The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 7, 2003

The school needs a new wastewater treatment system

To the Editor:

At the upcoming Town Meeting on Monday, November 10, a warrant asking the town for the necessary funds to build a wastewater treatment system at the Carlisle School will come before the townspeople. This Warrant will not come up for a vote at the polls on November 18 unless there is a quorum at the meeting of at least 150 people. The town must vote to build the school's wastewater treatment system at this time to avoid significant negative financial ramifications.

For those of you not aware of the recent history of wastewater treatment at the school, in 1997 the Department of Environmental Protection (as part of Title V) pronounced the school's system in technical failure. As part of the school Link Expansion plan to retrofit a couple of existing school buildings to accommodate the growth at the school, the state offered to reimburse the town for 60% of the cost of the project including the cost of building a new wastewater treatment system. The wastewater treatment system is estimated to cost 1.5 million dollars.

Due to legal and other issues, the school was not able to build the wastewater system and has been pumping the waste ever since, for a cost of $900 a month. The school cannot legally continue to pump forever. The school administration is actively working with the state to ensure that the 60% reimbursement will still apply if we were to vote the wastewater system in now.

If we do not vote the wastewater system in at this time, the town loses the state reimbursement. The school needs a new wastewater treatment system now. I urge you to come to Town Meeting to ensure a quorum and to go to the polls on November 18.

Dale Ryder
93 Lowell Street

Please attend Town Meeting!

To the Editor:

I know, wastewater treatment may not be as sexy as some of the issues we address at Town Meeting, but it's nonetheless vital. So please attend Town Meeting on Monday, November 10, at 7 p.m. We need 150 stalwart voters for a quorum so we can get the ball rolling to construct the water treatment plant for the school. If we miss that quorum and approval is delayed, we could lose our chance for state reimbursement of 60% of the construction costs.

Provided we get approval at Town Meeting, we'll also need a vote on Tuesday, November 18, so please remember to go to the polls, too.

Christy Barbee
Cranberry Hill Lane
School Building Committee

Parents Connection thanks volunteers

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Parents Connection Halloween event was a huge success! We couldn't have done it without the help of the event co-planners, the CPC chair team and several volunteers. The CPC would like to thank the following: Carol Ackerman, Jennifer Albanese, Debbie and Anya Bentley, Madeleine Blake, Lisa Chaffin, Lori Jiminez, Michelle Small, Casey Smith, Nancy Szcesniak, Ali Walsh, Regina Walsh, Nancy West and Terry West

Lisa Chaffin, CPC member
East Street

Public invited to forum on civil liberties and Patriot Act on November 12 To the Editor:

The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle invites the public to an important citizen forum addressing the USA PATRIOT Act: Civil Liberties and National Security. The forum is Wednesday, November 12 at 7 p.m. held at the Peabody Middle School, 1235 Old Marlboro Road in West Concord.

We are pleased that ten local organizations and businesses have agreed to join us in sponsoring the forum. In addition to Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education, Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council, and the ACLU of Massachusetts, co-sponsors include Amnesty International Group 15, The Concord Bookshop, Concord Chamber of Commerce, Concord Democratic Town Committee, First Parish Social Action Education Committee, Grass Roots Actions for Peace, North Bridge Alliance for Democracy and others.

The program features a fascinating panel that includes an American History teacher, Concord's Library Director and Chief of Police, a Bill of Rights expert from the ACLU, a retired Chief Justice, and an expert from the U.S. Attorney's Anti-Terrorism Unit. A press panel of local newspapers and CCHS student publications will share questions and answers with the audience.

For information, call 1-978-287-0627. We look forward to seeing you there!

Debbie Barr
LWVCC Forum Chair

Average teacher pay at CCHS

To the Editor:

The recent "Negotiation Through Letters Campaign" has contained some misleading information and deserves a rebuttal. The following is based on pay information for the year 2002 (the latest available), and the schedule information for the spring of 2003. This data was obtained from the high school by a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

There were 56 teachers at CCHS listed as full time. The average pay In 2002 for this group was $74,850, the median pay was $78,129. The highest paid teacher earned $111,305, and the lowest pay was $46,377.

Full-time academic teachers teach four class periods a day (excepting department heads), each class period averaging 45 minutes. This amounts to three hours of classroom instruction a day. This leaves almost five hours per day for follow-up, student conferences, and class preparation. Most teachers teach multiple sections of the same course, so that preparation time is spread most efficiently.

If, as is hinted at in the recent letters, the current union negotiations are stalled over the issue of the teaching load of four classes per teacher, we should support the School Committee negotiators for standing firm in demanding more flexibility in teacher scheduling and in class size. If not, costs-per-student at the high school will continue to grow at a rate much faster than inflation, continuing to drain resources from other essential Town services.

Ralph P. Anderson
Baldwin Road

Support the high school music program

To the Editor:

As we begin the budget process I would like to write in support of the music programs at the high school. My daughter is a member of both the band and the chorus. Our family recently attended each of her concerts. The number of pieces the students had mastered in just seven weeks amazed us. This speaks to their hard work, but equally to the efforts and dedication of their teachers. Nearly five hundred students participate in one or both of these award-winning programs. These are programs that bring honor and recognition to the school and the community. Mr. Dulong indicated, in the last high school newsletter, that even more students would be involved were there the space and the faculty to accommodate them. In these continuing difficult economic times in Massachusetts, it may be unrealistic to expect expansion of these programs but I would like to encourage the expectation that the present levels of service and funding of the music programs be maintained. Students are reaping documented academic benefits by participation in these programs. When you include the orchestra, pep band, and the musicals, our students are involved in many, safe, fun, multi-grade-level social activities, which foster high expectations, team effort and self-esteem. I encourage everyone involved in the budgetary process to protect our investment in the high school music programs.

Mary Cheever
74 Carroll Drive

Public invited to "Dean Birthday Bash" on November 15

To the Editor:

Almost everyone is aware of the many candidates running for President as Democrats.One in particular, Howard Dean, has created an exciting new phenomenon in grassroots politics. Utilizing the Internet, the Dean campaign has signed up nearly a half-million Americans. An Internet organizing site called "Meetup" has also helped and there are now 130,000 people meeting once a month (first Wednesday) to spread the word and plan ways to help the campaign.I believe that Howard Deanspeaks plainly and clearly on the issues that are important to America.These include health care, environmental protection, education, the economy, foreign policy, civil rights and personal freedom, and many others. Because of the degradation that has occurred to all these issuesover the past three years, the Presidential Election of 2004 will be especially important to all Americans.As part of the continuing effort to inform the American public, the Dean Campaign will be holding house parties throughout the country on November 15th.The parties are called the "Dean Birthday Bash" as the retired Governor of Vermont turns 55 on November 17. The parties will be tied together on a very large conference call.Locally, there are Dean house parties being planned in most of the surrounding towns. Carlisle is having a party hosted by John and Ann Ballantine at 268 Fiske Street.Please join us and catch the excitement of a truly grassroots campaign to Take Back our Country. Refreshments, snacks, information and Dean videos will be available.The time of the conference call is still undecided, but expected to be around 8 p.m.The party will start at 7 p.m.

Bob Wallhagen
Dean campaign town coordinator

Rising Iraq war costs decreases money available for education

To the Editor:

Heated exchanges between teachers and some taxpayers have dominated the papers for weeks, a puzzling opposition between two would-be allies in facing a collective problem. Scenarios where either teachers "win" and taxpayers "suffer", or vice versa, seem to forget that all parties have been unfairly pitted against one another by a state and federal government that has starved us all of funding, leaving us to fight over scraps. "Times are tough," in part, because all of us are seeing our money drained away into a war waged based on dubious evidence. Our occupation of Iraq has now cost $81 billion dollars, of which Middlesex County's personal share was $585 million equivalent to 7,964 teacher salaries.

With every passing week, doubts about the legitimacy of the reasons we were given for invading Iraq rise (just where are those Weapons of Mass Destruction?), surpassed only by the death toll of American soldiers, not to mention Iraqi civiliansyet on Tuesday the Senate approved an additional $87.5 billion on top of the $79 billion they gave already. That money comes from all of our paychecks, and dwarfs anything schools or public service ask for - and that money comes from pockets of teachers and [Concord League of United Taxpayers] CLOUT members alike.

I want to help the people of Iraq, especially since my tax dollars helped destroy their infrastructure. But are my taxes helping Iraqi kids, or Bechtel and Halliburton? Where are the cries for accountability in reconstruction budgeting? The American jobless rate rises, state and federal aid to towns dry up (that's why schools need so many overrides), but money for Iraq keeps flowing out - that's what we need to be complaining about.

Public schools are an easy target because citizens directly control property taxes. As I tell my students, never settle for the easy way out. Teachers unions, CLOUT, and everyone else should band together, take the energies they expend attacking one another over small potatoes and go after the big fry: out-of-control war spending. We must work through legislators, lobbying, and grassroots efforts to curtail it. As long as we fight each other, defense contractors and oil companies will quietly steal the future from kids, teachers, and homeowners alike.

David Nurenberg
CCHS English teacher

Coming in December reserved seating for CCPOPS events

To the Editor:

During the summer months, CCPOPS (Concord-Carlisle Patrons of Performing Students) numbered the CCHS auditorium seats, and reserved tickets will now be sold for popular events. The reserved seating will debut for the CCHS production of Godspell, on stage December 12, 13 and 14. This small-scale musical will supplement the students' performing experience during the autumn months. The CCHS annual spring musical will be performed as usual during the last weekend of February and the first weekend of March.

Tickets for Godspell will be available for sale, starting November 10, by sending a completed order form with a check for $15 per ticket, made payable to CCHS Music to Erica Karban in the CCHS math department. For your convenience an order form can be downloaded from our web site starting November 5. You may request a general area in which to be seated (the seating chart is on the web site) on a first-come, first-served basis, or you may request "best available." Tickets should be retrieved at the Will Call table 30 minutes before the performance. After December 1 tickets will be sold at these outlets: Daisy's (Carlisle), Video Revolution (Concord), West Concord 5 &10, as well as through Ms. Karban. The web site will show which blocks of seats have been distributed to each outlet, although once the tickets are distributed, the availability is not guaranteed. Tickets will also be sold at the door before performances.

You should order your tickets early if you prefer a specific section of the auditorium or require a large block of tickets. All of us at CCPOPS hope that the reserved seating will enhance community members' enjoyment of CCHS Performing Arts events, since it will eliminate the need to line up early before performances. For more information about any aspect of CCPOPS, please contact Mary Jane Divino at 1-978-369-4406 or at

Patty Hecht
CCPOPS Ticket Distribution Coordinator

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito