Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

July 18, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 241-242: July 18, 2017

Episode 241 – Cambridge InsideOut: July 18, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on July 18, 2017 at 5:30pm. The featured guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Alanna Mallon. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Episode 242 – Cambridge InsideOut: July 18, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on July 18, 2017 at 6:00pm. The featured guest was Cambridge School Committee candidate Will MacArthur. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

July 13, 2017

Cambridge City Manager Announces New Police Commissioner

Branville G. Bard Jr. of Philadelphia, PA Selected

Branville G. BardJuly 13, 2017 – City Manager Louis A. DePasquale today announced that Branville G. Bard, Jr. has been selected as Cambridge’s Police Commissioner.

"I am pleased to appoint Mr. Bard as our next Police Commissioner. He has a proven track record and will be a strong leader for our 21st-century Police Department," City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said. "I am confident that under Mr. Bard’s leadership, the Cambridge Police Department (CPD) will continue growing its commitment to community policing, crime prevention, cultural awareness and sensitivity, department-wide equity and inclusiveness, procedural justice, and visionary, effective, and strong police leadership."

Bard currently serves as the Chief of Police and the Director of Public Safety for the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Police Department. Prior to this, he served in numerous positions for the Philadelphia Police Department, including Police Inspector, and Police Captain for the 22nd District. Bard holds a Doctorate in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. Bard’s contract is for 3 years with a starting salary of $210,125 ($205,000 base salary with a 2.5% cost of living increase that went into effect July 1). His first official day as Commissioner is August 21.

"It is a tremendous honor to be appointed as the next Commissioner of the Cambridge Police Department," Bard said. "This is a nationally regarded and accomplished department and I am committed to building on the success of CPD’s talented and established personnel, programs and collaborations."

"I am pleased that we were able to involve so many people in the Commissioner search process and that the public was able to hear directly from Mr. Bard during the process," City Manager DePasquale said "I hope the entire community will join me in welcoming incoming Commissioner Bard and I look forward to introducing him to the community in the coming months."

A full timeline of the process is available at http://camb.ma/BardTimeline. [Branville Bard’s resume]

July 11, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 239-240: July 11, 2017

Episode 239 – Cambridge InsideOut: July 11, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on July 11, 2017 at 5:30pm. In addition to civic updates, we ran through the list of candidates who have pulled nomination papers for City Council and School Committee. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Episode 240 – Cambridge InsideOut: July 11, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on July 11, 2017 at 6:00pm. We covered some basic Cambridge PR election history (especially the probability of an incumbent being ousted when there are multiple vacancies), and the status of short-term rental regulation. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

July 6, 2017

Current City of Cambridge Board and Commission Vacancies (July 6, 2017)

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 12:10 pm

Members Sought for Historic and Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions

July 5, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking to fill vacancies for members and alternate members on the Cambridge Historical Commission, Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) Commission, Half Crown-Marsh NCD Commission and Mid Cambridge NCD Commission.

City SealThe Cambridge Historical Commission, a body of seven members and three alternates, establishes historic preservation policy for the city and administers two historic districts, the Harvard Square Conservation District, the citywide landmark and demolition ordinances, and the preservation grant program for rehabilitation assistance.

Neighborhood Conservation Districts were established by City ordinance beginning in 1983. NCD designation recognizes the particular design qualities of distinctive neighborhoods and encourages their protection and maintenance for the benefit of the entire city. The three NCD commissions in Cambridge each include five members and three alternates. Most members must be residents of the neighborhoods. More information and maps of the Avon Hill, Half Crown-Marsh, and Mid Cambridge NCDs are available at cambridgema.gov/historic/districtsHistoricProperties/districtsmap.

Each of the four volunteer commissions meets monthly. All are supported by the professional staff of the Historical Commission. Applicants should have an interest in architecture, local history or neighborhood preservation and be committed to protecting the historic resources and built environment of the City. Appointments to the Commission are made by the City Manager with regard to a diversity of viewpoints. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply.

Individuals interested in being considered should apply by using the city’s online application system at cambridgema.gov/apply and selecting the relevant commission(s). 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 Monday, August 14, 2017.


City Manager Seeks Members for Vacancies on the Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC)

July 5, 2017 – Cambridge City Manager Louis DePasquale is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship (CIRC).

City SealThe 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 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 Monday, August 14, 2017.

June 27, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 237-238: June 27, 2017

Episode 237 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 27, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on June 27, 2017 at 5:30pm. Our guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Paul Toner. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Learn more about Paul Toner at: tonerforcambridge.com.


Episode 238 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 27, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on June 27, 2017 at 6:00pm. Topics: June 26 City Council meeting and upcoming events. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in these episodes]

Benefit for Comedian Jimmy Smith – Thursday, June 29

Filed under: Cambridge,schools — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 8:42 am

Benefit for Comedian Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Tingle hosts "Humor for Humanity," a benefit for fellow Cambridge comedian Jimmy Smith, on Thursday, June 29 at 7:30pm at the Regent Theater, 7 Medford Street, Arlington. Guests include Tony V, Mike Donovan, Mike McDonald, Lenny Clarke, Christine Hurly, Jack Gallagher and musical guests Erie Blue Band. Tickets available http://regenttheatre.com.

Jimmy was also a CRLS teacher.

Jimmy Smith Benefit - June 29, 2017

June 25, 2017

Here Comes Summer – Featured Attractions for the June 26, 2017 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:19 pm

Here Comes Summer – Featured Attractions for the June 26, 2017 Cambridge City Council meeting

On Vacation - See you in AugustThe City Council goes on Summer Vacation after this meeting except for what will likely be a fun-filled Midsummer Meeting on August 7. Here are a few items that drew my attention this week:

Manager’s Agenda #1. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-31, regarding a report on the status of the Community Garden program.

This is useful information. However, any property owner can make space available for gardeners – residential property owners, institutional owners, and others. Even the narrowest strips of land can be gardened. Some of the best community gardens in Cambridge have been on private property.


Manager’s Agenda #5. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 17-6, regarding an analysis and evaluation of "pop up" bicycle lanes.

Order #10. That the City Manager is requested to work with the appropriate City departments to accelerate the planning and installation of two or more protected bike lanes by September, to produce a plan by October 2017 for the roll-out of protected bike lanes on all major city thoroughfares, to ensure that the Bike Plan recommendations are fully implemented on all road projects, and that additional infrastructure changes to provide for safety are implemented when possible.   Councillor Devereux, Councillor Carlone, Councillor Cheung, Vice Mayor McGovern

First, don’t count on there being any actual analysis and evaluation of the "pop up" bicycle lanes. Unless there’s a fatality in one of them they’ll remain regardless how dysfunctional or unnecessary thay may be. As for this latest Council order on the subject, I’m now finally starting to get a sense of what the word "progressive" really means – pushing through changes with minimal analysis and without consulting those affected under the belief that they will one day agree with you. In other words – the opposite of actual democracy. There is a place for segregated bike paths – primarily along arterial roadways, but there are plenty of reasons why they are not ideal for streets with many cross streets and driveways. They also send the rather clear message that cyclists are not welcome on the road and they should stay on the sidewalk like obedient children.


Manager’s Agenda #7. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to the Street Performers Ordinance as well as Arts Council staffing and programming.

Not much to say here – just interesting information.

Manager’s Agenda #8. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Numbers 17-46, 17-47, 17-48 and 17-49, short term rentals.

The regulation of short term rentals has become the central legislative theme for this year. There will be at least one more Ordinance Committee meeting to refine things, and ordination is expected at the Midsummer meeting (August 7).

Manager’s Agenda #9. A communication transmitted from Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager, relative to an amendment to the City’s previous submission of a Home Rule Petition to the Legislature whereby I requested authorization 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 “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.

Again, not much to say here – just interesting information.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Affordable Housing Trust with the view in mind of immediately contacting the Episcopal Divinity School to begin negotiations for the purchase of 8-acre Episcopal Divinity School site for construction of critically needed affordable housing units including single occupancy spaces and middle income housing, particularly housing for eligible Cambridge residents, families, starter apartments for young adults, veterans, homeless and seniors who have been displaced. [Charter Right exercised by Vice Mayor McGovern on June 19, 2017.]

It’s very unlike that any portion of this site will become available for subsidized housing – for a variety of reasons. It is, however, fun to listen to the well-heeled activists come up with creative ways to oppose it while still trying to look like high-minded progressives. For this, thank you Councillor Toomey for filing the Order.

Unfinished Business #10. An amendment to the Municipal Code Ordinance that Title 8 entitled “Health and Safety” be amended by adding a new Chapter 8.69 entitled “Running Bamboo Ordinance.” The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after June 26, 2017.

Perhaps this will be ordained at this meeting. My only question is: "What will the Cambridge City Council ban next?"


Applications & Petitions #2. A rezoning petition has been received from MIT/GSA Volpe to amend the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance by adding a new Section 13.90 to Article 13.000 and amend the Zoning Map to add new PUD-7 District.

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 7, 2017 to have a general discussion to receive an update on the planning that has been going on for the Volpe Project. [appended materials]

This has been a long time coming. If you want to learn more and participate, MIT is hosting a workshop on Thurs, June 29 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm in the Kendall Marriott hotel. There will be plenty of other opportunities in the future to be heard.


Order #1. City Council support of Massachusetts House of Representatives bill H.3542, legislation to establish a Massachusetts Infrastructure Bank designed to encourage borrowing and facilitate growth for municipalities.   Councillor Carlone, Councillor Mazen, Councillor Devereux

It’s an interesting idea, but my sense is that it would make more sense for municipalities facing far greater challenges and with fewer resources than Cambridge. Our AAA bond rating has its advantages.

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested work with the Department of Public Works and the Cambridge Arts Council to formally review the use of the Fern Street path as currently designed and consider options to ensure that the path functions as a safe, shared bicycle and pedestrian path and to work with the Department of Public Works to consider whether it is appropriate and feasible for a skateboarding feature to be included at Danehy Park.   Councillor Devereux

The planners delivered a skate park that was never mentioned when they were selling the concept to neighbors as an artsy bike path.

Order #7. That the City Manager is requested to confer with Department of Public Works and Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) staff and other relevant City officials to determine if new facilities are needed by either DPW or CFD to best carry out their respective missions in the future and, if so, what type of facilities they would need and how much space that would require and where they might possibly be located.   Councillor Kelley, Councillor Toomey, Vice Mayor McGovern

This is an important matter that has to be explored, but sufficiently large sites are disappearing fast – especially in parts of the city where access to and from the site can be done efficiently.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor Jan Devereux, Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee, for a public hearing held on May 17, 2017 to discuss updates and data collected thus far for the Retail Strategic Plan, and other matters pertaining to the Study. [appended materials]

This continues to be an interesting topic both in the committee and as part of the Envision Cambridge process. That said, the City doesn’t control economics or consumer habits, so the best we can do will always be a good guess. – Robert Winters

June 20, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 235-236: June 20, 2017

Episode 235 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 20, 2017 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on June 20, 2017 at 5:30pm. Our guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Sean Tierney. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Learn more about Sean Tierney at: seantierney.org.


Episode 236 – Cambridge InsideOut: June 20, 2017 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on June 20, 2017 at 6:00pm. Our guest was Cambridge City Council candidate Adriane Musgrave. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

Learn more about Adriane Musgrave at: voteadriane.com.

Adriane’s Campaign Kickoff event is June 24 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at Christopher’s in Porter Square.

[Materials used in these episodes]

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