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.

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.

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!

Watertown Resident Wins Boys & Girls Club State Youth of the Year Award

Watertown’s Destiny Santalucia was chosen from the top members of Boys & Girls Clubs around Massachusetts to be the state’s Youth of the Year. She is the first winner from Watertown. Santalucia, who recently graduated from Watertown High School, attended the 2018 Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs Youth of the Year Event, along with the 31 other Youths of the Year from across the state. Then the big moment came. “It was such a surreal moment when they announced my name, I was shocked,” Santalucia said.

Mosquito Control Efforts Underway in Watertown, Ways You Can Stop Them

The Watertown Health Department announced that treatments have started to try to limit the number of mosquitos in the area, but there are other steps that you can take. The following information was provided by the Watertown Health Department:

Catchbasin Treatment

The Watertown Health Department announces that the East Middlesex Mosquito Control Program (EMMCP) has begun treating catchbasins throughout Watertown with a relatively non-toxic pesticide, Altosid, that kills mosquito larvae. Some species of mosquitoes will breed in catchbasins, and in other containers of water that may be found on private property. Eliminating mosquitoes in the larval stage will prevent hatching of mosquitoes that could become carriers of vector borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, which have been found to be detrimental to humans. Catchbasins that have been treated by the EMMCP will be marked with pink paint. For more information on this pesticide and the Mosquito Control Program, please visit their website at https://sudbury.ma.us/emmcp/larmosqctrlpes/

Property Pesticide Exclusion

The Town does not conduct aerial spraying, however should a public health threat be determined, aerial spraying could be conducted with prior notification communicated to residents.

Playground to be Dedicated to Lt. Paul Sullivan, Who Died in Vietnam 50 Years Ago

Watertown will honor Lt. Paul J. Sullivan, who died in Vietnam 50 years ago this year. A plaque will be unveiled during the ceremony at the Sullivan Playground on June 24. The year after his death, the Town named the playground at the corner of Mt. Auburn Street and Arlington Street for Sullivan. This year, it will be rededicated and a new plaque has been installed with a portrait.

Public Works Encourages Residents to Report Spills in the Charles River

{The following piece was provided by Town Engineer Matthew Shuman from the Watertown Department of Public Works}
We appreciate our citizens on the look-out for potential sources of pollution in the Charles River, and it’s unfortunate that this resident had a difficult time contacting someone after hours. I’m not sure about the particulars in this instance, but we do receive calls after hours using an answering service. Furthermore, we are staffed 24-7 for emergencies. Also, all our storm drains that enter the Charles River (“outfalls”) have signs and a number attached to them (see the photo). It’s helpful when reporting potential pollution to include the outfall number as well, as this can help us with follow-up investigations.

Youth Activism Celebrated at Watertown Citizens Annual Meeting

The following piece was submitted by Deborah Peterson and Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin of Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment:

Now in its 39th year, Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment continues to lead and inspire community activism. On Sunday June 3, nearly 70 members filled Fellowship Hall at Belmont Watertown Methodist Church to enjoy potluck supper and hear a panel of young activists ranging from middle schoolers to post graduates. The fresh voices of Alex Thuene, Shivani Sharma, Kimia Tabatabaei, Yara Akkeh, Brenton Stoddart, Caitlin Forbes and Ari Stern were heard loud and clear as moderator Tod Gross probed deeply into their motivations and accomplishments.  The breadth of the issues on which these young panelists are working includes refugee crises, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, gun violence, racial justice and
environmental protection – mirroring many of the activities in which Watertown Citizens has been active for nearly four decades. Each member of the panel spoke eloquently about their inspiration. Privilege and oppression are not abstract concepts for them; rather, these are real, operational terms. Some told of personal journeys growing up, in which they witnessed brutal conditions encountered by others less fortunate.