Plastic Bag Ban Goes Back into Effect in Watertown

The ban on stores using single-use plastic bags has been re-instituted in Watertown after being put on hold during the Governor’s COVID-19 shutdown. The Watertown Zoning and Code Enforcement office sent out the following announcement:

Dear Watertown Business Owners and Residents,

As of Friday July 10, 2020, Governor Baker has lifted the freeze on the plastic bag ban ordinance, as well as the ban on reusable bags. The Watertown Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance is now back in effect. In order to give business owners time to make the transition away from plastic bags, enforcement will not begin until October 1st. We encourage businesses to make the transition as soon as possible.

Owens, Lawn Win in Watertown State Rep. Races

After Tuesday’s election, Watertown has one new State Representative and one returning to the State House. In the three way race for the 29th Middlesex seat, former chair of the Democratic Town Committee Steve Owens took nearly 60 percent of the vote. He received 7,602 votes, or 61 percent, in the district that includes most of Watertown and part of Cambridge. Town Council President Mark Sideris got nearly 24 percent, with 2,972, and consultant David Ciccarelli got about 15 percent (1,851 votes). In Watertown, Owens got 4,148 votes, or 60 percent of the vote, while Sideris got 25 percent (1,757 votes), and Ciccarelli got 1,091 votes (15 percent).

VOTER GUIDE: Busy State Primary Includes Watertown State. Rep Races

Tuesday’s ballot is one of the most crowded for a State Primary in years for Watertown voters, with contested races on which both the Democratic and Republican candidates can vote, including state representative. The polls will be open from 7 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. Democrats in all parts of Watertown have a contested race for State Representative. The 29th Middlesex, which covers about three quarters of town, has an open seat with incumbent Jonathan Hecht stepping down.

LETTER: Former Town Councilor Backs State Rep. Candidate

Dear Voter,

I write with pleasure to endorse Steve Owens to represent the 29th Middlesex District, the seat that is being vacated by Rep Jonathan Hecht. Rep Hecht has been a progressive legislator and a great friend. I have total confidence that Steve will continue Jon’s path. Steve was a critical team member in my campaigns for Town Council. He resuscitated a moribund Watertown Democratic Town Committee and it has become known as one of the most dynamic groups in the state.

Watertown Firefighters Back Candidate in State Rep. Race

The Watertown Firefighters union endorsed John Lawn in his re-election bid for the 10th Middlesex State Representative seat. Local 1347 announced its endorsement on Facebook on Friday. The message cited Lawn’s work with Fire Chief Bob Quinn to get a second set of turnout gear (the clothing worn by firefighters during calls). “Before we received the back up turnout gear we were forced to wear the wet, carcinogen contaminated turnout gear after any fire we had. With the rise in occupational cancer, it has been discovered that cancer causing agents enter our bodies through our skin, as well as respiratory systems,” the announcement said.

LETTER: Chair of Progressive Watertown Endorses State Rep. Candidate

I ask you to vote for Democratic State Committee member Steve Owens in the Middlesex 29th District State Representative race. I have known Steve since 2012 and have come to know his wife Pia and their two sons over the years. They are dedicated parents raising their boys to become curious, confident, standup adults and citizens. Even among all of this chaos, they remain steadfast. As a representative, Steve will be exceptional for several reasons.

Early Voting Lighter in Watertown, Mail-In Ballots Pouring In

Voting in 2020 will look quite a bit different due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with safety measures for in-person voters and many ballots coming in by mail or hand delivered to Town Hall. Midway through the early voting period for the Sept. 1 State Primary, the numbers of people voting is significantly down, said Watertown Town Clerk John Flynn, but thousands of mail-in ballots have come in. The primary includes the race for U.S. Senate for both Democrats and Republicans, and for the Dems there is a race for State Representative. Click on the links to see more about the candidates for the 29th Middlesex race (Pcts.

LETTER: Town Councilor Endorses State Rep. Candidate

Dear Voter,

It is with great enthusiasm that I join Representative Hecht in endorsing Steve Owens as the next Representative for the 29th Middlesex District. I urge you to join us in voting for Steve in the Democratic primary election on Tuesday, September 1. I have known Steve for nearly twenty years and we have worked together on many local, state, and national political campaigns during that time. I have benefited from his wisdom and political acumen as he has served on my campaign committee since 2009. A long-time Watertown resident, Steve is credited with revitalizing the Watertown Democratic Town Committee and has served as its Chair for the last twelve years. He also has twice won election to the Democratic State Committee.  

I am supporting Steve and asking you to do the same because he is a progressive activist and proven leader ready to take on the many challenges facing Massachusetts. As our State Representative he will champion the issues that the Legislature must address with a commitment to transparency and equity. 

He will join other progressive legislators in supporting policies that combat climate change and create environmental sustainability. He will be an advocate for affordable housing for tenants and homeowners and for public education from pre-kindergarten to college. As a professionaltransportation expert, Steve knows how important safe, reliable public transit is for workers and businesses.