The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 8, 2002

Kudos for Deputy Fire Chief David Flannery

To the Editor:

Robert Koning has retired after 41 highly dedicated years as our Chief of the Carlisle Fire Department. His Deputy Chief, David Flannery, should now rightfully be elevated to this position. David, a native of Carlisle, rising within the rank has been an outstanding member of the force for 33 years, the last 23 years as Deputy Chief.

His vast knowledge in many areas has been served with deep dedication, compassion and integrity. This service should now be recognized. Please contact the selectmen and highly recommend that this position be rightfully offered to David.

Suzanne Antognoni
Evergreen Lane

Separate tax rates for land and buildings?

To the Editor:

There seems to be little recognition in town of the unfair nature of the current increase in real estate tax, although it was conceded in a front page article in the Mosquito of October 18 that "Smaller homes... will see the highest percentage increase in property taxes...." There have been no complaints from the populace, and town officials let sleeping dogs lie.

What has happened is that the increase is highly regressive, similar to the increases of 2001 and 1989. This happens when there is a sharp increase in the assessed value of building lots, and a related drop in the tax rate.

The value of a building lot was increased from $213,400 in fiscal 2002 to $256,100 in fiscal 2003, and the tax rate dropped from 15.78 to 15.05. In my case the building value remained unchanged at $102,400. The net result is an increase in my taxes of 8.3%. (Not bad compared to earlier increases.) But consider the effect on taxes for a property valued at $1,500,000. The land value is small compared with the total value and the effect is a reduction in taxes of 1%! Is that unfair or not?

A more extreme example took place just two years ago. The land value went up $60,900 and the tax rate went down from 17.80 to 15.02. My taxes went up 12.4% and the taxes on the $1,500,000 property went down 12%.

The worst case occurred in 1989 when the land value went up 140,000 and the tax rate dropped from 16.56 to 11. 15. My taxes went up 48.3% (That is not a typo.) and the tax on a 1,000,000 property went down 22%.

The obvious solution to this problem is separate tax rates for land and building. It does not make sense that the tax on the building should go down if the value of the land goes up. There should be no connection between the two. I am sure I will be told that the law does not allow separate tax rates. If that is the case then the law should be changed. It should not be another case where the tax law favors the wealthy.

Fred Churchill
125 Acton St.

Thanks for donations to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

To the Editor:

It was with great fortune that I refrained from issuing my "Thank You to Carlisle" letter until the Dublin marathon was over. I was so pumped up from the amazing outpouring of support I received throughout my fundraising drive that I was dangerously close to making some testosterone-laden promise to "Win it all for Carlisle!!!" As it turned out, some Kenyan guy made his move about two feet into the race and squeaked out the victory over me by about two or three hours. I guess he just wanted it more.

In all sincerity, I had intended to submit my letter of appreciation as soon as I reached my goal of $3,800 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Approximately $5,000 later — the total keeps changing as checks continue to come in — I found myself paralyzed in front of my computer trying to craft a composition that would match the extent of my gratitude.

In addition to the remarkable financial support I received for the L & L Society, I personally benefited from the genuine interest Carlisle had demonstrated in my endeavor, as well as the overwhelming moral support I received throughout the ups and downs of my training. I have learned a great deal about the character of this town and have never felt more proud to be a part of this, or any, community.

What I have not learned yet, unfortunately, is the faces to all the names that have appeared on the countless checks I have collected over these many months. Moreover, I realize that many of you have been anonymously stuffing the donation can in Daisy's Market regularly, which contributed greatly to my total, and there is no possibility of hunting any of you down.

Consequently, and perhaps appropriately, I hope that you will all now accept this, my warmest thanks, for helping to make my experience with the L & L Society and the Dublin Marathon one of my greatest memories. Thank you Carlisle!

Louis Daisy
Lowell Street

Concerns about the intersection of Brook and Maple Streets

To the Editor:

Repair of the Maple Street culvert is imminent. What an opportune time to remedy the hazardous intersection at Brook Street and Maple Street.

The existing situation is dangerous:

1. Drivers approaching the intersection from Brook Street have a Yield sign, but cannot see oncoming traffic until they have pulled out into the intersection, often in front of high-speed Maple Street traffic. Meanwhile, drivers approaching the intersection from Maple Street can see merging cars from Brook Street and are in a better position to yield.

2. In addition, some drivers approaching the intersection from the Bedford Road side of Maple Street have failed to negotiate the curve and have run off the other side of the road into the stone wall or the large pine tree.

I don't claim to know the best solution, but I urge the powers that be to consider changing the signage at this intersection. It might make more sense and be safer for all concerned if cars on Maple Street were the ones to yield — or better yet, come to a complete stop.

Anne Ketchen
Brook Street

Volunteers thanked for Halloween party at Diment Park

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Parents Connection would like to thank Jennifer Albanese and Carole Ackerman for organizing and running the Halloween party at Diment Park. The other volunteers who contributed to making the event a success were Nancy Szczesniak, Gail Bernardin, M. J. Austin, Sarah Hoffman, Chrissy Sandwen, Michelle Small, Kate Sweeney, Casey Smith, Lisa Chaffin, Pat Simon and Louann Chiotelis.

Stephanie Blunt
Cross Street
for the Carlisle Parents Connection

Thanks to school employees

To the Editor:

As one of the room parents for Karen Morse's kindergarten class, I had the pleasure this year of participating in the preparations for the Halloween parade which takes place each year at the Carlisle School. Even though I have watched the parade from a good vantage point on Church Street for the past several years, this was the first time that I was involved with helping the children into costumes, waiting as all the elementary grades lined up with their teachers in the plaza to wait their turn in line for the parade, and then accompanying the parade down Church Street, up School Street and then through the corridors of the school and finally back to the classroom for refreshments.

I was struck by the amount of time and preparation which went into making this a special, incredibly joyful event for the children. Most all the teachers and staff donned costumes —and joined the children in getting into the spirit of Halloween. I was impressed that all the school employees took time out of their busy schedules to get into costume, to decorate classroom doors and most importantly, to be visible to the children with big smiles on their faces. There was truly a spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection and fun and the children were caught up in the magic of the moment. As we came to the end of the parade and the children walked back on to the school grounds, they were greeted and cheered by the Middle School students who had not participated in the parade. It was truly a school-wide event with everyone taking a part in making the younger children feel special.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the employees at our wonderful school for making the extra effort, taking a moment to smile and join in the fun and, best of all, for making the Carlisle School the very special place that it is.

Dale Ryder
Lowell Road

Searching for information on Nichols/Nicholas family

To the Editor:

I am a descendant of William Nichols/Nicholas who was bom in Billerica about 1773. He later moved to Vassalboro, Maine, where my ancestor Amos was born in 1818.

I have been searching the parentage of William extensively for some time. I became acquainted with the work that Fred Nickles did on the families of James, John, Joseph and Robert in the Carlisle area. His work was well documented, but the source recorded for Joseph was "Duren records in Carlisle." I am trying to discover if these are private/family records which exist in the possession of individuals living in Carlisle/Billerica.

I believe William may have been a son of Joseph, but in the Vital Records I have searched, I have not discovered his birth, nor have I been able to ascertain who Joseph married and the names of their other children.

If any of your readers have information that could verify these assumptions, I would be most grateful.

Linda C. Olsen
Mapleton, Utah

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito