Friday, May 11, 2001
Demand for field use at an all-time high
To the Editor:
I would like to respond to the letter to the editor last week regarding the use of the town fields.
Banta-Davis/Spalding Fields are scheduled to maximum use for each site. Our fields are used based on the following criteria: the first priority is the Carlisle Public Schools; the second priority is Concord/Carlisle recreational sports. Carlisle Recreation provides time for the sport(s) of the season. Time is scheduled by the youth sports organization, not by Carlisle Recreation. The third priority is to other organizations. These organizations range from pre-school youth programs, competitive youth organizations to adult programs. These organizations are given time that is left over and are charged a fee to use the fields. The fees fund field enhancements that the general field maintenance budget does not provide.
Every organization is required to submit a request prior to the season. Our mission at Carlisle Recreation is to provide recreation programs to the entire population of Carlisle.
The demand for field use is at an all time high. Our belief is that the demand will only continue as the school and town populations grow.
As a parent who makes the drive to West Concord for softball, baseball, hockey, and football, I understand the frustration of not having enough field space in Carlisle to satisfy the needs of our community. I welcome the opportunity to share our processes and procedures with all members of the community.
Carlisle Senior Band says thanks
To the Editor:
Although a little tired, the 77-member Carlisle School Senior Band returned on Sunday afternoon from their 4-day Baltimore/Washington, D.C. trip with plenty of smiles and some wonderful memories. In addition to a concert at the Shue-Medill Middle School in Newark, Delaware; an Orioles /Yankees baseball game at Camden Yard; a visit to the Baltimore Science Center and most of the Smithsonian museums, students culminated their sightseeing and musical journey with a performance on the terrace of the Capitol Building on Saturday. It was a special moment: a beautiful, warm day with our students playing "America" while the American flag on top of the Capitol was blowing in the wind.
Naturally, trips like these do not happen without an incredible amount of preparation and support. Thanks should be expressed to Karen Morse, our trip organizer, and to the terrific chaperones who accompanied us: Margie Zuk, Mary Cheever, Burt Rubenstein, David Mayall, Marjorie Johnson, Jeff and Suzanne Brown, Janet Fritz, Bill Cooney, Pam Blair, and Carolynn Luby. Our appreciation also extends to the administration of the Carlisle Schools: Davida Fox-Melanson, Andy Goyer, Eileen Riley and Terry Farwell; the Carlisle School Committee; secretaries Susan Pray, Peg Lynch, and Joan LaRochelle; and Denise Casper from Central Supply. Finally, thanks to the parents of the Senior Band students for their continuing support, and to the students themselves who were wonderful musical and personal ambassadors of the Carlisle community.
CCHS dance club fills a niche
To the Editor:
At both Carlisle and Concord middle schools, sports are very popular amongst the students. In high school, many students continue to play sports at a more competitive level. Concord-Carlisle High School graciously funds and supports the athletics department. Along with a growing athletics department is the performing arts department. Over the past couple of years, there has been a growth of interest in the musical department. More students want to perform and act.
In my opinion, Concord-Carlisle administrators were faced with a problem. Students at CCHS were expressing an interest in and a need for an extracurricular dance club. I believe a good school system tries its best to entertain all of the student bodys interests. I would like to congratulate those who have paid attention to the needs of the drama department.
Since I was a little girl, I have been attending dance classes outside of school. Dance gives me the adrenalin rush that an athlete might receive from competing. I find dance fun and challenging, but also aerobic, like sports. I would like to congratulate Jen Webb and Chuck Brown for setting up a dance program at CCHS. Since the dance club has been set up, I have felt that I have been acknowledged and provided with an opportunity to actively participate in high school.
The dance club meets several times a week. Jen Webb, a talented professional dancer and choreographer, leads energetic dance classes, with original choreography. The CCHS Dance Club put on its first show in the fall and will perform again on Tuesday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the CCHS auditorium. Students participating in the dance club would like to invite upcoming freshmen and members of the Carlisle community to see the club in action.
Thanks from a grateful trails committee
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Carlisle Trails Committee, I would like to thank all those folks who donated a few hours of their time these past two Sundays to help with some trail clearing. I am pleased to report that with the exception of tons of pine cones strewn about, our trails are in good condition for all to enjoy. Trail maps are available at town offices for a donation of five dollars. If you would like further information about our unique group, please contact any committee member or e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Informal meetings are held on the first Friday of every month at 7:30 in town hall.
CSA board urges override support
To the Editor:
We, the individuals who make up the board of the Carlisle School Association, urge support of the Carlisle Public Schools override at Town Meeting on May 14 and in the voting booth on May 22. As our school community faces new academic challenges and growing enrollment numbers, the Carlisle schools are requesting $150,000 in additional funding from the override. This will enable the school to maintain the basic level of services that has produced the academic excellence that we have all come to expect from our school. The Carlisle Board of Selectmen and the finance committee have both recommended an override of this amount in order to obtain the current level of direct educational programs for students.
Please be aware that either of the override choices, 1a or 1b, would fund the Carlisle Public Schools for the recommended amount of $150,000. The difference in the two overrides has to do with the funding for the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School.
We urge you to continue your support for our outstanding public school program. Remember, vote for the school budget override at Town Meeting and vote for the school budget override on town election day. Thank you.
Bylaw changes are a plus
To the Editor:
At the upcoming Town Meeting, the Carlisle Conservation Commission will present for vote several changes to the towns non-zoning wetlands bylaw. The proposed bylaw revision will afford more effective protection to Carlisles wetlands, including vernal pools. Vernal pools are temporary ponds that usually dry up by late summer, and do not support fish. Certain animals, such as spotted salamander and wood frog, require these ponds in order to lay eggs in the spring.
Also proposed is an increase in the current application filing fees for work within close proximity to wetlands. The present fee of $25 does not cover the administrative costs associated with implementing the state Wetlands Protection Act (WPA) and our bylaw. The commission proposes removing the fixed fee from the current bylaw and replacing it with a fee structure determined by vote of the commission following a public hearing. The commission believes that users fees, rather than general tax revenues, should support these activities.
Our new bylaw will also help protect our ground water supply. Many new homes are now being built in Carlisle within the buffer zone, which is a 100-foot zone bordering a wetland. As homes, lawns, and roads are built closer to wetlands, the wetlands become more susceptible to pollution from lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and road salt. Wetlands help to recharge aquifers which supply our well water, and also provide protection from flooding.
Carlisles bylaw changes are modeled after those of Sudbury, which protects an area called the Adjacent Upland Resource Area (AURA). For wetlands having a 100-foot buffer zone, the AURA will coincide with the WPAs 100-foot buffer zone. For new construction near a vernal pool, the commission may request that the 100-foot AURA be left in an undisturbed state to the greatest extent possible. For other wetland areas, the amount of undisturbed area requested will depend upon the nature of the activity, and constraints faced by the applicant. The commission will establish a set of regulations applicable to the bylaw, including no-build and no-disturbance zones certain distances from the wetland. Approved activities in compliance with the current bylaw will not be affected by any proposed changes in the bylaw.
To learn more about the proposed bylaw changes, wetlands protection, and vernal pools, please visit www.carlisle.org/conscom.
Taxes, Town Meeting, and CPA
To the Editor:
It is spring and once again we are all being asked to look forward to the new fiscal year and, at the same time, dig into our pockets to pay for the decisions of the past.
I believe that there are compelling reasons to vote for Community Preservation Act, but it is just not the prospect of state funds that make this an important decision.
The Open Space Report, various affordable housing plans, School Building plans, Carlisle 2000, Long Term Capital Committee, Recreation Committee, the Library Trustees, the Growing Pains report, and this year, the Municipal Planning Day have, in one way or another, captured our desire to preserve Carlisles values (schools, conservation, volunteerism, and community, etc.) while meeting the demands of the future. But few of these admirable efforts really laid out definite timetables or had teeth in themmoney. Instead the town has chosen to move on opportunities when they arise (ORourke, Banta-Davis fields, the Cranberry Bog, Wang-Coombs.)
The CPA asks us to take a somewhat different approach to plan and set aside funds for important projects affecting the future of Carlisle. Conservation/recreation, affordable housing, and the preservation of historic sites. Do we want to do what we say we want to do, or do we just want to say what we want to do?
Do we really need to set aside funds for what may turn out to be hazy plans? At the February Municipal Planning Day, representatives from most of the town committees explained how there was an incremental demand for 40-100 additional acres over the next twenty years, excluding conservation acquisitions. The town will, of course, debate and approve the expenditure of any funds at future town meetings, but passage of the CPA act allows us to move beyond the plans described in numerous reports.
Money, eventually, means action. As a town, we have a very strong sense of what we need and want. It is time we commit more fully to the future, before the current forces of change overtake us. Let us begin today to set aside some of the land that we know the town needs tomorrow. I urge voters to seriously consider supporting the CPA ballot question.
CPA would be a wise investment
To the Editor:
I write to urge Carlisle voters to adopt the Community Preservation Act (CPA) on May 22. Others have written about the wise investment approach the CPA enables, and the benefits of receiving state matching grants, which could top $180,000 in the first year alone.
Some citizens, however, have raised important concerns that merit response. Some have said, My taxes are already high enough. I dont want to raise them anymore! Yes, the tax rate is a concern, and that led the selectmen to recommend a 2% surcharge rather than 3%. But the choice is not really between 2% or zero; its between taxing ourselves a little bit more each year and receiving state matching funds, to taxing ourselves a lot more later.
The town has clearly defined needs for open space for recreation and conservation, for affordable housing, and for the preservation of historic structures at Green Cemetery and Greenough barn. If we wait until the last moment to fund those projects, we may be forced to impose a sudden, large tax increase, without help from the state.
Others are worried that well lock ourselves in for five years. What if the state stops funding the program? Personally, I believe it highly unlikely that the state would pull the plug while keeping the five-year mandate. But theres no need to believe my prognostication. If the matching funds diminish or disappear, we can always reduce the surcharge to an inconsequential 0.1%. And we still would have gotten the matching funds for the first year, which are securely in place.
Finally, some have questioned the need to support affordable housing or historic preservation. While I believe both add to the richness of life in Carlisle, I respect the differing views of others. Still, I would urge everyone to look at the CPA pragmatically. It is a political product designed to encourage, with financial carrots, coalition-formation within communities. Its not pure, but part of what makes a community is the willingness to come together and support each other. It would be a shame to bring narrow, me-first politics into Carlisle. Please support CPA.
Thanks for the play
To the Editor:
The Friends of the Gleason Public Library would like to thank all who participated in the murder mystery play, Deader Than a Doornail, Saturday night at the library. Fun and laughs were had by all.
We are particularly grateful to the cast: Joan Parker, Marty Galligan, Frank Rigg, Vivian Chaput, Tim Hult, Simon Jensen Fellows, Phyllis Hughes and Marilyn Harte. They put in many more hours rehearsing than we expected and gave a fabulous performance. Playing wonderful supporting roles were Ron Chaput, Alex Parker, Steve Smith and Officer Tom Whelan. Thanks, too, to the director, Marilyn Cugini. The contributions of Ellen Rauch and Marty Seneta were much appreciated.
If you missed it, the Friends are sponsoring another performance on Saturday, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. The show takes place in the Hollis room (3rd floor of the library) and tickets are available for $10 at the library and Daisys.
Lisa Jensen Fellows
Judy Farm Road
Friends of the GPL
How to handle those bees
To the Editor:
Carpenter bees have been in the local news recently because of prolific activity brought on by the recent record early heat wave. Carlisle resident Paul Gill asked my opinion as a beekeeper how to deal with an infestation. If you see large (3/4 to one inch long) shiny (not furry) black bees being active around the eaves of your house, and if you see some 3/8 to 1/2 inch perfectly round holes in the eaves, you can assume youve got carpenter bees. They are emerging from over-wintering in some long tunnels inside the eave boards and will soon begin to drill new holes and construct new tunnels.
A benign insecticide with minimal environmental impact is soap or detergent. A coating of soap on an insects exoskeleton will stop up its breathing tubes and it will die. I would try spraying a detergent on the overhanging boards of the eaves, trying to get as much as possible into the 1/2 inch holes. Although the carpenter bees are unlikely to sting you, this approach might best be done early in the morning before the bees start to come out for the day. When there are a lot of bees flying around the holes, you can also try spraying them in flight with dilute soap solution from a garden or tree sprayer. If you get the bees to eventually stop using the holes, then I would try closing them with a non-edible plug like steel wool.
It may be necessary to repeat this several times to take care of the larvae that have still not emerged. If this benign approach doesnt work, you will have to resort to stronger products that are on the market and that are listed on numerous Web sites. Good luck.
Thank you for response
To the Editor:
With but a days notice, the Carlisle Trails Committee found 15 people to begin the process of removing vegetation from the Greenough Dam. In less than two hours the shrubs were removed from the pond side of the dam and neatly piled awaiting a chipper. The Carlisle Conservation Commission is thrilled with this example of Yankee ingenuity and community spirit.
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