The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 14, 2003



Support the CEF/CSA

A great way to help ensure the continued excellence of the Carlisle Public School is through donations to the two local volunteer organizations, the Carlisle Education Foundation (CEF) and the Carlisle School Association (CSA).

The non-profit CEF was founded in 1990 to raise money primarily for new technology or educational programs not normally covered by the school budget. The Carlisle School Association provides a liaison between parents and the schools. It sponsors lectures on issues of interest to parents, and helps organize the many volunteers who help out at the school. The CSA also raises money to support the school, through grants and by sponsoring cultural enrichment programs.

Both groups focus on broadening the educational experience at the school, not replacing normal public funding. However, CEF and CSA grants have been used to fund more essential educational services cut back during economic downturns. For instance, in 2002 the CEF gave $82,000 to the school. This money was used to keep the school library open full time, to fund a teacher's aide for the seventh grade, a permanent substitute and a reading tutor, as well as to fund the math league, yearbook and student council. At the same time a grant from the CSA was used to prevent elimination of the school's chorus program.

During the 1990s, the biggest school fundraiser was the CEF's popular autumn barbecue and country music festival, the Pig 'n Pepper. The Pig 'n Pepper had the distinction of being a school fundraiser that raised much of its funds from people who were not part of Carlisle's tax base. However, the event was discontinued because the amount of work required of the volunteers was truly immense, and the profits of the outdoor event were highly dependent on the weather.

The town is now facing another difficult budget year. Because of increasing costs, the school committee does not expect the 2.6% increase recommended by the town finance committee (FinCom) to be enough to maintain the current level of educational services. The FY04 budget proposed by the school to meet the FinCom guideline does not restore funding for most of those items funded in FY03 by CEF grants.

There are many factors involved in the rising price to maintain "level services" at the school. These factors include salaries, transportation, utilities, and cuts in state aid. Also, the number of children enrolled is expected to rise.

Families with children attending the Carlisle Public School have the most to lose from school cut-backs. While the town seeks ways to hold down costs, residents can help by becoming informed voters by researching the issues, attending CSA and school committee meetings, asking questions, and attending Town Meeting.

Another way everyone can help is by generously supporting the CEF and CSA. On March 15 these two groups will host a new fundraising auction and dinner dance. For details, see the press release on page 14. It should be a fun and memorable event.

My secret valentine

Dear Georgie-poo,

Sorry it's taken me so long to write, but it seems like the election was just yesterday, and finding time to express my ever-deepening affection for you has been a bit of a challenge. I mean, it was just days after you made of fool of Al Gore and his toady handlers in Florida didn't he realize that the Supreme Court was in your back pocket? that my company started laying off whole departments right and left, leaving those of us who avoided the ax with twice the work load. I don't think a Saturday has gone by the last two years that I haven't planned to write you this billet-doux, just as soon as I finished up whatever tasks I hadn't quite gotten to during the work week. Usually, though, I ended up with just enough time left over to make a late afternoon dump run. But man, hasn't it been good for the economy's productivity numbers? I'm just thankful for the opportunity to give you something to boast about.

Anyhow, it seems fitting on this day for lovers that I should finally let you know about my true feelings. There are just so many things you do to stoke my ardor. Where to start?

First of all, I just love your approach to dealing with these Iraqi scum, not to mention the North Koreans and those unctuous French. The way you huff and puff and talk tough. Ooh, it gives me goose bumps all over to hear words like "evil-doer." Reminds me of when I was young and impetuous and ready to fall in love with the first sweet-talking woman to give me a sideways glance. I just wish you'd stop pandering to that diffident Colin Powell and get into action. I keep CNN on 24 hours a day just waiting for the spectacle to start. What a sensuous thrill it will be for us both.

And as a member of one of the most affluent communities in all of America, I think I can speak for us all when I say the tax cuts you're sending our way make our hearts soar. It's such a downer to send money to the government when we'd rather be investing in America you know, like taking another Caribbean cruise this winter. My gosh, the tan from Christmas in Cozumel is already gone. I'm sure you know how awful that can be, especially for someone with rugged good looks sculpted from cutting brush in the hot Texas sun. Man, what a turn-on that is.

But what most sets my heart aflame is how well you know what we ordinary folks really love our cars. That money in your budget for hydrogen-powered car research was a stroke of genius and you know I'm a sucker for a tough guy who is slick too. (Sorry, Willy. But my Georgie makes you look more like Velcro than Teflon.) Gosh, now we can drive our SUVs for another 20 years on the cheap oil we're about to pilfer from Saddam, without a flicker of guilt. And you know what they say, true love is guilt-free . . . or is it unconditional? Ah, who cares. Either way, I get chills up and down my spine just thinking how profligate I can be with the earth's resources, all because of you.

So, happy Valentine's Day, Georgie. Just think how ecstatic we'll be together for the next six years: ravaging evil-doers, savaging the earth, and lavishing the rich. Oh, my. My heart is racing on high-test just thinking about it.


2003 The Carlisle Mosquito