The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dress light at night

To the Editor:

  About 8:30 Tuesday evening, June 30, my husband and I were heading up Brook Street in the car on our way to the library. As we rounded a curve, we were startled by a young man running on our side of the road. He was running on the proper side of the road, and he was as far onto the shoulder as he could get. But he was nearly invisible – no flashlight, no reflective clothing, not even light-colored clothing. Had we not been paying attention, or had we been driving too close to the edge of the road, there could easily have been an accident. If you or your family members run, please remember to dress appropriately or to carry a light. It’s really scary to think of the possibilities.

Anne Ketchen
Brook Street

Citizen input sought

To the Editor:

Some weeks ago the Selectmen solicited a volunteer to be the citizen at large representative on the selection review board formed for the purpose of recommending final candidates to the selectmen for appointment of a new Town Administrator.

My name came out of the hat and I’m happy to do what I can to “carry the coals” for all concerned as to how this candidate is selected and what qualities and skills they bring to the town.

What I need are constructive suggestions. If you have complaints, try and extract from that the positive and suggest “how to make it better.” All of this will be confidential so I’ve set up an email that you can respond to. The email is:

I don’t expect I’ll have much time for back and forth dialogue; it’s more you tell me what you want the committee to hear and I’ll do my best.

Dave Reed
Page Brook Road

Memorial medallions still available

To the Editor:

Following our recent dedication ceremony of the new Veterans’ Honor Roll Memorial, a number of people have inquired about our limited edition Memorial Medallions. The medallions were produced as a limited edition and are available: Numbered (59 remaining), Encased in a Capsule (78 remaining) and Medallions (60 remaining). They can be purchased at Ferns Country Store, which has offered to help in the sale of the medallions. All profits will go towards the ongoing maintenance of the Memorial.

In addition, Dave Ives produced a taping of the entire dedication for CCTV. The show will be airing over the next two weeks on Channel 8. For the complete schedule go to, click on program schedules in the left side menu, then click on Channel 8 and then enter Carlisle Veterans in the search field. Copies of the tape may be purchased for $15 directly through CCTV by calling Charlie Paige at 1-978-369-5038.

We sincerely appreciate the many, many people who contributed to the Veterans’ Honor Roll. We are honored to have been the stewards of a project that we expect will have a positive impact on future generations. By purchasing a limited edition medallion, your support will help defray future maintenance costs.

Veterans’ Honor Roll Committee:

Doug Stevenson, chairman
Larry Bearfield, dedication ceremony chairman
Ned Berube
Alan Cameron
Alan Carpenito
Greg Fairbank

Barn facts

To the Editor:

For the past 30 years our family has focused on providing for the proper care and management of our herd of Holstein dairy cows. We were very dismayed to see the letter to the editor in the last issue of the Mosquito, which so inaccurately portrayed our life’s work.

Anyone who has visited the farm can see that all our cows have shelter and approximately one-half of the dairy animals are outside at all times. Our cows move in and out of the milking barn, depending on their age and stage of lactation. When a cow is milking, she is in the milking barn on a padded mattress bedded with sawdust. The barn is temperature controlled, using a ventilation system with six large fans. Sixty-four windows provide sunlight, and water and feed are always available. Based on the analysis of the crops we produce, our nutritionist develops each cow’s diet and specifies the grain and minerals we purchase. Veterinary care is provided for by Tufts Veterinary School of Medicine, whose veterinarians and students visit the farm every three weeks.

The new barn has been sustainably designed to incorporate state of the art animal husbandry and will provide our cows in milk with the opportunity to roam freely and comfortably in a structure with maximum natural ventilation. Both the north and the south walls are translucent and can be opened entirely depending on temperature. The barn will provide for fact-based agricultural education to the public and allow this farm to continue to operate.

In the past we have pastured animals at Great Brook Farm. Unfortunately, we had many serious issues with a very small number of the 100,000 people that visit us each year. We can only continue to farm in Carlisle if we can control and supervise the public’s access to our cows. Like the majority of farmers in New England, we provide proper nutrition by harvesting feed and delivering it to our cows.

Our farm is a typical New England family farm producing fresh, local milk, and we deeply appreciate the support of the community. Thank you.

Mark and Tamma Duffy
North Road

Discrimination at OHD Race

To the Editor:

Old Home Day was great fun, but I witnessed a shameful act of discrimination that should not go unmentioned. Two members of the race committee attempted to prevent a disabled athlete from crossing the official finish line. While the athlete did cross at the end, it took a heated argument, much bad feeling, and the involvement of the police.

Vague and specious “concerns for safety” are often trotted out to support this kind of discrimination. If the committee has organized a race which is unsafe only for the disabled, that does not create an obligation for an athlete to reduce his participation. Instead, the committee must make appropriate changes to run a safe race. If certain committee members believe that’s unreasonable, then they should reduce their own participation in favor of someone with the necessary competence.

It’s worth noting that the athlete did not need or request any special accommodation from the committee, which would have been entirely reasonable if it had been necessary. He simply wanted to run the race with his running partner with the same courtesies offered to every other runner. It was the committee members who sought him out and told him he could not finish.

The committee should offer an apology to the athlete and his family. The discrimination was illegal and unnecessary, an embarrassment to the town. The committee should also become familiar with the athletes’ rights and their own obligations under the law, and expect to see more disabled athletes next year. Otherwise, the race is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Bill White
Sunset Road

LWV urges health care action

To the Editor:

While it is encouraging that Senate and House committees are beginning to seriously consider health care reform legislation, it is critical that the U.S. Congress takes action and passes real health care reform in the next few months.

America is facing a health care crisis caused by a combination of skyrocketing costs and an insurance system that leaves 47 million of us without any coverage. The current health care system is endangering both our economy and our health, and voters have made it clear that they want change.

Health care reform legislation must guarantee quality, affordable health care to all U.S. residents, including the choice of a quality, affordable public insurance plan. In addition, it is essential that comparative data on treatments, benefits packages and medical outcomes be made publicly available so that individuals can make informed health decisions.

Congress needs to take additional strong action to reduce the costs of health care for individuals, businesses and communities. As a nation, we are spending $1 out of every $6 we eam on health care. Legislation must provide effective cost controls, equitable distribution of services and allow for efficient and economical delivery of care. Offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan like Medicare that would compete with private health insurance plans will be vital.

Achieving this kind of comprehensive, system-wide reform will take a shared effort by citizens and Congress. We encourage everyone to take a moment to call or write to Senator Kennedy (, 202-224-4543), Senator Kerry (, 202-224-2742), and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (, 202-225-3411). Please thank them for their leadership and strong support of real health care reform, and urge them to continue fighting for change. Make your voice heard today!

Cindy Nock, vice-president
Barbara Lewis, membership chair
League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito