The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 3, 2006

Decisions are made by those who show up

To the Editor:

A sad day has occurred in Carlisle. At Town Meeting, the motion to allow a vote to appear on the ballot for additional fields failed by the narrowest of margins. A two-thirds majority was needed and the vote was 197 in favor, 101 opposed. There are approximately 3,000 voters in town and less than 10% voted at Town Meeting. How many people thought the vote would pass easily? How many forgot about the meeting? How many coaches did not show up? How many parents with kids in the sports programs did not show up? The kids are the real losers on this issue. I have been a resident for six years and I keep hearing, "I remember this town when." I shudder to think what will happen when we need to build a new school. If we continue to remain passive, we are allowing this town to stay stagnant. We cannot blame the people who voted against this motion; they were at the meeting and made their vote count. Decisions are made by those who get involved and we have only ourselves to blame for not showing up.

David Scheinberg
Curve Street

Hometown thanked

To the Editor:

I am so proud of my hometown and the wonderful welcome it gave to the American University Rowing Team during the Head of the Charles. So many people donated food, drinks, and air mattresses, while others offered showers, beds, and even laundry. My teammates could not believe that people they did not even know would do so much. It was a beautiful weekend. Thank you so much, Carlisle!

Jen Fantasia
Cross Street

[Ed note: Jen Fantasia is a sophomore at the American University in Washington, D.C.]

Patience is appreciated at election

To the Editor:

Voters should know there will still be a Town Election, even though the Recreation Fields motion failed at Town Meeting on Monday night. Hence, the polling places will be set up to accommodate both elections.

Voters should be aware that according to the Election Laws, the election volunteers are required to perform their duties under strict guidelines. For the benefit of observers, the workers must repeat the name and street of each voter as they come in and as they cast their ballots. It is often difficult to hear and to be heard in the crowded conditions at the lobby check-in stations, so we ask that voters in line try to keep their voices low. Also, please refrain from having extended conversations with the workers while they are at their stations. The intent is to make the process go smoothly and allow everyone to hear the voters' information, not to make the situation uncomfortable. It is important that you know they have been asked to not converse with voters so you will not think they are being rude.

Once you have received your ballots voters are asked to not speak with others until you have checked out and cast your ballot. You must announce your street and name to the workers at the check-out table, but please refrain from talking with one another while in the voting room.

Our goal is to allow everyone the opportunity to cast their ballots and to also abide by the ever increasing rules and regulations governing elections. We want everyone to enjoy the voting process as much as possible, and we hope you all feel very welcome at the polls. Your assistance with these regulations is greatly appreciated.

Charlene M. Hinton,
Town Clerk
East Street

A first step on affordable housing

To the Editor:

I want to thank all who voted on the Benfield plan at Town Meeting. The revised plan is a good plan, not the perfect plan. There is no perfect plan.

I supported the plan because it achieves all the original objectives of affordable housing, recreation and conservation on a beautiful parcel of land. The development will be integrated into the neighborhood, be shielded from the road, hold off 40B developments for two years, cost less and the land will be available to all of us. It is a very workable plan.

Ten years from now, the Benfield acquisition will represent Carlisle's first proactive step toward managing affordable housing developments in town. When we step back, this effort will be seen as farsighted, much like the acquisition of Foss Farm, Conant Land and Banta Davis. Yes, we debated and worked hard to come up with solutions, but Carlisle always does. Ask anyone who remembers the fire station on the Conant land, or the current debate about playing fields.

The Benfield plan is no different from many of Carlisle's planning efforts. To get here, many people have volunteered lots of time over the past six years. Much of West Street and the Benfield land has been preserved. The issues have been well aired.

We have many people to thank for this effort, particularly the Benfield family, Greg Peterson and CCF, CPC and Caren Ponty, Russell Dion of the Benfield Task Force and all the other faithful, if sometimes exasperated, members of the task force: Alan Carpenito and an engaged set of neighbors, our trusted consultants and partners: John Winslow our architect, Brian Butler our environmental consultant... And, of course, all the participants and Town Meeting voters who have been part of this deliberation.

In the end, the development of the Benfield land has been a very open and fair process. A testament to Town Meeting and all the people that make our town work. We are lucky to part of such a democratic process.

John Ballantine,
Benfield Task Force
Fiske Street

COA thanks Knights of Columbus

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 write 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,
COA Outreach Coordinator
Martin Street

Reelect Fargo to State Sentate

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Susan Fargo for State Senator. She has been a dedicated legislator, chairing the Senate's important Health Care Committee and vice-chairing the Early Childhood Education Committee as well as a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. She is pro-choice and voted to support the rights of gay partners to marry. I believe these are important issues. Her opponent, Sandi Martinez, is the past president of Concerned Women For America (CWFA), a Christian political organization which opposes abortion rights of women, defines a marriage as between one man and one woman and wants to change our state constitution to so define it. CWFA has been active in opposing sex education in our schools as well as literature which depicts a diversity of families. The organization is also opposed to embryonic stem cell research.

Susan Fargo will continue to support public education and the local aid to help finance it; she will fight for a woman's right to choose and for our families to have equal rights. She has supported state investment in life science and biotech industries in our state. She deserves to be returned to the Senate. I urge your support for Susan Fargo on November 7.

Sally Coulter
Virginia Farme Road

Vote for Deval Patrick

To the Editor:

With the elections approaching fast, I want to express my enthusiasm for the efforts of Deval Patrick, and all those who support his campaign. Patrick's previous track record of business and legal experience, in corporate and civic life, make him a logical choice for Massachusetts. Kerry Healy is a very bright and capable woman, backed by a Republican party that knows how to get folks out to vote. So with that in mind, I urge those of you who are considering Deval Patrick, or any of the other Democratic candidates like Susan Fargo and Cory Atkins, to not underestimate the value of your Democratic vote November 7. Let's see you there!

Jon Golden
School Street

Center thanked for Halloween hospitality

To the Editor:

I wanted to very much thank Ferns and our Carlisle center neighbors for providing the children of Carlisle such a wonderful and spooky Halloween night. This was my first Halloween in Carlisle with a young child and I was absolutely amazed at the time and effort our neighbors in Carlisle center put into Halloween. My daughter had a wonderful time trick-or-treating and I wanted to give my heartfelt thanks to all involved.

Terri Grant
Patch Meadow Lane

Vote for Sandi Martinez

To the Editor:

Sandi Martinez is a strong supporter of education, and in particular, favors local control by the towns as opposed to unfunded mandates from the state and from the

federal government.She has worked to learn the needs and wishes of local school districts by hosting Education Seminars, participating in and speaking out at school committee meetings and visiting towns in her district.As a senator, Sandi will be better able to enhance education, improve standards, and actively work to change the egregious flaws in the Chapter 70 formula which impacts Concord and Carlisle especially badly.I urge you to vote for Sandi Martinez as a champion for our children's education.

Art Turner
Lowell Street

Support Martinez for State Senator

To the Editor:

During this past Sunday's senatorial debate, sponsored by the Concord-Carlisle League of Women Voters, it became clear that Sandi Martinez has what it takes to be an effective and admirable senator who will serve us well.

Sandi favors keeping the government's promise to bring the income tax rate back to 5%. In 2000, the voters overwhelmingly supported this rollback

In addition, Sandi Martinez will vote to allow the citizens to vote on the definition of marriage. Regardless of ones opinion of the subject matter, the constitution gives citizens the right to petition their government and this petition received 170,000 signatures. Those on both sides of the issue should have a voice

Sandi supports empowering parents and teachers to direct public education. This includes innovative alternatives including charter schools and vouchers which would allow children of modest means to receive the highest quality education. Sandi believes that all children deserve the best education possible.

There are many more reasons to elect Sandi Martinez so I recommend that you visit her web site at to learn more.

Please join me in voting for Sandi Martinez on November 7. She is the right choice.

Michael J. Benn
Old Marlboro Road, Concord

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito