Thursday, December 31, 2009

Action in Monteiro Case

Bob La Trémouille reports.

1. Introductory.
2. Matters pending, new action.

1. Introductory.

This report updates the situation on Malvina Monteiro, et al. v. City of Cambridge et al., Middlesex Superior Court Civil Action 2001-02737 (simplifying citation for sake of clarity).

In this case, judge and jury found that the Cambridge City Manager had destroyed the life of a black woman who was head of Cambridge’s Police Review Board in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The key judge’s decision may be found at One word summarizes her analysis: “reprehensible.”

The award currently exceeds $5 million, about $1.1 million damages, $3.5 million penal damages and $.5 million interest.

There are several matters pending in the Monteiro case. I do not have access to the papers, only to the “docket.” From the docket, I can get the title of the papers filed by the parties and commonly get the full opinions of the judge with a lot of formatting, especially paragraphing, lost.

The jury’s verdict was announced in April 2008.

After the post trial motions were filed, argued and supplemental filings filed, it took something like nine months before the judge issued her EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN decision on the various matters. Clearly, she takes her time and does good work.

After that, the judge issued a formal judgment. This commonly is the end of a case unless it is appealed.

2. Matters pending, new action.

The current items of major significance now pending are:

a. The plaintiff’s post judgment motion to increase the interest paid the plaintiff on the damages awarded.

b. The defendant’s motion to reconsider the decision. This motion was filed shortly after a court decision came down on penal damages.

Each motion, of course, was opposed by the other side.

On Tuesday, December 28, 2009, the Court received a formal paper entitled “Plaintiff Monteiro Submission Of Supplemental Authority.”

Translated into English, it would appear that the Plaintiff’s attorney has submitted additional legal arguments in support of the Plaintiff’s position on one of the pending motions. An educated guess would be that the filing was with regard to the Defendant’s motion to reconsider.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Archie Mazmanian is the principal contributor, edited by Bob.

1. Archie’s Report.
2. Prior reports in this series.

1. Archie’s Report.

What if a MA governmental employer fails to comply with subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute? (The Statute is available at: - download and print it out for reference. Also, refer to Parts I and II of this series.)

Section 180 of Chapter 149 provides:

“Whoever violates a provision of this chapter for which no specific penalty is provided shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.”

While Section 185 of Chapter 149 provides for certain damages to an employee under subsection (d), there is no specific penalty prescribed for an employer’s failure to comply with the notices required by subsection (g).

Whether a MA governmental employee has standing to enforce Section 180 is not clear. However, Section 2 of Chapter 149 provides:

“The attorney general shall, except as otherwise specifically provided, enforce the provisions of this chapter, and shall have all necessary powers therefor.”

Presumably the MA Office of the Attorney General (“AG”) could seek the enforcement of such a fine from a MA governmental employer under Section 180 for failure to comply with subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute.

The Whistleblower Statute has been in force since early in 1994. It is not clear just how many MA government employers are in compliance with their subsection (g) requirements. Surely the AG has the authority as well as the responsibility to enforce compliance with subsection (g). Is the AG doing so?

What are the incentives for MA government employers to comply with subsection (g)? The possibility of “punishment by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars” does not seem like a realistic incentive, even assuming that the AG were to seek such fines pursuant to Section 180 of Chapter 149.

Might the public policy behind the enactment of the Whistleblower Statute serve as an incentive to comply with the requirements of subsection (g)? Or is there reason for such employers to fear the results of such compliance? MA governmental employees following this series might check with their employers to determine whether the latter are in compliance with subsection (g). Such compliance would not only afford protection to such employees with respect to their employment but would also protect the public by serving to lessen inappropriate conduct by employers that might impact the public fisc.

While the failure of a MA governmental employer to comply with subsection (g) does not deprive an employee of rights under the Whistleblower Statute, the employee may not become aware of such rights in the absence of such compliance. Thus, the employer’s failure, intentional or otherwise, to so comply may diminish the rights of an employee with respect to unlawful retaliatory action against the employee by the employer. Might this serve as a perverse incentive on the part of a MA government employer NOT to comply with subsection (g)?

[Part IV of this series will address how MA governmental employees and the public might address such non-compliance with subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute.]

2. Prior reports in this series.

Part 2:

Part 1:

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Boston Globe Op Ed Against Department of Conservation and Recreation

Bob reports:

Eric Chivian has had published in today’s (12/27/09) Boston Globe’s on line edition (and probably hard copy as well) an op ed entitled “The folly in felling Bay State’s Forests.”

This is an intelligent analysis of the logging tendencies of the reprehensible Department of Conservation and Recreation. It may be found at

I have already posted a response concerning the Charles River and the interrelationship with the reprehensible City of Cambridge. (That judge has an excellent choice of words.)

Thanks to Archie for pointing the op ed out.

It should be noted that the Cambridge Pols are involved in a non-stop praising exercise in support of this vile entity. This is basically an example of really bad people falsely praising other really bad people with the intension that both the bad guys look good to the unaware victim.

On looking over the comments, I note a lot of other comments critical of this reprehensible bureaucracy. In particular, it would appear that the DCR is said to have lost “FSC certification” in April 2009.

These are really rotten people. There is a comment at the end about the governor’s failure to clean up the mess.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Archie Mazmanian reports:

With all the holiday songs, Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" comes to mind and I wish Gov. Deval Patrick on down might consider this variation:

"I'm dreaming of a Charles River White Geese Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know ...."

Fulfillment of this wish would benefit generations to come. Gov. Patrick, a pardon is in order.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


1. Archie Mazmanian reports.
2. Much more minimal research by Bob.

1. Archie Mazmanian reports.

The City of Cambridge website is quite extensive, with search aids providing access to various public documents, records and information. However, despite my extensive search efforts, I was unable to link to any notices required by subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute. (See Part I of this series. The Whistleblower Statute is available at: - download and print it out for reference.) While I did find several references to General Laws Chapter 149, I found none for its Section 185.

The neighboring Town of Arlington has posted its “Employee Handbook” on the Internet in PDF form, available by “Googling” Town of Arlington Whistle Blower Policy. Its Whistleblower Policy is on pages 11 and 12.

Perhaps the City of Cambridge has posts of the required subsection (g) notices on bulletin boards at its public facilities. [Note: My search of the bulletin boards on the third floor of City Hall on 12/23/09 failed to reveal such notices. There is a detailed laminated post prepared by the Office of the MA Attorney General (“AG”) relative to MA Wage and Hour Laws with reference to certain provisions of Chapter 149 but not to the Section 185 Whistleblower Statute.] It would seem helpful to not only Cambridge employees but also to its residents if such notices were readily available at its website.

While Arlington’s Whistleblower Policy may satisfy the letter of subsection (g), does it capture its spirit? (I should point out that Arlington’s Whistleblower Policy, which has long been in place, is much more detailed than the much later Town of Brookline steps to comply with subsection (g) referenced in Part I.) Here are some thoughts on Arlington’s Policy in considering what information should subsection (g) notices contain to inform “employees of their protection and obligations under [the Whistleblower Statute]”:

1. While reference is made to “retaliatory action” against an employee, the definition of that term is not included. Subsection (a)(5) of the Whistleblower Statute defines this as: “ … the discharge, suspension or demotion of an employee, or other adverse employment action taken against an employee in the terms and conditions of employment.” It would seem important that employees be aware of this definition.

2. While the Policy states: “Employees aggrieved by a violation of this law may institute civil action in the Superior Court in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 149, Section 185(d)”, subsection (d) provides that such an action may be brought within two (2) years of an alleged violation, that a jury trial can be claimed, and that broad remedies are available for such an alleged violation, including treble damages, reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees. It would seem important that employees be aware of this.

3. The Policy fails to disclose the circumstances described in subsection (e)(1) to the effect that if a court finds the action taken by the employee “was without basis in law or in fact, the court may award reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs to the employer.” Nor does it disclose the circumstances in subsection (e)(2) under which attorneys’ fees may not be assessed (but presumably court costs could). It would seem important that employees be aware of these provisions.

4. The Policy includes this requirement: “The employee must, by written notice, bring the activity, policy or practice in question to the attention of the persons designated by the Town to receive such notice unless [certain listed exceptions are applicable].” It would appear that this is intended to reflect subsection (c) of the Whistleblower Statute. However, paragraph (1) of subsection (c) seems to be limited to “an employee who makes a disclosure to a public body” of an alleged violation; that such a disclosure to a public body would not afford an employee with protection against retaliatory action provided by subsection (b)(1), unless the employee first brings the matter “to the attention of a supervisor of the employee by written notice and has afforded the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice.” [Paragraph (2) of subsection (c) sets forth exceptions to paragraph (1).] The term “public body” is defined in subsection (a)(3) of the Whistleblower Statute with much specificity. But subsection (b)(1) of the Whistleblower Statute also applies to disclosures, actual or threatened, by an employee other than to a “public body” that would entitle an employee to protection against “retaliatory action” presumably without the need for the written notice required by subsection (c)(1) regarding disclosure to a “public body.” For example, the definition of a “public body” does not include newspapers and other media (including TV and the Internet).

My comments on the Arlington Whistleblower Policy are not intended to be critical of the Town of Arlington, which based upon my research has made a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute much more so, and much earlier, than most of MA’s 350 cities and towns. Rather, my interest is in compliance with both the letter and the spirit of subsection (g). Perhaps the MA AG should be providing assistance to MA governmental employers in its monitoring of such employers’ compliance with subsection (g) to ensure that their notices satisfy its requirements. (See Part I concerning the role of the AG with the Whistleblower Statute.)

[Part III of this series will address the consequences to a MA governmental employer if it fails to comply with subsection (g).]

2. Much more minimal research by Bob.

I emailed HR at Cambridge and was referred to the laminated poster on the third floor of Cambridge City Hall which Archie describes in his third paragraph above.

Urban Ring 2 Delay Granted

1. Archie Mazmanian reports.
2. Related Items.

Edited, with added matter by Bob.

1. Archie Mazmanian reports.

EOEEA Commissioner Bowles with his December 16th response to MassDOT's Mullan granted the latter's 30 day extension request. (This has been posted at the Urban Ring website.) Mr. Mullan has yet to schedule any public meetings in advance of the new Jan. 15, 2010 "drop-dead" response date.

2. Related Items.

Archie’s prior report on the Mullan request is below at:

The Bowles response may be read at:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blizzard creates fully predictable emergency for the Charles River White Geese

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I have posted the following on both the Governor and the MassDOT sites in their email receptacles, at 9:20 and 9:21 am, 12/20/09.

It should be noted that, in addition to creating this outrage, the City of Cambridge has the nerve to have a delegate at the environmental congress. Council Davis, the delegate, is one of the most environmentally destructive members of an environmentally very bad city council.

Archie Mazmanian advises me that the Secretary and CEO spells his name "Mullan" rather than "Mullen." Thank you Archie. I also note that in my attempts to be concise, I have omitted two other points which I usually include. I regret all three errors, but hopefully it was readable, and, MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, did the job.

Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullen


RE: Wildlife Emergency at the BU Bridge Repair Construction Site

Dear Mr. Mullen:

You have an environmental crisis forced on you by the environmentally reprehensible people at DCR and the City of Cambridge.

I am talking to the construction site / goose habitat east of the BU Bridge in Cambridge.

Since 2000, DCR has constantly reaffirmed that they have no intention to harm the beautiful and valuable nearly 30 year native Charles River White Geese. They and Cambridge have repeatedly proven these claims false. Cambridge goes even farther in their lies about their environmental destructiveness.

The DCR and Cambridge want no animal life living on or visiting the Charles River between the Watertown Dam and the Harbor. They have implemented this vile goal with heartless abuse of the Charles River White Geese.

For nearly 30 years, Charles River White Geese have lived in the area east of the BU Bridge. They have nested there and they have gone there for protection against the elements.

The DCR turned this into a construction zone with maximum abuse aimed at the Charles River White Geese.

Perhaps half of the construction zone is unnecessary destruction of vegetation and habitat. The portion next to the Memorial Drive ramp is inexcuseable. The parking could easily have been placed under Memorial Drive. This area is commonly pretty empty.

Additionally, responsible behavior would have allowed the Charles River White Geese access to and feeding rights at Magazine Beach where they have fed for most of the past 30 years.

This is walled off with a bizarre wall of introduced bushes which serve no viable function except to starve the geese. Cambridge joins the DCR in contempt for the valuable native vegetation they destroy there. The Boston Conservation Commission has applied sanctions to the DCR for destroying the same vegetation on the Boston side.

Cambridge and the DCR have destroyed grass which survived for the better part of a century and replaced it with sickly stuff that needs poisons. They have decreased the size of the playing fields for a drainage system to drain off poisons which should not be used and which will flow into the Charles in heavy weather.

East of the BU Bridge, the DCR has destroyed pretty much all of the ground vegetation between the BU Bridge and the BU Boathouse. Their construction zone destroyed pretty much what they did not destroy in the previous four years.

I beg of you.

Control the plows in that inexcusably large construction zone.

It seems certain that, if the DCR or Cambridge were involved, they would dump the snow on top of the quarter of the area which is less destroyed habitat.

Please keep the plowed snow out of the tiny area which is the only remnants of the Charles River White Geese’s mile long habitat.

Dump it in the area WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DESTROYED IN THE FIRST PLACE. Dump it in that part of the construction zone next to the on ramp.

Thank you in advance for your courtesy.

You have the very great disadvantage of dealing with truly reprehensible people at the DCR and Cambridge. Cambridge has been called “reprehensible” by judge in the civil rights case of Monteiro v. Cambridge. There rather than destroying beautiful valuable animals, according to judge and jury, they destroyed the life of a black woman department head in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

Decent people should not have the situation you have had forced on you east of the BU Bridge.

But if all people were decent, the powers that be in Cambridge and the DCR would be removed.

Cy: Governor Patrick

Friday, December 18, 2009


Archie Mazmanian reports the following.

His report, of course, is highly relevant given the now $5 million plus award to Malvina Monteiro. Judge and jury found that Cambridge destroyed the life of this black woman department head in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint. The judge summed up her decision using the word “reprehensible.” Monteiro case still in Superior Court considering post trial motions. [Bob comment]


Are employees and residents of the City of Cambridge aware of the MA Whistleblower Statute set forth in Section 185 of Chapter 149 of the MA General Laws? Subsection (g) of Section 185 provides:

“An employer shall conspicuously display notices reasonably designed to inform its employees of their protection and obligations under this section, and use other appropriate means to keep its employees so informed. Each notice posted pursuant to this subsection shall include the name or the person or persons the employer has designated to receive written notifications pursuant to subsection (c).”

Is the City of Cambridge in compliance with both the letter and spirit of subsection (g)? Are the required notices conspicuously displayed? Are they furnished routinely to new employees? Are all employees appropriately kept informed?

The Whistleblower Statute has been around since the 1990s. A few years ago, I learned that my Town of Brookline was not in compliance with subsection (g) following a public records request. To their credit Brookline officials promptly addressed this by preparing and distributing notices to Town employees pursuant to subsection (g), although in my view such notices did not comply with both the letter and spirit of subsection (g).

For purposes of Section 185, subsection (a)(2) defines “employer” as:

“ … the commonwealth, and its agencies or political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, cities, towns, counties and regional school districts, or any authority, commission, board or instrumentality thereof.”

Chapter 149, and thus Section 185, falls within the jurisdiction of the MA Office of the Attorney General (“AG”) for enforcement. How many of MA governmental employers are in compliance with subsection (g)? How, if at all, does the AG monitor compliance by such employers?

Now, no one likes a snitch. Recall the scene in the movie “Sparticus” when a Roman leader offers certain amnesties to slaves if the identity of Sparticus were revealed. One by one a chained slave would rise from the mass of slaves and say “I am Sparticus” until all the slaves, including Sparticus, rose to so declare themselves. Sparticus’ cause was worthy of protecting, as these slaves well recognized.

But what about a conscientious MA governmental employee faced in the course of employment with situations described in subsection (b)(1) of Section 185:

“ … an activity, policy or practice of the employer, or of another employer with whom the employee’s employer has a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to law, or which the employee reasonably believes poses a risk to public health, safety or the environment.”

Should the employee just remain silent, i.e., not snitch? Should the employee consider resigning, for reasons of conscience or otherwise? Well, Section 185 prohibits retaliatory action by a MA governmental employer against an employee who decides not to remain silent.

The MA Whistleblower Statute is narrowly drawn and is much less protective than federal whistleblower provisions. In my view, protections for MA governmental employees should be expanded. But I don’t have confidence that MA legislators have the political will or courage to do so, considering the history of corruption that has been exposed by federal authorities.

Even so, the Whistleblower Statute we do have should be enforced, from the top down. After all, public funds are involved. Enforcement just might diminish the need for MA governmental employees to blow the whistle, thus better preserving the public fisc.

[I plan to follow up with additional commentary on this topic. Interested viewers may access the MA Whistleblower Statute at ]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Archie Mazmanian reports:

The Urban Ring website – - has posted the 12/15/09 letter of intentions response from MassDOT Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullan to MA EOEEA. (See the 12/3/09 commentary below at “Urban Ring Phase 2 on Life Support?”) Secretary Mullan seeks a one-month’s extension for this letter of intentions requirement. [ed: Letter may be found at:]

Mullan makes reference to the 12/1/09 CAC public meeting, which Bob and I attended and reported on, and to certain meetings, perhaps not public, with representatives of the Urban Ring “compact communities” (Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville and Brookline) and with “the business and institutional community – notably A Better City and MASCO.”

Mullan made his extension request “[in] order to hear all viewpoints at this critical juncture of the [Urban Ring] project ….” Does Mullan have in mind listening to the viewpoints of residential neighborhood groups? Keep in mind there are very few CAC members representing residents in the Phase 2 corridor. Some of us residents speak up at public CAC meetings. But are residents’ viewpoints presented or considered at the seemingly non-public meetings with the listed municipalities, business and institutional interests, whose interests may dramatically differ from those of residents?

Many of us residents will be busy with the upcoming holidays. So perhaps Mr. Mullan should promptly set up public meetings for just after the New Year for residents to be heard in advance of his anticipated January 15, 2010 deferred letter of intentions so that it may reflect the sentiments of residents. MassDOT cannot ignore our honking as it has ignored that of the Charles River White Geese. The new MassDOT must have transparency to succeed."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

“Environmental Congress” — Chronicle prints short version and honors me in the process.

1. Introduction.
2. Version printed by Chronicle different from what I gave you.
3. An honor to be printed based on the context of the editorial and op-ed pages.
4. Councilor Davis’ letter.
5. Version of my letter printed.

Bob Reports:

First of all, we have reached a milestone. This is the 400th posting on this blog. It pairs very nicely with the fact that, a few days ago, I performed the 390th visibility at the destroyed nesting area of the Charles River White Geese, although the latter number is probably understated.

1. Introduction.

A few days ago, I passed on to you an op ed I submitted to the Cambridge Chronicle concerning yet another fake environmental initiative coming out of the environmentally reprehensible Cambridge City Council, an “Environmental Congress” scheduled for this coming Saturday. Its primary importance is to lie that this environmentally destructive entity is the opposite.

That will be done through a whole bunch of pious mouthings about the environment with very major omissions: the ongoing environmental destruction being inflicted on the City of Cambridge by the Cambridge City Council and its friends.

They have been doing this for years. The lies simply do not stop coming and the environmental destruction simply does not stop coming.

2. Version printed by Chronicle different from what I gave you.

The version of my communication which the Chronicle printed in its December 10, 2009 edition, was an alternate, 400 word version. I gave them an 800 word version and a 400 word version and told the editor it was his choice.

Oddly, the 400 word version is probably written better. The 800 word version is technically more accurate, including quite a few more facts that the vast majority of readers will not notice, but I think they have importance. Additionally, the extra words were used to try to communicate the reality of the situation better.

The short version is below.

3. An honor to be printed based on the context of the editorial and op-ed pages.

However, this was a very striking editorial / op ed page since the editor included almost every major issue he could hit, and he did me the honor of including my letter in this presentation.

On the left of the two pages, to the far left, is an editorial encouraging people to give to the Salvation Army in this time of need.

The other four columns are headed with an editorial cartoon lampooning the process by which the Cambridge City Council chooses its mayor.

Below the cartoon is an op ed by the gentleman who was the only newcomer elected to the City Council during the election. He speaks on the choosing of the mayor.

Below this are two letters to the editor occupying the balance of the four columns in shortened height since they are below the editorial cartoon and the op ed on the mayor selection. My letter, reproduced below, fills the first two shortened columns and part of the third. The balance of the space is occupied by a letter written by Cambridge City Councilor Henrietta Davis.

The oped page is pretty much occupied by two articles entitled “Reflections on rent control” and “Eight years of protesting the war.”

4. Councilor Davis’ letter.

Davis’ letter was most definitely properly paired with mine. Davis’ letter is highly important because of what it might say.

How do you compare levels of destructiveness among a bunch of people who are all doing the same very destructive stuff?

Davis, in my personal opinion, is the worst member of the City Council environmentally because she has very loudly praised the destruction on the Charles, because she seems to be a leader in the destructiveness, and because she has combined this with non stop holier than thou falsehoods of her claims of being an environmental saint.

A careful reading of her letter might indicate a leveling of her rhetoric.

I do not see a leveling of the destructiveness or even any signs of common decency such as changing sides and becoming pro-environment, or changing sides and being something other than a heartless animal abuser.

I do see a leveling of the rhetoric.

The letter is written as a late thank you to the voters for her reelection. I do not believe in coincidences. I deliberately transmitted my submittals very early, and I deliberately posted the long version very early.

My submittals are clearly controversial and are loaded with facts.

My early transmittal and publicizing of my early transmittal was deliberately intended to allow or even provoke a response.

Davis’ letter reads like a response, if you are accustomed to reading extreme statements such as are the norm in the City of Cambridge.

Davis’ letter reads like a response because she talks about “guid[ing] Cambridge to become a national leader in energy innovation”, not environmentalism, not greenness, energy innovation.

This is the field she has been working on. This is her con game that she is, in spite of a very destructive reality “pro environment.”

The rhetoric may or may not have changed.

The destructiveness is not changed but can be reversed.

The destructiveness can be reversed because what we need is for a truly reprehensible City Council to switch sides to the side it claims to be on.

Don’t hold your breath.

5. Version of my letter printed.

Interestingly, my oped included a lot of bullets which I went through a lot of bother to communicate. The short version did not, but the editor added a number of bullets, making it parallel. Frankly, I have not compared the version printed to what I sent. I presume it is the short version.


Cambridge Chronicle

The City Council is sponsoring yet another environmental event. They will save the world and ignore the environmental destruction being done by Cambridge and its friends.

Ignored will be:

The coming destruction of the Alewife reservation for flood storage that should be placed about 500 feet away.

The destruction of perhaps thousands of trees at Fresh Pond for a thousand saplings.

Environmental destruction as a normal part of too many Cambridge projects, particularly healthy trees.

Hundreds of healthy trees and animal habitat being destroyed between the BU and Longfellow Bridges, apparently using Obama money.

Heartless animal abuse of the 28 year resident Charles River White Geese: the ongoing starving of them and the near total destruction of their habitat.

Poisons being dumped on Magazine Beach to feed sickly grass after destroying healthy grass which survived the better part of a century without poisons.

A bizarre wall of introduced bushes at Magazine Beach which has no value except starving native animals.

Decrease of playing fields at Magazine Beach for a drainage system to drain off the poisons, sure to fail in severe weather.

The meeting’s chair brags of Lorenz Park on Broadway. His people destroyed more than twenty 100+ year old trees on Cambridge Street for buildings that should have been placed at Lorenz Park. His and his friend [ed: typo, should have been plural] filed many “downzonings” with undisclosed fine print that limited or reversed the descriptions claimed for the proposals.

He was the biggest single problem in my three downzonings of Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Central Squares.

In the first initiative, he and his friends demanded an upzoning by destroying first floor open space and first floor housing throughout half the area. The neighborhood association they claimed to be representing voted to reject the chair and his friends, after the group essentially destroyed the initiative. This outrage created the canyon on Bay Street. This outrage allowed one or more large buildings which the chair later condemned when selling a zoning petition named after him.

Then there is the Inn at Harvard which another of my petitions forced on Harvard in spite of the chair’s nonsense. The chair almost got the Inn at Harvard constructed 72% larger, probably without grass.

The city council will conduct yet another con game in which the most important achievement will be the false impression given to people that the councillors are, as they constantly declare, saints on environmental issues.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Day 390, More fake environmentalism from Cambridge, MA, December 12.

1. Day 390 at the Destroyed Nesting Area.
2. Cambridge, MA hosts a fake environmental conference.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Day 390 at the Destroyed Nesting Area.

I did a visibility on the far side of the BU Bridge on December 4 because pedestrians are no longer allowed on the side by the destroyed nesting area.

A brief look at the parking lot dumped on top of three quarters of the nesting area indicated once again, that the needless destruction was needless. There was plenty of room there, and there was plenty of room under Memorial Drive where the parking would be put if Massachusetts and Cambridge had responsible governments.

Folks, as usual, were quite responsive, both pedestrians and drivers.

2. Cambridge, MA hosts a fake environmental conference.

The environmentally reprehensible government of the City of Cambridge, MA, is conducting another con game loudly and falsely calling themselves environmental saints.

This one will be conducted December 12 in Cambridge City Hall.

I have offered the following op ed to the Cambridge Chronicle and a short version should the editor wish to print my communication as a letter to the editor.


Cambridge Chronicle

“They would never stoop so low.”

People simply cannot believe that Cambridge City Councillors and their friends are as destructive as they are on the environment.

This standard Council analysis comes from their pretty much nonstop claims of sainthood.

The City Council calls their latest environmental event a “congress.” As usual, they will save the world and ignore the environmental destruction being done by themselves and their friends.

Ignored will be:

● The coming destruction of the Alewife reservation for flood storage that should be placed about 500 feet away under a parking lot just north of the commuter rail. That parking lot is on the verge of being developed without the flood storage.

● The ongoing destruction of perhaps thousands of trees at Fresh Pond for what has been described as “a thousand” saplings.

● Environmental destruction in too many projects, particularly needless destruction of healthy trees.

● The ongoing and accelerating outrages on the Charles River:

 Hundreds of healthy trees and animal habitat being destroyed between the BU and Longfellow Bridges, apparently using Obama money.

 Heartless animal abuse continues of the 28 year native Charles River White Geese: deliberately starved for five years; their habitat needlessly reduced to a fraction of what it was. It is down to a quarter of what was a three month visiting area: their nesting area.

 The Magazine Beach playing fields were quite uniformly considered not needing upgrade. So:

▸ Poisons are being dumped on the fields to feed sickly grass. The sickly stuff replaces healthy grass which survived the better part of a century without poisons.

▸ A bizarre wall of bushes has been introduced between Magazine Beach and the Charles with no value except starving native animals.

▸ Part of the playing fields have been replaced for drainage to remove the poisons. It is sure to fail in severe weather.

Particularly telling is the choice of a chair.

The chair brags that he got his neighborhood Lorenz Park on Broadway. More than twenty 100+ year old trees on Cambridge Street were destroyed as part of the creation of this grassy area.

The buildings that were placed on top of those hundred year old trees should have been placed at Lorenz Park. It replaces two buildings which stood at that location for most of the last century.

The chair and friends have filed many “downzonings” with undisclosed fine print that limited or reversed their claims for the proposals.

Three examples:

Their first petition was named after the chair. He bragged about benefits listed on a particular page. I repeatedly pointed out that the next page proved his claims to be false. He never would look at the next page.

The most recent petition, fronted by his friends, destroyed open space requirements on the north side of Memorial Drive. The sponsors bragged that they increased open space requirements. The words were belied by undisclosed fine print.

His design review zoning has a provision which requires all submittals to obey the requirements of the zoning law. Then you discover that the developer can be exempted from any requirement in the section, INCLUDING the requirement to obey the zoning law.

The chair was the biggest single problem in my three downzonings of Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Central Squares.

In the first initiative, he and his friends demanded an upzoning by destroying first floor open space and first floor housing throughout the residential half of the area.

They claimed to be acting on behalf of a neighborhood association. They destroyed the initiative by making this false claim through half the consideration of the zoning petition.

The neighborhood association ultimately rejected the chair and his friends.

This outrage created the canyon on Bay Street. This outrage forced us to concede major parts of the petition because of the time spent responding to his rogue group.

This concession allowed one or more large buildings which the chair later condemned. Those buildings would have been illegal under the petition he killed and were made illegal under the petition we finally passed, after the fact.

Then there is the Inn at Harvard.

The chair falsely told the neighborhood group defending East Harvard Square: “You have made your deal with the City Council. Now you must negotiate with the Planning Board.”

He bullied major, unneeded concessions, but the group finally stood up to his outrageous falsehood. The group would not concede on the Inn at Harvard.

He almost got the Inn at Harvard constructed 72% larger, probably without grass.

The city council’s “congress” is yet another lie from environmental destroyers who keep on claiming that they are saints on environmental issues.

Looking at the unstated omissions, this “congress” is yet another con game.

The most important achievement will be the false impression that city councillors who, with their friends, are destroying Cambridge’s environment are saints on environmental issues.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


1. Day 389 at the Destroyed Nesting Area.
(a) Conditions.
(b) Actual visibility.
(c) More games from Cambridge.
a. Archie.
(1) Introduction.
(2) Board Comments.
(3) Archie’s comments.
(4) Balance of Meeting.
(5) Summary.
b. Bob.
(1) General.
(2) Urban Ring.
(a) Orange Line Spur to Longwood Medical Area.
(b) Green Line Spur to Harvard Allston.

Bob La Trémouille reports with a major contribution from Archie Mazmanian.

1. Day 389 at the Destroyed Nesting Area.

(a) Conditions.

Tuesday afternoon I did a visibility for the first time since the needlessly destructive work on the BU Bridge commenced.

I was immediately greeted by a State Police officer who was under the impression that I needed a permit to leaflet. I disabused her of that impression.

She next informed me that the location we have been using for 388 visibilities was illegal. That is also questionable based on the fencing, but it is very clear that there are no longer any pedestrians able to walk next to the goose meadow on the eastern side of the BU Bridge. Since pedestrians are the target of the fliers, I moved sign, leaflets and visibility to the western, Boston side.

Before moving, I observed the nature of the construction site, formerly the nesting area of the Charles River White Geese. It was quite clear that the vast destruction for parking that belongs under Memorial Drive was unnecessary.

The geese were crowded into the not yet destroyed southeastern corner.

(b) Actual visibility.

I did say hello to quite a few people and got good responses from drivers.

Actual contact is down because the rush hour is now after dark, and the rush hour is the ideal time.

(c) More games from Cambridge.

Tuesday evening, Cambridge conducted one of its usual con games. They are bragging of “healthy” playgrounds. I leafleted concerned their poisoned playground at Magazine Beach, and the reality of massive environmental destruction throughout Cambridge.

Electronic copies of the flier may be obtained by emailing me at

December 12 is Cambridge’s next con game: They, yet another time, are going to save the world just as long as their destruction of Cambridge is kept secret.


Ed: I have inserted sectioning in Archie’s report.

a. Archie.

(1) Introduction.

The Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting Tuesday evening (12/1/09) was well attended not only by its members but also the public. More importantly, Jeff Mullan, Secretary and CEO of the recently established MassDOT, was present. Mr. Mullan admitted to being by training and experience a highway man (in the good sense, of course) and that he needs to and will listen carefully concerning the Urban Ring, which he referred to as a regional transit project (about which more will be said later in this commentary).

(2) Board Comments.

After a brief presentation by Mr. Mullan, the discussion by CAC members was opened. However, the Chair had to prod members to speak. So a member from Somerville offered comments that included the concept of going directly to Phase 3’s light/heavy rail. The large room was very quiet and attentive. (Both Bob and I have from time to time expressed this view in varying ways.) Then other CAC members offered comments and questions that made clear the need for MassDOT and CAC to continue on with the Urban Ring.

It was pointed out by several institutional CAC members, especially from the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) and MIT, that development projects underway and planned in the Urban Ring corridor have assumed that Phase 2 would come about, as such projects would require and rely upon good public transit to provide economic growth for the Urban Ring corridor expected to result from such projects. (Notably, the voice of Harvard was not heard during this discussion.)

The public discussion and question period began ahead of schedule. Bob expressed his longtime view of a rail system that he may wish to add to this post.

(3) Archie’s comments.

My comments started with the word “Dithering” as descriptive of the Urban Ring over these many, many years. (This came to mind as Pres. Obama was scheduled later that evening to respond with his Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy that he had been reviewing for only a few, short months that Dick Cheney referred to as “dithering.”) I repeated my suggestion over the years that Phase 2 be skipped and go directly to Phase 3’s light/heavy rail, as suggested earlier by a CAC member; that there should be rethinking of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) technology for Phase 2 as it has not proven to be successful with the Silver Line except in its fully dedicated tunnel portion to Logan Airport; that Phase 2 as currently proposed fails to provide sufficient dedicated busways for the BRT 60-foot articulated buses. I also pointed out that the LMA cannot be properly serviced by Phase 2 with surface routes, that tunneling is required. I briefly raised concern with the Charles River crossing, especially if the BU Bridge is part of the route, pointing out that the current work on the BU Bridge will result in a permanent reduction from four (4) to three (3) lanes for motor vehicles.

(4) Balance of Meeting.

Other public comments stressed the long-term importance of public transit planning for the area and its economy. Stephanie Pollack of Partners was especially effective in this regard. And Mr. Mullan listened very attentively to what she said. Ms Pollack also pointed out that while the December 15, 2009 response of MassDOT to EOEEA is important regarding its intentions for the Urban Ring, it must be kept in mind that by March 31, 2010, MassDOT is to submit a detailed Notice of Project Change (NPC) to continue the MEPA process. Ms Pollack reminded all of the requirements of the consent order on environmental matters that the Urban Ring was a response to in order to reduce carbon emissions.

Ms Pollack also pointed out that the Urban Ring is not just a regional transit project because of its importance to the economy of the entire State. Hopefully Mr. Mullan will change his regional view of the Urban Ring.

(5) Summary.

So perhaps for now the Urban Ring is on life support. Mr. Mullan and his staff should be very busily engaged between now and December 15th with its required statement of intent regarding the Urban Ring. Following the upcoming holiday season respite, MassDOT and the CAC will have only a few months to come up with its NPC. Members of the public will also have to pay attention at upcoming CAC meetings to be in a position to submit comments on the NPC during its public comment period. Public transit is important to the region and the entire State economically and otherwise. Failure to address this surely will result in capacity problems for the radial lines in and out of the core in Boston. This is not the time for a “DO NOT RESUSCITATE” order. But it must be done right, without dithering.

b. Bob.

(1) General.

I was pleased with Mr. Mullan’s approach to the meeting and to the group.

I was not at all pleased to see the individual sitting to his right. This gentleman is a former Cambridge City Councilor who resigned in the last year or so to take his current job.

He ran as an environmentalist and proceeded to be part of Cambridge environmentally very destructive government.

He occupied a seat which has been “Harvard’s seat” for over a generation. Under the oddities of Cambridge’s election law, he was temporarily replaced by a non-Harvard person. The person who will now fill the seat is a grad student at MIT and Harvard. Interestingly, he publicly associated himself primarily with MIT.

(2) Urban Ring.

I supported the Notice of Project Change which has now been abandoned to the extent it emphasized buses in the northern part of the Urban Ring area while backing down on buses in the rest of the area. Buses can possibly make sense in the northern area. In the southern area (including most of Cambridge) it is a silly substitute for rail.

I gave two examples:

(a) Orange Line Spur to Longwood Medical Area.

The Longwood Medical Area consists of worldwide renown hospitals, notably Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital. BWH was referred to as Partners by Archie, above. This is a holding company which constitutes its partnership with Mass. General Hospital and others.

These hospitals have been pushing a very expensive buried busway which would have one real stop, at Longwood and Louis Pasteur, a point convenient to all three hospitals. At one end, the tunnel would go ALMOST to Ruggels Station on the Orange Line, and on the other end, ALMOST to Kenmore Station on the Green Line. It does go to Yawkey Station on the Commuter Rail.

I pointed out that I suggested the Kenmore Crossing for Heavy Rail as part of the rail proposal, the real proposal. I proposed it in 1986. It was adopted as an alternative by the MBTA in 1992.

I said that the LMA tunnel has been forced into the bus nonsense. It is silly for buses. Connected to Ruggles Station on one end and Kenmore / Yawkey Station on the other, it makes excellent sense as an Orange Line spur.

This construction would be a phase 1 of a new rail subway line linking all the subway lines and offering an alternative to going downtown.

Its phase 1 construction from Ruggles to LMA to Kenmore would provide excellent rapid transit service for LMA and Kenmore with excellent Green Line and Commuter Rail connections. In particular, it might give commuter rail people a very real alternate route.

The Kenmore Station, built under this initial phase, is the jewel of the Heavy Rail Kenmore Crossing with its connections to three Green Line branches, and to the Framingham/Worcester commuter rail.

(b) Green Line Spur to Harvard Allston.

I supported a route Harvard proposed a couple of years ago for connection of its new Allston campus to the rest of Boston while substituting an economic approach for Harvard’s very expensive approach.

Harvard proposed a Red Line spur coming out of Harvard Station to their Harvard Allston campus and then running by a very expensive “deep bore” construction under the Beacon Rail yards to the BU / Mountfort area, which is perhaps .2 mile southeast of the BU Bridge.

The proposal would require rebuilding of Harvard Station.

I said that the route makes sense. The method is way too expensive.

I proposed a Green Line spur coming off the Commonwealth Avenue Green Line branch at the BU Bridge, being constructed on air rights over the Commuter Rail, south of the Mass. Pike, going over the Beacon Yards and, after Cambridge Street, dropping down and proceeding cut and cover on the route Harvard proposed in the B School / Harvard Stadium area.

In sharp contrast to the Harvard proposal, connection to Harvard Station would be by a tunnel which still exists to Harvard Station and is unused. It runs from the Brattle Square busway entrance to the wall between Harvard’s Kennedy School and the Charles Hotel.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Representative Wolf responds on Monteiro

Bob reports:

On November 16, 2009, I printed a report concerning a filing of legislation by Representative Alice Wolf which seemed to relate to the Monteiro case, and concerning the City of Cambridge’s latest con game initiative on the environment.

The title was “Con games on Monteiro and the Environment?"

I commented:

“People talking about the outrages going on or planned on the Charles River commonly have reacted with the comment, or the equivalent: “They would never stoop so low.”

“The reason for this reaction is the non stop bragging from the Cambridge City Council and their friends about their holiness. Altogether too often, the claims of sainthood are not only false but exactly the opposite of reality.”

I characterized Representative Wolf’s initiative as “ambiguous,” the City of Cambridge’s initiative as a “very clear instance” of yet another con game.

My comments may be read at:

I have received the following email from Representative Wolf, sent late the evening of November 30:


"I happened to see your piece on Wolf and Monteiro.

“In case you are uninformed, I testified at both trials on behalf of Monteiro, largely around city government structural issues as requested by her lawyer.

“Alice K. Wolf
”State Representative”