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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…

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.

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.

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.

Backwards and faster – The Contra Tour

2015 May 18
by Jerry Reilly

2015PosterThe 3rd annual Tour de Newton will be on Fathers Day, Sunday June 21, at 9:30 AM.  The 20 mile, 13 village leisurely bike ride has been a big hit with families and casual bike riders.  This year’s ride is shaping up to be bigger and better with substantially more riders.  The ride starts simultaneously in all 13 villages, with each village’s riders traveling as a pack with trained leaders and “sweeps” at the rear.  As you arrive at each new village, you make a brief stop, hear a bit about the village, have a snack or a drink and pick up a button for the village.

This year, we’re adding two new features read more…

School redistricting meeting tonight

2015 May 18
by Village 14

There will be public forum on the “Student Assignment Review“proposal at the Education Center, Room 210, 100 Walnut Street, Newtonville, at 7:45 p.m. tonight.

More about this can be found here and here.

There will be draft boundary change scenario maps available for review and a brief description of the context and process to-date as well as an opportunity to comment.

And you can comment here too!

It’s time for more stories

2015 May 18
by Jerry Reilly

StorySlam400WidthIt’s  a busy weekend ahead for the Newton Nomadic Theater.

The 4th Nomad Story Slam is Friday night, 7:30 at Gregorian Rugs in Lower Falls.  This night of community storytelling is part of the Newton Festival of the Arts.  To help celebrate the art in Newton we’ve invited three Newton authors as special invited storytellers.  Come hear their read more…

Public meeting on Turtle Lane project Tuesday

2015 May 18
by Jerry Reilly

A public meeting will be held by the Land Use Committee on Tuesday May 19 at 7:30 PM in the Aldermanic (Counciloric?) Chambers to review a revised plan for the project.

In response to earlier neighborhood opposition, the new plan dropped the previously proposed restaurant and some of the office space and replaced it with six additional residential rental units.

More about the proposal can be found here.

Newton may have a lot of nail salons but at least one is getting rave reviews

2015 May 18
tags:
by Village 14

A recent New York Times investigation painted a troubling picture of the nail salon business but WBUR profiles of a Newton company that seems to be taking a different approach.