The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 14, 2006

School needs new reserve water tank(s)

To the Editor:

Since I was quoted on this topic, I would like to address the water supply problem of the Carlisle School, considering both the daily needs of the school and for emergency shelter. The well that supplies the school has a capacity of about 20,000 gallons per day. The normal demand for the school is about 4,000 to 5,000 gallons per day, so even an emergency use of the school buildings would not overstress the capacity of the well.

The problem is that the peak flow demand during the school day is much greater than the 14 gallons per minute output of the well, so a reserve storage capacity is needed. It is this reserve storage capacity that is the problem. Three tanks provide the reserve. A 1,500-gallon tank, pressurized to about 60 psi, provides the working water supply. Normally, this tank cycles about half full, with the remainder being pressurized air, or about 750 gallons of water. This tank is replenished by two high-pressure water pumps, each with a capacity of about 50 gallons per minute, about equivalent to the peak demand. These pumps draw from two normal-pressure holding tanks, one with a capacity of 2,000 gallons, the other 1,000 gallons. The inadequate size of these holding tanks is the problem. If an unexpected drawdown, like a continuously running toilet occurs, so that the holding tanks are not full at the start of the school day, they can be emptied, say, at 1 p.m. Getting enough water in the smaller holding tank to repressurize the working water supply tank can take several hours. During this time, the school has no water supply.

Thus, additional reserve tankage is needed. Roughly, increasing the reserve tankage by 50% should solve the school water supply problem and perhaps tripling it should cover possible emergency use. As always, there is a space problem. The Wilkins basement contains the heating system that is about to be replaced, the water supply system, and a storage/workshop area for school maintenance. With some rebuilding of the space, the existing tanks could probably be replaced with two 2,500 gallon tanks. Adding an additional 2,000-gallon tank instead would probably require eliminating the maintenance facilities and placing them elsewhere.

Wendell G. Sykes
Indian Hill Road

[Ed. note: Sykes is a member of the Carlisle School Committee.]

Continuing resignations need to be addressed

To the Editor:

Change can be very positive, but rapid, massive change in our school system is not. Since September 2005, the Carlisle Public School has seen changes that have affected curriculum, culture, and staff morale. Two-thirds of the administrative team has resigned (both principals, Director of Student Services, and the Business Manager). Four beloved, seasoned teachers have retired this year. And now it continues as the PreK - 2 School Psychologist, Sharon Grossman, and the fifth-grade special educator, Sue Fitzgerald, have both resigned. Once again, these are very valuable, dedicated members of the faculty who are well respected, and have given immeasurable support to the children and their families.

We have been told by the School Committee that these are inevitable outcomes, the natural course of events when there is a change of administration. However, throughout the past three administrations, there has been virtually no turnover other than normal retirements.

There is also talk that this faculty does not handle change well. This is contrary to the facts. This is a faculty that has historically embraced change, and has always welcomed and supported new administrations. Furthermore, the members of this faculty relish growth and change as is evidenced by the great lengths they go to in order to stay current with best educational practices.

The Carlisle Public School has traditionally ranked at the top of the MCAS testing, has been a source of pride and a magnet for our community, and has enhanced real estate values. Why is this school going through such transitions with the voluntary departure of so many dedicated and talented staff? These are fundamental questions that need honest answers.

Linda Clark
Carlisle Pines

[ Ed note: Clark is a retired teacher, who worked for many years at the Carlisle Public School.]

Honored Citizens write

To the Editor:

Newel and I would like to express our deep appreciation for the Honored Citizen Award that was presented to us at the Old Home Day celebration on July 1. It was a complete surprise as we realized that we had been nominated and selected to receive this award.

Newel and Donna Cantrill
Maple Street

Garden Club has help with rotary plantings

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Garden Club maintains the plantings at the rotary as one of its civic projects. From time to time the members weed, prune and plant. However, this is only part of the job. The watering and mulching have been done through the donations of services and materials. We would like to recognize and thank the Green Lawn Company of Chelmsford for maintaining our sprinkler system. We would also like to thank Foster Landscape and Design in Bolton for contributing and distributing the mulch. The appearance of the rotary plantings owes much to their contributions.

Jane Anderson
Member of Carlisle Garden Club
Baldwin Road

Local volunteers aid world's poor

To the Editor:

One of the delights of a small-town paper is the chance to share some good news. Our Old Home Day Parade theme this year was, "Made in Carlisle." There are many in town who "make" things with their hands or minds or hearts to better this town or the world, as in the case of contractor Steve Hamilton, his wife Jackie, son Mark and his wife, Alora, who run Cornerstone Concepts, a local construction business. Steve invited his trade partners and suppliers to join him in donating labor and materials in the construction of a quality home that will support HOPE International's work in Moldova. The result of their combined efforts was the first New England House for Hope, recently completed and for sale at fair market value at 2561 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. The idea was bom following a trip to Moldova (the poorest country in Europe) with Dr. Shawn Seitz, another "townie" and member of the New England Board of Governors for HOPE International.

The unique character of this house is that 100% of the net proceeds will be donated to help small-scale entrepreneurs start or expand small businesses in Moldova. "This house not only benefits the initial loan recipients and their families, but since 99% of all HOPE loans are repaid, many more individuals will benefit as loans are lent again. The implications of this House for Hope in the developing world context are immeasurable," says Peter Greer, also "home grown" in Carlisle and president of HOPE International. This "hand up" rather than a "hand out," offers an alternative approach to poverty alleviation through micro-enterprise development, giving small loans to the poorest of the economically active poor.

Based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, HOPE International is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that specializes in micro-finance and presently serves people living in poverty in Afghanistan, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Dominican Republic, Moldova, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Ukraine. See

Bonnie Greer
River Road

Thank you all for the Conservationist Award

To the Editor:

The unexpected moment in the spotlight at Old Home Day gave me new appreciation for the behavior of the little critters that I so often pick up for a closer look. Some squirm, some bite, some change color, some play dead, some make strange noises, and some emit noxious fluids. I'm proud to say I didvery few of those things. If I had been able to collect my wits I would have said I love this town; I love the people who work in so many ways to acquire, secure, and manage the land that is set aside for wild and natural habitats; and I love the Trails Committee who make it easy for us to enjoy this land. I am honored to live in a town with such people. Thank you all.

Kay Fairweather
School Street

It was a great Old Home Day

To the Editor:

Kudos to Dave and Florence Reed, chairpersons of Old Home Day, for a delightful day for residents and returning residents. Their energy, expertise and inventiveness displayed the organizational professionalism they brought to this wonderful annual event:assembling a huge team of volunteers, providing signs, programs, superb emceeing, functional booths, sound systems, contests, music, continuous and varied events — wow! They brought back old favorites and instigated new ones, adding the Gleason's Used Book Sale and providing an Inventors' Showcase.Those pancakes were tender, the chickens juicy and some hamburgers were too.Jakes Boss BBQ is always awesome.

Greg Peterson spokeachingly and movingly at the Vivian Chaput Memorial dedication(see page 14).Lisa Lofdahl sang the national anthem better than any national ball game soloist to date. I got to ride inmy neighbors' 1956 Thunderbird. (Come on, you other Honored Citizens — this parade is a command performance!)

Sunday evening at the ballfield: the Ice Cream Social, Twilight Music, Tug O'War and much informal ball-playing, galloping around or conversation, depending on your age, was a wondrous wrap-up as people tried desperately to find a mosquito to cash in on Dave's dollar offer. Not-a-one could be found. The grass was green, chairs and blankets comfortable and the sun sank gently over something more wonderful than anything on TV.

Thank you, Dave and Florence, and the invisible Logistical Engineers (Nick Lunig, Scott and Marshall Evans and Bob Orlando) for a heart-warming event with the small-town delights of the original one in 1912.

Phyllis Hughes
Past OHD Chairperson
Church Street

Echoes from the past

To the Editor:

I enjoyed Nancy Shohet West's critical analysis of her children's bookshelf ("Getting the picture from picture books," June 30), but her gentle satire will probably be lost on those people who have no further need to seek truth because they have found it. Such people correctly identify books, especially children's books, as potentially very dangerous things.

In 1958 Harper Collins published The Rabbits' Wedding, by Garth Williams. This bland little picture book about two rabbits who fall in love was unusual in only one respect: one of the bunnies had white fur while the other bunny's fur was black.

The book ignited a fire-storm of controversy, especially in the South. It was banned from hundreds of libraries and denounced from pulpits and state legislatures as "undermining the most basic institution of our civilization." My, don't those words have a familiar ring.

Opponents of gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples (at least the ones they let out in public) stoutly deny any similarities between themselves and those not-so-long-ago bigots. But what exactly is the difference? Substitute sexual orientation for race and the diatribes match, howl for howl.

The difference is, of course, that we have matured as a society in the last 50 years. So many interracial couples simply ignored the bigots, so many other people saw them for what they really were, despite their sanctimonious invocation of "family values" (a phrase that hadn't yet been coined but which they would surely have seized upon,) that they were forced to scuttle back under the refrigerator of American social and political discourse. I am confident that the same fate awaits their 21st century counterparts.

Roger Goulet
Westford Street

Old Home Day thanks

To the Editor:

If you attended Old Home Day(s) on July 1 and 2, you know Carlisle had another successful Old Home Day. I'm writing to send thanks in many directions.

Thanks to those who contributed financially and in other ways. Old Home Day gets more expensive each year. Since no town funds are used, Old Home Day couldn't happen without town citizen's financial support.

Thanks to the Old Home Day Committee. They are a dedicated group of 30 or so people, who come together to make Old Home Day happen each year. They spend hundreds of volunteer hours to make each year's Old Home Day special.

Thanks to town residents who participate in The Great Parade, run in road races, contribute books to the Gleason's book sale, bring in artwork and inventions, bake pies, cakes and bread, volunteer for the Dunking Booth, bring in wares for the Country Fair, and other OHD activities. Thanks to the Community Service volunteers.

Thanks to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for their participation. Thanks to all the wonderful musicians who entertained us Sunday night.

Thanks to the Carlisle Police, and other town employees who helped things go smoothly.

Thanks to the First Religious Society, for letting OHD use their equipment and property, and for the Congregational Church's free pancake breakfast.

Thanks to the folks who set up all the tables, chairs, tents, sound systems, and other equipment for all the OHD venues, and then take it all away afterward, and clean up.

Thanks to OHD co-chairs Dave and Florence Reed. They are the driving force that help bring it all together each year. They have done it for many years.

Finally, special thanks go to the Carlisle Mosquito which brings you timely information about OHD events that let you prepare and participate in upcoming OHD activities. The Mosquito's support is essential to Old Home Day's success.

I apologize if I failed to thank anyone who contributed to Old Home Day. You know who you are. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Bert Williams,
OHD Committee Member
Maple Street

[ Ed note: Williams later asked that thanks be included for all the performers at the OHD Ice Cream Social Music Cavalcade, to Concord Lumber and Strand Sound.]

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito