Bedford needs to adopt rules to safeguard its historic properties as irreplaceable history as well as antiquities that will garner visitors from across the globe who are interested in American History.
Over the years Bedford has been losing much of its housing stock and outbuildings to development. Much of it because of lack of community engagement, and the rest because Bedford does not have the rules in place to safeguard its treasures.
This is a much belated note of thanks to our incredible Bedford First Responders. In the early morning hours of March 15th, my husband Norm suffered a heart attack resulting in what we learned later was sudden cardiac death. Our dog had awakened me a few minutes earlier, so I was awake and heard a strange gasp from Norm. He was unresponsive when I called 911. The first police officer was on the scene in mere minutes and additional officers and the Advanced Life Support team arrived very quickly after that. Thanks to their incredible efforts and the timely response, they were able to revive Norm and he was taken to Lahey Hospital Five stents and nine days later, Norm was able to return home and continues to do well in his recovery.
It was a very unsettling discussion whereby residents discussed their concerns with the proposed development, yet received no feedback from the Board.
When asked about the traffic congestion, the Planning Board director was dismissive of residents concerns over the increased traffic on the road as the usual resident complaint. Yet, that dismissive response failed to take into consideration the construction of two large yet unoccupied complexes that feed into the already stressed narrow and winding roadway. The property in question is flanked by on one end of the roadway, and a hotel-sized multi-use structure at the other end, which terminates with no outlet at Middlesex Turnpike in Billerica. Yet, residents concerns were given no moment.
On Monday, May 24, 2021, at 7:35 pm on Zoom, the Bedford Select Board will conduct a public hearing on a proposed development at 251A Old Billerica Road.
The Town has the Right of First Refusal to purchase this pristine 1905 vintage property and horse farm. Those who are concerned about the exploitation of this historic gem should attend and voice support for the town to acquire it.
You’ve probably heard “the pandemic revealed and exasperated” more times than you care to count. But the truth is that it did bring into sharp focus the struggles of many Massachusetts families to meet the most basic of needs. The pandemic also temporarily led to free school meals for all students. But that federal program, funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is set to end in June 2022. As we look towards a time when the pandemic no longer affects our daily lives, let’s ensure we don’t let students return to classrooms hungry. All public school students should permanently receive free breakfast and lunch in school.
I urge that the commitment of ANY funding to a Museum on the first (middle) floor of Old Town Hall be deferred until an integrated plan, addressing the future of both the Historical Society and/or a Museum, and Bedford TV, has been created, aired, and approved.
Author’s Note: I am the Treasurer of Bedford Community Access Television (BCAT), but I am submitting this letter as a long-standing resident of Bedford. The Board of BCAT, as a contractor to the Town, takes no position on this subject.
I find it difficult to believe that there can exist in our society the notion that the stalwart efforts of Christopher Columbus throughout his life to advance the Mexican religious culture of his day, (as well as that of our own land), should be cast aside for the false accusations relating to slavery that have been launched against him in schools for decades, (and more recently by several organizations that do not have the interests of our great nation at heart).
ByThe Bedford Historical Society ~ Don Corey, Board Chair and Tom Kinzer, President |
This letter was prepared by the leadership of the Bedford Historical Society to provide background and operational information relevant to relocating the Bedford Historical Society from the Stearns Building to the Old Town Hall (OTH).
The Bedford Historical Society (“the Society”) has worked since 1893 to preserve and communicate Bedford’s unique and valuable history for the benefit of the Town and its residents. Over the 70-year history of the Stearns Memorial Building, the Society has stored and, to the extent possible, displayed in that building documents, artifacts, archival records, and museum pieces related to our Town, dating back to its founding in 1729. Although we once had over 1100 square feet of space and a museum, our collections and artifacts are currently stacked to the ceiling of our 380-square-foot office or spilled out into a hallway and parts of a conference room. Some material is scattered in other locations around town. Almost nothing is currently displayable to the public at large.
As a longtime Bedford resident and public servant, I have seen our town grow in so many ways. With the passing of 28 years between my first day on the Zoning Board of Appeals to my recent retirement as Chair of the Planning Board, I know firsthand how important it is for our town to plan for the changes that will influence our future. One of the most critical of these demographic trends facing Bedford is the rising share of senior citizens expected to reside here over the coming decade. That is why I am supporting Articles 25 and 26 at the upcoming May 15 Annual Town Meeting- they are the first in a series of steps we must take to expand senior housing options in our community. Without actions like these, too many Bedford seniors will be forced to move out of the community they’ve called home for decades.
ByJaci Edwards, Chair of the Bedford Arbor Resources Committee |
Mass General Law Chapter 87, commonly known as The Shade Tree Act, regulates all roadside trees (that is, trees in the right-of-way, both broadleaf, and evergreen) in the Commonwealth. Early versions were first passed in the 1890s, indicating a long-standing recognition that roadside trees have such a valuable role in the life of a community that they should be publicly owned and protected.
In addition to the other letters written in support of Indigenous Peoples Day, I would like to ask parents to join me in support of Article 34 – Indigenous Peoples Day Recognition at the Annual Town Meeting on May 15th.
Looking at the facts (as illustrated in previous Letters to the Editor in support of Indigenous Peoples Day and are provided on the Bedford IPD webpage, IPDBedford.org), I find it easy to support Indigenous Peoples Day. I find it much harder to justify a celebration of the atrocities associated with Christopher Columbus.
Stand Up for truth and justice by supporting Article 34, Indigenous Peoples Day Recognition.
As members of the organizing committee for Indigenous Peoples Day Bedford, we urge Bedford citizens to vote YES on Article 34, Indigenous Peoples Day Recognition, at Town Meeting on May 15, 2021. By passing this article, Bedford will join the growing number of communities and fourteen states in celebrating this land’s First People every second Monday of October.
President Biden’s speech to the Joint Session of Congress this week marked the return of values we in Massachusetts hold dear.
The President has shown by his words and actions that he understands the concerns of working families in Bedford, Burlington, and other communities across America. Not long ago, I introduced a bill that became the Paid Family and Medical Leave law in Massachusetts. It would not have become law without the active help of the Obama/Biden Administration. I was invited to the White House several times to discuss the policy with leaders from the administration and several other states and municipalities. Led by then Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Deputy Secretary Chris Lu, joined by then-Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, we put our heads together and got it done. The result? Massachusetts and Washington became the first two states to create a system to allow families to take time from work in times of great need. Pres. Biden’s appointment of Marty Walsh as Labor Secretary proves that he gets it, and he is committed to the concerns of working families.
The origins of Columbus Day had very little to do about the man Christopher Columbus. It was initiated due to injustice, bigotry, institutionalized discrimination, and mob violence that Italian American immigrants faced back in the late 1800s and it is a day that has evolved into an expression of Italian American pride.
I am Italian American from my mother’s side. My childhood memories are of meatballs and bocce games at my grandparents’ house, and family summers on the Jersey Shore. Christenings, First Communions, and weddings are a huge deal. We eat and drink too much, talk too loudly and with our hands, and can’t leave a party without hugs and kisses for everyone. Like any Italian American, I love my heritage. Our people include giants of history like the Medicis, Dante, and da Vinci, and modern icons like Lady Gaga, Francis Ford Coppola, and Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi. Their accomplishments are a source of pride.
Climate change is threatening our cities and our lives. We are seeing ecosystems getting destroyed, coastlines that our parents and grandparents grew up on disappear, and that the next generation may never see. Dirty energy is causing this problem, and the solution is to switch to clean energy.
This beautiful planet is the most precious and undeserved gift ever given to humanity. This is why it pains me to see how recklessly we humans abuse the earth. That needs to stop. Protecting the planet is a reasonable rent to pay for living on it.
It doesn’t really work to ban leaf blowers. People want their walkways and driveways cleared and tidy and a leaf blower is an effective time-saving tool for that job. Even if residents manage to ban leaf blowers for certain times it’s a nightmare to enforce, as evidenced in Newton and Cambridge. So the easiest solution is to replace the noisy gas-powered leaf blowers with quiet electric blowers.
As an Italian-American I am all too aware of the unrelenting attacks Columbus Day undergoes yearly. While several books have been published by scholars either countering the attacks on Columbus (ex “Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem” by Carol Delaney), or proving Howard Zinn wrong (ex: “Debunking Howard Zinn” By Mary Graber) and fact based websites have been created to educate the public (ex: KnowColumbus.org), these attempts have done little to relent the attacks on Italian-Americans. Yes, I said attacks on Italian-Americans, not Columbus.
The 100% Renewable Energy Bill is the key to a safe, happy, and clean future for all. It is estimated that there are only 50 years of fossil fuels remaining. This current system of cultivating energy creates catastrophic levels of air pollution, which is hurting both our planet and those who inhabit it. It is extremely timely that we work together to prompt the switch from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy sources.
We have complete confidence in Town Manager Sarah Stanton to oversee the day-to-day operations of town government and, in collaboration with her department heads, to recruit highly qualified candidates for Town government positions and to make hiring decisions in the best interests of Bedford. Since she became Town Manager in 2018 we have been impressed by her professionalism, her candor, her goodwill in engaging others, and her commitment to good government. That Town departments have run smoothly throughout the COVID pandemic and in spite of employee turnover is a credit to her skills. Bedford is fortunate to have a Town Manager as capable and committed as Ms. Stanton. We look forward to her continuing in the position and working with her for years to come.
The headline above a letter published in your November 2 issue, my name followed by the words, “Bedford Cable TV and Depot Park Pioneer,” made me wonder if I was about to read an obituary. But a quick check of my vital signs suggests that I am still alive. I am flattered by the compliments made in that piece and from the several people who added to it with their own kind remarks.