I’ve lived in Watertown for more than ten years and in that time I have been active in several local groups, such as the Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment as well as Watertown Community Conversations. I’m writing today to endorse Nicole Gardner for District A Town Councilor because I know that she will bring her outstanding skills and qualities to this role. I encourage my fellow East End residents to cast a vote for Nicole on November 2nd. Nicole and I both served on the Steering Committee of Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment, where I observed her excellent listening skills, her spirit of collaboration, and her ability to zero in on a problem and offer a creative solution. She’s a strategic thinker, always exploring the implications of actions that the committee endorsed.
I’ve been consistently impressed by Nicole’s ability to understand the complex issues facing residents of Watertown, especially evident in our work together with Watertown Forward, which encouraged community engagement in the charter review process.
On August 23, 2021, a Watertown non-elected local governmental body decided that 36,000 Watertown residents must, as of August 25, 2021, wear masks while indoors stating, ‘The Watertown Board of Health has issued an Order mandating the wearing of face coverings indoors throughout Watertown.”
In so doing, a small group of appointed individuals with varying levels of medical and public health credentialing mandated that we, the residents of Watertown, MA, cannot decide for ourselves when and where to wear a mask to manage our own health. The Watertown Board of Health’s (Board) mask mandate is troubling. The Board has decided that 36,000 people are incapable of discerning their own private health needs and risk tolerance. In forcing a mask mandate, the Board effectively treats Watertown’s population like children who lack judgment. The Board’s insistence on a mask mandate in light of the data should give us pause.
Watertown will miss Russo’s. Tony has been a friend to many of us (and our dogs) and has worked to implement Watertown Local First, the single use plastic bag ban (in the days before the pandemic), and supported green issues in town. He also has taken it upon himself to organize cleanups of the public space beside his property to the river. We are sorry to see him sell, but I am most concerned about the land use between Russo’s and the river. Watertown has an important role to play in saving our long riverfront for access by the public.
Daniel D’Amico. My name is Daniel D’Amico, and I am excited to announce my candidacy for Watertown Town Councilor at-large. I would be humbled to serve as councilor for the town I have always called home. I grew up in the West End and now live near Coolidge Square. My parents were immigrants from Argentina and Italy, who chose Watertown to raise our family.
Reports of culture’s demise in Watertown are greatly exaggerated. Is there a way for Watertown to avoid losing a gem like Russo’s, some have asked? (https://www.watertownmanews.com/2021/08/16/letter-is-there-a-way-for-watertown-to-avoid-losing-a-gem-like-russos/) The simple answer is no. There isn’t any one shop that can replace Russo’s in Watertown. That’s gone; like so many of gentrified Boston’s mainstays such as No Names, Durgin-Park, soon-to-be closed Kowloon, Circle Pizza, Jimmy’s Harborside, Anthony’s, and so many more.
I remember exactly where I was on 9-11-01. Similarly, I recall exactly where I was when I wastold I’d be going on my first deployment to Afghanistan. I was an aviation IT Marine who was chosen to teach the Afghanistan National Army (ANA) how to maintain HMMWVs and operatein convoys.
I was 21, suddenly in charge of the training and support of over 100 ANA soldiers alongside fiveMarines and five interpreters. We accomplished a lot of great things on that deployment; weimproved the training and their fleet of vehicles; and even got a literacy program established tobuild create better ANA soldiers. In Marine Corps terms: we left things better than we foundthem; and we served to protect the service members to our left and our right.
Dear Honorable Town Councillors and fellow Planning Board members:
I am writing to you all today in regards to some comments that I made at the July 14th Planning Board meeting, which have apparently caused some consternation amongst several members of the Watertown community at large, and for which I would like to set the record straight:
First of all, I would like to be absolutely clear on the fact that I take public feedback on proposed projects very seriously — in fact, on several occasions during Planning Board meetings, I have expressed my preference to hear comments from the public BEFORE board members add their thoughts and questions, because these comments often influence my own. I always make every effort to read all of the letters and e-mails that are forwarded to us by Planning Staff, even when they are “form letters” where only the author’s name and address are altered, but the text is otherwise identical. My objection, in this case, was to the expectation of having to read dozens of messages that arrived in my Inbox on the afternoon of the meeting, within hours of the meeting start time, which is why I expressed my strong preference to have some sort of “cut-off” time for e-mailed public comments, prior to the meeting. I have no objection whatsoever to hearing any and all public comments, either in person or read into the record from e-mails, live at the hearing.
As for the letter from 3 members of the WE3C that I read aloud at the meeting, my intent in reading that particular letter was to voice my frustration which was exacerbated by a comment made by a community member on the Zoom call, and for that I apologize to all of you and to the community at large — I realize that, as a member of this board, I need to have a “thicker skin” when it comes to situations like these. In summary, I can assure you that I take my role as a Planning Board member quite seriously, and always value the feedback of members of the public, so long as it is expressed in a respectful manner. I am proud and honored to represent my community on this board, and I hope that people have found my decisions to be fair and thoughtfully considered, even if they do not necessarily agree with the outcomes. Sincerely,
We take a lot for granted. It’s human nature to live each day believing that what we regard as normal will stay that way. We often cling to this belief even when we know, deep in our gut, that change is inevitable. It’s one thing to deal with change that happens gradually, allowing time to digest it. Even that can be disturbing, but when change comes all at once and seemingly out of the blue, we are likely to find it jarring.
I just saw on line that Russo’s is closing. This store has been a cherished family-owned retailer for more than 70 years, and we are deeply grateful to Tony Russo and his family and to their wonderful employees for their dedication and hard work – and for all their contributions to our community. We wish Tony and his family a happy, healthy, and well-deserved retirement. And we wish the Russo’s employees all the best as they face an uncertain future when Russo’s closes. Russo’s is a gem. What will happen to Watertown when it is gone??!!! I think that all the Russo’s customers — and this includes shoppers from all across metropolitan Boston, not only Watertown — view Russo’s as a unique resource for excellent reasonably-priced produce and fruit, a great bakery, and wonderful source of cheeses and prepared foods — plus plants and gardening supplies and Christmas trees. For many of us, Russo’s is a weekly destination for shopping and for seeing neighbors. Many say that Russo’s has a positive effect on Watertown property values. And I and many others fear that the loss of Russo’s would be a blow to the character of our city.