News from the Town of Needham
Good afternoon, Needham!
For those of you doing some spring cleaning, a reminder that the Re-Use-It Swap Shop re-opens tomorrow at the Recycling and Transfer Station. You can drop off items in good, working condition during the Swap Shop’s hours and pick up donated items for free. Please note, the Swap Shop is closed on Paint Saturdays. The first Paint Saturday of the Season will be held April 16th. For the full schedule and guidelines, please visit the RTS’s Paint Collection Days web page.
The FDA this week authorized a second COVID-19 booster vaccine for those aged 50 and older.
Needham Public Health (NPH) will continue to offer covid-19 vaccines for anyone needing to be up to date with their vaccines, including those who are 50+ and at least 4 months out from their last booster. Please check NPH’s vaccine clinic website for available times and dates. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Claxton Playground to be Demolished this Weekend
The playground at Claxton Field will undergo demolition this weekend, April 2nd/3rd, and the area will be fenced off to allow for grass regrowth. As part of the Town’s efforts to create new softball fields at Claxton Field, the Town engaged engineering firm Weston & Sampson, which undertook soils investigations throughout the property as an initial step. During the investigations, the Weston & Sampson team observed debris, including glass and plastic shards, 4-7 inches below the playground surface. Out of an abundance of caution, the Town determined that it was in the best interest and safety of the community to immediately remove the playground structures.
The Park and Recreation Commission will be exploring future replacement options for the Claxton playground, which was recently identified as a priority for renovation in the townwide 2021 playground assessment.
Soil investigations at other locations at Claxton, including the playing fields, discovered no obvious debris within 12 inches from the surface of the fields. Further, based on observations, the top 12 inches of material appears to constitute topsoil, likely brought to the site to sustain healthy turf growth, and as such the fields remain safe and available for continued use.
Rosemary Pool Memberships Now Available
Summer program registration is also now available. Check out the Summer ‘22 brochure and register.
Take This Short Survey to Help Create a Brand Plan for Needham Center
The Town has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Massachusetts Downtown Initiative, which will give Town officials the resources to develop a marketing strategy aimed at promoting small businesses in Needham Center. Through the grant, the Town will develop a comprehensive marketing plan for Needham Center to attract more foot traffic to support small, local businesses. Officials aim to create a brand identity for the downtown that showcases the unique offerings located in the center of Town. As a first step, residents, employees and visitors are encouraged to fill out a survey to help determine what makes Needham Center special and sets it apart from other areas or communities. You can take the survey here.
Library Closed Friday, April 1st for Staff Development
The Needham Free Public Library will be closed Friday, April 1st for staff development. The library will re-open Saturday, April 2nd at 9 am.
League of Women Voters Online Resource for April Town Election Now Available
The Needham Annual Election is April 12, 2022. Townwide and Town Meeting Member candidates are on the ballot.
The League of Women Voters of Needham has assembled an online resource for this election. This one-stop site includes the Voter Guide, recordings of Candidates Night and candidate interviews, voting information, and public service announcements. The League does not support or oppose candidates—it supports voters as they make informed voting decisions.
Please note, the Voter Guide published in the 3/31 edition of the Needham Times is incorrect. Please visit the League’s website for this year’s guide.
Needham Human Rights Committee Issues Statement Condemning War in Ukraine, Cautions Against Anti-Russian Bias in Needham
The Needham Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has issued the following statement, condemning the war in Ukraine and cautioning against bias towards Russian members of the Needham community:
“The Needham Human Rights Committee strongly condemns the war in Ukraine and hopes for a swift end to the senseless violence that is being perpetrated against Ukrainian citizens.
Unfortunately, one of the consequences of this upheaval is that anti-Russian bias is appearing in our community and region. Biases – whether unintentional or not – are based on stereotypes that lead to rash decisions or discriminatory practices against people of a particular ethnicity, gender, race or social group. Social media and news reports are encouraging their neighbors to take negative action toward anyone who is “Russian” or affiliated with “Russians,” such as boycotting businesses that sell Russian products, initiating bans against Russian arts and culture, or targeting Russians living in local communities.
Our State officials have cautioned that biases or unsupported assumptions can be harmful, such as “shutting down some Russian immigrant family that’s been here in Massachusetts for years and runs a business that may have some sort of Russian overtone.” Anti-Russian bias in the media affects children, who according to studies develop biases at a surprisingly young age. A NHRC colleague who immigrated to Needham from Syria gave a striking example of how her children were approached by classmates who asked them, “Do you belong to ISIS?”
As your Human Rights Committee, our work aims to build bridges of understanding as we advocate for the human rights of all in our town. During this troubling and uncertain time, we are guided by the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.”
DVAC Thanks Needham Women’s Club for Donation
Left to Right: Maureen Callahan, Domestic Violence Action Committee (DVAC) and Needham Women's Club Member, Lt. Belinda Carroll, Needham Police Dept. and Co-Chair of DVAC and Betsy Millane, President of Needham Women's Club.
Recently the Needham Women's Club presented a donation of $500 to Needham's Domestic Violence Action Committee (DVAC) to be used for emergency expenses for survivors of domestic violence. DVAC is comprised of community members and organizations dedicated to education and prevention of domestic violence. For more information on DVAC or to attend a meeting, please call 781-455-7940 ext 218. Donations are always needed and can be made online here.
Needham Library Hosts Brian O’Donovan of Celtic Sojourn
GBH’s Brian O’Donovan, host of the long-running radio program A Celtic Sojourn, will offer two programs about Celtic arts and culture at the Needham Free Public Library in April. The free programs will be presented by the Friends of the Needham Public Library.
On Sunday, April 3, O’Donovan and his wife, Lindsay O’Donovan, will trace the tragic and fascinating history of Ireland through music that has marked many of its most significant events in “A Short History of Ireland through Song.”
Then, on Sunday, April 24, O’Donovan will return with guests to present a contemplative celebration of the spoken word. His guests will perform the poetry and prose of great Irish writers along with music that complements or interprets the spoken word in “Words and Music of Ireland.”
Both events will take place in the Library’s Community Room from 2:00-3:30 pm. Registration is required and space is limited by the room’s capacity.
CALENDAR OF PUBLIC MEETINGS & EVENTS
***Meetings are linked to the relevant agenda***
Monday, April 4, 2022
Board of Assessors, 8:15 am via Zoom
Local Emergency Planning Committee, 9 am, Emergency Operations Center, Public Safety Building, 88 Chestnut Street
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Subcommittee of the School Committee for Negotiations, 3:30 pm, School Administration Building
Select Board, 6 pm, Powers Hall and Zoom (agenda to be posted Friday)
School Committee, 6:30 pm, Broadmeadow School Performance Center and via Zoom
Needham Housing Plan Working Group, 6:50 pm via Zoom
Needham Planning Board Public Hearing (Outdoor Dining), 7:30 pm via Zoom
Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Accept Education Collaborative Board of Directors, 10 am, 4 Tech Circle
Thursday, April 7, 2022
Historical Commission, 7 pm Select Board Chambers, Town Hall and via Zoom
Events shown as listed on the Town calendar as of 3/31/22. Don't forget to check out the Needham Meeting and Events calendar for updated information.
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Town of Needham
1471 Highland Ave.
Needham, MA 02492