Thursday, October 06, 2016

Charles River, Magazine Beach Destruction Plans, Plea to Cambridge

Charles River, Magazine Beach Destruction Plans, Plea to Cambridge

On October 5, 2016, I hand carried the following letter to the Cambridge City Clerk for delivery to the Cambridge City Council at its next meeting.

I tried to do the same to the new City Manager.  Unfortunately he is not in office yet.  The door to the City Manager suite has a blank for the name of the City Manager.  Next to that name is the space for his top manager.  Her name is there, and the title is changed to Acting City Manager.

I understand that the vote to hire Louis A. DePasquale as City Manager which occurred last Thursday, September 29, 2016, needs further action by the City Council to get City Manager Select Louis A. DePasquale in office.  I guess I have to hold his copy until he takes office.

With regard to the attachments, if you would like to view my video on the destruction of hundreds of trees destroyed so far by Cambridge and the DCR, please check it out at

The destruction plans for Magazine Beach were posted at

In the last two days, I have taken considerable photos on the playing fields and the hill.  I still need to shoot the swimming pool area later.  I will match things up and commence with the photo accumulation which created the video.

Lies are the norm in the City of Cambridge on environmental matters.  It is very difficult for bad people, with any semblance of credibility, to deny what is on the Internet for the destruction so far.

* * * *

October 5, 2016

City Manager Louis A DePasquale
City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA   02139

City Council
City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA   02139

RE: Governmental Destruction on the Charles River

Gentlemen / Ladies:

I write individually and as Chair of Friends of the White Geese, a non profit organization recognized by the Attorney General since 2001.  Our main purpose is to protect the environment and the wildlife of the Charles River.  The principal threat is destructive government actions.

A bit over a year ago, City Manager Rossi bragged to a meeting in the Public Library that Cambridge was greatly improving the Charles River in the City of Cambridge.

There has been a pattern in which the things which are not communicated in environmental matters are too often more important than the things which are said.

Of relevance to the promises of “improvements” by City Manager Rossi are the following:

1. The enclosed video prepared by me on the Destruction of Memorial Drive, Charles River, City of Cambridge, January - February 2016 [ed: obvious typo, 2015, in original].  Cambridge / the Department of Conservation and Resources admit to destruction of 150 trees as part of this outrage.  The plans, as detailed in the video, call for destruction of 100 or so more additional trees because of destruction shown in the destruction plans of the thick woods between the Grand Junction and the BU Boathouse.

I would be pleased to provide individual copies of this video for members of the Cambridge City Council, although I anticipate that members would prefer to simply review my identical publication of the video at

2. The City Council’s extended discussions on a vehicular / pedestrian highway following the Grand Junction with what appears to be a terminal route in the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese and associated animal abuse and environmental destruction.  The City Council has accumulated a large file on this matter, keeping the Charles River impact as secret as possible.

3. The enclosed destruction plans presented by the DCR to the Cambridge Conservation Commission on September 26, 2016.  I count destruction of an additional 42 trees, including

a. destruction of 9 trees at the playing fields,
b. destruction of 23 trees at the top of the hill west of the playing fields,
c. destruction of 9 trees in the swimming pool area, and
d. destruction of 1 tree in the western portion.

The destruction at the playing fields by itself would be outrageous.  It is dwarfed by plans at the top of the hill and by the outrage already accomplished and planned between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow bridge.  The hill plans include destruction of publicly usable parking.

I kept in contact with the City Council starting in September 2015 with emails three or more times a week.  The emails included photographs showing trees Cambridge and the DCR were threatening east of the BU Bridge.  That email communication package was extended to non incumbents in about October, and was extended to reports of destruction in January and February.

The City Council took action in January 2016 in the middle of the massive logging reported in the video.  The City Council, in January, chastised and regulated circuses passing through the City of Cambridge for animal abuse.  Whether this action was intended to be a response to the tree destruction, associated heartless animal abuse and related outrages by the DCR and Cambridge on the Charles River is difficult to ascertain.

City Manager Rossi has retired.  City Manager DePasquale was only, to my knowledge, involved in financial matters.

In the 2000s, Mr. Rossi managed the first phase of destruction at Magazine Beach destruction.  That resulted from a vote by the Cambridge City Council in December 1999.  That vote, in turn, was preceded by the promise of City Manager Healy that Cambridge’s money would be seed money for much larger destruction.

Mr. Rossi also managed the destruction of 3.4 acres or more at Alewife, and, I believe, the destruction on the Cambridge Common as well by which the excellent grove at the Harvard Square entrance was destroyed.


The destruction of the 2000s had two key aspects which were created by flat out lies or lies of omission.

The Starvation Wall

Flat out lies created the failed 16 foot high wall of introduced vegetation which blocks access between the Charles River and Magazine Beach.

The DCR promised a lawn to the river, but fine print in their goals includes an outrageous goal to kill or drive away all resident animals on the Charles River.  The bizarre wall’s principal purpose is to starve the 35 year resident, and tourist attraction,  the Charles River White Geese.

A side effect of the maneuvers to kill this popular tourist attraction was the effective closing of the Charles River for almost all private boat access.

Users of the playing fields keep away from the Charles River area because this bizarre wall is offensive.  Users are kept from the Charles River and are offended by what is in place.

The DCR wants to keep this outrage with slight lowering in parts and in another part replacement by a permanent obstacle.  They brag that kayaks can get through their obstacle course, and lie through omission that they are blocking anything bigger.  They want to CHARGE people, further down the river, to use boats which the DCR and Cambride are preventing private parties from bringing to the river.

The bizarre bridge from the parking lot should be replaced with a functional access to the Charles for boat users.  The bizarre wall should be replaced with WHAT THE DCR PROMISED IN THE FIRST PLACE: a Lawn to the River.  The bizarre internal mass of vegetation which further blocks access should be removed.  Boat owners should once again be allowed to use the formerly public dock at the end of the parking lot.  

Charging people for a use that was formerly free and which can readily be returned is yet another outrageous act.

Use of Poisons.

Magazine Beach survived for the better part of a Century with responsible, non poison, grass maintenance.  In the 2000s, the DCR did the unthinkable.  They introduced use of poisons for fertilizer.

This has also been a blatant failure, witness the playing fields.

So the DCR wants to multiply the use of poisons, putting in more poison drinking grass in the playing fields, and introducing use of poisons at the hill and behind the swimming pool.

During the Conservation Commission meeting, the DCR announced it planned to hire contractors to drain off new poisons behind the swimming pool, poisons which should not be used on the banks of the Charles River in the first place.  To be exact, the purpose of the drainage system was kept secret and the irresponsible people did not reply to my clearly accurate interpretation.


These latter outrages on their own, WITHOUT THE DCR’S LOVE FOR MASSIVE DESTRUCTION OF TREES prove the DCR unfit to manage Cambridge’s valuable open space.

Part of the agreement by which the City Council spent millions on the destruction of the 2000s at the playing fields was an agreement by which the DCR and Cambridge agreed that Cambridge would receive control of management of Magazine Beach.  The chief destroyer on the DCR management team has since reaffirmed the intention of the DCR to transfer management to the City of Cambridge whenever the City of Cambridge deemed it appropriate to visibly take responsibility for management of Magazine Beach.

Remember, Mr. Rossi publicly bragged of “improvements” on the Charles River.  Remember, Healy, in December 1999, sold the City Council on phase 1 of the Charles River outrages as “seed money” for what we are seeing now.  And the current City Council was deafeningly silent during the beginning of the current outrages in spite of multiple reports by me WITH PHOTOGRAPHS leading up to and during massive destruction.

The DCR and Cambridge accomplished the destruction described in the video years after approvals expired.  The DCR, claiming legislative fiat, refused to discuss the destruction, and the City Council, except for its admonishing transient circuses was deafeningly silent in response to my repeated emails.

I think a minimal response to the outrages which have started and which are multiplying is to obtain legislative approval to transfer all duties, responsibilities and funding of the DCR on the Charles River to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation without planners and / or managers.  

MassDOT is not perfect, but the DCR is a lot closer to being perfect in the wrong direction.  MassDOT has performed as the adult in the room on key matters.

Transfer without planners and / or managers is appropriate because the legislature destroyed the Metropolitan District Commission to protect public lands from the MDC.  The MDC planners and managers transferred to DCR and went ahead with MDC plans YEARS AFTER APPROVALS DIED.

Failing or perhaps in addition to transfer of responsibilities to MassDOT, it would seem reasonable of the City of Cambridge to assume the rights in the agreement associated with the 2000s destruction, assuming management of Magazine Beach.  

Cambridge should end the destruction which the DCR threatens in the attached plans, and end the secret outrages which would disqualify the DCR for management responsibilities on their own.  

These actions would be consistent with the constant claims of the City and City Council to environmental leadership.  Those claims of environmental leadership are placed in question by the behavior allowed to and shared with the DCR.


Robert J. La TrĂ©mouille, Individually, 
and as Chair, Friends of the White Geese