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They've practiced compassion since 1890. Now they're asking Wellesley for the same

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They've practiced compassion since 1890. Now they're asking Wellesley for the same

We're gearing up for our biggest event of the year -- our Fall Business Breakfast, sponsored by Needham Bank -- Nov. 3 at the Newton Marriott.

Early bird discount tickets and sponsor tables are now available here.

They practiced compassion since the 1890s. Now they seek the same from Wellesley Town Meeting

Abutters to the Sisters of Charity property in Wellesley Hills continue to dig in against a zoning change headed to the fall Special Town Meeting, even though it could be 30, 40 or even perhaps 50 years before the property might be redeveloped.

Even then, any changes or expansions would require a special permit, requiring an extensive public process and multiple approvals.

The Sisters (average age 83) are looking for an opportunity to control their destiny and finances by selling their 125 Oakland St property to a buyer/operator who would, in turn, agree to run their nursing facilities, assisted living and dependent senior housing for the rest of the Sisters' years.

Any added proceeds would be donated to nonprofit organizations that furthers their service to children, those terminally ill and other causes that have been at the core of the Sisters of Charity's work for generations.

"We need to sell our Wellesley campus to support our Sisters," an impassioned Congregation Leader Sister Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick recently told the Advisory Committee.

"[A]nd we have to do it now."

Don't take my word for it. Listen to what Sister Fitzpatrick said in her own words and in her own voice. Her short presentation begins here at the 2:16:20 mark.

Really, listen. It's quite moving.

Watertown businesses could see a property tax spike 

Commercial and industrial property owners already pay a higher property tax rate than residential home owners in Watertown

But a home rule petition just approved by the House and now headed to the state Senate would allow the city to shift more of the property tax burden onto the backs of Watertown businesses.

The change could increase the allowed shift in fiscal years 2024 and 2025, City Manager George Proakis explained to the Watertown News.

From there, Proakis said the city may seek a permanent change to the formula.

At a time when many businesses are still struggling to rebound from the pandemic, inflation, high interest rates, the increased cost of labor and a tough real estate market, we urge Watertown's city leaders to be careful not to shift too much of tax burden onto our restaurants, shops and other businesses.

Proposed law would require employers to report pay rates 

Businesses with at least 25 employees would be required to list a pay range when advertising to fill a specific job, under a proposed state law expected to come up for a vote in the House today.

Employers would also be required to report wage data to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development which will then publish aggregate data reports on its website while protecting the identity of employers

Proponents say the practice of posting salaries evens the playing field for workers, especially for women and people of color who historically have not given as much at the negotiating table, writes Sam Drysdale at State House News.

If an employer violates the wage data reporting requirements or fails to provide a pay range for a specific position, they would receive a warning, after which they would be fined up to $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third violation, Drysdale adds.

Today's grab bag 

  • Insurance going up? Hundreds of thousands of properties in the greater Boston metro area could face higher insurance premiums or policy non-renewals this year due to the risk of high winds and/or flooding (Axios)

  • Bring on the brews! The Newton City Council approved a zoning ordinance this week that finally makes craft breweries an allowable use. (Fig City News) P.S. Some future brewer should name an IPA after Rick Lipof, the council VP who steered the item to passage.

  • After 46 years, Art’s Automotive Repair on Clyde Street in Needham is closing its garage doors for good. (Needham Observer)

  • Natick biotech ModeX Therapeutics has been awarded a $168 million fed grant to create antibodies that fight COVID-19 and other potential pandemic pathogens. (BBJ)

Campaign to end Newton parking ban stalls 

More than 6,000 Newton residents signed a ballot petition to repeal the city’s overnight winter parking ban.

But organizers behind the Repeal the Winter Overnight Parking Ban say they're 1,000 signatures shy of what they needed to make the Nov. 7 ballot.

And they've run out of time to collect more names.

The group is now turning its attention to a meeting tonight (Weds) at 7 p.m. of the City Council’s Public Safety & Transportation Committee which may consider a proposal to suspend the parking ban as a two-year trial.

“This trial is only on the table because of the movement we have built," organizers Jeremy Freudberg and Jim Cote said in a statement.

"While the prospect of relief (even if only temporary) is exciting, we will be following closely to ensure that the trial has appropriate parameters, and of course will continue to advocate for the parking ban to be truly a thing of the past.”

Rain possible (again) this weekend? Here's an idea

Our chamber recently released a series of videos aimed as promoting NewtonNeedhamWatertown and Wellesley as great places to visit.

Here’s a new great day trip idea:

McMullen Museum BC

The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College is now home to a collection of American paintings from the 1860s through 1930s, including works by Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent and Pablo Picasso.

Valued at over $20 million, it's the largest donation of paintings and largest donation of any kind, in the college's 130-year-history, reports WBUR’s Solon Kelleher.

The works come from the collection of Peter and Carolyn Lynch, who both graduated from BC in 1965. Peter Lynch, vice chairman of Fidelity Management, collected art with his late wife Carolyn over many decades.

They are now part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Admission to the McMullen is freeAnd it's open seven days a week. Rain or shine.

And before, or after, the museum, here's some local restaurant recommendations.

That's what you need to know for today, unless you want to read the entire internet on one page.

Don't forget to reserve your Fall Business Breakfast tickets. And check out Sister Margaret Mary Fitzpatrick at the 2:16:20 mark here.

Greg Reibman (he, him)
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