The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 21, 2000

Let's look before we leap

To the Editor:

Regarding school enrollment, I would suggest to interested townspeople that they beware the demographer. Those of us who have been around since the mid-1980s and before have clear memories of the panic engendered by projections of school enrollment. In 1984-1985, we were told by the professional demographer and an eager school building committee that to expand the school on a grand scale was imperative because by 1992 we would have 800 students to accommodate. Instead, it has taken another nine years to reach that mark, according to the headline on page 4 of last week's Mosquito. It is a comfort, at least, to know that Mr. Ballantine and those involved in the "Growing Pains" study recognize that such projections can be only "relatively accurate for a few years" and that perhaps some restraint might be exercised before leaping into yet another major expansion project.

Dorothy Schecter
Partridge Lane

Thanks for averting catastrophe

To the Editor:

On Friday, April 14, I was driving home from Maynard where I had just run into Sue Koning at the Outdoor Store. At the time, little did I know that her husband was in my back yard! As I approached Carlisle Center, everything seemed just a bit hazy to me. I thought my glasses needed cleaning. As I turned up Stearns Street, the haze intensified to smoke and I knew someone must be burning a lot of brush. As I approached Rodgers Road, I felt slightly anxious but remembered that I had turned my dryer off before leaving the house. My anxiety turned to palpitations when I saw three fire trucks next to my house, hoses up my driveway and firemen scurrying around. It was not a welcoming sight. Flames were lapping at the stone wall behind my house and smoldering leaves proved that the flames had skipped over the wall. While my house appeared safe, I couldn't determine the severity of this fire and the firemen weren't talking. They were all business. When the Billerica fire truck pulled up, I knew this was no simple brush fire and it was disconcerting to see a few trees on fire. Rob Koning must have gotten the impression that I was a little nervous watching flames so close to my house and he reassured me that they were first securing the perimeter of the fire with the help of many other fire departments. Seeing familiar faces under those bulky fire coats and hats was reassuring. The firemen stayed for hours, wetting down the smoldering remains. Our yard has a new aroma now, but all is calm.

Knowing that my son's soccer coach and his schoolmates' fathers are protecting my property while I am out shopping is enough to make me more vigilant in turning off my dryer when I leave the house and in guarding the burning of brush. My neighbors and I thank all the Carlisle firemen and neighboring fire departments and the police department for their quick response in preventing a much bigger catastrophe.

Sandy Dolins
Rodgers Road

Grateful for a neighbor's concern

To the Editor:

It doesn't take long to be reminded how fragile our environment is, and how dependent we are on the good works of others. A fast-moving fire in the woods behind our house on Baldwin Road might have been disastrous for us, along with many others whose houses border on the woods. The hard work of our fire department, along with the help of the departments from neighboring towns, is much appreciated. Many familiar faces, David Flannery, Chief Koning, Jonathan White, and young Ron Holsinger, dressed in unfamiliar clothes, worked for hours putting out the blaze.

A special thank-you to a neighbor, Helen, who alerted my 90-year-old mother, who was home alone. She watered down the leaves next to the stone wall which separated our property from the blaze, until an additional tanker truck could arrive from Westford. Then she sat and had a cup of tea with Mom until family returned.

I don't think Frost had it entirely right when he said, "Good fences make good neighbors." Our version reads:

When the smoke cleared, we are pleased to say

The stone wall kept the fire at bay,

And dear Helen had no fence to keep her away!

Paul and Stephanie Hackbarth
Baldwin Road

Parents were 'unsung heroes' of play

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Class of 2001 would just like to thank all of the parents that put in their time and patience in helping with the seventh-grade playthe parents that helped with the costumes, props, and the sets, as well as the parents that helped to organize the entire thing. We know that most of the parents are the "unsung heroes" of the play, and this letter is just to thank them for all of the time that they have dedicated to the production of "The Fiddler on the Roof, Jr."

The people that helped with the sets had to devote a few hours of their time on Friday afternoons and nights, as well as on Saturday afternoons and professional days. This may seem like a long time, but the costume committee had to work longer hours. They worked four to six hours a day on weekdays. They even worked on some weekends as opening night drew closer. And we can't forget the prop crew. They had to make numerous phone calls and travel to many places to get the props. The props were one of the things that made this production so realistic. Many of the props were the actual thing and did not have to be made by hand, thanks to many generous donors.

Certain people that should be mentioned by name are Marjorie Johnson, Catherine Pringle, Diane Harwood, Andrea Zollo, Angela DiPace and Luke Bagnaschi. These people were especially important in the production of our play.

Mrs. Johnson was the producer of the play. She spent much of her time working on our production to make it better. There was no person more organized or more prepared for the job than Mrs. Johnson.

Mrs. Pringle was the director. She kept up the excitement and pleasure in the group and helped keep the group together. Mrs. Pringle is also the musical education teacher at the Carlisle Public Schools and has a background in opera. Mrs. Pringle was, and is, an excellent director.

Ms. Harwood was the assistant director of the production. She was always helping Mrs. Pringle and even had to play the roles of characters when the actor wasn't present. Ms. Harwood was a very good addition to the making of the play.

Ms. Zollo was the choreographer of our performance. She is a school language teacher and has a lot of cultural experience. Ms. Zollo was always laughing at something and always made someone else laugh.

Ms. DiPace was an excellent addition to the play. She was the pianist for the production. She played every performance and rehearsal. Ms. DiPace is also the school chorus director.

Luke Bagnaschi was the back stage manager and had everything running smoothly. All the scene changes happened perfectly and quietly. Luke was very fun to have around. The kids enjoyed having him around because he is in his senior year in high school and knows what the kids want to do. Luke was one of the best stage managers ever.

To all the adults listed above and all the other parents that spent time on helping make our production better, we thank you.

Brian Lieb, Austin Reed, Joe Carpenito
for the Class of 2001

Support for Wayne Davis

To the Editor:

I write to encourage Carlisle citizens to vote for Wayne Davis as Town Moderator.

I have had the pleasure of working with Wayne on the board of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation. He has brought energy, creativity, and insight to CCF. He has a special capacity to listen closely, make the appropriate comment, or pose a question that will help the group move forward.

Wayne is particularly attuned to seeking out and understanding differing points of view. At a planning meeting to prepare the presentation of the O'Rourke Farm purchase at Town Meeting, proponents enthusiastically listed all the reasons for supporting the purchase. Wayne shunted that train of thought by observing that it was preaching to the choir. He suggested that instead, the focus should be on communicating with likely opponents by listing the strongest, most legitimate arguments against the purchase, then figuring out what the response should be.

That kind of thinking can help elevate the level of debate at Town Meeting. Please vote for Wayne for moderator. He is a thoughtful and insightful leader.

Eunice Knight
Bedford Road

Forum addresses essential issue

To the Editor:

Though there are some problems requiring a deeper and different solution than education and forums, I am so thankful for the sincere and conscientious effort to address civility at the upcoming educational forum. I would like to add my support for this along with my fellow town clergy colleagues.

For children to take civility seriously, they must be able to see with their own eyes adults who take civility seriously. The power of quiet example, modeling, has long been known to be influential and a real determinant in a child's life. We all have much to learn and do in this area and it deserves a hearing and being put on the table and attended to by adults in our town. Thank you again to those who are working and serving our children and us as adults in the Forum.

Keith Greer, Pastor
Congregational Church

Civility should be high on the agenda

To the Editor:

I write to encourage people to attend the sixth annual Education Forum on Saturday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. will address the topic of civility.

In our attempts at the First Religious Society to give our children a religious education, one of our primary interests is helping children understand how to best respect others and how to relate to each other in a constructive manner. Whatever church we may belong to, or if we belong to no church at all, being "civil" to one

another improves our lives and teaching our children "civility" will improve their lives. In this era of concern about violence and "rudeness as entertainment" civility is a topic which should be high on the agenda of each of us.

Or, as my sainted grandmother used to say, "Keep a civil tongue in your head."

Eugene R. Widrick, minister
First Religious Society

Ode of thanks to Scouting families

To the Editor:

Once again I would like to thank all the Girl Scout leaders for all the hard work that they have put into their troops this year. It has been a very exciting year from Encampment in the fall, Father/Daughter Square Dance, Mother/Daughter Bingo, various service projects, miscellaneous troop field trips, and our big cookie drive. We have been very active and productive and it couldn't have been done without the leaders. They are required to get training and fill out miscellaneous forms. They take a lot of time out of their busy schedules and family time. They deserve hugs and many thanks. Their families also deserve to be thanked and the poem below is for them:

Ode to a Girl Scout Leader's Family

Author Unknown

Even though there are stacks of dirty dishes, laundry and an unmade bed,

She's off again to yet another Girl Scout meeting instead.

She has plenty of time to buy great snacks and food for all the troop,

While here we wait, forced to survive on nothing but bread and soup.

Ah yes, they have grand adventures in the great outdoors 'neath the rain-filled sky.

Yet all we hear are tales of woe as sleeping bags and troop gear take several days to dry.

We'll be on our own to clean and cook,

Since before an outing the phone rings off the hook...

"What time do we leave? Where do we meet? Are we still going if it rains?"

"Don't they read permission slips or newsletters?" the Girl Scout spouse


Yes, their houses are neglected the Board of Health could shut them down.

To many a leader's husband, the mere mention of Girl Scouts could bring a frown.

She says that, in 20 years, no one on earth will know or care.

Being a part of a leader's family brings with it a unique lifestyle. We pray at least a few young girls will mature and grow to make all of this worthwhile!

I would like to thank you for lending us your wives/moms in order to be Girl Scout Leaders. I know the girls are very grateful too.

Linda Fabrizio
Girl Scout Coordinator

Volunteers sought for Nader campaign

To the Editor:

There is a presidential candidate who's straight as an arrow, has the record to prove it, and is in favor of ending the dominance of large corporations and the corruption of politics by corporate money: Ralph Nader.

I have the privilege of being the area coordinator for the "Nader for President" campaign. We need 10,000 signatures on petitions to get Nader on the ballot in Massachusetts. If you can volunteer to help with this in your town, please contact me at 978-486-3821 or For more on the Nader campaign, see

Mark Lipsman
38 Harvard Road
Littleton, MA 01460

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito