City Council approves Poppy Month proclamation

Cambridge City Council group

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas
  Pat Creighton, joined by Janet Angelo and Phyllis Como, presented Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley with a red poppy, making the month of Remembrance official in our city.

‘In Flanders Fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row…’

CAMBRIDGE — This May, it will be exactly 100 years that a Canadian Lt. Colonel wrote that mournful poem to honor his friend killed in battle in Belgium. The poppies that grew between the rows of graves became an international symbol of Remembrance for fallen soldiers. Pat Creighton, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 91 brought a proclamation to the Council declaring May as Poppy Month in Cambridge. The council approved the proclamation. Ms. Creighton, joined by Janet Angelo and Phyllis Como, presented Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley with a red poppy, making the month of Remembrance official in our city.

After that solemn start, the council moved on to the task of approving permits for various activities, a part of the job that takes the pulse of the city, and witnesses the variety that Cambridge affords its citizens and visitors. Start with Odessa Todd’s family and Shanita Farrare’s clan. Each family will hold a reunion on Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, respectively. With as many as 100 family members expected, they have permission to use Great Marsh Park. Can you just picture it? The grandmas and the littlest babies, generations celebrating “family.” Permits authorized.

Next item. Two beer festivals! One on May 9, the other on Nov. 14. Close the street, set up the tents, bring on the music, the young people, and the residents, and the tourists who envy the vitality of Cambridge (and want to spend time and money here.)

The new radio station, WHCP, needs permission to hold a parade on July 4 … a boombox parade. No 76 trombones, no marching band necessary! You or any marcher carries a boombox or portable radio and the radio station plays the marching music. They definitely need a noise variance if everyone digs out their dated boomboxes. Details will be worked out by station officials and Chief Dan Dvorak to make it workable.

By now you should be underlining which of these undertakings is for you. Is it the Farmers” Market that reopens on May 7 and every Thursday after that? Brandon Hesson asks permission for the use of the Long Wharf parking lot and the adjacent grassy area as has been set up in the past. Done and done, but Brandon’s not done yet. Representing Cambridge Main Street, he also requests the use of Cannery Way on April 11 from 1 to 6 p.m. for the worthwhile purpose of presenting “Month of the Young Child” on Second Saturday.

On that same day, the Cambridge Little League plans to march to mark their opening day. Children and coaches will line up at Long Wharf at 8 a.m. and start marching by 9 a.m.

The granting of permits and variances by the Council gives the Commissioners and the citizens a chance to witness the wonderful mosaic of life in Cambridge. But then there’s the serious side of government to be handled.

Members of the Nanticoke Watershed Alliance seek the Council’s endorsement of the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee. The Alliance wants to work on clean water initiatives in collaboration with a Cambridge presence, to find strategies to evaluate and carry out programs to improve water quality. The goals will affect fishing, recreation, wildlife, and history by means of planning and evaluating projects and preparing an analysis of water quality. One significant project is homeowner workshops for Cambridge residents on Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens, Living Shorelines, and environmental landscaping. The Council approved the endorsement of the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee and will allow city employees to be involved to a limited extent.

A task that must be accomplished, the verifying of 1,645 signatures on petitions seeking to compel a referendum on the question of hiring a city manager, has found a solution. After being turned down by the League of Women Voters, and the Board of Elections, Oden Wheeler, acting clerk/treasurer, has named three former election judges to verify the signatures. Mayor Jackson-Stanley expects to have the result by April 13, the next regularly scheduled council meeting.
Also on the agenda were several Public Works and Police Department purchases which were approved, requiring no new money but simply shifting funds from one pile to an expenditure of higher priority.

One financial matter that is being discussed is rebates on county taxes. The matter is being worked on by Commissioners Hanson and Cooke. The explanations are complicated and as soon as I get a handle on the problem and suggested solutions, it will be reported ion these pages. The Commissioners will also examine some shortcuts to the tradition of permits and variances in order to spend more time on pressing issues like housing, taxes, job creation and budgets. Those too are a vital part of the colorful mosaic that is life in Cambridge.

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