Notable items on the Oct 15, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda

City HallHere's my first pass at the interesting stuff up for discussion at this week's meeting:

Manager's Agenda #2. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $160,000 from Free Cash to the General Fund Executive Department Other Ordinary Maintenance account which will fund an expansion of free food programming for Cambridge youth.

Expanded Free Breakfast & Lunch in Cambridge schools and pre-schools courtesy of Mother Cambridge.

Manager's Agenda #7. Transmitting Communication from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of $5,000,000 from Free Cash to the Public Investment Fund Public Works Department Extraordinary Expenditures Account to support the completion of the Inman Square Intersection Improvements Project.

Communications & Reports #1. A communication was received from City Clerk Donna P. Lopez, transmitting a communication from Councillor Kelley, transmitting memorandum regarding Inman Square Redesign Project.

There are some who still feel that the plan needs revision (including Councillor Kelley), but the judge isn't going to look at the twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Manager's Agenda #10. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-76, regarding a report on Linkage fee as part of the Incentive Zoning Nexus Study.

Another study coming. At least this time there will also be effort expended to measure the impact of new nonresidential development on employment opportunities for Cambridge residents (could there be a positive impact?). Currently any linkage fees exacted from new development go toward subsidized housing. Some might argue that the greatest deficiency in how these nexus studies and associated linkage fees work is that they do little to address the lack of access for existing residents to jobs in all these new bright shiny buildings, and building additional subsidized housing without such access to employment isn't necessarily the best strategy.

Charter Right #1. That the Envision Cambridge draft recommendations should be reviewed by the entire City Council in respective committees.

As I have said previously, handing a laundry list of suggestions from Envision Cambridge working committees to each of the City Council committees hardly seems like the best path toward comprehensive planning (you know - the Master Plan). Maybe they just want the Faster Plan.

Order #1. That the City Manager confer with the City Solicitor’s Office on the legal question and the feasibility of placing a condition in public bidding documents prohibiting municipal contractors from displaying any signage—other than company markers and contact information—on vehicles.   Councillor Siddiqui, Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux

Though I don't know for sure (really, I do), I believe this Order came about because somebody snapped a picture of a cement truck that had "Make America Great Again" on it.

Order #4. That the Chairs of the Ordinance Committee schedule a hearing on Tree Protections and the Chairs of the Health & Environment Committee schedule public hearings on Tree Protections and the preliminary results from the Ordinance Committee hearing.   Councillor Zondervan

I may just have to take down sooner than later that problematic ash tree in my yard that's leaning on my roof. Otherwise, if a new ordinance is passed I may need a lawyer and an additional check.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Community Development Department and the City Solicitor to investigate the queries posed by the Economic and University Relations Committee for a City-Based Cannabis Social Equity Program.   Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Zondervan

Cast me out from the community, if you will, but I simply cannot wrap my head around a policy that gives preferential treatment to relatives of people convicted of drug-related crimes. Ensuring that the new dope industry provides economic opportunity broadly, i.e. "social equity", is one thing, but getting nailed for dealing dope under previous laws should not provide an advantage over those who lived within the law.

Committee Report #1. 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 Sept 27, 2018 to discuss Affordable Housing Overlay District.

The juggernaut continues. I spoke my mind on this subject at the most recent meeting of the Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group (which really should be renamed the "Subsidized Housing Working Group" based on the fact that they never addressed housing generally). As I have stated repeatedly, it's certainly true that people want housing to be affordable in the sense that a typical person or family can find a place to buy or rent within their budget, but this is not the same as advocating for a dramatic increase in subsidized housing (of which Cambridge already has a significant amount when you add up all the Housing Authority properties, Inclusionary housing units, etc.). Indeed, I think an argument can be made that the singular focus on subsidized housing may be contributing to the non-affordability of housing generally. The best affordable housing program ever conceived was the proliferation of multi-family housing, and that involved no government subsidy at all.

Better ideas would be to permit multi-family housing in all zones, adjust allowable densities to better reflect the existing built environment, and work regionally to increase the overall housing stock. As I stated at the very first meeting of the Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee, constructing many housing units in Somerville's Union Square, in Everett, in Allston, and elsewhere will do more toward making housing more affordable in Cambridge than anything. Only when people have options can they make rational economic choices. It is the shortage of available better options that allows housing costs in Cambridge to rise unchecked.

Committee Report #2. 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 Sept 12, 2018 to discuss Storefront Vacancies Best Practices.

Though I suppose I like the idea of "pop up" art in vacant storefronts, it's a poor substitute for actual retail. On a related matter, current state law requires all new marijuana stores to obscure the views into these establishments (kinda like a speakeasy in the prohibition era). The crappy response has been to propose putting artsy stuff in the front windows. There are better approaches. My proposal is to create arcade-like shallow retail operations on these frontages. How about a hot dog vendor? A newsstand (if anyone still buys newspapers/magazines)? Maybe just a simple water bottle filling station. How about just creating a recessed area with an awning where a local vendor can sell hats, scarves, or trinkets? There are plenty of other good ideas. I would make the same proposal for other "formula businesses" to create active, low-cost, retail opportunities. - Robert Winters

Comments?

Oct 7 - I recently merged the most recent voter history file from the Sept 4 Primary with my mega-database going back to 1997. If you have ever wondered how many people have voted in every Cambridge citywide election since then (including municipal elections, federal elections, primary elections, and special elections), there are now only 116 of us (and I personally know at least 52 of those 116). Maybe we should form a club. - RW

PS - I'll do some histograms and other goodies from the latest data when I have a few minutes to spare. I also take requests.


Coming up soon on the Cambridge Civic Front:Central Flea

Mon, Oct 15

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Tues, Oct 16

3:00pm   The City Council's Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning; Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will meet to discuss CMA 2018 #196 (better known as Order #1 of Feb 5, 2018) and any other matter related to Jerry’s Pond (for example, this July 30, 2018 response from the City Manager).  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:00pm   Cambridge Election Commission meeting  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

I. MINUTES

II. REPORTS

1. Executive Director's Report

2. Assistant Director's Report

3. Commissioners' Reports

III. PUBLIC COMMENT

IV. ACTION AGENDA

Old Business

1. Review of Election Night Procedures

2. State Election, November 6, 2018

New Business

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

General Business

1. Update from the Community Development Department

2. Adoption of Planning Board meeting transcripts

Public Hearings

6:30pm   PB# 339 – 541 Massachusetts Avenue – Special Permit application by Revolutionary Clinics II, Inc. to convert existing space into a Medical Marijuana Dispensary pursuant to Section 11.802.8 Registered Marijuana Dispensary Use in the Business B District. (Notice) (Materials)

Board of Zoning Appeal Cases

BZA-016957-2018 – 300 Mt. Auburn Street – 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)

Wed, Oct 17

5:30pm   Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting  (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)

[Meeting Agenda and supporting materials]

6:00-7:30pm   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 Health.

Thurs, Oct 18

10:00am   Pole & Conduit Commission meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Mon, Oct 22

5:30pm   City Council Roundtable/Working Meeting to discuss the Envision process. This Meeting is to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Tues, Oct 23

3:00pm   The City Council's Neighborhood & Long-Term Planning; Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the status of the Harvard Square Kiosk.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Oct 24

3:00pm   License Commission Public Hearing  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

6:30-8:30pm   Inman Square Intersection Improvements - Community Meeting  (Cambridgeport School - Gymnasium)

The City is developing plans to improve the intersection of Hampshire Street and Cambridge Street in Inman Square. Please join us at an upcoming meeting to learn more about the plaza design and provide input. This meeting will focus on presentation and discussion of the landscape and urban design for the reconfigured Vellucci Plaza and presentation of public art concepts by Project Artist Mark Reigelman. We encourage community members to attend to learn more and provide feedback about the design for this important public space.

Thurs, Oct 25

10:00am   The City Council's Human Services and Veteran’s Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Summer food program update.  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   LGBTQ+ meeting  (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)

6:00-8:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Mon, Oct 29

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Tues, Oct 30

3:00pm   The City Council's Human Services and Veteran’s Committee will conduct a public hearing to receive an update of existing/in progress workforce development programs in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, Nov 1

6:00pm   Cambridge Historical Commission meeting  (Citywide Senior Center, 806 Massachusetts Ave.)

Mon, Nov 5

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commission (MCNCDC) meeting  (2nd Floor Meeting Room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Tues, Nov 6

7:00am-8:00pm   State Election (citywide) - VOTE!

Wed, Nov 7

3:00pm   License Commission Public Hearing  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

5:30pm   Transit Advisory Committee meeting  (Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.)

Thurs, Nov 8

2:00pm   The City Council's Transportation and Public Utilities Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Federal Communications Commission’s new policy on regulating small cell technology and the City’s response and policies.  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30-7:00pm   Commission for Persons with Disabilities meeting  (51 Inman St., 2nd Floor Conference Room)

Tues, Nov 13

3:00pm   The City Council's Health and Environmental Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss draft recommendations from the Envision Cambridge Climate and Environment working group and any other related matters.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Wed, Nov 14

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

3:00pm   The City Council's Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the Policy Order adopted regarding Cambridge publicly finance Municipal Election Program and the Cambridge Municipal People’s Pledge Program. This Hearing will be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30-7:30pm   Bicycle Committee meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

5:30pm   Cambridge Redevelopment Authority Board Meeting  (Police Station, 125 Sixth St., First Floor Community Room)

[Meeting Agenda and supporting materials]

Thurs, Nov 15

10:00am   Pole & Conduit Commission meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

6:00pm   LGBTQ+ meeting  (Windsor St. Health Center, 119 Windsor St.)

6:00-8:00pm   Pedestrian Committee Meeting  (4th Floor Conference Room, 344 Broadway)

Mon, Nov 19

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

6:00pm   Half Crown-Marsh Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)

Mon, Nov 26

5:30pm   City Council meeting  (Sullivan Chamber)

5:30pm   Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District Commission Meeting  (Lombardi Building, 831 Mass. Ave, Basement Conference Room)


Members Sought for New River Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Design Project Working Group

Sept 19, 2018 – The City of Cambridge is seeking volunteers to serve on a new Working Group to help guide the River Street Infrastructure and Streetscape Design Project. The group will advise City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and his staff on key issues related to the planning and design for this important project, which has three main components:City Seal

The working group will consist of 12-15 members who will meet monthly for a period of 9-12 months, starting late fall 2018. The group will include residents, business, and institutional representatives and subject matter experts and who will work with city staff and a consultant to develop design principles and alternative design options. The process will culminate in a final design for River Street and Carl Barron Plaza, which will proceed into construction.

Individuals with interest in the River Street corridor, Central Square/Carl Barron Plaza, experience or expertise in relevant topics — transportation, accessibility, urban design and placemaking, landscape architecture, green infrastructure — and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse viewpoints to craft consensus solutions are encouraged to apply. Meetings of the Working Group will be open to the public.

For additional questions about the new Working Group, contact Jerry Friedman, Supervising Engineer, Department of Public Works at 617-349-9720 or jfriedman@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, October 12, 2018.


