The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 7, 2000


1999 in review: a year of ups and downs


Reported in the first issue of the year, Robert Accetta, 45, of Rutland Street was arrested on December 17 for the forcible rape of a 14-year-old Lowell boy he met over the Internet. Accetta pled guilty and was sentenced in November.

About $2,000 worth of cigarettes and $95 was stolen from Daisy's Market in the early morning of December 31.

Ledge made blasting necessary for construction of new ballfields on the Banta-Davis Land. The project was still within the $577,000 budget approved at Town Meeting, according to the clerk of the works.

The Congregational Church reveals its plans to add a sanctuary to the 30-year-old School Street facility.

On January 17, numerous items were stolen from a house on Baldwin Road. In February, some of the valuables were recovered in a Lowell pawn shop and a Lowell woman was arrested for possession of stolen property.

Police charged three former eighth-grade students with the June '98 vandalism at the Carlisle School; it cost $6,400 to clean up the spray painting.

Two Concord-Carlisle High School teachers, Wilson Flight and Elliot Lilien, decided to fight the state recertification process, putting their jobs in jeopardy. In June, they filed a suit against the state. In July, they agreed to get recertified and return as teachers.

The Gleason Library building committee revealed that costs for the proposed expansion would cost $2.7 million400,000 more than previous estimates.

The selectmen sought proposals for the placement of wireless communications facilities on town land.


Selectmen hired a new town counsel, the Boston law firm of Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRenesis Holland & Drachman.

More soil and groundwater contamination was found at the department of public works site off Lowell Road where underground fuel tanks had been removed. Clean-up work began and continued into the next year with estimated costs of $170,000.

The municipal land committee proposed giving town officials serial bonding authority for approximately $10 million for land acquisition. This amount was later decreased and then eliminated to bolster support for the Wang-Coombs land purchase.

The housing authority suggested building affordable housing units on the Conant Land.


Town boards were doubtful about North Middlesex Bank's proposed facility at the former Saint Irene Church site on Bedford Road.

Concord-Carlisle High School students delighted audiences with their production of Guys and Dolls.

The first cell tower application was submitted by Nextel Communications of Mid-Atlantic, Inc. to build a facility at 1 River Road, a commercially-zoned property owned by Renfroe Realty Trust.

Difficulties in preparing the FY00 budget become apparent at a selectmen's meeting. Problems continued through Spring Town Meeting and into the next fiscal year.

Two bylaw amendments which would have provided incentives to build affordable housing were dropped from the Warrant.

A settlement was reached for payment of the $3.5 million retrofit at the North East Solid Waste Committee's plant in North Andover. Carlisle's share of the costs was $162,000.

Town purchase of the White property, adjacent to the library and appraised at $340,000, was dropped from the Warrant.

A citizen petition placed a six-month moratorium on construction of wireless communication facilities on the Warrant.

Dr. John Silber, chancellor of Boston Univeristy and former chair of the Massachusetts Board of Education, was the guest speaker at the fifth annual Carlisle Education Forum.

For the twelfth consecutive year, the Carlisle Middle School Senior Band, directed by Tom O'Halloran, won a gold medal at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association Concert Festival.

The seventh-grade students pre-sented the musical Robin Hood.


In less than one hour, the Special Town Meeting appropriated $2,768,455 for the Gleason Library renovation project; to meet this appropriation, $919,388 was to be provided by a Massachusetts Public Library Construction Grant, $360,000 was to come from a gift to the town and the town was to borrow $1,489,067. At the April 13 special election, voters approved the Proposition 2 1/2 override to bond the construction.

The FinCom stunned residents , by voting not to recommend the Wang-Coombs land purchase or authorization of the $5 million serial bond for municipal land acquisition, due to concerns about the tax impact. Two days later, the group reversed its position on the Wang-Coombs purchase and the selectmen cut the serial bonding proposal from the Warrant.

The town received a $1,784,217 check from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for purchase of the O'Rourke Farm, concluding the two-year effort to preserve the parcel.

The conservation commission drafted a Warrant article allowing lease of the farmstead on the 242-acre Greenough conservation land.

Repair of the Carlisle School septic system remained buried in legal suits filed by Phyllis and Timothy Landers whose land abuts the proposed site of the new system on the Banta-Davis Land.

The pre-school at the Carlisle School, which served 15 students, five of whom have special needs, was deemed successful in its first year.

Two Bedford youths broke high school windows with BB shots.


In a three-night Town Meeting, voters approved the $2,150,000 purchase of the Wang-Coombs property off Curve Street, a $304,000 pumper truck, $153,700 for school heating units, $100,000 for conservations funds, and $374,362 for an operating budget override. Also, $30,000 was approved for the planning of affordable housing on the Conant Land; most of the bylaw amendments were voted down, including the open space neighborhood and North Middlesex Bank's proposal for a facility on Bedford Road; and the cell tower moratorium was approved.

The board of appeals denied the cell tower for 1 River Road, citing the two underground oil tanks in violation of town bylaws.

The choral director at CCHS was fired due to an inappropriate relationship with an 18-year-old female student.

At the town election, all Proposition 2 1/2 ballot questions were approved for a total of $3,082,062. This included the funding for the Wang-Coombs land, all three levels of the operating budget override, a pumper truck, school repairs, and the conservation fund. John Ballantine and Vivian Chaput were re-elected to the board of selectmen; Cynthia Nock was re-elected and Harry Crowther replaced Peter Cole on the school committee; Louise Hara and write-in candidate Thomas Lane replaced Tara Hengeveld and John LaLiberte on the planning board.

Former town administrator Paul Cohen addressed the annual meeting of Carlisle Communications, Inc.

Veteran, Austin Newman addressed the Memorial Day crowd.

Concerns were raised about civility among Carlisle School children; the dialogue continuing into the next school year.

Long-time CCHS French teacher Karen Nerpouni was named assistant superintendent.

Selectmen approved Garden Club plans to beautify the rotary.


Thirty-five headstones were vandalized in Green Cemetery. Similar vandalism occurred in Bedford and Concord. The vandals were never apprehended.

When two oil tanks were removed from 1 River Road, one was found leaking.

Some selectmen and FinCom members rehashed the Town Meeting fiasco.

Social studies teacher Dr. Elliot Lilien gave the CCHS commencement address.

A punctured gas main caused havoc during rush-hour traffic and the evacuation of several homes.

The planning board approved three subdivision plans: Wheeler Lane in Tall Pines, Deer Creek Estates off Nickles Lane and Hart Farm Estates off Curve Street.

The U. S. Department of Educa-tion's Office of Civil Rights confirmed that a complaint was filed against the Carlisle Public School on April 28 alleging that the "district failed to take appropriate action when sexual harassment was reported and there was a retaliation issue." The school district denied the allegations.

Nextel Communications challenged the town's six-month moratorium on cell towers, but lost.

Superintendent Davida Fox-Melanson was the speaker at the eighth-grade graduation.


Detective Inspector, Nancy Iosue, who had been with the police department since 1976, retired.

Secretary to the board of selectmen, Natalie Ives, retired after serving the town for 11 years.

At Old Home Day, Ken and Marilyn Harte were named outstanding citizens and Greg Peterson received the conservationist award.

There were two confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Carlisle; additional cases were reported later.

Because residents Roberta and Steve Spang acted quickly, the fire department successfully battled a three-alarm electrical fire, saving selectman Doug Stevenson's home.


Resident Jan Deyoe was hired as Carlisle's first recreation director.

The recreation commission considered legal recourse against the contractor of the Banta-Davis fields alleging changes were made in the quality and scope of the work without first complying with the change order process. Ultimately, the contractor performed additional work and matters were settled out of court.

Town administrator, David DeManche, reduced his hours to part-time through November. Massport's approval of Shuttle America's plan to operate a commuter airline at Hanscom Field prompted the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission to join legal action against Massport.


Great Brook State Park celebrated its 25th anniversary.

New Concord Schools and Concord-Carlisle High School Super-intendent, Ed Mavragis, took over the reins from Interim Superintendent, Eugene Thayer.

Terry Farwell began as Carlisle School's first assistant principal.

A new trust fund was approved to make Carlisle a more walkable community. The concept of mandating contributions in lieu of sidewalks on all developments met with some resistance from the planning board.

As the Carlisle Housing Authority proceeded with plans for Conant Land, opposition, primarily from abutters, became more vocal.

Middlesex Savings Bank accepted the town's offer of $245,000 for the old Saint Irene Church property on Bedford Road. The sale eventually did not proceed because the November Town Meeting did not support the purchase.

Resident Walter Flannery claimed that an old cart path is a public way with access to his 13 acres off Baldwin Road. His contention stirred a neighborhood dispute and involved the ConsCom as well as the police. The matter has not been resolved.

FinCom grappled with a budget shortfall due, in part, because a free cash transfer was intended but not made, in the spring.

A front-page story pointed out that there are a growing number of coyotes in Carlisle.

The school committee adopted a revised sexual harassment policy.


Renovations began on the 92-year-old Wilson Chapel at the Green Cemetery.

The Carlisle Extended Day Program announced it had purchased the home and office of pediatrician Dr. Ron Schneebaum of East Street.

Petitioners placed on the Warrant for Special Town Meeting a proposed building restriction on the Conant Land, to block proposed affordable housing there.

Fundraisers asked the regional school committee to confirm a site for the proposed community pool.

The Carlisle Education Foundation hosted the two-day Pig 'n Pepper fundraiser at Kimball Farm in Westford, raising about $60,000 for Carlisle and Westford schools.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Representative Marty Meehan addressed a crowd at a celebration commemorating the official transfer of O'Rourke Farm from the town of Carlisle to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


At the Special Town Meeting, voters said no to a petition which would have prohibited affordable housing on the Conant Land, no to the town purchase of the former Saint Irene property on Bedford Road, yes to a transfer of free cash to balance the FY00 budget, and yes to the new cell tower bylaw. Since voters did not approve the Saint Irene purchase, the special election was canceled.

A resident's repairs to a dam on Baldwin Road provoked the ire of a conservation commissioner. Later, a fine was levied against the resident.

The Carlisle Citizens Y2K Group continued to disperse information and encourage neighborhood preparedness in the face of possible problems at New Year's.

Rutland Street resident Robert Accetta, age 46, began serving a sentence for raping a 14-year-old Lowell boy he met in an Internet chat room.

In regards to the complaint filed in May, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights found no evidence of retaliation by the Carlisle School against a teacher. Also, complainants John and Marion Alberico sent a letter to the Mosquito saying they had dropped the harassment charges which had been transferred to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Developer Bill Costello's complex deal emerged, involving a plan to create a potentially valuable lot for the town off East Riding Drive in exchange for permission to build on two lots in the Pine Meadows subdivision.

The final closing occurred on the Wang-Coombs land. In total, the town acquired 35.7 acres of agricultural land at the corner of Curve and Fiske Streets. There will be three lots on the remaining 8.5 acres.


The selectmen put out the welcome mat for cell tower proposals on town land.

Letters to the editor alleged previous complaints against the teacher involved in the sexual harassment case.

Town administrator David DeManche announced his resignation but agreed to work part-time while the town searched for a replacement.

Emotions erupted, tempers flared and tears fell at a school committee meeting when parents and former students expressed frustration over the school's handling of the sexual harassment complaints.


2000 The Carlisle Mosquito