Sunny Winter Saturday in Bedford Center

Sunny and cold, Saturday, March 6, saw Bedford teens outdoors: practicing for the upcoming football season, selling Girl Scout Cookies, and organizing the Interact Club’s scavenger hunt.

Help Your Garden Grow & Conserve Water with a DPW Rain Barrel

The spring planting season is almost here. If you are looking for a sustainable, cost-effective way to water your garden, the Department of Public Works has a suggestion: capture the rainwater off your roof and use it on the days it doesn’t rain.

The DPW’s Stormwater Management Team has arranged for residents to purchase a rain barrel from The Great American Rain Barrel Company and receive it by mid-April.

Neera Tanden and Bedford ~ Turning Points

So, 1987 Bedford High School graduate Neera Tanden, as expected, has withdrawn from consideration as director of the Biden Administration’s Office of Management and Budget. The votes for confirmation weren’t going to materialize.

It’s just the latest chapter of Bedford’s long history of “close calls,” of turning points that didn’t work out.

Bedford Cultural Council Grants Enhance Community Life

The range and resilience of the arts, education, and public affairs, despite the limitations of a lengthy pandemic, are reflected in the latest round of grants from the Bedford Cultural Council.

The 35 grants totaled $11,400 for recent or upcoming cultural programs in Bedford or for Bedford residents, ranging from music and performing arts to virtual programs on history and antiracism. The money was approved by last summer’s annual town meeting as part of the budget, supplemented by funds from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, appropriated by the Legislature.

Online Today: Bedford Recreation Spring 2021 Brochure ~ Registration Starts at 8 pm on March 7

The Bedford Recreation Department’s Spring Activities brochure went online today, and registration opens at  8 pm on Sunday, March 7.

In addition to adult sports and fitness classes, there are pick-up leagues for softball and summer basketball, pending decisions by the Bedford Health Department, and a pair of dog training sessions now that those ‘pandemic puppies’ have settled in.

There are youth activities galore: Hiking with your tyke, T-ball, as well as preschool and K-5 intramural soccer. Older kids can choose among street hockey, flag football, travel soccer, and tennis lessons. Or classes for art, chess, or Minecraft.

Bedford-Sponsored Covid Testing Continues at Middlesex Community College

The Town of Bedford’s Covid-19 testing program continues through March 13 on the Springs Road campus of Middlesex Community College (MCC).  The importance of testing as a component of recovery from the pandemic remains strong, even as vaccines are released.

The testing program pairs Bedford firefighters with students in MCC’s nursing program. “We are proud to offer the nursing program this opportunity for clinical hours,” declared Bedford Fire Chief David Grunes. “Watching our firefighters/EMTs teaching the nursing students highlights the Town’s support of Covid-19 testing, and the community values our firefighters are passing along.” 

The Bedford Citizen Thanks its 2020 Donors

Thank you to all the donors who generously supported The Bedford Citizen during 2020. We had no idea one year ago what a challenging and news-filled year it would be! With the support of our donors, we were able to expand our reporting staff along with our efforts to bring you local news from local voices.

Our readers are at the core of everything we do, and the generous support of our donors helps us fulfill The Citizen’s mission of community-supported news for Bedford!

HFAC Member Margaret Coppe to Investigate Cost of Testing for Lead Contamination in Soil near Airfield

A member of the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission is investigating the details of a soil lead level testing service offered by the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Margaret Coppe of Lexington said at the panel’s Feb. 16 meeting that the lab “offers a total sorbed metals test that measures total lead and other heavy metals… for $55 per test.  They recommend taking 12 samples from the area to be tested at various depths.”

She mentioned that a next step might be to discuss specifics with UMass Amherst on how an initial sampling survey might be carried out:  “Is it a whole neighborhood?  Would you lay out a quadrant of some sort and take samples so many feet apart?”

VA Bedford opens COVID vaccinations to all enrolled Veterans

VA Bedford Healthcare System will open COVID vaccinations to all Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age, starting Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.

VA will administer the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at its COVID Vaccination Clinic in the auditorium of Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Road, Bedford.

Enrolled Veterans may call the COVID-19 vaccination line at 781-687-4000 weekdays to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available daily, including weekends, from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Protections from COVID-19 can lead to Feelings of Isolation

Do you Feel Alone? Help is available.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a complex array of challenges including social isolation. As a result of curfews, stay-at-home mandates, and the need to keep gatherings to a minimum, people are staying at home more and experiencing unprecedented levels of isolation and a strain on their mental health. The Bedford Health and Human Services Department wants to make Bedford residents aware that supports are available.

The Town of Bedford offers Social Services to any resident in need

FinCom Heads into the Home Stretch on FY2022 Budget

One of the more consequential Bedford Finance Committee meetings in recent years is scheduled for next Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. on Zoom.

The proposed operating budget for fiscal 2022 – including schools – is $106,787,787, an increase of more than $7.6 million, or almost 7.7 percent, over the current year. The recommendations of the Finance Committee on spending – and how to pay for it – will be the ones published in the warrant for a vote at town meeting.

“This is an unusual year. We are spending a lot of money,” said Chair Ben Thomas as the committee prepared for its final deliberations at its meeting last week. “There are lots of different ways to go after this.”

Kevin Dougherty ~ Checking in from Storm-Torn Keller, Texas

Thirty years in Texas hasn’t dimmed Kevin Dougherty’s memories of growing up in Bedford.

But this week’s weather in the Lone Star State? Give me a break.

“It’s probably 50 degrees in the house now, but I have friends where it’s 40 at home,” said Dougherty, who lives in the city of Keller, where electricity is sporadic.

Shawsheen Cemetery Spring Cleanup

Residents who desire to retain items of sentiment, such as baskets, floral designs, wreaths, and decorations from the Shawsheen Cemetery should remove these items prior to March 1, 2021. The Department of Public Works will be starting its spring cleanup of the cemetery and must dispose of any items not removed.

Board of Health Announces Vaccines Delayed for Town Clinics

A brief Board of Health agenda for the meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 16 focused largely on an update about weekly town vaccination clinics which were offered for the first time on Feb. 10.  The second clinic was held on Wednesday, Feb. 17, but Health Department Director Heidi Porter announced that she has been notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that Bedford will not be provided further vaccine for the foreseeable future.  Residents who have already received their first doses through the town clinic will be able to return for their second doses as planned.