Sat, Sep 3rd, 2016 10:30 am
It has been 25 years since Hurricane Bob caused major destruction to properties along the south coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Hurricanes and tropical storms similar to Hermine, which is currently in the Atlantic, pose major risks to both coastal and inland areas. Being prepared for a hurricane and having a plan to follow if a storm hits our area is of utmost importance. Although the official Atlantic hurricane season falls between June 1 and November 30, the most active time for storms in Massachusetts is late August through September, as we are currently experiencing. While a hurricane with winds over 75 mph can be devastating, even tropical storms with winds above 39 mph can cause a potentially deadly storm surge with significant damage. Threats from hurricanes include storm surge, high winds, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, tornadoes and rip currents. More information on hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings and what to do before, during and after a storm can be found by clicking the link below of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website. Don't wait until the last minute. Be prepared for a hurricane that could strike our area.
Moving Wall displayed in Waltham
Mon, Aug 15th, 2016 6:50 pm
For the past four days, I had the honor of working as a volunteer at The Moving Wall that was on display in Waltham. The concept and building of the wall grew out of the hard work and effort of John Devitt, Gerry Haver and Norris Shears, all Vietnam veterans from California. The gentlemen wanted to build a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC and display it on the West Coast. Their idea was that people could experience the same feelings they did in the nations capital. Devitt was asked by veterans if the wall would be portable. Trying to avoid any negative reaction to the project, Devitt simply nodded and replied, "Yeah, it's going to be portable." With those words, work on The Moving Wall began in February 1983 and today the wall travels around the United States. The Moving Wall was paid for by contributions from the public, similar to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. The overall length of the wall is 253 feet. Each of the two wall sections that make up the entire wall are 126.5 feet long. As of January 1, 2016 there are 58,306 names of men and women listed on the moving memorial. Approximately 1,300 of these are still unaccounted for prisoners of war (POW's) and missing in action (MIA's). There are no civilians listed on the wall. It is dedicated to the 2.7 million men and women who served in the US military in Vietnam. When names are added to the memorial in Washington, DC, they are also added to The Moving Wall at the end of the display year. What I found noteworthy this weekend was family members, friends, and vets who served together or didn't know each other all came together at the wall and shared their emotional stories to strangers. Some shared information on their service time, while others would stand silent. Some would lean with their hands on the wall, while others would look from afar. After talking with a vet for about 30 minutes in our visitor tent on Friday evening, I asked if he wanted me to have someone escort him to the wall, rather than walking in the dark by himself. He slightly smiled as he said to me, "Thank you, but I'm fine. I won't be walking down there. I see my guys every night in my head. I know where they are." That was an emotional experience for all on my team, understanding very clearly what he was saying. Some of these vets felt they were treated disrespectfully when they came home. For some, they won't talk because they are not proud of what they had to do. And for some, they talk about their days in Vietnam like it was yesterday. The Moving Wall's designers, committee members, volunteers and citizens from communities all over Massachusetts, came together to support those we lost in Vietnam and those who still fight that war every day. Welcome home veterans and thank you for your service.
John Frassica is Vice President of Operations for WNTN Radio and host of The John Frassica Show.
Charles river gets boating and swimming ok
Mon, Aug 8th, 2016 5:14 pm
The EPA has given the Charles River a B+ grade for water quality in 2015. This news has been recognized as a national achievement as the water quality in the Charles River has improved significantly in the past 20 years after receiving a D grade in 1995. Curt Spalding, regional administrator for the EPA New England region (Region 1), commented on this recently on the John Frassica Show. Spalding explained that the grading system for the Charles River is based on the use of water. An A grade means the water quality always or almost always meets the standards for boating and swimming. The river's current letter grade of B+ indicates its water quality meets the standards for almost all boating and for some swimming. In 2015 the river was safe for swimming 69% of the time. To collect this data, the Charles River Water Association has volunteers obtain samples from 10 monitoring stations from the Watertown dam to Boston harbor. This method comes at almost no cost to the government and it looks at indicators of human waste in the water that enters the river from sewage systems. Part of the reason the Charles River's water quality has improved so greatly in recent years is sewage system overflows are being better controlled, which prevents human waste from entering the river. Spalding believes with the steps being taken to control sewage overflow and to decrease water contamination that the Charles River is well on its way towards receiving a letter grade of A in upcoming years.
100th anniversary of the national park service
Wed, Aug 3rd, 2016 9:23 pm
The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and park officials are inviting visitors of all ages to join the celebration throughout the month. With special events across the country, and free admission to all 412 national parks from August 25 through August 28, the National Park Service is encouraging everyone to "Find Your Park" for the centennial by going to nps.gov. The United States Mint is helping the parks celebrate by issuing three limited edition coins. The 100th anniversary of the National Park Service commemorative coin program includes a five dollar gold coin, a silver dollar, and a half dollar clad coin. The coins feature images of iconic park features, portrayals of cultural heritage and the exploration of nature, and the National Park Service's recognizable logo, the arrowhead. Proceeds from coin sales go to the National Park Foundation to support projects that protect the parks. The national parks are uniquely American and with the vision of John Muir, the father of the National Park Service, Stephen T. Mather, first Park Service director, and US President Theodore Roosevelt, the agency today manages a range of cultural sites including monuments, parkways, battlefields, cemeteries, and recreation areas. This month, WNTN's John Frassica will be talking on his program with representatives from Massachusetts National Parks such as Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Minuteman National Historical Park in Concord and New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park.
Mass grown farm products clearinghouse
Tue, Jul 5th, 2016 4:41 pm
Learn more about local products, availability and selection of foods and agricultural topics in your community by going to the MassGrown web page at the link below. Find information on times and location of farmer's markets, beekeeper grown honey items, wineries and dairy farms. Also listed are places to pick your own fruits and vegetables and organic grown products. From Boston to Stockbridge, this website supplies you with all the details you need to purchase and learn about these special foods grown in Massachusetts.
Local fireworks schedule
Fri, Jul 1st, 2016 4:29 pm
Looking to view fireworks this Independence Day 2016? Check out some of the locations in our area. Local safety officials say be safe and observant of surroundings this holiday and emphasize to the public that, if you see something, say something to local authorities. Make this a safe and happy 4th of July.
July 3rd – Town of Needham, Memorial Park at Dusk
July 4th – City of Newton, Albemarle Field at 9 PM
July 4th – City of Waltham, Leary Field at 9:30 PM
July 4th – City of Boston, Charles River at 10:30 PM
Ikea furniture recall
Tue, Jun 28th, 2016 5:00 pm
Swedish retailer Ikea has recalled 29 million chests and dressers that can easily tip over and trap children underneath. Six children died and three dozen others injured, causing officials at the Consumer Product Safety Commission to urge consumers to take immediate action if they own these products. In the recall, Ikea says that the furniture can pose "a tip-over and entrapment hazard that can result in death or injuries to children" if it is not properly anchored to a wall. Elliot Kaye, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in his statement that, "consumers need to act immediately because it's a very present hazard, especially if you have kids in your home." The recall, which only applies to customers in US and Canada, is for several types of Ikea chests and dressers, including the Malm line. Ikea said units under the recall are children's chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches. The recalled units were sold at Ikea stores "at various times through June 2016," the company said. Ikea is also offering free wall attachment kits to anchor the chests and dressers to a wall. To read more about this story, click on the link below.
Governor Baker responds to Orlando nightclub shooting
Mon, Jun 13th, 2016 5:52 pm
After the deadly mass shooting in Orlando that killed or wounded over 100 people, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker released this message; "Our hearts break for the innocent victims and their loved ones impacted by last night's horrendous act of terror. Our administration remains in constant contact with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, federal partners and law enforcement, and while there are no apparent threats to the Commonwealth, we will remain vigilant to ensure the public's safety and security." Boston Mayor Marty Walsh asked for residents to join him on Boston City Hall Plaza for a vigil to remember the victims of the Orlando shooting. FBI Director James Comey said on Monday that the gunman, who has been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen, had "strong indications of radicalization" and was likely inspired by foreign terrorist organizations. Comey said the gunman also spoke with a 911 operator three times during the deadly event, saying he pledged loyalty on the call to the head of the Islamic State group. Investigations are ongoing.
Special Needs Awareness Day
Mon, May 23rd, 2016 11:08 pm
The term "special needs" has evolved over the years and now has various definitions. Today, the term is commonly used to refer to children of any age with disabilities and in the context of elementary and secondary education to refer to school-aged children and young adults who have individualized needs resulting from a wide range of disabilities. In Massachusetts there are several types of support available to individuals with special needs at different stages of life. Children with special needs age 0-3 and their families may be eligible for early intervention services through the MA Department of Public Health under the Massachusetts Early Childhood Intervention Law M.G.L. c. 111G. To learn more about Special Needs Awareness Day and the services available, click on the link below.
Anti-prejudice program coming in Newton
Tue, May 3rd, 2016 8:58 am
The Boston Globe's Ellen Ishkanian writes in the Boston Globe May 2, 2016 that Newton Mayor Setti Warren will announce a major program in coming weeks aimed at combating prejudice. Newton has experienced recent incidents that led to a community forum on April 7th. To read the complete Globe article, please click on the link below.
Bicycle ride to end Alzheimer's Saturday June 11
Mon, May 2nd, 2016 5:47 pm
Alzheimer's disease reseach will benefit from bicyclists riding the scenic roads of northeastern Massachusetts and seacoast New Hampshire on Saturday June 11, 2016. Distance options include 30, 62 and 100 mile routes plus a shorter family ride on bike paths. The 20th anniversay ride includes a post race party barbeque and music. To learn how to help fund critical research needed to address the growing Alzheimer's health epidemic, please click the link below.
Marathon day street closures in Newton
Fri, Apr 15th, 2016 4:15 pm
Newton Police has announced street closures in the city on Monday April 18th along the Boston Marathon route. Washington Street between the Wellesley line and Beacon Street will close at 8:30 AM. Washington Street between Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue will close at 8 AM. Commonwealth Avenue at Washington Street to the Boston Line will also close at 8 AM. Street barricades will be placed at certain places along the route and motorists are asked to obey all law enforcement signs and officials. Also, there is a road closure advisory for Sunday April 17th from 11:30 AM to 3 PM from Commonwealth Avenue between Homer Street and Lowell Avenue and Cedar Street, due to the city's 24th annual Heartbreak Hill Road Race and Walk. For more information on this family event, go to the link below.
Expect low flying helicopters this week
Tue, Apr 12th, 2016 10:20 pm
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has issued a press release regarding the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration conducting low altitude helicopter flights in the Boston area to measure naturally occurring background radiation checks. The measurements are taken to establish baseline levels as a normal part of security and emergency preparedness. Flyovers will occur during daylight hours April 12th through 15th. MEMA and NNSA are making the public aware of these low flying aircraft so they will not be alarmed. The link below explains the information in detail.
Boston Marathon spectator guidelines
Wed, Apr 6th, 2016 5:04 pm
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency has announced guidelines for spectators of this year's Boston Marathon. Before you head to the Marathon route with bags, coolers or containers, check the website listed below. With up to one million expected to line the 26.2 mile route, public safety administrators have released guidelines to hopefully ensure a safe day.
Mass requires headlights while wipers are on
Mon, Mar 28th, 2016 11:45 am
April 6, 2016 is the first anniversary of changes made to Mass General Law Chapter 85, Section 15, requiring the use of headlights and taillights on motor vehicles during inclement weather and when windshield wipers are in use. The law is intended to increase safety and visibility of vehicles on Commonwealth roads. The law now states that both front and rear motor vehicle lights must be activated in all of the following conditions: 1) When windshield wipers are on. 2) When low light or weather conditions prevent other vehicles or persons from being seen at 500 feet. 3) From 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise. Relying on daytime running lights for these conditions is not sufficient under the law. A violation of this law is considered a surchargeable minor motor vehicle traffic law violation for insurance purposes. So, as the rainy days of spring arrive, remember to keep headlights on when the wipers are running.
Newton middle school student reports assault on street corner
Tue, Mar 22nd, 2016 4:50 pm
This week, a 12 year old F.A. Day Middle School student was assaulted by an adult while walking to the bus on the corner of Lexington and River Streets in Auburndale. Newton Police say that a white male, wearing a blue hoodie and holding a large knife, pushed and grabbed the student as he got off an MBTA bus. Police say after a scuffle ensued, the man stole the boy's cell phone. The boy went to school and told officials what had happened. According to school officials, the boy received medical attention and police are investigating the matter.
Massachusetts maple sugar weekend
Tue, Mar 8th, 2016 5:12 pm
Pancakes without syrup are like peanut butter without jelly or Burt without Ernie. March is the start of maple sugaring season and you can sample the first syrup of the year at the 3rd annual Maple Weekend coordinated by the Massachusetts Maple Producers Association, March 19th and 20th. Visit a working sugarhouse, learn how syrup is made and purchase a bottle. For more information on Massachusetts maple sugar, click on the link below.
Why leap year?
Wed, Feb 24th, 2016 5:22 pm
Have you ever wondered why we need a leap year? The Gregorian calendar, which is now the standard calendar throughout the world, has two different types of years. A common year that has 365 days and a leap year that has 366, with the extra day designated as February 29th. A leap year occurs every four years to help synchronize the calendar year with the solar year, which is the length of time it takes for the earth to complete its orbit around the sun. Without the extra day, we would lose almost six hours every year. After 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days. What happens if you are born on February 29th? Should you have your birthday party on February 28th or March 1st? Each state recognizes your birthday differently. For example, to get your license, most states consider March 1st your official day. The concept of a leap day has been around for more than 2000 years and is still associated with age-old customs, folklore and superstition, one being the tradition of women proposing to men. In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictated that if any man refused a woman's proposal on February 29th, that man must buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention was that the woman could wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having the engagement ring on their finger from the man they proposed to. Gentlemen, if your answer isn't yes when she gets up the nerve to ask you, her next opportunity will be Saturday February 29, 2020.
Mass DOT to examine highway manhole covers
Mon, Feb 15th, 2016 9:18 pm
On Friday February 12, 2016 a manhole cover weighing more than 200 pounds went airborne on I-93 near the O'Neill Tunnel and struck the windshield of an SUV, killing public school art teacher Caitlin Clavette of Arlington. Calling the incident "bizarre", Governor Charlie Baker said what an incredible tragedy this accident was for the woman and her family. Governor Baker called on highway crews to check other manhole covers in the travel lanes of Boston area highways to determine if any others were loose. The link below is a statement from Mass DOT Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin regarding the incident.
Voter registration deadline
Wed, Feb 3rd, 2016 5:54 pm
The Newton Election Commission reminds residents that Wednesday February 10th is the deadline to register to vote to participate in the Massachusetts presidential primary on March 1st. For more information, check out the link below.
Homes of the super bowl teams
Thu, Jan 28th, 2016 7:49 pm
Now that you've cancelled plans to watch the Patriots in Super Bowl 50, and still want to view the game, how about learning some interesting hometown facts.
On December 17, 1903, brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright, fathers of aviation, made North Carolina famous by successfully conducting the first flight of a powered airplane. The flight travelled 20 feet, 120 feet above a beach for 12 seconds. Three more flights were made that day, one lasting a record 59 seconds, spanning a distance of 852 feet. Have you ever heard of New Bern, North Carolina? If you're a Pepsi Cola fan, you have. Pepsi was first invented by Caleb Bradham in his pharmacy in 1893 as "Brad's Drink" and later changed to Pepsi Cola in 1898. Vernon Rudolph first created the tasty donuts of Krispy Kreme in the town of Winston Salem in 1937. The scent of cooking doughnuts attracted passers-by who wanted to buy the hot doughnuts on the spot, so he cut a hole in the outside wall of the store and sold them to customers on the sidewalk. Andy Griffith was born in Mt. Airy. His TV program, The Andy Griffith Show, was based on the small town. Lexington is the barbeque capital of the world, vinegar based pork barbeque to be precise. The city of Charlotte is home of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a 40,000 square foot exhibit space showcasing the history and heritage of the sport of auto racing.
If you are a Broncos fan, did you know maids at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs invented the first Teddy Bear in 1905? Scraps of material were sewn together and given to President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt who was on a hunting trip in the area. The toy was dubbed a Teddy Bear and quickly became a national craze. Most folks from Colorado credit Frank Wisner with the creation of the popular ice cream drink the Root Beer Float. It is said that Wisner was looking at the snow on top of Cow Mountain thinking it looked like ice cream floating on top of a dark drink. The next day he dropped scoops of ice cream in root beer and the float was created. Although many claim to have created the first cheeseburger, Colorado native Louis Ballast was awarded the "cheeseburger" trademark in 1935. If you start your day with a bowl of Shredded Wheat, you have Denver inventor Henry Perkins to thank. He developed a method of processing wheat into strips, making the cereal possible. Rocky Mountain Oysters, known as cowboy fare, is commonly found served at festivals and some eating establishments and bars. Sometimes confused with lamb fries, this dish is also readily available at Coors Field during Colorado Rockies games. Rocky Mountain Oysters is a term for a dish made of deep-fried bull, pig or sheep testicles. Finally, if you are a Crocs fan, you'll know three Boulder outdoor enthusiasts who wanted something simpler and comfortable to wear when rafting and gardening, invented the famous footwear in 2002.
It may not be the home of the first settlers, the shot heard 'round the world, the best tasting fish and chips or even home of a four time Super Bowl champion. But, there is history in both states and in the end one more bit of history will be added, home of the 2016 Super Bowl winner.
Preparing for snow storms
Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016 9:56 am
Massachusetts may be spared the strong storm moving across the eastern part of the country this weekend, although south areas of the state and parts of Cape Cod could receive 6 plus inches of snow by Sunday. Considering the amount of snow we had last year, and what areas such as Richmond, Philadelphia and Washington, DC will receive this weekend, there is always the possibility for more snow during this storm or at any time over the winter. In order to prepare for such weather, click on the link below which will take you to the Commonwealth's #MAsnow Resources 2015-2016 website. You will find information on building an emergency kit for your car or home, what to do during a power outage, information on removal of snow from roofs and winter pet safety. Topics on transportation during a snowstorm, to resources on generator safety and carbon monoxide concerns are all in this portal. Before Massachusetts gets hit with a major storm, check out #MAsnow Resources 2015-2016.
Trader Joe's cashew pieces recall
Mon, Jan 18th, 2016 5:08 pm
A voluntary recall has been issued on Trader Joe's Raw Cashew Pieces because of potential contamination with Salmonella. The recall involves only one production lot. The recalled cashews are packaged in 16-ounce, clear, non-resealable plastic bags with a barcode number of 00505154 and with the following lot code, "BEST BEFORE 07.17.2016TF4." The "BEST BEFORE" information can be found on the back of the package above the barcode. Heritage International distributed the cashews to Trader Joe's stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin. No illnesses have been reported as of Friday January 15th when notice of the recall was made. Customers who have purchased the specified pieces are urged not to eat the product, and to dispose of them or return them to any Trader Joe's for a full refund. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. To read information regarding the recall, click on the link below.
Newton celebrates MLK day
Tue, Jan 12th, 2016 11:44 am
Mayor Setti Warren and the City of Newton will host the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday January 18th at 10 AM. This years services will be held at the Our Lady Help of Christians Parish at 573 Washington Street. For more information, click on the link below.
Winter weather is coming
Mon, Dec 28th, 2015 8:31 pm
Did you buy your milk and bread? Did you get gas for your snow blower? Don't you know there's winter weather coming to Boston on Tuesday? Oh wait, it's going to be mainly in the 40s from Wednesday through New Year's Day. With the anticipated above-average temperatures the last couple of days of the month, AccuWeather.com (seen on the WNTN web site, above Trending NTN) says that December 2015 will end up being the warmest on record in Boston. Sooner or later though, we will get a snowstorm. The people at AAA.com remind us of eight tips to prepare our car for the winter, if you haven't done so already.
Happy holiday travel
Thu, Dec 24th, 2015 6:28 pm
1550 WNTN and WNTN.Com wishes travelers a safe journey this holiday season.To help make your drive a smooth one, the link below from AAA offers trip survival tips.
Respect handicapped parking
Thu, Dec 24th, 2015 6:22 pm
During the holiday shopping season, local law enforcement agencies have been cracking down on individuals who park illegally in accessible parking spots, also known as "handicapped" parking spaces in public parking lots. Most drivers know that it is against the law to park in these spaces unless you have a special permit authorized by the state. But, did you know there are certain requirements we must take to enable individuals with disabilities to access businesses, schools, medical facilities and other locations? The link below discusses information for accessible parking laws shared by the MA Office of Disability.
Holiday toy safety tips
Mon, Dec 7th, 2015 4:16 pm
It's that time of year again when children receive gifts of toys. Mass Public Heath offers toy safety tips to keep kids safe. The age of a child is important when considering a toy. Even stuffed animals can have hazards. The link below will take you to the Mass site and the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Happy holidays.
Newton family holiday craft show
Thu, Dec 3rd, 2015 4:09 pm
As the holidays approach, the city of Newton will hold a craft fair and holiday lighting on Saturday December 5th at city hall. There will be crafts, music, songs and sweets to enjoy for all ages. For more details click on the link below.
Local Thanksgiving football tradition
Tue, Nov 24th, 2015 5:28 pm
This Thanksgiving, while the turkey is in the oven, the potatoes are being peeled, the squash is being cut and the pies are being baked, rival high school varsity football games will be played throughout the Bay State. Here are some of the games in our area. Wednesday November 25th The Malden Catholic Lancers (6-4) will host the Waltham Hawks (4-7) at Brother Gilbert Stadium in Malden at 6 PM. Thursday November 26th After 80 years of not having high school football games at Fenway Park in Boston, eight teams will have the chance to play Thanksgiving Football on the field this year. Two of those teams, rivals Needham Rockets (7-3) and Wellesley Raiders (7-4) will play at 9:00 AM. This rivalry is one of the oldest in the country going back to 1882. Wellesley holds the lead 60-58-9 in the series. The Newton North Tigers (5-5) will travel to Parsons Field to play the Brookline Warriors (3-8) starting at 10:00 AM. This rivalry goes back to 1894, with a record of 55-53-6 in favor of Newton North. The Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors (4-7) come to Newton to play the Newton South Lions (7-3) in a Dual County conference game at 10:00 AM. Russell Field in Somerville will be the location for the Cambridge Rindge & Latin Falcons (2-8) and the Somerville Highlanders (2-9) at 10 AM. The Weston Wildcats (4-8) will play the Wayland Warriors (6-4) in Weston at 10 AM for a conference game. These two teams have been rivals since 1934. And, the Watertown Red Raiders (6-4) will take on the Belmont Marauders (4-6) at Victory Field in Watertown starting at 10:15 AM. Both these teams have competed against each other since 1921 with Watertown leading 42-41-4.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving from the staff of WNTN Radio and wntn.com.
Great American smokeout
Wed, Nov 18th, 2015 4:02 pm
Quitting smoking is not an easy task. Often it takes numerous efforts until people finally succeed. That's why in 1977, the American Cancer Society proclaimed the third Thursday in November as Great American Smokeout Day. The idea was to promote the day annually and to have smokers set goals to quit, resulting in fewer health problems and less cancer and emphysema deaths. According to the American Cancer Society's website, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Since the release of the Surgeon General's report on smoking and health 50 years ago, there have been 20 million deaths due to tobacco. Almost half are from 12 different types of cancers combined – including lung, voice box, throat, esophagus, and bladder cancer, all attributed to cigarette smoking. The American Cancer Society encourages all smokers to give up the "butt" and join millions of Americans and take a big step to a happier, healthier, longer life.
Newton's winter snow emergency parking ban
Tue, Nov 10th, 2015 5:28 pm
From November 15th thru April 15th, motorists are not allowed to park on any city of Newton street for longer than one hour between the hours of 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM. If a "snow emergency" is declared, parking is not allowed on any city street and vehicles will be ticketed and possibly towed.
Halloween safety tips
Thu, Oct 29th, 2015 11:19 am
Halloween can be a fun and spooky night and it doesn't have to be dangerous. We remember our parents telling us to walk in a group, watch for cars, only go to houses with porch lights on and that awful rule of not eating our candy until we get home. Today, those rules and more are still told to children before heading out trick-or-treating. Massachusetts State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan shares some tips in the link below on how to have a safe and happy Halloween.
Lions Tigers and Bears in Newton
Tue, Oct 13th, 2015 8:11 pm
Both Newton South Lions and Newton North Tigers had some competition this past weekend when a bear was spotted roaming the yards of Auburndale. Residents were encouraged to keep an eye on kids and pets, since environmental authorities were unable to find and capture it. According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, it's all about food. When bears find sources of food in residential areas, they tend to spend more time there. This can result in a bear losing its fear of people and in some cases, can lead to bears breaking into sheds, cages and even homes in search of food. You can help keep bears wild and wary of people by going to the first link below and reading the tips for homeowners. If you should encounter a bear in your yard, follow the recommendations on the second link (we suggest you read that information now, because you won't have time when you meet up with the bear). According to authorities, it is important for entire neighborhoods to follow these guidelines, so share this information with your neighbors. If you should see a bear roaming your street, contact Newton Police.
Garden season review
Fri, Oct 2nd, 2015 8:58 pm
The growing season is coming to a close. Soon we will be removing old plants and tilling the garden as we get it ready to hibernate for the winter. Yet, I must say I've been pleased with what we harvested this year. We're still getting tomatoes, but the plants are slowing showing they are ready to stop producing fruit. The carrots should be ready to pull soon. The cucumber vines are already gone and the pumpkins didn't make it this year. Not sure what happened. The pumpkin vine was looking beautiful, flowers galore. Then we the flowers started to fall off the vine and no fruit was in place. Later, the vine dried up and that was that. Looks like the Great Pumpkin won't be visiting the Frassica garden this year. That's ok, there are plenty of wonderful farms in our area that supply an abundance of different sized pumpkins to purchase. The sunflowers looked simply beautiful toward the end of summer. Bright yellow leaves, green stems and seeds of black that could be seen from the other end of the yard. We cut the heads of the plants and dried some seeds for eating and left the others out for birds and chipmunks to enjoy (yes, I've made friends with Chip and Dale again). Finally, last weekend, before the heavy rains washed in, we cut the grapes off the vine and made over 50 jars of jelly, from green to red to concord purple. 50 jars is a record for our small backyard vineyard. The smell of jelly lasted for two days in our kitchen and one jar of red grape has already been "tested" by the Frassica's on some toast this week. Did all our vegetables grow and supply us with everything we wanted this season? No, not everything, but as I said before, that is the fun part of growing a vegetable garden. You get excited to see what grows. You've done the work and enjoy the taste of that work all summer long. Remember, even if you think your thumb isn't green enough, give gardening a try next year. You may be surprised what you end up bringing to your table. Happy fall everyone.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
Prescription drug removal day
Wed, Sep 23rd, 2015 8:50 am
On Saturday September 26, 2015, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, the City of Newton and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give homeowners a chance to remove potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from their medicine cabinets. No liquid medicines, needles or sharp medical objects will be accepted. For the tenth time in five years this program will be offered to the public. People are encouraged to bring their pills for disposal behind the Newton police station, 1321 Washington Street, West Newton. This service is free and anonymous. For more information, please call the Newton Police Department at 617-796-2107 or visit the link below:
Newton preliminary election September 17
Mon, Sep 14th, 2015 4:52 pm
Thursday September 17, 2015, a preliminary election will be held in the city of Newton for five candidates vying for Ward 2 Alderman-at-Large. Voters in Newton can vote for two of the five candidates on Thursday. Residents do not need to live in Ward 2 in order to vote for these candidates at large. The top four candidates will appear in the general election Tuesday November 3, 2015. Polls open at 7:00 AM and will close at 8:00 PM for both the preliminary election and general election.
For more information, go to: http://www.newtonma.gov/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=662&TargetID=22
Not your average cruise
Wed, Aug 26th, 2015 9:53 am
Have you ever seen one of those massive freighter ships, the kind that carry thousands of metal multicolored storage units, and think about taking a two-week vacation on that? Judd Spittler did and he came on WNTN Magazine to talk about his experience. Spittler, an engineer, became interested in freight travel after reading about it in a magazine. "The technical aspects of such a huge ship kind of fascinated me. I thought oh man I've got to do this," said Spittler on WNTN Magazine. Spittler explained how non-working passengers on freighter ships became possible as ships became more automated and officer's quarters were freed up for tourists. Typically a freighter ship will hold two to four passengers and the trip can last any where from two weeks to three months. Unlike a more common cruise, these boats do not offer many daily activities. "There really is no organized entertainment," he said. "I brought some books with me and a camera to take pictures." The highlight Spittler said was when he was allowed to briefly steer the ship. "That was really fun to see how it handled." To learn more about freight travel and Judd Spittler's trip listen here:
Construction continues at Routes 9 and 128
Wed, Aug 26th, 2015 9:45 am
As part of a major project to add north and southbound travel lanes on Route 128/95 between Route 24 in Randolph and Route 9 in Wellesley, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will be implementing changes to portions of Route 9 near Route128/95 beginning Friday, September 11th. For more details, click on the link below.
Newton little league advances to New England regionals
Thu, Aug 6th, 2015 2:56 pm
On Friday July 31st, the Newton SouthEast Little League All-Star team won the 2015 Massachusetts State Championship, advancing to the New England Regional games in Bristol, Connecticut. Newton SouthEast won 12 of 14 games this summer. The team will travel to the regionals for the second time in three years and compete in the double-elimination competition beginning with a game against Maine on Monday August 10th at 1 PM. On Saturday August 8th, a special sendoff celebration will be held at 8 AM on the steps of Newton City Hall. Residents are encouraged to come out and wish the team luck. Follow us on Twitter @1550WNTN starting this Monday for team results.
Chipmunks in the garden
Wed, Aug 5th, 2015 11:09 pm
I've always thought of myself as a person who loves nature. I camp with my family, plant trees and hang birdhouses and feeders on all corners of my yard. So, to put in plain words the anger I felt after returning from vacation and seeing my beautiful red tomatoes half eaten by neighborhood chipmunks...those words would can not be printed on this page. First, the garden is looking good since we last chatted in June. The cucumbers are flowering nicely. We lost a couple of summer squash plants, but the others are doing fine. The peppers are as red as red can be and other plants are coming up nicely as well. I even have a few sunflowers and they are looking amazing. There are lots of weeds that I have to get rid of, but I'm happy with the garden this year. Now, let's talk about the tomatoes. My wife said to me, "Do you want to pluck some of the tomatoes before we leave on vacation? They look a little red." We do that sometimes and put them on the windowsill in the kitchen or on the patio table and they turn red just by sitting in the sun. But, of course my answer was no. I wanted them to get real red, take them off the plant and enjoy them in a nice salad or add them to a nice helping of bruschetta for dinner one evening. Instead, there I stand, staring at five good-sized big boy tomatoes, almost eaten to the stem by these ungrateful critters. Should I go looking for Chip and Dale and tell them how angry I am? I get a warning from my daughter on how cute they are and that I better not do anything to them. So, dropping an Acme bank safe on their heads seems out of the question now. I decide to go to my next best idea and that is to look up "how to keep chipmunks from eating your tomatoes" on the internet. Not surprisingly, there were many answers to be found. A few not as friendly as the safe dropping idea, but there were some good ones. 1) Chicken wire. I already have a fence that keeps rabbits and squirrels away, but the holes are just the right size for chipmunks to squeeze through. 2) Spread red hot pepper around the plants. This, I thought, was a good idea until I realized how much red pepper I'd need to buy after each rainstorm. 3) Finally, buy a plastic "shield" that would go around the bottom of the tomato plant so the little rats won't climb the plant and get to the fruit. I looked online to see how much these items cost and realized it would be cheaper for me to pull the plants out of the ground and start shopping at the local farmers market instead. But come on, I'm a pretty smart guy, no? There must be a better idea. I tell my wife not to get rid of the milk container, juice container and soda bottles. I washed them out, cut the tops and bottoms off each and cut them down the middle so that they are a flat piece of plastic, wrap them around the stem of the plants, staple the plastic back together and sink each in the ground. Success! Well, I think it was. For the past four days, I've seen no proof of any eaten tomatoes. I'm guessing the chipmunks have decided to go bother someone else's garden after realizing that I'm not playing around. However, if you see an Acme truck pull up to my house later this week, you'll know my idea didn't work.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
The science and morality of gene editing
Tue, Jul 28th, 2015 11:40 pm
Since Darwin first revealed the theory of evolution, man has been thinking of ways to take our genetic destiny away from nature. Famous books like "A Brave New World" and movies like "Gattaca" have explored how humanity would react if gene editing became common practice. A revolutionary technique called CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) has made gene editing easier and more accurate than ever. Using CRISPR and an enzyme called Cas9, scientists are able to essentially cut and paste sections of DNA. As of now the NIH has a moratorium on using CRISPR on the human genome. In April, a Chinese lab used CRISPR/Cas9 on a human embryo. The embryo never was in utero and experienced unwanted mutations. Nathaniel Comfort, a professor at the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, and Erik Peterson, a philosophy professor at the University of Alabama, joined me on WNTN Magazine to talk about the science and moral implications of gene editing.
Hear the interview:
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine
Remembering Alex Rocco
Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015 7:43 am
In April 2015, Mike DiStasio, host of Reel Talk on WNTN, interviewed Emmy Award winning actor Alex Rocco. Rocco passed away on July 18th. He was a Somerville native, best known for playing the role of Moe Greene in the American crime film, The Godfather. He was also famous for his role as Al Floss on the television series The Famous Teddy Z, and for his frequent voice-over roles on The Simpsons. In 1961, Rocco left Boston and moved to Los Angeles where he would eventually launch his acting career. However, at the time, Rocco was not planning to become an actor, and he did not move to Los Angeles with that intent. In fact, his first job in Los Angeles was working at a bar called the "Rain Check Room." Eventually, with what Rocco credits to luck, he landed his first acting job. Although his role only had two lines, he was thrilled to have the opportunity to appear on television, and he started to develop an interest in acting. Shortly after, he was booked for more roles, and eventually landed the part of Moe Greene in The Godfather, which was a turning point in his career. He told DiStasio that he was only supposed to be on set for three days, yet the part ended up keeping him there for a six months. In 1990, he won an Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a television comedy series, for his role as Al Floss on The Famous Teddy Z. On July 18, 2015 at the age of 79, Rocco passed away in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer.
To hear his interview with Mike DiStasio, click on this link:
Protect your home and family against ticks and mosquitos
Sat, Jul 11th, 2015 12:16 am
No one wants to spend their summer worrying about ticks and mosquitoes. Although it's difficult to escape these pests altogether, you can prevent them from infesting your property and minimize itchy bug bites. The Department of Public Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offer strategies for keeping ticks and mosquitoes away and provide steps to take if you get bitten. For more information on how to protect your family against these pests, go to:
Credit and debit cards now accepted by city of Newton
Tue, Jul 7th, 2015 5:20 pm
For many, writing a check or paying in cash has gone the way of the Dodo bird. That's why it is no surprise to see the City of Newton move forward and allow residents to pay bills by credit or debit card. As part of Mayor Setti Warren's vision to make Newton a 21st century city, effective this month residents will be able to use their card when doing business with the City Clerk and Treasurer. Mastercard, Visa and Discover will be accepted for a 2.95% fee. This service has been available on line for some time, and now will be offered at city hall. Additional city departments expect to offer this service in upcoming months. The city continues to encourage remote transactions by accessing the city website at newtonma.gov/billpay.
For more information, go to the link below: http://www.newtonma.gov/civica/inc/displayblobpdf2.asp?BlobID=67387
Local fourth of July events schedule
Fri, Jul 3rd, 2015 8:33 am
• Fireworks: 7/4, 10:30 p.m. @ Esplanade along Charles River • Concerts on 7/3 and 7/4 – 8:30 p.m. both days • Boston Harborfest: 7/1 – 7/5 (Colonial reenactments, music, entertainment, harbor cruises, and walking tours)
• Fireworks: 7/3 at dusk @ Memorial Field Needham High School • Festivities, food, and entertainment begin at 5:00 p.m. • Children/family events throughout day on 7/4
• Fireworks: 7/4, 9:00 p.m. @ Albermarle/Halloran Field • Rain Date 7/5 • Entertainment and amusement rides throughout day • Morning children events at Newton Center Playground from 10a.m. – 12p.m. (for children ages 3 –12)
• Fireworks: 7/4, 9:15 p.m. @ Leary Field • Family activities at 10 a.m. @ Prospect Hill Park on Totten Pond Rd.
• 4th of July Celebration: 7/3 @ Victory Field • Free food and refreshments • Festivities and family events throughout the day
• 4th of July Celebration: 7/4, 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. @ Memorial Pool • Patriotic games and attractions, poolside music
Newton Wellesley Hospital nurses strike averted
Mon, Jun 29th, 2015 8:57 pm
In a June 20th interview with 1550 Today's Paul Roberts, David Schildmeier, Director of Communications for the Massachusetts Nurses Association discussed a one-day nurses' strike set to occur on June 30th at Newton Wellesley Hospital. During the interview, Schildmeier said that calling a strike seemed to be the only option left for the nurses, who had been unable to negotiate a suitable contract with Partner's Health Care since August 2014. Yet, shortly after the interview, the strike was officially called off, and the two parties met with a mediator to come to an agreement on a contract. In his most recent interview on June 27th, Schildmeier explained the nurses have settled on a tentative one-year contract with Partners Health Care, which is retroactive to October 2014 and is set to expire on September 30, 2015. Although the contract is temporary and the nurses will have to negotiate again in September, Schildmeier says that they are very happy with the agreement because it gives them enough time to put new conditions in place, and if any promised conditions are not met, they will be able to negotiate again in a few months. Schildmeier emphasized that one of the nurses main priorities in their new contract is higher staffing. He explained that the nurses are already understaffed, and that management refuses to accommodate them with more nurses. The nurses find this unacceptable, as they believe that the shortage of nursing staff is depriving patients of the care and attention they deserve. As part of their new contract, the nurses have proposed legislation to set limits on how many patients they can work with in the hospital, and they have put language in place that will make it more difficult for Partners management to maintain low staffing levels. Schildmeier also emphasized he feels the nurses are not asking for anything unreasonable in their negotiations. He said they simply want adequate working conditions to provide the best quality care to their patients, and to receive a fair pay raise. They hope the management at Partners Health Care will notice how hard they work, how much time and effort they invest in their patients on a daily basis, and understand their value as nurses. The nurses also hope that this new agreement will help improve their relations with Newton Wellesley Hospital. According to Schildmeier, the nurses have already received an outpouring of support from the public and many have made calls to the hospital advocating for the nurses. He believes the public has played a very important role in helping the nurses get to the point of being able to negotiate with management. He said the public has helped bring much needed attention to the issue, which may have made the hospital more willing to settle. If the nurses are dissatisfied with their current tentative contract, they will not be alone in their negotiations in September. Nurses from both Brigham and Women's Hospital and the North Shore Hospital, who are also managed by Partners Health Care, will also be negotiating. Schildmeier believes this will be beneficial to all of the nurses involved, as it will bring more power and attention to their cause.
To listen to the interview, click: http://www.wntn.com/mp3/2015-06-27%20%3E%201550%20Today%20Paul%20Roberts%20talks%20with%20MA%20Nurses%20Association%20about%20No%20Nurses%20Strike.mp3
Will Hershey's change its chocolate recipe?
Sun, Jun 28th, 2015 10:13 am
When Hostess was in jeopardy of going out of business in 2012, people spent weeks buying up Twinkies, Ho Ho's and Ding Dong's to keep these tasty pastries in their pantry for as long as they could. Other companies came out with their own brands, but they were no match for the original cakes. Now, the Hershey's Company has announced in an article in Fox Business that it will change how it makes its milk chocolate Hershey's Bar. Change the Hershey's Bar? Will there be a line at the grocery store to buy up all the original bars? Will a Smore, taste like a Smore anymore? Will bedroom drawers be able to hold the large quantities of secretly stashed candy purchased during this mad rush? Well, relax chocolate fans. According to Hershey's executives, it will take some testing, tasting and time during the next few years to accomplish what they want to do. The company says it wants to create a less artificial candy bar and plans on removing polarizing ingredients like PGPR, a common emulsifier that keeps fats and water from separating. They also plan on replacing vanillin, an artificial flavor for vanilla with real vanilla. Word is Hershey's will tackle their Kisses and Reese's candies next. Hershey's is about to take a big step and chocolate lovers all over the world are waiting to see how this story "unwraps".
For more information, go to: http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/06/16/remaking-great-american-chocolate-bar/?intcmp=trending
Film Review - Inside Out
Thu, Jun 25th, 2015 9:18 pm
Film Review - Inside Out
When you are young the world is bright and full of possibilities. I can only assume (I hope I am not alone in this) that many of us look back at moments of our childhood and wish we could still experience joy over the most simplistic things. Playing with my favorite toy, the embrace of a loved one before bed, the last bell of a school day, climbing into a warm load of laundry, and a dinosaur shaped chicken nugget, used to have the power to overwhelm me with happiness. In these moments, there was no judgment or overthinking, just innocence and unencumbered pleasure. As you grow older, life inevitably becomes more complicated and those moments of innocent joy fade away. This is essentially what Pixar's beautiful new animated movie, "Inside Out", is about. The film follows Riley, an 11 year-old girl from Michigan who recently has moved to San Francisco. The majority of the movie takes place inside Riley's head where her emotions, Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness, work in headquarters keeping her as happy as possible. A mix up causes sadness and joy to be sucked out of headquarters with all of Riley's core memories, leaving Fear, Disgust, and Anger in control. As a result Riley begins having trouble at home and at school. Joy and Sadness must now make it back to headquarters with Riley's core memories to get everything back to normal. Technically, this movie is stunning. The designs of the different parts of Reilly's are incredible. Shot to shot, the film is a reminder of the genius of Pixar. "Inside Out", was able to comment on how age impacts our emotion perception better than almost any movie I can think of. The film is a reminder that sadness is unavoidable. It is not possible to always be joyful and that is okay. Life is full of situations that produce an amalgam of emotions, which through time we learn to navigate. This movie is not perfect. There are some characters, like an old imaginary friend that Joy and Sadness come across, that I found tiresome and a little over the top. The writers also seem to throw everything they can think of at the main characters to keep their conflict going. Small nitpicks aside the movie is overwhelmingly good. It was sad without feeling manipulative, hilarious, and I have not stopped thinking about what it says regarding childhood and our emotions. With "Inside Out", Pixar proves again that they are masters of animation and storytelling.
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine
Newton notables featured in Gail Spector book
Mon, Jun 22nd, 2015 10:57 pm
Newton author Gail Spector was interviewed recently by WNTN's Paul Roberts about her new book Legendary Locals of Newton. It is comprised of stories that highlight the lives of famous Newton residents, as well as people who have impacted the city and helped shape the community. Spector has lived in Newton for over three decades, was a reporter for the Boston Globe and former editor of the Newton Tab. Spector was intrigued when asked to write the book because she found so many fascinating people from Newton to write about, ranging from public service and religious leaders, to athletes and local activists. In fact, it was difficult for her to narrow down the people that she would include in her book because there are so many who have a positive impact on Newton. It was important for Spector to capture the stories of a wide variety of people who represent the values of Newton. Those chronicled in her book include Sheldon Brown, a famous bicycle mechanic, David Cohen, former mayor of Newton, and Spector's personal favorite, Louise Bruyn, who walked from Newton to Washington D.C. to protest the Vietnam War. Legendary Locals of Newton can be purchased at Newtonville Books, the New England Mobile Book Fair and local gift stores. Readers can learn more about the people important to Newton, and take pride in the residents that make up their wonderful community.
To hear the full interview, click on this link:
Newton farmers market and WNTN linked through history
Fri, Jun 19th, 2015 5:16 pm
Newton's farmers market gets underway on Saturday June 20, 2015 on Elm Street in West Newton bringing memories of farmers markets past on 1550 WNTN.
The year was 1987 and WNTN hosts Charlie Brennan and Charley Feeley wanted to take their radio program on the road. They traveled to senior centers, dance halls and beach resorts but their most popular trip was to set up a weekly remote studio at the Newton farmer's market. The market had been operating at the War Memorial Circle at Newton City Hall since 1980 and both Charlie and Charley knew they'd get an audience at this location. The remotes lasted until Brennan moved to KMOX Radio in St. Louis, MO and sadly, Feeley passed away at the age of 70 in February 1989. Today, the staff at WNTN Radio still shows up for live remotes and to do some shopping. The Newton farmer's market runs all year. During the winter months, an indoor market operates at the Hyde Community Center each Tuesday. In summer, two outdoor markets on Tuesday at New Cold Spring Park on Beacon Street and Saturday on Elm Street in West Newton. The Elm Street Market begins June 20 and runs thru October 10 (except for July 4th) from 10 AM to 2 PM. The New Cold Spring Park Market runs June 30 to October 27 from 1:30 to 6 PM. Both markets are open rain or shine. Shoppers can find vendors selling farm fresh fruits and veggies, turkey, beef, fish, goat cheese, eggs, olive oil, baked goods, jams and flowers.
For more information or to contact Judy Dore, the Farmer's Market Coordinator, go to:
June garden progress
Mon, Jun 8th, 2015 2:44 pm
The Frassica garden is officially on track for a great growing season. The seedlings have become full vegetable plants. The plants have been in the ground for almost two weeks and some already have flowers budding. Yes, the tomato plants have flowers on them. I thought it was a bit early, but I'm not going to complain when those delicious fruits begin to grow sooner than later. We have Roma, Cherry and Big Boy tomatoes in three rows. The zucchini and summer squash are right next to the row of Roma's. There are three different types of peppers; red, yellow and green Italian. The cucumber vine is in the back corner of the garden, away from other plants. Once they start growing, they'll be so high that they will block sun from its neighbors, so we plant them in back. Pumpkins and gourds are up front, away from other plants because when they start to grow, their vines go everywhere. We have two rows of carrots up front and this year for the first time we are trying Brussels sprouts. My wife makes a tasty roasted dish with those tiny green buds, so we thought we'd give them a try. The fun part of growing any type of garden is you can plant the same plants over again, or experiment by planting something new. Remember, you don't need a garden the size of Gillette Stadium to enjoy all of these vegetables. Many plants I've mentioned can grow in large flowerpots on your deck or patio. You can mix them in with flowerbeds on the side of your house. Or, plant them in a kid's plastic pool you purchase from a store. Either way, if you haven't started to plant yet, get growing. Before my next post, the cucumbers should be ready to pick and who knows, even a tomato or two could be ready as well. I'm looking forward to this years harvest.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
National donut day
Fri, May 29th, 2015 7:32 am
Chocolate, chocolate glazed, strawberry frosted, plain, Boston kreme, jelly, powdered sugar, cinnamon, honey glazed. Is your mouth watering yet? Friday June 5, 2015 is National Doughnut Day (or Donut Day), always recognized on the first Friday in June. Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much needed funds during the great depression, and to honor the work of World War 1 Salvation Army volunteers who prepared doughnuts and other foods for thousands of soldiers. The original Salvation Army doughnut was served in 1917 during World War 1 when Salvation Army "lassies" were sent to the front lines of Europe. These brave volunteers were the only women, aside from military personnel, allowed to visit the troops in action. On Doughnut Day, some local doughnut shops still offer free donuts to solicit donations for the Salvation Army. So, on Friday the 5th, grab a cup of coffee and your favorite doughnut and enjoy.
Newton veterans memorial parade May 17
Thu, May 7th, 2015 6:44 pm
Newton Mayor Setti Warren and other dignitaries from the city will host a Newton Memorial Veterans Parade on Sunday May 17th beginning at 2:00 PM. The route starts at Newton North High School, will run down Walnut Street to Washington Street, stopping at Adams Street. This years Grand Marshalls will be Newton Vietnam Veterans commemorating the 40th anniversary of the end of the war. There will be floats, military vehicles, clowns, antique cars and other activities along the parade route.
For more information, go to http://www.newtonma.gov/civicax/filebank/documents/66120
Garden growing season
Wed, May 6th, 2015 5:19 pm
My goodness, it's so hot outside. OK, I'm joking. Especially after the winter we've had here in Massachusetts. The hot weather reminded me that it is getting closer to growing season. Remember my last post, and how concerned I was to plant seedlings because it was still cold? Well, right after that, I cleaned out the pots, bought a bag of soil and watched as everything sat in my shed for weeks. This past weekend, I convinced myself it was safe to start. I first read the back of the seedling packets again. I've been planting a garden for 23 years, so you'd think I know what I'm doing, yet, there are times where I've learned something new has been written. So, I always read the back of the packets. Second, I open the bag of soil and immediately grab a fist full of dirt to see what I'm working with. The soil this time was very light, so I made it a point to dampen it before adding it to the pots and sticking the seeds in. Then I put the seeded pots in a big plastic tray so when I water them the water stays in the tray and doesn't spill all over the floor. Next, I place the pots in a bright area of the sunroom and let the growing begin. As the plants begin to grow, I move them around the room. This so they'll get sun from different angles and will grow stronger. Come mid-May, I'll start taking them outside for the day so they get used to an outdoor climate. I just need to remind myself to take them in at night. In our area, a slight frost could occur at night until the last week of May, so they shouldn't be left outside and have all my hard work be for nothing. Also in mid-May, I'll head out with my son and we'll till the garden with our mini-tiller. It is a lot easier than the pitchfork my grandmother used. We'll throw the cow manure and peat moss down and water it a bit. A few days before we are ready to plant (which is usually the weekend of Memorial Day) we'll till the garden one more time. Then it's time to plant the plants and watch the garden grow.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
Tragedy in Nepal
Wed, Apr 29th, 2015 8:58 am
In 2010, I studied abroad in Nepal for four months during the spring semester of my junior year of college. Since the focus of my program was Tibetan and Himalayan studies, I, along with 16 fellow classmates, lived with Tibetan families in Boudhanath, a small Tibetan section of Kathmandu. For three months, the 17 of us attended classes in a small school house in Boudhanath, explored the many regions of Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal, learned how to poorly speak Tibetan, discussed the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism from monks in some of the holiest sites in the entire religion, spent time with our Tibetan homestay families, and relished in the intense cultural heat that radiates from Nepal. For the last month of the program, the students were required to complete an independent study program. Many of my friends went to Dharamsala, India, where the exiled Tibetan government operates. I spent that month trekking in the Solo Khumbu region and studied with the Monks at the Tengpoche Monastery. Everest looms in the distance of Tengpoche and I watched each morning as the sun rose on the tallest peak in the world. Trying to explain this experience would only sound like hyperbole. During my time in Nepal I grew a close connection to the country and the small Tibetan community that lives there. This is why on Saturday, I was devastated to discover that a 7.8 earthquake had killed thousands and demolished many of the cultural and heritage holy sites in Kathmandu. The Swayambhu Stupa, otherwise known as the Monkey Temple has collapsed, the Boudhanath Stupa is covered in rubble and the temples at Dubar Square now look like dusty piles of bricks. These are not just tourist attractions, they are holy sites for millions of people. Imagine if sacred parts of the Vatican or Notre Dame were destroyed. These sites were not built with modern day rebar and concrete, they didn't stand a chance. It is heart breaking to see these beautiful monuments in ruins. Despite the loss of these treasures, the real tragedy is that the death toll from this earthquake is currently 4,000 and counting. This number will surely rise as more bodies are found and people succumb to their injuries. Many of the stories I have read about the earthquake and sadly my own first thoughts were of the safety of these sites. When put in perspective the loss of a heritage site seems insignificant to the loss of loved ones. Our thoughts should be with the people of Nepal. Their importance is undeniable, but buildings can be rebuilt, people cannot. It is hard to imagine the chaos that must be happening in Nepal right now. When I was there in 2010, there were rolling blackouts, with electricity being on for less than 12 hours day. On the nights when there was electricity, the lights would flicker and kids would jump up and down in the streets yelling, "the light has come," in Nepali. That was without any natural disasters. The horrible infrastructure, unorganized government and lack of clean running water will certainly make Nepal's recovery tough. The total amount of aid from the U.S. to Nepal right now is $10 million. Rescue personnel and supplies are also being sent to help in the recovery effort, according to the Department of Defense. If you are interested in helping the relief effort, here is a list of possible rescue efforts from the New York Times that you can donate to. Nepal is going to need all the help it can get.
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine.
Observing Patriots Day
Mon, Apr 20th, 2015 4:42 pm
Roads closed. Hundreds waiting anxiously to witness a historic event. Participants all dressed in their gear. Sounds like the preparation for another Marathon Monday in Massachusetts. It is actually the observance of Patriots' Day. Since 1894, this civic holiday (also observed in Wisconsin and Maine and recognized in Florida) commemorates the anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. Re-enactments of the battles occur each year stating at 6 AM on Lexington Town Green and the Old North Bridge in Concord at 9 AM. Earlier in the day, a state police escort retraces the midnight rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings during the ride. In 1775 local militiamen emerged from the now Buckman Tavern national historic site adjacent to the green and formed two rows on the common to face arriving British troops, where many casualties occurred. Children and adults, who later in the day will attend fairs and a parade in Lexington, witnessed those re-enactments. When the day is over, some families will travel to the marathon route to witness the final runners push their bodies to the finish line. Some may even attend the Boston Red Sox game. No matter what we do on Patriots Day, citizens observe the power we've had since 1775 to stand up for what's right, recognize those who strive to be better and remember those we've lost in battle. Wishing everyone peace on this Patriots Day.
Tue, Apr 7th, 2015 5:09 pm
It's April and there's still snow in my yard. Under that pile of snow, deep in the ground below, are parsnips ready to be pulled that have been there since last fall. This was certainly a tough winter. Yet, it's April and I'm still questioning whether or not to start the seedlings for my garden. My goal is usually to have vegetable plants in the ground by Memorial Day. But my fenced in garden still has snow inside and even after it melts the ground will be too wet and soft to till. What to do, what to do? I've decided that I will visit my local garden supply shop to pick up the seeds and soil I'll need for the starter pots. While I'm there, I might as well look for a new hoe, since I broke the one I had while trying to crack the ice this winter on my walkway. It may be a good idea to check all my tools to make sure they are ready for the season. Big and little shovel, rake, clippers and all the tools in your shed should be cleaned and ready to go. Or, if they are worn and rusted, buy new ones before everyone else does. When I finally arrive home (after being at the garden shop much too long, my wife will say) I'll head out to the shed and bring the seedling pots in the house to clean. I already did this at the end of last year's seedling season, but they've been sitting out there for almost a year and will need another cleaning. Cleaning the pots keeps diseases from ruining your seedlings while they grow. Some use bleach and water, others use sprays from the garden shop, but I just use a mixture of dish soap and warm water and I've never had a problem. Once all that is complete, I'll probably start filling the pots with soil. You can use paper cups, egg containers and even rolled-up newspaper. I have been recycling these pots for years and it's just easier to use them. After filling each pot, I take them back outside and have them ready for when I start potting those seeds. Hopefully that will be sometime this year. What a winter. Talk with you in May.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
The future of virtual reality
Wed, Mar 25th, 2015 8:01 am
I Saw The Future. A couple of weeks ago I tried the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset, at the Newton Gaming Center. After using the rift for two minutes, it became quite clear that this technology is going to change the world. The Oculus Rift looks like a pair of large ski goggles with a small round screen for each eye. These two screens create a stereoscopic effect, which creates a realistic sense of depth. The Rift allows the user to look around 3D spaces, even allowing the user to move their head forward to closer inspect what is in front of them. For instance, while wearing the oculus, you could hear a sound behind you, turn around, and lean forward to get a closer look at it. Best of all, there is essentially no lag time while wearing the oculus. Oculus VR and the Oculus Rift were founded by Palmer Luckey, a 22 year old wiz kid. In 2012 Oculus raised $2.4 million on the crowd funding website Kickstarter, to help develop the rift. In 2014 Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2 billion, without even having a product ready for retail. The Oculus Rift's available to use are developer kits, like the one I used at the Newton Gaming Center. There is still no announcement of a date that Oculus VR will release a retail version of the Rift. I tried three demos with the Rift. The first was a live action movie, the second was a virtual rollercoaster, and the third was a robot suit simulation on Mars. As the live action movie began, it was apparent that within next 10 years, everyone will be using this or a product like it. The images were not only immersive, but tactile as well. There were a couple times throughout the movie that I reached out to touch an object and accidently slammed my hand on the desk in front of me. There is a scene at the Golden Gate Bridge where you swear you can feel a breeze. The most impressive moment of the video took place in a large field surrounded by mountains. Bison started to slowly pass me. I heard more bison behind me, turned around, and saw hundreds of Bison galloping towards me. As bison whizzed by me, I could hear my girlfriend in the chair next to me, who was also using a Rift, yelping with surprise as the Bison came up and sniffed her. As a straggler came up and began sniffing me, everything in my body was reacting as if there was a massive bison in front of me. Nothing I saw while using the rift was as amazing and immersive as this moment. It was this moment that also makes you realize the potential for this technology and the impact it surely will have. It is going to change movies, games, vacations, military training, education, social interactions, business, and almost anything you can thing of. There are some downsides though. I did get nauseous from motion sickness after using it for only 30 minutes. I imagine this will go away as the technology advances. I also couldn't help think that despite how beneficial the Rift could be, it could also become one of the most addicting devices of all time. Why would you want to stay in your crummy apartment or go to work, when you can walk around Rome for a couple of hours. I think we all remember that episode of Star Trek: Next Generation, where an enterprise crew member becomes addicted to the holodeck. Despite the nausea and the notion of a troubling future, I cannot wait to try the Rift again. It was an experience I will not soon forget.
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine
Pothole repair season
Mon, Mar 16th, 2015 5:17 pm
This year's crazy winter (which made history this week for being the snowiest in Massachusetts) and the recent glimpse of spring have begun to create those destructible gaps in our roadways. Potholes are a result of winter and early spring moisture, making roads react to a freeze-thaw cycle each day. When snow and rain seep into cracks in the surface of the road, and temps drop, the water freezes and expands the crack. With traffic driving over the same location on a regular basis, a hole forms and a pothole results. According to MassDOT, crews are working throughout the Commonwealth to repair these potholes each day so that vehicles won't be damaged and traffic will run on time. Crews make two types of repairs to the roadway. If the temperatures are still cold, they use a temporary "cold patch". With warmer temperatures, hot asphalt is applied for a long term fix. MassDOT says they work daily with city and town officials to monitor potholes and also appreciate reports from drivers. If you see a pothole, call MassDOT at 857-DOT-GOV (857-623-6846) or visit Mass.gov and search "potholes".
National Potato Chip Day
Fri, Mar 13th, 2015 12:03 pm
March 14th is National Potato Chip Day, so grab a bag and get ready to celebrate. History has it that on August 24, 1853, a customer at a restaurant complained the potatoes on his plate were too thick and soggy for his taste and sent them back to the kitchen. The plate was sent from kitchen to table a few more times, until chef George Crum finally decided to slice the spuds as thin as possible, fry them until crisp and add a little extra salt. To chef Crum's surprise, the customer loved them. Crum later added them as a regular item to his restaurants menu. Other stories have been shared as well such as the Dayton, Ohio based potato chip company Mike-sell's. They were founded in 1910 and call themselves the "oldest potato chip company in the United States." Yet, New England based Tri-Sum Potato Chips, originally founded in 1908 as the Leominster Potato Chip Company in Leominster, MA, claims to be America's first potato chip manufacturer. No matter who created these salty snacks first, potato chip sales now are over $15 billion a year worldwide. Happy National Potato Chip Day.
Ronan Tynan interviewed on Celtic Air
Mon, Mar 9th, 2015 6:11 pm
Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan joined Celtic Air host Mike Kerr on Saturday to talk about his upcoming performances in the Boston area and to share some personal stories with the audience. Faced with numerous challenges throughout his life, Tynan attributes his success to his faith. He followed his mother and father's advice to always follow his dreams. His career has taken him from being a doctor in earlier life, to a member of the Irish Tenors and now to using his glorious voice in performances around the globe such as the White House, Yankee Stadium, Gillette Stadium and Carnegie Hall. Tynan talked with Kerr about his autobiography Halfway Home published in 2002. He described his auto accident, which caused serious complications after having both legs amputated below the knee. He spoke of love for his parents, his music and faith. When asked by Kerr what song he would sing if it was his very last, Tynan responded, "The Our Father...didn't even have to think twice about that one." Click here to listen to the full interview on Celtic Air
Parking passes available for Mass parks and beaches
Mon, Mar 9th, 2015 8:39 am
If you're looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy all the beautiful state parks and beaches that Massachusetts has to offer, consider purchasing an annual MassParks pass. The MA Department of Conservation and Recreation's annual MassParks pass costs $60 for MA residents, $85 for non-residents and a one-time fee of $10 for life for residents 62 years or older. The pass covers day use parking fees for one calendar year at most facilities where parking fees are charged. You'll receive a hangtag with sticker running for the period of one calendar year, from January through December, to hang on your rear view mirror. Day use parking fees are waived at the entrance to each park and beach for vehicles with the annual pass. These waivers do not apply to camping fees and their use is subject to available parking. The pass is not valid at Quabbin Reservoir. Passes may be purchased at the contact station of each state park and beach that charge daily parking fees. Most charge fees from mid-May through early September, some charge through early October, and several charge parking fees year-round. Keep in mind that most parks can only accept cash or check made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and cannot accept credit cards. A driver's license or proof of residency will also be required. If you would rather order by phone or online and have the pass sent to your home, MassParks offers passes through Reserve America. You can call 1-877-422-6762 or visit their website at
Reserve America accepts a variety of customer payment choices. Before calling, have your vehicle plate number ready and specify whether you are purchasing a resident or non-resident annual MassParks pass. For more information, go to: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/passes-and-fees/buy-parks-pass-dcr-generic.html
Planning this summer's garden
Tue, Mar 3rd, 2015 10:03 pm
Mapping out a garden may seem a tedious task just to plant some veggies, but it could be the perfect project to help you start the growing season. Consider which plants are going to grow higher than others. Which plants need more room at their base? Which plants were planted in which spots last year? First, I decide what vegetables we want to plant again. Once that is complete, I map out the garden, looking at last years map. I always rotate plants, never planting in the same spot of the garden where I planted their predecessors the year before. This keeps any soil-borne diseases from ruining the upcoming crop. I then figure out which plants will grow taller than the others. Plants need sunshine, so if one of their neighbors is in the way soaking up all the sun, they won't grow to their fullest. For example, Italian Roma Tomatoes are going to grow taller than the eggplants, but not as tall as the Big Boy Tomatoes, while the zucchini will be shorter than the eggplants. But, where do I put the pole beans? And, I want to plant sunflowers this year too...where do those go? Well, keep them away from the tomatoes. (See what I mean?) I've been planting for a long time, so I know how much space each plant will take up in my garden patch. If it's new to you, read the back of the seed packages you purchase and you'll find diagrams for spacing and height requirements. If you plan on buying your plants from a garden center, you can look on line to find out that same information or ask your garden center employee for some help. Seems like a lot of work right now, but when you are picking fresh vegetables from your backyard in July, you'll thank me.
Next month, getting everything cleaned and ready to start the seedlings.
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
An unfunny night at the Oscars
Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015 11:21 pm
Sunday's Oscars were filled with bad jokes, snubbed films, political statements, and another awkward presentation from John Travolta. Neil Patrick Harris was consistently unfunny throughout the night, displaying an apathetic half smile for the majority of the show. Where are the charismatic hosts like Billy Crystal or Johnny Carson? They did not make you dread the Oscars' nearly four hour running time. The night did not have many surprises, with most of the winners having been predicted weeks ago. J.K. Simmons finally got recognized for his work with his win for best supporting actor in one of my favorite films of the year, "Whiplash." His performance in that movie is spectacular and I am glad to see that he will be remembered beyond his Farmer's commercials. The two overall big winners of the night were "Birdman", which took best director and best picture, and "The Grand Budapest Hotel." Both of these movies are great, but I thought that "Boyhood" deserved the best picture and best director awards. The director of "Boyhood," Richard Linklater, crated a masterpiece over 12 years. His ability to craft the story and his actors over those many years is an unparalleled feat of filmmaking. "Boyhood" manages to not be solely about a boy growing up in Texas, but a universal story on childhood, memories, and the unrelenting momentum of time. It is a movie that I have not stopped thinking about since I saw it. Regardless of whether or not "Boyhood" won last night, it will undoubtedly be remembered as a classic. For a Full list of winner go to http://oscar.go.com/nominees and for more coverage on the Oscars listen to the Oscar Edition of Reel Talk with the Hollywood kid here: http://www.wntn.com/mp3/2015-02-20%20%3E%20REEL%20TALK%20with%20The%20Hollywood%20Kid:%20Oscar%20Special.mp3
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine
MEMA recommends clearing snow and ice from roofs
Fri, Feb 20th, 2015 5:24 pm
FRAMINGHAM, MA – The prolonged cold weather and repeated snowstorms Massachusetts is experiencing have contributed to potentially dangerous conditions for businesses and homes. Heavy mounds of snow are creating severe roof load conditions. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has received reports of over 100 full and partial roof collapses over the last week. Additionally the Department of Fire Services (DFS) has received numerous reports of gas leaks and fires caused by snow and icicles falling on gas piping and meters. Residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to have snow and ice cleared from roofs. Homeowners, tenants, and businesses should be cognizant of the danger posed by heavy snow loads on roofs, and the importance of recognizing the warning signs of potential structural weaknesses. In many instances, the risks posed by accumulated snow can be mitigated by safely removing snow from roofs. Flat and low pitched roofs, most often found on industrial buildings, but also used in certain home designs, are at the greatest risk of buckling under heavy snow and ice accumulations. To safely remove snow from roofs, the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety (DPS), DFS and MEMA recommend the following tips:
DO · Use a snow rake for pitched roofs (available at most hardware stores) to remove snow from your roof. · Start from the edge and work your way into the roof. · Try to shave the snow down to 2 or 3 inches on the roof instead of scraping the roof clean, which will risk damage to your shingles or other roof covering. . Keep all ladders, shovels and roof rakes away from utility wires . Plastic shovels are usually best. Metal tools may cause damage to your roof. . Shovel snow from flat roofs throwing the snow over the side, away from the building. · Remove large icicles carefully if they're hanging over doorways and walkways. Consider knocking down icicles through windows using a broomstick. · Protect utilities meters and piping from falling snow, icicles, and melting water. · Wear protective headgear and goggles when performing any of these tasks. · Consider hiring professionals to do the job. The combination of heights plus ice makes this one of the more dangerous house chores. If you choose to do the task yourself, have someone outside with you to assist. · Keep gutters and drains clean, free of ice and snow and keep downspouts clean at ground level.
DON'T · Unless approved by a registered professional engineer, don't add your weight or the weight of equipment to the roof. · Don't use a ladder since ice tends to build up on both the rungs of the ladder and the soles of your boots. · Don't use blow torches, open-flame, or electric heating devices like hair dryers or heat guns to remove snow and ice. · Don't try to remove ice or icicles from utility wires or meters. Call your utility company for assistance. What to Do if You Have Problems · If you notice any signs that you have a problem with your roof, or suspect a gas leak, leave the building immediately without touching light switches and call 9-1-1 from safely outside the building. · For general questions, call your local building or fire department business line. To receive emergency information on your smartphone, including severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service and emergency information from MEMA, download the Massachusetts Alerts free app. To learn more about Massachusetts Alerts, and for additional information on how to download the free app onto your smartphone, visit: www.mass.gov/mema/mobileapp
Boat, golf and flower shows come to Boston
Thu, Feb 12th, 2015 6:19 pm
Raise your hand if you live in Massachusetts and are tired of snow. This abundance of winter weather has many on edge, wishing for warmer days. We may have the answer to your wish. Three big expositions are running in Boston the next two months. From Valentine's Day until February 22nd, one of the largest boat shows in New England happens at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The 2015 New England Boat Show offers a selection of large and small sailboats, motorboats, skiffs and cruisers for viewing or purchasing. For information and tickets go to newenglandboatshow.com. February 27th to March 1st, The National Golf Expo will be teeing off with everything golf at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. They feature interactive challenges, golf swing clinics, demos and seminars. Go to golfexpoboston.com for details and tickets. Finally, March 11th thru the 15th, spring comes alive with the Boston Flower and Garden Show, also at the Seaport World Trade Center, Boston. Check out the beautiful floral exhibits and landscape competitions from professional landscapers in the area. Visit the show's marketplace for one of the largest selections of flower and gardening products. Find out more about the show and tickets by visiting bostonflowershow.com. Soon, this snow will melt and you'll be ready for boating, golf and/or gardening. Enjoy.
Insects for dinner
Tue, Feb 10th, 2015 7:56 am
Insects for Dinner
For most westerners, insects are pests and their first instinct is to kill them as quickly as possible. As populations increase and the demand for meat continues to rise, this view may change. In 2013, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations Forestry Department released a 191 page comprehensive report outlying the benefits of integrating edible insects into our diets. "Insects provide food at low environmental cost, contribute positively to livelihoods, and play a fundamental role in nature," reads the report. If this practice was widely adopted it would not only be a means of nutrition but would help change the negative impact meat production is having on the environment. According to the study, 70 percent of land used for agricultural is to either house or provide food for livestock. If eating insects became popular, it would drastically decrease and free up massive amounts of land. Methane, nitrous oxide and Co2 emissions from livestock cause 14 to 18 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. That is more than all forms of transportation combined. After reading through the report I decided to give entomophagy (or insect eating) a try. The only restaurant I could find that sold food made with insects was Tu Y Yo, a Mexican restaurant in Somerville. I am an adventurous eater and not one to shy away from trying new food. That being said, it took every ounce of my will power to take a bite of Tu Y Yo's fried cricket taco. They tasted smoky and creamy from the avocado dipping sauce they were served with. The taco's filling was dark red and looked almost liked finely ground meat. I could not identify anything in the taco as being from a cricket, until I took another bite and a small cricket fell out the back and landed on my plate. It was a site that would usually warrant a free meal, in this case though it was an appetizer. Besides the beer, there was not much of my cricket taco eating experience that I enjoyed. They were not repulsive tasting, but the idea of eating insects was too much to overcome. As entomophagy is slowly introduced as being socially acceptable, eating insects may become easier to stomach. They are regularly featured on the menu at Noma, a restaurant in Denmark that is widely regarded as the best restaurant in the world. The Mexican delicacy escamole (or ant eggs) were even featured as a main ingredient on the most recent episode of Top Chef. It may not be that long until everyone is eating them.
For more information read the FAO report at http://www.fao.org/docrep/018/i3253e/i3253e00.htm
Jason Turesky is a producer and host of WNTN Magazine
Gardening in February
Wed, Feb 4th, 2015 9:10 am
When I was a child, I loved to help my grandmother in her vegetable garden. She would always let my brother and me help her pick the weeds, which back then I thought was fun. Today, I find those weeds more abusing than amusing. For the past 23 years, my wife and I have grown our own vegetable garden in our backyard. My teen son and daughter have been helping since they were little ones. It has become a family activity of ours each growing season. Starting with this post, I plan on submitting gardening stories and tips to our internet friends as the growing season approaches. Why start now? February is my time to get excited about pruning. My son and I usually grab a ladder and head to our backyard to start cutting the grape vines. This year, with almost four feet of snow out back, we probably won't need that ladder. But, we still need to prune. We try to prune around the second week of February while the vines are still dormant. Last year we made over 75 jars of red and concord grape jelly because of our trimming efforts. Pruning grape vines was scary for me at first. I thought for sure I had killed every vine on the trellis due to the amount of wood I cut back. When pruning the vines, I was taught to cut as much old wood from the main trunk as you can. This encourages growth of new wood and that is how fruit is produced. I cut each old wood right above the last bud on the vine, closest to the main trunk. Use a good pair of trimmers so you don't ruin the vine as it is cut. A splintered vine could cause disease and kill your crop. Once spring arrives, you'll find those little buds beginning to grow your new vines. Then as summer comes to an end, you'll enjoy a wonderful harvest of grapes. Should you throw away the vines you cut? No, reuse them. We make wreaths and hang them around the yard for the birds to nest in come springtime. I'll have more information in March, as we get ready to plot our veggie garden out on paper. Stay warm. John
John Frassica is Vice President of Sales and Operations of WNTN Radio and an enthusiastic gardener.
Newton library's January educational events
Tue, Jan 13th, 2015 8:23 am
Ellen Myers, the Newton Free Library's program and communications director, appeared on WNTN updating their monthly agenda of engaging and educational events. Writer and community activist Marion Knapp will speak about her book, "Aging in Places" on Monday January 12th at 7:00 PM. On Wednesday January 14th at 7:00 pm, Trainer Bryan Agruica will demonstrate how to prevent injuries while shoveling and walking in snow. The Library will be closed on January 18th for Martin Luther King Day. Learn how to read the libraries vast collection of ebooks from 2:30pm to 4:30 pm on January 22nd. Make sure you bring your own e-reading device. Two family library introduction classes will be offered on January 24th from 11:00 AM to 4:00 pm and on January 26th at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. These classes are designed to help families learn how to access everything the library has to offer. Anyone interested in lowering their carbon footprint can attend the Greening our Community Series on January 26th from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM. If you are interested in strengthening your resume and chances of employment, the employment and training resources class on January 28th from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM may be helpful. For more information about what is happening at the Newton Free Library in January click here to listen to Ellen Myers or check out the Library's event page at: http://www.eventkeeper.com/code/events.cfm?curOrg=NEWTON
Newton aldermen approve outdoor water meters
Tue, Dec 30th, 2014 9:01 pm
The Newton Board of Aldermen voted on Monday December 15, 2014 to permit residents to purchase an Outdoor Water Meter that will allow for separate metering of outdoor water use effective July 1, 2015. Residents wishing to obtain a second water meter to qualify for next summer's new rate structure must register with the city of Newton utilities division by April 1, 2015. A $145 fee ($25 for utilities fee and $120 for transponder) will be applied to residents next water bill. A licensed plumber must install the second meter after obtaining a permit through Newton's inspectional services department. Currently, residents are billed sewer charges for all water entering a household. Second meters would measure the amount of water used outdoors and would not incur a sewer rate. A second meter measures outdoor water use, such as water used to wash cars, water gardens, fill pools, or water lawns. The city of Newton bills water and sewer fees on a quarterly basis. Most residents will see an increase in their water usage (# HCF's purchased) over a two-quarter billing cycle. The city estimates total costs associated with the installation of an outdoor water meter will range between $750 and $1,000 per household. More information is available on Newton's website http://www.newtonma.gov/gov/executive/second_water_meter/default.asp
Former WNTN owner "Mr. D." honored
Mon, Dec 29th, 2014 5:12 pm
On Saturday November 15, 2014 Orestes Demetriades was honored for 50 years of service to the Greek community through his Grecian Echoes radio program. The event was held at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of Somerville with proceeds benefitting the Orestes Demetriades Metropolis Camp Fund and the Greek School Program fund. Speakers included Debbie Demetriades Marini, event organizer Bill Galatis, Archbishop Metropolitan Methodios and two representatives from radio station WNTN, former talk show host Charlie Brennan and current manager John Frassica. The entire speakers program can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y5hG-L_0sg
Newton's Winter Overnight Parking Ban
Fri, Dec 5th, 2014 10:41 pm
From November 15th thru April 15th, parking is not allowed on any Newton street for longer than one hour between the hours of 2 am and 6 am. If a snow emergency is declared, parking is not allowed on any city street and vehicle owners may be ticketed or have their cars towed. Read more at the city of Newton website.
New playground at Burr elementary school
Thu, Nov 27th, 2014 9:55 am
Newton's Burr elementary school has a new playground thanks to a team of parents. WNTN's Paul Roberts spoke with Jennifer Frankel, the school's playground committee co-chair. "I think the community should be really proud," said Frankel. "Everyone was able to lend their expertise in different capacity." The project started when the wooden playground installed by a team of parents in the 1990s began rotting and needed constant repairs. The new playground – made of recyclable metal materials – cost almost $145,000. The money was raised through corporate donations, online auctions, and by the kids themselves. Frankel said they received feedback from teachers and students on the design of the playground. "We asked the kids to draw their fantasy playground," Frankel told Roberts in the interview. "Some of the pictures were manageable and realistic, others were quite fantastical." The new playground has "climbing structures for all ages" even interviewer Paul Roberts, Frankel joked. To hear more about the new playground, listen to the full interview here.
Seeking solutions to Newton's environmental future
Thu, Nov 27th, 2014 9:50 am
Maria Cooper, the President of Green Decade Newton, spoke with Paul Roberts on 1550 Today about green initiatives in the city of Newton. Green Decade Newton is a non-profit organization that works to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems facing the city of Newton. In the interview Cooper spoke of Green Decade Newton's goal of reducing energy consumption 20 percent by the end of 2020. "We're seeing progress," Cooper told Roberts. Cooper cites the change of light bulbs in all of Newton's streetlights to more efficient bulbs as a major accomplishment toward that goal. Cooper also told Roberts about Newton Solar Challenge, an initiative trying to get 100 Newton homes to switch to solar energy by May. Renewable energy sources are becoming less expensive, creating a larger incentive for homeowners, Cooper said. Maintaining infrastructure is important to ensuring that the environment in Newton stays green, Cooper told Roberts. Cooper also spoke about Newton's recycling problem, urging residents to avoid recycling plastic bags as they ruin the machine. You can listen to the full interview here.
Mayor Menino remembered
Wed, Nov 19th, 2014 5:45 pm
Long time Boston Mayor Thomas Menino died October 30, 2014. He was 71 and diagnosed with advanced cancer not long after leaving office at the beginning of the year. WNTN's Paul Roberts spoke with Boston City Councilor Timothy McCarthy about Menino's legacy. "He was clearly the biggest overachiever that this city has ever seen and now the city continues to overachieve," said Councilor McCarthy. "He was the epitome of what [Boston] is all about." McCarthy spoke about Menino's ability to poke fun at himself, his crazy corduroy pants with hot air balloons on them, and Menino's passion for being the mayor of Boston. "His favorite thing was being mayor," McCarthy said. "He just wanted to move the city forward." In the interview McCarthy also spoke about role Menino played in mentoring McCarthy. It was through Menino that McCarthy "got the bug" for politics. McCarthy also told Roberts in the interview about the care Menino took in understanding Boston's individual neighborhoods. "When you have a 74 percent approval rating, you are doing something right," McCarthy told Roberts. You can hear the full interview here.
Supporting victims of domestic violence
Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 5:04 pm
Domestic violence is losing its stigma gradually, and that makes Sarah Perry's job easier and harder at the same time. Perry is the Executive Director of Second Step, a non-profit organization in Newton that provides support to victims of domestic violence. She spoke with WNTN's Paul Roberts. In the interview Perry said that "one in four families is experiencing domestic violence, regardless of age, ethnicity or social status." But it could take time for a victim to realize it. "It's sort of like the frog in a pot of boiling water trying to jump out when it's too late," Perry said. "I don't think that people realize it right from the start necessarily." Second Step has been in Newton since 1992. They have two houses that can hold 17 families as well as community outreach programs. Perry said that often the main goal of someone trying to leave an abusive relationship is to have stable housing. "We will work with people who need a lot of time to heal," said Perry in the interview. "We help people go back to school, we help people get jobs, long term housing that they can afford." Perry also sees a link between domestic violence and other forms of oppression. "So many forms of trauma and oppression are related to each other," Perry said. "When we can start to address one they all start to unravel in some ways." Newton City Hall hosted an event on October 28 to raise awareness about domestic violence. For more information go to www.secondstep.org . You can listen to the full interview here.
Newton schools receive grants to support student mental health
Wed, Oct 29th, 2014 4:59 pm
Newton Public Schools were awarded two federal grants to support student mental health earlier this month. The grants come after three students committed suicide last academic year. In an interview with Newton school superintendent David Fleishman, he said those suicides were "a real wake-up call." "I think the motivation to get the major grant, which is five years long, was a result of the tragedies that we have," Fleishman said in the interview with WNTN's Paul Roberts. "We are always going to have students with serious mental issues, so how do we provide support for them?" One of the grants, awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, gives Newton $100,000 for Project AWARE with the goal to increase mental health literacy throughout the community. Fleishman said in the interview that he hopes the grant will allow the school system to improve mental health literacy among those who work closely with children like teachers or coaches in order to spot a mental health issue and get an early referral for treatment. The other grant of $1.8 million from the US Department of Education is intended to support social and emotional learning, said Fleishman. Part of the money will be used to ensure that there is a curriculum in Newton schools that focuses on social health and mental health issues. "But it goes beyond schools," Fleishman told Roberts in the interview. "[The grant] will strengthen partnerships with community mental health agencies and have early identification and quick referral because something else we know is that schools cannot do it alone." Listen to the full interview here.
Newton fined by state DEP
Thu, Oct 23rd, 2014 8:41 pm
Newton was fined $35,000 by the state Department of Environmental Protection for dumping debris at the capped landfill at the Rumford Avenue DPW site and negotiated a reduced fine of $12,000. DPW Commissioner Dave Turocy spoke with WNTN's Paul Roberts about the violation and the fine. "We've got some space constraints up there and we ran out of space on the south side, so this past year we moved and started piling our debris on the north side." Turocy told Roberts. "We got too high up and it fell over the side of the banking so it landed in a drainage swell in the area." That debris blocked the swale. Someone noticed the blockage and filed a complaint with the Department of Environmental Protection in April. Turocy said the city cleaned up most of the debris as soon as they were notified. He said the city is running out of room to store debris. "Space is at a premium in Newton," he said in the interview. "We've been running out of space for a while. It's not a problem we can put off any longer." The city used to bring in a rock crusher every couple of years to turn the debris into fill Newton could use as a base for roads and sidewalks. Newton is now doing more roadwork in-house instead of through contractors, which results in more debris than the city can handle. Listen to the full interview here.
Celebrating the Fluffernutter
Tue, Oct 14th, 2014 9:04 pm
The Fluffernutter – the childhood favorite, gooey peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich – would probably not exist without Archibald Query. Query invented the crème spread using corn syrup, sugar, dried egg whites and artificial vanilla flavoring in 1917 in his home kitchen in Union Square, Somerville. To this day, 97 years later, Fluff is still produced in Massachusetts. And now a group of fluff aficionados have celebrated fluff for the past nine years at the annual "What the Fluff" festival in Somerville. "Everybody associates it with their childhood," said Mimi Graney, Somerville's resident Fluff expert and executive director of Union Square Main Streets, the non-profit organization that hosts the yearly marshmallow appreciation festivities. In an interview with WNTN's Jason Turesky, Graney said the "What the Fluff" festival is a time when people can tap into their sense of play and childhood and enjoy Fluff. And it certainly comes in a large variety. Fluff empanadas, Fluff cocktails, Fluff pizzas and Fluff sodas are just some of the delicacies that festive goers could enjoy at the festival. Since the festival began, there has been a push to make the Fluffernutter the sandwich of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the festival, in part, has served to bring awareness to Fluff's history in the state. The bill has lingered in committee for the past few years. You can listen to the full interview.
Remembering the 2004 champion Boston Red Sox
Tue, Sep 30th, 2014 4:57 pm
The Red Sox season was a rough one this year leaving many with memories of the losing franchise of the past. WNTN Magazine's Jason Turesky spoke with author Saul Wisnia whose new book is titled, "Miracle at Fenway: The Inside Story of the Red Sox 2004 Championship Season." In the interview Wisnia spoke about his love for the sport of baseball, and what it was about the 2004 Red Sox team that made them so special. "It's the team that kind of changed their image, for good. They've already been changing some negativity of the past, fair and unfair, as the losers, not forward thinking, racist, all those things," Wisnia said. "[The 2004 Championship team] was a team that had a lot of diversity in a lot of ways." In his book, Wisnia has interviews with players and coaches on the team. He spoke with Dave Roberts about his steal of second base that helped lead the Red Sox to the American League pennant among many others. Wisnia also spoke with WNTN's Jason Turskey about the state of baseball. "Fans need to have a little more patience and I think they need to have a little more fun if they really want baseball to survive." Wisnia said. "[Baseball] doesn't have that immediate action that this generation of kids is kind of used to in video games and everything else." You can listen to the full interview
Newton passes anti discrimination ordinance
Tue, Sep 30th, 2014 4:51 pm
The Newton board of aldermen voted unanimously Monday, Sept. 15,2014 to include protection for transgender people in Newton's anti-discrimination ordinance. Newton Human Rights Commissioner Holly Ryan spoke with WNTN's Jason Turesky on 1550 Today about the vote. "It was great. I was elated," Ryan said. "We wanted a unanimous vote and that just tells everybody what we're about here in the city of Newton." "What this says is that when you live in the city of Newton, come visit the city of Newton, work in the city of Newton, that you are welcome. And this is a safe environment for you, as a transgender person," Ryan said in the interview. Ryan is a lifelong Newton resident and an activist for transgender rights. She was appointed to Newton's Human Rights Commission in 2012. She found her activist streak in the 1970's anti-war movement, and since has been working to ensure civil rights for transgender people. "Somebody's got to speak for the community. Somebody's got to be able to stand up and stand out and I just chose to be one of the people to do that," Ryan told Turesky. Ryan also spoke about the changing environment in Newton towards the LGBQ community, one that is much more tolerant than what she grew up with.
You can listen to the full interview
Tab Editor Costello Heads to Salem
Fri, Sep 19th, 2014 10:26 pm
Emily Costello, the editor of the "Newton TAB," is moving on. She's spent the last two and a half years running the free weekly community newspaper, and will move to a new role as Metro Editor of "The Salem News." Paul Roberts, host of WNTN's "1550 Today," spoke with Costello about her tenure at the "Newton TAB." "Newton is known as a prime beat because there is such a large and dynamic community and the paper is so much a part of that vital-ness in the community," Costello said in the interview. "You're really right at the heart of everything. It's a really fun place to report." Costello remembered the big stories she covered during her time at the TAB. One of her first followed the saga of Police Chief Matthew Cummings, who was fired by Mayor Setti Waren in 2012 for engaging in unbecoming conduct. She said that story was just one of many that shows the role of a journalist. "It's our job sometimes to make the uncomfortable phone call or ask the uncomfortable question," Costello said. "That's at the heart of why we're here." Though the newspaper industry isn't in its prime anymore, Costello still says that journalism is thriving. "I think a lot of the reporting that newspapers are doing is really excellent. Newspapers have been under stress for several decades now, declining staff, all sorts of challenges, many of them folding, but I really think with computers and smarter ways of working that a lot of the content that's coming out is better than it ever was," she said in the interview with Roberts. September 19 is Emily Costello's last day as editor of the Newton TAB. Andy Levin, who grew up in Newton, will step in as editor. He previously served as managing editor in Gatehouse's Northwest Unit and edited the Arlington Advocate and Chelmsford Independent. You can listen to the full interview by clicking the link below:
Photographer Joseph Weiler Interviewed
Fri, Sep 19th, 2014 10:25 pm
Photographer Joseph Weiler first visited Boston 49 years ago, when he discovered Henry David Thoreau's book "Walden Pond." "I was living in South Boston in a five dollar a week room," Weiler said in an interview with WNTN's Jason Turesky. "It wasn't that plush so reading Walden allowed me to escape the city scene." Weiler found himself drawn to Thoreau's environmental ideas and soon visited the pond. Since then Weiler thought about portraying Thoreau's legacy through photography, and now he's completed the long-thought-about project. His work, "Thoreau's Legacy," is on display in the Tsongas Gallery at the Walden Pond State Reservation in Concord, through Sept. 29. The exhibition has 24 black-and-white prints made from film negatives, taken mainly over the past three years at Walden Pond. Each image has a quote from Thoreau's writings and a caption by Weiler. "The subject matter is very serious actually 'cause what we are talking about is our world," said Weiler. "[Thoreau] was an early, very important environmentalist and I'm just repeating his words in a way." Weiler hopes his exhibit will be "an entranceway, a gateway to the environment, to Henry and whatever he was doing there." You can listen to the full interview
Raccoon Rabies in West Newton
Wed, Sep 17th, 2014 4:35 pm
A raccoon captured on September 11, 2014 has tested positive for rabies. The raccoon was found near the Auburndale Avenue entrance of the Dolan Pond conservation area in West Newton. The MA Epidemiology Program (617-983-6800) and the Newton Health and Human Services Department (617-796-1420) are available to answer questions from those who think they or their pet has come in contact with a raccoon in the area recently.
9-11 Event Tonight in Newton Center
Thu, Sep 11th, 2014 11:07 am
The Newton 9-11 memorial committee is holding their annual commemoration tonight, September 11, 2014, from 6:00 pm to 9:30 pm on the lawn of the Newton fire department headquarters at 1164 Centre Street. The public is invited.
Newton Election Unofficial Alderman Ward 3
Tue, Sep 9th, 2014 10:46 pm
B D Brousal-Glaser 780 (44.4%), Maria Manning 495 (28.2%), Jeanne Marrazzo 379 (21.6%), Francis Azzarto 92 (5.2%).
Hydrant Inspection and Flushing in Newton
Wed, Sep 3rd, 2014 8:14 pm
City of Newton fire department personnel will inspect and flush hydrants through November 15, 2014. Residents may experience discolored drinking water due to iron deposits becoming dislodged. The city says this discoloration does not cause a health risk however residents are encouraged to run water through the homes lowest fixture until the water becomes clear. The city also asks residents not to do laundry during the period of discolored water. For information on the dates and neighborhoods this testing will be conducted, contact the Newton Utilities Division at 617-796-1640 from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Karen Keough-Huff to appear on What's Your Sport
Sun, Aug 24th, 2014 8:57 am
Retired Amherst – Pelham Regional High School Director of Athletics Karen Keough-Huff will appear on 1550 WNTN and WNTN.Com in a two part interview August 27 and September 3, 2014. WNTN's John Gerhardt, host of What's Your Sport?, and Keough–Huff will discuss her career as a women's sports administrator and lacrosse, field hockey and basketball coach as well as books she has written. The author primarily writes about her family history and experiences. She is currently working on a book about pet dogs. Information about her work can be found at http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=keough-huff&sorter=relevance-desc
Whole Foods ground beef recall
Wed, Aug 20th, 2014 5:11 pm
The Whole Foods in Newton and Weymouth has recalled 368 pounds of ground beef that may have contained E. coli. No E. coli has been found yet in any of the recalled beef. The recall was enacted after three cases of people with E. coli symptoms were found to have eaten beef from these Whole Foods. The suspect beef was sold from June 8th to June 10th in Newton and on June 21st in Weymouth. Ground Beef sold during these dates is being recalled. Whole Foods is working with state authorities to notify costumers to make sure any meat left in the freezer is disposed of. On Saturday, August 23rd at 11 AM, Marianna Gravely, a food safety education staff member at the Food and Safety and Inspection Service division of the USDA, will be joining Jason Turesky on WNTN Magazine, to discuss how E. coli gets into beef and the increase in E.coli contaminated beef. According to the USADA, E.coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps for 2-8 days. Only consuming ground beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 168˚ F will decrease the risk of harmful bacteria. A meat thermometer can be used to confirm the internal temperature of the meat.
Highland Glee Club Seeks Singers
Wed, Aug 20th, 2014 5:02 pm
The Highland Glee Club is in its 106th season with more than 20 members from greater Boston. Open rehersals for men singers interested in joining the chorus will be held September 8, 15, 22 and 29 at the First Baptist Church in Needham.
The first three rehearsals are open to all male singers, with or without formal training. The group will hold its winter concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, featuring Civil War era music, as well as holiday favorites. "With the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War fast approaching, it's the perfect time to look back at one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history," says Ron Jantzen, president of the Highland Glee Club (HGC). In the spring, the HGC performed two songs at the rededication of the Newton Cemetery Civil War Monument, and the group looks forward to putting together a comprehensive program of music from the time period. "Our program will feature a selection of the literally dozens of songs written during the Civil War," said David Tiedman, director of the HGC. "Selections will include both familiar and unfamiliar songs associated with the North as well as the South, including some that were popular on both sides. At the beginning of the war the songs tended to have a strong, patriotic, flag-waving quality, but later they spoke of family and loved ones and a longing for the war to end – universal themes from every war."
The only requirements to join are a love of singing, the ability to hold a tune and attend weekly Monday rehearsals. For information, contact Aaron Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 781-444-3053, or visit www.highlandgleeclub.com.
Newton Needham Chamber Golf Results
Fri, Aug 15th, 2014 9:25 am
The foursome of Stewart Carpenter, Steve Catania, Jeff Levine and Robert Tennant finished first at the 23rd annual Children's Charitible Golf Tournament presented by the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce. The event took place August 4. 2014 at Woodland Golf Club. Second place went to the group of Bob Kelly of New TV, David Buck of Needham Sheraton and Chuck Simonds of Capitol Grille. Jeff Smith of Rockland Trust and Sandy Penchansky of Watertown Savings Bank won the fourth hole hit the green contest. Lenny Gentile of Ever Bank won the 50 50 raffle and donated his winnings to the charity of the day, Riverside Trauma Center.
The Riverside Trauma Center helps Massachusetts residents recover from the overwhelming stress caused by traumatc events including natural disasters, serious accidents, suicide, homicide, and terrorism by providing community outreach and counseling. They also educate communities and organizations about suicide prevention, psychological trauma and the emotional needs of returning veterans. Their website is riversidetraumacenter.org. More information on this event is available at nnchamber.com.
Live Broadcast From Chamber Golf Tournament Monday August 4
Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014 10:53 am
On Monday August 4 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm 1550 WNTN and WNTN.Com will be broadcasting live from the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce golf tournament at Woodland Country Club in Newton, MA. WNTN personalities John Frassica, Jason Turesky and John Gerhardt will be on hand to host and interview special guests from the local business community.
Trending WNTN.COM Debuts
Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014 10:43 am
WNTN is excited to intiate this feature which will include updates of WNTN programming, news and happenings in and around our listening area, and other information about interviews, guests, remote broadcasts heard on 1550 WNTN and WNTN.COM