Cambridge man arrested for Craigslist post offering to buy cop killers a drink (Sept 19, 2018, Cambridge Chronicle)
First it was that butthead on Essex Street, and now another butthead on University Road. Can we banish people from the Peoples Republic?

And for some really GREAT news:
Salvation for Sancta Maria: Nursing facility to remain open in Cambridge (Sept 17, 2018, Cambridge Chronicle)

Charter Right Do-Over - Agenda items from the Sept 24, 2018 Cambridge City Council meeting

City HallMuch of the previous meeting was made subject to the Charter Right by Councillor Toomey, so those items will be back before the City Council this week plus a few more bits and pieces. Here are a few that seem interesting:

Manager's Agenda #7. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-30 regarding a report on the possibility of Cambridge joining the national suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Normally I don't care for lawsuits like this, but in this case I'll make an exception. These are the worst kinds of dope dealers. Better yet, we don't have to pay for the litigation unless the City prevails and is awarded damages.

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current site of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize redevelopment specifically for continuum of care services. [Order #1 of Sept 17, 2018]

I think we're starting to get a bit too prescriptive with Cambridge zoning, especially with the introduction of "overlay districts" for every imaginable use. Many of us would like to see opportunities for senior living or a place where artists can flourish. We would also like places to buy affordable groceries. Is the creation of an overlay district to dictate one use while preventing other potential good uses the right way to go? It's one thing to classify land use as residential, commercial, industrial, etc., but how far down should this categorization go?

Charter Right #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Sancta Maria property for purposes of affordable housing. [Order #3 of Sept 17, 2018]

Whatever happened to the idea of a relocated Public Works Yard? I'm not necessarily recommending this, but putting DPW on Concord Ave. and building mixed-income housing on the current DPW site isn't a crazy idea.

Both of these Orders now appear to be moot thanks to this news flash:
Salvation for Sancta Maria: Nursing facility to remain open in Cambridge (Sept 17, 2018, Cambridge Chronicle)

Charter Right #7. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of The Constellation Center's Parcel C in Kendall Square. [Order #7 of Sept 17, 2018]

Anyone who has followed this knew this Order would eventually come. That will be an interesting and likely fruitless journey down the road of Retroactive Zoning & Tax Classification. Looking forward would make a lot more sense, but I'm sure I'll find the history interesting.

Charter Right #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development Division to regularly update the vacant property database as well as review the strategies presented in the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report and report back on the feasibility of implementing these recommendations. [Order #12 of Sept 17, 2018]

I testified recently at a follow-up meeting of this committee about the potential unintended consequences of encouraging "pop up" businesses to occupy vacant spaces at (presumably) much lower rents than nearby businesses. I can easily see a seasonable "pop up" store showing up and stealing all the holiday business away from an existing business. The temporary filling of a vacant store could then lead to another vacancy.

Charter Right #14. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 23, 2018 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.” [Committee Report #6 of Sept 17, 2018]

I attended this meeting. My impression is that we have several elected officials who have never seen a fee increase or a tax increase that they didn't embrace and celebrate. The simplest way to understand fees is to make clear the distinction with taxes. A fee pays for a service, and the money raised has to support that service. It's not just another revenue source like a tax that can be used for whatever pet project a councillor wants to support. Personally, I find the notion of renewing a parking sticker every year a bit ridiculous. We accept it only because we're familiar with the routine (and the long lines for some). A much better system would be to pay a one-time fee for a sticker that's good for as long as you own the vehicle and still live in Cambridge. It would be easy to encode the sticker for easy verification against City databases. The only people waiting on lines would then be for new residents or new vehicles.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on June 12, 2018 to discuss the housing ombudsman position, receive a detailed update regarding the timeline and plan for the affordable housing overlay district, an update on the inclusionary housing report, and the map of all affordable housing in the city.

I get the sense that not many Cambridge residents know what exactly is being proposed in the current plan for a citywide "affordable housing overlay district". I'll provide a few more details shortly, but the basic idea is that your city councillors want to give builders of subsidized housing the right to to build up to four times the density as any other property owner with some setback requirements waived and little or no public process permitted. - RW

Comments?


Information Security Begins with You!Free Document Shredding in Cambridge Saturday, Sept 29

The Cambridge Consumers’ Council will be helping residents safely dispose of unwanted records at a free document shredding event on Saturday, Sept 29, from 9am–1pm, at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. Reserved Parking is available on Bigelow St.

Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Information for consumer rights and safety will be available. Please note that this is event is based on first come, first served, or until the truck is full to capacity. Limit 5 paper size boxes per household or equivalent.

For more information, or to request a reasonable accommodation, please call the Consumers’ Council at 617-349-6150 or visit CambridgeMa.Gov/ConsumersCouncil.


Annual Bow Tie Ride – Sunday, September 30
Assemble at 9:30am at the Cambridge Public Library Main Branch (449 Broadway). Ride departs at 10:00am.

Bow TiesJoin the Cambridge Bicycle Committee for the most stylish bike ride in Cambridge! On this leisurely two-hour ride, we'll trace the bow-tie shaped boundaries of the city and celebrate cycling in Cambridge!

We will assemble at and depart from the Cambridge Public Library Main Branch. Midway through the ride, there will be a brief break at Danehy Park. As in other years, the ride will be supported by the Cambridge Police Department and there will be rolling street closures. We ask that riders be able to maintain a moderate pace to stick with the group.

The ride will end back at the Cambridge Public Library with a light snacks and a raffle. Thank you to our sponsor OoOtie for bringing the fashionable fun!

The ride will be postponed in the case of heavy rain. Announcements regarding rain will be sent to this email list and posted on www.cambridgebikes.org. There is no registration or charge for the tour -- just show up and enjoy!

Bow ties encouraged, but not required.


Members Sought for New River Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Design Project Working Group

Sept 19, 2018 – The City of Cambridge is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Working Group to help guide the River Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Design Project. The group will advise City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and his staff on key issues related to the planning and design for this important project, which has three main components:City Seal

The working group will consist of 12-15 members who will meet monthly for a period of 9-12 months, starting late fall 2018. The group will include residents, business, and institutional representatives and subject matter experts and who will work with city staff and a consultant to develop design principles and alternative design options. The process will culminate in a final design for River Street and Carl Barron Plaza, which will proceed into construction.

Individuals with interest in the River Street corridor, Central Square/Carl Barron Plaza, experience or expertise in relevant topics — transportation, accessibility, urban design and placemaking, landscape architecture, green infrastructure — and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse viewpoints to craft consensus solutions are encouraged to apply. Meetings of the Working Group will be open to the public.

For additional questions about the new Working Group, contact Jerry Friedman, Supervising Engineer, Department of Public Works at 617-349-9720 or jfriedman@cambridgema.gov.

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of 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. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, October 12, 2018.


Cambridge City Manager Seeks Members for Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship - deadline extended

City SealSept 18, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC). The Commission consists of 11 volunteer members, who are appointed by the City Manager, following an application and interview process. The term of the appointment is three years. Commissioners are expected to be knowledgeable about immigrant rights and citizenship and must be residents of Cambridge. It is desirable for this Commission to be fully representative of the diverse Cambridge community.

Cambridge welcomes immigrants and wants to encourage their success and access to opportunity and advancement in this country. It will be a goal of this Commission to get the message of welcome out, through collaboration with organizations that already provide services and outreach to our immigrant community. The Commission will act as a centralizing organization in Cambridge, to address immigrant rights and citizenship issues through providing information, referral, guidance, coordination and technical assistance to other public agencies and private persons, organizations and institutions engaged in activities and programs intended to support immigrant rights and citizenship.

Commissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.123).

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of 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. The deadline for submitting applications is not yet determined.


Share your opinions! 2018 Cambridge Resident Opinion Survey now open

In its ongoing efforts to identify ways to better serve the community, the City of Cambridge is currently conducting its biennial Resident Opinion Survey. The survey, which has been conducted since 2000, serves as an important evaluation tool that enables residents to rate city services and offer input on what the City of Cambridge does well and where it can make improvements.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Don’t miss this opportunity to let us know how you feel!

Take the 2018 Online City of Cambridge Public Opinion Survey.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation (ODC), a national public opinion polling firm with its own state-of-the-art telephone calling facility, will be coordinating the Resident Opinion Survey. ODC will be randomly calling 400 Cambridge households (a sub-set of which will be cell-phone only households) on behalf of the city to complete the survey. Every household will have an equal chance of being called.

A hard copy of the Resident Opinion Survey can be completed September 17 - October 1, 2018 during business hours at the following locations:

For additional information, please contact Lee Gianetti at 617-349-3317 or by email lgianetti@cambridgema.gov.


Fans of Ranked Voting See an Opportunity in Massachusetts (Sept 17, 2018, New York Times)
After the recount in the Mass. 3rd Congressional District, Lori Trahan's margin over Dan Koh increased from 122 to 145 votes and Dan Koh conceded. The victorious candidate had only 20.9% of the votes in this 10-candidate plurality winner-take-all election. Honestly, if the Massachusetts State Legislature can't understand the need to move to election systems that address problems of vote-splitting, spoilers, and other perverse effects then they really need to get educated or seek other employment. It's equally absurd that the victor in a relatively low turnout Democratic Primary should have no opponent in the General Election in November, but that's another conversation. You have to wonder why Massachusetts politicos continue to call themselves "progressive" (whatever that means) when they can't get basic things like fair elections right. [Note: No slight of the victorious Ms. Trahan intended - she's a great candidate who will likely prove to be a great representative in Congress.] - RW

Pre-Fall - Select menu items from the Sept 17, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda

City HallThe boys and girls return to the playground this week. Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to recommendations of the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) for FY2019.

80% housing, 10% open space, 10% historic preservation - same as every year. Not negotiable.

Manager's Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommended appointment of the following person as a member of the Cambridge Housing Authority for a term of 5 years: Elaine DeRosa

I cannot think of a better choice for this important appointment.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on Wed, June 20, 2019 to discuss the potential for a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program, focusing on ways to reduce barriers to entry in the commercial Cannabis industry.

Manager's Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Cannabis Zoning Petition with suggested revisions and additional considerations.

I'm a little curious about this: "Board members suggested further study of whether mobile facilities could be allowed, given that a mobile facility operating on a temporary basis might provide lower barriers to entry for small businesses that cannot afford typical retail rents." Are they talking about pot trucks to go along with the food trucks? When I was a kid there was a Good Humor Man who got caught selling dope out of his ice cream truck. Nowadays they'd just call that economic empowerment.

Manager's Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following persons as a members of the Library Board of Trustees: Karen Kosko, Patricia Payne and Nancy Woods.

Excellent appointments all around.

Applications & Petitions #3. An application was received from the Office of the Mayor McGovern requesting permission for a temporary banner across Massachusetts Avenue in front of City Hall promoting the Indigenous Peoples' Day from Oct 3, 2018 thru Oct 15, 2018.

Most people just celebrate this as Day Off. No banner necessary.

Resolution #3. Resolution on the death of Frances (DeGuglielmo) Tingle.   Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey

Resolution #6. Retirement of Attorney David Sullivan from the Massachusetts State Senate.   Mayor McGovern

Resolution #29. Retirement of William"Bill" Dwyer from the Department of Public Works.   Mayor McGovern

One thing not everyone knows is that the Department of Public Works is a community with many people who work for decades, sometimes their entire working life, within DPW. Retirements of people like Bill Dwyer are a very big deal indeed.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current site of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize redevelopment specifically for continuum of care services.   Councillor Mallon

I think we're starting to get a bit too prescriptive with Cambridge zoning, especially with the introduction of "overlay districts" for every imaginable use. Many of us would like to see opportunities for senior living or a place where artists can flourish. We would also like places to buy affordable groceries. Is the creation of an overlay district to dictate one use while preventing other potential good uses the right way to go? It's one thing to classify land use as residential, commercial, industrial, etc., but how far down should this categorization go?

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Santa Maria property for purposes of affordable housing.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Mayor McGovern

Whatever happened to the idea of a relocated Public Works Yard? I'm not necessarily recommending this, but putting DPW on Concord Ave. and building mixed-income housing on the current DPW site isn't a crazy idea.

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Police Commissioner to increase enforcement of the Bike Lane Bill to keep our bicycle infrastructure free and unobstructed.   Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan

Does this apply to Really Bad Bicycle Infrastructure (RBBI)?

Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of The Constellation Center's Parcel C in Kendall Square.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey

Anyone who has followed this knew this Order would eventually come. That will be an interesting and likely fruitless journey down the road of Retroactive Zoning & Tax Classification. Looking forward would make a lot more sense, but I'm sure I'll find the history interesting.

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development Division to regularly update the vacant property database as well as review the strategies presented in the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report and report back on the feasibility of implementing these recommendations.   Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone

I testified recently at a follow-up meeting of this committee about the potential unintended consequences of encouraging "pop up" businesses to occupy vacant spaces at (presumably) much lower rents than nearby businesses. I can easily see a seasonable "pop up" store showing up and stealing all the holiday business away from an existing business. The temporary filling of a vacant store could then lead to another vacancy.

Order #13. That the City Manager is requested to direct the City Solicitor to provide a legal opinion on a Motion to Rescind.   Councillor Zondervan

Order #14. That the City Council rescind its vote of July 30, 2018 failing to send the climate safety (Brown, et al) petition to a second reading, thereby taking no action on the petition.   Councillor Zondervan

Our petulant Councillor Zondervan continues to stomp his feet in protest over the failure of the Nakagawa-Brown petition to be passed to a 2nd Reading. First he tried to file reconsideration, and now he wants to go for the legislative equivalent of annulment. I am not a lawyer (IANAL) and I have no prior knowledge of anyone ever looking to do pull a "Motion to Rescind" on a prior vote, but consider the ramifications of such a thing. A local legislature votes on a zoning matter (one way or another) and the matter is finalized. A property owner then happily goes to the bank to secure financing now that the road has been cleared. Then a month or so later the local legislature comes back and cries "Do Over" like that annoying kid who didn't like the fact that the other kids prevailed in the ball game.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 13, 2018 to discuss revisions to the proposed Municipal Code amendment to create a new chapter 12.22 entitled “Surveillance Technology Ordinance;” said revisions were submitted to the City Council on June 25, 2018.

The interesting aspect of this (at least to me) is the legal separation of authority under the City Charter. The City Council may be the body that sets general policies, but can you imagine the ensuing chaos of having the Cambridge City Council micromanaging how the Cambridge Police Department conducts its day-to-day operations or how it responds to an emergency situation? It's one thing to set parameters and maintain a dialogue, but police investigations should not be arbitrarily constrained by people trained more in politics than in police work.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 23, 2018 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.”

I attended this meeting. My impression is that we have several elected officials who have never seen a fee increase or a tax increase that they didn't embrace and celebrate. The simplest way to understand fees is to make clear the distinction with taxes. A fee pays for a service, and the money raised has to support that service. It's not just another revenue source like a tax that can be used for whatever pet project a councillor wants to support. Personally, I find the notion of renewing a parking sticker every year a bit ridiculous. We accept it only because we're familiar with the routine (and the long lines for some). A much better system would be to pay a one-time fee for a sticker that's good for as long as you own the vehicle and still live in Cambridge. It would be easy to encode the sticker for easy verification against City databases. The only people waiting on lines would then be for new residents or new vehicles.

Committee Report #8. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 8, 2018 to discuss City Council petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 5.000 as it relates to rainwater and flat roofs.

As an owner of a triple-decker with a flat roof, I completely understand the concerns about clogged drains and why someone might seek an alternative design. The ideas in this zoning petition have merit. The only issue should be how to ensure that one person's cure is not another person's cause of trouble, i.e. rainwater being diverted to an unwelcome place. - Robert Winters

Comments?


September 4, 2018 State Primary
Official Turnout - Cambridge
Ward/Precinct Registered Voters Ballots Cast Turnout %
1-1 2410 657 27%
1-2 1968 595 30%
1-3 2275 700 31%
2-1 2020 517 26%
2-2 973 96 10%
2-3 1419 269 19%
3-1 2050 619 30%
3-2 1264 419 33%
3-2A 981 272 28%
3-3 2102 616 29%
4-1 2366 850 36%
4-2 2485 801 32%
4-3 878 240 27%
5-1 2230 814 37%
5-2 2332 907 39%
5-3 1730 677 39%
6-1 2332 795 34%
6-2 2246 649 29%
6-3 2289 825 36%
7-1 2202 798 36%
7-2 1349 358 27%
7-3 1028 176 17%
8-1 1792 517 29%
8-2 1700 503 30%
8-3 879 98 11%
9-1 2454 1003 41%
9-2 2734 996 36%
9-3 2240 764 34%
10-1 2581 929 36%
10-2 2460 1071 44%
10-3 2203 821 37%
11-1 2691 516 19%
11-2 2746 1263 46%
11-3 2258 1032 46%
TOTAL 67667 22163 33%

