It saddens me to learn that Newton city government continues to consider Albermarle as a viable site for the proposed senior center. I had vowed not to weigh in regarding NewCAL because it seemed that many others had, and more eloquently than I might. At this stage I am opposed to siting the senior center in any park or green space, even if the building were placed on hardscape. 

Imagine my surprise when, after a series of heavily attended meetings of city council subcommittees and the Parks and Recreation Commission, I learned that the powers-that-be had whittled the possible sites down to two, Newton Centre and Albermarle. I can easily conjure up a half-dozen other sites, consisting exclusively of hardscape, that most residents would prefer over Albermarle, and so can most of you. How did things come to this pass?

A final thought. On a recent glorious autumn evening, I took a Bike Newton tour along the Charles River. Our return route took us right past Albermarle Field. The time was 6 o’clock and the joint was jumping.

On one side of Cheesecake Brook two soccer games were in progress on Fessenden’s fields. On the other side Albermarle was just as busy. It was heartening to see, but a basic truth emerged plainly enough to me: This corner of the city is already a busy place! Adding a senior center to the mix would only exacerbate problems of traffic and logistics for residents and students and teachers and users of the park. Let’s face the inevitable and find a better place for NewCAL. 

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