The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 16, 2001


It was literally standing room only in the Clark Room at Town Hall last Saturday morning, as over 80 residents crowded into the room for the opening talks of the Carlisle municipal land committee's (CMLC) first Municipal Planning Day. ...more

A surcharge on taxes to provide funding for future town needs is under consideration by the Carlisle Selectmen. The Community Preservation Act, signed by the governor in November 2000, provides a mechanism for towns to raise money for conservation, historic preservation, and affordable housing. The sweetener is a pool of state money for distribution to towns participating in the program. ...more

Those who nurture hope that Carlisle's pastoral landscape can be preserved to a degree through the ongoing residential boom received heartening news this week. While townsfolk were still rejoicing over the recent Benfield gift to the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF), confirmation came of a second extraordinary act of generosity, this time on the part of Janet Lovejoy and her family. ...more

The single optimistic financial note at MAGIC's (Minuteman Area Group on Interlocal Coordination) biannual legislative breakfast this month was Senator Pat Wolrath's announcement that "I think this year is going to be better than next year." With the economy slowing down, the Big Dig continuing, and a tax cut kicking in, the state expects a $250 million deficit even if revenues do not decline this year. "The starting point is just say no," Wolrath quipped. ...more

Chances for construction of two soccer fields and an expanded parking lot on the town's 57-acre tract at Foss Farm gained momentum at the February 8 meeting of the Carlisle Conservation Commission (ConsCom). Recreation commission representative Mark Spears presented a compelling rationale for this solution to a crisis facing the town's athletic programs. ...more

Support for combining a new school and community center was also expressed in a group charged with evaluating whether any new facilities should be located in the center of town, in a "second center" planned to allow clustering municipal facilities and possibly commercial services, scattered throughout town, or in an "expanded" center, stretching out on one of the main roads out 1000 yards from the rotary. ...more

· Chapter 61. If the owner of forest, agricultural, or recreation land taxed at favorable rates (under Chapter 61) sells the land for conversion to residential or commercial use, the town has a right to first refusal to purchase the land. The town exercised this right to buy the O'Rouke farm, subsequently sold to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (For more information on Chapter 61, see stories on pages 10 and 11.) ...more

Planning board members Kate Reid and Louise Hara led the group discussing possible changes to the town's Cluster Zoning Bylaw. The focus of the session was on a model subdivision approach developed by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). ...more

Buying land for conservation is still a high priority for town spending, along with, possibly, a new school building, said the discussion group led by former FinCom chairs Lenny Johnson and Beth Hambleton. ...more

Moderator Wayne Davis presided over a lively affordable housing breakout group of 16 participants in the Nickles Room during Saturday's Municipal Planning Day. "What sort of affordable housing should the town support?" was the question he posed to the group. Although no 'silver bullets' were forthcoming, most agreed that affordable housing is long overdue in Carlisle. ...more

The acquisition of multiple use land was favored by the group, with conservation, recreation, schools and housing recognized as needs that a town purchase of land might address. Malcolm Meadows was cited as an example of multiple use land, with housing, recreation and conservation included in its use. Although land might still be purchased solely for conservation, as in completing a wildlife corridor, the group felt that land with a multiple usage potential would better serve the towns needs at this time. ...more

A new bill filed in the state Senate would strengthen the rights of cities and towns when land taxed favorably as forest, agricultural or recreational land is reclassified for residential, commercial or industrial use. The measure would specify a two-year period in which a town can exercise its right of first refusal to buy the property after land is removed from one of the so-called Chapter 61 taxation programs. ...more

A decision in a Massachusetts Superior Court lawsuit involving a large tract of Carlisle forest land has narrowly interpreted the town's right of first refusal under Chapter 61. While the case is still pending, the judge ruled as a matter of law that the town did not have a right of first refusal when the landowner removed property from Chapter 61 status, paid the rollback tax and then entered into a purchase and sale agreement to sell the property, even though an option to sell the property was executed while the land was still taxed under Chapter 61. ...more

To be classified as "forest land" under Chapter 61, a parcel must contain not less than ten contiguous acres in forest production and be certified by the state forester under a forest management plan. ...more

Kathy Bowen, health education coordinator for Concord schools, and a panel of concerned professionals came before the January 30 meeting of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee to present a panel discussion on the results of Emerson Hospital's Youth Risk Behavior Survey and how the community has responded to these results. Panel members were Alcott social worker Chris Gill, Concord Middle School (CMS) health educator Bernard Wenstrom, CMS psychologist Barbara Miller, CCHS social worker Kelli Kirshtein, Paul Macone of the Concord police and David Holdorf representing the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest and the Concord-Carlisle Action Committee for Teens (ACTS). ...more

According to recent estimates, one of every ten children is challenged by learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, which is specific difficulty in dealing with language. There are problems in understanding written or spoken language and in organizing, storing, and retrieving language information. Dyslexia is estimated to affect some 15 percent of our population ­ more than two million school-age children in the United States. ...more

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito