Information at Your Fingertips
Between yahoo groups, list serves, and the census, all the information you need in town.
Hello, fellow Concordians, and welcome to Thursday! Just a hop, skip and a jump to Friday and the weekend, and plenty of time to get out and enjoy some lovely, warm mid-winter weather. I love a good January thaw.
Back when my kids were little, I did a lot of standing around: The bus stop, waiting for them to get on and go to school; the playground, waiting for them to tire themselves out on the equipment; the library, waiting for them to pick out books to take home and read. The bonus was, other moms were usually hanging around waiting, too, and we used that time to chat about what was going on in town, among other things.
Now, I spend more time driving around town in my car, talking to myself. But if I need to know what people in town are talking about, I can head over to the Concord Yahoo Group list, and read what people are saying.
If you haven’t checked this out, you totally should; it’s an ongoing discussion forum for all things Concord, from local government issues to natural resources to day-in-the-life topics. Anyone can read the messages, but only people who become subscribers can post a message themselves.
This is a fascinating way to get your finger on the pulse of what is concerning other people in town, as well as a great place to post questions and get answers. But fair warning: While people can get, well, opinionated, they don’t tolerate flaming, or promoting your business, no matter how worthy.
Check it out here, and you might decide it’s worth it to plunge in and join the conversation.
A More Specific List
Say you discover your child has a learning disability, or some other special need, and you’d really like to talk to other parents in the same boat. Problem is it’s a little awkward asking other parents if they have “special” kids. Luckily, we have a fabulous Special Education Parent Advisory Committee, and while all school districts are required to have this, we happen to have a comprehensive website and an awesome listserv.
The website has links to just about everything you can think of special needs related, including testing and evaluations, Individual Education Plans, who’s who in the district, and more. Believe me, people from all over laud this resource, and make great use of the information available.
The website is available to everyone, as is the listserv, which has lots of parents on it from Concord and other surrounding towns. This is a great place to ask all your special needs questions, whether it’s about a provider your kid needs, or a therapy you want feedback on. No question is too foolish, and other parents are more than happy to share their expertise. And there’s really nothing like other parents who’ve been there to smooth the path before you.
Just remember that school administrators are on the list too – they like to keep their finger on the pulse of what parents are saying – so you may want to keep your private stuff private.
For Those Who are Simply Nosey…
Some people don’t have specific questions; they just want to know who lives in their neighborhood, and how old that guy on the corner is. Happily for them, there’s a Street List available, or as people in the know call it, “The Nosey Book.” Published every June, it includes all census information for adults, including names, addresses, occupations, and year of birth. Yes, you read that right: no lying about your age, because your neighbor can look it up.
The book costs $15, which many consider a bargain, and you can get it by going to Town Hall and asking for it. They’re just about out of the printed version, but you can get an online version, also for $15, or simply go to the library and ask to look at their copy for free.
Although if you’re OK with paying, you may want to wait until June, when the new book comes out. But do it quickly; those things sell out.
Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to help you spread the good news. And follow me on Twitter: @stefanie3131