The holiday season is upon us and it’s the most wonderful time of the year for many. But for some, it can be challenging and filled with worry. Not all families can provide gifts for their loved ones. Typically, the Watertown Social Services Resource Specialist (SSRS) Program, a Wayside Youth & Family Support Network program at the Multi-Service Center, works with local churches and businesses to provide holiday gifts for families in need. As you can imagine, this year proved to bevery challenging due to COVID-19 and the many restrictions we have in place.
The following information was provided by members of the Watertown High School student group, Watertown Sunrise, which advocates to stop Climate Change. The demands were presented during a march and rally on the evening of Oct. 23, 2020. WATERTOWN SUNRISE DEMANDS
We demand that the Watertown town council declare a climate emergency. We’re also asking our town government, to help call on other town leaders and to sign onto the Green New Deal pledge to fight for our futures.
Letter to Editor,
This past week, the Massachusetts Department of Education & Secondary Education (DESE) conducted an audit on the Watertown Public Schools and the District’s decision to delay opening the buildings for in-school/hybrid learning. At this moment, no details have been provided to Town residents as to what the audit yielded. Information requests to the DESE have been unanswered. All the details residents know (via a ZOOM call), is that Superintendent Galdston spoke to DESE Commissioner Riley (or an associate) and that the conversation was short with few questions (according to Galdston). So what were the DESE findings and why haven’t the Middle School and High School opened yet?
This November, voters in the 29th Middlesex district are encouraged to vote YES on 100% Renewable Energy and YES on Transparency, which will be Questions 3 and 4 on the ballot in this district. Climate science demands that we enact sweeping changes to our energy economy in the next 10 years to avert climate catastrophe. A commitment to 100% renewable energy will put us on the right track. Transparency of committee votes is key to realizing this goal. Bills committing MA to 100% renewable energy have been killed in committee repeatedly over the past 6 years, and, without committee vote transparency, we don’t even know who is responsible for their failure to come to a vote. Please join me in voting YES on 100% Renewable Energy and YES on Transparency to put Massachusetts on the right track to be a leader in climate change solutions. Richard KalishPleasant Street, Watertown
The Watertown Public Schools have had unsafe buildings for years. The school Administration and Town officials since spring of 2017 have denied, deflected, or ignored-the concerns of Watertown parents, faculty and students. The goal of creating safe buildings has been our petitioners goal from the start. Please read our petition to learn more about W.P.S. building conditions and the years of asbestos compliance violations. https://www.change.org/p/mark-sideris-asbestos-and-other-dangers-in-the-watertown-public-schools
I’d add that our petition group thinks all of this takes on a more immediate importance given the short-term latency effects of the COVID-19 virus.
To the Editor:
Watertown has been lucky to have a relatively low rate of COVID-19 infection and death. Our elected officials and administrators have worked diligently on our behalf. Among the safety measures instituted is a ban on door-to-door solicitation during the crisis. Trinity Solar, a for-profit New Jersey solar installation company, has threatened legal action against Watertown for its ban on door-to-door solicitation during the pandemic. Even if solar installation is deemed an essential service, there is nothing “essential” about selling solar door-to-door during a pandemic.
The Watertown Educators Association supports the School Committee and Superintendent Deanne Galdston in their decision to begin the school year with a robust remote learning plan and a strategic return to in-person learning using sensible health and safety protocols. Educators are dismayed by Commissioner Jeff Riley and Governor Charlie Baker’s threatening directive to recklessly force students and educators back into school buildings. How the school year unfolds is a local decision arrived at democratically, and stakeholders in the community have made clear that beginning with remote learning is the best way to meet the needs of students while preventing the spread of COVID-19 to our students, our school staff, and the community. https://www.watertownmanews.com/2020/09/22/watertown-among-districts-encouraged-by-state-to-return-to-in-person-learning/
Educators want nothing more than to be back in classrooms with their students. However, the risk of COVID-19 makes that impossible, and is particularly concerning in Watertown where school buildings present health and safety issues to address before a physical return makes sense.
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.
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.