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Riverside/Cambridge/North Station – back on the drawing board

2014 October 2
by Jerry Reilly

MBTACarBack in January of this year, the MBTA released a sketch of a long range plan for 2024 that showed a new rapid transit line that would connect Riverside via Newtonville to a new West Station in Allston and then  on to North Station via Cambridge via the long defunct Grand Junction railroad line right-of-way.

Then at the end of May,  the State Dept of Transportation announced that the first piece of this puzzle, the new West Station in Allston, had been read more…

Village14’s Greg Reibman first to call foul on Herald cartoon

2014 October 1
by Jerry Reilly

Village14’s own Greg Reibman started his day perusing the daily newspapers and came across this cartoon in the Herald.

At 8 AM he tweeted “Very unfortunate editorial cartoon in @BostonHerald today”.

Within hours his tweet was bouncing all over the Internet and getting picked up across the country.  By noontime the cartoonist was on the radio apologizing.  “It was completely naïve or innocent of any racial suggestion. I wasn’t thinking along those lines at all,” said longtime Herald political cartoonist Jerry Holbert.

In some newspapers that syndicated the cartoon across the country today the “watermelon” had been changed to “raspberry”, leading many to comment that at least some other editors weren’t as racially tone deaf as those at the Herald.

If you see one play this year, this is it

2014 September 30

AdWhen we first decided to start the Newton Nomadic Theater I imagined that we would put on our first play, if we were lucky it would be pretty good.  The next one would be a bit better.  Over time we’d hit our stride and the productions would get even better.

Three luminous performances are at the heart of this elegant production. It was a pleasure to experience this powerful and strangely haunting play in an intimate setting right here in Newton. Theatre at its best is cleanly staged, excellently acted and touches themes that have you thinking and talking about the experience days later. NNT’s innaugural production hits all those marks. If the concepts of sophisticated theatre and Newton don’t naturally go together in your mind, then see this show and be moved by the talent and excellence that is right here in our community.” – Jennifer London

At the opening night performance I saw the entire play for the first time and was completely and totally gripped and moved by read more…

40B project considered for St. Philip Neri site in Waban

2014 September 30
by Greg Reibman

The Waban Area Council met with the developer of the St. Philip Neri site earlier this month. You can read their report of the meeting on the area council’s website (scroll down).


Globe ending regional Thursday section, redesigning Sunday Globe West

2014 September 30
by Greg Reibman

This was sent to Boston Globe subscribers  today

Your regional Sunday news has gotten a makeover.

Dear Globe reader,

We’re excited to announce that coming this Sunday, October 5, The Boston Globe is introducing new and more robust regional sections. We’ve completely redesigned Globe West, Globe South, and Globe North to focus more than ever on providing you with in-depth local news coverage as well as getting you the stories from your community that will inspire you, entertain you, and get you talking. These new sections will combine content from our previous Thursday and Sunday sections so you have one weekly go-to guide for your community. Please note that this week will be the final Thursday zoned issue but read more…

Rox Cafe has closed

2014 September 30
by Groot Gregory

Rox CafeIt seems that the Rox Cafe in Newton Highlands has closed. This was my Tuesday night hangout for dinner at the bar along with several other regular patrons. Many knew that this was a challenging location.

Baker’s Best was a draw to the village and we all had hoped to see the Rox fill the void. I wonder what will next take this space on Lincoln Street?

The Charles River Ferry

2014 September 29
by Jerry Reilly

061311Ferry8jmThis Sunday’s Boston Globe featured a column by Yvonne Abraham about the Lynn Ferry.  It just started this past year.  It’s been widely successful with the customers.  It’s spurring economic development and increasing property values.

Not knowing a damn thing about this, it would seem to me that a ferry service from Watertown Square (just below the dam) to the Science Museum/MGH, with stops at possibly Harvard Square and Kendall Square would be a wonderful, and practical addition to our local transportation system.  The new infrastructure to support a ferry should be fairly simple and modestly priced – a few boats, a few simple small docks.

Since I really don’t know a damn thing of which I speak, your job is to explain why that’s not in any way a practical plan  …. or who knows, maybe it is.

NewTV Fall Specialty Classes

2014 September 29

This fall, NewTV has added a number of new courses on various media-related topics taught by experts in their fields. Melanie Graham, Digital Content and Social Media Producer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will teach two courses on social media. An introduction to digital photography workshop and a class on SmartPhoneography will be taught by a freelance commercial photographer and adjunct faculty member from Montserrat College of Art, Vanessa Ruiz. Plus, there will be a workshop on documentary filmmaking taught by Margo Guernsey, the founder and executive producer at Time Travel Productions LLC and senior producer at McElroy Films LLC.

The first social media class will be geared towards read more…

Newton Nomadic Theater is brilliant

2014 September 28
by Sallee Lipshutz

In a Carriage House in Newton Upper Falls decorated with minimal staging, I sat, prepared to be underwhelmed, waiting for an amateur production of a new theater company.

That never happened.

Instead, I was witness to the birth and premiere production of Newton’s newest and, for my money, finest theater company, The Newton Nomadic Theater.

This first production, Faith Healer, by Brian Friel, is an orgasmic confluence of jaw-dropping acting and directing in a bare-bones insightful production of a rarely offered author’s spellbinding Irish story-telling!

The playwright, Brian Friel, who wrote this play in the late 1970’s, was influenced by Pirandello, another playwright who spun tales in the theater in non-ordinary form. Friel’s writing is strong of tongue, yet weaves an intricate and fine cloth with not a dropped stitch. The faith in Faith Healer resides in the three characters of the play who view the world in which they move through separate kaleidoscopes. read more…

Leadership on Transportation in Newton

2014 September 27
by Nathan Phillips

A comment on the record-breaking Zervas V14 post exemplifies Newton’s car culture: “Parking spaces are given to important people.” It’s true. Standard practice in Newton’s public schools and municipal buildings is to reserve “first class” parking spaces for the ‘important’ people. That is, with one significant exception.
I was reminded recently that, after assuming office, Mayor Warren took down the Mayor’s reserved parking spot. What a meaningful gesture of real leadership by a public servant.

Mayor’s office responds to Aldermen’s questions about Zervas School expansion project

2014 September 26
by Greg Reibman

At risk of stealing the momentum from Bob Burke’s 225-plus comment thread about the Zervas School project, I’m going to start a new one.

Today, Maureen Lemieux, Mayor Warren’ s Chief of Staff/Chief Financial Officer distributed this document to the Board of Aldermen in response to questions regarding the acquisition of the three residential properties that abut the Zervas Elementary School site.

Read it and, need I tell you that you should feel welcome to discuss it?


Alderman to constituent: ‘You sound like such a jerk!’

2014 September 26
by Greg Reibman

After reading about Alderman Emily Norton’s proposal to change the city charter to include the term “alderwomen,”  in the Globe Thursday, former alderman and Newton resident John Stewart sent the following email to members of the board yesterday…

I can’t believe you people are spending time on such silliness — but I guess you need some justification for demolition moratoria and inaction on the unchecked proliferation of pot holes.

Pls wake us up when you’ve solved the name problem.

John Stewart

In response, Alderman At Large Greg Schwartz shot back with the following reply to Stewart and cc’d all of his colleagues…

Wow.  You sound like such a jerk!