BrooklineCAN: Help your neighbors. Help yourself. Help your town.
January 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
  • Why We Volunteer
  • Safe Crosswalks
  • Saying Goodbye

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Dear Brookline Neighbor,

In this issue we tell you about Brookline's pioneering program called HELP, which assists anyone over 60 in finding workers who will escort them to medical appointments and do shopping, odd jobs, and other homemaking tasks—helping us to achieve that independence we all crave. We also announce a program to monitor icy sidewalks in town and make some suggestions to help you enjoy the finer things in life—and much more. Please tell your friends about fact, forward this newsletter to them.


Safe Sidewalks in Winter
Property owners in Brookline are responsible for clearing their sidewalks of snow and ice. Failure to do so can result in fines of $25 to $100 a day. Besides shoveling sidewalks promptly, it's important to prevent icing; so spread salt, sand, or sodium chloride on walks as needed. BrooklineCAN's Livable Community Advocacy Committee will be monitoring sidewalks in Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village during the winter months. We will recognize those who do a good job and report to the Department of Public Works those sidewalks that are hazardous to pedestrians. If you want to help with the monitoring effort, contact Frank Caro ( Advice and tips on how to navigate winter are available on the town website at

Help With Shoveling
The Shovel Our Snow Program provides residents of Brookline with the names of young people willing to shovel snow this winter. SOS, as it is called, is sponsored by the Recreation Department and is strictly a referral program. It is the responsibility of the youngster and/or youngster's parent or guardian to negotiate an appropriate fee. For more information, call 617-730-2069.

The Benefits of HELP
One of BrooklineCAN's major goals—to help older people remain independent—has been a core value in Brookline for a long time. Take the HELP program: Any Brookline resident over 60, regardless of income level, is eligible for service through this pioneering effort begun nearly 25 years ago by the Council on Aging. The "Home and Escort Linkage Program" matches elders in need of service with screened workers who can assist with housekeeping, laundry, errands, medical escort, companionship, or odd jobs. Assistance begins with a home visit by a master's level social worker, and the schedule of services is planned. The social worker's assistance is free of charge, and residents pay workers directly, usually an average of $13 per hour. To take advantage of HELP, please call 617-730-2752 or send an email to For more information and specific examples of how people have used HELP, see

Brookline Climate Week
Lessening our dependence on fossil fuel is the major theme of Climate Week, which runs from Saturday, January 21, through Sunday, January 29. Among this year's 40-plus events will be a winter marketplace, eco installations, storytellers, hands-on classes, and workshops—all to teach us ways to reduce the size of the town's carbon footprint. For a detailed listing of events, go to the Climate Change Action Brookline website and check the January calendar,

Celebrating Martin Luther King
The public is invited to attend the Martin Luther King Day birthday observance at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Monday, January 16, 4:00-5:30pm. The event provides an opportunity through music and words to reflect on the legacy of Dr. King, clergyman, civil rights leader, and nonviolent activist. The keynote speaker will be Callie Crossley, WGBH Radio host. The event is free of charge. More information at
The program is sponsored by the Town of Brookline MLK Celebration Committee, Chobee Hoy Real Estate, The Coolidge Corner Theatre, and Brookline Adult and Community Education.

Energy Efficient Homes
Renovations and new construction projects offer opportunities to improve the energy efficiency and indoor quality of your home. The "how-to" and other details will be provided at a lecture, Real World Sustainable Design, January 12, 7-8:30pm at Brookline High. Andrea Morton, a licensed architect with LEED AP credentials, promises to cut through the jargon (and provide inspiration) while discussing energy-efficient appliances, water-saving fixtures, new windows, increased insulation, and efficient lighting options. Fee $6. For more information, contact Brookline Adult Education, 617-730-2700 or

Giving Up Your Car?
January marks the kick-off of ITNGreater Boston, a new non-profit transportation option. After signing up as members (individuals $60, family $100 a year), riders open a transportation account and begin to enjoy door-to-door, arm-through-arm service, 24/7, to a destination of their choice. Volunteers with a good driving record and a sedan in good working condition can give driving time to ITNGreater Boston in exchange for credits they can use at a later date. To learn more about this service, visit or contact Jean Patel Bushnell at 508-309-7375.

Come to the Theater!
Consider attending a matinee or two this winter with the Senior Center's Theater Club. There's no membership charge, and the ticket price includes transportation to and from the performance. On February 22 see Wild Swans at the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge ($28). On March 11 enjoy a revival of West Side Story at the Turtle Lane Playhouse, Auburndale ($30.) On March 25 take in Oliver at the Wellesley Players ($20). And there may still be tickets for Vivaldi's Four Seasons on January 22, performed by the Handel & Haydn Society at Symphony Hall ($43). For more information, call 617-730-2770.

Leonardo, Portrait of A Genius
Leonardo da Vinci, who epitomized the flowering of artistic expression and inventive genius of the Renaissance, will be the subject of a slide and lecture presentation on Thursday, January 26, 7-8:30pm at Brookline High. Judy Schurgin, lecturer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will detail his extensive contributions as artist, architect, musician, scientist, inventor, botanist and more. For additional information, contact Adult Education at or 617-730-2700. Fee is $6.

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Brookline Community Aging Network
93 Winchester Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02446

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