I have sent the following letter to the Cambridge City Council and to the City Manager:
Gentlemen / Ladies:
I was distressed to learn of the passing of Richard McKinnon by Resolution 3 of November 2, 2020, but pleased to see the City Council’s response.
I first met Richie as assistant to Al Vellucci. He was always a welcome and active face in City Hall.
To his passing, I was always pleased to see him when I visited events in East Cambridge.
Richie was a moderating force at Alewife in striking contrast to the fake protective group at Alewife which takes its direction from the Development Department.
Clearly the most visible public impact that I am aware of came in the Sheila Cook Zoning petition concerning Alewife in 2000 to 2001. I did the legal drafting for her.
The fake protective group, as is the wont of these terrible entities, did very real harm to Sheila’s petition and to the cause of open space in general in the city. There was a very real victory in Sheila’s getting through the environmental part of the Sheila Cook petition insofar as it was not gutted by the fake protective group. There is no doubt in my mind that Richie could have been instrumental in the City Council’s passing of that portion of the petition.
We saved for return to the environment that portion of the Silver Maple Forest which the Metropolitan District Commission (now the Department of Conservation and Recreation) had allowed to be destroyed for a parking lot. As a result, what was a parking lot between Alewife Station and Route 2 is now returning to nature.
Richie did a good job returning to the world that lovely area.
Richie was helpful in trying to moderate the destructiveness of the Cambridge City Council and the MDC / DCR toward the natural environment in the Alewife area including the two’s irresponsible destruction of 3.4 acres of magnificent Silver Maple Forest. The fake protective group was too visible in its Company Union function, along with the assistance of their fellow villains elsewhere in Cambridge.
I was always pleased to say hello to Richie at City Council meetings. I was happy to continue to meet him at East Cambridge meetings. I was happy as I saw his recovery from ailments.
I regret that he has lost the fight, and I mourn for him.
Richie was the representative for the developer for the property which included that parking lot.
The fact that he was so much more reasonable and constructive than the fake group which claimed to be defending the environment says way too much about the sick situation which exists in Cambridge, MA, USA.
The same sickness exists on the Charles River with a much larger scale and much larger destructiveness, in the context of the same or worse duplicity.
This is reality in the City of Cambridge, USA and on the Charles River.