Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

March 10, 2014

Nominations Sought for 2014 Outstanding Cambridge City Employee Awards

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 11:14 am

Nominations Sought for 2014 Outstanding City Employee Awards

Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi is seeking nominations for the 2014 Outstanding City Employee Awards program which recognizes employees for exemplary performance and contributions that go above and beyond job requirements.

Cambridge city government is made up of dedicated employees who strive to provide a high level of quality services to all its citizens. The annual awards ceremony provides a special opportunity to give some well deserved recognition to a handful of deserving individuals. Winners will be recognized at a special awards ceremony on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Outstanding City Employee Awards are designed to recognize contributions that are above and beyond job requirements. Criteria for determining outstanding performance include:

  • Demonstrated outstanding customer service to the public and/or fellow employees.
  • Developed an innovative or creative solution to a problem.
  • Made superior contribution to the success of a project, completing work on time and within budget.
  • Donated significant time to activities that benefit the Cambridge community.
  • Encouraged and valued community involvement.
  • Demonstrated an exceptional ability to work in a multicultural organization.
  • Consistently contributed to better city operations.

All city employees are eligible for nomination. Anyone who lives or works in Cambridge may nominate an employee for recognition and there is no limit as to how many employees may be nominated. A separate Nomination Form or letter must be submitted for each employee. An employee may not nominate her or his own supervisor or department head for recognition.

Online Nomination Forms can be accessed from this news story posted on the city’s website, A signed nomination letter may be submitted instead of the nomination form. Completed nominations must be submitted to the Personnel Department by Friday, April 11, 2014. In addition, you may e-mail nominations to or fax to the Personnel Department at 617-349-4312.

For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at or 617-349-4301.

March 5, 2014

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 41 and 42 – News and Views

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:49 am

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 41 – News and Views (Part 1).

This episode was broadcast on March 4, 2014 at 5:30pm. Co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters. The main topics we touched on were (1) Democratic caucuses and statewide elections, (2) an update on the options for the Foundry Building, and (3) the possibility of public restrooms for people who use the Cambridge Common (which will soon see significant improvements). [On YouTube]

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 42 – News and Views (Part 2)

Broadcast March 4, 2014 at 6:00pm. Co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters. Topics include the disposition of the Sullivan Courthouse, naming rights for T stations, School Committee policy change regarding middle school mathematics, the MIT report on the need for graduate student housing, and the promise of the opening of H-Mart soon in Central Square. [On YouTube]

Free Public Document Shredding, Saturday, March 8, 10am-2pm

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: — Robert Winters @ 9:46 am

Information Security Begins with You!Free Public Document Shredding, Saturday, March 8, 10am-2pm

Central Square Post Office, 770 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge

The Cambridge Consumers’ Council and the Public Works Department will be hosting a Cambridge Shred Day Event snow or shine in collaboration with Central Square Post Office, the Office of the Attorney General, the Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations. Dispose of important documents safely.

Information will also be available to consumers on tips to avoid identity theft, fraud and scams and the City’s recycling and composting programs. For more information, contact: Laura M. Nichols at 617.349.6150 or

City of Cambridge Seeking Applicants for Municipal Firefighter Exam on April 26, 2014

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 9:43 am

City of Cambridge Seeking Applicants for Municipal Firefighter Exam on April 26, 2014

Candidate Open House Information Session on Tuesday March 11

firefighterThe City of Cambridge will hold a Candidate Open House Information Session Tuesday, March 11, 6-7:30pm, Cambridge City Hall, 795 Mass. Ave.

Do you or someone you know possess integrity, courage and a willingness to help those in need? Perhaps you are ready to pursue a career as a Firefighter! The City of Cambridge is currently recruiting applicants to take the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Open Competitive Municipal Service Written Examination for Firefighters to be held on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

The Municipal Firefighter Examination consists of two components: the Written Examination and the Physical Abilities Test. Candidates must take and pass both components in order to be placed on the eligible list for appointment in a civil service city or town. The early application deadline is March 17, 2014, with an application fee of $200. Applications will be accepted no later than March 31, 2014, with a fee of $250.

More job information is available online at under “JOBS” or at

For examination instructions and publications, visit or call the examination hotline at 617-878-9895.

February 28, 2014

A Look Back at the Early Days of Cambridge Recycling – Episode 40 of Cambridge InsideOut

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge InsideOut — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 8:04 pm

Episode 40 of Cambridge Inside Out – A look back at the early days of Cambridge Recycling

February 24, 2014

From Central Square to Lechmere – Preview of the Feb 24, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,Central Square,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:24 am

From Central Square to Lechmere – Preview of the Feb 24, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting

Here are a few comment-worthy items on this week’s agenda:

Manager’s Agenda #4. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 14-04, regarding an update on when the Central Square Branch Library will reopen.

The Manager informs us that "We anticipate the reopening no later than March 10th, weather permitting. In the meantime, please know that the book drop will remain open for the duration of the project."

Applications & Petitions #5. An application was received from Zevart Hollisian requesting permission for a curb cut at the premises numbered 300 Massachusetts Avenue; said petition has received approval from Inspectional Services, Traffic, Parking and Transportation, Historical Commission and Public Works. No response has been received from the neighborhood association.

This is in reference to the project now under construction that was the subject of a contentious zoning petition a year ago. Though the petition ultimately passed unanimously, I would be surprised if some disgruntled activists showed up now to obstruct the necessary curb cuts.

Applications & Petitions #8. An application was received from Massachusetts Institute of Technology requesting permission for a temporary banner across Massachusetts Avenue at Norfolk Street, fifty-seven banners on poles in Harvard Square, ninety-three banners on poles along Massachusetts Avenue from Memorial Drive to Harvard Square, sixteen banners on poles along Broadway from Ellery Street to Felton Street and eighteen banners on poles along Massachusetts Avenue from Inman Street to Bigelow Street announcing the Cambridge Science Festival Apr 18-27, 2014. Approval has been received from the Electrical Department.

I highlight this item only for the purpose of noting the date of this year’s Science Festival (April 18-27). Every year brings something new and interesting.

Resolution #8. Resolution on the death of Carl F. Barron.   Mayor Maher

Carl Barron was one of the most generous civic benefactors that Cambridge has known over many decades. Never shy about expressing his point of view and backing it up financially, Carl funded scholarships for CRLS graduates and improved health care facilities at Mount Auburn Hospital. He was the Central Square merchant who stayed in Central Square when everyone else was fleeing to the suburban malls. When we first met in 1992, we had little in common other than our dedication to the improvement of Central Square and the fact that we appreciated each other’s sense of humor. Times change and Central Square is changing, but many of us will still remember Carl for all that he did for the area during some of its toughest days.

Resolution #20. Congratulations to the Central Square Business Association, House of Vans and the Middle East on the Snochi Winter Festival.   Councillor Cheung

Speaking of the changing Central Square, did you ever think we’d have a pop-up winter carnival with snowboarding in Central Square? Well, last week we did.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and report back to the City Council on the matter of the closure of Lechmere Station before a new station is completed and operational and provide time lines for the new Lechmere Station development and plans for the current Lechmere site.   Councillor Toomey

In addition to Councillor Toomey’s concern about potential disruption to people who need to access the Green Line at Lechmere, he also wants "time lines for the new Lechmere Station development and plans for the current Lechmere site." This was a hot topic a couple of years ago when various neighborhood people were circulating the idea of a year-round market that might be developed as part of the current Lechmere Station site when it is vacated and the station moved to the other side of the McGrath Highway as part of the Green Line extension. What are the current plans for the Lechmere site?

Order #4. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the Police Commissioner and other appropriate City personnel and then report back to the City Council on the feasibility of installing a permanent Cambridge Police Officer within City Hall to better ensure the safety of the public and the people who work within the building.   Councillor Simmons

I’m curious not only about the need expressed in this Order but also as to why it’s being submitted now. Cambridge City Hall has seen its share of controversy over the years, especially during the days of rent control, but it’s actually been relatively nonconfrontational through it all. Councillor Simmons’ argument could be made for just about any building that is publicly accessible, but it’s not at all clear that City Hall has any greater need for a dedicated police presence that any other place. Should the proposed policy be implemented, I expect that the City Hall Police Officer will have a lot of time on his or her hands. This doesn’t seem like the best way to deplot police resourses. I could perhaps understand it for public meetings with large attendance, but otherwise it seems unnecessary.

Order #7. That the City Council go on record urging local business owners to make a concerted effort to shovel a path to parking meters immediately in or around their establishments.   Councillor Simmons

Perhaps this Order should be amended to urge local business owners to also shovel out the bike posts in front of their businesses. Motor vehicles are not the only vehicles that need a parking space that can be accessed.

Communications & Reports from City Officers #2. A communication was received from Mayor David P. Maher regarding a retrospective talk on the career of Roger Boothe, Director of Urban Design, on Tues, Feb 25, 2014 at 5:30pm at the Main Library.

I do hope they record this event and make it available for later viewing. Roger Boothe will be retiring this month. He has been an invaluable resource within the Community Development Department for as long as I can remember. He’s also a hell of a great guy. – Robert Winters

February 19, 2014

Episodes 37 and 38 of Cambridge InsideOut with guest State Senator Sal DiDomenico

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 1:05 am

Episode 37 of Cambridge InsideOut with guest State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 1). This was broadcast on Tues, Feb 18, 2014 at 5:30pm.

Episode 38 of Cambridge InsideOut with guest State Senator Sal DiDomenico (Part 2). This was broadcast on Tues, Feb 18, 2014 at 6:00pm.

February 17, 2014

SNOCHI Festival in Central Square

Filed under: Cambridge,Central Square — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 10:37 am


House of Vans Snow Board Park in front of The Middle East!

Free February School Vacation Events in Central Square for Kids and Teens!

The Central Square Cultural District (C2CD) kicks off its 1st Winter Festival with a pop-up House of Vans (HOV) Snow Board Park in front of the Middle East that will shred your mind. Central Square’s “Snochi Festival” features treats for kids of all ages during February School Vacation week.

House of Vans Special Events:

2/18-2/20: HOV Musical Showcase at the Middle East – Lucky House of Vans fans scooped up free tickets in about ½ an hour to see: ANAMANAGUCHI * BATHS * EARL SWEATSHIRT * XXYYXX * CITIES AVIV * TITLE FIGHT * METZ * DARK BLUE

2/18 & 2/20 at 8:00pm: Free Outdoor Movie Screenings: Vans’ "20 Years Off The Wall On The Snow" documentary.

2/19 from 6pm to 9pm: Free Pop-up Outdoor Snow Board Park and Demos with New England’s best snowboarders.
House of Vans and Snowboy Productions are creating a one-of-a-kind, pop-up snowboard park in front of the Middle East. For one night only New England’s best snowboarders will do demos from 6-9pm including Vans team rider Nick “Pooch” Poohachoff.

February School Vacation Events:

Neighborhood Open House!
Date: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Where: Middle East — Corner Restaurant
Join us for hot chocolate, music and information about local enrichment programs for Cambridge youth and their families. Programs include an Free, On-going, Summer, Afterschool, and Discounted Programs for Cambridge Residents! Win a pair of Vans in our free raffle!

STEAM IT UP During February School Vacation with FREE Activities for Teens from 12 to 17!
Date: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm
Where: Middle East Downstairs
Free raffle for prizes!
Featuring: DJ’s and Demo’s!
Snow boarding math and games! Snowmaking! And hands-on art activities with House of Vans / Danger Awesome! / Young People’s Project/ MMMMaven / & Cambridge Science Festival!

PLEASE NOTE: ROAD CLOSURE — Brookline Street Closure.
Brookline Street will be closed between Green Street and Massachusetts Avenue from 7am on February 18, 2014 to 3pm on February 20, 2014. Vehicles will be detoured to Franklin St to Sidney St to Green St to Landsdowne St and back to Mass Ave. Police Officers will be assigned at key intersections to reduce any delays and ensure safety on the detour route.

This is event is graciously sponsored by House of Vans, FYF, Snowboy Productions, the Middle East, the Central Square Business Association, The Central Square Cultural District, The City of Cambridge, Cambridge Arts Council, MMMMaven, Danger Awesome! Young People’s Project, and the Cambridge Police Department.

More about the House of Vans:
The HOV and FYF are bringing their pop-up music festival concept to Cambridge for the 1st time! HOV pop-ups have been set up across the globe with stops in Europe, Mexico, Asia and Canada. The HOV has stopped in Huntington Beach, CA for the Vans US Open of Surfing and, the Mohawk in Austin, TX for SXSW.

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