Barbara Lynn-Davis, Chair
As the tenures of the Chair and several Full and Associate Members ended this past year, the Commission had a change in leadership and recruited two new members as well. The new members have backgrounds in landscape history and the visual arts, broadening our perspective beyond discrete historic structures to consider preservation of historic Town contexts as well.
2006 Community Preservation Act Applications
Six of the eleven applications for cpa funding this past year were for historic preservation projects. The Commission met with each of the applicants to provide feedback from an historical perspective (for example, preservation of original materials, etc.) and furnish an informal review of the applications to the Community Preservation Committee. The quality of each of the applications was very high, and all projects were felt worthy of Town support. The rehabilitation of the West Concord Train Depot, with its local importance as a "gateway" to West Concord, was of particular interest to the Commission. It was decided to adopt this project for special support over the next year, should it be granted cpa funding at the 2007 Town Meeting. The Commission is in the process of defining its role in relation to the still-new cpa application process, including agreeing to collaborate with the Planning Department in offering an educational session about the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Historic Preservation, as compliance with the Standards is a stated requirement for cpa-funded historic preservation projects.
Demolition Delay and Tear-Downs
With the defeat of the proposed creation of Neighborhood Conservation Districts at Town Meeting last year and our own split regarding support of such districts, the Commission is reviewing options for preserving older homes from demolition. This year saw the recent loss, among many others, of the early nineteenth-century Melvin House on upper Monument Street. The Commission is in the process of considering various criteria for expanding the number of properties protected by our Demolition Delay Bylaw, and extension of that bylaw from six months to a longer period of protection. Student volunteers from Concord Carlisle High School were recruited to assist with this project. The Commission has also collaborated with the Historic Districts Commission in addressing issues of wider protection of historic structures in Town. The goal is to recommend an amended Demolition Delay Bylaw for Town Meeting in 2008.
The Commission felt that it was not sufficiently informed about future developments at the airport which may seriously impact our historic town. Marty Pepper-Eisenberg from Save Our Heritage was invited to present to the Commission, which was energized to learn that an Inventory Form had recently been submitted to the Massachusetts Historical Commission regarding Hanger 24 (once an mit research and test facility that developed inventions leading to current inertial navigation systems.) Issues of aircraft noise, its impacts on Minuteman National Park, and a planned Soundscape Study in the park were discussed.
Projects Requiring Historical Commission Review
As required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the Commission commented on projects with impacts on our surrounding historic fabric, including the Warner's Pond Dam Rehabilitation, and placement of a wireless communication facility by Omnipoint Communications at 141 Keyes Road. The Commission also furnished requested comments regarding the Masschusetts Heritage Landscape Inventory, Concord Reconaissance Report.
The Commission members toured this Town-owned eighteenth-century property with the tenants in July. The application for placement of the house on the National Register of Historic Places is ongoing, with receipt of a letter from the Massachusetts Historical Commission requesting additional supporting written and photographic documentation.
Historic House Marker Program
The Commission revived its Historic House Marker program in 2005, and continues to respond to requests for the wooden signs from Town residents living in houses built fifty or more years ago.
2006 saw the final sale of Our Lady Help of Christians Church in West Concord to the Swedenborgian Church, thus preserving its religious functions and saving the historic structure. An Historic Preservation Restriction is held by the Town and the Historical Commision has been named the Town's agent in its administration. Finally, a marker noting ten-thousand years of Native American habitation in our area was installed in the Knoll section of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
Concord Cultural Council
The Concord Cultural Council (ccc), whose members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen, supports community cultural projects through its grant program. Funds are received from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (mcc) whose mission is "to promote excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities." The mcc allotted $4,000 in grant monies to the ccc for 2006-2007, which was augmented by the ccc with $700 from accrued funds for a total grant availability of $4,700.
Information about applying for grants was publicized in the Concord Journal and Boston Globe Northwest; guidelines and applications were distributed at the Town House and the Concord Free Public Library, and schools/ptgs were notified about the process. . Meetings were held in September, October, November, and December. Patsy Eickelberg and Craig Dunn became the new co-chairs, and four new members were added to the Council: Deborah Disston, Elizabeth Harvey, Hope Rubin and Cheryl Shea.
A public forum announced in the Concord Journal, was offered just prior to the first Council meeting for those interested in learning more about the Concord Cultural Council grant application program. At the October 24 meeting, information packets were distributed for 25 requests for $12,115 in funding. At follow-up meetings in October and November, reimbursements from 2005-2006 were reviewed and 2006-2007 grant applications were considered according to mcc and ccc guidelines, which were then discussed and voted on. The Council chose to partially fund 19 proposals and allotted an additional $700 in funds accrued during the past several years to bring the total funds granted for the 2006-2007 cycle to $4,700. Council members were assigned as liaisons for each grant recipient.
Individuals and organizations may apply to the Concord Cultural Council for partial funding for programs, projects and presentations in music, dance, visual arts, poetry, literature, drama, the humanities and scientific interpretation for all age groups. Preference is given to applicants who live or work in Concord or who offer programs, projects or presentations that specifically benefit the Concord community.
Steven Bloomfield, chair
The Concord-San Marcos Sister Cities Committee encourages peace and mutual understanding, and socioeconomic development in Nicaragua, through programs of cultural exchange and economic assistance carried out in a spirit of cooperation by the people of Concord and the city of San Marcos, Nicaragua. Concord Town Meeting established the Sister Cities Committee in 1986. Town Meeting reaffirmed the value of the committee's work by a second vote in 1987. The Committee works under the auspices of the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council. Voluntary membership of Concord citizens and voluntary support by means of financial donations and the contributions of goods and services from citizens in and around Concord sustain the Committee's work.
Projects in 2006
In offering a heartfelt welcome toward our essential partner from San Marcos, Sra. María Dolores Vado, the Concord-San Marcos Sister Cities Committee celebrated its 20th anniversary in the month of April by welcoming her to Concord for a week-long visit. On April 23, dozens of Committee members came together to honor the Committee's history and to enjoy reminiscences and music commemorating the towns' friendship and achievements. The rest of María Dolores Vado's stay was a vivid whirlwind of visits to Concord families, Town officials, local schools, Town Meeting, and members of the Trinitarian Congregational and First Parish churches.
Expressing admiration for the great heart of the Town of Concord, María Dolores Vado left us understanding the deep human values that animate this relationship and appreciating the many loving friends in Concord who reached out to her. All who are directly involved in this relationship in Concord felt, in turn, a renewed desire to continue to build our common future.
In San Marcos, itself, the Committee continued its sponsorship of scholarships with stipends of $60 to each of nearly 50 elementary school students at the Escuela San Marcos to encourage them to stay in school and earn honors-level grades.
The Sister Cities Committee continues to operate a micro-bank in San Marcos in cooperation with a small San Marcos-based board of directors. fecondesam, founded on March 6, 1996, now has a financial base of over $24,000, and its loans are in the hands of some 40 small business people, mostly women, who have borrowed amounts between $50 and $2000 at a 5 per cent rate of interest. Concord's First Parish Church, through its Social Action Council, contributed another $2000 this year to complement its generous donations in the past.
The committee, under the leadership of Karin Segal, continues to gather medicines, medical and dental supplies, and surgical equipment to send to the San Marcos Centro de Salud where donations are put to use for the city's poorest citizens.
Sources of Funding
The Committee derives its financial support from six-times-a-year swing dances at the Concord Scout House generously run by Sam Alexander, Susan Chivvis and Rick Moore and by donations from Concord citizens as well as contributions of goods and services.
The Committee will continue its work in the coming year in the areas of educational scholarships, micro-credit, public health, and youth and adult exchanges.Please consult the Committee's web site.
Judy Terry, Chair
The Concord Nanae Network had a good year that included a delegation that went to Nanae, a delegation that came from Nanae, formalization of its organizational structure, and fund-raising.
An eleven person delegation went to Nanae for five days. cchs teachers Tom Curtin, Al Dentino, David Nurenberg, and Wilson Flight worked on details for the April 2007 cchs Concert Band visit and taught classes at Nanae High School. Willard School teachers Barbara Lehn and Nancy Barrett visited the Togeshita Elementary School, their sister school. Citizens Susan Curtin, Junko Kargula, Mike Spangler, and Liana Tuller also participated in the visitation. The delegation visited a live volcano and numerous historical and educational sites in nearby Hakodate. The Nanae branch of the Concord Nanae Network and Nanae Town each hosted dinners for the delegation.
In late August, cnn members formalized their organization by defining a number of positions and their duties. Among them are Chair (Judy Terry), Vice-Chair (Tom Curtin), Clerk (Sue Curtin), Treasurer (Carrie Flood), Gifts (Lee and Wilson Flight), Home Stays (Nancy McJennett), Potluck Dinner (Janet Furey and Susan Bates), Membership (Jim Terry), Webmaster (David Nurenberg), Newsletter (Sue Curtin), Massachusetts Hokkaido Association Liaison (Kathleen Molony), Japanese-Speaking Concordians Liaison (Junko Kargula and Kimiko Furutani), and William Wheeler Project Liaison (Barbara Wheeler and Rick Wheeler).
On October 16, 2006, the flags of Japan and the United States fluttered in front of the Town House, welcoming the ninth annual sister city delegation from Nanae, Hokkaido, Japan. Seven Nanae officials and citizens, including Mayor Nakamiya and his wife, accompanied middle and high school students who attended classes and activities at cchs. Selectman Dinny McIntyre and Town Manager Chris Whelan welcomed the delegation and members of the Concord-Carlisle Nanae Network, a group of citizens formed to support the annual sister city exchanges. Concordian Junko Kargula served as interpreter during the six day visit.
Further discussions about Concord's form of Town government, finances, and infrastructure occurred the next morning when Mr. Whelan was joined by Assistant Town Manager Doug Meagher, acting Director of Public Works Alan Cathcart, Town Engineer Jim Shuris and the Japanese delegation. Following the meeting, the visitors toured Concord's wastewater treatment plant and learned of its cutting edge CoMag magnetic-chemical treatment technology which removes contaminants. The delegation also examined a bridge under repair.
Futoshi Sugihara, head of Nanae international relations, was highly impressed by the Town operations. "Concord knows its goals and moves forward to put them into action," he said, citing underground utility lines and the retention and maintenance of trees. "People communicate with each other about problems and their solutions,"
Kazuyuki Hashimoto, English language teacher, spent most of the week at cchs with the Nanae students, and taught students some Japanese. "All the cchs students are active and cooperative and there were many answers when I asked questions," stated Hashimoto. "The faculty was very kind. I was impressed by their hospitality."
The delegation also visited historical sites and museums including the Concord Museum, the Orchard House, Walden Pond, and the North Bridge. Ranger Will Mathews gave a stirring explanation of the Concord Fight at the Bridge, Executive Director Jan Turnquist made a special appearance as Jo at the Orchard House, and Concord Museum's Executive Director Desiree Caldwell presented the delegation with special gifts after their tour.
One morning was spent in West Concord visiting the Concord Children's Center, where children sang and presented the Nanae mayor with gifts, and the Harvey Wheeler Center where Laurie Kalinowski introduced the visitors to the Council on Aging's programs. After lunch the delegation visited several small businesses to sample the economic diversity of West Concord. The businesses included Debra's Natural Gourmet where they tasted cranberries, Carolyn's Pecans, Potager Natural Soap Company, Mark T. Wendell Tea Company where Elliott and Hartley Johnson presented them with gifts of tea, and the Potting Shed where Rob Starr explained the workshop firing and painting processes.
A pot luck supper for the delegation coordinated by Janet Furey and Susan Bates was held at the Trinitarian Congregational Church parish hall. Homestay families of both Nanae students and adults provided the food, and members of the delegation performed a traditional Japanese dance and led everyone in a folk dance celebrating Hokkaido squid, a local delicacy. Concordian Kimiko Furutani served as interpreter during remarks by Mayor Nakamiya and cnn vice chairman Tom Curtin.
Mayor Nakamiya and other members of the delegation attended the cchs - Boston Latin football game on Friday night. The cchs pep band, led by band director Al Dentino, wore Japanese hachimaki headbands saying "Certain Victory" in honor of the sister city exchange. Plans are underway for cchs's concert band to travel to Nanae and Sapporo, Hokkaido, for joint concerts in April 2007, the band's third visit since 1998.
Principal Art Dulong and Superintendent Brenda Finn hosted a school lunch gathering at cchs for the delegation adults. The Japanese visitors also spent a morning at Willard School, sister school to Nanae's Togeshita Elementary School, where they were welcomed by Principal Pat Fernandes. There they taught Barbara Lehn's second graders and Sue Guest's third graders how to make origami samurai helmets out of newspaper. The students also learned the squid folk dance and how to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Japanese. Later specialist Nancy Barrett toured the delegation through the school. Lehn, Guest and Barrett traveled to Nanae and Japan with ccnn during the past two summers.
Homestay families spent Saturday with their guests. On Sunday, October 22, the homestays and ccnn members gathered to see the Nanae delegation leave for Boston and New York City. Photos were taken, tears shed, and last minute gifts exchanged as Concordians waved farewell to Nanae friends.
Whitney Warren, cchs 2000, returned to Nanae with the delegation to begin her yearlong commitment working in the Nanae International Relations Office. In addition to her regular duties of teaching English in many settings, lecturing about Concord, and assisting in her department's efforts, she will be invaluable in helping coordinate the cchs April visit.
In December, Lee and Wilson Flight organized the Japan Initiative that raised $2,000 to support the in-Concord expenses of future Nanae October visits by selling artwork during the cchs Concert Band's Winter Concert.
It should be noted that no Town or School funds were used for any of the above activities.