Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cambridge MA Role Models

Cambridge Police car parked in No Parking zone and next to a fire hydrant at 875 Mass Avenue at Lee Street.

Cambridge City Attorney one of 180 Cambridge, MA employees who earn more than $100,000/year looks at the lens.

Cambridge MA City Attorney parked illegally on Bishop Allen Drive at Inman Street.

Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves taking a nap during candidate panel discussion.

Cambridge police car parked at stop sign on Dana Street at Mass Avenue.

Cambridge DPW truck parks blocking a driveway at City Hall.

Cambridge City Attorney parks at another expired meter on Inman Street.

Cambridge City van parks on Bigelow Street on the corner with Mass Avenue in a No Parking zone.

One of many public officials with Blue Police plates parked illegally at Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive.

Cambridge City Attorney parks on Inman Street near City Hall blocking a driveway.

This Cambridge police van is parked in a bus stop on Broadway near Fayette Street.

A Taxi joins the Cambridge patrol car in the bus stop at Dana Street and Mass Avenue.

This Cambridge Patrol Car is parked in a bus stop at Mass and Dana Street.

This Harvard University Police car is parked illegally on Mass Avenue, a main thoroughfare in Cambridge, MA. It is across the street from the newest Harvard Police headquarters near Ellery Street between Harvard Square and Central Square. The HUPD has a garage and a off-street rear parking lot which they do not use. This is a regular practice of the HUPD. The City ignores this abuse of police power.
The politicians lament that young people do not cooperate with the police to solve violent crime. Could it be that young people see police violate laws and take their cue from the police role models?
The "Broken Window" theory of policing is that stopping minor offenses usually leads to solving more serious crime. The same perps who commit minor offenses are usually doing serious crime as well. If this theory applies to humans then it must apply also to police who claim to be human.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Free Cribs in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA

The lobby of the Harvard COOP in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, managed by Barnes and Nobles is an open air slumber yard after closing time. Only three patrons were present this summer night.

Cambridge MA Honors Edward Sullivan

Former Mayor, City Councilor and Middlesex Court Clerk Edward Sullivan was honored by the City of Cambridge on Friday July 27, 2007. His body lied in state in the City Council Chambers named for his family. His friends and admirers line up to for the viewing. His brother Walter was also a Mayor and City Councilor. His nephew Michael is a City Councilor and succeeded him as Court Clerk.

Cambridge MA Honors Diddle

The Cambridge City Council honors citizens for many reasons. In this case they name a Square (intersection) for Isadore "Diddle" Doctoroff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Iranian Photographic Exhibit at Harvard University

This photo exhibit of Iranian propaganda was on display at Harvard University's new Center for Government and International Affairs during July 2007.

Curious Cambridge MA Sign

When leaving the parking lot of this 7-11 in Cambridge MA (host city of Harvard University and MIT) the sign gives confusing directions.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Cambridge MA Cuts Down 7-9 Trees

Cambridge MA Arborist will hold hearings to permit the destruction of 7-9 trees on Cambridge Street near the War Memorial scheduled for reconstruction. Signs are on all of the trees coming down.

Cambridge Research Park

A massive construction project is underway near Kendall Square by Lyme Properties. They are building new housing, new office space for research and development and a theater. This is what it looks like on July 13, 2007.

Three Buses Idling Near MIT

Cambridge MA City Councilors often urge the City Manager to enforce state laws on 5-minute idling limit for all vehicles. This is part to enhance their image as environmentally concerned officials.
But it is easier said than done. It is not a high priority item for police especially during busy periods. Police dispatchers promise to send a patrol car and no car ever arrives. On occasion Cambridge civilian police dispatchers divert calls to the special campus police. But they seldom enforce these quality of life laws. They are only empowered to make arrests on university property in any case.
The three buses in this clip were idling near MIT. When I began filming two of them drove away. The driver of a third confronted me asking why I was taping "for five minutes." I explained that I like buses.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friends of the Charles River White Geese, Cambridge, MA

Marilyn Wellons narrates this 17-minute video made in 2001, showing the Charles River White Geese at the Goose Meadow near the Boston University Bridge, Cambridge MA.

Sidewalk Hazards at Harvard University

UPDATE:(On Wednesday August 1, 2007 that portion of sidewalk was under construction creating a curb cut and ramp. A second ramp is already installed further down Oxford Street near the second current crosswalk.) On Tuesday July 10, 2007 at about 9:00 PM a woman using a wheelchair rolled down the ramp at Harvard's Science Center on Oxford Street. A shuttle bus idled nearby. The student using a wheelchair did not board the shuttle.
She bounced down the curb, at the permanent crosswalk at that location. The sidewalk on the other side of Oxford Street is broken with large gaps. It is a hazard for all pedestrians.
This shows that Harvard has no concern for persons with disabilities. It is a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Mass General Laws Chapter 151 B, and Cambridge City Ordinance.
Appearing spontaneously is a private Harvard security vehicle which drives onto and across the broken sidewalk. Perhaps this is why the sidewalk is broken. But it does not explain why it remains broken.
Money is not an issue for the City of Cambridge nor for Harvard University. Neither hurt for funds. It shows the contempt for law and for persons with disabilities. The broken sidewalk shows contempt for all pedestrians including Harvard's own students.
The city remains unconcerned unless someone files a complaint as the City Manager and the City Council demand. The sidewalk remains non compliant with city, state and US laws. No taxpayer funded city and state employees nor the Disability Coordinator for Harvard show concern about this overt violation of the right to travel for persons with disabilities.
The City Council reminds their flatterers that there are few complaints about what they do. They declare that the silence they hear tells them that they are doing a great job. But when a few people raise the issue of institutionalized violations denying basic rights to persons with disabilities they do not hear.
Elected officials remain clueless that when a person does speak out about abuses, politicians and appointed public officials abuse police powers, having police associates harass and threaten the person who dares to speak out. That is the silence that the self serving councilors hear.
The City Council of Cambridge, MA the City Manager and Harvard University show their contempt for laws and for persons with disabilities.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cambridge MA City Solicitor Parks Illegally

These photos were taken in June 2004. I had no blog at the time and the local newspapers refused to publish them. Cambridge MA City Solicitor, Donald Drisdell sits in his illegally parked car at the corner of Bishop Allen Drive and Inman Street near City Hall. He earns more than $125,000 per year and parks illegally regularly. City Parking and Traffic enforcement officers explain that even if they gave his vehicle a ticket it would be "knocked down." Drisdell along with a few other City officials have blue Massachusetts police license plates on his car as can be seen in other photos. In these photos he is parked too near the corner, the crosswalk, and too near a Stop Sign; but also other violations as can be seen from the four signs in addition to the Stop Sign where he is parked. On other occasions he parked at meters along Inman Street for several hours contrary to city ordinance. This is typical of the way that city officials show their contempt for law and abuse their power. If the "Broken Window" theory of policing applies to humans, this would suggest that there are greater concerns about the way that the City Solicitor does business.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

New York City Police Use Sound Weapons

This clip from a feature produced by Alex Jones, Austin, Texas videographer, shows military sound weapons mounted on NYPD trucks. This was filmed during the Republican National Convention in NYC August, 2004. In this instance they were used for crowd control.
A variety of interest groups use similar weapons testing them on unpopular persons in this country. Psychologists, police and FBI informants, organized crime families all use these devices to harass their targets. In some areas for profit corporations run illegal businesses with police protection harassing persons for personal, political and economic purposes.

Cambridge MA Firemen Respond to Smoky Restaurant

Cambridge MA Fire Department responded to a smoky restaurant on Saturday July 7, 2007 at about 6:30 PM. Patrons of Koreana Restaurant at Broadway and Prospect Street were allowed back in to finish their dinners at about 7:00 PM.
A restaurant employee reported that there was smoke from the basement coming into the dining room. About 8 fire vehicles and three Cambridge patrol cars were on the scene. Prospect Street was closed for a while between Harvard Street and Broadway. # 83 and # 91 buses detoured around that block.
Springfield Street at Inman Square, on the # 91 busline, was closed due to a street festival beginning at about 7:00 PM Saturday.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

MBTA Red Line Service Disruption July 3, 2007

A Red Line MBTA train was out of service at the Harvard Square station Tuesday afternoon July 3, 2007 during early rush hour. Shuttle buses were carrying riders to their stops. But many of them were over crowded and could not take on passengers at Porter Square just before 5:00 PM. In addition it appears that the MBTA is supporting the Cambridge City Council's anti obesity program, unlike the Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association which holds ice cream socials.
There were no MBTA employees or signs at the entrance to the Porter Square station. Riders were taking the escalator down one platform to learn that there was no service. The up escalator was not working. Riders had to climb 60 stairs to get to the shuttle buses.

Porter Square Traffic Hazard

A hidden driveway permits dangerous entrances into the traffic patterns of Porter Square. Leaving the driveway when traffic is stopped on Mass Avenue in both directions vehicles exiting the parking lot behind the Passage to India Restaurant can cross Mass Avenue into pedestrian traffic with walk lights lit. The sign which says, "Right Arrow, only" is hidden to cars until they are almost upon the sign as can be seen in this brief video.
Regular users of the parking lot have been seen ignoring that sign creating a hazard for pedestrians.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

June 25, 2007 Roy Bercaw Speaks to City Council

Roy Bercaw speaking as the Vice President for Governmental and Community Affairs of the Mid Cambridge Chapter of the Spending Other People's Money Society, corrects the Scrivener's error in a resolution of condolences for the 9 Firefighters in South Carolina who died fighting a fire. The Council resolution which said it was North Carolina was not corrected at the meeting even after I noted it to the Council during public comment.
I revealed that the City of Cambridge has an official No Snitchin' policy. The city declared itself a sanctuary city and prohibits police from snitchin' on illegal immigrants. Nonetheless the City Council laments that young people refuse to cooperate with police in fighting crime.
I questioned allowing persons with disabilities who display a disability tag on their vehicles to park overtime at meters. I asked, "What happened to the equal protection clause?" What is more troubling is that the City excludes persons with disabilities from participating in city functions discussing discrimination, but they allow them to drive cars in the city? No wonder there are so many dangerous drivers.

June Full Moon with Flamingo Cambridge MA

On June 30, 2007 a full moon was visible over Cambridge MA. Perhaps as a result a neon flamingo was visible in the window of an apartment overlooking Cambridge Common. There is no evidence that it is related to the infamous Flamingo Hotel built by Ben "Bugsy" Seigel in Las Vegas.

Crimson Cleaners Closing

After 40 years at 1609 Mass Avenue, near Everett Street Crimson Cleaners is closing. The sign in their window says that Harvard University the landlord refuses to renew their lease.

Simmons Hall MIT

Simmons Hall looks like a concrete sponge. The new dorm at MIT in Cambridge MA has undefined spaces which students are encouraged to shape for their desired uses.

[MIT Press release]
Architects honor Simmons Hall
Sarah H. Wright, News Office
March 16, 2005

Simmons Hall has received the 2004 Harleston Parker Medal. Administered by the Boston Society of Architects, the Parker has been awarded since 1923 to the "most beautiful piece of architecture building, monument or structure" in the Boston area.

New York-based architect Stephen Holl designed Simmons, the striking 10-story MIT residence hall on Vassar Street that opened in September 2002. Holl's building is home to 350 undergraduates, faculty housemasters, visiting scholars and graduate assistants, and includes a computer cluster, a fitness center, music practice room, game room and street-level dining room with open-air seating.


A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 16, 2005

Charles River Tourboat

A tourboat cruises down the Charles River passing MIT in Cambridge MA. The Boston Skyline can be seen as the boat approaches the Harvard Bridge, also called the Mass Avenue Bridge.