Brookline Community Aging Network Summer 2014 Newsletter
BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
Summer 2014 Newsletter 

The Brookline
Community Aging Network
  • Focuses on Brookline as a great place to live
  • Provides information for older residents that helps them remain engaged in the community
  • Advocates to make Brookline an even better place to live for seniors and everyone
Become a member of BrooklineCAN! Request a membership brochure by calling 617-730-2777 or visit

Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this Summer Issue, we report on BrooklineCAN's successful advocacy for seniors at this spring's Town Meeting. We offer useful information on elevators at T stations. We tell you about many enjoyable and educational activities available locally over the summer, and much more. Please tell your friends about BrooklineCAN... in fact, forward this newsletter to them.

Slippery Sidewalks at Town Meeting
Town Meeting passed a resolution proposed by BrooklineCAN calling for prompt, proactive enforcement in commercial areas of the Town's bylaw requiring property owners to keep sidewalks clear of snow and ice in the winter. The proposal was based upon experiences of the Livable Community Advocacy Committee's team that has been monitoring sidewalks after snow storms for the past three years. The team has been submitting complaints when the sidewalks are hazardous. The team has been concerned that the Town's complaint-driven system results in delays in enforcement. This past winter, sidewalks were often hazardous for extended periods in spite of the team's complaints. In response to BrooklineCAN's advocacy, Town Administrator Mel Kleckner is appointing a task force that will identify multi-faceted strategies to improve winter sidewalk conditions in commercial areas in the future. BrooklineCAN hopes that improved winter sidewalk maintenance in commercial areas will lead to similar improvements in residential areas.

More Town Meeting Senior Issues
Town Meeting took two other actions of particular interest to seniors. A proposal to increase income eligibility for the Property Tax Deferral program to $55,000 was approved, allowing eligible senior homeowners to delay paying property taxes until they die or sell their homes. The tax deferral program is an attractive option for seniors who have a modest income but have a lot of equity in their home. Interested seniors should contact the Board of Assessors.

Town Meeting turned down a proposed zoning change that would have closed a narrow option for owners of single family homes on large properties to build detached accessory dwelling units on their properties to house full time domestic help. BrooklineCAN, as do other advocates for seniors, favors accessory dwelling units because they permit home sharing arrangements. Brookline zoning currently allows limited home sharing. Several years ago, a zoning proposal concerned explicitly with accessory dwelling units failed by a close vote. Perhaps Town Meeting is now more receptive to accessory dwelling units when they support seniors and their families.

Elevators at T Stations
Sometimes when taking a trolley or subway, you may need to use an elevator. Perhaps, you're going on a trip and carrying luggage, or pushing your grandchild in a stroller, or you've had an accident and find walking up steps difficult. In recent years, the MBTA has been upgrading the entire system to make traveling on the T completely accessible for everyone. Most stations, although not all, now have elevators. On the Green Line elevators are available at Kenmore, Copley, Arlington, Park Street, Haymarket, North Station and Science Park. In addition, nearly all stations on the Red, Orange, Blue, and Silver lines have elevators. In December 2012, Park Street, the first subway station in America, opened two new elevators.

Deal of the Month--Fitness
Many times, the cost, inconvenience, and over-powering sales teams discourage some of us from joining a fitness center. Well, the Senior Center Fitness Center is here to help! Located in a large, bright space on the second floor, the Fitness Center has an assortment of fitness machines and weights. And it costs only $35 per month to join. But the best part is that this Fitness Center is staffed by two certified personal trainers: Sharon Devine (the coordinator), and Steve Shain, who leads many of the fitness classes. Contact Sharon at 617-730-2769.

Recreation Department Offers Lots of Summer Fun!
Weekly Wednesday Evening Concerts, July 9 to August 13, at 6:00 pm, Daniel F. Ford Playground at Emerson Park, Davis Avenue. These free concerts feature blue grass, Celtic, classic rock, soul, and more. For more information or to check weather cancellations, visit or call 617-730-2069.

Brookline Recreation Department outings for 55+ folks:
  • July 11 - Day trip to Kennebunkport, Maine ($26 Resident/$35 Non-resident)
  • July 25 - A mid-day visit to the Arnold Arboretum ($8/$11)
  • August 8 - Shop 'til you drop at Legacy Place ($10/$14)
  • August 15 - A summer afternoon at Castle Island ($8/$11)
Transportation for all trips leaves from the Senior Center. For more information and to register call 617-730-2069 or see

Poems, Photos, Yoga
Did you know that Brookline Adult & Community Education courses run through the summer? Just a few of these are: "The Poems of Octavio Paz", "Getting to Know Your Digital Camera", and "Yoga for Older Adults". More information on these can be found on the Education page of BrooklineCAN's web site: and full details on many more offerings are available from BA&CE at and 617-730-2700.

Brookline Paths
Summer is the perfect time to walk and explore some of Brookline's many paths. In 2001 Linda Olson Pehlke researched and published a delightful book entitled Exploring the Paths of Brookline. Her book includes detailed descriptions and historical information for each of the Town's 17 pedestrian-only paths. The book is available in the Brookline Libraries and an updated version is for sale at the Brookline Booksmith. At the back of the book, a map depicts some suggested walking routes, each linking several paths. We suggest that you start with one of the less taxing routes and work your way up to the more challenging.

Griggs Park Route (0.9 miles). Starting at the Brandon Hall T stop on the C line walk east on Beacon Street toward Marion Street. Turn right on to Marion and about half way down the block on your right is Marion Path. The path leads down into Griggs Park. At the park, turn left on to Griggs Terrace, cross Washington Street and turn left. Shortly you will come to Gardner Path. Follow the path up to Winthrop Road and turn right. Continue on Winthrop until you come to University Path. Take the path down to University Road. Turn left and walk to Winthrop Path. Take Winthrop down to Fairbanks Street and then follow Fairbanks to Beacon and the Fairbanks T stop. Not quite a mile but many interesting neighborhoods to see along the way. Enjoy.
This path walking route and photo are published with the permission of the author.

JFK Birthplace
Brookline is home to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, located in the Coolidge Corner area at 83 Beals Street. In 1966, Rose Kennedy, the President's mother, returned to her family's first home with the intention of sharing the values and expectations she believed defined her children's early years. Free of charge, the house is open to the public. From May through October, hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 am-5:00 pm. Ranger-led house tours are offered every half hour from 10:00 am-11:30 am and 1:00 pm-3:30 pm. Self-guided audio tours recorded by Rose Kennedy are 12:00 pm-1:00 pm and 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. Neighborhood tours for the current month are listed on the web site. For more information see or call 617-566-7937.

What Is Your Favorite Brookline Treasure?
From time to time, we have reported on Brookline's treasures. Some of these have been the Coolidge Corner Theater, the Minot Rose Garden, the Frederick Law Olmsted site, and the JFK birthplace. We welcome suggestions for future articles - well-known or little-known places.Send in your favorites to Ruth Seidman at:

Events of Interest

Brookline Volunteers, What's New?
July 16th - 1 to 2:30pm Brookline Senior Center
Panel discussion & speaker from RSVP Norfolk. Registration required - call Deidre Waxman 617-730-2767. For more information about this program
click here and for other volunteer opportunities click here.

BrooklineCAN Annual Meeting
Wednesday September 17, 2014, 5:00 to 7:00 pm, Brookline Senior Center

BASH Reading Series at Brookline Booksmith
Friday, July 11 at 7:00 pm
A series curated by Black Ocean Press featuring the freshest and finest poets.
This month features Matt Hart, Stephen Burt, and Francesca Chabrier.

Farmers Market
Thursdays 1:30 pm to sunset, now through the end of October, Centre Street Parking Lot

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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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