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Look! Up in the air! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a ….?

2015 March 27
by Village 14

16742128917_3553e9a17a_nKaija Gahm sent this to Village 14..

“While walking in Edmands Park today, I saw that someone had put up a nesting box on one of the trees bordering the main open area off of Blake Street. It appears new and it’s quite large––I’m thinking a Screech Owl box?

As a bird lover and a frequent visitor to the park, my curiosity is piqued. I would be grateful if anyone could put me in contact with whomever put up the box, as I would love to learn more about it. I’m so glad to see someone else taking an interest in the birds of Edmands Park. Here’s hoping the box finds inhabitants this season!

Kaija Gahm

Thinking of running for alderman/city council or school committee?

2015 March 27
by Greg Reibman

All 24 seats on the soon to renamed Newton City Council and all eight seats on the Newton School Committee will be on the ballot this November.   If you’re thinking about running (or running again), you should certainly think about attending this….

Don’t Just Stand There…RUN!

Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

at Brigham House, 20 Hartford Street, Newton Highlands.

How to Run a Campaign for Local Public Office: Considering public office? Helping someone run for office? Interested in how local campaigns work? The League of Women Voters of Newton invites candidates, potential candidates, campaign managers, campaign treasurers, and all interested citizens to a workshop that offers practical information and advice about political campaigns by a group of knowledgeable panelists:

  • David Olson, Newton City Clerk, will give an overview of the local filing and state requirements
  • Claire Sokoloff, former School Committee Chair, will discuss being a candidate and elected Official
  • Greg Reibman, President of the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce, Village 14 founder and former Newton TAB Publisher, will discuss effective Press/Media communications


Contact the League of Women Voters of Newton at 617-383-4598 or with any questions.

Dear Belmont Film Festival: Welcome to Newton (now about that name…..)

2015 March 27
by Greg Reibman

This announcement was sent to Village 14 today…

After calling the Studio Cinema in Belmont home for the last 13 years, Belmont World Film moved its 14th Annual International Film Series, “Secrets and Lies,” to the West Newton Cinema, due to the unexpected closing of the Belmont theater (which is also owned by the Bramante family). The series began March 22 and runs through May 11; it features eight internationally-acclaimed films, many of which are New England or US premieres and some are also their countries’ entries for the Oscar’s best foreign language film. In another departure from years past, most screenings take place on Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM, with the exception of Monday night screenings on April 6 and May 11.

Bostonians will find two of this year’s films especially interesting: THE FINISHERS, a film from France that was inspired by the read more…

Newton North will have interim principal next year

2015 March 25
by Village 14

This just in from David Fleishman, Newton’s Superintendent of Schools…

Dear North Community,

Over the past several weeks, it has been a great pleasure working with a range of stakeholders on the Newton North High School principal search.  The thoughtful questions and scenarios that were posed to the finalist candidates by students, faculty, administrators and parents demonstrated that Newton North has a highly knowledgeable, engaged and committed community.  I am also very appreciative of the Selection Advisory Committee who invested tremendous energy and care interviewing candidates and providing me with feedback.

Last week, Newton North was privileged to host two excellent school administrators who have contributed much to public education and will make an even greater impact in the future.  I am grateful to both Geoff Walker and Bill Klements for the thought, care, and intelligence they demonstrated during the past few weeks.  The search process was a rigorous one and they deserve great credit for making it to the finalist stage.

After a thorough review and a careful examination of the needs of the school, I have decided to read more…

El Cero Fresco

2015 March 25
by Greg Reibman

unoUno Fresco, which just opened in November on Needham Street near TJ Max posted this sign on its doors this week. Eater Boston reports all three of the chain’s spin-off restaurants have closed.

Cabot, Cabot and Forbes offers Newton $3M for infrastructure and affordable housing to build Wells Ave project

2015 March 24
by Village 14

The developer whose permit to build a four-story, mixed-use, 334-unit rental apartment complex at 135 Wells Ave. was denied by Aldermen and could be headed for litigation is offering $3 million in incentives to move forward with the project, The TAB’s Jim Morrison reports.

[Cabot Cabot and Forbes] offer includes $1 million to redesign and rebuild the intersection of Wells Avenue and Nahanton Street, $1 million for the Board of Aldermen to spend on affordable housing in Newton at its discretion, participation in new Wells Avenue commercial development to include $750,000 for infrastructure and traffic improvements, the operation of a shuttle service for the development, and other, smaller payments to the city.

Legendary Locals of Newton Book Launch: April 29

2015 March 24

legondary locals

Save the date!!

Please join me and some of Newton’s legends in celebrating the release of Legendary Locals of Newton on Wednesday, April 29 at Newtonville Books at 7 p.m.

Who will be Newton’s next police chief?

2015 March 24
by Jerry Reilly

MintzCurrent Newton police chief Howard Mintz was appointed two years ago, first as interim chief, and later as permanent chief in the aftermath of a lot of turmoil in the city’s police department.

Back in 2012, in a very tumultuous year for the department, former chief Matthew Cummings was fired after accusations of “boorish behavior” towards female employees, the ex-chief’s secretary was accused of larceny and fired.  She claimed the accusation was retaliation for read more…

Lynne LeBlanc running for Ward 2 Councilor at Large (or for now, Alderman at Large)

2015 March 23
by Julia Malakie

Lynne LeBlanc headshot

Good news for those of us who like contested elections. Newtonville resident Lynne LeBlanc has announced her candidacy for Councilor at Large (or I guess Alderman at Large until the state approves the home rule petition?) from Ward 2.

Here’s an excerpt from her announcement:

LeBlanc decided to get into the race out of a concern for Newton’s future. “As a first-rung suburb of Boston, Newton faces significant challenges as well as opportunities. The growth of Newton is inevitable but we must ask whether that growth will be at the expense of our city’s unique character with its distinct thirteen villages. There are those who would like to see Newton urbanize into something else, but I would like to see us maintain a commitment to our moniker, ‘the Garden City.’”

Another impetus for LeBlanc’s entry into the race is a commitment to transparency and accountability. “There is an impression among many that too often decisions are being made to benefit not the greater good, but rather to serve the interests of a select group of influential residents and insiders—particularly related to development. New faces, new voices, and new City Councilors from all walks of life can keep our city from being entrenched in ‘business-as-usual’ politics.”

You can read the complete announcement here. She tells me her website will be live later this week.

What do you know about Lynne? What do you want to hear from her? What are the issues you care about in this race (in which all of Newton can vote).

Real Property Reuse committee to discuss 70 Crescent Street & 1294 Centre Street

2015 March 23
by Village 14

Alderman Amy Sangiolo summed up the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting in a recent email to constituents…

The Real Property Reuse Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 7:45 p.m. in Room 211 at Newton City Hall.  They will be discussing the Joint Advisory Planning Group and Planning Department recommendations for both the 70 Crescent Street and 1294 Centre Street (also here and here) proposals.  In addition, the Committee will hear and discuss a proposal to reverse it’s decision to surplus the property at 70 Crescent Street and establish a memorial park at that location.  The proposal, developed by the Crescent Street  has been spearheaded by Alderman Jim Cote from Ward 3 and joined by Alds. Harney, Brousal-Glaser, Norton, and Sangiolo.  More complete documentation is available online for 70 Crescent Street  and 1294 Centre Street.

Mozart’s Requiem at First Unitarian Society–Sunday, March 22

2015 March 21
by Bruce Henderson

So Mozart didn’t write his Requiem Mass in D Minor all by himself.  Its completion by others is a story of intrigue and deception.  You can hear the magnificent result on Music Sunday at the First Unitarian Society in Newton, 1326 Washington Street, this Sunday, March 22 at 10:15AM.  It will be performed by a combination of the choirs from three UU congregations (Dedham, Needham, and Newton) with orchestra and professional soloists.  The same event was presented last Sunday in Dedham, with this review:  “A really amazing and moving performance.”  Admission is free, with donations accepted.

Theater coming to City Hall

2015 March 21
by Jerry Reilly

ImaginaryInvalidI’ve been so relentlessly promoting Newton Nomadic Theater productions on Village 14 in recent months, that you’re excused if you didn’t know that there is also another new theater in town – The New Theatre Company  (NTC).

Tickets just went on sale for the NTC’s production of Imaginary Invalid – a modern and hilarious translation of Moliere’s brilliant satire of the medical profession on Saturday May 2, at 2 PM in the War Memorial Auditorium in City Hall.

This special performance will be one of the first events in the city’s month long Newton Festival of the Arts.  It looks to be a great event.  In addition to the play, they will be plenty of music too.  Intermission entertainment will feature Newton based Americana band Waiting for Neil, and the Tripsters, a rock and roll band made up of TripAdvisor employees.

Click here for more information and to order tickets ($15)