Watertown’s New Elementary Report Cards Will Contain More Information

The report cards for Watertown elementary school students will look at lot different next year as the district brings in standards-based report cards. Not only will they have different grades, but will have a lot more subsections within a subject where children will be assessed, said Allison Donovan, the district’s K-8 Literacy/Title I Coordinator. The new report cards will be a welcomed change, said Olivia Cifrino, a second grade teacher at Cunniff Elementary School who served on the Standards Based Report Card Team. “I was very excited to be part of this Report Card Team because as a teacher I was frustrated with the report card before,” Cifrino said. Donovan said parents had a similar response when they heard about the new report cards.

Watertown Farmers Market Returns Soon With Extended Hours

The Watertown Farmers’ Market returns on June 7 and in 2018 they market will open earlier and go later. 

Once again, the Farmers’ Market will be held on the green at the Arsenal on the Charles (Corner of Arsenal Street and Kingsbury Avenue) in front of Panera Bread. The market will be open an extra hour — opening half an hour earlier and running half an hour later than last year. The market will features entertainment, and will have tables featuring community groups. Organizers seek more entertainers, community groups and would like volunteers (see details below). The market runs from June 7 to Oct.

A Handful of Open Houses in Watertown Over Memorial Day Weekend

These Watertown homes will host open house this weekend. $419,900 – 32 Whites Ave. Unit F7705, 3 room, 1 bed, 1 bath mid-rise, Open House: Monday 12-1:30

$725,000 – 125 Coolidge Ave. Unit 311, 6 room, 2 bed, 2f 0h bath mid-rise, Open Houses: Saturday 12-2 Sunday 12-2

$649,000 – 1030 Belmont St., 7 room, 3 bed, 1.5 bath colonial, Open House: Saturday 12-2

Sponsored by:

Charles River Path, Parking Lot Closing Briefly for Installation of Pedestrian Bridge

The long awaited installation of the Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge will happen at the end of May, and will require the closure of a section of the path along the Charles River in Watertown, as well as a parking lot near the Dealtry Pool. The Department of Conservation and Recreation sent out the following information about the closure of the path:
DCR Pedestrian and Traffic Advisory: Charles River Greenway/Dealtry Pool in Watertown
WHAT: On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, and Thursday, May 31, 2018, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) will implement a closure of the Charles River Greenway along Pleasant Street between Bridge Street and Galen Street in the Town of Watertown, and the parking lot at the Dealtry Memorial Pool. The closure will accommodate the delivery and placement of the new Joseph Thompson Pedestrian Bridge. Work will be conducted from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Pedestrians and bicyclists are encouraged to utilize California Street, and traffic delays are anticipated. A detour route and traffic signage will be clearly marked, a police detail will be on site, and DCR Rangers will assist pedestrians and bicyclists.

Town Council Votes Down Prohibiting Self Storage in Watertown

The Town Council split on whether to prohibit self storage facilities from operating in Watertown on Tuesday, ultimately noting not to ban the use. 

The proposed amendment to the town’s Zoning Ordinance came about after the Town Council approved a change to the parking requirements for self storage facilities in January. Some Councilors and residents opposed the parking change — which reduced the parking requirement to one spot for every three storage units to two spots per every 10,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area — in part because the amendment came from the owners of the property at 80 Elm St., a potential spot for self storage. The question of banning self-storage as a use in Watertown went to the Planning Board in April.

See How Much Watertown’s Water, Sewer Rates Will be Going Up

Watertown residents will see a slight rise in water rates in the next Fiscal Year, and sewer rates will rise even more. The average of the combined water/sewer rate increase is 2.5 percent. Tuesday night, the Town Council heard the proposed rates for water and sewer service in Watertown from Dave Fox, a consultant from Raftelis. The water and sewer accounts are self funding, and the most of the basis for the rates comes from the forecast use of water and sewer in Fiscal 2019 (which begins July 1, 2018). “It is based on the number of accounts and consumption,” Fox said.

Watertown Schools Looking at 3 Busing Options, One Could Raise Fees $100

Depending on which school busing option the School Committee adopts, transportation fees could remain the same as this year or increase by as much as $100, and not all students wanting to be transported is guaranteed a spot. The decision will be made with the help of college students participating in a “hack-a-thon.” The School Committee received an update on planning for busing during the 2018-19 school year on Monday night. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Mary DeLai said the district will enter a five year bus contract if the Town Council gives its approval Tuesday night, but the schedule will change from the current year because the high school and middle school are starting later next fall. Three options will be considered, DeLai said, with different numbers of buses and possibly requiring students to wait after school for the bus to arrive after school.

Police Want to Make Immigrants Feel Welcome, Cut Down on Drugs in Town

Watertown Police Chief Michael Lawn hopes to make the town welcoming to most people, including immigrants, but he wants officers to put more emphasis on enforcing traffic infractions as part of an effort to cut down on the amount of drugs in the area. 

Lawn spoke about the Police Department’s priorities during the budget hearing in front of the Town Council on Saturday. Since he became Police Chief two years ago Lawn has put an emphasis on community policing. “I want officers to get out of their car and get into stores and on the street and speak with people,” Lawn said. The Police Department has a number of programs where residents can meet police  in and participate in fun activities, such as the Cops & Rec sports activities for youngsters, the twice-monthly Coffee with the Chief at the Senior Center, and the Citizens Police Academy (which will be back this fall). Lawn wants to start offering a similar academy for youth, a program that the WPD used to offer and which Lawn himself attended.