Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 19, 2018

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

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:50 pm

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

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

  • River Street subsurface: Replace aging utility infrastructure so that critical utility services can continue to be provided to the community, and enhance the ability of the sewer and drainage systems to handle large storm events, in a sustainable manner, in an era of climate change;
  • River Street surface: Create a streetscape design that enables people to travel safely and comfortably by various modes, while enhancing the neighborhood context, meeting environmental goals, and supporting local businesses;
  • Carl Barron Plaza: Redesign the major public open space of Central Square, including considerations of public art, fixed and/or unfixed furniture, circulation, access, plantings, and landscaping.

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

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

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

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, October 12, 2018.


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

City SealSept 18, 2018 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC). The Commission consists of 11 volunteer members, who are appointed by the City Manager, following an application and interview process. The term of the appointment is three years. Commissioners are expected to be knowledgeable about immigrant rights and citizenship and must be residents of Cambridge. It is desirable for this Commission to be fully representative of the diverse Cambridge community.

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

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

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at www.cambridgema.gov/apply. A cover letter and résumé or summary of applicable experience can be submitted during the online application process. Paper applications are available in the City Manager’s Office at Cambridge City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue. The deadline for submitting applications is not yet determined.

September 18, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 339-340: Sept 18, 2018

Episode 339 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 18, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 18, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: 3rd CD recount result, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, recycling updates, electric scooters, retail and vacant storefronts. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 340 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 18, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 18, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: Sept 17 City Council meeting, Inman Sq. configuration to move ahead, rainwater and flat roof zoning petition, Envision Cambridge updates (Affordable Housing Overlay, Super-Inclusionary Zoning, Environment Performance Incentive proposals), and more. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

September 16, 2018

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

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:50 pm

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

City HallThe boys and girls return to the playground this week. Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Manager’s Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to recommendations of the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPAC) for FY2019.

80% housing, 10% open space, 10% historic preservation – same as every year. Not negotiable.

Manager’s Agenda #4. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a recommended appointment of the following person as a member of the Cambridge Housing Authority for a term of 5 years: Elaine DeRosa

I cannot think of a better choice for this important appointment.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Sumbul Siddiqui, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on Wed, June 20, 2019 to discuss the potential for a City-based Cannabis Social Equity Program, focusing on ways to reduce barriers to entry in the commercial Cannabis industry.

Manager’s Agenda #6. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Cannabis Zoning Petition with suggested revisions and additional considerations.

I’m a little curious about this: "Board members suggested further study of whether mobile facilities could be allowed, given that a mobile facility operating on a temporary basis might provide lower barriers to entry for small businesses that cannot afford typical retail rents." Are they talking about pot trucks to go along with the food trucks? When I was a kid there was a Good Humor Man who got caught selling dope out of his ice cream truck. Nowadays they’d just call that economic empowerment.

Manager’s Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the reappointment of the following persons as a members of the Library Board of Trustees: Karen Kosko, Patricia Payne and Nancy Woods.

Excellent appointments all around.

Applications & Petitions #3. An application was received from the Office of the Mayor McGovern requesting permission for a temporary banner across Massachusetts Avenue in front of City Hall promoting the Indigenous Peoples’ Day from Oct 3, 2018 thru Oct 15, 2018.

Most people just celebrate this as Day Off. No banner necessary.

Resolution #3. Resolution on the death of Frances (DeGuglielmo) Tingle.   Councillor Simmons, Councillor Toomey

Resolution #6. Retirement of Attorney David Sullivan from the Massachusetts State Senate.   Mayor McGovern

Resolution #29. Retirement of William"Bill" Dwyer from the Department of Public Works.   Mayor McGovern

One thing not everyone knows is that the Department of Public Works is a community with many people who work for decades, sometimes their entire working life, within DPW. Retirements of people like Bill Dwyer are a very big deal indeed.

Order #1. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Community Development Department to establish a Senior Living Overlay District at the current site of Sancta Maria Nursing Facility to encourage and incentivize redevelopment specifically for continuum of care services.   Councillor Mallon

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

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate City departments and relevant housing partners to aggressively attempt to obtain, or help others obtain, the Santa Maria property for purposes of affordable housing.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Mayor McGovern

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

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Police Commissioner to increase enforcement of the Bike Lane Bill to keep our bicycle infrastructure free and unobstructed.   Mayor McGovern, Vice Mayor Devereux, Councillor Zondervan

Does this apply to Really Bad Bicycle Infrastructure (RBBI)?

Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to report back to the City Council on the tax status, zoning history, and sale of The Constellation Center’s Parcel C in Kendall Square.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey

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

Order #12. That the City Manager is requested to work with the Economic Development Division to regularly update the vacant property database as well as review the strategies presented in the Storefront Vacancies Best Practices Report and report back on the feasibility of implementing these recommendations.   Councillor Siddiqui, Councillor Mallon, Councillor Zondervan, Councillor Carlone

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

Order #13. That the City Manager is requested to direct the City Solicitor to provide a legal opinion on a Motion to Rescind.   Councillor Zondervan

Order #14. That the City Council rescind its vote of July 30, 2018 failing to send the climate safety (Brown, et al) petition to a second reading, thereby taking no action on the petition.   Councillor Zondervan

Our petulant Councillor Zondervan continues to stomp his feet in protest over the failure of the Nakagawa-Brown petition to be passed to a 2nd Reading. First he tried to file reconsideration, and now he wants to go for the legislative equivalent of annulment. I am not a lawyer (IANAL) and I have no prior knowledge of anyone ever looking to do pull a "Motion to Rescind" on a prior vote, but consider the ramifications of such a thing. A local legislature votes on a zoning matter (one way or another) and the matter is finalized. A property owner then happily goes to the bank to secure financing now that the road has been cleared. Then a month or so later the local legislature comes back and cries "Do Over" like that annoying kid who didn’t like the fact that the other kids prevailed in the ball game.

Committee Report #5. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 13, 2018 to discuss revisions to the proposed Municipal Code amendment to create a new chapter 12.22 entitled “Surveillance Technology Ordinance;” said revisions were submitted to the City Council on June 25, 2018.

The interesting aspect of this (at least to me) is the legal separation of authority under the City Charter. The City Council may be the body that sets general policies, but can you imagine the ensuing chaos of having the Cambridge City Council micromanaging how the Cambridge Police Department conducts its day-to-day operations or how it responds to an emergency situation? It’s one thing to set parameters and maintain a dialogue, but police investigations should not be arbitrarily constrained by people trained more in politics than in police work.

Committee Report #6. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on July 23, 2018 to discuss a proposed amendment to the Municipal Code in Chapter 10.17 entitled “Vehicle Trip Reduction Ordinance” in section 10.17.070 entitled “Fees for Residential Parking Stickers.”

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

Committee Report #8. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Dennis J. Carlone and Councillor Craig A. Kelley, Co-Chairs of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 8, 2018 to discuss City Council petition to amend the Zoning Ordinance in Article 5.000 as it relates to rainwater and flat roofs.

As an owner of a triple-decker with a flat roof, I completely understand the concerns about clogged drains and why someone might seek an alternative design. The ideas in this zoning petition have merit. The only issue should be how to ensure that one person’s cure is not another person’s cause of trouble, i.e. rainwater being diverted to an unwelcome place. – Robert Winters

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 337-338: Sept 11, 2018

Episode 337 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 11, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 11, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: Sept 11 comments, modern campaign realities, Primary Election results, 3rd Congressional District recount, Ranked Choice Voting, and Bill Galvin. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 338 – Cambridge InsideOut: Sept 11, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Sept 11, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: 3rd CD recount, the case for Ranked Choice Voting, shortcomings of top-two runoffs, Capuano-Pressley election outcome and dynamics, voter turnout, November election outlook, some history of Question 9 (rent control), return of the City Council, Inman Sq. redesign questions, Envision Cambridge updates – development scenarios and likely pushback, quadrupling density and the proposed Affordable Housing Overlay, and ignoring traffic issues. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

August 29, 2018

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 335-336: Aug 28, 2018

Episode 335 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 28, 2018 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 28, 2018 at 5:30pm. Topics: Sept 4 Primary, Emerald Ash Borer. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]


Episode 336 – Cambridge InsideOut: Aug 28, 2018 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Aug 28, 2018 at 6:00pm. Topics: new voting machines, MIT graduate student housing, new developments in Kendall Square, Alewife, Harvard Square. Hosts: Judy Nathans, Robert Winters [On YouTube] [audio]

[Materials used in these episodes]

August 25, 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Primary – List of Offices & Candidates (Cambridge)

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , , , — Robert Winters @ 9:00 pm

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 Primary – List of Offices & Candidates (Cambridge)

If you are registered with any political party, you may only vote in that party’s primary. Unenrolled voters may choose to vote in any party primary. Choosing to vote in a particular party’s primary does NOT enroll you as a member of that party.

[Check your voter registration status]     [Where do I vote?]

Democratic Primary Republican Primary Libertarian Primary
SENATOR IN CONGRESS
ELIZABETH A. WARREN, 24 Linnaean St., Cambridge GEOFF DIEHL, 10 Village Way, Whitman
JOHN KINGSTON, 16 Chestnut St., Winchester
BETH JOYCE LINDSTROM, 161 Wharton Row, Groton
NO NOMINATION
GOVERNOR
JAY M. GONZALEZ, 62 Putnam St., Needham
BOB MASSIE, 140 Sycamore St., Somerville
CHARLES D. BAKER, 49 Monument Ave., Swampscott
SCOTT D. LIVELY, 453 State St., Springfield
NO NOMINATION
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
QUENTIN PALFREY, 683 Boston Post Rd., Weston
JIMMY TINGLE, 27 Lawrence St., Cambridge
KARYN E. POLITO, 2 Tatassit Cir., Shrewsbury NO NOMINATION
ATTORNEY GENERAL
MAURA HEALEY, 40 Winthrop St., Boston JAMES R. McMAHON, III, 14 Canal View Rd., Bourne
DANIEL L. SHORES, 2706 Hockley Dr., Hingham
NO NOMINATION
SECRETARY OF STATE
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN, 46 Lake St., Boston
JOSH ZAKIM, 177 Commonwealth Ave., Boston
ANTHONY M. AMORE, 182 Norfolk Ave., Swampscott NO NOMINATION
TREASURER
DEBORAH B. GOLDBERG, 37 Hyslop Rd., Brookline KEIKO M. ORRALL, 120 Crooked Ln., Lakeville NO NOMINATION
AUDITOR
SUZANNE M. BUMP, 6 Hoe Shop St., Easton HELEN BRADY, 1630 Monument St., Concord DANIEL FISHMAN,
36 Colgate Rd., Beverly
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS – FIFTH DISTRICT (Wards 3-2A, 4-2, 4-3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10-1, 10-2) – MAP
KATHERINE M. CLARK, 64 Prospect St., Melrose JOHN HUGO, 20 Walnut St., Woburn
LOUIS KUCHNIR, 15 Foxhill Dr., Southborough
NO NOMINATION
REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS – SEVENTH DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2, 3-1, 3-2, 3-3, 4-1, 5, 10-3, 11)MAP
MICHAEL E. CAPUANO, 172 Central St., Somerville
AYANNA S. PRESSLEY, 1910 Dorchester Ave., Boston
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
COUNCILLOR (Governor’s Council) – SIXTH DISTRICT
TERRENCE W. KENNEDY, 3 Stafford Rd., Lynnfield NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – SECOND MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 9, 10, 11) – MAP
PATRICIA D. JEHLEN, 67 Dane St., Somerville NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – MIDDLESEX & SUFFOLK DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2-1, 3, 4-2, 6, 7, 8)MAP
SAL N. DiDOMENICO, 125 Clarence St., Everett NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Senate – FIRST SUFFOLK & MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 2-2, 2-3, 4-1, 4-3, 5)MAP
JOSEPH A. BONCORE, 39 Sagamore Ave., Winthrop NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-FOURTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Ward 11-1, 11-3) – MAP
DAVID M. ROGERS, 18 Richard Ave., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-FIFTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 4, 6-2, 6-3, 7, 8, 10-1, 10-2) – MAP
MARJORIE C. DECKER, 29 Raymond St., Cambridge
LESLEY REBECCA PHILLIPS, 1643 Cambridge St., Cambridge
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-SIXTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 1, 2-1, 3, 6-1) – MAP
MIKE CONNOLLY, 4 Ashburton Pl., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – TWENTY-NINTH MIDDLESEX DISTRICT (Wards 9, 10-3, 11-2) – MAP
JONATHAN HECHT, 159 Russell Ave., Watertown NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
State Representative – EIGHTH SUFFOLK DISTRICT (Wards 2-2, 2-3, 5) – MAP
JAY D. LIVINGSTONE, 311 Commonwealth Ave., Boston NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
CLERK OF COURTS – MIDDLESEX COUNTY
MICHAEL A. SULLIVAN, 42 Huron Ave., Cambridge NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
REGISTER OF DEEDS – MIDDLESEX SOUTHERN DISTRICT
MARIA C. CURTATONE, 37 Munroe St., Somerville NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION
DISTRICT ATTORNEY – NORTHERN DISTRICT
MARIAN T. RYAN, 8 Bradford Rd., Belmont
DONNA PATALANO, 12 Norwood St., Winchester
NO NOMINATION NO NOMINATION

August 24, 2018

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:49 am

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Confirmed in Cambridge

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Treat – If you have not yet begun a treatment program, we recommend that you work with a certified arborist to develop an ongoing treatment plan for your Ash tree. It is far more cost-effective to treat a healthy Ash tree than it is to remove it. You can find a certified arborist at www.massarbor.org.
  • Remove – Dead and dying trees become a risk for public safety. Remove and replace unhealthy Ash trees with different species. Doing nothing may put you and your property at unnecessary risk.

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

Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet (DCR)

August 22, 2018

New ImageCast Voting System for the City of Cambridge

Filed under: Cambridge,elections — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:29 am

New ImageCast Voting System for the City of Cambridge

The City of Cambridge is thrilled to announce the launch of the newly acquired ImageCast Vote Tabulators which will be utilized for the first time for the upcoming State Primary, Tuesday, September 4, 2018. We wanted to give our voters a brief introduction to the new equipment to provide a glimpse of what to expect on Election Day. While the design of the new tabulator is similar to the AccuVote system used in past elections, there are some new features which improve its usability. The new design makes it easier to navigate and is more user-friendly. Election workers at each polling location have been trained to assist the voter, if needed, during their introduction to the new equipment. One of the new features of the ImageCast Vote Tabulator is that the voter will be able to see if their ballot has been cast successfully or if a ballot error has been detected. If an error is detected, the voter will be provided with the option of having the ballot returned to them to make the correction or to cast the ballot without correction. After an option has been selected by the voter they will then proceed with casting their ballot. Voters are advised to watch the LCD screen on the tabulator to confirm that their ballot has been successfully cast.

ImageCast ImageCast

PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: