Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Desk Reflects The Mind?

There's an old saying that creative minds are rarely tidy. 

A picture is worth a thousand words. 

A person's desk says a lot about the activity of his mind . . .

Author William F. Buckley

Historian/novelist Nat Hentoff

Physicist Albert Einstein

Barack Obama

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whitey, Book Reading

[Last updated Friday March 8, 2013 at 9:55 AM ET]

This is a video clip of a reading of a new book, Whitey, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, their second book on this subject. James "Whitey" Bulger is charged with 19 homicides and is awaiting trial scheduled for June 2013. He was an FBI informant for 20 years. His handler, former Special Agent John Connolly, who he knew growing up in South Boston, is in a Florida prison convicted of homicide. Another Boston FBI special agent, H. Paul Rico, died in prison awaiting trial for homicide. At about 27 minutes in you can see me asking four questions. This was originally broadcast on on March 3, 2013, to be re-broadcast on March 10, 2013. You can watch online at this link anytime.

Whitey: The Life of America's Most Notorious Mob Boss
Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill
Crown Publishing Group
New York 2013

Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill appeared at the Porter Square Book Store on White Street in Cambridge MA on Thursday February 21, 2013 for a brief reading and discussion. The event was video taped for subsequent broadcast on March 3, 2013, and March 10, 2013 on They authored a previous book on the same subject called Black Mass, which is now being made into a movie. Lehr now teaches at Boston University's School of Communications.

Dick Lehr spoke about the book and the subject matter. He said that Bulger brought down the FBI unlike other gangsters who focused only on their crimes. He said this book traces the Bulger family back to Ireland. Included are James Bulger's records from his stay at Alcatraz prison.

James "Whitey" Bulger

A fellow inmate, Frank Lee Morrison escaped while Bulger was there. Bulger was focused on getting out using his brother Billy's political connections. William Bulger was a Massachusetts State Rep., a State Senator, President of the State Senate, and President of the University of Massachusetts.

John William McCormack, U.S. House of Repreesentatives, Speaker

Former US House Speaker John McCormack was involved in efforts to get Bulger special treatment. One person asked if former U.S. Rep. Joe Moakley was involved with the Bulgers.

U.S. Rep. Father Robert Drinan, S.J.

Gerard O'Neill said there was no evidence. He said that in addition to McCormack, Father Robert Drinan, a former US Rep. was involved.

U.S. Rep. Joe Moakley

Lehr discussed, then read a passage from the book about Bulger's participation in LSD experiments when he was an inmate in a federal prison in Atlanta. Lehr explained that Bulger was a control freak. When he was transferred to Atlanta he shared a cell with seven other inmates. He immediately checked into the prison hospital where he learned about the LSD experiments.

Dick Lehr

It was July 1957. The Russians had launched the Sputnik. The United States had bombers in the air 24/7 carrying atom bombs. The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran a series of articles about the experiments employing 16 inmates. They were not secret. But the CIA was conducting research on other drugs for military uses, which were secret. They were seeking a cure for schizophrenia. Harvard University and Emory University were conducting similar research at the time. The doctor who admitted Bulger to the experiment was called "the nut doctor."

William Bulger

All inmates were tested for their criminal tendencies a sort of psychopath index. All inmates scored high on that test. Some of this was reported in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Bulger volunteered for these LSD trials in August 1957. There were 75 beds in the prison hospital, a full hospital. Four full time doctors, and 11 medical technicians. The psychiatric ward was called Ward F. Lehr did not say if that was for "freaky."

James "Whitey" Bulger, after capture in 2012

The Tuesday group was Bulger's. The volunteer inmates spent 24 hours in the hospital and drank a liquid form of LSD. There were four different amounts given: 25, 50, 75 and 100 micro grams. After a brief wait the subjects were asked 28 questions. Some were simple like "What do the lights look like to you?" The inmates would see them flashing and changing colors when they were just ordinary light bulbs. At this point Lehr asked if anyone in the audience had ever experienced an LSD trip. No one admitted to doing so.

 James "Whitey" Bulger

Dr. Carl Pfeiffer, pioneer orthomolecular psychiatrist at Emory University was the subject of a story called, "I went insane for science." He was given LSD and is seen in photographs laughing at a sheet of paper. He is described as the fictitious Dr. Robert H----.

Dr. Carl Curt Pfeiffer, orthomolecular psychiatrist at Emory University. In 1970 it was revealed that he participated in the MKULTRA CIA experiments.

Dick Lehr

Gerard O'Neill revealed that their Boston Globe series in 1988 was the first to expose Bulger as an FBI informant. In response to a question about any threats they received, he said that the FBI tried to stop them from exposing Bulger. He also reported that their previous book, Black Mass is being made into a movie.

He explained that this book, Whitey, is comprehensive, going back two centuries. They traced the Bulger family from Ireland to Newfoundland Canada. From Waterford Harbor to St. Johns Newfoundland.

One person asked if U.S. Rep. Joe Moakley, for whom the Boston U.S. District Courthouse is named, had any connection to the political aspects of the Bulger crime wave. O'Neill said there is no evidence to support any involvement of Moakley even though he was a good friend of Billy Bulger. "Moakley stayed clean," O'Neill said. But Father Robert Drinan did get involved according to O'Neill.

FBI Special Agent John Connolly was convicted of homicide and is serving his sentence in a Florida prison. He was Bulger's handler, and grew up with James Bulger in South Boston.

One person asked about how the FBI manipulated Bulger instead of Bulger manipulating the FBI. O'Neill said that is not supported by facts. Most facts discredit Special Agent John Connolly. He added that John Morris was Connolly's supervisor in the Boston FBI office.

FBI Special Agent John Morris

FBI Special Agent H. Paul Rico, died in prison awaiting trial for homicide.

Another person asked about MA State Trooper Bill Johnson who had Bulger in custody at Logan Airport, and wanted to know who ordered him released. O'Neill said it is suspected that the head of Massport intervened. Some think it was done on behalf of Billy Bulger, but that has not been established.

James "Whitey" Bulger

One woman who worked at the legislative news services asked about the Boston Globe's series on Richard Sunday. Sunday was an inmate at Alcatraz when Bulger was incarcerated there. Bulger wrote letters to him which are now being published in the Boston Globe. O'Neill said they are ripe for investigating. "They do have some historical value," he said.

Another question focused on the close relationship between James and William Bulger. O'Neill said it is obvious how close they are and have been all their lives. Why they diverged, one going into government on the right side of the law, and the other going on the wrong side of the law is not easily explained, according to O'Neill.

Jay W. Carney, Jr., James Bulger's taxpayer funded defense counsel.

O'Neill noted the FBI still gets discredited because of this. Many people do not believe that the FBI wanted to capture Bulger. O'Neill added, "They reap what they sow." People want to know why it took so long to find him. O'Neill verified that it happened just as the FBI reported it. One woman got the reward. One reason for the delay was the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. That diverted a lot of resources from the FBI. But Bulger became a fugitive in January 1995, more than six years before September 11th. O'Neill reported the public skepticism remains high even with an entire new generation of FBI agents.

Gerard O'Neill

O'Neill disagreed with co-author Lehr on one issue. In response to a question on whether the trial judge Richard Stearns would be removed, Lehr said he thought he would be removed. Stearns was a prosecutor, and Bulger's defense attorney Jay Carney said he might call Stearns as a witness. O'Neill said he thought Stearns would remain as the trial judge. The issue is on appeal now.

Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Court Judge, Massachusetts

I asked if we are expected to believe that when James Bulger became a fugitive, the gambling rings and the drug dealers all evaporated. That the police who were ignoring the criminal activities were no longer corrupt and that now everything is on the up and up. O'Neill admitted that there are still rackets and that others were running them. These people are not as vicious as Bulger nor do they pose a threat to the integrity of the FBI as Bulger did.

John Durham, U.S. Department of Justice Prosecutor

He pointed out that the Italian-American crime leaders in the North End of Boston are inept, not as clever as Gennaro "Jerry" Anguilo was. I asked why the other FBI agents who were involved, contrary to the findings of John Durham's investigation, were not held accountable. Neither author mentioned the effort by Irish American crime families to eliminate the competition, i.e, the Italian American crime families.

Gennaro "Jerry" Anguilo

One example was the agents who perpetrated the homicide frame-up of Salvati, Limone, Greco and Tameleo. None of them were disciplined and were not prosecuted.

Enrico "Henry" Tameleo, wrongfully convicted of homicide due to FBI misconduct. Died in prison.

Joe Salvati, wrongfully convicted of homicide due to FBI misconduct. Released after 30 years.

Louis Greco, wrongfully convicted of homicide due to FBI misconduct. Died in prison.

Peter Limone, wrongfully convicted of homicide due to FBI misconduct. Released after 30 years.

Victor Garo, attorney for Joe Salvati. The four men and their families were awarded $101 million plus attorneys fees, for the egregious harms of the FBI. That was all taxpayer money.

Gerard O'Neill (left) and Dick Lehr

I suggested there was another FBI agent who had contributed to bringing down the image of the FBI. Special Agent Roy Lindley DeVecchio in New York was brought to trial in New York state court for homicide assisting Greg Scarpa, hitman and the boss of the Columbo family in New York.

Gregory "The Grim Reaper" Scarpa, Columbo Crime Family

There were 32 murders there during a struggle within that crime family. DeVecchio was acquitted in state court, because Scarpa's girlfriend, Linda Schiro, was discredited when she testified. O'Neill reported two Boston officers were convicted of stealing from drug dealers and are in prison. He said officers assigned to vice squads are particularly vulnerable to corruption.

FBI Special Agent Roy Lindley "Lynn" DeVecchio, was acquitted of multiple homicides in a New York state court.

I asked why there are no formal investigations of the police or the FBI in Boston, as there are in New York every 20 years. O'Neill asked, "You mean like the Knapp Commission?" I said "And the Mollen Commission, which found police become corrupt due to the nature of police work. They have so much power they start with minor criminal acts, which become accepted as normal because they get away with it for so long."

O'Neill said journalists do not have subpoena power and can only report what they find and pass it on to others. I agreed but asked why there is no will in Massachusetts to clean up the police? I suggested that  a group of citizens can bring a lawsuit which gives them discovery rights, which bring subpoena powers.

Gerard O'Neill

Reflecting on my own question, I think I know the answer. It has to do with the different nature of the culture between New York and Boston. New York and Boston both have people from most if not all of the nations of the world living in the area. But the people who come to Boston are almost all from the upper classes of those countries. They are the children of the elite who attend universities in Boston and now come for high tech employment.

New York immigrants are from all classes not just the upper classes. But in addition the Boston economy is dominated by education. Harvard dominates education and so dominates Boston government, society and culture. Harvard is and always has been an elitist institution even when it was founded as a training school for ministers. Harvard and Boston are more like Europe or India than the United States.

Columbia University has an influence at the highest levels of government, society and culture in New York. But Columbia does not dominate the city or state government, the economy, or society. There is a more egalitarian society in New York, a truly American spirit which rewards people based on their conduct, their achievements. Yes there are some people who are at the top of the heap in New York due to birth, and inheritance. But that is not the rule in New York. It is the rule in Boston. "Who are your parents." "What did they do?" or "What did your ancestors do?" is very important in Boston. Less so in New York.

In the past 25 years Harvard found a way to create a new image of their egalitarianism. It is called Affirmative Action. But if you look closely at those who benefit the most from Affirmative Action it is the upper classes of black Americans, women and homosexuals. Illegal aliens too. Also black people from other countries are mostly upper class members. Even the few bright young minorities who are groomed by the elite e.g., Obama and his friend Deval Patrick,  adopt the interests of the elite and forget where they came from. That can be seen in Bill Clinton too, who adopted elite interests when he became President.

Affirmative Action is another social program run by the upper class to maintain their control. It gives an appearance of equalizing opportunity, but actually equalizes outcome. It gives an extra privilege to privileged persons in their competition with persons of ordinary birth. It is a clever idea. As long as the individual beneficiary of Affirmative Action promotes the interests of the upper class he or she maintains his or her special privileges. But if he or she criticizes elite rule, or criticizes an unequal society he or she loses her special privileges. Sarah Palin is a case in point. Three women in Cambridge told me "She is not a woman." It is the same with conservative black politicians. They are declared "not black."

Thus people in New York more often take the initiative to investigate the police powers that rule and hold together society. But in Boston most of the population is trained to obey the elite. Those of us from New York encounter strong barriers and a lot of push back (also called retaliation) when we act as if the law applies to all people and institutions equally. The problem in Boston is that too few people share that belief. Thus they never investigate the police, who respond to the desires of those who rule the area, i.e., Harvard and their associates. I think that is why there is no will among the Boston population to investigate the police and the FBI. I think that the federal government is now run by Eastern liberal elitists after having retaken power when they destroyed the Nixon administration. My thoughts on the matter.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rape Prevention

Is this what Congressmen are talking about?

NYPD Emergency Response Computer System

Microsoft's new crime-fighting 'matrix' shows cops every corner of New York City at the touch of button - and even tells them arrest records of suspect they are chasing
Domain Awareness System developed between NYPD and Microsoft System instantly provides officers with stacks of public data
NYPD could also make money under unprecedented marketing deal
Daily Mail (UK)
PUBLISHED: 04:21 EST, 21 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:42 EST, 21 February 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Author John Spooner At Cambridge Public Library

John D. Spooner
No One Ever Told Us That: Money and Life Letters to My Grandchildren
Grand Central Publishing
New York 2013

John Spooner spoke at the Cambridge Public Library about his latest book. The event was co-sponsored by Porter Square Books. Susan Flannery the library director introduced Spooner, calling him "Grandfather pro tem." He began by praising and boasting of his love for libraries. Where did I hear that before? Oh yes, the last person who spoke at the library last week. Is that like politicians who support education and oppose bullying by students of other students?

Susan Flannery, Library Director

He began his discussion saying, "Making money is more about human nature than mathematics." He said his book is "not just about children, grandchildren, it's about life." He explained he has "never been able to write at home." So he "went to libraries after dinner." He did not realize that now he can have dinner at the Cambridge library while he writes. He said he "writes in long hand in note books." Then some one "types it up" for him.

He revealed that he moved to Boston in 1984 and worked at The Athenaeum. His publisher was Houghton Mifflin. He mentioned Margret Rey whose husband Hans created the character Curious George. They escaped from Nazi Germany and they left their money to non profits, e.g. the Boston Public Library.  After being denied satisfaction in a dispute about the will of these people, he said there is "one rule in life." I was unable to hear what the rule is, but it has something to do with calling a reporter at the Boston Globe who wrote a story about his legal difficulties. It was "above the fold" he boasted.

John Spooner (left) with Susan Flannery

If I heard him correctly, he said he is responsible for the children's room at the Cambridge Public Library." He said "you have to be out there in life for the good accidents to happen to you." He did not add, "unless your father is extremely wealthy. Then you can just sit at home or in a bar, and they will come to you." As part of his long love affair with libraries he asked, "Where do books come from?" He added, "All books come from a germ of an idea. It usually takes about a year to get it on paper or to see a keyboard." Really? That is a slow reaction. I try to put my ideas on paper as I get them. Don't always succeed and lose a few but I try. A year?

At one college event he spoke to business majors. They asked how to get jobs, write resumes, etc. One girl from France said to him, "No one ever told us that." (The title of this book. Did he share any of the profits with her? Give her any credit?) Most of the young people were functionally illiterate, regarding finance and other other matters. He suggested to them "the worst time to call about a job is Monday morning. It will annoy the employer," he said. "The best time to call for information about the company or for an interview is Tuesday after lunch."

John D. Spooner

He added, "most interviewers don't care about your academic life. We live in an anonymous world," Spooner said. You need to focus on "a way to get a  leg up."  "Focus," he suggested "on extra curricular activities. Did you play sports? It is likely that the interviewer did too. He wants to talk about something he shares with you. That is what the interview will be about. Can you talk to others? Think how to separate yourself from the crowd."

Spooner told about one young man who studied Japanese. He got a job in Japan at a bank. But his wife's family wanted her back in the states. He did nothing but study Japanese and work at a bank? After some thought he revealed that he was also a black belt in Karate. He did not understand how important that was.

John Spooner

Another example was a woman who wanted to go into advertising. Spooner told her to get a rubber stamp that said, "I can sell anything." She stamped the envelope she sent her letter in, and also at the top of her resume. "Have something that jumps out at people," he urged. Would having common sense be an example of something that jumps out at people? Most people lack that and wouldn't recognize it if it bit them.

John Spooner

Next he mentioned the value of personal notes. He revealed how he sent a condolence card to a lawyer and got a lot of business from that lawyer for 35 years. Writing notes is good for business, just as Hallmark recognizes? He says he gets personal notes from young people often.Sometimes he calls them in response. One young man sent him business cards with a quote from his book. That got his attention, he said.

John Spooner

He recognized that some people in their eighties are younger than some people in their forties. Really? So then why are people segregated due to age more strictly than by race, religion, ethnicity, politics. Oh wait in politics there is no tolerance for Republicans in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, the media, etc?

John Spooner

He told about a woman who wore a sign, "Be nice to me. I'm old." Another carried a stuffed black labrador with sunglasses on. She said, "He's my seeing eye dog." Another woman explained to him, "All I'm looking for is a dirty old man with clean body."

He said many problems are with law, money and medicine. When  calling for a doctor's appointment, the way to get one early and easy is when the nurse asks why are you calling, you say "I'm calling about the doctor's emotional future." It helps to get attention. He did not explain that all of these suggestions are for people who have trouble getting through on the phone. Does everyone have such difficulties? I seldom do. Why waste such intense mental effort coming up with elaborate schemes just to get an appointment?

John Spooner

This man is giving life lessons, advice to young people. He is aware that high intelligence is not always accompanied by common sense. Yet he says that if a person does not read books he will not be your friend. Isn't that limiting to who your friends can be? Isn't that an example of elitism? Is reading books an essential characteristic of friendship?

Spooner alerted the audience that "We're in a number of revolutions at once, e.g., publishing, book stores closing, newspapers, magazines, etc. Today publishers want to know "What's your platform?" How will you promote your book? Who can get you on TV, radio, etc.
He asked "What kind of spouse do you look for?" His father told him "Look for funny." "A sense of humor can get you through a long term relationship better than money."

John Spooner

"Beware of genius," he warned. "The financial meltdown was caused by geniuses. They seldom come with common sense," he added. He told about a professor who won the Nobel Prize, who could not navigate steps to his rear porch. He couldn't use a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine. He would not want to trust that guy with any practical matters, like managing money.

He spoke about Alan Greenspan who "helped bring about the meltdown." He noted that years ago a stockbroker was a family adviser not just a salesman. He told about an event when Greenspan spoke to a drunk audience. When he was finished, they had not understood any of what he said. They were throwing wet napkins across the room.

He spoke briefly about the Harvard University Grant Study of about 268 Harvard graduates from 1939 to 1944. The researchers wanted to learn what the good life looked like. What about long life? Spooner said, "Having a Harvard degree does not guarantee anything. Four percent of each class is a Unabomber." Adaptation to life is one element of happiness.

Susan Flannery

"Be active, not passive," he urged. "Love is extremely important. Be generous of spirit," he added. "get involved. Take vacations. Be able to say, 'I sucked the lemon dry.'"Maintain a natural skepticism. "So much of life is ridiculous and tragic. "Women are eighty percent of book buyers."

He said someone asked him who the smartest man he ever met is. He said it is a man from Everett, MA, whose father was a policeman. He is now on the governing board of Harvard University. He gave his name as Joseph O'Donnell. He recently gave $30 million to Harvard University. He was featured in a cover photograph of Harvard Magazine.

Susan Flannery appeared to present Spooner with a commemorative edition of the History of The Cambridge Public Library.

[My apologies if I got any of the facts wrong. I was unable to hear very well at this event.]

Passaic NJ : Those Were the days

Uploaded on Jan 7, 2012 Photos of our city Passaic, past and present.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

DEBT BOMB - The Global Financial Crisis Stripped Bare

Published on Jul 27, 2012
Economics stripped bare ...
Written & performed by ... Dominic Frisby ( )
Edited & directed by ... Peter Maxwell ( )
Dancers .... Peggy De Lune and Scarlett Belle (
Singer ... Ian Virgo Choreography ... Peggy De Lune (
Audio mixed by ... Adrian Sear at Soundtracks ( )
From the original ... 'Sex Bomb', by Guendogdu, Mustafa, Rennalls, Errol, sung by Tom Jones, published by Universal.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MCNA Looks At Central Square Development

Mid Cambridge Neighborhood Association held a public forum to discuss the proposals to develop Central Square and a zoning change requiring City Council approval. Four panelists appeared at the Spaulding Hospital Cullinane Center on Tuesday February 13, 2013.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

John Pitkin former President of MCNA,  and City Council candidate chaired the meeting.

Jonathan King (left) and John  Pitkin

Jonathan King, Professor of Biology at MIT, explained there is a possible tsunami of high rise development in the city. He noted there is one proposal to tear down one half of the Newtown Court project to build a high rise on Main Street. He said MIT needs graduate student housing. He mentioned the problem of increased traffic due to any high rise development. One study suggested that there would be an increase of 30,000 car trips daily passing through Kendall Square, coming from Cambridge Street, Broadway, and Central Square. Not from Boston. There is a total of 18 million square feet planned.

Jonathan King

Bill Cunningham, Alliance of Cambridge Tenants, publisher of The Bridge, and many other community efforts for 40 years said there is no benefit to low income people, from these proposed developments. He reported there is a reduction of state and federal rent subsidies. Residents cannot keep up with the rent increases. He estimated that about fifteen percent of Cambridge housing is affordable due to subsidies. He added the economic and ethnic diversity of the city cannot be maintained. There never has been less economic diversity in the city.

We're headed for a city of biotech professionals with the highest levels of rents; only one kind of people. They want to bring in high tech scientists who can walk to their jobs. He did not explain who "they" are. He said he thinks working class people are no longer wanted in Cambridge.

Lee Farris (Left) and Bill Cunningham

Lee Farris is in Area 4 and worked for affordable housing for more than 20 years. She reported that Cambridge is the fifth most dense city with a population over 100,000 in the United States. The kind of retail that will come with these high tech workers is not the kind that is accessible to working class citizens. She argued that economically diverse retail is needed in the City. She said she respects city officials and has some common ground with them.

Stuart Dash

Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning for Cambridge's Community Development Department (CDD), reported that the city has a lot of information on its web site regarding traffic studies. He responded to a question about increasing car traffic and mass transit. Dash said surprisingly in Central Square auto traffic was decreasing. Someone said that young people who came to Cambridge for college want to live in "the place they have grown to love." One resident asked for the definition of middle income housing. Dash responded for a family of four it was 80 to 100 percent of the median income, which currently is $100,000. It is more or less with more or less people. Moderate income housing is 60 percent of the median income.

Dash added that it is not possible to predict what will happen in the future. Some residents left being extremely disappointed. They expected to learn how to predict the future (and what it would be) so they could make their plans and bets, and buy some stocks and bonds. [Just kidding.] Dash said no one knows how much construction would be happening in 20 years. As an example there was not much besides the Holmes Building in Central Square. He said "it comes in spurts."

It is curious that in Cambridge during the slow economy, civilians oppose construction projects. In other regions they are desperate for any kind of jobs. But in Cambridge there is wealth beyond comprehension just like in Cambulac when Kublai Khan ruled the Mongols. It seems as if long term Cambridge residents want to bring back the past. They seem to reject the present and the future. Dash explained that the Northpoint project was begun then stopped for two years due to unforeseen difficulties, and is now getting restarted.

One resident asked about the sustainability of the public schools noting that 60 percent of the students live in public housing. There is not much of an issue with subsidized lunch verses paid school lunches. Dash revealed there was a robust dialogue within the CDD on how to manage the coming growth. The Governor's plan is to fund MBTA expansion with new signals and seatless cars. He responded to a question asking if the Historical Commission was looking at some buildings in the path of some of the high rise proposals. They are.

John Pitkin observed that the community and the city want the same outcome. They differ on how to get there.

Jonathan King reported that MIT wants to put commercial projects on their north campus between Main Street and Memorial Drive. Others want graduate student housing there. He said Forest City (the developer won't build housing there.)

Esther Hanig (left) and Jesse Kansom-Bemanav

Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Chairman of A Better Cambridge, blogs at View From The 'Bridge, said the free market does not support affordable housing.

Bill Cunningham said he speaks for all of the low income people and that they want to keep things the way they are now. They do not want any major zoning changes. He said they need more jobs. He explained how inclusionary housing works. Community must give a bonus to the developer in order to get inclusionary affordable housing. People who live in affordable housing may not be able to afford to shop in the retail stores in place to serve market renters. Who will support a church in the neighborhood? This too must be considered. People can undo whatever misguided projects are approved by removing the officials.

Esther Hanig

Esther Hanig, a member of A Better Cambridge, and The Central Square Advisory Committee,  revealed "The world is imperfect. There are not enough resources." She wants people to send an email to their state reps supporting increased taxes for increased benefits. Do you think she is a Democrat? She argued that density is required for low income housing. She supports mixed economic housing. She reported that when she grew up people of all classes knew each other and went to school and lived amongst one another.

Lee Farris

Lee Farris said high rise developments will cast shadows for two blocks away, and will create wind tunnels. She said low income housing can be profitable and wants the city to work within the current zoning ordinances.

James Williamson, was a candidate for City Council.

James Williamson stated that traffic on Broadway was increasing.

Cathy Hoffman, Former Cambridge Peace Commissioner 

Cathy Hoffman said that since rent control was repealed, no one knows what to do to maintain a diverse population. She said it was possible to get 18 percent of new development for affordable housing, or the developer could give money for affordable housing.

Stuart Dash

Stuart Dash said transferring development rights is unusual. He added, Harvard and MIT are in Cambridge. People will keep coming here to go to school and to work here. He did not mention Lesley University. He did not explain why.

Cathy Hoffman

Esther Hanig suggested "Get as much as you can get."

Jesse Kanson-Benanav said Cambridge values sustainability. He said he wants to live in Cambridge because he cares deeply about affordable housing. He added "I'm getting married and even with two salaries I can't afford to live in Cambridge."

Cathy Hoffman

Jonathan King said his family lived in Central Square for 40 years. His kids lost friends because of housing prices. He added, "Developers want to maximize profits." He expressed concern about young people and elders being unable to cross the streets due to heavy traffic. "If you can't move around the city, it will collapse."

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham said he came to Cambridge to work in factories. "The same economic leaders that brought the nation to its knees five years ago, are still running the government."

Lee Farris

Lee Farris said she cares deeply about affordable housing. She said she owns a two-family house and it is the only way she could remain in Cambridge.  She said she fixed it up with her husband. She said she tries to balance her economic interests with her concern about affordable housing. Market rate units drive prices higher.