Friday, March 26, 2004
Erroneous and misleading advertising
To the Editor:
I was dismayed to see that the Mosquito allowed erroneous information to be published in the adverts placed in the newspaper by the "Concerned citizens of Carlisle," the week before a crucial vote at Town Meeting. Not only were these adverts deliberately misleading about the proposals for the Benfield land, it allowed no time for a rebuttal, and may result in a disastrous outcome for the town.
May I suggest you review your advertising policy immediately.
Organic lawn care talks offered in April
To the Editor:
The Carlisle Pesticide Awareness Group (CPAG) invites the public to its meeting on March 30, 7:30 p.m. in the Hollis Room, Gleason Library. We will be discussing the Board of Health spring alert letter and endorsements by the Conservation Commission and the First Religious Society Environmental Action Committee for the spring alert and upcoming events.
We are planning two organic lawn-care workshops next month — one for lawn-care professionals and one for homeowners. If you use a lawn-care contractor, call them and tell them about the free Landscapers' Organic Lawn Workshop on Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 p.m., Gleason Library. Ask your contractor to preregister for this workshop this week. The homeowners' workshop is scheduled for Tuesday evening, April 27th — save the date!
For more information or to pre-register for the landscapers' workshop, contact Chris Chin at 978-369-6769, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.carlisle.org/cpag.
Chris Chin and Delaine Williamson
Carlisle Pesticide Awareness Group
Patriot Act Forum to shed light on a complicated issue
To the Editor:
On September 11, 2001, an artist acquaintance of mine who lives in lower Manhattan was just coming out of the World Trade Center when the first plane struck. She ran, joining the crowd of screaming, crying, and bleeding people who swarmed into the street, terrified as all of them were but grateful that at least her husband and children were safely uptown. Weeks later, she found that despite thorough cleaning, her apartment and studio were permanently uninhabitable and her lungs had been damaged by the contaminated air. Much of her work was destroyed; months later, she still felt badly shaken by the experience. I can only imagine the long-term effect on her emotions.
But still, my friend was lucky in comparison with many, many others.
The wounds inflicted on that terrible day will never be truly healed for those who experienced its horror. And for all of us, the determination to see that our country is protected against further terrorist attacks has become a priority.
The USA PATRIOT Act is a pivotal part of our government's efforts to do just that. Even though I've read the Act itself and a good deal of material about it, I don't pretend to completely understand it. Some of its provisions seem to embody vital protections that may well guard against terrorism. But others seem to seriously endanger the civil liberties of loyal citizens, suggesting that giving up certain freedoms and certain kinds of privacy in order to protect against terrorism may be unnecessary and as much of a danger to our way of life as is terrorism itself. Where does the truth lie?
"National Security and Civil Liberties," the forum to be held in the Corey Music Room at 7:30 p.m. on April 6, promises to shed light on this complicated legislation, an article about which appears on our annual Town Meeting Warrant. I hope many Carlisleans will take that opportunity to learn more about the pros and cons of the Act so we can all come to the May Town Meeting fully informed.
Do you have my necklace?
To the Editor:
There is a war memorial under construction called The Necklace. There is a string of parks surrounding Boston called "The Necklace." There is a book and film by Guy De Maupassant called The Necklace.
All of these are close to my heart. Especially so, is the necklace, that I lost at the CEF-CSA Auction, Saturday evening, March 13, 2004. Losing a necklace, regardless of how important it may be, is not life. A war memorial is life. Our beautiful parks and land around us, is life. An amusing book and film, about a lost necklace in one couple's life, makes us think differently about life. My family, friends, community and the town that I hold so close to my heart, is life. Carlisle is yet another "necklace" to add to the list.
Still, the lost necklace remains sentimental and extremely precious to me. I have become obsessed to locate the pale, blue, multi-beaded necklace that fell off while I was dancing the Calypso night away, with Carlisle's best soul-driven shoes. I recall handing it to a couple standing next to the dance floor. One may ask, why something so important to one would be given to another for safekeeping?
It is because of the character of the people, who live in Carlisle, that I entrusted someone with something that I wear so close to my heart. The CEF-CSA auction was a tremendous success due to the many volunteers, patrons, and citizens who are, with some degree of obsession, responsible for making this town the exact place that we hoped to live in. We all rely on each other's support and generosity. We give and we get back more than what we have given.
Yet, no one has called to tell me that they have my necklace. Whoever ended up with it, most likely, does not live in Carlisle. They give, and want more. And so, in the end, the town will continue to be successful because of who we are as a community, with or without any type of necklace.
Education Forum invitation
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Carlisle School Committee, I invite you to mark your calendars and be sure to join us Saturday morning, April 3, for the Ninth Annual Carlisle Education Forum. This year we welcome back Dr. Peter Senge, our inaugural speaker and a world-renowned thinker about organizations and learning.
Since Dr. Senge first spoke to our community about Systems Thinking in 1996, we have witnessed significant economic shifts, spurts of population growth, retirements (and impending retirements) of key personnel, and technological advancements; and we've felt the impact of significant national and international events. How do we sustain and modify our values and mission through these inevitable changes? What happens to the goals we set as new faces and ideas enter our community? Dr. Senge's focus for the morning, "Creating a Shared Vision for the Future", will help us tackle these questions with insights from his extensive work and experience with organizations around the world.
Dr. Senge, author of the best-selling The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, is a Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning. Working with schools, businesses, and government institutions, Dr. Senge has had a profound effect on organizations of all types. He is an incredibly sought-after speaker. You don't want to miss an opportunity to hear him right in Carlisle.
Dr. Senge's talk will be followed by community discussion groups. Registration fliers have been sent to all Carlisle households. Pre-registration makes planning easier, but you can also register at 8:30 a.m. at the door. I hope to see you all in Corey Auditorium from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 3.
Chair, Carlisle School Committee
Thoughts on the war with Iraq
To the Editor:
The young woman in front of me in line hiked her handbag higher on her shoulder as she shifted her weight to accommodate the large brown box in her arms. It was around Christmas. When it was her turn at the counter she chit-chatted with the cheerful postal worker, smiling when he made a joke, but still moved with the deliberateness of someone who wants to get something done. When the postal worker looked at the address on her big, unwieldy box, his smile dropped instantly and he looked up at her with sad eyes.
"Iraq?," he asked somberly.
"Yes," she said.
"I hope he's okay," the man said quietly, after a pause. "Me too," she said.
I love our Post Office. It's small, but not too small — efficient; and the employees are always helpful and cheery. It's everything a quaint little town's post office should be except that lately, when I go in, there are people sending packages to Iraq. Oh yeah. Still. And on this one-year anniversary of the start of that violence, after so many people have died, I wonder: "Why?"
There was an alternative, you see. There always is. There's always that moment in a terrible situation where someone can stop and say: "Not this. Not this" — and turn and walk away. It was something I hoped, as I watched the flaming towers fall from my apartment window in Brooklyn, would happen in the White House by way of response. But no.
With regard to lateness, a favorite teacher of mine used to say. "It's easy to stay in bed in the morning. What's difficult is to come to class." Violence has, and always will be, the easiest, most obvious solution to a problem of aggression, but I wonder, with our national joblessness, mounting deficit, failing ecosystem, and children dying every day somewhere far, far away from home — isn't it time to rethink our responses? Isn't it time to try something new?
Cars are not dangerous — drivers are
To the Editor:
I, too, am truly saddened to learn of Vivian's tragic death, but to suggest that it was somehow caused by a particular type of vehicle is short sighted. Traffic accidents have any number of causes. There is no doubt that a high performance car in the hands of an immature driver is probably a rolling accident looking for a place to happen, but that same driver is likely just as dangerous in a one of those jacked up pickups you see all over Florida. Should we ban those as well?
Just where do we draw the line between the good cars and "bad ones". If the 500hp Viper is bad, then what about the two-door SRT 1O Pickup Truck? It has the same engine as the Viper. Is a Mercedes E55 sedan (450 hp) good or bad? What about the Maybach sedan? It has 545 hp. And who decides; the Transportation Taliban?
The problem is the driver's behavior, not what they are driving.
As to the reasons why someone would buy a car like the Viper, isn't the stereotype that it's a sign of mid-life crisis? Some people buy cars like that to prove they've "arrived". Some high-performance cars are purchased by over-indulgent parents. But many (if not most) are purchased by enthusiasts who simply enjoy driving a fine automobile, much in the same manner that people enjoy fine wine or attending the symphony to hear a skilled musician play.
Why is it that we think more and more rules and regulations can overcome an increasing lack of personal responsibility? Does someone who can indulge in an impractical $80,000 car really need to be protected from advertising hyperbole? Will a government bureaucracy somehow keep us safe from the already unlawful behavior of a few, just because there are even more laws? Or is it because it makes us feel good to write more laws rather than to enforce the laws we already have?
© 2004 The