06-01-12 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. 

Upper Falls Trivia - The Upper Falls Greenway will be built on the old railroad tracks that run through Upper Falls.   Every one of the wooden railroad ties on that track, from the Charles River almost to Oak St has a pronounced gouge about midway between the two rails.   What is the source of those gouges? (answer below)

I Scream, You Scream, We All Love Free Ice Cream - Come join the neighborhood walk of the Upper Falls Greenway trail this Saturday morning, June 2 from 10AM - noon.   To sweeten the deal, there's a free ice cream for everyone who walk the whole route.   Walk to the river, and you'll be handed a token.  Walk to National Lumber and you'll be handed a different token.  Take them both to Upper Falls Variety and you can trade them for the ice cream or Slurpee of your choice.   Many thanks to both the Upper Falls Community Development Corp (CDC)  and Upper Falls Variety for sponsoring the walk ... and for all the other things they do for the neighborhood.

Pulling Them Nasty Weeds - There's a dedicated group of Newton citizens who have been waging war against a nefarious invader - Garlic Mustard.  This plant is an invasive species that not only quickly spreads but changes the soil chemistry to kill off the native plants.  These volunteers have been working continuously throughout the city over the last few years trying to keep ahead of the nasty weed.  Recently they've been working in our neighborhood and could use our help for a one day "garlic mustard pull". 

Volunteers should meet at 10 AM on Sat June 9, at the small parking lot at the bottom of Ellis St beside Rt. 9.  Wear long pants, closed shoes and garden gloves.  No previous experience necessary.  In a few minutes you will be fully trained for the search-and-destroy mission against this unwelcome invader.  Contact is Katherine Howard: (home) 617-527-1796, (cell) 617-721-2571

My First Upper Falls Omelet - I've never been good with dates and calendars.  This week I was invited to a party at Julie Irish's house in Upper Falls.  Julie was one of the organizers of the recent Countryside School fundraiser and the party was for the big crew of volunteers who helped out.  I arrived at the Columbia Ave home about a half hour after the party started.    Dean Whitney opened the door and welcomed me into a curiously quiet house.  I've met Dean a few times around the neighborhood but don't know him well.  After exchanging pleasantries, followed by a brief pause, he said "Well what can I do for you".  I said, "Um, ah, is this Julie Irish's house".   "yes", he said.   "um, ah, is there a party here tonight?" .  "Not as far as I know.  I'll ask Julie".  It turns out, I was a week off.  The party is next week and this was the first Dean had heard of it.

Despite the fact that I had unexpectedly rang their doorbell, they welcomed me in, gave me a beer and we gabbed out in the back yard.  They share their backyard with a flock of chickens that live in a spiffy new coop.  I left a half hour later with a box of fresh Upper Falls eggs under my arm.  I'll be back next week and who knows, I might score a few more eggs - your calendar challenged Upper Falls News editor.

Braceland Begins - The construction to rebuild the Braceland Parks tennis courts began this week.  They've already taken down the rusted old chain link fence and torn up the old surface of the tennis courts.

The Buddhist Revival - Here's a story about the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation's ongoing restoration of the old Methodist church on Summer St.

Red Fox Wandering Our Streets - Marie Jackson spotted a red fox on Spring St twice this week.  She can't swear to it but believes the two sightings might have been different animals.  She's beginning to think that a new family has moved into our neighborhood.  Better keep that chicken coop (see above) buttoned up tight.

New Apartments Soon Available - The brick building at 998 Chestnut St between Winter and Summer Streets has been getting rehabbed.  It looks like work is just finishing up and the new apartments will soon be ready.

Upper Falls Nursery School Now Enrolling - Since 1969, Upper Falls Nursery School has been running a half-day program for children ages 2.9 to 5years old in the Emerson Community Center on Pettee St.  Spaces are still available for the fall of 2012. So call 617-332-6488 if interested.

Upper Falls Area Council - The Upper Falls Area Council is your voice to the city.  Their next meeting is on Thursday, June 21 at 7pm at the Emerson Community Center on Pettee St.   This meeting will feature a presentation by Marian Knapp from the Newton Council on Aging.  She'll be describing the broad range of services available for seniors in Newton - for everybody from the fit, energetic and vigorous to the housebound.  If you're a senior come to the meeting.  Please spread the word to the seniors you know or to anyone looking after a senior in their home.    If you have ideas, concerns, or questions on any other topics in the village, send an email to the council (UpperFalls@NewtonMa.gov), come to the meeting, or both.

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, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Trivia Answer - A freight train derailed from the track and the gouges are from one set of the wheels of the derailed train rolling over the wooden ties.  If you have any further details about this derailment or know roughly what year it occurred, please send details to info@UpperFallsNews.orgThanks to Jim Lerner for this week's trivia question.