The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 15, 2004

Sheep grazing has helped Towle Field

Ed note: the following is a copy of a letter sent to Sally Swift, president of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF):

Dear Ms. Swift and members of the board:

On behalf of the Carlisle Conservation Commission and the users and viewers of the Towle Conservation Land, thank you for your incredibly generous gift to the Town of Carlisle, the Intensive Sheep Grazing project. During the past 3 1/2 years this project has clearly begun the rehabilitation of this wonderful parcel of conservation land. The invasion of buckthorn is suppressed. A layer of thatch, several inches thick, which had inhibited the growth of grasses and legumes that enrich the soil, is significantly reduced. There are signs that the resident bobolink population is on the rise.

Moreover, the sheep have removed tall shrubs at the stone wall along Westford Street, opening up our rural vista across the field, bringing pleasure to countless commuters and residents. Many families brought their children to visit the sheep and became more acquainted with this valuable public conservation resource in Carlisle.

The Commission is very grateful for the opportunity to participate in this experiment and is pleased that the project was awarded a WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program) grant from the U.S.D.A. allowing the Commission to provide some small assistance to offset the significant expense of this project.

Again, we thank you for enabling the town to participate in this important and wonderful project.

Sylvia Willard, Administrator
Carlisle Conservation Commission

Help canvass in New Hampshire

To the Editor:

I will be canvassing for John Kerry in the Nashua area every Saturday from now until the election and would love to take a few folks up with me. I'll be leaving every Saturday at 11:30 am. I'll also be working the polls up there all day on election day (leaving Carlisle at 8:30 a.m.) and can drive people up then as well. Please call me at 1-978-369-4530 if you are interested in accompanying me either time. You can also volunteer directly with the Kerry campaign by calling 1-617-399-3056, or can volunteer with Americans Coming Together (which has more flexible canvassing opportunities) by contacting Emily Mintz:, 1-603-296-1408.

The race is even in New Hampshire, and it is very possible that its four electoral votes could decide this election.

Lee Perlman
Blaisdell Drive

Doug Stevenson has my vote

To the Editor:

An unusual thing happened to me yesterday. An undecided voter in a hotly contested race actually asked for my opinion! Specifically the question was, "Are you voting for Doug Stevenson because you're on the Fire Department or are there other things that I should know"? OK, it's not national politics but I was flattered nonetheless.

I am voting for Doug because I would like to see a functional two- party system in the state. Incumbents are tough to beat and there is not enough turnover for an active political process. Incumbents never get bumped out in party primaries so if you want change, you have to vote for the alternate party.

Doug is a highly respected officer [with the Carlisle Fire Department] but there is no loyalty oath in our department that is tacitly apolitical. It's the private conversations, after numerous late night calls that won my vote. For every sensitive issue I raised there was an open exchange, not a debate. Doug doesn't just listen well, he approaches civics with commitment, humility and the ability to change.

Doug Stevenson has my vote for his first term as State Representative.

John Bakewell
Rutland Street

State Representative Cory Atkins protects our environment and quality of life

To the Editor:

I urge the voters of Carlisle to re-elect Cory Atkins as our Representative in the Massachusetts Legislature. I admire her commitment to education, independent voting record, leadership in House reform, and responsiveness to Carlisle's needs. I particularly admire her tireless work for a healthy environment.

Representative Atkins has been a strong, consistent voice for clean air and water, and for preserving our farmlands and natural areas. The Massachusetts Audubon Society's 2003 scorecard indicates she has voted pro-environment 87% of the time. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts, our third most densely populated state, loses 15,000 acres of open space annually to development. Few communities have money to purchase land, and federal and state money is diminishing.

Representative Atkins has worked to maintain state Self-Help grants. She helped pass the Community Preservation Act, which provides communities with funds to plan for sustainable growth, acquire open space, build affordable housing and preserve historic sites and landscapes. The Benfield Land is just the first of Carlisle's CPA acquisitions.

Representative Atkins supports smart growth, which shapes development to maximize protection of open space and water quality. She has also been active in the successful effort to save Thoreau's Walden Woods.

When the governor slashed funding for municipal recycling programs and eliminated local grants, Representative Atkins worked for a successful override. She spearheaded stronger standards for the disposal of toxic mercury, which, when consumed in fish, can cause birth defects and brain damage.

The federal and state Republican administrations are attempting to roll back environmental laws. State environmental budgets have been disproportionately cut leading to less enforcement; less protection for wetlands, rare species and biodiversity; and state parks which cannot be maintained. Representative Atkins has worked hard to counter these efforts.

Governor Romney has targeted Democratic women legislators and partially funded Representative Atkins's Republican opponent. We cannot afford to lose Cory Atkins's strong, experienced, independent voice a voice for the environment and our quality of life.

Sally Zielinski
Acton Street
Executive Director Emerita, Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions

We need people like Doug

To the Editor:

In last week's Concord Journal, Cory Atkins is reported to have questioned Doug Stevenson's qualifications to be State Representative because he works in the private sector and has young children.The thought that working in the private sector somehow disqualifies someone from working for the government is something alien to those of us who volunteer in Carlisle.As someone who has young children, works full time and lives in Carlisle over the past 13 years, I find the statement typical of someone who does not understand what we in Carlisle stand for.I have volunteered to work on the Planning Board for more than six years (three of which were as chairman),I was asked to serve on the by-law review committeefor at least three years(two of which I was chairman) and even accepted the position as President of the Carlisle School Association.

I know from first-hand experience what Doug's qualifications are.Through these positions I have had the opportunity to work with Doug many times and view him asan extraordinary person to represent us.Although he has young triplets, I do not know anyone who finds more time to give to his community, whether it is as Selectman or as fireman.How often do we get the opportunity to elect someone who grew up through the Carlisle system of volunteerism, family values, possessing high integrity, wanting to give back to the communityand appreciating hard work.From my experience, it is the character of the person in government, not his experience upon entering government that is important, and Doug's character isexactly what weneed in government with today's challenges.I only wish we could clone Doug and elect a hundred of him throughout the country, for we need people like Doug.He gets my vote and I hope you will support him too.

Rich Colman
Audubon Lane

Cory Atkins is the best possible state representative

To the Editor:

Cory Atkins is the very best possible state rep candidate to serve our district. In particular, the seniors living within Carlisle are a group that Cory Atkins has worked for and will continue to work to serve.

Recently, Representative Atkins helped to restore funding and open enrollment for the state prescription drug program "Prescription Advantage" for Massachusetts residents ages 65 and over.

Cory Atkins also voted for tax override reform that would exempt seniors with moderately priced housing from paying tax overrides. The progressive piece of legislation was passed by the legislature, but was struck down, once again, by Republican Governor Romney. Republican Selectman Doug Stevenson is lukewarm towards giving our seniors meaningful tax relief, and commonly says he supports the Governor's positions.

Like many other families in town, my husband and I feel very blessed to be bringing up our children in such a special town. We know that Carlisle is such a special place because of the time, effort, dedication, and money so many of the town elders have given and continue to give to the town.

It hardly seems fair that our fancy houses and demand for quality education for our many children is placing an unfair tax burden on our seniors and that they are being asked to subsidize the life-style of the young and affluent.

Cory Atkins will continue to fight for our senior population. She and our seniors need our support and respect (and a new Governor). Vote Atkins for State Representative.

Kathleen Mayer
River Road

Writer supports Susan Fargo for re-election

To the Editor:

Early in this political season I decided that I wanted to learn more about Senator Susan Fargo who is running for reelection to the Senate where she has represented Carlisle since 1996. I attended two coffees for her in Carlisle and found her to be a soft-spoken, positive, intelligent woman who states her positions and answers all questions clearly and sincerely. I liked what I heard and am impressed with her experience and training in government. (She has a Master's of Public Administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.)

Ms. Fargo serves on eight committtees in the Senate. Of particular interest to us in Carlisle is that she is Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Local Affairs and Regional Government. There she has accomplished many things which are of benefit to Carlisle. Susan helped obtain one million dollars for the construction of the new Carlisle Library. (She personally facilitated an inspection of the library's elevator so that the advertised opening of the library could take place on time.) Ms. Fargo has worked for the preservation of Estabrook Woods and now hundreds of acres of woodland are protected. She was involved in obtaining $100,000 to replace the culvert on Westford Road, Concord (West Street, Carlisle.)

At the coffees, Susan's enthusiasm for making changes to better our schools showed in her answers. Education is a top priority for this former Massachusetts schoolteacher with a master's in teaching from Harvard who speaks with first-hand knowledge of the most important needs in our schools. She was instrumental in securing funding for special education and METCO and millions to build and renovate schools in such ways as to make the environment work in this century.

I highly recommend that everyone read Susan Fargo's record as a state senator at and attend the League of Women Voters' Forums at Concord-Carlisle High School Sunday, 3 p.m. October 17 and in Bedford, October 21 and a coffee at which Ms. Fargo will speak at Kathy Mayer's, River Road, Carlisle, October 20.

M. Clare Brown
Acton Street

Remember the Carlisle House Tour on October 21

To the Editor:

For the past several months, since the decision was made to host the second annual Carlisle House Tour, countless numbers of volunteers have been involved in the planning,preparation and execution of this school fund-raiser. This year's House Tour will be held on Thursday, October 21 from 9:30 to 3 p.m. All proceeds go directly to the school to support activities and programs which directly benefit our children. On behalf of the committee which is planning this event, we would like to first thank the homeowners who have graciously offered to open their homes to the public. We would also like to thank Diana Kolstad and Niki Mundel for recruiting the many volunteers needed in the homes on the day of the tour to greet visitors. Many thanks to Sandy Nash, to Timm Brandhorst and to Laurie Yousefi for their efforts to market and publicize the event. I would especially like to thank Kelly Driscoll and Cynthia Sorn for their incredible creativity, energy and initiative throughout the planning of this event.

Our very special thanks go out to Kevin and Marie Balboni, Carlisle School parents and owners of Offset Printing Company, who generously donated all the printing needs. Thank you also to DiNardo Designs and Windfall Software, both of Carlisle, which donated design and typesetting services. We also appreciate the donations of Barrett Realty, Bedford Florists, Starbucks and Learning Express in Acton. We thank Ferns Country Store for working with us to provide the delicious lunches on hand this year. To these generous contributors and to all those who have assisted in some way to make this tour possible, we thank you.

We hope that you will join us on Thursday, October 21, for a day which promises to be fun, social and interesting as six truly unique homes are open for public viewing and enjoyment. For information about tickets, please call Timm Brandhorst at 1-978-371-2770.

Dale Ryder, House Tour
Committee Chair
Lowell Street

CPC thanks volunteers

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Parents Connection (CPC) recently hosted two events.

The new baby social was the perfect venue for new parents to socialize and special guest, visiting nurse Sue Holman from Emerson Hospital, educated parents on infant care. The event would not have been possible without event coordinators Gail Bernardin and Polly Meyer and the following volunteers: Linda Fantasia, Danielle Herr and Casey Smith, and a special thanks to Learning Express for product donations.

The fall event was a big success thanks to event coordinators Laurie Bevier and Sara Tang. Families gathered at Great Brook for fall fun and pony rides. The CPC would like to thank the following volunteers: Gail Bernardin, Joy Bonefont, Christine Dee, Danielle Herr and Terry West.

Thanks to all for your time and support!

Lisa Chaffin
East Street

Vote for Doug Stevenson

To the Editor:

I write to all of you in support of Doug Stevenson for State Representative.

For those of you who do not know me I have lived in Carlisle for 4 1/2 years and am the mother of two sets of twins under the age of two years. That is correct and not a misprint; I have four children under age two. So with my busy home life why am I actively campaigning for Doug? Carlisle is fortunate enough to have a gem of a human resource willing to go to the next level. Doug is a committed family man, town selectman, business executive, on-call firefighter, and has been a Boy Scout leader and youth sports coach. Some people are made to give back to their community and Doug is one of those people. I do not have anything bad to say about his opponent and I do not know her personally; I only think that much of Doug. So, Carlisle, do the right thing; and get out and vote this November and let's share this invaluable human resource with Chelmsford, Concord, and Acton. Please vote for Doug for State Representative.

If you are interested in getting more actively involved please contact the campaign office at 1-978-369-9400.

Donna Barach
River Road

Steady funding key to public education

To the Editor:

I have recently read that charter schools can improve the quality of education in our state.

According to a recent article in the New York Times, "National Study Shows Colleges in Need of Help," citing a study, Measuring Up 2004: The National Report Card on Higher Education (measuringup. "The best-performing state over all was Massachusetts, which received A's in four categories: preparation of students, their participation in college, their completion of higher education and the benefits the state gains from having a more educated populace."

A record to be proud of, certainly. Would charter schools improve this performance?

Charter schools are financed by diverting much-needed funds from public education.

The quality of public education in Massachusetts will be further improved by increased funding, improving the way the funding is generated and by keeping it consistent from year to year.

Harry Crowther
Bedford Road

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito