Friends of the Community Path meeting -- Minutes, October 9, 2001
Place: 112 Belmont St. Apt #2
Members attending: Joel Bennett, Philip Chonacky, Karen Molloy, Turil
Cronburg, John Mann, Lynn Weissman, Andy Oakland, Kindra Crick, Jessie
Strickgold-Sarah, Bob Kindel, Maureen Michael Johnston, Alan Moore
1. Spice of Life Festival - went well, our Community Path table drew an
enthusiastic crowd. Donations: 200.00 (from jar, calendars, maps) 30
people signed up for email list. Lots of people made out postcards. Lee
Mandel who maintains the SAC (Somerville Arts Council) Web site wants
link to our site. Brickbottom is interested in getting involved, as
of community effort. Joel found, while participating in Spice of Life
planning meeting, that many local organizations are interested in the
Community Path project.
2. Cycling Calendars
We've now sold enough to pay for them, we can now sell the rest for
donation funds (12.00). They make great gifts!
3. Lynn met with Sen. Birmingham aide Andre Leroux. He (Leroux) is
excited about the Community Path, will likely be a good advocate, and
surprised we are not eligible for DEM grant (because Somerville has not
secured right-of-way from the MBTA). He will get a contact at MBTA. We
can give him the postcards; they are all aware of the line item on the
state budget; 2.5 million budgeted, no clear yes/no. We should talk to
Sen. Shannon who represents most of Somerville, Andre Leroux will write
a letter of support (representing Sen. Birmingham) for the DEM grant.
Leroux later spoke with Joel who have him 5 contact names at MBTA, who
were involved during the Rizzo study. Leroux will contact Jeff Levine,
MBTA contacts, DEM.
4. John sent email to Pat Jehlen. No reply yet. Discussion about future
meeting with Pat Jehlen, Sen Shannon ...intro: give postcards, get a
letter of support.
In addition to the people who we have postcards for, we'll eventually
need Sen Toomey's support, East Cambridge.
5. Joel - No reply from Capuano's office.
6.Turil made more flyers and postcards.
7. Kindra - will make updates to Web site, bike tour, this meeting....
The Community Path site needs info redesign to addresses the needs of
multiple audiences that visit the site (volunteers, politicians, people
unfamiliar with the path, press, other organizations, etc.). Also, we
should look into getting our own site instead of piggybacking off of
bike committee's site. Send Kindra the URLs of community sites we
We have 30 subscribers to our email list now. With that number of
potentially wanting to help the Community Path effort, we should figure
out how they can help. On the Web site we could have "Want to do
something to help today? section". [see more on this below.]
8. Outreach - Getting letters of support from politicians and local
businesses that are near the Community Path; something simple and
straightforward, for example, from the VNA " we support the path, and
you know we have agreed to give the Community Path right of way on our
property.". Needs a form letter that would ask for a letter. According
to Joel, the Cochichuate Rail Trail has a binder of 100 of such letters
of support. There are a lot of companies that are on or near the
proposed Community Path: Charter school, VNA, Royal White, Zip car. In
Lechmere, the Monitor owner is interested in the Path as a means for
employees to commute. Lynn will draft letter, and we could have a
mailing party :)
We need to talk to Charter School; we would like access to/easement on
In addition to a mailing, phone calls could be very useful in keeping
issues visible and reminding Aldermen and others of the path and
related concerns. For example, there are 3 bridges currently closed for
repairs. How those repairs are designed will have an impact; if they do
not take into account the future Community Path, it'll be a headache in
the future to get the work redone during construction of the Path. We
need to have our requirements heard on the renovations of the bridges.
Christine Rigley at City Hall is handling the bridge rebuilding.
how much Mass Highway knows about the path effort, though they must
the Rizzo study. But we need to get involved. As an example of not
taking into account future plans: Cedar St. bridge was rebuilt without
taking into account the eventual Green Line extension. We, and everyone
on our email list should call the mayor and alder people and ask "When
is the Community Path going to be built? The bridge reconstruction will
take into account the Path, right? We could put this effort on the Web
site, "10 minutes to make the Community Path Happen." Karen will write
Andy has a sample Request for Proposal (RFP) for soliciting bids from
consulting services for design; this sample was from another rail trail
project. The City would write the RFP for the PAth. Let him know if you
want to see a copy of this RFP
Nonprofit status update - Jessie said that this status is typically for
erecting monuments and public works. A CPA acquaintance of Joel's, David
Murfield, will help out and apply for us.
9. Upcoming events
* We're invited to Cambridge (10/10) and Arlington's (11/5) Bike
Committee meetings (good networking opportunity).. These groups are
interested in what Somerville is doing with the Path Arlington in
would like to help us. Joel will attend their Arlington meeting.
* Groundworks will be planting at Cedar St.; table on Oct 11 and 13,,
planting on 19 and 20th.
* Tour de Somerville, Saturday October 13, 10 am?
Rain date Oct 14. We will be co-sponsoring this Bike tour with the
Somerville Bike Committee. Tour will focus on
Community Path. We will help promote events, act as
tour guides. Tim will write a press release, and
Public Service Announcement (PSA) for local radio
stations and Somerville Journal.
8. Action Items Summary
- A group is going to meet with Pat Jehlen
- Alan will contact Mass Highway or Christine Rigley at HCD/City Hall
- Lynn will draft a letter to solicit letters of support from local
- Some folks will participate in GroundWorks activities
- John, Maureen (and Tim) will be contacting politicians
- Web committee will redesign the site and get our own space for it
- Karen will write "10 minute call a day" for the site
- Joel will get list of businesses from Chamber of Commerce (although
has 200 from Union Sq.)
- Ron (and others? ) will talk with Capuano
***[We should hand over the postcards before next meeting]***
9. Next Meeting: Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 pm.
The meeting will take place at 112 Belmont St., Apt
#2, unless we let you know otherwise.
*** If 7:00 is not a good time for people, please let
us know so we can start a little later if needed.
People have been trickling in around 7:30, and it
makes it hard for us to all be on the same page. It
is really important that we respect everybody's time
by starting each meeting when scheduled. Also, it
would be great if y'all RSVP for meetings, so we know
whom to expect and when. Thanks.
*** " To Lechmere ..... and beyond !! " ***