Cambridge Broadband Matters, Episode 1

CCTV logoCambridge Broadband Matters is scheduled to play on CCTV:

Saturday, August 8 on Channel 9 at noon [live stream]
Tuesday, August 11 on Channel 96 at 1:00pm [live stream]
Thursday, August 13 on Channel 96 at 9:00pm [live stream]
Friday, August 14 on Channel 9 at 7:00pm [live stream]


The 2015 Candidates - Final List - updated July 31, 5:00pm
Note: 11 School Committee candidates submitted sufficient signatures.
24 City Council candidates submitted sufficient signatures. The deadline has now passed.
The remaining official certifications are expected to take place at the Monday, Aug 3 meeting of the Election Commission.

Candidate Office Address Birthdate Occupation Signatures Certified* Notes
E. Denise Simmons CC 188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139 10/2/1951 Public Office 95 (July 2) 84 July 1
Dennis A. Benzan CC 1 Pine St., 02139 1/25/1972 Attorney 100 (July 2) 86 July 1
Minka vanBeuzekom CC 20 Essex St. #1, 02139 7/24/1960 Government 53 (July 2), 47 (July 30) 46+41=87 July 1
Mariko Davidson CC 2 Ware St. #411, 02138 11/20/1981 - 34 (July 14), 26 (July 27), 25 (July 31) 29+17+20=66 July 1
Timothy J. Toomey CC 88 6th St., 02141 6/7/1953 Councillor 100 (July 10) 99 July 1
Plineo Degoes CC 99 Garden St., 02138 2/10/1981 Teacher 92 (July 13) 84 July 1
Jan Devereux CC 255 Lakeview Ave., 02138 5/13/1959 Writer/Commun. 50 (July 8),46 (July 9) 47+44=91 July 1
Santos Carrasquillo CC 188 Harvard St. #3B, 02139 10/15/1969 - - - July 1
Gregg J. Moree CC 25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140 6/16/1957 Carpenter 97 (July 31) 75 July 1
David P. Maher CC 120 Appleton St. #2, 02138 8/8/1958 Non-profit Mgr. 100 (July 20) 96 July 1
Marc McGovern CC 15 Pleasant St. #2, 02139 12/21/1968 Social Worker 100 (July 6) 92 July 1
Kim Courtney CC 2 Ware St. #401, 02138 12/6/1973 Attorney 50 (July 13), 15 (July 14) 48+13=61 July 1
Leland Cheung CC 157 Garden St., 02138 2/11/1978 - 75 (July 8), 25 (July 31) 52+24=76 July 1
Gary Mello CC 324 Franklin St. #2, 02139 5/24/1953 Clerk 40 (July 2), 41 (July 20) 31+33=64 July 1
Craig Kelley CC 6 Saint Gerard Ter., 02140 9/18/1962 Politician 100 (July 27) 91 July 1
James M. Williamson CC 1000 Jackson Pl. #45, 02140 1/13/1951 - 49 (July 20), 26 (July 29) 41+21=62 July 1
Nadeem Mazen CC 720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139 9/20/1983 Entrepreneur 88 (July 28) 81 July 2
Dennis Carlone CC 9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140 5/7/1947 Architect 50 (July 23), 16 (July 28) 47+16=63 July 2
Paul F. Mahoney CC 23 Lawn St., 02138 5/8/1950 - 65 (July 27) 57 July 2
John Sanzone CC 540 Memorial Dr. #304, 02139 10/16/1988 - 54 (July 30), 24 (July 31) 38+19=57 July 2
Romaine Waite CC 60 Lawn St. #5, 02138 6/7/1991 - 100 (July 21) 73 July 2
Lesley R. Phillips CC 1643 Cambridge St. #52, 02138 7/18/1945 Clergy 47 (July 7), 48 (July 7) 44+43=87 July 2
John Summers CC - - - - - July 8
Xavier Dietrich CC 2 Ware St. #401, 02138 12/2/1961 - 35 (July 17), 22 (July 24) 34+20=54 July 13
Ilan Levy CC 148 Spring St., 02141 11/1/1967 Software Engineer 48 (July 27), 25 (July 30) 45+19=64 July 13
Lee Lynn Hershey CC 469 Windsor St. #2, 02141 1/12/1989 - - - July 15
Doug Brown CC 35 Standish St. #1, 02138 2/11/1968 Production Manager - - July 20
Mike Connolly CC 20 Harding St. #3, 02141 6/3/1980 - 59 (July 27), 14 (July 29) 57+10=67 July 24
Alfred B. Fantini SC 4 Canal Park #203, 02141 6/8/1949 Retired 100 (July 2) 98 July 1
Richard Harding SC 189 Windsor St. #1, 02139 10/16/1972 Administrator 100 (July 8) 81 July 1
Manikka L. Bowman SC 134 Reed St., 02140 11/27/1979 - 97 (July 2) 89 July 1
Kathleen M. Kelly SC 17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139 3/8/1960 Social Worker 47 (July 9), 49 (July 21) 45+47=92 July 1
David J. Weinstein SC 45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138 12/10/1972 Writer/Commun. 40 (July 10), 27 (July 29), 9 (July 31) 34+23+7=64 July 1
Jake W. Crutchfield SC 281 River St., 02139 3/31/1987 Teacher 61 (July 21) 53 July 1
Elechi Kadete SC 10 Laurel St. #4, 02139 9/30/1989 Accountant 50 (July 2), 13 (July 6) 47+10=57 July 1
Fran Cronin SC 1 Kimball Ln., 02140 2/14/1952 School Committee 98 (July 13) 84 July 1
Patricia M. Nolan SC 184 Huron Ave., 02138 8/28/1957 School Committee 50 (July 14), 11 (July 24) 49+11=60 July 1
Mervan Osborne SC 89 Fayerweather St., 02138 7/16/1968 Dean - - July 2
Pia Cisternino SC 62 Holworthy St. #1, 02138 8/28/1974 speech-lang. pathologist 49 (July 27), 24 (July 30) 45+22=67 July 2
Emily Dexter SC 9 Fenno St., 02138 3/16/1957 Educational Researcher 100 (July 21) 98 July 13

CC = City Council, SC = School Committee

Mervan Osborne will not seek reelection (July 21).

Although he did pull nomination papers, John Summers is NOT a candidate for City Council (July 22).

* The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5:00pm. 50 certified signatures are required and candidates can submit no more than 100 signatures. Signatures are unofficially certified by staff in the Election Commission office, but actual certification is done by the Election Commission during July and possibly as late as Aug 14. When unofficially certified, the number of certified signatures and the candidate's name will be indicated in bold.

This list of candidates is also available as sortable tables at

Topics for Municipal Election Candidates - 2015

Candidates for City Council and School Committee in each municipal election since 2003 have been asked to submit statements to be posted on their Cambridge Candidate Pages on a range of topics relevant to the respective offices. Candidates can also submit statements on other topics of importance to them. The request will soon go out again to this year's candidates. Are there any particular topic areas that should be on this year's list? Please let me know what you think so that we can have a good starting point for all candidates. For reference, the topics from the 2013 election are listed below. - Robert Winters

City Council candidates were asked in 2013 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three and elaborate]
3) Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Density
4) Economic Development and Commerce
5) Housing
6) Energy, the Environment, and Public Health
7) Traffic, Parking, and Transportation
8) Open Space, Parks, and Recreation
9) Municipal Finance (budget, assessments, property taxes, etc.)
10) Quality of Life and Public Safety

Other topics that you might wish to address: Civic Participation, Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager, University Relations, Youth Programs, Senior Programs, Arts and Public Celebrations, Cambridge Public Schools, Future of the Foundry Building

Priority Question: What is your vision for Central Square over the next decade?

School Committee candidates were asked in 2013 about:
1) Background [biographical, etc.]
2) Top Priorities [List about three ­ then elaborate
3) Top Challenges Facing CPS today
4) Evaluation of the Innovation Agenda
5) School Department Administration and Superintendent
6) School Department Budget and Capital Needs
7) Achievement Gaps, Meeting the Needs of All Students
8) Meeting the Needs of Advanced Learners
9) Controlled Choice, Student Assignment Policies
10) Curriculum and Programs
   a) Elementary School Grades
   b) Middle School Grades
   c) High School Grades

Other topics that you might wish to address: MCAS and Measuring Student Achievement, Teacher Evaluations and Performance Measures, School Safety and Student Behavior, World Languages, Parent Involvement and School Councils, Enrollment in Public vs. Charter vs. Private Schools

Priority Question: What are your recommendations for meeting the needs of high-achieving/advanced learners, especially in the middle-school grades?

Any topics to add, delete, or modify?

School Committee Update (July 29, 2015)

The Cambridge School Committee welcomes community involvement and is seeking to convene a Superintendent Search Interview Committee (SSIC) – representative of stakeholders in the Cambridge Public Schools – to screen candidate resumes and conduct preliminary interviews of candidates for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Interested? See the interview committee self-nomination form >>

The Superintendent Search Committee would like your input as they seek to hire a new superintendent. Take the survey >>


Work at the Polls on Election Day!

Red Line

Election Workers

The City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals who are registered to vote in Massachusetts to work at polling locations throughout the city. On Election Day 200+ election workers are on hand to assist our citizens with a positive voting experience. Dedication, efficiency, patience and friendliness are assets.

  • Election workers are compensated at an hourly rate of $14.95- $16.95 depending the position assigned on Election Day.
  • All election workers will receive paid training. Training is mandatory!
  • Election workers should have reliable transportation, and be available to work on Election Day from 6:30am to 9:00pm.

To apply, go to or visit the Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA.

Recruitment Session: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 5:30–8:30pm.
Citywide Senior Center, Walter Milne Ballroom, 806 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA.

You must RSVP and submit your application by Monday, August 3, 2015 to attend the information session.

The recruitment session is unpaid. Attendance does not guarantee that you will be hired to work on Election Day.

City of Cambridge Election Commission

Red Line

51 Inman St
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-349-4361
Fax: 617-349-4366

Full Scale Flyer (with links)


Conversations about the Volpe Site

Volpe Site Conversations

Full-Scale Flyer (PDF)

Cambridge Jazz Festival - July 26th, 12-6pm

Cambridge Jazz Festival - July 26Enjoy a day of free jazz at the second annual Cambridge Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 26th from 12-6 at University Park at MIT (Sidney Street, down the street from Mass Ave. at University Park Common).

Featured Musicians:

Cambridge Native Nnenna Freelon is a singer, composer and arranger who has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has performed with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, and Herbie Hancock among others. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center and has been described as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft"

Drummer Ron Savage is the chair of the Ensemble Department at the Berklee College of Music, and is a Co-Founder of the Cambridge Jazz Festival. Ron and his trio will be collaborating with Nneena Freelon to perform a salute to Billie Holliday at this year’s Festival.

JoAnne Brackeen is consistently rated as one of the best jazz pianists in the world. She has “consistently defied convention, remaking herself and her art many times over” from her early roots in the Bebop scene of the 1950’s and is a “legendary player of immense stature.”

Eguie Castrillo is latin percussionist and Grammy Award winner who has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Winwood and toured with Arturo Sandoval. He will be appearing with his sizzling international band “The Latin Jazz Connection”.

Laszlo Gardony is a unique classically-trained ‘jazz architect’ who also has roots in progressive rock, blues, Appalachian and American folk music. He’s been praised by Dave Brubeck for his “fluid pianism”. All About Jazz put him “on par with Bill Evans”.

Jazz Festival 2015

Jazz Festival 2015

Cambridge Animal Commission Advises Precautionary Measures due to Rabid Raccoon Finding

raccoon and skunk (Wikipedia)July 16, 2015 -- On Monday, July 13, Cambridge Animal Control Officers picked up a raccoon at Fresh Pond Reservation that has tested positive for rabies.

Earlier this month, a skunk and a fox found in Belmont tested positive for rabies, though they were not found in very close proximity to Fresh Pond. The skunk was found towards the center of Belmont and the fox was located in the area of Belmont Hills.

At this time, Cambridge Animal Commission has received no reports of any person or animal having contact with a rabid animal, but advises that people take precautionary measures, especially at Fresh Pond Reservation. Dog owners should maintain their pets in clear view and keep them from running in brush areas where they cannot see if something occurs.

Tips for Protecting Against Rabies

Please notify the Cambridge Animal Commission if you see a potentially rabid animal or come in contact with one at 617-349-4376. If you get the voice mail, please try to convey the time and location of the siting and your contact number.

Select Stories from the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Multi-use path unveiled near Cambridge Common (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)

Cambridge's superintendent search moves to interview phase (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)

Guest column: Significant victory for affordable housing in Cambridge (Denise Simmons, Dennis Benzan, Marc McGovern)

Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe sold after six decades in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 13, 2015)

Timeline set for Cambridge superintendent hire (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)

Big plans for Out of Town News in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)

All eyes on Volpe: Huge plans leave Cambridge councilors feeling rushed (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)

Harvard looks to expand campus center; plan reduces open space near Au Bon Pain (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)

Cambridge councilors question street-narrowing initiatives (Sara Feijo, June 26, 2015)

Cambridge proposal opens private lots to car-sharing (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)

Foundry's reincarnation: Tour gathers ideas for Cambridge building's revamp (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)

NorthPoint staircase honors work of the late Brian Murphy (Sara Feijo, June 23, 2015)

Harvard Towers tenants sent packing as owner plans renovations (Sara Feijo and Amy Saltzman, June 17, 2015)

Cambridge Councillors: Students need more exposure to building trades (Sara Feijo, June 17, 2015)

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - July 2015

recycling symbol

Fixer Saturdays This Summer
Two Job Openings with Cambridge Recycling
Fruit & Veggie Storage Tips
What to do with Packaging?!
Got Old Medicine or Used Needles?

Fixer Saturdays This Summer

The Somerville Tool Library, at 577 Somerville Ave (inside Parts & Crafts) welcomes Cambridge residents! This summer they have lots of cool events.  Every Saturday from 1-3pm, they invite the community to a collaborative repair event focused on one type of broken item. Free/by donation. July 11: bra repair, July 18: anachronistic audio repair and July 25: laptops. They’ll have tools, supplies and knowledgeable fixers on hand. Bring your broken stuff and learn how to fix it yourself! Novices, experienced fixers and children welcome. Email with questions, to volunteer or suggestions for future events.

Two Job Openings with Cambridge Recycling

The Cambridge Recycling Division has two current job opportunities:

  1. Waste Reduction Program Manager, job description, closing date: July 16
  2. Recycling Outreach Assistant, job description, closing date: July 23

Fruit & Veggie Storage Tips

Make your fruits and veggies last longer to reduce waste and save money!

Store Inside the fridge: apples, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, lemons, oranges, almost all vegetables & herbs. After ripening at room temperature: apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.
Outside the fridge: Store in a cool place: bananas, mangos, papayas and pineapples. Store in a cool, dark place: potatoes & onions. Basil & winter squashes: store at room temperature – once cut, store squashes in fridge

If you like your fruit at room temperature, take what you’ll eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning. Many fruits give off gases that hasten the spoilage of other produce. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves and store fruits and vegetables in different bins. Check out storage bags and containers designed to help extend the life of your produce. To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating. For some really great videos on reducing food waste from our friends in Seattle, click here.

What to Do With Packaging?!

  • Cardboard Boxes: Be sure boxes are empty of any Styrofoam, bubble wrap, plastic air pockets, etc.
  • Bubble Wrap and Air Pockets: Recycle with plastic bags at the Recycling Center during open hours. Must be empty, clean, and dry.
  • Styrofoam Peanuts: Bring to a UPS Store for reuse or to the Recycling Center during open hours. No cornstarch peanuts, which dissolve in water.
  • Blister Packaging: Hard clear plastic form packaging is accepted in curbside recycling.

Got Old Medicine or Used Needles?

You can bring unused medications to the Cambridge Police Dept drop box at 125 Sixth St, first floor lobby! Place prescription & over-the-counter, vitamins, medication samples, veterinary medications and/or narcotics in a sealed bag. No open containers of liquid, no syringes. Turn in unused drugs to protect children and animals from finding them and getting poisoned, and preventing them from being scavenged and illegally sold. Don’t flush medicine down the toilet or sink, help protect our drinking water and soil�.. Also, the Health Center at 1199 Windsor St accepts needles and syringes in a puncture-proof container (detergent bottles, coffee cans), sealed with tape. Bring to the ground floor kiosk at the Health Center. No loose needles, no medications and no other medical supplies. Residents may request sharps containers at the Health Center.

Know that recycling is easy and mandatory in Cambridge! Review what to recycle and help educate new residents! Encourage others to stay in the loop and sign up for the City’s monthly e-newsletter on recycling, composting and reducing waste. Just email us at

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use iReport or call DPW at 617-349-4800 no later than 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2015 collection schedule online for full details.
  • During winter, Clear snow to curb so collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters so that they are not behind snow banks. For more info click here. Thank you.

Who Votes in Cambridge?

There are 61,910 registered voters with identified birthdates (as of June 29, 2015). Their median age is 39.3. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters - 2015

Of these currently registered voters, 31,789 voted in last year's state election. Their median age is 50.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2014 State Election

Of these currently registered voters, 16,773 voted in the 2013 municipal election. Their median age is 58.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:

Registered Voters 2015
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2013 Municipal Election

2015 Municipal Election: Nomination Papers

Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee will be available beginning Wednesday, July 1st at the Election Commission office, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge. The office will be open on Wednesday, July 1st from 8:30am until 5pm. The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5pm. The 2015 Municipal Election Calendar is posted on the Commission’s website:

The requirements to run for City Council or School Committee are:

  1. The person must be a registered voter in Cambridge. To register, one must be 18 years of age by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident in the City of Cambridge.
  2. The person must file no fewer than fifty (50) and no more than one hundred (100) certifiable signatures of registered voters in the City of Cambridge.

The Commission has prepared an information kit for candidates containing important dates, Commission policies, services and publications. The kits will be available with the nomination papers on July 1st.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

Cambridge Candidate Pages - 2015
(candidates are encouraged to send additional information)

2015 Calendar of Election-related Events
[ submit your events ]

Campaign Finance – 2015 Cambridge City Council Candidates

Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2015
(candidate lists with sortable tables)

Official 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election Calendar (and advice for candidates)

Fri, Aug 14: 5:00pm deadline for Election Commission to certify signatures on nomination papers.
Tues, Aug 18: 5:00pm deadline for municipal candidates to file withdrawal of nomination.
Wed, Oct 14: 8:00pm deadline to register to vote in municipal election. In person registration hours are 8:30am to 8:00pm at Election Commission office only. (Mail in registration must be postmarked by Oct 14).
Mon, Oct 26:

Deadline for School Committee candidates and Political Committees to file Municipal Campaign & Political Finance Reports. (City Council candidates should consult their OCPF packets regarding depository-filing requirements).

City Council candidates are required under state law to set up a depository account at a bank. The bank will report all deposits and expenditures directly to the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF). School Committee candidates are not required to set up a depository account, but they must file a campaign finance report in mid-October and at the end of the year.

Fri, Oct 30: Election Commission will be open 8:30am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Sat, Oct 31: Election Commission office will be open 9:00am to 5:00pm for over-the-counter absentee voting.
Mon, Nov 2: Noontime (12:00pm) deadline to apply for absentee ballot, either for mail-in or over-the-counter voting.
Tues, Nov 3:

Municipal Election. Polls are open 7:00am until 8:00pm.
All absentee ballots (except Overseas Absentee Ballots) must arrive at the Election Commission office by 8:00pm to be counted. Ballot count begins at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square after the polls close. Overseas Absentee Ballots are due by 5:00pm on Friday, Nov 13, but must be postmarked by Nov 3.

Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted on Fri, Nov 13 at 5:00pm.

It is expected that the Election Commission will report preliminary election results Tuesday evening (Nov 3), but this tally does not include auxiliary ballots (write-in ballots and other ballots not yet counted for a variety of reasons). These will be scanned and tabulated on Wednesday. Unofficial election results are expected to be announced on Wednesday when all of the auxiliary ballots have been included. The official election results will not be complete until any overseas absentee ballots and provisional ballots have been included on Fri, Nov 13.

Wed, Nov 4: 9:00am-5:00pm. Ballot count resumes at Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square.
Fri, Nov 13: Overseas Absentee Ballots and Provisional Ballots will be counted at 5:00pm.
Regular Election Commission Office Hours: (Unless otherwise indicated)  
Mondays: 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: 8:30am to 5:00pm
Fridays: 8:30am to Noon
Holidays: The Election Commission will be closed for the following holidays:
Independence Day - Friday, July 3
Labor Day - Monday, September 7
Columbus Day - Monday, October 12

Printable copy of 2015 Municipal Election Calendar

AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksFri, Aug 7. Beacon Hill/North End, Boston. Leisurely 5-mi walk including historic streets, secret alleyways, and a visit to the new Boston Public Market. 6:30-9:15pm. Meet outside Park St. T-stop at wall/fence abutting Park St. Steady rain cancels. L Marc Hurwitz. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 8. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 4 mi. beat-the-heat hike, 7:00am-9:00am. Bring snack/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.
Sun, Aug 9. “Planting the Seed for Our National Parks: The 150th Anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted's Yosemite Report”. On Sunday morning, August 9 at 10:00am, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site joins with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Friends of Fairsted to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Olmsted's Yosemite and the Mariposa Grove report. The event takes place outdoors at the Arnold Arboretum, by a giant sequoia specimen in the Arboretum's tree collection. Visitors can bring along a cushion, blanket or low chair for comfortable seating. They are urged to take the MBTA to Forest Hills station or park along Bussey Street. They should enter at the Bussey Street or Walter Street Gates, from which they will be directed to the event location. The event is free. For further information, please visit or call Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site at 617-566-1689. [Flyer for event]
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 9. Mt. Auburn Cemetery. [Rte. 16 (Mt. Auburn St.) on Cambridge/Watertown line]. 2.5 hr. walk exploring its beauty and history. Theme: Notable writers & poets. Meet at side of Story Chapel (about 100 feet beyond the main entrance) at 1:00pm. Cars should not be parked on roads with solid or broken green lines on them. No food allowed. T accessible - both the #73 and #71 buses stop nearby. Temperature of 80+ may shorten walk. Rain cancels. If in doubt, call the Leader the morning of the walk. L Jim Loughlin. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 15. Squantum Point Park to Pope John Paul 2 Park, Quincy/Dorchester. 5-mile walk from Squantum Point Park, along Quincy Riverwalk, across bridge to Boston Harborwalk to Pope John Paul 2 Park, 9:30am-12:30pm. Bring snack & water. Take Rte. 3 South to exit 12, Rte. 3A South. Continue over the Neponset Bridge onto Quincy Shore Drive and bear left on East Squantum Street. Turn left and take Victory Road Marina Bay, take left on Miwra Haul Rd. into the Squantum Point parking lot. GPS Coordinates (42.299721, -71.032158). Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 16. Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery & North Bridge, Concord. See water lotus in bloom, authors' graves and other Concord wonders on slow-paced, 5 mile ramble. Meet 10:00am. From Concord center take Monument Street 0.5 miles to North Bridge parking area on right. Bring lunch, water and sturdy rambling shoes. L Jerry Yos, Gail Zwink. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 22. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to Grassy Pond looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 12:30pm-3:30pm. Rte. 2 to Exit 42 (Rte 27/Main St, Acton). Follow Rte 27 north for about 1 mile through Acton Center and turn left on Nagog Hill Rd. Go 1.1 miles. Parking lot on left just past small meadow. Heavy rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.
AMC Local WalksMon, Sept 7. World's End Reservation, Hingham. 5 mile walk, 8:30am-11:30am. Bring snack/water. From Rte. 3 exit 14, take Rte. 228N 6.5 mi., L on Rte. 3A 1.0mi. to rotary, R on Summer St. 0.5 mi. to light, L on Martin's Lane to entr. $6.00 parking fee for non-members of the Trustees of Reservations. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias. AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 13. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow paced nature walk looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. Focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 12:30pm-3:30pm. From Rte. 95/128 Exit 33A take Rte. 3 South for 3 miles. Left on Pond St. 0.8 miles to parking lot on left. Parking limited, arrive early. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.

July and August Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:
Summer Lunchtime Walking Series - Fresh Pond Nature & History
Dates: Every Friday
Time: 12 noon to 1pm
Place: Fresh Pond Ranger Station
    Learn during lunch! Join Ranger Jean and staff on a walk to different habitats around the reservation. We will discuss the ecology and natural & human history of the landscape, with topics varying based on the interest of the group. Come with questions, or just to walk and listen. For more information or to register, contact Ranger Jean at, 617-349-4793 or Julie at, 617-349-7712.
A Tour of the Water Purification Facility
Date: Monday, Aug 3
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Come learn how the Cambridge Water Department purifies drinking water for your tap after it's pumped into our facility from nearby Fresh Pond. You'll have the chance to speak with water treatment and testing staff, see the equipment in action and check out our water quality lab! For more information, contact Julie Coffey:, 617-349-7712. Please call ahead if coming with a large group. [Future Water Department Tours: Mon, Sept 14, Oct 5, Nov 2]
Caterpillar Check Ups & Release Prep Workshops
Dates: Thursdays, August 6 and 13
Time: 1 to 3pm
Place : Outside the Ranger Station at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Learn more about Monarch burtterflies and see how our caterpillars are growing! We will be designing signs and crafting materials for the monarch parade when we release our butterflies into the wild. For more information, contact Julie Coffey:, (617) 349-7712.
Pod Patrol: Pre-Monarch Prep!
Date: Monday, August 17
Time: 6-8pm
Place: Front door of water purification facility
    Help us patrol the reservation for black swallow-wort, an invasive, non-native plant that threatens monarch butterflies. We will be releasing monarchs later this summer to help a struggling wild population: getting rid of black swallow-wort will help our Fresh Pond Monarchs thrive! We will pod-pluck our way around the pond at a moderate pace-no experience or equipment necessary. For more information, contact Julie Coffey:, (617) 349-7712.
Fresh Pond Monarch Release and Parade!
Date: Saturday, August 22
Time: 2 to 4pm
Place: Parade starts at the Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Join us to celebrate the growth of our monarch caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, and wish them luck on their long migration to Mexico We will be releasing them at Lusitania Meadow. To skip the parade but view the release, just meet us at the meadow at 2:30.For more information, contact Julie Coffey:, (617) 349-7712.

Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership in Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation costs only $10 per year ($5 for seniors and students, $15 for families). To join, fill out a membership form available in the Ranger Station information racks, e-mail, call 617-349-6489, or visit our website at to download a form.

Keep up to date on events at the Pond. Visit the Friends group website at to learn more about Friends group activities and the reservation and its inhabitants. Upcoming Programs

The Fresh Pond Reservation Stewardship Program
Fresh Pond Reservation users are getting involved! The Cambridge Water Department's Fresh Pond Reservation Stewardship Program brings people together on a regular basis to monitor plants, conduct maintenance activities, and to learn about the ecology and history of the area. You can find out about projects that are being planned for this summer, including invasive plants removal, Purple Loosestrife nursery monitoring, bird box monitoring, and more. Call Kirsten Kindquist at 617-349 6489 or email for more information.

Read the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation Annual "Year in Review (2013)"

Read the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation Annual "Year in Review (2014)"

Grow Native Massachusetts is offering a series of free nature-related "Evenings with Experts" lectures at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway. Details are at and in particular. First Wednesdays of the Month, 7:00-8:30pm.

• Sign up for the City of Cambridge's informative "Recycling and Composting Newsletter" by e-mailing

Upcoming Civic Opportunities

Tues, Aug 4

5:30pm   Citizens Committee on Civic Unity meeting  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.) - cancelled

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

General Business

Update from the Acting City Manager for the Community Development Department

Adoption of Meeting Transcript(s)

7:00pm   Affordable Housing Trust discussion with the Planning Board

8:30pm   Net Zero Discussion

Board of Zoning Appeal Cases

a. (continued) BZA#006158 – 10 Canal Park – design revisions

b. BZA 007457 – 2015 – 318 Harvard Street, variance to enlarge an existing nonconforming residence and special permit to construct windows in a nonconforming wall.

c. PB#125, Two Canal Park, Planning Board determination of Use for a Microbrewery on the ground floor pursuant to Section 13.52.6 – Other Uses.

Wed, Aug 5

3:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss proposed amendments to the Municipal Code Chapter 2.121 entitled "Living Wage Ordinance."  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, Aug 6

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code by adding a new Chapter 8.70 entitled "Prohibition on the Use of Polystyrene Based Disposable Food Containers."  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Aug 10

5:30pm   Special Midsummer City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Aug 11

2:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Concussion Ordinance, which seeks to prevent and manage concussions in youth activities taking place in Cambridge facilities.  (Sullivan Chamber)

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Tues, Aug 18

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss amendments to the Zoning Map and Ordinance for the area along Walden Street near the intersection of Garden Street and extending through the intersection of Sherman Street currently zoned Business A be rezoned to a newly created zoning district entitled Business A-4 and add a new Business A-4 line to Section 5.33. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, Aug 19

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

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



1. Executive Director’s Report

2. Assistant Director's Report

3. Commissioners' Reports



Unfinished Business

1. Municipal Election, November 3, 2015

New Business


Thurs, Aug 20

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a zoning petition filed by Elizabeth M. Stern, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by changing the current zoning designation of Lot 84 (2551 Massachusetts Avenue) and Lot 65 (7 Richard Avenue) on Assessing Block Map 186 from Business A-2 to Residence B and remove both from the MAOD and the NMAS, redraw the zoning district boundary lines so the two lots are in the Residence B zone and not in the MAOD or the NMAS and revise Article 20, Sections 100-111. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Sept 1

5:30pm   The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will meet.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Sept 9

2:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss steps that City Staff are taking to draft an RFQ for a City-wide energy broker who will help facilitate municipal energy aggregation for the City of Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Sept 16

2:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the referred report on tree grates, empty tree wells, and stumps in the tree wells and the role that the Committee on Public Planting should take in advising the City Council, City Manager, and Department of Public works concerning future public planting and maintenance issues.  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Mon, Sept 21

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Historic and Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions Seek New Members

City of CambridgeThe Cambridge City Manager is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Cambridge Historical Commission, Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission, and the Mid Cambridge NCD Commission. Nominations from interested Cambridge residents are welcome through August 14.

The Cambridge Historical Commission, a body of seven members and three alternates, establishes historic preservation policy for the city and administers two historic districts, the Harvard Square Conservation District, the citywide landmark and demolition ordinances, and the preservation grant program for rehabilitation assistance. The neighborhood conservation district commissions are made up of five members and three alternates, with most members being residents of the neighborhoods. Each of the four Commission generally meets monthly to review alterations to protected buildings.

The Cambridge Historical Commission, established in 1963, is the city’s historic preservation agency. It is managed by a professional staff that supports four Commissions made up of appointed volunteers.

The current vacancies are for one alternate on the Cambridge Historical Commission, one alternate on the Avon Hill and Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commissions, and one member, who must be a tenant in the neighborhood, in the Mid-Cambridge NCD. Alternates are expected to attend all meetings and participate fully in discussion, and are designated to vote as needed.

Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or historic preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments to the Commission are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. Individuals interested in being considered should send a letter of interest and a resume by Friday, August 14, 2015 to Charles Sullivan, Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Commission, 831 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 or by e-mail to

City Council Scoreboard: Jan 1, 2014 through June 22, 2015

Here's an update of the scoreboard of activity of the individual city councillors for the current term. Though there are other matters that occupy the time of these elected officials, the records of committee attendance and the number and type of City Council Orders and Resolutions introduced are two objective measures for which data is readily available. Here are the figures through June 22, 2015:

City Council Committee meetings
chaired and attended (2014-2015)

through reports of June 22, 2015
Councillor Chaired Attended
Carlone 30 68
Mazen 11 67
McGovern 12 61
Benzan 34 60
Cheung 3 52
Kelley 5 48
Simmons 15 38
Toomey 5 30
Maher chairs all
CC and SC meetings
Council Orders and Resolutions:

through June 22, 2015
Councillor  P I R M D C A F
Benzan 46 25 5 12 24 194 7 3
Carlone 39 11 6 7 0 9 0 1
Cheung 88 31 11 24 30 305 6 2
Kelley 16 21 4 7 0 7 0 0
Maher 22 4 20 9 179 198 16 0
Mazen 52 20 8 7 0 8 0 3
McGovern 62 23 7 16 6 187 4 1
Simmons 51 19 13 16 47 160 3 8
Toomey 19 16 4 13 129 87 1 0
Total 241 107 64 91 385 1088 35 12

There were 2023 Orders and Resolutions
filed so far during the 2014-2015 term.

The distribution of Orders and Resolutions by city councillors can provide insight into how they approach their job and how they spend their time and staff resources.

P - Policy orders

I - Requests for information from the City Manager and City departments

R - Rules and procedural items, such as the scheduling of hearings

M - Maintenance orders: fixing things, putting in stop signs, potholes, traffic, etc.

D - Death resolutions

C - Congratulations, get-well wishes, birthdays, naming of street corners, etc.

A - Announcements of upcoming events, holidays, proclamations, etc.

F - Foreign and national policy matters

Year-by-year and current totals can be found on the City Council page. More detailed information on each City Council committee can be found on the City Council Committees page (including links to each committee report).

The Appointed Hour - Summer at Sullivan - Highlights of the June 22, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda

Sullivan ChamberThis Monday's meeting will be the last regular meeting before the summer break. [The June 29 meeting was cancelled in favor of a joint Ordinance Committee/Planning Board meeting to discuss the uniquely complex zoning petition concerning the Volpe site in Kendall Square.] Chief among the items that caught my attention are the many appointments and reappointments to City Boards & Commissions - a most honorable calling:

Manager's Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Cambridge Peace Commission effective June 22, 2015:
Reappointments: Frank Connelly, Larry Kim
New appointments: George Atallah, Aboma Dirbaba, Jame Eliscar, Gladys Friedler, Elelchi Kadete, Lijun Li, Johanne Méléance, John Ratliff, Regina Yang

Manager's Agenda #2. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of William G. Barry, Jr. as a member of the Harvard Square Advisory Committee for a term of three years, effective June 10, 2015.

Manager's Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment and reappointments of members to the Cambridge Historical Commission:
Reappointments: William King, Robert Crocker, Chandra Harrington, Jo M Solet, Joseph V. Ferrara, Susannah Tobin
New appointment: Shary Berg

Manager's Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission, effective June 22, 2015:
Sue Myers, Monika Pauli, Nancy Goodwin, Charles Redmon

Manager's Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Reappointments: Theresa Hamacher, Arthur Bardige
New Appointment: John Sanzone

Manager's Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointment of the following persons as member of the Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Reappointment: William King
New Appointments: James VanSickle, Judith Dortz, Charles Smith, Marie P. Dillenseger, Dr. Peter Schur

Manager's Agenda #7. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Health Alliance, effective June 11, 2015:
Reappointments: Maren Batalden, MD; William Hart, Everett; Madge Kaplan, Cambridge; Katharine Kosinski, MD, Cambridge
Officers: Carol Van Deusen Lukas, Chair; Joshua Posner, Vice-Chair
Reappointments: Robina Bhasin, EdM, Somerville; Danna Mauch, Ph.D., Cambridge; Barbara Anthony, Cambridge

Manager's Agenda #15. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as member of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board, for a term of three years, effective June 22, 2015:
Maria Fontellio, Zarha Kanji, Alicia Zeh-Dean

Serving on a City volunteer board isn't for everyone. There's plenty of room for disagreement among the members of any City board, but it's really a place where reasonable people can learn from their peers and from City staff and come to reasonable conclusions - whether it be a regulatory board or an advisory board. It's not a place for inflexible people unwilling to compromise. I have a reverence for people who choose to take on these roles without any compensation. Real civic activism is about giving your time and effort to serve on a City board or volunteering in countless other ways throughout the city. We should all tip our hats to every person named above.

The Rest:

Manager's Agenda #17. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-30 and 15-41, regarding License Commission Fees and Cap Areas.

This is the first time I've ever seen a complete list of all the established liquor cap areas. It would have been helpful if the number of licenses in each cap area was included in the report. It would also be interesting to get maps showing both the liquor cap areas and the fast food cap areas.

Applications & Petitions #4. A zoning petition has been received from Elizabeth M. Stern, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by changing the current zoning designation of Lot 84 (2551 Mass. Ave.) and Lot 65 (7 Richard Ave.) on Assessing Block Map 186 from Business A-2 to Residence B and remove both from the MAOD and the NMAS, redraw the zoning district boundary lines so the two lots are in the Residence B zone and not in the MAOD or the NMAS and revise Article 20, Sections 100-111. [Petition text]

Another week, another zoning petition. The intent of this petition appears to be to prevent either new commercial construction or higher density residential construction from happening at the northwest corner of Richard Ave. and Mass. Ave. where a one-story dry cleaning business is now located.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the School Committee with the view in mind to request the Superintendent of Schools to provide data regarding Charter Schools.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern and Councillor Simmons

This would be good information to receive, but I can't see what the City Council can do or will do with that information.

Order #2. That the City Council go on record adopting the Net Zero Action Plan which includes key actions to reduce emissions and the process that engages stakeholders.   Councillor Cheung

The recommendations are all well and good for new construction, but I do hope the City Council acts more cautiously on any requirements for existing residential buildings. If significantly onerous requirement are imposed on homeowners thinking of renovation, many homeowners will either defer necessary renovations or quietly make improvements without seeking permits. I also hope that the elected councillors also take a moment or two to understand enough physics to see why "net zero" may be unrealistic for certain building types and uses, especially in this New England climate. It would be so much better if the language could be shifted away from the often unrealistic "net zero" and toward the more sensible "maximally efficient".

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to write a letter to the Department of Public Health indicating the City of Cambridge's non-opposition for Commonwealth Alternative Care's application to operate a RMD at 135 Fawcett Street, Cambridge, MA.   Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons and Councillor Mazen

Two points – First, it's amazing how many roadblocks have been thrown up to block any medical marijuana dispensaries from actually being built after being approved by voters via initiative petition. Second, it should be pretty clear that full legalization of marijuana for recreational use may be only a year or two away via the ballot box, and it seems likely that any dispensaries that are approved under the current law may become the initial sites for sale for recreational use if and when that is made legal.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to install ADA compliant sidewalks, create protected bike lanes, and consider additional features to guarantee the safety of young students and all other users in the Huron Avenue area.   Councillor Mazen

This Order is about half right. The referenced sections of Huron Ave. lack sidewalks along the perimeter of the Fresh Pond Reservation and it would be good to add them from Fresh Pond Parkway to as far as the Russell Youth & Community Center. They would then also be available to young children on their bicycles. For adult cyclists there are already well-functioning bike lanes on both sides of Huron Ave. that are quite safe and allow for reasonable speeds and normal turning movements. A "cycle track" in this location is not only unnecessary, but it would also require narrowing the travel lanes to a point where cyclists who prefer the road would be less safe. The alternative would be to remove a significant number of parking spaces used frequently by people using Glacken Field, the Russell Center, the golf course, and Fresh Pond Reservation. Installing just a sidewalk would be an improvement without any negative consequences - Robert Winters.


2015 Summer Event Listing at Magazine Beach Park

Magazine Beach 2015 Events

The Central Square Cultural District
welcomes a new weekly Wednesday evening
Food Truck Event called “Central Square StrEATS!”

Featuring the Middle East and Harpoon “Take Five” Beer Garden”
and 5 food trucks every Wednesday Night from 4 to 8pm
in the Courtyard between Sidney and Blanche at the Landsdowne Quad.

Introducing Central Square StrEATS - the city’s first weekly evening food truck event every Wednesday night at 4pm.

Central Square StrEATS features five food trucks and the “Take Five” Harpoon beer garden in the gorgeous green spaces at University Park at MIT!

This new event endeavor is a partnership between Forest City Enterprises, The Central Square Business Association, The Central Square Cultural District, The City of Cambridge, The Middle East, Harpoon and Food Truck Festivals of America!”

There is no admission fee for Central Square StrEATS. The public is invited to stop by, enjoy snacks, dinner, dessert, a beer, or all of those options from one of five of Boston’s best gourmet food trucks.

Central SquareThe participating trucks at Central Square StrEATS include:

  • Bon Me – mouthwatering Vietnamese noodle and rice bowls and banh mi sandwiches
  • Jamaican Mi Hungry – jerk chicken, beef patties and other Jamaican delicacies
  • Roving Lunchbox – savory and sweet hand pies, soups aand salads
  • Zinneken’s – gourmet waffles with fresh toppings
  • Chubby Chickpea – modern Mediterranean falafel, shwarma and more

Free raffles for Taste of Cambridge and Cambridge Jazz Festival T-shirts will be conducted weekly! These two exciting summer events are held in the same gorgeous University Park at MIT location at Central Square StrEATS! For more information and any questions about weather and cancellations, please visit @go_centralsq and

We're taking some time off from Cambridge InsideOut. We hope to be back on the air in Summer 2015.

Recent Broadcasts of Cambridge InsideOut (2014)    [complete list of shows]

Aug 19 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 79 and 80 with Terry Smith

Cambridge InsideOutAug 5 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 77 and 78 with Patty Nolan

July 29 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 75 and 76 with Brian Corr

July 22 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 73 and 74 with Marc McGovern

July 15 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 71 and 72: News and Events, July 2014

July 1 - Transportation Safety w/guest Rozann Kraus

June 24 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 67-68: More News Around Town

June 17 - Tales from the Democratic Convention and other news from around town

June 10 - 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.

June 3 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 61 and 62 – News and Commentary

Watch Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The co-hosts are Susana Segat 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.

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.


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2015 (July 1, 2015 - updated as needed)

Campaign Finance – 2015 Cambridge City Council Candidates (last updated June 19, 2015 - updated periodically)

Cambridge Animal Commission Advises Precautionary Measures due to Rabid Raccoon Finding (July 16, 2015)

Who Votes in Cambridge? (July 9, 2015)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 1, 2015)

Official 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election Calendar (w/advice) (updated June 30, 2015)

The Appointed Hour – Summer at Sullivan – Highlights of the June 22, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda (June 21, 2015)

Noteworthy items on the June 15, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda (June 15, 2015)

Budget Approval is the Big Item on the June 1, 2015 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 1, 2015)

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (May 23, 2015)

Coming up at the May 18, 2015 Cambridge City Council meeting (May 18, 2015)

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (April 21, 2015)

April 1 Cambridge News (Apr 1, 2015) - the April Fool's Day edition

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Mar 20, 2015)

Cambridge School Committee 2013-2014 Campaign Finance Summaries (updated Mar 15, 2015)

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

Campaign Finance – 2013 Cambridge City Council candidates (May 25, 2013, updated Jan 14, 2015)

Age Distribution of Voters in Cambridge Elections: 2007-2014 (Jan 4, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 63 and 64 with Glenn Koocher (June 10, 2014)

Master Plan Mythology and other Big Items on the Apr 7, 2014 City Council Agenda (Apr 7, 2014)

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

K2C2 Final Reports Released (Dec 31, 2013)

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)

April 1 Cambridge News (Apr 1, 2013) - the April Fool's Day edition

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)

“Cycle track”: a sidewalk by another name (posted Aug 11, 2010, letter of Paul Schimek)

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

April 2, 2015 - Another fun April Fool's Day

April 2, 2013 - Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone for being such a sport on April Fool's Day.

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

THE TASTY DINER of HARVARD SQUARE - A film by Federico Muchnik (33½ minutes)

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

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

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

City Council Committees (for the current term)

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 for more details.

Oliver Wendell Holmes – Morning Exercises of December 28, 1880
As recorded in the book 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Cambridge (1881)

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 (

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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