Cambridge Civic Journal

This week! - Thurs, Aug 16

7:00pm   25th Annual Oldtime Baseball Game  (St. Peter's Field, Sherman St.)

Ray Bourque, Tim Wakefield to appear in 2018 Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game. Free admission, no tickets necessary. [Facebook Page][Oldtime Baseball website]

Meet me for a beer at Paddy's before the game! - RW


Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women Vacancy

City SealAug 15, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women.

The Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women works in an inclusive manner to promote equity and justice for women and girls and advocates on their behalf with City departments and officials, local organizations and state government to increase their opportunities through program development, policy recommendations and public awareness in key issue areas identified by the Commission as significantly affecting women and girls. Commissioners support staff in their mission to create and promote programs that increase public awareness and understanding of multiple issues affecting women and girls, particularly marginalized women and girls, within the city; advocate to improve the quality of women’s and girls’ lives; and work to build coalitions and partner with other community organizations on these issues.

The Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women meets the second Wednesday of every month, from 6:30-8 p.m., at 51 Inman St., Cambridge, in the Women's Commission Conference Room, 2nd floor.

For more information about the Commission, contact Kimberly Sansoucy, Executive Director, at 617-349-4695 or ksansoucy@cambridgema.gov.

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, September 14, 2018.


Cambridge Human Services Commission Vacancies

City SealAug 8, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking Cambridge residents interested in volunteering to serve on the nine-member Human Services Commission. The Commission advises the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on human services policy issues, needs assessment, and funding allocations.

With the Department of Human Service Programs, the Commission also promotes activities that enhance the quality of life for Cambridge residents. Over the years, the Commission has responded to local needs by recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a wide range of programs offered by the city and community agencies.

The Commission usually meets with the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. For more information, contact Mike Payack at 617-349-6208 or mpayack@cambridgema.gov. Commission members serve without compensation.

Applications to serve on this committee can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience may be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, September 7, 2018.


Members Sought for Mayor’s Arts Task Force

City SealAug 6, 2018 – Mayor Marc McGovern is seeking Cambridge residents interested in serving on the newly formed Mayor’s Arts Task Force. The Mayor’s Arts Task Force, Chaired by City Councillor Alanna Mallon, will be charged with the responsibility of producing a set of action-oriented policy recommendations that will promote diversity and investment in the arts, as well as support the Central Square Arts and Cultural District.

The Mayor’s Arts Task Force will be comprised of city staff, local community leaders, and members of the artist community. Candidates will provide guidance on:

The Mayor’s Arts Task Force will meet monthly on a Thursday, from September 2018 through June 2019, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.

Applicants should email a letter of interest that addresses their qualifications to Afiyah Harrigan at aharrigan@cambridgema.gov. Letters of interest can also be dropped off to Afiyah Harrigan in the Mayor’s Office, 2nd Floor, Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting letters of interests is August 31, 2018.

Endless Summer - July 30, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda

City HallThe City Council's one summertime Special Meeting is this Monday. The actual number of agenda items is not unusually high for a Midsummer meeting, but the 1001 page package of Council materials surely must have violated some City tree ordinance or another. The likely big draw will be the Nakagawa-Brown Petition (which goes by various other marketing names) - the latest in a multi-decade effort to slow new construction in Cambridge. There's also a proposed ordinance for how to regulate marijuana sales in our emerging world of people neutralized by mind-numbing cellphones, apps that erode personal navigational abilities, and substances that dull your mind.

Here are the agenda items I found either interesting, refreshing, or ridiculous - with minimal comment:

Manager's Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-57, regarding a report on launching a program during the summer months to activate the front lawn of City Hall in the afternoons with games.


Manager's Agenda #21. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation not to adopt the Douglas Brown, et al., Zoning Petition.

Order #13. That the City Manager, with input from Mayor McGovern and the City Council, is requested to appoint an advisory committee to work through resiliency elements raised during the Envision process and through the Brown petition and report back to the City Council, with the input of the appropriate City agencies and departments.   Councillor Toomey

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on June 27, 2018 to discuss the Zoning petition received from Douglas Brown et al to amend the zoning Section 20.70 Flood Overlay district and creation of a new Section 22.80 - Green Factor.

An enormous number of letters of formal opposition to the Nakagawa-Brown Petition.

The protest letters may represent a sufficiently high percentage of the affected land area that a super-duper majority of 7 of 9 votes would be needed for this zoning amendment to pass. [If you need my 0.07 acres to cross the threshold, let me know.] That said, it probably couldn't muster 5 votes and will likely be allowed to expire without coming to a vote. There may be a few ideas contained in the petition that could be useful if revised and brought up in a different context, e.g. incentives for better use of privately owned open space and/or recommendations for greater resiliency in building infrastructure. The worst aspect of this petition, in my humble opinion, is that it is being sold as a "climate safety petition" as if the goal was to protect people when it's primarily about limiting growth (which is a perfectly rational goal, but just be honest about it). Some of its supporters have even gone so far as to suggest that failure to pass this would be "immoral".

By the way, it's not just the possibility of derailing the renovations to the Miller's River Apartments that makes this petition problematic, and a few nit-picky amendments to carve out exceptions won't make it any better. This petition would throw an enormous percentage of the city's buildings into nonconformity and could turn even the most basic building modifications into an expensive legal nightmare. There's also an apparent belief that property owners are incapable of making rational economic choices, e.g. taking steps to minimize future costly damage due to heavy rains or storm surges. The petitioners have apparently decided that only they can ensure your personal safety.


Update: Based on concerns that this proposed zoning amendment would jeopardize funding for the Millers River renovations as well as other proposed affordable housing projects, the City Council chose to move the petition to a 2nd Reading for the purpose of having that vote fail (which it did on a 4-5 vote with Councillors Carlone, Devereux, Kelley, and Zondervan voting to pass to a 2nd Reading and Councillors Mallon, Siddiqui, Simmons, Toomey, and Mayor McGovern voting against passing to a 2nd Reading). This not only ends the life of this petition but also prevents its reintroduction for the next two years. After the vote, Councillor Toomey made a motion for "Suspension of the Rules for the purpose of Reconsideration hoping the same will not prevail" - a parliamentary move to finalize the vote. That first requires that the Rules be suspended which requires 6 votes, and it failed on a 5-4 vote with those who had voted against passing to a 2nd Reading voting for Suspension of the Rules. That leaves open the possibility that one aggrieved councillor may file for Reconsideration of the vote - a pointless gesture that would most likely lead to a hastily scheduled Special Meeting solely to vote on Reconsideration which would yield no change in the outcome - only delay. [PS - Councillor Zondervan turned out to be that aggrieved councillor who filed for Reconsideration. The only problem is that, as I suspected, under Robert's Rules of Order (not this Robert) a member has to be on the prevailing side of a vote in order to be able to file for Reconsideration. In this case the prevailing side was the vote NOT to pass to a 2nd Reading, so Councillor Zondervan was ineligible.]

It was pointed out over and over at the meeting that most of the elements of the petition with any merit were already in discussion and being considered both within City departments and City task forces and as part of the Envision Cambridge process. - RW


Manager's Agenda #22. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a draft zoning petition concerning the regulation of cannabis establishments in the City of Cambridge in response to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-75. [Cannabis Zone Map]

My prediction: Legal marijuana shops will sell the expensive stuff and the riff raff will still buy from other sources. Also, let's face it - so-called "medical marijuana dispensaries" were always intended to be a first step toward recreational pot shops. I hope they can at least bring back the Peter Max posters and lava lamps from the head shops of my youth.


Manager's Agenda #26. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-14, regarding a report on applying for a Targeted Brownfields Assessment grant for Jerry's Pond.


Three rambling and incoherent communications regarding Magazine Beach from the inevitable Robert LaTrémouille.

Five communications from the ever-colorful Peter Valentine - who always means well.


Resolution #7. Retirement of Ellen Shacter from the Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Siddiqui

Resolution #18. Resolution on the death of George Teso.   Councillor Toomey

Resolution #19. Resolution on the death of Richelle Robinson.   Councillor Simmons


Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council for an update on the Grand Junction Overlay District in September.   Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Carlone

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with appropriate staff from the City, MassDOT, the Federal Railroad Administration, the MBTA and any other organization with jurisdiction over the Sherman Street train crossing and related train traffic with the goal of implementing whatever street and intersection changes are necessary to get this area re-designated a “quiet zone.”   Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Toomey

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and any other relevant City departments on what attempts were made to discuss with Lesley University or the Episcopal Divinity School about purchasing the property for affordable housing development and the results of any such discussion.   Councillor Toomey

Order #9. That the City Manager is requested to direct the appropriate City departments to establish an action plan to work with the City’s Community-Based Organizations to create a network of summertime evening programming to reduce the threat of violence in the City’s public spaces in 2019 and beyond.   Councillor Simmons, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Toomey, Councillor Mallon

Order #14. That the City Manager is requested to adopt a policy of replacing any failed 4000K LED streetlights with warmer alternatives as opportunities arise, and offering shielding/filtering upon request from nearby residents whenever possible.   Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Kelley, Vice Mayor Devereux

I want those LED lights that keep changing colors.

Order #15. That the Neighborhood and Long-Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts, and Celebrations Committee hold a hearing before October to discuss the various events being planned for Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018 and ways to properly observe the holiday in a way that promotes the culture, history, and diversity of Native American peoples during future years.   Mayor McGovern, Councillor Zondervan

This Order really makes me yearn for a cannoli from the Cafe Roma Pastry Shop on Hanover Street in the North End.

Order #16. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff to determine the navigational editing capabilities of the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Mallon

I continue to marvel at just how quickly the ability of human beings to navigate or even know where they are has degenerated thanks to their "smart" phones and their "smart" cars.

Order #17. That the City Manager is requested to contract with an outside survey company to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of inclusionary tenants' experiences, with a particular emphasis on biased practices.   Councillor Mallon, Councillor Simmons, Councillor Siddiqui

Must be that video.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on May 15, 2018 to discuss the development of an Affordable Housing Overlay District plan.

Committee Report #4. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councilor E. Denise Simmons, Co-Chair and Councilor Sumbul Siddiqui Co-Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on Apr 10, 2018 to discuss the first annual report from the Community Development Department as called for in the updated Inclusionary Zoning ordinance.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 19, 2018 to review the whole licensing and permitting process and to discuss ways to make it more efficient.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 13, 2018 to was to receive an update on the Short-Term Rental Ordinance #1397.

Committee Report #7. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on May 23, 2018 to discuss an Arts Overlay District ordinance that would achieve the goals of creating and preserving spaces for the arts in the Central Square Cultural District.

Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez City Clerk, transmitting a communication from Mayor Marc McGovern, appointing Councillor Mallon as chair to the newly formed Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts.

Comments?

Cambridge Conservation Commission Members Sought

City SealJuly 24, 2018 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale is seeking two Cambridge residents to fill vacancies 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.

Applications to serve on this committee can be submitted to City Manager Louis A. DePasquale using the City’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and resume or applicable experience may be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline to submit an application is Friday, September 7, 2018.


Cambridge City Manager Seeks Members for Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship

City SealJuly 30, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC). The Commission consists of 11 volunteer members, who are appointed by the City Manager, following an application and interview process. The term of the appointment is three years. Commissioners are expected to be knowledgeable about immigrant rights and citizenship and must be residents of Cambridge. It is desirable for this Commission to be fully representative of the diverse Cambridge community.

Cambridge welcomes immigrants and wants to encourage their success and access to opportunity and advancement in this country. It will be a goal of this Commission to get the message of welcome out, through collaboration with organizations that already provide services and outreach to our immigrant community. The Commission will act as a centralizing organization in Cambridge, to address immigrant rights and citizenship issues through providing information, referral, guidance, coordination and technical assistance to other public agencies and private persons, organizations and institutions engaged in activities and programs intended to support immigrant rights and citizenship.

Commissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.123).

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, August 24, 2018.


Deadline to Register to Vote and Availability of Absentee Ballots for the State Primary, September 4, 2018

The State Primary will be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, August 15, 2018 until 8:00pm. The Office of the Secretary of State has developed an Online Voter Registration System at www.registertovotema.com. Individuals may use the online system to submit an online application, update their address or change their party affiliation. You must have a valid driver's license, learner's permit, or non-driver ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). If you do not have an RMV ID you can use the system to create an application. Print and sign the completed form and mail or bring it to the office of the Cambridge Election Commission.

Absentee Ballots are now available at the Cambridge Election Commission office. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission. The deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot is Friday, August 31st at 5:00pm. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon. The office will be open for extended hours on the following dates:
Last Day to Register to Vote for the State Primary - Wednesday, August 15, 2018 from 8:30am-8pm.
Last Day to Apply for an Absentee Ballot Friday, August 31, 2018 from 8:30am-5pm.

The polls will be open on Election Day, September 4th from 7:00am until 8:00pm. For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit the Election Commission website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.


Temporary Locations for the State Primary, September 4 & New Polling Location

1) Due to renovations, those who vote in Ward 3 Precinct 3, Salvation Army Headquarters, 402 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge will vote next door at the Lafayette Square Fire Station, 378 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge (Entrance on Sidney Street) for the 2018 State Primary. The Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners approved the temporary relocation of the polling precinct for Ward 3 Precinct 3 at a meeting held on Wednesday, June 1, 2018.

2) Those who vote in Ward 9 Precinct 3, Haggerty School, 110 Cushing Street, Gym, Lawn Street Entrance, Cambridge will no longer vote at this location. The new voting location will be Corcoran Park Community Building, 1 Corcoran Lane, Cambridge. The Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners approved the relocation of the polling precinct for Ward 9 Precinct 3 at a meeting held on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.

3) Due to renovations, those who vote in Ward 10 Precinct 1, Russell Apartments, 2050 Mass. Ave., Cambridge will vote at the Peabody School Gym, 70-R Rindge Ave., Cambridge (Entrance in rear of building). The Cambridge Board of Election Commissioners approved the temporary relocation of the polling precinct for Ward 10 Precinct 1 at a meeting held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

Cambridge Polling Locations for 2018 State Primary Election


Cambridge’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Project Achieves LEED® Platinum Certification
Building Design Embodies Net Zero Ideals

July 30, 2018 – The City of Cambridge is proud to announce that the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lower School and Putnam Avenue Upper School Project has earned LEED® Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. This is highest rating attainable in this category, based on Version 2009 for schools. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)* provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving environmental performance.

The 170,000 square foot complex located at 100-102 Putnam Avenue opened in December 2015 as the first near net zero school building in Cambridge. It houses the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lower School, the Putnam Avenue Upper School, and the Department of Human Service Programs’ Preschool, After-School, and Community School programs.

Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points across several categories, including energy use and air quality. With a score of 89, the MLK Jr. school building is the second highest scoring new LEED for Schools project in the nation (just behind Dunbar Senior High School in Washington DC, also designed by Perkins Eastman).

Designed by Perkins Eastman and constructed by Rich-Caulfield MLK Venture, the building embodies Net Zero ideals and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) in action. Throughout the building are embedded opportunities for students to explore the arts, sustainability, and engineering concepts, including math-themed interactive artwork and interpretive displays with signage illuminating the facility’s use of insulation and sustainable materials, consideration of natural light, and reliance on systems for solar energy collection, geothermal heating, and grey water reclamation. PhotoVoltaic panels help generate over 40% of the building’s electrical needs; geothermal wells reduce heating and cooling loads, and an underground storage tank collects rainwater that is used for non-potable water. The building is designed to use 60% less energy than typical educational buildings in New England and is a literal teaching tool with cutouts in the corridors that show the mechanical system at work. This enables students to understand how the energy they use, and save, manifests. Signage is placed throughout the schools explaining these processes.

“We were extremely proud to have built a high-quality sustainable facility that serves the children of Cambridge and enhances the neighborhood,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “This project and prestigious recognition were the result of an incredible collaboration between the City, Cambridge Public Schools, the architect, the contractor, and the leadership of Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson and the Cambridge City Council.

For more information on the LEED certification process and green buildings in Cambridge, visit http://www.cambridgema.gov/CDD/zoninganddevelopment/sustainablebldgs.

About LEED: *LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving environmental performance, including energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The LEED program was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

City of Cambridge Municipal Buildings with LEED certifications:
Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway (Gold 2005)
Russell Field House, 82 Clifton St. (Certified 2008)
Robert W. Healy Public Safety Facility, 125 Sixth St. (Silver 2010)
War Memorial Building Renovation, 1640 Cambridge St. (Silver 2010)
Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway (Silver 2010)
West Cambridge Youth & Community Center, 688 Huron Ave. (Silver 2011)
Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway (Gold 2013)
Alice K. Wolf Center, 5 Western Ave. (Gold 2015)

MLK School Classroom
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lower School and Putnam Avenue Upper School Project Classroom
Photo by Robert Benson, Courtesy Perkins Eastman


Coming up soon on the Cambridge Civic Front:

Wed, Aug 15

6:00-8:00pm   Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee meeting  (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room)

At the August meeting, we will present details of the proposed affordable housing overlay, a recommendation from the Housing Working Group.

Thurs, Aug 16

3:30pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the petition filed by Randy Kasten for the Pizzuto Family Limited Partnership to amend the zoning map along the easterly side of New Street from Danehy Park continuing southwesterly along New Street to rezone Industry A-1 to create a new overlay zoning district entitled “New Street Overlay District” and further amend section 20.900 in Article 20.000; amend the Table of Regulations by creating a new self storage facility line, amend Section 4.37 in Article 4.000 and Section 6.36.7 in Article 6.000 to add a new category entitled “Self Storage Facility”. This meeting is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

7:00pm   25th Annual Oldtime Baseball Game  (St. Peter's Field, Sherman St.)

Ray Bourque, Tim Wakefield to appear in 2018 Abbot Financial Management Oldtime Baseball Game. Free admission, no tickets necessary. [Facebook Page][Oldtime Baseball website]

Tues, Aug 21

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)Central Flea

General Business

1. Update from the Community Development Department

2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts

Public Hearings

6:30pm   New Street Self-Storage Zoning Petition – Zoning petition by Randy Kasten for the Pizzuto Family Limited Partnership to amend the Zoning Map of the City of Cambridge to create a new overlay zoning district entitled New Street Overlay District with the existing Industry A-1 District to remain as the base zoning district. (Notice) (Materials)

7:30pm   Flat Roofs Zoning Petition – Zoning petition by the City Council entitled “Proposal for converting flat concave roofs to a kind of greenhouse/glass porch, Z.O. 5.55,” to mitigate environmental impacts of certain older types of residential buildings, namely so-called “triple-deckers”, while improving the City’s storm-water management, modifications to the applicable dimensional requirements of this Article 5.000, in particular regarding FAR and height limitations. (Notice) (Materials)

General Business

4. PB#141 – 650 E. Kendall Street – Use Determination (Letter)

5. Board of Zoning Appeal Cases

BZA-016894-2018 – 1815 Massachusetts Avenue – Special Permit to remove existing previously-permitted rooftop telecommunication equipment and replace with up-graded equipment. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); 6409 Section 47 USC 1455 (a). (Materials)

BZA-016964-2018 – 330 Mt. Auburn Street – Special Permit to make minor modifications to existing cell site as part of nationwide network upgrades, including replacement of 3 panel antennas, installation of 9 remote radio units and associated equipment. Art. 4.000, Sec. 4.32.G.1 & Sec. 4.40 (Footnote 49) (Telecommunication Facility); Art. 10.000, Sec. 10.40 (Special Permit); 6409 (Middle Class Tax relief and Job Creation Act). (Materials)

Wed, Aug 22

6:00-7:30pm   Central Square Advisory Committee meeting  (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room)

This meeting will focus on "Placemaking in Central Square" to reintroduce and revisit the City's approaches to public space with the goal of creating a set of values for public spaces in Central Square. The focus of this meeting will be - Public Safety.

Tues, Aug 28

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Tues, Sept 4

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

Wed, Sept 12

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

1:00pm   The City Council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the guiding policy and safety priorities for regulating and permitting shared electric scooters to operate in Cambridge. This meeting is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

4:00pm   The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices report recommendations, and any other updates from the Retail Strategy Report.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 17

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, Sept 20

3:00pm   The City Council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss reducing the speed limit to 20 MPH on residential streets Citywide and the creation of 20 MPH safety zones on certain other streets (yes, the description is self-contradictory).  (Sullivan Chamber)

Mon, Sept 24

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Sept 25

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

The School Committee will reconvene in Executive Session immediately following the regular meeting in the School Committee Conference Room, 459 Broadway, for the purposes of hearing a Level III grievance as part of collective bargaining with CEA Unit E and for the purpose of discussing collective bargaining strategy and litigation/arbitration strategy with respect to such grievance as an open meeting may have a detrimental effect on the bargaining and the litigation/arbitration positions of the Cambridge School Committee.

6:30pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, Sept 26

6:00-7:30pm   Central Square Advisory Committee meeting  (City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 4th Floor Conference Room)

This meeting will focus on "Placemaking in Central Square" to reintroduce and revisit the City's approaches to public space with the goal of creating a set of values for public spaces in Central Square. The focus of this meeting will be - Arts + Programming.

Thurs, Sept 27

3:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environment Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss storm water management practices and get an update on how Cambridge will be impacted by the EPS’s new MS4 permit which took effect on July 1, 2018.  (Sullivan Chamber)


Saturday Morning Coffee Thoughts

July 7 – Summertime in Cambridge can be, at least for some of us, far less political than the rest of the year. The City Council is on hiatus (well, I suppose the business of sucking up to potential voters never really ends), party conventions have come and gone, and the fall elections (both primary and general) are a couple of months away. My focus of late is more on Linear Algebra and electrical upgrades than on contemplating whether or not a few trees will impact climate change or whether Traffic Czar Joe Barr will be successful in his quest to make all driving in Cambridge unbearable.

I found the latest poll for the Massachusetts Democratic Primary for Governor (June 30, WBUR/MassINC) to be particularly interesting. Apparently Jay Gonzalez has 21% support to Bob Massie's 15% support in a two-man race. That's a total of 36% support, so apparently 64% of Democrats don't actually give a damn about either of these two guys or, more likely, they never heard of them. Actually, the poll really did ask that question and 61% of voters never heard of Gonzalez and 55% never heard of Massie. This compares to the 2% of voters who never heard of Charlie Baker and the 68% of voters who have a favorable view of him.

That same poll indicates that Secretary of State Bill Galvin has 44% favorable and 9% unfavorable ratings. His primary competitor Josh Zakim has a 14% favorable rating, and 62% of voters never heard of him (even though I suppose most of them know of the bridge named for his dad). If they were voting today it would be 49% Galvin over Zakim's 18% with the rest not giving a damn either way.

It's unfortunate that in the general election each party's Governor and Lt. Governor candidates have to run together. I hope Jimmy Tingle gets the Democratic nod over Quentin Palfrey for Lt. Governor but, alas, the Baker/Tingle ticket is off the table.

A well-meaning political blogger recently asked me about the various interesting local legislative races in Cambridge, i.e. the Mass. House and Senate races. All I could tell her was that listening for crickets would be far more rewarding. Virtually all of the incumbents are running unopposed. The only exception is Marjorie Decker's 25th Middlesex district in which she's opposed by a perennial loser. In my district (26th Middlesex) I will likely write in the name of my favorite beverage rather than the incumbent. How did we get to the point where our choices are so abysmally limited? Sometimes I think we would do better if we chose our legislators the same way jurors are selected - at random from street listings.

I read on Boston.com the other day that the organizers of the Women’s March event in January on the Cambridge Common this past January received a bill for some of the police details and emergency medical technician services after the event, and that the ACLU is suing the City as a result. They have a good case, I suppose, but it makes me wonder why the Cambridge Carnival organizers have not been billed even though there have been actual shootings at their events.

I was a bit startled to learn at the recent hearings on the Nakagawa-Brown Zoning Petition (also marketed as the "Climate Safety Petition" or the "Flood & Heat Resilient Cambridge Petition") that my house was shown on a narrow future waterway separating the rest of Mid-Cambridge and an island extending into The Port neighborhood. What's curious about this is that even when you adjust the 1 to 10 dial in the Surging Seas tool to the maximum, you'd have to go to at least 11 to make this happen. Alas, nothing like a little fear to assist in your political organizing. By the way, the Planning Board voted 6-1 against this petition and the City Council did not seem at all pleased when informed that the petition would kill the funding for necessary renovations to the Miller's River Apartments in East Cambridge. In any case, I still have to decide if I should start stocking up on sandbags or just buy a boat for commuting to work. Maybe we can just excavate the streets and turn Cambridge into Venice. Then we can argue for Inclusionary Gondolas. - RW


Check out the latest episodes of Cambridge InsideOut: Tuesdays, 5:30pm and 6:00pm on CCTV

If you would like to be a guest (or co-host) one of these Tuesdays, let me know. - RW

Episode 331 (Aug 14, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: EMF landmark study, St. James obstructionism, Fallout from the Nakagawa-Brown Debacle, pending zoning petitions, and more
Episode 332 (Aug 14, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: OldTime Baseball, Central Sq. murals, Surveillance Tech. Ordinance and Plan E Charter, civic opportunities, and upcoming primary
Episode 329 (Aug 7, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Central Square Cultural District, Buildings Going Up!, St. James obstructionism
Episode 330 (Aug 7, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Last details of the Midsummer City Council meeting, EMF landmarking proposal, Central Square Arts Overlay District
Episode 327 (July 31, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: July 30 City Council meeting, esp. Nakagawa-Brown disposition
Episode 328 (July 31, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: July 30 City Council meeting and more
Episode 325 (July 17, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: "a few of our favorite things" in Cambridge - with pictures, including Magazine Beach, Sacramento Field and the community garden, Fresh Pond Reservation, and Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Episode 326 (July 17, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: "a few of our favorite things" in Cambridge - with pictures, including Mount Auburn Cemetery, North Point, and the annual Old-Time Baseball game at St. Peter's Field
Episode 323 (July 10, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guest: Cathie Zusy; Topics: Magazine Beach, Powder magazine and other projects
Episode 324 (July 10, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Civic leadership and some summer thoughts
Episode 321 (June 26, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: June 25 City Council meeting, pending zoning amendments
Episode 322 (June 26, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: June 25 City Council meeting, autonomous vehicles, Open Archives
Episode 319 (June 19, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guests: City Councillors Sumbul Siddiqui, Alanna Mallon. Topics: "Women Are Here" podcast and more.
Episode 320 (June 19, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: trees, commercial recycling, public safety and more
Episode 317 (June 12, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Guest: Michael Monestime, Central Square Business Association. Topics: Business Improvement District proposal, Central Flea, River St./CB Plaza improvements, Arts Overlay
Episode 318 (June 12, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Vellucci Plaza and Inman Square; Envision Cambridge - and then some
Episode 315 (May 29, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Recycling, Broadband, FiOS.
Episode 316 (May 29, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: The Reluctant Delegate (Mass. Dem. State Convention); Envision Cambridge.
Episode 313 (May 22, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] - w/guest Patrick Barrett
Topics: Arts Overlay proposal for Central Square Cultural District
Episode 314 (May 22, 2018, 6:00pm) - w/guest Patrick Barrett
Topics: May 21 Council meeting, Inman Square controversy, Harvard Square, alternate views on zoning
Episode 311 (May 15, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: May 14 Council meeting and some history of the Parking Freeze and the Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance
Episode 312 (May 15, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: May 14 Council meeting: proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance, traffic calming, trees
Episode 309 (May 8, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: FY2019 Cambridge Budget hearings, Curbside Compost Program, and related matters
Episode 310 (May 8, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: May 7 City Council meeting, parking issues, update on some Squares
Episode 307 (May 1, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials]
Topics: Cambridge FY2019 Budget, historical look at City budgets
Episode 308 (May 1, 2018, 6:00pm)
Topics: Featured items from the Apr 30 Cambridge City Council meeting

**SAVE THE DATE**
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.


AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 18. 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. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 18. Wompatuck State Park, Hingham. Re-scheduled from August 11 - 9.5 mile hike w/lunch at scenic pond, 9:30am-2:00pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Rte. 3 Exit 14 to Rte. 228N toward Hingham, 4 mi. to Wompatuck sign, then R on Free St. 1.3 mi. to visitor center pkg. lot. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.
AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 18. Walden Pond, Concord. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove inhabited by Henry Thoreau, during the mid-1800’s. We will walk upon the woodland footpaths, where the transcendentalist contemplated life, on his early morning wanderings. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at China Ruby Restaurant, in nearby Maynard, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Lincoln Train Station commuter parking lot. From Route 2, take Route 126 South for 2 miles. Turn left on Codman Road, follow to end. Turn left, see Train Station on left. L Brian Connolly. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 25. Rock Meadow Conservation Land, Belmont. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to enjoy nature in summer. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 9:00am-12:00pm.
Directions: From the East - Take Route 2 westbound and get off at Exit 56 (Rte 4/225, Lexington/Bedford). At the fork in the ramp, bear right (Rte 4/225, Lexington/Bedford). At stop sign at end of ramp, turn left on Winter St. and follow directions From Winter St below. From Winter St - Follow Winter St for about one mile to its end and take a left onto Concord Ave. In 1/10th mile bear right onto Mill St. In 1/10th mile take first right down a hill into Rock Meadow parking lot. It comes just after 295 Mill St on the opposite side of the road. It comes on you quickly and is easy to miss. ARRIVE EARLY. PARKING LIMITED. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell.
AMC Local WalksWed, Aug 29. Audubon Habitat Education Center & Wildlife Sanctuary, Belmont. 5:30-7:15pm. End your day with a lovely nature walk right in Belmont, MA, brought to you by the AMC Boston Chapter Conservation and Local Walks and Hikes Committees. The walk will focus on plant identification and fun and interesting natural history. Easy trails, bring water and snack. No dogs. Heavy rain cancels. Meet in front of the visitor's center. DirectionsFees: Audubon Non-Members $4 (Adults) $3 (Seniors 65+) AMC Non-Members: $1. Questions? Contact Joan or Lisa. L Boot Boutwell. Contacts: Joan Entwistle, Lisa Fleischman. AMC Local WalksMon, Sept 3. 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.
AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 9. Breakheart Reservation, Wakefield Entrance. Moderate to Strenuous hike. 6 mi. 9am-1pm. Bring lunch/water/snacks. From Rte. 1, take Main St. toward Wakefield. Continue on Farm St. Make RIGHT turn at Hemlock Rd/Northeast Metro Tech High parking lot. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo. AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 9. Arlington’s Great Meadows, Lexington MA. September is a wonderful season in New England: plants are weighed down with fruits; leaves are ablaze with colors; days are warm and nights are cool. Come celebrate the season with a nature walk in Arlington’s Great Meadows. We’ll explore several different habitats during our journey: a pond, the pond edge, an upland forest, a field edge and a wet meadow. We will focus on plant ID as well as fun and interesting natural history about the plants we see, and learn why Arlington’s Great Meadows is in Lexington. Meeting Place: Meet at the Playground behind and to the right of The Waldorf School, 739 Mass Ave, Lexington. L Boot Boutwell.
AMC Local WalksSat, Sept 15. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along the ocean beach. Beautiful desert landscapes, include pitch pine forest, views of Essex Bay, and sea birds. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at Woodman’s Seafood Restaurant, in nearby Essex, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Crane Beach parking lot. Parking fee. From Route 128, exit 14 in Gloucester, take Route 133 West for 5 miles. Turn right on Northgate Road. Then, turn right on Argilla Road, follow to beach. L Brian Connolly. AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 23. Wildcat Conservation Area, Boxford. 1:30pm. It will be about 2 hours with easy terrain and moderate pace. Kids and dogs are welcome. From route 133 in the center of west Boxford (church and village store) go east on Main St. Go past the first 4 way intersection, keeping to the left. You are now on Ipswich Rd. Go to the next 4 way and turn right on Herrick Rd. Parking area is on Herrick Rd. near intersection with Ipswich Rd. which is across from police station. L Steve Davis.
AMC Local WalksSun, Sept 23. 5th Annual Duxbury Beach Walk. 10:00am-2:00pm. Fall has begun and the crowds are gone. It is a perfect time to join us for a walk to the end of Duxbury Beach and have lunch at the Gurnet Point Lighthouse. Moderate pace. Bring lunch, snacks, and water. No children under 10 or dogs. $1 fee for those not AMC members. Heavy rain cancels. If uncertain, contact Lisa or Mary. Directions: From North or South: Take Route 3 to Exit 11, Turn R going East, Exit roundabout at 2nd turn from either direction which is Congress/West Street 1.8 miles, then bear R onto Church St, which turns into George St. 1.1 miles, then L at the flagpole onto Powder Point Rd (no street sign), Powder Point Rd to end, Parking in small lot to the right. No street parking. L Lisa Fleischman, Mary Wisbach. AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 27. Walden Pond, Concord. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across grassy meadows and through hemlock forest, to scenic Walden Pond. Visit a cove inhabited by Henry Thoreau, during the mid-1800’s. We will walk upon the woodland footpaths, where the transcendentalist contemplated life, on his early morning wanderings. Walk followed by dinner/social hour at China Ruby Restaurant, in nearby Maynard, at around 2:00pm. Meet 11:00am, at Lincoln Train Station commuter parking lot. From Route 2, take Route 126 South for 2 miles. Turn left on Codman Road, follow to end. Turn left, see Train Station on left. L Brian Connolly.

August 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.

Fresh Pond Stewards
Dates: Mondays, 5:30 to 7:30pm
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 tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov for more information.
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 friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com 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: tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov
Fresh Pond Stewards
Dates: Thursdays, 10:00am to 12 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 tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov for more information.
Seasonal Walkabout at Black’s Nook
Date: Friday, August 17th, 11:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at Maher Park (650 Concord Ave.)
    Come out for a seasonal walkabout with Ranger Jean at Black’s Nook. 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 jrogers@cambridgeMA.gov. Heavy rain postpones to the following Friday.
Fresh Pond Bat Walk
Date: Friday, August 17th, 6:30pm to 8:30pm
[Registration Required - Rain date Sat, Aug 18)
    At dusk, bats leave their roosts to feed on flying insects. Join Pete Mellor and park staff for an indoor talk followed by walk at Fresh Pond Reservation. Aided by a detector that amplifies the bats’ otherwise inaudible high-frequency chirps, bat watchers can monitor and catalogue the species that call the City of Cambridge home. Group size is limited, please send reservation request to citybatwalk@gmail.com. All Ages. Service dogs only.
5th Annual Monarch Butterfly Release Celebration
Date: Sunday, August 19th, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Reservation staff are raising Monarch butterfly caterpillars for release at Fresh Pond! This butterfly species is under threat, and we’re acting to raise awareness about the importance of habitat protection and ecological stewardship at Fresh Pond. Join us to celebrate the growth of our monarch caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, and wish them luck on their long migration to Mexico. A family-friendly parade, open to all (costumes and noisemakers welcome) will take us from the Water Treatment Facility to a native meadow, where we’ll send our butterflies off into the flowers. Feel free to just meet us at the meadow too! Hang out and watch them flutter-by! Volunteers needed to help with decorations, crafts, and costumes. RSVPs and questions? Contact Ranger Tim at (617) 349-6489 or tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov. Project information located at www.cambridgema.gov/monarchwatch. Keep up-to-date with our Facebook page!
A Walk on the Wild (Edibles) Side: Fresh Pond Edition with Russ Cohen
Date: Tuesday, August 21st, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Place: Meets outside the Ranger Station at 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    The area in and around Cambridge is home to over 50 species of edible wild plants, some of which are more nutritious and/or flavorful than their cultivated counterparts. Many of these species grow within the Fresh Pond Reservation. While gathering wild edibles is not permitted within the Reservation, it is a good place to learn about them. Many of these same species can readily be found elsewhere in Cambridge, perhaps even in your own backyard. Join Russ Cohen, expert forager and author of Wild Plants I Have Known...and Eaten, for a two-hour ramble at Fresh Pond to learn about at least 18 species of edible wild plants. Russ will present information for each species on identification tips, edible portion(s), season(s) of availability and preparation methods, as well as general guidelines for safe and environmentally-responsible foraging. Please email tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov to RSVP.
Animal Detectives: The Insect Olympics
Date: Sunday, August 26th 11:00am to 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Parkway (under the clock tower)
    August’s spotlight is on the world of insects. They’re everywhere and full of hidden talents, 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 tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov.

Unless otherwise specified, please contact Martine at 617-349-6489 or fpr@cambridgema.gov 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 http://friendsoffreshpond.org 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:
http://www.friendsoffreshpond.org/calendar2014/photopages2014cal/jan14/p01-13-14chipnorton.htm

Featured recent stories in the Cambridge Chronicle (the paper of record):

Cambridge ChronicleThe Cambridge Chronicle has apparently chosen to install a paywall on its cambridge.wickedlocal.com site, so I will no longer be posting links to their news articles. If you would like to subscribe or pick up a free paper copy at various sites, I encourage you to do so. It really is The Paper of Record and I would prefer to be able to provide links to the news stories, but I guess this is the way the world goes round.


THE MUNICIPAL SITUATION IN CAMBRIDGE
A Paper read at the Annual Meeting of the National Municipal League at Chicago, April 28, 1904

BY HENRY N. WHEELER, PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE
PRECEDED BY A PROGRAM OF THE WORK OF THE LEAGUE FOR 1904
[original PDF]


Robert & Judy on Cambridge InsideOutCambridge InsideOut airs weekly every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm with producers/hosts Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. We will have other guest hosts as well.

[complete list of shows - with links to YouTube videos of each]

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 331-332: Aug 14, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 329-330: Aug 7, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 327-328: July 31, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 325-326: July 17, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 323-324: July 10, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 321-322: June 26, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 319-320: June 19, 2018 (w/Alanna Mallon, Sumbul Siddiqui)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 317-318: June 12, 2018 (w/Michael Monastime)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 315-316: May 29, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 313-314: May 22, 2018 (w/Patrick Barrett)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 311-312: May 15, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 309-310: May 8, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 307-308: May 1, 2018

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.

Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2013-2014 featured co-hosts Susana Segat and Robert Winters.
Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV during 2015-2017 features co-hosts Judy Nathans 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

MAPC Study: 435,000 new housing units needed by 2040

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.


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

April Fools Day - 2017 (and here)

April Fool's Day - 2016 (and here)     April Fool's Day - 2015 (and here)     April Fool's Day - 2013 (and here)


The Advent of PR in Cambridge
originally published in the Cambridge Civic Journal on Feb 12, 1998

Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 Recommendations (Nov 28, 2012)

Introduction: Memorandum from the Central Square Advisory Committee 2011/2012 on its Final Recommendations
Full Report (reformatted in HTML) Goals
Public Places to Build Community Public Places elements
Retail, Cultural and Non-Profit Diversity Housing
Connecting People to the Square Foster a Sustainable Future for Central Square
Leverage Future Private and Public Investments Definition of Central Square Districts
Zoning Recommendations Transfer of Development Rights
Transportation Recommendations Location Specific Issues
Comments?

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

Feb 1980 - CDD report entitled "Central Square - Commercial Area Revitalization District

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

1989 - Draft Central Square Development Guidelines

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 - Central Square Improvements Project, Master Plan Report

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)

2009 - CDD Central Square Customer Intercept Survey Report

2011 - Central Square Market Profile

2011 - Red Ribbon Commission Study Report

2012 - Goody/Clancy report and recommendations

2013 - K2C2 Final Reports

K2C2 Final Reports Released

K2C2 areaThe 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.

Community Development Department

Kendall Square Central Square Planning Study (K2C2)

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.

FYI - Current Rules and Goals: Cambridge City Council & Cambridge School Committee

City Council Rules 2018-2019 (adopted January 29, 2018)

City Council Rules 2014-2015 (adopted January 7, 2014, amended Feb 10, 2014 to reflect revised Council committees)

City Council Goals - FY2012-2013 (adopted Dec 13, 2011)

City Council Committees (for the current term)


School Committee Rules (Adopted January 1, 2018; Revised June 19, 2018)

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:

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:

Plan E Charter (Cambridge's city charter) Acts of 1921, Chapter 239 as amended (establishment of Cambridge Election Commission)

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
written by Glenn Koocher, November 2004 -- edited by Robert Winters, July 2006
 
[An alternate edit of this essay will appear, along with many other valuable essays, in a
centennial volume to be published by the Cambridge Historical Society in 2007.
]

Which People's Republic
written by Bill Cunningham, 1999


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 csv@cpsd.us for more details.


 
Robert Winters
Robert Winters, Editor
Cambridge Civic Journal
(about me - updated!!)
 
Philosophy of the CCJ Editor
 
faces
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:
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

''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"



the known universe
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