Monthly Archives: September 2011

6 posts

Update: Washington Street and Somerville Ave Intersections

In May, I joined several of my colleagues on a site visit to two intersections in Somerville that posed a possible safety hazard to pedestrians due to the layout of the crosswalks and condition of the markings. During the site visit, I discussed the concerns that I had and the concerns that residents had expressed about the intersections with officials from MassHighway. I have learned that MassHighway has developed initial plans to signalize the crossings, a step that would significantly improve pedestrian safety.

Because these improvements are still only in the initial planning stages, I will be continuing to use this space to provide updates on the project as new developments are communicated to me in the weeks and months to come.

Public Meetings for the Month of October

Charles River Basin Connectivity Study

Three public meetings have been scheduled to discuss the Mass Department of Transportation and the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Charles River Basin Connectivity study. This study is being carried out as a way for MassDOT to closely examine the various gaps that preclude a seamless connection across Charles River Basin bridges, their sidewalks, and adjacent intersections. The connectivity of the path system throughout the Charles River Reservation will also be studied. These meetings will serve as an opportunity for the public to hear from MassDOT’s design consultant before the study is carried out. The focus of the presentation will be on an analysis of the existing conditions in the Charles River corridor that has already been carried out.

Meetings will be held at the following times and locations:

  • Tuesday, October 11, 6:30 to 8 PM, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom Street, Boston
  • Thursday, October 13, 6:30 to 8 PM, Community Rowing Boathouse, 20 Nonantum Road, Brighton
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 6:30 to 8 PM, Morse School Auditorium, 40 Granite Street, Cambridge
Green Line Extension Environmental Assessment

A public meeting will be held to discuss the Environmental Assessment of the Green Line Extension and potential interim project offsets that will be required due to the delay in the extension’s completion date. MassDOT will be taking suggestions for interim project offsets from the public, provided that suggestions conform to the following guidelines:

  • Proposed interim offset projects and measures have to be able to be in place by December 31, 2014.
  • Suggested projects or measures have to be within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, i.e., they cannot be private, local, or federal.
  • Quantifiable air quality benefits have to be associated with any potential interim offset project or measure.
  • Projects and measures that only reach their full potential once the GLX is in place are unlikely to work.
  • Proposed interim offset projects and measures are not required to be within the GLX corridor, but MassDOT understands the importance we put on this requirement.  It is worth noting here that for the Fairmount Line Improvement Project delays, MassDOT chose projects within the Fairmount corridor only.

This meeting will be held on:

  • Thursday, October 20, 2011, 6 p.m. open house, 6:30 p.m. hearing, Somerville High School, 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville

Spotlight on Local Business: Modern Homebrew Emporium Customer Appreciation Day

Modern Homebrew Emporium, Cambridge – map

On Saturday, September 10th, Modern Homebrew Emporium on Massachusetts Avenue held its customer appreciation day, inviting customers to brew beer outside the store and introducing many passersby to the growing hobby of homebrewing.

Home brewers brew beer under the watchful eye of the Cambridge Fire Department

Inside the store, customers browsed shelves stocked with malted barley, hops, and a wide range of equipment used to brew both beer and wine. Outside, owner Roger Savoy cooked hotdogs, burgers, and chicken wings for hungry brewers.

Savoy, who owns a total of three homebrew stores spread out across Massachusetts and New York, purchased the Modern Homebrew Emporium in the early 2000s. The store had previously been known as “Modern Brewer,” and opened in 1990. The former owners attempted to turn the store into a microbrewery, a venture that they were, unfortunately, forced to end after a relatively brief period. While in operation as a brewery, Modern Brewer gained local notoriety for producing a beer known as “Fat Cat ESB”, a bitter English-style ale. After Modern Brewer’s brewing operation closed, Fat Cat was licensed to other area brewers. Famed beer critic Michael Jackson gave high praise to Fat Cat in a review published in 1998, calling it an “excellent example of the English style.”

Tim with Modern Homebrew Emporium owner Roger Savoy

For those adventurous enough to try recreating Fat Cat, the Modern Homebrew Emporium has published the recipe in their Fall 2011 newsletter as a celebration of their 10th anniversary. Those adventurous enough to try to create their own “Fat Cat” can find the recipe here, and will certainly find the ingredients, equipment, and knowledgeable staff that they will need to brew it right here in Cambridge at the Modern Homebrew Emporium.