Watertown’s Donohue’s Bar & Grill received the first grant from the Step Up to the Table Foundation, a group looking to save local restaurants during COVID-19. Donohue’s was nominated by Josh Vernon, who sent in a letter talking about how much the restaurant has given back to the community since it opened in 1998, particularly to the Watertown Boys & Girls Club. “When you mention Donohue’s to anyone from the Watertown area, they think of family and a wonderful place to gather together for all reasons JD would never ask for help, so as a friend and customer I felt he deserved this nomination so he can continue giving back to his community and supporting his staff,” Vernon wrote in his nomination. Like restaurants across Massachusetts, Donohue’s has faced many hurdles during the pandemic, from being closed in the early days of COVID, to continued reduction of capacity and other restrictions. See a video, below, posted by the Step Up to the Table Foundation when it told owner JD Donohue about the grant:
The Watertown Recreation Department sent out the following announcement:
The Watertown Recreation Department is pleased to announce the offering of a limited number of scholarships for Watertown families whose children would like to attend the Buckingham Browne & Nichols Summer Camp. Each candidate must have a demonstrated and documented need for financial assistance or has a special circumstance that is considered exceptional. The Town of Watertown is grateful to the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School for offering this outstanding opportunity. The camp options are identified at https://bbnsummer.com/, and scholarships arefor any of their programs.
Each child may attend two weeks of camp and if awarded the scholarship will be in the amount of $200.00 each week toward the cost of the camp.This scholarship is available for Watertown residents only. We will begin to consider applications starting February 1, 2020 and accept them until June 1 or until all slots are filled, whatever occurs first.
Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn gets a COVID-19 vaccination shot during the clinic for police and firefighters run by the Watertown Health Department last week. The light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel can be seen, with the first vaccinations by the Watertown Health Department starting last week, but Health Director Larry Ramdin said people must continue their virus prevention practices even after they get their shots. On Jan. 14 and 15, members of the Watertown Police and Fire departments received their first COVID-19 vaccine shots, Ramdin said. He and Public Health Nurse Wil VanDinter have begun planning for public clinics in Town, but do not know when they will be able to administer the vaccine to the general public, Ramdin said.
A screenshot of the GoFundMe campaign for 1995 Watertown High grad Christine Aragon Lagos. A GoFundMe campaign was started to help a 1995 Watertown High School grad who is undergoing cancer treatments. The campaign for Christine Aragon Lagos, was started by classmate Amanda Holmes, and seeks to raise $10,000. On the campaign page Holmes wrote:
“Christine Aragon Lagos was a classmate of mine at Watertown High School, Class of 1995. Recently, I was informed that Christine has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer (lung, bones, brain).
New parking meters, like this one, will be installed in Watertown’s Municipal Parking Lots. They will accept credit cards as well as coins. The new parking meters being installed in Watertown’s will have new payment options, and will have different prices and maximum stays depending on the location. Watertown Senior Transportation Planner Laura Wiener said the new meters — which began being installed this week — accept coins and credit cards, and later this year people will be able to use a pay-by-phone app. The Town will be using the PayByPhone cellphone app, which is used by other area communities, including Waltham, Concord, Wellesley, Arlington, Somerville and MBTA commuter lots, such as at Watertown Yard.
The Charles River from Watertown Square
The following announcement comes from the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection:
Building on its commitment to protect and improve water quality across the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $300,000 in grants to five multi-community stormwater coalitions across the Commonwealth to help local cities and towns meet existing and upcoming stormwater management requirements.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to protecting water quality across the Commonwealth and these funds will make a real difference in the 228 communities that will benefit from these projects,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The stormwater collaboratives funded today will share resources, creative ideas and watershed protection strategies that have a proven record of success.”
“Stormwater is a significant source of water pollution across the state and is a complex issue that requires innovative ideas and cooperative solutions,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “MassDEP is pleased to provide funding that will lessen the costs of permit compliance locally, while we continue to work closely with communities and stormwater coalitions to provide critical technical assistance.”
The projects, selected by MassDEP, were awarded to the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, Neponset River Watershed Association, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Charles River Watershed Association, and Massachusetts Maritime for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative. The funding awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration will enable Massachusetts municipalities to expand their efforts to meet Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements and reduce stormwater pollution through coordinated partnerships that emphasize resource sharing. There are 260 Massachusetts municipalities subject to the current MS4 permit, issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and MassDEP, which took effect on July 1, 2018.
Michael Bobbitt served as Honorary Host of the 2021 Watertown Unity Breakfast. He has been artistic director at New Rep Theatre and will be the executive director of the Mass. Cultural Council. The 2020 Watertown Unity Breakfast had a different feel from years past, with the calls for action to fight for equity and against racism were more urgent and closer to home. The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event hosted by World in Watertown was held virtually instead of the typical gathering at the Hellenic Cultural Center.
After moving into the state’s “Red,” or high-risk of COVID-19 transmission, group for a week, Watertown went back into the “Yellow,” or moderate-risk group. The latest Mass. Department of Public Health report (released on Jan. 15), showed that the Town’s positive test rate dropped to 4.91 percent. The previous report had Watertown at 5.14 percent, and any positivity rate over 5 percent for a town of Watertown’s size is one of the thresholds to put it in the Red.
The following announcement was provided by the Kingian Response Team:
As part of honoring the legacy of Dr. King, the Kingian Response Team is highlighting his six principles of non-violence as a community-wide scavenger hunt. The principles provide a framework for achieving a more just world and guide us to a more “beloved community.” Our goal is to include the wider Watertown community in learning about these principles and in engaging in productive and courageous conversations. There are three sets with each of the six principles displayed on yard signs in different public places throughout Watertown from January 18th through February 21st. The challenge for families and community members will be to find all six – a unique kind of a scavenger hunt! There is also a QR code that provides you with information about the principles and our pledge to “Listen, Learn, Grow and Act,” to end racism in our community, and additional activities for all. Enjoy your walking search and good luck!