Archive for the 'Living Here' Category
Last weekend’s blizzard was fun – for a day or two. But getting around town is no easy feat this week. Luckily, the daytime temperatures have been above freezing since a whole lot of melting is needed before we can easily get around Cambridge again.
Cities just aren’t designed to have this much snow. Cambridge sure isn’t. Driving is nervewracking with so many people walking in the narrow streets. Snow piles make intersections hazardous. Two-way streets are reduced to one lane. And parking? Forget about it. Parking will be a challenge until spring.
Somerville, as usual, is doing a fantastic job of snow removal. City workers are on the job around the clock with convoys of dumptrucks taking away the snow that bulldozers have cleared. The other night Ball Square was blocked off by the police for snow removal. I noticed today that there is NO snow left in the square. Now, that’s the way to do it.
This recently erected sign strikes despair in Cambridge drivers’ hearts. Expect delays – ok – what else is new? But for TWO YEARS? How depressing is that? The next screen announces work on Western Ave that will be tying up traffic for two years. Ugh. From bad to worse.
But enough griping. We New Englanders are a hardy lot. Spring will be here soon and a little – or a lot of – snow makes it all the sweeter.
It’s time to get back on the bus – the shuttle bus that is if you’re heading into or out of North Cambridge over the next few weekends.
The MBTA is again doing repairs on the Red Line tracks between the Harvard and Alewife stations. Red Line service between Harvard Square and Alewife will be provided by shuttle buses on the next few weekends.
So if you need to go beyond Harvard Square or get on the T at Alewife, Davis or Porter Square you’ll be taking the shuttle bus instead.
Weekend shuttle bus service will run between Harvard and Alewife on November 24-25 and December 1-2, 2012. The work scheduled for the weekend of December 8-9, 2012 has been postponed and the subway will be running this weekend. The City of Cambridge website has more info here.
I think it’s fascinating to compare how towns and cities vote so here are the 2012 election results for Centers and Squares territory as compared to results for the state vote overall. And what about home town advantage? Elizabeth Warren lives in Cambridge and Mitt Romney’s from Belmont.
Though the percentages varied, election results in Arlington, Belmont, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Watertown aligned with state-wide results with Obama and Elizabeth Warren winning in each town or city in our neck of the woods.
There were three ballot questions that appeared on every town or city’s ballot. We voted for flexibility in car repairs (Question 1) and in favor of medical marijuana (Question 3), questions that passed state-wide. Question #2, to allow physicians to prescribe medication to the terminally ill to end life, failed state-wide by 51-49% but passed in every Centers and Squares municipality except for Medford.
In Somerville, Question 4, a vote to adopt the Community Preservation Act, passed by a large margin.
For more information check out each city or town’s website. Here are the preliminary 2012 election results:
Massachusetts 2012 Election Results:
Obama 61% Romney 38%
Warren 54% Brown 46%
Question #1 “Right to Repair” passed 85% to 15%
Question #2 “Die with Dignity” failed 51% to 49%
Question #3 Medical Marijuana passed 63% to 37%
Arlington 2012 Election Results
Obama: 18,580 72%
Romney: 6,659 26%
Warren: 17,501 68%
Brown: 8,265 32%
Question #1 Yes – 19,668 No – 2,455 Passed 89% to 11%
Question #2 Yes – 14,352 No – 10,648 Passed 57% to 43%
Question #3 Yes – 16,876 No – 7,961 Passed 68% to 32%
Belmont 2012 Election Results
Obama: 9,108 65%
Romney: 4,728 34%
Warren: 8,480 60%
Brown: 5,577 40%
Question #1 Yes – 10,662 No – 1,565 Passed 87% to 13%
Question #2 Yes – 7,622 No – 5,853 Passed 57% to 43%
Question #3 Yes – 8,883 No – 4,592 Passed 66% to 34%
Cambridge 2012 Election Results
Obama: 41,991 86%
Romney: 5,340 11%
Warren: 41,127 85%
Brown: 7,463 15%
Question #1 Yes – 35,841 No – 4,716 Passed 88% to 12%
Question #2 Yes – 30,909 No – 14,639 Passed 68% to 32%
Question #3 Yes – 36,063 No – 9,564 Passed 79% to 21%
Medford 2012 Election Results
Obama: 18,613 68%
Romney: 8,294 30%
Warren: 16,808 61%
Brown: 10,580 39%
Question #1 Yes – 12,705 No – 1,666 Passed 86% to 14%
Question #2 Yes – 12,588 No – 13,445 Failed 52% to 48%
Question #3 Yes – 16,678 No – 9,070 Passed 65% to 35%
Somerville 2012 Election Results
Obama: 28,467 82%
Romney: 4,865 14%
Warren: 27,412 80%
Brown: 7,038 20%
Question #1 Yes – 26,787 No – 4,486 Passed 86% to 14%
Question #2 Yes – 21,210 No – 11,904 Passed 64% to 36%
Question #3 Yes – 25,733 No – 7,357 Passed 78% to 22%
Question #4 – Community Preservation Act Yes – 24,358 No – 7,714 Passed 68% to 32%
Watertown 2012 Election Results
Obama: 11,878 71%
Romney: 4,516 27%
Warren: 10,773 64%
Brown: 5,938 36%
Question #1 Yes – 12,705 No – 1,666 Passed 88% to 12%
Question #2 Yes – 8,821 No – 7,080 Passed 55% to 45%
Question #3 Yes – 10,884 No – 4,921 Passed 69% to 31%
Voting Hours in Massachusetts
It all comes down to this. Months of political chatter, the hours and hours of political TV that are the backdrop in my house every night, debates, rallies, phonecalls, tweets, fundraisers – it all comes to an end tomorrow when we vote.
It always boggles my mind that it all comes down to what happens on just one day – Election Day. The tension and excitement is almost unbearable.
Make sure you get out and vote tomorrow. Voting hours in Massachusetts are from 7 am to 8 pm.
See you at the polls!
Thinking about installing solar panels? Wondering how much it would cost? Wondering if solar is worth the investment?
The city of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Sustainable Design Lab at MIT and MoDe Studio , has just launched a very cool tool – the Cambridge Solar Map that will answer these questons and more.
On the Cambridge Solar Map page you can enter your Cambridge address and get estimates about how much it would cost to install a solar system and projections of potential production, cost savings and pollution reduction. There’s an estimated payback time given and links to additional info about rebates and other programs.
The Cambridge Solar Tool is fun and fascinating to play with. For my house the tool projects some significant savings as well as what to me seems a somewhat daunting price tag. Zooming around the color coded map it’s easy to see some buildings that look like particularly promising sites for solar. All those large flat roofs look to me like bright yellow potential solar farms.
PS – make sure you have an updated browser – no Internet Explorer laggards allowed - the Cambridge Solar Tool requires version 9 or above or some other more “modern” browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox.
I love Somerville Massachusetts. More specifically, I love Somerville municipal government. Somerville city government always strikes me as progressive and forward thinking. I can’t help but be impressed in most interactions with the City.
Case in point – chickens. Somerville recently became the first Massachusetts city to pass an Urban Agriculture Ordinance. The ordinance encourages urban food production and specifically allows for beekeeping and the raising of chickens.
Hurrah! Many communities have yet to embrace the renewed popularity of raising chickens. Kudos to Somerville for its chicken-friendly stance. Ditto for bees – more and more people I know are keeping bees at home and it’s great to see the City acknowledge the value of urban food production. Look for Somerville eggs and honey coming to a market near you.
The deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts in November’s election is October 17, 2012.
Here are links to local towns’ and cities’ voter registration info:
The big day, Election Day, is Tuesday, November 6, 2012. See you at the polls!
I was happy to read recently about plans for a new main Somerville Public Library in Union Square. Somerville has big ideas for Union Square revitilization and it turns out that relocating the main branch of the library is part of that vision. Exciting times for Union Square, with the Green Line, a new $45 million library, and more.
The yellow brick building that currently houses the main branch of the Somerville Public Library was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue.
The 1912 library replaced the former library, pictured below, designed in 1884 in the Romanesque style by Somerville architect George F. Loring.
See images of the next version of the Somerville Public Library and read more about the grant Somerville hopes to get for library construction in this Boston Globe article.