Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Con Games and Reality. Attack on the Alewife Brook Reservation self-praised by attacker

The powers that be in Cambridge do a lot of lying by omission.

Councilor Leland Cheung’s email report this morning bragged as follows:


I hope this update finds you enjoying the summer months! The City Council met Monday night for a summer session to discuss a number of important items, including three big zoning petitions. One to protect retail along North Mass Ave, . . .


I have not read the proposal. I do not have to read the proposal.

The Cambridge Machine is offended by housing and open space on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, anywhere on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

The Alewife reservation which Councilor Cheung and his friends are destroying is part of an ecosystem which includes the Alewife Brook which, in turn, parallels Alewife Brook Parkway, the borderline between Cambridge and Arlington, MA.

The machine is offended that the last few blocks of Massachusetts Avenue before the Alewife Brook are zoned with sensitivity to this environment. It includes a lot of housing and a lot of housing zoning.

Existing retail is protected because it is preexisting nonconforming. As preexisting nonconforming, it is too valuable to destroy.

The con game Cheung is spouting is that they are “protecting” existing retail by encouraging its destruction, so that neighborhood retail is replaced by high end stuff, yards are destroyed for massive buildings and first floor, neighborhood, housing is destroyed for the same massive buildings.

And, of course, the Alewife Brook is destroyed by the impact. But then Cheung and his friends have destroyed acres of the core Alewife reservation and appear poised to destroy much if not all of the rest of it, for flood protection that should be provided under a massive parking lot across Cambridge ParkDrive. The Cambridge Machine, as usual, cannot see reality. They are stalling until it is built on and these hypocrites have “no choice” but to multiply their destruction to provide the flood protection they lie that the current project provides.

Examples of responsible zoning which I have created which MEANINGFULLY provides protections for retail and existing buildings, by vote of responsible city councils are:

1. Massachusetts Avenue east just north of Harvard Law School: small retail block protected by rezoning residential.

2. East Harvard Square, historical structures on river side between Bow Street and Arrow Street. Many historically small shops protected. Guffey Park at the eastern end of this block was destroyed by the Cambridge City Manager a week or so after HE LOST THIS ZONING VOTE. He did the destruction to allow expansion of a retail establishment which could no longer legally expand. I publicized his outrage. The Cambridge City Manager apologized to the City Council by replacing the destruction with the gold plated little gem which now fronts on the Oberon.

3. Massachusetts Avenue, from Dana Street to Inman Street on the North and Bay Square (not included) to Sellers Street on the south. Neighborhood stores saved from destruction because they are more valuable than the condos which would replace them. This vote in particular saved the courtyard building on the south side of Massachusetts Avenue in the 860's with its neighborhood stores. The developer backed off the massive building and sold it for condos.

Councilor Cheung also claims to be in favor of Women’s Rights.

He has shown where the reality lies with his reaction to the Court Orders in Monteiro v. Cambridge, when Superior Court judge and jury were affirmed by the Appeals Court in their communication of disgust at the Cambridge City Manager destroying a department head’s life because she filed a Women’s Rights complaint. “Reprehensible” said the trial judge of the behavior. “Ample evidence [of] outrageous behavior” said the Appeals Court.

Cheung has shown where he stands with exactly ZERO attempts to fire the Cambridge City Manager. He voted to table to a city manager appointed committee a motion which condemned the behavior and apologized for it. Nothing more than that.

By contrast, when Penn State lost in Court over Paterno hiding outrages (not committing any, just hiding them), the NCAA stripped Paterno of all his football victories after he should have taken action.

But this is the City of Cambridge. The Cambridge Pols praise themselves non stop for their enlightenment. And they lie, pretty close to non stop.