The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, April 17, 2009

A sign of the times

To the Editor:

It was reported last week (April 10 Historical Commission article) that “several residents of Carlisle complained that Ferns ‘Retailer of the Year’ temporary sign had been displayed off and on since 2007.” And that a “temporary sign can be displayed for only up to 30 days.” I was unable to attend the meeting due to a friend’s memorial service. Had I been there I would have made several points to the commission. First, the sign didn’t appear until early 2008. Second, the temporary sign was indeed displayed off and on – each time during 2008 less than the 30 days per the code. Third, Chair Peggy Hilton could or would not identify the residents who complained. I find this particularly curious because an anonymous letter received last year by the commission about a separate issue was dismissed by the commission because they would not address an anonymous complaint. I’m not sure why different standards apply to us.

The entire issue is especially ironic because a couple of years ago when we were before the commission for our bricked piazza, members had suggested that we ought to use Coca-Cola-type umbrellas instead of the proposed green ones. We argued that commercial umbrellas didn’t seem to be in keeping with the look we were hoping to achieve.

What makes us particularly sad is that rather than stop by the store and discuss concerns with us, some choose to anonymously “drop a dime” and register a complaint through the commission. Have we lost our small-town sensibilities?

And finally, rather than join in the celebration that our little store in our little town had bested every other retailer in the entire state of Massachusetts to win this prestigious award, there are some who worry more about a temporary sign. I guess this truly is a sign of the times.

Larry Bearfield and Robin Emerson

co-proprietors, Ferns Country Store

Ed. note: Larry Bearfield is an associate member of the Historical Commission.

Thanks for sprinkler system

To the Editor:

Have you noticed the installation of the new sprinkler system in front of Town Hall? We wish to extend a special “Thank You” to Jane Anderson and the Carlisle Garden Club for the installation and ongoing maintenance of this additional infrastructure. It will help preserve the two crab apple trees and the lilies that currently adorn the entrance to Town Hall.

This is just the latest example of the way in which the Carlisle Garden Club has stepped forward to help enhance and beautify our community. The Town is very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of individuals working to keep Carlisle the wonderful community we all enjoy.

Carlisle Board of Selectmen

Student/Faculty Basketball fundraiser a huge success

To the Editor:

Our student faculty basketball game was a huge success this year raising over $5,700, thanks in large part to the generosity of the families of Carlisle, support of CCHS, student athletes, the Carlisle Public School faculty and staff, and generous donations from Agway, Ferns and Stop & Shop. We experienced our largest crowd ever and proceeds from the game far exceeded our expectations. All proceeds benefit our scholarship fund, which provides financial awards to Carlisle students who graduate from CCHS or Minuteman. Thank you for your enthusiasm, school spirit, and financial support.

Carlisle Teachers’ Association

Impact of Article 11

To the Editor:

I have recently been asked how passage of Article 11, and the associated ballot question, would impact our taxpayers.

First, I think it is important to understand that the upcoming votes are the first step in a process. The larger question and details of how to replace the Spalding Building and provide for renovations and repairs to the existing school facility will be addressed sometime in the future. The town still needs to undertake a schematic design process in order to negotiate with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) on a Budget and Scope Agreement for the overall project. Among other things, that final agreement will specify the dollar amount of reimbursement the town would receive should the town decide to move forward with construction. It is expected that consideration of the final project scope and costs will not be before the Town Meeting for another 9 to 12 months. There is still a lot of work to be done before then.

The question before us today is to provide for $450,000 of funding for a schematic design phase. MSBA has agreed that Carlisle would be eligible for 40% reimbursement of our costs for this phase. Therefore, by the end of this phase, the town would have expended $450,000, been reimbursed by MSBA for $180,000, and our net cost would be $270,000.

To finance the schematic design phase, the town is asking for authority to borrow the necessary funds. It is the repayment of the principal and interest which will affect our property taxes. And, the outcome of the final project decision has a bearing on the repayment plan. The current plan is to borrow the funds, paying interest only in fiscal 2011 and 2012. For those two years, I estimate that the interest costs on $270,000 of borrowed funds will increase the tax bill on a $600,000 property by less than $5.90 per year, less than $7.80 per year on an $800,000 property, and less than $9.75 on a $1,000,000 property. Thereafter, there are two possibilities. If the town elects to move ahead with the final project, $270,000 would be rolled into the financing of the final project. If the town elects to forego the final project, the town would be obligated to repay the principal and accrued interest, over a period not to exceed three years, beginning in fiscal 2013.

Use of the requested funds will provide a comprehensive framework (schematic design) for the community to consider all aspects of the proposed project before any final construction funds are voted. Now is not when we are making a final decision on our school facilities. This is simply the next step in a process.

M. Lawrence Barton

Elizabeth Ridge Road

Treasurer, Town of Carlisle

To the Editor:

At the Spring Town Meeting you will be asked to vote on funding the design of the school building project. Reaching this milestone has taken a considerable effort on the part of many townspeople beyond the dedicated membership of the School Building Committee (SBC). Supporters have stepped up to develop a brochure to inform residents of the project details, build an informative website (, organize CClY presentations, and many more tasks related to “getting the word out.”

On behalf of the SBC, I’d like to thank Ann Marie and Stan Durlacher, Nancy Cowan, Nathan Brown, Christine Lear, Ginny Lamere, Annie Hill and Heidi Harring for their tireless support. And a special thank you to all of the SBC spouses for their continued support behind the scenes.

We hope the information that we have made available helps you to make an informed decision on an important town project. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the School Building Committee at I look forward to seeing you at Town Meeting on Monday, May 4.

Lee Storrs

Brook Street

Chair, SBC

An open letter to Niki Tsongas

To the Editor:

This is an open letter advocating adoption of Single Payer National Health Care insurance as a birthright for all U.S. citizens.

Please view this article and do the right thing by becoming the 75th co-sponsor of H.R.676.

It is important to recognize that 1) single payer is not the so-called public option currently being proposed by the administration and 2) single payer is not socialized medicine where the government owns the facilities and care is given by its employees like, for example, the Veterans Administration and 3) nothing changes except the elimination of co-pays, deductibles, limits and pre-existing condition restrictions.

This bill is officially named the “United States National Health Care Act or the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act - Establishes the United States National Health Care (USNHC) Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, long-term care, mental health services, dental services, and vision care.”

View Bill Number H.R.676 at

Edward Fields

Bedford Road

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito