October 31st, 2009


Cambridge Public Library Opening

On Thursday I went to the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cambridge Public Library. I was heavily involved in the project as a member of the Library21 committee which was charged with determining the need and the program and help build resident support, and then the Design Advisory Committee which worked with the Architects. The Library21 committee first met in May of 1996. It was created because a previous plan had been shot down because of neighborhood opposition. 13 1/2 years later we have a new facility - to open for service on November 8.

The library is a renovation of the late nineteenth century building and a huge new modern addition - a magnificent juxtaposition of the old and the new. They ripped down the ugly 1967 addition, did a first-class renovation of the old building - inside and out - and built a new building with lots of glass with the highest degree of LEED certification. The project also included an underground parking garage, renovation of the park and some work on the adjoining high school.

This room was cluttered with old shelving and was in pretty bad shape.

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GOAL award

Last night I attended the GOAL (Gay Officers Action League - New England) Banquet to receive an award on behalf of the Cambridge GLBT Commission of which I am a co-chair. We worked with the Cambridge Police Department on establishing a program of GLBT training which was is performed by GOAL. The Commission was established in 2005; our first project was to get the GSA in the high school reinstated and our second project was to work with the police department on various GLBT issues including training. Now we are working with GOAL and the Fire Department for similar training, and then the rest of the EMT providers will be next.

Ours was their mostly annual Community Service Award which has been given to various individuals (prior Attorney General Scott Harshbarger was one such recipient) and organizations. They give several kinds of awards and recipients last night included Martha Coakley (Atty General and senate candidate), Gunner Scott (Director of the Mass Transgender Political Coalition), Sheriff Cousins of Essex County, Judge Meagher (retired judge who was the first out judge in Mass), and Officer Karen Berube (Wellesley College police force).

From Left to right: Sarav Chithambaram (other co-chair), Steve Ahern (GLBT liaison in police force), Joanne Shapiro (training coordinator for police department), Toni Snow, GLBT Commission member, moi, E Denise Simmons (Mayor of Cambridge), Robet Haas (Cambridge Police Commissioner), Gloria Kinkaid (Boston police officer - guest of Mayor)

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Thanks to Sarav for the pictures (the trophy was my picture).