A week of Turkey Day traditions

It’s America’s oldest public high school football rivalry – Needham vs. Wellesley. They’ll meet for the 135th time Thanksgiving morning, this time in Wellesley, whose Red Raiders lead the series 65-60 with nine ties, and have won the last three Turkey Day games.

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Central Avenue daycare center project underway, but under review

Preliminary work has begun on the construction of a long-planned day care facility at 1688 Central Ave. at the same time the building permit for the project is being challenged by a group of abutters. The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) heard nearly three hours of testimony last week. They adjourned without making a decision on the appeal of the permit issued last month to Needham Enterprises, owned by former Select Board member Matt Borrelli. Testimony centered on concerns about the barn on the property, stormwater management and possible soil contamination. First proposed in the spring of 2021, the project…

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Turkey Tidbits

“A bird of courage” is what Benjamin Franklin called the turkey, though somewhat facetiously. He was suggesting it was a better choice for our national bird than the bald eagle, which he called “a bird of bad moral character.” By comparison, he said, “the turkey is … a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original native of…

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Playoff runs come up short

Strong postseason runs ended in disappointment late last week for two Needham High teams. For the second year in a row, the boys’ soccer team fell short in the final of the state Division 1 tournament, losing to unbeaten top-seed Concord-Carlisle 2-0. It was the first time in eight games that the Rockets had allowed a goal. Despite several…

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Water main break near Cricket Field

A water main break along William Street caused temporary flooding late Sunday night and a loss of water service for approximately five hours before DPW crews were able to repair the pipe and restore service early Monday. Carys Lustig, director of the Department of Public Works (DPW), said an emergency call was received around 9 p.m. regarding water coming…

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Boards & Briefs

Select Board to hold hearing on Columbus Day alternatives

The Select Board will hold a public hearing on Nov. 28 to discuss the possibility of altering the way the town celebrates what the Pew Research Center has called “one of the most inconsistently celebrated U.S. holidays.”

In August, the board, in support of its overarching goal of making Needham “healthy and socially thriving,” committed itself to holding a public hearing to determine whether Needham will change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the board will seek the opinions of residents on how to celebrate the second Monday in October. This could include continuing to celebrate Columbus Day, switching the holiday to Indigenous People’s Day or opting for a hybrid celebration.

In 2021 the School Committee, prompted by a student-driven petition, voted to change its celebration solely to Indigenous People’s Day.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Select Board Chambers in Town Hall.

Housing, housing and more housing

Having attracted some 300 attendees to its Nov. 9 community meeting, the Housing Needham Working Group (HONE) showed there is significant appetite for discussions around housing in Needham.

Residents who missed the HONE meeting or who wish to continue the conversation can satisfy their interest by attending an open meeting hosted by the Needham Housing Coalition on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the library’s  Community Room. The evening will begin with a presentation about housing in Needham in general and current housing initiatives in particular. The balance of the evening will be dedicated to discussion.

On Dec. 6, the Planning Board and Needham Housing Authority (NHA) will jointly host a community meeting at 7 p.m. at the Linden-Chambers Community Room at 5 Chambers St.

The NHA will provide information on the status of the existing Linden/Chambers housing development, including designs and site plans for the proposed redevelopment of the site. 

Planning Board members will present zoning modifications the project will likely require in anticipation of an Annual Town Meeting vote in May. 

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