Letter to the Editor, November 3, 2017: Walking our Talk ~ Sanctuary at First Parish, Unitarian Universalist

By Rev. John Gibbons, Senior Minister, First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Bedford, and members of the First Parish Sanctuary Team: Marilou Barsam, Cathy Cordes, Sylvia Cowan, Judi Curcio, Marya Dantzer, Christine Dudley-Marling, Diana Finer, Judith Frediani, Lee Beth King, Vito LaMura, Lisa Rubin, and Julie Zacharakis.

In my sermon last Sunday, I noted that as a congregation we have affirmed that we will give shelter to those who unjustly are threatened with imminent deportation, people whose freedom is in jeopardy, and whose very lives are at stake. Our love will resist the defensive stranger-fearing nativist impulse. We’ve prepared a place, organized ourselves, made coalition and allies. We welcome the stranger. We protect the vulnerable. We accompany the oppressed.

In response to the unanimous recommendation of our Sanctuary Committee, our Parish Board unanimously approved a motion to welcome someone into sanctuary on October 26. This could happen imminently. Let the beauty we love be what we do.

Letter to the Editor, November 3, 2017: Thank You to the Vendors Who Contributed to the Bedford Citizen of the Year Festivities

By Michael Rosen, Bedford Assistant Town Manager

I want to publicly thank the vendors in Town who graciously donated their local items for the Bedford Citizen of the Year gift basket. Their generous contributions made Bedford Day and the Citizen of the Year Ceremony memorable and enjoyable for 2017’s winner, John Linz, and his family.

Letter to the Editor, November 3, 2017: Supporting Automatic Voter Registration

By Chris Gittins, along with William Barney , Bob Batt, Dan Bostwick, Renu Bostwick, Stacy Chandler, Ron Cordes, Jacqueline Edwards, William A Edwards, Sandra Hackman, Liz Hanegan, Shawn Hanegan, Brian Hart, Amy Kelly, Anne Larkin, Tom Larkin, Janet Powers, Emily Prince, Jonathan Rubin, Kristin Rubin, and Doris Smith.

As Election Day approaches, it’s a good time to think about what we can be doing to increase participation in the democratic process.

One reform before the Legislature this session which would do just that is Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). 15% of eligible Massachusetts residents—nearly 700,000 potential voters—are not currently registered to vote, and their voices deserve to be heard.

Letter to the Editor, November 1, 2017: Special Town Meeting Article 18 – Land Acquisition Fund

By Holly Bloomfield

Well, this seems like a real sleeper and a done deal, doesn’t it? “Why should I attend a Town Meeting until very late to talk about this”? Please read on. The answer is in the small print.

At first glance, this article seems friendly and applies to acquiring lands for wonderful purposes like conservation, recreation and historic preservation, all in keeping with the Community Preservation Act. Yes, it does. But embedded in this article are properties the Town wants for other uses beyond the Community Preservation Act, so you need to look deeper.

Letter to the Editor, October 28, 2017: Article 2 Is Smart for Bedford and for Our Climate

Submitted by Dan Bostwick

Almost a year ago, a group of Bedford citizens concerned about climate change started looking into what it would take for Bedford to become a Net Zero community. A Net Zero community offsets its annual greenhouse gas emissions with carbon-free energy production. We felt that this would be a concrete and meaningful way for Bedford to combat climate change. We were inspired by Cambridge, Somerville, Boston, Lexington, and Concord, communities that are currently implementing or developing Net Zero plans for themselves.

Letter to the Editor, October 21, 2-17: Getting Congress to Restore Our Constitution, or What Do Congressman Moulton and Dr. Strangelove Have In Common?

By Brown Pulliam
Life Member of the Bedford Democratic Town Committee
Delegate to the 2017 Democratic State Convention

The writers of our Constitution were well aware of examples in history of disastrous wars that had begun at the command of one person. Therefore they made sure that a vote of both houses of the Congress would be necessary before the United States could declare a state of war.

The advent of nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles raised the fear that if we were to suffer a surprise attack using such weapons, there would be no time to convene Congress to authorize a counter-strike before the initial attack had eliminated our capacity to do so. Thus some decades ago, Congress gave to the president the authority to launch a nuclear attack, not only in reply to such an attack but even to launch a first strike using nuclear weapons!

Letter to the Editor, October 15, 2917: Appreciating Bedford’s Community Policing

By Sonja Wang

Several years ago, when my 17-year-old son was in 7th grade, he and a few of his friends asked if they could go to Page Field after school to practice baseball. I told my son I would swing by and pick him up on my way home from grocery shopping. As I drove down Loomis St., I saw two Bedford PD cruisers in the parking lot of Page Field, and as any other mother would, my heart started to gallop. However, as I pulled into the lot, I saw something that will stay in my heart as one of the most wonderful things I have seen done for my kids. Two Bedford Police Officers were on the field with the boys, playing homerun derby. They introduced themselves and said that they had challenged the boys to the game and that if the boys won, they said they would bring them to Bedford Farms in their police cars and treat them to an ice cream. Somehow the boys “managed” to beat the cops by one run and got their ice cream and ride. It was a great experience for them as young adolescents to have an experience with the police that was entirely positive and meaningful.

Letter to the Editor, October 13, 2017: Your Chance to Vote at Special Town Meeting to Prohibit Recreational Marijuana Stores in Bedford

By Kris Washington

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Massachusetts during the 2016 national election. Now, cities and towns must decide whether to change existing bylaws to prohibit recreational stores within their borders. Towns whose residents voted against recreational marijuana legalization–like Bedford–are allowed to ban recreational marijuana stores from operating in town, impose a moratorium, or pose no opposition. The Special Town Meeting on November 6 is your chance to prohibit recreational marijuana stores from opening in our town.

The onus of deliberating the potential effects of retail sales and presenting this issue to Bedford voters falls to the members of our Finance Committee, Planning Board, and Selectmen. Allowing recreational marijuana shops has implications for Bedford’s finances and property values, zoning regulations, and town resources–not to mention perceptions of residents and neighboring communities.

Letter to the Editor, October 12, 2017: Supporting Sales of Marijuana in Bedford

By Kathryn Rifkin

Preparatory to Bedford’s annual Town Meeting, I attended the Planning Board and Selectmen meetings and was appalled at the lack of education on Cannabis. I heard scaremongering among people who only researched the issue in the previous 24 hours. This is not good for democracy or for logical thinking. You cannot think straight if you are frightened. Herein this letter, I will summarize my years of research with footnotes.

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