LETTER: Author of Watertown’s Solar Requirement Thanks Supporters, Urges More Action

The following statement was read, in part, to the Town Council on Dec. 11, 2018, by Watertown Resident Jocelyn Tager. The requirement to have solar power systems on new developments over a certain size was passed by the Town Council on Nov. 27, 2018, making the town the first in the state to adopt such a requirement. Here is the full version:

My name is Jocelyn Tager.

LETTER: New Federal Rules Threaten Watertown Cable’s Funding, Station Seeks Support

Good Afternoon,

On behalf of WCATV, I am reaching out to you today in regards to a policy proposed by the FCC. This policy will eliminate a major source of funding from Comcast and RCN and could result in Watertown Cable and other community media centers closing their doors in every community across the country. The policy will change the “franchise fee” structure that has been in place since the 1980s, and would allow the cable companies to charge cities for access to historically “in-kind” resources such as cable channels, I-net services, and access to their system to deliver content to people’s homes. The current franchise fee structure is the lifeblood of community media centers across the country and without that funding, it would be nearly impossible for stations to continue the important work they provide for all communities. This would cost our local governments millions of dollars, and would force them to choose whether supporting community media is more valuable than the millions of dollars of lost revenue.

OP-ED: Changes to Traffic Signal Timing Will Make Mt. Auburn St. Bus Lanes Work Better

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger (D – Belmont) who represents Watertown:

Thousands of commuters on Mount Auburn Street and on Fresh Pond Parkway had a very rough ten days starting on Monday, November 5. That is the day that a contractor swapped in a new controller for the traffic signals and failed to properly program it. The new Siemens 60 signal controller is so sophisticated that only a few engineers have the expertise to properly program it. Commuters endured ten days of bad timing until the right specialist was able to get it working as intended. As of Thursday, Nov.

LETTER: Councilor Concerned About Impact of Mt. Auburn St. Project on Coolidge Square

(The following is an open letter sent by Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis to the team designing the Mt. Auburn Street Renovation)

Dear Mt. Auburn St. Team, et al,

Many thanks for your response that has been 3.5 months in the making. I echo the sentiments of local residents, who at my suggestion, have written to the Team, only to receive a response focused solely on the scripted design plan. 

Please do not insult me in a condescending manner by stating: “we would encourage you to view this video about implementing Road Diets in New Jersey.”

LETTER: Town Councilor Shares Questions, Concerns on Mt. Auburn St. Received from Residents

The following is an open letter from Town Councilor Lisa Feltner to Town officials:

Of the three Mount Auburn Street redesign concepts presented on October 16, 2018 (focus primarily between Patten and Walnut streets), many constituents in District B would like me to reiterate that concept #3 “adds four legal parking spots” to Mount Auburn. Please accept my attempt to summarize many concerns shared with me around this meeting and the concepts presented to date. Other alternatives and questions to consider, including a fourth and fifth concept follow below: (see plans below, or go to the document page of the project website here.)

Alt concept 4: Modify concept #1 to retain the sheltered Historic District Franklin St. bus, and Russell Ave. bus stops, thereby not reducing MBTA access.

OP-ED: Republicans Can Send a Strong Message for Change by Leaving Governor Blank on Ballot

The Ugly History of the MA-GOP:
It’s time Republicans and Republican leaning voters send a clear message to the MA-GOP. For decades we’ve tolerated mediocre Republican Governors, telling ourselves: “that’s the best we can do in Massachusetts.” Sure, we’re not likely to elect someone like Scott Walker or Mike Pence to the corner office on Beacon Hill anytime soon. But we can certainly do better than the likes of Bill Weld and his boy wonder Charlie Baker, who not only are as far left on a plethora of issues as Bernie Sanders, but they have become notorious for undermining  Republicans, from mayoral contenders right up to presidential nominees. The policies of these feckless RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) are bad enough.

OP-ED: MBTA Making Changes to Avoid “Ghost Buses” on Cellphone App

State Sen. Will Brownsberger, (D – Belmont) who represents Watertown, provided the following piece:

MBTA bus arrival predictions should get better as of today and further improvements can be expected over the next few months. Representatives Jon Hecht and Dave Rogers and I learned a lot at a recent meeting with MBTA management about bus service complaints that we had received from riders. Most regular bus riders now rely on mobile phone apps to get predictions of when the next bus will arrive. Here is how those predictions are generated and how the technology is changing. Each MBTA bus is equipped with a device that transmits its location back to the MBTA’s control center.

LETTER: Resident Urges Others to Speak Out Against Increasing Height of Tower at Arsenal Yards

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Boylston Properties (BP) is seeking a zoning change at Arsenal Yards. What the published agenda IV. 485 Arsenal Street (click here) amendment fails to disclose is that while BP is again pushing for a height increase to 197 feet at Building G, they are also asking for 80 percent of that height for any additional buildings on their site on the south side of Arsenal Street. They want to create their own separate zone within the RMUD. If approved, those buildings could go to 157.6 feet.