March/April Newsletter

Dear Watertown Citizens Members and Friends,

We realize you recently received an E-newsletter from us, but there is so much happening that we thought we should send another one sooner than later.

Besides we have wonderful news – our new website is “live!” Here is the announcement.

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice & the Environment has a new website! Designed by students at BU’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts, the new site reflects the changes our organization has made in recent years and makes it easy to find upcoming events and hot issues. Over the next weeks we’ll be adding more resources, action items, etc. Let us know if there’s something you’d particularly like to find there! You will find the new site at the same address: WatertownCitizens.org Visit to learn about our next meeting, get highlights from our previous meeting, find out more about saving the bees, hear about our new upcoming film series, read the statement from Watertown Citizen’s working group, Rethink Plastic! and see much, much more. Thank you for all you do for peace, justice and the environment. Stay warm and active!

 Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment
 April General Meeting – Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00 PM Waterown Citiznes for Peace, Justice and the Environment will hold its April General Meeting on Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00 PM at Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Savings Bank Room.

Watertown Citizens meets monthly to plan new intiatives, hear reports from working groups and identify areas of interest. Please join us. Check on summaries of past meetings and highlights at our new web site, WatertownCitizens.org


 Diversity in Watertown
 Thursday, March 27 at 6:00 PM Diversity in Watertown is an exciting project of initiated by representatives of Watertown Citizens, World in Watertown, El Salvador Sister Cities, and Project Literary. 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


 “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare”
 Thursday, March 27 at 7:00 PM Investigative journalist Gareth Porter will talk about his new book, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare“, on March 27 at Cambridge Friends Meeting, all at 7:00 PM. Learn what you need to know to refute the Iran war hawks!

For more information contact cole@masspeaceaction.com or jsherysr@afsc.org


 Friends of Bees Hosts Free Honey Tasting, Talks and a Movie
 Tuesday, April 1 at 6:00 PM Watertown Citizen’s Friends of Bees Working Group will hold a free honey tasting, talks, and a Movie at the Watertown Free Public Library on Tuesday, April 1.

6:00 – Honey tasting
6:30 – Talk: Caneen Canning from Follow the Honey
6:45 – Bob DiRico – Watertown DPW on Watertown’s bee-friendly efforts
7:00 – Vanishing of the Bees movie about the discovery of Colony Collapse Disorder
8:30 – Wrap up, Q&A

Friends of Bees will have information on hand – where to get bee-friendly seedlings, actions you can take, pins, flyers and schedules of upcoming events, garden tours, plant sales and pollinator count. Please join the effort – We need bees and they need us! To learn more, visit Watertown Citizen’s website at, WatertownCtizens.org


 Early Childhood Information Fair and Free Concert
 Saturday, March 22 at 9:30 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


To help support the many and varied programs of the Watertown Family Network on March 26th – 7:30 pm at Donahue’s Bar and Grill, 87 Bigelow Ave, Watertown.

This promises to be a “beer tasting” like no other. Come meet “Beer Sommelier”, Leanne who will walk you through a number of different, varied, delicious and utterly undeniable good beers. YOUR TASTE BUDS WON’T REGRET IT!!

Raise you glass and enjoy some munchies. Bring your friends. This promises to be one fun night for a great cause.

$25.00 per ticket and $40.00 couple ticket. Tickets available at the Watertown Family Network or at the door.


 Current Events Film Series – “Inequality for All”
 Sunday, April 13 at 3:00 PM
“Inequality for All” is the first in a three-part Current Events Film Series sponsored by Watertown Citizens.

The film will be shown on Sunday, April 13 in the Mastrangelo Room on the second floor of the Watertown Free Public Library from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

In the words of Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, who is featured in the film,

“We’re in the biggest economic slump since the Great Depression, and we can’t seem to get out of it. Why? Because, exactly as in the 1920’s, so much of the nation’s income and wealth are going to the top, that the vast middle class doesn’t have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. People need to understand what’s happening to them – because from their perspective, the picture looks pretty bleak.”

Other films in the Current Events Series include:

May 4 – Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars

May 18 – The Law in These Parts

For more information visit our new website at, WatertownCitizens.org


 Rethink Plastics! Meeting and Take the Plastics Survey!
 Monday, March 31 at 7:00 PM Join the Rethink Plastics! working group on Monday, March 31 at 7:00 PM at First Parish Church, (35 Church Street) to discuss the latest developments in efforts to reduce the use of plastics in Watertown. For more information visit www.WatertownCitizens.org



https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FGCK25Z. Tell us about your plastic bag use and what you think of alternatives.

Maybe you’ve heard that owns all over the country, and the world, are starting to ban single-use plastic shopping bags, opting for paper or numerous other choices. Close to home, Brookline banned them already. Nantucket has banned them for years. There are efforts underway to ban plastic bags in Cambridge, Somerville, Newton as well as on the state level.

So, what’s so bad about plastic carry-out bags? Disposable plastic bags contribute to the eye-sore of visible litter on the streets, fences, and trees in Watertown. They also make their way into rivers and oceans where they entangle and block the digestive tract of marine birds, mammals, and turtles. In the ocean, plastics become brittle and break into smaller and smaller pieces.

Unfortunately, these very small bits act like sponges and soak up water-borne pollutants (think BP Gulf oil spill) resulting in high concentrations of toxins in particles that are ingested by marine life. They enter the food chain in this way.

Plastic carry-out bags waste resources in their production, distribution, and collection as trash. They are recycled at very low rates and over 90% end up in landfills where they take about 1,000 years to break down, leaching additives into the soil in the meantime.

In Watertown, these bags may be returned to Stop and Shop or Target, but are not accepted in curbside recycling because they jam the sorting equipment at the material recovery center where our single stream recycling is separated.

Additionally, plastics are made from oil or gas, which are finite, valuable resources. Shouldn’t fossil fuel be reserved for important things like heating our homes and offices, or making durable plastic items that serve important functions?


 Earth Day Film Showing – “unacceptable LEVELS”
 Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 PM Join us on Earth Day for a film showing and discussion of “unacceptable LEVELS”, a film about chemicals in our bodies and how they got there. The event will take place on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:00 PM at Watertown Free Public Library Watertown Savings Bank Room at 123 Main Street. Watertown.

This award-winning documentary dissects the ways chemicals saturate our homes and environment amid a backdrop of a glaring lack of regulation. Ed Brown interviewed the world’s leading experts in science, advocacy and law, weaving their stories into an engaging narrative. Brown’s findings offer a revealing look at how the chemical revolution was a catalyst to the issues we face today and he empowers us to harness the power of choice to enact real and lasting change.

Dr. Richard Clapp who is an expert in environmental and public health and who appears in the film will lead a discussion following the showing. He is a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Public Health at BU School of Public Health and adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

The film is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by: Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment www.watertowncitizens.org Survival Education Fund, Inc. and local businesses including the Deluxe Towne Diner, Spencer Organ, The Bookcase Factory and Debra L. Smith, Attorney at Law.

If you have any questions, please call Debra Smith at 617-924-6728 or email her at lawdeb@aol.com. To preview trailer and learn more about the documentary visit, www.unacceptablelevels.com. Remember to visit our new website at, WatertownCitizens.org


 Solar 201: Meet the Installer Next Step Living
 Monday, April 7 at 7:00 PM The Solarize Watertown campaign, in partnership with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), will host a “Solar 201” workshop on Monday, April 7th at 7:00 PM at the Watertown Middle School Auditorium, 68 Waverley Avenue.

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 at www.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 at Grace Vision United Methodist Church at 80 Mt. Auburn Street .

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 visit WatertownCitizens.org or call 617-926-8560.


 3rd Annual Watertown Music Fest
 Friday, March 29 at 6:00 PM Friends of Watertown Music presents the 3rd Annual Watertown Music Fest on Friday, March 28 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the Watertown Middle School, 68 Waverley Avenue.

Pizza, Refreshments, and Bake Sale. Suggested donation $8.00 per person or $25.00 per family.

For more information visit http://watertownmusic.com


 Tax Day Rally and Forum: How Should Our Tax Money Be Spent
 Saturday, April 12 at 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM Join Barney Frank, Rep. Jim McGovern, Mel King, Rep. Jay Kaufman and others on Saturday, April 12 for a Tax Day rally and forum.

“How Should Our Tax Money Be Spent” will begin with a rally at 12:30 PM to Protest Corporate Tax Cheats at Bank of America, 440 Boylston Street at Berkeley Street. The forum will take place at 2:00 PM at the Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street in Boston. Sponsored by Budget for All!

For more information visit www.budget4allmass.org


 Pivoting for Peace in Asia/Pacific
 Saturday, April 19 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM The American Friends Service Committee, Massachusetts Peace Action, and United for Justice with Peace are sponsoring a major one-day conference, “Pivoting for Peace in Asia/Pacific: Challenging US Militarism and Corporate Dominance“.

The conference will take place at the Friends Meeting House, 5 Longfellow Park in Cambridge. Registration is $10.00 and Lunch is $10.00. Register at http://pivoting-for-peace.bpt.me/

Speakers include: Dr. Joseph Gerson (AFSC), Duncan McFarland (UJP), Lori Wallach (Public Citizen), Hyun Lee (Korean Community Development), Bruce Gagnon (Global Network), Mike Prokosch (New Priorities Network), and others.


 Charles River Clean-Up
 Saturday, April 26 at 9:00 AM Please join Watertown Citizens and Rethink Plastics! for the Charles River Cleanup at the River Path behind Stop&Shop on Pleasant Street at 9:00 AM. Crews will be busy all along the river cleaning up debris. Supplies (gloves, bags, tools) and refreshments will be provided.

For more information visit WatertownCitizens.org


 Dedication of a PEACE POLE Celebrating Diversity
 Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 PM The Institute for Individual and World Peace, in cooperation with the Watertown Free Public Library, Project Literacy of Watertown and Watertown Citizens will dedicate a “Peace Pole Celebrating Diversity” on the lawn in front of the Library on Saturday, April 26 from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM. The peace pole is an eight-sided pole. Each side will have a message of peace in a different language. Given how many languages are spoken in Watertown, the pole will be accompanied by a plaque that reads, “The statement stands for a multitude of languages spoken in Watertown; a hub of diversity, radiating out to Boston, New England, the United States and the world.” For more information contact David Jenkins at david@davidjenkinsconsulting.com


 Call for Garden Tour Hosts!
 Sunday, May 11 from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM Spring will come! We must plan ahead for the 12th Chemical Free Yard and Garden Tour to be held on Mothers’ Day, Sunday, May 11 from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM.

Sponsored by Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment and Watertown Community Gardens, the tour is meant to invite visitors to any growing space, however humble, where no synthetic chemicals have been used for at least a year. (Better for beleaguered hone-bees and other important pollinating creatures!)

If you would like your space to be on the tour, please contact Louise Forrest at louisefor@aol.com by April 1. It is important to give your name(s), email, address, and a brief description of your space. Please indicate if yours is a child-friendly space.

Share your life-friendly garden!


 What’s Really Happening in Venezuela and What Does It Mean?
 Sunday, April 6 at 2:30 PM Please join us for a presentation by Rev. Mike Clark, “What’s really happening in Venezuela and what does it mean? – A First-Hand Report” on Sunday, April 6th at 2:30 PM at the Belmont Public Library, 336 Concord Avenue in Belmont.

Rev. Mike Clark has travelled on fact-finding missions to Venezuela 7 times since 2004. His most recent trip, March 3-11, coincided with the first anniversary of the death of President Hugo Chavez and the ongoing disruptions organized by opposition forces. His eyewitness account will reflect the reality on the ground in Venezuela in the present moment.


Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment (Watertown Citizens) is a Watertown voice for peace, the environment, and social justice. Watertown Citizens was formed in 1979 in response to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.


Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment