Saturday, March 2, 2013
A letter to the editor from Newton resident and independent voter Harry Sanders.
Saturday, March 2
To the editor: Is this the right time for an override? Sequesterization is the new buzzword for trickle-down economic reality on the local level. We rely on federal funding for highways, housing, and everyday community needs. Will second and third-tier citizen needs be met should Congress turn off the fiscal money tap? Governor Patrick has stated the case for expected state cuts in municipal funding. His $1.9 billion tax plan will meet with an additional heavy tax burden here at home. Should this fiscal perfect storm happen, Newton taxpayers would have to fill the void in unexpected extra funding for municipal needs - results of which would be an unusually harsh tax burden tail-spinning Newton property values. Is anybody thinking about …
Friday, March 1, 2013
An opinion letter from Mayor Setti Warren supporting the Newton override.
Friday, March 1
A city where people can walk, bike, and drive without trips, spills and damage to their vehicles due to potholes. Where emergency responders have the tools they need. Where school buildings are conducive to learning. Where students get a well-rounded education with the attention they need to meet their potential, in classrooms that enhance and foster learning. That’s the Newton I grew up in, the Newton where I returned to raise a family, the Newton we now have the opportunity to preserve for future generations. But I see it slipping away. Angier and Cabot Elementary have been identified by the state as two of the worst school buildings in Massachusetts. We have dramatic enrollment growth—900 new students since 2005 and 800+ more expected…
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
A letter to the editor from Newton State Rep. Kay Khan supporting the March 12 override questions.
Tuesday, February 26
I’m writing to ask you for your support, and most importantly your THREE YES VOTES, in order for Newton to pass Mayor Setti Warren’s override package on March 12. Local government in Newton has come a long way in the past few years getting its finances in order. I have been working hard – and quite successfully, I might add — along with the other members of Newton’s legislative delegation to ensure that our city continues to receive its fair share of local aid. Still, because Newton is such a great place to live and raise children, many young families have moved here over the past decade, adding almost a thousand students to our school system, and hundreds more are expected in the coming years. More teachers and space are vitally …
Saturday, February 23, 2013
A letter to the editor from Newton South English Teacher Corinne Pop supporting the Newton override.
Saturday, February 23
To the editor: Why should you support the override? There are indeed many reasons why you might not want to—but not one of them is as important as the one reason why you should. Some people don’t want to support the override because non-Newton kids are educated in the Newton schools, or because construction at North was a botched endeavor. Some people don’t want to support the override because they don’t have kids in the Newton schools, or because they don’t like our government, or our tax rates, or our president, or the state of our economy, or the direction this country is going in. I’m not saying those aren’t valid complaints—but this override is our chance to actually allocate our own money in a way that is targeted at just those …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
An opinion piece from Dan Fahey urging residents to vote "Yes" on all three Newton override ballot questions.
In Newton only about 20 percent of households have children in the system. Those households are probably more receptive to the upcoming override, since its failure to pass will likely adversely affect their kids’ school experience. But what about the rest of us [e.g., empty nesters like me, whose daughter has been out of the system for eight years]? Why should we pay more taxes, when there's less direct benefit for us? One answer: Property value. Research has shown that school quality has a significant and positive impact on a city’s property values. Many families move to Newton because of our schools’ reputation and, while I believe our schools are still good, they are certainly vulnerable. Newcomers to the city are often shocked at the…
Saturday, February 16, 2013
A letter from a Boston College junior on the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.
Saturday, February 16
On Monday, 11 February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI formally announced his Papal resignation due to his advanced age and diminished strength, which has not occurred in the past 600 years. During his term as Pope, Benedict XVI has been confronted with internal scandals arising from within the Church, specifically sexual abuse crises costing the Church two billion dollars in settlements according to Chester Gillis, dean of Georgetown University; however, the Church's scandals cannot solely define the Pontiff's administration, which began in 2005. Globally, he has reached out to the developing world to places where Catholicism is growing, arguably the geographical locations that will be the future of the Catholic Church. Despite the shock and…
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Friday, February 1, 2013
A letter to the editor from the Newton PTO Council asking residents to support all three override questions on March 12.
Friday, February 1
Last week, the Newton PTO Council voted overwhelmingly to support the Mayor’s proposed override package. A yes vote on the override package, which includes three ballot questions, insures that the children of Newton get the education they deserve, in facilities that address their needs. Our schools are facing serious enrollment issues, budgetary pressures, and deteriorating facilities. For Newton to continue to uphold its standard of educational excellence, we need improved buildings, more teachers and greater funding for our schools. To receive the full benefits of this override, the three ballot questions should be viewed as one. One ballot question provides for a debt exclusion to finance the reconstruction of Angier Elementary, a …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A letter from the co-chairmen of Moving Newton Forward, a local group opposed to Mayor Setti Warren's $11.4 million override proposal.
Thursday, January 31
Spirited citizens, calling themselves Moving Newton Forward, want to preserve an essential element of our City’s most common good---your household income. What are you saving for? A car? A honeymoon? Tuition? Retirement? Mayor Setti Warren is betting that you will sacrifice more of your personal savings to fund his government’s growth by saying yes to his three override proposals in March. Moving Newton Forward urges you to vote no on each on March 12. Instead, let’s respectfully ask our Mayor and Alderman to do what households do---choose expenses wisely. Live within their means. Vote no on each override proposal because: We can contain our local spending. Join us at the first citywide meeting of Moving Newton Forward on Wednesday night, …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Shana Rowan, executive director of USA Families Advocating an Intelligent Registry, provided this letter to the editor in light of recent media coverage and legislative proposals surrounding the John Burbine case.
Tuesday, January 29
By now, all of Massachusetts and much of the country has heard about the gruesome allegations against John Burbine; a man accused of videotaping himself sexually abusing 13 young children. He’s also a Level 1 registered sex offender, which has understandably led lawmakers to respond with proposed legislation aimed at preventing such a crime from happening again. Unfortunately, as is often the case following high-profile child sex crimes, well-intentioned legislators respond with broad-brush proposals and political placebos that may make constituents feel good, but don’t actually do anything to protect the public. Because Burbine was classified as a low risk Level 1 offender, the knee jerk emotional response has been that there must …