Monday, July 25, 2011

Fake groups and a very bad city government

1. Background.
2. The current attack on the Charles River.
3. The Grand Junction.

1. Background.

The current Cambridge City Manager has been in office since 1974, first assisting James Leo Sullivan, then on his own.

One of the first things James Leo did was to create supposed “neighborhood associations.” The first one he created called itself the Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association. It very quickly was instrumental in the needless destruction of the best park in the neighborhood along with about 23 hundred year old trees.

During my decades of activism defending the environment in Cambridge, I have used zoning changes as a very effective tool for environmental protection. I have written more successful zoning changes in Cambridge than any other person not employed by the Cambridge city government, and in sharp contrast to too many examples, my petitions do what I say they do.

The most spectacular of these petitions was a series of three petitions sponsored by three different groups. The combination changed the zoning between Cambridge’s major squares, Harvard and Central Squares, to make construction much more environmentally responsible by requiring open space around buildings and requiring housing so that people can commute a shorter distance to work. Building size allowed was quite large by any neutral standard.

My zoning changes affected 85% of the area between these two major squares on Massachusetts Avenue, the main street of Cambridge. The changes significantly improved in particular, Green Street, just to the south of Massachusetts Avenue. Green Street, when I started, was overwhelming residential but more than half of the Mass. Ave. side zone the same as Massachusetts Avenue, plus it had an other block on the far side almost as bad. Green Street has been changed to totally residential and most of the changes are to zoning the same as adjacent residential streets.

My big victory is the Inn at Harvard in eastern Harvard Square. Harvard wanted that building built to the lot line and 72% larger. My vote was 7 in favor, 1 opposed and 1 in the hospital.

The biggest problem in this area as with so much of the city are the fake groups associated with the Cambridge City Manager. I repeatedly beat the people who controlled the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association to achieve a lot, but the dirty tricks of the key people had very major destructive impact.

2. The current attack on the Charles River.

I started working to defend the Charles River when a fake group, the predecessor of the falsely named Charles River Conservancy, started organizing to destroy the environment in the BU Bridge area. They flaunted an outrageously silly and irresponsible proposal of the Cambridge City Manager. The usual response of civilians was “they would never stoop so low”, listening to the constant lies coming out of Cambridge about environmental sainthood.

"They" have stooped so low and are getting worse.

During the middle of my high profile defense of the Charles River another group was created in association with the Cambridge City Manager.

This one calls itself the "Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association."

It formed itself to organize around the redevelopment of properties formerly owned by the Roman Catholic Church. The group loudly called the proposals too large. As is very common with these groups, they succeeded in making the project larger.

This group brags that it prohibits negative discussion. Prohibiting negative discussion means that all which is allowed is cheerleading. It is downright impossible to beat off an attack when you are prohibited to talk negatively.

The group, with this bizarre code, assisted in the destruction of zoning protections around a hotel across from Magazine Beach. Zoning protections were destroyed under the lie that their zoning change did the exact opposite of what was reality. This zoning change was compatible with a whole bunch of fake downzonings associated with friends of the Cambridge City Manager / the Cambridge Pols.

Most recently, this “neighborhood association” conducted a “public meeting” on plans of the bureaucrats for the Magazine Beach area. The reality in Magazine Beach is massive environmental destruction, reduction of playing field, and blocking off of playing fields on the banks of the Charles River from the Charles River, all totally unnecessary, combined with heartless animal abuse as part of the totally unnecessary environmental destruction.

The censorship of the meeting, as is normal, allowed full communication by a very destructive agency which did significant lying to achieve the destruction achieved so far, but mention of their record was prohibited because this fake neighborhood association prohibits negative discussion.

Then the fake neighborhood association joined in a “Celebration” of the needless environmental destruction at Magazine Beach. The “Celebration” naturally did not mention the destruction.

3. The Grand Junction.

People are concerned about totally unnecessary, silly and destructive passenger traffic on the Grand Junction.

The fake neighborhood association is now showing its value to the City Manager and City Councilors.

The term is “company union.” If you cannot persuade people to help you destroy, at least you can kill organization.

The argument is that Cambridgeport has a “neighborhood association.” Creating a meaningful group would be “divisive.”

I downzoned 85% of Mass. Ave. between Harvard and Central Squares by keeping the Cambridge pols as far away as possible. They did significant harm to two of the three initiatives.

I steadily kept them further and further away from the groups. The further I kept them away, the greater the successes. I repeatedly beat them in their own controlled groups, but I should not have had to.

The property owners were not the problem. The problem was my fake friends.

Unity with the City Manager’s friends is folly.