2015 CCJ Notes - January through June
[items moved from main page]
All eyes on Volpe: Huge plans leave Cambridge councilors feeling rushed (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)
Harvard looks to expand campus center; plan reduces open space near Au Bon Pain (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)
Cambridge councilors question street-narrowing initiatives (Sara Feijo, June 26, 2015)
Cambridge proposal opens private lots to car-sharing (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)
Foundry's reincarnation: Tour gathers ideas for Cambridge building's revamp (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)
NorthPoint staircase honors work of the late Brian Murphy (Sara Feijo, June 23, 2015)
Harvard Towers tenants sent packing as owner plans renovations (Sara Feijo and Amy Saltzman, June 17, 2015)
Cambridge Councillors: Students need more exposure to building trades (Sara Feijo, June 17, 2015)
Fire delays MLK School opening (Sara Feijo, June 10, 2015)
Cambridge's Master Plan comes with $2M price tag (Sara Feijo, June 10, 2015)
Cambridge to plant 1,000 trees by 2020 (Sara Feijo, June 4, 2015)
Cambridge councilors take stand against standardized testing (Sara Feijo, June 4, 2015)
Cambridge councilors ‘in the dark' over Volpe; call for more details (Sara Feijo, June 3, 2015)
Cambridge councillors OK $546M budget (Sara Feijo, June 3, 2015)
Guest column: Cambridge's finances envy of commonwealth (Marc McGovern, June 1, 2015)
By the numbers: Community Development Department 2016 budget breakdown (Sara Feijo, May 28, 2015)
Four new candidates announce run for Cambridge City Council (Sara Feijo, May 27, 2015)
Cambridge DPW asks for conservative snow budget despite tough winter (Sara Feijo, May 27, 2015)
LETTER: Thank you, Cambridge councilors, for securing housing (Ellen Schlacter, May 26, 2015)
While wandering around NorthPoint the other day I got to thinking about when the construction of the Green Line Extension might bridge the railroad tracks where the old "Red Bridge" used to be until it was demolished in 2004. I decided to check out the area and what did I find? The construction is well underway. The old bridge abutments have been removed and the new construction is moving along.
Red Bridge (demolished in 2004)
Green Line Extension site of new bridge
On Wednesday, June 17 at 11:00am there will be a grand opening of the new Twenty/20 Northpoint building. There will be food, music and a short speaking program. This event will have as a central feature the dedication of the grand staircase connecting the Northpoint development at ground level to the John F. Gilmore Bridge. The bridge will be named the “Brian P. Murphy Memorial Staircase”. Brian was huge supporter of this staircase because it would allow people to easily walk from the Gilmore Bridge down to the new parks, residential buildings, retail stores and commercial buildings that will be built at NorthPoint. The staircase will play a central role in creating a new connection between Charlestown and Cambridge and between the Orange Line and the Green Line. This unique piece of infrastructure will forever change the way people think about this part of East Cambridge. The fact that this staircase now exists embodies much of what Brian thought was important in his leadership roles in government. Brian was a huge supporter of connecting people to residential, recreational and work spaces. He would have been honored to be recognized as a connector of people. [text taken in part from messages between the builders and Brian's family]
Who else are you hearing about?
June 8, 2015 – The City’s Community Development Department (CDD) seeks creative folks to participate in the official City of Cambridge PARK(ing) Day celebration, an international event in which metered parking spaces are transformed into “parks” for a day. Previous years have brought many creative ideas, including: gymnastics, bicycle-powered smoothies, book swaps, dance floors, micro parks, nature preserves, games, dog parks, and concerts.
PARK(ing) Day is an annual open-source global event where residents, artists and activists temporarily transform metered parking spaces into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world.
The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat … at least until the meter runs out!
Original concept by Rebar. www.rebargroup.org.
Applications are due June 30, 2015. For more information, contact Jennifer Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: cambridgema.gov/CDD/News/2015/06/parkingday.
The Cambridge City Manager is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Foundry Advisory Committee that he is establishing. This group will advise and provide regular updates to the City Manager as well as providing regular updates to the Executive Director of the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) on proposed uses within the Foundry building, which will be redeveloped and operated consistent with the vision and objectives that grew out of an extensive community planning process. The deadline to submit a letter of interest has been extended to June 30, 2015.
In evaluating potential uses, programs, and use of shared spaces for creativity and innovation at the Foundry, the Committee will take into account the interior configuration, ongoing operations, changing demand and market forces, updates in technology and innovation, and other outside impacts. The Committee will also review any proposals for significant capital changes to the building as they affect the Foundry’s objectives.
Meetings are anticipated to occur quarterly, although more frequent meetings may be required in the initial stages of the redevelopment process. The Committee will provide annual updates to the CRA Board at regular Board meetings, which will provide the public with information regarding its activities and provide a forum for input. Members of the Committee will be initially appointed by the City Manager to staggered terms of 1-3 years.
The City Manager seeks individuals with demonstrated ability to work effectively on a team with diverse opinions to craft consensus recommendations. The City Manager’s intention is to create a committee that includes experience and expertise in related topic areas, as well as representation from various neighborhoods within the city, and local non-profit and community organizations.
Additional information regarding the Foundry building is available on the project webpage: www.cambridgema.gov/foundry
To apply, please send a letter by June 30, 2015 describing your interest in the Foundry Advisory Committee as well as any relevant experience and qualifications to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139
City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking a Cambridge resident interested in volunteering to serve on the Cambridge Kids’ Council, which is dedicated to developing policy and program recommendations aimed at improving the quality of life for children, youth and families in Cambridge, so that youth are: healthy and living in safe communities; live in stable, self-sufficient, and supportive families; are engaged in enriching activities and civic life; and are prepared with the tools to help them succeed in school.
The Mayor of Cambridge serves as the Chair of the Kids’ Council. Committee members include key stakeholders in local government and in the community, which includes the following:
The Kids’ Council is currently focusing on family engagement and developing recommendations to create and support genuine partnerships between families and the organizations and institutions that serve them. Past initiatives include: creating a citywide Family Engagement Policy adopted by the Cambridge City Council in November 2013; developing recommendations to enhance the capacity of the Community Engagement Team (CET) by hiring additional outreach workers and a full-time program assistant; developing a training program; and establishing a more formal partnership with Cambridge Public Schools. The Council is also working with Code for Boston to develop an easy-to-use, single point portal which can be translated into multiple languages so that families, youth, and those who support them can easily find the activities, services and resources they are looking for in Cambridge.
The Kids’ Council meets approximately 6-7 times per year on the 3rd Thursday of the month from 5:15-7:15pm. For more information, please contact Nancy Tauber, Executive Director, at 617-349-6239 or email@example.com.
To apply, please submit a letter of interest and a resume by the newly extended deadline of June 30, 2015 to: Cambridge Kids’ Council, 51 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139, or email your letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ON THIS DAY...
...in 1831, the legislature granted the Massachusetts Horticultural Society permission to purchase land for use as an experimental garden and a rural cemetery. Located on the border of Cambridge and Watertown, the garden failed, but the cemetery became world famous. As the first rural cemetery in America, Mount Auburn pioneered the idea of burying the dead not in urban churchyards but in a beautifully designed, naturalistic landscape on the outskirts of the city. The idea caught on and eventually led to the creation of public parks in metropolitan areas. 180 years after the cemetery was consecrated, the dead are still being laid to rest along Mount Auburn's winding paths, in her wooded dells, and on her gentle hillsides.
Listen to this moment: http://www.massmoments.org/audio/JUNE231%2Em3u
Read more about this moment: http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=183
Visit Mass Moments to search past moments: http://www.massmoments.org
On Friday, June 26, join thousands of Cambridge residents and visitors who will gather on Mass. Ave. in front of Cambridge City Hall (795 Massachusetts Ave.) for the City’s annual Dance Party. Mass. Ave., between Prospect and Bigelow streets, will be closed to traffic from 7pm - Midnight. Event is free and open to the public. MBTA: Red Line to Central Square.
The annual dance extravaganza with DJ spun music is a special opportunity for the entire Cambridge community to celebrate summer. After dark, colorful lights will be launched, adding to the magic of the evening.
PLEASE NOTE: MBTA #1 Bus Line will terminate in Central Square at 6pm and is expected to resume full service by Midnight. (Take the Red Line subway to travel between Central & Harvard Squares). Closest subway stop to the Dance Party is Central Square, then two blocks to City Hall.
For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at 617-349-4301.
Sat, May 30, 2015 – At approximately 1:54pm today, Cambridge’s Emergency Communications Center received a report of a fire on the roof of the Martin Luther King Jr. School that is under construction at 100 Putnam Avenue. Upon arrival, responding units from the Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) encountered very heavy wind driven fire conditions on the roof. “Our crews needed to advance hose lines over aerial ladders in order to extinguish the fire,” said Assistant Fire Chief Gerald Mahoney. “This was an extremely labor intensive operation for the firefighters on scene.” Three alarms were ultimately transmitted for this incident and no injuries are being reported at this time.
Damage to the roof is significant and the Cambridge Fire Department estimates that the roof covering and insulation, and a number of HVAC units will need to be replaced. Additionally, the third floor of the building has significant smoke and water damage. Initial damage estimates are appropriately $2.5M.
“The firefighters on scene today did a great job extinguishing this fire given the difficult conditions,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “The City will need to conduct an assessment of the damage caused by today’s fire before we can understand any impacts that it may have on the opening of the MLK Jr. School. We will provide the public with an update once the evaluation of the building is completed.” Rossi went on to say, “There is no reason for us to believe that today’s fire will impact the proposed schedule for the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper Schools & Community Complex Project.”
The cause of the fire is undetermined and is under investigation. The State Fire Marshal’s Office will be working with CFD Fire Investigators.
Media inquiries should be directed to Assistant Chief Gerald Mahoney at GMahoney@CambridgeFire.Org or 617-775-9336.
As the investigation into the cause of the fire that damaged the Martin Luther King Jr. School continues, the City’s project team is assessing the damage to the building and creating a recovery plan that will allow for a September opening of the school.
“I want to thank the Cambridge Fire Department for the exceptional job that they did in stopping this fire, particularly given the windy conditions. Their efforts prevented us from having a catastrophic outcome,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “Our team, comprised of staff from the City and School Department, the architect, and the construction contractor are all working together to conduct a full analysis of the damage and what the estimated repair costs will be.”
The City expects the damage assessment to be completed by end of this week; however, the current rain pattern is slowing down the process. Because the City requires construction contractors to carry insurance, there will be no financial impact to the City for the damage caused by the fire. Any materials and equipment that were damaged or compromised by fire, smoke, or water will be replaced.
Even as the extensive testing of all building materials and finishes continues, progress is being made on keeping the project on track. New HVAC equipment and roofing materials have already been ordered and the construction company is evaluating the possibility of a double shift schedule to complete the work.
“Our contractor, Rich-Caulfield a Joint Venture, has committed to having the MLK Jr. School open by September,” said Rossi. “Although this is an unanticipated setback, I am confident that we have a strong team in place that will get the job done.”
Construction updates and information on the Martin Luther King Jr. School Construction project can be found at www.cambridgema.gov/mlkjrconstruction.
About the Martin Luther King Jr. School Construction Project: The Martin Luther King Jr. construction project is a 187,00 square foot school that will be occupied by a pre-school, k-5 lower school, 6-8 middle school afterschool programs and Human Services programs. Each school and after school program will have their own distinct space within the building. There are separate lower and upper school gyms, separate pre-school play area, cafeteria seating 246 pupils, a 400 seat auditorium, upper and lower school learning commons, exterior play areas including a full size basketball court. The building roof and sun shades on the exterior elevations will have photovoltaic panels mounted on them to help minimize the cost of purchasing electrical power for the building as part of the NET ZERO design. The building features an underground garage and modifications to the surrounding sidewalks and roadways to make pickup and drop off of students safer.
Earlier this week, City Manager Richard C. Rossi sent the update below to the Superintendent of Schools regarding the Martin Luther King Jr. School/Putnam Avenue Upper School.
Dear Superintendent Young,
As you are aware, I have been receiving daily updates from the City’s Construction Project Manager on the recovery efforts taking place at the new Martin Luther King, Jr./Putnam Avenue Upper School building. While the construction team and the disaster recovery team have made every effort since the May 30th fire to keep this project on schedule, it has become clear that in order to ensure a safe and secure teaching and learning environment for all staff and students, the completion and opening of the MLK Jr. School/Putnam Avenue Upper School will be delayed. My team, which, as you know, includes officials from the Cambridge Public Schools, is currently working on a revised project timeline, which will be completed prior the end of the current school year. The second set of school communities (i.e., King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School) that were scheduled to move during the summer months also will be delayed.
In light of this new information, the City is postponing the Thursday, June 11, King Open/Cambridge Street Upper Schools and Community Complex Project Community meeting. Once the revised timeline is solidified, the City will reschedule the meeting; this will enable the City to provide more accurate information to the community. The delay in the opening of MLK Jr. School/Putnam Avenue Upper School may impact the schedule for the King Open School, Cambridge Street Upper School, Valente Library, Gold Star Pool, and Community Complex Project.
I am greatly disappointed in the project setback caused by the May 30th fire. So many in our community, especially the MLK Jr. School/Putnam Avenue Upper School communities, were looking forward to celebrating the September opening of their new state-of-the-art facility. My team has made every attempt to keep this project on schedule; however, the delay is necessary to prevent compromising the quality of the project.
The City Administration will work closely with the Cambridge School Department to create a detailed logistical plan for the 2015-2016 and the 2016-2017 academic years. Once the revised project timeline is completed, I will update you and the community. We will also provide updates as important information develops.
Very truly yours,
Richard C. Rossi
Cambridge Police Department fiscal 2016 budget breakdown (Sara Feijo, May 22, 2015)
Cambridge Fire Department 2016 budget breakdown (Sara Feijo, May 22, 2015)
Mass+Main project moves forward with stronger commitment to housing (Sara Feijo, May 20, 2015)
Cambridge Chronicle reporter honored (May 20, 2015)
DeLancey to retire as executive director of Agassiz Baldwin (May 17, 2015)
Guest column: Cambridge's commercial development must be in sync with housing needs (Councilors Denise Simmons, Marc McGovern and Dennis Benzan; May 11, 2015)
June 8, 2015 - The City of Cambridge is preparing to launch its second Participatory Budgeting (PB) cycle from June-December 2015. This time, the City will set aside $600,000 for capital projects to improve the community. These funds will be used for one-time capital projects to improve the community. Residents will brainstorm ideas for projects, develop them into proposals, and projects that are vetted by City staff and approved by the City Manager will appear on a ballot in December for a public vote. Winning projects will be included in the FY 2017 Capital Budget for adoption. We are seeking volunteers to serve on the PB Steering Committee to help oversee the process and work with City staff to ensure that the PB process is transparent, fair, and inclusive.
What is Participatory Budgeting (PB) all about?
Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The goals of PB in Cambridge are to directly involve residents in the budgeting and City-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the City’s Capital Plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents. Since its inception in 1989, over 1,500 city budgets around the world have undertaken Participatory Budgeting initiatives, including Cambridge, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Vallejo, CA.
Steering Committee Member Responsibilities
Members serve throughout the PB cycle (June-December 2015) by:
PB Cycle 2/Steering Committee Schedule
Committee meetings will generally take place on Thursday evenings from 6-8pm in a City building. Organizations should nominate an alternate to attend meetings if/when the primary representative is not available.
Application Process and Deadline
Steering Committee Applications are due by 5pm on Friday, June 19.
If you are interested in serving on the PB Cambridge Steering Committee, there are two ways to apply:
For more information, contact us at email@example.com, (617) 349-3266, or visit the Budget Office on the first floor of City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The City Manager and his Finance team will review applications to ensure that selected candidates represent the city’s diversity and will announce Steering Committee members on Monday, June 22.
May 18, 2015 – Today, Mayor David P. Maher and City Manager Richard C. Rossi announced a partnership with the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to install truck side guards on city-owned trucks in order to enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling in Cambridge. The city intends to install these side guards on heavy-duty vehicles in an effort to lead by example in Massachusetts and to encourage private entities to do the same.
These efforts dovetail with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mayors’ Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets, which was launched on Jan 22, 2015, by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“Cambridge has always led the way with progressive multimodal transportation options for our residents. Now we are stepping up once again to lead the charge to make our streets safer and to mitigate the deadly consequences of common traffic collisions,” said Mayor Maher.
“The Mayors’ Challenge was designed to help small and large cities increase the safety of all bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Secretary Foxx. “These truck guards are another safety feature that can help save lives in Cambridge and other communities around the country.”
“Cambridge has decided to quickly and definitively make changes to its fleet to establish a new standard for safety in our community and the private sector,” said City Manager Rossi. “I’m immensely proud of how the city and federal government have come together to work to protect our residents.”
Side guards, which are installed on large trucks to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from falling underneath the vehicle, helped reduce bicyclist fatalities by 61 percent and pedestrian fatalities by 20 percent in side-impact crashes with trucks in the United Kingdom after side guards became required, starting in 1986. Side guards are devices intended to sweep aside a pedestrian or bicyclist in a side-impact crash, rather than being swept underneath the vehicle.
Volpe and the City of Cambridge are jointly working on a vehicle redesign strategy that will establish recommendations for implementing truck side guards, blind spot mirrors, and other vehicle-based technologies on the city-owned truck fleet. In addition to reviewing international best practices and safety data for developing the recommended technical specifications, operational and human factors issues will also be considered, such as:
“I see Volpe’s first partnership with the City of Cambridge as an exciting opportunity to bring together the complementary strengths of our two government agencies,” said Dr. Alex Epstein, the Volpe team lead. “Even more importantly, this partnership is likely to save lives if the side guards and other truck-based safety initiatives succeed as expected, advancing transportation innovation for the public good.”
This initiative was brought to the attention of the City of Cambridge from social media. By coincidence, a member of Mayor Maher’s staff was walking by the scene of a crash sometime after a bicyclist had collided with a garbage truck. Thanks to the quick response of emergency personnel, the young father who had been on his bicycle was already being treated at a local hospital. Crews had started to remove the twisted frame of the bicycle from underneath the truck when Alanna Mallon, from the Mayor’s Office, walked by. She posted a picture of the bicycle frame on social media, which happened to reach Alex Epstein at the Volpe Center.
Within an hour of the picture being posted, Dr. Epstein was on the phone with the Mayor’s Office to arrange a meeting about the potential to work with Volpe on installing truck side guards. Not only was a meeting arranged with the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Commissioner of Public Works, and Police Commissioner about this effort, but Dr. Epstein also testified at a Cambridge City Council meeting shortly after speaking with the Mayor’s Office to expand the dialogue about implementing truck side-guard solutions.
“Accidents between trucks and cyclists are unfortunately not out of the ordinary for urban communities in Massachusetts,” said Mayor Maher. “What is unique, however, is the speed with which Cambridge was able to engage with the talented folks at Volpe and to help institute a solution for our city in record time.”
New Spaces for Open Archives – June 15 through June 18
Cambridge Open Archives marks its seventh year during the week of June 15th. Visitors are invited to explore “New Acquisitions & Old Treasures” at eight local archives. Several new repositories will be open this year – the MIT Museum’s Hart Nautical Collection and the archives of three Harvard museums – and old favorites are returning.
Each afternoon or early evening, registered participants will be welcomed at two neighboring archives for behind-the-scenes tours. The paired sites are within easy walking distance of each other.
Opening the week on Monday, June 15, with tours from 4:00 to 6:00pm, will be archives at the Longfellow House-Washington’s HQ National Historic Site and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe.
Tuesday, June 16, from 3:00 to 5:00pm, two new sites just across Divinity Avenue from each other are featured – Harvard’s Peabody Museum and its Semitic Museum.
On Wednesday, June 17, from 6:00 to 8:00pm, tours will be offered at the Cambridge Public Library’s Cambridge Room and at an exciting new venue – the Harvard Art Museums, in the new facility opened only this past November.
Rounding up the week on Thursday, June 18, from 3:00 to 5:00pm, are two venues at MIT – the Institute Archives & Special Collections and the Museum’s Hart Nautical Collection.
Open Archives is a free event, but visitors must register in advance, as space is extremely limited. To sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and specify day or days. Registrants will be contracted with tour details. Send general questions to the archives email, or call the Cambridge Historical Commission at 617-349-4683.
When & Where: Meet Wednesday, June 17, 2015 from 10:00am to 12:00pm at the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility, 125 Sixth Street, Cambridge
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and the City of Cambridge are hosting a free kick-off event. We invite the development community to learn more about this redevelopment opportunity and to tour the building, located at 101 Rogers Street (but not yet fully accessible), preceding the RFQ process. We are reaching out to developers, operators, designers and prospective tenants of the building to bring together ideas and experiences to revitalize this real estate asset in Kendall Square. Please note that attendance is not mandatory for participation in the RFQ process.
– message from Cambridge Redevelopment Authority and the City of Cambridge
The Community Preservation Act Committee will hold a public meeting Tuesday, June 16, at 6:00pm, at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 795 Mass. Ave. The meeting agenda will include providing the public an opportunity to suggest and recommend projects for CPA funding for Housing, Open Space and Historic Preservation in FY16. For more information, contact Karen Preval at 617-349-4221 or email@example.com.
May 21 - The Massachusetts Library Association (MLA) presented the 22nd biennial public relations awards to the winning applicants at the Association’s Annual Conference at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Winners were chosen by a panel of independent judges from the public relations, advertising, press, and graphic design fields. Evaluation criteria included messaging, originality, and presentation. Entries were submitted for 20 categories, including brochures, community reading programs, social media, and Websites.
The Cambridge Public Library received five awards in the logo, booklist, community reading program, summer reading program, and newsletter categories. The Library also received first prize in the merchandise category for its tote bags promoting library confidentiality.
Library graphic designer, Luke Kirkland was presented with the awards by the MLA Public Relations Committee at the 2nd Annual Awards Gala and Dinner.
"The Cambridge Public Library is proud of Mr. Kirkland’s work which is visually engaging and representative of the highly professional programs and services offered to our community," said Susan Flannery, Director of Libraries.
Last year, the Cambridge Public Library checked out 1.4 million items and offered 3,000 programs to more than 87,000 individuals.
The Massachusetts Library Association advocates for libraries, librarians, and library staff, defends intellectual freedom, and provides a forum for leadership, communication, professional development, and networking to keep libraries vital. MLA has been working libraries for over 100 years, representing members from all library types in the Commonwealth. For more information visit www.masslib.org.
May 21 - Today, Mayor David P. Maher announced that 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the City of Cambridge’s Pride Brunch, a tradition that honors the service of individuals working toward equal access and social justice for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people.
This year, Mayor Maher, along with the City Administration and the Cambridge GLBT Commission will hold the event in the Sullivan Chamber in Cambridge City Hall on Saturday, June 13 at 9:00am, at 795 Mass. Ave.
Refreshments will be provided and the annual program celebrating the progress for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in Cambridge will begin at 9:30am. The program will include a ceremony presenting the annual Bayard Rustin Award to a person of color with an outstanding history of service to the Cambridge GLBT Community. Community recognition awards as well as the Rose Lipkin award to a Cambridge Rindge and Latin School student will also be presented.
Bus transportation will be provided to the Boston Pride Parade after the Brunch, departing Cambridge City Hall at 11:15am.
RSVPs to this event are appreciated (but not required) and can be made to Mayor Maher’s Office at (617) 349-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Program: A Renaissance on the Cambridge Side of the Charles
June 8, 2015: The Cambridge City Council will have a Roundtable/Working meeting tonight at 5:30pm in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall to discuss the "Master Plan", a.k.a. the "Citywide Planning Process". There will be no public comment and no votes will be taken. The meeting will not be televised (except by the usual conspiracy theorists with video cameras and unlimited free time).
See how Cambridge's second largest park came to be, from an island surrounded by marshes to a gunpowder depot and, later, a favorite Charles River swimming beach. As a public space, the site has inspired many plans and schemes. Consider the courses taken and passed by as we plan for the park's future – this year.
Magazine Beach Park, at the bottom of Magazine Street, is Cambridge's second largest park, and it has long been a favorite swimming and picnicking site. Hear about its long history, about Captain's Island and its powder magazine, and its becoming a popular beach for Charles River bathers. We're eager to hear your stories, too!
While the Esplanade has long been the jewel on the Charles, the Cambridge river parklands, at long last, are beginning to receive their due. Hear the latest about North Point Park's skate park and Magazine Beach and Greenough Boulevard improvements. Presenters from the Charles River Conservancy, Solomon Foundation, Cambridgeport Neighbors Association's Magazine Beach Committee, Mass. Dept. of Conservation & Recreation (DCR), and the City of Cambridge will share current projects.
The City Council's Health and Environment Committee, chaired by Councilor Leland Cheung, will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, June 9th from 3:00pm to 5:30pm in Sullivan Chamber, City Hall. The purpose of the hearing is to discuss a proposed framework for the goal of setting Cambridge on the trajectory to becoming a “net zero community.” All are invited to attend this hearing. [more information on the Net Zero Action Plan]
The Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department will be holding a Rental and Homeownership Information Session Monday, June 8, from 6-8pm, at the Corcoran Park Community Room, One Corcoran Lane, Cambridge. 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 617-349-4622.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The City of Cambridge is sponsoring a Household Hazardous Waste collection day on Saturday, June 6, from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Volpe Center in East Cambridge. The event is at the rear of 55 Broadway, but vehicles must enter from Third and Munroe.
This event is free, and open to all Cambridge residents (proof of residency required).
Proper disposal of household chemicals helps protect public health and the environment. Learn more about accepted materials, other guidelines, and future dates by clicking here, or call Public Works at 617-349-4800.
May 19 - At Monday's City Council meeting, the Normandy/Twining zoning petition as amended was ordained on a 7-2 vote with Councillors Carlone and Mazen voting NO. A memorandum of understanding detailing a variety of committments was attached to the petition. - RW
May 15 - This is a good day. Grateful thanks to the jury in the Tsarnaev trial for all of their effort and good judgment. - RW
Hearing on Mass. & Main
Apr 2 - The City Council's Ordinance Committee met on Wed, April 1 for a hearing on the Normandy/Twining Zoning Petition to rezone an area in the Lafayette Square/Mass. & Main end of Central Square. There was plenty of public comment on both sides of the issue, but perhaps the most bizarre testimony was given by Larry Lessig, a prominent activist/academic, who rattled on about money and politics with barely any (informed) reference to the matter before the committee. Perhaps Professor Lessig should have researched the topic before the committee (a rezoning petition) before lecturing the councillors about how corrupt he has decided they are. Following his rant, Lessig headed back home to Brookline.
It's pretty clear that Lessig's appearance at the Ordinance Committee came at the request of Councillor Mazen (apparently not, see below). Councillors Carlone and Mazen (and at least one other new candidate) have apparently decided that one of the central narratives of their joint City Council campaign will be to brand most of the other incumbent councillors as corrupt - even though there is absolutely nothing to support that assertion. This year's municipal election campaign promises to bring more of the same.
The Ordinance Committee later voted 6-3 to forward the Normandy/Twining petition to the full City Council with a positive recommendation. Only Councillors Mazen, Carlone, and Kelley voted to keep the matter in committee. It's doubtful whether the self-righteous Prof. Lessig will care one way or the other. - RW
Apr 3 - I have been emphatically informed by a Larry Lessig disciple that it was not Councillor Mazen who invited The Great Professor to City Hall to lecture the city councillors on their bad behavior. [It was Mazen's announcement of the Coming of Lessig that tipped me off, hence the presumption that it was Mazen's invitation.] Very well, but since it's quite obvious that his visit was not based on his longstanding interest in all things relating to Central Square (though he does apparently know where it is), he surely must have been invited. But by whom? Hmmmmm..... Let's speculate!
Well, Lessig's write-up of his Great Visitation indicates that his "research" came from Doug Brown, the Treasurer of the Devereux campaign for City Council. Could they be the ones who brought in The Professor to educate our lowly councillors on their evil-doing? There was also an announcement from Dennis "Pearl Harbor" Carlone announcing the arrival of The Prophet.
That raises an even more interesting possibility (all speculation, of course!). Could the invitation have come from Carlone's trusty aide, Mike "No Money" Connolly, a Lessig adherent who continues his involvement with the Communications Committee of the Cambridge Residents Alliance (CResA), the group that is not only orchestrating the opposition to the Normandy/Twining petition but also actively organizing a slate of candidates for the November municipal election? City Council aides are paid by the taxpayers. Does the job description include active involvement in a political campaign and inviting people to committee hearings to berate other city councillors?
This is, of course, all speculation! Everyone likes a good whodunit.
There's also the rather curious timing of the Grand Alternative Vision for the Normandy/Twining properties introduced during the Ordinance Committee meeting by Councillor Carlone. Apparently this Grand Alternative Vision was known to activists with the Cambridge Residents Alliance prior to the meeting, but I'm not aware of any public availability of The Great Work prior to its appearance late in the Ordinance Committee meeting. This is interesting in light of Carlone's support of a recent Order that reads:
Order #8 (introduced Jan 29, referred to City Manager on Feb 20 for feasibility). That the City Manager is requested to ask all City Departments to have documents and presentations made available to the public and the City Council at least three business days in advance of the scheduled meeting to allow ample time for review. Councillor McGovern and Councillor Carlone
Apparently, Councillor Carlone now realizes that advanced notice is just not feasible, especially when there's the urgent need for a good delay tactic. I have no opinion of the merits of Carlone's Grand Alternative Vision, but I suppose if my drawing skills were better I could have hustled up some sketches as well. Together with the eternal delay in considering the recommendations of the C2 Committee issued many moons ago, perhaps my sketches would have included images of cans being kicked down the road along Mass. Ave. It is perhaps necessary to point out that the Normandy/Twining petition was introduced precisely because the City Council has done little more than kick the C2 can down the road for so long without any tangible action. At least that conversation might now actually begin.
I have to admit to being greatly entertained by statements by prominent CResA members about the wonderful possibilities of building housing on municipal parking lots in Central Square. These excited voices include those who signed the Area 4 Neighborhood Preservation Petition just a few years ago, a zoning petition that would have created a new Municipal Parking District MP in Central Square to include all of the parking lots along Bishop Allen Drive. The proposal included the following clauses in Section E:
8.1 - District MP shall not allow the construction of any permanent structures of any type whatsoever, except those necessary to collect parking fees, and/or provide charging facilities for electric vehicles. The maximum height of any permanent structure, other than for public lighting, must not exceed 15 feet, inclusive of signage.
8.2 - No residences, businesses, or other entities shall be permitted to construct structures in MP districts, except as follows: Public performances, festivals, community events, farmer's markets, and other temporary uses in accordance with procedures previously established by the Cambridge Traffic and Parking Department.
Signers of that "Permanent Parking Petition" included, among others, #1 (Susan Yanow), #4 (Charles Teague), #17 (Nancy M. Ryan), #18 (Paul Stone), #29 (Patricia Lee Farris), #30 (Jonathan King), #31 (Richard Goldberg), and #35 (Richard Krushnic). My favorite quote from the April 1 Ordinance Committee meeting after referral of the Normandy/Twinning petition with a positive recommendation: "It sucks. I can't believe they accepted permanently zoned parking on the residential side of Bishop Allen as part of the package," said Nancy Ryan.
In the end, the City Council voted 6-3 at the Ordinance Committee to move the Normandy/Twining petition to the full City Council without any additional consideration of Carlone's Grand Alternative Vision. It will undoubtedly make an appearance at the Planning Board hearing (Apr 28) on this matter and when the City Council discusses the Ordinance Committee report in a few weeks. Maybe the good people of the Planning Board will even incorporate some of its elements into its recommendations before issuing their report to the City Council. At least they'll have the advantage of seeing The Great Vision before their meeting. - RW
Regarding Campaign & Political Finance
Apr 4 - On the specific issue of "Money in Politics", I should perhaps more completely express my point of view on the subject. I believe in full disclosure of how much money is received by political candidates and who contributed that money. I also believe in the need for a clear account of campaign expenditures. The Commonwealth's Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) does a pretty good job of making that information easily available to the public. It's quite ironic that one of the loudest of the incumbent city councillors on the issue of "Money in Politics" actually does the lousiest job of providing clear campaign finance information to the OCPF. As the saying goes, "Do as I say, not as I do."
I don't really care what the individual campaign contribution limit is nor do I especially care if property owners/developers make sizable contributions to certain candidates - as long as it's all disclosed. People are free to draw any conclusions they want from the campaign finance information - even wrong-headed conclusions. Candidates and their campaigns are also free to draw attention to the "purity" of their campaign contributions if they feel that's a good tactic for winning an election, but let's understand this to be as much a tactic as a principled stand. Any such "clean" candidate then also has to fully understand the phrase "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." If a candidate chooses to question the integrity of other candidates, then that candidate should not be surprised when their own integrity is possibly questioned.
Personally, I would prefer that all candidates just stick to "the issues" and the presentation of their own viewpoints on where Cambridge should be heading and how, as an elected official, they might be able to contribute to that future. It's ironic when the supposedly "clean" candidates are the ones heaving the greatest amount of mud.
It's worth mentioning that historically those Cambridge municipal candidates who came from the tonier parts of town (Avon Hill, Shady Hill, Coolidge Hill, Brattle Street, the Larches) have always been able to generate sizable campaign chests with relatively minimal effort. Other candidates often have to work harder to generate campaign funds and it's pretty obvious that receiving a few big checks will free up time for other campaign activities. Few, if any, candidates enjoy having to be constantly begging for contributions.
In the end, I still have to come back to the fact that candidates like Craig Kelley and Fred Fantini manage to carry out successful campaigns on a shoestring simply by maintaining good contact with their constituents (most likely voters). Other candidates are learning to do this better (though I have to say that it's a bit fishy when the frequency of the candidate newsletters increases dramatically only during municipal election years). I would also prefer that City Council "aides" play no role whatsoever in what is so obviously their councillor's political campaign. If they choose to do that, their councillor really should list "City of Cambridge" among their in-kind contributors. It's all about full disclosure.
There's also the matter of the role of supposedly "non-profit" organizations (Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods, Cambridge Residents Alliance, and others) during municipal election campaigns and in their their year-round activities relating to municipal elections. At what point does carrying out a political agenda, including the support of candidate slates, run afoul of the laws regarding non-profit organizations? I'm not aware that these organizations even file their receipts and expenditures with the OCPF, though they really should. At least the old Cambridge Civic Association in its heyday never claimed non-profit status. It was simply an "association" and they even took the step to separate out the financial aspects of their biennial election activities from the finances of the association. Perhaps it's time to ask for full disclosure for all parties actively involved in the municipal elections. - RW
Back to Lafayette Square...
Apr 5 - The diversionary tactics surrounding the Normandy/Twining proposal for the Lafayette Square end of Central Square have included, among other things:
In truth, this is just a zoning petition that at its core attempts to realize some of the main themes espoused in the C2 recommendations - primarily residential development rather than office/lab development and a focus on enhanced ground floor retail and publicly accessible space for gathering, etc. Let's not forget that this whole latest wave of planning for Central Square was ignited by the Mayor's Red Ribbon Commission on the Delights and Concerns of Central Square that began meeting in 2010. That process culminated in a report that was finalized in December 2011. Though not so clearly spelled out in the formal report of the Red Ribbon Commission, one of the most prominent themes that emerged was the idea that Central Square could and should support a significant amount of new housing - especially for middle-income people.
This was followed by the so-called "C2 Committee" whose official name (Central Square Advisory Committee) unfortunately duplicated that of the existing committee established decades earlier with the designation of the Central Square Overlay District. That 21-person committee met frequently with consultant Goody/Clancy and the Community Development Department to develop a wide range of ideas and recommendations that were issued in a report in December 2012 and finalized the following year [Final Report].
One of the most central recommendations from the C2 Committee was that new housing should be seen as a desirable goal for Central Square and that permitting additional height to incentivize the creation of that housing was a good trade-off. Another core recommendation was that ground floor retail should be seen as a community benefit and that ideas like exclusion of the floor area of such retail space from density calculations or providing subsidies to retail tenants might be worthwhile incentives.
The C2 Report has now been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years due to City Council inaction. The Quest properties were bought by Normandy/Twining around the time the original C2 recommendations were issued and the new owners have clearly taken seriously the priorities spelled out in those recommendations. In the absence of a zoning plan from the City Council (or even a discussion), eventually Normandy/Twining introduced their own petition. This should not have come as a surprise to anyone.
Is the Normandy/Twining proposal the perfect expression of what would be best for Central Square? Perfection is a lot to ask. It is an interesting plan that takes into account a lot of constraints and desirable benefits. The nature of the Normandy/Twining properties puts a lot of constraints on what can be built - both physically and economically. They necessarily have to build around properties they don't own, and they attempt to make best use of a patchwork of parking facilities that were assembled over decades by the previous owners. They are choosing to build housing and ground-floor retail rather than labs and offices. They are responding to widely held desires for better interconnections with the surrounding neighborhood. They're also asking for building heights that may at first seem unprecedented until you look at the nearby Manning Apartments on Green Street that are of comparable height. They have promised a significant percentage (20%) of dwelling units to be set aside for people with limited incomes.
Reasonable people can disagree about the costs and benefits of the proposal, but it was clear from the start that this was a proposal that had to be seriously considered, and the fact that more people have spoken in favor of it at public meetings than those who are opposed is something that might not have been expected. (Personally, I don't believe the raw numbers of people who speak on any issue to be especially revealing.) The proposal is potentially a game-changer in terms of new transit-oriented residential development in Central Square with less required parking and with the potential to economically support existing Central Square businesses. - RW
Mass+Main Update (Apr 29)
For those who have been following the progress of the Normandy/Twining zoning petition (affecting an area at the Lafayette Square end of the Central Square Overlay District) that's been wending its way through the City Council's Ordinance Committee and the Planning Board, here's a brief update on where things stand:
For additional commentary on the process, see above. - RW
Normandy/Twining zoning petition ordained (May 18)
At Monday's City Council meeting (May 18, 2015), the Normandy/Twining zoning petition as amended was ordained on a 7-2 vote with Councillors Carlone and Mazen voting NO. A memorandum of understanding detailing a variety of committments was attached to the petition. - RW
Cambridge Fire Department, along with PRO EMS of Cambridge, have jointly received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline® EMS Silver Award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks.
Every year, more than 250,000 people experience a STEMI, or ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction, a type of heart attack caused by a complete blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by surgically opening the blocked vessel or by giving clot-busting medication.
Unfortunately, a significant number don't receive this prompt treatment. Mission: Lifeline seeks to save lives by closing the gaps that separate STEMI patients from timely access to appropriate treatments. Mission: Lifeline’s EMS recognition program recognizes emergency responders for their efforts in improving STEMI systems of care and improving the quality of life for these patients.
Emergency Medical System providers are vital to the success of Mission: Lifeline. EMS agencies provide access to 12-lead ECG machines (devices that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat and can help medical personnel determine if a heart attack has occurred), and follow protocols derived from American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines. The correct tools and training allow EMS providers to rapidly identify the STEMI, promptly notify the medical center, and trigger an early response from the awaiting hospital personnel.
Agencies that receive the Mission: Lifeline Silver award have demonstrated at least 75 percent compliance for each required achievement measure for the entire year, and treat at least eight STEMI patients for the year.
“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud Cambridge Fire Department and PRO EMS for achieving this award that shows they meet evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”
“Cambridge Fire Department and PRO EMS are dedicated to making our units among the best in the country, and the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program is helping us accomplish that by implementing processes for improving STEMI systems of care with the goal of improving the quality of care for all STEMI patients,” said Cambridge Fire Chief Gerry Reardon. “We are pleased to be recognized for our dedication and achievements in emergency medical care for STEMI patients.” For more information, contact Assistant Chief Gerard Mahoney, Phone: 617-349-4970. For more information about the program, visit: heart.org/missionlifeline.
City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees for the Cambridge Public Library. Library trustees are volunteer community representatives, library advocates, and leaders in the establishment of goals and policies for the Cambridge Public Library system. Trustees are a vital link between the library staff and the community and work to ensure the quality of library services, collections, and programs. This is an exciting opportunity to plan the future growth and priorities of the library as well as its long and short term goals and objectives.
Trustees serve a 3 year term and are expected to attend monthly board meetings and committee meetings. Attendance at community meetings and appropriate continuing education workshops may be required. Trustees are expected to articulate the library’s needs to the community and funders, seek funding for current programs and new initiatives, and to generally help promote the library.
Ideal candidates will have an interest in and passion for public libraries and an understanding of the importance of the public library as a center of information, culture, recreation, and life-long learning in the community. Candidates should also have knowledge of the community, including an awareness of diverse social and economic conditions, needs and interests of all groups. Strong verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking skills are required. Trustees work productively as a team.
To apply, a letter of interest and resume should be sent via email, mail or fax by June 1, 2015 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
c/o Susan Flannery, Director of Libraries
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA, 02138
Email: email@example.com; Fax: 617-349-4028
Join the Cambridge Water Department at its 8th annual Fresh Pond Day on Saturday, May 30, from 11am-3pm to celebrate Fresh Pond Reservation, Cambridge’s in-city drinking water reservoir and urban wild. This event is free and open to all; all dogs must be leashed.
The festivities are held around the Water Treatment Facility at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway. Use of public transit and bicycles to get to the event is strongly encouraged, especially for those wanting to participate in the bike parade! Visitors arriving by car are asked to park at the Tobin School on 197 Vassal Lane.
Fresh Pond Day is an occasion for all ages to jubilate in honor of Fresh Pond Reservation, which protects the City’s drinking water supply, is critical wildlife habitat, and provides Cantabrigians with a green, recreational oasis.
The day’s schedule of events includes:
All-day highlights include: live music by Lux, Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band, and the Wicked Pickers; kids’ activities, StoryWalk and book giveaway; face painting; truck climb-aboards; bike tune-up and flair stations; dog training clinics; pedi-cab rides; a chance to meet and greet with City staff and community groups; and more!
Feel free to bring a picnic. Rain does cancel the event. For schedule and weather updates, and to get involved, visit www.cambridgema.gov/freshpondday, or contact Kirsten Lindquist at 617-349-6489, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Behind King Open School, between Willow and Berkshire streets).
Rain Location: King Open School Cafeteria
The Agenda for Children, the Center for Families and the Cambridge Health Alliance invites families to come and join us for a reading adventure at Donnelly Field.
Pages from the children's books Forest Bright, Forest Night and One Hot Summer Day will be posted along the field. Parents and kids can enjoy free pizza, books, arts and crafts, along with a special performance by Silly Sally.
For more information about StoryWalk, contact Priscila de Calvache at 617-665-3825 or email@example.com.
LETTER: Mass+Main's affordable housing units are critical for Cambridge (Ellen Shachter, May 8, 2015)
Cambridge councilors ask for clarity in roadwork projects (Sara Feijo, May 7, 2015)
Cambridge's MLK School to open this summer (Sara Feijo, May 7, 2015)
Cambridge City Council backs Foundry plan with $6M (Sara Feijo, May 6, 2015)
Cambridge Police promotes Joseph Wilson to superintendent (May 6, 2015)
Guest column: Permit more housing in Cambridge to slow rising costs (Mark Boyes-Watson, May 5, 2015)
Proposed Cambridge school budget up 4.6 percent; district to add 29 fulltime positions (Sara Feijo, Apr 30, 2015)
MIT unveils memorial for Sean Collier (by Sara Feijo, Apr 30, 2015)
Mass+Main plan moves forward in Central Square (by Sara Feijo, Apr 29, 2015)
Cambridge city manager proposes $546M budget (by Sara Feijo, Apr 29, 2015)
A likely friendship: Volunteer honored after helping Cambridge man for 20 years (by Erin Baldassari, Apr 23, 2015)
Cambridge's Berman recognized as distance-running trailblazer (by Dan Guttenplan, Apr 17, 2015)
Housing prices soar after years of stability in Cambridge (by Danielle McLean, Apr 17, 2015)
Cambridge councillors' actions fuel strong criticism from rest of board (by Sara Feijo, Apr 15, 2015 - account of Apr 13 Council meeting)
Cambridge Police Department Announces Series of Bike Safety Month & Bike Week Initiatives
With National Bike Safety Month and Bay State Bike Week taking place in May, the Cambridge Police have a number of events, initiatives and materials planned to increase the safety of all people who walk, cycle or drive.
*Free breakfast, as available, generously provided by Charles River TMA
On-Bike Training & Bike Rides
Be sure to view a complete list of events coordinated by the Community Development Department on their website.
Electronic Sign Boards
content taken from Cambridge Police Dept. press release
Perhaps the most common problem I see are bike lanes painted on streets in such a way that right-turning motor vehicles are encouraged to turn across the bike lane at intersections. This is common along Massachusetts Avenue westbound from MIT heading toward Central Square, and I see near-misses daily. In those locations it would be much safer without the bike lane or with the lane reconfigured so that right-turning vehicles would be directed to move as far right as possible prior to turning - as required by state law. Cyclists being "right hooked" by turning vehicles is probably the most common cause of crashes.
Another reality that I witness every day is the dysfunction of the Vassar Street "cycle track". This sidewalk-based bike facility was constructed in such a way that delivery vehicles, taxis, and other vehicles have no other option than to drive up onto the sidewalk (and the cycle track) in order to do what they need to do. I don't fault the drivers in any way since there really is no other practical option. I'm entertained when I see official City photos of this facility showing nothing but right-way cyclists riding along an unobstructed path. The everyday reality is that cyclists routinely ride wrong-way on this track and pedestrians generally make no distinction between the track and the rest of the sidewalk. It's like an obstacle course of pedestrians, parked vehicles, and turning vehicles and an accident waiting to happen. The better option is to ride in the roadway, but the right-of-way has been narrowed to the point where you generally have to "take the lane" to ensure your safety. Crossing Vassar is easily the riskiest part of my daily commute.
If I could have one wish granted it would be that City officials seriously reevaluate some of their decisions regarding bicycling infrastructure. - Robert Winters
MIT's Kendall Square Initiative
To the members of the MIT community,
We write to tell you about exciting developments in MIT's Kendall Square and east campus design process, the planning study for west campus, and key steps we are taking regarding housing for our graduate and undergraduate students.
In pursuing these opportunities, we have benefited tremendously from five years of substantive input and analysis from the Cambridge and MIT communities. This has included an extensive public process, the Task Force on Community Engagement in 2030 Planning report, the Graduate Student Housing Working Group report, the East Campus/Kendall Gateway Urban Design Study with guidance of the East Campus Steering Committee, and key leadership from the School of Architecture and Planning. We will continue this path of engagement, ensuring significant faculty and student involvement in the working groups discussed below. We are also creating opportunities for the community to offer input to the process in the coming months.
Next steps in the design process for Kendall/east campus
In our September 23 communication, we described the process for selecting the Kendall/east campus architectural firms and announced the teams designated to design the individual buildings in the development area. Recognizing the value provided in the past, we have re-launched the East Campus Steering Committee and are continuing to rely on the expertise of School of Architecture and Planning faculty, as well as the vital input of student representatives. The newly-formed faculty Committee on Campus Planning has been briefed on the overall vision for the MIT campus, as well as the plans for Kendall/east campus, and we are committed to collaborating closely with the Committee to ensure that our shared visions for the campus are being realized.
The planning team has been focused on increasing the vitality of the Kendall/east campus area, by incorporating the diverse uses that have been recommended by all sectors of the MIT and Cambridge communities — hoousing, connected open spaces, retail, innovation space, childcare, and commercial space. The plan also identifies a prominent location for the MIT Museum and assures the incorporation of elements that reflect the essence of MIT in the gateway area.
The site plan below shows the proposed uses for the various parcels. Details regarding precise configurations, square footage, height, and number of housing units are still being examined as the design process proceeds, and will be shared at a community meeting when available. The plan will reflect the approved zoning for the district, and we believe this plan will serve to propel the area towards the objective of creating a vibrant mixed-used center with a captivating gateway to the MIT campus while preserving capacity for future academic uses.
Thanks to the engagement of the Cambridge and MIT communities and the recommendations from the Graduate Student Housing Working Group, we now have an enhanced understanding and a robust plan for housing. Graduate student housing is designated at site O, and we are committed to completing new housing prior to replacing Eastgate Apartments. Site O has the capacity to replace all of the housing in Eastgate (201 units), and provide approximately 270 additional units of graduate housing. Residential housing is planned for Site L on the north side of Main Street, with a mix of affordable, innovation and market rate units. We believe that the presence of new housing together with significantly expanded retail spaces and improved public space will play an integral role in enhancing the liveliness of the area, and opportunities for additional graduate student housing are also being explored in the west campus area.
We look forward to sharing proposed building designs for Kendall/east campus at initial community meetings on May 6th. Once we have had the opportunity to collect broad feedback, we will submit design schemes to the Cambridge Planning Board for its public hearing and review process.
Unlocking the west campus potential
Over the past few months we have initiated a formal planning process for the west and northwest areas of campus. The intent of the current study is to create a long–range development framework to accommodate futuure academic and residential uses on the MIT campus west of Massachusetts Avenue to complement east campus design efforts and the ongoing renewal of the main campus. We have also formed the West Campus Steering Committee to provide input as the west campus study team works to identify sites to accommodate potential new building initiatives, including undergraduate and graduate housing. Student representation on the Steering Committee is key to the west campus study.
Similar to the east campus plan, there is great interest in enhancing the west campus area in order to bring more vibrancy to MIT's main entrance. A temporary open space landscape will be created on the site of Bexley Hall, and a series of open spaces and walkways are being envisioned as part of the overall west campus design framework. We are working to understand development capacity and the urban design opportunities this capacity holds for the future of west campus.
A critical part of MIT's campus renewal program is the renovation of some of our undergraduate residence halls. We are working on strategies to sequence the renewal of the residences, and are considering opportunities to add to our housing capacity to enable renovation of the residence halls. In the context of the west campus planning study, we are evaluating the possibility of developing the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse as an exciting site for a mixed-use development. It could possibly include undergraduate residences, maker space on the first floor, collaborative spaces on the top level, and retail along Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street. The Metropolitan Warehouse Advisory Group, being led by the Offices of the Associate Provost for Space Planning and Campus Planning, also includes students and a wide cross-section of the MIT community.
We are also studying additional sites to accommodate new housing for graduate students and opportunities to renovate the graduate residences in west campus. We have accepted the recommendation of the Graduate Student Housing Working Group, which identified the need to provide housing to accommodate an additional 500-600 graduate students beyond what is currently available, and will work toward achieving this target over time with developments in both the east and west campus areas.
Share your thoughts
These two processes in the Kendall/east campus area and now in the west campus area have been shaped in great measure by the steady commitment and energetic involvement of many members of the MIT and Cambridge communities. Over these past few years, we have learned a great deal about what is important to various sectors of our community, and believe that the Kendall/east campus plan now holistically reflects our shared values. This learning process has led us to approach the west campus planning effort in a very similar fashion. As is our practice, there will be many opportunities for information sharing and the solicitation of input as we proceed.
In the meantime, we encourage you to share your thoughts on either of these processes by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your past and future involvement as we work to shape our campus to reflect MIT's spirit of innovation and collaboration.
Wed, May 6
Noon-2:00pm Presentation on MIT's Kendall Square Initiative (MIT Student Center, W20 Room 491 - A light lunch will be provided.)
6:00-8:00pm Presentation on MIT's Kendall Square Initiative (Kendall Marriott at 50 Broadway - A light supper will be provided.)
The Cambridge Veterans' Organization (CVO) and Cambridge Veterans' Services will hold their annual Memorial Day Parade and Observance on Monday, May 25, 2015. The Parade will begin with a cannon salute by the MA Bicentennial Battery at 9:30am, on the Cambridge Common and proceed through Harvard Square, up Mount Auburn Street to Coolidge Avenue, and conclude at the Cambridge Cemetery on Coolidge Avenue. Cambridge Mayor David Maher and CVO President Philip Anderson will serve as parade commentators.
Parade participants will include: veterans’ groups, elected officials, police and fire personnel, color guards, bands, drill teams and youth organizations.
Following the parade, a Memorial Day Observance will be held at the Cambridge Cemetery. (Approximate start time: 11:00am) CVO President Philip Anderson will serve as Master of Ceremonies. CVO Chaplain Paul Kim will give the Invocation and Benediction and City of Cambridge Police Sargent and Massachusetts Army National Guard Veteran Maj. Thomas Glynn will deliver the keynote address.
Mayor David Maher will give the greetings of the city and City Councillor Marc McGovern will read the City Council’s Memorial Day Resolution. Amigos School 4th graders will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and a CRLS Drama student will read the Governor's Memorial Day Proclamation.
In addition, a CRLS student vocalist will sing the National Anthem, America the Beautiful and God Bless America. Bagpiper, Edward O’Callaghan will Play “Amazing Grace.” The CVO Rifle team along with the Massachusetts Bicentennial Battery will render a rifle salute, and Bugler, Robinson Pyle will blow “TAPS.”
Following the memorial observance, the Women's Auxiliary of the Veterans’ of Foreign Wars accompanied by local elected officials will hold a brief memorial ceremony at the Weeks Bridge in honor of the Cambridge servicemen and women who were lost at sea.
The public is cordially invited to attend all of the Memorial Day events and activities.
Immediately following the day’s events, a collation, hosted by the Cambridge Veterans' Organization will be held at the VFW Mt. Auburn Post, #8818, located at 688 Huron Avenue.
THERE IS VERY LIMITED PARKING AVAILABLE AT THE VFW. COLLATION ATTENDEES ARE ENCOURAGED TO RIDE THE VETERANS TROLLEYS THAT WILL BE LOCATED AT THE CEMETERY. THE TROLLEYS WILL RETURN YOU TO THE CAMBRIDGE COMMON OR THE CEMETERY AFTER THE COLLATION.
For further information, please call Cambridge Veterans Services at (617) 349-4761.
Cambridge councillors raise concerns over CHA's psychiatric merger (by Monica Jimenez, Apr 14, 2015)
Cambridge Police to crack down on texting (Apr 13, 2015)
Neighbors honor longtime Cambridge cobbler at doc screening (by Sara Feijo, Apr 11, 2015)
Volpe reps say Cambridge development to be a collaboration (by Sara Feijo, Apr 11, 2015)
Cambridge schools begin superintendent search (by Sara Feijo, Apr 9, 2015)
Free Wi-Fi, trees, public toilet top citizens' budget choices for Cambridge (by Monica Jimenez, Apr 8, 2015)
April 8 – April Showers Bring Limited Time Offer on Rain Barrels
Capture the rainwater from your roof and store it in a rain barrel for later use in your garden. Purchase a 60-gallon rainwater collection system for $79.00. This offer is valid until May 14th. To provide the lowest cost, the company is arranging for a general delivery of the rain barrels on Thursday, May 21st , from 4-7pm, at Cambridge DPW yard, 147 Hampshire Street.
If rainwater is not captured and allowed to soak back into the ground, rivers and streams do not have the chance to sustain or "recharge" themselves. By capturing rainwater, you are reducing stormwater runoff, conserving water and recharging the groundwater. A local non-profit agency, Green Cambridge (www.greencambridge.org), is offering to install rain barrels for Cambridge residents free of charge. If you prefer to install them yourself, the rain barrel arrives with simple instructions for fast and easy installation.
For more information, to order online and to check out the new design and variety of color options log onto The Great American Rain Barrel Company website: www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com, click on “Shop Local Programs” and select “Cambridge”. You can also order by phone (800-251-2352) toll free when specifying the City of Cambridge promotion.
April 17, 2015 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Outstanding City Employee Award.
Janice Alger, Assistant Director of Administration, Human Services Department
Kara Armstrong, Administrative Assistant, License Commission
Sidney Botelho, Communications Supervisor, Emergency Communications Department
Karen Brown, Deputy Director, Library
Maryellen Carvello, Office Manager, Executive Office
Tyrell Dortch, Youth Center Program Director, Human Services Department
Juan Galindo, Working Foreman/Laborer, Department of Public Works
Brian Gover, Deputy Chief, Fire Department
Priscilla Lopes, Career Counselor, Human Services Department
Paul Ryder, Division Head/Recreation Director, Human Services Department
Anthony Tuccinardi, Housing Inspector, Inspectional Services Department
The City Manager will also be presenting a special award in memory and honor of Assistant City Manager Brian Murphy to a person who is committed to making government improve the lives of others. [Update: DPW Commissioner Owen O'Riordan was chosen to receive this award - a perfect choice. - RW]
Recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 1, 2015, at 9:30am, in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall, for their superior performance, positive attitude, hard work and dedication to public service. All are welcome to attend.
April 7, 2015 – During a Vote Results Party April 7 at the Citywide Senior Center, City officials, along with Budget and Finance staff, announced the winning projects of the Cambridge's first ever Participatory Budgeting (PB) process. Launched in the fall, PB enabled residents to directly decide how to spend $500,000 of the FY16 Capital Budget. Over 380 ideas for projects to improve Cambridge were submitted. From January to March, 40 volunteer Budget Delegates prioritized and developed those ideas into 20 concrete project proposals to be placed on a ballot for the community to vote on.
Over 2,700 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted online and at events around town to decide which projects the City should fund.
The following six projects won PB funding for FY16:
The above projects totaling $527,400 will be implemented as part of the City of Cambridge FY16 Capital Budget.
Many thanks to the PB Cambridge Steering Committee, the Budget Delegates, the Participatory Budgeting Project, City staff, the Stanford Crowdsourced Democracy Team, and all of the volunteers and participants who helped make this pilot initiative a great success!
Want to get involved? We’re launching the second round of Participatory Budgeting this summer. Find out more at www.cambridgema.gov/yourbudget.
On Tuesday, April 21, the city’s contractor, Newport Construction, will begin roadway and sidewalk reconstruction on Main St between Ames St and Wadsworth. The road work is expected to take about 1 month to complete, while the sidewalk work will be ongoing throughout the spring and summer. During the road work phase, Main St will function as a one way. While crews reconstruct the eastbound lanes, only westbound traffic on Main St will be permitted. When crews switch to the westbound side, only eastbound traffic will be permitted. MBTA, trolley and EZ Ride stops may be adjusted during the road work. Please check signs for temporary stop locations.
Additional information and project plans are available online at: www.cambridgema.gov/theworks/cityprojects.aspx, under Main Street Reconstruction Project.
April 9 – Connect Kendall Square Open Space Competition The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce the selection of Somerville based Richard Burck Associates as the winner of the Connect Kendall Square Open Space Planning Competition. Richard Burck Associates was chosen by a six member jury after the culmination of a three stage process spanning eight months.
Four teams of finalists were charged with developing an open space plan framework guided by a vision and planning and design goals identified through a robust public process spearheaded by the City and the Eastern Cambridge and Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Study Committee. The goals included promoting complementary uniqueness, establishing activations strategies, building an identity, and elevating the user experience. The teams presented their framework plans to the competition jury and the general public on March 25-26, 2015.
The competition, sponsored by the City’s Community Development Department, was a unique opportunity to develop a plan to implement the vision for the entire open space network in Kendall Square and eastern Cambridge and vicinity. Launched July 2014, Connect Kendall Square was a departure from more traditional planning processes, and even unique among competition formats. The competition generated creative ideas and thinking on strategies to use open space and the public realm to better connect Kendall Square to surrounding neighborhoods, and also create a sense of place and identity. The winning framework plan will serve as a means of informing park designs, the character and role of both public and private open spaces in the area, and even decisions regarding infrastructure, city policy and future development.
The framework plan presented by Richard Burck Associates is structured on better connecting the Charles River to Kendall Square, and then better connecting Kendall Square to its surrounding parks, neighborhoods and MIT. This layered effort encompasses organizing new urban form to feature open space connectedness, connecting a series of sustainable storm water strategies, and developing strong pedestrian connections throughout the project area. This "dendritic" pattern overlaid on Kendall Square describes circulation moving in an increasing concentrated way to the Charles River. It's a pattern with historic roots rich with interpretive possibilities in connecting Kendall Square today.
The competition jury consisted of Ethan Carr, PhD, FASLA, professor of landscape architecture at University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Candace Damon, Vice Chairman of HR&A Advisors, Inc.; Robin Moore, professor of landscape architecture and Director, Natural Learning Initiative, NC State University; Inga Saffron, architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer; Michael Singer, artist and designer; and alternate juror J. Roger Boothe, former Director of Urban Design for the City of Cambridge. More information about the Jury’s selection and evaluation is available in the Jury Report.
For more information, visit the project page or competition website, or contact Taha Jennings at email@example.com or 617-349-4302.
7th Annual Cambridge Arts Open Studios
Saturday, May 9th & Sunday, May 10th
12 noon - 6:00pm
Explore the work of over 100 visual and performing artists over one vibrant weekend! Celebrate the special women in your life with a memorable mother's day weekend celebration of the visual and performing arts in Cambridge. Discover exceptional works of art and find unique presents to wrap up for mom.
New this year, performing artists are paired with visual artists for engaging and intimate performances in studios and common venues throughout the city.
Visit cambridgeartscouncil.org/openstudios to plan your visit!
Date: Wed, May 6
Pollinators are essential to our ecosystem – more than 85 percent of the world's flowering plants and two-thirds of our agricultural crops depend upon them for reproduction. In many places, however, their essential service is at risk. Loss of habitat due to urbanization and use of pesticides are causing declines in both managed honey bee colonies and native pollinator populations. Come learn about the fascinating and diverse world of New England’s native pollinators – bees, butterflies, flies, beetles, and wasps – and about the latest science-based approaches to reversing pollinator declines by protecting and managing habitat for these vital insects.
Kelly Gill is the Pollinator Conservation Specialist for the Xerces Society and a Partner Biologist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Xerces Society has worked for over 40 years on pollinator conservation and is well known for its best-selling book Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. [Flyer for Evening with Experts lecture series]
Apr 30, 2015 - The Board of Election Commissioners elected officers at its Annual Organizational Meeting on April 29, 2015. Elected as follows were: Polyxane S. Cobb, Chair; Larry W. Ward, Vice-Chair; Peter Sheinfeld, Secretary; and Ethridge A. King, Jr., Vice-Secretary. Mr. King was recently re-appointed by City Manager, Richard C. Rossi for a term beginning on April 1, 2015.
April 9 – This notice is required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as an annual update on the progress of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) control measures that are underway to improve the water quality of Alewife Brook.
JOINT PUBLIC NOTICE - APRIL 2015
Alewife Brook Combined Sewer Overflow Control Progress Update
Residents with property that lies in the extended 100-year floodplain of Alewife Brook as established and currently in effect by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will receive a direct notice in the mail in mid-April. For more information, please refer to the notice or contact Catherine Daly Woodbury at Public Works at 617-349-4818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 13, 2015 – City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking members for the Transit Advisory Committee, which works to advance an agenda for a robust public transportation system for those who live and work in Cambridge. The committee is composed of a cross section of stakeholders that advise on city positions and policies regarding long term sustainable funding for transit by the Commonwealth, transit expansion, service planning, and service improvements. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30-7:30pm, at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.
Applications are sought by dedicated individuals who live or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as review materials and potentially engage in projects outside of regular meetings. To apply, please prepare a cover letter indicating your interest and any relevant knowledge and experience you may have in this area, and specific issues you would like to contribute time to working on. Please be sure to include your mailing address, phone number, and email. The application deadline is Friday, May 1. Please forward letters of interest via mail or email to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
c/o Diane Bongiorno
Cambridge Community Development Department
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service. For more information, call Tegin Bennett at 617-349-4615 or email email@example.com. Visit the committee’s webpage at: cambridgema.gov/CDD/Transportation/forthepublic/transitadvisorycommittee
April 7, 2015 – As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, Mayor David P. Maher and City Manager Richard C. Rossi announced that Cambridge has joined 73 cities and counties to file a new friend-of-the-court brief in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit, urging immediate implementation of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The brief demonstrates robust support from the country’s largest cities – as well as its suburbs and rural areas – for the President’s reforms, which will provide temporary relief from deportation to immigrants with longstanding ties to the U.S. who pass a background check and meet other criteria.
The cities and counties – representing 43 million people across the country – argue that the district court judge who temporarily blocked implementation of the programs failed to consider the significant harms to America’s local governments caused by this delay. The brief more than doubles the number of local governments that had previously voiced opposition to the lawsuit brought by states seeking to block President Obama’s immigration reform efforts.
“Cambridge is home to immigrants from across the world and these residents help make our city the vibrant and diverse community that we are so proud of,” said Mayor Maher. “I am pleased to join other Mayors and city leaders to urge swift action on immigration reform which will strengthen families, grow our economy and reward the hard work and determination of those seeking the American dream both in Cambridge and across the country.”
As part of Cities United for Immigration Action, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti led the effort to organize more than 70 cities and counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in arguing that the national public interest is served clearly and overwhelmingly by implementing immigration relief by executive action without delay. The brief also argues that the District Court judge’s decision to block executive action with a preliminary injunction is bad for the economy, hurts families, threatens law enforcement priorities, and will stall desperately needed changes to the federal government’s immigration policies.
THE SEGREGATION OF THE STREET - With all the swirling controversy about whether to install segregated bicycle facilities on Pearl Street, this article provides a great perspective on the difference between perceived safety and actual safety.
The Cambridge Bicycle Committee (or, to be more precise, current and former members and others who share their mindset) has a Facebook page [Cambridge Bikes!]. It's been interesting hearing what some of the members are saying in response to Councillor Toomey's proposed Order questioning the removal of parking on one side of Pearl Street from Central Square to the Charles River in order to segregate cyclists. Here are some gems:
Tom Meek - The message is the city wants to get more people on bikes.... Don't like it make a pretty $$$ on your house and move elsewhere where you can buy a pad with a big driveway for 1/2 as much lol
Matt Carphree - Street parking in Cambridge costs the user less than 7 cents a day. A nickel, and two pennies to rent 200 square feet of prime real estate in one of the thirty most population dense cities in the USA. Hellas yeah if I was on that crack, I'd fight anyone threatening to take it away!
Matt Carphree (Parking scarcity is never a supply problem. It's a pricing problem)
Douglas M. Kline - In addition to the points already made (to amplify one, an annual resident parking sticker should cost at least $1,000 and as much as $2,000 in some neighborhoods and that would put a dent in the demand for on-street parking), no one promised that on-street parking would always be available and life is full of risk. Car owners have a lot of nerve assuming that they will always have what they should never have been given in the first place. Also the distinction between adding cars and taking away spots is hardly more than semantic unless you intend to take away a spot for each car that is sold or whose owner moves away and doesn't expect to regularly use the space any more such that spots for cars currently owned by current residents are grandfathered in and others are eliminated and all on-street parking will eventually be eliminated.
The more I hear from these people of the Cambridge Bicycle Committee the more I am convinced that they're out of control and that Councillor Toomey's Order is both timely and appropriate. Rarely have I seen this level of self-righteous hostility in Cambridge - and I'm a year-round daily cyclist. - Robert Winters
PS - Here's a sterling example of a graphic that violates every principle of statistical survey design:
The image on the left suggests a cyclist about to be run over by a bus. That's the image used to illustrate the Pearl Street design option the Bicycle Committee and its staff does not want you to choose. It's in the online survey instrument they circulated among people they hope will vote the way they want. The inclusion of this graphic renders the survey invalid. That's Statistics 101.
City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking individuals interested in serving on the Cambridge Peace Commission. Composed of up to 20 members who serve three-year terms and represent the socioeconomic, racial, and ethnic diversity of the city, the Peace Commission meets on the third Wednesday of most months at 6:00pm, at 51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room, Cambridge. Prospective members must reside in Cambridge.
Commission members are volunteers appointed by the City Manager who work with the staff in fulfilling the mission of the Cambridge Peace Commission and in accomplishing its goals. Members are expected to attend regular meetings, participate in organizing the Commission’s events and activities, and do some work outside of Commission meetings. Members are encouraged to learn about the day-to-day work and projects of the staff, and offer advice and viewpoints that reflect the Commission’s mission and role within City government.
As a department of the City of Cambridge, the Peace Commission works with other municipal agencies, communities of faith, nonprofit organizations, and the community as a whole to build connections and strengthen relationships, and to promote positive dialogue and foster understanding. The Commission fosters a community where differences and diversity are understood and celebrated, so that all residents can contribute to making Cambridge an equitable and peaceful community. It pays special attention to traumatic events and violence affecting Cambridge and its residents, and coordinates and supports compassionate community responses to support recovery and healing.
The Commission supports Cambridge’s Sister City relationships, including those with: Les Cayes, Haiti; San José Las Flores, El Salvador; and Yerevan, Armenia. It also celebrates Cambridge residents and local efforts with recognition programs and events, and raises awareness about local and global peace and social justice issues through educational forums, discussions, and presentations. For more information about the Commission, see its web page at www.cambridgema.gov/peace.
A letter of interest with a brief résumé should be sent via e-mail, mail or fax by April 27, 2015 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307
Apr 14, 2015 - Rhythm & Blues singer Percy Sledge died this morning in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at the age of 73. He is best known for his unforgettable classic 1966 hit "When a Man Loves a Woman," which reached No. 1 on the charts.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin street sweeping operations on Wednesday, April 1. Cambridge’s monthly street sweeping operations run from April through December each year. In addition to neighborhood sweeping, City squares are cleaned daily by both mechanical street sweepers and by hand crews.
“We’ve had a very severe winter and with all of the snow a lot of debris has gathered and remains on sidewalks and in gutter lines. Some roadways may have snow within the parking lanes, and our crews will maneuver street sweeping equipment to clean in between snow piles to the extent possible. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to remove the remaining snow, crews are now being deployed for street and park maintenance and there is an enormous amount of work that needs to be done in both of these areas.” said DPW Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. “The first month of street sweeping is critical, given that the streets have not been swept since last November/December.”
Cambridge’s Street cleaning program plays an important role in the city’s stormwater management program. By sweeping up sand and other debris, catch basins are kept clean and able to function efficiently. This debris also contains heavy metal particles and chemicals that get deposited on roadways through the wear and tear of vehicle parts, and leaking engine fluids, and so an effective street sweeping program also helps reduce a significant source of pollution to the Charles River and the Alewife Brook.
For information on street cleaning operations, visit CambridgeMA.Gov or call the Department of Public Works at (617) 349-4800. Residents are encouraged to sign up to receive weekly email notifications regarding street cleaning in their neighborhood through the City’s Eline notification system at www.cambridgema.gov/eline . Updates are also available on Twitter at @CambMA and Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov.
The temporary one-way streets created in East Cambridge in February because of snow impacts will return to their previous two-way traffic pattern as of Wednesday, April 1. The affected streets include: Otis St, Thorndike St, Hurley St, Fifth St, and Sciarappa St. Crews will begin removing “Do Not Enter” signs throughout the neighborhood on March 31. Coinciding with the return of the regular traffic patterns in East Cambridge is the beginning of the City’s monthly street cleaning operations.
“We appreciate the support that we received from East Cambridge residents in observing the temporary one-way streets this winter,” said Joseph Barr, Director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department. “The street cleaning operations that will occur this Wednesday and Thursday in the neighborhood should facilitate resident’s repositioning their vehicles parked on the affected streets so that they are facing in the appropriate direction.”
Beginning on Monday April 13, parked vehicles that are facing the wrong way will be ticketed. Drivers are asked when returning to the area, that they park their vehicle in the appropriate direction.
Residents with questions about these traffic changes can contact the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at 617-349-4723 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce the launch of a Sidewalk Poetry Program, designed to stamp poems written by Cambridge residents into freshly poured sidewalk locations throughout the City. A collaboration of the Department of Public Works, Cambridge Arts, and the Cambridge Public Library, the Sidewalk Poetry Program will launch with a Poetry Contest to select several poems for 2015.
The Cambridge Sidewalk Poetry Program was inspired by a similar ongoing program in St. Paul, Minnesota, begun in 2008 by artist Marcus Young as artist-in-residence in the St. Paul Department of Public Works. St. Paul has over 450 poems in St. Paul sidewalks to date. The Cambridge program will integrate poetry into its routine sidewalk repairs. The fresh concrete necessary when the City pours new sidewalk panels will provide an opportunity to stamp a poem in selected locations throughout the City.
Any Cambridge resident of any age is invited to submit up to two poems to the 2015 Sidewalk Poetry Contest. Poems will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of representatives from Cambridge Public Works, Cambridge Public Library, and Cambridge Arts, as well as a former Poet Populist and a Cambridge high school student. The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm on Sunday, April 12, 2015. Winners will be announced on Thursday, April 30, 2015. For more information on submission guidelines and how to submit poems, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/sidewalkpoetry
The Cambridge Animal Commission is sponsoring a Rabies Vaccination Clinic for Dogs only Saturday April 11, from 9-11am, in the Public Works lot, 147 Hampshire St., Cambridge. The cost is $15 per dog. Rabies vaccinations are required by Massachusetts General Laws. A Microchip Clinic, sponsored by All Dog Rescue, will also be available at this clinic at a cost of $20 per dog.
For your pet’s safety, dogs must be leashed at all times. Please note that also per state law, every dog over the age of 6 months is required to have a current dog license. Dog licenses for the license period from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 will be available at this clinic. Pet owners are also welcome to stop by to pick up a license if their dog is up to date on its rabies vaccination. Cost of the license is $8 for spayed/neutered dogs or $25 for non-spayed/neutered dogs.
Controlling your dog at all times is also an excellent way to keep them protected. When you are outside with your dog, please make sure to obey the leash law. Also, to keep our community, parks and open space clean, owners are required by law to carry means to pick up and dispose of their dog’s waste. The city does supply dog waste bags but the responsibility to have means of disposal and to pick up is entirely on the owner or keeper of the dog.
When walking your dog in shared use areas, always have your dog under control and within your sight (particularly at Fresh Pond). Please note that there are fundamental elements of these regulations that are posted at the shared use areas and also at the designated dog parks in the city. Cat owners should keep their cats indoors; it’s a safe and controlled environment.
As always the Cambridge Animal Commission would like to remind dog owners of the three L’s of dog ownership – License, Leash and Love your pet.
If your cat needs to be vaccinated, there are clinics in the area that administer low cost programs for rabies vaccinations. For more information, please call the Cambridge Animal Commission at 617-349-4376.
OBITUARY: WILLIAM G. "BILLY" MAHER Jr, brother of Mayor David Maher
Maher, William G. "Billy" Jr. 60, suddenly of Cambridge, April 3, 2015. Beloved son of Lillian T. (Cullen) and the late William G. Maher (CPD). Billy was the proud and loving father of Courtney L. Maher. Brother of Mary T. Maher, Catherine Hepner and Cambridge Mayor David P. Maher. Also survived by his nieces Kendyl Maher-Trumble and Betsy Hepner and his nephew Cpl. Andrew Hepner (USMC). Billy also leaves his devoted former wife Mary E. (Cremens) Maher and loving members of the Cremens family as well as Courtney's mother Yvonne LaRose. He is also survived by several aunts and cousins.
Funeral from the Brown & Hickey Funeral Home, 36 Trapelo Rd., BELMONT, Thursday, April 9th at 9AM, followed by a Rite of Christian Burial in St. Peter's Church, 100 Concord Avenue, Cambridge, at 10AM. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Visiting hours Wednesday 4-8PM. Interment Cambridge Cemetery. Donations may be made in Billy's memory to Cambridge Family and Children's Service, 60 Gore Street, Cambridge 02141 or to the Wounded Warrior Project, 150 Cambridge Park Drive, Cambridge, 02140.
Mar 27 (from Marc McGovern) - The Mayor's Income Insecurity Commission is looking at how expensive it is to live in Cambridge and what an individual or family needs to be financially secure. They created a survey (link below) and hope that you will take a few minutes to fill it out. It is only 12 questions. They are looking for Cambridge residents of at all income levels to take part. The survey is confidential. Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FDP3M28
On March 17, the City and its consultant presented the preliminary findings of its Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. The slides from that presentation may be viewed here. Additional reference materials may be found here. An interim report and technical appendices will be issued by the end of April.
The Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (CRA) announced on Feb 18, 2015 the establishment of the Forward Fund, a new microgrant program intended to support innovative pilot projects by non-profit organizations, community groups, and small businesses throughout Cambridge. They will be awarding Planning & Design grants up to $2,500 and Capital grants up to $10,000 for a wide variety of projects that contribute to the civic and social capital of Cambridge.
Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking nominations for the 2015 Outstanding City Employee Awards program which recognizes employees for exemplary performance and contributions that go above and beyond job requirements.
Cambridge city government is made up of dedicated employees who strive to provide a high level of quality services to all its citizens. The annual awards ceremony provides a special opportunity to give some well deserved recognition to a handful of deserving individuals. Winners will be recognized at a special awards ceremony on Friday, May 1, 2015.
Outstanding City Employee Awards are designed to recognize contributions that are above and beyond job requirements. Criteria for determining outstanding performance include:
All City employees at all levels of the City workforce are eligible for nomination. Anyone who lives or works in Cambridge may nominate one or more City employees for recognition. Individuals are not limited as to how many employees s/he chooses to nominate but must submit a separate Nomination Form or letter for each employee. An employee may not nominate her or his own supervisor or department head for recognition.
Online Nomination Forms can be accessed from this news story at www.cambridgema.gov. A signed nomination letter may be submitted instead of the nomination form. Completed nominations must be submitted to the Personnel Department by Monday, April 6, 2015. In addition, you may email nominations to email@example.com or fax to the Personnel Department at 617-349-4312. For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4301.
This winter has been rough on both Cambridge residents and businesses. The good news is that spring is just around the corner. In an effort to encourage increased shopping at Cambridge businesses, the City of Cambridge is launching the Lovin’ Local raffle card game from March 16-April 3, 2015. Here’s how it works: download a raffle card at: http://www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal or pick up a game card at one of the following locations:
Follow these rules:
Step 1: Shop at a local business.
Step 2: Have the local business sign a cell on the card
Step 3: Take a picture of yourself visiting at least 1 business and tweet, Instagram or Facebook a picture using the hashtag #LovinCambMA. Please tag the business you are visiting, too!
Raffle cards can be emailed, dropped off to the Mayor’s Office or City Hall Annex, or mailed in by Friday, April 3, 2015. More information and how to participate are available at: http://www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal.
"The Lovin’ Local contest is a creative way for residents and area workers to come together and support our local, small business economy," said City Manager Richard C. Rossi.
For more information on Lovin’ Local, go to www.cambridgema.gov/lovinlocal or contact Pardis Saffari at 617-349-4654 or email@example.com.
Cambridge Planning Board wants more info on Central Square zoning petition (Sara Feijo, Feb 25, 2015)
First step toward redeveloping Volpe Center (Erin Baldassari, Feb 25, 2015)
Cambridge City Council rejects study of public campaign funding (Monica Jimenez, Feb 25, 2015)
[Note: the actual vote was 3-4-1-1 and one councillor has filed for Reconsideration]
A ‘visionary' leader: Friends, colleagues pay tribute to Cambridge's Brian Murphy (Erin Baldassari, Feb 11, 2015)
Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - February-March 2015
Love Food? Top Tips to Prevent Wasting It
Love Food? Top Tips to Prevent Wasting It
Check out these top 8 tips from Love Food Hate Waste, as well as their “Hints and Tips” resource where you can click on the food you want to rescue. Remember, reducing and reusing are even better than recycling and composting. Thanks for all your efforts to reduce food waste. The Recycling Division’s web page about reducing food waste is another helpful resource.
Be Kind to Collection Crews
Please clear snow to curb so collection crews can access your recycling toters and trash barrels without major obstructions. For more click here. If there is not access we will not be able to empty the containers. Thank you.
Love Recycling? Distribute Recycling Flyers
Please order recycling flyers to distribute at your building. It’s important to distribute recycling flyers periodically as it refreshes residents on what can be recycled and reinforces that it’s a community norm and priority. Thank you for your help! You can also use this link to order refrigerator magnets, laminated signs, toter labels and toters. We look forward to fulfilling your request!
Love Clementines? Compost the Boxes
Once all the plastic has been removed from wooden clementine boxes they can go with food scraps at the food waste drop-off sites around Cambridge. Thanks for removing all plastic first.
Free Document Shredding 3/7
The Cambridge Consumers’ Council and US Postal Service are offering a free document shredding on Saturday, March 7 from 10am-2pm, at the Central Square Post Office, 770 Mass. Ave, snow or shine. Members of the public can securely dispose of personal and confidential paper documents. Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Ten minute drop-off parking will be available on Mass Ave between Sellers & Pleasant Street. Please call the Consumers Council at 617-349-6150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take the 50% recycling pledge today at www.cambridgema.gov/recycle and get a free sticker!
April is Fair Housing Month and the Cambridge Human Rights Commission is accepting nominations for its Innovations in Fair Housing Awards. Consider nominating individuals and/or groups who are working hard to continue Cambridge’s long history of fair housing and diversity.
Individuals or groups should be Cambridge-based, involved in the promotion of fair housing, and have had a significant achievement within the last two years, with a focus on innovative work in support of fair housing.
When submitting nominations, please tell us why you think this person or group deserves this award and provide a description of the work performed in Cambridge to promote Fair Housing. Selected nominees will be honored at the Fair Housing Month Awards Ceremony Tuesday, April 14, 5-7pm, at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 795 Mass. Ave.
Please send nominations via mail or email by March 30, 2015 at 8pm to: Nancy B. Schlacter, Fair Housing Project Coordinator, Cambridge Human Rights Commission, 51 Inman Street, 2nd floor, Cambridge, MA 02139; Email: email@example.com.
If you're a Cambridge resident age 12 or older, YOU can VOTE on how to spend $500,000 in FY16 Capital Funds to improve the community! In December 2014, the City of Cambridge launched the Participatory Budgeting (PB) initiative inviting community members to share ideas on projects to improve Cambridge.
Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Cambridge’s pilot PB project will for the first time, directly involve residents in the budgeting and city-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the city’s Capital Plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents.
From January-March, over 40 volunteer Budget Delegates evaluated the 380 ideas that were submitted, and developed project proposals to meet community needs. From March 22-28, 2015 Cambridge residents are invited to vote on which projects will get funded! Projects on the ballot will be for capital improvements related to:
Each voter can select 5 projects on the ballot, regardless of the amount they add up to. The city will allocate $500,000 for the winning projects. Vote week begins with a kickoff event Sunday, March 22, from 2-4pm, at Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway. Residents will be able to talk with Budget Delegates and view project displays at two Project Expos on Tuesday, March 24, from 5:30-8:30pm, at Windsor Street Health Center, 119 Windsor St., and on Saturday, March 28, from 10am-2pm, during the Winter Farmers’ Market at Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callender St. Paper ballots at voting events will be available in English, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Residents can also vote online, as long as they have a cell phone. Online voting will be text message authenticated. Voters will enter their cell phone number online and then will receive a code via text that must be entered for one-time access to the ballot. A link to the online ballot on the Participatory Budget webpage will be made available during the voting period March 22-28, 2015. The online ballot will be available in English and Spanish. For information on project proposals on the ballot and a full list of voting dates and locations, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/yourbudget.
The City’s Office of Workforce Development is sponsoring a Health & Human Services Job Fair on Wednesday, April 1, from 11:00am-1:00pm at Central Square Library, 45 Pearl St., Cambridge.
This will be a great opportunity for job seekers to connect with employers such as Cambridge Health Alliance, Crittenton Women’s Union, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Perkins, Senior Whole Health, Spaulding Hospital/Cambridge, and many others.
Those who plan to attend should remember to research companies and job opportunities before the job fair and to apply for appropriate positions online. For more information, contact Josh Foley at 617-349-6259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participating organizations include:
|Cambridge Health Alliance||Perkins|
|Spaulding Hospital / Cambridge||Fenway Health|
|Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health||Bay Cove Human Services|
|Arbour Counseling Services||Nurtury|
|The Edinburg Center||Senior Whole Health|
|Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries||Crittenton Women’s Union|
Tip: Take the time to apply for positions online and research companies before attending
Cambridge CityRun, a 5-Mile Road Race and Henrietta’s 3-Mile Fun Walk, is a popular rite of spring that attracts over 1,500 participants annually and was named one of the top 10 road races in New England for the 12th consecutive year by New England Runner magazine.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of Cambridge Athletics and The Andrea Harvey Memorial Fund. The first 1,000 pre-entrants will receive a free T-shirt.
Entry Fee is $30 on or before March 21, $35 after. Register online at www.cambridgecityrun.com, in-person through March 21 at Marathon Sports, 1654 Mass. Ave., Cambridge. On the day of the event, register from 8:30-10am and race begins promptly at 10:30am.
The scenic, flat, tree-lined course starts and finishes at the Russell Youth Center, 695 Huron Ave. From the start point, turn right on Grove St., right on Blanchard Rd., right on Concord Ave., right on Fresh Pond Parkway, right into Cambridge Water Department, then right onto Fresh Pond Reservoir Loop, right onto Fresh Pond Parkway, right onto Huron Ave.
For more information or to volunteer at event, contact Paul Ryder, 617-349-6229 or email@example.com.
Four finalist teams will soon be presenting their visions for open space in Kendall Square and eastern Cambridge as part of the City’s Connect Kendall Square open space design competition.
This project presents a unique opportunity to create a framework for the entire open space network in Kendall Square and eastern Cambridge. The competition attracted a wide range of planning and design firms, which were encouraged to consider new thinking regarding not only open space design, but also connections, programming, place making, and the overall public realm.
The vision as well as the planning and design goals for the framework are the culmination of work by the Eastern Cambridge Kendall Square Open Space (ECKOS) Planning Committee, which began meeting in May 2013 and has worked closely with city staff and the community throughout the process.
The four multidisciplinary teams selected as finalists are Somerville based Richard Burck Associates, Cambridge and Brooklyn based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., Seattle based Framework, and San Francisco based SITELAB. A public exhibition of the teams’ proposals is currently on display in the Google Connector lobby at 355 Main Street, Cambridge. The plans can also be viewed online at www.connectkendallsquare.com and www.cambridgema.gov/kendallopenspace.
The finalist teams will present their framework plans to the Competition Jury March 25-26 at Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor meeting room. Presentations are open to the public and are scheduled as follows: Wednesday, March 25 (SITELAB Urban Studio 1:00-2:30pm; Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. 3:00-4:30pm), and on Thursday, March 26 (Richard Burck Associates 8:30-10:00am; Framework Cultural Placemaking 10:30am-12:00pm).
Over the past several decades, Kendall Square has transformed from a former industrial area into a world-renowned center of biotech, high tech research, and innovation. In the past few years, the City of Cambridge has acquired three parcels in the area, which will be part of more than 5 acres of new and redesigned public open space. The framework derived from this competition will help determine the character and role of the new public open spaces in the area (which will be designed as part of separate, subsequent processes), and guide private entities as to potential programming and design of both existing and future open space as part of private developments.
For more information, contact Taha Jennings, Assistant to the City Manager, at 617-349-4302, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Age Distribution of Voters in Cambridge Elections: 2007-2014
Note: Data used for this analysis comes from the Cambridge registered voter database and voter history files for the respective years. Voters without specified birthdates have been excluded (very small number). In addition, a small number of public safety officials are also not included in the publicly available registered database.
The City of Cambridge will be holding a free, walk-in informational session on affordable rental and homeownership programs Tuesday, March 24, 6-8pm, at the Central Square Branch Library, 45 Pearl St. Additional information sessions will be held in different locations.
Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the City’s affordable rental and homeownership programs. For more information, please contact us at 617-349-4622.
Do you or someone you know possess integrity, courage, and a willingness to help those in need? Perhaps you are ready to pursue a career as a police officer!
The City of Cambridge is currently recruiting applicants to take the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Competitive Examination for Police Officers scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 25, 2015. An Informational Open House for Cambridge residents will be held Monday, Mar. 9, from 6-7:30 p.m., at the Robert W. Healy Public Safety Building, 125 Sixth St., Cambridge. Check out this informative new video from Cambridge Police Department. For more information, call 617-349-4332, 617-349-3374 or 617-349-4331.
The Open Competitive Examination for Police Officers is held to establish an eligible list from which to fill Police Officer vacancies in civil service cities and towns, and MBTA Transit Police. This eligible list may also be used to fill Police Officer vacancies in non-civil service jurisdictions. The early application deadline for the next Open Competitive Examination for Police Officers is March 13, for a $100 fee and the final deadline is March 26, for a $150 fee. To apply, visit www.mass.gov/civilservice or call 617-878-9895.
More job information is available online at www.CambridgeMA.gov/Jobs or by contacting Personnel@cambridgepolice.org.
Feb 20, 2015 – Cambridge Works, the City’s transitional jobs program for younger residents (age 18-35) who haven’t been able to get or keep jobs, celebrated its 14th graduating class during a special ceremony Feb. 19, at Cambridge City Hall. The program provides a temporary job with the City of Cambridge, and/or other partner employers, while also offering intensive case management, soft skills development and job search assistance to help participants secure an unsubsidized job upon program completion.
Cambridge Works is coordinated through the Office of Workforce Development for the Department of Human Services Program (DHSP).
Mayor David P. Maher congratulated the graduates from the latest class. “We are so proud of you,” Maher said. “We are all so lucky to live in a community that cares deeply about its residents and works hard to get it right. This is a community that is built on neighborhoods and the people that live here. And this program is about government and businesses coming together to effect positive change.”
A former Cambridge Works graduate, Chris Rodriguez, returned to give the recent class some words of advice, encouraging them to never give up and reminding them of the dedicate staff team that will be there for them even after the program has ended, to help them secure employment utilizing the skills they learned.
Comments from the Cambridge Works Class of 2015:
“I’m grateful to them (referring to staff at Cambridge Works) for believing in me and coaching me through tough times.” – Christine Boireau
“The support of the staff and my fellow participants helped me become an enhanced version of myself. The reflection I see in the mirror is of someone who is equipped with the tools needed for success. Thank you.” – Isaiah Jackson
Cambridge Works participants and program staff
Brian P. Murphy, Esq. of Cambridge, suddenly February 5, 2014. Beloved husband of Katherine (Champion). Loving father of Molly K. and Joseph C. Dear son of the late Joseph G., Esq. and Mary T. (Keaney) Murphy. Visiting hours in the Sullivan Chamber of the Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave. on Wednesday 3-7pm. Funeral mass in St. Paul's Church Bow & Arrow Sts. Cambridge Thursday at 10:00am. Complete notice to follow. [Obituary & Guestbook]
Feb 5, 2015 - I am stunned upon hearing of the unexpected death of a friend - Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development and former Cambridge City Councillor (2002-2009) - an essential person in the civic life of Cambridge. I simply have no words to express my grief. - RW
MESSAGE FROM THE CITY MANAGER:
It with great sadness that I inform you of the death of Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. Brian was a dedicated husband and father, and a close personal friend to so many of us in this City.
We mourn the sudden loss of our colleague and friend and our thoughts and support go out to Brian’s family at this time.
Employees will be notified of funeral arrangements, once they are determined.
I recognize that we all deal with grief in a very personal way. I encourage you utilize the services available through our Employee Assistance Program. - Richard Rossi
I wrote in February 2011 - just 4 short years ago: "As was noted in a Late Order at the February 7 City Council meeting, former City Councillor Brian Murphy will soon take the reins as Assistant City Manager in charge of the Community Development Department. I met at length with Brian when he first ran for City Council (2001). I suggested that he attend the Budget Hearings to learn more about City government and meet all the players in the City administration. Brian attended every one of those hearings. As a councillor, he then chaired the Finance Committee. He and David Maher were also the prime players among the elected officials in negotiating with Harvard in their major Riverside development a few years ago. You have to respect a guy who actually shows up and does his job, and I'm sure Brian will be a popular hands-on manager at Community Development." - Robert Winters
Brian Murphy in 2003
As part of National Consumer Protection Week, the Cambridge Consumers’ Council will be holding a free Public Shred Day for Cambridge residents Saturday, Mar. 7, from 10:00am–2:00pm, in front of Central Square Post Office, 770 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge.
Local officials from the Consumers’ Council, the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Attorney General Maura Healey’s office will be providing information on consumer rights and safety and helping residents safely dispose of unwanted records. Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck provided by Shred King Corporation.
Ten minute drop-off parking will be available on Massachusetts Avenue (between Pleasant & Sellers Streets).
For more information, please contact Patrick Williams with any questions (617-349-6150; email@example.com).
On March 2, 2015, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will begin to remove parking “space savers”. This includes any items placed in the roadway to hold an on-street parking spot (ie chairs, toters, barrels, crates). Items will be removed from each neighborhood on its regularly scheduled trash collection day.
“We understand the challenges that residents and businesses have experienced due to the near back-to-back snow storms that have impacted the region, Your patience and cooperation has helped us significantly with our snow removal operations,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “Any major snow storm in an urban setting will cause on-street parking challenges. While we are sensitive to and acknowledge the effort that goes into shoveling out a vehicle that is parked on a public street, City regulations do not allow for space savers.”
Article 18 section 8 of the City of Cambridge Traffic, Parking, and Transportation Regulations states that “No person shall place, erect or cause to be placed or erected within any roadway, any fixture or structure unless or until a permit has been issued by the Traffic Director.” Public Works has not removed space savers during past month because of the demand that record snow clearing operations have placed on personnel and equipment. While snow clearing continues, the current status of operations is such that trash collection trucks are now able to incorporate the removal of space savers in their weekly collection efforts.
For current information on snow operations visit Cambridgema.gov. Updates are also available on Twitter at @CambMA and Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City is utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.
The recent winter storm events have narrowed many streets in Cambridge. East Cambridge has been particularly impacted by these conditions, and the City is taking steps to improve public safety during current snow conditions. Starting Thursday, February 19, selected streets in East Cambridge will temporarily change from two-way streets to one-way streets. Crews will begin posting “Do Not Enter” signs throughout the neighborhood on Thursday. We expect these traffic shifts to be in place until April 1. Please refer to the attached map for affected streets. Over the next week, city staff will continue to evaluate streets throughout the city to determine if additional changes are warranted.
We appreciate your continued patience and efforts as we manage historic amounts of snow in our city. For more information on the City’s snow operations, please visit www.cambridgema.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@CambridgeDPW, @CambMA, #CambMASnow).
Residents with questions about these traffic changes can contact Public Works at 617-349-4800 or the Traffic Department at 617-349-4700.
A Cambridge Snow Emergency Parking Ban remains in effect until further notice. City offices and programs will be open on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Rubbish and recycling will be one day behind schedule for the week due to President’s Day holiday.
In light of the nearly 90 inches of snow that Cambridge has received over the past three weeks, the City is taking extraordinary measures in order to maintain emergency vehicle access to all roadways. This includes:
1) Removal and Hauling Operations
Crews resume snow removal and hauling operations throughout Cambridge Monday, Feb 16 at 9:00pm. The City expects to have over 100 pieces of equipment on the road at this time. In addition to prioritized main arteries, crews will be addressing secondary streets and dead-ends as identified by public safety officials.
What does this operation involve?
A team of operators will use bobcats, loaders, and dump trucks to remove piles of snow, most particularly on corners and on dead-ends. Not all snow on a street will be removed, but clearing will be done to ensure emergency vehicle access.
Removal and hauling is primarily an overnight operation due to traffic challenges during daytime hours, though certain locations may be done during the day if feasible. This work is expected to take numerous evenings to complete, and may continue into next week.
How are streets selected for this operation?
Streets are selected for removal based on consensus by Public Works, Police, Fire, Emergency Communications, and Traffic & Parking that widening the street is critical for maintaining emergency access, and that standard plowing and salting operations is insufficient to achieve that access. The purpose of these operations is to ensure emergency vehicle access. Given the huge volume of snow, the City is unable to provide removal and hauling at all streets.
2) Converting certain two-way streets to temporary one-way streets
Public safety officials are evaluating certain two way streets that have been narrowed due to snow, and will be converting some of these to temporary one-way streets. The City expects to begin this program in East Cambridge in the next several days, and potentially expand to other streets as feasible. Additional details about program will be posted once finalized.
3) Maintaining the snow emergency parking ban until further notice.
A citywide parking ban began at 7:00pm on Saturday, Feb 14 and will remain in effect until public safety officials determine it is safe to lift the ban. We thank residents for their cooperation in helping us to keep roadways clear.
We also thank local garages that have partnered with us to offer residents parking during these repeated snow emergencies. Please note that Green St Garage, First St. Garage and the 50 Oxford St. Garage are currently full. Please see alert at www.cambridgema.gov for more information about available parking.
Public Safety Is Our Top Priority
Despite the challenging weather conditions we face, the City has devoted the personnel and resources necessary to maintain public safety. We will continue snow clearing efforts into the coming week and beyond.
For more information about the City’s overall approach to snow operations, and the response to the Presidents’ Day Weekend Blizzard, see alert at www.cambridgema.gov.
Keep those fire hydrants clear of snow!
Map of Cambridge fire hydrants - Zoom in for a closer look.
The City of Cambridge is declaring a Snow Emergency Parking Ban Saturday, Feb 14 at 7:00pm. Parking will be prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. Towing operations will begin at this time. Please note that some streets may still maintain temporary no parking signs even after the ban is lifted due to the current conditions. Free off-street parking is available to Cambridge residents with Resident Parking Permits issued by the city’s Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at the locations listed below from the time the ban goes into effect until 2 hours after it is lifted. Please note that other locations we generally make available during a ban, such as First Street and Green Street Garages, are currently full due to the current conditions.
CambridgeSide Galleria Parking Garage. Free parking is valid for the upper garage only, Levels 4 and 5; enter on First Street at Sears. Vehicles parked in the lower garage (Levels A, B & C) will be asked to pay the regular parking fees. Generally free resident parking is available from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after it is lifted. Due to the extensive amount of snow that has accumulated in the area, persons with a Cambridge resident parking permit can park at this location from now until Sunday, Feb 22, 2015.
52 Oxford Garage. This is a Harvard owned and operated garage. It is open to City residents with a resident parking permit on a space available basis for no fee from the time the declared snow emergency is in effect until 2 hours after the ban is lifted. Space is limited, and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. The University reserves the right to cease admittance due to capacity limitations and operation issues.
65 Waverly Street. This is an MIT owned surface lot at the corner of Sidney, Waverly and Erie adjacent to Fort Washington Park. Parking is free with a resident permit until 2 hours after the ban has is lifted.
One Kendall Square Garage. This is a privately owned garage next to the Kendall Square Cinema. Parking is free for Cambridge residents with a resident parking permit on their vehicle until 2 hours after the ban is lifted. The garage entrance is at 389 Binney Street.
We are currently experiencing delays in trash collection due to weather conditions. If your trash was not collected on Friday, please leave it out and it will be collected on Saturday. Check this site for more updates and information or call Public Works at 617-349-4800.
City Offices will be closed on Monday, Feb 16 in observance of the Presidents' Day Holiday. There will be no trash or recycling pickup Monday, Feb 16, and routes will be one day behind schedule for the rest of that week. Any regular programs scheduled for Feb 14 will take place, however programs for Feb 15, including War Memorial programs, have been cancelled.
DPW crews continue to work to keep main roadways clear. Property owners are asked to do the best they can under the extremely challenging conditions to clear sidewalks, corner crossings, catch basins and fire hydrants of snow. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near their storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.
The historic amounts of snow that have fallen in the past two weeks have created special challenges for the city and the region. Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area remain narrow. The MBTA continues to experience weather related failures and delays and has announced that service will be suspended on Sunday, Feb 15. Please see more on this at www.mbta.com.
Drivers should allow additional travel time, exercise patience during slower traffic patterns, and use extra caution at intersections and crosswalks. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. Drivers should use their best judgment when considering whether to park in areas where large snow piles are still alongside the curb, to ensure they do not block the flow of traffic.
Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
Feb 10, 2015 – Cambridge will be lifting the Snow Emergency Parking Ban at 7:00am on Wednesday, February 11. Residents who are taking advantage of the free off street parking program will have until 9:00am on Wednesday to exit the Green Street Garage and the One Kendall Square Garage before being charged.
Residents parked at Harvard's 52 Oxford Street Garage and MIT's 65 Waverly Street lot must exit these locations by 9:00am.
The City is announcing an extended free parking program being offered at both the Cambridgeside Galleria Parking Garage and the City's First Street Parking Garage through February 22 in recognition of the historic amounts of snow that Cambridge has received during the past few weeks, including the 18.5 inches of new snow that fell over the past few days.
Residents with a valid 2015 City of Cambridge resident parking permit on their vehicle who are having difficulty finding street parking or are traveling for February school vacation week can participate in the extended free parking program at the Cambridgeside Galleria and First Street Garages until Sunday, February 22 at 8:00pm. Parking for this program at the Cambridgeside Galleria Parking is restricted to the upper garage, levels 4 and 5. The upper garage entrance is located on First Street, closest to Sears. The First Street Garage is open, subject to availability. Vehicles without a 2015 Cambridge resident parking permit will be charged full parking rates.
Residents currently parked in the First Street garage do not have to exit once the parking ban is lifted; however, residents who parked their vehicle at the Cambridgeside Galleria need to exit and reenter through the First Street entrance and park on levels 4 or 5.
In addition to this free short-term program, the City of Cambridge offers a year-round discounted parking program at the First Street Garage to Cambridge residents with a current City of Cambridge resident parking permit on their vehicles.
Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area are getting narrower due to snow accumulation. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. Drivers should use their best judgment when considering whether to park in areas where large snow piles are still alongside the curb, to ensure they do not block the flow of traffic.
Any parked vehicle that obstructs a 10 foot wide safe travel lane will be ticketed and towed.
Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
Feb 8, 2015 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban went into effect at 4:00pm today (Sun, Feb 8). [City Notice] Cambridge residents with a current Resident Parking Permit issued by the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation can take advantage of the City’s free off street parking program during the declared snow emergency parking ban. A complete list of off street locations as well as a listing of streets with parking restrictions during a snow emergency can be found at www.cambridgema.gov.
Curbside trash and recycling collection will occur on Monday as scheduled. Due to the large amount of snow received in the area, trash and recycling trucks may not be able to get to all streets scheduled for a given day. If this does happen, DPW asks residents to leave their trash/recycling out on the curb for pick up the following day. In the event the roadway conditions do not allow for trucks to access the roadway the following day, residents should remove all trash and recycling from the curb and place their contents curbside the following week on their regularly scheduled day.
All City offices and programs, as well as the Cambridge Public Schools, will be closed on Monday, February 9. All public meetings, including the City Council meeting, have been cancelled for Monday. Additional information regarding school closings can be obtained by calling 617-349-6513 or visiting www.cpsd.us. Information about rescheduled meetings will posted to the City’s website.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) will be working around the clock for the duration of this prolonged storm. “We are all in this together,” said Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works, asking property owners to do the best they can under current conditions to keep sidewalks, corner crossings, catch basins and fire hydrants clear of snow. “The historic amount of snow that we have received during the past two weeks – over 50 inches now – is trying everyone’s patience. The City’s snow operations have been in effect nearly continuously since January 25. Our primary focus right now is ensuring that emergency vehicles can access major arteries, neighborhood streets and dead ends. The City will continue to clear streets and sidewalks for many days to come, including the nearly 23 miles of sidewalks alongside schools, city buildings, major squares and high volume bus stops.”
Property and Business owner’s participation in clearing sidewalks will help the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. When it snows or is icy this winter, please think about all the people who might be using your sidewalk and the challenges they may face if snow or ice is not fully cleared. City Ordinance requires that owners remove snow and ice from all sidewalks next to their property. The path on shoveled sidewalks must be wide enough for someone using a wheelchair, walker, or stroller (at least 3 feet, preferably 4 feet wide). Corner properties must clear sidewalks on all sides surrounding the property and clear ramps at cross-walks. Additionally, business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.
The historic amounts of snow that have fallen in the past two weeks have created special challenges for the City and the region. Even with plowing and snow removal, streets in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area are getting narrower. Additionally, the MBTA has experienced numerous weather related failures and delays. Commuters should allow additional travel time, exercise patience during slower traffic patterns, and use extra caution at intersections and crosswalks. Prior to traveling, residents are asked to ensure that snow is cleared from the top of their motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. Drivers should use their best judgment when considering whether to park in areas where large snow piles are still alongside the curb, to ensure they do not block the flow of traffic.
Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
Off Street Parking is available at the following locations:
Cambridge residents are encouraged to renew their Resident Parking Permits, if they have not already done so, prior to the expiration date of
Jan 31, 2015 Wed, Feb 4 to avoid getting a ticket on Feb 1. Renew online at, www.cambridgema.gov/traffic, by Mon, Jan 26 to avoid the walk-in lines at the Traffic Department and allow time to receive your 2015 permit via mail. Please note that you must have an active 2014 residential parking permit in order to renew online.
New this year, households without vehicles that have an active 2014 visitor permit may also be eligible to renew online.
The winning entry from the 2015 Resident Permit Photo Contest was Alewife T Sculpture submitted by Takako Tokuoka. The City is again offering the opportunity for residents to make a voluntary contribution. Proceeds will be allocated to the City’s climate change initiatives. For more information, call 617-349-4700 or visit: www.cambridgema.gov/traffic.
On Wed, Jan 21, 2015, the City of Cambridge will officially launch its Open Data Portal during a community training event held at CCTV, 438 Massachusetts Avenue, from 6-8pm. This event, co-sponsored by CCTV, will include a brief overview of the Open Data Movement, a Q&A with members of the Open Data Community, and a hands-on training provided by representatives of Socrata, the cloud based platform powering Cambridge’s Open Data portal. Computer terminals will be available during the event, though participants are encouraged to bring laptops or tablets to help ensure enough computers are available. This event is free and open to the public.
“Cambridge’s Open Data Initiative reflects the City’s commitment to using technology to increase accessibility to and transparency of information owned by the City,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “Cambridge’s Open Data Portal is one means through which the City can foster engagement and collaboration with its citizenry.”
The portal went live in July for a six month review and internal staff training period. During this time, the site was accessible to the public and the city also engaged with Code for Boston, the local brigade chapter of Code for America, and the Open Data Discourse (ODD) Street Safety Challenge.
The overall goal for Cambridge’s Open Data Initiative is to make government data available in easy to find and usable formats, therefore creating meaningful opportunities for the public to help solve complex challenges. Other goals of the City’s Open Data Initiative are: providing greater access to city data; creating greater transparency; improving delivery of city services; and realizing social and commercial value.
The public can access Cambridge’s open data at http://data.cambridgema.gov.
The Open Data Portal gives citizens the opportunity to access and use public information. Datasets can be reviewed, compared, analyzed, and used to create different visualizations such as graphs, charts, and maps, all within the Socrata Platform. Socrata's Open Data Portal has been implemented in multiple government organizations across the country and even across the world.
Event information is available at www.cambridgema.gov.
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Cambridge Community Television: an award-winning, nationally recognized community media center that provides tools and training to foster free speech and creative expression, involving people from across the city as producers and viewers of media that is informative, engaging and as diverse as the Cambridge community. CCTV operates local cable channels 8, 9 and 96, offers hands-on media production and technology workshops for people of all ages, runs NeighborMedia.org, an innovative citizen journalism project, and a vibrant Youth Media Program, hosts computerCENTRAL public computer labs, and manages a dynamic, media-rich website at cctvcambridge.org.
Socrata: the world’s leader in cloud solutions for open data and data-driven governments. Its innovative customers include the cities of New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Eindhoven; the states of New York, Illinois and Texas; US Health and Human Services; Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the UN, the European Commission, and the World Bank. Socrata’s solutions – including the recently launched Open Data Network™ which unleashes the full potential of government data to help drive connected communities around the world – assist government leaders in improving transparency, modernizing citizen access to information and bringing data into every decision, all with unprecedented speed and cost savings. Delivered as turnkey services, Socrata’s technologies unlock data trapped in enterprise silos, mobilize and transform it into useful information that everyone can easily access, visualize, share and reuse. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.
Code for Boston - a Code for America Brigade: a volunteer civic innovation organization created by Boston-area developers, designers, urban planners, and data geeks with an interest in solving civic and social problems through the use of creative technology.
Open Data Discourse (ODD): collaborates with non-profit and government agencies to leverage their open, public data to inform data-driven public policies and social research. ODD connects citizens to open data and provides an innovative outlet for civic participation. ODD develops insights from data and impacts policy by establishing a discourse between citizens, stakeholders, and policy makers.
The City of Cambridge is seeking residents from Riverside, Neighborhood 10, Neighborhood Nine, Agassiz and Mid-Cambridge, as well as members of the Harvard Square business community, who would like to serve on the Harvard Square Advisory Committee.
The Committee will review all major development actions in the Harvard Square Overlay District; provide a forum within which a wide range of perspectives on development actions can be heard; advise both public agencies and private interests of development and urban design issues raised by a development or planning proposal; and suggest avenues of research which might be pursued to resolve identified conflicts; and make the project better fulfill both public and private objectives for the Harvard Square Overlay District. The Committee also reviews and comments on applications for variances and special permits in the district.
The Committee will meet as required on project review needs. Participation in previous Harvard Square planning activities and understanding of development and design issues are desirable. Final selection of Advisory Committee members will be made by City Manager Richard C. Rossi.
To apply, send a letter by Friday, February 6, 2015 describing interest in the Harvard Square Advisory Committee and any experience working on similar issues to: Elaine Thorne, Cambridge Community Development Department, 344 Broadway, Cambridge, 02139 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - January 2015
Helpful Resources to Get Rid of It Right
Helpful Resources to Get Rid of It Right
Extra Tools? Extra Time?
Winter Farmers Markets
This winter, be sure to check out two winter farmers markets in Cambridge. Email us at email@example.com if you can go on behalf of Cambridge Recycling and talk to people about ways to reduce waste…
2015 Collection Schedule
During holiday weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. There is no collection on legal holidays, including New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Patriot's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Collection on those days and the remaining weekdays occurs one day late, including Saturday. Check the 2015 collection schedule.
Get Your Trash Numbers Fix!
Help the City meet its goals to reduce “trash” 30% from 2008 levels by 2020 and 80% less by 2050. For households, this means 16 lbs of trash per week by 2020 and 5 lbs/week by 2050. Up to 25% of what we throw away is still cardboard, paper, and containers! The average household could recycle at least 5+ more lbs/week or 260 more lbs/year. Consider how to reduce food waste in the first place, or compost what’s left. Choose to reuse and learn how to repair broken items. Visit our Get Rid of It Right page for where to donate clothing, furniture, household goods, electronics, and more.
Take the 50% recycling pledge today at www.cambridgema.gov/recycle and get a free sticker!
Effective 7:00am on Tuesday, February 3, the Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be lifted. Snow clearing crews will be working through the night. City offices will be open. DHSP pre-schools, after-schools, youth centers, and the King Open Extended day programs will open at 10:00am.
Feb 2, 2015 – The City of Cambridge will be closing all buildings to the public today at 2:00pm and all public meetings and programs have been cancelled, including the City Council meeting. Items originally scheduled to be before the City Council tonight will roll into the agenda for the Feb 9, 2015 meeting. The public can find rescheduled meeting times on the City’s online calendar at www.cambridgema.gov.
Residents are reminded that a snow emergency parking ban is still in effect. Parking is prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. If you need to travel, please ensure that snow is cleared from the top of your motor vehicle to create safer conditions for those travelers around you. Information on when the snow emergency parking ban will be lifted will be available on the City’s website, www.cambridgema.gov, on Twitter at @CambMA, and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.gov. Additionally, subscribers to the Cambridge Alter Network will receive notification. The public can sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.
City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance.
Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.
The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.
Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information. Members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
Feb 1, 2015 – The City of Cambridge is declaring a Snow Emergency Parking Ban effective at 5:00am on Monday, February 2nd. Parking will be prohibited on streets signed No Parking during Snow Emergency. Towing operations will begin at this time. Beginning at 4pm Sunday, February 1st, our free off-street parking program, which is available only to Cambridge residents with Resident Parking Permits issued by the Department of Traffic, Parking and Transportation, will go into effect.
Off Street Parking is available at the following locations:
Wed, Jan 28 - The City’s Snow Emergency Parking Ban was lifted at 4:00pm on Wed, Jan 28.
Jan 28, 2015 – As Cambridge Public Schools and City offices prepare to reopen on Thursday, January 28, the Department of Public Works (DPW) will be continuing snow operations well into the weekend.
While the citywide Snow Emergency Parking Ban was lifted at 4:00pm today, there are still many streets that will be marked with temporary “No Parking” signs. Because of the total accumulations received during the blizzard, there are many streets that—while passable to motor vehicle traffic—would be impassable to emergency vehicles and MBTA buses if parking were restored at this point. Residents and visitors are encouraged to check posted signs regularly in order avoid being ticketed and towed. The City will continue to monitor the need for these signs, and will take them down as soon it is safe to do so.
Regardless of whether a street has a parking restriction in place, any vehicle parked so far from the curb as to obstruct the safe flow of traffic is subject to ticketing and towing. Drivers should use their best judgment when considering whether to park in areas where large snow piles are still alongside the curb, to ensure they do not block the flow of traffic.
The City will begin snow clearing and removal along high volume bus routes on Thursday evening. These routes include approximately 200 MBTA bus stops, nearly 2/3 of the total in the city. All bus stops, crosswalks, and ramps along these routes will be cleared of snow and ice. Crews can work quickly and efficiently during nighttime hours as pedestrian, cyclist, and motor vehicle traffic are extremely low.
This work requires the use of heavy equipment, and will take several nights to complete. Crews appreciate the public’s patience as the City works to ensure safe, accessible travel for all users.
Nighttime clearing routes for bus stops, crosswalks, and ramps include:
Residents with questions about snow removal operations can contact the Department of Public Works at 617-349-4800. Inquiries regarding traffic and parking can be addressed by calling the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department at 617-349-4700.
Tues, Jan 27, 2015 – Overnight, the City of Cambridge had more than 130 pieces of apparatus working to keep the major roads clear of snow and ice. The City clears over 125 miles of streets and 23 miles of public sidewalks. “So far, the Cambridge has received between 12 and 15 inches of snow,” said Owen O’Riordan, Commissioner of Public Works. “As residents and business begin the process of digging out, I want to remind them to not shovel snow into the roadway, to clear at least a three foot path on all sidewalks abutting one’s property, and to clear snow around fire hydrants, catch basins, and crossway ramps in their neighborhood.” DPW crews will be working around the clock to clear the snow from city roads and sidewalks.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues to coordinate and monitor the City’s response to the storm. “We were fortunate last night that there were not any major incidents. Since last night at 5pm, there have been only 3 motor vehicle accidents,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “Residents cooperated with the Snow Emergency Parking Ban, used caution during last night’s commute, and adhered to the travel ban imposed by the Governor. This type of cooperation helps the City focus on snow operations. The City only had to tow 65 vehicles citywide. A decade ago we would have towed hundreds of cars. I ask that residents use caution when going outside, watch for plows on the street, and take breaks often when shoveling snow.”
Last night, Cambridge opened a temporary Emergency Shelter at the War Memorial Recreation Center, 1640 Cambridge Street. The shelter is pet friendly, fully accessible, and able to accommodate individuals requiring additional assistance. No residents have had to take advantage of the shelter so far. Citizens with questions about the shelter should call the Emergency Communications Center at 617-349-3300. Information on how people should prepare prior to heading to the shelter is available on www.cambridgema.gov.
The City has not experienced any significant power outages or public safety events. Residents are reminded to report any power outages directly to NSTAR at 800-592-2000. Downed tree limbs and wires in the public way can be reported to 617-349-3300. Residents should not approach downed tree limbs and should use extreme caution to avoid downed wires as they could still be live.
The City encourages residents to consider relatives, friends and neighbors that live alone, are elderly, or have a medical condition. Please check in by phone or in person with elders and people with disabilities to ensure that they are safe or if they are in need of assistance with clearing snow.
The City’s Snow Emergency Parking Ban will remains in effect until further notice.
Note: The Cambridge Public Schools will again be closed for Wednesday, Jan 28.
Note: City Buildings will again be closed on Wed, Jan 28. All programs and public meetings have been cancelled.
Mon, Jan 26, 2015 – The City of Cambridge is preparing for the approaching blizzard. Updated information will be available at www.cambridgema.gov throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. Members of the public can also call 617-349-4800 or 617-349-4700 for information.
Below are important updates from the City:
With the potential for heavy snowfall and strong winds, some areas may be affected by power outages. Please report any outages directly to NSTAR at 800-592-2000.
In addition to following updates on the city’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at http://www.cambridgema.gov/AlertNetwork.
SNOW EMERGENCY and PARKING BAN (on posted streets) will go into effect in Cambridge starting at 4:00pm on Monday, January 26. Also, Governor Baker has declared a ban on motor vehicle travel beginning at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) and continuing until further notice has been issued. There are exceptions for public safety vehicles and public safety workers, and other essential travel. Details of the exceptions to follow. Governor Baker also announced that the MBTA will shutdown at midnight tonight (Mon 1/26) and will not operate on Tuesday 1/27. A State of Emergency for the entire Commonwealth was declared today (1/26/15) as of noon (12:00pm).
Cambridge City Council Campaign Receipts: 2013 - 2014
(candidates exceeding 500 #1 votes in Nov 2013 election)
Ranked by Percent Receipts from Cambridge
Ranked by Percent Receipts from Real Estate Interests
Note 1: The totals for Leland Cheung include all money raised for his campaign for Lt. Governor, including $118,981.92 from the candidate.
Note 2: The reports for Nadeem Mazen contain many errors - wrong dates, many missing addresses, etc. The data has been corrected to the best of this writer's ability and patience.
Note 3: The totals above include money loaned or given by the candidates. Since they are all Cambridge residents this greatly affects the totals and the percentages coming from Cambridge addresses.
Note 4: In some cases, candidate loans have since been repaid. The data shown has not been adjusted for this.
Note 5: Some additional receipts for 2014 may still be recorded. The tables may be updated to reflect this.
Note 6: The individual campaign contribution limit of $500 per year has been raised to $1000 per year starting in 2015.
Candidates listed alphabetically including total receipts, receipts from Cambridge addresses,
receipts from political action committees (PAC), receipts from identifiable real estate interests (RE),
percent from candidate (loan or donated), percent receipts from Cambridge,
percent receipts from PACs, percent receipts from identifiable real estate interests
|Candidate||Total Receipts||Cambridge||PAC||RE||Loan||% Cambridge||% PAC||% RE|
On April 18, 2013 the MIT Police lost a brother and a friend, Officer Sean Collier. In order to honor him in the best way they know how they set up a scholarship fund that would send one self-sponsored recruit (MIT Self Sponsor) through the Lowell Police Academy (LPA) annually (the Scholarship) as a student officer. Officer Collier self-sponsored himself through the Transit Academy in order to start his law enforcement career. This recruit will have the honor of wearing MIT's Patch in Officer Sean Collier's memory. June 2, 2014 marked the inauguration of this great Scholarship, and the recipient graduated in November 2014. The MIT Police is again ready to send a new recruit through the 2015 LPA.
Applicant must submit a complete package consisting of:
Process for 2015 Officer Sean A. Collier Self Sponsor Scholarship:
** ALL application packages must be submitted in PDF form via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, NO LATER THAN Jan 23, 2015**
*PLEASE NOTE: AWARD OF THE SCHOLARSHIP AND SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF THE LPA PROGRAM AS A SELF SPONSOR DOES NOT GUARANTEE EMPLOYMENT AT ANY POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Ever wondered how to get involved with local television and video production? Not sure where to begin? On Thursday, January 15th, Cambridge Community Television will open its doors to the public for an Open House event. CCTV invites members of the community to learn about the many different opportunities available at CCTV to build media skills and to create video and television productions.
“The Open House is a great opportunity for members of the community who have never come through our doors to get a sense of what we do, and what we can help them to learn and accomplish for themselves,” said Susan Fleischmann, Executive Director of Cambridge Community Television. “It’s also a great chance for those in the community who have worked with us before to hear about some of our new offerings,” she added.
Guests will have the chance to learn about upcoming classes, speak with staff about CCTV’s work, learn about television and video production opportunities, and also have a chance to examine the studio’s equipment in person. They will also be able to meet some of NeighborMedia’s citizen journalists, and tour the facilities where nationally recognized video work and award winning broadcast shows have been produced. Guests will even be able to observe a live show being broadcast, and if resources allow, operate the cameras themselves!
The event will kick off at 6:30pm, and will last until 8pm. Snacks will be served. For information, call 617-661-6900, email email@example.com, or visit www.cctvcambridge.org/join.
CCTV offers an extensive media-training program with courses ranging from beginning to advanced. For a list of the latest courses, visit cctvcambridge.org/learn. To learn about becoming a member, visit cctvcambridge.org/join
Jan 14, 2015 – Today, the City of Cambridge officially advances to the Semifinal round of the Georgetown University Energy Prize, a national competition that is challenging communities across the U.S. to rethink their energy use. At a press event in Washington, D.C. today, Cambridge was announced as one of the 50 communities who are leading the way on energy efficiency.
“We are excited to get underway in this competition and to establish Cambridge as a national leader in energy efficiency in the United States,” said Mayor David P. Maher. “For many years, Cambridge has been a strong advocate for a variety of innovative sustainability methods and the Prize competition will help challenge our city to contribute further to a high quality of life for our residents. Competitions like these bring out the best in municipalities and Cambridge is thrilled to be a part of it.”
Cambridge is working on many levels to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions to make the city more sustainable. The city, Harvard University, MIT and a group of major business partners created the Cambridge Community Compact for a Sustainable Future to leverage the intellectual and entrepreneurial capacity of the business, non-profit, education and municipal sectors in Cambridge to foster collaboration on creating a healthy, livable and sustainable future. Last year, the Getting to Net Zero Task Force advanced the goal of putting Cambridge on the path towards becoming a net zero community, with the focus on carbon emissions from building operations. The City Council passed the Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance that will provide data and transparency around how energy is used in large buildings citywide, with the goal of providing the marketplace data to enable better implementation of energy efficiency opportunities. In Kendall Square, the city’s largest area of energy use, a new model of public-private partnership is being piloted using the EcoDistricts Framework, which emphasizes the integration of smart infrastructure, green buildings and community engagement to achieve district-scale sustainability. All these initiatives are occurring while the city is conducting a climate change vulnerability assessment. The energy competition will heighten the City of Cambridge’s drive to unite the entire community to embrace energy efficiency on a large scale.
“The City of Cambridge is committed to sustainability and we recognize that serious gains in energy efficiency are needed to reach our climate change mitigation goals,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi. Participating in this competition will help invigorate the community around innovative ways to save energy as we look to putting Cambridge on the trajectory of becoming a net zero greenhouse gas emissions community.”
“Cambridge as well as cities across the county, have told us that this Prize gives them the momentum to accelerate their energy efficiency efforts,” said Dr. Francis Slakey, Founder and Executive Director of the Georgetown University Energy Prize. Slakey continued, “these Semifinalist communities are leading the way for other small- and medium-size cities and counties to secure their energy efficient future.”
“The competition looks truly like America,” said Dr. Slakey. “Not only do these communities come from across the map, they represent the nation’s full political, social and economic diversity. Some are paying the highest prices for energy, some have the ambition to be carbon net-zero, but all communities share the goal of transforming America's energy future.”
To learn more about the Georgetown University Energy Prize and to track the competition’s progress, visit www.guep.org, or follow the Prize on Twitter (@GUEnergyPrize) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/guenergyprize).
For more information about Cambridge’s efforts and ways you can get involved, please visit www.cambridgema.gov and www.cambridgeenergyalliance.org or contact Meghan Shaw at 617-349-5323.
January 12 - There is a City Council/Planning Board Roundtable Meeting tonight at 5:30pm in the Attles Meeting Room at CRLS (the last City Council meeting there before moving back to the nicely refurbished Sullivan Chamber in City Hall on January 29). The topic of this Roundtable is city-wide planning (presumably in the context of the upcoming city-wide comprehensive planning process which will likely be a central theme for this year and beyond). It's also likely that there will be some discussion of some proposed procedural and other changes for the Planning Board, especially in the areas of Special Permit applications. Here are two documents prepared for this meeting:
Report from focus groups regarding ways to improve the Planning Board process
City of Cambridge Planning Board improvement goals: Summary of Focus Group Process
As with all Roundtable meetings, there will be no public comment, no votes will be taken, and the meeting will not be televised.
Also of potential interest is this meeting scheduled for tomorrow:
Tues, Jan 13
6:00pm The City Council's Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the production of language for a city-wide affordable housing overlay district to be considered by the City Council and to identify areas in the city that would be best suited for an affordable housing overlay district. (Sullivan Chamber)
When I see a meeting notice like this, I really wish that City Council subcommittees had their own separate web pages where background materials would be posted prior to any scheduled meeting. This is one of the suggestions for an improved Planning Board process, but the same wisdom should apply to City Council committees. I have a few clues what this meeting may be about, but it's just an educated guess. - RW
The Cambridge Council on Aging will host a free screening of the film, Grey Gardens, Saturday, January 10, from 9:30am-12:00pm, at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave. Grey Gardens is a film about a mother and daughter living an isolated life on Long Island. The film will be followed by a facilitated discussion that will cover several important mental health issues.
Advance reservations are not required but would be appreciated. Please call Liz Seelman at 617-349-6220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Light refreshments will be served.
Jan 9, 2015 – The Cambridge Public Library has received the 2015 National Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). A jury of nine professionals selected the project as one of 11 buildings nationwide to receive this prestigious award. The AIA Honor Jury states that “the architecture skillfully joins the library to its clearly delighted community,” and describes the “graceful, transparent” new building as “offering great expanses of beautiful sunlit space with vistas of the surrounding park.”
The Cambridge Public Library, which reopened in November 2009, includes a striking new glass building of 76,700 square feet joined to the restored 27,200 square foot landmark, designed in 1887 by Van Brunt & Howe and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has capacity for over 275,000 books, 90 computer stations, community meeting rooms and a 220-seat auditorium. Over 2,000 patrons visit the building every day. The project also includes an underground parking garage with a 33,000 square foot green roof and the restored Joan Lorentz Park. The building is a model of innovative sustainable design with the first of its kind double-skin curtainwall in the U.S. The front façade has a 3’ deep airspace, multi-story flue, and movable 12” sunshades that create thermally-comfortable and glare-free reading spaces. The library was designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. (Lead Architect) with Ann Beha Architects (Associate Architect/Historic Building Architect), both of Boston.
This award represents one of the 22 honors and awards that Cambridge Public Library has received since it opened in October 2009, including the 2010 Harleston Parker Medal for “The Most Beautiful Building in Boston” from the Boston Society of Architects (BSA).
Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi noted, “During the library project planning process, Cambridge residents expressed a desire that their new main library serve as the civic heart of our community. The evident delight with which our residents use the library every day is probably the best acknowledgment that we have achieved their goal.”
"We fully embraced Library Director Susan Flannery's vision that the building must feel like a library, that you must see books the minute you walk in.” said William L. Rawn, Co-Principal for Design, FAIA, LEED AP. “We think this vision has led to the building becoming a literal Town Common for the City of Cambridge."
Here are a few comments from library users:
“The library is like an oasis in the busy and sometimes callous world. A calm, light-filled, pleasant, clean, and open place to do my work alongside people who look as diverse as Cambridge itself. It feels like home. I love the fact that there are dozens of people waiting to go in when the doors open. And I love the calm, helpful, and friendly staff. Thank you!” – Alice LoCicero
“Every time I walk into this building, I am filled with overflowing gratitude and happiness. It is such a gift to me – and our community!” Liz Salomon
“The library is a beautiful and welcoming place where everyone has access to a vast array of resources for free! At the library, everybody is equal. Knowledge, entertainment, communication, culture, and climate control are all available here to people of all socioeconomic levels. I love the library!” – Janis Navikas
“I think the Cambridge Public Library is a testament to all that is great about Cambridge – it was conceived and built with great thought about every detail, to ensure that everyone would feel welcome and every culture would be represented. It embraces new thinking about what a library and a public space should be, yet pays respect and honor to the past.”
“Cambridge Public Library is a gem. From the friendly customer service provided by library staff, to the light-filled spaces available for reading, working, or just day-dreaming, to the amazing collection of media of all kinds, this library provides a haven of rich resources, available for all, and I, just as one patron, am deeply grateful.”
Cambridge Public Library at Night - Robert Benson Photography
Cambridge Public Library Interior - Robert Benson Photography
Cambridge Public Library Exterior - Side View - Robert Benson Photography