Thursday, June 11, 2009

Boston Conservation Commission defends public from DCR, striking difference from Cambridge.

1. Commendable Action on Ebersol Field.
2. Cambridge does not want to know it.

Bob reports:

1. Commendable Action on Ebersol Field.

Wednesday evening, June 10, I attended the Boston Conservation Commission hearing on fencing proposed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation for Ebersol Fields on the Charles River across from Massachusetts General Hospital. This facility is the model upon which Magazine Beach is based and is of great concern to us.

The member from the Back Bay dwelt in detail on access for the public to the premises.

Access, for animals and humans, is one of the many shocking aspects to the ongoing outrage at Magazine Beach. The terms of the contract call for Cambridge to regulate access.

Cambridge has shown at Russell Field in North Cambridge how they regulate access. The Police have thrown kids off at least one field for playing there without an advance reservation.

I had to cross examine the DCR representative quite intensely.

The Back Bay rep got the hint and squarely asked about public use of fields which have not been reserved without getting separate and advance permission. He got the DCR to agree to such use.

Signage at Ebersol Fields will expressly allow the public to use unused fields.

2. Cambridge does not want to know it.

I had first learned of this problem from a meeting of the North Cambridge neighborhood entity. It has clear connections to the Cambridge City Manager.

The group met after the Boston Conservation Commission meeting.

I went there and asked to make a brief announcement at the end of the meeting.

I was denied permission to announce the victory. I was told to come to the next meeting, strictly on Russell Field.

This group has a significant visibility in the group “defending” Alewife by opposing private destruction of an ancillary area and supporting public destruction of the reservation itself.

Key members of the group have been very visible in the more than 10 years of downzonings written by the Cambridge City Manager. Too many of these petitions accomplish exactly the opposite of their claimed results through undisclosed fine print. One of the group’s first activities was to push through a City Manager zoning proposal which wiped out residential districts on north Massachusetts Avenue, districts which would require open space at the sidewalk. The upzoning drastically increased development allowed on those lots, on the north side of Massachusetts Avenue going west from Rindge Avenue.

The chair had a letter in the Cambridge Chronicle today defending the Cambridge City Manager. He says the lawyers made Healy due it. I have filed a response. They may be read at: