Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposes a new look for the MBTA headhouse on its East Campus at Kendall Square. (Image: Redgate Real Estate Advisors)

Police funding order returns to City Council agenda

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. The agenda shows the return of an order about redirecting some proposed police funding toward human services, which led to a loud, angry back and forth last week before being put on hold. But for some reason the agenda does not show the return of a second, late policy order by councillor E. Denise Simmons about forming a committee to advise on measures against systemic racism, racial intolerance and unequal treatment of black people in Cambridge. Simmons put a temporary hold on her own order, suggesting it might be redundant after hearing plans by the city manager and not wanting to be “divisive” after sensing “at least one of my colleagues is poised to vote against it.” The agenda also shows no new orders by councillors, suggesting that talking about and voting on the police funding issue and full budget will be lengthy, though the city manager’s agenda includes his intention to finally do a municipal broadband feasibility study.

Update on June 15, 2020: Simmons’ order was “inadvertently excluded” from the Monday agenda, according to the city clerk, and now must wait for until June 22 for discussion to avoid violating Open Meeting Law.

The meeting will be televised and stream online. Sign up for public comment here and get instructions about how to use the necessary Zoom video conference platform. Links to the meetings are here.

Covid-19 might change campus use, renovation

School Committee special meeting and regular meeting, 5 and 7 p.m. Tuesday. The special meeting (which takes no public comment) confirms recommendations and appointments for assistant superintendents of elementary education and secondary education. The regular meeting has a motion looking at delaying the $250 million Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools overhaul, considering that a socially distanced district may need swing space that would be taken up with Tobin and Vassal students if the project goes forward on schedule. Committee members also intend to look at stopping non-school use of school campuses until Jan. 2, to help guard against coronavirus; and to ensure the rights of black staff and scholars within the district. 

To give public comment, signup is mandatory and can be done through noon Tuesday by phone at (617) 349-6620 or 5:30 p.m. online at meeting will be broadcast over Cambridge Educational Access TV channels 98 and 99 and should stream online. More information is here.

Planning Board is back with CambridgeSide mall talk

Planning Board, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The board starts meeting again after a long coronavirus pause that began after the March 24 meeting.The board plans to talk about how best to do business through virtual meetings, have a pre-application conference for dramatic changes coming to the Cambridgeside mall and look at an update to the open space plan provided by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its East Campus at Kendall Square.  

Eversource substation zoning almost set for petition

Cambridge Redevelopment Authority, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Authority has draft zoning petition language for a proposed Eversource substation in Kendall Square, which would keep a substation from being built on residential Fulkerson Street. There’s also an update on aid to the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House and on a citywide Small Business Grant and Loan Program. Join the meeting online through the Zoom video conference platform at with the passcode 051321; or by phone at (646) 558-8656 with meeting number 821 5113 5300 and the same passcode.

School Committee looks at norms, operating protocols

School Committee special meeting, 6 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday. This retreat with superintendent Kenneth Salim focuses on “operating protocols and School Committee norms.” The meeting will be broadcast over Cambridge Educational Access TV channels 98 and 99 and should stream online.

Update on June 16, 2020: This meeting has been canceled.