Friday, November 13, 2009
Come hear school building update
To the Editor:
Please join the School Building Committee on Tuesday, November 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the Clark Room at Town Hall. We will provide an update of the Carlisle School building project including revised plans showing the building layout, floor plans, classroom layouts and site improvements. We welcome public comment and questions at this stage of the process in order to achieve the best results.
We look forward to seeing you there and getting your input.
Keep Carlisle’s greater good in mind
To the Editor:
Taxes, budgets, and July 4. My wife and I talk about these topics on long car rides.
Yes, “Old Home Day” should be celebrated on Independence Day, July 4, “No taxation without representation.” Celebrating our revolution is a political event that should be commemorated with flags, speeches, and thanks to all that we have in our country. Today, we get to vote on how we spend our monies because of our revolutionary ancestors.
Our tight personal budgets and looming town overrides are also very much a topic of conversation. The recession is ending ever so slowly and the uncertainty of our future is very real. We know that cutting town expenses involves fewer people and less services. And the proposed school building projects will replace old buildings with new facilities that will serve townspeople for the next 40 years. The question is how do we pay for all of this and how do we reset our priorities?
We went through a tough recession and override votes in 1989-1990 and the adjustment was very challenging. Today we are discussing the trade-offs; however, one topic does not appear to be openly on the table. Contract obligations to our teachers and police put real pressure on the operating budgets. The salary and step increases are built into the contracts. Many communities, such as Boston and the Commonwealth, asked the municipal employees to revisit these contracts to save jobs. Private and public universities have frozen salaries and cut benefits to meet the budget deficits.
I have been part of these decisions at Brandeis. They are not easy discussions; however, most people want to save positions and preserve the institutions they have helped build. I know that most of the people in our communities feel this way about Carlisle and Concord.
None of us want to see headlines highlighting failed overrides and significant layoffs of teachers, police and fire next year. So I urge all involved in these conversations to keep the greater good of our towns in mind, as we all make the difficult sacrifices to get through this recession.
Health speakers thanked
To the Editor:
The Council on Aging, the Gleason Public Library and both of our Friends would like to thank the three speakers from our recent Health Series along with the Congregational Church for the use of their lovely facility and their help with the weekly set up and clean up. We would also like to thank Cindy Nock for recording for CCTV and Estelle Keast and the other volunteers who helped with the coordination and communication.
The speakers, Christie M. Williams, MD of Adult & Pediatric Dermatology of Concord, Westford and Marlborough (AP Derm) who spoke on Dermatology, Stephen Feldman, RPh., FASCP, CRC, President and CEO of ICPS Group, who provided insight on Safe Medicine Use, and Cynthia McMahon King, Lac, RPh of Boxboro Acupuncture (with an office at the Emerson Hospital Health Center in Westford), who discussed Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, all did an excellent job. They were all gracious about their time, answering many questions, and each provided handouts with information for all who attended. If you missed these sessions, check out the CCTV guide to see them and learn more about each of these important health topics. Each of these sessions will also have a DVD available through the library.
Thanks again for these wonderful and informative sessions.
Time of thanksgiving
To the Editor:
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am not sure how to even start thanking all of the volunteers who help ensure that Carlisle seniors can successfully age in place. We are blessed with folks (not all even live in Carlisle) who take our seniors to doctor appointments or on needed errands. There are volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels; those who visit seniors; moderate our Library Adult Talk hour at the library; organize, cook, serve and/or host coffees, men’s and women’s breakfasts, monthly luncheons; those who work on the Board of the Council on Aging (COA) or the very important Friends of the COA. We have volunteers who help with office support, mailing newsletters, organizing events, those who lecture, coordinate programs and help with their set-up and clean-up. We have volunteers who help with computer instruction, provide handyman support, coordinate trips, provide music for events, help out at flu clinics and offer whatever help is needed when a special request comes in.
I feel so lucky to be able to call the Friends of the COA when a senior calls with a specific need, and know that most likely the Friends will help. This year, we even have a volunteer helping with fuel assistance. The COA has teens who help with yard and support around seniors’ home while completing their community service hours.
There are so many more who help day in and day out with special needs and requests, that I hope they all read this and know whatever they have done to support a senior in Carlisle is very much appreciated by not only the senior they directly helped, but by the COA staff, the Board of the COA and the Board of the Friends of the COA.
May all of your Thanksgivings be happy since you each make a difference in the lives of so many seniors.
Food for thought action forum on November 20
To the Editor:
Over 200 attended Friday night’s screening of Food, Inc., a “Life in the Balance: Food for Thought” forum co-sponsored by ConcordCAN (Concord Climate Action Network), the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle (LWVCC), Concord-Carlisle Adult & Community Education and Carlisle Climate Action. The movie illustrates the U.S. food industry’s transformation in the last 15-20 years into an efficient, calorie-rich, nutrient-deficient, and too often E. coli-contaminated producer of foods.
The system’s efficiency is a marvel. Production is concentrated in vast farming systems that require few workers. Soils, artificially laced with nitrogen from natural gas, grow seed genetically modified to resist dying from the intense pesticide sprayings. All animals (humans included) are fed the same diet of corn and soy. We all fatten up. For Americans who can afford a greener diet, increasingly produce arrives at the grocery store after a carbon-consuming trip from the West Coast (now in a water crisis) or overseas. As for E. coli, the agri-business solution is not to clean up feedlots, slaughterhouses and production lines; their solution is irradiation.
Is this system sustainable? Resilient? Is this model in our self-interest? Our region is poised to lose all regional farming capacity just as we begin to recognize the underlying costs of this “efficiency system” now overwhelming our food production. Do we have the will to preserve and support our remaining regional farms?
If you are concerned about protecting the health and resiliency of our food system, attend the November 20 “Food For Thought” action forum. Speakers include Brian Donahue from Brandeis, a noted historian of the Concord farming experience; Willow Blish, Slow Food Boston; Jim Catterton, Concord Agriculture Committee; Jen Hashley, a Concord sustainable farmer and Director, Tufts University Sustainable Farming Project; and Charlotte Vallaeys, Cornucopia Institute.
After hearing our speakers, action groups will discuss specific steps to take as individuals and as a community. The panel will meet on Friday, November 20, at 7 p.m. at the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord. More info is available at www.lwvcc.com.
Becky Shannon, co-president
© 2009 The