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Concord Currents: What's happening in Concord

Posted by  October 17, 2013 09:52 AM

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Youth Theater presentation

“Clue, the musical” will be performed this weekend by members of the Concord Youth Theatre Young Adult Company at 358 Baker Ave. The board game comes to life in the musical, with evening and matinee performances. Tickets are $13 per person. Visit for more information.

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.

Committee members mull parking at Millbrook Tarry

The Millbrook Tarry Task Force is reviewing proposed parking changes to the plan brought by developer James White for the Lowell Road site. The Planning Board is scheduled to take up the plan at its Oct. 22 meeting.

Interim Police Chief begins job on Monday

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

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 iin 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

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.

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.

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.

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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