Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

December 14, 2009

Dec 14, 2009 City Council Agenda Highlights

Filed under: City Council — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 12:53 pm

Dec 14, 2009 City Council Agenda Highlights

Tonight’s meeting will be the next to last of the 2008-09 City Council term with one more to go next Monday. It’s notable how the number of Council Orders and Resolutions drops precipitously after Election Day. The City Manager has 7 responses to City Council requests on his agenda (dealing with parking, police details, the Red Line, tree wells, railroad tracks, trash pickup, and scabies), but we are blessed with just 3 new City Council Orders. Fortunately, Councillor Davis submitted the following Order before flying the coop on her way to Copenhagen:

Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the appropriate departments including the Inspectional Services Department and the City Solicitor to report back to the 2010 City Council in January on what barriers would prevent residents from raising chickens and what could be done to remove these barriers.   Councillor Davis

I have met these chickens and I hope we can provide them legal, affordable housing in Cambridge. This reminds me of the rooster that used to live behind a house on Columbia street diagonally behind the Squirrel Brand Community Garden (before the City sacrificed half the garden to build an underutilized mini-park in the name of community access – but I digress). I don’t know whether the rooster died or was evicted, but it was once a marvelous thing to hear the cock crow while visiting that garden. I’m sure the “new people” moving into the neighborhood did not appreciate that bird as I did.

So, let’s change the ordinances to allow the chickens to come home to roost. Maybe we should get some cows to graze on the Common while we’re at it.

There’s also this:

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Cable Television Department to determine the reason for Comcast to be conducting a poll regarding the City’s Cable Channels and CCTV channels.   Councillor Toomey

I don’t know what the Evil Empire of Comcast is up to with this poll, but I’ll be happy to offer some feedback right here. It was not very nice to take away virtually all of the TV stations for Basic Analog Cable customers other than those that can be picked up off the air. Except for New England Cable News, CCTV, and the municipal stations, everything else recently vanished. Perhaps some stations would return if I got their digital service, but I expect that will require at least another $50 per month for the privilege of getting back some of these commercial-laden stations and it’s hard to justify this. I believe I’d have to pay close to $100 per month to see any Red Sox games. Meanwhile, Comcast is in the process of buying the National Broadcast Company (NBC) from General Electric for perhaps $35 billion. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when we need him to break up the trusts?

My inclination is to say good-bye to Comcast. I hope others in Cambridge feel the same way. Of course, I’m sure the Evil Empire will only try to find other ways to restrict access to television programs unless their trolls are paid handsomely in order to buy up even more media companies. Welcome to The World of More.

Other business on tonight’s agenda includes 6 City Council committee reports as our elected officials scurry to close out the books for this term. There’s also the official word from the Election Commission that the School Committee Recount returned the same winners (after considerable cost even though there was essentially no chance that the results would change). — RW

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