Friday, December 17, 2004
School will talk with Savoyards
To the Editor:
I am responding to concerns about the School Committee's decision made last spring not to host the Savoyard Light Opera Company in the Corey Auditorium. This decision was not reached lightly or without consideration for the contribution of the Savoyards to our community. We have not abandoned our intention of sharing school facilities with the community, but population and program growth limit what we can do today.
The decision to deny the Savoyards' application was based upon the primary needs of the school. Our middle school is reaching peak enrollment, and every available space is critical. Accommodating the Savoyards is not merely a matter of moving around a few chairs. We have four teachers who use the auditorium as their primary instructional space. Choral and band students use the auditorium, stage, and corridors every single day. The backstage room, for building scenery and supporting scenery changes, is a full-time art classroom. In the past, we have willingly moved furniture, changed schedules, moved musical equipment, postponed school activities, asked teachers and students to relocate to other spaces and have even cancelled some classes to accommodate the Savoyards.
The Savoyards were told several years ago that the time would soon come when we could not accommodate their three-week fall run. We notified them last spring and hoped this would provide time to find alternate space.
We would be delighted to make the Corey Auditorium available to the Savoyards. However, we need to find a solution that minimizes the disruption to our primary mission: meeting the educational needs of our students. The new superintendent will meet with the Savoyards to discuss possible options such as more convenient dates, reduction of daytime equipment in the way of classes, and offsite storage of equipment. We look forward to a successful resolution of this issue.
Please know how much we have valued this partnership. The decision to deny the application for next year was driven completely by space needs. We strongly support a partnership between the Carlisle Schools and community organizations; we will make every attempt to resolve this successfully. As we plan for near and long-term expansion of our facilities, we hope the Town Meeting will support both educational and community efforts to meet all of our needs.
Chairman, Carlisle School Committee
Nonprofits need community support
It's the time of year when there is a mound of snow on the ground and a mound of annual appeal letters from area non-profits in your mailbox each day. As some of you know, I work at The Discovery Museums in Acton and before that for 8 years at Mass. Audubon. I will be brief and to the point. I want you to know how tough it really is out there for area non-profits and cultural institutions. Each year it has become increasingly competitive to raise money from corporations and foundations. Recently, we applied to a foundation and were one of 400 proposals — 25 were funded.
You may think when you visit a museum that you are doing your part by paying admission or buying some souvenirs (and you are helping, don't get me wrong!). Institutions, like The Discovery Museums, are run very efficiently and well by extremely dedicated, well-educated staff. But they are strapped for cash for capital improvements, snow plowing, and to make payroll. Non-profits cannot function without the generosity of and support from individuals. I am not writing this to sound negative or dramatic, but as someone who feels the pressures each day from a tight budget. I know how many wonderful things we do and I know how many more we could do. I simply ask during this time of year when you reflect on the year and your many blessings that you give what you can to your favorite non-profit or cultural institution. If you cannot afford to give a financial contribution, you may consider volunteering or giving in-kind donations such as gently used office equipment, easels, digital cameras, markers/highlighters, etc. You have no idea how much these donations are put to good use and are appreciated. Well, thanks for reading ... and pull that mound out of the recycle bin and pick your favorite non-profit to support now.
Pheasant Hill Lane
Live a life that matters
To the Editor:
Recently I stumbled upon the following message. It touched me deeply and I would like to share it with you. It reads as follows:
"Ready or not, some day, it will all come to an end. There will be no more surprises; no minutes, hours, or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass on to someone else.
Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses, that once seemed so important, will fade away. It won't matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So, what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured? What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character. What will matter is not how many people you know, but how many people will feel lasting loss when you're gone."
Living a life that matters is a choice.
Ed note: The quote (author unknown) appeared in the August 2004 issue of "New Insights."
Ideas for Carlisle's Bicentennial
I was pleased to read in the Mosquito that there will be a celebration of the bicentennial of Carlisle next year and that you are asking for ideas as to how to go about it. As one who grew up in the town and left nearly fifty years ago, I have some thoughts on this subject which I would like to share.
First of all I believe we should honor those who made the town what it is today. Not only the pioneers who cleared the land and the men and women who heeded the call to defend it but also those who stayed and kept things going through difficult times. They are the unsung heroes of the last two hundred years.
In line with this I would like to suggest that anyone who was a voter in Carlisle prior to 1955 be recognized. A commemorative medal or even a certificate of appreciation might be the right thing to do. I remember getting a commemorative coin for marching to Concord on Patriots Day. It should not be an expensive thing. A look at the voting list for 1955 shows no one younger than 71. It wouldn't be hard to track down the survivors and send them an invitation.
I would like to make this a real Old Home Day as described in Bull's History of Carlisle. The emphasis was on former residents returning from far corners of the country (and now the world) to renew old acquaintances and partake of a meal together. Bull states the coffee was free. We could do better. How about a catered or pot-luck meal for all those who lived in Carlisle before 1955? A video could be made of the occasion.
Finally I note that some of the early Old Home Days were graced with the presence of politicians including the governor and my own uncle Senator Charles Kimball. There was surely a lot of oratory. This time let's keep it to a minimum. If the governor wants to send greetings, fine, but this is a celebration for Carlisle residents past and present.
Paul K. Swanson
© 2004 The