Wednesday, January 20, 2010

News Notes - January 20

Robert B. Parker, the Prolific Writer Who Created Spenser, Is Dead at 77
By BRUCE WEBER/NYT - January 20, 2010

Robert B. Parker, the best-selling mystery writer who created Spenser, a tough, glib Boston private detective who was the hero of nearly 40 novels, died Monday at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 77.

The cause was a heart attack, said his agent of 37 years, Helen Brann. She said that Mr. Parker had been thought to be in splendid health, and that he died at his desk, working on a book. He wrote five pages a day, every day but Sunday, she said.


He was born in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 17, 1932, the only child of working-class parents. His father worked for the telephone company. He attended Colby College in Maine, graduating in 1954, then served in the Army in Korea, after the Korean War. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in literature from Boston University, and taught there as well as at Northeastern University.

Scotts to sell Fenway Park grass seed
By Greg Turner/Boston Herald - January 20, 2010

The grass is always greener at Fenway Park.

But as soon as this spring, Red Sox fans will be able to replicate Boston’s field of dreams in their front yard.

The Scotts Co. announced a deal today with Major League Baseball Properties to sell grass seed that’s specially blended to match the turf at Fenway and four other ballparks.

The product packaging features the signatures of the teams’ head groundskeeper.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Olga Goldus Paintings at Muddy River Gallery

Self-Portrait, graphite on paper,
18” x 24”, 2007

Artist Olga Goldus presents a variety of painting styles – including watercolor, acrylic, sumi-ink paintings and monoprints – in an exciting, new exhibition, Artistic Explorations, on view in The Muddy River Gallery at the Peterborough Senior Center through March 12, 2010.

"Olga Goldus is part of the community of people in the West Fenway who have repatriated from the former U.S.S.R. She just started art lessons fewer than 3 years ago. When you view her work it's easy to be impressed by her technical competence, but when you understand that she's gotten to this level in just 3 years, what is merely impressive becomes astonishing. She makes the viewer see as she sees - what more can we ask of an artist?"
- Stephen Brophy

The Muddy River Gallery at the Peterborough Senior Center
Monday – Thursday 9:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. Enter thru the alley 100-108 Jersey Street
Telephone – (617) 536-7154

The Muslim World food walk & cooking class

This announcement is posted for Discover Roxbury:

The Muslim world is very rich in cultural traditions and at present comprises around 50 countries, each with its own cultural and traditional food. Yet there are marvelous commonalities such as Halal ingredients. Learn about the regional spices and how to stock your own Middle Eastern pantry. Join Chef Nadine Nelson on a visit to a Halal market, a Sudanese coffee shop, and the new Common Word Cafe to see and experience aspects of North African Muslim culture firsthand. Afterward, participate in an interactive cooking class where you will prepare traditional Moroccan dishes.

Wednesday, January 20, 6pm-9pm. Rain or shine.
Tour departs Roxbury Crossing MBTA Station at 6pm.
Click here to purchase your reservation ($60) or call 617-427-1006.

POLL: Where is the love, Roxbury?
This is the last week to take our pre-Valentine's Day poll. Tell us where the most romantic place is in Roxbury. Vote for your favorite as many times as you'd like until January 22. We'll announce the results just before Valentine's Day. Click here to take the poll.

Click Here To Join Our Mailing List

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Free MFA Admission Tomorrow

In Celebration of the Martin Luther King holiday, the Museum of Fine Arts opens its door for free admission all day on Monday, January 18. In addition to all of its regular exhibitions and programs, some special events are offered - click here for more information.

News Notes - January 17

Obama to speak on campus Sunday
The Huntington News - January 16, 2010

President Barack Obama will speak at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the Cabot Center to endorse Martha Coakley's senate campaign, according to the Boston Globe. Doors will open at 1 p.m. The event is free and for the public.

Check and this website for updates.

Snow is inching its way back
By Caitlin Castello - Globe Correspondent / January 17, 2010

Yesterday’s unseasonably warm temperatures were just a tease for Massachusetts residents. Tonight, it’s back to the same old winter routine.

Two to 4 inches of snow are expected to fall in the Boston area, while Central and Western Massachusetts could see 5 to 10 inches, said Mike Ekster, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Taunton.

A winter storm watch will be in effect in Essex, Middlesex, and Worcester counties from tonight night to tomorrow morning. Temperatures are expected to range from the high 20s to the low 30s.

Tomorrow is expected to be cloudy, with a chance of sleet west of Boston and temperatures in the low 30s.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Community Alliance of Mission Hill Celebrates

By Chris Pestana

Improving quality of life through advocacy and action is not only the Community Alliance of Mission Hill’s mission statement, it is also what the Community Alliance of Mission Hill promoted at its annual Community Day Celebration in September.

On behalf of the Community Alliance of Mission Hill, Mission Hill Main Streets was awarded a $3,000 grant by the Mission Hill Fenway Neighborhood Trust for an annual Community Day Celebration.

The celebration took place Sept. 12. About 400 people attended, for live music, food and a social gathering at the Tobin Community Center in Roxbury.
It was a “huge success, and a lot of work,” said Rich Johnson, president of the Community Alliance.

This past spring Johnson set a list of goals, among them the hosting of an outdoor celebration. He was unsure about how to pay for such a celebration until he came across the Fenway Neighborhood Trust grant opportunity.

After applying to the Fenway Neighborhood Trust, the Community Alliance was notified in June that it would be awarded $3,000 for a Community Day Celebration. Mission Hill Main Streets was the fiscal agent, because it, unlike the Community Alliance, it holds 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit status with the federal government.

“People want tax benefits for donations, “ said Christine Rose, executive director of Mission Hill Main Streets, who helped orchestrate the additional donations to help pay for the celebration.

Organizations with 501(c)(3) status are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions, because the organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests.

After being awarded the grant, additional outreach was done to local businesses and hospitals, where various donations were received in the form of services, food, supplies and cash to help with the celebration.

With the finances for the Community Day in place, the Community Alliance held meetings once a week to organize and pitch ideas for what approach to take toward hosting the celebration.

Johnson, who hatched the idea for the celebration, said: “The idea behind it is to build relationships and strengthen the community.”

Johnson said the greatest value from the celebration came from the things that led up to and followed the event. For the celebration to be successful, volunteers from throughout the community had to make themselves available and coordinate with one another. About 100 community members volunteered for the Community Day Celebration. At its conclusion, a thank-you party was held for those who contributed.

The Community Alliance, founded in 1993, is the only Mission Hill organization to hold monthly meetings open to anyone. Johnson said that because issues are discussed and then voted on as in a democracy, the city takes into consideration issues to help improve the Mission Hill area that are voted on and approved during alliance meetings.
The Community Alliance is strictly a volunteer organization, and is a “reflection of the neighborhood,” Johnson said.

Considering the success of the first Community Day Celebration, the Community Alliance plans to host another one in the future, and would like to organize more social events to bring the Mission Hill community together.

Chris Pestana is an undergraduate student at the Northeastern University School of Journalism.

Emerald Necklace Conservancy Looks Back, and Forward

By Emily Plourde

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy, whose mission is to help keep beautiful the Emerald Necklace, discussed at its annual meeting Nov. 4 one pending and one accomplished project to guide visitors to the Emerald Necklace’s seven-mile stretch of parks that meanders through Boston.

The conservancy’s agenda for the future includes turning the Stony Brook gatehouse in the Back Bay into a visitor center for the Emerald Necklace.

And just this year, the conservancy completed the Emerald Necklace Map and Guide, which is now available to the public.

Benjamin Taylor, chairman of the conservancy’s board, welcomed about 150 people who attended the conservancy’s 11th annual meeting, held at the Wheelock College Family Theatre.

Taylor acknowledged John R. Cook Jr. and Lynn A. Dalenew, new members of the board of directors.

The conservancy’s annual report, delivered by its president, Julie Crockford, noted the group’s past achievements and future goals.

“In the forefront of our agenda is the historic Stony Brook gatehouse in Back Bay,” Crockford said.

The conservancy plans for the gatehouse as a visitor center call for it to be a place where park-goers can find information about the Emerald Necklace, and it is hoped that the gatehouse will be a hub for tours. The number of conservancy volunteers is increasing, which might enable it to expand its education programs to include a course for Elderhostel tours and guided tours of the Emerald Necklace.

Peter Forbes, a writer, photographer, farmer and conservationist, said in his keynote speech at the annual meeting that he thinks that people should build relationships with each other before they can help conserve the land.

“The central work of this time is to create a culture of belonging that feels empathy for the world and for one another. Urban parks are the physical place where a culture of belonging can be nurtured and sustained,” Forbes said.

The Leadership Program and Summer Youth Green Team was recognized for the hard work its members did in fixing up some of the Emerald Necklace parks this past summer. Student group leaders were at the meeting and were acknowledged for their after-school and weekend work on leadership and conservation with Kate England, director of youth programs for the conservancy.

An award was given to volunteer Jill Conley for her skillful design in creating the map for the Emerald Necklace Map and Guide. Awards were also given to members of Berklee College of Music’s Gracenotes volunteers for their work in the Back Bay Fens.

More information about the Emerald Necklace Conservancy can be obtained by visit its website at

Emily Plourde is an undergraduate student in the Northeastern University School of Journalism.