It is such a treat to be writing this after a day when the sun was shining, birds were chirping... and the snow is gone! Even though today was a bit chilly there is no denying spring has finally arrived.
Here are a few things going on in Newtonville and beyond.
The biggest news is the announcement by Mayor Warren of his agreement to purchase the 5.7-acre Aquinas College site at 15 Walnut Park for $15.7 million. This will allow the City to address some of our pressing space needs particularly in the schools, and at lower cost. After renovations, including adding a gym, Aquinas would become home of the Lincoln-Eliot School as well as the City’s integrated preschool program which has far outgrown its current space in the Ed Center building at 100 Walnut Street. This would allow the current Lincoln-Eliot building to become the new swing space while additional elementary schools are being renovated or rebuilt – for example Cabot School.
The Horace Mann School is expected to move to the newly renovated Carr School. This is particularly welcome news as Horace Mann was built for ~250 but now houses 434 students... the current 2nd grade has 27, 26, and 26 students, with no space to add a 20th classroom. One wrinkle in the plan is that the Horace Mann community is currently working to raise money for a new playground structure, as the City has deemed the current one beyond its lifespan. We will work together to figure out what will happen to the new structure – whether it will be moved when the school moves or if it will stay put as the current Horace Mann building is slated to become a community center.
Water, Sewer, Stormwater Public Hearing Mon. May 4
The City has proposed increased water and sewer rates, as well as stormwater fees. There will be a public hearing on the new rates Monday, May 4, 7:00 PM at City Hall.
NewTV coverage of Clean Energy Event
A good crowd showed up April 1 for an informational session on “Municipal Aggregation", which means the municipality procures a competitive electricity supply for the entire community, including residents and businesses. (Participants can opt out at any time.) NewTV’s coverage of the meeting is here (along with coverage of later start times for high school students and the debate over what to do with the 70 Crescent Street property in Auburndale.) I am excited about the opportunities with this initiative for lowering/stabilizing electricity costs for all, while boosting demand for clean rewewable energy here in Massachusetts.
Austin St Towing
In case you need another reminder, this photo should help: Shaw’s has started towing non-Shaw’s shoppers from their lot. Only park there if you are shopping there!
NewtonSERVES This Sunday April 26
NewtonSERVES is a great opportunity to get outdoors, spruce up the City, and get the kids off their gadgets. Volunteers work in teams on morning, afternoon or all day projects throughout the city, such as cleaning up parks, planting gardens, building and painting school bookshelves, spring cleaning at non-profit organizations and helping senior citizens. Click here for more details and to register. (And did we mention there's Cabot's Ice Cream involved?)
Swap Day May 17
Sun May 17, 8am-2PM at Rumford Ave. Recycling Depot (off Lexington St in Auburndale) is Newton’s annual Swap Day – and the first three hours (until 11am) are open to Newton residents only. Bring useful but unwanted belongings for swapping or donating, or just come by & pick something up. All free!
Horace Mann Teacher Lisa Mikus Honored
- Computers - Appliances - Bicycles - Books
- Household items and non-upholstered furniture (No mattresses or couches)
- REUSABLE building materials (cabinets, doors, plumbing and light fixtures, lumber, drywall, etc.)
- NO computer monitors, NO televisions, NO hazardous materials
A Horace Mann teacher was honored last week at Math Educator's Night at Fenway Park. Lisa Mikus was presented with the Rev. Stanley J. Bezuszka, S.J. Achievement Award for Mathematics Teaching and Learning, which is an award to honor the commitment and excellence of teachers of mathematics. Ms. Mikus is legendary to Horace Mann parents both current and past for her passion for education and knack for teaching every child at their level, so it’s nice to see her receive this well-deserved accolade from the wider teaching community. (My 9 year old commented to me out of nowhere the other day, “I’m so glad Ms. Mikus is my teacher.” I said, “Me too.”)
Office Hours Friday April 24
As always my office hours are the last Friday of the month (tomorrow), 9-10am at the Senior Center, 345 Walnut Street in Newtonville. See you there!