Cambridge InsideOut - May 29, 2018

Possible Topics:

1) The State of Recycling

2) Broadband & FiOS in Boston

3) The Triviality of SeeClickFix

4) Envision Cambridge - Updates

5) The Reluctant Delegate

6) May 21, 2018 City Council meeting

7) The Prospect of a Central Square Arts Overlay

8) News, Upcoming Events, etc.

9) Civic Calendar

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.

Zero Waste

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

Saturday August 18: DPW and Cambridge Public Library will be hosting a Fix-It Clinic at the Main Branch of CPL, 449 Broadway. Save broken items and clothes and get them fixed. If you know of any other waste-related events, email us so we may broadcast!

Compost by the numbers: More than 400,000 pounds of food diverted since April 2. Trash has decreased by 10%.

Boston, Verizon reach agreement to spread FiOS coverage
Wicked Local West Roxbury, Sept 28, 2017

The city of Boston has amended the Verizon cable television license to bring the telecommunications carrier to more neighborhoods in Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh announced.

The amendment will double the area of the city served by Verizon FiOS from 28 percent to 56 percent.

“We are a proud partner in expanding access to broadband choice to more Boston neighborhoods and communities,” said Walsh. “Providing constituents with fast and affordable broadband helps us support the ongoing efforts to spur innovation and economic opportunity in all neighborhoods.”

In April 2016, the city announced a partnership with Verizon to replace Boston’s copper-based infrastructure with a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network that offers fast broadband speeds. Since then, Verizon has been constructing their network in their original service area of Dorchester, the Dudley Square neighborhood in Roxbury and West Roxbury.

The new amendment will expand access to Verizon FiOS to include all of Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and Roxbury, as well as parts of South Boston and the South Boston Waterfront, as part of the provider’s next phase of network construction and build out.

“This agreement brings increased competition and choice for broadband and entertainment services in Boston,” said the city’s chief of information and technology, Jascha Franklin-Hodge. “Providing more constituents with internet options will help lower costs and make internet access affordable to more families and businesses.”

The amendment also expands the amount of fiber that Verizon will provide to the city of Boston to connect schools, support the delivery of city services, and enhance public safety communications systems.

The license and amendment and other documents related to the licensing process are available online at

“Boston has welcomed FiOS, and the superior service, competition and choice Verizon delivers, with open arms,” said New England Region President Donna Cupelo. “Since we introduced FiOS in Boston late last year, we’ve almost doubled available data speed, and now offer our FiOS Gigabit Connection service. Our teams are outside everyday transforming Boston’s technology foundation.”

How to Read Cambridge - Lesson 1

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."

The Offending MarkHaving 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

The Triviality of SeeClickFix

Not a day goes by without a flurry of SeeClickFix (Commonwealth Connects) requests for matters ranging from dangerous to absurdly trivial. In addition to the ridiculous complaints about armored vehicles parking in a bike lane (because the cyclists wants the driver to carry sacks of money to a loading zone a block away) or a flatbed truck queued up at a construction site (and they want him to do what? - keep circling around the block with many tons of steel on a long, wide vehicle?) to matters so trivial that it could make your head spin. For example, I saw one this morning from 23 Clinton Street where the complainant says: "Can you please remove white mark left on brick sidewalk by parking dept?" Perhaps I should file a string of complaints about the large hot top temporary patch on my sidewalk left by NStar (before they became Eversource) that's now been there for most of the past decade plus a medley of various painted markings from Traffic & Parking, the Dig Safe folks, etc. Let's also not forget those 02138 sensitive souls who lost their minds over the color of their NEW sidewalk having a shade that didn't quite match their ideal. Good grief!

Attend an Envision Cambridge Meeting in May

Upcoming Envision Cambridge Meetings – Join the Conversation this May

Envision Cambridge

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

Rearranging the Deck Chairs - What's Up on the May 21, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Here are my selections from this week's menu:

Manager's Agenda #2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $44,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Executive Department Extraordinary Expenditures which will be used to assist the Department of Conservation & Recreation in constructing an ADA accessible canoe and kayak boat launch.

I remember back in 1999 when the City first partnered with MDC (now DCR) to invest $1,500,000 to upgrade Magazine Beach in exchange for priority in field scheduling. This satisfied what would otherwise have been a need identified in the Green Ribbon Open Space Report (2000) for access to a community park for the Cambridgeport neighborhood. Most of that investment went toward the fields and landscaping in the eastern part of Magazine Beach. The City's later investment (approx. $300,000 plus over $700,000 in matching funds and capital expenditures by DCR) has been focused on the western part, and a lot of credit for that goes to the Magazine Beach Partners (originally formed out of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association as the Friends of Magazine Beach) for spearheading the renovations of the old powder magazine and its vicinity. This is civic activism at its best.

Manager's Agenda #3. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-17, regarding the status and proposed next steps to advance the urban agriculture initiative.

The City already established regulations for the keeping of honeybees (Dec 2017) and will soon address hen-keeping (as opposed to henpecking), but this report is specific to "urban farming" whcih will include zoning recommendations affecting "the cultivation of agricultural products for public consumption". It does not affect home gardening. The zoning recommendations are expected in Fall 2018 and will require City Council approval, and soil safety regulation will be determined by the Commissioner of Public Health.

Manager's Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a request for approval to submit the attached Home Rule Petition that would authorize the City of Cambridge to include as part of the Inman Square Intersection Safety Improvements Project (“Project”) the planned reconfiguration of the intersection of Hampshire Street and Cambridge Street in the Inman Square area of the City (hereinafter, “Inman Square”) as well as a portion of the land that makes up Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci Community Plaza (“Vellucci Plaza”).

Proposed Revisions

This agenda item will likely be the centerpiece of the meeting. There are a few points that warrant comment. First, the substance of this matter is the Home Rule Petition to the state legislature to swap existing designated open space for new "open space" in order to facilitate a realignment of the roadways. That has its own controversies, including different viewpoints regarding preservation of trees in the short and long term. The reconfiguration of the road is being supposedly done for the sake of safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicle operators, but it is not at all clear that the proposed configuration (at considerable cost) will actually improve anything. The City routinely invokes the "Vision Zero" mantra to justify non-debatable changes in infrastructure with the assertion that all decisions are "data-driven", but at one recent meeting on this topic it was asserted by someone very close to the debate that there have been no accidents at all in Inman Square since the simple application of green paint to the roadway to better clarify the presence of cyclists as they pass through the intersection.

What seems quite clear in the proposed road reconfiguration is that it is centered on pushing all cyclists to use the sidewalk as they pass through the intersection (which many cyclists simply will not do - and for good reason). Will this result in fewer traffic incidents? Or will there be a spike in altercations between cyclists and pedestrians? Will cyclists who choose to use the roadway have their safety compromised? Personally, though I suppose there may be some room for improvement, my sense is that the "short term" fixes of painting the green lanes and restricting some turning movements have addressed most of the safety issues and that this next round of "improvements" may actually make things worse. The proposed changes seem more ideology-driven than data-driven. There is a lot to be said for intuitive and simple road design, and this is anything but that.

PS - It is stated in the report that "the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission approved the proposed Plaza design", but I heard from one member that this was only because their authority extends only to buildings and not to roadways, and since there are no buildings involved in either the land swap or the road design they didn't have standing in this matter.

Manager's Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a request for approval to seek authorization from the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General (the “IG”) for the City to use the Construction Manager at Rick (“CMAR”) procurement and construction method (the “CMAR Method”) in connection with the redevelopment of the Foundry building.

How many years has it been now since we received this "gift" of the Foundry building?

Unfinished Business #1-4. Appropriation and Loan Authorization Orders for $5,000,000 (Municipal Facilities Improvement Plan); $650,000 (School building infrastructure projects, and a new boiler at CRLS); $61,500,000 (water pollution abatement projects, including construction of sewer separation, storm water management and combined sewer overflow reduction elimination improvements within the The Port neighborhood, and the River Street neighborhood); and $21,000,000 (reconstruction of various City streets and sidewalks).

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Finance Committee, for public hearings held on May 1, 2018, May 8, 2018 and May 9, 2018 relative to the General Fund Budget for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2019 and recommending adoption of the General Fund Budget in the amount of $597,219,385.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Finance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 8, 2018 relative to the Water Fund Budget for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2019 and recommending adoption of the Water fund Budget in the amount of $13,973,855.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Finance Committee, for a public hearing held on May 8, 2018 relative to the Public Investment Fund for the City of Cambridge for Fiscal Year 2019 and recommending adoption of the Public Investment Budget in the amount of $17,267,995.

Objectively speaking, this really is the most significant agenda item, but there's really nothing left but the vote (and, of course, the usual round of gushy thank-you's by councillors to City staff and vice-versa).

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council with a detailed accounting of locations, if any, where Cured-In-Place Plastic Pipe (CIPP) and other plastic pipes currently exists in Cambridge, when it was installed, and why there was no public process for such a potentially hazardous change in water policy.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui

There are several available methods for re-lining pipes as an alternative to replacement including Cured-In-Place Plastic Pipe (CIPP) which uses fitted mesh and epoxy. Some people, including members of the Water Board, have expressed concerns about this method based on possible leachate, but this seems to be more a function of quality control than of the material itself. The Order states that "all plastics leach chemicals" which may be true but is not helpful. People buy water and other beverages in plastic bottles all the time and those drinks are often in contact with their container far longer than municipal water is with those pipe sections that are lined with epoxy. In addition to the matter of real vs. perceived hazard, there's also an interesting question here of who really has the authority to make decisions like these - the Water Department or the volunteer Water Board. A century ago the Water Board had very broad authority, but it's not so clear today where that authority ends under the current form of City government.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to create a structured commercial tax rate system for FY20 that prioritizes lowering the tax rate for small businesses.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Simmons

Any such change would require either a general change in state law or a Home Rule Petition. The tax classification (residential, commercial, industrial, open space, and personal property) allows different rates (within prescribed limits) among these categories but there is no further refinement within any of the categories. This can translate into a hardship for a small "mom 'n pop" retail business since (at least for Cambridge) the commercial tax rate is nearly 2½ times the residential tax rate, and there is nothing analogous to the residential exemption (which is a fixed exemption that can yield very inequitable benefit). Personally, I think the state legislature should create enabling legislation to give cities and towns a bit more flexibility, but there is an understandable risk that this would simply result in the maximum benefit being shifted onto those who vote in the local elections regardless of the net public good. Much of Cambridge retail is being driven into oblivion by rising rents (which factor in the taxes to some degree) and shifting consumer habits (like, you know, Amazon). Tax relief may help some, but the problem is bigger than that.

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to work with the relevant City Departments to launch a program during the summer months to activate the Front Lawn of City Hall in the afternoon with games (such as cornhole boards), food trucks, and other forms of entertainment to engage a diverse age range of residents in recreation.   Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Zondervan

Why not a ferris wheel and a zipline? I do like the fact that people are drawn to this space, but it is passive for a lot of them and they may not appreciate all the activity. Regarding food trucks, there would be a certain irony in having them within 100 or so feet of the License Commission offices (but that cryptic reference is something you'll have to ask me about). In any case, a hot dog vendor on the sidewalk would be a nice addition, though I suppose it would have to be a vegan alternative "not dog" vendor to gain approval (in which case forget I ever mentioned it).

Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Community Development Department and the City Solicitor to report back to the Housing Committee on how the City could establish a method of eviction data collection.   Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to direct the Cambridge Human Rights Commission to report back on housing-related activities including number of housing-related investigations, number of housing-related cases successfully mediated, relationships with regional housing-related organizations, and successes and challenges of the Cambridge Fair Housing Ordinance   Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons

My presumption is that these requests relate to the ongoing agenda of the City Council's Housing Committee, but these issues have also been discussed within the Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group and elsewhere. My presumption is that the concern here is the Bad Behavior of Very Big Mean Landlords, but this is, after all, the People's Republic of Cambridge which, unfortunately, has at least some history of collateral damage against owners of rental property regardless of virtue.