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

City SealSept 18, 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 not yet determined.


Speaking Freely - A few thoughts on the proposal to grant certain non-profit developers the right to build far more densely than others

Sept 29 - An interesting discussion is starting to develop on neighborhood listservs and on Facebook regarding a proposed "100% Affordable Housing Overlay". Here are a few thoughts (by me) from a couple of Facebook discussions on the issue. Pardon what may seem at times like "one hand clapping", but I selected only my comments out of the conversation(s).

If this proposal succeeds to game the system to deliver parcels to specific subsidized housing developers, the next step will be for city councillors to significantly increase the amount of taxpayer dollars available to develop those properties. And if you question any aspect of this, get ready to be maligned. If zoning limitations on height or density mean anything at all, they should be uniformly applied to ALL and not rigged to favor certain developers.

I think there's a lot of political pressure going on behind the scenes here in addition to the public meetings. The misinformation and misrepresentation being spread around is astonishing. I bought my multi-family house on a busy street with neighboring buildings almost within arms reach and no driveway not because I wanted those things but because I could not afford to do otherwise. If I had the resources to buy a house on a quiet street with a driveway and maybe even a garage I would have done that. The people who bought houses in lower density parts of the city and on quiet streets did so because that's what they wanted and they paid accordingly. That was not the manifestation of evil thoughts. It was simply a choice. Our current City Council apparently leans toward disrespecting the choices of its own residents. They have always had the capacity to create more subsidized housing by raising taxes and answering to the voters at the next election. I do believe they should be considering some density increases in most zones and allowing multi-family buildings in all zones in order to increase housing capacity, but it appears that more attention is being paid to social engineering than to the provision of housing.

You may not believe this but I have often been accused of being conflict-averse. It's actually kind of true. I generally choose to walk away from a fight. It takes a lot to get me going, and what it usually takes is a boatload of mendacity.

One of my greatest objections to the "Our Revolution" crowd that has inserted itself into Cambridge political discourse is the underlying agenda that property ownership is inherently evil and that it should be constrained whenever and wherever possible. We saw this with the "tenants right of first refusal" effort earlier this year which fortunately did not succeed. The political playbook is apparently to draw attention to those property owners and developers who behave badly and then apply the broad brush of condemnation to all property owners. This is why I steadfastly refuse to support any candidate who is associated with the "Our Revolution" cult. By the way, I have provided affordable housing to my tenants for 33 years without any prompting from government or activists. I am not alone.

I have to agree regarding the hypocrisy. I still often find myself "at the table" even when others object to my viewpoint. Indeed, I'm the only person on the Envision Cambridge Advisory Committee or the Envision Cambridge Housing Working Group who has never missed a meeting. Normally I would be very hesitant about speaking out while still serving on either body, but apparently other members feel no such constraint and I am very concerned about how things are being misrepresented. I'm also starting to get a bit concerned that these advisory committees may not be seriously heard, especially when viewpoints expressed do not align with City staff.

If CDD said they think this will produce NO subsidized housing (I prefer that term to "affordable") I'm inclined to believe they were being disingenuous in order to sell the proposal by minimizing objections. It should be OBVIOUS that they believe it will deliver at least some subsidized housing or they would not be forwarding the proposal.

As I stated, my expectation is that some subsidized housing may be produced. My chief objection is that one property owner will still have strict zoning restrictions while a neighboring property will be allowed up to four times the density if the owner/developer builds subsidized housing. I have provided affordable housing for 33 years and I cannot add an additional square foot to my property, yet those rules would be obliterated for a "non-profit" developer who may well charge "affordable" rents that are greater than mine.

I completely agree. I have never liked the fact that Cambridge has often "processed things to death", but the current trend is worse. The new Machiavellian norm is to ram something through and deal with the fallout later or not at all or, more likely, create a series of sham public meetings after all decisions have been made where only the color of the brick may be debated.

Let me add that I really hope this doesn't turn into a "green vs. affordable" false dichotomy. The real issue here is whether changes in City zoning policies should run roughshod over current regulations. Some changes are in order - as long as the zoning principles are applied uniformly. Enhancing and protecting tree canopy is a separate issue that deserves its own debate.

The next time I hear a City official say "no decisions have been made" when you know damn well that they have I may actually scream.

One consideration that does deserve attention is the fact that there are many properties now that are nonconforming because zoning limits were reduced long after these buildings were built. There is something to be said for having zoning regulations at least somewhat match the current built environment rather than be set artificially low. This shouldn't be a blank check. Some locations have buildings way above the surrounding neighborhood and I would never suggest that limits should be based on those exceptions. If so, East Cambridge would be nothing but Sullivan Courthouse buildings.

One fundamental problem here is that City staff and elected officials like to refer to "affordable housing" being a high priority for residents in order to justify any given policy. It's certainly true that people want housing to be affordable in the sense that a typical person or family can find a place to buy or rent within their budget, but this is not the same as advocating for a dramatic increase in subsidized housing (of which Cambridge already has a significant amount when you add up all the Housing Authority properties, Inclusionary housing units, etc.). Indeed, I think an argument can be made that the singular focus on subsidized housing may be contributing to the non-affordability of housing generally. The best affordable housing program ever conceived was the proliferation of multi-family housing, and that involved no government subsidy at all.

- Robert Winters

A Taxing Situation - October 1, 2018 City Council Meeting Preview

Property Tax AssessmentsThe main order of business is the Tax Rate Hearing at 6:30pm that leads to the determination of the residential and commercial tax rates for FY2019.

Manager's Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the votes necessary to seek approval from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue of the tax rate for FY2019.

For the most part, the tax levy (and hence the tax rate) was determined several months ago when the City Council voted to approve the FY2019 Budget. Some things have changed since then, but the final steps in the process consist of a series of votes on allocations from available funds to reduce the tax rate, tax classification (primarily residential vs. commercial, subject to limitations under state law), approval of the residential exemption, and several available exemptions and deferrals permitted under state law. Once the votes are taken the Department of Revenue formally sets the tax rates. The Manager's recommendations are as follows:

1. That the City Council vote to authorize the use of $9,000,000 in Free Cash to reduce the FY19 tax rate.

2. That the City Council vote to authorize $2,000,000 in overlay surplus/reserves to be used for reducing the FY19 tax rate.

3. That the City Council vote to authorize $3,500,000 from the City Debt Stabilization Fund to be used as a revenue source to the General Fund Budget, which was included in the FY19 Adopted Budget.

4. That the City Council appropriate $3,500,000 from Free Cash to the City Debt Stabilization Fund.

5. That the City Council classify property within the City of Cambridge into the five classes allowed for the purpose of allocating the property tax. It is further recommended that the City Council adopt a minimum residential factor of 57.5386%.

6. That the City Council approve the residential exemption factor of 30% for owner occupied homes, which should result in a residential tax rate of $5.94 and commercial tax rate of $13.71 (per $1000 of taxable value after exemptions) upon final approval by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

7. That the City Council vote to double the normal value of the statutory exemptions.

8. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 exemption allowed under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17D from $314 to $322.

9. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 asset limits allowed under Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 17E from $62,205 to $63,760.

10. That the City Council vote to increase the FY18 income and assets limits for elderly persons (age 65 or older). Income limits of $25,721 to $26,364 for those who are single and $38,582 to $39,547 9 for those who are married, asset limits of $51,439 to $52,725 for those who are single and $70,730 to $72,498 for those who are married, as allowed under MGL, Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41D.

11. That the City Council vote the income limit for deferral of real estate taxes by elderly persons (at least 65 years old) as determined by the Commissioner of Revenue for the purposes of MGL, Chapter 62, Section 6, subsection (k), for a single person who is not head of household ($57,000) and for a married couple ($86,000), as allowed under MGL Chapter 59, Section 5, Clause 41A. The reduction of the interest rate to 4% for deferred taxes, which was approved by the City Council previously, will continue.

Order #3. That the Government Operations, Rules and Claims Committee schedule a hearing on the proposed “Cambridge Publicly Financed Municipal Election Program” and the “Cambridge Municipal People’s Pledge Program” as soon as possible and report back to the City Council with a plan for implementation no later than the City Council meeting scheduled for Nov 19, 2018.   Councillor Toomey

I seriously wish these proposals and various alternatives proposed by others would just go away. It is becoming increasingly clear that such things as a positive social media presence, a good email list, and boatloads of personal contact are far more important than money in a local election campaign. So, could we stop chasing this wild goose?

Floating CrosswalkOrder #4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Director of the Traffic, Parking and Transportation department and any other relevant city departments to study the potential of utilizing the Icelandic crosswalk design in an intersection in East Cambridge.   Councillor Toomey

If you feel that screeching panic stops are a wise choice for traffic calming, then this is your design. I will humbly suggest that simpler solutions would be preferable. On the other hand, we could try some other optical illusions like holographic tigers or various apparitions from Ghostbusters.

Order #7. That the Envision Cambridge draft recommendations should be reviewed by the entire City Council in respective committees.   Councillor Carlone, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Siddiqui

My presumption has always been that this laundry list of recommendations would be farmed out to the various City Council committees for further review prior to any consideration of zoning changes in the Ordinance Committee or other actions. I also think it would be a good idea to have the full final Envision Cambridge report in hand before delving too deeply into any of these ideas. Looking at them in isolation is not recommended.

Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 12, 2018 to discuss the guiding policy and safety priorities for regulating and permitting shared electric scooters to operate in Cambridge.

Maybe the public will gleefully accept these devices, but what is currently available is simply not safe to use under all conditions by any reasonable standard. The relatively small wheels alone virtually guarantee a tumble when encountering even a small imperfection in the road. On a related matter I found it interesting that the response by Ant Bike to statements from CDD that they were not permitted in Cambridge led them to place two of them in the park next to the City Hall Annex where CDD is located. (I moved them outside to the sidewalk.) On the same day that the City of Lynn announced that they were not allowed, seven of them appeared along one stretch of Main Street in Kendall Square (with five of them lying on their side restricting pedestrian movement). What they see as "economic disruption" is hard to distinguish from "obnoxiously aggressive".

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Transportation & Public Utilities Committee, for a public hearing held on Sept 20, 2018 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.

My primary comment at this hearing was that there were some city councillors who would gladly reduce the speed limit to 0 MPH if this was permissible under state law. The simple fact is that almost all drivers operate their vehicles safely under the current 25 MPH limit. The problem is the scofflaws for whom the legal limit will be ignored no matter where you set it. Consistent enforcement is what's important, though there are some streets and specific locations where a 20 MPH limit is advisable. I also think the City should seriously consider the use of a "shared street" model with an even lower speed limit in some heavily pedestrian areas. This would have been my choice for Brattle Street where the City installed those counterintuitive segregated bike lanes. A much better solution would be to make that entire stretch of Brattle Street a two-way low-speed shared street for all. - Robert Winters

Comments?

October Programs (and Beyond) at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

Woodland Restoration Area Gardening
Dates: Tuesdays, between 9:30am and 1:00pm
Place: Meets at the Woodland Habitat (Northeast Sector)
    Join other stewardship-minded volunteers in caretaking the native plant restoration area next to Lusitania Meadow, and learn about the diversity of native plant life! We seek dedicated participants who enjoy camaraderie and hard work that includes weeding, pruning, planting, watering new plantings, hauling wood chips and moving logs. Please email 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 12:00 noon
Place: Meets at the volunteer trailer near the front of the Water Treatment Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway.
    Join our weed-warrior crew! We are Fresh Pond citizens dedicated to keeping invasive plants at bay for the benefit of wildlife, water and humans alike. No experience or long-term commitment necessary! All tools are provided; sturdy shoes, pants, long-sleeves and a water bottle are strongly recommended. Meets at the volunteer trailer in the lower parking lot. Contact tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov for more information.
Seasonal Walkabout at Black’s Nook
Date: Friday, October 12th, 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. Service dogs only, please. To RSVP, please contact Ranger Jean at (508) 562-7605 or email jrogers@cambridgeMA.gov. Heavy rain postpones to the following Friday.
Fall Family Hike
Date: Sunday, October 14th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Join the Cambridge Rangers on a journey through woodlands and meadows to find beauty! Along the way, record your travels with a Journey Stick, an ancient form of way-finding and storytelling used by Aboriginals and Native Peoples. We’ll trek through different habitats and world as we make our way around Fresh Pond (2.5 miles). Fun for the whole family! Accompanying adult must be present, contact Ranger Tim at tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov with any questions.
Walter J Sullivan Water Purification Facility Tour
Date: Monday, October 15th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Place: Meets at the front door, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Come learn how the Cambridge Water Department purifies drinking water for your tap after it’s conveyed from nearby Fresh Pond into our facility. You’ll have the chance to speak with water treatment staff, see the equipment in action and check out our water quality lab! For more information, contact Ranger Tim at (617) 349-6489 or tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov. Please call ahead if coming with a large group.
Do the Duck Walk
Date: Saturday, October 20th, 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
    Fresh Pond Reservation is an attractive resting place for a variety of birds – especially waterfowl – during the fall migration. We will use a telescope to get good looks at ducks on the water, and binoculars to look at songbirds. We have binoculars to lend and will show you how to use them. Beginners are welcome. To register, for important parking information, and for notice of cancellation due to weather, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.
The Great Milkweed Blowout
Date: Sunday, October 21st, 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Place: Meets at the Ranger Station, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
    Fresh Pond’s monarch watch didn’t end with the release of over 50 monarch butterflies, we welcome you to return to Fresh Pond and assist us in spreading milkweed seeds across the reservation to better help the returning monarchs of 2019. Learn a little more about the plight of the monarchs, the science of milkweed, and then go forth and help us spread milkweed seeds here on the reservation! (And even take a little bit home with you too!) Contact tpuopolo@cambridgeMA.gov for questions or more information.
Nocturnal Animal Art Buffet
Date: Saturday, October 27th, 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Place: Meets at the Maynard Ecology Center (basement level in Neville Place), 650 Concord Ave.
    In collaboration with Green Cambridge’s Wildlife Puppetry Project: make masks and puppets of Cambridge animals usually seen only in the dark of night... bats, owls, and a few other creatures! Suitable for ages 4–10. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For questions or more information, email info@greencambridge.org.
Fascinating Fungi of Fresh Pond
Date: Sunday, October 28th, 2:00pm to 4:30pm
Place: Register for parking and meeting information
    Mycologist Lawrence Millman has identified over 300 mushroom species at Fresh Pond Reservation alone. For the past 13 years he has led Fresh Pond mushroom forays that give participants the chance to add to this list as well as learn more about the world of fungi. Fresh Pond Reservation’s “no harvesting” regulation will be emphasized at this event. Mr. Millman is the author of Fascinating Fungi of New England, the first guidebook devoted exclusively to New England mushrooms. To register and for important parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com.

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

Deadline to Register to Vote and Availability of Absentee Ballots for the State Election, November 6th

The State Election will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, October 17, 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 Monday, November 5th at noon. 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 polls will be open on Election Day, November 6th 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 our website at www.cambridgema.gov/election.


City of Cambridge Designated Early Voting Sites Locations, Dates and Hours for the State Election, November 6, 2018

Vote!Early voting will begin on October 22nd and continue through November 2nd for the State Election to be held on Tuesday, November 6th. In 2016, Massachusetts voters were given the opportunity to vote prior to Election Day through early voting. Previously the only way a registered voter could vote prior to Election Day was through absentee voting. Although absentee voting is still available for registered voters who qualify, only those who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day or have a disability that prevents them from going to the polls, or have a religious belief preventing the same, are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot.

Unlike absentee voting, early voting is for every registered voter. Registered voters do not need an excuse or reason to vote early. Regardless of whether a voter wants to take advantage of early voting, vote absentee or vote on Election Day, the first step is making sure you are registered. To check to see if you are registered to vote, and to find information on how to register to vote, you may visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website: www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. If you need to register to vote, you may do it online by visiting: www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. All you need is a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to apply online. To be eligible to vote in the November 6th State Election, you must register to vote or make any necessary changes to your voter registration by the deadline of Wednesday, October 17th at 8pm.

Early voting can be done in person or by mail. In the City of Cambridge, early voting can be done in person at any of the five (5) designated early voting sites during the scheduled dates and times. Please note, however, once a voter has cast an early voting ballot, the voter may no longer vote at the polls on Election Day.

To request a ballot by mail, simply fill out an application or send us a written request with your name, Cambridge address, address where you want the ballot sent and your signature and mail it to the Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. You can download an application at www.CambridgeMA.gov/EarlyVoting.

We encourage all our citizens to exercise their right and take advantage of the opportunity to vote at one of the sites during the scheduled dates and times. For public convenience, the City of Cambridge will also offer weekday evening hours and weekend hours on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9am to 5pm.

CITY OF CAMBRIDGE EARLY VOTING SCHEDULE

LOCATION

DATE & TIME

City of Cambridge Election Commission Office
51 Inman Street, 1st Floor

Mon, October 22, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 29, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 8:30am to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 8:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 8:30am to 6:00pm

Police Department, Community Room
1st Floor, 125 Sixth Street

Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm

Cambridge Water Department
250 Fresh Pond Parkway

Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm

Main Library
449 Broadway

Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm

O’Neill Library
70 Rindge Ave.

Mon, October 22, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 23, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 24, 12:00am to 8:00pm
Thurs, October 25, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, October 26, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Sat, October 27, 9:00am to 5:00pm

Mon, October 29, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Tues, October 30, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Wed, October 31, 12:00pm to 8:00pm
Thurs, November 1, 9:30am to 6:00pm
Fri, November 2, 9:30am to 6:00pm


Charter Right Do-Over - Agenda items from the Sept 24, 2018 Cambridge City Council meeting

City HallMuch of the previous meeting was made subject to the Charter Right by Councillor Toomey, so those items will be back before the City Council this week plus a few more bits and pieces. Here are a few that seem interesting:

Manager's Agenda #7. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 18-30 regarding a report on the possibility of Cambridge joining the national suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Normally I don't care for lawsuits like this, but in this case I'll make an exception. These are the worst kinds of dope dealers. Better yet, we don't have to pay for the litigation unless the City prevails and is awarded damages.

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current site of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize redevelopment specifically for continuum of care services. [Order #1 of Sept 17, 2018]

I think we're starting to get a bit too prescriptive with Cambridge zoning, especially with the introduction of "overlay districts" for every imaginable use. Many of us would like to see opportunities for senior living or a place where artists can flourish. We would also like places to buy affordable groceries. Is the creation of an overlay district to dictate one use while preventing other potential good uses the right way to go? It's one thing to classify land use as residential, commercial, industrial, etc., but how far down should this categorization go?

Charter Right #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Sancta Maria property for purposes of affordable housing. [Order #3 of Sept 17, 2018]

Whatever happened to the idea of a relocated Public Works Yard? I'm not necessarily recommending this, but putting DPW on Concord Ave. and building mixed-income housing on the current DPW site isn't a crazy idea.

Both of these Orders now appear to be moot thanks to this news flash:
Salvation for Sancta Maria: Nursing facility to remain open in Cambridge (Sept 17, 2018, Cambridge Chronicle)

Charter Right #7. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of The Constellation Center's Parcel C in Kendall Square. [Order #7 of Sept 17, 2018]

Anyone who has followed this knew this Order would eventually come. That will be an interesting and likely fruitless journey down the road of Retroactive Zoning & Tax Classification. Looking forward would make a lot more sense, but I'm sure I'll find the history interesting.

Charter Right #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development Division to regularly update the vacant property database as well as review the strategies presented in the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report and report back on the feasibility of implementing these recommendations. [Order #12 of Sept 17, 2018]

I testified recently at a follow-up meeting of this committee about the potential unintended consequences of encouraging "pop up" businesses to occupy vacant spaces at (presumably) much lower rents than nearby businesses. I can easily see a seasonable "pop up" store showing up and stealing all the holiday business away from an existing business. The temporary filling of a vacant store could then lead to another vacancy.

Charter Right #14. 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 July 23, 2018 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.” [Committee Report #6 of Sept 17, 2018]

I attended this meeting. My impression is that we have several elected officials who have never seen a fee increase or a tax increase that they didn't embrace and celebrate. The simplest way to understand fees is to make clear the distinction with taxes. A fee pays for a service, and the money raised has to support that service. It's not just another revenue source like a tax that can be used for whatever pet project a councillor wants to support. Personally, I find the notion of renewing a parking sticker every year a bit ridiculous. We accept it only because we're familiar with the routine (and the long lines for some). A much better system would be to pay a one-time fee for a sticker that's good for as long as you own the vehicle and still live in Cambridge. It would be easy to encode the sticker for easy verification against City databases. The only people waiting on lines would then be for new residents or new vehicles.

Committee Report #1. 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 June 12, 2018 to discuss the housing ombudsman position, receive a detailed update regarding the timeline and plan for the affordable housing overlay district, an update on the inclusionary housing report, and the map of all affordable housing in the city.

I get the sense that not many Cambridge residents know what exactly is being proposed in the current plan for a citywide "affordable housing overlay district". I'll provide a few more details shortly, but the basic idea is that your city councillors want to give builders of subsidized housing the right to to build up to four times the density as any other property owner with some setback requirements waived and little or no public process permitted. - RW

Comments?


Share your opinions! 2018 Cambridge Resident Opinion Survey now open

In its ongoing efforts to identify ways to better serve the community, the City of Cambridge is currently conducting its biennial Resident Opinion Survey. The survey, which has been conducted since 2000, serves as an important evaluation tool that enables residents to rate city services and offer input on what the City of Cambridge does well and where it can make improvements.

The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. Don’t miss this opportunity to let us know how you feel!

Take the 2018 Online City of Cambridge Public Opinion Survey.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation (ODC), a national public opinion polling firm with its own state-of-the-art telephone calling facility, will be coordinating the Resident Opinion Survey. ODC will be randomly calling 400 Cambridge households (a sub-set of which will be cell-phone only households) on behalf of the city to complete the survey. Every household will have an equal chance of being called.

A hard copy of the Resident Opinion Survey can be completed September 17 - October 1, 2018 during business hours at the following locations:

For additional information, please contact Lee Gianetti at 617-349-3317 or by email lgianetti@cambridgema.gov.


Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge

Ash treeEmerald Ash BorerAug 23, 2018 - On Monday, August 20, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) confirmed that Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been found in Cambridge. EAB is particularly concerning because of the speed at which it kills Ash trees, generally within 1-3 years. Standing dead ash trees present a public safety risk due to how quickly their brittle branches will fail.

The City of Cambridge was the first municipality in New England to develop a comprehensive treatment strategy to protect the ash tree population on city property. Healthy Ash trees on city property, including street trees, have been protected from EAB through proactive treatments of TreeAzin over the past 3 years. TreeAzin is a product derived from seed extracts of the Neem tree and is administered by injection at the trunk of the tree. TreeAzin is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production in the U.S. This pesticide is not hazardous to humans or animals. For more information on the City’s treatment program for EAB, please visit: www.cambridgema.gov/EAB

How do I know if I have an Ash tree?
According to University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources Tree Guide, Ash trees have four identifying features:

  1. Ash trees have compound leaves comprised of 7 to 11 leaflets.
  2. The twigs are smooth, rigid and grayish and resemble bones.
  3. The bark of mature trees is deeply furrowed.
  4. They have opposing branches.

Ash tree
excerpted from http://clear.uconn.edu/info/EAB_quick_reference_guide.pdf

I have an Ash tree. What do I do?
If you have an ash tree on your property, please consider one of the following:

For additional questions or concerns regarding Emerald Ash Borer in Cambridge, contact the City’s Urban Forestry staff at cambridgetree@cambridgema.gov.

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet (DCR)


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 343 (Oct 2, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Baseball, zoning & housing affordability, property taxes, tax rates, tax classification, tax levy
Episode 344 (Oct 2, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: affordable housing, Envision Cambridge end game, the changing face of Central Square
Episode 341 (Sept 25, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Charter Rights and Wrongs, opioid lawsuit, Sancta Maria salvation, zoning & housing affordability, property taxes, tax rates, tax classification, tax levy, assessments
Episode 342 (Sept 25, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: time travel, Middlesex Canal, Constellation Center and future possibilities, resident permit parking fees, street cleaning/towing, current zoning petitions
Episode 339 (Sept 18, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: 3rd CD recount result, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, recycling updates, electric scooters, retail and vacant storefronts
Episode 340 (Sept 18, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Sept 17 City Council meeting, Inman Sq. configuration to move ahead, rainwater and flat roof zoning petition, Envision Cambridge updates (Affordable Housing Overlay, Super-Inclusionary Zoning, Environment Performance Incentive proposals), and more
Episode 337 (Sept 11, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 11 comments, modern campaign realities, Primary Election results, 3rd Congressional District recount, Ranked Choice Voting, and Bill Galvin. [Note: The crackling sound at the start and at various points is the sound of one of the CCTV studio microphones failing.]
Episode 338 (Sept 11, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: 3rd CD recount, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, shortcomings of top-two runoffs, Capuano-Pressley election outcome and dynamics, voter turnout, November election outlook, some history of Question 9 (rent control), return of the City Council, Inman Sq. redesign questions, Envision Cambridge updates - development scenarios and likely pushback, quadrupling density and the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay, and ignoring traffic issues.
Episode 335 (Aug 28, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Sept 4 Primary preview, Emerald Ash Borer
Episode 336 (Aug 28, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: new voting machines, MIT graduate student housing, new developments in Kendall Square, Alewife, Harvard Square
Episode 333 (Aug 21, 2018, 5:30pm) [materials] [audio]
Topics: Envision Cambridge, Affordable Housing Overlay proposal
Episode 334 (Aug 21, 2018, 6:00pm) [audio]
Topics: Central Square Mural Project, Neon lights!, OldTime Baseball
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

AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksMon, Oct 8. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. 4 mi. mod.-paced hike, 10:30am-1:30pm. Bring lunch+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, Oct 13. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 4, The Esker Trail. 1:00pm. Come see New England woods at their best. This hike features beaver ponds, the scenic Cow Pond Brook, glacial topography, and all around pretty woods and beautiful settings. Meet at the end of Cow Pond Brook Road, 42.62493N 71.50263W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop.
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 13. Warner Trail Fall Hike, Wrentham. 9:00am-4:00pm. 10-mi. mod. hike from Wampum Corner to Crocker Pond. Bring lunch & water. We will spot cars before the hike. Meet 9:00am at Crocker Pond Conservation Area on Myrtle St. (off Rte. 1; use 270 Myrtle Street, Wrentham, MA in your GPS). Heavy rain cancels. Email or text Laura if uncertain. L Laura Cerier, CL Jim Goyea. AMC Local WalksSun, Oct 14. Historic Middlesex Canal, Woburn. Meet at 1:30pm at the SE corner of the parking lot behind the Woburn Cinemas, along Rte. 128. Level, 3-mi., joint w/Middlesex Canal Association along 2 sections of the historic canal. From Rte. 95/128 exit 35 in Woburn, take Rte. 38 S 0.1 mi., R onto Middlesex Canal Dr. past Holiday Inn to meeting place. Info: www.middlesexcanal.org. L Robert Winters.
AMC Local WalksSun, Oct 14. Grassy Pond Conservation Land, Acton, MA. Slow-paced nature walk through fields and forests to Grassy Pond looking for autumn wildflowers and fruits as well as winter weeds. We may also see some witches and skeletons preparing for Halloween. The walk will focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 1:00pm-4:00pm. 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 (781-729-4712).
AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 20. Fabulous Fall in Groton, part 5, Sabine Woods. 1:00pm. Don't miss the season finale of our Fabulous Fall series. We will hike along the banks of a protected stretch of the Nashua River, and loop back thru New England woods in their fall splendor. Meet at the Groton Place parking area on the south side of Rt 225, just east of the Nashua River, 42.60489N 71.59599W. Moderate pace, about 2 hours. This hike is jointly sponsored by the Groton Trails Committee and the AMC. L Olin Lathrop. AMC Local WalksSat, Oct 20. Plymouth Harbor. Brisk pace 7 mile walk 9:30am-2:00pm along Plymouth Harbor including Jennie's Grist Mill and Historic Monuments. Lunch stop on the walk back at Lobster Hut (counter service). From Route 3 South take exit 9 towards Kingston/N Plymouth then left on MA-3A S/ Main St. for 1.7 miles, turn left onto Cordage Park Circle. We will meet at the Gazebo. Bring snack and water. Storm cancels. L. Beth Mosias.
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. AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 3. Boston's Developing Waterfront. Moderately paced walk. Explore Ft. Point Channel, Marine Industrial Park, Seaport District, Rowe's Wharf, Rose Kennedy Greenway. 10:00am-2:00pm. Meet at South Station (Red Line T) indoors at street level at exit to Dewey Square. Bring lunch, water. Heavy rain/forecast over 90°F cancels. No dogs. New members welcome. L Sharon Marshall.
AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 3. Castle Island, South Boston. Fast-paced seven-mile scenic walk along ocean to Castle Island, 10:00am-1:30pm. Bring lunch and water. Meet inside JFK/UMass Red Line T station, upper level gates (no nearby parking). Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias. AMC Local WalksSat, Nov 17. Crane Beach, Ipswich. Easy pace 5 mile walk, across scenic sand dunes, and along 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 WalksTues, Dec 25. Foss Farms, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and Greenough Land, Carlisle, MA. Easy approx. 4-5 mi. wander through a good birding area with river and pond views, pine forest and red maple swamp. Snowshoe if sufficient snow cover. Meet 10am. Foss Farms parking lot, about 1/3 mi west of Concord River off Rte. 225. From Rte. 128 Exit 31B follow Rtes. 4/225 through Bedford, continuing on Rte. 225 toward Carlisle. Storm cancels. If weather uncertain contact Leader. L Mark Levine. AMC Local WalksTues, Dec 25. Blue Hills Ponkapoag Pond, Canton. Moderate pace 4-mi. hike/snowshoe around pond, 10:00am-12:15pm. Bring snack & water. From Rte. 93/128 exit 2A, take Rte. 138 S 0.7 mi. to Ponkapoag Golf Course lot on L. If no snow, bring traction device for boots. Storm cancels. L Beth Mosias.

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 (and now audio too!) of each]

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 343-344: Oct 2, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 341-342: Sept 25, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 339-340: Sept 18, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 337-338: Sept 11, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 335-336: Aug 28, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 333-334: Aug 21, 2018

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 Monestime)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 315-316: May 29, 2018

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

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 2015-2018 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

Cambridge Absentee Voting & Designated Early Voting Locations, Dates, Hours – State Election, Nov 6, 2018 (posted Oct 1, 2018)

A Taxing Situation – October 1, 2018 City Council Meeting Preview (posted Sept 30, 2018)

Charter Right Do-Over – Agenda items from the Sept 24, 2018 Cambridge City Council meeting (posted Sept 23, 2018)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (Sept 19, 2018)

Pre-Fall – Select menu items from the Sept 17, 2018 Cambridge City Council Agenda (posted Sept 16, 2018)

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge (posted Aug 24, 2018)

Tight spot on Huron Avenue (posted Aug 14, 2018 by John Allen)

The Marcia Deihl bicycling fatality (posted Mar 14, 2018 by John Allen)

A look at the Brattle Street bikeway (Feb 16, 2018 by John Allen)

The Shifting Demographic (Nov 23, 2017)

Age and Turnout: comparing the 2015 and 2017 Cambridge elections (Nov 4, 2017)

Not left, Felton (by John Allen, posted Sept 24, 2017)

Women Candidates in Cambridge Municipal Elections: 1941-2017 (Aug 14, 2017)

Number of candidates in Cambridge municipal elections: 1941-present (posted July 25, 2017)

A Conversation with Tip O’Neill (1992) on Cambridge Inside Out (Jan 17, 2016)

Flashback to March 1998 (Oct 12, 2015)

Brian Murphy, 1964-2015 (Feb 5, 2015)

MBTA Role in Cambridge Center Project – Kendall Station Urban Initiatives Project, 1979-1989 (Feb 13, 2014)

The Advent of PR in Cambridge (Nov 10, 2013)

Completing the Square (June 11, 2013)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Project: Six Pivotal Episodes (June 8, 2013)

On becoming a True Cantabrigian (Dec 29, 2012)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Project, Initial Years, 1963 to 1982 (July 12, 2012)

Kendall Square Urban Renewal Area – Cambridge Redevelopment Authority (Apr 5, 2012)

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"



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