Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Exchange on Cambridge's View of Environmentalism

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I have commented on the exchange between me and Cambridge political insider Sam Seidel in May 2007 issue of The Alewife. I have not been able to find the exchange on line and a request to the publisher has not been successful.

The following is my retyping of the exchange. It starts on page 6 and is continued on page 15, although the paper says the continuation is on page 21.

1. Your Editor:

I read with interest the article of Sam Seidel in April’s issue, especially the environmental comments at the end. Seidel’s praise of city-partnered initiatives which could give a damn less about the city’s ongoing destruction of the Green in the City of Cambridge goes a long way to explain why youths are not voting.

I would suggest that people who understand Cambridge and who are not in the middle of Cambridge’s really destructive situation have good reason to abstain from voting. When Mr. Seidel was on the Cambridge Conservation Commission key votes were taken in support of environmental destruction on the Charles River.

Most visible now is the blockading of Magazine Beach from the Charles by silly designer bushes which have no business on the Charles. We had a swim in before this blockage to swimming was installed. That swim in claimed that the work at Magazine Beach was pro-swimming.

The next phase will dig up all the dirt in the playing fields and replace it with dirt and poisons. The last time the DCR installed their beloved poisons, at Ebersol Fields near MGH, the next day the Charles River was dead.

Reality says everything about why many intelligent people would lack trust in “environmentalists” who could give a damn less about Cambridge and their buddies ongoing destruction of the Green.

Destruction of thousands of trees (starting with Fresh Pond) combines with destruction of as much wetlands as is possible, destruction of as much wildlife as possible, and a lot of other outrageous things.

You combine this with pious nonsense that fighting for fancy light bulbs has some sort of meaning in this environmentally reprehensible city.

I would think that young voters should be commended for the bad turnout.

2. Seidel’s Response.

Let me start by saying that I admire Robert La Trémouille. His relentless pursuit of goals that he holds dear is, well, relentless. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who’s as willing as him not to change his tune in spite of the prevailing wind of opposing opinion. This is not said in jest. He is the antithesis of group-think.

Unfortunately, Bob La Trémouille happens to be dead wrong in his understanding of the complex interactions between human and natural resources, especially those that happen in dense urban environments. Urban

[Page break, marked “please turn to page 21". Continued on page 15.]

ecology is a field of environmental science just now coming into its own. Biologist, planners, water resources specialists and many others are developing a deeper understanding of the natural systems enmeshed in the traditional built form we associate with cities.

The challenge in today’s age is to question long-entrenched assumptions about what it means to live in an urban environment, and what rights and responsibilities we have toward natural processes that occur here. One of the basic principles underlying our desicisons must be “sustainability”. Simply put, a sustainable decision is one that actively balances today’s consumption desires with tomorrow’s needs. In other words, we can’t mortgage future generations to satisfy our current wishes.

I take it as part of my understanding of this principle that urban natural areas can improve through human intervention. By definition, these areas have already felt the impact of human choices at some point in their history. Further intervention, with an eye toward restoration or improvement, finds part of its justification in this fact.

Water quality is only one such example, but it serves to make the point well. Hydrologists and landscape architects, among many others, have come to a much fuller understanding of how natural systems such as wetlands can improve water quality through processes such as filtering and sediment removal and at the same time create habits that encourage (and support) biodiversity in relatively unforgiving settings (such as cities). Many creative strategies replacing traditional engineering methods of water management with “bioengineering” approaches — where nature by itself does the important work— address both ecological and societal concerns simultaneously.

Contrary to Mr. La Trémouille’s assertion, you people should be inspired by the work of their elders, for two reasons: these efforts are intended to rebalance the equation between humans and their environment making our livability on this planet a longer-term proposition, and; they are a down-payment on the world that young people will inherit. If today’s society must respect the future’s rightful claim on earth’s resources, future generations much acknowledge good choices and hard work accomplished today to protect the assets of that claim.

3. So that is why the Cambridge pols are adopting environmental practices of the 19th Century!!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New "Environmentalist" Looks for Campaign Manager

On May 13, 2007, in this blog, I reported that Cambridge insider Sam Seidel had publicly mocked me because I believe in the old definition of Environmentalism rather than the secret definition which he shares with other Cambridge insiders.

Seidel is a member of the Cambridge Conservation Commission. He and his group have been supporting really outrageous environmental destruction on the Charles River.

Read this blog. Read the destructiveness I oppose. It is highly likely that this group with its still secret definition of environmentalism support the destruction in the name of their "environmentalism," whose secret definition they have yet to disclose.

I found the following on Craigslist:


Campaign Manager sought ...

Reply to: job-335198976@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-05-21, 10:18AM EDT

Looking for an opportunity to do something challenging and fun this summer and fall? Interested in politics? Want to gain some very good experience while developing leadership skills in a demanding environment?

Help a strong challenger win a seat on the Cambridge City Council this year.

Sam Seidel is making his second bid for a seat on the Council. A strong progressive, Sam came 90 votes short in 2005. Sam is an urban planner who understands that responsive government, environmental stewardship and children's services are important priorities in this dynamic and vibrant city.

Sam is looking for a campaign manager to manage all aspects of this local campaign. Tasks include: strategic campaign planning, developing communications materials, web and database management, voter contact, working closely with the candidate on a variety of other tasks.

Important skills for the position are: ability to handle multiple tasks in time-pressured environment, ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in written form, comfortable working knowledge of computers including Word and Excel and web-based programs, prior campaign experience preferred but not required.

This will be a paid position in Cambridge, MA and all are encourage to apply.

To find out more, please contact the campaign at info@SamSeidel.org or 617-547-1067.

Location: Cambridge
Compensation: $1,500 per month
This is a contract job.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Attacks on Pit Bulls Part of a Pattern

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Karen Parker.
2. Your Editor. Not just this one problem.
a. General.
b. Tree Destroyer who wants to destroy Canadas.
(1) His achievement. Destruction of excellent trees.
(2) "Replacements" loudly promised. Casually destroyed.
(3) Wife on board of reprehensible Charles River conservancy.
(4) "Fight" for Swimming in the Charles River.
(5) Destroy the Canadas.
(6) Possibly a few isolated events.
c. Summary.

1. Karen Parker.

Now the pitbulls are invading our state right? You heard about that on the news I guess, some people want to be able to question to ban pitbulls, my brother's girlfriend has a pitbull that is the sweetest dog in the world. Our old dog Bobbie was part pitbull.

My mother and I joked we will have to hide my brother's girlfriends dog Skippy in the attic, just like they did to the Jews, that is awful, these people are sick. How obnoxious can people get.

Pitbulls attack because bad people train them to be aggressive, its not the dog. Obviously the people that are behind this are not too bright.

Pitbulls are wonderful pitbulls that attack are victims of violence and they are not bad, they are victims of abuse by human beings. We should put the people in jail that abuse these animals, not ban the pitbulls.

2. Your Editor. Not just this one problem.

a. General.

It not just the people who abuse pit bulls who are part of the problem.

The problem is the destructive people running around trying to destroy whatever they can that is living and is non-human.

I was at the public hearing on pit bulls (and other animal regulations) at the state house. The opponents of the bills clearly communicated the problem.

b. Tree Destroyer who wants to destroy Canadas.

What interested me was a person who sat down next to me on the subway either then or on a following day.

(1) His achievement. Destruction of excellent trees.

He achieved destruction of a park containing truly massive trees in Cambridge (after I got an preliminary injunction under nearly impossible circumstances). The trees which he did not destroy are an example of just how irresponsible this person and his buddies are.

(2) "Replacements" loudly promised. Casually destroyed.

When the Cambridge pols destroyed these ancient, irreplaceable trees, the destroyers promised a large number of saplings half a block away.

Now the Cambridge pols have destroyed the saplings they provided as "replacements."

(3) Wife on board of reprehensible Charles River conservancy.

This individual bragged that his wife is on the board of the reprehensible Charles River Conservancy.

(4) "Fight" for Swimming in the Charles River.

The leader of the CRC was part of a group that conducted a "swim in" at Magazine Beach in 2005.

In September 2004, the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the City of Cambridge started starving the Charles River White Geese by walling off Magazine Beach from the Charles River for this project. At pretty much exactly the same time, the City of Cambridge walled off the rest of their 25 year food across from the Hyatt Regency as Cambridge LEFT a sewerage project.

The DCR and Cambridge, at Magazine Beach, installed a wall of designer bushes blocking access to an from the Charles River, aggressively fighting to prevent swimming.

The "activist" was absolutely shocked that we should expect the Charles River Conservancy to HONESTLY state that a project is doing EXACTLY the opposite of what their photo opportunity says the project is doing.

(5) Destroy the Canadas.

When I mentioned the Charles River Conservancy's five year poisoning of every goose egg they can get away with on the first ten miles of the Charles River, he gave the knee-jerk and inane responses.

First he came back with "we are not poisoning. We are oiling."

Then he spouted "Too many Canadas." The fact that these are water fowl being destroyed because they are living on a water way was totally irrelevant.

Then objected to the fact that animals defecate. English translation: kill each and every animal living anywhere near human beings.

(6) Possibly a few isolated events.

Now, it is entirely possible that these examples are a few, very isolated events. It is much more likely that these examples are not.

I honestly cannot say. But I would be silly to call him the opposite of his actions.

c. Summary.

This is part of a culture of destruction.

The people attacking pit bulls are part of the culture.

The City of Cambridge is part of the culture. So many state bureaucrats are part of the culture.

Most people are neutral. A very, very tiny number of people are aggressive destroyers.

When aggressive destroyers find neutral people, the destructive people who know what they want have a distressing tendency to bully their way into dominance, especially if you have two who get together and reinforce each other, falsely praising each other's "achievements."

Destroy, destroy, destroy.

What is the excuse this time?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cambridge Declares Norwegian Maples Invasive

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Cambridge, MA calls Norwegian Maples Invasive.
2. Your editors opinion.
3. Bhiksha Raj.
4. Your Editor.
5. Bhiksha Raj.

1. Cambridge, MA calls Norwegian Maples Invasive.

Karen Parker tells us:

The city calls Norweigian Maple trees invasive now. We have a Norweigian Maple planted in front of our house, there were two but one was destroyed by a drunk driver, we have waited three years for the city to replace the tree. They have not yet.

I saw Craig Kelley and told him about it, he has been helpful. I dont see the Norweigian Maple in front of our house invading any other plants so I dont how they consider it invasive. My mom told me I should let you know.

2. Your editors opinion.

The city has planted purple loosestrife on Magazine Beach as part of their replacement of the wetlands there. They call purple loosestrife invasive at Fresh Pond.

The city destroyed a grove of about 8 to 12 four story high trees at Squirrel Brand and replaced them with grass. "Invasive" sniff.

The city and its friends destroyed most of the trees in the parks at Inman Square and at Porter Station. The city replaced the bird sanctuary in front of city hall (bird song 365 days a year) with grass.

State plans (with close Cambridge coordination) are to destroy every Cherry Tree from the Longfellow Bridge to Magazine Beach as part of the destruction of 449 to 660 trees there.

The city wiped out meaningful yard protections on Memorial Drive loudly proclaiming they were increasing protections.

I wish I could call this latest outrage a surprise.

3. Bhiksha Raj.

Its outrageous that supposedly sane people can even *think up* such ridiculous
plans. At a time when they should be cherishing all the greenery we have
they want to wipe it out.

Im not sure if they actually think about this matter, but urban concrete is hot.
Replacing a half acre of trees with a half acre of lawn can warm up the
surrounding areas considerably. Replace it with concrete and the neighbors
suddenly have to turn on the AC in summer when they didnt have to earlier.

It is not merely a matter of environment, or natural beauty or aesthetics
that can only affect future generations we dont worry about. The effect
of such depradations is immediate and it is on our physical comfort and

Just how shortsighted can people get!

4. Your Editor.

Thank you, but this is business as usual in the City of Cambridge.

I neglected to mention the thousands of trees being destroyed at Fresh Pond.

5. Bhiksha Raj.

The destruction of trees at fresh pond is *very* distressing to me.
Its quite frustrating that people can be so stupid.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

“Neighborhood Association” Honors Bureaucrat Who Shafted Neighborhood.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Introduction.
2. Announcement of Intended Presentation.
3. Reality, my response.
4. Marilyn's Response.

1. Introduction.

The announcement in section 2 was sent to the Cambridgeport listserve. The author has been censoring communications on the listserve as stated below, with apparent emphasis on protecting the Upzoning Which Destroyed Zoning Protections on Memorial Drive.

The core group of this group has made very pious comments about how unreasonable is the expansion of the hotel next to Trader Joe’s and across from Magazine Beach.

What they do not want people to hear is that the unreasonable expansion was made legal by an upzoning whose advocates claimed they were fighting for to protect Memorial Drive. The advocates told people that their very destructive upzoning did EXACTLY the opposite of what is done by fine print they did not tell people about.

This outrage is part of a series of related upzonings which related individuals have fought for over the past ten years. It is a standard package. These upzonings are always written by city employees. These upzonings more often than not include secret fine print which does the opposite of key claimed benefits (or interrelate with fine print sneaked into the zoning ordinance before with the same result).

The key city employee in this continuing outrage has been invited to talk to the group, without mentioning his record or his part in the false statements made to destroy zoning protections on Memorial Drive.

Comments which accurately describe the fake downzonings have been suppressed from the listserve.

Some comments favorable to certain people (yours truly) have been suppressed on the list serve, no matter now true. The censor finds my reality based comments unacceptable and thus finds comments favorable to me unacceptable.

The announcement in section 3 was sent to the Cambridgeport Free List, a list I created to counter the censorship.

2. Announcement of Intended Presentation.

Titled: "Get Smart!" Come to the Monthly CNA Meeting!

[omitted] wrote:
To: cportneighbors@yahoogroups.com
From: [omitted]
Date: Tue, 15 May 2007 20:33:55 -0000
Subject: [cportneighbors] Get Smart! Come to the Monthly CNA Meeting!

If you are wondering whether modern glass buildings will be the new face of Memorial Drive from River Street to Magazine Street, you need to come to the monthly Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association meeting.

If you want to know what the most accident-prone intersections are in Cambridgeport, you should also come to this meeting. The Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association will hold that monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at the Woodrow Wilson Court apartment community room on Fairmont Street from 7 to 9 pm.

Les Barber, from Community Development, will present an overview of Cambridgeport zoning, and address CNA concerns about overdevelopment, specifically within the Memorial Drive Overlay District.

Susanne Rasmussen, also of Community Development, will address traffic and transportation issues in light of the recently conducted "hot spots" survey on the CNA list serv.

And we'll hear the latest news on the CNA's Dana Park Party for June 9th.

Bring a friend! See you then.

3. Reality, my response.

We have had flat out censorship by the listserve, [censor’s name omitted to protect the guilty] apparently, for the purpose of keeping the outrageous upzoning that the Development Department wrote.

Now, rather than kill this outrage, we are told that we should pay obeisance to the author who, as usual, FAILED TO INFORM of the fine print which destroyed his lovely and FALSE promises.

Why believe the author of this outrage?

Why does the chief censor give credibility to the author of this outrage after belligerently censoring objections to the outrage while allowing attacks on the principal person standing up to the outrage? [Ed. Badly worded. Big brother clearly censored favorable comments about me.]

And why is swallowing further nonsense from a proven misleader supposed to be "smart?"

FALSE promises belied by undisclosed fine print is not somebody it is "smart" to listen to, especially since the behavior is part of a long-standing package.

4. Marilyn's Response.

[Ed. This was printed on the Cambridgeport Listserve. The fact that it has been printed indicates to me that the bad guys who control the organization figure that their censorship has successfully squelched the indignation of their victims.

[So now they can resume giving the impression that they are the good guys.]

Dear Neighbors

Soon after the Planning Board vote on the Radisson, I sent this to the Cport list. Possibly through some error of mine, it wasn't posted. Time and topics move on, and we're all busy, so I didn't follow up. However, as the issue is on the agenda for tomorrow night's meeting, I resubmit this, slightly revised:

Given the law about special permits, it was almost certain the Planning Board would vote as it did on the Radisson. Given the Board's history, it's not surprising it seemed contemptuous of the public, as several neighbors commented.

The City Council has sprinkled special permits throughout the zoning ordinance. To gain immediate advantage in any one zoning issue, affected neighbors have chosen to believe the special permits are either 1.) good in themselves because they talk about design issues or the like; and 2.) the price they have to pay to get the immediate benefit at issue.

The most recent example of this was the provision for Planning Board special permits in projects less than 50,000 SF in Bus-A2 zones, I believe, as a condition for adequate setbacks of development parcels along North Mass Ave. where they abut residential zones. I think the vote was in March this year.

The special permit provision will come back to bite, as the ones in the Memorial Drive Overlay District did at the Radisson and will do again. But by the time that special permit does in North Cambridge, people will have forgotten warnings about special permits and their own agreement to them for the reasons given above--as we've seen on Memorial Drive.

Neighborhoods expend a great deal of misplaced time and energy at the Planning Board. Accountability for special permits and the tangible benefits they deliver to developers rests with the City Council. The Council has been happy to pass off hard choices between developers and neighborhoods in regular zoning (where they are forced to a public vote) to the discretion of the Manager's appointees on the Board. It is the Councillors who collude in this expansion of Manager's and Planning Board's powers at the expense of the Council's own accountability.

All the wheel-spinning at Planning Board hearings exhausts residents' political energies and diminishes the life of the city. These are significant costs as well.

Nevertheless, people seem to like things as they are and re-elect, time and again, the Councillors who insulate themselves from public accountability. When the special permits are granted and the building in question is done, who will remember the Overlay District, Area of Planning Concern, or whatever category its special permits fall into? Or who spoke in their favor, or who voted for them?

Marilyn Wellons

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Insider: Cambridge pols have secret definition of environmentalism.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

The latest edition of North Cambridge's The Alewife newspaper features a comment by a Cambridge political insider that Cambridge's political activists have their own secret definition of "environmentalism."

Inasmuch as I keep on saying that "environmentalism" is protecting the environment, I am showing my lack of contact with the real world in Cambridge.

Sam Seidel is a former (current as well?) member of the Cambridge Conservation Commission. Seidel ran for city council last election. Seidel writes a regular column for The Alewife. I was concerned about what I saw him writing last issue so I responded.

Seidel was given an opportunity to respond to my letter. The editor showed a lot about what was going on by the way Seidel's letter was printed in the hard copy edition. My letter was printed in full. Seidel's response was printed in part and continued to a back page. Trouble is that, when you go to the continuation page, there was no continuation.

I hunted through the paper and found the continuation. I then realized why the editor had made the continuation so hard to find.

Seidel voted for the environmental destruction which has occurred and which is pending at Magazine Beach. Seidel apparently has no problem with the ongoing destruction of thousands of trees at Fresh Pond in Cambridge. Seidel apparently has no problem with the destruction of hundreds of trees pending for Memorial Drive. Seidel clearly has no problem with the destruction of wetlands and animal habitat at Magazine Beach. Seidel clearly has no problem with the introduction of poisons at Magazine Beach and has no problems with the deliberate starvation of the Charles River White Geese.

Seidel very clearly stated that my problems with these things indicates just how out of touch I am.

Cambridge's core group, it appears, has its own secret definition of "environmentalism." My failure to comport with the secret definition of "environmentalism" shows just how out of touch I am with the in crowd in Cambridge politics.

How dare I expect environmentalists to be pro-environment!!!!

I have tried to give you folks a link to the wisdom of Mr. Seidel, but the best I can find from The Alewife's on line edition is: http://thealewife.typepad.com/weblog/sam_seidel/index.html.

If you can do better than that, please let me know and I will pass it on.

Harvard Admits Subway Plans as Part of Urban Ring

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Harvard has admitted to working for a privately beneficial, very expensive heavy rail subway which it wishes to be added to the state's Urban Ring subway plans. The subway would be a branch of the heavy rail Red Line project.

The apparent route is as follows: It would run from the existing Harvard Station east of Harvard Stadium and south of Harvard Business School. It would generally go under a new boulevard Harvard proposes for that location, apparently extending under the rail yards in Allston, then under the commuter rail which runs south of the Massachusetts Turnpike. It would turn at Park Drive and go underground to the Longwood / Harvard Medical Area, the location of Harvard Medical School.

There is a track location in place running from the Harvard Station bus tunnel to a location just west of Harvard's JFK School. The end of the tunnel is under a path way connecting JFK park to Elliot Street and the Harvard Square Hotel. This connected a temporary station to the red line during construction of the Alewife extension. Connection of that track to the existing red line is probably not possible without major changes to the existing Harvard Station lobby.

Thursday morning, May 12, Harvard's planning people met with staff and members of the board of Massachusetts' Metropolitan Area Planning Council in a public meeting in Harvard's Holyoke Center administration building in Harvard Square. The topic was Harvard's expansion plans for Allston. The meeting room was a room, the "Allston Room," dedicated to the Allston expansion. It is located on the first floor corridor of the building.

Harvard's official plans for their Allston campus can be seen at: http://allston.harvard.edu. This on-line presentation repeats a lot of things communicated at the meeting.

I was struck by one item which was not officially presented but which explains options, very expensive options, in the state consultants' developing Urban Ring proposals.

This is taken from their website. It is a good diagram of part of the Allston plans. Significantly omitted are their plans for the Allston rail yards which are located on the map marked "to LMA."

The route described at the beginning is my extrapolation of fine print in the consultants' options and of a map presented in the presentation.

I questioned Harvard's representative on the side. He was extremely candid about wishing a red line subway running from Harvard Square to Harvard Allston to Harvard Longwood.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fenway / Kenmore and the Urban Ring Plans

Bob La Trémouille Reports:

Last Friday, May 4, MOVEMass had a meeting at Fenway Park in which people involved in planning for the Fenway Park neighborhood presented their ideas for that neighborhood.

One of the many things impacting the environment of the Charles River is the Urban Ring subway / bus planning.

As usual, there is one excellent option, both environmentally and from a transportation point of view, and there is the option the City of Cambridge is fighting for.

On April 25, I summarized the various subway options in a report entitled “Urban Ring Options - Detailed Maps.” The report includes my evaluation of proposals for Harvard Allston and my alternate proposal. I have tweaked that report since then based on input from readers.

On April 27, I provided my evaluation of the subway options in a report entitled “Analyses of Urban Ring - Phase III.”

Of major importance to the Fenway Park neighborhood is the future of Yawkey Station on the commuter rail line to Worcester and Framingham. Yawkey Station is located perhaps 200 feet from Fenway Park and is named after the Red Sox longtime owner.

I summarized for the group the truly excellent Kenmore stop on the Urban Ring subway’s Charles River crossing called the Kenmore crossing. The technology used for trains would be heavy rail in the manner of the MBTA’s Orange Line.

This alternative would have a subway stop under Brookline Avenue over the Massachusetts Turnpike. This station would be about half a block from Fenway Park. It would be attached on the Fenway Park end to Yawkey Station and on the other end to the existing Kenmore Station on the Green Line (streetcar technology). Kenmore is the point at which three Green Line branches combine to go into town.

The location of the station and its connections would provide ready, easy transfer for hundreds of rush hours commuter rail passengers to all three Green Line branches, truly excellent transportation planning.

As I detailed this alternative, I could hear the audience repeating my details with pleasure.

I then informed the audience of the river crossing option which the state's representatives are pushing now, the BU Bridge option for crossing the Charles River using Green Line technology, streetcars. Through details of the Urban Ring phase II, buses, the state could make the Kenmore crossing impossible. The state plans for the BU Bridge option would move Yawkey station several blocks further west to St. Mary’s Street, thus severely hurting the plans ongoing for the Fenway Park neighborhood.

From a transportation point of view, the relocated station would have far inferior connections to the rapid transit system. Passengers would walk through a tunnel over the Mass. Pike to the sidewalk on Commonwealth Avenue and then have to walk through traffic and the elements to the Green Line's B Branch in the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, further overloading already overloaded streetcar service on that one line several times an hour during the morning rush hour.

The state's transportation representative to the meeting quickly assured people that plans for Phase II are up in the area and will not be firmed up for a year.

But we had a developer at the meeting who presented extremely well thought out plans for construction on top of Yawkey Station next to Fenway Park.

The people in the room were not at all happy with the possible change to the detriment of the Fenway Park area.

On the other hand, Boston University, the City of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology see major developer advantages to the BU Bridge crossing. Harvard, as I will include in a subsequent report, has very major benefits being sneaked through in the fine print.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

State Senate Candidates' forum, May 8, 2007

The State Senate candidates’ forum at the LBJ apartments in Cambridge was last night.

Barrios's endorsee, Revere City Councilor Dan Rizzo was, he said, not clear on all the details of the Urban Ring.

East Boston State Representative Anthony Petrucelli seemed aware of the various Phases and repeatedly endorsed rail. There was one question on the Urban Ring (not mine) and a second reference from someone who said she would have asked about it if the first person hadn't.

I asked about plans for regulation Little League fields at Magazine Beach and the algae bloom last summer just offshore the new “Teddy Ebersol’s Red Sox” Little League fields at Lederman Park.

Runoff there from the 6 acres of commercial sod, with its necessary regimen of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides (as applied last August and September) led to the unprecedented algae bloom last August and September. I pointed out that the state Department of Conservation and Resources' plans to put in 7 acres of the same stuff at Magazine Beach. We can anticipate the same results. Petrucelli seemed very concerned about beaches, is on the Beaches committee so I'll try to follow up with him on that.

Afterwards I spoke with Rep. Marty Walz about my e-mail to her about the algae bloom and plans for Magazine Beach. She asked if she could forward my e-mail to the DCR for information and I said yes, even a denial of any relation would be useful.

I intended to speak to Marc McGovern, the former Cambridge school committee member who’s pushing for the Little League fields at Magazine Beach, to ask him his opinion of the standard and extraordinary applications of chemicals to the stressed commercial turf on those fields, but missed him. My e-mail to Representative Walz on this subject was addressed to him as well.

Heather Hoffmann in her question time referred to my comments about the algae bloom and said the power plant in East Cambridge has been pumping out hot water into the Charles and that could help answer the question about cause.

Representative Walz and I, speaking after the question session and before I spoke with Heather, agreed that we didn't know any changes with the power plant, but assuming there had been a change, it was possible the changes at Ebersol fields and the power plant could together cause the algae bloom.

Heather told me after that that the power plant has increased operation from 4 to 20 hours a day since its sale by NSTAR to the current owners and is "cooking the Charles." She says the EPA is going after the owners.

She said the current owners, in trying to get out of building the pedestrian walk along the canal in front of the plant (mitigation), has offered Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy a half-million dollar “contribution,” to be paid to the Manager and used at his complete discretion for whatever he wants, with the sole exception that it not be spent in East Cambridge. The payment would be to release them current owners from the obligation of the pedestrian walk, mitigation for an undone mitigation, I guess. (I remember being at a meeting of the Cambridge Conservation Commission or the Board of Zoning Appeal at which the owners said they didn’t want to provide the “mitigation” promised, i.e., the walkway.)

The owners cited security then and now. Heather says there is none at the plant. A group of 12 East Cambridge residents, probably members of the East Cambridge Planning Team, met at the plant and were alone there for 15 minutes while they searched for the person who was supposed to meet them there on the matter of the walkway.

Security consists of a closed gate and lock, when the plant’s owners remember to do that. Otherwise the thing is wide open.

Kathy Podgers asked a question about harborage and habitat for urban wildlife, and only Rizzo had any clue what she was talking about. Petrucelli told her after the meeting his family had had skunks under the porch, that they had had them removed, and now they have problems with squirrels.

Kathy pointed out the skunks would keep the squirrels away, but she says he still didn't understand. He seems part of the leadership, she said, and look where we are on protecting the environment.

Nevertheless I'll follow up with him on Magazine Beach and the DCR.

In the forum and afterwards Petrucelli pointed with pride to his help getting more money for the DCR. I told him I didn’t think giving the DCR more money would help anything. They use it not for maintenance of what they have but to keep Plans and its design-development constituents happy, at public expense.

He seemed aware of the DCR’s history of neglecting its assets, so as to be able to replace them at greater cost than what ordinary maintenance would cost. I pointed this is how the DCR services its design-development constituents, and also mobilizes public support for the survival of its own Planning group.

On reflection now I see DCR Plans works to identify itself in the public mind as the “good” DCR and is happy to let Maintenance, which Plans consistently underfunds so it can have its major development projects, be the “bad” DCR

Marilyn Wellons

Destroyer Advocates Volunteers Planting Flowers on Magazine Beach

Bob La Trémouille Reports:

1. Bad Guy Gushes.
2. Reality.
3. Response of the Cambridgeport Listserve.

1. Bad Guy Gushes.

To: cport
From: Bad Guy [Anonymous name omitted to protect the guilty.]
Date: Mon, 7 May 2007 20:48:53 -0400
Subject: [cportneighbors] Park Serve Day, Magazine Beach, Sat., May 12, 9 a.m.

This Saturday, May 12, is Park Serve Day in Massachusetts. I thought many of you would be interested in a project taking place nearby and might like to participate:

Magazine Beach - 719 Memorial Drive, Cambridge
http://www.mass. gov/?pageID= gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_park_ serve_listing# magazine
Park Description: Magazine Beach is a well-used active and passive recreation area along the Charles River in Cambridge. The parkland includes a small boat dock, a picnic area, two baseball fields, a swimming pool and a wading pool. This area is connected to the Cambridge neighborhoods by a footbridge over busy Memorial Dr.
Directions: Memorial Dr. is Rte. 3. Magazine Beach is located between Riverside Rd. and Magazine St.
MBTA bus #47.
Event Specifications:
Project: Plant flowers
Time: 9am-noon
Meeting location: Pool
Appropriate ages: 10 years and above
Partner: Cambridge Little League
Register Now

http://www.mass. gov/?pageID= gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_park_ serve_registrati on

There are also numerous other parks that are participating. The full list is here:
http://www.mass. gov/?pageID= gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_park_ serve_listing

Please don't harangue me about how planting flowers is code word for some insidious DCR goose destruction plan or how Magazine Beach is state-sanctioned historical inaccuracy.

2. Reality.

[Ed: Limited edits made below to the response I sent to the censoring ListServe. I blind copied to the Free Cambridgeport List and to all Cambridge City Councilors.]

Sounds sort of like the "swim in" conducted a year after 9 city councilors started starving the Charles River White Geese. The "swim in" claimed that the heartless behavior of nine city councilors was justified by making swimming possible off Magazine Beach.

So the nine city councilors installed a wall of designer bushes which they called "native" and which had so little business on the Charles River that they kept dying. Finally the outrageously non-native "native" bushes took hold and created a wall BLOCKING SWIMMING.

Now a Little League "leader" is fighting for destruction of the balance of the animal habitat and even more outrageous and heartless starvation.


They want Little Leaguers to have the right to roll in poisons in a location which has been historically free of poisons. They want to starve animals that much more in an area which has been shared by animals until a really destructive city council and a bunch of blatant liars from the DCR behaved exactly the opposite of their propanda.

But the nine destructive city councilors are joining forces with proven liars at the DCR. The DCR says it wants "historical" uses on Memorial Drive, and in the opinion of the DCR, POISONS are historical in a location which has never seen poisons.

So don't look at the poisons to come. Don't look at the heartless behavior of nine hypocrites. Don't look at the fake downzoning of Memorial Drive which was, in reality, exactly the opposite of downzoning.

Don't look at the outrageous censoring of the Cambridgeport list to keep, as much as possible, people from knowing just how outrageously destructive nine city councilors and their friends are. Don't look at the suppression of negative comments about the friends of the censors, no matter how true the negative comments are. Don't look at the suppression of positive comments by the Cambridgeport list about those who live in reality, no matter how true the positive comments are.

Look at the lovely flowers. Look at the beautiful hypocrisies from very destructive people.

Look at the lovely words which so often are exactly the opposite of reality.

Look at a "Green" organization whose founders could give a damn less about aggressive destruction of the Green, but who love their fancy light bulbs.

Pass me a handkerchief.

3. Response of the Cambridgeport Listserve.

Last I heard, reality was censored.