The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 18, 2000

Carlisle may lose 'home rule' on wireless

To the Editor:

Wireless telecommunications companies are pushing through a bill on Beacon Hill that would override towns' zoning bylaws and effectively kill home rule. In the interest of a "more efficient and uniform process" for siting wireless facilities across the state, this bill would eviscerate Carlisle's hard-won wireless zoning bylaw.

To protect residents' property values, Carlisle's bylaws deliberately prohibit backyard wireless facilities and establish a rigorous permit-granting process. But the proposed bill would allow telecoms to install wireless facilities (or ancillary equipment) on, in and around any existing building in any residential or historic district. The added facilities would only have to meet state building codesjust like adding a new kitchen! Gone would be comprehensive site plan review. Gone would be the requirements for abutter notification and a public hearing.

We thought that the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 was intrusive enoughalthough ironically it does validate towns' rights to apply zoning laws to wireless facility siting. But look out now! This new state bill is a salient example of how government, in consort with industry, is eroding our freedoms.

It's urgent that Carlisleans take action to protect their town. Tell your legislators on Beacon Hill to reject "efficiency and uniformity" and to preserve home rule on wireless facility siting. Write to Sen. Michael W. Morrissey and Rep. Daniel Bosley, Government Regulations Committee, State House, Boston, MA 02133, and send copies to our legislators, Rep. Carol Cleven and Sen. Susan Fargo. If you prefer, call me for their e-mail addresses (369-3006).

Paul Gill, Chair
Wireless Communications Advisory Committee

Is time right for footpaths?

To the Editor:

Footpaths for Carlisle?. . .Please!

Don't we have enough places for our money now? From where is the money to come for these footpaths? Budgetary overruns have become a yearly routine for community services that are needed. Now we have a committee studying the need for footpaths that would serve a minority percentage of the community. I do not want my tax dollars used for that sort of thing.

Many, if not most of us, moved to and live in Carlisle for the rural nature of the community. For those that resent using the phone, or going on-line to satisfy their "need" for spontaneous meetings and conversations with their neighbors, while on evening strolls or to the ice cream stand, I would suggest moving to Bedford where the houses are close, and sidewalks abound even to the Bedford Farms ice cream stand.

Let's use our tax dollars wisely for community services like teacher, police and fire salaries or keeping the Carlisle library open longer, not to satisfy the needs of a few.

Ward F. Welch
West Street

Thank you to Carlisle Band supporters

To the Editor:

On behalf of the seventy-two members of the Carlisle Schools' Senior Band, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Carlisle community, band members and their parents for their support during our fourth annual citrus fruit fundraising drive. Three areas are being targeted for the profits raised from this year's sale: the purchase and installation of a sound recording system in the music room, the purchase of a baritone saxophone and need-based scholarships for students taking private music lessons through our After-School Music Program. Margie Zuk, the chairperson of the drive, and her committee of Joan Beauchamp, Tricia Reed and Mary Cheever, did a superb job of organizing students and parent helpers, double-checking forms, ordering the hundreds of boxes and bags of fresh fruit, and organizing the unloading of the tractor-trailer, as well as the delivery to all of our Carlisle neighbors. In addition, school administrators Andy Goyer, Eileen Riley, Davida Fox-Melanson and David Flannery were actively involved and supportive throughout, while staff members Susan Pray, Richard Price, Dan Flannery, Andy Dyment, Denise Casper and Beverly Woolard contributed much time and energy to the success of the project.

Thanks to all for a successful fund raising campaign.

Thomas O'Halloran
Director of Music
Carlisle Schools

Why Daisy died

To the Editor:

I was very upset to read Lorraine Hrasna's letter to the editor in the February 11 Mosquito, about her dog being struck and killed by a vehicle in the road in front of her housethe second dog Ms. Hrsana has lost in this manner recently.

I agree with her that speeding cars are a problem on many of the narrow rural roads in Carlisle. But the larger problem in this situation was irresponsible dog ownership. After Ms. Hrasna's first dog was struck and killed by a car, one would think she might have learned an important lessonnamely, that dogs should be outside only in a securely fenced yard, on a leash, or at the very least, with very good owner supervision. Daisy's life was cut short because she was outside, unconfined and unsupervised.

Name withheld upon request

Walkers need support

To the Editor:

On June 2, we will begin walking from Leominster to Boston as part of the Avon Breast Cancer Three Day walk. We will join 2,000 walkers and 500 support personnel who hope to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. We will walk 20 miles each day and camp at night.

In other parts of the country, these walks have raised millions of dollars to provide support for breast cancer survivors and research for a cure. This is the first walk in this area.

Each walker is now soliciting contributions and raising funds from family and friends as part of their individual commitment. We would like to connect with walkers and supporters in Carlisle and Concord to arrange informal training walks and provide mutual assistance. If you are walking, supporting, want to make a financial contribution or just interested in learning more, call us at 369-2018.

Donna M. Collette, walker #2323
David S. Robbins, walker #2324

Food collection a success

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Youth Commission (CYC) would like to thank all middle school families who generously donated non-perishable foods to The Open Table Food Pantry in Concord at this month's Friday Night Live food drive. We collected over 250 items, which the pantry will distribute to families in need in local communities. The Open Table greatly appreciates your efforts.

The CYC encourages interested middle schoolers to look for additional opportunities to provide service to their community.

Nancy Orlando
Carlisle Youth Commission

New bill may rescind town's choice

To the Editor:

There is a bill, "An Act Providing a More Efficient and Uniform Process for Implementing Municipal Authority over the Placement, Construction and Modification of Wireless Communications Facilities," currently before the state legislature that, if passed, would represent a serious encroachment on our freedom to make lawful decisions for ourselves about matters that are very local in nature. Not satisfied with the favorable climate for build-out of the wireless infrastructure established by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and concerned about towns like Carlisle that, within the limits of the Act, have established lawful, sensible, and fair criteria for the siting of wireless equipment, the telecommunications industry has applied considerable pressure in the crafting of a bill before the legislature now. If enacted, this bill would go much further than did Congress in removing all the remaining vestiges of local control over the siting of almost all wireless communications facilities, and would establish criteria that are more favorable to the industry than any local bylaw with which I am familiar. (As a former member of the committee that wrote the new Carlisle bylaw, I have read many such bylaws.)

If you are as concerned as I am that the will of a 2/3 majority of Town Meeting is about to be overridden by the legislature, and want more information, send me email at and I will be happy to send you a copy of the bill. I also urge you to contact the offices of Senator Susan Fargo at 617-722-1572 or and Representative Carol Cleven at 617-722-2692 or to express your opinion about this matter.

Don Allen
Pilgrim Path

Tell Governor to support recycling

To the Editor:

Now is the time to insure the future of recycling in Massachusetts. The new Ten Year Solid Waste Master Plan is being formulated by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) planners right now. And watching very closely are DEP Commissioner Lauren Liss, Environmental Affairs Secretary Robert Durand, and Governor Paul Cellucci. They need to hear that we believe in the importance of waste reduction and recycling.

Please contact Governor Cellucci and tell him that the new Ten Year Master Plan should pursue aggressive waste reduction and recycling activity in order to keep the current moratorium on new landfills and incinerators in place. Also needed is greater financial assistance to local communities to implement aggressive recycling programs. To contact Governor Cellucci, phone 617-727-6250, or fax 617-727-9725, or e-mail:; or send mail to State House, Room 360, Boston, MA 02133.

The state of Massachusetts has failed to meet its goal of a 46 percent recycling rate by the year 2000. This was the highly sought after target of the last Ten Year Solid Waste Plan of the 1990s. Massachusetts did achieve an increase in recycling rate from 10 percent in 1990 to 34 percent in 1999.

It's estimated that incinerators handled 45 percent and landfills received 21 percent in 1999. However, an important purpose behind the last ten year plan was reducing the usage of landfills. The concern has been the potential for leakage of toxins from landfills into the groundwater. The need for these landfills in the future can be reduced by an aggressive waste reduction and recycling program in the next decade.

Carlisle can save money by recycling more. In 1998 Carlisle had a significant "cost avoidance" by recycling. Carlisle saved money by being paid for our recyclables (glass, plastic, paper, etc.) or, if we had to pay a fee for a commodity, such as construction waste, it was less than the tipping fee at the incinerator. And no incinerator tipping fee was paid in either case (tipping fee is $/ton paid at the incinerator).

Carlisle has gone from a 13 percent recycling rate in 1990 to 43 percent at the end of 1999. Along with an enthusiastic citizenry, a major factor in this increase has been associated with the grants received from the state. To continue this progress, strong state support for waste reduction and recycling will be very important in the next decade.

Dave Comstock
Household Waste Committee

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito