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.