Covid-19 ~ When Life Gives You Lemons? Make Lemonade!

All right, there is a lot, I mean a lot of things wrong with life in our pandemic world.  Healthwise, economically, socially, and worry, are just the big ones.  There are countless other terrible aspects of all this.  I’m lucky, I know, knock on wood, but everybody in our house is healthy, and no one has lost their job

New Hands Unite in Separation

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.

What’s Bedford Thinking? A Snap Poll ~ Reopening Houses of Worship

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?

What’s Bedford’s Thinking?  The Bedford Citizen’s Snap Poll

There’s a lot going on.  Big issues that affect us all, both directly and indirectly. Although The Bedford Citizen is focused on Bedford news, what happens in the broader world affects us all.

For instance, what do you think about Gov. Baker’s plan for reopening Massachusetts?

That is why we are launching a weekly poll, What’s Bedford Thinking?

You’ll find the poll on the main page of The Citizen’s website, alongside every story you read on the website or after you scroll through the news or read a story on your phone.

Bedford Explained: The 1918 Influenza Epidemic

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.

So Why Visit an 1836 Prison?


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.

Pole Capping, 2019 ~ Reminiscing with Jeff Hoyland

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?

Passover 5780 – Differently Different

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?”

A Visit to Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Manhattan Project

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.

Callahan’s Karate Holds Virtual Online Belt Graduation Ceremony

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!

Wish You Were Here ~ Murphy’s Excellent Adventure

Friends and families who visit the Bedford Free Public Library may have been wondering what Murphy the Turtle has been up to since the library closed on March 13th.

Murphy has definitely been wondering where all of his friends and admirers have gone since then!

The Bedford Citizen At Work: How We Will Report on COVID-19 in Our Community

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.)

Bedford Dollars for Scholars Phone-a-thon a Ringing Success

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.

Bedford TV Students Create a Census Music Video

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.

What Were You Doing When You Were 12 Years Old?

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.

Oscar Watch ~ Little Women’s Local Connections

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.

Gallery Walk & Talk ~ ‘On Growing Up’ ~ At the Bedford Free Public Library on Sunday, February 9, from 4 to 5 pm

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.

Traveling: Arizona’s Canyons, Lakes, and Rainbow Bridge National Monument

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.