LETTER: Vote on Tuesday, March 5 – Participate in Democracy

Every four years, this year on Tuesday, March 5th, United States citizens will exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice in the Presidential Primary Elections.Take the initiative to make a difference by casting your ballot; whether by mail; early voting process; or in person. On the Democratic ballot, the electorate will also vote their preference for the offices of Democratic State Committee Man and Woman. A slate of 35 candidates, also needs your support to serve on the Democratic Town Committee. Either vote for individuals, or the entire group.The Town Committee works to promote the objectives of the Democratic Party. 

To the surprise of many; names come and go from the roster of candidates, listed on the ballot for the Democratic Town Committee. To note: quasi term-limits do exist in some elected positions.

LETTER: Endorsements for Republican State Committee Members

On March 5th Massachusetts Republicans and unenrolled voters will be choosing whom they think ought to be the GOP Nominee for President of the United States. Just as important, we will be choosing who represents us on the Republican State Committee.  The State Committee is a board of 80 members, 40 men and 40 women, who elect the MA-GOP Chair, set the state party platform, and direct resources. They decide whether or not the party will rebuild by focusing on legislative and other local offices, or whether we will continue focus our resources, as the Establishment has always on done, on marquis offices, that bring a lot of money for high-priced consultants who are connected with the Establishment; all to the detriment of party building. 

I am proud to enthusiastically endorse John Umina and Catherine Umina for State Committeeman and Committeewoman, respectively, in the Suffolk and Middlesex District. The district comprises Belmont, Watertown, Brighton, and Back Bay Boston.I’ve known both John and Cathy for over a decade and worked closely with both on a multitude of campaigns for Republican candidates, conservative ballot questions, and many issues which face Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Republican Party. No matter the need, both John and Cathy were there to help and even spearhead the effort.  

When I served as President of the Massachusetts Republican Assembly 5th Chapter, John served as my Vice President. Our Chapter was the largest at the time and the most active.

LETTER: Trees Need to be Protected in Watertown

To the Editor:

Ghost tree

Your fifty foot tall, towering presence would have held snow on your strong, healthy boughs today. Mourning doves would have stood on the boughs near your trunk for protection from the wind, their winter coats puffed up cozy among your pine needle feathers. Mother tree, so many miss you today. Rabbits’ secret shelter under boughs at your trunk, no longer here to offer a safe place to laugh at my barking dog. Chickadee, junco, winter birds who would rest on your branches when hawk was distracted elsewhere. They waited for me to fill the tube with seed to sustain them in this small piece of forest in city.

LETTER: Questions About New Position on Traffic Commission

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

Democracy?  I know you’re out there somewhere…

This is not a letter that I could even imagine having to write, but here goes. When I looked at Tuesday night’s agenda for the City Council meeting, I noticed an unusual item. Then I started getting phone calls. Other people were curious about this item as well. So I got curious. Why would there be a sudden change to the structure of the Traffic Commission without any visible input from them?

OP-ED: Importance of Setting New Years Resolutions for Older Residents

By Andrea Forde

A new year brings new resolutions that can lead to improvements in daily habits as well as health benefits for many older Americans.  

In fact, according to a 2020 study, older adults who engaged in healthy lifestyle choices such as physical activity, not smoking, not heavily drinking, following a healthy diet, and taking part in mentally stimulating activities, had a 60 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. For people who are already suffering from chronic conditions, setting simple and realistic goals that are manageable with their health challenges is important.  

As you consider changes and goals for 2024, here are five achievable resolutions that can help kick off the new year on the right foot.  

Pursue an active lifestyle.  

Staying active is an admirable goal to have every year.

LETTER: Thoughts on the Residential Snow Ordinance from a Former Councilor

Greetings Councilors:

Many of you already know my thoughts on the proposed 2024 Residential Snow and Ice Removal Ordinance. In 2012, I voted a well thought out and vetted: “No.” I listened to the residents and the many scenarios of circumstances that were brought before the Committees. One of my comments was as follows:

“… something we need to work on as a community, but mandating it, I don’t think is appropriate …”

LETTER: 2024 New Year’s Resolutions For the City of Watertown, Part 3: And on the Bright Side

My 2023 Thank You’s to Our City Council. Thank you, Council President Mark Sideris for your availability to residents and for standing up for the integrity of Watertown Square. Thank you Councilor Gardner for your work on the ARPA funding process. Thank you Councilor Palomba for your advocacy regarding developer linkage fees for affordablehousing. Thank you Councilor Feltner for supporting the need for more resident involvement in the development planning process and raising the bar on planning for our City parks.

LETTER: Part 2: My City of Watertown New Year’s Predictions & Ninth City Resolution

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

These are my opinions, based upon hundreds of conversations, attending numerous City meetings, and making thousands of observations over the past few years. I hope that they can stimulate conversation and help busy Watertown folks focus on some of the current issues. Things to be on the lookout for in 2024, if these City resolutions are not taken to heart by our City Councilors:

1 – Expect the assault on residents’ quality of life to continue:

Short-Term Rentals. That’s where your neighbors are allowed to run an informal hotel business out of their homes right next door to you. (And the City gets to collect a fee).