JWG (jwg) wrote,

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A TV show probably not seen on anyone's Tivo

Last month I was a panelist for the taping of a Cambridge Community TV (CCTV) show about the public library project. I am a member of the Library Design Advisory Committee (DAC) and this show was about the current state of the project. It is showing this month 3 times a week as the program called "Cambridge Uncovered". The moderator was the Library Director and the three other panelists were another member of the DAC, the project manager, and FF a member of the school committee. It was fun doing this program - of course, I like talking about the library project.

Cambridge Uncovered got some extra local publicity recently because they made a calendar for fund raising purposes and one of the pictures is of Robert Reich (Cambridge resident, Clinton's Labor Secretary, and a recent candidate for Governor). He appears unclothed (the article said he was actually wearing a bathing suit). I sent mail to several local mailing lists alerting people to this program and explaining that we were dressed. One person replied "Thank heavens, I shudder to think of seeing FF without clothes". Another said that perhaps we should have been undressed since that might have attracted more viewers. The thing about community TV is that no-one watches - they don't publish the schedules anywhere regularly,surely Tivo's servers know nothing about them. And the programs are pretty kooky - but so is most of commercial TV.

We talked about how great this new library will be with enough space to seat people, expand the collection, get the librarians out of their dungeon-like offices, have meeting rooms both large and small, have a young adults room, a cafe, and an expanded historical collection. We also talked about the way the architectural team, the client, the neighbors, and our committee have interacted which resulted in 4 new overall designs, the last one of which was the one we selected and has now entered the real design stage. The neighbors have been tough since they want the park protected; the plans address their concerns and most of them appear satisfied (unlike the people in Somerville who have been blocking an IKEA project).

The next big hurdle will be when the City Manager presents to the City Council the fact that the project will cost more than was approved 2+ years ago. Inflation, more work to the park, more traffic calming (traffic enraging to some people), more work to the High School, and some relocated HS parking are all contributory. Fortunately Cambridge has an excellent bond rating and is not very seriously impacted by forthcoming state budget cuts so the annual impact of the additional costs will not be very big. I don't know the amount yet since that is being kept under wraps until it is ready to present. I think that it will get approved soon.

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