The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 11, 2009

Maple Street 40B opposed

To the Editor:

We fervently oppose Mr. Chen’s proposal to build a bridge through a heavily vegetated wetland in a 100-year flood line between 811 and 845 Maple Street (See Mosquito, August 28) and seek the support of others who treasure and wish to preserve our lovely town with its rich heritage.

Wetlands are far more than water. Building the proposed bridge over the wetlands and a constantly flowing brook that connects two ponds and ultimately flows to the Concord River will sacrifice a wide band of trees and vegetation. It will also devastate wildlife and bird habitats directly in the path of the bridge and along the brook. For example, the point where the proposed bridge would cross the brook is a spring nesting area for wood ducks, mallards and wrens.

We have respected and indeed championed the wetland restrictions for decades. For example, one of us decided not to petition the town for a variance a few years ago when we discovered through a survey that a proposed expansion of our home would have been within 75 yards of the same wetlands the proposed bridge would now devastate. We suspect most residents of Carlisle would have done the same thing or already have done the same thing because of our shared commitment to protecting nature.

This is more than a wetlands issue. Mr. Chen’s four-acre parcel is integral to a ten-parcel neighborhood carefully developed over several decades with town approval to protect nature, the serenity of the town, and public safety (by limiting sewage, water and traffic). Within this plan, Mr. Chen’s parcel was designed to include a single home.

Surely there is a way for the town to develop a strategic plan that will support affordable housing without destroying our defining character.

Please contact one of us if you would like to view the carefully preserved natural atmosphere and see if it is worthy of protecting. Additionally, we encourage you to attend related town meetings.

Dorothy Milne
Maple Street

Pete and Carolyn Wilson
Maple Street


Wind power policy is classic NIMBY nonsense

To the Editor:

I am dismayed (again) by the refusal of the Town Counsel to deal with wind turbine use in Carlisle. All we hear is “delay consideration” and “further consideration.”

Worse yet, the Counsel is now saying the homeowner needs to prove they are “commonly” used. How ludicrous is that? Did anyone on the Counsel read the Mass. Consumer guide to Small Wind Electric Systems?

Apparently not, since it answers or provides a way to answer every objection I have heard from the Counsel regarding residential wind turbines. For example the guide tells us a residential wind turbine makes about as much noise as your refrigerator. And one can be justified when you have a wind speed of 10 mph and electricity costs 10–15 cents a KWH.

Equipment can even be purchased to measure wind speed in a location for $600–$1,200. Perhaps the town could even invest in the equipment to help prospective users verify that they have the wind necessary to justify a turbine rather than doing everything possible to stop their use.

Instead, this town is going with the NIMBY policy. And for those looking for “change” and a move to alternative energy, this is a slap in the face. We should be ashamed of this policy.

All we can look forward to is the day the State mandates that towns will allow wind power rather than making it impossible.

Ted Brewster
Davis Road


Healthcare debate continued

To the Editor:

In her letter (see Mosquito, August 28), Ms. Jones presents too many misleading arguments against health reform to refute them all here.

She asserts “you will not be allowed to enroll in an individual health care plan.” The law she cites defines how pre-reform plans that do not meet minimum standards are handled–conforming policies will be available.

And then, “you will not be allowed to change [your plan’s] terms.” Incorrect–both individuals and employers will be able to choose any plan that provides minimally acceptable coverage. She claims that the government will “dictate the benefits that can be made available.” Not true–it sets only minimums, not maximums.

Mandated minimum coverage, with protections against disqualification due to pre-existing conditions and cancellation when you get sick, protects consumers, forcing insurers to compete on cost and quality.

The letter implies that there are fewer uninsured than reformers claim. Just how many people bankrupted, living with illness, or dying for lack of insurance is acceptable?

She implies that choosing to be uninsured is a matter of personal liberty. This might seem reasonable, but let us examine it more closely. Any insurance depends on most people not needing as much coverage as the insurance costs in any given period, but some need much more. Pooling risk makes insurance work. The argument that I am healthy enough to not pay for insurance is like the argument that I protect myself and need not pay for national defense: some things don’t work for individuals.

