LETTER: Resident Urges Defeat of Proposed Sign at Arsenal Yards

At this moment, there are folks working hard to convince our City Council to put the best interests of people who don’t live here above the best interests of our town, our neighbors and future generations who will live in Watertown. It seems that there has been an organized movement — what community organizers refer to as an Astroturf campaign — to make a case for private gain over public good. An Astroturf campaign is a carefully constructed PR campaign disguised to appear as grassroots opinion. At issue is a request by Boylston Properties to change our zoning to allow a 10 by 105 foot illuminated commercial sign on top of the tallest building in Arsenal Yards. The sign would be visible from many areas along our riverfront.

LETTER: Resident Upset by Public Input Going Unheard on New Developments

A friend of mine went to observe the Planning Board Meeting for the Russo and Sterritt sites onWednesday night. It went until 11:00 p.m., and she left in tears … not because either of those projects affected her personally, but because a large group of neighbors came with their constructive comments and valid concerns and went home feeling unheard. The plans were accepted using none of their input. The plans were finalized, voted on and approved as soon as the public’s comments concluded. The people most directly affected by the change to their neighborhood had no, zero, zip say.

Openings Available for Mass. Senate’s Citizens’ Legislative Seminar

Wikimedia Commons / ChensiyuanMassachusetts State House. The following information was provided by State Sen. Brownsberger’s office:

Our office has been notified of one or two additional openings for the Senate’s Citizens’ Legislative Seminar on November 15 and 16. This engaging, free program aims to better educate the public on the functions of the Massachusetts State Legislature. If you are interested and available to attend from 9:30 to 4:00 both days, please email eric.helmuth@masenate.gov with the following information no later than noon this Thursday, September 15:

Name and home addressDaytime phoneBusiness/organization title or affiliation, and address (if any)A short biographical paragraph (six sentences or less). The program will run again in March 2023, so you may also submit your interest for consideration at that time.

LETTER: Council Should Reject Proposal to Allow Large Illuminated Sign at Arsenal Yards

Our City Council will soon vote on a proposal to allow a large, illuminated sign for Arsenal Yards – effectively a glowing billboard with ten-foot tall letters – to shine from atop the 130-foot high-rise tower looming over the Charles River, its park and paths. The proposal was written by the developer of Arsenal Yards. If the proposal passes, the Planning Board will be poised to give the developer a permit for the sign. Allowing the amendment and the sign would be a tragic mistake. The path of the Charles River through Watertown is widely known as a rare urban gem.

Watertown Delays Start of Some Trash & Recycling Changes

Watertown DPWWatertown’s trash, recycling, compost toters. Recently the Department of Public Works announced changes to trash and recycling collection in Watertown. The changes were to have taken effect soon, but some programs will be delayed. The new rules for collection of bulk items that don’t fit into trash bins, TVs & appliances, and mattresses will not go into effect until a date to be announced. When the new rules take effect, residents will have to schedule pickup of these items and will pay a fee to have the items collected.