Profiles

How the Bicycle Committee Is Making Our Streets Safer

A recurring theme in our conversation with Ken Carlson, the chair of the Somerville Bicycle Committee, is the championing of “good frustration.” “People who aren’t used to biking in a place that has decent bike facilities will come and say to me, ‘Wow, I really love biking in Somerville,’” Carlson says. “My response is yeah, […]


Lee Erica Palmer Inspires State Legislation

While most elected officials can vividly recall the blood, sweat, and tear-soaked path to completing their first campaign for office, Lee Erica Palmer couldn’t have been more prepared for her initial run as school committee representative for Ward 3 in 2015. “Unlike a lot of first-time candidates who can be surprised by what it takes […]


Ben Ewen-Campen Helps Usher In a New Era of Local Politics

Progressive candidates backed by the local chapter of Our Revolution ushered the city into a new political era in November, when all nine candidates who were endorsed by the Bernie Sanders-inspired group took seats on the board of aldermen and the school committee. Ben Ewen-Campen brought to the table a platform rooted in creating affordable […]



Artist Spotlight: Jen Epervary

Articulating struggles with mental health through art can seem like a daunting task, but illustrator Jen Epervary broaches the subject with warmth—and occasional references to the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.” “It’s about this super buff Hot Topic cashier that yells at ghosts, but [it’s] this idea that there is a different world living within our […]



Artist Spotlight: Ian Berg

When you Google Ian Berg, the first video result shows a circle of 20- and 30-somethings gripping Solo cups and cheering loudly over his tap dancing. Berg’s long curly hair bobs seconds after the rest of his body as his feet move at hummingbird speed. I tell him the crowd is so energetic and youthful, […]


From Pouring Pints to Shielding Downpours

Beer taps get a second life, thanks to local craftsman Ben Lewis Upon first glance, Ben Lewis’s apartment doesn’t seem like a mad craftsman’s lair. His cat, Leona, lopes around the brightly lit Somerville space to a looping playlist of Bowie and Modern Lovers songs. A selection of Lewis’s pet projects threaten to overflow the […]


Meet Rev. Day, the New Lead Reverend of First Church Somerville

Content warning: This article discusses suicide. “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” That’s a common refrain of the United Church of Christ, a community of Christians with more than 5,000 churches around the country. But it’s not something many young worshippers are used to hearing. […]


At the Ruby Rogers Center, Nanci Baren Spends Her Days Giving Back

When Nanci Baren walked into the Ruby Rogers Center nearly two decades ago, she had nowhere else to go. She’d been living in her car for several months, and she didn’t know what was coming next. “It was kismet that I ended up here,” says Baren, revealing a big, warm smile. Since that first visit […]



A-Listers: Melanie Jenkins

By Sarah Cadorette Photos by Shane Godfrey Fictional character she would date: The Rock. Not Dwayne Johnson, but The Rock. I met him when I was 16, when I was working as a waitress at Outback Steakhouse. He came in, and he just seemed so cool. I hate wrestling, but I love him.