Our next ZOOM meeting will be held on June 15th at 7:00PM.  It will be our annual meeting as called for in our Bylaws, and will consist of a Treasurer’s Report, Nominations for Officers and Election, along with any other items you email to me to be added to our AGENDA.


        >       Karen Walker update.  Her husband writes:

                I spoke to Karen today and she said cards she has gotten from members of the committee suggested they  knew about her neck surgery, but hadn’t yet heard about the real problem.  Karen has Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which you may know about already, but I’ll add that it’s the autoimmune bad guy that attacks the myelin sheath of the peripheral nerves, not the spine itself. She was in the ICU at Newton-Wellesley intubated, ventilated, completely sedated until IV immunoglobulin treatments finally began to kick in. Intubation was replaced by a tracheostomy for supported breathing, while a PEG tube to her stomach feeds her. Because her diaphragm muscles had been so weak,
it was only twelve days ago, having progressed to where she could breath on her own for a few hours, that she was moved to Spaulding Hospital Cambridge. It does complete rehab, like Spaulding in Boston, but is also able to handle complex medical cases.So now Karen’s there for what will likely be a long, slow recovery. She can move her arms and also wiggle her fingers, close her hands and wave, giving the impression they are truly functional. However, she has no strength in her fingers, so she can’t press the button of the TV remote or use her iPhone or iPad. It was only last week she got to the point where she could breath independently well enough that they could cap her tracheostomy, allowing her to talk. That’s made a huge difference  for her (and for us). The nurses set up our daily FaceTime calls. Not having visitors is especially hard on all hospitalized patients now. As much as I want to visit, I’d be more than a little upset if they let me in the place. Strange times, these, and hard for so many people in so many ways.It’s always unclear with GBS how recovered a GBS patient will be. Apparently it’s very unpredictable, but daily PT/OT & speech therapy are carried out with great optimism at Spaulding. The speech therapist is the one who assesses and works on her ability to swallow. So far Karen has had ice chips with no problem and even a little apple sauce. She said she thought enough of it ended up in the right place that there were no problems with that. Tomorrow she’ll have a barium swallow test to see if her swallowing is good enough now to allow her to eat more food safely. Karen, as you know, has taken her roles in Needham, on your committee, with the League registering high school voters and in organizing the Civics Bee each year, very seriously. The reality now is she won’t be able to participate at all in any of her usual activities, much to her regret. There’s no sense, at this point, how long that will be.I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news and also for having taken so long to go about it. It’s hard to know how much needs to be passed on, but I wanted let you know where we are right now.

Karen says she likes receiving notes/cards from friends that include their news as well as encouragement & best wishes. I’m not exactly sure how to put that. She’s trying to keep her focus off her plight which is a challenge. As you can imagine, the uncertainty of the road ahead is a significant load. Feel free to pass news along to anyone who might be concerned. Cards/notes can go to:

                        Karen Walker, room 316B, Spaulding Hospital Cambridge, 1575 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA, 02138

As much as I want to visit, I’d be horrified if they allowed visitors, considering the current COVID situation. As far as I know, all hospitals are locked down except for medically essential people. They don’t even accept flowers! Let me also say to you that especially now, I hope you and your family and all around you are well, stay well and remain safe.

Best regards,


>       ON WEDNESDAY EVENING AT 5:00PM The Select Board meeting will include a presentation from POLICE CHIEF John Schlittler on COMMUNITY POLICING.   To listen and view this virtual meeting on a phone, computer, laptop, or tablet, download the “Zoom Cloud Meeting” app in any app store or at www.zoom.us. At the above date and time, click on “Join a Meeting” and enter the meeting 81178733033 or click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81178733033

>       Politico reports that the Trump administration is considering limiting the number of immigrants who come to the United States for cultural exchanges, as well as students attending U.S. colleges hired for temporary employment. It is also looking at cutting visas for skilled workers in specialty occupations and seasonal workers who work in industries that include landscaping, housekeeping, and construction. On Friday, the president published an executive order on deregulatory action in response to COVID-19 that could help shape how the administration reviews and modifies nonimmigrant programs. (For the full article see:  https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/25/trump-broaden-foreign-worker-bans-276510?utm_)

>       I received the following from several sources:  The deadline for the Safe Communities Act to be reported out of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security has been extended to 7/15/20. The good news is that it remains in play and the full legislature can focus on it following the budget process.

>       The Minutes form our ZOOM meeting of May 18th are attached.  Please review and send changes to Bev Freeman (<beverlyjfreeman@gmail.com>)

I hope you are all well.

Gerry Rovner