Thursday, January 3, 2008

MAAB holds hearings re City of Cambridge sidewalks at Erie St, Pearl at Decatur St, Green at Hancock St.

I filed several complaints against the City of Cambridge for repairing, reconstructing, sidewalks in violation of both State Safety Code and the ADA. The City replied by assigning an attorney to defend the indefensible. Spending our hard earned tax dollars to fix the sidewalks wrong. The City tried to deny the Access Board had jurisdiction.

The photo above and the two below are snapshots of the site visit the Access Board conducted in the face of the City's stonewalling. Please see state law on this...

Chapter 30A: Section 11B. Studies of state boards, commissions and authorities; notice to city or town affected
Section 11B. All state boards and commissions and the governing boards or bodies of all such authorities which conduct a study affecting or relating to the use of an area of a city or town shall notify the mayor or city manager, if any, of the city and the presiding officer of the city council, or the chairman of the board of selectmen of the town, of the study and shall invite their participation therein. No determination shall be made and no results of the study shall be released to the public until such notification has been given with a reasonable opportunity to participate in it.

Click on the photos to enlarge so you can see the site report.

The hearings will be held at the Mass Arch Access Board

One Ashburton Place, Boston MA

21st Floor...use the high rise elevator, second bank of elevators

One Ashburton Place is on top of Beacon Hill, around the block from the state house...take red line to park, walk up Park st, take right, then left along the side of the State House, then take a right at end of the block, and right across the street is One Ashburton Place.

Erie St at 3pm-3:30pm

Pearl at Decatur St at 3:30pm-4pm

Green at Hancock St at 4pm-4:30pm

Hope to see you there.

Quick fix crosswalk disapears during snow storm

The photo above shows the city of cambridg's quick fix of the Intersection of Pearl and Decatur street running up to the public hearing schedualled by the Mass Arch Access Board for the complaint I filed. The City has covered over the original crosswalk markings and added new markings, masking serious compliance issues.

The photos above and below, taken December 23rd, 10 days after the snow storm and 3 weeks after the fake crosswalk fix was executed. It shows that the sidewalk markings are already disapearing.

The photo above, Dec 27th, and the one below, Dec 31st, show more wearing away of the phony crosswalk, and of course, folks have no idea what to do with the heavy street snow the City plowed into the curb ramps that the abutters had previously shoveled. These photos were taken after the major snow removal opperation on Pearl St.

Your tax dollars are paying for this useless and unlawful work.

Should We Oppose The Use Of Ethanol As Fuel?

Hybrid Taxicab Hearing – The Cambridge License Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposal to establish a Cambridge hybrid taxicab program to be called “Cambridge Clean Air Cabs.” The hearing will be held on Tuesday, January 8, 6:00 pm, in the Basement Conference Room of the Lombardi Building at 831 Massachusetts Avenue. The proposals includes a commitment by Whole Foods Market to provide grant funds for $15,000 in 2007 and $15,000 in 2008 for grants of $5,000 per taxicab medallion to owners who convert to a hybrid vehicle and a hybrid taxicab medallion auction, the proceeds of which will be used to provide grants of $10,000 per medallion for conversions to hybrid vehicles. The License Commission is responsible for the issuance of hackney licenses in the city.

Should we oppose the use of ethanol as fuel when we mandate Hybrid Taxis? There has been quite a bit of research on this issue. Please do a google search for ethanol unintended consequences, and check it out.

Here are a couple I found of interest...

Opposition To City's Motion for Reconsideration Submitted

Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves and City Councillor Decker want to ban dogs, all dogs, including guide dogs for the blind, from public meetings In City Council because, they claim, the presence of a guide dog is a direct threat to the health of Councillor Decker, and is equivilent to the health threat of the presence of cigarrette smoke.
This issue has been previously reported on my blog,
On Oct 16th, 2006, I agreed to change my seat because Councillor Decker had stoped taking her meds due to allergy testing the following morning. On Oct 30, 2006, when I arrived for the city Council meeting I went immediately to the agreed on seating. 45 min into the meeting, Councillor Decker interrupted the meeting, and, without calling for a recess, told me I had to leave the meeting or she would have me removed. The reason? She was not taking her allergy meds due to testing the following morning.
The Chair, who is Mayor Reeves, blamed me for interrupting the meeting. Please note, I do not have the power to call for a recess myself. He called for the police to have me removed. Then Councillor Decker then returned to her seat and called for a recess, which Mayor Reeves granted.
In the interest of time, please see wnat transpired in the story at From The Port. briefly, I filed a disability discrimination complaint with Mass Commission Against Discrimination, MCAD, after it was reccomended to me to do so by an important and well respected leader in Cambridge. The City responded with a Position Statement, and I had to write a Rebuttal. I submitted my rebuttal in spring 2006, it is 60 pages and an additional dozens od documents in exibit as evidence.
The photo above is my rebuttal.
In Oct 2007 the Commission issued a finding of Probable Cause and set a date for a settlement. If the parties can settle, then a hearing can be avoided. However, the City responded with a Motion For Reconsideration of the probable Cause Finding, early November. I have just submitted my Opposition on Jan 2, 2008.
At issue is wether or not the presence of guide dogs, service dogs, can be considered a direct threat equivilent to cigarrette smoke.
So, what do you all think? This is not being decided by legislation, public opinion nor a vote by City Council. It is an action by tw0 people, mayor ken reeves and Councillor Decker, who believe that the presence of service dogs in a public meeting is dangerous to the health of people. It is somewhat frustrating that the same councillor does not see leaf blowers as a health threat.
We await now, for the decision of the Commission on this motion. I will keep you updated as best I can.