Two Watertown Natives Bring Play Focused on Interrogation of JFK’s Assassin to the Mosesian Center

Louis Fantasia was in West Junior Middle School — the former name of Watertown Middle School — when the principal came on the school P.A. system and announced the school was closed for the rest of the day. “They didn’t say anything about what it was. They just dismissed us and sent us home,” he said. “In those days there were maybe 10 houses between the school and Main Street, so all the old ladies saw us coming out of school, and they knew something was up, and that’s when people turned on their radios and TV.”

What had happened? JFK had just been assassinated, one of those moments that pauses our collective historical memory and everyone can recall clearly exactly where they were and what they were doing.

Students, Parents Get a Look Inside the Temporary Watertown High School After Ribbon Cutting

The temporary campus for Watertown High School at PFC Richard Moxley Field opened after a ribbon cutting on Aug. 31 by, from left, Superintendent Dede Galdston, Principal Joel Giacobozzi, Assistant Superintendent Steve Magoon, and City Council President Mark Sideris. (Photo by Maya Shwayder)

The huge, empty hallways smelled like the wood aisle at Home Depot. Large boxes – empty and not – lined most corridors, and all the computers and monitors in the media room were still wrapped in plastic. But nonetheless the modular Watertown High School at PFC Richard Moxley Field held its grand opening five days before the first day of school, complete with a red ribbon and giant scissors to cut it.

Q&A: Watertown’s Jen Trynin Nearly Became a Rock Star, Now She Embraces Her Literary Side

Watertown’s Jen Trynin, a former rock musician who is now writing about her life, also runs Earfull with her friend Tim Huggins, the original owner of Newtonville Books. (Courtesy of Jen Trynin)

What’s it like to almost become a rock star, and then walk away from it? That’s the unique experience Jen Trynin had in the 90’s when her song “Better Than Nothing” suddenly grabbed the attention of every major record label. But after signing, she actually decided to put her professional music life on the back burner and embrace her more literary side. This summer she has a new story out in Ploughshares, the prestigious literary magazine published by Emerson College.

Watertown Preparing to Form a Human Rights Commission, Working on Details of Group’s Role

Charlie BreitroseWatertown City Hall

Watertown is on the verge of a milestone as it moves closer to establishing its first-ever Human Rights Commission. After a vote in the Subcommittee on Rules & Ordinances on June 5th, a final draft of the Human Rights Commission ordinance passed out of the committee and will move to a final vote in the Council. No one, it seems, expects it to meet much blow-back. “This is incredibly exciting and overdue,” said Bevin Croft, who was a member of the informal residents’ committee and a former member of Cambridge’s Human Rights Commission. “It’s exciting to see something that was so controversial before get another push and be met with almost no resistance.

Rain Can’t Dampen Watertown Pride Extravaganza Festivities

(Photo by Maya Shwayder)The JP Honk band performs during the second Watertown Pride Extravaganza at Saltonstall Park. Set against a gray, rainy sky, the rainbows of Watertown’s 2023 Pride festivities looked especially bright on Saturday. Families, folks, and four-legged friends of all shapes, sizes, and identities gathered on Saltonstall Park to mark the second year in a row that that space had hosted the celebration. “It’s perfect,” said Carey Conkey-Finn, Teen Services Supervisor at Watertown Free Public Library and Pride team co-leader. “We got some extra tents in a pinch.

A Hidden Gem Training Ballet Dancers Right in Watertown Square

Maya ShwayderAlexandra Koltun, co-founder of Koltun Ballet in Watertown, instructs dancers in the level 7 class at the recent open house at the studio in Watertown. High above Watertown Square on a rainy Saturday, pink tights, skirts and hair in tight buns abounded at the Koltun Ballet Boston open house. Low levels of mild chaos permeated the proceedings as adults milled about in front of the coffee table avoiding abandoned street shoes, little kids curled up in parents’ laps, and older students weaved their way through the crowd, preparing for their next class. Presiding over all of the leotard-clad tumult are Alexandra Koltun and Alex Lapshin, the founders of the school, which just recently won their fourth Youth America Grand Prix award for Outstanding School in the past six years. For the last 20 years, YAGP has been one of the most prestigious international annual ballet competitions and scholarship programs that sees more than 10,000 dancers compete.

City Will Distribute $10.5M in ARPA Funds, Several Groups Have Ideas for How to Spend It

The kitchen at the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church — the site of the Watertown Food Pantry, needs upgrading. The church is applying for some of the City of Watertown’s ARPA funds, with which Pastor Gary Richards hopes to create a space open to the community. Photo by Maya Shwayder. Watertown has $10.5 million to spend, and the clock is ticking! The City Council will be the ones divvying up the dollars, but Councilors will have to choose from a long (and growing) list of proposals:

The Department of Public Works needs around $5 million to replace Watertown’s crumbling water and sewer infrastructure.

Big Discussions Over the Future of a Small Pond in East Watertown

Maya ShwayderThe future is uncertain for Sawin’s Pond, a small body of water between Arlington Street and Coolidge Avenue. It’s easy to miss Sawin’s Pond in Watertown. The little body of water sits squished between where Arlington and Coolidge streets come together, behind a UPS outlet that’s across from the Home Depot. It’s not much to look at: some scraggly trees and browned earth, and rubber is sticking up in some places. But the privately-owned space has been the center of a long-running debate: what, exactly, should happen to the land?