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City Bitties


What's in a name? Apparently not much, if you ask officials at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority who recently changed the name of the Kendall Square subway station to Cambridge Center/MIT without asking anyone.

Exasperated Cantabrigians are complaining that the new Cambridge Center/MIT station will be confused with another Red Line station at Central Square Now they're preparing a MBTA name change application to restore the old Kendall Square appellation.

Awarding taxi medallions and liquor licenses will no longer concern Mary Calnan, who recently announced she will step down as chairperson of the city's License Commission A graduate of Boston College Law School, Calnan has been employed by the city at various times since 1933.

City Manager Robert W. Healy said he is accepting applications to fill the post and expects to find Calnan's replacement within several weeks. Cambridge's fire and police chiefs also serve on the powerful, three-member panel.

For the first time in two years, Sommerville public schools will not be forced to undergo staff or program cuts, Somerville officials said last week. In fact, the school system will get a $1.5 million funding increase.

According to Assistant Superintendant Daniel Macero, a combination of more state money for the school district and a rethinking of the system's needs have made the projected balanced budget possible.

For the past several years, local schools have had to contend with shrinking budgets, largely due to the passage of proposition 2 and 1/2, Macero said. This tax-cutting measure limits cities's authority to increase property taxes above 2.5 percent per year. Most municipal revenues are generated by property taxes.

"Looking back now, most cuts were taken by the schools" to fit the new budget constraints, Macero said. "Fire and police were set, one extra kid in class doesn't impinge on public safety while one fireman less affects everybody," he added.

The Cambridge City Council has declared this week, April 17-23, Central America Week, in an effort to encourage city residents to learn more about this war-torn part of the world.

In conjunction with the Commission for Disarmament and Peace Education and a private group, the Central America Solidarity Association, the city is sponsoring a variety of events, ranging from doucmentary films to art exhibits.

City Councilor Alice Wolf, who proposed the resolution calling for the week to be commemorated city-wide, said yesterday that many Cantabrigians are interested in "human rights and the development of democratic governments in Central America as political and moral issues."

Wolf also cited the Boston area's high number of Central American refugees, estimated to be around 35,000, as good reason for declaring the week.

The week's activities begin tonight, when noted linguist Noam Chomsky will speak in Emerson Hall.

Although not part of the official U.S. delegation to the funeral of Seviet Premier Konstantin U. Chernenko last week in Moscow, Cambridge City Councilor Francis H. Duchay '55 payed a visit to the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. to express his condolences to Chernenko's family and people on behalf of the people of Cambridge.

City Councilor David E. Sullivan announced last night that he will be tying the nuptial knot to Cantabrigian Catherine McFniry '75 on April 13 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church--somewhere in New York state. Lucky for Sullivan, a 1969 graduate of the Law School, the Cambridge City Council will not convene on that date due to an observance of Patriots' Day.

The two local lawyers will spend a one week honeymoon in Ireland afterwards. "That's all I could afford," the liberal legislator revealed.

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