LETTER: The Right Place for Solar Panels at Schools

We as a city are moving forward in many ways. However, the use of our land is not one of them. There is a place for everything. But do we put solar panels on the ground using up valuable acreage in our four-square mile city? Apparently, we did so at the new Cunniff School, installing an array adjacent to the parking lot on the north side of the hill. 

Solar panels belong on roof tops and on parking lot canopies; using valuable ground space is not a favorable location.

LETTER: Head of Boys & Girls Club Bids Farewell to Club, Dream Job

Watertown Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Renee Gaudette is leaving the club. Here she is seen receiving the Executive of the Year Award. She was nominated by Chris Chrombie, right, the club’s Project Director. Dear Beloved Community,

I am writing to share that, after nine amazing and rewarding years as Executive Director atWatertown Boys & Girls Club, I’ve decided that the timing is right for me to step back. The Board of Directors of WBGC is working diligently to identify the individual who can bestlead our organization through its next phase of growth and impact.

LETTER: Library Employees Back Interim Director for Top Job

This letter in support of Caitlin Browne as Library Director was written collaboratively and signed by over 30 staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, across all departments of the library and including all department heads. It was read by library staff members at the Board of Library Trustees meeting on April 19, 2022. To our Board of Library Trustees:

As staff members of the Watertown Free Public Library, we would like to express our thanks for this opportunity to make our voices heard. We understand that the public forum is an avenue for commenting on “library business,” which we feel very much includes this director selection process. We appreciate the work of the screening committee that has narrowed the candidates to the current field.

LETTER: Former Watertown Middle School Teacher Looks to Heal, Rebuild Relationships in Spirit of MLK Jr.

The following letter was written to you, my Watertown community, almost a year ago. It was written upon Watertown News’ request for a statement from me on March 5th, 2021. As an employee of the Watertown Public Schools, I was not permitted to make such a statement at any time over the past year. Having now resigned from WPS, I would love the opportunity to share my thoughts with you and hopefully work towards some healing and rebuilding of the fractured relationships that last year’s incidents engendered. I can’t think of a better time to do this than Martin Luther King Day 2022.

LETTER: A Fitting Way to Honor Watertown’s Retiring Library Director

Watertown Free Public LibraryThe Watertown Free Public Library. A Fitting Tribute To A Local Superstar

After 27 years, Leone Cole, Our Library Director is Retiring, Here’s An Idea to Thank Her for Her Service to Watertown

Dear Watertown,

Under Leone’s innovative and forward-thinking leadership, our library has become the heart of our community – welcoming, serving, and educating people of all ages and from all walks of life, through even the most challenging of times. Our library has had such a positive influence − in ways we can only begin to imagine − on the lives of so many who have entered that building on 123 Main Street. Book groups, films, music, our History Room, research assistance, the Hatch Makerspace, storytelling, community talks/events, Project Literacy, the Library of Things, courses in finance, exercise, citizenship, and more have brought our community together. As many residents of Newton, Belmont, and Waltham will tell you, our library is their library of choice.

LETTER: Make COVID Rules More Clear This Time Around

The immediate spur for this letter is the board of health’s new order reinstating the indoor mask mandate. I have found it a big source of frustration this entire pandemic that it has often not been all that clear what the rules actually are. I appreciate that the town’s website currently has on the front page the new mask mandate, but how long will this stay up there? Given that a mask mandate is such a sharp difference from everyday life as of 2019, whatever rules we want everyone to follow we should be shouting from the proverbial rooftops. Why can’t we have a permanent feature on the homepage, as well as on any interactive town signage and posted all over town, something like the following:

The “Last Update” part is important, because I found it just as frustrating to discover when requirements were removed as to confirm when they were still in place.

LETTER: Watertown Group Concerned About Loss of Trees on Private Properties

Dear fellow Watertown citizens:

The recent removal of multiple mature trees on Olcott Street raises significant issues about the proper balance of public and private interests here in Watertown. While a private landowner has a right to dispose of trees as they see fit, Watertown must recognize that the benefits of mature trees extend beyond the lot they sit on and are an asset to the community as a whole. Watertown is expending considerable resources to combat climate change and improve the community’s quality of life. Major investments have been made in street trees and in enhanced storm drainage systems designed to protect the city from climate-related extreme storms. Yet these efforts cannot succeed if they are at odds with actions on private land where 80 percent of the city’s tree canopy sits. The rights of private landowners are fundamental to our system.