Cambridge Civic Journal Forum

May 18, 2017

City of Cambridge Awards Record $210,000 in Scholarships

Filed under: Cambridge,schools — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 2:26 pm

City of Cambridge Awards Record $210,000 in Scholarships
84 scholarships given out to residents pursuing higher education

May 18, 2017 – The City of Cambridge on Monday, May 15, 2017, hosted a special ceremony to honor the recipients of the 2017 City of Cambridge Scholarship. This year, the City awarded a record $210,000 in scholarships to 84 Cambridge high school seniors and others Cambridge residents pursuing higher education. The City of Cambridge provides these scholarships through the generous contributions of many residents and businesses.City Seal

While speaking to the recipients during the ceremony, City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said, “I know how expensive higher education has become, and I hope that today’s scholarship will make a difference.” He went on to say, “When you complete your higher education, I hope that you will seriously consider returning to Cambridge to work for one of the amazing companies located here, or better yet, you will consider working for the City of Cambridge. I can personally tell you that there is no career more rewarding than public service.”

The City Scholarship program is open to all Cambridge residents who are currently attending, have an application pending or have received acceptance to attend an institute of higher education beyond high school level. Award recipients were selected from the 198 applications received this year based on a number of criteria including academic achievement, school and community involvement, work experience, aspirations and goals, financial need, and special circumstances. The City encourages individuals who did not receive a scholarship this year to consider applying again, as awardees do not have to be graduating from high school to receive this scholarship.

The City extends its gratitude this year’s selection committee: Colin Dicke, John Kosko, Bill Neukomm, James Peck, Elaine Thorne, and Craig Yearwood.

The 2017 City Scholarship recipients are:
Eden Abebe, Zahyyeh Abu-Rubieh, Nusrat Africawala, Demi Akins, Alexander Alvarado Cortez, Samprity Ankita, Malate Aschalew, Hicham Asekkour, Alyxandra Bassile-McCarthy, Reya Begum, Helen Bekele, Bouchra Benghomari, Serena Bialkin, Johnson Blaise, Alia Campbell, Milo Cason-Snow, Kevin Chavez, Emily Chowdhury, Savanna Clegg, Amaniya, Cotton, Celeste De Lancey, Andre Domond, Nedjine Doreus, Emiliano Duran, Hend Elkatta, Carmen Enrique, Noah Epstein, Ayub Farah, Marian Farah, Bukhaari Farah, Misam Farsab, Roan Farsab, Emmanuella Fede, Yvette-Simon Figaro, Alexander Flamm, Mariamawit Gashaw, Walker Gillett, Kamaria Gooding, Anna Griffin, Nathaniel Habtom, Syed Hoque,Jacob Hunter, Amena Indawala, Jeremie Jean-Baptiste, Rebecca Jean-Louis, Gabrielle Joella, Ruksat Kabir, Nina Katz-Christy, Zainab Lakhani, Maisha Lakri, Diego Lasarte, Angel Lazar Osegueda, Albert Lee, Zoe Levitt, Samantha Liu, Jemima Mascary, Ean McDonald Wojciechowski, Natalie McPherson-Siegrist, Yeabsera Mengistu, Alexander Michael, Juliet Nadis, Sheikh Noohery, Rihana Oumer, Christelle Paul, Zian Perez, Ra-vonne Pierre, Asif Rahman, Fnu Ratna, Ariann Renaudin, Elliott Ronna, Charlotte Rosenblum, Akeru Sakakibara, Veronica Sargent, Hugo Schutzberg, Asikrahima Shajahan, Daniel Shin, Rikka Shrestha, Oliver Sussman, Miles Toussaint, Sana Vegamiya, Alyssa Watson, Eric White, Kenan White, and Alessandra Zona.

March 13, 2017

City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban – to be lifted at 7:00am, Wed, Mar 15

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 6:24 pm

City of Cambridge Lifts Snow Emergency Parking Ban Ban lifted as of 7:00am on Wednesday;
Trash/recycling collection 1 day behind schedule

The Snow Emergency Parking Ban in effect will be lifted in the City of Cambridge as of 7:00am on Wed, Mar 15, 2017. Tow operations will continue until the ban is lifted.

Residents parked in one of the City’s Snow Emergency Off-Street Parking locations should exit within 2 hours after it has been lifted to avoid being charged. Residents parked at the 52 Oxford Garage must exit within 2 hours of the ban being lifted.City Seal

Due to icy conditions caused by the storm, people are urged to stay off the roads tonight. If travel is required, please use extra caution and leave additional distance between other vehicles and snow crews.

City of Cambridge offices, programs, and library branches will be open on Wednesday. Because curbside trash and recycling pickup was canceled on Tuesday, pickup routes will be delayed 1 day for the remainder of the week.

The Department of Public Works (DPW) will continue to clear streets throughout the night, starting with major arteries. Crews will also be working to remove downed trees. Your patience and participation in clearing sidewalks helps the City return streets and sidewalks to safe, passable conditions as quickly as possible. After major street clearing operations have been completed, crews will begin working on high traffic bus routes to clear snow from bus stops, ramps, and crosswalks.

City Ordinance requires property owners to remove snow from sidewalks next to their property or business within 12 hours of daytime snowfall and before 1:00pm when it has fallen overnight. Property owners must also remove or melt all ice within 6 hours of the time it forms. There is a $50 fine for each day of non-compliance. Property owners are asked that when shoveling their sidewalks to please maintain a minimum of 36 inches clear width, so that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (also parents using strollers, etc.) can navigate the sidewalk. The Cambridge Commission for Persons with Disabilities (CCPD) requests that a 48 inch clear width be created when possible – this gives an extra measure of safety. Additionally, CCPD urges residents and businesses to pay particular attention to the corners, where one sidewalk meets another – shovel the full length and width of curb ramps, so that pedestrians with disabilities can get to the crosswalks. Business owners are requested, if there is a disability parking space on the street near your storefront, to please take the extra time to shovel a clear path to that space, so that your customers with disabilities can visit your establishment. In particular, shovel a space wide enough so that vans with lifts can deploy the lift onto the sidewalk.

The City recognizes the effort that goes into shoveling out any vehicle parked on a city street during a snow event. However, residents may not use objects such as trash/recycling barrels, furniture items or any other item to save parking spots on public streets. These items will be treated as trash and disposed of by DPW.

The public can follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City uses the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation. In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.


City of Cambridge Declares Snow Emergency Parking Ban
Ban goes into effect at 7:00am on March 14; Trash and Recycling Pickup Cancelled

Mar 13, 2017 – A Snow Emergency Parking Ban will go into effect in the City of Cambridge beginning at 7:00am on Tues, Mar 14, 2017. Vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed until the ban is lifted.Snow on Broadway

There will be no curbside trash or recycling collection on Tues, Mar 14 because of weather conditions. All curbside trash and recycling daily pickup routes will be one day behind schedule for the remainder of this week.

The Cambridge Public Schools will be closed on Tues, Mar 14, 2017.

Updated information will be available at CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow throughout the storm. In addition, the public is encouraged to follow updates on Twitter at @CambMA and on Facebook at CambridgeMA.Gov. The City will be utilizing the hash tag #CambMASnow on Twitter to help the public follow the conversation.

Below is important information from the City:

  • A Snow Emergency Parking Ban is effective as of 7:00am on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 and vehicles parked on streets that are signed “No Parking during a Snow Emergency” will be ticketed and towed at that time until the ban is lifted.
  • To assist residents in parking their vehicles, free parking is provided at a number of facilities beginning at 6:00pm on Mon, Mar 13, 2017. The 52 Oxford St. Garage will allow parking at 8:00pm. A listing of facilities that provide free parking during snow emergencies, is available at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow.
  • Always park at least 20 feet from the street corner. Parking this far away from the corner improves visibility and safety year-round and ensures compliance with Cambridge Traffic Regulations. In the winter, it also allows plows to push snow away from crosswalks.
  • Ice needs to be removed within 6 hours from the time it forms, per City Ordinance. Snow needs to be removed within 12 hours after snow stops falling during the day and before 1:00pm if it snowed during the night, per City Ordinance.

Please report any power outages directly to Eversource at 800-592-2000.

In addition to following updates on the City’s website and social networks, members of the public are encouraged to sign-up to receive notification of snow emergency parking bans at: CambridgeMA.GOV/Snow. As always, if you need immediate assistance, please contact the Police Department’s Non-Emergency Line at 617-349-3300.

March 1, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episodes 209-210: February 28, 2017

Cambridge InsideOut Episode 209 (Part 1)

This episode was broadcast on Feb 28, 2017 at 5:30pm. Our guest was School Committee member Kathleen Kelly who spoke about the School Department budget, enrollment, and lots more. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]


Cambridge InsideOut Episode 210 (Part 2)

This episode was broadcast on Feb 28, 2017 at 6:00pm. The main topic was the Feb 27 City Council meeting, including the unanimous ordination of the Central Square Restoration Petition. The hosts are Judy Nathans and Robert Winters. [On YouTube]

[Materials used in this episode]

February 27, 2016

Are You As Smart As A CRLS Student?

Filed under: Cambridge,schools — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 2:45 pm

CALLING ALL ADULTS AND CRLS STUDENTS!
ENTER THE CAMBRIDGE RINDGE AND LATIN COMMUNITY ACADEMIC COMPETITION
WEDNESDAY MARCH 16, 7:00PM
TEST YOUR SMARTS IN THIS UNIQUE CHALLENGE

EinsteinDo you remember all the elements on the periodic table? How about the formula for determining the length of an arc on a circle? Who was that president who served after Grover Cleveland? Questions similar to these will be asked at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin Community Academic Challenge entitled “Are You As Smart As A CRLS Student?” on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00pm. Mr. Billy Costa, a Cambridge High and Latin graduate and host of the WGBH-TV “High School Quiz Show” will be the moderator. The event is free and open to the public.

This is the second time this event, sponsored by the CRLS Alumni Association, is being held. The first contest was won by a team from the Cambridge Police Department. Comments about the evening included:
"It was great fun for all, and wonderful to see so many parts of the Cambridge community come together to participate."
and
“I was a score keeper for the first contest and I was so impressed -bowled over really – by the whole thing. I loved every minute.”

This test of knowledge will be held in the school’s theatre. Members of community organizations, schools, businesses, CRLS alums and neighborhood groups are invited to enter teams of four colleagues to challenge teams of CRLS students in this exceptional battle of the brains. Individuals are also welcome to register by themselves and will join others that night in creating a team.

Students are encouraged to create their own four person teams from their classes, clubs and athletic teams. Trophies for the adults and financial prizes for the students will be awarded. Please note; no life-lines, phone a friend or smart phones are allowed. The CRLS Jazz Combo will be performing between rounds and smart food refreshments will be served before the contest starts.

For more information about the evening and to register your team (adults and students), contact Henry J. Lukas, retired CRLS Assistant Principal at henryjlukas@hotmail.com, 617-784-5838 or check www.crlsalumni.org. There is no registration fee.

October 27, 2015

Cambridge’s new Superintendent of Schools – Dr. Kenneth Salim

Filed under: Cambridge,School Committee,schools — Tags: , , , — Robert Winters @ 10:21 pm

Dr. Kenneth SalimCambridge’s new Superintendent of Schools

The Cambridge School Committee voted 6 (Cronin, Kelly, Fantini, Nolan, Osborne, Maher) – 1 (Harding) to appoint Dr. Kenneth Salim as the next Superintendent of Schools pending contract negotiations, tonight.

Dr. Salim is the current Superintendent in Weymouth, MA and previously work in the Boston Public Schools as Senior Director for the Chief Academic Office and Interim Assistant Superintendent for Professional Development.

November 10, 2014

STEM and Root – On the Agenda of the Nov 10, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting

Filed under: Cambridge,City Council,schools — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 1:24 pm

STEM and Root – On the Agenda of the Nov 10, 2014 Cambridge City Council meeting

It’s a very short agenda this week. Here are a few items of interest with brief comments.

Manager’s Agenda #6. Transmitting communication from Richard C. Rossi, City Manager, relative to a recommendation from the License Commission to approve the jitney application of Groupzoom, Inc., d/b/a Bridj for a six month pilot program.

Bridj has been described as a cross between a bus and a taxi service. It’s a Cambridge-based company that ran into regulatory roadblocks several months ago when planning to launch its service in Cambridge. These are interesting times with the emergence of services like Uber and the widespread availability of applications for mobile communication devices that make services like Uber and Bridj possible. This recommendation from the Cambridge License Commission is for a six-month pilot program but it does seem like the future is upon us and we’ll be seeing a lot more services like this in the future. There was a day when omnibuses and trains were all run outside of government control. Could we be going Back to the Future?

Applications & Petitions #2. A zoning petition has been received from Whitehead Institute, Nine Cambridge Center, to amend the Zoning Ordinance, Sections 14.32.1 and 14.32.2 to provide for an increment of 60,000 square feet of GFA to be allowed by special permit in a portion of the MXD District, in Section 14.70 by retitling "Special Provisions Applicable Within the Ames Street District" and by adding a new Section 14.72 "Special Provisions Applicable Outside the Ames Street District.

The proposal seems sound, but the fact that it does not propose to build housing (only contribute money toward that goal) might translate into some resistance. Not every site is appropriate for housing and this may be one such site. It also proposes to simply expand an existing structure. However, this petition should focus some attention on the bigger picture of adding housing in Kendall Square in locations such as the site of the Volpe Transportation Center down the street. I’m sure there will be some who will say that no changes should be approved until the "Master Plan" process is complete, but that really borders on the ridiculous in a district such as this.

Communications #1. A communication was received from Michael Brandon, 27 Seven Pines Avenue, regarding the Planning Board appointments.

Translation: Mr. Brandon is unhappy with the recent appointments to the Planning Board. His description of the appointments: "Despite the dedication, expertise, civic-mindedness, and good intentions of the board members, this same-as-it-ever-was, opaquely picked panel of powerless project tweakers is obviously designed and inherently destined to obey the administrative staff’s instructions and support the rampant, unplanned, uncoordinated, uncontrolled overdevelopment of the city’s neighborhoods and natural resources that continues to degrade the quality of residents’ lives." I beg to differ. The current Planning Board members and the new appointees are all great people whose interests align well with the great majority of Cambridge residents.

Order #3. That the City Manager is requested to locate the additional funding needed to move forward with the archiving and preservation of all City Council records in the Vault Phase II project.   Councillor Simmons

Cambridge is an historic city that should appropriately maintain all of its historic treasures – including the records of City Council proceedings. Whether or not this project can be completed in the current budget cycle, it does have to happen. The City has done a lot in this regard over the last decade or so, especially in conjunction with the opening of the new Main Library and its most excellent Cambridge Room.

STEM and rootCommittee Report #1. A communication was received from Paula Crane, Deputy City Clerk, transmitting a report from Vice Mayor Dennis A. Benzan, Co-Chair of the Economic Development and University Relations Committee and Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen, Chair of the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning, Public Facilities, Arts & Celebration Committee for a joint public meeting held on Oct 28, 2014 for the STEAM working group and its subcommittees to discuss how best to present their research to the greater Cambridge community and for working group members to collectively put forth sound recommendations around: STEAM workforce development, the alignment of all stakeholders, access for all to the innovation economy, and partnerships that will speed the journey.

I have been looking over the committee reports on this for a while now and it’s hard for me to get a clear picture of what’s going on other than some "brainstorming," creating some kind of web portal, and creating a new "coordinator" job. Maybe this will all turn out great, but so far it seems more like a lot of politically-oriented people riding on board the current national STEM bandwagon. One might think from these reports that education and excitement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics has been thoroughly lacking in elementary and secondary schools in Cambridge. That’s not the case. There is, however, a gap between the world of MIT, Harvard, and a host of science and technology-oriented companies in Cambridge and many young Cambridge residents who could benefit from jobs and other opportunities in these schools, labs, and companies. I worry that advocacy relating to the Foundry Building as well as much of this other STEM/STEAM discussion may lead to enhanced opportunities for young people who were already going to find good opportunities anyway. Only time will tell if those who might otherwise have been left out will somehow get excited about the opportunities around them and get a head start on developing the kind of skills that will be necessary to access these opportunities.

Frankly, this isn’t something that should be bubbling up from a couple of City Council subcommittees. Efforts in this regard should really be growing out of a partnership between the Cambridge School Department, our great local universities, and some of the companies that have been locating in Cambridge during the last few decades. They have had some representation at these committee meetings, but it would be so much better if they were driving the initiative. Otherwise the whole initiative could just come and go with only an extra job left in its wake. The entire Cambridge School Department and all the other local schools have to be at the root of any lasting change.

I am old enough to remember President Kennedy’s exhortations on the importance of science and mathematics education in the era of the space program. So many young people, including me, drew inspiration from what was happening during those years. I don’t know what the modern-day equivalent inspiration might be, but that’s really what is needed in order to get people jazzed about mathematics, science, and related fields. – Robert Winters

November 6, 2014

CRLS Alumni Association – 2014 Homecoming Calendar

Filed under: Cambridge,schools — Tags: , , — Robert Winters @ 9:26 am

CRLS Alumni Association – 2014 Homecoming Calendar

  • Mon, Nov 24:  Rindge Tech Dinner – Tickets sold by the Rindge Tech Alumni Association: Hellenic Cultural Center, 25 Bigelow Avenue, Watertown.
  • Wed, Nov 26:  Open House at CRLS – tours of the new facilities and meeting with Principal Damon Smith 10:00am to 12:00pm @ CRLS. Free of charge!
  • Wed, Nov 26:  Alumni Reunion Night – All classes, all schools. Free Hors D’oeuvres 8:00pm to 10:00pm. Cash Bar. @ Grendel’s Den, 89 Winthrop St., Harvard Square.
  • Thurs, Nov 27:  Boys Alumni Soccer Game – 9:00am to 11:00am at Danehy Field #4. No charge!
  • Thurs, Nov 27:  Pre-Game Tailgate – CRLS Football game, with coffee, snacks and good company, 8:30 to 10:00am @ Dilboy Field, 324 Alewife Brook Pkwy., Somerville.
  • Thurs, Nov 27:  CRLS vs Somerville Football Game at 10:00am. AWAY GAME @ Dilboy Field, 324 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Somerville. $5.00 tickets.
  • Fri, Nov 28:  “Back to the Future” Annual CRLS Alumni Association Luncheon with brief business, 11:30am to 2:00pm @ CRLS. No charge, registration requested.
  • Fri, Dec 5:  CRLS Fall Musical “The Addams Family” 7:00pm. with reception @ Fitzgerald Theater, CRLS. $5.00 tickets.

To register or pre-pay for tickets, please go Eventbrite.com and search “crls alumni” or check out the CRLS Alumni Association page on Facebook.

The alumni association is open to those who have attended CRLS and all of its predecessor schools such as Rindge Tech and CHLS. As of today, there are 849 members with the goal of bringing this up to 1000 by the end of the calendar year and to 1500 by the end of this school year. Sign-up and some information is available at https://crlshomecoming2014.eventbrite.com.

October 15, 2014

Catching up on the Cambridge News (Sept-Oct 2014)

Filed under: Cambridge — Tags: , — Robert Winters @ 5:08 pm

Catching up on the News (from September-October 2014 press releases and other sources)

Topping Off the King School - Sept 18, 2014Cambridge Celebrates First Municipal Building Targeting Net Zero Energy

City officials celebrated a major construction milestone at a topping off ceremony September 18 of the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School at 100 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge. Designed by Perkins Eastman, the innovative school, which is targeting Net Zero Energy, is scheduled to open in time for the 2015-2016 school year.

The 169,000 sq. ft. school and the 18,200 sq. ft. parking structure will contain all new facilities and equipment for its classrooms, a library, auditorium, gymnasium, community rooms and new outdoor play space. The building will accommodate 740 students and 125 staff in a JK-5 Lower School and an Upper School for grades 6-8. Expressly designed to be a center of its community, the school will include a 40-student preschool and robust community school and afterschool programs.

The new building is projected to have an Energy Use Intensity 60% less than typical educational buildings in New England and will save energy through proper orientation, pervasive natural light in almost every space, and high-performance roof and wall assemblies. In addition to user-specific energy-saving measures, the school will offset energy demands by producing energy through photovoltaic panels mounted on the roof and south-facing facades.

Topping Off the King School - Sept 18, 2014The design for the new school was driven by the idea of the school as a community, with the Lower School and the Upper School operating as distinct “neighborhoods” connected by an internal thoroughfare, named King Street, from which the shared community spaces are accessed. In support of extending learning into the environment, an important feature of a 21st century school, the school will include a City Sprouts garden, a preschool playground, a teacher’s patio, a courtyard garden featuring an indoor/outdoor performance space and roof terraces.

This school building will be unlike any building the city has seen before,” said City Manager Richard C. Rossi, adding that it is also the first city building expected to achieve LEED Platinum certification. “This is a solid investment we are making in the children of Cambridge. When the school, as well as street and sidewalk improvements to the area are completed, we believe it will be the envy of the community and a beautiful new amenity for the faculty, the students, the parents and the neighborhood.”


Cambridgeport School receives $500,000 from Cambridge Preservation Act (CPA) funds for new Playground
School playground will get much needed update to better serve younger student population.

On Monday, September 15th, the Cambridge City Council followed the Community Preservation Act Committee’s recommendation and voted to allocate $500,000 of Cambridge Preservation Act (CPA) funds to redesign and renovate the Cambridgeport School Playground. In April of this year, Cambridgeport Principal Katie Charner-Laird reached out to Mayor David P. Maher to request an updated playground that was more appropriate for the schools younger demographic. Mayor Maher moved swiftly, asking that the City Manager Richard C. Rossi, and the Department of Public Works look into the possibility of using CPA funds to update the playground. Mayor Maher stated “with the creation of the Innovation Agenda, the Cambridgeport School went from a K-8th grade to a K-5th grade school which meant that the playground was not age appropriate. My office was able to work with the City to quickly rectify the situation and secure an appropriate amount of funding for a project like this.”

With a series of meetings in the Cambridgeport School library, Mayor Maher, co-chair of the School Committee Fred Fantini, City Manager Rich Rossi and Deputy City Manager Lisa Peterson were able to meet with parents and staff to better understand their community’s needs and move forward with some interim measures as well as start the CPA request process.

From those meetings the Cambridgeport School parents became fully engaged with the process and collected over 250 signatures from parents, neighbors and staff with an online petition to the CPA to request their support of allocating the funds to the playground.

Cambridgeport parent Elizabeth Liss initiated the petition which was presented at the CPA August meeting. Ms. Liss stated, “As a Cambridgeport School parent I am thrilled to learn that the City has allocated funds to rebuild our playground. The space is a vital part of our school and the community it serves, and it is gratifying to know that the voices of parents and neighbors were heard and respected. A huge thanks to Mayor Maher and Principal Charner-Laird and Community Preservation Act Committee members for coming together in a positive way.

Cambridgeport Principal Katie Charner-Laird is thrilled that her school will be the recipient of these funds, “Cambridgeport families are so grateful that the city has taken on this project of renovating the playground. Our student body shifted in age pretty dramatically a few years ago, and now more than half of our students are under the age of six.” says Charner-Laird, “The current playground is outdated and also isn’t designed for younger children. We are all excited to engage in a community process to help design a playground that works for everyone. A playground is a true gift of childhood, and we thank all who worked so hard to bring this particular playground into the spotlight.

I look forward to working with the community to make the Cambridgeport School playground an amazing place for its students. We have a great model with the Haggerty School redesign that we can use to help inform the process.” Says Cambridge School Committee co-chair Fred Fantini, “Cambridge does a wonderful job responding to its citizens and their needs and this project is no exception.


Sept 30, 2014The Cambridge Planning Board tonight voted unanimously to grant the Special Permits for the Sullivan Courthouse redevelopment. [Cambridge Chronicle story by Sara Feijo]

Alewife development gets the OK; Developer and city still at odds over parking

Oct 7, 2014 – The Cambridge Planning Board approved unanimously a series of special permits to convert the parking lot at 88 Cambridgepark Drive in North Cambridge into a large mixed-use complex. [Cambridge Chronicle story by Sara Feijo]


Voter Registration and Absentee Ballots for the State Election, November 4, 2014

The State Election will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. For Cambridge residents not already registered, the last day to register to vote is Wednesday, October 15, 2014 until 8:00pm. The polls will be open on Election Day from 7:00am until 8:00pm.

Absentee Ballots are now available at the Cambridge Election Commission office. 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. The deadline to apply for an Absentee Ballot is Monday, November 3, 2014 at Noon. Absentee Ballots may be mailed to voters, or such voters may choose to vote at the Commission office during regular city office hours: Monday, 8:30am-8:00pm; Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30am-5:00pm; Friday, 8:30am-Noon. The office will also be open for Absentee Voting on Friday, October 31st from 8:30am until 5:00pm and on Saturday, November 1st from 9:00am until 5:00pm.

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


Corinne Espinoza Appointed as Cambridge Community Center Interim Executive Director

Oct 13, 2014 – The Cambridge Community Center (CCC) has appointed Corinne Espinoza, a resident of Cambridge, Mass., as Interim Executive Director.

Corinne EspinozaEspinoza is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the CWD Harvard Leadership Development Program, and brings with her two decades of professional and volunteer experience. Her professional competencies include accounting and finance, change management, process improvement, project management, administration, hiring, staff development, and building management and procurement.

She is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Prior to assuming her new position, Corinne served as a member of the Board of Directors at the Community Center, where she was also a member of the organization’s Budget and Finance Committee.

"I care deeply for the Cambridge Community Center and I am thrilled to serve as Interim Executive Director," says Espinoza. "Thanks to years of involvement with the CCC, I know the importance of the resources it provides to this community. This is an opportunity to dedicate myself to work that engages my mind, heart and spirit," she says.

"As a member of our Board of Directors, Corinne has been a dedicated and passionate voice in support of the CCC for many years. She has proven to be a strong asset and I look forward to her continued contributions in her new leadership role," said Lindsey Thorne-Bingham, President, CCC Board of Directors.

Located in the Riverside neighborhood of Cambridge, between Central Square and Memorial Drive, the Cambridge Community Center has been serving the community for more than 85 years. Today its mission is to promote community cooperation and unity, and empower youth, individuals and families by offering social, cultural, educational, and recreational activities. Find out more at www.cambridgecc.org/.


Main Street Water Main Lining, Tues, Oct 14 through Thurs, Oct 16 – Night Work

On Tuesday, October 14, crews will begin the process of lining the water main on Main St. from Ames St. to Wadsworth St. The work is being performed at night due to the necessary water shutdowns associated with the lining operation. All impacted properties have been notified.

On Tuesday evening, crews will line the main from Ames St to the Kendall MBTA Station. Ames St. at Main St. will be closed on Tuesday starting at 8pm, and will reopen once crews clear intersection. On Wednesday evening, October 15, crews will line the main from the Kendall MBTA station to Wadsworth St. (Ames St. will be open during this phase). We expect the operation to take two nights to complete, however crews may be onsite Thursday evening if necessary. Work hours on Tuesday and Wednesday will be 6pm to 6am. We don’t anticipate the lining to be noise intensive, however there will be noise from the generators onsite and crews will need to utilize additional lighting.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding this work.

Kelly Dunn
Community Relations Manager, Cambridge Department of Public Works
147 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
T: 617-349-4870 F: 617-349-4814
www.cambridgema.gov/theworks


Affordable Rental and Homeownership Programs Information Session – Monday, October 20

The City of Cambridge will be holding a series of free, Walk-In Informational Sessions on affordable rental and homeownership programs at different locations in the coming months. The next session will be held Monday, Oct 20, from 6-8pm, at the Putnam Gardens Community Room, 64 Magee St., Cambridge. Housing personnel from the Community Development Department will be available to discuss the city’s affordable rental and homeownership programs.

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


Bicycle and Pedestrian Committees Seeking New Members

Are you interested in transportation infrastructure, education, and safety? The City of Cambridge invites interested persons to apply to become members of the Bicycle or Pedestrian Committees.

City of Cambridge sealBicycle Committee
This committee works to improve conditions for bicyclists in the City of Cambridge and to promote bicycling as a means of transportation. Activities include organizing and participating in public events, such as biannual community bike rides; reviewing plans for road construction; commenting on proposed development projects; creating promotional materials to encourage bicycling in the city; and working with City departments on network planning. This committee generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway.

Pedestrian Committee
This committee works to promote walking and to help create a more comfortable, safe, and pleasant environment for walking in Cambridge. It advises on the design of roadway projects and policies related to traffic calming, traffic signals, and sidewalk design. It also identifies intersections and other locations where it is difficult to walk, makes suggestions about proposed development projects as they affect people on foot, and undertakes other activities to promote walking. The committee creates and leads fun walking tours for the public. This committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway. (November and December meetings are on the third Thursday.)

How to Apply
Applications are sought from dedicated individuals who live or work in Cambridge. Members are expected to attend monthly meetings as well as engage in projects outside of regular meetings. To apply, please prepare a cover letter indicating which committee you are interested in, a description of your interest in the topic, and any specific issues you would like to contribute time to working on. Please be sure to include your home mailing address, phone number, and email. Send your application to:

Richard C. Rossi, City Manager
c/o Diane Bongiorno
Community Development Department
344 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: dbongiorno@cambridgema.gov

Application Deadline – Friday, October 31, 2014
Appointments are made by the City Manager and are for two years of service. For more information, call 617/349-4600.

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