Friday, December 12, 2008
Another cat sighting
To the Editor:
I read with interest the article on the mountain lion sighting in October. I also saw one walking along the edge of my backyard and the woods. I walked outside, and it stopped and looked at me for about 30 seconds before turning into the woods. The tail was what was interesting to me – it was long and fluffy. I wish I had thought to grab a camera, as the picture and the description in the article was very similar to the animal I saw.
A streetlight is needed
To the Editor:
A streetlight at the intersection of Bedford Road (route 225) and Skelton Road is past due. A serious two-car collision, requiring two ambulances and a fire truck occurred there during the evening rush hour on November 19. In addition to a lack of visibility, several factors add to the hazardous conditions at the juncture: two private driveways, within feet of Route 225 on opposite sides of Skelton Road, add to the risk; the right hand turn onto Skelton Road driving south on 225 towards Bedford is sharp, less than 90 degrees, during icy conditions, the descent on Skelton Road toward 225 can be treacherous; deer crossing Route 225 to and from the lower field of Foss Farm pose another hazard. All intersections onto Route 225 in Carlisle have street lamps, why not Skelton Road?
Gwen and George Charter
Support Restorative Justice
To the Editor:
A few weeks ago, you probably stood in line to cast your ballot in the presidential election. With that act, regardless of which candidate you supported, you demonstrated what you value, what you want for your future and that of your family.
What would you value, what would you want, if you were affected by a crime? Imagine your home or business has been vandalized, with insults spray-painted on the side of the building. You’d probably wonder: Has someone singled me out or am I a random victim? Imagine your children or co-workers afraid. Imagine your relief when the police phone to say they’ve apprehended the young people who admit to the deed. Relieved, yes, but still angry and dismayed.
In Carlisle, when things like this happen, police may refer the case to a restorative justice process in which victims can speak with those who have harmed them and ask them why. For the offender, it’s a chance to take responsibility and make amends, through restorative and community service, supported by trained volunteers who help the youth examine decision-making. These encounters can produce surprising outcomes. Victims walk away with fewer fears, and a sense that they’ve been heard. Youth offenders understand better what harm they caused, and take concrete steps to do something about.
In the last 18 months, local police departments have referred 85 cases to Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ), a program that serves victims, offenders and families alike. This caseload more than doubled the cases the program has seen in its previous six years. This year, the Acton Police Department began referring cases to the program. Departments in Boxborough, Groton and Littleton have expressed their intention to refer to C4RJ as well.
No, there’s no ballot initiative on restorative justice. As a resident of Carlisle, though, you can vote to support this program. Please keep an eye on your mailbox for C4RJ’s annual fundraising appeal. You can be the reason that a victim has a chance to ask “Why me?” or that a young offender has an opportunity to make right.
Thanks to Tiger Scouts
To the Editor:
As we all hurry around trying to get too many things done for the holidays, I wanted to take a minute and thank the Tiger Cubs Scouts for making lovely napkin rings and cookies for the Council on Aging’s November lunch. Each of the seniors was thrilled to have two very nice gifts (those cookies went fast!).
I would also like to thank the Friends of the Council on Aging for all their support. Without the Friend’s financial support, we would not be able to provide fuel assistance, supplement exercise classes, purchase medical equipment, hold podiatry clinics, cultural programs and so much more. Additionally, the Board of the Friends (as well as the COA Board) personally volunteer their time and support to help with so many other programs. Their help is invaluable.
Finally, a BIG thanks to our many volunteers, who drive seniors to appointments, deliver Meals on Wheels, visit seniors, help at events, help with office support and mailings and so much more. Each of these “angels” makes a difference. If you would like to volunteer to help our many seniors, PLEASE contact the Carlisle Council on Aging at 1-978-371-2895.
We hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season.
Carlisle COA Outreach Coordinator
Why the TM postponement
To the Editor:
I am writing to address concerns raised regarding the January date for the Special Town Meeting. At its December 4 meeting, the School Building Committee (SBC) voted to request the Selectmen postpone the Special Town Meeting. This decision was made in an effort to insure adequate time to inform residents regarding the project scope and funding and in particular the outcome of our upcoming meeting with Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The SBC is proposing what we feel is a reasonable project to replace the ailing Spalding Building and renovate other spaces to bring the campus into compliance with current educational requirements. We recognize that the decision regarding the project is a significant one and it is important for residents to make an informed decision.
While no one would argue the dismal state of the economy, residents should also be aware that current conditions may represent a uniquely favorable opportunity to address the shortcomings of our current school facilities. Two of the more significant reasons for not waiting include:
1) The MSBA has our project at the top of their list for funding. If we turn down these reimbursement funds (up to 40% of project costs), we cannot be assured funding will be available when we are ready to move forward. There are numerous other towns that are competing for the same funds and would happily take our place in line.
2) Current economic conditions have created an extremely competitive bidding environment on construction projects. At the Special Town Meeting, the SBC will request initial design funds of approximately $500,000 which would put us in a position to seek construction bids in approximately 15 to 18 months. Given the current economy, we believe that the town will benefit from the very competitive bidding process if we move forward.
The SBC has held two public forums and would be pleased to conduct any further updates that the voters deem useful to help them understand the project. We can be reached at CSBCinfo@gmail.com.
Chair, Carlisle SBC
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