The year started off with such promise. A new boardwalk on Davis Road, a changing of the guard at the school department, new restaurants, new businesses, things seemed to be humming along. Here at The Citizen we had just mailed our first Bedford Guide and were coming off a successful match fundraising campaign where we exceeded all our expectations. 2020 felt like it was going to be a good year.
….and then…. We hit a bump, a big bump, a bump that was shared with the world. There was a lot of news, and we feel proud we were in position to keep our town informed.
2020 was a year of learning.
2020 was the year we all learned a little more about epidemics, virology, droplets, and the inner working of the electoral college than we ever intended. We learned a whole new vocabulary. New words and phrases: Social Distancing, PPE, Zoom Meeting, Zoom Bombing, Virtual Happy Hours, “You are muted,” Sourdough Starter, N-95, Mask Making, Ventilators, Flattening the Curve, Surge Capacity, and Electors. We learned important dates; December 12, January 6. We watched a not-made-for-television event of state houses reporting vote totals – yawn.
We learned that our democracy still works, and our institutions, although far from perfect, can withstand challenges. In Bedford we had 1,306 new voters for a total of 10,462 voters in the Presidential election. We learned that people come out to vote regardless of the obstacles. We learned that our own town can adapt quickly, and that hosting public events on a football field in July may be doable but it’s not without its challenges. We also lost 258 people in Bedford, 50 of those attributed to Covid-19.
We saw Town departments coordinate and cooperate to keep the town running.
We learned that life and love marches on, even in a pandemic. Bedford had 84 births and 42 marriage licenses issued this year. There were also an estimated 400 dog licenses issued this year; love has many forms. 185 kids graduated in the class of 2020.
We all learned the value of teachers and what they do. Remote learning has put so much in focus about the importance of our schools and the incredible dedication and patience of our teachers. .A new appreciation for the challenging role of teacher was learned by us all.
Also this year we learned there are a lot of people in this town who can give a lot. From helping restaurants and frontline workers, to making masks, to providing whimsy with a unicorn, to pop up concerts, to creating local testing options, to colonial drummers, to helping small businesses with advice, to mapping the trails, Bedford being Bedford was really a thing.
We enjoyed laughing together since “Laughter is(still) the best medicine.”
We had our own addition. The Bedford Citizen added Mike Rosenberg to the staff. His years of journalism and his knowledge of Bedford have proven to be an immense asset to what we do.
The Bedford Citizen reported on a High School graduation like no other with its first “special edition” , a feral pig in the woods, too many board meetings to count, as we all tried to figure out this year. We reported on our own Neera Tanden getting picked for a cabinet post in the Biden administration. We helped explain the ballot questions and announced that a new Brew Pub hoped to come to town. We ran stories on those people we lost, and stories on how our town came together. We published another Guide. And, we ran a few stories on that pandemic thing.
In a year like the one just past, , we would like to think The Citizen was a vital part of our community, and we hope you agree.
Thank you for your support, and here’s to a better 2021.