The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 14, 2000

Walk facing traffic

To the Editor:

The advent of spring weather presently encourages people to get out and walk and jog along the Carlisle roads. Because of the numbers of such people I have observed moving along with their backs to traffic, I would like to remind everyone that the Motor Vehicle Laws governing our thoroughfares stipulate that all pedestrians (walkers, joggers, runners) should proceed on the left side of the road so as to face oncoming traffic. Cyclists should proceed on the right side of the road so as to be travelling with vehicular traffic.

It is far safer for pedestrians to see the vehicles (and bicycles) that will pass close to them and this certainly provides both drivers and cyclists with some confidence that the pedestrians are aware of their presence.

Any pedestrians harboring definite death wishes may ignore this advertisement!

Howard Knuttgen
Stearns Street

How to raise responsible children

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Carlisle School Committee, I invite all members of the Carlisle community to attend the sixth annual Carlisle Education Forum on Saturday, April 29. This year's featured speaker is Michael Thompson, Ph.D. Dr. Thompson is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller Raising Cain, Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine Books, NY 1999).

Dr. Thompson, whose book highlights differences between boys and girls and the way we raise them, will speak about raising responsible children. What expectations should we have for our children? How should we treat them? How can we guide them toward the path of caring adulthood?

The Carlisle Schools have a rich history of academic success. Our students score well on tests and shine in other measures of school performance. But we want our children not only to be smart; we want them to be good, civic-minded human beings. Dr. Thompson will help engage us in a thoughtful conversation about how we can get the children we want.

The purpose of the Carlisle Education Forum is to provide an opportunity for townspeople to share their ideas on the future of education in the town. In past years we've heard about and discussed systems thinking, technology, new skills for today's workplace, and raising standards. This year's topic and speaker are particularly relevant for every parent in the community, as well as the school, as we consider, together, how to raise our children.

Dr. Thompson's speech will be followed by community discussion groups. Registration fliers have been sent to all Carlisle households. Pre-registration makes planning easier, but you can also register at the door. We hope you will join us Saturday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Corey Auditorium.

David Dockterman
Chair, Carlisle School Committee

There must be a better plan

To the Editor:

Here is my view on the pros and cons of affordable housing on the Conant Land. The biggest benefit is the housing itself and the people who will live there. We are in dire need of economic diversity in the type of new housing being built in Carlisle. A second benefit, and one that seems to be driving the debate, is the prevention of hostile comprehensive permit projects by developers. To me, this is a red herring. The project may buy some good will with the state for a year or two, but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will prevent a comprehensive permit. Four or five affordable units is still pitifully small compared to the 200 or so ultimately needed to meet the state's ten percent requirement. No path has been identified for the town to ever reach this goal, and not for lack of trying.

For me, the biggest negative is the loss of Carlisle's most special place, the Castle Rock area. My first impression of Castle Rock, as I climbed to the top and looked down on the valley where housing is proposed, was "Wow!" Everyone I've brought to this spot is affected in the same visceral way. It is a primeval spot, a wonder of nature. This may be hard for adults who have not been there to understand. But ask your children. They have been there on school field trips, sitting atop Castle Rock and sketching nature. Ask them if houses should be built in front of Castle Rock. Although Castle Rock itself will not be demolished by the housing project, the sense of place will be. The geography of the site makes it impossible to visually screen out the housing development. The second big issue is water quality. Residents of the Center rightly worry that more development may compound their serious water problems. But I worry about the residents of the new housing. Should we risk exposing seven more families to water contaminated with MTBE? Will the town have a moral, if not legal, obligation to create a public water supply when it happens? What then happens to the justification for our zoning?

On balance, this project is not in the best long-term interest of the town. We need to find a better plan to provide affordable housing.

Steve Tobin
Partridge Lane

The rumors of the GOP's demise premature

To the Editor:

If my recent experience at my first State Republican Committee meeting is any indictor of the future for the GOP in Massachusetts, we are far from dead. In fact, I was very proud of the conduct of the members and impressed at the dedication of the members to bring the party to the forefront of politics in Massachusetts. However, it will take more than the 80 members of the committee to accomplish this.

There is a "knowledge" gap between the Republican Party and its constituents who are closet Republicansthe Independents, who are hesitant to register as Republicans for fear of being labelled conservative. Being a Republican does not mean that all we discuss is abortion, taxes, guns and the death penalty. We are also about education, health care, efficient government and infrastructure.

My generation grew up with Kennedy's assassination, Vietnam and race riots as standard fare on television and Woodstock, Kent State and the Pentagon Papers as typical news. We grew up fast, had families and a modicum of success. But there is a void in that we don't feel like our voices are being heard. Many of my generation and I believe that guns should be controlled, government has to be efficient, but not at the expense of those who need it most and that we were not put on this earth to end anybody's life. These opinions do not make us any less Republican.

We are never going to agree on party platforms 100 percent of the time. It does not mean that you shouldn't get involved. It is appropriate that I am writing this call for my generation to get involved in the membership of the Republican Party at a time of the anniversary of the "shot heard round the world." The Minutemen embodied volunteerism. Imagine if they didn't want to bother? Join with me in a new Republican Party in Massachusetts and keep competition alive and well. Get involved!

Michael J. Regan
Republican State Committeeman

Funds needed for student trip

To the Editor:

Carlisle's Destination Imagination (DI) eighth-grade team needs your help to raise $6,000 to attend the "Global Finals" next month in Ames, Iowa. The team is looking for private and corporate contributions. Tax deductible contributions should be made payable to the Town of Carlisle. They will be placed in the Destination Imagination fund that is managed by the Carlisle Public Schools. Any questions can be directed to me at 369-5356 or at Thank you.

Rob Lyons, DI program coordinator
Nathan LaneCCCC

fundraiser a huge success

To the Editor:

The Concord-Carlisle Community Chest (CCCC) held its third bi-yearly open auction fundraiser on Saturday, April 8. Three hundred eighty residents and agency members from the community joined us in this sold-out event. Although it is too early to know exactly, we are confident that we raised over $125,000.

The success of this evening is a direct reflection of the enthusiasm and energy of the support and countless hours of our volunteers, board of directors, auction committee, and the Thoreau Club and Citizens Bank staff who worked before and during the event. Additionally, we appreciate the business and corporate sponsorships, the donated items, and the financial support of local businesses and individuals.

Our thanks to everyone who supports the Community Chest and its 27 agencies. We truly appreciate your community spirit.

Barbara Howland
Astrid Moeyersoms
Debbie Andreson
Cynthia Wood
The CCCC staff

Trash Party thank-yous

To the Editor:

Thanks to all who participated in the Mosquito Trash Party this past Saturday morning. In spite of already busy schedules during a particularly busy time of yea, attendance was up over last year enabling us to make an even greater impact on the local landscape.

Over 275 thirty-gallon trash bags were distributed to residents from all areas of town as well to the many Girl and Boy Scouts who were so efficiently guided by their leaders in their efforts to clean up the many off-road public areas of town.

Thanks to all of the "regulars" who continue to fight the battle every spring and congratulations to the newcomers who were willing to give up an hour or two of valuable weekend time and see first-hand what the Trash Party is all about. (Don't count on the weather being as beautiful as it was for future Trash Parties.)

Thanks also to Daisy's Market for once again providing coffee, Dunkin' Donuts, and Welch's Foods for donating donuts and juice respectively, and Gary Davis for the use of the DPW signs. I especially appreciate Alan Carpenito, Alan Merry and Jonathan Merz and family for the use of their trucks to pick up and transport the bags to the transfer station, a frightening task. (Have you ever stopped on Westford Street and gotten out?)

Finally, thank you to those who although unable to "party" on Saturday because of schedule conflicts, took time earlier to do their part and thanks to those of you (I see you) who unselfishly spend time picking up roadside junk throughout the year.

Bob Orlando
Autumn Lane
2000 Trash Party coordinator

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito