Friday, November 1, 2002
Police chief supports Restorative Justice
To the Editor:
I am very pleased that Carlisle is in the process of bringing Restorative Justice to the community. The Restorative Circle model, used in many locations throughout the United States, focuses on the harmful effects of offenders' actions and actively involves victims and offenders in the process of reparation and rehabilitation. Although not necessarily a "cure all" for every minor offense, it will provide the police and the community with an alternative recourse for holding an offender accountable for his or her actions.
David T. Galvin
Carlisle Chief of Police
Voters support good schools
To the Editor:
As a result of reading the Mosquito Letters to the Editor of October 26 and attending finance subcommittee meetings in Concord, I have been exposed to the views of the regional school committee chair. Among other points made by Ms. Bilodeau was advice to voters that a) they have a choice between supporting the school committee's sensible budget or letting the schools "crumble" and b) they should understand the consequences of the vote they cast.... Unfortunately, her comments left many feeling she believes the voters to be uninformed and that to not fully support the upcoming school committee budget paints them as "anti-education." This couldn't be further from the truth and I would like to offer another view which is shared by many voters in both Carlisle and Concord. It has been clearly illustrated that voters favor good schools and have made it known in public forums and at the ballot box. They support a strong educational system to the extent that they are able to do so financially, with the constraints imposed by the ballot choices. The voters expect the school committee to come up with a budget that reflects the difficult economic times we are all facing — especially our towns. And the voters expect the school committee to maintain educational quality within the financial limitations of the community that elects them. While Ms. Bilodeau reminds us that voters "should understand the consequences of the vote they cast," we would remind Ms. Bilodeau that it is up to the school committee to understand the consequences of their actions and votes, particularly in the matter of collective bargaining. Voters want and support good schools!
David B. Trask
Log Hill Road
An assault on free speech
To the Editor:
Over the past several days a number of the political signs that Carlisle citizens have placed in front of their houses have been stolen. The fact that the perpetrators seem to have been indifferent to party suggests that the act is nothing more than thoughtless vandalism. But it is not a trivial matter. Placing signs that support candidates favored by a homeowner is one aspect of free speech, the cornerstone of democracy. History has many instances of free speech thwarted by vandals. As representatives of both the Democratic and Republican Town Committees, we deplore this act. It has no place in Carlisle.
chair, Democratic Town Committee
Republican Town Committee
Political signs vandalized
To the Editor:
Last night in Carlisle, many of the political lawn signs for Democratic and Republican candidates were stolen. People may be unaware that the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech and the press, allows people to place political signs on their property. We welcome a display of civility by the [anonymous] return of these signs to the Carlisle Police station so that they may be used before the election on Tuesday Nov 5.
Democratic Town Committee
Write-in vote urged for Randall Forsberg
To the Editor:
A write-in vote for Randall Forsberg for U.S. Senator in next week's election would be a vote for peace and an expression of your displeasure with Senator Kerry's vote in favor of the Iraq war resolution (which gave the President blanket power for a unilateral and preemptive war.) Randall Forsberg is a well-known peace activist. She founded and directs the nonprofit Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS,) which publishes the Arms Control Reporter, a monthly reference journal used by governments and think tanks worldwide. She issued a "Call to Halt the Nuclear Arms Race," which launched the nuclear weapons freeze campaign in 1980. She decided on a last-minute write-in opposition to Kerry only after his Iraq war vote and she wrote a very gracious "Dear John" letter to him (which can be seen at www.rforsberg.com/dearjohn.htm) explaining her reasons before she launched the write-in campaign.
Under the "Senator in Congress" column on the ballot use the write-in space to put "Randall Forsberg" and underneath put "950 Mass. Ave. Cambridge", and put an X in the box.
Senator Kerry is opposed only by a Libertarian candidate, not a Republican, so it is very unlikely that this vote will affect the outcome of the election, but it will be a significant expression for peace.
Vote no on Question 2
To the Editor:
I am writing to ask the residents of Carlisle to vote no on Question 2 on November 5. Question 2 asks voters to decide what is the best method to teach English: immersion or a variety of transitional programs including two-way bilingual education. By voting yes on Question 2, one is voting to change the newly reformed bilingual education system and replace it with a one-size- fits-all immersion program where children, regardless of age or learning ability, will be put into immersion programs for one year. This summer, the Legislature reformed bilingual education with an overhaul reform bill which calls for more accountability, more qualified teachers and testing to ensure that students are really learning English. Republicans and Democrats alike supported this reform. We all know that students learn in different manners and in different amounts of time. The same is true for learning English. It is true that some students learn English best through immersion, but it is also true that some students learn English best through a two-way program. I have talked to those who went through immersion and who said it worked for them. But, I have also talked with those for which the immersion program did not work. Question 2 goes too far; it offers only one choice versus a variety of choices that can be geared to a student's learning style. It also includes a provision where teachers can be personally sued for repeatedly speaking a foreign language and it will be costly to tax-payers. I believe that question 2 is not the answer for teaching kids English but rather is a narrow-minded initiative that will do more harm than good. Let educators, teachers and professionals reform education, not an initiative petition. Please educate yourself before voting on this question; the children of Massachusetts deserve that.
O'Brien-Gabrieli ticket praised
To the Editor:
As voters from Carlisle weigh their decision regarding the race for governor and lieutenant governor on November 5th, I hope they will familiarize themselves with the strong and well-articulated policies advocated by Shannon O'Brien and Chris Gabrieli.
The O'Brien-Gabrieli plan for clean air and reliable energy, for example, has as its goals to reduce air pollution, cut energy costs for individuals and businesses, create business opportunities for Massachusetts' companies, diversify our supply of energy by expanding wind, solar, geothermal and biomass energy, reduce emissions that cause climate change, and lessen our dependence on imported oil.
Carlisle voters need to know that Shannon and Chris have pulled together a strong Environmental Task Force of some of the most talented, experienced environmentalists across the state, people who understand that government has a responsibility to enforce environmental laws while also doing all it can to assist businesses and communities in meeting higher standards that benefit us all and rewriting state policies which inadvertently make problems worse.
The O'Brien-Gabrieli team has put forth a set of creative and farsighted policy proposals which tackle the problems of sprawl and overbuilding, loss of open space, air pollution, traffic congestion and lack of affordable housing. The candidates see a strong link among these issues as well.
Their plans to address the need for affordable housing and smart growth are informed, thoughtful and specific as is their commitment to education, health care and prescription drug coverage. These proposals and more can be read on the candidates' web page: www.obriengabrieli.com/issues.
For voters who care about all of these issues and more, we have a stark choice on November 5th: opt for a candidate who has been endorsed by the Bush administration and Christine Todd Whitman because he reflects their conservative views and agenda in so many critical areas, or choose the team that will work with communities like ours to tackle the complex problems that we are grappling with and help preserve our quality of life.
Susanne Santoro Gerson
Display American flags correctly
To the Editor:
When the Mosquito's June 28, 2002 edition carried a photo of our American flag on "an old barn on Bedford Road near town center," we noted that the flag was incorrectly hung or perhaps the photo was flipped, right to left.
We never saw the actual flag pictured on your front page, so we can't say if this was a "simple" photo reversal or not, but we have since noted another flag in town that is incorrectly displayed and are reminded of your earlier photo.
The patriotism offered by those displaying the flag is commendable; however, we want to remind everyone that there are well-defined rules for properly displaying the flag.
Hung against a wall as shown in your front-page photo, the flag's star field should be upper left. The Mosquito photo displayed the star field at the upper right. The upper left orientation for the star field is correct whether the flag is hung vertically or horizontally against a wall.
Numerous web pages reference US flag display etiquette, and one site we recommend is: www.ushistory.org/betsy/flagetlq.html.
Jim and Linda Kistler
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito