Servgear Jan 6, 2010


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Newton Rotary Newsletter

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Servgear Jan 6, 2010

  1. 1. 2009-2010 District No. 7910 ROTARY CLUB OF NEWTON Club No. 6580 719 WASHINGTON STREET BOX MS295 NEWTONVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS 02460 MEETS TUESDAYS; 12:15 P.M. BRAE BURN COUNTRY CLUB, 326 FULLER STREET, NEWTON, MA President Vice President Treasurer Sergeant-at-Arms Director Director Marie Presti Laurisa Neuwirth Peter Mahler Bill Garr Dick Bowen Justin Sallaway 617-620-6948 617-291-0572 617-630-5289 617-969-5906 x116 617-969-9134 617-244-0065 President-Elect Past President Recording Secretary Newsletter Editor Director Director Jeff Tucker Marc Epstein John Hurney Scott Lewis Jeff Chin Tony Bibbo 617-340-1263 617-244-1212 617-332-7412 617-293-6371 617-965-1988 781-237-1144 THE SERVICE GEAR Volume LXXXVI No. 24 January 6, 2010 P resident Marie Presti was running late, so President-elect Jeff Tucker took charge and started the meeting, asking visitor Ken Jaffe to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dennis Prefontaine offered an invocation requesting “peace, prosperity, and security” in the new year; Susanne McInerney led the Club in a chorus of God Bless America. After lunch, President Marie opened for business by quoting Mother Theresa: “It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing; It is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.” Marie thanked today’s Club Greeters, Bill Garr and Jeff Tucker, who handed out NCSC tote bags along with handshakes. SERGEANT-AT-ARMS Bill Garr announced that 22 members were With $493 on the line, Dr. Bob Staulo could find present, including the long-absent Michelle only the Three of Spades in the diminishing deck Desimone and Pat Palmer. Bill recognized Pat’s of cards. Only 31 cards left in the deck with over guest Mary Kern of the YMCA as well as Bill $500 in the jackpot next time! Lowery’s guest, wife Helen Lowery, and our speaker, Srdjan Nedeljkovic. Visiting from CONTENTS Page Brookline was that club’s president-elect, Ken ANNOUNCEMENTS 2 Jaffe. SERGEANT-at-ARMS 1 THIS WEEK’S JOKE 2 STUDENT of the MONTH 3 MEETING GREETERS NEXT MEETING: HAPPY DOLLARS 4 January 13: Bill Garr & Jeff Tucker SPEAKER/PROGRAM 3 RAFFLE 1 c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 1
  2. 2. ANNOUNCED FROM THE PODIUM 10 thing a father will never say: Paula Kirrane first asked the Club to sing Happy Birthday in honor of Dick Bowen’s * Well how ‘bout that? I’m lost! Looks like milestone January 10th. we’ll have to stop and ask for directions. Death by Chocolate: Paula thanked the * You know Pumpkin, now that you’re many members who brought silent auction items thirteen, you’ll be ready for non- to the meeting, and reminded us to bring in chaperoned car dates. Won’t that be Lottery Scratch tickets for the “ticket tree” that fun? will be auctioned off as well. Last year’s ticket * I noticed that all your friends have a tree was sold for over $400! Bruins Hockey certain “up yours” attitude. I like that in a items are needed as well for the Clun “Bruins young person! Basket.” * Here’s a credit card and the keys to my Tony Bibbo reported that this year’s Mar- new car. GO CRAZY!!! tin Luther King Jr. Celebration will take place at Our Lady’s Chuch on Monday, January 18, * What do you mean you want to play 10:00 AM. Tony is helping organize the event football? Figure skating not good enough with Mayor Setti Warren. for you, son? UPCOMING... * Your mother and I are going away for while. You might want to consider January 13, 2010: WEDNESDAY Meetings throwing a party. continue at Brae Burn * Well, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo- January 31, 2010: DEATH by CHOCOLATE hickie thingies - you know - that makes it Fundraiser at the Crown Plaza Hotel run or something. Just have it towed to the mechanic’s and pay whatever they ask. * No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring. Now quit your belly aching and lets get to the mall. PAUL M. KERRISSEY * Whaddaya want to go and get a job Attorney at Law for? I make plenty of money for you to spend. 277 Auburn Street * Father’s Day? Ah - don’t worry about Suite B that - it’s no big deal. Auburndale, MA 02466 Office: (617) 964-5800 Fax: (617) 969-9850 c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 2
