Thank you for the warm reception to our first edition last week. It was heartening to hear from so many of you who welcome the return of independent local news to Needham. 

We’ve had something of a Rip Van Winkle experience for Needham journalism, and a lot has happened in town while we were sleeping.

So this week we catch up on some of the big items, like the town budget for the coming year; highlights from Town Meeting; school construction plans; an action park and a dining parklet; and the all-important question of what replaces Harvey’s. 

We also want to acknowledge our media colleagues at the Needham Channel who continuously have been providing public access coverage of the town for decades. We look forward to complementing their work and hopefully teaming up on some future stories.

Please keep reading and sharing the Needham Observer with others.  

And thank you for donating what you can to help us grow!

Harvey’s hard to replace

When an electrical fire in February 2022 forced Harvey’s Hardware to shutter, it left a void not only in the town’s commercial center, but also in the hearts of countless residents. Since then, the big question has been: What could possibly replace it? “It will be something the community will like,” said Adam Conviser, principal […]

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Town takes action on skate park and pickleball

When Josh Conlon looks out over the old quarry nestled in the corner of Claxton Field, he doesn’t see just an unused patch of grass surrounded by high walls of rock.  Instead, in his mind’s eye, he sees what could be possible in just a few years: ramps, half-pipes, maybe a pump track filling the […]

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Schools plan for major construction, renovation

After years of discussion and delays, Mitchell Elementary School and Pollard Middle School finally may be in line for reconstruction and renovation.  According to School Committee Chair Andrea Longo Carter, both the School Committee and the Permanent Public Building Committee (PPBC) agree that the preferred scenario involves renovating the middle school first, and subsequently reconstructing […]

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Cafe presses for permanent parklet

When COVID was driving many people to stay indoors, restaurants headed in the other direction. While many aspects of our lives have gone back to the way they were pre-pandemic, outdoor dining appears to be here to stay.  At the helm of this push to maintain — and in some cases increase — parklets at […]

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$231.67 Million town budget passes with ease

Last month Town Meeting gave its overwhelming approval for the town’s FY2024 budget of $231.67 million, an almost 2% increase from the previous year. The bulk of that total, $214.275 million, will fund the FY2024 General Fund operating budget. The remaining $17.1 million is dedicated primarily to: • Capital projects ($11.667 million)   • Town Meeting […]

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Town Meeting dwells on accessory structures

A warrant article designed to expand  Needham’s rules on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) met with a split outcome after a lengthy discussion at the annual Town Meeting last month. These small apartments or housing units on the same lots as single-family homes are colloquially referred to as in-law apartments (when attached to the original dwelling) or […]

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