This Weekend: Sunday, Sept 25

10:00am   Paddy's Cambridge Classic 5k  (starts at Paddy's - 260 Walden Street)

This race benefits the young girls of Cambridge. The Cambridge Girls Softball League and the Title IX Girls Running club are the recipients of the Funds from the race. Both of these great organizations work on team building, athletic skills, and strengthen the connection among physical, mental and social well-being of girls.

10:00am   Cambridge Bow Tie Ride  (Meet at Main Library)

Join us for the 9th annual Bow Tie Ride! Sign up with your email to receive ride news updates.


An early look at some items on the Sept 26, 2016 Cambridge City Council agenda - Comments to follow

Here are the items that seem most interesting at first glance:

Appointments by the Manager
Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as a members of the Affordable Housing Trust: Reappointments: Peter Daly (2-year term), Florrie Darwin (1-year term), Gwendolen Noyes (1-year term), Susan Schlesinger (3-year term), James Stockard, Jr. (3-year term), William Tibbs (2-year term). New Appointment: Elaine Thorne (3-year term)

Manager's Agenda #2. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as a members of the Water Board for a term of 5-years, effective Sept 26, 2016: Kathleen Kelly, Jason Marshall

Manager's Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following persons as members of the Planning Board for a term of five years, effective Sept 26, 2016: Steven Cohen, Hugh Russell and Tom Sieniewicz

Manager's Agenda #10. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the Steering Committee for the City’s Birth to Grade Three Partnership.

Manager's Agenda #13. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as a members of the Cambridge Arts Council Advisory Board for a term of 3 years effective Oct 1, 2016: Christine Lamas Weinberg, Katherine Shozawa and Olufolakemi Alalade


Manager's Agenda #11. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the Outdoor Lighting Zoning recommendations.

Manager's Agenda #12. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the votes necessary to seek approval from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue of the tax rate for FY2017:
A. Authorize the use of Free Cash of $10,180,000 to reduce the FY17 tax rate;
B. Authorize $2,000,000 in overlay surplus/reserves to be used for reducing the FY17 tax rate;
C. Authorize $1,700,000 from the City Debt Stabilization Fund to be used as a revenue source to the General Fund Budget;
D. Authorize $517,970 from the School Debt Stabilization Fund to be used as a revenue source to the General Fund Budget;
E. Appropriate $8,000,000 from Free Cash to the City Debt Stabilization Fund;
F. Classify property into five classes;
G. Adopt the minimum residential factor of 55.9103%;
H. Approve the residential exemption factor of 30% for owner-occupied homes;
I. Vote to double the normal value of the statutory exemption;
J. Vote the FY17 exemption of $309.00 allowed under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17D;
K. Vote the FY17 asset limits of $61,298.00 allowed Under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17E;
L. Vote the FY17 income and asset limits allowed under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41D as follows: income and assets limits for elderly persons from income limits of $25,346 for those who are single and $38,019 for those who are married, asset limits of $50,689 for those who are single and $69,698 for those who are married;
M. Vote the income limit for deferral of real estate taxes by elderly persons as determined by the Commissioner of Revenue for the purposes of MGL Chapter 62, Section 6, subsection (k) for a single person ($57,000) and for married ($85,000).

Manager's Agenda #14. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the Broadband Task Force recommendations and Tilson Report.

Manager's Agenda #15. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to City accomplishments during City Manager 2013-2016.

Manager's Agenda #16. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-16, regarding the plan to take Vail Court by eminent domain.

Manager's Agenda #17. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the City's Agreement with MassDOT and MBTA regarding funding contribution agreement for Green Line Extension Project.


Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to refer the attached short-term rental draft ordinance to the City Solicitor, Inspectional Services Department and any other relevant department for comment and review as components of a potential short-term rental ordinance and be referred to a joint hearing of the Housing and Public Safety Committees scheduled on Oct 26, 2016, at 5:30pm for discussion, and to hear back from the City on the proposed policies.   Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Devereux

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Aug 30, 2016 to continue public discussion regarding the recent completed Inclusionary Housing Study and the Draft Recommendations of the Community Development Department.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Sept 8, 2016 to continue the public discussion regarding the recently completed Inclusionary Housing Study and Draft Recommendations of the Community Development Department.

Thurs, Sept 29
5:30pm   Special City Council Meeting to vote on extending an offer to a finalist for the position of City Manager. Additionally, the City Council may meet in Executive Session to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with the prospective City Manager or to conduct contract negotiations with the prospective City Manager.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Cambridge Human Rights Commission Vacancy

Sept 23, 2016 – Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC). Made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms, the CHRC meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6pm. The Commission seeks Cambridge residents representing the diversity of Cambridge.

City SealCommissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.76). Commissioners are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees on outreach and public education, and work with Commission staff on the investigation, mediation and resolution of complaints filed with the Commission which allege discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment or education based upon race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income.

For more information, contact Nancy Schlacter, Cambridge Human Rights Commission, at 617-349-4396 or nschlacter@cambridgema.gov. Letters of interest, including resume and/or applicable experience, can be sent via mail, fax or e-mail by Friday, October 28, 2016 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Affordable Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions - September 29 and October 17

HouseThe Housing Division of the City of Cambridge Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Thurs, Sept 29, from 6-8pm, at the Russell Youth Community Center, 680 Huron Ave, Cambridge. Two sessions will be held at 6pm and 7pm.

The Housing Division will also be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Mon, Oct 17, from 12-2pm, at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Second Floor Community Room, Cambridge. Two sessions will be held at 12pm and 1pm.

Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs.

Currently, the Housing Division is accepting applications for the Homeownership Pool and the Rental Applicant Pool. Preference is given to Cambridge residents and families with children.

For more information, please contact us at housing@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-4622.


Cambridge Citywide Domestic Violence Training: September 29 - November 10, 2016

City SealThe City of Cambridge Domestic & Gender-Based Violence Prevention Initiative and Transition House will be co-hosting a free, citywide domestic violence training series facilitated by expert guest speakers from Cambridge and Massachusetts based domestic violence programs and local non-profits.

The series will include two introductory, overview sessions at the City Hall Annex on September 29 and October 3, and a number of subsequent, specialized sessions at various locations in Cambridge. Topics include: Domestic Violence Basics, Local and Regional Resources, Domestic Violence and Cultural Differences, Domestic Violence in GLBTQI Communities, Effects of Abuse on Children, Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, High Risk Assessment & Response, Housing, Trauma, Substance Abuse & Mental Health, and Health & Domestic Violence.

Intro to DV Part 1: Thursday, September 29, 2-5pm, Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
This session will discuss the history of domestic violence, domestic violence basics, and how to work with survivors around safety planning.

Intro to DV Part 2: Monday, October 3rd, 2-5pm, Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway
This session will be part 2, as we will give participants an opportunity to "walk in the shoes" of a survivor and then learn about local and regional resources in our area.

Participants can select to attend specific workshops, but are expected to attend the first two sessions on September 29 and October 3. The training is free. Space is limited and registration ends September 19, 2016.

For more details and to register, go to www.cambridgema.gov/domesticviolence, contact Kara Blue at kblue@transitionhouse.org or 617-868-1650, or register online: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/domestic-violence-fall-training-tickets-27289821591.


Sept 20 - Tonight was the "Meet the Finalists" forum at CRLS at which the three finalists vying to become the next Cambridge City Manager (Jay Ash, Paul Fetherston, and Louis DePasquale) appeared before an audience consisting or residents, activists, City staff, and other interested parties. It was interesting in many ways. First, these are interesting and well-qualified candidates - all of them. The people from the GovHR USA search firm and the 19-member screening committee all did a good job in attracting about 55 applicants for the position and whittling that down to these three finalists. The City Council will meet Wednesday night (Sept 21) to conduct their own public meeting with these candidates. In addition to that, councillors have also been meeting privately with the candidates. The actual vote is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 29.

I have been scrupulously avoiding making any statements about the candidates, but perhaps some words are in order based on tonight's forum.

Jay Ash came across very well as a very capable manager with a strong background - especially in his former role as City Manager of Chelsea, but also in his current role with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Many of his responses to questions posed at the forum related to his experiences in Chelsea and much of that experience was very relevant to a possible future role in Cambridge. His presentation was impressive, and he definitely attracted quite a few members of the public at the conclusion of the forum.

Paul Fetherston was very tentative in many of his responses, but he eventually came across as quite thoughtful. His experience did not match up well against Jay Ash, but as the candidate from out of state it was clear that some members in the audience were giving him special attention simply because he had the least connection to Cambridge. This continues to strike me as odd, but there is definitely a cynical element within the activist community of Cambridge who are convinced that only someone totally disconnected from Cambridge should be given the job.

Then there was Louis DePasquale - the clear crowd favorite, in part because there were quite a few people in the audience who have worked with Louie over the years who really like him. In addition to having by far the greatest personal connection to Cambridge, Louie also has incredibly strong credentials working with the City's budget and finances over many years. His appeal is extremely personal, and he made clear in his opening statement and in his responses to the questions posed just how much he loves this city and how he wants only the best for Cambridge. His passion is clearly matched by his incredible competence.

Let me be clear. All three candidates are good candidates and Cambridge would be well-served by any one of them. Ultimately, only the nine city councillors will be making the choice, and there's a real possibility that the choice may come down to a choice between outsider vs. insider. I certainly hope that everyone, especially the activist community, can see past any prejudices they may have about internal candidates, especially when that internal candidate is such a cooperative and effective person as Louis DePasquale. - Robert Winters


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

Cambridge ChronicleCOLUMN: Shaping the future of our public schools in Cambridge (Sept 23, 2016 by Mayor E. Denise Simmons and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth Salim)

YWCA Cambridge launches Girls Only Leadership Development Program (Sept 21, 2016)

Corner of Ivy Street dedicated to Edward Cyril Chase (Sept 23, 2016)

3 vie for Cambridge city manager post; recent forum focuses on their visions for city (Sept 21, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

LETTER: Cambridge mayor writes of daughter's chemo treatment (Sept 20, 2016 by Mayor Denise Simmons)

Police: Woman's face slashed during 15-person fight after Cambridge Carnival (Sept 16, 2016)
[Ed. Note - I suppose that's in improvement over last year's shooting incident at Cambridge Carnival.]

PROJECT TRACKER: Update on the King Open School redesign in Cambridge (Sept 16, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

'Celebrating a milestone:' Italian Feast of Saints ushers in 90th anniversary (Sept 16, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

60 SECONDS: Cambridge City Council meeting highlights (Sept 14, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

Cambridge councillors 'lukewarm' on Foundry proposal (Sept 14, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

Connolly wins big victory over Toomey; Jehlen secures seat against Cheung (Sept 8, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

60 SECONDS: Cambridge School Committee meeting highlights (Sept 8, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

DPW employees honored with Barron Family Award (Sept 9, 2016)

COLUMN: Cambridge mayor responds to Black Lives Matter demonstration (Sept 6, 2016 by Mayor Simmons))

Superintendent: Five things to know before heading back to school in Cambridge (Aug 27, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

Former 'Car Talk' producer writes first novel about Cambridge (Aug 26, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

Retirement prompts Lanes and Games apartment project (Aug 25, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

Village People, The Platters and Tony Orlando to perform at Italian Feast in Cambridge (Aug 23, 2016)

'Salt and pepper' tower restoration almost complete on Longfellow Bridge (Aug 22, 2016)

Remains of Cambridge POW found 65 years after death (Aug 10, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

How many marijuana dispensaries does Cambridge need? (Aug 3, 2016 by Natalie Handy)

'Another chance at life:' Cambridge vigil highlights the hundreds of lives saved with Narcan (Aug 2, 2016 by Natalie Handy)


Check out the latest episodes of Cambridge InsideOut:

Sept 19 - We skipped this week's edition of Cambridge Inside Out (Sept 20) so that the co-hosts (Judy and Robert) could attend the "Meet The Finalists" forum at CRLS. We'll be back again on Sept 27 and we promise never to miss a week again. OK, so maybe we'll miss a week every now and again, but rarely. If you would like to be a guest (or co-host) one of these Tuesdays, let me know. - RW

Episode 169 (Sept 13, 2016, 5:30pm) Episode 170 (Sept 13, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 167 (Sept 6, 2016, 5:30pm) - w/remarks on the State Primary Episode 168 (Sept 6, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 165 (Aug 23, 2016, 5:30pm) with Ronald Benjamin Episode 166 (Aug 23, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 163 (Aug 9, 2016, 5:30pm) Episode 164 (Aug 9, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 161 (Aug 2, 2016, 5:30pm) Episode 162 (Aug 2, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 159 (July 26, 2016, 5:30pm) Episode 160 (July 26, 2016, 6:00pm)
Episode 157 (July 19, 2016, 5:30pm) - 1996 episode of original Cambridge InsideOut [Bob Moncrieff's 1996 article on demise of rent control] Episode 158 (July 19, 2016, 6:00pm) - 1996 episode of original Cambridge InsideOut

Armando PaoloPAOLO, Armando Of Arlington, formerly of Benevento, Italy, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Sept.16, 2016. Beloved husband of Dorothy (Tortorici). Loving father of Rina Bonavita of Malden, Angela Gallego and her husband William of Chelmsford and Linda Gullotti and her husband Glenn of Everett. Devoted grandfather of Christina Gallego, Michael Bonavita and Daniella DiCenso. Great grandfather of Stella and Luna Bonavita. Brother in law of Stephen Bosco of Winchester. Brother of the late Elena Bosco, Alvaro Paolo, Stephano Paolo and Liberata Parlante. Also survived by many nieces and nephews. Visitation in St. Peter's Church, 100 Concord Ave., Cambridge, Wednesday (Sept 21) from 9AM to 10:15AM followed by a funeral mass at 10:30AM. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Interment St. Michael's Cemetery, Roslindale. Please OMIT flowers. Donations may be made in Armando's memory to the Italian Home for Childen, 1125 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Armando was the beloved owner of Armando's Pizza for 45 years. He was a humanitarian, a friend to all who walked through his door! View online guestbook at www.brownandhickey.com.
Brown & Hickey Funeral Home, 617-484-2534, 617-547-1500 - [See more here]


Choice Items on the September 19, 2016 City Council Meeting Agenda

Peoples Republic of CambridgeHere are the items that struck me as most interesting:

Manager's Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-73 and Council Order Number 4 (of Sept 12, 2016), regarding lowering speed limits in the City.

In short, the City Council jumped the gun last week. For starters, the City Council must first vote to accept those sections of the new state law that would give them the authority to lower local speed limits. They cannot even do this until Nov 7. The intention of City traffic officials was to lower the speed limit on City-owned roads to 25mph, and this communication makes quite clear that a 20mph speed limit would be a challenge to enforce - to say the least. I challenge anyone driving in Cambridge to maintain a consistent speed of 20mph or less while driving in Cambridge. It's not unreasonable on a relatively narrow street that's parked on both sides, but it borders on the absurd on many other streets. A limit of 25mph is doable, but not 20mph. That lower limit should be reserved for locations where it actually makes sense.

Manager's Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a report from Public Works Commissioner Owen O'Riordan, regarding the Polystyrene Ordinance implementation. [Report]

One more example of how the City Council likes to take steps that they think will make them look "progressive" without actually thinking through the possible consequences. Few people would dispute the parts of this Ordinance that deals with expanded polystyrene (EPS), i.e. "Styrofoam". The issue is with other polystyrene products like straws, cups, lids and utensils. The available alternatives - bioplastic compostable products - decompose at much slower rates than are acceptable at any of the facilities that accept organic waste from the City of Cambridge. These materials will be rejected at these facilities. Public policy has to be based on more than just wishful thinking. I was at the committee meeting when these other materials were abruptly added to the proposed ordinance without so much as a conversation.

Manager's Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to CPA [Community Preservation Act]. [Report]

As always, it's 80% for affordable housing projects ($6,880,000 plus $1,280,000 in state matching funds), 10% for open space acquisition ($860,000 plus $160,000 in state matching funds), and 10% for historic preservation projects ($860,000 plus $1,280,000 in state matching funds). Additional fund balances will also be expended toward these three areas.

Resolution #2. Thanks to City Manager Richard Rossi for his 45 years of service to the City of Cambridge and best wishes for a truly happy and joyful retirement.   Mayor Simmons

Having known Rich Rossi for 27 years of those 45 years of service, I join in wishing Richie all the best in his many years of blissful retirement. I have known very few people who are as expert at getting things done as Rich Rossi. The people of Cambridge owe him a world class "thank you".

Tues, Sept 20

6:00pm-9:00pm   Meet the Finalists Forum  (Fitzgerald Theater, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School)

The City Council’s Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee, is inviting the public to a Meet the Finalists forum on Tues, Sept 20, 2016, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm in the Fitzgerald Theater located in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. This forum is an opportunity for the public to meet the three finalist vying to succeed outgoing City Manager Richard C. Rossi. The meeting will be broadcast live on the City’s Municipal Cable Channel, 22-CityView.

Wed, Sept 21

5:30pm   Special City Council Meeting to publicly interview finalists for the position of City Manager, the City Council may meet in Executive Session to conduct strategy sessions in preparation for negotiations with the prospective City Manager or to conduct contract negotiations with the prospective City Manager.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Vote on the selection of the next City Manager expected week of Sept 26 (possibly Thurs, Sept 29).

I have watched this process evolve from the beginning and have kept a safe distance throughout. Now that we have three candidates before us it will be interesting to see if the 9 city councillors can reach consensus (and a majority vote) on one of these three excellent candidates (Jay Ash, Louis DePasquale, and Paul Fetherston). It will also be interesting to watch how the activists may try to influence the decision and how they will respond when a decision is made. If the City Council can actually come to some kind of unanimous or near-unanimous agreement on this most important decision, it may signal their ability to thoughtfully and cooperatively decide on other matters of significance. Hope springs eternal. - Robert Winters

Comments?


Preliminary Screening Committee Announces City Manager Finalists
Schedule for Public forums and meetings announced

City SealSeptember 15, 2016 – Today, City Councillor David P. Maher and City of Cambridge Personnel Director Sheila Keady Rawson, co-chairs of the Cambridge City Manager Preliminary Screening Committee (PSC), announced the names of the three finalist candidates being forwarded to the entire City Council for consideration. The PSC’s decision was unanimous.

The three finalists are:

Jay AshRobert “Jay” Ash Jr. - Mr. Ash is currently the Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Previously, he served in a variety of roles in the City of Chelsea, including fourteen years as City Manager. Mr. Ash also served as a legislative aide to Representative Richard Voke. He is a graduate of Clark University.

Louis DePasqualeLouis A. DePasquale - Mr. DePasquale is the City’s Assistant City Manager for Fiscal Affairs in Cambridge. Prior to taking on that assignment, he was the City’s Budget Director, and also worked in other capacities in the City’s Budget and Treasury Departments. Mr. DePasquale is a graduate of Boston State College and received his MPA from Northeastern University.

Paul FetherstonPaul J. Fetherston - Mr. Fetherston is currently the Assistant City Manager in Asheville, NC. He has previously served as Deputy City Manager in Boulder, CO, and has held a variety municipal management positions in Connecticut. He is a graduate of Trinity College, CT, and received his J.D. from Western New England School of Law.

Note: Photos from Commonwealth of Massachusetts, NEREJ, and City of Asheville

A “Meet the Finalists” forum will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2016, from 6:00-9:00pm., in the Fitzgerald Auditorium at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, where members of the public will have an opportunity to meet and hear each finalist’s vision for the City and answer questions. On Wednesday, September 21, beginning at 5:30pm, in the Sullivan Chamber at Cambridge City Hall, the City Council will conduct public interviews with the three finalists.

The City Council is expected to vote to appoint the next City Manager during a Special City Council Meeting on Thursday, September 29. Each meeting will be broadcast on 22-Cityview (the municipal cable channel) and can also be livestreamed online at www.CambridgeMA.GOV. Those attending the “Meet the Finalists” forum and the City Council’s public interviews will be provided the opportunity to give written feedback to the City Council.

The PSC was appointed by Mayor E. Denise Simmons and was comprised of 15 community members reflecting citywide constituencies, and four City Council members. GovHR USA, the professional consulting firm hired to assist with the recruitment and hiring process, presented candidates for the committee’s review. According to Joellen Earl, CEO of GovHR USA, the Cambridge position attracted a diverse group of 55 candidates. The PSC conducted an in-depth review of 15 candidates, 27% of which were women or persons of color. The PSC ultimately offered interviews to 8 candidates. The interviews were held on September 12 and 13.

“This was a comprehensive well organized process to review and screen City Manager candidates for submission to the City Council,” said committee member Elaine DeRosa. “This was the first time that the City initiated a national search for the City Manager's position. The committee worked hard to complete its task. I was honored to be a part of the process.”

The PSC members included resident representatives Peter Traversy, Elaine Thorne, and Laura Booth; large business representative Jay Kiely; small business representative Patrick Magee; Cambridge Public School representative Richard Harding; public safety representative Gerald Reardon; a person with demonstrated knowledge of municipal finance representative Fred Fantini; health and human services/public health representative Claude Jacob; person with knowledge of city planning/urban development representative Susan Schlesinger; higher education/institutional partner representative Kevin Casey; public art and/or recreational representative Ellen Semonoff; affordable housing advocate Susan Connelly; nonprofit community representative Elaine DeRosa; advocate for the quality of our community’s civic and social well-being representative Reverend Lorraine Thornhill; and City Councillors Leland Cheung, David Maher, Nadeem Mazen, and Timothy Toomey.

“The screening committee was an extremely diverse and well informed group representing a wide range of interests in Cambridge,” said committee member Susan Schlesinger. “The process was professionally conducted and we had a talented group of candidates to consider. “It was honor to participate with other Cambridge residents and I look forward to following the extensive process which will occur in the next few weeks to select the next City Manager.”

The initial interviews performed by the PSC were preceded by a series of community focus groups, public meetings, and surveys, leading to the development of a leadership profile used during the recruitment phase.

“It was an honor to serve on the City Manager's Preliminary Screening Committee with people who are committed and passionate about the growth and well-being of the City,” said committee member Rev. Lorraine Thornhill. “The diversity of opinions that were expressed highlighted the incredible richness of resources that this City is known for.”

For additional information about the City Manager search process, please visit www.CambridgeMA.GOV/CityManagerSearch.


The Return - Notable agenda items for the Sept 12, 2016 Cambridge City Council meeting

Peoples Republic of CambridgeThis is the "Back from Summer Vacation" meeting of the Cambridge City Council. Here are a few items that are at least somewhat interesting (with minimal comments):

Appointments to Boards & Commissions:

Manager's Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as a members of the Commission on Immigrant Rights & Citizenship, effective Sept 1, 2016: Leslie DiTrani, Sana Ghafoor, Alejandro Heredia-Santoyo, Karin Lin, Marcio Macedo, Roxana Maldonado-Garcia, Swati Sawant, Jennifer Sparks, Merline Sylvain-Williams, Melanie Torres, and Yarlennys Villaman

Manager's Agenda #7. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as a members of the Cambridge Public Art Commission for a term of three years: Judy Ann Goldman and Cecily Miller

Manager's Agenda #16. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following person as a full member of the Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeals for a term of 5 years, effective Aug 29, 2016: Andrea Hickey

Manager's Agenda #17. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities for a term of three years, effective Sept 12, 2016: Katie Ashwill Allen, Stelios Gragoudas, Mike Langlois, Luis Loya and Julie Miller


Appointments by the City Council:

Order #11. Reappointment of James Monagle as City Auditor.   Mayor Simmons

Order #12. Reappointment of Donna P. Lopez as City Clerk.   Mayor Simmons

Two of my favorite people in City government. The City Council gets to appoint the City Manager, the City Auditor, and the City Clerk (and by recent tradition, the Deputy City Clerk). The Really Big Question is whether the City Council will meet its proposed date of Sept 26 to appoint the next City Manager. That's just two weeks from now. In the meantime, congratulations to Jim and Donna (assuming their unanimous reappointment).


Buildings, architecture, and historic preservation:

Manager's Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the final Landmark Designation Report for the Ivory Sands House at 145 Elm Street and the Cambridge Historical Commission's recommendation.

Order #18. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Historical Commission to produce a new status report that reviews the Harvard Square Conservation District’s effectiveness since 2005, and that considers whether new zoning regulations may be necessary to fulfill the community’s goals.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

My guess is that this is motivated by a combination of Curious George, the Kiosk, and, of course, some really problematic property owners who don't understand the value of keeping good long-term commercial tenants.


Marijuana-related:

Unfinished Business #10. A proposed amendment to the Ordinance entitled "Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge" as amended by the Planning Board recommendation to expand the requirements of the North Massachusetts Avenue Sub-district (Section 20.110) applicable generally within the portions of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District (MAOD) zoned Business A-2 (BA-2). The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after Aug 15, 2016. Planning Board hearing was held June 21, 2016. Petition expires Sept 20, 2016.

Order #19. Zoning Changes for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Carlone

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 31, 2016 on a zoning petition by Healthy Pharms, Inc., to amend Section 20.700 Medical Marijuana Overlay Districts by creating an additional Medical Marijuana Overlay District (MMD-4). The new MMD-4 District would be coterminous with the Business B and Office 3 Districts that are within the Harvard Square Overlay District. The petition would also establish as criteria specific to the MMD-4 District that permissible dispensaries must be retail only (with no cultivation), must be set back from the sidewalk by a minimum of 15 feet and be appropriately shielded from public view, must be less than 10,000 square feet in size, are preferably located in areas with access to pedestrian and public transportation, and may be 250 feet, instead of the standard 500 feet, distant from a school, daycare center, preschool or afterschool facility or any facility in which children commonly congregate, or closer only if it is determined by the Planning Board to be sufficiently buffered such that users will not be adversely impacted by the operation of the dispensary.

Let's hope that the City Council finally figures out that you can't address the siting of marijuana dispensaries by a series of one-off zoning petitions.


Bicycle facilities, speed limits, and punishing drivers for the unpardonable sin of owning a motor vehicle:

Order #20. That the Transportation and Public Utilities Committee be and hereby is requested to hold a hearing to discuss how City staff review use of bike infrastructure to determine what works, what does not work and what could be improved and to specifically discuss the possibility of making the Western Avenue cycle track a two-direction bike facility.   Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Maher

The path along Concord Ave. abutting Fresh Pond would also function better as a two-way path.

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to deem all residential zones as “Safety Zones” and lower speed limits to 20 MPH and to lower the speed limit in all office and business zones to 25 MPH.   Councillor Cheung, Councillor Toomey

This is incredibly short-sighted. Many residential streets should appropriately have 25mph speed limits, especially streets where there's barely enough room for a motor vehicle and a bicycle to safely pass each other, but 20mph is more appropriate for an intensely pedestrian area such as Harvard Square or Central Square. There are many streets where the current 30mph speed limit is completely appropriate.

Order #14. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the City Solicitor and other relevant City departments and report back to the City Council concrete next steps on how to go about lowering our speed limits as well as the timeline for these actions.   Councillor Carlone, Councillor Devereux, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mazen

As stated above, this should be done in a more granular way rather than as a single citywide speed limit set so low that few people will respect it.

Order #17. That the City Manager is requested to consult with the Traffic and Parking Department and all other appropriate City Departments to report back to the City Council on recommendations to gradually increase the parking permit fee and consider other improvements to the program to help fund the city’s budget towards reducing vehicle miles traveled and promoting alternative forms of transportation.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Mazen

My guess is that Councillors Devereux and Mazen would like only bicycles and driverless vehicles to soon be allowed to operate in Cambridge. This is just a step toward that future. It's interesting that ZipCar founder Robin Chase is simultaneously tweeting comparisons between restaurant costs, housing costs, and the cost of a parking permit. I guess she believes that all three should be exorbitantly expensive.


Winner of the "Most Obnoxious Committee Meeting of 2016":

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on July 27, 2016 to hear from public safety officials on training equipment, response and communication policies pertaining to demonstrations, protests, memorials and similar actions involving large numbers of people in public space, ranging from CRLS student walkouts to Black Lives Matter memorials to the “let out” time of bars to Pokémon Go chasing and similar internet-driven meetups.


Everything Else:

Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the notification of approval of the Kendall Square Foundry Development Partners as the development entity for the Foundry.

Manager's Agenda #18. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to early voting sites.

Manager's Agenda #19. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-67, regarding a report on the Classification of Commercial Land Use and Recommendations study.

Charter Right #2. An application was received from Pill Hardware, requesting permission for a display of merchandise in front of the premises numbered 743 Massachusetts Avenue. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Devereux on Aug 1, 2016.]

Order #1. That the City Council go on record calling on the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass an Act affirming a terminally ill patient’s right to compassionate aid in dying.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Carlone

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to work with the appropriate City departments to determine the feasibility of creating a temporary jobs program geared toward Cambridge’s homeless population and/or determine the feasibility of awarding homeless with priority in the City’s 9-week temporary jobs program.   Vice Mayor McGovern, Mayor Simmons, Councillor Cheung, Councillor Mazen

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Aug 15, 2016 to continue the public discussion regarding the recently completed Inclusionary Housing Study and the Affordable Housing Trusts’ recommendations to the City Council.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk transmitting a copy of a letter from Hanne Rush, Assistant Attorney General, Division of Open Government, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Attorney General, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA, regarding the resolution of an Open Meeting Law Complaint filed by John Hawkinson on May 4, 2016.

You could define "frivilous" by some of these complaints. - Robert Winters

Comments?

September and October Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

WAKE UP AND WEED!
Dates: Thursdays 10am to noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer in the lower parking lot.
    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.
FRESH POND KIDS' WALKS
Dates: Fridays 10 to 11am
Place: The gazebo at Neville Place, 650 Concord Ave.
    Join us for casual nature explorations, designed for young kids and their parents/caretakers, and play in our urban wild! Please come dressed ready for the weather (and in clothes that are OK to get dirty). Please RSVP to Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
Woodland Restoration Area Gardening
Dates: Tuesdays between 9:30am and 1pm
    Join other stewardship-minded volunteers in caretaking the native plant restoration area next to Lusitania Meadow, and learn all about the diversity of native plant life! Drop in and lend a hand with watering new plantings, making rabbit cages, pruning, weeding, and other gardening tasks. Please email friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com if you would like to come, and for more information.
Monday Night Community Weed-Out
Dates: Monday, September 26, 5 to 6:30pm
Place: Meets at the Maher parking lot.
    Help us protect valuable native plants and wildlife habitat on the Reservation by keeping vegetative intruders, such as mugwort, burdock, bittersweet, and buckthorn, at bay. No experience necessary! Long pants and sturdy shoes highly recommended. Please RSVP to fpr@cambridgema.gov in case of location change.
Fly, Buzz and Honk! A Flying Creatures Expo for All Ages
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Place: Maynard Ecology Center, 650 Concord Ave.
    Come explore the world of "things with wings” that live in our city and help our Cambridge Wildlife Puppets get ready for the Honk! parade on October 9th. Ongoing activities include face painting and paper plate mask-making for wee ones and building dragonfly headgear or creating feathers for our oversized bird puppets for elementary-aged kids. At 2:30 we’ll learn about bats from a bat expert. From 2:00 to 2:30 and also from 3:00 to 3:30, a guest artist will guide adult/child pairs in creating three Little Brown Bats for Honk!. Learn from Ranger Jean about flying creatures and why they make their home at Fresh Pond, and look for butterflies, dragonflies, and things with wings at the Neville Butterfly Meadow. This is an all-ages event. Young people and adults who come can help refurbish and strengthen our giant Great Blue Heron and other large puppets (community service hours can be arranged for CRLS students). All children under 12 must be accompanied. Co-sponsored by the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project. Bookmark the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/974379236008153/
HONK! Parade with Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project
Date: Sunday, October 9th, 11am to 2pm
Place: Starts at Davis Square in Somerville (corner of Herbert and Day Streets)
    Celebrate the biodiversity of Cambridge’s urban wildlife! We invite families, kids, and individuals to march together in the annual HONK! Parade. Wear costumes and carry giant puppets of actual wild plant and animal species that live within the city’s boundaries - many off which can be found at Fresh Pond Reservation. The collection of puppets and costumes we lend out is ever-growing - we’ve got Giant Great Blue Herons (birds), a Peregrine Falcon, Sunflowers, Purple Coneflowers, Rabbits, Snapping Turtles, Butterflies, Blue Gill Fish, Dragonflies, and Red-winged Blackbirds. Bikes, scooters, strollers, walkers are all welcome. We will meet at 11am at the corner of Herbert and Day Streets in Davis Square to distribute costumes and puppets and get ourselves organized. Marching kicks off at noon and arrives around 2pm in Harvard Square. Contact freshpondwildlife@comcast.net for more information or visit www.honkparade2016.eventbrite.com.
Migratory Bird Walk
Date: Sunday, October 9, 8 to 10am
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
    We will look for migrating songbirds and waterfowl that have stopped at Fresh Pond to rest and feed on their way south for the winter. We may also see a variety of year-round avian residents. Beginners are welcome! We have binoculars to lend and will show you how to use them. Led by Elizabeth Wylde and friends. To register and for important parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
Seasonal Walkabout with Ranger Jean
Date: Friday, October 14th, 10:30 to 11:30am
Place: Meets at Maher parking lot, 650 Concord Ave.
    Join Ranger Jean for a Ranger walkabout around Black’s Nook. We will monitor wildlife by sign, track, or presence, and make note of weather, state of plants, condition of water and other abiotic resources. On these monthly walks, help chart the seasonal changes of some of our most active wildlife spots, or simply come and enjoy the walk. Come dressed to be outdoors for the hour. Attend one or the series and develop your ability to take in more of the reservation. No dogs please! Extreme weather cancels. For more info or to RSVP, contact Ranger Jean at (508)-562-7605 or email jrogers@cambridgema.gov.
Welcome to Fresh Pond! @ Lusitania Meadow
Date: Saturday, October 15th, 1 to 2pm
Place: Starts at the meeting rocks at Lusitania Meadow
    Are you new to Cambridge or the Fresh Pond area? Looking to learn more about restoration on the Reservation? Join Ranger Jean for an introductory tour of Maher Park and Lusitania Wet Meadow. The tour will cover the rich human and natural history of the land, as well as new improvements. A great opportunity to bring questions or to see what Fresh Pond Reservation is all about! For any RSVPs or questions, please email jrogers@cambridgema.gov or call (508) 562-7605.
Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility Tour
Date: Monday, October 17th, 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Meets at the 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! You’ll have the chance to speak with water treatment staff, see the equipment in action, and check out our water quality lab. Advance notice is appreciated if coming with a large group. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Martine at (617) 349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov.
Going Batty: The Secret Lives of Bats at Fresh Pond
Date: Saturday, October 22nd, 2 to 4pm
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
    Prepare to celebrate Bat Week 2016, October 24 to 31st this year. Join us for an afternoon of exploring the world of bats, and learn something new about these fascinating nocturnal creatures! We will visit a bat house on the Reservation just installed to enhance our bat-friendly habitat, and will share tips for how you can create a bat-friendly habitat and other ways to help bats where you live. Please RSVP to Ranger Jean at jrogers@cambridgema.gov by Sunday, October 17.
Fascinating Fungi of Fresh Pond
Date: Sunday, October 23, 2 to 4:30pm
Place: Maynard Ecology Center, 650 Concord Avenue, basement of Neville Place
    Mycologist Lawrence Millman has identified 256 mushroom species at Fresh Pond Reservation. For the past twelve years he has led Fresh Pond mushroom forays that give participants the chance to add to this list as well as learn more about the world of fungi. He'll also be signing copies of his beautiful book Fascinating Fungi of New England, the first guidebook devoted exclusively to New England mushrooms. To register and for important parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
A Bug’s Night Out
Date: Monday, October 24, 6:00 to 7:30pm
Place: Meets at Maher parking lot, 650 Concord Ave.
    The night air is filled with mysterious flying insects and other creatures scuttling across the dirt. Come learn about the invertebrate nightlife at Fresh Pond! We’ll set up some bright lights set up to draw in stealthy night dwellers. Please RSVP to fpr@cambridgema.gov.
Do the Duck Walk
Date: Saturday, October 29, 1 to 3pm
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
    Fresh Pond Reservation is an attractive resting place for a variety of birds - especially waterfowl - during the fall migration. We will use a telescope to get good looks at birds on the water, and binoculars to look at songbirds. We have binoculars to lend, and will show you how to use them. Beginners are welcome! To register and for important parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
Halloween Animal Parade for Families
Date: Sunday, October 30th, 2 to 3pm
Place: Starts at the Kingsley Park benches
    Join us for a Halloween ramble around Kingsley Park! Come dressed as a Fresh Pond animal or color your own mask from Ranger Jean. Have your picture taken and posted in the ranger station! Elementary aged children accompanied by an adult are welcome! If you need ideas- here are a few: raccoon, squirrel, coyote, rabbit, turtle, frog, fish, butterfly, red winged black bird, American eagle, ant, spider, crow, coyote, chipmunk. This is a treat-free event!
Howl-O’-Ween Dog and Companion Costume Promenade
Date: Sunday, October 30th, 4:30 to 5:30pm
Place: Kingsley Park Bowl
    Calling all reservoir dogs and their human companions! Let your creativity shine by the two of you coming to Fresh Pond in costume for a pre-Halloween promenade. Photos will be taken and posted in the Ranger Station! Dog treats offered from Ranger Jean. All dogs must be leashed except Cambridge license-wearing dogs that respond to their keeper’s commands.

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

Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership 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. Upcoming Programs

A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:
http://www.friendsoffreshpond.org/calendar2014/photopages2014cal/jan14/p01-13-14chipnorton.htm
AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSat, Sep 24. Nahant Hike. Moderate-paced 6-mi. hike including spectacular views from trails, cliffs, beaches, and oceanside lanes in one of the most scenic towns in the Boston area, 9:45am-1:30pm. Bring lunch and water. Meet by entrance to Nahant Beach parking lot next to The Tides restaurant ($5 fee). From Lynnway (Rt. 1A)/Lynn Shore Drive in Lynn, go to Nahant Rotary and head down Nahant Causeway approximately 2 mi. to end, take left at The Tides Restaurant and head into beach parking lot to the left of restaurant (do not park at The Tides). From Central Square via bus or commuter rail, walk south down Market Street for two blocks to Lynnway, take left for 1/2 mile to Nahant Rotary, walk along Nahant Causeway approximately 2 mi to end. Rain cancels. L Marc Hurwitz. AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 25. Minute Man National Park, Concord. Autumn on the Battle Road. Share some revolutionary tales along the Battle Road in the Minute Man Park. Walk 7 brisk miles from the Visitor's Center to the North Bridge. Meet at 9:30am in Concord at the Old Manse parking lot on Monument Street. We will carpool to the visitor center. Walk trails to Meriam Corner for a break and on paved roads to the Old North Bridge and the parking. Directions: follow 2A to Concord Center. Follow signs to North Bridge. Bring water and snacks. Rain cancels. L Eveline Weyl.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 1. Explore East Boston. Moderately fast-paced walk along the Greenway, Condor Urban Wild, Piers Park and more. 10:00am-1:30pm. Meet inside Airport T (Blue Line). Bring lunch and water. New members welcome. Heavy rain cancels. L Sharon Marshall. AMC Local WalksSun, Oct 2. Broadmoor Mass Audubon walk, Natick. 10:00am-Noon. Meet at the Visitors Center. Join us for a walk in this convenient (Natick on Route 16), yet expansive wildlife retreat. Moderate pace, easy trails with some gentle hills and rocks, including the trail along the Charles River. Bring water and snacks. No children or dogs. Heavy rain cancels. Call Lisa if uncertain. Charge: $5 if not a Mass Audubon member, plus $1 if not an AMC member. L Lisa Fleischman, CL Mary Wisbach.
Driving directionshttp://www.massaudubon.org/get-outdoors/wildlife-sanctuaries/broadmoor/directions
AMC Local WalksSun, Oct 9. Groton Fall Spectacular. 1:00pm. This hike will feature an impressive variety of environments while traversing a large patchwork of open land, all at peak foliage time. We will see beaver ponds, eskers, drumlins, marshes, dry uplands, hemlock groves, open fields, pretty streams, and wide vistas from hilltops. We will meet at Williams Barn (42.6265N 71.5610W), leave some cars, carpool to the start, and end up back at Williams Barn. About 2 hours, moderate pace. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local WalksMon, Oct 10. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 4 mi. mod.-paced hike, 10:30am-1:30pm. Bring lunch+water. I-93/Rte 128 exit 2A to Rte.138S for 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course pkg lot on L. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - September 2016

recycling symbol"Get Rid of It Right" Move Out Video - share widely!
Moving Season Reminders
Donate Books and Buy Pre-Loved Books
Order Recycling Materials
Seeking Enthusiastic School Composting Helpers
Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance a Success
Part-Time Opportunities

"Get Rid of It Right" This Move Out Season

Plan ahead for move out day, and give your stuff a second chance at life!

You're protecting the environment, and reducing waste.

Click the image below to watch a short video and visit www.CambridgeMA.Gov/MoveOut for more information.

Get Rid of it Right


Moving Season Reminders

Moving Out?

Donate It

  • Clothing and Textiles: ALL CLEAN, DRY TEXTILES can go in drop boxes found around Cambridge. Stained, torn, broken or incomplete OK. More info here. Use our Google Donate Map to find donation boxes. Good stuff gets reused and damaged stuff gets repurposed. Not accepted in curbside recycling.
  • Furniture in Good Condition: Plan ahead and arrange for a pickup of items from inside your home. Coalition for the Homeless does Cambridge pickups twice a month, and sometimes more, including Aug 28 - Sept 9! Complete the Pickup Request Form. They take all sorts of furniture as well as rugs, lamps, dishes, pots & pans, and blankets & linens. Check out other options: CambridgeMA.Gov/Furniture.
  • Household Goods (clean, good-condition): Goodwill, 520 Mass. Ave. / Boomerangs, 563 Mass. Ave. / Some items accepted on swap shelves at the Recycling Center.
  • Freecycle and Craig's List: Freecycle: People give away and get stuff for free. Craigslist: People submit online classifieds, "For Sale" section includes a "Free" category.
  • Get Rid of It Right: City’s online list with details on how to recycle, donate or dispose of just about anything.

Sell It

  • On-line: ebay, letgo, Craigslist are just a few examples of where you can sell your stuff
  • Bring to a Consignment Shop or have a Yard Sale

Recycle in the Curbside Bin

  • Large Plastics: All large rigid plastic items are accepted, such as storage containers, laundry baskets, and toys.
  • Books: Rip off hard covers. But, please donate good-condition books. Reuse is better than recycling.
  • Items Accepted in the Curbside Recycling Program.

Common Curbside Recycling Mistakes - Leave It Out

  • NO Electronics: Special recycling or donate.
  • NO Pots, Pans, Hangers or Other Scrap Metal: Bring metal items to the Recycling Center. Many dry cleaners accept metal hangers for reuse.
  • NO Blinds/Shades, Ceramics, Dishes, Glasses, Mirrors, Frames, Video/Cassette Tapes: Donate items in good-condition, otherwise place in trash.
  • NO Clothing or Textiles: Donate all dry and clean textiles. More info here.
  • NO Plastic Bags: Bring empty, clean and dry bags to designated bins at store entrances or the Recycling Center (clean, dry bubble and shrink wrap and air pillows also accepted at RC).

Special Handling Required

  • NO Non-Alkaline Batteries: Non-Alkaline batteries accepted at the Recycling Center or Household Hazardous Waste collections. Alkaline batteries made in USA after 1994 do not contain mercury and can go in the trash.
  • NO Fluorescent Bulbs, including CFLs: There are several disposal options including most Cambridge hardware stores and the Recycling Center.
  • NO Hazardous Waste, such as Paint: Review what must be brought to one of our four annual Household Hazardous Waste collections, including oil-based paint, chemicals and waste fuels. The webpage also has alternative options if you can't make the next collection (Sept 10).

Moving In?

Recycling is Mandatory in Cambridge - and Easy!
Review what is accepted in the curbside recycling program closely. Curbside recycling is primarily for clean containers, papers and cardboard. Recycling helps the environment and significantly reduces waste disposal costs for the city. Stay in the loop and subscribe below to receive the monthly e-newsletter from Cambridge Recycling.

What to Do with Packaging

  • Cardboard Boxes: Place in or next to recycling bin. Make sure boxes are empty (no Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or trash). Flatten when possible. Try to reuse! Post your moving boxes on Freecycle or Craigslist.
  • Bubble Wrap, Air Pillows, Shrink Wrap: Place with plastic bags at the Recycling Center during open hours. Must be empty, clean, and dry. Review accepted plastic film items here. Do not place in the curbside recycling.
  • Styrofoam Blocks and Peanuts: Blocks go in the trash. Bring peanuts to a UPS Store or to the Recycling Center during open hours for reuse. No cornstarch peanuts, which dissolve in water. Do not place in the curbside recycling.
  • Blister Packaging: Hard clear plastic form packaging can be recycled in the curbside program.

Shop Second-Hand
Shopping second-hand is much more affordable, fun, green, supports the local economy, and you can find great stuff!

  • Local Second-Hand Shops: Check out the red, green, and yellow pins on this map.
  • Stuff Sale, the biggest yard sale in Cambridge: Aug 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & Sept 3, 4, 5. Open to all from 9 AM - 5 PM, located at the Harvard Science Center Plaza at 1 Oxford Street. You'll find mini-fridges, rugs, lamps, futons, storage bins and hundreds of other items useful to anyone setting up an apartment. Proceeds support Harvard Habitat for Humanity's mission to build housing for the needy.
  • On-line: Try Freecycle, Craigslist, ebay, letgo.

Donate Books and Buy Pre-Loved Books

There are many places you can donate books, including the Cambridge Recycling Center community shelves during our open hours, Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm and Sat 9am-4pm. At the Recycling Center, textbooks and excess books and are taken by More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth by taking charge of a business. Here are a few more places you can donate books: Boomerangs, Goodwill, Rodney’s Bookstore, and the “Recycle That” and “Big Hearted Books & Clothing” donation boxes. Use our handy map.

Feel good when you read second-hand books! Some of the same places where you can donate books you can also buy them (Boomerangs, Goodwill, Rodney’s Bookstore), and here are a few more on-line: More Than Words, Amazon, BetterWorldBooks.com. Of course there are also those wonderful places where you can borrow books -- visit Cambridge Public Libraries!

You can also make use of the Little Free Libraries located at various locations throughout Cambridge, including private homes. Of course, there's also that great Cambridge tradition: a Free Box thoughtfully located in front of your house.


Have New Residents? Faded Labels? Order Recycling Materials!

Email recycle@cambridgema.gov to order.

  • recycling flyers with translations* (8.5x14)
  • toters
  • toter labels
  • "no trash, no plastic bags" stickers
  • "donate more trash less" flyers*
  • refrigerator magnets
  • translated recycling information sheets* (Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Creole, Ethiopian (Amharic))

*Also found in the "Educate Residents" section here.

Thank you for helping to spread the word!

Recycle More, Trash Less


Compost That StuffHelp Cambridge Kids Compost in the Cafeteria!

As kids head back to school they need help remembering "what goes where," as well as why recycling and composting is important. Additionally, new students need to be introduced to the program. Please consider joining us at a few school breakfasts and/or lunches at the start of the school year. We need many people to join in, as all 13 public schools now compost their food scraps, so sign up today, and tell a friend!

Email us to learn more. Thank you!!


Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance a Success

Thanks to strong support from the local business community and their customers, the City's Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance has led to a significant reduction in use of single-use bags in Cambridge.

Public Works staff and volunteers from the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee performed a study in July at several large Cambridge businesses and found a sizeable reduction in the consumption of single-use bags.

"What we observed was significant," said Meera Singh of the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee. "We saw a reduction in single-use bags of 50-80% across this group."

Read the full press release here.


Part-Time Opportunities

Cambridge Recycling is hiring a Recycling & Composting Outreach Assistant.

Public Works is also hiring an Energy & Sustainability Intern.


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

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use Commonwealth Connect and report it online or via mobile app (iPhone / Android) or call DPW at 617-349-4800 by 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Need toters, brochures, labels, or posters? Email recycle@cambridgema.gov or fill out this form.
  • Following a weekday holiday, curbside trash, recycling, compost and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2016 collection schedule.
  • Next Household Hazardous Waste Collections: Sat, Sept 10; Sat, Oct 29. Learn more here.

Cambridge Fire Department

Cambridge Employment Program Launches Ask the Career Counselor Series

City SealJuly 27, 2016 – The Cambridge Employment Program (CEP) provides free, individualized career counseling to support Cambridge residents in achieving their short and long-term employment goals.

In August, CEP is launching its new Ask the Career Counselor Series in collaboration with Cambridge Public Library. Drop by for a 15-30 minute session with a career counselor on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from August through December 2016 at Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway.

Session dates are: August 1, 15
September 19* (Note no session on September 5 due to Labor Day Holiday)
October 3, 17
November 7, 21
December 5, 19

No pre-registration is necessary. Limit one session per month. Please check CPL website, www.cambridgema.gov/cpl for changes or cancellations.

For more information, contact Susan Mintz at smintz@cambridgema.gov or call 617-349-6166.


Cambridge Chronicle

Stories written by Luis Vasquez for the Cambridge Chronicle:

Q&A: Cambridge singer Mike Wyche talks family, influences, performing abroad (Aug 19, 2016)

Q&A: 'Just a kid from Cambridge' apparel creator, Anthony Mosley (Aug 11, 2016)

Q&A: Fundraiser organized for longtime Cambridge coach, Ted Coffman (July 22, 2016)

Q&A: Cambridge Rindge principal talks opportunity, student relations, being a Yankees fan (June 17, 2016)

Q&A: Albert Pless helps lead men's health advocacy in Cambridge (June 10, 2016)

Q&A: Couple to open martial arts school in West Cambridge (June 3, 2016)

Q&A: Acting Cambridge police commissioner, Christopher Burke (May 23, 2016)

SPOTLIGHT: Alissa Musto, Miss Cambridge 2016 (May 13, 2016)

SPOTLIGHT: Suzanne McKenzie, executive director of Breakaway Foundation (Apr 29, 2016)

SPOTLIGHT: Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern (Apr 22, 2016)

SPOTLIGHT: Phil Rizzuto, new owner of Lizzy's Ice Cream (Apr 7, 2016)

SPOTLIGHT: Lance Dottin, head coach, Cambridge Rindge boys basketball (Mar 31, 2016)

Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev is paying for two (May 22, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev should write a book (May 14, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: The Boston Bomber finally cries (May 5, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev's middle finger is back to haunt him (Apr 28, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Is Tsarnaev paying for sins of his brother? (Apr 14, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should live (Apr 7, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev's plea for help serves as a reminder (Mar 31, 2015)

Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaevs at odds over homeland (Mar 23, 2015)


Here's Something Worth Watching


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

[complete list of shows - with links to YouTube videos of each]

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 169-170: Sept 13, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 167-168: Sept 6, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 165-166: Aug 23, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 163-164: Aug 9, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 161-162: Aug 2, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 159-160: July 26, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 157-158: July 19, 2016 – Looking Back at Rent Control (1996 show)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 155-156: July 12, 2016 – featuring Cambridge Water

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 153-154: July 5, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 151-152: June 28, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 149-150: June 21, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 147-148: June 14, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 145-146: June 7, 2016 (Part 2 with Luis Vasquez)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 143-144: May 31, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 141-142: May 24, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 139-140: May 17, 2016 - with guest Will MacArthur

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 137-138: May 10, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 135-136: May 3, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 133-134: April 26, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 131-132 w/Patrick Barrett: April 19, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 129-130 w/Jesse Kansan-Benanav: April 12, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 127-128: April 5, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 125-126: March 29, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 123-124: Mar 22, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 121-122: March 15, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 119-120: March 8, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 117-118: Mar 1, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 115-116: Feb 23, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 113-114: The Picture Show (Feb 16, 2016)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 111 (BYOB Ordinance) and 112 (Feb 9, 2016)

Cambridge Inside Out Episodes 109 and 110 (Parts 2 and 3 of Conversation with Tip O’Neill (1992) (Jan 17, 2016)

New and Old – Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 107 and 108 (Part 1 of 1992 Tip O'Neill Conversation) (Jan 26, 2016)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 105-106 with Anthony Galluccio (Jan 12, 2016)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 103-104 with Vice Mayor Marc McGovern (Jan 5, 2016)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 101-102: Looking Ahead to 2016-17 (Dec 29, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut – Episodes 99 and 100: Looking Back at the 2014-15 Cambridge City Council (Dec 23, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut – Episodes 97 and 98 (Dec 16, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut – Episodes 95 and 96 with Patrick Barrett (Dec 9, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOutCambridge InsideOut Episodes 93 and 94 – On Civic Infrastructure (Dec 1, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 91 and 92 – Digging into the ballot data (Nov 17, 2015)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 89 and 90 – Making Sense of the 2015 Cambridge Election Results (Nov 11, 2015)

Election Day Discussion – Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 87 and 88 (Nov 3, 2015)

One Week before the Election – Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 85 and 86 (Oct 27, 2015)

PR Election Mechanics – Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 83 and 84 (Oct 20, 2015)

Oct 13, 2015 - The Return – Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 81 and 82

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.

Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2013-2014 featured co-hosts Susana Segat and Robert Winters.
Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2015-2016 featured co-hosts Judy Nathans and Robert Winters.

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

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

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

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


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

The Return – Notable agenda items for the Sept 12, 2016 Cambridge City Council meeting (posted Sept 12, 2016)

Preliminary Screening Committee for New City Manager Selected (Aug 19, 2016)

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! – September 2016 (updated Aug 25, 2016)

Selected Agenda Items for the Aug 1, 2016 Cambridge City Council (Midsummer) meeting (posted Aug 1, 2016)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 28, 2016)

Floyd Freeman, Nov 7, 1915 – July 11, 2016, neighbor, friend, philosopher (July 16, 2016)

Taking a Break – Preview of June 27, 2016 Cambridge City Council agenda (posted June 26, 2016)

Cambridge Historical Commission Announces 2016 Preservation Award Recipients (June 23, 2016)

City of Cambridge names new Director of Libraries, Maria Taesil Hudson McCauley (June 21, 2016)

Opening of the First Section of the Grand Junction Path – June 9, 2016

Joint Statement of Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi Regarding the Green Line Extension (May 5, 2016)

Catching Up on the Cambridge News – April 1, 2016 (April Fools Edition)

Sunday Morning Statistics – Who Voted in the Cambridge Presidential primary (by age) (posted Mar 20, 2016)

Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi to retire later this year (Mar 11, 2016)

Campaign Finance – 2015 Cambridge City Council Candidates (last updated Feb 20, 2015 - updated periodically)

Cambridge School Committee 2015 Campaign Finance Summaries (Feb 6, 2016)

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

Who Voted in the 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election? (Dec 6, 2015)

Final Official Election Results – Cambridge 2015 Municipal Election (Nov 13, 2015)

Flashback to March 1998 (Oct 12, 2015)

Who Votes in Cambridge? (July 9, 2015)

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

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

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

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

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

Completing the Square (June 11, 2013)

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

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

On becoming a True Cantabrigian (Dec 29, 2012)

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

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

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

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


April 2, 2016 - Yet another fun April Fool's Day

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

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

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

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

The Neverending Study of Central Square

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 1987 - Central Square Action Plan

1989 - Draft Central Square Development Guidelines

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

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

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

May 1995 - Central Square Improvements Project, Master Plan Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

2009 - CDD Central Square Customer Intercept Survey Report

2011 - Central Square Market Profile

2011 - Red Ribbon Commission Study Report

2012 - Goody/Clancy report and recommendations

2013 - K2C2 Final Reports

K2C2 Final Reports Released

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

Community Development Department

Kendall Square Central Square Planning Study (K2C2)

Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013

Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013

Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013

Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013

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

Comments?


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

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

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

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

City Council Committees (for the current term)


School Committee Rules (adopted January 7, 2008)

School Committee Goals (adopted October 7, 2008)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Selected City of Cambridge References:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Which People's Republic
written by Bill Cunningham, 1999


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



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