Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fighting yet another upzoning

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Introduction.
2. Record of your editor.
3. Latest City Manager Initiative - General.
4. What the Cambridge City Manager is trying to destroy.
5. Excellent example of the good guys in action - the Inn at Harvard in East Harvard Square.
6. Further protections of the environment and neighbors achieved and under attack.
7. The Cambridge City Manager on the attack.
8. Destruction details, Cambridge Street in East Cambridge, Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge, general destruction of protections.
9. Goals of the good guys.

1. Introduction.

I have more than 30 years experience defending the environment in Cambridge. Most of it has been in the field of zoning, a field in which individuals who know what they are doing can have major successes and I have those successes.

The danger, as usual, is with the Uncle Tom organizations, the company unions. They have done a lot of damage.

In the last few days, I submitted a proposal for an oped piece to the Cambridge Chronicle. I will convert it with little change into a letter of objection to the Cambridge City Council.

The following is my email to the Cambridge Chronicle without edit except to add section headings. As I recall, the prior editor was quite pleased when I put my imputs onto this blog. I anticipate and hope that the current editor feels the same way. I am very encouraged by the behavior of the current editor.


2. Record of your editor.

Cambridge Chronicle

The following is offered as an oped piece with the following information offered about the author. Clearly, the description is much longer than you might wish, but this gives you an opportunity to pick and choose should you wish the material.

Robert J. La Trémouille is an attorney with a law office located between Harvard and Central Square on Mass. Ave. near Cambridge City Hall. Over the past 30 years, he has been active in environmental protection matters in the City of Cambridge with major successes. He has opposed many initiatives of the City Manager and his staff. He has defeated quite a few of them and has major victories of his own.

La Trémouille has written zoning changes that have passed that have downzoned more than 80% of Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Central Squares. These changes mandated the provision of meaningful open space around new buildings and protected existing trees and vegetation there in many other parts of the city. His zoning required housing in most of that part of Mass. Ave. The changes restricted building size and height.

He has written zoning which saved the Three Aces building north of Harvard Law. His zoning forced the return to open space of a large parking lot near Alewife Station. His zoning forced Harvard to build the Inn at Harvard in East Harvard Square as it stands rather than 72% larger built out to the sidewalk. He has increased protections on Cambridge Street, Prospect Street, Western Avenue, River Street and in various other neighborhood districts in the city.

In the recent past, he has repeatedly stood up against environmental destruction on the Charles River, at Fresh Pond and in nearly every open space project managed by the city manager in recent years. He has defended the last habitats of free animals in Cambridge. He has opposed trees, wetlands and animal habitat needlessly being destroyed.


3. Latest City Manager Initiative - General.

The City Manager and his friends are off “improving” Cambridge again in a zoning petition expanding his already very destructive “special permit” powers.

Trouble is that, behind the lovely words, the City Manager’s tastes are commonly exactly the opposite of those of the people of the City of Cambridge. The manager just does not tell people. The manager uses very deceptive tactics to keep people from knowing that what he is doing is exactly the opposite of what Cambridge residents wish.

4. What the Cambridge City Manager is trying to destroy.

The latest citywide upzoning in front of the City Council fits the mold very well. The city manager says he’s protecting space required around buildings called “yards.” The city manager even provides two paragraphs “protecting” yards. Once again, “special permit” powers would be given to his appointees which greatly expand destructiveness possible in the city’s zoning and which take back the supposed yard protections.

The normal situation is that the very destructive appointees of the Cambridge Manager use the “special permit” powers to destroy “yard” requirements. That makes “yard requirements” just so much more nonsense when they are attached to the city manager’s “special permits.”

5. Excellent example of the good guys in action - the Inn at Harvard in East Harvard Square.

An excellent example what the City Manager’s people hold in contempt and are trying to destroy is the zoning which created the Inn at Harvard located in East Harvard Square at Mass. Ave. and Harvard Street.

This building is easily the most popular relatively new building in Harvard Square among normal human beings. This is because it has grass, because it has trees between it and the sidewalk, and because, as a result of the grass and the trees, the Inn at Harvard is environmentally responsible.

The City Manager opposed the key provisions which forced those yards and that grass on Harvard, exactly the attributes of the Inn at Harvard normal people cherish. The city manager’s friends refer to areas created by meaningful yard requirements as “underutilized” with a delicate shudder.

I, along with 7 members the City Council (an 8th vote was in the hospital) and a strong neighborhood group, forced the Inn at Harvard on the City Manager and on Harvard University over both their objections. That was the Natalie Ward Zoning Petition.

6. Further protections of the environment and neighbors achieved and under attack.

Construction of the Inn at Harvard destroyed valuable trees. 9 years after my victory in Harvard Square, with the support of 8 members of the City Council and with a different, strong neighborhood group, we cleaned up those problems. We required meaningful open space around buildings and provided special, meaningful protections for neighbors. We wiped out provisions rewarding tree destruction by requiring new buildings not only to have open space around them but by also prohibiting construction underground in the areas where open space is required. This was the Anderson Zoning Petition.

The petitioners filed the Anderson petition in response to destructive zoning initiatives by the City Manager. We defeated his initiatives. The city council asked us for our proposal. We gave our proposal. The city council passed it. Support was so strong that the city council ever rejected an attempt at compromise we offered. By rejecting our attempt at compromise, the City Council gave us more than we finally asked for.

We accomplished our objectives with a bang. The most obvious part of the petition protected Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Central Squares. It was quite deliberate, however, that we protected Cambridge Street in East Cambridge, and Inman Square. It was quite deliberate that we protected parts of Prospect Street, Bishop Allen Drive, Western Avenue, River Street, Memorial Drive, Blanchard Road, Concord Avenue, Broadway, Fresh Pond Parkway, and Huron Avenue.

7. The Cambridge City Manager on the attack.

It is no surprise whatsoever that the City Manager is attacking these very real yard protections which we established and trying to destroy our very real protection for neighbors with yet more “special permits.” “Special permits” destroy protections and do harm to neighborhood quality.

The people of the City of Cambridge did not elect our City Council to destroy protection after protection after protection.

The most important thing in the mind of the City Manager’s lobby is taxes, taxes, taxes. It does not matter that projects can be done responsibly, with open space benefits on all sides of buildings for the benefit of all. The city manager’s initiatives have no use for open space except where the developer lobby can make bucks off it.

8. Destruction details, Cambridge Street in East Cambridge, Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge, general destruction of protections.

Cambridge Street in East Cambridge should not be a wall of buildings right out to the sidewalk. Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge should not be a wall of buildings right out to the sidewalk. Our neighborhoods should not be threatened with buildings overwhelming our neighborhoods at the whim of people appointed by the City Manager.

Cambridge should have meaningful zoning, not special permits which routinely wipe out protections we are told are guaranteed to us.

The open space provided by the Inn at Harvard zoning and by other zoning requirements can and should be provided. Requirements for meaningful open space around buildings should not be destroyed in undisclosed fine print in zoning proposals which claim to be doing the opposite of what they really are doing.

9. Goals of the good guys.

If the city council wants to vote in the yard protections in the latest city manager package, great.

If the city council wants to extend the flexibility to destroy even more zoning protections that is in the main part of the City Manager’s latest package, shame on them.

Report from Magazine Beach

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. The White Geese continue their boycot.
2. Plans of the sick pols at Magazine Beach.
3. The chief bragger, Charles River Conservancy.
4. Impact on the White Ducks, danger of Freeze.
5. Initiative of the Cambridge City Council - Yet more fake environmental groups.
6. Summary.

1. The White Geese continue their boycot.

Yesterday, December 30, I saw the Charles River White Geese and I was at Magazine Beach.

I saw them from the Boston side of the river. They had left the Destroyed Nesting Area and were going East, in a flotilla, exploring.

They seem to be very, very, very spooked by their sense of the truly sick thing coming at Magazine Beach. Since they stopped coming to Magazine Beach, I have not seen them in the Charles next to it at all, and definitely not on Magazine Beach.

The sick plans of the Cambridge City Council and of the state bureaucrats would be appear to be sensed by them so strongly, and be so offensive to them.

2. Plans of the sick pols at Magazine Beach.

These reprehensible people, solely as make work for their contractor friends, are getting ready to dig up all the dirt in the Magazine Beach playing fields, except the bizarre project at the edge of the Charles which exactly conflicts with their stated goals for the Charles River.

Once they are done carting away the dirt, they will cart dirt back, plus poisons, plus sprinklers.

The poisons will be inserted to drive away insects which have been no problem in the 50 years the fields have been in existence. The sprinklers will be inserted to replace the wetlands they so irresponsibly destroyed.

The bizarre wall of designer bushes for which they heartless starved free animals for two years and counting walls off the Charles from animals and from SWIMMING, also these reprehensible people started off this outrate in 2004 with a swim bragging about (and lying about) their plans for Magazine Beach.

3. The chief bragger, Charles River Conservancy.

The chief bragger in 2004 joined in the swim, the head of the sickos at the Charles River Conservancy. These are the people who have poisoned every goose egg they could get away with in the first ten miles of the Charles River every year since 2003. We raised sufficient hell that they stopped their sick attacks against the eggs of the Charles River White Geese in 2005. Besides they were proudly starving them by them.

This sick entity, on behalf of the state bureaucrats,runs arounds destroyed the native vegetation protecting free animals on the Charles AND BRAGS ABOUT IT.

At one point Senator Kennedy's office stepped in to help their egg poisoning.

4. Impact on the White Ducks, danger of Freeze.

The Charles River White Ducks could be the big loser in the current round of reprehensible behavior.

The CRC Sickos have destroyed protective vegetation right up to the core habitat of the Charles River White Ducks on the Boston side.

They need to get out of the Charles River. Yesterday morning, the Bumpy Memorial Goose Pond at Magazine Beach had a thin sheet of ice. The Charles will freeze one of these days, and the White Ducks need to be out of the water by the freeze.

Trouble is that, when the White Ducks arrived on Saturday, July 22 of this year, they were beautiful innocents.

The Charles River Urban Wilds Initiative taught them to swim in the Charles on the following Wednesday and they have gleefully been living on the Charles ever since.

I would anticipate that, like the Charles River White Ducks, they have their winter coats to protect them, but, like the fact that they did not know the Charles River was for swimming, they do not know that the Charles River freezes.

Bill Naumann of CRUWI has done and continues to do an excellent job keeping an eye on them, and I am confident he will continue to do so. I am confident that he is concerned and I share his concern.

5. Initiative of the Cambridge City Council - Yet more fake environmental groups.

One of the favorite techniques of the developer owned city government in Cambridge is Uncle Tom organizations, company unions.

These give the false impression that public input is normal in Cambridge, but are designed to prevent public input insofar as is possible. These organizations can be used for meaningful input, and I have used them for meaningful input. The key is to make such a strong case that the good guys will not swallow the nonsense being put out by the bad guys.

But it should not be that way.

The key type of organization to worry about nowadays loudly and FALSELY claims to be green.

They loudly proclaim their concern for fancy light bulbs, but cannot understand the problem with government destruction of hundreds or thousands or trees and cannot understand the problem with poisoning land owned by the city or state.

In shortly, they blatantly lie with their choice of names, but they go ahead anyway.

6. Summary.

I am hoping, but we are dealing with a truly reprehensible situation which does a lot of lying.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Remembrance of good people - Byrle Breny, Isabella Halsted

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I do not routinely read obituaries, but I was just, belatedly, finishing up last week’s (12/21/06) Cambridge Chronicle. I skimmed over the page containing the obituaries without realizing what it was.

My eye caught the very visibly placed “Byrle Breny” and then caught “Isabella Halsted” in a less visible location but with a lot more type.

Good friends. I have seen Byrle perhaps once in five years and Isabella less than that, but good friends. Byrle was 78 but had been living in Somerville for the last 10 years. She lived in Cambridge for 53. Isabella died in her home in Cambridge at 99 on Memorial Drive extension, half a block off Memorial Drive. At her age, I did not seriously consider bothering her in the recent past.

Byrle was the sort of good government person who lived in and kept Cambridge going during the rent control years. Her long time friend and roommate passed away at about the time that rent control died. They lived in the sort of little cottage which little people lived in in Cambridge for most of Cambridge’s existence. As the crow flies, they lived about three blocks north of Massachusetts Avenue. That was one of many working class neighborhoods in Cambridge when they moved in.

Isabella conducted and won a one person fight to close about half of Memorial Drive in Cambridge on Sundays for about seven months a year, the good seven months. Isabella also lived in what may have been a fairly humble place when she moved in. She owned half of a house adjacent to the Half Crown Historic District between Mt. Auburn Street and Memorial Drive, a few blocks from Harvard Square. This was a humble neighborhood very close to a very rich neighborhood. It was an extension of what were humble properties close to Harvard Square when that part of Harvard Square was still small scale residential.

The two of them lived in the sort of tiny areas which were hidden in Cambridge and missed by the casual visitor, but they did a lot of good from those areas.

Byrle lost her home as of the results of her friend dying. One income was not enough to keep it. That home was on a block long workers’street which is now amalgamated from a formerly humble street, into a now expensive part of the Mid-Cambridge neighborhood.

Isabella lived on a park which was split from the Charles by Memorial Drive. Her neighborhood was confusing to the casual observer with its remnants of working people. It has not been at all confusing for many years.

Byrle was a volunteer for the League of Women Voters, a good government person who aggressively fought for rent control while living in a privately owned house. She was helpful in a lot of my zoning fights in the middle part of Cambridge, on Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Central Squares, three blocks from her home.

Isabella is almost solely known for her successful fight to protect about half of Memorial Drive.

For the last seven years, I and a lot of good people have been protecting the less developed parts of Memorial Drive.

There has been a very major change from when Byrle and Isabella were active in that the Cambridge City Council has become very destructive of the world around us while piously proclaiming their environmental virtue based on fancy light bulbs.

Byrle and Isabella were both good friends. I miss them now and I have missed them for the past ten years.

May they rest in peace.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Another Good Guy - Wikipedia

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I want to thank the folks at Wikipedia for modifying their report on the Charles River to include the deliberate starvation of the Charles River White Geese.

If you understand the situation, there are inaccuracies in the report, but I try not to nag people who are being good guys.

Thank you to Wikipedia because of their inclusion of the Charles River White Geese in their report on the Charles River in Cambridge, MA.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Report from Magazine Beach; Another Good Guy - Trader Joe's

1. Report from Magazine Beach.
a. The River.
b. Destruction moves forward.
2. Another Good Guy.

Bob La Trémouille reports

1. Report from Magazine Beach.

a. The River.

I visited Magazine Beach and its neighbors today.

The weather was a steady drizzle, a significant improvement over the drenching the area took last night.

Once again, the Charles River White Geese were missing.

I think they sense the outrageous further destruction coming. They have been subjected to nearly two years of total denial of their food, followed by a period in which part of their food has been allowed back to them.

Now they sense the further massive destruction and it is too much.

I started walking up the shore on the fancy walk which is steadily washing into the Charles.

I suddenly saw what looked to me like two geese about three quarters of the way up the shore to the rise which signals the rest of the Magazine Beach area.

I got a better look at their faces and realized that one was wagging his tail.

It was Andrake and Daffney, the Charles River White Ducks.

The sickos from the Charles River Conservancy have destroyed a major part of their habitat because the Sickos have contempt for rivers. They want the Charles River to look like part of a college campus, not like a river, and to H---- with the animals, and to H---- with our back yard.

Andrake and Daffney saw me and swam further out from the shore line. Their four mallard duck friends have left. They are exploring by themselves and looking for cover and for food.

b. Destruction moves forward.

Further work has been done on the staging area at the top of the hill to the west. Boards have been brought in and have been strapped around THOSE TREES on top of the hill.

Still no protections in the construction zone where the luscious grass of Magazine Beach is about to be destroyed. The silly pink flags still adorn the CREATED area which memorializes the wetlands destroyed by the Cambridge, MA City Council and the state bureaucrats.

2. Another Good Guy.

I stopped by the Trader Joe's across the way from Magazine Beach.

I realized that the mural behind the cashier's area included a painting of the Charles River White Geese in the goose meadow. I commended the cashier and bagger. The bagger commented that he frequently feeds them and wondered why they stopped visiting Magazine Beach. I explained to him, including the truly sick nature of the Cambridge City Council and the local state bureacrats.

I understand that Trader Joe's is another company providing greens to the Charles River Urban Wilds Institute for feeding and defending against the sickness of the Cambridge City Council and the state bureacrats.

They are to be commended for both.

It is always amazing how much fresher the air is when you get away from Cambridge, MA City Hall.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Signs of destruction real and to come accumulate at Magazine Beach and across from Magazine Beach.

Report by Bob La Trémouille.

Today, although the outdoors temperature is not low, there is a bitter wind at Magazine Beach.

The Sickos from the “Charles River Conservancy” brag of the environmental destruction they have achieved on the Charles River in their latest newsletter.

Coming west on Storrow Drive / Soldiers Field Road, the destruction is quite visible. Vegetation on the Charles has been destroyed right up to the pontoons that are the favorite resting spot of Andrake and Daffney, the Charles River White Ducks. These agents of the state's Department of Conservation and Recreation brag of destroying as much protective vegetation as they can get away with and the DCR is fully aware of and supportive of their destruction.

It has sunk in why the Charles River White Geese are keeping away from Magazine Beach: they can sense the destruction coming at Magazine Beach.

The only white figures visible on the Charles River are Mandrake and Daffney on the Boston side in their attacked habitat and perhaps 50 gulls swimming in the middle of the Charles.

Bizarre pink flags now surround the created “wetlands” at Magazine Beach. This artificially created “wetlands” is not wetlands as any normal person would call wetlands. The real wetlands was the wetlands the people destroyed who were sent by the City of Cambridge’s nine city councilors and by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. This protected “wetlands” is something constructed. Only destroyers would call this bizarre manufactured stuff “wetlands.” This bizarre created stuff is a memorial to a waste of money and a waste of the environment.

Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Recreation are protecting their bizarre created “wetlands” from the destruction to come.

More construction vehicles can be seen on the hill to the west.

NONE of the trees which are here, at the playing fields and the parking lot from years past have been protected. These are trees which have to be fifty to sixty years old. They are so small for that age, but still so big. Trees like this and much larger are casually destroyed by an environmentally sick city council so that they can brag about saplings they put in to replace trees which should not have been destroyed. There are some smaller trees near the sewerage plant. I think five of them were destroyed in the first stage of destruction at Magazine Beach, as part of the creation of the ornamental "wetlands."

Thousand of trees are being destroyed by this irresponsible city government at Fresh Pond. More than 449 to 550 trees are scheduled to be destroyed between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow Bridge by the DCR and by other friends of the City of Cambridge. Hundreds of trees being destroyed are much larger than the older trees at Magazine Beach's playing fields and parking lot.

Nine environmentally destructive Cambridge City Councilors have the nerve to call themselves pro-environment.

The DCR can be relied on to simply toss out a few more outright lies as might be convenient. The key destroyer has publicly denied "harming" the Charles River White Geese. He spent years promising he would do no harm to them. When asked about the two years of total inflicted starvation and much more to come, he publicly said that starving them is not harming them.

A third party has informed me that the newly elected “pro-environment” Cambridge city councilor thinks I am being unfair to him.

I am looking at this sickness. I am thinking of this sickness. I have heard his dead silence.

One of the very many things unfair in the City of Cambridge is the nerve of such a person to make such a claim.

Interestingly, the third party who reported the councilor's comments is in the process of moving to Medford. He is being forced to leave his not-Rent Controlled home which would have been rent controlled in years past.

As I write this, the gulls have moved from the Charles River to the soon to be destroyed grass in the outfield.

That grass is soon to be destroyed so that nine environmentally destructive “environmentalists” can starve beautiful animals and so that they can put in new grass, poisons and sprinklers to replace the real wetlands they destroyed in 2004.

The last time the DCR did this sort of "creation" was at Ebersol Fields between the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Charles River Dam. The first dose of poisons was not enough to keep them happy, so they applied a second dose of poisons. The second dose was in containers with clear prohibition against use near water. The day after application, the Charles River was dead from the Massachusetts Avenue bridge to the harbor, loaded with algae.

And the DCR and its friends cry “poverty” while demanding money from the state, as they waste millions and waste massive amounts of environment on the Charles River. Their own survey told them most people thought the Charles River does not need improvement.

Normal people say the same thing when normal people are told that Magazine Beach is a construction zone.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

T meetings - Urban Ring Rail Bridge and other things that "could not have been said"

1. Report on Meetings.
2. Marilyn Wellons on Presenters.
3. Arthur Comments.
4. Prior Report.
5. The City Councilor did separate himself from the stuff being put out this time.
6. Bad Guy Responds to point 2.
7. Response to Bad Guy.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Report on Meetings.

In a period of four days, I attended three pretty major meetings.

Saturday, I attended the Cambridge road show on the Urban Ring presented by the MBTA / Department of Transportation. Monday, I attended the Boston version. Tuesday morning, I attended Governor Patrick's roadshow to MOVEMassachusetts in which his people got the ideas of a bunch of transportation activists.

The thing that really stood out to me after the MOVEMass meeting was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on the Urban Ring strongly insisting that the Saturday and Monday meetings did not happen the way I said they happened because the MBTA simply would not put out such false information on the Urban Ring.

My wish list presented to the governor on transportation matters was (1) that we get the Urban Ring transit proposal (phase 3) with the Kenmore crossing because that alternative's connections to the green line's three branches and to commuter rail are excellent; (2) that all the spaghetti being proposed for phase 2 between the Harvard Medical Area and Cambridge be killed because the spaghetti would give the state no option but to implement the far inferior BU Bridge crossing on Phase 3; (3) that, inasmuch as our bicyclists belligerently have contempt for the laws of the commonwealth, the pedestrians are not much better and the drivers are terrible, the governor should bring Boston to civilization.

The CAC member was highly indignant about any mention of the spaghetti which was shown in the Cambridge and Boston meetings because that spaghetti is not part of the phase 2 proposal, so it could not possibly have been presented. The CAC member was highly indignant that I could mention any suggestion of use of the Grand Junction bridge as part of Phase 2 because it is not part of the package and "will not happen." "Nobody wants that but Harvard."

Former Representative John Businger has treated me rather consistently badly since we first met when I was an intern in Governor Sargent's office. Businger was at MOVEMass pushing the north-south rail link.

Businger came over to my table after I spoke and addressed me for the first time in my memory. He was effusive in his praise of my comments: "Exactly right on all points."


Clearly, our Cambridge presentation on Saturday went into great detail on what was described as options being considered.

The detail on such things as the busway over the Grand Junction bridge with connection to Commonwealth Avenue by Buick Street certainly sounded like they were pushing essentially a sure thing.

Their comments on the connection over the Grand Junction Bridge to Harvard's Mass. Pike campus clearly stated that this was not part of the CURRENT proposal. They clearly stated, as I recall, that when they came back, this would be part of the official proposal.

Our Cambridge meeting lasted the full three hours with very astute questions and comments taking up the full time. The Boston meeting was scheduled for two hours. It ended in one and a half hour and the only official comment was mine.

In both meetings, I stated the positions (except for bikes, etc.) that I did at the Governor's Meeting, plus I pushed for a green line connection to Harvard-Mass. Pike, connecting at Commonwealth Avenue and the BU Bridge at a new switch on the Green Line B branch. This would be a new Green Line A Branch following the Mass Pike along its southern boundary, essentially straightening out the busway proposal. Instead of turning and going over the railroad bridge under the BU Bridge coming from Harvard Mass. Pike, it would go straight to the B Line with a very modest turn onto the B Line.

The connection to Harvard Mass. Pike would go from a nonsensical dead end with buses to a sensible street car line which could be extended to Harvard Square. Harvard Station, of course, still has tunnels from the Station to the JFK School which could be used as that station for a Green Line A Branch with, for all practical purposes, no interference with Harvard Station operations when doing the connecting.

But the CAC member said that my report of the MBTA / DOT presentation did not happen because the MBTA / Department of Transportation would not publicly present options which were not part of the official proposal.

2. Marilyn Wellons on Presenters.

Footnote to your excellent report:

The MBTA isn't doing the Urban Ring presentations at
this point. The EOT [ed: Executive Office of Transportation] took the UR away from the MBTA
because, they said, the T didn't have funds to go
forward with it.

Consultants hired for the redo of the UR Phase 2
DEIR/S [ed: Draft Environmental Impact Review? Not certain about the "S"] (CAC [Ed: Citizen's Advisory Committee. I said "citizens" above, might be "consumer"] and other public process now underway) is
the same as in the original version under the T's
auspices, EarthTech. Hence your friend Jay Doyle is
still giving the presentations.

T would take over and run the thing once built.
Transportation planners now with EOT Urban Ring group
now were previously with the T and may have moved over
with the project, except for Calcaterra. Steve
Woelfel for example is with EOT but was with the T.

At the RTAC [Ed: Regional Transportation Advisory Committee?] meeting I attended on Wednesday, Dec. 13,
he commented on the Urban Ring CAC meeting after I
gave a brief report about the Storrow tunnel (Nov. 29)
and Urban Ring meetings (Nov. 28 CAC, Dec. 9 Cambridge

3. Arthur Comments.

This is one of the best postings on cportneighbors. You have really hit the nail on the head this time.

I found the following particularly humorous, but to the point.

"My wish list was (1) that we get the Urban Ring transit proposal (phase 3) with the Kenmore crossing because that alternative' s connections to the green line's three branches and to commuter rail are excellent; (2) that all the spaghetti being proposed for phase 2 be killed because they would give the state no option but to implement the far inferior BU Bridge crossing on Phase 3; (3) that, inasmuch as our bicycles belligerently have contempt for the laws of the commonwealth, the pedestrians are not much better and the drivers are terrible, the governor should bring Boston to civilization."

Give 'em hell!!!! No peace or concessions to the empty stuffed shirt bureaucrats!!!

Arthur DaPrato

4. Prior Report.

I sent the following to the Cambridgeport list just after the meeting:


It was encouraging to see a fair number of us at the MBTA meeting this morning.
The proposals are distressing, but at least there is a lot more honesty on these issues than we get from the City of Cambridge.

Those who were there will recall all the various discussions about the possible use of the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge.

The presenters made it very clear that USE OF THE GRAND JUNCTION RAILROAD BRIDGE is not part of the Urban Ring package, but ONE ALTERNATIVE they are considering.

You will recall that last summer a current member of the City Council attempted to present Grand Junction Rail Bridge use to this group as part of the Urban Ring, and that I was chastized because I had the nerve to go through a lot of bother to prove the statement false.

The City Councilor WOULD NOT withdraw this false statement.

I now have in my possession a collection of slides from this same City Councilor stating exactly the same false thing this councilor said last year: that use of the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge is part of the formal proposal. Apparently, this city councilor passed out this FALSE information during the meeting.

I find the repeated nature of this FALSE statement highly distressing.
It is inexcuseable to have to repeatedly respond to the same falsehoods.

5. The City Councilor did separate himself from the stuff being put out this time.

6. Bad Guy Responds to point 2:

Why don't you name the City Councilor?

7. Response to Bad Guy.

Point 1 was my response to Bad Guy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Urban Ring Thoughts

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Marilyn Wellons to the Riverside Neighborhood Association, December 4, 2005, resubmitted December 5, 2006.
2. Your Editor to the Riverside Nighborhood Association, December 4, 2005.
3. Kathy Podgers.
4. Laura Blacklow.

The MBTA is having public meetings in Chelsea, Boston and Cambridge about its Urban Ring Bus system through an area just outside the Boston city core.

This is one of the many projects threatening animal habitat on the Charles River.

There have been some good thoughts put out concerning the Urban Ring. Here are a few sent out before the meeting:

1. Marilyn Wellons to the Riverside Neighborhood Association, December 4, 2005, resubmitted December 5, 2006.

Don't underestimate the urgency behind planning for this project or
its effect, if built, on Cambridge. It was clear from the Citizens
Advisory Committee meeting November 28 that revision of the DEIR/S is
still fast-tracked. 5 years is short-term for projects like this, and
Phase 2 is well within that. Large portions of bureaucracy, including
Cambridge's, have been paid for years to make it real. For example
the Longwood Medical Area tunnel study is a high priority project that
got $562,000 in FY06 and the Cambridgeport Roads project connecting to
it is already built.

Factors driving the urgency include Harvard's two fast-tracked 500,000 SF science buildings in Allston, and the anticipated effects of the Harvard-funded Executive Office of Transportation study of "Transportation Alternatives in Allston" (executive summary coming out this month), and the need to save Phase 2's place in line for federal funds. Washington likes rubber-wheeled public transportation and the Massachusetts congressional delegation is eager to bring home the bacon.

Our neighbor Laura Blacklow has reminded us that Phase 2 is in fact a highway between the Mass Pike and I-93, through Cambridge and Somerville-- the Inner Belt. Eighteen months after Harvard announced its secret land purchases in Allston, State Transportation Commissioner Kevin J. Sullivan told planners that canceling the Inner Belt had been a mistake and emphasized "the need for peristence in achieving long-term politically difficult projects" (January, 1999). If people want rail rather than a highway project they should say so at meetings like the one on December 9.

Phase 2 buses use compressed natural gas, CNG. CNG is billed as clean fuel but its exhaust particles are smaller than those measured by the feds, hence don't show up in their studies. Smaller, these particles go deeper into the lungs. Since CNG pollution is relatively new, there are fewer data on its long-term effects than for gasoline or diesel exhaust. The feds recently rejected a proposal to include CNG particulates in air quality measures.

Particulate pollution from Phase 2's CNG buses would directly affect people living or working within several hundred feet of the right-of-way. In Cambridge that goes along the Grand Junction rail line, Albany, Waverly, and Brookline Streets, and through East Cambridge. It would do so whether the buses stop in Cambridgeport or not.

Plans have always showed a stop in Cambridgeport near Hamilton Street. Within the larger goal of completing the I-90--I-93 highway connection, Harvard and MIT want to connect the planned Allston campus to MIT and Kendall Square, so want the stop or stops in Cambridge.

However, the benefits of a Cambridgeport stop seem minor compared to the costs of children's asthma and medium- to long-term damage to adults' hearts and lungs from CNG pollution all along the right-of-way. There will also be effects from regular traffic to and from the stops in Cambridgeport around the Urban Ring nexus.

Phase 2 planners are looking at individual rail cars, Diesel multiple units (DMUs--see Wikipedia, /wiki/Diesel_ multiple_ unit) for Phase 2 along the Grand Junction rail tracks from the Beacon yards (Harvard Allston campus) to Somerville's commuter rail line. DMUs however would mean transfers, hence increased travel times within the system, and there are other problems with them. The planners spoke of the "challenges" of DMUs that I gather may be insurmountable.

From other transportation meetings I understand DMUs would also entail public health costs from diesel exhaust. In Somerville along the I-93 corridor these costs are in the billions of dollars.

