Watertown School Surveys Find More In-Person Learning Wanted, COVID Testing Popular

The number positive tests for COVID-19 is going up for students and staff in the Watertown Public Schools, but they have remained low for those attending in-person. Superintendent Dede Galdston discussed COVID in the schools, as well as the results of the Watertown Public Schools’ surveys taken by parents, students and staff at Monday’s School Committee meeting. The district has 13 students and/or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, but only three of those people are attending school in-person: two at the Early Steps preschool and one at Watertown High School. A total of 44 students and staff are in quarantine, including 15 at the preschool and 12 at Lowell Elementary School. Since Sept.

Watertown Restaurant First Awardee of Group Looking to Save Local Eateries

Watertown’s Donohue’s Bar & Grill received the first grant from the Step Up to the Table Foundation, a group looking to save local restaurants during COVID-19. Donohue’s was nominated by Josh Vernon, who sent in a letter talking about how much the restaurant has given back to the community since it opened in 1998, particularly to the Watertown Boys & Girls Club. “When you mention Donohue’s to anyone from the Watertown area, they think of family and a wonderful place to gather together for all reasons JD would never ask for help, so as a friend and customer I felt he deserved this nomination so he can continue giving back to his community and supporting his staff,” Vernon wrote in his nomination. Like restaurants across Massachusetts, Donohue’s has faced many hurdles during the pandemic, from being closed in the early days of COVID, to continued reduction of capacity and other restrictions. See a video, below, posted by the Step Up to the Table Foundation when it told owner JD Donohue about the grant:

OBIT: Dr. Kuhn Hong Lee, 83, Dedicated Rotary Member

Dr. Kuhn Hong Lee

Longtime Watertown Rotary Club member Dr. Kuhn Hong Lee passed away on Jan. 21, 2021 at the age of 83. He was born in South Korea, and moved to Minnesota in 1970. He and his wife Bang Won lived there until 2008, when they moved to Cambridge. He served as the director of the International Student Office of Minnesota State University, Mankato for nearly 30 years.

As Phase 2 of State’s Vaccination Plan Approaches, Town Waits for Vaccine

Watertown residents anxiously await the COVID-19 vaccine, but to the chagrin of Health Director Larry Ramdin, he does not have any to distribute. Last week, Gov. Baker announced that Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution would begin on Feb. 1, beginning with people age 75. Second in the order of priority will be people 65 and over and people with two comorbidities

“We are spending a lot of time responding to people’s calls asking for the vaccine,” Ramdin said. The Health Department vaccinated members of the Watertown Fire and Police departments as part of Phase 1 recently, but Radmin said they were able to get the vaccine through a collaboration with the town’s of Belmont, Arlington and Lexington.

Council Round Up: Closing Little Greenough, Dispensary Moving, Public Arts Master Plan

The Town Council supported having the state explore closing “Little Greenough Boulevard” on weekends to allow people to use it for recreation during the spring summer and fall. The proposal began with a resident petition calling for closing the street between Arsenal and North Beacon streets. The idea came from people who enjoyed using the area along the Charles River when it was closed during the spring and summer of 2020 during the pandemic. On Jan. 12, the Council voted to approve sending a letter to ask the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to do a pilot program, and to evaluate traffic data in the area to see if longer term or weekend closure of “Little Greenough” is feasible.