Watertown Schools, Businesses Collecting for Food Pantries as Need Rises with Government Shutdown

The Watertown Public Schools PTOs, the Watertown Police and local businesses have teamed up to collect donations for food pantries in town after hearing about the need due to the Federal Government shutdown. Donations of non-perishable and non-expired food are being collected at several locations around town. The drive started after people in town heard about the recent increase in use of food pantries, said Lauren Coughlin Unsworth, one of the organizers. “The idea came up when we heard that the government shutdown was creating a larger demand our local pantries and that they had a great need for donations,”

Coughlin Unsworth is on the Lowell School PTO as well as the board of the Watertown Community Foundation and she teamed up with Watertown resident and owner of Get Lively, Jan Taylor. Taylor approached local businesses along with the Rotary Club of Watertown, and Coughlin Unsworth used her contacts in the schools.

Watertown Photographer Seeks to Capture Beauty, Emotion in Her Work

This photo of a lamb standing on a llama was taken by Watertown photographer Alice Solorow at the Gore Place farm. The poet John Keats once wrote that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” and many photographers spend entire lifetimes trying to find all the truth and beauty they can in the world, through the lenses of their cameras. Watertown resident Alice Solorow has dedicated much of her life to capturing moments of beauty in nature and in people’s lives. As a professional photographer and photography teacher at Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall in Waltham, she finds joy in showing details that people don’t always notice. “I tend to like things that, well, make me laugh, which is hard to do, or make me cry, or somehow have an emotional outward reaction,” Solorow said, “or just that are so incredibly beautiful.”

For the month of January, the Watertown Free Public Library has been hosting an exhibit of Solorow’s nature photographs entitled “The Nuances of Nature.” Profoundly affected by the violent barrage of natural disasters, the hurricanes and wildfires, Solorow sees the exhibit as a conversation about the environment; she hopes that people who appreciate a photo of a beautiful tulip, or a quirky animal, will pause to consider the climate’s fragility.

Mother Shares Her Mission of Ending the Cycle of Violence After Losing Her Son in a Shooting

Tina Chéry shared the story of how she became dedicated to peace after her son was gunned down in his Boston neighborhood with an audience at Watertown MIddle School. In the early 1990s, Tina Chéry thought she had found her place in the world as a stay-at-home mom and good citizen, as someone who attended church and donated to people in need, even if she felt removed from the problems that affected her Dorchester neighborhood. The mother of three and her husband had cut back on spending so she could be there when her 15-year-old son Louis Brown came home from school every day. Theirs was the family who welcomed in the neighborhood children, with hotdogs and hamburgers, and lemonade and popsicles in the summer. “That was my house.

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 marshallhomefund.org. To RSVP to the Information Session and for additional information, contact info@marshallhomefund.org

A Unity Breakfast Full of Goodbyes & Challenges to Fight for MLK’s Vision

Rahsaan Hall gave the keynote address at the 2019 Unity Breakfast. He is the director of the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Racial Justice Program. The 19th annual Watertown Unity Breakfast not only celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., on Monday, but also paid tribute to two people who have been regulars at the event as they say farewell. Despite the frigid and icy conditions on MLK Day 2019, the Hellenic Cultural Center was packed for the event presented by World in Watertown. Those in attendance heard from a member of the ACLU of Massachusetts about how the fight against racisms not over, and also were addressed — perhaps for the last time — by Rev. Mark Harris, minister of First Parish of Watertown, and Watertown Police Officer Harold “Tony” Physic.

Recreation Department Offering Sports, Crafts, Snowshoeing & More This Winter

The Watertown Recreation Department announced that residents can register for the Winter Program II, including sports for youth and adults, music, snowshoeing, crafts and Bruins tickets. Links are available

Wrestling Program: Grades 1-8, ongoing to February 14, Wednesdays or Thursdays, 6:00 pm-7:00 pm

Music Instrument Lessons: Grades K-12, ongoing to June 14, Mondays – Fridays, 2:30 pm-7:00 pm

Middle School Fun & Game Night: Grades, 6-8 ongoing to April 5, Fridays, 6:30 pm-9:00 pm

Men’s Basketball Open Gym: Adults over 30, ongoing to May 19, Sundays 8:30 am-10:30 am

Community Sports and Games: Ages 5 – Adult, January 6 – April 7, Sundays, 2:00 pm-7:00 pm

Wachusett Mountain Ski-Board Program: Grades 6-12, January 12 – February 16, Saturdays, 4:00 pm-11:00 pm

Gentle Yoga with a Chair at Artemis Studio: Adults Over 55, January 16 – March 6, Wednesdays, 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Kids’ Yoga & Mindfulness at Artemis Studio: Grades K-2, January 23 – March 20, Wednesdays, 3:30 pm-4:15 pm

Kids’ Yoga & Mindfulness at Artemis Studio: Grades 3-5, January 23 – March 20, Wednesdays, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Yoga & Mindfulness for Middle Schoolers at Artemis Studio: Grades 6-8, January 24, Thursdays, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

All Sports Program: Grades 3-5, January 28 – March 29, Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays, 2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Junior Creative Crafts: Grades PreK-2, January 28 – March 29, Mondays – Fridays, 2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Cops & Rec Girls Futsal Soccer: Grades 6-8, January 29 – March 26, Tuesdays, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm 

Pre-Kindergarten Indoor Sports: Ages 3-5, January 29 – March 27, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, 10:00 am-11:00 am

Junior All Sports Program: Grades K-2, January 29 – March 28, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, 2:30 pm-3:30 pm

Cops & Rec Boys Futsal Soccer: Grades 6-8, January 31 – March 28, Thursdays, 3:00 pm-4:30 pm

Open Forum Meeting: February 5, Tuesday, 7:00pm-8:00pm; Permit & Facilities Meeting at 8:00 pm-9:00 pm

Trampoline Dodgeball: Grades 3-12, February 5 – April 2, Tuesdays, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Launch Laser Tag: Grades 3-8, February 6 – April 4, Wednesdays, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Launch Laser Tag for Adults: Adults & High School, February 7 – April 4, Thursdays, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm

Boston Bruins vs. Colorado: February 10t, Sunday, 3:00 pm

February Vacation Program: Grades 1-8, February 19 – February 22, Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 am-5:30 pm

Community Snowshoeing: Watertown residents only, February 23, 1:00 pm–3:00 pm

Mini Creative Crafts: Grade PreK-2, March 2 – April 6, Saturdays, 9:00 am-11:15 am

Super Saturday Sports: Grade Pre K-5, March 2 – April 6, Saturdays, 9:00 am-1:45 pm

Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey: March 2, Saturday, 7:00 pm

Open Forum Meeting: March 5, Tuesday, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm; Permit & Facilities at 8:00 pm-9:00 pm

Open Forum Meeting: April 2, Tuesday, 7:00 pm-8:00 pm

April Vacation Program: Grades 1-8, April 16 – April 19, Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 am-5:30 pm