The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 16, 2001

School committee invites you to Ed Forum

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Carlisle School Committee, I invite you to mark your calendars and be sure to join us Saturday morning, December 1, for the Seventh Annual Carlisle Education Forum. This year we are fortunate to welcome Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair to speak about (How to avoid) Courting Disaster: Encouraging Healthy Relationships among Children and Teens in a Less than Healthy Media Culture.

Each day news, entertainment, and advertising media bombard us with images and words containing overt and subliminal messages about how we should look and behave. And it's not just Britney Spears and rap and hip-hop musicians who set a dubious standard for how our young people dress and speak. With the personal scandals of our elected officials making news headlines, even some of the politicians we ask our children to admire act as questionable moral role models. Our actions as adults (parents and non-parents alike) in the community have a significant impact on how our children respond to these media messages. In what ways do we knowingly and unwittingly reinforce these messages? How can we as parents, teachers, and other concerned members of the community help our children respond to the media appropriately?

Dr. Steiner-Adair has been the Director of Education, Prevention and Outreach at the Harvard Eating Disorders Center and is one of the nation's leading authorities on media messages and child and teen development. A frequent consultant to schools, Steiner-Adair promises a provocative morning as she challenges us to review our own actions and expectations.

Dr. Steiner-Adair's talk will be followed by community discussion groups. Registration fliers have been sent to all Carlisle households. Pre-registration makes planning easier, but you can also register at 9 a.m. at the door. I hope to see you all in Corey Auditorium from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 1.

David Dockterman
Carlisle School Committee

Town Forest should be conservation land

To the Editor:

In Mr. Sonn's letter two weeks ago, he referred to the abutters of the Town Forest with what read like a bit of disdain. His issued warning was that you must all get out to vote to defeat this group of abutters who intend to foil his plans to develop the Town Forest. I would first like to assure each and every resident of Carlisle that we abutters are not the enemy. We are a community of neighbors and friends many of whom have been caring for and loving the Carlisle Town Forest for well over twenty years. Our children learned their love of nature from the peaceful walks through this gorgeous parcel of land nestled quietly between Brook Street, East Street, East Meadow Lane, Carroll Drive, and East Riding Drive. In addition, and respectfully, Mr. Sonn, there are innumerable members of the larger Carlisle community, who do not come under your heading of abutters, who also enjoy the beauty of the Town Forest.

Each season brings new wonders to enjoy, and evidence of a wide variety of wildlife from cozy holes hiding under roots to deer tracks of all sizes in the snow. Year after year new generations of children explore in the safety of these "hundred acre woods," as my autistic teenager likes to refer to them. This community of which I speak never needs to be asked to set to work grooming the trails and keeping them safe­we bump into one another armed with chain saws to clear fallen logs as soon as each new storm subsides.

We have always known that these woods were not considered conservation land. However, we have treasured them and honored them and kept them pristine just exactly as if they were. Please consider the gift of these "hundred acre woods" to the town of Carlisle in the form of your vote to allow the Town Forest to become conservation land for future generations to enjoy.

Pamela Demko
East Meadow Lane

Affordable housing: a different approach

To the Editor:

For several years, Carlisle has been wrestling with the issues associated with "Affordable Housing." We have made several attempts to being the process of compliance, but thus far we have few tangible results to show for our efforts. Rather than begin with another proposal process that will pit one sector of the town against another, perhaps we need to do a little "soul searching" and obtain agreement on an approach and strategy beforehand.

First we need to discuss and agree on strategies to comply, circumvent, or repeal this legislation. From what I can tell, this program has widespread support in the legislature and many supporting organizations, so counter-legislation may result in a prolonged battle. If we assume compliance is the only viable short-term alternative, we then need to agree on whether we are to be reactive or proactive participants in the process. That is, do we as a town unite to develop approaches or do we simply wait for others, such as builders, to make proposals favoring their best interests rather than ours? If we decide to be proactive, then the major issue to be addressed is whether we promote a distributed approach, clusters of affordable housing units, or a combination of the two.

The previous question results in two issues instantly arising. The distributed approach, while more acceptable as it does not affect the overall rural nature of our town, is decidedly more expensive, probably adding over two thousand dollars to every taxpayer's annual bill over a period of many years. The cluster approach, while less expensive, carries the stigma of the dreaded "housing project" in our otherwise rural community. So, we need to either settle for a compromise or develop new approaches, such as tax-exempt housing authorities, utilizing Habitat for Humanity, etc. (Some communities, such as Richmond, Virginia, have set up non-profit entities to facilitate compliance using tax-advantaged approaches.) We must possess the talent in this town to do the research and find creative solutions to the dilemma.

Whatever we decide to do, I believe we need to take a moment to decide where we want this journey to take us before we ask for more proposals for possible final destinations, and consequently suffer the effects of yet another rejection by the bewildered travelers.

Jim Elgin
East Riding Drive

Thanks for candy donations

To the Editor:

Many thanks to Terry Golson for writing to the Mosquito and suggesting that people drop off candy at Daisy's Market for Halloween. Thanks also to Dale Ryder for distributing it. The response was great and we had more children (and parents) stop by to "Trick or Treat"than ever before!

Barbara Culkins
Carlisle Center

Pumpkin spectacle a smashing success

To the Editor:

The 18th Annual Pumpkin Spectacle of the Gleason Library was a great success thanks to the many people who contributed their help. Our judges, Sandy Nash, Bonnie Miskolczy and Marty Galligan, had the difficult job of choosing the prize-winners from the more than 85 creative entries. Nancy Roberts took her usual excellent pictures.

Our thanks go also to Saint Irene Church who provided the space. The Friends of the Gleason Library provided all the financial support for the Spectacle. They paid for Tony Toledo's performance, the book prizes and the refreshments.

Marty Seneta
for the Gleason Library staff

Thanks for supporting the sheep

The following letter was sent to the Carlisle Conservation Foundation. It is reprinted here with permission.

Dear CCF Directors and Membership,

On behalf of the Carlisle Conservation Commission, I would like to thank you for your foresight and support of the sheep-powered, pasture management program this past summer. Your generous pursuit of the project has done wonders for the perception of conservation management, our vaunted rurality and roadside view enhancement. We would encourage you to give serious consideration to how this extremely visible and valuable project might be continued into the foreseeable future.

John D. Lee
for the Carlisle Conservation Commission

History of the Carlisle Town Forest

To the Editor:

The earliest reference to the land containing the Town Forest was in Donald A. Lapham's book Carlisle, Its History and Heritage, where it states that James Nickles built his house on East Street around 1754 and established a farm. His sons James,Jr. and John served as Minutemen in 1775. The land stayed in the Nickles family until purchased by John Holland of Lowell sometime prior to 1854.

The social structure was quite different than today and each town had an obligation to look after the poor. Carlisle, in 1852, started investigating establishment of a Town Farm. In 1854, Carlisle purchased the 168-acre farm of John Holland for that purpose. In 1880 the town authorized wood to be sold from the Town Farm and realized $2,025 toward town debt.

Establishment of the Carlisle Town Forest was first proposed at a town meeting in 1922 and approved in 1923 to use a portion of the Town Farm "be reserved as it now is, for a Town Forest." In 1929, 4000 white pine and 2000 red pine seedlings were planted in open areas and undesirable trees and brush cleared. In 1928 Carlisle was one of ten Middlesex County towns to have a Town Forest.

With society changing, by 1900 the number of people cared for at the Town Farm was so small that the need for it was difficult to justify and in 1921 the Town voted to sell the Farm (excluding the Town Forest). The sale was made in 1925 to the Philbrick brothers who continued its function for several years.

The Philbricks sold their portion of the farm in 1957 to David Sigourney who sold to builder Ingemann Nielson in 1966. TIfirst viewed the land about 35 years ago and remember the large hay field of gently rolling land of approximately 28 acres. Of this large field approximately six acres adjacent to the Town Forest still produces hay and provides a vista for East Street.

Some trees in the Town Forest are over 100 feet tall. Two streams feed wetland areas. Evidence of dug wells lined with stone are present. One vernal pool is in process of certification and several other vernal pool sites appear likely. One should walk the trails to experience the quiet sounds of nature. We owe the earlier residents of Carlisle our gratitude for creating this treasure.

Edward Humm
East Street

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito