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City’s response to TAB allegations re: Open Meeting Law violations

2014 November 17
by Gail Spector

Given that Emily Costello was all over this issue, I do not understand why she didn’t release this document in September when she received it. It contains Matt Hills’ explanation as to what happened regarding the posted meeting times, the lack of detail in the minutes, and the agenda for the meetings.

Regarding meeting agendas: It’s interesting to note that only the first one listed collective bargaining as its reason for meeting. In the following two meetings, Hills realized his mistake and listed personnel matter. Remember, among other things, Costello accused the School Committee of meeting secretly three times.

Want some energy democracy?

2014 November 16
by Nathan Phillips

Fossil energy money won big on election day, from defeating the bottle bill to a new Keystone XL – cheerleading congress and a Senate Chair on Energy who says global warming is a hoax.  Millennials, who see more clearly where we’re headed than many of their elders, voted at a dismal rate.   I believe this may have been more out of a sense of hopelessness than apathy.  I share that sense of powerlessness some times.

That’s why direct energy democracy is so, literally, empowering.  Solar panels physically decentralize and democratize our energy system and constitute an irrevocable physical vote for clean energy and a stable climate.   And while investor-owned utilities and their fossil industry allies are fighting tooth and nail to slow the spread of wind and solar in states all across the country, the business, resilience, and environmental case for solar and wind are too powerful to stop.

Newton has just launched its third and most homegrown solar initiative, the Newton Solar Challenge, which you can learn more about today at 4pm at the Auburndale Library, or this coming Wednesday evening at the same place.

Newton homeowner and Barnraise Energy principal John Tourtellote is one of the partners in this effort, and discusses this program over at the I Love Newton blog.

Newton School Committee revises minutes from Fleishman plagiarism incident UPDATED

2014 November 14
by Village 14

The Attorney General’s office had previously deemed the original notes insufficient, The TAB’s Jenna Fisher reports.

 Update:  Full copy of the revised minutes posted here.

Further update: City’s response to Newton TAB’s complaint to AG regarding violation of Open Meeting Law.

Globe: Setti Warren for governor?

2014 November 14
by Gail Spector

setti-warren1The Boston Globe’s Joshua Miller wrote a story today about the possible Democrats who could run against Governor-elect Charlie Baker in 2018. Not surprisingly, Newton Mayor Setti Warren was one of the city executives he listed:

“Warren, Newton’s first African-American mayor and an Iraq War veteran, has already made a brief statewide bid — for US Senate in 2011. Operatives speculate the 44-year-old might be open to another run for higher office down the line.”

Village 14 People unite: Nov. 24 at Mick Morgan’s

2014 November 13
by Greg Reibman

village-14-icon-largeBack by popular demand, Village 14 Social Director Terry Malloy is organizing a Bloggers Night Out party at Mick Morgan’s (118 Needham St, Newton) on Monday Nov 24, 7-9 p.m.

Come meet your fellow Village 14 bloggers, commentators and voyeurs for a night of conversation and drinking. Politicians welcome too! Cash bar.


City’s human resources director resigns

2014 November 12
by Gail Spector

Mayor Setti Warren informed the Board of Aldermen earlier this evening that the city’s director of Human Resources, Wesley Layne, has resigned, effective immediately. 

Layne started in his position in April of this year. He succeeded Delores Hamilton who left in May 2013.


3 minutes and 45 seconds

2014 November 12
by Greg Reibman

I’m frequently asked how many people read Village 14 (as opposed to the much smaller number of people who comment).  Generally speaking, I don’t pay a lot of attention to our traffic statistics. For me the success of this site is not measured by how many people come here but the quality of the conversations and the fact that everyone here is really passionate about Newton and Newton politics.

But I found this statistic from our October Google analytics report to be gratifying:

Village 14 visitors spent an average of 3:45 on the site during a single session.

The same reports tells us that Village 14 had 21,924 site visitors and 50,641 page views last month. Our readership was highest on Oct. 21, lowest on Oct. 28 and that the vast majority (76 percent) of our participants are coming to us through their iPhones.

But to me, the most interesting statistic is the time spent on site. This stat suggests to me that we really are reading what each other have to say.

Medical emergency on baseball field in Newton Highlands

2014 November 12
by Gail Spector

highlandsplaygroundMy husband was out walking our dog shortly after 9 a.m. today when a police officer came running out of his cruiser onto the Newton Highlands Playground (Dedham and Centre streets) and and tore onto the baseball field, where there was a person lying on the pitchers mound. An assortment of firetrucks, ambulances, and more police cars showed, and he said they were working on the person for awhile. He left the scene before it cleared. I hope all is ok.

A night of stories

2014 November 11

StorySlam2Come and listen to a night of good stories at the first Nomad Story Slam at Gregorian Rugs in Lower Falls a week from Friday (11/21).  This community storytelling event is loosely modeled on the very popular MOTH Radio Hour and the theme of the night will be “on the road“.

If you like,  come and throw your own name in the hat to tell a story yourself.  It should be roughly 5 minutes long, be true, have happened to you, and be connected to the “on the road” theme of the night.

Joining us for the event, will be Newton Mayor Setti Warren who will be telling a story of his own.  We’ll also have read more…

OPEN THREAD: Veterans Day 2014

2014 November 11
by Greg Reibman
To our veterans:  Thank you for having served, sacrificed and put your lives on hold for us.

Land Use committee: Thumbs down to 135 Wells, thumbs up to Kessler Woods

2014 November 11
by Village 14

For the TAB’s Jim Morrison

The subcommittee voted unanimously [with one abstention] against lifting the deed restriction on 135 Wells Avenue that would be required to put a residential development in that office park. Then, it voted 3-0, with 3 abstentions in favor of rezoning and granting the special permit for the 80-unit, The Residences at Kessler Woods in Chestnut Hill, which will border both Brookline and West Roxbury.


Shark spotted in Newton Centre

2014 November 10
by Greg Reibman

That would be a Solviet era GAZ Volga “Shark”

via Universal Hub