Lincoln Park Suggestions

Lincoln Park is going to get a much needed facelift

I think it's really important that your voice is heard throughout the design process.  Late this summer there will be a series of meetings to discuss what exactly will be done and when this project will get started.  Until then, I want to hear your thoughts about what you want to keep and what you want to change in Lincoln Park.

Share your thoughts and suggestions below

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The judge called it rehab, but it ended up being a 'slave camp' in Oklahoma

The worst day of Brad McGahey’s life was the day a judge decided to spare him from prison. McGahey was 23 with dreams of making it big in rodeo, maybe starring in his own reality TV show. With a 1.5 GPA, he’d barely graduated from high school. He had two kids and mounting child support debt. Then he got busted for buying a stolen horse trailer, fell behind on court fines and blew off his probation officer. Standing in a tiny wood-paneled courtroom in rural Oklahoma in 2010, he faced one year in state prison. The judge had another plan. “You need to learn a work ethic,” the judge told him. “I’m sending you to CAAIR.” McGahey had heard of Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery. People called it “the Chicken Farm,” a rural retreat where defendants stayed for a year, got addiction treatment and learned to live more productive lives. Most were sent there by courts from across Oklahoma and neighboring states, part of the nationwide push to keep nonviolent offenders out of prison. Aside from daily cans of Dr Pepper, McGahey wasn’t addicted to anything. The judge knew that. But the Chicken Farm sounded better than prison. A few weeks later, McGahey stood in front of a speeding conveyor belt inside a frigid poultry plant, pulling guts and stray feathers from slaughtered chickens destined for major fast food restaurants and grocery stores. There wasn’t much substance abuse treatment at CAAIR. It was mostly factory work for one of America’s top poultry companies. If McGahey got hurt or worked too slowly, his bosses threatened him with prison.

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Winner sues Colorado lottery for millions over fixed jackpot

A decade after Colorado engineer Amir Massihzadeh hit the lottery, two state agents visited him with stunning news: He was likely the only legitimate winner of a $4.8 million jackpot he'd had to split three ways. They told the Boulder resident that the other two people who had won the 2005 drawing were linked to a conspiracy in which a lottery insider and several cohorts had rigged drawings in several states. Now Massihzadeh, 62, is suing for the rest of the winnings that he feels should have been his. Massihzadeh filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Colorado State Lottery, arguing he should be declared the sole winner and that the $800,000 cash prize he opted to receive should have been tripled. Accounting for 12 years of interest, he is seeking about $4 million from the lottery for what he calls a breach of contract. It's the latest headache for state lotteries caused by former Multi-State Lottery Association information security director Eddie Tipton, who admitted to manipulating the software they used so that he could predict winning numbers on certain days of the year. Tipton, his brother, and a friend were recently sentenced for conspiring to use this insider knowledge to buy winning tickets and collect prizes between 2005 and 2011. They fixed jackpots that paid $2.61 million to them and their associates in four states, and their scheme unraveled after Eddie Tipton was caught buying the winning ticket for a $14 million Iowa jackpot that was never paid. Massihzadeh, who received $568,900 after taxes, argues that he's entitled to the other two-thirds of the prize because the other tickets were purchased through Tipton's conspiracy and should be invalid. "Even though the Tiptons have agreed to repay the money they received from the Lottery, the Lottery has refused to honor its obligation to Mr. Massihzadeh," his lawsuit says.

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Somerville aldermen: We need to hire assistants

The job of an alderman has grown too complex for board members to handle for themselves, aldermen say, and they're looking to hire assistants at a cost of up to $100,000. During an April 20 meeting, aldermen said their responsibilities have increased over the last few years due to a heightened number of issues and development going on around the city, and the extra help is needed to help them give quick assistance to constituents and allow them to fully vet complex issues. If approved, the move could add more than $100,000 to the city's payroll and fall under the managerial purview of the city clerk. "Over the course of the last few years especially, a lot of aldermen have had concerns about the workload and the inability to find assistance sometimes to help them with either research or constituent issues, et cetera," Aldermen President Bill White said. "I think it's important for the aldermen to come to some sort of a consensus and present to the administration the type of assistance that they are looking for...; If the budget goes forward, hopefully we will get the funding for it." Ward 5 Alderman Mark Niedergang said Cambridge city councilors each have their own aide but there is more redevelopment and issues currently facing Somerville than in Cambridge. He said people often share ideas with him about solving some of the issues facing Somerville that he would like investigated but doesn't have the resources or expertise available to take on. "They seem like good ideas but I don't really know enough about it and I don't necessarily want to go to city staff and have them spend time on it because its speculative," Niedergang said. "But I would love to have somebody maybe spend three or four hours seeing what other cities are doing in relation to this issue." During the meeting, aldermen discussed a range of assistant options ranging from hiring only part- time help to each of them having their own assistant. Several members later agreed they should hire two or three full-time and possibly a part-time assistant to serve the entire board, with the possibility of hiring more in future years if needed. Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston suggested the full-time assistants earn a yearly salary of $45,000 plus benefits each. The board agreed to wait for the city's personnel department to create job descriptions for the positions before determining how many assistants they want to hire.

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Treat Stormwater Runoff Responsibly

Hi, I'd love to see the park set an example for how stormwater runoff could be treated on site without the need for hard engineering and infrastructure. I envision Low Impact Development (LID) tactics like minimizing impermeable surfaces and then allowing those surfaces to drain to lower lying rain gardens or bioswales. It would be great to water the park with harvested rainwater. We could even serve as a pilot program for the various types of permeable concrete or pavers on the walkways. The Trust for Public Land had a great stormwater playground project that might offer some inspiration: Two other things: I think we should keep the fountain/sprinklers in some capacity. Kids (big kids like myself included) love running through them when it's hot out. It might be nice to have some sort of wall to which things could be projected. There are already movie nights there, but eliminating the need for setting up a screen might be nice and encourage more events.

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The neighborhood’s back yard: don’t let organized athletics predominate

I’d like to see the park re-designed and updated, but accommodating most or all of the amenities that it currently does, all of which are well-used. While the playing fields are an important part of the park, I think it is critical that they not overshadow its other uses. Amenities should be designed to sustain more than one mode of use whenever possible; for this reason I do not support a fenced in turf soccer field or the previously proposed structured ice rink. Existing uses that are particularly important to me include: the playground; water play area; picnic area with shade trees (ideally in a variety of locations); seating, varied in type and location (tables and chairs, benches, low walls); some open green space; and the walking loop (also good for children to ride bikes), with more than one choice of route. As for something new, I would like to see a small children’s sledding hill for winter use, and a seating location for larger warm-weather gatherings (such as a Sunsetters performance). These could be one and the same—some sort of landscape form (a sloped or bermed area), which could also define various precincts and provide visual interest in the large park (which is now very flat). Similar grading strategies have been very attractive in a number of recent park renovations parks in the city. One thing I love about the current park is the way people of all ages—and engaged in many different activities—interact and co-exist in it. A successful re-design of the park will preserve (and further) this important attribute.

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Update playground structure & keep field open to all

We spend a ton of time at Lincoln Park and would love to see an updated, innovative playground with appeal for multiple ages. The water feature also needs updating and a soft surface; the concrete is cracked everywhere. I also am opposed to the skating rink proposal from years past. With two rinks within a mile or so (Somerville Ave and Twin Cities Plaza), surely this neighborhood doesn't need a third rink, and it would take away from the other offerings the park has. I would also strongly oppose proposals to make the field open only to soccer leagues. I think it would be a real shame to take away access from the people that live in this neighborhood and use the park regularly. Thank you for keeping this great green space open to all.

