COLUMN: Back to the Future in the Financial Market

So, interest rates are crashing around the world, the 10-Year U.S. Treasury is around 1.75 percent and stock markets are stuck in trading range …bookended by a good bit of volatility. If I didn’t know better – I might be thinking I jumped into the DeLorean with Doc Emmet Brown and went “Back in Time” to 2016. The above scenario is precisely what was going on in early 2016, which left investors in a bit of a “What Next?” moment. We are seeing a near instant replay of 3-½ years ago, albeit with stock market values significantly higher. Once again – nearing a generational low in interest rates, heightened volatility, and questions about “What’s Next”?The good news is we can take lessons from the recent past and use strategies from the same playbook.

OP-ED: Update on Repairs to the MBTA’s Red Line

The following information was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger of Belmont who also represents Watertown and parts of Boston:

Please see also 7/26 update further below. MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak called me this morning to brief me about the Red Line’s troubles and his response. Below is a summary of our conversation. The Timeline for Service Restoration

Normally during rush hour, there are approximately 14 trains per hour. Unfortunately, at least through Labor Day, there will only be 10 trains per hour.

LETTER: Why Local Group Still Hosts Vigil for Hiroshima, Nagasaki

Candleboats float on the Charles River in Watertown in memory of those who died in the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The following information was provided by Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice & the Environment. Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki 

Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019

7:30 PM – Silent Vigil – Watertown Square

8:00 PM – Music and Testimonials

8:30 PM – Launching of the Candle Boats – Watertown Dock

NEVER AGAIN – NO MORE HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI –

NO MORE VICTIMS – ABOLISH NUCLEAR WEAPONS

“Why do we stand in silence and float candle boats”? To remember the more than 210,000 killed, and the many more injured, by the U.S. nuclear attack on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9 in 1945.

LETTER: Resident Joins Race for Watertown Library Trustee

I recently pulled papers to run for the office of Watertown Free Public Library Trustee in the November 2019 election. In the coming weeks and months, I will be canvassing around town, initially gathering enough signatures to appear on the ballot, and getting to know voters and their thoughts about the future of the Watertown Public Library. First, I would like to introduce myself here to my fellow Watertown residents, and explain why I am running for Library Trustee. I am a lifelong Watertown resident. I grew up in the Irving Park neighborhood near Perkins School for The Blind in the 80s and 90s and about 13 years ago moved to the west side of town where I co-purchased a home with my sister.

OP-ED: MBTA Behind on Climate Change Adaptation

State Sen. Will Brownsberger

The following piece was provided by State Sen. Will Brownsberger of Belmont who also represents Watertown and parts of Boston:

At a recent MBTA board meeting, it became alarmingly clear that the MBTA is behind in its planning for climate resiliency.  Add that challenge to the challenges of catching up on maintenance, assuring safety, and expanding service. Andrew Brennan, Senior Director for Energy and Environment, explained to the board that the MBTA completed a “high-level” vulnerability assessment of the system in 2017.  His presentation materials are here and his talk begins at 2:55 in this livestream of the June 10 board meeting. The 2017 high level assessment revealed the obvious: Namely, that the most exposed asset is the Blue Line and that the greatest risk to the Blue line comes from flooding due to sea level rise. Only months after the assessment, the winter high tide of 2018 flooded Aquarium station. As to the lowest lying assets on the Blue line (Aquarium station and the Orient Heights Maintenance Facility), more detailed engineering studies have been completed to identify just how they would be flooded and what can be done to protect them: for example, raising openings like vent shafts and raising the most water sensitive components like transformers.

LETTER: Group Hosting Vigil to End Human Detention Camps

Event organizers submitted the following announcement:

On Friday, July 12, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps will bring thousands of people to locations across the nation to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees. We are part of a coalition of people dedicated to human rights and the fundamental principle behind democracy: that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity. Please join us on the green in Watertown Square from 7-8 p.m. We’ll have candles–bring your signs and songs! This is a family- and child-friendly event. A silent sea of candles in cities, towns, homes, and especially at every detention camp, will light up the nation.

LETTER: Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment Celebrates 40 Years

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. The following information was provided by the Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment:

On Sunday, June 9, Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment gathered at our Annual Meeting and Potluck at the Belmont/Watertown United Methodist Church to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Forty years ago, the worst accident at a U.S. nuclear power plant took place at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania. That was 1979, and in response to that seminal event, Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety was born. We later became Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment.

LETTER: Thank You to Our Local Government for Cleanup

On Saturday, April 27, members and supporters of Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment again participated in the annual Charles River Cleanup. The general impression is that there was less trash this year; the ban on single-use thin plastic shopping bags works! However, we were appalled to discover a nearby stretch of property being used as a dumping ground for construction debris. Old windows, carpeting, tiles among other trash were among the objects we found. This was too much for us to be able to remove.