Monthly Archives: December 2015

Two Classes to Enjoy During Dark Winter Days

These two classes from Brookline Adult & Community Education will meet at the Senior Center during the daytime. They are sure to keep your mind on more interesting things than the weather!

Modern American Family in Literature. The class will discuss the ways that American families have been defined across time and place, as seen in five readings. Five Tuesdays at 10:30, $105.

George Gershwin: An American Legend. In this class, you’ll learn about Gershwin’s fascinating career and music, his working methods, and some of his many compositions, including “Porgy and Bess.” Four Mondays at 1:00, $95.

To register and to inquire about senior rates, please call the BE&CE at 617-730-2700.

New Ideas Born in Brookline

Ken Liss, president of the Brookline Historical Society, has uncovered stories about notable Brookline inventors and innovators most of whom are not household names.  Liss will tell tales of Charles Holtzer (first non-experimental electric car), William Shaw (electrical devices for the deaf and hard of hearing), King Camp Gillette  (first safety razor) and Dr. John Rock (birth control pill).  The evening is part of the Brookline Adult Education Distinguished Lecture Series.  January 25, 2016, 7:00-8:30 pm, Brookline High School.  There is a $6 fee.  For more information or to register contact Brookline Adult & Community Education at 617-730-2700.

Winter Sidewalk Monitors Needed

The BrooklineCAN Winter Sidewalk Monitoring team has openings for a few additional volunteers to help assure that sidewalks in commercial areas are in a “non-slippery” condition after snow storms. In recent winters, the team has played an important role in calling the Town’s attention to the need for effective snow removal from sidewalks in Brookline’s commercial areas. Members of the team inspect sidewalks after a property owner should have cleared snow and ice after storms and then report problem sidewalks to the Town. Members receive an invitation to go out after each snow storm. Each team member covers only a small area. New volunteers are needed for both Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner. For more information contact Frank Caro ( or 617-739-9228.

Aging Without Children

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, over 35% of Americans are aging without children.  Care for people who are aging is often assumed to be provided by family members, but those who do not have next of kin are often left wondering what steps they can take to secure their own future care in various areas of their lives.  In collaboration with social worker Deidre Waxman, social worker intern Annie McGunagle will be starting a group for those who are aging without children, for these individuals to gain both peer and professional support as well as resources and information.  The group will be a 5-week program beginning in February 2016.  If you are interested in finding out more about this group or would like to attend, please call Annie at 617-730-2772.

Find Your Inner Artist

Founded in 1964, the Brookline Art Center has provided a quality arts experience for the Brookline community at the former Fire Station #3, 86 Monmouth Street, since 1968.  The Center holds classes in a variety of media for children from 18-months through adults of any age. Classes, which are 2-3 hours long, begin the second week of January and run once a week through March 15. Choose from oil painting, water colors, ceramics (pottery), jewelry making and metal smithing.

Drop in at the Center’s Snowflake Festival and Open House, an afternoon filled with artwork, activities and fun for all ages, on Saturday, January 9, from noon to 4:00 pm.  The Annual Student Art Exhibition will be January 8-29, with a reception on Friday, January 8, 5:00-7:00 pm.  Call 617-566-5715 or visit for more information.

Do You Uber?

BrooklineCAN continues to review alternate transportation services. This month, we report on Uber, the taxi-substitute service that is all the rage. Touted mostly for a younger generation who grew up online, Uber definitely is a useful service for people of any age who may need last-minute transportation from one place to another.

Uber has many positive features. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Once the service is added to your phone, you need only to click on the Uber icon and a car will arrive at your door in 3 to 5-minutes (depending upon where you live). Uber automatically bills you from the charge card you established when you originally instituted the system. You don’t need to tip or pay the driver. It’s all taken care of by Uber.  Downsides: you not only need a smart phone, you need to have flexible fingers and be proficient using a smart phone. Also, you may need support in launching the system.

Gallery 93 at the Brookline Senior Center

Photographs of Heritage Trees and Scenic Vistas from Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace may be viewed at the Senior Center through December 30 in the exhibit by Erik Gehring. “These trees are some of the biggest and oldest tree specimens in the park,” says Gehring. The 20-photo exhibit, which displays trees in every season, is on the Center’s 2nd floor balcony.

The exhibit is curated by David Weinberg, who has selected artwork for Gallery 93 at the Senior Center for two years. David always is looking for mature artists, regardless of media, who have a significant body of work and would like to exhibit at the Gallery.  For information about purchasing a photo, future exhibits, or to display your work, contact David at

BETS: Brookline Elder Taxi System

Continuing our transportation focus, this month the service we are featuring is Brookline Elder Taxi System. BETS is a taxi discount program that allows income eligible Brookline residents over 62 to buy $50 worth of discounted taxi coupons every month.  Eligibility requirements are that an individual’s maximum annual income cannot exceed $48,000 and a couple’s income cannot exceed $55,800. The program is sponsored by the Council on Aging, CDBG and licensed Brookline Cab companies.  Alice Ebrat, BETS program coordinator, is at the Senior Center every Monday through Wednesday from 12 noon until 4:00 pm to take applications and sell BETS coupon books.  For more information call Alicia at 617-730-2740.

Age Friendly Cities TV Show Addresses Health Services

On Thanksgiving Day Brookline Interactive Group (BIG) aired Episode 4 in a series of Age Friendly Cities TV (AFC-TV) programs on local Brookline channels.  All episodes in the series are available on the BrooklineCAN web site and are referenced on the BrooklineCAN Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The show, which will be repeated several times, focuses on health services and support for Brookline seniors.  Dr. Chris Chanyasulkit, a Health Services Specialist in the Brookline Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations Department, provides information and important seasonal reminders on emergency preparedness such as the Buddy Program, nutrition, exercise, and opportunities for socialization during the winter months.

Chris is a Town Meeting member, a key member of the Age Friendly Cities Committee, co-chair of the Commission for Women, and has been appointed to the US Department of Health and Human Services Regional Health Equity Council for New England.

Transportation Support for Brookline Seniors

The program formerly known as STRAITS has a new name: TRIPPS (Transportation Resources, Information, Planning, and Partnership for Seniors). TRIPPS provides education and support to Brookline residents aged 60+ looking for alternatives to driving, due to age, ability, or individual choice. Volunteer “Transit Advisors” (TAs) will help elders decide which transportation options to use when they’re unable or choose not to drive and will also offer personalized support as seniors learn to use these new ways of getting around. For example, TAs might accompany elders on their first few trips on the T, on The Ride, or with a car sharing service.

TRIPPS is currently recruiting volunteers to provide administrative support and/or to be trained as TAs. Anyone interested in volunteering or in learning more is invited to contact Volunteer Coordinator Patricia Burns at 617-730-2743. Seniors interested in learning more about transportation options can contact Program Director Kerri Ann Tester directly at 617-730- 2644 or