Performance space upgrades just the beginning

Town Meeting voted by consent May 13 to appropriate $344,558 for school auditorium upgrades and improvements. Although this is good news to the many residents who have called for action on the tired, inadequate — and in some cases unsafe — performance spaces, it is just the beginning of actions theater consultancy firm Hewshott indicated in a 2023 feasibility study the town should invest in to improve the auditoriums at Pollard Middle School, Newman Elementary School and Needham High School. Total estimated cost according to the study would be about $3.5 million.  Immediate safety concerns were addressed as soon as…

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Traveling Meals to keep rolling . . . for now

The Traveling Meals program is an institutional “Glover baby,” having been nurtured in 1971 at Glover Memorial Hospital, which then was a town department. The town got out of the hospital business when Glover was merged into the Deaconess Hospital system in 1994. Its successor, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, has continued the program, preparing low-cost, high-nutrition lunches and dinners for about 50 town residents five days a week, charging the town the bargain price of $6.25 per meal. As BIDH-Needham has grown, it literally has added hundreds more mouths to feed, but its food service capacity has not grown along…

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Residents, data tip off state IG to potential problems

Massachusetts Inspector General Jeffrey Shapiro knows a good source of information about state waste, fraud and abuse when he sees one. “When I go shopping at Roche Bros. or Sudbury Farms, people tell me things. I learned about the commuter rail when people’s tickets were not punched. Everyone’s got an opinion on a road that maybe shouldn’t have been…

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Stephanie Wyman appointed special education director

After serving for almost a year as interim executive director of Needham’s special education program, Stephanie Wyman was appointed to the position at the April 23 School Committee meeting.  Wyman has worked in the district for more than two decades, first teaching full time for eight years as part of Needham High School’s special education program, which now includes postgraduate…

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Needham runner sets world record

It was quite a birthday weekend for record-breaking Needham runner Jan Holmquist. On Saturday, just 20 days after breaking her own world record for women ages 75-79 in the James Joyce Ramble 10K in Dedham, Holmquist celebrated her 80th birthday. Another year, another age group, another record to break. On Sunday, Holmquist finished Needham’s Great Bear Run 5K in…

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Boards & Briefs

Town to mark Memorial Day

On Monday, May 27, Needham will commemorate Memorial Day at observances across town, followed by a ceremony at Memorial Field at 11:45 a.m. The ceremony will include remarks by elected officials including Select Board Chair Kevin Keane, state Sen. Becca Rausch and state Rep.Denise Garlick, as well as by a student speaker from St. Sebastian’s School, a representative of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, and local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Commander Timothy Dooher, among others.

The public is invited to all events, which will include a flag raising, rifle salute, wreath laying and  short speaking programs. The schedule:

  • 8:15 a.m. – Public Safety Complex
  • 9 a.m. – St. Mary’s Cemetery
  • 9:45 a.m. – Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Cefalo Drive
  • 10:30 a.m. – Needham Cemetery
  • 11:15 a.m. – Town Common
  • 11:45 a.m. – Memorial Park

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Town Meeting to roll on

Annual Town Meeting will resume Monday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Powers Hall and appears likely to extend to Wednesday, as a few complex…

Needham flush with porta potties

Have you noticed the proliferation of porta potties in town? There’s been a “void” in conversation about their use, and some might consider this story kind…

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