“Why should government be in charge of healthcare decisions?” Few Americans are in charge of their healthcare decisions–insurance companies make most decisions: what drugs we can be prescribed, what tests and treatments we can get, and when and why our coverage is canceled.

Few debates are as important as this one to the well-being of Americans living now or to that of our descendants. With health care costs rising, and the poor outcomes we are getting, it is clear that something must change. Let’s agree that we’ll discuss what that change should be without distortions and fear-mongering.

Scott Lawrence
Laurelwood Drive


Thanks for “best summer ever”

To the Editor:

We would like to thank Karen Tang and all her hardworking staff at Carlisle Kids House for giving our son Alex the “best summer ever!” Alex participated in the summer program for the last ten weeks and in that time he has made good friendships, had tons of amazing experiences and even learned to swim. Sometimes he was tired at the end of a long day, but it was a “good tired,” and he was certainly never bored.

Each week had a different theme, such as “Animal Week,” “Beach Week” and “Sports Fitness and Fun.” While we were toiling away at work, Alex was having a great day out at Canobie Lake Park, Six Flags and New England Aquarium. While we were sitting in meetings, he was making the most of what our glorious state has to offer, visiting several great parks and beaches (favorites were Springs Brook Park, Micozzi Beach and the pedal boats at nearby Nara Park). Of course the most exciting trip was the tour of Fenway Park, followed by lunch in the Public Gardens!

An added benefit for us is that all the local attractions have been thoroughly tried and tested by the Carlisle Kids House crew. So thank you Karen, Maureen, Robin, Jocelyn, Jayne, Alex and Austin for all your hard work, endless patience and your sense of fun. Thanks to you, we’ve all had a great summer.

Nick Keen and Kate Byth
Long Ridge Road

Compost bin sale an unqualified success

To the Editor:

Over 30 households participated in the Carlisle Household Recycling Committee’s (CHRC) Compost Bin sale this summer. Bin buyers were able to choose from three styles offered at highly discounted cost thanks to a municipal purchasing program through the MassDEP.

The MassDEP compost bin grant program began with a pilot project in 1993. A follow-up survey of the pilot year found that 92% of bins were in use a year later and that disposable garbage was reduced by an average of 27% for composting households. Since 1994, over 109,000 bins have been distributed by 258 participating communities throughout the Commonwealth .

The MassDEP grant program was suspended last year. Undeterred by this loss of funding, CHRC created its own pilot project, asking participating community members to prepay for orders placed. With enough orders in hand to meet a minimum requirement to qualify for the statewide contract price, the sale was on!

An average household can compost from 500 to 1,000 pounds of organic material a year in the outdoor bins sold this summer. That’s 500 to 1,000 fewer pounds per composting household in Carlisle going into the disposable tonnage for the town — waste we pay to dispose of.

Although Carlisle’s compost bin sale is over for this year, town residents can buy bins at reasonable prices at Agway in Chelmsford or online. The bin sale may be offered again next year through the Household Recycling Committee based on the level of interest and available funds through grant programs.

Launa Zimmaro
Lowell Street


Restorative Justice clarification

To the Editor:

As the Mosquito accurately reported, Communities for Restorative Justice will be working with many young people apprehended with alcohol at parties recently in Carlisle. They will have restorative circles that will include police officers, our trained volunteers, parents and in some instances those their actions harmed.

One thing I would like to clarify is that we do not consider ourselves an “alternative” to the criminal justice system. Rather, we work in partnership with police departments in Carlisle, Acton, Concord and Littleton. We also work with certain offenders who have been referred to the courts. We always welcome the opportunity to work with the courts, especially when we can help victims get their needs met.

For more information about what we do, please visit our recently enhanced website at And don’t miss Jimmy Tingle in his benefit performance for C4RJ on Sunday, September 13, at 5 p.m. at the Concord-Carlisle High School auditorium. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. See our website for ticket locations or to purchase tickets online.

Christy Barbee
Chief Case Coordinator
Communities for Restorative Justice

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito