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Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

Posted by  August 29, 2013 03:52 PM

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Summer is over
In observance of Labor Day, all town offices and libraries will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2. School starts Friday, Sept. 6. Please be extra careful as children will be boarding buses in the morning and running home at the end of the day.

Public Health Alert

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced on Aug. 29, that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Concord.

Due to multiple WNV positive mosquitoes and based on similarities in mosquito habitat types and historic patterns of risk, the communities of Wellesley, Weston, Lincoln, Bedford, Burlington, Lexington, Woburn, Winchester, Stoneham and Concord have been moved to Moderate risk for WNV.

Late August and early September are frequently associated with occurrence of human infection with WNV. Residents in towns at moderate risk are encouraged to use personal mosquito protection measures and are reminded that removing standing water is an important component of WNV prevention. Although evidence of increased risk exists for a few specific towns, some risk for WNV exists in all communities.

WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The mosquitoes that carry this virus are common throughout the state, and are found in urban as well as more rural areas. While WNV can infect people of all ages, people over the age of 50 are at higher risk for severe infection.

Residents are urged to take common-sense precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones:
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours
- The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Consider rescheduling outdoor activities that occur during evening or early morning. If you are outdoors at any time and notice mosquitoes around you, take steps to avoid being bitten by moving indoors, covering up and/or wearing repellent.
Students playing after-school sports into late afternoon or early evening hours should carry mosquito repellent and use it as necessary.
Clothing can help reduce mosquito bites. As weather permits, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors will help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.
Apply insect repellent when you go outdoors. Use a repellent with DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide), permethrin, picaridin (KBR 3023), IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-methane 3, 8-diol (PMD)] according to the instructions on the product label. DEET products should not be used on infants under two months of age and should be used in concentrations of 30 percent or less on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under three years of age. Permethrin products are intended for use on items such as clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear and should not be applied to skin.

Outdoor Water Use Restriction – Remains In Effect

The Outdoor Water Use Restriction, as declared by the Public Works Commission on July 18 remains in effect.

This week’s forecasted hot weather in combination with the lack of rain over the past two weeks is likely to trigger a substantial increase in Concord’s water demand. The public works department asks that you only use water outdoors twice a week.

Failure to maintain this balance may trigger a need for the Public Works Commission to elevate the Seasonal Water Demand Management Plan to Emergency levels– effectively prohibiting all outdoor water use.

For updates and additional information on Outdoor Water Use Restrictions under Concord’s Seasonal Water Demand Management Plan, visit

Utility Scam Alert

Area utility customers are being targeted by something known as the Utility Green Dot Scam. This is a scam that has cropped up in a number of locations across the country and appears to target utility customers.
Here are the specifics:

• The caller tells customer their power will be turned off in 45 minutes if they do not make an immediate payment (usually $500 - $1,500).

• The caller tells customer that payment will only be accepted through the purchase of a "Green Dot" pre-paid debit card.

• The caller provides customer with a number to call to make payment once they have purchased the Green Dot card.

• Once the customer provides the Green Dot payment info, their money is gone.

Reports from other areas of the country indicate the scammers are sophisticated enough that they are able to "spoof" the number on Caller ID so that it appears as though the utility really is calling.

If you receive a phone call that seems suspect, DO NOT give out any personal or debit/credit card information to the caller. Concord Light will always give you a call back number, and we would never require you to purchase a debit card.

Tell the caller you are busy and ask the caller for a call back number so you can return their call at a more convenient time. If the caller does not give you their call back information, simply hang up or disconnect the call. Then contact Concord Light Customer Service at 978-318-3101 or to report the incident.


Concord’s Town Governance Study Committee, appointed by the Board of Selectmen following the 2013 Annual Town Meeting, continues to meet regularly and welcomes public participation and input. The Committee’s mission is to review the Town’s charter and its form of government, evaluating whether any changes would be beneficial to the Town.

Among the many topics under consideration by the Committee, is whether the Town should add a Recall Provision to its charter. A discussion of Recall of Elected Officials is scheduled for the Committee’s meeting on Tuesday, September 17 beginning at 8:15 am. The meeting will take place at 141 Keyes Road.

Public input to the Committee is welcomed on the issue of Recall or any other charter/governance related topic.

Send written comments to the Committee via e-mail ( or via postal mail (c/o Town Clerk, P.O. Box 535, Concord, MA 01742). Written comments may also be delivered in person to the Town Clerk’s Office on the 1st floor of the Town House, 22 Monument Square. All written comments will be distributed to the Committee members.

All meetings are open to the public and there is an opportunity for public comments towards the end of each of the Committee’s meetings.
The Committee’s meeting schedule, agendas, minutes, and various background information that it has gathered are available on the Committee’s web page – (click Boards & Committees, Town Governance Study Committee).

The selectmen meet on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at the Town House.

Concord Fire Department Forum
The Emergency Medical Service Strategic Plan will be discussed during a public forum to be held at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. Chief Mark Cotreau and Committee Members will present findings, impacts and recommendations which will greatly improve emergency medical service to our community. The plan is available on line for your perusal at: All are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Summer’s end party at Barefoot Books

August 31 Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Barefoot Books - 80 Thoreau St. Join us on the last day of August as we celebrate summer's end in the morning and kick into gear for the school year in the afternoon!

Summer Story Time, 10:30am
Summer Craft Time, 11:00am
Let's Go Fishing, 11:30am
Paint-Your-Own Pencil Holder, 2pm
Back-to-School Story Time, 3pm
Make-Your-Own Backpack, 3:30pm

New exhibit at Frame-ables

September 7 – 27, 9:30am - 5:30pm Tuesday through Saturday, 111 Thoreau St.

See the illustrations of Ed Koehler during the month of September. His complex yet whimsical drawings reflect his passion for the jazz world, which he was first introduced to in the 1940’s. Koehler is a lifetime member of the Acton Jazz Café and acts as a roadie, someone who sets up performances, for jazz musicians. Koehler, who has a professional background as an architect, first started drawing at the age of 8 when his mother would bring him book covers to draw. This led Koehler to create artwork for over 75 years. The Lincoln-based artist has shown across New England and is currently working on a mural at the VA Hospital in Bedford.

Savings by sunlight! Incentive program extended to Oct. 31

More than 300 residents have signed up for a solar site evaluation and 60 homeowners have already signed contracts for a total of more than 500 kilowatts in solar capacity. According to the municipal light plant, that means the town is halfway to the goal of 100 homes, at which point Astrum Solar, our installer partner, will donate $10,000 to the Town for a solar PV (photovoltaic) system. And we have achieved the lowest pricing level under the program.

Important things to know:

1. East, south and west-facing roofs with good sun are candidates for solar.
2. The Light Plant is looking into allowing no-money-down, low monthly payment equipment leases for solar. A final decision will be made in mid-September.
3. The deadline for the program has been extended from July 31 to Oct.
31. All contracts must be signed by that date to get preferential pricing.
4. The Light Plant rebate may be reduced or eliminated at the end of this year and the bonus depreciation for businesses also expires at the end of 2013, and the State is revamping its SREC (solar renewable energy certificate) program in early 2014.

New restaurant in old supermarket space

With the sale of the West Concord Supermarket by the Mandriolis to Jim Canty, a new restaurant is in the planning stages. The Planning Board will take up the site plan and parking requirements at its Sept. 10 meeting and the Board of Appeals will hear from the owners at its Sept. 12 meeting. The plan calls for a complete renovation and restoration of the large Commonwealth Avenue building into a restaurant serving three meals with an alcohol license.

Concord Library acquires house next door

The Trustees of the Corporation of the Concord Free Public Library announced that it has purchased the half-acre historic property next door to the main library building. The house, at 151 Main St. is large, about 7,000 sq. ft., according to library Director Kerry Cronin.

Corporation board President Sherry Litwack noted, “this property can, after some adaptation, provide much needed flexibility to meet current and future needs.” She said a “variety of interesting rooms of all sizes could be adapted for programs, exhibit space, offices and a variety of other uses.”

Cronin said the sale was completed in late June, so the board has not yet determined the particular activities or uses of the new space.

Litwack said the board “entered into this recent transaction with the support of the town…to sustain a larger library infrastructure.”

COA Art Space News

Our exhibitor until Sept. 6 is long-time Concord resident, Mart Doig. Mart received her first camera at the age of eight, and she has been taking pictures ever since. The theme of her exhibit is “Water, Water Everywhere.” Many of the photographs were taken during her travels to Australia, Greece, and Great Britain. Mart’s favorite pictures are those that show a different perspective than the usual; a number of her photos are framed by a window or a doorway. Mart has had numerous exhibits of her work including shows in Boston and New Hampshire, and locally at Emerson Hospital and the Concord Public Library.

Added COA van trips

Beginning in September, the COA will be offering a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s on the fourth Thursday of the month in place of the Stop and Shop trip in response to popular demand. Trader Joes is located in a shopping plaza that also includes Pier One Imports and Staples, so it will be possible for you to visit these stores as well.

Extra Wednesday Van

Also, beginning in September, we are going to operate two vans on Wednesdays. There are so many activities at Harvey Wheeler on Wednesdays that the van is needed most of the day just to bring folks to and from the COA, omitting other uses. If you have been avoiding booking a doctor’s appointment or running other errands on a Wednesday because you know that it is hard to schedule the van, you should now be able to do so. As always, our van service is first-come, first-served, so please make your appointments for rides as soon as you know your needs. We ask that you try to limit your non-medical requests to two per week.

Ag Day in Concord: Fall Farm and Garden Fair

Come celebrate the harvest and meet your local food growers at the Farm and Garden Fair on Sept. 7 and 8 at the annual Ag Day from 10 am-2 pm in Concord Center, followed by an afternoon exploring Food Garden tours of community and home gardens, with demos, hands-on harvesting fun and a Kids Film Fest at Emerson Umbrella. On Sept. 8 the Fair continues with a wide array of farm-based activities and how-to demonstrations from hayrides to harvesting. Details at

Free Concord River Pontoon Boat Rides Wednesday Sept. 11 2:30pm to 3:30 p.m. Martha Rohan has generously offered to take Concord seniors on a scenic ride on the Concord River in her pontoon boat. Three rides are scheduled - one each in July, August and September. Each ride will take one hour and Martha will provide lemonade and a cookie to each senior. The meeting place is the South Bridge Boat House at 502 Main Street in Concord. Each boat ride is limited to 20 people each, so please call the COA to reserve your spot. There is no charge and the ride will be cancelled in the case of rain. Please note there will be no COA staff on these boat rides.

The Old Manse - 269 Monument Street.

Free concerts under the tent. Join us for live music under the tent at the Manse. It's a lovely way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon.
Sept 1: Lorraine and Bennett Hammond, Claude Galinsky
Sept 8: TBA
Sept 15: John Ferullo, Jon Swenson, Betsi Mandrioli, and Bob Morse
Sept 22: The Chadbourne Chanticleers
Sept 29: TBA
Oct 6: TBA

At the Concord Museum

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.

New interim Thoreau principal named

Nancy Peterson has been named interim principal at Thoreau School starting in early August. Superintendent Diana Rigby announced that Peterson will replace Kelly Clough, who resigned at the end of the school year. The search for a new principal will begin in January 2014. Peterson recently worked as interim principal at the Davis Elementary School in Bedford for two years. Rigby said the public will have a chance to meet Peterson in the near future. No date was announced.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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