The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 20, 2009

Defense of Benfield publicity and information

To the Editor:

I am writing to correct mistaken impressions from Mr. Lemmermann’s March 13 letter regarding the Benfield Affordable Senior Housing Project. The phrase “long-kept secrets” is inaccurate since:

• The RFP specifying development requirements and guidelines was issued (and publicly available in August) after extensive public hearings. A written question from a possible bidder in September asked what restrictions applied to Parcel 1 (the front field), and a written response referencing the deed restrictions was sent to all RFP recipients, including an abutter. The RFP contains several references to the location of the septic system on Lot 4 and other aspects of the development as design guidelines and not as “requirements” and allowed for a final plan that could vary from the design guidelines based upon consideration of numerous factors by the developer.

• Proposals from all bidders were available for public review in November 2008. Two of the three bidders proposed leaching fields on Parcel 1. From a land-use perspective placement under parking lots minimizes the development footprint and maximizes undisturbed open space; something I hope every Carlisle resident appreciates.

• Mosquito coverage of the CHA public deliberations in ranking proposals mentioned my commenting on septic locations. (See “A first look at the three Benfield housing proposals,” November 14, 2008).

• The CHA held a February 26 public meeting with a NOAH presentation where this information was shared.

NOAH observed that placing the septic system in the back field is more expensive, and if soil conditions support leaching fields in front, the savings would be applied to increased energy efficiency and amenities for the building. NOAH is a non-profit developer working within a fixed budget, so the septic site choice does not alter their profit; it only impacts the overall quality of the result. If test results suggest moving the leaching fields to the back, this remains an option and will not impede development.

The septic placement should be science-based, following Carlisle Board of Health regulations using measured data on hydrology and soil conditions. Until we collect that data, Mr. Lemmermann is being alarmist to describe this as “a public safety hazard.” If testing does not support a safe and effective system, then it will be repositioned to the back.

Alan Lehotsky
Chairman, Carlisle Housing Authority
West Street

Thanks to Rabies Clinic volunteers and participants

To the Editor:

On Sunday, March 8, the Board of Health sposored its annual Rabies Clinic, where 26 cats and dogs were vaccinated. This clinic would not have been successful without the assistance of Dr. Tiffany Rule of Countryside Veterinary Hospital and Bob Dennison, Carlisle Dog Officer. The Board of Health would like to thank Dr. Rule, capably assisted by her son Parker, and Mr. Dennison for volunteering their time. The Board would also like to thank all of the cat and dog owners who take their responsiblility seriously to keep pet vaccinations up to date.

Linda Fantasia
Board of Health Agent

Thanks to school supply donors

To the Editor:

I would like to thank everyone who so generously donated to the collection of school supplies for the Silgich Hill Academy in Kenya. Because of your generosity, over $1,000 of school supplies will be delivered. I am sure that the students will be very happy to receive them.

Thank you.

Matthew Koski
Carlisle Boy Scout Troop 135
Nathan Lane

Join Symposium on Economy and Environment March 28

To the Editor:

I’ve been working with Jenn Albanese on the upcoming community symposium “Changes and Choices: Our Economy and Our Environment,” to be held on Saturday, March 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at CCHS. This event is sponsored by C-C Adult and Community Education. Our hope is that workshops and exhibits will help us better sort out the challenges of making smart financial decisions while raising our consciousness of the environmental impact of our decisions – a worthy goal in these difficult times. Many of us are rethinking our daily routines, going without that purchased cup of coffee on the way to work, perhaps. We hope you will come to the symposium, where local colleagues will talk about topics of interest: buying locally, ways to reduce energy consumption at home, backyard gardening and more. Come spend a morning with us, bring the family (there will be opportunities for all ages), take home some helpful thoughts and hints.

Preparing for this event has led me to rethink some of my own purchasing patterns and concept of “value.” For example, I reached the conclusion that having Ferns in town is a real benefit to us all. What can I do to keep Ferns? Be a better customer: I have decided to buy something at Ferns each week. Perhaps you will join me. See you at the community symposium on March 28, and at the sandwich counter at Ferns.

Jim Saltonstall
North Road

Restorative Justice forum in Concord March 27

To the Editor:

We all read the police blotter, so we know that crime happens. Even in Carlisle. The Restorative Justice program gives Carlisle and neighboring communities the ability to support victims of crime and to help offenders become accountable for their actions. It is a powerful process of healing and learning. As a long-time volunteer at Communities for Restorative Justice, I am inspired by the work of Howard Zehr, Ph.D., a pioneer in restorative justice, who has coached restorative practices around the world. All of our volunteers have read his summary of this approach in the Little Book of Restorative Justice.

Dr. Zehr will share stories of restorative justice – in surprising and poignant situations – from here and around the world at a Community Forum on March 27 from 7:15 to 9 p.m. at Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden Street in Concord. His talk is open to the public, free of charge. To attend, please RSVP by March 21 to or by calling 1-978-369-3447.

I’m proud of this community of Carlisle. Restorative Justice is one big reason why.

Barbara Howland
North Road

Community Chest thanks Sandy Nash

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, I want to thank Sandy Nash for organizing the game of Car Pox and raising critical funds totaling approximately $5,000 for the Community Chest’s annual fund. Sandy’s brilliant idea formulated several years ago and this year she rolled out the game again, which included 72 players from Concord and Carlisle. Having individuals who have great enthusiasm, a great idea and can execute this kind of fun while raising monies for charity is a great example of “giving back.” Along with all the players Sandy organized donations from Acton Car Wash, Atir Nails, Triple 8 Distillery, Team Works of Acton, Domino’s of Acton, Bagels Plus, Bedford Glen Hotel and Nashoba Brook Bakery as prizes. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Astrid Williams
111 Old Road to Nine Acre Corner, Concord

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito