Sunday, March 29, 2020



I have not had Internet access for two weeks because of complications in computer access related to the Coronavirus.

I still have 1 1/3 reports from Phil pending.  I anticipate returning to posting them hopefully tomorrow.

They will continue his reports on the Charles River and will include references to the governmental outrages in Cambridge, MA, USA and to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Usual villains feature Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A very important apparent good guy is the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

MassDOT is not perfect, but it has meaningfully stood up to the destructive Cambridge City Council and the DCR.  The adult in the room with two irresponsible children.

And here is a photo of the 39 year resident Charles River White Geese, under horrible attack by these terrible entities, just the most visible of the free animals increasingly abused by the Destructive Duo.

During the past year, more habitat has been attacked, excellent trees have been destroyed, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has declared the Charles River a Public Health Hazard as the result of poisons being rerouted to the Charles River from the Magazine Beach playing fields, poisons which should not even be used on the banks of the Charles River.

But the Cambridge City Council persists in its nonstop proclamations of environmental sainthood.

Thank you for visiting.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Developer Hated NON PAID FOR Vegetation Thrives on Charles River. Charles River Poisoner Rewarded by Cambridge City Council.

Developer Hated NON PAID FOR Vegetation Thrives on Charles River.  Charles River Poisoner Rewarded by Cambridge City Council.

1. Introduction.
A. Fighting the Destruction of Harvard Square.
B, The Ongoing Destruction of the Charles River.
2. Phil’s Report.
3. Photo Elaboration.
A. Phragmites in Context.  Responsible Neighboring Community Contrasted to Cambridge.
B. Phragmites on the Charles River.
C. “Activist” creates Public Health Emergency on the Charles River by attacking NON PAID FOR vegetation.
4. Cambridge City Council rewards the Charles River Poisoner.
A. Fake Protection, Fake Protective Groups.
B. The Cambridge City Council rewards the Charles River Poisoner.  Details of the site.
C. The Cambridge City Council’s Payoff to the Charles River Poisoner.

1. Introduction.

A. Fighting the Destruction of Harvard Square.

I have been severely taxed trying to prevent destruction of Harvard Square through that zoning vote by Cambridge MS, USA’s City Council.  Regrettably, all NINE of its members voted for an outrage.  That says everything that needs to be said about NINE Cambridge City Councilors.

I normally do not go into internal matters to Friends of the White Geese and these blog reports.  One administrative matter rather glared at me yesterday doing my administrative responsibilities.  On this blog, we have had a few, rather limited, reports on the outrage being inflicted on Harvard Square by NINE destructive Cambridge City Councilors.  The blog management very religiously reports to us the hits we get on this blog.

During the publication of our relatively few reports on the destruction being inflicted on Harvard Square by those NINE councilors, the monthly hits on this blog were approximate FIVE TIMES our previous MAXIMUM monthly hits.

B, The Ongoing Destruction of the Charles River.

Now I am catching up on my correspondence.

This is my second report based on the same update from Phil.  The prior report provides analysis and overall photos of the area of the Charles River being destroyed by the Destructive Duo, Cambridge and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.  The photos were stills recreated from “Cambridge to Boston with the DJI Inspire 1, Drone Footage” posted at

Here, once again, are the two key stills viewing the west and east parts of the Charles River under attack by the Destructive Duo, presented at run times 10.02 and 10.54, respectively.

My complete report is posted at

I will edit Phil’s report for your understanding and mix in stills from the first of the three drone films he aimed me at.  That report was extremely valuable.  It included the links to the URL’s from the drone footage of the area of the Charles River being attacked by the Destructive Duo.  I provided general area views from the drone footage here as in my last report.

For your understanding, I am including an analysis which is much longer than Phil’s report.  A lot of background gets assumed by us when we see more outrages coming from the Destructive Duo.  You are getting the background.

As in the prior report, I will provide the run time of the stills for complete attribution.  I am also including some stock footage.  If it is not identified it is from me,

One other possible caveat, during the consideration of the Harvard Square destruction, I publicly supported renewal of the City Manager’s contract.  That was because, IN CONTRAST TO HIS THREE PREDECESSORS, he appears to be just doing his job.  The lack of responsibility before very clearly came from three bad City Managers.  Here, at least to me, the City Manager has communicated that he is not calling the shots on irresponsible behavior, but that the City Council, measured at NINE out of NINE in the Harvard Square outrage, is calling the shots and he is just doing his job.

2. Phil’s Report.

I did notice that the eastern drainage area has been marked off with pink ribbons marked "wet area 06" so I assume they are mounting another attack on the Phragmites. The lovely reeds have been scattering literally millions of fluffy seeds to the winds since Autumn, so they will be pretty much unstoppable.  It looks like some Magazine Beach users may have been, as well, collecting and scattering seed heads at different wet spots and along the shoreline, just to be certain they survive the tender ministrations of the "friends of nature".

3. Photo Elaboration.

A. Phragmites in Context.  Responsible Neighboring Community Contrasted to Cambridge.

First of all, Phil talks of Phragmites.  These are beautiful reeds which distress the development hierarchy to no end.  It seems that they grow without any of their members being paid.  That is a no no to people who see no value in anything unless they make money off it.

This distinction is comparable to the outrage of the Cambridge City Council at Harvard Square.  They are turning historical buildings into a Theme Park.  They are destroying excellent historical structures so they can be replaced with something members of the Development Community will be making money from, Theme Park construction which proudly replaces in totality what they have destroyed.

At Magazine Beach, the Development Community destroys these beautiful reeds so their community can make money installing the IN type of vegetation from which the Development Community makes money.

Here is a file photo of Phil’s showing a responsible neighboring community, Somerville.  Somerville has made a museum quality display out these excellent reeds in its portion of the Alewife reservation which is located just outbound from the Red Line subway’s terminal at Alewife Station

In the Cambridge part of the Alewife reservation is a thick centuries old forest.  The Cambridge City Council has referred to this forest, the Silver Maple Forest, as an “irreplaceable” beauty.  So naturally Cambridge and the DCR has destroyed 3.4 acres of the Silver Maple Forest.

Here is my after photo:

The thick forest used to fill this entire area until it was destroyed by the Destructive Duo, the Cambridge City Council and the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.

B. Phragmites on the Charles River.

Here, from minute 7.11 of the drone video is a cropped drone still of the Magazine Beach playing fields.

Until the Destructive Duo started their heartless abuse, the Charles River White Geese lived in this area most of the year.

Like the Phragmites, the Charles River White Geese have a fatal defect.  They are a major tourist attraction and highly valuable as a source of beauty.  BUT the Development Community does not make money off them.  Therefore, to the Development Community, they have no value.

The vegetation at the water’s edge was introduced in the 2000's by the Destructive Duo.  It has grown to a height of easily 15 feet and blocks access for food and habitat by the 39 year resident Charles River White Geese.  The opening toward the bottom right was left for a boat dock which existed for most of the 20th Century.

The grey area near the lower right is a corner of the large parking lot where trucks used to park which brought boats to be placed in the river so people WITHOUT PAYING ANYBODY FROM THE IN CROWD could use the Charles River.

The Destructive Duo did not actually destroy the Boat Dock.  They simply constructed obstacles.  So, for all practical purposes, they destroyed the boat dock.  In recent years, the Destructive Duo have spent money here.  It looks beautiful, but:

It continues to block the same free access, and

It makes access by the Charles River White Geese even harder.

Here is my photo from more than five years ago of the blocked boat dock opening with an ADULT WOMAN overwhelmed by the starvation wall.  It is much larger now. [key goose photos, Magazine Beach]

At the same time as heartlessly abusing the Charles River White Geese and other animals of no value to the IN crowd, the Destructive Duo introduced poisons into the environment, clearly harmful to resident animals, but the resident animals have no value to the IN crowd.

So the Destructive Duo introduced, at great expense, two drainage facilities to drain off the poisons they should not even be using on the banks of the Charles River.

Here is a closer drone view, from drone 1 footage, minute 7.26.

There are two drainage areas.  This is the main drainage area.  It has the fancy part of the drainage system.  Further west (above in this photo) is a second drainage area which feeds into the main drainage area.  That is visible in the prior drone crop beyond showing beyond the T shaped main drainage area.

Notice the swaths of dirt.  This is created because the Destructive Duo replaced grass which had been here for a Century with grass the Development Community makes money out of.  It needs their beloved poisons to survive.  But it also is inferior to the grass destroyed and is severely harmed by normal use.

C. “Activist” creates Public Health Emergency on the Charles River by attacking NON PAID FOR vegetation.

The IN crowd is distressed, the Phragmites WITHOUT ANYBODY BEING PAID, has taken over the main drainage area BECAUSE THE PHRAGMITES FEED ON the poisons loved by the Destructive Duo.  So the Phragmites is valuable to the environment because it is drinking up the poisons which should not be used on this area in the first place.  But the IN crowd is making no money.

Here is a photo of the main (east) drainage area, from minute 10.26, taken from a northern approach.

I have previously published Phil’s photo of a sign posted by the DCR bragging of outrages coming from the Destructive Duo.

Here is the right and left portions of a key sign.  It admits that blocking the drainage keeps Destructive Duo poisons out of the Charles where they would be destructive. 

So they, through the Charles River Poisoner blocked the drainage.  And created a Public Health Emergency..

In December 2017, a woman frequently praised by the Cambridge City Council blocked the drainage system.  She acted with FEDERAL (What is that guy’s name?) money working for the DCR with help from the City of Cambridge.  She led a group of “volunteers” provided by the DCR.

With the usual FRAUDULENT environmental claims to the VOLUNTEERS, they removed Phragmites from the main drain area.  They inserted plastic sheets blocking the poison flow from entering the drain area.  They thus moved the poisons introduced by the Destructive Duo into the Charles River.

My photo of the blockage:

The Starvation Wall is visible above the black plastic, then the Charles River followed by Boston vegetation and Boston University Buildings.

A caveat on the money.  The expenditure was during the first year of the term of the incumbent president.  HOWEVER, it was in the LAST TERM of the then local US Representative.  The replacement of Congressperson Capuano effective with the beginning of 2019 COULD have changed a destructive situation.

Whether the administrator of the incumbent president was guilty or Capuano is impossible to say.  It was obviously the “achievement” of the DCR.

Here is Phil’s photo of an early algae pool next to (left of in the above picture) the blocked drainage.

Here is one of many photos from Phil showing the algae growth resulting from blocking the drainage.  Photo taking taken of an area in the Charles River off the shore of Magazine Beach, beyond the Starvation Wall.

And, here is a photo of the City of Cambridge picking up the Phragmites dug out of the drainage area.

In 2019, fake protective groups influenced by the DCR noticed the poisoning and got major publicity with the creation of a Public Health Hazard designation.  It is highly likely that these fake protective groups were not aware that the poisoning was done by a woman working as agent of the DCR with assistance of the other member of the Destructive Duo.  Fake protective groups DO NOT deviate from the party line.

I sent several communications to government entities.

The outrage in the drainage ditch was removed.  Perhaps as a result of actions by the City Manager?  The Charles River Poisoner publicly acknowledged that, after the blockage had been place for more than a year and a half, she had been forced to remove it.

4. Cambridge City Council rewards the Charles River Poisoner.

A. Fake Protection, Fake Protective Groups.

These destructive followers of the City of Cambridge keep showing up, doing terrible things on behalf of the DCR and the Cambridge Development Department.  They keep bragging UNTIL THE LIES ARE NO LONGER EFFECTIVE.  And they pat each other on the back with mutual and unfounded lies of environmental sainthood.

The Charles River Poisoner fought for the January 2016 outrage by leading a fake protective group which loudly claimed to be protecting the Charles.  She combined non stop bragging of all the great work they were doing.  At the same time they suppressed public knowledge of the plans of the Destructive Duo for destruction of hundreds of trees between the BU Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge.


In the meeting of the fake group just before the January 2016 outrage, I was shouted down when seeking responsible behavior from this fake group.  “NOT IN OUR JURISDICTION.”

In the meeting after hundreds of trees were destroyed, the fake group had no problems with discussing whether they should be paid off for their assistance by having a say in saplings replacing the excellent trees they had used their Company Union tactics to help destroy.

The Charles River Poisoner is now running around fighting to destroy 60+ mostly excellent trees at Magazine Beach, lying that she is not destroying trees.

The tactics are similar to the woman who was key in the vote of the Cambridge City Council for massive Harvard Square destruction and creation of Theme Park buildings IN PLACE OF MEANINGFUL HISTORICAL BUILDINGS in Harvard Square.  That women LOUDLY AND REPEATEDLY denies that she is destroying historical / important buildings.  But that is not reality.

The pitch appears to be that historical buildings of Harvard Square would not be destroyed; they would be “conserved” by being 100% destroyed and then having 100% new Theme Park structures created in their place.  I provided a detailed response of that FRAUD.  FRAUD is very much too common when dealing with the fake protective groups.

loudly yelled at private contractors OBEYING ZONING CONTROLLED BY THE CITY COUNCIL.

Simultaneously the Company Union told people to


ignore the PLANS BY THE DESTRUCTIVE DUO which resulted in the massive destruction reported above.

And the Cambridge City Council repeatedly verbally attacked developers for destruction ALLOWED BY MUNICIPAL ZONING.  “Irreplaceable” Silver Maple Forest was the term the hypocritical Cambridge City Council used when yelling at the other guy FOR OBEYING MUNICIPAL ZONING, and at the same time as the Cambridge City Council destroyed 3.4 acres of the “Irreplaceable” Silver Maple Forest..

This stunt is equivalent to the votes to destroy Harvard Square just taken by NINE members of the City Council.  Very much assuredly, this fake protective group with its FRAUDULENT tactics will be yelling at the developers or fake regulators rather than at the GUILTY nine members of the City Council.

Simultaneously with the ongoing destruction at Magazine Beach by the Destructive Duo, the City Council has created an ordinance yelling at PRIVATE PEOPLE for destroying trees on their own property, AT A SCALE FAR BELOW THE OUTRAGES ON THE CHARLES RIVER BY THE DESTRUCTIVE DUO.

The Destructive Duo, of course, is exempt from the “protections.”

Business as usual from a highly destructive and fraud practiced around the Cambridge City Council.

B. The Cambridge City Council rewards the Charles River Poisoner.  Details of the site.

Here is my photo of the excellent grove across from MicroCenter (see my prior report on them) and next to the swimming pool which the Destructive Duo (with Cambridge City Council lying of sainthood) want destroyed.

Here is a crop from minute 10.02 of the drone 1 footage.  I should be able to get better shots as I go through the videos.

Memorial Drive runs along the Charles River in Cambridge.  It is below in this picture.  It is the grey area to the bottom right.

The white area is the DCR swimming pool.  Its supporting structure is gray below / to the right of the pool.

Large trees to the right facing Memorial Drive and the MicroCenter. are doomed as the next step after “improvements” by the Charles River Poisoner under pay approved by the Cambridge City Council..

Between the pool and the Charles River is, on the left plus closer to the river, native (shudder) grass which “needs to be replaced” with poison drinking grass to give proper moneys to the Development Community.  The grey area between the river and the pool is part of the parking lot which follows the Charles River and feeds into Memorial Drive to the mid right.

The “excuse” for destroying these excellent trees is to move the parking lot which follows the Charles to a location which the Destructive Duo prefers.   There are other heinous real reasons.  The simplest is Class Patronage.  Members of the Development Community get paid to destroy and to “repair” destruction.  Patronage to a particular entity is illegal.  Patronage to a class is not.  A rising tide raises all ships.

This report runs 10 pages in hard copy expanding on one paragraph from Phil.  I will go into, and have gone into, greater detail as to the more grand scale reasons for destruction.

Simultaneously, the DCR is working on the I-90 rebuild in Boston.  They will not deny plans to introduce poisons into that area of Boston AND THE CHARLES as part of the project.

My resolution of that problem is the same as my resolution of the problems on the Cambridge side — replace the DCR with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  MassDOT is not perfect, but it has often been the adult in the room with the highly destructive pair, the Destructive Duo.

C. The Cambridge City Council’s Payoff to the Charles River Poisoner.

The City Council voted money to pay the Charles River Poisoner.  The official explanation was as an environmental adviser.

The Charles River Poisoner is being paid to organize destruction of her detested FREE VEGETATION.  And to move the grassy area on top of the parking area next to it.  The vote included favorable words with regard to her supposed reasons for destruction that resulted in the poisoning of the Charles River.

That parking area, of course, is part of the “reason” for destroying that excellent grove.  The parking area runs from this area along the right edge of the photo.


Friday, March 06, 2020

Panoramic Photos of the targeted part of the Charles River.

Panoramic Photos of the targeted part of the Charles River.

1. Destruction of Harvard Square, Destruction of the Charles.
2. Excellent Drone Videos of the Magazine Beach Area and beyond.  General.
3. Charles River west of the BU Bridge.
4. Charles River from the BU Bridge east.
5. Conclusion.

1. Destruction of Harvard Square, Destruction of the Charles.

I have been spending a lot of time trying to -prevent destructiveness by the Cambridge City Council on another very visible front, Harvard Square.  I have to go over the meeting tapes of Monday’s meeting  to try to assess the greatest blame.  The short of it would appear that Cambridge’s bad city council is as destructive in Harvard Square as it is on the Charles River, but I need to review those tapes a bit more.

As has been common for too many years, fraud has been a too common tool for friends of the Cambridge Development Department trying to do things which normal people would deride.  The reality is that the operatives definitely look like the most guilty.

The trouble is that willful behavior by the Cambridge City Council puts the terrible things in place.  So, while friends of the Development Department with their outrageous behavior seem the instigator, the very terrible things cannot get done without a willful and destructive city council.

While I am reviewing the tapes trying to see if I can separate out levels of guilt in the current nine members of the Cambridge City Council in Harvard Square, I need to place in context the outrageous behavior of the seven carry overs  at Magazine Beach.

Phil has provided server recent reports, trying to put them in place with an excellent new tool found by him.

Afraid the tool wins out.

2. Excellent Drone Videos of the Magazine Beach Area and beyond.  General.

I normally try to let Phil’s reports speak for themselves.  This time, I have this excellent drone footage to do talking as well.  So I will try to integrate..

Phil reports:

* * * * *

Someone's been doing some lovely drone videos of Magazine Beach. The aerial views are very enjoyable, put the whole river area on both sides in perspective.

Here are some links. The music is mostly terrible, unfortunately but the footage is spectacular

* * * * *

I have followed up with pleasure.  I ran the first and spent a lot more than its run time on appreciating it and trying to create stills which could be useable in these reports.  So here are two highly impressive stills with explanations that I hope will help people understand this particular outrage.

3. Charles River west of the BU Bridge.

This still is from minute 10:02.

The first link is all I have reviewed so far.  Its title is From “Cambridge to Boston with the DJI Inspire 1, Drone Footage”.  Its running time is 13:54.

The creator can be viewed in control during the final seconds.  In later reports, I will identify the point in the running time a particular still is from.

I spent so much time on the clips that it comes as a pleasant surprise that two uncropped views, say very much what I got out of this particular post.

I definitely admire portions of Brookline (south of the Charles, with a very narrow AND CRUCIAL STRIP of Boston in between).

Key parts of Boston are more relevant than Brookline, although the Brookline views are very nice.

Key Boston views are Boston University and the rebuild of US Interstate 90 (Mass. Pike to locals).

In both stills are river views of destruction by Cambridge and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Please double click them to get the best view.

Both views show major parts of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese as destroyed by self proclaimed environmentalists.

But here are, hopefully two key views which the reader may find helpful and I can follow up with details.

Starting from the bottom left is the Magazine Beach playing fields.  Note the thick vegetation lining the Charles River.  This is introduced vegetation which converts the Charles River Playing Fields into a situation where the Playing Fields might as well be ten miles inland.  It is silly to say it is not intended primarily to starve the Charles River White Geese.

Before the destruction started by Cambridge and the DCR, the playing fields were the home of the Charles River White Geese all year except for really bad weather.

The Cambridge City Council and the DCR play games with funding.  So they can blame the worst outrages on “the other guy.”  The Cambridge City Council proves the nonsense of the funding games, among other things, BY SPOUTING NONSTOP PRAISE OF “THE OTHER GUY”.  The Cambridge City Council took secret funding votes on the Starvation Wall making it worse.

The thick woods just above the playing fields is targeted for MASSIVE DESTRUCTION, MUCH OF WHICH HAS ALREADY OCCURRED.  The building above the targeted woods is the DCR’s swimming pool.  This is followed by more excellent trees, much of which are being destroyed.

Moving to the right, at the very bottom is the top of Cambridge’s Morse School, an elementary school.  Directly above that school facing on the Memorial Drive boulevard on the other side of Magazine Street (barely visible) is a series of stores, a gas station, a MicroCenter Store, a Trader Joe’s and a building with less large uses including Starbucks.

Far up on the right, the biggie, is 808 -812 Memorial Drive, created as affordable housing.  I am not certain how much of it wound up as affordable and how much is market rate.

Above the Charles River is Boston.  Most visible is a recent Dormitory Complex of Boston University, the high rises.  The biggest highway following the water is I-90, the Massachusetts Turnpike.  It is being rebuilt because it is old and occupies too much space.  It is being moved to the left on top of the now abandoned railroad yards.  It will run against Boston University and part of Boston’s Allston neighborhood.  Next to and integrated with I-90 is and will be the state owned railroad system.  For our purposes, commuter rail is very important.

[Second copy of the still.]

The massive triangle will include more civilized off and on ramps than is currently the case, PLUS HARVARD UNIVERSITY’S I-90 ALLSTON CAMPUS.

The first new resident has long looked like the Harvard Medical School.  That is located currently in Boston’s Back Bay the Red Sox’s Fenway Park and Kenmore Square.  It is part of Massachusetts biggest cash cow, the Longwood Medical Center.  The hospitals are expanding rapidly and using up what available space they had.  So things which can be moved appear to be moving.  Particularly the Harvard Medical School to the I-90 rebuild.

The dirty tricks going on in Cambridge’s Harvard Square give the impression that the Cambridge City Council is paying Harvard to move part of Harvard’s Harvard Square campus here.  By moving part of the Harvard campus, they are destroying much of the reason for being of Harvard Square which is one of the big tourist attractions.  As usual, everything is being done with maximum secrecy, so the best I can do is provide an educated guess.  Previous reports have gone into the ENCOURAGED destruction.

A major reason for my interest apart from the I-90 rebuild, is the fact that they are playing zoning games WITH ZONING THAT I WAS PIVOTAL IN CREATING.

To the far right on the Boston side is a hotel complex and the next Charles River bridge (after the goose centric BU Bridge), the River Street Bridge.

4. Charles River from the BU Bridge east.

Time 10:54.

This comes close to being the opposing view to the one before.

The enormity of Boston University can be understood from a realization that this photo shows much less than half of BU’s campus.  Boston University IS THE BOSTON SHORE OF THE CHARLES RIVER from the BU Bridge (crossing at the bottom right) to the outgrowth of green directly below the tall building in the upper middle.  The tall building middistance as the photo goes from the BU Bridge to that outgrowth is the Boston University School of Law.

Running under the BU Bridge is the Grand Junction railroad bridge.  It connects to the right to the triangle which is being converted into Harvard’s Medical School, dorms moved from Harvard Square and who knows what else.

At the bottom middle is a skillfully designed sewerage treatment plant.  Out of view below it is the Magazine Beach playing fields.

The area on the Cambridge Side just above  the BU Bridge is the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White geese.  The thick woods beyond it are planned for total destruction, a plan which the Cambridge City Council has skillfully managed to praise.

To the left is a large building which was a Ford Plant, then a Polaroid Plant, then a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Building, now a Harvard University building.

Directly above the building is the pyramid shaped Hyatt Regency Hotel.

From then on as far as you can see near the Charles River is, for the most part, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

[Second copy of the still.]

On the river, running from the BU Bridge, you have the Destroyed Nesting Area followed by the doomed Wild Area.  The Destroyed Nesting Area is the area which shows wide.  Following it is thick vegetation which is the doomed Wild Area.  A structure can be see barely after the doomed Wild Area.  That is BU’s Cambridge Boathouse.

After the boathouse AS FAR AS YOU CAN SEE ON THE CHARLES RIVER, is the area destroyed by the MDC and Cambridge in January 2016.

My analysis of the destruction is posted at  The plans called for destruction of the now doomed Wild Area and destruction in the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese.  That destruction has been deferred apparently until after the destruction of 60+ mostly excellent trees at the Magazine Beach playing fields.

The January 2016 outrage exceeded 150 excellent trees.  There are more than 100 trees in the doomed Wild Area, and 60+ mostly excellent trees in the Magazine Beach Playing fields.

The destruction in January 2016 blocked off even more of the food of the Charles River White Geese by destroying their access to food on the river bank across from the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The video reports on the hundreds of trees destroyed in January 2016, and the plans for the doomed Wild Area, the Destroyed Nesting Area and Magazine Beach.

5. Conclusion.

I have spent so much time on these two pictures that I have to defer the rest of Phil’s report.

Save the Charles.  Save Harvard Square.  From really destructive state and city governments.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

Fraud and the Harvard Square Upzoning

Fraud and the Harvard Square Upzoning.

The following, hopefully, will be the last on this subject.  There is a very common thread between destruction on the Charles River and other destruction associated with controlled activists: FRAUD.

The Cambridge, MA, USA, City Council is considering an upzoning for Harvard Square which would allow massive destruction of historical buildings and of the most loved newish building in Harvard Square.  It develops that the purpose of this upzoning, after destruction, is to create a very densely developed THEME PARK based on the very valuable portions of Harvard Square the petitioners want to allow to be destroyed.

Here is the current zoning map of Harvard Square.

Key in the arguments for this outrage is fraud.  There is nothing complicated about the understood definition of fraud.

One common method of fraud in Cambridge is to use the English language with a secret, UNDISCLOSED, meaning, knowing that the person you are talking to will understand it in the normal meaning, and will grant you a benefit as a result of the conversation.  THAT IS FRAUD.

There are examples of fraud which can put people in jail.  I can make no claim that what is going on with regard to the Harvard Square upzoning is criminally punishable.  I do not fully understand that part of the criminal law.  With no direct financial benefit, criminal fraud would appear unlikely.

But what is going on is most definitely fraud.

We are hearing that the proponents are not destroying anything.  They use the word “preservation.”

Here is an example of the secret meanings being used for “destruction” and “preservation.”

The grey building was NEWLY BUILT, maybe ten years ago, as the result of a fraudulent change in the zoning ordinance which claimed to be creating some sort of conservation district.  This TOTALLY NEW BUILDING is at the corner of Remington (to the right) and Massachusetts Avenue at perhaps the eastern end of Harvard Square.

The grey building is similar to a building formerly on this location.  The prior building was DESTROYED.  Nothing was left of it, NOT EVEN THE FACADE.  A hole was built where the HISTORICAL BUILDING previously stood.  A parking garage was built in that hole  The new building is similar to its predecessor, but taller and larger, one added floor, and a much larger connected building to the right.

This was not renovation.  This was new construction.


IN ENGLISH, this is not preservation this is building a replacement building which is similar and larger.  The upzoning will create a LOT OF SIMILAR AND PROBABLY MUCH LARGER buildings.

To claim that this is not destruction is so nonsensical as to reasonably be called FRAUD.

A lot of excellent buildings are being destroyed.  One, formerly called the Inn at Harvard, could simply be so severely renovated that it is not reasonable to say it will not be destroyed.  Reality is that it is unlikely to be a renovation.  Retail is being added exempt from Floor Area limits on the first floor, encouraged to destroy everything on the lot, plus combine the construction above, and it will likely greatly exceed the building size currently allowed on the property.

Here are some more relevant photos.  Many more may be seen in the links at the end of this post.  What is being destroyed is the historic eastern end of Harvard Square and areas near it plus the Harvard Dining Houses on the south side of Mt. Auburn Street behind Harvard’s Smith / Holyoke Center.  Destruction through merger of lots to include side streets with a “front door” on one of the magic streets could include one or more Harvard Dorms which, correspondingly be moved to Harvard’s new campus in Allston on land formerly occupied by exists from I-90 (Mass. Pike).

My detailed photos do not include the encouraged destruction on JFK Street, in Harvard Square proper, in Brattle and Eliot Squares and in the historical block between Story and Hilliard Streets insofar as that block can be merged into a lot or lots which include the block of Mt. Auburn Street between Story and Hilliard so that the front door of the created shopping mall(s) is on Mt. Auburn Street.  Side streets east of JFK Street will see similar destruction as at Hilliard - Story.

One of the things the proponents are allowing to be destroyed and denying same are the plazas on the Mass. Ave. (Harvard Square proper) and Mt. Auburn side of Harvard’s Clark / Holyoke Center.  These plaza are obviously part of the massive variances given Harvard in its first creation of this monstrous building.  These plazas are clearly protected as part of the latest, enlarging variance.

But the upzoning wipes out the variance as far as the plazas are concerned.  There is nothing to protect.  They are preexisting.  There would be no Floor Area Limit.  They are legal, subject to the new language which allows construction of buildings to 80 feet (8 residential stories).  Building buildings is quite simply allowed.  There are the usual silly “Special Permit” requirements, but Special Permits by law are ALLOWED UNLESS PROVEN OTHERWISE.

It is silly to think that recreating the plazas ON TOP OF THE 8 STORY BUILDINGS will be prohibited.  That is not particularly different from the Remington / Mass. Ave. building.  You have a plaza.  It is 8 stories up.  There is no prohibition against having plazas eight stories up.  “We did the best we could.”

My prior communications to the City Council  have gone into great detail as to the destruction allowed by this outrage.  The primary difference is that I FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE FRAUD.  It was so communicated to me  in a very telling exchange on my facebook page with the woman who is leading the fight.

She made very clear comments communicating her destructive goal.  She was “shocked” to hear me communicate the shocking nature of them.

Her goal is to turn Harvard Square into a theme park of Harvard Square.

She is not “destroying” historical buildings.  She is “improving” them.  And in the next step, she depreciates what she is destroying because it is not praised by organizations related to Harvard grads.  If Harvard grads do not praise specific parts of her planned massive destruction, from her pitch, it cannot be worth much.

Destruction would be very heavy in the area nearest the doomed former Inn at Harvard.

Here are a couple of the communications to the Cambridge City Council.  My first one went into great detail as to the area being destroyed east of JFK street.  It is posted in City Records at, November 16, 2019, Communication 1, pages 298 to 323.

I have submitted a communication which is being received by the Cambridge City Council on March 2 concerning changes made in the February24 meeting and the nonsensical outrage at Putnam Square. .

The last extended letter prior to that  responded to the actions by the Cambridge City Council at its Special Meeting on this matter.  That letter goes into the entire package, with maps.  The blog posting of February 10, 2020 is simpler to access, It is at;postID=6361020298260485967.

The Cambridge City Council will vote Monday on the upzoning working for destruction in Harvard Square.

Instead of “That was the best we could get,” the best the Cambridge City Council can get is to trash this irresponsible upzoning, and separately remove the Putnam Square Business B and all the residential and office zones from the Harvard Square Overlay District.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cambridge City Council, USA Schedules SPECIAL MEETING on Harvard Square Upzoning Proposal (Impacts on the Charles River)

Cambridge City Council, USA Schedules SPECIAL MEETING on Harvard Square Upzoning Proposal (Impacts on the Charles River)

I am reporting on this zoning proposal for a number of reasons.  Just to name a few:

1. It appears to be an excellent example of the Cambridge Development Department and friends taking a trusting, well intentioned person under their wing and conning her into a zoning proposal which achieves the OPPOSITE of what she wants.

2. It is an area in which I am a foremost expert since I did the drafting and provided expert knowledge for the zoning petition which creates most of the zoning which the Development Department and friends are working to destroy.  This is an area where I have had other victories of very clear importance.

3. On reading this thing and thinking it over, it would appear that the Cambridge City Council, should it pass the proposal, would be paying Harvard University to convert a number of dormitories in Harvard Square into retail malls and moving the dormitory uses to the I90 rebuild area on the Boston side of the Charles River.

The latter is a topic on which I have frequently reported and on which I have had significant victories, for the benefit of the project, for the benefit of Cambridge residents, and for the benefit of the Charles River environment.

Since this proposal is, for the most part, not Charles River, I have withheld it from the Charles River White Geese Blog, the Charles River Facebook page, and my email reports to people concerned about the Charles River.

The impact on my reports on the Blog and the Facebook page has been that my actions on most of these matters, while major have not been directly added to Blog, Facebook and email.  Reports have been provided edited to matters of direct relevance.

There have been four communications by me to the City Council and City Manager.

Only the fourth has been actually posted on this blog.  It is a summary of the City Council Ordinance Committee meeting on the proposal.  It was just posted and it provides a pretty good summary, including a pretty significant victory.

Today, in the process of creating my condensed versions of the blog posting on the Ordinance Committee meeting, I checked back in the official files.

I discovered to my surprise that the City Council has scheduled a Special Meeting to discuss the Zoning Proposal, on February 18, 2020 at 3 pm.  This was a shock.

My report on the Ordinance Committee Meeting was just posted on this blog, on February 10, 2020, at;postID=6361020298260485967.  It is a good summary.  It goes into the impact of the proposal including on areas which had never before been mentioned.  I omitted significant parts of the document out of a sense of being overwhelmed.  This is normal on Development Department initiatives.  They commonly are much worse than you realize and it is necessary to go back and go back and go back.

I will follow up with the deeper thoughts because I want to get this notice out.

The official record of my four letters on this matter are as follows.  They start with a very detailed photographic record of buildings targeted in that area in which I have had major influence.  Then I go into more general analyses.  The February 10 blog report forwarding my analysis of the January 30, 2020 City Council meeting goes into great detail on another area associated with Harvard Square in the vicinity of Brattle Square and on the adjacent neighborhood.

Here are the four official reports:

1., City Council meeting of November 16, 2020, Communication 1, pages 298 to 323, very extended photographic documentation of the area east of JFK Street, which were subjects of my East Harvard Square Downzoning.

2., City Council meeting of January 27, 2020, pages 73 to 78, following on the above, belying claims of a lot of retail in areas PROPERLY zoning for Residential / Office use.

3., City Council meeting of February 2, 2020, communication 1, pages 104 to 113.  This letter was filed by me with the City Clerk for the February 2, 2020 meeting and with the City Manager, both a few hours before I addressed the City Council Ordinance Committee meeting on January 30, 2020.

4., City Council meeting of February 10, communication 2, pages 140 to 148.  This thanked the Ordinance Committee for its very positive change, and went into detail why I thought more should be done.  It deals with both sides of the Harvard Square core and inpact on neighborhoods.  The blog report is posted above.

Letter 4, forwarded to this blog on February 10, is a good summary, while lacking the very detailed photographs in letter 1 which were then supplemented in letters 2 and 3.  The blog URL is above.

I will consider if I want to go further.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

A victory in Harvard Square. More is needed.

A big victory in Harvard Square.  More is needed.

The good guys have a major victory.

The ongoing and increasing outrage on the Charles River stems from decades of outrageous behavior in the City of Cambridge.  The core is the city’s Development Department, but they could not achieve these terrible things without the Friends of the Development Department running around fooling good people into doing very terrible things, while lying that they and their accomplices are defenders of the City of Cambridge.  This outrage includes very much nonstop bragging and praising each other, IN GENERAL TERMS, of terrific records which very much do not exist. 

I have stood up to this outrage with a lot of success, almost certainly more wins than losses.

At its latest committee hearing on the Harvard Square Upzoning, the Cambridge City Council gave those who love Cambridge a major win on some of the worst parts of the Harvard Square Upzoning.  We need to clean up the rest.

As I repeatedly comment in my City Council / City Manager letter, reproduced below, it is my strong opinion that the most visible of the victims of this latest terrible situation are people trying to do good, but who have been subjected to fraud by the Cambridge Development Department and its Friends.. 

If you want to do good on develpment matters in the City of Cambridge, you have to keep as far as possible away from the Cambridge Development Department and their Friends.  The very terrible aspects of this petition in Harvard Square are yet another example of good people being conned into achieving the opposite of their goals.

The following letter is being formally delivered to the Cambridge City Council on February 10, praising them for what they have done so far while asking them to go further than what they have done already to clean up this bad proposal. 

The letter goes into detail putting this outrage in the context of very destructive people who have conned their way into too many outrages and mentions many of those outrages.  The letter was received by the City Manager on Thursday, February 6, 2020.

I hope that the Cambridge City Council will clean up the dirty tricks foisted on this well meaning person so that the harm she is fighting for to the City of Cambridge will be reversed. 

The reality is that it that the petition should be refiled.  I recommend what I think should be done in the refiling.

The most blatant fraud is restated three times in different parts of the letter.  I hope that makes the point adequately clear.

The City Council and City Manager should get aggressive on standing up to and should end this ongoing villainy.  The river poisoning, massive tree destruction, habitat destruction and heartless animal abuse on the Charles River are just part of this very bad problem.

Included in the letter is one action which rather clearly seems to warrant firing. 

Regrettably, I comment on some bad stuff in the petition on which I think the good guys are probably unable to win.

* * * * *

RE: Harvard Square Upzoning Proposal (Blier and others), Ordinance Committee Changes.

Gentlemen / Ladies:

1. Introduction.
2. Business B only for the killing of meaningful FAR limits.
3. Putnam Square makes no Sense for Business B as part of the Harvard Square Overlay District with this upzoning.
4. Impact on Brattle Square Neighborhood.
(A) General.
(B) Story and Hilliard Streets.
(C) Two Churches.
5. Conversion of residential and office districts to frauds.
6. Summary.

1. Introduction.

The City Council Ordinance Committee, a committee of the whole, met on January 30, 2020, to discuss the Harvard Square Upzoning.

There was one significant improvement made while some very significant bad parts remain.  Perhaps the City Manager passed on to one or more City Councilors my letter filed earlier that day which was also sent to the City Council and is posted is posted in the city council complete agenda of Monday February 3, 2020 at Communication 1, Harvard Square Upzoning Proposal, destruction west of JFK Street, fully reproduced at, pages 104 to 113.

If the City Manager did pass on that information, that forwarding is only part of the reasons why I note FAVORABLY the notice of the City Manager to the City Council that he would like to extend his contract beyond January 1, 2021.

2. Business B only for the killing of meaningful FAR limits.

One of the extremely bad changes noted in my letter has been modified downward.  The wiping out of FAR requirements would no longer be combined with the massive retail upzoning to threaten the office and residential districts and the Business A district and their neighbors.  It only applies to the Business B districts. 

As such, it will greatly increase the size of many buildings currently at the largest they can build, BY MAKING THEM HIGHER OR WIDER.  As is usual with Development Department influenced upzonings, this achieves the opposite of the goals of the principal advocate of the zoning change.

The croppings of the relevant parts of the City Wide overlay district and zoning maps are, in that order:

While the upzoning will create major infill construction, the big obvious negative changes from current zoning are in East Harvard Square and beyond, and in Brattle Square. 

3. Putnam Square makes no Sense for Business B as part of the Harvard Square Overlay District with this upzoning.

Putnam Square at Putnam Avenue and Mt. Auburn Street has MAJOR IMPACT ON ABUTTING RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS.  It is a good distance from the real Business B district.   Harvard Square proper, separated by Residence C-3 (Harvard properties), Residence C-2B, Office 3, and Office 2 districts.  This small Business B zoning districts directly abuts residence C-1 districts on three sides.

My omission of the area from two petitions, the East Harvard Square, and the La Trémouille Downzonings was deliberate.  It came because this area was more densely developed than the adjoining areas on Mass. Ave. and side streets from the zoning we considered appropriate for the zoning changes we were proposing.  But the Business B areas is not so far out of scale as to justify building strikingly large buildings POSSIBLY appropriate in core Harvard Square which is what the inclusion of this area in the Upzoning does.  The omission of the application of the FAR exemption from the residential and office districts as the Upzoning currently stands, DRAMATICALLY points out the lack of appropriateness of Business B / Harvard Square Overlay District zoning for Putnam Square.

Here are the corresponding maps cropped.

The Overlay District map, below, runs from, upper left, Harvard Square proper to Putnam Square, lower right.  The zoning map crop (next page) [ed: 2d] places the Business B area in the middle of the zoning map to clearly show just how much out of place that Business B district is.

The Business B solely commercial buildings generally do not even approaches the 80 foot maximum height subject to silly reviews. 

The block on the north side of Mass. Ave. between Remington and Trowbridge contains a residential tower with much lower retail to allow a transition for the residential neighbors instead of a solid wall.  The recently constructed building at the northwest corner of Trowbridge and Mass. Ave., by agreement between the two owners with BZA [Ed.:  Board of Zoning Appeals] approval fills its lot.  It has retail at the ground level with parking underneath and housing above.  It is constructed to take advantage of the open space in the rear which is used as parking but as a buffer for the construction at Mass. Ave. 

Both configurations were created with BZA approval.

The Overlay District applies Overlay rules to the entirety of any lot in the district in part or in whole.  The lot for the tower building extends to adjoining residential lots on Remington and Trowbridge keeping sunlight available to the neighbors AS PART OF THE BZA DEALS under which they were built. 

The Upzoning allows 80 foot high construction at those lotlines, destroying the carefully considerate construction, subject to silly reviews.  Nonsensical 80 foot construction subject to silly reviews can fill the entire area which has deliberately kept open for sunlight for neighbors.

The Business B / Overlay District store building on the northeast corner of Trowbridge and Mass. Ave. has two retail floors and a parking lot providing the same sunlight and elbow room for the residential neighbors. 

The office building on the southeast corner has a larger yard on the side toward the residential neighborhood.  The next building to its east is in the irresponsible zoning area created by a friends of the Development Department.  These guys were a rogue steering committee falsely claiming to represent a neighborhood association for whom I wrote the La Trémouille petition.  This group was disavowed by their neighborhood association after the rogue group did its harm.  The real neighborhood association with my participation did salvage responsible downzoning east of Hancock Street on Green Street. 

The individual who bullied the Harvard Dorms out of the East Harvard Square Downzoning (“You have made your deal with the city council.  Now you must negotiate with the planning board.”) was a member of the rogue steering committee.  That “activist” was a member of the current “citizen group” until I disclosed his record.  The chief zoning change person is achieving the opposite of many of her goals in this upzoning.  BUSINESS AS USUAL WHEN DEALING WITH THE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT AND ITS FRIENDS.

Building in the rogue steering committee’s zoning area deliberately was allowed to go to the south lotline.  A resident of Green Street south of the construction area when it was still in the future went to the development department because of concern it could be built to the lotline. 

The Development Department lied to the abutter.  I explained the situation to the abutter and she got the rogue steering committee’s zoning modified to require a 20 foot yard.

The killing of the FAR limits combined with yard requirements allows the owner of the corner building to fill in this neighbor beneficial yard, every square foot, to a height of 80 feet subject to silly reviews DIRECTLY NEXT TO RESIDENTIAL C-1 PROPERTIES on Green Street, in addition to the existing large building occupying half the lot.

The responsible change in this area is to remove the Business B from the Harvard Square Overlay District.  It is not Harvard Square.  It should not be treated like Harvard Square.  Similarly, the office and residential districts in the Harvard Square Overlay District should be removed from the Harvard Square Overlay District.  Those properties are not retail.  They have great historical and beauty value.  They should not be destroyed for retail or to pay Harvard to move dorms to their coming I90 campus.

4. Brattle Square Neighborhood

(A) General.

In Brattle Square, the one story structure at the T entrance and two church buildings are certain to be destroyed.  Other massive increases are likely in many infill projects increasing the size of existing buildings.  To the best of my knowledge, the Development Department and its friends have kept REAL IMPACT AS SECRET AS POSSIBLE.  The reality is that I feel the same toward the one story block.  I like it and think it should stay.  The powers that be have been trying to destroy it as long as I have been working on development issues, which dates back to 1976.  I cannot win.  That does not mean I like it.

The two churches are a different matter.  As is the residentially zoned block of Brattle between Story and Hilliard.


Here is the Brattle Square portion of the Harvard Square Overlay District cropped from the Citywide overlay district map, and the Harvard Square Zoning cropped from the Citywide map.

Church Street shows at the top of the overlay district map.  And to the right of the BA in the zoning map.  The City Council is to be commended for removing Church Street from this upzoning.

(B) Story and Hilliard Streets.

The middle of the west (upper on overlay map, left on zoning map) side of Story Street is removed from the Harvard Square Overlay District because it is obviously not part of Harvard Square proper.

BUT the block of Mount Auburn Street below that opening on the zoning map is in the Overlay District.  That block is also 100% residential, nice residential.  “Somebody” lied that the Overlay District provides protection.  Development Department, friends of the Development Department or both.

This block is, horrors, on Mt. Auburn Street and therefor is changed from Residential Zoning to FRAUDULENT residential zoning with Retail as of right.  Part of the fraud involved in this upzoning is the language which makes a property allowed to be retail is that the “main entrance” is on one of the magic streets.  So a strip mall can be created with the main entrance on Mt. Auburn Street in the location of one of these excellent houses, and stretching as far up the RESIDENTIAL SIDE OF STORY STREET as the developer can put together.  Once the parcel is put together can be merged as one lot.  The Overlay District says that any lot which is both in and out of the Overlay District is FULLY IN THE OVERLAY DISTRICT. 

So that side of Story street with residential zoning now has FALSE residential zoning, thanks to this upzoning.  THE SAME APPLIES TO HILLIARD STREET.  C-2 on Story allows 65 feet, reduced to 60 with silly reviews raising to 80 feet.  That part of Hilliard is Residence B

And there is the crucial fraud, as usual.

The key zoning paragraph, 20.54.3 paragraph 1, allows retail AS OF RIGHT on the selected streets.  After this paragraph, there are three pages of lovely and ALMOST TOTALLY FAKE “protections.”  They are almost totally fake because almost all residential and office districts are on the magic streets or subject to the merger games on Story and Hilliard Street.  Immediately following the crucial sentence appear the following words:

“For all other lots. . .”

Typical of zoning proposals from Development Department and friends, you have two REAL SENTENCES followed by THREE PAGES OF, FOR ALL MEANINGFUL PURPOSES, FRAUD.

(C) The two DOOMED churches.

The Brattle Theater has been deconsecrated since before I returned in Cambridge, my place of birth.  It appears on the above maps as follows: On the overlay district map, below Church Street on Brattle Street.  On the zoning map the second of two small buildings to the right of Church Street (marked BA).

That horrible word is regularly used with regard to the EXTREMELY VALUABLE Brattle Theatre, “Underutilized.”  Well it is in Business B with NO FAR LIMITS UP TO 80 FEET SUBJECT TO FAKE REVIEWS.  How long will it last?

The second probably doomed Church.  This appears on the Zoning Map below and across the street from “BB” with Winthrop Park, marked OS between it and JFK Street.  On the Overlay District map, it is blue in the lower right corner.  It already has retail uses, Grendel’s Den and Peet’s Coffee, at minimum.  I am not certain if it is deconsecrated.  It looks still in service.  Clearly increasing its value if destroyed does not say much for its future.  The blue color MAY indicates Harvard ownership, but there are a number of errors in coloring in the map.

For the record, I did the writing which responded with the first relatively small lot open space district, in the Maple Avenue Downzoning, on the corner of Marie Avenue.  My petitioners were smart enough that they knew better than to trust the always present friends of the Development Department.  They achieved what they wanted to achieve in a zoning proposal which was very careful to create a district which had property appropriate for the new district.  I have seen at least one open space proposal negatively impacted in a key way by friends of the Development Department.

The exemption from FAR up to 80 feet with silly reviews combined with the retail upzoning could be crucial in the destruction of these churches.

The Brattle Theater building is certain to be destroyed.  Also probable for destruction is the church fronting on Winthrop Park.  Both are excellent structures which are of great value to Harvard Square and should not be destroyed.

5. Conversion of office and residential districts to frauds.

Continuation of destruction of the office and retail districts would destroy the core character of Harvard Square, including the most loved newish building in Harvard Square, the former Inn at Harvard, WITH ITS TREES AND OPEN SPACE.  It will destroy the collection of historical structures in the Mass. Ave. - Bow - Arrow triangle, plus the historical structures to their east, five historical buildings on Mt. Auburn near Putnam, and a block full of residential structures on both sides of Mt. Auburn Street west of the Post Office, and destroy the Harvard Dining Club buildings on Mt. Auburn Street or which could be combined with a lot on Mt. Auburn Street.

* * * *

First side street dorm to move to I90 campus with doomed tree which cannot move?

* * * * *

My estimate that the Inn at Harvard will continue to be destroyed comes from the nature of retail use.  Retail uses beloved by the Development and friends routinely destroy yards and build to the lotline.  Nothing complicated about it.  The retail fanatics, without mentioning it, routinely destroy yards and trees.

[ed:  the following photos were presented on the right side of the page with the text on the right side, doomed buildings.]


The Mass. Ave. face could be assumed to be destroyed (one of the magic streets), and the Harvard Street face destroyed to maintain a similar pattern, while having the front entrance on Mass. Ave.  The building was constructed with a large atrium.  Without the retail upzoning, Harvard could most likely build in the atrium for added floor space while keeping within FAR limits.  The retail upzoning rewards and encourages destroying the excellent Mass. Ave. and Harvard Street faces, trees and open space.  Total destruction of the building would be likely with the FAR nonsense.

See my letter made part of the City Council meeting on November 16, 2019, Communication 1, pages 298 to 323 of the Complete Agenda at

I understand that word is out that the City Council, by paying Harvard for retail conversions of dorms with this zoning change, is paying Harvard to move the side street dorms to Harvard’s coming I90 campus.  The big destruction (not counting infill) will be, first of all, destruction of the excellent Inn at Harvard, followed by the excellent Mass. Ave. - Bow - Arrow block, ESPECIALLY CONVERSION OF THE VERY LARGE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING followed by the side street dorms starting with Bow Street and moving westward to Smith Center.  Dining clubs on Mt. Auburn can follow, probably with the Hillel House.

Encouraged destruction spreads through the Office-2 district both on Mass. Ave. and on Mt. Auburn including the historical building between the O-2 district and the back of 2 Arrow Street.

Once again, destruction of housing is exactly the opposite of a principal goal of the most visible advocate, but this is a Development Department related zoning change, so well meaning people NORMALLY achieve the opposite of their goals if they have been fooled into trusting the Development Department and their friends.

The key fraud is the proposed section 20.54.3 paragraph 1 (as originally submitted).  This section destroyed the residential and office districts.  There are THREE PAGES OF NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS.”  The three pages of NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” apply to almost no part of the Harvard Square Overlay District.  This is, of course, insofar as silly reviews have any real protective value at all.  I remember the three historical buildings replaced by 2 Arrow Street.

The sentence which belies the NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” is the first sentence of paragraph 1 followed by the beginning of the second sentence.  Sentence 1 destroys the residential and office districts for buildings with front doors on stated streets.  The beginning of sentence two is;

[Ed:  Text large, surrounded by thick lined bold box.]

“For all other lots.”


So the three pages on NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” apply to almost no properties, and even THE VERY SMALL NUMBER OF LOTS to which the three pages of NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” are applicable commonly can evade the NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” by joining lots and having the main entrance on one of the stated streets. 

One example of the joining lots game would be the Residence C-2 zoned residential properties on Story Street which could be merged with the residential properties zoned C-2 on Mt. Auburn Street (one of the magic streets) west of the Post Office.  That “main entrance” on Mt. Auburn Street thus becomes the reason to destroy these excellent and valuable examples of housing.  A skinny building with a tiny face containing the “main entrance” and NONSENSICAL “PROTECTIONS” disappear.

The same game applies on the eastern side of the next street, Hilliard Street, albeit with Residence B zoning on the side street.

Another such example is in the Dining Houses district in which, with street abandonment of Winthrop Street, a FOURTH church (University Lutheran Church) could be destroyed / converted.  This would bring churches in the Harvard Square Overlay District, consecrated or otherwise, down from six churches to two THREATENED churches (Old Cambridge Baptist Church and St. Paul’s Catholic Church) until those congregations decide to take their profits from the upzoning and run.  Interim changes in the two could involve combining retail construction with religious use, as could be done with the church next to the Harvard Dining Houses.  The Harvard Dining Houses church (the University Lutheran Church) and Hillel House could move to Harvard’s I90 campus as first floor uses. 

An excellent example of what can happen if a congregation decides they must take very generous money is the destruction after 50 or 60 years of the magnificent Massachusetts Bay headquarters of The Salvation Army formerly across from the headquarters of the Boston Police Department.  The latter has also been given up on by its now former municipal owners for big profits.  The City of Boston did save the Police Headquarters building from destruction.  The Salvation Army, after MORE THAN A CENTURY in Boston, gave up on having its Massachusetts Bay headquarters in Boston for a modern building in the suburbs. 

Here are AFTER photos of the 50 year or so Massachusetts Bay Headquarters of The Salvation Army taken from Columbus Avenue and from Berkeley Street.  The building beyond the replacement on Berkeley was formerly taller (not much) than The Salvation Army building.  The building seen from Columbus Avenue in the distance and slightly to the right is the Park Plaza Hotel.  The nearer building on Columbus Avenue, visible in the Berkeley Street picture, was slightly lower than The Salvation Army headquarters building.  The line at the top of the street faces is probably comparable to what is rewarded in the Harvard Square Overlay district before silly reviews.  The Salvation Army headquarters had a private parking lot with frontage on Columbus Avenue about the same size as the building’s footprint.

Berkeley Street View

Columbus Avenue View, Park Plaza Hotel building is the farthest building.  

The now destroyed headquarters building of The Salvation Army, in a similar use to possible relocation of churches forced out by the upzoning, included a church on the first floor.  First floor churches would likely be done with moves to high rises in the I90 campus.  Hopefully, churches moved to I90 would survive on a larger scale than the lovely little church in the Massachusetts Bay headquarters of The Salvation Army.  But the opposite of value for Harvard Square would be created by the destruction of churches in this upzoning.

What should be done with the residential and office districts in the Harvard Square Overlay District?  Remove them from the Harvard Square Overlay district.  That would save Harvard Square from the worst of the raping proposed with the usual word games giving false impressions. 

Friends of the Development Department do not want people to look at it, but “For all other lots” is in there and “For all other lots” renders those three lovely but silly pages even more meaningless.

A related improvement would be to remove the to be separated Business B district at Putnam Square from the Harvard Square Overlay District, and thus prevent adding of floors under the FAR games from impacting the abutting residential areas in Riverside and Mid-Cambridge.

7. Summary.

This zoning petition fits a distressing pattern.  People who have goals they want to achieve are best advised to keep away from the Development Department, NO MATTER HOW LOUDLY FRIENDS OF THE DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TELL THEM TO DO SO.

The Cambridge City Council has spent millions on development consultants who should not have had to be hired. 

The fact that they have been hired is a display from the Cambridge City Council of the lack of confidence the Cambridge City Council, FOR GOOD CAUSE, has in the Cambridge Development Department.

The way to intelligently develop Cambridge is to hire responsible people in the Development Department and ignore the Development Department rubber stamps in the community.  A good way to recognize the rubber stamps is to look at the real behavior of the supposed protective groups recognized as responsible by this irresponsible department.  It is not a certain way, but a useful way.

An excellent example of apparent rubber stamps is the recent funding of the Charles River Poisoner by the Cambridge City Council for ENVIRONMENTAL ADVICE ON THE CHARLES RIVER based on the recommendation of the Development Department through yet another skillfully controlled committee.  The Charles River Poisoner is playing a key part in the ongoing destruction of 300 to 400 trees and animal habitat on the Charles River.  Additionally, the poisoning of the Charles River itself is yet another reason to condemn the Development Department for recommending her.

The City of Cambridge, funded by the Cambridge City Council on Development Department advice, hired a woman to do environmental work on the Charles River who created a PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY on the Charles River.

I promptly objected to this PUBLIC HEALTH OUTRAGE to the Cambridge City Council and followed up.

* * * * *

Poison drainage facility added by Cambridge and DCR in 2000's to drain off poisons first introduced than.  The Charles River poisoner blocked the drainage because she did not like the beautiful plants which fed on the poison.  So she chopped up the plants and prevented draining off the poisons.  The poisons went into the Charles River and poisoned it, creating a major algae infestation.

* * * * *

* * * * *  *

Algae accumulates in the Charles River off Magazine Beach resulting from DCR / Cambridge poisons being rerouted into the Charles

* * * * * *

The particular paid task for the Charles River Poisoner is to prepare grounds for the destruction of the excellent grove of trees across Memorial Drive from MicroCenter.  She is destroying parking.  The Department of Conservation and Recreation excuse for destroying these PARTICULAR excellent trees WITH HER ASSISTANCE is to replace the parking she is destroying and other parking.

This destruction is part of the ongoing destruction of 300 to 400 mostly excellent trees on the Charles River, plus animal habitat, with her smack in the middle.  Excuses tend to vary with what the other person will swallow or what can successfully be kept secret through Company Union tactics.

An excellent reason to fire people.

In my individual capacity, I will go into further analysis of the Harvard Square upzoning in a later letter or letters. 

And remember, the Development Department in its presentation of the zoning history of Harvard Square to the Planning Board omitted the zoning change, passed against the recommendation of the bureaucracy, which created much of the zoning now proposed to be destroyed.  That Development Department kept secret that activist initiative, with key changes initiated by the City Council, which resulted in the East Harvard Square Downzoning.  I participated in a key capacity in that change.  Plus I have many other major successful initiatives in Harvard Square, on Massachusetts Avenue and on nearby streets.

You have made a good improvement.  Please do more.


Robert J. La Trémouille

* * * *

The official record of this letter is published in City of Cambridge records at, pages 140 to 148. 

There is a doubling of three lines in the official version apparently due to overworking my word processor with all the graphics.  I spent hours cleaning up the results of the overload on the application.  I finally had to separate the letter into two files to stop the phantom elements.  I missed that one.  I hope the phantom nature of the duplication is adequately obvious.