2018 CCJ Notes - January through June
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018
80 Broadway, Cambridge MA (basement under Meadhall)
Doors open at 5:30pm
Presentation will begin at 6:15pm
There will be food, a scale neighborhood model, stations based on topic area with experts in that topic from the design team to answer questions, and CoUrbanize will be recording public feedback along the way.
Follow the project on Boston Properties CoUrbanize website: https://courbanize.com/projects/kendallsquared/updates
For more detailed information on the project you can click here and here to download two PDFs.
Sun, July 22 - Still laying low while all the electrical work and other renovations are completed on the homefront. We're under siege! I hope to be back writing about civic stuff very soon. - RW
June 3, 2018
Observation #1 - Fewer Sanders Sycophants than expected - a hopeful sign.
Best Speech - Jimmy Tingle
Runner-Up: Elizabeth Warren
That said, Senator Warren's speech-making could use a little freshening up. Must she really match the Sanders quota for how many times you mention "billionaires" and "Wall Street" in her stump speech? Will she persist in using the word "persisted" all the way to November and beyond?
Uncontested Seats: Four Women
U.S. Senate: Elizabeth Warren
Auditor: Suzanne Bump
Treasurer: Deborah Goldberg
Attorney General: Maura Healey
Contested Seats: Six Men
For Governor: Jay Gonzalez 70%, Bob Massie 30% (Massie got his ass kicked)
For Lt. Governor: Quentin Palfrey 59%, Jimmy Tingle 41% (Tingle turned a lot of heads at the convention)
For Secretary of State: Josh Zakim 54.9%, William Galvin 45.1% (wake-up call for Galvin, but not a fatal blow by any means)
So they will all be on the September Primary ballot having all received the minimum 15% delegate vote.
Observation #2 – In all seriousness, Jimmy Tingle exhibited more humanity than all the other boys on Saturday. It will be very difficult for either of the two Democratic candidates for Governor to top Charley Baker in the November election (because most people like him), but having a down-to-earth and totally likable candidate like Jimmy Tingle could help.
Observation #3 – It's entertaining to hear all the phrases that the Our Revolutionaries use to describe any Democrat who fails to worship at the feet of Saint Bernard Sanders. First it was "establishment Democrats", then "corporate Democrats". I just saw the phrase "retrograde Democrats" but the best one I heard at the convention was "masturbatory Democrats". I suppose when you're actually a Socialist posing as a Democrat it's necessary to carve out a little turf by rebranding the actual Democrats. There are a lot of those "establishment Democrats" who firmly believe that a major reason why the current occupant of the White House is there is because of Sanders and his Revolutionary Guard. It's also funny that the Revolutionaries seem intent on rejecting any political figure over age 65 – except One. - RW
PS - My Information Packet for the June 1-2 Convention arrived today (June 4). Good thing they had extras at the Convention.
Fri, June 1, 2018 - I was elected several months ago to be a Cambridge Ward 6 delegate to the Democratic State Convention, and the time has now come to go to Worcester to hob-nob with various species of Democrats. Actually, I don't expect to do much hob-nobbing with the Revolutionary Sanders Sycophants (RSS) even though my assumption is that the place will be crawling with them. You know, fists in the air, claims that they represent "the people", the belief that all who disagree with them are "establishment Democrats, or "corporate Democrats", or that they have somehow managed to sleep with every billionaire in every building on Wall Street. Mythology can be a very powerful thing. Good thing there are no guillotines around or the Revolutionary Ladies of the Left would be taking up knitting just in time for the heads to roll.
Aside from the personalities, there are actually some business matters that need to be taken up at this convention. This includes qualifying candidates to have their names on the September primary ballot (gotta get that 15%!) and maybe even blessing a few with an endorsement. I expect that with so few contested races there will be plenty of "issue peddlers" plying their trade on the floor of the convention. The Ranked Choice Voting crowd (with whom I generally agree) is guaranteed, but of late I have been getting emails about stopping "wage theft" and various other causes that are more or less expected at a Democratic event, e.g. anything having to do with labor.
As for the candidates, for Governor it will be Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie looking for love and probable defeat at the hands of Charlie Baker in November. [I'm not trying to be mean here - just realistic.] For Lt. Governor it's Quentin Palfrey vs. Jimmy Tingle. They're both qualified, but I'm with our home-grown Jimmy Tingle. The problem is that come November you can't vote separately for Governor and Lt. Governor, so the fate of the Lt. Governor nominee will be decided by the Baker vs. The Other Guy race. My sense is that Tingle could be an advantage in November because Jimmy is such a likable guy whose heart is clearly in the right place, and that may actually pull a few Democrats back from the brink of going with Baker - who also scores very well on the likability scale.
For Secretary of the Commonwealth, it's a choice between long-time incumbent Bill Galvin vs. the upstart Josh Zakim. In that contest there's more than a little bit of the "put the old guy out to pasture" rhetoric being bandied about on social media. Now that I'm something of an old guy myself this makes me want to stick with the incumbent. Hey you kids, get off of my lawn! Actually, Galvin has done a pretty good job during his tenure and all of the literature from Zakim (and, yes, you get a lot of it when you're a delegate) makes it seem as though he's running against Trump rather than Galvin. Regarding Zakim's rhetoric about being a "bold, progressive leader in voting rights", the simple truth is that it's already absurdly easy to register to vote in Massachusetts and even easier to cast a ballot. I tend to prefer solutions to actual problems rather than imagined ones.
Let's see now - are there any other candidates that need to be chosen or blessed at this convention? Well, there's Elizabeth Warren's Senate seat, but I don't believe she has any Democratic challenger and it wouldn't matter if she did, and the November election should be a laugher. There are Congressional seats, but I don't believe the state convention has much to say about those and, in true undemocratic fashion, most of those are effectively uncontested. There is the Mike Capuano vs. Ayanna Pressley contest, but I suspect the only role the convention will play in that one is to provide a venue for relatively boring and predictable speeches about who is best qualified to overthrow Trump.
Even more distant are the local races, i.e. the State Senate and House races. For Cambridge, I'm pretty sure they are all uncontested except for Marjorie Decker's seat for which she will have the usual fringe challenger in September followed by a sleepy November.
So I guess the real attractions for the Worcester convention will be (a) the Alcohol; (b) the Sanders Sycophants, and (c) the Issue Peddlers. I'll try to take notes.
By the way, June 5 will mark the 50th anniversary of my interest in politics. I was recruited to do phone banking in New York for Robert F. Kennedy that day and he was assassinated that evening. This was pretty heartbreaking in a year that came close to being downright dangerous, and not just for civil rights leaders and presidential candidates. I continued to be active in political campaigns through 1972 when Richard Nixon was reelected. That was enough for me and I walked away from interest in anything political for about the next 21 years. By leaving politics I was actually able to lead a productive life. Any dabbling in things political since 1993 has been almost exclusively local. I don't know how I let myself get dragged into party politics, but I'll at least try to be an adult.
If anything interesting happens in Worcester (or if I visit any great diners), check back here for an update in the next exciting edition of The Reluctant Delegate. - RW
June 6, 2018 – City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. Established under state law in 1935, Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) provides long-term rental housing and rental assistance to more than 7,700 low-income families, elders, and disabled individuals through its Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Programs. It has an annual budget of $121 million and since 2015 has completed over $230 million in capital investment and construction contracts with another $300 million plus planned over the next 3-5 years as CHA revitalizes all the public housing in Cambridge.
CHA also invests in Cambridge families and provides enhanced support to 12% of the city population. By tailoring its approach to focus on policy innovation and family economic opportunities, CHA is able to meet its mission to develop and manage safe, good quality, affordable housing for low-income individuals and families in a manner which promotes citizenship, community and self-reliance in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country.
A five-member Board of Commissioners governs CHA. One member is appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts and the remaining four members are appointed by the Cambridge City Manager and confirmed by the Cambridge City Council. By law, the Board must include a housing authority resident and a representative of labor unions; both of these positions are currently filled. All Board members must be residents of Cambridge.
The CHA Board oversees the Agency's overall direction and approves all significant contract awards, budget decisions, formal submissions to state and federal funding agencies, planning and reporting documents, all major policy decisions, and many other important matters. Commissioners also serve as board members on CHA’s three non-profit affiliates. The Board sets policy but is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the agency.
CHA’s Board of Commissioners meets regularly on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, at 5:30 p.m., at the Agency’s office, 362 Green St., 3rd floor, Cambridge. Additionally, the board may occasionally meet for special meetings as needed.
The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, July 6, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
Your Recycling Gets Recycled, Right? Maybe, or Maybe Not (New York Times, May 29, 2018)
Plastics and papers from dozens of American cities and towns are being dumped in landfills after China stopped recycling most “foreign garbage.”
Cambridge's Composting Program Isn't Actually Composting. Is What They're Doing As Good?
Food scraps are being mixed with sewage.
What's Going On With Recycling?
Recycling is going through a rough stretch. The commodities in the recycling stream (aluminum, paper, etc) are in free fall due to changes in China's acceptance of recyclables. We need your help to turn things around.
Divert and Donate This Spring
Spring cleaning is here. Use our mobile app or web app to find options to dispose of items close. The largest offenders in the trash and recycle carts are:
1. Textiles (clothes, shoes, etc): there are donation locations citywide.
2. Electronics: Large electronics and appliances need a permit for disposal. Small electronics may be recycled for free at the Recycling Center.
Recycle Tour on June 6
Have you ever wondered how recyclables are sorted and recycled? Join us on a behind the scenes tour for Cambridge residents only. Space is limited. Register here.
Upcoming Waste-Related Events
Sunday June 10: Fixer Fair, Somerville
Saturday June 30: Household Hazardous Waste Day for Cambridge residents, Cambridge
Compost by the numbers: More than 400,000 pounds of food diverted since April 2. Trash has decreased by 10%.
Usher in the summer solstice in Harvard Square on Saturday June 16th as talented musicians from across the region celebrate the 11th annual Make Music/Fete De La Musique Festival. From 2pm to 10pm, Rock and Roll, Pop, Jazz, Americana, Bluegrass and more will fill the streets of Harvard Square, as artists perform in pop-up “stages” around the Square!
Make Music Harvard Square is inspired by the "Fête de la Musique" a street-music festival which was started 37 years ago in Paris. The "Fête de la Musique" is now celebrated, under many names, in more than 700 cities in 120 countries, from London to Beijing to Buenos Aires. Harvard Square is proud to be a part of this worldwide celebration!
Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association stated, “Make Music Harvard Square is a wonderful event that brings the community together to share an experience that is fun, family-friendly and free…as are all our events. The Fete is a great opportunity to enjoy some of your favorite genres of music while delighting in the warm and lingering sunlight.”
A complete schedule of talent follows. Lineup subject to change.
Winthrop Park (89 Winthrop Street)
2:00 The Van Burens -- Nerd-funk
3:00 Strangeways -- Indie Pop with a British & New Wave Slant
4:00 Grayson Ty -- Pop/Folk
5:00 New Dakotas -- Indie Pop Rock
6:00 Savasha -- Unplugged set of Electro Pop
7:00 Learson Peak -- Rock
8:00 Tarciso Alves Forró Band -- World/Brazilian Folk Music
9:00 Mike Hastings Band -- Indie Roots Rock
The Pit (by the Out-Of-Town News Kiosk)
2:00 CapitalE1 (Capital-E-One) -- R&B/Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz, Bluegrass, Folk music
3:00 Big Jon and the Mattress Factory -- Classic Rock Inspired Rock
4:00 The Melted Chapstixs -- Glam Rock
5:00 They Have Evil Yell -- Improvisational
6:00 The New Englanders -- American Folk/Bluegrass
Harvard Book Store (1256 Mass Ave)
1:00 John O’Leary & Friends -- Originals & 20th Century Standards
2:00 Steve and Abby -- "Rags" from the 30's & a Little Blues
3:00 Kelli Eagan -- Acoustic / Indie folk
4:00 The Mark Chenevert - Josh Criswell Duo -- Chamber Jazz/ Modern Jazz
5:00 The Imaginators -- Pop/Rock with a Classical Twist
6:00 Mackenzie Clement -- Blues/Pop/Jazz
7:00 James Hough -- Pop, R&B and Country/Folk
8:00 Crazy Little Ukes -- Americana
Pokeworks (1440 Mass Ave)
1:00 Willie T & Doctor X -- Acoustic Rock/Folk/Blues
2:00 Crowes Pasture -- Contemporary Folk
4:00 Trail Mix -- Folk/Bluegrass
5:00 Obliquity -- Swelling Drone and Minimal Ambient/ Free Improvisation/Free Jazz
6:00 Rachel Marie -- Folk Singer-Songwriter
7:00 Parma Chai featuring Director/Vioinist/Vocalist/Pianist Parama Chattopadhyay and Percussionist Steven P Asaro -- Classical, Pop, Fiddle
8:00 Mike Rydock – Singer Songwriter/Folk
Brattle Street Plaza (in front of Hidden Sweets, 25 Brattle Street)
2:00 Fourshadow --Alternative Rock
The COOP (1400 Mass Ave)
2:00 Paul Lauro-Priestly -- Trans-Genre
4:00 Woody -- Street Folk, Folk Rock and Originals
5:00 Daniel Turner -- Classic Rock and Roll, R&B
6:00 Sur5ILL -- Hip-Hop
8:00 Sodawars -- Indie Rock
2:00 Born Yesterday -- Rock
3:00 Band Land Brass Band -- Fusion of jazz, funk, hip-hop, and R&B -also known locally as HONK music
Note: There will reportedly also be a protest gathering of musicians (associated with the EMF controversy) that will likely be found in the vicinity of The Pit.
For the 25th consecutive year, the Men’s Health League and the Men of Color Task Force are hosting the HOOPS ‘N’ HEALTH (www.cambridgepublichealth.org) sports tournament and health fair on Saturday, June 16, 10am to 6pm, at Hoyt Field (Gilmore St. & Western Ave.) in Cambridge.
The popular, free event draws over 300 men and boys who compete in basketball and flag football tournaments, and participate in a required health workshop.
Progress has been made in men’s health, and U.S. males of all races and ethnicities are living longer on average than they did 25 years ago. But some groups have fared better than others. Males of African descent continue to have the lowest life expectancy in the United States among both men and women, and the highest death rate for heart disease, stroke, cancer, homicide, and firearm-related injury.
To celebrate 25 years of making men’s health a priority, Hoops ‘N’ Health will raffle off Celtics and Harlem Globetrotters tickets and other prizes; host a special appearance by Wally, the official mascot of the Boston Red Sox; and offer photo opps with the World Series trophy. The event also includes live music, dancing, Zumba, cooking demonstrations, a free healthy lunch, kids’ games, and an “Ask a Health Care Provider” table.
Rain date is Saturday, June 23.
Visit Hoops on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HoopsNHealth
For more information or to sign up a team, contact Richard Harding at the Cambridge Public Health Department at 617-665-3769 or email@example.com. For the full schedule of events: http://www.cambridgepublichealth.org/events/calendar-event.php?id=639
May 19, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking Cambridge residents interested in serving on the city’s Committee on Public Planting.
The Public Planting Committee is charged with the responsibility of promoting and improving the quality and diversity of plantings throughout all areas of Cambridge. This includes: reviewing planting plans for new public work in the city; advising the city on effective maintenance of public plantings; supporting the role of the City Arborist; and encouraging interest in public plantings in all neighborhoods. Candidates should have an interest in urban forestry and landscape issues, and, ideally, experience in horticulture. The Committee usually meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7pm, at the Department of Public Works, 147 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA.
The deadline for submitting applications is June 11, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
For more information about the committee, contact David Lefcourt, City Arborist, at 617-349-6433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018 Fresh Pond Stewardship awards ceremony hosted by the City of Cambridge on May 16 recognized retired Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi and retired city Recreation Director Paul Ryder for their environmental stewardship and dedicated commitment to preserving, protecting and maintaining Fresh Pond Reservation, one of the area’s most precious natural resources.
Rossi began his 45-year career with the city in 1971 as an intern in the Water Department. He went on to serve in numerous capacities, including Purchasing Agent, Acting Commissioner of Public Works, Acting Director of the Water Department, Deputy City Manager for 32 years, and as City Manager from July 2013 through his retirement in 2016. Rossi initiated the development of the Fresh Pond Reservation Master Plan, which was completed in 2000, and championed its implementation. He also led the effort to organize the Fresh Pond Advisory Committee in 1997, which later became the Fresh Pond Advisory Board. Rossi also recommended the use of Community Preservation Act funds for Fresh Pond Reservation restoration projects such as Northeast Sector, Little Fresh Pond, Stream C, Glacken Slope, Kingsley Park, Black’s Nook, and most recently, the Drainage and Community Garden Project. These projects helped create a healthier and more natural open space, leading to a Reservation that is more accessible and sustainable for the future.
Paul Ryder served as Recreation Director with the City of Cambridge since 1982 and helped ensure that any work at Fresh Pond Golf Course, which was within Fresh Pond Reservation, also met the water quality needs for the drinking water supply. He contributed to and participated in priority Fresh Pond Reservation restoration projects such as Little Fresh Pond, Stream C, and Black’s Nook. Paul contributed countless hours and strong leadership as an original member of the 1997 Fresh Pond Master Plan Advisory Committee and subsequent Advisory Board as well as the Shared-Use Process. Paul directed the Cambridge City Run Road Race around the reservation for 30 years.
“This is the 10th year for this awards program which provides us with a good opportunity to recognize some of individuals who have gone the extra mile to help protect and preserve Fresh Pond Reservation,” said Sam Corda, Manager Director of the Cambridge Water Department. “We are very lucky to have many residents and City officials who truly care about this important community resource.”
Congratulations to the 2018 Fresh Pond Steward Award recipients, retired city
Recreation Director Paul Ryder and retired Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi
May 7, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale 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, and to make certain that the library reflects and is relevant to the community.
Trustees serve a 3 year term and are expected to attend monthly board meetings, committee and community meetings, appropriate continuing education workshops or conferences, and library programs as their schedules allow.
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. It is also important for candidates to understand how the role of the public library is evolving and how information technology and societal changes inform the library’s future.
The deadline for submitting applications is June 4, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. For more information about the role of Library trustees, contact Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries at 617-349-4032 or mmccauley@Cambridgema.gov.
The City of Cambridge hosted a special ceremony this week to honor the recipients of the 2018 City of Cambridge Scholarship. This year, the city awarded 78 scholarships of $3,000 each for a total $234,000 to Cambridge high school seniors and others pursuing higher education. This is the highest amount ever awarded in a single year. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the city has awarded 952 scholarships totaling $2.2 million.
The City of Cambridge gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution of the many generous residents and local businesses that make this opportunity possible. Two Cambridge businesses that made significant contributions to the Scholarship Fund that we would especially like to thank were Boston Properties, contributing $50,000 and CambridgeSide, contributing $15,000 through proceeds from the Cambridge Half Marathon held in November.
Special thanks also to our Scholarship Committee who volunteer their time year after year to carefully review the applications and select our recipients.
“I’m glad we have you our young leaders here to inspire us,” said Mayor Marc C. McGovern. And wherever you end up, whether it is Cambridge or elsewhere, I encourage you to continue working on making a difference.”
City Manager Louis A. Pasquale also congratulated the scholarship recipients, adding “You should be proud of your hard work and I hope you how proud your city is of you. As you look toward your future, please keep in mind that you are the future of the City (of Cambridge).”
The 2018 City Scholarship recipients included: Kale Abrha; Nathaniel Adamian; Rakeyah Ahsan; Nathnael Aschale; Alula Assefa; Selamawit Balcha; Anne Ball; Gregory Barrow; Marcus Bartholomew; Samira Begum; Lucy Bent; Rebecca Bilodeau; Samanta Breval; Ella Brown; Nathalia Burini; Lucas Chen; Gabriel Colburn; Pilli Cruz-De Jesus; Caroline Daley; Beminet Desalegn; Alexandra DeWeese; Miya Duffy; Leonardo Escobar; Fahedur Fahed; Noon Farsab; Jayven Feliz; Christopher Figueroa; Luyao Fu Carolina Galvis; Laura Gill; Mahkeida Goncalves-Charles; Noah Gonci; Lily Grob; Evelyn Hartenstein; Adam Hermon; Nusrat Jahan; Kelsey Jajoute; Jeynaba Jamanka; Fnu Jarna; Kyia Jones; Cooper Kelley; Sarah Kim; Natalie Krieg; Joshua Kruskal; Abigael Lafontant; Cynthia Laroche; Mingjie Lian; Lila Lifton Nidjee Lisson; Yufan Liu; Juliette Low Fleury; Robel Mahari; Summia Mahmud; Vanessa Marques Pineda Luke Matheson; Paul McCann; Kiel McGowan; Thomas McNulty; Samerwite Mekonen; Lisa Mekonnen; Helina Mekonnen; Yigermal Mekonnen; Daniel Jackson Moore-Otto; Tenzin Phelgay; Abigail Reynolds; Amireh Rezaei-Kamalabad; Charles Rideout; Shuvom Sadhuka; Asma Sheikh; Kebron Sime; Samuel Somerdin; Smarika Suwal; Danait Teclezghi; Eldana Tewodros; Diana Voevodsky; Evan Wilcox; Feven Woldesenbet; and Elaina Wolfson.
For more information on the City Scholarship Fund, or to consider a contribution, please visit CambridgeMA.Gov/CityScholarship.
May 2, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking to fill a vacancy on Cambridge’s Open Data Review Board and is looking for representatives from public, private, academic, or nonprofit sectors with expertise in or relevant experience with Open Data.
The city’s Open Data Program makes government data easily available in useful formats, and is intended to increase transparency, foster engagement among residents, and create new opportunities for collaboration between Cambridge and the public.
The Review Board, comprised of at least three residents and four or more city employees, will meet quarterly to help ensure that the program balances its goals of transparency and accessibility with the city’s obligation to protect private, confidential, and sensitive information.
The Board will make recommendations to the City Manager and Open Data Program Manager on policies, rules, and standards related to Cambridge’s Open Data Program, including methods for determining the appropriate level of accessibility for new datasets and timelines for making new datasets available.
Specifically, the Review Board will help answer the following questions:
For more information about Open Data Review Board, contact Josh Wolff, email@example.com. The deadline for submitting applications is June 4, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
So there's a public meeting on Thursday, May 3 regarding what is called the "South Massachusetts Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements Project". The meeting will take place from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at MIT, Room 2-190 (182 Memorial Drive, Simons Building). The essentials from the meeting notice are:
"To improve safety and reliability for users of the street, the City of Cambridge is evaluating 'quick build' changes to Massachusetts Avenue from Sidney Street to Memorial Drive with an emphasis on increasing the comfort and convenience of people walking, biking and riding buses. This project supports the City’s Vision Zero goal to reduce and eliminate serious injuries/fatalities from crashes, as well as City policies that promote the use of sustainable ways to travel in Cambridge."
Having seen a few notices and having attended more than my share of meetings, allow me to interpret. When the public notice uses the word "comfort" or the phrase "comfort index", that's code for "separated bike lanes", i.e. PVC plastic posts bolted to the road, and I can pretty much guarantee that regardless whether this gives any safety improvement or if it creates significant traffic problems, the entire matter is nonnegotiable. The purpose of the meeting is to tell you what has already been decided, and the only public input that might have any effect will be in regard to aesthetic matters (color of the posts) and whether or not even more parking spaces should be removed to compensate for any potential hazards at intersections or reduced visibility.
This project will likely not be nearly as controversial as what was done to Cambridge Street or Brattle Street (due to the scarcity of residents along this stretch of Mass. Ave.), but I imagine there could be some concerns from the businesses since it's likely that most or all parking may soon disappear. Perhaps the only real question at this point is whether all of the parking disappears or if traffic is reduced to one lane each way for the whole stretch (which may well result in traffic being backed up during some hours along the entire stretch). One things is virtually certain – if you don't think that segregated bike lanes are a good idea here, you may as well stay home because nobody will hear you. - RW
Apr 23, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Outstanding City Employee Award. The annual award recognizes a select number of employees for superior performance, positive attitude, hard work and dedication to public service. The recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 11, at 9:00am, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. All are welcome to attend.
The City Manager will also present an award in honor and memory of the late Brian Murphy, to a person who is committed to making government improve the lives of others.
Congratulations to our 2018 Outstanding City Employees:
Note: This year's Brian Murphy Award recipient was former City Manager Richard C. Rossi.
The Cambridge Historical Society (CHS) is hosting its first History Cafe of the 2018 season on Wednesday, May 30th at Atwood’s Tavern at 6:30pm in East Cambridge. Open to the public, the event will feature guest speakers and lively discussion about where Cambridge is from with a focus on East Cambridge, the first stop for many newcomers to our city:
Tickets are modestly priced and can be purchased at the door or at www.cambridgehistory.org.
Each year, CHS programs explore a “big question” facing our community alongside a historical perspective to inspire curiosity and enable better understanding. This year’s theme is “Where Is Cambridge From?” Our 2018 History Café events and other activities will highlight various aspects of people’s experiences of identity and belonging in Cambridge.
Mark your calendar for more History Café events throughout 2018. Dates and times will be announced at www.cambridgehistory.org/
About the Speakers:
Reed Gochberg, Moderator
Cliff Cook joined the Cambridge Community development Department in 1995. He is currently Senior Planning Information Manager, responsible for a variety of topics where urban planning and data intersect. He acts as the unofficial city demographer, providing information about the population of Cambridge from a range of sources. He is the president of the Association of Public Data Users and a member of the Census Bureau’s Data products Review Group. He has Master of Regional Planning and undergraduate degrees from Cornell University.
Michael Delia has over 25 years of experience in management positions within not-for-profit organizations. He has served as the President and CEO of East End House since 1996. During his tenure, East End House has received numerous awards, including the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Award for Excellence in Management in 2010 and Family Strengthening Award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and United Neighborhood Centers of America in 2009 and 2010. Michael received a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago in Social Service Administration and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dr. Gochberg is a Lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. She received her PhD in English in 2016 from Boston University, and she specializes in nineteenth-century American literature and culture, with research interests in the history of science, material culture, and the history of museums. Reed is a member of the Society's Programs Committee.
About The Cambridge Historical Society
From the American Revolution to the biotech revolution, the history of Cambridge, Massachusetts is unlike that of any other city. A city this vibrant and vital must preserve its past and learn from it to make the Cambridge of today the best it can be. Founded in 1905, the Cambridge Historical Society is a membership organization that serves our community through inclusive programming and stewardship of its historic collections and the property entrusted to it. The Society helps those who live and work in Cambridge explore and understand how and why we got here and use that perspective to facilitate the exploration and understanding of contemporary issues. We enable our community to better recognize, understand, and appreciate the threads that connect yesterday, today, and tomorrow and connect us to each other and our community.
About Atwood’s Tavern
Located at 877 Cambridge Street, Atwood’s is a neighborhood restaurant, bar, and music venue that features local and touring musicians. Atwood’s serves a full dinner menu until 11:30pm nightly and offers an outdoor patio space to enjoy the warm weather.
In observance of the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday, May 28, 2018, Cambridge city offices, libraries, and senior centers will be closed. Payments will not be required at City of Cambridge parking meters and parking meter pay stations, and there will be no trash, recycling, or compost pickup, and no street cleaning. The Cambridge Veterans' Organization (CVO) and Cambridge Veterans' Services will hold their annual Memorial Day Parade and Observance on Monday, May 28.
The trash, recycling, and compost daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the rest of that week. Regularly scheduled street cleaning routes for May 28 will be swept on May 29. The offices at the Cambridge Cemetery, 76 Coolidge Avenue, will be closed on the holiday, however the gates will be open from dawn to dusk.
Residents can find their curbside collections and street cleaning schedules by entering their address in the “My Cambridge Schedule” tool found at www.CambridgeMA.gov/theworks.
Reminders related to above city services are now available by text message, email, or app notifications by downloading the “Zero Waste Cambridge” app for iPhone/Android. Users who are registered to receive reminders through E-Line should re-subscribe using the scheduling tool or by downloading the app in order to receive future reminders.
The Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28 will begin with a cannon salute at 9:30am by the MA Bicentennial Battery 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 Marc McGovern 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, at approximately 11am, a Memorial Day Observance will be held at the Cambridge Cemetery. CVO President Philip Anderson will serve as Master of Ceremonies. CVO Chaplain Zelma Bostick will give the Invocation and Benediction. Mayor Marc McGovern will give the greetings of the city. 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, Cambridge.
Upcoming Envision Cambridge Meetings – Join the Conversation this May
Economy Working Group - Agenda
Tuesday, May 1, 6:00-8:30pm
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Meeting Room
Housing Working Group - Agenda
Wednesday, May 2, 3:00-5:30pm
City Hall Sullivan Chamber, 795 Mass. Ave.
Alewife Working Group - Agenda
Thursday, May 10, 6:30-8:30pm
West Cambridge Youth Center, 680 Huron Ave.
Alewife Public Meeting - Agenda
Wednesday, May 16, 6:30-8:30pm
Tobin School Cafeteria, 197 Vassal Lane
Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee Meeting - Agenda
Wednesday, May 23, 6:00-8:00pm
Citywide Senior Center Ballroom, 806 Massachusetts Ave.
For more information about Envision Cambridge, visit envision.cambridgema.gov.
Apr 20, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking a resident to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission.
The Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC) seeks Cambridge residents representing the diversity of Cambridge. Commissioners are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees on outreach and public education, and work with Commission staff on the investigation, mediation and resolution of complaints filed with the Commission which allege discrimination in housing, public accommodations, employment or education based upon race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income.
The Human Rights Commission is made up of 11 members who serve three-year terms. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at 6:00pm.
The deadline for submitting applications is May 25, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. For more information, contact Nancy Schlacter, Cambridge Human Rights Commission, at 617-349-4396 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apr 25, 2018 – The City of Cambridge will launch its fifth Participatory Budgeting (PB) cycle from June-December 2018. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of the capital budget.
For this next process, the City will set aside $900,000 for capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past PB cycles include a public toilet in Central Square, musical instruments for CRLS, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, solar panels for the Main Library roof, water bottle fill stations, and many others.
The City is seeking volunteers to serve on the PB Outreach Committee for the 2018 cycle. Volunteers will help ensure that the next PB process engages as many community members as possible.
Outreach Committee members will serve throughout the PB5 cycle (May-December 2018) by:
The Outreach Committee schedule is as follows:
*Locations for all meeting will be in and/or around Central Square.
Outreach Committee members will work closely with Budget Office staff to make PB5 the most successful cycle yet. Food will be provided at Outreach Committee meetings and each volunteer will receive a PB T-shirt.
Cambridge residents interested in serving on the PB Cambridge Outreach Committee can apply online at www.Cambridgema.gov/PB5Outreach or contact Matt Nelson in the Budget Office at email@example.com or 617-349-4270. The deadline to apply is May 11, 2018.
For more information about the PB process visit pb.cambridgema.gov.
Apr 24, 2018 - The national public health emergency caused by the opioid epidemic is impacting communities across the country. The city of Cambridge has not been spared these tragedies despite the concerted efforts by key stakeholders, clinicians and advocates to aid those who may be struggling with the gravitational pull of addiction.
Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale has created a new working group which will review disease surveillance data, identify best practices about opioid-related prevention, intervention, and treatment activities as well as share information about the chronic nature of addiction.
In November 2017, then Vice Mayor (now Mayor) Marc McGovern produced a report “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Cambridge, which was based on the work of an ad hoc committee made up of city and community partners. In that report, he identified many of the critical challenges that individuals and cities around the country are facing and offered a series of recommendations to address this crisis.
“I want to build upon the work of Mayor McGovern and the ad hoc committee,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “Therefore, recognizing the continued impact that the opioid crisis is having within our community, I am establishing a working group to assess the feasibility of expanding harm reduction efforts in the City of Cambridge as well as consider more innovative strategies to assist residents, students and visitors alike.” The City Manager also noted his appreciation for the work of the advocates and service providers who have urged the City to look at all of the alternatives ways to address the opioid epidemic.
The charge of the City Manager’s Opioid Working Group is to advise the City Manager on policies and practices that address the opioid epidemic in Cambridge. This administrative working group is designed to include a cross-section of representatives from human services, public safety, public health, and healthcare who are instrumental with overseeing the response efforts in the City as well as addressing the clinical / counseling support needed by those who may be experiencing a health crisis.
The Working Group will be chaired by Dr. Assaad Sayah, Chief Medical Officer, Cambridge Health Alliance and Commissioner Branville Bard, Police Commissioner, Cambridge Police Department. The aim is to submit a report to the City Manager by October 2018 outlining specific short and long-term recommended goals that align with the City’s health improvement plan and actions that are currently underway.
In THE COLOR OF LAW, Richard Rothstein makes irrefutable that the segregation laws and policies passed by all levels of government expressly and systematically promoted the discriminatory patterns that persist to this day.
Pro-housing group "A Better Cambridge (ABC)" will host a Boston-metro community conversation with Richard Rothstein who will discuss his widely acclaimed book, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Through clear prose and extensive research that Ta-Nehisi Coates has lauded as "brilliant,” Rothstein’s book describes the forgotten story of how our federal, state, and local governments explicitly encouraged racial segregation across the country - in blue states, red states and as recently as the 2008 housing crisis. Today we are living with the repercussions of these policies with, for example, extreme racial wealth inequality and a stubborn achievement gap in our schools. This one-of-a-kind conversation will take place on May 22nd, at 6:30pm at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Fitzgerald Theater.
A panel discussion will follow Rothstein’s presentation, featuring Chrystal Kornegay, Executive Director of MassHousing; Dr. Atyia Martin, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Northeastern and former Chief Resilience Officer of Boston; Eva Martin-Blythe, Executive Director of the Cambridge YWCA; and Bob Terrell, Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston; The conversation will be moderated by The Boston Globe’s Ideas Editor, Dante Ramos.
“The Color of Law is one of those rare books that will be discussed and debated for many decades. Based on careful analyses of multiple historical documents, Rothstein has presented what I consider to be the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation.”– William Julius Wilson, author of The Truly Disadvantaged
ABC founder and chairman, Jesse Kanson-Benanav, is thrilled to welcome Mr. Rothstein, saying that “in a progressive community like Cambridge and a deep blue state like Massachusetts, we often lose sight of how our own housing and land use policies have contributed to the government-sanctioned segregation that Mr. Rothstein writes about.” And while Cambridge makes a small but ominous appearance in the book, specifically with regard to the intentional racial segregation when the Washington Elms & Newtowne Court public housing developments were first built, “the community discussion following Mr. Rothstein’s presentation will provide more local context, explore how we continue to perpetuate segregation in Cambridge and Greater Boston, and examine what we can do about it.”
The event is free and open to the public, but registration at www.abettercambridge.org is strongly recommended. Doors open at 6:00pm and the discussion begins at 6:30pm. Copies of Rothstein's book will be available for purchase. Advanced purchases are encouraged at The Harvard Bookstore and Porter Square Books.
Richard Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He lives in California, where he is a Fellow of the Haas Institute at the University of California–Berkeley. The Color of Law was a Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Best Books of 2017 and was a finalist for the National Book Award.
A Better Cambridge (ABC) is a non-profit organization made up of Cambridge residents who are committed to building a more diverse and sustainable city with housing for all people. They support increased housing of all kinds, smart, eco-friendly density, and growth that is public-transit centered, to create vibrant, walkable, bikeable, livable neighborhoods. Through education and advocacy, they seek to impact the public conversation, include under-represented groups, and encourage thoughtful, smart planning and policy.
Department-by-Department Budget Summaries: FY1992 through FY2019 (some interpretation required)
Department-by-Department Full-Time Positions: FY1992 through FY2019 (with total employee counts back to 1981)
Apr 23, 2018 -- Today, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale submitted his proposed Operating and Capital Budgets for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), as well as the proposed FY20-23 Operating and Capital Plans, to the Cambridge City Council. The proposed Operating Budget of $636.4 million represents an increase of $25.7 million, or 4.22%, over the FY18 Adjusted Budget. The proposed Capital Budget is $105.4 million.
Last year, the City Council prepared new goals, which are reflected in the FY19 budget submittal. The budget demonstrates the collaborative work of the administration and City Council to address the pressing needs for current and future Cambridge residents and visitors. The FY19 Budget includes many new initiatives and 25 additional staff positions.
“I want to thank the City Council for its leadership and for its active engagement in the FY19 budget process,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “The budget document released today contains many new initiatives and staff positions that are a direct result of the City Council’s collective feedback.”
The public is encouraged to review the budget document which contains the City Council goals, key initiatives, each department’s budget narrative, and this year’s capital projects to gain a deeper understanding of the FY19 objectives. Three highlights from the proposed budget include:
The long-term outlook for Cambridge continues to be very strong, which is confirmed by the City’s consistent AAA bond rating. The City will continue to use its five-year financial and capital plan, debt and reserve policies, and the City Council goals as guides in its long-term planning to maintain stability and predictability in the budgeting process and adherence to its policies.
“I believe that the initiatives and spending priorities recommended in this budget submission reflect not only the goals of the City Council, but also the priorities of the residents and taxpayers of Cambridge. Our effective short and long-term financial, economic, and programmatic planning strategies will help ensure that Cambridge can continue to provide the level of services that residents desire while maintaining the modest tax implications taxpayers have come to expect,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale.
The City Council’s Finance Committee will conduct public hearings on the city and school budgets covering the fiscal period July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, on the following dates and times: Tuesday, May 1, at 9:00am, Tuesday, May 8, at 9:00am, Wednesday, May 9 at 6:00pm (School Department), and, if necessary, Thursday, May 10, at 9:00am. These hearings will be broadcast on 22-CityView, the Municipal Channel, and live-streamed on the Open Meeting Portal of the City’s website at www.CambridgeMA.Gov.
Copies (PDF) of the FY19 Budget Submission to the City Council can be downloaded at www.CambridgeMA.GOV/FY19SubmittedBudget.
Apr 8 - I've been taking a brief sabbatical from writing about civic and political matters as I wend my way through the semester with the classes I teach at MIT and at the Harvard Extension School. This doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention, mind you, only that I have felt little motivation to write about the things that have been flowing by other than at the superficial level of what's on the City Council agenda each week. There have been some interesting developments there, e.g. the truncated campaign for "Tenant Right of First Refusal" and some nascent indications of what is to come in the name of battling climate change (don't be surprised if lots of on-street parking disappears, more roadways are turned into obstacle courses, and your resident parking fee increases substantially).
This past month or so has been nearly unique in that there hasn't been a single zoning petition pending before the City Council. That was supposed to change last week with the filing by "no growth" activists from North Cambridge and the Fresh Pond area of what was being called "The Pause Petition" to put all new construction in the Alewife area on hold. This proposed Moratorium was endorsed by the North Cambridge Stabilization Committee (NCSC), the Fresh Pond Residents Alliance (FPRA), the Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR), Green Cambridge, and the Cambridge Residents Alliance (CResA). The proposed filing was met with a harsh response from the folks from A Better Cambridge (ABC) who saw it primarily as a mechanism to stop the building of new housing and, in particular, "affordable housing". As a result, the Pause Petition was withheld so that it could be rebranded.
Personally, I've grown pretty sick of just about all of these activist groups. Some of the ABC activists have expressed open hostility toward such things as historical preservation (they think its sole purpose is to block dense development), and their counterparts in the "no growth" crowd will use every trick in the book to slow or stop any change other than toward farmland. It really sucks that some people see CResA and ABC as the two sides of the Cambridge political coin. I'll choose practical people over ideologues any day. If we could just agree that relatively dense development near transit is generally a good thing and that preserving many of the things we like (including some low density areas) may also be a generally good thing, then maybe we could have an actual conversation.
So the next chapter is that the Pause Petition has now been rebranded as "Zoning Amendments for a Flood and Heat Resilient Cambridge". I'm sure there are some good things in this proposal, especially those parts that were cribbed from the preliminary plans being developed as part of the Envision Cambridge process, but the bottom line is that this is still primarily a rebranding of the Pause Petition in which that original goal is embedded in a document that uses the threat of future climate change as cover. My cynical side gets the sense that this is being done quite intentionally so that any criticism of the petition will be interpreted as climate change denial.
This is becoming the new political norm in Cambridge. If you question the wisdom of a particular road design, you are branded as not supporting bicycle safety or worse. If you are skeptical of efforts to use climate change to justify political motives, then you're in denial of the threat of climate change. Did I mention how much I dislike ideologues? Now excuse me while I calculate my "Green Factor". - Robert Winters
The Cambridge Historical Commission is proud to present a new GIS Story Map created bySarah Burks, Preservation Planner, available here! This fun Story Map focuses on the long-gone lunch carts and dining cars in Cambridge.
"From the earliest horse-drawn lunch carts to the streamlined stainless steel cars, diners were once plentiful in Cambridge. But where did they all go? Some diners moved into brick and mortar locations and others relocated to other towns. The recent Food Truck trend appears to be a revival of the portable dining car, but they don't offer the seating and table service of yesterday."
Take a tour of Cambridge diner photos and share your diner memories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have you been to any of these diners?
10:30am Jane's Walk – Jazz and Rock at an Old Trolley Stop
Meet at 10:30am at Carl Barron Plaza in the heart of Central Square. Hosted by Boston Globe reporter Michael Kenney.
Stand at the corner of Brookline Street and Massachusetts Avenue, and, depending on the hour, you will hear sounds of jazz and rock from The Middle East restaurant and nightclub. But there was a time, a century ago, when instead there would have been the clatter of trolleys heading up from their car barn. Michael Kenney, longtime Boston Globe city-reporter now independently researching Cambridge’s history, will lead us through a choice sample of local historical layers of city life up to the present. We will head down Pearl Street from Mass. Ave. for a half dozen or so blocks and then walk back up the parallel Brookline St, one block east, passing – among many intriguing sights – the old car barn itself and the 1920s EMF electrical supply warehouse, now studio space for two hundred musicians. End at The Middle East café, where those who wish may purchase lunch and continue the conversation.
Sun, May 6
11:00am-5:00pm The Central Flea Returns every weekend starting this Sunday (University Park, Sidney Street)
The Central Square Business Association (CSBA) + New England Open Markets are pumped for the return of the Central Flea! As you may have noticed, the Flea will have the same awesome vintage, antique, arts, etc. vendors you've come to know and love – but we've also got a few new things up our sleeves. We've moved to the other side! Of #CentralSQ, that is. Join us at University Park (91 Sidney St, Cambridge, MA) for a Flea surrounded by gorgeous greenery.
We're excited to announce that Lamplighter Brewing Co. will be opening an all-new beer garden at the Flea this year! When you're tired of shopping, stop by for a cold one.
Sun, May 6
12:00pm to 6:00pm Harvard Square’s 35th Annual MayFair
The Harvard Square Business Association is excited to announce the 35th Annual MayFair. Come experience the sounds of Mexico as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo (+1) on May 6th (rain date, May 20th) from noon to 6pm! To commemorate this fete of Mexican culture and heritage, Mariachi music will be performed from our main stage (in the super cross walk in front on The Out of Town News Kiosk) all afternoon!
For 35 years, MayFair has been the official party to kickoff Spring in Harvard Square. In addition to the exuberant and colorful performances of our Mexican musicians, be sure to stop by the Passim stage at the corner of Brattle and Church Street for sets by some of the most highly esteemed folk artists in the area. Have the urge to dance in the streets? Make your way to the intersection of Mt. Auburn and JFK Streets to experience reggae performed by Harvard Square favorites, Dread Rocks.
Take in the sights of fleeting works of chalk art at our Cambridge Rotary sponsored ‘Chalk on the Walk’. Raise a glass in one of beer gardens, hosted by Beat Brasserie, The Hourly Oyster House, Alden & Harlow, The Sinclair and El Jefe’s Taqueria. Entertain the kids at the Victorian Children’s Play Area in Winthrop Park and on a trip of the event grounds aboard the Roaming Railroad. Shop at over 60 artisan booths, featuring affordable art, clothing, jewelry and more. Satisfy your hunger at one of our international food vendors – you’ll have over 50 food vendors to choose from. Take in a performance at our dance stage. There is no better place to usher in warmer temperatures than Harvard Square’s legendary MayFair!
Historians may have found unmarked grave of Cambridge slave turned Revolutionary War soldier (Apr 6, 2018)
LETTER: Municipal internet proposal in Cambridge is outdated (Apr 6, 2018 by Phil Sego)
LETTER: City of Cambridge as broadband provider less attractive than supposed (Apr 5, 2018 by Ben Compaine)
GLX update: Pre-construction efforts underway; project slated for completion in 2021 (Apr 5, 2018)
Bus lanes coming to Mount Auburn could improve commute for thousands (Apr 6, 2018)
Cycling advocates ‘outraged’ over ruling in 2016 fatal crash in Porter Square (Apr 3, 2018)
No charges in Porter Square bicycle crash that killed Lexington man (Apr 3, 2018)
Cambridge to look into buying EMF building or working with owner to extend tenants’ stay (Apr 3, 2018)
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority announces station elevator closures (Apr 3, 2018)
Cambridge councilors showcase women, city issues in new podcast (Mar 27, 2018)
With the closure of EMF, councilors look at ways to protect Cambridge artists (Mar 27, 2018)
New Cambridge law to require registration of short-term rental properties (Mar 27, 2018)
Kendall, East Cambridge getting 3 new parks this year (Mar 23, 2018)
Group forms to push city-owned broadband in Cambridge (Mar 22, 2018)
Cambridge creates legal defense fund to protect immigrants from deportation (Mar 7, 2018)
Nominations sought for Outstanding City of Cambridge Employee Awards (Mar 6, 2018)
Cambridge councilors vote against home rule petition for right of first refusal (Mar 6, 2018)
Would Right of First Refusal alleviate Cambridge’s housing crisis? (Mar 5, 2018)
2017 TOP EARNERS: Where are the women in Cambridge’s top-earners list? (Mar 1, 2018)
New push for ‘essential’ bridge to link Alewife developments with transit (Feb 28, 2018)
Elaine DeRosa, a ‘fierce advocate’ for Cambridge’s low-income, retires after four decades (Feb 28, 2018)
Cambridge awarded AAA ratings (Feb 27, 2018)
Cambridge teacher dies a month after being struck by car in Central Square (Feb 16, 2018)
COLUMN: Cambridge Education Association has shifted toward social justice unionism (Feb 14, 2018)
Unfavorable feedback on Cambridge Street bike lanes leads to formation of new working group (Feb 13, 2018)
City Council votes to support renters’ right of first refusal bill (Feb 7, 2018)
Jerry’s Pond back in spotlight as advocates push for cleanup of North Cambridge site (Feb 6, 2018)
City of Cambridge to release Vision Zero Action Plan (Feb 6, 2018)
To reduce fatalities, Cambridge lowers speed limit to 20 mph in all squares (Feb 5, 2018)
Cambridge could expand electric car charging in city neighborhoods (Feb 1, 2018)
Officials: Now is the time to go solar in Cambridge (June 30, 2018)
Even Cambridge’s top cop and fire chief have a Super Bowl bet (Jan 26, 2018)
Cambridge city council wants better enforcement of space-saver ban (Jan 24, 2018)
New city law to regulate short-term rentals (Jan 24, 2018)
CTA Construction completes Newtowne Court renovation (Jan 22, 2018)
5 things to know: Proposed Porter Square traffic pattern changes (Jan 22, 2018)
Thousands join Women’s March in Cambridge (Jan 21, 2018)
PHOTOS: 2018 Women’s March gathers on Cambridge Common
Cambridge arborist named Tree Warden of the Year (Jan 20, 2018)
City OKs affordable housing development in Porter Square (Jan 12, 2018)
Councilors push for affordable alternative once Star Market in Central Square closes (Jan 9, 2018)
Cambridge nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers’ altruism (Jan 8, 2018)
Cambridge recognized for advancing solar energy growth (Jan 5, 2018)
The Cambridge Consumers’ Council and the U.S. Postal Service will be helping residents dispose of unwanted records at a free document shredding event.
Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Information for consumer rights and safety will be distributed.
Please note this is a free event based on first come, first served, or until the truck is full to capacity. The parking spots in front of City Hall will be used for drop-off of documents.
Mar 22, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Central Square Advisory Committee. This committee helps review all major development actions in the Central Square Overlay District and monitors progress of the non-zoning recommendations of the K2C2 Study relevant to Central Square.
Members represent a cross section of stakeholders, which includes residents from abutting neighborhoods and representatives of Central Square’s business community. The Committee meets as needed to advise on non-zoning recommendations, undertake all Large Project Reviews, and review and comment on all Board of Zoning Appeal variances and special permits within the Overlay District. At this time, a representative of the Central Square business community (property owner, small and large scale merchant or office tenant) is being sought to fill a vacancy. This appointment, to be made by the City Manager, will serve a term of three years that will expire on September 15, 2020, with the option to renew.
The Committee meets, at minimum, every two months with additional meetings scheduled as required based on project review needs. For more information, contact Wendell T. Joseph at 617-349-9462 or email@example.com, or visit the committee’s webpage at http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment/advcomms/centraladvcomm.
Applications to serve on this committee can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is April 30, 2018.
Apr 9 – Join the Department of Public Works to celebrate “Arbor Week” in the City. This special week is focused on activities and information to promote Cambridge’s Urban Forest and runs from Monday, April 23 through Arbor Day, Friday, April 27.
Monday, April 23 – Members of Public Works’ Urban Forestry Division will post information about the benefits of different tree species around MBTA stations and in other high pedestrian traffic areas in the City to inform residents about the benefits our urban canopy brings to the community.
Tuesday, April 24 – City Arborist Dave Lefcourt will be tabling outside of City Hall from 10am-12pm to share information about trees and hand out seedlings and other materials to help inform residents about the important role trees play in the City.
Wednesday, April 25 – City Arborist Dave Lefcourt will lead a “Tree Walk” through Mid-Cambridge which includes a visit to Harvard Yard from 5-7pm. Residents are invited to gather in front of the Main Library to begin this information-packed session on trees and Cambridge’s Urban Forestry program. Free bare root seedling trees will be available.
Thursday, April 26 – Public Works will hold an event outside the Main Library from 10am-12pm, weather permitting. Members of the community are invited to come collect information about trees, collect a free seedling, and watch members of the Urban Forestry Division show off their skills in a “tree climbing” demonstration. Librarians will also be on hand to read a tree-themed book to children outside the library at 11am.
Friday, April 27 – The week wraps up with an Arbor Day tree planting on Friday, April 27 at 10am in Greene-Rose Heritage Park with the Mayor, City Manager, City Arborist, and local students. All are invited to attend.
“Last year was our first Arbor Week celebration, and we’re excited to continue and build upon this new tradition,” said Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. “To maintain a healthy, vibrant urban forest, it’s essential that the City and its residents do all we can to care for trees year-round.”
Can’t attend these events but still want to get involved? It’s easy to help by participating in the City’s “Adopt-A-Tree” to support street trees and help maintain our urban forest.
The Adopt-A-Tree program lets residents search for a street tree near an address (your home, business, school, etc.) and commit to keeping it healthy by watering it and tending to the tree well. Learn more and adopt a tree today at www.CambridgeMA.gov/AdoptATree.
Apr 19, 2018 - Congratulations to Victoria Harris on her appointment to the Cambridge Election Commission, effective May 2, 2018.
Apr 19, 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Constellation Charitable Foundation has announced plans to sell its Kendall Square land, known as Parcel C, and to use the proceeds from the sale to pursue the fulfillment of its original philanthropic and artistic mission.
Constellation Center site indicated by yellow asterisk
The main driver of this decision is that the pace of growth in the East Cambridge real estate market has far exceeded expectations, owing to soaring demand and reduced supply for space, particularly in the life science and tech sectors. The skyrocketing commercial value of the land outran the philanthropic value of committing the site to even a world-class performing arts center. The Board thoroughly explored the possibility of incorporating a mixed-use high-rise structure above the arts venues, but too many compromises in quality were required to accommodate the addition to the site of offices, laboratories, and residential spaces. Therefore, the Board has decided that the best option is to sell Parcel C, even as it carries forward its philanthropic mission in the performing arts.
This ongoing work is made possible by the strategically significant accomplishments the Constellation team has made since 1996, pursuing its original research and design of architectural plans for the intended world-class performing arts “Constellation Center.” Their work has been awarded numerous patents, with additional applications pending, and achieved revolutionary innovations embodied in the designs for a five-hall public facility for the performance of music, opera, theater, dance, and cinema. It was also designed to be used for community, educational, and family events, and included meeting, conference, and function space in support of presenters, arts organizations, and the Kendall Square Innovation District. All of this intellectual property, fortunately, can be a movable feast, for application and realization on one or more sites elsewhere.
The work of the Constellation Charitable Foundation will continue as it explores the possibility of replicating its completed designs at another location, and identifying appropriate land opportunities and overseeing the construction of various performing arts facilities. It will also be broadening, publishing, and disseminating its research results in the design, construction, and operation of state-of-the-art performing arts facilities; consulting for colleague organizations planning new, restored, or renovated cultural facilities; and supporting cultural institutions and community projects which complement the aspirations of the Foundation.
The Constellation Charitable Foundation and Constellation Center Board and staff are deeply grateful to our innumerable colleagues and organizations around the world, including many Cambridge- and Boston-area community groups who have supported and assisted our work thus far. We especially appreciate and thank our many generous individual donors, and we are immensely grateful to the City of Cambridge for its enduring support over many years. We assure everyone that the inestimable value of your contributions will continue to find rich fruit in our future endeavors.
The Constellation Charitable Foundation has engaged Andrew Hoar, President and Co-Managing Partner of CBRE New England, as real estate advisor and exclusive agent for the sale of its land. For further information, please contact Glenn KnicKrehm or Andrew Hoar at the phone numbers and email addresses noted below
|Glenn KnicKrehm, President
Constellation Charitable Foundation
|Andrew W. Hoar¸ President and Co-Managing Partner
CBRE New England
DA: Cyclist Cut Off Driver in Deadly Cambridge Crash (NBC Boston)
Driver involved in 2016 fatal cyclist crash in Cambridge will not be charged (Boston Globe) - PDF
The Marcia Deihl bicycling fatality (Mar 14, 2018 CCJ Forum, by John Allen)
It is expected that a report on the 2016 Inman Square cyclist fatality may also be forthcoming. It is worth noting that as the facts surrounding these tragedies emerge, it becomes increasingly clear that the cornerstone of bicycle safety is safe practice, and all the engineering "solutions" in the world won't change that. There are some roads that are fundamentally unsafe for cycling, including many state roads (e.g. Rte. 135/Weston Rd. in Wellesley), and there are cases of unforgiveable and criminal negligence, but it remains ever the case that cyclists and all vulnerable road users have to ensure their own safety. Perhaps the single most important rule for safe cycling is to stay clear of large trucks and to never assume that the driver is aware of where you are or your intentions. - RW
Evenings with Experts 2018
First Wednesday of each month, February through May 2018
7:00pm - 8:30pm
A free public lecture series presented by Grow Native Massachusetts at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
For more information, visit us at http://grownativemass.org/programs/eveningswithexperts, or call 781-790-8921.
CEUs Available for each lecture: APLD (1.5 credits); NOFA-AOLCP (1.5 credits)
DATES AND SPEAKERS
The Beautiful Adaptations of Native Plants: Inviting the Wild into our Gardens
Dan Segal, Owner, The Plantsmen Nursery
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation
Native plants have evolved a broad array of adaptations in the wild, yielding not only the ornamental features embraced in horticulture but many fascinating mechanisms for survival. Dan will take us beyond 'pretty' plant features to explore the origins of these adaptive traits, and the critical importance of regional variation. This insight helps us to select plants that are genuinely suited to our landscapes. He will also compare and contrast large-scale nursery production that favors the cloning of cultivars, with small-scale nursery propagation that favors seed-grown straight species. To know and source native plants effectively, understanding their propagation can be just as important as species selection.
Dan Segal has collected and propagated over 1,000 species of native plants in his three decades of work as a nurseryman, giving him great insight into the fascinating variety of adaptations that plants have evolved to survive. He is the owner of The Plantsmen Nursery near Ithaca, NY, which specializes in native plants, local seed collection, and natural landscaping. He founded the Ithaca Native Plant Symposium in 2009.
Lessons Learned when Field Botany Meets Design
Uli Lorimer, Curator of the Native Flora Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Co-sponsored by Mount Auburn Cemetery
Ecologically attuned designers are increasingly looking to nature for inspiration in the design of managed landscapes. But connecting field botany to horticulture is complex, and insights gained from observations in the wild don’t always translate directly into a cultivated garden. Uli will use the recently expanded native flora garden at Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a cultivated pine barrens and coastal plain grassland, as a case study— sharing lessons learned along the way as the project evolved from a concept into a dynamic, living landscape. Good design allows for change and succession to occur, and flexibility in design intent is a valuable strategy because things do not always work out as planned.
Uli Lorimer has been the Curator of Native Flora at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Garden for over a decade. He was instrumental in the expansion of the Garden’s native plant collection, using only material sourced from the wild and grown from seed. As Field Chair at BBG, he coordinates fieldwork with regional botanists and leads botanical expeditions for naturalists and horticulturists.
Revealing a Sense of Place
Matthew Cunningham, Principal, Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design
Co-sponsored by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects
Seasonal New England is rich in its unique and dynamic ecological patterns. Join us, as Matthew explores how his observations of these natural systems have influenced his firm’s creation of contextual and native plant-centric projects that grasp the rhythms of everyday life. He will show us a variety of residential landscapes, large and small, that embrace our regional flora, utilize ecologically sustainable principles, and that build connections between interior and exterior spaces to strengthen our relationship with nature. Come be inspired by these beautiful, vibrant landscapes that enhance life for both their human and their wild residents.
Matthew Cunningham is a rising star in the world of landscape architecture. He is passionate about the landscapes of New England and is committed to excellent design with ecologically sustainable principles. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he worked at the renowned firm Reed Hilderbrand Associates before starting his own practice. Matthew was named “International Designer of the Year” by the APLD in 2017.
Evoking Nature: Form and Function on the High Line
Andi Pettis, Director of Horticulture, Friends of the High Line
The High Line in Manhattan was born of a city that is constantly reinventing itself. Built on a mile-and-a-half long elevated railroad, this dynamic landscape was inspired by the tenacity of plants in its industrial setting, and it uses a matrix of perennial and woody plants to evoke a natural landscape. Wildly successful and overwhelmingly popular, caring for this garden in the sky poses unique challenges. Andi will describe how her team uses traditional and innovative horticultural techniques, how they work to promote the park’s biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and how they foster an emotional connection to nature in this challenging urban environment.
As Director of Horticulture for the Friends of the High Line, Andi Pettis leads a world-class team of gardeners who care for this beloved elevated park in Manhattan. Andi’s horticulture career in New York City spans nearly two decades, including work in both private and public garden settings, park management, and teaching at the New York Botanic Garden.
