January 2023: The Start of a More Civil Year

The guest speaker at seventh annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day was The Rev. Willie Bodrick, senior pastor of the historic Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury. Staff photo/Wayne Braverman

TOWN BOARD, COMMITTEE, AND DEPARTMENT NEWS

  • In January, Ann Guay, the senior member of the Bedford School Committee, decided not to run for a fourth three-year term.
  • With Phil Conrad announcing his retirement at the end of the school year, the chair of the Bedford School Committee, Brad Morrison, appointed a 16-member screening committee to review application materials and assist with interviews of candidates for Superintendent of Schools.
  • The Planning Board was kept busy all year with many issues, including a 139-unit housing development proposed for a 35-acre site on the north side of Carlisle Road. In January, the Bedford Housing Partnership voted in favor of the development. However, many changes have been made since and nothing has been finalized.
  • In January, residents learned that a half-million square feet of hangar space was being proposed for an area of Hanscom Field close to Hartwell Road. According to a state-required form filed by the developer, the project encompasses 27 new buildings plus the existing structure known as the Navy hangar on almost 50 acres.

SCHOOL NEWS

FEATURES

Bill Bryan in his Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man costume – without the head. Photo courtesy of Bill Bryan
  • Among the most popular features of the month was about a Bedford High School graduate who has had an indelible impact on American culture. Bill Bryan is best known for what has been described as “a large, obese, white humanoid figure made of conjoined marshmallows.” Millions of fans of the 1984 movie Ghostbusters will recognize that portrayal of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the most iconic among hundreds of special effects in cinema designed by Billy Bryan, Class of 1972.
  • Bedford Town Archivist Ashley Large shared the first in a series of columns about the interesting items in the town’s archives. In January, she wrote about Bedford’s copy of the Declaration of Independence, sent by Thomas Jefferson in 1776.
  • Dorothy Bergin started the year inviting people to visit her very popular Dot’s Reading Room to learn about how “Y’all,” that most Southern of Southernisms, is going mainstream. And she also wrote about a Harvard professor’s book focused on what would have happened had the attack on the U.S. Capitol by rioters on Jan. 6, 2021 had succeeded.
  • The passing in January of retired seventh- and eighth-grade teacher Robert Wakeham evoked an outpouring of remembrances, affection, and respect from hundreds of former students and teachers over his 34-year career.
  • The Annual Town Census landed in Bedford mailboxes in January. Jenny Stewart wrote interesting stories about the most common first names, last names, and birthdays/astrological signs.

IN OTHER NEWS

  • The outcome of the Annual Town Caucus in January was succinct: No ballot contests and no ballot vacancies. Thirteen candidates were designated as “caucus nominee” on the Saturday, March 11 Town Election ballot. 
  • A large crowd of 80 people from many segments of the Bedford community came to the student center at Middlesex Community College campus in January to take part in the seventh annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Day breakfast and ceremony. Click here to read the story.
  • The annual Lunar New Year event at the Bedford Free Library returned in person on Saturday, Jan. 21 to an excited and joyous crowd. More than 100 participants visited the library throughout the afternoon, engaging in a number of crafts and games and enjoying a spectacular musical performance. Also, Alan Wang shared some of the traditions of the Lunar New Year celebration.
  • Last winter did not include much snow, but a storm in late January left some beautiful scenery around Bedford. Check out these photos.
  • The Gallery at the First Parish Church held an opening on Jan. 22 for a three-month display showcasing the work of artists from the Bedford Arts and Crafts Society.
Here’s the yard at a home on Mitchell Grant Way after a late January storm. Courtesy photo by Lucie Bayer
Kalie (far left) is playing the Xiaoran, a Chinese lute with a round body. Karen is seen playing the Guzheng, a Chinese zither with 21 strings. Kangbin is playing the Hulusi, a free wind instrument. Courtesy photo/Kell Korenak
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