The sounds, and the costs, of silence

Some people think the sound of a train whistle is romantic or nostalgic; others hear it as just annoying noise. Welcome to the ongoing debate over whether to establish a Quiet Zone for the town’s Commuter Rail Line. The advocacy group Safer Quieter Needham is pushing for a measure to upgrade the rail crossings with newer gates that would obviate the need for trains to sound their horns. But the improvements would cost millions and therein lies the rub: how much is it worth to silence the trains passing through town?

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NHS students target 16 as sweet spot for voting 

As she considered her choice of topics for the annual Needham High School Civics Showcase, NHS student Amiya Tess had an epiphany. “A project like this gets you all riled up,” she said about planning for the showcase, an annual joint effort of the Needham League of Women Voters and the NHS social studies department.  “You want […]

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A year of firsts

Carmen Williams knew she wanted to be a leader in education by the time she was in seventh grade. She climbed the rungs from classroom teacher to principal, and last year was hired as Needham’s first assistant superintendent of instruction and innovation. She is also the first woman of color to hold such a highly […]

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Survey looks at state of race in Needham

The 2020 federal census painted a clear picture of a fairly dramatic shift in Needham’s demographics over a decade’s time. After 40 years of minimal growth, the town’s overall population increased by 11.1% to 32,091. Perhaps more significantly, Needham’s non-white population has almost doubled since 2010 to nearly 20% of town residents. That shift has coincided with […]

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Report highlights Needham crime trends in 2022

Needham remains one of the safest towns in Massachusetts — and by some measures, in America. But even the safest towns have crime, and some types, such as vehicle-related thefts, forgery and counterfeiting scams like mailbox fishing have been on the rise . Each year, the Needham Police Department presents its statistics in a year-end report […]

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Credit: Two Grannies on the Road

Traveling “Grannies” tell towns’ tales

Lights, camera, action: “Two Grannies on the Road” bring their popular community TV travel show to Needham, with the ageless  septuagenarian duo filming the town’s favorite haunts and jaunts from the Town Forest to Volante Farms to ice cream at the Junction. 

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