Mission creep at NewCAL

Many people have written comments here or to me directly in agreement with my article suggesting that parkland, open space, or other protected land should not be used for the proposed senior center, aka NewCAL. But we all recognize, as well, that the current facility on Walnut Street needs replacement. How do we thread the needle between these two desires?

One of my heroes, long-time developer and philanthropist Norman Leventhal, always used to ask me and others considering a new project: “What’s the program?” He would follow this question by saying, “The program will drive the design.”

In the case of NewCAL, the process for determining the program was flawed. I’m not saying that those working on the concept were poorly intentioned. I’m saying, instead, that their

VIDEO: Watch the school demographics presentation

In her most recent email newsletter, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller wrote…

An in-depth demographic study of how the four proposed large developments would impact the Newton Public Schools shows that the new housing (1,775 units) would create only a small amount of new enrollment. The study forecast only 83 additional students district-wide over the next decade.

Is she out of her mind? How can that possibly be?

Watch this video to see the presentation on the topic:

Programs and Serives Finance Committee April, 10, 2019 from NewTV on Vimeo.

Fuller: Schools could ‘manage’ Northland, Riverside, Riverdale & Chestnut Hill Sq projects

In addition to releasing a statement today regarding the MBTA’s proposed bus changes, Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller also shared these thoughts regarding the Newton Public Schools latest enrollment projections. (bold added below for emphasis)

The school enrollment forecast is critical, and it’s done thoughtfully, seriously and in-depth each year.

The Enrollment Analysis Report in November and the Enrollment Planning and Class Size Report issued this week show that while we have to

Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Fuller: I categorically reject the allegation that Newton Public Schools’ curriculum is anti-Semitic

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller released this through her email newsletter today
 
Last Tuesday evening the School Committee held a public hearing as a result of a formal petition alleging anti-Semitism in the Newton Public School history curriculum.
 
It was a powerful meeting, and I’ve been reflecting on what I heard from students, teachers and members of our community.
 
Here are my thoughts

NewCAL – What?

This is a guest blog post. 

I participate in several exercise classes at the Newton Senior Center. During the previous municipal election season I was present when candidates listened to seniors asking for a larger and upgraded senior center. Post-election, the Mayor’s office decided to push for a multigenerational facility called NewCAL – Newton Center for Active Living, instead of a new or expanded senior center. This switch has not been welcomed by folks who frequent the Senior Center.

The proposed name marginalizes seniors who are

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