Music: Amy Winehouse
Longtime readers of this space and the Athenaeum know of my longstanding interest in Sawin's Pond and its attendant watershed in Watertown, MA, but new readers (I know you're out there!) may not. In 2003, I wrote a report on the history of Sawin's and Williams Ponds and presented my findings to the Watertown Conservation Commission in addition to writing an op-ed piece that appeared in the Watertown TAB-Press. When I moved away from the Boston area in 2004, my efforts to see Sawin's and Williams Ponds and Sawin's Pond Brook cleaned up went by the wayside, but it seems that the long struggle to remediate the site has been taken up again.
An Eagle-eyed reader on the beat in Watertown (thanks, Rich!) have informed me that Paul Hatzilliades, son of Max, the owner of Sawin's and Williams Ponds, has created a website appropriately called sawinspond.com, started a Wikipedia entry, has been the subject of a recent (December 2009) story in the TAB-Press about the cleanup/lack thereof and wrote a letter to the editor as well.
So the questions you might be asking are:
Q: You live in Seattle now; why do you care?
A: This is where I grew up and it want to see it cleaned up.
Q: You live in Seattle now; how can you/should you engage in local politics in a community you no longer live in?
A: I think that due to my research and my desire to see a solution found, I have a lot to contribute, but there is a reason why nothing has been done for so many years. Will it be different this time?
I am going to contact the people I know in Watertown who are involved in this situation and see what is going on. I will also give my assessment of the situation up to this point as well in a future post, but the best place to start if you're new to this is my 2003 Report on Sawin's and Williams Ponds.
Another interesting thing that I have encountered wading into this issue again (pun intended) is that if you do an internet search of "Sawin's Pond," the material I have written pops up. If you type in "Sawins Pond," a while other set of material pops up, including the Hatzilliades's site and the recent article. My decision to include the apostrophe created all sorts of taxonomic consequences that I find fascinating and will elaborate on further as well. Hopefully, this article was tempting enough that I will follow up on it and you will read it!