Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

November 27, 2013

2013 Cambridge City Council Election Recount

Filed under: 2013 Election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 12:15 pm

2013 Cambridge City Council Election Recount Scheduled

Nov 27 – The Cambridge Election Commission yesterday announced the dates, times, and location for the Recount of the 2013 City Council election. It will take place at the Moore Youth Center, 12 Gilmore Street, in the Riverside neighborhood. (Parking is expected to be a challenge.) Though nobody yet knows how long the Recount will actually take, the Election Commission has reserved the space for a two week period beginning Monday, Dec 2 at 8:30am.

The space is reserved for Mon, Dec 2 through Sat, Dec 7; and Mon, Dec 9 (followed by a break on Tues, Dec 10 for the Congressional election to fill the Markey seat); and Wed, Dec 11 through Sat, Dec 14. All meetings begin at 8:30am at the Moore Youth Center.

Looking Back at the 2001 School Committee Recount

There have been municipal election recounts before, but nothing really compares to the marathon 2001 School Committee Recount that took place in the former space of the Election Commission on Green Street (above the old Police Station). Here are a few images from that marathon – just to whet your appetite for the 2013 City Council Recount scheduled to begin Dec 2, 2013.

Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001 Recount 2001
Recount 2001

November 26, 2013

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 21 and 22 (Nov 26, 2013)

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 21 with guest Marjorie Decker – Broadcast Nov 26, 2013 at 5:30pm. Hosts: Susana Segat and Robert Winters

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 22 – Analyzing the ballot data – Broadcast Nov 26, 2013 at 6:00pm. Hosts: Susana Segat and Robert Winters

November 20, 2013

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 19 and 20 (Nov 19, 2013)

Filed under: 2013 Election,Cambridge,elections — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 10:03 am

Episode 19 (Nov 19, 2013, 5:30pm) of Cambridge InsideOut – Notes on a possible Recount:

Episode 20 (Nov 19, 2013, 6:00pm) of Cambridge InsideOut – On Vacancies and Cambridge Boards & Commissions:

Watch it on CCTV every Tuesday at 5:30pm and 6:00pm. The co-hosts are Susana Segat and Robert Winters.

November 19, 2013

Hubway to Pilot Year-Round Program in Cambridge

Filed under: Cambridge,cycling,transportation — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 11:15 am

Cambridge-based Hubway Stations to Remain Available throughout Winter

Hubway, the metro-Boston area’s public bike share system, will continue to be available to riders throughout winter at almost all Cambridge-based stations. While Hubway has always operated on a seasonal basis in its two and a half year history, this year the City of Cambridge is piloting a plan to provide year-round Hubway service.

We are pleased at the opportunity to pilot Hubway service year-round,” said Cambridge City Manager Richard C. Rossi. “We’re committed to supporting sustainable transportation options, and we are excited to continue the program this winter season. We do ask for everyone to use care when riding under winter conditions and also request your patience and understanding as we work with whatever nature brings us in terms of weather.”

Almost all stations in Cambridge will remain operational throughout the winter, though the station at Lafayette Square/Main Street will be removed from the street for the season. The Lechmere station will be moved to the sidewalk just east of Lechmere Station. All station updates will be posted on the station map at,, and on the Spotcycle app for smart phones, Annual members may continue to use the Cambridge stations during the season at no additional cost. 24-hour, 3-day passes and monthly passes will be available for purchase as usual.

As part of the pilot program, snow removal will become part of the daily responsibilities of the Hubway field team. The team, coordinated by Hubway’s dispatch office, is on the street from 6am–10pm every day, and is stocked with equipment to keep stations clear of snow and ice.

Users should bear in mind that the regular seasonal closing of stations in Boston, Brookline and Somerville city/town limits will begin as early as Monday, Nov. 18. Most stations will remain open through Wednesday, Nov. 27. Station closures will be posted in advance on Hubway’s website at, on Twitter at and on Facebook at

During extreme inclement weather conditions, Hubway may temporarily close the system and public announcements will be made via social media and the Hubway website. Station alerts will also be emailed to annual and monthly Hubway members, and all riders can consult the Spotcycle app to learn whether or not bicycles are available. In the event of a system closing, riders will be able to return bikes to all stations securely, but will not be able to check bikes out.

To prepare for cold-weather bicycling, there are a number of things riders should keep in mind:

  • Wear layers, but remember that riding will warm you up. If you get hot as you ride, pull over and remove a layer, but always keep your ears and hands shielded.
  • Local bike shops offer bike-appropriate gloves and earmuffs that do not obstruct the use of your helmet.
  • Plan your route ahead of time.
  • Always plan for an alternative mode of transportation in case a blizzard hits or if you simply decide that riding is no longer comfortable for you.
  • Each rider has a different comfort level in inclement weather. If you are uncomfortable for any reason while biking, stop riding and walk your bike to the nearest docking station. If you are cold, make your way indoors to warm up.
  • Be aware that visibility is particularly limited during the winter, with fewer daylight hours, glare and foggy conditions. Hubway bikes have 24-hour lights, but it is also a good idea to wear light colored clothing and reflective materials if possible.
  • Use extra caution under wintry conditions, as roads may not be completely cleared of snow and ice. You are always permitted to ride in the general travel lane (not only the bike lane) and should do so if the bike lane is snowy or icy.

Find out more about the Hubway system, extensions, station outages/closures at, on Twitter at, and on Facebook at

November 18, 2013

Aftermath – Nov 18, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

Filed under: Cambridge,Cambridge government,City Council — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 11:54 am

Aftermath – Nov 18, 2013 Cambridge City Council Agenda Highlights

The election has passed and the lame duck session commences from now through the end of December. Depending upon how a possible City Council election recount turns out, in addition to the two councillors who did not seek reelection (Davis, Decker), two incumbents will not be returning in January (Reeves, vanBeuzekom). The atmosphere this Monday should be somber at best, but the business of the City continues. Here are a few notable items:

Manager’s Agenda #9. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the zoning requirements that will allow a Registered Marijuana Dispensary as regulated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to be sited in Cambridge. [proposed text and maps]

Perhaps some people will soon be able to legally score some weed at the Fresh Pond Shopping Center or in NorthPoint.

Manager’s Agenda #10. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to the Ames Street Disposition Land Report, pursuant to Chapter 2.110 of the Cambridge Municipal Code. [attached letter]

Manager’s Agenda #11. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a Planning Board recommendation to adopt the Boston Properties Ames Street Zoning Petition.

Committee Report #3. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Aug 21, 2013 on the petition received from Boston Properties to amend the Zoning Ordinances and Zoning Map in the Ames Street area.

This seems pretty straightforward – particularly for those who actually believe in the need for new residential construction in the Kendall Square area.

Charter Right #1. That the City Manager is requested to appoint a special committee, to be comprised of both City Councillors and of Cambridge residents, to take up the work of holding monthly conversations about the lessons learned from the Malvina Monteiro lawsuit, and about how the City can improve upon its internal handling of race and class matters as an employer, beginning as of the start of the next calendar year. [Charter Right exercised by Vice Mayor Simmons on Order Number Eight of Nov 4, 2013.]

I’ll simply reiterate what I said two weeks ago when this was introduced: "In accordance with the City’s Plan E Charter, this is a matter properly handled within the Personnel Department with the guidance of appropriate City Council Orders directed through the City Manager. If the next City Council chooses to again take up this matter in one of its standing committees, they are free to do so."

Resolution #9. Congratulations to the 2013 preliminary elected School Committee members and City Councillors.   Councillor Decker

Yes indeed, but not everyone his happy about the fact that the City Council will be going from four women to just one woman. Rumor has it that some residents are already looking toward the next municipal election in 2015.

Committee Report #2. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, City Clerk, transmitting a report for Nov 8, 2013 from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, to discuss City Clerk’s Office staffing.

Communications & Reports #1. A communication was received from Councillor David P. Maher regarding informal discussions relating to staffing in the City Clerk’s Office.

Apparently, in the aftermath of the election this committee wasn’t able to muster a quorum – hence the additional communication to report on informal discussions that took place in the absence of a quorum. One of the issues under discussion relates to a point that I brought up at a previous Gov’t Operations Committee meeting. The City Charter specifically states that the City Council directly hires just three people – the City Manager, the City Clerk, and the City Auditor. These appointees then chose their staff which includes such important positions as the Deputy City Manager, various Assistant City Managers (department heads), and the Deputy City Clerk. However, it has been the recent practice of the City Council to actually vote on the appointment of the Deputy City Clerk which is not really in agreement with the City Charter. The Gov’t Operations committee is now trying to clarify this and other related issues.

Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Vice Mayor E. Denise Simmons transmitting congratulations to everyone who ran for election in the City Council race and notifying her colleagues that she will be unable to attend City Council meetings for a period of three or four weeks due to recovery and recuperation from a medical procedure.

In the hectic atmosphere of a municipal election we sometimes forget that the candidates are human beings. We all wish our good friend Denise Simmons the very best during her recovery and recuperation. – Robert Winters

November 15, 2013

Official 2013 Cambridge Election Results (Nov 15, 2013)

16th Count
Cheung, Leland 1775
Maher, David 1775
Simmons, Denise 1775
Toomey, Tim 1775
Benzan, Dennis 1775
McGovern, Marc 1679
Kelley, Craig 1565
Mazen, Nadeem 1549
Carlone, Dennis 1548
vanBeuzekom, Minka 1535

Nov 15, 6:55pm – The Official results in the City Council election gave the same winners as the Unofficial Results from last week. The only significant change due to the 7 additional ballots was a partial change in the Cheung surplus due to two additional #1 votes for Leland Cheung. The deciding margin at the end of the 16th Round grew to 13 votes separating Dennis Carlone and Minka vanBeuzekom. (Mazen had 1 more than Carlone.) In the final Round, Carlone surpassed Mazen to yield the following winners in the order they reached the election quota (1775).

City Council (in order of election): Leland Cheung, David Maher, Denise Simmons, Tim Toomey, Dennis Benzan, Marc McGovern, Craig Kelley, Dennis Carlone, Nadeem Mazen. [Detailed Report]
Incumbents defeated: Ken Reeves, Minka vanBeuzekom

Nov 16 Update: Minka vanBeuzekom has sent word to her entourage that she will be asking for a Recount.

School Committee (in order of election): Patty Nolan, Fred Fantini, Richard Harding, Kathleen Kelly, Fran Cronin, and Mervan Osborne. [Detailed Report]
Incumbents defeated: None

Official Final Election Results – City Council and School Committee (PDF)

Official Final City Council #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF) added Nov 20

Official Final School Committee #1 Vote Distribution by Ward/Precinct (PDF) – added Nov 20

Cambridge 2013 Election Count (in case you missed it)

Just in case you missed the live broadcast of The Count on Tues, Nov 5, the good folks at CCTV have now uploaded it in 3 parts for your viewing pleasure (not to suggest that will be your reaction, of course!). You’ll find the program (hosted by Susana Segat and Robert Winters) at:

November 13, 2013

CRLS Alumni Association Project Announces First Annual Alumni Meeting and 2013 Homecoming Events

Filed under: Cambridge,schools — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 10:54 pm

CRLS Alumni Association Project Announces First Annual Alumni Meeting and 2013 Homecoming Events

Nov 10 – The CRLS Alumni Association Project has been building support for the launch of an Alumni Association for all graduates and staff from Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Rindge Tech, and Cambridge High & Latin School and has collected over 600 signatures supporting this effort. On Friday, Nov. 29 there will be the First Annual Alumni Association Meeting from 11:00am-12:30pm at CRLS. A interim Alumni Board will be selected. The meeting is open to all graduates and retired staff of CRLS, Rindge Tech, and CHLS. Tours of the renovated high school will also be available before the meeting starting at 10:00am and after starting at12:30pm.

The CRLS Alumni Association Project has also announced a series of Homecoming 2013 Events. All Alumni, staff and families from CRLS, Rindge Tech and CHLS are welcome:

  • Nov 27 – Open House at CRLS from 10:00am to 12 Noon with tours of the new facilities and meeting with Principal Damon Smith
  • Nov 27 – Alumni Reunion Night at Tommy Doyle’s, 8:00pm until closing. Free Hors D’oeuvres from 8-10:00pm. Cash Bar. All classes, all schools and guests welcome! Tommy Doyle’s, 96 Winthrop Street
  • Nov 28 – Pre-game Tailgate and Football Game vs. Somerville. Hospitality starts at 8:30am. Kickoff at 10:00am at Russell Field
  • Dec 6 – The Fall Musical "Rag Time" at 7:00pm. Alumni are encouraged to attend the Friday night performance at the CRLS Fitzgerald Theater. Reception immediately following performance in the Media Café at CRLS.

Please register for events (most are free) at: For more information about any of these events please contact Andy Farrar at 978-764-7566/ or David Vogel at

Boulder vs. Cincinnati vs. Fractional transfer methods in Cambridge’s PR elections

Episode 18 of Cambridge InsideOut – Boulder vs. Cincinnati vs. Fractional transfer methods in Cambridge’s PR elections:

If you would like to look at the demonstrations used in these videos, you’ll find them at

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