04-20-12 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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The Upper Falls News
The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going in our village.  The Upper Falls News is brought to you by the Upper Falls Area Council but it's intended to cover any and all news in the village.  If you have any upcoming events, activities, news or stories related to Upper Falls just send them to info@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.

Upper Falls Trivia - How far apart (via water) are the two waterfalls - Upper Falls and Lower Falls?

Special Edition - It's school vacation week, many folks are away and the news in the Falls is light this week.  So this week's issue of the Upper Falls News has a special slant - dispelling a few local rumors.

At Your Own Risk - There's been lots of hubbub, both pro and con, in Newton recently over a proposal to allow "swim at your own risk" in Crystal Lake - lots of letters to the editor, blog posts, and a protest march last Sunday.  We want to assure everyone here in Upper Falls that the rumors about a fledgling movement to allow "ride over the falls in a wooden barrel at your own risk" are absolutely not true.  The Charles River abutters who have been alarmed about the potential for downstream splinters can rest easy.  There is absolutely no truth to any of these rumors.

International Circulation - The Upper Falls News has only been running for a few months but its circulation continues to rise.  Like the New York Times, the Upper Falls News is now distributed far beyond its home village.  In the past month, we've added many new subscribers from the outer-lying villages (from the Upper Falls point of view), from City Hall, towns across MA, other states, and one subscriber in England.   Apparently, you can take the subscriber out of Upper Falls but you can't take Upper Falls out of the subscriber.  Despite this rapid expansion of the subscriber base, rumors of the Upper Falls News opening an international news desk are premature.

Sunday Fun at the Emerson - Sunday free form fun for the young'uns (under 11 year olds) resumes this Sunday, 2 - 4 PM at the Emerson Community Center  The gym is well stocked with a big closet full of equipment for all sorts of activities (e.g. basketball, baseball, floor hockey, dodge ball) so anything can happen.

Countryside's Spring Fling - Tickets have just gone on sale for Countryside School's Spring Fling on May 18 - a night of comedy along with both a live and a silent auction.  This year, the Countryside PTO has switched from innumerable smaller fundraisers to a few big fundraisers so it's particularly important for Countryside parents and friends to pack the house at Waban's Windsor House for what sounds like a fun night out.  Order your tickets today!

Good Deeds Rewarded - A few issues back we reported on nine year old Jayla Reilly, Saylor Flannery and younger brother Logan Flannery finding a cash filled wallet in Hemlock Gorge and mailing it back to its grateful owner.   This week the tables were turned on the three youngsters.  Connor Huggan from Franklin, the grateful owner of the wallet, sent each of the three children a $25 gift certificate to Toys-R-Us as a reward for returning his wallet.  The kids started off their spring school vacation this week in style ... with a toy shopping binge.

Kennedy Compound - Joe Kennedy's campaign headquarters for his US Senate run is right here in Upper Falls - in the very last building on Chestnut St, 1254 Chestnut St.  The campaign posters in all the windows are a dead giveaway.  All of that is true, but the rumor that Mr. Kennedy has just bought the entire top floor of the old Emerson School to turn into a single luxury apartment is definitely not true.

Dam Preparations - The project to replace the small sluiceway dam in Hemlock Gorge at the corner of Ellis St and the Rt. 9 exit continues.   A floating dock has been moored just upstream from the crumbling dam.  The dock will be used as a platform for some of the construction work on the dam.  There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the dock is associated with a future plan for an Upper Falls Yacht Club.

Spring Cleaning - The Hemlock Gorge spring clean up will be this Saturday morning, April 21, with volunteers meeting any time from 9-10 AM in the parking lot on Hamilton Place, just over the Needham side of the river, off Elliot St.  The Upper Falls Greenway cleanup is the following weekend on Sun, April 29 and is part of the citywide annual NewtonSERVES day.  For more info or to sign up, click here.

Local Weighs in On Global Issues - Local resident and Area Councilor Mark Bridger weighed in on the global warming issue in the Boston Globe's letters to the editor this past Sunday

Upper Falls International - Upper Falls resident Jerry Reilly has been writing an occasional neighborhood column for the Newton Patch.  Here's his latest column about Upper Falls, the international crossroads.

Spread The Word - Our goal is to collect email addresses from every resident of Upper Falls as well as anyone else who's interested in the village.  Please help spread the word and urge your friends, family and neighbors to sign up for The Upper Fall News.

Send Us Your News - If you have any upcoming events, activities, news, trivia, stories, anecdotes or jokes related to Upper Falls just send them to info@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.  By the way, so far we have received Upper Falls event, news, trivia and anecdotes from our readers .... but we're still waiting for the first Upper Falls joke submission ... and we may live to regret those words.

Trivia Answer - The rumor that Upper Falls and Lower Falls are nearly exactly  2 miles apart on the Charles River is true!. 

Extra Credit Bonus Question - How far apart are the main Upper Falls in Hemlock Gorge and the Horseshoe Falls beside Route 9?  ... almost exactly 0.2 miles.

Rail-Gate Scandal - The last issue's trivia question unleashed a scandal that has rocked the Upper Falls Newsroom.  The published answer to last week's trivia question was - a 39 foot section of rail from the Upper Falls railroad line weighs 1495 lbs.  Remarkably, Peter Aransky, an attentive and knowledgeable reader, took one look at the number and knew it must be wrong, "I ask because a lot of rails that were manufactured during the late 1800's and early 1900's weighed 1,690 pounds  and some even weighed 2,015 pounds".

It turns out, as best as we can tell,  Mr. Aransky was indeed correct and the Upper Falls rails are 130 weight (130 lbs/yd) and weigh 1690 lbs each.  The editor of the UF News extends a heartfelt apology to all the misled readers for this egregiously sloppy fact checking.  The editor has offered to "fall on his sword" and resign in disgrace in an effort to salvage the tattered reputation of the Upper Falls News.  The Area Council though has decided to allow the editor to continue in the job so long as all future factual matters related to railroads, get pre-publication fact checking from Mr. Aransky.  Thank you Mr. Aransky.