Leonard Goldstein, Former Owner of Keezer’s Classic Clothing, Dies at 67 (Nov 11, 2019 - Harvard Crimson)
“Len has always had the gift of gab and would very often talk to people for long periods of time,” Soodak said. “Len was a really smart guy, and knew a lot about a lot of things, so people would come in and he would strike up a conversation, and they could go for quite a while. So he had a good relationship with all the customers.”

Members Sought to fill Upcoming Vacancies in Recycling Advisory Committee

City SealCity Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking Cambridge residents, business owners, and local professionals interested in serving on the Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) beginning in January 2020.

The RAC is a volunteer committee which provides advice, recommendations, and assistance to the Department of Public Works (DPW) regarding recycling, composting, reuse, and waste reduction. The RAC does this through research, feedback, public outreach, and event planning. The RAC has been instrumental in the city’s new Zero Waste Master Plan, Fix-It Clinics, marketing and education, and other important initiatives that have made Cambridge a national leader in waste reduction.

Cambridge Recycling began in 1989 with a few volunteers dedicated to beginning a recycling drop-off program. Today, the city recovers more than 11,000 tons per year of recyclables from more than 44,000 households. Approximately 32,000 households have access to curbside composting, reducing the city’s trash by more than 7% in the first year of citywide composting. More households will be added to the program over time. The City now serves 123 businesses in the Small Business Recycling Pilot. Lastly, the RAC is working on a Single-Use Plastics regulation in conjunction with the Cambridge City Council and the Department of Public Works.

Currently, the city’s goals to reduce waste match those in the MA Solid Waste Master Plan. Using 2008 as a baseline year, the city aims to reduce trash 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. As of 2018, the city has reduced trash by 28%.

The Committee has been active for over 20 years and consists of at least nine members with a demonstrated interest in the topics listed above. Members serve a three-year term and are expected to attend monthly meetings (Sept-June). The city seeks members that represent local businesses and property managers, Cambridge residents, and users of the Recycling Center, universities, non-profit organizations and social service agencies whose goals overlap with waste reduction.

Duties, Responsibilities and Minimum Requirements include:recycling symbol

Helpful Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

To learn more about the committee’s work, please consider attending an upcoming meeting, on Oct 16 or Nov 13. For more information, contact Michael Orr, Recycling Director, at 617-349-4815 or morr@cambridgema.gov. The deadline for submitting applications is November 15, 2019. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

Member Sought for Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust - Application Deadline Extended

City SealCambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking residents who are interested in serving on the Cambridge Affordable Housing Trust.

The Affordable Housing Trust administers and oversees city funds allocated to create and preserve affordable rental and homeownership housing, and to support housing programs that address the city’s affordable housing needs. The Trust members review proposals for new housing preservation, development efforts, and other housing programs, and provide housing policy and program advice to the City Manager, city staff, other city boards and commissions, and the Cambridge City Council.

The Trust is comprised of members with experience in affordable housing, housing policy, finance, development, planning, and design. The Trust is chaired by the City Manager and generally meets on the fourth Thursday of every month, from 4-5:30pm, at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, Nov 1, 2019. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

Member Sought to Fill Cambridge Library Board of Trustees Vacancy - Application Deadline Extended

City SealCity Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees for the Cambridge Public Library.

Library trustees are volunteer community representatives, library advocates, and leaders in the establishment of goals and policies for the Cambridge Public Library system. Trustees are a vital link between the library staff and the community and work to ensure the quality of library services, collections, and programs, and to make certain that the library reflects and is relevant to the community.

Trustees serve a 3 year term and are expected to attend monthly board meetings, committee and community meetings, appropriate continuing education workshops or conferences, and library programs as their schedules allow.

Ideal candidates will have an interest in and passion for public libraries and an understanding of the importance of the public library as a center of information, culture, recreation, and life-long learning in the community. Candidates should also have knowledge of the community, including an awareness of diverse social and economic conditions, needs and interests of all groups. Strong verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking skills are required. Trustees work productively as a team. It is also important for candidates to understand how the role of the public library is evolving and how information technology and societal changes inform the library’s future.

The deadline for submitting applications is October 22, 2019. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. For more information about the role of Library trustees, contact Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries at 617-349-4032.

Members Sought for Cambridge Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity - Application Deadline Extended

City SealCambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking members of the community who live and/or work in Cambridge (including private sector and municipal employees, business owners, students, and others) to become a part of the Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity. Applications from interested community members are welcome through October 18, 2019.

The mission of the City of Cambridge Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity is to foster fairness, equity, unity, appreciation, and mutual understanding across all people and entities in Cambridge. The Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity works to provide opportunities for constructive discussions and community events regarding race, class, religion, gender, disability, and sexual orientation, through recognizing and raising awareness of historic, existing and potential civic issues; providing opportunities for honest dialogue and engagement; and by building bridges across communities to better understand and connect with one another.

The Committee generally meets monthly. Committee meetings are open to the public and may include presentations by guest speakers, city staff, and various experts. For information on the committee’s work, current goals, meeting schedule, and events, please visit: www.cambridgema.gov/civicunity

Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. Once your application is submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Applications are due by Friday, Oct 18, 2019.

If you have question about the application process, please contact the City Manager's Office at 617-349-4300 or fgaines@Cambridgema.gov.

Digital Equity Working Group Members Sought - Application Deadline Extended

City SealCity Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking residents to fill two positions on the City Manager’s Digital Equity Working Group. This administrative working group will provide input and guidance to the City Manager and staff at key milestones during the City’s yearlong study of digital equity in the Cambridge. The working group will assist in creating a draft vision and set of goals to inform the City’s digital equity strategy. Additionally, the working group, based on the findings of the study and research of best practices and regional efforts, will help develop targeted strategies the City could take to address digital equity in Cambridge.

The working group will meet quarterly with the possibility of 3-4 additional meetings. The term of this working group is one year.

Applications to serve on the City Manager’s Digital Divide Working Group can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or relevant experience  or interest may be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, October 11, 2019.

Nov 9 - Some information about the Cambridge Candidate Pages

It's worth noting that the Cambridge Candidate Pages get a lot of attention every two years with the municipal election, but it's interesting to note WHEN they get the most attention. Voters do consult them during the weeks and months leading up to Election Day, but the number of visitors always spike dramatically a day or two before Election Day and explode on Election Day. I don't know exactly what this says about voters and how much attention they pay to the candidates and the issues, but for those who do vote it is a valuable resource - and that even includes some voters while they are actually in the polls using their phones. This year the number of unique visitors during this period was approximately 11,000. Here's the day-by-day tally of visits, individual pages viewed, and bandwidth. Note the peak on Election Day (Nov 5). - RW

Day Number of visits Pages Bandwidth
28-Oct-19 387 1,817 295.19 MB
29-Oct-19 456 2,284 370.00 MB
30-Oct-19 462 2,490 418.33 MB
31-Oct-19 504 2,456 387.04 MB
1-Nov-19 529 2,350 372.24 MB
2-Nov-19 723 4,688 655.38 MB
3-Nov-19 1,325 9,211 1.33 GB
4-Nov-19 3,492 40,182 5.71 GB
5-Nov-19 9,247 108,806 15.81 GB
6-Nov-19 1,879 4,817 807.75 MB
7-Nov-19 480 1,094 176.87 MB
8-Nov-19 248 568 79.81 MB

Note: The total number of voters was approximately 21,314.

Nov 7, 2019 Update: Unofficial Election Results are in. The winners are the same as in the Preminary Results.

Unofficial 2019 City Council Election Results (PDF)
Order of Election: Sumbul Siddiqui, Denise Simmons, Patty Nolan, Quinton Zondervan, Marc McGovern, Alanna Mallon, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Dennis Carlone, Tim Toomey [incumbent Craig Kelley has been defeated]

Unofficial 2019 School Committee Results (PDF)
Order of Election: Mannika Bowman, Emily Dexter, Alfred Fantini, Ayesha Wilson, Rachel Weinstein, Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal

Watch the CCTV recording of the Election Night broadcast of The Count

Preliminary 2019 City Council Election Results (PDF)     Preliminary 2019 City Council Results (HTML)
Order of Election: Sumbul Siddiqui, Denise Simmons, Patty Nolan, Quinton Zondervan, Marc McGovern, Alanna Mallon, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Dennis Carlone, Tim Toomey [incumbent Craig Kelley appears to have been defeated]

Distribution of #1 Votes by Ward & Precinct - Preliminary 2019 City Council Election (PDF)

Preliminary 2019 School Committee Results (PDF)     Preliminary 2019 School Committee Results (HTML)
Order of Election: Mannika Bowman, Emily Dexter, Alfred Fantini, Ayesha Wilson, Rachel Weinstein, Jose Luis Rojas Villarreal

Distribution of #1 Votes by Ward & Precinct - Preliminary 2019 School Committee Election (PDF)

Note: There are still 888 "auxiliary" City Council ballots and 2,336 auxiliary School Committee ballots to be counted on Wednesday, and most likely a handful of additional overseas absentee and provisional ballots to be counted on Friday, November 15 before the results are final and official. Many of the auxiliary ballots may prove to be blank ballots, especially for School Committee. The margin between Carlone and Kelley after the deciding 14th Count was 39 in the preliminary (Tuesday) results. Though it is unlikely that this will change appreciably due to these additional ballots or due to changes in the surplus ballots drawn from Siddiqui's total, it is not impossible that this deciding round could change.

Voter turnout was approximately 31% of all registered voters (or about 42% of all "active" voters) based on the current estimate ot total ballots cast.

PS - The people of New York City yesterday passed ranked choice voting by a margin of 73.1% to 26.9%. This IS a big deal!

City of Cambridge Veterans' Appreciation Week Nov 11-15, 2019
Veterans' Day Observance Event Nov 11, 2019

City SealNov 4, 2019 – The City of Cambridge will kick off its third annual Veterans’ Appreciation Week Nov 11-15, 2019 with the annual Veterans' Day Observance event. The Cambridge Department of Veterans' Services and Cambridge Veterans' Organization (CVO) will hold their annual Veterans’ Day Observance on Monday, Nov 11, at 11:00am, at the Veterans’ World War I Monument, next to the main gate of Cambridge Cemetery, 76 Coolidge Avenue.

Veterans, Police and Fire Department Color Guards will muster at the World War I monument. For the observance, CVO President, Phillip Anderson, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A CRLS drama student will read the Governor’s Proclamation and a music student will sing the National Anthem and lead the audience in singing God Bless America. In honor of all Cambridge veterans who have served our nation, a memorial wreath will be placed at the Veterans’ WWI monument. The ceremony will include a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace, followed by a “Rifle Salute” from the CVO’s Firing Detail, and the playing of Taps. Afterward, a luncheon will be held from 12-1pm at American Legion Marsh Post #442, 5 Greenough Blvd., Cambridge. This event is open to the public.

Activities on select days of Veterans' Appreciation Week will include acupuncture, guided meditation, fitness and nutrition tips, restorative therapy, art workshops, social gatherings, food and refreshments.

Veterans Appreciation Week Nov 12-15, 2019

Tuesday, Nov 12 (1-5pm)
Acupuncture, Guided Meditation, and Pop-up Painting Veterans Life & Recreation Center (VLRC), 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor

Members from Community Acupuncture will be on-hand to apply acupuncture. Meditation guides from Meditation as Medicine will join us again this year to provide guided meditation sessions for veterans. This group has veterans on staff who are qualified to assist individuals with PTS challenges through the meditation process. Have fun making your own painting with guest instructor, Kristopher Cere, from Pop Up Paint Studios.

Wednesday, Nov 13 (1-5pm)
Women’s Veteran Appreciation Day and Art Demonstration Veterans Life & Recreation Center (VLRC), 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor

Please join us in celebrating all Women Veterans. We will have a social gathering with refreshments. All are welcome! Kenneth Headley, Cambridge Veteran and local artist, will offer a demonstration of his wood burning and painting technique.

Thursday Nov 14 (1-4pm)
Art Demonstration Veterans Life & Recreation Center (VLRC), 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor

Kenneth Headley, Cambridge Veteran and local artist, will be back for another day to demonstrate his wood burning and painting technique.

Friday Nov 15 (9:30am-12pm)
Buffet, Nutrition, Fitness, and Acupuncture Veterans Life & Recreation Center (VLRC), 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor

Enjoy a buffet of locally supplied food as we close out the week’s events. Fitness and nutrition specialists from Always Strong Fitness will be available for a free consultation. Acupuncturist will be back for another day of treatments. For more information, contact the City’s Department of Veterans’ Services at 617-349-4760 or veterans@cambridgema.gov.

City of Cambridge Announces 20 MPH Speed Limit on Most City-Owned Streets

City SealOct 28, 2019 – The City of Cambridge will reduce the speed limit on most city-owned streets to 20 mph, starting in mid-November. The new speed limits will apply on smaller, primarily local-access streets. Larger, arterial roads will still have a speed limit of 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. By driving at or below 20 mph, people can help reduce the likelihood of a crash. Lowering speed limits is a key part of the city's Vision Zero strategy to eliminate all crashes that result in serious or fatal injuries. If a crash does happen, it is much less likely to cause serious injury or fatality. When in doubt, go 20 mph.

Data show that reducing speeds has a big impact on the outcome of crashes. A study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that people walking are almost half as likely to be killed or seriously injured if struck by a car traveling 25 mph as compared to a car traveling 30 mph.

“We’ve heard concerns about speeding from people throughout the Cambridge community,” said Joseph Barr, Director of the Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Department. “Reducing the speed limit is an important step towards addressing those concerns. This change will also inform the way that we design our streets and help support our ongoing traffic calming efforts.”

During implementation, approximately 660 “Safety Zone” signs will be installed. A contractor, managed by city staff, will complete the majority of the work. Installations will begin in mid-November and proceed for approximately three months. Work will start in East Cambridge and proceed across the city to the west. A map of streets with 20 mph speed limits and approximate sign locations is available at cambridgema.gov/20mph. The map will be updated on an ongoing basis as new signs are installed.

Reducing the speed limit on most city-owned streets to 20 mph follows the reduction of the default speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph in December of 2016. It also builds off work done in early 2018 to decrease speed limits to 20 mph in the city’s five squares. Both this and the previous speed limit changes were made possible by the State's 2016 Municipal Modernization Act. Chapter 90, Section 18B of the Massachusetts General Laws allows the Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Department Director to establish 20 mph safety zones in the interest of public safety.

The Last Thing on their Minds - Nov 4, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting

CountdownThis is your classic night-before-Election-Day City Council meeting where Council business places a distant second behind concerns about having all their incumbency protection ducks in a row. If this meeting goes beyond 6:15pm it will likely be because they were forced to listen to the repetitive whining of Public Comment. Anyway, here is my very short list of interesting items on this very short agenda:

Manager's Agenda #3. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the creation of a new municipal Renewable Energy and Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) Reduction Revolving Fund (“Revolving Fund”) to serve the City of Cambridge’s (“City”) municipal energy aggregation, and adoption of the proposed new ordinance, Chapter 3.24, entitled “Departmental Revolving Funds.”

From the Manager's letter: "The Aggregation adder is expected to raise approximately $650,000 annually, or a total of $1.3 million during the current supplier contract period (January 2019 - December 2020)." Proposed uses are: (a) Invest $1.3 million in a solar energy project located on a municipal building; and (b) Deposit income earned from the sale of generated Net Metering Credits annually into the Revolving Fund. Those funds would subsequently be used to finance other solar energy/renewable energy projects and all resulting GHG reductions would be attributed to the Aggregation’s participants.

Seems like a reasonable plan of action.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff on determining the most appropriate signage and messaging that would best educate cyclists on the importance of following traffic laws, particularly stopping at red lights, for their own safety and the safety of other cyclists and pedestrians.

30 out of 31 Communications in which cyclists recoil in horror because a City Council Order from last week suggested "signage and messaging that would best educate cyclists on the importance of following traffic laws, particularly stopping at red lights, for their own safety and the safety of other cyclists and pedestrians."

Only in Cambridge would a resolution calling for enhanced safety yield an avalanche of protest. The turf wars continue.

Resolution #5. Congratulations to Sekazi K. Mtingwa.   Councillor Simmons

Sekazi and I worked together at MIT. I did the math and he did the physics in the MIT Concourse program. I'm glad to see him getting the recognition.

Brattle RoundaboutOrder #3. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the Council by the end of this term on progress toward identifying a source of funding and a timetable for the design and construction of a modern roundabout at the Brattle-Sparks-Craigie intersection, to share the consultant’s 2017-18 report on the feasibility of a modern roundabout, and to schedule a community meeting in early 2020 to further discuss this project.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Carlone

I don't know whether or not this is the best alternative for this intersection but it is an interesting proposal. I don't like the way it "pedestrianizes" cyclists and I would likely just ride through the roundabout with the rest of the traffic. It's a bit strange that the Council Order calls for a source of funding and a timetable for the design and construction prior to there being any decision on even doing such a redesign, but it's fair to say that this isn't the first instance of engineering via politics by this Council.

Order #5. Resolution in support of the Harvard Graduate Students Union-UAW’S demands for a fair contract now.   Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Mallon

Finish your thesis, kids. There are better opportunities than being an ABD (All But Dissertation) graduate student. I'll add that it still seems funny that the United Auto Workers are representing Harvard Graduate students.

99 Items Awaiting Report (sung to the tune of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall")

Wouldn't it be just marvelous if one of these weeks one of the councillors simply asked the manager to run through the list and say (a) which items he has no intention of reporting (possibly because it's either moot or ridiculous); (b) which items somebody somewhere is actually working on; and (c) which items he considers to be timely and important. For example, should we all be waiting with bated breath on the future of wood-fired ovens or electronic device usage by City-elected officials? I thought that the request for "a comprehensive, independent planning, and parking study of the neighborhood and use of the First Street Garage" had already been completed. Would it be so difficult to report on the "feasibility of allowing small businesses to host live acoustic music performances without a license?" Can anyone shed any light on the proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance that has apparently gone missing? - Robert Winters


Check out the latest episodes of Cambridge InsideOut: Tuesdays, 5:30pm and 6:00pm on CCTV

If you would like to be a guest (or co-host) one of these Tuesdays, let me know. - RW

Episode 429 (Oct 29, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Election coming; voter success; dirty politics, warring slates, and inflammatory issues; "Who defines 'the issues'?"
Episode 430 (Oct 29, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: dog people; awaiting report; the "gift" of the Foundry; renewable energy, municipal utilities, cost effectiveness; "weaponizing" the issue of campaign donations; shaming as a political strategy
Episode 427 (Oct 22, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Election coming; election systems, district vs. at-large; Candidate page updates; slates & endorsing organizations; incumbency protection and feeders; how to vote a PR ballot
Episode 428 (Oct 22, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Candidate forums; Cambridge Club event; some Plan E history; Devereux piece; myths about single-family zoning and density; Green Line Extension; growing the metropolis
Episode 425 (Oct 15, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Candidate slates and election outlook; a look at municipal elections over the years; Flotsam & Jetsam
Episode 426 (Oct 15, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Slates, candidate forums, strategies, campaign spending, "developer money"; Ranked Choice Voting; MIT, energy; Opening King Open
Episode 423 (Oct 8, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Tax rate hearing; property tax classification; residential exemption; tax levy; Harvard Square Zoning Petition; and more
Episode 424 (Oct 8, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Energy (gas & electric) infrastructure and City Council proposals; other topics from Oct 7 Council meeting
Episode 421 (Oct 1, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Candidate slates; political action committees; DigBoston Dirty Politics; ABC, CResA, ORC, CCC; reemergence of single-issue politics; independent candidates; future Council - Practical Solutions or Pointless Revolution
Episode 422 (Oct 1, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: School Committee election; Candidate Forums; slate politics; SNL; pending zoning matters - Karp, Article 19, Northwest Alewife Quadrangle, and Barrett Times Three
Episode 419 (Sept 24, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Bow Tie Ride; supervoters; First St. Garage/Courthouse resolution; Cannabis Business Ordinance approved; beer gardens in City parks
Episode 420 (Sept 24, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Road ahead for bike lanes on Mass. Ave.; resources to find out about candidates; Candidate Pages, CCTV videos, forums; sage advice; Follow the Money; campaign propaganda
Episode 417 (Sept 17, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 16 Council meeting (Part 1) - Cannabis, First Street Garage, Lobbying via Direct Mail, zoning history, changing nature of the city, New Street zoning failure
Episode 418 (Sept 17, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Sept 16 Council meeting (Part 2) - UpperWest pandering and Charter ignorance, evolution of License Commission practices, Municipal Broadband feasibility and shelf life, candidate forums and endorsements, CDD policy failures
Episode 415 (Sept 10, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 9 Council meeting (Part 1) - First Street Garage, Affordable Housing Overlay, and more
Episode 416 (Sept 10, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Sept 9 Council meeting (Part 2) - First Street Garage, Affordable Housing Overlay, and more
Episode 413 (Aug 13, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio] w/Patrick Barrett
Topics: Central Square (of course); Overlay continued; Courthouse politics; zoning for a purpose
Episode 414 (Aug 13, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio] w/Patrick Barrett
Topics: Creative zoning for Squares and mixed use districts; thoughts on this year's municipal elections and lack of civic infrastructure
Episode 411 (Aug 6, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Overlay juggernaut; targeting single-family homes for fun and politics; false attribution and zoning; lack of a coherent housing vision
Episode 412 (Aug 6, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Cannabis Business Regulation and political patronage; electric vehicles, Eversource, and using surplus parking for charging; First Street Garage theatrics; municipal election candidates all set
Episode 409 (July 16, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Candidate updates; emerging civic/political organizations; some history of downzoning, upzoning, and Concord-Alewife; road to a bridge at Alewife
Episode 410 (July 16, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: East Cambridge Courthouse saga, political red herrings, and intellectual dishonesty; the need for a better plan for the greater Lechmere area; the joys of homeownership - drains and trees and broken things (and Eversource)
Episode 407 (July 2, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: "Affordable Housing Overlay" at Planning Board & Ordinance Committee; Inclusionary Zoning; some housing history; CDD Housing Division as landlords
Episode 408 (July 2, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Candidates pulling nomination papers; who is and is not running; School Committee toxicity; Open Archives highlights; Tom Magliozzi; hiding the state flag
Episode 405 (June 25, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Picking winners in Inclusionary Housing, Cannabis permitting; micro-legislating; First Street Garage & innuendo
Episode 406 (June 25, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Open Archives, Car Talk Plaza, City Dance Party; candidate updates; rooftop mechanicals, BarBQ; Arts Task Force, CMAC, EMF, and politics
Episode 403 (June 18, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio] w/Patrick Barrett
Topics: City Clerk-Elect Anthony Wilson and a tribute to City Clerk Donna Lopez; Central Square Business Improvement District - where do we go from here?
Episode 404 (June 18, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio] w/Patrick Barrett
Topics: Proposed Subsidized Housing Overlay; housing issues in general; regional housing perspective; Sullivan Courthouse
Episode 401 (June 11, 2019, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Central Square Business Improvement District (BID) approved; evolving transportation.
Episode 402 (June 11, 2019, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Candidate updates (before Patty Nolan announced), candidate requirements; big issues, candidate pages; zoning - infrastructure and obstruction, Eversource; echoes of the Parking Freeze

Nervously Waiting and Wading through the Campaign Mailers - October 28, 2019 City Council Agenda

Ballot BoxHere are some items of interest up for discussion/approval/referral this week:

Manager's Agenda #7. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $350,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Library Extraordinary Expenditures account. This appropriation will fund a feasibility study and interior improvements to the Central Square Branch Library.

It's all feasible. The greater questions are (a) whether the City is willing to substantially redesign the Central Sq. library entrance to make it less of a nuisance, and (b) whether there's any interest in adding another level or two of parking to the Green Street Garage to meet existing demand and to compensate for losses elsewhere in the Central Square area. My guess is that they'll do neither.

Manager's Agenda #9. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the request for two appropriations of $23,000,000 from Free Cash and $7,000,000 from Cambridge Redevelopment Authority for the Foundry project.

The gift that keeps on giving.</sarcasm>

Order #9. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff on determining the most appropriate signage and messaging that would best educate cyclists on the importance of following traffic laws, particularly stopping at red lights, for their own safety and the safety of other cyclists and pedestrians.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Carlone

Ensuring cyclists own safety seems like a continuing uphill battle. This past Thursday on my way to teach a lecture I watched two cyclists with no lights ride at around 8:00pm directly across the path of a large truck on Oxford Street below the field of vision of the driver. Near miss.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department, the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department and the Department of Public Works to determine what facilities, parking changes, and other improvements to the pavement conditions would be necessary and feasible to make Porter Square and Massachusetts Avenue between Roseland Street and Beech Street a quick-build Complete Street with bus priority.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan

I have minimal knowledge of the best remedy for this area. I can, however, show at least one location where paradoxically the removal of an exclusive bus priority lane would actually make bus traffic move more quickly. Beware of one-size-fits-all solutions.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Co-Chair and Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 24, 2019 to discuss the City policy on sidewalk surface treatments as discussed in Policy Order #16 of July 30, 2019.

I like all-brick sidewalks except when I have to shovel them after a snowstorm. Then again, in my neighborhood when an asphalt patch of a concrete sidewalk is made it can take over 5 years to restore the sidewalk. Or never. Especially if the cut was made by Eversource/Neverfinish.

Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Mayor McGovern, transmitting a report, "The Kind of City which is Desirable and Obtainable:" A brief history of zoning in Cambridge.

I love anecdotal and oral histories. They add to the story. As for the political point attempting to be made here, never forget the age-old advice that "correlation does not imply causation." Cambridge zoning was initially done to simply acknowledge and codify what was already built. One definitely gets the impression that the current mayor wants to obliterate existing zoning primarily to facilitate a specific proposal. If you start with a conclusion you can nearly always cobble together a narrative to support it. I am far more interested in the here and now and whether specific modifications to existing zoning might be appropriate to achieve best outcomes, e.g. transit-oriented development, moderate increases in density, and adjusting the table of uses to reflect present-day uses in commercial zones. - Robert Winters


Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record) - with some comments:

Cambridge ChronicleIf you would like to subscribe or pick up a free paper copy at various sites, I encourage you to do so. It really is The Paper of Record.

Cambridge’s unofficial election results hold up wins, solidify loss for Kelley (Nov 7, 2019)

Solutions sought to buoy small businesses in Cambridge (Nov 8, 2019)

Preliminary election results: Nolan, Sobrinho-Wheeler join Cambridge council (Nov 6, 2019)

PHOTOS: Scenes from around Cambridge on Election Day (Nov 5, 2019)

To help protect pedestrians, Cambridge may add traffic signs to encourage safer cycling (Nov 5, 2019)

Take a look inside the new Valente Library in Cambridge (Nov 4, 2019)

New speed limit announced for roads in Cambridge (Nov 4, 2019)

Cambridge Redevelopment Authority purchases local building (Nov 4, 2019)

Cambridge School Volunteers welcomes new executive director (Nov 4, 2019)

The ghost of Fire Engine 3, and other spooky Cambridge stories (Oct 31, 2019)

Rent control push fueled by painful housing pinch (Oct 29, 2019)

Cambridge councilors allocate $30M for Foundry (Oct 29, 2019)

Valente Branch Library to open doors Nov. 4 (Oct 29, 2019)

Cambridge’s ‘nonprofit row’ saved, but affordable space remains an issue for others (Oct 28, 2019)

Cambridge may relieve elderly public housing residents from doing own security (Oct 23, 2019)

MBTA: Harvard Station renovations on track; one busway remains closed (Oct 18, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Cambridge schools urgently need plan for math (Oct 21, 2019 by Emily Dexter)

Methadone Mile regulars cross river; Cambridge police look to address root of problem (Oct 15, 2019)

MAP: Cambridge police investigating gunfire in the Port; ninth incident this year (Oct 14, 2019)

Property tax rate to decrease, Council considers Harvard Square pedestrian safety (Oct 8, 2019)

Crowd gathers for climate change event with Cambridge City Council candidates (Oct 8, 2019)

‘We’re on the right track:’ Cambridge unveils updated plans, timeline for Foundry Building (Oct 4, 2019)

LETTER: Some clarifications regarding Cannabis Business Permitting in Cambridge (Oct 3, 2019)

PHOTOS: Documenting a Cambridge neighborhood (Oct 3, 2019)

How one Cambridge neighborhood found community through annual photo shoot (Oct 3, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: CambridgeSide redevelopment would revitalize the city (Oct 1, 2019)

CPD welcomes new officers as police academy graduates first class (Sept 27, 2019)

For two years, Cambridge to allow only Economic Empowerment applicants to run pot shops (Sept 26, 2019)

Cambridge partners with All In Energy to Increase energy efficiency (Sept 26, 2019)

How Broadway Marketplace’s bakery manager won the hearts of Cambridge students (Sept 26, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Do we really want politics of smears to shape the Cambridge community? (Sept 25, 2019)

Cambridge Dumpling Festival delivers again (Sept 24, 2019)

Outstanding Neighbor in Cambridge Award announced (Sept 24, 2019)

Courthouse plan moves forward; Cambridge negotiates better deal for parking lease (Sept 19, 2019)

Officials consider alternative event after Cambridge Carnival’s cancellation due to threat of violence (Sept 18, 2019)

Cambridge celebrates feminist history with Historic Walking Tour (Sept 18, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Out of time for Out of Town News (Sept 17, 2019)

PHOTOS: Fresh Pond Market’s last day of business in Cambridge (Sept 16, 2019)

Fresh Pond Market bids adieu after a century in Cambridge (Sept 16, 2019)

Cambridge councilors delay First Street parking vote after hours of public comment (Sept 10, 2019)

Cambridge fiscal 2019 annual report now available (Sept 10, 2019)

New mural at Central Square Library celebrates learning (Sept 10, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Exposing an inconvenient truth about the Sullivan Courthouse (Sept 6, 2019 by Loren Crowe)

LETTER: Councilors would be foolish to walk away from courthouse proposal (Sept 5, 2019)

SUPERINTENDENT OP-ED: Giving Cambridge students the education they deserve (Sept 5, 2019)

LETTER: Leggat McCall’s plan is good for the neighborhood (Sept 3, 2019)

Who’s running, who’s not in Cambridge’s November election (Sept 3, 2019)

GUEST COLUMN: Courthouse proposal does not serve public interest (Sept 3, 2019)

Changing of the guard at Cambridge Police (Sept 3, 2019)

November Programs (and Beyond) at Fresh Pond Reservation

These events are FREE and open to the public. Children are welcome in the company of an adult.

Fresh Air Walks
Dates: Tuesdays, 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    These casual walks, led by Ranger Tim, will encompass Fresh Pond and take an informal look at each week in nature, life, and the city. Come alone or bring your co-workers! Rain or shine. Questions? Contact: tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov
Fresh Pond Stewards
Dates: Thursdays 10:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer near the front of the Water Treatment Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway.
    Join our weed-warrior crew! We are Fresh Pond citizens dedicated to keeping invasive plants at bay for the benefit of wildlife, water and humans alike. No experience or long-term commitment necessary! All tools are provided; sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. Meets at the volunteer trailer in the lower parking lot. Contact tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov for more information.
Woodland Restoration Area Gardening
Dates: Tuesdays between 9:30am and 1:00pm
Place: Meets at the Woodland Habitat (Northeast Sector)
    Join other stewardship-minded volunteers in caretaking the native plant restoration area next to Lusitania Meadow, and learn about the diversity of native plant life! We seek dedicated participants who enjoy camaraderie and hard work that includes weeding, pruning, planting, watering new plantings, hauling wood chips and moving logs. Please email friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com if you would like to come, and for more information.
Migratory Bird Walk
Date: Saturday, November 16th, 8:30am to 10:30am
Place: Register for parking and meeting information, and for cancellation due to weather
    Today we will look for migrating songbirds and waterfowl that stop at Fresh Pond Reservation to rest and feed while heading south for the winter. We also may see a variety of year-round avian residents. We have a telescope for close looks at ducks on the water, and binoculars to lend you if you don’t have your own. Beginners are welcome! Children are welcome accompanied by an adult. To register and for important parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.

Interested in Volunteering? Get hands on and give back to the land! Contact Ranger Tim at tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov to find out more!

Unless otherwise specified, please contact Martine at 617-349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov for any RSVPs or questions!

Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership is $10 and can be paid online or sent to 31 Mt. Pleasant St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Keep up to date on events at the Pond. Visit the Friends group website at http://friendsoffreshpond.org to learn more about Friends group activities and the reservation and its inhabitants.

Upcoming Programs

A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:
AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 16. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Moderate pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along the ocean beach. Beautiful desert landscapes, include pitch pine forest, views of Essex Bay, and sea birds. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at Woodman's Seafood Restaurant, in nearby Essex, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Crane Beach parking lot. Parking Fee. From Route 128, exit 14 in Gloucester, take Route 133 West for 5 miles. Turn right on Northgate Road. Then, turn right on Argilla Road, follow to beach. L Brian Connolly AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 16. Cutler Park Reservation, Needham. 9-11am. Join us for a walk in this local gem, conveniently located directly off of Route 128. As you walk the trails, you will not believe that you are so close to the highway. Highlights include Kendrick Pond, views of the Charles River, and the boardwalk crossing a marshland. Easy trails, minor ups and downs, with some roots and rocks, moderate pace. Bring water and snacks. No children under 10 or dogs. Severe weather cancels. Call Lisa if you have questions. Leader: Lisa Fleischman; Co-Leader: Judith Watson
AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 16. Glacial Features Walks, Sudbury. 9:30am-12:00pm. Registration Required. Limit 12 participants. Join glaciologist/geophysicist Bruce Porter for a walk through Gray Reservation/Haynes Meadow Reservation/Water District protection zone to explore the many features formed by the glacier that blanketed New England 10,000 yrs. ago. Kettles pit the plane and kame terraces rise abruptly to create beautiful vistas of the wetlands below. Be able to identify eskers, erratics, kames, and more on your next hike. Flat with one steep 50 foot section. Bring water. Severe weather cancels. Directions: Meet at the Curtis Middle School, 22 Pratts Mill Road, Sudbury. (lat/long is 42.380893, -71.432735) The parking lot is to the right of the school and behind it, just beyond the basketball courts. L Bruce Porter. AMC Local WalksSun, Nov 17. The Landlocked Forest, Burlington. A slow-paced walk of two miles or so to enjoy the natural beauty Burlington offers while Boot identifies the various trees, shrubs and winter weeds. The Landlocked Forest features woodlands, wetlands, streams and meadows. The walk will focus on both plant ID and natural history. 1:00-3:00pm. Meet at the kiosk on Turning Mill Road (at the parking lot under the power lines) in Lexington or meet in the parking lot in the back of the Burlington Town Hall at 12:45pm to caravan over. The walk is co-sponsored by The Friends of the Landlocked Forest. Maps of hiking trail system provided at beginning of walk. For more info, go to the website at www.landlockedforest.com or contact the Friends of the Landlocked Forest at landlockedforest@aol.com. Steady rain or heavy snow cancels. Leader: Boot Boutwell
AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 23. Circumnavigate 3 ponds, Lincoln. 9:00am-2:00pm. Explore beyond Walden: a 10 mile loop around Walden, Farrar, and Flint Ponds with great forest and water views. Modest elevation gains, but we’ll walk at a fast 2-2.5mph pace so that we can complete the loop in 4-5 hours. Rain or shine, so dress appropriately, and bring water and lunch. Meet at the Lincoln Schools, 6 Ballfield Rd, Lincoln MA - make 1st legal left in the parking lot before Smith School 42.423156,-71.316076. Questions: Jim Hutchinson. Leader: Gail Ferreira; CoLeader: Jim Hutchinson AMC Local WalksThurs, Nov 28. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo
AMC Local Walks

Fri, Nov 29. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 5 mi. mod.-paced hike, 10:30am-1:30pm. Bring lunch+water. I-93/Rte. 128 exit 2A to Rte. 138S for 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course pkg lot on L. Storm cancels. Leader: Beth Mosias

AMC Local Walks

Fri, Nov 29. Annual Ayer/Groton Hills walk. 10:00am-3:00pm. Get far away from shopping malls on Black Friday and join the longest continually running hike in the AMC. We'll explore the natural areas between the Nashua River and the Snake Hills. Exact route determined on the fly. Some bushwhacking possible. Around 7 mi, 5 hours. Bring warm clothes and lunch. Meet in in NW corner of the parking lot behind Nashoba Hospital on Groton Road in Ayer, 42.57878N 71.57399W. L Olin Lathrop.

AMC Local WalksSun, Dec 1. Middlesex Fells - Out and Back to Wright's Tower. Join us on a 4 mile hike from the Sheepfold to Wright's Tower and back. We'll hike at a moderate pace (1-1/2 to 2 mph) and have lunch at the overlook. Winter gear and hiking experience required. (Registration Required - Limited to 12 Hikers) L Nancy Cahn AMC Local Walks

at, Dec 14. Walden Pond, Concord. Moderate pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove, once inhabited by Henry Thoreau. Enjoy sit-down break, on the shore of Walden. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at China Ruby Restaurant, in nearby Maynard, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Lincoln Train Station commuter parking lot. From Route 2, take Route 126 South for 2 miles. Turn left on Codman Road, follow to end. Turn left, see Train Station on left. L Brian Connolly

AMC Local Walks

Sat, Dec 14. Whitney and Thayer Woods, Cohasset. 9:30am-2:00pm. Brisk pace 8 mi. hike along rolling hills including a holly grove, Oden's Den, Weir River Farm and scenic lunch on Turkey Hill. Bring lunch, water and sturdy hiking boots. From Rte. 3 (exit 14) take Rte. 228 north for 6.5 mi. through Hingham. Turn right on Rte. 3A east and follow for 2 miles and take a right into Trustees of Reservations entrance and parking at Howes Ln. in Cohasset. If needed additional parking is available across Rte. 3A at the Cohasset Commuter Rail in designated parking spots for Whitney and Thayer Woods. Storm Cancels. Leader Beth Mosias

AMC Local Walks

Sat, Dec 14. Habitat Audubon Sanctuary, Belmont, MA. Celebrate the Solstice Walk. The Winter Solstice arrives in just one week. We’ll take a slow-paced nature walk through forests and fields and around a pond focusing on plant ID of bare trees, naked shrubs and winter weeds as the natural world prepares for winter. We’ll also talk about fun and interesting natural history about the Winter Solstice as well as about the plants we see. 1:00-4:00pm. From Rte 2, Exit 59 go west on Rte 60/Pleasant St. 0.6 miles. Right onto Clifton St, first left on Fletcher Rd, bear left at fork, next left on Juniper Rd. 0.2 miles to Sanctuary at #10 Juniper Rd. Steady rain or heavy snow cancels. Leader: Boot Boutwell

AMC Local WalksSun, Dec 15. Groton Town Forest to Fitch's Bridge. 1:00pm-3:00pm. We will start in the scenic Town Forest, with eskers, kettle holes, unusual bogs, hemlock groves, and more. Then we will use Groton's extensive trail system thru a string of conservation lands to end at Fitch's Bridge over the beautiful Nashua River. About 2 hours, moderate pace. Meet at Fitch's Bridge, 42.62549N 71.60886W. Park by either end, but note that cars can't cross. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local Walks

Sun, Dec 15. Horse Hill Nature Preserve, Merrimac, NH. A moderate 5 mi. forest loop hike at a comfortable pace on well maintained trails through scenic woodlands. Pond views, beaver lodges and dams.and historic sites. 9:30am-2:00pm. Lunch at unusual bench with brook views and footrest. This area is approx 14mi north of the NH/MA border. Head north on Rte. 3 toward Nashua, NH. and at the state line continue on the Everett Tpk. Take Exit 11, turn left onto Continental Blvd and then an immediate right at the first cross street onto Amherst Rd. Parking on left just under 3 mi. GPS address is 184 Amherst Rd, Merrimac, NH. L Mark Levine

AMC Local WalksWed, Dec 25. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo AMC Local WalksWed, Dec 25. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. Moderate pace 4-mi. hike/snowshoe around pond, 10:00am-12:15pm. Bring snack & water. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2A, take Rte. 138 S 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course lot on L. No dogs. If no snow, bring traction device for boots. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias
AMC Local WalksWed, Dec 25. Foss Farms, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Greenough Land, Carlisle. Easy approx. 4-5 mi. wander through a good birding area with river and pond views, pine forest and red maple swamp. Snowshoe if sufficient snow cover. Meet 10am. Foss Farms parking lot, about 1/3 mi west of Concord River off Rte. 225. From Rte. 128 Exit 31B follow Rtes. 4/225 through Bedford, continuing on Rte. 225 toward Carlisle. Storm cancels. If weather uncertain contact Leader. L Mark Levine AMC Local WalksWed, Jan 1. Holiday Hike - Lynn Woods, Lynn. 5 miles, Leader's Choice. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, and snacks. Dress for the elements. I-95/Route 128 to Walnut Street exit, 4 miles. From Route 1, Walnut Street exit, 2 miles. Turn left on Pennybrook Road to Western Gate parking lot. No dogs. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo

City of Cambridge - Ten Year Sewer and Drain Infrastructure Plan [Info page]

City of Cambridge - Five Year Sidewalk and Street Reconstruction Plan

Cambridge Public Schools (official website) Cambridge School Committee website
School Committee Meetings School Committee Members & Subcommittees
The Unofficial Guide to School Choices for the Cambridge Kindergarten Lottery

Percentage of Subsidized Housing Units (not including group quarters) - September 2017

Community Housing Units Subsidized Units % Rank (of 351) Notes
Statewide 2,692,186 262,223 9.7% - -
Chelsea 12,592 2,434 19.3% 3  
Boston 269,482 51,283 19.0% 4  
Bedford 5,322 972 18.3% 5  
Cambridge 46,690 6,911 14.8% 11 ~7,800 of 53,000 currently
Burlington 9,627 1,283 13.3% 17  
Andover 12,324 1,637 13.3% 18  
Needham 11,047 1,397 12.6% 25  
Lowell 41,308 5,180 12.5% 26  
Canton 8,710 1,090 12.5% 28  
Lynn 35,701 4,435 12.4% 29  
Concord 6,852 804 11.7% 34  
Lexington 11,946 1,321 11.1% 47  
Lincoln 2,153 238 11.1% 48  
Dedham 10,115 1,104 10.9% 49  
Westwood 5,389 576 10.7% 55  
Randolph 11,980 1,280 10.7% 56  
Framingham 27,443 2,871 10.5% 59  
Natick 14,052 1,458 10.4% 61  
Wilmington 7,788 799 10.3% 64  
Malden 25,122 2,542 10.1% 65  
Braintree 14,260 1,382 9.7% 70  
Somerville 33,632 3,250 9.7% 73 statewide average
Quincy 42,547 4,096 9.6% 75  
Brookline 26,201 2,454 9.4% 78  
Woburn 16,237 1,419 8.7% 86  
Revere 21,956 1,780 8.1% 102  
Melrose 11,714 932 8.0% 104  
Winthrop 8,253 638 7.7% 111  
Newton 32,346 2,425 7.5% 115  
Waltham 24,805 1,834 7.4% 120  
Medford 23,968 1,694 7.1% 133  
Watertown 15,521 1,072 6.9% 136  
Saugus 10,754 732 6.8% 139  
Everett 16,691 1,061 6.4% 150  
Wellesley 9,090 573 6.3% 152  
Arlington 19,881 1,121 5.6% 163  
Stoneham 9,399 495 5.3% 176  
Wayland 4,957 254 5.1% 181  
Milton 9,641 481 5.0% 187  
Weston 3,952 167 4.2% 207  
Belmont 10,117 365 3.6% 231  
Winchester 7,920 244 3.1% 244  

Note: It must be pointed out that the figures above only show subsidized units. In many cities and towns there are many "naturally occurring" affordable units, i.e. apartments that simply have affordable rents. In addition, some tenants live in unregulated apartments but pay reduced rent due to such mechanisms as Section 8 vouchers. The figures above should therefore be understood only as a baseline.

