Mary Holbrow

Cambridge MA
I'm a retired journalist, mother of 5, grandmother, birdwatcher, garden lover. I live in Cambridgeport, work as a free-lance editor.
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Recently posted by mholbrow

April 11, 2012 - 7:56pm   Photos: On The Rise President Carol Goss (above, right) said farewell during the meeting to Gerry Wolf and Alexander Walley, both stepping down after long service on the organization's Board of Directors. Wolf, shown above with Goss, has been on the board since 2001 and served for several years as Treasurer;  a Medford resident, he is the founder of the 1369 Coffee Houses in Cambridge. Goss presented him with a painting of On The Rise by a program participant. She also expressed appreciation for the service of Dr. Walley (left, shown at an On The Rise event in 2010). Walley, who could not be present, has been a board member since 2005. He is a physician at the Boston Medical Center. by Mary Holbrow Economy down. Homeless numbers up. That was one story that emerged at On The Rise’s Annual Community Meeting, held yesterday morning at Cambridge’s Main Library. But a larger, richer story surfaced at the same time – a story about women getting help, making it through tough times, and going on to give others a hand. On The Rise, Inc., located at 341 Broadway in Cambridge, is a non-profit organization that assists area women facing challenges that include... read more
March 18, 2012 - 7:03pm Photo: Caroline Whitney of Cambridge took a minute from her duties at the Boston Flower Show to try out the bench in the spring garden at this year's Massachusetts Horticultural Society booth. As we speak, garden lovers are saying goodbye to the 2012 Boston Flower and Garden Show. Today -- March 18 -- is the end of its 5-day run in the Seaport World Trade Center at 200 Seaport Boulevard. Cambridge residents Caroline Whitney and Karen Forslund Falb are long-time active participants in the show. Like perennial flowering plants, they keep coming back. Caroline Whitney is a Cambridge resident and the owner of Dandy Lion Designs, specializing in garden design and maintenance and floral arrangements; she also creates commissioned art works on porcelain. She has been involved in Flower Show activities for more than twenty years as administrator, exhibitor, and volunteer. She co-chairs the Board of Overseers of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, commonly known as Mass Hort. Yesterday Whitney was busy at Mass Hort's booth in the show-- guiding visitors, answering questions about the Society’s history and activities, and coordinating with the Massachusetts Master Gardener... read more
March 9, 2012 - 10:14pm Photo: Paintings by Lori Lander are on view at the Marran Gallery at Lesley University. Cambridge artist Lori Lander is celebrating Women’s History Month with a show of her paintings at Lesley University’s Marran Gallery. Titled "The Work of Women: Daily Rhythms and Rituals in Bali," the show runs through March 16. The gallery is in Wolford House on the Lesley University quadrangle; entry is at 34 Mellen Street near the intersection with Oxford Street. Lander has visited Bali several times since she first went there in 1978, when she was captivated by the beauty of the Indonesian island and its people and culture. On her website she notes that her images focus on the lives of women there as they attend to the rhythms and rituals of daily life. Some of the scenes recall Paul Gauguin’s impressions of the Polynesian island of Tahiti more than a century ago. “I did grow up seeing his paintings and was definitely inspired by them,” Lander says. However, her contemporary eye, bold use of color, and close observation of the women's activities offer a vision of life in Bali that is unique to her. (Photo, left: Gamelan III, by Lori Lander, at Revolve)  Paintings by Lander, with a... read more
February 28, 2012 - 12:17pm Pop star Lady Gaga will be at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre in Cambridge tomorrow, February 29, for the official launch of her new philanthropic venture, the Born This Way Foundation. (Photo, above, Lady Gaga, from the album cover of "Born This Way." This version of the cover photo is from Monster Mons, at Flickr under Creative Commons.) Lady Gaga's foundation takes its name from the artist's hit single, "Born This Way," and her subsequent album with the same title, released in May, 2011. Joining her in establishing the foundation is her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, who says in the press release announcement: “My daughter's foundation was born out of her passion to create a better world where people are kinder and nicer to one another and are accepted for who they are, regardless of how different they may be." Long-time TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra are among those expected to appear personally at the Sanders Theatre event, along with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Professor Charles Ogletree of the Harvard Law School, according to the Boston Herald. ( read more
February 25, 2012 - 2:02pm A small group of seniors met at the Cambridge YWCA on Temple Street on Thursday evening, February 24, to continue the planning process for the SeniorsConnect network in central Cambridge. The event was one of a series of informal gatherings organized by Polly Allen (photo, standing), with the assistance of Janet Ghattas (center, front), to raise the organization’s profile and put potential members in touch with each other. Seated at left is Sandra Allik; John Harbage is on the right. Sandra Allik is an artist who lives in Cambridge and works in Somerville, where her paintings will be on view at her studio during Somerville Open Studios May 5 - 6. What brings her to SeniorsConnect? “I like socializing and having fun, but it can be hard to get to know people.” John Harbage is retired, and he’s busy rehabilitating his house. “It’s my hobby – I’m halfway through doing an elaborate ceiling," he said. "I get very involved in it, and if nobody happens to call or stop in, sometimes I'll realize that I haven’t spoken to anybody for three days. A network could be a lifeline for me a few years from now.” Allik’s and Harbage’s comments represent two important reasons for being part of... read more
February 23, 2012 - 12:44pm Photo, above: Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association board members lined up for a photo, along with Cambridge's newly named Mayor Henrietta Davis (left) and State Representative Martha Walz (at right in back) after the CNA Annual Meeting February 15. Board members from left to right are Leslie Greis (at right of Mayor Davis), Treasurer Jay Shetterly, Cathie Zusy, Marge Amster, President Bill August (in back), Colleen Clark, and Carolyn Shipley (in front on the right). Four candidates running for two-year terms on the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association’s Board of Directors were unanimously elected February 15 at the CNA Annual Meeting in the community room of the Woodrow Wilson Court Apartments on Fairmont Street. Leslie Greis and Cathie Zusy were re-elected; Marge Amster and Colleen Clark are new to the board. The meeting featured a presentation by Cambridge City Councilman Kenneth Reeves (photo, left) on the recently released report by Mayor David Maher’s Red Ribbon Commission: "Central, Squared: the Delights and Concerns of Central Square." Reeves chaired the project, and at the meeting he discussed some specifics of the report. “Central Square is a very complex, exciting,... read more
February 17, 2012 - 10:31pm Scott Wachtler (at right in photo), newly named editor of the Cambridge Chronicle and Wicked Local Cambridge, held a public office hour Wednesday, February 15 at the Clear Conscience Cafe in the Harvest Co-op, 581 Massachusetts Avenue. He sent the invitation out via his blog on February 8, the day after he took on the editorship. (With Wachtler, l. to r.: Mark Jaquith, Carolyn Shipley, Mark Schneider, Ellen McLaughlin, Joan Squeri.) “ . . . a few times a month I’ll make myself available for a few hours at a different public place around Cambridge,” the invitation says. “You’ll be welcome to meet up with me just to say hi, tell me what you like or dislike about the paper, or even give me story ideas.” This week's meeting was set for 2 to 3 p.m. As of quarter to 3, half-a-dozen people were gathered around a table with Wachtler, eagerly discussing municipal elections, plans for Central Square, projected school reorganization, and transportation issues. An hour later, at quarter to 4, they were still there. Asked about his own vision for the Chronicle and Wicked Local, Wachtler said he is a firm believer in... read more
December 31, 2011 - 5:22pm A  nucleus of Cambridge residents shared ideas for a proposed new senior network around Central Square at a meeting December 18 at the YWCA on Temple Street. Present for the photo were (l. to r.) Janet Ghattas, Officer Matthew Mahoney, Lita Newdick, Officer Daniel Burroso, Polly Allen, Bette Denich, Bob Woodbury, Sarah Boyer. (Also at the meeting but not shown: John Hand, Mary Holbrow, Marian Darlington-Hope.) This was the second exploratory meeting to be organized on behalf of the project by Polly Wynn Allen and Janet Ghattas. A preliminary meeting in Cambridgeport ( took place earlier this month. A third meeting is tentatively set for sometime in January to accommodate those who could not attend the December meetings. The group at the Y included seniors from Riverside, Area IV, and parts of mid-Cambridge as well as Cambridgeport. They discussed what a senior network could do to promote a healthy, active and productive lifestyle for members. Organizer Polly Allen recalled the neighborhood that she was part of as a child in Texas: her grandmother, two aunts and a playmate cousin all lived within walking distance. “I think it’s a... read more
December 20, 2011 - 11:26am Photo: Cambridge Action Forum officers David Lewis and Karen Carmean “Every year we look forward to hearing what are the most important changes since last year,” Karen Carmean said as she opened the annual Cambridge Action Fund Forum on December 8. “What are you doing now, and what have been your biggest issues?” Cambridge Action Fund, Inc. (CAF) is an organization of local businesses and individuals that contribute funds and volunteer services to help homeless people in the community. At this year’s Forum, four charities that receive money from CAF reported on the past year’s activities and their plans for the future. The presentations took place around a table in the parish hall of Christ Church Cambridge, the historic Episcopal church at Zero Garden Street, Harvard Square. Four organizations were represented: the Harvard Square Churches Meals Program, Food For Free, On The Rise, and CASPAR (Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation. “Hopefully you’re going to get ideas from this program tonight on what you can do to make a difference,” Carmean said as she opened the meeting. She was talking both to listeners around the... read more
December 15, 2011 - 2:55pm As Christmas trees go up, summer flowers blossom in local dooryards. A flowering crabapple is in full bloom at the corner of Pearl and Hamilton. Forsythia, geraniums and roses are opening nearby. A weather headline today in says mild weather is expected to continue, with temperature as much as 15 degrees higher than normal today. This month has run about 6 degrees above normal, according to Charlie Foley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. read more