Village 14: Newton Massachusetts Virtual Village
Inscrutable Sign first place award

Inscrutable Sign first place award

I was running errands on Needham Street today and drove around behind the EZ Storage building at the corner of Needham St and Christina.  I cam across this sign. Generally signs in parking lots communicate some useful information to passersby - "No parking", "Entrance", One Way", etc. This one has me completely stumped.  Does anyone on Village14 have a clue about...

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The ‘quasi-judicial’ Special Permit process

The ‘quasi-judicial’ Special Permit process

I initially posted this as a comment but I thought I'd make it its own thread instead. The special permit process is very curious indeed and seems somewhat of an elaborate charade. From a legal standpoint, the councilors come together and analyze the project in an impartial way, from the point of views of the applicable law, and render an objective legal judgement,...

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Allston Yards in Brighton receives approval

According to the Boston Globe, "a massive complex of apartments and condos on the site of the Stop & Shop off Everett Street near the Massachusetts Turnpike, won approval from the Boston Planning & Development Agency board despite concerns from some neighbors and elected officials that it would provide too little affordable housing The 1.2...

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Obama was president, Brexit approved and Warren was mayor when this happened

One of the common arguments we’re heard signature gatherers are using as they look to overturn the Newton City’s Council’s 17-10 Northland vote is that the city has rushed this project without hearing from the public. 

Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.  Even before the Land Use committee held 15 public meetings, there were dozens and dozens and dozens of community meetings, not to mention the months-long Needham Street Vision process, which included a wide cross section of community members. 

In fact this project has been in front of the city for so long that Barack Obama was president, the Brits has just approved Brexit and David Price was pitching in his first season as a member of the Red Sox when then Mayor Setti  Warren introduced this project back in 2016

Of course, since that 2016 community kick off event, this project has been substantially reduced in scope from 2 million to 1.1 million square feet, thanks to some tough negotiations by our “listening to the public” city leaders.  The number of read more

Climate Change: Both/And, Not Either/Or

Mayor Ruthanne Fuller recently published an extensive Five-Year Climate Action Plan (http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/100191). Green Newton has also weighed in with its Citizens' Climate Action Plan (https://www.greennewton.org/citizens-climate-action-plan-for-newton-now-available/), with some overlap and other distinctive features. Anyone who...

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Newton’s next ban? How about fossil fuel?

Newton’s next ban? How about fossil fuel?

Just weeks after Brookline voted to ban the installation of oil and gas pipes in new buildings as well as in extensive renovations of existing buildings, Jon Chesto at the Globe reports that some Newton City Councilors want to do the same thing. 

Here’s two excerpts from Chesto’s article:

Opponents representing various business development constituencies argue that this piecemeal approach to energy regulation will simply drive up construction costs and hinder economic development, while achieving minimal environmental benefits. They say the electricity-powered alternatives to natural gas, such as heat pumps, are more expensive and less effective.

 

[Newton City Councilor Emily] Norton, a former Sierra Club leader who oversees the Charles River Watershed Association, said she’s not really concerned about the impact on economic development. Instead, she’s read more

Mayor: 261 complaints received about unshoveled sidewalks

From Mayor Fuller's most recent email newsletter... We made it through the first storm under the City’s new ordinance requiring home owners to shovel the sidewalk in front of their homes within 24 hours of when the snow stops falling. It was a first for residents, and a first for us here at City Hall. Things went well with only one glitch in our handheld computers....

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Knapp’s vision for a new senior center

Marian Knapp has added to last month's Newton Tab column with an article in this week's edition. It's called "My vision for a new senior center." It is not yet available on line, so I am writing this to encourage people to dig their copy out of the snowbank and/or to read a few pertinent quotes here. No one can question Knapp's commitment, experience, and knowledge...

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BC board won’t participate in program funded Charles Koch Foundation

The international studies academic advisory board at Boston College has decided it will not participate in a new security studies program that would provide public speakers, undergraduate workshops, a post-doc program, a Ph.D. program  and training programs because it was going to receive funds from the Charles Koch Foundation, the BC Heights reports. “After a...

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Time for a new Finance Chair

Time for a new Finance Chair

This week, the City Council-elect will caucus to determine Council leadership for the next term. The president will likely be Councilor Susan Albright (AL2) or current president Marc Laredo (AL7). As I understand it, several people have their hats in the ring for vice-president, including current VP David Kalis (AL8), Councilor Rick Lipof (AL8), and Councilor Vicki...

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That was fun

That was fun

It was great to see all those Village 14 personalities, especially the ones we've never met before.  Many thanks to Terry Malloy for insisting that it was time to do this again and getting it organized.  Next time we won't wait so long till the next one.

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