The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 13, 2002

Bid on Patriots tickets to support CEF/CSA

To the editor:

To recognize the great work of the CSA and CEF, we are auctioning off two tickets to see the Superbowl Champion New England Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins. This game is on December 29, 2002 at 1 p.m. 100% of the proceeds will go to the CSA/CEF auction.

The game is sold out and will likely have playoff implications. Please also note that the game is during school vacation week, and would be a great gift idea for the hardworking Patriot fan/student. Don't delay place your bid and see if the Patriots can "squish the fish" in the state-of-the-art Gillette Stadium. These are great seats (original value $99 apiece,) just twelve rows from the action!

The auction will end Monday, December 23 at 6p.m., so call 1-978-369-9731 now to place your bid.

The Colbert Family
Autumn Lane

A thankful Santa

To the editor:

Once a year a sort of miracle happens. I go to bed and wake up on Green Sale Saturday as Santa. During a period of two to four hours a wonderful transformation takes place. It starts when I enter a small room between the outer doors and those to the hall containing the sale of Christmas greens that were put together by the loving hands of so many people.

As I enter the room I start wishing each person there a merry Christmas and giving them a hug. This year I heard someone ask about the hugs and a response "Oh, he hugs everybody"! As I worked my way through the crowd, everyone smiled, said "Merry Christmas Santa" and hugged me. I was hugged by men and women of all ages and even kissed by a few. Those that had not been hugged by Santa since they were children told me they were delighted to have again that experience. A feeling of love seemed to grow among all those in the room This alone was a wonderful experience but then there are the children. There are those that believe and those that don't, but nearly all hug me. Those that do not are clearly taken back by this big fat man with a beard who is simply asking you to take a lollypop, having you take a picture with him, and giving you both a hug and a picture that was taken the year before. Then there are those that will run up and throw their arms around me, my leg if I am standing or my neck if I am kneeling. One little, cute lad, only several orders of magnitude bigger than a grasshopper was trying to tell me his life story. You would think he could not have much of a story to tell but he smiled and said a lot. Even though I didn't understand a word of it, he gave me a very nice hug just for listening!

This specific spirit of Santa, also a member of Men Against Domestic Abuse and Control truly feels blessed and thankful for the wonderful gift of love that was given by so many people, both adults and children.

With love,

Hiker regrets loss of woodlands

To the Editor:

For many winters now, I've hiked along the brook that flows under Curve Street. The path, known as "Otter Slide Trail" offers a shady seclusion for both wildlife and hiker alike. With the second snowfall, I set off down the trail to document animal sign.

A few minutes into my walk, it became apparent that the surroundings had changed. The once dark stands of pines and hemlock groves were now lit with the harsh light of late noon. Why? Because forest canopy had been removed for a recent residential development just beyond the conservation boundaries. Sunlight flooded throughout the timber.

As I continued on, a strange noise grew louder. Chickadees or other winter birds perhaps? No, it was the drone of a vacuum cleaner, coming from a new home looming through the trees. Sad, how this landscape had lost much of its wildness. If only the streamside lots had been spared.

I searched in vain to find signs left by resident otters — the familiar slide marks cut into the snowy banks were absent. The dainty prints of a miniature dog contrasted with the tracks of a lone coyote which had crossed the brook over a fallen log. They must share the same path now, the wild and domestic abut each other increasingly so. As more buffer is lost, so too the quiet mystery of the woods — a loss for us all.

Tom E. Wilson
Chelmsford Street

Grateful for special education

To the Editor:

As a parent to an eight-year-old receiving Special Education, I was grateful to read the article describing inclusion, in the Mosquito. Since Special Ed. costs the public money, it is essential to explain the profound difference inclusion makes for so many children.

As described in the article, in Carlisle the philosophy is that most children with special needs can be incorporated at the public school. This is cost effective, for the alternative is a separate placement, which is much more costly to the public. My son has a classroom aide, enabling him 100% participation. And though her role is to help my child, she is definitely an active member in the education of all the kids in the class. My child goes once weekly to occupational therapy and speech. He receives weekly help from a special educator. With this assistance, I imagine that my child may well go to college. It is definitely within his abilities. Yes, he is different than other kids, but his differences can be successfully dealt with, and hopefully diminished. Even with the help, things are still very challenging because class sizes have increased . Last year, due to financial restraints, a special educator position was eliminated as well as part of a guidance counselor, among other losses affecting the special ed. kids. Regarding my child, there are no excesses that I have observed. My child has challenges he faces every waking hour, but he bravely tries to manage his world. Most kids do not need to summons this type of courage until much later in life. My child is giving everything to succeeding and is absolutely motivated by the help he gets at school. Without it, his future is bleak. With it, he has a real chance to the life we hope for all our children.

Inclusion works. When I was a kid, in the sixties, "special kids" were segregated and ostracized. Fortunately, things are different today. We now understand special education is not something demeaning, but rather a very effective means of helping our children, with so much potential, be able to reach it.

Joan Hoffman
Patch Meadow Lane

2002 The Carlisle Mosquito