News of the week of February 1, 2022

Das Fräulein zu Pferd und der Landsknecht (SM
31396d)

Schedule

We will meet on Tuesday, February 8, at 7:45 pm at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you want to come.

More on the building permits

Cambridge MA City Hall

I spent a good chunk of this week writing, and I thought I’d share some of it with you. The email to two city councilors who helped us get the first permit last November was full of dates and permit numbers, so while it took a long time to write, it wouldn’t be very interesting to people not directly involved in the problem.

But one of the councilors suggested I “reach out” to the person in the City Manager’s office who was going to be looking into it. The reaching out that I could think of to do was to explain why people are getting angry and frustrated about the problem, and I thought some other people might want to read that.

To skip to the end of the story, shortly after I sent this email, I got one from the person I sent it to saying that it was likely the permits would be issued that day, and later in the day, they were issued.

But here’s the email:

Matt, thanks for agreeing to look into this. I think the email I sent Alanna and Quinton has all the facts you would need, but I thought I would send a personal note to clarify why we are so frustrated about the situation.

The fact is that there are 6 people, including a child who was an infant at the time of the fire, removed from their homes by the fire that happened on July 14, 2020. I am personally living with my sister in Fall River, MA, one to two hours away from most of my social life and other commitments, in about a third of a dark attic room, with all but a closet and 3 drawers of my stuff in storage.

It took from July to November to get the check from the insurance company that enabled us to hire a contractor. We really thought that when we signed the contract on December 24, 2020 that we were on the way to getting the work done.

Then in January 2021, the demolition our contractor did revealed structural problems that were unrelated to the fire, meaning that instead of just a regular permit for fixing the fire damage, we needed a structural permit with signoff by an architect and a structural engineer. It took until the end of June to get that submitted, and again, we thought we were on our way to getting the work done.

I think it should have been obvious a month or two later that just waiting for the city to move through its procedure wasn’t going to be sufficient to get the permit, but our contractor was (and still is) uncomfortable going outside the established procedures, so it wasn’t until November 2021 that we emailed the city council and received support from several members, which led to the issuance of the permit for 231 Broadway. Again, we thought we were on our way to getting the work done.

Our contractor had been told that the permits for the four units had been consolidated into one. He did enquire when we got the permit for 231 Broadway whether that did in fact cover the work that needed to be done in 231 1/2, 233, and 233 1/2, and was eventually (weeks later) told that it did not, but that as soon as he paid the fees for the other permits, they would be expedited. The fees were paid last Thursday (January 13, 2022), and we hoped that the permit problem was solved, and we were on our way to getting the work done.

This week, they told our contractor that he needed to submit 3 more affidavits about noise abatement, architecture, and structural design. This seems very strange to us, since if those affidavits are indeed necessary, why didn’t someone ask for them last June, or at least before issuing the permit in November?

Even if you and the councilors and the City Manager manage to get the permits issued now, there is still several months of work which can’t happen until we have the permits. So the total time between the fire and us homeless refugees being able to move back in is going to be little if any less than two years, even if there are no more delays.

I realize the city procedures are only 6-7 months of the delay (so far), but it seems even less comprehensible than the insurance company delays, and much less comprehensible than delays involving planning and executing the actual work.

So we really appreciate anything you can do to get this part of the process of rehoming some refugees completed.

News of the week of January 11, 2022

Dr. Evans' How to keep well; (1917)
(14770043315)

Meeting

There will be no meeting tomorrow, January 11. One of our hosts has what is probably a cold, but feels it would be prudent to cancel. And between the weather and all of everybody’s commitments, nobody much wanted to come anyway.

Schedule

God willing, we will meet on Tuesday, January 18, at 7:45 pm at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.

News of the week of January 4, 2022

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, via Wikimedia
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Meeting Report

We played:

Schedule

We will meet on Tuesday, January 11, at 7:45 pm at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you want to come.

News of the week of December 28, 2021

Bacchus drinking wine

Meeting report

We played:

Schedule

  • January 1, Holiday Party. Starting at 4 pm, at the home of Wendy and Richard in Arlington Center. Let me know if you want to come, and if so what if anything you would like to contribute to the food and drink. Note that the reason hostesses ask for advance notice is so that they know how many people to shop and print music for. So telling me on Friday is more use than on Saturday, and Saturday morning is more use than Saturday afternoon. If you have holiday music (or any music) that you especially want to play in this environment, either bring a few copies or let me know what it is and I will try to print some.
  • January 4, regular meeting. We will meet on Tuesday January 4 at 7:45 pm at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.

News of the week of December 21, 2021

<a title="By Koninklijke Bibliotheek [CC BY-SA 2.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia
Commons (Original work by illustrator: Georges Delaw), CC BY-SA 2.0
, via Wikimedia
Commons” href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes_(Street_Procession).jpg”>The Emperor's New Clothes (Street Procession)

Schedule

  • December 28, regular meeting. We will meet on Tuesday December 28 at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.
  • January 1, Holiday Party. Starting at 4 pm, also at the home of Wendy and Richard. Let me know if you want to come, and if so what if anything you would like to contribute to the food and drink. If you have holiday music (or any music) that you especially want to play in this environment, either bring a few copies or let me know what it is and I will try to print some. If you don’t want to come, polite regrets are welcome.

Party Invitation

Angels_dancing_sun_Giovanni_di_Paolo_Condé_Chantilly.jpg

You’re all invited to a party on New Year’s Day (Note, not New Year’s Eve) starting at 4 pm, at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center.

The invitation is to come and tell everybody you know to bring everybody they know. People who might be interested in playing with the The Cantabile Renaissance Band, which meets on Tuesday evenings to play Renaissance polyphony in an informal setting, would be especially interested.

The house is big by the standards of the number of people we got even in the before times, so social distancing shouldn’t be a problem, but we expect enough eating, drinking, singing, and playing wind instruments that there won’t be as much masking as some people might like. So don’t come if you think you’ll be uncomfortable.

Bring any instruments you want to play, and if there’s music you’d like to contribute bring some copies. The music we usually use is still in storage, but I will attempt to bring all the favorites.

Please let me know if you’re planning to come, and what (if anything) you want to contribute in the way of food and drink.

This invitation is what I do instead of a Christmas Card, so even if you can’t or don’t want to come to the party, consider yourself wished a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and joy in any other holidays you celebrate.

If you want a printable version of the invitation, it’s here.

playing_angels.jpg

News of the week of December 14, 2021

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													Jelle
													Woudstra
													Schiermonnikoog

Schedule

We will meet on Tuesday, December 21, at 7:45 pm, at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Central Square. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.

Party

I said last week that we didn’t have any place to hold a holiday party this year. Wendy Goble, who has been hosting our meetings, said that she’d be happy if people came over and partied at her place. I understand that people are stiill (again?) worried about large indoor gatherings, but her place is big enough that our normal turnout wouldn’t end up being so very large, although of course with all the eating and drinking and wind instruments, there might not be as much mask wearing as some people might like.

So we’ll be partying on January 1, starting at 4pm. We’ll sing and play for a while, and eat and drink for a while, and repeat as people want to. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming, and what you’d like to bring to contribute to the food, drink, and music. The music we normally use is in storage, but I will do my best to bring the favorites.

News of the week of December 7, 2021

<a title="Thomas Quine, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons” href=”https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Angel_herald_(17262443801).jpg”>Angel herald (17262443801)

Meeting Report

We played:

Schedule

We will meet on Tuesday, December 14 at 7:45 PM at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.

Mailing list

I have failed in my attempt to get chatter about who is coming when to take place somewhere besides the renband mailing list. So I have set almost everyone’s address to “moderated”. This means that I will get any email you send to the list and pass it on to the other people who should get it.

Concert announcements

Unfortunately, we are still not in a position to have our usual holiday party where we eat, drink, and sing and play lots of holiday music. I’m not in a position to host anything remotely similar, but my sister is organist/choir director at the First Congregational Church, 282 Rock St., Fall River, MA, which is about an hour’s drive from our current meeting location (when there isn’t traffic). She is having two events, which because of Congregational Church policy won’t include drinking, but will include playing, singing, and eating. The church is a large, airy building, so social distancing is not a problem.

  • There will be a lunchtime organ recital at noon on Friday, December 17. The performers – Judith Conrad on the Ernest Skinner organ and Robbie LePage on trumpet – will play a Christmas Carol sing straight out of the hymnal. Lunch will be served afterwards. It’s free with donations collected for Partners in Health.
  • Messiah Sing on Sunday, January 2 at 3 PM. Free, and refreshments will be served. If you want to sing, just show up. If you want to play, you should let Judy know.

News of the week of November 30, 2021

Schedule

We will meet on Tuesday, December 7, at 7:45 pm at the home of Wendy Goble and Richard Schmeidler in Arlington Center. Please let me, Wendy, and Richard know if you are coming.