OBIT: Ethlyn Bleiler, 96, of Watertown, Mother of 3, Grand Mother & Great Grand Mother

Ethlyn Bleiler

Ethlyn Irene Bleiler of Watertown died on January 26, 2019 at the age of 96. Beloved wife of the late Joseph J. Bleiler. Devoted mother of Joseph J. Bleiler, Jr. & his wife Yvonne of Hudson, Stephen J. Bleiler & his wife Diane of Watertown, and the late Gayle Marie Bleiler. Loving grandmother of Joseph S. & James J. Bleiler and Meghan E. Lutz. Dear sister of Alice Richard of Duxbury, Dorothy L. Leslie of Stoughton, Nancy Lund of Billerica and the late Mildred MacLeod, George R., and Frederick Lund.

February is Full of Activities at the Watertown Senior Center

February may be the shortest month, but the Watertown Senior Center has a long list of activities for the month. The Watertown Council on Aging provided the following information:

HEART HEALTH MONTHHelp us to celebrate Heart Health Month! This year Marie McCune, RN from Mt. Auburn Hospital, will speak to us about how to keep your heart healthy. After, we will enjoy a light brunch. 

WHEN: Tuesday February 19 TIME: 10:30 – 12:30 PM COST: $ 7.00Pre-registration is required and seating is limited.

Watertown Library Hosts Showing of Black History Month Film ‘More Than a Month’

The movie More Than A Month will be shown at the Watertown Free Public Library followed by a discussion, as part of the celebration of Black History Month. The screening will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Watertown Savings Bank Room. The organizers of the event provided the following description:

Can Black history be contained in a single month? Should the U.S. eliminate Black History Month?

Watertown’s Hairenik Press Releases First Translation of Armenian Classic ‘Letter to Yerevan’

Translators Tatul Sonentz-Papazian (left) and Rupen Janbazian have produced the first English version of the Armenian long-form poem “Letters to Yerevan.” Janbazian is the former editor of Watertown-based Armenian Weekly. Watertown’s Hairenik Press recently announced the first-ever publication of the English translation of Andranik Tzarukian’s long-form poem Letter to Yerevan («Թուղթ առ Երեւան» “Tught ar Yerevan”). 

The translation was a collaborative effort between the former director of the ARF and First Republic of Armenia Archives and former editor of the Armenian Review Tatul Sonentz-Papazian, and former editor of the Watertown-based Armenian Weekly Rupen Janbazian. It features an in-depth introduction by another former editor of the Armenian Weekly and the volume’s English editor, Vahe Habeshian, as well as six original illustrations by Yerevan-based artist Meruzhan Khachatryan. The Armenian language republication was edited by Yeprem Tokjian of Toronto, Canada.

LETTER: East End Resident’s Property Negatively Impacted by Excavation for Project Next Door

Neighbors of the project at 71 Salisbury Road say the excavation has impacted their properties, and they did not receive notice. The following statement was presented to the Watertown Town Council on Jan. 22, 2019:

My wife and I bought a small house in Watertown 8 years ago and we have begun our family there. We love being in Watertown and intend to continue as a part of the community we have found here. In the past week a developer has begun construction on the lot abutting ours. They are constructing a spec house in place of the previous house which was razed 3 years ago when they acquired the land. This new house is to be put on the market as soon as it is completed. The developer delayed construction these years as they sought a solution to squeeze a two-family structure on the small lot but apparently decided that pursuing a special permit would invite too much push back.  

Now they have pulled a permit for construction ‘by right’ and as a first step have undertaken blasting away the large rock ledge upon which the old house was constructed. They have continued this excavation into a second week using two earth moving machines, one to blast the rock and one to scoop it into a line of waiting dump trucks, right up to the property lines on all sides. The grade has been lowered significantly across the entire parcel such that at my property line there is now a shear face of exposed soil and bedrock where the incline which used to continue from our property into theirs has been blasted away. 

As a result two mature maple trees on our property have had their roots exposed and torn away. No attempt whatsoever was made to protect these trees even though doing so would pose no impediment to the construction of the house which they have permitted. Only willful disregard for the impact on neighbors property and desire to remove as much of the existing topography as possible has led to the damaging of these trees.  

Roots of trees on properties abutting 71 Salisbury Road have been damaged by the excavation on the site.

OBIT: Loretta Barba, 93, Raised Family in Watertown, Married More than 50 Years

Loretta Barba

Loretta Marie (Menelly) Barba of Watertown died on Jan. 22, 2019, at the age of 93. Beloved wife for 56 years of the late Michael V. Barba. Devoted mother of Janet B. Brown and her husband Richard of Gardner; Sandra Pacheco and her husband John of Washington, D.C.; Paul G. Barba and his wife Maureen of Gardner; Diane E. Neylon and her husband John and Richard J. Barba and his wife Theresa, all of Watertown; Vincent J. Barba and his wife Judi of Franklin; and the late Michael V. Barba, Jr.

Dear sister of the late Robert Menelly and his wife Carmen and Philip Menelly and his wife Connie. Also loved by 25 grandchildren (including the late Benjamin & Michael Pacheco) and 13 great-grandchildren.

OP-ED: Citizen Group Critical of Slow Roll Out of Watertown Shuttle

The following piece came from the Watertown Transportation Task Force:

The Watertown Transportation Task Force (WTTF) today released a report on the status of proposed shuttle buses for Pleasant Street and Arsenal Street, titled, “Shuttle Buses for Arsenal and Pleasant Streets: What’s Happened, What Hasn’t, Why?” The report is critical of the lack of progress made to date and recommends changes the Town should make going forward. The Task Force report describes the efforts to get shuttle buses running along Pleasant Street to Watertown Square and along Arsenal Street to a mass transit station. It recommends that the Town should fully enforce special permit conditions which require “proportionate financial participation” by developers to fund effective TMA shuttle operations. The WTTF has strongly advocated for shuttle service, but the report also proposes that Town funds should not go to any shuttle program until (1) a realistic multi-year financial analysis forecasts the budget for shuttle operations on each corridor and estimates any budget shortfall due to inadequate private funding, and (2) strong pre-conditions are set for all Town contributions to a shuttle program. The concept for the shuttles was that a Watertown Transportation Management Association (known as a TMA) would be created to implement transportation demand management programs for large new developments along these corridors which would include shuttle busses.

Funds Available for Groups Working to Make Watertown a Place Where Older Adults Can Thrive

The following announcement was provided by the Marshall Home Fund:

The Marshall Home Fund is encouraging public and non-profit organizations to submit innovative proposals to support Watertown’s efforts to be an Age-Friendly Community — a place where older adults can live, thrive, and contribute. While proposals addressing various topics are welcomed, the fund is particularly interested in projects addressing unmet needs in housing, transportation, and communication about services available to older people. The Request for Proposals will be available on February 8, 2019 and proposals will be due March 15. Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the Program Grant Information Session on February 8, 12:30-2:00 p.m. at the WSB Room in the Watertown Public Library and to visit To RSVP to the Information Session and for additional information, contact