10-16-14 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 - How many issues of the Upper Falls News have been published since it started?

Come on Down and Pick It Up - The annual fall cleanup of Hemlock Gorge is this Saturday, Oct 18.  Meet between 9 and 10 AM at Hamilton Place (just over the river on Elliot Street).  Join with your neighbors to spruce up our favorite park.  Finish up at noon with complimentary lunch donated by Dunn Gaherins Pub Restaurant and then ...

Swap Till You Drop - The 2nd Baptist Church at the top of Ellis St will be holding its semi-annual Swap Shop this 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.

If You're Still Not Done Swapping - Next Saturday, Oct 25, is the citywide Fall Swap and Recycle Day at the Rumford Ave Transfer Station.

Whole Foods in the Falls - The Upper Falls Variety store just added fresh Grannie Smith apples to their inventory at the register - i.e. both fruit and nuts now.  What's next?  Organic porcini mushrooms?  Not to worry says Tommy, he'll also continue catering to all our junk food/lottery/cigarette/coffee vices too.

Fiddling in the Falls - Head down to Carriage House Violins this Saturday for some old time fiddle and banjo music.  This Sat, Oct 18 at 7:30 PM, Adrianna Ciccone & Allison DeGroot will be performing at the beautiful Carriage House recital hall.  Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors and students - click here.  Between presenting theater a few weeks ago and music this weekend, Carriage House Violins is turning into a wonderful local asset for the neighborhood.

The Facelift of the Falls - There's been a number of projects going on around here in recent months that seem to be dragging on.  Oak Street repaving, Pettee Street repaving, rebuilding of the Emerson Playground, Upper Falls Greenway.  The good news - Oak Street is now done with nice new street paving and sidewalks, Pettee Street is done,  the playground's not completed but will be soon.  The bad news - the Upper Falls Greenway project has been frozen in its tracks for many months.  The city is doing everything it can to push along the contractor to finish the job, but so far they haven''t had much luck.  The only good news there is that Biltmore has built and planted a nice vegetation border along the not-yet-built Greenway.  Likewise, Creative Development, the owner of the parking lot at the end of Chestnut has also spruced up and planted along their Greenway border.

It's Not Too Late - The launch of the new Upper Falls based Newton Nomadic Theater went off without a hitch.  The first production, "Faith Healer" by Brian Friel opened three weeks ago here in Upper Falls at Carriage House Violins.  Since then, it's been playing to full houses and wonderful reviews in Lower Falls and Newton Centre.  Last Saturday was to have been the closing night but the run has just been extended for three more shows.  Fri Nov 7 and Sat Nov 8 it will move to the Auburndale Library and on Sun Nov 9 it will close at the Brendan Behan Pub in Jamaica Plain.

Check out the reviews or order tickets for one of these remaining three performances at http://NewtonNomadicTheater.org

Wiliam "Bill"Fraser  longtime proud resident of the Falls, died on September 29, 2014. Beloved husband of Carol Perry for 59 years of wedded bliss. Proprietor of Fraser Auto Repair he was the ultimate gear head. He took great pride in his many cars including his 1929 Whippet, 63 Falcon and his WWII Army jeep. He leaves behind his children, Jeanne, Billy, Michelle, Bonnie, Russell and Karen (The Bump). He was the proud grandfather of ten and great-grandfather to nine. He also leaves behind his lifelong friend Lyman Rutherford. Together they shared many years of hijinks and adventure.

Secret Salon - Your Seacrets Salon opened for business back in May on Chestnut St, across from the Mobil Station.  It's both a hair and skin care salon.  It's been a struggle to get the word out to the neighborhood in part due to regulations on allowable signs.  They've asked us to let you all know about it.  So stop in and see Lynette.

Great Minds Think Alike - Two weeks ago, all around great neighborhood guy Evan Westrate noticed that three of the planks on the footbridge in Hemlock Gorge had rotted through.  He contacted one of his regular co-conspirators, Lee Fisher.  Lee's another long time, behind the scenes, force of nature for taking care of things that need taking care of around Upper Falls.  So the two of them headed down on Saturday morning and replaced the rotted planks in the DCR park.  Here's a photo of their handiwork on Saturday.  Then on Monday morning a DCR crew showed up and replaced the entire deck of the bridge end to end.  It's a shame Evan & Lee wasted their time but that was a perfect Evan and Lee get-it-done project.  It's great to have those guys around here.

A Modest Proposal (continued) - In the last issue, Upper Fallsér Al Lewis asked us to print his idea for simultaneously funding the Upper Falls Greenway and solving parking problems in the neighborhood.  His plan involved auctioning off the right to choose a name for the Greeway as well as having homeowners rent out the parking spots in front of their houses with the proceeds being split between the homeowner and the city. 

We heard plenty in response.  First off we heard from the city's Parks & Recreation Dept.  They just wanted to let it be known that the city already has a very detailed policy regarding the naming of public parks.  This proposal would clearly violate those rules as written.

Then we heard from a number of you.  Here are some excerpts:

"The idea of renting those parking spaces is genius! It would benefit so many people in so many ways. As an occasional commuter, I can attest that there are often NO spaces available at the Eliot Station after 8:30 am on a weekday.... This is a  great solution to a neighborhood-wide issue. Fully support!" - Nancy Gardner

"Lets not kill any birds with the stone you have on the table! Upper Falls Greenway needs to live on. I am sure this person was a very nice lady but the name is not for sale" - Betsy Hewitt

"Personally, I think the idea of homeowners renting out parking spots near the T is a bad idea.  It would set a precedent for homeowners to rent out spots for other reasons as well.  Think of the homeowners in Southie who try to reserve plowed parking spaces in front of their homes. These are public streets and I think they should remain that way." - Sue Eisner

"I am saddened to think that the name would go to the highest bidder. Money shouldn't buy everything" - Susan Sweeney

From the folks who wrote, the sentiment was about 5::1 against the idea.  For those who were against, half objected to the idea of auctioning off the name of the park, the other half objected to the idea of "privatizing" public parking spots, and some both.

In any case, from what I've heard from the city neither auctioning the park name or renting out parking spots on the streets is something that can be done within the current rules.

So Al, I think you may have one serious uphill battle trying to get that plan enacted.

Area Council Meeting - October's meeting of the Upper Falls Area Council is today, Thurs Oct 16 at 7PM at the Emerson Community Center on Pettee St.  All members of the public are welcome to bring up any neighborhood issues at the meeting.

Did You Know ... that as a final insult, Karl Marx was buried in Highland Cemetery, which is private property?  Did You Know ..." features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by 7th grade Upper Falls resident Ian Wittler.
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 - Yes I know, we're scraping the bottom of the Upper Falls trivia barrel with this one.   Since the Upper Falls News started (Feb 2012) there have been 70 issues to date.  They've come on out on a very irregular schedule, with some months having a flurry of issues and others having none.