Stay warm this winter with help from the Fuel Assistance Program. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Winter is here, and a blast of Arctic air is on its way to New England. If you’re worried about paying your heating bills this year, there are a couple programs you should know about.
The first line of defense is the Fuel Assistance Program, which helps low-income households pay their heating bills in the winter months. In Massachusetts, families that make either 200% of the federal poverty level or 60% of the Commonwealth’s median income are eligible—click here to see if you qualify. If you’re facing an imminent “heat emergency,” your application will be fast-tracked. Please call (617)-349-6252 to make an appointment.
You may also be eligible for discounts on your utilities and/or tax credits to weatherize your home. The City of Cambridge maintains a list of other heating assistance programs here. And even if you don’t qualify for any of those programs, you still might be able to receive 100 gallons of free heating oil from Citizens Energy (they’re the folks behind those “Joe for Oil” commercials you might have seen).
The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a cold, snowy winter for southern New England. Make sure you and your family stay warm.
Mayor Curtatone speaks as Governor Patrick and others look on at last year’s Green Line Extension groundbreaking ceremony. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
The MBTA is putting together a panel of citizens to advise on the final design and construction issues associated with the Green Line Extension. Members of the panel—known as the Construction Working Group—will represent their neighborhoods and serve as a communications link between neighbors and the T.
Since this initiative is all about neighborhood engagement, the Construction Working Group is seeking applicants who live within a mile of the Green Line Extension. The Group’s seats will be apportioned based on the Green Line’s new stops, with one representative each from the neighborhoods surrounding Lechmere, College Ave., and Union Square stations (Gilman Square and Ball Square will be represented by two seats each).
The Working Group will meet every few months to make sure the Green Line Extension construction happens as smoothly as possible. To apply, just fill out this form and send it to Regan Checcio by Friday, December 13.
Somervillian Michael Terrio is fighting cystic fibrosis and needs your help. Image via GoFundMe/New Lungs for Michael Terrio.
One of our neighbors, Michael Terrio, is a small business owner and a lifelong resident of Somerville. He’s also approaching the seventh year of his fight against cystic fibrosis, and he and his family need our help.
When he was diagnosed with CF in 2007, Michael’s doctors told him he had three years left to live. He’s proved them wrong so far, but he’ll need a double lung transplant to really beat back this disease. He’s scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh, where he’ll undergo tests and be placed on a transplant list. After that, he and his medically required travel companion will have to stay in Pittsburgh until, God willing, he receives a transplant.
The Terrios family is asking for your help in defraying the costs of their father’s trip to Pittsburgh. Here’s how you can help:
- Attend the fundraiser at On the Hill Tavern (499 Broadway, Somerville) on Saturday, November 30, at 7:30pm. There will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, a cash bar, and plenty of food donated by On the Hill Tavern. Suggested donations are $25, but no donation is too big or too small.
- Donate to Michael Terrio’s GoFundMe page.
A photo from the early 20th century showing the Longfellow (then Cambridge) Bridge’s arches under construction. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Cars and MBTA Red Line trains won’t cross the Longfellow Bridge this weekend, part of a planned service diversion associated with the bridge’s landmark rehabilitation project. Instead, buses will run between Kendall/MIT and Park Street stations. Pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge as they always have, but cyclists will be asked to walk their bikes across the river. There will also be alternating lane closures on Memorial Drive eastbound this weekend.
The detours for motorists remain the same as they were in previous weekend diversions. Here’s a map of those detours, but you can always find more resources at MassDOT’s Longfellow Bridge page.
With your help, we can make sure all our neighbors enjoy a Thanksgiving feast this year. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Thanksgiving is just ten days away, and while many of us will be gathering with friends and family to stuff ourselves silly, some of our neighbors are facing the prospect of an empty Thanksgiving table. In a country as blessed as ours, that’s just not right, and community groups in and around Greater Boston are stepping up to the gravy-laden plate.
Here in East Cambridge, East End House is in the final days of its annual Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway, and they’re accepting food donations until 5pm Friday. East End House also needs people to help deliver their Thanksgiving Baskets, starting at noon this Friday. If you’d like to donate food, please bring the following items to the East End House (105 Spring St., Cambridge):
• Cranberry Sauce
• Canned Pumpkin
• Canned Fruits and Vegetables
• Baby Food and Formula
• $15 gift cards to Shaw’s or Market Basket (to serve as vouchers for families that don’t eat turkey)
Our Commonwealth is the home of the first American Thanksgiving, and we owe it to ourselves and to one another to share our good fortune. Please help however you can.
Thank you to everyone who has served and is currently serving in our nation’s armed forces.
Halloween’s over when we say it’s over! Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Halloween was yesterday, but the Harvard Square Business Association is making sure the holiday’s spooky spirit remains alive (OR MAYBE UNDEAD!) throughout the weekend. Harvard Scare at Harvard Square highlights the fun ways local businesses are celebrating Halloween. Pedicabs can be hired to bring adult trick-or-treaters to participating businesses; the Harvard Coop is holding an all-ages pumpkin decorating contest tomorrow; Russell House Tavern is highlighting the Mexican traditions of Dia de Los Muertos; and just about every restaurant and bakery in the square is featuring pumpkins and other seasonal fare.
So, if you’re not quite ready to put your costume away until next year, or if you’re just looking for something to do this weekend—aside from attending the Red Sox’ rolling rally, of course—stop by Harvard Square.
Congrats to the Red Sox for bringing a championship to the lyric little bandbox for the first time since 1918!
From 2-4pm on Halloween, every Cambridge Fire Department station—like this one near Central Square—will be open to the public. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
It’s an annual tradition for the men and women of the Cambridge Fire Department: from 2:00pm-4:00pm on October 31, all CFD stations will be open to the public. Parents and trick-or-treaters are encouraged to stop by, take a look at the big red trucks, and grab some free candy and glow sticks for later on in the evening. The candy has been generously donated by Cambridge Brands on Main St., and all open houses are completely free.
Engine 5 at the Inman Square fire station is currently down for repairs, but other than that, every fire engine should be available for your little ones. If you have any questions, please contact the Cambridge Fire Department’s Lieutenant Michael Hughes at 617-349-4153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buses like this one will run between the Kendall Square and Park Street Red Line stops for the next two weekends. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
For the next two weekends, MBTA buses will be the only vehicles allowed on the Longfellow Bridge. Boston-bound vehicles should follow this detour, while Cambridge-bound traffic should follow this detour. If you’re a cyclist, this applies to you too, as police will be on hand to ask cyclists to walk their bikes across the bridge. Pedestrians, on the other hand, can cross the bridge as they normally would. I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you that there’s one more weekend closing in 2013, on November 23-24.
Why the complete shutdown of traffic on the bridge? In short, construction crews need to work close to the Red Line tracks, and it’s not safe to operate trains that close to workers.
As always, you can see MBTA service disruptions in real time with Service Alerts, and if you have any questions about the project, you can call the DOT’s dedicated Longfellow Bridge hotline at 617-519-9892.