The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 7, 2003



Law and order, crime and punishment. The topics hold continuing fascination for us, and justifiably so. They are the bases on which we order our society, and ensure the safe and free opportunity to pursue our interests without fear of improper interference.

We are fortunate in Carlisle to be at lower risk of violent crime that is, sadly, commonplace in many more urban communities. But crime there is, and for as long as we have had the Mosquito, we have had Kathy Coyle to record it for us.

The stories you are about to read are true. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent and the guilty alike.

August 1, 2002

5 p.m. A town-wide power outage was reported.

5:27 p.m. Patrol assisted a Stearns Street resident who was unable to get out of his electric reclining chair when it was immobilized by the power failure.

July 30, 2001

1:11 a.m. Patrol assisted the fire department with an odor investigation on Blaisdell Drive.

August 1, 2001

11 a.m. A Hemlock Hill resident reported a skunk in a trap and was assisted.

Friends and visitors from other places have long told me that the two aspects of the Mosquito they most enjoy are the police blotter and the name. Kathy Coyle is responsible for both · she compiles the police blotter and is credited with coming up with the name "Mosquito" when the paper was born.

I don't mean to pigeonhole Kathy's role by emphasizing her work on the police blotter. After all, she has for many years been a contributing writer in this space, and has been a long-term reporter for the Mosquito on regional planning matters. But it is the police blotter that endears Kathy to those who have never met her.

It is sensitive business, reporting the minor infractions of a small town. But Kathy handles it with the grace, tact and wisdom born of experience and a deep grounding in the sensibilities of our community. She manages to cull through the many routine entries of each week, week after week, and bring life to the experience of our town out of the mundane material of our official records.

In most instances, the entries exhibit the kind of "community policing" recently rediscovered in our cities: the beneficent presence of helpful officers who, by their presence and familiarity, deter more serious offenses. So we find ubiquitous entries similar to the following:

August 13, 2000

1:52 a.m. Patrol assisted a car that had pulled to the side of the road. The driver was determined to be lost.

2 p.m. A suspicious individual reported to be walking lot to lot at Concord Street and Buttrick Woods checked out okay.

Considering our rural setting, it is not surprising that many of the entries are of zoological concern. In any brief period, one is likely to find police responses involving deer, fox, raccoons, horses, birds, bats, squirrels, coyotes, snakes, turtles, and dogs. And then this:

August 12, 2001

9:15 a.m. Police assisted with traffic patrol for the transfer of sheep to Towle Field [where they · the sheep · served as environmentally friendly lawnmowers].

There are eight million stories in the Naked City; these are just a few of Carlisle's. Big-city tabloids might prefer the sensational, but the Mosquito's Kathy Coyle has long heeded Sgt. Joe Friday's advice: "Just the facts, ma'am."

C. C. Pools needs Carlisle's support

C.C. Pools, Inc. (Concord, Carlisle People Organize to Open a Local Swim Facility, Inc.) is about to break ground in April or May to build a swim and health center for the people of both our communities. The Concord Carlisle Community Swim and Health Center will be located on land off the driveway leading to the main entrance of Concord-Carlisle High School, a fifteen-minute drive from Carlisle.

The facility was launched through the generosity of former Concord resident Alfred Sawyer, whose 1937 will designated $5 million towards financing its construction and endowment. With an additional $2.9 million needed to meet the total cost of $8.7 million for this multi-purpose facility, a dedicated group of citizens is hard at work looking for contributions from individuals, businesses, and foundations to make this a reality.

In these days when the talk of no new taxes is a dominant theme, the aim of building and operating a facility at no cost to Concord and Carlisle taxpayers is a commendable one. Membership fees have not been set yet, but family memberships are expected be somewhere between $800 and $900 per year.

And what would a community swim and health center mean to the people of Carlisle? Families from Carlisle with students on the CCHS Swim and Dive Team would not have to drive them to the high school to catch the 7:15 p.m. bus leaving for practice each weeknight at the Atkinson Pool in Sudbury. Nor would they have to return to the school to bring them back home around 10:30 p.m. I've heard about this situation first-hand from one of the CCHS swimmers who lives in my neighborhood. A hometown swimming facility would be a huge benefit for the CCHS swim team, as well as for younger competitive swimmers in the community.

Then there are the senior citizens like me who would benefit from water aerobics and rehabilitation swim programs. Wouldn't a community swim and health center have been a major plus during a winter like this when just walking across an icy driveway to the mailbox was as far as one dared to go? In the United States where health care providers are stressing the need for more physical activity on the part of its citizenry, a community swim and health center could play a major role in achieving this goal.

To raise the additional $2.9 million in pledges by June, 2003, C.C. Pools needs your help. All gifts to C.C. Pools, Inc., a not-for profit-organization, are tax deductible and may be pledged over a three-year period. More information about the center may be found on their website at or by calling 1-978-371-4936. Also see the article, "Swim center construction to begin," on page 1.


2003 The Carlisle Mosquito