Friday, March 13, 2009
Carpenito will be missed
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my sadness that Alan Carpenito has chosen not to run for re-election to the Board of Selectmen. Alan has been an extremely dedicated member of the Board of Selectmen, putting in long hours outside of their meetings, checking up on the goings on at Town Hall, regularly attending the meetings of other Boards, particularly the Planning Board on which I serve, and generally showing an openness to actually listening to constructive input from citizens and town employees. Alan has tried to provide a voice for many who have felt unrepresented for too long. He will be sorely missed.
Benfield septic plan questioned
To the Editor:
Thank you for publishing the long-kept secrets about the Benfield Land on South Street and the proposed use to build 26 Senior Affordable Housing units.
The RFP dated 08-13-08 under 3.2.2 states: “A septic system with a leaching field is to be located on Lot 4,” and that successful percolation tests have been performed on Lot 4.
Contrary to these instructions, NOAH has located the leaching fields under the parking areas near both ends of the three-story building and very close to South Street. The neighborhood and most likely the whole town thought of the septic and leaching fields as near the proposed future recreation field area on Lot 4.
The planned NOAH locations for the leaching fields represent a public safety hazard for the wells of the residents near the proposed building and are not acceptable.
Karin and Juergen Lemmermann,
Objections to honor roll decision
To the Editor:
I object to the [CCHS student senate’s] decision [not to publish the honor roll] because the given reasons are without merit.
(1) As pointed out in Tommy Veitch’s article, parents are the ones who want the honor roll printed. Parents, not students, are the ones who pay the property taxes which provide most of the school funding. Parents have a vested interest in their children. And parents are the ones who save the newspapers when their children are mentioned. Parents were not included in the decision and they should have been.
(2) Academics is the main reason we have public schools. Therefore, I suggested that the Mosquito not publish any CCHS-related sports, drama or music results if they don’t publish academics. At least give academics an equal footing.
(3) Students can “feel bad” if they didn’t make a varsity team or the lead in the school play. Just like being good at academics, being good at these other things is at least partially genetic. Unlike the honor roll, where a student can take easier courses so anyone can make it, a short, slight person will never be a star football player no matter how hard they try.
(4) Since the honor roll is not based on the weighted GPA, there is really no invasion of privacy. Not any more than the publication of who is going to which college or what someone’s point total was in the latest basketball game. And parents are the ones who can sign the publication releases, not students (minors).
And finally (5), to the response that academics is rewarded by college acceptance – perhaps that was true years ago, but now there are about ten categories that a school uses to determine acceptance, and academics is only one of them. If you want to get into M.I.T., be a really good football player. They are looking to improve their team. An Olympic gold medalist can go to any school they choose, almost regardless of their grades. So I maintain my opinion. The school should not release any information for publication or they should release it all. And if the school chooses to censor, the Mosquito should refuse to participate.
COA thanks FRS
To the Editor:
The Council on Aging (COA) would like to thank all the First Religious Society (FRS) volunteers for a very lovely luncheon held in Union Hall on March 4. The tables looked so “spring-like” and we were blessed with lots of sunshine to make it so nice! You are a wonderful group of people, and we appreciate all your efforts to provide a very welcoming and friendly atmosphere for our Minuteman Senior Services “Senior Dining” program with food provided by The Inn at Robbins Brook. (A special to the Carlisle Girl Scouts who provided us with boxes of Girl Scout cookies that we gave out as door prizes.) We also had a nice surprise of delightful piano and song provided by volunteers Dian Cuccinello and Margaret Baltz Darling. This is one of the three churches who extend such a great volunteer effort in reaching out to the community and our seniors. We greatly appreciate it!
and COA staff and board
Girl Scout crayon collection
To the Editor:
Got crayons? Bring your broken crayons (with paper casings on) by the bucketful to the community symposium being held at CCHS on Saturday, March 28. Carlisle Girl Scout Troop 72655 will be collecting crayons for recycling.
The symposium, “Changes & Choices: Our Economy & Our Environment” will feature keynote speaker Tedd Saunders, President of EcoLogical Solutions, and author of The Bottom Line of Green is Black. Workshops taught by Carlisle and Concord experts will cover such topics as backyard gardening, turning your clutter to cash, greening the home and starting your own local business. Workshops for children will include the fun and challenge of raising chickens and Louisa May Alcott on simpler times.
Thanks to all the Carlisle folks who are working to make this event a big success: talented designer, David Freedman; speakers, Larry Bearfield, Robin Emerson, John Lee, Fiona Sibley and Eva Moustafi; and instrumental committee member Jim Saltonstall.
Please join us and contact Jenn Albanese at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Some Carlisle cautions
To the Editor:
This is a wonderful season to be alive, to see and experience all the wonders that have been put before us. We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful town as Carlisle. Not only is it rated among the top ten towns and cities in Massachusetts, but it is filled with citizens who care deeply about their town and each other. That is the reason we must all exercise extreme caution when driving on the many back roads of Carlisle.
Although we have been blessed with a rural and picturesque town, Carlisle does have many narrow roads and streets where there are no sidewalks. These can be challenging for pedestrians, animals and even bicyclists. The danger of these narrow streets and vehicles using them can go so far as to discourage many residents from their daily walks or running. Pedestrians must be alert to approaching cars and motorists must always anticipate the possibility of pedestrians on the streets. Of course, it is essential that motorists stay well below the posted speed limits on most of our streets and roads and always proceed with caution around pedestrians.
Help to protect the rights of citizens of this unique town to feel safe and secure in all their outside activities. Make Carlisle an inviting town to visitors as well as those who love bicycling and the rural, scenic beauty which surrounds them. Employ good sense and judgment and let’s all set a good example for others to follow.
Are Carlisle’s kindergarten options the best?
To the Editor:
Carlisle is considering changing the kindergarten schedule to four full days. Six hours of school is too long for a five-year-old, maybe three hours isn’t long enough, perhaps we need to find a more creative solution. In Ireland, a very child-centered educational system, the school hours for children ages 4 to 7 are from 9 to 1; children do not attend a six-hour school day until they are entering our equivalent of second grade. In Finland, a global superstar in educational terms, formal education doesn’t begin until age 7, and the hours spent in the classroom are lower than their American and European counterparts and yet they end up with the highest educational standards in Europe.
The questions on my mind are: Are we really educating our children based on the best interest of the child or are we educating them based on the bottom line? Is it really the case that they will learn more and do better in school with a six-hour school day or are we just trying to eliminate the kindergarten bus and the need for midday childcare? Many surrounding towns offer a fee-based optional full-day kindergarten for those families who choose it and continue to offer the traditional half-day kindergarten program.
Board of Health explains testing
To the Editor:
A recent article in the Boston Globe stated that some private wells in Carlisle may be tested for arsenic and uranium as part of a federal study. The study is being conducted by the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) in conjunction with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. According to a letter received by the Board of Health last July, the purpose of the study is to “determine if arsenic or uranium concentrations in wells are affecting the public health of residents who live in the area.” The study will “assess (1) the approximate number of private wells that contain raw-water concentrations of arsenic or uranium that are greater than the current drinking water standards of 0.03 milligrams (mg/L) per liter for uranium and 0.01 mg/L for arsenic, (2) the degree to which bedrock units can be associated with concentrations of uranium and arsenic and (3) whether individuals consuming the water may have elevated concentrations of these elements in their urine”.
A representative sampling of bedrock wells will be selected for the study. Of those households participating, some owners may also be asked to participate in a biomonitoring program conducted by DPH. Participation in either study is completely voluntary and all results will be confidential. The Board of Health will be providing additional information about uranium and arsenic in well water, how to test for it and what you can do about it on the Board of Health website at www.carlislema.gov.
The Board of Health would like to remind residents that uranium and arsenic are naturally occurring elements in bedrock. This study is not being conducted as the result of any imminent health risk identified in the Carlisle community but to help with future water supply development and water testing programs. The Board of Health will be following up on this work and will keep the residents of Carlisle apprised of the study results.
Board of Health Chairman
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