Acton: With an effort of learning “languages of the future” Acton-Boxborough Regional High School recently added Mandarin Chinese for next year’s world language curriculum. This new language option is limited to high school students. The school plans to extend the offering to junior high school, only after analyzing the acceptance and participation of the program by high school students next year. (“Mandarin offered at ABRHS,” February 13.)
Lincoln: A small fire burned the gymnasium floor of Hanscom Primary School, which was quickly controlled, limiting the scope of the damage. The source of the fire has been traced to a malfunctioning bulb in the light fixture within the gymnasium. The bulb caught on fire and dropped on the floor. (“Light bulb causes fire in Hanscom school gym,” February 21.)
Environment and Utilities
Acton: Maryland-based chemical supplier W.R. Grace has agreed to pay $2 million towards the cleanup costs incurred by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as a result of the contamination of two of Acton’s municipal wells, which had constituted 40% of the town’s water supply. Use of the wells was discontinued when benzene and trichloroethylene were found in the water in 1978.
Chelmsford: Selectmen voted unanimously to oppose the 348-megawatt power plant proposed by Montgomery Energy and D.G. Clean Power for a site in Billerica. The Chelmsford Selectmen, however, are not directly involved in the facility’s permitting process. The plant, to be located six miles from Carlisle Center on land near the Concord River, is to burn natural gas with diesel fuel as a backup (see “Billerica power plant looms,” Mosquito, August 3, 2007). The state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has not yet received the final environmental impact report for the project. (“Selectmen vote to oppose power plant,” February 26.)
Acton: Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas recently visited Iraq and Afghanistan, and brought back her perspective on the challenges ahead. She shared her proposal on next steps at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, which attracted 300 people with mixed opinions. “We need a timetable to bring our soldiers home” she said. Her concern was that the Iraqi government has failed to take responsibility to protect their nation. (“Tsongas meeting on Iraq draws range of views,” February 27.)
Bedford: Eight months ago Verizon became Bedford’s second cable provider, competing with Comcast. However, Verizon cable subscribers are still waiting for the new provider to fulfill contract requirements to broadcast the public access programming produced by Bedford Community Television and currently broadcast by Comcast. The Bedford Cable Television Committee continues negotiations with Verizon. (“Verizon still not carrying BCAT,” February 27.)
Bedford: Plans to redesign the Bedford Shopping Center site on Great Road, which houses several retail business including Whole Foods, call for a “pedestrian greenway” to be located in the parking lot between the buildings leased by Café Luigi and Bruegger’s Bagels. The Bedford Planning Board supports the greenway concept, but the proposal has not yet won tenant support. Plans also call for demolition of the post office and Café Luigi buildings and construction of a new building, along with redesigned parking and landscaping. (“Greenway is divisive issue for Shopping Center,” February 20.)
Concord: Two types of businesses are calling Concord their new home; one is Owater, a small business company, and the other, the Polaroid Corporation.
Owater, which sells water with natural flavors and electrolytes, moved its headquarters to the Bradford Street mill building. The company accommodates mothers with young children who are in need of flexible hours. (“Naturally flavored beverage company moves in,” January 24.)
As part of a downsizing measure, Polaroid has sold its Waltham location to a real estate developer and moved to a renovated office building at 300 Baker Avenue. Polaroid is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Petters Group Worldwide and continues to offer services in consumer electronics, digital imaging and photography. (“Polaroid settles into new headquarters in Concord,” January 17.) ∆