An Open Letter from Philip Conrad, Bedford Superintendent of Schools

Hi Everyone,

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Town Meeting tomorrow morning.  Please note that as I write this at 4:30 on Friday afternoon, the meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 11, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. on Sabourin Field at BHS.  

Reflections ~ A Student’s Perspective on Senior Year, 2020

Back in April, I was approached by my English teacher to contribute a piece of writing to what would eventually become a collection of Shawsheen-student perspectives on Covid-19 and its effect on our lives. Essentially, my words would be included in a published book that would be accessible to students in the future. As I reflect on this piece of writing now, over two months later, there was one line in particular that I feel embodies my entire experience.
My name is Grace Clark, and I can now officially say I am a graduate of Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School. A Bedford resident my whole life, my decision to go to Shawsheen wasn’t exactly what was expected of me back in middle school …

Bedford Embraces Diversity’s Public Forum on Racial Injustice ~ July 21 at 7:30 via Zoom

Bedford Embraces Diversity has scheduled its next public forum on racial injustice for Tuesday, July 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Zoom.
Guest speaker will be Joseph Zellner, a 39-year Bedford resident, who describes himself as “a student of history and career educator with specific study, teaching, and writing about the African-American participation and contributions into the making of the United States.”

Annual Town Meeting 2020 ~ Start Delayed One Hour, Until 10 am

According to an announcement on the Town of Bedford’s website on Friday morning,

Tomorrow’s Town Meeting to Begin at 10:00 AM

Due to predicted overnight and morning rain, Bedford Town Meeting will be delayed one hour. Town Meeting will now begin tomorrow, Saturday, July 11th, at 10:00 AM, with registration opening at 9:00 AM.

Carleton-Willard Village Residents Cautioned to Forgo Annual Town Meeting

Don’t expect many of the 300 independent living residents at Carleton-Willard Village to help make the quorum at Saturday morning’s annual town meeting.
A memorandum late last week from Dr. Cherie Noe, the retirement community’s medical director, and also signed by the nurse practitioner urged residents to stay home.
Acknowledging the importance of civic responsibility, and the state’s success in controlling the spread of the virus, the memo nonetheless noted that “we can’t let our guard down” and called for continued hand hygiene, face-covering, and social distancing.

Rotary Club of Bedford Installs New Officers and Celebrates a Successful Year

As June, and Rotary’s year, drew to an end, a Zoomed assemblage of 30 of  Bedford Rotary’s members and friends celebrated the club’s annual leadership change.

Marie Tremblay bid farewell to her 2019-20 year as president, a year distinguished by many accomplishments, not the least of which was guiding the club out of pre-Covid normalcy and into the new normal of distancing and meeting virtually. Highlights from the past year include hosting a barbecue for the Bedford Council on Aging, the first “Service  Planning Project” sponsored by Enterprise Bank to bring local community partners together to strengthen our collective efforts in our community.  The club also held annual fundraisers on Bedford Day, and Breakfast with  Santa; funds raised at these events are distributed via grants through the Bedford Rotary Foundation.

Op:Ed: FY21 Budget Newsletter ~ July 7, 2020

On behalf of the Bedford School Committee, I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) School Department Budget. This budget totals $42,031,459, which is a 0.4% increase over the current adjusted FY20 operating budget of $41,844,365. The School Committee also received Finance Committee approval for a $450,000 reserve fund transfer to cover extraordinarily large increases in our special education out of district expenses. This budget reflects reductions made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote by Mail is Now the Law of the Commonwealth

Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington) joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature last week to pass a bill that expands voter access and ensures voters have safe voting options for all remaining 2020 elections, including the September 1, 2020 state primary and November 3, 2020, general election, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill became law on Monday after receiving Governor Charlie Baker’s signature.

The legislation establishes a vote-by-mail option and an early voting period for the upcoming fall elections. In addition to those options, the bill also addresses polling place safety for those who choose to cast their ballots in person. 

An Obituary: Alfred F. ‘Fred’ McLaughlin

Alfred F. ‘Fred’ McLaughlin passed away on July 3 2020. Mr. McLaughlin grew up in Bedford and played football, hockey, and baseball before graduating from Bedford High School in 1979. He attended Norwich University and Northeastern University, worked as a carpenter in the construction industry, and never backed down from a challenge, big or small.

Angela Carpenter ~ GRAMMY Music Educator Award 2021 Quarterfinalist

Angela Carpenter, Bedford resident and teacher at Harrington Elementary School in Lexington, is among the 216 quarterfinalists for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award, a list narrowed from the thousands of teachers nominated around the country.

Carpenter has taught at Harrington Elementary for five years, after teaching in various towns around New York State for nine years upon graduating from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester.

Mosquito Season is Upon Us!

Mosquitoes are most active in Massachusetts from June through August, but the true determination of mosquito activity is weather dependent.

Most adult mosquitoes can be found during the day in damp, shady areas where they can find protection from the sun.  Mosquitoes can spread diseases that may make humans and animals sick. Viruses carried by mosquitos can be transmitted to humans or animals through a mosquito bite.

Town of Bedford ~ Update on Covid-19 ~ Monday, 6 July 2020

Editor’s Note: Today’s semi-weekly update from Town Manager Sarah Stanton and the Covid-19 Task Force includes the current case count, Phase 3 re-opening details, and the Town’s information about Annual Town Meeting. Click this link to read the Town’s full update for Monday, July 6, 2020

The semi-weekly update is also available in the following places if you’d like to share with your friends:

Website ~
Facebook ~ @bedfordma
Twitter ~ @BedfordMAGov

Current Cases
As of today, July 6, 2020, there have been a total of two hundred fifty-eight (258) positive cases of COVID-19 reported to the Town of Bedford Board of Health by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH), of those, one hundred forty-six (146) are Bedford residents not living in a healthcare/long term care setting. The deaths of forty (40) Bedford residents have been attributed to COVID-19. The total case number includes residents of the Town of Bedford, including but not limited to those in: single-family homes, apartments, the VA campus, Hanscom Air Force Base, special needs group homes and any and all other larger assisted living/care facilities in Bedford as reported to us by the MA DPH. Two hundred and one (201) of the total Bedford cases have already recovered and have come off isolation and there may other Bedford residents who would be considered persons under investigation in that they are symptomatic, have undergone testing but have not yet received results.

An Obituary: Maureen Oates

Maureen Oates passed away on July 3, 2020. Mrs. Oates was an editor, an environmentalist, and an educator. Earth Circles, a religious education curriculum she co-authored, was published by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Working in watercolor and other media, she was also an artist who helped to found and sustain The Gallery@First Parish. 

Tourist in Our Town: The Lillian Dutton Memorial Herb Garden

The Job Lane House and Barn are owned by the Town of Bedford.  The house and barn are closed, but the gardens are open for you to visit, at any time. Please wear your masks and respect social distancing. 

The herb garden was established as the museum was getting ready to open many years ago. We have the first letter to the Historical Commission, that outlines the construction of the garden and the herbs that were used in the 18th Century. Great research went into this project.