Order #7. That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Recycling Division of the Department of Public Works to study the feasibility of expanding the curbside composting program to small businesses and nonprofits in the City by the end of 2019.   Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon

It's definitely worth looking into, but it's not so simple to determine what constitutes a small business deserving of the City's largess. For example, if a large office building houses 50 small businesses should the City pick up the tab (and the garbage) for the whole building? There is already a lot of ambiguity with mixed residential/commercial buildings all over the city. - Robert Winters


The Cambridge Historical Society’s 2018 History Café Series to Focus on “Where is Cambridge From?”
Opening Event “East Cambridge & The Facts” to be held May 30th , 6:30pm at Atwood’s Tavern

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

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

About the Speakers:

Cliff Cook
Cliff Cook
Michael Delia
Michael Delia
Reed Gochberg
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.

Cambridge Honors 2018 Fresh Pond Stewardship Award Recipients

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.”

Paul Ryder - Richard Rossi
Congratulations to the 2018 Fresh Pond Steward Award recipients, retired city
Recreation Director Paul Ryder and retired Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi

2018 City Scholarship Recipients Honored at Special Ceremony

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.

2018 City Scholarship Recipients

Cambridge City Manager Seeks Applicants for Public Planting Committee

City SealMay 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 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

Member Sought to fill Cambridge Public Library Board of Trustees Vacancy

City SealMay 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 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

Members Sought for Cambridge’s Open Data Review Board

City SealMay 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, 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 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.

2018 Outstanding City of Cambridge Employee Award Winners

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 were honored at a ceremony on Friday, May 11, at 9:00am, in the Sullivan Chamber of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue.

City SealThe City Manager also presented 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:

The 2018 Brian Murphy Award was presented to former City Manager Richard C. Rossi

June Programs (and Beyond) at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

Woodland Restoration Area Gardening
Dates: Tuesdays, between 9:30am and 1:00pm
Place: Meets at the Woodland Habitat (Northeast Sector)
    Join other stewardship-minded volunteers in caretaking the native plant restoration area next to Lusitania Meadow, and learn about the diversity of native plant life! We seek dedicated participants who enjoy camaraderie and hard work that includes weeding, pruning, planting, watering new plantings, hauling wood chips and moving logs. Please email if you would like to come, and for more information.
Fresh Air Walks
Dates: Wednesdays, 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    These casual walks, led by Ranger Tim, will encompass Fresh Pond and take an informal look at each week in nature, life, and the city. Come alone or bring your co-workers! Rain or shine. Questions? Contact:
Fresh Pond Stewards
Dates: Thursdays, 10:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer near the front of the Water Treatment Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway.
    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. Meets at the volunteer trailer in the lower parking lot. Contact for more information.
Fresh Pond Kids Walk
Date: Friday, June 1st, 10:00am to 11:00am
Place: Meets at Country Kitchen, lower level of Neville Place (back building), 650 Concord Ave.
    Join us for casual nature explorations, designed for young kids and their parents/caretakers, and play in our urban wild! We might look for frogs and turtles at Black’s Nook, or find pill bugs and bird nests in the Butterfly Meadow. Please come dressed ready for the weather and in clothes that are OK to get a bit dirty! Feel free to contact Catherine Pedemonti at with any questions or to RSVP.
Fresh Pond Nature Walk
Date: Saturday, June 2, 10:00-11:30am
Place: Meets at the Gazebo near Maher Park, 650 Concord Ave.
    Join us for a walk through our urban wild. We will explore together the flora and fauna of the Reservation, noting bloom and berry; birds and bugs; and beyond! Feel free to bring binoculars, field guides, a hand lens, journal, camera... or just bring yourself! Beginners are welcome, as are children. Feel free to contact Catherine Pedemonti at with any questions.
Nesting Bird Walk
Date: Sunday, June 3, 8:00am to 10:00am
Place: Register for parking and meeting location and to receive notice of cancellation due to weather
    Many birds choose to build their nests and raise their young at Fresh Pond Reservation, because there is an abundance of insect food and plenty of safe habitat. We may hear birds singing their territorial songs and see others gathering food for their hungry babies. Walk leader Nancy Guppy will help us look for Baltimore orioles, yellow warblers, warbling vireos, redwing blackbirds, and other migratory birds which spend the breeding season at the Pond. Beginning birders are welcome! If you don't have binoculars you may borrow a pair from us. Register with Catherine Pedemonti at
Outdoor Water Conservation: Rain Gardens, Water Barrels, and Plants That Need Less Watering
Date: Sunday, June 3, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    As the days warm up and rain becomes less frequent but more intense, learn some ideas to consider that will keep your water usage from going up while making your surroundings more attractive and healthy. Do your part for the environment while having the healthiest plot on the block! For questions or to secure a seat, contact Ranger Jean at (508) 562-7605 or email
Date: Saturday, June 9th, 11:00am to 3:00pm
Place: Takes place at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway Parking at 197 Vassal Lane (Tobin School)
    Fresh Pond Reservation is truly Cambridge's green gem - an urban wild that protects Fresh Pond, Cambridge's in-city drinking water reservoir. Fresh Pond Day is the Cambridge Water Department's annual tribute to this unique Reservation that is a vital natural resource, an invaluable sanctuary for wildlife, and a beloved recreational escape in the City. So, let's give Fresh Pond the celebration, jubilation and love it deserves; join in the festivities! Attendees will enjoy live wildlife presentations (pond creatures this year!), a wildlife and bike parade, live music, facepainting, truck climb-aboards, tours, and more.
    Free and open to all, activities will take place around the Water Treatment Facility located at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge – at Kingsley Park, and the two parking lots. For those arriving by car, please plan on parking at the Tobin School (197 Vassal Lane). There are plenty of green transit options: the bikeway, bus routes 72, 74, 75 & 78; and Alewife T Station is 1 mile away.
    On-leash dogs are welcome. Please note that rain cancels this event. For more information or if you’d like to get involved, please email, call (617)-349-6489
Now in Bloom at Lusitania Wet Meadow
Date: Sunday, June 10, 10:30am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the “Meeting Rocks” (where the meadow meets the perimeter road trail)
    Cattails, wildflowers, and song birds, oh my! Come take a leisurely walk with Ranger Jean and learn how to identify the beautiful natural features we walk by every day at Fresh pond. Bring binoculars and magnifying glasses if you have them. To RSVP, please contact Ranger Jean at (508) 562-7605 or email
Walter J Sullivan Water Purification Facility Tour
Date: Monday, June 11, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Place: Meets at the front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Come learn how the Cambridge Water Department purifies drinking water for your tap after it’s conveyed from nearby Fresh Pond into our facility. You’ll have the chance to speak with water treatment staff, see the equipment in action and check out our water quality lab! For more information, contact Ranger Tim at (617) 349-6489 or Please call ahead if coming with a large group.
Seasonal Walkabout at Lusitania Wet Meadow
Date: Friday, June 15, 11:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the “Meeting Rocks” (where the meadow meets the perimeter road trail)
    Come out for a seasonal walkabout with Ranger Jean at the Lusitania Wet Meadow. We will monitor wildlife by sign, track or presence, and make note of weather, state of plants, condition of water and other abiotic resources. You can help chart the seasonal changes of some of our most active wildlife spots, or simply come to enjoy the walk. Come dressed to be outdoors for the hour. All knowledge levels welcome. We will be walking off-path. To RSVP, please contact Ranger Jean at (508) 562-7605 or email Heavy rain postpones to the following Friday.
Animal Detectives: Dragonflies
Date: Sunday, June 17, 11:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Parkway (under the clock tower)
    June’s spotlight is on the dragonfly. These predators truly are the dragons of their world, let’s explore together how they live. This family program is best suited for kids between 4 and 12. Accompanying adult must be present, service dogs only please, and dress appropriately as this is an outdoor program. Groups please check-in with Ranger Tim at prior to Thursday, June 14th.
Summer Solstice Bird Walk
Date: Friday, June 22, 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Place: Register for parking and meeting location and to receive notice of cancellation due to weather
    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 Pedemonti at
Nature Walk
Date: Saturday, June 23, 10:00am to 11:30am
Place: Meets at Gazebo near Maher Park, 650 Concord Ave.
    Join us for a walk through our urban wild. We will explore together the flora and fauna of the Reservation, noting bloom and berry; birds and bugs; and beyond! Feel free to bring binoculars, field guides, a hand lens, journal, camera... or just bring yourself! Beginners are welcome, as are children. Feel free to contact Catherine Pedemonti at with any questions.
Early Summer Scavenger Hunt: Looking for Life in and Around a Small Pond
Date: Saturday, June 23, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Meets at Black’s Nook
    This is a drop-in style program, come any time between 1 and 2pm to join rangers in exploring the life in and around Black’s Nook at the official start of summer. Every age can benefit from this guided discovery! Bring binoculars and magnifying glasses if you have them.
The Owlet Debriefed
Date: Saturday, June 30, 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Place: Meets at the Water Treatment Plant, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Maybe you’ve heard the news about Cambridge’s most famous baby bird—the owlet. After a season of intrigue, danger, and drama, all worked out for the best in the natural world. You’re invited to Fresh Pond to hear the story from beginning to end about what truly went on here and how we can balance our curiosity with the needs of the wild. For more information, contact Ranger Tim at

