The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 1, 2002

Carlisle Affordable Housing Inc. to be dissolved

To the Editor:

The directors of Carlisle Affordable Housing, Inc. (CAHI), a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to developing affordable housing in Carlisle, have voted to dissolve the corporation.

CAHI was organized in 1989 and subsequently was abandoned but not formally dissolved. CAHI was revived in 2000 when it was thought that it might be an appropriate organization to develop housing on the Conant Land. After two failed attempts to develop affordable housing on town-owned land, it has become apparent that the town's commitment to affordable housing as articulated in the Affordable Housing Plan approved at the 2001 Town Meeting is not strong enough to overcome well-organized groups of abutters. CAHI does not have the assets to enable it to purchase land and it is unlikely that substantial donations can be secured for unspecified projects. While CAHI (or any other developer) may purchase a parcel and under Chapter 40B obtain a comprehensive permit to build as many units as Title 5 allows (four bedrooms per acre if the land perks) without any further consent of the town, we do not feel that it is appropriate for a group of Carlisle citizens operating as a non-profit to undertake such a development without consent of Town Meeting.

For these reasons we have voted to dissolve and contribute all funds in excess of those needed to pay the costs of dissolution to the Town of Carlisle to be used for affordable housing or educational purposes. We recommend that a town affordable housing committee reporting to the selectmen be established to determine if and how the Town should respond to the need for affordable housing. Should this committee determine that a non-profit corporation is the appropriate vehicle to develop a particular property, one can be formed.

Edward H. Sonn, President

Woodland Road

Do we need all these pools?

To the Editor:

I am responding to the Mosquito article of February 8, "Community pool on CCHS grounds closer to construction." I am thrilled at the idea of having an indoor pool for use by our high school swim and diving teams as well as a facility for year-round swimming instruction, safety training, and recreational programs. However, the plans developed by the C.C. Pools group seem to me to go far beyond meeting our needs for a community swimming facility. Do we really need three pools (one with an adjustable length feature and a slide), a community area for public meetings with a kitchen, a fitness room and a child-care area?

The original bequest of $5 million was available some five years ago. Planning and fundraising since then has added $1.5 million. The current plan requires another $2.5 million. The article says that construction should begin this summer - is that with or without the additional money in the bank? And without the money in the bank, will public funds become necessary to complete and maintain this elaborate facility? Or, after waiting five years already, will our children have to wait longer for more money to be raised in this uncertain economic environment?

My family and I are avid recreational and competitive swimmers who, like other Carlisle families, have used pools in surrounding communities. We have spent years driving to the Acton-Boxborough High School pool, which is very modest, but has been home to numerous championship high school and town swim teams and is used day and night for community swimming programs.

It is my opinion that we simply need a large 25-yard lap pool with adequate deck space, a diving pool, decent locker rooms, handicapped accessibility, and coaches, parents and kids committed to the sport. Swimming offers everyone a wonderful opportunity to improve fitness, learn discipline, and have fun. Let's stop talking and build a pool!

Colleen Brennan
Bedford Road

Applause for C. C. Pools

To the Editor:

As an assistant swim coach, father, life-long swimmer and 30-year Concord resident, I found Darlene D'Amour's article on the community pool in the Carlisle Mosquito welcome news.

During my years as an obstetrician, I have delivered hundreds of children from Carlisle and Concord, and now have the pleasure of coaching several of them as members of the high school team over the past two seasons. Soon we will be able to watch the CCHS swimming and diving team in Concord instead of traveling to Sudbury for meets and Lexington for practices that begin after 5:30 in the evening.

I applaud C.C. Pools for taking the initiative to ensure that this proposed swim and health facility becomes a reality. The objective is to create a facility that is economically feasible and self-supporting without cost to the taxpayers. My wife Carol and I believe firmly in this project that will be of such value to both our towns. We have made our gift and I have volunteered to help C.C. Pools raise the remaining $2.5 million needed to attain our goal of $7.5 million.

I am certain you will agree that it is a daunting task to request monetary donations from friends and neighbors, but this facility will provide our communities with an asset that will have a positive effect on the quality and enjoyment of all our lives. This, I hope, is something worthy of everyone's consideration from both communities.

Won't it be great to cheer our home team on in our own pool, and to watch our children thrive in health programs that will serve not only them, but also ­ quite literally ­ every age group in Carlisle and Concord?

Albert C. Lesneski, M.D.
Monument Street, Concord

Proposed pool needs your help

To the Editor:

At a time when town and school budgets, together with a decline in state aid, put relentless upward pressure on our local property taxes, many citizens rightly worry about how we can continue to maintain and improve the services which make living in Carlisle such a pleasure.

One creative approach is that taken by C. C. Pools, (Concord/Carlisle People Organized to Open a Local Swim Facility), a not-for-profit organization established to build and donate to the Towns an indoor swim and health facility on the campus of the regional high school. Intended to benefit the entire community, this building will contain a competitive pool, a shallow exercise and instruction pool, a diving well, an exercise room, baby-sitting services and several areas for public and social functions. Activities will include teen swimming, programs for seniors, instruction for children and infants, aerobics, aquatherapy, lap swimming, family swim and competitive meets, to name but a few. Every segment of our population will be able to enjoy this facility.

Our towns will receive a major recreational asset which will greatly improve the quality of life for thousands of our neighbors at no capital cost and no future operating drain on our budgets. Success, however, depends upon the generosity of those who live here. The citizens of Carlisle have a wonderful chance to participate in this creative undertaking by joining with their Concord neighbors in donating to this exciting project.

Pete Funkhouser
Main Street, Concord
President, C. C. Pools

Changes not agreed upon

To the Editor:

The front page of the February 15 edition of The Mosquito included an article on Berry Corner Lane by Susan Yanofsky. That article included a very inaccurate quote attributed to me. When I spoke with her last week, I mentioned that we were surprised to receive a letter from the Valchuis brothers saying they expected each of us to pay "as agreed" (their quote), for their "improvement" of our lane in the amount of $9598.13 for each abutter within 30 days.

This was the first any of us had heard of such an "agreement." Quite to the contrary, none of us felt it needed improvement.

It has been a joy to live on this country lane for over 30 years with cooperative neighbors, paying taxes on it, as we consistently have, and improving it as we wished.

Please correct the impression created by this article to the effect that I said the lane was "improved as agreed." We were away when this work began, but I understand some of our neighbors actually called the police in an attempt to stop it. The project started immediately after the conservation commission settled a superior court action brought by the Valchuis brothers. The effect of this settlement was to waive a town wetlands bylaw. The record will show that we strenuously objected to this action.

I now learn that a certificate of compliance has been issued by the DEP; I therefore look forward to the prompt removal by the Valchuis brothers of the grossly unattractive siltation barrier they installed last summer.

Judith Wells
Berry Corner Lane

Hooray for the CYC and Friday Night Live!

To the Editor:

My daughters, Juliet and Schuyler, and I arrived in Carlisle from Toronto late Friday afternoon, February 1, in spite of snow, ice and cancelled flights. It was no accident that our visit was planned to coincide with Friday Night Live, to which Schuyler had been looking forward since she attended her first one back in December.

Due to a shortage of chaperones on this occasion, which threatened to cancel the event, I had the opportunity and privilege to chaperone for the first time. I really enjoyed myself as, apparently, did the 205 kids who arrived at 7:30 for a dance and games in the gym and departed at 9:30. It was a treat to share in the atmosphere of fun and excitement generated by this large group of middle-schoolers.

The Carlisle Youth Commission (CYC), Kathy Hassey, Kathryn Dennison, Lynn Carpenito, Nancy Orlando and David Freedman are the enterprising and committed crew that organize and run (yes, they were all on hand) this event every month with obvious success. They are supported by volunteer chaperones, mostly parents, who watch the exits, monitor the dance floor and basketball games, meet and chat with each other, peddle pizza and soda, sort 200 coats and best of all get to be part of an excellent Carlisle event.

So, I urge all parents of middle-schoolers, and anyone else interested in supporting this popular endeavor, to volunteer when you get the chance. At least 200 members of your community look forward to Friday Night Live each month and it can't run without a generous complement of chaperones. Did I mention that it is fun?

Thanks, youth commissioners and fellow volunteers. Keep up the good work!

Joan Dalton
Toronto, Ontario

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito