Mayor David Maher Announces Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Allston Street Fire

Office of the MayorMayor David Maher announced today that the City of Cambridge has established the Mayor’s Fire Relief Fund to assist the victims of the recent Allston Street fire. On July 27, 2014, a 9 Alarm fire displaced nine Cambridge families, including several children, from their homes and destroyed all of their personal belongings. None of the 29 people displaced from the buildings sustained injuries although they are in need of financial assistance to help recover from this tragic loss.

“We are grateful that no injuries were sustained in the fire, however, there are many Cambridge residents currently without shelter and in need of financial assistance,” said Mayor Maher. “The majority of the residents affected were renters, making it difficult to recover any losses as many likely did not have renters insurance. Cambridge has always been very generous to our neighbors in need and many of the victims need our help right now.”

The Mayor’s Office will be accepting checks made out to "The Mayor's Fire Relief Fund" via mail and alternatively, residents are welcome to stop by the Mayor’s Office at City Hall to deliver their donation in person.

Donations can also be made online at http://www.gofundme.com/MayorsFireFund

The Mayor’s Office also welcomes gift certificates in any amount to department stores and grocery stores.
Gift certificates and checks can be mailed or delivered to:
Cambridge City Hall
c/o Mayor's Office
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

For additional information, please contact Mayor David Maher’s Office at 617-349-4321 or email us at mayor@cambridgema.gov.

Midsummer Night's Distraction - July 28, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda

City SealThe City Council returns briefly on Monday for its only meeting of the summer. Due to renovations to the Sullivan Chamber, this meeting will take place in the Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, 459 Broadway, CRLS. Here is a sampler of items of interest:

Manager's Agenda #9. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $133,437.51 funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to the Grant Fund Police Salary and Wages account ($97,423.51) and to the Grant Fund Other Ordinary Maintenance Account ($36,014) which is a reimbursement of expenditures related to the 2013 Marathon Bombing during the week of Apr 15, 2013 through Apr 24, 2013 and will be used to offset overtime costs and to purchase a Morphotrak system used for identifying latent finger prints.

Though there isn't really anything controversial in this, I'm reminded of an appropriation a few months ago to cover costs associated with bomb-sniffing dogs that led to concerns about excessive police presence. In the end, most of us just got to pet Kevin, a very nice and very talented police dog.

Manager's Agenda #15. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to zoning text prepared by the Community Development Department in regard to a request made by the Ordinance Committee at its June 9 public hearing on the Chun, et al. Zoning Petition, which proposes amending the zoning in the Cambridge Highlands neighborhood.

Nothing special to say here - just that maybe third time's the charm. This is the Chun III Petition.

Manager's Agenda #19. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-71, regarding a report on the feasibility of streamlining the permitting process for one-day permits for food trucks visiting Cambridge for special events.

I suppose some steps have to be taken to ensure public safety, but I remember being a youngster in New York when all you needed was a low-cost vendor's permit and you could just park a cart along a road and sell hot dogs and other tasty stuff. I did that for a part of a summer and never once had to deal with regulators, inspectors, the fire department, or anyone else for that matter. When did eveything get so damn complicated?

Manager's Agenda #35. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-52, regarding a report on New Street improvements.

Not long ago, a City Council proposal to improve New Street was assailed by those who felt that improvements would facilitate the approval of new housing on that street - even though their original complaint was about the dreadful state of the street. Solution = Problem (to some). I hear that some paint has been applied to the street to better guide the traffic. The proposed improvements will be better still. The horror!

Manager's Agenda #37. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, request support from the City Council of my intention to submit an application for funding under the Commonwealth's Infrastructure Investment Incentive Program (referred to as the "I-Cubed" program).

The report provides some explanation. "The I-Cubed program provides a mechanism for funding public infrastructure associated with economic development projects. It relies on new state tax revenues derived primarily from new jobs associated with the project to pay debt service on the bonds which are issued by the Commonwealth to fund the infrastructure." The application is for future development in the NorthPoint area.

Manager's Agenda #38. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to an update on the Cambridge Conversations: Preliminary Summary of Process and Input.

The report covers only the initial "conversations" phase of the larger "Master Plan" process and mainly consists of a compilation of impressions expressed by residents. Some have suggested that the whole process may take several years.

Manager's Agenda #39. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to actions I am taking in light of the July 16, 2014 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the case of Merit Construction Alliance v. City of Quincy as it relates to the Responsible Employer Ordinance.

Order #14. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the City Solicitor to determine if there are other options for requiring apprenticeship programs and to report back to the City Council with a legal opinion on how to proceed in ensuring these programs remain part of the Cambridge Employment Plan.   Councillor McGovern and Councillor Simmons

The Order is in response to the fact that the court decision renders some of the City's legally mandated apprentice programs unenforceable. Ideally, voluntary compliance with the intent of that law could still provide the same benefits.

Manager's Agenda #41. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to proposed amendment to Chapter 6.04 of the Cambridge Municipal Code (the "Animal Control Regulations").

Those who fail to scoop the poop may soon have to pick up or pay more. Other proposed changes include giving Ranger Jean at Fresh Pond the authority to enforce all aspects of the Animal Control Regulations. Does this include speeding, lane violations, or failure to yield to smaller dogs?

Unfinished Business #8. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, City Clerk's Office transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan and Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee for a public hearing held on June 24, 2014 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code entitled "Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance." The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after July 14, 2014.

This matter was passed to a 2nd Resolution at the June 30 meeting and is now in the queue for ordination. As this is not an especially onerous regulation, it could well be voted and approved at this meeting.

Resolution #11. Resolution on the death of Seth Teller.   Councillor Toomey

I knew Seth primarily via email and only met him briefly a few times. In addition to being a popular professor at MIT, he was recently very involved in organizing opposition to the proposed redevelopment of the former Courthouse building at 40 Thorndike Street (which will have its next hearing at the Planning Board on Tues, July 29). People who involve themselves in Cambridge civic affairs may often line up on opposite sides of an issue, but they are all players on the same field. When someone dies so unexpectedly, it leaves a void that crosses all lines.

Resolution #36. Resolution on the death of Kensley David.   Vice Mayor Benzan

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to devise and implement a system that will require the City to publicize and convene a community meeting within 72 hours of any catastrophic event - including but not limited to murders, shootings, or other similar episodes - that could impact public safety or the perception of public safety.   Councillor Simmons

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Police Commissioner and report back to the City Council and the community on the specific number of additional police officers that will be assigned to patrol Area IV neighborhoods, whether this increased police presence will be in place through the winter months, and what other additional measures will be undertaken by the Police Department in Area IV.   Councillor Simmons

Kensley David was the young man who was recently murdered on Windsor Street. The two Orders are in response to this tragedy.

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to resume negotiations with Mr. Fawcett regarding the Whittemore Avenue Community Garden and to explore the possibility of securing this space by eminent domain.   Councillor Carlone

Many of us would love to see this community garden restored and made a permanent part of the city's inventory of community gardens. It's worth mentioning, however, that over the years there have been a number of such community gardens on private property that were voluntarily made available to residents thanks to the generosity of the property owners. One such garden on Putnam Ave. some years ago was at the center of a controversy when new housing was proposed for that lot. Would that property owner have ever made the lot available for a community garden if he knew that one day it would prevent other uses on that lot? Let's hope that in the present case some mutually acceptable agreement can be reached.

Order #4. That the City Council go on record affirming its support for the preservation of the Silver Maple Forest.   Councillor Carlone

Yeah, sure, let's have another resolution. Many of us would like to see open space like this preserved, but these orders are getting tiresome. It's interesting that the language of the Order is directed toward the property owner "sending him our warmest regards" but also calling for taking "any and all legal steps necessary to prevent the City from providing any water or sewer connections to the proposed Silver Maple Forest development site". That's something of a mixed message. The "Silver Maple Forest" is the 15.6 acre site of a controversial development project along Acorn Park Drive in the Alewife area located at the intersection of Cambridge, Belmont, and Arlington.

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments regarding the loss of on-street parking spaces as well as the loss of a handicap parking space in Municipal Lot #8 as a result of the reconstruction/reconfiguration of Western Avenue.   Councillor Toomey

My greatest concern about the Western Avenue reconfiguration has been that in order to accommodate bicycles on the sidewalk it would lead to dangerously narrowed lanes in the roadway that would endanger those of us who prefer to cycle on the roadway rather than on the sidewalk. There is still much work to be done before the road is completed, but recent visits have only confirmed my fears. This roadway will be worse for both motor vehicles and bicycles, and I fully expect less safety for pedestrians, bicycles, and motor vehicles.

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with community experts, local universities and the Cambridge Water Department to produce a research study determining the possible harmfully effects of continuing to fluoridate the city’s water supply.   Councillor Mazen

I don't really know that fluoride is needed in the water supply in this day and age when every toothpaste has all the fluoride needed to provide any necessary dental health benefits. That said, I do love the alarmist language in the order like "adding industrial-grade fluoride chemicals to the public water supply". The Order calls for a research study but already contains the conclusions that "Fluoride is classified by the FDA as a drug, not a nutrient, with many side effects and known neurotoxicity and therefore it is not appropriate to add to a city's water supply" and "More than 33 studies have reported an association between fluoride drinking water concentration and reduced IQ." Having consumed lots and lots of fluoridated water over the last 59 years, I can only imagine how brilliant I might have been had I only abstained from consuming this toxic beverage known as water.

Order #17. That the City Manager is requested to form an advisory committee comprised of residents, business leaders and planning professionals to advise the City Manager and staff on ways to improve the Planning Board process while also determining ways to make the special permit process more understandable and transparent to the public and look for opportunities to provide greater public involvement and engagement.   Mayor Maher, Vice Mayor Benzan, Councillor McGovern and Councillor Simmons

This is, in my opinion, the real centerpiece of this meeting's agenda. The Carlone Petition introduced at the June 30 meeting would politicize all Special Permit development projects over a certain size. It's a dreadful proposal. There is, however, a perception in some quarters that the current Planning Board procedures for hearings and decisions on Special Permits do not permit adequate public review and input. Whether true or not, this Order proposes that the City Manager form an advisory committee comprised of residents, business leaders and planning professionals to advise the City Manager and staff on ways to improve the Planning Board process. One simple revision that would make a lot of sense would simply be to have a proponent first bring in a concept and solicit public input prior to coming in with a fully-designed development proposal. Subsequent meetings would then benefit from this early feedback from the public.

If the City Council has any wisdom at all, they will pass this Order and ask that the City Manager move quickly to form this advisory committee and propose useful procedural changes at the Planning Board (which may soon see one or more new members). This could make things better for both residents and Planning Board members. This would be far better than disempowering the Planning Board and turning every development proposal into political theater before the City Council.

Order #19. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and reach out to the principals at Vecna to work with them and assist the company with its plan to create new retail and open space opportunities which could significantly add to the vitality of this growing area of Cambridgepark Drive.   Mayor Maher

One of the most positive trends I've noticed over the last year or two is that ground-floor retail is being regularly characterized as a community benefit. It wasn't all that long ago that only open space and "affordable housing" were seen as community benefits. Nowadays there is a lot of emphasis put on "place making" and that's a very good development.

Order #20. That the City of Cambridge joins with our fellow citizens, municipalities and elected officials across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in calling for a boycott of Market Basket stores in the spirit of unity with current and former employees of Market Basket   Mayor Maher

As a regular Market Basket shopper, I do hope there's some kind of resolution soon. However, I don't think it's good that elected officials or elected bodies are calling for boycotts. That's a decision best left to individuals.

Order #23. That the City Manager is requested to confer with all appropriate departments and explore the feasibility of creating a Cambridge City Youth Council that will represent the youth population of the city and serve as an advisory board to the City Council.   Councillor Cheung

I thought we already had such an advisory board - the Kids' Council. Their charge may be to coordinate services relevant to Cambridge youth, but advising the City Council could be added to that charge. Having a new, separate group seems a bit redundant. Modifying the existing Kids' Council seems like a simpler and more effective idea.

Order #24. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Cambridge Community Development Department on the feasibility of producing a Cambridge Sustainability Plan with stated priority goals to complement Cambridge's Master Plan.   Councillor Cheung

I'm inclined to say that the policy goals contained in the Growth Policy Document (1992) coupled with the 2006 update is the Cambridge Sustainability Plan and it's a pretty good one. I would expect a few revisions to grow out of the next process but it's not like we have to revert to Square One.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Chair of the Transportation and Public Utilities Committee for a public hearing held on June 11, 2014 to explore the way forward for a shared use with a rail and trail path along the Grand Junction Corridor.

All good ideas, so let's get things moving. I would especially like to see some fresh ideas on how best to connect to the Somerville Community Path.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Administrative Assistant, City Clerk's Office, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan and Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee for a public hearing held on July 2, 2014 to discuss the Timothy R. Flaherty, et al. zoning petition requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Map of the City of Cambridge to expand the Medical Marijuana Overlay District, MMD-1 to encompass 61 Mooney Street.

No comment - just the observation that Planning Board report has been received and with the Ordinance Committee report this matter could now be moved to a 2nd Reading putting it in the queue for ordination in September.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a communication from Councillor Leland Cheung transmitting information on The Rush to Build Walkable Urban Grocery Stores.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a communication from Councillor Timothy J. Toomey Jr. regarding his appeal of a public records denial with the Division of Capital and Asset Management and Maintenance regarding the sale price of the Sullivan Courthouse.

Both of these communication have a relationship to the Legatt McCall proposal to redevelop the former Courthouse building at 40 Thorndike St. One of the benefits touted by the developer would be a new neighborhood grocery store to be located on the ground level of the First Street Garage. Regarding the sale price of the Courthouse property, I doubt whether that will be made known until the final transfer of title has taken place. As of this past Tuesday, no papers had been passed. It was anticipated that the transaction would be completed soon after the prisoners were evacuated from the jail and that took place last month. Perhaps we'll learn more at the July 29 Planning Board hearing. - Robert Winters

Comments?


Tues, July 22 - Our guest tonight on Cambridge InsideOut will by City Councillor Marc McGovern (with hosts Susana Segat and Robert Winters). Tune in to CCTV for back-to-back episodes at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. We'll do our best to review the major (and a few minor) issues that have come before the City Council during the first half-year of this City Council term. We'll also look into the crystal ball and try to see what's coming up during the second half of this year. [If you miss the broadcast, we'll post the YouTube versions afterwards.]


Marc McGovern on Cambridge InsideOut (July 22, Part 1)


Marc McGovern on Cambridge InsideOut (July 22, Part 2)

Upcoming Civic Opportunities

Parkland GamesMon, July 28

5:30pm   Special City Council Midsummer Meeting  (Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, 459 Broadway, CRLS)

Tues, July 29

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring St., E. Cambridge)

General Business

1. Update by Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development.

Public Hearing

7:00pm   Continued public hearing on PB#288 – 40 Thorndike Street, Special Permits to convert the existing nonconforming Courthouse structure at 40 Thorndike Street to a mixed use office building containing ground floor retail uses, 24 dwelling units, and below grade parking. Special permits are being sought pursuant to Section 19.20 Project Review, Section 8.22.2.a. Alteration of a Nonconforming Structure, Section 5.28.2 (et seq.), Conversion of a Non-Residential Structure to Residential Use, and Section 10.40 General Special Permit Requirements. by LMP GP Holdings, c/o Leggat McCall Properties, LLC.

Wed, July 30

4:00pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the Carlone, et al. zoning petition requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits. This hearing to be televised.  (Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, CRLS)

Tues, Aug 5

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd floor meeting room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Public Hearing

7:00pm   Public hearing on a zoning petition by Dennis Carlone, et al. requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits pursuant to Article 19.000 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance.

Thurs, Aug 14

5:30pm   The City Council's Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee will conduct a public meeting  (location TBD)

Tues, Aug 19

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd floor meeting room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, Aug 20

5:30pm   The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss how to best launch Small Business Town Hall Meeting.  (831 Massachusetts Avenue, Basement Conference Room)

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

Thurs, Aug 21

3:00pm   The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee and Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a joint public meeting to discuss the progress of each STEAM subgroup and set action-oriented goals to be met before the end of the year.  (Main Library, 449 Broadway, Community Room)


July & 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:
http://www.friendsoffreshpond.org/calendar2014/photopages2014cal/jan14/p01-13-14chipnorton.htm
Fresh Pond Reservation Walkabout with Vincent Falcione & Kirsten Lindquist
Date: Mon, July 28
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Meeting Place: Black's Nook bulletin board
    Take a peek at the Reservation through an ecological lens! Reservation staff will point out several past and current restoration projects around Fresh Pond all aimed at improving the Reservation for water quality, wildlife and recreation. Don't miss out on this chance to learn more about how we manage Cambridge's urban wild! For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Fresh Pond Monarch Watch: Caterpillar Check-up & Release Prep
Date: Thurs, July 31
Time: 1 to 3pm
Meeting Place: outside the Ranger Station, inside if raining.
    Reservation staff are raising monarch caterpillars for release! These butterflies are very endangered and we're taking action to protect them (and help our local habitats) at Fresh Pond. Come see how the caterpillars are growing, learn how you can help, and prepare crafts for our big release in August! Learn more about the project at www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation. For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Wildflower Identification using Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
Date: Sat, Aug 2
Time: 1 to 3pm
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    If you find yourself wishing that you could identify the flowers that you see as you walk around Fresh Pond, this program may be just right for you! We will demonstrate the use of Newcomb's, a wildflower guide that really works; then we will identify some beautiful specimens in the nearby Water Department planting beds. We have Newcomb's guides and hand lenses to lend, or you can bring your own.
Volunteer Adventures at Fresh Pond with Ranger Jean
Dates: Sat, Aug 2 and Aug 9
Time: 10am to 1pm
Place: Fresh Pond Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Go behind the scenes to see what's involved in maintaining Cambridge's most heavily visited open space. Volunteers will water trees, spread wood chips on pathways, remove invasive plants, take counts of park users, prune back brush, and help Ranger Jean with some of her other ranger duties. A list of adventures will be posted weekly in the Ranger Station as we see what needs to be done. Gloves, tools and good company provided. Bring a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes (no sandals!); long pants recommended. For more information contact Ranger Jean at jrogers@cambridgema.gov or call 508-562-7605.
Fresh Pond Monarch Watch: Pod-a-Palooza!
Date: Mon, Aug 4
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Not only does the invasive weed black swallow-wort push out the milkweed which monarchs depend on, it also confuses monarchs who accidentally lay their eggs on it, poisoning the caterpillars. Help stop the spread - pick seed pods with us! This a low-impact weeding activity appropriate for all ages - bring friends and family! Every pod we pick is at least a couple hundred seeds that won't sprout. Tools and gloves provided. Sturdy shoes, water bottle and bug repellant recommended.Learn more about Fresh Pond Monarch Watch at www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation. For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Tour of the Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility
Date: Mon, Aug 4
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Find out how water that falls as rain in the suburbs 10 miles west of Cambridge is transported to Fresh Pond and then tested, treated and delivered to the city's residents and businesses! Members of the Cambridge Water Department staff will describe the process, answer your questions, and give a tour of the building. For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Wake-Up and Weed!
Dates: Every Thursday in August
Time: 10am to 12noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer in the parking lot in front of the Water Dept.
    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. For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.
Experience Fresh Pond through Nature Journaling
Date: Fri, Aug 8
Time: 10am to 12noon
Place: Maynard Ecology Center, 650 Concord Ave.
    Join Ranger Jean and Tobin School Volunteers for a single 2 hour session on nature journaling as a means of learning more about Fresh Pond over time. This is not a drawing class: it is more a methods experience. Bring a journal or simple drawing pad, some number 2 pencils and a gum eraser Starts at 10am sharp. Please register in advance at 508-562-7605 or jrogers@cambridgema.gov to obtain reference materials electronically.
Get Ready to Honk!
Date: Sun, Aug 10
Time: 1 to 3pm
Place: Fresh Pond Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Come learn about the HONK! parade and make signs, flags and masks of Living Things at Fresh Pond Reservation to be carried by marchers. At this program for people of all ages, you will learn about some of our wildlife, and color and prepare masks, signs and flags that represent them. All materials supplied. Go home with information about the Festival and sign up to join us in October for the event. For more information contact Ranger Jean at jrogers@cambridgema.gov or 508 562-7605.
Community Weed-out: The Grateful Dead-Head
Date: Mon, Aug 11
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: The volunteer trailer in the parking lot in front of the Water Dept.
    Sharpen those pruning shears and get your groove on - we've got weeds to dead-head! Thistles and burdock to be exact. Now's our chance to stop seed spread from invasive weeds we missed earlier in the season. Tie-dye attire encouraged, family-friendly boombox of good jams provided. Sturdy shoes, long pants and sleeves, water bottle and bug repellent recommended. Leather gloves and shears will be available. For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.
Fresh Pond Monarch Wattch: Caterpillar Check-up & Release Preparation
Date: Tues, Aug 12
Time: 1 to 3pm
Place: Ranger Station Door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Reservation staff are raising monarch caterpillars for release! This butterfly species is under threat and we're taking action to protect them (and help our local habitats) at Fresh Pond. Come see how the caterpillars are growing, learn how you can help, and prepare crafts for our big release in August! Learn more about the project at www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation.
Fresh Pond Monarch Watch: Pod Patrol
Date: Mon, Aug 18
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: The volunteer trailer in the parking lot in front of the Water Dept.
    This is round two of the pod-picking campaign to stop the spread of the highly invasive black swallow-wort. This will be a low-impact weeding session great for all ages! Every pod we pick is at least a couple hundred seeds that won't sprout. Tools and gloves provided. Sturdy shoes, water bottle and bug repellant recommended. Learn more about Fresh Pond Monarch Watch at www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation. For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.
Fresh Pond Monarch Watch: Butterfly Release Ceremony
Date: Sat, Aug 23
Time: 2 to 3:30pm
Place: Cambridge Water Department front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    This is the big day all our hard work has been for - the release of our monarchs back into the wild! A parade - open to all (decorations and noisemakers encouraged!) - will take us from the Water Treatment Facility to Lusitania Meadow, where we’ll have a little ceremony and finally send our butterflies off into the meadow. Feel free to just meet us at the meadow too! For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.
Composting 1011
Date: Mon, Aug 25
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Cambridge Water Department front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Learn options to compost food scraps and reduce food waste! Cambridge's Recycling Director, Ms. Randi Mail, will review best practices for outdoor and indoor composting, and options for drop-off and bicycle pickup. Recycling food scraps into soil is rewarding, benefits your plants and helps to curb climate change! Americans waste over 40% of the food we produce (over $100 billion value) - be part of the change, right in your own home! Please REGISTER for this workshop: email recycle@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-6489. For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.

Please register for each event that you plan to attend. You will receive information on parking after you register. E-mail Elizabeth Wylde at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com or call (617) 349-6489 and leave your name and phone number.

Offered by Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation

All Upcoming Programs

GROW NATIVE MASSACHUSETTS
Evenings with Experts 2014
First Wednesdays of the Month: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Free and open to all.
CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS
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 klindquist@cambridgema.gov for more information.
2014 Volunteer Weeding Schedule:
Monday evenings 5:30-7:30pm.
Thursday mornings 10am to 12 noon.
Meeting Place: The volunteer trailer, parked in the Water Department parking lot.
What to bring: water, closed-toe shoes, long sleeves to prevent bug bites, hat if it is sunny, sun lotion. Your own gloves if you prefer them.
We provide: gloves, tools, instructions, good company
email klindquist@cambridgema.gov for more information.
Fresh Pond Plant Identification Walks
Dates: Monday Evenings: Sept 15
Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm
Place: Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility Front Door 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Ted Elliman, New England Wild Flower botanist and author of an upcoming plant guide, will lead walks around the reservation, highlighting some of the Reservation's more common native and non-native plants, and describing their roles in the ecosystem. For more information and parking directions, contact Kirsten at (617) 349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov
Tours of the Water Purification Facility
Dates: Monday Evenings: July 7, Aug 4, Sept 8, Oct 6, Nov 3
Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm
Location: Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    The Cambridge Water Department is offering tours of the City's beautiful Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility. The program will include a virtual tour of the Cambridge water supply system, explaining the process by which water that falls as rain in the suburbs 10 miles west of Cambridge is transported to Fresh Pond and made into pure drinking water for our city. Come, and bring your questions. For more information and parking directions, contact Kirsten at (617) 349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov

 

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 friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com, call 617-349-6489, or visit our website at www.friendsoffreshpond.org to download a form.

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.

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

• This winter and spring 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 www.grownativemass.org.

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

AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSat, July 26, 2014. Blue Hills, Milton. Moderate hike, 6+ mi. on lesser used trails, some steep hills. 9:30am. Bring lunch/water/sturdy footgear. Meet at Houghton's Pond pkg. lot. I-93/128, exit3, N to stop sign at Hillside St., R 0.2mi. to lot on R. Heavy rain cancels. Ls Marc Hurwitz and Robert Winters will substitute for Corinne Waite. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 2, 2014. Middlesex Fells, Malden. 6-mile. hike, some rocky steep hills to cliff views including waterfall w/lunch at pond. Moderate-rated hike, not for beginners. 10:00am-2:30 pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Meet on Washington St. side of Oak Grove T sta. From Rte. 93 exit 32 in Medford take Rte. 60 E 1.2 mi., L on Highland Ave. 0.5 mi., R on Glenwood St. 0.6 mi., L on Wash. St. 0.1 mi., R into T sta. lot (fee) or park on street. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 3, 2014. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow paced nature walk looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. Focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 9:00am-12:00noon. 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. AMC Local WalksThurs, Aug 7. Prospect Hill Park, Waltham. 6:15-8:15pm. Moderately-paced hike on trails and roads with views. From I-95/Route 128 Exit 27 (Totten Pond Road). Continue east 0.7 miles to park on the right. L Henry Gardner.
AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 9, 2014. 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. AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. 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.
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. Noanet Woodlands, Dover. Morning hike with ponds and views. 9:00am-noon. Bring snack/water. From Needham Center take Chestnut St. for 1.5mi. to end. Bear R on Dedham St. & go 1.5mi. to pkg. lot on L at tennis courts. Steady rain cancels. L Henry Gardner. AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. Middlesex Fells, Winchester. Sheepfold pkg. lot. Mod to stren. 6 mi. hike over many hills & rough terrain. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, snacks. Take Rte. 93S to exit 35. At stop sign, go L under highway. At next stop sign go R. At first set of lights turn R onto Rte. 28S. Turn R into Sheepfold entrance. Or take Rte. 93N to exit 33. Follow Rte. 28 N 2 mi. to Sheepfold entrance on the left. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo.

Professor Seth Teller dies at age 50 (MIT News)

Expert on computer vision, robotics, and human-robot interaction had been on the faculty since 1994.

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - August 2014

recycling symbol

Household Hazardous Waste Day 8/23
Can You Fix Stuff? Volunteer at Cambridge Repair Café
Free Workshop - Reduce Food Waste & Compost 8/25
Do Something Super with Unwanted Furniture 8/27-9/3
Old Appliance Tips and Free Power Strips!
22-CityView Inside Features Cambridge Recycling

Household Hazardous Waste Day 8/23

The next HHW collection is Saturday August 23 from 9am-1pm at the Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St by Danehy Park. Cambridge residents only, bring proof of residency. We accept auto fluids, batteries (non alkaline), car tires, glues, medications, mercury items, paint products, solvents, and propane tanks (20 lbs or less). If the product label includes the words POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION, bring to HHW day. Click here for more info including alternative options and what you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours. Last HHW Day for 2014 is October 4. Property Managers: If you’re bringing more than 25 pounds or 25 gallons from a Cambridge residential building or if you have no proof of residency, please email recycle@cambridgema.gov in advance.

Can You Fix Stuff? Volunteer at Cambridge Repair Café

We’re looking for people who can fix electrical appliances, musical instruments, jewelry, furniture, bikes and other household items.  Please click here if you have repair skills and can volunteer your time and share your skills for 4 hours on Saturday 9/27 from 10am-2pm, and thank you!

The Cambridge Repair Café is Saturday September 27th from 10am-2pm at the Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callender St. Free and open to the public. What to do with a chair when a leg is loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or a sweater with moth holes? Toss it? No way! You can repair it at Repair Café! Repair things together, receive expert advice, meet each other, be inspired and save money. This is a joint project of the Cambridge Public Works Department, Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee, Cambridge Public Schools Office of Sustainability, Green Cambridge, Community Development Department, Cambridge Community Center, and more! More Info: Facebook.com/CambridgeRepairCafe.

Free Workshop - Reduce Food Waste & Compost 8/25

Monday, August 25, 6pm, Water Department, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, meet at front entrance. Learn your options to compost food scraps, and ways to reduce food waste. We’ll review best practices for outdoor composting, indoor composting with worms, and options for drop-off and bicycle pickup. Recycling food scraps and making soil is extremely rewarding, benefits your garden and house plants and helps to curb climate change! Reducing food waste is also incredibly important considering that Americans waste more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. For more info on composting, click here. To RSVP please email recycle@cambridgema.gov.

Do Something Super with Unwanted Furniture 8/27-9/3

Moving September 1st and can’t take it all? Plan ahead and arrange a free pick up from inside your home with the Coalition for the Homeless on 8/27, 8/28, 8/29, 9/2 or 9/3. Items must be clean and usable. Someone’s gonna love your stuff.  Email pictures of your good-condition furniture to donations@mahomeless.org and include your address, phone number and put “Cambridge Pickup” in the subject line. They take kitchen tables & chairs, couches & sofa chairs, ottomans, hutches, end tables, coffee tables, bed frames, dressers, bookshelves, cabinets, rugs, lamps, dishes, pots & pans, and blankets & linens. Your donation helps low-income and formerly homeless families furnish their apartments at no cost to them. **Also, we’re thrilled to announce that beginning this September, the Coalition will schedule pickups in Cambridge for the last Friday and the first Monday of every month, except holidays. For more info and other options, visit CambridgeMA.Gov/Furniture.

Old Appliance Tips and Free Power Strips!

Residents can schedule and pay for the pickup of large items/appliances online. This includes air conditioners, dehumidifiers, dryers, exercise equipment, freezers, lawnmowers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, water coolers & heaters, and more! For electronics, know that you can save the City money and take back TVs and computers to retailers including Best Buy, Staples, Apple and Radio Shack.

Cambridge renters: complete this City survey and receive a free 7-socket smart power strip, a $30 value! These devices automatically eliminate wasteful standby power, saving money and energy. A widescreen TV plugged into it can save $140/year. If you’re going on vacation unplug appliances that use standby power and turn off your air conditioner off.  Also, check out these great energy savings tips for spring and summer.

22-CityView Inside Features Cambridge Recycling

In case you missed it, 22-Cityview Inside recently interviewed Cambridge Recycling Director Randi Mail. Check it out at http://youtu.be/w1XQg-55GdE. Ms. Mail talks about the curbside compost pilot program, drop off sites for food scraps, tips to reduce food waste, donating furniture to the Coalition for the Homeless, the upcoming Repair Café on 9/27 and more!


  • 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. During winter, clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks. For more click here. Thank you!
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • "Like" the Cambridge DPW on Facebook.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2014 collection schedule online for full details.

Take the 50% recycling pledge today at www.cambridgema.gov/recycle and get a free sticker!
Recycle More. Trash Less.

Master Plans and Monkey Wrenches - June 30, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda

The curtain falls tonight on the FY2014 Fiscal Year as the City Council enters its Summer Recess - but not without a little controversy. Councillor Dennis "Pearl Harbor" Carlone is the first signer of a new zoning petition that is almost guaranteed to bring some fireworks in advance of the July 4 holiday. The petition has near zero chance of ultimately passing but stands out prominently in its disrespect for the Planning Board, the Community Development Department, and previous Cambridge City Councils who have passed a variety of zoning petitions with detailed Special Permit criteria spelled out to guide the Planning Board in the granting of Special Permits under the Zoning Ordinance.

Monkey WrenchApplications & Petitions #5. A zoning petition has been filed by Dennis Carlone, et al. requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits.

The intent of this petition appears to be to enact an effective 30-month moratorium on all larger proposed developments in Cambridge by turning each project into a political football. Except for Councillors Carlone and Mazen (first and last signers), the signers of the petition consist almost entirely of principal players of the Cambridge Residents Alliance who have made no secret of their desire to enact such a moratorium. The essential component of the petition is the transfer of Project Review Special Permit authority from the Planning Board (where there is substantial professional expertise) to the City Council. Anyone who has ever witnessed the Planning Board working together to devise detailed conditions on the granting of a Special Permit should now imagine what this process might look like if conducted by the City Council as they play to the favor of their various political supporters. I shudder to think of it.

Fortunately, it appears that this misguided proposal has the support of only the two city councillors who signed it. Ideally, the City Council would just vote it down and declare it Dead On Arrival, but it's possible that it may be formally referred to the Planning Board and the Ordinance Committee (co-chaired by Carlone) so that it can receive a proper funeral. As a zoning petition, it would require 6 of 9 city councillors to support it and that's pretty much an impossibility unless they start lacing the Kool-Aid with hallucinogens.

Meanwhile the initial phase (Cambridge Conversations) of the upcoming review and possible revision of the City's existing master plans has been met with expressions of satisfaction from most members of the public. Perhaps this is why Carlone and Company have chosen to toss a monkey wrench into the process. Political organizing thrives so much more when wrapped in controversy.

Communications #6. A communication was received from Rick Snedeker, 107 Clifton Street regarding a request for a Special Act Charter for Cambridge that does not include Proportional Representation.

This is included primarily for comic relief. This Snedeker fellow has now written a series of letters to the Cambridge Chronicle detailing his hostility regarding the structure of Cambridge city government and the way municipal elections are conducted. He believes that having 90% of ballots count toward the election of city councillors is more disenfranchising than a winner-take-all election where often fewer than 50% of ballots count toward the election of a candidate. That's interesting math. He would have elections of ward councillors by simple plurailty vote with no runoffs or primary elections. This installment from Snedeker also calls for the Mayor and City Council to be able to dismiss any City department head by a simple majority vote. I can only imagine the thrilling City Council meetings when a department head says something not to the liking of the elected councillors.

Communications #11. Sundry communications were received regarding the East Cambridge Courthouse.

There are 38 individual signed letters plus an additional 74 petition signatures in support of the proposed redevelopment of the Courthouse building. The prisoners are now out of the East Cambridge Courthouse and the transfer of the property from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Legatt McCall, the chosen developer, is imminent. While there is clear opposition to the proposed redevelopment from many residents, it's pretty clear that this is not a unanimously held position. The Planning Board is expected to make a decision on the Special Permit for the 40 Thorndike Street proposal at its July 29 meeting (to be held in East Cambridge, most likely at the Kennedy-Longfellow School). Regardless what the Planning Board decides, it is very likely that lawsuits will follow.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, City Clerk's Office transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee and Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee for a joint public meeting held on June 25, 2014 to discuss the ongoing out of school/STEAM working group research.

I'm sure the participants at this meeting meant well and I think we all want to see some good programs developed in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The report, however, is remarkable in some of its convoluted quotes. Some of my favorites are these: "Councillor Mazen explained that it's important for one subgroup to track other subgroup. People in this subgroup should ask other subgroups: Are we talking around the subject or are we addressing it?" and "Councillor Mazen confessed he isn't opposed to having another subgroup but he feels that this can fall into other subgroups and can also be discussed by each subgroup." and "Councillor Mazen said he hoped next time will be an opportunity for everybody to work more circularly about a coordinator position".

Exactly how does one "work more circularly?" Does it involve beating around the bush? I'll have to consult with my subgroup about this. - Robert Winters

Note: Due to construction in the Sullivan Chamber, this City Council meeting will take place in the Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at 459 Broadway (CRLS).

Comments?

Members Sought for Cambridge Planning Board

City SealCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking residents interested in serving on the Cambridge Planning Board. The Planning Board is the special permit granting authority for the city and is responsible for the review of special permit requests, the review and development of zoning proposals, and the study of land use throughout the city.

The Planning Board includes seven members and two alternates. The Board generally meets twice a month on Tuesday evenings. Persons with a general interest in effective city planning and/or specific expertise in such areas as architecture, urban design, urban planning and zoning are encouraged to apply. Planning Board members must be residents of the City of Cambridge.

Interested persons should submit a resume and a brief letter describing their interest via e-mail, mail or fax by Fri, Aug 1, 2014, to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Member Sought for Police Review & Advisory Board

City SealCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking Cambridge residents interested in serving on the Police Review & Advisory Board. Made up of five volunteer members who serve five-year terms, the Board generally meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 6pm, except for July and August.

The Police Review & Advisory Board was established by City Ordinance in 1984 to:

The Board consists of five Cambridge residents who are representative of the City's racial, social and economic composition. Board Members must: possess a reputation for fairness, integrity and responsibility; have demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and service; and be a resident of the City of Cambridge. For more information about the Board, see its web page at www.cambridgema.gov/prab.

Board Members serve as volunteers without compensation and assist in education and outreach to improve community confidence in city government in general, and to strengthen community-police relations.

A letter of interest with a brief résumé should be sent via e-mail, mail or fax by Thursday, July 31, 2014 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Presentation at City Council June 23, 2014 Roundtable meeting on City’s Climate Mitigation and Preparedness Planning

City website on Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Interactive Hurricane Inundation Maps (Mass. Executive Office of Public Safety and Security)


City of Cambridge Danehy Park Concert Series presented by Passim
Tuesdays at 6:00pm on July 8, July 22, August 5, & August 19

Enjoy free live music at the City of Cambridge Danehy Park Concert Series presented by Passim on select Tuesdays in July and August. The family friendly concert series will be held at 6:00pm on the following Tuesdays: July 8 and 22, and August 5 and 19. This series is brought to you by Passim, City of Cambridge Department of Human Services, Cambridge Arts Council and Whole Foods Markets.


2014 SUMMER/FALL EVENTS -- Magazine Beach Park

Magazine Beach Park is located on the Charles River at the foot of Magazine St., Cambridge, MA.

Plenty for all...this summer & fall

Fri, June 20
Family Summer Kick-off
June 20, 5-8pm | Live music: Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. Children’s games by Knucklebones. Rising Tides & Marking the Shoreline art installations. Bring a picnic. FREE. Food trucks.
June 28 - Aug 24
Swimming at DCR Pool
June 28-August 24, 11am-7pm | Swimming & swimming classes, too. FREE.
Sun, June 29
Benefit Party at RBC
June 29, 7-9pm | Ticketed event. Benefit party at Riverside Boat Club. Celebrate the strides we’ve made and changes coming soon. Live music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres. $35/pp.
Fri, July 25, Aug 22
Music in the Park
July 25, 6-8pm | Boston Percussion Group
August 22, 6-8pm | Arneis Quartet
Bring a picnic. FREE. Food trucks.
Sat, July & August
Morning Yoga
Saturdays | 9-10am - July 12, 19, & 26 and August 2, 9 & 16. Led by Carol Faulkner and Monica Batkis-O’Donnell. FREE.
Tues, July 22
Dance Performance
10-11am. FREE. Mariale Dance Fusion.
Rain location: Morse School. Sponsored by Cambridge Arts.
Sun, Aug 31
Bread & Puppet Theater
August 31, 3-4pm. Vermont’s famous rabble-rousers perform their outdoor “Circus.” FREE. Rain location TBA. Sponsored in part by Cambridge Arts.
Sat & Sun, Oct 18-19
Head of Charles Regatta
8am-5pm | Fabulous vantage point for viewing and cheering world-class rowers in this iconic race.
Bring a picnic. FREE.
November
Cambridge Arts Exhibit
Magazine Beach Exhibit | Views of a Changing Public Resource. Cambridge Arts - Gallery 344, 344 Broadway. FREE.

For news & event updates: www.magazinebeach.org -- In case of rain, check event updates on our website.

Thanks to the City of Cambridge, DCR and all of you, the 1818 Powder Magazine structure will get a face-lift in 2014.
Next steps: to update and complete the landscape plans for the rest of the park. Magazine Beach calls for a new playground, water feature for children, benches and a great lawn to replace sunken pavement.

Ways you can you help:
~ Donate. Support Magazine Beach with your tax-deductible contribution. The CNA is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Make checks payable to: Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc., Note: for Magazine Beach Revitalization. Please send your donation to: Magazine Beach Committee, CNA, c/o Olivia Fiske, 131 Magazine St., Cambridge, MA 02139.

~ Volunteer your time or talent! We can use your help. Contact Cathie Zusy at cathzusy@gmail.com/617-868-0489. We’re looking for help with social media, photography, publicity, editing, assisting with our events, and more.

Reports, Responses, and Requests on the June 16, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Welcome to the Peoples RepublicThis week's agenda is dominated by a long list of reports from the City Manager. Of the 36 items on "Awaiting Report", we can now scratch off 15 of them. The City Council will, of course, continue to pile on more requests before they vacate for much of the summer.

Manager's Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-47, regarding a report on enforcement of ICE detainers against persons who may be wanted for immigration purposes.

After all the impassioned testimony at the meeting when this Order was introduced, Commissioner Haas' words say it best: "In many respects, the practices of the Department go beyond the scope of the City Council Order..."

Manager's Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-21, regarding a report on the implementation of a city-wide job fair for Cambridge residents.

This was a great initiative from Vice Mayor Benzan. The event is scheduled for Wed, Oct 8, 2014 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the IBM Innovation Center, 1 Rogers Street at Charles Park.

Manager's Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-41, regarding the feasibility of push cart vendors and local artists both at Carl Barron Plaza and similar places in Central Square.

It never ceases to amaze me just how complicated it can become to carry out an otherwise simple initiative. Perhaps the most unsatisfying aspect of the proposed pilot program is that no food vendors will be permitted "due to limits on Peddler Licenses within 300 ft of a Common Victualer License and the Fast Order Food Cap in Central Square." I was really looking forward to picking up a pretzel or a hot dog smothered in sauerkraut and mustard on the street in Central Square. Regulations be damned!

Manager's Agenda #9. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-42, regarding a report on relocating the Planning Board hearing on the Sullivan Courthouse redevelopment to a site in East Cambridge.