Unless otherwise specified, please contact Martine at 617-349-6489 or for any RSVPs or questions!

Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership is $10 and can be paid online or sent to 31 Mt. Pleasant St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Keep up to date on events at the Pond. Visit the Friends group website at to learn more about Friends group activities and the reservation and its inhabitants.

Upcoming Programs

A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:



Wed, May 30

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



Old Business

2018 State Primary

New Business

Thurs, May 31

6:45pm   Harvard Square Kiosk and Plaza Working Group meeting  (Ackermann Room)

The purpose of this meeting is to review feedback from the April 25th public meeting and work toward finalizing recommendations.

Sat, June 2

11:00am-6:00pm   Cambridge Arts River Festival  (DCR Cambridge Parkway & Lechmere Canal Park)

Mon, June 4

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 5

12:00pm   The City Council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss an overview on car sharing.  (Ackerman Room)

6:00pm   Regular School Committee meeting  (Henrietta Attles Meeting Room, CRLS, 459 Broadway)

Wed, June 6

1:00pm   The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the role and duties of the Police officer assigned to City Hall.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, June 7

2:00pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Street Performers Ordinance in section 12.16.170 in the Municipal code.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, June 11

5:30pm   City Council Roundtable/Working Meeting for the purpose of discussing Envision Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 12

3:00pm   The City Council's Housing Committee will meet for an as yet undisclosed purpose.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, June 13

4:00pm   The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance.  (Ackermann Room)

8:00-9:30am   Recycling Advisory Committee (RAC) Meeting  (Sullivan Chamber, City Hall)

Mon, June 18

4:30pm   2018 Volunteer Awards Ceremony  (Sullivan Chambers)

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 19

3:00pm   The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to review the whole licensing and permitting process and to discuss ways to make it more efficient.  (Ackermann Room)

Wed, June 20

4:00pm   The City Council's Economic Development & University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the potential for a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program, focusing on ways to reduce barriers to entry in the commercial Cannabis industry, particularly for women and minority-owned businesses; review best equity practices from other states; and promote sustainable, socially and economically reparative practices in the commercial Cannabis industry in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, June 21

7:00-9:00pm   Porter Square Neighbors Association meeting  (Lesley University Hall, 1815 Mass Ave.)

What do you know about the History of Porter Square? The guest speaker will be Charlie Sullivan, Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Commission.

Sat, June 23

9:30am   Bikes and Bricks! An Architectural Tour of Cambridge  (meet at Cambridge Public Library Main Branch)

Ride departs at 10:00am. Join the Cambridge Bicycle Committee for a leisurely, family-friendly ride through the streets of Cambridge as part of the city's annual Bike Month activities. The theme of this spring's bike tour is an exploration of architecture in Cambridge, passing sites associated with famous and historically interesting architecture. We will start at the Cambridge Public Library Main Branch and ride for about two hours (see route below). We'll be escorted by the Cambridge Police Department's Bike Patrol. The ride will end back at the library with a light lunch.

Stata Center

Mon, June 25

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, June 26

3:30pm   The City Council's Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the City's Cyber Security Policy.  (Ackermann Room)

Wed, June 27

5:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Zoning petition received from Douglas Brown et al to amend the zoning in Section 20.70 Flood Overlay district and the creation of a new Section 22.80 – Green Factor. This hearing is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, July 30

5:30pm   City Council Special Midsummer meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)