Friday, October 27, 2006
Support rec field and housing proposals
To the Editor:
I would like to urge you to vote in favor of two Articles that we will be considering at Town Meeting next week.
The project that the Carlisle Recreation Commission is putting forward regarding expanded recreational facilities at Banta-Davis is both practical and necessary at this time. Both Concord and Carlisle need to expand facilities in order to continue the positive and cooperative relationship we have enjoyed for many years. I believe the Carlisle project now considers the needs of all of our citizens and merits your support. While the town will be facing substantial capital projects in the future, I do believe it is prudent to move forward with this project at this time.
I would also urge your support of the revision to the usage allocations on the Benfield Land. Due to the issues relating to the endangered species habitat it is necessary to move the housing to the front field. While this is a change, it is really the only solution that will allow us to build housing at this site. Proceeding with housing at Benfield is vital to allow the town to take control of our own destiny relating to affordable housing. Putting the housing in the front field can work well, be done tastefully and, in fact, has a better chance of integrating this housing into the Carlisle community. I urge your support for this Article.
Timothy Hult, Audubon Lane
Member, Board of Selectmen
We need more playing fields
To the Editor:
As long-time Carlisle residents, we have coached more than 100 soccer teams and 800 players ranging in age from four to 14. Each team and each player has had a different personality. Some were playful, others more competitive; some liked to "smell the roses," and others became legitimate soccer powerhouses. Carlisle has offered them all a place to play. But if you have been to Spalding or Banta-Davis on a recent Saturday, you know Carlisle urgently needs more fields. The fields and parking areas are bursting; games all day long, with barely five minutes in between, and no room for teams to warm up. Youth programs are constantly scrambling for space and some teams already must practice in other towns.
First and foremost, we support the development and installation of the multi-purpose field included in Article I of the Recreation Commission's Banta-Davis Phase 2 plan. This proposal meets our critical need for a new field.
Secondly, we support Article II of the plan, which proposes installing synthetic turf on the new multi-purpose field, because it provides more field usage at a lower relative cost. Although the initial installation cost is considerable, synthetic turf has substantial long-term benefits over natural grass. A turf field is easier and less expensive to maintain since it does not need to be mowed, reseeded, or lined. A turf field is open when grass is closed in the winter, early spring, and wet weather. Moreover, turf does not need to be "rested" like grass to recover from use; it is always in excellent condition. Most estimates determine that turf fields allow for 2 - 2.5 times the usage of grass fields. In light of the high cost of land in Carlisle, and the premium placed on conservation, synthetic turf's greater total usage per area is an important consideration. Finally, artificial turf avoids the need for pesticides and herbicides.
As long-time coaches in town, we have observed first-hand the problems caused by the field crunch. We urge you to carefully consider and approve both Banta-Davis Phase 2 Articles at tTown Meeting on October 30 and at the November 7 election.
Russell Dion, Lowell Street
Ted Heinrich, Laurelwood Drive,
Krista Kallio, Laurelwood Drive,
Steve Robinson, Bingham Road,
Bob Simonton, Blaisdell Drive,
Liz Spatola, Pine Brook Road
Support the Banta-Davis project
To the Editor:
I am writing to ask for your support for the Banta-Davis Phase 2 plan. Approval of the plan at Town Meeting and at the election would provide a central recreation area for all to use and enjoy in a park-like setting. As the parent of young children who participate in several sports each, I have grown accustomed to traveling to Concord for most sporting events. Completing Banta-Davis will allow Carlisle to host a larger share of these activities, reducing the travel time for Carlisle participants and more equitably sharing the hosting of these events with Concord. All people in town will also benefit by having a centrally located facility where we can park our cars, enjoy the amenities, and participate in activities such as walking clubs or team sports organized by our fellow residents.
This project will also greatly benefit our school. I saw the cross-country team practicing recently, where they had to run onto Church Street due to the lack of access to Banta-Davis from Spalding. The walkway that formerly linked the fields is impassable. Having our teams run on the road increases the risk of injury for these kids due to the vehicle traffic and the uneven surface at the side of the road. With approval of Phase 2, the walkway will be rebuilt so that a safe connection is restored between the two fields.
I also support the artificial surface for the multi-purpose field. This surface will extend the usability of the field to nine to ten months a year as opposed to the six months a natural surface would offer. There would also be no need to apply pesticide or fertilizer to this surface, which is always a concern for our town due to our use of well water. Admittedly, there is a larger upfront cost for this surface and it will need to eventually be replaced after its useful life. But, this is partially mitigated by the savings that would result from not needing to mow, fertilize or maintain the surface while it is in place.
Old North Road
Member, Recreation Commission
Vote against the new Benfield plan
To the Editor:
Let's make sure that we as a town don't become the worst kind of 40B developer. Please come to Town Meeting and vote "No" on the Benfield plans to move the housing to the front field.
Putting 26 units on a very small plot (2 to 2 1/2 acres) of land and putting this development only approximately 100 feet away from South Street neighbors sounds like the worst kind of 40B — but this is what is being proposed. Even the 40B at Coventry Woods is 150 feet away from neighbors. And the town will be asking us next year to subsidize this project to the tune of $1 to $1.5 million.
The Benfield Plan previously passed by Town Meeting would have the housing on the back field, an open nestling of buildings in the woods, where it would be over 400 feet away from the nearest neighbor.
There have been impediments — sacred Indian stones and spotted salamanders. However, the answer that came forth wasn't "let's push back on the state and not accept low level decisions and seek relief." No, the answer put forth was "let's force-fit this housing on the front field" — which unfortunately is too bad for the neighbors.
Vote "No" to putting the housing on the front of Benfield. Let's push back on the state regarding the salamanders — see what kind of relief we can get at high levels, when they will come off the endangered species list, etc. The original plan is doable. It just takes some effort — effort that hasn't been expended because of zeal for affordable housing or fear of 40B.
The stakes are high — if it is okay to do this to South Street, then it will be okay to do the same to your neighborhood.
Let's expend the effort and make the original neighborhood-friendly plan work; or else we, the town, will be the worst kind of 40B developer.
Raymond Kubacki, Jr.
[Ed note: Raymond Kubacki is a member of the Benfield Task Force. He is not an abutter, but lives down the street from the Benfield Land.]
COA thanks volunteers and needs more help
To the Editor:
A big thank you from the Carlisle Council on Aging (COA) to the Knights of Columbus who recently helped the COA with an immediate need. We would also like to thank our volunteers who help with Meals on Wheels deliveries and who act as "Friendly Drivers" taking elders to appointments. I am always heartened by the students, parents, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who have generously responded to specific requests.
Even with our current list of volunteers more support is needed. In particular, the COA needs additional friendly drivers and folks who can deliver Meals on Wheels when our regular delivery volunteers are not available. I am also trying to acquire a list of volunteers who have various skills and would be willing to help with a class, a repair, or support to seniors when specific needs arise. If you can help in any way (we welcome those who may only have a few hours a year to offer), please call the COA at 1-978-371-2895 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer applications can be e-mailed to you or you can pick one up outside of the COA office in Town Hall.
Again, thanks to the Knights of Columbus for rising to the occasion and helping out their neighbors in need.
Angela Smith, Martin Street
Carlisle COA Outreach Coordinator
Parents urge tightened school security
To the Editor:
Robert Jafari and I met with Principal Hurley and Principal Grasek last week to learn more about what we are doing to keep our kids safe. They were very receptive and are working very hard to keep our children safe. However, with all that they may want to do, there are still budget constraints. They informed us the new budgets will be voted on at upcoming School Committee meetings and the best way to voice our concerns about the school's security is at the beginning of these meetings. The next meeting is November 1 at 7 p.m. at the Carlisle Elementary School Auditorium. We need as many people to attend this meeting as possible to show them we are very serious about our children's safety.
The following are the issues we feel the School Committee needs to hear:
1. The plaza and castle playgrounds are extremely vulnerable. These areas are very wide open and need to be better organized, possibly even fenced in.
2. We rely heavily on volunteers for recess duty. It's wonderful that we have such a strong community willing to volunteer, but we are just that — volunteers and we are not trained to handle certain crisis situations should they arise.
3. Each building has one door unlocked at all times, which allows an individual easy access to get into the schools without being noticed. To resolve this concern we suggested that someone be present at each of those doors; someone be present by each washroom; or all doors should be locked while school is in session.
4. The school has a crisis team, but there are not parents on this team. Due to logistics, Principal Hurley suggested we might be able to have a parent advisory committee instead.
5. We mentioned there are companies who specialize in school security and give you an analysis showing where we are vulnerable and what we can do to fix our problem areas.
Carlisle is a wonderful place to live and we would like to keep it that way! Thanks for your support!
Review the ballots before voting
To the Editor:
Absentee ballots for both the State Election and the Special Town Election are now available in the Town Clerk's Office. If you would like an absentee ballot for yourself or for a family member, please contact the Clerk's office by telephone at 1-978-369-6155, or by e-mail at email@example.com and the appropriate application will be mailed to you. You may also just come by the office and pick up the application and the ballots.
Absentee ballots are available to any voter who will be hospitalized or out of town on Election Day and may be obtained until noon on Monday, November 6, the day before the elections.
We have mailed out ballots to everyone who has completed an application. If you filed an application and have still not received your ballots, please contact the Clerk's Office right away.
I strongly encourage all voters to review the ballots, especially the State ballot, before Election Day since the State Ballot is very long and includes five ballot questions. The Special Local Ballot has two ballot questions. There are specimen ballots on display at the Post Office, the Gleason Library, Ferns Country Store and the lobby of Town Hall.
Please keep in mind that there were two different voter registration deadlines and that voters registering between October 11 and October 18, will only be eligible to vote in the State Election and will not be able to vote at either the Special Town Meeting or the Special Local Election.
If you have any questions regarding these elections, please feel free to contact me. We look forward to seeing you on November 7.
Charlene M. Hinton,Town Clerk
Lawyer speaks out against Healy ads
To the Editor:
I write this letter, not as a member of the Democratic town committee, but as a private citizen and lawyer who is deeply offended and disgusted by Kerry Healey's latest lawyer-bashing attack ads against Deval Patrick, a former civil rights lawyer. Those ads imply that Patrick loves rapists because he thought it was possible that a black man convicted of rape might be innocent. Years after discrimination on the basis of race was made illegal, is Healey really unaware that the conviction rate for black men is still much higher than for white men or that hundreds of "criminals" have been released from jail because postconviction DNA testing has shown they are innocent? Healey's fear-mongering ad gravely suggests that a lawyer who "defends rapists" should not be governor. President John Adams, author of the U.S. Constitution that Healey swore to uphold as lieutenant governor, defended the accused killers in the Boston Massacre trial. Would Adams have been qualified to be our governor? I suggest that a candidate, who for cynical political purposes, is dismissive of constitutional rights of due process, is not whom we want as governor of our great state, the birthplace of the American Revolution fought so many years ago by our brave forefathers to secure our civil liberties for all time.
Vote for Martínez
To the Editor:
Our present Senator, Susan Fargo, has stated emphatically that she will vote against letting her constituents vote on the definition of marriage even though 170,000 people in Massachusetts, many of them her constituents, have stated by signing the marriage petition that they want to have the opportunity to vote. Why doesn't Fargo want to let the people vote? Does she not believe in democracy? Does she not believe her constituents can listen to all sides, think clearly through an issue, and come to a wise decision? Does she need to make this decision for us? Or is she beholden to her supporting PACs such as Freedom to Marry Coalition and Mary Bonauto of GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders) rather than the will of her constituents?
If you care about your children and a healthy future for them, vote for Sandi Martínez. She respects and believes in her constituents and that they should have an opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage. Martinez believes in teaching biology but favors removing sex education from the public schools and leaving this delicate subject to parents to decide when and where their children should learn about it.
Sally J. Naumann
Vote for Healey and Martínez
To the Editor:
Deval Patrick seems like an agreeable person, but he is wrong on many issues. He is running as an outsider; however, he is already making his deals with the insiders to gain their support.
For example, he supports a cap on charter schools. This serves the unions and not children and families. Most Concordians are very happy with the public schools, but some have sent their kids to the Parker Charter School in Ayer and report satisfaction. Big, bureaucratic, impersonal schools aren't for everybody. It is essential for the people who cannot afford private schools to have choices. The innovation that is possible through charter schools is not possible in the regular public schools and should not be snuffed out.
Kerry Healey has always supported school choice. Sandy Martínez agrees. They deserve to be elected.
Maple Street, Concord
© 2006 The