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Why Trees Matter

A recent article in the New York Times discusses the ways trees help the air, the ocean, and your health.  Also, a Columbia University study finds that children living on tree-lined streets are less likely to develop asthma.

Walmart Withdraws Exeter, PA Proposal

Walmart has rolled back plans to build a 151,000-square-foot supercenter in Exeter PA.

Read more at: CitizensVoice.com,
TimesLeader.com, and Sprawl-Busters

Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety Supports Sustainable Watertown

We would like to thank the Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety (WCES) for their kind letter of support.  The text follows:

WCES Environmental Task Force Statement Regarding Sustainable Watertown
 
WCES has been speaking up about many development proposals over the
past 30 years. In the past, Watertown’s role has generally been re-active,
responding a developer’s proposal. The new Strategic Framework for Economic
Development gives citizens an opportunity to be more pro-active.  Read the full letter >>
 

Consumer Reports ranks Walmart 10th out of 10

Walmart ranked in last place according to a recent article in Consumer Reports.  According to a survey of over 26,000 readers, Walmart ranked behind Costco, Target, Sears, and six other national chains for items like clothing, kitchenware, sporting goods, and toys, as well as racking up more shopper complaints than most of the other stores.

You can read more in the March 2012 issue.  It's also available online.  The first few paragraphs are free (along with a ratings chart), but beyond that, there's a paywall.  See:http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/where-to-buy-almost-anything/index.htm

 

Watch "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price" on Watertown Cable

"Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price" will be shown on the Watertown Community Access Center (Comcast Channel 8, RCN Channel 15) starting on Wednesday, February 1st at 1:30pm and Thursday, February 2nd at 7:00pm.  We're told that this program will repeat every week at these same times.

We encourage everyone to watch this amazing movie and to invite friends to watch and discuss it together. If Sustainable Watertown members want to host a house party and invite neighbors, family, and friends, we will help with a check list of what to do to make it easy and we'll drop off posters showing the location of the proposed site. If you want another member to speak, or help out, just let us know by writing to info@SustainableWatertown.org.

Town Assessor: Walmart tax revenue 62% less than we thought

Watertown's head assessor, Frank Golden, has reduced his estimate of what Walmart will add to Watertown's tax revenue.  In light of state tax laws passed in 2009, and Walmart's filing status as a corporation, Golden states that the amount of revenue which Walmart will add to the town's coffers is a mere $115,000, down from the original estimate of $308,000.

The change to the assessor's estimate was prompted by reports from Oxford and other towns all over the Commonwealth that revenue from taxes on Walmart's corporate personal property will be practically zero.  While state revenues will increase due to the change in the laws, revenues to the cities and towns will be greatly diminished.

An explanation of the tax law changes can be found on the Sprawl Buster web site. Articles covering the affects this will have on other Massachusetts cities and towns can be found in the Worcester Business Journal, The Worcester Telegram, and The Berkshire Eagle

January Stand-Out a Great Success

About 40 to 50 people gathered on January 21st to stand-out against Walmart.   The gathering took place near the intersection of Arsenal Street and Beacon Park where Walmart wants to plant their 90,000 sqare foot store. The group met at 10:00am during the season's first real snow storm, but despite the weather, the turnout was great.

Spirits were high among the the group, which included citizens from many parts of Watertown.  Passing motorists beeped their horns in solidarity, and some even pulled over to find out more about the protest and Walmart's plans for the area.

Where Walmart Wants to Build

Unlike the Arsenal and Watertown Malls, the proposed Walmart is sited about a half mile from Watertown Square.   Also unlike the malls, which are separated from residential neighborhoods by light manufacturing and office buildings, the Walmart will abut one residential neighborhood, and be across the street from another.  It will be behind the United Tile store and Peter Fuller Auto Rentals.  It looks like a proposed entrance is at the edge of the lot with the billboard across from the Toyota dealership.  Read More >>

An Open Letter to Watertown, MA – Please do not bring Walmart here.

Dear The Powers that Be in Watertown, MA,

I am writing to express my disappointment in the consideration of bringing Wal-Mart to Watertown. We first moved to Watertown six and a half years ago. Coming from Florida, I was thrilled to land in an area that had small town charm, but was still minutes from the city. It was the best of both worlds.  Read More >>

"No Walmart, No More Big Boxes" Lawn Signs Now Available

We've printed up some "No Walmart, No More Big Boxes" lawn signs.   We will be using these same signs (without their metal legs) during our Election Day standouts.   Signs can be picked up, or we'll deliver them right to your door (or lawn).

If you need a sign, please contact info@sustainablewatertown.org with your name and address to make arrangements.

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