Monthly Archives: October 2011

9 posts

Recent Robbery Spree

As many of you may know, there has been a string of armed robberies in Cambridge in recent days, with some of the robberies occurring in East Cambridge. East Cambridge is known as a safe, relatively quiet neighborhood, and to see crimes like these happen here is especially disturbing.

Here are the facts about what has happened so far: since Monday, there have been a total of 6 incidents around the city. On Monday night (October 24th), a woman was robbed of her purse on Marney Street around 8:00 p.m. Half an hour later, a delivery driver was robbed on Thorndike Street.

On Tuesday morning, there were instances of two men being held up for their cell phones and money. These incidents occurred on Chatham and Hancock Streets.

On Tuesday night, there were two more robberies within minutes of each other. At 11:45, a man was approached from behind by two assailants near the intersection of Harvard and Dana Streets. He was robbed of his cell phone, laptop, and money. Eight minutes later, another man was approached by two assailants at the intersection of Cardinal Medeiros Avenue and Marney Street and was also robbed.

Each victim reported being robbed by two black men with a handgun. None of the victims were injured.

The Cambridge police have asked residents to be alert and aware of their surroundings when walking on the street, and to walk in pairs or groups if possible. If you are walking alone, do not wear headphones as they impair your ability to be alert and aware. If you feel that you are being followed, show that you are suspicious by turning to look at the person you believe to be following you. This shows that you are alert and will not be taken by surprise. If you are being followed by a car, turn and walk in the opposite direction.

Most importantly, if you are approached by a robber, DO NOT RESIST, especially if the robber is armed. Belongings can be replaced. Human life cannot. If you are robbed, try to remember details about the assailants, such as height, age, race, and any identifying marks, scars, or tattoos so that you may relay them to the police.

At this time, the Cambridge Police are actively following a number of leads on these incidents. CPD is developing a plan for increasing patrols in neighborhoods in which these robberies have occurred, and a team of detectives has been dedicated to these cases.

I am in the process of planning a community meeting to take place some time next week in order to relay information to residents and discuss the community and police response to these crimes. Please check back here for information about the time and date.

Mock Green Line Groundbreaking Declares that we are Shovel Ready

Dozens of people gathered outside the Somerville High School on Thursday night to declare that our communities are “shovel ready” for the long-awaited Green Line Extension. Groups from Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, and Medford gathered to demand progress on the project, which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently announced would be delayed by up to five years.

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone speaks about 
Somerville’s need for the Green Line Extension.

Speakers from a wide cross-section of local community groups gave voice to the range of needs that the Green Line Extension will fulfill. A new public transit system in Somerville and Medford will mean greatly improved access to transit for the elderly and disabled, provide a greater number of job opportunities for those who rely on public transit to get around, and introduce a flood of new customers from around the region to local businesses.

Twenty years after its conception as mitigation for the Big Dig, I think we can all agree that the Green Line Extension is long overdue. Getting real shovels in the ground as quickly as possible is more critical now than it ever has been before, and is a way for the state to renew its commitment to the project at a time of great public anxiety and mistrust over its future.

While I was incredibly disappointed by this summer’s announcement of further Green Line Extension delays, I am pleased that talks are moving forward on a phased construction plan that would begin rail bridge work necessary for the project as soon as next year. This was a major ask of the Green Line legislative delegation when we met with the Governor at the end of the summer. I firmly believe that once the state begins to invest in the infrastructure for the Green Line Extension, it will be difficult for officials to justify further scheduled delays in the completion of the entire project. Even after ground has been officially broken, the state has shown us that continued community involvement in conjunction with the active engagement of elected officials will be necessary until the last piece of rail is laid. We have been shown that we cannot always count on the deliverance environmental justice to communities that deserve it, and instead those communities must continue to fight for it until it is delivered.

Please check back here often for the latest news about the Green Line Extension and what is being done to ensure that it is completed.

Tomorrow: Mock Green Line Extension Groundbreaking

Somerville High School – map

A mock groundbreaking and demonstration will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Somerville High School before the Green Line Extension public meeting that is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The goal of the mock groundbreaking is to protest the recently announced delays in the target completion date for the Green Line Extension project and to show that the citizens of Somerville, Medford, and Cambridge and their representatives are ready for work to begin now.

All are invited to attend the rally and public hearing that will follow. If you believe that the Green Line Extension needs to be a top priority of the state, I would encourage you to turn out tomorrow and show how shovel-ready our community is.

The Green Line Extension is a legally mandated, desperately needed public transportation project and is part of a commitment that Massachusetts has made to bring a level of environmental justice to communities that have been negatively impacted by the Big Dig. The recent announcement by MassDOT that the Green Line Extension will be delayed 5 years or more past its scheduled 2015 completion date is not acceptable, and has been met by a great deal of resistance from both the public and their elected representatives.

I encourage you to join Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, State Senator Pat Jehlen, State Representative Denise Provost, myself, and others that will be in attendance for the event. Many community groups from Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, and across Massachusetts will also be in attendance, including the Conservation Law Foundation, Somerville Transportation Equity Partnership, East Cambridge Planning Team, Livable Streets Alliance, MASSPIRG, the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance, and others, many of which have been intimately involved with the Green Line Extension project from the very beginning. It is important that we demonstrate the need for this project to get back on track. I hope to see you there.