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Come kick off the tour of the Nomad’s new play

2015 May 13
by Jerry Reilly

NewBQImageThe rehearsals have been fantastic, the show is ready to go, and the Newton Nomadic Theater is opening its new show, The Beauty Queen of Leenane in Lower Falls this weekend.   Come on down to the beautiful Gregorian Rugs and see some fabulous live theater from the acclaimed Newton Nomadic Theater before they pack up the camels, hit the road and take the show on a four week tour of the other villages of Newton.

Lower Falls has become the theater’s now traditional opening night venue as well as the theater’s home for its very popular Nomad Story Slam (next one on Fri May 22).  As always, we need all the help we can get to fill the  seats, to keep bringing live theater to the villages of Newton.  So tell your family, tell your friends and see the award winning actors Linda Goetz, Lida McGirr, Dave Rich and Matt Phillipps in this black comedy by Martin McDonagh, one of Ireland’s most respected contemporary playwrights.  There’s something special about being able to walk down the street, and see top-shelf theater presented in a theater space created just for the night.   If you can’t get there this weekend, we’ll be coming to Auburndale, Newtonville, Waban, Oak Hill and Upper Falls in the weeks ahead. read more…

Austin Street Partners unveil a website

2015 May 13
by Village 14

austin street 2You can find it — and details about their proposed project — here.

Plus a Twitter feed.

And a Facebook page.

Letter to the Editor – Philip Neri Project

2015 May 12
by Jerry Reilly

I think this is a first.   Village 14 has received a Letter to the Editor


Once Upon a Mattress (and a Refrigerator)

The Newton Tab article about the proposed housing development on the St. Philip Neri site in Waban last Wednesday and comments in public meetings about the project have suggested that the entire community is opposed and that the majority of concerns are about traffic and scale. We disagree.

We live in Waban. There is vocal opposition, but we also know many people who welcome the project. read more…

Share your view about the proposed project at Austin Street

2015 May 13
by Greg Reibman

austin street today austin streetSince yesterday’s thread about the Austin Street project has been hijacked into a discussion about anonymous comments, I’ve decided to start a new one here, linked to today’s TAB story.

Let’s see if we can stick to the topic at hand.

Alderman David Kalis will not seek re-election

2015 May 12
by Greg Reibman

Ward 8 alderman-at-large David Kalis told his colleagues today that we will not seek reelection this fall.  For those keeping score at home, Kalis is the first incumbent who has announced plans not to run again.

Kalis approached the job with great curiosity and an open mind. He earned my respect and thanks.

Here’s his email to the board…

Dear Colleagues,

david kalisI’m writing to inform you of my decision not to run in the upcoming November 2015 election for Alderman-at-Large, Ward 8.

As you can imagine, this decision has not come easy. It has been an honor to serve the City, offer help and assistance to constituents, and work with you. The collaboration and camaraderie you’ve provided has been extraordinarily satisfying, making this decision all the more difficult.

Although I’ve enjoyed the role as Alderman far more than I ever expected, my schedule has simply become extraordinarily busy. Despite my best efforts, finding a balance between serving the City with the passion and skill the role deserves, and managing my professional and personal life has become challenging.

I wish to thank my colleagues, the City Staff, and the Mayor for being responsive and receptive in working with me. I especially want to thank my Ward 8 colleagues, Rick, Cheryl, and Margie, for their outstanding dedication to Ward 8, their support, and their wisdom. I walk away knowing that much remains to be done, but confident that those in elected office and employed by the City are in a great position to continue working through issues and finding ways to serve the residents of our City.

David A. Kalis
Alderman-at-Large, Ward 8
Newton, MA


So who’s running?

Warren finally, officially, submits application for Austin Street special permit

2015 May 12
by Greg Reibman

Newton Mayor Setti Warren officially submitted a special permit application for the much debated Austin Street project today. The project includes…

  • 68 housing units consisting of a mix of one and two-bedroom units.
  • 25% affordable units deed-restricted to households earning up to 80% of Area Median
  • 127 surface level public parking spaces controlled by the City.
  • 90 underground parking spaces serving the project representing 1.25 spaces per unit plus five  for retail employees.
  • A public plaza.

Here’s the letter from Warren read more…

Latest on Austin Street: 25% of units in smaller project will be affordable

2015 May 11
by Gail Spector

There’s an updated story on wickedlocalnewton about the plan that Austin Street Partners will file with the Board of Aldermen tomorrow. This story still has an unnamed source but the person is identified as a spokesperson for the developer, so it’s not an anonymous source. Unlike last week’s story, this one states that 25 percent of the housing units would be affordable for people earning no more than 80 percent of the area median income.

Historic Newton’s 33rd annual house tour happening Sunday

2015 May 11
by Village 24

Historic Newton’s 33rd Annual Newton House Tour is set for Sunday, May 17 from noon to 5 p.m. The event offers the public a rare opportunity to tour seven beautiful private properties located in several of Newton’s historic villages. The tour showcases outstanding renovations, restorations, old and new architecture, interior design, and landscaping.

This year’s properties include read more…

Where did Matthew Gilbert have his Seinfeld moment?

2015 May 10
by Greg Reibman

Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert has a fun column in Sunday’s paper about a Seinfeld-like moment that took place in a Newton bar.

Once every two weeks, my friend and I meet at a bar in Newton to hang out and have precisely two beers each, and food. We talk, and then head home for a nice early night. And so we enter our regular place happy to hang but aware that finding two adjacent seats at the bar will be complicated, a bit of a silent poker game. We could always sit at a table; but for us, sitting at the bar, a big square wooden thing with eight or so people on each of three sides, is the preferred route. It feels more festive.

Anyone want to guess which bar he was at?

Field trip to 30 Haven Street GreenStaxx

2015 May 10
by Julia Malakie

I think I heard something about the alders having made their visit to 30 Haven Street in Reading, an example of Oaktree Development’s modular GreenStaxx building technique.

I did a quick exterior-only visit back on Saturday morning, January 31 (on my way to a couple of car dealership photo assignments for the Lowell Sun’s Presidents Day auto section, so it wasn’t too far out of the way). I think it was right after the first big snowstorm, and the clips have been in my phone since, one of a backlog of posts I’ve deferred, due to getting caught up in perpetual shoveling, taxes, and spring tree planting logistics. But now I guess it’s timely again.

What surprised me was how easy it was to park, even right after a big blizzard. It’s pretty close to the center of Reading, about three blocks. Parking was unmetered and free for two hours, both on the street and in the municipal lot behind 30 Haven Street, and I had no trouble finding a space on the street. It actually seemed very quiet for a Saturday morning — not a lot of pedestrians either. It is impressively close to the at-grade Reading commuter rail.


New, smaller, Austin Street project to be unveiled next week

2015 May 8
by Greg Reibman

“The plan to redevelop the Austin Street municipal parking lot in Newtonville will probably be substantially reduced in size and scope,” the Newton TAB is reporting.

Two noteworthy points:

A source close to the project said the number of apartments proposed has been reduced by 15 percent, down from 80 to 68 units.

All of the parking lot’s 127 spaces would be replaced, approximately half of them underneath the building.


City Hall is the place to be on Saturday

2015 May 8
by Jerry Reilly

NewtonFestivalLogoA big tent is going up outside City Hall and it will be full of entertainment from morning to night as part of the Newton Festival of the Arts.

10 AM – noon is for the kids.  A performance of Cinderella by the Tanglewood Marionettes, followed by music – “Melody, Harmony & Rhythm” by the celebrity puppet band – tickets $10

1 PM – 5:30PM The Homegrown MusicFEST featuring Newton Family Singers, “Newton’s Got Talents” Winners, Birch Hill Ramblers, Highland Glee Club, Constellations: Cindy Mapes, Loose Change: Mike Costello & other NPS teachers, George Attisano (acoustic classical guitar), Mostly Newton (Irish Traditional), Sean Smith & friends (Irish & English Traditional), The Dominoes: Abigail Matthews, Alexa Firkusny, Ben Baines, Jacob Trokel and Owen Beaver, Crowes Pasture – tickets $10 ($5 seniors, students)

6:30 – 9:30 PM – FolkFest features headliner Catie Curtis and friends … Rob Siegel, Waiting For Neil, Grace Donovan,, Barbara Cassidy Band & Friends – tickets $25 ($15 seniors, students).

For more information about Saturday’s under-the-big-tent entertainment or for information about the dozens and dozens of other festival events going on every single day of the month of May, click here.