The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 20, 2006

Public invited to review RecCom plan for Banta Davis Land

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Finance Committee has made a preliminary review of the upcoming warrant articles relating to construction of new recreation facilities on the Banta-Davis land. We believe that there are four fundamental issues that the town should consider before voting on this construction:

1. How the fields at Banta-Davis fit into a long-range plan for Carlisle's recreation facilities, including non-field-based facilities such as a recreation center;

2. The data and analysis supporting the need for new fields at Banta-Davis, including the "crunch" at peak periods and the growth in participation across all youth programs;

3. The overall, multi-year investment required to implement this plan, and what the impact of the current plan will have on property taxes; and

4. How Carlisle's recreation plan relates to a similar effort now being considered by Concord (Concord and Carlisle participate jointly in most youth sports, although each town is responsible for its own facilities).

A hearing in advance of Town Meeting will be held on Monday, October 23rd in Town Hall at 7:30 p.m.; representatives of both the Recreation Committee and the Finance Committee will be prepared to address your concerns and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue at that time; a discussion in this forum will result in a more efficient and productive Town Meeting on the following Monday October 30.

Carlisle Finance Committee
Thornton Ash,Nowell Farme Road
Barbara Bjornson, Prospect Street
Jerry Lerman, Stearns Street
David Model,Carroll Drive
Dave Trask,Log Hill Road
Dave Verrill,Forest Park Drive
Sue Wolfe, Concord Street

Vote for the earth, not artificial turf

To the Editor:

Global warming has been the subject of a spate of articles and letters appearing in the Carlisle Mosquito. But to paraphrase Mark Twain's remark about the weather, everyone talks about global warming, but nobody does anything about it.

At fall town meeting, Carlisle will have the opportunity to do something about global warming. The Recreation Commission's proposed plan for Banta-Davis involves the removal of a large amount of forested area and the creation of a playing field surfaced with artificial turf. To get an idea of how much natural vegetation the plan would remove see the October 6 issue of the Mosquito.

Forests and grasslands reduce the rate of global warming by removing CO2 from the atmosphere through a process known as carbon sequestration. CO2 is absorbed by plants and stored as organic matter in the soil.

A study by the USDA (discussed here: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jun03/golf0603.pdf) found that an acre of turfgrass removes almost a ton of carbon from the atmosphere each year. That pile of grass clippings? Think of it as a big heap of former greenhouse gas.

Artificial turf not only does not absorb carbon from the atmosphere, its manufacture requires an enormous amount of energy from fossil fuels and thus further contributes to global warming. Therefore, if the citizens of Carlisle are serious about doing something about climate change, rejecting the RecCom plan for paving Banta-Davis with artificial turf is the place to start.

Slowing climate change requires communities to take action. To merely talk about global warming is just that — hot air.

James Bohn
Concord Street

Finances and fairness guide voting on Banta-Davis

To the Editor:

I am not going to vote for Banta-Davis Phase II because of finances and fairness.

(1) There has been no information on the amount of financing which can be expected from the RecCom. I understand that the RecCom cannot float a bond, but if there is such a great need of the fields, I would think that the fees paid by the users should cover the payments on the bond and the cost to maintain the fields. All information to date says that they do some field maintenance.

(2) Children and adults who choose sports, like hockey, figure skating, swinmiing, diving, horseback riding, gymnastics, etc. are not subsidized by the town. People who participate in these sports are paying for the entire cost of their sport, including all facilities and maintenance. Why should the town subsidize little league and soccer?

(3) Carlisle has high taxes. My property taxes are so high, relative to my income, that the federal government thinks that I have too many deductions and am therefore subject to the alternative minimum tax. I only vote for things that help the entire town, not just a select few.

Barbara Pauplis
Estabrook Road

Fire and Police Departments thanked

To the Editor:

We wish to thank the Carlisle Fire and Police departments for their excellent work in responding to the fire at our home on Woodland Road on Tuesday, October 3.

They quickly extinguished the blaze, and prevented it from spreading, and minimized the structural damage.

Carlisle is indeed fortunate to have such well-trained fire and police people. Thank you!

Yang and Myung Kim
Woodland Road

Thanks from the Cub Scouts

Letter to the Editor:

Carlisle Cub Scout Pack 135 would like to thank the entire town for supporting our Popcorn Sale last weekend. We especially would like to thank Larry and Robin for allowing us to camp out at Ferns. Ferns is always so generous with town groups and we all owe them our business for their strong community actions. We'd also like to thank DPW for allowing us use of the transfer station. This year we raised a considerable amount of money for the pack that is used to offset the costs of our meeting space at the school and to fund advancement for the boys. Thank you Carlisle for supporting the Cub Scouts!

Richard Sibley
Cross Street

Why attack working parents?

To the Editor:

Are working parents and middle school children second class citizens in Carlisle?

Since returning to work in an office, I have received a variety of comments from fellow mothers in Carlisle on my status, from " It is such a shame you have to work," as if I do not enjoy my professional life to "How do you cope with your child's homework?"

All parents make choices about how we juggle raising children and have a career. My husband and I share parenting equally and both work in offices that accept we are parents as well as professionals. I also understand that other parents choose to stay at home for a variety of reasons and several of them put in vast quantities of time working for our community and school, which I admire and appreciate. We are all doing our best at raising our children with the right values and attitude to ensure they are successful adults in our own equally viable way.

So what justified the attack on working parents in last week's Mosquito? Why should we be blamed for badly behaved children rather than non-working parents? Your editorial made it sound as if it was only the offspring of working parents that were being disruptive in the library. Presumably the children of the stay at home parents who were in the library at the same time were being little angels!

The issue facing Carlisle as a community is not what parents (working or otherwise) allow the children to do on early release days, it is more where can our middle schoolers " hang out." Our dispersed community does not lend itself to allowing them to have unstructured social interaction, and the library and its environs are the only public space where the kids can meet.

So rather than unfairly accusing working parents of being negligent, and blaming the children for needing a social life, perhaps the paper should discuss how we can improve Carlisle for our children's social wellbeing, and allow them to have an appropriate space for that all important unstructured time with their peers.

Debbie Bentley
Heald Road

How about more library programs for teens?

To the Editor:

I am the parent of one of those middle school boys who frequents the library after school. I am at an at-home mom; he is not there as an alternative to my finding childcare. Since hearing that some young people have caused disruptions my son and I have had several thoughtful discussions about this matter.

However, the reaction of adults to the boys' behavior is also of concern to me. Rather than talking about restricting the boys' use of the library, we should be encouraging their presence. Yes, my son plays on the computer (and I thank the library for having a time limit) but he also checks out piles of books. Young teens, especially boys, are at an age where they turn away from reading. But in this town our young people love going to the library. Let's keep it that way.

Have you noticed the lack of library programs for people his age? What about having authors and illustrators who write for teens speak at the library? What about having a poster with the news of new graphic novels? What about subscribing to computer and gaming magazines that interest this group?

In Carlisle we talk about not having a community center. Just like the transfer station is more than a place to bring our trash, the library is more than a place to sit quietly

with books. Yes, all users should be respectful and behave appropriately. But isn't it wonderful to have this place where everyone, from toddlers to teens to seniors, feels welcome?

I ask the parents of the middle schoolers who frequent the library to check in on them. I ask the library to think about how to nurture these patrons (instead of isolate them, as we often do to teens). I ask school officials to recognize how our library fits into our community and to see it not as a situation for discipline, but as an opportunity. And, most importantly, I ask the teens that love the library to see how their behavior affects other people and to behave accordingly.

Terry Golson
Stearns Street

Spaghetti Supper is great for the kids

To the Editor:

On behalf of the entire Spaghetti Supper Committee, we would like to congratulate the sixth-grade class on a job well done! This event is not about the food served or the money that was raised. It is about the kids! In our community the vast majority of the sixth-grade parents would willingly cover the per-student take of any year's gross receipts in lieu of hosting this event. But that is not the point.

Our budding adults work the supper to become invested in the process to raise their own funds that make the Carlisle Middle School experience what it is. It provides an opportunity for their first work experience. It is the lesson that some adults have forgotten in our quest to provide our children with only the best. Hard work pays off. There is satisfaction in a job well done by you.

Furthermore, it demonstrates that when people come together to work as a team — mountains (of spaghetti) can be moved! What once seemed insurmountable to us — serving so many meals in three hours — is accomplished through the team work of many fine parents and their children.

Thankfully, each year eager managers graciously fill the subcommittee chair positions. This year's subcommittee chairs are to be applauded, along with the many wonderful parents who stepped right up to the plate to work on these committees.

The sixth-grade teachers, custodial and kitchen staff as well as the administration are to be thanked for helping us guide our children through this rite-of-passage unique to the Carlisle Public Schools.

This community wide event couldn't have been accomplished were it not for this partnership between parents and sixth graders, the willingness of the school to participate, the support of the community and above all: the generosity of our donors.

We invite you to carefully read the program to understand just how pivotal these donations are to the success of the Spaghetti Supper and Raffle. Please do what you can to frequent these local businesses and thank all of our donors for their support.

Holly Salemy, Concord Street
Nicole Bloomfield, Aberdeen Drive
Liz Bishop, Kimball Road
2006 Spaghetti Supper Co-Chairs

Stop theft of political signs

To the Editor:

On the morning of Sunday, October 15, I was deeply disappointed to learn that a number of Healey/Hillman political signs had been stolen throughout the town of Carlisle during the previous night. The signs were stolen from a variety of locations, including Bedford Road, Westford Street, Lowell Street, Concord Street and Acton Street. Signs were also taken from locations on Spencer Brook Road and Lowell Road in Concord.

This cowardly attempt to stifle the political expression of others is an affront to the spirit of open, civil discourse that makes Carlisle a vibrant and rewarding place to live. I encourage anyone with information relating to these dispiriting crimes to contact the Carlisle Police Department.

Jonathan Beakley
West Street

Please don't let it happen here

To the Editor:

Last Sunday there were five incidents of vandalism in Carlisle; each involved destruction of a political sign on private property. Whether Democratic or Republican signs is unknown and unimportant. We have a constitutional right to differ in our beliefs and to voice differing opinions and that right is supported when it is respected.

Many of us feel that a recent excess of political fervor in TV ads and in print is distasteful and unfair. It is also distasteful and unfair when expressions of opinion are vandalized on Carlisle streets. Neither act shows respect for the process.

Let these five signs be the last. Please don't let the nastiness happen here in Carlisle.

Kathleen Coyle
Maple Street

Parents Connection thanks volunteers

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Parents Connection (CPC) hosted the annual new baby party on September 30. Parents and babies gathered at Diment Park to meet other parents and to hear tips on infant care.

The event would not have been possible without the help of the two hostesses, Heidi Kidder and Karen Letteri. The CPC would also like to thank Sue Holman and Lori Holden from Emerson Home Care and the Carlisle Board of Health.

Thanks to all those who participated.

Lisa Chaffin,
Carlisle Parents Connection
East Street

How can we forestall problems with bears?

To the Editor:

Every week the Mosquito faithfully reports on bear sightings in Carlisle. This is an important service, butI think the town of Carlisleneeds to give some thought toaddressing this potential problem.Bears maybedisinclined to attack humans, but they have been known to do so, and the more they come into contact with humans the greater the chances are that such an attack will occur. Are we prepared, as a community, to wait until such an attack occursbefore weconfront thissafety issue?I am not sure what the answer is,but I would strongly urge the community tobegin consideration ofoptions for addressing it, sooner rather than later.

Bruce Hitchner
Autumn Lane

Vote Fargo for State Senator

To the Editor:

I urge all voters of Carlisle to support Senator Susan Fargo in her bid for re-election November 7 . Senator Fargo has been instrumental in demanding and getting improvements to education in the state of Massachusetts through her continued fight for local school aid equity, METCO and special education funds, and local school construction. Carlisle is understandably proud of its school system, with fully 68% of our tenth- graders testing at advanced/above proficiency in mathematics in MCAS and SAT math scores ranking in the top 3% for the state.

Senator Fargo is mindful of the real estate tax burden that Carlisle residents shoulder to hire and retain the best teachers, seek and develop the best curricula and revamp and renew facilities to make our schools the best, and is always working to keep state tax dollars flowing into our town. She fought the closing of Hanscom Air Force base, saving untold millions in lost jobs and lost tax revenue.

Susan Fargo has shown herself to be a fighter for the towns she serves, and as a former educator with advanced degrees in teaching and administration from Harvard University, has proven herself to be the best choice to represent our community in the legislature. Please vote for Senator Susan Fargo for the continued good of our kids — and our future.

Laurie Aragon
Red Pine Drive

[Ed note: The Mosquito received a number of letters from Concord residents on the upcoming state election. A representative sample has been printed.]

Vote Frisoli for Attorney General

To the Editor:

The violent crime rate is on the rise again in Boston and other areas in the Commonwealth.

Much of this is due to gang violence. The causes of this are complex and have to do with broken families, demographics, poor choices in the appointments of city police chiefs, and a court system which is overloaded.

Larry Frisoli, candidate for Attorney General, is committed to improving the capacity of our courts to expedite the prosecution of gang members. Citizens of the Commonwealth, expecially those who are victims of violent gangs, need an Attorney General who is dedicated to their safety. Vote for Larry Frisoli on November 7.

Marjorie Franko
Silver Hill Road, Concord
See MORE MAIL on page 19

Vote Healey for Governor

To the Editor:

Deval Patrick and Christie Mihos claim that reductions in income taxes have resulted in increases in property taxes. This view avoids putting the blame where it belongs — on our legislature, which refuses to do the hard work of cutting spending. Ordinary folk have to live in a world of limits, but most politicians don't want to. We are the ones that suffer when our taxes go up because it amounts to a pay cut.

We have the fourth-highest per capita tax rate in the nation. We have widespread abuse of sick time, overtime, and pensions among our state employees. Although most employees try to do the right thing, the unions and the legislature make their deals and nothing changes.

When we the people voted to roll back the tax rate, we were insisting that our elected officials take this on. The only leverage we have is to limit what the legislature can spend. Kerry Healey and Reed Hillman respect the will of the voters. They will speak for us. Vote Healey/Hillman in November.

Gregg Butterworth
Main Street, Concord


2006 The Carlisle Mosquito