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Local group aims to bring electric streetcars back to South Bend area | Business


SOUTH BEND — Potential new pots of state and federal money for infrastructure projects has prompted a local group to make an attempt to bring back a storied South Bend tradition: electric streetcars.

Streetcars first appeared in South Bend in the 1880s, and reviving that fixture will grow the region’s population and economic development, while decreasing its carbon footprint, members of the RiverRail task force say.

“If we really want to rebuild our city, we need to go back in and look at that model and how we can drive that again,” said Jan Cervelli, a founding principal at urban design firm Serra Terra LLC and a professor at Saint Mary’s College.

The proposed RiverRail system, still in its conceptual stage, would include approximately six miles of track running from Notre Dame into downtown South Bend and then along Mishawaka Avenue into downtown Mishawaka. The tracks would be built on the street to run alongside regular traffic and the cars would be electric.

Cervelli said she got the idea for a modern streetcar system during her time in Tucson, Ariz., as a dean of landscape architecture at the University of Arizona. Tucson launched its streetcars, Sun Link, in 2014 and has seen a spike in economic development in the areas surrounding the route, she said.

“I become directly aware of how powerful a tool the modern streetcar can be, not only to bring a good form of alternative transportation, but I began to see what a powerful economic development engine it can be,” said Cervelli, who is also the former president of Saint Mary’s College. “It’s really a city-building tool.”

And so Cervelli, along with Doug Hunt, a former state senator and senior partner at Holladay Properties, Chuck Lehman, president of design firm Lehman & Lehman Inc., and Lou Pierce, founder of Mishawaka-based marketing firm Big Idea Company, are taking their plan to local officials and the community in the hopes of making RiverRail a reality.

“This is, in a nutshell, the opportunity for South Bend and Mishawaka to bring people back to the city,” Hunt said.

Getting on track

The proposal is still in its infancy and could face many questions, especially surrounding the cost.

The group has yet to perform a detailed feasibility study, which would include a more accurate price tag, but Cervelli said the streetcar system would likely cost more than $200 million, the majority of which would need to come from state and federal funding.

Hunt said the primary reason the group is going public with its plans now is to coincide with President Joe Biden’s attempt to get a massive national infrastructure spending bill through Congress. The task force said the RiverRail project is not contingent on the Biden Administration’s legislation passing, but that item, combined with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s recently announced Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI), signals the time is ripe for infrastructure projects.

“I think the bigger the pool of money, the better your chances are,” Hunt said.

Task force members also feel general economic trends make a streetcar line viable in a way it wasn’t in the middle of the 20th century, when the service fell by the wayside in South Bend. Cervelli said booming automobile ownership during that period drove streetcars out of business, but noted that fewer people moving into urban areas today own cars.

“If you look at cities today and traffic congestion, a lot of people, millennials and baby boomers, want to move back into urban environments,” she said. “They don’t necessarily need a car or want a car. They want to get on modern, safe, convenient transit to get from one place to another.”

It is also difficult to determine how much economic development a streetcar route would drive. Cervelli and Hunt said the line in Tucson has produced $2 billion to $3 billion in investments, an amount well above the cost of the project.

Michael Guyman, vice president of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, said that number is real, though not all can be attributed to the streetcars.

Guyman noted that numerous residential or mixed-use projects quickly sprang up around Tucson’s streetcar route, which linked the University of Arizona to the city’s downtown district. Property prices in the immediate area also rose sharply.

“A lot of those developers talked about how the streetcar was the primary reason they did it,” Guyman said.

Guyman also noted that investors like infrastructure projects, such as streetcar lines, that physically show where a community’s dollars are being spent.

“There’s a sexiness to a streetcar because you can see the tracks and hear the bell,” he said.

Next steps

The next task for the group is to commission a formal feasibility study that will determine the location of the route and stations and set a strategy for paying for the project. Hunt said the task force plans to ask local governments for $250,000 to hire HDR Consulting to do the study.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller said he would have to see the group’s formal request before saying whether he would consider giving city money to the study. However, he noted that many of the areas slated as stops on the streetcar track are places the city has had its eye on to improve.

“The level of ambition in our community continues to go higher and higher, which is a good thing,” Mueller said.

Population growth too slow? Maybe we should stop turning away immigrants



The country’s population growth is slower than at any time since the Great Depression, and I’m of two minds about that.

On one hand, slower growth is good for a nation bristling with huge problems, starting with climate change and the pressure that more people and development put on our land and infrastructure — water, sewer, landfills, roads and food production. Add to that millions of guns, an opioid epidemic, racism and an extreme and unhealthy political divide. It’s a big mess.

Dan Rodricks

There were 331,449,281 people living in this country as of April 2020, according to the U.S. Census, and that represents a towering challenge to our sustainability as a civilized, well-fed, healthy society.

So, slow growth — not all that bad. Plus, demographers say we should get used to it because, given current policy and the country’s general lack of enthusiasm for more immigrants, we probably won’t see a population explosion any time soon.

On the other hand, slow growth might not be a good thing. Indeed, it might be a very bad thing.

In Maryland and across the nation, we should all find slow growth troubling for at least selfish reasons. We’re all going to need someone to take care of us when we hit the gray years and, at the present rate, there might not be enough help on hand. We’re going to need doctors, nurses and caregivers but, given current conditions — longer life expectancies, lower birthrates, fewer newcomers entering the country — we’re going to come up short.

So, there’s a definite downside to Americans being opposed to more immigration to grow the population. Other countries, particularly those in southern Europe, are already facing this problem. Japan amended its immigration laws a couple of years ago to import more caregivers to keep up with demand.

And there’s one more thing — economic productivity — and that’s no small thing. That, for many, is the core of American exceptionalism. It flows from our economic power.

U.S. Immigration policy

Unless some of them have changed their minds, I can provide you with the names of 1,470 economists, Republicans and Democrats, who think the country needs to loosen up and welcome more immigrants in order to continue to be an economic power.

They signed an open letter to the Trump White House and Congress in 2017 calling for a smarter immigration system that accepts reality: Immigration brings creative entrepreneurs who start new businesses; it also brings young workers to replace millions of retiring baby boomers. To maintain or increase productivity, these and other economists have said, the nation needs more immigrants. (In an analysis for ProPublica, Moody’s Analytics, estimated that for every 1% increase in population from immigrants, GDP rises 1.15%.)

While pre-pandemic unemployment was low, there were still shortages of workers for certain jobs — long-distance trucking, for instance. Plus, if we’re going to build a new zero-carbon economy around renewable energy, as prescribed in President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan, there could be opportunity for millions of workers more.

So, while some people don’t see the logic in having more immigration, others do.

And I’m one.

I said a few paragraphs ago that I was of two minds, but I made up my mind about this years ago, after looking at both sides: We need to be more welcoming to immigrants; my vote would be to open the doors a little wider again.

And if we gave them a path to citizenship, some of the millions of undocumented immigrants already living here might be able to help us solve some of those big problems I mentioned above.

But what do we do? We keep arguing about this.

And things actually got worse during the Trump presidency. It served as a clarion to white supremacists. As a result, it’s not hard to imagine that immigrants who once thought of moving to the United States, documented or undocumented, took their skills and ambitions elsewhere.

That had to have contributed to the slower population growth recorded by census takers.

“There is no doubt that Trump’s rhetoric and the devastation of the pandemic made an impact,” said Gustavo Torres, the executive director of Casa, the Maryland-based immigrant rights organization.

“There was a concerted effort by the Trump administration to undercount immigrant communities,” says Krish Vignarajah, president and CEO of Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. “The push to add a citizenship question to the count was deliberately designed to stir up fear of enforcement consequences. When that effort failed, the Trump administration [tried] to exclude undocumented members of our community from the census. After these efforts, combined with four years of anti-immigrant policy and rhetoric, there very well may have been a significant chilling effect on those willing to be counted.”

Texas, Florida and Arizona had lower-than-expected populations in the census. Maryland’s grew by about 7% over the last decade, one of the slowest periods since the 1830s.

Of course, we could also get population growth back to a sustainable level with an increase in babies. We’re at 1.73 births per woman, the lowest fertility rate in 40 years. Nobody asked me, but maybe what Biden prescribes will encourage slightly larger families: universal preschool, affordable child care. And maybe, if we actually slow climate change, people currently pessimistic about the future might be more willing to have kids, and one of those kids might grow up to be your doctor.

Dan Rodricks is a long-time columnist for The Baltimore Sun.

How Authentication Controls Win Consumers


When it comes to mobile banking app security, consumers are eager for personalization and control.