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Places to sit, places to walk

I don't have kids and I'm too old for the playground :) but it certainly needs updating. For the grownups among us, I'd like to see an upgraded walking path around the whole park--perhaps with some innovative surface that works for walking and bouncing but is more permeable and less harsh than concrete. A walking circuit with distance markers of some kind would be nice, to encourage people to use the park for fitness walking. Also, comfortable benches (not concrete slabs) for sitting. And if there's room, I'd love to see a labyrinth installed, for meditative walking. There's one at the Growing Center, I believe, but I don't think it's open to the public except on Saturdays. The park in front of the Cambridge Public Library, and its benches, are very inviting--something like that would be great.

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Lincoln Park is Our Yard!

Like the others have said, we love Lincoln Park and spend a ton of time there. It gives us a space to meet friends so that we can all enjoy the outside, and so our kids can play. Since we don't have a yard, and Lincoln Park is the closest park to us, it really serves as our primary outdoor space--which we love! It's a huge reason for making this neighborhood our community and for staying here. Some thoughts: we would like to keep the basic structure of the park the same--fields, basketball, non-field grass area, picnic area, playground. We saw some proposals months ago that included ideas like an ice skating rink, but we are really happy with the current offerings, though it certainly could use some updating. Please keep picnic tables with shade--it's so nice to be able to picnic at an actual table. Sometimes we also play board games at these tables. As for the playground--we love that it has activities for different ages. We have a little one that loves the baby swings. It would be great if the playground had some shade cover, at least at some times of the day. Update the water feature, and please make sure there is more of a dry path for walkers. Thank you!

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Modernize playground

I would love to see the old rusty playground replaced with a more modern, creative structures that are not just a reprise of the same types of slides, swings, etc. you can find everywhere else. Something along the lines of what was done in Cambridge Commons or the playground in the Esplanade, even if the budget can't handle something on that scale. The main point is new and a little different.

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We love Lincoln park and are excited to keep using it as our kids get older!

We love Lincoln park and spend a ton of time there! We have a 5 year old and a 1.5 year old and we spend much of our free time at the park. The things that we love about the park are: the shaded picnic tables next to the climbing structures. We also love that there is a climbing structure for younger kids and older kids within the same area so both of our kids can play. As my older son is getting more into different activities, we have enjoyed using the cement sidewalks for him to do the scooter and biking, and we are now starting to play catch on the baseball diamond and basketball and soccer. We love that the soccer field is grassy and open, and is also gated so that our younger son can still run around safely when we are playing. We often go to the park and meet a bunch of friends on the weekends- and having a variety of activity spaces allows us to hang out with people with and without kids. We have also enjoyed some of the evening summer activities (there was a concert the last two summers and people all sat out and had picnics on the soccer field which was a great way to meet new families!) As for suggestions, some thoughts are as follows: We also enjoy the water feature, but our younger one is a bit more wild and it has been hard to keep him from going to the road since it is so close and not closed off- perhaps either moving the water into the climbing structure area) or moving it further from the street, would be a little more young kid friendly. Also, I would love to see more shade over the playground area as it gets very warm on hot days. Otherwise, we really love the park since it has so many open spaces and so many different places for people to do activities all in one location. Thanks for working on this!

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keep the park open and nice

1. Keep the soccer field as open green space. 2. Update and repair the kid-climbing structures, slides, etc. 3. Keep soft ground under the water area 4. Consider surrounding basketball area with low fence to keep toddlers contained and act as low "boards" for floor hockey. 5. Clean, repair, and maintain more porta-potties 6. Improve lighting and put more trash cans.

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Born and raised in Lincoln park

I was born and still live in Lincoln park and now 32 with a 2 year old son Lincoln park needs to be revamped. A new playground style, a new sprinkler/water-fun thing, like the one in Cambridge. Gore st. Playground, without the cement floor.. Of course clean up the cement concourse, all broken up, looks bad and if something could be done about making it more private and lighted up, creepy in the back were the neighborhood houses are... Very dark on that back path.. Scary

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