Friday, April 27, 2007

Representative Walz supports environmental destruction at Magazine Beach

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Introduction.
2. Bob La Trémouille Response.
3. Marilyn Wellons Response, Letter to Representative Walz.

1. Introduction.

Several weeks ago, a former Cambridge School Committee member published a letter in the Cambridge Chronicle supporting destruction of Magazine Beach without saying he was supporting destruction of Magazine Beach. He said he was "improving" an unidentified Little League field. A week later, the Cambridge Chronicle published an anonymous supporting comment also not identifying the place being destroyed.

About three weeks after the anonymous communication, the original signer, Marc McGovern cosigned with State Representative Marty Walz a letter bragging about the destruction and identifying Magazine Beach.

The following are my and Marilyn Wellons' response to the more recent communication.

2. Bob La Trémouille Response.

It is always interesting to see the bad guys at work in Cambridge.

In November 1999, nine members of the Cambridge City Council voted for environmental irresponsibility at Magazine Beach, being fully aware of the harm to wildlife.

Since then nine members of the Cambridge City Council, with individual incumbents varying from time to time, have done their best not to know what they were doing.

When heartless killers targeted the Charles River White Geese, nine Cambridge City Councilors were "neutral" with what amounted to the usual complicant wink and a nod.

When the leader of the gaggle was brutally killed and the Cambridge Chronicle headlined our memorial ceremony, the Cambridge City Council was neutral with what amounted to the usual complicant wink and a nod.

When a young woman was murdered in what seemed to be clearly a graduation from killing geese, the Cambridge City Council spent an extended period discussing the killing. They just did not want to know where she was killed. Another wink and a nod.

The killer was sentenced to life and clearly looked like the goose killer.

The DCR took a poll. A majority thought that the Charles River was fine without "improvements."

Over a period of seven years, nobody could see any value in the most reprehensible part of the "improvements," the destruction of Magazine Beach.

Walling off Magazine Beach from the Charles River with designer bushes in place of wetlands was heralded with a swim-in that claimed that walling off the Charles River was a way to assist swimming in the Charles.

The starvation attacks involved in that bizarre walling off with vegetation which had no business on the Charles River was described by the DCR as doing "no harm" to the Charles River White Geese who were being starved by the project.

The DCR defined starvation as "no harm."

Finally, about a month ago, a former school committee member, Marc McGovern, supported in the Cambridge Chronicle a little league improvement at a location which that former school committee member did not identify.

One week later an anonymous message in the Chronicle agreed on the "improvement" at the unidentified location.

This looked to me like the sort of underhanded game that goes on.

Normal people consider the Magazine Beach playing fields perfectly adequate. The plans are dig up all the dirt, cart it away and replace it with dirt and poisons.

The DCR claims to want only water related activities on the banks of the Charles. They starve water birds, poison eggs of water birds and instal poisons to support "improvements" which are unnecessary for playing fields which are most definitely not water related.

The last time the DCR applied poisons to one of their water related playing fields was at Ebersol Fields near Mass. General Hospital.

This was last spring. The next day, the Charles was dead from the harbor to the Mass. Ave. bridge.

So Thursday, State Representative Marty Walz bragged about these destructive, environmentally wasteful "improvements" in the Cambridge Chronicle in response to the letter which did not identify the target. Walz identified the target as Magazine Beach.

Business as usual. Starve the animals, poison the environment and do it in response to a letter which identified nothing.

Truly reprehensible.

2. Marilyn Wellons Response, Letter to Representative Walz.

Dear Rep. Walz,

I was disturbed to read that you support the DCR's plan to install
commercial sod on the playing fields at Magazine Beach. Such sod will need
continuing applications of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
These chemicals are not good for young athletes or for the Charles
River's water quality.

The prototype of this project is the DCR's Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox
Fields at Lederman Park in Boston. In the spring of 2006 the agency
replaced 6 acres of grasses adapted to the water's edge there with commercial
sod. The unprecedented algae bloom in the Charles River just offshore
from these fields followed in August. "We've never seen an algae bloom
like this before," the Boston Globe quoted a Charles River Watershed
Association spokesperson as saying. There had never been runoff from 6
acres of chemically treated sod there before, either.

In fact, the algae bloom followed by days the application of "Tartan,"
a fungicide. The label warning for "Tartan" states it is not to be
used near bodies of water. Nevertheless, the DCR, citing the need for the
"quality of turf our players deserve," applied it to the stressed
grass. I attended the Boston Conservation Commission hearing at the DCR
representative made this statement.

In a part of the river that had been safe enough for swimming, the
algae bloom created a public health hazard, dangerous to humans and
wildlife. The DCR has never denied that runoff from the newly installed,
heavily fertilized, and chemically treated sod, including the use of
"Tartan," led to the algae bloom and cancellation of the second Charles River

The DCR now proposes to repeat the blunder at Magazine Beach's 7 acres.

Organized, regulation baseball at "Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at
Lederman Park" is not a "water-dependent activity" supposedly privileged
on Charles River parkland. Casual riverside ball playing, cited as
suitable by the Charles River Reservation's original designers a century
ago, bears no resemblance to the klieg lights on 60' high poles,
extensive fences, and chemically treated sod there or what is planned for
Magazine Beach.

Please also note that childrens' soccer leagues have backed off from
their endorsements of chemical lawn-care companies when they discovered
what exposure to the chemicals meant for the children. I do not know if
Little League teams have similar agreements or are aware of the

Please reconsider your support for the duplication of this disastrous
project at Magazine Beach.