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Newton governor candidates fail to win but not inspire

2014 September 10
by Greg Reibman

Two of the three* Newton residents running for governor — Steve Grossman and Don Berwick — failed to move on to the November general election yesterday but both ran thoughtful, engaging campaigns and have plenty to be proud of. I think it’s particularly unfortunate that Grossman not only doesn’t get a shot at being our next governor but also won’t be our state treasurer next year. As a community we should be honored that both men chose to call our city home.


*The third candidate, Evan Falchuk, is running as an United Independent Party candidate.

Newsweek’s “America’s Top Schools” List. North, Yes- No South?

2014 September 10
by Doug Haslam


Lists can be arbitrary and easily disputed. Witness the national high school baseball rankings that placed state Super 8 champions North lower than Leominster, winner of the “rest of Division 1″ tournament.

With that in mind, I had a look at Newsweek’s list ofTop 500 High Schools. Among the 23 Massachusetts schools on the list (led by #19 Lexington), North checked in at #263.

Newsweek tinkered with their methodology, which takes into account standardized test scores along with “college readiness,” so it’s hard to say how this compares with performance in any past rankings. In fact, the methodology is a bit dense, so any “For Dummies” recaps from smart folks is welcome in comments. It’s also hard to say where South ranks, as it did not get listed in the top 500. Curious (No Brookline or Wellesley, either, in case you like to engage in cross-border bragging battles).

Also of note: the magazine marked schools that it deemed to be closing the “achievement gap” – in which schools were judged on how low-income students performed within the study criteria. It even published a separate list based on those criteria, where North placed at 366.

So, congratulations to Newton, and to North, for making this new list. All such studies have their flaws and their prestige, and I’m interested to see opinions on both.

(Disclosure: I have a son currently enrolled at North)

Charlie Shapiro concedes Gov. Council contest

2014 September 9
Governor’s Council candidate Charlie Shapiro posted this on his Facebook page this evening.
To all our supporters: It appears that enough of the results are in to show that the incumbent will remain in office. A huge thank you to those who supported our campaign and took time to be helpful in a host of ways.I’m very proud to have run an honest, respectful, and fact-based campaign.Again, thank you for all you have done and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.

Results in…Brousal-Glaser wins in Ward 3

2014 September 9
by Gail Spector

With all four precincts reporting, Barbara Brousal Glaser has won the special election for Ward 3 alderman with 44.44% of the votes.

Maria Manning came in second with 28.21%, Jeanne Marrazzo was third with 21.6%, and Francis Azzarto received 5.24%.

Congratulations Barbara!

And the Ward 3 winner is…

2014 September 9
by Gail Spector

Actually, I don’t have a clue. It’s 8:45 p.m. and there’s no information on the city website. Unless they’ve put it someplace that I’m not looking, the city is no longer posting a precinct-by-precinct spreadsheet. Instead, there’s a single compilation of votes for the ward.

The same thing exists for the state primary.

Stay tuned for more information.



Time for Newton’s Bicycle Update

2014 September 9
by Andreae Downs

If you had one suggestion to improve the cycling environment in Newton, what would it be?

Your chance to share comes Monday, Sept. 15, 6:30 pm at the War Memorial!


The third-annual Newton Bicycle Update  will feature presentations from Transportation Director Bill Paille, Traffic Sgt. Jay Babcock, and others actively involved in improving bicycle safety in the city.

Learn about new and planned bike lanes and other street improvements, two-wheeled events like the Tour de Newton,bikes at schools, counts and crash numbers, enforcement of the bicycle laws, and more.

Do you ride? Would you like to? How are the roads? What would make you feel safe on two wheels?

OPEN THREAD: Sept. 9 Primary Day

2014 September 8
by Greg Reibman

primary dayHappy Primary Day. As is Village 14  tradition, please use this thread to share your observations and thoughts on the Sept. 9 Democratic and Republican primaries.

And after you’ve voted come back here and tell us when and where you voted and how many voters cast ballot at your ward and precinct before you.

Photo by Julia Malakie 

Chestnut Hill Sports Club LA to close Oct. 1

2014 September 9

sportsclublaA previously announced deal to sell the Chestnut Hill Sports Club LA to the company Healthworks has fallen through.  The club, one of the anchors at the Street shopping center, will be closing Oct. 1, a trade publication called Club Industry reports.

SCLA members are being offered refunds or a chance to join Equinox, located on the other side of Route 9 at Chestnut Hill Square.




Phil Lipof back on his feet

2014 September 9
by Greg Reibman

Phil Lipof PhotoNewton native, WCVB news anchor and, yes, brother of two current aldermen and son of a former aldermen and history making rabbi shares his story here.

New theater is launched in Newton

2014 September 8
by Jerry Reilly

Logo300x186Back in August I posted here about a new theater company that we were setting up called the Newton Nomadic Theater.  As reported back then, shortly after rehearsals began one of the actors (Stephen Cooper) had a horrific accident during a performance of another play at the Boston Center for the Arts.  Stephen will be laid up for months and had to drop out.  Billy Meleady, another fabulous Boston actor stepped in and picked up the pieces.  Billy was just coming off a role in Black Mass, read more…

Gov. Councillor: I did not sign that Devaney letter

2014 September 8
by Greg Reibman

At least one of the signatories listed on a letter from Governor’s Councillor Marilyn Devaney’s re-election campaign and sent to constituents said emphatically she did not sign it, The TAB’s Jim Morrison reports.

“I signed a different letter,” said Councillor Eileen Duff. “Not that letter.”

Last chance: which Ward 3 alderman candidate will you vote for & why?

2014 September 8
by Julia Malakie


Our Ward 3 threads are spread out, so I guess we should have one last consolidated one. If you live in Ward 3 especially, tell us who you’re voting for. If you don’t live in Ward 3, you can still tell us who you’d like to win, and why.

Regardless of who wins, Fran Azzarto, Barbara Brousal-Glaser, Maria Manning and Jeanne Marrazzo have given us a choice, for which we should thank them.  Also, the forums sponsored by the Ward 3 Republican City Committee, Democratic City Committee and LWV/NewTV have covered a lot of issues and complemented each other well. You can listen to the Democratic forum here, and watch the NewTV debate here.

Just heard that Secretary of State Bill Galvin thinks statewide turnout in this election could be under 20 percent. I hope we will do a lot better than that in Ward 3 at least. Whoever we elect will influence what Newton will look like and be like to live in, so remember to ask for that ballot for the Ward 3 race, which is separate from the state election ballot!