Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

December 4, 2013 12:52 PM


Holiday music

The Concord Chorus performs on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Middlesex School chapel at 2 and 5 p.m. Its Winter Holiday Concert includes Renaissance to modern music with Jonathan Wessler on organ and Christine Binzel on violin. See

Winter Market

Be sure to take in the Winter Market at the Umbrella on Stow Street this weekend. The resident artists offer unique gifts from their studios. It’s open Friday, Dec. 6 from 1 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 to 5 pm. and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Library book sale

Then after you’ve seen the artwork, walk across Sudbury Road and shop at the Concord Library Holiday Book Sale in the main lobby. The sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. It starts on Dec. 6 from 9 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9 to 4 p.m., and Sunday Dec. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. Books are in mint condition.

Concord Orchestra’s holiday concert

On Sunday, Dec. 8, the Concord Orchestra is holding its annual Family Holiday Concert at 2 and 4 p.m. at 51 Walden Street. The concert features Howard Blake’s “The Snowman” narrated by Joyce Kulhawik with Fenn School boys singing the solo part. Go to

Shoppers Night

The Concord Chamber of Commerce is encouraging its Holiday Shopping Night on THursday, Dec. 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Milldam. That’s a special night when the stores are open later than usual and most have food and drink and roving carolers through the streets.

Family Tree event

The Concord Museum is having a reception to celebrate the 18th family trees exhibit. It runs from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 6. At the show, Christmas trees are decorated to illustrate a favorite children’s book. Visit

Third annual holiday house tour

The Concord Museum is hosting its third holiday tour where you can view the sumptuous decorations that adorn the specially-chosen houses in Concord. It is on Dec. 7 from 11 to 4 p.m.


FrameAbles on Thoreau Street is hosting a Holiday OpenHouse and Drawing for original artwork with the proceeds to benefit Concord’s Open Table. It will run daily starting Dec. 7. Go to

The Concord Art Association is having a Holiday Originals Exhibit and Sale Opening Reception on Lexington Road on Dec. 8 from 2-4 p.m. Visit

The Concord Band has its Holiday Pops Concert on Dec. 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. at 51 Walden Street. Go to

Noa Jewelry, fine handcrafts and gifts in West Concord is hosting Santa Claus on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. From 1-4 p.m. Santa will be at All Ways Organic and Natural, both on Commonwealth Avenue. Photos with Santa and a free toy for each child. Sponsored by Hottel Real Estate and a benefit for Beacon Santa.

At Verrill Farm visit with Santa – free, on Saturday, Dec. 7, 3 - 5 p.m.
Start a holiday tradition or join the families who return every year to visit with Santa at Verrill Farm. Everyone enjoys the friendly atmosphere and the greenhouse, decorated with trees, swags and poinsettias, creates a seasonal backdrop perfect for picture taking.
• Bring a list & take a picture with Santa
• Complimentary cider and cookies

Live Holiday Music by the Concord Conservatory of Music

Last year, talented young musicians from the Concord Conservatory of Music captivated shoppers with their performances. On December 7, Verrill Farm will welcome students again to sing and play instruments including keyboard, violin and cello.

Take in the Concord Museum’s annual “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature” from now until Jan. 1, 2014. It’s a delightful exhibit of Christmas trees decorated after favorite children’s books. Also, the museum’s gift shop is a dandy place to buy gifts for everyone on your list.

The Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Road, is offering art as holiday gifts. From Dec. 5 through 20, get local artist-made jewelry, wearable art, ceramics, paintings, photography and more.

FrameAbles and its Gallery 111 on Thoreau Street is showing the work of Maryalice Eizenberg with an artist’s reception on Dec. 12.

The Concord Museum’s third annual Holiday House Tour is Saturday, Dec. 7 from 11 to 4 p.m. On the third annual Holiday House Tour, seven of Concord’s most beautiful private homes will be professionally decorated in the holiday spirit by local and well-known interior designers. Guests will tour ground floor rooms in the homes with each house decorated in a different holiday theme. Advanced tickets available through December 5: $40 Concord Museum Members, $45 Non-Members. After December 5 or day-of: $50. No refunds; no photography. Tickets and maps must be picked up at the Museum the day of the tour.

The annual town coordination meeting is Saturday, Dec. 7. That’s the day when all departments and committees give a brief report as to possible and probable Town Meeting articles for the 2014 annual Town Meeting. It is held at the Town House and the public is invited.

Town Manager Chris Whelan reports that the selectmen held the tax classification hearing on Nov. 18 to set the tax rate for the fiscal year that began July 1. He said the taxable assessed value has increased by 1.5 percent. Growth from new construction is $1.220,000, due largely to commercial property development and the final completion of the Concord Mews complex. Overall residential value has increased by 1.4 percent. The Board of Assessors is proposing a tax increase of 2.7 percent from the prior tax rate of $14.07 to $14.45 per $1,000 of assessed value.

New Solar Farm at Former Landfill Permitted

A building permit has been issued this week to construct a 1.72 Megawatt DC solar farm (5830 solar panels) at the former Town landfill at 777 Walden Street. This project was previously reviewed and approved by the Planning Board. The project will be built by Kearsarge Concord LLC with the entire electricity generated by this facility sold back to the Concord Municipal Light Plant and distributed to Concord subscribers throughout the Town. This project is valued at $2.86 million.

Dabblers to close

The hobby-gift-coffee shop Dabblers on Commonwealth Avenue in West Concord is closing its doors, a victim to the lack of local sales.

Give the gift of Concord

The Chamber of Commerce is announcing the Gift of Concord, a gift certificate program to promote commerce in Concord. The program is sponsored by the Cambridge Trust Company and launched on Nov. 25.

At the Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Road, enjoy the work of Susanne Meterk who shares her love of the natural life cycle with vignettes from each season in her oil paintings. Inspired by the local landscape.

Want to serve the town?

The following are openings on town boards and committees:
Board of Appeals, associate member
Concord Housing Development Corporation
Records and Archives Committee
Youth Coordinator Advisory Board
Board of Assessors, associate member
Natural Resources Commission, associate member
Board of Health
To fill out an electronic green card, visit

Vacancy at Planning Department, Police

The town is advertising for the position of Town Planner. Applications are due by Friday, Dec. 20. Another vacancy is at the police department where the town is hiring an officer.
In the Town Manager Chris Whelan’s report, he said the Board of Health is increasingly concerned about “electronic cigarettes” that they see as marketed to teens and young adults. Whelan said the board is “also concerned over “vaping,” the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces where smoking has been prohibited. The board is in the process of amending its tobacco and nicotine delivery product regulation to strengthen provisions that impede youth access to nicotine delivery products, single inexpensive cigars, and blunt wraps, and to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes in public spaces.

Give blood

You will save two lives by giving one pint of blood at Emerson Hospital. It’s easy and has no side effects, yet it is the difference between life and death for patients. It is a unique gift that you can give and has no impact on your finances. Call 978 287 3390 to schedule an appointment. You’ll get a free gift and refreshments with every donation.

Archaeologist and Concord resident stumbles on ancient Israeli wine cellar

There is no limit to the fascinating people who live in our town. A Concord resident is making news these days after he and others discovered an ancient wine cellar at an archaeological dig in Israel. Andrew Koh, a Brandeis professor and Concord resident, said “After we hit the first jar dubbed Bessie, we hoped for more, but these intact vessels often end up being isolated anomalies. Once jars started appearing left and right, we knew we had something special.”

Koh said he worked with a team of archaeologists on the “once-in-a-lifetime find,” according to a report of the discovery. Koh said the cellar was stocked with about 40 jars at an ancient palace in northern Israel.

“I have personally studied the site and brought Brandeis students there since 2009. This latest expedition started in 2003, but a previous expedition was led by a different team from 1986-1993,” said Koh in a recent email about his extraordinary discovery.

He said Israel is potentially rife with undiscovered treasures. “There are undoubtedly many significant discoveries to be made in Israel,” said Koh. “Despite its relatively small size (around the size of New Jersey), it has been intensely settled for millennia by humans. This makes it the perfect place for archaeology as it's difficult to dig anywhere without finding something. The key is to dig at a location where we can ask the most interesting questions.

He said he and his team are working on an article for imminent submission to a scientific journal.

Koh loves his hometown. “Concord is a wonderful town that cherishes traditions while welcoming progressive discussions,” he said. “It's not an ossified town, i.e. an outdoor museum, but a vibrant town that just happens to be steeped in history.”

Some of the technology used to survey the plot is new. “What is not well known by the public is how far technology has come in the past decade for archaeology,” he said. “When I started graduate school in 1999, it cost thousands of dollars to acquire satellite photos with several meter resolution per pixel. Now sub-meter resolution photos are available for free at the click of a button. Analytical instruments are increasingly portable, affordable, and sophisticated like the lidar instrument we used on site.” So, instead of digging painstakingly through a site, new instruments can quickly alert the scientist to what lies beneath the ground.

In the future, Koh said he plans more work at the site. “In 2015, we will excavate rooms, probably similar to our wine cellar, to the south, west, and possibly north of our present location,” he said. “We are likely digging in the storage rooms of the palace, similar to the magazines found in similar Bronze Age structures in Greece and Mesopotamia. We're just fortunate that these storage rooms weren't found 100 years ago like most other sites, when methods weren't nearly as sophisticated or scientific.”

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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