Council on Aging supports Albemarle as ‘potential’ NewCAL site

Newton’s Council on Aging have shared the following letter, which was sent to the Parks and Recreation Commission in support of NewCAL at Albmarle Field.

As members of Newton’s Council on Aging, we have been long time advocates for a new Senior Center.

We have followed the NewCAL site selection process closely, and look forward to the feasibility study to follow. We appreciate that enormous effort has been expended in getting to this point, with the thoughtful and thorough involvement of many participants. We want to

NewCAL heads to the Parks & Recreation Commission

The Parks and Recreation Commission is holding its first public meeting on the NewCAL proposal on Monday at 7pm in City Hall, Room 211. The Commission has tremendous power with regard to any changes in use of the City’s open spaces, and they have a manual that...
Unanswered NewCAL FAQs–Part 2 [Updated]

Unanswered NewCAL FAQs–Part 2 [Updated]

Second in series. A friend of mine, an accomplished economist, was once testifying before a regulatory body. The opposing lawyer, in an attempt to question his credentials, noted that he had listed membership in the American Economic Association. “What does it...
Unanswered NewCAL FAQs–Part 1

Unanswered NewCAL FAQs–Part 1

As we prepare for the various public meetings (including the community meetings on September 19 and 23) on the subject of the Newton Center for Active Living (NewCAL), it will instructive to look at the materials presented on the project’s website. Since the...

The cart is speeding off without the horse

Mayor Fuller is clearly feeling the heat for the opaque process used to choose a site for the Newton Center for Active Living, or NewCAL, (styled by her as “the community center focused on seniors.”) So in this week’s email to us all, she announces a...

Is this really the NewCAL ‘process?’

I received a report from an attendee that here was an event last night for city council candidates to ask questions of department heads. One of the candidates was told that the list for NewCAL was narrowed to six locations yesterday, with an announcement coming...

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

Slow down on NewCAL

Slow down on NewCAL

As a long-time public administrator, I always take heart when an elected official has the creativity to propose a forward-looking project for the benefit of the public.  It’s not easy to go through the process of scoping, planning, designing, siting, and funding such...
Hey buddy, can you spare a couple acres?

Hey buddy, can you spare a couple acres?

You might recall that the city has embarked on an ambitious project to replace our current, insufficient Senior Center with a new ‘Center for Active Living’ (NewCAL).  A project team has been working since last spring to define the programmatic needs and...

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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