Attend to Meet Local Housing Representatives and Learn about the City’s Housing Resources
The City of Cambridge announced today that it will host its second annual Fair and Affordable Housing Open House on Saturday, April 28, 2018 in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s Main Cafeteria, 459 Broadway, from 11:00am-2:00pm. The event is co-hosted by the Community Development Department and the Cambridge Human Rights Commission.
Throughout the event, local housing experts will be available to answer questions and provide resources related to fair and affordable housing in Cambridge, including:
• Affordable housing programs
• Homelessness, eviction, and foreclosure prevention services
• Landlord / tenant mediation resources
• Legal resources for housing in Cambridge
• Enforcement of housing discrimination laws
Members of the public can also attend three panels throughout the event. The panel topics will discuss basic tenant rights, resources for conducting a housing search, and financing options for first-time homebuyers.
“The Fair and Affordable Housing Open House brings together dozens of organizations and non-profits to provide information about the wealth of resources related to housing needs in Cambridge,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. “The event reflects and furthers our mission to increase access to fair and affordable housing for all members of the Cambridge community.”
“It is essential that all members of the community are aware of their housing rights and the steps they can take to ensure fair treatment in Cambridge,” said Nancy Schlacter, Executive Director of the Human Rights Commission. “The Open House is a wonderful opportunity for the public to learn more about Cambridge’s fair housing laws and to extend the city’s social justice mission to affordable housing.”
The event is free and open to all members of the Cambridge community. No advance registration is required.
Upcoming Envision Cambridge Meetings – Join the Conversation this April
Climate and Environment Working Group - Agenda
Tuesday, April 10, 6:00 - 8:00pm
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Meeting Room
Alewife Working Group - Agenda
Thursday, April 12, 6:30-8:30pm
West Cambridge Youth Center, 680 Huron Ave.
Mobility Working Group - Agenda
Wednesday, April 25, 6:00-8:00pm
Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave. 2nd Fl, Arts & Crafts Room
For more information about Envision Cambridge, visit envision.cambridgema.gov.
The Cambridge City Council adopted a Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance (#1397) which went in effect on April 1, 2018 and regulates the rental of property for transient housing (stays up to 30 days). Cambridge residents who meet eligibility requirements and wish to use their residential property for short-term rental must register with the city’s Inspectional Services Department.
Inspectional Services will host drop-in informational sessions for Cambridge residents to ask questions about the new Ordinance, eligibility requirements, the process of obtaining a Certificate of Registration, or check on the specific conditions of their property.
STR Information Session for Multi-Family Property Owners
Tuesday, Apr. 17, 5:30-6:30pm
Lombardi Building, Basement Conference Room, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
This is an informational session for multi-family property owners (more than 4 units, and not condominium associations) to explain pertinent facts about the new Short-Term Rental Ordinance, eligibility requirements, and the process of obtaining a Certificate of Registration.
STR Information Session
Tuesday, Apr. 24, 5:30-7pm
Lombardi Building, Basement Conference Room, 831 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
This is an informational session for Cambridge residents who wish to use there residential property for short-term rental to explain pertinent facts about the new Short-Term Rental Ordinance, eligibility requirements, and the process of obtaining a Certificate of Registration.
For more information, visit CambridgeMA.gov/ShortTermRental.
Marc McGovern, Mayor of Cambridge, is joining mayors across the country in asking residents to make long-term commitment to manage water resources more wisely by taking part in the annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.
The annual challenge, April 1-30, is a non-profit national community service campaign to see which communities can generate the highest participation of residents to make a series of informative and easy-to-do online pledges (mywaterpledge.com) to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and act responsibly in preserving our watershed and resources.
Since the mid-1800s, the Cambridge Water Department has provided a safe and uninterrupted supply of the highest quality water to Cambridge residents, businesses, and universities. Through prevention and conservation initiatives the City and the public are taking steps to protect the sources of Cambridge’s drinking water.
“Cambridge has long embraced a leadership role reducing our carbon footprint, conserving our natural resources, and planning for the impacts of climate change,” said Mayor McGovern. “Still, we should always ask how we can do better, and we need to share the urgency of conserving our resources with each new generation.”
Last year, residents from over 4,800 cities representing every state pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by 2.2 billion gallons, reduce waste sent to landfills by 52 million pounds, and prevent more than 114,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering our watersheds. The Mayor’s Challenge goes beyond recent drought issues and looks at the ways our water use will affect the future of our communities – encouraging more permeable surfaces, divert more storm water, and reducing polluted runoff.
“It still may be fun to sing it, but we don’t really ‘love that dirty water’ anymore,” McGovern added. “Today, we are looking for ways to activate our water resources, including the Charles River, and clean water starts at the drains in our homes, on our sidewalks, and in our businesses.”
To participate, residents enter online at mywaterpledge.com, and then make a series of online pledges to conserve water on behalf of Cambridge. Cities compete against each other for top rankings, and for various prizes which may go to local non-profits.
For more information on Cambridge’s ongoing efforts to conserve water resources and plan for the City’s future water needs can be found on the Water Department’s website at www.cambridgema.gov/water.
For more information contact: Wil Durbin, 617-349-4313, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cambridge Public Library is honored to announce that Jim Roosevelt will introduce an event with Professor David B. Woolner, author of The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace, on Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30pm. He is the grandson of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States.
“Dr. Woolner is a distinguished scholar of the FDR years in the White House; I have known and worked with him for many years,” said Roosevelt. “I look forward to once again learning more from him based on his extensive research.”
Jim Roosevelt is a member of the Cambridge Public Library Board of Trustees. In addition, he is a national speaker and author on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid policy, and Social Security. Public policy and politics are Jim’s personal passions. He co-chairs the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee and is volunteer legal counsel for the Massachusetts Democratic Party.
“I am delighted that this program has come together with Jim Roosevelt and Professor David B. Woolner,” said Dr. Maria McCauley, Director of Libraries. “Both speakers will expand our understanding of the history and legacy of Franklin Roosevelt.”
The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace is authored by David B. Woolner. Though FDR is well known for his first 100 days as President, Woolner asserts that his last 100 days play a pivotal role in American history, too. He is a senior fellow and resident historian at the Roosevelt Institute and a professor of history at Marist College.
The event will take place on Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30pm in the Main Library Lecture Hall. The introduction by Jim Roosevelt will be followed by a discussion and Q&A by David B. Woolner on his book The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace.
About the Cambridge Public Library:
The Cambridge Public Library opened in 1889 and serves the community of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It provides free access to information for over 100,000 Cambridge residents and provides an engaging community space for innovative events and programming to serve its patrons.
As part of a series of events to honor the Centennial year of WWI (1918), the City of Cambridge Veterans’ Services Department, in collaboration with the Mayor's Office, City Manager's Office, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Association, will rededicate the Russell E. Hoyt Field at Gilmore Street in Cambridge, on Thursday, April 12, at 9:30am.
Corporal Russell E. Hoyt was a member of the 26th Division (Yankee), Massachusetts National Guard, which was the first full division to deploy to France, and the 104th Infantry Regiment. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Army on April 28, 1918; this was the first American unit ever awarded a foreign decoration.
For more information, please contact Neil MacInnes-Barker, Director Department of Veterans’ Services, at email@example.com or 617-349-4765.
In observance of the Patriots’ Day Holiday on Monday, Apr. 16, Cambridge city offices and libraries will be closed, payments will not be required at City of Cambridge parking meters and parking meter pay stations, and there will be no trash, recycling, or compost pickup, and no street cleaning. The trash, recycling, and compost daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the rest of that week. Regularly scheduled street cleaning routes for Apr. 16 will be swept on Monday, Apr. 30. The offices at the Cambridge Cemetery, 76 Coolidge Ave. will be closed on the holiday, however the gates will be open from dawn to dusk.
Residents can find their curbside collections and street cleaning schedules by entering their address in the “My Cambridge Schedule” tool found at www.CambridgeMA.gov/theworks.
Reminders related to above city services are now available by text message, email, or app notifications by downloading the “Zero Waste Cambridge” app for iPhone/Android. Users who are registered to receive reminders through E-Line should re-subscribe using the scheduling tool or by downloading the app in order to receive future reminders.
Additionally, the Department of Veterans’ Services will hold its annual Patriots' Day Observance on Monday, Apr. 16, at 10:15am, on the Cambridge Common. Philip Anderson, President, of the Cambridge Veterans' Organization will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Mayor Marc C. McGovern will extend the city’s greetings.
The event will be highlighted by a reenactment of Patriot William Dawes, Jr. historic horseback ride from Boston to Cambridge alerting the colonists of the British threat of 1775. Patriot Dawes, dressed in colonial garb, will deliver the alert to Mayor McGovern. A Cambridge Rindge & Latin School Drama student, will read the Governor’s Patriots’ Day Proclamation. A CRLS music student will sing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Mar 20, 2018 – Mayor McGovern has appoint a joint committee of the City Council and School Committee specifically to improve communication on important issues that overlap these two elected bodies. This Committee will consist of three City Councillors (Craig Kelley, Sumbul Siddiqui, and Denise Simmons) and three School Committee members (Kathleen Kelly, Patty Nolan, and Laurence Kimbrough) as well as school and city staff, and will be chaired by Mayor Marc McGovern.
This joint committee will have its first meeting in April 2018.
Mar 16, 2018 – The City of Cambridge is taking its successful curbside composting pilot citywide beginning in April. Residents in 1-12 unit buildings will receive composting material deliveries beginning March 26 and compost pickup will begin on April 2.
Eligible residents will receive everything they need to start composting – One curbside compost cart per building and one small kitchen compost bin per household, each with a six-month supply of compostable bags and simple composting instructions.
“It’s just like separating out your recycling,” said Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. “With this new program, it’s easy to separate food scraps from your trash. Start with something simple, like coffees filters, egg shells, apple cores, banana peels, and other food scraps, and put them in your kitchen bin instead of the trash.”
In 2009, the City set a goal to reduce residential trash disposal 30% by 2020, and 80% by 2050. With that goal in mind, the City committed to expanding the curbside composting program citywide, increasing the program from 5,200 households to 25,000 households (8,100 buildings).
“As one of the first municipalities in New England to offer a citywide curbside compost collection option free of charge, Cambridge is leading the way in waste reduction.” said City Manager Louis A. Depasquale.
Participation in the new Curbside Composting Program is voluntary, but the City hopes everyone will do their part to help Cambridge reach its waste reduction goals. Composting food scraps helps lessen our climate change impact by reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills while processing food scraps into fertilizer and clean energy.
Outreach workers will be going door-to-door to speak with eligible residents beginning on March 27 and continuing through April and into May to make sure they received all of their compost materials and answer any questions about this new City service.
Visit www.CambridgeMA.gov/Compost to learn more and view frequently asked questions. This project is funded in part by a grant from the MassDEP.
By composting our food scraps, we can:
Cambridge Public Library Director elected to American Library Association Executive Board
Mar 8, 2018 - The Cambridge Public Library (CPL) is excited to announce that Director of Libraries, Dr. Maria McCauley, has been elected to the American Library Association's (ALA) Executive Board. The Board consists of the president, president-elect, immediate past president, treasurer, executive director, and eight members elected by Council from its membership for three-year terms.
The American Library Association is a nonprofit organization based in the United States that promotes libraries and library education internationally. It is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The Executive Board provides leadership and vision for ALA and its 58,000+ members.
"I'm honored by this new opportunity. ALA helped me to get my start working in this profession. Its professional development opportunities, including an ALA Spectrum Scholarship, have helped to prepare me for leadership roles." said McCauley. "ALA has enriched my life and I want to give back."
Elections took place at the Annual ALA Midwinter Conference in February 2018. The new members will officially join the Board in July 2018. For more information, please see the press release from ALA here.
The City of Cambridge announced today that it will partner with Google to host a Small Business Summit on Tues. April 10, 2018. The event will be held at Google’s offices in Kendall Square from 9:00am-5:00pm. The Summit is open to current small business owners and entrepreneurs interested in growing their small business.
The Summit offers small business owners insight, resources, and skills to make their businesses competitive in the retail, restaurant, professional and personal services market. The Summit’s programming reflects survey feedback from the Cambridge small business community and includes:
“The City of Cambridge is committed to providing support to small business owners in order to preserve and enhance the vibrancy of our commercial districts,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “We are excited to partner with Google and other local organizations to provide tools and resources that will bolster our community.”
“We are delighted to expand our support of Cambridge small business owners through the Small Business Summit,” said Iram Farooq, Assistant City Manager for Community Development. “In addition to the workshops and grants we offer on a regular basis, this Summit is an opportunity for local business owners to network with the greater Boston community and partner with some of the largest companies in the world. Our goal is to encourage small business growth in Cambridge.”
“The upcoming Small Business Summit provides Google with another opportunity to work with the City of Cambridge and meet our small business neighbors,” said Liz Schwab, Google Head of External Affairs, New England & PA. “Cambridge has proved itself to be fertile ground for business owners and entrepreneurs and we’re excited to have a chance to be a part of an impressive networking and educational event like this, where the curriculum is actually built directly by and for small business operators in the area based on their needs.”
The Small Business Summit is a free event, open to all small business owners in the Boston-metro region. Cambridge business owners are highly encouraged to attend. To register for the event, visit https://cambmasmallbizsummit2018.eventbrite.com.
Registration will be open until Friday, April 6, 2018.
Mar 5, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking nominations for the 2018 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 extra recognition to a few exemplary individuals who will be recognized at a special awards ceremony on Friday, May 11, 2018.
Criteria for determining outstanding performance include:
All City employees 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.
Nominations are due by April 13, 2018 and can be submitted via the online form at www.cambridgema.gov. Alternatively, a signed nomination letter may also be submitted in person to the Personnel Department, Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, 3rd Floor, via fax to 617-349-4312, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at email@example.com or 617-349-4300.
If you're a registered Democrat and live in Ward 6, perhaps you'd like to drop by the Ward Caucus this Sunday to elect delegates to the Democratic State Convention. It takes place this Sunday, March 4 in the main cafeteria of the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. Doors open at 1:30pm. There will be a short speaking program during which you may have to suffer through speeches by some of this year's candidates for statewide office starting shortly after 2:00pm. You must be in line to register for the Caucus by no later than 2:30pm to be able to participate in the election of delegates. Any Democrat registered in Ward 6 as of the day of the caucus is eligible to participate in the caucus and to run for delegate or alternate. There will be 9 delegates and 4 alternates selected (subject to gender balance requirements). Candidates should be prepared to give a 1-2 minute speech about why they want to be delegate this year.
Now..... why do I call this one of the least democratic events imaginable? Caucuses are typically low turnout events where only the most inside of inside political players ever show up, and if you're part of an organized activist group you can rule the day (unless you're a nut-case Lyndon LaRouche supporter). This year's version of the LaRouche crowd are the Our Revolution disciples of Holier Than Thou Bernie Sanders, and they have been successfully packing these ward caucuses in order to maintain the fiction that they represent some kind of majority. In this case they want very much to control the Democratic State Convention in order to (a) give an edge to their gubernatorial candidate so that he can have the privilege of being defeated by Charlie Baker this November, and (b) they want to "unrig the system" that they think their most despised Hillary Clinton controls - by rigging it themselves.
I intend to go to this caucus on Sunday for two reasons: (1) I like to witness spectacles; and (2) somebody has to go to represent Ward 6 voters other than just the fist-in-the-air Left-of-Lenin activist crowd. I will not be sending out a mass email appeal asking normal human beings to show up for this, but I thought I should at least post a note here on the CCJ asking people to join me to either (a) witness just how undemocratic the Democratic Party can really be, or (b) have a good laugh watching the politically obsessed be politically obsessed. There's also a long shot that maybe some rational delegates might be chosen - but I won't hold my breath. However, if a few more regular Democrats show up maybe it might even happen.
See you at the Carnival! - RW
Sun, Mar 4, 2018 - I got elected today as a Ward 6 delegate to the Democratic State Convention. I really don't know how to feel about this. First, as I was leaving a neighborhood get-together just before the caucus, I mentioned that I was headed to the caucus and that I expected it to be a showdown between the "revolutionaries" and mainstream "lunch bucket" Democrats. One woman said that, after all, we're all Democrats. When I explained that there are some Democrats who only see the need to provide benefits and programs for people while others want to empower people to manage their own affairs, she asked, "Have you always voted for Republicans?"
This is the essential problem. Some Democrats really don't believe in empowerment or self-reliance or, for that matter, even freedom of choice, and if you express any inclination toward those ideals they think you're a Republican. For them it comes down to some doctrine or another coupled with a generally low estimate of the capacity of people to either be self-reliant or to maintain sound moral judgment. Morality must be legislated and people are to be "taken care of" like any good house pet incapable of taking care of itself. Of course this isn't only about political philosophy. It's just as much about the quest for raw political power, e.g. the "Our Revolution" crowd. Though the turnout was predictably low, it was clear that there was a Sanders-lovin' contingent there just dying to get their hands onto a few levers of power and influence.
So, after being drafted to run for one of the delegate positions, I was narrowly elected and, come early June, it appears that I will be heading to Worcester as a delegate to a state convention of party-diehards. (Actually every candidate was either narrowly elected or narrowly defeated.) Refreshingly, it wasn't just one contingent who pushed their candidate slate through in order to exclude all others - as happened in most of the other Cambridge wards. Our delegation will actually be split, and I suppose that's a good thing. I have never been to a party convention and have never had even the slightest interest in attending one, but so it goes. I'll do my best to seek out the moderates or, as some of the dumbest of the dumb call them, establishment liberals. You know, people who willingly chose Clinton over Sanders.
The most regrettable aspect to this turn of fate is that I will now likely get boatloads of political Spam from every candidate and interest group who wants to get some benefit out of this convention. What the hell have I gotten myself into? - RW
Cambridge Carnival International Community Forum
Our Vision for the Next 25 Years
Want to have a say in the future of Cambridge Carnival? Join us for a Cambridge Carnival International Community Forum – Our Vision for the Next 25 Years on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at the Cambridge Public Library - Central Square Branch, 45 Pearl Street, Central Square. This event is organized in collaboration with the Central Square Business Association. This is a FREE event. Refreshments available. Limited space, so please RSVP.
RSVP HERE: http://bit.ly/forumcarnival. More details below
* Preserving our legacy-enhancing the programming
* Exploring a new venue and festival footprint
* Public safety
* Community collaboration
* Introducing the Cambridge Youth Steel Orchestra initiative
Thank you! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram @cambridgecarnival and Twitter at carnival02139
Dear Community Stakeholder,
The Cambridge Carnival Committee in collaboration with the Central Square Business Association/Cultural District invite you to a free Community Forum on Thursday, March 29, 2018, 6:30-8:30pm at the Cambridge Public Library Central Square Branch, 45 Pearl Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. The theme for the forum is “Our Vision for the Next 25 Years.” Refreshments will be provided courtesy of Central Square Business Association/Cultural District. RSVP desired at bit.ly/forumcarnival due to limited space.
Cambridge Carnival International is a colorful and festive celebration rooted in African traditions. The festival, in its 26th year is considered a Cambridge Institution and it’s the largest festival in Cambridge. The festival is planned by the people for the people. A volunteer committee of residents, work year-round to plan this special and spectacular event for the Cambridge community that celebrates culture, diversity and community. The highlight of the festival is a grand costume parade accompanied by rich rhythmic musicality promoting all types of cultures. Participants can be seen as revelers masquerading through the streets in dazzling handmade costumes accompanied by steel drums, dancing to the beat of the Carnival. The festival is also an opportunity to enjoy international foods and purchase multicultural crafts from around the world.
As the Cambridge Carnival embarks on the next 25 years, we invite the Cambridge community and our stakeholders to be a part of shaping its future. We all want what is best for our community and our City – a fun, safe and successful Carnival. We can’t be successful unless we are all invested and in this together. We borrowed the words from our City Manager, Louis A. DePasquale that he shared at a recent community meeting that also applies to us – “while there will be challenges, by working together we will get there.” We hope you will join us on March 29th to help us get “there.”
Contact information: Cambridge Carnival International Inc. P.O. Box 390468, Cambridge, MA 02139, 617-492-2518; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cambridgecarnival.org, Facebook: @cambridgecarnivalinternational, Twitter: @Carnival02139, Instagram: @cambridgecarnival
Member Sought for Cambridge Police Review & Advisory Board
Mar 7, 2018 – City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking Cambridge residents interested in serving on the Police Review & Advisory Board. Made up of volunteer members who serve five-year terms, the Board generally meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm, except for July and August.
The Police Review & Advisory Board was established by City Ordinance in 1984 to:
The Board consists of five Cambridge residents who are representative of the City's racial, social and economic composition. Board Members must: possess a reputation for fairness, integrity and responsibility; have demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and service; and be a resident of the City of Cambridge. For more information about the Board, see its web page at www.cambridgema.gov/prab.
Board Members serve as volunteers without compensation and are responsible for: reviewing and evaluating completed investigations to make findings on the allegations contained in each complaint; identifying needs for changes to police department policies, procedures or training and reporting findings and recommended solutions to the Police Commissioner and the City Manager; and assisting in education and outreach to promote awareness and understanding of the Board and strengthen community-police relations.
A letter of interest and brief résumé can be submitted online at cambridgema.gov/apply by Apr 6, 2018. Paper applications are also available in the City Manager’s Office, Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.
Public Meeting on Stormwater Management Program
Tuesday, March 27, 2018
The Cambridge Department of Public Works is holding a public meeting to discuss the City’s efforts in the implementation of its Stormwater Management Program on Tues, Mar 27, from 6:00-7:00pm, Department of Public Works, Frazier Conference Room, 147 Hampshire Street.
The City developed its Stormwater Management Program based on the requirements established under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Phase II (NPDES Phase II) regulations in 2003 and revised it in 2006. In 2016 EPA released a new permit that will become effective July 1, 2018.
EPA’s NPDES Phase II Stormwater Management program provides a framework for improving the quality of stormwater discharges to waterways through the identification of six minimum control measures. The City’s Stormwater Program identifies stormwater management activities that address the NPDES Phase II program’s six minimum control measures, which are:
The City’s efforts over the past year and regulation changes under the new permit will be discussed.
For more information about the meeting or the NPDES Phase II Stormwater Management Program visit www.cambridgema.gov/stormwater or contact Catherine Daly Woodbury, DPW Engineering Project Manager, at 617-349-4818 or email@example.com.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to Expand, Upgrade Metro Boston Public Bike Share System Under Major New Sponsorship Agreement
Hubway Will Become Blue Bikes and Grow to 3,000 Bikes by End of 2019
Mar 7, 2018 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (“Blue Cross”), the municipalities of Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and bike share operator Motivate International, Inc. today jointly announced a groundbreaking six-year partnership agreement that will build on the success of the Hubway system and greatly expand access to bike share in the metro region.
As part of the sponsorship, the existing Hubway system will be rebranded as Blue Bikes, reflecting Blue Cross’ support for expanding and growing the bike share system with the municipalities. By the end of 2019, there will be 3,000 Blue Bikes on the streets — up from the 1,800 that exist today — and more than 100 new stations throughout the four municipalities. Blue Cross’ support will allow for upgrades to the system overall, with brand new bikes, new mobile app features and more valet service at busy stations. The transition to Blue Bikes will take place this spring, when the expansion begins.
As part of the partnership, Blue Bikes will continue to be a public transportation system, owned by the municipalities of Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville, and operated by Motivate. Bike share is an affordable transportation option, with full-priced annual memberships available for just $99 per year. The recently-launched income eligible program provides $5 monthly memberships and $50 annual memberships to individuals over the age of 16 who participate in various assistance programs.
“We’re delighted to partner with Boston, Cambridge, Brookline and Somerville on the Blue Bikes initiative,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. “Not only are we helping to expand bike share access to communities that have long been asking for the program, we’re also living up to our company’s commitment to healthy living and to environmental sustainability. Through this program, we hope to serve as a catalyst empowering our fellow citizens to live healthy, active lives.”
“The Hubway bike share program began in the City of Boston in 2011 and quickly became integral to our transportation system,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “More recently, we introduced bike share in East Boston and substantially expanded the program in Brighton, Roxbury and North Dorchester. I am delighted to welcome Blue Cross Blue Shield as a partner as we further develop our bike share program and I’d like to thank them for helping us to make this resource available to additional Boston residents in their own neighborhoods.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts to enhance and expand our bike share system,” said Louis A. DePasquale, Cambridge City Manager. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts has a long history of promoting healthy living, and their partnership will help us increase equity and accessibility to active transportation for community members across the Boston metro region.”
“We are delighted to have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts on board as the new title sponsor of the regional bike share program.” said Neil Wishinsky, Chair of Brookline Select Board. “Their mission to improve the health and wellness of the communities they serve makes them a natural partner to help us grow the system’s reach and to improve access to active transportation for all walks of life.”
“From the beginning, the Metro Boston area has been a great place for biking, and the addition of Blue Cross as a partner will allow us to truly take bike share to the next level,” said Motivate CEO Jay Walder. “This partnership is further proof that private-sector support is a sustainable way to grow bike share systems and deliver real value for communities.”
“Riding a bicycle is not only one of most cost-effective ways to get around an urban environment like Somerville, it also promotes one of our community’s core goals: healthy living,” said Mayor Joe Curtatone. “We’re proud and thankful that this partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts will allow us to more than double the number of bike share stations here over the next two years and give more residents a better opportunity to travel throughout Somerville - and beyond - by bike.”
“The key impact of this groundbreaking sponsorship is to fulfill our long-time goal of extending the bike share system to every neighborhood in all four cities. We’re thrilled this goal is now in sight,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
Blue Cross is committed to helping Massachusetts residents lead healthy lives. In 2017, the company and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation contributed $10.5 million in financial grants and pro-bono volunteer service to over 500 nonprofit organizations across the Commonwealth. The company believes that healthy people rely on a healthy planet and are focused on supporting solutions that improve air quality.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not–for–profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We're the trusted health plan for more than 25,000 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we're rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Motivate is the largest operator of bike share systems in North America – operating in eight cities including several major urban centers. Working with cities, Motivate has helped bring the benefits of bike share to more urban residents and visitors. Learn more at www.motivateco.com.
Mayor Marc C. McGovern announced the launch of the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, the product of a joint effort between the Mayor’s Office and the Cambridge Community Foundation.
With this announcement, Cambridge joins a growing list of cities who have established similar initiatives to protect the rights of their immigrant populations in response to the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policies.
In a community letter released today, Mayor McGovern invoked Cambridge’s legacy as a Sanctuary City calling on the community to stand in support of their immigrant friends and neighbors. He denounced the recent surge of xenophobia emphasizing its devastating impact on families, “The current political climate…threatens to tear families apart through forced deportations, uproot young Dreamers, increase the vulnerability of victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse, and erode the very values of our democracy. Amid the alarmist anti-immigrant rhetoric sweeping our nation, it is now more important than ever that we stand firmly with our immigrant community and act on a local level to ensure their rights are protected.”
Manny Lusardi, Liaison for Immigrant Affairs, noted “A legal defense fund gives low-income immigrants a fighting chance to stay in the country they now call home. This is the first in many steps combating the hate and xenophobia coming out of the White House.”
The Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants will be administrated by the Cambridge Community Foundation which will distribute funding to eligible legal defense providers through a grant approval process. Funds will be used to help connect families to legal services, expand educational programming within communities, and increase access to legal representation, particularly for immigrants who are at risk of being deported and are not able to afford a lawyer.
More than $50,000 has already been pledged by local partners and individual donors. Information on the initiative can be found on the Cambridge Community Foundation website at CambridgeCF.org.
For more information about the Cambridge Legal Defense Fund for Immigrants, contact Mayor Marc McGovern at firstname.lastname@example.org or Geeta Pradhan, President of the Cambridge Community Foundation, at email@example.com.
There is an obituary in the Feb 26, 2018 Boston Globe for Bill Noble - longtime tenant activist and one of the central figures at Cambridge City Council meetings during the rent control years in Cambridge. Present at most City Council meetings during many of those years were Michael Turk, Connie Thibaut, and Bill Noble from the Cambridge Tenants Union. There was a time when public comment at meetings happened whenever in the meeting a particular agenda item came up, so it was often necessary to stay through the end of the meeting if you wished to give public comment. Bill Noble was also actively involved with the Riverside-Cambridgeport Community Corporation (RCCC - though everyone called it "R Triple C").
Feb 27 - At last night's City Council meeting, City Manager Louis DePasquale hinted at the possibility of some movement in the everlasting quest to build a new bridge over the railroad tracks west of the Alewife Brook Parkway that would connect the Alewife Triangle and the Alewife Quadrangle, but he gave no specifics. Everybody is intrigued about what he was driving at. [By the way, the only people who call it "The Quad" are people who attended prep school.]
I heard of one possible mechanism through which funding might be derived to build this bridge. The Governor recently created the "Housing Choice Initiative" which allows communities to apply to the state to be recognized and designated as a "Housing Choice Community." To qualify, you have to either show that you've produced a certain rate of new units or adopted certain best practices. Cambridge would be in that top tier for housing produced and would qualify. Communities that qualify would get an advantage in applying for discretionary state funding and exclusive access to a new capital fund called the "Local Capital Projects Fund", which will be funded by casino revenue. More information is available at: https://www.mass.gov/housing-choice-initiative
Wouldn't it be great if a by-product of encouraging new housing (rather than trying to block it) was a community benefit like this bridge, hopefully built in conjunction with a new commuter rail stop to support the new housing and jobs? - RW
Alewife Plan from the "Fishbook" - April 1979
Feb 2, 2018 – Are you a Cambridge resident, age 18–35, without a college degree, looking for a full-time job? If so, Cambridge Works might be able to help if you’ve had difficulty finding jobs due to limited work experience, gaps in your work history, legal or personal issues.
Cambridge Works is the City’s free, transitional jobs program that provides participants receive:
Jan 24, 2018 – The Cambridge City Council adopted a Short-Term Rental (STR) Ordinance (#1397) which goes in effect on April 1, 2018 and regulates the rental of property for transient housing (stays up to 30 days). Cambridge residents who meet eligibility requirements and wish to use their residential property for short-term rental must register with the city’s Inspectional Services Department by April 1, 2018.
Platforms such Airbnb®, Home Away™, and others have made the short-term rental of bedrooms or whole dwelling units a popular travel accommodation option, particularly in urban areas where hotel prices can be very high.
Research shows that Cambridge has hundreds of short-term rental units available. Just like other types of lodging houses and hotels, short-term rentals will also be required to comply with building code, life safety regulations, and health and hygiene standards. In order to qualify for a short-term rental certificate, the respective dwelling unit or bedroom must also be inspected by a city inspector. Additionally, the operator of a short-term rental must live in, or adjacent to the unit, as described in the new ordinance.
The city’s Inspectional Services will host informal drop-in sessions where residents can ask questions about the new Ordinance, eligibility requirements, the process of obtaining a Certificate of Registration, or check on the specific conditions of their dwelling unit.
The drop-in sessions will be held in the Lombardi Building, Basement Conference Room, 831 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge on the following dates::
For more information, visit CambridgeMA.gov/Shorttermrental.
Feb 5, 2018 – The City of Cambridge is releasing its Vision Zero Action Plan at a public celebration at City Hall on Thurs, Feb 8, at 8:30am. Vision Zero, adopted by the Cambridge City Council in 2016, is an initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate transportation fatalities and serious injuries, while at the same time creating safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all those who travel in Cambridge. The Action Plan serves as a blueprint for how Cambridge will achieve Vision Zero.
The Action Plan outlines specific short and long term goals that the City will undertake. These goals reflect the City’s commitment to:
In line with these goals, the City will be announcing the implementation of 20 MPH Safety Zones in the City Squares. Effective March 1, the speed limit in Central, Harvard, Inman, Kendall, and Porter Squares will be 20 MPH. Lowering speeds is one of the most effective tools to protect vulnerable road users and is fundamental to achieving Vision Zero, as slower speeds result in fewer and less severe crashes. In December of 2016, the City lowered the default speed limit to 25 MPH.
“Effective communication, collaboration, and public process are critical to successful initiatives, and these will be central themes that will guide our approach for Vision Zero,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “By coming together as a community, we will continue making it safe and easy for people of all ages and abilities to travel between work, school, shops, and other destinations, whether they choose to walk, bicycle, drive, or take transit. I look forward to working with the City Council and the entire community to enhance the safety of our city.”
“We know that lower speeds help save lives, and that pedestrians and cyclists are much more likely to survive a crash with a motor vehicle when speeds are below 20 MPH.” said Joseph Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking, and Transportation. “Cambridge’s squares are the heart of our city, and we want to make sure that we support their economic vitality by making them safe for everyone who lives, works, and plays in Cambridge.”
The foundation for the Action Plan is data driven decision-making. The City will seek to identify the fundamental causes of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities to come up with creative and implementable solutions to prevent those incidents, and to evaluate its successes and remaining challenges. The Vision Zero commitment reinforces a community-based focus on safety and the actions that can be collectively taken to create the safest possible transportation system—and the safest possible city.
Preliminary 2017 crash data from the Cambridge Police Department shows:
For additional information, visit CambridgeMA.GOV/VisionZero. The Vision Zero Action Plan and detailed maps of the Safety Zones will be available on February 8.
Mar 13, 2018 – The Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 8am on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted. Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.
It may be necessary to continue to restrict parking on certain streets that are particularly narrow, to maintain access for emergency vehicles and public transit service. These streets will be marked with either “flip-down” metal signs or temporary paper signs indicating No Parking. An updated list of streets with supplementary parking restrictions will be available on the Cambridge Snow Center: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.
If travel is required, please clear all snow off of vehicles prior to driving, use extra caution, and leave additional distance between other vehicles and snow crews.
City of Cambridge offices and library branches will be open on March 14; however, Cambridge Public Schools will remain closed. The Department of Human Service Program’s (DHSP) preschools, afterschools, and youth centers will open at 10:00am on Wednesday, March 14. The Cambridge Community Learning Center, Community Schools, and the War Memorial Recreation Center will remain closed. All other DHSP Program will be open regular hours.
Trash/recycling collection will occur on Wednesday, March 14. Routes are one day behind: Tuesday’s route will be collected on Wednesday, Wednesday on Thursday, Thursday on Friday, and Friday on Saturday. If your pickup is missed, leave it out and crews will return to pick it up.
The Department of Public Works will continue to clear streets, including bicycle lanes, throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets, bicycle lanes, 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. Additionally, crews will monitor and continue to clear snow from bicycle lane over the coming days, as needed.
City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1pm 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. Due to the forecasted extreme temperatures, residents and property owners are asked to promptly clear snow and remove ice next to their property. Additionally, the City is encouraging people to clear snow from the nearest fire hydrants and catch basins.
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.
Power outages should be directly reported to Eversource at 800-592-2000 and downed wires in Cambridge should be reported to 911.
The public can to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA. The City uses the hashtag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social media, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.
Mar 12, 2018 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 11pm on Monday, March 12, 2018. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted. To assist residents in parking their vehicles, free parking is provided at a number of facilities beginning at 6pm on Monday, March 12, 2018. A listing of facilities that provide free parking during snow emergencies, is available at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.
Residents should park at least 20 feet from the street corner. In the winter, parking this far away from the corner allows plows to push snow away from crosswalks, improves visibility and safety, and ensures compliance with Cambridge Traffic Regulations.
Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow throughout the storm, and the public can follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA. The City will be utilizing the hashtag #CambMASnow.
The public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow. If immediate assistance is needed, please contact the Police Department’s Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.
Jan 31, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking to fill vacancies on the Central Square Advisory Committee and the Human Services Commission.
The Central Square Advisory Committee helps review all major development actions in the Central Square Overlay District and monitors the progress of the non-zoning recommendations of the K2C2 Study relevant to Central Square. Members represent a cross section of stakeholders, which includes residents from abutting neighborhoods and representatives of Central Square’s business community. The Committee meets as needed to advise on non-zoning recommendations, undertakes all Large Project Reviews, and reviews and comments on all Board of Zoning Appeal variances and special permits within the Overlay District.
At this time, the following positions are vacant: The Port Representative, Riverside Representative, and Central Square Business Representative.
These appointments, to be made by the City Manager, will serve a term of three years that will expire in April 2021, with the option to renew. The Committee meets as needed based on project review needs and the status of ongoing and upcoming developments to Central Square. For more information, please contact Wendell Joseph at 617-349-9462 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Central Square Advisory Committee’s webpage.
Applications to serve on this committee can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience must be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is February 28, 2018.
The Human Services Commission advises the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on human services policy issues, needs assessments, and funding allocations. In collaboration with the Department of Human Service Programs, the nine-member Commission helps promote activities that enhance the quality of life for Cambridge residents. Over the years, the Commission has responded to local needs by recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a wide range of programs offered by the City and community agencies.
The Commission usually meets with the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30pm. For more information, contact Mike Payack at 617-349-6208 or email@example.com. Commission members serve without compensation. Applications to serve on this committee can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience may be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is March 2, 2018.
Feb 9, 2018 – Join the City of Cambridge as we celebrate Black History Month with two very special events.
Open Mic Night - Feb 22
The Office of Mayor Marc C. McGovern is excited to host an “Open Mic Night” in celebration of Black History Month on Thurs, Feb 22, from 6-8pm, on the second floor of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. All are welcome! Feel free to perform, participate, or simply attend and reflect while enjoying good company and light refreshments. Song, dance, spoken word, poetry, readings, photography, and all other art forms are encouraged. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We look forward to having you join us for this special evening!
Cambridge Black History Month Celebration - Feb 28
Join us for a special Black History Month celebration featuring renowned Gullah Geechee storyteller, Ms. Theresa Hilliard on Wed, Feb 28, from 6-8pm, at Cambridge City Hall, Sullivan Chamber, 795 Massachusetts Ave. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public! The Gullah Geechee people are descendants of West African slaves brought to the coasts of Carolinas, Georgia, and Northern Florida, whose geographic isolation helped them retain a distinct culture and language. Gullah storyteller, Theresa Hilliard, has been featured in National Geographic video magazine in 2014 & 2016. This special evening is sponsored by the City of Cambridge Employees' Committee on Diversity, the City Manager's office and Mayor Marc C. McGovern.
Cambridge Democrats will hold caucuses throughout the month of February to elect delegates to the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. The convention will be held June 1 and 2 at the DSC Center in Worcester, where Democrats from across Massachusetts will meet to decide which statewide candidates for governor and the other constitutional offices will be on the Democratic ticket in the 2018 Primary Election in September. The convention also gives delegates the chance to meet fellow activists, hear from elected officials, discuss issues, and attend trainings.
Caucus Locations and Times
|Date||Time||Ward(s)||Caucus Location||Caucus Address|
|Sun, Feb 4||2:00pm||8||Graham & Parks School (cafeteria)||44 Linnaean St.|
|Sun, Feb 4||2:00pm||10||Graham & Parks School (auditorium)||44 Linnaean St.|
|Sat, Feb 10||10:20am||11||Peabody School (auditorium)||70 Rindge Ave.|
|Sat, Feb 10||10:30am||5||LBJ Apartments||150 Erie St.|
|Sun, Feb 11||1:00pm||9||Tobin School||197 Vassal Lane|
|Sun, Feb 18||1:00pm||7||Baldwin School||85 Oxford St.|
|Sun, Feb 25||1:00pm||1,2,3,4||MIT Kresge Auditorium (separate caucus for each ward)||48 Mass. Ave.|
|Sun, Mar 4||2:15pm||6||Cambridge Rindge & Latin School (main cafeteria)||459 Broadway|
To find out what ward you live in, visit www.wheredoivotema.com (MA Secretary of State site).
The fine print: Delegates will be equally divided between women and men. Youth, minorities, and people with disabilities who are not elected as delegates or alternates may apply to be "add on" delegates. Discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, color, creed, national origin, disability, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation or economic status in the conduct of the caucus is prohibited. All caucus locations are handicapped-accessible. Details on the rules can be found at https://massdems.org/convention/2018-convention under "Method for Selecting Delegates." For disability-related accommodations or other information about the Cambridge caucuses, contact Chair Brian Corr at 617-254-8331 or Brian@BrianCorr.com.
Jan 25, 2018 – Applications for the 2018 City of Cambridge Scholarship program are currently being accepted. The City Scholarship fund provides financial assistance to Cambridge residents who wish to pursue post-secondary education. Through this program, the city has awarded thousands of dollars to college-bound high school seniors and others who want to pursue higher education. In FY17, the city awarded over 84 scholarships of $2,500 each. With the increasing cost of higher education as well as continued economic uncertainty, these scholarships help ease the financial burden for many Cambridge individuals and families.
“I think it is remarkable that we can provide $210,000 in scholarships, a record for us,” said City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “But this is only possible through the generous donations that we receive each year from Cambridge residents, businesses and taxpayers."
Scholarship applications may be obtained at Cambridge Public Schools, all Cambridge Public Library branches and at Cambridge City Hall. Interested residents may also download the application from the Scholarship Webpage, cambridgema.gov/cityscholarship. The deadline for the FY18 scholarship application, and all supporting documentation is March 5, 2018.
The City of Cambridge Scholarship fund is administered by the Finance Department. A Scholarship Committee comprised of six Cambridge residents appointed by the City Manager, reviews all applications and selects the scholarship recipients. Each application is evaluated and ranked based on academic achievement, financial need, community & extracurricular activities, and special circumstances.
Checks made payable to the City of Cambridge Scholarship Fund may be mailed to: Cambridge Scholarship Fund, City of Cambridge, P.O. Box 2005, Cambridge, MA 02139 or dropped off in person at the Finance Department Cashier’s window during regular business hours. Contributions can also be made online. For more information, contact the city’s Finance Department at 617-349-4220 or email@example.com.
Feb 20, 2018 – The City's second minibond sale started Feb 20 at 1:00pm and will end on Mon, Feb 26 at 5:00pm on a first come-first serve basis. Subject to terms, prior sale, and allocation. The interest rate on the minibonds is 2%.
You can sign up in advance for an account with Neighborly by clicking here. Last year, the City's offering sold out. Sign up in advance to help ensure that you get your minibond(s) this year.
The City expects to sell up to $2.5 million in minibonds in during this sale. Each Cambridge resident may purchase up to 25 minibonds* at $1,000/minibond for a total possible investment of $25,000.
The City is working with Neighborly Securities** to issue the minibonds. Residents who are interested in buying Cambridge minibonds will need to create an account through neighborly.com/cambridge. We recommend that you open an account soon to ensure you can place your order before the sale ends.
Neighborly representatives will be at Cambridge City Hall on Wednesday, February 21 from 5:30-7:30pm to provide assistance and discuss the minibonds process.
The Budget Office is also here to help. Please visit minibonds.cambridgema.gov to learn more, and feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 349-4270.
The Cambridge Budget Team
Cambridge City Hall
*Minibonds may be purchased on a first come-first serve basis until sold out.
**Neighborly is not affiliated with the City of Cambridge in any way, other than as the broker-dealer for this sale of minibonds. Minibonds will only be ordered through Neighborly Securities, member FINRA, SIPC & registered with MSRB, pursuant to a preliminary and final official statement to be made available during the ordering period. This information does not constitute an order to sell or the solicitation of an order to buy any securities. You will be responsible for making your own independent investigation and appraisal of the risks, benefits, and suitability of any securities to be ordered and neither the City of Cambridge nor Neighborly Securities is making any recommendation or giving any investment advice.
Jan 26, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking new members for the Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC). Appointees will fill a limited number of vacancies on the committee.
The committee, which consists of residents and representatives of the universities, the business community, and community organizations, advises the City on climate change policy and implementation related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for the unavoidable impacts.
Cambridge has been working on climate change action since 1999. The City has an overall goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions at the community scale by 2050. The City is in the process of developing a Climate Action Plan which will set new climate protection goals and objectives for adoption by the City Council. In addition, a Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience Plan is also being developed. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change will require concerted action by the entire community, and the committee is an important element of the effort to develop policies and programs to help residents, businesses, institutions, and organizations incorporate energy efficiency, renewable energy, resilience, and other measures into their homes and work places. The Committee acts a sounding board for City staff, makes recommendations to the City Manager, convenes community discussions about climate change, and is responsible for reviewing progress on the implementation of the Net Zero Action Plan. For more information about climate protection in Cambridge, visit cambridgema.gov/climate.
