Concord Town Election Day June 11 – Candidates Forums

Concord Town Election Day June 11

Concord Candidate Forums were videotaped this week – see links below:

Select Board Forum

School Committee Forum

Meet the Candidates:

SELECT BOARD CANDIDATES

 

Henry Dane

What is the biggest problem facing Concord and how would you correct it? The Concord Journal asked the candidates, giving them a 200-word answer limit. 

Dane:

Every day has its own unique problems. Problems both old and new need a response that is flexible, informed, consistent and, where necessary, creative. This requires experience, judgment and a working knowledge of the legal, political, community and environmental factors that inform every decision.

It isn’t a matter of thinking “outside the box,” but thinking without a box. My approach is that, in all aspects of life, there are no problems, there are only opportunities if you face events with courage and without preconceptions.

Currently, I see the important issues to be: 1. Promoting a user-friendly Town government; 2. Resolving the expensive and unproductive litigation regarding Estabrook Woods; 3. Supporting local retail and service businesses; 4. Pursuing a rational housing policy that doesn’t limit “affordability” to subsidized housing and is not merely reactive to Chapter 40B; 5. Providing in-town transportation and adequate parking to meet the needs of our residents, visitors and the employees of local businesses; 6. Continuing efforts to obtain ownership or control of the Concord Armory for municipal purposes and 7. Improving cell phone service throughout the Town.

All of these problems are important in their own way and need to be addressed.

 

Matthew Johnson

What is the biggest problem facing Concord and how would you correct it? The Concord Journal asked the candidates, giving them a 200-word answer limit. 

Johnson

As I’ve held candidate coffees around town, I’ve had the chance to ask many people about their hot-button issues. I expected to hear about traffic and parking because they’re serious everyday problems. Those topics came up, but surprisingly, most raised deeper concerns. Whether they care most about environmental sustainability, economic and cultural diversity, or building mutual trust and social connection, Concordians want more than a pretty, affluent suburban town with great schools and adequate parking. They want to reclaim Concord’s rich heritage of community spirit that once produced revolutionaries, transcendentalists and abolitionists to lead meaningful change today.

How can I build community spirit as a Select Board member? First, I will continue to listen, and foster the town’s common sense of mission. For example, we can rally as a community for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, and share Concord’s values with the world. Second, I will seek out and appoint competent board and committee members who are committed to our mission. Third, I will balance competing interests, and coordinate efforts to achieve common goals. Concord’s history is still being made, and our public bodies, private organizations, property owners, businesses and citizens can work together to make it better.

Get ready for June 11…

Citizens are Encouraged to Vote Early by Mail

  • Concord Candidate Forums will be Wednesday May 27th 3-4pm for the Select Board and Friday May 29th 1-2pm for the School Committee. Send questions to voterservice@lwvcc.org
  • To be posted subsequently on Minuteman Media Network TV. Videos posted by May 30th. Send questions to voterservice@lwvcc.org
  • Press Release from the Town of Concord. Click here.
  • Application for Absentee Ballot. Click here.
  • Application for early voting by mail. Click here

Vote early or vote at CCHS on June 11.

Meet the Candidates Running for School Committee

The Concord Town Election is June 11th. Please consider voting early by mail. Here is the link.

The three candidates Fatima Mezdad, Maribeth Cusick, and Alexa Anderson each gave Livingconcord.com a write-up highlighting their candidacies. Below you can learn a little bit more about each of them.

Fatima Mezdad

My name is Fatima Mezdad.  I am running for the 3-year term on the school committee this year. I have lived in Concord since 2015 with my two children who attend CMS and CCHS.

I am Algerian-American and have lived in the US for 25 years. For most of my career I was a teacher of languages to students of different ages primarily in private school settings.

I have a deep involvement, commitment and support of the Concord community and more specifically our schools.  I have been serving on the CMS Challenge Success Steering Committee since it was formed in the fall of 2018.  I am also the SEPAC liaison for the middle school. Last year, I was elected as a board member of the Concord Housing Authority. This year, I was honored to join the Allocations Committee of the Concord Carlisle Community Chest.

On the School Committee, I will continue to support our district to achieve and exceed the goals of its strategic plan. I will help our schools to continue providing a safe and empowering environment for every student, to celebrate every learner in the full scope of who they are.  I will promote support for the staff by prioritizing their wellness in their work environment.

In addition to addressing the universal issues, I will bring to the committee the socio-economic and ethnic diversity that our community strives to include.  I draw from a different life experience that I hope will shed light on some needs that may go unnoticed in our schools due to stigma or lack of representation. I will advise the school committee on cultural competency as we work to achieve that goal across our district.  I believe that the benefits of inclusion expand beyond the minorities.  Diversity enriches our community and empowers all of our students through exposure and personal experiences with different cultures and lives.

I will continue to foster relationships with community members and stake holders to better understand the needs, concerns as well as aspirations and dreams for our school district.

I invite you to visit my website for more information at ElectFatimaMezdad.org

 

Maribeth Cusick

When I first announced my run for Concord School Committee we were obviously living a dramatically different reality but what remains unchanged is the need to provide an excellent education and proper social and emotional support for the students of Concord.  As we move forward with developing and implementing Phase 4 in the Fall and plan for the medium-term future in this difficult new reality, my public service career working across municipal departments towards effectuating public policy, my work as a parent advocate, and my desire to serve as a steward for the social-emotional , academic and fiscal health the schools  will make me an invaluable addition to the Concord School Committee.

Prior to moving to Concord, I spent almost a decade working as a lawyer for the City of Boston, the last seven years serving as Chief of Government Services for the City of Boston Law Department, representing the Mayor, his Cabinet and department heads, the City Council and various boards and commissions. In this role I had a unique vantage point of ensuring public policy initiatives adhered to budgetary, regulatory and legal constraints.  These skills and experiences will provide me with a distinct advantage when addressing the challenges presented by COVID-19.  In the longer term, I look forward to getting back to the process of designing and building a new Middle School for Concord.

My family, my husband Jeff, and my children, Nora, almost 9 and Jack, now 7, was drawn to Concord in 2015 because of the community and civic engagement and the strength of the schools. Both my children attended the Concord Integrated Preschool (CIPS), where I served as President of the Parents Group. My tenure at CIPS began with advocacy work towards ensuring the longevity of the successful inclusion model at CIPS. This advocacy work then bloomed into a partnership with the School District and the Recreation Department, which allowed a small group of parents to raise the funds for, design and build a new inclusive and accessible playground.  After CIPS, I became Co-President of the Thoreau Parent Teacher Group. The highlights of my time with the Thoreau PTG include developing a partnership with the Recreation Department to enhance our before and after school programming, implementing a lunchtime composting program, and launching mindfulness programs for the students.

I have a B.S.F.S from the Walsh School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University and a J.D from Northeastern University. Before law school I worked at The Close Up Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic education organization in Washington, D.C., which offers programming to educate and encourage young people to participate in their civic affairs and government.

 

Alexa Anderson

My name is Alexa Anderson.  I’ve lived in Concord nearly my entire life; I am a product of Concord’s public K-12 schools; and I am forever grateful for the education I received here.  In 2018, I participated in Superintendent Hunter’s long range planning committee, which cemented my interest in running for School Committee.  The committee defined thoughtful short and long term district goals from diverse stake-holders in the community, and I’m enthusiastic about supporting their implementation.  Since returning to Concord with my husband almost twenty years ago, I have worked with the Concord Museum, the Concord Library, the Concord Ed Fund, Milldam Nursery School, both the Thoreau and Willard PTGs, and on Thoreau’s School Advisory Council.  I now own a small business in town called MyBridge, which matches local Concord families with local babysitters. My commitment to and love for Concord is deeply a part of me. As a member of the School Committee I promise to work to ensure that our schools continue their legacy of educational leadership.

Concord Museum’s Memorial Day Offerings

 

To commemorate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those who died in service to our country, The Concord Museum has crafted a special edition of History at Home. 

The program includes an introduction, comments on Ralph Waldo Emerson (whose birthday is today), a tribute to Peter Brooke, and then four vignettes about the Melvin Memorial including a conversation with Harold Holzer, a description of Daniel Chester French’s sculpture, Mourning Victory, a tour of the Memorial itself in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and then a few excerpts from the recent rededication of the Memorial (last June) including a very touching keynote address by our curator, David Wood, and a poem read by Neil Rasmussen.

Check out these links:

Concord Museum Memorial Day Program

History at Home

Memorial Day Op-Ed

Concord Journal Guest Commentary (May 21, 2020 edition)

Our Memorial Day tradition of honoring military men and women who died while serving our country originated in the aftermath of the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971.

Each year my wife and I attend the ceremony in the village where we grew up, smiling at the high school band playing songs we performed at their age; warmed by the remarks made by decorated veterans; and touched by such time-honored rituals as the playing of taps; the 21 gun salute, and the reading of names of those who lost their lives in battle.

This year there will be no parade and yet, it seems, we have so much to mourn including the recent loss of loved ones and those who have risked (and in some cases lost) their lives while caring for others.

In chronicling the history of Concord, my colleagues and I at the Concord Museum are guided by the words of Robert Penn Warren: “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

On Monday, May 25, 2020 we will be posting a special Memorial Day video program that we hope will provide solace and perspective to those who view it – uniting us in ways to better face the future.

The posting will feature our Curator David Wood’s keynote remarks last June at the rededication in Sleep Hollow cemetery of the Melvin Memorial which honors the lives of three brothers from Concord who died in the Civil War. Their surviving brother commissioned his boyhood friend, Daniel Chester French, to create a sculpture later called, Mourning Victory.

David’s remarks were based on one of the brother’s diaries which include his account of being captured by the rebel forces (where he would die in captivity) and of his brothers’ deaths from dysentery and a fatal charge in Petersburg.

While observing a different civil war in his native land in Ireland, the poet, William Butler Yeats, minced no words about the destruction it unleashed which, to me, are reminiscent of our recent experience of this pandemic.

We are closed in, and the key is turned

On our uncertainty; somewhere

A man is killed, or a house burned

Yet no clear fact to be discerned.

 

Despite the destruction all around him, however, outside Yeats’s window he notices a more hopeful natural phenomenon: honey-bees building a home in a starling’s empty nest.  Seamus Heaney once championed Yeats’s poetic observations for “satisfying the contradictory needs which consciousness experiences at times of extreme crisis, the need on the one hand for a truth telling, and, on the other hand, to credit as a reality the squeeze of the hand, and the actuality of sympathy and protectiveness between living creatures.”

We hope our special virtual Memorial Day observance will elicit such sympathies and our need to protect each other in this, our moment of collective crisis.

 

Thank you and best wishes on this unique and solemn “stay-safely-in-place” Memorial Day.

Concord, MA 9/15/08 Tourists visit the Concord Museum, on Monday, September 15, 2008. (Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff); Reporter: Brad Kane; Section: NWWk; Slug: 21nwtouris Library Tag 09212008 Globe NorthWest

 

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!

New Englanders love ice cream…. and no better place to get it than right here in Concord & Carlisle!

With the warmer temperatures and new COVID restrictions, you have more options to get your ice cream. Check these businesses for open hours & carryout options.

 

Bedford Farms, 68 Thoreau Street, Concord

 

 

Reasons to Be Cheerful   10 Commonwealth Avenue Concord

 

 

Kimball’s in Carlisle    343 Bedford Road (Rte 225) in Carlisle

 

Or try to make at home….

Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe (from delish.com)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Pour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt into a 16 ounce mason jar and secure tightly with a lid. Shake the mason jar until the cream thickens and almost doubles in size, 4 to 5 minutes. It should be opaque and easily coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Freeze for 3 hours, or until hardened. Scoop out ice cream with a spoon and serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.

The New York Times offers the “Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need”:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (see note)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR FAVORITE FROZEN TREAT:

Did you know?

There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze… The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache.
What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss.
This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream.
To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode.

We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop
The magic number is 50.
We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data!

 

Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays
There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one.
Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath.
The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup.
Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath.

 

Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first.
We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way.

 

Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury
Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s.
The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage.
These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity.

There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii
That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the inga feuillei, but locals call it the ice cream bean.
It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals.

*Fun facts from stanpacnet.com

Enjoy some ice cream, today!

 

Congratulations CCHS Class of 2020!

The CCHS administrators dropped off lawn signs to the Class of 2020 this week.

Many thanks to the Parents Association and all involved in decorating the rolling school bus!  

Mike Mastrullo, CCHS Principal and Brian Miller, CCHS Vice-Principal jumped off bus at each graduate’s home to deliver the lawn signs and congratulate the student  – all while practicing safe social distancing.

 

 

Here are a couple of photos from some of the CCHS Graduates of 2020:

Sofia Casimiro-Nunez

     

William & Charles Crounse

Morgan Labadini

Sophia Larew

Maddy, Olivia and Abby Mueller

 

Aliana Potter

Elizabeth Rennert

Soren Watson

Check out this short video clip of the decorated, honking bus rolling through neighborhoods, accompanied by police escort.

Thank you to the CCHS Parents Association and CCHS Administration for recognizing these CCHS Seniors and making this such a memorable, celebratory event.

CONGRATULATIONS CCHS CLASS OF 2020!

Concord Celebrates a D-Day Hero’s 98th Birthday!

 

On Saturday, May 9th, over 100 cars with hundreds of people lined up to celebrate Peter Orlando’s 98th Birthday. Peter is a Concordian and a D-Day Hero.

Cars full of adults, kids and dogs lined up and drove by the Concord WWII Veteran who sat in his bench in is driveway and cheerfully waved and thanked all those who drove by. At one point, a group gathered to sing him Happy Birthday and Peter stood up, waved and said “For once, I am speechless. Thank you very much!”.

Check out the video on LivingConcord Instagram page.

Cars honking, flags waving, birthday banners blowing – it was a wonderful sight and a great way to bring the community together to honor and celebrate one very special resident.

Here are some ways to support Emerson Hospital and the employees right now

Sign up for the Emerson Hospital 5K Virtual Run-Walk for Cancer Cure

Registration is now open for Emerson Hospital’s annual 5k Run~Walk for Cancer Care. Because cancer never stops, even during a pandemic, all proceeds go directly to support patients who receive cancer care at Emerson Hospital. Due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, this year’s event is virtual and will take place Monday, May 11, through Monday, May 25, 2020. Visit www.EmersonHospital.org/5k for event details, to register, or make a donation to support cancer care at Emerson Hospital. All participants who complete the 5k and submit their results by May 25 will receive a medal and other prizes.

Consider purchasing (or doing with a few neighbors / friends) a Care Package for Emerson Hospital Staff from Haute Coffee.

Each $50 Haute Care Package includes a box of 10 made-from-scratch Haute Treats and 4 Cold Brews Coffees & 4 Iced Teas!

Haute Coffee will deliver care packages M-F at 2:30 PM and it has become something that the staff at Emerson really look forward to as an afternoon pick me up!

 

Questions and Answers to Living Concord’s Quiz: Don’t peek if you haven’t taken it!

How Well Do You Know Concord?

 

  1. Concord is famous for which war?
  1. American Revolutionary War
  2. Civil War
  3. Battle at Hogwarts
  4. World War 1

 

     2) Which fruit was developed in Concord?

  1. Kumquat
  2. The Concord grape
  3. Watermelon
  4. Chocolate covered strawberries

 

3) Which of Concord’s famous authors wrote Little Women?

  1. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. Louisa May Alcott
  3. Stephen King
  4. Henry David Thoreau

 

4) On September 5th, 2012 Concord became the first community in the U.S. to put a ban on the sale of 

  1. Vaping products
  2. Doritos
  3. Bottled water
  4. Cigarettes

 

5) The “Shot Heard Round the World” took place at 

  1. Downtown Concord
  2. The banks of the Assabet River
  3. The Old North Bridge
  4. Walden Pond

 

6) The town of Concord was originally known as

  1. Plainville
  2. Carlisle
  3. Bedford
  4. Musketaquid

 

7) The population of Concord is approximately

  1. 8,000
  2. 14,000
  3. 18,000
  4. 25,000

 

8) Approximately how many people visit Minute Man National Historical Park each year?

  1. 100,000
  2. 5,000
  3. 5,000,000
  4. 1,000,000

 

9) Who does the Minute Man statue represent?

  1. The sculptor of the statue named Daniel Chester French
  2. A farmer who leaves his plow and picks up a musket to defend his land and liberty
  3. The writer Henry David Thoreau
  4. No one knows

 

10) Where is The Robbins House located?

  1. Concord Center
  2. Nashawtuc
  3. Across from The Old North Bridge
  4. Elm Street

Spring Activities with the Kids

The month of May is a great time to get out, explore nature and get creative!

Check websites for local spots like:

The Umbrella Arts   To commemorate BOTH the 30th anniversary of Musketaquid Earth Day celebrations and the 50th anniversary of International Earth Day itself, we invite you to explore the WATERtheme virtually with us this season. Via this website and social media, we will share 30 events/activities to celebrate, learn, and create with and around water. Some are things to do in your house, others involve getting outside. Dive into such activities as making a glass harmonica or a rain stick; canoeing the Sudbury River; or building and launching an Earth Float. Activities will be slowly revealed throughout the 50 days. EarthDay3050

Albright Art Supply   – offering an array of art supplies

Craft.ed – offering craft kits and ideas

Village Art Room  offering art kits and ideas

This is a great time of year to make a nature bracelet. Wrap some masking tape around your wrist, sticky side pointing out and gather up any flowers, petals, leaves you find while taking a walk or in your yard. You’ll be happily surprised how colorful your bracelet will be with all the spring flowers blooming and array of colors of the petals that you can find on the ground.

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day…. How about using items you find to create a beautiful card?

Round up some glass jars in the house and make a votive or vase for your mom, using tissue paper, modpodge glue and, if you want, some flower petals for adornments.

Looking for other ideas of gifts to make?

Click here are some fabulous suggestions such  as glass magents and rock art:

How about a Photo Scavenger hunt? Use some lists (here is one form Pinterest) or create your own. Each family can have a different list or work off same one. If the weather is crummy, take it inside for silly poses or items around the house.

While you have your camera ready, look for hidden letters all around you and spell your name with photos!

Make wind streamers!

Find a stick  – check for small branches that have fallen and use that for perfect stick.

Cut up strips of fabric – use scraps or old T-shirts if you have them. Or use some grosgrain ribbon you may have floating around from a birthday. The more colorful, the better!

Check out GoExploreNature.com for more great ideas. They suggest “Wrap the strips around the stick and tie a knot. One strip is plenty to make a wind streamer, but some kids (like mine) prefer more. Add some nature bling. How about adding a feather or a leaf? The more creative, the better!
Grab your wind streamer and run like the wind!”

Be creative, have fun and enjoy the spring weather.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See what your neighbors are doing to spread joy & kindness

Concord is an extraordinary town and it makes us especially grateful that in times like this there are so many people, of all ages, to support and connect with each other.

Read about some Concordians….

Concord Middle School 6th grade students Laiya Pavlov (on left of photos with her baby sister Arya) and Nika Lysyj (on right of photos) of Concord spent their spring break bringing cheer to isolated elders by creating chalk art outside their homes while maintaining physical distancing. Thank you, Laiya & Nika!

Every week the Edmunds neighborhood selects one restaurant to support for Friday night dinner.  Everyone calls in their own order and then one car goes to do the pick up at a designated time. Here is the May Day delivery, complete with additional tulips in honor of May Day that Holly Cratsley added to her neighbors’ bags. Great way to bring neighborhood together to support local business and help each other by minimizing trips. Thanks Holly & Edmunds neighborhood for the fabulous idea!

MAY IS OLDER AMERICANS MONTH!
Concord Council on Aging Recognizes all Concord Residents Age 60+
The theme for 2020 is “Make Your Mark.” The “you” in that theme refers to all of us, urging the younger among us to do something in support of seniors, and for the seniors among us to volunteer, share their stories and get involved in our neighborhoods, this year, in safe and protective ways.

Sign up to be a part of Peter’s 98th Birthday Parade!

Friends, neighbors are doing wonderful things do make these quarantine birthdays special… Birthday parades are everywhere, for all ages. Consider organizing or being a part of a birthday parade for someone celebrating a May Birthday!

Send us photos and news of other acts of kindness you’re seeing around town.