Tag Archives: tree canopy

News and Cantabrigian Views

30 Dec

News or views? Newsletter on loss of trees sparks confusion, questions – and answers

 

The Cambridge News was delivered by mail to residents shortly after Christmas. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Shortly after Christmas much of Cambridge received what looked like a newspaper in the mailbox: the “Cambridge News.” Its eight pages held plenty about trees – including a cover article headlined “Tree Canopy Collapsing” advocating for maintaining and expanding green space – with some familiar and friendly bylines, including city councillor Quinton Zondervan.

Still, the who, what and why remained a mystery to many who missed a box on Page 6 describing the Cambridge News as a project of the Association of Cambridge Neighborhoods, a citywide citizens’ nonprofit launched in 1994.

“I would just like to know the individuals behind an expressed view, not it parading as ‘news,’” said Ruth Ryals, of the Porter Square Neighborhood Association, a self-described supporter of the environmental message of the publication. Mayor Marc McGovern was more pointed in his reaction: “Talking about our tree canopy and other environmental matters is extremely important. What concerns me about this mailing is that it’s not upfront as to who is producing it.” A commenter in the Cambridge Trees! group on Facebook said “part of the problem is this brand-new newspaper came with no introduction – just a big scary headline. No one bothered to write a simple paragraph that said ‘We’re a group of Cambridge residents worried about tree loss. We think you might be too once you know more.’”

Inspired by another publication 

That is exactly what the ACN was trying to say, according to responses provided by the group late Friday.

“This is called ‘Cambridge News’ because this is important news for the people of Cambridge. Our goal was to bring information together from a variety of sources – including the city’s own experts – and present it in a comprehensive format so the reader can understand the magnitude and speed that climate change is happening to them while they are sleeping and assuming the city is taking care of them,” said ACN clerk Charlie Teague, a green activist and North Cambridge resident whose work previously resulted in the formation of an Outdoor Lighting Ordinance Task Force.

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