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Editorial To Cambridge Chronicle, November 9,
Citizens Troubled by Grace Project
We would like to take the opportunity to respond to comments made by David Vickery of Spaulding and Slye in the article in your November 2nd edition.
Mr. Vickery suggests that the neighborhood not concern itself with details of any proposal for the dispensation of hte W. R. Grace Alewife area property. He states that the neighborhood should only be involved to the level of deciding between retail use and office use at the site and if the community cannot make up its mind, Spaulding and Slye will do it for them .
While this is not only insulting, it is also factually inaccurate. Mr. Vickery must be reminded that the permit for his proposed office development from the 1980s is no longer valid without approval from various governmental authorities, including the DEP, Cambridge Planning Board and Cambridge Conservation Commission.
Mr. Vickery also noted his “frustration” that the “same citizens seem to take lead roles in all discussions about development”. We would like to again remind Mr. Vickery that the Alewife Study Group was formed to obtain community feedback on the proposed development. Those “same citizens” referred to are noting the issues on which over 100 persons commented on at a community-wide meeting held in August.
Mr. Vickery is well aware that unresolved environmental issues concerning the site go back to the 1980s and that issues relating to traffic, siting, tenant-mix and the environment were raised in June 1995 by community members and continue to be unresolved as of November 1995.
Finally, the October 24th Alewife Study Group meeting which the Cambridge Chronicle characterized as being attended by 10 citizens and none from Jefferson Park or Rindge Towers was actually attended by 27 residents of which 4 were from either Rindge Towers or Jefferson Park. It is irresponsible and disturbing that the Cambridge Chronicle did not confirm this information before trying to pass it off as fact.
Despite Mr. Vickery’s unwarranted suggestion to the contrary, members of the community will continue to vigilantly strive to ensure that whatever development goes into the W. R. Grace site is environmentally sound, does not interfere with or stress the current infrastructure and is respectful to the needs and ambiance of the community.
Submitted by, Alma Balonon-Rosen and Mitchell Balonon-Rosen
Contact the Alewife Study Group, North Cambridge Massachusetts, by email at email@example.com