Margaret Desjardins

Cambridge MA
I’ve worked at CBS News, Sports Illustrated, PBS, and HBO…slid into multimedia writing and producing entertainment theatrical shows, CD-ROMs, and web products. I’ve been published in the Christian Science Monitor, Reading Divas, and write bi-monthly for the Yale Alumni Magazine.
click to enlarge

Margaret Desjardins

Recently posted by Margaret Desjardins

March 15, 2008 - 8:06am Wanted: Cambridge Residents for Sidewalk Snow and Ice Clearance Task Force. Vladimir: Look, Greta, we become public servants for ice and snow safeties! Present ourselves to Ms. Fuentes of 02139, for her search now ends! Greta: Mayhap we apply first, as they choose of residents, property owners, business operators, institutional representatives, and community organization members… Vladimir: Yes, but we are Gnomes of Cambridge! Natural to choose from us to… ah, here, it say “work with City staff to make recommendations to help increase compliance with Cambridge’s Sidewalk Clearance Ordinance, particularly through public education and outreach…” Hmmm, what exactly that mean… Greta: Many City Departments to be represented on Task Force: Public Works, Traffic, Cambridge Disabilities Commission, Cambridge Pedestrian Committee…see for more information this website… should we make visit there? http://www.cambridgema.gov/deptann.cfm?story_id=1622 Vladimir: You writer, Greta, you send brief letter of interest to Ms Fuentes of 02139 from Gnomes of 02138. May hap you send her our blog so she see our famousness and competencies...Here, see her contactings: Rebecca Fuentes Cambridge... read more
March 10, 2008 - 8:51am ...or maybe that's "LEAF"... You can rake leaves any time, but if you want to use a leaf blower (the noisy power kind) you must follow the Cambridge City Council’s NEW ordinance which applies to all residents, businesses, property owners, and Gnomes. (Some large property owners may be eligible for some exemptions.) This means you have to wait till March 15th. You are only allowed to blow leaves between March 15 and June 15 and then again between September 15 and December 31 only between these hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Columbus Day: 12 noon – 5:00 p.m. Veteran’s Day: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. You are NOT allowed to blow leaves between January 1 – March 14; and June 16 – September 14; AND not allowed to blow leaves on any Sundays or Legal holidays, except for Columbus Day and Veterans Day Some guidelines: Use ear, eye, and respiratory protection. Don’t blow leaves near people, especially children. (Dust and debris can trigger allergies, asthma, or other respiratory illness.) Respect neighbors’ preferred quiet times. Don’t blow leaves at open windows or doors. Try not to use leaf blowers within 10 feet of windows or doors. Don... read more
March 3, 2008 - 4:30pm Cambridge floodplains are being redrawn by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which may affect your insurance rates. Think you might be in a floodplain? Come to a community meeting sponsored by the Cambridge DPW (Department of Public Works)Tuesday, March 4, 2008 from 7pm – 9pm Peabody School Auditorium at 70 Rindge Avenue to understand: proposed changes to the flood plain limits, schedule and process for the flood map changes, how this may affect your property, and the insurance options available to you. If you live or own property in Cambridge (especially North Cambridge, Cambridge Highlands, Strawberry Hill, West Cambridge or Neighborhood 9) the proposed revisions to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps may mean your property is now in the new floodplain limits...which means... You may be required to purchase flood insurance! Representatives from FEMA and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Flood Hazard Management Program will be at the meeting to answer your questions. See Preliminary flood maps and flood Insurance Study(FIS) by FEMA online and at these Cambridge locations: Dept. of Public Works – 147 Hampshire Street City Clerk’s Office... read more
March 1, 2008 - 8:32am Despite the c-c-c-cold yesterday morning, Cambridge's own Mayor Denise Simmons (left) and her aid, Rosaleah Brown (right), went g-g-g-green! In honor of February's Walk-Ride Day, the two City officials pedaled to the Harvard Square Business Association's annual breakfast. Mayor Simmons was chauffeured on the back of a bicycle-built-for-two by Green Streets Initiative founder and organizer, Janie Katz-Christy. Walk-Ride days, sponsored by Cambridge-based Green Streets Initiative, are always the last Friday of every month and encourage people to, yes… to walk, ride, carpool, bus, T, or use some other mode of transport than their own personal car. For every mile you don't drive you save one pound of carbon dioxide (CO2) and for every gallon of gasoline you don’t use, you keep 20 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere! "It was Freeeeezing!" said Janie Katz-Christy, founder and organizer of Green Streets and the monthly Walk-Ride days. "But invigorating and wonderful," she added. "You just need to wear more layers!" Mayor Simmons said her forehead hurt from the cold, but seemed very proud. Her aide, Rosaleah Brown, wore green high heels! Next Walk-Ride day is March 28th; hopefully... read more
February 23, 2008 - 8:28am ...shopping with good conscience; it’s good for the earth and good for your wallet. Bring stuff you don’t need, take stuff you do. A giant swapfest. By freecycling, you reuse quality goods, reduce waste, reduce consumption - – a win-win-win for everyone. The MIT FreeMeet is the brainchild of Kathreen Thome, an MIT junior studying nuclear science and engineering. See more about the FreeMeet on this short video. read more
February 22, 2008 - 5:57pm No this guy carrying the television set down the stairs of the Stratton Center at MIT is not a thief or a moving man; he is participating in MIT's first FreeMeet. It's like a flea market, but it's free. "And can you keep an eye out for a microwave?" he asks Kathreen Thome and Eva Cheung, the two students taking check-ins. "And if you see one, can you just sort of hold onto it for me? I'll be back..." Free TV? Free Microwave? Wait a sec...! This morning I braved the snow and checked out the FreeMeet at MIT. Although it was still early and people were still bringing in their “stuff”, already clothing, kids’ toys, electronic, books, and kitchen items were accumulating on tables around the edge of LaSala Room on the second floor. Freecycling Freecycling, as it is sometimes called, is shopping with good conscience; it’s good for the earth and good for your wallet. By freecycling, you reuse quality goods, reduce waste, and reduce consumption - – a win-win-win for everyone. Bring stuff you don’t need, take stuff you do. A giant swapfest. The FreeMeet is the brainchild of Kathreen Thome, an MIT junior studying nuclear science and engineering. She’s part of SfGS, Students for... read more
February 13, 2008 - 5:31pm Traffic in the Cambridge Highlands neighborhood just off Concord Avenue, should settle down now that peak hour restriction signs have been put in place. Between speeding, traffic congestion, non-resident parking, and drivers short-cutting the traffic light, the neighborhood behind Sancta Maria Hospital has had its share of traffic woes. “Drivers wanting to turn right onto Blanchard from Concord Ave use our neighborhood as a shortcut to avoid the traffic light there, “says Eric Welin of the Cambridge Highlands Neighborhood Association. “We requested a speed trap be setup last fall but unfortunately no tickets were issued because the fastest people hit that intersection was at 37MPH and the speed limit on these roads is 30. If you’ve seen the intersection it’s hard to believe people were going that fast down these streets!” Last October, local residents met with the traffic department to discuss the proposed traffic calming plans. Residents felt the proposed curb extensions would not address the problems, and, in some situations, would exacerbate them. After many suggestions including stop signs, speed bumps, and raised crosswalks, the neighborhood settled upon additional law... read more
February 8, 2008 - 4:48pm No, it’s not vandalism…that spray paint at the intersection of Griswold Street and Sunset Road was initially intended to mark new curb extensions to improve this dangerous intersection in the Cambridge Highlands neighborhood. “It’s a huge intersection -- a complete free-for-all,” says Eric Welin of the Cambridge Highlands Neighborhood Association. “There are no stop signs, and the sidewalks in that area are a complete mess.” Extending curbs is part of Cambridge’s Traffic Calming Program, which has both supporters and detractors. The goal of these traffic calming projects is to improve pedestrian safety and allow cars to coexist peacefully with other modes of transportation.” Traffic calming involves the creation of physical and visual cues, such as speed tables, sidewalk neck downs, and roadway markings which slow the speed of traffic and increase safety. Probably the two most common elements of traffic calming projects in Cambridge are raised crosswalks and curb extensions. Not everyone is happy about these “improvements.” On Lakeview Avenue, behind the Honda dealership on Fresh Pond Parkway, residents complain the traffic calming project – sidewalk “neck downs” -- robbed... read more
January 23, 2008 - 2:01pm Coyotes, yes, believe it, coyotes have been sighted recently in the Cambridge Cemetery, Antrim Street, Wendell Street and the Third street areas of Cambridge. But apparently Cambridge is not the only city coyotes call home. Last week an injured coyote was caught in the North End, and last March, a coyote led police on a two-day chase through Central Park in New York City. He was the second Central Park coyote in less than a decade. Ohio State professor Stan Gehrt has been studying urban coyotes in the Chicago area and estimates that the windy city harbors several thousand! "In most cases, people are totally oblivious to it. There will be coyotes hiding in bushes or in the parks or something and people will be walking by with their dog and they'll have no idea there's a coyote there." Coyotes have also been sighted in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Cleveland. Coyotes, whose normal range can be as great as 30 square miles, are found in most of Massachusetts and can thrive in suburban and urban as well as rural areas. They eat small animals, birds, insects, fruit, garbage, pet food, birdseed and compost. In the past decade, coyote sightings have increased. This is... read more
January 14, 2008 - 4:37pm Ah yes, the sidewalks. What exactly is the deal with shoveling my sidewalk? By law (which means they can fine you $35 a day if you don’t comply), the city of Cambridge requires property owners to clear sidewalks next to their home or business from snow Within 12 hours after the snow stops falling during the day Before 1 p.m. if the snow has fallen overnight and clear all ice within 6 hours If you’re away, you're still responsible so you'll need to find a friend, neighbor, or some willing gnomes to clear your sidewalks. If you rent, then technically you’re off the hook; it’s up to your landlord to clear the sidewalks, unless you want to offer a helping hand. So unless you own a can of “Snow-B-Gone”, you need to shovel,wovel (see photo at right), or snowblow the white stuff from your sidewalks. Some guidelines: Clear a path wide enough for a wheelchair (between 3 and 4 feet wide.) If you're on a corner, please remember to clear sidewalks on both streets Clear crosswalk ramps. Clear street drains. To de-ice: Use an ice melter with calcium chloride (CaCl2) or Potassium chloride (KCl), (environmentally friendlier and more efficient). Try not to use rock salt (NaCl) or sodium... read more

Pages