  3. 3. PROGRAM: Extending the Green Line to Needham Speaker: Dr. Srdjan Nedeljkovic Dr. Srdjan Nedeljkovic is an accomplished anasthesiologist at Brigham & Womens Hospital and is a Newton resident. His presentation today, however, was about transportation, not medicine. Dr. Nedeljkovic has been involved with promoting a promising “Smart Growth” project to extend the Green Line train system to Needham along an existing railroad corridor that runs parallel to Needham Street. It branches off of the existing Riverside “D” branch of the Green Line near the Eliot Station in Newton Highlands and would terminate at the Needham Heights commuter rail station. Presiden Marie Presti (r) thanks Dr. Srdjan Nedeljkovic The idea is to encourage more commuters after his presentation about extending the Green Line to to leave their cars at home, and to better enable Needham. more residential development along the way. In addition to the existing Avalon Bay development only a couple of miles of tracks need to replaced of 300 apartments, other sites are being planned and some additional rolling stock employed, to for future growth, including Marshall’s Plaza serve 3,000 to 5,000 new passengers per day. property and developments in Needham. Unlike most development projects, the Green The line would also serve bring people Line extension would be relatively inexpensive, from Boston to work in Newton-Needham job since the corridor is already in place - only a sites, such as Needham’s 215-acre industrial couple of miles of tracks need to replaced and park and stores along Needham Street. some additional rolling stock employed, to serve Other benefits include increased use of the 3,000 to 5,000 new passengers per day. Cutler Park Wetland Park, and increased tax Dr. Nedeljkovic claimed that the project is revenues for Newton due to increased econimc supported by many state organizations and agen- development. cies, including Newton’s new mayor, Setti Warren. Unlike most development projects, the For more information about the project see Green Line extension would be relatively inex- Dr. Nedeljkovic’s paper, attached to this newsletter pensive, since the corridor is already in place - c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 3
  4. 4. HAPPY DOLLARS Paul Stone led off with happiness for his club members present could boast a perfect own 90th birthday spent with children, spouses, attendance record for 2010. Dennis and grandchildren. Tony Bibbo was happy for Prefontaine was happy to receive the gift of a Paul birthday and for the chance to crow in front robotic beer cooler. Paul Kerrissey was happy of Pat Palmer about Americans beating Canadi- to supply Carol Kerrissey with the useful ans in Junior League hockey. pocket flashlight given him by recent club Peggy Lepore happily returned from her greeter Dennis Prefontaine. holidays spent in California. Bill Garr was Ken Jaffe was happy to be with us, and happy for the volunteer help with the Dictionary that the Raffle jackpot at the Brookline Rotary project. Susanne McInerney was happy to see Club is now exceeding $800. Paula Kirrane the movie Invictus. Ed Casavant was happy to was happy to see Ken Jaffe and Michelle see the sun shining today. Desimone. She was also happy to have visited Pat Palmer was happy to introduce col- New York City and to have attended the Winter league Mary Kern to the Club. Tom Keery was Hockey Classic at Fenway Park. happy to flaunt the dress code, wearing no Dick Bowen was happy to meet Mary necktie, and to let Rotarians know that Frost Kern, for his upcoming birthday, and for the Motors would be host to an auction sale on fond memory of Jean Fox, with whom he Saturday, to liquidate office furniture and equip- shared the Month of January for birthdays. ment, as well as trade items. Marie Presti was happy to predict that 2010 will Bill Lowery was happy to have his wife be a great year. Helen with him for lunch, and to declare that all PAULA KIRRANE SCOTT LEWIS HOME DESIGN Uniquely Designed Cakes ADDITIONS 230 Adams Street RENOVATIONS Newton, MA 02458 NEW HOMES Tel.: (617) 969-1830 HISTORIC RESTORATION fax: (617) 969-5852 12 Bencliffe Circle Auburndale, MA 02466 (617) 293-6371 c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 4
  5. 5. CHOCOLATE, ANYONE? DEATH BY CHOCOLATE Sunday, January 31, 2010 1:00 to 4:00 PM Crown Plaza Hotel, Newton Corner Please support your club by donating scratch lottery tickets or other items for the silent auction today! c 2010 Rotary Club of Newton Page 5
  6. 6. Dying for chocolate? Come to the 9th Annual Taste and judge the best chocolate creations from local chefs Taste and judge the best chocolate creations from local chefs 1:00 – 4:00 pm Sunday, January 31, 2010 Crowne Plaza Hotel • 320 Washington Street, Newton, MA Admission $15.00 per person • $5.00 for children under 12 FREE PARKING Plus a great Silent Auction and a Kids’ Raffle! Sponsored by: All proceeds to benefit local charities including The Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, The Salvation Army, The YMCA, Scholarships for Students, and many more!
  7. 7. Newton and Needham’s Best Opportunity for Smart Growth By Srdjan S. Nedeljkovic The best option for “Smart Growth” in Newton and Needham may lie in the unused rail bed that runs parallel to Needham Street and Highland Avenue. A proposal to restore light rail service between Newton Highlands and Needham Heights would create significant opportunities for further modest-scaled growth in the corridor. In addition, the new light rail extension would have significant environmental benefits to our communities by reducing energy consumptions and traffic pollutants in this otherwise congested part of our community. The rail line behind Needham Street and Highland Avenue was formerly part of the old Charles River line that was used to haul fill from Needham to the Back Bay in the late 1800’s. Once used as a passenger line, it remained active for freight use until several years ago. The unused rail bed connects the Riverside “D” line just west of Newton Highlands to the existing commuter station at Needham Heights for a distance of about 2 miles, extending across the Charles River and Route 128. The proposal to reestablish rail service calls for a dual track, electrified light rail line, similar to the existing Green line, that would use modern, quiet, environmentally sensitive light rail vehicles. Passengers would be able to board the line at 4 stations: Needham Heights, the Needham Business Center, Newton Upper Falls, and Needham Street. They would then be able to take the line to stops on the existing Green line, including Newton Highlands, Newton Centre, Reservoir, Brookline Village, Longwood, Fenway, and into Copley and Park Street Stations. Connecting the Needham Street – Highland Avenue corridor and the Needham Business Park to employment and population centers in the central core of Boston would place our area “on the map” for fast, frequent light rail transit service. Many municipalities have recognized the positive benefits that light rail has on local and regional economies and on the environment. New light rail systems have been built in places such as Portland (Oregon), New Jersey, Baltimore, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, and most recently Phoenix, Arizona. The effects of having light rail include new and expanded business opportunities, increased employment, a stronger local tax base, higher real estate values, greater perceived safety, decreased air pollution, and heightened tourist revenues. Rail facilities can enhance economic activity in a number of ways. Light rail offers improved access to businesses for a potentially significant pool of customers. The public senses that a community with light rail is a desirable place to live and work, which tends to attract new businesses and new jobs. In addition, people and businesses which are near a light rail line have an alternative option to using automobiles, which helps combat auto congestion on
  8. 8. roads. Having fast and frequent transit alternatives is one strategy to combat major forms of air pollution and is environmentally “green.” Newton’s recently approved Comprehensive Plan projects a build out potential of approximately 2 million square feet of commercial real estate in the Needham Street corridor. Needham has projected at least 2 million additional square feet of commercial real estate to be developed in the New England Business Center, in addition to the existing 2.5 million square feet. Both communities have been open to residential uses in the corridor, which now includes the Avalon Bay apartment complex (294 units) and the planned Charles River Landing complex (350 units). And the Northland Corporation has indicated that a large mixed-use project may be developed on the 21-acre Marshall’s Plaza – IVEX site in Newton. However important this new growth may be to the economic health of these two communities, there are significant concerns about increased traffic congestion. Full build out of the corridor may increase traffic by more than 10,000 trips per day along Needham Street and Highland Avenue. Many believe that the corridor simply cannot handle this additional traffic and fierce opposition to further development may result, reminiscent of the Stop and Shop battles of the 1990’s. Rehabilitating the rail line would offer a way to offset traffic increases from desired new growth while allowing economically sustainable projects to get approved. Ridership on the new rail line would be at least 6900 daily riders, which is estimated to reduce travel times and air pollution while reducing annual energy consumption by about 50,000 million BTU’s. Having light rail in the corridor will facilitate a new Needham Street to take shape, one that respects the “complete streets” concept that calls for streets to be equally accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, transit, as well as cars. (see: The new rail extension would initially run light rail vehicles every 15 minutes, taking about 30 minutes to get to central Boston. Trips would cost the same as on the rest of the rapid transit system, $2.00 each way or $59 for a monthly pass, which is a significant cost savings over the existing commuter rail line. The capital costs of building the line are estimated at approximately $100 million, and the project could very well be eligible for federal funding. Federal stimulus funding is intended to support projects that expand public transit and that will increase economic activity. However, Newton and Needham will not receive any of that funding unless our communities and our public officials advocate for projects that are eligible. Transportation accounts for about a third of our overall carbon footprint. The Newton-Needham rail extension represents a significant opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of growth and traffic. The rail proposal also represents a significant opportunity for our business community and would be a great economic stimulus package for our two municipalities.