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NewtonSERVES … this Sunday

2014 April 23
by Keith E. Jacobson

Get out on Sunday, April 27,  and help cleanup your city … weather looks to be partly cloudy and in the upper 50s … a great day to be outside.
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A board floating in Bullough’s Pond

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At Bullough’s Pond … a plastic bottle on the shoreline

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The issue that’s not getting enough focus in the debate over Austin Street and our city’s future

2014 April 22
by Greg Reibman

An article in the New York Times last week discussed the challenges suburban communities face as suburban communities get grayer and “suburban youngsters” move to urban areas.

Demographers and politicians are scratching their heads over the change and have come up with conflicting theories. And some suburban towns are trying to make themselves more alluring to young residents, building apartment complexes, concert venues, bicycle lanes and more exotic restaurants.

And, no they’re not just moving away from the suburbs because housing is too read more…

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Newton Muni-Wonk: Back to Budgets

2014 April 21
by Andreae Downs

Now that the Marathon/Opening Day is behind us, the real fun begins with the Board of Aldermen: Budget Time.

The budget officially opens Tuesday with the Mayor’s presentation to the BoA in full session. Then the Aldermen review sections in committee.

In the notices, you’ll find the TAB’s complaint that the Mayor’s practice of meeting with small groups of Aldermen to explain the budget  is a violation of the Open Meeting Law.

Related to that, the Aldermen also will start to review increases to the water & sewer rates–once these are set, then the Utilities Department budget can be settled, and we’ll know how much progress the City can make on critical pipe repairs.

But not content to labor in the field of funding, the Board tomorrow night will vote on amendments to the Tree Preservation Ordinance, which I hope Julia or Katherine will explain to us in comments, below.

Also Tuesday is a vote on Austin Street, as well as to start the planning on rehabilitating the playground at Winchester and Dedham streets in the Highlands (south of Rt. 9) using CPA funds. A signal at the nearby intersection (and underpass) at Winchester/Rt.9 is also coming for a vote after being voted down in committee.

New items include another bid to shut down the Austin Street process, setting a date for the Ward 3 Alderman election, and moving a poll from Zervas to the Waban Library.

Finally, there will be more on the dispute with NSTAR about whether Newton or the utility should fix broken street lights (Wednesday).

And Traffic Council recently passed a Parking Plan for Auburndale.

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Boston Marathon open thread

2014 April 20
by Greg Reibman

If you’re running tomorrow — or know someone with a Newton connection who’s running — share it here. And share any other Marathon related thoughts or observations here.

And in the meanwhile, enjoy this video from Project Hope. If you watch closely you’ll spot Dunn-Garherin’s Seana Gaherin among the runners.

2014 Project Hope Breakfast Video Vimeo from Bob Gifford on Vimeo.

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Seen along the Marathon route in Newton on Sunday

2014 April 20
by Keith E. Jacobson

Strolling along Comm. Ave. today near Newton City Hall increased security measures were obvious.
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There were some positive signs too …
"Young at Heart"
Daffodills
“Boston University’s Daily Free Press reports that 100,000 daffodils were planted along the Boston Marathon route.
Diane Valle and Kathy Thomas got the idea to plant the daffodils along the route after attending the Daffodil Festival on the day of the marathon bombing. The duo went on to raise over $26,000 for the project and hope they bloom in time
for the famed race on April 21, 2014.” According to The Daffodil Society web site.

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Newton to ban anti-smoking devices?

2014 April 18
by Jerry Reilly

BluA bill to introduce further restrictions on retail sales of nicotine based products is wending it’s way through the aldermanic process.  I read about the proposed bill a while ago in the Newton Tab.   The bill has already been approved by the aldermen’s Program & Services Committee and is coming up for a vote by the full board this week on April 22.

Until I went into my local variety store yesterday, the bill sounded fine to me.  One detail that was not clear, at least to me, in coverage so far is that retailers that are legally read more…

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Neighbors fearful of medical marijuana facility in Newtonville

2014 April 18
by Village 14

The TAB’s Trevor Jones has the report from last night’s meeting.

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What’s a 40B? Find out May 1st!

2014 April 18
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by Sallee Lipshutz

Question:Why would the Waban Area Council want to sponsor a City-wide forum/panel discussion on the ins and outs of the process that developers may follow to produce multi-unit housing with affordable housing requirements in our city?  The answer depends on how well you can answer these questions:

1.)  Do you know what a “Regular 40B” is?

2.)  Do you know what a “Friendly 40B” is?

3.)  Do you know what a “Special Permit” is?

4.)  Do you know when you and other residents can have your say? read more…

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Hot Tip: Where to Get Hydrated Monday

2014 April 18
by Andreae Downs

The Marathon route will be littered with spots for runners to get oranges, cups of water and other hydration (and you’ll find the cups and rinds the next day…)

But spectators don’t get those goodies.

To quench the thirst of the cheering crowds, the MWRA will open a mobile water fountain–just bring your own container–at its Newton pump station on read more…

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Community Engagement Director Ana Gonzalez leaving Newton

2014 April 17
by Greg Reibman

Nearly two years after becoming Mayor Setti Warren’s Director of Community Engagement, Ana Gonzalez is moving with her family to Maryland. Her last day is tomorrow.

Gonzalez worked  for the City of Newton since 2003, first as the Outreach Worker for the Department of Senior Services and later as Community Social Worker for the Health and Human Services Department.

Gonzalez moved to Newton with her parents in 1971 from Bogota, Colombia in 1971 and is a Newton South graduate.

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Tour de Newton is back! (And happening on Father’s Day)

2014 April 17
by Greg Reibman

UpperFallsTourBadgeAfter battling with inclement weather last fall, the organizers of Tour de Newton have wisely decided to hold the second annual  Tour de Newton 20 mile bicycling a June event. Here’s the early details.   I’m sure Jerry Reilly will weigh in at some point with much more.

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Help the Ligerbots attend the FRC World Championships!

2014 April 16
by Bruce Henderson

ligerbotsThrough tremendous effort this season, the award-winning Newton Ligerbots have succeeded in sending their robot on a 1,143-mile mission… to St. Louis! Now they need your financial support so the robot can complete its mission at the biggest robotics competition in the world.

As reported in NewtonSTEM, the Ligerbots team — of 46 students from Newton North and Newton South — has qualified for the biggest high-school Science/Technology/Engineering/Math competition in the world: the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship, to be held April 23-26 in St. Louis.

Usually the Ligerbots participate in only two events a year, but this year they 1) won the WPI District competition, 2) were on the 2nd-placed Alliance at the Northeastern District Competition, and then 3) entered the read more…

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