Friday, September 15, 2000
Fairness needed in bus fees
To the Editor:
I would like to preface my "complaint' by noting that this is our child's third year in Carlisle Schools and we have been nothing but impressed with the organization and the caring attitude throughout the system. But it is having just that sense in mind that gave me pause as I thought about the $50 "Bus Fee" and its implementation.
The town of Carlisle is 15.5 square miles. The two mile radius from the school covers some 12.5 square miles, or roughly 80 percent of the land area of the town. Carlisle is a really small town area-wise. The two-mile radius fee might make some sense in a much bigger town, or it may also make some sense if Carlisle had the sort of infrastructure, sidewalks, crossing guards, red/yellow crossing signals, etc., that it would take to support children walking to school as an alternative. We have none of these. There really is not another option besides the bus or parental drop off, which also seems somewhat problematic given the lack of space and already burdened traffic patterns around the school in the morning and afternoons.
The amount of the fee is not a question. We don't mind paying it. It just seems that passing such a fee on to 80 percent of the families and excluding the 20 percent that are a little (and only a little) further away seems a bit unfair. Perhaps the institution and criteria for this fee structure is a harbinger of more "specialized" facility usage fees to come. If so, it would be great if they can be implemented with a better sense of equity toward the entire school population.
William J. Lambert
To the Editor:
We write to clarify the status of Carlisle's application for an Agricultural Preservation Restriction (APR) grant for the Hutchins and Robbins Fields (formerly known as Wang-Coombs), as reported in the September 1 issue.
It is true that the two fields acquired by the Town in November 1999 comprise approximately 35 acres. However, when the Conservation Commission and the Carlisle Land Trust originally applied for the state APR grant in February 1999, it appeared that the Town lands would only be about 32 acres. The APR grant committee recommended to the State Legislature that the 32-acre application be granted in full, at the maximum of $10,000 per acre.
The expected reimbursement of $320,000 was the figure that was presented to Town Meeting and Town Election in the spring of 1999, when the purchase was approved by voters.
Subsequently, CLT was able to redraw the lot lines to shave three acres off the limited development parcel and add that to the Town's holdings. However, the state APR grant application had already been approved at the $320,000 level, and now awaits appropriation from the State Legislature.
Sylvia Willard, ConsCom administrator
Wayne Davis, Carlisle Land Trust
Squeak the wheel to control Hanscom noise
To the Editor:
Like many, we've become extremely concerned about Hanscom Airport and the increase in air traffic and proposed facilities expansion. We initially had trouble finding reliable sources of information and discovered an established network that we want to share with others:
Contact Save Our Heritage at (www.SaveOurHeritage.com) or 369-6662, a good source with background and current status info as well as easy, formatted letters for you to email to our governor and Washington officials. Send your email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to their Alert and Information list.
ShhAir is a terrific grass roots organization that provides timely action items so local folks can quickly respond to issues. Send your email to: email@example.com
Call 781-869-8050 (Hanscom Noise Complaint Line). This is the official line maintained to record all complaints. Call it every time you are bothered by an aircraft! Complaints are recorded and become part of regular reports provided to all government agencies. Graphs, pie charts and statistical data makes the government world "function' so EVERY single complaint makes a huge difference - call EVERY time.
Call Sen. Kennedy's Office 202-224-2613 Ask for David Oliveira - Express your opinion....when we called, we were told that Sen. Kennedy has not taken a position on the issue and they are taking a tally of calls.
Although some may have noticed only a small increase in noise and traffic we are absolutely panicked by hearing from Rep. Susan Fargo that other major airlines are making plans and inquiries to provide service in and out of Hanscom. Regardless of your viewpoint staying informed is the most important thing we can all do - simply send your email address or call them. If you want to help stem the tide, simply pick up the phone and call Sen. Kennedy's office now.
And keep complaining about the noise. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease.
Weather thoughts from a pro
To the Editor:
By most accounts this has been a very different kind of summer than the ones to which I have become accustomed here in the Boston area. Most years, summer starts to get going around Memorial Day, is in full bloom by the Fourth and has started to peter out around Labor Day. Not so this year.
It was in the nineties in May -- something we would only rarely glimpse in June, July or August. The Fourth was, shall we say, comfortable, which it usually is not. And Labor Day is smitten with mid-summer humidity high enough to make a West African cranky! What happened to those sleepless summer nights when we went to bed with modest sheets which were soon lost to the floor in fits of sweaty tossings? Answer: lost to cold evenings and mid-40 degree mornings. No wonder I didn't pick a tomato until mid-August, the sixty-day corn was seventy-five and the eggplant shivered helplessly. Imagine how much more ink there would have been if half the mosquito population hadn't caught the Culex flu and died in their beds! On the other hand, it has been a fabulous summer if you are one of those compulsive suburban sward swordsmen dueling with every quarter inch of top-growth, every extra millimeter of excess toe-tickling greenery out there in the yard. I praise the shamans for every stalk of hawkweed, clover, ajuga and moss. They have given me hours of whining time as I crawl through my gardens looking for my long-delayed bounty.
Oh, yes. I'm sorry. Never mind all that. Kick me. I forgot that I am still here in good old New England, where, unlike old England, not even the seasons are predictable. If only we hadn't given up teatime and fox hunting, everything would be just right in His/Her heaven. The seasons would follow sequentially one upon the other and there would be naught about which to bellyache! God save the Queen and pray for snow. Something exhilarating has to be derived from this spate of climactic confusion.
John D. Lee
Support for Devaney
To the Editor:
An important voice in Carlisle's struggle with wireless issues may be quieted unless independents join Democrats to vote next Tuesday. Marilyn Petitto Devaney, the incumbent Governor's Councillor candidate for Carlisle, is in a very close two-person race for re-election and needs your support.
Marilyn has been faithfully keeping local and state officials alerted about wireless-industry threats to local zoning rights. She worked hard to kill an oppressive, industry-drafted bill that would have allowed erection of cellular facilities in Carlisle neighborhoods without public notice.
Marilyn is always available to help people. She has served as Watertown's councillor-at-large for the last twenty years. Five of her Democratic opponents from the 1998 governor's council race support her re-election.
Please take the time next Tuesday to vote for Marilyn Petitto Devaney for Governor's Council. She has been there for us, and she needs our help now.
Judy Farm Road
To the Editor:
Ruth Nemzoff of Newton is a candidate for Governor's Council. Having come extremely close to winning in 1998, she has decided to run again. Her name will be on the Democratic ballot on September 19. That her husband and I were college classmates disposes me to favor her, but putting that link aside, I greatly admire her long and impressive career in public service, which includes becoming New Hampshire's first female Deputy Commissioner of Health and Welfare while living there some years ago. She is now a faculty member in government at Bentley College. I would be delighted to have her sit on the Council whose major activity is the very important and far-reaching one of approving judicial appointments. I am going to vote for her with enthusiasm and encourage others to give her candidacy the serious consideration I believe it deserves. Anyone wishing additional information can check her websitewww.ruthnemzoff.comor call me at 369-7539.
Kenneth M. Deitch
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito