LETTER: Grassroots Housing Group Hosting Launch Event

It’s becoming harder and harder to remain a member of this community. 

Every year, rising rents force more working families out while middle class and even affluent neighbors can’t afford to purchase a home, nevermind expand their families. Those looking to downsize after retirement, or hoping to age with dignity in the city they love, can’t find homes that work for them. Young people driven away, families in financial distress, longtime residents exiled from their hometown: this is the face of the housing crisis in Watertown. It is a dilemma that threatens our well-being, economic futures, and our community. It is also a challenge that we can rise to overcome, together.

LETTER: Kudos to the City for the Work Around Bemis Park

A stop sign installed next to Bemis Park. (Courtesy of Mark Pickering)

Letter To the Editor,

Baseball season and ongoing road work where I live all reminds me of what a great job that the City of Watertown did around Bemis Park. That included the repaving of streets around there. I know Bemis from attending Little League games there and using the playground with my daughter, now 7 years old. The park is at the busy corner of Waltham and Bridge streets.

LETTER: Watertown Historical Commission’ Streamlined Process Should be More Transparent

By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

So … is a Watertown City Council meeting hearing worth attending? I attended one last night on zoom … a shoutout to citizens who sat through it all for hours in real time in the Council Chambers. So, is it a “done deal” by the time it gets to the hearing? Hmmm … It was all about a move by the Historic Commission to streamline its process. Not a bad idea.

LETTER: Is it Too Late to Save Adult Medical Rehab Center?

At 51 Water St., just across the river from downtown Watertown, several local services have been available to the Watertown community, including a large adult day care service and, notably, the Community Rehab Care group. (For orientation, 51 Water St. is the area facing Nonantum Road, behind the bus turn-around and near the MBTA lots.)

Community Rehab Care provides (in their own words): “community-based outpatient rehabilitation and support services to adults and children with neurologic, musculoskeletal, or orthopedic injuries or illnesses.” That covers everyone from children to adults to elderly, who must deal with anything from serious car, sports, or other accidents, to strokes, brain-surgery, post-cancer or post-Covid problems — and much else. As I know from personal experience, the professionals there are dedicated, very busy, and relatively convenient for Watertown residents who need their help. But very unfortunately, the part about convenience is about to change, quite a bit. Up to this past year, relatively easy access to 51 Water St. was possible, though not without a quirk or two having to do with traffic and lane closures on Galen and blockage on Water St.

LETTER: Hidden History of Watertown’s Main Street

Sanborn Fire Insurance Map 1884 of Watertown, Courtesy of the Library of Congress. By Linda ScottWatertown Resident

Well, I guess it’s time to do my version of that famous Joni Mitchell song. “Big Yellow Taxi.” You really don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. You can thank a Watertown News reader for this article.

LETTER: Change in Parking Rules Could Prevent Scary Scenario

To the Editor:

My nightmare came to pass Friday evening. A fire truck, lights flashing, was unable to pass down Hall Avenue because of parked cars. In the event, there appeared to be no active fire emergency, but what if there had been? I have lived on Fairview Avenue for 26 years, and every summer, I decry the slalom course that our neighborhood becomes, as people park their oversized vehicles (poorly sometimes) on both sides of narrow streets. I have long said that a fire truck would not be able to reach a burning building, and evidently I was right. I implore the City to initiate one-side-of-the-street-only parking, as is the case in some parts of Waltham. Surely all these cars, which manage to find places to park during the winter full ban, can find places in the summer as well. And we will not have to worry that emergency vehicles cannot reach us when we need them. Ilana HardestyFairview Avenue

Letters to the Editor can be sent to watertownmanews@gmail.com

LETTER: Mother, School Social Worker Announces Her Bid for School Committee

Lisa Capoccia

Dear friends and members of the Watertown Community,

My name is Lisa Capoccia and I’m excited to share this announcement of my candidacy for the Watertown Public Schools (WPS) School Committee. My decision to pursue this seat is based on a strong desire to advance WPS efforts to be responsive to the changing and increasingly complex needs of its student population. This decision follows ten years (starting when my daughter began the Lowell pre-K) of collaborating and advocating on behalf of students, families, and staff in the district. I thoroughly enjoy this work which is rooted in my strong commitment to equity and belief in the impact public education has on our collective future. It compliments my current position as a school social worker/adjustment counselor in Newton Schools and past work in public health.

LETTER: Petitioner to Change Watertown Zoning Urges People to Speak Up

Hi Guys,

We’ve got to stop meeting like this! With every Watertown development meeting, every Affordable Housing Trust meeting, and on and on, there we sit. We’re quite a bit smaller in number at actual meetings, but we’ve proven that we have at least 600 Watertown residents that share our point of view. I know for a fact, from conversations with residents who didn’t get a chance to sign the petitions, that there are many more of us! As Watertown residents band together to say, “Save Our Community!” we’ve seen comments that imply that we’re old fashioned, elitist, anti-change or all of the above, trying to portray our concerns as insignificant.