Attend Cambridge meetings from Nov. 14-20: Garden Street lanes; empanadas filling Izzy’s
Rat control and climate zoning
City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. More resources are being asked for rat control efforts – $586,000 from free cash, with $300,000 of it to maintain and expand the “Smart Boxes” made by Anticimex that lure rats inside and electrocute them aboveground and in sewers. The six-month, $50,000 test of 40 boxes has killed 380 rats. The rest of the money would go to a private-property rodent control program that had to be rebid after a contractor “stopped responding to [Inspectional Services] requests of approved applications starting in June”; pricing on the rebids came in “significantly higher than expected,” the City Manager’s Office said, but the company Secured Environments has led to the “amount of resident-related complaints regarding the contractor’s services [being] greatly reduced.” The city also expects to post a job listing for a “rat liaison” next month.
Recommendations from a Climate Resilience Zoning Task Force have been turned into draft language, being shared now with the council to begin the process of enacting it into the city code. The Planning Board talks about it Tuesday, too, and in a deep green week for the council, a policy order wants the city working harder to convert citizens to the renewable-energy Cambridge Community Electricity program and a committee looks Wednesday at implementing a state climate bill.
Outdoor dining permits end Nov. 30, but a council motion asks that Cambridge keeps the restaurant patios that were so vital at the height of the Covid pandemic “for socializing amidst seasonal spikes in cases of Covid and the flu [in] a win-win-win for residents, business owners and the city.” The patios were allowed to stay over the past two winters.
And Garden Street traffic issues return for discussion. Be warned: With the introduction of the topic a week ago, there were around 75 submitted comments and some 40 residents speaking on the topic, each with two minutes of time; this time the agenda has almost 90 submitted comments.
Pikalo Empanadas fills Izzy’s
License Commission, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. The small Pikalo Empanadas chain – with locations in Jamaica Plain, East Boston and Lawrence – plans to open at 169 Harvard St., The Port, replacing Israel Maldonado’s beloved Izzy’s restaurant. The neighborhood staple closed early in 2022 after more than four decades serving Puerto Rican fare such as stewed goat and plantains as well as subs and steak tips. Pikalo offers 45 kinds of empanadas, from cheese to lobster, as well as tostadas, plantains served four ways, burgers and sandwiches, and owners plan for it to be open 6 a.m. to midnight six days a week, with shorter hours on Sunday, and seating for 30. Meanwhile, The Coda Group takes a step toward opening a restaurant called Gufo next year in the former Loyal Nine space at 660 Cambridge St., East Cambridge. Watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Bus route redesign’s effects
School Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. Committee members – dropping officially to five as member Akriti Bhambi said Nov. 2 that this was her resignation date – give guidance to the MBTA as the agency redesigns its regional bus network, suggesting ways to avoid making it harder for students to get to and from school. The committee meets in the Dr. Henrietta S. Attles Meeting Room at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, 459 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge. Televised and watchable online.
Climate resilience zoning
Planning Board, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The city-appointed Climate Resilience Zoning Task Force gave its final report in February about how Cambridge can best face the consequences of climate change, and draft zoning was filed in October. Board members will start discussing the details. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Climate bill implementation
Health & Environment Committee, 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday. This committee run by city councillor Patty Nolan discusses how to act on the recently passed Massachusetts climate bill, including how the city can implement a ban or restriction on fossil fuels in new construction and how quickly the city can adopt a state energy stretch code for buildings. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Linear Park redesign ideas
Linear Park Redesign Public Meeting, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Design ideas on updating the 1985 park – its path runs between the Alewife red line MBTA station and the Somerville city line in North Cambridge – are presented for reaction, questions and comment. Watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Citywide urban design guidelines
Citywide Urban Design Guidelines community meeting, 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Land owners, developers and architects will have to use these guidelines in designing parks and plazas, buildings and storefronts; Planning Board members and staff will be review projects with them; and the city will rely when installing new streets, sidewalks and open space. The work is introduced here. Watchable by Zoom video conferencing.
Transgender Awareness Month Panel
Cambridge Healthy Children’s Task Force, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. A panel discussion on the experience of transgender and nonbinary youth, featuring members of SpeakOUT Boston and local community members and a way to connect with other transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming youth, their caregivers and allies, and those who want to be better allies to the LGBTQIA+ community, The talk takes place at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge and online. Register here.
Coffee With a Cop
Coffee with a Cop, 8 to 10 a.m. Friday. Community members can meet informally with police officers and staff in a neutral location to discuss community issues, address questions, build relationships and drink good coffee. The event is scheduled for the Kendall Kitchen at the Quad, 10 Wilson Road, Cambridge Highlands.
Feature image of Izzy’s Restaurant by Christina R. via Yelp