The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 7, 2002

Library fundraiser still needs donations

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Education Foundation has established a fundraising initiative to keep the Carlisle School Library open full time next school year. In order to meet this objective, the foundation must raise $50,000 by June 19. As of June 4 we have received donations totaling $22,000, so we are almost 50% of the way to our objective. These donations are from 56 different donors, some of whom do not have children in our school. We thank all donors who have contributed to this important cause.

Ninety percent of families with children in the school have not donated yet. We have two weeks to raise the balance of funds needed to keep the library open full time. If only 50% of school families who have not yet donated give $100 each, we will reach our $50,000 objective ­ and the library will remain open on a full-time basis for our children.

A generous donor has pledged $7,000 as a challenge grant by agreeing to provide $1 in matching funds for every $2 donated over the next two weeks. Please take advantage of this great opportunity to make a difference for our community, our school, and our children by sending your donation today. Donations are tax deductible, and don't forget to use gift matching if your employer provides that benefit.

Send donations to: CEF, P.O. Box 734, Carlisle MA 01741. Thank you.

Jeff Brown
Carlisle Education Foundation

Help CEF keep school library open

To the Editor:

On May 10, the Carlisle Education Foundation mailed a flier to the residents of Carlisle. It contained a plea for donations to make up the $40,000 shortfall in the Carlisle School library budget. I urge all residents of Carlisle to send a donation to the CEF to eliminate this shortfall. It won't take much money from each of us to close the gap.

A grade school without a full-time library is just plain silly. It is not practical to use the town library. Do we want individual students to leave the campus any time they need something from the library? Is it reasonable for a teacher to collect his or her students together for an outing and waste a half-hour just walking back and forth? These things would make more sense if the school did not already have a library, but it does.

It's an excellent library. Don't let it languish. Please support it with a donation.

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
Rutland Street

CCHS' past success in jeopardy

To the Editor:

Parents of students in the Carlisle School or at CCHS, past or future parents, or graduates, should pause to consider the enormous value of our schools to our town, and the enormous harm that is about to be done, perhaps.

The principle role of the Carlisle School is to prepare students for CCHS. It does this extraordinarily well, to judge from the prominence of Carlisle kids on the high school honor-roll and in the medal-winning band, just to mention two aspects. We are about to put this success in jeopardy for 800 Carlisle students.

The principle role of CCHS is to prepare students for college. About 95% of its graduates go on to higher education each year, about 75% to four-year private colleges. CCHS has a well-known reputation for excellence among colleges, with large numbers accepted at the most selective schools every year. This remarkable success is also about to be jeopardized for 300 current and 800 future Carlisle students.

As our selectmen and FinCom certainly understand, it is nearly impossible to arrive at a "modest" increase in the Carlisle assessment for CCHS a year after our student population increased by 15%. Dramatic program reductions will be required if adequate funding is not provided.

A 15% student-population increase requires a similar increase in the Carlisle assessment to maintain a level service at the high school. The Carlisle assessment is our share of a proposed 7% budget increase, which is in proportion with the increasing total of students from the two towns.

It is true that the CCHS faculty is well paid. They are among the best teachers in the state. Reports that they are the highest paid are due in large part to unusual retirement incentives and bonuses for departing senior faculty. But the extraordinary quality of CCHS and of the Carlisle School is a direct measure of the excellence of the faculties.

It is perhaps not too late to express support for our schools.

It would be worth your effort and much appreciated.

Harry Crowther
Bedford Road
Former school committee member

Be fair to elders

To the Editor:

Like everyone else, I help pay for the education of the children in town. Other people helped me pay for the education of my children in another town.

This is the American way and is one of the benefits of democracy.

Great in theory but a serious problem for senior citizens. If one has retired on a pension which was considered adequate at the time, it is no longer adequate today because of inflation. We are paying twice as much for education now than was paid for the last generation. If my retirement income had increased at the rate of inflation then it would not be a problem, but it has not.

I thought, when this town started to expand, with the building of million-dollar houses, it would benefit by the increased tax base. Actually the only folks who have benefited are the people who sold their land, and the developers themselves. Certainly old-timers in town have not. They did not need a larger police department, a larger fire department, a larger town library, a larger school, or a new town hall. These were all added to accommodate the new people moving into this desirable town.

The argument is presented that because of the increase in value of real estate, the value of my property has increased. This is only paper profit and is of no value to me unless I sell my house and move out of town.

The net effect of all this is that the old-timers are subsidizing the newcomers, since new taxes do not cover the town's operating cost. How much more absurd can the tax structure in town be?

To be fair to elders, the tax structure should be revised so that their burden is reduced. If this is not done, why should the town expect them to support a new school or any other additional item that would further increase taxes?

Hal Shneider
Bingham Road

Tips on tick relief

To the Editor:

Related to the articles last week on ticks and Lyme disease, I would like to suggest a good way to reduce ticks on your property. Spraying pesticides and clearing brush will significantly reduce biodiversity, including beneficial insects and birds. There's a better method for those of us, including garden toads, who don't like bark mulch!

Damminix tick tubes are small cardboard cylinders filled with cotton balls permeated with a mild insecticide, permethrin. White-footed mice collect the cotton and use it for nesting material. Parasites, including deer ticks in the larval stage, are killed when the mice sleep in their nests! Permethrin does not harm the mice (it has been used for years in laboratories) or other creatures, such as birds, which might use the cotton for nesting. It should not be used in wetlands, where fish or amphibians might be exposed.

The tubes of cotton are put out twice a year in places frequented by mice, such as under rocks, or in brush piles and stone walls. On our property, we try to keep the tubes up off the ground whenever possible (in a woodpile, for example), to reduce the chance of accidental contact with frogs or salamanders, which have sensitive skins.

When Damminix is used as recommended, it significantly reduces the number of ticks on your property without harming other wildlife. Tubes can be mail-ordered by calling EcoHealth, Inc., at 1-617-742-2400, or faxing 617-742-4953.

Jean Keskulla
Concord Street

Beware of dog

To the Editor:

Here is a headline suitable for the National Enquirer: "Jack Russell Terrier is a Computer Hacker."

Do you utilize telephone automatic banking? Is the confidentiality and security adequate? If you think so, you should read on.

I keep my Fax machine on the floor under my desk. The other day while working at my desk, my dog, Jack, came up to visit me and walked across the Fax machine. He happened to trip the redial button, and the next thing I heard was the dialing of a very long number. Apparently the last number called was to my bank, inquiring about information on my checking account. No problem, you require my social security number and PIN to access my account. Whoa! I looked down at the number readout on the Fax machine. There, in very clear numbers is the phone number for my bank, my social security number, my PIN, and all the 1s, 2s, and 3s that I used to access info on my account. Do you have a cell phone or home phone with a last call redial? Watch out.

What has Jack been doing recently? Well, I just received ten boxes of dog cookies from Alpo. "Jack, have you been on my computer again?"

Ken Waite
Bedford Road

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito