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You only have until Monday to support Newton’s annual toy drive

2014 December 10
by Village 14

For the seventh consecutive year, The Village Bank has partnered with the City of Newton Department of Health and Human Services for its annual Holiday Gift Drive, to help brighten the holidays for deserving Newton children.

The bank and the city are encouraging local residents, businesses and organizations to play an active role in the Holiday Gift Drive through donations of gift certificates and new, unwrapped gifts for children ages newborn to 10.

The Village Bank’s Newton branches in Auburndale, Newtonville, Nonantum, Newton Highlands, Waban and West Newton will serve as Holiday Gift Drive collection sites. Donations will be accepted from November 17 through December 15.

Suggested gifts include age-appropriate books, CDs and DVDs, clothing, games, sporting goods, and toys. The donation of gift certificates purchased from local merchants will also benefit businesses in the community.

 

 

Wells Avenue at the ZBA

2014 December 10
by Sallee Lipshutz

The Zoning Board of Appeals met in the Aldermanic Chambers on Dec. 9 to discuss the petition for a 40B residential/retail development in the Wells Avenue Office Park. The discussion was knee-deep in legal maneuvering based on the City’s Legal Department opinion that the deed restriction on the property (which runs until 2067), is “an interest in land” that the ZBA was advised is not within the ZBA’s authority to waive. A straw vote indicated that the Board agreed not to ignore that advice. I thought we would go home early. read more…

Protest march draws hundreds

2014 December 7
by Gail Spector

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I am so proud to live in a city where the chief of police was first in line in a protest marchIMG_1892 against civil rights injustices, and where the mayor was in attendance as well.  (Photos by Greg Reibman.)

Parking information for Sunday’s protest march

2014 December 6
by Gail Spector

People attending Sunday’s silent protest march (at 4 p.m.) are invited to park at Corpus Christi-St. Bernard Parish either in the parking lot behind the church or across the street from the church. Myrtle Baptist is a short walk down Prospect Street to Curve Street.

The walk will end inside the First Unitarian Church in West Newton Square, where someone will speak.

Who’s going?

 

 

 

 

Anyone else get the Newton ‘right track/wrong track’ telephone poll?

2014 December 6
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by Julia Malakie

telephone

Well, this is exciting. This morning I picked up the house phone when it rang, instead of letting it go to voicemail, and it was a poll that started out something like “Do you think things in Newton are generally going in the right direction, or is Newton on the wrong track?” I apologize that I don’t have the precise wording, because I’ve been distracted by email in the meantime.

And I apologize even more that I did not get to take the poll, because while scrambling to find my iPhone to record the whole thing, instead of grabbing my Handy Voice Recorder, the automated voice ran out of patience after about three repeats and hung up.

So if anyone else gets this poll, take notes and report!

Newton Dems endorse change from ‘aldermen’ to ‘city council’

2014 December 5
by Village 14

This just in from the Newton Democratic City Committee …

Newton, MA–Members of the Newton Democratic City Committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse a proposed update to the Newton Charter that would change the title of Newton’s legislative body from Board of Aldermen to City Council.
chamber“Our members clearly thought it was time for a change,” said NDCC Chair Shawn Fitzgibbons, “We need to make it crystal clear, through the language we use, that women deserve an equal seat in government. The term Alderman is from a different time and just doesn’t accomplish that goal.”
The motion for the NDCC to endorse the change was made by Priscilla Leith who is both the former NDCC Chair and president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women. The change to a gender-neutral term was also supported by State Treasurer Steve Grossman, a Newton resident, and State Representatives Ruth Balser and Kay Khan.

read more…

What’s your level of satisfaction with the MBTA?

2014 December 5
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by Village 14

This comes from the MBTA Advisory Board….

The MBTA Advisory Board, a member of the Boston MPO, has developed a tool to measure the experience of the typical transit user and their level of satisfaction with the service they receive.   Please follow this link, http://www.transitdiary.com/login/ and help us track your transit experience.

We are asking people to note their travel experience for at least two weeks.  The process is simple: create an account and set your personal preferences (by far the longest part of the Transit Diary experience) and then, on your cell phone, tablet or at your desk or laptop, spend about 30 seconds logging the information about your journey.  Unlike other surveys, the Transit Diary will give us a real sense of the read more…

Spend your holiday shopping dollars on local art

2014 December 4
by Village 14

Celebrate Newton, Newton Community Education’s annual juried craft fair, takes place this Sunday, Dec. 7, 10am-4pm at Newton South High School. More than 50 artisans will be in attendance selling handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fabric arts, glass work, paintings, note cards, soaps and more. Local musicians will perform throughout the day, providing a lovely backdrop to the fair, and a Kids’ craft table will keep young ones entertained while you shop.

Go here to see the complete list of artisans who will be exhibiting at this year’s fair. Admission: $3 at the door (kids under 12 are free). Net proceeds from the fair benefit NCE’s scholarship fund.

135-unit Rowe Street 40B ZBA hearing opens tonight

2014 December 4
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by Julia Malakie

RoweStDrawing

Even if you’ve never been to a Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, and never thought you’d want to, you might want to be in the Aldermanic Chamber (tonight, December 4, 7pm start) for the opening night of the hearing on the 135-unit apartment project proposed by Dinosaur Capital Management for the commercially-zoned property at 70 Rowe Street.

Aside from the size of the project, which virtually, if not all, residents anywhere close think is way too big, and the fiscal impact to the city of converting more of our small percentage of commercial land to residential, the really big question is whether the city might tonight ask the ZBA to invoke the 1.5% defense for immunity to 40B projects.

It’s now an open secret among anyone who’s been paying attention to 40B and development issues, that an alternative to the read more…

Silent protest march in Newton Sunday (changed)

2014 December 4
by Gail Spector

Spread the word!

Howard Haywood, retired pastor at Myrtle Baptist Church, just posted the following on Facebook:

JOIN ME AND OTHERS FOR A SILENT PROTEST MARCH OVER THE LACK OF INDICTMENTS OF POLICE WHO KILL BLACK BOYS AND MEN. WE WILL GATHER AT 4PM SATURDAY OUTSIDE OF MYRTLE BAPTIST CHURCH 21 CURVE STREET WEST NEWTON. THE MARCH ROUTE WILL BE CURVE TO PROSPECT TO WASHINGTON STREETS INTO WEST NEWTON SQUARE. PLEASE BRING A SIGN AND FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO AGREE THAT WE HAVE TO STOP THESE MURDERS.

Newton Police are wondering if you recognize these creeps

2014 December 4
by Greg Reibman

Court Street Developer: Opponents ignore data

2014 December 3
by Greg Reibman

Geoff Engler’s interview with The TAB’s Jim Morrison should give folks lots to talk about. Here’s an excerpt….

Engler said the neighborhood opposition chose not to believe hard data generated by studies conducted by the city and other professionals.

“For instance, on Court Street, the neighbors kept indicating a traffic problem,” Engler said. “We had a traffic engineer, we met with the city traffic engineer, the fire department, the police department and all indicated that there’s no problem.”