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Defining a decade: 2000s had it all in Waltham

Open space saved and lost in the 2000s make the news.

Daily News Tribune
Posted Dec 31, 2009 @ 03:46 AM
Last update Dec 31, 2009 @ 04:25 AM

WALTHAM —

The news in the 2000s in Waltham ran the gamut: From positive news, like eight new schools being built, to negative, like the local hospital closing its doors due to hemorrhaging of money, to gruesome, like the killing of a local woman by her husband, who poisoned her slowly with a mixture of anti-freeze in Gatorade.

There were many feel good stories. Waltham native Mackenzy Bernadeau opted to play his college football right in his backyard at Bentley University. Despite an injury that limited his senior year, he was picked by the Carolina Panthers in the final round of the National Football League draft. Now, only in his second year, he is starting.

Of course, we can't forget Jeannette McCarthy becoming the first female mayor of the Watch City, many acres of open space secured by the city, numerous new athletic fields constructed and the new Stanley Senior Center.

Residents and city officials opined on the top 10 stories in this decade. What do you think? Do you agree?

BRAD SPIEGEL, Daily News Tribune editor

  1. Eight new schools built
  2. Waltham Hospital closes
  3. First female mayor elected
  4. James Keown convicted of killing his wife, Julie, with a Gatorade-antifreeze mixture
  5. State to close Fernald Center
  6. Band Waltham hits it big with CDs, own record label, song in "The Amazing Race," on MTV's "Made," and in Disney's "America's Heart and Soul"
  7. John Wenckus dies in 9/11 attack
  8. Mackenzy Bernadeau is drafted for NFL's Carolina Panthers
  9. Stanley Senior Center established
  10. Edward Drew retires as police chief amid allegations and findings of nepotism in the department

GARY MARCHESE, city councilor

  1. Eight schools built
  2. Army Corps property and Harding Field youth sports facility
  3. Acquisition of dozens of acres of open space
  4. Police Officer John Connaughton saves a woman who was attacked at Lowell Field in 2009
  5. Rezoning of the former Waltham Hospital parcel for renovation into a first-class medical center
  6. Stanley Senior Center
  7. The acquisition and preservation of Wellington House and old police station
  8. Outpouring of charity and generosity by Waltham residents during holiday season
  9. The success of the Waltham athletic and performing arts programs
  10. The leadership and resolve displayed by Waltham city government, including Waltham City Council, School Committee and mayor

MARC RUDNIK, Waltham Land Trust (top open space stories)

  1. A hundred acres of open space acquired: Chester Brook Woods, Jericho Hill, Shady's Pond, Sanderson Heights, Lot 1, and Chemistry Park
  2. Sixteen acres of open space lost with development of The Ridge, Lexington and Lake streets
  3. Dredging Hardy Pond
  4. Charles River Walk, reawakening Waltham's sense of the river as a natural place
  5. Saga of Polaroid land; battle to save Berry Farm open space and to construct the rail trail segment
  6. Establishment of the Western Greenway and start of construction of its 9-mile loop hiking trail
  7. Waltham and Lexington environmental activists lobby successfully for Outside Section 548 of the state budget, which allowed fast-track auctions of state property
  8. Establishment of Beaver Brook North Reservation, Waltham's largest park
  9. Creation of Fernald Reuse Committee
  10. Wayside Rail Trail moving ahead under the Department of Conservation and Recreation

BOB KELLY , city councilor (not in any particular order)

  1. Moody Street resurgence
  2. Open space purchases
  3. Eight new schools built
  4. Stanley Senior Center built
  5. River walks
  6. Securing the Veterans Rink for Waltham use
  7. Prospect Hill improvements
  8. New athletic fields
  9. Rte. 128 successful facelift
  10. Children's Hospital on former Waltham Hospital property

JEANNETTE McCARTHY, mayor

  1. Waltham native John Wenckus dies in 9/11 attack
  2. Closing of Waltham Hospital
  3. Eight new schools
  4. Opening of new Stanley Senior Center
  5. State to close Fernald School
  6. Vietnam Moving Wall visits Waltham/construction of the Circle of Remembrance Memorial on Waltham Common
  7. Closing of Polaroid and other businesses
  8. Closing of Wal-Lex Recreation Center
  9. Waltham Pop Warner cheerleaders win national championship
  10. Waltham High School hockey boys with Division 1 championship

ALAN BLEYLE, Ridge Lane

  1. Waltham High School boys hockey wins Division 1 state title
  2. Polaroid closes
  3. Jeannette McCarthy elected Waltham's first female mayor
  4. Waltham fails to build golf course at former Met State Hospital site
  5. Bernadeau picked in NFL draft
  6. Bentley College becomes Bentley University
  7. Former Waltham High athlete and Bentley football coach Peter Yetten retires
  8. Yetten baseball field completed next to Leary Field
  9. Wal-Lex closes
  10. North Waltham Baseball League merges with Little Nippers

ANDREW DRISCOLL, Propsect Street (not in any particular order)

  1. Eight new schools
  2. Many youth multi-use sports fields
  3. Stanley Senior Center
  4. Waltham High establishes conflict resolution team
  5. Circle of Remembrance built on Waltham Common
  6. McCarthy becomes mayor
  7. Closing of St. Joseph Church
  8. Ernie McKenzie, author of Musings By McKenzie in the Tribune, dies
  9. Henry Hoover dies and lies in state at City Hall
  10. Bus stop reinstated at Waltham Hospital

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