July-August 2013 Update

Dear Sustainable Watertown,
We hope that you have a chance to enjoy the gorgeous weather today and tomorrow.

Tuesday (today) July 30: 6pm. Special Town Council Meeting for an Informational presentation of the Mt Auburn Street Project. This is the first major public hearing of a plan and we hope that there will be continuing discussion. We can't fully anticipate the plan for Mt Auburn Street, but here are a couple of links that will interest Sustainable Watertown members concerning traffic calming and at the same time moving traffic on roads that are shared with bike riders and pedestrians. http://www.walkablewestbluff.org/resources/183.pdf http://walkablestreets.wordpress.com/2003/08/17/economic-merits-of-road-...
These articles contain references to many issues discussed by the Complete Streets model of the MA Dept of Transportation. Watertown is in the process of adopting these standards. Public input to determine values and goals from which the design of streets will evolve is an important component. Take a look at these articles, send us your comments, and let us know of other articles you find.
The Special Council Meeting will also discuss snow plowing of private ways. Your town councilors will know more after tonight and plans will be in the papers and on line. Check out SustainableWatertown.org and http://www.watertown-ma.gov for details.

Wednesday, July 31, 7pm, Zoning Board of Appeals, Council Chambers. Meeting will discuss private variances, etc, and also placing a cell phone antenna at 65 Main Street, at the Armenian Library and Museum. This building is in the Central Business District in Watertown Square and next door are the fire station and public library.

Thursday, August 1, 6:30-8pm, Watertown Summer Concert Series, Saltonstall Park. 'Tarbone will perform this week. See you there! 8/8 Love Dogs; 8/15 Sunny and her Joy Boys with Duke Robillard. Rain? Please check at 617-972-6431 after 4pm.

Cambridge and Boston have Hubway bicycle rentals and now Waltham is working on it. How about Watertown? We need your help. Please let us know because Thomas Theune is organizing a committee to get started. Want to know more? Write to info@sustainablewatertown.org.

Reduce our use of P L A S T I C S: A small group of Sustainable Watertown and Watertown Citizens members met to discuss plastics and their harm to the environment. (If you haven't heard, look up Pacific Gyre and know that they exist in every ocean). The MA legislature is working on reduction of plastics as well. Our Representative Jon Hecht has cosponsored a number of bills. H.696 (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H696) particularly relates to plastic bags. Brookline is the most recent town to ban distribution of single use plastic bags and won approval from the Attorney General to do so. We would like to work on a local initiative that focuses on reducing plastic, particularly plastics that cannot be recycled at all, or incompletely, such as plastic bags and styrofoam. We identified three possible goals for such an initiative: 1) Review and improve town and school practices. 2) Reduce the use of plastic bags by local retailers--perhaps subsidizing cloth bags, fees on one-time plastic bags, legislation; 3) Increasing awareness of citizens and retailers to change plastic use. We would like to team up with members of other local groups such as the Recycling Committee and the W3E to build support, formulate an approach, and coordinate our efforts. Would you, or your group like to participate? Can you recommend other groups? We have scheduled a meeting Wednesday, September 11 at 7pm at the library. Please pass the word and plan to attend. Remember, every single plastic bag that has ever been made still exists in some form, mostly in our oceans.

New Watertown Recycling Center is open at 76 Stanley Ave.

Have a great summer. And thanks for all you do.
Sustainable Watertown.

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