Daily Archives: March 25, 2011

Big Ol’ Olmsted Elm Coming Down

Published March 25, 2011

The Olmsted Elm, at the Frederick Law Olmsted Historic Site, is set to be cut down. (Lisa Tobin/WBUR)

The Olmsted Elm, at the Frederick Law Olmsted Historic Site, is set to be cut down. (Lisa Tobin/WBUR)

You’ve only got a few more days to bid the famed Olmsted Elm in Brookline goodbye. Years of decay and disease have made the tree, located at the historical home of Boston designer Frederick Law Olmsted, a hazard, according to authorities.

The tree may be 200 years old and its fans are taking its impending loss hard.

WBUR’s Bob Oakes asked Gerry Wright, a local naturalist and sometimes-Olmsted impersonator, what the tree meant to him.

“It’s almost beyond words, because for myself, it’s a spiritual presence that we stand in when we stand within Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscapes,” Wright said.

Olmsted designed Boston’s Emerald Necklace network of parks and, of course, New York’s Central Park. Elms often figured prominently in his designs, so the loss of the one at his family homestead seems to mark the end of an era.

The tree will be cut down next week, the National Park Service said, and mourners have through Wednesday to pay their respects. If you can’t make your way to Brookline, the tree has a Facebook page.

Friday Morning: Jury Deliberating In Gribble Case

Published March 25, 2011

Jurors in the grisly New Hampshire home invasion case begin their first full day of deliberations this morning, after the trial wrapped up yesterday. Christopher Gribble, who has admitted to killing Kimberly Cates and seriously injuring her 11-year-old daughter, is using the insanity defense in the trial. For more coverage of the Mont Vernon, N.H., home invasion case, check out the WBUR timeline.

Former Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner is headed to federal prison in West Virginia today, to begin serving a three-year sentence for taking a $1,000 bribe.

The number of Mass. residents with high-deductible health insurance plans skyrocketed last year as families and businesses looked to lower health care costs. A new report says people enrolled in the lower-cost higher-deductible plans spent significantly less in medical expenses, but cut back on preventative health care like cancer screenings.

Israeli-Palestinian relations lies in the lava-hot department of hot-button issues. A group comprised of Boston-area Muslims and Jews, however, has spent months talking about their cultures. As WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports, the group decided it was time to approach this difficult issue.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the famed boxer-turned-Civil-Rights-crusader immortalized in the Bob Dylan song “Hurricane,” railed against the prison system in a speech at Bunker Hill Community College yesterday.

A local band is taking the idea of performing “unplugged” to new heights. With the help of technology called Sustainable Sound, they’re performing concerts powered completely by bike pedaling.

What we’re following: We’ll report on the Boston mobster who’d been hiding out in rural Idaho and New England’s nuclear disaster preparedness. Radio Boston will visit an exhibit showcasing women in pop art.