Sunday, March 03, 2013

The “Defenders” of Alewife in Cambridge, MA, USA, are that much closer to destroying it.

The following has been offered as an oped to the Cambridge Chronicle:


The “Defenders” of Alewife are that much closer to destroying Alewife.

In October - November 2011, Cambridge and the Department of Conservation and Recreation destroyed acres of the irreplaceable, ancient, Alewife woodlands. They conducted a mass pogrom of animals whose families had lived there for centuries.

Monday, February 25, these destructive people came that much closer to probable total destruction of the irreplaceable Alewife woodlands.

You see, friends of these governments have been saying the destruction was “needed” to protect North Cambridge from flooding. These governments’ half truths supported these nonsensical claims. The half truths said that the governments were providing protection against the worst possible storm in any two year period. But the area has seen two 50 years storms in the past 20 years, and 100 year protection should be provided.

There were and continue to be alternatives to destroying Alewife for flood protection. There are two properties on either part of CambridgePark Drive next to the needless destruction at Alewife which could easily have flood protection constructed as part of the projects. Running to Alewife Brook Parkway along the railroad right of way from there is a massive parking lot under which the rest of the needed flood protection can be provided.

There is no need to destroy Alewife.

But, in the pages of the Cambridge Chronicle, the founder of a “Friends” group which claims to be defending Alewife has bragged of the destruction of acres of Alewife for that Two Year flood protection.

This “Friend” of Alewife has for the past 15 years told people to tilt at windmills fighting long shot fights against private developers. She tells people not to look at the public destruction. This “friend” of Alewife does not tell people she supports destruction of the Alewife reservation by the public developers. She does not tell people that her friends should have easily been able to enter into joint projects with the developers in these three parcels instead of destroying Alewife.

At minimum, they have the power of eminent domain.

There is a “neighborhood association” which tells people to yell at the developers.

Neither the “Friends” nor the “Neighborhood Association” has publicly called on people to tell the public agencies to behave responsibly. The “Friends” group, if you read her letter in the Cambridge Chronicle, is on the wrong side. The “Neighborhood Association” shares the common trait of Cambridge Machine organizations: get people to do exactly the wrong thing, and reelect their friends on the Cambridge City Council.

The project on the south side of Cambridge ParkDrive has started construction. The project on the north side of Cambridge ParkDrive is going through reviews. Neither is working with the City of Cambridge or the DCR to provide flood protection needed by North Cambridge as part of their project.

Monday night, February 25, a developer announced to the Cambridge Conservation Commission a third project for the massive parking lot running along the railroad right of way.

This is the same developer who is in the ground in the condo project on the South Side of Cambridge ParkDrive, next door to his new project. Both of his projects include flood protection underneath. All a responsible government needs to do is build bigger flood protection under the three projects.

The two fake “protectors” fit a pattern in Cambridge politics. Both are part of the Cambridge Machine. The Cambridge Machine has a long record of its front groups achieving much less than they claim to stand for and, frequently, achieving exactly the opposite of what they claim to stand for.

What is unusual is for one of the fake “protectors” to admit in the pages of the Cambridge Chronicle that her “friends” organization is a fraud.

It is too late to build under the one project which is in the ground.

It is not too late to build under the other two projects.

All it takes is a city government which is not lying when it claims to be pro environment.

All it takes is a city government which is not hiding behind fake “protectors,” and which does its duty and provides meaningful flood protection under the two remaining buildings in the process.

Alewife can be saved. Will it be?