ConsCom seeking new member
The Conservation Commission has an opening on its seven member board. The board has two major areas of responsibility which include administration of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and protection of the town’s natural resources.
Under the Wetlands Protection Act, permits are required for projects with development and alterations in or near wetlands or other water resource areas. The Commission also manages the town’s conservation land, undertakes conservation planning and land acquisition, oversees the operation the Cranberry Bog, presents an annual conservationist award at the town’s Old Home Day celebration, and helps provide an environmmental educational role in the community.
The Commission is particularly interested in people with a legal, civil engineering or agricultural background, as well as the geological or other earth sciences. The Commission is seeking a member who is willing to volunteer to work to protect the public interests for the town and its residents. Those who have an interest in conservation and environmental issues, and are willing to actively work in resource protection will be considered.
The Commission, which generally meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, is supported by full time office staff in the Conservation Commission’s office in the Town Hall and by their volunteer subcommittee, the Land Stewardship Committee.
If you would be interested in serving on the Conservation Commission, please send a brief resume and cover letter immediately to both the Conservation Commission, and to the Carlisle Board of Selectmen, the appointing authority, addressed to the Town Hall, 66 Westford Street, Carlisle. If you have any questions, please call the Conservation Office at 1-978-369-0336.
Burning season starts on Jan. 15 - Open burning season safety
Registration is required
Open burning season will begin on January 15 and will end on May 1 at 4 p.m. All landowners must be registered with the Fire Department before a permit can be issued for the day. If you have not registered already, go to the communications center at the police station, 41 Lowell Road to do so. You only need to register once as long as you don’t move to another address in Carlisle; otherwise you do not need to register again. However, once registered landowners must still call 1-978-369-1442, on each day burning is planned to obtain a permit. It is important to understand that you must still call for a permit and calls to inquire about obtaining a permit must be made after 9 a.m.
The Department of Environmental Protection will prohibit open burning on days when atmospheric conditions are poor and outdoor burning will contribute to poor air quality. Weather conditions can change rapidly, especially in the spring, and the Fire Department will also determine on a daily basis when it is safe to conduct open burning. If winds kick up or other atmospheric conditions change suddenly, making it unsafe to burn, permits can be rescinded. The Fire Department may also limit the number of permits issued for a particular day. For this reason it is recommended that land owners conduct their necessary burning while the ground is still wet or frozen or ideally when there is a snow cover. During these times the danger of a brush pile getting out of control is minimized.
The open burning must be at a minimum 75 feet from all buildings and must be conducted between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and must take place on land closest to the source of material to be burned, according to Department of Environmental Protection regulations ( 310 CMR DEP 7. 07 ).
Burning, with a permit, is allowed for the following:
• Brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris from other than commercial or industrial land clearing operations.
• Materials normally associated with the pursuit of agriculture such as fruit tree prunings, dead raspberry stalks, blueberry patches for pruning purposes and infected bee hives for disease control.
• Trees and brush resulting from agricultural land clearing.
• Fungus infected elm wood, if no other acceptable means of disposal is available.
Burning of the following materials is prohibited statewide:
• Brush, trees, cane and driftwood from commercial and /or industrial land clearing operations.
• Grass, hay, leaves and stumps and tires.
• Construction material and debris.
How to safely ignite the fire:
• An adult must always be present during open burning and children and pets should be kept a safe distance away.
• Use paper and kindling to start the fire and add progressively larger pieces of wood. Parts of a leftover Christmas tree may also be used.
• Never use gasoline, kerosene or any other flammable liquid to start a fire because the risk of personal injury is high.
• Burn one small pile at a time and slowly add to it. This will keep the fire from getting out of control.
• Select a location away from utility lines.
• Fire must be attended until extinguished.
• While the fire is burning, an adult must attend the fire until it is completely extinguished.
Have fire control tools on hand:
• Have fire extinguishment materials on hand including a water supply, shovels and rakes.
• The water supply could be a pressurized water fire extinguisher, a pump can or garden hose; be sure to test it out before igniting the fire. You do not want to find out the water is still shutoff at the house faucet or that the hose is cracked when you need it the most.
Watch the wind. Be prepared to extinguish all open burning fires:
Be prepared to extinguish your fire if the wind picks up or weather changes. Use common sense and don’t wait for the Fire Department to contact you that it has become unsafe to burn. Sudden wind change is how most open burning gets out of control.
Don’t delay a call for help:
If for some reason, the fire should get out of control, call the Fire Department immediately. Dial 911. Use the utmost caution to prevent injury to yourself or family members or any damage by fire to your home.
People conducting illegal burning, or who allow a fire to get out of control, may be held liable for costs of extinguishing the fire, fined or even imprisoned (MGL C48 S13).
April is the Cruelest Month:
April is usually the worst month for brush fires. When snow pack recedes, before new growth emerges, last year’s dead grass, leaves and wood are dangerous tinder. Winds also tend to be stronger and more unpredictable during April.
Prevent wildfires by burning during wet snowy conditions:
Prevent permit fires from becoming wildfires by burning early in the season. Wet and snowy winter conditions hinder the rapid spread of fire on or under ground. Weather conditions and increased fire danger may lead to many days when burning cannot be allowed to take place.
Alternatives to open burning:
Open burning releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, other gases and solid substances directly into the air, which can contribute to respiratory problems. Disposal of natural materials is never as good for the environment as using them again in a different form. Tree limbs, brush and other forestry debris can be chipped or composted into landscape material. Many landscape contractors offer this service. ∆
Do you have a File of Life?
“File Of Life” kits for Carlisle seniors are available at the COA office at Town Hall. In an emergency, the “File Of Life” card enables emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to obtain a quick medical history and vital personal information when a patient is unable to offer it.
The card, which is kept in a red plastic pocket labeled “File of Life,” lists the patient’s name, emergency contacts, health insurance policy and social security number, health conditions, medications including dosages, allergies, recent surgeries, religion, doctor’s name and whether or not there is a health care proxy or living will.
For more information about the “File of Life” program, call 1-978-371-2895.
Sign up for RUOK®
If you live alone, you may want to sign up for the free RUOK® Telephone Reassurance System. The system will call you at the predetermined time you request. When you answer, you’ll hear a short pre-recorded call message from the COA. If you don’t pick up after several tries, the police will personally try to reach you, and if there is still no reply they will stop by and check on you at home. This system has saved lives. Call the Council on Aging to sign up at 1-978-371-2895.
Winter storm safety tips
Before a winter storm
•Be informed by receiving alerts, warnings, and public safety information before, during, and after emergencies. Download the Massachusetts Alerts app.
• Create and review your family emergency plan.
• If you receive medical treatments or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home for a period of time.
• Assemble an emergency kit. Add seasonal supplies to your emergency kit, such as extra winter clothing and blankets.
• Follow instructions from public safety officials.
• Fully charge your cellphone, laptop, and other electronic devices before a storm if power outages are expected.
• Consider purchasing a generator to provide power during an outage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and learn how to use it safely before an outage.
• Remove dead or rotting trees and branches around your home that could fall and cause injury or damage.
• Clear clogged rain gutters to allow water to flow away from your home. Melting snow and ice can build up if gutters are clogged with debris.
• Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working and have fresh batteries.
• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
• Make sure your home is properly insulated. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows to keep cold air out. Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside to provide insulation.
• Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel and consider safe back-up heating options such as fireplaces or woodstoves.
• Ensure your vehicle is ready for safe winter driving. Keep the gas tank at least half-full and have a winter emergency car kit in the trunk.
During a winter storm
• Minimize outdoor activities. Drive only if it is absolutely necessary. If you must drive, utilize MEMA’s winter driving safety tips.
• Dress for the season to protect against the elements. Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
• Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
After a winter storm
• Continue to monitor media for emergency information.
• Follow instructions from public safety officials.
• Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies, including downed power lines and gas leaks.
• Check with your local authorities or call 2-1-1 to find locations of warming centers or shelters near you or for other storm-related questions.
