The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 27, 2004

A nice surprise is appreciated

To the Editor:

Imagine my surprise last Sunday morning, February 8, to find three lovely young ladies, whom I did not know, on my doorstep with a delicious plate of homemade sugar cookies shaped into hearts and sprinkled with red sugar. These were carefully wrapped in "cling wrap" and a tiny heart pasted in the center. A cheerful and patient mother was their chauffeur and apparently every Senior Citizen was to be so honored! What a great town we are lucky enough to live in and it's the people who live in it that make it so!

What a delightful treat! This Senior Citizen enjoyed every bite! Thank you, girls.

Geraldine Cleveland
Indian Hill

Parents' Connection thanks volunteers

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Parents Connection (CPC) beat the winter blahs at the Winter Social! Children enjoyed cookie decorating, arts and crafts, and a puppet show. The CPC would like to thank all the volunteers who made the event possible: Madeleine Blake, Laurie Bevier, Laura France, Andi Gettys, Krista Kallio, Fiona Sibley, Pat Simon, Casey Smith, Nancy Szczesniak, Peggy Wang, Nancy West, Terry West, and a very special thanks to Jim Napolitano of Nappy's Puppets.

Lisa Chaffin
East Street

Are we ignoring a conservation gift?

To the Editor:

After reading the recent articles and letters to the editor in the February 13 Mosquito and in the February 22 Boston Sunday Globe that pertain to the proposed acquisition of the Benfield Parcel "A," it seems very odd to us that the townspeople are being asked to consider spending an additional $2.2 million for 45 acres rather than to accept the 27 acres of land in Parcel A from the Benfield family trust at no cost to the town, protecting it as open space.

With the amount of seemingly contradictory information being published and in need of clarification, we believe the Carlisle public deserves the right to be better educated about the pros and cons of accepting this gift parcel versus paying several millions of dollars for additional land, possibly for development of some undetermined number of housing units. Are there some underlying reasons that haven't been publicly discussed that need to be aired before Carlisle taxpayers are asked to approve funds that will add to the town's debt load?

We think the citizens of Carlisle deserve more complete information on this matter before they are asked to vote at the special town meeting. Also, we believe that the residents of South Street and West Street who would be most directly affected by the proposed uses of this parcel deserve more consideration and an opportunity for input prior to a vote.

It saddens us to see how conservation-oriented gifts like those provided by Kay Kulmala and now, Ben Benfield, are being repackaged and reshuffled to meet ends never intended by the original grantors. We hope that the town's Selectmen and Finance Committee will strive to clarify our choices and their consequences, both fiscal and environmental, before the Special Town Meeting.

Marge and Ned Berube
North Road

Ed Note: The following is in response to a letter that appeared in the February 6 issue and a Country Lines essay that was printed in the February 13 Mosquito.

Be fair to the Concord Bookshop

To the Editor:

I have known the successive owners of the Concord Bookshop going back to pre-World War II days and they have all been honorable people dedicated to "books." They have been unfairly hammered on the Internet and in print and it is time somebody came to their defense. Hence, my letter.

Item 1 - The wonderful ambiance of the Concord Bookshop was established long before the recently departed staff were on the scene, and only began to disappear on their watch. The Bookshop was in dire straits. It was not the recent managers who instituted selling magazines, sponsoring author's series and supporting fundraisers for local schools, but rather the former manager and part-owner, Binnie Smith.

Item 2 - The three managers and their staff were never asked to leave, but decided to leave of their own volition.

Item 3 - The owners were finally forced to the unhappy conclusion that if the Bookshop was to survive, changes had to be made. We should be thankful the necessary steps were taken to prevent the disappearance of the Bookshop from the Milldam. I, for one, would rather support it, than any of the myraid outlets.

I think you owe the owners more honest and unbiased reporting, as well as an apology!

Pliny Jewell III
Stearns Street

Remembering Marjorie McCormick

To the Editor:

With great sadness I recently learned of the death of Marjorie McCormick, formerly of Carlisle. I, too, am a former resident of Carlisle. Margie and I met in 1986 when a committee was being formed at the Carlisle Public School to enhance the existing play equipment. I became the General Coordinator for the Carlisle Castle project. Margie served as the Fundraising Coordinator. While her recent obituary dutifully mentioned the many ways Margie served as a volunteer throughout her lifetime, her playground fundraising efforts were extraordinary and for that effort she deserves grateful recognition and remembrance. Without her effort, our completed Castle could have been considerably less intricate and exciting.

Throughout the two years of planning and effort, Margie was always ready to cheerfully assist in every way; she was so much more than just the Fundraising Coordinator. More than that, during that time period, Margie and I became life-long friends. Through working together, we developed a bond of trust, empathy, humor, and joy that carried our friendship beyond the completion of the Carlisle Castle in 1988. Even when our physical proximity changed as I moved to Illinois, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, we continued our warm relationship via phone calls, e-mails, and all too infrequent visits. Now in her physical absence, the connection I feel to Margie remains in my memories of her relentless spirit. She was a woman of integrity and hard work, of caring and concern, of love and generosity. She was a woman who graced my life with her dedication to service for causes she believed in. How lucky I was to have known her and to be considered a friend too cherished to forget.

I wanted to share with you that her last e-mail message to me just after Thanksgiving was full of hope and thankfulness. Typically Margie. She expressed that she was most grateful for Divine love and the love of family and friends. She stressed the wish for good health and harmony for all. She suggested the importance of finding true joy in just a simple breath of fresh air. So — for her now, breathe deep. Fill your senses with the wonder that was Marjorie McCormick.

Darlene Grove
Fort Wayne, IN

State's mercury products bill would reduce pollution

To the Editor:

Mercury is a dangerous, proven neurotoxin. In unborn children, it can affect development of the brain and nervous system, and cause delays in walking, talking, and fine motor skills. According to a new EPA estimate, one in every six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her blood to pose a risk to her child.

Mercury is found in household products like thermostats, thermometers, and fluorescent light bulbs. Larger sources of mercury emissions are trash incinerators and coal-burning power plants. Mercury released into the atmosphere falls to earth in rain, polluting lakes, rivers, and oceans. Mercury pollution accumulates in fish, and the fish we eat contaminates us.

The Massachusetts Mercury Products Bill (H-2482/S-692) would phase out the use of mercury-containing products and reduce mercury pollution from trash incinerators, a top source of mercury emissions in Massachusetts. Similar bills already have passed in Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island, but Massachusetts is lagging behind. Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Cory Atkins have shown real leadership on this important issue by signing letters of support for the Mercury Products Bill, which will soon be delivered to the Natural Resources Committee chairs. On behalf of concerned citizens from Carlisle and neighboring communities, I would like to thank Rep. Cory Atkins and Sen. Susan Fargo for their efforts to move this bill forward and make its passage a top priority.

Bob Luoma
Palmer Way

Traffic issue

To the Editor:

It was most generous of the Benfield family to offer the Parcel A to the town. However, all planning for the use of that land needs to be carefully debated before the binding Town Meeting vote on March 23. About 95 five-bedroom houses will be constructed behind Log Hill Road in Acton, possibly sending the traffic from that subdivision toward Carlisle Road and West Street. Enormous traffic is already burdening West Street. Adding recreational facilities and 20 to 40 low-income houses to this traffic mix could have an enormous negative effect. In addition a developer has purchased 70 acres on the corner of Cross and South Street for building lots.

Furthermore, South Street is a scenic byway with an inadequate substructure to handle increased traffic.

Perhaps the town could consider the use of Foss Farm for a ball field and other recreation, since that parcel is located near a major chapter 90 road.

Gordon and Hannelore Munson
Anna Chan and Timothy Lee
Wildwood Drive

Hult will run for re-election

To the Editor:

With the town caucus on March 15 rapidly approaching, I thought it appropriate to announce my intention to run for the office Selectman for another term. It has been my privilege to serve over the last three years. During that period, the difficult financial times have forced us to deal with the need to control the increasingly high tax burden on our fellow citizens while at the same time attempt to preserve those things that make Carlisle the special place that we all love. Those things include the quality of our schools, the beauty of our open space and environment and the security and safety of our small community. This is not often easy. I do, however, have great faith in our town and the people who live here. While there are inevitably bumps in the road, wisdom normally prevails and the community responds in a positive way to our challenges. I can think of no better place to live or to serve should the town be inclined to re-elect me.

Timothy Hult
Audubon Lane

Thanks to the community for supporting the band's citrus drive

To the Editor:

On behalf of the seventy members of the Carlisle Schools' Senior Band, I would like to extend my appreciation to the Carlisle community, band members and their parents for their support during our eighth annual citrus fruit fundraising drive. Our focus for the profits raised from this year's sale will be to fund a three-day conductor-in-residence program (retired Professor of Music from UMass Amherst, Malcolm Rowell); to help purchase additional chairs for the students, and to fund transportation costs for a number of off-campus performances. In addition, at least one new instrument will be purchased, and a number of scholarships for after-school music lessons will be provided. This year's stellar organizational committee, chaired by the incomparable Stephanie Smith, featured Melinda Howe, Gail Fitzpatrick, Debbie Power, Mary Cheever, Paula von Kleydorff, and Tricia Reed—all of whom did a superb job of organizing students and parent helpers; double-checking forms; ordering hundreds of boxes and bags of fresh fruit; and organizing the unloading of the tractor-trailer, as well as the delivery to all of our Carlisle neighbors. Thanks are extended as well to the parents who chaperoned at the transfer station and to those who helped with the fruit distribution on February 10. In addition, school administrators Davida Fox-Melanson, Andy Goyer, Steve Moore, and David Flannery were actively involved and supportive throughout; while staff members Susan Pray, Richard Price, Dan Flannery, Andy Dyment, and Beverly Woolard, contributed much time and energy to the success of the project. Finally, Bill Brown, Carlisle resident and owner of the Minor Chord music store in Acton, again demonstrated his support of our Carlisle Schools music program by providing incentives for our top-selling students.

Thanks to all for a successful fundraising campaign; we hope you enjoy the fruit!

Thomas O'Halloran
Director of Music

Civil Liberties Committee forming in Carlisle

To the Editor:

Eight days after the devastating events of September 11, 2001, the Justice Department submitted to Congress a draft of proposed domestic security measures now known as the USA Patriot Act. Congress passed the Act on October 25, 2001, and the president signed it the next day.

As I read about the Act, I became concerned that some of its provisions took away some of our most basic freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. For example, it troubles me that the FBI can examine my library and bookstore records without telling me; in fact, librarians and bookstore owners can be prosecuted if they tell anybody that I've been investigated. Government agents can examine my private records: medical records, financial records such as bank and credit card statements, and if I were still practicing law, business records. They can monitor my e-mails and the web sites I visit. Under a provision known as "sneak and peek," they can enter my home when I'm not there and search everywhere, including my file cabinets and my computer, and then can delay telling me "indefinitely."

Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, when I heard that some Carlisle citizens had formed a group called the Carlisle Civil Liberties Committee with the intention of placing a resolution expressing concern over these and other provisions of the USA Patriot Act on the warrant for our annual Town Meeting, I immediately joined. On February 10, the Selectmen accepted our resolution.

We are not alone in doing this. Three states and 255 cities and towns across the country have passed such a resolution. In Massachusetts, 19 cities and towns including Lincoln, Cambridge, Newton and Brookline voted in favor of such a resolution last year. This year, citizens in Concord, Acton, and Billerica, among others, are seeking town approval of similar resolutions.

If you are interested in helping in this effort, please contact either Susan Stamps (e-mail or Sally Coulter (1-978-369-6637). If you would like to learn more about the Carlisle Civil Liberties Committee and the proposed resolution please come to a wine-and-cheese gathering on Sunday, March 7, 4 to 7 p.m. at the Ballantines', 268 Fiske Street (1-978-371-2652).

Sandra Scott
Ember Lane

Make time for family

To the Editor:

After reading the excellently written articles in the January 30th Mosquito regarding the scheduling of our children's lives, I wanted to contribute an idea that other towns are doing. I live in Carlisle but grew up in Needham and work in Northborough. Both of these towns have an "Unscheduled" or "Unplugged" night scheduled in March. It is solely dedicated to family/social time, with no town meeetings, no religious meetings and no homework from the schools. Each town clearly plans these unplanned evenings well!

While it is sad to think we as a society need to plan to be unscheduled, it is a great idea. I have included the web sites for the other towns that do this:, and

In an ironic twist of fate, I don't have the time to schedule time to be unscheduled as I'm planning what to do with my son this spring.

Richard Sibley
Cross Street

Concerning the Benfield land

To the Editor:

With our South Street neighbors we attended the meeting on Saturday, February 21 at the library. The presence of two selectmen and representatives of several committees and action groups offered a wide range of opinions including the experience and wisdom of all concerned with this many-faceted Benfield land purchase.

The majority of residents appear to want no active recreation and no moderate-income housing. This appears to us as losing sight of our town's needs. The Carlisle Conservation Foundation is obligated to divide all new conservation land into three divisions: conservation, moderate-income housing, and active recreation. There is bound to be increased traffic on any road where a ballfield is located, or there is new housing built. As our town grows we believe that we long-time residents can adapt to the changes which serve our town best.

Walt and Kay Woodward
South Street

Will Nader play spoiler again?

To the Editor:

In 2000, Ralph Nader ran on the Green Party ticket, arguing that there was little difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties. In many ways, he was right. Corporate interests and money have a strong hold on both parties. People, who strongly believe in "a government of the people, by the people and for the people," found promise in Nader's message.

This year, Nader is back and claiming the same lack of difference between the parties. However, things are different now. Howard Dean has instilled a new progressive voice in the Democratic Party. A huge grassroots movement has been awakened and is actively working to "take back" the Democratic Party and "take back the country." Although Dean wasn't able to overcome the resistance to change from within the DNC and the media, he has made a tremendous difference in the Democratic Party,

We still have a chance to defuse the chances of Nader being a spoiler again. Although Dean has withdrawn from the Primary race, his name is still on the ballot. We can continue to take back the Democratic Party by voting for Howard Dean. If Dean has a significant block of delegates at the convention, the progressive message of the Democratic Party will be kept alive. This is critical to avoid having Nader siphon off the progressive voters, who still see a very strong corporate interest in the Democratic Party.

Bob Wallhagen
Timothy Lane

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito