January 2011 Archives

Sounds of Concord Sends Singing Valentines

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21607958.thb.jpgThis Valentines Day, give something unique and memorable! Send a Singing Valentine from Sounds of Concord, the one of the top Barbershop Harmony choruses in New England. It's a lovely way to do something special for your special someone(s), and it's a fundraiser for our choral group. Last year, we delivered Singing Valentines to unsuspecting women and men in conference rooms, class rooms, homes, restaurants, and even to someone in a dentist chair!

For as little as $60.00, a quartet will show up at home or office in formal garb, sing two tender love songs, and then present either a silk rose or a dozen real roses (additional cost), a card, and a bag of candy (kisses, of course). We'll take a photo of the occasion and present it to your loved one. For more details, go to http://www.soundsofconcord.org/sv. You can call us at 866-537-1584 or email us at sv@soundsofconcord.org.

Availability is limited so reserve yours now! We deliver to most cities and towns including Boston and to the North and West. We can deliver on Saturday the 12th, Sunday the 13th, or Monday, Valentine's Day. We will take orders right up through Sunday, as long as we have room in the schedule to deliver.

If you contact us early you can actually sing one of the parts yourself! We'll teach you one or both songs and we'll fill in the Harmony Parts! What a thrill for your significant other!

SOUNDS OF CONCORD is always looking for guys who like to sing, and we hold auditions approximately once a month. Men who like to sing are given both vocal and musical instruction. Our membership comes from over 15 Cities and Towns in Eastern Massachusetts. We rehearse on Thursday nights at Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Rd, Lexington Mass. Call anytime for more information. Sounds of Concord is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization.

Roof Snow Loads, Storm Drain Safety and Icicles

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 9741464.jpgBy Mark R. Cotreau, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director, Town of Concord

Due to the recent snow storms there is a heavy snow load on many of our roofs.  Click on the this link for related advice from Mass. Emergency Management:
"Roof Collapse & Storm Drain Safety Information" 

View from Concord Mag HQ

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Another 10" of snow fell last night, as measured at Concord Magazine headquarters. Those mounds are a picnic table and benches. In the foreground is a snow blower-cleared path. The top orange bar is 30" as measured from the surface of the table. While we have had probably twice that amount of snow so far this winter, it show's is what is currently standing.

sidewindowsnow1.27.11.jpgPhoto: ©2011 Deborah Bier

Open Table Needs Our Help

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22644255.thb.jpgDuring the past month, the Open Table program in Concord and Maynard has seen a dramatic increases in numbers of guests and food needs.  Their pantry stock levels are incredibly low right now -- which is somewhat traditional in January, but more much acute They traditionally run low this time of year, but coupled this year with suddenly more guests, so they really do need the community's help.

They are low on everything in the pantry due to the huge numbers of guests they've been serving over the past month.  They need everything and anything, including the basics: soup, tuna, cereal, jelly, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit, etc etc.

There are three ways to make a drop off:  

  1. Drop-off box at Crosby's Supermarket in their entry/exit vestibule  
  2. Open Table's pantry is at 105 Everett St, and they're there 12:30-3pm every Thursday for donation drop-offs
  3. Drop off at First Parish, January 23 or Sunday January 30 during church hours
For more information about Open Table, go to their website: http://www.OpenTable.org.

Extreme Cold Warning

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37832633.thb.jpgIf it's not snow, ice and high winds, then it's extreme cold we're warning you about!  And so is our Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director, Chief Mark Cotreau. He sent the following info from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) about how to keep yourself, your family and your home safe in the upcoming veeeery cold snap we're expecting.

Go  here for MEMA's message: http://blog.caringcompanion.net/extreme-cold-warning-massachusetts-elders-at-risk/

After you read this, go put on an extra pair of socks, a good sweater and make yourself a hot cuppa!

Save the Date: March 5, Willard School

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"Getting to Green: Building Sustainable Community."
March 5, from 9-2 at the Willard School

37806984.thb.jpgOrganized by Sustainable Concord, in collaboration with ConcordCAN and the Concord Public Schools. Keynote Speaker: Dr. Halina Brown, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy Program at Clark University.

Participate in a lively, community-building event. Help develop  a shared vision of Concord's future. Find out what Concord's school kids are thinking about "getting to green." Network with residents, Town officials, environmental activists, and business people, who are all working to create a sustainable community. Watch for details coming soon. For more information now, Contact Morwen@earthdrum.com.

Who Knows What Might be Found?

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22752879.thb.jpgLook around your home and office: in the messy piles of stuff, Thoreaviana just might be lurking.  Ths turned out to be the case at UCONN's herbarium:  UConn Finds Two Plant Specimens Collected By Thoreau.

(Thanks Kathy McGrath for your eagle eye spotting this!)

"Sustainable Devens" Discussion at First Parish Jan 24

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By Bob Andrews, ConcordCAN Steering Committee Member
airview_far-large.jpgOn Monday, January 24, from 7-8:30 PM at First Parish Church in Concord, Peter Lowitt , AICP will lead a discussion of "Sustainable Devens." Peter, a member of the First Parish Environmental Leadership Team and an Acton resident, is the Executive Director of the Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC). Before taking this position he served as Director of Planning and Economic Development for the Town of Londonderry, New Hampshire (1993-1999) where he developed the Londonderry Ecological Industrial Park and the award winning Sustainable Londonderry Program.
There has been a good deal of discussion in Concord recently about building a Sustainable community. Peter Lowitt will discuss the groundbreaking work on sustainability that is occurring on a 4400-acre former army base in Concord's back yard -- just down Route 2 in North Central Massachusetts. (photo top right from 1998; click for a larger view in a pop-up window).
If you attend this program, you will learn about how Devens has successfully balanced economic development, environmental protection, and social equity. Many now view Devens as the premier U.S. example of eco-industrial development, where industrial firms collaborate to reduce their environmental impacts, share by-products, and improve their bottom lines. A planned Question & Answer period will focus on how to bring the successful sustainability practices from Devens back to our own communities.
sd-award.jpgThis photo at right shows former Senator Pam Resor congratulating DEC Chairman Bill Marshall and Peter Lowitt on receiving the 2005 State Sustainable Development Award for a government agency.
If you would like more background on what has been accomplished at Ft. Devens, go to http://www.devensec.com/ and look under "Sustainable Devens"
The January 24 program takes place at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, from 7-8:30 pm. This program is co-sponsored by the First Parish Social Action Community's Environmental Leadership Team, the Wright Tavern Center, and ConcordCAN. A $10 fee will be charged. Register by Calling the First Parish office at 978-369-9602 or emailing Cassy Bosworth at CBosworth@firstparish.org.

Home and Children's Goods Drop-off Day Jan 22

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21985015.thb.jpgAs your family changes, so do your needs at home! Bag up your outgrown children's items and extra household goods and drop them at First Parish in Concord on Saturday, January 22nd. Help keep the environment green and provide a family in need with items to make their home. Items may be dropped from 9am-1pm. Volunteers will be ready to receive your donations of household goods (such as linens, lamps, pots & pans, rugs, mattresses and furniture) or children items (baby-teen clothing, footwear, winter outerwear, baby equipment, children's books and toys.)

All donations will go directly to Cradles to Crayons and Household Goods Recycling Ministry (HGRM) to be redistributed to families in the Greater Boston Area. For more information or a list of accepted items, please contact Abby White at abbygwhite@comcast.net

The Great Snow Wall of Concord

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We noticed the precision sculptural work accomplished by Concord Public Works along the Milldam following the recent nor'easter. 


"Slavery by Another Name" Jan 26 at Library

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24608326.thb.jpgThe League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle will discuss Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II, by Douglas A. Blackmon, on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, at 10:00-11:30 a.m., in the Trustees Room of the Concord Free Public Library, 129 Main Street. Publisher's Weekly described the book as "a groundbreaking and disturbing account of a sordid chapter in American history--the lease (essentially the sale) of convicts to "commercial interests" between the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th." All readers are welcome.

For more information, visit www.lwvcc.org, email Book_Group@lwvcc.org, or call 978-254-1598.

Timlapse Video of the Storm

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This is a video shot at Concord Magazine Blog headquarters, with one frame taken every 10 minutes starting January 11 just before midnight and through much of January 12.  The videographer, Rich Stevenson, is in the first frame.

Friday Flicks at Main Library: Jan 21

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Friday, January 21 at 7:00pm at Main Library , Concord, MA

Come join the first Friday Flicks at the Main Library, a change of venue while Fowler Library is under renovation!

Song of the Sparrows (2008, Iran)

When an ostrich-rancher focuses on replacing his daughter's hearing aid, which breaks right before crucial exams, everything changes for a struggling rural family in Iran. Karim motorbikes into a world alien to him - incredibly hectic Tehran, where sudden opportunities for independence, thrill and challenge him. But his honor and honesty, plus traditional authority over his inventive clan, are tested, as he stumbles among vast cultural and economic gaps between his village nestled in the desert, and a throbbing international metropolisTrailer below. 

Winter Storm Hitting Overnight Tues/Wed

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34870015.thb.jpgBy Mark R. Cotreau, Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director, Town of Concord

Editor's Note: Concord has such a great weather forecasting service -- it has proven to be historically more accurate than the National Weather Service. As much as New England weather is difficult to predict, when Concord's Emergency Management Director sends out his assessment, we should know it's well grounded in better-than-average data. 
As many of you I'm sure already know, we have a classic nor'easter on our doorstep. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for our area. The multitudes of computer models are all indicating that Concord will receive 12-16 inches of wind driven snow. Snow will begin to overspread our area sometime between 1 and 3 AM beginning rather light but quickly intensifying. By the early morning rush hour snow may be falling at the rate of 1 to 2 in./h. The snow will continue heavy at times through the morning hours tapering off to light snow in the early afternoon. The National Weather Service is predicting a widespread 12 to 16 inches for the Concord area. Winds in our area are predicted to be an issue at 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph. The strongest winds should start before dawn and last through the bulk of the day.
This storm promises to present a major problem for tomorrow's rush-hour traffic commute. Visibility could be very poor. If you do not have to be on the roads during the storm it would be prudent to stay home. During or after this storm you may encounter an occasional downed power wire. It is important to remember that all downed wires should be considered energized and under no circumstances should they be approached. Please call 911 to report downed wires or any other emergency encountered.

Friday Flicks Schedule... Follow the Library

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friflix.pngMOVIES are MOVING! The Friday Flicks Series is now at the Main Branch of the Concord Library, 129 Main Street, Concord Center, MA. For information, call 978-318-3300 or visit www.concordlibrary.org

All films begin at 7:00 PM | Free and open to the public

2011 Film Schedule:
Jan. 21 The Song of Sparrows (Iran, 2008)
Jan. 28 Floating Weeds (Japan, 1959)
Feb. 11 In the Mood for Love (China, 2000)
Feb. 25 broken Wings (Israel, 2002)
Mar. 11 7 Solos (USA, 2010) plus special appearance by featured musician, Wayne Hankin
Mar. 25 buddy (Norway, 2003)

Presented by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library (friends@concordlibrary.org)

Follow the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library on Facebook and Twitter: 

Facebook   www.facebook.com/concordlibraryfriend
Twitter   ConcordLibrary

Top 10 Search Terms for ConcordMA.com for December 2010

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minutemancball.jpgWe're not sure what to think about this.  Were searchers wondering what 2011 holds in store and looking for a little local access to informatoin from "the other side"?  "Psychic" and "Fortune teller" are unusual search terms to come up so strongly on this site.

hayward family, ma
hiram blaisdell
emerson theater
Battlefield Road
king charles II
emerson teather
Fortune teller

Early Winter Garden Report

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1755286.thb.jpgNeglect. Total neglect. This is the short story of what I've done through late fall in our outdoor gardens plus inside the solar greenhouse. 

However, that doesn't mean that nothing is happening there. Until the blizzard, I was able to pick winter hardy greens outdoors (haven't gotten any outdoor gardens under cover of fabric or plastic yet! grrrr...). We had lovely kale and the chickens had chicory and a variety of hardy weeds growing outside without any protection up until last week. Inside the greenhouse, it's pretty sad in terms of upkeep. But green nonetheless!  I've also not gotten any floating row cover/fabric on the rows yet inside the greenhouse.  I should have by early November!!  But life keeps intervening.

There are still hundreds if not thousands of self-seeded claytonia and mache plants growing well, however. Some arugula, too, but not enough to please my arugula-greedy needs.  The claytonia had the furthest seeded range: it's growing everywhere! I am thinning as we eat both, as the individual plants are growing too close together for their eventual health.

During the week between Christmas and New Years, we harvested (and happily ate): turnips (bulbs and greens), carrots, scallions, leeks, arugula (2 varieties), lettuce (2 varieties), claytonia, mache, chicory (3 varieties), d'taglio celery.

1:1:11freshtoms.jpgI could have also harvested sage, salad burnet, Tuscan kale, chard and a bit here and there of a other brassicas like collards. And still on hand fresh: the last 3 tomatoes picked green this fall and allowed to ripen inside!  Pitiful, yes, but a household record lasting this long.

That's all for the fresh garden produce.  In addition, items we used many items we grew or gathered in the wild during 2010 that were in cool storage in the root cellar, dried, or frozen.  These included: potatoes, garlic, basil, d'taglio celery, parsley, sage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, spiced tomato jam, dried ground cherries, roasted tomatoes, chicken mushrooms, pumpkin, hot peppers, sweet potatoes, mustard greens, sweet peppers, dried beans, cornmeal. In terms of quality and flavor, we have eaten like royalty! And we still have a well-stocked larder of homegrown foods to enjoy in the next months.

19019733.thb.jpgWe eat meat and dairy in our household, but not much or often -- unprocessed or minimally-processed, homecooked plant foods and our girls' eggs are becoming more and more central to our diets. A neighbor asked me how much plant-based food we have to buy these days. This was easy to track as we order groceries via delivery which I set up online; all the records of my purchases are readily available -- they are usually right around $100 each.  My last two grocery orders were November 21 and December 12 (I will probably order again this week).  In terms of plant foods delivered, November brought in a couple of fresh lemons, some canned beans, bread, tortillas, crackers and coconut milk. With December's delivery, I took on some fresh apples, bread, cracker, lemon juice and whole grain pasta. Except for one box of potato-onion perogies, no frozen plant-based foods were purchased. Before that, the previous two grocery deliveries were November 6 and September 26.

 We stopped by the Chinese grocery store in Chelmsford this week to pick up some specialty supplies, and bought some scallions -- we would have bought fresh water chestnuts, but they didn't have any. We have not bought any produce at farmstands or farmer's markets since early October when I got some winter squash for storage. I brought in cases of honey and curry paste from online sources (let's not talk about what happens when two bottles of curry paste break in shipment, ok... the trauma still lingers). I stopped by Debra's Natural Gourmet last month to pick up dried beans and grains to cook up for the chickens' daily rations; for humans there was only a little dried oatstraw for tea.  I am about to purchase some more supplies for chickens at Debra's, perhaps even today. Otherwise, we keep a good general larder with dried, bottled, packaged and canned foods -- mostly minimally processed or unprocessed.  We also keep a standing freezer fairly full. We use this stored food as a part of our daily diet.  

Extra Jumbo New Year's Day Surprise

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May all your extra jumbo surprises this year be happy ones!
(No report on what the chicken thought of this one)

Photo: From our editor's chickens. ©2011 Deborah Bier

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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