Monday, November 29, 2010

Chuck Turner, Bill Walsh and the ethics of politics in Cambridge, MA, USA

For more than 15 years, I have done a weekly commentary on the Cambridge Environment on Cambridge Cable Channel 9 at 6:30 pm on Sundays.

This past Sunday, the show ahead of me, What You Should Know, was devoted entirely to a presentation by convicted Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner.

Councilor Turner told his side of his conviction on criminal charges stemming from his performance of responsibilities related to his office.

That struck me as very close to home, what with the oped I have had published in two installments in the Cambridge Chronicle, the judge and jury finding of reprehensible behavior by the Cambridge City Manager toward Malvina Monteiro, the failure of the Cambridge City Council to do anything other than spend millions defending the Cambridge City Manager, and the pretty much non stop nonsense coming out of the environmentally destructive Cambridge City Council that they are environmental saints.

So off the cuff, I devoted the first half of the show to my analysis of the interrelationships.

I compared the Turner situation to:

1. That of recently deceased and former Cambridge City Councillor William Walsh who was jailed for mortgage fraud charges unrelated to his responsibilities in office, and in which the sentencing judge praised Walsh for his commendable public service.

2. That of the finding of judge and jury in Monteiro v. Cambridge that Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy was “reprehensible” in destroying the life of a Black female department head in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint. Case is on appeal.

3. The failure of the Cambridge City Council to meaningfully review the Court’s decision in Monteiro, simply paying millions to defend the City Manager without getting independent legal opinion as to whether the City Manager should be fired.

4. The constant self adulation of the Cambridge City Council calling themselves environmental saints even though they are

A. Involved in massive environmental destruction and

B. Heartless animal abusers as part of a singular bizarre project.

I have waited a long time for the show to directly upload from my computer. It is taking so long, I think there is a serious glitch.

The title is: Ethics in Government: Turner, Walsh, and the Cambridge, MA, USA Government. The URL is It is also posted on the Charles River White Geese page on facebook.

Related YouTube postings are:

On the Monteiro case: City Manager Can be Fired,

On Cambridge’s environmental destructiveness and related: Cambridge, MA: Killing, rape, heartless animal abuse, destruction of park and river,

Please friend the Charles River White Geese on facebook, where detailed photos and additional information are also available.


This is our 500th blog posting. The email newsletter which preceded this blog got up into a distribution of more than 1300 and ran up to between 400 and 500 editions.

This milestone has a great deal of meaning because this video goes to the heart of perhaps the biggest problem in Cambridge politics and in the ongoing destruction of the environment of the Charles River and of the other wild parts of Cambridge.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Action on Monteiro - Late Appellate Brief

I have been reporting on the lateness of the filing of the brief in Appeals Court of the victorious plaintiff in Monteiro v. City of Cambridge.

This would be the primary document in support of Malvina Monteiro which would considered by the Appeals Court panel reviewing the appeal by the City of Cambridge.

We have had action.

On November 23, 2010, Cambridge filed a motion in opposition to any late or subsequent filing of her brief.

On November 24, 2010, Monteiro’s attorney filed a motion to extend the brief due date.

This case is of major importance with regard to the ongoing environmental destruction on the Charles River because the court orders below seem to indicate that the Cambridge City Manager should be fired. You fire the Cambridge City Manager, you fire one of the key environmental destroyers.

The findings of judge and jury are so strong, the superior court judge could very easily support an initiative by the Cambridge City Council to fire the City Manager without pension or golden parachute.

The key word used by the judge, and proved in her key opinion is “reprehensible.”

The key Superior Court opinion filed in this matter may be read at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Urban Ring Citizen’s Advisory Committee Meeting, November 22, 2010

1. Introduction.
2. Archie’s Report.
A. Main Report.
B. Addendum, November 27.
3. Editor’s Comments.
A. General / Background.
(1) Urban Ring Subway concept.
(2) Kenmore Crossing.
(3) BU Bridge Crossing.
(4) Brief comparison of alternatives.
B. Application. A victory for the Good Guys.

1. Introduction.

Archie Mazmanian and I attended the Urban Ring Citizen’s Advisory Committee meeting last Monday.

He, with my strong request, has submitted the following report.

I was doing my own report as well, including a long analysis of the program. We have links to such information on the site, my comments and Marilyn’s. Archie has done such a good job that I may just add a third section going into an aspect I consider important.

2. Archie’s Report.

A. Main Report.

I reluctantly attended the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting on Monday, November 22, 2010, on the Urban Ring Phase 2 (as it continues to slumber), since the Agenda provided in advance did not disclose items of interest regarding the proposed Charles River crossing on, over or under the Boston University (BU) Bridge that would impact Cambridge, Boston and Brookline as the busiest portion of what was planned as an integrated ring for much needed public rapid transit in and around Boston and environs. With Phase 2 in the doldrums, not much has been going on, with attention being focused on certain segments of the proposed Phase 2 routes that might not be problematic (as would in spades be the case with the Charles River crossing). It’s somewhat like the political cartoon that appeared prior to the founding of America depicting a rattlesnake cut up into 13 segments, one for each of the colonies, titled “JOIN, OR DIE.” Could the rattlesnake (Urban Ring) function or survive segmented? Imagine if All the King’s Horses (MassDOT) and All the King’s Men (CAC) could not put Humpty-Dumpty (Phase 2) together again over the many, many years CAC members may continue to gather and dither.

A number of handouts were provided at the meeting, including a copy of the screen for the new Urban Ring website, finally in place, at:

to which is to be transferred much of what was on the old website. [Note: After the meeting, I checked the new website and could not locate the important response dated June 22, 2010, from Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) Secretary Bowles in response to the January 22, 2010 letter from MassDOT Secretary Mullan; this response is quite important, as EOEEA had established the CAC several years ago and addresses the continuing role of the CAC as Phase 2 slumbers along.]

Much of the meeting dealt with an update of the Haul Road for the Phase 2 routes that include Chelsea and East Boston, plus an update on a proposed Silver Line extension to Chelsea, with various alternative all in living color that should be available on the new website for those interested.
This was followed by updates on Yawkey Station and Ruggles Station. The Yawkey Station is part of the proposed Rosenthal massive development near Kenmore Square that will include air rights over the MA Turnpike Extension. This development would impact for many years not only Kenmore Square but also Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue, all in Boston, with traffic and transportation issues that will also impact the Longwood Medical Area (LMA), Brookline, and Commonwealth Avenue from Kenmore to and beyond the BU Bridge; in turn, this will impact Cambridge because of the BU Bridge connection with Boston. And we are all aware of the issues with the BU Bridge as its lanes have been narrowed for repairs, etc, that may continue for a couple of more years. It was pointed out by a CAC member that Maitland Street, a short street between Beacon Street and Brookline Avenue, may prove to be a problem what with a Children’s Hospital proposed garage in the area of the Rosenthal project, unless steps are taken to address traffic and transportation issues that might be needed to coordinate with the Phase 2 routes from the BU Bridge crossing to the LMA, if and when those routes are finalized. Perhaps we might be looking ahead to near gridlock for several years, similar to the several years before Kenmore Square traffic could be restored to acceptable traffic conditions.

In addition to this Rosenthal project, the CAC has added Ruggles Station, which might better serve with improvements the nearby LMA. So, with Phase 2 segmented currently, the CAC has expanded its scope for Phase 2. Let’s hope the dots (aka segmented rattlesnake) can be reconnected over what may be a decade or more as memories of the Big Dig timeline may fade for some.

Item 6 of the Agenda consisted of “Other issues.” Some CAC members started to leave but were drawn back with reference to the Commonwealth’s recent purchase of the Grand Junction Rail Line (GJRL) from CSX and a recent proposal that the GJRL that runs through and from Boston under the BU Bridge to and through Cambridge might serve as a commuter line between Worcester and North Station. The Boston Sunday Globe 9/12/10 “Starts & Stops” featured Eric Moskovitz’s article “Little-used rail line a key link to Worcester” on this proposal for the GJRL.

This got everyone’s attention. My interest relates mainly to Phase 2’s proposed Charles River crossing via a viaduct from the GJRL bridge under the BU Bridge to Commonwealth Avenue in Boston for Phase 2’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system’s articulated 60-foot buses that would service Phase 2. Cambridge residents of course should be concerned with the impact upon that community of such a commuter line passing through currently crowded areas of Cambridge. It was reported that there is currently proposed a potential ridership study to determine the economics of such a commuter line with the obvious capital costs involved. For some the interest is the connection to North Station and perhaps an eventual link between North Station and South Station, a long-time rail transportation dream in Boston supported by Gov. Dukakis. It was stressed that this is a study and much would have to be done and determined, particularly economically what with financial constraints, before proceeding further.

It was pointed out that the GJRL would have to continue as rail despite the sale by CSX to accommodate shipments of produce, etc, as in the past over the GJRL. During the public comment and question period, I made reference to the proposed two lanes for BRT buses that would augment the GJRL under the BU Bridge that then via a viaduct would rise above the tracks on the Boston side and eventually connect with Commonwealth Avenue for the proposed Phase 2 route to the LMA and inquired how that would be coordinated with the need to keep the GJRL as rail under the BU Bridge. The response of the CAC Chair was that the two BRT lanes would be separate from the rail line under the BU Bridge, pointing out that he had checked the former Urban Ring website that includes such a plan. Although I did not respond at the time, it is important to note that because Phase 2 continues in limbo, EOEEA has not made environmental determinations concerning the Charles River crossing as yet. There may be very serious environmental issues with the suggested augmentation of the GJRL bridge under the BU Bridge that would have to be addressed; these issues would become even more serious if the Worcester/North Station commuter rail were to result.

The next CAC meeting date was not set but it was indicated that it most likely would take place in about two months. While I plan to attend, having recently become an octogenarian, life may be too short for me to continue much further. Hopefully there are potential monitors out there on both sides of the Charles River who will pay attention to Phase 2’s proposed Charles River crossing and its impact upon their communities. And such monitors should not forget the elephant in the room, Harvard University, with its slumbering potential development of hundreds of acres in Allston (including air rights over rail yards) that might be serviced by Phase 2 of the Urban Ring. Such development by Harvard might emulate – and exceed – the Prudential Center that was developed quite extensively over rail lines.

A major issue to be considered by the CAC and residents of Phase 2 area communities impacted by the Urban Ring is whether addressing Phase 2 in segments may be appropriate and/or effective. Perhaps the survival of the Urban Ring, whether Phase 2 or Phase 3 (yes, Virginia, there may yet be a Phase 3!), may be better depicted by the aforementioned “JOIN, OR DIE” political cartoon. A potential future monitor with art skills might draw a similar cartoon for the segmented Urban Ring as a reminder.

Archie Mazmanian

B. Addendum, November 27.

I took another look at the new Urban Ring website referenced in my earlier comment and noted at the right hand side a link to the 1/22/10 letter from MassDOT Secretary Mullan to MEPA (E0EEA) but no link to EOEEA Secretary Bowles' response of 6/22/10. Why? I had brought this to the attention of MassDOT a month or so ago with respect such response being missing from the old website. A follow up review of the old website a week or so ago resulted in locating Secretary Bowles' response; but it was not linked in the same section as Secretary Mullan's letter, making it difficult to locate. To better understand the present status of the Urban Ring and its Phase 2, it is critical that Secretary Bowles' response be prominently posted on the new website.

3. Editor’s Comments.

A. General / Background.

(1) Urban Ring Subway concept.

The long run key impact on the Charles River stems on which route will be used to cross the Charles for the Subway line that should really be the main topic.

The BU Bridge Crossing would cross just east of the BU Bridge and be highly destructive to the environment of the Charles and the Charles River White Geese.

The Kenmore Crossing would cross west of the Mass. Ave. Bridge which is the next bridge east of the BU Bridge.

The Kenmore Crossing would use meaningful “heavy rail” rapid transit as opposed to street cars in the BU Bridge crossing.

The purpose of the Urban Ring subway is to get people off the downtown subway by providing a viable alternative. It would connect to the Orange Line (Community College / Sullivan) and Red Line (Kendall) in the northern part of the line and to the Longwood Medical Area and Orange Line (Ruggles) in the southern end.

Between the two would be the crossing of the Charles River, links to the three Green Line branches, link to the commuter rail, and link to Fenway Park.

(2) Kenmore Crossing.

The Kenmore Crossing accomplishes all of these tasks with one station.

It would be placed under Brookline Avenue over the Massachusetts Turnpike. One end connects to the Commuter Rail to Worcester and Framingham at Yawkey Station. The other end connects to the existing Kenmore Station and all three Green Line branches. It provides covered connection between and among all connecting lines.

(3) BU Bridge Crossing.

The BU Bridge Crossing does this with two stations. One station is at Mountfort Street and St. Mary’s, within view of the core of the BU Campus, Marsh Chapel. It would connect to the northern most Green Line Branch, the B / Boston College branch by a tunnel under St. Mary’s to the southern sidewalk of Commonwealth Avenue. People would cross Commonwealth Avenue in the weather using traffic light protection to get to the Green Line inbound and to Branch B outbound.

Commuter rail would connect to Mountfort Station by dropping people at a relocated Yawkee Station. Commuter Rail would connect to the Green Line inbound by the tunnel. Commuters during the morning rush, with very large trains, would thus be dumped on one of the three line branches instead of at Kenmore where all the branches get together.

Urban Ring passengers and Commuter Rail passengers going outbound on Green Line branches C and D would proceed to a separate Urban Ring station about two blocks away between those two branches.

(4) Brief comparison of alternatives.

Fenway Park connections would be far inferior both for Urban Ring and Commuter Rail passengers.

The use of streetcars in the BU Bridge Crossing, alone, makes it far inferior to the Kenmore Crossing. The idea is to get people off the central subway. That will not be done with street car speeds.

This, combined with these far inferior connections on the BU Crossing makes the BU Crossing far inferior to the Kenmore Crossing with its heavy rail and excellent connections at Kenmore / Yawkee.

B. Application. A victory for the Good Guys.

During the presentation of the study of possible Worcester / Framingham trains on the Grand Junction, through the nesting area of the Charles River White Geese, one of the usual types encouraged the presenter to consider the impact of the proposal on the BU Bridge Crossing.

We had just had an extended presentation on the rebuilding of the Yawkee Station with, I think $20 million or something like that. The location would be its current location, exactly the spot which would be used by the excellent Kenmore Station in the Kenmore Crossing.

The usual type somehow did not notice that a choice has been made between the BU Bridge crossing’s inferior Yawkee Station and the Kenmore Crossing’s excellent Yawkee Station in favor of the Kenmore Crossing.

I commented that the study person should also look at the Kenmore Crossing.

Will the state trash the Fenway Park connections and excellent transportation connections they have just paid $20 million to lay the groundwork for and go forward with the inferior BU Bridge crossing rather than the Kenmore Crossing?

Are Harvard, BU, MIT and the City of Cambridge willing to pay that tab to push their beloved but drastically inferior BU Bridge crossing?

In Cambridge, there are a lot of people running around who look like friends of the Cambridge City Manager / City Council who have no interest when reality conflicts with the official Cambridge version of reality.

The official Cambridge version of reality has taken a very big hit on the Urban Ring with the $20 million construction of Yawkee Station where it fits into the Kenmore Crossing alternative of the Urban Ring.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monteiro attorney apparently late in filing Appeals Court Brief

The brief of Malvina Monteiro in Monteiro v. City of Cambridge was due in the Appeals Court on November 16, 2010. That due date appears to have been missed.

The case was filed in Appeals Court on July 16, 2010. This was an appeal by the City of Cambridge from a Superior Court decision in which the judge wrote a very persuasive memorandum of decision. In her memorandum, she called and seemed to prove the Cambridge City Manager “reprehensible” for destroying the life of this Black Cape Verdean department head in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The jury decision awarded Ms. Monteiro slightly over $1 million damages plus $3.5 million penal damages. As of May 24, 2010, this award had grown to slightly over $6 million with various costs and interest charges.

After one extension, Cambridge filed its appellate brief on September 10, 2010. Ms. Monteiro was granted an extension to November 16, 2010.

The public docket entries are marked accurate as of November 24, 2010.

They show a motion by Cambridge to amend the papers of record which they have filed. This motion was filed on November 16. The docket also shows the appearance of a new attorney for Cambridge on November 18.

An overworked staff frequently can swallow documents and fail to update the docket, and then suddenly, a fair amount of time later, you suddenly see a filing quite awhile ago.

You know as much as I do.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Update on destructive bicycle nonsense from Cambridge

My report on Cambridge’s anti-bicycle bike proposal for Western Avenue in Cambridge (November 6) may be read at

Western Avenue becomes the Western Avenue Bridge, the second bridge west of the BU Bridge. The proposal ends at Memorial Drive and is apparently intended to link to one of the most environmental destructive initiatives on the Charles River.

Joseph Teller’s response (November 9) is posted at:

I have just learned that the official version is posted at:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monteiro Brief at the Appeals Court

Bob reports.

I just checked the docket again.

The does not show a filing yet of the Monteiro appellate brief. It was due 11/16/10. There is a notation at the bottom of the page, “As of 11/18/2010 02:02."

I anticipate that the brief has been filed and is in processing. This is a large document. This delay in posting, however, makes me feel better with regard to my prior reports of documents being filed. I had wondered how I had missed various postings for several days. A paper filed by Cambridge on 11/16/10 is posted, but I anticipate the brief simply is being processed, and the brief would be a lot larger than the Cambridge paper.

Walsh and the Cambridge City Council, last post?

1. Introduction.
2. Letter completing op ed, etc.

1. Introduction.

On October 21, 2010, I posted a proposed Cambridge Chronicle on this blog at Included in that posting was a link to an on line posting by the Chronicle.

Oddly, the following week, the op ed was partially printed by the Chronicle (and the omission reported here). It was cut because of lack of space.

The following week, a nasty anonymous response was printed by the Chronicle.

Yesterday, November 18, the Chronicle printed almost all of the following on page 15, the op ed page.

The beginning responds to Anonymous. The end attempts to summarize. The final word was not printed, although there did seem to be room for it.

2. Letter completing op ed, etc.

Cambridge Chronicle

I have provided you the Walsh appeal decision which confirms facts quoted by you in my op ed.

An anonymous writer seems to think there is some sort of great ethics involved in the Walsh Law Firm having a bunch of employees who were convicted of crime and who kept out of actually being jailed by testifying against their boss. Anonymous has interesting ethics.

The following final third was omitted by you from the op ed you printed over my name:

“Walsh had his right to take his full appeals on matters which had nothing to do with Cambridge city government.

“In the Monteiro case, the City Council is implementing Walsh’s private mentality in the public sphere. Walsh played games with mortgages in a corrupt system in which a wink and a nod were part of the culture. Walsh was never as venal as the finding of the Monteiro judge against the Cambridge City Manager.

“The Malvina Monteiro matter shows the reason why state ethics laws which require the expulsion from office without pension for criminal venality in office should be expanded by the judge with city council initiative to the situation where the Cambridge City Manager has been found, in office, to have destroyed the life of a black, Cape Verdian city employee because she exercised her rights under civil rights law.

“The Monteiro case is not a matter when the Cambridge City Council is sitting back and watching while a miscreant defends himself for outside behavior. The Monteiro case is a matter in which the Cambridge City Council is spending millions defending the miscreant in spite of a brilliant and persuasive opinion by the judge in the case. The Monteiro case is a matter in which the Cambridge City Council is failing to exercise its duty to protect our employees and our government from behavior which a persuasive judicial opinion has called ‘reprehensible.’

“So I praise Bill Walsh for his commendable public service to the City of Cambridge.

“I condemn the current Cambridge City Council which continues in office a city manager persuasively demonstrated as ‘reprehensible’ by judge and jury for destroying the life of Malvina Monteiro.”

My op ed was an integrated whole.

I have very strong knowledge of Walsh’s personal problems.

In spite of that knowledge, I have greater respect for Walsh as a public servant than I do for the current city council. Period.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Boston ConCom hearing on the MWRA Cottage Farm sewage treatment plant

1. Marilyn’s Report.
2. Bob Response / Elaboration.

1. Marilyn’s Report.

Marilyn Wellons attended the Boston ConCom's hearing on November 17,2010:

The Commission issued a Certificate of Compliance for MWRA work done in Boston on one of three sewer pipes under the river that connect to the Cottage Farm plant by the BU Bridge. The work finished in 2009.

Previously 2 of the 3 pipes led from Cottage Farm to another plant in Boston and ultimately to Deer Island. Flow in the long-unused third pipe was from Boston to Cottage Farm. The work was to reverse that flow, so that all 3 pipes now channel sewage treated at Cottage Farm to the next station in Boston.

It was part of the ongoing court-ordered cleanup of Boston Harbor and the Charles River. Municipalities along the Charles have spent more than $60M so far to separate sanitary and stormwater sewers that have previously been combined (CSOs).

In heavy rains CSOs discharge both stormwater and sewage into, e.g., the Charles River, Alewife Brook, and of course Boston Harbor itself, polluting them. Some CSOs still drain stormwater to Cottage Farm, but as I understand it, the ultimate goal is to have only sanitary sewers drain to it. The project increased Cottage Farm's capacity to treat and pump sewage, to reduce its overflow discharges into the Charles in such storms.

Because the goal is to separate sanitary and stormwater sewers, the MWRA would not have allowed a new connection for stormwater from the BU Bridge to connect to Cottage Farm--unlike the situation at the Cambridge Boat Club, where the sanitary sewer was allowed to tie in to it.

(The MWRA official I spoke with after the Boston ConCom hearing wasn't able to say why the BU Bridge's new stormwater system could not have connected to either Cambridge's or the DCR's own stormwater drains at Brookline Street or along Memorial Drive.)

The increased capacity at Cottage Farm may explain why Lake Pearl Street drained easily through Kathy Podgers's basement into the sanitary sewers, but Cambridge's stormwater system was overwhelmed in the July 10 storm this past summer.

2. Bob Response / Elaboration. Major angle in the sewer separation project.

Thank you Marilyn for the good report.

A few weeks ago, I reported on a decidedly bizarre bike arrangement planned by Cambridge for Western Avenue intersecting Memorial Drive two bridges to the west of the BU Bridge.

During that meeting, the July 12 flooding and the separation of sewers and storm water drains was also discussed. Presentation was by the City Engineer.

The City Engineer specifically stated that a repeat of the flooding of July 12 WOULD NOT be prevented by the ongoing upgrading / separating of the sewer and street drainage system. He stated that the one hour level of downpour was way beyond reasonable capability of the system.

He also added a point that I have never heard before.

He specifically stated that, while the separation will prevent the sewerage system from overflowing into the storm drainage pipes, the opposite is not true. Street drainage will overflow into the sewer pipes if the street drainage system is overloaded.

That overflow of street drainage into the sewer pipes was a major problem on July 12 in a favored establishment of mine on Mass. Ave., The Cellar. This neighborhood bar is in the basement of the building, on the north side of Mass. Ave. They had repeated problems with the sewerage system pumping waste into their establishment.

They controlled it and apparently kept the overflow into a limited part of the bar, but this will happen again under the separation project, and I assume others had similar problems.

Urban Ring Citizens Advisory Committee Meeting

Archie reports that the state is conducted an Urban Ring Citizens Advisory Committee meeting this coming Monday, November 22, from 4 to 6 pm at Conference Rooms 2 and 3 in the Transportation Building in Park Square.

I normally enter the building from Boylston Street down what is now an alley in the middle of Emerson College, just east of Charles Street facing the Boston Common. The building also has another more formal entrance off Charles Street just south of Boylston facing Park Square.

The Urban Ring was planned as a connecting subway line to allow folks to travel between outer portions of the existing subways without going downtown.

It has more recently been converted by the bureaucracy into fancy buses. A bunch of the possibilities are highly destructive to the Fenway area, the Charles River, Cambridge and the Charles River White Geese.

The group has been converted into an existing / non existing status but the meeting could have value.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monteiro Update

The appellate brief of Ms. Monteiro was due yesterday, November 16. Those dates are not missed and there commonly is a delay in posting. The filing has not been posted yet.

Cambridge did file a motion on November 16 to amend the papers it has filed demonstrating the record below.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boston Conservation Commission on MWRA at BU Bridge

1. Report.
2. Marilyn Comments.
3. The notice.

1. Report.

This coming Wednesday, at 6:30 pm, the Boston Conservation Commission will conduct a hearing concerning the Massachusetts Water Resources Commission “Cottage Farm/Brookline Connection and Inflow Controls Project, Soldiers Field Road, Charles River, Boston”.

Our initial impression was that it concerned the oil spill that occurred earlier this year because of, it would appear, sloppy work by a delivery person.

On rereading the below notice, however, it could concern work that was done on the Boston side just west of the BU Bridge.

If you are interested, the Boston City Hall entrance used is in the back end of Boston City Hall facing Faneuil Hall. The entrance is at the ground level not too far to the Cambridge side of the big stair well coming down from the plaza in the direction of Faneuil Hall.

This was quite major work. The DCR apparently coordinated major environmental destruction in what was wildlife habitat to the west.

2. Marilyn Comments.

If the hearing's in Boston it's not I think about the oil spill, which was on the Cambridge side.

Some years ago MWRA announced they were changing the configuration of pipes to and from Cottage Farm on the Boston side. This must be a hearing at the end of that project.

As we know, at the BU Bridge, the DCR has opted for the stormwater system that most damages public parkland at the White Geese's nesting area, rather than tie in to the MWRA's, Cambridge's, or its own adjacent sewers. It may have been possible to combine it with the MWRA's work now finishing up, with attendant savings.

3. The notice.

In accordance with the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, M.G.L. Chapter 131, Section 40, the Boston Conservation Commission will hold a public hearing in Boston City Hall, Room 801 on November 17, 2010 to review the following projects to determine what conditions, if any, the Commission will impose in order to protect the interests of the public and private water supply, ground water, prevention of pollution, flood control, prevention of storm damage, protection of fisheries and land containing shellfish, and protection of wildlife habitat:

6:00 PM Enforcement Order issued to Cedar Grove Cemetery for work conducted in areas subject to protection under the Wetlands Protection Act without a valid Order of Conditions, 920 Adams Street, Dorchester.

6:15 PM Update from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Order of Conditions DEP File No. 006-0647, issued for the construction of a water transportation docking facility adjacent to 500 Atlantic Avenue and Russia Wharf, Fort Point Channel, Boston.

6:30 PM Request for Certificate of Compliance for Order of Conditions DEP File No. 006-1142 from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority for the Cottage Farm/Brookline Connection and Inflow Controls Project, Soldiers Field Road, Charles River, Boston.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walsh 2

Bob La Trémouille reports.

1. General.
2. Detailed communication.
3. Citation.

1. General.

Not surprisingly, my op ed concerning William Walsh has received an anonymous response which got printed and which impugns my integrity.

You will recall that a significant part of the op ed was omitted. I attempted to at least get my final praise for Walsh printed. There have been no elaborations in response to my request.

2. Detailed communication.

I have just, on November 11, 2010, sent the following to the Editor of the Cambridge Chronicle.


Cambridge Chronicle

In the Chronicle of November 11, 2010, you published an unsigned statement calling me a liar and stating that nobody in William Walsh’s office other than Walsh was convicted of crimes in association with Walsh’s jailing.

This anonymous statement very clearly communicated that there were no ethical problems in the Walsh Law Office other than with Walsh. My recollection is that there were at least two other convictions, both lawyers. I in now way ascribed the deficiencies of these people to every member of the Walsh law office at the time.

The following is taken from a judicial opinion concerning Walsh. I am providing documentation of one conviction because that is adequate to refute the claim of no convictions and no other ethical problems.

I am directly copying and pasting. I have omitted irrelevant procedural words in the beginning of the opinion and the opinion before paragraph 34 and after paragraph 37.

Please note that Schwartz is described as a senior attorney in the Walsh office, one of several codefendants with Walsh, who pleaded guilty and testified against Walsh. According to the judge’s findings, another co-defendant who plead guilty testified as to directions from Walsh which rather clearly describes directions to members of his office.


United States of America, Appellee, v. William H. Walsh, Defendant, Appellant
United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit. - 75 F.3d 1
Heard Oct. 3, 1995.Decided Jan. 23, 1996

Opinion of BOUDIN, Circuit Judge.

Walsh's brief raises two further issues, both unrelated to juror X. The first claim relates to the government's admitted failure to turn over certain documents in a timely fashion. The documents related to Frances Schwartz, a senior attorney working for Walsh who was assigned to the three development projects involved in this case. Schwartz was indicted with Walsh and was one of the co-defendants who pled guilty to the conspiracy count and testified against Walsh at trial.

On direct examination, Schwartz gave damaging testimony against Walsh. In addition to identifying a number of documents and describing the operations of Walsh's office, Schwartz testified to discussions and correspondence with Walsh that--as recounted and interpreted by Schwartz--confirmed Walsh's knowing participation in and direction of the fraud. Schwartz' testimony was thus quite damaging, although another co-defendant who pled guilty also testified that Walsh knowingly directed the concealment of the secondary financing.

Early in her cross-examination, Schwartz mentioned that she had "daytimers" or calendars that she had used to refresh her recollection. Later, on re-cross, she mentioned that she had allowed the government to review the daytimers and make copies of them. The defense immediately objected that it had never received the daytimers. The government said that these daytimers should have been disclosed earlier but had been overlooked when other materials from Schwartz had been made available to Walsh's counsel. Copies of the daytimers were provided to the defendant later that day.

Following a timely motion by Walsh to dismiss the case because of this delay, the trial court denied the motion, finding that Walsh's strategy would not have been substantially different if the daytimers had been disclosed earlier. The court instructed the jury that the government had failed in its discovery obligation, and it allowed Walsh to recall Schwartz to continue her examination, using the daytimers to try to establish inconsistencies between Schwartz' prior testimony and the daytimers. Walsh now complains that this was inadequate.


Now, please, you omitted the end of my OpEd, which very strongly watered down my problems with Walsh and said that, as a member of the Cambridge government, I commend Walsh and condemn the current incumbents. As a public person, Walsh’s ethics were impeccable.

My position is that I am deeply familiar with the shortcomings of William Walsh in his private life, but as far as public life goes, I prefer Walsh by a wide margin to the current city council.

Would you please correct your omission in some manner.

Thank you.

3. Citation.

I sent the following not long later as a second communication.


Cambridge Chronicle

The quote I just gave you came from:

A Visit to the Goose Ghetto

Bob La Trémouille reports.

1. Report.
2. Ellen Schloss comments.
3. Response to Ellen.

1. Report.

Yesterday, November 10, I showed an interested person the situation with regard to the Charles River White Geese.

A lot of them were huddled under the tree where they had been hiding on the day their nesting area was destroyed. It was definitely not a spirited group.

They wandered under the trees in the mud left from the state’s destruction of ground vegetation.

Many more than usually would be were at the top of the hill toward the Grand Junction railroad tracks. This area has been unused in the past except during nesting. The ganders go up there to strut for the hens.

But there is no place else.

Another visitor produced a large plastic bag full of goodies for the Charles River White Geese. He said that local markets are quite helpful.

I have been aware of past contributions by Trader Joe’s, by the Coop in Central Square and by the wet shelter up the Grand Junction. They are good people in the world of a bad city government.

The actual numbers of the gaggle, not doing a count, would appear to be less than in the past. That is not at all surprising considering the heartless cruelty being inflicted on them.

Work, including permanent work has been done at the entrance toward the Memorial Drive / BU Bridge rotary.

This entrance was illegally created by BU and the DCR in 1999 as part of that outrage. Fencing which had kept the area wild and safe was torn open and access stairs and a ramp installed, here and a wooden stair with metal rail at the eastern end.

Marilyn Wellons had a meeting with the State Senator at that time. She complained about the destruction and mentioned that fencing had been left. She intended and wished that the fencing be put back where it had been. In front of her, the state senator got on the phone and promised that the situation would be corrected. The fencing was promptly removed.

The work commenced in 1999 with construction equipment entering the nesting area the morning BEFORE a scheduled Cambridge Conservation Committee meeting on the work. It was completed before the first day on which it could legally commence.

Boston University denied doing the 1999 work for something like six months, until the Cambridge Conservation Commission condemned them for it. Then BU started bragging about the destruction and blamed their President’s secretary for the false denials.

The work I saw yesterday was as follows:

The 1999 stair case at the rotary was barely visible, buried and hidden in construction access. The ramp created then had been totally obscured with a dirt roadway.

The sidewalk at the rotary has been widened, space taken from the roadway. The widening ends a few feet onto the on ramp so that there is a bump out at the rotary.

2. Ellen Schloss comments.

Geez Bob these Cambridge officials really suck don’t they? When will they be replaced with people that have hearts?

3. Response to Ellen.

The big problem with Cambridge officials and the state officials with whom they are in bed is that the Cambridge pols do such effective lying about themselves.

Among other things, they loudly lie that they are pro environment and fool people into thinking they would never stoop so low.

The technique is to brag about things which have next to no value and frequently are really in the wrong direction while keeping the outrages as quiet as possible.

This is combined with massive organizations, especially supposed interest groups created in concert with the City Manager’s people. These supposed interest groups give a commonly false impression that they are independent of the city. The groups normally squelch meaningful activists as much as they can, and keep quiet the outrages while publicizing the city’s “beneficial” activities.

It is a house of cards. A lot of people involved in keeping a concerned public down.

The outrage on the Charles is one of the very major weaknesses.

The fact that the City Manager should be fired in response to the decision of judge and jury in the Monteiro case is another major weakness.

The numbers are highly distressing. The only member of the city council who, in my opinion, has possible redeeming attributes is Mr. Cheung. A very major factor in this is that he has not been around long enough to earn a negative feeling. His vote on the sign changes was definitely not encouraging.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Western Avenue neighbor on Western Avenue project

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Joseph Teller has responded to my report on the bizarre anti-bike construction coming on Western Avenue in Cambridge and stretching to the Charles. He, essentially, agrees on the portion of my comments restricted to Western Avenue. He adds some good information.

My comments are posted at:

Joseph responds:


We complained about these possible problems at the public meetings and they said that a solution would be worked out, but that there was no plans for sidewalk plows to be purchased (as is used in other cities) nor to have a contractor with such. They implied at the meetings that they assumed no one would be bicycling in the winter months, a clear lack of understanding on their part.

I gave up going to the meetings since the designer was ignoring any and all problems that didn't meet his vision. Public input was pretty much ignored regarding the bike paths and the parking spaces etc.

Add in plans to do heavy construction AT NIGHT on a residential street where people SLEEP AT NIGHT and its a special kind of hell they are building for those of us who live here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Cambridge (MA) attacks bicyclists.

Bob La Trémouille reports.

Cambridge, MA is one of the two most important environmental destroyers on the Charles River.

Their tactics in environmental destruction key on flat out lies as to where the city council and the city is coming from.

The lies consist of bragging of things which have nothing to do with meaningful stuff, and not talking about the meaningful stuff.

One of the many attacks on the Charles River is for bicycle highways. They brag about being pro bicycle. The reality is that they are pro contractor welfare. If it makes money for contractors, it very frequently makes no difference how destructive it is.

Cambridge dropped the other shoe on bicyclists on Wednesday, November 3, with regard to bicycle “improvements” on Western Avenue, ending at the Charles and presumably linking to some of their favorite environmental destruction on the Charles.

They are putting in bike paths which will be useless for meaningful bicyclists. They brag they are enticing in a new generation of bicyclists, and if the real bicyclists do not like it, they can share a narrowed highway with cars.

The proposed “bike paths” would be a widening of the sidewalks on the right side of the road this one way street running from Central Square to the Charles. At each intersection, the “bike path” would move toward the main road, thus meandering all over Heck and FORCING people who want to get somewhere to get onto the NARROWED car lanes.

If the “bicyclists” want to make a left turn from the far right sidewalk, there will be TWO streets on the length of the bike path where they will be allowed to do so.

In winter these will be useless. Supposedly a CONTRACTOR will be PAID to keep it clean. Will that put snow on sidewalks for abutters to clean up? Very clearly, it will force meaningful bicyclists to stay on the NARROWED travel lanes because cars keep snow packed down and passable in winter to the benefit of the bikes. The sidewalks “bike paths” if only used by bikes will be impassable even if plowed because the bikes cannot keep the snow packed down.

Hey, they also brag of being pro Civil Rights, but have no problem keeping on with a City Manager who has been called “reprehensible” by judge and jury. Judge and jury found that he destroyed the life of Malvina Monteiro, a black, Cape Verdean department head.

Judge and jury found that he did this in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The environmental destruction includes bizarre projects on the Charles which have no value except to the contractors PAID to do it, but which starve local animals and dump poisons on the banks of the Charles to feed sickly grass introduced in place of healthy stuff which survived for the better part of a Century. Then there is the bizarre wall of bushes which seem to have no value except to the Contractors who installed it and in starving the Charles River White Geese. By contrast all other vegetation is destroyed twice a year. The destroyed vegetation is meaningful, it protects migrating water fowl. And it is native. But it costs nothing. So it is destroyed twice a year, while the bizarre, destructive, introduced stuff grows and grows.

I could keep on going, but there is a lot of other stuff elsewhere on this blog.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Walsh Commentary: Omissions in Cambridge Chronicle Hard Copy

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Two weeks ago, I published an oped I submitted to the Cambridge Chronicle on the death of former Cambridge City Councilor William Walsh. Walsh was an attorney and member of the Cambridge City Council. He went to jail for mortgage manipulations in his practice of law. His ethics in public office were unblemished.

He very clearly led two lives. The matters which put him in jail were part of a wink and a nod, “getting things done” mentality in the financial sector, a mentality which probably was responsible for the Great Recession.

My oped was printed last week on line. I reported on it in an update. The full report is at

The oped was printed in today’s November 4, 2010 Cambridge Chronicle. It was printed on page 12, the last page of the first section. This page is frequently used as the third page of the op ed section, overflow from the main two pages of the oped section. The end was omitted, perhaps for space. The portion omitted read as follows:


Walsh had his right to take his full appeals on matters which had nothing to do with Cambridge city government.

In the Monteiro case, the City Council is implementing Walsh’s private mentality in the public sphere. Walsh played games with mortgages in a corrupt system in which a wink and a nod were part of the culture. Walsh was never as venal as the finding of the Monteiro judge against the Cambridge City Manager.

The Malvina Monteiro matter shows the reason why state ethics laws which require the expulsion from office without pension for criminal venality in office should be expanded by the judge with city council initiative to the situation where the Cambridge City Manager has been found, in office, to have destroyed the life of a black, Cape Verdian city employee because she exercised her rights under civil rights law.

The Monteiro case is not a matter when the Cambridge City Council is sitting back and watching while a miscreant defends himself for outside behavior. The Monteiro case is a matter in which the Cambridge City Council is spending millions defending the miscreant in spite of a brilliant and persuasive opinion by the judge in the case. The Monteiro case is a matter in which the Cambridge City Council is failing to exercise its duty to protect our employees and our government from behavior which a persuasive judicial opinion has called “reprehensible.”

So I praise Bill Walsh for his commendable public service to the City of Cambridge.

I condemn the current Cambridge City Council which continues in office a city manager persuasively demonstrated as “reprehensible” by judge and jury for destroying the life of Malvina Monteiro.


I regret that my public praise for Bill Walsh’s public service did not make the newspaper.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Vision Walk on the Charles.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I spent three hours Saturday morning walking for a solution to vision loss. I was part of a team from The Blur webseries.

We walked around the block of the Charles River starting from the Publik Theatre on Soldiers Field Road in Brighton. We walked west through increasingly formalized parkland to the Western Avenue / Arsenal Street Bridge, back eastbound between Greenough Boulevard and the Elliot Bridge and back on the Boston side of the river.

This is an area which has seen massive environmental destruction by the state as part of its goal to kill off all animals living on the first ten miles of the Charles River. There was a lot of wild area here. It has been destroyed. The destruction of wildlife habitat and protective vegetation for migrating waterfowl was flat out horrifying.

The state and Cambridge are very compatible bedfellows when it comes to environmental destruction. They are creating a fine college campus out of what used to be a viable, balanced ecosystem.

Harvard shows perhaps half of the northern side of Greenough Boulevard as Harvard housing in its plans.

The only part of the walk in which the state has not attempted outright to destroy all animals is a place just west of the Elliot Bridge which used to be called “Hell’s Half Acre.” This is an area in which there was an enemy the DCR hates more than animals. It was a gay trysting spot. So the DCR destroyed this wild area and put up signs calling the destroyed animal habitat “animal habitat.” This was done during the earliest parts of the attacks on the Charles River White Geese.