OP-ED: Blow Me Down! Popeye turns 90!

The first drawing of Popeye the Sailor, by E.C. Segar, appeared on Jan. 17, 1929. The following piece was written by Watertown resident and Popeye aficionado Fred Grandinetti:

On January 17, 1929 Olive Oyl’s brother Castor was looking for a mariner to run his ship. He came across a pipe smoking swab and asked “Are you a sailor?” The reply was “Ja think I’m a cowboy?” and Popeye was born.  In 2019 the spinach eater celebrates his 90th birthday.

Watertown Makes Top 100 Safest Cities in America List

The Charles River from Watertown Square

A survey of communities around the United States found that Watertown was the 91st safest city in America, according to a recently released report. The NeighborhoodScout website’s survey looked at the likelihood of someone being the victim of a crime. Watertown was the 91st safest city with a the chance of being the victim of a crime 1 in 95. The study looked at cities of 25,000 or more people, based on the total number of property and violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

In the top spot was Lake in the Hills, Ill., with a 1 in 333 chance of being the victim of a crime.

Watertown Yoga Studio Celebrating 3 Years With Donation Based Classes

The following information was provided by Artemis Yoga:

Artemis Yoga in the east end of Watertown is celebrating its third year of business this weekend, Jan. 19 and 20 with two days of donation-based “free” classes as an opportunity to give back to the community. 

“The staff and I at Artemis Yoga are grateful to the community that has supported our growing small business over the past three years and one of our goals of the Celebrate Open House is to give back to the community that has helped us build such a vibrant, welcoming place in the east end,” Liz Padula, the studio’s owner, said. “Yoga helps to set a foundation for life no matter your age and so we selected the Watertown Boys & Girls Club for our donation-based raffle as the Club is doing amazing work setting the foundation for their members and in particular the new Teen Center supported by the Great Futures Campaign is providing some amazing resources for our future leaders right here in Watertown. We invite the community to join us this weekend for a fun weekend of celebration!” The Celebrate Open House takes place on Saturday and Sunday Jan. 19 and 20 and classes for all levels from kids to gentle/chair yoga plus specialty classes such as introduction to meditation and yoga will be offered.

Watertown Community Foundation Awards nearly $30,000 in School Based Grants

The Watertown Community Foundation has awarded grants totaling $29,288.21 to initiatives supporting Watertown Public Schools. Grantees were notified just before the end of the 2018 school year. 

Grants will be implemented in spring of 2019 and or fall of 2019.  This latest round of grant making brings the Foundation’s 2018 grant distribution to $148,883. The funds distributed through the School Based Grant Program focus on solely on Watertown’s public schools to support activities that improve instruction and learning.  

2018-2019 Education Grants  

20 Watertown Education Grants totaling $29,288.21 were given to: 

Friends of Watertown Music Purchase and Repair Program District Program for This is Gore Place – 2 nd  year of local history project for third graders.  Growing and Sustaining School Garden ProgramsCunniff School for In-School Enrichment Programs Lowell School Discovery Museum Light and Laser Traveling MuseumHosmer School for International Week, Science Night, Math Olympiad, After School Learning by Design, Hosmer Connections -Motivating Materials for Purposeful Play, Hosmer Welcome ProgramWatertown Middle School for Voice and Choice in Verse, Garden Project, Social Studies Education-Using Google Cardboard, Watertown WeekWatertown High School for Courtyard Update, SPEAK Project (Sharing Personal Experience and Knowledge), College Field Trips, LEAP School Supplies Store, Graduation Night Party

For questions, please contact Jan Singer at  jan.singer@watertownfoundation.org.  

The Watertown Community Foundation, a public, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, works to build and sustain a vibrant, close-knit community in Watertown – now, and for future generations. To accomplish this, WCF raises funds from individuals, families, businesses, and foundations; awards grants to nonprofits and community projects; and builds networks of donors, grantees, program participants, and stakeholders. 

WCF Board of Directors 

David Siegel and Darshna Varia, Co-Presidents; Robert Airasian; Albrik Avanessian; Emily Barclay; Eleanor Donato; William B.  Ford;  Ashley Morris; Mary Ann Mulligan; Anthony Paolillo; Maria Panaggio-Phillips; Lora Sabin; Robert Shay; CL Tian; Elaina Themistos; Lauren Coughlin Unsworth; and Kathryn White.

Support Group in Watertown for Family & Friends of People Misusing Drugs & Alcohol

The following information was provided by the local organizers of SMART Recovery:

When a person uses drugs or alcohol to excess, the entire family is affected. Concern, anxiety, worry, and depression are just a few of the emotions that family and loved ones experience. For decades people turned to Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous and its family-focused support group Al-Anon. But AA isn’t for everyone. SMART Recovery (Self-Management Addiction Recovery Training) started more than 30 years ago.

Teens for Trees Surveys 3K Trees, Educate Public on Importance of Street Trees

Watertown High School students Dylan Hickey, right, and Joe Lessard examine a tree in East Watertown as part of their internship with Teens for Trees. Last summer, a dozen Watertown teens walked over 2 million steps, examined more than 3,000 trees, and shared their knowledge of trees with about 300 people. The teens were part of the second year of Trees for Watertown’s Teens for Trees (TFT) program. The TFT final report was recently released. The goal of this year’s TFT group was to update the town’s street tree index, which was created in 2008.

Registration Open for Watertown Recreation’s February Break Program

Registration opened for the Watertown Recreation Department’s February Vacation Program from Feb. 19 to 22. The program is open to students in grades 1-8, and runs from Tuesday to Friday on the week of February Vacation at Watertown Middle School. The Recreation Department provided the following description: Children will be divided into groups by grades at the start of the program. They will participate in activities such as basketball, whiffle ball, floor hockey and indoor soccer, etc.