Sunday, January 31, 2010

WHISTLING IN THE DARK? (Part V) ̵ Practical Aspects to Noncompliance

Archie Mazmanian Continues his Series on the Massachusetts Whistleblower Statute.


This series started on 12/18/09. I had expected to hear by now whether Cambridge is in compliance with subsection (g) of the MA Whistleblower Statute. [The Statute is available at - download and print it out for reference. Also, refer to Parts I through IV of this series.] But I have not heard back. Let’s assume that Cambridge is not in compliance. What is the impact of such failure upon an employee of the City of Cambridge?

When I last checked, all but one appellate court decision on the Statute were at the federal level. None of the appellate decisions I have reviewed discussed what happens if a MA governmental employer fails to comply with Subsection (g). But several of such decisions have denied recovery to a MA governmental employee for failure to provide in writing to the MA governmental employer complaints of the type contemplated by the Statute before commencing a lawsuit against the latter. Why? Because “public body” as defined in subsection (a)(3)(B) includes “ … any federal, state or local judiciary ….”

Subsection (c)(1) of the Statute would not prevent a MA governmental employer from taking retaliatory action against an employee if the latter “ … makes a disclosure to a public body unless the employee has brought the activity, policy or practice 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 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.” [Emphasis added.] (An exception to this requirement is provided under subsection (c)(2) discussed below.)

Recall that notices of the MA governmental employer required under subsection (g) of the Statute “ … shall include the name of the person or persons the employer has designated to receive written notifications pursuant to subsection (c).” So how can the employee comply with subsection (c)(1) if the employer has not complied with subsection (g)?

Subsection (a)(4) of the Statute provides a definition for “Supervisor” based upon the employment relationship of the employee “ … or who has been designated by the employer on the notice required under subsection (g).” What if the employee’s complaint under the Whistleblower Statute relates to conduct, etc, of the “Supervisor”? Might the policy behind the requirements of subsection (g) be thwarted by the failure of the employer to make the designation required under subsection (g)? Might the employee be placed in a “Catch-22” situation by such failure?

In effect, the MA governmental employee is between the rock and the hard place as a result of the failure of the employer to comply with subsection (g) of the Whistleblower Statute. While such failure does not deprive the employee of his/her rights under the Statute, it makes navigating its provisions risky without consulting with an attorney (which can be expensive). Might a MA governmental employer intentionally fail to comply with subsection (g) to frustrate an employee from taking any of the steps outlined in subsection (b)(1), (2) and (3) concerned with “activity, policy or practice in violation of law, or which the employee reasonably believes poses a risk to public health, safety or environment” because of the employee’s concern with retaliatory employment action?

Yes, there is an exception under subsection (c)(2) from the requirement to provide written notice under subsection (c)(1); but it would be risky relying upon an exception even with the advice of counsel in being assured that an exception would apply. (Again, such legal advice may be expensive.)

And there is a relatively short 2-year statute of limitations under subsection (d) of the Statute for the employee to commence a civil action seeking remedies for any retaliatory actions taken by the employer against the employee.

Let’s assume that despite the failure of the employer to comply with subsection (g) the employee provides the written notice pursuant to subsection (c)(1) to a supervisor to afford “the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice.” How long might that take? How may the supervisor react to the written notice especially if the employee’s written notice concerns that supervisor? Again, the employee may be placed within the rock and the hard place.

If the MA governmental employer had complied with subsection (g) of the Statute, perhaps the person designated by the employer “to receive written notifications pursuant to subsection (c)” would not be a direct supervisor of the employer. In the Towns of Arlington and Brookline, each has so designated its Town Administrator as such a person. Presumably there would be a good faith obligation on the part of such a designee to investigate the employee’s written notice, thus affording “the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice.”

Are the good employees of the good City of Cambridge between the rock and the hard place or is Cambridge in compliance with the requirements of subsection (g)? If anyone knows, I’m in the book in Brookline.

Cambridge is but one of the 350 MA municipalities required to comply with the Whistleblower Statute, in addition to the numerous MA state and county governmental employers. The Statute not only protects employees, it also protects the public which funds MA governmental employers.

[Note: I had thought that this series would be concluded with Part V. However, there are more aspects of the Whistleblower Statute that should be addressed. This is a statewide matter in the public’s interest. The letter and spirit of the Statute should be complied with by all MA governmental employers. So bear with me for a Part VI and possibly a Part VII.]

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This week’s Cambridge Chronicle, Fake “Cambridge Climate Congress”

1. Introductory. Chronicle, fake Congress.
2. Fake Climate Congress, Environmental Destruction at the Museum of Science, Reality.
3. Op Ed in favor of clean water.
4. Chronicle in context.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

1. Introductory. Chronicle, fake Congress.

This week’s Cambridge Chronicle could have been organized around a theme.

It published Marilyn’s “Cambridge Climate Congress” analysis in hard copy which it previously published on line and which we passed on to you a few days ago.

It also published my analysis which I will print in part 2. This analysis is also on line.

The real horror of the environmental situation in Cambridge comes from a gathering of outrages.

First of all, the city government is belligerently destructive of the environment, but the voters are strongly pro-environment. So the government does a lot of lying. They lie through fake initiatives which do everything except address the greatest environmental problem in Cambridge: the destructiveness of its governmental entities.

This latest “initiative” combines this factor with the organizational impressiveness of the destroyers in question.

The Cambridge Pols look like an organization which has been created over the past 35 years by two connected city managers. Floating within the organization are the organizations of the very destructive city councilors.

You put these people together and you see declarations of truth with frequently coincidental overlap with truth. The organization runs around spouting proclamations which commonly are nonsensical, but since they all say it, the poor voter only hears one story and that one story, whether true or not, becomes “reality” in Cambridge, MA.

People see the outrages and figure “They would not stoop so low,” based on the nonstop lies of environmental sainthood. The Cambridge Climate Congress, participated in by invitees only, fits the pattern to a tee.

2. Fake Climate Congress, Environmental Destruction at the Museum of Science, Reality.

I have previously responded to a piece of nonsense put out in behalf of the fake Cambridge Climate Congress as an op ed.

The Chronicle had an excellent photo of a row of beautiful trees destroyed, apparently by the state, in front of the Museum of Science. That photo was in the January 14 Cambridge Chronicle.

The Chronicle got a reply from the author of the op ed. The reply was published on line with the photo. I submitted the following letter. The Congress’ author’s reply was, as near as I can gather, pulled, and the following published in the January 21, 2010 Cambridge Chronicle” and on line.



RE: Letter: Destruction at Museum of Science in Context

A few weeks ago, the Chronicle printed an “environmental” op-ed on behalf of a group created by the Cambridge City Council.

The op-ed presented the group’s draft report.

The group was “neutral” on massive environmental destruction and heartless animal abuse.

The group was “neutral” on the destruction of hundreds of healthy trees and animal habitat on Memorial Drive. The group was “neutral” on the destruction of perhaps thousands of trees at Fresh Pond. The group was “neutral” on the pending destruction of the Alewife reservation and its animal habitat for flood storage that should be placed under a parking lot just north of the nearby tracks.

The group was “neutral” on the dumping of poisons on Magazine Beach to keep alive introduced grass which replaces green grass that survived most of a century until destroyed by their friends. The group was “neutral” on the heartless animal abuse being inflicted on the 30 year native Charles River White Geese as part of the bizarre projects on Memorial Drive.

The group supported the increase of funding for “new” open space.

The author of the group’s op-ed has communicated with the Chronicle in opposition to the destruction of a row of excellent trees on McGrath / O’Brien at the Museum of Science. The planners are going to replace those now destroyed excellent trees with saplings.

But, the destruction at the Museum of Science is EXACTLY what the Cambridge City Council and its friends in the state bureaucracy are talking about when they brag about “new” open space. That destruction is exactly what the destruction at Memorial Drive, Fresh Pond and Alewife is all about.

“New” open space is a euphemism and a lie describing exactly what is happening at the Museum of Science. “New” open space is a euphemism for heartless animal abuse.

But I am confident that the writer and the participants in this “environmental” gathering will not be able to understand.

They have been told that fancy buildings are all that counts. They have been told that it is inconceivable that their environmentally destructive controllers are environmentally destructive.

So, I am confident that we will continue to see the same people spouting pious in both directions. I am confident that those spouting pious in both directions will be totally unable to understand why their world is being destroyed.

And they WILL NOT look in a mirror while they are wondering.

3. Op Ed in favor of clean water.

On the op ed page was a treatise and photo. The second author of two authors was Ellen Mass. She created a group which she calls the Friends of Alewife Reservation. Since its creation (as described above), it has fought for the destruction of the Alewife Reservation. The group has close connections to the City of Cambridge and the Cambridge City Council.

Groups like this are very much too normal in Cambridge.

The treatise speaks out lovely about protection of the waterways in western Cambridge.

It is silent on the soon to come destruction of Alewife, and silent on the position of Ms. Mass with regard to that destruction.

It is silent on the ongoing destruction of perhaps thousands of trees at Fresh Pond.

It is silent on the ongoing poisoning of the Charles River and other continuing outrages there by Cambridge pols and state bureaucrats.

But is spouts in a very lovely manner on clean waterways.

4. Chronicle in context.

The fake Cambridge Climate Congress was scheduled to have its second and final session yesterday, Saturday, January 24. I do not believe the Cambridge Chronicle has ever done a story on it. The Chronicle is to be commended for that.

The letters page had four letters, two on Galluccio, and mine and Marilyn’s. The op ed page was the lovely ode to clean water.

I think everything on the front page has been published on line, but the on line presentation does not approach the impact given by the paper.

The front page above the fold is devoted to a large photo of a resident standing with her neighbor’s place in the background.

The article reports her fighting against the neighbor’s harboring two chickens and three ducks as pets.

The editorial page features a cartoon presenting Donald Duck, Daffy Duck and a chicken hawk from the same studio as Daffy. They are carrying signs. Donald’s reads: “Let us ducks live here!” Daffy’s reads: “Ducks are people too!” The chicken hawk’s reads: “I’m a chicken hawk. We need more chickens!”

In place of the editorial is a guest commentary on Haiti.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MassDOT initiates suspension of Urban Ring environmental review.

1. Introduction.
2. Archie’s report.
3. Bob.

Archie Mazmanian reports with editing and comments from Bob La Trémouille.

1. Introduction.

At the recent meeting of the Urban Ring Citizens’ Advisory Committee, MassDOT Chair / Secretary Mullan indicated an intent to end environmental review of Urban Ring phase 2, fancy buses. Secretary Mullan has followed up.

2. Archie’s report.

Jeff Mullan's 1/22/10 response to EOEEA has been posted at the Urban Ring website. It runs 5 pages and should be read with care by those interested in Phase 2 of the Urban Ring. The bottom line of the letter is that it "... suspends any further MEPA review on the Project and withdraws the Project from the Special Review Procedure." We'll have to await a response from EOEEA to get a better understanding of what such suspension and withdrawal will mean environmentally as MassDOT does proceed with certain portions of Phase 2 that will include Bus Rapid Transit.

Mullan's letter makes no reference to rail or to Phase 3. Nor does there appear that much will be done regarding the Longwood/Fenway area, which continues to expand with increasing traffic and transportation issues. While the letter talks about continuing the Citizens Advisory Committee role, conferring with stakeholders and ABC business and institutional members, no specific reference is made to how the public will be involved during such suspension and withdrawal from MEPA. This raises the issue of transparency, which of course is part of accountability.

Mullan's letter includes this: "Indeed, our analyses show that, if current trends are left unchecked, both the Green Line and the Red Line could be operating over capacity during the peak hour by the year 2030." Over the years I have heard transportation experts say, in connection with a real estate project's impact on traffic and transportation, that the roads have "capacity" for the project. I asked such an expert at a public meeting if "capacity" means just short of gridlock. The expert responded with a smile. Many riders of the Green Line and the Red Line might think that capacity will be reached much sooner than that for those Lines - and they're not smiling.

3. Bob.

Archie’s closing comments are of major importance.

The need to get people off the downtown portion of the Red and Green Lines during rush hour is the reason I have been working on this project since the mid-80's.

That goal cannot be achieved with less than a Heavy Rail urban ring subway line being constructed to connect the Rapid Transit spokes and give people a MEANINGFUL alternative to going into town.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Questions to and about the Cambridge Climate Congress

Marilyn Wellons sent the following letter on January 17, 2010, to the Cambridge Chronicle, which has posted it online.

To the Editor:

Will the Climate Congress yield any positive changes in city policies? Its Draft Recommendations call for some actions to undo what has led to the increase, not reduction, in carbon emissions since 2002. Most notable among these policies has been the ever more refined sacrifice of all other values to increasing the tax base and feeding the city's contractors. What may have passed for long-run strategy now stands as short-run perversion of the public good.

Exhibit A: In order to provide needed playing fields for our schools and youth groups--without taking property off future tax rolls--the city has paid to remove, then install, 7 acres of dirt and grass on state parkland at Magazine Beach. What are and will be the emissions of trucking and construction, the new chemically grown and maintained sod, the swales to try to keep its toxic runoff from the river?

The Climate Congress Draft recommends a "Holistic Land Strategy"--the "optimal integrated usage of green open space . . . . providing nature preservation for people and animals." Rather than increase such open space, the city destroys it.

Exhibit B: At St. James Episcopal Church in North Cambridge, the Planning Board and Historical Commission are allowing the congregation and a developer to build condos on the church's garden.

In addition to its value as a carbon sink, the garden and its mature trees are a public asset. A 1987 Preservation Restriction Agreement for $600,000 between the church and the Massachusetts Historical Commission and subsequent preservation funds have protected the structure, garden, and sight lines of the historic landmark. On January 7, 2010, the Commission Chair noted its ongoing eligibility for Community Preservation Act funds.

By the city's calculus, however, our very investment in historic preservation here is reason to allow the destruction. At the January 7 hearing, the Commission agreed that enough public money has been spent. And so the garden and sight lines will be destroyed for condos, to increase the tax base.

Exhibit C: Trees are carbon sinks until cut down, whereupon they become carbon emitters. At Fresh Pond, Vellucci Park, Harvard Motor Inn, Squirrel Brand, LBJ apartments, Cambridge pays contractors to cut down healthy trees and replace them with saplings. This policy appears in no calculation of our carbon footprint I've found.

What are the odds the Climate Congress can change the regime's perverted calculations? Any takers?


The Cambridge Climate Congress will meet on January 23, 2010, to consider Draft Recommendations from the December session. The final recommendations will be addressed to the City Council, calling for Policy Orders on the city's response to climate change.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Further Extension Requested on Urban Ring Environmental Document

Archie Mazmanian reports:

[MassDOT Commissioner / Secretary] Jeff Mullan's 1/15/10 "non-response" to EOEEA (available at the Urban Ring website) seeks an extension to January 22nd for MassDOT's letter of intentions concerning Phase 2 of the Urban Ring so that consideration can be given to the "thoughtful comments" provided by CAC members to a "draft response" Mr. Mullan shared with the CAC. Unfortunately, with respect to openness, the public has not been able to share in such "draft response" and such "thoughtful comments." So instead of punting as suggested in my commentary following the 1/11/10 CAC meeting, MassDOT has called a timeout.

[Ed: The meeting report may be read at]

Friday, January 15, 2010

Federal Moneys for Urban Ring Rail?

Archie Mazmanian reports:

1. Report.
2. Bob Response.

1. Report.

MassDOT Commissioner Mullan mentioned at the start of the 1/11/10 CAC [ed: Urban Ring Citizens Advisory Committee] meeting that he had just come back from meetings on transportation in Washington, DC, which he described as positive but did not provide details.

Yesterday's (1/14/10) NYTimes has an article on page A25 by Michael Cooper titled "Administration Loosens Purse Strings for Transit Projects" that starts with this:

"The Obama administration will make it easier for cities and states to spend federal money on public transit projects, and particularly on the light-rail systems that have become popular in recent years, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday."

I wonder if Mr. Mullan attended the DC meeting that discussed this. Recall his statement at the CAC meeting that money was not available for Phase 3 rail.

The NYTimes article makes no mention of Bus Rapid Transit, which under Bush/Cheney was a transportation favorite. I plan to follow up to determine the Obama administration's position on Bus Rapid Transit vis-a-vis light rail.

2. Bob Response.

Secretary Mullan was very careful to use the term “fixed rail” with regard to the “Phase 3" Urban Ring.

The Cambridge Pols and their stand ins can never understand anything other than “light rail.”

The environmentally destructive and inferior transportation wise BU Bridge fixed rail crossing is Light Rail. The Cambridge Pols have trouble understanding a lot of things when reality is contradictory to their goals.

The fixed rail alternative which makes sense from a transportation point of view, from an environmental point of view, from a Red Sox point of view and from a Longwood Medical Area point of view (especially the initial phase) is the Heavy Rail Kenmore Crossing.

I would hope Archie will look into Heavy Rail subway as well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

URBAN RING PHASE 1.5? Deemphasis of the Urban Ring effort.

Bob La Trémouille edits with some reporting.

1. Archie Mazmanian reports.
2. Bob Addendum.
A. Constructive Language.
B. Bus 66, Melnea Cass.
C. Partial Implementation by others?

1. Archie Mazmanian reports.

MassDOT Commissioner Jeff Mullan opened the January 11, 2010 Citizens Advisory Committee (“CAC”) meeting with enthusiasm for the future of rail in MA with the closing on the Commonwealth’s CSX purchase set for May, in combination with the potential for South Station and the South Postal rail project in the news recently. That of course is long range, perhaps long, long range, that will increase commuter radial rail lines from the suburbs into Boston, reducing motor vehicle travel on congested highways. And there should be money available for such rail projects.

But the primary purpose of this meeting was to address the situation facing Phase 2 of the Urban Ring project, with a January 15th letter of MassDOT’s intentions due to be provided to the EOEEA. (Visitors to this Blog may recall that MassDot had requested – and received – an extension of its earlier December 15, 2009 due date requirement.)

Apparently in response to comments made at the CAC meeting on December 1, 2009, regarding skipping Phase 2’s Bus Rapid Transit (“BRT”) System and going directly to Phase 3’s light/heavy rail, Mr. Mullan stated that MA will have money available for some bus improvements but not for Phase 3 rail. In effect, MassDOT plans to punt regarding its Phase 2 intentions by requesting suspension of the MEPA process as a whole to do some of the doable parts of Phase 2. At the same time, Mr. Mullan wants to keep the planning process going and to keep the Ring together, including the CAC.

CAC Chair Tom Nally made the point that “the devil is in the details,” suggesting that perhaps MassDOT might make available in advance a draft of its letter of intention to the CAC for input from its members, as perhaps the role of the CAC may change with suspension of the MEPA process. Mr. Mullan said he would promptly oblige.

Comments from CAC members were quite limited; in fact, there was mostly silence. Public comments were much more extensive, including those of an engineer who talked of “Fred’s Law” for major public projects, such as the “BIG DIG.” The “Fred” is of course Fred Salvucci. This engineer pointed out that the Urban Ring has been lacking, among other things, the leadership necessary to make the Urban Ring project successful. I would hope that this engineer might contact this Blog to provide details of “Fred’s Law.”

Bob made some comments that he will elaborate on below.

I focused upon Mr. Mullan’s statement that MA will have money for some Phase 2 bus improvements. I pointed out that Phase 1 had provided for some bus improvements; that Phase 2’s focus was upon the heralded BRT System with its 60-foot articulated BRT buses; that his concept of “bus improvements” might be considered a reversion to Phase 1; that perhaps his concept of “bus improvements” might be described as Phase 1.5; that by the time the MEPA process may be restored, the vaunted BRT System technology may become obsolete. I further commented that passengers of cross-town buses are treated like second-class citizens compared to those who use light/heavy rail for public transit.

What I failed to comment on was the apparent long range focus of MassDOT on commuter rail expansion to the suburbs that so enthused Mr. Mullan at the beginning of this meeting. This focus will benefit those in the suburbs in getting into and out of Boston. In the meantime, here in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, Everett, Chelsea and Medford, the Urban Ring’s compact communities, we get “bus improvements,” whatever that may consist of. The problems with the MBTA radial lines into Boston’s core will not be seriously addressed, whereas MassDOT has its eyes on commuter rail improvements and extensions to the suburbs. Is this fair?

I also failed to comment on what it will mean to suspend the MEPA process? Will public participation and oversight be thwarted by such suspension? For this we shall have to await EOEEA’s response to MassDOT’s upcoming January 15th letter of its intentions regarding Phase 2 (or Phase 1.5?).

By the way, in a partial response to my comments, Ned Codd stated that the BRT System technology would not become obsolete by the time if and when Phase 2 is back on track [but of course not rail!]. I neglected to counter this with the fact that a significant aspect of the BRT System technology is dedicated busways for its 60-foot articulated buses that would be limited at the many chokepoints along the proposed Phase 2 routes on narrow streets in the compact communities competing in mixed traffic.

So for Phase 2 it’s third down and long, and it looks like MassDOT will punt.

2. Bob Addendum.

A. Constructive Language.

The Cambridge Pols and bad guys in the bureaucracy use all sorts of dirty tricks to achieve their goals.

The Cambridge Pols and their intermediaries are fighting for the BU Bridge crossing of the Charles River in the ultimate REAL rapid transit phase. This is light rail, streetcars, as opposed to heavy rail, Orange Line / Red Line which would be used for the other possible Charles River Crossing, the Kenmore Crossing.

There is no transportation argument that I am aware of to prefer the BU Bridge crossing over the Kenmore Crossing, so they do a lot of lying. One lie was put out in meeting on the topic in Cambridge. They simply lied that the Kenmore Crossing was dead. The much dirtier and more consistent lie is to refer to real rapid transit as “Light Rail” and neglect to mention or just “not understand” that the only crossing of meaningful value, the Kenmore Crossing is Heavy Rail. Thus they fool well meaning people into supporting an option which has no transportation value.

Secretary Mullan used the term “fixed rail” for the meaningful phase.

I very strongly appreciate that term.

B. Bus 66, Melnea Cass.

Mentioned a couple of times in Secretary Mullan’s presentation were improvements to Bus 66, and to Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury.

Bus 66 runs from Harvard Square to Union Square, Allston to Brookline Village to Brigham Circle to Dudley Square in Roxbury.

Bus 66 goes by the Beacon Yards in Allston, which is on the north side of Cambridge Street. This site is owned by Harvard and looks like Harvard’s intended location for a relocated Harvard Medical School. The phase 2 package includes a bunch of bus proposals to service Harvard’s Allston campus.

On close questioning, the improvements would appear to be housekeeping type improvements to make the existing line work better without changing its route.

Melnea Cass Boulevard is the extension of the on ramp to/from Mass. Ave. to/from the Southeast Expressway / I93, connecting to Mass. Ave. just south of Boston Medical Center. The extension of the ramp, Melnea Cass Boulevard, starts by travelling west and then curves to the north, ending near Ruggles Station.

As part of the lesser efforts which will continue without formal Urban Ring name, the state will look into grade separated BRT buses on Melnea Cass.

C. Partial Implementation by others?

A gentlemen sitting near the CAC leadership discussed the Allston bus improvements and then asked if there would be any mechanism to prevent activities which would block parts of the Urban Ring proposal.

I responded that there is a building going in near Fenway Park which includes Yawkey Station on the Commuter Rail.

The Heavy Rail / Kenmore Crossing’s BIG advantage over the BU Bridge / Light Rail is a linking of three stations in this area. The Urban Ring Kenmore Station would be constructed under the Brookline Avenue Bridge above the Mass. Pike. It would connect to the existing Green Line Station at Kenmore and to Yawkey Station, thus providing excellent connections. It provides excellent service to Fenway Park.

The Light Rail crossing would move Yawkey Station to a location just east of St. Mary’s Street between Mountfort Street and the Mass. Pike, a block from Marsh Chapel, the heart of Boston University. This would be considerably inferior to the megastation created by the Heavy Rail / Kenmore Crossing.

That building with Yawkey Station clearly is a partial implementation of the Urban Ring Heavy Rail Kenmore Crossing. Clearly, there are a lot of ways to get around it, but the existence of that station as part of that building adds one more plus for the Urban Ring Heavy Rail Kenmore crossing.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Galluccio: Another judge condemns the Cambridge pols

Bob La Trémouille reports.

State Senator Anthony Galluccio, former Cambridge City Councilor and Mayor was sentenced to a year in jail today for violating the terms of his sentence of house arrest. I must assume the judge was correct in his interpretation of reality.

Galluccio flunked breathalyzer tests which were a condition of his house arrest. He blamed it on his toothpaste.

From my point of view, this is just another example of the corrupt world of Cambridge politics meeting reality.

While the Cambridge Pols are in Cambridge, “reality” as described by them, frequently has very major differences from reality in the real world of Cambridge, but they keep on spouting nonsense with great piety.

The Cambridge Pols' “reality” is reality which frequently has no real basis, but it passes as reality in a world dominated by people who do not want to know reality.

When you get into the real world, decent human beings have contempt for the corrupt, fake “reality” which is paraded about by the Cambridge Pols.

Galluccio’s judge joins Monteiro’s judge who joins the Boston Conservation Commission and, basically, joins pretty much any objective person looking at the ongoing outrages in Cambridge, MA who is not in sway of the Cambridge pols or in sway of people controlled by the Cambridge pols.

Monteiro’s judge and jury call the City of Cambridge “reprehensible” for destroying a woman’s life in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The Boston Conservation Commission has placed sanctions on the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation for environmental destruction on the Charles River which is considered normal by appointees of the Cambridge City Manager.

And the Cambridge pols call environmental destroyers “environmentalists.”

The Cambridge pols claim a government is pro civil rights which destroyed the life of Malvina Monteiro and which still refuses to respect the very sound decision by the Monteiro judge.

Decent people have contempt for politics as usual in the City of Cambridge.

That contempt is well deserved.


1. Introduction.
2. Report.
3. Prior Reports.

1. Introduction.

Archie Mazmanian proceeds with his series on the Massachusetts Whistleblower Statute, discussing tactics an employee might use to ensure compliance.

2. Report.

A MA governmental employee who is not aware whether his/her MA governmental employer is in compliance with subsection (g) of the MA Whistleblower Statute could check: (1) bulletin/notice boards of the employer at its various facilities used to post notices required by federal/state laws for its employees; (2) the employer’s website that might include an employee/personnel handbook; (3) written materials periodically (annually) distributed to employees. (The Statute is available at - download and print it out for reference. Also, refer to Parts I through III of this series.)

If such review/search does not reveal that the employer is in compliance, the employee might consider disclosing or threatening to disclose what appears to be a violation of law by the employer. The MA Whistleblower Statute would provide protection to the employee from retaliation by the employer affecting the employment relationship. But the employee might be concerned that any such retaliation might be so subtle and thus difficult to prove that this action might be too risky, sort of a Catch-22.

A less risky method might be by means of a public records request under the MA Public Records Law made by a concerned resident who is NOT a MA governmental employee. Such a request can be quite simple, focusing solely upon records of the MA governmental employer regarding its compliance with subsection (g) of the MA Whistleblower Statute. A response would be required within 10 days of the request. Any charges associated with the response should be quite minimal.

Compliance by the employer with subsection (g) is not complicated. See Part II of this series for suggestions. The employer could have notices contemplated by subsection (g) posted at appropriate bulletin/notices boards at its facilities, or at its website, or furnish copies directly to its employees with periodic distributions of other notices required by federal/state laws.

Transparency and accountability are required for good governance. In addition to the MA Public Records Law referenced above, there is the MA Open Meeting Law. While these laws serve the public well, certain conduct by public officials may not be readily subject thereto. Too often action by federal authorities is required to uncover alleged skullduggery by MA public officials rather than by MA public authorities.

Perhaps the MA Whistleblower Statute might serve to augment the MA Public Records and Open Meeting Laws. Combined they might be described as the “Political Trinity of Good Governance.” Sadly, the MA Whistleblower Statute does not seem to be in full force and effect in MA’s 350 municipalities and the many State and County offices/agencies included in the definition of “employer” in subsection (a)(3) of the Statute.

This Statute has been around since early 1994. Media in MA seem not to have paid much attention to the Statute. Why? One would think the Fourth Estate would be at the forefront with its investigative capabilities to explore the status of compliance with subsection (g) of the MA Whistleblower Statute by the many MA governmental employers. Isn’t it possible that if there had been timely compliance with the letter and spirit of the Statute by MA governmental employers, such might have served as a deterrent to some of the public scandals that have surfaced since 1994? It’s not too late for the media to follow up; letters to editors might serve to goose the media into journalistic action.

Maybe in due course whistling will be heard in the sunlight for all to hear.

[Part V of this series may serve as a wrap-up with potpourri commentary on the MA Whistleblower Statute.]

3. Prior Reports.

Prior reports may be founds as follows:

Report 1:
Report 2:
Report 3:

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Cambridge Climate Congress Con Game: Chronicle op ed nonsense

1. Introduction.
2. Short version of my comments.
3. “Position” of wife who did not identify her relationship.
a. Introduction.
b. Stated position.
c. Taken in context of her record.
4. Summary.
5. Name applied to con game.

Bob La Trémouille reports.

1. Introduction.

Cambridge’s “reprehensible” (quoting a civil rights judge) city government stays in power with a lot of smoke and mirrors, firmly based on a very large organization created by two related City Managers over the past 35 years.

One of the tools is controlled groups of “members of the public” who spout the party line.

It is always fascinating to observe this machine in action.

Usually the dirtiest stuff is kept strictly verbal. The organization has come out from under its rock in the Chronicle on line.

About ten days ago, the paper edition published the glorious account of a group with contempt for the environment loudly claiming to be saints. This was preceded by it being printed on line.

I have responded with multiple posts, but the wife of the original writer (never identifying herself as that) put in a shocking example of the manipulation of people minds by this “reprehensible” (love that judge) organization.

2. Short version of my comments.

I have posted a number of quite long comments in response to the official party announcement in the Cambridge Chronicle. The following is a shorter version:


The City Council’s "climate congress" has called for "significantly more dollars for open space acquisition."

This call is only meaningful if taken in context.

This "climate congress" combines this call for expenditures with "neutrality" on:

 The coming destruction of the Alewife reservation, trees and wildlife habitat, for flood storage that belongs 500 feet to the south.

 The ongoing destruction of perhaps thousands of trees and wildlife habitat at Fresh Pond.

 Soon to come, apparently with Obama moneys, destruction of hundreds of healthy trees and animal habitat on Memorial Drive.

 The ongoing dumping of poisons on Magazine Beach, replacing green maintenance which functioned very well on Magazine Beach for most of a century.

 The introduction of a starvation wall of introduced vegetation in place of native vegetation separating Magazine Beach from the Charles River. The native vegetation elsewhere bordering the Charles is destroyed twice a year. The bizarre wall simply grows. A long time representative of the bureaucracy has bragged that it starves the Charles River White Geese.

 The reduction of playing fields at Magazine Beach to build a drainage system to PARTIALLY drain off the poisons now being dumped on Magazine Beach.

 The ongoing and increasingly heartless abuse of the beautiful and valuable Charles River White Geese.
Taken in context the "climate congress"’s call for more money for "open space acquisition" is very distressing.

The Cambridge Pols have a name for a lot of the environmental destruction this "climate congress" supports through silence. The Cambridge Pols call this environmental destruction the creation of "new open space."

Cambridge pols claim they are providing "new open space" when they are providing environmental destruction aimed at existing open space. They juggle, destroy and lie that they are doing something positive.

In Cambridge government, there is no meaningful difference between "new open space" and the "environmental congress"’s "open space acquisition."

The "climate congress"’s call for "open space acquisition" has to be interpreted as calling for more of the outrageous environmental destruction its members consider normal and acceptable.

The net result to me is that the activities of the city council’s "climate congress" are a lot worse than a con game which did nothing.

In addition to or as part of the con game, this "environmental congress" supports more environmental destruction and more heartless animal abuse.

This "climate congress" advocates that much more destruction of our irreplaceable world.

Shame, shame, shame.

3. “Position” of wife who did not identify her relationship.

a. Introduction.

The basic con the Cambridge Pols use is the concept of “unity.” They demand “consensus.”

Consensus is an interesting concept. Its great defect comes when there are two very meaningful sides and one side is doing very terrible things, and wants to keep on doing very terrible things.

The concept of consensus gets even worse when the villains have the expertise and the well meaning people have none or very little.

This is the defining concept behind the Cambridge Pols organization. They reach a consensus in which the villains get what they want and the good guys get to declare victory.

b. Stated position.

The responses of the unidentified wife.

The unidentified wife objects to evaluating environment arguments based on concepts.

Her position translates as:

It is unfair to just object to massive destruction of trees. You are being judgmental.

It is unfair to object to dumping poisons of the banks of a river feeding sickly grass which replaces perfectly healthy grass which survived without poisons for the better part of a century. You are being judgmental.

It is unfair to object to heartless animal abuse aimed at beautiful animals who have value and are loved. You are being judgmental.

c. Taken in context of her record.

The wife claims to be fighting for open space where the Green Line Lechmere station stands.

Only after extended discussion do you learn that the DCR wants a new park to replace Lechmere station.

Her open space is a plaza between two massive buildings.

She neglects to mention that it is physically impossible and physically stupid to fill every square inch of a lot for a building.

So she brags as open space the plaza which simply has to be built on this lot as a matter of very minimal common sense.

Looks at what this woman brags about as creation of open space, the nonsense put out by her husband calling for creation of new open space is that much more outrageous.

4. Summary.

“Reprehensible” to quote the judge.

5. Name applied to con game.

I very strongly hesitate to quote terms used by the Cambridge Pols because the biggest part of the lies they toss to well meaning victims comes through fake terms they use to describe each outrage.

The fake terms routinely sound so good and are such big lies.

The name used for this outrage is: “Cambridge Climate Congress.”