City leaders get history lesson on Somerville infrastructure


(Originally published in The Somerville Times, link to original article here.)

by: Jordan Deschenes

May 3, 2017


Somerville’s Board of Aldermen held an official meeting on Thursday to officially discuss a variety of items, most notably a communication from Mayor Joe Curtatone regarding infrastructure redevelopment.

Mayor Curtatone’s communication pertained to the city’s outdated sewage system, the redevelopment of which he considered a responsibility to both the state and the city’s SomerVision Comprehensive Plan.

“Infrastructure … is one priority that is not optional. We can’t just kick this can down the road any longer,” said Curtatone. “I’m not gonna sugar coat this. I never have, and I’m not gonna start tonight. It will take significant investment to undergo our most significant infrastructure projects.”

To explain specific strategies required to meet such needs, Curtatone invited Richard E. Raiche, Director of the Somerville’s Engineering Department, to give a presentation.

Raiche revealed that the city’s outdated drainage pipe system is “taxed beyond capacity” during heavy rainfall, resulting in substantial flooding in downtown business districts like Union Square. Historically, most of Somerville’s drainage infrastructure was built as a one-pipe system, an antiquated practice that does not separate sewage and rainwater. Continue reading

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City approves two ordinances for passage, two others still in progress


(Originally published in The Somerville Times. Link to original article here.)

By Jordan Deschenes

April 26, 2017


SOMERVILLE, MA—Somerville’s Legislative Matters Committee met last Thursday to discuss four major items related to ordinances, two of which were recommended for passage by the Board of Aldermen. The meeting was cut short by a half-hour due to an ongoing City Planning Board Meeting that several aldermen needed to attend, including the Committee Chairwoman, Mary Jo Rossetti.

“We spent just under an hour’s time on this particular issue,” observed Rossetti at the end of the meeting, referring to a grant-related ordinance still in discussion stages.

“And we passed two ordinances!” exclaimed Tim Snyder, Somerville’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.

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By manipulating antitrust laws, Chinese investors have monopolized their stake in the American food and agricultural market


By: Jordan Deschenes

(Photo: Bloomberg)

Wen Jiabao Sees Billionaires When Communists Convene As Wealth Gap

(Note: This is the unedited version of an article I wrote for The American Moderate, which can be found here)


On January 26, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission held a pre-litigation hearing about Chinese investment in the United States. During the “Industry Case Studies” portion of the hearing, the concerns of panel members’ testimonies centered mainly on China’s near-monopolistic grip on advanced American industries.

Notably, several of the panelists addressed growing Chinese authority over certain American food and agriculture practices such as farming and animal husbandry.

Patrick Woodall, the director of the Food and Water Watch, talked specifically about Chinese manipulation of the pork industry since the implementation of its most recent Five-Year Plan. He accused the Chinese government of setting up certain American farms as “export-platforms for agro-business” that will drive up pork prices on a global scale. Continue reading

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