|Greetings! I hope you are surviving Snowmageddon. I am confident in the next month – or six – the snow will be gone.
Help Clear Hydrants
Speaking of snow, the fire department tries to clear hydrants after every storm but it is not possible for them to get to them all in a timely manner, especially with the volume of snow we have been receiving. If there is a hydrant near your home and you are physically capable, please consider clearing it yourself of snow. The life you save may be your own! Click here for a map of hydrants in the City. I know it is not always easy to know its exact location when buried under a mound of snow; discussions are underway about installing flags or some other snow-proof hydrant locator.
The City recently purchased 2 new sidewalk plows which has helped reduce the backlog of uncleared areas significantly. If you want to alert the City to an area not yet cleared of snow by a resident or business or the City itself, please use the 311 system and if possible include a photo.
Rescheduled Austin Street Meeting Sun. March 1, 1-3:30PM, NNHS Cafeteria
The Austin Street project Open House/Community Meeting previously scheduled for February 8th has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 1st from 1-3:00 PM at the Newton North High School Cafeteria.
The notice from the Mayor’s Office reads, “You are welcome to stop by for some or all of the time and view some visual displays, talk with the developers and city staff, have your questions answered, and see how ideas have evolved based on feedback from previous community meetings. Continued community input is critical to our task of working with the developer to determine the project design that will be submitted for a special permit. Whether you feel fully informed about the Austin St. parking lot or are just beginning to learn about the possibilities for this project, this is an opportunity to gather information and share your thoughts, including proposed solutions.”
Numerous residents have reached out to me to request that the City impose some sort of restriction on the use of leaf blowers due to their noise and contributions to air pollution. Having worked from home for ten years I am quite aware of how loud and disruptive they can be. It made me wonder, how many people who use leaf blowers have ever had a neighbor ask if they could use a rake instead? How many of those who use a lawncare service have ever requested if their lawncare company could use rakes only, or use an electric rather than gas-powered blower (still noisy but cleaner)? I am interested in addressing the concerns people have raised, but wondering how much could [realistically] be done with education rather than regulation.
Just a reminder, if you'd like to be added to the Newtonville listserve please let me know. Many people find it a convenient way to find a sitter, sell a snowblower (or leafblower!), or stay updated on community events.
My monthly office hours are held the last Friday of the month at the Newton Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville. I will be there tomorrow from 9-10AM. I hope to see you there!