Celebrate the Fourth of July by Reading the Declaration of Independence ~ Saturday July 4 at 11 am

American Legion Post 221 will sponsor the annual July 4 public reading of the Declaration of Independence Saturday at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park.
Jon O’Connor, post commander, emphasized that face covering and social distancing will be observed to deter the spread of the Covid-19 virus. “There’s plenty of room to spread out to appreciate our freedoms and independence,” he said, adding that he has cleared the event with the chiefs of police and fire.

METCO Hosts a Virtual Celebration for the Class of 2020

With 100 students enrolled, Bedford’s program is neither METCO’s largest or smallest partner, but the Town has an important history since the program opened here in the early 1970s. This year’s Bedford High School graduates Cristina Delgado, Sage Hull, Jonathan Pierre, Esmeralda Puello, and Aaliya Valentine joined Class of 2020 graduates from 29 school departments to participate in Saturday afternoon’s virtual METCO graduation gala.

The Bedford Unicorn Causes Grins Around Town, and Raises Funds for the Bedford Food Pantry

Spotting a unicorn tends to be considered nothing but fantasy. Locally, Bedford Unicorn sightings have become a common occurrence thanks to Daisy Girifalco.

Since mid-March, Girifalco has been parading around town in an 8-foot tall inflatable unicorn costume. She initially bought the costume to help a friend create a video for her dance company. Days later she brought the costume back out to sing happy birthday (from a distance) to a neighbor.

Covid-19 ~ Testing Tuesdays will Continue in Bedford for the Foreseeable Future

Covid-19 testing will take place at First Parish on Bedford Common (75 The Great Road) every Tuesday for the foreseeable future. The next testing date is Tuesday, June 30th from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

All are welcome to participate in the program without regard to your town of residence, affiliation, symptomology, or ability to pay.

Bedford Arts and Craft Society Members Serve Those in Need

Bedford Arts and Crafts Society (BACS) members have been making a difference, using their artistic skills to spread cheer through community service projects. Their current effort is making get-well cards for hospital patients and thank-you cards that are included with meals donated to health care workers through Operation Feed the Soul.

The BACS effort to participate in service projects began two years ago when Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan introduced Project Linus. BACS crafters went to work and hand-crocheted blankets that were donated for children in stressful situations. BACS crafting chair Jane Franklin remembers, “It was a ‘feel-good’ activity, so I actively looked for additional ways that BACS could support our community.” The next year fleece blankets were made and donated. Crafters then assembled an array of holiday gifts (made and donated by generous members) that were donated to the Bedford Food Pantry.

Other projects followed. Some ideas came to members, and others suggested themselves from crafts that were already part of the weekly BACS crafting program held (pre-shutdown) on Wednesday afternoons, 2:00–4:00, at the COA. For example, crafters have held a card-making afternoon about once a month, and many of the cards have found a destination at Cardz for Kidz, sending positive messages to children going through trauma. The card-making effort has continued with Christmas and Valentine’s Day cards for the Bedford VA. Many hands have pitched in, but particular recognition goes to Leslie Gabriele, Teresa Kvietkauskas, and Sandi Rosenfeld for leading these initiatives.

Some months ago, Bedford COA director Alison Cservenschi asked if BACS had use for an assortment of wooden canes. Members decided to repaint and decorate the canes and give them back for seniors to use. BACS crafter Marita Hartshorn took the lead. She brought the canes home, sanding, and putting a base coat on each. Members then used Marita’s suggestions for painting them with colorful designs.

Although the Wednesday crafting sessions have been on hold since the start of the pandemic shutdown, crafters have continued their handiwork from the safety of their homes. For additional information about BACS and its art and craft programs, visit www.bacsma.org

Don’t Miss It! The Bedford Arts and Craft Society’s current juried show at the Bedford Free Public Library is available on its website – Click https://www.bedfordlibrary.net/2020/06/24/virtual-art-gallery/ to see the show.

Library’s Contact-Free Pickup Program is Underway

Bedford Free Public Library Director Richard Callaghan offers tips to residents seeking to borrow books via the new contact-free ‘Grab and Go’ program that debuted on Tuesday, June 23:

Will Bedford Day Take Place in Person on September 19?

Will it be safe to hold a conventional Bedford Day parade and street fair on September 19?

If there will be a cancellation, the Select Board will decide no later than August 1.

“It’s very much on people’s radar, but is it safe? Is this the right thing to do?” said Town Manager Sarah Stanton.

Select Board Chair Ed Pierce said, “we’re in a gap period right now, but groups need to order supplies, and if we wait too long some vendors may not be able to react in time.”

Recreation Director Amy Hamilton, who with her department has coordinated Bedford Day activities for many years, said she told the town manager she could wait until August before a decision is necessary. “People sign up online, and it does not take us that long to get things organized,” she said.

Marilou Barsam, Co-founder of Bedford Embraces Diversity, Honored as a 2020 Commonwealth Heroine

Months before the nation turned its focus to civil rights challenges, Marilou Barsam and the Bedford Embraces Diversity (“BED”) group that she founded were hard at work addressing the hurdles facing marginalized groups in a largely Caucasian region.  Recognizing the importance of her leadership early this year, State Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) nominated Ms. Barsam as the Commonwealth Heroine of the 21st Middlesex District. The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women recently released the members of its 2020 class of Heroines, Ms. Barsam among them.

End of School Fun at St. Paul’s Weekday Nursery School Parade

Graduates and students of St. Paul’s Weekday Nursery School were feted during a drive-by celebration on June 4. Teachers lined up along the driveway, each stationed at an inventive beach-themed display featuring bubbles, costumes, and music along with big grins and virtual hugs.

A Look Back at Bedford’s Postal History, and Ahead to What the Future Might Hold

Today Bedford is served by a retail Post Office located in the Bedford Marketplace.  It is staffed by Postmaster David Zaher, who also serves the Hanscom AFB post office and four clerks who have been in Bedford for some years. They handle all retail operations. There are around 650 Post Office boxes of which some 400 which are currently rented. The letter carriers for the 15 Bedford routes work out of the Burlington office.

During the demolition of the old shopping plaza and the building of Bedford Marketplace, from 2015 to 2018, postal services were relegated to a trailer for almost 18 months, under conditions that were extremely difficult for both postal workers and customers.

It was a happy day indeed when the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new retail location took place on May 18, 2018.

But – and this is still a mystery to many – why did Bedford lose the functionality it once had? In the old shopping center, you may recall there was a substantial brick building located on the corner where the B-good restaurant now stands, with a retail unit on the other side of the driveway.  Mail was sorted on the premises in the brick building. In those days, you could mail a letter to a Bedford address and be reasonably certain it would be delivered the next day. Today, a letter posted to a Bedford address must go to Burlington for sorting before it finally makes it back to the addressee in town, which can add as much as two days to delivery time.

Dot’s Reading Room: Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History?

Here is a challenging article from The Atlantic’s national correspondent James Fallows, who asks Is This the Worst Year in Modern American History? Comparing 2020 to 1968 offers some disquieting lessons for the present.

If you are old enough to remember the events of 1968-assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, to name two-you may or may not agree with Fallows.  If 1968 is ancient history to you, this is a sobering review of that historic year in comparison to 2020.

After 34 Years of Service, School Crossing Guard Cathy Young Retires

There are a lot of questions looming about how the Bedford school scene will look 12 weeks from now. Will the classrooms be full? How about the buses and athletic fields? Marching band? Choruses? Field trips?

The landscape is uncertain – except for one significant change: Cathy Young, school crossing guard since 1986, has decided to retire.

Carole Charnow Grainger, the Boston Children’s Museum, a Virtual Trivia Night, and Bedford

“We are for people, not about people.”
Carole Charnow, CEO Boston Children’s Museum and Bedford residentThis Thursday night – June 16,  from 6 to 7 pm – the Boston Children’s Museum is hosting their first-ever virtual fundraising event, Trivia Night.  Because this fundraiser is virtual, it has the ability for anyone, anywhere, to participate.  You may not know it but the Boston Children’s Museum curriculum is integrated into Bedford’s community as well. Click this link to join in for some “PG” family fun, and let’s show Bedford resident and Children’s Museum CEO Carole Charnow Grainfer what her hometown is made of! How do the Boston Children’s Museum and Bedford Intersect? Author’s Note: Carole Charnow Grainger has been a friend, neighbor, and advocate on Bedford’s Save Fawn Lake Committee, for over a decade.  I knew a bit of her background and that she was CEO of the Boston Children’s Museum, but after delving in deeper and talking with her today, I’m embarrassed to say that I. Had. No.

Celebration Day ~ June 6, 2020

Saturday, June 6 was designated ‘Celebration Day’ by the parent organizers working to be sure that this year’s graduates would have a lot to remember.

There were car parades, photographs with families, decorations around town, parties, plus Cap and Gown and happy faces photographs galore.

Thanks to the readers who shared their images.

The Bedford Citizen Selected by GlobalGiving as a Red Backpack Fund Grant Recipient

The Bedford Citizen proudly announces its receipt of a grant from the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation to combat Covid-19 crisisGlobalGiving announced today that The Bedford Citizen has been selected to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund, an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits made possible by The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation. “My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic. Twenty years ago, I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and I see this as a time to pay it forward. Small business is the backbone of our culture. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely.

Mr. Felker’s Salute to the BHS Class of 2020 ~ The Gallant Buccaneers

The expressions of support for Bedford’s high school graduates have been heartfelt and creative, reflecting the entire town’s desire to ensure that this milestone does not get lost to the harsh realities of a pandemic. Teacher Jim Felker’s contribution is a shining addition to this list — an original song entitled “The Gallant Buccaneers.

Felker is Band Director at Bedford High School and teaches world drumming and music production.  He has taught in Bedford for 20 years.  He is also a career musician who says he has written many songs…but composing this one was a special experience.