• In the event of power outages during cold weather, you may need to go to a warming center or emergency shelter to stay warm. Report power outages to your utility company.
• Stay away from downed utility wires. Always assume a downed power line is live.
• Stay off streets and roads until they are clear of snow.
• Use caution and take frequent breaks when shoveling snow to prevent overexertion. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter.
• Clear exhaust vents from direct vent gas furnace systems to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working as it is a silent, odorless, killer.
• Clear snow from around vehicle exhaust pipes before starting the vehicle to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Make sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated because their fumes contain carbon monoxide.
• Dig out fire hydrants and storm drains in your neighborhood.
• Check your roof and clear accumulated snow to avoid roof collapses.
• Don’t park too close to corners so public safety vehicles and plows can maneuver safely.
• Be aware of children playing in the streets, particularly climbing on or running out from behind large snowdrifts. • Parents should remind their children to be aware of plowing operations and traffic.
• Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions and those who may need additional assistance. ∆
Police have drug disposal bags
The Carlisle Police now have drug disposal bags. Residents who want to dispose of bags but don’t want to use the station’s disposal container are welcome to pick up a bag or have one delivered to them. Pills are placed in the bag and water is added, which mixes with a chemical inside the lining of the bag, rendering the pills unusable. Chief of Police John Fisher said that residents are still able to deposit pills and sharps at the Police Station.
New emergency services available submitted by Chief John Fisher
The Carlisle Police Department is pleased to offer a new service to Carlisle residents. We added two new forms to our website that will provide contact information in case of emergency, titled ICE Forms on our website.
The first ICE form allows Carlisle parents or guardians to designate adults that may be contacted in the event they are unavailable to get home to their children. The “need” for this type of contact information was the idea of a Carlisle parent when they read an article about a mother (not from Carlisle) involved in a car crash on her way home from work. The mother was unconscious as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision, her children were elementary school aged and did not know where they could go or whom to call when the police arrived at their home. While the need for this information may not involve a case as dire as the one noted, there may be a variety of reasons a Carlisle parent or guardian may want the police to know who is authorized to be with or pick up their children in the event of an emergency. The information will be stored at the police department and only used in the event of an emergency.
The second ICE Form is for any adult who wants to leave similar directives. The form collects the adult’s information and then provides the space to list the cell, work and home contact information for other adults that the resident would like contacted in the event of an emergency when they are not able to provide it to the police. There have been recent cases where the Carlisle Police had no contact person for a Carlisle resident who became incapacitated at home.
Residents are encouraged to look at the forms by going to the town’s website at www.carlislema.gov, choosing the Police tab under Public Safety, finding the Downloadable Forms tab, and then looking at the ICE forms. If interested, fill in the desired form (both forms are in fillable format) and email, mail or drop off the forms.
Be a Mosquito friend
Like what you’ve seen in The Mosquito? We could use your help. We are a non-profit paper and every contribution, no matter the size, helps. So please consider a donation to The Carlisle Mosquito Fund, 662A Bedford Road, Carlisle or online at www.carlislemosquito.org.
Garden Club welcomes new members
The Carlisle Garden Club is welcoming new members. The Garden Club is a nonprofit organization dedicated to gardening education, town beautification and supporting the Debbie Wright Scholarship. Each month features a speaker on a subject of horticultural interest and other opportunities to learn, contribute and have fun. Group projects include a bi-annual plant sale and garden tour, Pumpkins on the Common, maintenance of the rotary, and decorating wreaths with senior citizens. All are welcome, novice gardeners as well as experts. Visit the website at www.carlislegardenclub.org or contact Elizabeth Acquaviva or Peg Gladstone for more information.
School meal applications available
The Carlisle Public School Food Service offers healthy meals every school day. Free and reduced price meal benefits are available to qualifying families. For a free and reduced application, you may visit the school website at http://www.carlisle.k12.ma.us/Page/463 or call Sue Robichaud at 1-978-402-8666. You may also pick up a copy at the school kitchen. You may apply for free and reduced meals anytime during the school year.