Author Archives: Michael Oates

Winter Sidewalk Monitoring after Snow Storms

snow5Residents can help to assure that Brookline sidewalks are free of snow and ice by reporting hazardous sidewalks to the Town. Brookline has a bylaw that requires property owners to keep adjacent sidewalks in a “non-slippery” condition. The Town has a complaint-driven enforcement system. When a complaint is received, an inspector investigates. Violators receive a warning or a fine.  

BrooklineCAN monitors continue to inspect sidewalks in commercial areas after storms. You can help by reporting on sidewalks in residential areas close to your home.

The Town makes is easy for residents to report slippery sidewalks. One possibility is to download the free BrookONline app for use with a smart phone. Another possibility is to fill out the online Citizen Reporter Form located on the Town website:  During business hours, residents may also call DPW at 617 730 2156.

Brookline Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK1Martin Luther King Day provides an opportunity for Brookline residents to remember a hero martyred in the effort to achieve equality in America. This year’s celebration is  at 3:00 pm Monday, January 15, 2018, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Keynote speaker is Dr. Chad Williams, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University.  Dr. Williams will ask us to think about how Dr. King’s words and actions can be applied to today’s troubling times.

The program also features the poet/performer Regie Gibson, Brookline Poet Laureate Zvi Sesling, Brookline High School slam poet Carolyn Parker-Fairbain,  and acapella group Testostatones.  To reserve a free ticket, visit  until Sunday, January 14. Remaining tickets will be available at the Theater box office on the day of the event.  Sign language interpretation will be provided and the theater is accessible to persons with disabilities. For further information, contact Caitlin Haynes:, 617-730-2345.

Art Show and Reception

SelhubBrooklineCAN member Shirley Selhub is the featured artist in the current Gallery 93 exhibit at the Senior Center, 93 Winchester Street.  This display of watercolor paintings, entitled “Group Meditation”,  is being shown January 3 through February 28.  Shirley says of her watercolor classes:   “My classmates are mostly retirees who enjoy painting as I do, and most weeks we also share a good chuckle.  This is my meditation, a kind of group meditation!”  Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.  A public reception with the artist will take place on Tuesday, January 9, 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

Creating Opportunities for Independent Living and Work

MRC1On Thursday January 25 at 1:00 pm the Brookline Senior Center will be hosting an information session with Margie Gillian, Job Placement Specialist and Kevin Beaulieu, Rehabilitation Counselor at the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.  Learn how MRC can help seniors with disabilities enhance their quality of life and discover how they can assist you with your job skills and employment search.   This program is free and open to all seniors in Brookline.  For more information or to register please contact: Deidre Waxman at 617-730-2767 or

The Power of Engagement—Transportation Resources

trippsThe TRIPPS (Transportation Resources, Information, Planning, and Partnership for Seniors) program helps seniors find and use alternatives to driving.  Connect with a volunteer network of trained, background-checked Transit Advisors (TAs) who will help work out what’s best for you.  Brookline/Newton TRIPPS is a grant-funded joint venture of the Newton & Brookline Councils on Aging and BrooklineCAN providing individual help, group workshops, and a valuable, detailed transportation resource guide  Just some of the many options for transportation include walking and cycling, Senior Center bus and van, senior MBTA Charlie Card, faith and residential communities, ride-hailing and travel planning apps, and delivery services.  For more information see, email, or call 617-730-2644.

Age Friendly Cities (AFC-TV)

AFTVThe 14th Age Friendly Cities (AFC-TV) program on November 22, introduced and welcomed Dr. Swannie Jett, the new head of the Brookline Department of Public Health and Human Services.  Dr. Jett comes to our town from Florida, where he was Health Officer/Surgeon General for Seminole County, Florida.  He is a national leader in public health as Past President of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

The focus of the show is on two principal areas, emergency preparedness for seniors and gun violence as a public health issue.  Future shows will follow up, exploring programs designed to assist isolated individuals with emergency preparedness. Check out the Brookline Age Friendly Cities TV programs on the BrooklineCAN web site <> and note references on the BrooklineCAN Twitter and Facebook accounts. Programs are aired on Channel 3 on Comcast and RCN immediately following The Grandstanders live sports analysis show.

Let’s Put on a Show!

big2If you ever have considered being on TV, or producing a TV show, it’s never too late to start.  Every one of any age or previous experience is welcome to get involved with BIG – the Brookline Interactive Group. You can attend classes in subjects such as “Digital Storytelling” or “Basics of Editing in Premiere”. Or, view VR (virtual reality) videos on Wednesday evenings. Perhaps, you have an idea for a TV show you want to host or want to produce. BIG is open to any idea, any topic. It is a First Amendment resource for the Brookline Community. Contact Erin Kinney, Manager of Engagement & Education at, telephone 617-731-8566.

Free Transportation to Eye Appointments

eyecare2The ICare Program  (Independent Clients Accessing Rides to Eyecare) is pleased to announce that it is offering free transportation to eye care appointments.  Transportation is limited to the Greater Boston area and to Brookline residents.  The program operates under the auspices of the Town’s HELP program and is sponsored by a generous grant from ITNAmerica, the Independent Transportation Network of America.  For more information, call 617-730-2752.

Accessibility at the Coolidge Corner Theater

hearingThe theater has recently revamped its assistive technology systems for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and vision-impaired audiences in all four movie houses, partnering with Boston Light & Sound to introduce state-of-the-art systems.  Assistive Listening Devices have been reduced in size and improved in sound quality.  The same technology provides Visual Narration for the Blind or Visually Impaired, offering narration of the films’ visual content that blends along with the audio.  Closed Captioning is another new or improved system. All films have Assisted Listening, but not all have Closed Captioning and/or Visual Narration; you can call or visit the box office (617-734-2501) to make sure that the movie you want to see has these features.  The website schedules also carries this information for each film.

Profile of a BrooklineCAN Member

Ginny1Many BrooklineCAN members are actively engaged in our community. A prime example of such engagement is Ginny Mazur, the Community Partnership Director at Goddard House Assisted Living and Memory Support, one of BrooklineCAN’s founding partners. She is a key member of the BrooklineCAN Education Committee and is the person who has come up with many of the ideas for programs and speakers over the years. Ginny introduced and guided the production of the Reunion Project at the Senior Center last year. She is active in local, state-wide, and national organizations.  Her many interests include combating ageism, promoting disability rights, and using the arts and nature in creating a better life for those with cognitive impairments. Her pilot of the Opening Minds through Art program for persons living with dementia at Goddard House has received the 2017 Program Innovation Award from LeadingAGE Massachusetts. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce.