Author Archives: Michael Oates

Food History, Booming Boston, Short Stories:  BU Spring Seminar Series

The Boston University Evergreen Program for those 58 and up has announced three seminars for this spring.  Hour and a half lectures April 3, 10, and 24 for two series are: “The History of America in Three Meals” and “Booming Boston:  How the Metropolitan Area Has Developed”, each $40.  “Best Short Stories”, March 27, April 3, 10, 24 and May 1 is from 1:00–2:20 pm, $60.  For more details and registration, see http://www.bu.edu/evergreen/ or call 617-358-1350.

Brookline is an Age Friendly Business Town

Nearly 50 Brookline businesses, large and small throughout Brookline, are designated as Age Friendly.   This means that the establishments attract seniors by offering services that are attractive to them, such as shopping by phone or on-line, offering discounts or employment opportunities, or provide safety features, such as clearly marked steps.

Look for the “Age Friendly” decal on doors and windows at participating stores and businesses.  They include banks, retail stores, cultural institutions and hotels.  A complete list of participating businesses can be found on the BrooklineCAN website http://www.brooklinecan.org/afb_list.php). These businesses are enthusiastic about the Age-Friendly Movement, which was initiated by Brookline Community Aging Network (BrooklineCAN)—an all-volunteer organization—and the Brookline Council on Aging.

Benches, Pedestrians & BrooklineCAN

In the months ahead, look for new benches along both sides of Beacon Street sidewalks. In direct response to a request from the BrooklineCAN Livable Community Advocacy Committee, the Department of Public Works is planning to install new benches to support those who walk along Beacon Street. Most of the new benches will be placed in between the commercial areas. In the past, benches on Beacons Street have been located only in the St. Mary’s, Coolidge Corner, and Washington Square commercial districts. Because many people walk all along Beacon Street, BrooklineCAN has advocated for an expanded supply of benches. The new benches will be placed in locations where the benches do not interfere with either pedestrian traffic or those who park cars along the curbs.

Also in response to a request from BrooklineCAN, the Town is seeking a donor for a proposed new bench on Harvard Street near the intersection with Stearns Road. The bench placement will create a pocket park within an existing cluster of street trees. The Parks and Open Space Division offers a popular program that makes is possible to honor individuals by dedicating benches in parks. Now the Town is extending that program to the Harvard Street sidewalk. For more information, contact the Parks and Open Space Division (617-730-2088).

File of Life

The File of Life (FOL) is a card that contains your medical information and tells who to call if there is an emergency. Having this information available will save time and can make a big difference. If you are not able to tell people who your doctor or emergency contacts are, what your medical conditions are and which prescriptions you take, they will be able to get this information from your FOL card.

The FOL card comes in a magnetic case that will stick to your refrigerator and a small card you can carry in your wallet or purse. It will make hospital admission easier and help make sure you get the right treatment in an emergency.

For assistance in obtaining a File of Life card call the Brookline Council on Aging at 617-730-2777.

Age Friendly TV Series

The 20th Age Friendly Cities TV show features new Police Chief Andrew Lipson and Elder Affairs Officer Michael Disario.  Both were raised in Brookline and have thorough knowledge of the community. 

Chief Lipson and Officer Disario particularly addressed the relationship between the community and the police, older adults, and regional police departments.

We recommend all members of BrooklineCAN watch the show as the conversation featured information pertinent to safety and community support for older adults. Programs are aired on Channel 3 on Comcast and RCN immediately following The Grandstanders live sports analysis show and are available on the BrooklineCAN web site and the BrooklineCAN Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

February Book Sales to Benefit Quezalguaque Library

Need a Valentine’s present for a loved one?  Looking for a book to curl up with during these cold days or to read with your children or grandchildren during February school vacation week?

February is Quezalguaque Library Month at the Friends of the Brookline Library Book Sale.   Prices can’t be beat!   All proceeds from sales during February will be donated to support the Sister City Project built library and mobile library in Quezalguaque.

The Friends of the Brookline Library sale are at all three libraries.

Welcome Blanket


The proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico is almost 2000 miles long. Imagine if the massive distance of this wall was re-conceptualized and re-contextualized not to divide, but to include. Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?

A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”

Hadassah Margolis, one of originators of the Welcome Blanket Project, will be speaking at the Brookline Senior Center, Monday, Feb. 11th at 1 pm. Come hear how you can join other Brookline residents to create a Welcome Blanket.

Walking Tours in February

Two events sponsored by Brookline Adult & Community Education—one in Brookline and one in Boston—offer new insights.  With “From the Town Green to Pill Hill: A Historical Walking Tour” ($22) a guide will take you through Brookline’s “wonderfully historic neighborhood” on February 24.  “Tour Commonwealth Avenue” ($20) on February 9 will explore Boston’s Victorian Era gems on a narrated walk along homes, buildings, and statues.  For more details on the content, as well as time, location, and registration information, see www.brooklineadulted.org, call 617-730-2700 or check the BA&CE Winter 2019 catalog, pages 31 and 32. 

Volunteer Opportunity: Help redesign the BrooklineVolunteers.com Website

Our volunteer website needs to be redesigned to focus more on local
volunteer opportunities.  Those interested will become members of a
small volunteer committee under the auspices of the Brookline Senior Center and
the Brookline Community Aging Network (BCAN).  You will join others
in helping to decide:  which volunteer opportunities should be
included; how the site will be updated to stay current; how to assist users of
the website; and how to spread awareness of the new website.   The
time commitment is flexible.  It would be helpful to have a
laptop.  Programming ability is helpful but is not
necessary. Interested?  Contact Abigail Lipson at albertalipson@gmail.com.

Educational Program on Long-term Care Insurance

Understanding the world of long-term care insurance can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to know where to start. Long-term care expert, Linda Thalheimer, will speak at the Brookline Senior Center on Wednesday February 20th at 1:00 PM. In her presentation, she will provide an overview of the options available to enable you to make educated decisions to protect your family, your estate, your directives, and maximize the potential for optimal care.

Light refreshments will be provided at the session courtesy of Assured Allies, a local caregiver support company. The program is free but registration is strongly encouraged. Call 617 730 2777 to register.