Welcome to Central Square, Workbar! Workbar, with its original workspace office located across from Boston’s South Station, has now opened a second space in Cambridge’s Central Square!
Its new office, located at 45 Prospect St (the corner of Bishop Allen and Prospect) consists of 13,000 square feet of space. The location has been completely renovated into a shared space for business productivity. Workbar occupies both the ground floor and the top floor of the location.
The ground floor of the location consists of a “business-centric café space” which features things such as a coffee bar and shared tables. Just above that is the mezzanine level. Here you will find a private room that can be used for meetings, etc, and outside of that a more collaborative space with shared counter space and other seating.
In addition to the ground floor, Workbar has the entire top floor of 45 Prospect. This space has two outdoor patios and a kitchen. Additionally, the top floor is separated into three sections. A quiet area known as “The study”, “The Commons” a place for collaborative work, and “The Switchboard” a place that can be used for phone or Skype calls. “The Switchboard” area houses private booths for phone calls and will eventually house treadmills for working as well!
Workbar memberships start as low as $30/day (part time membership) and go up to to $2400/month (dedicated space membership), which consists of a fully furnished, lockable private office for four people. Of course there’s also price points in between. For more information check out workbar.com
(Pictured above: Bill Jacobson & Alexa Lightner)
Rock Shop, a monthly event for local artists and bands in the Boston music community, will present a discussion on social media Tuesday, June 4, 6-9 p.m., at the Middle East Downstairs, 480 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge.
The evening’s hosts …
Who: Author Sydelle Pearl talks about her Longfellow biography.
When: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Cambridge Historical Society
Cost: Free and open to the public.
RSVP: 617.547.4252 or email@example.com
Hear how author and former Boston area resident was inspired to write her unique biography, Dear Mr. Longfellow: Letters to and from the Children’s Poet. Follow her research journey to find the story behind a special gift made for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by the children of Cambridge to celebrate the poet’s 72nd birthday.
“Meticulously researched, Dear Mr. Longfellow uses letters written by actual children to their beloved poet to re-create, in rich and often-moving detail, the life of a writer who took his readers seriously, and none more so than the youngest of them.”
Author of Longfellow Redux
“A fresh and delightful way to learn about what Longfellow’s poems meant to his young readers.”
Mayor Henrietta Davis
A former children’s librarian, Pearl has been a professional storyteller for twenty years. She gives presentations at schools, libraries, and festivals.
During a municipal election year, it is common that the content of City Council Orders is at least in part motivated by the need to identify or, in some cases, create issues that will distinguish the author of the Order. The same can be said of matters taken up by the City Council committees and more. Controversy and alarm are sure to draw more attention than more mundane matters. There’s now just four weeks to go before nomination papers become available for City Council candidates, and it’s a good time to look at the actions of our local elected officials through a campaign-tinted lens. With this in mind, here’s a list of some of the more interesting agenda items on this week’s agenda:
Manager’s Agenda #5. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-38, regarding a report on measures the City can take to prevent the transport of ethanol. [Meeting Notice with response from Congressman Michael Capuano]
Order #6. That the City Manager is requested to appoint a working group of up to eleven people charged with drafting a community response to the Mar 29, 2013 report issued by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation as it relates to ethanol transport and the impact on the City of Cambridge. Councillor Maher and Councillor Decker
There’s no doubt that this is a significant issue that deserves a thoughtful response, but it’s true that an atmosphere of fear is something that can be nurtured and exploited for political gain. The state legislature has taken some steps to stop trains bearing this particular hazardous cargo, but the letter from Congressman Capuano makes clear that federal jurisdiction in interstate commerce may trump any such efforts, including actions targeting things other than the transportation of such cargo. It’s not surprising that residents may be fearful, especially with news stories from elsewhere about train derailments and their consequences.
Should this plan go through, the most likely route would follow the Fitchburg Line through North Cambridge and Porter Square and then through Somerville en route to the Chelsea destination. The Grand Junction branch passing through Cambridgeport and East Cambridge is a possible alternate route. Perhaps the most potentially dangerous locations for any route would be at-grade crossings. On the preferred route, this includes Sherman Street in North Cambridge and Park Street in Somerville.
Manager’s Agenda #10. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-33, regarding a report on adding a RSS feed to all City web pages.
This item will be carefully scrutinized by Councillor Cheung, John Hawkinson and Saul Tannenbaum, but probably not by legions of other residents.
Manager’s Agenda #22. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-78, regarding a report on expanding the number of parks/playing fields with public toilets; Awaiting Report Item Number 12-132, regarding a report on incorporating permanent bathroom facilities at the Cambridge Common, conducting a study for permanent bathroom facilities in all squares and providing a list of all locations were portable bathroom facilities are currently located; Awaiting Report Item Number 12-150, regarding convening a task force to look into the creation of providing permanent public restrooms at high volume locations; and Awaiting Report Item Number 13-55, regarding a report on efforts to develop a working group to review public bathroom issues.
As the text of the Manager’s report indicates, this responds to four separate Council orders. Though the idea of bathroom facilities may seem like a not-so-hot topic, it has actually brought out a lot of people during the Public Comment period of meetings over a span of quite a few years, and good answers are not so easy to come by. This is also not just about the Cambridge Common. In past years there was a lot of discussion about creating public toilets in the major squares, but nothing really happened for a variety of reasons. Nonetheless, people still "have to go" and you can’t change that via legislation. It does seem clear that the City administration is taking the matter seriously and that some accommodation will follow.
Manager’s Agenda #28. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 13-60, regarding a report on the feasibility of donating old computers to non-profit agencies in lieu of recycling them.
This is clearly a good thing, but one has to wonder why sensible efficiencies like this should require City Council orders. The City of Cambridge is often seen as a leader in "sustainability" efforts, and one major part of this involves waste disposal and reuse options. It seems to this writer and long-time recycling advocate that all City departments should be ensuring that surplus equipment is disposed in the best possible way, and reuse certainly seems a better choice than other alternatives.
Unfinished Business #14. Report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Ordinance Committee, for a public hearing held on Apr 3, 2013 to discuss an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to create a new Section 6.100 Bicycle Parking, and to create a new definition for Bicycle Parking in Article 2.000, modify the yard standards in Article 5.000 as they relate to bicycle parking and modifying various sections of Article 6.000 to remove references to bicycle parking. The question comes on passing to be ordained on or after May 6, 2013. Planning Board hearing held Mar 19, 2013. Petition expires June 17, 2013. May 6, 2013 substituted language referred to Unfinished Business and remained on Unfinished Business.
I suspect this will be ordained at this meeting. The proposed ordinance could be made better by including a requirement for secure bicycle parking for all redevelopments. At the very least, there should be a requirement that there be no net loss of potential bike parking below an established minimum for both residential and commercial buildings.
Resolution #17. Thanks and best wishes to Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray for his service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Councillor Decker
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Tim. I’ll never forget the evasive answers you gave me at a City Council committee meeting back when you were still the Mayor of Worcester. You haven’t changed a bit.
Resolution #30. Congratulations to City Manager Robert W. Healy on his fellowship at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mayor Davis [Press Release]
How do I schedule an appointment with Professor Healy during office hours later this year?
Order #1. That the Executive Assistant to the City Council confer with the Dedication Committee to consider the request from Wayne Ishikawa for a street corner dedication in honor of Michael Shinagel. Councillor Toomey
I tip my hat to my former boss, Harvard Extension School Dean Michael Shinagel. The Extension School has been providing affordable educational opportunities for residents for a century and Michael Shinagel served as Dean of the Division of Continuing Education for 38 years from 1975 through 2013. [Harvard Magazine article, Sept 2012]
Order #2. That the City Manager is requested to confer with relevant City staff, City of Boston, state transportation officials and Longfellow Bridge construction project managers to determine if it would be possible for pedicabs to transfer passengers from the general MGH/Charles Street area of Boston to the general Kendall Square area of Cambridge and back again. Councillor Kelley
This is an excellent idea. Still unresolved, however, is the question of where pedicabs should ride on streets where the City wants install so-called "cycle tracks." The pedicabs often consume the entire width of these bike lanes, and in order to accommodate the sidewalk "cycle tracks" roadway widths are often narrowed to the point where motor vehicles and cyclists can no longer safely share a travel lane in the road. It’s even worse for pedicab drivers who will have no option other than to "take the lane" or ride the sidewalk. This conflict will likely not be an issue on the Longfellow Bridge.
Order #5. That the City Manager is requested to confer with the State Auditor’s Office to determine if the state of Massachusetts will fund the costs incurred by the city when it assesses and establishes full and fair cash value for tax-exempt properties within the City of Cambridge even though the city cannot collect taxes from said properties. Councillor vanBeuzekom
As the Order states, the City cannot collect taxes from said properties, so how the assessment takes place is unimportant to the City. The simplest solution is to simply ask that the owners of tax-exempt properties submit estimates of their "full and fair cash value." There will be no tax collected anyway, so there’s no practical need for more than a good estimate. This also applies to the valuation of City, State, and Federal properties within the city.
Committee Report #4. A communication was received from Donna P. Lopez, Interim City Clerk, transmitting a report from Councillor David P. Maher, Chair of the Government Operations and Rules Committee, for a public meeting held on May 22, 2013 to review the status of positions reporting directly to the City Council.
The purpose of this meeting was to take up the issue of the appointment of the City Clerk and the City Auditor. It’s about time that the word "Interim" should be removed from "Interim City Clerk Donna P. Lopez." Jim Monagle is also expected to be reappointed as City Auditor.
Unfinished Business #10. Transmitting communication from Robert W. Healy, City Manager, relative to Awaiting Report Item Number 12-90, regarding a report on Executive Session to discuss lawsuits. [City Manager Agenda Number Seven of Feb 25, 2013 Placed on Table on motion of Councillor Kelley on Feb 25, 2013.]
Communications & Reports #1. A communication was received from Councillor Craig Kelley notifying the City Manager and City Council of his intention to move to take Calendar Item #10 from the table to enable discussion of various lawsuits against the City.
Communications & Reports #2. A communication was received from Councillor Minka vanBeuzekom alerting her colleagues of her intention to pull Awaiting Report Item Number 12-90 (Unfinished Business #10) to discuss pending lawsuits.
My speculation is that these fundamentally identical communications originated on Brookford Street and that Public Comment will once again feature bitter commentary from one of its residents. City Manager Robert Healy will retire four weeks from today. The City will move on without skipping a beat, but some multiple-decade critics may never move on. – Robert Winters
Addendum: At this meeting the City Council accepted a late committee report from the Government Operations & Rules Committee and passed the following Order:
ORDERED: That the former site of the Cambridge Police Department which is now the new location for the Cambridge Community Learning Center, the Cambridge Housing Authority and the Multi-Service Center be named the “Alice K. Wolf Center” and that a suitable dedication ceremony be planned by the Executive Assistant to the City Council and the staff, and be it further
ORDERED: That the Deputy City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council with a plan for either a suitable plaque or a sign for the “Alice K. Wolf Center“.
Esquire named Brick & Mortar, 567 Mass. Ave., one of the best bars in America in its June/July issue that hit newsstands today. Every year, Esquire teams up with “cocktail historian,” David Wondrich, to name the top watering holes and …
Have you stumbled upon the Underground New York Public Library? You don’t actually have to go to NYC to borrow books. It is a photo series featuring the “Reading-Riders” of the NYC subways. The photos are a visual library, “freely lending out a reminder that we’re capable of traveling to great depths within ourselves and as a whole.” Check it out here. Is anyone inspired to start the Underground Boston Public Library? Or maybe the Underground Cambridge Public Library?
According to the newly issued Agassiz Neighborhood Path booklet, William Dean Howells described this part of Cambridge, where he lived from 1866 to 1870, as “‘a frontier between city and country’ where ‘the voices of cows’ mingled with the whistles of nearby locomotives.” Cows no longer live in the Agassiz neighborhood, but four different neighborhood paths will take walkers to visit a pair of rhinoceroses, two different whales, and the spot where Bill Gates wrote the software code that launched Microsoft.
Community organizers, with assistance from the Agassiz Baldwin Community, have researched, designed, and written an updated version of a booklet first published in 2011 with new routes and new destinations, including a tree walk that highlights the neighborhood’s botanical diversity. Catherine Weller, one of the booklet’s contributors, credits neighborhood resident Seddon Wylde with the project’s initial spark. “Her idea was that walking provided health benefits and adding information about interesting sites would make it more likely that people would extend their walking routes.” Each path is designed for a walk lasting about 45 minutes to an hour.
At each stop on the path, the booklet provides fascinating tidbits, some historical (“An explosion in the [Cambridge Electron Accelerator] lab one July night in 1965 rocked the Agassiz neighborhood and killed a graduate student.”), some philosophical (“The [sycamore] tree bark is in a constant state of ‘becoming’ with no fewer than 3 layers visible at a time.”) and some humorous (The entry for John Kenneth Galbraith’s home reveals the results of a 1955 FBI report on Galbraith: “Investigation favorable except conceited, egotistical and snobbish.”). Weller’s most surprising discovery while researching the locations was that Sacramento Field, now a popular playground with a baseball diamond, a soccer field and a basketball court, was once a reservoir for a textile processing plant.
A website for further information is listed at the bottom of each location description, so walkers can use a smartphone en route to learn more about the installation of the two whale skeletons at Harvard’s Northwest Laboratory or the arrival of Bessie and Victoria, the two rhinoceros statues outside the Harvard Biological Laboratories. Or the walker can save the searching for the home computer and simply enjoy the walk, staying alert to each sight and sound, just in case the ghostly mooing of cows drifts down the sidewalk. In this neighborhood—as the new booklet amply illustrates—stranger things have happened.
The Agassiz Neighborhood Path booklet is available online and printed copies can be picked up at the Agassiz Baldwin Community.
The post The Agassiz Neighborhood Path Enlightens Walkers, Encourages Good Health appeared first on Agassiz Baldwin Community.
City Manager Robert W. Healy is seeking Cambridge residents to fill vacancies on the Fresh Pond Advisory Board. The Fresh Pond Advisory Board was created in 2001 to advise the City Manager and City boards and commissions on implementation of the Fresh Pond Reservation Master Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in January 2001. The Master Plan provides guidance for the maintenance and improvement of Fresh Pond Reservation, a critical element of the City’s water supply, and the City’s most heavily used open space.
The primary purposes of the Advisory Board are to oversee the general stewardship of Fresh Pond Reservation in accordance with the Master Plan and to maintain collaborative relationships among City departments and user groups that impact the Reservation. The Advisory Board also provides a forum for public discussion and evaluation of proposals for land-use and land-management projects.
The Fresh Pond Advisory Board includes up to 18 members (up to 12 of whom are resident volunteers with active, long-term knowledge of the Reservation, who are not City employees or consultants to the City). Board members are appointed for three-year terms and may be reappointed at the City Manager’s discretion. Persons with expertise in landscape architecture, park management and environmental management are encouraged to apply. The Fresh Pond Advisory Board meets at least four (4) times annually, on Thursday evenings.
For more information, call Nancy Schlacter at 617-349-4396. Interested persons should send a letter and/or resume via e-mail, mail or fax by Friday, June 21, 2013 to:Robert W. Healy, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 Ph. 617-349-4300
Cambridge Neighborhood Conservation District Commissions Seek New Members
The Cambridge City Manager is seeking individuals to fill vacancies in the membership of the Half Crown-Marsh, Mid-Cambridge and Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) commissions. Each of the three commissions meets monthly to review applications for demolition, new construction and alterations to buildings in the districts.
The Half Crown-Marsh NCD is an area of 200 properties located west of Harvard Square, while the Avon Hill NCD is an area of 250 properties west of Porter Square. Mid-Cambridge, the largest of the districts, is bordered by Prospect Street, Massachusetts Avenue, Prescott and Kirkland streets and the Cambridge/Somerville boundary. Each district exhibits unique architectural characteristics and development patterns. Among the purposes of a neighborhood conservation district are to conserve and maintain the distinctive features of the sites and structures that compose the neighborhood and reflect the history of that part of the city.
Appointments are made by the City Manager with regard to the diverse viewpoints expressed in the creation of the districts. Minority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply. Statutory requirements provide that some appointments be filled by homeowners or residents of the districts who have professional qualifications related to real estate, architecture, historic preservation, landscape architecture, urban planning, law or geotechnical engineering. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge and concern for the improvement, conservation and enhancement of the district.
Individuals interested in being considered should submit a letter of interest and a resumé by Friday, June 14, 2013 for the Half Crown-Marsh and Avon Hill districts and by June 28, 2013 for the Mid-Cambridge district. Submissions can be sent to the attention of:Robert W. Healy, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 Ph. 617-349-4300
Cambridge Human Rights Commission Vacancy
Cambridge City Manager Robert W. Healy is seeking persons interested in serving on the Cambridge Human Rights Commission (CHRC). Made up of 11 volunteers who serve three-year terms, the CHRC meets on the first Thursday of every month at 6pm. The Commission seeks Cambridge residents representing the diversity of Cambridge.
Commissioners are expected to work with other members of the Commission and staff to fulfill the goals and objectives of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission Ordinance (CMC Chapter 2.76). Commissioners are expected to attend monthly meetings, participate in subcommittees on outreach and public education, and work with Commission staff on the investigation, mediation and resolution of complaints filed with the Commission which allege discrimination in housing, public accommodation, employment or education based upon race, color, sex, age, religious creed, disability, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, family status, military status or source of income.
For more information, contact Nancy Schlacter, Cambridge Human Rights Commission, at 617-349-4396 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters of interest, including resume and/or applicable experience, can be sent via mail, fax or e-mail by Friday, June 7, 2013 to:Robert W. Healy, City Manager
City of Cambridge
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139 Ph. 617-349-4300
Instead of raising the roof, representatives from the Home Energy Efficiency Team – HEET - will sealing it. They’ll be on hand to help the St. James Church green their building, and they’re inviting residents to help the church and …
Former School Committee candidate Joyce Gerber is tossing her hat into the ring again this year. See below for details on her campaign kick-off party, June 23.
From the invitation:
Sunday, June 23
Rain or Shine
10-12 Fairfield …
Harvard Commencement is today … So avoid Cambridge at all costs! (Unless you wanna catch a glimpse of Oprah, of course)
… And visit peterpaulpayack.com to see more “Life on the Left Bank” cartoons!…
The Rijksmuseum continues to impress us with its philosophy behind offering high quality images from its collection available for free through the Rijksstudio. Today’s New York Times had a great story on why the museum has decided to encourage the public to copy and transform artwork from its collection. According to Taco Dibbits, Director of Collections, “We’re a public institution, and so the art and objects we have are, in a way, everyone’s property. With the Internet, it’s so difficult to control your copyright or use of images that we decided we’d rather people use a very good high-resolution image of the ‘Milkmaid’ from the Rijksmuseum rather than using a very bad reproduction,” he said, referring to that Vermeer painting from around 1660.
Step into the Chandler Gallery, and you will see the future. Not only is “The Future” the theme of the current show, but the exhibition is curated entirely by elementary school students from Agassiz Baldwin Community’s afterschool program—children who represent the world’s future artists, curators and gallery-owners.
This project-based learning activity is a unique opportunity for children to experience the gallery process. “Children know that they can take their artwork home and show it to their parents,” says Early Education Site Director Kim Baldasaro. “But they learn that they could also share their artwork with other people in a gallery.”
Children plan the exhibition from start to finish: they choose a theme, they work in teams to collaborate on 2D and 3D pieces, and they install the show in the gallery. Agassiz Baldwin Afterschool also invites students from other afterschool programs to create artwork for the exhibition. Baldasaro’s favorite part of the process is watching the projects evolve as the children brainstorm one idea, begin to develop it, and then change their minds and take the artwork in a new direction.
During the two-month assignment, students also gain experience executing a long-term project. They learn how to plan ahead, gather supplies, and work together to accomplish a task. In the end, they take great pride in their work and the work of their collaborators. Baldasaro loves to see “how happy kids are when they bring their parents to the show. They point to their project and say ‘That’s mine!’”
“The Kid-Curated Art Show: The Future” is at the Chandler Gallery at 20 Sacramento Street in Cambridge from May 30-June 28. The opening reception will be held at 5:45 p.m. on June 12.
The post Agassiz Baldwin Community’s Kid-Curated Art Show 2013 appeared first on Agassiz Baldwin Community.