The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 10, 2000

Why you should go to the Special Town Meeting

To the Editor:

Next Tuesday we will be gathering at the Corey Building of the Carlisle Schools for a Special Town Meeting. I hope you will join us for this community event.

It is not an emergency. It is a "Special" Meeting because it's not the Annual Meeting we are required to hold each spring. It's town business that is better done now than later.

If you are thinking we don't need you, think again. Our quorum, the minimum number of voters to do business, is 150. On occasion we have been unable to hold a Town Meeting for lack of that quorum. That's a lot of wasted money and wasted time. Let's not let it happen again.

Carpool with a friend or bring someone who would not drive him or herself. If the baby-sitter market gets tight, consider sharing with your neighbor or, if you decide to stay home, perhaps you could care for someone else's children.

I know that for anyone who grew up somewhere without a Town Meeting, it is too easy to let yourself think that others can and should make the decisions for you or that the committee volunteers you read about in the Mosquito will be the only ones at the Meeting. With this form of government, we vote in the by-laws that govern the town; we vote on spending money; and we vote changes to the way our town government operates. Yes, many things are accomplished by volunteers and staff during the year, and you can and should participate in the regular public meetings, but this is the big one. This is where you cast your vote. If you're not sure what to do when you get to that microphone, I'll be happy to coach you. Let's hear from you.

If you have any questions about Town Meeting, what to do there, or what to expect, I hope you will ask me. My phone number is 369-5424, home and work. Call anytime.

Sarah Brophy
Town Moderator

There are better ways to control mosquitoes

To the Editor:

Article 7 on the November 14 warrant asks the town to rejoin the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project. I believe this action would increase risks to public health and beneficial wildlife from pesticide exposure, and damage sensitive wetlands all without meaningfully reducing the very small risk of West Nile Virus. Carlisle withdrew from the project over 20 years ago because of similar concerns. Because the town has a better, safer and likely less expensive option, I urge that this article be withdrawn or defeated.

Mosquito Control Projects can drain or flood wetlands, remove obstructions in streams and rivers, and remove mosquitoes in any area if it is "necessary and useful." Communities have little control over project activities, which include responding to complaints of mosquitoes as a "nuisance" rather than a health threat. Projects are totally exempt from state and local wetlands laws.

A recent review of mosquito control practices by the state concluded there is no scientific evidence that pesticide spraying or ditching and draining wetlands are effective in significantly reducing the risk of mosquito-borne disease. The Department of Environmental Protection is also currently reviewing mosquito control activities because of uncontrolled damage to wetlands.

Resmethrin, one of the most benign chemicals used in mosquito control, kills bees, fish and the dragonflies that feed on mosquitoes. Mosquitoes then return to pre-spray levels much faster than the beneficial species recoversimply because they breed faster. To increase its effectiveness, resmethrin is often mixed with PBO, an unregulated suspected carcinogen. Resmethrin exposure can also cause respiratory problems in humans.

Carlisle can and should create and fund our own program, run by the board of health. We, not the state, should decide which control methods are used and under what circumstances. We can include broad notice, prohibit alteration of wetlands and spraying near sensitive areas, and public education.

Sally A. Zielinski, Ph.D.
executive director,
Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions
Acton Street

Pathwaysa solution in search of a problem

To the Editor:

The truly minute fraction of the population that enjoys walking has walked forever and has done so safely in Carlisle without sidewalks. To my knowledge there have been no serious accidents; I have walked regularly for twenty years here. Furthermore, for a "car-free" hike there is the State Park at our doorstep, a wonderful expanse of green.

The proposed sharing of the sidewalks by pedestrians and bicycles is a recipe for disaster. Someone is going to get hurt either on the narrow sidewalk or "spill" into the vehicle right-of-way suddenly and unexpectedly. The walkway will of necessity reduce the emergency shoulder or breakdown lane that offers a last escape from a vehicular accident often.

We do not need sidewalks (no matter what they are called). It is surprising that the "rurality faction" is embracing this blatant contradiction.

The town's Chapter 90 funds, recently sharply reduced, will not increase if we construct sidewalks. We should use this money to maintain our roads, not waste it on projects that serve no purpose.

George H. Lohrer
South Street

Favors sidewalks

To the Editor:

I think they should have sidewalks in Carlisle so people can walk to school.

Alex Moskowitz
East Street second grader

CSA book sale a success

To the Editor:

The Carlisle School Association's Fall Book Sale at the Concord Bookshop on Saturday, October 27 was a great success. There was a steady stream of Carlisleans all day long at the bookstore, as they came in to browse and buy books.

We specially thank the parents who worked with us on this fundraiser: Ann Marks, Ann Hoffman, Cecile Sandwen, Joan Popolo, Lynne Carpenito, Mary D'Agostino, Katherine Kennedy, Mary Jane Knudson, Becky Konkle, Nora O'Donnell, Elizabeth Parson, Pam Schad, and Stephanie Smith for providing baked goods, paper products and cider; also Anne Marie Brako, Christine Konkle-Boss, Paula von Kleydorff and Suzanne Hill for helping us at the bookstore.

We would also like to thank the management and staff of the Concord Bookshop, and in particular Jane Dawson, for lending their support to our fundraiser.

Finally, many thanks go out to all the Carlisle parents who demonstrated their support for the CSA by stopping by the bookstore, on a busy Saturday. The money raised brings plays, storytellers and other invaluable cultural events for our children at the Carlisle School. Your active support helped us make this fundraiser the success that it was.

Tricia Reed and Anjli Trehan
Co-chairs, CSA Fall Book Sale

Another Carlisle resident to perform with C.Y.T.

To the Editor:

I read with appreciation your recognition of Carlisle residents Laura Clark and Lisa Yanofsky in last week's Mosquito. They will be performing in the Concord Youth Theater production of "The Velveteen Rabbit."

Carlisle and Concord resident Allie Robbins will also be in the play, performing the role of Nana. Tickets for the December 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 shows are $12 and $8.50. They may be obtained from any cast member or by calling C. Y. T. at 371-1482.

David S. Robbins
Laurelwood Drive

Disagrees with Scouting position

To the Editor:

This is a response to Peter Domino's letter in the October 27 Mosquito.

To say that "No parent would consciously feel comfortable in allowing their son to belong in Scouting" if homosexuality existed in the organization, is amazingly presumptuous. On the contrary, I would be uncomfortable having either of my children in any group where such a discriminating viewpoint was an official policy, because we are trying to teach them to show respect for everybody. Unfortunately, Scouting's national office does a disservice to many people by having this policy and this attitude toward homosexuality.

Mr. Domino says that Mr. Dockterman is being a "rebellious manager." Mr. Dockterman sounds to me more like someone who believes that discrimination has no place in any group. I can only hope that someday Scouting's national office will change its policy.

Joan Goodman
Stearns Street

Trail walkers try it again

To the Editor:

An intrepid group of eight walkers braved the rain and cold for the Carlisle Trails Committee's November 5 walk along the Concord River. The scenery was varied and beautiful, the conversations were stimulating, and the homemade cookies and hot cocoa at the end were even more welcome than usual. Our one disappointment was that more people weren't able to enjoy this great walk. So we'll be offering the walk to the public again on November 24, the Friday after Thanksgiving, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, and hoping for better weather. Come explore your local wilderness, and burn off a few holiday calories to boot. Watch the last page of next week's Mosquito for details.

Steve Tobin
Carlisle Trails Committee

2000 The Carlisle Mosquito