Longfellow Bridge Public Information Meetings

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will hold a public informational meeting in Cambridge next month to provide an update  on the Longfellow Bridge Rehabilitation Project’s completed and upcoming work. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 2 from 6-8pm at the Multicultural Arts Center on 41 Second Street. Following the presentation, staff from MassDOT and the design/build contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV, will be available to answer questions.

Don’t worry if you can’t make the informational meeting in Cambridge because MassDOT will hold a similar presentation in Boston on Thursday, September 17 from 6-8pm in the Auditorium at the Shriners Hospitals for Children on 51 Blossom Street.

For more information about the project or to sign up to receive email advisories, please visit the project website. For construction related questions or issues, contact the project hotline at 617-519-9892.


Cambridge: Special Community Meeting on Monday 8/17 Following Fatal Shooting

The City of Cambridge is holding a special community meeting this Monday, August 17th due to the fatal shooting of Rasaun Nichols last Wednesday night. The meeting will take place at the Pisani Center on 131 Washington Street at 6:30 PM. Please see the poster below for more details.

Flyer_AreaIVAugust17_2015_Meeting_FINAL copy



Treasury: 1 in 10 Mass Residents Have Unclaimed Property

Each year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receives large amounts of unclaimed property, including forgotten savings and checking accounts, uncashed checks, insurance policy proceeds, stocks, dividends, and contents of safe deposit boxes. Most of these accounts are turned over to the Treasury after three years of inactivity, and it is estimated that one in ten people in Massachusetts have unclaimed property.

If you want to know whether you or someone you know have unclaimed property, visit The Treasury’s Unclaimed Property Division’s website on findmassmoney.com to search for unclaimed property or to file a claim. You can also call 1-888-344-MASS(6277) or (617) 367-0400, or write to:

Department of the State Treasurer
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Unclaimed Property Division
One Ashburton Place, 12th Floor
Boston, MA 02108-1608

This past year, the Division was able to reunite over $112 million with over 45,000 residents, businesses and charities in the Commonwealth. This coming year, the Treasury is hoping to return even more money to more citizens.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office on 617-722-2380 if you have any questions.

Somerville Public Meeting on Lifeline Program

The Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) is holding an outreach event on Thursday, July 16 at the Clarendon Hill Towers in Somerville from 11am to noon. DTC staff will discuss current consumer complaint trends, the DTC’s complaint resolution process, the Lifeline low-income discount phone service program, and will be available to answer your questions about telecommunications and cable issues.

Lifeline is a federal and state program that allows eligible low-income customers access to discounted telephone service. Access to basic phone service is important because it gives low-income individuals an opportunity to connect them to jobs, family and emergency services.  Eligibility is based on household income and participation in the following programs:

  • Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)
  • Fuel Assistance (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP)
  • MassHealth or Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (Section 8)
  • National School Lunch Program (free meals program only)
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

 Please click this link for more info on the Lifeline telephone program.

Construction Advisory: Second Street in Cambridge

The City of Cambridge’s contractor, Marchese Construction, will begin to reconstruct the sidewalks and the roadway on Second Street between Cambridge Street and Charles Street starting July 6. The reconstruction of the sidewalks is scheduled to be completed within 8-10 weeks, while the final roadway paving will take place in the Fall of 2015.

This work, which was developed with community input, is part of Cambridge’s 5-year Sidewalk and Roadway Reconstruction Program to improve conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. General work hours will be from 7AM to 4PM, and Second Street will be intermittently closed within those hours. Police officers will be on site to help manage traffic, but motorists should also expect detours. Please be sure to check posted signs for exact date and times of the “No Parking” signs that will be posted prior to construction. Finally, Marchese Construction will coordinate access to entries and driveways directly with residents.  Please visit this link for more information about this project or the full scope of the work.

Info & Recruitment Session on MassWin-GLX Building Pathways Program Tonight in Somerville

The Somerville Community Corporation and the City of Cambridge’s Office of Workforce Development are co-hosting a recruitment event in Somerville for the  MassWIN GLX Workforce Development Program tonight at VNA Somerville (259 Lowell Street) at 7pm.

The program, also known as the Building Pathways program, is a pilot project that intends to recruit community members into transportation related careers and will focus on workforce development and job creation in the communities along the GLX route. Please contact Barbara Louis at 617-776-5931 x 233 or email at blouis@somervillecdc.org to register for tonight’s event or to learn more about future recruitment events in Cambridge and Somerville.

Orange Line Bus Diversions Starting June 22

Orange Line Early Access is scheduled to begin on Monday night June 22 as part of the MBTA’s Winter Resiliency Improvement Program, and buses will replace regular service between Oak Grove and Wellington. Early Access will take place most weeks from Sunday through Thursday and will to continue until projected completion in December.


WEEK 1: June 22, 23, 24, 25

WEEK 2: June 28, 29, 30, July 1, 2

WEEK 3: July 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

WEEK 4: July 13, 14, 15, 16

As the project moves forward, updates and the service schedule will be available in advance through the MBTAs website here.

Free Yoga This Sunday at MIT

Last December, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga in an attempt to raise awareness about the holistic impact that yoga has on health and well-being. In an address to the UN General Assembly, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who introduced this initiative, suggested the practice of yoga can bring people closer to nature and “can help us deal with climate change.” The resolution was co-sponsored by 177 countries and passed with consensus.

In celebration of the first ever International Day of Yoga, a free yoga event will be held on June 21st from 8:00am-12:00pm outside Kresge Auditorium at MIT, 48 Massachusetts Ave., in Cambridge. The event is free for everyone and will include inspirational talks, music, dance, and food in addition to yoga postures and guided meditation.

Longfellow Bridge Closures from June 12 to June 26 for Downstream “Salt and Pepper” Towers Deck Demolition

From Friday, June 12 to Friday, June 26, MassDOT’s contractor, White-Skanska-Consigli JV (WSC), will periodically close the Longfellow Bridge to all vehicular traffic. Boston-bound vehicles will use the inbound detour via 3rd Street or Memorial Drive to Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28).

The detour routes are described below. Due to height restrictions on Memorial Drive, trucks and buses should use the 3rd Street route only. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be maintained across the bridge at all times. The closures are necessary to safely demolish the existing tower deck slabs. Activities include, but are not limited to, saw cutting, hammering, and loading of trucks. MassDOT will implement Longfellow Bridge closures as follows:

Friday, June 12 to Monday, June 15
• From 11:00 PM on June 12 to 5:00 AM on June 15
• Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the weekend

Monday, June 15 to Thursday, June 18
• From 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM each night
• Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic each night
• The bridge will be reopened to traffic each morning at 5:00 AM

Friday, June 19 to Monday, June 22
• From 11:00 PM on June 19 to 5:00 AM on June 22
• Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic for the duration of the weekend

Monday, June 22 to Friday, June 26
• From 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM each night
• Longfellow Bridge closed to vehicular traffic each night
• The bridge will be reopened to traffic each morning at 5:00 AM

Inbound Detour Routes: All motor vehicles will be detoured using one of two routes. Passenger vehicles may use Memorial Drive westbound to make a U-turn at Ames Street for access to Memorial Drive eastbound to Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28) to reach Leverett Circle, or 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard. Height restrictions are in place for Memorial Drive, so all buses and trucks must use 3rd Street and Binney Street to reach Land Boulevard and Charles River Dam Road (Monsignor O’Brien Highway/Route 28).

The Cambridge-bound detour remains in place using the existing signed route from Charles Circle following Charles Street to Leverett Circle, Monsignor O’Brien Highway (Route 28)/Charles River Dam Road and Land Boulevard.
You can learn more about the project by clicking this link, and you can also view construction progress photos on MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge Flickr Album. For questions or to report issues related to construction, please call the project hotline at 617-519-9892 or email longfellowbridge@state.ma.us.

Fire Delays MLK Jr./Putnam Ave Opening and King Open/Cambridge St. Upper Public Meeting

Last month, the new Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School/Putnam Ave Upper School building in Cambridge suffered a fire that caused significant damage. At the time of the fire, the school was still under construction and was expected to open in the fall. Fortunately nobody was hurt during the fire, but the damage it caused created significant setbacks for the construction team. Despite efforts to keep the project on schedule, it has become clear that it will no longer be possible to open the school in September and the project timeline will need to be revised. It is also possible that the setback at the MLK Jr. School will impact schedules for the King Open School, Cambridge Street Upper School, Valente Library, Gold Star Pool, and Community Complex Project.

As a result, the planned June 11th meeting on the King Open/Cambridge St. Upper Schools and Community Complex Project has been postponed. Once the Martin Luther King Jr. School timeline has been revised, the City will reschedule this meeting. While the delay is unfortunate, it will allow the City to present the most accurate information to the community.

I know that so many in the Cambridge community were looking forward to the new MLK Jr./Putnam Ave school opening this fall and this news is very disappointing. However, I am confident that the City Manager and project team will deliver a new, safe, state-of-the-art school facility to our community as quickly as possible.

If you have questions about this news, please feel free to contact me. I will keep this post updated with new information as it becomes available.

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