The sun is going to act weird early on Thursday morning June 10. For the entire Northeast, the sun will rise not as a round ball but as an eerie, misshapen, dazzling crescent partly blocked by the moon. For Bedford, the sun will rise at 5:08 a.m. and will remain partially eclipsed for more than an hour after that.
Picture this: You are driving behind a Republic Services truck on a Monday morning, and it stops 250 times so the mechanical arm can empty containers, each with one bag of trash or recyclables.
That represents the amount removed from the streets, fields, and trails of Bedford Sunday afternoon by more than 100 volunteers at the first of what may become an annual town cleanup day sponsored by Revise, Inc., the Mass Save home performance contractor on The Great Road.
The Select Board voted 3-2 Monday to increase the percentage of electricity generated by renewables from 5 to 20 as the default option in the next community aggregation contract, which is expected late this year.
Since the state mandates a 20 percent baseline of renewables, the vote means the percentage actually will be 40. Participants in the plan will also have options to increase to 50 or 100 percent, as well as decrease to the baseline.
It’s a mystery!
* The Culprit: ‘The Beav’—may be carrying a hammer.
* The Profile: Between 40-50 lbs, wearing a shiny dark coat, dragging a big tail, and sporting large front teeth. Likes to act tough by slapping his tail on the water surface.
* The Crime: Removing nails/fencing wrapped around vulnerable trees at Fawn Lake.
* The Weapon: Maybe using his teeth but most likely a hammer. Possibly carrying a bag to hold used nails.
Humans—volunteering in conjunction with the Town of Bedford Conservation Commission and Engineering Departments—have apparently been annoying the beavers of Fawn Lake.
Some 120 volunteers have registered to participate in a townwide cleanup Sunday afternoon.
Volunteers are wide-ranging, reported Calvin Day, director of sales and marketing for Revise, Inc., sponsor of the event from noon to 4 p.m.
They include dozens of Cub Scouts from Pack 194; members of the environmental advocacy group Mothers Out Front; Select Board Chair Margot Fleischman and Town Manager Sarah Stanton. He said residents can go to www.callrevise.com/bedfordcleanup “to sign up to join the celebration.”
The Energy and Sustainability Committee will recommend to the Select Board that the next contract for energy under community choice aggregation increase the proportion of renewables in the default position to 35 percent.
Last week the committee voted to call for a local percentage increase of at least 15 percent, compared to the current 5 percent. The amount of green energy in an aggregation plan is expressed in terms of a percentage above the state’s renewable portfolio standard, currently set at 20 percent for electricity generated by renewables in the region.
Managing our waste is a big problem in our world today, and particularly in the US, which is the largest generator of waste in the world. Until 2018, the US sent its waste to China. However, in 2018, China stopped taking the trash, so now it is being sent to other poor nations to deal with. A big component of our waste is plastic, and this is explained well by the PBS Frontline documentary, “Plastic Wars”. If we don’t cut down and manage our waste properly, it is not only an economic burden for the US, it is also an environmental burden for the whole world. When I approached Ralph Hammond about this issue, he directed me to Ed McGrath, who runs the recycling department in Bedford. Ed McGrath was very helpful and gave me a lot of information when I sat down to talk to him. Below are some of the facts about what can and can’t be recycled in Bedford, where things go after we put them in our bins, and what else we can do with our waste.
ByEmily Prince for the Energy and Sustainability Committee |
While Earth Day may only occur once a year, the Energy & Sustainability Committee (“ESC”) works year-round to create a more sustainable, energy-efficient community for all. The Committee’s mission is to identify and advise the Select Board on opportunities to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and efficiently manage the municipal and school energy expenditures. The ESC often collaborates with the Facilities Department which oversees the operation of municipal and school buildings.
There are some professions that attract the creative types. Musicians, writers, artists, maybe an occasional accountant come to mind. One place you don’t necessarily expect to find a creative type is in the Department of Public Works as the town’s Recycling Coordinator. To an outsider the job seems simple enough, to paraphrase a commercial, “you pick stuff up – you drop it off.” That is a gross mischaracterization of what the job entails.
It all started with my neighbor’s simple question, “Who is not picking up their dog’s poops?” It had not occurred to her that what she had seen were not poops from dogs, but had been deposited on the path by some of our local wildlife. We had heard coyotes at night and had caught them with a night-vision camera, and I had noticed fur and fragments of bones in some of those deposits, properly called scats.
Fur and fragments of bone, from what? We wondered what our predators had been eating and realized that we might be able to find out.
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.
A Bedford business is coordinating a community cleanup day, planned for Sunday, May 2, from noon to 4 p.m.
Revise Inc., the Mass Save home performance contractor at 131 The Great Road, has been working with various organizations and arms of town government for several weeks in preparation for the first town-wide cleanup in many years.
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 Elizabeth Nemirovsky so eloquently wrote last week, the 51st anniversary of Earth Day is next week, on April 22nd. Communities of faith frequently participate in this celebration of our planet, or in the words of Pope Francis, “our common home”, because almost all faith traditions call upon their believers to be good stewards of Creation as well as to care for their neighbors.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Bedford is hosting three events to observe Earth Day, two of them this coming Sunday, April 18th.
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.
The Department of Public Works is expanding its recycling program by offering Bedford residents the opportunity to drop off glass at the Compost Center at 108 Carlisle Road beginning Saturday, April 10.
Glass is being collected in a container across from the compost piles. Accepted glass items are jars, bottles, beverage glasses, and window panes. Lids and caps should be removed; windows should be removed from metal and wood frames.
April 22 marks the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, the annual day of action and reflection around the world with a singular focus: Save the Earth. Originally the brainstorm of Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, and primarily intended to put the environment on the national agenda, Earth Day has since evolved to include the participation of more than 1 billion people in over 190 countries. In addition, it has influenced legislation such as the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, and the Endangered Species Act, as well as leading to the establishment of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Soon after his inauguration earlier this year President Biden announced that the U.S. would re-enter the Paris Climate Accord. He has since shown even more support for climate science and action by creating a new position, the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, which will have a seat on the National Security Council and will be filled by John Kerry, a long-time environmental advocate.