06-08-12 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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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 - What winged hunter has been hanging out in the bell tower of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Church in recent months? (answer below)

Greenway Washout - Last Saturday's neighborhood walk of the Upper Falls Greenway trail was a washout.   The steady downpour all morning on Saturday kept most folks curled up in the dry comfort of their homes.  Despite the weather, a few hardy hikers didn't let the monsoon-like weather come between them and their promised ice cream.  We hope to reschedule the event  for some future weekend for all of us fair weather hikers ... and to give those hardy hikers a chance to score another free ice cream.

Free Laughs at the NE Mobile Book Fair - Aidan Parkinson is an Irish born actor/playwright who's been living and working in Boston in recent years.  He published his first novel a few months ago.  Named Mommy is a "laugh-a-minute story about two brothers, one a petty thief, the other, a failed monk, both in pursuit of Nuala, a woman with a complicated past, in a small Irish town".  Aidan will be at the New England Mobile Book Fair this Sat June 9 from 2 - 4PM, reading from his book, signing copies, and talking about writing, acting, and the quirky lives of characters both real and fictional in small town Ireland.

Is it Garlic or Is it Mustard?- A dedicated group of Newton citizens have been waging a long war against Garlic Mustard.  This plant is an invasive species that not only quickly spreads but changes the soil chemistry to kill off the native plants.  Recently these volunteers have 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 quick minutes you can become a fully trained garlic mustard hunter.  Contact is Katherine Howard: (home) 617-527-1796, (cell) 617-721-2571

Days of Our Villages - Our next door neighbors are celebrating Newton Highlands Village Day this Sunday, June 10 from noon - 5 PM.  Hike on over to the Highlands and enjoy their entertainment, rides, food, and crafts.  Meanwhile, preparations are beginning for Upper Falls Village Day which will be held on Sept 23 this year.  If you'd like to be involved with the planning for our annual neighborhood event, send an email to Anil Adyanthaya (adyanthaya@aol.com)

New Neighbors - Here's Marie Jackson's story about a new family moving into the neighborhood.

Tell a Neighborhood Story - Every week or two, Jerry Reilly's been writing a blog post for the Newton Patch called "Dispatch From Upper Falls".  These are usually simple stories about something going on in the neighborhood.  This week, Marie Jackson took a turn writing a "dispatch" (above).  It got us thinking that maybe some of you might like to take a crack and write one.  If you're interested, take a look at a few of the previous "dispatches" to get an idea of the general format.  While not absolutely required, it's always a good idea to have a photo or two to go along with it. Send any ideas, questions, or "dispatches" to JerReilly@yahoo.com.

Hope For the Hemlocks - The hemlock trees across the region, including many in Hemlock Gorge have been slowly succumbing in recent years to an infestation of wooly adelgids.  Until recently there's been no practical effective treatment.  Friend of Hemlock Gorge, Bob Burke, has just learned that there is now an effective way to save the remaining still-healthy hemlocks.  Bob and the Friends of Hemlock Gorge are working on a plan for the autumn to treat as many of the healthy hemlocks as they can afford.  More details later as this plan takes shape.

Upper Falls Esplanade - This week's Newton Tab featured a guest editorial describing various ways to improve our neighborhood's park land along the Charles River.

Have We Got a Deal For You - How do you park for free in a City lot?  Where can you go for lunch for $1.75?  What do you have to do to get $1000 off your property taxes?  If you are a Senior or look after a Senior you can find out at the next Area Council Meeting, where Marian Knapp from the Newton Council on Aging will be answering these and many other questions about the deals and services available to senior citizens in Newton.  7 PM, Thursday June 21 at the Emerson Community Center.

Crowd Mobs the Greenway - The city's Greenway Working Group, as well as various other interested parties, walked the length of the proposed bike/walking trail this morning.  The cast of characters included two area counsilors (Hewitt and Ohanian), four aldermen (Crossley, Fischman, Rice and Yates),  one state rep (Kahn), the president of Iron Horse Preservation, the city's chief operating officer, DPW engineer, Parks & Rec representative, Bike/Ped Task Force folks and half a dozen others.

The Greenway Working Group is now firing on all cylinders.  The end-to-end walk with the whole team sparked lots of ideas this morning and led to discussions about everything from drainage issues to a possible neighborhood garden.

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.  For those who prefer living in the past, back issues of the Upper Falls News are archived at UpperFallsNews.org.

Train Derailment Details - Last week's trivia question was about a train that derailed on the railroad tracks that will soon become the Upper Falls Greenway.   Here's some wonderfully vivid details of what happened, sent by Ernest Johnstone:

"The train came off the tracks I think in 1966 or 67.  My family was living at 44 Mechanic St.  There was one box car full of soda.  Everyone came to get some.  There was a very nice man we all called "Jerry the Drunk".  Looking back I now know he just had a tough life (nice man).  So he was telling us kids to take what we wanted, acting like he was in charge.  It was raining that day. There was a man that worked for the railroad on the side of the train, hanging on the ladder.  He just got to the top in time, when it fell on its side.  Wow, I have not thought of this in years."

N.U.F. was a great place to have grown up in.  My childhood could not have been any better. I miss it and all the people.  How many remember Jerry and what he could do on his bike ?  ... and hello to all my old friends :) happy.

Trivia Answer - On most days, a red tailed hawk can be spotted perched in the bell tower of the church at Oak and Elliot Streets or soaring in the sky nearby.  Thanks to Jack Neville for this week's trivia question.