DPW Begins Drop-Off Collection of Glass Items

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.

Economic Development Bill ~ Its Effect on Zoning Density for MBTA Communities, and a Change to Simple Majority Zoning Votes

Recently-signed state legislation designed to expand housing opportunities presents some challenges for Bedford.

The law, which affects MBTA communities, requires a zoning district of “reasonable size” in which at least 15 housing units can be situated on an acre of land, located no more than a half-mile from a commuter rail or bus station.

The provision was part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s economic development bill, which he signed in January.

Vaccination Rates, Covid Testing, & Other Topics Discussed at Monday’s Board of Health Meeting

The director of the town’s Health and Human Services Department told the Board of Health Monday that 18 percent of Bedford residents have been fully vaccinated to protect from the Covid-19 virus.

Heidi Porter said the percentage is consistent with state and national trends. On Tuesday, Porter said the most recent report by the state Department of Public Health, as of April 1, noted that 2,831 out of 14,995 residents have been fully vaccinated – that’s 18.9 percent. She added that not all residents are eligible yet.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety ~ Myths & Facts

Many people are becoming eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts. It is critical for all residents to have accurate vaccine information to be able to make an informed decision regarding their health.

Health Department Warns of Tick Menace

More than a year into a global pandemic, the town Health Department wants to make sure residents remember the little things.

Like ticks.

“Tick season is upon us and with the nice weather you may be spending more time in potential tick environments,” the department said in a statement this week. “Spending more time at home is leading residents in search of fresh spring air and outdoor activities.”

Talented Milton High School Football Team Wins Saturday Match-up 35-21

Bedford High School scored 38 minutes into the game, but a deep, talented Milton High School football team tallied the next five touchdowns, as the visitors emerged from their first trip to Sabourin Field with a 35-21 win Saturday afternoon.

The matchup was less than three days old, as the original opponent, Malden Catholic, had to bow out because of issues with Covid-19.

Ventilation in Schools Meets High Standards

Facilities Director Taissir Alani continues to assure the Bedford School Committee that ventilation equipment in the school is meeting the highest standards.

Alani presented contractor’s documents indicating levels of airflow in classrooms and other school spaces, comparing the designed capacity and the actual flow.

Select Board Details Personnel Moves and Hiring Practices

A public communication by retired Town Manager Richard T. Reed that implicitly criticized his successor’s supervisory and hiring practices has been refuted by Select Board members.

Reed, in a letter to The Citizen published on Thursday, called for “a public explanation given by the Selectmen of the reasons for the mass exodus in the Finance Department as well as the inconsistent recruitment practices presently in place.”

“Within a few weeks of each other in January, four members of the professional staff holding key positions within the Finance Department all resigned,” he wrote. “In my experience, this level of turnover within one department in such a short time span is highly unusual for any municipal government.”

Select Board Chair Margot Fleischman issued a brief statement Friday morning in response. “The Select Board has complete confidence in Town Manager (Sarah) Stanton and her department heads to recruit highly qualified candidates and make hiring decisions in the best interests of the town.”

The statement pointed out that “the Town Charter gives the town manager responsibility for making hiring decisions subject to the Select Board’s approval… I am sure that during his tenure, Mr. Reed would have vigorously defended his exercise of this responsibility, and it is disappointing that he has chosen to criticize his successor for doing the same.”

Recent Bedford Tragedy Puts Focus on Domestic Violence

The recent murder of a Bedford woman in York, Maine shook our community. Here is a link to the Boston Globe story: Bedford woman who was beaten died on her favorite beach in Maine —The Boston Globe, March 29, 2021

Resources Available in Bedford  include

BHS & JGMS on Track for Full-time, In-Person Learning before State’s April 28 Deadline

Bedford High School and John Glenn Middle School are on track to reopen for full-time learning before the end of April, administrators told the School Committee at its virtual meeting Tuesday. “My expectation is that we will be either on time or ahead of schedule,” said School Superintendent Philip Conrad. “Our planning committee continues to work and will come back. We will definitely beat the 28th.” April 28 is the state-imposed deadline for all public schools to reopen grades 6-8.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Information – Waitlist Now Open!

The Town of Bedford’s allocation of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the state remains very limited, therefore the Town strongly encourages residents who are currently eligible to receive the vaccine to seek out other venues for vaccination opportunities either through your medical provider, on https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations#find-a-location-to-get-vaccinated-if-eligible-, or by dialing 2-1-1.

For allocation of the doses received by the Town, the Health Department has established a COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist for eligible residents.

Please sign up using this online form:
http://www.bedfordma.gov/VaccineWaitlist

Eligible residents who do not have internet access can call Bedford’s COVID-19 vaccine information line at 781-918-4077 on Wednesday (February 10) and Thursday (February 11) from 9 am to 3:00 pm to sign up.

All those who sign up by 3 pm on Thursday, February 11th will have a chance to be randomly selected for an appointment at the Wednesday, February 17th vaccination clinic at John Glenn Middle School. There is no advantage to signing up earlier in the sign-up period. Residents who sign up for the waitlist after 3 pm on Thursday will be eligible for future clinics. There is no need to sign up for the waitlist more than once.

If you are randomly selected to receive an appointment, you will be notified and given a limited amount of time to complete the registration process. Please add boh@bedfordma.gov to your contacts list to ensure that important emails are not sent to your spam folder.

If you receive a vaccine appointment for a non-Town of Bedford sponsored clinic, please call the Health Department at 781-275-6507 or email boh@bedfordma.gov to let us know to remove your name from the waitlist. Sign-ups on the waitlist are non-transferrable.

Become a Candidate for Planning Board and Help to Define Bedford’s Built Environment

If you have ideas or concerns about key issues such as multi-unit housing, accessory dwelling units, commercial, industrial, and residential development, zoning bylaws, even changes to scenic roads-to mention only a few-please consider standing for election to the Planning Board, one of Bedford’s most influential elected bodies.

Current Planning Board member Jeff Cohen is not running again and there are, at this moment, no candidates who have come forward to request nomination papers. Whether you are a long-time resident or a relative newcomer to town, this may be the moment to step up and help shape the future look of Bedford. This is a three-year term. You will join elected members Jacinda Barbehenn, Steven Hagan, Shawn Hanegan, and Amy Lloyd. Professional staff includes Tony Fields, Director, Catherine Perry, Assistant Director, and Admin Cathy Silvestrone who provide support and guidance.

Board of Health Takes Significant Action in Three Areas

At its meeting on December 21 the Board of Health took three steps directly related to what took place at its previous meeting on December 14:

* Reversed its course on a motion unanimously approved at its meeting on December 14 calling for its inclusion in the meetings and communications of the town’s Covid-19 Task Force.
* Reopened investigation into the question of conflict of interest on the part of Board member Dr. Ann Kiessling
* Discussed and passed a new communication policy to be effective immediately

New Bulk Waste Pick-Up Policy in Effect January 1, 2021

In March, 2020, the Bedford Select Board approved pick-up/collection fees on certain bulk items.

When calling to schedule a pick-up of a bulk item, appliance, and television/monitor, or electronics, residents will have to provide a credit card number to Republic Services Customer Service for the fees listed on the Town’s flyer.