The committee generally meets on the second Thursday of the month, from 6-8pm, at Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway. Any Cambridge resident or representative of a business, institution, or organization based in Cambridge who would like to work to address climate change is welcome to apply. Members are appointed by the City Manager, generally to a three year term.
The deadline for submitting an application for the Climate Protection Action Committee is February 26, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter describing your interest, resume, or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass. Ave.
Jan 31, 2018 – Cambridge residents will once again have the chance to invest directly in Cambridge infrastructure by purchasing minibonds. The City expects to sell up to $2.5 million of minibonds in its second minibond sale, which will take place from February 20-26, 2018. Minibonds enable residents to earn tax-exempt interest and invest for the future while supporting the Cambridge capital budget. Each Cambridge resident may purchase up to 25 minibonds for a total possible investment of $25,000 (25 x $1,000/minibond). The interest rate on the 2018 minibonds will be determined on February 20, 2018 and interest will be paid semiannually. Principal on the 2018 minibonds will be paid in five years, in 2023.
“For many years, the City of Cambridge received calls from residents asking how they could buy the City’s Bonds,” said Cambridge City Manager Louie DePasquale. "Our minibonds are a great way to provide Cambridge residents a way to invest directly in City projects that will benefit our entire community. There was a lot of demand from our citizens and we sold out early last year, so we are excited to expand our minibonds offerings to Cambridge residents this year.”
A minibond is similar to a traditional municipal bond in which investors loan money to a city or public agency for an agreed period of time, receive interest on the investment, and get their loan paid back when the bond matures. The City plans to use minibond proceeds to support capital projects such as school building renovations, municipal facility upgrades, and implementation of the Complete Streets plan.
Last year, the City sold out of $2 million in minibonds, in its first ever issuance. Additionally, the City’s minibond issue was awarded the 2017 “Deal of the Year” by the Bond Buyer in the non-traditional financing category. The annual award recognizes innovative municipal financial practices and recognized the City for its minibond program.
All municipal bonds previously sold by the City were sold in denominations of $5,000 or more. Minibonds are different because residents can purchase them for as little as $1,000, making them more accessible than traditional municipal bonds for potential investors.
The City is working with Neighborly Securities* to issue the minibonds. Neighborly is not affiliated with the City of Cambridge in any way, other than as the broker-dealer for this sale of minibonds.
Minibonds will only be offered to investors following the release of a Preliminary Official Statement of the City that will describe the terms of the minibonds and provide other financial information concerning the City. The City expects to release a Preliminary Official Statement by February 15, 2018.
Residents who are interested in buying Cambridge minibonds will need to create an account through Neighborly.com before the order period ends or purchase minibonds through their own broker. Once a minibond order is submitted through Neighborly, Neighborly’s investment team reviews it for approval and allocation. If the order is approved, minibonds will then be allotted and filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Neighborly representatives will be at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue on Thurs, Feb 15, from 5:30-7:30pm and Wed, Feb 21, from 5:30-7:30pm to provide assistance and discuss the minibond process.
For questions about setting up an account with Neighborly to purchase minibonds, please contact Neighborly at 1-866-432-1170, email@example.com, or www.neighborly.com/cambridge.
For general questions about Cambridge minibonds, please visit minibonds.cambridgema.gov or contact the City’s Budget Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 349-4270.
*Minibonds will only be ordered through Neighborly Securities, member FINRA, SIPC & registered with MSRB, pursuant to a preliminary and final official statement to be made available during the ordering period. This information does not constitute an order to sell or the solicitation of an order to buy any securities. You will be responsible for making your own independent investigation and appraisal of the risks, benefits, and suitability of any securities to be ordered and neither the City of Cambridge nor Neighborly Securities is making any recommendation or giving any investment advice.
Charrette - Sat, Jan 27, 2018, 12:30pm – 3:30pm at Workbar - Central Square, 45 Prospect Street (free ticket required - click link above)
I was at the Ordinance Committee from about 5:30pm through shortly after the end of Public Comment around 8:30pm. I did hear that the meeting went on for about 5½ hours. They wasted a lot of time at the beginning because some councillors had no idea about the procedural issues. It was pretty obvious to me how they should proceed, but only Councillors Toomey and Kelley (and the City Solicitor) seemed to understand.
Most of the public comment was against the petition, and I believe that there is now expressed opposition from more than 20% of the affected land ownership which means that a three-quarter super-majority vote would be needed to pass the Kroon Petition, i.e. 7 votes instead of 6 out of 9. I don't think it has the votes, but it apparently doesn't matter because they failed to move it out of committee so it can't be passed to a 2nd Reading on Monday and it therefore cannot be ordained prior to the expiration date. It looks like a revised version will be filed after the expiration.
I spoke at Public Comment about the formula business regulation. My basic question was, "What exactly do you want to regulate?" Is it fast food? Banks? Phone stores? National chains? Anything other than a small shop? I gave my point of view about what the goals should be and Councillor Carlone seemed to be agreeing with me. It's all about the pedestrian experience, and the particular stores are almost irrelevant. There's really no difference between a Barismo and a Dunkin Donuts as long as there are people going in and out of the place. This petition is specific to Harvard Square, but their proposed formula business regulation is the same as in the Central Square Restoration Petition. Go after the retail killers like vacant properties and storefronts that are more like advertising billboards than entryways, and don't forget that some of those larger chains actually do provide necessary goods at reasonable prices.
One particularly offensive part of the discussion centered on term limits on membership on the Harvard Square Advisory Committee and the desire of the petitioners and some councillors to drive at least one particular person out of the Chair and maybe even off the advisory committee entirely. Manipulating the language specifically to target one individual is bullshit, but that's what the petitioners and their supporters on the City Council are doing. They would be well-advised to simply ask the City Manager to refresh the membership this spring when the terms of most of the members expire, and maybe just ask the current Chair if he would consider passing the gavel to someone else. This requires neither rocket science nor a zoning change. Let me emphasize that the Harvard Square Advisory Committee (HSAC) is an advisory committee only. It has no regulatory authority. It will be great if the HSAC can be as representative as possible of all interests, but it's still just a forum for hashing out some ideas and making some suggestions to other bodies. Committees like the HSAC benefit by having a mix of newer members and long-time members who carry a lot of institutional memory. Having a good balance is what's really important.
My sense is that ALL councillors would like to see housing as a part of most or all new construction that may come to Harvard Square, but there may some places where this is too restrictive, e.g. redevelopment of the Harvard Square Cinema property by Gerald Chan. There is a need for some changes to the zoning in Harvard Square to provide incentives for the better things and disincentives for other things, but this petition needs improvement and I believe at least some of the councillors understand this.- RW
Dec 12, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking applicants to serve on a new task force that will advise and provide guidance and feedback to a project team charged with developing a comprehensive Urban Forest Master Plan (UFMP).
The UFMP will guide the development of the urban forest into the future and includes a strategic plan to evaluate, maintain and expand the urban forest canopy while being more resilient to climate change, reducing the urban heat island effect, mitigating stormwater runoff, reducing nutrient runoff, and contributing to community well-being. The UFMP will coordinate with the efforts of the citywide comprehensive plan (Envision Cambridge) and the Climate Change Preparedness & Resilience Plan.
The Task Force Committee will meet monthly over the next 12 months. Subcommittees may be set up to investigate specific topics to report back to the full committee. All Task Force meetings are open to the public.
Applicants are sought from various stakeholder groups, including residents, neighborhood groups, city boards/committees, universities, property owners, local businesses and experts from surrounding universities and government agencies.
The deadline for submitting an application to serve on the Task Force was extended to Fri, Feb 2, 2018. Applications can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City's online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter describing your interest, resume, or applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager's Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass. Ave.
This week on Tuesday, Jan 16 at 2:30pm, the City Council's Ad-Hoc Rules Committee will conduct a public hearing in the Sullivan Chamber to discuss and suggest changes to the City Council Rules. This committee consists of Vice Mayor Devereux (Chair) and Councillors Mallon and Kelley; as well as Donna Lopez, City Clerk; Nancy Glowa, City Solicitor; Maryellen Carvello, Office manager to the City Manager, and Wil Durbin, Chief of Staff to the Mayor.
I suppose it must be the pinnacle of civic nerdiness to care about the City Council Rules, but the structure of the City Council subcommittees, their mission, the number of members on each committee, and what constitutes a quorum are actually contained within the City Council Rules. From this civic nerd's point of view this actually is significant. In an ideal world the subcommittees should be where most of the detail work takes place. Unfortunately, it has sometimes been the case that these subcommittees become little more than discretionary devices for their respective Chairs where matters that sometimes have little to do with the purpose of the committee are pursued. In addition, there have been some topics in the last few years that didn't really have a natural match to any of the existing City Council committees or which were taken up by what might be viewed as the wrong committee. For example, if there is a Transportation and Public Utilities Committee, why were matters relating to bicycle transportation handled within the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Art, and Celebrations Committee? [I would restructure the committees just to shorten the name of that one.]
It's interesting to look at what the standing committees have been at various times in Cambridge history. Here are a few snapshots, including some recorded in the City's Annual Documents (yes, I really do have these original books on my shelf):
Joint Committees: 1887
Joint Committees: 1911-1912
Standing Committees of the Common Council
City Council Committees: 1938
Elections and Printing
Parks and Cemeteries
Public Property and Public Institutions
Roads and Bridges
Rules and Orders
Wires and Lamps
City Council Committees: 1998
Civil and Human Rights
Economic Development, Training, and Employment
Health and Hospitals
Housing and Community Development
Human Services and Youth
Traffic and Transportation
City Council Committees: 2000
Economic Development, Training, and Employment
Government Operations, Rules, and Claims
Health and Environment
Neighborhood and Long-term Planning
Public Facilities, Art, and Celebrations
Transportation, Traffic, and Parking
City Council Committees: 2012
Economic Development, Training, and Employment
Government Operations and Rules
Neighborhood and Long Term Planning
Public Facilities, Art, and Celebrations
Transportation, Traffic, and Parking
City Council Committees: 2016
Economic Development and University Relations
Government Operations, Rules, and Claims
Health and Environment
Human Services and Veterans
Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Art, and Celebrations
Transportation and Public Utilities
|City Council Committees: 2018
It's likely that prior to the adoption of the Plan E Charter that went into effect in 1941 there was either the need or the desire for more oversight of City departments, and both the number and the nature of the City Council (and Board of Alderman) committees seem to reflect this. Some standing committees are essentially permanent (Ordinance, Finance), but others clearly change with the times and even with the desires of individual councillors. What should be the focus of City Council subcommittees for the 2018-2019 City Council term? Should they remain the same? Are there any priorities that warrant a redefinition of the Council subcommittees? Should we revive some committees from the long past?
If you have any ideas, come to the meeting Tuesday afternoon. - Robert Winters
Looking Back at 2017 and the 2016-2017 City Council term
Two years ago I put together an outline of some of the issues and tasks that lay before the City Council and the City administration that perhaps needed attention at that time. I called this outline “Unfinished Business” (Jan 5, 2016). Let's do a status check on how we fared over the last two years.
I – Housing
II – Citywide Master Plan/Envision Cambridge
III – STEAM/STEM
IV – Bans, Ordinances, and changes in City services
V – Mass & Main
VI – Foundry Building
VII – Volpe Site – Zoning and Possible Uses
VII – The “Sharing Economy”
IX – Miscellaneous other Cambridge-style initiatives that may happen or go nowhere
X – Civic Unity – Race, class, and the never-ending conflicts between different groups, neighborhoods, etc.
XI – Other Notable Things that emerged in the intervening two years
Jan 5 - The Snow Emergency Parking Ban will be lifted at 8:00am on Friday, January 5.
The Cambridge Public Schools will remain closed tomorrow, while municipal buildings, including the libraries, will be open.
For Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP):
City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban
Jan 1, 2018 - The 2018-2019 Cambridge City Council was inaugurated this morning in the Sullivan Chamber of City Hall. After each elected councillor took the oath of office, the new City Council took care of its first order of business - the election of the Mayor. Though the eventual outcome was already known to many in the room for the last few weeks, there is always at least some drama due to the possibility that an alternate deal could be struck in the interim. However the vote went more or less as predicted with Marc McGovern being elected as Mayor for the 2018-2019 term. The initial vote was 7-2 for McGovern with Councillors Simmons and Toomey casting their votes for Tim Toomey, but Councillor Simmons changed her vote to McGovern to make the final vote 8-1.
After a speech by the newly elected Mayor McGovern that stressed themes of unity the Council then elected Jan Devereux to serve as Vice Chair of the City Council for the 2018-2019 term. That vote was initially 5 votes for Jan Devereux and 4 for Denise Simmons, but Alanna Mallon and then Craig Kelley changed their votes to Devereux to make the final vote 7-2 with Councillors Simmons and Toomey voting for Simmons.
After these proceedings there were several statements by councillors thanking Sandra Albano for her 47 years of service to the City and especially her role managing the City Council office since 1982. Sandy's last day on the job is tomorrow - Jan 2, 2018 - and it's hard to imagine City Hall without her.
Perhaps the high point of the entire Inaugural Meeting was Cambridge Police Deputy Superintendent Pauline Carter Wells singing John Lennon's song "Imagine" - just as she did two years ago and just as inspiring.
Later in the day, starting at 6:00pm, the newly elected 2018-2019 Cambridge School Committee took their oaths of office and elected Kathleen Kelly as the Vice Chair (who will be responsible for making all subcommittee appointments). That vote was initially split with Manikka Bowman and Laurance Kimbrough voting for Manikka Bowman; Emily Dexter and voting for Patty Nolan; and Fred Fantini, Kathleen Kelly, Patty Nolan, and Marc McGovern voting for Kathleen Kelly. Emily Dexter and Laurance Kimbrough then changed their votes to Kathleen Kelly leading to the final 6-1 vote to elect Kathleen Kelly.
Mayor McGovern has tapped Wil Durbin to serve as Chief of Staff of the Mayor's Office. He also tapped Luis Vasquez to be in charge of constituent services and outreach. Both are inspired choices.
The Plan E Charter only designates the Mayor as Chair of the City Council and the School Committee. All other roles and initiatives of the Mayor and the Mayor's Office are at the discretion of the Mayor, and every Mayor defines their role differently. Mayor Simmons was a wonderful Mayor for the last two years and our newly elected Mayor McGovern promises to be just as inspiring in how he defines his role for the next two years.
One last note: A new portrait of former Mayor Barbara Ackermann now graces the back wall of the Sullivan Chamber. This was an extra special treat. - RW
Marc McGovern is sworn in as Mayor
Mayor McGovern's inaugural address
Pauline Carter Wells sings "Imagine"
Barbara Ackermann portrait in Sullivan Chamber
The Mayors of Cambridge