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Concord Currents: What's happening in and around Concord this week

Posted by  January 16, 2014 04:59 PM

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Governor Candidates debate

The League of Women Voters in Lincoln is hosting a debate among the candidates for governor on Saturday, Jan. 18 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Bemis Hall. All are welcome to this free event.

Waltz Night at FOPAC

Saturday, Jan. 18 at 8:00 p.m. at 51 Walden St. Mark your calendar for this special event; an elegant evening of dancing to the music of the 51 Walden Waltz Orchestra, including gourmet desserts and coffee. Cash bar. Tickets $45.

MLK, Jr. holiday

Monday, Jan. 20 is the official observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday holiday. Accordingly, all town offices, schools and libraries will be closed.

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest

All community members are invited to attend a special evening with Lee Woodruff on January 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fenn School. Lee Woodruff is author of the best-selling book, "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing," which tells the harrowing story of the traumatic brain injury suffered by her husband Bob, then an ABC News correspondent, while embedded with troops in Iraq. Lee is also a CBS news contributor, philanthropist, devoted mother and wife. Space is limited!! Reserve your FREE ticket at or (978)369-5250. Since 1947, the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest has strengthened our community by marshalling resources to help those in need.

Scottish poet to be honored at Bondir dinner

On Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Bondir Concord invites diners to join them for a traditional Burns Night Supper in celebration of the legendary poet Robert Burns’ birthday. The menu will feature a five-course dinner prepared by chef/owner Jason Bond and will highlight traditional Scottish fare with an emphasis on wild game dishes. Menu selections will be paired with beer and wine as well as reserve and vintage scotch whiskies. Burns devotees will enjoy poetry readings, dancing, and live music. Scottish attire encouraged! Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns is regarded as the pioneer of the Romantic Movement. Celebration of his life and work became nearly a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature. Burns Suppers began in 1802 in conjunction with ‘Robert Burns Day’ celebrated on Jan. 25, the poet’s birthday. Price: $85 per person including wine. To reserve, please call Bondir Restaurant in Concord at (978) 610-6554. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information, go to

Fowler Flicks

The West Concord branch library continues its Free Friday Flicks at Fowler on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. with “The Lives of Others,” a 2006 German film. In this Oscar-winning political thriller directed by von Donnersmarck, an East German secret police agent spies on a prominent playwright suspected of disloyalty, and finds himself irresistibly drawn into the lives of the playwright and his girlfriend, a famous actress (Rated R). On Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., the library will air “The Well-Digger’s Daughter,” a 2011 French film. Daniel Auteuil directed and stars as a poor laborer whose world is turned upside-down when his beloved daughter falls in love with a dashing, wealthy pilot, who is called away to fight in World War I (Not Rated). Sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, the series features unique and critically-acclaimed international films. Free admission. Seating is limited. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. [View Complete Film Schedule]

Route 2 work continues

Route 2, Crosby’s Corner Improvement Project—Night Work Scheduled—MassDOT officials have notified the Town of Concord that night work is scheduled for the week of Jan. 6 thru 10. Work includes sawcutting pavement and installing a gas main across Route 2 at the Crosby’s Corner Intersection. For nighttime operations, there will be single lane closures eastbound and westbound between the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Additional information about the Crosby’s Corner Project and project updates can be found on the Town’s website at

Verrill Farm

Saturday, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. to noon: Pancake Breakfast.Pancakes, griddlecakes or flapjacks—by any name, nothing beats a ‘stack’ served up with bacon or sausage and Massachusetts-made real maple syrup on a winter morning! Breakfast also includes juice and milk or coffee and takes place in the heated greenhouse beside the stand. No reservations necessary. $7.50 per adult, $4.50 for kids under 10, excluding tax.

Gridiron Goodies for Super Bowl Sunday

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2. Verrill Farm’s kitchen team is preparing a winning selection of finger foods to munch on during the game. Choices include Buffalo and BBQ wings and fingers, steak tips, pork quesadillas, guacamole and onion dip. These fan favorites and others are available first come, first served—no matter who’s playing!

Tax break coming?

Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord) announced that as of Jan. 1, 2014, the state income tax will decrease for the second time in three years from 5.25 percent to 5.2 percent. Atkins praised the move, citing “sound fiscal management and commitment to passing responsible budgets on time.”

Town is growing

Town Manager Chris Whelan said at year’s end, the building inspection division has issued over 900 building permits for the year; a significant increase to the 733 permits issued in 2012.

COA Art Space News

Jill Colpak is our exhibitor this month through the end of February. Jill is well known in the Concord community and has done many travel presentations in the past. She has enjoyed photography and has had her own camera since she was a small child. In recent years she has paid more attention to artistic photography, especially with the advent of digital cameras. Her friends and neighbors have enjoyed many of her photographs, and we are very pleased to have her exhibit at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center.

Let’s see your wedding photo!

Would you like to be part of the COA’s “Wedding in May” exhibit here at the Council on Aging? (This was done once before here at the COA and it was a big hit!) The exhibit will run from May 16—June 27 and will culminate in a wedding party. If you have an unframed wedding photo you would like to share with the larger community, please call to put your name on our list. Exhibitors will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

New weapon to identify power outages

The Concord Municipal Light Plant is launching an advanced outage management system (OMS) this winter. The OMS will enable the department to provide more timely information to customers and help utility personnel restore electricity efficiently. The OMS system is integrated in the geographic information system (GIS) of the town. The OMS will group the calls and perform network traces to predict which upstream devices are without power. This will give CMLP operations staff the tools to quickly identify potential outages and dispatch crews accurately. Customers can view the CMLP progress at

COA lectures

Elliott Lilien on World War I. Don’t miss this opportunity. Fridays, Jan. 17, 24 and 31 at 1 p.m.
World War I was the greatest historical catastrophe to ever hit human beings. So it is understandable that there should be great interest in what caused such a calamity. Please join Dr. Elliott Lilien as he offers a four-part presentation on World War I. The four presentations will look at (1) the period before the war (2) the crisis that produced the war (3) the manner in which the war was accepted and fought, and (4) the immediate and more remote consequences. Dr. Lilien will discuss the results of the war in music, art, philosophy, and religion. In the past few years there have been major new books published looking at this period in our nation’s history; Dr. Lilien will discuss these books to bring everyone up to date. Dr. Lilien taught at Concord-Carlisle High School from 1965 to 2000. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Columbia Law School, and Harvard University. He is an engaging and dynamic speaker who encourages questions and discussion. He is a much sought-after speaker, and we are very pleased to be able to offer this series of presentations free of charge, thanks to the financial support of the Concord Friends of the Aging. These presentations will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the following Fridays: Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31. You may attend any or all of the sessions. We need 25 people signed up in order to host Dr. Lilien. Please call the COA to sign-up!

Music Appreciation VIII
Mondays, Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 at 1:00 p.m.
Join concert pianist, composer, and Concord Conservatory of Music faculty member, Keith Kirchoff, for his eighth session of classes here at the COA. This semester of the Music Appreciation series will help to teach the student how to listen to classical music most effectively. With a focus on thematic recognition, formal structures, and simple aural analysis, students will seek to deepen their understanding of great masterworks. With an emphasis being placed upon works featured in upcoming local concerts, the students will be invited to suggest pieces to analyze together in class. Additionally, each week the participants of the class will be given listening assignments which can be done online. Access to an internet connection—though not required—is highly encouraged. This class is open to all, regardless of musical background. Previous enrollment in the Music Appreciation sequence is not required. The class will meet from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for ten Mondays. Cost will be $75 for the ten 90-minute classes. Please make your check payable to the Concord Conservatory. Call to sign up.


Friday Afternoons at 2 p.m. in the Lecture Hall—No Need to Sign up in Advance (FREE)
January 24—The Impossible—Tracking one family's harrowing experiences, this gripping drama depicts the chaos generated by the massive 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. On December 26, the family is vacationing in Thailand when unthinkable disaster strikes. Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. (Drama; 114 minutes; 2012 Rated PG-13)

Concord Orchestra Winter Concert

Jan. 31 and Feb. 1—Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Concord Orchestra—51 Walden Street—978-369-4967—
The orchestra is conducted by Richard Pittman. Kent William Hisada, winner of the 2014 Ehlers Young Artist Competition, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Also on the program is New England Triptych by William Schuman and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World. Competition runners-up will give a pre-concert recital each evening at 7:15. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens, and $10 for students.

Concord-Carlisle Community Connections Initiative: Life Lessons outside the High School Classroom

Seniors in town have been invited to participate in a two-year pilot program called Concord-Carlisle Community Connections. This is a new collaborative, community-mentoring program that connects students in the second semester of their senior year at CCHS with community leaders and residents in a variety of disciplines or with significant life experiences. The program seeks to improve student appreciation and understanding of the challenges, inner-workings, and skill sets necessary for professional and personal success in real-world environments. It is anticipated that senior mentor/student participation in this program will facilitate an intergenerational exchange of ideas and life experiences. Student participation will be actively encouraged, with the hope that students come away with a feeling that many things are possible in life through perseverance, determination and personal effort.
This program will be facilitated by COA volunteer Bob Bratzler. Students and participating senior citizen mentors are asked to make a commitment to five sessions, scheduled on the following Thursdays: March 13, 27, April 10, May 1, and 8. Sessions will be held at HWCC from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You may call now to sign up! Should you have any questions, please contact John Fossett, Concord-Carlisle Community Connections Founder and Program Director, at 978-369-0049, or Bonny Wilbur, COA Program Supervisor at 978-318-3020.

Trails End Cafe

Work has begun to convert the Trails End Cafe from a coffee and lunch spot to a full service restaurant and bar at the intersection of Lowell and Keyes roads. It is anticipated that the renovation project will take approximately three months to complete.

Battle Road Scenic Byway Committee: The first meeting of the newly established Battle Road Scenic Byway Committee was held on Thursday, Dec. 5 in Lexington. The first order of business for the Committee was the election of officers which, under the Memorandum of Understanding between Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, requires that no more than one officer be chosen from each community. At this time, Richard Canale of Lexington was elected as Chair, Clarissa Rowe of Arlington as Vice Chair, and Lara Kritzer of Concord as Secretary. The Committee also discussed its priorities moving forward and potential grant and funding sources for that work. In the next few months, the Committee will work on introducing itself to the boards and commissions in each of its member communities and developing a process for reviewing potential projects involving the Battle Road Scenic Byway.

Do you want to volunteer for a town board or committee? The following positions are open at the moment. To signal your interest, go to and download an electronic green card, or pick one up at the Town House. The date of the listing is at the right and the appointing body is in the center.

Board of Appeals, Associated Member—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Concord Housing Development Corporation—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Records & Archives Committee—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Youth Coordinator Advisory Board—Board of Selectmen—11/13/12

Board of Assessors, Associate Member—Town Manager with Board of Selectmen Approval—11/13/12

Natural Resources Commission, Associate Member—Town Manager with Board of Selectmen Approval—11/13/12

Board of Health—Town Manager—11/13/12

Betsy Levinson can be reached at

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