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Concord Currents: What’s happening in town this week

Posted by Laura Gomez  June 27, 2013 04:13 PM

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Surprising school news

Thoreau School Principal Kelly Clough announced her resignation on Wednesday afternoon. In an email to parents, Clough said, “Dear Thoreau Families, I am writing to inform you that I have made the decision to resign my position as principal of Thoreau School, effective June 28, 2013. I have decided to pursue other career opportunities in the field of education. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve as the principal of Thoreau School these past three years.

"I deeply regret I unavoidably did not have the opportunity to say goodbye to students and parents before now. If any students or parents would like to like to visit with me, I welcome that opportunity on or before Friday, June 28, which will be my last day.”

Clough had come under fire from some parents after a survey found resentment and distrust of her among the elementary school’s faculty, and other matters.

Superintendent Diana Rigby confirmed receiving Kelly's resignation and said the district will hire an interim principal for the coming school year. In January, the district will begin the selection process for a new principal in collaboration with Thoreau faculty, staff, and parents.

"The School District sincerely thanks Kelly for her hard work in furthering the interests of all within the school community, and wishes her the best in her future endeavors," Rigby said in an email.

Senator-elect Markey

Congratulations to Senator-elect Ed Markey who won the special election on Tuesday. In Concord, Markey topped Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez in all five precincts. Concord voters turned out in force, scoring a 42 percent turnout.

An extraordinary travel experience

Continuing the tradition of placing a Concord resident in sister-city Nanae, Japan, for a year-long cultural exchange between the two towns, David Shoup, a recent Tulane University graduate, has been selected as the next liaison, and will depart for Japan in late July.

“I am very excited to live and teach in Nanae this year, representing Concord and this great century-plus connection that these two towns have shared,” said Shoup in an email. He referred to the original contact between Concord and Nanae which was made by Concordian William Wheeler in the 19th century. Wheeler helped found Hokkaido University.

Nanae is on the island of Hokkaido. It is slightly larger than Concord with about 28,000 people. Shoup will be teaching English and maintaining communication between the two municipalities. He will work in the Nanae Office of International Relations at its city hall.

“I had the great fortune at Tulane University to be able to study abroad three times, and teaching English overseas is an incredible post-grad job to follow that up,” he said. “Nanae really peaked my interest because of the connection that it has shared with Concord beginning in 1876 when our own William Wheeler helped found Hokkaido University.”

He said he will have to learn Japanese, but he is “optimistic that I can bring much of the town and nation's culture to Nanae while learning a great deal about the people, language and traditions of Nanae and Japan.”

“I believe I'll be the first (representative) in Nanae with a New Orleans background in addition to many years in Concord, so hopefully I can bring a little Cajun cooking into the mix as well,” said Shoup.

It’s all about the Fourth

Don’t miss out on the giant party this year as Picnic in the Park 2013 gets underway at 10 a.m. on July 4. Emerson Field is the setting for an array of field games, food, and booths lining the pathways selling baked goods, jewelry, and other wares from local nonprofit groups in and around Concord.

Tethered balloon rides begin at 10 a.m.; the decorated bicycle parade takes place at 11:30 a.m. (children gather at 11:15 am). Celtic and Cape Breton Music by Annalivia (11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.); bluegrass music by Southern Rail (1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.); concert music by the Concord Band (3:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.).Activities for families will include field games; balloon twisting; the popular Fire Department 911 House, the Police Department radar toss, a demonstration by Concord’s K-9 police officer, Officer Sylvia Toumayan and her dog Charik; juggling by Peter Panic Juggler; and, for teens, a henna artist will make temporary tattoos. In case of rain, the music will be moved indoors.

Also on the Fourth, the Minuteman Classic Road Race, sponsored by the town Recreation Department, begins at 9 a.m. and follows a route through town and over the North Bridge. It is a favorite of scores of New England runners, even attracting those from Canada and farther afield. There is a children’s “fun run” of about a mile around Emerson Field before the adult race.

Al fresco dining

Verrill Farm is hosting events during July that will delight the whole family. The tents are set for al fresco dining all summer - with breakfast, lunch and dinner on the menu for July! First up, the annual Blueberry Pancake Breakfast and Pie Eating Contest on Saturday, July 20 at 9 a.m; the Field to Fork Crop Dinner follows on July 30 at 6 p.m. and lunch is available every day of the month - just stop at the farm stand and pick up a sandwich or salad to enjoy under the tents!

Free Farm Tour and Cooking Demo, Saturday, July 27, 9 a.m.
Learn about farm grown crops from Steve Verrill on a tour
followed by a cooking demo at the stand featuring just picked produce.

From Field to Fork - A Summer Crop Dinner, Tuesday, July 30, 6 p.m.
Verrill Farm chefs prepare a buffet dinner inspired by just-picked crops, served outside under the tents. Acoustic Guitar by Enrique. $40 per person. Call 978 369 4494.

Painting inside the Umbrella

The Emerson Umbrella Center for the Arts on Stow Street is putting out a call for volunteers to spruce up the interior of the former school building. According to Kathy Warren, manager of volunteers, there are a couple of projects that require painting. If you are interested, email her at ”Put on a scarf and painting clothes and join an Umbrella artist spruce up our kitchen
for two hours of "Tom Sawyer" type fun,” said Warren. ”Volunteer for a two hour slot of
your choice. Help us spruce up our wonderful arts center.”
When: Wednesday, July 17 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Thursday July 18 9:30 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Another project?
Painting the halls and Black Box Theater entrance.
”Join our Director of Performing Arts, Brian Boruta, to prepare the space for
our new Black box theater offerings. Brian is sure to make this fun,” noted Warren.
When: Monday, July 22 thru Wednesday, 24 in two-hour time slots from 9:30
am to 5:30 p.m.

Art Space News

COA artist, exhibiting through June 28, is Carol Keller. Carol lives in Winchester. Sun, sea, spruce trees and fishing towns are the themes of her artwork. Carol has exhibited nationally and is an artist member of the Cambridge and Concord Art Associations. Carol says that North Haven, an Island 12 miles off the coast of Maine, has been a major influence on her art. She enjoys the peace and quiet found on the islands, and the lack of commercialization. The island’s peace and naturalness, its beauty, and the desire to preserve this for the next generation all influence her art.

Shutterfly group at the COA

Our Shutterfly group will continue to meet once a month during the summer. Shutterfly makes it easy to enhance, share and store your digital photos. Classes will meet in the library here at the HWCC from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. one Tuesday a month. This class is open to all; but please do call to let us know that you will be coming so we can give instructor Bob Bratzler a head count. Upcoming Shutterfly classes will be held on the following dates: June 25, July 23, August 27, and September 24.

Concerts on the Library Lawn

All concerts take place at the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street. Bring blankets, chairs, bug spray and a picnic supper! The rain location for the series is the Emerson Umbrella Theater, 40 Stow Street, Concord. Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library with additional help from the Emerson Umbrella (rain location).
1. The Series begins with Los Sugar Kings on Wed, July 10 at 7:00pm. The Cuban Ensemble creates music that blends salsa and merengue to create a danceable music.
2. Southern Rail will play on Wed, July 24 at 7:00pm. The members of the band will play both original and traditional bluegrass. This exuberant group will entertain with their music and their incredible wit.
3. The Boogaloo Swamis will play on Wed, August 7 at 7:00pm. The New Orleans music of the group combines Zydeco and Cajun pieces that will create a lively, foot tapping concert.

A Day at Tanglewood

Sunday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. leaving from Concord. Travel with the Berkshire Tour Company to beautiful Tanglewood in Stockbridge. Bring your own picnic lunch to eat on the grounds, and then enjoy a BSO concert in the Tanglewood Music Shed with a selection of works from Stravinsky, Haydn and Beethoven. After the concert, you will have dinner at the Appletree Inn in Stockbridge before returning to Concord. The cost of this trip is $115. The package includes dinner, a Tanglewood ticket inside shed (section 11-14), luxury motorcoach transportation, and all applicable taxes and gratuities. We need a minimum of 25 people to run this trip. Call 978- 318-3020 to reserve your spot. Checks, payable to the “Town of Concord”, are due at the time of reservation. Sorry, no refunds unless the trip is cancelled.

From July 10 -14, The Thoreau Society - 341 Virginia Road is holding its annual meeting. Events taking place throughout historic Concord as well as at the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods in Lincoln. You won't want to miss our Keynote Speaker, Robert D. Richardson Jr, who has written biographies on Henry D. Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and William James. Also included in this year's program will be a performance of Charles Ives' Concord Sonata in four movements: Emerson, Hawthorne, Alcotts and Thoreau, with highly acclaimed musicians Leslie Amper, Randy Hodgkinson, and special guest, Robert Honeysucker, who will sing Thoreau's favorite ballad, Tom Bowling. There a number of outdoor activities and several special events and film presentations as well as a public program for Sunday, July 14 at Walden Pond State Reservation, sponsored by the Friends of Walden Pond and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, with Thoreau Scholar Tom Blanding, who will speak on Thoreau and the perennial philosophy.

At the Concord Museum, there is a ground-breaking exhibition, “Early Spring: Henry Thoreau and Climate Change,” exploring three centuries of careful observation of seasonal natural phenomena in Concord, which has made it one of the best places in the world to study climate change. The exhibition also provides an extraordinary opportunity to examine the Concord Museum’s renowned Thoreau collection that includes the desk on which Thoreau wrote Walden, together with examples of his original field notes, journal recordings, seasonal charts, and botanical specimens; much of which has never before been exhibited together. Free with Museum admission. The exhibit runs through Sept. 15.

First Root Farm in Concord is offering “farm bucks” to the public. The CSA organic farm at 955 Lexington Road is selling the “bucks” as an alternative to joining the community-supported agriculture program.

Farm bucks are sold in $5 increments, and for every $50 spent at the farm you get a free farm buck. Bucks can be redeemed at the farm stand stocked with fresh produce and flowers. See here for more information.

News from the MBTA: Track improvements on the Fitchburg Commuter Line, which runs through Concord, will require the suspension of weekend service from Fitchburg to South Acton through mid-November. In August, the weekend suspension will extend to Concord, Lincoln and Weston.

Have you been noticing the roadwork along Route 2? All those trees and vegetation taken down? If you’re a regular commuter, of course you have because traffic backs up on the single-lane portion of the thoroughfare. Work has begun on adding a “flyover” on Route 2 from Crosby’s Corner in Lincoln to Route 2 westbound in Concord. That means single-lane traffic along the heavily traveled highway, although MASS DOT is trying to limit the crunch to off-peak hours. Plan ahead for any trips that require you to traverse Route 2 to Route 128.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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