Newton Stop on MA Senate “Commonwealth Conversations” Tour

The public is invited to join State Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (D-Newton) and other Senators next Monday, March 2nd, from 7:00-8:30pm at the Newton North High School cafeteria (located at 457 Walnut Street) for the latest stop on the MA Senate’s “Commonwealth Conversations” Tour.  Members of the public are invited to speak on an issue by signing up, and comments are limited to two minutes to give as many people as possible an opportunity to participate.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D- Amherst) and Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R- Gloucester) have tasked all Senate members with assembling regional days to highlight and showcase their districts and to bring the State House to local communities. They, along with Senator Creem and Metro-West colleagues (Senators Richard Ross, Michael Barrett, Eileen Donoghue, James Eldridge, and Karen Spilka) will be attending a full day of events with business and community leaders from Plainville to Lowell, ending with this public forum in Newton.

These tours allow Senators to hear directly from the public, learn more about the issues of other districts and better understand the needs of the Commonwealth.  Every Senator is also attending events in other districts.

LWVMA Urges Action on Transportation

Recent MBTA shutdowns in the face of severe weather are vivid reminders of the costs of postponing maintenance and investment in essential infrastructure.  LWVMA has for years advocated for adequate transportation funding and we adopted a new position supporting transportation at our 2013 Convention.

Unfortunately, the state has not kept up with predictable deterioration of trains, buses, tracks, roads and bridges, and has not improved service to keep up with demand.  These transportation failures harm our personal budgets and the state’s economy.

LWVMA has joined a statewide coalition, Transportation for Massachusetts or T4MA, that tracks transportation needs, policies and investments. It’s clear from T4MA’s latest study that we need billions of dollars of revenue to bring transportation to a state of good repair and for new service to encourage responsible growth. We must make smart reforms.

LWVMA’s transportation committee urges local Leagues and members to contact your legislators directly and to write to your local newspaper asking the legislature to close the transportation funding gap, support overdue MBTA maintenance and adequate Regional Transit Authority funding, and repair roads and bridges.  You can find more information at T4MA’s website.

New Date: Austin Street Meeting on March 1st

This was sent out to residents from the City of Newton about the postponed Austin Street meeting:

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.

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.

We hope you will be able to come.  For questions, please contact Nancy Hyde nhyde@newtonma.gov.

Forum on Criminal Justice Reform: Opportunities For Legislative Action

On Thursday, February 26 at 7:30PM, a forum on Criminal Justice Reform: Opportunities for Legislation Action will take place at Acton Town Hall, 472 Main Street, Room 204.  The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters – Acton Area.  It is open to the public and free of charge.

Sen. James Eldridge will provide an overview of several relevant bills currently under consideration in Massachusetts.  Erin Freeborn, Executive Director of Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ), will speak and show “Finding Courage,” C4RJ’s video about their work.  In addition, an individual will share a personal account of experiencing restorative justice.  Time for Q and A will follow presentations. For additional information:  mgeken@comcast.net

LWVN Meeting on Austin Street Project

On January 14th, LWVN welcomed Scott Oran to present the current proposal for the Austin Street parcel (currently where the parking lot is now.)  Click on the link for notes on the Q & A session after the presentation.  There were still many unanswered questions (listed at the end of the notes) which have been submitted to the Austin Street Partners.  As soon as we had answers, we will post them.

Special thanks to the West Suburban YMCA for the use of their meeting space for the event.

January Topic Meeting-Austin Street

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