MAPC Study: 435,000 new housing units needed by 2040

A new report is estimating that the greater Boston area will need another 435,000 new housing units by 2040 to lure new workers and accommodate an aging population. [Reports available here]

Note: When comparing the peak population of Cambridge back in the 1950s (over 120,000) to what it is today (perhaps 107,000) it's important to keep in mind that families were typically much larger then. It's also the case that what people find acceptable in terms of living space and amenities has changed dramatically over six decades. This translates into considerably more "units" of housing (and higher density) in Cambridge if the population should rise to levels close to what they were in days of yore.

A Paper read at the Annual Meeting of the National Municipal League at Chicago, April 28, 1904

by Henry N. Wheeler, President of the League
preceded by a Program of the Work of the League for 1904
[original PDF]

Robert & Judy on Cambridge InsideOutCambridge InsideOut airs weekly every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm with producers/hosts Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. We will have other guest hosts as well.

[complete list of shows - with links to YouTube videos (and now audio too!) of each]

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 429-430: October 29, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 427-428: October 22, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 425-426: October 15, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 423-424: Oct 8, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 421-422: Oct 1, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 419-420: Sept 24, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 417-418: Sept 17, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 415-416: Sept 10, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 413-414: Aug 13, 2019 w/Patrick Barrett

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 411-412: Aug 6, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 409-410: July 16, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 407-408: July 2, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 405-406: June 25, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 403-404: June 18, 2019 w/Patrick Barrett

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 401-402: June 11, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 399-400: June 4, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 397-398: May 21, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 395-396: May 14, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 393-394: May 7, 2019

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 391-392: April 30, 2019 w/Patrick Barrett

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 63 and 64 with Glenn Koocher
We had a great time doing these shows with the man who invented the original Cambridge InsideOut - Glenn Koocher.

Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2013-2014 featured co-hosts Susana Segat and Robert Winters.
Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2015-2018 features co-hosts Judy Nathans and Robert Winters.

MBTA Role in Jump-starting Development of the Cambridge Center Project Kendall Station Urban Initiatives Project, 1979-1989
By Thad Tercyak, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, Associate Director, 1968-1990

Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (updated Nov 11, 2019)

The Last Thing on their Minds – Nov 4, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting (posted Nov 4, 2019)

Follow the Money – Cambridge City Council Campaign Receipts 2019 (posted Sept 22, 2019, updated regularly)

2019 Cambridge City Council Campaign Bank Reports (posted Dec 25, 2018; updated Oct 18, 2019)

Nervously Waiting and Wading through the Campaign Mailers – October 28, 2019 City Council Agenda (posted Oct 27, 2019)

Coming up at the October 21, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting (posted Oct 21, 2019)

Never Mind Choice – Let’s All Ban Together – Oct 7, 2019 City Council Highlights/Lowlights (posted Oct 7, 2019)

Fire Up That Doobie – Cannabis, CPA Funding and the rest of the Sept 23, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting

Featured Items on the Sept 16, 2019 Cambridge City Council Agenda (posted Sept 16, 2019)

Politics, Posturing, Preaching, or Practical Solutions? – Sept 9, 2019 Cambridge City Council meeting (posted Sept 8, 2019)

Index of all candidates in Cambridge, MA municipal elections – 1941-2019 (posted Aug 3, 2019)

Cambridge City Council and School Committee Candidates – 2019 (posted July 1, 2019 and final update on Aug 1, 2019)

Distribution of Cambridge voters by age: Nov 2012 – Nov 2018 (posted Nov 22, 2018)

Cambridge Growth Policy – Toward a Sustainable Future (posted Oct 31, 2018)

MBTA Role in Cambridge Center Project – Kendall Station Urban Initiatives Project, 1979-1989 (Feb 13, 2014)

The Advent of PR in Cambridge (Nov 10, 2013)

Completing the Square (June 11, 2013)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Project: Six Pivotal Episodes (June 8, 2013)

On becoming a True Cantabrigian (Dec 29, 2012)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Project, Initial Years, 1963 to 1982 (July 12, 2012)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Area – Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (Apr 5, 2012)

April Fools Day - 2017 (and here)     April Fool's Day - 2016 (and here)

April Fool's Day - 2015 (and here)     April Fool's Day - 2013 (and here)

The Advent of PR in Cambridge
originally published in the Cambridge Civic Journal on Feb 12, 1998

Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 Recommendations (Nov 28, 2012)

Introduction: Memorandum from the Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 on its Final Recommendations
Full Report (reformatted in HTML) Goals
Public Places to Build Community Public Places elements
Retail, Cultural and Non-Profit Diversity Housing
Connecting People to the Square Foster a Sustainable Future for Central Square
Leverage Future Private and Public Investments Definition of Central Square Districts
Zoning Recommendations Transfer of Development Rights
Transportation Recommendations Location Specific Issues

The Neverending Study of Central Square

Aug 11, 2012 - While preparing to write a series of essays on Central Square, I put together the following list of Central Square studies culled from a variety of sources. I have originals for most of these. If you know of any others, please let me know. - Robert Winters

Feb 1980 - CDD report entitled "Central Square - Commercial Area Revitalization District

June 1980 - CDD booklet entitled "Facade Improvements" with focus on Central Square

Apr 1983 - "Central Square Report" produced by City Council's Central Square Subcommittee (study began in 1980 or 1981)

1987 - A report produced in 1987 about a Subcommittee that allegedly built on the 1983 report (may be same as Central Square Action Plan)

Nov 1987 - Central Square Action Plan

1989 - Draft Central Square Development Guidelines

May 1993 - Results of the "Mayor's Forum on Central Square"

Oct 1993 - Report by the Committee to Promote and Enhance Central Square Now!

Aug 1994 - A Study of the Visual Images and Signage of Central Square (CDD)

May 1995 - Central Square Improvements Project, Master Plan Report

May 1995 - An Urban Design Plan for Central Square (executive summary)

May 2001 - Summary Notes from "A Conversation about Central Square"

Feb 2000 - The Gibbs Report, Central Square Commercial Market Study

Oct 2004 - Central Square, Cambridge - Rising Fortunes at a Regional Crossroads (Rekha Murthy)

Dec 2004 - Reviving a Traditional City - Central Square, Cambridge, gets a facelift (Rekha Murthy)

June 2005 - Street Media: Ambient Messages in an Urban Space - a photographic analysis of Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Rekha Murthy)

2009 - CDD Central Square Customer Intercept Survey Report

2011 - Central Square Market Profile

2011 - Red Ribbon Commission Study Report

2012 - Goody/Clancy report and recommendations

2013 - K2C2 Final Reports

K2C2 Final Reports Released

K2C2 areaThe final reports for Kendall Square and Central Square are now available for download. Zoning discussions based on the recommendations of the K2 and C2 Advisory Committees, which are encapsulated in these reports, will continue in 2014.

Community Development Department

Kendall Square Central Square Planning Study (K2C2)

Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013

Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013

Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013

Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013

This comprehensive planning effort guided by stakeholder advisory committees, City staff, and a team of multidisciplinary consultants led by Goody Clancy, developed a vision and master plan for Central Square, Kendall Square, and the area South of Main Street (including the Osborn Triangle) connecting the two squares. Both final reports are divided into two parts; in each case you will need to review both parts to read the entire report.

FYI - Current Rules and Goals: Cambridge City Council & Cambridge School Committee

City Council Rules 2018-2019 (adopted January 29, 2018)

City Council Rules 2014-2015 (adopted January 7, 2014, amended Feb 10, 2014 to reflect revised Council committees)

City Council Goals - FY2012-2013 (adopted Dec 13, 2011)

City Council Committees (for the current term)

School Committee Rules (Adopted January 1, 2018; Revised June 19, 2018)

School Committee Rules (adopted January 7, 2008)    School Committee Goals (adopted October 7, 2008)

June 7, 2009 - Once upon a time there was a civic organization in Cambridge known as the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA). It was formed in 1945 out of several organizations that had been existed through the 1930s and that had lobbied the state legislature to create the Plan E Charter option (1938) which featured a city manager form of government and proportional representation elections for city council and school committee. These reforms were central to model charter reform movements active in the United States from the early 1900s. The central theme of the CCA in its early days was "good government" in the sense of being anti-patronage and for professionally managed local government. This changed with the introduction of rent control at the end of the 1960s after which the CCA shifted leftward and became permanently lashed to the mast of the rent control vessel. Though the CCA still exists on paper (I believe), it rapidly declined after the statewide abolition of rent control (late 1994) and essentially disappeared a decade later (early 2005).

I bring up the ghost of the CCA today only to point out that when it was created it had some very admirable goals. Here's the original Mission Statement of the CCA:

These are pretty good founding principles for a civic organization and I'm tempted to say that some should be incorporated into the recently adopted City Council's Goals for FY2010 (adopted Feb 2, 2009). In fact, of the 22 current goals, the only one that comes close is: "An increased level of recruitment and opportunities for membership on boards and commissions." The current Council goals emphasize things like "fostering community" via block parties and such, though one has to wonder if the City should be promoting these activities or just getting out of the way so that people can foster community on their own. The goals also seem to put some emphasis on developing "successful nightlife campaigns" while mentioning nothing about promoting ordinary "daytime" economic activity that supports the everyday needs of residents.

One founding principle of the CCA that fell into disuse over the years is listed above as #3: To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs. Indeed, I can personally testify to the fact that in its dying years the only reason the CCA made endorsements at all was because the CCA-endorsed incumbents wanted the benefit of having an advertised CCA slate of candidates that would help secure their reelection. There was precious little effort to recruit new candidates or to support them. Today, the benefits of incumbency are greater than ever. The cost of political campaigns have become absurdly high and most of the incumbents now have (City paid) staff who are inevitably political appointees who directly or indirectly assist in the reelection efforts of their bosses. The deck is increasingly stacked against challengers. Furthermore, the salary and benefits for elected councillors are now so sweet that it is unlikely that any of them would ever want to move on to another job.

With this background in mind, I would like to encourage all Cambridge residents to help level the playing field by finding out about this year's challengers for seats on the Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge School Committee. This is not meant as a dig against any particular incumbent as much as an appeal to support the challengers in what is a difficult and laudable effort. Please see the Cambridge Candidate Pages for the current list of expected candidates. Then use your own judgment - don't expect me or anyone else to do it for you.

Speaking of this year's municipal election, there are some activists who are now expending great effort to attack the City Manager and most of the current City Council. That is not nor has it ever been the intention of the Cambridge Civic Journal or its editor. Candidates are now being seduced by financial promises from one angry fellow with a Brattle Street address and a basketful of grudges. Former CCA Executive Board members from its darkest and most manipulative days are oozing up from the civic swamp trying to at last make good on their failed campaigns of the early 1990s to oust city manager Bob Healy.

It's entertaining to watch people who have primarily earned disrespect in their civic efforts try to capitalize on the recent Monteiro jury decision as a means of realizing their decades-old vendettas. Conveniently forgotten in their recent letters to Cambridge's "oldest weekly newspaper" are the many achievements of City Manager Bob Healy, the strong financial position of the City, and the recent 8-1 vote of confidence bestowed upon Mr. Healy in granting him a three year contract extension. Also missing in this testimony is the fact that virtually all affirmative action in the hiring of employees and department heads has taken place on Mr. Healy's watch. These letters also fail to divulge how long these writers have been carrying their jealousy and anger toward Mr. Healy for actually orchestrating progress in Cambridge while the best they could ever do is snipe from the sidelines. - Robert Winters

This Old Land of Cambridge - The true story of the geological history of Cambridge - by George Ehrenfried
Sadly, George passed away (Jan 5, 2010) at the age of 96. He led many a geology-themed hike with the AMC Local Walks/Hikes.

Selected City of Cambridge References:

Plan E Charter (Cambridge's city charter) Acts of 1921, Chapter 239 as amended (establishment of Cambridge Election Commission)

Mass. General Laws Chapter 54A (governing Cambridge's PR elections)

Pen Portraits of Prominent People - by Henry J. Mahoney Editor, Cambridge Sentinel - 1923

This book was published c. 1923 and features very witty one-page “pen portraits” (with photo) of prominent Cantabrigians of the day. I'll be adding names alphabetically as time permits. There are 182 portraits in the book.

It comes to mind that there may be some value in expanding these profiles to other prominent Cantabrigians who arrived on the scene after 1923, including prominent Cantabrigians of today. With this in mind, I extend the invitation to any and all who may wish to contribute their own “pen portraits” of Cambridge people. Contributions do not necessarily have to be in the style of Mr. Mahoney. Inclusion is, as always, subject to the erratic discretion of the editor.

Special thanks to Karen Welch for sending me the book. - RW

Political History of Cambridge in the 20th Century
written by Glenn Koocher, November 2004 -- edited by Robert Winters, July 2006
[An alternate edit of this essay will appear, along with many other valuable essays, in a
centennial volume to be published by the Cambridge Historical Society in 2007.

Which People's Republic
written by Bill Cunningham, 1999

Cambridge School Volunteers is looking for people who can give one to two hours per week to help students in the Cambridge Public Schools, grades K through 12. No experience necessary. Call 617-349-6794 or e-mail csv@cpsd.us for more details.

Robert Winters
Robert Winters, Editor
Cambridge Civic Journal
(about me - updated!!)
Philosophy of the CCJ Editor
The Cambridge Civic Journal is an independent newsletter of civic affairs in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is published as a public service by Central Square Publications. All items are written by Robert Winters unless otherwise noted. [Of course, I do sometimes forget.]

Thoughts for these times:
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

''This is our fucking city, and nobody is gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong.'' -- David Ortiz

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“The Number One thing I would emphasize is that journalists and bloggers would do well to see themselves as partners in the provision of information and that each can benefit greatly from the other. I’ve never seen this as a competition. It is especially true these days that local papers and young journalists are not very well-versed in the communities they serve. Much of the institutional memory has either died out or been bought out.” -- Robert Winters, mathematician and creator of the Cambridge Civic Journal, an online publication about Cambridge, MA (rwinters.com)

Jorkin: “Come, come, Mr. Fezziwig, we’re good friends besides good men of business. We’re men of vision and progress. Why don’t you sell out while the going’s good? You’ll never get a better offer. It’s the age of the machine, and the factory, and the vested interests. We small traders are ancient history, Mr. Fezziwig.”

Fezziwig: “It’s not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business, Mr. Jorkin…. It’s to preserve a way of life that one knew and loved. No, I can’t see my way to selling out to the new vested interests, Mr. Jorkin. I’ll have to be loyal to the old ways and die out with them if needs must.”

Scrooge: “I think I know what Mr. Fezziwig means, sir.”

Jorkin: “Oh, you hate progress and money, too, do you?”

Scrooge: “I don't hate them, sir, but perhaps the machines aren’t such a good thing for mankind, after all.”

Memorable scene in "A Christmas Carol"

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