School Committee Update (July 29, 2015)
The Cambridge School Committee welcomes community involvement and is seeking to convene a Superintendent Search Interview Committee (SSIC) – representative of stakeholders in the Cambridge Public Schools – to screen candidate resumes and conduct preliminary interviews of candidates for the position of Superintendent of Schools. Interested? See the interview committee self-nomination form >>
The Superintendent Search Committee would like your input as they seek to hire a new superintendent. Take the survey >>
Work at the Polls on Election Day!
The City of Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals who are registered to vote in Massachusetts to work at polling locations throughout the city. On Election Day 200+ election workers are on hand to assist our citizens with a positive voting experience. Dedication, efficiency, patience and friendliness are assets.
To apply, go to http://www.cambridgema.gov/election or visit the Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA.
Recruitment Session: Wednesday, August 5, 2015, 5:30–8:30pm.
You must RSVP and submit your application by Monday, August 3, 2015 to attend the information session.
The recruitment session is unpaid. Attendance does not guarantee that you will be hired to work on Election Day.
City of Cambridge Election Commission
Full Scale Flyer (with links)
Conversations about the Volpe Site
Full-Scale Flyer (PDF)
Enjoy a day of free jazz at the second annual Cambridge Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 26th from 12-6 at University Park at MIT (Sidney Street, down the street from Mass Ave. at University Park Common). www.cambridgejazzfestival.org
Cambridge Native Nnenna Freelon is a singer, composer and arranger who has been nominated for six Grammy Awards and has performed with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, and Herbie Hancock among others. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and the Kennedy Center and has been described as "a spell-binding professional, who rivets attention with her glorious, cultivated voice and canny stagecraft"
Drummer Ron Savage is the chair of the Ensemble Department at the Berklee College of Music, and is a Co-Founder of the Cambridge Jazz Festival. Ron and his trio will be collaborating with Nneena Freelon to perform a salute to Billie Holliday at this year’s Festival.
JoAnne Brackeen is consistently rated as one of the best jazz pianists in the world. She has “consistently defied convention, remaking herself and her art many times over” from her early roots in the Bebop scene of the 1950’s and is a “legendary player of immense stature.”
Eguie Castrillo is latin percussionist and Grammy Award winner who has performed and recorded with Tito Puente, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Winwood and toured with Arturo Sandoval. He will be appearing with his sizzling international band “The Latin Jazz Connection”.
Laszlo Gardony is a unique classically-trained ‘jazz architect’ who also has roots in progressive rock, blues, Appalachian and American folk music. He’s been praised by Dave Brubeck for his “fluid pianism”. All About Jazz put him “on par with Bill Evans”.
|E. Denise Simmons||CC||188 Harvard St. #4B, 02139||10/2/1951||Public Office||95 (July 2)||84||July 1|
|Dennis A. Benzan||CC||1 Pine St., 02139||1/25/1972||Attorney||100 (July 2)||86||July 1|
|Minka vanBeuzekom||CC||20 Essex St. #1, 02139||7/24/1960||Government||53 (July 2)||46||July 1|
|Mariko Davidson||CC||2 Ware St. #411, 02138||11/20/1981||-||34 (July 14), 26 (July 27)||29+17=46||July 1|
|Timothy J. Toomey||CC||88 6th St., 02141||6/7/1953||Councillor||100 (July 10)||99||July 1|
|Plineo Degoes||CC||99 Garden St., 02138||2/10/1981||Teacher||92 (July 13)||84||July 1|
|Jan Devereux||CC||255 Lakeview Ave., 02138||5/13/1959||Writer/Communications||50 (July 8),46 (July 9)||47+44=91||July 1|
|Santos Carrasquillo||CC||188 Harvard St. #3B, 02139||10/15/1969||-||-||-||July 1|
|Gregg J. Moree||CC||25 Fairfield St. #4, 02140||6/16/1957||Carpenter||-||-||July 1|
|David P. Maher||CC||120 Appleton St. #2, 02138||8/8/1958||Non-profit Mgr.||100 (July 20)||96||July 1|
|Marc McGovern||CC||15 Pleasant St. #2, 02139||12/21/1968||Social Worker||100 (July 6)||92||July 1|
|Kim Courtney||CC||2 Ware St. #401, 02138||12/6/1973||Attorney||50 (July 13), 15 (July 14)||48+13=61||July 1|
|Leland Cheung||CC||157 Garden St., 02138||2/11/1978||-||75 (July 8)||52||July 1|
|Gary Mello||CC||324 Franklin St. #2, 02139||5/24/1953||Clerk||40 (July 2), 41 (July 20)||31+33=64||July 1|
|Craig Kelley||CC||6 Saint Gerard Ter., 02140||9/18/1962||Politician||100 (July 27)||91||July 1|
|James M. Williamson||CC||1000 Jackson Pl. #45, 02140||1/13/1951||-||49 (July 20), 26 (July 29)||41+||July 1|
|Nadeem Mazen||CC||720 Mass. Ave. #4, 02139||9/20/1983||Entrepreneur||88 (July 28)||-||July 2|
|Dennis Carlone||CC||9 Washington Ave. #6, 02140||5/7/1947||Architect||50 (July 23), 16 (July 28)||47+16=63||July 2|
|Paul F. Mahoney||CC||23 Lawn St., 02138||5/8/1950||-||65 (July 27)||57||July 2|
|John Sanzone||CC||540 Memorial Dr. #304, 02139||10/16/1988||-||-||-||July 2|
|Romaine Waite||CC||60 Lawn St. #5, 02138||6/7/1991||-||100 (July 21)||73||July 2|
|Lesley R. Phillips||CC||1643 Cambridge St. #52, 02138||7/18/1945||Clergy||47 (July 7), 48 (July 7)||44+43=87||July 2|
|Xavier Dietrich||CC||2 Ware St. #401, 02138||12/2/1961||-||35 (July 17), 22 (July 24)||34+20=54||July 13|
|Ilan Levy||CC||148 Spring St., 02141||11/1/1967||Software Engineer||48 (July 27)||45||July 13|
|Lee Lynn Hershey||CC||469 Windsor St. #2, 02141||1/12/1989||-||-||-||July 15|
|Doug Brown||CC||35 Standish St. #1, 02138||2/11/1968||Production Manager||-||-||July 20|
|Mike Connolly||CC||20 Harding St. #3, 02141||6/3/1980||-||59 (July 27), 14 (July 29)||57+||July 24|
|Alfred B. Fantini||SC||4 Canal Park #203, 02141||6/8/1949||Retired||100 (July 2)||98||July 1|
|Richard Harding||SC||189 Windsor St. #1, 02139||10/16/1972||Administrator||100 (July 8)||81||July 1|
|Manikka L. Bowman||SC||134 Reed St., 02140||11/27/1979||-||97 (July 2)||89||July 1|
|Kathleen M. Kelly||SC||17 Marie Ave. #1, 02139||3/8/1960||Social Worker||47 (July 9), 49 (July 21)||45+47=92||July 1|
|David J. Weinstein||SC||45 S. Normandy Ave., 02138||12/10/1972||Writer/Communications||40 (July 10), 27 (July 29)||34+||July 1|
|Jake W. Crutchfield||SC||281 River St., 02139||3/31/1987||Teacher||61 (July 21)||53||July 1|
|Elechi Kadete||SC||10 Laurel St. #4, 02139||9/30/1989||Accountant||50 (July 2), 13 (July 6)||47+10=57||July 1|
|Fran Cronin||SC||1 Kimball Ln., 02140||2/14/1952||School Committee||98 (July 13)||84||July 1|
|Patricia M. Nolan||SC||184 Huron Ave., 02138||8/28/1957||School Committee||50 (July 14), 11 (July 24)||49+11=60||July 1|
|Pia Cisternino||SC||62 Holworthy St. #1, 02138||8/28/1974||speech-language pathologist||49 (July 27)||45||July 2|
|Emily Dexter||SC||9 Fenno St., 02138||3/16/1957||Research||100 (July 21)||98||July 13|
CC = City Council, SC = School Committee
Mervan Osborne will not seek reelection (July 21).
Although he did pull nomination papers, John Summers is NOT a candidate for City Council (July 22).
* The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5:00pm. 50 certified signatures are required and candidates can submit no more than 100 signatures. Signatures are unofficially certified by staff in the Election Commission office, but actual certification is done by the Election Commission during July and possibly as late as Aug 14. When unofficially certified, the number of certified signatures and the candidate's name will be indicated in bold.
Candidates for City Council and School Committee in each municipal election since 2003 have been asked to submit statements to be posted on their Cambridge Candidate Pages on a range of topics relevant to the respective offices. Candidates can also submit statements on other topics of importance to them. The request will soon go out again to this year's candidates. Are there any particular topic areas that should be on this year's list? Please let me know what you think so that we can have a good starting point for all candidates. For reference, the topics from the 2013 election are listed below. - Robert Winters
City Council candidates were asked in 2013 about:
Other topics that you might wish to address: Civic Participation, Government and Elections, Plan E Charter, City Manager, University Relations, Youth Programs, Senior Programs, Arts and Public Celebrations, Cambridge Public Schools, Future of the Foundry Building
Priority Question: What is your vision for Central Square over the next decade?
School Committee candidates were asked in 2013 about:
Other topics that you might wish to address: MCAS and Measuring Student Achievement, Teacher Evaluations and Performance Measures, School Safety and Student Behavior, World Languages, Parent Involvement and School Councils, Enrollment in Public vs. Charter vs. Private Schools
Priority Question: What are your recommendations for meeting the needs of high-achieving/advanced learners, especially in the middle-school grades?
July 16, 2015 -- On Monday, July 13, Cambridge Animal Control Officers picked up a raccoon at Fresh Pond Reservation that has tested positive for rabies.
Earlier this month, a skunk and a fox found in Belmont tested positive for rabies, though they were not found in very close proximity to Fresh Pond. The skunk was found towards the center of Belmont and the fox was located in the area of Belmont Hills.
At this time, Cambridge Animal Commission has received no reports of any person or animal having contact with a rabid animal, but advises that people take precautionary measures, especially at Fresh Pond Reservation. Dog owners should maintain their pets in clear view and keep them from running in brush areas where they cannot see if something occurs.
Tips for Protecting Against Rabies
- Avoid direct contact with wildlife, dead or alive. Never touch any wildlife with your bare hands.
- If you find a sick or injured wild animal, call Cambridge Animal Commission at 617-349-4376.
- Avoid animals displaying unnatural behavior. Wild animals that are unusually friendly or displaying other unnatural behaviors may have the rabies virus.
- Discourage contact between pets and wildlife. Don’t let your pets roam or keep them in clear view.
- If you are scratched or bitten by any animal, either wild or domestic, consult your physician immediately.
- If your pet receives a suspected bite wound from an unknown animal or if your pet comes in direct contact with any wild animal, even if no wounds are evident, consult your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian may recommend a rabies booster.
Please notify the Cambridge Animal Commission if you see a potentially rabid animal or come in contact with one at 617-349-4376. If you get the voice mail, please try to convey the time and location of the siting and your contact number.
Select Stories from the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):
Multi-use path unveiled near Cambridge Common (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)
Cambridge's superintendent search moves to interview phase (Sara Feijo, July 15, 2015)
Guest column: Significant victory for affordable housing in Cambridge (Denise Simmons, Dennis Benzan, Marc McGovern)
Cardullo's Gourmet Shoppe sold after six decades in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 13, 2015)
Timeline set for Cambridge superintendent hire (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)
Big plans for Out of Town News in Harvard Square (Sara Feijo, July 10, 2015)
All eyes on Volpe: Huge plans leave Cambridge councilors feeling rushed (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)
Harvard looks to expand campus center; plan reduces open space near Au Bon Pain (Sara Feijo, June 30, 2015)
Cambridge councilors question street-narrowing initiatives (Sara Feijo, June 26, 2015)
Cambridge proposal opens private lots to car-sharing (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)
Foundry's reincarnation: Tour gathers ideas for Cambridge building's revamp (Sara Feijo, June 24, 2015)
NorthPoint staircase honors work of the late Brian Murphy (Sara Feijo, June 23, 2015)
Harvard Towers tenants sent packing as owner plans renovations (Sara Feijo and Amy Saltzman, June 17, 2015)
Cambridge Councillors: Students need more exposure to building trades (Sara Feijo, June 17, 2015)
Fixer Saturdays This Summer
Fixer Saturdays This Summer
The Somerville Tool Library, at 577 Somerville Ave (inside Parts & Crafts) welcomes Cambridge residents! This summer they have lots of cool events. Every Saturday from 1-3pm, they invite the community to a collaborative repair event focused on one type of broken item. Free/by donation. July 11: bra repair, July 18: anachronistic audio repair and July 25: laptops. They’ll have tools, supplies and knowledgeable fixers on hand. Bring your broken stuff and learn how to fix it yourself! Novices, experienced fixers and children welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, to volunteer or suggestions for future events.
There are 61,910 registered voters with identified birthdates (as of June 29, 2015). Their median age is 39.3. Here's how their ages as of Election Day (Nov 3, 2015) are distributed:
Registered Voters - 2015
Of these currently registered voters, 31,789 voted in last year's state election. Their median age is 50.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2014 State Election
Of these currently registered voters, 16,773 voted in the 2013 municipal election. Their median age is 58.7. Here's how their ages are distributed:
Registered Voters Who Voted in the 2013 Municipal Election
2015 Municipal Election: Nomination Papers
Nomination papers for City Council and School Committee will be available beginning Wednesday, July 1st at the Election Commission office, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge. The office will be open on Wednesday, July 1st from 8:30am until 5pm. The deadline to file nomination papers is Friday, July 31st at 5pm. The 2015 Municipal Election Calendar is posted on the Commission’s website: www.cambridgema.gov/election.
The requirements to run for City Council or School Committee are:
- The person must be a registered voter in Cambridge. To register, one must be 18 years of age by Election Day, a U.S. citizen and a resident in the City of Cambridge.
- The person must file no fewer than fifty (50) and no more than one hundred (100) certifiable signatures of registered voters in the City of Cambridge.
The Commission has prepared an information kit for candidates containing important dates, Commission policies, services and publications. The kits will be available with the nomination papers on July 1st.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015.
Cambridge Municipal Election Candidates – 2015
Official 2015 Cambridge Municipal Election Calendar (and advice for candidates)
|AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.|
|Sat, Aug 1. Manchester-Essex Conservation Area, Manchester, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through forest up to the top of Millstone Hill focusing on plant ID and fun and interesting natural history. 12:30pm-3:30pm. Rte 128 north to Exit 15 (School Street). Left on School street. 1/2 mile to dirt parking lot on left just before Manchester-Essex town line. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.||Sat, Aug 1. Middlesex Fells, Medford/Winchester. Fast-paced and somewhat steep 6-mile hike including newly-opened scenic trail around North Reservoir, plus Winthrop Hill and Long Pond, 11:15am-2:15pm. Bring lunch/water. Rte. 93 S to exit 35. At stop sign, go L under highway. At next stop sign go R. At first set of lights turn R onto Rte. 28. Turn R into Sheepfold entrance. Rte. 93 N to exit 33 (Route 28). Sheepfold entrance is 2 miles up on the L. Cancel if rain. L Marc Hurwitz.|
|Sat, Aug 8. Blue Hills, Ponkapoag Pond. 4 mi. beat-the-heat hike, 7:00am-9:00am. Bring snack/water. I-93/Rte 128 exit 2A to Rte.138S for 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course pkg. lot on L. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.||Sat, Aug 15. Squantum Point Park to Pope John Paul 2 Park, Quincy/Dorchester. 5-mile walk from Squantum Point Park, along Quincy Riverwalk, across bridge to Boston Harborwalk to Pope John Paul 2 Park, 9:30am-12:30pm. Bring snack & water. Take Rte. 3 South to exit 12, Rte. 3A South. Continue over the Neponset Bridge onto Quincy Shore Drive and bear left on East Squantum Street. Turn left and take Victory Road Marina Bay, take left on Miwra Haul Rd. into the Squantum Point parking lot. GPS Coordinates (42.299721, -71.032158). Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.|
|Sun, Aug 16. Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery & North Bridge, Concord. See water lotus in bloom, authors' graves and other Concord wonders on slow-paced, 5 mile ramble. Meet 10:00am. From Concord center take Monument Street 0.5 miles to North Bridge parking area on right. Bring lunch, water and sturdy rambling shoes. L Jerry Yos, Gail Zwink.||Sat, Aug 22. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to Grassy Pond looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 12:30pm-3:30pm. Rte. 2 to Exit 42 (Rte 27/Main St, Acton). Follow Rte 27 north for about 1 mile through Acton Center and turn left on Nagog Hill Rd. Go 1.1 miles. Parking lot on left just past small meadow. Heavy rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.|
|Mon, Sept 7. World's End Reservation, Hingham. 5 mile walk, 8:30am-11:30am. Bring snack/water. From Rte. 3 exit 14, take Rte. 228N 6.5 mi., L on Rte. 3A 1.0mi. to rotary, R on Summer St. 0.5 mi. to light, L on Martin's Lane to entr. $6.00 parking fee for non-members of the Trustees of Reservations. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.||Sun, Sept 13. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow paced nature walk looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. Focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 12:30pm-3:30pm. From Rte. 95/128 Exit 33A take Rte. 3 South for 3 miles. Left on Pond St. 0.8 miles to parking lot on left. Parking limited, arrive early. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.|
July and August Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation
These events are FREE and open to the public. Children are welcome in the company of an adult.
|A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:
|Summer Lunchtime Walking Series - Fresh Pond Nature & History
Dates: Every Friday
Time: 12 noon to 1pm
Place: Fresh Pond Ranger Station
Learn during lunch! Join Ranger Jean and staff on a walk to different habitats around the reservation. We will discuss the ecology and natural & human history of the landscape, with topics varying based on the interest of the group. Come with questions, or just to walk and listen. For more information or to register, contact Ranger Jean at email@example.com, 617-349-4793 or Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-349-7712.
|Wildflower Identification Using Newcomb's Wildflower Guide
Date: Sunday, Aug 2
Time: 10am to 12noon
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
If you wish that you could identify the flowers that you see as you walk around Fresh Pond, this program may be just right for you! We will demonstrate the use of Newcomb's, a wildflower guide that really works; then we will identify some beautiful specimens in the nearby Water Department planting beds. We have Newcomb's guides and hand lenses to lend, or you can bring your own. Register with Elizabeth Wylde at email@example.com.
|A Tour of the Water Purification Facility
Date: Monday, Aug 3
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
Come learn how the Cambridge Water Department purifies drinking water for your tap after it's pumped into our facility from nearby Fresh Pond. You'll have the chance to speak with water treatment and testing staff, see the equipment in action and check out our water quality lab! For more information, contact Julie Coffey: firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-349-7712. Please call ahead if coming with a large group. [Future Water Department Tours: Mon, Sept 14, Oct 5, Nov 2]
|Caterpillar Check Ups & Release Prep Workshops
Dates: Thursdays, August 6 and 13
Time: 1 to 3pm
Place : Outside the Ranger Station at the Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
Learn more about Monarch burtterflies and see how our caterpillars are growing! We will be designing signs and crafting materials for the monarch parade when we release our butterflies into the wild. For more information, contact Julie Coffey: email@example.com, (617) 349-7712.
|Pod Patrol: Pre-Monarch Prep!
Date: Monday, August 17
Place: Front door of water purification facility
Help us patrol the reservation for black swallow-wort, an invasive, non-native plant that threatens monarch butterflies. We will be releasing monarchs later this summer to help a struggling wild population: getting rid of black swallow-wort will help our Fresh Pond Monarchs thrive! We will pod-pluck our way around the pond at a moderate pace-no experience or equipment necessary. For more information, contact Julie Coffey: firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 349-7712.
|Fresh Pond Monarch Release and Parade!
Date: Saturday, August 22
Time: 2 to 4pm
Place: Parade starts at the Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
Join us to celebrate the growth of our monarch caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, and wish them luck on their long migration to Mexico We will be releasing them at Lusitania Meadow. To skip the parade but view the release, just meet us at the meadow at 2:30.For more information, contact Julie Coffey: email@example.com, (617) 349-7712.
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
• The Fresh Pond Reservation Stewardship Program
• Grow Native Massachusetts is offering a series of free nature-related "Evenings with Experts" lectures at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway. Details are at www.grownativemass.org and grownativemass.org/programs/eveningswithexperts in particular. First Wednesdays of the Month, 7:00-8:30pm.
• Sign up for the City of Cambridge's informative "Recycling and Composting Newsletter" by e-mailing email@example.com.
Wed, July 29
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. Municipal Election, November 3, 2015
Mon, Aug 3
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. Municipal Election, November 3, 2015
Tues, Aug 4
7:00pm Planning Board meeting (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)
Update from the Acting City Manager for the Community Development Department
Adoption of Meeting Transcript(s)
7:00pm Affordable Housing Trust discussion with the Planning Board
8:30pm Net Zero Discussion
Board of Zoning Appeal Cases
a. (continued) BZA#006158 – 10 Canal Park – design revisions
b. BZA 007457 – 2015 – 318 Harvard Street, variance to enlarge an existing nonconforming residence and special permit to construct windows in a nonconforming wall.
c. PB#125, Two Canal Park, Planning Board determination of Use for a Microbrewery on the ground floor pursuant to Section 13.52.6 – Other Uses.
Wed, Aug 5
3:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss proposed amendments to the Municipal Code Chapter 2.121 entitled "Living Wage Ordinance." (Sullivan Chamber)
Thurs, Aug 6
5:30pm The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code by adding a new Chapter 8.70 entitled "Prohibition on the Use of Polystyrene Based Disposable Food Containers." (Sullivan Chamber)
Mon, Aug 10
5:30pm Special Midsummer City Council meeting (Sullivan Chamber)
City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking a Cambridge resident to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Conservation Commission.
The Conservation Commission is responsible for administration of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (WPA), a state law governing activities in and immediately adjacent to local wetlands, waterways and floodplains. The Commission holds two regularly scheduled public meetings each month to review permit applications under the WPA, issue permits and conduct other business related to the management of Cambridge’s natural resource areas.
The Conservation Commission consists of seven members appointed by the City Manager to serve three-year terms. Cambridge residents with expertise in landscape architecture, civil/environmental engineering, hydrology, ecology, or law are encouraged to apply.
Interested persons should send a letter of interest and/or resume via e-mail, mail or fax by July 31, 2015 to:
Jennifer Letourneau, Director, Conservation Commission
City of Cambridge
344 Broadway, 3rd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02139
The Cambridge City Manager is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Cambridge Historical Commission, Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission, and the Mid Cambridge NCD Commission. Nominations from interested Cambridge residents are welcome through August 14.
The Cambridge Historical Commission, a body of seven members and three alternates, establishes historic preservation policy for the city and administers two historic districts, the Harvard Square Conservation District, the citywide landmark and demolition ordinances, and the preservation grant program for rehabilitation assistance. The neighborhood conservation district commissions are made up of five members and three alternates, with most members being residents of the neighborhoods. Each of the four Commission generally meets monthly to review alterations to protected buildings.
The Cambridge Historical Commission, established in 1963, is the city’s historic preservation agency. It is managed by a professional staff that supports four Commissions made up of appointed volunteers.
The current vacancies are for one alternate on the Cambridge Historical Commission, one alternate on the Avon Hill and Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commissions, and one member, who must be a tenant in the neighborhood, in the Mid-Cambridge NCD. Alternates are expected to attend all meetings and participate fully in discussion, and are designated to vote as needed.
Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or historic preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments to the Commission are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. Individuals interested in being considered should send a letter of interest and a resume by Friday, August 14, 2015 to Charles Sullivan, Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Commission, 831 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Council Scoreboard: Jan 1, 2014 through June 22, 2015
Here's an update of the scoreboard of activity of the individual city councillors for the current term. Though there are other matters that occupy the time of these elected officials, the records of committee attendance and the number and type of City Council Orders and Resolutions introduced are two objective measures for which data is readily available. Here are the figures through June 22, 2015:
Year-by-year and current totals can be found on the City Council page. More detailed information on each City Council committee can be found on the City Council Committees page (including links to each committee report).
The Appointed Hour - Summer at Sullivan - Highlights of the June 22, 2015 Cambridge City Council agenda
This Monday's meeting will be the last regular meeting before the summer break. [The June 29 meeting was cancelled in favor of a joint Ordinance Committee/Planning Board meeting to discuss the uniquely complex zoning petition concerning the Volpe site in Kendall Square.] Chief among the items that caught my attention are the many appointments and reappointments to City Boards & Commissions - a most honorable calling:
Manager's Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Cambridge Peace Commission effective June 22, 2015:
Manager's Agenda #2. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of William G. Barry, Jr. as a member of the Harvard Square Advisory Committee for a term of three years, effective June 10, 2015.
Manager's Agenda #3. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment and reappointments of members to the Cambridge Historical Commission:
Manager's Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission, effective June 22, 2015:
Manager's Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointment of the following persons as members of the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Manager's Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointment of the following persons as member of the Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission:
Manager's Agenda #7. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments and reappointments of the following persons as members of the Board of Trustees of the Cambridge Health Alliance, effective June 11, 2015:
Manager's Agenda #15. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appointments of the following persons as member of the Commission for Persons with Disabilities Advisory Board, for a term of three years, effective June 22, 2015:
Serving on a City volunteer board isn't for everyone. There's plenty of room for disagreement among the members of any City board, but it's really a place where reasonable people can learn from their peers and from City staff and come to reasonable conclusions - whether it be a regulatory board or an advisory board. It's not a place for inflexible people unwilling to compromise. I have a reverence for people who choose to take on these roles without any compensation. Real civic activism is about giving your time and effort to serve on a City board or volunteering in countless other ways throughout the city. We should all tip our hats to every person named above.
Manager's Agenda #17. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 15-30 and 15-41, regarding License Commission Fees and Cap Areas.
This is the first time I've ever seen a complete list of all the established liquor cap areas. It would have been helpful if the number of licenses in each cap area was included in the report. It would also be interesting to get maps showing both the liquor cap areas and the fast food cap areas.
Applications & Petitions #4. A zoning petition has been received from Elizabeth M. Stern, et al. to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Zoning Map by changing the current zoning designation of Lot 84 (2551 Mass. Ave.) and Lot 65 (7 Richard Ave.) on Assessing Block Map 186 from Business A-2 to Residence B and remove both from the MAOD and the NMAS, redraw the zoning district boundary lines so the two lots are in the Residence B zone and not in the MAOD or the NMAS and revise Article 20, Sections 100-111. [Petition text]
Another week, another zoning petition. The intent of this petition appears to be to prevent either new commercial construction or higher density residential construction from happening at the northwest corner of Richard Ave. and Mass. Ave. where a one-story dry cleaning business is now located.
Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the School Committee with the view in mind to request the Superintendent of Schools to provide data regarding Charter Schools. Councillor Kelley, Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern and Councillor Simmons
This would be good information to receive, but I can't see what the City Council can do or will do with that information.
Order #2. That the City Council go on record adopting the Net Zero Action Plan which includes key actions to reduce emissions and the process that engages stakeholders. Councillor Cheung
The recommendations are all well and good for new construction, but I do hope the City Council acts more cautiously on any requirements for existing residential buildings. If significantly onerous requirement are imposed on homeowners thinking of renovation, many homeowners will either defer necessary renovations or quietly make improvements without seeking permits. I also hope that the elected councillors also take a moment or two to understand enough physics to see why "net zero" may be unrealistic for certain building types and uses, especially in this New England climate. It would be so much better if the language could be shifted away from the often unrealistic "net zero" and toward the more sensible "maximally efficient".
Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to write a letter to the Department of Public Health indicating the City of Cambridge's non-opposition for Commonwealth Alternative Care's application to operate a RMD at 135 Fawcett Street, Cambridge, MA. Councillor Cheung, Councillor McGovern, Councillor Simmons and Councillor Mazen
Two points – First, it's amazing how many roadblocks have been thrown up to block any medical marijuana dispensaries from actually being built after being approved by voters via initiative petition. Second, it should be pretty clear that full legalization of marijuana for recreational use may be only a year or two away via the ballot box, and it seems likely that any dispensaries that are approved under the current law may become the initial sites for sale for recreational use if and when that is made legal.
Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate departments to install ADA compliant sidewalks, create protected bike lanes, and consider additional features to guarantee the safety of young students and all other users in the Huron Avenue area. Councillor Mazen
This Order is about half right. The referenced sections of Huron Ave. lack sidewalks along the perimeter of the Fresh Pond Reservation and it would be good to add them from Fresh Pond Parkway to as far as the Russell Youth & Community Center. They would then also be available to young children on their bicycles. For adult cyclists there are already well-functioning bike lanes on both sides of Huron Ave. that are quite safe and allow for reasonable speeds and normal turning movements. A "cycle track" in this location is not only unnecessary, but it would also require narrowing the travel lanes to a point where cyclists who prefer the road would be less safe. The alternative would be to remove a significant number of parking spaces used frequently by people using Glacken Field, the Russell Center, the golf course, and Fresh Pond Reservation. Installing just a sidewalk would be an improvement without any negative consequences - Robert Winters.
Featuring the Middle East and Harpoon “Take Five” Beer Garden”
Introducing Central Square StrEATS - the city’s first weekly evening food truck event every Wednesday night at 4pm.
Central Square StrEATS features five food trucks and the “Take Five” Harpoon beer garden in the gorgeous green spaces at University Park at MIT!
This new event endeavor is a partnership between Forest City Enterprises, The Central Square Business Association, The Central Square Cultural District, The City of Cambridge, The Middle East, Harpoon and Food Truck Festivals of America!”
There is no admission fee for Central Square StrEATS. The public is invited to stop by, enjoy snacks, dinner, dessert, a beer, or all of those options from one of five of Boston’s best gourmet food trucks.
The participating trucks at Central Square StrEATS include:
Free raffles for Taste of Cambridge and Cambridge Jazz Festival T-shirts will be conducted weekly! These two exciting summer events are held in the same gorgeous University Park at MIT location at Central Square StrEATS! For more information and any questions about weather and cancellations, please visit @go_centralsq and www.centralsquarestreats.com.
We're taking some time off from Cambridge InsideOut. We hope to be back on the air in Summer 2015.
Recent Broadcasts of Cambridge InsideOut (2014) [complete list of shows]
June 10 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 63 and 64 with Glenn Koocher
We had a great time doing these shows with the man who invented the original Cambridge InsideOut - Glenn Koocher.
Watch Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters.
|MBTA Role in Jump-starting Development of the Cambridge Center Project Kendall Station Urban Initiatives Project, 1979-1989
By Thad Tercyak, Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, Associate Director, 1968-1990
A new report is estimating that the greater Boston area will need another 435,000 new housing units by 2040 to lure new workers and accommodate an aging population. [Reports available here]
Note: When comparing the peak population of Cambridge back in the 1950s (over 120,000) to what it is today (perhaps 107,000) it's important to keep in mind that families were typically much larger then. It's also the case that what people find acceptable in terms of living space and amenities has changed dramatically over six decades. This translates into considerably more "units" of housing (and higher density) in Cambridge if the population should rise to levels close to what they were in days of yore.
K2C2 Final Reports Released
The final reports for Kendall Square and Central Square are now available for download. Zoning discussions based on the recommendations of the K2 and C2 Advisory Committees, which are encapsulated in these reports, will continue in 2014.
Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013
Central Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013
Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 1, December 2013
Kendall Square Final Report 2013 Part 2, December 2013
This comprehensive planning effort guided by stakeholder advisory committees, City staff, and a team of multidisciplinary consultants led by Goody Clancy, developed a vision and master plan for Central Square, Kendall Square, and the area South of Main Street (including the Osborn Triangle) connecting the two squares. Both final reports are divided into two parts; in each case you will need to review both parts to read the entire report.
The Advent of PR in Cambridge
originally published in the Cambridge Civic Journal on Feb 12, 1998
April 2, 2015 - Another fun April Fool's Day
April 2, 2013 - Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone for being such a sport on April Fool's Day.
Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 Recommendations (Nov 28, 2012)
The Neverending Study of Central Square
Aug 11, 2012 - While preparing to write a series of essays on Central Square, I put together the following list of Central Square studies culled from a variety of sources. I have originals for most of these. If you know of any others, please let me know. - Robert Winters
June 1980 - CDD booklet entitled "Facade Improvements" with focus on Central Square
Apr 1983 - "Central Square Report" produced by City Council's Central Square Subcommittee (study began in 1980 or 1981)
1987 - A report produced in 1987 about a Subcommittee that allegedly built on the 1983 report (may be same as Central Square Action Plan)
Nov 1987 - Central Square Action Plan
May 1993 - Results of the "Mayor's Forum on Central Square"
Oct 1993 - Report by the Committee to Promote and Enhance Central Square Now!
Aug 1994 - A Study of the Visual Images and Signage of Central Square (CDD)
May 1995 - An Urban Design Plan for Central Square (executive summary)
May 2001 - Summary Notes from "A Conversation about Central Square"
Feb 2000 - The Gibbs Report, Central Square Commercial Market Study
Oct 2004 - Central Square, Cambridge - Rising Fortunes at a Regional Crossroads (Rekha Murthy)
Dec 2004 - Reviving a Traditional City - Central Square, Cambridge, gets a facelift (Rekha Murthy)
June 2005 - Street Media: Ambient Messages in an Urban Space - a photographic analysis of Central Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts (Rekha Murthy)
2013 - K2C2 Final Reports
THE TASTY DINER of HARVARD SQUARE - A film by Federico Muchnik (33½ minutes)
FYI - Current Rules and Goals: Cambridge City Council & Cambridge School Committee
City Council Rules 2014-2015 (adopted January 7, 2014, amended Feb 10, 2014 to reflect current Council committees)
City Council Goals - FY2012-2013 (adopted Dec 13, 2011)
City Council Committees (for the current term)
School Committee Rules (adopted January 7, 2008)
School Committee Goals (adopted October 7, 2008)
June 7, 2009 - Once upon a time there was a civic organization in Cambridge known as the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA). It was formed in 1945 out of several organizations that had been existed through the 1930s and that had lobbied the state legislature to create the Plan E Charter option (1938) which featured a city manager form of government and proportional representation elections for city council and school committee. These reforms were central to model charter reform movements active in the United States from the early 1900s. The central theme of the CCA in its early days was "good government" in the sense of being anti-patronage and for professionally managed local government. This changed with the introduction of rent control at the end of the 1960s after which the CCA shifted leftward and became permanently lashed to the mast of the rent control vessel. Though the CCA still exists on paper (I believe), it rapidly declined after the statewide abolition of rent control (late 1994) and essentially disappeared a decade later (early 2005).
I bring up the ghost of the CCA today only to point out that when it was created it had some very admirable goals. Here's the original Mission Statement of the CCA:
Purposes: This association is formed for the following purposes:
- 1. To promote businesslike, honest, and efficient conduct of local government, open to public scrutiny.
- 2. To induce residents to take an active interest in the affairs of the City of Cambridge.
- 3. To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs.
- 4. To assure that the best qualified persons are appointed to positions in the City government after consideration of all qualified candidates.
- 5. To promote among the citizens of Cambridge equitable distribution and benefit of public services and equal opportunity for economic security, education, and social advancement.
These are pretty good founding principles for a civic organization and I'm tempted to say that some should be incorporated into the recently adopted City Council's Goals for FY2010 (adopted Feb 2, 2009). In fact, of the 22 current goals, the only one that comes close is: "An increased level of recruitment and opportunities for membership on boards and commissions." The current Council goals emphasize things like "fostering community" via block parties and such, though one has to wonder if the City should be promoting these activities or just getting out of the way so that people can foster community on their own. The goals also seem to put some emphasis on developing "successful nightlife campaigns" while mentioning nothing about promoting ordinary "daytime" economic activity that supports the everyday needs of residents.
One founding principle of the CCA that fell into disuse over the years is listed above as #3: To encourage and support the candidacy of men and women seeking election to public office and to support intelligent, wholesome leadership in public affairs. Indeed, I can personally testify to the fact that in its dying years the only reason the CCA made endorsements at all was because the CCA-endorsed incumbents wanted the benefit of having an advertised CCA slate of candidates that would help secure their reelection. There was precious little effort to recruit new candidates or to support them. Today, the benefits of incumbency are greater than ever. The cost of political campaigns have become absurdly high and most of the incumbents now have (City paid) staff who are inevitably political appointees who directly or indirectly assist in the reelection efforts of their bosses. The deck is increasingly stacked against challengers. Furthermore, the salary and benefits for elected councillors are now so sweet that it is unlikely that any of them would ever want to move on to another job.
With this background in mind, I would like to encourage all Cambridge residents to help level the playing field by finding out about this year's challengers for seats on the Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge School Committee. This is not meant as a dig against any particular incumbent as much as an appeal to support the challengers in what is a difficult and laudable effort. Please see the Cambridge Candidate Pages for the current list of expected candidates. Then use your own judgment - don't expect me or anyone else to do it for you.
Speaking of this year's municipal election, there are some activists who are now expending great effort to attack the City Manager and most of the current City Council. That is not nor has it ever been the intention of the Cambridge Civic Journal or its editor. Candidates are now being seduced by financial promises from one angry fellow with a Brattle Street address and a basketful of grudges. Former CCA Executive Board members from its darkest and most manipulative days are oozing up from the civic swamp trying to at last make good on their failed campaigns of the early 1990s to oust city manager Bob Healy.
It's entertaining to watch people who have primarily earned disrespect in their civic efforts try to capitalize on the recent Monteiro jury decision as a means of realizing their decades-old vendettas. Conveniently forgotten in their recent letters to Cambridge's "oldest weekly newspaper" are the many achievements of City Manager Bob Healy, the strong financial position of the City, and the recent 8-1 vote of confidence bestowed upon Mr. Healy in granting him a three year contract extension. Also missing in this testimony is the fact that virtually all affirmative action in the hiring of employees and department heads has taken place on Mr. Healy's watch. These letters also fail to divulge how long these writers have been carrying their jealousy and anger toward Mr. Healy for actually orchestrating progress in Cambridge while the best they could ever do is snipe from the sidelines. - Robert Winters
This Old Land of Cambridge - The true story of the geological history of Cambridge - by George Ehrenfried
Sadly, George passed away (Jan 5, 2010) at the age of 96. He led many a geology-themed hike with the AMC Local Walks/Hikes.
Selected City of Cambridge References:
Mass. General Laws Chapter 54A (governing Cambridge's PR elections)
Pen Portraits of Prominent People - by Henry J. Mahoney Editor, Cambridge Sentinel - 1923
This book was published c. 1923 and features very witty one-page “pen portraits” (with photo) of prominent Cantabrigians of the day. I'll be adding names alphabetically as time permits. There are 182 portraits in the book.
It comes to mind that there may be some value in expanding these profiles to other prominent Cantabrigians who arrived on the scene after 1923, including prominent Cantabrigians of today. With this in mind, I extend the invitation to any and all who may wish to contribute their own “pen portraits” of Cambridge people. Contributions do not necessarily have to be in the style of Mr. Mahoney. Inclusion is, as always, subject to the erratic discretion of the editor.
Special thanks to Karen Welch for sending me the book. - RW
Political History of Cambridge in the 20th Century
Which People's Republic
Cambridge School Volunteers is looking for people who can give one to two hours per week to help students in the Cambridge Public Schools, grades K through 12. No experience necessary. Call 617-349-6794 or e-mail email@example.com for more details.
Oliver Wendell Holmes – Morning Exercises of December 28, 1880
As recorded in the book 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Cambridge (1881)
Robert Winters, Editor
Cambridge Civic Journal
(about me - updated!!)
The Cambridge Civic Journal is an independent newsletter of civic affairs in the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is published as a public service by Central Square Publications. All items are written by Robert Winters unless otherwise noted. [Of course, I do sometimes forget.]
Thoughts for these times:
''This is our fucking city, and nobody is gonna dictate our freedom. Stay strong.'' -- David Ortiz
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“The Number One thing I would emphasize is that journalists and bloggers would do well to see themselves as partners in the provision of information and that each can benefit greatly from the other. I’ve never seen this as a competition. It is especially true these days that local papers and young journalists are not very well-versed in the communities they serve. Much of the institutional memory has either died out or been bought out.” -- Robert Winters, mathematician and creator of the Cambridge Civic Journal, an online publication about Cambridge, MA (rwinters.com)
Jorkin: “Come, come, Mr. Fezziwig, we’re good friends besides good men of business. We’re men of vision and progress. Why don’t you sell out while the going’s good? You’ll never get a better offer. It’s the age of the machine, and the factory, and the vested interests. We small traders are ancient history, Mr. Fezziwig.”
Fezziwig: “It’s not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business, Mr. Jorkin…. It’s to preserve a way of life that one knew and loved. No, I can’t see my way to selling out to the new vested interests, Mr. Jorkin. I’ll have to be loyal to the old ways and die out with them if needs must.”
Scrooge: “I think I know what Mr. Fezziwig means, sir.”
Jorkin: “Oh, you hate progress and money, too, do you?”
Scrooge: “I don't hate them, sir, but perhaps the machines aren’t such a good thing for mankind, after all.”
Memorable scene in "A Christmas Carol"