In what will surely go down in the all-time annals of nanny state-ism, a Newton man is being told to remove 34 hanging tomato plants from his parents' front yard or face $300 a day in fines. See, Newton prohibits any accessory structure in front yards, including swing sets, swimming pools and sheds. The prohibition also includes the tomato contraption that Eli Katzoff rigged up at his childhood home off Route 9 to avoid messing with his dad's ground-level garden (his folks are out of town—boy, are they in for a surprise!). The rig "resembles a string of red Chinese lanterns in the heart of suburbia," according to The Globe's Dierdre Fernandes.
The city didn't want to play the heavy, understand. They've even suggested that Katzoff find some open space near a public park. Or perhaps tie the tomatoes in with the Jewish feast Sukkot, though the tents associated with that are only allowed by Newton in the fall. For his part, Katzoff is making a documentary of the contraption conniption: Counterattack of the Killer Tomatoes. (We kid, though cool title, no?)