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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

School power

NEWTON

Anyone who's ever been in the way of a group of second graders on the way to recess knows that schools usually don't have a problem with energy.

Yet Marcia Tabenken, the mother of a second grader at Horace Mann Elementary School, said the principal emailed recently to inform families that the boiler didnít go on and to make sure kids dressed warmly. Last spring, she said, there was no air conditioning, and the heat was so bad that a teacher asked parents to bring in water bottles so the kids wouldnít get dehydrated.

Meanwhile, the School Departmentís energy costs are rising, and a grassroots group has formed to help the city address the problems.

Tabenken, a member of the groupís strategy team, said Stand for Children is pushing the city to hire an energy services company to implement long-term energy efficiency measures for the schools and other public buildings. The group is holding a forum on the idea on Dec. 5 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Newton Free Library.

-- Connie Paige

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