Failing to deliver these features and meet consumers’ security needs can have disastrous consequences for financial services providers, however, as mobile savings app Beam’s recent plight illustrates. The company was forced into a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after users reported that they could not withdraw funds from their accounts. It was then made to refund approximately $2.6 million in deposits and interest to its customers before being shut down and banned from running a mobile banking app ever again. This very public digital banking fallout is an example of why customers want control when it comes to their mobile banking app security — and why banks should give it to them.

In terms of having more control, PYMNTS research indicates that the authorization aspect of mobile banking app security is a main priority for consumers. Sixty-four percent consider it “very” or “extremely” important to be able to set additional security requirements for specific transactions. More than half of these consumers are even more likely than most to say that it is “very” or “extremely” important to be able to request additional authentication factors for specific transactions, with 66 percent of bridge millennials and 64 percent of millennials saying so.

The Mobile Banking App Playbook: Customization As A Key To Meeting Banking Customers’ Expectations, a PYMNTS and Entersekt collaboration, examines these and other factors to identify why banking customers are dissatisfied with authentication practices and what makes for a more personalized mobile banking app authentication experience. The Playbook draws from a census-balanced survey of 2,581 consumers and offers a roadmap for how financial institutions (FIs) can address these issues.

PYMNTS analysis shows that having control over how transactions are authenticated is what comforts consumers and makes them feel that they are better protected against fraud. Sixty-eight percent say they want to authenticate specific transactions because it provides additional security, for example, and 62 percent think it protects them from fraud. Almost as many say it makes them feel more secure. A significant share of consumers also say they believe that having more control over authentication significantly lowers their chances of experiencing mobile app fraud, as 56 percent say they think that fraud risks would be lower if they had greater control.

Consumers today also want more customized mobile banking app experiences and desire more personalized features. Nearly one-third of consumers would use their mobile banking apps more if their banks covered the liability for potential fraud, and 26 percent would use the apps more if they offered more authentication choices.

Interest in a personalized user experience is especially high among credit union (CU) members, who would use their apps more if they offered more functionalities. Twenty-four percent say they would like to be able to retrieve their credit scores, and 58 percent say they would like their banking apps to send them real-time notifications of account activity. In terms of generational breakdowns, baby boomers and seniors are the most interested demographic: 68 percent say they would be interested in receiving real-time notifications, compared to only 45 percent of Generation Z consumers who say the same.

These findings touch on just a few of the insights outlined in PYMNTS’ research. To learn more about how consumers feel about authentication with their mobile banking apps, and how FIs can ensure they are offering the right features to personalize their needs, download the playbook.

Trans Youth are Coming Out Earlier than Their Predecessors


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There are a few common identity milestones that transgender or trans people experience across their lives. 

One is starting to feel different than the sex assigned to them at birth. Another is identifying with a trans identity – for instance, as a trans man or genderqueer person, meaning they don’t identify with a binary gender such as a woman or a man. There also is the experience of living in line with this identity, which can include disclosing it to others, and changes to a person’s name, pronouns and appearance. And then there’s accessing gender-affirming medical care like puberty blockers, hormones or surgeries.

These milestones can happen at any age in a person’s life, despite stereotypes that trans people must have always known they were trans. Some people may not go through all the milestones. And although these are common milestones, they are not exhaustive, and no singular narrative captures all trans people’s experiences.

Originally published in The Conversation - USE THIS LOGO

As an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and director of Trans-ilience, a community-engaged research team, I study how stigma and oppression influence mental health, as well as ways of being resilient in the face of such challenges. 

Recognizing that there is no “one way” to be trans, I surveyed 695 trans individuals aged 16 to 70. My collaborators Samantha TornelloBrian Mustanski and Michael Newcomb and I explored how common identity milestones for transgender people may relate to mental health, and how generations experience these milestones differently. Our peer-reviewed study was published in early 2021. 

Baby boomers to Gen Z

Our research showed that Generation Z, born from 1997 to 2012, and millennials, born from 1981 to 1996, are more diverse in their gender identities than older generations. This is particularly true when it comes to identifying as genderqueer, nonbinary and agender. For example, 24.5% of Gen Z participants identified as nonbinary, whereas only 7.4% of boomers identified this way. 

