Friday, September 28, 2001
Fundraising walk planned for Carlisle children
The following is a letter sent to the Carlisle Board of Selectmen, reprinted with permission.
Dear Board of Carlisle Selectmen:
We've all heard it said over and over again since the horrific events that occurred on September 11. The United States will never be the same. We've all struggled to make sense of what happened on that fateful day and continue to watch and pray that our world as we once knew it will once again be safe. It seems that everywhere you go people are talking about some aspect of the tragedy. It is almost impossible to escape it.
Parents are trying to help their children cope with all of this in the best way that they can. Many have watched child psychologists on TV, listened to the advice of family and friends or read articles in the newspapers regarding this issue before deciding how to handle their children's questions and fears. One thing that remains clear is that we cannot completely shield our children from this. It is everywhere. They see it on TV, hear it on the radio and see it in our faces.
There has been an overwhelming outpouring of pride and patriotism recently and it has touched all of our hearts. Our children have real live heroes to admire and look up to instead of rock stars and sports figures who often fall short of the mark. The firemen and police officers who gave their lives that day are true heroes in every sense of the word.
In light of all of the above and in an effort to help our children work through this tragedy, we would like to organize the following event, "Kids Walk For Heroes." Each child will receive, ahead of time, an envelope and flyer explaining how to participate. We will encourage each child to find people who will sponsor them on their walk, pledging, for example, $5 to the child if they complete the one-mile walk. 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to the NY Police & Fire Widows' and Children's Fund. We hope to have a representative from both the fire and police departments present who will spend a few minutes talking to the children about their jobs and what roles their brave NY brothers and sisters played in this tragedy.
While the money collected will surely help the families of those brave men and women, our hope is that this will also help our own children heal by allowing them to participate directly in the helping of others. Kids helping other kidsthis is something that we know they can and will understand. Please help us to help them.
Ed note: The board of selectmen has given their approval for this walk to be held on Sunday, October 21, at 2 p.m.
The location will be announced soon.
Residents deeply hurt
To the Editor:
This is about an incident that happened in our neck of the neighborhood at the infamous Carlisle rotary, where American flags are standing tall in many numbers, proudly upholding the "Spirit of Freedom." In here a Lincoln car came zooming by from Lowell Street while we were on the rotary, close to smashing into our car, and honked at us like we had done something wrong. We stopped and rolled our windows down and said, "Learn to yield; you are entering the rotary; it's the law." But in return for an expected apology this is what we heard. The elderly man driving the car said "Move on, you [expletive deleted]!" to my husband, and the elderly woman next to him said this to me, "You foreign national [expletive deleted], move!" all this to us, who are also fellow Americans with brown toned skin. Then they turned and sped away. Both my husband and I were so shaken and we could not believe what we heard. Who would have expected this in an educated neighborhood like our town and that too, from an elderly couple?
This incident has saddened us. Is this where the nation is headed? It's people like these, though few in number, who implant hatred and create a hostile situation. In all the years that I have lived in America, we have never felt as uncomfortable as we felt last evening.
But the irony of this story was that a gentleman in a Saab car that was directly behind us on the rotary and who was our eyewitness stopped the car and consoled us and said that this was uncalled for and shook his head in grief with us. I shall keep thinking of this person and pray that the strength of these good people will outweigh the disastrous effect of the evil, and America will still be the best place on the planet!
Name withheld upon request
School staff thanked
To the Editor:
The Carlisle School Committee (CSC) would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers, staff and employees in our schools who have helped the children in this community process the tragic events of September 11, 2001. We know that the emotional fallout of this incident will reverberate for a long time and we appreciate that you are there for the children helping them during this healing process.
Suzanne Whitney Smith
Barn sale a huge success
To the Editor:
We want to thank everyone in the community who supported our barn sale fundraiser for disaster relief. Whether you donated items, baked cookies, volunteered your time or purchased some "treasures," it all added up to a hugely successful day. We are thrilled to report that we will be sending a check for $2,506.00 to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. Hooray what a great community effort!
Celia, Jim and Parker Zimmerman
Closing Sleeper Room unnecessary
To the Editor:
It is regrettable that in last week's editorial "Goodbye to a gathering spot" and article "Sleeper Room closed to food service and community," neither the council on aging nor board of health was contacted for comment. The editor writes that the decision to limit the use of the Sleeper Room is an "understandable one given the board of health's stringent regulations and the question of costly insurance coverage." The council on aging firmly believes that the decision by the board of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association prohibiting the COA's use of the Sleeper Room for bimonthly luncheons and men's breakfasts was neither fair nor necessary. Furthermore, the board's decision is inconsistent with the ideals for which the room was originally intended. The room was named in honor of Edna Sleeper who contributed "untold hours to raise money for this building," as reported by the Carlisle Gazette in 1982. "Unwilling to settle for a smaller room which would accommodate only tenants, Ms. Sleeper on her own spearheaded a fundraising drive to assure a room large enough for townwide elderly functions."
While the board of health did request that a food service permit be obtained by Carlisle Elderly Housing Association, its intent was not to prevent the COA from holding functions, but rather to adhere to certain reasonable regulations. It was, however, the decision of the manager and president of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association board that the changes would be too costly and time consuming. With support and communication, certainly the requirements of the board of health can be met, and concerns of the Elderly Housing Association resolved.
The COA was directed by the president of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association, as noted in the editorial, to find another facility which "may be inconvenient but should not impose a hardship." Scheduling, facility usage fees, transportation, storage, and other obstacles do in fact impose a hardship on our senior citizens who look forward to gathering, socializing, and sharing a meal together in the Sleeper Room. The community is welcome to attend the next meeting of the Carlisle Elderly Housing Association board on October 15 at 7 p.m. at the Sleeper Room at 145 Church Street at which time this matter will be discussed. The council on aging is hopeful it will be able to continue to use the facility as it has for the past 15 years, and as was originally envisioned by Edna Sleeper.
director, council on aging
Ed note: The story on the closing of the Sleeper Room in the September 21 issue was based, in part, on information provided by Susan Evans, COA outreach coordinator.
Not proper reporting
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the editorial, "Goodbye to a gathering spot" and the article, "Sleeper Room closed to food service and community use" in the 9/21 issue.
As the recipient of the letter mentioned in both, I feel that it is necessary for me to respond to clarify a few points.
It was stated in the article that a COA member complained to the BOH regarding the lack of a dishwasher in the Sleeper Room. That statement is untrue. The COA had looked into what type of regulations are in place in hopes of having a dishwasher installed. There was never a complaint made to the BOH.
At no point did the BOH tell the COA that they could not serve meals in the Sleeper Room due to "stringent regulations." The BOH told the COA that we could continue to serve meals under the following stipulations: food had to be prepared elsewhere and disposable plates, cups and eating utensils must be used.
As far as the high cost of insurance, the COA is covered for liability under the Town of Carlisle's insurance policy. It is obvious that the reporter and editor did not do their homework. No one from the Mosquito contacted the COA or BOH before writing the editorial or article. This is not proper reporting, in my estimation. I would expect more from a small town paper.
To the Editor:
I would like to voice my displeasure regarding the comments made by our congressman Marty Meehan soon after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon. His comments were uncalled for and in poor taste. He tried to make petty political points at a time of national tragedy.
It is well known that our congressman is no friend of the president or his policies (who paid for his trips to Florida anyway?). So be it. He has a right to oppose the president's agenda. That right does not give him license to question his character at a moment of national crisis.
Congressman Meehan has disgraced his state, district and country.
Setting the record straight
To the Editor:
I recently became unpleasantly aware of how many people read the Mosquito Mail. Although many friends and acquaintances commented favorably on my August 31 account of my family's Rhine trip, others have mentioned the negative mail the piece generated, with some acknowledging they hadn't read the original story. I do not object to the stories and opinions of the letter writers; however, I do object that they took the opportunity to share them prefaced by personal attacks. As I know now that not everyone reads articles to the end, I feel I must respond.
Brigitte Thun (September 14) starts her letter "Why did Ms. Brako travel with her family to a country when she had so many personal reservations?" and concludes, "The lesson I learned: travel the world with an open mind." Here, Thun has answered her own question. To summarize my story: I traveled to Germany in the attempt to keep an open mind; I was rewarded with a wonderful experience.
Susan Goodall (September 21) took it one step further: "I am sorry that her [Ms. Brako's] expectations, attitude and travel selection made her trip disappointing." On the contrary, as stated in the piece, my trip greatly exceeded my expectations. The article describes the beauty of Strasbourg and the Rhine towns in Germany, and my positive experiences.
Instead of taking the politically correct avenue of never admitting to negative feelings prior to visiting Germany, I chose to be honest. My story of my family's trip down the Rhine is not a travelogue, but really the story of my own personal journey, past historical bias and towards modern understanding and acceptance. I am sorry that the letter writers did not travel with me to the end of my story. Thank you to those of you that did, either in the original feature or through this letter.
Anne Marie Brako
Let's reconsider cell tower request
To the Editor:
The Carlisle Mosquito of September 14 covered the application by American Tower and AT&T to install a cell tower at 662 Bedford Road. This application before the board of appeals requires three major variances, all of which are egregious. The cell tower bylaws, passed by Town Meeting, state the height of a tower should not be more then ten feet "above the natural preexistent tree canopy." The height variance requested allows a tower to exceed that limit by a minimum of 70 feet. The cell tower bylaws require a tower to be no closer to a lot line than 1.5 times its height. The distance variance requested is 0.76 times height. The bylaw requires a tower be no closer than 900 feet to an existing residence; there are 20 houses within this distance. These are not minor variances and, if granted, set a precedent that disables the town cell tower bylaws.
While there are surely some people who are encouraged to see this particular petition because they believe this tower will relieve demand to have a tower in their neighborhood, they are mistaken to believe this will be the only tower request. One of the points from the applicants, not covered by the Mosquito, but made in the September 6 meeting, was that the proposed tower at 662 Bedford Road did not provide adequate coverage. There will be other tower requests before the town, regardless of how this current issue is resolved.
Lastly, there is an interesting question as to why this application is in front of the appeals board rather than in front of the town planning board. The appeals process seems to deal with the particulars of this property and does not evaluate whether or not more suitable locations exist. If this process were debated in a planning board setting, there would be more control over the options by the town. Instead, the telephone companies are dictating which sites are under debate. This presents the town with a dilemma. If the variances are denied, the telephone companies are preparing to force the approval by state or court mandate. If, instead, the variance requests for this property are denied without prejudice on the basis that inadequate alternative sites were presented, then the telephone companies would have to prepare an alternatives study for the planning board. That would allow the town to choose sites rather than having the telephone companies dictate where and when they erect these towers,
I urge town residents to attend the board of appeals (BOA) October 2 meeting to request a strong stance by the BOA in upholding the town cell tower bylaws. Allowing a 150-foot tower on a piece of land that only qualifies for a 75-foot tower is not proper. It is my opinion that the selectmen should be asked to find an answer to the cell tower question before we are faced with a state or court mandate that takes this and future tower locations out of our hands.
Carlisle Police Association says thanks
To the Editor:
The members of the Carlisle Police Association would like to thank all of those who donated to our 2001 fund-raiser. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. It is through your support that we are able to continue our many meaningful programs and activities.
Sgt. Kevin M. Cardonne, treasurer,
Carlisle Police Association
Where are the Pig 'n Pepper volunteers?
To the Editor:
In response to last week's interview with Jeff Brown, I would like to thank Jeff and all of the volunteers who dedicate their own personal time to make such an event so successful. One thing that makes Carlisle so special is the community of volunteers that support activities such as our fire department, selectmen, school community and so many other groups.
Over the past three years, I have been involved with the volunteer committee and every year it becomes more and more difficult to fill the volunteer positions, let alone the leadership roles. Is this an event that the town no longer rallies behind? It takes more than 200 volunteers from Carlisle. Is it so hard to get volunteers because this event has lost its appeal?
Pheasant Hill Lane
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito