04-24-14 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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                                               *** Spring Cleaning Edition ***
The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going on 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. 

Upper Falls Trivia - Where in the oldest still-standing school in Newton?

Cleaning Our Dining Room  - The annual spring cleanup of Hemlock Gorge is this Saturday, April 26 so come on down and lend a hand.  All volunteers should meet at Hamilton Place, just over the river on Elliot Street between 9AM - 10 AM.   Lunch will provided at noon for the work crew courtesy of Dunn Gaherins restaurant. 

We've got a few meals of our own planned for Hemlock Gorge in the coming months so we want it to look its best.  The 2nd annual Feast of The Falls will be a catered dinner for 300 people on June 22.  Sometime between now and then we'd also like to organize a 2nd annual Eggcellent Breakfast in Hemlock Gorge.

Cleaning Up Our Back Yard  - If you can't help with the dining room then pitch in the next day on the back yard.   On Sunday April 27 at 9:30AM we'll be working on sprucing up the trails in Quinobequin Park, just on the far side of Route 9.  This project is part of the citywide NewtonSERVES day of volunteer activities.   Meet up at 9:30 at the corner of Quinobequin and Radcliff Rd.  After a cup of coffee we'll be doing trimming of vegetation along the trails and trash cleanup.

In recent years, our neighborhood NewtonSERVES project has been on the Upper Falls Greenway.  This year the Greenway construction is underway and it's now a construction site so we hope you all turn out for the Quinobequin cleanup instead.  To sign up, click here and pick the Quinobequin project.  Wear long sleeves and pants and bring pruners and gloves if you have them.  All volunteers are also invited to City Hall for free ice cream at 3 PM courtesy of Cabots Ice Cream in Newtonville.

It Made Milwaukee Famous - The two side by side houses at 80 and 82 High St have been gutted over the last two weeks and are now empty shells.   Michael Donovan and his kids were checking out the construction site last weekend and uncovered this historical artifact.  Notice that this was from the days before pull tops.

Looks like there may have been more rotten wood than was expected in the wooden house at #82.  The plan was to keep the outside intact and just gut the interior.  After they pulled it down to the shell they then proceeded to remove the roof and a portion of the 2nd floor of the building.

Smallest/Longest Neighborhood Construction Project - For months now the Upper Falls Variety Store has been promised a new door by the landlord.  Over that time, every week or so someone different comes in, takes measurements, and says they're ordering a new door.  A week later the process repeats itself.  After a while they began to wonder if this was all an elaborate practical joke.

Today the long running door vigil ended.  After all those measurements and all the talk of orders that has been placed, A workman turned up to rebuild/refurbish the old beat up door.   So no shiny new door for the Variety Store after all, they'll just patch up ye olde door and call it a day.

Water Comes to Spring St - About 100 years after the rest of Newton, Spring St is about to get its own water main.  In the last two days the crew has dug up the street, laid the main to the front of the Upper Falls News World Headquarters.  Tomorrow it looks like they'll be punching a hole in the front of the house.

Human Foosball - One of the water line construction guys asked me today what these wheels are for on the swing set in our yard.  It was a simple question with a bizarre answer.

There's always at least a few personal projects going on around here and maybe 2/3 of them eventually come to fruition and others fall by the wayside.  Those wheels are part of the Human Foosball project that never got completed, but maybe it's time to resurrect it.

Foosball is the table top soccer game with sliding/spinning bars with little plastic soccer players guys on them.  Human Foosball is the same game scaled up to a very large wooden structure with live, kicking human kids hanging from moveable steel bars.  Two years ago I got so far as testing out building bearings for steel bars out of carriage wheels and testing them out on my daughter's swing set.  They bearings and bars worked fine and an adult is able to move a hanging kids on the bar.   For the test I used cutoff jeans hanging from the belt loops as harnesses.  The young boy who was our test subject experienced very unpleasant physiological problems having to do with the male anatomy.  So clearly, a little more work still needs to be done on the harness design but that's an eminently solvable problem.

So if any readers, especially those with carpentry skills, would like to volunteer we may be able to resurrect and complete this wildly bizarre project for endangering young children.  Let me know if you're game.

Old Upper Falls Lemonade - Here's a photo of someone named Ken Marks with his friends running a lemonade stand at the Emerson Playground back in the day.  If anyone knows Ken and would have a guess what year the photo was taken, let us know.

Did You Know .. that American schoolchildren rank 25th in math and 21st in science out of the top 30 developed countries....but ranked 1st in confidence that they outperformed everyone else."  Did You Know ..." features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by 6th grade Upper Falls resident Ian Wittler.

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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 news@UpperFallsNews.org and we'll include them in the next newsletter.  For those who prefer living in the past, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Upper Falls Trivia Answer - The building (below) on Chestnut St just down from from Winter St that now houses Everpresent was the 3rd school house built in Newton, and the only one still standing.