Guidance on Face Masks ~ April 30, 2021

The Bedford Health Department has shared guidance from Governor Baker’s recently revised Order (April 30, 2021) requiring masks in public places for all persons over the age of 5.

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit, Available May 12

On Thursday, April 29, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) announced that on May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is a program created by the FCC to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.

HFAC Focused on Environmental Issues in April

Hanscom Field Advisory Commission (HFAC) Chair Christopher Eliot drew special attention to environmental issues during the April 21 meeting with Massport: “Tomorrow is Earth Day. So this is the perfect time to be talking about sustainability. Preserving resources of the planet Earth for future generations is the most important challenge of our time.”

Bedford Destination Imagination Season Closes with Seven Teams Headed to State Competition

Every student in Bedford, and indeed across the country and the world, has had to flex their creative learning, flexible thinking, and problem-solving muscles this year when encountering a school year like no other.  And yet, in the midst of a pandemic, 65 Bedford students from 1st graders to high schoolers, opted into virtual creativity and project-based learning challenge through Bedford Destination Imagination.  Their persistence, optimism, humor, and collaborative problem-solving offered a bright spot during the cold, long winter of COVID. 

Editor’s Note: Bedford Destination Imagination is holding a Chipotle fundraiser on Tuesday, May 4, to support its work with local students.

Overcoming Challenges ~ METCO Seniors Look Ahead

Resilience in the past. Reflection on the present. Excitement about the future.

Confidence in themselves.

Three Bedford High School seniors unwound in the BHS METCO room this week, sharing personal accounts of navigating and overcoming challenges and setbacks. In a few months, all expect to be enrolled in the state university system.

Angelica Jones and Nekeria Ransom joined the Class of 2021 in sixth grade. Two years later Ty-Janee Brewster arrived. They are among seven METCO seniors at BHS.

Letter to the Editor: The Origins of Columbus Day

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.

Planning Board Continues Site Plan Review for 310 The Great Road

The Planning Board on Tuesday ended a public hearing on a mixed-use development proposed for 310 The Great Road, the site of the former Papa Gino’s.

However, the site-plan review has been continued to the next meeting of the board, scheduled for May 11, pending details on efforts for sustainable design.

Fully Vaccinated? Now What?

If you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can start doing some pre-pandemic activities again safely. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. If you are fully vaccinated, you may gather safely indoors with other fully vaccinated friends and family without wearing a mask and may gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (like relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of them is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

There is Still Time to Register for Community Forum on Town Meeting

Well over 100 years of cumulative involvement in Bedford town government will be represented by participants in the first in a series of community forums sponsored by The Bedford Citizen on Wednesday, April 28.

The virtual program, called “Town Meeting: Making Your Voice Heard,” is scheduled for 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Zoom. It will focus on the structure of town meeting and its centrality in Bedford civic life.

Click into the article for registration. It’s quick, easy, and free.

Be an Informed Voter ~ Events and Materials to Help You Prepare for Annual Town Meeting

The League of Women Voters of Bedford encourages voters to begin preparing for Annual Town Meeting to be held on Saturday, May 15. Two events—Town Meeting:  Making Your Voice Heard and The LWV of Bedford Warrant Review—the actual meeting warrant, and articles published in The Bedford Citizen over the next two week are ready to help.

‘A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America’ Parents Diversity Council Book Discussion Begins April 28 at 7 pm

The Bedford Parents Diversity Council (PDC) Spring Book Discussion series begins Wednesday evening at 7 over Zoom. This season’s book is Ronald Takaki’s A Different Mirror for Young People: a history of multicultural America. The second and third sessions will be on May 12 and May 26. To receive the Zoom code for the discussions, email the PDC at pdcbedford@gmail.com

Short Takes from the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust

Along with other business, members of the Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT, or the ‘Housing Trust’) voted at their April 26 meeting to support Articles 23 to26 at the upcoming Annual Town Meeting on May 15. With the approval of the Trust, Chair Christina Wilgren was instructed to speak in favor of the four articles at the meeting.

The Bedford Doll Hospital and Shannon Dillon

Introducing Bedford’s modern-day doll whisperer,  Shannon Dillon. Otherwise known as the proprietor of Creative Images Boston, Dillon is equally talented in transforming a much-loved doll from grunge to glam as the primary care doctor of the Bedford Doll Hospital. How long have you been a doll doctor? Only since December 2020! Did you have many dolls as a child?

Superintendent’s Update ~ New Positive Covid Cases at BHS, and DAVIS ~ April 26, 2021

April 26, 2021
* Four (4) new COVID-19 positive cases reported over break within the Bedford High School Community (BHS cases #59, #60, #61 & #62), no close contacts.
* One (1) new COVID-19 positive case reported over break within the Davis School Community (Davis School Case #21), no close contacts.
* There are currently four (4) active COVID-19 positive cases in the Bedford High School Community at this time.  There is currently one (1) active * COVID-19 positive case in the Davis School Community at this time.
* These cases do not appear to be connected or related to previous cases identified in school.

Art Classes Help Lane School Students Cope

Frida Cartlow. Vincent Van Go. They tell you a lot about the creative ways Jennifer Ferrari has adapted her Job Lane School art classes to the exigencies of Covid-19.

The first-year Lane teacher said she has been on the move in the building this academic year. The materials she needs for her classes are packed on carts, which she wheels into classrooms. She chose Frida after the artist Frida Kahlo. Her students named the other cart, “because it’s as big as a van and it goes places.”

“We embrace a choice-based art education model where it’s a student-directed environment, so rather than me forming projects that the kids create, they come up with their own ideas, figure out how to execute them, what materials they need, and throughout class we practice studio habits,” Ferrari explained.

“So it was a challenge to figure out how to do that on a cart. But I think we’ve hit a stride now. I feel really confident about it – I think it has for the most part been pretty smooth. In terms of us being adaptable, the kids and I have both been pretty flexible and easy-going about things.”

“In the choice environment, every time a student works on something they’re totally engaged in it because it’s their own idea,” she continued. “So all the work I have seen this year has been authentic.”

Early in the year teachers distributed “art bags” to all students, with various materials. Still, Ferrari said, “it just makes it a little more challenging when they don’t have their peers, and they can’t really show their work.” There is an effort at collaboration through Zoom’s breakout rooms feature, she said.