Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cambridge / DCR announce secret “public meeting” on Alewife destruction

1. Secret Location.
2. Announcement.
3. The record.

1. Secret Location.

The City of Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Recreation have announced a “public meeting” on the massive destruction schedule for the core Alewife Reservation. They have located the meeting so as to keep it as secret as possible.

The meeting location is 1.9 miles from the destruction site in a strikingly different part of the city of Cambridge at a meeting location which is badly served by public transportation, especially if you are coming from the area most impacted by the destruction.

The location is 680 Huron Avenue, 1.9 miles from the destruction site. It is on the far side of the Fresh Pond Reservation. People concerned about the project who want to make the meeting will be required to take public transportation into Harvard Square (bus or subway) and then take another bus out. The service which goes past the location is an alternate route to a route which does not have particularly good service in the first place.

By contrast, the Peabody Elementary School is less than half the distance, .9 miles. It is on the same road as the proposed destruction and is a short distance from the 77 line which has very frequent service. It is also walking distance from Alewife Station which abuts the planned destruction. It is in the middle of the people most impacted by the destruction and convenient for folks in Arlington who are even closer.

Peabody has a large auditorium which has frequently been used for public meetings.

2. Announcement.

The city’s announcement may be read at:{DAF66B39-7BC0-482E-897B-9AA279D50B79}&start=20110907T183000&end=20110907T200000.

I tried to get a link to the actual announcement, but that seems to have been prevented (surprise?). You need to follow the link and click on the blued “meeting notice.”

There is a map of the planned destruction but no plans of what is being destroyed. The City Manager brags that he only needs to tell people about what he is creating. How dare anybody expect him to tell what he is destroying.

Take Google Maps, satellite view, to 100 Cambridge Park Drive, Cambridge, MA to see the target area. I have posted photos of the area with destruction to date at: The Google Maps view precedes the start of destruction, and is thus very useful in order to view the outrage.

The access road on the City Manager’s map appears on Google as a treed area connecting to a round about / rotary to the west (left) of 100 Cambridge Park Drive. Part of the massive destruction which has already occurred is directly above the rotary. The treed area above the rotary is now the access road. The other destruction which has already occurred is at the Alewife Station end.

The massive parking lot which should be used for the flood storage is directly below (south of) Cambridge Park Drive.

The secret “public meeting” is scheduled for 6:30 pm on September 7.

The euphemisms are shocking. Massive and unnecessary destruction of animal habitat is described as “enhance wildlife habitat.”

3. The record.

This is the same tactic used on the BU Bridge reconstruction. Three secret “public meetings” were conducted, two in Boston on the Boston University campus, the third near Kendall Square on the MIT campus.

By contrast, the Department of Transportation meetings have been convenient and sensible.

It is no surprise that Cambridge Pols are very much nonstop in their praise for the DCR and equally nonstop in trying to undermine MassDOT.

Cambridge has kept this destruction as secret as possible by influencing a supposed protective organization to tell people to look at everything but the totally avoidable massive destruction in the core Alewife reservation.

Boston Globe editorializes on Cambridge City Manager

Archie Mazmanian reports:


Here's the link:

to today's Boston Globe editorial on Robert Healy's decision not to appeal the Monteiro decision. The editorial suggests that Healy may be serving for too long a period, although the editorial does state that he has done some good things for Cambridge. The editorial closes with:

"Healy may or may not be the best person to run Cambridge, but he can only do it better with a little pressure from above."

Presumably the reference to "from above" is the Council, or is it? It seems that the Council has been reluctant to provide any pressure; perhaps it has to apply a lot of pressure. But what are the chances of that? Or should the pressure come from voters in electing members of the Council? Or is there a suggestion of a miracle needed "from above" in another sense?