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Backyard Cambridge

This month on Backyard Cambridge: 

Universal Pre K 


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Backyard Cambridge is experimenting with new ways to strengthen local news and community engagement - and we're starting right here in Cambridge. 

Keep coming back here for glimpses and long-form and short-form local news, delivered to you in a variety of ways. 



This month: Universal Pre-K in Cambridge

This month, we've taken a deep dive into Universal Pre-K in Cambridge. We've tackled the issue in a number of ways, so learn about it however you learn best. You can.....

  • Listen to the podcast: You can hear it by clicking here, or  by subscribing to "Backyard Cambridge" wherever you listen to podcasts

  • Read the story: Click here to read it. The content is almost identical to the podcast, but we've modified it to make it readable and embedded it on the webpage so that you can comment on specific parts, ask questions, or call us out if you don't like our reporting. 

  • Understand how it applies to you: Here's a tool that you can use if you're a Cambridge parent (or soon-to-be) parent wondering how to navigate the early childhood education landscape. We've created a 3 question quiz to help guide you to the resources, lotteries, and waitlists that might be right for you. 

  • Engage with the city: Tell your elected officials and city staffers what you think, or tell us what content you did and didn't enjoy--and what you want to see more of!




➤ Join the city's Cambridge Climate Protection Action Committee (CPAC) (Jan 26)

The committee advises the City on climate change policy and implementation. It's a three year term. Find out how you can be a part of it here

➤ City Council Subcommittees announced (Jan 25)

These subcommittees are made up of groups of City Councils and meet to discuss specific issues the city is facing, particularly when there are ordinances or problems that require a more in-depth look. Exmaples include finance, housing, and economic development & university relations.  Curious who's on what subcommitee? Click here

➤ New short-term-rental (Airbnb) ordinance goes into effect on April 1 (Jan 24)

The new ordinance effects you if you want to rent out all or part of your place on a short-term basis. One of the new rules? You must register the property with the city. Want more info? Click here. 

➤ Planet Fitness to open in Porter Square (Jan 23)

The "no judgment" gym is offering registration for $1 down and $10/mo through February 4. 

➤ University Town Gown Reports released (Jan 21)

Every year, the Planning Board works with city universities to create a Town Gown report. You can find the reports for Harvard, Hult, Lesley, and MIT here. Lesley, MIT, and Harvard will present to the Planning Board on 2/6.  There's also a summary statistic report you can find here. One big number: in FY17, these universities paid over $91m to the city. 

➤ Eater Boston maps out a Central Square Bar Crawl for your Friday night fun (Jan 19)

➤ New four-story, 48-unit mixed-use condo building approved near Lechmere (Jan 18)

Oaktree Development and Saint James' episcopal church have been working to get these plans approved for nearly a year. The city approved a demolition permit authorizing the teardown of some of the church's vacant buildings to clear the way for the development. 

➤ Councillor Craig Kelley meets with city staffers to discuss rats, mitigation and, other programs (Jan 18)

He released the notes from his meeting  here

➤ Gut-renovated 2,100 sqft Huron Ave spot listed for $1.44m (Jan 18)

➤ Cantabridgians meet to discuss 'community position' on I-90 freeway project (Jan 10)

The meeting came up in light of MassDOT's multi-hundred million dollar plan to realign a portion of the Turnpike in Allston.