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Solar-Powered Boston Benches; Somerville Trees; Casinos

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BOSTON/CAMBRIDGE—Those snazzy new solar-powered benches do, indeed, charge smartphones, even when the sun's hanging low: "I went back in the evening to see if the benches worked when it was overcast (they do, but seemed a bit slower to charge) and lo and behold, one of the benches was being used by a small group of friends. So, yes, people are using them." []
MASS-WIDE—The question about repealing the state's casino law will be No. 3 on the November ballot. [Globe]
SOMERVILLE—Certainly puts the "green" in Green Line extension, eh? "As part of a push to beautify the city's sidewalks, and create an urban landscape that's easy on the eyes, city officials announced they are in the midst of planting 575 new trees all around Somerville during the month of July." [Daily]