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  • Writer's pictureWelcoming Newton

January in Newton

January in Newton

It’s January! Unfortunately, it's been a hard and stressful period in our city and our country. Welcoming Newton exists to encourage people to look out for each other: talk to neighbors, build community, and share information. We know these values are more important than ever. Please read on below for ways to connect to others, mental health resources, plans for an arts-and-culture-filled 2021, and much more.

January’s Guide: Newton’s Arts & Culture with Gloria Gavris

January’s Guide is new Newton Community Pride board member and Newton arts and culture leader Gloria Gavris. In addition to her many, many contributions to our community Gloria is also the author of E is for Election Day, a wonderful children’s book about civic participation. It would be a great book to read with your kids in advance of our city’s March 16th special election (more on that below). Read on for Gloria’s guide to an arts and culture filled 2021 and some of her favorite Newton spots!

What is Newton Community Pride? Newton Community Pride is a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to promote beautification projects, volunteer opportunities and build community by fostering arts and cultural programming for all to enjoy. Newton Community Pride's 2019 & 2020 programming and community impact:

Newton Community Pride’s 2021 plans & events to watch out for: Newton Community Pride is meeting the challenges of Covid-19 and planning for innovative, safe, family friendly, art & culture & community programming. Over the next several months we are planning virtual platforms for musical performances and the Linda Plaut Festival of the Arts, entertainment in socially distant outdoor venues, art and beautification opportunities in the Newton Al Fresco Program and a new public art initiative called “Newton Out-Doors” across several village centers this spring. We are encouraged by the announcement and distribution of a vaccine and hopeful we can plan for indoor performances, summer outdoor concerts and live theatre to once again be part of the fabric of our community.

When did you move to Newton & what village do you live in? We moved to Chestnut Hill in 1997 and was lucky to find a wonderful old home built in 1910 that we have lovingly restored. I live between The Street (what I consider to be my Chestnut Hill village) and Newton Centre.

Favorite thing about Newton: Wow! too many to list but I have to say if I were to single out one thing it is "the residents that call Newton their home". Our Newton residents are passionate advocates, involved and informed citizens and always inspire me to do more for my community.

Your favorite place to get coffee or a snack: Caffeine 24/7 ! Now you can find me at Dunkin's in Newton Centre since Panera Bread and The Central Cafe both sadly closed.

Your favorite restaurant: Loved Central in Newton Centre and looking forward to the owner's new reiteration called "SushiCo"

A fun playground or park: My husband and I enjoy the quiet and beautiful year round nature walks in Houghton Gardens and Hammond Woods.

Best place to grab pizza: We like to travel across town to Max & Leo's in Newton Corner - their veggie pizza is the best!

From Welcoming Newton - if you are motivated by Newton Community Pride’s impact in our community and plans for 2021, please consider making a donation to support their work. With your support, Newton Community Pride will bring us another great year of arts, culture, and community programming.

Congratulations to our new Member of Congress, Representative Auchincloss!

Former Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss is now our representative in Congress. Representative Auchincloss’s website:

Representative Auchincloss and his staff held a Virtual Open House and DC Office Tour on January 4th. A recording is available here.

Upcoming Events & Ways to Connect with the Community:

Register for the (virtual) 53rd Annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration

The theme for 2021, in the words of the Reverend King will be: "Keep Moving Forward."

This event will be virtual, but we know we will feel the closeness of our community.

A detailed program will be forwarded closer to January 18, but highlights will include musical selections, a reflection and sermon led by Newton Interfaith Clergy Association's Reverend Devlin Scott and Rabbi Allison Berry, a Social Justice Roundtable featuring Newton's key players, an NPS Student Voices Montage, and a "Spotlight" featuring Myrtle Baptist Church.

An Evening of Quarantine-Inspired Theater:

“And Then We Baked Bread” is a snapshot of life in its most uncertain moments. This evening of short performances is a seriously fun, perfectly imperfect, raw and honest release, teaching us what it means to live fully in the present moment even if it’s scary. Directed by Rosalind Bevan.

Saturday, January 30th at 8 PM. Register for this pay-what-you-can event here.

Newton Community Partnerships for Children and Families January Calendar: CPCF is offering ZOOM online winter groups.

City News:

From Mayor Fuller: Overnight Winter Parking Ban Will Continue to Be Lifted

With many college students and family members still home for the winter because of COVID-19, I have worked with Newton Police Interim Chief Howard Mintz and the Department of Public Works (and consulted with City Council President Susan Albright) to lift the Overnight Parking Ban for the duration of this winter season. (The ban prohibiting overnight on-street winter parking would otherwise have gone back into effect on Jan. 15 through March 31.)

Please know that if we have snow, we may need to have an Emergency Parking Ban for the duration of the storm and the clean-up as we did successfully a few weeks ago. If a temporary, emergency ban is needed again this winter, we’ll get the word out.

Mark your Calendars for the March 16th Special City Council Election:

Request a vote-by-mail ballot for the March 16th special election and find other election details here.

Ward 1 (At-Large) Candidates:

John Oliver - Candidate, Ward 1 Councilor at-large website:

Madeline Ranalli - Candidate, Ward 1, City Council At-Large website:

Ward 2 (At-Large) Candidates:

Bryan Barash Candidate, Ward 2, Newton City Council At-Large website:

Tarik Lucas, Candidate, Ward 2 Councilor At-large website:

Christmas tree collection

Christmas tree collection will run through Friday, January 15th. Place your undecorated Christmas tree out on the curb by 7am on your trash/recycling collection day during this two week window. All decorations and lights must be removed. Trees cannot be in a plastic bag. For Newton For Newton is a community wide campaign led by NewCommunity Inc. to bring people together on common ground to work towards the best for Newton, with the best intentions, while bringing our best of selves to the table. Reverend Devlin Scott of NewCommunity, Inc: Learn more in this Boston Globe article or at the For Newton website.

Neighbor to Neighbor tips: January

Having a tough time with everything going on in the world? Here are two local mental health resources:

Also, a reminder that Newton has a snow shoveling ordinance that requires residential property owners to clear their sidewalk within 24 hours of a storm’s end. If you fail to clear the snow and the city receives a complaint, you will receive a written warning for the first offense and a $50 fine for all subsequent offenses. This ordinance will be enforced by DPW through usage of the 311 system...therefore it comes down to neighbors working with neighbors to be responsible and safe during winter storms!

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