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Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

Posted by  October 9, 2013 10:00 AM

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Town offices closed

In observance of Columbus Day, town offices and libraries will be closed on Monday, Oct. 14.

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

There will be a special Town Meeting on Dec. 4 with one article on the warrant so far. The warrant closes this week at 4 p.m. The article is a bid to acquire land adjacent to the so-called Grace property (formerly the W. R. Grace Company) on Knox Trail in Acton. The purpose of the land acquisition would be to park and service Concord school buses. 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 Knox Trail 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.

Restorative justice film

Communities for Restorative Justice, a local nonprofit organization, is premiering a film produced by the C4RJ board of directors on Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at Kerem Shalom on Elm Street in Concord. The film, “Finding Courage: Addressing Harm through Justice Circles.” It is free, the C4RJ asks that you register by visiting

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.

Concord Players

The annual Concord Players Fall Huddle is on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at 51 Walden St. Meet the directors of this season's shows: Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo; Night Watch by Lucille Fletcher; and Monty Python's Spamalot. Free admission and light refreshments.

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.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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