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Shakespeare at the Bandstand Tonight.

2014 August 10
by Groot Gregory



Much Ado About Nothing
Sunday, August 10 at 8:00 p.m.
At Hyde Playground
90 Lincoln Street
Newton Highlands

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company‘s 2014 Apprentice Company consists of 24 pre-professional actors from across the country studying in residence at Wellesley, MA. Join them for this summer’s showcase production of William Shakespeare’s beloved romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Directed by Clay Hopper, Much Ado follows the triumphs and struggles along the road to love. Beatrice and Benedict, two self-proclaimed singles “too wise to woo” are tricked into courtship by their mischief making friends despite their own better judgments and sharp-witted tongues. Meanwhile, a jealous plot of mistaken identity threatens to pull apart the love-struck Hero and Claudio. A whirlwind of potential heartache and great humor ensues as the residents of Messina rally around the young lovers to put all the pieces back together.

We are expecting excellent weather for tonight’s performance!

Newton teachers union’s Zilles expresses concerns to Fleishman

2014 August 7
by Greg Reibman

The Newton TAB has obtained letters written by teachers union president Michael Zilles that express concerns about the David Fleishman plagiarism incidents.

The letter expresses “incredulity” with the allegations of plagiarism, but also scolds Fleishman for what Zilles–writing after meeting with members of the union’s leadership team– saw as an inadequate response to allegations that first surfaced in one of Newton’s South’s two student newspapers, The Lion’s Roar.

The TAB article also provides a brief hint that the School Committee may not share just one read more…

New Newton theater’s drama

2014 August 7
by Jerry Reilly

TheaterMasksOver the last few months I’ve been involved with a project to launch a quirky new community theater company in Newton.  The concept behind the Newton Nomadic Theater is that we will produce simply staged plays at a variety of non-conventional spaces around Newton.  Like nomads,we’ll travel light with our supplies on our backs and move from place to place.

We’ve been planning the first production for a three week run starting at the end of Sept in three locations (Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Newton Center).  This past month, the cast has been rehearsing read more…

The TAB files an Open Meeting Law complaint against the Newton School Committee

2014 August 6
by Greg Reibman

The complaint focuses on three executive sessions held to discuss damage control relating to allegations of plagiarism against Superintendent  of Schools David Fleishman.  You can read about it here.

The Open Meeting Law defines emergency as “a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action” – in this case, immediate action was “required” because the TAB and other media had started asking questions about a Lion’s Roar article accusing the Superintendent of plagiarism.

Even for a newspaper, it’s hard to accept that bad press rises to the level of an “emergency.”

“Ideas. Action. Leadership” Initiative

2014 August 5
by Groot Gregory


A new initiative is coming from city hall this week to engage Newton’s citizens. In addition to roaming monthly meetings with the Mayor and staff, a web based platform will be introduced to help keep folks informed.

I have been pretty happy with the occasional reverse 911 calls, email updates from the planning department and Mobile App to report issues to the city so hopefully this will add more ways to keep me and my neighbors aware of what is going on in the city.

The following was posted on the city website yesterday.

On Wednesday, August 6th, Mayor Warren will launch “Ideas. Action. Leadership” a new initiative designed to actively engage and partner with the Newton community to create a more livable, sustainable city.

Through a new web platform and monthly village meet-ups, citizens will be able to receive information and updates on city initiatives and events and share their ideas and input. First village meet-up is scheduled for Wednesday, August 6th at Century Bank, 32 Langley Road in Newton Centre beginning at 7:00 p.m.  Mayor Warren and City Department Heads will be available to hear input questions and will join residents and businesses for a walk of the village center.  At 8:00 p.m., Mayor Warren and city officials will host a “virtual ideas session.”  Anyone unable to make the Newton Centre meet-up can still participate by visiting and streaming the virtual ideas session from their computer.

Hemlock Gorge Summer Party Tonight

2014 August 5
by Jerry Reilly

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge’s annual free Hemlock Gorge Summer Party is tonight, from 6 PM – dusk, just over the Elliot St bridge at Hamilton Place.  Bring your picnic dinner.  There’ll be a grill available for everyone’s use.  Music will be provided by Broken Rose.

Newton students on David Fleishman plagiarism incident

2014 August 5
by Greg Reibman

While some folks here have been fretting that Newton school students would be traumatized by the School Committee’s decision to retain Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman following revelations that he plagiarized parts of his commencement speeches, Jenna Fisher from the TAB, actually spoke to some of these kids to find out how they’re holding up.

Lessons for Newtonville from Waltham, Natick and Wellesley

2014 August 3
by Chuck Tanowitz
Rendering of the Waltham development on Main and Moody

Rendering of the Waltham development on Main and Moody

Today’s Metro West section of the Boston Globe offers up some lessons for the Austin Street development. While a lot of the protests focus on the perceived loss of parking and the negative impact that may have on businesses, little has been said about the overall benefit of moving a number of individuals into a city center-like environment. As for the benefits:

Homes in suburban subdivisions are still in high demand. But town centers are increasingly being seen as an attractive alternative by some, especially young professionals and empty nesters, developers say.

With local roads and highways becoming ever more clogged by traffic, one attraction is easy access to public transportation, said Marty Jones, chief executive of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, which is working with communities to encourage new downtown housing.

The new multiple-unit projects being built in Natick, Waltham, and Wellesley are all within a short walk of commuter rail stations and bus lines.

During last week’s parking meeting I heard a lot of people get up and mention how long they’ve lived in Newton (and how long their families have been her). All that history is great, I love history. But we’re talking about the future of our city, not the past. We need places for our children to live, as well as our parents.

We are an inner-ring suburb and our businesses must compete with others in nearby cities. Take a look at Washington Square in Brookline, which has emerged as a key foodie destination, in large part because of its urban-like density even as it has an inner-ring suburban feel in the neighborhoods just off of Beacon Street.

We have a similar infrastructure here and we can have thriving downtown areas built on foot traffic that attract more than just banks. We just need to want it.

Walnut St. paving today

2014 August 2
by Keith E. Jacobson

“Walnut Street between Commonwealth Avenue and Cabot Street will be closed for repaving on Saturday, August 2nd.If possible, residents should avoid Walnut Street on Saturday. There will also be no parking on Walnut Street (both sides of roadway) from 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 2nd.”

So who’s organizing the party?

2014 August 1
by Greg Reibman

There was a brief discussion on this blog back in May about the fact that Village 14 would soon post its 20,000th comment and even this fine  suggestion by Tom Sheff …

We should have a party on the 20,000th or 25,000th post!! (or both)

Well for whatever reason, that idea was somehow forgotten back on June 20th when Keith E. Jacobson posted what turned out to be our 20,000th comment.

And just last week, Village 14 hit yet another milestone when this post from Bob Burke was comment number 21,000.

So who’s organizing the party?


VILLAGE 14 POLL: Ward 3 aldermen contest

2014 August 1

Four candidates — Francis Azzarto, Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Jeanne Marrazzo and Maria Manning — will compete Sept. 9 in a run off election for the Ward 3 Aldermen’s seat left vacent following the death of alderman Sal Salvucci.

The TAB’s Jenna Fisher published short profiles of each candidate this week.

Who do you support? Vote in our poll and make your pitch in the comments section.

Candidates, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section too! (And tell us if you have a website, I could only find one for Brousal-Glaser.)

Superintendent Fleishman apologizes to school families

2014 July 31
by Village 14

Newton’s Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman emailed this letter to school families today…

July 30, 2014

Dear Families,

By now, many of you have read or heard media reports regarding the controversy surrounding my graduation speeches this past spring.  The students, families, community and faculty deserved far better from me and it is hard to put into words my deep regret and sorrow over my actions.

First, it was inexcusable that my graduation speech included several phrases and thoughts that were similar to the radio excerpts I heard from Governor Patrick’s speech.  It was essential that Governor Patrick be credited and cited for his words, and while it was not my intent to be so careless and intellectually dishonest, this was a very serious omission on my part.  I am terribly sorry for what I have done and for letting the community down.

Second, I apologize for not putting greater thought and time into my speeches.  As one who typically devotes considerable energy to both my written pieces and speeches, I learned a tough lesson about doing things in a sloppy and hasty manner.

Perhaps the most painful aspect of this episode is my failure to lead by example, something that I take very seriously.  I fully recognize that trust and confidence is an essential aspect of successful leadership and I am very sorry for what has been lost.  I am fully aware that it is up to me to restore such trust and confidence in the community and I will do everything possible to make that happen.

In the field of education, we often talk about learning from failures.  I can assure you that I have learned from mine.  As I have said many times, I consider it a great privilege to lead such an excellent school system and look forward to continuing to address the important opportunities and challenges ahead.


David Fleishman