The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 30, 2005

Dr. Van Amburg remembered

To the Editor:

The untimely passing of former Superintendent, Dr. Jim Van Amburg, compels me to acknowledge the contributions he made to our school district.

In 1974 Carlisle was beginning to have a growth spurt. Many new people had moved to town. The demographics were changing, and people expected more from the schools.

For many years Carlisle shared a roving superintendent with other small communities. We had our own superintendent for a few years before 1974 who resigned that spring.

During the fall the school committee hired Dr. James Van Amburg who came to us from the University of Chicago Lab School. He was young, bright and willing to work very hard to rejuvenate with enthusiasm and to bring greater professionalism and excellence to Carlisle. Many superb teachers were hired. I believe Carlisle owes this man a debt of gratitude and acknowledgment for commencing the educational program that began the excellent school system we have today.

Lyn Courant
Virginia Farme

Volunteers thanked for Katrina relief efforts

To the Editor:

It does my heart good! Carlisle residents and employees have stepped up, not only with generous donations of funds for the people and pets made miserable by Katrina, but also with manpower to get needed supplies to specific communities.

I want to thank Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle and Principal Steve Goodwin as well as Concord Superintendent Brenda Finn and her staff for rallying teachers to collect textbooks no longer being used locally. These answer the call of relief groups in the Gulfport, Mississippi, area, where schools were wiped out. They've been reorganized in safe quarters, and teachers have returned, but they were desperate for books. Thanks, too, to Ms. Doyle, for help in mobilizing the Newton schools, where she worked before coming to Carlisle.

Special thanks to Carlisle Public Works director Gary Davis and DPW workers Shane Rogge and James Young for their help in transporting books to our drop-off point and getting them unloaded.

Tom Rourk and Dick Shohet of Carlisle have been working with the Acton-based Citizen Action Team (CAT), which has contacts in the affected areas. Tom and Dick have been coordinating local transportation of goods. Thanks to Barbara Howland for helping us load a big truck headed for the shipping point in Norwood.

Finally, thanks to Sally Lakness for the lead on free, high-quality cat food for transport to Katrina's kitties.

If you'd like to help CAT with future collections and shipments, please contact me at

Christy Barbee
Cranberry Hill Lane

Anti-gay marriage petition

To the Editor:

The current petition for a Constitutional Amendment on marriage gives us an opportunity to speak out to preserve traditional marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The citizens of Massachusetts have been thwarted many times in the past to have a voice on this issue. Now we have a diversity of ethnic, religious and civic organizations along with Governor Romney backing this petition that will lead to the amendment. October 2 is Preserve Marriage Sunday when this petition will be widely circulated at churches and civic organizations. You can get more information or volunteer for the signature drive by calling Rob Willington at 617-795-2667 or by visiting

Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden) have already tried same-sex marriage. It has been in place there for ten years. Let me quote Stanley Kurtz, Ph.D., research fellow at the Hoover Institute in an address at the State House, Boston, March 9, 2004: "The main idea I'd like to convey today is that claims of gay marriage advocates that same-sex unions won't adversely affect the institution of marriage are not valid, as real-world experience proves marriage will very much be harmed by this. I've studied Scandinavia's decade-long experiment with same-sex registered partnerships, and I've learned that Scandinavia's system of de facto gay marriage has contributed significantly to the undermining of marriage in Scandinavia....they're saying, 'Gee, if even gays can marry, then any family form is as good as any other. So being a single mother or a cohabiting parent is just fine.' This is how de facto gay marriage is understood by the Scandinavian public, and that is why it has contributed to the decline of marriage in Scandinavia." This situation is not helpful to children who do best in a stable, loving relationship involving the diversity of a mother and a father. After all, isn't marriage primarily about the welfare of the children?

I urge you to sign the presently circulating petition to preserve traditional marriage, the proven standard of more than 2000 years.

Sally J. Naumann
Lowell Street

Writer supports petition against same-sex marriage

To the Editor:

Citizens of Massachusetts, including myself, are now collecting signatures to allow a vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment. The goal is to allow a ballot vote on this amendment: "When recognizing marriages entered into after the adoption of this amendment by the people, the Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall define marriage only as the union of one man and one woman."

We also support Reciprocal Beneficiary Contract legislation, modeled after Hawaii's success in 1997. A reciprocal beneficiary relationship is a contract relationship, not an institution like marriage or civil unions. It's defined by need, not by sexual preference. This legislation would apply to many other dependent adult relationships that are ineligible for marriage, such as two elderly sisters living together, or a single adult child taking care of an elderly parent.

I'm going to catch flak for saying this. Homosexuality has never been proven to be genetic or immutable. Thousands of former homosexuals attest to the fact that change is possible. Visit Studies suggesting a gay gene exists aren't widely acknowledged by the scientific community. The researchers themselves have stated that their studies are inconclusive.

With sincere respect to those who are happy with the law as it now stands, same-sex marriage is not a civil rights issue. Discrimination on the basis of gender or race is vastly different from differentiations made on the basis of sexual practice. Many veterans of the civil rights movement are against efforts by homosexual activists to seek special rights and benefits based on sexual behavior that unlike race, is neither inherent, involuntary, nor immutable. The majority of African-Americans oppose same-sex marriage. 67% favor a federal constitutional amendment. (CBS News, March 2004)

I support marriage as the union of one man and one woman at a personal cost. One very uncomfortable aspect is to be called a "bigot" and "homophobe." I'm not against any individual. I'm for traditional marriage, the foundation of our society.

For more information or to volunteer for the signature drive now in progress, call Rob Willington at 1-617-795-2667 or visit This time, let the people vote.

Madeleine Prendergast
Stearns Street

CSA luncheon volunteers thanked

To the Editor:

The annual Fall CSA luncheon was held this Tuesday, September 27, to honor the school's teachers and staff in recognition of their work.The spring and fall luncheons have become a wonderful tradition with the parent community generously donating their time and efforts. This fall was no different. We had many delicious main dishes, delectable salads and side dishes, and a wonderful array of desserts. Thank you to all the contributors for their commitment to make this event a success. Special thanks go to the parents who helped set up, decorate, serve and clean up the dining area. In addition, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Andi Gettys, Suzanne Sweet and Terri Fosnight for their help and guidance.Please call 1-978-369-3288 or send e-mail to seema_peterson, to pick up your serving pieces.

Seema Peterson
CSA Lunch Coordinator
Davis Road

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito