Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Cambridge, MA, USA City Council hires animal abuser; aside on a destructive entity.

Originated February 28, 2006 as part of one entry with the report on the Urban Ring hearing vote, modified March 4, 2006 to add Laura Blacklow's comments, further modified March 5 and March 6 to follow up on an organization mentioned by Laura. I may split out the discussion concerning the Association of Cambrige Neighborhoods because this entry is so large now and the ACN analysis is really quite different from the City Manager analysis.

As of this presentation, the ACN analyses have been broken out into a separate report because of the size of the analysis.

Cambridge City Manager rehired.

1. Bob's Analysis, February 28, 2006.
A. General.
B. Environmental Destruction.
(1) General.
(2) Alewife.
(3) Charles River, General.
(4) Charles River, Magazine Beach.
C. Starvation Attacks on the Charles River White Geese.
D. Cambridge City Manager Unfit.
2. Laura Blacklow's Analysis, March 4, 2006.

Cambridge City Manager rehired.

1. Bob's Analysis, February 28, 2006.

A. General.

Last night, February 27, 2006, the Cambridge, MA City Council rehired Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy for an additional three years. The vote was 8-0-1 with newly elected Councilor Craig Kelley voting present.

B. Environmental Destruction.

(1) General.

Healy has a strikingly bad environmental record. When he does work on parks, the first thing he does is destroy trees and the good trees destroyed outnumber the bad trees.

The most wild parts of the city, Alewife and the Charles River are the most under attack.

(2) Alewife.

The manager is planning major destruction at Alewife, burying a massive tank for flood control in this rather untouched area when the flood control project could be placed under a parking lot a few hundred feet away.

(3) Charles River, General.

On the Charles River, all animal habit and all wetlands are being destroyed. Between the Longfellow Bridge and Magazine Beach more than 449 to 660 trees are being destroyed as part of a road straightening and upgrading which would fit in with relocation of traffic from Storrow Drive on the opposite side of the Charles River and with taking traffic from the Mass. Turnpike (I-90) on a new exit crossing the Charles under the BU Bridge.

(4) Charles River, Magazine Beach.

At Magazine Beach, five trees were destroyed creating a silly puddle feet away from the Charles River with a new bridge across the puddle which in turn has a design dangerous for bicyclists.

At Magazine Beach the animal area shared by humans and animals for more than 50 years has been destroyed. It wetlands have been filled in. Its native vegetation is being replaced with silly introduced bushes which have no business on the Charles River. Magazine Beach is being walled off from the Charles River.

C. Starvation Attacks on the Charles River White Geese.

Truly heartless has been the City Manager’s treatment of the Charles River White Geese.

These beautiful animals are 25 year residents of the Charles River in Cambridge in the area half a mile east and west of the BU Bridge.

The City Manager for the last 18 months has blocked access of the Charles River White Geese to their entire feeding grounds of the last 25 years.

The western part of the feeding grounds, across from the Hyatt Hotel was the site of a sewerage project which ended in September 2004. The Manager left this entire part of the feeding area walled off from the Charles by an unbroken plastic wall, denying the Charles River White Geese their food there of 25 years.

The eastern part of the feeding grounds is the location of the bizarre project at Magazine Beach. Access has been walled off staring in September 2004 by a number of techniques. At one point, there were three walls blocking the White Geese from their food. Multiple walls of one form or another have continued for the past 18 months with only very tiny deviations.

D. Cambridge City Manager Unfit.

The heartlessness of the behavior of the Cambridge City Manager is such that he is unfit to associate with most humans, let alone govern the City of Cambridge, but he was rehired.

2. Laura Blacklow's Analysis, March 4, 2006.

For those of you who have problems with the pro-development stance of Robert Healy, he was voted to stay on as city manager with a 3-year contract, a salary paid by you and me that is higher (according to the Cambridge Chronicle) than the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, the mayor of Boston and the vice president of the United States, and a tax-payer funded car.

You might remember that Healy is the guy who would not appoint a civilian review panel for the police and would not appoint the people necessary for a city human rights commission. He is also the one who appoints the members of the zoning board. A member of NABS (Neighbors and Abutters of the Blessed Sacrament condo
development project, ) has a petition to change the city's rules so that developments cannot have balconies looming over neighbors. In addition, those balconies appear not to be counted in the square footage of the condos if they are above the 4th floor.

Healy also appointed the members of the planning board. Some NABS members, including myself, are suing the Board for disregarding their own rules when a developer like Paul O. & the Blessed Sacrament financial backers, with a lawyer like James Rafferty,who used to be on the city council, goes in front of them.

Last, the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods might add to my observation that, by not allowing any rebuttal to the developer when the Planning Board is about to decide on either approving or turning down a development, the Board also is really
undemocratic. I understand that Boston's planning board does NOT have similar rules.

By voting "present" [ed: original says “not present”], Craig Kelley was the only councillor not to outright approve Healy's contract.

CAVEAT: The hosts of this blog, Bob and Marilyn strongly disagree with Laura's favorable reference to the Association of Cambrige Neighborhoods.

Our response was so long, however, that it was quite out of scale in this report. I have split it out into a separate report.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Should the Cambridge, MA, USA City Manager be Rehired?

Should the Cambridge City Manager be Rehired?

Bob Reports.

1. Cambridge City Council deciding on whether to rehire the Cambridge City Manager.
2. General Statement on the City Manager’s Record.
3. Destruction of Natural Resources.
4. Starvation of the Charles River White Geese.
5. Private humans step in to feed the Charles River White Geese.
6. Cambridge City Manager unfit.

1. Cambridge City Council deciding on whether to rehire the Cambridge City Manager.

Yesterday evening, February 22, 2006, the Cambridge City Council conducted a public hearing, off-TV camera, on whether the Cambridge City Manager should be rehired. As I understand it, a decision to rehire must be taken six months before expiration of his contract. The deadline is the end of this month.

To me, the decision is a no-brainer. The following is an elaboration of my comments:

2. General Statement on the City Manager’s Record.

No matter how highly qualified a person is, sufficiently serious unacceptable behavior should disqualify that person for the position.

There is no question that Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy does a great financial job.

Trouble is, however, that his environmental record on matters solely within the jurisdiction of the City of Cambridge is striking bad.

Environmental performance on matters which ANYBODY can do is typically excellent. Performance on matters which ANYBODY can do is used as a shell game to hide the routine destruction of the Cambridge Environment.

3. Destruction of Natural Resources.

You put the Cambridge City Manager to work on parks and the first thing that gets done is trees get destroyed. There are all sorts of lovely excuses. What is altogether too consistent is the destructiveness.

Squirrel Brand, Brattle Square, City Hall Front Lawn, Inman Square, the plaza at Porter Station, the Marie Avenue tot lot, Dana Park – I could go on and on and on.

The real outrages are Alewife and the Charles River. Alewife is about as pristine an environmental location as can be imagined in a major city such as Cambridge and the Charles River is, in its own way, as good as Alewife.

The manager is proposing to destroy the Alewife reservation to put in massive storage tanks for flood protection that could and should be created under a parking lot next to a railway line several hundred feet south of the Alewife reservation.

The outrages which have already been done on the Charles, as bad as they are, are only beginning.

Hundreds of trees are slated to be destroyed between the Longfellow Bridge and Magazine Beach as part of the straightening out of Memorial Drive.

Memorial Drive is being straightened out and parking removed to facilitate relocation of the Allston-Cambridge Mass. Pike (I-90) off ramp to Memorial Drive.

Memorial Drive is being straightened out and parking removed to facilite reconstruction of Storrow Drive across the river.

4. Starvation of the Charles River White Geese.

The City Manager is heartlessly starving the Charles River White Geese. Since September 2004, he has barred them from all their food for their 25 years residency on the Charles River.

East of the BU Bridge across from the Hyatt Hotel is a lovely riverbank with luscious grass on which the Charles River White Geese happily munched until 2004. The City Manager finished a sewer project in that area in September 2004. When he left, he left a wall at the shore line barring the Charles River White Geese from feeding on that luscious grass.

West of the BU Bridge, the City Manager and the MDC/DCR have destroyed wetlands which were shared between nature and humans for more than 50 years. They destroyed all the native vegetation.

They dumped in fill and introduced vegetation which has no business on the Charles River. They have put up real walls like those across from the Hyatt and they have put up real walls that you have to think over a bit. The introduced vegetation creates its own wall.

This work rather clearly violates the MDC/DCR’s own supposed Charles River Master Plan which calls for a meadow to the water. The introduced vegetation creates a wall barring in people who use Magazine Beach from the Charles River. The wall violates yet another supposed part of the Charles River Master Plan which calls for water-related uses, not for water-barring uses.

The combination of efforts blocks the Charles River White Geese from all food in their 25-year habitat.

5. Private humans step in to feed the Charles River White Geese.

For 18 months, human beings have been forced to save the Charles River White Geese from this outrage, importing food to keep them alive.

These are beautiful, valuable, generally loved beings. They are major assets to the City of Cambridge and the Charles River.

The last thing which should be happening is their deliberate starvation by local governments.

6. Cambridge City Manager unfit.

This heartless, destructive behavior, this starvation attack on beautiful, valuable, living beings, clearly makes the Cambridge City Manager unfit to associate with decent people.

Somebody who is unfit to associate with decent people has no business working in a major position with the City of Cambridge let alone as the city’s leader.

There is no way the Cambridge City Manager should be rehired.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lothario (?) Speaks, More details on him and his family

Lothario (?) Speaks, More details on him and his family.

Report from Bob.

1. Visit to the Charles River White Geese.
2. Greetings from the Toulouse – Emden family.
3. Evaluation of “Lothario.”
4. The Toulouse – Emden family at home.
5. Loneliness.
6. Years of trying to have babies.
A. 2001.
B. 2002 - 2004.
C. 2005.
7. The cycle of loneliness.
8. The babies come.

1. Visit to the Charles River White Geese.

Yesterday, February 20, 2006, I was able to visit the Goose Meadow/Destroyed Nesting Area, the only part of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese from which they have not been barred since September 2004, and it was destroyed by Boston University for normal use in October 1999.

The gaggle of the Charles River White Geese greeted me with their usual happy hello.

2. Greetings from the Toulouse – Emden family.

To my right, in the middle of native vegetation which has grown up since the 1999 destruction, were four happily crying geese. I looked closely at the four. Clearly three of the four were Paula the Toulouse goose and her two 2005 babies. The babies are now significantly larger than their mother. With them was a handsome white Emden gander, clearly Paula’s mate, and clearly, by far, the largest of the foursome.

3. Evaluation of “Lothario.”

If Paula’s mate were Lothario, this would have to be he. My previous report on Lothario commented that he was a little guy.

I have been chastised for that language by, I believe, Marilyn. She informed me that Lothario was a large Emden, not a “little guy.”

Depends on your point of reference. If you are comparing to the gaggle and its members, this gander is definitely not a little guy.

If you are comparing his size to that of humans, even a big goose is a little guy.

This goose clearly could be my buddy and the buddy of Daejanna.

He certainly was including his voice in the chorus of welcome.

4. The Toulouse – Emden family at home.

I kept an eye on the group and, now that I knew what I was looking for, the four clearly kept together during the entire period I was at the nesting area.

You just have to realize that part of the foursome is a large white gander. You look for Paula who definitely stands out, and her pink beak distinguishes her from her sister who has an orange beak. Then you look around Paula and see two large white geese with black markings, the no-longer-small babies.

Then, as they move around, you look for a full size white Emden who stays with the other three. That is perhaps Lothario.

Just before I left, the family went for a refreshing swim.

As the family went into the water, the gander kept a constant line of patter to his family, just like Lothario always did to me.

Around me I could hear other ganders talking to their families in pretty much the same patter. All were going into the lovely running water.

5. Loneliness.

We have a situation of possible loneliness.

Paula and Paulina, the sister Toulouse geese, arrived at the Destroyed Nesting Area in fall 2000.

They were very clearly a pair. They stayed together pretty much at all times. It is quite likely that they were littermates and that they had never been separated from the time they hatched. They certainly kept up their closeness until nesting season.

Then Paula started nesting. She clearly had mated, apparently with Lothario.

6. Years of trying to have babies.

A. 2001.

Spring of 2001 was the year nesting geese were brutally killed, many probably by a person who has since been convicted of rape and murder at the destroyed nesting area the following fall.

Other nesting geese “disappeared” in association with destruction of nests.

I thought the nests were destroyed by some nut. My mind changed when a nest was destroyed with the complete removal of a large board under which the nest had been hidden.

That board not only was too big for one person, it was totally removed from site anywhere. The mother goose also “disappeared.”

That action was professional: the Metropolitan District Commission (now called the Department of Conservation and Recreation) or its equivalents.

B. 2002 - 2004.

These same sick people, during the last three years, have poisoned every goose egg they can get away with in the first 10 miles of the Charles River. These same sick people along with the reprehensible City of Cambridge have been heartlessly starving the Charles River White Geese since September 2004.

Until the board disappeared, I swallowed the “they would never stoop so low” mantra, particularly since the MDC/DCR were not such proven liars at that time either.

We assume the best from our bureaucrats. We cannot conceive that people we employ are as vile as this state agency and this city.

Paula’s nest was destroyed in 2001 and probably in 2002. The following two years, 2003 and 2004, her eggs were poisoned.

C. 2005.

In 2005 our reprehensible bureaucrats failed to get their approvals until late. Senator Kennedy’s office stepped in to assist in the poisoning process.

Perhaps because of the delay in approvals, perhaps because of the ongoing starvation campaign, the eggs were not poisoned in 2005.

Paula had her babies.

7. The cycle of loneliness.

From 2001 to 2004, Paula, Paulina and Lothario went through a cycle of the years.

Outside nesting season, Paula and Paulina continued to be inseparable. They continued to be the buddies shown in a number of excellent photos posted on the web.

During nesting season, Paula did her duty and Lothario was probably protecting her and her nest like a good mate.

While Paula did her nesting, Paulina did what she could.

Paulina nested on other geese’ eggs. Paulina acted as a surrogate mother letting other real mothers take a break. Poor Paulina did not have a mate, so she did the best she could, and she defended those eggs with the same loving protectiveness as their mothers would.

Outside nesting season, Lothario saw his mate go back to her lifelong friend and Lothario was lonely.

Just as Lothario happily chattered to his family yesterday, he visited visitors to the nesting area and chattered to them. I noticed his attention and appreciated it. Daejanna noticed the same appreciation, although she understood him better than I did.

The difference between Lothario and Paulina, however, was that Paulina had no family in the gaggle except for Paula.

9. The babies come.

Now the mated geese have had their first brood and Lothario stays with his brood.

The loser, unfortunately is Paulina. Paulina has lost her life long companion, Paula, probably for good.

For geese, this is a very serious matter because family is everything. But the two Toulouse geese had no family in the gaggle except for each other, and Paulina has lost Paula.

Paulina has acted as if she were poorly in recent months. I think lonliness is getting to her.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Charles River in MA, USA being privatized, trees destroyed

Bob reports:

1. Introduction.
2. Bob: The Charles River is being privatized, 2/3/06.
3. Response - We are getting trees and we still have a waterway, 2/5/06.
4. Marilyn from Reality, 2/5/06.
A. Trees
(1) Hundreds of Memorial Drive Trees to be Destroyed in Phases.
(2) Cambridge Conservation Commission shocked AND ALLOWED IT.
(3) All cherry trees to be destroyed.
B. Privatization.
(1) "Master Plan."
(2) Magazine Beach.
(3) Annual destruction of native vegetation for Charles River Regata.
(4) Destruction at Herter West in Brighton.
(5) Summary.
5. Bob, The ENF and Tree Destruction, 2/20/06.
6. Bob, RE Stopping People from Using the Charles River, 2/20/06.

1. Introduction.

Passing on an exchange elsewhere, starting on Feb. 3, 2006. In the original communication, I was responding to an email which questioned whether anything wrong was going on on Memorial Drive. I have sectioned Marilyn's comments. Subsections B(3) and B(4) were originally one paragraph.

My initial comments were probably directed at the various lovely proposals to put parkland between Harvard's holdings and the Charles River in place of highways. I believe there was a comment in the communication I was responding to that there were meaningful protections against highway projects. If I can find that one, I will add it.

It should be noted that the MDC/DCR is now refusing to provide its timetable.

2. Bob: The Charles River is being privatized, 2/3/06.

That dream land in reality makes the Charles River Harvard's personal property.

Trouble is that the MDC/DCR has already destroyed hundreds of parking spaces in the MIT part of Memorial Drive in the name of "improvements" which make it that much more of a superhighway / alternative to Storrow Drive (tunnel closing, private Mass. Pike exit so Harvard can expand on the Mass. Pike in Allston.

This is not a dream. Trees have already been destroyed with many more to come. They no longer call it a "highway project." They call it "park improvements."

And that portion of Memorial Drive is now denied to people who need their cars and do not happen to be part of the MIT community or people physically capable of biking.

This is not a pipedream. Phase I is in place on the public dole.

3. Response - We are getting trees and we still have a waterway, 2/5/06.

While I do not dispute Bob's statement that Phase I of the highway project appears to be underway, I feel I should report that I have been traveling down Mem Drive every morning for the last month and have seen with my own eyes many new trees. Also, last summer, while some construction was underway, the existing trees were protected rather well to protect them from injury.

In addition, I would suggest that the Charles River or any major waterway used for commerce and recreation cannot be owned by a private entity. I do not know the legal status of waterways, but possibly clarification is available from some state agency.

In studying the possible plans for the Urban Ring and/or new rail or bus transportation through Cambridgeport, it is important that we stick to what appear to be the facts so that we can better direct our energies to the seriously important planning for tunnels, rail/bus routes, etc.

4. Marilyn from Reality, 2/5/06.

A. Trees

(1) Hundreds of Memorial Drive Trees to be Destroyed in Phases.

The tree cutting on Mem Drive is to be in phases. So we can't read the protections around trees as proof the trees won't be cut down later. The Mem Drive Environmental Notification Form shows all trees to be eliminated. I have a copy if anyone would like a look at it. And if anyone would like to join me to inventory tree-felling to date, that would be useful.

(2) Cambridge Conservation Commission shocked AND ALLOWED IT.

At the Cambridge Conservation Commission hearing on this project I attended, members were shocked at the number of trees to be eliminated, noted the replacements promised would not begin to attain the stature of the existing trees in our lifetimes, and voted to approve the plan anyway.

(3) All cherry trees to be destroyed.

I believe all cherry trees on that section of Mem Drive are to be eliminated because they weren't part of the original plan for what the DCR is calling the Cambridge Esplanade. In addition of course the cherries are a "non-native species."

B. Privatization.

(1) "Master Plan."

Regarding privatization of the Charles, the DCR's Master Plan calls for greater numbers of (private) boat houses, presumably in place of the public swimming pools and skating rinks it suggests should be removed as not "water-dependent activities."

(2) Magazine Beach.

At Magazine Beach the DCR's agreement with Cambridge privileges Cambridge uses there. Magazine Beach would remain open to the public, but it would be a restricted public. A similar arrangement with Harvard for its Allston riverfront campus doesn't seem impossible.

(3) Annual destruction of native vegetation for Charles River Regata.

The DCR has an agreement with a private organization to devolve so-called maintenace, e.g., clear-cutting the riverbank for the Head of the Charles Regatta.

(4) Destruction at Herter West in Brighton.

In one project at an urban wild on the Boston side of the river, private funding of this private organization allowed the DCR to avoid the required Boston Conservation Commission review. The work included the felling of major trees on a public way and was blatantly illegal. The DCR argued it had no connection to the private entity's illegal work, whereas in fact it had permitted the project.

(5) Summary.

I read all comments--and there are many nowadays--about "creative public-private partnerships" in our public parklands as code for such privatization.

How changes in the parklands reflect plans for roads and buildings is of course the question. The first hint of a resurrected Inner Belt was the change of the DCR's policy toward the White Geese, whose habitat is just at the Cambridge end of the Inner Belt's river crossing. I think that when the DCR argues it must further devolve responsiblities for the Charles River lower basin to private entities and Harvard volunteers to help, we can expect major changes in the Allston and Cambridge riverfronts to the benefit of those private entities.

Marilyn Wellons

5. Bob, The ENF and Tree Destruction, 2/20/06.

The ENF is ominous not just for what it says but for what it does not say.

It says that something like 85 out of 100 trees across from the Hyatt are to be destroyed. The apologists explain this on the grounds that they are in the way of their park.

Additionally, however, in the area between the BU Boat House and the BU Bridge, the ENF shows one tree in a locations which holds hundreds.

6. Bob, RE Stopping People from Using the Charles River, 2/20/06.

MIT is not "stopping" people who want to use Memorial Drive from using Memorial Drive.

All they are doing is taking away their parking so people who need to drive can't come.

They can use the Charles River. They just can't get there.

And the practical results? Private property of MIT.

And how dare anybody blaim the people who did these things and are making things much worse for doing the things they do.

And how dare anybody call these unfair people unfair.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

DCR Proposal to Move Storrow Traffic to Memorial

Bob Reports:

1. Marilyn's Analysis for Publication.
2. My Short Analysis.

1. Marilyn's Analysis for Publication.

The following was written by Marilyn on February 14, 2006, between the Department of Conservation and Recreation meetings on February 13 and 15 in which the DCR, as usual, contradicted themselves. The DCR flatly refused to provide their timetable for further destruction on Memorial Drive but was very happy to give timetables on Longfellow Bridge and Storrow Drive work.

This analysis was in the form of a letter to the Cambridge Chronicle, too late for February 16 (weekly) publication:

The other shoe is falling

In 2003, Harvard bought the 51 acres in Allston
containing the Mass Pike exit to Cambridge a few
months after the MBTA's feasibility study showed the
pike exit to Cambridge could be moved to the Grand
Junction rail bridge that goes under the BU Bridge.
Such a move would free up the valuable riverfront land
for Harvard's own purposes.

Harvard and the Pike Authority forgot to include a
permanent easement for the Pike and freight yards in
Allston, so the sale was halted til they were

Harvard's big plans for Allston give us reason to
monitor all transportation and other development plans
on the Boston side very closely. As one State
official said, "we assume Harvard didn't buy the Pike
land in order to be the landlord of the Pike and the
freight yards."

The DCR's meeting on the Storrow Drive tunnel repair,
held February 13 at the State House, indicated the
other shoe is dropping.

Storrow Drive handles 92,000 cars a day, Memorial
Drive only 30,000. The DCR says the Pike is very
close to capacity, Mem Drive is way below. So when
the tunnel is closed for years, traffic will be
diverted to Mem Drive. The DCR would like some of the
temporary diversions to be permanent.

As we know, the DCR has been preparing Memorial Drive
to handle that traffic: limiting access,
straightening it out, instituting new westbound turns,
cutting down all those trees. And the MBTA has showed
it was feasible to use the Grand Junction rail bridge
to move the Pike exit to Cambridge from its current
location. And Cambridge has provided the Cambridgeport
Roads project to connect to the Grand Junction rail

In brief, diverting many of those 92,000 daily auto
trips from Storrow Drive to Mem Drive is likely to be
permanent, with the addition of a new Pike exit to
Cambridge as provided in the old Inner Belt.

There is a lot going on on the Charles River instead
of the sort of public rapid transit all of us want--to
say the least.

Marilyn Wellons.

2. My Short Analysis.

I sent the following out to two lists between the two meetings:

. . . Unfortunately, money which should be spent on public
transportation is being wasted on cars.

I just got back from the state house meeting on the rebuilding of
Storrow Drive's tunnel. They intend to close that tunnel for years. They
figure the Mass. Pike is close to capacity now and that Memorial Drive
is way below capacity.

We are seeing another part of the conversion of that rail bridge to an
off ramp from the Mass. Pike.

Memorial Drive is being straightened out, with destruction of 449 to
660 trees and a major part of that railroad right of way, to relocate the
traffic from Storrow Drive during that work.

. . . . I think the numbers are something like 90,000 on Storrow in the
[tunnel] to 30,000 on Memorial Drive.

There is a lot going on on the Charles River instead of the sort of
public rapid transit all of us want. The rapid transit is being relocated
as part of this package to support Harvard's Mass. Pike campus.

Charles River Transit Initiatives for the Benefit of Harvard - Who Pays?

Bob Reports:

1. APT Comment - Transit into the Blue, perhaps Harvard will pay for a new street car line? 2/14/06
2. Marilyn - You are talking about Harvard. Harvard does not pay. 2/17/06
3. Terry agrees with Marilyn. 2/18/06
4. Bob - In Light of the Current Games. 2/19/06

1. APT Comment - Transit into the Blue, perhaps Harvard will pay for a new street car line? 2/14/06

The following is quoted from the Association for Public Transportation’s List on February 14, 2006. The author is Barry Steinberg who is one of the more active members:

Transit into the Blue.

A proposal prompted by reports of the Harvard University Charles River area planning initiative.

A reading of "Streetcar Suburbs" by Sam B. Warner, Jr. illustrates that Boston's first westerly streetcar developments were privately funded. They were driven by landowners desiring access to transit riders who could provide a housing market for their land. These lines became the Beacon St. and Commonwealth Ave. streetcar lines of today--Among Boston's most heavily utilized transit services.

The Association for Public Transportation has long supported the westward extension of the Blue Line to Charles Station for a connection with the Red Line. APT President Fred R. Moore long ago suggested that the extension be designed in such a way that it could be further extended, providing for 'further adventures'.

The time for such may be arriving. Harvard University has been looking into extension of their campus into the Allston area. This would be fed by transportation lines. There could be a subterranean relocation and straightening of Storrow Drive, with a level for a branch of the Green Line included.

But yet, the Green Line doesn't go that way and is overburdened anyway. Now come Fred Moore's "further adventures": Extend the Blue Line from Charles Station (courtesy of Harvard University) basically anywhere Harvard wants to route a subway--If they are paying the freight. Presumably, if someone is paying for a transit line they will expect riders to use it.


2. Marilyn - You are talking about Harvard. Harvard does not pay. 2/17/06

Marilyn responded:


However, this is Harvard we're talking about.

The public has footed the bill for all transportation developments so far relating to Harvard's Allston campus. Harvard doesn't scruple to use public transportation money: in 2003 it bought the Pike's 51 acres two months after the T released its Urban Ring Phase 2 Grand Junction rail bridge river crossing feasibility study, paid for by you and me.

Although increasing east-west commuter rail service through Allston would benefit Harvard, I don't hear anyone saying Harvard will pay for it.

Harvard won't be paying for the U-turn the Pike will build at the Allston tolls for drop offs in Allston.

The U-turn will allow westbound Pike traffic to turn and cross the river over a very possible new Pike exit on the Grand Junction rail bridge. Moving the Pike exit as the T showed was feasible there would connect to the Cambridgeport Roads project and the Mem Drive "Historic Restoration," both paid for by the public.

Would Harvard pay to free up its 51 acres from the Pike and freight yards if the public will do it for them with permanent auto "traffic diversions" from Storrow to Mem Drive?

Harvard is however paying for the EOT study of "Transportation Alternatives at Allston Landing" due at the end of this month.

Even if Harvard paid for the transportation infrastructure for its Allston campus, there would be other, associated and opportunity costs that we all would pay. APT members are better able to calculate these costs than most.

Harvard stays rich by getting others to pay for what it needs. I've read that John F. Kennedy himself never carried money and his chums always paid for his share.

Marilyn Wellons

3. Terry agrees with Marilyn. 2/18/06

Well said Marilyn! In the 20 years I have lived in
Cambridge I have witnessed Harvard's unscrupulous
business maneuvers (land acquisition,Allston in
particular)done quietly so as to avoid any community

They appear to care little for the communities
effected by their ever expanding campus. They will put
what ever spin necessary on a particular topic in
order to make whatever plan they have more palpable to
the general public. They have not appeared (to me at
least)to be an Institution of integrity or
transparency when it comes to the ever present goal of

4. Bob - In Light of the Current Games. 2/19/06

Then again, the current initiatives with regard to repair of the Storrow tunnel are exactly the time to move any transit tunnel under Storrow. The MDC very clearly has no such interest.

Members of APT support the Blue Line subway connector from Government Center to Charles which is next to the area being reconstructed. The idea of extending the Blue Line further has been to run it under Newbury Street to take the load off the Green Line in that area and, perhaps to link up with the Longwood / Harvard Medical Area by switching over to under Boylston after a shared / transfer station at Auditorium / Hynes Station at Mass. Avenue.

I have preferred going under Charles Street with the Blue Line.

The other mentioned alternative, which Barry is discussing, has been to go under Storrow and then Arlington Street.

Any such line would likely be unfeasible without some portion under the Public Gardens, preferably deep bore.

Barry is bringing the idea one step further by going out Storrow after the tunnel (at Harvard's expense). There have been suggestions at accessing Harvard's Mass. Pike campus by bringing transit up the Mass. Pike. That would likely be the most feasible solution if they went up Storrow, i.e. to keep going after Mass. Ave. and then to cut under Kenmore and link up with the Mass. Pike.

If the Urban Ring were to use the Kenmore crossing (by far the better of the two alternatives), this idea would create an extremely busy situation in Kenmore. On the other hand, it would prevent any possible harm to the Public Gardens. A very major problem from a transportation point of view to a Storrow alignment would be the fact that the Charles River end of Back Back is a far inferior route for stations and passenger usage than Newbury Street.

The only time a Storrow Drive alternative could possibly be done would be with the tunnel rebuilding because cut and cover after the tunnel is the only practical means of construction between the tunnel and Mass. Ave.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lovely Photos of the 2005 Babies

From Bob:

I just found an excellent collection of photos of the babies from 2005 at http://stats.pbase.com/dellybean/goslings. They are real beauties.

The people who took these shots and posted them are normal decent human beings behaving like the vast majority of people. The comments included on the posting are by that much more good people who love the world and the Charles River White Geese.

Regrettably we are dealing with a bunch of sickos. While the sickos are clearly a tiny minority, the sickos are very ruthless, very powerful and very destructive.

2005 was the first year in three years that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Conservation and Recreation /Metropolitan District Commission did not poison the eggs of the Charles River White Geese.

For the last three years, the DCR through the developer funded Charles River Conservancy has poisoned every goose egg they could get away with in the first ten miles of the Charles River.

During the 2005 nesting season, the MDC through the City of Cambridge were starving the Charles River White Geese instead of poisoning their eggs. The Cambridge City Council got even worse.

The reprehensible Cambridge City Council voted twice in October 2005 to encourage the destruction of nesting materials along the railroad tracks.

Interesting, the Cambridge City Council is "neutral" when eggs are being poisoned BY THEIR FRIENDS. They are "neutral" when geese are being killed, and they ask the railroad to destroy nesting vegetation.

In fact, the sponsor of the motion to destroy nesting vegetation, Representative/ Councilor Timothy Toomey has publicly praised the sick Charles River Conservancy, the entity which runs around poisoning goose eggs. But Toomey is "neutral" except when he is starving the Charles River White Geese or on so many other sick things, and how dare anybody call the sick Charles River Conservancy a truly sick entity.

And the Cambridge City Council considers starvation attacks on the Charles River White Geese throughout their habitat since September 2004 business as usual. And they call their voting in two upzonings on Memorial Drive plus one or more along the railroad tracks either commendable or something they did not understand. And forget that they kept the Cambridge City Manager from telling them what is being done on Memorial Drive.

But the babies are beautiful. Decent people love the babies and the geese.

Cambridge pols, state bureacrats, and their friends run around calling themselves "environmentalists" and prove the opposite by their actions and their "neutrality" with a wink and a nod.

And the babies and the Charles River White Geese are beautiful, in a very sick city.

BU Brags of Award Winning White Goose Photo – Neglects to Mention its Attacks and Those of Its Buddies on the Charles River White Geese

Bob Reports:

Boston University Brags of Award Winning White Goose Photo – Neglects to Mention its Attacks and Those of Its Buddies on the Charles River White Geese

http://www.bu.edu/phpbin/news/releases/display.php?id=973 is a link about eight months old, but, what the Heck, Boston University and its buddies have been destroying the Charles River White Geese, as much as they can get away with, since October 1999 and lying about the destruction (and their lack of decency) as much as they can get away with.

The photographer is part of the vast majority of people. He very clearly loves the Charles River White Geese and cherishes them.

Regrettably, his employer is part of a truly sick, truly reprehensible, but very destructive and very powerful minority.

The photographer is commendable. His employer is a sick hypocrite and part of those who are casually destroying our Earth.

This press release without mentioning the behavior of Boston University and its buddies is an excellent example of the key techniques very destructive people are using in their fight against the Charles River.

The above link is to a news release from Boston University entitled:


Vernon Doucette and Kalman Zabarsky Honored by University Photographers Association of America

In this press release dated July 14, 2005, Boston University is bragging about two photos which received awards and the photographers who took them.

The key paragraph reads:

Doucette, a photographer with the university for nine years, won first prize in the Personal Vision category, which includes photography taken to satisfy the creator’s personal interests. The winning photo was a winter shot of Charles River geese huddling in the snow. The photo was one that Doucette conceptualized numerous times in the months leading up to the shot. He viewed the famous birds along the river and envisioned the stunning juxtaposition of the pure, white geese lounging among the pure, white snow. The opportunity finally came in January when Boston was hit with a major snowstorm and Doucette ventured, camera in hand, to visit the geese and snapped the award-winning shot.

Notice the nice words about the Charles River White Geese "famous birds" and "pure white geese."

The press release includes a copy of the photo.

The first attack on the Charles River White Geese came in October 1999 when Boston University destroyed the Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese WHERE THE PHOTO WAS TAKEN.

BU started moving in for its destruction hours before a public hearing in front of the Cambridge Conservation Commission, completed the destruction way before the START of work was authorized and greatly exceeded destruction allowed.

For the next eight months, Boston University denied doing the destruction. Then they were condemned for it by the Cambridge Conservation Commission. So they started bragging about the destruction. They blamed the President’s secretary for any confusion on the matter.

This press release was issued about eight months after the organization of whom Boston University is such a major part starting starving the Charles River White Geese, a starvation attack which has continued to this day.

One of the key figures in the attack recently denied starving them because about a year after they shut off the food, the Charles River White Geese actually got through to their food. Then the sick bastards shut off the food again. The organization did not mention whether they would consider it starvation to be allowed access to food after A YEAR OF FOOD DENIAL.

But they are very happy to hypocritically claim to be the good guys as this press release demonstrates.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Public Objections to MIT Development – In Context with a Bad City Government

Public Objections to MIT Development – In Context with a Bad City Government

1. Town Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.
2. City Council Zoning Policies.
3. Which Councilors are Guilty?
4. A Vote to Destroy on or Near Memorial Drive.
5. What should have and could have passed.
6. Summary.

1. Town Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.

At the Town-Gown presentation by MIT to the Cambridge Planning Board, the thing clearest was the enormity of MIT’s projects, ongoing and massive.

One public comment was telling. The speaker was concerned that MIT was doing so much construction right at the sidewalk, no grass, no trees, just right at the sidewalk.

When I spoke, I put the matter in perspective. The reality is that the City of Cambridge, through its City Council and Planning Board, has done a lot of massive zoning changes in recent years.

2. City Council Zoning Policies.

The zoning changes have been horribly complicated and were described as being oh so good.

The reality is that the documents routinely have undisclosed fine print buried in the horribly complicated fine print. One of the most common pieces of fine print wipes out requirements for yards around buildings. The Cambridge City Council by its long and repeated passing of these outrages clearly speaks on where it stands on the environment: strikingly against. Grass and trees for the benefit of the public and the streets are not a priority of the Cambridge City Council in these repeated zoning changes. And then, of course, they have their sycophants running around praising their concern for grass and trees.

3. Which Councilors are Guilty?

It would be nice to say that eight of the nine are guilty because Craig Kelley, as a city councilor, has yet to vote on a zoning change and the others are consistently guilty.

Trouble is that Kelly for years has been part of the organization running around pushing the destructive zoning policies of the Cambridge City Manager.

4. 2003: A vote to destroy on/near Memorial Drive

The most recent such initiative was the upzoning in 2003 of the north side of Memorial Drive west of Western Avenue and of the Kerry Corner / Cowperthwaite-Grant area.

The 2003 upzoning was highly distressing because responsible zoning was very much possible.

The difference between what passed and what would be responsible on Memorial Drive would have been negligible from the developer’s point of view, but very, very important from the point of view of the public and the environment, and very, very important from the point of view of an environmentally destructive city government.

The City Manager’s people wrote a zoning proposal which they had the nerve to call a “neighborhood initiative.” They hurt the neighborhood with the support for their package from Mr. Kelley.

Development on Memorial Drive as proposed by their upzoning changed yard requirements from requiring yard to requiring no yards, construction to the sidewalk on Memorial Drive.

The developer, Harvard, forced through a change which was less environmentally destructive that the initiative pushed by Kelley and company. Harvard’s zoning actually required some yards, but less than were required before the zoning change.

5. What should have and could have passed.

Trouble is the zoning was exactly the same density as zoning I have gotten passed on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge and which regulates about half the new construction between Harvard and Central Square, residence C-2B.

The development department fought C-2B and fought the very meaningful requirements which we added to C-2B. C-2B requires meaningful yards with meaningful protections for neighbors. We got those changes in C-2B by vote of 8 city councilors in 1998. Residence C-2B is best known for the Inn at Harvard in East Harvard Square

C2-B requires meaningful height limits, 45 feet (4 to 5 stories), quite a bit less than required in Harvard’s zoning.

There is also fine print in the C2B which is normal in most of Cambridge’s residential districts. This fine print provides major incentives AGAINST putting up flat, solid wall buildings. Another of the standard accomplishments in these very complicated packages is to get rid of these requirements as well.

Developers count building square footage above pretty much anything. If the neighborhood had been properly advised, they would very strongly have preferred C-2B, the Inn at Harvard zoning. The reality is that there would have been no incentive for the city council to do the harm they did to their area had the neighbors been properly advised. They were not properly advised. The neighbors and the Charles River got royally shafted by the 2003 Riverside downzoning.

Craig Kelley repeatedly provided public support for this zoning change.

6. Summary.

I agree with most people. Construction at the sidewalk is outrageously irresponsible.

The difference between me and the general public is that I understand how the Cambridge City Council and the City Manager’s people are really shafting people who want responsible development in Cambridge and on the Charles River.

Cambridge has severe problems.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Relationship of Fresh Pond and the Charles River in Cambridge

Marilyn submitted the following column to the Cambridge Chronicle in the February 10 to 12 period:

Skip Schloming’s column, “Don’t fence me out at Fresh Pond” (Cambridge Chronicle, January 26, 2006), raises important issues. I’m unfamiliar with the details at Fresh Pond except as given by him, but many aspects of that project sound
like plans for Magazine Beach.

As at Fresh Pond, the city’s $1.5 million project at Magazine Beach began with ripping out crabapples and other plants, including pine trees, asters, goldenrods, and evening primroses in full bloom. In both places, the official explanation is that public open space is being “restored,” to “a natural habitat for native plants and animals.” Fences are coming to open space—-a contradiction in terms—-and public access will be restricted.

Schloming says that Cambridge is trying to “increase the parks available for people and dogs,” but evidence from Fresh Pond and Magazine Beach indicates otherwise. Indeed, he and Lenore Schloming (letter, Cambridge Chronicle, February 2, 2006) observe the city’s new enforcement of an obsolete leash law diminishes the space
available for people and dogs.

My own observation is that the city is using the “restorations” and leash law to convince us that shuffling the design and designations of existing open space equals more open space. Each project is touted as a new item to satisfy some constituency displaced by previous shuffling. Yet as Mr. Schloming observes, the shuffling does not—-it cannot—-actually create more open space. The effect at Fresh Pond is “to reduce the recreational area available to the public,” be they primarily soccer players, dogs and their walkers, joggers, or nature lovers.

The interlocked story of “restorations” at Fresh Pond, Lusitania Field, and Magazine Beach shows that the city has chosen, as the 2000 Green Ribbon Report recommended, to pit active and passive users against each other rather than to acquire new open space to satisfy increased demand as the city gets built out and more populous. Organized sports and nature lovers have previously been set against each other. Now dog walkers have been added to the list. In the confusion we lose sight of the city’s policy.

Mitigation for habitat destroyed at Neville Manor is to be at Lusitania Field. Organized soccer players ejected from Lusitania Field are promised the open
space at Magazine Beach. At Magazine Beach, if the city proceeds with plans to destroy the wet meadows there and install fences and bright lights, Frisbee
players, pick-up soccer teams, as well as nature lovers, wildlife, and anyone who wants a quiet walk by the river will be the losers. We should all be calling for real, new, open space.

Cambridge’s “restorations” are designers’ concepts tethered to little in evolutionary science. Their “native plants” invoke some indeterminate era after the last Ice Age and are not now, contrary to assertions, best adapted to either Fresh Pond or Magazine Beach. These “native plantings” need special treatment to survive and money to replace as they die. At Magazine Beach, Jersey barriers, plastic fences, and coir fascine protect the designer plants stuck in after the ones the wind and birds planted were ripped out. The last time coir—-the prepared fiber from coconut husks—-was seen on the Charles was probably the last time sailing ships anchored at Cambridgeport with coir ropes. This may be the historical period to which the “restoration” refers. The “natives” planted in the coir fascine, however, never grew in Magazine Beach’s salt marshes while those ships sailed by.

So at Magazine Beach, the “restoration” doesn't mean undamming the Charles and returning Cambridgeport to tidal marshes. Similarly, the “restoration” of Fresh
Pond doesn't mean eliminating the golf course, water treatment plant, or Neville Manor and restoring the ecosystem of Alewife, of which Fresh Pond is a part.
Again, they are design concepts in the service of a city budget with no new open space.

These design concepts also seem to be the last refuge of nativism, an argument for the moral and practical superiority of natives that wouldn’t be tolerated in
any other sphere of life in Cambridge. Natives, according to the late Cantabrigian Stephen Jay Gould, are

only those organisms that first happened to gain and
keep a footing. . . . In this context, the only
conceivable rationale for the moral or practical
superiority of “natives” (read first-comers) must lie
in a romanticized notion that old inhabitants learn to
live in ecological harmony with surroundings, while
later interlopers tend to be exploiters. But this
notion . . . must be dismissed as romantic drivel.
(Arnoldia, Spring 1998, p. 8).

We are all familiar with the unfortunate political uses of such arguments when applied to persons. Applying them to the city’s open spaces devastates our
natural environment and deprives us of present beauty in the name of what is destroyed. We urgently need to halt these ruinous “restorations” and have public
hearings to address the issues Mr. Scholming raises.

Marilyn Wellons

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cowperthwaite Project Pollution Disappears?

Bob comments:

1. Introductory.
2. History.
3. Neighbors Complain.
4. Town-Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.
5. Cambridge Chronicle, February 9, 2006
6. Summary.

1. Introductory.

There was a time through about the mid-20th Century that a number of blocks closest the Charles River near Harvard Square were working class neighborhoods.

The only really significant remaining neighborhood housing area is Kerry Corner, and it is walled off by Harvard buildings in the first block or two.

A useful map is at http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/cp/neigh/maps/nhood_map_7.pdf. This map may be blown up into great detail.

Kerry Corner is bounded generally on the east by Putnam Avenue and on the north by Mt. Auburn Street. The Putnam Avenue portion has a number of one block street between Putnam and Banks Street.

Running from Mt. Auburn Street, the first is the dog-leg end of Green Street which extends from MIT land. The second, connecting Putnam and Banks is Surrey Street, and then comes

The last street is Flagg Street which starts at Putnam and runs past Banks to Memorial Drive. East of the Memorial Drive end of Flagg Street is Corporal Burns Playground.

The extension of Green Street in Kerry Corner is called Grant Street. It runs two blocks, past Athens Street (one block, Mt. Auburn to Grant) and ends at DeWolfe Street.

The extension of Surrey is Cowperthwaite Street. Mid-block between Cowperthwaite and Grant Street to Mt. Auburn from Putnam to the midblock Athens to DeWolf is still neighborhood scale, like the area between Banks and Putnam Avenue.

2. History.

The zoning of most of the area is highly destructive.

In 1976, I saved the 18th Century building at the corner of Banks and Mt. Auburn from destruction by Harvard using fine print in the then valid condo conversion protections in the Cambridge Rent control ordinance.

In 1979, I downzoned the block between Banks Street and Putnam Avenue from Harvard Square zoning to neighborhood zoning and downzoned several parcels between Mt. Auburn and Mass. Ave. as other parts of a major downzoning which significantly protected East Harvard Square.

When we filed the 1979 downzoning we were deeply concerned about Kerry Corner and would have been pleased to include a downzoning for it as well, but there were very major political obstacles in which Roman Catholic residents were concerned about allowing Church development of a parcel on the east side of DeWolf Street.

Harvard then and now was the big threat. The repeated pitch from Harvard was always that they had no intention of construction before about 2005 with no comment after that. In the period starting about 2000, well intended people got shafted by people working closely with the Cambridge development department and a very destructive zoning change was passed.

Harvard is going forward with construction on Cowperthwaite and in a parking lot generally bounded by Grant and Banks.

Harvard's information on the plan can be found at: http://www.riversidehousing.harvard.edu/bgc_housing.php.

3. Neighbors Complain.

At a meeting on January 17, 2006, residents near the Cowperthwaite construction complained of apparently dangerous material being removed from the construction site. They informed people at the meeting that the two landfills receiving excavation materials were refusing to accept this material and that it was being piled on site pending decision on processing.

They complained that Harvard and the City of Cambridge refused to identify the problem or the extent of the problem.

4. Town-Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.

At the town-gown meeting on February 7, 2006, I questioned two people who were at that meeting and either lived near the site or have been active working to protect the neighbors. The site is about one to two blocks from the Charles River. Both said they did not intend to raise the matter in comments. So I did. I hade a straight forward presentation similar to the immediately preceding paragraphs and asked for Harvard to identify the problem.

Harvard’s response was that Harvard knew of no such problem.

Neither of the neighborhood people commented on the problem.

5. Cambridge Chronicle, February 9, 2006

The Cambridge Chronicle, on January 9, 2006, reported that the neighbors were concerned about lack of availability of reports on dust from the site.

The Chronicle made no comment about pollutants.

6. Summary.

There is nothing in these various reports which is inconsistent with each other, although I am bewildered about the reticence of the neighbors at the town-gown meeting.

I personally know nothing.

“Three Aces” Saved?

Bob Reports:

1. Introductory.
2. History.
3. Initiatives last year.
4. Town-Gown Meeting of February 7, 2006.

1. Introductory.

The Aggassiz neighborhood is east of Massachusetts Avenue going toward Porter Square from Harvard Square.

A useful map is at http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/cp/neigh/maps/nhood_map_9.pdf. The area of interest is at the right hand side of the map. The map may be blown up into great detail.

2. History.

The neighborhood is a matter of good memories to me because it involved the first zoning change I was involved in as advisor to a neighborhood group. We downzoned the first two blocks north of Harvard Law School between Mass. Ave. and Oxford Street.

A matter of major concern was the neighborhood retail block on Massachusetts Avenue just north of Everett Street. The most visible store on that block now is the Three Aces neighborhood restaurant. Three Aces sells pizza, sandwiches and beer and has a vintage Pac Man machine.

When we wrote the zoning, we deliberately left the retail block zoned for housing and only for housing, to force a developer to choose between saving the retail and whatever profits could be made with destroying the retail. Retail tends to be the most dollar generating use. Thus the zoning took away incentives to destroy that retail.

3. Initiatives last year.

The City of Cambridge development department and fellow “defenders” were fighting to legalize retail under whatever guise they could use.

There were zoning changes proposed last year which would do exactly that and also reward the destruction of the park at Porter Station, among other things. That upzoning seems to be abandoned.

Three Aces was kind enough to post one of my campaign signs and distribute materials which communicated my great concern that the block would now be destroyed by Harvard.

As usual, the powers that be who were fighting to destroy the block claimed to be defending it.

I leafleted every property on the side streets between Harvard and Porter Square with my concerns.

4. Town-Gown Meeting of February 7, 2006.

Harvard in its “Town-Gown” presentation on February 7, 2006, gave the impression that its Law School had abandoned intent to destroy the block for development. Comments were made by two city councilors that their constituents were concerned.

It is good to learn that this leafleting and the efforts by Three Aces were successful, but Harvard will promise nothing on a permanent basis.

In Leslie University’s part of the Town-Gown presentation, Lesley announced that they had completed purchase of almost all of the north side of Mellen Street, the second of three streets in my 1978 downzoning.

The only exception was the gentleman who was the lead signer in my 1978 downzoning. I hope he can stand up to Leslie indefinitely.

Leslie University promises to destroy trees (for the City of Cambridge)

Bob reports:

1. Introductory.
2. Porter Station Park.
3. Town-Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.

1. Introductory.

You put Cambridge planners anywhere near a park and the first thing they do is destroy trees. Then they put in saplings and brag about the saplings.

In the 70’s and 80’s, the MBTA extended the Red Line from Harvard Square to Alewife. As part of that extension, the MBTA put in parks. Now the City of Cambridge is “improving” those parks.

One of the “improved” parks is next to the Harvard Square Hotel and across from the Charles Hotel, in the Brattle Square portion of Harvard Square. This was a small park with bike parking and 8 to 12 trees.

Last year, the trees were just reaching maturity. So the powers-that-be destroyed them and put in 8 to 12 saplings and bike parking.

Similarly, at Inman Square at about the same time in the late 70's / early 80's, the city created Vellucci Park. It was a magnificent, thick woods two years or so ago. So the city destroyed the woods, left a few trees and installed a relatively barren plaza.

Their explanation was "too thick." At about the same time, Cambridge destroyed a four story high grove of 8 to 12 trees at the Squirrel Brand affordable housing project ("wrong pedigree") and replaced the trees with grass.

I could go on and on. Cambridge brags about these events. They brag about the saplings installed and do not mention the mature trees needlessly and heartlessly destroyed.

2. Porter Station Park.

Another of the targets for the last year or so has been a lovely little park built by the MBTA when they built Porter Station.

A useful map is at http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/cp/neigh/maps/nhood_map_9.pdf. The area of interest is at the right hand top side of the map. The map may be blown up into great detail.

We are now going through the second iteration of sale of air rights at Porter Station. What is never mentioned (more than can be avoided) are the plans for destruction of the park at Porter Square.

Last year, the developer proposed to “improve” the park by converting the park to retail. That developer proposed to destroy all the trees in the Porter Station park and put a retail building in their place.

Last year’s developer kept the plans as secret as possible, and emphasized on questioning that he was keeping the Cambridge development department happy with this proposal.

3. Town-Gown Meeting, February 7, 2006.

Tuesday evening, February 7, 2006, Leslie University made their “Town-Gown Report” to the Cambridge Planning Board. Leslie University is also considering buying those air rights at Porter Station. Leslie University is also proposing destruction for the park at Porter Station.

Leslie is proposing to destroy part of the trees.

Leslie, obviously, is keeping Cambridge’s environmentally sick City government happy with these plans.

Harvard, in Harvard’s Distinctive Way, Admits Planning for Construction on the Mass. Pike Off Ramps

Harvard, in Harvard’s Distinctive Way, Admits Planning for Construction on the Mass. Pike Off Ramps

Bob reports:

1. Introductory.
2. Translating Harvard.
3. Internet Resources.
4. History.
5. Harvard's Presentation, February 7, 2006.
6. Harvard's Explanation.
7. Analysis.

1. Introductory.

On February 7, 2006, the Cambridge Planning Board held its annual “Town-Gown” presentations in which various Cambridge higher education institutions report on their development plans and accomplishments.

2. Translating Harvard.

As an undergrad, I studied government with an emphasis on the various major Communist powers. Translating the gobbledygook put on in “news reports” by these entities prepared me well for working with Harvard.

On the touchiest matters, it is not what Harvard says, but what Harvard does not say that is important. There is a lot that Harvard does not say which is of major importance. You just have to know how to read Harvard.

3. Internet Resources.

The key documents are available on line and the omissions are telling.

The key documents are at

A. http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/cp/tg/tg2005/tg_2005_harvard_2.pdf, at page 3 of this Acrobat document (It is at page 24 of the overall document of which the Acrobat document is the second part.) This is one of the two documents Harvard made public at the meeting to show its supposed plans for Allston. Allston is across the river from Cambridge. Allston, in turn, is part of the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.

and at

B. http://www.cambridgema.gov/~CDD/cp/tg/tg2005/tg_2005_harvard_3.pdf, page 2 of this Acrobat document (and page 40 of the overall document of which the Acrobat document is the third part.) This document shows all of Harvard’s property holdings in the Boston/Cambridge, MA area that Harvard admits to.

C. A rather nice map of the key area from Yahoo Maps is: http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?addr=10+Brighton+Ave&csz=Allston%2C+MA+02134-2310&state=MA&uzip=02134&ds=n&name=&desc=&lat=42.352133&lon=-71.125798&mlt=42.352133&mln=-71.117861980901&zoomin=yes&BFKey=&mag=2&resize=l&trf=0&compass=n

Eyeballing this map and comparing it to a map of the heart of Boston's Back Bay neighborhood (Charles River - Arlington - Boylston - Mass. Ave.), the land area of the railroad yard / tracks and the Mass. Pike with off ramps, the two areas look quite close to being comparable.

4. History.

Harvard has purchased the off ramps from the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) which connect the Mass. Pike to Cambridge and to Allston-Brighton. As part of the purchase, Harvard also purchased the adjoining railroad yards. The purchase actually includes that part of the Mass. Pike.

One of the keys to the destruction going on on the Cambridge side of the Charles River is a railroad bridge which goes under the BU Bridge connecting Cambridge and Boston over the Charles River. The BU Bridge in turn is the heart of the habitat of the Charles River White Geese in Cambridge. For 25 years the Charles River White Geese lived in peace in the area ½ mile on either side of the BU Bridge on the Charles River and on its banks in Cambridge.

Harvard and the parties that be gave the first public information on their plans for the Cambridge side of the Charles River in 1997. I have been fighting those plans ever since and the plans have unfolded piece by massive piece.

A few years ago, the local transit authority, the MBTA, did a study in which the MBTA proved it feasible to build an off ramp over that railroad bridge under the BU Bridge. The off ramp would connect the Mass. Pike to Cambridge. Three months later, Harvard purchased the existing off ramps from the Mass. Pike along with the railroad yard next to the Mass. Pike.

On the second of my links, page 2 (40), please look slightly below the middle of the map. There you will see the words “Harvard Allston.” Above these words and to the left and right of the words, you will see the Charles River. On the portion of the Charles River to the right of the words, you will see the Western Avenue Bridge and the River Street (Cambridge) / Cambridge Street Bridge (Allston). Further down the river and to the right after it turns, you will see the BU Bridge. This bridge is less clear it is above and to the left of the words “Boston University.” Directly below the BU Bridge is a municipal border showing the boundary between Boston and Brookline.

The Cambridge side of the Charles River is above the river on the map. The habitat of the Charles River White Geese is ½ mile to the left (west) of the BU Bridge and ½ mile to the right (east) of the BU Bridge.

Cambridge Street, Allston is to the left of the Cambridge Street / River Street Bridge.

The massive red area below Cambridge Street, Allston is the area Harvard purchased three months after the MBTA proved the off ramp viable from the Mass. Pike to Cambridge on the railroad bridge under the BU Bridge. It is not at all surprising that the railroad bridge under the BU Bridge does not show on Harvard’s map.

This massive red area purchased by Harvard is generally triangular in shape. The lower/ left portion of the triangle is railroad yards operated by Guilford Transportation. The upper/right area is the off ramps from the Mass. Pike and the Mass. Pike. The area purchased stretches out in a thin line below the triangle toward the BU Bridge. It almost reaches the BU Bridge. This thin area contains the railroad tracks which connect the rail yard purchased by Harvard to the rail bridge under the BU Bridge.

5. Harvard's Presentation, February 7, 2006.

Harvard’s presentation showed the red area ABOVE Cambridge Street on this map.

If you will look at the first of my links (page 3/24), you will see the first of the two maps Harvard showed the Planning Board and the public of Harvard’s holdings in Allston on February 7, 2006. The bottom of the map is generally Cambridge Street, Allston, with a curved area cut out. The Mass. Pike off ramps purchased by Harvard extend into that cut out curved area.

On February 7, 2006, Harvard showed another map of their Allston holdings which also did not include the Mass. Pike / railroad yards area. That map included the area in the page 3/24 map and property owned to the left (west) of the page 3/24 map.

The area purchased generally south of Cambridge Street, the Mass. Pike / railroad yards area, is equal in size to a very major part of the prime Harvard holdings in Cambridge. The purchased area equals Harvard Yard PLUS Harvard’s North Yard (Law School, some science, some art) PLUS about half of Harvard’s Divinity School / science area COMBINED.

This recently purchased are is the area Harvard did not show on its presentation in the Town Gown report.

6. Harvard's Explanation.

I raised the omission calling it glaring.

Harvard responded by saying that it was currently and in the near future impossible to build ON THE RAILROAD YARDS portion of the purchased area.

Harvard, in Harvard’s normal manner, SAID NOTHING about the current or near term viability of building on the Mass. Pike or the Mass. Pike off ramps.

Building on the Mass. Pike and its off ramps is EXACTLY what the various environmental destruction / machinations on the Cambridge side of the Charles River is putting in place.

A framework is being very cruelly established to accept an off ramp from the Mass. Pike in Cambridge and on Memorial Drive, an off ramp which would replace the off ramp Harvard bought and is “neglecting” to show in its public presentations concerning Allston development.

7. Analysis.

Why the omission?

Harvard ALWAYS keeps touchy things as secret as possible until it is too late to beat them.

The machinations putting in place construction on the off ramps from the Mass. Pike are anything but certain. Those machinations are highly destructive.

Those machinations are being pushed ruthlessly, including the current heartless starvation attacks on the Charles River White Geese. Among other things, there is also a major matter of more than 449 to 660 trees being destroyed in the process.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Update on Lothario, Musing on Brown Geese in the Gaggle.

Bob writes:

1. Further Thoughts on Lothario.
2. Possible Brown Friends for Lothario.
3. Is Lothario Paula's Mate?
4. The Babies.
5. An Irresponsible Government.

1. Further Thoughts on Lothario.

In further discussions with Daejanna, she informs me that Lothario was quite successful with the female geese. She mentions that he had three female friends, two white geese and one brown goose.

2. Possible Brown Friends for Lothario.

The brown friend struck very close to home.

The gaggle of the Charles River White Geese includes four brown geese:

(1) Brown Beauty, the 1996 offspring of Bumpy and a white female;

(2) Grayling, hatched in 2005 from two whites.

Both of these geese are very clearly the result of recessive genes becoming quite visible.

Brown Beauty had a brood of five surviving babies in 1999, three males and two females. Two of the males have been since shot dead.

Brown Beauty repeatedly tried to nest since 1999 but she has been on the receiving end of vicious nest destruction by people similar to the MDC/DCR. She has been repeatedly been beaten defending her nest. Brown Beauty was on the receiving end of egg poisoning by people who certainly look like the Charles River Conservancy, yet another of the “volunteer groups” which work closely with the MDC/DCR. The Charles River Conservancy has very major developer funding. Senator Kennedy’s office is reported to have stepped in to assist the egg poisoning in 2005.

(3) and (4) are two sister Toulouse Geese who appeared in the fall of 2000. They, apparently, were former pets who were left with the gaggle. This was probably because their owner could no longer keep them. Paula has an orange bill and, like Brown Beauty, has repeatedly tried to nest since 2000. Paulina, with a pink bill, apparently has never mated but frequently has nest sat during the same period, doing her part to help out the gaggle.

In 2005, at about the time that Lothario “disappeared,” Paula succeeded in having her babies. My memory is that she had four babies of which two now survive with loving care by their parents.

But Daejanna tells me that Lothario had a brown girlfriend.

Well, it is possible that Greyling is female, but he is quite big for a female and he was only hatched in 2005. Clearly, Brown Beauty is another possibility, but does not sound appropriate.

Paula sounds like an excellent goose to be Lothario’s mate.

3. Is Lothario Paula's Mate?

It is quite possible that Lothario has stopped talking to me because he has much more important things to do, that he is watching over his babies along with Paula.

I have suggested to Daejanna that she check out Paula’s mate to see if that is Lothario. I imagine it probably is. Lothario stood out to me because he did such a beautiful job of talking with me, but Lothario looked like an Emden Goose in a location with a lot of other Emden Geese. With Lothario not talking, I really cannot tell the difference between him and the other Emdens.

I hope Daejanna will check out Paula and her mate, and let me know if the mate is Lothario. I think it is.

4. The Babies.

And the babies? Well by the time the babies were six months old, they were bigger than Paula, their mother, quite a bit bigger. They generally look like big Emden Geese except for a number of black markings. The babies do not look like Dalmations with the black markings, but they clearly have black markings.

Brown Beauty’s babies have black feather tips on the tips of their wings. The babies of Paula have quite a bit larger markings that do Brown Beauty's babies. The surviving male son of Brown Beauty is rather clearly a China Goose as well. Brown Beauty's daughters, as I recall, look like Emdens, but perhaps somebody could correct me.

We do have several photos of Paula on the website, www.charlesriverwhitegeese.org. Please feel free to check her out on the website. Photos of Brown Beauty are also there and the two are clearly quite a bit different.

The two other sons of Brown Beauty also looked like China Geese. Their killings are part of a pattern.

5. An Irresponsible Government.

An irresponsible government has declared war on these beautiful beings. Before the declaration of war, the Charles River White Geese lived in peace and love. The Charles River White Geese are still generally loved by sane human beings. Clearly, they are very popular with admiring commuters. The sickos, however, react predictably to the behavior of an irresponsible government.

I will report to you the result of Daejanna’s visit when she is able to visit the white geese again.

Should a belligerent animal abuser be district attorney?

Bob writes:

Should a belligerent animal abuser be district attorney for Middlesex County, Massachusetts?

1. Jarrett Barrios on "Humane Treatment."
2. Commencement of Attack on the Charles River White Geese.
3. Heartless Starvation of the Charles River White Geese.
4. The Boondoggle at Magazine Beach.
5. Berlin Air Lift.
6. What Does Barrios Deserve?

1. Jarrett Barrios on "Humane Treatment."

In the year 2000, then State Representative Jarrett Barrios went on Cambridge Community Television to complain that I had proposed to assassinate him.

I had posted fliers about the Cambridgeport neighborhood sarcastically proposing “humane treatment” for him as he had, in August 2000, proposed for the Charles River White Geese in a letter to the editor in the Cambridge Chronicle. Strange, when he said it, it sounded so lovely, but when I said it about him, he called it a proposal to assassinate him.

2. Commencement of Attack on the Charles River White Geese.

Barrios’ plans for the Charles River White Geese started to be implemented in October 1999 when Boston University, on behalf of the then called “Metropolitan District Commission” illegally destroyed the nesting area of the Charles River White Geese.

3. Heartless Starvation of the Charles River White Geese.

In September 2004, Barrios and his buddies destroyed access by the Charles River White Geese to the balance of their 25 year habitat. The habitat has run for half a mile on the Charles River in Cambridge on either side of the Boston University Bridge.

Barrios’ allies in the City of Cambridge working with the now called “Department of Conservation and Resources” finished a pollution control project across from the Hyatt Regency Hotel. They left a wall barring admission from the Charles River to the luscious grass between the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Charles, grass where the Charles River White Geese had fed and walked their babies for 25 years. Last I saw, that wall was still there.

On the eastern end of the habitat, work was done with funds that started out with the City of Cambridge. An unreliable source, the manager in charge for the DCR/MDC, says they changed the pot of money being used, apparently after the public heard about it. The unreliable source says the money was changed from the City of Cambridge to the DCR/MDC.

4. The Boondoggle at Magazine Beach.

Native wetlands vegetation was heartlessly destroyed. Habitat shared by animals and humans for more than 50 years was destroyed. Access was barred to the Charles River White Geese to an area where they had fed for 25 years.

Bizarre designer bushes were introduced walling off the Magazine Beach playing fields from the Charles River. This project was delayed, according to the same unreliable source, because the introduced vegetation behaved like introduced vegetation, it had trouble growing.

So starvation has been the rule by edict of Barrios and his buddies throughout the habitat of the Charles River White Geese.

5. Berlin Air Lift.

Decent human beings have conducted a Berlin air lift. Decent human beings have imported food into the habitat of the Charles River White Geese to feed the Charles River White Geese, when what they really need is access to food they have been eating for 25 years, now walled off.

6. What Does Barrios Deserve?

Barrios thinks he should be rewarded. Barrios thinks he should be elected to District Attorney of the county in which his starvation zone is located.

My personal attitude is that heartless animal abusers should be jailed, not elected District Attorney.