WGBH explores Newton’s density debate

From WGHB reporter Craig LeMoult
At a public hearing in Newton last week on a proposal for a huge new housing and commercial development, some community members who spoke said they see density as a solution to the city’s housing problems. Dense housing, these residents said, creates a more vibrant community atmosphere, enables more use of mass transit, and helps reduce the city’s impact on climate change. But for others, even those who want to see more
Patch launches a ‘membership model’ in Newton

Patch launches a ‘membership model’ in Newton

In Newton’s news desert, Patch has become an incomplete, yet valuable, local news and events resource, particularly under the watch of Jenna Fisher who covers multiple municipalities for the online site. On Sunday, Fisher shared this announcement by email. I’m not sure what it really means but it’s an experiment worth watching...

Dear Newton neighbors,

My name is Jenna Fisher, and I have been the editor and reporter of the Newton Patch for about two years now. I grew up in Northern Virginia and happily moved to the area about a decade ago. You may recognize my name from my three years at the TAB – or if you’re a fan of The Office, well, you know me

Is Riverside Station a transit-oriented site? Yes or no

Is Riverside Station a transit-oriented site? Yes or no

In a multi-pronged proposal to the City Council’s joint Zoning & Planning and Land Use committee meeting Tuesday, the Right Size Riverside committee (also known as Lower Falls Improvement Association) started its presentation for the Riverside MBTA station site (city documents here) with an usual request..

Don’t call the Riverside MBTA site a “Transit Oriented Development.”

Here’s how Right Sized explained its request in a memo…

“…Riverside is not robust.  Located at the terminus of the Green Line D Branch, with long travel times to most major centers of employment, and with only one MBTA bus line stopping at Riverside only

RightSize called out for politicizing Porch Fest

RightSize called out for politicizing Porch Fest

Organizers of Saturday’s Porch Fest and at least some of their hosts are peeved that the anti-development group RightSize Riverside have been trying to politicize the event. Here’s an email organizers sent today.

Dear PorchFest hosts:

You may have received “RightSize Riverside” flyers this afternoon with a note encouraging you to distribute them at PorchFest.  
We did not provide your contact information to the RightSize Riverside organization!  It appears as if the Right Size Riverside obtained the addresses of all PorchFest hosts from the published map and brochure and elected to drop off flyers without our approval.
We feel very strongly that PorchFest is all about music and community.  We received several

Do attendees at public meetings reflect the views of the general public?

From a story on the CityLab website….

To understand local housing politics over the past several decades, consider a recent study out of Boston University. Political science professor Katherine Levine Einstein surveyed all of the minutes for zoning and planning meetings about housing across 97 cities and counties in Massachusetts…


“In every single city and county we studied, the advantaged dominated the proceedings,” Einstein said at a recent Brookings Institution panel on housing. Residents who are older, men, longtime residents, local voters, and homeowners are much more likely to participate in these meetings. And they are much more likely to oppose new construction than the general public.


Residents who oppose new housing are also

Take the Newton Community Arts & Culture survey!

Do you enjoy concerts in the Highlands or Newton Centre on a hot summer night, or a lovely Sunday afternoon listening to the New Philharmonic Orchestra at the First Baptist Church? Or maybe your kids look forward to the Halloween Window Painting Contest every October? Or how about the unexpected whimsy of seeing poetry on the sidewalks of your local village center or a fantastical outdoor sculpture along the Upper Falls Greenway? Well, the City of Newton “Community Design for Arts & Culture Committee” was formed a few months ago to assist Mayor Ruthanne Fuller and the City of Newton with a seven-month planning process to create a comprehensive arts & cultural plan for the City. Will you help us? We would love to hear from you in this Newton Community Arts & Culture Survey.

This community survey will help us develop our strategic plan of short & long term goals for the city. The plan, entitled Create Newton, will identify all of our

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