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Store moves will expand toy and hardware offerings

When one store closes, another store opens — at least that’s how the saying goes in Needham. In this case, as Architrave leaves Great Plain Avenue, Learning Express will move from its Chestnut Street location into that larger space, and Needham Garden Center will expand with a full hardware store into the building it currently shares with the toy store.  This series of events was precipitated by the closing of Harvey’s, leaving the town without a local hardware store. Needham Garden Center began to incorporate many of Harvey’s services once it became official it was not going to reopen after…

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Proposed single-use plastic ban targets water bottles

Town Meeting will vote in May on a controversial bylaw proposal banning the sale of single-use water bottles and other plastic products in town. Citing both environmental and public health concerns, Green Needham members Kathy Raiz and Rob Fernandez have submitted a citizens’ petition prohibiting food and retail establishments from using Styrofoam packaging as well as single-use plastic straws, stirrers and splash guards as of Jan. 1, 2025. A ban on single-use water bottles would take effect on Jan. 1, 2026. The inclusion of water bottles has drawn objections from Greg Reibman, president and CEO of the Charles River Chamber,…

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Mapping Needham’s road to sustainability

When Gabrielle Queenan took on the newly created role of Needham’s sustainability manager two months ago, she was dropped into the wilderness that is any new position. Where to begin? Fortunately, Queenan had several things going for her: knowledge of her subject, some direct experience and a roadmap. The last of those, a 26-page detailed plan (officially still in draft form) prepared by the town-appointed Climate Action Planning Committee, presented Queenan with a glimpse of her future. The destination on that map is to reach zero greenhouse gas emissions in the next 25 years, both a town and statewide goal.…

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When a machine gun brought tragedy to Needham, typewriters came to the rescue

Robert W. Wallace’s recent novel “Machine Guns and Typewriters” chronicles one of the darkest days in Needham’s history. On Feb. 2, 1934, a Boston-based gang gunned down Needham police officers Forbes McLeod and Francis Haddock. Firefighter Tim Coughlin also was shot but survived. Two others were injured. The murders happened during and after the robbery of the Needham Trust…

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NHS principal details high school improvement plan

At Tuesday’s School Committee meeting, Principal Aaron Sicotte showed how the Needham High School Improvement Plan has changed the approach to teaching students and fostering well-rounded learners. The five-year plan is part of a collaborative effort to tackle issues that affect teaching and social-emotional wellbeing at the high school. The plan is developed under the lens of the Portrait…

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A soirée to remember

Since 2012, French Night, also known as “La soirée de la francophonie,” has been a beloved annual Needham High School event to celebrate French language and culture. This year, it will be held on Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in the NHS auditorium. The event is free and open to all.  “French Night is a celebration of French…

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Hockey teams bow out of tourney

It was one-and-done for Needham High’s hockey teams as MIAA Division  1 tournament play got underway Wednesday. The girls, seeded No. 17, fell to No. 16 Braintree, 5-1, at Zapustas Rink in Randolph. In the first period, Sarah Porras scored the Rockets’ only goal, but Needham trailed 2-1 after one and it only got worse from there. Coach Allisyn…

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Boards & Briefs

Fourth lot added at 543 Greendale Ave.

On Feb. 27, Paul Beaulieu of Field Resources spoke on behalf of Brendon-Silva, LLC. (formerly Brendon-Mota, LLC.) to request a change in the proposed plan for the former Lutheran Church property at 543 Greendale Ave. The property was to be subdivided into three single-family plots. Beaulieu requested permission to subdivide the largest plot of 37,343 square feet into two plots of roughly 19,000 square feet each. When the group originally came before the board, they were unsure if there were property limitations to building four separate lots. Having had the time to assess further, they were able to solve those issues. The updated plan to include a fourth house is compliant with Needham zoning regulations.


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Public Health adds peer recovery coach

Angi MacDonnell has firsthand experience of both sides of substance use and recovery. She had already been working in the town’s Public Health Division in…

Rep. Denise Garlick to end Statehouse chapter

On Monday, Feb. 12, after delivering her 39th “Report to the Community,” State Rep. Denise Garlick announced she will not seek reelection after seven terms…


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