The Planning Board public hearing for 40 Thorndike Street will be held in East Cambridge, but the date and location has not yet been determined. The word at a recent meeting of the new Neighborhood Assn. of E. Cambridge was that the likely date would be July 15. The remaining prisoners in the jail are expected to leave (rather than escape) in the next week or two and it is anticipated that the transfer of the property from the Commonwealth and the designated developer Leggat McCall will be completed immediately following the closing of the jail. Though many have argued that the Commonwealth should have assumed greater responsibility for the environmental remediation of the property and possibly even the demolition of the existing building, it would appear that state involvement will cease with the transfer of the property. After that it will all be in the hands of the developers, the Planning Board, the various neighborhood groups, and the courts.

Manager's Agenda #18. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-50, regarding a report on an update of the City's composting pilot program.

Some highlights: Total collected to date, almost 30,000 lbs, (after week 9) averaging 3,270 lbs/wk (1.7 tons) over 555 participating households. From the pre-pilot trash run, the average household had 18.75 lbs/wk of trash. Composting reduces that ~33% to 12.1 lbs/wk. 64% of households now produce one bag of trash or less per week. 78% noticed they have less trash, 50% say their trash weighs less and 45% say that their trash smells better. So far, so good.

Manager's Agenda #19. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-37, regarding a report on the feasibility of painting green all designated bike lanes on all major streets.

The Bottom Line: "Our current policy is to install colored pavement markings at locations where it may be necessary for a vehicle or pedestrian to cross a bicycle facility. We believe reserving these special colored markings for conflict zones really emphasizes the importance of the location and indicates to all users that they need to give this area greater attention and proceed with caution. If all lanes were colored – we would lose the opportunity to differentiate these special locations of heightened importance." Makes a lot of sense.

Manager's Agenda #21. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-46, regarding an analysis and assessment of the position of Aide to the City Council.

The manager is recommending that the salary for these positions be increase by $3200, effective in FY14 (the current fiscal year). The original Order called for making these full-time positions, but the Manager's response only speaks of a salary increase. The committee report on this matter called for analysis of these positions but was not sufficiently explicit about what analysis should take place - even though the issue of the legality of the fundamentally patronage jobs was questioned at the hearing.

A message circulated by Councillor Kelley summarizes things rather well: "If one believes that Councillors should have personal assistants (often former campaign managers, donors, neighbors or other campaign supporters) then this pay raise may make sense. If you believe, as I do, that this extra layer of expensive bureaucracy gets in the way of Councillor-to-Councillor communication, has no professional standards or requirements in hiring, results in confusion as more political appointees get involved in issues and gives incumbents a massive City-funded leg up on challengers, you may wish to oppose the suggestion that assistants get a $3200/year pay raise, bringing the compensation for this part-time job up into the 50K range."

Manager's Agenda #22. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-54, regarding the feasibility of installing a large screen television to show the World Cup Matches.

Look for a large screen television showing the World Cup Matches to appear in the Lafayette Square area around Sat, June 28 and continue through the final round which ends on Sun, July 13. It should be a fun time in Central Square - unless the wrong team loses or the right team wins in which case let's hope the police are ready to manage the crowds.

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Law Department to determine the legality and if feasible, the institution of a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage ordinance for the City of Cambridge, with special provisions for small businesses. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Maher on Amended Order Number Seven of June 9, 2014.]

As I stated last week, it seems perfectly clear that without enabling legislation from the state legislature, the City of Cambridge does not have the authority to institute its own minimum wage law. It also seems pretty certain that any Home Rule authority granted by the legislature would most likely require approval by local voters. This initiative has more to do with political organizing than anything else. Meanwhile the state is proceeding with what will likely be a successful enactment of a revised state minimum wage law (with some exceptions) somewhere around $11 per hour.

Resolution #12. Congratulations to Katherine Watkins on being appointed as City Engineer/Assistant Commissioner for Engineering for the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Cheung

Excellent choice of a well-deserving and thoroughly qualified engineer and a wonderful person. We are really lucky to have people like this working for the City of Cambridge.

Order #5. That the City Council go on the record in opposition to any type of casino project in the Greater Boston area whether constructed and managed by Mohegan Sun or Wynn Resorts.   Councillor Mazen

It's not our call and I seriously doubt whether anyone charged with making the decisions will take this Order seriously.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with all appropriate city departments on the feasibility of allowing zoning data such as special permits, variances, and building permits to be available on the City's Open Data Portal.   Councillor Cheung

This is a good idea and it reminds me of an Order from Councillor Kelley some time ago calling for the tagging of all data relating to a given property across various City databases so that a person could get a complete picture. It's probably also worth saying that now that we have the City's Open Data Portal we will likely get another request every week for something else that should be included in the publicly accessible data. This will likely keep a lot of people busy for a long time.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk transmitting a communication from Councillor Nadeem Mazen requesting the approval of the City Council to attend the 10th Annual International Fab Lab Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

It's interesting that the conference that Councillor Mazen wishes to attend with City support just happens to overlap substantially with what he does in his own personal business/employment. Perhaps this will start a trend. Councillor Simmons can have the City pay for her attendance at a conference of independent insurance brokers because, well, Cantabrigians need insurance. Councillor McGovern can attend a conference of social workers because, well, there's a need for social work in Cambridge. Councillor Carlone can attend a conference of architects on the City dime because, well, we have a lot of nice architecture in Cambridge. You get the picture. - Robert Winters

Comments?

June 9 - This week Cambridge received the Congress of New Urbanism Charter Award, regarded as the preeminent global award for excellence in urban design.


Upcoming Broadcasts of Cambridge InsideOut

Cambridge InsideOut

Recent Programs    [complete list of shows]

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.

Comments?


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 73 and 74 with Marc McGovern (July 22, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 71 and 72: News and Events, July 2014 (July 16, 2014)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 2, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 69-70: Transportation Safety with Rozann Kraus (July 2, 2014)

Master Plans and Monkey Wrenches – June 30, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 30, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 67-68: More News Around Town (posted June 29, 2014)

Starts and Stops, mostly stops (posted by John Allen, June 24, 2014)

Who’s in the Picture? (June 21, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 65 and 66 – Democratic Convention and News around Town (June 19, 2014)

Cambridge Uber Alles (June 18, 2014)

Reports, Responses, and Requests on the June 16, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 16, 2014)

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

Open data, bottle bans, and minimum wages – Interesting items on the June 9, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 9, 2014)

On the Menu at the June 2, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting (June 2, 2014)

Campaign Finance – 2013 Cambridge City Council candidates (May 25, 2013, updated May 26, 2014)

The Courthouse Debate and other Key Items on the May 19, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (May 19, 2014)

FY2015 Budget Notes – and a comment on political patronage (May 8, 2014)

About Bicycling on Hampshire Street (Apr 16, 2014, posted by John Allen)

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)

Cambridge School Committee 2013 Campaign Finance Summaries (Nov 3, 2013, updated Feb 8, 2014)

2013 Cambridge City Council Campaign Finance Receipts - Jan 1, 2013 through Dec 14, 2013 (updated Jan 19, 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)

Enjoying? the Concord Avenue "raised bike lanes" (Dec 3, 2012 by John Allen)

Cycle track disease is contagious! (Nov 14, 2012 by John Allen)

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

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

Specific issues with Western Avenue project (posted Nov 3, 2010 by John Allen)

Western Avenue proposal: ill-considered (posted Oct 27, 2010 by John Allen)

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

Comments on Cambridge’s Western Avenue project (posted June 22, 2010 by John Allen)

Episodes of Cambridge InsideOut (The Sequel)

Episode 1 (Sept 10, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut - The Sequel" featured PR voting in Cambridge

Episode 2 (Sept 10, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut - The Sequel" introduced this year's municipal election candidates

Episode 3 (Sept 17, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" addressed some of the Big Issues in the City Council election

Episode 4 (Sept 17, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" addressed some of the Big Issues in the School Committee election

Episode 5 (Sept 24, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features guest Anthony Galluccio (Part 1)

Episode 6 (Sept 24, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features guest Anthony Galluccio (Part 2)

Episode 7 (Oct 1, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features phone interviews with City Council candidates (Part 1)

Episode 8 (Oct 1, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features phone interviews with City Council candidates (Part 2)

Episode 9 (Oct 8, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features visits from School Committee candidates Elechi Kadete and Patty Nolan

Episode 10 (Oct 8, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features visits from Cambridge School Committee candidates Patty Nolan and Joyce Gerber.

Episode 11 (Oct 15, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Wolf (Part 1)

Episode 12 (Oct 15, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Wolf (Part 2)

Episode 13 (Oct 22, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Jesse Kansen-Benanav (Part 1)

Episode 14 (Oct 22, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Jesse Kansen-Benanav (Part 2)

Episode 15 (Oct 29, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Council candidates Dennis Carlone and Dennis Benzan

Episode 16 (Oct 29, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Council candidates Denise Simmons and Minka vanBeuzekom

Episode 17 (Nov 12, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - A detailed look at the 2013 Cambridge election results and possible recount

Episode 18 (Nov 12, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Boulder vs. Cincinnati vs. Fractional transfer methods in Cambridge's PR elections

Episode 19 (Nov 19, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Notes on a possible Recount

Episode 20 (Nov 19, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - On Vacancies and Cambridge Boards & Commissions

Episode 21 (Nov 26, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Marjorie Decker

Episode 22 (Nov 26, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Analyzing the ballot data

Episode 23 (Dec 3, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - The Recount Commences

Episode 24 (Dec 3, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Looking Deeper at the Ballot Data

Episode 25 (Dec 10, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Focus on Porter Square with guest John Howard (Part 1)

Episode 26 (Dec 10, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Focus on Porter Square with guest John Howard (Part 2)

Episode 27 (Dec 17, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Updates and the end of the 2012-13 City Council term

Episode 28 (Dec 17, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Reflections on the exit of four city councillors

Episode 29 (Jan 7, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Turkel (Part 1)

Episode 30 (Jan 7, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Turkel (Part 2) and comments on mayoral election

Episode 31 (Jan 14, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with City Councillor Marc McGovern (Part 1)

Episode 32 (Jan 14, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with City Councillor Marc McGovern (Part 2)

Episode 33 (Jan 28, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Discussing Foundry options with guest Rozann Kraus (Part 1)

Episode 34 (Jan 28, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Discussing Foundry options with guest Rozann Kraus (Part 2)

Episode 35 (Feb 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Denise Simmons (Part 1)

Episode 36 (Feb 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Denise Simmons (Part 2)

Episode 37 (Feb 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 1)

Episode 38 (Feb 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 2)

Episode 39 (Feb 25, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with Brian Corr of the Cambridge Peace Commission

Episode 40 (Feb 25, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Look Back at the Early Days of Cambridge Recycling

Episode 41 (Mar 4, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": News and Views (Part 1)

Episode 42 (Mar 4, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": News and Views (Part 2)

Episode 43 (Mar 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": The "No License Movement" with guest Gavin Kleespies

Episode 44 (Mar 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Cambridge Historical Society with guest Gavin Kleespies

Episode 45 (Mar 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Tim Toomey (Part 1)

Episode 46 (Mar 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Tim Toomey (Part 2)

Episode 47 (Apr 1, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Saul Tannenbaum (Part 1 on municipal broadband)

Episode 48 (Apr 1, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Saul Tannenbaum (Part 2 on civic technology)

Episode 49 (Apr 8, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Benzan (Part 1)

Episode 50 (Apr 8, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Benzan (Part 2)

Episode 51 (Apr 15, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Carlone (Part 1)

Episode 52 (Apr 15, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Carlone (Part 2)

Episode 53 (Apr 22, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Mayor David Maher (Part 1)

Episode 54 (Apr 22, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Mayor David Maher (Part 2)

Episode 55 (May 6, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with State Rep. Marjorie Decker on the state budget

Episode 56 (May 6, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Upcoming events, the FY2015 Budget, and news updates

Episode 57 (May 13, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with School Committee member Fran Cronin (Part 1)

Episode 58 (May 13, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with School Committee member Fran Cronin (Part 2)

Episode 59 (May 20, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Councillor Craig Kelley (Part 1)

Episode 60 (May 20, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Councillor Craig Kelley (Part 2)

Episode 61 (June 3, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - News and Commentary (Part 1)

Episode 62 (June 3, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - News and Commentary (Part 2)

Episode 63 (June 10, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Glenn Koocher (Part 1)

Episode 64 (June 10, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Glenn Koocher (Part 2)

Episode 65 (June 17, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring tales from the Mass. Democratic Party Convention in Worcester

Episode 66 (June 17, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 67 (June 24, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 68 (June 24, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 69 (July 1, 2014 at 5:30pm) with guest Rozann Kraus featured highlights from the June 30 City Council meeting, updates from the state legislature, and transportation safety in Cambridge.

Episode 70 (July 1, 2014 at 6:00pm) with guest Rozann Kraus focused on transportation safety in Cambridge.

Episode 71 (July 15, 2014, 5:30pm) - News and events, July 2014 and beyond (Part 1)

Episode 72 (July 15, 2014, 6:00pm) - News and events, July 2014 and beyond (Part 2)

Episode 73 (July 22, 2014, 5:30pm) - with Marc McGovern - Part 1

Episode 74 (July 22, 2014, 6:00pm) - with Marc McGovern - Part 2

Upcoming programs: Brian Corr, Gus Rancatore, Fred Levi; and others

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

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


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
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


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 2010-2011 (adopted January 4, 2010 and amended April 5, 2010)

City Council Goals - FY2010-2011 (approved February 2, 2009)

City Council Committees (for the 2010-2010 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 csv@cpsd.us 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
 
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.
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“The Number One thing I would emphasize is that journalists and bloggers would do well to see themselves as partners in the provision of information and that each can benefit greatly from the other. I’ve never seen this as a competition. It is especially true these days that local papers and young journalists are not very well-versed in the communities they serve. Much of the institutional memory has either died out or been bought out.” -- Robert Winters, mathematician and creator of the Cambridge Civic Journal, an online publication about Cambridge, MA (rwinters.com)

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

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

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

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

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

Memorable scene in "A Christmas Carol"



the known universe
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