09-30-14 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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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 - What was the name of this popular ice skating spot in Upper Falls?  (answer below)

It's a Hit!  - The launch of Upper Falls brand new Newton Nomadic Theater last weekend was a huge success by any standards.  There were full houses on both nights, amazing performances, and fabulous reviews for the inaugural production of "Faith Healer" by Brian Friel. 

Faith Healer opened last week in Carriage House Violins in Upper Falls in the intimate recital hall within Carriage House Violins in the mill complex.  This coming weekend (10/3, 10/4) the production moves to Gregorian Rugs in Lower Falls where we will create a theater in the middle of Gregorian's beautiful showroom.  The closing weekend (10/10 - 10/11) will be at the chapel of First Baptist Church in Newton Centre. 

Make no mistake, this is not amateurish theater.  This is the real deal, the equal of anything you will see at any theater in greater Boston.  The cast of Dave Rich, Billy Meleady, and Upper Falls own Linda Goetz all deliver high wire performances that will take your breath away and Upper Falls director Marie Jackson is the woman behind the scenes.

Three luminous performances are at the heart of this elegant production. It was a pleasure to experience this powerful and strangely haunting play in an intimate setting right here in Newton. Theatre at its best is cleanly staged, excellently acted and touches themes that have you thinking and talking about the experiencedays later. NNT’s innaugural production hits all those marks. If the concepts of sophisticated theatre and Newton don’t naturally go together in your mind, then see this show and be moved by the talent and excellence that is right here in our community.” - Jennifer London

Order tickets now for one of the remaining four performances at http://NewtonNomadicTheater.org.  Tickets will also be available at the door if it doesn't sell out first.

Congratulations to the cast & crew of the new theater.  In one fell swoop, they just put Upper Falls on the Boston theater map.

Care & Feeding of New Oak Trees - Last issue we mentioned that Cedar Lawn Trees in Ashland had donated 100 oak saplings to the Upper Falls Greenway and that a group of neighborhood volunteers and members of the Newton Tree Conservancy had already planted quite a few of them.

Since then Betsy Hewitt has served as head tree nurse to make sure they're watered and stay healthy.  She's been shlepping water in one gallon jugs up and down the Greenway all week long.  Somewhere along the way she noticed that some of the trees were apparently being watered by someone else between her visits.  A few days ago the mystery was solved when she ran into Marty Malkesian.  Marty's back yard abuts the Greenway.  He noticed the new plantings with the little red flags and took it upon himself to start watering them too.  Now Betsy and Marty are working together and double teaming the young oaks.  Rather than carting water down from her house a mile a way, Marty's filling her jugs from his backyard cisterns.

Aside from the watering, Betsy has continued with planting quite a few more saplings in the last week.  On Sunday she was joined by Margaret Alexander for a bit more planting.  Next up, Marty and Betsy are going to plant a few along the border with Marty's back yard.

A Modest Proposal - Upper Falls'er Al Lewis has sent an interesting idea for killing a whole flock of birds with one stone.  Here's his proposal:

Al would personally offer an opening bid of $5000 for the right to rename the "Upper Falls Greenway" as the "Janet A Speers Memorial Path" to honor a loved one.  This would be an opening bid of an auction that others would be welcome to outbid him on.  The winning bid would be matched by the city with the proceeds to go to upkeep and improvement of the park.  The city's matching money would come from the following source:

The city would contract with individual homeowners in the no-parking and two-hour-parking zones near the overpass to the Eliot T to "rent" the space(s) in front of those homes to commuters.   Any homeowner may participate.  Obviously the value of the spaces is higher, the closer they are to the overpass.  So Margaret and that little dead-end off Margaret would fetch the highest prices.
The city puts up a website matching commuters and homeowners.  Suppose a prime space is worth $1000/year.  The homeowner gets half and the city gets half, and the city's half goes to support the park.
So here are the benefits:
--we raise the money
--participating homeowners make money
--commuters have an assured space
--commute times are reduced because they don't have to cross Rte 9 and go another half-mile.
--light-cycle delays at the Eliot Street light during rush hour are reduced.
--more spaces at the T for late arriving drivers.
Further almost every other city commuter lot except Woodland and Riverside is space-constrained.  The city could use this style plan near T stops across the city.

There sure are a lot of moving parts but it's an intriguing idea.  What do you think?

Swap Till You Drop - The 2nd Baptist Church at the top of Ellis St will be holding its semi-annual Swap Shop on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 from 10am until 2pm.  Everybody welcome.  You can bring something...or not.  You can take anything...or not.  Or you come, browse, talk to your neighbors, and have some coffee and munchkins.  A good time will be had by all

Spread The News - Ask your neighbors if they get the Upper Falls News.  If not forward them this issue and they can sign up for their own subscription here.

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 - That ice skating spot was New Pond.  New Pond is the little backwater of the river at the bottom of Hemlock Gorge that runs up alongside the Route 9 and Route 128 exit ramps.   Years ago, back before route 128 was built it was a bigger and more scenic body of water.