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Marathon commemorative event Friday in Newton

2014 April 14
by Village 14

This Friday, Mayor Warren will host “Newton Remembers,” a special ceremony to remember the victims of last year’s tragic bombings. It will include readings from local clergy, and  the planting of daffodils as part “Marathon Daffodils,” where volunteers are planting daffodils throughout the  entire marathon route as a symbol of strength and solidarity. The ceremony will be held this Friday, April 18  at 5:15 p.m. in front of the Jonny Kelly statue, at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Walnut Street in
Newton.

In addition, on Saturday, April 19th at 11:30am, just prior to the annual Heartbreak Hill Road Race and Walk  the community is invited to join us outside City Hall for a special performance by Reverse Order, a nationally  touring band and semi-finalist for season 7 of “America’s Got Talent.” Reverse Order will be performing their  song “Our City” in tribute to the victims of last year’s tragedy.

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Should aldermen ‘forgive’ Oak Hill homeowner or make him remove retaining wall?

2014 April 13
by Greg Reibman

Ellen Ishkanian has a story in the Globe today about the Lovett Road homeowner who built an elaborate retaining wall in his year without obtaining the required special permit and engineering approval from the city.

Inspectional Services Commissioner John Lojek says it’s a problem that happens repeatedly across the city.

“I think a lot of people think it’s easier to build first, apologize, and then get permission, but the aldermen have a say in that, and they don’t have to give forgiveness.”

Should the aldermen make the owner remove the wall? Vote in our poll and discuss in the comments section.

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Ligerbots at BU

2014 April 11
by Chuck Tanowitz

PrintNewton’s FIRST Robotics team today goes into day two of the New England District Championships at Boston University. The Ligerbots, a team of students from both Newton high schools entered the competition ranked 8th in New England.

You can watch all the matches online (check out the schedule), or you can make the trip down Comm Ave to take a look for yourself. Today is a series of round robin competitions with a few more on Saturday. Then, on Saturday afternoon the competition starts elimination rounds. If the Ligerbots do well enough in through all their matches yesterday, today and tomorrow, they’d end up in the elimination rounds.

The game itself is a combination of soccer and basketball played with an “alliance” of three robots. During the round robins the teams are random, almost like a pickup basketball game. At the elimination stage an alliance remains consistent for the remainder of the competition.

They went very far in both previous competitions. At WPI they finished on the first alliance and at the Northeastern competition they were on the alliance that came in second.

The team is number 2877, so if you’re looking for them on any of the FIRST websites you’ll have to search for the number itself.

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Nasir Khan, husband of State Rep. Kay Khan, has passed away

2014 April 10
by Greg Reibman

I didn’t realize this when I posted the item below but am sad to report that Nasir Khan, husband of State Rep. Kay Khan has passed away last night.  We will add details as we know them.

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Khan: Auburndale MBTA station moving towards becoming fully accessible

2014 April 10
by Greg Reibman

State Rep Kay Khan, D-Newton says the MBTA has committed to completing design work on a fully accessible Auburndale commuter rail station.The Auburndale station is one of three in Newton that are not handicap accessible. Wicked Local has more.

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Citizen send-off for Bob Rooney

2014 April 4
by Jerry Reilly

bob rooneyBob Rooney, the City of Newton’s Chief Operating Officer’s, last day on the job is this Friday.  Mr Rooney has served as COO for the last five years and before that he was Commissioner of Public Works for eight years.  Over all those years he’s been involved in one way or another with nearly every project in Newton.

As you can see from the many comments read more…

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Newton Tab challenging city on Open Meeting Law

2014 April 9
by Jerry Reilly

In an editorial in today’s Newton Tab, the newspaper announced that they are formally challenging the city’s interpretation of the Open Meeting Law with the Attorney General’s Office.

Since 2010 as part of the budget process, every year the mayor invites all of the aldermen to attend closed-door briefings about the proposed budget.   Rather than a single meeting with all 24 aldermen, it is broken up into a series of smaller meetings, each with fewer than a quorum of aldermen.

In general, the Open Meeting Law is intended to read more…

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Take the long way home

2014 April 9
by Jerry Reilly

BrucesGateIt was a sad way to start this beautiful morning.  Like every other morning, my daughter and I walked up High St then up a neighbor’s driveway to get to the shortcut to the school bus stop.  We ran headlong into a makeshift barricade and a construction guy made clear that there would be no more cutting through the property by the neighbors.

Bruce Marcy, the former owner of the house, had welcomed everyone to use the shortcut for many years.  Bruce was an Upper Falls old-timer who grew up in the house.  His father had cut the hole in the Emerson Playground’s chain link fence many many years ago when it was first erected and ever since the whole neighborhood used it as their shortcut to the playground with read more…

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Blogger: ‘Welcome to Newton North High School, Where All Culture Has Been Drained’

2014 April 8
by Greg Reibman

north cutureThe headline above and the photo to the right are from a Newton-based blog called ‘Touch My Culture’.  Most of the threads are not Newton-specific but Newton North alum Michael Bennington’s post certainly is and well worth reading.

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Newton North baseball team to play first game at home in six years

2014 April 8
by Greg Reibman

The Tigers are scheduled to play their first home game since the construction of the new high school began, Wicked Local Newton reports.

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Tree Preservation Ordinance back at Programs & Services

2014 April 7
by Julia Malakie

73WillistonGSV_webClosing the loopholes in the Tree Preservation Ordinance is again on the agenda this Wednesday, April 9, at Programs & Services, 7:45 pm in Room 222. Since the last discussion there and on Village14, further discussions with aldermen found a reluctance to infringe on the rights of genuine long-term homeowners to cut down whatever trees they want. So Marc Welch and the Legal Department, with the support of the Urban Tree Commission, came up with another approach which basically tightens up the existing ordinance so that it can be enforced the way it was intended to be enforced, i.e. on developers and other short-term owners flipping properties.

The key changes are stricter requirements for what is an exempt lot, and defining “occupied” lot, which the current ordinance does not do. You can read a summary of the differences between current and proposed ordinances, which is included in the Friday Packet along with the annotated draft ordinance here. It won’t please everyone — if you’re not happy that your next door neighbor cut down all the trees screening you from their mega-addition or swimming pool or whatever, without at least having to pay for replacement caliper inches somewhere, this ordinance wouldn’t help.

But it should discourage situations like the above at 73 Williston Road in Auburndale, a property which recently sold, where the house will be a teardown, and the buyer had the seller cut down the trees before the sale.  This is what it looks like today:


Fast Tube by Casper

Even the revised ordinance would not prevent the tree cutting, but it would be a lot harder to avoid paying into the Tree Preservation Fund or planting replacement caliper inches, either of which would partially offset the loss of canopy.

Feel free to “Red Team” the language and see if there are still any loopholes to try to close.

 

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Newton Life no longer living

2014 April 7
by Greg Reibman

newton lifeAdd Newton Life magazine is the long list of glossy magazines about and for Newton that has tried and now apparently failed to succeed in this market.

That’s according to editor Jonathan Friedman who sent an e-mail to contributors today saying Newton Life’s parent company Hibu “announced today that it is discontinuing its magazine division.”

You can see the Newton Life’s final edition here.

 

 

 

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