Cambridge InsideOut - June 14, 2016
Topics du jour:
1) Mechanics of CRLS elections
2) Prizes for voting? Early Voting proposals
3) Driverless cars - Monday, June 13 (8:00am-11:00am) MAPC conference at MIT on topic of Driverless Cars
4) Grand Opening of Grand Junction - June 9, 2016
5) Open Archives - MIT Museum and Cambridge Historical Commission
6) Pedestrian Committee Walk: Walkable West Cambridge
7) Highlights of Second Middlesex Senate Candidate Forum
8) Local minimum wage?
9) Labeling gas pump labels with information about environmental impact of burning fossil fuels
10) End of the primaries and what's next
11) Envision Cambridge updates - next meetings June 29, Sept 28, Nov 16
12) Luis Vasquez interviews - Cambridge Chronicle
13) City Council vote to change name of "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous Peoples' Day"
14) Updates on search process for the next City Manager - Focus Groups to meet with GovHR USA during Thurs, June 9 - Thurs, June 16 - 96 identified "key constituency groups" and 28 Focus Groups
15) State Senate vote on SB 2311 on Thursday, June 9th to modernize the Commonwealth's zoning legislation
16) Voter turnout for Apr 12 (13%) and May 10 (1.25%) Special Elections for Petruccelli State Senate seat (won by Joseph A. Boncore)
17) Updates on State Rep. and State Senate races, including Wed, June 8 Candidate Forum with Pat Jehlen and Leland Cheung (Second Middlesex)
Sen. Pat Jehlen vs. Councillor Leland Cheung (Second Middlesex - Senate)
Sen. Sal DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk - Senate)
Sen. Joseph A. Boncore (First Suffolk and Middlesex - Senate)
Rep. Timothy Toomey vs. Mike Connolly (26th Middlesex - House)
Rep. Marjorie Decker vs. Leslie R. Phillips (25th Middlesex - House)
Rep. Jay Livingstone vs. Keith R. Anderson (8th Suffolk - House)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (29th Middlesex - House)
Rep. David Rogers (24th Middlesex - House)
Note: There are no Republican, no Green-Rainbow, and no United Independent Party challengers for any of these seats.
Where Do I Vote?
Walkable West Cambridge - Cambridge Pedestrian Committee (June 11, 2016)
MAPC Driverless Cars Forum (June 13, 2016)
Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):
'Heartfelt farewell:' Cambridge graduating class to be remembered for activism, thoughtfulness (June 10, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
Editorial: Massachusetts anemic democracy (June 10, 2016)
Affordable housing proposal for artists amended to be more inclusive (June 10, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
Columbus replaced with Indigenous People's Day in Cambridge (June 8, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
CRLS basketball team honors Davonte Neal's family with championship ring (June 6, 2016 by Wayne Gethers)
Vice Mayor column: Now is the time to get involved in shaping Cambridge's future (June 6, 2016 by Marc McGovern)
Cambridge releases report on citywide energy, water use (June 5, 2016)
Connolly up for ‘big challenge' in race against Cambridge incumbent Rep. Toomey (May 31, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
Cambridge DPW holds Commissioner's Award ceremony (May 30, 2016)
Community to decide how to spend $700K in Cambridge's third Participatory Budget (May 20, 2016)
MIT plan for Kendall Square transformation approved (May 18, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
Envision Cambridge feedback reflects need for housing solution (May 18, 2016)
‘Paul’s’ Newtowne Variety closes in The Port after 55 years in Cambridge (May 18, 2016 by Natalie Handy)
Stories written by Luis Vasquez for the Cambridge Chronicle:
Q&A: Albert Pless helps lead men's health advocacy in Cambridge (June 10, 2016)
Q&A: Couple to open martial arts school in West Cambridge (June 3, 2016)
Q&A: Acting Cambridge police commissioner, Christopher Burke (May 23, 2016)
SPOTLIGHT: Alissa Musto, Miss Cambridge 2016 (May 13, 2016)
SPOTLIGHT: Suzanne McKenzie, executive director of Breakaway Foundation (Apr 29, 2016)
SPOTLIGHT: Cambridge Vice Mayor Marc McGovern (Apr 22, 2016)
SPOTLIGHT: Phil Rizzuto, new owner of Lizzy's Ice Cream (Apr 7, 2016)
SPOTLIGHT: Lance Dottin, head coach, Cambridge Rindge boys basketball (Mar 31, 2016)
Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev is paying for two (May 22, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev should write a book (May 14, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: The Boston Bomber finally cries (May 5, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev's middle finger is back to haunt him (Apr 28, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Is Tsarnaev paying for sins of his brother? (Apr 14, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should live (Apr 7, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaev's plea for help serves as a reminder (Mar 31, 2015)
Bridging the Gap column: Tsarnaevs at odds over homeland (Mar 23, 2015)
Now that Christopher Columbus is persona non grata in the City of Cambridge, the search for the New World continues...
Manager's Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of Larry Ward and appointment of Charles Marquardt as Election Commissioners.
Congratulations to Larry Ward on his reappointment to another term (through 2020) and to Charlie Marquardt on his appointment (through 2017) to complete the term of the late Peter Sheinfeld.
Manager's Agenda #7. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Rainwater Separation from Flat Roofs Zoning Petition. [Report]
Manager's Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Riverside Neighborhood Protective Zoning Petition. [Report]
Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 25, 2016 to amend the Zoning Map in the Riverside neighborhood from the existing Residence C-1 to Residence C within the area bounded by Franklin and River Streets and Putnam Avenue.
That's two negative Planning Board recommendations. In addition, the Flat Roofs Zoning Petition was Placed on File due to the Ordinance Committee hearing not being held pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40A. The Flat Roofs Zoning Petition does have merit but needs refinement.
Manager's Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a recommendation that the City Council approve an Order to take by eminent domain a parcel of land comprising approximately 5,000 square feet of land located at 859 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge which is presently owned by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce and that the City Council approve an Order appropriating One Million Three Hundred Sixty-Three Thousand Eight Hundred Seventy-Five ($1,363,875) Dollars to the General Fund Law Department Travel & Training (Judgment & Damages) Account from Free Cash.
We don't see too many eminent domain takings, though this is a "friendly taking". It hasn't yet been determined whether this will end up as housing or for expansion of City offices. However, having watched the trend over the last 15+ years where city councillors got expanded office space, magnificent salary increases, and their own designated parking spots (previously were available to others), my guess is that unless this building is used for affordable housing somebody will get bumped up the street to provide even more full-time space in City Hall for our part-time city councillors.
Charter Right #1. That the City Manager review City policies on the availability and use of City office and meeting space for non-City appointed functions by non-City officials. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Mazen on June 6, 2016] [Order #4 of June 6, 2016]
Charter Right #2. That the City Manager review and report back to the City Council on the City’s policies and best practices in the use and supervision of City Council interns. [Charter Right exercised by Councillor Mazen on June 6, 2016] [Order #5 of June 6, 2016]
These two Orders were the subject of quite the kerfuffle at last week's City Council meeting. The Orders themselves were worded so neutrally that you had to wonder what motivated Councillor Kelley to write them, but the heated exchange revealed that the attendees of one unofficial gathering somehow connected to one councillor was in conflict with an official meeting scheduled to take place in the same location. It seems pretty clear that if councillors intend to use City Hall as a staging ground for "civic engagement" only peripherally related to the business of the City Council, there will need to be some greater clarity about the rules and protocols. This isn't Dewey Square and people can't just Occupy wherever they please whenever they please.
Order #1. That the Mayor convene a Task Force charged with establishing recommendations for the City Council on what the ideal minimum wage in Cambridge should be, and how to best implement this increase without creating unintended consequences in Cambridge or elsewhere. Mayor Simmons, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Mazen, Councillor Toomey
I suppose one could argue that the Community Advisory Board on the Living Wage has already been working on this, but what's wrong with a little redundancy? In any case, it has already been established that the City Council does not have the authority to impose a citywide minimum wage. That could change if the state legislature chose to grant such authority, but there are plenty of good reasons why it would be better to maintain a uniform statewide minimum wage in addition to the federal minimum wage.
Order #2. That the City Council reaffirm the month of October as Italian Heritage Month in the City of Cambridge. Councillor Toomey, Councillor Maher
It was interesting to read the actual language of the City Council Order of last week declaring the 2nd Monday of October to be Indigenous Peoples' Day. Nowhere in that Order does it say anything about it no longer being recognized as Columbus Day, so it really now has two designations instead of one having replaced the other. This week's Order simply reinforces the idea that Columbus Day hasn't really been so much about Columbus but rather a commemoration of our brethren with Italian heritage.
Order #4. The City Manager is requested to coordinate with the Election Commission in order to operate at least 5 early polling locations, for the entire day, for the entirety of the 11-day early voting period, coordinate with the appropriate departments to develop and launch an awareness campaign that will educate Cambridge voters, and operate the polling locations as non-precinct based, “Vote Centers,” thereby allowing anyone desiring to vote early the ability to do so at the center most convenient location. Councillor Mazen, Vice Mayor McGovern, Councillor Devereux
Why not also prescribe the color of the curtains on the voting booths as long as you're micromanaging down to this level? It's one thing for the City Council to express a policy regarding expanded early voting opportunities, but how this should be carried out is still a management issue with real cost consequences. It's not at all clear how many early voting days, hours, or locations are realistically needed, and the cost per day quoted by Common Cause seems completely unrealistic.
Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate city departments to determine the feasibility of requiring gas pump labels with information about the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels at all gas stations in the City. Councillor Devereux, Councillor Mazen, Vice Mayor McGovern
Why stop there? I'm sure the authors of this Order may also wish to mandate appropriate labeling of beef products based on the same criteria. I'm just wondering what the gas pumps would say. Perhaps something like: "You are an evil bastard for using fossil fuels in your earth-killing machine. Shame on you!" I'm sure they'll also insist on placing signs in front of homes that use natural gas for heating and cooking declaring them to be unmutual enemies of the people.
Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to coordinate with the appropriate departments to explore voter reward options for municipal elections that are most appealing for citizens and businesses alike. Councillor Mazen, Vice Mayor McGovern
Suffice to say that higher voter turnout is not a desirable end in itself if the only reason for the additional (likely uninformed) voters is a cash reward or other prize. Perhaps our elected officials could instead start by doing a better job of explaining why casting an informed ballot matters before doling out the cash.
Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee, for a public hearing held on June 2, 2016 to discuss and review a proposed list of community focus groups that the search firm will be conducting with various groups during the month of June and any other business that may properly come before the committee.
The process continues and your input is being actively sought. You can access schedules, documents, and more at www.cambridgema.gov/CityCouncil/citymanagersearch.
3:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 12.12 entitled “Street Excavations and Obstructions” by adding a new section 12.12.065 entitled ”Maintenance of Safe Passage – Proper Marking of Hazards and Trench Closure Required.” (Sullivan Chamber)
3:00pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to hear an update on the City’s climate planning and sustainability programs and to discuss events and community engagement efforts to help inform policies and goals as the City updates its Climate Change Plan and all other matters that may come before the committee related to the City’s climate change efforts. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:00pm The City Council's Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee will conduct a hearing to consider claims filed against the City. (Ackermann Room)
5:30pm Cambridge Election Commission meeting (1st Floor Meeting Room, 51 Inman St.)
1. Executive Director’s Report
2. Assistant Director's Report
3. Commissioners' Reports
III. PUBLIC COMMENT
IV. ACTION AGENDA
1. Election Commission Policies
1. State Primary, September 8, 2016
5:30pm Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)
[Meeting Agenda and supporting materials]
6:00-7:30pm Public meeting to discuss design concepts for the new Binney Street Park and Triangle Park in eastern Cambridge. (Kennedy-Longfellow Auditorium, 158 Spring Street)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
2:00pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the city’s Leaf Blower Ordinance, new research since its passage, and other issues related to leaf blowers. (Sullivan Chamber)
6:30pm Foundry RFP Response Public Presentation (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)
7:00pm Planning Board meeting (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)
1. Update from the Community Development Department
2. Adoption of Planning Board Transcripts
7:00pm Peter B. Kroon, et al, (also known as Friends of MAPOCO) Zoning Petition to expand the requirements of the North Massachusetts Avenue Subdistrict (Section 20.110) applicable generally within the portions of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District (MAOD) zoned Business A-2 (BA-2). In summary, Section 20.110 requires retail or active office use at the ground floor of any new building otherwise containing residential uses, with relief available under limited circumstances, and allows a total maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.75 and height of 50 feet for such mixed-use buildings.
3. PB#198 – Discovery Park, Buildings 400 & 500 Design Review and approval for the construction phasing of the two buildings.
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a petition by Peter B. Kroon, et al, (also known as Friends of MAPOCO) to expand the requirements of the North Massachusetts Avenue Subdistrict (Section 20.110) applicable generally within the portions of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District (MAOD) zoned Business A-2 (BA-2). In summary, Section 20.110 requires retail or active office use at the ground floor of any new building otherwise containing residential uses, with relief available under limited circumstances, and allows a total maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.75 and height of 50 feet for such mixed-use buildings. This hearing to be televised. (Sullivan Chamber)
1:00pm The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the proposed changes to the current liquor license regulations and the City Council policy goals on liquor licenses, economic development, the impact on neighborhoods and local businesses. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the formation of a special working group that will be tasked with developing a framework for the continued stewardship, curatorship and oversight of the Out of Town Kiosk in Harvard Square. (Sullivan Chamber)
5:30pm City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the parameters for a potential zoning proposal that includes the Volpe Transportation Systems Center. (Sullivan Chamber)
3:00pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss an amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 8.28 entitled “Restrictions on Youth Access to Tobacco Products and on Smoking in Workplaces and Public Places by amending Section 8.28.050 entitled “Definitions for Prohibition of Smoking in Working” to expand the definition of “Workplace” to include open construction sites. (Sullivan Chamber)
6:00-8:00pm Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee meeting (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room)
3:30pm The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Georgetown Energy Prize. (Sullivan Chamber)
Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) advisory board. Made up of 11 Members who serve three-year terms in a volunteer capacity, the CCPD board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30pm.
CCPD seeks to build a membership that reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the City, is cross-disability in nature and representative of the different geographical areas of the community. Members must be current residents of Cambridge.
CCPD works dynamically to maximize access to all aspects of Cambridge community life for individuals with disabilities, and strives to raise awareness of disability matters, to eliminate discrimination, and to promote equal opportunity for people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental and sensory. CCPD members are expected to work with other members and CCPD staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the CCPD Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.96). CCPD members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees, and work on various short and/or long-term projects, as needed.
For more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY). Interested persons should submit a letter by Friday, June 17, 2016 describing their relevant experience and the kinds of disability-related issues or projects that interest them (along with a résumé if possible) to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
June Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation
These events are FREE and open to the public. Children are welcome in the company of an adult.
|WAKE UP AND WEED!
Dates: Thursdays 10am to noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer in the front parking lot.
Join our weed-warrior crew! We are Fresh Pond citizens dedicated to keeping invasive plants at bay for the benefit of wildlife, water and humans alike. No experience or long-term commitment necessary! All tools are provided; sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. Please contact Martine at 617-349-6489 or email@example.com for any RSVPs or questions!
|FRESH POND KIDS WALK
Dates: Fridays 9 to 10am
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
Join us for casual nature explorations, designed for young kids and their parents/caretakers, and play in our urban wild! Please come dressed ready for the weather (and in clothes that are OK to get a bit dirty). Register with Catherine Pedemonti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Nature Journaling for Kids & Adults
Date: Saturday June 18th, 10-11am
Place: Register for meeting details
Come and join us for a relaxed morning of sitting, seeing, and sketching the natural world at Fresh Pond Reservation. Please bring a favorite notebook and writing utensil. Absolutely no drawing experience is necessary. Kids and their caretakers are welcome! Please RSVP to Catherine Pedemonti at email@example.com for meeting details.
|Summer Solstice Bird Walk
Date: Monday, June 20, 6 to 8pm
Place: Register for meeting location
If you can’t bear to get up at dawn to look at birds, this evening walk is for you. Just as people take advantage of the longest days of the year to continue their outdoor activities, so do birds: They spend the extra hours of daylight foraging for food for their hungry babies. Led by Nancy Guppy. Beginning birders are welcome. We have binoculars to lend and will show you how to use them. Register with Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unless otherwise specified, please contact Martine at 617-349-6489 or email@example.com for any RSVPs or questions!
Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership in Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation costs only $10 per year ($5 for seniors and students, $15 for families). To join, fill out a membership form available in the Ranger Station information racks, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call 617-349-6489, or visit our website at www.friendsoffreshpond.org to download a form.
Keep up to date on events at the Pond. Visit the Friends group website at http://friendsoffreshpond.org to learn more about Friends group activities and the reservation and its inhabitants. Upcoming Programs