May 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 3:00pm

Agenda • 2017 City Council Candidates' Forum • Future of PSNA • Davenport Street Mural (added item) • Ears to the Ground 2017 Candidates' Forum We decided to go forward with sponsoring a Candidates' Forum for this fall's City Council election. Alice Wolf is once again willing to moderate. John will help organize, starting with contacting potential co-sponsors and recruiting a steering committee. Susan Hunziker will understudy. Future of PSNA We went through John Howard's list of activities and responsibilities to identify what to continue and who will pick them up. * Susan volunteered to organize and moderate meetings starting immediately (with John's support.) There has been no recent need to represent PSNA at city meetings (planning board, etc), but Ruth Ryals agreed to be available if something comes up. * Susan agreed to monitor the email list (she already does) and handle moderator requests (taking over from John). Robert Winters has agreed to provide support, as he is familiar with the Mailman software package we use and already moderates other lists. We will add him to the list of moderators. John will provide backup until November. * Susan will also maintain the contents of the web site, again with Robert and John serving as backup. Almost all content updates are meeting announcements and minutes. We still lack a plan for maintaining the web site software (it's a plain vanilla Drupal 7 configuration). John will arrange a training session with Susan and Robert, but additional support from somebody with basic Unix command line skills would be welcome. * Ruth will take over responsibility for the "Shop and Eat on Mass Ave" business map, particularly with respect to budget, printing, and lining up sponsors. Gretchen Friesinger agreed to help. Somebody will need to update the database, which is a spreadsheet giving names, addresses, and layout information. For this year's map update John will handle necessary changes to the formatting software, if any. In the long term, we need somebody who can deal with Python programming and understands Postscript/PDF. Davenport Street Mural Susan provided a verbal report. The committee selected three individuals for inclusion: Jean Keldysz, Noa Hall, and Karen Klinger. Nominations are closed for this round. The next step will be to seek funding (Josh Winer, the muralist, has indicated a cost of about $1K per figure.) Ears to the Ground John and Nancy reported on their three day stay at the Porter Square Hotel. The rooms are amazingly small but are very efficiently laid out and comfortable, with some luxuries like bathrobes and slippers. There is free coffee in the lobby, but the restaurant is still not open; the explanation being difficulty in finding staff, particularly an executive chef. This is not a big problem given the many restaurants in the immediate vicinity. Room cost is around $230 per night plus taxes (there are a few slightly cheaper rooms but they were all sold out), and the valet parking adds another $28. We felt that it was a good deal considering the location and other Cambridge hotel prices. Gretchen Friesinger pointed out the poor condition of street trees along Mass Ave from Porter Square to Rindge Avenue and offered to form a working group to do something about it. If interested, email her at