Sunday, September 30, 2007

Red Sox Clinch! Here's My Pitch...

Podgers NOT the Dodgers!!
On this day, September 30, in 1926, Robin Roberts was born. Among other thing he played in the 1950 World Series, and had 6 consecutive 20 game seasons. He was never a dodger!
On this day, September 30, 1932, Johnny Podres was born. He appeared in two World Series, and played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the LA Dodgers.
On This Day, September 30, 1947, the World Series came to TV. The Brooklyn Dodgers were beaten by the NY Yankees, 5-3.
Today I am launching my new campaign pitch, using a slogan given to me by my neighbor who was concerned folks couldn't rember my name...Podgers not the Dodgers! What does this slgan mean? It means that the Dodgers in City Council, nice people, our friends and neighbors, but who have been dodging serious issues for all too long, can and should be beaten in the race for City Council.
So, folks, now you can rember my name, and of course cheer me on, even as you cheer on our Red Sox, the underdogs for all too long.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Public Safety: Sidewalks in the City of Cambridge

Below please find my comment as published on the Ragged Edge, an online magazine. Since I have been advocating for safe sidewalks in Cambridge, and even though I have provided a wealth of information to all the current City Councillors, as well as DPW and the City's Disabilities Commission, and the Cambridge Commission for Persons With Disabilities, I have had nothing by harrassment from the City.

Please refer to the comment within the main story, Dying in the Streets, that I was responding to, from another citizen who tried to insure safe passage for folks in his town...

Yet a Meadville PA man who sued his city over the lack of curb cuts was reportedly harrassed by fellow citizens, who evidently did not approve of his taking the city to court.

I have tried to shed light on this serious Public Safety issue, but in response to a question, Mayor, what is your response to what Ms Podgers just presented?" during the Candidates Forum held at the Graham and Parks school, the current Mayor of our City referred to me as "Darkness."

The sad fact remains that it is the residents and taxpayers of this City who are in darkness because our City Councillors fail to tell you what is really going on. They do not want you to know, and I suspect that is because they do not want you to be involved. They do want you to know all the wonderful things they are doing, however, and they often take credit for things that have either not been done, or that someone else has done.

The best way dis-include the public is to fail to provide the pertinant information. After all, if the public does not know about it, they won't complain.

Please do refer to the rather lenghty article, and find my comment, near the end, and please also leave your own comments below. (you can leave anonymous comments)

Although I have filed these complaints, I prefer to work from within. I am effective working from within, and can get the best results from bringing folks together to find effective and sustainable solutions.

From the Ragged Edge....

I am not "no one" anymore! {{No one had filed a complaint about the lack of curb cuts along Bensen's street, said police. Starkloff called that response 'a poor excuse."}}

On March 9th, I filed a complaint agains't the City of Cambridge MA with the Mass Architectural Access Board. The City has sidewalks, city services, that are in a continous state of disrepair due to the City's Sidewalk Inspection and Minor Repair program. This Program inspects for vertical displacement only. And makes repairs when vertical displacement is 1 1/2", which makes this program, itself, non compliant! In addition, the City's curb ramp measurement assessment does NOT include landings or level landings!

The City of Cambridge has over 3900 curb ramps, and claims that only 109 continue to be "in bad condition" and non compliant!

I kid you not, that is what is claimed by the most recent report In City Council re the progress of the City's compliance with the ADA!

What has been going on is the City will repave or repair, or even rebuild the curb ramp or sidewalk, and do it wrong! They fix it wrong. So after thousands of dollars in repairs, improvements, etc, the curb ramp remains non compliant and the sidewalk inaccessable! Thousands of folks are forced into the streets in the city of Cambridge everyday!!

I filed this complaint using one intersection as "an example" both to protect the taxpayer and to make sure that as we repave our streets and sidewalks, access is provided. Ooops, that is the law, isn't it?

The two main problems of this intersection are the recently repaved sidewalks and curb ramps are inaccessable due to the extreem cross slope, in some places 7%; and there are no landings on the curb ramps, you come up and run into a wall or fence, and the cross slopes are to steep to allow safe turning. These curb ramps do not line up with the sidewalks.

The complaint is Docket number C06 017, and you can certainly let folks at the MAAB know how you feel about this. Write to...

The Commonwealth of Mass
Department of Public Safety
Architectural Access BoardOne Ashburton Place,
Room 1310
Boston MA, 02108-1618
Fax 617 727 0665
Posted by: Kathy Podgers March 26, 2006 11:16 PM

Friday, September 28, 2007

Violent Crime On the Increase in Cambridge?

We welcome the new Police commissioner Robert Haas to Cambridge, and his arrival comes none to soon. The photo above shows the Commissioner in Sullivan Chambers last August 29th, and we were all back for public input for the Crime Task Force last Tuesday evening.

The photo above shows police searching for baliatic evidence, and they found plenty, at a shooting that took place right across from my home. The bullet casings were found on the street and sidewalk, strewn along the whole block. Most residents feel this shooting is drug related, and this kind of "disturbance" is being seen all too frequently throughout Cambridge.

The photo above shows that the crime scene was expanded as the police found more evidence. Neighbors were justifiably frightened and I observed several neighbors fleeing the scene of the shooting by running up the street. In North Cambridge, in a Friday evening meeting with the Police Commissioner, folks expressed dismay at what they felt was an increase in violent crime.

The photo above shows bullet holes in a home on Pleasant Street from another recent shooting. Today there are reports that Govenor Patrick met with his anti-crime task force behind closed doors for two hours with dozens of police chiefs, lawmakers and prosecutors to discuss crime trends in the state and what can be done to address the problem, the meeting was held at the Massasoit Conference Center. While many communities reported a drop in violent crime, communities reporting increases in violent crime included Arlington, Woburn, Everett, Revere and Cambridge. This was reported today in the Brocton Enterprise on line.

We must all work together to understand this challenge, and find effective solutions. Last year I circulated a petition writen by my neighbor, asking for more bike police, and now we have that. But more needs to be done. Please stay tuned to read more of my ideas on how to reverse this unwelcome trend.

Sidewalks in Cambridge

Hi folks, I am working on finding a scanner so I can upload the site reports and other documents issued by the MAAB in response to my complaints about the unsafe coondition of the sidewalks in Cambridge, AFTER the City repaired/reconstructed them. Please come back, I hope to have them up by wed evening at the latest.

In the meantime you can get a copy of my comunication to the City Council, with the site reports and documents, it's in last Monday's agenda by requesting a copy from the City Clerk as these comuncation items are not yet provided on line.

To see the istem on the agenda go to the City of Cambridge web site and click on City Council at the top of the page. Then, on the right, see the date, September 24, and click. This should bring you to the agenda. Scroll down to communications and click to see what communications were recieved into the City Council agenda. The documents should be available in city Hall in the City Clerks office.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Should Cambridge City Council post communications on line?

Folks can submit letters and other documents to the City Clerk to be included in the agenda for the next upcoming City Council meeting by dating and signing the document and addressing it to the City Council. The deadline for submitting this to be included in the upcoming City Council Meeting is 5pm usually the Thursday before the Monday meeting.

I and others often submit documents and letters of importance to the residents and taxpayers. For example, last week I submitted information about the safety of the City's sidewalks and their failure to repair them as ordered by the MAAB.

Please see exerpt from City Council agenda ....

Communications received from Kathy Podgers, regarding repairing and bringing sidewalks/walkways/curb ramps into compliance as ordered by the MAAB.
Additional Attachments are available at the City Clerk's Office.

If the City does not place these communications on line the only way you can view the information is to pick up a copy of the agenda between Friday and Monday's meetings, ot to go to the office of the City Clerk and request a copy.

So, what do you think? Is this information you wish you could view on line?

Will Cambridge City Council allow folks to speak??

In City Council last monday evening the City Council considered a policy order from Craig Kelley that would expand the items on the agenda that folks who come to City Council meetings on Monday night would be allowed to speak on.

Currently, and as a result of a rules change, folks are allowed to speak on only those items that the Council will vote on. It means one cannot speak about items on the Consent Communications nor the Awaiting Report items.

In the past folks could send a letter to City Council to be placed in the Agenda, and then appear In City Council and speak to the letter they submitted. This practice has been curtailed, so many folks find they are unable to petition their government because the topic or issue they wish to address is not on the action agenda.

What action did the Council take on Monday? The Council voted to refer this proposal to the Rules Committee. I will update this post later when we are notified of the final result, and if they have a hearing about this.

So, in while we are waiting for the final decision, what do you think? Should members of the public, and taxpayers, be allowed to come to City Council meetings and speak about those things that concern them and other residents of the City? Please leave your comments or questions below.

I'm on the Ballot for City Council!!

Wow! I am on the Ballot for City Council!

Thanks to all of you who signed my nomination papers!Please leave any comments or questions you have for me right here. You can even leave anonymous questions and I will check back to answer them.