LWVN Newsletter, Vol 24 Issue 2
Table of contents
- Preventing Gun Violence
- Letter on Gas Leaks
- Newton Power Choice Information from the City of Newton
- Champagne and Chocolate Fundraiser is a Success!
- Welcome, New Members!
Five members of LWVN April 30 lobbied with the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence at the State House: Bonnie Carter, Lucia Dolan, Andreae Downs, Alice Donisi-Feehan, and Janet Goldenberg (also of the Coalition).
A short pre-meeting with over 100 Coalition members was followed by a literature drop and meetings with legislators’ aides. The aides our group met repeatedly told us that their legislators were going to vote in favor of H3610–an act “temporarily preventing firearm access for extremely dangerous or suicidal individuals” filed by Rep. Marjorie Decker of Cambridge. (Also called an Extreme Risk Protection Order, ERPO or red flag.)
The organization of our morning was so good, we were out again within an hour!
Subsequently, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo held a press conference at Cambridge and Rindge and Latin school on Wednesday, May 2. As reported in the Boston Globe, he stated his support for the bill, saying “This isn’t about politics, it’s not about scoring more points or partisanship. It’s about protecting our students, and it’s about preventing crises.”
Gas Leaks Legislation Letter to the Newton TAB from LWVN, February, 2018
Thanks to our Newton representatives, Kay Khan and Ruth Balser, for their leadership on gas leak legislation.
Coordination of construction on roads is now easier because of a bill passed last summer to pressure the gas utilities to coordinate with municipalities when roads are being reconstructed.
This January, our representatives co-sponsored legislation to further pressure gas utilities to plug leaks.
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Leaked gas also costs ratepayers statewide over $90 million annually, kills trees and harms health.
Since last summer’s bill went into effect, Newton and other communities are already seeing more cooperation from the gas companies. Newton has over 400 known non-emergency leaks.
As Newton plans to triple its roadway maintenance budget starting in July, we need to know we aren’t paving over or disturbing fragile gas mains that may endanger the health or lives of nearby residents.
It makes more sense to get all our underground pipes fixed ahead of repaving so residents can enjoy their streets without disruption, and we can conserve our tax dollars for future projects.
The Newton League of Women Voters follows the progress of state bills on gas leaks, which affect us at the local level. We invite readers to join us at www.lwvnewton.org.
Sue Flicop, President
Newton Power Choice Program
The City of Newton is developing a plan for a new electricity program to be named Newton Power Choice. The program will provide an opportunity for Newton to significantly increase the amount of renewable energy in the community’s electricity supply. The program is a form of group purchasing known as an electricity aggregation, and it will impact nearly all electricity customers in Newton.
The program will allow the City to use the bulk buying power of the community to provide:
- Greener electricity
- Price stability
- Consumer protections
The program will provide a City-vetted alternative to commercial electricity supply offers you may receive by mail or over the phone.
New electricity choices
As a program participant, you will have new electricity choices. Newton Power Choice will give you greater control over the environmental characteristics and price of your electricity supply. You can choose to:
- Receive a standard amount of additional renewable energy, above the minimum amount required by state law.
- Opt up to 100% renewable electricity.
- Opt for renewable energy in an amount still to be determined.
- Opt down to receive no additional renewable energy but retain the program benefits of price stability and consumer protections.
Stay tuned for more details as the Newton Power Choice program is developed.
April 8th was a cold and dreary afternoon in Newton. However the League’s Champagne and Chocolate fundraiser warmed us all up. For the first time, we held our event at the recently renovated historic Allen House, the home of the Newton Cultural Alliance (NCA). The restoration of this historic home has been funded in part to the Mass Cultural Facilities Fund Mass Cultural Facilities Fund and the city of Newton’s contribution from the state’s Community Preservation Act.
Prior to our guest speaker we were entertained by Adrienne Hartzell and Duke Roth playing their cellos. The League also learned about the history of The Allen House from Representative Kay Khan and NCA Managing Director, Adrienne Hartzell, both founding members of the NCA. It was an elegant afternoon
League members gathered to hear our guest speaker Anita Walker, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Anita is a dynamic speaker who shared with us the intersection of arts and politics. She has devoted the last year reflecting on the impact of President Jack Kennedy’s voice on the arts, Walker writes “Jack’s is a voice that can energize and inspire, resonating even after the voice is gone”. Jack advocated for the arts in a way that surpassed any president before him. He invited Robert Frost to read a poem at his inauguration, making Frost the first poet to be included in this way. Kennedy created the groundwork that would one day become the National Endowment for the Arts, he believed: “as a great democratic society we have a special responsibility to the arts, for
We have not sponsored a Champagne & Chocolate fundraiser in a couple of years, and are pleased to have raised over $4,000 — our greatest success to date! Thank you to the local businesses who donated to the event:
- Marty’s Liquors
- A. Russo & Sons
We would also like to acknowledge league members who made this day the success it was… Thank you to all:
- Pat Acton
- Bonnie Carter
- Sue Flicop
- Ellen Grody
- Marcia Johnson
- Andrea Kozinetz
- Sharon Roberts
- Tami Roberts
LWVN welcomes seven new members:
- Alice Donisi-Feehan
- Janet Goldenberg
- Stephen Grody
- Phyllis Kirschner and Marc Kirschner
- Tamika Olszewski
- Sabrina Pescosolido Feldman
Thanks for supporting and participating in our work!