Category: Events

What’s Up in Newton this Week? Covid-19 cases continue to rise; School Committee to meet in Executive Session regarding negotiations with Teacher’s Union re: Fall Planning; Land Use Committee continues to review Riverside draft Council Order; and the Planning Department holds Office Hours re: Zoning Redesign.

COVID-19: The City reports that COVID-19 cases continue to rise. As of July 30th, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is at 805 and the number of COVID-19 related deaths has risen to 125 as of July 28th. We all must remain vigilant and continue to practice physical and social distancing, limit gatherings, and wear masks. Please – stay safe.

School Committee to discuss Fall Planning: The School Committee will meet in Executive Session on Monday, August 3rd at 5:00 p.m. to discuss strategy relating to collective bargaining with the Newton Teacher’s Association regarding Fall Planning.

Riverside Draft Council Order continues to be reviewed: The Land Use Committee will meet on Tuesday, August 4th and will continue its review of the Riverside Draft Council Order. To join the Zoom meeting, go here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83857708492 or call 1-646-558-8656 and use the following Meeting ID: 838 5770 8492.

Zoning Redesign Office Hours: The Planning Department will hold virtual office hours on Wednesday, August 5th from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m., to get input and feedback and to provide information regarding the Zoning Redesign efforts. To join the meeting, click https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82714156153?pwd=L0VZeVJZbHRDNkV2VW15KzJIMjdnQT09 or dial +16465588656 Meeting ID: 82714156153# 

What’s Up in Newton this Week? COVID-19 cases on the rise; School Committee gets training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Land Use Committee closing in on Riverside; Newton Police Reform Task Force Info now available and more….

COVID-19 update: This week’s number of COVID-19 confirmed cases has risen from 777 to 791 as of July 23rd and the number of COVID-19 related deaths has increased to 122 as of July 21st. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and we must remember to continue to be vigilant – stay safe; keep physical and social distancing and wear masks.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training for School Committee: This week, Tuesday, July 28th, the School Committee will receive training with Kalise Wornum Notice of the training session can be found here.

Riverside Special Permit Draft Council Order review The Riverside Special Permit Process is honing in on the Draft Council Order and the Land Use Committee will meet to review on Tuesday, July 28th. See agenda.

Newton Police Reform Task Force information: Information regarding the Newton Police Reform Task Force is now available online here. Apparently, you can sign up for updates by providing your email address (not sure why that info can’t also be included in the Mayor’s newsletter….)

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This week’s Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? COVID-19 confirmed cases up by one case; School Committee to vote on Superintendent’s Contract and discuss Fall Planning; Three City Council meetings scheduled for this week; and more…..

COVID-19: This week, the City is reporting one additional case from last week with 777 reported confirmed cases as of July 15th and 119 COVID-19 related deaths as of July 14th.

Superintendent’s Contract and Fall Planning to be discussed: The School Committee will meet on Tuesday, July 21st at 8:00 a.m. The agenda includes voting on the Superintendent’s Contract as well as discussing Fall Planning for next school year. The agenda can be found here.

Three P’s to Meet this Week: All three P committees will meet this week: Programs and Services which will discuss moving certain polling locations away from elderly housing and the senior center to certain elementary schools where school will not be in session – see agenda; the Public Facilities Committee which will discuss limiting or prohibiting fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction or substantially renovated buildings – see agenda; and the Public Safety and Transportation Committee which will discuss walking and biking streets with local traffic only during the COVID-19 emergency and a briefing/conversation with the administration regarding the Tim Duncan incident – see agenda;

Weekly Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

3 New Vendors at this Week’s Newton Farmers’ Market: The Newton Farmers’ Market will feature three new vendors this Tuesday, July 21st, at the Newton Farmers’ Market located at Newton South High School from 2 – 6 p.m. The three new vendors are Boston Smoked Fish, Ginger Gems, and Sunny Window. More information can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? – COVID-19 confirmed cases rise slightly and an additional Newton death, City Clerk looks to relocate polling locations – Ward 2 Precinct 2; Ward 2 Precinct 3; Ward 6 Precinct 2; Ward 5 Precincts 3 & 4; City Council to vote on a 4,532 sq. ft. 2.5 story addition and a three-car garage greater than 700 sq. ft., Plastic Bag Ban Back into Effect, Councilors request discussion regarding impact of fuel-burning outdoor fireplaces, firepits; School Committee to meet in Executive Session this Tuesday to discuss strategy relating to Collective Bargaining and Fall Planning; Council on Aging and Advisory Board to discuss and vote on one of two site locations for the NewCAL (Newtonville – existing site or Newton Centre parking lot); Riverside Special Permit – closing in – review of Draft Council Order and Conditions this Tuesday; Local building community will continue to provide input on Zoning Redesign, and more……

COVID-19 Update: Although there is no longer a special highlighted COVID-19 link at the top of the Homepage on the City’s website, the City continues to report COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths. As of Sunday, July 12th, the City is reporting 776 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 9th and the number of COVID-19 deaths has increased to 119 as of July 7th.

Speaking of COVID-19… Newton’s State Representative Ruth Balser was successful in passing a bill requiring reporting of COVID-19 related data from elderly housing facilities – including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and congregate housing facilities that house the elderly and disabled. That bill was signed into law by Governor Baker – but now Governor Baker and some affordable housing advocates are trying to undermine the bill and are requesting exemption from the reporting requirements – see S.2753 and see the testimony of CHAPA.

More COVID-19 Impacts: The City Clerk has filed a request to relocate some of the City’s polling locations. Included in this list are polling locations currently at Cabot Park Village, the Newton Senior Center, Weeks Housing Senior Apartment Facility, and the Waban Library Center. The proposal is to move each of these polling locations to nearby elementary schools.

A 4,532 sq. ft. addition? Yes, the City Council will be voting on a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to approve a 4,532 sq. ft. addition and a three-car garage greater than 700 sq. ft. See Land Use Committee Report here. No worries, though….the Zoning and Planning Committee will certainly be addressing issues related to the new Zoning Ordinance on Thursday at their Zoning and Planning Committee meeting along with “local building professionals who will share observations on applying the proposed code to local residential projects”. See Zoning and Planning agenda here.

Plastic Bag Ban Back in Effect: The Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health rescinded the order that placed a moratorium on plastic bag bans. The order can be found here. The original order can be found here.

Will Firepits be banned? Some City Councilors are looking to discuss the impacts of fuel-burning outdoor fireplaces, chimneys, fire pits, pizza ovens, etc., including setback and maximum lot coverage requirements, air quality/pollution, and fire protection in relation to permitting, zoning enforcement, fire code, and Newton’s Climate Action Plan. See New Docket.

Collective Bargaining and the NTA: The School Committee will meet in Executive Session this Tuesday, July 14th at 5:00 p.m. to discuss strategy relating to Collective Bargaining with the Newton Teacher’s Association regarding Fall Planning. See Meeting Notice here.

NewCAL site determination – imminent? Well, the Council on Aging will be discussing and voting on two potential locations to site the proposed NewCAL. The Programs and Services Committee met jointly with the Public Facilities Committee last week and discussed the two options: the existing site in Newtonville and the parking lot (the Triangle) in Newton Centre. See Programs and Services Report here for that discussion.

Riverside Review: The Land Use Committee will review the Draft Council Order for the proposed mixed-use development of the Riverside MBTA Station. The Committee’s agenda can be found here. A clean version of the Draft Council Order can be found here; a red-lined version of the Draft Council Order can be found here; and a memo from the Law Department regarding the Draft Council Order can be found here.

Zoning Redesign: Local Building Professionals will continue to provide input at this week’s Zoning and Planning Committee as they continue their discussion about their experiences building in Newton. The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 16th at 7:00 p.m. See agenda here.

Weekly Construction Schedule: This week’s road construction schedule can be found here.

Want more information on Direct Food and Shopping Resources Serving Newton? Check out allovernewton.org to find the latest information on where to access fresh produce, baked goods, meat, fish and dairy products and more!!

What’s Up in Newton this Week? – COVID-19 confirmed cases rise slightly and an additional Newton death, City Clerk looks to relocate polling locations – Ward 2 Precinct 2; Ward 2 Precinct 3; Ward 6 Precinct 2; Ward 5 Precincts 3 & 4; City Council to vote on a 4,532 sq. ft. 2.5 story addition and a three-car garage greater than 700 sq. ft., Plastic Bag Ban Back into Effect, Councilors request discussion regarding impact of fuel-burning outdoor fireplaces, firepits; School Committee to meet in Executive Session this Tuesday to discuss strategy relating to Collective Bargaining and Fall Planning; Council on Aging and Advisory Board to discuss and vote on one of two site locations for the NewCAL (Newtonville – existing site or Newton Centre parking lot); Riverside Special Permit – closing in – review of Draft Council Order and Conditions this Tuesday; Local building community will continue to provide input on Zoning Redesign, and more……

COVID-19 Update: Although there is no longer a special highlighted COVID-19 link at the top of the Homepage on the City’s website, the City continues to report COVID-19 confirmed cases and deaths. As of Sunday, July 12th, the City is reporting 776 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 9th and the number of COVID-19 deaths has increased to 119 as of July 7th.

Speaking of COVID-19… Newton’s State Representative Ruth Balser was successful in passing a bill requiring reporting of COVID-19 related data from elderly housing facilities – including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and congregate housing facilities that house the elderly and disabled. That bill was signed into law by Governor Baker – but now Governor Baker and some affordable housing advocates are trying to undermine the bill and are requesting exemption from the reporting requirements – see S.2753 and see the testimony of CHAPA.

More COVID-19 Impacts: The City Clerk has filed a request to relocate some of the City’s polling locations. Included in this list are polling locations currently at Cabot Park Village, the Newton Senior Center, Weeks Housing Senior Apartment Facility, and the Waban Library Center. The proposal is to move each of these polling locations to nearby elementary schools.

A 4,532 sq. ft. addition? Yes, the City Council will be voting on a Request for a Special Permit/Site Plan Approval to approve a 4,532 sq. ft. addition and a three-car garage greater than 700 sq. ft. See Land Use Committee Report here. No worries, though….the Zoning and Planning Committee will certainly be addressing issues related to the new Zoning Ordinance on Thursday at their Zoning and Planning Committee meeting along with “local building professionals who will share observations on applying the proposed code to local residential projects”. See Zoning and Planning agenda here.

Plastic Bag Ban Back in Effect: The Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health rescinded the order that placed a moratorium on plastic bag bans. The order can be found here. The original order can be found here.

Will Firepits be banned? Some City Councilors are looking to discuss the impacts of fuel-burning outdoor fireplaces, chimneys, fire pits, pizza ovens, etc., including setback and maximum lot coverage requirements, air quality/pollution, and fire protection in relation to permitting, zoning enforcement, fire code, and Newton’s Climate Action Plan. See New Docket.

Collective Bargaining and the NTA: The School Committee will meet in Executive Session this Tuesday, July 14th at 5:00 p.m. to discuss strategy relating to Collective Bargaining with the Newton Teacher’s Association regarding Fall Planning. See Meeting Notice here.

NewCAL site determination – imminent? Well, the Council on Aging will be discussing and voting on two potential locations to site the proposed NewCAL. The Programs and Services Committee met jointly with the Public Facilities Committee last week and discussed the two options: the existing site in Newtonville and the parking lot (the Triangle) in Newton Centre. See Programs and Services Report here for that discussion.

Riverside Review: The Land Use Committee will review the Draft Council Order for the proposed mixed-use development of the Riverside MBTA Station. The Committee’s agenda can be found here. A clean version of the Draft Council Order can be found here; a red-lined version of the Draft Council Order can be found here; and a memo from the Law Department regarding the Draft Council Order can be found here.

Zoning Redesign: Local Building Professionals will continue to provide input at this week’s Zoning and Planning Committee as they continue their discussion about their experiences building in Newton. The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 16th at 7:00 p.m. See agenda here.

Weekly Construction Schedule: This week’s road construction schedule can be found here.

Want more information on Direct Food and Shopping Resources Serving Newton? Check out allovernewton.org to find the latest information on where to access fresh produce, baked goods, meat, fish and dairy products and more!!

What’s Up in Newton this Week – COVID-19 Cases hold steady – no new deaths; Police Reform Task Force formed; Former Newton Police Chief, Howard Mintz to take over until new Police Chief is hired; Neighborhood Clubhouse under consideration in Land Use, and more……

COVID-19 Update: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is at 770 and number of deaths has held steady. The State is expected to announce Phase 3 re-opening which would include casinos, gyms, and movie theaters.

Police Reform Task Force: 12 members of the community have been selected to serve on the Police Reform Task Force – formed in response to public concern and a call to review police procedures, and reallocated responsibilities, and duties to other resources (see Defund NPD). Task Force member biographies can be found here.

Speaking of the NPD…..Former Chief Howard Mintz will be stepping in to fill in for Chief David MacDonald who recently announced his retirement from force. The Patch’s story can be found here.

Neighborhood Clubhouse? The Land Use Committee will meet virtually this Tuesday and hold public hearings on various requests for Special Permit/Site Plan Approvals. Among the petitions is a request for a “neighborhood clubhouse” at 25 Paul Street. See Land Use Committee agenda and Planning Department Memo.

Farmers’ Market – Now at Newton South High School – The Farmers’ Market has moved to Newton South High School, 140 Brandeis Road. The hours of operation are Tuesdays: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. All shoppers are required to wear a mask. No dogs are allowed and they are recommending children remain at home for their safety. More info can be found here.

What Parks and Recreational Facilities are Open or Closed in Newton? All basketball courts are open. These tennis courts are open. Gath Pool and Crystal Lake remain closed due to COVID-19 but Crystal Lake is also closed because of high bacteria levels – see here. Playgrounds remain closed.

City Hall open to public by appointment until July 6th? – The City’s website suggests that City Hall is open to the public by appointment only until July 6th. Maybe it will open to the public without an appointment after July 6th? Stay tuned.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This week’s Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this week – COVID-19 confirmed cases hold steady, Planning Department provides updates re: West Newton Armory and COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and more…..

COVID-19: This week, the number of COVID-19 cases in Newton has decreased from  770 as of June 25th and the number of reported deaths has remained at 118 as of June 23rd.

Planning Department updates: The Planning Department submitted updates to the City Council regarding the status of the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and the status of the West Newton Armory decision process. See below. Looks like there may be future opportunities for more people to apply for the Assistance Fund and that the West Newton Armory decision will be delayed in part because of the delay in hiring the consultant.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: This week’s road construction schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? Good news – COVID-19 cases are decreasing(?) and the number of deaths has not increased;City Council still deliberating budget with focus on Police Department budget; Former Newton School Committee Chair formerly invited by city Council and then disinvited will now be on webinar hosted by City Councilor Emily Norton; Dunstan East Chapter 40B proposal hearing continues;

COVID-19: Last week, I reported that the number of confirmed cases was at 771 as of June 11th and the number of reported deaths had risen to 118 as of June 9th. As of today, the number of confirmed cases has decreased to 765 as of June 18th with no new deaths as of June 16th. While this is good news, please continue to adhere to recommendations regarding safe hygiene and physical distancing.

Budget deliberations continue: The City Council will continue its budget deliberations this week, beginning on Monday and possibly continuing on Tuesday. A list of the departmental budgets and resolutions discussed and passed can be found here.

Former School Committee Chair to speak on NPS finances TODAY: Matt Hills will be a guest presenter in a webinar hosted by Ward 2 City Councilor Emily Norton and moderated by Paul Levy, Chair of the Newton Blue Ribbon Commission for Financial Resources 2006-2007. As I’ve mentioned in previous newsletters, the City’s most recent financial forecast suggests tough times ahead – and with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding the City’s finances – and more importantly, the School’s finances is critical in planning for the City’s future. Register here.

Zoning Board of Appeals continues public hearing on Dunstan East: The Zoning Board of Appeals will continue its public hearing on the request for a Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permit to construct a 244 unit residential development, which will include 61 affordable housing units and approximately 12,141 square feet of retail space, and to maintain an approximately 8,222 square foot existing office building, all on approximately 3.17 acres of land at 1149, 1151, 1169, 1171-1173, 1179 and 1185 Washington Street, 12, 18, 24 and 25 Kempton Place, and 32 and 34 Dunstan Street – Dunstan East on Tuesday, June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. The agenda can be found here.

Weekly Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.

What’s Up in Newton this Week? COVID-19 cases continue to rise; Budget Deliberations continue; residents call for city leaders to defund Police Department; Three docket items targeted at Police Department; and more…..

COVID-19: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Newton. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen to 771 as of June 11th, and the number of related deaths has risen to 118 as of June 9th. See latest stats from the City of Newton here or more detailed information on what’s happening statewide Daily Dashboard-here and Weekly Public Health Report – here. As the State and the City continue to re-open, please stay safe – wear a mask, and continue physical distancing as much as possible.

Budget Deliberations continue: Last week, despite the Zoom bombing and dispicable display of racism at the first Committee of the Whole Meeting, the City Council began its deliberations of the proposed FY2021 Budget, Capital Improvement Plan, and Supplemental Capital Improvement Plan with a lot of focus on the Police Budget and budgets that have seen significant cuts – eg. the Newton Free Library. Deliberations will continue this week beginning on Tuesday, June 16th at 6:00 p.m. and potentially continuing on Thursday and Friday.

Community Meeting on Police Budget: Almost 300 people showed up (virtually) to a well-organized, respectful community meeting regarding the Police Budget. Organizers called upon City leaders to do the following:

  • Reject any proposed increase in the Police Department Budget
  • No new Police Cruisers
  • No new hires, no recruitment (hiring of 5 new patrol officers proposed for $272,740
  • Defund the NPD by at least 10% in the FY2021 Budget and develop a plan for reallocation resources towards community solutions
  • Transfer mental health, addiction, or social service jobs and funds to Health and Human Services, and Education

If you missed it, you can watch it here.

Mayor to make public address: “…racism, public safety and the role of our police, our priorities as evidenced in our City budget, the pandemic and the economic recession” will be addressed by the Mayor, TONIGHT, at 6:00 p.m. You can watch it here or on NewTV.

Focus aimed at Police Department – with 3 targeted items to be discussed at Public Safety and Transportation Committee Meeting this Wednesday:

#275-20 Discussion with the Police and Human Resources about Newton practices COUNCILORS NORTON, DOWNS, GROSSMAN, LAREDO, MALAKIE, AUCHINCLOSS, NOEL AND BOWMAN requesting a discussion with the Newton Police Chief and Human Resources Director about Newton practices regarding recruitment, screening, training, advancement, and removal of police officers, including plans to increase the number of black and minority officers.

#279-20 Resolution on Newton Police Policy and Training COUNCILORS NOEL, ALBRIGHT, BOWMAN, NORTON, DOWNS, LEARY, LIPOF, WRIGHT, KALIS, KRINTZMAN, HUMPHREY, CROSSLEY, GROSSMAN, GREENBERG, RYAN, DANBERG AND AUCHINCLOSS submit a resolution to ensure Newton Police policy and training reflects the values and commitment of our community, reducing police violence, facilitating citizens’ First Amendment Right to peacefully protest, and actively engaging in non-biased community policing.

#280-20 Discussion with Police regarding department policies COUNCILORS ALBRIGHT, BOWMAN, DOWNS, GREENBERG, LEARY, KELLEY, WRIGHT, KALIS, HUMPHREY, MALAKIE, GROSSMAN, DANBERG, NOEL, LIPOF requesting a discussion with Chief McDonald and appropriate members of the Police Department regarding policies and procedures around the use of force and measures to combat racism. One possible outcome to augment departmental community policing might be a citizens’ oversight body that reflects the demographics and values of Newton.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule is now available here.

What’s Up In Newton This Week? COVID-19 Cases continue to rise, Newton Begins Re-Opening Process; Housing Relief Program approved, Schools May Vote to Withdraw from EDCO, City Council Votes Increase in Water and Sewer rates, Budget Review of Fire, Police, and DPW, and more…

COVID-19: According to the Newton Patch: ” Newton has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the state, with the 28th highest number of cases as of Thursday. Officials have attributed the high case count to the availability of testing and the city’s congregant living facilities.” The City’s website has us at 716 confirmed cases as of May 21st with 105 deaths May 19th. You can check out Jack Prior’s app to see how Newton and the rest of the US and the World are doing.

Re-opening: With the announcement from Governor Baker regarding the Re-Opening Plan for Massachusetts, the City of Newton is beginning it’s own re-opening. First to re-open are our tennis courts. According to the Parks, Recreation, and Culture link on the City’s website:

Newton Parks, Recreation & Culture is excited to announce that we are able to begin the opening of tennis courts within the city.  We will be opening the courts on a rolling basis as we get them prepared and ready for play.  The tennis courts at our two high schools, Newton South and Newton North, are ready to go for Memorial Day weekend. 

We are able to open these courts during the Governor’s Phase 1 of re-opening with three important stipulations:

  • Games are restricted to players from the same household.  
  • Masks are required to be worn when physical distancing is not possible.  Players must wear masks, for example, when accessing the courts and waiting for court availability … in essence at all times when people are not playing.  
  • We are limiting play to 1 hour with a turnover on the hour when other payers are waiting.  (Newton’s Parks maintenance crews will work to get other courts open over the next few weeks.)  

Please check www.newtonma.gov/parks for updates on the opening of additional courts. 

The City will also begin re-opening the Resource/Recovery Center at Rumford Avenue. According to the DPW website, drop-off recycling at the Resource Recovery Center will be available by appointment beginning on June 2nd.

Effective June 2: Open BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Call Customer Service at 617-796-1000 Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:00 pm to schedule an appointment. Unfortunately, residents without an appointment will not be able to enter the site.  Summer hours (by appointment only): Tuesday-Friday from 7:00am-3:45pm* Closed on Saturdays until further notice, Sundays and Holidays

Located at 115 Rumford Ave, Auburndale, MA 02466 

COVID-19 Emergency Housing Relief Program: Last week, the City Council voted to approve a proposal to appropriate $2,000,000 of CPA funds to create a COVID-19 Housing Rental Assistance Program. In addition, the City will be allocating $500,000 in CDBG funding from the federal CARES Act to emergency housing needs. The application for this program is due on June 3rd.

City Council approves increase in Water/Sewer Rates: Last week, the City Council voted unanimously to increase our Water and Sewer Rates. The Presentation of the Proposed Rates that were approved can be found here.

Budget Review Continues: The City Council Committees will continue their budget review this week: Public Facilities Committee – (See Agenda) will review the DPW Budget and the Public Safety and Transportation Committee – (See Agenda) will review the Fire and Police Department Budgets.

Mayor’s Community Breakfast: The Mayor’s Community Breakfast will be held virtually this year. On Wednesday, May 27, the 46th Annual Theodore D. Mann Memorial Newton Mayor’s Community Breakfast will be held virtually through Zoom, starting at 8:30am. There are 1,000 “virtual seats” available for this event. Register here. Sign up no later than May 25 to reserve your seat. 

All others are welcome to join in by watching the event on NewTV. A livestream will be available on our Government Channel: Comcast 9 • RCN 13, 614 (HD) • Verizon 33 and online through Facebook Live and our Vimeo Channel.

Weekly Road Construction Schedule: The Weekly Road Construction Schedule can be found here.