Friday, April 19, 2024

Musings on Peter Valentine’s house on Brookline Street in Cambridge in 2018. (Photo: Marc Levy)

New special education director

School Committee Special Education & Student Supports Subcommittee, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Monday. This hearing chaired by Ayesha Wilson introduces the district’s director of special education and discusses literacy interventions and a “Multi-Tiered Systems of Support” framework. Watchable by Zoom video conferencing.

No-tow test; art space purchase

City Council, 5:30 p.m. Monday. An experiment in ticketing instead of towing and impound fees will be tried during the next street cleaning season, starting in April, for cars left where street sweepers try to do their work. A report is expected in January 2024 on the effectiveness of the approach and recommendations for improvements – or for a “return to the existing program with towing.” (The report in today’s packet includes extensive detail, including from the Historical Commission, noting that street cleanings began as an annual thing in around 1885, but it wasn’t until 1895 that machines did the work – and they were pulled by horses.) Staff are also politely aboard an idea to put up more “No Turn On Red” signs for drivers, and there’s an enthusiastic Planning Board recommendation for the council to adopt Climate Resilience Zoning, with its “clear and well-crafted” compromise text formed out of a process “cited by board members as exemplary.”

Councillors ask staff to look at making a community arts space out of the home of outsider artist Peter Valentine, who died Aug. 9 at the age of 80 after transforming 37 Brookline St., in Cambridgeport, into a showpiece called Cosmic Moose & Grizzly Bearsville. “The acquisition of this property would have numerous benefits,” some councillors say. “The yard of the property could potentially become the butterfly preserve that Peter Valentine had wanted it to be, providing green open space, a sense of magic and possibility and a community gathering space close to Central Square.”

The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.


Impact of energy disclosure law

Economic Development & University Relations Committee, 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday. This committee run by city councillor Paul Toner holds a roundtable with city staff and representatives from Eversource, the business community, universities and large commercial and residential property owners about the environmental and economic impacts they’d feel from the city’s Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.

Public forum on charter review

Charter Review Committee, 6 p.m. Tuesday. The committee leads a public form on aspects of its work remaking the city’s 80-year-old governing document. The forum is at the Cambridge Main Library, 449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge.

School budgeting workshop

Special School Committee meeting, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday. A budget workshop discusses enrollment and budget projections and looks at money from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund for the upcoming 2024 fiscal year. (Update on Jan. 23, 2023: This meeting will be televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing, the School Committee says.)


Questions for police after death

Special meeting of the City Council, 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Councillors and staff reconvene to continue a conversation from Wednesday to discuss police protocols, processes and training related to the Jan. 4 death of Cambridgeport resident Arif Sayed Faisal, 20, who was shot by police. The first session included discussion about identifying the officer involved and the use of lethal force and added information on unarmed responses to mental health crises. This session is expected to look more at equipment, internal reviews of police procedures and budgeting. Councillor Quinton Zondervan says the police budget may warrant a review by the council and the city’s Police Review and Advisory Board even before it reaches the City Manager’s Office. No public comment will be taken. The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.


Zoning against climate change

Ordinance Committee, noon to 2 p.m. Thursday. This committee run by city councillors Marc McGovern and Quinton Zondervan looks at zoning proposed on “Flood Resilience Standards” and a “Green Factor Standard” to adjust development standards and urban design objectives and promote resilience to the effects of climate change. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom video conferencing.