LETTER: Watertown Community Fridge Fulfilling Important Role in the Community

I first heard of the community fridge concept last year, after they began to appear in the Boston area in response to the pandemic illuminating and exacerbating the amount of people experiencing food insecurity. The one recently established in Watertown — in the parking lot of Francis Market, 1084 Belmont St. — is an accomplishment for which we should all be grateful to its founders and be proud as a community. A community fridge not only plays a direct role in addressing food insecurity and food waste, but also teaches us so much about what it means to be neighbors. The motto you’ll find on the Watertown Community Fridge’s posters and postcards says it all:“Take what you need, give what you can.” The purpose of a community fridge is to provide free food 24/7 to anyone who visits.

LETTER: Westside Resident Upset by Loss of Trees on Recently Sold Property

Linda ScottStumps remaining after several trees were taken down at a property on Olcott Street. An Open Letter to the Watertown Planning and Zoning Boards:

There’s a war on trees on Olcott Street. On a one block street where the only major street tree is dying, it was a terrible shock to me and my neighbors when we returned home from our work and chores to find that a developer who bought 45-47 Olcott St., had, in one day, chopped down at least five trees on this private lot … five mature trees that were homes and roosts for wildlife; provided shade on those extremely hot days that have become so prevalent; provided privacy, a commodity hard to come by in this dense neighborhood; and served as a sound buffer for traffic and neighborhood noises. The trees that remained were “pruned” to within inches of their lives. Trees which, in short, made Olcott Street a much more pleasant and livable place were felled without any thought for how this would Impact this neighborhood.

LETTER: With Baker’s Retirement, Next Governor Should Build for the Future

In case you haven’t already seen, the news that’s currently rocking the Massachusetts political field is that popular Governor Charlie Baker has declined to seek another term in the corner office. Speculation is bubbling over whether Attorney General Maura Healey will run for the office. If she doesn’t, it’s a wide open field with multiple candidates having declared their intent to seek the office but no other obvious breakout choice. On the Republican side, with Lt. Governor Karyn Polito also declining to run, it’s anyone’s guess whether the GOP will nominate Trump devotee and party chair Geoff Diehl, or nominate another moderate in the Baker mold. Regardless of who our next Governor is, I hope we end up with someone who has a vision for the state and a plan to get us there.

LETTER: ‘Tis the Season to Thank the City of Watertown

Dear Editor,

It’s our ninth Thanksgiving in Watertown since we purchased the Arsenal Mall back in August 2013. And, ‘tis the season to reiterate again and again our thanks to Watertown as we approach completion of the base-building construction at Arsenal Yards. (Yes, the end of construction is near…)

When we bought the Mall, frankly, we had much smaller plans to revitalize the property. But as conversations occurred with the many smart people that make up this town, the “Arsenal Project” plans expanded into a more attractive, more comprehensive, and much more special project: Arsenal Yards. So, we thank you, to the many City Officials and Residents for the many, many conversations, ideas, input and meetings (lots of meetings) in the early years.

LETTER: Parent Pleased With Watertown Public Schools Vaccine Clinic

This Wednesday, we brought my child (first grade at Hosmer) to the vaccine clinic the Watertown Public Schools arranged to take place at the Middle School. I’m happy to report that everything went off without a hitch! As of Nov. 3, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a reduced dose COVID vaccination for children ages 5-11. We were eager to get my child vaccinated and signed up for the WPS vaccine clinic without hesitation.

LETTER: East End Resident Urges Alternatives to New Gas Lines

Over the last half year or so, my East End neighborhood has been torn up by National Grid in an epic quest to replace our 100-year-old leaky gas lines. The local contractors have been doing a great job and overall I don’t have any immediate complaints about their work. However, I wonder if all this upheaval is a huge waste? Our old gas lines have been in the ground for 100 years, and are very leaky. The methane that leaks from these lines is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and I definitely agree that these leaks need to stop.