Welcome to Village14.com, Newton’s virtual village.
Village14 was started in 2011 by Greg Reibman and Sean Roche as a forum for discussing all things Newton. Since then the audience of readers and the roster of contributors has steadily expanded.
Today with 18 different volunteers writing items for Village14 we’ve got a rich variety of voices and subject specialists.
Our main aim is to be the “go to” place for discussion of any issue in Newton, but there’s also plenty of room for humor and a bit of fun too. We welcome you all to join the conversation – the more voices, the better the conversation.
Village 14 is run entirely by a group of volunteers. None of us receive any revenue or other compensation. We have no organized structure, titles, etc. A company called SERPCOM built, maintains and hosts this site at no expense to us bloggers. They provide us with technical assistance, as needed. In exchange SERPCOM posts ads on Village 14 and keeps all revenue.
Here’s a look of some of our contributors:
Greg Reibman ([email protected]) – He’s a Newton Highlands resident, a former punk rock dj and dad who spent a decade as the publisher/editor in chief of the Newton TAB and Wicked Local Newton and held a larger role as vice president of content at GateHouse Media New England.
Blogging is in his blood — and so is Newton — and Village14 is the place to keep expressing his passion for this city and staying connected to his inner-wiseguy.
He tends to suddenly appear with a burst of prolific, quality posts and then just as suddenly disappear for long periods of time. Rumors abound about where he goes during those down times.
Some suspect that he does the same thing at dozens of other blogs. Others suspect that he’s a merchant seaman that only has on-line access when his ship is in port for a day or two.
Jerry Reilly ([email protected]) – Jerry’s has lived in Upper Falls with his wife and daughter since 2009. In the real world he work as a freelance system software engineer.
On Village14 Jerry writes frequently about all sorts of topics but his favorites are the slightly offbeat personal stories and the April Fools scams. He is an unabashed Upper Falls’ophile and editor of the Upper Falls News.
When not working or blogging Jerry loves instigating projects that pull his neighbors together (Feast of the Falls, Tour de Newton, Upper Falls Greenway, Eggcelent Breakfast, Newton Nomadic Theater, Nomadic Story Slam) or goofy projects with no apparent redeeming social value (Museum of Bad Art, King Pong, Disposable Theatre, Human Foosball).
Gail Spector ([email protected]) – Gail is a freelance journalist and writer who covered Newton for about a dozen years, first as a correspondent for the Boston Globe, then as a columnist for the Newton TAB, and lastly as editor of the Newton TAB and WickedLocalNewton.
She’s a frequent Village14 contributor on a wide variety of topics but her specialty is Newton politics and government.
When she’s not on Village14, she’s probably not in the country. Which doesn’t happen very often.
Julia Malakie ([email protected]) – Julia works as a photographer/videographer for the Lowell Sun but her passion is Newton’s trees. She’s a director of the Newton Tree Conservancy, a member of the Urban Tree Commission, and member of the steering committee of Newton Villages Alliance, a grassroots organization hoping to preserve the character and scale of the Garden City in the face of development pressures and loss of open space. She was a recent candidate for Newton’s City Council
On Village14 she posts frequently on various topics but she is definitely our tree specialist.
Adam Peller ([email protected]) – Raised in the Highlands, Adam has deep roots in Newton. He and his wife, third generation Newtonian and Newtonite, are raising their children in Newton Centre.
Adam cares deeply about the schools and quality of life in Newton, which he feels has been negatively impacted by traffic. He has developed an interest in issues relating to public transit, alternative modes of transportation, and city infrastructure.
Chris Steele ([email protected]) – Chris moved here with his family back in 2003, first settling on the border between Newton Highlands and Thompsonville, and moving to Waban about a year later. Both of his kids are in the Newton School System – a topic he pays a lot of attention to.
He also serves on the board of the League of Women voters, and was one of the founding members of Newton Villages – a grassroots organization that aims to direct development to address housing and vitality in the village centers, while also preserving the history and the feel of our City.
Chris is something of a policy wonk, and you’re likely to see him up at City Hall listening in on meetings. He writes here somewhat infrequently, but has been known to jump for topics of small business, shopping local, and city history.
Chris is also a partner in a small economic development firm. For fun, he like working on projects of all kinds (wood, electronics, cars), and also play guitar quite a lot.
Chuck Tanowitz ([email protected]) – Chuck hales from Newtonville. For his work he advise business clients about social media and on-line marketing. So, when not online at Village14 he’s online somewhere else.
Bruce Henderson ([email protected]) – Bruce’s most frequent posts are often about Newton school news, particularly the high schools. Occasionally he veers off onto other topics, like this fascinating footnote from Newton history.
Groot Gregory ([email protected]) – Groot is a Highlander and a member of the Newton Highlands Area Council.
He is active in the optics community with an interest in STEM outreach promoting optics and science careers in schools, at science fairs and festivals. He regularly contributes threads about the Highlands as well as various city wide topics.
Sallee Lipshutz – Sallee is our Waban correspondent and serves on the Waban Area Council. She is most recognizable on Village14 for her incorrigible punning posts.
Doug Haslam ([email protected])- Doug is from Newton Corner. He works in the public relations field, advising clients on social media and online content.
Keith E. Jacobson ([email protected]) – Keith is a lifelong Newton resident who has been documenting life in Newton through his photographs since long, long before Village14 was a glimmer in Greg and Sean’s eyes.
Keith has just retired after 34 years as Gatehouse Media/Newton Tab’s staff photographer, photographing Newtons news, sport, and cultural events through the years.
On Village14 Keith posts info about upcoming Newton events and other goings on around town.
Bob Burke ([email protected]) – Bob was born and raised in Newton Highlands more than 70 years ago. He is our resident Newton historian. While he is frequent commenter on Village14 threads and a great story teller, he very rarely starts his own threads.
While he has the keys to the kingdom he’s been very reluctant to use them to post his own items. We’re all banking on that changing any day now.
When he’s not on Village14 you might find him at his daily yoga classes, sailing in Boston Harbor or walking around in Hemlock Gorge.
Nathan Phillips ([email protected]) – Nathan’s an Auburndale resident. He’s been quiet on Village14 for some time. We’re hoping when he returns from the west coast he’ll get back into the Village14 mix. In the meantime, maybe we should send him an email to let him know that they do get Village14 reception west of the Rockies.
Bryan Barash ([email protected]) is a resident of Newtonville, where he lives with his wife Claudia and their two dogs, Shotzy and Seven.
Bryan serves on the Newton Human Rights Commission and the Newton
Charter Commission, and is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy & General Counsel in the Office of Massachusetts State Senate President Harriette Chandler.
He blogs about those things as well as state policy issues that have particular significance to Newton.
Paul Levy has lived on Oxford Road in Newton Center since 1981 and has run a bunch of organizations during that time, including the MA Department of Public Utilities, the MA Water Resources Authority, and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He chaired the 2006-7 Newton Blue Ribbon Commission for Financial Resources. More importantly, he coached for 27 years in Newton Girls Soccer, has been refereeing youth soccer and high school games since 1994, and ran an incredibly successful (free) cleat exchange for families and kids over two decades. He cares about parks, infrastructure, and city governance.
Bob Jampol has been living in Newton on and off since 1970, and his wife graduated from Newton South High School in 1969. He himself taught English at Newton South for 34 years until retirement, and he has been coaching tennis there since 1982. Bob used to be a columnist for the Newton Tab for many years and under many editors.
Bob co-founded and currently heads the Friends of Newton Tennis. He also volunteers his efforts for BikeNewton and the Friends of Cold Spring Park. In addition, Bob serves on the Waban Area Council, and he has chaired the Purim Fundraising Drive of Yad Chessed. He also served a term on the Newton Human Rights Commission. He is a member of the Newton Centre Minyan, and he loves the Garden City!
Marti Bowen was born into a huge civil rights (of all kinds) activist extended family and has been an activist herself from her childhood – from going with her dad to speak to the President and Congress about hydro-electric power to standing alongside those who sat at the Woolworth’s counter with my uncle who was the regional director who said “serve them,” to watching horrified as an enormous cross burned on my uncles lawn, to participating in Jimmy Carter’s campaign, and on and on.
Marti downsized to Newton from Glastonbury, CT in 2009, persuaded by her son who has lived here much longer, became involved in the community and was invited to post on V 14 shortly thereafter. She has been both an army brat and a navy wife, has lived in 11 states and been to all 50, helping her to understand the many sides to any issue. She has spent time in think tanks where she learned to fight hateful speech with more speech using facts, honed her research skills and lead her to adopt @WriteWhatsReal as a twitter handle.
Now, as mostly an armchair activist, she writes for several publications on topics that she is passionate about – education, at-risk kids, wealth inequality, mental health, etc. And when she is passionate about an issue her enthusiasm knows no bounds so sometimes apologies are necessary.