The Board of Aldermen is scheduled to vote this Tuesday – tomorrow, the day after Labor Day – on the Zervas School Building Committee’s recommendation to acquire three residential properties on Beacon Street to expand the Zervas site.
The Newton Highlands Neighborhood Area Council has been monitoring the Zervas design process and providing community input regarding traffic, walkability, open space, and neighborhood impact. The NHNAC Zervas Working Group opposes this acquisition and has recently proposed “Plan B” – an alternative site plan to create more open space, increase pedestrian safety, and avoid spending $2.4 million to acquire the abutting properties. (Disclosure: I’m on the NHNAC Zervas Working Group.)
Accompanying this alternative plan is a survey of the 45 mature trees (18 species) in and around those properties that the current ZSBC plan would remove to make parking lots. Newton’s Urban Tree Commission has written a letter to the ZSBC and Design Review Committee to advocate for the preservation and protection of those “stately and spectacular” trees.
The NHNAC has also written a response to concerns raised about its Plan B by members of the ZSBC. Take a look the plans and weigh in. Is there something about the current ZSBC plan that’s worth an extra $2.4M and the loss of a 45-tree greenscape on Beacon Street? Is there something important and requiring a site expansion that NHNAC’s Plan B misses?
The Globe’s Ellen Ishkanian reports that Newton’s school teachers are looking for more than the 2.5 percent cap Mayor Setti Warren set last time for all contract negotiations.
During the last negotiations, according to [Newton Teachers Association president Michael] Zilles, his membership understood the mayor’s position.
“The city was in a pretty bad way, and there was no end in sight,” he said. “We took hits on health insurance and compensation, and we agreed to increase the number of steps so it takes longer to get to a full salary.
“We made some very big sacrifices for the health of the system, now is the time to make some progress,” Zilles said.
A parent came across a stack of these flyers in a hallway at Newton South a few days ago.
They were told that “people” were handing them out at the gathering of all Newton teachers that morning. It sounds like the teachers’ union may be trying to stir up their membership for the next round of salary negotiations.
Fran Azzarto, Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Maria Manning and Jeanne Marrazzo met again last night for the Ward 3 Democratic City Committee’s forum. (At the Senior Center in Ward 2; I hope someday we’ll have the Allen House as a Ward 3 venue for this type of event!)
Great questions, interesting answers, some surprising, and a fair amount of humor. Although oddly, no budget or tax questions. I hope you’ll be able to listen here. Would have had this audio up 24 hours ago, but yourlisten.com was inexplicably not working; now it magically is. I did not see any video cameras. Where was NewTV?
Note: these audios don’t seem to play on smartphones or tablets; you need to be on a real computer – sorry.
Gracia Leydon Mahoney, a recent Newton North graduate, finished fourth in the women’s 3-meter springboard contest Monday at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Here’s the TAB story and the Herald’s story.
You can watch the full event here (you can see one of Leydon Mahoney’s dives at about the 53:00 mark)…
and here’s a recent story that aired on Channel 4
The new lights provide a “truer” color than the old High Pressure Sodium lights, greatly assisting visibility and enhancing public safety. In addition, the new LED lights are more trained which better illuminates the roadway and casts less of a glare into homes. Individual concerns about specific fixtures and light intrusion can usually be addressed with a minor adjustment.
But who is possibly going to want to live in those places and be able to afford the rents?
One answer is: Tech workers.
Or so this survey in the Boston Business Journal suggests.
In her latest op-ed column in the TAB, Austin Street development opponent Kathleen Kouril Grieser announced that the (still mysterious) anti-development citizens group Newton Villages Alliance has just created an on-line poll “to clarify how Newtonville envisions Austin Street, going forward.”
This new survey follows an often-cited poll conducted by the Newtonville Area Council in February, which Kouril Grieser dismisses because it had “bias built into survey questions,” as well as the city’s own Austin Street Dotmocracy .
And, of course, this blog, and the TAB Blog have used online polls for years in Newton about everything from school naming rights to what someone’s day job is to killing bears to this musical show down .
I’ve never suggested taking our online blogs seriously. And certainly anyone who has compared the results of Village 14′s various election-related polls knows that they are far from true barometers of anything except perhaps which campaign has (a) the most time on its hands and (b) knows the most about clearing cookies. (Although this one proved to be spot on!)
So how seriously should we take these things? Naturally, we’ve created a poll to find out!