Blowing (much) louder than the wind

Blowing (much) louder than the wind

The Newton leaf blower ordinance states that all leaf blowers above 65 decibels are prohibited. This site reports that talking three feet away has a noise level of 65 decibels. I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall any leaf blower being that quiet....

Howard, we hardly knew ye

From Wikipedia: Howard J. Whitmore Jr. (May 9, 1905 – June 19, 1998) was an American politician who was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1947–1953 and Mayor of Newton, Massachusetts from 1954–1959. Whitmore graduated from Harvard College in...

A senior center for seniors

It is no surprise that Marian Leah Knapp offers a thoughtful, eloquent, and on-target assessment of the issues surrounding a senior center for Newton (in the latest issue of the Tab.) Marian is a recognized authority on the general issue of aging and she has been...

Albemarle and Article 97

Wow, the Preserve Newton Parks group (centered on Albemarle but also comprising people from around the city) has put together a gangbuster memorandum of law suggesting why use of that park would activate the provisions of Article 97 of the state constitution....
Quid pro quo?

Quid pro quo?

The Mayor is scheduled to deliver her proposed Capital Improvement Plan to the City Council today. The last CIP contained an item for replacement of Gath Pool, but many years into the future. There is no question that Gath–an important community...
Thanks to all the candidates!

Thanks to all the candidates!

Wandering through the Harvest Fair today, I had a chance to visit with a number of the City Council and School Committee candidates (some shown here), and I was reminded again that we owe them all a debt of gratitude. It’s not an easy time to put yourself...

Have you read the Climate Action Plan?

As our City Council reviews adoption of the Climate Action Plan, I see a great deal of thoughtful and impressive work, but I have to admit to some reservations. I’ll mention one section to get the discussion going: Existing residential and commercial buildings...
Two for the road

Two for the road

Sorry, but I’m an infrastructure junkie, and when I see or hear about things that are not quite right, well . . . Case 1:  The City has installed traffic calming improvements on Fuller Street between Commonwealth Avenue and Chestnut Street.  These protuberances...

Building climate change resilience

Note: This is not a campaign pitch! It’s about her full-time job. Emily Norton and Vernon Walker have an excellent article in Commonwealth Magazine about how communities can build climate change resiliency into their local geographies. It’s worth a look. ...

Well done, Mayor.

I didn’t want to miss this chance to say that I thought that Mayor Fuller’s current update has an exceptionally clear and complete summary of the eminent domain process for taking Webster Woods....

How much should global warming matter?

Note to self: Be prepared for extensive abuse emanating from this column. The question I’m asking today is how much global warming should matter when we are considering whom to vote for in the forthcoming elections for City Councilors. Please note, I am not...
From across the border

From across the border

I know we have a special interest in the two Newtonian candidates for the 4th Congressional District seat, but I’d encourage people to also check out someone from our neighboring town of Brookline, Jesse Mermell. I’ve known Jesse for several years, and she...