Springs Road, New Year's Eve  -  Image (c) JMcCT, 2014

Springs Road, New Year’s Eve 2014 – Image (c) JMcCT

By Julie McCay Turner

Thanks to Town officials, department heads and staff members, our writers, and the residents who keep Bedford the lively, engaged community we love, The Bedford Citizen has had a busy year. In checking our year-end statistics, several major story themes were evident.

Stories about Bedford’s ‘built environment,’ the town’s DPW projects, and Planning Board initiatives top the most-read list. There was coverage about the charrettes that would guide decisions about the Coast Guard property on Pine Hill Road; renovations to the Bedford Marketplace shopping center; the continuing coverage through the summer’s reconstruction of the area around School Way and Elm Street, and the new building that replaced the old Travelodge. Heading into 2015, MassDOT’s plan to relocate a salt shed in Bedford is sure to generate interest.

The spate of Anti-Semitism in Bedford schools sparked a community-wide diversity campaign that remains active. The Citizen’s original post was picked up by at least one national media outlet. We thank Superintendent Jon Sills and Police Chief Robert Bongiorno for their support in helping The Citizen to accurately cover the story, both as it developed and as the community’s diversity concerns continue.

Stories about Bedford’s police and fire departments are popular with our readers. We share the official word from the departments’ spokesperson John Guilfoil so that our readers will have the most up-to-date, and accurate stories, whether about the tragic plane crash at the end of the Hanscom runway on Easter weekend, or the optimistic stories of Bedford’s EMTs delivering babies along Rte 3 during rush hour. There were also police pursuits, and the bomb threat that was called in to both Bedford, MA and Bedford, NH schools on the same morning. Lest we forget, there’s also Ladder One, the town’s newest firefighting apparatus.  The Citizen covered that story from the first mention of a new truck in a proposed budget presented to the Finance Committee, through its construction and its arrival on a rainy afternoon more than a year later.

General news stories covered the bear sighting on Chestnut Lane, the Rotary Club’s massive meal-packing event last spring, Bedford Day and restaurants. After a brilliant, long-term run, Dalya’s closed in mid-December. A new eating spot, Cucina D, moved into Boardroom Bistro’s space on Middlesex Turnpike, and generated more buzz on Facebook than The Citizen typically sees! This summer’s microburst affected a limited swath of Bedford land, but it left amazing destruction in its wake. The Citizen has become known for posting election results as quickly as they are available, and we’re proud to make this service available to the community.

And there was news about what’s going on in Bedford Schools, in addition to our coverage of School Committee meetings. From posts about school plays and technology exhibits, to academic achievement awards and a report from State Rep. Ken Gordon about his help in resolving 2013’s overcrowding at the Bedford Plaza, you read it in The Citizen.

Dan Brosgol is one of several columnists who write for The Citizen, and his posts are consistently among the most read, the most re-Tweeted and “liked” on Facebook. In addition to the bear sighting story, Dan’s written about kids’ sports, running trails, and the impact of residential teardowns on the character of Bedford. We’re also grateful to the several dozen other occasional writers who share stories with The Citizen.

Through, The Citizen On the Horizon posts a Bedford-centric calendar of community event announcements, available 24-7 on our website, and then we cover events. From the standing-room-only mass at St. Michael’s Church on the occasion of Fr. Mark Sheehan’s retirement, through the shared photographs of the Middle School’s trip to Washington, DC last spring, Prom Stroll, the Holiday House Tour.

But lest we forget, The Citizen has had amazing support from clubs and organizations. In addition to all of the event announcements that populate On the Horizon, we thank the Bedford Historical Society for sharing consistently interesting stories from their newsletter, The Presevationist. The stories give new residents an appreciation for Bedford in another era.

What’s coming along in The Citizen? More news and meeting coverage, additional collaboration with local writers and columnists, and your story – should you decide to share it with the community.

In the meanwhile, Happy New Year, and all the best for a healthy and successful 2015!

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