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Ben Coes at New England Mobile Book Fair

2015 May 26
by Jerry Reilly

IndependenceDayMy wife just returned from New England Mobile Book Fair.  New York Times bestselling author and Wellesley resident Ben Coes is down there at the moment talking about his new thriller “Independence Day”.  Go join the 100+ crowd if you want a signed copy.

POLL: Do you favor Newton’s proposed leaf blower ban?

2015 May 23
by Greg Reibman

Newton Aldermen are considering an ordinance to limit the use of leaf blowers and ultimately ban their use altogether.

Current rules allow leaf blower use between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekday and between 9:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

The proposed ordinance would:

  • Ban the use of all leaf blowers until June 1, 2018 except between March 15-May 1 and from Oct. 15-Dec. 1 and also restrict the hours when leaf blowers can use to 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on Saturdays
  • After June 1, 2018 no leaf blowers will be allowed at any time, except following “times of emergency” such as a storm, as declared by the mayor.

How do you feel about the proposal? Vote in our poll and explain why below.

A public hearing will take place on Thursday, June 10 at Newton City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.  Here’s some read more…

Take a moment to remember …

2015 May 25
by Keith E. Jacobson


Can you canoe on Crystal Lake? On Sunday you can!

2015 May 25
by Village 14

crystal lake canoesEnjoy canoeing, paddleboarding or kayaking on beautiful Crystal Lake next Sunday May 31 from 1-4 p.m. (Weather permitting with no rain date.)

Support Crystal Lake Conservancy’s efforts to keep Crystal Lake healthy and learn about ongoing testing and watershed activities to protect it.
Cost is $10 per kayak/canoe/paddleboard.

Participants will sign up for half hour slots between 1-4 p.m. on a first read more…

A touch of Arlington envy

2015 May 25
by Jerry Reilly

20150525_135605I went over to see a friend’s new apartment in Arlington this morning.  She took me out for a walk by Spy Pond.  Surrounding the playground there were maybe 10 different whimsical, playful pieces of public art that would appeal especially to kids.

I’d love to see a bit more of this sort of thing here in Newton.  Particularly because these days everybody’s playgrounds are mostly alike (i.e. all from the same couple of catalogs) this quirky art really personalized the park and the kids seemed to be particularly into it.

Warren: Austin Street proposal ‘reflects input from our residents’

2015 May 20
by Greg Reibman

Newton Mayor Setti Warren makes a direct pitch for the proposed project at Austin Street in an oped published in today’s TAB, which was distributed via email to anyone on the city’s email list.

The Austin Street project provides Newton with options to maintain and grow diversity, welcome talented people of all kinds and maintain the dynamism of our city — not to close our doors to change, but still maintaining the unique character of our neighborhoods. Building a multi-use project including housing, retail, and parking on the Austin Street parking lot, in a village center with public transportation, fits our vision for Newton’s residents now and in the future.

Read the full column here and tell us why he’s right or wrong.

Memorial Day Poetry Reading and Concert at the Hyde

2015 May 25
by Groot Gregory

Two great events are coming to Newton Highlands tonight as part of Memorial Day in association with Newton Festival of the Arts and the Hyde Community Center.

At 6:00 pm Five Newton (and surrounding area) poets, including

  • a WWII vet,
  • a poet who collected the stories of allied troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps,
  • the son of a two-star general,
  • an Iraq War vet,
  • and the mother of Iraq War vet,

will read poetry on the theme of war on Memorial Day.


At 6:30 pm The 215th Army Band of the Massachusetts Army National Guard remains one of the nation’s finest military bands. For more than 60 years, the band has performed throughout New England and the world, bringing the Army’s fine musical traditions and goodwill to thousands of listeners.

For more information call John Rice 617-201-7088 or

Memorial Day 2015 open thread

2015 May 22
by Greg Reibman

Share your memories of a friend or loved one who served our nation in the comments section here.

Mixed messages on water use

2015 May 20
by Jerry Reilly

NeedhamSignWhile our neighbors across the river were hanging up these signs, we’ve decided to encourage outdoor water use with reduced rates for our biggest domestic water users – i.e. second water meters for water used outside of homes.

Curious indeed.

Could someone please loan Aldermen Laredo and Sangiolo one of these

2015 May 20
by Greg Reibman

stop watchI think it’s a safe bet to say that the lights at Newton City Hall are going to be on late a lot next month. In addition to working on next year’s budget,  the Land Use committee will begin public hearings on the proposed Austin Street project on June 2 and the Programs and Services committee will hold a public hearing on a proposed leaf blower ordinance on June 10.

Now I’m a big believer in community input and participation — that’s why we started this blog — and I certainly believe that folks on every side of the issue should have a chance to be heard directly before any important vote or decision.

But if you’ve attended any public hearings, you know that participants can be long-winded at times, redundant at others and, often, both.

And that’s my long-winded way of getting to my point, which is to encourage Land Use Chair Marc Laredo and Programs & Services Chair Amy Sangiolo (and all our other committee chairs as well) to run open and fair public hearings (as you always do) but to strictly enforce a time limit on all speakers so you, your colleagues, city employees, reporters and those of us in the audience can get a fair representation of views but also arrive home on the same day that we arrived.

And now I will shut up and sit down.


Urbanization spreading like a virus

2015 May 19
by Greg Reibman

Those who fear Newton becoming the next Brookline can surely relate to the panic setting in at this nearby community. (Be sure and read the comments)

via: Universal Hub

Needham approves medical marijuana zoning along Newton border

2015 May 19
by Village 14

An area between the Charles River and I-95 adjacent to Highland Ave has been zoned  for a medical marijuana clinic by Needham, Wicked Local Needham reports.