The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 6, 2003

Pesticide awareness group described

To the Editor:

Regarding Bill Churchill's report on the Board of Health (BOH) meeting with me about our local pesticide awareness group ("New town group campaigns for pesticide reduction," May 30), I can only guess that Mr. Churchill must have misunderstood our group's purpose and why we were meeting with the BOH.

We sought the board's approval for collaboration on projects to make Carlisle a healthier community. The board agreed to work with us on a spring informational letter to residents, pamphleting, and a statement that could be posted at our group's Old Home Day booth. The board made suggestions which will be incorporated into materials that will be reviewed for approval at a later date.

The Carlisle Pesticide Awareness Group is one of many such groups in a growing number of towns in Massachusetts. We are following a guide developed by the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission and funded by a state grant. The resource provides step-by-step guidance, educational materials to copy and distribute, and web sites with links to pesticide information and safer alternatives for lawn and garden care. We plan to collaborate with the BOH and the Conservation Commission on our projects, as groups in other towns have done.

Our mission is educational. We hope that when citizens learn about pesticides, they will make informed judgments about pesticide use, question their lawn-care professionals, and be open to trying safer alternatives.

I want to thank the members of the Board of Health for their support of our group and look forward to working with them and with the Conservation Commission

Chris Chin
Hemlock Hill Road

Old Home Day needs you!

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Old Home Day Committee, I would like to publicly thank those of you who responded to our plea for donations to help fund this year's Old Home Day. The donations that we received will certainly help us and with further participation we're hoping we can regain our financial footing. To reiterate some of the facts from our last letter, Old Home Day is run by volunteers and is not town-funded. Our Independence Day celebration begins on July 3 with an Ice Cream Social and entertainment. The 4th, Old Home Day, consists of many events · an art show, road races, pancake breakfast, dunking booth, parade, country fair, frog jumping, pie and bread baking contest, cake decorating contest, children's games, corn husking, softball, barbeque, cake walk and music.

Expenses for these events total between $1500 to $2000. Donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to help, please send your check, made payable to the Old Home Day Association and mail it to 299 Heald Road.

Thank you in advance. We look forward to celebrating Old Home Day 2003 with you!

Susan Evans
Old Home Day Chairperson

Is CCHS really one of the best?

To the Editor:

Although I voted for the CCHS override, I have reservations. Like most Carlisle parents, I want my children to have the best high school education possible, but not as an end in itself. An excellent high school education should also serve as a stepping-stone to an excellent college education. But while CCHS does provide an outstanding education as far as can be measured by the MCAS and SATs, it is not successful in placing students at the most selective colleges.

According to an article in Worth Magazine ("Getting Inside the Ivy Gates," Reshma Memon Yaqub, September 2002,) 13 Massachusetts high schools are among the top 50 public schools nationwide in placing their students at the most selective colleges · Harvard, Yale, and Princeton (HYP.) Lexington, Newton N&S, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, and Winchester high schools all placed between 1.5 to 3.25% of their students at HYP during the four year period 1998 through 2001, and most of these are also included in the Newsweek list of the best US high schools (cover story, June 2, 2003.) CCHS is conspicuous by its absence from both lists. CCHS does not make public the numbers of students accepted at specific colleges.

An excellent high school education does not do justice to the efforts and abilities of our students and is not of full value to the taxpayers unless it also affords the students the opportunity to continue and build on that knowledge at appropriate institutions of higher learning. It is not just a matter of cachet, though most of us recognize the career boost afforded graduates of HYP. The issue is the opportunity for an appropriately rigorous and stimulating higher education for those students who would benefit. For our highest achieving students, the most selective colleges may be appropriate because they generally provide rigorous curriculums, excellent instructors, and the companionship of similarly bright, motivated scholars. Is it appropriate to claim CCHS is among the best high schools in Massachusetts if its graduates do not have the best chance of continuing their education at the best colleges?

David West
Pine Brook Road


2003 The Carlisle Mosquito