Monday, February 28, 2011

Civil Rights Attorney on the Attack against the City of Cambridge

On February 12, 2011, Ellen J. Zucker, attorney for Malvina Monteiro, filed a letter with the Appeals Court pointing out to the Appeals Court that ONLY the Malvina Monteiro case is before the Appeals Court.

Claims relating to Linda Stamper and Mary Wong, the last two remaining plaintiffs, still remain before the Trial Court.

Friday, February 25, 2011

What is going on on the Charles and the railroad?

1. Introduction.
2. Question not quoted.
3. Marilyn Wellons response.
4. Your editor’s response.
5. Summary.

1. Introduction.

I am trying to be careful here.

A person raised an excellent question on a listserve.

That person got two very good answers. I want to pass on the answers to you and give you enough of the question to keep the answers in context.

2. Question not quoted.

This person has just returned to Cambridge and is confused about the state of Magazine Beach, the BU Bridge, and Fort Washington, along with commuter rail issues. She is wondering about its impact on the area, wildlife and the neighborhood.

The person has done a fair amount of review of the materials and was looking to the listserve for answers. The question came in response to the supposed on line petition against the commuter use of the Grand Junction.

For the information of most readers, I need to identify Fort Washington, one of the sites of interest to the original writer.

Fort Washington is an historical site west of and abutting the Grand Junction railroad. It is a few blocks north of the Charles River, a small historical site between railroad tracks and high tech industry. It is a few blocks from the residential neighborhood. Last I heard, it was one of the few locations where the anti-animal Cambridge City Council has consented NOT to prohibit dogs.

Fort Washington is very close to the location that Cambridge Pols have set for a stop on their really bad streetcar version of the Urban Ring subway. I believe Fort Washington dates back to the revolution.

3. Marilyn Wellons response.

Cambridge and the DCR are responsible for the work you've seen along the Charles, from Magazine Beach (west) to the seawall (east). The work has been segmented, so as to avoid full environmental review as required by law. Kathy Podgers has pointed out the segmentation.

The City of Cambridge favors the transportation projects, centered around the BU and Grand Junction bridges, that the "restorations" support by destroying habitat, installing riverfront infrastructure for cars and small trucks, and speeding the flow of traffic along Mem Drive. Increased commuter rail along the Grand Junction, Urban Ring Phase 2, some invented version of Urban Ring Phase 3, are all successors to the Inner Belt, the first attempt to turn Cambridge into a transportation corridor using this river crossing.

The Wetlands Protection Act prohibits segmentation to avoid proper review of changes to the river, but enforcement is through Conservation Commissions. The Cambridge ConCom has acquiesced in Charles River projects where the DCR violated the Wetlands Protection Act, has approved others despite the DCR's misrepresentations, and has failed to punish the DCR when it flouts the ConCom's Orders of Conditions. It has not objected to the segmentation. Again, people have pointed all this out to the ConCom, to no avail.

Those who welcome the "restorations" to what never was--e.g., Cambridge's work at Magazine Beach--are now faced with the similar segmentation of a project whose tail we see along the Grand Junction rail line.

Other segments of the same project include the expansion of the CSX freight yard in Worcester, development of a hazmat site in the Cedar Swamp Conservation Trust watershed, expansion of highway interchanges within I-495 to handle greatly increased truck freight, and the closing of CSX operations at Beacon Park Yards in Allston.

All of these have environmental consequences that will be dealt with piecemeal--our state and local governments' apparently preferred method of review. Although there's opposition to each of these other segments, the opposition is itself segmented. The project has proceeded on greased skids so far.

CSX's Environmental Notification Form (ENF) in November, 2011, was for the Worcester expansion only. The Secretary of the Environment's subsequent Certificate in December accepted that narrow focus and found no need for full review. Both documents are seriously in error. Their numbers are fluid and the argument for reduced emissions is internally inconsistent, relying on ENF data that the Certificate says must be excluded from the discussion even as it accepts them.

Given what we can see in the ENF and Certificate for Worcester, it is fair to take DOT representations at the most recent Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association with some skepticism, however well meaning any presenter.

There seem to be ways of forcing the wider environmental review the project demands, but it would take a concerted effort among the segmented parts to achieve that, in my opinion.

Marilyn Wellons

4. Your editor’s response.

On Magazine Beach.

The one thing pretty much every civilian agreed upon was that it did not need work.

So the city council has spent something like $1.5 million (plus state money) destroying Magazine Beach, walling it off from the Charles (in the face of a master plan which called for a lawn to the river), dug up seven acres of grass that survived the better part of a century, replaced that grass with sickly stuff that requires poisons to survive, REDUCED the size of the playing field to drain off the poisons.

The bizarre wall of vegetation is the only place on the Charles where the DCR does not destroy the bordering vegetation twice a year.

From the beginning of all this stuff, the key state manager has repeatedly promised to "do no harm" to the Charles River White Geese. He has publicly bragged about starving them because Magazine Beach and its grasses were the principal of these beauties. He explains "no harm" by saying that starving them is no harm.

The state and Cambridge are working to kill off all animals on the Charles River Basin. They call for "parkland" with a secret definition that animals are not welcome on their parkland.

The flat out lying directly and through fake groups is what keeps city council members in office. We have a concerned electorate. The city council incumbents, on environmental and civil rights issues THAT COUNT IN CAMBRIDGE are anathema to their constituents.

So they lie. They do things which are next to meaningless INSOFAR AS THEY COUNT IN CAMBRIDGE and yell and yell and yell and yell that they are holier than everybody else based on this near nonsense.

They keep as quiet as possible their really destructive behavior THAT COUNTS IN CAMBRIDGE and their undisclosed agents run around claiming to be neutral and propagating the lies.

The combination of bragging about next to nothing while suppressing reality which is exactly the opposite is very much lying.

Robert J. La Trémouille

5. Summary.

I think Marilyn did a better job than I.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

There are real problems with the Anderson Bridge work

1. Introduction.
2. Marilyn Wellons comments on the Anderson Bridge Project.
3. Editor response.

1. Introduction.

I believe I commented when passing on items about the Anderson Bridge that I was unaware of any problems. The Anderson Bridge connects Harvard Square over the Charles River to Allston. It is the third bridge over the Charles River west of the BU Bridge.

I stand corrected on my comments, and I thank Marilyn Wellons for correcting me.

The following are her comments from facebook. I get very confused as to how these things work on facebook. The comments are, at minimum, on the Charles River White Geese page and may also be on the Robert J. La Trémouille page.

2. Marilyn Wellons comments on the Anderson Bridge Project.

Previous plans have shown the destruction of most trees within 50-100 feet or more of the Anderson Bridge. These include not only the hawthorns along the northwest abutment (in Cambridge) and the fine elm tree on the southwest one, but the... cherry trees in Cambridge at some distance from the bridge.

The hawthorns could easily be moved. They are important food sources for robins and other birds that overwinter here. They also are beautiful, but as the DCR's landscape consultants told a previous meeting on the Anderson Bridge, the landscape to follow repairs there will be "austere." Read "bare and ugly."

A further example is that the DCR has proposed, and DOT has apparently agreed, to put the staging for work on the Anderson Bridge right on top of the cherry trees. Never mind how welcome they are to the general public, starved for beauty after our winters. The DCR wants them eradicated as "not native."

Given how much the public values them, the DCR trots out other reasons for destroying them on the Charles when necessary.

The agency's last assault on Mem Drive's cherry trees was between the BU and Longfellow Bridges, where DCR's planners proposed to use Obama stimulus money for a "muitipurpose path" right over the root zone of scores of cherries and to remove them to improve sight lines from the MIT President's house to the river.

Fortunately that project has not gone forward yet. In the meantime we have the forthcoming loss of a great deal of beauty around the Anderson Bridge, thanks to the DCR and its agent, DOT

3. Editor response.

The City Engineer stated the REAL position of Cambridge and its buddies on native vegetation / animals when he justified the pending destruction of the CORE Alewife Reservation on grounds that, sniff:


Those trees grew from seeds that blew in from elsewhere in the reservation.


Thank you, Marilyn, for the very astute comments.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Grand Junction, the Bad Guys, and Decent Human Beings

1. “Bad guys” is not effective language.
2. Flier proven correct.
3. Sources of condemnation of state not reliable.
4. MassDOT contrasted to Cambridge Pols.
5. Summary.

Some thoughts on the last week or so.

1. “Bad guys” is not effective language.

I got the following response on facebook after reporting of ongoing attempts to destroy the banks of the Charles River by the bad guys with regard to the small vehicle highway they are trying to create by destroying the banks of the Charles, along with the environment and animal habitat:


Maybe calling people you disagree with "bad guys" is not the most effective approach. Just a thought.


It is not a matter of “disagree”ing. It is a matter of people lying about which side they are on and proceeding all too consistently in the opposite direction from their lovely words.

The bad guys own politics in Cambridge so extensively that they have well intentioned people apologizing for standing up for what the bad guys claim to stand for. You might embarrass the bad guys by proving them liars.

Normal behavior by people who sound like the Cambridge Pols is the kind of behavior that the Boston Conservation Commission indulged in when the BCC ordered a playground draining into the Boston Harbor to use poisons only to get new grass started but prohibited them afterwards.

Asking for this sort of thing in Cambridge is done with an apology because the wink and the nod is normal. If you ask for properly and meaningfully environmental behavior, you might be offending somebody.

The Boston Conservation Commission favorably to my pointing out the drainage problem in spite of the fact that I live nowhere near the project and, in fact, do not even live in Boston.

2. Flier proven correct.

Thursday night at the DOT presentation on the Grand Junction, I distributed a flier from Friends of the White Geese that I had previously distributed at a city council discussion of the commuter rail plans for the Grand Junction. The flier was very deliberately targeted at the Cambridge Pols and did not attack the state.

I had Cambridge types ask why I was not attacking the state. I was not attacking the state because I had not seen anything with my own eyes which amounted to misbehavior by the state.

3. Sources of condemnation of state not reliable.

The one really strong condemnation of state action by a non City Council person came from one person talking at the city council meeting. He claim that he was quoting what amounted to pretty negative words on the part of the state. But as for that guy:

A. He has a bad record,
B. He emphasized to me his displeasure at my standing up to destructive behavior by him and his friends
(1). They proposed two big buildings and a plaza between the big buildings to replace the Lechmere Station facility which is being abandoned in the Green Line extension project.
(2). Their pitch amounted to: Don’t look at the big buildings, look at the plaza between the buildings, we are proposing open space.
(3). This is stereotypical Cambridge Pol. The alternative IS open space for the entire Lechmere Station parcel, so they proposed two buildings and call their project open space because they did not propose to cover every single square foot of the lot.
C. That guy thinks the Cambridge Pols are good guys.

I would think that that person is a victim. The knaves would never be so blunt. But victim or not, in Cambridge victim/knave is irrelevant, unless the victim shows some sort of semblance of realizing that he/she is a victim of a very nasty con.

And I can go on and on about this normal situation in the very abnormal City of Cambridge.

This person, plus members of the Cambridge City Council are my only sources for thinking negative things about the Department of Transportation (MassDOT) with regard to the Grand Junction.

4. MassDOT contrasted to Cambridge Pols.

My public comments to the MassDOT representatives at the Thursday meeting started: What I am hearing from you now is quite a bit different from what I have been hearing before.

In front of and by the City Council, the pitch is that commuter rail on the Grand Junction is a done deal. The right kind of people want it. I have seen this pitch repeatedly in the past. So my flier emphasized that the Cambridge Pols are losing in their transportation outrages and that their Grand Junction fight looks like an end around after a major loss.

The standard pitch from the Cambridge Pols is: “You can’t win. You can’t win. You can’t win. But I am your friend and have I got a deal for you.”

The MassDOT people very clearly said on Thursday evening that they are at a very preliminary stage and are only looking into possibilities of running Framingham/Worcester trains to North Station by the Grand Junction. Meaningful proposals, if any, would be presented later. They were repeatedly very reasonable. And they are not the Cambridge Pols.

The Cambridge Pols fought to keep Memorial Drive in the hands of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, proven REALLY bad guys. The Cambridge Pols fought to keep Memorial Drive away from MassDOT.

Cambridge City Councilors, according to the admission at the City Council meeting by perhaps one of the worst, are playing their usual lying through fake definitions. Cambridge City Councilors (exact number to be determined) “oppose” commuter rail. “Oppose” under their secret definition (i.e. lie) translates into they support for the commuter rail with stops in Cambridge.

The bad guys have suffered a major defeat with the legislature funding Yawkee Station to the tune of $20 million.

The bad guys can lose and frequently do.

The biggest mistake in dealing with the bad guys, the Cambridge Pols or whatever they call themselves this week, is to be so silly as to call them anything other than bad guys, or to be so silly as to think they / their secret friends can’t lose. The Cambridge Pols are highly skillful with a knife in the back. Over the years, in my experience, a knife in the back has been their most successful weapon.

5. Summary.

Nevertheless, regardless of who is the bad guy, even if the DOT people are commendable individuals, they have a job to do. And the Cambridge Pols have a long record of conning people into working against their own best interests.

The DOT people possibly could be persuaded by people who have been told they have to get what they can get. Con artists are running telling people they have lost, and have the Cambridge Pols got a deal for them.

The proposal for Commuter Rail on the Grand Junction is dangerous to the environment and to its animals. It is destructive to Cambridge and to Framingham/Worcester.

Additionally, the Cambridge Pols’ Grand Junction plans are about a Century behind times from the point of view of transportation planning with all those at grade crossings.

More than a century. I remember the Brockton station was reopened in the late 90's after being abandoned in the 50's. Right next to the station is a rail overpass which I think was built in the 1890's to keep trains and other transportation apart.

But the Cambridge pols want transportation for Cambridge which was rejected in the 19th Century, and they are running around yelling “You can’t win. You can’t win. You can’t win. But have we got a deal for you.”

Remember, however, many of the people on the wrong side brag about having 19th Century planners as their ideals.

Commuter Rail on the Grand Junction should be defeated.

And the Cambridge Pols should be stomped.

Cher on greenery and contempt for waterfowl

Cher responds to my earlier posting from her:


Hi Bob, Fantastic.

You previously had a mention of the flora that had been cut down (I had just mentioned that I was aware of it and thought it was horrible).

I don’t know if you omitted it intentionally or forgot so I am mentioning it for you. It is entirely up to you. I saw no rhyme or rason why they cut that floa down.

Next thing they will be saying the ducks ate all the greenery and want to kill them off just like they are doing with swans in many areas of the cape.

These agencies defy logic e.g. DCR, forest and park rangers etc. They are supposed to have the welfare of nature at heart and that includes Mother Natures creations, waterfowl...not just greenery. There they go cutting down greenery that is necessary to the waterfowl in the defys logic....just look at the area!

OK sorry Bob off the soap box. I am ill today, a bad cold I got spending three days in a row with the swans and other problems. Hope tomorrow will be better so I can get down there with plenty of water to try to wash Gina. LOL Well if that fails I'm sure Gus will enjoy another bath.

LOL Cher Thanks Bob


ed: Gina and Gus are Cher’s principle swan friends on the Mystic River.

Anderson Bridge Renovations meeting announcement.

The Anderson Bridge connects Harvard Square to Allston over the Charles River.

The state’s official notice on the Anderson Bridge Renovations meeting is at:

It will be on March 2, 2011, at the Martin Luther King School, which is on Putnam Avenue, a few blocks south of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

Please note that part of the non stop con games from the Cambridge Pols is that their destructiveness is part of the proposal and that the state’s proposal is unthinkable without their destructive.

Continuation of the Charles without a new highway right on the river’s edge is very much a very good idea.

These destructive people would build this highway under every bridge including the BU Bridge. They would casually destroy what little their friends have not destroyed in the Goose Ghetto. They have flat out contempt for the animals and environment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Boston Conservation Commission defends the harbor

Wednesday evening, February 16, I attended the Boston Conservation Commission meeting to observe their hearing concerning the Barry Playground. The advertisement read:


6:15 PM Notice of Intent from Boston Parks and Recreation Department for improvements to Barry Playground, including the construction of a new ball field and skate park, and associated fencing, lighting, pathways, site grading and irrigation system, as well as repairs to an existing seawall and replacement of a stormwater outfall, Medford Street, Charlestown, Little Mystic Channel (Coastal Bank, 100-foot Buffer Zone).


Barry Playground is just west of the Tobin Bridge on the south side of Little Mystic Channel, a finger of water extending to the west off an inlet which appears to feed to the Mystic River and then Boston Harbor. Eyeballing on Google Maps, the distance is 500 to 1000 feet to the inlet.

Little Mystic Channel is mostly lined with public recreational uses. On the western end is a football field and a large recreational area with a baseball diamond at one corner, plus tennis courts. The northern side has a boat dock plus parking.

On the south side, Barry Playground is between a housing development and the Tobin Bridge. Ball diamonds are formed on the southern and western sides. The northern side is broken for access to the water.

The workers planning the remodeling spent considerable time talking about the drainage system which drains into the Channel. They will be digging up and reseeding grass. They mentioned intent to use fertilizer on the grass.

I asked the obvious question.

I am concerned about the Charles River. We have a lot of grass which has survived the better part of a Century without use of fertilizer. Why allow fertilizer use here?

The board immediately picked up on the point and ordered that fertilizer only be used to establish the grass and not for regular maintenance.

Very good, very responsible board.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Boston Globe editorializes against Robert Healy and Cambridge City Council

Archie Mazmanian reports:

The Boston Globe's lead editorial on Wednesday was titled: "Cambridge city manager's pay shows lack of council oversight," apparently following up on Adrian Walker's critical column; the editorial includes a comment on the law suit as well as Healy's high compensation.

Archie provides the following link:

Ed: The law suit Archie refers to is, of course, Malvina Monteiro v. City of Cambridge. You will recall that the Cambridge City Council loudly proclaims themselves to be holier than thou on Civil Rights. The Monteiro judge wrote an excellent opinion in which she apparently proved the Cambridge City Manager to be reprehensible. The Monteiro judge supported a strong jury verdict and wrote an excellent opinion in which she apparently proved the Cambridge City Manager to be reprehensible for destroying the life of Malvina Monteiro, a black Cape Verdian in retaliation for her filing a civil rights complaint.

The Cambridge City Council is spending millions defending Healy and very aggressively does not want to know what it is doing. If it wanted to know what it is doing, it would have hired independent council to evaluate the situation and tell the council whether to appeal or fire Healy.

Waterfowl on the Charles and Mystic Rivers, the common enemy: The Department of Conservation and Recreation

Cher reports.

Cher lives in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Chelsea, the line where Chelsea, Revere and Medford meet.

She has close friends with resident swans on the Mystic River, and frequently views the Charles River White Geese on the Charles River.

Cher starts off with a response to my explaining to her that the principle residents at the Goose Ghetto are the Charles River White GEESE, as opposed to ducks:


Thanks so much for clarifying for me, Bob. I have always loved the white (we always thought they were ducks or geese but were never sure). Each time we drove by we always look/ed for them. I have seen many feeding them and knew that there were some folks trying to keep them relatively safe. I was aware that they occupied a given area and that the greenery had been cut down. Ridiculous! I just don’t get these people.

I have also noticed the black waterfowl [Canadas?] for several years now. They just appeared one day as well. I thought that they cleaned up the Charles river some and that it would be better for these waterfowl.

I gave Gus the male swan [her friend on the Mystic], a "bath" and boy he loved it. The female, Gina wanted no part of it and remains filthy. The woman who is responsible for feeding them during year round even in warm weather, was there today. She said she is having a book written about Gus. I offered help as she seemed uncertain whether it wold actually get done.

I plan on getting people together and asking them not to feed the swans in warm weather as the swans need to learn to forage and to teach their young how to find food etc.

The DCR, I understand, doesn't even want the pond here where the swans gather. I saw some Canada Geese the other day, but was told Gus will not allow them on the land where the swans go. The swans let on whom they choose and they also share their food as long as they get their portion, with the ducks, pigeons and gulls..remarkable. I was told there are two more swans and they are filthy black so I am uncertain who is mistaken and who is not but I have seen no other swans only dark geese in the water.

People dump birds just like they dumped those ducks and geese. But sometimes as you know, swans at least, break off from the flock and go out on their own. I don’t think geese or ducks tend to do that generally, though. Humans just dump them. Terrible.


We have had a little experience with abandoned waterfowl. It has worked well.

Two Toulouse sisters were abandoned in fall 2000. One mated and eventually established a family. A male china, Pinky, arrive in about 2003. He also worked his way into the gaggle and has mated.

Newcomer non migrant geese are neither welcomed nor rejected. They are treated like the many migrant waterfowl who visit. The nonmigrants usually made friends and join the gaggle.

The Charles River White Ducks, Andrake and Daffney, were abandoned in 2006 at Magazine Beach. I saved them from a dog attack. They were so naive that Bill had to teach them what the Charles River was for. They have made their own home on the river. They initially lived on the Boston side but that has been destroyed by agents of the DCR. They live independent of the Goose Ghetto but visit it.


By Archie Mazmanian

About five (5) years ago, a friend brought to my attention the following inscription on the Galen Street Bridge over the Charles River in Watertown Square:


I was surprised by this information, especially the dates, recalling from grade school history the Pilgrims at the Plymouth colony in 1624 and the Puritans led by John Winthrop at the Boston colony in 1629; and this same grade school history had taught the story of John Smith and Pocahontas in the Virginia settlements prior to these Massachusetts settlements. With a Google search I learned that Captain John Smith, from the Jamestown (Virginia) settlement in the early 1600, explored Massachusetts and Maine, with trips in 1614 and 1616, and wrote a book: “A Description of New England (1616),” available online via Google at:

The Charles was a tidal river, with estuaries and tidal flats, back then. The Indians had great respect for this and other rivers in Massachusetts. As the Boston colony expanded, the Charles was convenient not only for travel and fishing and fowling, but as a means of disposing of wastes. Over time, as the Boston colony further grew, it was realized that good health and the environment required steps to control impacts upon the Charles, recognizing also the Charles’ recreational contributions to the adjoining communities. Wikipedia provides a concise history of the Charles River, including the steps taken by the state and the communities that gave us the Charles we know today, which as a result of damming is more an elongated lake than a flowing river. The filling in of the Back Bay and the Charles’ tidal flats provided more land for development and for recreation.

My family moved to Brookline’s Cottage Farm Neighborhood in the summer of 1973, my wife, our four (4) children all under four (4) years of age, and my mother. We were just a couple of blocks from Commonwealth Avenue and the Boston University Bridge (formerly known as the Cottage Farm Bridge) and a hop, skip and a jump from Magazine Beach in Cambridge that I mentioned in Part I. As our kids were growing up, the Charles became part of their learning and entertainment, and I also learned a great deal through their innocent eyes as we explored both the Boston and Cambridge sides of the Charles, sometimes together, sometimes separately.

Before getting into these memories, back in 1973 the BU Bridge, other Charles River bridges, Storrow Drive in Boston and Memorial Drive in Cambridge were under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan District Commission, commonly referred to as the “MDC.” There was a time when the MDC provided relief from the urban environment. Driving on MDC roads prohibiting commercial vehicles could be enjoyable. But over time, as traffic increased, MDC roadways faced many of the same problems as urban roadways.

The MDC also provided recreational facilities, especially along the Charles River in both Boston and Cambridge. Over the years, due to budgetary (and thus political) issues, the MDC could not keep up with the growth of use of these recreational facilities. As a result, changes in state governance have limited the role of the MDC, especially as it relates to the Charles River. The long deferred bridge work along the Charles will take years of corrective action. When completed, will the Charles provide comfort to its communities? Unlike the Mississippi River, the Charles is not commemorated in song. While “Ole Man River” just “keeps rollin' along,” the Charles has been dammed. But that doesn’t mean that the Charles should be damned. The Charles is too valuable a jewel to be tarnished.

[Part IV will discuss what I learned of the Charles through my children’s eyes.]

Ed: I think the following is an addendum from Archie:

The link works with your Blog post and the book can be downloaded from the website linked to. Also, the website provides a link to Capt. Smith's 1616 map of New England which may be of interest to visitors to your Blog.

Ed 2:

For prior installments, please see:

Part II, 2/5/11:

Part I, 1/29/11:

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bad guys fighting for destruction.

The bridge over the Charles next to Harvard Square, the Anderson Bridge, is slated for repair.

The bad guys want major destruction, a small vehicle highway lining the Charles, destroying the environment next to the river and doing severe harm to the historical Charles River.

Comments are due on the project by March 4. For details on the projects as the state proposes, see the link:

Grand Junction, BU Bridge Repairs

The following is a letter I am sending to DOT Secretary Mullen in follow up to a meeting in Cambridge on the evening of February 17.

I have previously gone over the details of this proposal. Very interestingly, the state’s representatives, Ned Codd and Jefferson Smith rather clearly seemed to back down on reports we had been getting on their supposed determination to run commuter trains on the Grand Junction.

In particular, they picked up on the coming expansion of South Station with, accordingly, more room for Framingham/Worcester trains. They specifically stated that one of the basic assumptions of the current study is that South Station will be expanded.

Please be advised that I will yet report on the meeting of the Boston Conservation Commission on February 16.

The Boston Con Comm meeting was nice. It is such a relief to be able to work with good people. I am hoping to be able to make comparable comments about Mullen.


Secretary and CEO Jeff Mullen
Department of Transportation
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
10 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116

RE: Grand Junction, BU Bridge Repairs

Dear Mr. Mullen:

I attended a meeting last night with your representatives concerning the study of the use of the Grand Junction. This brings to a head as well, the situation with regard to the BU Bridge repairs.

You have inherited from the DCR some really destructive policies.

Heartless animal abuse is a standard DCR repertoire because the DCR has a goal of destroying all animal life on the Charles River basin.

The DCR implemented this goal with needlessly destructive actions in what was a beautiful nesting area of the Charles River White Geese on the north side of the Charles River just east of the BU Bridge.

It certainly was necessary to have access to the bridge for repairs. Those repairs are done. Access is no longer necessary. A major part of the DCR’s heartless destruction was the very much unnecessary use of the northern part of this area for staging.

Please return the nesting area to nature immediately.

Seed grass there identical to the grass which has successfully survived WITHOUT POISONS across from the Hyatt for the better part of a Century, and walk away. Keep control from your reprehensible predecessors (to expand on a quote from a civil rights judge talking about the closely related Cambridge City Manager).

With regard to commuter rail uses on the Grand Junction, as I said last night, any proposal to move Framingham/ Worcester trains to the Grand Junction is silly. With the coming destruction of the South Postal Annex and expansion of South Station, it makes no sense to move Framingham/Worcester commuters to this inferior route.

Notwithstanding that, this location is in wildlife use by the Charles River White Geese, with all the greater need because the reprehensible aspects of the BU Bridge work which you inherited have forced them even more onto the tracks.

These animals are beloved and valuable. The contempt for wildlife by the DCR is a manifestation of the incompetence of the key decision makers, not reality.

Please do not disturb or harm in any way these beautiful, valuable permanent residents. The undestroyed remnants of their mile long habitat include the railroad. The railroad has coexisted very nicely because of decent people running those trains. Those decent people have stood out dramatically in contrast to the incompetence and destructiveness at the DCR and the City of Cambridge. And the words of the Monteiro judge toward Cambridge (Malvina Monteiro v. City of Cambridge, now in Appeals Court), “reprehensible”, are an excellent description of both.

Thank you.


Robert J. La Trémouille

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cambridge Conservation Commission discusses Alewife area. Cambridge Pols lie.

I attended the Cambridge Conservation Commission meeting last night, February 14.

The Cambridge Pols apparently had a bunch of people out for the 7:45 hearing on a project west of the Fresh Pond area shopping centers. I was there for the 7:30 hearing on railroad work south of the main Alewife reservation. It develops that the work is totally within the currently developed area. Basically, they are straightening out tracks to speed up the trains.

The area being discussed in the 7:45 hearing, generally, is separated from the main Alewife reservation by the train tracks.

The Cambridge Pols, as usual, seemed to be lying about which side they are on with regard to environmental destruction.

I was there because I was concerned about possible encroachment on the Alewife reservation by the railroad in the area to the south of the reservation. My concerns, apparently, were unfounded.

The Cambridge Pols have fought for years for the destruction of the main Alewife reservation while yelling that they are protecting a whole bunch of stuff which are long shots. The Alewife reservation could have and still can be protected because it is the City of Cambridge which is destroying it. The Pols are fighting for the destruction of the main reservation for flood storage that should be placed under a parking lot just north of the tracks. The soon to come destruction of the reservation is exactly where the Pols are coming from.

The project they got the troops out on is apparently another example of being on the wrong side when it counts but sounding oh so pious when it is too late.

A developer is destroying a small industrial building generally west of the western of the two shopping centers to put in a massive housing complex. I did not waste my time on this meeting. I attended the last one.

The current issue is that the developer is building in phases and, at the request of the Cambridge Development Department is allowing a street to be constructed between phase 1 and phase 2. Phase 2, toward the tracks and the Alewife reservation, would be grass in the interim. There are technical problems with approvals. My understanding of the last meeting was that the organization of the project was creating the technical problems.

The Cambridge Pols supported an irresponsible upzoning of this area a few years back with a con game that protections were being provided closer to a housing area near Belmont. The con game was that the supposed protections obviously would disappear after gross overdevelopment was accomplished in this area.

When that zoning was passed was the time to kill this development. I opposed the upzoning and offered a responsible alternative. The Cambridge Pols played games in which they supported the key lie and sounded pious. So, of course, they got out the troops years after they did the damage through that irresponsible zoning change.

I was there for the railroad and its destruction next to the key area the Pols are fighting now to destroy, the core Alewife reservation.

The Pols can still prevent the destruction of the core Alewife reservation.

The Pols looked like they were playing con games as usual. “Don’t look at the pending irresponsible destruction we are fighting for. Look at us fighting against irresponsible construction we fought for when it counted. Now don’t we sound great!!!“

No they do not sound great, if you live in reality. Reality, however, is the last thing that counts when you are dealing with the Cambridge Pols.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Visit to the Ghetto of the Charles River White Geese

On Sunday, February 13, I visited the Ghetto of the Charles River White Geese.

This used to be a place of beauty, nature in the middle of the city. This used to be the Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese, which a lot of other free animals shared with them.

Over a period of six years starting in 2003, the state descended on this beautiful area and destroyed it, piece by piece. All ground, protective vegetation was destroyed from the BU Bridge to the BU Boathouse and it did not regrow indicating dumping of poisons.

The one area of vegetation which was not destroyed by the state was the area they intended to destroy for the BU Bridge project. They destroyed almost all of this in the project, half for a silly staging area which was very much unnecessary.

Now, the BU Bridge repairs on the side facing the Goose Ghetto are done and the area is still roped off. Most of the roping off is obviously silly. There is nothing next to the bridge needed for access. All that is in that area is a boat and a dock, each pulled out of the water.

The area used for support has a lot in it, but pretty much all of it could be placed elsewhere in the area. But Cambridge and the state are trying to kill off all animals in the Charles River basin, and this is the area where the most visible animals live.

Surprising, there were more Canadas visible on the ground than there were White Geese. Inspection of the abutting ice showed the White Geese taking turns drinking water through holes in the ice.

Cher reported to me in an email that she had driven by and seen no geese. It is possible she went by at a time when everybody was on the water. It is more likely that the angle from her car was such that she could not see the ground far beneath the highways.

When I went by, there were many water birds in the Goose Ghetto, although most of them were Canadas.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Boston Globe on Cambridge City Manager: Failed Fiscal Savvy

An excellent article on the Cambridge City Manager including the Monteiro outrage appears at This is “Failed Fiscal Savvy,” by Adrian Walker, from the February 12, 2011.

As usual, the Cambridge City Council does not want to know what it is doing, but do not forget that they keep telling you that they are Holier than Thou on Civil Rights (and the environment), and they are lying.

Thank you to Archie Mazmanian for the tip.

Major Danger on the Charles River — A committee proposed to organize destruction

The most destructive non-governmental entity on the Charles River is the so-called Charles River Conservancy, a non profit with a lot of developer money behind it, and a very strong and destructive developer mentality.

They have publicly supported the following legislation, and this is a quote from their newsletter:


An Act Establishing a Charles River Parkways and Parklands Commission
Sponsored by Representative Marty Walz, this bill grew out of Fred Salvucci's presentation at the Conservancy's 10th Anniversary Luncheon this past summer, where he spoke on ways to transform the urban parkways and bridges to accomodate today's walking and biking commuters and recreation enthusiasts. This bill also seeks to improve the parkland experience and waterfront access for non-motorized users. (HD #02827)


The translation is Destroy, Destroy, Destroy.

Walz has a terrible record. She fits the Charles River Conservancy very well.

It is guaranteed that the people appointed will be the same people who are keeping the very destructive Cambridge City Council, Walz, and the Charles River Conservancy doing their terrible things.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cambridge Chronicle Report, Secret Definitions on the Grand Junction

1. Monday night.
2. The private investment at Yawkee.

1. Monday night.

The Cambridge Chronicle’s report on Monday night’s comments on the Grand Junction may be read at:

The reporter, Mr. Nanos, is probably my person #2 from my last report. His presentation seems factually accurate.

My problem, among many others, is that I have been living with these con games for too long, and the con artists very much follow a script. The game is to maneuver people into shafting themselves.

Toomey caught the game and effectively responded by calling calls for stations the same as support for the project.

Key in a lot of this is that the Cambridge pols rely on secret definitions, and the secret definition to “opposition” translates as “opposition unless we get stations in Cambridge,” in other words, give MIT its goals, shaft the environment and shaft the city.

This secret definition was fairly clearly communicated in the councilor’s comment which I reported as responding to my flier.

One male councilor on the left side of the room responded to my report that the LEGISLATURE has paid $20 million to upgrade Yawkee Station by commenting that “we” do not have private developers to build “our” stations.

First of all, once again a lie. The legislature spends $20 million on Yawkee and the Cambridge Pol calls this a private investment. The non lie is that the legislature is spending $20 million in coordination with a private investment.

Secondly, “we” and “our” refer to the stations and to the members of the city council supposedly opposing the line. Without a line, there are no stations.

I keep using the word “lie”. “Lie” is a very good word to use when talking the Cambridge Pols.

Secret definitions of key terms make statements lies.

And we are back to their secret definition of “opposition.”

2. The private investment at Yawkee.

I first discussed this project with the developer in a meeting by invitation at a conference room at Fenway Park.

I made clear to the developer the two alternative routes on the Urban Ring including the irresponsible streetcar alternative pushed by the Cambridge Pols.

I made clear to the developer that the irresponsible streetcar alternative included moving Yawkee Station away from Fenway Park. His project from the beginning included major consideration to retaining Yawkee Station in place.

He was aware of the problem and concerned.

He has defeated the Cambridge Pols and their friends.

$20 million from the state in coordination with a private project is $20 million from the state, but I am confident that the Cambridge Pols will be as unable to recognize that as they are unable to recognize the responsible Orange Line / Kenmore crossing and much better Urban Ring alignment.

Cambridge Pols live in their own world. I call that world “lying.”

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Monteiro Update

The case of Malvina Monteiro v. City of Cambridge is still in the maneuvering stages at the Appeals Court.

On January 31, Ms. Monteiro’s attorneys file a motion to file a surreply. They each have filed briefs stating their position. This motion would appear to be to add on to the reply brief already filed.

On February 3 and 4, Cambridge filed an opposition to the motion and a corrected opposition.

Remember the very extended pieces of paper filed in the Trial Court after the jury’s decision. The Appeals Court is much more stringent on these matters, but the paper is flying and both sides obviously think that there is good reason.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A POSSIBLE, TEMPORARY Win in Cambridge on the Grand Junction

1. Introduction.
2. Three members of the audience.
3. The Cambridge City Council.
4. Actual issues.
5. Summary.

1. Introduction.

It almost never is possible to fully evaluate controversial issues in front of the Cambridge City Council.

Having said that, it is possible that we had a very big but temporary win in Cambridge last night.

The Cambridge City Council discussed the Grand Junction passenger train proposal coming out of the state.

There was, I believe, one person in the audience who commented on the issue. I leafleted with a flier on the issue from Friends of the White Geese.

As usual, there were several people in the audience who have been active in Cambridge politics. My leaflet went into detail concerning the Urban Ring subway proposals and placed them in context with the Grand Junction rail proposal from a Cambridge perspective. It is highly likely that this was the first time that many of these people had been exposed to something other than a lie concerning key parts of the Urban Ring subway proposal.

It is always impossible to exactly characterize things in Cambridge. The facts from the Cambridge Pols concerning the Urban Ring subway have consistently including key falsehoods, passing off the inferior BU Bridge crossing as the only thing under consideration by the state.

Cambridge pols commonly are off in their own world, a world with very major disconnects from reality. That is because their elected officials are running on platforms targeted to please a very concerned electorate. Trouble is that the elected pols are on the wrong side on too many issues which are key to the voters. So you get a view of the world which is strikingly different from the view seen by the world outside Cambridge. The differences are so major that it silly to call these false statements other than lies.

I have long given up on trying to distinguish between the knaves and the fools. From a practical purpose, there is no difference. If the fools can rejoin reality at some point and treat the knaves with the treatment the knaves deserve, then there might be value in making a distinction.

I would be happy to pass on the flier. Please give me a request at

2. Three members of the audience.

I spoke with a woman from North Cambridge who was there on another issue. She has been active in the planning for the extension of the Green Line streetcar / subway branch which currently ends at Lechmere in East Cambridge.

It was such a pleasure talking with her. It is so rare to work with somebody from Cambridge who is active in politics and who is in contact with reality, as opposed to what the Cambridge Pols put out. She understood the Urban Ring issues and she discussed them intelligently.

A second person I spoke with was a man sitting near her who did not talk during the meeting. He looked familiar and asked probing but knowledgeable questions. In retrospect, I presume he was a reporter, perhaps from the Cambridge Chronicle.

The third person who stood out very clearly was a probable (never possible to really be sure) victim of the Cambridge Pols. He bitterly opposed the Grand Junction plans and had been attending a lot of the meetings. Trouble is that he rejected the reality of the non stop con games from the Cambridge Pols out of hand.

He clearly had information I did not have concerning the various meetings which the state has been conducting. He reported pretty much unanimous objection by various residents to the proposal. Trouble is that he behaved (like many victims) like somebody in denial. He very clearly rejected out of hand anybody who would actually talk a reality which differs from that passed out by the Cambridge Pols. He saw my flier. My flier spoke reality in great detail, but he has been given a lot of lies.

He did not want to talk.

3. The Cambridge City Council.

It is pretty much impossible to tell when you are exposed to an orchestrated discussion from the Cambridge City Council.

In retrospect, last night looked like an orchestrated discussion.

Toomey made strong points against the state’s proposal and tore apart another councilor’s supposed attempts to maneuver. The other councilor repeated his comments before Toomey spoke and then backtracked after Toomey spoke.

As usual, the most destructive member was Davis. She always sounds like she is trying to be reasonable while maneuvering into bad territory.

The rest spoke, in general terms, against the proposal. But one member picked up a key point from my flier, a point which proves the lie that has been passed out in Cambridge that is the Cambridge version of political correctness on facts of the Urban Ring. That councilor’s responding quickly to that point in my flier raised a very real flag in retrospect. Did my very exact communication of reality on the Urban Ring move members of the council toward positions which have respect for their constituents on the related Grand Junction proposal?

It is always impossible to tell with certainty.

4. Actual issues.

I have gone into the real issues on this matter before on this blog.

All I am really trying to communicate is last night’s meeting.

The one new issue of possible substance was brought out from me by the reporter.

It is increasingly looking like the Grand Junction proposal is part of an attempt by the state to back out of the plans to expand South Station for South Coast Rail. It certainly would be quite expensive to tear down the adjacent post office and, I presume, pay for the replacement post office. Building that post office further into the South Boston Waterfront would also take up prime land which the state would rather see developed for business.

So Cambridge and Worcester/Framingham are being shafted. The initial foray is "just a few" trains. It looks like they are maneuvering to move all Worcester/Framingham trains from South Station to North Station and putting the South Coast Rail trains in the emptied trackage in South Station.

5. Summary.

It was a pleasure to see perhaps a little favorable move out of the Cambridge City Council.

Regrettably, the standard game in Cambridge is: “I am your friend, I am your friend, I am your friend, have I got a deal for you.”

The apparent victim of the Cambridge Pols who is in denial showed very clearly how effective the standard con is in Cambridge.

The woman from North Cambridge who intelligently discussed issues showed the possibility of responsible behavior in Cambridge.

Saturday, February 05, 2011



By Archie Mazmanian

In my teens in the mid-1940s, our rag-tag baseball team from Roxbury’s Orchard Park took a road trip to the West End’s ballpark with its magnificent view of the Charles River. This was well before urban renewal changed the West End with high rises taking advantage of views of the Charles. Our Orchard Park was a small converted pedestrian park whereas our West End friends had a full size ballpark with the nearby expanse of the Charles serving as relief from its congested neighborhood. This ballpark was a major difference between our Roxbury and their West End neighborhoods. Alas, the proximity of the Charles River made the West End land too valuable for mere West Enders with their ethnic diversities, who to their credit to this day remind us of the devastation to their once viable neighborhood. Yes, developers realized the long-term value of land proximate to the Charles: “If you lived here, ….”

During these same teen-years, I learned of the joys of nighttime skinny-dipping in Dedham at what we called Mother’s Brook, a part of the meandering Charles River. In checking Google recently, I learned the correct name is “Mother Brook,” which provided a connection by means of a canal dug to divert water from the Charles to the Neponset River to provide water power to factories along the latter. Communities downstream from Dedham’s Charles River complained about the diversion as it impacted their use of water power. Eventually this was resolved back when water power was still in use with “only” one-third of the Charles’ water diverted to the Neponset River.

[Note: Space limitations do not permit going into too much history of the Charles River and water power but those interested should do some “Googling.”]

After finishing law school and passing the bar in 1954, and then completing my deferred military draft requirements in early 1957, I started my law practice. One of my early clients was pioneering in the then infant medical device industry. His one-man start up was originally located in the Fens area, close by the Muddy River. As the firm grew, in the early 1960s a move was made to space in the large Lewando’s Cleansers, Dyers, Launderers facility in Watertown Square adjacent to the Charles River, a short distance downstream from a dam in Newton. Within relatively a few years, my client occupied just about the entire building, which it bought. In connection with the purchase, one of the sellers provided a map of a footprint of the building and lot going back many years when this was a mill building, depicting canals off the Charles providing water power in the bowels of the building. By my client’s time, of course, water power was history. But only a couple of years prior to my client’s purchase, water was being drawn from the Charles for toilet-use only in the building, when the Town of Watertown finally put a stop to that for reasons of health.

We accept today certain environmental laws. But such laws are only of fairly recent vintage. An old timer from Watertown Square told me back in the 1960s that in his youth the color of the water in the nearby Charles River would identify the day of the week based upon Lewando’s dyeing schedule. But dyeing outside of cloth manufacturing had ceased to be a significant part of Lewando’s business many years earlier.

I frequently made business trips to the Watertown Square facility. I recall one day in the late 1960s driving there and after getting out of my car in the parking lot adjacent to the Charles noticing a strong, heavy stench in the air. I was told that because the Charles was low due to a long drought in our region, herring were having difficulty “jumping” the dam in Newton to go farther upstream in their annual quest for survival of their species; that the herring that couldn’t make it swam and swam until they died. The Charles was not then kind to the herring or olfactory senses in Watertown Square.

My client’s Board of Directors included two Harvard Business School professors back then, one of whom related the story of strong odors in the School’s buildings (on the Boston side of the Charles) so annoying to students and teachers, they were thoroughly investigated. It turned out that the cause was attributed to methane seeping through the foundations, the source being hides, etc, from nearby Brighton abattoirs that had been dumped in and/or buried along the Charles going back over many, many years, with the continued rotting of these hides, etc, resulting in the development of methane. (I couldn’t resist asking my fellow Director at the time if perhaps this problem might have been attributable to the faculty.) Harvard attended to its problem to make sure the world wouldn’t be deprived of MBAs to serve our financial and banking communities. (No comments at this time on the Great Recession of 2008.)

This brings to mind the expression “What happens in Vegas remains in Vegas.” But what happens upstream in the Charles does not remain upstream. Perhaps those curious will do some “Googling” before Part III appears.