Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Response to recent publicity about the White Geese

Friends of the White Geese Co-chairs Robert J. La Trémouille and Marilyn Wellons sent the following letter to the Editor of Bostonia, the Boston University alumni magazine. Bostonia's Fall, 2007 issue published an article about the White Geese.


To the Editor:

There may be no such thing as bad publicity. However, your recent article on the Charles River White Geese asserts the geese can't fend for themselves in their habitat. This misstatement is not only false but extremely dangerous for the animals and their friends.

For more than 20 years the White Geese did fend for themselves on the river. With waterproof down jackets, acres of meadows for food, an increasingly clean river, and the love of thousands of residents and visitors, they were safe, healthy, and a source of delight and education for their human friends. They enjoyed our contributions of food as much as we enjoyed giving them, but our contributions only supplemented what they independently got from their habitat.

Before September 2004 we had no idea how supplementary our feeding was. That month the DCR-Cambridge "restoration" prevented the geese from going ashore to feed at Magazine Beach. (The fields there have grasses and other plants, including polygonum, a wetland-defining member of the buckwheat family that is an important source of food for waterfowl.) The White Geese were frantic, because they fed here—quite on their own—all day long.

Since then it has been impossible or extremely dangerous for them to feed at Magazine Beach. They have essentially been confined to their nesting area, now their ghetto. This accords with the DCR-Cambridge policy of eliminating them from the river by whatever means necessary. If that includes starvation, too bad for the geese.

A heroic group of people, including the ones featured in your article, have kept the geese from that fate. The geese’s need for such help now is not proof they have always needed it or always will. They undeniably fended for themselves until the DCR and Cambridge deliberately denied them access to food. (This followed the DCR's deliberate destruction of the nesting habitat, using Boston University as its agent, in 1999.)

Saying the geese can't survive in their entire habitat will also allow the DCR and Cambridge to claim the geese shouldn't be there—that they're pets or farm animals, not natives—and should be removed (read: destroyed). This has in fact been the agency's line since 1998, as indicated in a memo Friends of the White Geese obtained through the Freedom of Information Act and in subsequent DCR-Cambridge actions.

Will ignorance of this history condemn us to repeat what followed from that memo?

• In 2000, the MSPCA, working with the DCR and then-State Rep. Barrios, offered "humane measures" to deal with the 1998 memo’s fabricated problems with the geese. When Friends of the White Geese proposed "humane measures" for Rep. Barrios, he claimed we wanted to assassinate him.

• In 2001, the MSPCA, still working with the DCR, again offered "humane treatment" at its happy farm in Methuen to save the geese from DCR-instigated violence. Three people, including an MSPCA employee, independently told [us] the animals would be destroyed there.

• Since 2000, the DCR has claimed it doesn’t intend to harm the geese. Since the starvation began in September, 2004, the DCR has announced that starving the geese is not harming them.

If Boston University, once again the DCR's agent, tells us the White Geese—Charles River natives for 25 generations—aren’t fit to live on the river, what's up? Can we expect another offer of "humane treatment"? DCR "No-Feeding" signs in Cambridge like in Boston and arrests of people who do feed them? More vilification of a "non-native species," more violence?

There’s a simple remedy for the geese's current plight. Restore them to their entire habitat. Recognize it as habitat, the wildlife sanctuary it is. Recognize the White Geese as the treasure they are: sources of delight and knowledge of the natural world, symbols of Cambridge, Boston, the Charles River, and even Boston University, and a sentinel species that warns us of threats to their, and our, habitat here.

With this recognition of the status quo before the DCR, Cambridge, and Boston University began their attacks on them, the Charles River White Geese would be fine.

Developer type claims to have lost 30 acres of wasteland which existed for up to 30 years in Cambridgeport.

Bob La Trémouille reports.

1. General.
2. Bad Guy, November 19, 2007.
3. Your editor, November 15, 2007.
4. Bad Guy, November 15, 2007.
5. Your editor, November 15, 2007.
6. Allston Community Development Corporation, November 15, 2007.

1. General.


The following exchange started on the Cambridgeport listserve and continued.

It has reached the point of typical absurdity when dealing on development matters.

This is a typical tactic from the development lobby. Wear down the good guy with bizarre detail. To respect such demands belittles the statement of the good guy.

In this case, I compared Harvard's landbanking at the Shaw's on Western Avenue in Allston to the highly destructive landbanking which MIT did in Cambridgeport starting in about 1968 with the purchase of the Simplex properties.

MIT created a grassy expanse which reached 30 acres in the middle of one of the most densely developed cities in the United States.

This wasteland destroyed the viability of Central Square in Cambridge by destroying hundreds if not thousands of jobs and the money those people would spend in Central Square.

The wasteland was a blight on Cambridge starting with the eastern side of Brookline Street and extending blocks over to and behind what was then the NECCO factory at Albany and Mass. Ave.

The remnants on Brookline Street are blocks of construction from the 90's to 00's where for decades there was nothing but grass.

So the bad guy wants me to spell out to the bad guy where this 30 acre wasteland was for a period of up to 30 years in this neighborhood.

This sort of question from an outsider makes excellent sense.

This sort of question from somebody who knows Cambridge is an insult. You do not lose 30 acres of wasteland in one of the country's most densely developed cities.

The following exchange followed based on my analysis.

You may read from the bottom if you wish or just start with the nonsense.

Thank you.

2. Bad Guy, November 19, 2007.

[censored to protect the guilty] wrote:

Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 21:36:23 -0500
From: [censored to protect the guilty]
To: "Bob LaTrémouille"
Subject: Re: [cportneighbors] Governor Patrick Coming to Affordable Housing in Near Part of Allston Tomorrow

I am not telling you anything, rather I am asking you a question to which your reply was not responsive. Addresses on Brookline or "I don't know" would be examples of responsive answers. If you want to provide additional history or links beyond the answer to my specific question, that's fine by me.

3. Your editor, November 15, 2007.

On 11/15/07, Bob LaTrémouille wrote:
Golley Gee, I guess we are now being told that
(1) the 70's, 80's and 90's did not happen and
(2) Central Square was not destroyed by the landbanking in Cambridgeport by MIT, and
(3) there was never a wasteland of many, many acres east of Brookline Street.

I am afraid I have always lived in reality and we did live in reality during that outrage.

4. Bad Guy, November 15, 2007.

[censored to protect the guilty] wrote:

Do you know which of the buildings on Brookline St. are part of the MIT landbank, and if there are plans floating out there somewhere for what MIT is going to do with its land in the future?

5. Your editor, November 15, 2007.

On 11/15/07, Bob LaTrémouille wrote [to the Cambridgeport listserve]:

For your information.

These units are off Everett Street in Allston between the Mass. Pike and North Beacon Street. A lot is going on in this part of Allston which impacts Riverside and Cambridgeport.

Everett Street is the major street which crosses Western Avenue just before the Shaw's Shopping Center.

You will recall that Harvard's landbanking has turned the Shaw's Shopping Center into a ghost town worthy of MIT's landbanking in Cambridgeport. Harvard is trying and apparently succeeding in forcing affordable housing tenants from the project at North Harvard and Western to the Shaw's shopping center as part of Harvard's expansion in Allston.

The project where the governor is coming is three to four blocks south of the Shaw's site.

The project where the governor is coming is quite close to Union Square, Allston.

Additionally, many people are interested in affordable housing and could be in this nearby townhouse type of construction.

6. Allston Community Development Corporation, November 15, 2007.

Bob Van Meter <> wrote:
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 13:01:49 -0500 (EST)
From: Bob Van Meter <>
Subject: Governor Patrick Coming to the Brian J. Honan Apartments Tomorrow

Governor Patrick Coming Tomorrow to the Brian J. Honan Apartments

Please join Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, Rep. Kevin Honan and the Allston Brighton CDC at the Brian J. Honan apartments at 33 Everett Street in Allston tomorrow, Friday November 16, at 11 AM. Governor Patrick has chosen the site for the release of his Affordable Housing Bond Bill.

The Brian J. Honan apartments are 50 units of affordable rental housing for families, developed and owned by the Allston Brighton CDC. The housing was named in honor of the late Allston Brighton City Councilor Brian J. Honan who was instrumental in securing the site for the homes that now bear his name.

The Brian J. Honan Apartments were made possible by a unique partnership including suppport from the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Harvard University, the Home Funders Collaborative, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, Bank of America, the Massachusetts Life Insurance Community Investment Initiative , Mass Development, Boston Community Capital and the Renewable Energy Trust of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Allston Brighton CDC
320 Washington Street
Brighton, Massachusetts 02135

[They had some lovely graphics which got lost]

Friday, November 09, 2007

Newly Elected Cambridge City Councilor in Context

Progressive Government in Cambridge Takes Yet Another Step Backwards

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. General Analysis.
2. Specific current issues.
A. Civil rights and the right of the handicapped, Kathy Podgers in context.
B. Environmentalism.
C. Election law.
D. Development issues.
3. Comparison to the Walsh law firm.
A. General.
B. The Boston Globe series and the Worcester bankruptcy records.
4. Summary.
5. Disclaimer.

1. General Analysis.

Samuel Seidel was elected to the Cambridge City Council on Tuesday.

This gives the really destructive fake progressive clique, the Cambridge pols, an outrageous 6 to 3 margin. The other 3 are most definitely not good guys. They just do not care and go along with the destructive group.

To give you a feel for just how destructive Seidel is, please look at the following analysis from this blog, In this report, Seidel brags about that he and the rest of the Cambridge pols have a secret definition of "environmentalism." The secret definition of "environmentalism" by the Cambridge pols is highly destructive of the environment.

2. Specific current issues.

A. Civil rights and the right of the handicapped, Kathy Podgers in context.

The sort of treatment Kathy Podgers got by people who almost certainly are owned by the Cambridge pols group is just one part of the tactics of the Cambridge pols.

Kathy Podgers has the nerve to expect the City of Cambridge to respect her Civil Rights as a Person With Disabilities under federal law.

The City of Cambridge contends that the City of Cambridge has its own civil rights laws. The City of Cambridge's law does not protect people like Kathy. The City of Cambridge says that their civil rights and disabilities laws are good enough. How dare anybody expect them to respect Federal civil rights and disabilities laws.

Strange, the Cambridge position sounds a lot like the Jim Crow south.

No wonder the friends of the Cambridge pols are running around making personal attacks against Kathy. There is nothing which offends these people more than somebody who meaningfully stands for causes they are lying about.

B. Environmentalism.

Environmentalism is just the most blatantly vile behavior of these people.

Civil rights is another area in which the Cambridge pols have contempt for decency. Their position has the stench of 50's Jim Crow: they have their civil rights laws; how dare anybody expect the Cambridge pols to obey Federal civil rights laws.

C. Election law.

When I first ran for Cambridge City Councilor four years ago, the Cambridge Election Commission tossed out 51 of 100 nominating signatures. 100 signatures is the maximum which can be submitted. 50 is the absolute minimum to get on the ballot.

The 51 were tossed out because the Cambridge Election Commission refuses to obey the 1998 Jack E. Robinson ballot law case. There is nothing complicated about it. The Cambridge Election Commission simply refuses to obey the 1998 Jack E. Robinson election law case. And the 1998 Jack E. Robinson election law case is very clearly controlling. BY VOTE OF AN ELECTION COMMISSION STACKED WITH LAWYERS WHO CLAIM TO BE PROGRESSIVE.

The most illuminating explanation I ever got for the trashing of those 51 signatures in spite of the very clearly applicable Jack E. Robinson ballot law case was "That is the way things are done in Cambridge."

"That is the way things are done in Cambridge" has the stench of 1950's Jim Crow.

"That is the way things are done in Cambridge" has a very clear stench of lawlessness for which many governments in this country have been roundly held in contempt.

"That is the way things are done in Cambridge" exactly fits the current Cambridge city government.

D. Development issues.

Development issues, of course, are a web of lies.

Reality is that the Cambridge pols are living a lie.

There is a very definite and very strong stench about Cambridge City Government.

3. Comparison to the Walsh law firm.

A. General.

The last time I smelled such a stench was when I tried to do legal business with Cambridge's Walsh law firm in the mid to late 80's.

Bill Walsh was, politically, a very good friend, a person whom I respected politically in spite of major political disagreement on one specific issue (in sharp contrast to the current situation), but the Walsh law office had that stench about it when I did legal business with it.

A number of members of that law office went to jail in the early 90's because of lack of respect for laws which people go to jail for violating.

B. The Boston Globe series and the Worcester bankruptcy records.

The Globe did a three part series on the Walsh law office as the case was unfolding. The Globe documented legally questionable maneuverings in specific, limited parts of the state in the first and third parts of the series (Friday and Sunday). They did an excellent job. They provided an incredible amount of detail.

The middle part expanded on the analysis of the problem by providing related instances in other parts of the state, not the massive detail, but very clear facts expanding the analysis.

The middle part was based on a bankruptcy filing in Worcester by a person who never lived more than two blocks or so from Porter Square in Cambridge.

I had been checking out Boston Land Court records concerning the Walsh matter and another person related to Walsh when I was led to the individual who filed this bankruptcy. When I realized he had filed in Worcester, all sorts of bells went off.

The bankruptcy petition said one thing originally. The bankruptcy petition was amended AFTER the Walsh indictment to add the things which were the middle report in the Boston Globe series.

The amendments related to the Walsh indictment. The amendments related to matters for which Walsh was indicted. The "failure" to include these items in the original filing combined with the addition after the indictment said to me that the filer considered the indictment directly related to the filer's "bankruptcy estate." The preceding sentence should be considered an understatement.

When I saw what was in in those amendments after the Walsh indictment, my response disrupted a very quiet courthouse.

4. Summary.

Mr. Seidel by his incredible position on the definition of environmentalism and by his Conservation Commission actions has gone on record as part of the current stench.

5. Disclaimer.

In no way should my current analysis be interpreted as saying that I have legal grounds to think there are valid grounds for anybody currently in Cambridge city government to go to jail.

The reality was that, when I was trying to do legal business with the Walsh law firm in the mid to late 1980's, I saw the same contempt for law and contempt for reality which I see in the current Cambridge city government.

In the Walsh law firm of the 80's as now, I did not see any reason why people should go to jail. In the Walsh law firm of the 80's as now, I just saw contempt for law and for reality.

I see contempt for law and for reality in Cambridge city government now. I saw contempt for law and for reality in the Walsh law firm in the 80's.

The current problem is most definitely much larger than one person added to the Cambridge City Council. The current problem is most definitely much larger than six people plus three on the Cambridge City Council.

The current problem is a package which stinks to high heaven and there are a very large number of people involved.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Rumor campaign against Kathy Podgers

Friends of a friend who saw City Council candidate Kathy Podgers on Sunday's CCTV debate called her to say they were impressed. Kathy was solid on the issues, thoughtful, and she didn't seem like a "nut case."

Where could they have gotten the idea she was a "nut case"?

This is the rumor the bad guys have been spreading about Kathy.

It repeats the slander against her at the Cambridge City Council meeting a year ago when city officials mocked, threatened, and publicly humiliated her to try to silence her and get her out of the Council chamber.

They violated her civil rights to attend and participate in the Council meeting as a person with a physical disability accompanied by her service animal. The Mass. Commission Against Discrimination found "Probable Cause" to believe city officials (including two candidates for re-election) discriminated against her as she said. The persons named in Kathy's complaint are encouraged to resolve the problem before a public hearing set for December 12.

In attempting to dismiss Kathy as a "nut case," anyone spreading this rumor simply confirms his or her own bias against persons with disabilities. Would a rumor using the "N word" about a candidate spread without revealing the rumor-mongers as bigots?

On the one hand we read that mental illness is a true disability, that its sufferers have a right to respect and dignity. On the other we have people right here in Cambridge using the designation to indicate a person can be ignored or abused with impunity. Whether they apply this or other derogatory terms to a person with mental illness or a person with a physical disability, like Kathy, it is bigotry, and it plays to bigotry.

Who, and what, is sick here?

Marilyn Wellons

Cambridge Pol Advertises for Election Help, Withdraws Ad

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Ad on Craigslist.
2. Responses.
3. Counterad.
4. Ad pulled.

1. Ad on Craigslist.

The following ad appeared on Craigslist on November 2, 2007 with regard to Cambridge, MA:


Progressive candidate for city council is looking for last minute help Monday
and Tuesday. The campaign is very tight and we are looking for the final push to
take us over the top.

Are you a leader? Put together a team and we will pay you more!

Support Workers' Rights! Make Housing Affordable! End the War!

2. Responses.

I distributed a copy of the ad to perhaps a hundred of my closest friends.

One suggested that it sounded like Decker or Seidel.

3. Counterad.

I posted the following counterad on Sunday, November 5. The PPS was added after the suggestion that it could be Decker or Seidel.


Work for a “Progressive” Cambridge City Councilor?

A recent posting sought workers for a “progressive” Cambridge City Councilor.

There is no such thing.

A recent MCAD ruling found probable cause of discrimination in the City Council’s attempt to keep a handicapped woman in her 60’s from using her guide dog in a city council meeting. Cambridge is appealing.

Cambridge seems to claim that Cambridge has a right to ignore federal civil rights of the handicapped because Cambridge has their own civil rights laws which do not protect this woman’s dog. They want to obey their less protective laws, not the fed’s more protective laws. Sounds like state’s rights in the Jim Crow south, but this is worse. Cambridge may think it is a People’s Republik, but it is not even a state.

The City of Cambridge is in the process of destroying hundreds if not thousands of healthy trees at Fresh Pond. Cambridge has no problem with the state Department of Recreation and Development’s plans to destroy 449 to 660 trees on Memorial Drive between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow Bridge including every cherry tree. Cambridge routinely destroys healthy trees as part of its projects.

Cambridge and the DCR destroyed the wetlands and animal habitat at Magazine Beach to put in designer bushes which kept dying.

The feds have prohibited more phosphate addition to the Charles. Cambridge and the DCR are digging up seven acres of dirt at Magazine Beach to replace it with seven acres of dirt and phosphates.

Cambridge’s buddies at the DCR spent four years denying their plans would harm the 25 year resident gaggle of Charles River White Geese. They then explained that starving them is not harming them.

Their buddies did a similar project at Ebersol Fields near Mass. General last year. The Phosphates did not work, so they added Tartan. The next day, the Charles River was dead with algae from the harbor to Mass. Ave.

A young woman was raped and murdered near the BU Bridge apparently by a guy who graduated from killing mother geese on their nests. The DCR and Cambridge were belligerently neutral on the goose killings. Then Cambridge’s city council spent more than an hour discussing the rape and murder but DID NOT WANT TO KNOW where she was raped and murdered.

Will Cambridge and the DCR obey the feds on phosphates? Cambridge considers its rules more important than the fed’s when it comes to Cambridge abusing the handicapped.

PS: The guide dog was attacked by a pit bull belonging to a Cambridge cop in the lobby of the Cambridge police station. No negative comment by Cambridge city council and no known punishment of the cop.

PPS: I just reread the posting and realize that this could be a non-incumbent. One non-incumbent has previously posted on Craigslist and claims to be progressive.

He is a member of the Cambridge Conservation Commission who, I believe, has been on the scene since after the rape and murder. His hand are filthy with the environmental destruction after that.

He has publicly defended Cambridge pols’ environmental destructiveness claiming that they have a “better” definition of environmentalism.

Sounds roughly like the claim of the City Council to defend their barring the guide dog, and their apparent response to the EPA objection to their new phosphates.

Most of us live in reality.

4. Ad pulled.

As of this morning, November 5, when I checked Craigslist, the "progressive" Cambridge City Council candidate seems to have pulled the ad.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cambridge, MA: A city government with a stench about it

The following was published in the November 1, 2007, Cambridge Chronicle:


Cambridge Chronicle

The federal Environmental Protection Agency is to be commended for standing up to Cambridge environmentally reprehensible city government.

The EPA order for no new phosphate sources on the Charles River is a direct prohibition of Phase II of the outrageous Magazine Beach project with its combined animal starvation / poisoning and the poisoning of the Charles River through phosphate runoff.

Without phase II of Cambridge city's project, Magazine Beach is now a “green” place in the best sense of the word, except for the bizarre designer bushes for which wetlands and animal habitat was destroyed along with the usual deliberate animal starvation.

In city whose pols mouth holier than thous almost incessantly including on environmental matters, it should be a foregone conclusion that the EPA order would kill the balance of this reprehensible project.

Regrettably, the Chronicle, in its major fight to review the mayor’s spending has seen the contempt for law which is normal in the City of Cambridge .

Another recent example of Cambridge contempt for law is the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s recent finding of probable cause in Cambridge ’s abuse of a guide dog being used by a handicapped person and Cambridge ’s refusal to enforce Federal law protecting that guide dog (I know the fights, not the specific details of the finding). Cambridge , in a position strikingly similar to the Jim Crow south, says that Cambridge ’s civil rights laws are good enough. Cambridge refuses to obey federal civil rights laws which give more civil rights to the handicapped than Cambridge cares to give.

Another example of Cambridge contempt for law was the trashing of 51 nominating petition signatures on this candidate’s election papers (making those papers invalid) a few years ago. Cambridge Election Commission, filled with lawyers, considers itself above the clearly applicable Jack E. Robinson election law decision.

Lawlessness is the norm in the granting of property variances, unless the city, through lying to the public, has trashed the zoning laws sufficiently that variances are no longer necessary.

The contempt for law, the contempt for basic principals of good government and the contempt for basic principals of a good city combine with the holier than thou lies to really create a vile stench about our government.

Keep up the good fight on your part of watching this government in action.

I myself will keep an eye on Magazine Beach and an eye on a whole bunch of Cambridge pols who lie about being pro-environment.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

What happens to the White Geese in the Winter? Plus election recommendation.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

We got the following very appropriate question in email. Here is the question and a slightly cleaned up answer:

1. Please let me know what happens to the White Geese in the winter. Thanks!

2. Response:

The Charles River White Geese lived in freedom on the Charles River for 23 years, from 1981 to 2004 when the state and Cambridge pols and bureaucrats started to deliberately starve them.

They have goose down jackets and survive cold temperatures quite happily.

Winter extremes are the reason free animals including the CRWG stuff themselves during the good parts of the year, so that they can survive the winter with its lack of food.

Many friends would visit them during the off year with cracked corn, bread and veggies to help, as we did during the good times of the year.

When the DCR started starving the geese, the DCR explained that they did not consider starving them to be harming them.

Since the starvation attacks started, concerned people have aggressively been feeding the Charles River White Geese, and local charities have contributed day old greens, of great value.

These contributions have been necessary because we are dealing with PROUDLY reprehensible people, although the DCR spent years insisting they would do no harm to the CRWG.

We have found that our prior feedings were very much supplemental. We have found that the principal food was the grass at Magazine Beach and across from the Hyatt, all of which were taken away at once.

In the feedings, we and, more recently, a separate feeding organization carefully balanced the CRWG’s diet. Full feedings now continue year round.

If you are a Cambridge resident, please be advised that heartless individuals include each and every current city council incumbent. The conservation committee member who is a candidate, Samuel Sidel, could reasonably be considered worse.

The ONLY Cambridge City Council Candidate that I am aware of who has shown herself fit to be voted for is Kathy Podgers.