Monday, May 31, 2021

Cambridge City Council considers rewriting the functioning of the City of Cambridge. I. A personal prequil.

 Cambridge City Council considers rewriting the functioning of the City of Cambridge.   I.  A personal prequil.

1. Introduction.

2. A very general background.

3. Undergrad, writing.

4. Undergrad, Achieving.

5. Employment with the Governor’s Office during Law School.

6. To be continued.

1. Introduction.

The purpose of this now 16 year old blog is to protect the environment, the animals and the water of the Charles River and related areas.

I have deviated from the basic goal to get into the new plans of the Cambridge City Council to not only destroy the Charles River, but also to destroy that part of the City of Cambridge which is second most cherished, Harvard Square.  In the process, I have attempted to refrain from Cambridge politics insofar as possible.

Wednesday, June 2, Cambridge’s nine destructive City Councilors will be considering whether to change the city “charter,” the rules upon which Cambridge city government is based.

Analysis of the current government situation from an environmental point of view could be helpful.  I am now in my sixth decade working for the environment in this extremely hypocritical city.  I have worked to achieve the goals of the folks who elect the Cambridge City Council, although those folks currently are dominated by a tiny minority which lies about the environmental outrage which is the Cambridge City Council.

This topic and my musings could way overload any individual report.

2. A very general background.

I have worked for the goals of the majority of Cambridge residents in spite of the lies being fed to them.  I have had a great deal of success, but a major factor in my success has been a recognition of what is possible at any particular time.  Within that recognition, I have been extremely successful.

The roots of this current outrage go back to the 60s in Cambridge.  I was born in Cambridge.  I lived in Baltimore and then Philadelphia during the two years between undergrad at UMass Amherst and post grad at Boston University.  I have always been a “moderate.”  

3. Undergrad, writing.

I came to UMass Amherst from the U.S. Army in which I served in Germany when the Berlin Wall went up.

I started in the Winter semester after discharge the prior October.  My first semester was difficult because I did not remember how to study.  I did well because I was scared and effectively used my military training to be a good student.  

That fall, in the fall semester of my first real study year at UMass Amherst, I wanted to do something as an activity since I was now able to study.  I became a justice in a judicial panel at the trial level of UMass’s student judiciary system.  In that capacity, I rather strongly was shown severe problems with the rules of the institution.  I resigned at the beginning of my second full year at UMass Amherst and turned my spare time toward improving the rules.

In the winter semester of my third full year, I participated in an intense effort to clean up campus rules as a member of the appropriate student senate sub committee.  Working within the then sexually segregated rules system, our committee went to every men’s dorm on campus and met with folks to discuss the rules under which we were living.  The subcommittee gave up our midterm vacation to finalize a rules change proposal in time to reach the school administration’s deadline for rules proposals to be effective in the Fall.

4. Undergrad, Achieving.

Come the Fall, I had been elected Student Senator representing my dorm, and the administration had referred our rules proposal to the Faculty Senate.  The Faculty Senate created a joint and equally distributed faculty / student committee on the subject.   I was appointed to it.

I spent the fall semester holding down the campus.  The university’s official rules said that the students were governed by rules of their own creation.  The leaders of some of the dorms we had visited decided they wanted to live by our rules proposal.  I met with them, told them that I thought the administration was behaving in good faith.  I proposed that, rather than having individuals sticking their necks out, we lay low and, should conditions warrant, maneuver a situation in which everybody simultaneously decided to implement our proposal, with no obvious leader and NO ONE PERSON’S NECK ON THE LINE.

Between semesters, the Faculty Senate rejected the proposal in very clear bad faith.

A student senator proposed EXACTLY THE CORRECT response to the Student Senate.  He proposed that we pass implementation of our proposal.  IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EXISTING rules.

He then got up in front of the Student Senate and, in support of his motion, made it clear that he did not have the slightest idea what he was doing.  He made his motion certain to lose.  If that happened, any subsequent motion would require a two thirds vote even to be considered.

I asked to be recognized.  The chair knew I had been holding the campus in check.  He recognized me figuring I would kill the motion.  I gave them Hell.

The chair sent a friend to ask me if I would agree to tabling it.  I did and for weeks thereafter, I took the motion off the table and updated the senate every week, followed by tabling the motion again.

The campus radicals conducted a sit in over military recruitment.  They obstructed access to recruiters and blocked the lobby of the Student Union in the process.  Five o’clock came.  The recruiters finished their work day and went home.  

This left the entry to the student union filled with demonstrators with no target present.  So they supported our rules position and got a public debate with the administration in the largest venue on campus.  The radicals in the debate accused administration employees of violations for which I had no doubt I could personally obtain firings.  

They were so far out of touch.

The Senate chair and I met by coincidence at the student senate office after this experience, figuring we had been destroyed by incompetence.

He proceeded to negotiate with the administration.  During the processing of the rules change proposal, the administration had merged regulation of women and men into one office.  

On our side, the negotiations included women who proceeded to make minimum demands which exceeded our maximum goals.  They wanted to apply all the rules changes in both women’s and men’s dorms.  

We won.  UMass Amherst proceeded to have the most liberal student rules in New England.

That fall I came back from my employment in Baltimore for Homecoming.  I wound up sharing a pretty large table in the Student Union, over coffee with the Dean of Students.  Six months earlier, this would have been inconceivable.  He was kind enough to describe me as the “most dangerous student on campus.”

5. Employment with the Governor’s Office during Law School.

Between my second and third year of Law School, I worked as an intern in the Massachusetts Governor’s office.  My boss wanted to show off their computer system.  He asked me if there was any bill that interested me.  

I had been biking to Boston University from the mid part of Cambridge, and biking to work at the State House.  I was on the mailing list for bike activists who objected to a bill regulating biking which was in front of the legislature.  The bill was well intentioned.  The sponsor just did not understand what he was doing.

I told my boss about that bill.  He informed me that it had passed both houses of the legislature and was on the governor’s desk.  He informed me that the governor agreed that it was a terrible bill, but that he had no choice but to sign it since the lead sponsor was a friend. 

My boss lied to me about the hostility of the governor to the proposal.   His description of the governor’s opinion was way more negative than my own opinion.  He did not know how to say no and greatly underestimated me.

Without me being at all visible, I did my best to implement what I had been told was the governor’s opinion,  Without mentioning my misunderstanding of the governor’s wishes, I got those bike activists active.  I gave them ideas and contacts.  

A week after my discussion with my boss, the Boston Globe editorialized in favor of the bill commenting about the very great furor which had appeared in the meantime, after it passed both houses WITHOUT NEGATIVE COMMENT.  

The sponsor asked the governor to veto his bill because he had not realized the bill’s defects.

I was amazed how little real effort I had to put into defeating that bill after the very major nightmare I had endured in the UMass Amherst Student Senate.  

I was the only governor’s intern NOT to get a photo with the governor.  He rather clearly gave me personal credit for that veto and was not pleased.

6. To be continued.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Environmental analysis of Cambridge, MA, USA pending 2021-2022 budget

Environmental analysis of Cambridge, MA, USA pending 2021-2022 budget

The following is a letter received by the Cambridge City Council from me on May 17, 2021 concerning the currently pending Cambridge budget for 2021 - 2022, typos corrected.

* * * *

I read with interest the Budget presented to the City Council by the City Manager, particularly the bragging about NEW TREES.  I noted the related silence about governnental environmental destruction.  A few things came to mind.

1. Many Annual Tree City USA awards came AT THE SAME TIME AS CAMBRIDGE WAS CREATING THE loss of tree coverage which Cambridge now bemoans.  This is the normal situation in Cambridge: Don’t look at our destructiveness, look at what we tell you to look at.

2. The head of the fake protective group at Alewife ran around telling people to yell at private developers OBEYING ZONING LAWS and not to look at the City of Cambridge and the DCR destroying 3.4 acres of (to quote the many City Council proclamations) the irreplaceable Silver Maple Forest.  She was telling them to fight for the long shots and ignore a fight which had an excellent chance of victory.

3. The City Council supported funding of yet another boondoggle in the Charles to respond to the algae mess in the Charles CREATED BY THE DCR AND CAMBRIDGE.  The algae mess started with poisons being introduced on banks of Magazine Beach.  The poisons were then rerouted to the Charles by an “activist” funded by DCR / Trump moneys.  She has since been funded by the City Council for “environmental” work assisting the latest tree outrage at Magazine Beach.

4. The Grand Junction bike path public “planning documents” totally hide plans south of Memorial Drive. This I thoroughly debunked after only attending one meeting and reviewing the misleading stuff on line.  See my report, “A Private Interstate Off Ramp Sold as a Bike Path with major harm to Cambridge”, March 15, 2021 meeting, pages 131 to 161.

This City government stooped to massive destruction of trees on the Cambridge Common adjacent to the now zoning doomed Harvard Square.

The reality is that government is the big environmental problem in Cambridge.  The problem is Cambridge and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.  The budget does nothing to change this extremely bad situation.  In recent years bad stuff has been hidden in the “public vote” on budget allocations buried in a truly hidden review process.  People are subjected to employees of a department with a bad record.  This process is mentioned by the City Manager in his budget communications.  This bizarre package has yet to come to the City Council.  This City Council  has a record of massive secrecy when it comes to the banks of the Charles River.

The oddities get worse when the City Manager brags about the purchase of some trees from Buckingham, Brown and Nichols.  He does not mention that the DCR on Birmingham Parkway near BBN would appear to have been just as destructive on Birmingham Parkway as it has been on the Charles in Cambridge WITH THE SUPPORT OF CAMBRIDGE.  Would the incompetence in the Cambridge Development Department result in equally bad plans for the BBN property?

* * * * [ed:  these asterisks and the following are in the original]

There is a possibility that some of the actions of Cambridge and the DCR are not as destructive as others, undoing outrages which should not have been created in the first place.


Cambridge and the DCR are still destroying healthy trees and doing worse.  The City Council has praised / helped fund yet another lovely DCR contract on the Charles WHICH DOES NOT ADDRESS THE REAL PROBLEM.   POISONS SO LOVED BY CAMBRIDGE AND THE DCR BEING DUMPED ON THE RIVER BANKS AND THEN REROUTED INTO THE CHARLES is a slap in the face to the environment.

I immediately complained to the City Council after this DCR / Trump funded outrage which created the Algae blight. 

The City Council response was consistent: SILENCE, ALWAYS SILENCE from the City Council on the stuff which counts.


The DCR is endearing yet another contractor with an award to POSSIBLY clean up the irresponsibilities of those beloved poisons introduced in the 2000s under the supervision of Mr. Rossi before his promotion to City Manager.  The beloved poisons were, of course, rerouted into the Charles by the City Council’s “environmental” contractor.  And the award to that contractor included wording praising her poisoning of the Charles.  I complained of the poisoning to this City Council VERY PROMPTLY WHEN SHE BLOCKED THE DRAINAGE.  THE CITY COUNCIL RESPONSE WAS  REPEATEDLY SILENT.

DEAD BEES have been observed on Magazine Beach.

* * * 

Will the DCR go forward with the destruction of the excellent Wild Area east of the BU Bridge and the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge with further destruction at the Destroyed Nesting Area and greater abuse of the 40 year tourist attraction, the Charles River White Geese?  This is part of the Grand Junction Path project being kept secret from well intentioned people UNTIL THEY ARE ROPED IN.  I note that a member expressed her concern for trees.  The Department staffer SPOKE AROUND DCR plans.

The Cambridge City Council has praised this project 

Here is a photo of the doomed Wild Area.  The white figures are a gaggle of the 40 year resident Charles River White Geese hunting for food.  This desperate hunt has been made necessary because their principal food for most of the last 40 years has been taken from them by Cambridge and the DCR.

On the next page [ed: below] are the DCR’s plans for that area which were NOT YET implemented.  My video on what the DCR and Cambridge did in January 2016 may be seen at  That includes analysis of the Wild Area since its destruction were in those plans.  The video also includes mention of the outrage IN PROCESS at the Playing Fields.  Mr. Rossi is the City Manager mentioned in the video.

The Destroyed Nesting Area WITH, AT MINIMUM, destruction of excellent and very visible trees is to the left.  The Wild area is to the right, both below Memorial Drive.  PLANS FOR THE GRAND JUNCTION PATH keep the MANY CAMBRIDGE plans south of Memorial River SECRET.

The Wild Area, on the right shows exactly ONE TREE NOT DESTROYED, tree 535.  Somehow, the DCR neglected to show the rest of the trees?  Like Heck.

* * * *

On the following page [ed: below] is the ADMITTEDLY excellent MicroCenter grove, next to Swimming Pool, a ground shot taken from the MicroCenter side and a cropped still from “From Cambridge to Boston with the DJ Inspire 1 Drone footage,”, minute 233.

Here is the cropped still.  Please excuse the loss of clarity.  The drone photos are not that good for real close ups.

In the Show and Tell given by the DCR to the Cambridge Conservation Commission, the DCR explained that they were destroying these admittedly excellent trees to move the parking lot seen behind them away from the water.  (I seem to no longer be on the mailing list for agendas for Conservation Commission meetings.  I have requested reinstatement.)

The City Council funded the Charles River Poisoner to do “environmental” work including destroying the part of the parking lot behind the pool, thus giving an excuse to destroy the grove.

* * * *

As I went into detail in my report on the Grand Junction “Path,” the bike path looks like a stalking horse for an updated Inner Belt, this time as a private off ramp to MIT with ramp access to Memorial Drive.  

The apparent REAL REASON for destruction rather clearly looks like a wish to reduce the number of driveways on Memorial Drive, thus speeding up traffic to make it easier for traffic getting off MIT’s private exit ramp from I-90, the updated Inner Belt.  The private ramp was proposed to include access to Memorial Drive when first proposed by the MBTA in 2003, supposedly for an express bus from Newton.  

After spending the money on the study, the MBTA “realized” that the cost of widening the Grand Junction Railroad Bridge included in the plan  made the plan prohibitively expense for an Express Bus route, a reality obvious from the beginning.

Destruction of the MicroCenter grove moves a driveway so that it is located across from a MicroCenter driveway.

* * * *

The work secretly voted by the Cambridge City Council for the western part of the Starvation Wall on Magazine Beach destroyed a number of trees.

Here is a tree probably destroyed in one of the City Council’s secret votes.  Destroyed Maple formerly next to the ball fields.  Phil Barber photo and edit.  The orange spots blown up on the insert are the mark of doom.

* * * *

Here is destruction at the curve of the pedestrian overpass crossing Memorial Drive (Phil Barber photos).  First the before picture.  The cars are on Memorial Drive. 

Then after pictures.  Shots were taken from the overpass.  Memorial Drive is visible in the left [ed: first] photo.

I leafleted this destruction.  I was tested by several concerned park users.  

They questioned me about the TREE destruction on the very banks of the Charles River, funded in one of the City Council’s essentially secret votes. 

[Ed.  In preparation of this letter to the Cambridge City Council, I looked for but could not find my personal photo of the destroyed trees as they were viewed from the overpass.  I have since found that photo and supplemented the letter to the Cambridge City Council.  The photo is at the end of this report as an addendum, but, since I am able to insert it here, it is inserted here as wall.


* * * *

Here is the outrage at Alewife, 3.4 acres destroyed with Company Union Assistance from the head / CREATOR of the fake Alewife protection group.  The trees at the outskirts previously occupied the entire area of the photo.

The head of the fake Alewife protection group claims to be defending Alewife.  She, however, VERY STRONGLY tells people not to be bothered about city / state property.  This is stereotypical company union tactics.

This destruction very clearly was done by the Cambridge City Council and the DCR.

There is even a LARGE sign posted, bragging of the names of the GUILTY City Councilors.

Is this outrage counted in the supposed count of lost trees in Cambridge?  

This picture is, I believe, from 2012.


Robert J. La Trémouille, ChairFriends of the White Geese

P.S. This letter most definitely is not all inclusive.

* * * * [ed: asterisks not in letter]

Addendum to blog report:

Here is a BEFORE photo of the destroyed trees from the overpass.  I could not find this photo when preparing the letter.