At the Urban Ring meeting our neighbor Kathy Podgers cited the No. 47 bus. It already describes the North-South route of the Urban Ring. Wait times for it are long, which discourages people from using it to get to LMA. (Night and weekend wait times discourage people from the T generally.) It's not widely used except, as someone mentioned afterwards, during rush hour. If it were more frequent and advertised as a way of connecting to LMA from the north, Kathy said, we would see what actual demand for the service could be. Demand is always cited to show need for Phase 2--yet the No. 47 is pretty empty.

A member of the audience familiar with the Silver Line supported this suggestion. One neighborhood along a proposed Silver Line route pushed for better service with existing buses, she said, and got it rather than the Silver Line. If improved service on existing routes does the job, big capital expenditures like Phase 2 aren't necessary.

This underlines the unspoken function of public works projects like Phase 2 as pork for designers and contractors. Analysis should turn to the opportunity costs associated with Phase 2--what could the money spent on it actually do if appropriated for worthwhile public transportation projects? What if the public didn't pay for Harvard's MIT connection and the Inner Belt highway?

I would add that if demand for from poorer towns to the north with Longwood Medical Area, recently billed as the growth engine for the region, is so great, it deserves Phase 3 rail.

Marilyn Wellons

2. Your Editor to the Riverside Neighborhood Association, December 4, 2005.

Marilyn I passed her comments to the Riverside group with the following introduction:


Watch the constant use by Cambridge bureacrats and the nine incuments of improperly named highway projects.

The "bikeway" proposed for the Grand Junction, for the Goose Meadow and for the Charles River falls exactly into the category of a highway by another name.

Fortunately, this outrage was defeated last time because of its lack of merit. Cambridge tried to call it part of the Somerville to North Station bikeway and that was recognized as nonsense.

When the T was pushing the off ramp on the Grand Junction railroad bridge from the Mass. Pike, the T responsibly refused to include in its budget estimates widening of the underpass under Memorial Drive to include this destructive highway project.

If we had an environmentally responsible city government serious about bikers, the bikeway proposal would be cutting from the Grand Junction to Memorial Drive by way of Vassar Street at the Vassar bend, but we do not. We have a city council running one way and doing another.

The proposal would destroy the Charles River White Geese' core habitat and destroy major trees plus build in the Charles River. Very reprehensible, business as usual from the City of Cambridge.

Then again, the fancy lightbulb groups which could care less about the destruction of the Green, but call themselves "Green" are part of the package of fooling the constituents.

They call themselves Green. They could give a damn less about destruction of the Green by nine members of the City Council. How dare anybody else stand up to nine members of the city council!

Keep an eye on the Urban Ring but remember, the renewed Inner Belt has many, many dirty tricks being used.

3. Kathy Podgers.
4. Laura Blacklow.

I will add these comments as I find them.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Good job, Chronicle, good job

Bob La Trémouille reports:

The following is my electronic copy of a letter printed in the December 7, 2006, Cambridge Chronicle, page 13. Placement was excellent.

To the best of my knowledge, the only edit changed "Charles Rive White Geese" to "Charles River white geese."

The letter was printed as "Good job, Chronicle, good job." He printed two other responses to the Reeves article. Roy Bercaw was kind enough to suggest, in the spirit of Reeves comments, a public expansion of the brothel business in Cambridge.


Cambridge Chronicle

I strongly appreciated the juxtaposition of your two lead articles in the November 30, 2006, Cambridge Chronicle:

“YWCA fire leaves 110 homeless” and “Reeves: Let’’s get the party started.” [Ed: Reeves is the Mayor / City Council Chair in Cambridge.]

Elsewhere in the paper is a report on the DCR [Ed: Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation, the owners of large amounts of open space in Cambridge, MA including the Charles River] prettying up but not correcting very real problems with portions of Alewife.

Not mentioned in the paper was a report just issued in which the City of Cambridge once again proposes to destroy the core of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese in the last remaining relatively undeveloped part of the Charles River .

You have, deliberately or otherwise, placed the key problem of the City of Cambridge right where it belongs: the City Council.

The truly offensive reality in the City of Cambridge is that we have a inhumane government working with an inhumane state bureaucracy to further goals which are strikingly different from what the real goals of the city should be.

Not long ago, a group of friends of the Department of Conservation and Recreation wandered about Alewife reservation picking up “trash.” They then tut-tutted in the Chronicle about all the belongs of the homeless they had confiscated. Your predecessor printed my response.

On the Charles River , the DCR took a poll. The poll said that most people do not think the Charles River needs improvement.

So the City of Cambridge and nine city councilors are finding more and more ways to indulge in cruelty to the Charles River White Geese.

So the DCR and the City of Cambridge are spending millions destroying trees, wetlands and animal habitat both on the Charles and at Fresh Pond.

So the DCR and Cambridge are doing "improvements" on the Charles River which will install poisons into a relatively clean environment.

So the DCR and the City of Cambridge are spouting pieties about swimming in the Charles River while destroying wetlands and starving animals to wall off the Charles from Magazine Beach with designer bushes that have no business on the Charles River .

And Reeves is quoted as saying “Let’s get this party started.”

I thought your predecessor as editor did a good job.

I find your juxtaposition on the front page very appropros.

Don't look at the tragedies, don't look at our destructiveness, look at out parties!!!!

Keep up the good work.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bad guys on move

Bob La Trémouille reports:

There is now a crane in the area which has fencing just west of the playing fields.

The nine Cambridge City Council hypocrites are moving closer to attack against the Charles River and Magazine Beach.

Major starvation moves against the Charles River White Geese, addition of poisons to the environment, etc., all for a project that makes no sense except as make work for a politically active lobby of contractors.

Thanks to the Good Guys - Harvest Coop

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Because of federal tax requirements, we have two main, separate organizations concerning the Charles River White Geese and other environmental matters.

Separate from the political arm are the great people who have been feeding the Charles River White Geese to save them from the destructiveness of the state bureacrats and the nine hypocrits on the Cambridge City Council.

The organization which puts things together is the Charles River Urban Wilds Initiative.

I had been aware that on of the stores providing contributions to feed the Charles River White Geese is the Harvest Cooperative in Central Square, Cambridge.

Nevertheless, yesterday, it came as a very pleasant surprise to see a lovely color color announcement of the providing of greens to the Charles River White Geese on a very visible bulletin board in the store of the Harvest.

I have sent an email to the head of CRUWI to ask for more names so that I can thank them on this blog.

The Harvest is known and is appreciated.

Thanks to the good guys.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Do anti-Green groups have any business calling themselves Green?

1. General Introduction.
2. Neighborhood Association head says nice things - Cambridge Chronicle and fancy light bulbs. 11/17/06.
3. Laura Blacklow - Urban Ring, “Green” Group, Neighborhood Association, 11/19/06.
4. Kathy Podgers - Where does Green Port and Green Decade stand on the Urban Ring? 11/20/06.
5. Bad Guy responds to Your Editor. 11/21/06.
6. Your editor to Bad Guy. 11/21/06.
7. Kathy Podgers - Where does Green Port and Green Decade stand on the Urban Ring? 11/20/06.
8. Marco - Green Port Working Group - Help in any way possible. 11/25/06.
9. Kathy Podgers - Green Groups and Energy Conservation, 11/25/06.
10. Close associate of Green-Destructive City Councilor - Excellent example of the genre. 11/25/06.
11. Editor responding to bad guy, 11/23/06.
12. Editor: “Green” Group, 11/27/06.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. General Intro

As I have reported elsewhere, nine Green-destructive Cambridge City Councillors are poised to push the next SICK step in Cambridge’s attack on the Charles River and starvation attacks on the resident animals including the Charles River White Geese.

It comes as no surprise to see increasing visibility in a group which sounds pro-Green but which, with careful investigation turns out, in general, to be saying next to nothing about their real goals, but to loudly proclaim with NO MEANINGFUL SUPPORT: We mean well. Help us achieve goals which we really do not disclose but which SEEM to be going in the right DIRECTION.

As usual in Cambridge, the Devil is in the details.

And the details COMMONLY are bad from groups which fit this modus operandi.

Here is a sample of email exchanges on the matter. I have edited some of my points for clarification, but attempt to simply quote other positions. Correction of capitalization and spelling errors has been done wherever I deem appropriate without regard to the side that is talking.

Please note the repeated requests that the supposed Green group define its position on the issue of destruction of the Green. Please also note the total failure of the supposed Green group and its apologists to do so.

2. Neighborhood Association head says nice things - Cambridge Chronicle and fancy light bulbs. 11/17/06.

From Bill Augustus:

Neighborhoods Section in yesterday's Chronicle has good blurb on Greenport and our last CNA meeting and the discussions about neighborhood association helping to get it going.

Chronicle also has a great article on distribution of compact fluorescent bulbs, written by Susan Butler of Cambridge Green Decade. Chronicle seems to be very supportive of these issues.

3. Laura Blacklow - Urban Ring, “Green” Group, Neighborhood Association, 11/19/06.

I thought there really is a problem with phase 2 [of the Urban ring, ed.] (see craig's message below). I thought that what we suspect is that, once the urban ring backers get their polluting buses---most of which won't even stop in the port, right?---okayed, the powers-that-be will probably tell us that they have run out of money. we will be stuck with noxious fumes, no rapid rail, and busier streets to serve Harvard and MIT employees mostly.

So, again, I ask---what is the neighborhood association planning to do? and what about the Green group?

For those of you who praise Robert Healy, the city manager, please note that he has NOT responded to our plight. on the contrary, healy seems to support more gas guzzling traffic in
our neighborhood.


4. Your Editor responds to Laura. 11/20/06.

My understanding is that the green group follows the position of nine members of the Cambridge City Council.

Our world is being destroyed because people everywhere in our world are destroying their back yards. Nine members of the Cambridge City Council are aggressively destroying our back yard.

Their explanation is: "How dare you look at our destruction of our back yard and thus of our world. The important thing is our fancy light bulbs." Then they loudly call themselves environmentalists.

5. Bad Guy responds to Your Editor. 11/21/06.

[Ed. This individual has a long and very clear record.]

Why does every group have to take a stand on every issue?

6. Your editor to Bad Guy. 11/21/06.

It depends.

Is this a group which is concerned about our environment or a misnamed group selling fancy light bulbs?

There is very real problem about people who are concerned about things being persuaded to act against the causes they think they stand for.

The people I have seen who are most aggressively fighting for fancy light bulbs disclose their real goals with their contempt for fighting ongoing destruction of our back yards and thus standing up to destruction of our worlds.

People certainly have a right to sell fancy light bulbs, but to call themselves "green" if they have contempt for the real green around us which is being ruthlessly destroyed and thus our world ruthlessly destroyed.

I very strongly object to false statements of position / names of organization which mislead people from working for goals that they really want to work for and I very strongly believe that people who are totally indifferent to massive destruction of trees, wetlands and animals calling themselves "green" if that applies to these so-called "green" organizations.

If they want to call themselves the fancy light bulb people, let themselves call the fancy light bulb people.

If they want to call themselves the contractors coalition to sell fancy lightbulbs, let them call themselves the contractors coalition to sell fancy light bulbs.

The problem is not with the goals of the organization. The problem is with using a misleading name and not even approaching living up to that name.

7. Kathy Podgers - Where does Green Port and Green Decade stand on the Urban Ring? 11/20/06.

Laura makes a good point about the money "game" that's often played regarding transportation issues. Half measures, unfinished projects, dragged out construction (taking 2-4 years to complete a project that can be done in 6 months, lack of oversight, and too cozy relationships between our "representatives" with the "manufactures" of expensive "accessible busses" and other infrastructure items, and all mixed in with union employment demands.

Tell me true, Steve and Sue, where does Green Port and Green Decade stand on the Urban Ring?


8. Marco - Green Port Working Group - Help in any way possible. 11/25/06.

Though I did not attend the session the Greenport group held a couple of weeks ago, I have heard enough about it from folks who are part of it and who attended to know a few things:

1. It's billed as a "working group," in other words, it's a group that functions as a satellite of the CNA for those in the community who are concerned with issues related to the environment and how to address them at the very local level, i.e. within Cambridgeport.

2. The Green Port working group is about brainstorming at this point. The initial discussion from what I understand was productive in this sense. I trust that any major issues they discuss and want to take action on as part of the CNA will be brought forth at CNA [Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association] meetings.

3. The positive direction taken by this group follows a passionate plea by a few key people in the community (Steve Morr-Wineman, Rosalie Anders, and Hubert Murray in particular) to address local solutions to global issues. And instead of characterizing what they and others have undertaken in a negative light, they ought to be supported (especially at such an early phase in their existence), if for no other reason than the fact that the environment has emerged over the past two decades as the decisive issue that is and will be affecting the entire world. We are connected to the environment at a local level. It connects us to energy policy and, ergo, foreign policy. It is the future of us all. And I know for a fact that the citizens and neighborhood leaders present at that meeting understand those connections. That's precisely why they were there.We should help them in any way possible.


9. Kathy Podgers - Green Groups and Energy Conservation, 11/25/06.

Hi, As one of the first to "form" or "join" Green Port I am not sure what is the purpose of "Green Port." I do not know what the relationship Green Port has with the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association. I do wish that could be answered by either the Board, or the membership.

Initially there were a few of us who were present at the meeting when "Green port" was formed. I had been under the impression that Herbert Murry and Steve Winman, (Erie St Neighbors) had come to the Cambridgeport neighborhood Association meeting for support of this "new" idea. Bill suggested they schedule the first meeting at the Community room at Woodrow Wilson for accessibility reasons.

However it was held at the private (and inaccessible) home of Rosalie Anders. Rosalie works for the City of Cambridge, and heads up the Pedestrian Committee. She is responsible for the City's Pedestrian Plan that was found by the MAAB to be non compliant last March. She announced this in the next Pedestrian Committee meeting, and that she would be working on it to bring it into compliance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts safety Code, but has informed me that this has not been done yet.

Rosalie Anders is on the Green Decade Cambridge Steering Committee. The Green Decade is a totally different organization. I attended one of their meetings and discovered that their model is to hold small meetings hosted by home owners, and for the purpose of raising money. They plan to write/rewrite legislation that will affect citizens as much as affect the "environment."

Green Decade is a chapter of the Mass Climate Action Network; a coalition of 27 local and four state environmental groups devoted to public education and influencing municipal governments to achieve local reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Bill August is a municipalities attorney, he has been president of the Dana Park Nighborhoos Asociation (now known as the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association?) for some 20 years now.

I care very much about the environment, and have been writing, raising awareness, and "educating" the public on this issue for some time now. However, none of the basic environmental issues raised at the Green decade meeting I went to were understood by the "leaders."

I would, therefore, like to know just what the relationship between the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association, Green Port and Green Decade really is.

Take care


10. Close associate of Green-Destructive City Councilor - Excellent example of the genre. 11/25/06.

It is time to stop all the negativism about a proposed energy conservation group for Cambridgeport that isn't even formed yet. A small group of Cambridgeport residents met this month to brainstorm ideas for what an energy conservation group for Cambridgeport would look like. The organizers have given this energy conservation group a provisional name: Greenport.

The group is in now way a legal entity yet. The group, as far as I know, has not filed papers with the Commonwealth to be a 401c3 or to be any other type of corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Yet, already there are the dissenters, the mud-slingers, and of course, round up the usual suspects.

I believe in taking positive action and the power of positive actions. If anyone really cares about energy conservation, they should be trying to help the fledgling group, not destroy it by complaining about the intentions of the group or any of its actions while it is in a formative stage. Give them a break people!


11. Editor responding to bad guy, 11/23/06.

It depends.

Is this a group which is concerned about our environment or a misnamed group selling fancy light bulbs?

There is very real problem about people who are concerned about things being persuaded to act against the causes they think they stand for.

The people I have seen who are most aggressively fighting for fancy light bulbs disclose their real goals with their contempt for objections to ongoing destruction of our back yards and thus destruction of our worlds.

People certainly have a right to sell fancy light bulbs, but to not call themselves "green" if they have contempt for the real green around us which is being ruthlessly destroyed and thus our world ruthlessley destroyed.

I very strongly object to false statements of position / names of organization which mislead people from working for goals that they really want to work for and I very strongly believe that people who are totally indifferent to massive destruction of trees, wetlands and animals calling themselves "green" if that applies to these so-called "green" organizations.

If they want to call themselves the fancy light bulb people, let themselves call the fancy light bulb people.

If they want to call themselves the contractors coalition to sell fancy light bulbs, let them call themselves the contractors coalition to sell fancy light bulbs.

The problem is not with the goals of the organization although the misleading method of presentation is very much wrong. The problem is with using a misleading name and not even approaching living up to that name.

12. Editor: “Green” Group, 11/27/06.

We have had a couple of comments that because people are interested in energy conservation products that it is destructive to expect them to have respect for the Green of the earth.

Last I heard, these people were calling themselves Green.

Every time I go to the Charles River since September 2004, I have been dramatically reminded of the CONTEMPT of nine members of the Cambridge City Council for the Green. Deliberate destruction of wetlands, cruel starvation of beautiful animals, needless destruction of trees, the walling off of the Charles River to PREVENT swimming in the Charles, the walling off of the shore to starve animals.

I see preparations for things to get much worse: a silly, wasteful project which will destroy more trees, which will make the DELIBERATE starvation that much worse, which will needlessly destroy the earth, and which will instal POISONS into a habitat which has been free of poisons.

People have been trying to find out from these purveyors of energy procucts what their position is on deliberate destruction of the Green.

This is not at all minor with regard to people who are running around calling themselves Green activists. The consistent refusal to answer these questions says EVERYTHING.

It is highly destructive of people with contempt for the Green to run around falsely calling themselves Green.

If these anti-Green people want to call themselves The Coalition for Energy Conservation, so be it.

If these anti-Green people want to call themselves The Coalition for Fancy Light Bulbs, so be it.

BUT HOW DARE THEY call themselves Green if they are not Green.

And HOW DARE ANYBODY call it destructive to expect self-proclaimed Green activists to be Green!

There is something very wrong here.

I am not at all amused by people claiming to be Green who consider environmental destruction normal.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Weekend in the Habitat

Bob La Trémouille reports, November 25, 2006:

Preparation for environmental destruction looks more visible than before. It is more likely that I am just noticing more. Apparently more trees wrapped leaves me with a horrorible thought: are more trees being destroyed by the DCR and the destructive nine councilors than I was aware of?

"They would never stoop so low" has long been proven wishful. These people have stooped way low and are continuing with their practices.

The Charles River White Ducks, Andrake and Daffne swam closer to Cambridge than I have previously seen, north of the midline of the river. The thing that is surprising about them is that, even with a long swim, I do not see their migratory four friends. Perhaps the four friends have migrated.

I did see a number of Mallards at the Goose Meadow, but, judging by their numbers, they look like the one large brood of Mallard babies hatched this season, and their Mommy and Poppy, just one very large duck family.

The Charles River White Geese were riding out the new chill in accordance with their policy of minimizing effort and saving up their fat to survive the winter. They were sleeping, but they happily greeted me when I checked on them.

We have had some quite strong wind and rain in the last few days. The larger vegetation looks it.

The situation is scary. The destructiveness of the DCR and the nine destructive city councilors is so great.

The destructive nine seem to be on the offensive in Cambridge with their lying version of conservation being pushed.

Groups which call themselves "green" but which have contempt for nature are being excessively vocal in Cambridge, and they stink of connection to the destructive nine city councilors. They brag of fancy light bulbs but have contempt for any objections to destruction of trees, wetlands, animals and animal habitat. But they love to call themselves "green."

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Eve at Magazine Beach

Bob La Trémouille reports:

The Charles River White Geese were asleep in their Destroyed Nesting Area.

The overnight temperature approached freezing. When that happens, the White Geese do a lot more sleeping, conserving their energy and using their goosedown jackets to the best effect.

I have not seen them at Magazine Beach for several days, but the temperatures have changed along with their habits. I very easily could have missed them.

The Charles River White Ducks can be seen on the Boston side of the Charles River perched on the pontoons. The Charles River Urban Wilds Initiative is taking special attention to them. This is their first winter of freedom and very close watch is being taken for them. With winter's advent, their thick cover of green is gone, with help from the vile Charles River Conservancy. Their home is only feet from the quite busy Storrow Drive / Soldiers' Field Road.

They were true innocents last July when they were abandoned at Magazine Beach. At first, they quite belligerently stayed where they had been dropped, looking for their master.

Once CRUWI taught them to swim in the Charles River, they have been happy, at home.

Construction fences continue to accumulate.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bad news for the Boston Esplanade?

Bob La Trémouille reports.

Last night, November 14, 2006, I attended a presentation by the Department of Conservation and Recreation entitled the “Granite Landings Restoration Project.:

Three things stood out in my mind:

1. They are going to clean up graffiti.
2. They say they are not going to destroy trees, BUT . . .
3. They changed the subject on application of poisons.

First of all, the project manager is Rick Corsi.

Corsi is the manager of the outrage on the Cambridge side of the Charles.

Corsi spent four years insisting he had no intention of harming the Charles River White Geese.

In September 2004, he and Cambridge proceeded to starve them by blocking off all food in their mile long habit from access from the Charles River. When Corsi was asked about his statements, he proclaimed that starving them was not harming them.

For few months, he has reduced the starvation attacks, but is poised to resume them with a bang.

1. They are going to clean up graffiti.

This is a major part of the work contractors whom they are hiring. The contractors are cleaning up graffiti

I asked when was the last time graffiti was cleaned up. They could not say.

I asked what the policy was on cleanup of graffiti, whether it is cleaned up as part of normal maintenance.

They could not say.

The nicest thing that can be said about this is that it is blatant incompetence.

Once again, as I have said many times, Corsi should be fired.

2. They say they are not going to destroy trees, BUT . . .

On direct questioning the contractors said they are working on their plans and are UNLIKELY to destroy trees unless for HISTORICAL reasons.

I pointed out the "native" vegetation introduced at Magazine Beach in place of destroyed wetlands. I point out that the "native" vegetation was unfit to grow on the Charles River and had no business on the Charles River.

I also pointed out that the "native" vegetation served a function exactly the opposite of the lies being put out by the DCR as to their plans. The DCR says they want to encourage swimming. A wall of bushes which have no business on the banks of the Charles has replaced an open meadow. Which do you think is more conducive to swimming?

3. They changed the subject on application of poisons.

I pointed out the Ebersol Fields project, a precursor of Magazine Beach located between Massachusetts General Hospital and the Charles River Dam.

Playing fields were installed with a large amount of poison intermixed to kill off bugs. That was not enough, so the DCR added poisons labelled "do not use" near water. The next day, the Charles River was dead from Boston Harbor to the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge, algae everywhere.

The guys who did these terrible things and are planning even more terrible things did not respond. One member of the audience, residents of Back Bay and Beacon Hill, did remember the poisons and commented on them.

A truly reprehensible government agency.

Farewell to a good editor and a good reporter

Bob La Trémouille reports:

There have been good people in the local press.

Chris Helms, editor of the Cambridge Chronicle until last Thursday, is one of them

Chris not only did a good job looking at and communicating issues, he dramatically changed the editorial content of the Cambridge Chronicle for the better.

I have, for many years, bought every issue of the Cambridge Chronicle and religiously read the letters page. I, however, looked at next to nothing else. Chris changed that.

Chris not only significantly improved the editorial, letters and op-ed page, he made the rest of the Cambridge Chronicle interesting.

What more can you say of an editor.

His new assignment is as editor of the Watertown Tab and Press.

I wish him the best of luck.

I also remind him that the Charles River runs in Watertown, and he has significant DCR holdings in his jurisdiction.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Heartless Destruction Resuming at Magazine Beach

My report yesterday was a pleasant resumption of winter time.

I missed some very big evidence at the other end of the playing fields.

Construction fences have been built, tape protecting areas and not to be victimized trees.

The environmentally reprehensible Cambridge City Council and Department of Conservation and Recreation are preparing to start with the destruction of the playing fields at Magazine Beach with all that food.

The environmentally reprehensible Cambridge City Council and Department of Conservation and Recreation are preparing to start with the destruction of perfectly healthy tree(s) for a yet another contractor boondoggle.

The environmentally reprehensible Cambridge City Council and Department of Conservation and Recreation are preparing to start the project which will apply poisons to the previously clean Magazine Beach playing fields.

The environmentally reprehensible Cambridge City Council and Department of Conservation and Recreation are preparing to resume their attacks on the Charles River White Geese and other animals living at Magazine Beach.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

City of Cambridge Harasses Guide Dog

1. Summary.
2. Your Editor’s Initial Press / Neighborhood Report (basis of the following, most reported above).
3. Tenant Organizer Response.
4. Editor response.
5. Kathy Podgers provides details.
6. Kathy Podgers on “Disability.”
7. Karen Parker response.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Summary.

Monday night, October 30, 2006, the Cambridge City Council was in its fake environmental mode. I separately report on these hypocrites with regard to tree destruction.

In addition to the people commenting to the Cambridge City Council on the destruction of the Grant Street tree, a regular speaker by the name of Elie Yarden spoke. Mr. Yarden commonly speaks to the City Council. The meaning of his comments are frequently abstruse. I was not listening closely but, apparently, the mayor, chairing the meeting, did not have the slightest idea what Yarden was talking about. After perhaps two minutes, the Mayor asked Yarden to say what item on the agenda he was talking about. Yarden refused. The mayor declared him out of order and when Yarden refused to leave the microphone, the mayor declared a recess and called the police. Yarden left the mike and the meeting resumed.

At the same time, Councilor Decker was in the audience talking to Kathy Podgers. Apparently a staff member had previously informed Kathy that Decker had forgotten to take her allergy pills and asked Kathy to move to the far end of the chamber for the benefit of Decker. Kathy complied with the request. Decker, during the Yarden confusion, went to Kathy and demanded that Kathy leave the room with her dog. Kathy refused.

The mayor ordered Kathy out of the room with her guide dog. Kathy refused. The mayor declared another recess and called the police on her.

I noticed Yarden sitting to my left by a couple of seats. He had left the room and, possibly, after talking with police, returned to the chambers. He was besieged by reporters.

The reporters did not notice that the police had come in and were talking with Kathy about her dog. Kathy has had repeated harassment about her guide dog and carries legal papers supporting her right to bring it with her.

The police left and city officials warned that they would “research” the law.

My past experiences with Cambridge’s research of laws has demonstrated severe bad faith. Their people once tried to keep my name off the ballot because their people refused to obey a very well publicized case in 1998 concerning Jack E. Robinson, a candidate for governor whom people tried to keep off the ballot with alleged defects in nominating signatures. The Supreme Judicial Court very clearly struck that attack. Cambridge Election Officials and the City Solicitor refused to obey this very clear decision with regard to me. To my understanding, the City of Cambridge still refuses to obey the extremely clear Jack E. Robinson decision and will trash completely valid election nomination signatures on that basis.

Kathy has done the smart thing. Thursday, she complained to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

2. Your Editor’s Initial Press / Neighborhood Report (basis of the following, most reported above).

RE: The Police Action at City Council last night - anti-dog and anti-handicapped action

Following up on my telephone discussion last night, I do not know what happened with your reporter on the matter.

What happened was public and semi-public. The public part got the press. The semi-public may have been the real game and got no press interest that I could see.

Publicly, Elie Yarden indulged in a rather general attack on the Cambridge City Council without apparent connection to anything on the agenda. Reeves told him to talk to the agenda. Yarden would not identify what he was talking about.

Reeves called a recess and the police. Yarden left the room.

Not generally noticed was Decker talking to Kathy Podgers and telling Kathy to get Kathy's guide dog out of the chambers. Kathy refused. Kathy has had a number of incidents in which any number of parties have tried to keep her from having her guide dog with her in public.

There was a public exchange between Reeves and Kathy concerning the dog, but which did not to other people in the room seem to be other than an outburst by Kathy. Basically, according to Kathy, Decker went to Reeves, Reeves told her to get the dog out of the chambers and Kathy refused. All that the rest of us really notice was Reeves telling Kathy to be quiet when Kathy was publicly objecting to the order to get out with her dog.

Reeves called another recess with regard to Kathy.

Apparently Yarden spoke with the police outside the Chamber (I have no knowledge, this is just a guess) because he returned to the Chamber quietly sitting there.

The police came into the Chamber in response to the complaint against Kathy. Kathy, because of rather wide bias against the guide dog being with her, carries legal papers on the use of the dog. The police declined to take action against Kathy. That I saw and I was confused as to how the dog got involved until I discussed things with Kathy. To the public, the exchange with Kathy had seemed that Kathy was backing up Yarden, not that it was a "separate" incident, although apparently an incident which occurred under cover of the exchange with Yarden.

The city said they would research the law. The city's research of laws tends to results in distinctive rulings. For example, the city tried to keep me off the ballot once based on the city's bizarre refusal to obey the 1998 Jack E. Robinson ballot case in a gubernatorial nomination. Kathy says that she intends to file a preemptive complaint. Given the record of the City of Cambridge of lack of respect for law that is a good idea.

When Decker could not get Kathy's dog out of the room, Decker left.

My take is that the Podgers incident is a serious human (and animal) rights matter which is part of a continuing series of attacks on her. With regard to Elie, I am not at all positive if he ever told the city council what he was talking about, although he seemed to be telling the people who interviewed him.

Copying Kathy. I do not see Yarden on my list, so I am copying a couple of neighborhood associations who have him on their list.

3. Tenant Organizer Response.

Why do people object to Kathy having a her guide dog with her. Is Kathy a blind person and the dog seeing eye dog or is this just a woman who wants to have her dog with her. If Kathy is blind and the dog is a seeing eye dog then the law requires that she be allowed to have toe dog with her. If she is not blind and the dog is not a seeing eye dog then what basis does she claim she can have the dog with her. What type of dog breed is the dog,

[Ed: Second issue raised, very much not relevant. References to the second issue deleted here and below.]

4. Editor response.

Copying you to Kathy Podgers and the Cambridgeport list for obvious reasons. I would encourage each to reply as they deem fit.

I am copying to others not shown as well and probably will add your comments to my blog deleting identification of you and the comments about the Cambridgeport list.

To me, the attacks on Kathy are part of a package of maximum destruction possible to all beings who are not human beings. The destructive people cannot kill every dog in the city, so they simply do their best to regulate them to death.

Animals in general are subject to destructive behavior by destructive people. Period.

That is the real reason for the outrages at Fresh Pond and on the Charles River. The people who behave like that deserve to be condemned. These are the people who are destroying our world.

As far as Kathy goes, Kathy has physical problems which require the use of a guide dog, and that is pretty much the end of the discussion.

5. Kathy Podgers provides details.

Kathy gave the following response to the above:


In response to the question raised about my "dog", legally, my service animal is not a pet, but a service animal. The city constantly refers to it as a dog, to avoid using the legal and apropiate term.

My service animal is a purebred siberian husky, 3 years old, and is trained to help me with my locomotion. One think she does is help me to "get up" so I don't trip, or fall, also she helps me walk, as one of the symptome of my disability, liver disease, is profound fatigue. I also have several severe diseases of the spine, including radiculitis, which means inflamation of the nerve roots. My neck has "collapsed" I have lost 4" of my height, and when the spine, esp the neck become irritated, the nerve roots becomew inflamed. This is not felt as a pain in the neck, but as pain, and weakness in the extremities, such as feeling like I have a broken arm, or my foot can't "feel" the ground. I can soon feel "sea sick" and "loose my balance" so the service animal can walk in front of me, and "part the crouds" so folks don't bump into me, provided a steady "pull" so I have a "counter weight", well, I cound go on and on.

I selected the husky because their temperment is just what I need for my disability, and because huskies are not territorial, so she does not "protect" me from agressive people, and does not bark or growl to "protect" her territory. So if folks yell at me, lean over me, she is not "provoked" to "defend or protect" me. she is beautiful and friendly, and most folks love her, and want to pet her.

Both Mass State law and city ordinences re service animals are non compliant with the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1990, public law 1990, also known as The Americans With Disabilities Act, the ADA.

The ADA trumps both state and local law. neither the state nor the city is allowed to have writen policies or unwriten "practices" that discriminate against people with disabilities as defined by the ADA. It is difficult to meet the definition, and I do. The ADA protects the "person" from exclusion, and segregation, based on their disability, and provides that the person must be allowed to have service animal accompianied them any place the publ;ic is allowed. Alergies and fear are not reasons to exclude a person using a service animal. If a persons alergie is so severe that it rises to the level of a disability as defined by the ADA, the person using the service animal can be seated away from the person with the alergy. In the case of the public meeting, the City is required to accomodate both equally, and not exclude one or the other. Guide dogs, dog guides, hearing dogs, seisure dogs, all are examples of "service animals" as are monkies, cats, birds, etc.

It is not about the dog. A seeing eye dog can not be allowed to attend a meeting where pets are not allowed if the person with the guide dog is not blind. The dog must be trained to perform a task for the person with the disability.

If anyone has any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

6. Kathy Podgers on “Disability.”

I was asked, in an e-mail, about Decker's "disability." This is my response. (This e-mail is blind copied to quite a few selected individuals.)

I do not know if Decker's disability raises to the level that would afford her protection under the ADA, and no one has made that claim to date.

On Oct 16th, [Cambridge City Employee] Sandy informed me, outside of City Council chambers, that Decker's allergies were bothering her because she had not taken her medication, and asked me if I would mind moving to the far side and back of the public seating area in Sullivan Chamber. I did not ask about the degree of Decker's allergies, and I agreed to move, for which Sandy thanked me. I agreed to move "as if" I had been told that her allergy was so severe that it was a disability as defined by the ADA. By that act I already agreed to accommodate her allergy as though it were a qualified disability. I did not violate her privacy by making unessary inquiries into the nature of her allergy, nor inquire if she had a disability, which might be a violation of law.

The law should not "pit" one person's disability against another's, and if in fact Decker should claim the city must provide her an accommodation based upon her disability, she would need to show, or at least claim that she had a disability as defined by the ADA. The City could not provide her an accomodation by refusing to provide an equal one for me. That is why I agreed to sit in the back and the far side of the room, because I rfesponded "as if" they had told me she was disabled and protected from discrimination by the ADA. That is the accomodation they requested, and I did agree to it.


7. Karen Parker response.


I am sorry this happened to Kathy, hope you are well, this Decker woman is crazy and so aren't the other city counselors, I wouldn't even put them into the category of city councilors, buffoons is probably a better description. [Comment on other issues omitted.]

Magazine Beach as the Cold Sets In

Bob Reporting:

This morning was the first really cold morning of the Fall. Temperature dropped to the 20's,

When I got to Magazine Beach at about 7:30, the Charles River White Geese were there, spread in a row near the new and washing out path. In this path, they extended a bit beyond third base on the soft ball field.

I fed them some corn, but they quickly went into the water as a result of a false scare. They came back and fed in a group on the near outfield after finishing the corn.

Another scare, on return, they were grouped between the outfield and the water. That did not last long, another scare, this time real. Ignorant older man walking dogs, not only off leash, but he is encouraging them AGAINST their best wishes into the goose territory. He then LED them into the area just vacated by the geese, as close as possible to the geese in the water. We are dealing with really sick people.

The Charles River White Ducks were happily swimming and feeding near their lair on the Boston side. Leaves have heavily fallen particularly from the lower vegetation, including the vegetation protecting their lair.

The ducks are happy. I was on that side yesterday. They were swimming next to the area that the sickos from the CRC devegetated. They saw a human (me) and went further into the Charles for safety.

The sick bastard walked his dogs to the far end of the fields at Magazine Beach. The geese remain in the water. They may come back on land after he leaves. They may come back tomorrow.

As I left, the gaggle had moved into an area in the Charles between the boat dock and the infield. They were as close to the land as possible, wading four abreast, but they were still in the water.

The narrow Western extension of the Bumpy Memorial Pond showed signs of starting to freeze.

Boston Globe Prints Letter on Tree Destruction

Bob Reports:

A couple of weeks ago, I gave you a copy of a letter sent to the Cambridge Chronicle placing destruction of a tree near Harvard Square in context with the policies of nine Cambridge City Councilors.

That letter was printed last Thursday, November 3.

Last Sunday, the Boston Globe reported on the same tree and a number of people spoke Monday night on the tree destruction at the City Council meeting.

I wrote the following letter to the Boston Globe during the City Council meeting and sent it out during the meeting over the city's public wireless, pretty much at the same time as the city was harrassing a handicapped lady because she brought a guide dog into the City Council meeting.

The following is the letter to the Boston Globe as published today on page 8 of the City Section.


Title: Cambridge sacrifices healthy trees.

I appreciated your article on tree destruction on Grant Street (“A tree died in Cambridge,” Oct. 29, City Weekly).

The Cambridge City Council, all nine members, showed exactly where they really stand on this matter the next day. A large number of residents complained to the City council about the tree destruction.

The very first item considered by the Cambridge City Council after the discussions was a park project on Harvard Street, in which nine city councilors have destroyed 9 out of 10 street trees on the first block of Clark Street. Nine excellent trees were destroyed because they were “in the way” of a park.

Thousands of trees are being destroyed at Fresh Pond. Hundreds of trees are being destroyed on Memorial Drive. Destruction of trees is the first thing done when nine city councilors do work in parks.

There is no real question why the tree on Grant Street was destroyed. Harvard is following the example of the City Council.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Writer wants to "move" Canada Geese

1. Introductory
a. Initial.
b. Second Thought.
c. Third Thought.
2. [Deleted] writes.
3. Karen Parker's Response.
4. Marilyn Wellon's Response.
5. Mr. [deleted] responds.
6. Your Editor.

Editor: Bob La Trémouille

1. Introductory.

a. Initial.

The first thing to be aware of with regard to this post is that the writer is writing concerning Canada Geese, not the Charles River White Geese. That being said, here are his thoughts and those of Marilyn and Karen.

The writer responds to Marilyn and Karen. I toss in a final word. I am of mixed feelings as to whether this post will remain. As of this writing, I have no use for further additions except, as appropriate, to tweak my comments.

Nothing that the three other contributors provide is edited except for capitalization type of matters.

I have gotten a comment that the c.sativa which he claims to be defending translates as marijuana. I am increasingly leaning toward just pulling the comment.

Responses should be directed to me at

b. Second Thought.

I did a google search on the writer. Very few articles, including this one.

I checked out one of the articles, twice.

I got a program which claimed to be a free sample of a testing program from Microsoft. It proceeded to claim to be checking my computer for evil software without my permission.

Looks to me like a trap.

I am deleting the name of the writer to keep people out of the trap.

c. Third Thought.

I have spent two hours checking out my computer.

This persons's initial comments generated some valuable responses from Marilyn and Karen. I have provided a general comment at the end, in part responding to him.

This person's name is out of the blog. He insisted on responding to Marilyn and Karen.

I do not like what I have seen with regard to that trap. This person's name is out of this blog.

To the extent there is any good faith here, he has nothing to gripe about. The second writing was quite long. It is gone.

2. [Deleted] writes.

Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2006 14:43:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: [deleted] [email deleted]
Subject: goose transport

Hey there Bob,

My name is [deleted], like the cookie, yes, I get razzled all the time for that, so please no jokes. I was searching the internet for information on "how to get rid of unwanted geese" and I came across your website. I read some of your blog and I thought you might be a good person to contact about the geese that are destroying my property since you seem to have a plethora of knowledge about these wild creatures.

Here it is almost November and the geese are still here. What happened to migrating south for the winter? I have been praying to Jesus every night that when I wake up, the geese will be gone, but every morning, as I step out onto my front walkway and I step in goose feces. My shoes are ruined. I have to buy a new pair everyday to abstain from shlepping the refuse into my home.

The geese ate my nectareous licopersicon esculentum (tomato plants) that I grow in mass production every summer and they also have gotten into the crop of wild c.sativa that is growing in the rear of my property.

Now I am a true believer in the after life, so I would not want to bring harm in any way to these caustic creatures. I just would like your thought on how to rid the unwanted guests.

Thanks very much.

Peabody, MA

3. Karen Parker's Response.

Why cant he just wash his shoes off, his poop goes into the Boston harbor too.

An idiot as usual. The geese's poop is never as bad as people make it out to be, its just their hatred of nature.


These people exaggerate and show their true colors in their letters. He really showed his utmost hatred for animals. If you love animals, you tolerate and respect their existence regardless of anything.

I guess this guy doesn't have bowel movements

4. Marilyn Wellon's Response.

Can he ask them what happened to their usual winter
home? Could they be refugees?

Maybe their winter habitat was turned into something
for humans only. Maybe they think it's ok for them to
turn his lawn into something for them only.

And I understand it's been a very warm fall there.
Maybe it's not cold enough for them to move on yet.

You could pass on the word that goose poop isn't
toxic, doesn't attract flies, and nourishes the grass.

5. Mr. [deleted] responds.

[deleted, some of the below comments refer to this package]

6. Your Editor.

One of the most difficult things to find among "animal protective" organizations are organizations which are concerned with animals for their own sake, as valuable beings in our world.

Most people approach the situation from this direction. Most "animal protective" organizations do not.

The two types of visible "animal protective" organizations are the activist vegetarians and the anti-animal lobby under false colors.

PETA is a vegetarian front organization. The vegetarian-fronts have no interest in animals, as far as I can see, except as forbidden goods. I recall participating in one's list serve (not PETA) and finding that any and all comments about protecting animals as valuable parts of our world for their own sake were censored.

The MSPCA is an excellent example of the other category. The MSPCA's hospitals do some good work. The activism of the MSPCA is contemptible.

The activism of the MSPCA approaches animals as problems and the approach toward animals as problems is EXACTLY the way humanity is destroying our world - by driving animals into smaller and smaller enclaves if they are not killed outright. And all the time, the MSPCA spouts non-stop pieties about how great they are. PETA supports the MSPCA types.

In August 2000, the MSPCA, together with then State Rep Barrios put a letter in the Cambridge Chronicle in which they offered "humane" treatment for the Charles River White Geese. I put out a sarcastic flier explaining what he had done and offering "humane" treatment for Barrios.

Barrios went on Cambridge Cable indignantly insisting I proposed to assassinate him.

The MSPCA proposed to move the Charles River White Geese to a "happy farm." Marilyn checked out the "happy farm." Its water for swimming consisted of a child's wading pool. The MSPCA proposed to let out the members of the gaggle for "adoption." They would not ask if "adoption" included Sunday dinner. Marilyn on questioning determined that geese who were not quickly "adopted" would be killed.

The MSPCA on behalf of the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Charles River Conservancy has been active for four years now poisoning as many goose eggs as they can get away with on the Charles River.

During the first two years, the poisonings included the eggs of the Charles River White Geese. We yelled. The last two years only the eggs of the Canadas were poisoned. This last summer I saw exactly ONE baby Canada Goose.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Contractor-Developer Lobby and Others on Cambridge Destructiveness

Bob La Tremouille Reports:

1. Well meaning person responds to my comment, October 18, 2006.
a. Well meaning person.
b. Your editor.
c. Your editor further.
2. Contractor Lobby on Cambridge Destructiveness, October 18, 2006.
a. Contractor lobby.
b. Your editor responds, October 19, 2006.
c. Councilor Kelley's position(?), October 19, 2006.

I posted my preceding (October 15, 2006) report on the Cambridgeport listserve with a number of responses including the following two. My responses on the listserve to these responses are also included, plus one added comment.

Note that my posting on this blog and the listserve was of an edited letter to the Cambridge Chronicle. I did not send my letter to the paper in time for their deadline for today's paper. The Cambridge Chronicle did run several interesting responses to the report to which I was responding.

1. Well meaning person responds to my comment, October 18, 1006.

a. Well meaning person.

The following was posted by Sarah Ruth Bernard:


While the driver wasn't ticket and the student was jaywalking, I think the larger problem is the lack of safe crossing spots along Mem Drive and the general speed of the drivers. If you go the speed limit (35) along Mem Drive other drivers honk at you and make not nice hand gestures.

I would love for cyclists to get tickets too, as I 've been nearly knocked over by cyclists running red lights, traveling down one way streets the wrong way and not stopping for marked crossings even though the cars have.

Also could someone explain to me how putting money aside for open space is environmentally destructive? Open space improves our quality of life, especially when we all live in condos/apartments or houses with very small yards.

b. Your editor.

In most cities, open space money would be spent for open space.

The City Manager objects to NEW open space with a vengeance. NEW open space takes money off the tax rolls.

The City Manager does not create NEW open space if he can help it. ZERO open space is being created with open space tax money at Magazine Beach. Wetlands are being destroyed. Animals are being deliberately starved. SWIMMING in the Charles, in spite of the media event is being prevented by the wall of designers being installed walling off the Charles. The LIE "native vegetation" is used to sell these designer bushes which are so very non-native to the Charles River that they kept dying.

Wetlands was deliberately destroyed. Wetlands were described as a "water problem."

Purple loosestrife has been planted as part of the these "improvements. " This is an excellent example of a highly destructive, invasive species. It was not there before the "improvements. " It is there now.

Acres of perfectly good playing fields are being wastefully dug up to, once again, starve the local animals. They will also replace the wetlands which should not have been destroyed with sprinklers.

Perfectly good ground under the playing fields will be replaced with new ground, and POISONS to keep away insects. If those poisons do not work, you will see REALLY powerful poisons AS THE MDC did at Ebersol Fields between the MGH and the Museum of Science, the project which preceeds this outrage. Those poisons are labeled "Do not use" near water.

THE DAY AFTER application of these poisons, you saw a dead Charles River between the Mass. Ave. Bridge and the Harbor.

At the same time as the outrage of the rebuilt playing fields, more starvation will be accomplished by moving the parking lot with tree destruction.

ZERO increase in open space. Plenty of environmental destruction. Plenty of money to the contractor lobby.

More than 449 to 660 mature healthy trees are being destroyed between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow Bridge. The contractor lobby brags about the saplings and how great it will look in 40 years. The fact that these healty trees look great now is irrevelant. They are making money.

Fresh Pond. Thousands of healthy trees being destroyed. One thousand saplings replacing needlessly destroyed trees.

ZERO increase in open space. Plenty of money for the contractors.

Squirrel brand. 8 12 healthy four story trees destroyed. Grass replaces it. And less trees in the total, already existing lot.

ZERO increase in open space.

Vellucci Park at Inman Square. Three quarters of the healthy trees simply destroyed.

ZERO increase in open space.

Brattle Square next to the Harvard Square Hotel. A 20 year park destroyed with all its trees, approaching maturity excellently.

Replaced with an equal number of saplings and an inferior (but pretty) bike rack.

NINE CITY COUNCILORS. I repeat NINE. NINE city councilors are very happy to talk fancy light bulbs.

NINE city councilors will not discuss outrageous and needless destruction of our environment.

Why man is destroying our world by destroying our back yard.

NINE city councilors are destroying our back yard and heartlessly destroying the animals.

If you are pro-environment.

If you are pro-animal.

You have no choice but to oppose NINE city councilors.

PS: The jaywalking and bicycle situation continues a century of contempt for public safety on our highways. The beligerent expectation is that cars have a duty to save fools who deliberately and in clear violation of law jump in front of moving vehicles.

The only sane response to such ingrained nuttiness is massive ticketing.

c. Your editor further.

Ms. Bernard comments on the deceased jaywalking as if the collision occurred in the open highway.

The hotel being used as a dormitory for the deceased's school, Boston University, has a signalized intersection with protected crosswalks directly in front of it.

The first report on WBZ radio gave the impression that the driver was proceeding on a green light. That would rather clearly say that the deceased was in the protected crosswalk crossing in violation of her responsibilities on a protected crosswalk.

It is highly common for Boston area jaywalkers doing this sort of thing to jump in front of cars in such intersections with the car moving on the light. The jaywalkers expect the drivers to refrain from hitting them.

Failure to give a ticket under these circumstances could indicate that the deceased demanded to protected from beligerant indifference to her own life, and that the driver did not notice her.

2. Contractor Lobby on Cambridge Destructiveness, October 18, 2006.

a. Contractor lobby.

The following entry appeared on the Cambridge Neighborhood Association listserve in apparent response to my immediately preceding blog entry. The name used was Ohiomeister.

A few caveats are in order. Ohiomeister is a constant contributor to this listserve. Ohiomeister's comments fit the developer-contractor lobby script to a T, right down to the tone of voice and to the constant denials of having anything to do with the Contractor - Developer lobby.

I have long since stopped believing self-serving proclamations of people of this ilk in Cambridge. I believe what they sound like. I am not silly enough to believe their denials and their nonstop proclamations of neutrality.


I support open space in Cambridge, support Craig Kelley's efforts, and trust his judgment completely on the open space issue. He is a dedicated and caring member of the Cambridge City Council, unlike some of the other members. I am not an architect, builder, developer, etc., just a resident and observer. Some issues require balancing competing demands, and I trust him to exercise good judgment in striking the correct balance.

I'd far rather see the Cambridge Police Dept. enforce the no murdering and no shooting people laws than the no jaywalking law or the no riding your bike through a red light law. The costs of strictly enforcing the jaywalking law and bike riding laws are prohibitive. Cambridge has a massive jaywalking rate, and the pedestrian right-of-way law can make things tricky for drivers. This girl's death is tragic and sad, but I would imagine that thousands and thousands of dollars spent on jaywalking enforcement would not have made a difference. Enforcing the speed limit on Mem. Dr. may well have made a difference, however. They could also put in additional traffic lights to slow things down.

b. Your editor responds, October 19, 2006.

He whose name shall not be mentioned is to be commended.

Since the ceilings started to fall on the big dig, the people who have fought highway safety for a century in the Boston area with this argument have kept mercifully silent. Responsible members of society would have contempt for them.

The same sort of slogan is non-stop from the developer-contracto r lobby: "We can’t afford normal maintenance of our parks."

In both cases, there is a kicker. The outrageous waste of money, waste of the environment and waste of free animals at Magazine Beach was pitched with this combination.

The argument goes: We can’t afford normal maintenance, but your friendly developers and contractors would love to provide assistance for the trash on MDC property. Pay us to destroy wetlands. Pay us to starve beautiful animals. Pay us to instal bizarre designers plants to block swimming on the Charles. We are calling those designer plants "native." How dare you call us liars. How dare you point out the fact that our designer plants can’t live where we sold them to be put. How dare you point out the fact that we are walling off the Charles and preventing swimming by our designer plants. Don’t they look beautiful?

Somebody somewhere was talking about some sort of lovely designer-contractor lobby project to "improve" highway safety on the Charles. How dare you talk meaningful enforcement of laws against belligerently lawless jaywalkers and bicyclists. We can’t afford to resolve the real problem. We can afford to repeatedly pay millions and millions of dollars to repeatedly "solve" a problem which amounts to normal maintenance. How much is repair of the "we cannot afford highway safety" pitch in those ceilings? How long have those highway safety opponents caused the big dig to be closed?

A very busy lobby makes big bucks out of repeatedly putting in massive highway "improvements. " They do not make money out of paying our salaried employees to do their jobs. They do not make money out of really solving the problem.

They use the same sales pitch on wasteful projects on the bank of the Charles. Part of the standard sales pitch, by the way, is the contractor-develope r lobby always denies being part of any organized lobby, and the lobby and its friends cry all the way to the bank.

Oh, by the way, again, the last I heard, tickets generate revenue in the form of fines, a very proper user fee for people with contempt for their own personal safety egged on by those who say "we can’t afford normal highway safety."

c. Councilor Kelley's position(?), October 19, 2006.

Councilor Kelley (mentioned favorably by the Developer-contractor lobby, above) comments as follows. Strictly a coincidence, of course.


People should also feel free to let the City Council know their feelings via emails to Council@Cambridgema .gov.

I may be reached individually at Craig@Craigkelley. org or via phone at 617-354-8353 if people want to discuss the Council goals with me.