The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 1, 2008

Former teacher checks back in

To the Editor:

Many years ago (1980s), I taught science at the Carlisle Schools — I also lived down on East Street (Avenue?). The Mosquito gave me the opportunity to write a weekly column on school issues. They evolved into poignant essays on the workings of a small, hill-top school.

Recently, a student from that decade contacted me via Google. She is now a professor of physical geography at a midwestern university. Her note brought back a host of memories of that wonderful time.

A glance at your online version only reiterated that feeling, for there on the cover was a former parent being honored for 46 years of service!

Many things have transpired since my time in Carlisle. I currently am Head of School at a school in North Carolina, after spending a good chunk of my formative years in southern California working on transforming my books into television programs — long story.

In any event, congratulations on continuing the Mosquito tradition!

Salvatore Michael Trento
Salisbury Academy
Salisbury, North Carolina

Kudos and corrections to DARPA article

To the Editor:

As a member of MIT's team in the 2007 DARPA Urban Challenge, I read with interest the article in last week's Mosquito describing the Ben Franklin Racing Team's entry in the challenge. Their success, as an unfunded track B team, was indeed a remarkable achievement, especially considering the 89 initial competitors, 35 semifinalists, 11 finalists and 6 finishers (the list being narrowed through a series of increasingly challenging qualifying events). However, a couple of factual errors and exaggerations minimizing the other team's efforts marred the otherwise entertaining article.

Carnegie-Mellon's first place team was indeed partially comprised of students. A quick look at the Tartan Racing Team's web site showed ten students on their team with several more recent graduates. In addition, I thought it rather humorous that their Chevy Tahoe SUV was characterized as "a very hot car — very fast," with a winning average speed of 14 miles per hour (not 22, as reported).

Although "Little Ben" did cross the finish line prior to MIT's entry, the final standings were determined by the actual elapsed time while on the three "missions," accounting for involuntary stoppages by race officials. Officially, MIT placed fourth with no fifth/sixth place distinction between "Little Ben" and Team Cornell. A summary of the fates of the other five finalists can be found on Wikipedia.

Once again, kudos to Tully Foote and the Ben Franklin Racing team for a job well done.

Dr. Robert Galejs
Robbins Drive

Edwards speaks for the people

To the Editor:

If one listens to the media, you would have been convinced, months ago, that the Democratic Presidential Campaign was limited to two candidates. I believe this is because of the almost total domination of the media by a few large corporations. They have a vested interest in convincing the masses of who would be the "best" candidates. In fact, on the day after the Iowa caucus, Andy Hiller (Ch. 7 News political reporter) had the audacity to suggest that John Edwards should drop out of the race because he didn't win Iowa.

There is a lot of rhetoric that tries to cast the election as being between Republicans and Democrats, or Conservatives and Liberals, or those with family values vs. those without. This is meant to keep the masses from realizing that the election has become a contest between corporate power and people power (and I hate to say it, but people power is losing badly). In light of this, one needs to look at which candidates have the least connection to corporate money and influence. The media has already pushed Kucinich, Richardson, Biden and Dodd out of the race, by ignoring them or labeling them "fringe" candidates. Of the remaining candidates, I believe John Edwards speaks for the people and will stand up to corporate influence better than any other candidate.

Barney Frank once defined "government" as those aspects of our lives that we choose to do together. This includes safety, infrastructure, public health, education, etc. It has also been said that we get the government that we deserve, when too many people don't pay any attention to what their government is doing and are thus open to listening to media pundits to tell them how to vote.

We need to protect the remaining progressive values we have and restore some of the ones we have already lost. Please join me next Tuesday and vote for John Edwards.

Bob Wallhagen
Timothy Lane

Library appreciates gift of passes

To the Editor:

For many years Assurance Technology has given the Gleason Public Library a membership to the Museum of Science. This gift, in concert with annual donations from the Friends of the Gleason Public Library, provides passes to 17 area museums. Throughout the years, this has amounted to thousands of discounted or free visits by Carlisle residents to area museums. 2008 will be no different. To see a list of the museums, stop by the Library or visit Our thanks to Assurance Technology and the Friends of the Gleason Public Library for this great service and their support of the Gleason Public Library.

Angela Mollet, Director
Gleason Public Library

Democratic Town Committee caucus tomorrow

To the Editor:

The Democratic Town Committee is kicking off this exciting 2008 election year with our annual caucus tomorrow, February 2, 2008 at 10 a.m. The only requirement for attendance is that you have to be registered Democrat in Carlisle by December 31, 2007. The caucus will be in the third floor conference room at the First Religious Society (access through side door on Church Street) and will elect four delegates and two alternates to the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Convention, which will be on Saturday, June 7, 2008 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. We especially invite Carlisle Democrats who have not been involved in a caucus before to come and run for delegate to the convention. After the caucus, around 11 a.m., we will have our first Democratic Town Committee meeting of 2008 and I am happy to report that we will be joined by our state representative, Cory Atkins. We hope to see you tomorrow.

Susan Stamps
Cross Street

Voices for Hillary Clinton

To the Editor:

I am writing to ask voters in Carlisle to support Hillary Clinton in next Tuesday's Democratic primary. Voters are fortunate to be able to choose among three excellent Democratic candidates this year, but I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best choice. She has demonstrated that she has the ability to get things done in Washington. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in her endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, said she has known her for over 25 years and has "seen first hand how she gets results." The New York Times has endorsed her, saying that she would be a strong and respected Commander-in-Chief; that opinion is shared by General Wesley Clark, who has also endorsed Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton has put forward the strongest health care proposal of the three Democratic candidates, and she has demonstrated repeatedly her expertise in that area. She has been an activist for children and education for 35 years and has championed policies for both.

At a time when the United States' influence abroad is diminished, when we are mired in a war that has only served to fuel terrorism while taking the lives of Americans and Iraqis, when we face crises at home with a looming economic recession, spiraling health care costs, a deteriorating physical infrastructure, and declining educational achievement, we need a President who can not only look to the future, but also make that future happen. Hillary Clinton has the leadership skills, the intelligence, and the strength to be that President. She has repeatedly demonstrated her mettle in bruising campaigns at the state and national level, and she has proven her ability to get results as a senator in New York. I urge you to vote for Hillary Clinton next Tuesday.

Marlene Fine
Acton Street

To the Editor:

Because the USA needs to ensure health care for everybody.

Because the USA needs to adequately fund the education of children.

Because the USA needs to act on global warming and the environment.

Because the USA needs to go to war only in defense and only as a last resort.

Because the USA needs to support the troops and help heal the wounded.

Because the USA needs to respond to natural disasters, at home as well as globally.

Because the USA needs to rebuild goodwill and standing in the world.

Because the USA needs to reduce the national deficit and grow the economy.

Because the USA needs to change politics by including women and minorities.

Because it's time for a strong, intelligent, experienced woman USA president.

These are my reasons for supporting the Hillary for President campaign and promoting a Clinton-Obama ticket in November.

I hope that you will carefully consider these reasons and vote for Hillary in the primary election on Tuesday, February 5, 2008.

Cindy Nock
Canterbury Court

2008 The Carlisle Mosquito