This fall BrooklineCAN’s Livable Community Advocacy committee volunteers collected data on street lighting as it meets pedestrian needs. The aim is to assure that sidewalks are safe for pedestrians after dark. Ten volunteers walked sidewalks at night in much of North Brookline. They used maps provided by the Brookline Information Technology department showing locations of utility poles that hold street lights. Volunteers documented lights that were out, locations where sidewalks are dark or dim because foliage on trees blocks lighting, and spots that are dark because light poles are too far apart.
It was surprising how many lights were not working. These were reported immediately to the Town through BrookOnLine. http://www.brooklinema.gov/933/Report-a-Concern Many of the problems were solved within a few days. Residents are encouraged to report non-functioning street lights themselves. Using a smart phone and the free BrookOnLine app, residents can easily report street lighting problems.
As you probably know, the Friends of the Brookline Library operate a most eclectic and popular used book sale at the Brookline Village library branch, as well as “junior” versions at both Coolidge and Putterham. At the Village (Main Library), you will find virtually all categories of books ‐ hardback and paperback fiction, “golden oldies”, literature, non‐fiction and much more. You will also find CD’s, DVD’s and even LP’s! Further, we always have unique “like new” books and other specials for bargain prices. And don’t miss our fabulous Holiday Sale, starting Sunday, December 4! Great gifts for everyone and prices can’t be beat!
Two proposals supported by BrooklineCAN were approved by the fall Town Meeting. Susan Granoff proposed that the Board of Selectmen appoint a committee to study and recommend ways to provide stronger property tax relief for senior home owners with modest incomes. The study committee is expected to bring its recommendations to a future Town Meeting. Henry Winkelman and Ken Goldstein proposed that the Town develop a proposal for an affordable senior housing development using air rights above the Town-owned parking lot between Kent and Station Streets. This addresses a serious shortage of affordable housing for seniors. Both Susan and Henry are members of the Livable Community Advocacy committee and both proposals were developed through their work with the committee.
On November 23 at 7:00 pm Saralynn Allaire, Chair of the Brookline Commission on Disability, was the highly informative guest on the Age Friendly Cities TV (AFC-TV) program. The program focused on resources, accessibility issues, and street parking for residents of all ages with disabilities. Saralynn is a member of the Age Friendly Cities Committee and the Chair of the recently reconstituted Commission on Disability and a Town Meeting Member from Precinct 16. She is a Research Professor at the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at Boston University. Saralynn broke ground for the AFC-TV show by appearing in a video recorded on location on Beacon Street graphically presenting street parking issues. Check out the Brookline Age Friendly Cities TV programs on the BrooklineCAN web site (http://brooklinecan.org/)
Continuing our focus on housing issues for seniors in Brookline, we report on Center Communities of Brookline, a non-denominational independent living community sponsored by Hebrew Senior Life. The three locations of CCB are 1550 Beacon Street (179 apartments), 100 Center Street (212 apartments) and 112 Center Street (124 apartments). All are conveniently located for encouraging seniors to get out and about. Rents for 1550 Beacon and 100 Center range from $825-4000, depending on the size of the unit. The units at 112 Center are limited to those who qualify for a state section 8 rental subsidy. The age requirement for all CCB buildings is 62 and up, and there is a waiting list. Amenities include a meal plan, social worker, computer access, a library and a fitness center. Visit the CCB website for more information: http://hebrewseniorlife.org
In 2011 BrooklineCAN offered our members a listing of contractors, plumbers, and handymen. Since then we have added computer support, electricians, painters, roofers, snow removal, and pest control. We make sure all providers are properly licensed and have no outstanding cases with the Attorney General’s Office, Better Business Bureau, or Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. We added vendors and kept information up-to-date until 2014 when several volunteers left. Now we have new volunteers who are working to update this information. If you would like to recommend a vendor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Renny Harrigan at 617-730-2753.
You can pick up a copy of the first edition of the TRIPPS printed resource guide at the Senior Center, or read it online at http://trippsmass.org/trig-1st-edition/. The guide includes profiles of over 30 transportation options for those who do not drive, including information on cost, hours, coverage areas, eligibility, accessibility, and contact details. TRIPPS is also having volunteers lead small groups of seniors on various outings using public transportation, and you are invited to take a look at a short video showing one of the excursions: https://youtu.be/9WnvSNleqY0 The next outing is December 9, a visit to the Target store at Fenway. If you or a senior you know in Brookline or Newton would like to come, call 617-730-2644 or register online!