The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 18, 1999

Parents can't do it alone

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to Marilyn Harte's recent editorial. She asks a number of questions: "What is it that our kids are failing to learn from parents and other significant adults in their lives when they show a lack of respect for authority figures and exhibit harassing behavior towards their classmates?" and "Why haven't children been taught in their homes the moral values of a decent, honorable, ethical, and principled society?" Buried in these questions is the suggestion that, if parents were doing their job, the school would not have to teach respect and civility.

I am for values and courtesy and a higher level of respect in the Carlisle Schools; however, the school must also work to make a respectful and civil community.

Children are learning; they learn from their parents but they also learn from their peers and their teachers. "Joey, it is not polite to spit in public." "Susie, don't hit your brother." A parent might make all these corrections and more in the course of a day. When the child goes to school, the situation changes. The parent is not present, does not see the objectionable behavior, and in fact may never know about a number of small acts of incivility. The parent must rely on the school to help the child understand the requirements of living with other people. I, as a parent, want the school to be a partner in our joint effort.

There are children, even in Carlisle, whose parents are not in a position to teach values. The parents may suffer from alcoholism, have been abused as children themselves, or for whatever reason not be able to meaningfully parent. In Lost Boys, James Garbarino writes that boys whose parents are seriously troubled are at the greatest risk of becoming violent. These boys need social support from persons outside the family, like teachers and schools, to help them develop the core values of the community.

Blaming either the school or the parents will not help the school to become more civilized. We, the adults of this community, have the ability and the responsibility to create a school that requires basic respect and civility for all.

Sara Rolley
Litchfield Drive

Selectmen oppose Chapter 90 cuts

To the Editor:

Carlisle, like all Massachusetts cities and towns, relies on aid from the state in order to undertake the important construction projects that keep local roads and bridges safe.

This year, however, Governor Cellucci has proposed cutting the local road and bridge program (known as Chapter 90) by 33 percent, at a time when the state is rolling in revenue surpluses. This is a bad idea. Without the customary level of aid, cities and towns will have to cancel important projects that will directly affect the safety of citizens and visitors. Over the past several years these funds have been used for the resurfacing of Acton and Concord Streets and River Road, the DPW storage/COA van garage, the above-ground fuel storage facility at the DPW and the town center sidewalk project currently under construction.

Local governments use the state aid, which is generated by the state's gas tax, for road reconstruction and resurfacing, road design, bridge construction and repairs and, to some extent, the purchase of equipment used to maintain the local infrastructure. These projects often include safety enhancements, such as traffic lights and sidewalks, and they are essential to economic development, which keeps local economies healthy.

The cost of many of these projects is far too high for local budgets to absorb alone. Cities and towns need an adequate and stable source of financial assistance.

In defense of slashing the Chapter 90 program, the state transportation agency has stated that cities and towns have huge road fund balances that they're not even spending. But a recent survey of cities and towns conducted by the Massachusetts Municipal Association found that the fund balances are about one-quarter of what state bureaucrats claim, and that in

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almost all cases, this money is prudently being accumulated in order to accomplish the largest and most costly projects.

In addition to cutting road aid, the governor's proposal would implement restrictions that would make it virtually impossible for local communities to use their own discretion in determining and adequately addressing local road priorities.

Carlisle and the Massachusetts Municipal Association are asking the state Legislature to restore the Chapter 90 program to last year's level—a level that has not increased for five years. We ask this newspaper and its readers to contact Senator Susan Fargo at (617) 722-1572 and Representative Carol Cleven at (617) 722-2692 in support of this essential program.

The Carlisle Board of Selectmen

Cakes for the Cake Walk

To the Editor:

In response to last year's upsurge in interest in the Cake Walk at the Old Home Day barbecue, three new flower-covered arches will join last year's two. You can win your neighbor's cake, lickity split. Wouldn't it be awful if there were not enough cakes?

The Cake Walk is really more like a cake swap. Drop off your cake at the fire station between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Old Home Day. During the barbecue, buy your ticket and join the parade through the arches. When the music stops, those under the now-five arches get to select a cake.

Feeling a little pride in your cake creation? Enter it in the cake-decorating contest at Union Hall. It will be transported to the fire station after the contest. Call Donna Cantrill at 369-4388 with any questions.

Lisa Duffy
North Road

Thanks from the Garden Club

To the Editor:

I want to thank the many guests from Carlisle, and out of town, the Mosquito staff, the Grasshopper Shop of Concord and Daisy's Market for their support of the Carlisle Garden Club "Country Gardens Tour." The many gardeners who open their homes make their commitment to this success nine months before the tour. Often after an invitation to participate, they take their gardens to new heights of beauty... adding, subtracting and rearranging the placement of many perennials and shrubs. The weeks immediately before the tour these gardeners are weeding, their families are weeding, friends and assorted pets are looked upon with an eye to their weeding capabilities. Thank you Pam and Greg Bruell, Jan Sacks and Martin Shaefer, Marie-Louise and John Petrie, Jane and Ralph Anderson, Sue and Pliny Jewell, Jane and Preston Holleman, Ann Przyjemski, Alison and Mike Saylor, and the Holsingers, Ron Terry and Suzy; all of you have made our tour outstanding.

An undertaking like this takes an enormous amount of work on the part of the members of our club also and they too deserve a thank you. All of you have guaranteed the continued support by the Carlisle Garden Club to the beautification of this town and other charitable activities.

Joan Parker
Tour Chairman 1999

1999 The Carlisle Mosquito