Monday, July 02, 2012

The machine’s fight to destroy the parking lot on Magazine Beach at the foot of Magazine Street fits the Machine’s Pattern of Behavior.

1. Fight for destruction of picnic area.
2. The machine supported the totally wasteful destruction of acres of Alewife with mass animal killing and more to come.
3. The machine is fighting for expansion of destruction at Alewife.
4. Destruction of open space protection on the north side of Memorial Drive.
5. Replacement leading ACN fought against open space replacing Lechmere Station as part of an extension of that rapid transit line.
6. My zoning fights added a lot of environmental protection with the machine being the biggest enemy.
7. The area between Central and Harvard Squares.
8. Riverside residents got shafted by city employees and the machine.
9. The rest?

1. Fight for destruction of picnic area.

The front organization for the Cambridge machine which lies that it is concerned for Magazine Beach is fighting for the destruction of the lovely little parking lot needed by the little guys to get to the picnic area the machine has praised. The machine routinely lies about their plans by omission. They praise and show off the picnic area. Their affection for the picnic is just another lie since they are destroying access by destroying its parking. They brag about improving the historical building which uses the parking lot. Once again, lying by omission. They are destroying the parking lot.

I have gone into detail concerning the corrupt behavior at Magazine Beach and the Destroyed Nesting Area. Lovely word, very destructive reality.

The short of it at Magazine Beach and the Destroyed Nesting Area is that the big problems are based on outrageous destruction during the past 13 years, achieved through lies and lies of omission.

The machine has an explanation. The last 12 years did not exist, according to the machine.

The machine took a stacked survey of needs for improvement. Key in the responses was to end the walling off of Charles River access to Magazine Beach. This bizarre introduced wall starves the Charles River White Geese. The machine had a response. The survey, last I heard, according to the machine, did not exist.

It fits the pattern.

2. The machine supported the totally wasteful destruction of acres of Alewife with mass animal killing and more to come.

They told people they love Alewife. They told people to look at everything except what they are destroying.

Acres of Alewife were destroyed for flood protection against he worst possible storm in 2 years. When the neighbors find out that destruction was for a pittance, the machine has a ready solution: destroy the rest of an Alewife reservation for which they have repeatedly flaunted the “love”

3. The machine is fighting for expansion of destruction at Alewife.

North Cambridge, Arlington and Belmont need flood storage. The Alewife reservation is separated from a massive parking lot which can readily hold the flood storage by one street, Cambridge ParkDrive.

The machine somehow does not understand that.

The machine is aware that the flood storage is about to be severely hurt by a developer building on a major part of the parking lot. He has flood storage. His technique, if expanded by the City of Cambridge, would solve the flooding problem.

The machine does not want to hear that. They are yelling at the developer to build more flood storage. The machine may never notice that this parking lot should be used for flood storage. They will just keep people chasing their tails instead of chasing city councilors until it is too late and there is “no choice” other than destroying the rest of Alewife.

4. Destruction of open space protection on the north side of Memorial Drive.

This was done through something the machine is very good at, fronting for zoning written by the Cambridge City Manager’s people. They ran around lying that they were providing meaningful protections for open space around those buildings. As is with very common with machine / city manager zoning petitions, they lied through omission. They did not tell people about the fine print which allows city manager appointees to destroy all yard protections including the ones the buildings had before the zoning change and its lies of omission.

The key people who destroyed this zoning protections by the lies of omission led a fake Machine group which claims to bring together “neighborhood associations.” The “neighborhood associations” they bring together have a distressing tendency to be machine fronts. The Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods.

5. Replacement leading ACN fought against open space replacing Lechmere Station as part of an extension of that rapid transit line.

The lie there was egregious.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation wanted to turn the entire station into open space.

The ACN “leader” and friends opposed the DCR plan (mentioning it as little as possible). The ACN “leader” fought for a plaza instead. Never mentioned if they could help it, the usual lie of omission, was that, in addition to the “plaza,” in the exact location where the DCR wanted all parkland, they wanted a 10 story building and a 4 story building. That was so blatant, their fight can only be described as pure corruption.

Somehow, the DCR did not get their park. Last I heard, the “plaza” may also not show up. But big buildings could be very likely.

6. My zoning fights added a lot of environmental protection with the machine being the biggest enemy - East Harvard Square.

I have written more successful zoning petitions in the City of Cambridge than anybody else not employed by the City of Cambridge. I commonly have defeated city employees, with Machine operatives being the most visible enemies.

Just one example. On the eastern end of Harvard Square is a hotel which is one of the few new buildings in Harvard Square uniformly praised by decent human beings. Harvard wanted the grass which surrounds that building to have building on top of it. Harvard wanted the building to be 72% larger.

A key person in the Machine came to my neighborhood group with the blatant lie, “You have made your deal with the City Council. Now you must negotiate with the Planning. The Machine through this lie destroyed open space protections and housing protections on the side streets of Harvard Square, an area about two times the size of the area finally downzoned. We had a major victory. The Machine had just another victory for lies.

7. The area between Central and Harvard Squares.

I downzoned 85% of Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard and Central Squares through three major zoning petitions plus significant properties off Massachusetts Avenue between Mass. Ave. and the Charles River.

I had significant victories between Harvard Square and the Charles River in the zoning that included the Inn at Harvard. My first zoning change on Mass. Ave. downzoned the area between this zoning change and the midpoint between Harvard and Central Squares, however subject to severe misbehavior by the Machine operatives in the “Mid-Cambridge Neighborhood Association.”

The operatives responded to a proposal written by a committee of the “Neighborhood Association” chaired by me in response to a vote of the “Neighborhood Association.” The operatives demanded that first floor open space and housing be destroyed. They demanded a downzoning be turned into an upzoning. During most of our zoning petition, the operatives proposed their own, very destructive upzoning, lying that it was the initiative of the “Neighborhood Association.” Responsible people forced a meeting of the “Neighborhood Association,” supported out responsible proposal and rejected the operatives destructive proposal.

But the Machine operatives had poisoned the situation and wasted a significant part of a statutory period with their lies.

The Machine did very severe harm.

My second petition was the Harvard Square petition.

My third petition came in response to the usual dirty trick proposed by Cambridge employees / city appointees on the “Planning Board.”

The East Harvard Square petition got 7 favorable votes, one in the hospital, one negative.

When the key operative saw the third petition’s filing he demanded the goals their “Neighborhood Association” had defeated him on in the first petition.

Our final vote downzoned the east part of the area to require open space at street level and require badly needed housing, at a very large scale, but significantly less that the previous zoning. The petitioners tried to compromise at crunch time with an opposing owner. Our compromise was rejected by the City Council which adopted our proposal 8 to 1.

This petition copied the zoning of the Inn at Harvard to this area, making very significant improvements to protect open space and neighbors.

8. Riverside residents got shafted by city employees and the machine.

Riverside is the neighborhood between my part of Massachusetts Avenue and the Charles River.

The Machine conned concerned Riverside residents into going through a bizarre process which was created out of the air by the development department.

The participating residents were told they had to make a deal.

My petitions made no deals with anybody other than the City Council. My petitions were highly satisfactory, as long as they were kept away from the Machine.

The neighborhood residents in the Riverside zoning change were bullied into a petition that was less pro neighborhood than the developer, Harvard University, finally proposed. The neighborhood residents were offered promises that could not be delivered in exchange for irresponsible concessions that could very much be delivered by the neighborhood residents.

The buildings that resulted on Memorial Drive to the west of River Street have commonly been received with disgust by concerned citizens. But those buildings are exactly the same density as the Inn at Harvard, zoning I created by vote of the City Council both in East Harvard Square and in the part of Mass. Ave. toward Central Square.

Since the density built is exactly the density in the Inn at Harvard zoning, the Inn at Harvard zoning could readily have been received with its much more responsible construction.

But the machine conned the residents.

9. The rest?

I could go on and on and on.

One interesting point is the constant insistence that people seeking zoning protections need to go to the city manager’s employees for drafting.

IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THERE HAVE BEEN MANY PRIVATELY DRAFTED AND SUCCESSFUL ZONING PETITIONS, even though my many victories have frequently been quite spectacular. And in spite of the common fine print turning lovely words into lies in documents drafted by the city manager’s employees.

The Machine, in its fight to destroy the parking lot at the foot of Magazine Street by never mentioning that they are destroying if they can help it, is following a corrupt tradition.

As is usual, the Machine has never said why they are fighting for the destruction of that beautiful little parking lot which is so much needed by the little guy to get access to the picnic area and the historical building. They just do not mention it if they can help.

Just as their version of history is that the last twelve years of history did not exist on the Charles River.

The Machine is directly implementing corrupt procedures which the Cambridge City Manager brags are his right. The Cambridge City Manager has explicitly claimed a right to lie by omission in his proposals. The Cambridge City Manager claims it is the duty of concerned citizens to find the parts of his proposals about which he has lied through omission.

That is they “way things are done” in the City of Cambridge.