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Concord Currents, What’s happening in town this week

Posted by Laura Gomez  February 20, 2013 05:32 PM

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A cash mob is scheduled for the West Concord Five & Ten on Saturday, March 2, said store manager Chris Curtis.

He said the novel twist on the flash mob is a national movement aimed at boosting local independent retailers. A customer of Curtis’ organized the effort which will last for the duration of the store’s opening hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Cash mobs are scheduled monthly, he said.

It’s a pretty simple idea: on the appointed day, you show up and buy something at the store. At the 5 & 10, that could be anything from thread to underwear, glassware to window shades, candy, toys and just about anything else under the sun. The store opened in 1934 and has remained under one family’s ownership since 1951.

The Cash Mob web page says, “With $20 in hand, members of a community come together to shop in a locally owned establishment to support the area economy. Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, and linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships.”

The cash mob has “gone viral,” Curtis said, on Facebook and in social media. He has alerted the neighboring businesses along Commonwealth Avenue too, “because you’re not going to drive down from Vermont just to buy something from one store and go home,” he said. The Five & Ten is at 106 Commonwealth.

“Once a month, whoever shows up meets afterwards and makes it a social event,” said Curtis. He expects anywhere from 500 to 1,000 people to throng to West Concord.

Curtis wears another hat besides presiding over the Five and 10. He is a storm chaser with deep knowledge of tornados. He spends his summer vacation with other storm chasers touring the Southwest and Midwest in a van, listening to weather radio and tracking the big storms.

Curtis is speaking at the Council on Aging in Lincoln on the subject of tornados on Monday, Feb. 25 at Bemis Hall. On April 24, he speaks at the Concord library as part of the Earth Day/Earth Month celebration.

In other news, on Monday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. the Finance Committee will hold its public hearing on the Fiscal 2014 town government budget that will be voted on at Town Meeting. The education budgets will be the subject of a hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Both hearings will be in the Town House.

At the COA, take in the Gary Hylander Lecture series on The Roaring Twenties. First Lecture – Monday, Feb 25 at 2 p.m. If you enjoyed Gary’s talk in December about Dickens’ Christmas Carol, you will love his six lecture series about the Roaring Twenties – “Flivvers, Flappers and Fitzgerald,” which covers the prosperous period in US history from the end of World War I to the beginning of the Great Depression. The lectures are on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. March 5, April 2, 9, 23, and 30. This series is being presented free of charge through a generous contribution by the Concord Friends of the Aging.

State Rep. Cory Atkins is holding a town hall constituent meeting on March 12 at the Town House to answer questions about past and future happenings on Beacon Hill and how they affect her district. It is one in a series of three meetings in the district.

Atkins said Gov. Deval Patrick wants to raise the state income tax by 1 percent to 6.25 percent, and cut the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 4.5 percent. She said the revenue would be used for education and infrastructure.

“It’s not a question of whether taxes will increase, but rather a question of how and by how much,” Atkins said. “Before I take a vote on raising revenues, it is critical that I hear directly from my constituents on this issue.”

The first town hall meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 7 from 7 -9 p.m. at the Chelmsford Police Station, 2 Olde North Rd. Residents may park in the visitor lot or in street parking along Olde North Road. The second meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 12 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Concord Town House, 22 Monument Square. The final meeting will occur on Thursday, March 14 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Acton Police Station, 371 Main St.

In other political news, the League of Women of Voters of Concord-Carlisle (LWVCC) will host a Concord Candidates' Forum on Sunday, March 3, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Willard School Auditorium, 185 Powder Mill Road, Concord. Snow date is Tuesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.

You are invited to watch two new “Video Exchanges” from the Concord-Nanae Connection. The videos are a project between the Concord-Carlisle Sci-Fi Club and the Nanae (Concord’s Japanese sister city) High School English Club to create an ongoing video exchange. See the first one here. The video was created by David Nurenberg, Sci-Fi Club faculty representative. Visit to learn more about this intercultural program between sister cities. There is a second video here.

The Council on Aging is holding its winter tea on March 1 at 2 p.m. It was rescheduled from the snowstorm.

The Division of Natural Resources is following up its community meeting on open space planning with a survey. Check out the details and participate.

The town department is in the process of updating its Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP)! Once completed, an OSRP is a powerful instrument to achieve Concord’s open space and recreation goals. It establishes the community’s aspirations, recommends patterns of development that will support these goals, and enables Concord to obtain certain state and federal grants. This plan will assist in maintaining and enhancing the benefits of open space, as well as active and passive recreational facilities, to benefit the character of the community and protect its green infrastructure, and will also identify future goals and objectives for open space and recreation planning.

Please take 20 minutes to complete the Open Space and Recreation Plan Survey by going here. If you prefer to fill out a paper copy, hardcopies are available at the Town Offices, Libraries, Beede Center, Hunt’s Gym, and Council on Aging, and can be mailed or hand delivered to the Division of Natural Resources, 141 Keyes Rd. Surveys will be accepted through Feb. 28.

Also, join division staff at the second Community Meeting on March 13, at 7 p.m. in the first floor conference room at 141 Keyes Road to provide additional input and to ensure your visions are appropriately addressed in the 2013 Open Space and Recreation Plan.

The Friends of Minute Man National Historical Park is offering two lectures in March at Bemis Hall at 15 Bedford Rd in Lincoln, on Sunday March 10 and Sunday March 17 at 3 pm.

The March 10 Lecture will present speaker J.L. Bell who will speak on Washington's Spy Ring. Mr. Bell will discuss the challenges that General Washington faced in gathering intelligence on the British Military in Boston. The talk reveals secrets and names the names!

On March 17, Joan Walsh, the Director for Bird Monitoring at Mass Audubon, will look at the results of Mass Audubon's recent State of the Birds of Massachusetts and Breeding Bird Atlas II and discuss the role that our shifting land-use practices have had upon our native bird population.

The Emerson Umbrella is offering two intriguing events in March. On March 2 you can take in a wonderful evening of Old Broadway! Musicals from 1940 – 1970. It will be a perfect evening for the family or a night out with friends. Tickets are $15 and there will be a cash bar. This is a fundraiser for our growing Performing Arts Program.

Also, the Umbrella presents Jesus Christ Superstar, which opens on March 28. Get your tickets now as they are going fast. See here.

In high school news, for the first time the Presidents Volunteer Service Award will be presented on Awards Night, May 16. Applications are due by March 15. 2Volunteer is currently accepting student applications for this prestigious award. If a student has compiled over 100 hours of eligible Community Service in one calendar year, in whatever venue(s) they have chosen, encourage them to apply. Learn more about the Awards and use the on-line application form at the 2Volunteer website,, also linked from the CCHS home page.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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