Dear Neighbors,

Happy Spring! (Though the prediction of 6 inches of snow is not happy to many of us) Here is what is going on in Newtonville and beyond.
Tragedy in West Newton
Tuesday, March 1st was a very difficult day as two lives were lost and several others seriously injured when a driver crashed his car into the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in West Newton. A vigil was held that following Thursday evening with hundreds turning out to pay respects and express sympathy to the families and friends of Eleanor Miele and Gregory Morin. This Globe article offers some lovely remembrances about the victims from those close to them.

Walnut/Washington Development
The Newtonville Area Council hosted a community meeting March 10th about the proposed development at the corner of Walnut and Washington Streets. The project now expands farther west along Washington Street, as far as Washington Terrace next to the post office. It has also been downsized to five stories rather than six. Here is the power point that was shown. Here is a Newton Tab piece and here is the Globe article about it. The project has not yet been formally submitted to the Planning Department.

Cabot School project
Now that the City has acquired the property at 23 Parkview Ave, project engineers and designers are reworking proposed dropoff locations, traffic patterns and parking. Here is the power point that was shown at the meeting. Note that there is still a strong preference on the part of the Mayor’s Office, the School Committee and the Cabot parent community to permanently close Parkview, and that is reflected in this presentation. There was much discussion at the March 17 meeting about whether the gym, which is a large imposing structure, could be downsized and also moved slightly to the south in order to allow better view of the historic Cabot school from the vantage of Cabot Park and Eastside Parkway. The next meeting of the Cabot School Building Authority will be Thursday, March 31 at 6:00PM in Room 210 in the Ed Center, 100 Walnut St.
Washington & Walnut: Temporary redesign of intersection, April 8-9
On Friday April 8 and Saturday April 9, the City will be installing a temporary configuration involving curb extensions at each corner of the Washington St. and Walnut St. intersection, and bike lanes on Walnut St. running between Foster St. and Austin St. This will all be done with impermanent materials such as spray chalk, cones, and tubes of straw.  The purpose of this experiment is to see if this makes the intersection friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.  Click here for more details.

Mayor Warren & Newton's State Representatives lead on solar
Mayor Setti Warren last week sent a letter to state legislators in support of strong solar legislation. The letter was co-signed by 32 mayors and town managers. In addition, Newton State Reps. Kay Khan, Ruth Balser and John Lawn co-signed a letter to their leadership also supporting strong solar policies. (Senator Cynthia Creem is also on record in support.) The changes being debated in the State House carry significant consequences for our own planned solar projects, which the City Council will be voting on this coming Monday night. Thank you to all our leaders for standing up for clean energy!

New Drone Restrictions Considered

The Public Safety Committee (on which I serve) will be discussing possible regulation of drones (see pages 1 & 4) on Wednesday, March 23, starting at 7PM at City Hall. While some may think limitations on droning should begin with the City Council (ha!), there are serious concerns about privacy and safety as these devices proliferate. 

New Blogs: NewtonForum, NewtonWatch
Many are already readers of Village14. Now there are a couple new blogs in town: NewtonForum and NewtonWatch. I believe we all benefit from a more engaged and informed citizenry so check them out - they both have some thought-provoking topics and commentary already.
Councilor Jake Auchincloss to hold office hours
My Ward 2 at-large colleague Jake Auchincloss is initiating office hours. His are the first Saturday of the month, which means Newton city government junkies can now get a one-two punch, me on Fridays followed by Jake on Saturdays, 10am-12pm at Bread & Chocolate in Newton Highlands.
Office Hours
My office hours take place the last Friday of the month, 9-10am, at the Newton Senior Center, 345 Walnut St. in Newtonville. I will be there this Friday, hope to see you!

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Contact Emily


Phone:  617-795-0362
Cell:  508-397-6839

Councilor Emily Norton
58 Prescott Street
Newton, Massachusetts 02460

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