City Council to elect its president on Thursday

City Council to elect its president on Thursday

The newly elected and returning Newton City Councilors that will take office on Jan. 1 will elect its president, vice president and president emeritus in a caucus on Thursday Dec. 12. Current Council President Marc Laredo and Ward 2 At Large Councilor Susan Albright...
Albright: Our marijuana zoning ordinance was done with care to protect our citizens

Albright: Our marijuana zoning ordinance was done with care to protect our citizens

Newton City Councilor Susan Albright, who is chair of the council’s Zoning & Planning committee, had some enlightening comments on an earlier thread about the research she conducted in her role as chair of the committee charged with determining where adult use recreational marijuana shops could locate, if Newton voters reject the Opt-Out referendum Tuesday. It seemed interesting and timely, so I republishing most of it here.

I have talked to many people from states that currently allow adult use. I asked one woman in the Dept of Public Health in Oregon (whom I had called to find data on teenage use) whether there was an adult use shop in her town. She said yes – I asked her what happened there, was she scared to go there? Were there kids hanging around? Were the police frequently called? Was there Trouble with a capital T that rhymes with P that stands for Pool? (sorry I didn’t ask her about Pool). I wanted to get a sense for how she felt about this shop. She said she never went there but it was totally quiet and caused no problems in the town. I got similar answers from whomever i called, including the son of one of my Tufts college friends who works in one in Denver.

I imagine this is what life was like when they were deciding to prohibit liquor. The prohibitionists scared the public that liquor was the foundation of all our problems and the ruination of society – hence we got prohibition. And then had it undone years later.

Our marijuana zoning ordinance was done with care to protect our citizens and to put a store – which is what an adult use shop is – in a place where it was appropriate.

VIDEOS: Stories from our candidates (and others)

Friday night something very special happened here in Newton.  Seventeen candidates for elected office walked up to a microphone and shared a five minute personal story to a crowd of 150 people at Gregorian Rugs.  The stories were funny, poignant, heartbreaking, emotional, scary and everything in between.

Thanks to Maureen Reilly-Meagher and Walter Frankel devoting their Saturday to the effort, we now have the video edited and those stories available for all of you.

Friday night’s Nomad Story Slam was a non-political event in the middle of the most heated part of a political season.  For most people, getting up and telling a personal story to a crowd of strangers is a daunting task.  For candidates for public office it is twice as daunting and we are thrilled that so many stepped to the microphone.

Friday night we asked the audience to refrain from any bit of negativity.  Enjoy the stories or not.  We encouraged them to cheer on the storytellers if they liked but absolutely no hissing, booing or heckling.  The audience was wonderfully compliant with that simple request.  I’m going to ask the same of all of you here on Village 14.

Just as I brandished a large hook on Friday night.  I’ll brandish a small Delete key tonight.

Enjoy the stories for what they are and continue all the campaign comments on the many other Village 14 threads … and never the twain shall meet.

Many many thanks to Gregorian Rugs, our video crew, the Newton Nomadic volunteers, the audience, but most of all to the storytellers.  Click on the names below.  Enjoy.

Ted Hess-Mahan – co-host and outgoing City Councilor
Anping Shen – candidate for School Committee
Deb Crossley – candidate for City Council
Andreae Downs – candidate for City Council
Eileen Sandberg – candidate for School Committee
Janet Sterman – candidate for City Council
Matt Miller – candidate for School Committee
Jake Auchincloss – candidate for City Council
Susan Albright – candidate for City Council
     — intermission —
Amy Sangiolo – co-host and outgoing City Councilor
Jim Cote– candidate for City Council
Jerry Reilly – Newton Nomadic Theater
Ruthanne Fuller – candidate for Mayor
Margaret Albright – candidate for School Committee
Scott Lennon – candidate for Mayor
Nicole Castillo – candidate for City Council
Brenda Noel – candidate for City Council
Brian Yates – candidate for City Council
Andrea Kelley – candidate for City Council
Vickie Danberg – City Councilor bonus story