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Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

Posted by  September 11, 2013 04:39 PM

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“It Can Wait” Day in Concord and Carlisle
Texting can wait when we are driving. While almost every new driver will say that it’s dangerous, almost half will admit to texting and driving -- increasing the chances that they will be involved in one of the 100,000 texting- related accidents this year.

CCHS Driver Education will host a special event on Thursday, Sept. 19. “It Can Wait” is a campaign to encourage people not to text while driving. The event will have showings of the new Werner Herzog video about the hazards of texting, and will be asking young drivers at CCHS to pledge that they will not text and drive.

There will be a banner in the CCHS cafeteria that day, and students will be invited to signify their commitment with their signature or a thumbprint. The banner will be a visual reminder of our collective desire to reduce needless injury and death on our roadways.

CCHS is one of 250 high schools in the country selected by the National Organization for Youth Safety for participation in this event. Please consider stopping by to see the video, chat with students, make the pledge yourself and encourage others to do the same.

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.

Among the many topics under consideration 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.

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.

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.

Building and renovating

Mobil Station Renovation at the corner of Sudbury Road and Thoreau Street has begun. The gas station owned by Charlie Audi has now been fenced in and demolition has been completed on the gas pump canopy. A new gas pump canopy will be installed on the site along with renovations to the gas station building.

113 Commonwealth Avenue: Last week the “Concord Outfitters” relocation project started construction of their new retail store on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Bradford Street that was once Tony the Tailor.

Food Service: Construction continues for several new food service establishments: Haute Coffee, 12 Walden St., which hopes to open for business later in September; Bondir, at 24 Walden St., which hopes to open in October; and Comella’s at 33 Main St.

Incredible Construction Season for Concord: Building permits are up 14 percent over a year ago at this time. Based on the level of activity so far - this year may be a record breaker for the number of permits issued and the value of construction.

Free Music

The Concord Free Public Library has joined Library IdeasTM network of Public Library websites that offer access to over 7 million songs including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. The FreegalTM Music Service will allow CFPL to increase the size and diversity of its collection by offering access to over 28,000 music labels from 85 different countries. All cardholders will be able to download three songs weekly from the Library’s web site at no charge. The Freegal service also offers a mobile app that facilitates access to this music from hand held devices. Beginning 9/14 residents will be able to stream whole albums from these collections and develop customized playlists.

The Concord Chorus is holding open rehearsals for its new season on Sept. 16 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Duval Chapel at Newbury Court, 80 Deaconess Road. All singers welcome!

At Gallery 111 in Frame-ables, 111 Thoreau St.,
Sept. 7 – 27, 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. See the illustrations of Ed Koehler. 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.

Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” goes on stage Sept. 27 to Oct. 13 at the Emerson Umbrella, 40 Stow St. Miller's historical play based on events of the Salem witchcraft trials, takes place in a small Puritan village in the colony of Massachusetts in 1692. The witchcraft trials, as Miller explains in a prose prologue to the play, grew out of the particular moral system of the Puritans, which promoted interference in others' affairs as well as a repressive code of conduct that frowned on any diversion from norms of behavior.
Call 978 371 0820 for details.

Business recycling event sponsored by the Concord Public Works Department at the 300 Baker Avenue lot on Friday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The business recycling event provides Concord businesses with a safe and low-cost opportunity to properly dispose of computers, monitors, printers, TV's, fax machines, other electronics, and fluorescent bulbs. Confidential documents will be collected on site and shredded at Doc Shredding Corp's secure and alarmed facility at a cost of $5 per box. There is a ten box maximum per business. Pre-registration is required. Concord businesses can register by calling Complete Recycling Solutions at 866-277-9797.

The Great Gatsby Fall Ball, Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Old Manse, 269 Monument St. Sponsored by the Trails End Café. Cocktails at 6:30; dinner and dancing from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Come party like it’s 1929!!! Period dress recommended, all you Flappers. Complimentary tours of the Old Manse provided. $100 per person. Elizabeth Akehurst-Moore, proprietor of the Trails End Café, said she wants to “raise awareness and money for the Trustees of Reservations.

Want to learn about Medicare?
Join the Council on Aging on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. for a presentation called “Planning for Medicare- Countdown to 65.” Offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mass., the presentation is intended for those approaching Medicare eligibility and includes an explanation of Medicare related plans and how they work. It also includes an explanation of the health plan options available before a person is eligible for Medicare, but planning to retire and in need of health insurance coverage. A question and answer session will follow. All are welcome regardless of your insurance coverage. Please call the COA to sign up. 978 318 3020.

Day Trippin’ at the COA

Gary Hylander’s Lecture Series on the Civil War runs on Sept.10, 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, and 22 (Tuesdays) at 2 p.m. Dr. Gary Hylander is returning to the Harvey Wheeler Community Center to present a six-lecture series on the Civil War. For those of you that have attended his other lectures, you know he is not to be missed! This series will cover events leading up to the Civil War, the presidential election of 1860, significant Civil War battles, the Emancipation Proclamation and crusade against slavery, the roles of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, and the Confederate surrender. Thanks to the Concord Friends of the Aging, this lecture series is being presented free.

Peabody Essex Museum – “Faberge Revealed” Exhibit Friday, Sept. 13, Leaving HWCC at 9:30 a.m.; Returning by 3 p.m. Come to the Peabody Essex Museum to see the legendary Faberge Easter eggs with bejeweled surprises inside, along with a full range of luxury items created by Peter Carl Faberge for a bygone era. Explore Faberge workshops and showrooms, and learn about the artist and entrepreneur who created an empire of cherished collectibles for the Russian royal family and European aristocracy. You will have a guided tour of the exhibit and then lunch on your own at the museum’s café. The cost of this trip is $25 including museum admission, a guided tour of the exhibit and van transportation. Please have $25 in cash ready on the day of the outing.

Attendance is limited to 13, so please call early to reserve!

Terrarium Workshop Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. Mary Cutler will introduce you to the world of terraria – small self-sufficient gardens under glass. She will take you step by step to create your own terrarium which will bring a little bit of nature indoors. These indoor gardens can cost upwards of $50 in florist and specialty shops, but you will pay only for the cost of supplies. Please bring $10 in cash on the day of the workshop. A glass container and cover, pebbles, soil, moss and plants will be supplied. Stop by the COA office to see a sample of a finished terrarium. Limited to 10 participants. Call to reserve, 978 318 3020.

Senior Walking Group News
You will find walk information, maps, and walking tips at the “Senior Walking Group” link on the COA web page:
The senior group walks are self-guided. In bad weather please use your best judgment. New walkers, please call Tina Close at 978-318-3197 with your contact information. Please note the change in schedule: Starting September 1st, the walks will be on Wednesdays and Fridays at 2:30 pm. Just Show Up - No Sign up needed!!
Fri, Sept. 6, Annursnac Conservation Land – Entrance located at 567 Strawberry Hill Rd.
Wed, Sept. 11, Thoreau’s Path at Brister’s Hill in Walden Woods – Town Forest Parking Lot
Fri, Sept. 13, Battle Road East – Meet at Hartwell Tavern Parking Lot
Wed, Sept. 18, Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge - Great Meadows Parking Lot off Monsen Rd.
Fri, Sept, 20, Emerson-Thoreau Amble – Starting at Heyward Meadow, 150 Lexington Rd.
Wed, Sept 25, Old North Bridge - Meet at Concord’s Colonial Inn
Fri, Sept. 27, Old Rifle Range – Meet at Rifle Range Parking Lot, 66B Old Marlboro Rd.

Norman Rockwell Museum with lunch at Michael’s of Stockbridge Thursday, Sept. 19, Leaving HWCC at 9 a.m.; Returning by 6 p.m. Ride in a chartered a 36-passenger mini-bus to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. After a 2 1⁄2 hour drive with a comfort stop, lunch at Michael’s Restaurant. From there it is just a short ride to the museum where you will enjoy a guided tour of the world’s largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art, including the works he created for The Saturday Evening Post. The museum, located on 36 picturesque acres in the Berkshires, includes Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio. The cost of the trip is just $50 per person thanks to a generous gift by the Concord Friends of the Aging. A non-refundable check payable to the Town of Concord for $36 for museum admission and transportation is due at the time of reservation. Cash in the amount of $14 for lunch (including tax and tip) will be collected by the group leader on the day of the trip. You will need to pre-order your lunch by completing a Lunch Selection form when you drop off your check. At least 30 people are needed to run the trip. Please call to reserve starting on Sept. 3rd.

Y.E.S. (young, energetic seniors) GROUP Dinner at Serafina Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. This month the Y.E.S. group will have dinner at Serafina in Concord on a Friday evening. Serafina offers high- quality Italian-American fare with live entertainment on Fridays by talented musicians performing upbeat contemporary and jazz music. We have a dinner reservation for 12 – but will need an accurate number as we draw closer, so please call the COA to sign up. The Y.E.S. Group is open to all Youthful Energetic Seniors! Transportation and the cost of dinner are on your own – the restaurant will issue separate checks.

COA CINEMA AT HWCC Friday Afternoons at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall - No Need to Sign up in Advance (FREE)

Sept. 13 - Silver Linings Playbook
After a stint in a mental institution, a former teacher moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. This 2012 Academy Award winning movie stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro.

Sept. 27 – Moonstruck
A perennial favorite. A young Italian-American woman finds herself caught in a difficult situation when she falls in love with the brother of the man she agreed to marry in this classic Academy Award winning comedy about Italian-American residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood, Starring Cher, Nic Cage and Olympia Dukakis.

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.

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.

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 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
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.”

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

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 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.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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