The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 25, 2001


There's new blood at the Carlisle Mosquito

It is time to introduce some of the people who write the articles in the Carlisle Mosquito, those reporters who cover town committee meetings as well as the feature writers who focus on the people and activities that take place in Carlisle

The Mosquito is written and edited by a group of people who care about the town. Unlike so many other town newspapers that have been bought up and become a part of a chain, the Mosquito is a nonprofit organization that is local, independent and is free to every household in town. Our support comes from advertisers and donations from our readers.

Feature writer Carolyn Armistead moved to Carlisle in September with her husband and two daughters. She was born in Boston, but along the way has lived in Connecticut, Long Island, the Boston area, upstate New York and Chicago, where she wrote for the Chicago Tribune.

Armistead is a graduate of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, where she majored in English and minored in art Following graduation she returned to Boston to work at radio station WSSH, no longer on the air, and to write freelance articles for newspapers, including Metro-West and the Concord Journal.

Responding to an article in the Mosquito looking for anews editor and reporters, Armistead decided that feature writing was what really interested her most. "I felt that working for the Mosquito would be a great way to get more acquainted with Carlisle," she said. Besides the Mosquito, Armistead writes for Shape, a national women's fitness magazine, and is writing two books, one a children's novel. She also does commercial voice-over work on TV, radio and for corporations.

Anne Marie Brako has reported on the board of health, planning board and the board of appeals, and has especially enjoyed writing feature articles. She moved to Carlisle three years ago in July with her husband and two children.

Brako was born on Fifth Avenue in New York City, but lived in Burlington, Massachusetts, until she returned to New York to go to college at Columbia University. In college she majored in English and Italian, and wrote for the Columbia Spectator, the school newspaper. Upon graduation, Brako took a job as a writer in high-tech for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) where she worked for ten years. It was at DEC that she met her husband, playing in a coed soccer league.

When Brako submitted to the Mosquito a photograph she had taken on a school field trip to the zoo, she was asked if she might be interested in becoming a Mosquito photographer.She said no, but agreed to be a writer. Besides submitting articles to the Mosquito nearly every week, Brako has received a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council to type the handwritten text of Martha Fifield Wilkins' 1936 manuscript "Old Homes and Families in Carlisle" "I'm typing it up for easy indexing," Brako explained.

"I love the Mosquito. It's a great way to meet people in town and see how things get done in a small community," said Brako. "I would encourage any new person in town to get involved. I love Carlisle we all love it, everyone in myfamily does," she added.

Darragh Murphy is the newest writer to join the staff.She and her husband and two daughters moved from Dorchester to the center of Carlisle two years ago. Since then a thirddaughter, now seven months old, has joined the family.

While living in Dorchester, her home town, Murphy andher mother founded a community newspaper, "The Curbstone,"which she says was similar to the Mosquito. As one of several newspapers in a town of 88,000 it had a circulation of 19,000 during the four years it was being published.

Asked how she came to the world of writing and editing, Murphy admitted to being a big reader and an aspiring writerfor many years. As for the Mosquito, which she calls"famous," she believes that as a community newspaper, it is the pulse of the town. She became a member of the staff after responding to an ad in the paper for production staff. "It's a wonderful outlet for writing and the social aspects ofgetting to know other people in's great."

Dale Ryder joined the Mosquito in January and is now the reporter covering the Carlisle School Committee which meets twice a month on Tuesday evenings. Her friend Sarah Hart who is part of the production staff at the Mosquito encouraged her to get involved.

Ryder grew up in Roxbury, Connecticut, a town very much like Carlisle. She went to Wheaton College where she majored in German and international studies. Following graduation she went to work for Fidelity Investment and then served as Vice President and general manager of the Merrimack Call-Center.

Ryder has two children, one attending the Red Balloon Nursery School and the other a first-grader at the Carlisle School.

Ryder has always enjoyed writing, be it stories for herself, writing in college, or covering something that affects her life. As a stay-at-home mom she likes writing for the Mosquito, and especially enjoys the opportunity to cover the school committee.

Cecile Sandwen has lived in Carlisle for the past eight years. She and her husband have two children who attend the Carlisle School.

Sandwen grew up in Schenectady, New York. She went to St. Lawrence University where she received a B.A. degree in history, and then went on to Boston University for an MBA. She has lived in the Boston area since 1975.

Sandwen had worked in high tech market management, using technical writing as part of her job. However, in recent years she had been thinking about developing some other kind of writing skills, so when she saw the ad in the Mosquito appealing for new reporters and feature writers she decided to apply. "I was looking for something without pressure." said Sandwen. "I thought the Carlisle Mosquito was a valuable part of what Carlisle was all about and I wanted to be part of itthe community building; raising interest and imparting knowledge," she added. "I had done a lot of work at the school, including the Carlisle School Association, and I thought the Mosquito would be a broadening experience."

Sandwen feels feature writing is her preference because it's easier to be thematic and the writer can ask questions. As a reporter who covers the selectmen's meetings, she finds it hard to get down to what the real issues are and what is most important. Sandwen has covered the selectmen, the board of appeals and writes feature articles when time allows.

"I feel far better informed since I started covering selectmen's meetings," admits Sandwen. "Working at the Mosquito is a great way to know the town, the issues, the players and where the town is going."

Dan Scholten's column, "Green Corner," is a recent addition to the newspaper. It originally appeared in theFirst Religious Society's newsletter, and will now be a regular feature in the Mosquito. Scholten and his wife Betsy Fell, who is a board member of Carlisle Communications, Inc., the Mosquito's parent corporation, moved to Carlisle in 1983. They have threechildren.

Scholten grew up in Wellesley and Wayland and graduated from Wayland High School. He received a BA degree inphysics from Wesleyan University and an MA degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a software engineer at MITRE in Bedford. Scholten is a member of the town's household waste committee, and at the First Religious Society he takes partin the social action committee. He is also a soccer coach for Kinderkicks.

Although Scholten has written for technical journals and work-related reports, the "Green Corner" is his first experience at writing for a broader audience. "I wanted to make people aware of environmental issues, especially with the political climate in Washington, as it is. There is a need for grassroots support for environmental issues at this time," stressed Scholten.

Susan Yanofsky is the reporter who covers the planning board for the Mosquito. She grew up in Kentucky and Massachusetts and graduated from Newton North High school. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts where she majored in political science. She also received a certificate in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University.

She and her family have lived in Carlisle for eight-and-a-half years. During five of those years Yanofsky served on the planning board. So when news editor Maya Liteplo was looking for someone to report on that committee, Yanofsky was a logical person to ask. Although Yanofsky works part-time for the Westwood Economic Development Program, she has found the time to cover her former committee.

"I always respected the Mosquito and I was happy to help," declared Yanofsky. "Before we moved to Carlisle we had a chance to see the paper and we were impressed with the quality of writing and the everyday topics ... We got a good feeling for the town; it made us feel Carlisle was the place we would like to live."

+YEAR+ The Carlisle Mosquito