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Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

Posted by  October 24, 2013 10:46 AM

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Winter shares of organic produce available

First Root Farm is offering shares of winter vegetables to be picked up on Saturday, Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 at the farm at 955 Lexington Road. Each pickup will be about 30 pounds of food, including carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, leeks, cabbage, kale, broccoli rabe and more. The bulk of the share will store for several months. Regular share, two pickups, is $120; small share, one pickup, is $60. Visit for details.

West Concord revels in itself

Next weekend, Oct. 25 and 26, will be a great time to enjoy all things West Concord. Called “Discover West Concord,” the Saturday schedule runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featuring a “huge yard sale” at at Debra’s Natural Gourmet and a drawing for $1,000 gift basket. The ice cream shop “Reasons to be Cheerful” will have live music and West Concord Liquors will have a “whiskey fest.” Troll Commonwealth Ave. and surrounding streets for more pleasures. Go to for a complete schedule.

Animal House

Health Inspector Gabrielle White continues her barn inspections during October, and so far in 2013, the Health Division has issued 109 animal permits, a 30 percent increase in the last two years.

Interim Police Chief begins job on Monday

Town Manager Chris Whelan has appointed William Chase as Interim Police Chief. Chase started on Monday, Oct. 21. He is a former chief from Westwood and Harvard.

COA narrated tour

The Council on Aging is sponsoring a private tour of Boston with actor, teacher andhistorian Stephen Collins on Oct. 28, including lunch. The tour leaves Harvey Wheeler at 10:30 a.m. and returns by 3:30 p.m. It is a narrated 100 minute tour that includes the historical, litewrary and architectural treasures of Boston from a small bus. Lunch will be at the No Name Restaurant. Cost is $26. Call 978 318 3020 to reserve.

Y.E.S. dinner

The Youthful Energetic Seniors group is gathering for dinner at Belle’s Bistro in Westford on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m. Call 978 318 3020 to sign up.

Save the date!

The Council on Aging’s annual Veterans Day Breakfast will be held on Friday, Nov. 8. The meal is free to all veterans and their spouses.

COA art news

From Oct. 18 to Dec. 2, view the work of Tom Veirs, a Carlisle resident who maintains a painting studio at the Western Avenue Art Studios in Lowell. His work is oil painting.

COA enlists workers from church

Holy Family Church Youth Group will be available to rake leaves and do light yard work on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call the COA at 978 318 3020 to engage a member of the “Dream Team.”

Building site examined

The Millbrook Tarry Task Force meets Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. at 141 Keyes Road. One the agenda is a further discussion of a major development at the corner of Keyes and Lowell roads.

Beer and Wine now at Crosby’s

After a prolonged effort, Jim Crosby of Crosby’s Market has finally obtained a permit to sell beer and wine. Large signs announce the addition of the spirits section along Sudbury Road at the entrance to Crosby’s Marketplace Plaza. For several years, Crosby was blocked by the limited number of town-backed permits to sell beer and wine, and by the other permitted retail establishments. Reaction from townspeople has been mixed, ranging from the positive: finally a place to buy wine and beer along with food for a party; to more negative: it’s too near the entrance and so encourages shoppers that may have alcohol problems.

Concord Conserves Campaign

On Oct. 7, the Town launched the Concord Conserves Campaign, a municipal workplace energy conservation campaign designed to make it easy for Concord employees to adopt energy saving practices in the workplace. The campaign was planned by a group of Concord employees representing each of the municipal buildings in town. These volunteer Energy Coaches are available to help their co- workers incorporate a variety of energy saving practices into their daily work lives.

The Concord Conserves Campaign aims to reduce workplace energy use 3 percent to 5 percent, helping to move the Town closer to achieving its goal of a 20 percent reduction in energy used in municipal facilities by July 1, 2015, compared to 2008 levels. The Campaign is also a part of the Energy Reduction Plan that the Town plans to submit to the state Department of Energy Resources in furtherance of its application to become a Green Community.

West Concord Shopping Plaza

Building permits were issued last week to allow changes to the front doors and windows of the West Concord Shopping Plaza at 1200 Main Street. The proposed changes include adding three cupolas as well as extending the overhang on the building so that the water coming off of the roof no longer drips onto the middle of the sidewalk. You will see scaffolding, but the businesses are open.

New housing to be discussed

The Concord Housing Development Corporation will attend the West Concord Advisory Committee's meeting in November to present options for development of up to six acres of a 12-acre parcel parallel to Commonwealth Avenue, to the south of MCI-Concord, adjacent to the Assabet River and Nashoba Brook, and in walking distance of West Concord VIllage. The property's main access point will be at the end of Winthrop Street with a second entrance on Commonwealth. MCI-Concord transferred the now-open land to the town, which then transferred it to the CHDC in March for the primary purpose of building affordable housing there, with open space allowed as a secondary use. The CHDC has solicited bids and received 12 viable projects proposing a mix of owner-owned and rental properties ranging from 36 to 130-plus units. The purpose of the presentation to the WCAC is to get feedback from neighbors, abutters, and townspeople in order to determine which of those proposals should be short-listed. The CHDC would then make a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen about which proposal to choose. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the Thoreau School Auditorium, 29 Prairie St., on Wednesday, Nov. 13.

Special Town Meeting includes buses and bottles

There will be a special Town Meeting on Dec. 4 with a question to buy land for parking servicing school buses and another to repeal the ban on the sale of single-serve plastic water bottles that was approved at the spring Town Meeting. Petitioner Michael Benn added the bottle article to the warrant before it closed, and got the required signatures.

The land article is a bid to purchase the so-called Grace property (formerly the W. R. Grace Company) on Knox Trail in Acton. Knox Trail is off Main Street just past the skating rink heading west.

The article proposes that the town spend $700,000 for 6.5 acres of land on the short street in Acton. The land would be split between the town and the School Committee. The property abuts 80 acres of land in Concord owned by the Grace Corporation that the town voted to buy in 2012. Parking and maintaining the school buses has been the subject of intense debate in town since the old bus garage was torn down to make way for the new high school. The buses are currently in lots in Billerica. There was a petition article that passed the spring Town Meeting to relocate the buses on the high school property, but the School Committee worked to identify other sites that would be in Concord but not at the school. Also at Town Meeting, there was a push to locate the buses at the former town dump on Walden Street across Route 2, but it failed.

Concord Festival of Authors

From Oct. 18 to Nov. 2, take in at least one or two events at the authors festival. Visit to sign up and check the schedule. Rob Mitchell, a local resident and book aficionado, plans the annual event all year, bringing some of the most prominent writers from the around the country to Concord for lectures and seminars and receptions, all including book signings. Venues for the events are all over town. Visit to sign up for one or more of these unique programs.

Congratulations, you just saved a life

How often do you hear that you just saved someone’s life? If you donate a pint of blood at the Emerson Hospital blood donor room, you will know that you have provided a life-giving service. More valuable than money, your donation is a unique gift. It takes about half an hour, there’s food and juice afterward, and good companionship by the staff in the donor room. All donated blood is used within the appropriate time frame; it is never discarded, which speaks to the need. No matter your blood type, call 978 287 3390 to schedule an appointment.

Open space tops CPC applications

The Community Preservation Committee received nine applications for funding at the 2014 spring Town Meeting. They involve mainly Open Space and Recreation projects including the acquisition of the Rappoli land; restoration of the Rogers land; further work on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail; finishing work on the natural playscape at Ripley and renovating the new high school’s playing fields.

Art Association

The Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Rd., is presenting “Poetic interpretations of animals, dreamed and dreaming, featuring seven artists in a variety of mediums and styles from Oct. 19 to Nov. 24. Artists: Beth Galston, Jenny Lawton Grassl, Steve Hollinger, Anne Oldach, Elizabeth Awalt, Susan Heideman, and Tamara Krendal. Curated by Tamara Krendel. Opening Reception Saturday, Oct. 19, 6-8pm Live jazz and refreshments.

FrameAbles features impressionist
Gallery 111, at FrameAbles on Thoreau Street, features the impressionist artist Kate Tortland during October. Tortland started painting at the age of 14 in Ireland.

Side Show is the main event

The Emerson Umbrella at 40 Stow St. is showing “Side Show,” a musical by Bill Russell with music by Henry Krieger from Oct. 23 to Nov. 10. It is based on the lives of Daily and Violet Hilton, a circus act of conjoined twins who became famous stage performers in the 1930s. Free admission for those who want to usher. Call 978 371 0820 for details and tickets. Tickets are $30 per person with discounts for groups of 10 or more. Directed by Brian Boruta.

Strike up the band

The Concord Band is having its fall concert on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. Original works include “Gandalf,” the first movement from “Lord of the Rings” by Johan Meij, as well as “Capriccio for Tuba” by Rodney Newton and works by Gordon Jacobs, Clifton Williams, Eric Whitaker and Robert Jager.

Leslie Riedel Memorial Lecture

On Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., this year’s winner will speak at the Concord Library. Noted for his artistic talent, Jerry Pinkney has been illustrating children’s books since 1964, with over 100 titles to date. He has been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, a Caldecott Medal and five New York Times “Best Illustrated Books” award. He has received five Coretta Scott King awards, an honor given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of book for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. In addition to numerous awards, he has been honored by the Society of Illustrators in New York with four gold medals, four silver medals, and, in 2006, their Original Arts Lifetime Achievement Award. He was elected into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2011. A reception will be held after the talk. Copies of some of his books will be available for sale at an autograph table.

French Walk

Join historian Jayne Gordon on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. for a walk that explores the life of Daniel Chester French in Concord. Highlights of the walk include his sculpture at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and the North Bridge. Go to the boathouse behind the Old Manse on Monument St. The walk will be 2.5 miles, ending at Sleepy Hollow by 4 p.m. Wear comfortable shoes and bring water. Rain or shine. $10 for museum members; $15 for non-members. Call 978 369 9763 to reserve a spot.

Cory Atkins updates town

Rep. Cory Atkins reports that the Massachusetts House passed a supplemental budget of $20 million for fuel assistance for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The fuel assistance bill is the result of an $82 million surplus from fiscal year 2013 due to tax collections and reversion by state agencies. Other items in the budget include $19 million for the Mass Life Sciences Investment Fund; $10 million for the Housing Preservation and Stabilization Trust Fund; $13 million for the Emergency Assistance program which aids families using hotels or motels when facing homelessness and $11.5 milion for early educatyion and care salaries and benefits.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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