at Robbins Farm Park in Arlington. The details are here.

And tomorrow is the start of Boston Harborfest, an annual festival of activities and tours in and around Boston bostonharborfestthat begins July 2 and ends July 6. You can take architectural tours, play eighteenth century games, attend a chocolate-making demonstration, listen to Cape Verdean jazz, and more. Check out their calendar of events.

Have fun and stay safe.


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Additional material by Sujei

Now that the United States has won a game at the World Cup,* you may be asking yourself, what more can I learn about soccer (or football, futebol, foutbòl, fútbol, etc., if you’d prefer)? Or maybe you’re one of our community’s many, lifelong Brazil fans and want to see what happens next as your team advances to the next round**? (We’ve noticed that the level of yellow around our streets has increased.)

All I see here is a Captain Picard-style facepalm.
All I see here is a Captain Picard-style facepalm.

Well, we’re here for you.

When the 2014 FIFA World Cup started a few days ago, 32 teams began playing all over Brazil, vying for the coveted title. By July 13, we’ll have a new world champion. If you’re looking for a way to watch matches on TV without cable, you’ll have to rely on the ol’ bunny ears or turn on Univision (which has the Spanish-language versions of games until the quarterfinals). Univision is also streaming matches online. (It helps if you know Spanish, but that won’t affect your enjoyment of the matches, IMO.) There are plenty of apps and several news sites to help keep up with the action.

If you’re more of a news/political junkie and less into sportsball, you can learn about the outrage against the alleged public misuse of funds that Brazilians are protesting and other controversies. For celebrity hounds, here are picks of some of the best commercials of the World Cup. Trivia geeks can turn to the interwebs for their own World Cup games.

For those of us who enjoy a good, old-fashioned narrative, we have many biographies – for both children and adults – on futebol players. Here are some other ideas:

- The World Cup : the complete history by Terry Crouch with James Corbett

- The soccer diaries : an American’s thirty-year pursuit of the international game by Michael J. Agovino

- Futebol nation : the story of Brazil through soccer by David Goldblatt

- El futbol : a sol y sombra by Eduardo Galeano (In English here.)

- Golazo! : the beautiful game from the Aztecs to the World Cup : the complete history of how soccer shaped Latin America by Andreas Campomar

- Who invented the bicycle kick? by Paul Simpson & Uli Hesse

And some for the kiddos:

- Happy like soccer by Maribeth Boelts

- Crazy about soccer! by by Loris Lesynski

- Out of nowhere by Maria Padian

Outcasts united : the story of a refugee soccer team that changed a town by Warren St. John

- Soccer star by Mina Javaherbin (Published by Somerville’s own Candlewick Press!)

*US beat Ghana 2-1 yesterday.

**Brazil played to an 0-0 draw with Mexico today.



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Books for Somerville Reads 2014 have arrived and are now available at all SPL locations!

Somerville Reads is a project that promotes literacy and community engagement by encouraging people all over the City to read and discuss the same book. The book that has been selected for 2014 is Dark Tide: the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo. A companion children’s book has also been selected: The Great Molasses Flood: Boston, 1919 by Deborah Kops. Both of these authors will be visiting the Library in September. Details about the author visits and other Somerville Reads events will be coming soon.

In the meantime, stop by one of the SPL Libraries, pick up your book, and start reading!  And to get in the spirit, why not try a molasses recipe or two?  We will be printing out some recipes for you to try in the coming weeks – they’ll be available near the display of Somerville Reads books.  Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans, anyone?


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Somerville Public Library has added a new database for your enjoyment – Zinio!  Zinio is an online database of full color, interactive digital magazines available for downloading and viewing on the electronic device of your choice.  Titles offered include Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Popular Science, Seventeen, GamesMaster, The New York Review of Books, and more.

  • Get Current Issues — New issues are released simultaneously with the print edition – many are available for download before the print version arrives at the library.
  • Browsing is Easy — Browse the collection, search for your favorite magazines by title, or use the convenient category feature to find new magazines which meet your interests.
  • No Limits — Check out as many issues as you want and keep them for as long as you want.

To create your free account and get started using Zinio, go to the Library’s database page, scroll all the way to the bottom, and click on Zinio.


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soapAt times our efforts to improve our health backfire. Overuse of antibiotics can help produce nastier, tougher bacteria strains.  Keeping a small child’s surroundings too pristine could lead to allergies and asthma later on.

And now it seems that antibacterial soap–a mainstay for many of us in the fight to stay healthy–is probably bad for us. Decades of studies have established that triclosan, a key ingredient in many antibacterials soaps, is no more effective than plain old soap and water in killing bacteria. Furthermore, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the chemical penetrates the skin a lot more easily than previously thought, and can actually impair muscle function.

And that includes the muscle tissue in your heart. “The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic,” Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, a co-author of the PNAS study, told Smithsonian.

This week Minnesota banned products containing triclosan, the first state in  the nation to do so. Procter & Gamble has announced plans to eliminate triclosan from all its products by the end of the year.


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imagesNone of us has as much money as we would like. And most of us don’t do a great job of keeping track of what we have. Have you ever withdrawn some cash from an ATM and a day or two later found yourself wondering, where did it all go?

The state of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Financial Literacy Trust want to make that feeling going away by helping you learn to manage your money better. The Money Conference: Financial Empowerment for Individuals and Families is a one-day annual workshop that teaches basic financial literacy and budgeting. This year it’s Saturday, May 17, 8:30-3:00 at Everett High School, 100 Elm Street, Everett, MA. You can register here.

It’s fun, educational, and free!

As food for thought, check out this USA Today feature, 20 Ways Americans are Blowing Their Money .


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Flags will fly at half mast around the City today in remembrance of the victims and families of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.  For details about support services available to community members on the one-year anniversary of these tragic events, click here.

In Boston, a tribute ceremony for survivors and first responders will be held at the Hynes Convention Center at 12:00 p.m.  You can watch the ceremony online here.  Community members are also invited to gather along Boylston Street this afternoon, and to share in a moment of silence which will take place at 2:49.


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April 10th-13th is  the 14th annual  Boston National Poetry Month Festival, hosted primarily by the Boston Public Library in partnership with Tapestry of Voices and the Kaji Aso Studio.

The Festival begins on Thursday evening, April 10th, with a program of Poetry, Music & Dance at Old South Church, produced by Berklee College of Music professor, Lucy Holstedt.  Friday, April 11, National Book Award winner David Ferry is just one of 15 prominent “Keynote Poets” reading in the Commonwealth Salon room.  Saturday and Sunday, 60 established and emerging poets read in Rabb Lecture Hall: they range from Boston Poet Laureate Sam Cornish and State Rep. Denise Provost to gifted students from Boston Latin High School and Boston Arts Academy as well as a Harvard University student.

The entire Festival is Free, and includes two Open Mics, plus a workshop with noted poet Tom Daley.  For specifics on times, locations, and more, click here.


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Based on values identified in SomerVision, Mayor Joe Curtatone invited residents to share their ideas for investing in four key areas:

  • Public Health
  • Arts and Culture
  • Community Engagement and Immigrant Outreach
  • Recreation

The City held three Community Budgeting meetings and solicited ideas online.  Now, they’ve gathered all the ideas and need need your help to prioritize them!

Click here to see the list of ideas that were generated by the community.  If you see an idea you like, vote it up. If you see an idea you’re not keen on, vote it down.

And if you’re interested in learning more about Somerville’s budget, click here.


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You know how sometimes all you want to do is celebrate the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter?   Well tomorrow is the perfect day to do exactly that: it’s March 14th, aka Pi Day!

Here in Somerville there are a few events planned that should make this Pi Day the best one ever.

  • Petsi Pies is having their annual Pi Day celebration.  Recite the digits of pi from memory and win free pie!  More digits = more pie!   Starts at 1:59 p.m.
  • The East Somerville Community School is hosting Pi Night for SPL students in grades 6-8 and their families.  Win a pie at various pi-related activity stations, eat pizza pie, and take home a small pie of your own!
  • Artisan’s Asylum is hosting a Pi Potluck.  Bring pie and eat pie!  Prizes will be awarded for people’s choice and most pi inspired.  This is an unofficial event, so if you’re not a member of the Asylum, you’ll need to coordinate with someone who is to go as their guest.

For more Boston-area Pi Day options, click here or here.  Happy Pi Day!



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