Monthly Archives: August 2011

9 posts

Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian

Warren Street – map

The 85th annual feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian will be held on Warren Street on September 10th and 11th. Festivities will begin on Saturday at 2 p.m. with rides, music, games, and food. A candlelight procession will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 17 Porter Street, and there will be a healing service held at 7 p.m. There will be live music on Cambridge Street on Saturday night, including The Reminisants, Ayla Brown of American Idol fame, and Bobby Rydell.

Festivities on Sunday will begin with a procession at 8:30 a.m. to St. Francis of Assisi Church for a mass that will begin at 9:30 a.m. There will be a parade starting at 1 p.m., and more music and festivities Sunday evening.

This feast is a classic community event and one of the longest continuously running celebrations of its kind in New England. All are welcome and I hope to see you there!

For more information about the feast and a complete schedule, check out

Hearing to be Held on Monday to Discuss Developer Mitigation

As the Co-Chair of the Government Rules and Operations Committee for the Cambridge City Council, I will be holding a hearing on Monday August 29th at 5:30pm in the Ackerman Room of City hall to discuss the appropriate way the City should determine mitigation derived from large building projects in the City of Cambridge.

Historically, mitigation from large building projects has been designed to directly benefit the neighborhoods that were being impacted by the project itself.  Over the last few decades, Kendall Square has developed at a rapid pace, often at the expense of open space opportunities to East Cambridge.  Mitigation balances the negative impacts of the projects with improvements to the neighborhood.  This practice has made possible the East Cambridge Scholarship Fund, Open Space Fund, and Outdoor Skating Rink. Recently, 2.5 acres of land were set aside for a new neighborhood park within East Cambridge.

I feel that it has become important to create guidelines that will maintain mitigation as something that benefits residents on the neighborhood level. While some have expressed a desire to see mitigation spread equally around the city for each project, I am firm in my belief that these funds should remain in the neighborhoods that have to deal with construction impacts, noise increases, and traffic impacts of development.  When large projects are built in Cambridge, the city residents already benefit as a whole.  Development contributes to our tax base and keeps residential tax rates the lowest in the state, it helps us maintain city services, and helps to fund city programs that most municipalities cannot even imagine offering.

The issue of neighborhood mitigation is a matter of fairness.  While we as a city benefit as a whole, those impacted by projects, those whose quality of life has been disrupted, and those who cannot get their views of the river back should be compensated to the best of the city’s ability, and the only way to do that is to be sure mitigation funds find their way back into the abutting neighborhoods.

Please come to the meeting on Monday to share your views with the City Council.  If you cannot make it please submit your comments to and request to be added to the record.

Hurricane Preparedness

While there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the precise track that Hurricane Irene will take as it nears the East Coast, now is the best time for New Englanders to begin preparing for the possibility of severe weather. With the storm still roughly four days away, there is plenty of time to safely and thoroughly prepare using the tips below from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Think about the supplies you will need for a basic emergency kit. These will include:

  • Water: one gallon per person per day for three days is the recommended quantity.
  • Food: three-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Radio: battery powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio for receiving weather alerts, along with extra batteries for both.
  • Flashlight: make sure to have extra batteries for the flashlight as well.
  • First Aid Kit: your first aid kit should include two pairs of latex or sterile gloves, sterile wound dressings, a cleansing agent and antibiotic towelettes, burn ointment, adhesive bandages, eye wash solution, a thermometer, any medication prescribed to you and your family members that you take every day, such as insulin, heart medicine, and inhalers, as well as any prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment. Tweezers and scissors may also be helpful to have on hand.
  • Whistle: to signal for help.
  • Sanitation: moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties.
  • Can opener
  • A map
  • Cell phone: extra batteries and a solar or inverter charger should also be considered.

Other items to consider:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and water for your pet
  • Cash and travelers checks
  • Important financial documents, insurance policies, passports and identification, immigration documents, and bank account records stored in a portable and waterproof container.
  • Emergency reference materials, such as a first aid manual
  • A sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and sturdy shoes
  • Chlorine bleach and a medicine dropper. Add 16 drops of bleach to a gallon of water to create a disinfectant.
  • Matches in a waterproof container.
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene products
  • Mess kits and paper towels
  • Paper and pencils
  • Books, games, puzzles, and other activities for children  

Should hurricane conditions be expected by the National Weather Service, prepare your home and property:

    • Take in bikes, lawn chairs, tables, and other items from yards and decks, as they could be picked up by strong gusts of wind.
    • Close all windows, doors, and storm shutters. If forecasts show that hurricane-force winds may strike the area, it is recommended that you cover windows with plywood.
    • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings and keep them closed as much as possible to keep air cold in case the power goes out.
    • Make sure your car has a full tank of gas.

    Please pay close attention to news and weather reports in the coming days. Staying informed is one of the best ways to be prepared and stay safe.