11-16-12 News

Newton Upper Falls news, activities and events
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The Upper Falls News is an email newsletter about what's going 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's unusual about the history of the St Elizabeth Center, the large white building with the white columns on Elliot Street on the Mary Immaculate of Lourdes church's property?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$ - On Thursday morning, one of the regulars at the Upper Falls Variety store scratched a lottery ticket and won a $1,000,000.  What a nice way to start your day.  The lucky winner works for the city and buys his tickets there regularly.

Crowd-sourced History Map - Here's a simple demonstration of an interactive Upper Falls History map.  The idea is that any one would be able to click on any house on the map and add details they know about it, photos etc and see what other people have contributed.  Slowly the map will fill up with all of our collected information.  Note, the demonstration is just that.  It's not the real map - yet!  Check out the demo and you'll get the general idea.   A volunteer with some specific technical skills (SQL, web development, etc) is needed to help get this up and running. If this sounds like a fun project and your know you way around SQL/web programming, contact Jerry Reilly.

Who Lost a Bird? - Nona Kochs was walking down Oak St recently when she met a bird.  The bird walked right up to her and looked at her and then kept looking at her.  The bird was clearly used to people and quite sociable.  Nina realized that it must be an escaped pet.  She called a friend who has a few birds and asked her what she should do.  The friend came down with some bird food, and the bird gratefully and hungrily gobbled it up.  Nina considered bringing the bird home with her but had second thoughts when she imagined here cats meeting the bird.  Her friend took the bird home and has been looking after it.  The bird is healthy and well looked after but probably misses its owner.  So if you've recently lost a bird, call Nina (617-969-2508) so she can arrange a joyful reunion.  Nina is one of Upper Falls Area Councilors and often volunteers for all sorts of community activities.  Her new role running Upper Falls avian foster care service is beyond even her normal high standard of community service - thanks Nina.

Keep Safe - The Newton Police Department and the Newton Parks & Recreation Department are sponsoring a free RAD (Rape Agression Defense) training program at the Emerson Community Center on the next three Sundays.  RAD is a widely recognized system of effective self defense for women.  Over 900,000 women have been trained around the world.  The training is for women 16 and older and is intended for the average woman with no previous experience or background in physical skills training.   The training will be on Sunday Dec 2, Dec 9, Dec 16 from 11AM - 2PM.  Best of all - it's free!  To register, send an email to radnpd@gmail.com

Who Wants To Write a Book? - Plans are slowly coming together for publishing the "Upper Falls Scrapbook".  It will be a large format paperback, full of photos, profiles of Upper Falls people, houses, stories, memories etc. and it will be sold around the neighborhood, in local stores and on Amazon.com.  The proceeds from the book will go entirely to the fund for rebuilding the Emerson Playground.   If you live in Upper Falls and would like to be included in the book, just send an email.  If you have any anecdotes, memorabilia or other Upper Falls information, send an email.  Most importantly, we're looking for two volunteers to help put the book together.  It's guaranteed to be a fun project, not require a big time investment and no previous experience necessary.  Send an email.

One More Greenway Vote - The Upper Falls Greenway plan got a unanimous "thumbs up" from the Board of Aldermen's Finance Committee this week.  The Finance Committee needed to approve a request from the mayor for the purchase of an environmental insurance to cover the proposed park.  There are still two remaining votes by the aldermen coming up - one from the Program & Services Committee followed by a vote by the full board.  Once that's done, the city will be able to sign a lease for the property with the MBTA.

Cut the Dam(n) Ribbon - The reconstruction of Hemlock Gorge's sluiceway dam is complete.  The construction project at the bottom of Ellis St started last April.  While the dam appeared very small the construction project was quite big.  The water had to be diverted and there was major excavation down below the riverbed.  Now that it's complete, it's looking good - new fences and walkway are an added bonus.  Next Monday afternoon, Nov 19 at 3:30PM there will be a Ribbon Cutting Event to celebrate the completion of the project.

Did you know ... ? Herrings communciate by passing gas!.  "Did you know ...?"  features an interesting and random fact every issue, collected by ten year old Upper Falls resident Jayla Reilly.

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.

Trivia Answer - It was moved!  The St Elizabeth Center was originally built on a different site on Elliot street, closer to Oak St.  It was built as a private home in 1838.  In 1909 the church bought the house and moved it to its present site.