Friday, August 2, 2002


The Carlisle Mosquito turns 30

The name of our newspaper usually draws a smile. The Mosquito has been the voice of Carlisle, Massachusetts, for thirty years, but its offbeat name isn't its only distinction. We may be the only locally staffed, independent, non-profit weekly in Massachusetts.

The Carlisle Mosquito was begun in August 1972 by two local women, Bonnie Miskolczy and Hope ("Skip") Anderegg, who saw an urgent need for better town-wide communication. In the early years, the paper was produced by an all-volunteer staff, mostly women, and mimeographed in the basement of the First Religious Society parsonage. School children contributed by creating drawings and folding and stapling the issues. Then, as now, the paper was published weekly by a non-profit corporation, Carlisle Communications Inc., and delivered free to every household in Carlisle.

A printed, tabloid-size newspaper long ago replaced the mimeographed editions, and over the years, the Mosquito office has found a home in church buildings, a postal facility and, for a long time, a one-car garage. Today the Mosquito's semi-volunteer staff works out of airy, computerized offices on Westford Street. In 1991, as a member of the New England Press Association, the Mosquito won a general excellence award, making it probably the only paper to win this award while still giving its workers February school vacation week off.

The paper's founding principles carry over to this day: accurate and fair news coverage; free delivery; access for all, with all ideas valued and participation of all ages with the goal of promoting community. The paper is supported by advertisements and out-of-town subscriptions and most unusually, by an annual fund drive that appeals to the town's 1800 households. Each year, close to $25,000 is raised in this manner.

For three decades the Mosquito has chronicled a small town trying to hold on to its rural character while struggling with population growth, land-use issues, development, school expansion and budget constraints. With this edition, the paper celebrates 30 years of continuous publication.

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito