Friday, June 19, 2009

Cambridge’s Notice of Appeal in Monteiro case.

Bob Reports:

For your information, the following is copied from docket on 6/19/09, edited into outline format:

It was filed on 6/17/09, notice sent to all counsel of record 6/19/09:


Defendant City of Cambridge's notice of appeal:


(1) Judgment on Jury Verdicts entered on June 2, 2009;

(2) Order entered on May 8, 2009 denying the defendant's post-trial motions including without limitation:

a) Defendant's Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict; and
b) Defendant's Motion for a New Trial, or, in the Alternative, for a Remittitur, and
c) Motion to Supplement the Record on Appeal.

(4) [Ed: no (3) on the docket] Order from the Bench at the Charge Conference in May, 8 2008, rejecting Defendant's proposed retaliation charge under McCormack v. Boston Edison, and other objections as preserved.

(5) Order denying Defendant City of Cambridge's Motion for reconsideration of Decision and Order on Post-Trial Motions.

(6) Order from the bench Denying Defendant City of Cambridge's Motion for Directed Verdict dated May 20, 2008.

(7) Order from the Bench of May 13, 2008 denying Defendant's Motion for Mistrial in connection with the admission of so-called "comparator" evidence;

(8) Order denying Defendant's Motion for Directed Verdict dated February 22, 2005;

(9) Order denying Defendant's Motion for Directed Verdict and/or Reconsideration of the Denial of Motion for Directed Verdict dated June 2, 2005;

(10) Order Denying Motion of Defendant City of Cambridge for Entry of Partial Judgment dated August 4, 2005; and

(11) January 2005 Order from the Bench allowing plaintiff Monteiro's Motion to Amend Complaint filed on December 14, 2004.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Allston Planning in Context.

Archie Mazmanian reports (with technical edits, Bob, ed.):

The Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) has posted at its Urban Ring website on 17-Jun-2009 its presentation "Allston Multimodal Station Study" at a June 15, 2009 Allston-Brighton Community Meeting.

I did not attend this meeting nor have I fully studied the presentation. But I direct you and visitors to your Blog to Slide 33 "Coordination with Other Projects" to add to my earlier post under the heading "Long Term Planning Issues: BU Bridge ..." on June 17th. WOW!

And what can we expect on the Cambridge side of the Charles River?

On an earlier occasion I made reference to the rail yards in Allston as a potential Prudential Center-type complex (coincidentally also involving rail yards). Imagine the impact on traffic and transportation issues on both sides of the River.

EOT's website is at:

Click (left margin) on "Reference Materials" and then "Current Materials" for CAC # 25 June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

EOT report on Urban Ring

Archie Mazmanian reports as follows (acronyms spelled out, Bob, Ed.). His report on this meeting is in a report below:

The Executive Office of Transportation (EOT) posted at its Urban Ring website yesterday (June 16, 2009) its Presentation at the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) 6/10/09 Meeting. While the entire Presentation is quite interesting, residents on both sides of the BU Bridge, including Allston, should check slides 15 through 19 at a minimum since they address Segment B that would be the busiest segment of the Urban Ring.

EOT's website is at:

Long Term Planning Issues: BU Bridge / Urban Ring / Institutions, and the Impact on Residents

Archie Mazmanian reports (I have spelled out one acronym and added one clarification, Bob, ed.):

As I eagerly await the Executive Office of Transportation (EOT)’s Notice of Project Change on Phase 2 of the Urban Ring, I think of the Inner Belt of yesteryear that would have devastated the Cottage Farm neighborhood in Brookline (where I now reside), perhaps “double-decked” the BU Bridge and then devastated neighborhoods on the Cambridge side but for residents in the more affluent section of Jamaica Plain, Brookline and Cambridge active opposition that proved successful. Prior thereto, portions of lower economic neighborhoods in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury and the South End on the southerly portion of the proposed Inner Belt route and in Somerville on the northerly portion had been demolished, devastated, in the days when there was no concept of economic justice in evaluating projects such as the Inner Belt. Many residents currently residing in Boston, Brookline and Cambridge may not know much of the Inner Belt. Its history available at:

is relevant to Phase 2 of the Urban Ring’s proposal for the Charles River crossing.

For several months the BU Bridge has been undergoing long neglected repairs, causing serious traffic and transportation problems on both sides of the Charles River, exacerbating long existing traffic and transportation problems. Later this year, it is anticipated that a significant project will be undertaken to address serious structural problems with the BU Bridge that may take well over a year. But there are many other infrastructure issues and future projects in addition to Phase 2 in the area of the BU Bridge that need to be addressed in assessing Phase 2’s Charles River crossing.

1. A large portion of Commonwealth Avenue at the BU Bridge serves as a bridge over the MA Turnpike Extension that has serious structural problems. The B Commonwealth Green Line Branch trolleys are required to slow down to a crawl in passing over this bridge. This would be a major project. Consider the steps required to be taken to minimize traffic flow problems on the Extension and how this would be handled above at the Commonwealth Avenue and BU Bridge area.

2. Boston University’s (BU) Charles River campus has ambitious plans, including creating a “beach” from the northerly side of Commonwealth Avenue (just easterly of the BU Bridge) down to the Charles River (presumably crossing over Storrow Drive) that would eliminate University Road’s currently easy access to and from Storrow Drive East. In addition, BU has its eyes on developing air rights over the Extension, a small segment in Boston just to the west of the BU Bridge, and two huge footprint segments in Brookline south of Commonwealth Avenue between Essex and St. Mary’s Streets, that would introduce complex traffic and transportation issues directly for Boston and Brookline as well as users of the BU Bridge from points north and south. I have suggested elsewhere that perhaps BU had lobbied the Legislature earlier this year for a $4.1 million budget item for a transportation study of this area that might impact its plans.

3. The rotary on the Cambridge side of the BU Bridge is quite complex. EOT has long recognized significant changes would be required to this rotary to accommodate Phase 2’s 60-foot articulated BRT buses in order to be able to utilize the BU Bridge for Phase 2. How might such changes impact Cambridgeport neighborhoods (even assuming that EOT is able to utilize the Grand Junction Rail Line (GJRL) in Cambridge)? Traffic between the rotary and Central Square through narrow streets with parking and various one-way patterns is currently difficult enough.

4. And then there’s Harvard, the institutional elephant in the room with its proposed humongous Allston campus that wants-in to connect to Phase 2 somewhere in the area of the Boston side of the BU Bridge to provide access to Harvard’s burgeoning Longwood Medical Area. While current economic problems have slowed down Harvard’s Allston activities, it would be a long range project in any event, creating significant traffic and transportation issues not only in Allston but at the BU Bridge and thus Brookline and Cambridge for many years.

We all know how long it took to complete the Big Dig and how much it cost. We know that the Big Dig’s Charles River crossing was both difficult and expensive, finally accomplished with a humongous bridge that some, many, consider attractive. Phase 2 of the Urban Ring also has a major Charles River crossing problem. Funding apparently is not available to accomplish using the GJRL bridge under the BU Bridge. In addition, there are significant environmental issues to be addressed in expanding the former as well as legal issues with CSX for its continued freight rail use of the bridge together with continued rail access on the Boston side connecting to Beacon Yards. [ed: The railroad yards which are on the north side of Soldier’s Field Road, extending from Cambridge Street almost to the BU Bridge.]

Perhaps it is time for residents of Brookline, Boston and Cambridge to take a lesson from the days of the threats of the Inner Belt to their communities and demand a halt to EOT’s Phase 2 proposed Charles River crossing. EOT has yet to undertake serious engineering studies/designs for the Charles River crossing. While engineers can do just about anything, the results might not be successful. EOT should be required – and promptly – to come up with such studies/designs to test whether its proposed Charles River crossing will work. While the GJRL bridge under the BU Bridge is “cockamamie,” utilizing the BU Bridge (which may be reduced from 4 lanes to 3 lanes) is “cockamanier;” in fact, it’s NUTS!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Urban Ring CAC, 6/10/09

Archie Mazmanian provides the following report on the Urban Ring Citizen’s Advisory Committee Meeting of June 10, 2009:

The CAC meeting of June 10, 2009, addressing EOT’s Notice of Project Change (NPC) required to be filed by June 30, 2009, was quite depressing. Prior to EOT’s Powerpoint slide show presentation, the CAC Chair Nally and Co-Chair Garver summarized a recent CAC Alternatives Subcommittee meeting that considered ABC proposals regarding the NPC. Co-Chair Garver presented what might have been a “majority” Subcommittee report followed by a CAC member from Somerville with what might have been a “minority” Subcommittee report. (I am not aware that this Subcommittee meeting was a public meeting. There was no indication of such on EOT’s Urban Ring website.)

EOT’s Ned Codd presented a dismal picture based upon realities of financial limitations. In effect he came up with what I have referred to on earlier occasions as EOT’s Plan B:

1. Use of the BU Bridge for Phase 2’s Charles River crossing; and
2. Surface routes – NO TUNNEL! – through the LMA/Fenway.

In addition, EOT’s slide show provided illustrations of Phase 2 segmented. Rather than attempt to describe them, those interested should periodically check EOT’s Urban Ring website for its anticipated posting of its presentation. [Note: Co-Chair Garver mentioned that EOT’s consultants contract expired at 2:30 PM on June 10th, which may impact activities on EOT’s website.]

Those who reviewed EOT’s RDEIR/DEIS are aware of “major impediments” described therein for various portions of Phase 2. In effect, these “major impediments” were repeated at this CAC meeting with subtle suggestions that not only have they not been resolved but perhaps may become more difficult to resolve, especially involving CSX easements critical to the Charles River crossing and accommodating Harvard’s Allston campus. I sense anxieties similar to the current situation nationally with General Motors and Chrysler that seems to get worse with time. The “Ring” may be breaking apart.

EOT’s required NPC will include responses to written comments from the public. These comments can be viewed at EOT’s website. For residents of Cambridge, Boston (especially Allston and Brighton) and Brookline who visit your Blog, I suggest a look at my comment letters at page 40 (27 pages) and at page 67 (2 pages), where I focus primarily on the Charles River crossing for Phase 2. While lengthy, my comments written in narrative form may be both informative and entertaining. The serious traffic and transportation issues involved with the BU Bridge on both sides of the Charles River impact these communities negatively as demonstrated on a daily basis. Just imagine the addition of the 60-foot articulated BRT buses to the current traffic.

There will be a public comment period, perhaps beginning July 8th, on EOT’s NPC that is to be filed by June 30th. Those interested should keep an eye on EOT’s website for postings. I had in an earlier letter described the requirement for the NPC as in effect a “do-over” of EOT’s RDEIR/DEIS. I can hardly wait.

During the public comment period for this meeting that ran quite late, Fred Salvucci provided some wise observations that may not be heeded. I also made some comments. In advance of this meeting based upon media reports on MA’s growing financial and ethical problems as well as on transportation issues, I came up with what might be considered a “sound bite” for the media if the media covered the Urban Ring and these CAC meeting, such coverage being non-existent. Accordingly my public comments included in substance:

“There is not enough POLITICAL VIAGRA in MA that would be required to straighten out the 60-foot articulated BRT buses of Phase 2.”

Times are tough financially – and politically – here in MA. But matters will only get worse if public transit and other transportation issues are not properly addressed and resolved. People have to be able to get to their jobs and back home.

By the way, Barry Steinberg has published “An Unofficial Condensation of Public Comments Prepared for the Association for Public Transportation, Inc.” providing an alphabetical listing of those who submitted public comments, their sequence on EOT’s CD-ROM, and a digest of portions that includes the CD-ROM page where a comment letter is located (as well as its length in pages), which provides convenience to those interested in reading some of the comment letters. Barry’s work runs some 21 pages. It is possible it may have been posted on the Internet. I’ll check with Barry and provide a link, if it has been posted.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

President Obama and Governor Patrick to Needlessly Destroy Hundreds of Healthy Trees on the Cambridge Side of the Charles River in Massachusetts.

Bob Reports:

I lost part of the title. The full title is: President Obama and Governor Patrick to Needlessly Destroy Hundreds of Healthy Trees on the Cambridge Side of the Charles River in Massachusetts. Needless and silly environmental destruction part of the “economic stimulus.”

The following has been posted to Governor Patrick at President Obama places a character limit, so I will post a link to this blog posting with the index and whatever else I can get in that will fit the character limit. The president's URL is:

1. DCR Announces Obama moneys for environmental destruction.
2. The Details of the Project.
3. The DCR Record on the Charles River.
4. Supposed benefits from the Environmental Destruction.
5. Longtime supporter bemoans destruction of EVERY cherry tree.
6. Magazine Beach in context.
7. Ongoing poisoning of the Charles River.
8. Yet more lies: “Saving” Trees by Destroying them Next Week.
9. BU Bridge to be transferred to Massachusetts Highways. Mass Highways vetoes or delays some environmental destruction.
10. Destructive Plans proceed.
11. Accomplice, Cambridge City Manager, may be fired for Civil Rights behavior called “reprehensible” by judge and jury.
12. Summary.

1. DCR Announces Obama moneys for environmental destruction.

Environmentally destructive state bureaucrats from Massachusetts’ Department of Conservation and Recreation bragged to the Cambridge (MA) Conservation Commission Monday, June 8. They stated that they were securing funds for their long moribund so-called “Historical Parkways” project. This project is a major part of plans to destroy more than 449 to 660 healthy trees between Magazine Beach and the Longfellow Bridge on the Cambridge side of the Charles River.

2. The Details of the Project.

The bureaucrats claim they are implementing nineteenth century plans for the riverbanks. They neglect to mention that, in the nineteenth century the area was a tidal marsh. When the “Memorial Drive Esplanade” was built it generally was thought to be a major improvement over the wetlands destroyed. Today construction of the “Esplanade” would be an environmental crime, contrary to the Wetlands Protection Act.

The DCR's current “restoration” returns to destroying the environment. Hundreds of healthy trees not in the original plans, including all cherry trees, are to be destroyed.

Literally digging holes in the median of this section of Memorial Drive and filling them would be a better use of federal stimulus money. Instead the DCR is using our tax dollars to destroy beautiful, healthy trees that give pleasure to us all--for a stale and sterile “restoration.”

3. The DCR Record on the Charles River.

The bureaucrats, twice a year, destroy all protective vegetation on the Charles River below the Watertown Dam thus driving away migratory birds. The only exception is a bizarre wall of bushes blocking access between Magazine Beach and the Charles River. This blockage was bragged about as assisting swimming. The “native” vegetation introduced by the bureaucrats proceeded to repeatedly die because it was unfit for the environment.

Their representative brags that this wall starves local resident waterfowl. The wall of bushes was introduced in 2004 with the explanation that it would assist swimming on the Charles. The bureaucrats have bragged since 2000 that they have no intention to harm the local animal residents, the Charles River White Geese. They explain that starving them is not harming them.

The Charles River White Geese are a very popular tourist attraction. They have resided on the Cambridge side of the Charles River since 1981. They are in the way of the plans of the DCR for the Charles River. The DCR is aggressively destroying all living beings below the Watertown dam.

4. Supposed benefits from the Environmental Destruction.

The principal achievement of the “Historical Parkways” project will be to straighten out Memorial Drive between the BU Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge.

Supporters of the DCR brag about how great Memorial Drive will look in 40 years. Even the supporters, however, blanche at the outrageous destruction.

5. Longtime supporter bemoans destruction of EVERY cherry tree.

One longtime supporter of the project, at the Monday meeting, commented on the DCR’s plans to destroy every Cherry Tree between Magazine Beach (just west of the BU Bridge) and the Longfellow Bridge. It seems that, when the planners were making plans for this wasteland a century and a half ago, they did not think of putting in Cherry Trees. So all those healthy Cherry Trees will not be allowed to live out their lives and will be destroyed because they were not included in these century and a half old plans to improve a wasteland which has not existed for a century.

6. Magazine Beach in context.

Presently ongoing is a project to “improve” Magazine Beach playing fields located just west of the BU Bridge. The playing fields are being “improved” by REDUCING the acreage of the playing fields, by replacing green maintenance with poison maintenance, by barring the public from its traditional ready access prohibiting use without prior approval and by making the grass poisonous to feeding waterfowl.

Average humans have never seen any need to “improve” these sixty or so year old playing fields.

7. Ongoing poisoning of the Charles River.

The precursor to the Magazine Beach “improvements” were the “improvements” to Ebersol Fields on the Boston side of the Charles, just east of the Longfellow Bridge, near Massachusetts General Hospital. The DCR’s beloved poisons did not work as well as green maintenance. So the DCR tossed on Tartan, labeled against use near water. The next day, the Charles River was dead from the harbor to the Mass. Ave. bridge from algae infestation. That algae infestation now returns annually.

8. Yet more lies: “Saving” Trees by Destroying them Next Week.

In the tenor of the bureaucrats’ attacks on the Charles River White Geese while bragging no intent to harm, the bureaucrats brag that they are “saving” perhaps hundreds of trees in the “Historical Parkways” project by “phasing” their destruction. Translation of “phasing”: the “saved” trees will be destroyed outside the time period they brag about.

“Saving” trees by “phasing” falls into the same category as not “harming” by starving, just another of the very varied techniques of the bureaucrats to lie about their very bad projects.

9. BU Bridge to be transferred to Massachusetts Highways. Mass Highways vetoes or delays some environmental destruction.

Previously, the DCR had accelerated repairs on the BU Bridge claiming that needless environmental destruction in that project should be ignored as well.

A recent Boston Globe report indicates that Massachusetts Highways has vetoed the accelerated work on the BU Bridge.

Since the starvation commenced at Magazine Beach, the DCR consigned the Charles River White Geese to an area immediately east of the BU Bridge, extending to the BU Boathouse. The DCR has since then destroyed all ground vegetation in the area except for vegetation they intended to destroyed as part of the BU Bridge project. Half of that vegetation destruction is for staging that should be put under a nearby Memorial Drive overpass.

It seems certain that the state legislature will reassign to Mass. Highways ownership of the bridges currently owned by the DCR and may be reassigned boulevards as well.

10. Destructive Plans proceed.

It is uncertain if the hundreds of trees slated for needless destruction will be able to wait for transfer of Memorial Drive to a responsible bureaucracy. Earlier complaints to Governor Patrick about multiple instances of outrageous environmental destruction by the DCR have been ignored or passed to the DCR for comment.

Monday night, the DCR disclosed that their plans would include a starvation wall at the Charles River just east of the BU Boathouse. This would block access to that grass for feeding by the Charles River White Geese. The 2004 starvation attack included a similar starvation wall erected by the City of Cambridge in this location.

11. Accomplice, Cambridge City Manager, may be fired for Civil Rights behavior called “reprehensible” by judge and jury.

Also associated with the environmental destruction on the Charles River is the Cambridge City Manager. He has a lot of other environmental destruction on his record.

The Cambridge City Council is currently considering the civil rights case of Malvina Monteiro v. City of Cambridge, on which judgment was issued June 4, 2009. Judge and jury awarded the plaintiff $5 million including $3.5 million penal damages. According to judge and jury, the Cambridge City Manager retaliated against a black woman Cape Verdean department head. She had the “effrontery” to file a civil rights complaint. So she was retaliated against and fired. The judge’s one word description was “reprehensible.”

The judge’s opinion may be read at: The final judgment may be read at:

The Cambridge City Council is currently considering whether to fund an appeal. The City Council claims to have a strong record on civil rights, but they also claim a strong record on environmentalism. Their records belies their claims on environmentalism. The city council is funding the outrage at Magazine Beach.

A reasonable response by an entity with the civil rights verbiage issued by the Cambridge City Council would be to fire the Cambridge City Manager. That would, in turn, greatly reduce the destructive pressure on the Charles River. There seems to be a consensus that the Cambridge City Council does not have the integrity to do so.

12. Summary.

So the world is faced with a rogue bureaucracy, charged with protecting the environment and aggressively destroying it.

In the background are a governor and a president who may or may not be concerned about the environment, and a city council with a bad environmental record which may possibly fire one of the key actors, their city manager.

Boston Conservation Commission defends public from DCR, striking difference from Cambridge.

1. Commendable Action on Ebersol Field.
2. Cambridge does not want to know it.

Bob reports:

1. Commendable Action on Ebersol Field.

Wednesday evening, June 10, I attended the Boston Conservation Commission hearing on fencing proposed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation for Ebersol Fields on the Charles River across from Massachusetts General Hospital. This facility is the model upon which Magazine Beach is based and is of great concern to us.

The member from the Back Bay dwelt in detail on access for the public to the premises.

Access, for animals and humans, is one of the many shocking aspects to the ongoing outrage at Magazine Beach. The terms of the contract call for Cambridge to regulate access.

Cambridge has shown at Russell Field in North Cambridge how they regulate access. The Police have thrown kids off at least one field for playing there without an advance reservation.

I had to cross examine the DCR representative quite intensely.

The Back Bay rep got the hint and squarely asked about public use of fields which have not been reserved without getting separate and advance permission. He got the DCR to agree to such use.

Signage at Ebersol Fields will expressly allow the public to use unused fields.

2. Cambridge does not want to know it.

I had first learned of this problem from a meeting of the North Cambridge neighborhood entity. It has clear connections to the Cambridge City Manager.

The group met after the Boston Conservation Commission meeting.

I went there and asked to make a brief announcement at the end of the meeting.

I was denied permission to announce the victory. I was told to come to the next meeting, strictly on Russell Field.

This group has a significant visibility in the group “defending” Alewife by opposing private destruction of an ancillary area and supporting public destruction of the reservation itself.

Key members of the group have been very visible in the more than 10 years of downzonings written by the Cambridge City Manager. Too many of these petitions accomplish exactly the opposite of their claimed results through undisclosed fine print. One of the group’s first activities was to push through a City Manager zoning proposal which wiped out residential districts on north Massachusetts Avenue, districts which would require open space at the sidewalk. The upzoning drastically increased development allowed on those lots, on the north side of Massachusetts Avenue going west from Rindge Avenue.

The chair had a letter in the Cambridge Chronicle today defending the Cambridge City Manager. He says the lawyers made Healy due it. I have filed a response. They may be read at:

Thursday, June 04, 2009

"That’s the way things are done in Cambridge."

Bob Reports:

The following letter was printed on line on June 6, 2009 by the Cambridge Chronicle:

Reading the city solicitor’s very strong op ed to the Chronicle on Monteiro versus Cambridge reminds me of an incident which personally concerned me several years ago.

An employee of the Election Department trashed 51 out of 100 signatures on my election papers, trashing the papers. He objected to my turning in original signatures on forms that were photocopies of his forms. He did so in clear and direct violation of a Supreme Judicial Court case concerning Jack E. Robinson, a Republican candidate for governor. I informed him of the case. He informed me that the way he did things was the “way things are done in Cambridge.”

A lawyer with the state election people told a friend of mine that it was inconceivable that any city solicitor would support the Election Department’s action. The city solicitor’s office supported the action. A bunch of city appointed lawyer members on the election commission also supported the action of the employee in spite of the very clear wording of the Jack E. Robinson case.

Grievances against a list of departments damned by the guest editorial that followed the editor’s editorial sounded like old home week.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Judgment entered in Monteiro case, 1/2 Million added in interest

Bob Reports:

The following judgment was entered in the Monteiro case, today, June 2, 2009. This is taken from the Court Docket which loses all paragraphing. I have inserted my interpretation of paragraphing.


With regard to the first trial of this case in 2005,

that judgment enter for the defendant City of Cambridge with respect to plaintiff Malvina Monteriro's underlying claims for discrimination in accordance with the Special Verdicts returned by the jury on February 24, 2005,

that the plaintiff take nothing on such claims, and that the defendant City of Cambridge recover its costs of that action.

With regard to the second trial of this action in 2008,

that the plaintiff Malvina Monteiro take:

(a) compensatory damages in the amount of $1,062,400, plus pre-judgment simple interest at he rate of 12% per annum from January 18, 2005 to June 2, 2009 in the amount of $557,459.26;

(b) punitive damages in the amount of $3,500,000, with interest from April 24, 2009, the date of this Court's ruling on the defendant's post-trial motions to June 2, 2009 in the amount of $44,877.11;

(c) reasonable attorneys's fees and costs in an amount to be determined by the Court hereafter.

Dated: June 2, 2009

(Bonnie H. MacLeod, Justice). Copies mailed 6/2/2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

BU Bridge: Mass Highways stands up to DCR

Bob reports:

I have filed the following with the Governor of Massachusetts at

The filing is quite self-explanatory. One brief comment. The Cambridge City Manager’s people have for many years vilified Mass Highways and glorified the Department of Conservation and Recreation when Mass Highways is proposed to take over responsibilities of DCR.

Mass. Highways is apparently slated to take over the BU Bridge.

Mass Highways’ first action reaffirms the long record of the Cambridge City Manager’s organization: listen to what they say and believe the opposite.

Mass Highways is moving in the right direction against a reprehensible foe, and few governments other than that of the City of Cambridge can brag of a decision of judge and jury that its government is reprehensible. The decision is against the City of Cambridge, but it is silly to think of any meaningful difference between Cambridge and the DCR.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

RE: BU Bridge: Mass Highways stands up to DCR

On May 30, 2009, the Boston Globe printed an article on the BU Bridge with its proposed “repairs.”

The Department of Conservation and Recreation wants to go forward with the BU Bridge repairs project immediately with its unnecessary environmental destruction. Mass Highways which is taking over the bridge from the DCR sees no need for immediate work.

The Cambridge City Manager’s people in Cambridgeport passed on the link for the report. It is:

People who read like the Cambridge City Manager’s people (including one who definitely is) passed comments on the matter to the Globe site. I posted a comment as well.

It is possible that the difference is a matter of opinion. Cambridge’s pols commonly see things exactly the opposite of people in the real world, and Cambridge’s pols are commonly wrong when they do that. The City Manager types’ party line on the DCR is that the DCR is bordering on sainthood. Reality is that the DCR is strikingly close to the Cambridge City Manager. But then the Cambridge Pols have problems, in reality, saying negative things about the Cambridge City Manager.

A few thoughts, expanding on my Globe comments:

I think that, to evaluate the opinions of the DCR, you just have to look at the words and the actions of the DCR in the recent past on matters supposedly within their own expertise.

The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR twice yearly destroys all protective vegetation on the Charles River needed by migrating birds.

The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR poisoned the Charles River by dumping Tartan on Ebersol Fields a few years back. The next day, annually recurring algae poisoned the Charles River.

The DCR is responsible for the environment. The DCR has been destroying ground vegetation from the BU Bridge to the BU Boathouse since 2004. The only vegetation not destroyed to date would be the vegetation destroyed by this project. A significant part of the project's destroyed vegetation would be for staging that should be put under Memorial Drive.

The DCR claims to want swimming in the Charles River. The poisoning at Ebersol Fields does not seem compatible with swimming.

The DCR has installed a bizarre wall of introduced vegetation at Magazine Beach preventing access between the Charles River and Magazine Beach. This bizarre wall is the only vegetation bordering the Charles River which the DCR does not destroy twice a year.

The key bureaucrat brags that the bizarre wall starves the local resident Charles River White Geese.

The big victim of the BU Bridge project is the Charles River White Geese.

The accumulation of projects by the DCR rather clearly shows an ongoing destruction of all living creatures on the Charles River. The BU Bridge project as implemented by the DCR continues that destruction.

The nearby Magazine Beach project is a waste of taxpayer money. It replaces perfectly good playing fields with a SMALLER footage of playing fields that need to be maintained with fertilizers rather than the prior green maintenance.

Very clearly, the BU Bridge project's most important achievement is the environmental destruction for which the DCR is so aggressively working.

One very major advantage to a delay from a wildlife point of view would be to time harm to the environment so as to minimize harm. This, however, would call for an abrupt shift at Magazine Beach.

There is no excuse whatsoever for the bizarre wall of introduced vegetation which blocks access between the Charles River and Magazine Beach. This is the only vegetation bordering the Charles River which the DCR does NOT destroy TWICE yearly. The key bureaucrat brags that it starves the Charles River White Geese.

This bizarre wall should be destroyed as much as is possible without harm to the land.

The destruction of the Green Maintenance at Magazine Beach should be reversed.

A massive drainage system is being installed to drain the DCR’s beloved poisons away from the Charles. That Drainage System is drastically reducing the athletic playing fields at Magazine Beach. You do away with the poisons, you do away with the need to drain, you do away with the REDUCTION in playing fields.

Similarly, you do away with the poisons and the bizarre wall, and the Charles River White Geese can return to their habitat since 1981, Magazine Beach, and the needed food there.

But time is necessary to neutralize the totally unneeded mudpit which has been created.

The Mass Highways delay could provide that time, but responsible behavior is needed as well at Magazine Beach.

Would it be possible for Mass Highways to completely take over the DCR?

It sounds like we finally have a responsible agency on the Charles.