Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport

The League of Women Voters of Sudbury is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.

Sudbury Wins 2014 LWV Civics Bee

This year's Civics Bee came down to the final question, and Sudbury squeaked out a win over Weston with a correct answer about the Massachusetts Constitution.

Teams from Sudbury, Wayland and Weston competed in the sixth annual League of Women Voters Civics Bee Sunday afternoon. The Civics Bee is sponsored by the Leagues in each of the three towns.

The three teams were tied after the first round of questions, and Weston pulled ahead with a perfect score in the second round. The scores remained close going into the final round, with Weston still leading.

The scorekeepers noted the result came down to the very last question, which was worth 15 points. Sudbury answered correctly, to win by only five points. The final tally was Sudbury, 620; Weston, 615; and Wayland, 555. Sudbury has won the Bee for the past four years; Weston and Wayland have each won once.

Susan Abrams, co-president of the Sudbury League, commented on the difficulty of the Bee questions, and reminded all three teams their knowledge of national and state government and the history of their towns is "far ahead of most people's."

Each town's team was made up of students from the middle school and the high school and adults.

Constance Roberts, a Lincoln-Sudbury high school student, laughed after the victory and said, "It's nice to beat your superintendent-principal." Bella Wong, the Lincoln-Sudbury superintendent-principal, lives in Weston and was an adult member of the Weston team.

Andrew George, a middle school student on Sudbury's team, gave credit to Mary Mahoney, a teacher at Curtis who coaches the team. "She was the best coach ever."

As the teams got in some final preparation before the program started, Maxwell Seferian, a Wayland High School student, noted AP government class work all year helped prepare the high school students, with each concentrating on particular sections of material that the Bee covers. Laura Greenberg, a Weston High School student, said she volunteered for the Weston team "because I thought it would be fun and I'm really into history."

Richard Albert, assistant professor at Boston College Law School, a specialist in constitutional law, democratic theory and comparative constitutional law, again served as judge for the Bee, and Jo-Ann Berry of the Acton Area League was Bee Master, or moderator.

Audience members were heard commenting how hard the questions were and how knowledgeable the teams had to be. Questions covered subjects from town history and voting issues to state government and the federal government. In a group project during the Bee, the teams had to match responsibilities and tasks with the appropriate state government official. Among the questions the teams answered correctly, the Sudbury team knew how many minutemen the town sent to the April 19, 1775 battle in Concord--between 151 and 350, and one of the states which do not automatically award all their Electoral College votes to the winner in the state--Maine and Nebraska. The Weston team knew that U.S. Senators must be 30 years old and that the Hook and Hastings factory which operated in Weston between 1889 and 1935 produced organs. The Wayland team, decked out in matching 375th anniversary t-shirts, knew that the town, then combined with Sudbury, was the first to have an open town meeting and that the third person in the line of succession to the President, after the Vice President and the Speaker of the House, is the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

The Bee will be shown soon on the cable television stations in each town, and can also be viewed online at

River Stewardship Nominations Open

Do you know someone who is an outstanding advocate for the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers? Nominate a deserving individual, business, school or organization for a River Stewardship Award. Nominations are due by April 10. Click here for a nomination form.The purpose of the River Stewardship Award is to honor individuals or organizations whose actions promote, preserve, and protect the watershed. Eligible communities for the awards include, but are not limited to, the shoreline towns of Framingham, Wayland, Sudbury, Lincoln, Concord, Bedford, and Carlisle.

The League of Women Voters and the Wild and Scenic River Stewardship Council encourage nominations for the twelfth Annual River Steward Award. Send nominations to Mary Antes, 11 Old Farm Circle, Wayland, MA 01778 by April 11, 2014. Contact Mary Antes with any questions.

Is there an inspiring project, innovative strategy or creative program that protects the beauty and health of our rivers, or is dedicated to building an environmental legacy for future generations? We seek individuals, environmental organizations, community, youth, business, government employees or teachers whose work will inspire others leaders to protect and preserve our wild and scenic rivers.

2013 Award winners included: Amber Carr, Steve Tobin, Greg Peterson, Sally Swift, and Christa Collins of Carlisle; Gordon Shaw of Concord; The Lowell Leaders in Stewardship (LLS) Class of 2013; Bill Place of Sudbury; and the Wayland Wellhead Protection Committee (Sherre Greenbaum, Jennifer Riley, Tom Sciacca, Linda Segal, and Kurt Tramposch).

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