by Jennifer Katz

Chestnut Hill Newsstand has a new owner (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

There’s a new newsman in town. As of March 1, former Chestnut Hill Community Manager and current Councilman Frank Rizzo staffer Stewart Graham purchased the newsstand at the top of the Hill by Chestnut Hill West train station.

“I thought it would be interesting,” said Graham.

When he learned the former owners were looking to sell, Graham said he decided he would step in to preserve what he calls an “iconic” part of Chestnut Hill.

“People can expect it to be a friendly place,” he said.

Graham doesn’t plan to change much, but has already begun reshaping the newsstand to reflect his personality. For one thins, the stand no longer sells cigarettes.

“I have no objection to people smoking, but I don’t want to be a purveyor of cigarettes,” he said.

And now that Border’s is no longer on the Hill, the newsstand will once again sell magazines. Eventually, Graham would like to sell small, packaged food items like soft pretzels and cookies.

For now, he has hired Jim Boyle, a horticulturist, to run the stand.

“He’s very honest, concerned about people,” Graham said.

More changes are on the way. Graham plans to add central heat and air conditioning as well as replace the metal roll down grates with secure wood shutters.

Graham said his intention is to enjoy the stand, which is now open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and to preserve its place in the community.

“I’m not looking to make money, just want to do something fun,” he said.