Letter to the Editor: Bedford Santa Thanks its Many Volunteers

The 2019 Bedford Community Santa Claus Project concluded its 74th yearly run, delivering 1422 gifts to 420 households in Bedford on Christmas Eve. 

It takes many volunteers to make a successful event, and we had many dedicated and talented volunteers that supported the 31 teams that covered the town this year.  We thank them all for their efforts. 

Volunteers for this year include:

The Bedford Citizen’s 7.5-Year Decade: Looking Back before 2020 Gets Underway

The Bedford Citizen began publishing on June 30, 2012, with a story about the departure of School Superintendent Maureen LaCroix. Since then, thanks to scores of writers and volunteers, we have published more than 7,800 stories (incorporating a staggering 16,000+ images).

Thank you to our readers, our writers, our donors, and YOU as The Bedford Citizen heads into a new iteration of the Roaring Twenties.

Gathering to Celebrate Diwali in Bedford

After Anitha Reddy Yajnik and family settled in Bedford, she wished to explore and embrace the town’s Indian community.

Yajnik’s search became an easier task than she had first imaged. “I decided to form my own community,” Yajnik said, at first going through her daughter’s school directory and emailing anyone whose last name sounded Indian. “I had 18 people in my house the first meeting that day.”

Yajnik moved to Bedford in 2011 and helped organize Bedford’s South Asian or Desi community. The community, including those from Pakistan and Bangladesh, held its first Diwali festival in 2013.

Winter Walkabout 2019

With chilly weather and snow deep on the ground, the Winter Walkabout lived up to its name this year.

The surprise visitor from the North and two of his elves arrived aboard a Bedford fire truck moments after the belfry clock struck five and thousands of twinkling white lights illuminated Bedford Common.

Climate Change in Bedford ~ Climate Science, Mosquito Safety, and What’s Next?

Where would you like to see effort to combat climate change focused in our community? 

The 40-50 attendees at the October 29, 2019 event, Climate Change in Bedford: Impact and Response brainstormed answers to that question at an event co-sponsored by Bedford’s Energy & Sustainability Committee and Bedford’s Mothers Out Front (whose mission is to build power as mothers to ensure a livable climate for all children).

Three town employees shared a wealth of information about climate science, mosquito/tick-related safety, and what the town is doing to prepare for the future.

Climbing Kilimanjaro ~ Denise Barnett at the Summit

By Deborah Caban

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Some people are inspired by friends, family members, teachers, books, and numerous other persons or events. The motivating event for Bedford’s Denise Barnett, who recently summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, was the Boston Science Museum’s Omni Theater movie documenting a group ascent of the 19,341 foot mountain. More than a decade ago, Barnett viewed the movie with her hiking group and decided she would take on the challenge sometime in her life.

Bopha Malone ~ From Cambodia to a Congressional Campaign

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Soma Norodom (c) spoke to the assembled guests – Image (c) JMcCT, 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Bedford’s Bopha Malone was among the dozen-plus candidates running for retiring Congresswoman Niki Tsongas seat in Massachusetts’ Third District primary on September 4.

In a post-election thank you to her supporters Malone wrote, “I know that [either] Lori Trahan or Dan Koh will do an incredible job representing our district and I am confident that either one of them will keep in mind the interests and diversity which make up our country today. I will work my hardest to ensure their victory in November and I look forward to watching their influence in Congress.”

Banff National Park and Canadian Rockies ~ The 29th Annual Taylor Group Hike

Submitted by Debbie Caban on behalf of the 2018 Taylor Hikers

“Beep, beep, beep!” It is the 4:30 a.m. alarm and the Taylor Group hikers are off to the races once again. Coffee brewed, sandwiches packed, hiking poles grabbed, and breakfast snacks eaten in the car as they drive to secure a highly coveted parking space at Banff’s National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Some may think this is an unusual start to a vacation day but after 29 years of hiking together, the members of this club do almost anything to enjoy another trek with each other.

This summer’s journey was the third international trip for the predominantly Bedford troupe. The lucky number of 13 hikers, nine from Bedford and four others, travelled to Canada’s original national park. They celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2014 with a trip to the Austrian Alps and two years ago they hiked in the Dolomites, also known as the Italian Alps.

Liam ~ A Student at BHS ~ Helping to Grow and Distribute Fresh Vegetables with The Food Project

Submitted by The Food Project

Summer is an important time at The Food Project. On July 2, the organization welcomed 100 young people (most between the ages of 14 to 17) from diverse cultural, racial, economic, and geographic backgrounds to work on their urban and suburban farms in Boston, Beverly, Lincoln, Lynn, and Wenham. During the summer season, these youth work together to grow vegetables and to donate or distribute nearly 200,000 servings of produce to increase food access throughout eastern Massachusetts—all while developing important leadership, teamwork, and civic participation skills.

Thirty Years of Leadership in Bedford

By Betsey Anderson
Former Bedford Selectman and Town Moderator

Rick Reed came to Bedford in the summer of 1988, while I was a Selectman. The position of Town Administrator (later changed to Town Manager) was created at the time of Bedford’s acceptance of our home rule Charter and he was the fourth person to serve in this role in a little over a decade. Rick had served as the Assistant City Manager of Gaithersburg, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D. C., many times the size of Bedford. In contrast, Bedford was a relatively small town and suburb of Boston with a Selectmen – Open Town Meeting form of government and a complexity that belies its size. Within our boundaries, we have a VA Hospital, Middlesex Community College, an industrial base, portions of Hanscom Field, and a residential community.

Len Kieley Returns to his Roots

Submitted By Margaret Donovan

Leonard H. Kieley, Sr., who will turn 99 in September, grew up in the gingerbread house on the corner of Hillside Avenue and the Great Road. He bought the house next door, at 138 the Great Road, from Miss Clara Cutler in the late 1940s when he returned from service in World War II. Last week, Kieley returned to 138 the Great Road last week, and now occupies a refurbished apartment on the first floor.

He was a second-generation Bedford boy. Len’s father, Thomas Kieley owned Middlesex Coal and Grain in the building near the depot that now houses the bike shop. The elder Kieley was such a mainstay of the town that when he died after a fall in 1930, the town closed its offices and schools for his funeral.

Celebrating Their Nineties

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

State Representative Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) visited Ashby Place this week bearing a clutch of citations honoring residents who are either in or are about to enter their tenth decade. The citations were inscribed, “The House of Representatives offers its sincerest congratulations in recognition of your 90 wonderful years.”

The residents honored at Monday’s birthday luncheon included Ahmad Asapour, Mary Biggio, Jinyuan Dong, Carol Mudgett, and Chi Leung Yeung.

Kevin Murphy Earns Rank of Eagle Scout

Submitted by Bedford Boy Scout Troop 114

Kevin Murphy, a Junior in Bedford High School, has earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Kevin is a Boy Scout with Troop 114 in Bedford which is chartered to Frank W. Thompson Lodge of Freemasons of Bedford.

The rank of Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, only about five percent of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Becoming an Eagle Scout takes perseverance, hard work and demonstrated leadership skills.

Bedford Remembers, 2018: Memorial Day at Veterans Memorial Park

By Jeffrey Epstein

Bedford’s Memorial Day observance offered the opportunity to honor all veterans generally and to hear the personal memories of friends or family members of those who served. Events included ceremonies at Bedford High School, a parade to the World War I Memorial, and additional honors at Veterans Memorial Park.  

Paul Purchia, chair of the Patriotic Holiday Committee that organized the Memorial Day events, welcomed people and introduced the JROTC cadets. Four cadets held roses in remembrance of fallen veterans to honor their service, including Army Private First Class John D. Hart and Marine Lance Corporal Travis R. Desiato, for whom the Route 225 bridge over the Concord River was named on Friday, May 25. Three rifle volleys by the Hanscom Patriotic Honor Guard and Taps was sounded with an echo from a second bugler.

Letter to the Editor ~ May 25, 2018: Thirty-nine Years

By Maribeth Stratford Millar

Thirty-nine years. That’s how many years our three children have attended Bedford public schools. On June 7, our youngest child, Casey, will graduate from Bedford High School. It will be a bittersweet ending and, for Casey, just the beginning. We moved to Bedford in January of 1995, one month before the birth of our first child, Hailey. And, we never left. We immediately felt at home here. Neither of us is from Massachusetts. My husband, Jamie, was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. And, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduate school brought us to Boston, and the desire to raise a family outside of the city brought us to Bedford.

Rotarians Travel to Moca, Puerto Rico to Offer Hurricane Relief

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

Paula Gilarde, a member of the Rotary Club of Bedford, traveled to Puerto Rico on February 2nd, with other Rotarians from District 7910.

Members of the Liberty, NY Rotary Club; Operation Endeavor; and Wings of Michael joined in the hurricane relief mission.

The Rotary team was based in Moca, a municipality in the northwest corner of the island that was one of the hardest-hit areas of the nearly-Category 5 hurricane.

Sandy Couvee Honored in National Agriculture Magazine

Submitted by Pink Tractor Magazine

Bedford’s Sandy Couvee will be featured in the March/April issue of Pink Tractor magazine, a publication for women in the agriculture industry. The article, “A Sensory Experience: Connecting Children to The Farm,” explores how Couvee developed enrichment programs at Chip-In Farm. “I have been teaching farm education programs on the farm before it was cool,” said Couvee.