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What's on Tap This Week

Blood drive, solar power, artist reception, and more.

Good morning and welcome to the day we close out January.

I have a lot on tap today so I hope you have a few minutes to spare.

This first thing on is the Blood Drive in support of Beede Swim & Fitness Center employee Tyler Berry. The drive is sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital, where Tyler, 29, is being treated for germ cell cancer. The drive runs today from 8:30 a.m., to 2 p.m. with a break for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The process takes about 40 minutes a person, and is coordinated in a Bloodmobile parked outside the Beede Center.

As of this writing, there were still a few slots available. Even if there aren’t, history shows that not everyone who signs up is a suitable candidate to donate blood, so walk-ins are encouraged. I’m scheduled for 12:30 p.m. today. Drop by or call the Beede Center, at 978-287-1000. Hope to see you there.

Who’s Driving the Bus?

That seems to be the burning question regarding the school bus contracts for Concord Public Schools, Concord Carlisle Public Schools, the Fenn School and Nashoba Brooks School. The current drivers of these buses are soliciting your support through petitions available at various venues around town.

If you want to learn more on the issues of privatizing the bus driving, or speak out, you may attend a forum tomorrow night, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m., in the auditorium.

Sunshine and ROI

What better time than the dead of winter to talk about the benefits of solar energy? The person doing much of the talking is Brian Foulds, a Concordian whose solar-energized home received the oft-sought-after but seldom-issued prestigious LEED-Platinum certification from the  US Green Building Council. Check it here: The Foulds' award-winning Concord home. Not only is their home cozy with great curb appeal, its energy bill is roughly $4,700 less per year than similar homes powered with more traditional forms of energy.

You don’t need to take their word for it, the return-on-investment calculations have been carefully reviewed by our math wizards at the Concord Municipal Light Plant and other number-crunching experts.

The Foulds are pretty excited about this and want to share the wealth — of knowledge that is — about how we too can reap green by going green. This weekend, Brian is hosting the first as an opportunity to educate the rest of us on the financials related to going solar. The Fould family has bankers on board who will do the overwhelming calculations so we don’t have to freak out about doing math in our heads. Other Gone-Solar Concordians will also be available to talk to us.

The Concord Solar Fair is Saturday, Feb. 4 from 2-5 p.m., at the . An abbreviated lecture will be held Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m., in the same location. If there is snow, check the town’s website, www.concordma.gov, for rescheduling information. Currently the snow date is Saturday, Feb. 11. There is no charge and childcare and refreshments will be provided.

Artist Reception

Landscape artist Fran Busse. a member of the Concord Art Association, opens a solo show Thursday, Caught in the Current, which features more than 40 new works in oil. The reception is Thursday Feb. 2 from 5:30-8 p.m., at First Rugs, 342 Great Road, Routes 2A and 27, Acton.

Busse, known for her realistic paintings of New England landscapes and barns, takes a leap into abstract expressionism in her new work featuring New England wetlands, rivers and ponds. A graduate of UMass Amherst, Busse worked in interior design with high-tech firms for many years. She returned to her fine-arts roots after taking classes at the DeCordova Museum in the early 2000s.

First Rugs is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Honoring Nelson Powers

Last week, we lost another wonderful Concord resident to cancer. Nelson Powers was not only a lovely neighbor — to which I can personally attest — he was a great father to his three children, a wonderfully involved  grandfather, and more importantly a lifelong soul mate to Mary Lou, his wife of nearly 52 years.

Besides his many interests, which included engineering and nature walks, Nelson was in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, and was an active participant of the Concord Minute Men. In fact, last month Nelson was among the Concord Minute Men Honor Guard that graced the funeral services of good friend Joseph Fasano.

The Concord Minute Men Honor Guard were present at Nelson’s services at Dee Funeral Home last week, and members of the Navy and Honor Guard held a firing salute at his grave site at the St. Bernard’s Cemetery. Concord also flew its flags at half staff on Thursday, Jan. 26 in Nelson’s honor.

Condolences also to the Saisi Family. Robert Saisi, who raised his family in Carlisle. Robert was the father of Laurie Saisi, who works for the Before School program at Alcott School, and grandfather of Fred, Julie and Andrew Mangin and Nicholas Gallant. My thoughts to the family.

Moms Night Out

Many thanks to the staff for graciously hosting the Moms’ Night Out crowd Thursday, Jan. 26. A group of moms holds random nights out on the town about ever six to eight weeks or so to catch up with each other and unwind. Appears many of us are tackling the same issues. I didn’t stay long but enjoyed reconnecting with others. Also saw some new faces, which is always nice. Many thanks, also, to Laura McKenna for getting such a great group of gals together.

Do you have something you would like to share? Contact me at mcb23@comcast.net or Stefanie at stefanieac@comcast.net and we will be happy to help you spread the good news. And follow us on Twitter: Stefanie is @stefanie3131 and I am @cosmo1162.

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