Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

August 25, 2016

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! – September 2016

Filed under: Cambridge,recycling — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 1:50 pm

recycling symbol“Get Rid of It Right” Move Out Video – share widely!
Moving Season Reminders
Donate Books and Buy Pre-Loved Books
Order Recycling Materials
Seeking Enthusiastic School Composting Helpers
Bring Your Own Bag Ordinance a Success
Part-Time Opportunities

“Get Rid of It Right” This Move Out Season

Plan ahead for move out day, and give your stuff a second chance at life!

You’re protecting the environment, and reducing waste.

Click the image below to watch a short video and visit www.CambridgeMA.Gov/MoveOut for more information.

Get Rid of it Right


Moving Season Reminders

Moving Out?

Donate It

  • Clothing and Textiles: ALL CLEAN, DRY TEXTILES can go in drop boxes found around Cambridge. Stained, torn, broken or incomplete OK. More info here. Use our Google Donate Map to find donation boxes. Good stuff gets reused and damaged stuff gets repurposed. Not accepted in curbside recycling.
  • Furniture in Good Condition: Plan ahead and arrange for a pickup of items from inside your home. Coalition for the Homeless does Cambridge pickups twice a month, and sometimes more, including Aug 28 – Sept 9! Complete the Pickup Request Form. They take all sorts of furniture as well as rugs, lamps, dishes, pots & pans, and blankets & linens. Check out other options: CambridgeMA.Gov/Furniture.
  • Household Goods (clean, good-condition): Goodwill, 520 Mass. Ave. / Boomerangs, 563 Mass. Ave. / Some items accepted on swap shelves at the Recycling Center.
  • Freecycle and Craig’s List: Freecycle: People give away and get stuff for free. Craigslist: People submit online classifieds, "For Sale" section includes a "Free" category.
  • Get Rid of It Right: City’s online list with details on how to recycle, donate or dispose of just about anything.

Sell It

  • On-line: ebay, letgo, Craigslist are just a few examples of where you can sell your stuff
  • Bring to a Consignment Shop or have a Yard Sale

Recycle in the Curbside Bin

  • Large Plastics: All large rigid plastic items are accepted, such as storage containers, laundry baskets, and toys.
  • Books: Rip off hard covers. But, please donate good-condition books. Reuse is better than recycling.
  • Items Accepted in the Curbside Recycling Program.

Common Curbside Recycling Mistakes – Leave It Out

  • NO Electronics: Special recycling or donate.
  • NO Pots, Pans, Hangers or Other Scrap Metal: Bring metal items to the Recycling Center. Many dry cleaners accept metal hangers for reuse.
  • NO Blinds/Shades, Ceramics, Dishes, Glasses, Mirrors, Frames, Video/Cassette Tapes: Donate items in good-condition, otherwise place in trash.
  • NO Clothing or Textiles: Donate all dry and clean textiles. More info here.
  • NO Plastic Bags: Bring empty, clean and dry bags to designated bins at store entrances or the Recycling Center (clean, dry bubble and shrink wrap and air pillows also accepted at RC).

Special Handling Required

  • NO Non-Alkaline Batteries: Non-Alkaline batteries accepted at the Recycling Center or Household Hazardous Waste collections. Alkaline batteries made in USA after 1994 do not contain mercury and can go in the trash.
  • NO Fluorescent Bulbs, including CFLs: There are several disposal options including most Cambridge hardware stores and the Recycling Center.
  • NO Hazardous Waste, such as Paint: Review what must be brought to one of our four annual Household Hazardous Waste collections, including oil-based paint, chemicals and waste fuels. The webpage also has alternative options if you can’t make the next collection (Sept 10).

Moving In?

Recycling is Mandatory in Cambridge – and Easy!
Review what is accepted in the curbside recycling program closely. Curbside recycling is primarily for clean containers, papers and cardboard. Recycling helps the environment and significantly reduces waste disposal costs for the city. Stay in the loop and subscribe below to receive the monthly e-newsletter from Cambridge Recycling.

What to Do with Packaging

  • Cardboard Boxes: Place in or next to recycling bin. Make sure boxes are empty (no Styrofoam, bubble wrap, or trash). Flatten when possible. Try to reuse! Post your moving boxes on Freecycle or Craigslist.
  • Bubble Wrap, Air Pillows, Shrink Wrap: Place with plastic bags at the Recycling Center during open hours. Must be empty, clean, and dry. Review accepted plastic film items here. Do not place in the curbside recycling.
  • Styrofoam Blocks and Peanuts: Blocks go in the trash. Bring peanuts to a UPS Store or to the Recycling Center during open hours for reuse. No cornstarch peanuts, which dissolve in water. Do not place in the curbside recycling.
  • Blister Packaging: Hard clear plastic form packaging can be recycled in the curbside program.

Shop Second-Hand
Shopping second-hand is much more affordable, fun, green, supports the local economy, and you can find great stuff!

  • Local Second-Hand Shops: Check out the red, green, and yellow pins on this map.
  • Stuff Sale, the biggest yard sale in Cambridge: Aug 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 & Sept 3, 4, 5. Open to all from 9 AM – 5 PM, located at the Harvard Science Center Plaza at 1 Oxford Street. You’ll find mini-fridges, rugs, lamps, futons, storage bins and hundreds of other items useful to anyone setting up an apartment. Proceeds support Harvard Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build housing for the needy.
  • On-line: Try Freecycle, Craigslist, ebay, letgo.

Donate Books and Buy Pre-Loved Books

There are many places you can donate books, including the Cambridge Recycling Center community shelves during our open hours, Tues/Thurs 4pm-7:30pm and Sat 9am-4pm. At the Recycling Center, textbooks and excess books and are taken by More Than Words, a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth by taking charge of a business. Here are a few more places you can donate books: Boomerangs, Goodwill, Rodney’s Bookstore, and the “Recycle That” and “Big Hearted Books & Clothing” donation boxes. Use our handy map.

Feel good when you read second-hand books! Some of the same places where you can donate books you can also buy them (Boomerangs, Goodwill, Rodney’s Bookstore), and here are a few more on-line: More Than Words, Amazon, BetterWorldBooks.com. Of course there are also those wonderful places where you can borrow books — visit Cambridge Public Libraries!

You can also make use of the Little Free Libraries located at various locations throughout Cambridge, including private homes. Of course, there’s also that great Cambridge tradition: a Free Box thoughtfully located in front of your house.


Have New Residents? Faded Labels? Order Recycling Materials!

Email recycle@cambridgema.gov to order.

  • recycling flyers with translations* (8.5×14)
  • toters
  • toter labels
  • "no trash, no plastic bags" stickers
  • "donate more trash less" flyers*
  • refrigerator magnets
  • translated recycling information sheets* (Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Creole, Ethiopian (Amharic))

*Also found in the "Educate Residents" section here.

Thank you for helping to spread the word!

Recycle More, Trash Less


Compost That StuffHelp Cambridge Kids Compost in the Cafeteria!

As kids head back to school they need help remembering "what goes where," as well as why recycling and composting is important. Additionally, new students need to be introduced to the program. Please consider joining us at a few school breakfasts and/or lunches at the start of the school year. We need many people to join in, as all 13 public schools now compost their food scraps, so sign up today, and tell a friend!

Email us to learn more. Thank you!!


Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance a Success

Thanks to strong support from the local business community and their customers, the City’s Bring Your Own Bag (BYOB) Ordinance has led to a significant reduction in use of single-use bags in Cambridge.

Public Works staff and volunteers from the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee performed a study in July at several large Cambridge businesses and found a sizeable reduction in the consumption of single-use bags.

"What we observed was significant," said Meera Singh of the Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee. "We saw a reduction in single-use bags of 50-80% across this group."

Read the full press release here.


Part-Time Opportunities

Cambridge Recycling is hiring a Recycling & Composting Outreach Assistant.

Public Works is also hiring an Energy & Sustainability Intern.


recycling symbolKnow that recycling is easy and mandatory in Cambridge! Review what to recycle and help educate new residents! Encourage others to stay in the loop and sign up for the City’s monthly e-newsletter on recycling, composting and reducing waste. Just email us at recycle@cambridgema.gov.

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use Commonwealth Connect and report it online or via mobile app (iPhone / Android) or call DPW at 617-349-4800 by 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Need toters, brochures, labels, or posters? Email recycle@cambridgema.gov or fill out this form.
  • Following a weekday holiday, curbside trash, recycling, compost and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2016 collection schedule.
  • Next Household Hazardous Waste Collections: Sat, Sept 10; Sat, Oct 29. Learn more here.

August 23, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 165-166: August 23, 2016

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:57 pm

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 165 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 5:30pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 166 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 at 6:00pm. [On YouTube]

August 19, 2016

Preliminary Screening Committee for New City Manager Selected

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:29 am

Preliminary Screening Committee for New City Manager Selected

City SealAug 19, 2016 – The Mayor is pleased to announce the appointment of the following people to participate in the Preliminary Screening Committee for a new City Manager. We also extend our appreciation to the 50 people who submitted applicants and were generously willing to volunteer their time in support of our search efforts.

The Preliminary Screening Committee, comprised of 15 community members reflecting citywide constituencies and four City Council members, will be facilitated by our search firm GovHR USA. The purpose of the Committee will be to interview the most qualified applicants and determine the three finalists to present to the public and to the City Council for their vote.

The public will have opportunities to meet the three finalists and provide feedback prior to the nominating vote taken at a City Council meeting in late September.

The following provides a list of the Committee’s constituent members and a brief recap of their qualifying credentials.

Constituency Applicant Choice Bio
Resident representative Peter Traversy Peter is a resident of North Cambridge. He’s a small business owner and active in youth sports.
Resident representative Elaine Thorne Elaine is a Riverside resident and was a longtime Project Planner for the City of Cambridge with extensive experience working in all neighborhoods in our City. She is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Cambridge Community Center.
Resident representative Laura Booth Laura is a resident of the Port neighborhood. She’s a CPSD parent who brings extensive work experience in the local nonprofit community and is a longtime advocate for affordable housing. She has experience with senior level hiring.
Large Business representative Jay Kiely Jay currently serves as Chair of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce. He is a senior level manager with Forest City and has been active in Cambridge’s civic, nonprofit, and corporate arenas.
Small Business representative Patrick Magee Patrick is a Wellington/ Harrington resident who owns and manages Atwood’s Tavern on 877 Cambridge Street. He is a founding member of ECBA and has served as President for the past five years.
CPS Representative Richard Harding Richard is a resident of the Port and has been a longtime elected member of the School Committee. He is Co-president of the Cambridge NAACP and served as a member of former Police Commissioner Haas’ Community Advisory Board. He’s been a leader in the Men of Color Task Force.
Public Safety representative Gerald Reardon Chief Reardon is a nationally recognized leader in Fire Safety. He has spent his entire professional career with the City of Cambridge Fire Department and the last 17 years as its Chief.
Person with demonstrated knowledge of municipal finance Fred Fantini Fred is an East Cambridge resident and served as Deputy Treasurer for the Town of Arlington for 35 years. He’s a former CCTV president; a longtime member of the Cambridge School Committee; and has experience with executive searches.
Health and Human Services/Public Health representative Claude Jacob Claude is Cambridge’s Chief Public Health Officer at the Cambridge Health Alliance. He’s also Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of County and City Health Officials and has experience with executive search hires.
Representative with knowledge of City Planning/Urban Development Susan Schlesinger Susan is a Cambridgeport resident and longtime advocate for affordable housing. She’s been an active member of the Affordable Housing Trust and with the Community Preservation Act Board. She has experience with high level executive searches.
Higher Education/Institutional partner Kevin Casey Kevin is Associate Vice President at Harvard University with oversight of nonprofit engagement, government relations and local economic development.
Public Art and/or Recreational representative Ellen Semonoff Ellen is a Mid-Cambridge resident and has longtime served as Cambridge’s Assistant City Manager for Human Services, which has oversight of the city’s recreation department. She’s the Chair of the Cambridge Public Health Committee and former Chair of the Cambridge Health Alliance. She has experience with high level executive searches.
Affordable Housing advocate Susan Connelly Susan is a North Cambridge resident and a CPSD parent. She has extensive experience working in the field of affordable housing and serves as Director of the Community Housing Initiatives at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership and serves as Treasurer of the Cambridge Housing Authority Commissioner’s Board.
Nonprofit Community representative Elaine DeRosa Elaine is a Cambridgeport resident and has extensive experience working on behalf of low-income individuals and families serving as Executive Director of CEOC for past 28 years. She has committee experience working on city public policy, affordable housing, health care and delivery of community services issues.
Representative who advocates for the quality of our community’s civic and social well-being Reverend Lorraine Thornhill Rev. Lorraine Thornhill has served as Lead Pastor in the Port neighborhood for the past 19 years. She’s also Lead Chaplain, Cambridge Police Department; Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees Cambridge YWCA; Commissioner, City of Cambridge Human Services Department; and President, Cambridge Black Pastors Alliance.
City Council member Councillor Leland Cheung
City Council member Councillor David Maher
City Council member Councillor Nadeem Mazen
City Council member Councillor Timothy Toomey

August 9, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 163-164: August 9, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 163 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 5:30pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 164 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at 6:00pm. [On YouTube]

References for tonight’s programs

August 2, 2016

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 161-162: August 2, 2016

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:00 pm

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 161 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 5:30pm. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 162 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 6:00pm. [On YouTube]

References for tonight’s programs

August 1, 2016

Selected Agenda Items for the Aug 1, 2016 Cambridge City Council (Midsummer) meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:59 am

Selected Agenda Items for the Aug 1, 2016 Cambridge City Council (Midsummer) meeting

There are a lot of substantive matters on the agenda for this meeting – primarily on the City Manager’s Agenda and in a dozen City Council committee reports covering a range of topics. Here’s a sampler of some items that I found especially interesting. The meeting is taking place at the Attles Meeting Room at CRLS (where the School Committee usually meets).

Manager’s Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-43, regarding publishing a Cambridge Voter’s Guide to be distributed to each household in Cambridge a month before the 2017 municipal election.

Order #2. That the regular City Council meeting scheduled for Oct 24, 2016 be a Roundtable/Working meeting to discuss election issues with the Election Commission.   Mayor Simmons

My guess is that the best we can hope for on the City side will be an improved and expanded guide to PR voting, relevant dates, and a list of candidate names with addresses and possibly photos. Having assembled the Cambridge Candidate Pages for over a decade, I will attest to the fact that voters do want information about candidates, especially in the days immediately preceding the election, but asking the Election Commission (and inevitably the Law Department) to manage this will open a huge can of worms. It would be preferable to get local media outlets to work out a cooperative arrangement to make unbiased information available about municipal candidates. Better coordination of candidate forums would also be helpful, but that also is out of the hands of City officials.

Manager’s Agenda #11. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the appropriation of a $45,000 grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 604b Water Quality Management Planning Program, to be used to fund conceptual green street design plans for three public rights of ways, as well as guidance on green street implementation in space-constrained residential settings; with a focus on smaller scale reconstruction projects that are not part of larger utility reconstruction projects.

For those who haven’t yet seen some of the innovative stormwater management projects in West Cambridge and along Western Avenue, you should check them out. It would be great if more of these projects could be done on a smaller scale. If done right, street trees might actually have a chance to flourish.

Manager’s Agenda #14. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation on the "Friends of MAPOCO" Zoning Petition.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Leland Cheung, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on June 22, 2016 to discuss a petition by Peter B. Kroon, et al, also known as Friends of MAPOCO, to expand the requirements of the North Massachusetts Avenue Sub-district (Section 20.110) applicable generally within the portions of the Massachusetts Avenue Overlay District (MAOD) zoned Business A-2 (BA-2).

This zoning petition will likely now sail through to a 2nd Reading and eventual adoption as amended.

Manager’s Agenda #15. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to authorizing the Purchasing Agent to award a five (5) year, two (2) month contract to the successful proposer on the Metropolitan Area Planning Council Bike Share System RFP.

The idea is for Cambridge, Somerville, Boston, and Brookline to jointly put out a longer-term request for proposals in order to entice more vendors, hopefully allow for more consistency in service, and possibly get a better price.

Manager’s Agenda #29. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to pursuing the planning and development of a multi-use, bicycle and pedestrian pathway along the Grand Junction corridor that links East Cambridge, Kendall Square, MIT, and Cambridgeport, with potential connections into Boston and Somerville.

Manager’s Agenda #30. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Items Number 16-46 and 16-59, regarding the Grand Junction Greenway, including the status of construction, developer contributions, and the zoning overlay.

It’s nice to see the cooperation of the Mass. Dept. of Transportation in these efforts.

Manager’s Agenda #32. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-22, regarding the opposition to investment funds from the Retirement System.

Some of you may remember the extensive public testimony and countless communications on the topic of the Cambridge Retirement System divesting any funds from any entity that is in any way supporting the production or upgrading of nuclear weapons systems. As it turns out, this was a typical Cambridge tempest in a teapot. As this report states: "upon reviewing the summary, that the Fund’s investments in the production and/or upgrading of nuclear weapons systems is de minimis." I hope everyone at least had fun making their speeches and writing all those letters that all turned out to be about nothing.

Manager’s Agenda #33. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 16-54, regarding finding a long term solution to adding a dog park in East Cambridge by the end of 2016 and fencing in a temporary location for off leash use by the end of Summer, 2016.

Take note, politicos: There are a lot of Cambridge voters who really love their dogs and want places for them to run and play. Actually, there’s a lot more interest in dogs than in nuclear weapons divestment.

Manager’s Agenda #36. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the submission of the attached Home Rule Petition that would authorize the City of Cambridge to include in the planned reconstruction (the “Project”) of the King Open / Cambridge Street Upper School and Community Complex (“KOCSUS”) the area that is presently occupied by the public swimming pool known as the Gold Star Pool (the “Gold Star Pool Site”) and to construct subsurface geothermal wells in a portion of Donnelly Field that lies directly along and adjacent to the current southerly boundary of the KOCSUS site (the “School Site”).

This is really a formality, but I always find it interesting which things require state authorization and which things do not.

Manager’s Agenda #37. A communication transmitted from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the request that the City Council move to Executive Session.

Manager’s Agenda #38. Transmitting Communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the transfer of $42,655 within statutory accounts of the Public Investment Fund Community Development Extraordinary Expenditure account to complete the purchase of two parcels from the B&M Corporation for the purpose of creating a future multi-use path and greenway.

These items are about making the necessary purchases to complete the Cambridge-owned portion of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway along the now-abandoned railroad right-of-way. This will be a nice off-road addition when it’s finally complete a few years from now.

Applications & Petitions #3. An application was received from Pill Hardware, requesting permission for a display of merchandise in front of the premises numbered 748 Massachusetts Avenue.

Central SquareWhenever I hear people talk about preserving the "funkiness" of Central Square, I want to remind people that before Central Square was "funky" it was an incredibly vital shopping district. It’s really worth looking back at some of the available "Perceptual Form of the City" photos from over 50 years ago. This application to allow the display of mechandise on the sidewalk in front of Pill Hardware reminded me of one of those old photos. It’s also a scene you can see today in Inman Square. The image shown is actually the frontage where the Mass & Main project is planned. This is the kind of thing some of us would love to see in some form as Central Square rediscovers its past and defines its future. It doesn’t have to be just overpriced bars and restaurants.

Applications & Petitions #4. A zoning petition has been received from William Noyes Webster Foundation, Inc. to amend the provisions of the Medical Marijuana District Section 20.700 of the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance and Map.

Order #11. City Council support to Commonwealth Alternative Care to operate a Registered Marijuana Dispensary at 61 Mooney Street pursuant to local zoning and permitting.   Councillor Cheung

It should pretty clear by now that the way the City Council is handling the siting of medical marijuana dispensaries in totally wrong. Will there be a new zoning petition every time one of these facilities is proposed?

Resolution #6. Congratulations to Patrick and Norma Jean Barrett on the birth of their daughter Gemma Evelyn Barrett.   Councillor Toomey

Resolution #8. Congratulations to Jada Simmons and Toju Ononeme on their nuptials.   Councillor Toomey

Resolution #11. Resolution on the retirement of James Cullinane from the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department.   Mayor Simmons

This is a triple celebration – a birth, a marriage, and a retirement. Cambridge feels like such a little village sometimes.

Order #8. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Commissioner of Public Works with the intention of reinstating trash and recycling pick up for small businesses.   Councillor Toomey, Councillor Maher

This proposal has been made at various times over the last 25 years. A case can be made for this based on the fact that the commercial property tax rate is considerably higher than the residential tax rate and perhaps there should be some benefits to go along with the payment of those taxes. The additional cost and time could be significant, but perhaps there could at least be some accomodation for mixed residential/commercial buildings where the lines are often already intentionally blurred. [This happens, for example, right next door to me, and this has been the case for decades.]

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on how traffic laws pertaining to crosswalks are currently enforced throughout the City, whether there are any regions where the City has found motorists tend to ignore crosswalk laws, and whether there are additional methods of reporting violators, raising awareness of applicable laws, and enacting stricter laws to ultimately increase pedestrian safety.   Mayor Simmons

Traffic laws pertaining to crosswalks are enforced? That’s news to me. If we’re taking requests, how about let’s also start enforcing the requirement that motor vehicles must be parked less than a foot from the curb. That would make cycling safer. I never see that enforced.

Order #14. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Purchasing Department, the Community Development Department and any other appropriate departments to provide the City Council with an update on the status of the Classification of Commercial Land Use and Recommendations Study.   Councillor Devereux

This is included here only because I’m curious what’s behind it. [Read the Request for Proposals] The RFP says: "In short, the expected result of this study is a commercial land use classification system that makes sense in modern Cambridge, that would be understandable to all community members, and that would be able to effectively regulate commercial use types as they evolve. Based on the study recommendations, the City would determine how the zoning could be amended to fit the recommended system, through either targeted changes to the current ordinance or a more substantial restructuring of the Table of Use Regulations." Uh, OK.


Inclusionary Housing Committee Reports:
Committee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on May 31, 2016 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.

Committee Report #11. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons and Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Co-Chairs of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on July 11, 2016 to continue the discussion regarding the recently completed Inclusionary Housing Study and the Affordable Housing Trust’s recommendations to the City Council.

Committee Report #12. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Mayor E. Denise Simmons, Chair of the Housing Committee for a public hearing held on May 18, 2016 to discuss the recently completed Inclusionary Housing Study and will focus on receiving feedback from the community.

Some revisions to the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance seem inevitable later this year, but the economic foundations in the study still seem (to me) to be a bit shaky, especially the idea of increasing the net affordable housing percentage from 11.6% to 20% without any allowance for additional density. My first concern is that if the requirement is too high then it may be more economically advantageous to build something other than housing, e.g. labs. My other concern is that since zoning changes require a two-thirds vote for ordination there might never be the political will to actually lower the requirement even if the economics warrant a decrease. It would be better if there was some way to index the requirement based on current economics.


Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone, Co-Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on June 28, 2016 to discuss the parameters for a potential zoning proposal that includes the Volpe Transportation System Center.

The Volpe zoning dilemma is unique in that it is contrained not only by the funding mechanism for a new Volpe building and the need to ensure that a developer might actually be able to deliver a development without financial loss, but also by a range of competing interests from residents for housing and open space. This may not even be a solvable problem even though the potential benefits could be enormous.

Committee Report #7. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee and Mayor E. Denise Simmons and Vice Mayor Marc C. McGovern, Co-Chairs of the Housing Committee, for a joint public hearing held on July 19, 2016 to discuss the presence and impact of short-term rental units (Airbnb, FlipKey, VRBO, etc.) in Cambridge, and to hear suggestions from community members and operators on how best to address the challenges of this emerging market.

This was an incredibly informative hearing. My guess is that short-term rentals in owner-occupied buildings may get the blessing of the City Council but perhaps not so for residential properties that are effectively being operated as hotels by non-resident owner/investors. Another hearing on this topic is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3rd.

Committee Report #8. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations, Rules & Claims Committee, for a public hearing held on June 29, 2016 to receive an update regarding the City Manager’s Search in the Focus Groups that took place and the development of the draft profile.

I’m taking bets now on whether the City Council will successfully meet its proposed September 26 date for selecting the next City Manager. Even if they do make a decision by then, it’s likely that there will still be a period of time before the new City Manager can take the reins (unless it’s an internal candidate).

Committee Report #9. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on June 23, 2016 to discuss the proposed changes to the current liquor license regulations and the City Council policy goals on liquor licenses, economic development, the impact on neighborhoods and local businesses.

This was also an interesting hearing at which the rationale for these proposed changes was clarified.

Committee Report #10. A communication was received from Paula M. Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Nadeem Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts and Celebration Committee and Councillor Craig Kelley, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, for a public hearing held on July 19, 2016, to discuss safety issues as it relates to cyclist and pedestrians in Inman Square, and to hear suggestions from community members and on how best to address the safety challenges of this intersection.

This was a very well-attended meeting, especially by cyclists who were invited through various social media channels. The presentation by City officials was informative. The only down side was the manner in which attention to the safety of Inman Square was deflected by some, especially during public comment, toward other infrastructure proposals that have little to no bearing on the safety of this or any other Cambridge intersection. It was also interesting that numerous residents of Antrim Street were in attendence with concerns over the possiblity that one of the proposed realignment schemes might have the unintended consequence of redirecting more traffic onto Antrim Street.

Barring any emergencies, the next City Council meeting after this will be on September 12.

July 28, 2016

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 28, 2016)

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 12:27 pm

Current City Board and Commission Vacancies

Cambridge Planning Board Vacancy

July 28, 2016 – City 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.

City SealThe Planning Board includes seven members and two associate members. The Board meets approximately three times 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 résumé and a brief letter describing their interest via e-mail, mail or fax by Friday, August 26, 2016 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax: 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov


Members Sought for Cambridge Council on Aging Board

July 27, 2016 – The Cambridge Council on Aging is seeking interested individuals to serve on its board and help advocate for important senior issues. Applicants must be age 60 or older and a Cambridge resident.

City SealThe purpose of the Council on Aging Board is to: promote and encourage existing and new services and activities intended to enhance and improve the quality of life of older persons in the city; advise the City Manager on all matters pertaining to the welfare of elderly Cambridge citizens; and advocate for Cambridge elderly residents. Board members also support the Council on Aging and Senior Center staff with community outreach related to senior services, benefits, activities and programs.

Interested applicants should submit a letter describing any applicable experience by Friday, August 26, 2016 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax: 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

For more information, please contact the Executive Director of the Council on Aging, Susan Pacheco at 617-349-6220 or at spacheco@cambridgema.gov.


Nominations Sought for City Manager Search Process Preliminary Screening Committee

City SealJuly 21, 2016 – In anticipation of the expected great interest in the City Manager position, City officials are assembling a 19-member Preliminary Screening Committee, facilitated by its consultant, GovHR USA, to screen résumés and conduct preliminary interviews with the highest-qualified candidates. The Preliminary Screening Committee will determine the finalists to be presented to the City Council for their consideration.

The Preliminary Screening Committee will be composed of:

(4) City Council members;

(3) Resident representatives* (who have demonstrated advocacy in support of community needs);

(2) Business related representatives (with demonstrated partnership experience, ideally from a large and a small business);

(1) Representative from Cambridge School Committee or a senior School Department administrative representative;

(1) Public Safety representative (Police/Fire departments);

(1) Person with demonstrated knowledge of municipal finance;

(1) Health and Human Services/Public Health representative;

(1) Representative with knowledge of City Planning and Development (experience in urban design and transportation issues preferred);

(1) Higher education/institutional partner;

(1) Public art and/or recreational representative;

(1) Affordable housing advocate;

(1) Non-profit community representative;

(1) Representative who advocates for the quality of our community’s civic and social well-being;

* Please note: The total number of resident members will be significantly higher as many of the designated category representatives will be Cambridge residents.

Criteria for Preliminary Screening Committee Membership:
Committee members will be selected by their ability to represent one or more of the identified constituency groups. All applications will be reviewed and the goal is to select a broadly representative and diverse group of committed participants. Experience with executive recruitment is highly desirable. Availability is a key criteria. Participants must commit to each of the following three (3) predetermined days. Day one will be Thursday, Aug. 25 for participant training. The group will convene again for two consecutive days on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and Thursday, Sept. 8 to conduct candidate interviews. Meals will be provided. The Cambridge location for the training and interviews has yet to be determined. This phase of the City Manager hiring process is strictly confidential, and as a result, all Preliminary Screening Committee participants will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

How to become a member of the Preliminary Screening Committee:
To be considered for the Preliminary Screening Committee, applicants can either self-nominate or be nominated. Online applications are due by 5pm on Friday, August 12, 2016. The online application can be found on the City Manager Search webpage, www.cambridgema.gov/citymanagersearch.

Paper applications are available upon request from the Personnel Department, Cambridge City Hall, Room 309, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139, or by calling 617-349-4332. Completed paper applications must be submitted to the attention of Sheila Keady Rawson, Personnel Director, by 12pm on Friday, August 12, 2016.

If you would like to recommend a participant for consideration or have questions, please email managersearch2016@cambridgema.gov or call Sheila Keady Rawson at 617-349-4332.

The City of Cambridge appreciates your interest and extends its gratitude for your support of this search process. Community involvement and participation is critical to selecting the right and best new City Manager for our great city!


Cambridge Water Board Member Sought
Application Deadline Extended to August 19, 2016

City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking a Cambridge resident to fill a vacancy on the Cambridge Water Board.

City SealThe Cambridge Water Board is a five-member board appointed by the City Manager that acts in an advisory role to the Managing Director of the Cambridge Water Department. Members typically assist in developing, modifying and approving policy related to Water-Department owned land and land use.

The board generally meets on the second Tuesday of the month, from 5-6:30pm, at the Walter J. Sullivan Water Purification Facility, 250 Fresh Pond Parkway, Cambridge.

Interested persons should send a letter and/or resume via e-mail, mail or fax by Friday, August 19, 2016 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Fax: 617-349-4307
E-mail: citymanager@cambridgema.gov

Democratic Debate for 26th Middlesex State Representative [Tim Toomey vs. Mike Connolly]

On July 21, 2016, Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) and Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) hosted a debate between the 2 candidates for 26th Middlesex Representative district, incumbent Timothy Toomey and challenger Mike Connolly. The debate was produced and hosted by Joe Lynch, producer of Greater Somerville. Panelists included Donald Norton, publisher and editor in chief of the Somerville Times and Susana Segat, correspondent from Cambridge Community Television.



Democratic Debate for 26th Middlesex State Representative from Cambridge Community Television on Vimeo.

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