Town Council Seeks to Have Town Move to 100% Renewable Energy

Watertown Town Hall

In a move to respond to climate change, the Town Council voted to create a Climate and Energy Master Plan, and get the town to 100 percent renewable energy in the coming decades. A proposal for the Climate and Energy Master Plan was presented to a joint subcommittee at meetings in October and December by the Watertown Environment & Energy Efficiency Committee (also called W3EC). It seeks to prepare Watertown for the changing weather conditions, and take steps to reduce the town’s impact on climate change. The proposal states, in part:

“It is clear from projections that Watertown as a community will be increasingly affected by climate change. Significant impacts to daily life in Watertown are to be expected.

Sen. Brownsberger Hosts Discussion on the Future of Energy, Environmental Policy

The following announcement was provided by Sen. Will Brownsberger’s office:

Senator Will Brownsberger will host – alongside Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington), Transportation for Massachusetts‘ Executive Director Chris Dempsey, and the Environmental League of Massachusetts‘ Legislative Director Casey Bowers – a town hall discussion on the future of energy and environmental policy in Massachusetts. WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8 from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown, MA

This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend to learn more and ask questions. For more information, contact Quinn Diaz at 617-722-1280 or

Watertown Group Co-Sponsoring Environmental Action Conference

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment announced it is co-sponsoring a grassroots environmental action conference that will bring together over 400 activists working to protect their communities’ health and environment. Organized by Toxics Action Center, this year’s 30th annual Local Environmental Action 2017 connects citizens with the information, skills, and experts to effectively advocate for their communities. This year’s keynote speakers are Kandi Mossett and Lois Gibbs. Kandi has been a powerful indigenous leader as well as an environmental justice hero on the frontlines of the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, and bring visibility to the impact that injustices have on indigenous groups across North America. Lois Gibbs, founder and executive director of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, has actively played a critical role in the grassroots environmental health movement.

State Sen. Brownsberger Hosting Discussion on Energy, Climate Legislation

State Senator Will Brownsberger announced he will host a community discussion on energy and climate legislation filed in the 2017-2018 legislative session. The discussion will be from 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 18 in the Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room at the Watertown Public Library, located at 123 Main Street. This event is free and open to the public.

Watertown State Rep. Honored For Environmental Record

The Environmental League of Massachusetts honored a Watertown state representative for his work and record on voting for environmental issues. The group sent out the following announcement:

State Rep. Jon Hecht, a Watertown Democrat, is a true leader on environmental issues, according to his perfect scores on the Environmental League of Massachusetts’ unique and inaugural legislative scorecard. The scorecard gauges true leadership on environmental issues – not just votes, upending more traditional rankings that are often based mainly on non-controversial votes. The legislative scorecard from ELM, the oldest environmental advocacy organization in the Commonwealth, awards additional points to lawmakers who led by sponsoring important legislation and deducts points for lawmakers who filed measures that ELM opposed. It also takes lawmakers to task over their recent practice of ensuring controversial votes are not recorded roll call votes – preventing voters from truly gauging which representatives and senators on truly on their side.

Town Council Considering Plastic Bag Ban in Watertown

A Town Council subcommittee has begun wading into whether the town should have a ban retail stores using plastic bags in Watertown. The Rules & Ordinances Committee discussed a possible ban last week, but did not come up with any decisions, but the committee may start steps toward creating an ordinance, said committee Chairman and Councilor Ken Woodland. “We are forming a draft of an ordinance with the help of the town attorney and will review that draft at the next committee meeting,” said Woodland. “The next meeting is when we will work out the final details and make more concrete decisions.” Woodland said the next meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 3.

LETTER: Watertown Resident Joining Community Solar Program

Dear Editor and Watertown Neighbors,

I know that many of you have received information about a current Watertown solar initiative called Neighborhood Solar. Recently, my husband, David Breakstone, and I decided to explore this option.  We had no idea what to expect. 

I attended one of the informational meetings and found Ben Mayer of SunBug well-organized, informative, and willing to answer all questions. The program and the process made sense, so David and I asked SunBug Solar, Neighborhood Solar’s installer, to do a site visit and give us a proposal. We thought we would not be good candidates because our roof is already partly covered with solar thermal panels for hot water. Ben Mayer’s site visit affirmed that we could indeed have solar photovoltaic panels.