Watertown-Cambridge Greenway Construction Schedule Announced

The last section of the Watertown-Cambridge Greenway, a bike and pedestrian path, will begin construction in late summer or early fall. 

A letter sent out by Leo Roy, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), announced that the project will begin soon, and will create 1.25 miles of path along the former Boston & Maine Railroad tracks between Arlington Street/Nichols Avenue/Crawford Street intersection in Watertown and the entrance to the Cambridge Water Department at Fresh Pond. It will connect to the section already completed from Arlington Street to School Street in Watertown which is also referred to as the Community Path. “The trail will offer additional opportunities for transportation and passive and active recreation and physical activity, while promoting community and economic growth through increased connectivity,” Roy wrote. “The multi-use Greenway will provide an important regional connection linking the Charles River Path system, the Minuteman Bikeway, the Alewife Greenway and the Mystic River Reservation into an interconnected off-road pathway network.” The new section of the path will be 12 foot wide paved trail with two foot wide grass strips along both sides, according to the letter.

Dozens of Groups Awarded Grants from Watertown Community Foundation

The Watertown Community Foundation provided the following announcement:

Watertown Community Foundation held its annual spring grant awards evening at the Mosesian Center for the Arts on Thursday June 7. The following grants were
awarded in two categories:Program Grants awards grants designed to help organizations that serve Watertown, develop new or continue existing programs with an educational focus (broadly defined). These are programs that operate outside of the Watertown’s public schools. Charles River Conservancy — Conservancy Volunteers Program
The Charles River Conservancy supports the Conservancy Volunteer’s programs efforts in the Charles River Parklands in Watertown. The Plumbing Museum — Comedy Play Fest at the Plumbing Museum
The Plumbing Museum will present a program of short plays inspired by materials in the Plumbing Museum and bring theater to new audiences in an unexpected venue.

Hundreds Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Watertown Senior Center

In the early 1990s, having a place for seniors in Watertown to call their own and run activities aimed at older adults was just a dream, but that changed 25 years ago. On Friday, the Watertown Senior Center’s anniversary celebration was so large even the center on Marshall Street could not hold all those wanting to join in the fun. 

Most years, the Senior Center’s birthday celebration draws 90-100 people, but for the 25th anniversary nearly double that amount filled 20 tables at Hibernian Hall. The Celebration included lunch, a raffle and dancing to music from the Phil Cefalo Band. The Senior Center’s own Mellowtones also performed. The ground breaking for the Watertown Senior Center took place on June 11, 1993.

Teens Spending the Summer Mapping & Indentifying Watertown’s Street Trees

A group of about a dozen teens from Watertown will fan out around town this summer to find out where the street trees are, and where they could be planted. The Teens for Trees program started last summer, when half a dozen students learned about trees, met with experts and combed the streets of Watertown to find trees in need of help. This year the students will be more focused, said program coordinator David Meshoulam, who said the teens will be mapping street trees in Watertown to create an inventory. “There were 4,000-5,000 trees when the last inventory was done in 2008,” Meshoulam said. “A lot has happened since that time: a lot of development, a lot of trees have been taken down and a lot have been planted.”

More Than a Dozen Honored with Community Spirit Awards from Watertown Youth Coalition

The Watertown Youth Coalition (WYC) celebrated its 11th Annual Community Spirit Awards event held on Monday, June 11th, 2018. Over 60 Community members gathered at Arsenal Park to recognize and honor people for going above and beyond to support Watertown youth and families. Each year, the WYC asks the community to nominate people who:
● Serve as a positive influence or mentor to a Coalition member or to others in the community
● Have the courage to address challenging issues that affect youth and the community
● Actively take steps to improve the Watertown community (in big and small ways)
The WYC was pleased to present awards to:
● Ruth Henry​, for her commitment to inspiring watertown youth, combating racism and violence, and her teaching Kingian nonviolence as well as her creation of anti-racism programs in Watertown Schools. ● Veronica Knight​, Lowell School Guidance Counselor, for her care in going above and beyond for the Lowell School children and her commitment to seeing kids grow in healthy and positive ways. ● Peter Centola​, Director of Watertown Recreation, for his dedication to helping kids in Watertown, his dedication as a coach, and for the impact he makes on the lives of Watertown youth.

OP-ED: State Senate Passes Energy Bill Aimed at Addressing Climate Change

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

After a long day of debate, the Senate passed the Barrett-Pacheco omnibus energy bill on Thursday — significant legislation to continue movement in Massachusetts towards a cleaner energy future. Addressing climate change is a core priority for me and I am glad to move this legislation forward. The next step will be action by the House of Representatives.   After that, the branches will need to reconcile their differences and get the bill to the Governor’s desk.  We should expect the bill to continue to evolve. As mentioned in a previous post, I am most enthusiastic about the provisions that will lead to carbon pricing in the transportation sector. A summary of the major provisions appears below, excerpted from the Senate press release on the bill:

Increasing the percentage of Class I renewable energy that must be purchased by retail electric suppliers under the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard from an additional 1% annually to an additional 3% annually. Requiring the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs to establish market-based compliance mechanisms to maximize the ability of the Commonwealth to achieve its greenhouse gas emission limits for: (i) the transportation sector not later than December 31, 2020; (ii) the commercial and industrial building sectors not later than December 31, 2021; and (iii) the residential building sector not later than December 31, 2022.

Watertown Holds Flags Retirement Ceremony, One of the Only Ones in the Area

A solemn ceremony was held at Watertown’s Ridgelawn Cemetery on Thursday afternoon. Not a burial service, but a retirement of the Star Spangled Banner which flew over Town Hall as part of the Town’s Flag Day Retirement of Colors Ceremony. This was the second year in recent memory that Watertown’s Veterans groups held the flag retirement ceremony. “These flags serve as a constant reminders to all of us that we live in a country where our freedom has been deeply purchased by blood, sweat, tears, and ultimate sacrifice,” said Watertown Veterans’ Agent Mark Comeiro. “To all who shall see these presents, Greetings!