February-March-April Newsletter

Dear Watertown Citizens Members and Friends,

We hope that you are finding ways to stay warm and active during the deepest part of a New England winter. In the December E-newsletter we told you about new efforts to increase communication with you and to expand our reach in Watertown. While we are still working on the new website, due to go live by the end of the month, we do have a new Facebook page at www.facebook.com/watertowncitizensPJE

Please “like” us and urge your friends, neighbors, colleagues and others to “like” us also! Feel free to post a comment, event, etc.

You can also send us an email at watertowncitizens@gmail.com and if you have not made a donation or renewed your membership to Watertown Citizens in 2013, please consider doing so TODAY. You can donate on-line at www.watertowncitizens.org or you can make a check out to “Watertown Citizens” and send it to P.O. Box 1194, Watertown, MA 02471-1194.

Finally, take a careful look at the first item below to see just how much Watertown Citizens is doing now and planning to do in the future. Please join us!

Thank you for all you do for peace, justice and the environment. Stay warm and active!

 Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment
 Monthly Meeting, Friends of Bees, RethinkPlastic! Diversity in Watertown, and more!  Monthly Meeting of Watertown Citizens for Peace Justice and the Environment Wednesday, March 19 at from 7:00 PM to 8:45 PM at the Watertown Free Public Library in the Watertown Savings Bank Room East.*Do you want to help improve the environment by eliminating plastics and getting the Bottle Bill passed?* Are you concerned about colony collapse and the disappearance of honey bees?

* Are you interested in planting a Peace Pole?

* Can you help with a film series on inequality, drones, surveillance, and the conflict between Israeli and Palestine?

If you are interested in these issues or there are other issues that are important to you, please join us at the Monthly Meeting in March. If you can’t make that meeting, we meet the third Wednesday of every month.

RethinkPlastic!, our working group on curtailing the use of plastics and building awareness about the environmental impact of plastics, is meeting on Monday, March 3 at 7:00 PM at the First Parish, 35 Church Street.

Friends of Bees, our working group committed to reversing the on-going collapse of bee colonies and increasing awareness of the role bees play in sustaining our environment, is meeting on Saturday, March 15 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM at the Watertown Free Public Library.

They are also showing the film “Vanishing Bees” on Tuesday, April 1 at the Library. Time TBD.

Diversity in Watertown is an exciting project initiated by representatives of Watertown Citizens, World in Watertown, El Salvador Sister Cities, and Project Literacy. Once a month from January to May the groups take turns organizing a potluck dinner and conversation with the immigrant students of Project Literacy and their families.

Watertown Citizens’ turn is Thursday, March 27! We are looking for 15 – 20 folks to join us for this energizing potluck from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. If you are interested, please email watertowncitizens@gmail.com.

and more …

See below the announcement of the film showing of “Unacceptable Levels” that Watertown Citizens is co-sponsoring with community groups and local businesses.

Watertown Citizens is proudly co-sponsoring the planting of a “Peace Pole” in the front of the Watertown Free Public Library. Peacemakers is the group heading up this project which will take place at the end of March. Contact David Jenkins at david@davidjenkinsconsulting.com for more information.


 “Joyful Voices of Inspiration” – Benefit Gospel Concert 
 Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 PM Benefit Gospel Concert with “Joyful Voices of Inspiration” on Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 PM at the Belmont-Watertown United Methodist Church 421 Common St., Belmont, MA (near Cushing Square) Handicapped accessible elevator from parking lot entrance.The concert will benefit Belmont Food Pantry, Watertown Food Pantry, and St. Patrick’s Food Pantry. Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and senior citizens. Children under 12 free and there is a family maximum of $30.00.Don’t miss this soul-stirring, spirit-moving, heart-warming gospel concert. If you saw them last year, you know what an exciting performance Joyful Voices delivers. Hear new songs which have been added to the program by new director Donnell Patterson. http://joyfulvoices.org/index.htm. 


 XL Pipeline Dissent Protest 
 Sunday, March 2 Students from the across the country are coming to Washington DC for the “XL Pipeline Dissent” protest on Sunday, March 2. They will gather at Georgetown University and march to the White House. After a rally in Lafayette Square, hundreds of students and young people are expected to risk arrest at the White House fence.The day before the protest, students will meet for a nonviolent direct action training and fossil fuel divestment conference.Visit http://xldissent.org/call-to-action/ to get more info and sign up for the march; find out exactly what’s being planned and see how you can help the cause, whether or not you can be in DC on March 2.


 Film Showing – 5 BROKEN CAMERAS 
 Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30 PM 5 BROKEN CAMERAS is an Academy Award Nominee Best Documentary Feature that will be shown on Tuesday, March 18 at 6:30 PM at the Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room West.The film is a deeply personal account of life and non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. There will be a discussion following the film led by Jeff Klein.Since 2004 Jeff Klein has traveled almost every year to Palestine/Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East – including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt; in July 2009 he participated in the Viva Palestina relief convoy to Gaza, organized by British MP George Galloway. He has participated personally in the demonstrations at Bil’in.Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by Amnesty International Belmont/Watertown Chapter 365. For more information, please call 617-926-7814.


 Early Childhood Information Fair and Free Concert 
 Saturday, March 22 from 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM If you have young children, visit the annual Early Childhood Information Fair on Saturday, March 22 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM at the Watertown Middle School 68 Waverley Avenue.There will be information on preschools, daycares, early intervention programs and all local organizations that service young children and their families.Immediately following the fair there will be a FREE FAMILY CONCERT with children’s musician and composer David Polansky (www.davidpolansky.com) at 11:30am in the auditorium of the Middle School. The whole family will enjoy a toe-tapping time!For more information please call 617-926-1661 or e-mail –watertownfamilynetwork@gmail.com The fair is sponsored by the CFCE Grant of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care run through the Watertown Public Schools


 Annual “Walk for a New Spring” 
 February to April! The Walk for A New Spring – Join the Monks and Nuns of the New England Peace Pagoda who are preparing for this year’s, “Walk for a New Spring”. It will begin on February 21 from Leverett, MA and continue for 47 days to Washington, DC.The members of the NE Peace Pagoda hope you can join them for an hour or a day or longer when the walk comes to your community. You can also support the walk by hosting a potluck supper or community gathering, or by providing overnight lodging for the walkers.For more information regarding the walk, please call tim @ 413-485-8469


 The Hilda Silverman Lecture 
 Thursday, March 6 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM The Hilda Silverman Lecture, given each year in honor of Hilda Silverman, a worker for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine, will take place on Thursday, March 6 at 7:00 PM at the First Church Cambridge UCC, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge.The title of this year’s lecture is “What does U.S. Journalism look like from the Occupied Palestinian Territories?” and will be presented by Amahl Bishara, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tufts University.Professor Bishara is a Palestinian American with family in Tarshiha and Aida Refugee Camp. Her book on the production of U.S. news in the West Bank during the Second Intifada is entitled Back Stories: U.S. News Production and Palestinian Politics. She has also directed and created documentaries focusing on Palestine and the Middle East.


 Film Showing – “Unacceptable Levels” 
 Tuesday, April 22 – Earth Day Event Watertown Citizens is proud to be a co-sponsor of the film showing of Unacceptable Levels on Tuesday, April 22, Earth Day, at the Watertown Free Public Library at 7:00 PM. Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children.To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.Unacceptable Levels opens the door to conversations about the chemical burden our bodies carry so that we can make informed decisions now and in the future. The film poses challenges to our companies, our government, and our society to do something about a nearly-unseen threat with the inspired knowledge that small changes can generate a massive impact.

For more information, please contact, Debra Smith at (617) 924-6728.


 Solar 201: Meet the Installer Next Step Living 
 Thursday, March 6th at 6:30 PM The Solarize Watertown campaign, in partnership with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), will host a “Solar 201” workshop on Thursday, March 6th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Watertown Free Public Library.The presentation will provide information about solar panel installations, including discounts, rebates, tiered pricing and financing options available to Watertown residents and businesses through June 30th, 2014.All interested in the Watertown community are encouraged to attend “Solar 201”. Representatives from Next Step Living, Solarize Watertown’s designated installer, will present the details on the program, discuss pricing specifics, and answer questions. Even if you attended the “Solar 101”, you are also encouraged to attend the “Solar 201” workshop.To RSVP for “Solar 201” please visit solarizewatertown.eventbrite.com. To schedule a home evaluation with Next Step Living sign up atwww.solarizewatertown.org or call 866-867-8729.

Matt Riegert, Volunteer Solar Coach


 Fourm on “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace” 
 Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 PM Please join us for a stimulating presentation by Josh Ruebner, author of the newly released, “Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace“. Mr. Ruebner will speak on Wednesday, April 30 at 7:00 PM. Location TBA.Shattered Hopes is a hard-hitting critique of the Obama administration’s failure in the Middle East. It offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.Mr. Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director for the US Campaign to the End Israel Occupation and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service. For more information, call 617-926-8560.


 St. Patrick’s Peace Parade 
 Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 PM Please join the 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Peace Parade! aka “People’s Parade for Peace, Equality, Jobs, Environmental Stewardship, Social & Economic Justice” on Sunday, March 16 at 2:00 pm at D Street & West Broadway, South Boston. Look for the white “Vets for Peace” flag. Assemble: 2pm. Parade start: 3pm.There are several DIVISIONS marching in the parade, as well as two marching bands, Duck Boats, bagpipers, and the Bread and Puppet Theater. The DIVISIONS are: Veterans groups; Peace groups; LGBT groups; Faith groups; environmental groups; social and economic justice groups; labor groups; political groups. Please invite your group(s) to come!Contact: Veterans for Peace, Pat Scanlon, info@massvfp.org, 978-475-1776.
Massachusetts Peace Action, Cole Harrison,info@masspeaceaction.org, 617-354-2169.
Faith groups contact Lara Hoke, minister@uuandover.org.Web: smedleyfvp.org Twitter: @SmedleyVFP Facebook:www.facebook.com/smedleyvfp


 Mystic Gospel Concert and Sing – 2014 
 Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 The Mystic Chorale, one of greater Boston’s favorite community choruses, presents its annual Gospel concert. Two hundred fifty voices strong, Greater Boston’s Mystic Chorale will present two joy­ful and spirit-filled concerts. Mystic Gospel features an eclectic mix of music rooted in the African American gospel tradition, and in­spirational popular music, including contemporary “praise” music. Our energizing 2014 program includes a setting of the traditional spiritual “Nobody’s Fault but Mine” which was popularized by the movie documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”, a South African Gospel song, and much more!Don’t miss this uplifting program conducted by award-winning Gospel director Jonathan Singleton! Concerts are on Saturday, March 1 at 7:30 PM and on Sunday, March 2 at 3:30 PM at Converse Hall, Tremont Temple, 88 Tremont Street, Boston. (One block from the Park Street MBTA station.)Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $15.00 for students and senior citizens. Children under 5 are free. Order tickets Online: Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets will also be on sale at the door beginning an hour before each concert. For more information visit: mysticchorale.org


 Help Organize Tax Day Actions! 
  April 15 is around the corner and it is time to plan Tax Day Actions! We need to keep the heat on Congress to reject the “austerity agenda” promoted by Washington elites. Massachusetts voted 3 to 1 to reject cuts, invest in jobs, and raise revenues by closing corporate loopholes, taxing the top 2%, and redirecting Pentagon spending to job creation . Making tax cheats like GE, Apple, Bank of America pay their fair share would alone generate more than $90 billion each year-enough to restore domestic programs to their 2009 level! A redirection of 20% of the monstrous Pentagon budget provides well over $100 billion each year to invest in putting people to work at livable wages.If you can help organize the Tax Day Actions, please contact Budget for All! info@budget4allmass.org – 617-354-2169 – www.budget4allmass.org. 


 Divest NOW! Rally and Lobby Day 
 Wednesday, February 26 Will Massachusetts be the first state to divest from fossil fuels? Time is running out, and it looks like our state legislators need a little help getting their priorities straight.Please join us on Wednesday, February 26 at 10:00 AM at the State House (Beacon and Park Streets, Boston) for a Divest NOW! rally and day of lobbying in support of S. 1225.S. 1225, the fossil fuel divestment bill, is currently held up in committee, and it needs to get moving by the March 20th deadline. Will you help us send a message this week with one more big divestment rally at the State House? There will be great speakers, awesome music, and some exciting announcements (look out for new pro-divestment initiatives forming!). After the rally, we’ll head into the State House to visit legislators and ask them to support divestment.For more information, contact: http://350ma.org/