Cambridge InsideOut - May 24, 2016

Topics du jour:

1) Invitation to Charles River's Edge: Cambridge-Charlestown-Boston walk - Sunday, May 29

2) Envision Cambridge update

3) Luis Vasquez interviews - Cambridge Chronicle [Interview with Acting Police Commissioner Chris Burke]

4) Thursday night – Cambridge: Who We Are and How We Got Here - May 26, 6:30-9:00pm at Cambridge College, 1000 Mass. Ave.

Budgets: FY2005-FY20175) Budget Approved on Monday night along with a total of $188,100,000 in Loan Orders

6) Eminent domain taking of Chamber of Commerce building, 859 Mass. Ave.
This has been the home of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce since the 1970s and any eminent domain action will be what is known as a "friendly taking". I'm not sure what City functions might end up there. There's a neat photo of the ribbon-cutting when the Chamber first moved there.

7) Proposal to give preference to "certified artists" in Inclusionary Zoning housing units

8) Proposed changes to current liquor license regulations

9) City Council goal-setting meeting scheduled for June 8 (Where? Format? Public invited?)

10) Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association meeting at 7:00pm at Central Square Library - Bob Flack and Mass&Main update; oral history of C-Port with Ed Rice, Barbara Taggart, Elechi Kadete, and Laura Kershner (and Bill Cavallini)

11) Updates on search process for next City Manager

12) Updates on State Rep. and State Senate races

13) Recycling Advisory Committee letter recommending changes to the Polystyrene Ordinance to cover expanded polystyrene (EPS or "Styrofoam") only

14) Upcoming events and opportunities

Resolution #3. Urge all Cantabrigians to pause on Memorial Day, and every day, to remember and pay tribute to our nation’s defenders, living and deceased, for their service and devotion to country.   Vice Mayor McGovern

15) Presidential primary - the latest miserable updates

MIT plan for Kendall Square transformation approved (Natalie Handy, Cambridge Chronicle, May 18, 2016)

Envision Cambridge feedback reflects need for housing solution (Cambridge Chronicle, May 18, 2016)

AMC Local WalksSun, May 29. Charles River's Edge: Cambridge-Charlestown-Boston. Approx. 5-6mi. walk via North Point Park, new North Bank Bridge, USS Constitution, and Charles River Dam. Meet at 10:00am at the gazebo at Cambridgeside Galleria Mall fountain. Bring lunch and desire to explore. We'll cover the past, present, and future plans for this historic area. Note: On Sundays, Cambridge parking meters are free and it's OK to park on streets marked for Resident Permit Parking. L Robert Winters.

Tues, May 24

7:00pm   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 Transcripts

3. PB#256, 34-36 Hampshire Street, extension of time request

Public Hearing

7:00pm   Riverside Neighborhood Zoning Petition to rezone the Zoning Map from the existing Residence C-1 to Residence C within the area bounded by Franklin Street, River Street and Putnam Avenue. The most significant changes would be that the allowed Floor Area Ratio would decrease from 0.75 to 0.60, the required lot area per dwelling unit would increase from 1,500 to 1,800 square feet, and the open space requirement would increase from 30% to 36% of a lot.

9:00pm   Rainwater Separation in Residential Buildings Zoning Petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance by creating a new Section 5.55 Special Provisions for Rainwater Separation to allow modifications to the applicable dimensional requirements of this Article. 5000, in particular regarding FAR and height limitations, by Special Permit from the Board of Zoning Appeal for eliminating rain-water from sewer lines in existing residential buildings.

General Business

4. Board of Zoning Appeal Cases

a. BZA009329 – 2016, 24 Winter Street, Variance to demolish and remove 2 ½ story extension, construct a 3 story, 2 family dwelling, Special Permit to reduce parking.

b. BZA010036 – 2016, 60 Vassar Street, Special Permit to replace 6 antennas and additional equipment installation.

c. BZA010037 – 2016, 1336 – 1362 Mass Avenue, Special Permit to replace 3 antennas and additional equipment installation.

Wed, May 25

3:00pm   The City Council's Ordinance Committee will conduct a public hearing to amend the Zoning Map in the Riverside Neighborhood from the existing Residence C-1 to Residence C within the area bounded by Franklin Street, River Street and Putnam Avenue. The most significant changes would be that the allowed Floor Area Ratio would decrease from 0.75 to 0.60, the required lot area per dwelling unit would increase from 1,500 to 1,800 square feet, and the open space requirement would increase from 30% to 36% of a lot. This hearing to be televised.  (Sullivan Chamber)

Thurs, May 26

5:30pm   The City Council's Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebrations Committee and the Civic Unity Committee will conduct a joint public hearing to discuss the establishment of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Cambridge.  (Sullivan Chamber)

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

Tues, May 31

6:00pm   The City Council's Housing Committee will conduct a public hearing to continue discussion regarding the recently completed Inclusionary Housing Study with community feedback from the May 18, 2016 hearing being shared and discussed with consultant David Paul Rosen & Associates.  (Sullivan Chamber)

City of Cambridge Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity and the City of Cambridge Present
Cambridge: Who We Are and How We Got Here - May 26

City SealThe Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity and the City of Cambridge invite you to the event Cambridge: Who We Are and How We Got Here on Thursday, May 26, 6:30-9:00pm, at Cambridge College, Room 152, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue. This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Families are welcome!

Join us for a special presentation by Charles Sullivan, Executive Director of Cambridge Historical Commission and Clifford Cook, Planning Information Manager for the City of Cambridge, on the dynamic demographics of Cambridge and how the diverse community we love came to be.

The presentation will examine the diversity of the City, including when and how different groups of residents came to Cambridge, how the City’s demographics have evolved over time, and some of the conditions that have fostered changes in the community. The presentation will be followed by facilitated group discussions and an opportunity to share your thoughts and questions.

This community event, which helps connect the City’s past with the present, is intended to lay the foundation to better understand the context of the current demographics in Cambridge, as well as to help identify and explore new opportunities to build community connections and conversations.

The present day Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity began meeting in early 2015 and builds on the history and work of Cambridge’s prior Civic Unity Committee, which existed until 1992 and was formed to address racial discrimination faced by returning World War II veterans.

The mission of the Citizens’ Committee on Civic Unity is to foster fairness, equity, unity, appreciation, and mutual understanding across all people and entities in Cambridge. The group aims to do this through recognition and awareness of historic, existing, and potential civic issues; providing opportunities for honest dialogue and engagement; and by building bridges across different communities.

Please visit for additional information and to RSVP for this event. [Flyer for event]

event flyer

Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities Vacancies

Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) advisory board. Made up of 11 Members who serve three-year terms in a volunteer capacity, the CCPD board meets on the second Thursday of every month at 5:30pm.

CCPD seeks to build a membership that reflects the cultural and racial diversity of the City, is cross-disability in nature and representative of the different geographical areas of the community. Members must be current residents of Cambridge.

CCPD works dynamically to maximize access to all aspects of Cambridge community life for individuals with disabilities, and strives to raise awareness of disability matters, to eliminate discrimination, and to promote equal opportunity for people with all types of disabilities – physical, mental and sensory. CCPD members are expected to work with other members and CCPD staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the CCPD Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.96). CCPD members are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees, and work on various short and/or long-term projects, as needed.

City SealFor more information, contact Kate Thurman, Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities at or 617-349-4692 (voice) or 617-492-0235 (TTY). Interested persons should submit a letter by Friday, June 17, 2016 describing their relevant experience and the kinds of disability-related issues or projects that interest them (along with a résumé if possible) to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax: 617-349-4307

Rep. Tim Toomey Kicks Off Re-Election Campaign

Tim ToomeyState Representative Tim Toomey announced today that he has officially qualified for the Democratic Primary ballot on Thursday, September 8th for re-election to the 26th Middlesex District seat representing parts of Somerville & Cambridge. Toomey submitted nearly three times the required 150 certified signatures.

Rep. Toomey is hosting a Campaign Kick Off meeting at Atwood’s Tavern, 877 Cambridge St, Cambridge on Thursday, May 19th at 7 pm and has invited everyone interested in helping in the campaign to attend. Refreshments will be served.

“I’m grateful to all of the Somerville and Cambridge residents who have again placed their faith in me to serve as their State Representative,” said Toomey. “I’m very excited to be running this year and plan to continue to lead the way in our community for better public transit options, sustainable development, fair wages and equal pay for working families, and expanded affordable housing options.”

“I look forward to continuing my work at the State House because our neighborhoods deserve a progressive State Representative who also provides outstanding constituent services to the residents of Somerville and Cambridge,” said Toomey, a lifelong resident of the district.

During his time in office, Rep. Toomey has become a well-known progressive advocate and has consistently been a voice for progressive causes at the State House. In the past year, Toomey has been an outspoken leader for single payer health care, promoting solar energy and other renewable energy sources, instituting smart criminal justice reforms, and providing rental assistance programs to help struggling low income families and people with disabilities find long-term housing solutions. He has also worked to strengthen protections for survivors of domestic violence and rape, and has been a leading voice behind efforts to expand access to drug treatment and rein in the opioid crisis.

“A lot of important work is still ahead of us,” said Toomey. “I will continue to fight for passing the Fair Share Tax Amendment, making insurance coverage mandatory for a wider variety of contraceptives, passing the Equal Pay Act, adding protections for gender identity in public accommodations and increasing funding for low income and affordable housing.”

For more information about Representative Toomey’s re-election campaign, residents are encouraged to visit or contact Tim’s Campaign Manager, Jefferson Smith, at (978) 376-2143.

City Manager Seeks Members for a new Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship

City SealMay 9, 2016 – Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking persons interested in serving on a Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship. The Commission will consist of 11 volunteer members to be appointed by the City Manager. 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 collaboration with other Commissions and service providers, outreach efforts to different cultural and language communities, and identification of existing resources, both in Cambridge and regionally, the Immigrant Rights and Citizenship Commission can assist in finding ways that existing services can better meet the identified needs of our immigrant population.

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).

Resumes and letters of interest should be sent by June 10 via email to or by mail to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
Ph. 617-349-4300; Fax 617-349-4307

May Programs at Fresh Pond Reservation

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

Date: Sunday, May 29, 8 to 10am
Place: Register for meeting location and parking information
    By the end of May our avian summer residents have returned. We may see tree swallows, catbirds, grackles, red-winged blackbirds, phoebes, vireos, warblers and orioles. At this time many will be nesting, so we may also hear baby birds, and see their parents bringing them food. Beginners are welcome. We have binoculars to lend and will show you how to use them. Led by Nancy Guppy. To register and for important meeting and parking information, email Catherine Pedemonti at

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

Would you like to join Friends of Fresh Pond Reservation? Membership 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, call 617-349-6489, or visit our website at to download a form.

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