Saturday, October 17, 2009

Candidates claim to be pro-environment.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Introduction.
2. Letter to Editor of Cambridge Chronicle.
3. Summary. Candidate qualifications.

1. Introduction.

Tuesday evening, October 14, a group of organizations conducted questioning of Cambridge City Council candidates on environmental issues.

It is my understanding that there was one question addressing a real environmental issue, and that Kathy Podgers got onto the list.

My compliments to Kathy. It was an excellent job.

My understanding of answers is included in the following Letter to the Editor which I have submitted to the Cambridge Chronicle.

The incumbent to whom I am responding is Craig Kelley. The other candidate is Mr. Sullivan.

2. Letter to Editor of Cambridge Chronicle.

Cambridge Chronicle

At the “environmental” city council questioning Tuesday, one city councilor blamed the outrage on the Charles River on the voters: the position is: “They should have kept us from doing it.”

One voters’ position is: “they would never stoop so low.” “Support” has been next to non-existent. A lot have been objecting.

The city council’s position has been: (1) “we do not want to hear about it,” and (2) “we are environmental saints.”

The claim of sainthood is based on a definition of environmentalism which “protects the world” but “How dare you talk to us about our destruction of the earth, water and animals of Cambridge !”

It is only “too late” at Magazine Beach and on the Charles if the claims of environmental holiness are lies.

The heartless animal abuse aimed at resident animals and the Charles River White Geese for the last five years has not killed the gaggle. Give them back their food, stop and reverse the silly destruction of their habitat and behave in a responsible manner in public works projects.

The state destroys all protective vegetation on the Charles River twice a year, EXCEPT for the bizarre wall of introduced vegetation at Magazine Beach . Have them destroy this bizarre wall. The wall has no apparent purpose except for starving the animals, and the state has bragged of the starvation.

Cambridge has converted Magazine Beach from GREEN maintenance to POISON maintenance. The change belies the claim that the City Council is GREEN. How to resolve? Stop poisoning Magazine Beach . If they were doing other than lying when calling themselves GREEN, the stopping of poisoning would be flat out simple.

One candidate said their poisons are not poisonous. If so, why the expensive drainage system to keep the poisons out of the Charles, a drainage system which cannot possibly work in the worst storms? If you stop the poisons, you SHOULD kill the drainage, to keep away future poisons. That would free up playing fields to, once again, be used as playing fields.

What to do: dump dirt on top of the drainage systems, and then grass.

The heartless animal abuse? Stop not wanting to know what you are doing.

The voters are not responsible for the outrage on the Charles River : an environmentally destructive, “reprehensible” government is. “Reprehensible” quotes a civil rights judge.

Then there are those hundreds of healthy trees which are about to be destroyed.

3. Summary. Candidate qualifications.

I certainly am open to discussions with candidates other than the long time city council incumbents.

I have yet to see a serious environmental candidate other than Kathy Podgers.

All the incumbents who have been in office more than a few months are unfit for office because of their contempt for the Cambridge environment which only they are responsible for destroying. Additionally, they are all unqualified to remain in office because they have failed to vote to fire the Cambridge City Manager.

In my opinion, putting aside the non-stop environmental outrages, there is also an excellent case for firing the Cambridge City Manager without pension. It was made by the Judge in the Monteiro case in her detailed opinion. No city councilor has even moved a vote to fire him.

The judge’s opinion may be read at

Some candidates have been endorsed by the Boston chapter of the Sierra Club. That I consider a kiss of death. The Sierra Club has, very visibly, a number of people who have done outrageous harm to the Cambridge Zoning Ordinance with fake downzonings written by the Cambridge City Manager. Sierra Club endorsements in Cambridge elections are difficult to separate from this record.

A brief conversation with the one non-incumbent endorsed by the Sierra Club, Minka van Beuzekom, left me with the very strong feeling that I do not want any more to do with her than I do with the incumbents.

Right now, after Kathy Podgers, I would toss the other non-incumbent candidates’ names into a bowl and vote for them in the order of blind selection.

One possible exception is Mr. Sullivan. His comment that the poisons being dumped on the banks of the Charles are not poisonous puts him pretty much into a league with the incumbents.