In a year of much change and turbulence, Bedford welcomes two new pastors to the community. Interim pastor The Rev. Leah Goodwin joined First Baptist Church in late May, and The Rev. Jonathan Manor became pastor at The Lutheran Church of the Savior (LCS) in mid-March. The two have been presented with unprecedented circumstances in the religious community amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
As we honor the brave souls who gave their lives for our country this Memorial Day, I thought it would be helpful to explain the various memorials throughout our town. Where they are and whom they honor.
I took a drive this beautiful May morning (without traffic, I may add) to photograph Bedford’s various memorials. I started at the High School and headed toward Lexington, which explains the order in which they’re listed. I encourage you to take a look for yourself.
Here’s the second What’s Bedford Thinking snap poll, this time about reopening houses of worship.
In Phase One of Massachusetts reopening, houses of worship can open with restrictions. Assuming your house of worship chooses to open, how likely will you be to return to services within the next month?
It is thought that when the influenza epidemic arrived in Massachusetts in late August of 1918, it was brought by Navy men returning from World War I. The disease felled sailors on a receiving ship docked at Commonwealth Wharf in Boston and spread to the dockyards and naval station. It began to sicken Camp Devens, in Ayer, where there were thousands of soldiers waiting to be posted to France. Inevitably, it leaped to the civilian population.
Usually when folks take a weekend away they tend toward the exotic or skiing or a beach or a spa. When I told friends we were going to Philadelphia for the weekend to see Eastern State Penitentiary, I got some “why-would-you-want-to-do -that looks” and then explained the history of this particular prison and its significance. Not one had ever heard of Eastern State Penitentiary. However, it is no wonder that Eastern State Penitentiary was the 2017 overall winner of the Excellence in Exhibitions Award from the American Alliance of Museums. The public dialogue that this prison has introduced around issues of crime, justice, and our incarceration system is crucial to our future. Located within walking distance of the heart of Philadelphia and its plethora of museums along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world. It was supposedly the world’s first true ‘penitentiary,’ a prison designed to inspire remorse and regret in its prisoners when it was built around 1840. Built of stone, the prison had single cells that were vaulted and sky-lit with a window in the ceiling; each wase designed to hold just one prisoner. Each cell also had access to a small outdoor enclosed yard that was also just for that cell, and each prisoner was allowed outside at a different time each day but never at the same time as their neighboring cellmate since communication among inmates was discouraged.
Bedford’s Pole Capping Day looks different in 2020. Due to Covid-19, the annual festivities which were supposed to happen today, Saturday, April 11, were canceled. We spoke with Jeff Hoyland, the man whose camera captures some of the town’s best moments, to hear his thoughts on that iconic day.
Could you describe the atmosphere at Bedford’s Pole Capping?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Passover snuck up on me this year. After a March that came in like a lion and went out with a quarantine, and seemingly went on forever, I lost track of time. (After all, didn’t you hear- we are down to only three days a week: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.) But here it is, and here we are.
One of the most cherished traditions at the Passover Seder is the recitation of The Four Questions, when the youngest child present asks a series of questions to the group about Passover and its rituals- eating matzah, eating bitter herbs, dipping vegetables, and eating while reclining. The beginning line of The Four Questions, which is perhaps the most famous, is traditionally translated as “How is this night different from all other nights?”, from the Hebrew “Mah nishtanah halaylah hazeh mikol halaylot?”
Any visitor to the Taos and Santa Fe area of New Mexico should consider a trip to Los Alamos, home of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. Shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 during the Second World War, the United States began hiring scientists to work on a ‘better bomb’ to end the war. Secret sites were set up starting in 1942 across the country, with the beginning being in New York City, thusly named the “Manhattan Project.” Los Alamos was chosen as the main site for a new laboratory due primarily to lead scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer’s house in nearby Albuquerque and familiarity with the region. The new, secret town of Los Alamos was built in 1943 and called “Site Y.” Hanford, Washington, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, hosted secondary labs.
I stood in my room, Sheahan Hall 207, for what I never thought would be my last time living there. The previous week was filled with hard-core studying for mid-terms, work-study, and sneaking in a meal or two here and there. I looked around at my bags all packed up, most of my belongings inside, worried that the college would end up closing and I would leave much-needed clothing behind.
Amidst all the disruption, Callahan’s Karate held a virtual online belt graduation ceremony and hosted a drive-through, no-contact belt pick up.
Instructors cheered for the students as they pulled up to the karate school. Another instructor with gloves on placed the belt onto our DIY social distant belt delivery device to allow the students to still receive their new belt!
ByLily Nemirovsky, Student Voices @ The Bedford Citizen |
At first, the coronavirus seemed like every other news headline: real, but distant. We’d hear about how it affected others, we’d talk about it in the hallways, but none of us believed we would actually feel the effects ourselves; that our lives would be directly impacted.
ByGinni Spencer - Board Member, The Bedford Citizen |
The Bedford Citizen, in accordance with our Breaking News Policy that was put in place last fall and posted on our website, is closely monitoring all aspects of rapidly developing events in Bedford regarding COVID-19.
We are focused on publishing reliable information that is fact-based and cross-checked with officially designated agencies and departments at the federal, state, and local levels. This includes, but is not limited to, the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Bedford Board of Health, Selectmen, Town Manager, School Committee, and the ad-hoc Town/School COVID-19 Task Force. (Task Force members are Sarah Stanton, Town Manager; Jon Sills, Superintendent of Schools; Heidi Porter, Director of Health and Human Services; David Grunes, Fire Chief; Robert Bongiorno, Police Chief; and Taissir Alani, Director of Town/School Facilities.)
The Dollars for Scholars 55th annual Phone-a-thon contacted Bedford and Hanscom community residents who pledged almost $32,000 according to chairpersons Alma Pomponi and Scott Dyer. Projected donations are expected to exceed $55,000.
Among Bedford TV’s strongest volunteers are its youngest.
Thanks to Ralph Hammond and the Rotary Club of Bedford’s BRIC program that earns community service points for elementary and middle school students who serve as tech support for local access programs as well as creating their own content for the station.
If you cannot remember what it was or is like to be 12 years old, please meet Ariel Grossman, a 12-year-old creative, serious-minded Bedford middle school student, active in a variety of extracurricular activities, and a successful entrepreneur who produces and markets photo and video montages.
Ariel has a true passion for her work and enjoys being able to provide a professional and affordable product for her clients. She developed an entrepreneurial interest at an early age, cutting her teeth on lemonade stands and selling Girl Scout cookies. In 2018 a discussion with her mother regarding a montage for her future bat mitzvah led her to the decision that she would be the ideal person to develop her own montage for her upcoming 2020 celebration. As a result, Montages by Ariel was born.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church celebrated Scout Sunday on February 2. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts took part in every aspect of the service, and senior Girl Scout Joleen Ricci delivered the sermon. In it, Ricci spoke of her 13-year experience as a Girl Scout, beginning as a 5-year-old Daisy.
Editor’s Note: If you’re watching the Oscars on Sunday night, pay special attention to Little Women, the film on this year’s list with the strongest connections to Bedford!
In 2018, the Columbia Pictures film Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig, was shot on location in the Boston area. The Oscar-nominated film was released on Christmas Day 2019 and is up for 6 Oscar awards at the 92nd Annual Oscar Awards on Sunday, February 9. The film has many local ties, including 3 local actors who enjoyed being extras in the production that features major Hollywood stars.
On Growing Up, the Art Steering Committee’s current show at the Bedford Free Public Library was curated by Bedford photographer Astrid Reischwitz. The exhibit features photographs by a pair of accomplished artists. Suzanne Révy and Tira Khan each photographed her children – Révy’s sons and Khan’s daughters.
Révy and Khan will lead visitors through the show and talk about their work during an artists’ reception in the library from 4 to 5 pm on Sunday afternoon, February 9.
This past fall while traveling out west mostly in Arizona and New Mexico, my husband and I traveled to Page, AZ to visit Antelope Canyon. This slot canyon was discovered a few years ago after a local farmer supposedly lost his cows and found them in this amazingly beautiful smooth-sided, red-walled canyon a few miles outside Page. It was on Navaho land and made famous by photographers who flocked there for the amazing light and color phenomenon of both the upper canyon and its more rigorous lower canyon. The Navahos give regular tours of both canyons and are very accommodating to tourists seeking good photographs of this spectacular place.
ByRyan Doucette, Student Voices @ The Bedford Citizen |
Protests. Marches. Strikes. Walk-Outs. The impact of young people on the direction of climate change proposals has been monumental. However, their voices represent a mere fraction of Generation Z. While most Gen Z’ers do indeed agree on the need for change to preserve our beautiful world, opinions differ as to exactly what changes are needed and who should be involved in implementing them. The majority of Americans recognize the dangers that climate change confronts our country with, so there is overwhelming support to take action to prevent further damage. Despite the polarizing political sphere in today’s world, climate change is a unique issue on which many people agree that something must be done. However, a significant divergence in approach becomes apparent as we discuss possible solutions to the looming effects of climate change.
Out for a casual stroll or something a tad more invigorating? Maybe there’s an urge to experience an afternoon nature walk?
For sure, one doesn’t need to search too far in and around Bedford for a suitable trail.
Thanks to the teamwork of the Department of Public Works and the Bedford Trails Committee, there are more than 30 miles of public walking paths. These trails often snake through conservation areas as well as municipal and private properties.
Over the past few weeks, social media has carried multiple posts about coyotes, and more recently on January 7, about a possible mountain lion.
A Facebook discussion was begun by Erin Campbell on Tuesday morning. “A large tan cat-like animal with a long tail ran across the road [at Middlesex Community College] …. bigger than our golden retriever, and it really looked like a long muscular cat…. ” wrote Campbell.