Looking forward to Order #12 on the July 28 City Council Agenda:
Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with community experts, local universities and the Cambridge Water Department to produce a research study determining the possible harmfully effects of continuing to fluoridate the city’s water supply.   Councillor Mazen

Tues, July 22 - Our guest tonight on Cambridge InsideOut will by City Councillor Marc McGovern (with hosts Susana Segat and Robert Winters). Tune in to CCTV for back-to-back episodes at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. We'll do our best to review the major (and a few minor) issues that have come before the City Council during the first half-year of this City Council term. We'll also look into the crystal ball and try to see what's coming up during the second half of this year. [If you miss the broadcast, we'll post the YouTube versions afterwards.]

Marc McGovern on Cambridge InsideOut (July 22, Part 1)

Marc McGovern on Cambridge InsideOut (July 22, Part 2)

Upcoming Civic Opportunities

Parkland GamesMon, July 28

5:30pm   Special City Council Midsummer Meeting  (Lecture Hall, Main Library, Level 2)

Tues, July 29

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (Kennedy-Longfellow School, 158 Spring St., E. Cambridge)

General Business

1. Update by Brian Murphy, Assistant City Manager for Community Development.

Public Hearing

7:00pm   Continued public hearing on PB#288 – 40 Thorndike Street, Special Permits to convert the existing nonconforming Courthouse structure at 40 Thorndike Street to a mixed use office building containing ground floor retail uses, 24 dwelling units, and below grade parking. Special permits are being sought pursuant to Section 19.20 Project Review, Section 8.22.2.a. Alteration of a Nonconforming Structure, Section 5.28.2 (et seq.), Conversion of a Non-Residential Structure to Residential Use, and Section 10.40 General Special Permit Requirements. by LMP GP Holdings, c/o Leggat McCall Properties, LLC.

Wed, July 30

4:00pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing on the Carlone, et al. zoning petition requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits. This hearing to be televised.  (Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room, CRLS)

Tues, Aug 5

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd floor meeting room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Public Hearing

7:00pm   Public hearing on a zoning petition by Dennis Carlone, et al. requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits pursuant to Article 19.000 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance.

Tues, Aug 19

7:00pm   Planning Board meeting  (2nd floor meeting room, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway)

Wed, Aug 20

5:30pm   The City Council's Economic Development and University Relations Committee will conduct a public meeting to discuss how to best launch Small Business Town Hall Meeting.  (831 Massachusetts Avenue, Basement Conference Room)

July Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

A Remembrance of Chip Norton, Watershed Manager for the Cambridge Water Department:
Wake-Up and Weed!
Date: Every Thursday in July
Time: 10:00am to12 noon
Meeting Place: Meets at volunteer trailer in parking lot in front of Water Dept.
    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. For more information contact Kirsten at 617-349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov. No registration necessary.
Volunteer Adventures at Fresh Pond with Ranger Jean
Dates: Saturdays, July 26, August 2 and 9
Time: 10am to 1pm
Meeting Place: Fresh Pond Ranger Station 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Go behind the scenes to see what's involved in maintaining Cambridge's most heavily visited open space. Volunteers will water trees, spread wood chips on pathways, remove invasive plants, take counts of park users, prune back brush, and help Ranger Jean with some of her other ranger duties. A list of adventures will be posted weekly in the Ranger Station as we see what needs to be done. Gloves, tools and good company provided. Bring a water bottle and wear sturdy shoes (no sandals!); long pants recommended. For more information contact Ranger Jean at jrogers@cambridgema.gov or call 508-562-7605.
Water Treatment Tour for Families
Date: Thursday, July 24
Time: 1:30 to 3pm
Meeting Place: Water Purification Facility front door, 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Learn how water gets from the sky, to a reservoir, to our treatment plant and then to your sink! This tour is an interactive version of our regular treatment plant tour that's more friendly for families. All children must be accompanied by an adult assistant. Sorry - no parking is available for strollers.For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Fresh Pond Reservation Walkabout with Vincent Falcione & Kirsten Lindquist
Date: Monday, July 28
Time: 6 to 7:30pm
Meeting Place: Black's Nook bulletin board
    Take a peek at the Reservation through an ecological lens! Reservation staff will point out several past and current restoration projects around Fresh Pond all aimed at improving the Reservation for water quality, wildlife and recreation. Don't miss out on this chance to learn more about how we manage Cambridge's urban wild! For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.
Fresh Pond Monarch Watch: Caterpillar Check-up & Release Prep
Date: Thursday, July 31
Time: 1 to 3pm
Meeting Place: outside the Ranger Station, inside if raining.
    Reservation staff are raising monarch caterpillars for release! These butterflies are very endangered and we're taking action to protect them (and help our local habitats) at Fresh Pond. Come see how the caterpillars are growing, learn how you can help, and prepare crafts for our big release in August! Learn more about the project at www.cambridgema.gov/Water/freshpondreservation. For more information contact Kirsten at klindquist@cambridgema.gov or 617-349-6489. No registration necessary.

Please register for each event that you plan to attend. You will receive information on parking after you register. E-mail Elizabeth Wylde at friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com or call (617) 349-6489 and leave your name and phone number.

Offered by Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation

All Upcoming Programs

Evenings with Experts 2014
First Wednesdays of the Month: 7:00 - 8:30pm
Free and open to all.
The Fresh Pond Reservation Stewardship Program
Fresh Pond Reservation users are getting involved! The Cambridge Water Department's Fresh Pond Reservation Stewardship Program brings people together on a regular basis to monitor plants, conduct maintenance activities, and to learn about the ecology and history of the area. You can find out about projects that are being planned for this summer, including invasive plants removal, Purple Loosestrife nursery monitoring, bird box monitoring, and more. Call Kirsten Kindquist at 617-349 6489 or email klindquist@cambridgema.gov for more information.
2014 Volunteer Weeding Schedule:
Monday evenings 5:30-7:30pm.
Thursday mornings 10am to 12 noon.
Meeting Place: The volunteer trailer, parked in the Water Department parking lot.
What to bring: water, closed-toe shoes, long sleeves to prevent bug bites, hat if it is sunny, sun lotion. Your own gloves if you prefer them.
We provide: gloves, tools, instructions, good company
email klindquist@cambridgema.gov for more information.
Fresh Pond Plant Identification Walks
Dates: Monday Evenings: Sept 15
Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm
Place: Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility Front Door 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    Ted Elliman, New England Wild Flower botanist and author of an upcoming plant guide, will lead walks around the reservation, highlighting some of the Reservation's more common native and non-native plants, and describing their roles in the ecosystem. For more information and parking directions, contact Kirsten at (617) 349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov
Tours of the Water Purification Facility
Dates: Monday Evenings: July 7, Aug 4, Sept 8, Oct 6, Nov 3
Time: 6:00 to 7:30pm
Location: Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility 250 Fresh Pond Pkwy
    The Cambridge Water Department is offering tours of the City's beautiful Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility. The program will include a virtual tour of the Cambridge water supply system, explaining the process by which water that falls as rain in the suburbs 10 miles west of Cambridge is transported to Fresh Pond and made into pure drinking water for our city. Come, and bring your questions. For more information and parking directions, contact Kirsten at (617) 349-6489 / klindquist@cambridgema.gov


Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership in Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation costs only $10 per year ($5 for seniors and students, $15 for families). To join, fill out a membership form available in the Ranger Station information racks, e-mail friendsoffreshpond@yahoo.com, call 617-349-6489, or visit our website at www.friendsoffreshpond.org to download a form.

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

Read the Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation Annual "Year in Review"

• This winter and spring Grow Native Massachusetts is offering a series of free nature-related "Evenings with Experts" lectures at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway. Details are at www.grownativemass.org.

• Sign up for the City of Cambridge's informative "Recycling and Composting Newsletter" by e-mailing recycle@cambridgema.gov.

AMC Local Walks/Hikes - Come for a walk or hike with us.
AMC Local WalksSat, July 26, 2014. Blue Hills, Milton. Moderate hike, 6+ mi. on lesser used trails, some steep hills. 9:30am. Bring lunch/water/sturdy footgear. Meet at Houghton's Pond pkg. lot. I-93/128, exit3, N to stop sign at Hillside St., R 0.2mi. to lot on R. Heavy rain cancels. Corinne Waite. AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 2, 2014. Middlesex Fells, Malden. 6-mile. hike, some rocky steep hills to cliff views including waterfall w/lunch at pond. Moderate-rated hike, not for beginners. 10:00am-2:30 pm. Bring lunch/water/hiking shoes. Meet on Washington St. side of Oak Grove T sta. From Rte. 93 exit 32 in Medford take Rte. 60 E 1.2 mi., L on Highland Ave. 0.5 mi., R on Glenwood St. 0.6 mi., L on Wash. St. 0.1 mi., R into T sta. lot (fee) or park on street. Email if severe weather. L Mike Tuohey.
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 3, 2014. Horn Pond Conservation Land, Woburn. Slow paced nature walk looking for late summer wildflowers and fruits. Focus on plant ID and fun natural history. 9:00am-12:00noon. From Rte 95/128 Exit 33A take Rte 3 South for 3 miles. Left on Pond St. 0.8 miles to parking lot on left. Parking limited, arrive early. Steady rain cancels. L Boot Boutwell. AMC Local WalksThurs, Aug 7. Prospect Hill Park, Waltham. 6:15-8:15pm. Moderately-paced hike on trails and roads with views. From I-95/Route 128 Exit 27 (Totten Pond Road). Continue east 0.7 miles to park on the right. L Henry Gardner.
AMC Local WalksSat, Aug 9, 2014. 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 WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery & North Bridge, Concord. See water lotus in bloom, authors' graves and other Concord wonders on slow-paced, 5 mile ramble. Meet 10:00am. From Concord center take Monument Street 0.5 miles to North Bridge parking area on right. Bring lunch, water and sturdy rambling shoes. L Jerry Yos.
AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. Noanet Woodlands, Dover. Morning hike with ponds and views. 9:00am-noon. Bring snack/water. From Needham Center take Chestnut St. for 1.5mi. to end. Bear R on Dedham St. & go 1.5mi. to pkg. lot on L at tennis courts. Steady rain cancels. L Henry Gardner. AMC Local WalksSun, Aug 10, 2014. Middlesex Fells, Winchester. Sheepfold pkg. lot. Mod to stren. 6 mi. hike over many hills & rough terrain. 9:00am-1:00pm. Bring lunch, H2O, snacks. Take Rte. 93S to exit 35. At stop sign, go L under highway. At next stop sign go R. At first set of lights turn R onto Rte. 28S. Turn R into Sheepfold entrance. Or take Rte. 93N to exit 33. Follow Rte. 28 N 2 mi. to Sheepfold entrance on the left. Cancel if rain. L Nelson Caraballo.

Professor Seth Teller dies at age 50 (MIT News)

Expert on computer vision, robotics, and human-robot interaction had been on the faculty since 1994.

Master Plans and Monkey Wrenches - June 30, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda

The curtain falls tonight on the FY2014 Fiscal Year as the City Council enters its Summer Recess - but not without a little controversy. Councillor Dennis "Pearl Harbor" Carlone is the first signer of a new zoning petition that is almost guaranteed to bring some fireworks in advance of the July 4 holiday. The petition has near zero chance of ultimately passing but stands out prominently in its disrespect for the Planning Board, the Community Development Department, and previous Cambridge City Councils who have passed a variety of zoning petitions with detailed Special Permit criteria spelled out to guide the Planning Board in the granting of Special Permits under the Zoning Ordinance.

Monkey WrenchApplications & Petitions #5. A zoning petition has been filed by Dennis Carlone, et al. requesting the City Council to amend the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cambridge to designate the City Council as the exclusive special permit granting authority for Project Review Special Permits.

The intent of this petition appears to be to enact an effective 30-month moratorium on all larger proposed developments in Cambridge by turning each project into a political football. Except for Councillors Carlone and Mazen (first and last signers), the signers of the petition consist almost entirely of principal players of the Cambridge Residents Alliance who have made no secret of their desire to enact such a moratorium. The essential component of the petition is the transfer of Project Review Special Permit authority from the Planning Board (where there is substantial professional expertise) to the City Council. Anyone who has ever witnessed the Planning Board working together to devise detailed conditions on the granting of a Special Permit should now imagine what this process might look like if conducted by the City Council as they play to the favor of their various political supporters. I shudder to think of it.

Fortunately, it appears that this misguided proposal has the support of only the two city councillors who signed it. Ideally, the City Council would just vote it down and declare it Dead On Arrival, but it's possible that it may be formally referred to the Planning Board and the Ordinance Committee (co-chaired by Carlone) so that it can receive a proper funeral. As a zoning petition, it would require 6 of 9 city councillors to support it and that's pretty much an impossibility unless they start lacing the Kool-Aid with hallucinogens.

Meanwhile the initial phase (Cambridge Conversations) of the upcoming review and possible revision of the City's existing master plans has been met with expressions of satisfaction from most members of the public. Perhaps this is why Carlone and Company have chosen to toss a monkey wrench into the process. Political organizing thrives so much more when wrapped in controversy.

Communications #6. A communication was received from Rick Snedeker, 107 Clifton Street regarding a request for a Special Act Charter for Cambridge that does not include Proportional Representation.

This is included primarily for comic relief. This Snedeker fellow has now written a series of letters to the Cambridge Chronicle detailing his hostility regarding the structure of Cambridge city government and the way municipal elections are conducted. He believes that having 90% of ballots count toward the election of city councillors is more disenfranchising than a winner-take-all election where often fewer than 50% of ballots count toward the election of a candidate. That's interesting math. He would have elections of ward councillors by simple plurailty vote with no runoffs or primary elections. This installment from Snedeker also calls for the Mayor and City Council to be able to dismiss any City department head by a simple majority vote. I can only imagine the thrilling City Council meetings when a department head says something not to the liking of the elected councillors.

Communications #11. Sundry communications were received regarding the East Cambridge Courthouse.

There are 38 individual signed letters plus an additional 74 petition signatures in support of the proposed redevelopment of the Courthouse building. The prisoners are now out of the East Cambridge Courthouse and the transfer of the property from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to Legatt McCall, the chosen developer, is imminent. While there is clear opposition to the proposed redevelopment from many residents, it's pretty clear that this is not a unanimously held position. The Planning Board is expected to make a decision on the Special Permit for the 40 Thorndike Street proposal at its July 29 meeting (to be held in East Cambridge, most likely at the Kennedy-Longfellow School). Regardless what the Planning Board decides, it is very likely that lawsuits will follow.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Administrative Assistant, City Clerk's Office transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee and Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood & Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee for a joint public meeting held on June 25, 2014 to discuss the ongoing out of school/STEAM working group research.

I'm sure the participants at this meeting meant well and I think we all want to see some good programs developed in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The report, however, is remarkable in some of its convoluted quotes. Some of my favorites are these: "Councillor Mazen explained that it's important for one subgroup to track other subgroup. People in this subgroup should ask other subgroups: Are we talking around the subject or are we addressing it?" and "Councillor Mazen confessed he isn't opposed to having another subgroup but he feels that this can fall into other subgroups and can also be discussed by each subgroup." and "Councillor Mazen said he hoped next time will be an opportunity for everybody to work more circularly about a coordinator position".

Exactly how does one "work more circularly?" Does it involve beating around the bush? I'll have to consult with my subgroup about this. - Robert Winters

Note: Due to construction in the Sullivan Chamber, this City Council meeting will take place in the Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at 459 Broadway (CRLS).


Members Sought for Cambridge Planning Board

City SealCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking residents interested in serving on the Cambridge Planning Board. The Planning Board is the special permit granting authority for the city and is responsible for the review of special permit requests, the review and development of zoning proposals, and the study of land use throughout the city.

The Planning Board includes seven members and two alternates. The Board generally meets twice a month on Tuesday evenings. Persons with a general interest in effective city planning and/or specific expertise in such areas as architecture, urban design, urban planning and zoning are encouraged to apply. Planning Board members must be residents of the City of Cambridge.

Interested persons should submit a resume and a brief letter describing their interest via e-mail, mail or fax by Fri, Aug 1, 2014, to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Member Sought for Police Review & Advisory Board

City SealCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking Cambridge residents interested in serving on the Police Review & Advisory Board. Made up of five volunteer members who serve five-year terms, the Board generally meets on the last Wednesday of the month at 6pm, except for July and August.

The Police Review & Advisory Board was established by City Ordinance in 1984 to:

The Board consists of five Cambridge residents who are representative of the City's racial, social and economic composition. Board Members must: possess a reputation for fairness, integrity and responsibility; have demonstrated an active interest in public affairs and service; and be a resident of the City of Cambridge. For more information about the Board, see its web page at www.cambridgema.gov/prab.

Board Members serve as volunteers without compensation and assist in education and outreach to improve community confidence in city government in general, and to strengthen community-police relations.

A letter of interest with a brief résumé should be sent via e-mail, mail or fax by Thursday, July 31, 2014 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Presentation at City Council June 23, 2014 Roundtable meeting on City’s Climate Mitigation and Preparedness Planning

City website on Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

Interactive Hurricane Inundation Maps (Mass. Executive Office of Public Safety and Security)

The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce recently posted this photo from a ribbon-cutting event supposedly in the 1970s,
though it could be later. Can you identify the people in the picture? That fellow on the right is lookin' pretty sharp!
Bonus points if you can name the location.

City of Cambridge Danehy Park Concert Series presented by Passim
Tuesdays at 6:00pm on July 8, July 22, August 5, & August 19

Enjoy free live music at the City of Cambridge Danehy Park Concert Series presented by Passim on select Tuesdays in July and August. The family friendly concert series will be held at 6:00pm on the following Tuesdays: July 8 and 22, and August 5 and 19. This series is brought to you by Passim, City of Cambridge Department of Human Services, Cambridge Arts Council and Whole Foods Markets.

Storefronts-For-All in Cambridge
The City of Cambridge announces grant funding to remove architectural barriers.

LogoJune 18, 2014 – Today a celebration and groundbreaking occurred with the first project to take advantage of increased grant funding for removal of architectural barriers at the Boston Bed Company on 625 Cambridge Street. This East Cambridge retailer hosted the event to showcase the services available to independent businesses and property owners. Mayor David P. Maher and City Manager Richard C. Rossi were on hand to explain the increased reimbursement available to small businesses for the purpose of making their location more accessible. Businesses can now receive an unprecedented 90% reimbursement, up to $20,000, in addition to the existing matching grant for façade improvements. The City believes this higher level of funding will spur more property owners and businesses to make enhancements that were previously financially out of reach.

Since 2003, the City of Cambridge has encouraged commercial property owners to improve the visual appearance and accessibility of retail storefronts with a matching grant that has spurred investment to create a pedestrian-friendly environment. The City of Cambridge recognizes that a greater effort is needed to remove architectural barriers so Cambridge retailers can serve the growing population whose enjoyment of street-level retail businesses is hindered by architectural barriers, such as steps, heavy doors, etc.

Additionally, research by City staff have noted that people with disabilities and those baby boomers who may also have difficulty with architectural barriers have a major economic impact in the U.S.:

“Cambridge is dedicated to making local businesses successful in our neighborhoods and this program is just another demonstration of how our city provides opportunities for businesses here to prosper,” said Mayor David P. Maher. “We are very proud of the work that we are doing to improve our storefronts and to offer the support that many need to make their small businesses accessible and attractive.”

“The Storefronts-For-All Program is a prime example of the City’s commitment to creating public-private partnerships to assist local businesses,” said Richard C. Rossi, City Manager. “This program will expand not only the customer base for local businesses, but also shopping and dining out opportunities for persons with disabilities. This is a win-win program for Cambridge.”

“The storefront accessibility program accelerates our efforts to improve access to Cambridge businesses. As the baby boomer population gets older, the demand for accessible retail stores and service establishments will continue to increase, and this program allows us to address that demand,” said Michael Muehe, Executive Director of the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities.

The bricked up front and small windows of this East Cambridge building felt like a fortress. From the time we signed the lease, we've talked about enlarging the windows to let people see into our showroom. This partnership with the city lets us open up the whole front of the store and reach out to the street and our neighbors and makes us more inviting. We are pleased that by offering improved access to the store we can better serve the needs of all our customers in Cambridge and the surrounding communities.
~ Andrew Rosenblatt, Chief of Sleep, Boston Bed Company

Storefronts for AllThe Storefront Improvement Program provides technical and financial assistance to property owners or tenants seeking to renovate or restore commercial building exterior facades. The Program removes architectural barriers at the storefront entrance, improves the physical appearance of independent businesses and enhances the commercial districts of Cambridge. This program provides:

Cambridge Uber Alles

TaxiJune 16 - It's fun watching from the sidelines as Uber, an estimated $18 billion company, brings out the troops at License Commission hearings in support of its ability to operate an iPhone-operated livery service for urban professionals with company credit cards and fistfuls of disposable income. Reading or listening to the testimony, you would swear that they were the transportation equivalent of Mother Teresa feeding the poor. The local taxicab cartels in Cambridge and Boston are no better. They are effectively city-endorsed gangsters who have paid exorbitant prices for taxicab medallions in order to secure the right to overcharge passengers and protest any measure that might result in consumer savings. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect to the conflict is that legions of union-supporting, left-winging, capitalism-protesting, Cambridge Occupying hipsters are essentially arguing for free enterprise with minimal regulation. Oh, the horror! Here's what Cambridge Mayor David Maher had to say about the conflict:

"Years of careful investment, smart urban planning and targeted economic development in Cambridge have allowed for a transit-centered culture to emerge for people who not only live here, but come here to work every day. Cambridge has been incredibly successful in reducing automobile usage, strengthening our bicycle and pedestrian options, and providing an environment where innovative transit solutions can thrive," said Cambridge Mayor David Maher. "We are the worldwide leader in innovation and we have no intention to back away from the progress we have made. I have been assured that the License Commission intends to have a fair hearing on the proposed transportation services regulations. I trust that they will have an open, transparent process and that tonight's meeting is the first in a series of dialogues with the public and with affected businesses."

I am a big fan of David Maher and we all know that he is perhaps the most capable mediator in the city. It is worth emphasizing, however, that this is a battle waged along lines that are irrelevant for most of the people who live in Cambridge. We walk, we bike, we take buses and trains, and some of us may even occasionally drive without apologizing for our contribution to the destruction of the planet. How many Cantabrigians actually travel in taxis and limousines? Then again, perhaps I'm behind the times and failed to notice that many new residents prefer to be carried in chariots to their destinations at exorbitant cost as they send text messages and robotically play with their apps on their precious iPhones and other devices.

I'll take the bus, thank you. - RW


2014 SUMMER/FALL EVENTS -- Magazine Beach Park

Magazine Beach Park is located on the Charles River at the foot of Magazine St., Cambridge, MA.

Plenty for all...this summer & fall

Fri, June 20
Family Summer Kick-off
June 20, 5-8pm | Live music: Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble. Children’s games by Knucklebones. Rising Tides & Marking the Shoreline art installations. Bring a picnic. FREE. Food trucks.
June 28 - Aug 24
Swimming at DCR Pool
June 28-August 24, 11am-7pm | Swimming & swimming classes, too. FREE.
Sun, June 29
Benefit Party at RBC
June 29, 7-9pm | Ticketed event. Benefit party at Riverside Boat Club. Celebrate the strides we’ve made and changes coming soon. Live music, drinks, hors d’oeuvres. $35/pp.
Fri, July 25, Aug 22
Music in the Park
July 25, 6-8pm | Boston Percussion Group
August 22, 6-8pm | Arneis Quartet
Bring a picnic. FREE. Food trucks.
Sat, July & August
Morning Yoga
Saturdays | 9-10am - July 12, 19, & 26 and August 2, 9 & 16. Led by Carol Faulkner and Monica Batkis-O’Donnell. FREE.
Tues, July 22
Dance Performance
10-11am. FREE. Mariale Dance Fusion.
Rain location: Morse School. Sponsored by Cambridge Arts.
Sun, Aug 31
Bread & Puppet Theater
August 31, 3-4pm. Vermont’s famous rabble-rousers perform their outdoor “Circus.” FREE. Rain location TBA. Sponsored in part by Cambridge Arts.
Sat & Sun, Oct 18-19
Head of Charles Regatta
8am-5pm | Fabulous vantage point for viewing and cheering world-class rowers in this iconic race.
Bring a picnic. FREE.
Cambridge Arts Exhibit
Magazine Beach Exhibit | Views of a Changing Public Resource. Cambridge Arts - Gallery 344, 344 Broadway. FREE.

For news & event updates: www.magazinebeach.org -- In case of rain, check event updates on our website.

Thanks to the City of Cambridge, DCR and all of you, the 1818 Powder Magazine structure will get a face-lift in 2014.
Next steps: to update and complete the landscape plans for the rest of the park. Magazine Beach calls for a new playground, water feature for children, benches and a great lawn to replace sunken pavement.

Ways you can you help:
~ Donate. Support Magazine Beach with your tax-deductible contribution. The CNA is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Make checks payable to: Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Inc., Note: for Magazine Beach Revitalization. Please send your donation to: Magazine Beach Committee, CNA, c/o Olivia Fiske, 131 Magazine St., Cambridge, MA 02139.

~ Volunteer your time or talent! We can use your help. Contact Cathie Zusy at cathzusy@gmail.com/617-868-0489. We’re looking for help with social media, photography, publicity, editing, assisting with our events, and more.

Reports, Responses, and Requests on the June 16, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda

Welcome to the Peoples RepublicThis week's agenda is dominated by a long list of reports from the City Manager. Of the 36 items on "Awaiting Report", we can now scratch off 15 of them. The City Council will, of course, continue to pile on more requests before they vacate for much of the summer.

Manager's Agenda #1. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-47, regarding a report on enforcement of ICE detainers against persons who may be wanted for immigration purposes.

After all the impassioned testimony at the meeting when this Order was introduced, Commissioner Haas' words say it best: "In many respects, the practices of the Department go beyond the scope of the City Council Order..."

Manager's Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-21, regarding a report on the implementation of a city-wide job fair for Cambridge residents.

This was a great initiative from Vice Mayor Benzan. The event is scheduled for Wed, Oct 8, 2014 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the IBM Innovation Center, 1 Rogers Street at Charles Park.

Manager's Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-41, regarding the feasibility of push cart vendors and local artists both at Carl Barron Plaza and similar places in Central Square.

It never ceases to amaze me just how complicated it can become to carry out an otherwise simple initiative. Perhaps the most unsatisfying aspect of the proposed pilot program is that no food vendors will be permitted "due to limits on Peddler Licenses within 300 ft of a Common Victualer License and the Fast Order Food Cap in Central Square." I was really looking forward to picking up a pretzel or a hot dog smothered in sauerkraut and mustard on the street in Central Square. Regulations be damned!

Manager's Agenda #9. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-42, regarding a report on relocating the Planning Board hearing on the Sullivan Courthouse redevelopment to a site in East Cambridge.

The Planning Board public hearing for 40 Thorndike Street will be held in East Cambridge, but the date and location has not yet been determined. The word at a recent meeting of the new Neighborhood Assn. of E. Cambridge was that the likely date would be July 15. The remaining prisoners in the jail are expected to leave (rather than escape) in the next week or two and it is anticipated that the transfer of the property from the Commonwealth and the designated developer Leggat McCall will be completed immediately following the closing of the jail. Though many have argued that the Commonwealth should have assumed greater responsibility for the environmental remediation of the property and possibly even the demolition of the existing building, it would appear that state involvement will cease with the transfer of the property. After that it will all be in the hands of the developers, the Planning Board, the various neighborhood groups, and the courts.

Manager's Agenda #18. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-50, regarding a report on an update of the City's composting pilot program.

Some highlights: Total collected to date, almost 30,000 lbs, (after week 9) averaging 3,270 lbs/wk (1.7 tons) over 555 participating households. From the pre-pilot trash run, the average household had 18.75 lbs/wk of trash. Composting reduces that ~33% to 12.1 lbs/wk. 64% of households now produce one bag of trash or less per week. 78% noticed they have less trash, 50% say their trash weighs less and 45% say that their trash smells better. So far, so good.

Manager's Agenda #19. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-37, regarding a report on the feasibility of painting green all designated bike lanes on all major streets.

The Bottom Line: "Our current policy is to install colored pavement markings at locations where it may be necessary for a vehicle or pedestrian to cross a bicycle facility. We believe reserving these special colored markings for conflict zones really emphasizes the importance of the location and indicates to all users that they need to give this area greater attention and proceed with caution. If all lanes were colored – we would lose the opportunity to differentiate these special locations of heightened importance." Makes a lot of sense.

Manager's Agenda #21. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-46, regarding an analysis and assessment of the position of Aide to the City Council.

The manager is recommending that the salary for these positions be increase by $3200, effective in FY14 (the current fiscal year). The original Order called for making these full-time positions, but the Manager's response only speaks of a salary increase. The committee report on this matter called for analysis of these positions but was not sufficiently explicit about what analysis should take place - even though the issue of the legality of the fundamentally patronage jobs was questioned at the hearing.

A message circulated by Councillor Kelley summarizes things rather well: "If one believes that Councillors should have personal assistants (often former campaign managers, donors, neighbors or other campaign supporters) then this pay raise may make sense. If you believe, as I do, that this extra layer of expensive bureaucracy gets in the way of Councillor-to-Councillor communication, has no professional standards or requirements in hiring, results in confusion as more political appointees get involved in issues and gives incumbents a massive City-funded leg up on challengers, you may wish to oppose the suggestion that assistants get a $3200/year pay raise, bringing the compensation for this part-time job up into the 50K range."

Manager's Agenda #22. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-54, regarding the feasibility of installing a large screen television to show the World Cup Matches.

Look for a large screen television showing the World Cup Matches to appear in the Lafayette Square area around Sat, June 28 and continue through the final round which ends on Sun, July 13. It should be a fun time in Central Square - unless the wrong team loses or the right team wins in which case let's hope the police are ready to manage the crowds.

Charter Right #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Law Department to determine the legality and if feasible, the institution of a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage ordinance for the City of Cambridge, with special provisions for small businesses. [Charter Right exercised by Mayor Maher on Amended Order Number Seven of June 9, 2014.]

As I stated last week, it seems perfectly clear that without enabling legislation from the state legislature, the City of Cambridge does not have the authority to institute its own minimum wage law. It also seems pretty certain that any Home Rule authority granted by the legislature would most likely require approval by local voters. This initiative has more to do with political organizing than anything else. Meanwhile the state is proceeding with what will likely be a successful enactment of a revised state minimum wage law (with some exceptions) somewhere around $11 per hour.

Resolution #12. Congratulations to Katherine Watkins on being appointed as City Engineer/Assistant Commissioner for Engineering for the City of Cambridge.   Councillor Cheung

Excellent choice of a well-deserving and thoroughly qualified engineer and a wonderful person. We are really lucky to have people like this working for the City of Cambridge.

Order #5. That the City Council go on the record in opposition to any type of casino project in the Greater Boston area whether constructed and managed by Mohegan Sun or Wynn Resorts.   Councillor Mazen

It's not our call and I seriously doubt whether anyone charged with making the decisions will take this Order seriously.

Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to confer with all appropriate city departments on the feasibility of allowing zoning data such as special permits, variances, and building permits to be available on the City's Open Data Portal.   Councillor Cheung

This is a good idea and it reminds me of an Order from Councillor Kelley some time ago calling for the tagging of all data relating to a given property across various City databases so that a person could get a complete picture. It's probably also worth saying that now that we have the City's Open Data Portal we will likely get another request every week for something else that should be included in the publicly accessible data. This will likely keep a lot of people busy for a long time.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #1. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk transmitting a communication from Councillor Nadeem Mazen requesting the approval of the City Council to attend the 10th Annual International Fab Lab Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

It's interesting that the conference that Councillor Mazen wishes to attend with City support just happens to overlap substantially with what he does in his own personal business/employment. Perhaps this will start a trend. Councillor Simmons can have the City pay for her attendance at a conference of independent insurance brokers because, well, Cantabrigians need insurance. Councillor McGovern can attend a conference of social workers because, well, there's a need for social work in Cambridge. Councillor Carlone can attend a conference of architects on the City dime because, well, we have a lot of nice architecture in Cambridge. You get the picture. - Robert Winters


June 9 - This week Cambridge received the Congress of New Urbanism Charter Award, regarded as the preeminent global award for excellence in urban design.

Upcoming Broadcasts of Cambridge InsideOut

Cambridge InsideOut

Recent Programs    [complete list of shows]

July 22 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 73 and 74 with Marc McGovern

July 15 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 71 and 72: News and Events, July 2014

July 1 - Transportation Safety w/guest Rozann Kraus

June 24 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 67-68: More News Around Town

June 17 - Tales from the Democratic Convention and other news from around town

June 10 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 63 and 64 with Glenn Koocher
We had a great time doing these shows with the man who invented the original Cambridge InsideOut - Glenn Koocher.

June 3 - Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 61 and 62 – News and Commentary

Watch Cambridge InsideOut on CCTV every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters.

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! - June-July 2014

recycling symbol

Household Hazardous Waste Day 6/7 (and Aug 23 and Oct 4)
Fruit & Veggie Tips & 6/23 Workshop
Digging Into Your Plastic Questions
Help Spread the Word about the 4R’s
Repair Café in September Seeks Volunteers
Know Where to Donate Clothes?

Household Hazardous Waste Day - June 7 (and Aug 23 and Oct 4)

New Location: Sat, June 7, 9am-1pm at the Volpe Transportation Building Parking Lot, at 55 Broadway. Access from Third St at Munroe St. Cambridge residents only, bring proof of residency. We accept auto fluids, batteries (non alkaline), car tires, glues, medications, mercury items, paint products, solvents, and propane tanks (20 lbs or less). If the product label includes the words POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION, bring to HHW day. Click here for alternative options, and what you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours. Property Managers: if you’re bringing more than 25 pounds or 25 gallons from a Cambridge residential building or if you have no proof of residency, please email recycle@cambridgema.gov in advance.

All HHW Days are on a Saturday from 9am-1pm, note the different locations:

  • June 7 at the Volpe Transportation Building Parking Lot (55 Broadway)
  • August 23 at the Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St by Danehy Park
  • October 4 at the Volpe Transportation Building Parking Lot (55 Broadway)

Fruit & Veggie Tips & 6/23 Workshop

Make your fruits and veggies last longer to reduce waste and save money!

Store Inside the fridge: apples, berries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, lemons, oranges, almost all vegetables & herbs. After ripening at room temperature: apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes. Outside the fridge: Store in a cool place: bananas, mangos, papayas and pineapples. Store in a cool, dark place: potatoes & onions. Basil & winter squashes: store at room temperature – once cut, store squashes in fridge.

If you like your fruit at room temperature, take what you’ll eat for the day out of the fridge in the morning. Many fruits give off gases that hasten the spoilage of other produce. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves and store fruits and vegetables in different bins. Check out storage bags and containers designed to help extend the life of your produce. To prevent mold, wash berries just before eating. For some really great videos on reducing food waste from our friends in Seattle, click here.

6/23 Free Workshop: Learn to compost and reduce food waste. June 23, at 6:15pm at DPW, 147 Hampshire St. Please RSVP.

Digging Into Your Plastic Questions

In general, all stiff plastics are accepted for curbside recycling. Empty and rinse containers to remove food residue, but they don’t need to be squeaky clean. The recycling sorting process is highly mechanized using optical sorting technology and air jets strategically placed along fast moving conveyor belts to sort different plastics. Plastic bags are not accepted curbside as they jam the equipment causing costly delays. Leave caps and lids on, so they are captured during sorting. Metal lids on jars pop off in the glass breaker and magnets grab them. After sorting, 2000 pound bales of plastics are sold to processors start their next life as a new product. Bales must meet strict limits on contaminants. Secondary processors then shred, wash, dry, pelletize and resell the plastic to manufacturers. Recycled plastic is used in new products such as fleecewear, plastic lumber, carpet, and new plastic containers.

Plastics NOT accepted curbside include plastic bags, Styrofoam, electronics and brittle plastics that crack such as CD cases. #1-#7 numbers on many containers indicate the type of plastic resin, a coding system developed almost 30 years ago for manufacturers. The most common, and easily recycled plastic household containers are #1 and #2, making up 75% of all plastics in curbside recycling. #6 is foam polystyrene and not accepted simply because it’s bulky and lightweight making it uneconomic to collect, market, and transport. Plus the sorting machines shred it, creating a mess. #7 is a miscellaneous category, some are bioplastics made from plants and not petroleum and for now, should NOT be recycled. This is a new technology and most recyclers consider it a contaminant and worry it could harm the economics of recycling conventional plastics. Know that stiff plastics with no number such as buckets, broken laundry baskets and toys are accepted curbside. Items smaller than a pill bottle or plastic utensils tend to fall off the conveyor, but sometimes they do get captured.

Help Spread the Word about the 4R’s

Join the fun and volunteer at a community event and talk to fellow residents about reducing waste by recycling, composting and reuse! Recruit residents to receive this newsletter. We’d love to hit 10,000 on our email list this summer! You can enjoy the atmosphere, educate folks and get a free t-shirt. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov if you can help for 2-3 hours at:

  • 6/14 (rain date 6/21): Hoyt Field, Hoops ‘N’ Health (10am-8pm)
  • 6/15: Lowell Street Park, Annual Family Day (10am-5pm)
  • 6/22: Day of Portugal Parade & Sidewalk Fair, St. Anthony’s Church Yard (1pm-3pm)
  • 6/27: City Dance Party, Mass. Ave. by City Hall (7-11pm)
Area 4: 6/30-8/13, Mon & Wed, 10am-Noon, Green Rose Heritage Park on Harvard St. near Izzys
Area 4: 7/8-8/7, Tue & Thu 10am-Noon, Sennott Park on Broadway at Norfolk
East Cambridge: 7/7-8/13, Mon, Wed & Fri, 10am-Noon, Ahern Park behind Kennedy-Longfellow School
Cambridgeport: 7/8-8/8, Tue-Fri, 10am-Noon, Dana Park on Magazine & Corporal McTernan Sts.
Mid-Cambridge: 6/30-8/15, Mon, Wed & Fri only 10am-12 noon, Cooper Park on Hancock at Centre Sts.
Mid-Cambridge: 7/1-8/14, Tue & Thu, 10am-Noon, Maple Ave Park at Maple & Marie Ave.
Mid-Cambridge: 7/10-8/7, Thurs, 6pm-8pm, Community evening dessert potlucks
Riverside: 6/30-8/7, Mon-Thu, 10am-Noon, Riverside Press Park on Memorial Dr. at River St.
North Cambridge: 7/8-8/13, Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri, 10am-Noon, Bergin Park at Pemberton St. & Yerxa Rd.

Repair Café in September Seeks Volunteers

In September, we’re planning a Repair Café, a meeting place all about repairing things, together. At the Repair Café visitors can bring broken items from home and will find tools and materials to help make needed repairs on clothes, electrical appliances, bicycles, toys, furniture, etc. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs and learn during the process. We are looking for repair specialists including electricians, seamstresses, carpenters, Do-It-Yourselfers, and bicycle mechanics to volunteer their time and share their skills for 4 hours on a Saturday in September, either 9/6, 9/13 or 9/27. We're also looking for volunteers to help promote this event and help out that day. If you are a repair specialist or want to help volunteer, please click here. To learn more, click here.

Know Where to Donate Clothes?

Visit our Donate Your Stuff map of donation spots, thrift stores & consignment shops and second hand stores!  Good stuff is reused, damaged stuff is recycled. You can donate clothes that are torn, stained, broken or missing something, to Goodwill, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Got Books/Clothes, and Planet Aid. They take clothing, shoes, belts, purses, hats, linens, stuffed animals, and fabric scraps. Just no dirty rags, nothing wet, nothing soiled, no carpets, no rugs, and no mildewed items. If it’s not wearable, damaged clothing is recycled into wiping rags and everything else is processed back into fibers used to make paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding, and sound proofing.

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use iReport or call DPW at 617-349-4800 no later than 12 noon the day after collection to make a request. During winter, clear snow to curb so that collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters and they are not behind snow banks. For more click here. Thank you!
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • "Like" the Cambridge DPW on Facebook.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2014 collection schedule online for full details.

Take the 50% recycling pledge today at www.cambridgema.gov/recycle and get a free sticker!
Recycle More. Trash Less.

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.

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.


Open for Comments - CCJ Forum

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 73 and 74 with Marc McGovern (July 22, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 71 and 72: News and Events, July 2014 (July 16, 2014)

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 2, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 69-70: Transportation Safety with Rozann Kraus (July 2, 2014)

Master Plans and Monkey Wrenches – June 30, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 30, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 67-68: More News Around Town (posted June 29, 2014)

Starts and Stops, mostly stops (posted by John Allen, June 24, 2014)

Who’s in the Picture? (June 21, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 65 and 66 – Democratic Convention and News around Town (June 19, 2014)

Cambridge Uber Alles (June 18, 2014)

Reports, Responses, and Requests on the June 16, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 16, 2014)

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 63 and 64 with Glenn Koocher (June 10, 2014)

Open data, bottle bans, and minimum wages – Interesting items on the June 9, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (June 9, 2014)

On the Menu at the June 2, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting (June 2, 2014)

Campaign Finance – 2013 Cambridge City Council candidates (May 25, 2013, updated May 26, 2014)

The Courthouse Debate and other Key Items on the May 19, 2014 Cambridge City Council Agenda (May 19, 2014)

FY2015 Budget Notes – and a comment on political patronage (May 8, 2014)

About Bicycling on Hampshire Street (Apr 16, 2014, posted by John Allen)

Master Plan Mythology and other Big Items on the Apr 7, 2014 City Council Agenda (Apr 7, 2014)

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

Cambridge School Committee 2013 Campaign Finance Summaries (Nov 3, 2013, updated Feb 8, 2014)

2013 Cambridge City Council Campaign Finance Receipts - Jan 1, 2013 through Dec 14, 2013 (updated Jan 19, 2014)

K2C2 Final Reports Released (Dec 31, 2013)

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)

April 1 Cambridge News (Apr 1, 2013) - the April Fool's Day edition

On becoming a True Cantabrigian (Dec 29, 2012)

Enjoying? the Concord Avenue "raised bike lanes" (Dec 3, 2012 by John Allen)

Cycle track disease is contagious! (Nov 14, 2012 by John Allen)

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

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

Specific issues with Western Avenue project (posted Nov 3, 2010 by John Allen)

Western Avenue proposal: ill-considered (posted Oct 27, 2010 by John Allen)

“Cycle track”: a sidewalk by another name (posted Aug 11, 2010, letter of Paul Schimek)

Comments on Cambridge’s Western Avenue project (posted June 22, 2010 by John Allen)

Episodes of Cambridge InsideOut (The Sequel)

Episode 1 (Sept 10, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut - The Sequel" featured PR voting in Cambridge

Episode 2 (Sept 10, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut - The Sequel" introduced this year's municipal election candidates

Episode 3 (Sept 17, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" addressed some of the Big Issues in the City Council election

Episode 4 (Sept 17, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" addressed some of the Big Issues in the School Committee election

Episode 5 (Sept 24, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features guest Anthony Galluccio (Part 1)

Episode 6 (Sept 24, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features guest Anthony Galluccio (Part 2)

Episode 7 (Oct 1, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features phone interviews with City Council candidates (Part 1)

Episode 8 (Oct 1, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features phone interviews with City Council candidates (Part 2)

Episode 9 (Oct 8, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features visits from School Committee candidates Elechi Kadete and Patty Nolan

Episode 10 (Oct 8, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" features visits from Cambridge School Committee candidates Patty Nolan and Joyce Gerber.

Episode 11 (Oct 15, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Wolf (Part 1)

Episode 12 (Oct 15, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Wolf (Part 2)

Episode 13 (Oct 22, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Jesse Kansen-Benanav (Part 1)

Episode 14 (Oct 22, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Jesse Kansen-Benanav (Part 2)

Episode 15 (Oct 29, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Council candidates Dennis Carlone and Dennis Benzan

Episode 16 (Oct 29, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Council candidates Denise Simmons and Minka vanBeuzekom

Episode 17 (Nov 12, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - A detailed look at the 2013 Cambridge election results and possible recount

Episode 18 (Nov 12, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Boulder vs. Cincinnati vs. Fractional transfer methods in Cambridge's PR elections

Episode 19 (Nov 19, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Notes on a possible Recount

Episode 20 (Nov 19, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - On Vacancies and Cambridge Boards & Commissions

Episode 21 (Nov 26, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Marjorie Decker

Episode 22 (Nov 26, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Analyzing the ballot data

Episode 23 (Dec 3, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - The Recount Commences

Episode 24 (Dec 3, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Looking Deeper at the Ballot Data

Episode 25 (Dec 10, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Focus on Porter Square with guest John Howard (Part 1)

Episode 26 (Dec 10, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Focus on Porter Square with guest John Howard (Part 2)

Episode 27 (Dec 17, 2013, 5:30pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Updates and the end of the 2012-13 City Council term

Episode 28 (Dec 17, 2013, 6:00pm) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Reflections on the exit of four city councillors

Episode 29 (Jan 7, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Turkel (Part 1)

Episode 30 (Jan 7, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Alice Turkel (Part 2) and comments on mayoral election

Episode 31 (Jan 14, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with City Councillor Marc McGovern (Part 1)

Episode 32 (Jan 14, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with City Councillor Marc McGovern (Part 2)

Episode 33 (Jan 28, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Discussing Foundry options with guest Rozann Kraus (Part 1)

Episode 34 (Jan 28, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Discussing Foundry options with guest Rozann Kraus (Part 2)

Episode 35 (Feb 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Denise Simmons (Part 1)

Episode 36 (Feb 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Denise Simmons (Part 2)

Episode 37 (Feb 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 1)

Episode 38 (Feb 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 2)

Episode 39 (Feb 25, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Conversation with Brian Corr of the Cambridge Peace Commission

Episode 40 (Feb 25, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": A Look Back at the Early Days of Cambridge Recycling

Episode 41 (Mar 4, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": News and Views (Part 1)

Episode 42 (Mar 4, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": News and Views (Part 2)

Episode 43 (Mar 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": The "No License Movement" with guest Gavin Kleespies

Episode 44 (Mar 11, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut": Cambridge Historical Society with guest Gavin Kleespies

Episode 45 (Mar 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Tim Toomey (Part 1)

Episode 46 (Mar 18, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Tim Toomey (Part 2)

Episode 47 (Apr 1, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Saul Tannenbaum (Part 1 on municipal broadband)

Episode 48 (Apr 1, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Saul Tannenbaum (Part 2 on civic technology)

Episode 49 (Apr 8, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Benzan (Part 1)

Episode 50 (Apr 8, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Benzan (Part 2)

Episode 51 (Apr 15, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Carlone (Part 1)

Episode 52 (Apr 15, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with guest Dennis Carlone (Part 2)

Episode 53 (Apr 22, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Mayor David Maher (Part 1)

Episode 54 (Apr 22, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Mayor David Maher (Part 2)

Episode 55 (May 6, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with State Rep. Marjorie Decker on the state budget

Episode 56 (May 6, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - Upcoming events, the FY2015 Budget, and news updates

Episode 57 (May 13, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with School Committee member Fran Cronin (Part 1)

Episode 58 (May 13, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with School Committee member Fran Cronin (Part 2)

Episode 59 (May 20, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Councillor Craig Kelley (Part 1)

Episode 60 (May 20, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with City Councillor Craig Kelley (Part 2)

Episode 61 (June 3, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - News and Commentary (Part 1)

Episode 62 (June 3, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" - News and Commentary (Part 2)

Episode 63 (June 10, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Glenn Koocher (Part 1)

Episode 64 (June 10, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" with Glenn Koocher (Part 2)

Episode 65 (June 17, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring tales from the Mass. Democratic Party Convention in Worcester

Episode 66 (June 17, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 67 (June 24, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 68 (June 24, 2014) of "Cambridge InsideOut" featuring news and commentary from around town

Episode 69 (July 1, 2014 at 5:30pm) with guest Rozann Kraus featured highlights from the June 30 City Council meeting, updates from the state legislature, and transportation safety in Cambridge.

Episode 70 (July 1, 2014 at 6:00pm) with guest Rozann Kraus focused on transportation safety in Cambridge.

Episode 71 (July 15, 2014, 5:30pm) - News and events, July 2014 and beyond (Part 1)

Episode 72 (July 15, 2014, 6:00pm) - News and events, July 2014 and beyond (Part 2)

Episode 73 (July 22, 2014, 5:30pm) - with Marc McGovern - Part 1

Episode 74 (July 22, 2014, 6:00pm) - with Marc McGovern - Part 2

Upcoming programs: Brian Corr, Gus Rancatore, Fred Levi; and others

Watch it on CCTV every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters.

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

April 2, 2013 - Well, that was fun. Thanks to everyone for being such a sport on April Fool's Day.

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

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

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

THE TASTY DINER of HARVARD SQUARE - A film by Federico Muchnik (33½ minutes)

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

City Council Rules 2010-2011 (adopted January 4, 2010 and amended April 5, 2010)

City Council Goals - FY2010-2011 (approved February 2, 2009)

City Council Committees (for the 2010-2010 term)

School Committee Rules (adopted January 7, 2008)

School Committee Goals (adopted October 7, 2008)

June 7, 2009 - Once upon a time there was a civic organization in Cambridge known as the Cambridge Civic Association (CCA). It was formed in 1945 out of several organizations that had been existed through the 1930s and that had lobbied the state legislature to create the Plan E Charter option (1938) which featured a city manager form of government and proportional representation elections for city council and school committee. These reforms were central to model charter reform movements active in the United States from the early 1900s. The central theme of the CCA in its early days was "good government" in the sense of being anti-patronage and for professionally managed local government. This changed with the introduction of rent control at the end of the 1960s after which the CCA shifted leftward and became permanently lashed to the mast of the rent control vessel. Though the CCA still exists on paper (I believe), it rapidly declined after the statewide abolition of rent control (late 1994) and essentially disappeared a decade later (early 2005).

I bring up the ghost of the CCA today only to point out that when it was created it had some very admirable goals. Here's the original Mission Statement of the CCA:

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.

Oliver Wendell Holmes – Morning Exercises of December 28, 1880
As recorded in the book 250th Anniversary of the Settlement of Cambridge (1881)

Robert Winters
Robert Winters, Editor
Cambridge Civic Journal
(about me - updated!!)
Philosophy of the CCJ Editor
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

Subscribe to the Cambridge Civic Journal.
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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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