The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 13, 2005

Pay a fair day's wage

To the Editor:

Lately there appears to be a lot of debate about the number of hours the Town Clerk should work, and when the office should be open.

I have been the Assistant Town Clerk and before that the Town Clerk's Assistant for over ten years. In my opinion, the very fact that the numbers are in question points to just how little is known about the demands and duties of the Clerk, both mandated by the state and demanded by the citizens of the town.

Other towns of our size offer more hours, more money and more assistants. If there is one place in our town that the citizens are getting more than their money's worth, it's in the Clerk's Office.

Every day has a different set of requests and requirements. Some days the desk and telephone consume all of our hours and other days are spent trying to catch up with what has been delayed due to interruptions, interruptions which the public is entitled to and we try to accommodate. We were almost asked to babysit someone's ashes if a grave was unable to be opened due to a recent storm. (The people called that Plan B).

During my tenure, the voter and population turnover has almost doubled, the mandated state requirements seem to have tripled, and the public is entitled to proper service, and 20 hours' pay is not adequate. Our late Clerk worked nights, at home, weekends, and early mornings. I know, because I saw that. Those days are over. We need to pay a fair day's wage for a fair day's work.

Irene Blake
Assistant Town Clerk

Selectman candidate Alan Carpenito writes

To the Editor:

I am running for Carlisle's Board of Selectmen this year and would like to take a moment to introduce myself. I am an iron worker and have lived on South Street for 16 years with my wife Lynne and our two sons John and Evan. We purchased an older home that we have been fixing up since we bought it.

With both of our sons having gone through the Carlisle school system, I have a good understanding of the needs and constraints of the school system. I have seen first-hand the physical limitations of the existing school facilities, and with the rising population, expanded school space must be addressed in the near future.

I was appointed by the Board of Selectmen to the Benfield, Task Force, on which I've served for the past year. As a neighborhood representative to the task force, I have met with and talked to many area residents about the project. Several of our neighbors on South Street have lived in town 30 or more years now, and some of them feel as though their concerns are no longer being adequately represented in town government. With several large expenditures for the town on the horizon (schools, affordable housing, ballfields), we must keep an eye on costs from the outset. I feel that the older residents of Carlisle are an asset to the community and that we must do whatever we can to prevent them from leaving due to an excessive tax burden. With Carlisle having some of the highest property taxes in the state, I feel as though elderly residents and working families need substantial representation on the Board of Selectmen, and eing a tradesman, I feel that I can offer a perspective on the Board of Selectmen that's been missing for many years.

We must use existing resources to the greatest extent possible. All existing town-owned land must be considered for best possible uses, and new projects undertaken in a fiscally responsible way.

Finally, I'm interested in the viewpoints of all residents, so please feel free to contact me if you have concerns or ideas. I'd love to hear from you.

Alan Carpenito
South Street

Writers support John Williams for Selectman

To the Editor:

At the recent League of Women Voters "Meet the Candidates" session a recurrent theme was echoed. Carlisle needs more volunteers for town government. This year there are new faces and contested positions. Candidate for Selectman John Williams is one of those new faces.

John Williams' positions on education, recreation, conservation, seniors, affordable housing and tax policy indicate that he will balance the varying interests of the town constituencies. By attending Selectmen's meetings and the full range of other town board meetings, he has a head start in educating himself on the issues that face us.

His background and experience are particularly impressive. For 25 years he has run a small business. He has had to meet a payroll; thus he brings bottom-line judgment to the town's finances. He has managed inevitable personnel issues and has had to satisfy demanding clients. In his work he hires a range of skilled consultants, accountants, attorneys and investment advisors among others. Successfully bringing together demanding clients and high-powered consultants demonstrates communication and negotiating skills that will serve us well.

While living in Lincoln, John Williams served on the board of a regional organization that represents the interests of neighboring towns at Hanscom Field/Massport. He recalls these valuable lessons in power politics.

In addition to his intelligence and experience, in his campaign John has already demonstrated a high level of energy and commitment. We will vote for John Williams and urge you to give him your serious consideration.

Elizabeth H. and Arthur Milliken
Estabrook Road
Kenneth J. Harte
Estabrook Road
Midge and Tim Eliassen
Virginia Farme Lane

2005 is The Year of Languages

To the Editor:

Readers of Betsy Fell's editorial about foreign languages might be interested to know that the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) has declared 2005 to be The Year of Languages in the United States. This has been seconded by resolutions in both the House (H. Res. 122) and Senate (S. Res. 28), as well as by the American Translators Association. For more information, see the ACTFL's website (

Tom Hedden
East Riding Drive

Vote for William Tice for Selectman

To the Editor:

This letter is in support of William Tice, candidate for Board of Selectmen. I first met Bill on the Planning Board several years ago and know what a hard worker he is on behalf of the town's best interests. He worked steadily during his tenure on the Planning Board to create bylaws that would best maintain the character of the town. In addition, he served several times as the Board's chairman and several years as its treasurer, and showed fiscal responsibility in the management of the yearly budget. Bill's experience on the Planning Board will be valuable to the Board of Selectmen at this time where there is growing pressure to develop 40B projects. His knowledge of which issues should be examined during the planning stages of any such project and his familiarity with the town bylaws will be invaluable to the town. Bill will be able to hit the ground running since he has such broad experience working on town boards and committees. I urge everyone to go to the polls on election day and to vote for William Tice for Selectman.

Kate Reid
Carlton Road

Read the Narragansett report on Benfield Parcel "A"

To the Editor:

In the April 29 issue of the Mosquito an article on the Benfield A Parcel stated that the Public Archaeology Laboratory (PAL) would "determine the authenticity of claims (by the Native American interests) that the Benfield land contains sacred Indian relics." While the author may have gotten that impression from comments made earlier in a Benfield Task Force meeting, that is not the objective of the study. In fact Alan Leveillee, the Principal Investigator, speaking on April 28 to a group of Indian and town representatives at the site, stated explicitly that PAL would confine its conclusions to the presence or lack of traditional artifacts such as may be found during their 80-85 excavations. He said that he would defer to the Indian representatives in matters of ceremonial significance.

The requirement by the Massachusetts Historic Commission (MHC) for the intensive survey is based on an analysis of the number of registered archaeological finds in the immediate area and the characteristics of the site. The numerous manifestations of ceremonial usage that are found on the site are not part of the study that they are requiring. These ceremonial features were studied by a team headed by Doug Harris, the Narragansett Deputy Tribal Preservation Officer, and Prof. Curtiss Hoffman, chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Bridgewater State College. The other team members are Dr. Peter Waksman, a member of the Concord Historic Commission, and me. Their report was delivered to the town in January, 2005. Copies may be seen in the Gleason Library.

Timothy Fohl
South Street

Narragansett historian writes

To the Editor:

The "Native American interests" referred to in Dave Ives' April 29 article about the proposed development at the Benfield "A" property are the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and Narragansett Tribe and the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (USET) who represent the unified interests of federally recognized tribes from Maine to Texas. Prior to European contact and colonization, this region was the territory of the cultural/linguistic nation of tribes now referred to as New England Algonquin Peoples.

Benfield "A" has been confirmed by the Aquinnah Wampanoag and Narragansett Indian Tribes as a site of sacred regional ancestral ceremonies. This was and still is a sacred ceremonial place. It was used by regional tribal women and medicine people to sustain our balance with and connectedness to our Mother the Earth and her purifying flow of waters. USET Resolution #2003:022, on file with the town, calls for towns and tribes to partner in efforts to save such sacred landscapes. Upon our request to the Carlisle Selectmen to do a surface survey of Benfield "A," permission was granted and a report locating and describing the ceremonial features of the site was issued with the professional archaeological input of Dr. Curtiss Hoffman, chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Bridgewater State College.

We requested of the Task Force that a version of its architectural design should wrap around and "embrace" the ceremonial area in a manner that would honor and not destroy its sacred elements. The architect's Plan D basically does this. Although we have been cordially listened to by the Task Force, neither its preferred Plan B or Plan A protects this sacred complex from destruction.

We seek not to stop development of this project; we seek merely to have it honor and protect that which is ancient and sacred to area tribes. To that end, an offer was made to the Task Force to assist Carlisle in raising Indian preservation grant dollars to cover part of the cost of a protective development plan. Will Carlisle destroy or protect this sacred site?

Doug Harris
Senior Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Narragansett Indian Tribe
Wyoming, Rhode Island

Tribes, not archaeologist, should determine artifact significance

To the Editor:

In an article dated April 29 about the "Benfield A" property, Dave Ives referenced "Native American interests." For the record, the referenced property is contained within a regional ancestral sacred ceremonial site, part of the larger sacred landscape of traditional, cultural and spiritual significance to the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the Narragansett Indian Tribe and other New England Algonquin Peoples.

The concept of using an archaeological study to "determine the authenticity of claims" and or identify the spiritual significance of these ceremonial sites, does not acknowledge or respect our cultural and traditional, religious or ceremonial practices. The only authorities that can "determine the authenticity" or provide the quantifying information necessary to identify areas of significance to us are the tribes. This fact is affirmed in language contained within United Southern and Eastern Tribes (USET) Resolution #2003:19 "Tribal Traditional Cultural Authority."

Developing affordable housing on this property is an initiative that we can all appreciate and work towards. As spelled out within USET Resolution #2003:022, the tribes are committed to working collaboratively with the town(s) to identify specific areas which will have the least negative impact to our sacred sites, while providing additional options to maximize all available funding resources to complete the development project(s).

Cheryl Andrews-Malthais, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah, Mass.

Holly Salemy thanked

To the Editor:

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Holly Salemy and the Carlisle Garden Club for helping our Brownie Troop with its recent service project.

Holly spent a Friday afternoon with our troop at Carlisle's Elderly Housing. She taught the girls how to transfer plants from an older bed, and watched with patience as we provided a very creative planting of many flats of pansies. The girls had a wonderful time, learned something about gardening, and met some of their senior neighbors.

We appreciate Holly sharing her time and expertise with us.

Jennifer Albanese
Autumn Lane
Pamela Ziehler
Acton Street
Leaders for Brownie Troop 2655

Donna Cantrill thanked for volunteer work

To the Editor:

Donna Cantrill is stepping down as Chairman of the Memorial Day Luncheon after over 30 years of service to our town of Carlisle and our church. She has been a most gracious, hard working, wonderfully organized chairman. We thank Donna from the bottom of our hearts for keeping this town-wide tradition alive. The Memorial Day Luncheon honors all men and women who have served our country in time of war. In addition, we honor all the men and women who are presently serving our country here and abroad. We have replaced Donna Cantrill with an entire committee and hope she will continue to serve our town and church. Thank you, Donna Cantrill.

Janice Kissinger
Elizabeth Ridge Road

P.S. The Memorial Day Luncheon starts after the parade and that's about noon.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito