Friday, February 8, 2008
Two myths addressed
To the Editor:
I was surprised that Scott Simpson would help propagate two right-wing myths in his Forum piece "Unintended consequences" (Mosquito Feb. 1, 2008).
The first myth is that the process of placing a species such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) stimulates habitat destruction by worried landowners and thus actually hurts the intended beneficiary. Although enemies of the ESA, such as Rep. Pombo (R-CA), continue to cite the original source of this myth (Lueck & Michael, J. Law Econ., April 2003), a peer-reviewed analysis in the journal Ecology Letters concluded that more than 50% of U.S. species listed as endangered before 2000, and almost two-thirds of species listed for 13 or more years, have stabilized or are improving. And according to the National Audubon Society, "The [ESA] has helped protect the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and made it possible to learn critical information about its biology." If the concept cited by Simpson had been applied to Carlisle, we would never have passed two-acre zoning. Long-term benefits almost always outweigh short-term start-up effects.
The second myth is that lowering tax rates actually increases revenue. This is the so-called Laffer curve, long discredited by reputable economists. Simpson claims that data released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) bears out this conclusion, but a search of the GAO web site finds no support for this mistaken notion. The underlying fallacy is the belief that people will work harder if a smaller percentage of their earnings are taxed. Would you? In fact, I believe that when taxes go up (to a point, way above present income tax rates), most people will attempt to earn more in order to maintain a desired level of after-tax income.
Estabrook Road In-town soccer program head steps down
To the Editor:
On June 30, Nick Miller will serve his last day as director of the Concord-Carlisle Youth Soccer In-Town program. The club has started a search for a new director. Normally this wouldn't be the subject of a letter to the Carlisle Mosquito except that Nick has played such a major role with the club that we thought it would be helpful to the parents and coaches who are involved in the club to understand the direction we are now planning to take. We are actively looking for a successor director who will embrace the in-town program's philosophies and lead the program into its next phase of development beginning in the fall of 2008.
During the seven years Nick has led the in-town program, it has grown from 350 players per season to almost 1,000 players per season. He taught "organized recess" — the ideal that the in-town program was about kids having fun playing soccer with their friends while their parents drank coffee and cheered randomly for all players. Coaches ensured that the kids had such a good time that they would want to come back the next week. Nick and Nancy DiRomualdo, along with the wonderful registrars who preceded her, built an infrastructure that supports our much larger player population with extraordinary service and responsiveness.
On behalf of the hundreds of volunteer coaches and thousands of children who have participated in CCYS the last seven years, we would like to thank Nick Miller for his stewardship of the program and extraordinary contribution to the community. Nick will continue to serve on the CCYS board and will work closely with the new director to ensure a smooth transition. We invite anyone interested in discussing the program and the director's position to contact CCYS President, Al Antonitis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Concord-Carlisle Youth Soccer
Board of Directors
Carlisle COA thanks local cultural council
To the Editor:
The Carlisle Council on Aging (COA) has recently received announcement that three programs have been awarded funds for performances to be held in 2008. The three performances are: Indian Hill Music (Chamber Musicians) to be performed on February 21, 2008 at 12:30 p.m. at Union Hall, Wildflowers of the Northeast, scheduled for June of 2008, and "Shakespeare, Lunatic Lover and Poet," performed by actor Richard Clark in November of 2008. Even though these performances are targeted to the Council on Aging, we encourage all residents to attend these performances or seminars.
We want to thank the Carlisle Cultural Council for their generosity in awarding these funds for programs that the COA feels will continue to bring good quality cultural programs to the residents of Carlisle at a local level.
In sincere appreciation for your support again this year,
Carlisle COA Director
Why a new school building?
To the Editor:
For many of us who have moved to Carlisle in recent years, the great education system offered was a primary attraction to the town. Having toured the building (Spalding) where we were to send our children, we had serious second thoughts about moving here. The building is old, deteriorating, the roof leaks — necessitating strategic placement of buckets to avoid destroying school work. There have been termite, mold and mildew problems. This is not a good environment for our children, or our teachers. We wonder how many prospective residents have been scared away. We have to provide better for our children.
We have been reading about the plans for a new school building, and the fact that the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) is involved in assessing the needs of our school. Their assessment will provide an independent report on the condition of our facilities. Construction costs continue to rise astronomically, and the financial input from the State, rumored to be approximately 40%, could be a huge benefit to us all. We have to be ready to hear what the MSBA has to say, and act quickly if their assessment meets our needs, otherwise we may have to fund 100% of the project ourselves.
Replacement of Spalding, and perhaps addition of more space, will allow us to provide improved facilities to our students and staff. It will present a better image to prospective new residents - potentially helping to retain our property values, and it should help improve security on our current open plan/open access campus.
We feel there is a need for all residents to be properly informed before this comes to a town vote sometime in the near future. Construction costs continue to rise; we should address the needs of our school now, particularly given the potential financial contribution of approximately 40% from the State.
Bill and Catherine Fink
© 2008 The