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

NewMo is here!

NewMo is here!

Newton’s new transportation service for seniors, Newton in Motion or NewMo, launched on Monday.  According to Jenna Fisher at the Patch:  “The service is part shuttle, part uber, and while it won’t take a rider just anywhere in the city –...

The reality of seniors and housing

The recent statement from this presentation from Right Sized Newton (page 12) that “… seniors overwhelmingly DO NOT WANT to live in luxury high-rise rental apartments” is simply not true. I say this based on academic background; extended membership/ leadership of the...

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

Newton’s property tax deferment program earns props from Globe

Here’s a rarity: A story that says nice things about Newton from page one of today’s Boston Globe.

Programs like Newton’s are intended to make it easier for retirees to stay in their homes in a state with some of the nation’s highest housing costs and real estate tax bills. But because the programs reduce short-term local tax revenue, few cities and towns publicize the benefit as widely as Newton does.

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