Saturday, March 31, 2007

Read "From the Port" - On Censorship in the People's Republik

The following blog report is strongly recommended to you:

It is from Kathy Podgers concerning very severe censorship being practised on the listserve of the "Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association."

I cannot say it better than she did.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

White Goose Song from The Netherlands

Phil Barber reports as follows, Bob La Trémouille passing on with capitalization edits only, and responding as stated at the end:

1. Report from the Netherlands.
2. Phil Barber.
3. Your Editor.

1. Report from the Netherlands.

Hi Phil,

This morning at Dutch time, I published my third song for the album 'songs for fairy tails' called ' White Goose'.

The song is hidden under the word white goose. I have some errors running on my website,and don't know where to look. Some things may not work properly, sorry for that.if you like to hear the song without my voiceyou can listen to it at this location.

Thanx for the image and best regards,

Ferrie (artist name is differentieel)

2. Phil Barber.

Hi Bob

Hope this finds you well. A fellow in the Netherlands (!) asked me for permission to use a photo of our friends on his Website, so their fame is spreading. Here's a copy of the e-mail he sent me, with address and particulars.

All the best,

3. Your Editor.

Thank you very much, Phil.

I have checked out the website. The photo is excellent.

I am not in a position to listen, but I will add your communication to the blog, along with a link. I think that would be ok with everybody.

Copying Elizabeth, among others, with a request that she add a link on the website.

Making the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association principal addressee to pass on this news through them. This is a very nice reaction, and a very common reaction in truly Green circles.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Marilyn's Letter to the Governor

As Bob La Tremouille reported previously here, the governor's proposed budget includes funds for the DCR's destruction of Magazine Beach.

Blog co-editor Marilyn Wellons delivered this letter to Governor Patrick's office by hand on Wednesday, March 14, 2007:

Dear Governor Patrick:

Please review and reject your budget item for the misconceived DCR project at Magazine Beach in Cambridge. It is a poison pill for the river and for your administration.

This boondoggle would destroy a fine public park and deprive us of passive open space and habitat for wildlife. It would substitute 7 acres of gravel, topsoil, an irrigation system, fences, and chemical-drenched sod for the beautiful fields there now. It would involve you in the destruction of parkland for the revival of the Inner Belt, a highway connecting the Mass. Pike and I-95 that Harvard University and others now work to create. These are toxic issues.

Chemical runoff from the project's prototype, "Teddy Ebersol's Red Sox Fields at Lederman Park" near Mass. General Hospital in Boston, gave us 2006's unprecedented algae bloom in the immediately adjacent Charles River. In 2005, the water there was clean enough for swimming. However, to maintain the 6 acres of new sod the DCR applied "Tartan" fungicide on August 8, 2006. The algae bloom was detected the next day, August 9, and was at astronomical levels by August 11. "We've never seen an algae bloom like this before," said a Charles River Watershed Association official quoted in the Boston Globe on August 16, 2006. Those 6 acres had never had an application of "Tartan" before, either--it's not approved for use near water.

At Magazine Beach, where proponents hope for swimming, the DCR--having learned nothing--is set, with your help, to replicate the disaster of the 6 acres downriver. The project in Cambridge will require the same fertilizers and herbicides as in Boston.

Further, "native" plants (a prior part of the project you would fund) already introduced at Magazine Beach have failed and will continue to fail, contrary to the hype for such items. The project removed sturdy natives planted by the birds, wind, and water, and has introduced purple loosestrife (never before seen at Magazine Beach), which thrives in disturbed soil. The DCR will work, unsuccessfully to eradicate it with herbicides when physical methods fail, as they will. Magazine Beach will thus get a continuing double dose of herbicides.

The DCR has previously failed to secure the funding you now would grant because the public does not support the destruction of this much-loved, undeveloped bend of the river.

The DCR acknowledges those riverfront acres at Magazine Beach are ordinarily rich wildlife habitat, but claims human activity has so altered them that they are no longer habitat. Any causal visitor to Magazine Beach can see this is a patent lie. Many thousands of people know and cherish their moments of calm here, in the midst of the city. The Mass. Pike, Storrow Drive, commuter rail, and the Boston skyline are in clear sight, but we can also gaze at the river, sky, and waterfowl. The DCR project will destroy this refuge for humans and animals alike.

The project has hidden implications. You may not be aware of plans for the Inner Belt, the highway river crossing to connect the Massachusetts Turnpike to I-95, cancelled in 1972 and now revived as the Urban Ring Phase 2, for the benefit of Harvard University, among other private entities. In 2003 the Pike Authority negotiated the sale of 51 acres (containing the Cambridge-Allston ramps and tolls, 3000' of the Pike, and the Beacon freight yards) to Harvard University. Harvard is working to move the Mass Pike exit from its 51 acres to the Inner Belt's proposed river crossing, i.e., the Magazine Beach-BU Bridge-Grand Junction rail bridge nexus. The move would free Harvard to develop its valuable new riverfront land for its own purposes.

The DCR development of Magazine Beach is part of the infrastructure for this new Pike exit. The 7-acre project will stabilize what the DCR calls a riverfront Magazine Beach "multipurpose path" whose specifications, on file at the Cambridge Department of Public Works, are for a two-lane road suitable for cars and small trucks. The DCR has temporarily shelved plans to connect Magazine Beach to the Grand Junction rail bridge under the BU Bridge via this service road.

Funding the DCR at Magazine Beach will allow it to restore the connection as well, of course, as destroy a unique public asset. The funds you would grant the DCR here is [sic] not for water-dependent activities! The quiet enjoyment of the river and its denizens--now in place, at no expense to the taxpayers, but in grave danger--is very much so.

Please remove this budget item and protect passive open space and wildlife habitat at Magazine Beach. Your administration would thus demonstrate its commitment to protecting the environment--by not destroying a successful public park.

Yours sincerely,
Marilyn Wellons

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Governor budgets $235,601 for continued environmental destruction at Magazine Beach in Cambridge.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Governor Patrick has included $235,601 in his budget to proceed with the DCR / MDC’s strikingly irresponsible project at Magazine Beach. This project is so irresponsible that the DCR / MDC manager spent years flatly and simply lying about what he was doing.

The governor's budget for Magazine Beach destruction is specified in his budget for the Department of Conservation and Recreation. It is at

It is difficult to think of a project which by the terms that the proponent claims to stand for, has more to oppose it.

I today hand delivered the following letter to the Governor's Office (some edits added):

March 12, 2007

Governor Deval Patrick
State House, Beacon Hill
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Governor Patrick:

Your budget calls for $235,601 for continued environmental destruction at Magazine Beach in Cambridge.

Your have included $235,601 to proceed with the DCR / MDC’s strikingly irresponsible project at Magazine Beach. This project is so irresponsible that the DCR / MDC manager spent years flatly and simply lying about what he was doing. The details of your budget proposal call for environmental destruction at Magazine Beach in Cambridge as specified in the request for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

It is difficult to think of a project which by the terms that the proponent claims to stand for, has more to oppose it.

This is a project for a department which has claimed it is fighting for swimming in the Charles River. The department has proceeded to wall off Magazine Beach from the Charles River with a wall of designer plants which the DCR calls "native," but which are unfit for the Charles River. The DCR had major delays because its falsely native plants kept dying.

The DCR claims to be concerned about wetlands. The DCR spent many thousands of dollars destroying the wetlands at Magazine Beach to put in the designer plants. Then they put in an artificially created puddle several feet from the Charles River, the Bumpy Memorial Pool. This artificial pool was quite popular with the native Charles River White Geese and other aquatic birds in the area until, apparently, the geese sensed the death coming to Magazine Beach. The DCR calls this artificial pool wetlands.

The DCR’s "Charles River Master Plan" calls for a lawn stretching to the Charles River at Magazine Beach. But those designer plants directly conflict with their claimed wishes.

The Charles River White Geese have been the DCR’s most valuable possession in this part of the Charles River. The DCR recognized their importance by guaranteeing, repeatedly over a period of four years, that their project would do no harm to the Charles River White Geese. In September 2004, the DCR, simultaneously with the City of Cambridge, walled off the Charles River from the luscious grass that the Charles River White Geese had been eating for 26 years. The Charles River White Geese have been living in this one mile habitat centered on the BU Bridge throughout that 26 year period. In one big swoop, the DCR and the City of Cambridge took all their food away from them.

When asked how this starvation campaign fit his promise to do no harm, the manager stated that starving them is not harming them.

The DCR took a poll on the public’s opinion of the Charles River. A majority of respondents said do nothing. So the DCR is spending millions not just on the continuing outrage at Magazine Beach, but also in destroying between 449 and 660 trees between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow Bridge.

The DCR’s explanation for the tree destruction translates as "Won’t it look great in 40 years!" Part of the mumbo jumbo is historical ranting for a history that never existed, and this non-existent history is their justification for destroying hundreds of trees, killing all the resident animals, and destroying all the wetlands.

The forthcoming project that you are funding fits the pattern. Normal human beings looking at Magazine Beach see no need to "improve" it. The concept is flatly and simply foreign to the sane viewer.

The plan of the DCR is to exacerbate the starvation they spent fours years denying they would do.

They are digging up all the grass at the Magazine Beach playing fields.

This is in furtherance of the DCR’s emphasis on water-related activities on the Charles River. But they are starving aquatic animals for "improvements" to athletic fields which are anything but water related and the "improvements" are a waste of money.

After digging up and removing all the grass and topsoil, the DCR intends to put in grass, plus topsoil, plus poisons, plus sprinklers. The sprinklers are needed to replace the wetlands which were destroyed to put in that wall of bushes which has no business on the Charles River.

This project follows on a similar equally "water related" project at Ebersol Fields near Massachusetts General Hospital.

Until this project, there was no need for poisons at Magazine Beach, but the DCR is putting in poisons. If the poisons do not work, they can be expected to receive similar treatment that the DCR did at Ebersol Fields. The DCR put in more powerful poisons, poisons labelled with prohibitions against use near water. The next day the Charles River was dead from the Mass. Ave. bridge to the harbor.

The most important real results of this project will be corporate welfare to the companies paid to do the project and a significantly worse situation at Magazine Beach.

The moral and fiscal bankruptcy of the work on the Charles River is nothing less than outrageous.

The key DCR people should be fired for their part in this project and for the lies which have gotten them this far.

The project should be killed and the money put toward open space expenditures which make sense.

It is my very strong hope that you will immediately reverse your support for this outrageous and wasteful project.


Robert J. La Trémouille

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Brown Beauty loses a daughter

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Over the winter, Brown Beauty, daughter of Bumpy, lost one of her two daughters, Little Girl.

Brown Beauty was hatched in 1996. Her parents were Bumpy, the long time leader of the gaggle, and his mate. She, through recessive genes, was for many years the only brown member of the gaggle of the White Geese. She bears markings similar to those of a Brown China Goose, and has the characteristic bump.

She, because of her distinctive looks and because of her very clear pride as the daughter of Bumpy, has long been a key part of the gaggle of the Charles River White Geese.

Brown Beauty’s three sons from 1999 all had black wing tips and bore the distinctive look of White China Geese. She was training them for gaggle leadership. Her two daughters were less easy to spot.

Two of these sons have died. One died very quickly after being shot. The second was shot at the same time and apparently died of complications.

There is a difference of opinion as to whether the third son continues to survive, has just become lost in the gaggle or is Brown Beauty’s mate.

I find the son / mate analysis hard to believe because she had the five babies by somebody and nobody has ever shown me that her current mate is different from her prior mate. Additionally, the three sons had black wing tips. The current mate does not have black wing tips.

With the winter’s death, one daughter survives.

Brown Beauty was one of the gaggle most severely hurt by the October 1999 destruction of the nesting area by Boston University acting on behalf of the DCR / MDC. The vegetation in the middle of the nesting area, in which she had nested, was destroyed. She was sufficiently disturbed that she did not nest in 2000.

In 2001, at one point her eggs were broken on her head. Later large scale nest destruction was accomplished by the DCR / MDC or by a functional equivalent entity. Brown Beauty defended her nest. Brown Beauty was beaten severely. At the same time as Bumpy was killed in July 2001, five other geese were severely beaten including Brown Beauty. More large scale nest destruction occurred in a subsequent year.

In 2003 and 2004, sickos from the Charles River Conservancy ran around poisoning eggs of the Charles River White Geese. This sick organization has poisoned every goose egg it could get away with on the first ten miles of the Charles River in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. These are the same guys who are destroying all the protective vegetation they can on the edge of the Charles River and who have threatened the lair of the Charles River White Ducks.

In 2006, Brown Beauty had a proud son, a real beauty whom I call Angel. Angel stands out with very distinct markings that I compare to a hood.

The CRUWI people think that L.C. who also hatched in 2005 is a son of Brown Beauty. He certainly looks similar to Brown Beauty. L.C. begs to differ since he does not consider Brown Beauty his mother.

Brown Beauty bore the several barren years from 1999 to 2005 not well. For a period in 2005, she showed symptoms of being mentally imbalanced because of her problems. Since she bore her beautiful son in 2006, she has regained her characteristic pride and excellent carriage.

By 2006, the vegetation in the middle of the goose meadow had finally regrown after the sick initial and continued destruction by BU / MDC / DCR / whoever is doing the dirty work. For the first time, Brown Beauty was able to nest where she nested in 1999. The geese get quite possessive of the places where they nest. Birth of their babies has great meaning to them. The result, in 2006, was Angel.

Brown Beauty’s deceased daughter, Little Girl also had two babies in the 2006 nesting season. They may have been adopted by Brown Beauty, but she would normally have a close relationship with her grandchildren.

Thank you to CRUWI for reporting on this distressing passing and on the 2006 grandchildren. I was aware of neither.

There was no apparent cause of Little Girl's death. One day Little Girl was alive and alert. The next day she was gone. It was during the coldest part of the winter, but her death was isolated. That is the way of the world.

Desolation at Cambridge Public Library Site.

1. The current status of the Cambridge Public Library Site.
2. Brief environmental context.
3. Frederick Rindge, the Library and High School Block.
4. The law suit.
5. Phase 2.
6. That is the way things are done in the City of Cambridge, MA.
7. After words.

Except for section 1, Bob La Trémouille reports the following.

1. The current status of the Cambridge Public Library Site.

Roy Bercaw reports:

Except for two large ones all of the trees in front of the Main Public Library campus are now gone, along with the pile of wood chips they generated.

2. Brief environmental context.

The Cambridge Public Library site is an excellent example of the environmental depravity of the Healy - Sullivan monarchy as Cambridge City Manager, dating back to 1974.

Differences now, however, include:

A. We have three city council incumbents who have run for office a environmentalists.

B. The entire city council loudly calls itself environmentalist.

C. Phase I of the Library site development was an isolated instance of environmental depravity.
Now it is part of a consistent pattern of large scale environmental depravity. The louder an incumbent calls him or herself an environmentalist, the greater I cringe.

3. Frederick Rindge, the Library and High School Block.

I will try to be as specific as I can be in my historical analysis, trying to avoid statements which may or may not be correct. In the 70's, I knew the history very well.

It is difficult to imagine a greater contributor of land and property to the City of Cambridge.
Frederick Rindge gave the City Hall to the City of Cambridge. I think he built it.

Frederick Rindge gave the Public Library site to the City of Cambridge. I am quite certain he built the oldest building in the public library. Rindge probably gave the sites to the east and west of the public library to the City of Cambridge and he probably gave buildings which were located on that site.

Rindge clearly gave the Public Library site to the City of Cambridge on condition that it be used for a Public Library and not for ordinary city purposes such as a school house.

The public library site extended from Broadway to Cambridge Street in the heart of the City of Cambridge. The public library site was the centerpiece of that part of the city and a library was a jewel in the middle of that centerpiece. The site visibly connected the two streets and was a unifying factor in the City of Cambridge.

There are now perhaps 10 massive trees located between the public library and Cambridge Street. They could very easily date back to the gift of Frederick Rindge in the late 18th Century. In the early 70's, there were 30 or more.

To the west of the public library site was Cambridge Rindge Technical School, a high school level trade school. The site was accumulated over the years and grew to fill the area between Broadway and Cambridge Street. Rindge Tech grew to fill that site.

On the east was Cambridge High School which consisted of two older buildings, the older of which, to the rear, was probably the gift of Frederick Rindge. In perhaps the 1950's, there was added in the northern part of the site a gymnasium / pool complex. Three to six houses continue to this day to site between the high school complex and the northeast corner of what would otherwise be a rectangle totally owned by the City of Cambridge.

4. The law suit.

In the 70's, the City of Cambridge wanted to modernize its high schools. The construction in the 70's decreased the land and floor space occupied by the high schools. The city could very easily have phased the construction to replace one high school building and then the other. The result would have been a campus style school centered on the public library and excellently using its open space.

Instead, the city combined the high schools on top of those century old trees.

I conducted a law suit on behalf of 10 taxpayers to save that excellent park based on the wishes of Frederick Rindge when he gave the city the Public Library site to "be used for a Public Library and not for ordinary city purposes such as a school house." In the middle of the suit, the state Supreme Judicial Court came down with a decision which seemed to change the law of public trust. The change was on an issue not really in dispute in the case, but the words were said. So in the middle of the case, I was faced with a case that had to go to the Supreme Judicial Court to correct that language. The language was corrected the way I expected it would be, in the 80's.

I got a preliminary injunction against destruction of that excellent woods on appeal, which was generally considered next to impossible. At one point, my case was simultaneously in front of the Superior Court, the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. On consecutive days, at one point, I had hearings in front of two different levels of Court, fully briefed.

We were faced with a judge at Superior Court who decided as a matter of "fact" that the excellent woods on the Broadway portion were not open space, were not a park. The judge, as a matter of factual finding, found that the wooded open space was part of the public library and was thus not available for protection under state law protecting open space.

I could have appealed and won on legal issues. The finding by the judge that, as a matter of "fact," that excellent park was not a park killed the law suit and killed the park.

Two buildings were built on top of those excellent trees.

An undeveloped expanse of grass was created where the two Cambridge High School buildings had stood on Broadway. Large numbers of trees were constructed between the Public Library and Broadway.

Broadway residents stabbed their neighbors in the back for the benefit of this blood money.
But the large expense of grass was OBVIOUSLY land banking.

5. Phase 2.

When phase 2 was announced, in that open space, the back stabbers fought to defend their blood money. They lost.

If those neighbors had not stabbed their neighbors, their neighborhood and their city in the back, the excellent open space which Rindge had created and demanded to continue would have been laid out such that further construction would have been impossible.

But the back stabbers gave the open space destroyers the position they needed to go forward.
As Roy said in the beginning, the magnificent collection of trees which were in front of the library in the first place and which were added as part of the blood money in the 70's has been destroyed except for two trees.

6. That is the way things are done in the City of Cambridge, MA.

Thank you, Roy.

7. After words.

For what it is worth, this report is being posted off the Public Internet connection in the temporary public library.