Friday, April 30, 1999
Bank will not profit town
To the Editor:
A small but important point about the proposed bank on the former site of Saint Irene Church. Some people have assumed that a commercial building on that site will contribute more in taxes to the town than a residential property. That would be true if Carlisle had a differential tax rate for commercial property, but the town does not. From the point of view of tax revenues, there is no advantage to having a commercial activity on the site.
Save Wang-Coombs land
To the Editor:
I read with dismay the article in the NorthWest Weekly section of the April 11, 1999 Boston Globe regarding the possible development of the Wang cornfields.
My husband and I reside in Chelmsford near the cornfields and cranberry bogs. We are supporters of the generous residents of both Chelmsford and Carlisle for both keeping this area rural and providing an important habitat for wildlife.
We feel fortunate to be able to reside here. Our daily commute to Boston is through Great Brook Farm. Our runs and walks often take us through the cranberry bogs, onto Curve Street, and past the cornfields, This is a very special place.
Please, preserve the cornfields.
Support RecCom director request
To the Editor:
We were drawn to Carlisle for many reasons: the school system, our home, the rural flavor of Carlisle and the proximity to Boston. One additional reason was that Carlisle offered a variety of recreation services to residents.
Six months ago, I volunteered for a position on the recreation commission (RecCom). I was surprised to know the RecCom is a totally self-funded, volunteer organization. The RecCom annually serves approximately 1,800 children, adults and seniors. The RecCom designs, registers and ensures a variety of programs.
The RecCom coordinates recreational sports programs offered up through fifth grade. RecCom offers skiing, basketball, baseball, soccer and tennis. The RecCom offers early release programs, buys mats for the gym, wind barriers for the tennis courts and soccer goals. The RecCom provides summer jobs for teens and classes taught by residents. This is accomplished with minimal funding from the town. All programs are self-funded, organized, and administered by volunteers
Volunteers accomplish this. When you meet Carol Peters, Lorraine Stone, Mike Coscia, Bob Fidler, and Mark Spears on a field or on the street, thank them for making Carlisle a better place for all residents.
The RecCom drafted a warrant article for an additional $20,000 for a part-time recreation director. The request is based on market studies from similar townsLincoln, Sudbury, Boxborough and Concord have paid recreation positions. Our goal is to hire an individual who will run these programs and provide administrative support to our volunteer staff.
The selectmen chose to place the RecCom budget item requests in the third tier of the budget priorities for town funding. This means that the selectmen and finance committee do not think this service is a high priority for the town. I find this hard to understand because all other requests for administrative aid were given higher priority.
The recreation department is an asset to Carlisle. Please support the RecCom on May 4 and on May 18.
Support open-space neighborhood bylaw
To the Editor:
I encourage everyone to support the proposed "open-space neighborhood" (OSN) bylaw at the upcoming Town Meeting. It will provide landowners that wish to develop their residential property with an alternative that will be less intrusive to sensitive land/water features. Keep in mind that landowners will lose no current options for development; if they choose to develop their property under the current bylaws, they may do so. Further, this option requires a special permitfive positive votes from the seven-member planning board. If the planning board determines that the OSN alternative is more detrimental to the environment than a standard development of the site, then they can deny the OSN; the landowner could then proceed under the normal subdivision process.
The key aspect of the proposal is that it is "density neutral." That is, if a parcel could accommodate five lots as a conventional subdivision it would not be allowed any more than five with an OSN. While the individual lots could be smaller (down to one acre) the overall number of homes in the neighborhood would be limited to the number that could be developed under existing bylaws for normal subdivisions. Restrictions on the remaining open land will prohibit further development of the parcel. And none of the smaller-sized lots could have frontage along existing town roadways.
There are many details of the bylaw that cannot be explained quickly; these will be covered at Town Meeting. I urge everyone to come to Town Meeting, listen to the presentation, and then vote to support this change to provide an alternative to development that preserves open space.
Planning board member
Don't change Bedford Road zoning
To the Editor:
While she is entitled to her opinion, we find the letter from Ms. Coursey, in which she wholeheartedly supports building a bank on Bedford Road, rather shortsighted. She extols the convenience of being able to walk around, have a coffee at Daisy's, drop off her library books, check the post office, and do some banking. She ignores the fact that a weekend's errands are likely to include as well a trip to the supermarket, the gas station, the barber or hairdresser, the hardware store, the lumber yard, and a dozen other places outside Carlisle. Adding a visit to the bank is hardly a hardship.
Limited commercial activity is one of the things that makes Carlisle the attractive town that it is. Our bylaws were established with an eye to keeping the town attractive. The former site of Saint Irene Church has always been residential. Changing the bylaws to accommodate a bank will mean that all homeowners in District A can sell their property to a bank in the future. This also means that any resident of District A may find himself or herself with a bank next door or across the street. Living in District B, Ms. Coursey apparently feels herself adequately insulated from such a development, but she is supporting an undertaking that will diminish the charm of Carlisle that all of us prize.
The lot is zoned residential. The bank will be commercial and, because of its ATM, will be active 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For security, it will be brightly lit. It is totally out of keeping with a residential neighborhood. The lot has been zoned residential since the time the zoning laws were created. It should stay that way.
Joe and Anna Donovan
Shape Carlisle's future now
To the Editor:
I am writing to encourage everyone to attend the May 4th Town Meeting and of course to vote on May 18th.
As usual there are many important decisions being made this year that will affect Carlisle's future. I will address only two. First, we must begin to manage the growth of this town now by conserving the Wang-Coombs Land. The possibility that those fields would be lost forever to some fifteen houses, all with raised foundations and mounded septic systems due to the high water table, is depressing at best. Conserving the open space now saves money later when you account for our already over crowded classrooms, road repairs and strained town services. The town is growing too fast to support itself without consistently raising taxes, making it difficult for many. But, it will cost us more if we don't control the inevitable growth we face now.
Second, the school is depending on your support of its requested override to remain as good as it gets. They are under tremendous strain to remain so good. The campus needs numerous overdue repairs. The classrooms are becoming overcrowded. My daughter will enter kindergarten in the fall with a class size rumored to be approximately 25 students. That's city size. Why we can't even get a real working septic system in placepaying some $900 a month for pumpingthe townsfolk should be screaming "enough."
The remaining override requests and Warrant articles facing us this time are equally important. So I urge you all to get out and support the Carlisle you want to see tomorrow and in 5 to 10 years. We have a long way to go before the reshaping of Carlisle is done.
Preserve our open space
To the Editor:
I want to tell you about some cornfields on Curve Street that are to be "developed." Twenty years ago, I moved to Carlisle during another housing boom when woodlands and open meadows sprouted with large homes. Back then the town seemed to have an abundance of land, with lots to spare. For many years, forward thinking residents have made sure to conserve various tracts of land so that we could still feel a part of the rural community we called home.
Today, once again, large parcels of wooded and meadowed wildness are being lost forever to "development." Our cornfields on Curve Street are next to go. It saddens me that we may lose yet more acres. On a chilly afternoon early this spring, I walked the perimeter of the field near my house. Looking up into the branches of a bare, dead tree, I spotted five small puffed up birds as blue as the sky. Only in recent years have the bluebirds returned to build their nests in the habitat they love-the edges of fields and meadows.
From fall until spring when the field is tilled, flocks of Canada geese fly in, stopping to graze. Some are migrants, but most are residents who find safety and nourishment here every year. If you drive down Curve Street at dusk, you are likely to see a small herd of deer step gingerly out of the thicket across the road and head towards the cornfield to nibble at the new spring grasses or glean the leftover corn kernels in the fall. Or if you should drive by at night and shine the lights of
your car into the field, you'll see a dozen pairs of eyes shining back at you like stars.
For more years than I've lived on this street, the cornfields have been tilled by local farmers. One year, cabbage, not corn, was planted. Come the end of summer when the cabbage was harvested, someone must have complained about the pungent aroma arising from left-over heads of rotting cabbage. Since then, it's been com-human corn ripened for occasional neighborly pilfering on a late summer's eve; then cow corn, way too tough for human consumption. The fartner has shared the fields with all the neighborhood wildlife. It's been a peaceful balance.
To those of you who don't live in my neighborhood and may not care too much about the cornfields on Curve Street, I urge you to please come to your Town Meeting on Tuesday May 4 and vote to keep the cornfields as they are. The woodlands and meadows and pastureland where you live may well be next to be developed. We need a community to preserve our open wild spaces.
Support Article 30
To the Editor:
We are writing to request the town's support for Warrant Article 30 allowing the conservation committee to enter into a lease-in-kind agreement for the Greenough house, barn and adjacent agricultural fields. The buildings are located off Maple Street on conservation land abutting Billerica and the O'Rourke parcel recently acquired by Fish and Wildlife. The land is full of trails through fields, woods and wetlands, and includes the scenic pond next to where the barn is situated.
After the death of John Windhol, the caretaker for the Greenoughs' original estate, who had maintained the house and barn for the town under a "life estate" agreement, we debated the merits of restoring the house or demolishing it. We feel strongly that the costs associated with tearing down the house will exceed the estimated $21,000 for the actual demolition, in that the Greenough barn and surrounding land would likely be subject to vandalism due to its remote location. An in-kind lease for the house and barn would provide an on-site tenant who could maintain the property's buildings, trails and the water level of the pond, as well as discourage vandalism and hunting.
Due to lead and asbestos present in the house/barn, we currently do not have the option of leasing the property for rent. We hope that by the end of the lease-in-kind (5 years and a possible 5-year extension), the property could generate rent. Leasing only the barn would free the town of the lead and asbestos issues, but would not provide an on-site tenant and would require the expenditure of approximately $21,000 to demolish the house to avoid the liability issues of an unoccupied building.
Therefore, we ask you to support this article at Town Meeting.
The Greenough subcommittee
Senior Safari needs help
To the Editor:
To ensure their fun and safety on graduation night, seniors at CCHS are invited to an all-night substance-free graduation party. We support this effort to create a safe environment for our children to celebrate this momentous occasion in their lives. Check-in time for the party is 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, so graduates will have a chance to spend time with their families after the ceremonies. This is the eighth year this party has been organized and supported by the CCHS community of parents, businesses, churches and synagogues.
The seniors are entertained from 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. with a DJ, comedians, hypnotists, magicians, sports, games, karaoke, a time capsule, caricature and temporary tattoo artists, and surprise events. A variety of refreshments will be offered all night, and pizzas, subs and fruit smoothies will be provided. Continental breakfast will be served just before the students leave. Seniors will take home many memories, including photos, souvenirs, signed yearbooks, and if they are lucky, the large cash door-prize.
Because many parents of seniors are busy entertaining family and friends, parents of underclass CCHS students and volunteers from the community are asked to help with the many tasks which must be done before, during, and after Senior Safari. Some of these tasks include: selling tickets, transport and set-up of the elaborate decorations, phone calls to coordinate chaperones, etc. Help is needed in shifts Friday through Sunday to assist long-time volunteer Scott Henderson with sound and light system set-up and breakdown. The committee also appreciates those who make financial contributions. We hope to continue this wonderful tradition each year. Please call Carol Smith at 369-6960 to volunteer even a small amount of time.
On behalf of the parents who are planning and organizing this party, we thank you for your support.
Elaine DiCicco, CCHS principal
and the Senior Safari Committee
To the Editor:
Over the next several weeks I will be getting together with a number of interested citizens to discuss their concerns and issues about the future of Carlisle. This is an excellent opportunity for people to learn more about me and for me to hear from you.
If you would like to attend one of the scheduled coffees, please call one of the hostsFriday, April 30: 7:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Jay and Carolynn Luby, 369-2510; Monday, May 10: 7:30- 9 p.m. Rob and Mary Marra, 371-7071.
This weekend I will be meeting with families who live in the town center. I am also trying to schedule a neighborhood coffee for the west side of town after Town Meeting.
Coffees and time at the transfer station are Carlisle's form of retail politics. Please take time to meet and talk with me. I look forward to talking with you. And remember the town election is on Tuesday, May 18.
Tot-Lot funding almost there
To the Editor:
Thanks to the many generous contributions of local businesses, townspeople and hard-working volunteers, Phase One of the Toddler Playground at Diment Park will be completed in June (see schedule below). We have raised enough money to install safety surfacing and play equipment, but we are still seeking funds for fencing, the gazebo and a maintenance fund. Due to the many requests the town had for funding this year, our request for $10,000 is in tier three of the override items on the town ballot and is unlikely to be approved. In addition, funding from our grant proposals will be minimal.
I encourage you all to vote for our funding request at Town Meeting. In addition I ask that anyone who is interested in making a donation, please send your checks to: Carlisle Recreation Trust, PO Box 261, Carlisle, MA 01741. Major donors of $250 or more will have their child's or family name engraved on a brass star for permanent display in the gazebo. Many Carlisle families contributed $100 to the project. If you would like to add to your contribution and become a major donor, simply send a check (with a note to combine the two contributions) to the above address.
We're all thrilled that this summer we will enjoy a new, safe play area for young children and their families. We hope you will join us in supporting the project in any way you can. Many thanks to those people who have already given their time, money and creativity to this exciting project!
chairperson, Tot-Lot committee
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito