Friday, November 30, 2012

Cambridge Chronicle: Good Handling of Cambridge, MA, USA Corruption

1. General.
2. VanBeuzekom, the chair, and reality.
3. Analysis of issues.
4. Practical handling by the Chronicle.

1. General.

The editorial page of yesterday’s (11/29/12) Cambridge Chronicle was nicely laid out.

The main editorial page, page A10 had three letters to the editor with a fourth on the continuation page.

The first letter was given the heading, “Bercaw hurls ‘generalities without specificity’”.

The letter responded to Roy Bercaw’s attack on corruption in Cambridge government as his farewell to the departing last Chronicle editor. Roy thought he did some good work standing up to corruption in Cambridge government. The writer called Bercaw’s letter an attack on the municipal-paid employees of the City of Cambridge. He said:

“Hurling generalities without specificity, as Bercaw did, is the hallmark of a ‘gutless wonder’”.

The third letter was mine, headlined “‘Dishonesty in environmentalism is the norm’”.

I led with “Roy Bercaw’s analysis of Cambridge as a corrupt community was astute.” I followed with the ongoing con game of the Cambridge Machine fighting for destruction of the Alewife Reservation and featured my analysis of the destruction in light of a supposed environmental meeting by The Machine.

I previously posted my letter at It was my second posting concerning this typically bizarre Cambridge, MA “environmental” meeting.

2. VanBeuzekom, the chair, and reality.

First of all, by this posting, I am presenting my third report on this meeting. There is, however, one point I have not hit on with regard to this meeting yet.

Possibly key in the last election was a letter that was distributed quoting a flippant comment by an incumbent city councilor about Malvina Monteiro. Monteiro is the female Cape Verdean who had her life destroyed by the Cambridge City Manager in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

That letter could have been a key factor in that councilor being fired and Councilor vanBeuzekom replacing him. Identified in my first post but not identified in the letter was the councilor I was responding to, Councilor vanBeuzekom.

The meeting’s chair, who shut me up when I tried to get Councilor vanBeuzekom back on the issue, was the woman who distributed the letter which could have resulted in vanBeuzekom replacing the incumbent.

Particularly striking about that letter was the fact that the chair is a long time and very visible member of The Machine, and The Machine simply does not publicly make such statements. The chair did and the woman she protected at that meeting is the one who possibly got elected because of her letter.

3. Analysis of issues.

These letters are limited to 400 words. My reading of Roy’s letter was that he did an excellent job of presenting the problem within the constraints of 400 words.

Realizing the constraints Roy was working on and reading the rest of the lead letter, the lead letter yesterday is difficult to evaluate except as a bunch of cheap shots.

I have had a lot of letters published in the Cambridge Chronicle recently. Because of this, I did not expect to see this particular letter printed.

The editor, however, had my letter in hand. Roy did an excellent job in his letter given the word limit, and my letter exactly provided at least one specific example destroying the gutless wonder attack.

4. Practical handling by the Chronicle.

Neither of these two letters were published on line, nor was Roy’s original letter. The other two letters printed were published on line.

The Chronicle has printed a lot from me in the hard copy, but it has been many months since I was published on line.

The Chronicle has a record of publishing an excellent letters column. Many politically active Cantabridgians could be thought to read it primarily for the letters column.

You will see this sort of thing a lot in papers publishing on line versions. The really juicy stuff only appears in the hard copy.

I think that is what the Chronicle is doing with its choice of on line printing.