The Generation X participants, born from 1965 to 1980, and baby boomers, born from 1946 to 1964, were more likely to identify as trans women compared with younger participants. And overall, trans women reported later ages of starting to live in their affirmed gender and receiving gender-affirming medical care relative to the other gender groups. Trans women were, on average, around 31 when living in their affirmed gender all of the time; other gender groups ranged from 21 to 25 years old.

We found little difference between the generations in when they recognized that their gender felt different than their sex assigned at birth. On average, this happened around age 11, with the youngest age reported for this milestone being 2 years old. 

However, the boomers reported reaching the other major milestones later than younger groups. For example, boomers were, on average, around age 50 when they were living in their affirmed gender all the time. In contrast, Gen X was 34, millennials were 22 and Gen Z was 17. 

Gen Z and millennials also reported much shorter gaps between reaching milestones. For instance, the boomers group reported an average 24-year delay between starting to identify as trans and living in their affirmed gender. There was just a two- and three-year gap for Gen Z and millennials, respectively. 

Notably, there can be many challenges to coming out and living in an affirmed gender that should also be taken into account. These barriers include living with a family that is not supportive, being concerned about violent attacks and not having access to appropriate medical care. 

Gen Z and millennials are more likely to identify as genderqueer, nonbinary or agender than older generations.

Mental health advantages

Regardless of the age at which milestones were experienced, respondents who reported living in an affirmed gender and accessing trans-related medical care also reported less internalized stigma, anxiety and depression, and what researchers call gender non affirmation – such as being misgendered, which includes others using the wrong pronouns for the individual or having their gender disrespected by others. 

Reaching these milestones is also associated with higher levels of appearance congruence, meaning that a person’s appearance represents their gender identity. This, too, is associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety.

Given these findings, supporting trans people in affirming their gender identity can benefit their mental health and well-being. This can mean addressing familyschool and legal realms so that trans people are respected and supported.

Despite the benefits of affirming one’s gender, the younger generations reported greater stressors – such as internalized stigma or invalidation of their gender – and symptoms of depression and anxiety compared with older generations.

[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]

In other words, it appears younger trans people are facing greater mental health challenges and exposure to stressors, even while they are coming out and affirming their genders at younger ages. 

It may be that trans people develop resilience and resistance strategies as they age that help them navigate oppression while improving health and well-being.

Ongoing violence and discrimination

It’s difficult for trans people to come out and affirm their gender identity in a society where they – especially trans people of color– are targets of violence and murder, their histories are erasedand their rights are under attack

In light of my team’s findings, supporting and validating trans people is a meaningful way to reduce the health disparities in this marginalized community.

The Conversation

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ROBERTS: Rosie the Riveter and Dolly Parton | Coronavirus / COVID-19


The time was the early 1940s. America was at war. The aircraft and munitions industries heavily recruited women to take up important jobs in support of the war effort. In 1942, artist J. Howard Miller created the iconic, yellow background “We Can Do It!” poster of Rosie the Riveter, dressed in blue and wearing a red bandana, flexing her arm and looking straight at you. There is a power of iconic images like Rosie the Riveter to motivate people and to effect change.

We are engaged in battle again today, this time against a deadly virus. The nation needs a modern-day Rosie to recruit for the COVID-19 vaccine war effort. Who better than Dolly Parton, who not only rolled up her sleeve to get vaccinated, she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt early in the pandemic, which helped lead to the Moderna vaccine. To be precise, Parton did not have to roll up her sleeve when she got vaccinated. Her sparkly “cold-shoulder” top allowed her to get her shot without a wardrobe adjustment. Now it’s a fashion trend. I’d like to nominate her for sainthood.

I’m not sure even a Saint Dolly could increase vaccination rates enough to reach herd immunity. Vaccine hesitancy is astonishingly high. Though political leanings play a role, it is certainly not as simple as Trump supporters versus all others. Jonah Goldberg, writing for The Dispatch, noted that when the COVID-19 pandemic began, very few conservatives and Republicans disagreed that the government had a role to play: “Pandemics, like wars, are supposed to be tackled by the government.”

Even the staunchest libertarian — focused on “autonomy and political freedom” — can understand that preventing the spread of communicable disease is a necessary and worthy role of government, even as certain means to control disease (government shutdowns, for example) are questioned.

But the libertarian forfeits their principled position when their personal right to act becomes a belligerent and ignorant — not to mention community-harming — stand. So went Custer. Some are even wearing the decision not to be vaccinated as a badge of honor.

When you combine a growing libertarian streak with the individualism and sense of invincibility common among millennials (aka “Generation Me”), it is easy to see why vaccination rates trail off dramatically the younger you look. A cynical person might suggest that millennials just want the excess number of Baby Boomers to die from COVID-19 so they don’t have to support them in retirement. Plus, they’ll get their inheritance sooner. After all, those old people were going to die anyway. (Yes, I have heard it said on more than one occasion that COVID-19 didn’t really kill older people; they were going to die anyway.)

Young adults aren’t invincible, despite podcaster Joe Rogan telling them they don’t need to get vaccinated. (He later walked back that comment, stating, “I’m not a doctor. I’m a f—ing moron.”) It sells more papers (or internet and social media ads) to play up the rare vaccine side effects than to tell the stories of young people who suffered or died from severe COVID-19. But those stories are out there.

Serious cases are on the rise in younger adults, creating a “reservoir of disease” that eventually “spills over into the rest of society.” Without a doubt, President Joe Biden should order U.S. military personnel to get vaccinated. Our military must be fit at all times.

I have had many thoughtful discussions with people who have not yet gotten vaccinated. Outside of conspiracy theories, I have yet to hear an argument that is not based ultimately on either fear or self-centeredness.

The most sensible argument made against the COVID-19 vaccines is that we don’t have enough long-term safety data. (The original argument was that they were developed too quickly, but that was a false argument from the start. Years of advance research laid the groundwork for COVID-19 vaccine development.) But with hundreds of millions of doses given — and only extremely rare serious side effects seen — the safety of the vaccines being given in the United States is unquestioned. Pregnant women can get vaccinated, and there is no evidence any of these vaccines affect fertility.

True anti-vaxxers are a lost cause. They are crazy. You can’t reason with a conspiracy theorist. But there are many honest folk who have heard so much misinformation that they either don’t know what to believe or just can’t get rid of their doubt. These are the people who need to step up and take responsibility for more than just themselves. Otherwise, we are left with pure selfishness. Rosie would not approve.

Though vaccine hesitancy is seen across the nation, rural and conservative areas are the worst. Once again, as with almost every health metric from smoking to obesity, from education level to income, rural America comes in last.

One may have different political beliefs and still unite in caring for the poor, the vulnerable, the least of these. Love and justice demand it.

The New York Times argues vaccine hesitancy isn’t a knowledge problem; it is about gut beliefs or “moral intuitions.” Vaccine hesitancy among evangelical Christians is pathetically high. What amazes me is that the folks who claim the moral high ground and purport to be concerned for the eternal welfare of others apparently don’t care enough about others’ lives here on earth to take a simple shot.

So, for the freedom loving, anti-big government individualists out there, hear me: You can mistrust authority and love your neighbor. You can hate Dr. Anthony Fauci and still protect your grandmother. You say you love your country? Then protect her and end this pandemic.

It boils down to “where your treasure is.” Is your core motivation the “moral preference for liberty and individual rights,” or is it “love your neighbor as yourself?” Maybe one choice honors both. Rosie the Riveter rolled up her sleeve. So did Saint Dolly. You should, too.

Specialty Foods Global Market Report 2021: COVID 19 Growth


New York, May 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Specialty Foods Global Market Report 2021: COVID 19 Growth And Change to 2030” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p06070252/?utm_source=GNW

The global specialty foods market is expected grow from $138.79 billion in 2020 to $161.52 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4%. The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact, which had earlier led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges. The market is expected to reach $247.2 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 11%.

The market for specialty foods consists of sales of specialty foods and their related services. Specialty foods are made from high quality ingredients and have limited distribution with unique or beautiful packaging. The specialty foods consist of cheese & plant-based cheese, non-RTD cocoa and coffee, refrigerated and frozen poultry/seafood/meat, yogurt, candy, pretzels/snacks/chips, bread & baked goods, and others

The growth in the number of millennials preferring at-home and healthy meals coupled with growing interest in having nutritious food for a healthy lifestyle is increasing the demand for specialty foods.According to Specialty Foods Association (SFA), millennials are twice likely to plan at-home meals and giving high preferences for specialty products to create interesting and healthy eating experiences.

Moreover, according to the research from the NDP Group in 2019, millennials, gen X, and baby boomers are expected to eat more meals at home. Thus, growth in at-home cooking activities of millennials and preferences for healthy foods is anticipated to boost the revenue for specialty foods market over the forthcoming years.

The high cost of specialty food is likely to hinder the growth of the specialty foods market during the period.Specialty foods are made from high-quality ingredients such as gluten-free, non-GMO, and ingredients rich in vitamins and minerals, thus include a higher cost of raw materials.

According to specialty foods association, the high cost of ingredients, certifications, and production is increasing the prices of specialty foods making it unaffordable for the large group of the populace. Therefore, the high cost of specialty foods is predicted to hinder the growth of the specialty foods market during the forecast period.

The specialty foods market covered in this report is segmented by product type into cheese and plant-based cheese; frozen or refrigerated meat, poultry, and seafood; chips, pretzels, and snacks; bread and baked goods; chocolate and other confectionery; others and by distribution channel into food service; retail; online.

The launch of high quality and innovative products such as plant-based, convenience, better-for-you, non-GMO products with authenticity, and products with unique attributes such as low fat, low calorie, low sodium, high protein, no dairy and organic is a major trend shaping the growth of the specialty foods industry.For instance, in February 2020, PANOS Brands, engaged in production and sales of a unique portfolio of specialty and natural brands announced the launch of its new products which includes Amore Organic Ready-To-Eat Legumes, KA•ME Asian Rice Crackers, Amore Organic Ready-To-Eat Legumes, Chatfield’s premium allergen-safe Organic Baking Bars, Andrew & Everett rBGH-BST Hormone Free Melting Cheese, and MI-DEL Organic Apple Cinnamon Cookies.

Therefore, the launch of new innovative and healthy products is likely to be a major trend driving the sales of the specialty foods industry.

In August 2018, Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC), producer of Indiana Kitchen premium pork products announced the acquisition of Specialty Foods Group, LLC (SFG) based in Owensboro, Kentucky for a purchase-price between $ 25-27 million.The acquisition is expected to strengthen the Indiana Packers Corporation (IPC) growth for manufacturing, marketing, sales, and raw material utilization capabilities.

Specialty Foods Group LLC is a manufacturer and distributor of private-labelled and premium branded meat products in the USA.
Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p06070252/?utm_source=GNW

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Somerville joins the Civil War


Life in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte

I’ve mentioned before that I’m an eBay enthusiast. I’ve bought lots of vintage and historic stuff and I’ve sold a lot too. You can search for anything on eBay and often I will enter ” Somerville Mass” and see what pops up. Most of the items for sale are old picture postcards, but occasionally I’ll find an old dairy bottle, food labels and ads, store receipts and books.

My latest purchase was a booklet called Somerville’s History, Past and Present, 1896 by famous landscape architect and historian Charles Elliot. Mr. Elliot was the man who designed Revere Beach, the first public beach in the nation among many other architectural and literary accomplishments. The book chronicles Somerville’s history from 1628 to 1896.

As I looked through the yellowing pages of the 125-year-old booklet, I noticed many references to the Civil War. What was happening in Somerville, a Union state, during one of the most tumultuous periods in our nation’s history? Imagine graduating from Somerville High School in June and instead of going to college, joining the Somerville Light Infantry and leaving home to fight in the Civil War. My fellow baby boomers faced a similar situation when the Viet Nam war was raging almost 100 years later.

“As the National Capital was again being threatened, on the 28th of June 1962 President Lincoln made his famous call for three hundred thousand more troops. On July 19th a committee of Somerville selectmen and citizens worked to increase enlistments. A bounty of $125 was paid for signing up. The Somerville Guard were camped on Prospect Hill. It was attached to the 39th regiment as company E under the command of Captain Fred R Kinsley.” where it went to the front and proved to be an honor to the Town and to the State.”

Somerville sent about 569 men as a result of the bounties for joining. By June 1, 1863, at a cost of around $45,000, Somerville paid each man that joined and provided aid for their families. In July of 1863, the war’s demand led to 186 more men signing up and joining the effort but with no bounty offered, showing the true patriotism of the people of Somerville.

The brave citizens of Somerville came through, answered the call, and served heroically when the country needed them.

Somerville Mayor Charles Grimmons, in his January 1907 inaugural address said, “In the early future, I feel that our city should have a grand, imposing monument in commemoration of the efforts of the soldiers of 1861-1865.” (see photo) That inspiring monument has an Angel holding the flag with one hand and the other hand is hovering over a soldier’s head. From what I recall It stood near the Central Library but where it is now, maybe you know. I don’t. I’m sure it’s safe.


Hopefully, the cannons that were near the play area near the library are also in a safe place during the construction. The grass looks beautiful that’s growing in front of the new high school and I’m sure the entire finished project will be stunning. Friends reminded me that in later years they removed the wheels and mounted the cannons’ barrels in cement. They were positioned near the kids’ playground near the Central Library on Highland Ave. Some fellow “Villens” remember putting bottle rockets and firecrackers in the barrels of the cannons. When the Somerville Elks Hall was being torn down, they sold their Elk statue that was out front to The Wakefield Elks. You can see the familiar statue from route 128/95. I hope we didn’t sell the cannons to Chelsea or Medford! As someone said, “I hope the ‘cancel culture’ doesn’t dispose of them.” I’m sure the statues are fine and will return in due time.

The Milk Row Cemetery Monument is at 439 Somerville Avenue. A lasting tribute to 68 men from Somerville who died in the Civil War (an incomplete list). Somerville was the first municipality in the country to erect a monument for Civil War soldiers. Somerville indeed leads the way.


Why won’t boomers seek the help they need?


Dear Amy: Why are so many middle-aged folks/baby boomers resistant to mental health care?

Amy Dickinson 

While millennials (like me) openly seek help for our issues, we watch our parents go in circles with the same issues — emotions, stress, social dysfunction — and insist they don’t need help.

They are often defensive and hostile to the suggestion, saying, “It wouldn’t work” even though they’ve never tried it.

For those of us who have put in some hard work on ourselves, it’s hard to watch them go through the same patterns over and over and refuse to talk to professionals.


Sports During the Pandemic – How Have Leagues Done?


PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Normally, May is a plethora of sports. Hockey and basketball are coming to a close, baseball is heating up and the NFL draft has just happened. But, in 2020 May was quiet. The leagues were all shut down while ESPN showed old competitive eating competitions. But now the leagues are all back and, a new online survey conducted by Regina Corso Consulting among 2,099 U.S. adults, 18 and older between April 14 and 17, 2021 shows that, for the most part, Americans think they’ve done a decent job over the past year.

When it comes to which league has done the best job dealing with playing in the pandemic, three in ten (31%) say the National Football League (NFL) has done the best job while over one-quarter (27%) say the National Basketball Association (NBA) has done the best job. One-quarter of Americans (24%) say Major League Baseball (MLB) has done the best job dealing with playing in the pandemic and one in five (19%) say the National Hockey League (NHL) has done the best job.

There is a generational gap over which league has done the best job. Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers/Greatest Generationers are more likely than Gen Zers to say the NFL has done the best job (31%, 33% and 31% vs. 24%). But, Gen Zers are more likely than the three older generations to say the NBA has done the best job (38% vs. 27%, 26% and 22%). There is also a partisan split with Democrats being more likely than Republicans and Independents to say the NBA has done the best job (34% vs. 21% and 26%) while Republicans are more likely than Democrats and Independents to say MLB has done the best job (29% vs. 22% and 21%).

Looking at this from the other side, over one-quarter of Americans (27%) say the National Hockey League has done the worst job, one-quarter say the National Basketball Association (26%) and the National Football League (26%) has done the worst job and one in five (21%) say Major League Baseball has done the worst job dealing with playing in the pandemic.

Again, there is a generational gap with Gen Z being more likely than Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers/Greatest Generationers to say the NHL has done the worst job dealing with playing in the pandemic (36% vs. 28%, 26% and 21%) while Gen Xers and Baby Boomers/Greatest Generationers are more likely than Gen Zers and Millennials to say the NBA has done the worst job (31% and 29% vs. 19% and 24%). Women are more likely than men to say the NFL has done the worst job (28% vs. 23%) and men are more likely than women to say MLB has done the worst job (23% vs. 19%).

About Regina Corso Consulting:
Regina Corso Consulting is a research and insights firm. Led by public release research expert, Regina Corso, our team is made up of seasoned research and communications professionals who deliver strategic and creative research to equip our clients with actionable data for communications programs. We conduct research for media outreach efforts, local media tours, social and digital campaigns, and thought leadership efforts. For more information, visit ReginaCorsoConsulting.com.

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SOURCE Regina Corso Consulting

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