Friday, May 21, 2021

Environmental analysis of Cambridge, MA, USA pending 2021-2022 budget

Environmental analysis of Cambridge, MA, USA pending 2021-2022 budget

The following is a letter received by the Cambridge City Council from me on May 17, 2021 concerning the currently pending Cambridge budget for 2021 - 2022, typos corrected.

* * * *

I read with interest the Budget presented to the City Council by the City Manager, particularly the bragging about NEW TREES.  I noted the related silence about governnental environmental destruction.  A few things came to mind.

1. Many Annual Tree City USA awards came AT THE SAME TIME AS CAMBRIDGE WAS CREATING THE loss of tree coverage which Cambridge now bemoans.  This is the normal situation in Cambridge: Don’t look at our destructiveness, look at what we tell you to look at.

2. The head of the fake protective group at Alewife ran around telling people to yell at private developers OBEYING ZONING LAWS and not to look at the City of Cambridge and the DCR destroying 3.4 acres of (to quote the many City Council proclamations) the irreplaceable Silver Maple Forest.  She was telling them to fight for the long shots and ignore a fight which had an excellent chance of victory.

3. The City Council supported funding of yet another boondoggle in the Charles to respond to the algae mess in the Charles CREATED BY THE DCR AND CAMBRIDGE.  The algae mess started with poisons being introduced on banks of Magazine Beach.  The poisons were then rerouted to the Charles by an “activist” funded by DCR / Trump moneys.  She has since been funded by the City Council for “environmental” work assisting the latest tree outrage at Magazine Beach.

4. The Grand Junction bike path public “planning documents” totally hide plans south of Memorial Drive. This I thoroughly debunked after only attending one meeting and reviewing the misleading stuff on line.  See my report, “A Private Interstate Off Ramp Sold as a Bike Path with major harm to Cambridge”, March 15, 2021 meeting, pages 131 to 161.

This City government stooped to massive destruction of trees on the Cambridge Common adjacent to the now zoning doomed Harvard Square.

The reality is that government is the big environmental problem in Cambridge.  The problem is Cambridge and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.  The budget does nothing to change this extremely bad situation.  In recent years bad stuff has been hidden in the “public vote” on budget allocations buried in a truly hidden review process.  People are subjected to employees of a department with a bad record.  This process is mentioned by the City Manager in his budget communications.  This bizarre package has yet to come to the City Council.  This City Council  has a record of massive secrecy when it comes to the banks of the Charles River.

The oddities get worse when the City Manager brags about the purchase of some trees from Buckingham, Brown and Nichols.  He does not mention that the DCR on Birmingham Parkway near BBN would appear to have been just as destructive on Birmingham Parkway as it has been on the Charles in Cambridge WITH THE SUPPORT OF CAMBRIDGE.  Would the incompetence in the Cambridge Development Department result in equally bad plans for the BBN property?

* * * * [ed:  these asterisks and the following are in the original]

There is a possibility that some of the actions of Cambridge and the DCR are not as destructive as others, undoing outrages which should not have been created in the first place.


Cambridge and the DCR are still destroying healthy trees and doing worse.  The City Council has praised / helped fund yet another lovely DCR contract on the Charles WHICH DOES NOT ADDRESS THE REAL PROBLEM.   POISONS SO LOVED BY CAMBRIDGE AND THE DCR BEING DUMPED ON THE RIVER BANKS AND THEN REROUTED INTO THE CHARLES is a slap in the face to the environment.

I immediately complained to the City Council after this DCR / Trump funded outrage which created the Algae blight. 

The City Council response was consistent: SILENCE, ALWAYS SILENCE from the City Council on the stuff which counts.


The DCR is endearing yet another contractor with an award to POSSIBLY clean up the irresponsibilities of those beloved poisons introduced in the 2000s under the supervision of Mr. Rossi before his promotion to City Manager.  The beloved poisons were, of course, rerouted into the Charles by the City Council’s “environmental” contractor.  And the award to that contractor included wording praising her poisoning of the Charles.  I complained of the poisoning to this City Council VERY PROMPTLY WHEN SHE BLOCKED THE DRAINAGE.  THE CITY COUNCIL RESPONSE WAS  REPEATEDLY SILENT.

DEAD BEES have been observed on Magazine Beach.

* * * 

Will the DCR go forward with the destruction of the excellent Wild Area east of the BU Bridge and the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge with further destruction at the Destroyed Nesting Area and greater abuse of the 40 year tourist attraction, the Charles River White Geese?  This is part of the Grand Junction Path project being kept secret from well intentioned people UNTIL THEY ARE ROPED IN.  I note that a member expressed her concern for trees.  The Department staffer SPOKE AROUND DCR plans.

The Cambridge City Council has praised this project 

Here is a photo of the doomed Wild Area.  The white figures are a gaggle of the 40 year resident Charles River White Geese hunting for food.  This desperate hunt has been made necessary because their principal food for most of the last 40 years has been taken from them by Cambridge and the DCR.

On the next page [ed: below] are the DCR’s plans for that area which were NOT YET implemented.  My video on what the DCR and Cambridge did in January 2016 may be seen at  That includes analysis of the Wild Area since its destruction were in those plans.  The video also includes mention of the outrage IN PROCESS at the Playing Fields.  Mr. Rossi is the City Manager mentioned in the video.

The Destroyed Nesting Area WITH, AT MINIMUM, destruction of excellent and very visible trees is to the left.  The Wild area is to the right, both below Memorial Drive.  PLANS FOR THE GRAND JUNCTION PATH keep the MANY CAMBRIDGE plans south of Memorial River SECRET.

The Wild Area, on the right shows exactly ONE TREE NOT DESTROYED, tree 535.  Somehow, the DCR neglected to show the rest of the trees?  Like Heck.

* * * *

On the following page [ed: below] is the ADMITTEDLY excellent MicroCenter grove, next to Swimming Pool, a ground shot taken from the MicroCenter side and a cropped still from “From Cambridge to Boston with the DJ Inspire 1 Drone footage,”, minute 233.

Here is the cropped still.  Please excuse the loss of clarity.  The drone photos are not that good for real close ups.

In the Show and Tell given by the DCR to the Cambridge Conservation Commission, the DCR explained that they were destroying these admittedly excellent trees to move the parking lot seen behind them away from the water.  (I seem to no longer be on the mailing list for agendas for Conservation Commission meetings.  I have requested reinstatement.)

The City Council funded the Charles River Poisoner to do “environmental” work including destroying the part of the parking lot behind the pool, thus giving an excuse to destroy the grove.

* * * *

As I went into detail in my report on the Grand Junction “Path,” the bike path looks like a stalking horse for an updated Inner Belt, this time as a private off ramp to MIT with ramp access to Memorial Drive.  

The apparent REAL REASON for destruction rather clearly looks like a wish to reduce the number of driveways on Memorial Drive, thus speeding up traffic to make it easier for traffic getting off MIT’s private exit ramp from I-90, the updated Inner Belt.  The private ramp was proposed to include access to Memorial Drive when first proposed by the MBTA in 2003, supposedly for an express bus from Newton.  

After spending the money on the study, the MBTA “realized” that the cost of widening the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge included in the plan  made the plan prohibitively expense for an Express Bus route, a reality obvious from the beginning.

Destruction of the MicroCenter grove moves a driveway so that it is located across from a MicroCenter driveway.

* * * *

The work secretly voted by the Cambridge City Council for the western part of the Starvation Wall on Magazine Beach destroyed a number of trees.

Here is a tree probably destroyed in one of the City Council’s secret votes.  Destroyed Maple formerly next to the ball fields.  Phil Barber photo and edit.  The orange spots blown up on the insert are the mark of doom.

* * * *

Here is destruction at the curve of the pedestrian overpass crossing Memorial Drive (Phil Barber photos).  First the before picture.  The cars are on Memorial Drive. 

Then after pictures.  Shots were taken from the overpass.  Memorial Drive is visible in the left [ed: first] photo.

I leafleted this destruction.  I was tested by several concerned park users.  

They questioned me about the TREE destruction on the very banks of the Charles River, funded in one of the City Council’s essentially secret votes. 

[Ed.  In preparation of this letter to the Cambridge City Council, I looked for but could not find my personal photo of the destroyed trees as they were viewed from the overpass.  I have since found that photo and supplemented the letter to the Cambridge City Council.  The photo is at the end of this report as an addendum, but, since I am able to insert it here, it is inserted here as wall.


* * * *

Here is the outrage at Alewife, 3.4 acres destroyed with Company Union Assistance from the head / CREATOR of the fake Alewife protection group.  The trees at the outskirts previously occupied the entire area of the photo.

The head of the fake Alewife protection group claims to be defending Alewife.  She, however, VERY STRONGLY tells people not to be bothered about city / state property.  This is stereotypical company union tactics.

This destruction very clearly was done by the Cambridge City Council and the DCR.

There is even a LARGE sign posted, bragging of the names of the GUILTY City Councilors.

Is this outrage counted in the supposed count of lost trees in Cambridge?  

This picture is, I believe, from 2012.


Robert J. La Trémouille, ChairFriends of the White Geese

P.S. This letter most definitely is not all inclusive.

* * * * [ed: asterisks not in letter]

Addendum to blog report:

Here is a BEFORE photo of the destroyed trees from the overpass.  I could not find this photo when preparing the letter.