Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Charles River: I90 rebuild, Response to wishes of the Cambridge City Council

Charles River:  I90 rebuild, Response to wishes of the Cambridge City Council

I. The latest dirty trick from the Cambridge City Council.
II. Analysis of the latest dirty trick to the two state secretaries.
III. Attachments.
A. The City Council Motion.
B. My record.

I. The latest dirty trick from the Cambridge City Council.

The Cambridge City Council is sounding pious again.

This time it is about the comments made by the state environmental people concerning the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s proposed rebuild of I90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) on the Boston side of the Charles River across from Magazine Beach.  Magazine Beach has been the home and the food of the Charles River White Geese for most of the time since 1981. 

In the last ten years, Cambridge and the vile Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation have been destroying the habitat of the Charles River White Geese and starving them.  That is in addition to destruction of hundreds of mostly excellent trees east of the BU Bridge, and plans to destroy 56 more mostly excellent trees at Magazine Beach, plus, of course, animal habitat, plus poisoning of the Charles River.

And Cambridge keeps their lovely plans and “achievements” as secret as possible because the City Council lies to the voters that the City Council is a bunch of environmental saints.

The situation is more complicated now because there are three new City Councilors as of January, and it is not certain whether the lying is directed as well to the new City Councilors or not.

This latest important motion is typical Cambridge.  The City Council through various subterfuges has communicated some rather irresponsible stuff, but the key outrages came before the incumbency of the three new councilors. 

This latest motion directed a letter to the Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation and the Environmental Secretary griping that the Cambridge City Council have not seen changes in plans for the I90 rebuild based on the Environmental Secretary’s analysis of the plans.  And the City Council, of course, has “ideas.”

The City Council passed a lovely sounding motion WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF DELEGATION to the irresponsible Cambridge Development Department.  So you really have to know what the referenced, prior, irresponsible, positions consist of to realize just how irresponsible the vote was.

Below is my response to the two secretaries, basically saying that the two secretaries should only look at the action TAKEN IN SUCH A MANNER THAT THE VOTER AND THE THREE NEW COUNCILORS think that the Cambridge City Council is being responsible, and worded so that the voter and the three new councilors should not look at the secret irresponsible behavior really being elegated to be put into the delegated letter from the CDD to the two Secretaries.

The two Secretaries should disregard all of the secret stuff.  The two Secretaries should assume they are dealing with a responsible city government.

In most of this package, I go into the outrages pending on the Charles River.  It is getting very far advanced for the new three to be claiming they do not know what is going on.  The outrages could, in fact be imminent.

Below is the letter, sent as Chair, Friends of the White Geese.  The Letter has two attachments which follow the letter.  It includes my decidedly impressive record.

II. Analysis of the latest dirty trick to the two state secretaries.

1. General.
2. Part of the relevant record of the Cambridge City Council.
A. Massive destruction of mostly excellent trees at Magazine Beach coming, AS SECRETLY AS POSSIBLE.
B. SECRET new or renovated (depends when they are talking) Boat Dock.
C. Poisons being redirected into the Charles River.
3. Conclusion.
4. Partial Record of the Signer.

Madam / Sir:

1. General.

Enclosed is a copy of the operative part of a motion approved by the Cambridge City Council on June 4, 2018.  I am attaching it to ensure there is no confusion.

We support transition of all responsibilities on the Charles River of the Department of Conservation and Recreation to the Department of Transportation because, on key matters, MassDOT has responsibly stood up to the destructiveness of Cambridge and of the DCR.

A key factor in the destructiveness is an electorate in Cambridge which demands environmentally responsible behavior from its elected representatives.  The trouble is that very much too often the elected representatives do a lot of lying to their constituents rather than living up to the expectations of their constituents.

The current communication is an excellent example.  The City Council motion is a publicly and readily available document to the voters in Cambridge.  Whatever comes out of the Cambridge Development Department is not.  So the important parts of the communication to you are kept secret from the Cambridge electorate, and perhaps from the newer members of the Cambridge City Council.

The motion, while including the mandatory politically correct language, gives power of communication to the Cambridge Development Department in support of very irresponsible communications which have come out of the City Council / come on behalf of the City Council / BEEN ENDORSED BY the City Council.  Irresponsible documents by or endorsed by the City Council have also been done without meaningful identification of the real actions in play.

The reality is that MassDOT has been significantly more reflective of the wishes of the Cambridge electorate than have been their elected representatives.

Accordingly, we strongly encourage MassDOT to respect the wishes of the electorate as stated in the motion and to disregard the resulting almost certainly irresponsible communications by city staff.

Inasmuch as the Cambridge City Council is ashamed to publicly support so many things WHICH IT SUPPORTS, MassDOT should continue its past responsiveness to the Cambridge electorate which the Cambridge City Council is hiding from.  Skillfully referenced BUT SECRET policies that the Cambridge City Council / the bureaucrat who wrote this motion could also be policies which the City Council is hiding from the new members of the Cambridge City Council.

In any case, we have provided extensive comments in response to the DEIR.  Following those comments would be an excellent way to determine positive policies which the Cambridge City Council / Cambridge Development Department is keeping from the Cambridge electorate / the new members of the Cambridge City Council.

Should you be interested in a knowledgeable position clos to the opinions of the Cambridge electorate, our communication in response to the DEIR has been placed by the Cambridge City Clerk in the records of the City Council of the City of Cambridge at, Pages 94 to 125.

2. Part of the relevant record of the Cambridge City Council.

A. Massive destruction of mostly excellent trees at Magazine Beach coming, AS SECRETLY AS POSSIBLE.

The most significant POSITIVE part of the record of the Cambridge City Council on the environment is yelling at the other guy.

In addition to using dirty tricks such as the current letter to their voters, an excellent example of the “environmental” concern of the Cambridge City Council is demonstrated by their record on the Charles River, exactly where they are yelling at you about.

On April 24, 2017, certain members of the Cambridge City Council conducted a rally for themselves on the steps of Cambridge City Hall.  The members loudly proclaimed their environmental sainthood.

They then went inside and voted, WITH NO PUBLIC PROCESS WHATSOEVER, in favor of the Department of Conservation and Recreation destroying 56 mostly excellent trees on Magazine Beach, along with related outrages.  Key in their motion was the flat out lie of “dead or dying” giving the false impression that the City Council was being responsible.  “Dead or Dying” was an outrageous expansion on skillfully fraudulent word games concerning those trees by the DCR.

On June 6, 2017, we filed with the City Council and City Manager  a detailed, tree by tree response analyzing the trees impacted and not impacted by the destruction supported by the Cambridge City Council.  We analyzed every tree, with photos, at Magazine Beach.  This 51 page analysis included 100 or more graphics.  The official record of this letter is posted at, pages 198 to 249.

Among other things, it debunks in detail the “dead or dying” fraud, and the fraudulent word games of the DCR upon which the City Council Fraud was based.  We have elaborated in many subsequent letters.

Here are some of the trees they voted to destroy.

This magnificent willow  is on the river at the far western end of the playing fields.

To the left in the picture is the western end of the Starvation Wall introduced in the 2000's with the promise “a lawn to the river.”

The Starvation Wall seems to have no purpose except to starve the Charles River White Geese by keeping them from their food of most of their 38year habitat at the Magazine Beach Playing fields.

The DCR admits the starvation wall is hated by the public.  After all, it makes these riverfront playing fields essentially 10 miles from the river by blocking the river and the playing fields, but Cambridge and the DCR refuse to get rid of it.  It has value, heartless animal abuse.  The DCR has a goal of killing off or driving away all resident animals.  The Starvation Wall starves the Charles River White Geese.  Photo of Starvation Wall below.

Here is the magnificent grove of ten trees which overhangs the western end of the Magazine Beach playing fields.

The DCR plays more word games.  They create confusion about how many trees they are destroying.  They lie through secret definitions that these ten trees are “only” three.  Perhaps a third of these ten trees could be pruned.  All are possibly doomed, BY VOTE OF THE CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCIL WITH THE OPPOSITE OF PUBLIC PROCESS.

The story, as usual, varies.  That is directed at confusing responsible people.  The DCR “may” or “may not” kill all of the trees, just enough deliberate confusion to mess things up for well intentioned people.  The only intelligent assumption is total destruction.
The Cambridge City Council voted to destroy this excellent public park.  They are gentrifying the area.  A bunch of little guys have barbeques here.  The environmentally sensitive parking lot they use would be devastated.  ONE tree in the parking lot WOULD NOT BE DESTROYED plus a whole lot of other destruction oif major trees between the parking lot and the river.  For a complete analysis, please see my detailed response to the Cambridge City Council.  Once again, the URL is , pages 198 to 249.

Below is a marked up destruction plan from the DCR.  Trees are being destroyed to speed up traffic on Memorial Drive to take traffic from the private exit from I90 which was initially proposed by the MBTA in 2003.  Details in my DEIR comments at, pages 94 to 125.

That highway is political death in Cambridge.  So it is hidden behind all sorts of euphemisms, and lies.

Driveways (the blue marks, by me) are being combined ON TOP OF TREES to speed up Memorial Driver

This magnificent, admitted perfect grove of seven trees is being destroyed to “move the parking lot.”

The woman who is the designated “saver of the Charles River” by the Cambridge Development Department REFUSES TO PUBLICLY SHOW HER DESTRUCTION PLANS.

She spent years fighting for the destruction of hundreds of trees between the BU and Longfellow Bridges by telling people not to look at those destruction plans.

Her pitch was that she was defending the Charles River and that concerned people should only look at a building which was abandoned for 80 years.

Company union.

Destruction has already started THIS TIME.  Here is what the DCR and Cambridge left of two street trees adjacent to the MicroCenter across from the Magazine Beach recreation area.  These trees next to  parking lot which were lovingly cared for by the owner of the shopping center.

This destruction was reported by me to the Cambridge City Council on August 7, 2017.  Record in City Clerk’s files at, pages 151 to 157.

This destruction is within the blank check given by the City Council on April 24, 2017, after the deification for environmental sainthood on the front steps of City Hall.  Although these two trees were not in the supposed plans.

B. SECRET new or renovated (depends when they are talking) Boat Dock.

The City Council recently voted first $25,000 and then another $44,000 for a SECRET project which may or may not impact the Starvation Wall.  SOMEWHERE, they are doing boat dock work.  My guess is that they are returning to use the boat dock of the 20th Century which Cambridge and the DCR rendered useless as part of the outrages of the 2000's.  Here is the starvation wall a few years ago.  The brown opening WAS the boat dock until massive obstacles were built to prevent access.

Key is the reality that this Starvation Wall was provided instead of the “Lawn to the River” promised by the DCR / Cambridge on the edge of the playing fields.  What it does is keep the Charles River White Geese from feeding on the luscious grass north of the Starvation Wall, their feeding grounds for most of their 37 year habitat on the Charles River.

The tiny opening supposedly was to allow use of the 20th Century boat dock at this location.  Massive introduced vegetation north of the opening keeps the Charles River White Geese away from their food.  North of the opening is a narrow bridge over created wetlands which prevent access to the boat dock.

The ONLY information provided about the boat dock being provided is that it is in the eastern part of the playing fields and this plan.  The plan most definitely does not look like a boat dock.  What it looks like is yet another technique to keep the Charles River White Geese from their food.

This, on the left [ed:  the first], is the total justification for that $69,000 on public record.  It was called a NEW and then a renovated boat dock.  The “plans” were buried in a bunch of other general items given to folks who have no knowledge of the situation on Magazine Beach and without any meaningful communication to people concerned about Magazine Beach.

To the right [ed: below] is what the plan looks like.  It  looks more like the wall behind the 80 year unused building than it looks like a boat dock. Nevertheless, the Cambridge City Council has recently increased the $25,000 essentially approved in secret to $69,000 without any meaningful description of the project.

One thing is very clear is that the individuals involved brag of heartless animal abuse.

To the right [ed: below] is a photo taken from a propaganda show in City Hall Annex bragging about these outrages, while, of course, keeping the outrages secret.

Here is a photo of the most visible of the victims of countinuing and escalating heartless animal abuse, the Charles River White Geese.

C. Poisons being redirected into the Charles River.

The woman who is the CDD’s designated “defender” of the Charles River and will not publicly show what she and the Cambridge City Council wants destroyed.   has taken on her own to block drainage ditches installed in the 2000's to drain off poisons being introduced then by Cambridge and the DCR into what was a pristine environment.

She has blocked half the drainage ditches.

To the right [ed. below] is the work, in December 2018.

Complaint to the Cambridge City Council when done received on January 8, 2018:, pages 163 to 167.

SILENCE by them, of course. And here is an algae pool which she / the DCR / the CDD have created through the  blocking of the poison drainage ditches.

                                Photo:  Phil Barber

I made an attempt to find out how an “environmental” city councilor explains this VARIOUS stuff at a public meeting.

She ignored her record and prattled on about “process” which translates as going to the destructive Cambridge Development Department and asking them whom she should be talking to in the community.

Naturally, the CDD is not about to refer people to responsible individuals, only those who speak the CDD’s party line.

3. Conclusion.

The bizarre definition for “process” infected the I90 study inasmuch as the CDD drove MassDOT officials away from the responsible members of the public who objected, among other things, to Commuter Rail on the Grand Junction as part of the MassDOT study on that.

And the Cambridge City Council yells at you while keeping the details of the terrible stuff they are trying to get out of you secret from the voters by referring to the Development Department, and the Development Department will send you a letter which will be a nightmare for the public to access if even possible.

Thank you in advance for your time, your consideration, and your continuation of so many responsible actions in the past..

4. Partial Record of the Signer.

I have been active working on environmental issues in the City of Cambridge since 1974.

My first major action was not really  as an activist but as a lawyer.

This was an attempt in Court to save the best park in the Central Part of the City from needless destruction by the City of Cambridge.

I obtained a preliminary injunction against destruction ON APPEAL.  This is next to impossible.

There were two key issues in the case.  One was factual, on whether the park was a park.

The other was a matter of law.  During the progress of the case, the Supreme Judicial Court, in dicta, overruled an entire line of precedent crucial to my case.  The SJC reversed itself ten years later, but, with that erroneous SJC decision before me, I could not get the legal error corrected without winning on the separate factual issue.  I lost the separate factual issue.

I proposed the Kenmore Crossing for the Urban Ring subway project in 1986, about five years before it was made the official policy of the MBTA in 1991.  The current situation on that project, if it goes through, is that the rebuild of Yawkey Station in place indicates that the Kenmore Crossing is the likely winner over the extremely destructive Cambridge government supported BU Bridge crossing, if Urban Ring rail goes forward.

In the current I90 rebuild, I proposed the most important change in the plans made during the planning process, the creation of a connection from the project site to Soldiers Field Road inbound east of the River Street Bridge.  The important difference between my proposal and the one in the plan under study is that I proposed only the left turn off the west bound Soldiers Field Road ramp to the River Street Bridge be discontinued.  The current proposal kills both left and right turns.

VERY ODDLY, when I objected to killing the left turn when this change was first made public, the key MassDOT representative was very indignant that the killing of both turns was approved by appointees of the City of Cambridge on the advisory committee.  A key appointee has since, with city council rubber stamp GIVEN THE IMPRESSION that this was not her position.  Last I read the materials, the fine print (one of the many things hidden in the latest (attached) city council vote is worded to give a contrary understanding of her position, BUT CLOSER READING indicates that her, now secret, position DOES NOT CHANGE her vote in committee.  Just another con game from City of Cambridge people.

As Chair / Cochair of Friends of the White Geese, I have been actively fighting the outrages of the City of Cambridge, the Department on Conservation and Recreation, and their robots / fake protective groups since 2000.

Enclosed, as well, is a two sided summary of activist actions be me in the core part of the City Council, a marked up zoning map, and a summary table.  This is by no means a total listing for even this part of the city, but it does summarize major efforts by me there.  My principal, BUT BY NO MEANS ONLY, tactic has been to use Chapter 40A, zoning, of the General Laws of Massachusetts as a means by which the public can force a vote by the City Council.  My most consistent opposition in this effort has been folks very similar to the folks currently fighting for destruction on the Charles River.  I have won quite a bit more than I have lost.

Mentioned in part in the table is my suggestion that a Green Line spur connect the BU Bridge / Comm. Ave. area to the project site running between I90 and Boston University, then going underground through the residential neighborhood and the North Harvard Street part of the Harvard campus, running under the Charles and connecting to Harvard Station by the tunnel which formerly connected Harvard Station to Red Line yards which are now JFK Park, the JFK School, and the Charles Hotel.

I have two years lower management railroad experience (labor relations), including six months actual on the ground work, for the Penn Central Transportation Company.

Once again, thank you for your interest.


Robert J. La Trémouille

cc: The Task Force appointed by MassDOT re the Allston I90 rebuild
Cambridge City Manager
Cambridge City Council


1. Motion of City Council authorizing SECRET communications from the Cambridge Development Department to you.
2. A partial résumé of Robert J. La Trémouille (two sided)

III. Attachments.

A. The City Council Motion.

Attachment 1

Relevant Motion of the Cambridge City Council
June 4, 2018

June 4, 2018


WHEREAS: On February 18, 2018, the Certificate of the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Allston I-90 Interchange project was issued; and 

WHEREAS: The Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs requested that MassDOT reconvene the Stakeholder Task Force, which includes Cambridge representatives, and confer with community representatives to ensure that the concerns and needs of all impacted communities are reflected in the design; and 

WHEREAS: The Certificate called for continuing study and development of a “Preferred Alternative” from the State; and now therefore be it 

ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to transmit the City’s concerns about issues still to be resolved for the Allston I-90 Interchange project and urge that the stakeholder process be promptly reconvened to review outstanding work to respond to the Certificate; and be it further 

ORDERED: That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to direct the Community Development Department to communicate to MassDOT the issues requiring follow-up to the issuance of the I-90 Certificate that are pertinent to Cambridge, including access to and from Cambridge, noise, impact on parklands, and also about next steps in the development of the “Preferred Alternative”; and be it further 

ORDERED: That the City Clerk be and hereby is requested to transmit a suitably engrossed copy of this Order with comments to be provided by the City Manager and CDD to the office of Secretary Pollack, Secretary Beaton and the Cambridge State Delegation on behalf of the entire City Council.

[Attachment 2 not marked, tabular partial summary of activist experience of Robert J. La Trémouille, 2 sided.]
[Ed: this bracketed comment in the original.]

B. My record.

[Ed.  This is a two sided résumé in the original.  One side is a marked up zoning map of the Central Park of Cambridge.  The other side is a table which explains the markings.  I will start with the table, then follow with the map.  After the map, I will provide a bit of an explanation to, hopefully, bring things into focus.]

Robert J. La Trémouille
Selected Activist Experience, Central Cambridge

I, Maple Avenue Downzoning, C-1 to B

II, Marie Avenue Park.  First neighborhood Open Space zoning.

III, Cambridge St, N Side  C-2 districts btwn Hospitals changed to C-1.  C2B buffer created around Youville.

IV, Mellen Street Downzoning.  The C-2A area and the C-1 which it surrounds were previously zoned C-3.

V, Cambridge Common.  Opposed the destruction of the excellent thick park in Harvard Square corner .

VI, I90 study I proposed Green Line A spur from Comm. Avenue / BU Bridge to Harvard Medical to Harvard Station.

Originated idea of connection of Harvard Medical Area to Soldiers Field Road east of BU Bridge.

VII, JFK Park was laid out so that cut and cover construction of a subway tunnel.

VIII, Harvard Houses district.  C-3 Ward changed to C-1.

IX, Area in Harvard Square deleted by Ward petitioners from Ward petition as result of flat out lie.

X, Ward Petition.  C-2B and O-2 areas, previously C3 / O3, plus the Harvard Houses area, south side of Mt. Auburn Street.

XI, Saved the historical building at 10 Mt. Auburn at the Rent Control Board.
Block changed from Business B to Res C-1 by Ward

XII, Personally saved Guffey Park at Arrow Street and Mass. Ave., in front of 2 Arrow Street..

XIII, Kerry Corner. Zoning created here, the balance of the C-1, and the SD14 district were probably GREATLY influenced by my saving historical 10 Mt. Auburn.
XIV, Corporal Burns Playground.  Helped save from Harvard expansion.

XV, La Trémouille Petition as warped by rogue steering committee.  Business B became BB-1, BB-2.,

La Trémouille petition downzoned most of Green Street between Hancock and Sellers from Mass. Ave. zoning to neighborhood zoning.  There were a number of related clean ups on the boundaries on Green Street.

XVI, Anderson Petition.  O-3 to C-2B.  Clean ups of Green Street as noted in XV.

XVII, Office to Office 1.  Created less dense Office Districts than Office 3.

XVIII, Palmer Street.  Objected to destruction of every tree on the street because the trees “blocked the sunlight.”

[Residence C-3 is one of the most generous zoning districts in the City of Cambridge.  The orange areas marked C-3 are for the most part Harvard University.  Harvard Square proper is the location of the VI marking.  Harvard Yard is above it and to the right.  The rest of the red marked streets under and to the left of Harvard Square proper are streets in the Harvard Square business district.

[At the right middle marked O-3 is Cambridge City Hall, which is at the western end of the Central Square business district.

[I have previously reported on Inman Square.  It is above the right top corner of the map.

[In section 4 of my letter, I mention a park for which I obtained a Preliminary Injunction ON APPEAL to temporarily prevent destruction. Toward the top middle, you will see two “OS” districts with “C-3" above them and to the left.  That is where the formerly best park in the central part of Cambridge was located.]