Grand Junction Public Meeting December 8th

Please see the invite below for information about an upcoming meeting that will be held to update residents on the Grand Junction commuter rail ridership and feasibility study:

Grand Junction Commuter Rail Feasibility Study — Public Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is pleased to announce a community meeting to discuss progress on the Grand Junction Commuter Rail Feasibility Study.

This meeting will be held:

Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm-8:00pm

Kennedy-Longfellow School – Auditorium

158 Spring Street, Cambridge

The purpose of this meeting is to discuss an ongoing study of the potential use of the Grand Junction Railroad for supplemental MBTA Commuter Rail service to Cambridge and North Station. At this meeting, MassDOT staff members will discuss results of a ridership analysis and traffic impact analysis, as well as overall study findings, and next steps. This meeting follows up on a community meeting held last June. For more information on prior meetings, see out study website at: http://massdot.state.ma.us/planning/GrandJunctionTransportationStudy.aspx.

All are welcome at the meeting, and please feel free to share this notice. For more information, or to request alternative language or other special accommodations, please contact Matthew Ciborowski at matthew.ciborowski@state.ma.us, or (617) 973-7180.

Please join us on December 8th!

Redistricting Plan Could Divide Cambridge

Last week, the state legislature’s Special Joint Committee on Redistricting released its proposed maps for Massachusetts’ Congressional districts. As can be seen in the map below, this could possibly mean that for many Cambridge residents, their representative in Congress will change.

The 7th Congressional District (formerly the 8th) is shown in tan.

The legislature has approved this redistricting plan, and an amendment filed by Representative Alice Wolf that would have kept Cambridge within one Congressional district was defeated.

I want to take this opportunity to express my belief that Cambridge should remain whole within its Congressional district. Instead of maintaining a united Cambridge, the proposed district maps would have neighbors (in some cases neighbors living on the same street) being represented in Congress by different people. I am concerned about how this proposal could dilute Cambridge’s role in Congressional elections and change the way in which its citizens are represented at the Federal level.

Despite joining with a number of my colleagues this week to voice the level of concern that this proposal has generated among the residents of Cambridge, the plan has cleared the legislature and now awaits Governor Patrick’s signature. While it was my hope that we would see the final district map place all of Cambridge in one Congressional district as it has been for nearly 70 years, it appears that the city will be divided. I will be closely monitoring how this plan, which will require changes to Cambridge’s precinct map, will affect the state, local, and national voting process for Cambridge residents.

Community Meeting Recap

Last night I hosted a community meeting at the Cambridge Police Station to discuss the recent rash of armed robberies that have occurred in Cambridge and have been concentrated in the East Cambridge and Wellington-Harrington neighborhoods. The meeting was packed with at least one hundred residents, and was well attended by Cambridge Police officers and administrators, including Police Commissioner Robert Haas.

The best news that we have learned is that there have been no new incidents since the incidents that occurred over a 2-3 day span last week. Police believe that a total of five robberies in Cambridge are linked to each other, but that similar robberies have also occurred in other communities in the Boston area. While the police stressed that it is important for residents to remain alert and on guard, they believe that the pattern is moving out of Cambridge and into the surrounding area.

Even if the threat of robbery has declined, police still advised residents to familiarize themselves with what they should do if they are robbed. The most important thing is to comply completely, especially if the assailants are armed. Belongings can be replaced but your life cannot be. Do not chase after the robber when they leave.

Someone who is robbed should seek help immediately and call 911 with the closest available phone. If the police do not arrive right away, do not be alarmed and stay where you are. The first priority of responding officers will be to search the area in which you were robbed. Once a search has been conducted, police will respond to your location.

While police are currently reluctant to release specifics about their investigation, they have said that they have a number of leads that they are investigating. They do not believe the suspects are Cambridge residents and have said that the suspects have been changing the vehicle that they use as a getaway.

In order to prevent additional robberies, the Cambridge Police have heavily stepped up police presence in neighborhoods where robberies have occured. A number of plain-clothes detectives are also patrolling the neighborhoods and are on the lookout for suspicious persons.

The city and the Police Department are taking this crime spree extremely seriously and are doing everything possible to prevent future incidents from occurring and to bring the perpetrators of last week’s crimes to justice. If you believe that you have information that may aid police in their investigation of these crimes, please call 617-349-3300 or send a text to TIP411 (847411) and begin your message with “TIP650″ (no quotation marks).