Tuesday, July 16, 2024

These are just some of the municipal meetings and civic events for the coming week. More are on the City Calendar and in the city’s Open Meetings Portal.


A nips assortment at Porter Square Wine & Spirits in Cambridge. Single-use plastics are being questioned as unnecessary waste by city councillors. (Photo: Marc Levy)

New public restroom location

Portland Loo pop-up event, 10 a.m to noon Friday. City staff offer a snack and information about a recommended location for Cambridge’s next Portland Loo – its free public restrooms – a 24-hour amenity “coming to a park near you” as the second of three to be added through the Participatory Budgeting process. The meeting is at Follen Street and Waterhouse Street in Neighborhood 9 near Cambridge Common.

Inman Square redesign is done

Inman Square reopening celebration, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Celebrate the redesigned square with its new pedestrian crossings, separated bike lanes, public art installations and an improved Mayor Alfred E. Vellucci Community Plaza (and learn about the plaza’s namesake, a mayor for four terms between 1960-1990) with music and refreshments. The redesign process began with a council order in June 2014 but was accelerated by the death of bicyclist Amanda Phillips in June 2016; decelerated by the pandemic, work on the $7.9 million plaza that began in 2019 wrapped up recently. Everything happens at Cambridge and Hampshire streets.

Checking in on Central Square

City Council roundtable, 3 to 5 p.m. Monday. Concerns about the quality of life in Central Square, a business and transportation hub that also hosts many of the city’s social services – including for the homeless and drug users – are addressed by the city manager, city staff and community partners. The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Sennott Park opening party

Sennott Park opening celebration, 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Enjoy refreshments and children’s entertainment and see recent big upgrades, from creative play elements along the path to a fitness station. This event was scheduled originally for Sept. 30. At Sennott Park, 305 Broadway, The Port between Inman and Central squares, Cambridge.

Look at elections and legislating

Charter Review Committee, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. This group charged with suggesting updates to the city’s 80-year-old governing document continues its look at elections and resident assemblies and begins review of the charter’s legislative article – that is, the one dealing with the City Council. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Preschool and CRLS bathrooms

School Committee Building & Grounds Subcommittee, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. This hearing chaired by José Luis Rojas Villarreal shares an assessment of school district facilities and policy changes around implementing universal preschool and reviewing “access to student bathrooms” at the high school. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Backyard chickens, parking lots

Planning Board, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The topic of backyard chickens is back before the board, and so is the request from the owner of three Kendall Square residential properties to let spaces in its parking garages be used by other projects: first during Boston Properties construction, then by the nearby Volpe multiuse development. It would avoid construction of parking areas not needed as demand shrinks, Equity Residential says. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Ending single-use plastic

Health & Environment Committee, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday. This committee run by city councillor Patty Nolan expects to discuss, review and evaluate the city’s Zero Waste Master Plan and look for more ways to reduce waste in Cambridge – including how the city might eliminate single-use plastics such as nips, bottled water and utensils. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Central Square City Lots Study

Central Square Advisory Committee, 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. A second chance to talk about the baker’s dozen of unused, overused and empty lots and buildings that make up much of the city-owned property in and around Central Square. Five of the sites are parking lots where city councillors have called repeatedly for affordable housing to be built. A community engagement stage on figuring out uses is underway; all work on the city-owned property project is to be done in December. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.

Outdoor dining at Forage

Board of Zoning Appeal, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Thursday. The restaurant Forage at 5 Craigie Circle, West Cambridge, asks to relocate its 18-seat patio to the front with an improved structure. “Without a patio, we don’t stand a chance in today’s market,” manager Stuart Rothman said. Watchable by Zoom videoconferencing.