New Dashboard Clarifies Bedford’s Covid-19 Statistics

In her most recent memo on Covid-19, Town Manager  Sarah Stanton announced that “Bedford remains a Green (Lower COVID-19 Risk) Community,” and went on to unveil a new “dashboard” which reports Covid-19 statistics in Bedford.

The dashboard’s numbers are derived from MA DPH’s Massachusetts Virtual Epidemiologic Network (MAVEN.)  It was developed in collaboration with Board of Health staff; its statistics will be updated at 8 pm each evening, Monday through Friday.

Fraudulent Unemployment Claims Scam Residents and Town Employees

Whenever times are hard, predators are in the shadows trying to exploit the unfortunate.

There has been a recent rash of fraudulent state unemployment claims. And many of the victims, when they learn about it from their employers, are responding by contacting the Bedford police.

“I’m amazed,” said Lt. Detective Scott Jones. “We’re getting tons of calls. People are picking up the phone or coming into the station.”

Middlesex DA Marian Ryan Reminds Residents of Resources Amid Uptick in Overdose Deaths

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is reminding those struggling with addiction, those who care about someone struggling, and members of the public about the availability of Narcan and how to access virtual support amid an uptick in overdose deaths.

In Middlesex County, between October 14, 2020, and November 16, 2020, there were17 overdose deaths, six ​of which occurred over last weekend.

Over the last month, fatal overdoses have occurred in the Middlesex County communities of Bedford, Burlington, Everett, Framingham, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, Wayland, Westford, and Woburn.
 

Resilience Required: Covid-19 and Teen Mental Health

Anxiety in young people, Jon Mattleman said, “is about lack of control. There’s a lot going on below the surface. Even resilient people feel the angst, the pain. We have to recognize that they are hurting in their own way.”

The Arlington counselor was featured on a Zoom webinar Tuesday entitled “Resilience Required: Covid-19 and Teen Mental Health,” co-sponsored by the Bedford Youth and Family Services office and the schools’ Counseling Department

Bedford’s Buy Local Campaign ~ Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

The Town of Bedford last week launched a long-term campaign to support local businesses during the pandemic.

A comprehensive list of businesses and the goods and services they offer can be found at www.buybedford.org, the website is the successor to BedfordTakeOut.

“As winter approaches, it is more important than ever to support our small businesses by spending our dollars in town when possible,” said the official announcement. “This initiative will help our small and independent businesses and minimize the financial impact to our local economy.”

Planning Board Moves Toward Approving South Road Assisted Living Facility

The Planning Board this week moved a little closer to approving a proposed 92-unit assisted living facility on South Road at the corner of Evergreen Avenue.

Board Chair Jeffrey Cohen advised LCB Senior Living and its attorney, Pamela Brown, to continue drafting a proposed section of the zoning bylaw that would include assisted living definitions. He noted that more than half of the board is in support of that approach.

The St. Paul’s Advent Fair is Moving Online!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Advent Fair at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will be different from years past. The parish will still offer beautiful handmade crafts, a Silent Auction, a raffle of an L.L. Bean kayak set, shelf-stable food items, outreach gifts, and other gift options. Instead of an in-person event at the church, however, the Fair will be offered online using an e-commerce storefront.

Short Takes from the Bedford Free Public Library – November 11, 2020

“It was great to be in the building -if only for 20 seconds,” said Library Trustee Mike Pulizzi as the Board discussed the successful launch of the indoor “contactless” pickup service at their November 10 meeting.

The timing was good. The last day of outdoor curbside pickup of library books was October 31, the day of the snowstorm.  Beginning November 2, patrons can now safely–and warmly–retrieve their requested materials inside the Meeting Room. 

Bedford’s Virtual Veterans Day ~ Familiar and New, All At Once

The town’s first virtual Veterans Day observance on Bedford TV YouTube Thursday fit like a comfortable sweater – and a bright new face mask.

The prerecorded words and music delivered the same message that years of actual ceremonies have done.

However, one annual feature – personal tributes of family members or friends – changed dramatically. Most of the statements recorded were by students from Hanscom Middle School. And most were expressing love and admiration for their parents or relatives.

Bedford’s Virtual Veteran’s Day Ceremony will Begin at 11 am Today

In preparation for this morning’s Veteran’s Day ceremony, the Patriotic Holiday Committee has worked to prepare a video ceremony in collaboration with Bedford TV.

Col. Katrina Stephens, commander of the 66th Air Base Group at Hanscom Air Force Base, will present the keynote address. Other speakers will include State Rep. Ken Gordon, Select Board Chair Ed Pierce; Jon O’Connor, commander, American Legion Post 221; and Al Chisholm, senior vice commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1628.

MBTA to Discuss Proposed Transit Cuts and Seek Feedback ~ Thursday at 6 pm via Zoom

The MBTA has scheduled a public meeting to discuss proposed transit service cuts and gather feedback for Thursday at 6 p.m. on Zoom.
 
Persons may register for the event using this link: https://www.mbta.com/events/2020-11-12/forging-ahead-virtual-public-meeting-minuteman-region-2.
 
Monday the transit authority announced that it is considering significant reductions in bus, subway, and rail service beginning next year in response to low ridership and revenue, resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kristallnacht will be Observed Virtually on November 9

The Bedford Clergy Association and Rep. Ken Gordon have prepared a video to commemorate Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass on November 9.

On November 9–10, 1938, Nazi leaders unleashed a series of pogroms against the Jewish population in Germany and recently incorporated territories. This event came to be called Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) because of the shattered glass that littered the streets after the vandalism and destruction of Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, and homes.

MBTA Announces Proposed Service Reductions that May Affect Bedford

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Monday, acknowledging the ridership and financial toll taken by Covid-19, announced a broad range of proposed service reductions that would include Bedford.

The town is well-positioned to have its voice heard.

According to the MBTA list of proposed changes, which could begin as soon as the spring, bus route 62 would be considered for “consolidation.” The bus travels between Alewife Statin and the Edith Nourse Rogers VA Hospital hourly on weekdays.

Board of Health ~ Short Takes, 2 November 2020

The Board of Health last week reviewed the implementation of new state policies designed to try to control the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19.

“We saw something coming and we are very grateful for the governor’s leadership to initiate this,” said Heidi Porter, director of the town’s Health and Human Services Department.

“Any time you are in public you will be wearing a mask now,” Porter said, “even if you’re walking around your own neighborhood.” Also, gatherings, including privately, are limited to no more than 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.

Re-Connecting Seniors Virtually Through Chair Exercise Classes

Ever wonder what is going on at the Council on Aging (C0A), even though our doors are closed? How our older neighbors are doing during this time of Covid-19?

I would like to share a feel-good story of the newly added chair exercise class and how this class, along with our many other virtual offerings, is helping re-connect older people in a new and innovative way.

Bedford Cultural Council grant application deadline extended

The Bedford Cultural Council announced that the deadline for artists, educators, and cultural organizations to submit applications for grants to support culturally enriching projects or programs to benefit the people of Bedford during 2021 has been extended to Dec. 14.
 
The extension of this deadline has been prompted primarily by the state Legislature’s delay in setting the Massachusetts state budget. The Bedford Cultural Council gets its funds from the Mass Cultural Council, whose budget is a line item of the state budget and also with funds from Bedford.

A Post-Election ‘Count Every Vote’ Gathering on Bedford Common

In the opening remarks for Wednesday afternoon’s post-election Stand Out to Protect the Results gathering, organizer Maureen Richichi welcomed the group and noted that Bedford’s gathering coincided with other Protect the Results rallies across the Commonwealth and the United States.

“We gather together on this Common – our beloved public square – to lend our voices to the demand that all votes be counted,” she said, “before a victor is declared.”

‘We Don’t Raise Children in a Bubble’ ~ Practical Parenting Solutions

Evie Granville, M.Ed., Bedford’s most recently published author, already has a huge following on social media. Her etiquette advice reaches nearly 600,000 parents and caregivers each month.

Before you even read about her new book, Modern Manners for Moms & Dads: Practical Parenting Solutions for Sticky Social Solutions, you’d be well advised to jump onto YouTube and watch Evie Granville in person. She is an engaging speaker with sensible and reassuring ideas on everyday problems in parenting.