Business + Money

Affordable developer made space for bike storage by misleading board, tearing down its own trees

The developer of an affordable-housing project in The Port neighborhood cut down a flourishing stand of trees to make room for bike storage lockers for tenants after assuring zoning regulators that the space with the trees contained no more than “overgrown ivy.” There’s no evidence the bike storage is needed.

Business case study: As Covid pandemic arrived, Biobot Analytics found luck favors the prepared

Timing was critical for Cambridge startup Biobot Analytics. “We didn’t know there would be a pandemic,” one executive said. “But the vision was already there that there’s a data trove living in our sewers that can tell us so much about human health and human behavior.”

News

Heard at the hearings: Need for affordable homes dominates, but pre-K and trees share budget talk

Affordable housing took center stage at budget hearings Tuesday, with city councillors hoping to increase lower-income homeownership and worrying about even maintaining the status quo amid a change in leadership.

Seeing a growing threat of overturned rights, council acts to support LGBTQ+ community

Amid fears about the growing threat to gay and transgender rights posed in legislatures and courts across the country, city councillors turned their attention Monday to supporting LGBTQ+ residents, approving three measures unanimously.

Heard at the hearings: Parking revenue problems and budget clarity that might look like a mistake

In some more tidbits from budget hearings, we learned that even the most understandable budget ever still has some work to do in terms of clarity; that despite surging public records requests, the Law Department needs no more technology to help; and that parking revenue and the raising of annual parking permit fees can be sensitive subjects.

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Features

Joyce Chen started with a 250-seat restaurant, went to 350 and only grew her empire from there

Joyce Chen was Boston’s first real celebrity restaurateur and holds indisputable importance in U.S. culinary history. In the same era Julia Child was changing America’s palates through French cooking, Chen was doing just that with regional Chinese, introducing dishes such as Peking duck, hot and sour soup and moo shu pork.

History Cambridge returns to Central Square Sunday for a food tour bringing out city flavor

Join History Cambridge on Sunday on a food tour of Central Square featuring tastings and behind-the-scenes stops at La Fábrica Central, The Middle East and Artifact Cider Project to eat, drink, learn and support our mission to tell the stories of all Cantabrigians.

Opinion

City’s Law Department deserves more oversight when it comes to public records law compliance

With all due respect, a City Council query into the Law Department and its reported surge in requests for public records didn’t go far enough to root out the problem.

Retired educator seeks support for colleagues from School Committee contract negotiators

Teachers need and deserve to be treated as professionals. Work with the Cambridge Education Association to give them a contract that honors that professionalism.

We can save our communities via our savings

Economic choices leave traces. Consumers are becoming increasingly thoughtful about how we spend our dollars – but what about how we save them?

Arts + Culture

A week of events in Cambridge, Somerville, including Katie Kitamura and Asian Festival

In a look ahead at a week of Cambridge and Somerville events, “Intimacies” author Katie Kitamura is in town, “inTENtion” dance gets a two-night stand, the Night in Bloom Gala seeks to raise funds for Somerville’s armory and there’s art, poetry, jazz and a Cambridge-Somerville Asian Festival for AAPI Heritage Month.

Film Ahead

‘Nuclear Family’ could be the last for DocYard; new wave, hard-boiled series and MCU keep on

These looks at what’s on screens in the coming week include the last DocYard screening of the season and maybe ever, “Nuclear Family,” as well as more repertory from the Harvard Film Archive and Somerville Theatre. Meanwhile, another Doc – Doctor Strange – shows no sign of slowdown in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Wild Things

Long past 1634, ruby-throated hummingbirds are still ‘a curious bird to see’ in May migration

Early settlers had never seen a bird like a hummingbird, but a creature that flap its wings up to 53 times per second and eats more than its weight in a day remains remarkable now.

What We're Having

Shroom shawarma at Koshari Mama

The thing to have at Koshari Mama is the Mushroom Shawerma Sandwich, a glorious, overflowing medley of sautéed mushrooms, sweet peppers and onions seasoned with garlic and a housemade spice blend.

Film Ahead

The DocYard heads into hiatus at The Brattle; HFA still French, Somerville still ‘Hard Boiled’

These looks at what’s on screens in the coming week include a cheeky Mother’s Day screening of “Psycho” and penultimate DocYard screening at The Brattle; and a parade of pairings at the Somerville Theatre, including “JCVD” and “Being John Malkovich” and a “Hard Boiled Double Feature” night with “52 Pick Up” and “The Way of the Gun.”

Wild Things

If you think year-round Canada geese are pests, we can blame ourselves for getting them to stay

As overhunting left Canada geese on the brink of extinction, hunters released their captured decoy geese into the wild – but since these birds weren’t used to migrating, they nested where they were released rather than flying away.