The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 16, 1999

Wang-Coombs is worth saving

To the Editor:

If you live on Heald Road or Rutland Street, School Street or Autumn Lane, you may have questions about lending financial support to conserving some farm land on Curve Street. It is hard to justify paying for a vista that you do not routinely see and you probably have other things you'd rather spend money on.

But this is an important piece of land: actively farmed, a wildlife corridor, and a rare piece of undeveloped, open land. In the past few years, the drive towards putting large, expensive homes on the remainder of the town's available acres has been incredibly strong. The change in Carlisle over the past decades has been remarkable. Once the land in Carlisle is gone, it's gone. A Carlisle with a house on every available two-acre lot looks very different from a town peppered with open, farmed land and forest.

In the 1960 town property assessment, the 41 acres that are being considered for conservation on Curve Street were valued at less than one thousand dollars. By 1998, that price had jumped to about 2.5 million dollars. A remarkable statistic. Just to do a little comparison shopping, I called a real estate agent in Beverly Hills, CA. She said that they have not had quite as big a jump in land prices over the past 40 years, but it's similar.

This kind of demand for land in Carlisle and surrounding towns has made conservation an expensive proposition. Those communities that cling to some semblance of their rural, farming past will become the most desirable, increasing, in turn, the value of their land.

Your decision about the future of the land on Curve Street is an important one. In the end, I hope you will feel that the land is worth saving, It is a reminder of what Carlisle once was, of what many would like not to see disappear, and of what has already disappeared.

Barbara Miller
Fiske Street

How expensive is development?

To the Editor:

In September of 1995, Southern New England Forest Consortium, Inc. published The Cost of Community Services Southern New England. The study "evaluates the fiscal contributions of developed land versus forest, farm and open space land." Eleven towns in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were evaluated, including our neighbor, Westford. For every 1999 dollar raised from residential taxes, $1.14, on average, was spent on services to the residents. Farmland and open space however, used up only $.42 of a dollar. The leftover $.58 is left to make inroads on residential expenses: the study says growing towns use open space acquisitions "to balance the budget."

Costs have only increased since the Consortium report. Its conclusions are a reasonable assessment of the land cost issues in this area. Carlisle can't afford not to buy the Wang-Coombs cornfields on Curve Street.

Sarah S. Brophy
Curve Street

A plan for affordable housing

To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to explain some of the affordable housing issues facing the Town. For a number of reasons, it makes sense for Carlisle to sponsor an affordable housing development this year. Such a project could serve the 40 percent of the town employees earning less than $43,000 per year, or the 17.5 percent of current town residents who earn less than that amount. The $43,000 serves as a benchmark because it is 80 percent of the median income in the Boston area. A number of developers have also noticed the feasibility of comprehensive permit projects in Carlisle, and so, to a certain extent, we are in a position of either having the town build affordable housing or having a private developer do so as part of a larger subdivision.

The housing authority is proposing to build 6—12 units of housing, most likely on the Conant Land. We are asking for $30,000 at the May Town Meeting to do site, septic, business, and architectural planning. If all goes well, in the fall of 1999 we will ask for about five acres of land for housing. We expect that we can get construction and mortgage loans based on rental income.

During the project feasibility study (May— October 1999), we will decide whether to manage the units for rental, or sell them with a deed restriction on the future sales price. If a rental approach is decided upon, we will plan to hire a part-time executive director to do the property management work. In some of the neighboring towns the housing authority's executive director is a part-time employee, and that same individual may be available to us on a part-time basis.

Our intent is to build a modest project that is economically feasible. Concord, Lincoln, and Acton, among others, have successfully sponsored the development of attractive moderate income units.

If you have any further questions about this project, please get in touch with any member of the housing authority. Please consider the issues, and we would welcome a vote in favor of a $30,000 study for affordable housing at the May Town Meeting.

Martin Galligan
Dorothea Kress
Joe Antognoni
Hal Sauer
Carlisle Housing Authority

Wish list for a distant school

To the Editor:

Below is a wish list of items needed by the schools we help out in a low-income area of the Bahamas. If you have any used items on this list and can donate them, I will be happy to pick them up.

They need: cassette tape players with built-in speaker (run on electricity, not batteries only), electric or manual pencil sharpeners, dictionaries, copies of George Orwell's Animal Farm, and any children's books in good shape.

Please call me at 369-0839 if you can help.

Cynthia Sorn
Rutland Street

Do you know this dog?

To the Editor:

Last Saturday morning, April 10, our daughter was bitten by a dog, near the Spalding field. Unfortunately, the owner and dog left before we could determine if the dog was properly vaccinated. Since we had no information, our daughter had to begin the series of painful rabies shots. The good news is, if we can find the dog, we can stop the shots.

Please call us at 371-1101 if you can help.

David and Sarah Hart
Fifty Acre Way

Chest reaches goal

To the Editor:

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest has reached its fund-raising goal of $500,000 for the 1998-1999 annual campaign! We would like to thank all of the Concord and Carlisle residents and businesses who contributed and thus helped us reach our goal!

The current requests for funding for 32 programs from local agencies are over $100,000 higher than last year. Right now our allocations committee members are evaluating these requests and will make recommendations to the Community Chest board of directors in early May. These requests far exceed our goal of $500,000, which will make the allocations process extremely challenging.

Our fiscal year ends June 30, 1999, so if you have not contributed yet, your donation will be most welcome. Again, we thank the community for its support!

Laurie Diercks
Beth Holmes
Campaign Co-Chairs
Concord-Carlisle Community Chest

Grateful to Girl Scout leaders

To the Editor:

Girl Scout Leader's Day is Wednesday, April 21. I would like to thank all the Carlisle Girl Scout leaders that have taken time out of their busy schedules to run the Girl Scout troops in our town. The following poem by an anonymous author can't begin to say all the thank-yous I need to express for their help.

The Time You Have Spent

The Time you have spent as a volunteer,

Be it a lifetime or just a year.

Will have its effect on such far reaching ways,

It can never be measured in hours or days.

But we want to say thank you for doing your part,

For giving your hand and giving your heart.

Thanks for the smiles when you wanted to weep,

For the camping trips when you couldn't sleep,

For the car pools and nosebags and sit upons,

For lighting the way to the outdoor johns,

For running and phoning and meeting and waiting,

For hiking and swimming and roller-skating.

But thanks more than ever for the years yet to come,

When someone remembers the job that you've done.

And memories brighten a young woman's face,

In some other time and some other place.

(author unknown)

I thank you all for a job well done.

Linda Fabrizio
Town coordinator
Carlisle Girl Scouts

Wildflower garden thanks

To the Editor:

My hearty thanks go to all the eighth-grade students, Valerie Baier, and science teacher Jim Trierweiler who so vigorously and enthusiastically planted the experimental native wildflower area around the Conant Land septic field on March 23 and 26. I also thank the Carlisle Cultural Council for the grant which paid for this project and the Carlisle Board of Health which supported my proposal. Gary Davis and the DPW workers loaned tools and brought sand; Mark Duffy and George Tully of Dunstable, Mass. provided the used black plastic. Thank you all.

Bonnie Miskolczy
Cross Street

Trash party a clean sweep

To the Editor:

The 1999 edition of the Mosquito Trash Party was indeed a success as truckloads of "1998 trash" was expertly hand-picked, bagged, and hauled off to the transfer station.

Thanks to the hard-working and enthusiastic throng of volunteers, the town roadsides and off-road public areas shine once again. The entire community benefits from the efforts of a multitude of individual residents and groups, including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Cub Scouts, the Carlisle Council on Aging and Youth Commission.

Thanks go to Daisy's Market, Dunkin' Donuts, and Welch Foods for their contributions of coffee, donuts and juice, respectively, as well as the DPW for the use of all that great orange stuff placed at the town entrances and intersections alerting motorists of this annual event.

This year's winning entry for most unusual "find" was a leaf-encrusted container of three gallons of gasoline of unknown vintage retrieved by Cindy Walsh's fourth-grade Brownies, on the outskirts of Green Cemetery. This donation was graciously accepted by the hazardous waste collection staff with Linda Fantasia officiating.

Final thanks goes to the trash haulers, willing to foul their trucks with bulging, sometimes oozing bags of roadside refuse. Thank you David Ives, Alan Carpenito, Diane and Chris Geggis, Jonathan, Alissa (and Emily) Merz, and Henry Fredericks and Marian O'Leary. Nice job done by everyone!

Bob Orlando
Stephanie Hackbarth
Caren Ponty
Bob Rothenburg
Trash Party Coordinators

Eighth-grade class of 1979 reunion planned

To the Editor:

We are planning a 20th reunion for the class that graduated from the Carlisle eighth-grade in 1979. At this point we would like to gather contact information for our classmates, and choose a date for an outdoor, family gathering. We also welcome teachers who taught us in the elementary and junior high schools. Please pass our note along, and be sure to reply; we hope to hear from lots of people. Molly: 371-2217, or Heather: 371-0822, heather

Molly Emmons Sorrows
285 Acton Street
Heather Behn Hedden
98 East Riding Drive

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito