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“The Heights” report on Newton Village People First Quarterly Meeting

“The Heights” report on Newton Village People First Quarterly Meeting

OurNewton.org Gets Shout Out in The Heights

“The Village People” is a an open committee under the auspices of The Mayor of Newton. A reporter from The Heights (Boston College press) attended and reported on the first quarter meeting.

OurNewton.org is a volunteer-run community website that publishes events and news all about Newton, MA. I have been involved in OurNewton.org for 9 years now along with many other volunteers and high school and college interns.

“A popular topic of conversation revolved around OurNewton.org, a one-stop website featuring news on events and initiatives from all 11 villages of Newton. The organization operates as a not-for-profit and volunteer-driven organization, where any visitor can request for their event to be listed under a specific calendar on the site—some calendars cover local business, some concern entertainment, and others have content geared specifically toward elders, teens, or parents of small children.

Janet Porcaro, hailing from Newton Corner (though she considers herself a Newtonville resident at heart), used her introduction to explain the site a little further.

“I’m a real estate agent, an adoring grandmother, and I am a secret geek,” she said. “So my thing is for the past nine years I have helped run OurNewton.org.”

She said that the site gets at least 600 hits a month (“easy”) and over 6,000 people receive the newsletter weekly, though she conceded she’s been a little off-schedule as of late.

The discourse delved into a discussion about the logistics of alternate calendar systems—one that could reach a wider audience and could also be more centralized. Ideas ranged from Facebook calendars to Google calendars, to even setting up a mass email list owned by the town—an idea shot down by Rice, who pointed out that the emails would be technically public information and could therefore be accessed by ne’er-do-wells.”  The Heights



2013 Cultural Icon for Keller Williams New England Region

2013 Cultural Icon for Keller Williams New England Region


At the core of Keller Williams Realty is a conviction that who you are in business with matters. We believe that the company we keep can contribute to our lives in untold ways. To help cement this understanding, we’ve formalized a belief system called the WI4C2TS that guides how we treat each other and how we do business.

2012 Good Neighbor Award Winner!

2012 Good Neighbor Award Winner!

2012 Good Neighbor Award

The recipient of the 2012 GBAR Good Neighbor Award, Janet Porcaro, received a $2,500 grant in her name for The Newton Partnership.

2012 Charitable Contributions

  • The Community Service Committee chose 10 local housing and homeless assistance organizations to receive grants of $2,500 each. The recipient organizations were: A Place to Turn in Natick; Community Action Agency of Somerville; Family Reach Foundation of Boston; Heading Home, Inc. in Cambridge; the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless based in Lynn; the Massachusetts Housing Shelter & Alliance in Boston; the Newton Partnership in Newton; “Our Place” Daycare Center for Homeless Children in Cambridge; Rebuilding Together Boston in Jamaica Plain; the Somerville Homeless Coalition; and Victory Programs, Inc. of Boston.
  • The recipient of the 2012 GBAR Good Neighbor Award, Janet Porcaro, received a $2,500 grant in her name for The Newton Partnership.
  • GBAR donated $10,000 to the National Association of REALTORS® Relief Foundation to support association members and other property owners who suffered damage or the loss of a home, business, or other personal property as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Funds for this donation come from the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation, which is supported, in part, from voluntary contributions made by GBAR members during the annual dues billing process. The donation was disseminated via state REALTOR® associations in affected areas, and 100% of the monies donated to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation went to the victims of this disaster.
  • GBAR organized the 5th annual “Furnish the Future” furniture drive benefiting the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless. Olympia Moving and Storage donated their time and trucks to pick up several truckloads of furniture, small appliances and household items and deliver them to the Coalition’s furniture bank, which later will be disseminated to families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing. ~www.gbreb.com

Some of Janet’s Contributions

Janet has a passion for helping people. Over the past 22 years, Janet has stayed consistently engage in volunteer activities to benefit the Newton community, especially the youth and their schools. She served as PTO Co-President in 3 schools; sat of the Board of Newton PTO Council; participated in the Newton Public Schools Mathematics Curriculum Advisory Committees, and Technology Advisory Committee. Outside the school community, Janet has participated in the Newton Youth Commission. Under the auspices of the Mentor Connection; she piloted a Teen Cooking Program at the Newton Teen Center. With her leadership experience in the Newton community, she has developed a reputation as a respected and effective participant in local affairs.

In her 3 terms as PTO Co-Present, Janet used her skills and experience as a technology trainer, to automate processes, create electronic communication systems, develop sites, mentor other volunteers and advise the school system on technology issues. Her work as a communicator has helped to connect the enormous community. In fact, this is part of Janet’s passion for evolving new and better systems to reach out and engage the diverse community.

“Janet’s mind is always working, and she grows along the way.” ~Sally Brickell, Co-President, Newton North High School

Janet became increasingly aware of much-needed support for at-risk youth. Janet loves to cook–especially Italian cuisine.  After participating in the training provided by the Mentor Connection, Janet taught her first cooking class at the Newton Teen Center. Met with great success, the following winter, Janet worked with the Partnership to develop and deliver a successful Italian cooking series for the Teen Center.