Save the Date, if you want to learn more about the proposed changes at the Street

The proposed changes at “The Street” in Chestnut Hill will be considered at two upcoming meetings:

On December 1,  The Street will be on the agenda of Newton’s conservation comission. The meeting starts at 7:00pm.

On December 6, Newton’s Land Use committee will hold a public hearing for “The Street” at 7:00pm in City Hall.


Newton Community Farm accepting applications for 2016 summer produce shares

Newton Community Farm (303 Nahanton Street) is accepting applications from Newton residents until February 28 for available shares in our summer 2016 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  Eat fresh, locally-grown produce from June through October for a  cost per share of $625 for weekly pick-up or $338 for alternate week pick-up. NCF will randomly allocate remaining shares by lottery for applications received at the farm by the due date.  All applicants must be a Friend of the Farm (FOF) to be considered in the process.  Go to for more information about the program or to download the application.

Share your vision for Newton with Newton-in-Motion

All are encouraged to visit the “Newton-in-Motion” open studio, and take part in visioning the City’s future. This free event, held at 275 Needham Street (Marshall’s plaza) on February 4, 5 and 6, will be fun and interactive and will offer opportunities to discuss goals and priorities for the City’s Transportation Strategy. Activities include a games table, a giant map of the City for sharing ideas, transportation questions, and a chance to talk to City staff and consulting planners, Nelson\Nygaard. Kids are welcome and encouraged to participate! For those unable to attend, the project website will offer the same activities and opportunity for input both during and after the event.

Our mobile team will also be out and about around the City during the February 4th – 6th workshop and we encourage those who come across them to tell them about their transportation vision for Newton.

The Waban Hill Reservoir Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, November 21st

You are invited to….
The Waban Hill Reservoir Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
with Mayor Warren
Saturday, November 21st at 11:00 AM

A message about tomorrow’s election from Alderman Lisle Baker

Dear friends:

I concur with what Ruthanne has recommended about the contested races for Aldermen and School Committee except that I would add current Alderman Jim Cote to the list from Ward 3. Also, for the Charter Commission, while there are many able candidates, I especially recommend Anne Larner, Brooke Lipsitt and George Mansfield because of their long experience with Newton government. Finally, while your Ward 7 aldermen are unopposed – (Ruthanne, Marc Laredo, and me at the end of the ballot) – we also welcome your support. In the meantime, thank you and best wishes,

Alderman Lisle Baker

A message about Tuesday’s election from Alderman Ruthanne Fuller


Have you figured out who you are voting for on Tuesday, November 3rd in Newton?

It’s an unusual year: more contested Aldermanic races that usual, a feisty atmosphere on the campaign trail, and a Charter Commission on the ballot.

Here’s a list of who I’m voting for and why.

Ruthanne Fuller

p.s. My race in Ward 7 for Alderman-at-Large is uncontested this year … but I would still appreciate your vote!


Ward 1 – Ward Alderman (you can only vote for Alison if you live in Ward 1)

Alison Leary: Warm, progressive, unusually effective in her first term, a problem solver

Ward 2 – Alderman-at-Large

Susan Albright: Good heart, strong values, deep commitment to Newton’s citizens, an unusual understanding of the issues facing us, former member and Chair of the School Committee so also sensitive to educational issues

Marcia Johnson: Committed leader of zoning reform, keen intellect, committed to inclusiveness and diversity

Ward 3 – Alderman-at-Large

Ted Hess-Mahan: Passionate, deep land use and housing expertise

Ward 5 – Alderman-at-Large

Deb Crossley: Superb chair of Public Facilities, value and data driven, hard worker, architectural skills enormously valuable (only architect on the Board)

Brian Yates: Lifelong Newton resident and deeply committed to the City, especially historic preservation

Ward 8 – Alderman-at-Large

David Kalis: Asks a lot of questions to understand root causes and to find balanced solutions, listens to all sides and engages with everyone

Rick Lipof: Lifelong Newton resident and deeply committed to the City

School Committee

Ward 2

Margaret Albright: deep knowledge of a wide range of educational issues, a change agent within the establishment

Ward 5

Steve Siegel: thoughtful, balanced, listens and leads, available, honest and direct, well prepared, weighs trade-offs transparently

Charter Commission

In addition to voting for Aldermen and School Committee members, you can vote on whether to approve the creation of a Charter Commission and you can vote on who the Charter Commission members should be if the majority of us vote “yes” for the Charter Commission.

The Charter Commission will review and recommend changes to Newton’s charter (our constitution). The Charter establishes the powers and authority of the Mayor, Board of Aldermen, School Committee, and other public officials, boards and commissions. It also establishes the terms of elected officials and the number of seats on the Board of Aldermen.

A Charter Commission has 9 members. The members are elected at the same time as the commission is created.

The Charter Commission works for 18 months. The revised charter it supports is placed on the ballot for approval/rejection by Newton voters in November 2017.

Even if you vote “no” on establishing a Charter Commission, you may still vote for Charter Commission members.

I am voting “yes” for a Charter Commission. Our last Charter Commission was 46 years ago. It’s time for a fresh look. Can we improve the way we govern ourselves? Probably.

We can only vote for nine candidates but there are more than nine that I would be happy to support.

When choosing who to vote for, I looked for: (1) a deep understanding of Newton and/or government, (2) an open, inquisitive mind about new ways of governing, and (3) strong interpersonal skills to work successfully in a diverse group.

Here are my top nine in alphabetical order:

Bryan Barash: Serves as the legislative director and general counsel of the state Senate Majority Leader. Deeply involved with the work of the Newton Human Rights Commission and Green Newton. Inquisitive, a good listener, a fresh perspective.

Jane Frantz: Has lived in Newton for 34 years. Teacher in the Newton Public Schools. Cares deeply about Newton, a reformer at heart.

Peter Harrington: Has lived in Newton for 52 years. Served four years on the Board of Aldermen, six years as State Representative. Served on the last Charter Commission in 1971. Knowledgeable, experienced, historical perspective.

Howard Haywood: Fifth generation resident of Newton. Served on the Planning and Development Board and Human Rights Commission. Currently serving on the Council on Aging and the Newton Housing Authority. Former pastor of Newton’s Myrtle Baptist Church. Good heart, sees the forest for the trees, open mind, understands Newton.

Rhanna Kidwell: Has lived in Newton for twenty-one years. Co-leader of the League of Women Voters of Newton study which examined our current charter to see if we should update it. Understands the wide range of issues we might consider changing and best practices. Articulate and deeply versed in charter issues.

Josh Krintzman: Grew up in Newton. President of the Lower Falls Improvement Association. PTO leader. As attorney for the Massachusetts Senate, reviews every change or rewrite of city and town charters. Deep knowledge of charters and passionate about Newton.

Anne Larner: Has lived in Newton for over forty years. Sixteen years on the Newton School Committee, eight of them as Chair. Wise and experienced.

Brooke Lipsitt: Grew up in Newton. Twelve years on the Board of Aldermen, six of which she was President of the Board. Chair of Zoning Board of Appeals. Knows intimately the pros and cons of our current charter, understands zoning and special permits, an experienced leader.

Chris Steele: Five years on the Newton Economic Development Commission, two of which he was Chair. By profession, a community and economic development consultant who studies what makes cities and towns work well. An expert in zoning and planning. Energetic, well read and serious.

I am also very impressed with Kathy Winters who I recently met. She’s smart, great working with groups with diverse views, curious and balanced. George Mansfield, a former long time Alderman, would also bring his extensive background in city planning to the charter commission.