Friday, December 7, 2012
Preserving the Planet for Posterity
In one of his short stories, writer Spider Robinson, known for his Callahan’s Bar science-fiction stories, has a character make an observation about our connection to our family. “Everybody's got roots in the past,” Robinson's character notes, “but they's all got roots in the future, too.” I thought about Robinson’s observation last month during Brookline Town Meeting. I’ve been an elected member of Town Meeting for over a decade. Most of what we do is relatively straightforward. For example, we pass the budget every May, after the Selectmen, Advisory Committee, and town departments have spent months planning it out for us to consider. After all, when you get right down to it, governing is mostly about figuring out where you will get money…
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Report from the Recreation Department shows improvement in schedule conflicts between Day Care Centers at town parks.
A battle for Brookline's playgrounds and parks seems to have calmed down, in part due to communication and coordination. Creating a schedule for the day care centers is paying off, according to officials from the Health and Recreation Departments, who have been monitoring use of parks since a warrant article last fall attempted to regulate park use. "We have created a system that works really well for us, and it works for individual users, day care centers and other users," said Erin Chute Gallantine, Parks and Open Space Director explained. This system uses a voluntary schedule for the day care centers and parks around town, aiming to prevent multiple large groups of children descending on a park at the same time and either preventing …
Thursday, October 4, 2012
While majority support neighborhood conservation district in the North Brookline, some neighbors remain skeptical.
In order to preserve the character of a neighborhood, residents can come together to create a neighborhood conservation district or NCD thanks to a zoning bylaw change enacted last fall. This is exactly what residents of an area known as The Settlement, north of Route 9 near the Heath School, hope to accomplish with a warrant article planned for the fall's Special Town Meeting. They spoke to the Selectmen about this on Tuesday night. According to the NCD bylaws, if passed, the Settlement will have a five- to seven-member neighborhood conservation commission made up of members of the Conservation Commission, and neighbors who have been interviewed and appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The Hancock Village neighborhood commission is in …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Shortly after the Brookline polystyrene food box warrant article ban breaks, Boston City Councilors propose similar ban.
Both Brookline and Boston will soon consider banning the use of polystyrene foam food boxes or coffee cups. One of the warrant articles to be considered before town meeting will ban foam food containers from Brookline--and Herald Columnist Margery Eagan talked with the petitioner about the proposed plastic foam ban. Nancy Heller, the petitioner for the Brookline ban, mentioned "styrofoam cups" at coffee shops, which "bothered her," and a move to ban it, she told Eagan she felt it was "the right thing to do." A representative from Dow Chemical clarified to Brookline Patch yesterday that Styrofoam brand foam is used in construction, crafting and floral projects, while the foam used in food containers is made using a different chemical …
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A warrant article on the docket for fall's Special Town Meeting will ban polystyrene food containers from use in town.
[Correction: Styrofoam is not used to make food containers, a representative from Dow Chemical confirmed earlier today. Styrofoam is used in construction, crafting and floral projects, but the foam used in food containers is made using a different chemical process. Sept 24] Some town residents are foaming at the mouth to be rid of foam food containers--or more accurately, they feel strongly enough to write a warrant article that would ban them. The warrant articles have not yet been approved by the Board of Selectmen, who will vote on the proposed warrant at an upcoming meeting. However, the polystelene ban and a move to limit plastic bags are both included in the version which the Board saw last night (Sept. 11). Margery Eagan talked …
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Dates for the upcoming Fall Town Meeting, scheduled to begin Nov. 13, 2012
Tuesday night, the Board of Selectmen set the dates for the Fall Town Meeting, which is set for November 13. Before that, residents can submit warrant articles and attend the review meetings. Below is the full schedule of dates upcoming before the meeting:
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Two articles proposed by Brookline High School students pass almost unopposed at Annual Town Meeting.
Two of the articles discussed and voted on during last night’s Town Meeting were proposed by students at Brookline High School, who are part of the school’s Peer Leadership program. “It’s heartening to me as moderator to have high school students…participate in the civic process,” said Moderator Sandy Gadsby. Town Meeting voted almost unanimously to increase the age of tobacco sales to 19, and unanimously to impose clean air standards for construction programs. Article 12, submitted by Eric Dumas, proposed that the age of tobacco sales be raised to 19 years old. Belmont and Needham have already taken similar measures, and Watertown is considering doing the same. “When you drive by Brookline High School, what is the first thing you see?” …
Brookline Town Meeting votes on the 30 warrant articles brought forward, voting to increase the COLA base, remove Brookline from Norfolk County, and increase the tobacco sales age, among other things.
Town Meeting season is over, votes cast and decisions made. A number of subjects, ranging from slavery to summer at the library, came before Brookline's annual Town Meeting for discussion. For information on the 30 warrant articles, and what Town Meeting's vote on them means, scroll through the list. See the Full results document from the Brookline Town Meeting Downloads page to the right, as well as the 2012 Town Meeting Honor Roll, remembering Town Meeting Members who have passed. More coverage on last night's Town Meeting to come later today. Article 1: Measurers of Wood and Bark Submitted by the Board of Selectmen Article 2: Collective Bargaining Agreements and Salaries Submitted by the Human Resources board Article 3: Compensating …
Town Meeting discusses two articles proposed by high schoolers, and brings back the question of Brookline's place in Norfolk County.
Town Meeting returned to the remaining 30 warrant articles, and beginning the evening with articles 12 and 23, proposed by Brookline High School students. Brookline also voted to get itself out of Norfolk County, but will not move to abolish the county government. Town meeting is now over until the fall Special Town Meeting.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Town Meeting votes for an article expressing regret for its slave-owning past. Not everyone, however, think this article does the job.
Some parts of the Town of Brookline were, at one point, part of America's slave-owning past. It is the task of the Hidden Brookline Committee to bring that past to light. During Thursday night's session of Town Meeting, the first article discussed was Hidden Brookline's Article 27, a resolution to express regret for its part in the slave trade. The article was ultimately passed, but there was discussion about Brookline's racial past and present, and the future of education. "To everything there is a season. We can do something tonight that others were not able to do," said Dr. Barbara Brown, the chairman of Hidden Brookline, "We can face the painful past, and a painful part of that past." Slavery existed in Brookline for the first 25 …