The publication, which is posted online and sent as a PDF for free to email subscribers, joins the Lincoln Journal, the Lincoln Squirrel and the Lincoln Review as print and/or web-based publications offering news and views about the town.
The publication got started to focus more attention on the neighborhoods to the immediate north and south of Route 2, including The Commons. “There was some sentiment from some people that we’re a little forgotten about,” said editorial board member Steve Durante, a Brooks Road resident. Other board members are Bob Domnitz, Maria Hylton and Jane Herlacher. Publication won’t be on a regular schedule but will be “issue-driven,” Domnitz said.
In recent years, several projects have directly impacted the north side of town—the Route 2 construction (which began inauspiciously when the clear-cutting of numerous trees angered nearby residents), the Minuteman High School building proposal, and Hanscom Field and Hanscom Air Force Base, where noise from airplanes has been a sore spot for years. Two years ago, residents also protested a proposal by Jet Aviation, which services and stores business jets at Hanscom, to expand its facilities there.
However, Northside News is not intended to be a complaint platform; “it’s all about communications and reflecting,” Domnitz said. “To the extent that it voices any opinion, it’s just as a conduit for the community.”
The first issue of Northside News in October included articles about the most recent developments in the McLean Hospital proposal for Bypass Road, the Minuteman High School project, and Hanscom runway repaving plans at Hanscom that could result in temporarily increased noise over Lincoln.
In recapping the September 20 district-wide financing vote for the school, the Minuteman article cast doubt on the sincerity of school officials who had promised there would be no driveway access from Mill Street, because “they have recently backed away from other commitments so residents are uncertain about the future.” Those included a pledge to abide by Lincoln zoning rules (though schools are exempt from many of them) and an expressed interest in a public-private partnership for developing the land under the existing building even though officials eaid earlier that they leaned toward recreational use of the land.
Issue #2 on November 19 reported a successful effort by area residents to relocate a potentially dangerous Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School bus stop. L-S moved the Brooks Road bus stop from the corner of Smith Hill Road and Brooks Road to Route 2A and Brooks Road at the beginning of this school year, but moved it back after protests from residents and a letter from Lincoln Police Chief Kevin Kennedy.
In the future, Northside News will keep an eye on other ongoing issues, including the Battle Road Scenic Byway, a state-designated section of Route 2A with a Corridor Management Plan that will “assist the four towns and the Minute Man National Historical Park in reaching agreement about how best to preserve the area’s intrinsic resources while expanding economic opportunities, developing a balanced tourism industry, and accommodating future development,” according to the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s website.
“There’s a lot going on in the area,” Durante said. “Hopefully other people will get involved, and we can share more information and be better informed.”