Sept 2014 State Primary Sept 2018 State Primary
wd pct Reg 1994 Voted 1994 Pct 1994 wd pct Registered Voters Ballots Cast Turnout %
1 1 1981 294 14.8% 1 1 2410 657 27.3%
1 2 1839 343 18.7% 1 2 1968 595 30.2%
1 3 1975 352 17.8% 1 3 2275 700 30.8%
2 1 1982 240 12.1% 2 1 2020 517 25.6%
2 2 872 20 2.3% 2 2 973 96 9.9%
2 3 1380 143 10.4% 2 3 1419 269 19.0%
3 1 1971 246 12.5% 3 1 2050 619 30.2%
3 2 1239 173 14.0% 3 2 1264 419 33.1%
3 02A 962 127 13.2% 3 02A 981 272 27.7%
3 3 2167 292 13.5% 3 3 2102 616 29.3%
4 1 2346 414 17.6% 4 1 2366 850 35.9%
4 2 2525 444 17.6% 4 2 2485 801 32.2%
4 3 939 134 14.3% 4 3 878 240 27.3%
5 1 2079 386 18.6% 5 1 2230 814 36.5%
5 2 2250 438 19.5% 5 2 2332 907 38.9%
5 3 1699 333 19.6% 5 3 1730 677 39.1%
6 1 2280 468 20.5% 6 1 2332 795 34.1%
6 2 2260 412 18.2% 6 2 2246 649 28.9%
6 3 2335 528 22.6% 6 3 2289 825 36.0%
7 1 2180 559 25.6% 7 1 2202 798 36.2%
7 2 1546 200 12.9% 7 2 1349 358 26.5%
7 3 1253 93 7.4% 7 3 1028 176 17.1%
8 1 1802 309 17.1% 8 1 1792 517 28.9%
8 2 1767 409 23.1% 8 2 1700 503 29.6%
8 3 1017 67 6.6% 8 3 879 98 11.1%
9 1 2478 878 35.4% 9 1 2454 1003 40.9%
9 2 2435 683 28.0% 9 2 2734 996 36.4%
9 3 2239 645 28.8% 9 3 2240 764 34.1%
10 1 2406 637 26.5% 10 1 2581 929 36.0%
10 2 2398 762 31.8% 10 2 2460 1071 43.5%
10 3 2162 417 19.3% 10 3 2203 821 37.3%
11 1 1968 156 7.9% 11 1 2691 516 19.2%
11 2 2609 698 26.8% 11 2 2746 1263 46.0%
11 3 2013 543 27.0% 11 3 2258 1032 45.7%
Total  65354 12843 19.7% Total 67667 22163 32.8%

The Marvelous Manholes of Massachusetts (Atlas Obscura, Aug 28, 2018)


Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge

Ash treeEmerald Ash BorerAug 23, 2018 - On Monday, August 20, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) confirmed that Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found in Cambridge. EAB is particularly concerning because of the speed at which it kills Ash trees, generally within 1-3 years. Standing dead ash trees present a public safety risk due to how quickly their brittle branches will fail.

The City of Cambridge was the first municipality in New England to develop a comprehensive treatment strategy to protect the ash tree population on city property. Healthy Ash trees on city property, including street trees, have been protected from EAB through proactive treatments of TreeAzin over the past 3 years. TreeAzin is a product derived from seed extracts of the Neem tree and is administered by injection at the trunk of the tree. TreeAzin is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production in the U.S. This pesticide is not hazardous to humans or animals. For more information on the City’s treatment program for EAB, please visit: www.cambridgema.gov/EAB

How do I know if I have an Ash tree?
According to University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Tree Guide, Ash trees have four identifying features:

  1. Ash trees have compound leaves comprised of 7 to 11 leaflets.
  2. The twigs are smooth, rigid and grayish and resemble bones.
  3. The bark of mature trees is deeply furrowed.
  4. They have opposing branches.

Ash tree
excerpted from http://clear.uconn.edu/info/EAB_quick_reference_guide.pdf

I have an Ash tree. What do I do?
If you have an ash tree on your property, please consider one of the following:

For additional questions or concerns regarding Emerald Ash Borer in Cambridge, contact the City’s Urban Forestry staff at cambridgetree@cambridgema.gov.

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet (DCR)


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 339 (Sept 18, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: 3rd CD recount result, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, recycling updates, electric scooters, retail and vacant storefronts
Episode 340 (Sept 18, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Sept 17 City Council meeting, Inman Sq. configuration to move ahead, rainwater and flat roof zoning petition, Envision Cambridge updates (Affordable Housing Overlay, Super-Inclusionary Zoning, Environment Performance Incentive proposals), and more
Episode 337 (Sept 11, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 11 comments, modern campaign realities, Primary Election results, 3rd Congressional District recount, Ranked Choice Voting, and Bill Galvin. [Note: The crackling sound at the start and at various points is the sound of one of the CCTV studio microphones failing.]
Episode 338 (Sept 11, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: 3rd CD recount, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, shortcomings of top-two runoffs, Capuano-Pressley election outcome and dynamics, voter turnout, November election outlook, some history of Question 9 (rent control), return of the City Council, Inman Sq. redesign questions, Envision Cambridge updates - development scenarios and likely pushback, quadrupling density and the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay, and ignoring traffic issues.
Episode 335 (Aug 28, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 4 Primary preview, Emerald Ash Borer
Episode 336 (Aug 28, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: new voting machines, MIT graduate student housing, new developments in Kendall Square, Alewife, Harvard Square
Episode 333 (Aug 21, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Envision Cambridge, Affordable Housing Overlay proposal
Episode 334 (Aug 21, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Central Square Mural Project, Neon lights!, OldTime Baseball
Episode 331 (Aug 14, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: EMF landmark study, St. James obstructionism, Fallout from the Nakagawa-Brown Debacle, pending zoning petitions, and more
Episode 332 (Aug 14, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: OldTime Baseball, Central Sq. murals, Surveillance Tech. Ordinance and Plan E Charter, civic opportunities, and upcoming primary
Episode 329 (Aug 7, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Central Square Cultural District, Buildings Going Up!, St. James obstructionism
Episode 330 (Aug 7, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Last details of the Midsummer City Council meeting, EMF landmarking proposal, Central Square Arts Overlay District
Episode 327 (July 31, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: July 30 City Council meeting, esp. Nakagawa-Brown disposition
Episode 328 (July 31, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: July 30 City Council meeting and more
Episode 325 (July 17, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: "a few of our favorite things" in Cambridge - with pictures, including Magazine Beach, Sacramento Field and the community garden, Fresh Pond Reservation, and Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Episode 326 (July 17, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: "a few of our favorite things" in Cambridge - with pictures, including Mount Auburn Cemetery, North Point, and the annual Old-Time Baseball game at St. Peter's Field
Episode 323 (July 10, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guest: Cathie Zusy; Topics: Magazine Beach, Powder magazine and other projects
Episode 324 (July 10, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Civic leadership and some summer thoughts
Episode 321 (June 26, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: June 25 City Council meeting, pending zoning amendments
Episode 322 (June 26, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: June 25 City Council meeting, autonomous vehicles, Open Archives
Episode 319 (June 19, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guests: City Councillors Sumbul Siddiqui, Alanna Mallon. Topics: "Women Are Here" podcast and more.
Episode 320 (June 19, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: trees, commercial recycling, public safety and more
Episode 317 (June 12, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guest: Michael Monestime, Central Square Business Association. Topics: Business Improvement District proposal, Central Flea, River St./CB Plaza improvements, Arts Overlay
Episode 318 (June 12, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Vellucci Plaza and Inman Square; Envision Cambridge - and then some
Episode 315 (May 29, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Recycling, Broadband, FiOS.
Episode 316 (May 29, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: The Reluctant Delegate (Mass. Dem. State Convention); Envision Cambridge.
Episode 313 (May 22, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] - w/guest Patrick Barrett
Topics: Arts Overlay proposal for Central Square Cultural District
Episode 314 (May 22, 2018, 6:00pm) - w/guest Patrick Barrett
Topics: May 21 Council meeting, Inman Square controversy, Harvard Square, alternate views on zoning
Episode 311 (May 15, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: May 14 Council meeting and some history of the Parking Freeze and the Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance
Episode 312 (May 15, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: May 14 Council meeting: proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance, traffic calming, trees
Episode 309 (May 8, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: FY2019 Cambridge Budget hearings, Curbside Compost Program, and related matters
Episode 310 (May 8, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: May 7 City Council meeting, parking issues, update on some Squares
Episode 307 (May 1, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Cambridge FY2019 Budget, historical look at City budgets
Episode 308 (May 1, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Featured items from the Apr 30 Cambridge City Council meeting

Coming up soon on the Cambridge Civic Front:

Mon, Sept 24

3:00pm   There will be an Ad Hoc Sub-Committee meeting on the Attendance Violation Policy (AV Policy) on Monday, September 24, 2018, at 3:00pm, in the School Committee Conference Room, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Cambridge, for the purpose of discussing the CRLS Attendance Violation Policy and related issues. It is anticipated that this meeting will end by 5:00pm.Central Flea

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Tues, Sept 25

6:00pm   School Committee meeting  (Henrietta Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)

The School Committee will reconvene in Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting in the School Committee Conference Room, 459 Broadway, for the purposes of hearing a Level III grievance as part of collective bargaining with CEA Unit E and for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining strategy and litigation/arbitration strategy with respect to such grievance as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining and the litigation/arbitration positions of the Cambridge School Committee.

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

General Business

1. Update from the Community Development Department

2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts

3. PB#141 – North Plaza and Sky Bowl - Design Review (continued) (Materials)

4. PB#303 – 314 Main Street (Building 5) – Ground Floor Design Update

5. Envision Cambridge Update

6. Board of Zoning Appeal Cases

BZA-016894-2018 – 1815 Massachusetts Avenue – Special Permit to remove existing previously-permitted rooftop telecommunication equipment and replace with up-graded equipment. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); 6409 Section 47 USC 1455 (a). (Materials)

BZA-016938-2018 – 102 Sherman Street – Special Permit to replace 3 existing antennas and add and upgrade other telecommunications equipment. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.40 (Special Permit); 6409 Section 47 USC 1455 (a). (Materials)

BZA-016948-2018 – 678 Massachusetts Avenue – Special Permit to replace 3 existing panel antennas and install additional remote radio units. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.40 (Special Permit); 6409 Section 47 USC 1455 (a). (Materials)

BZA-016963-2018 – 280 Brookline Street – Special Permit to replace 6 panel antennas as well as install 9 remote radio units on the rooftop. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.40 (Special Permit); 6409 Section 47 USC 1455 (a). (Materials)

BZA-016997-2018 – 212 Hampshire Street – Variance to add 8 dwelling units on two floors to an existing ground floor commercial building. Art. 5.000, Sec. 5.31 (Table of Dimensional Requirements); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.30 (Variance). Special permit to reduce the parking requirement. Art. 6.000, Sec. 6.35.1 (Reduction in the Required Parking); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.40 (Special Permit). (Materials)

7. Town-Gown Discussion

Wed, Sept 26

5:30pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting  (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)

6:00-7:30pm   Central Square Advisory Committee meeting  (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room)

This meeting will focus on "Placemaking in Central Square" to reintroduce and revisit the City's approaches to public space with the goal of creating a set of values for public spaces in Central Square. The focus of this meeting will be - Arts + Programming.

6:00pm   Envision Cambridge Scenarios Public Meeting  (Graham & Parks Alternative Public School, 44 Linnaean St.)

Thurs, Sept 27

3:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss storm water management practices and get an update on how Cambridge will be impacted by the EPS’s new MS4 permit which took effect on July 1, 2018.  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   The City Council's Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update from the Community Development Department on the Affordable Housing Overlay District, and an update on the annual Inclusionary Zoning report. The Housing Committee shall also meet the City Manager's candidate for the open Cambridge Housing Authority Board position.  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   LGBTQ+ meeting  (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)

6:00-8:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Sat, Sept 29 and Sun, Sept 30

Noon to 6:00pm   Cambridge Arts Open Studios (CAOS)  (Citywide)

Mon, Oct 1

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:30pm   Tax Rate Hearing  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission (MCNCDC) meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Tues, Oct 2

3:00pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a petition filed by the City Council to amend Articles 2.000, 4.000, 6.000 and 11.000 of the Zoning Ordinance to establish provisions for Cannabis Uses. This Hearing is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 3

3:00pm   License Commission Public Hearing  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

4:00pm   The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to further discuss a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program and Policy Order #10 from June 25, 2018.  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Transit Advisory Committee meeting  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

6:00pm   Envision Cambridge - Housing Working Group Meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Thurs, Oct 4

6:00pm   Cambridge Historical Commission meeting  (Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave.)

Tues, Oct 9

1:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environmental Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update on progress towards the Zero Waste goals and to discuss successes and challenges of the citywide composting and recycling programs to date.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 10

8:00-9:30am   Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)

5:30-7:30pm   Bicycle Committee meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Thurs, Oct 11

5:30-7:00pm   Commission for Persons with Disabilities meeting  (51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room)

Mon, Oct 15

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Tues, Oct 16

3:00pm   The City Council's Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning; Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will meet to discuss CMA 2018 #196 (better known as Order #1 of Feb 5, 2018) and any other matter related to Jerry’s Pond (for example, this July 30, 2018 response from the City Manager).  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 17

5:30pm   Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting  (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)

[Meeting Agenda and supporting materials]

6:00-7:30pm   Central Square Advisory Committee meeting  (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room)

This meeting will focus on "Placemaking in Central Square" to reintroduce and revisit the City's approaches to public space with the goal of creating a set of values for public spaces in Central Square. The focus of this meeting will be - Public Health.

Thurs, Oct 18

10:00am   Pole & Conduit Commission meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Mon, Oct 22

5:30pm   City Council Roundtable/Working Meeting to discuss the Envision process. This Meeting is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 24

3:00pm   License Commission Public Hearing  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Thurs, Oct 25

10:00am   The City Council's Human Services and Veteran’s Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Summer food program update.  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   LGBTQ+ meeting  (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)

6:00-8:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Mon, Oct 29

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)


AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 23. Wildcat Conservation Area, Boxford. 1:30pm. It will be about 2 hours with easy terrain and moderate pace. Kids and dogs are welcome. From route 133 in the center of west Boxford (church and village store) go east on Main St. Go past the first 4 way intersection, keeping to the left. You are now on Ipswich Rd. Go to the next 4 way and turn right on Herrick Rd. Parking area is on Herrick Rd. near intersection with Ipswich Rd. which is across from police station. L Steve Davis. AMC Local WalksSat, Sept 29. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 2, J H Rich Forest. 1:00pm. Come hike along the edge of an old channel of the Nashua River, with its abundant wildlife. Along the way, enjoy the scenic woods and be introduced to the Nashua River Rail Trail. Meet at the Rail Trail parking lot on Sand Hill Road, 42.63244N 71.57577W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 6. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 3, Town Forest. 1:00pm. Come explore this local gem with varied woods, the Nashua and Squannacook rivers, and its high concentration of glacial topography, including eskers and kettle holes. This area also features several bogs, which are unusual at this latitude. Meet at the end of Town Forest Road, 42.59741N 71.60508W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local WalksMon, Oct 8. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. 4 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. L Beth Mosias.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 13. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 4, The Esker Trail. 1:00pm. Come see New England woods at their best. This hike features beaver ponds, the scenic Cow Pond Brook, glacial topography, and all around pretty woods and beautiful settings. Meet at the end of Cow Pond Brook Road, 42.62493N 71.50263W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 13. Warner Trail Fall Hike, Wrentham. 9:00am-4:00pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner to Crocker Pond. Bring lunch & water. We will spot cars before the hike. Meet 9:00am at Crocker Pond Conservation Area on Myrtle St. (off Rte. 1; use 270 Myrtle Street, Wrentham, MA in your GPS). Heavy rain cancels. Email or text Laura if uncertain. L Laura Cerier, CL Jim Goyea.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 20. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 5, Sabine Woods. 1:00pm. Don't miss the season finale of our Fabulous Fall series. We will hike along the banks of a protected stretch of the Nashua River, and loop back thru New England woods in their fall splendor. Meet at the Groton Place parking area on the south side of Rt 225, just east of the Nashua River, 42.60489N 71.59599W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 20. Plymouth Harbor. Brisk pace 7 mile walk 9:30am-2:00pm along Plymouth Harbor including Jennie's Grist Mill and Historic Monuments. Lunch stop on the walk back at Lobster Hut (counter service). From Route 3 South take exit 9 towards Kingston/N Plymouth then left on MA-3A S/ Main St. for 1.7 miles, turn left onto Cordage Park Circle. We will meet at the Gazebo. Bring snack and water. Storm cancels. L. Beth Mosias.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 27. Walden Pond, Concord. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove inhabited by Henry Thoreau, during the mid-1800’s. We will walk upon the woodland footpaths, where the transcendentalist contemplated life, on his early morning wanderings. 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 WalksSat, Nov 3. Boston's Developing Waterfront. Moderately paced walk. Explore Ft. Point Channel, Marine Industrial Park, Seaport District, Rowe's Wharf, Rose Kennedy Greenway. 10:00am-2:00pm. Meet at South Station (Red Line T) indoors at street level at exit to Dewey Square. Bring lunch, water. Heavy rain/forecast over 90°F cancels. No dogs. New members welcome. L Sharon Marshall.
AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 3. Castle Island, South Boston. Fast-paced seven-mile scenic walk along ocean to Castle Island, 10:00am-1:30pm. Bring lunch and water. Meet inside JFK/UMass Red Line T station, upper level gates (no nearby parking). Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias. AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 17. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along 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 WalksTues, Dec 25. Foss Farms, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Greenough Land, Carlisle, MA. 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 WalksTues, 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. If no snow, bring traction device for boots. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

September 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 Pond Stewards
Dates: Mondays, 5:30 to 7:30pm
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.
Fresh Air Walks
Dates: Wednesdays, 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 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.
Meadow Wildflower Walk with Ted Elliman
Date: Sunday, September 23rd, 10:00am to 11:30am
Place: Meets at Maher Park, 650 Concord Ave.
    If you wish that you could identify the wildflowers you see lining the paths around Fresh Pond, this walk might be perfect for you! Ted Elliman of the New England Wildflower Society will lead a walk around our lovely meadows, demonstrating the use of identification guides and sharing information about some of our most lovely floral inhabitants. Feel free to bring a hand lens or your favorite wildflower guide! Please contact Catherine Pedemonti with any questions at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
The Owlet Debriefed
Date: Thursday, September 27th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Place: Meets at the Water Treatment Plant, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Back by popular demand! Maybe you’ve heard the news about Cambridge’s most famous baby bird—the owlet. After a season of intrigue, danger, and drama, all worked out for the best in the natural world. You’re invited to Fresh Pond to hear the story from beginning to end about what truly went on here with over 100 photos of the owlet growing up and how we can balance our curiosity with the needs of the wild. For more information, contact Ranger Tim at tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov.
Cycle to the Source 2018
Date: Saturday, September 29th, 8:30am to 4:00pm (Rain date is Sun, Sept 30)
Place: Meets at the Water Treatment Plant, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Along with Cambridge Water Department staff and guides from Urban Adventours. This event is free and open to the public, but for safety reasons is for adults only. Cycle to the Source is a 33-mile bike tour of the Cambridge Watershed. It is a chance to explore where your water comes from, how it is collected, and what steps are taken to ensure the city has clean drinking water. It will include stops at the upper reservoirs, dams, gatehouses, and the CWD field office. The ride starts and ends at the Walter J. Sullivan Purification Facility at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, and explores the Cambridge watershed, which includes the lands and reservoirs in Lincoln, Lexington, Weston, and Waltham. Register at tiny.cc/cycletothesource or with aoconnell@Cambridgema.gov if you’d like to participate! All you need is a working bike, helmet, lunch, and water. If you would like to join but need a bike, Urban Adventours rents hybrid and road bikes that are suitable for the event. $65 would cover the cost of the bike, helmet, and delivery to Fresh Pond on the morning of the tour. Visit their website for more information.

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:
http://www.friendsoffreshpond.org/calendar2014/photopages2014cal/jan14/p01-13-14chipnorton.htm

Endless Summer - July 30, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda

City HallThe City Council's one summertime Special Meeting is this Monday. The actual number of agenda items is not unusually high for a Midsummer meeting, but the 1001 page package of Council materials surely must have violated some City tree ordinance or another. The likely big draw will be the Nakagawa-Brown Petition (which goes by various other marketing names) - the latest in a multi-decade effort to slow new construction in Cambridge. There's also a proposed ordinance for how to regulate marijuana sales in our emerging world of people neutralized by mind-numbing cellphones, apps that erode personal navigational abilities, and substances that dull your mind.

Here are the agenda items I found either interesting, refreshing, or ridiculous - with minimal comment:

Manager's Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-57, regarding a report on launching a program during the summer months to activate the front lawn of City Hall in the afternoons with games.


Manager's Agenda #21. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Douglas Brown, et al., Zoning Petition.

Order #13. That the City Manager, with input from Mayor McGovern and the City Council, is requested to appoint an advisory committee to work through resiliency elements raised during the Envision process and through the Brown petition and report back to the City Council, with the input of the appropriate City agencies and departments.   Councillor Toomey

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on June 27, 2018 to discuss the Zoning petition received from Douglas Brown et al to amend the zoning Section 20.70 Flood Overlay district and creation of a new Section 22.80 - Green Factor.

An enormous number of letters of formal opposition to the Nakagawa-Brown Petition.

The protest letters may represent a sufficiently high percentage of the affected land area that a super-duper majority of 7 of 9 votes would be needed for this zoning amendment to pass. [If you need my 0.07 acres to cross the threshold, let me know.] That said, it probably couldn't muster 5 votes and will likely be allowed to expire without coming to a vote. There may be a few ideas contained in the petition that could be useful if revised and brought up in a different context, e.g. incentives for better use of privately owned open space and/or recommendations for greater resiliency in building infrastructure. The worst aspect of this petition, in my humble opinion, is that it is being sold as a "climate safety petition" as if the goal was to protect people when it's primarily about limiting growth (which is a perfectly rational goal, but just be honest about it). Some of its supporters have even gone so far as to suggest that failure to pass this would be "immoral".

By the way, it's not just the possibility of derailing the renovations to the Miller's River Apartments that makes this petition problematic, and a few nit-picky amendments to carve out exceptions won't make it any better. This petition would throw an enormous percentage of the city's buildings into nonconformity and could turn even the most basic building modifications into an expensive legal nightmare. There's also an apparent belief that property owners are incapable of making rational economic choices, e.g. taking steps to minimize future costly damage due to heavy rains or storm surges. The petitioners have apparently decided that only they can ensure your personal safety.


Update: Based on concerns that this proposed zoning amendment would jeopardize funding for the Millers River renovations as well as other proposed affordable housing projects, the City Council chose to move the petition to a 2nd Reading for the purpose of having that vote fail (which it did on a 4-5 vote with Councillors Carlone, Devereux, Kelley, and Zondervan voting to pass to a 2nd Reading and Councillors Mallon, Siddiqui, Simmons, Toomey, and Mayor McGovern voting against passing to a 2nd Reading). This not only ends the life of this petition but also prevents its reintroduction for the next two years. After the vote, Councillor Toomey made a motion for "Suspension of the Rules for the purpose of Reconsideration hoping the same will not prevail" - a parliamentary move to finalize the vote. That first requires that the Rules be suspended which requires 6 votes, and it failed on a 5-4 vote with those who had voted against passing to a 2nd Reading voting for Suspension of the Rules. That leaves open the possibility that one aggrieved councillor may file for Reconsideration of the vote - a pointless gesture that would most likely lead to a hastily scheduled Special Meeting solely to vote on Reconsideration which would yield no change in the outcome - only delay. [PS - Councillor Zondervan turned out to be that aggrieved councillor who filed for Reconsideration. The only problem is that, as I suspected, under Robert's Rules of Order (not this Robert) a member has to be on the prevailing side of a vote in order to be able to file for Reconsideration. In this case the prevailing side was the vote NOT to pass to a 2nd Reading, so Councillor Zondervan was ineligible.]

It was pointed out over and over at the meeting that most of the elements of the petition with any merit were already in discussion and being considered both within City departments and City task forces and as part of the Envision Cambridge process. - RW


Manager's Agenda #22. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a draft zoning petition concerning the regulation of cannabis establishments in the City of Cambridge in response to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-75. [Cannabis Zone Map]

My prediction: Legal marijuana shops will sell the expensive stuff and the riff raff will still buy from other sources. Also, let's face it - so-called "medical marijuana dispensaries" were always intended to be a first step toward recreational pot shops. I hope they can at least bring back the Peter Max posters and lava lamps from the head shops of my youth.


Manager's Agenda #26. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-14, regarding a report on applying for a Targeted Brownfields Assessment grant for Jerry's Pond.


Three rambling and incoherent communications regarding Magazine Beach from the inevitable Robert LaTrémouille.

Five communications from the ever-colorful Peter Valentine - who always means well.


Resolution #7. Retirement of Ellen Shacter from the Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui

Resolution #18. Resolution on the death of George Teso.   Councillor Toomey

Resolution #19. Resolution on the death of Richelle Robinson.   Councillor Simmons


Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council for an update on the Grand Junction Overlay District in September.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with appropriate staff from the City, MassDOT, the Federal Railroad Administration, the MBTA and any other organization with jurisdiction over the Sherman Street train crossing and related train traffic with the goal of implementing whatever street and intersection changes are necessary to get this area re-designated a “quiet zone.”   Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Toomey

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and any other relevant City departments on what attempts were made to discuss with Lesley University or the Episcopal Divinity School about purchasing the property for affordable housing development and the results of any such discussion.   Councillor Toomey

Order #9. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City departments to establish an action plan to work with the City’s Community-Based Organizations to create a network of summertime evening programming to reduce the threat of violence in the City’s public spaces in 2019 and beyond.   Councillor Simmons, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon

Order #14. That the City Manager is requested to adopt a policy of replacing any failed 4000K LED streetlights with warmer alternatives as opportunities arise, and offering shielding/filtering upon request from nearby residents whenever possible.   Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux

I want those LED lights that keep changing colors.

Order #15. That the Neighborhood and Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts, and Celebrations Committee hold a hearing before October to discuss the various events being planned for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018 and ways to properly observe the holiday in a way that promotes the culture, history, and diversity of Native American peoples during future years.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan

This Order really makes me yearn for a cannoli from the Cafe Roma Pastry Shop on Hanover Street in the North End.

Order #16. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff to determine the navigational editing capabilities of the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Mallon

I continue to marvel at just how quickly the ability of human beings to navigate or even know where they are has degenerated thanks to their "smart" phones and their "smart" cars.

Order #17. That the City Manager is requested to contract with an outside survey company to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of inclusionary tenants' experiences, with a particular emphasis on biased practices.   Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui

Must be that video.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on May 15, 2018 to discuss the development of an Affordable Housing Overlay District plan.

Committee Report #4. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Apr 10, 2018 to discuss the first annual report from the Community Development Department as called for in the updated Inclusionary Zoning ordinance.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 19, 2018 to review the whole licensing and permitting process and to discuss ways to make it more efficient.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 13, 2018 to was to receive an update on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance #1397.

Committee Report #7. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on May 23, 2018 to discuss an Arts Overlay District ordinance that would achieve the goals of creating and preserving spaces for the arts in the Central Square Cultural District.

Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez City Clerk, transmitting a communication from Mayor Marc McGovern, appointing Councillor Mallon as chair to the newly formed Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts.

Comments?

Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Cambridge ChronicleThe Cambridge Chronicle has apparently chosen to install a paywall on its cambridge.wickedlocal.com site, so I will no longer be posting links to their news articles. If 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 and I would prefer to be able to provide links to the news stories, but I guess this is the way the world goes round.


THE MUNICIPAL SITUATION IN CAMBRIDGE
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 339-340: Sept 18, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 337-338: Sept 11, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 335-336: Aug 28, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 333-334: Aug 21, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 331-332: Aug 14, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 329-330: Aug 7, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 327-328: July 31, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 325-326: July 17, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 323-324: July 10, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 321-322: June 26, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 319-320: June 19, 2018 (w/Alanna Mallon, Sumbul Siddiqui)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 317-318: June 12, 2018 (w/Michael Monestime)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 315-316: May 29, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 313-314: May 22, 2018 (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

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.


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Primary – List of Offices & Candidates (Cambridge)

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge (posted Aug 24, 2018)

New ImageCast Voting System for the City of Cambridge (Aug 22, 2018)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (Aug 15, 2018)

Tight spot on Huron Avenue (posted Aug 14, 2018 by John Allen)

Endless Summer – July 30, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda (July 30, 2018)

Pre-Vacation Convocation – Highlights from the June 25, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda (posted June 24, 2018)

The Marcia Deihl bicycling fatality (posted Mar 14, 2018 by John Allen)

A look at the Brattle Street bikeway (Feb 16, 2018 by John Allen)

The Shifting Demographic (Nov 23, 2017)

Age and Turnout: comparing the 2015 and 2017 Cambridge elections (Nov 4, 2017)

Not left, Felton (by John Allen, posted Sept 24, 2017)

Women Candidates in Cambridge Municipal Elections: 1941-2017 (Aug 14, 2017)

Number of candidates in Cambridge municipal elections: 1941-present (posted July 25, 2017)

A Conversation with Tip O’Neill (1992) on Cambridge Inside Out (Jan 17, 2016)

Flashback to March 1998 (Oct 12, 2015)

Brian Murphy, 1964-2015 (Feb 5, 2015)

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
Comments?

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
 
faces
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

Subscribe to the Cambridge Civic Journal.
Specify in your message whether you wish to receive each new e-mail version or if you wish to be notified when the online versions are available at this web site. Under no circumstances will the subscription list be made available to any third party.

“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"



the known universe
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