Monday, April 16, 2012

A more cynical, and more likely, explanation for the Cambridge Machine’s latest “Initiative” at Alewife

1. Introduction.
2. A con game to distract from destruction on the western end of Massachusetts Avenue?
3. Relevant past experiences of your editor.
4. Summary.

1. Introduction.

A few days ago, I posted a proposed letter to the editor of the Cambridge Chronicle at

This responded to the “Friends” of the Alewife Reservation’s latest supposed attempts to defend Alewife reservation.

On thinking things over, it is highly likely that the situation is even more cynical than my interpretation in that post.

Please advised, however, that, when dealing with the Cambridge Pols, it is impossible to distinguish between the knaves and the victims. It is entirely possible that everybody visible in a particular initiative is a victim of somebody pulling their strings who is not at all visible.

2. A con game to distract from destruction on the western end of Massachusetts Avenue?

When dealing with the Cambridge pols, I do not believe in coincidences.

The machine sounds lovely but it very consistently implements the goals of the Cambridge City Manager which is development, development, development, insofar as it is politically possible.

In the last week or so, the Cambridge City Manager has submitted a zoning proposal to destroy housing and ground floor open space at the western / Arlington end of Massachusetts Avenue.

They love retail. They love to replace ground floor housing with retail. They love to replace front yards with retail.

To the extent they can get away with it politically.

The front organizations predictably fall in line.

The front organizations predictably play all sorts of lovely games to confuse decent human beings.

Is the “Alewife” initiative a con on a con?

A con on one level because they are chasing the wrong guy and will continue chasing him as long as they can fool people into not looking at the really destructive villains, the City of Cambridge, its City Council, and its fellow travelers at the state level.

A con on the other level because they are distracting people from the proposed destruction of zoning protections at the western / Arlington end of Massachusetts Avenue, next to Alewife Brook.

3. Relevant past experiences of your editor.

I, as a tool for protection of the environment, have written more successful zoning changes in the City of Cambridge than any other person not employed by the City of Cambridge.

Among other things, I wrote zoning changes which resulted in the change of zoning of about 85% of Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Central Squares to emphasize first floor open space and housing at a large but responsible scale.

Among other things, I also wrote the zoning which resulted in a large parking lot being returned to the environment at Alewife. That parking lot was located between the end of the Route 2 Superhighway and Alewife Station. It is now a much smaller, vestigial parking lot accessory to the Alewife reservation. It is most visible south of the ramp connecting Route 2 eastbound to Alewife Station. If you look carefully, you realize that the trees have a distinctive pattern. That pattern is because they were there much longer than the green area. The trees used to be in the parking lot.

My biggest problem has not been the developers.

My biggest problem has been fake “protective groups” with their barely identified, if identified at all, connections to the City of Cambridge, its city manager and city councilors.

The fake groups continue to be the biggest problem. They are currently most visible at Alewife and on the Charles River. They are most definitely not restricted to Alewife and the Charles River.

It is possible to beat them. I did beat them on Mass. Ave. but they did very severe harm to the first major zoning petition and lesser but still major harm to the second major zoning petition.

The fake groups have done severe harm to the Charles River and are fighting for much worse while fighting to keep their ill gotten destruction and heartless animal abuse.

Such fights should not be necessary. The game is that most people associated with such groups are well meaning. They are carefully controlled by tiny minorities, possibly not even visible in the group. The games being played at Alewife and on the Charles River are standard tactics.

4. Summary.

Cambridge, MA, USA has a really rotten city government and really bad controlled “activists.”