Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

September 19, 2015

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Sept 19, 2015)

Filed under: 2015 Election,Cambridge,City Council — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 2:23 pm

Catching Up on the Cambridge News (Sept 19, 2015)

First of all, there’s Danehy Park Family Day today! Don’t be surprised if you see a few City Council and School Committee candidates there working the crowd. There’s also the first City Council meeting of the fall this coming Monday (Sept 21). Any human beings out there may also be interested in serving on the City’s Human Services Commission (application deadline Sept 30).

How many City officials and Outdoor Lighting Ordinance Taskforce committee members does it take to change a light bulb?

Proposed Outdoor Lighting Ordinance (as of June 4, 2015)

Danehy Park Family Day Saturday, Sept 19

Danehy Park Family DaySept 3, 2015 – The City of Cambridge will host the 20th Annual Danehy Park Family Day on Saturday, Sept 19, from 11am-4pm.

Enjoy a fun-filled day of children’s amusement rides, arts and crafts, music and roving performers, plus free hot dogs, chips, sodas and T-shirts while supplies last! Check out performances throughout the day at the children’s stage. Other special giveaways include colorful kites that appeal to kids of all ages! The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 20. Danehy Park is a 55-acre facility located at 99 Sherman Street in North Cambridge (adjacent to Garden and New Streets). This free event, sponsored by the City of Cambridge, attracts over 4,000 people annually and offers something for everyone.

Shuttle buses will be running throughout Cambridge to provide transportation. Danehy Park can be reached by public transportation: #74 bus or #78 bus from Harvard Square; #83 bus from Central Square; or take a shuttle bus from the Alewife MBTA Station. Picnics and lawn chairs are encouraged.

For more information, call 617-349-4301 or visit

Bow Tie Ride – September 27

We’ll travel from east to west, on a two-hour, 13 mile route tracing the bow-tie shaped boundaries of the city. Meet at the Cambridge Library, 10 AM, Sunday, September 27 and join this celebration of biking on a beautiful autumn day.

Bow Tie Ride - 2015


Cambridge Human Services Commission Vacancies

City of CambridgeCity Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking Cambridge residents interested in volunteering to serve on the nine-member Human Services Commission.

The Commission advises the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager for Human Services on human services policy issues, needs assessment, and funding allocations. In collaboration with the Department of Human Service Programs, the Commission also promotes activities that enhance the quality of life for Cambridge residents.

Over the years, the Commission has responded to local needs by recommending Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for a wide range of programs offered by the City of Cambridge and community agencies.

Commission members serve without compensation. The Commission usually meets on the second Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:30pm, at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.

For more information, contact Mike Payack at 617-349-6208 or

Residents who wish to apply may send a letter of interest and resume by September 30 to:
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots for the Municipal Election, November 3rd

Vote!The 2016 Cambridge Municipal Election will be held on Tues, Nov 3, 2015. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wed, Oct 14, 2015 from 8:30am to 8pm.

Please contact the Cambridge Election Commission office to find out when the Absentee Ballots will be available. Any voter who is unable to go to the polls on Election Day due to physical disability, religious belief, or absence from the City may request an Absentee Ballot from the Commission by Noon on Mon, Nov 2, 2015. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular City office hours: Mon, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tues-Thurs, 8:30am-5:00pm; Fri, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for Absentee Voting on Fri, Oct 30 from 8:30am until 5:00pm and Sat, Oct 31 from 9:00am until 5:00pm. The polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00am until 8:00pm.

For any additional information, please visit the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street, call (617-349-4361) or visit our website at

Affordable Rental and Homeownership Programs Information Session Sept 22

Sept 3, 2015 – The Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department will be holding Rental and Homeownership Information Sessions on Tues, Sept 22, from 10am to 2pm, at the City Hall Annex, 2nd Floor Community Room, 344 Broadway, Cambridge.

Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs.
1st Session starts at 10am.
2nd Session starts at 11:30am.
3rd Session starts at 1pm.

Currently, the Housing Division is accepting applications for the Homeownership Pool and the Rental Applicant Pool. Preference is given to Cambridge residents and families with children.

For more information, please contact us at or 617-349-4622.

Middle-Income Rental Units Available in Cambridge

Sept 3, 2015 – The Housing Division of the City’s Community Development Department is introducing the availability of 15 rental units that are affordable to middle-income households. These units are located in a newly constructed, 91 unit mixed-income building in East Cambridge/Kendall Square.

Units are available to income and asset eligible households. There are 8 middle-income units for households with incomes between 80% and 100% of AMI and 7 units for households with incomes between 100% and 120% of AMI. Preference will be given to Cambridge residents and to families with children. There will be a one-time lottery to establish the order of applications. The application deadline for participation in the lottery is Thursday, Oct. 8 at 4pm.

Information sessions will be held on Thursday, Sept. 24, from 6-8pm, at the Citywide Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave. and on Tues, Sept 29 from 10am-1pm, at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

For more information, please contact us at or 617-349-4622.

Cambridge Council on Aging Public Forum on Too Much Stuff Sept 26

Sept 10, 2015 – Cambridge’s Council on Aging is hosting the public forum “Too Much Stuff” presented by Lee Shuer, Sat, Sept 26, from 9:30am-12pm, at the Cambridge Senior Center, 806 Mass. Ave.

Lee Shuer, is a self-defined “Finder/Keeper.” Lee is acknowledged as a leading proponent of self-help and peer support for making and sustaining progress towards a life less cluttered. Do you have too much stuff? Do you know someone who does? Is the clutter creating problems in your life? Are you willing to begin to examine this issue? If so, please join us.

This event is free, but registration is required. To register for this public forum, contact Liz Seelman at or call 617-349-6048.

Participatory Budgeting

The City is once again undertaking its Participatory Budgeting process. Idea Collection ended on August 31 and Proposal Development is now ongoing. Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project Proposals during Sept-Nov 2015. City staff vet proposals for Feasibility and Cost during Nov 2015. Residents will Vote on which projects they’d like the City to fund during Dec 5-12, 2015. Results will then be announced. Winning projects will then be included in the City’s FY17 capital budget (Dec 2015). The pilot PB process will later be Evaluated during Jan-Mar 2016 and projects will be Implemented July 2016 onward.

Evening Parking Improvements between Harvard and Porter Squares
Cambridge extends metered parking until 8:00pm in select areas

Harvard to Porter parking meter changesAug 3, 2015 – The City of Cambridge has increased the hours of metered parking to 8:00pm for select meters between Harvard Square and Porter Square. The new hours of 8:00am to 8:00pm are currently being enforced. This change, which affects meters on Mass. Ave. between the Cambridge Common and Russell Street, Oxford Street between Kirkland Street and Garfield Street, Wendell Street between Mass. Ave. and Oxford Street, and Kirkland Street between Oxford Street and Divinity Street, follows similar alterations to metered parking hours in Harvard Square and Kendall Square.

“This section of Mass. Ave. has a great mix of restaurants, stores, and services that create a vibrant and interesting experience for residents and visitors, and we want to help support this neighborhood with how we manage our streets,” says Joseph Barr, Director of Traffic, Parking & Transportation. “Extending the hours on the meters will help create more parking opportunities for patrons visiting local businesses, contributing to the ongoing success of this unique part of Cambridge.”

Previously, metered parking spaces in this area were free and unrestricted from 6:00pm to 8:00am the following morning, which had led to some use of the spaces as overnight parking. The new hours will help to limit this practice and ensure that the spaces are used as they were intended – to increase parking options for visitors and residents.

Following a similar extension of metered parking hours last year in Kendall Square, data collected from meters in the area indicated increased turnover, and therefore greater parking availability, in the evenings. The extreme weather conditions of the past winter make it difficult, however, to quantify these changes exactly.

The rate for parking at a meter, which is $1/hour, remains the same. Signage has been updated to reflect the change, and all affected meters have been marked with a decal notifying the user of the new hours.

For additional information contact Brad Gerratt, Assistant Director of Parking Management, at or 617-349-4722.

Cambridge GIS Creating Story Maps to Promote City Resources and Events

July 17, 2015Cambridge GIS (Geographic Information Systems) is always working towards finding new and better ways to get Cambridge geographic data out to the public. The GIS team supplies datasetsservices, and applications to city staff and department websites that host GIS maps and apps, as well as to visitors of the GIS website.

The GIS website is a portal not only to interactive mapping applications, static map setsmobile GIS, the GIS data dictionary and downloads, but it also has unique tools for exploring Cambridge through the custom address specific dashboard called myCambridge.

The GIS team recently started using Story Map Applications to promote some of the city’s great resources and events.  Story Maps are simple to create, easy to use, and accessible across all devices. They use geography as a means of organizing and presenting information. Story Maps can combine interactive maps with other rich content such as text, photos, video, audio, and web links all in one seamless experience. They are diverse, flexible, and can be applied to almost any theme.

This week, two new Story Maps went live highlighting Soofa Solar-Charging Benches and the 2015 Summer Food Programs.  Other resource oriented Story Maps include City Departments, Community Gardens, Historic Landmarks, Cambridge Public Schools and Watershed Points of Interest.

The project is just beginning and GIS hopes to continue to grow and expand and share these amazing stories with the Cambridge community.  For more information or to view our Story Map Gallery, please visit us at

Want to keep up with what’s new in Cambridge GIS? Follow CambridgeGIS on Twitter for all the mapping and spatial data updates.

Hello Recycling & Composting Neighbors! – September-October 2015

recycling symbol

Curbside Pickup of Food Scraps Expands! Oct 19
Volunteers Needed for Door to Door & Schools
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept 12 and Oct 17
Shredding Event Oct 17
Fixer Fair Oct 24

Curbside Pickup of Food Scraps Expands! 10/19

Curbside pickup of food scraps is expanding in Cambridge! The pilot program of 600+ households in North Cambridge was so successful that it will expand to 5,000 more households in the Monday route. From October 6-14, eligible residences with 12 units or less and City trash service will get: how-to instructions, a kitchen bin with compostable bags, a green curbside bin (to share at multi-family buildings). Free weekly collection begins Monday, October 19.

Volunteer to knock on doors and educate North Cambridge households!

Visit CambridgeMA.Gov/CompostPickup for more info.

Volunteers Needed for Door to Door & Schools

School cafeterias in September

Love kids? Love composting? Volunteer in September (or throughout the school year) to remind students “what goes where” and why to compost and recycle. Breakfast shifts are ~7:30am-8:30am and lunch shifts arre ~11:00am-1:15pm. You can help the continued success of the school composting programs! Please email to learn more and join the team.

Door to Door in North Cambridge in October

Curbside pickup of food scraps expands in Cambridge October 19! Thousands of eligible residences will get green bins, bags, and instructions in early October. We need 40-50 volunteers to knock on doors for 2-3 hours on four weeknights: Thurs 10/8, Tues 10/13, Wed 10/14, and Thurs 10/15. DPW staff will provide each volunteer with canvassing supplies and training. Help educate residents and maximize participation, reduce waste, and protect our climate. Click here to sign up and thank you!

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Sept 12 & Oct 17

  • Saturday, Sept 12, 9am-1pm, Danehy Park Parking Lot on Field St at Fern St.
  • Saturday, Oct 17, 9am-1pm, Volpe Transportation Lot 4 (via Munroe off 3rd St.)

Cambridge residents only, bring proof of residency. We accept auto fluids, batteries (non alkaline), car tires, glues, medications, mercury items, paint products, solvents, and propane tanks (20 lbs or less). If the product label includes the words POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION, bring to HHW day. Click here for more info including alternative options and what you can bring to the Recycling Center during open hours.

Shredding Event Oct 17

The Cambridge Consumers’ Council and US Postal Service are offering a free document shredding on Saturday, October 17 from 10am-2pm, in front of Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass Ave, rain or shine. Members of the public can securely dispose of personal and confidential paper documents. Documents will be destroyed on the spot in a highly advanced technical mobile shredding truck and sent for recycling. Limited drop-off parking will be available on both Mass Ave and Bigelow Street. Please call the Consumers Council at 617.349.6150 or email

Fixer Fair Oct 24

The Somerville Arts Council is sponsoring another Fixer Fair on October 24 from 3pm-7pm, Union Square Plaza, organized by the Somerville Tool Library. Fixer Fair is a free, public, outdoor event devoted to repair! Cambridge residents are totally welcome. We’re collecting fixers, tinkers, sewers, carpenters, electricians and all sorts of folks to help organize the Fair. The Somerville Tool Library will also have a table and we’re specifically interested in Tool Library members who would be willing to staff that area, explain to attendees how the tool library works and accept tool donations.

If you’re interested in participating in any way, please email with your availability, interests, questions & suggestions!

Know 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

  • Missed recycling or trash? Please use iReport or call DPW at 617-349-4800 no later than 12 noon the day after collection to make a request.
  • Request for toters, brochures, stickers or posters? Use our online form.
  • During holidays weeks, trash, recycling and yard waste collection is delayed one day. Check the 2015 collection schedule online for full details.
  • During winter, Clear snow to curb so collection crews can access your trash barrels and recycling toters so that they are not behind snow banks. For more info click here. Thank you.

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