Brookline Community Aging Network June 2012 Newsletter
BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
June 2012 Newsletter 

About the Brookline
Community Aging Network

  • Enables older residents to remain independent and fully engaged in the life of the community
  • Builds intergenerational networks
  • Makes our town an even better place for all

Future Stories
  • Transportation Options
  • Summer Outings
  • Cooling Centers

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Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this issue we remind you about two June traditions -- the health policy forum moderated by Michael Dukakis and the town's gala Flag Day celebrations. We advise you about three ways to get property tax relief, tell you about four great walks, and invite you to hear "pearls" from a Brookline resident who is a national literary luminary. We also give you advance notice about BrooklineCAN's second annual meet-and-greet welcoming reception -- and much more. Please tell your friends about fact, forward this newsletter to them.


Dukakis Chairs Health Forum
The future of national health care reform and the possible impact of the Supreme Court's deliberations and subsequent ruling will be among the issues discussed at the 17th Annual Public Health Policy Forum Wednesday, June 27, at the Senior Center. The symposium -- "Health Care Reform: Where Are We? What Next?" -- will once again be moderated by former Governor Michael Dukakis. Panelists will be Stuart C. Altman, Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy, Brandeis; JudyAnn Bigby, Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services; and Wendy Parmet, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Northeastern Law School. Reception is at 6-7 p.m.; discussion at 7-9. For more information, call 617-730-2300.
Presented by the Friends of Brookline Public Health and Brookline Adult and Community Education in cooperation with the Brookline Department of Public Health, Brookline Council on Aging, Brookline Human Relations-Youth Resources Commission, League of Women Voters, Brookline Commission for Women, and Brookline Department of Veteran's Services.

Meet! Greet! Eat!
Welcome to BrooklineCAN

Members of BrooklineCAN -- or people thinking of joining -- are invited to our annual welcoming reception on Wednesday, July 18, 5:00-6:30 p.m., at 93 Winchester Street. Bring a friend, meet your neighbors, sip sangria, and learn more about our town-wide effort. Discover how you can help to make Brookline an even more livable community. For more information, contact Shirley Partoll, 617-731-2613 or

Property Tax Relief
When property taxes become a burden, three programs may offer relief to older residents:
Senior Tax Exemption This measure benefits elders whose annual gross income is under $20,000 ($30,000 for married persons) and whose assets (excluding SSI allowance) are under $40,000 ($55,000 for marrieds). Applicants must be at least 65 and have owned and occupied their home for at least 5 years.
Tax Deferral In some cases, property taxes can be deferred annually until the taxes due (plus accrued interest) equal half the value of the property. Taxes are paid when the property is sold or transferred or the owner dies. Applicants must be 65 and have owned and occupied their home for five years. Income of applicants can not exceed $40,000 a year.
Senior Work-off Exemption In exchange for l25 hours of work performed for designated town agencies, seniors can earn an abatement of up to $1000. Applicants must be at least 60 and have a total gross income of less than $40,000 a year. Each year 25 slots are available. To apply for a volunteer position, call coordinator Deidre Waxman at the Brookline Senior Center, 617-730-2767.

For more information on all programs call the Assessor's office at 617-730-2060, or visit them on the web at

Pearls from Pearlman
"Literary awards and accolades continue to pile up for Brookline's Edith Pearlman," said a recent article in the Boston Globe. And there has been a steady stream of them, including the National Book Award, since the publication of her book of short stories, Binocular Vision. On Monday, June 18, at 1:00 p.m., this national literary luminary and Brookline treasure will visit the Senior Center to talk about her work, her life, and her stories.

Volunteer Drivers Earn Points
If you like driving and want a unique volunteer experience, the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) is seeking drivers for its personalized door-to-door, arm-through-arm, 24/7 car service for Brookline seniors and visually-impaired adults. Volunteer drivers can bank credits for future service. Members pay an average of $11 per ride and an annual membership fee of $60 for individuals or $100 for a family. To become a volunteer, visit

Flag Day Celebrations
Flag Day on Sunday, June 17, starts with coffee and refreshments at Brookline High from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is followed by a flag-raising at 9:15 and the Children's Parade on Cypress Field at 9:30. Other highlights include the annual 5K Road Race at 10:30 (walking is allowed), the noon-time parade beginning at JFK Crossing, and the carnival that runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Cypress Field. Competitive divisions for the race are by gender and age, ranging from children 10 years and younger right up to adults over 60. For more information and to register (by June 13) call 627-730-2069.

Exercise, Brookline Style
Whether you choose stretching, walking, yoga, swimming, dance or other forms of activity, make sure to keep moving so that you can reap all of the benefits of exercise. For a wide range of exercise opportunities in Brookline, see the exercise page on our website.

Spanish Immersion
Whether you want to brush up on your Spanish, explore it anew, listen to Latino music or, as a Spanish speaker, learn basic computer skills, there's a program for you at the Senior Center. This joint initiative with JPC: Tree of Life/Arbol de Vida offers five ways to experience Latino language and culture:
  • One-on-one Spanish conversations with Latin American seniors.
  • Small-group classes for beginners (Thursdays,1-2 p.m.).
  • Basic computer class for Spanish-speaking seniors (Fridays,12:30-2 p.m.).
  • Spanish conversation group (Thursdays,2-3 p.m.).
  • Latino instrumental and vocal music (Tuesdays, 3-4 p.m.).
For additional information, call Giovanna Tapia at 617-953-7016 or 617-730-2644.

POPS Bassist To Sound Off
In his 18 years as a bass player with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Justin Locke performed under esteemed conductors from Arthur Fiedler to Leonard Bernstein. Author of Real Men Don't Rehearse, he will share his insider's view of the world of classical music -- including everything from page-turning disasters to rain in the orchestra pit -- at the annual meeting of The Friends of the Brookline Library, June 6, 7 p.m., at the Main Library.

Allure of Silent Films
Explore the special allure of silent films in "Silents Are Golden," a lecture by media librarian Maureen Tripp at Brookline High, June 21, 7:00-8:30 p.m. View clips from a number of classics and hear a discussion about must-see silent films such as Wings, the only silent to win an Oscar (until this year's The Artist) as well as the classic comedies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Admission fee is $6.

Four June Walks
In three Saturday walks, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., architectural historian Stephen Jerome illustrates Brookline's rise from a farming community to a thriving suburb.
Town Green/Pill Hill walk June 2, meets at the intersection of Warren & Walnut.
Chestnut Hill walk June 9, meets at the Chestnut Hill T Stop.
Cottage Farm/Longwood walk June 16, meets at St. Mary's MBTA stop.
Secret Stairways On June 20, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Kenneth Dumas demystifies Brookline's secret stairways and paths constructed in the late 19th century to facilitate passage up and down Cory and Aspinwall Hills to the new Beacon Street streetcar line. Meet at intersection of Beacon and Washington.
Fee: $25 per walk. More information and register at 617-730-2700.

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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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