The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 8, 2010

Carlisle’s caring farmers

To the Editor:

I very much enjoyed the photo of Marlow Duffy with the bright-eyed inquisitive heifer exploring both Marlow and her proffered book. Living with dairy animals, I found nothing staged about this creature’s investigations.

In response to Jeannie Geneczko’s letter of the December 18, USDA Organic certification, governed by the standards of the National Organic Program, does not require or guarantee humane treatment of dairy animals. The 90-page 2008 “Pasture Rule” standards do detail access to pasture during the grazing season, year-round access to the outdoors and sunlight, and shelter. However, for example, when the organic dairying community discusses outwintering techniques, with strong opinions ranging from the lunacy of putting cows out on ice to what’s acceptable loss and injury, it becomes pretty clear that “humaneness” still lies with individual dairymen and dairywomen themselves – some have it and some don’t – and not with government standards.

Mark and Tamma Duffy “have it,” I think - that attentiveness to their animals’ well-being and, hence, their productivity. I may choose different dairy practices and goals (Wouldn’t a lot of us like them to be a licensed raw milk organic dairy, the grass-fed cows hand milked?), but there’s no one correctly humane way to raise animals. I’m glad they raised a daughter who, as a young woman, still likes to pose for a photo with one of the herd.

I strongly concur with Jeannie’s concerns about the welfare of animals housed in factory settings, but I disagree with her juxtaposition of the Duffys’ dairy with such agribusinesses.

Are the Duffys’ cows optimally happy? I don’t know. I do know ruminants like the routines of the barn, feeding, kindness, cudding, interacting, lazing, as well as being out and about. I wager ours have a good life, even though we’re not in the Swiss Alps, and that the Duffys’ cows do, too, even though they’re not on the Dutch flats. Our cows, our goats, and our children would all likely benefit from more time at pasture and in the woods. That they don’t have this time reflects decisions we make about risk versus well-being for those under our care.

Tricia Smith

Indian Hill Road

Unfair singling out

To the Editor:

In her third letter to the Mosquito regarding dairy farming, we think Jeannie Geneczko unfairly singles out the Duffys. Aren’t we all challenged ethically every day when we shop, drive our cars, or simply turn on the heat and lights in our comfortable suburban homes?

One of us finds eating chicken and fish less disturbing. The other has already given up eggs, butter and cheese (bad for the heart). We rarely eat red meat and when we do, we try to purchase products that are organic and humanely raised (, although slaughter and humane don’t go very nicely together. When we inquired about milk, we learned there is no milk currently certified as humanely raised. It was suggested that we contact the producers of the milk we buy (Organic Valley, Trader Joe’s or Stonyfield) and ask them to get certified.

We can request that our food stores supply organic and humanely certified products, along with the many other things we can do to live more consciously. However, we realize that the drive for “lower price” is a powerful countervailing economic force. And it is a daily challenge to make our less than perfect lives a little better.

John and Ann Ballantine

Fiske Street

Thanks to the Duffys

To the Editor:

Many thanks to the Duffy family and all that they do at Great Brook Farm State Park and for making Carlisle so special. My family treasures our time at Great Brook Farm, whether it’s mountain biking or walking on the terrific trails, enjoying the ice cream or visiting the cows and other animals. It is disappointing that some in town take every opportunity to use any publicity for Great Brook Farm as a soapbox for other issues. And keep reading to those cows!

Carolyn Kiely

Hartwell Road

Thanks from COA Board

To the Editor:

The Board of the Carlisle Council on Aging wishes to thank all those who have helped during this busy month of December after the departure of our former Director, Kathy Mull. Members of the Board have volunteered to help with payroll, put on lunches and answer phones. The ever-ready volunteer pool has driven seniors to appointments and covered the office. Angela Smith, Outreach Coordinator, has filled holiday baskets and answered a myriad of callers asking questions or seeking assistance. We thank our Transportation Coordinator Carol Killpatrick and van drivers who have braved stormy weather to meet senior needs. Thanks to the Friends of the COA who are realizing a successful fund drive in trying times. It takes the coordinated and willing efforts of many to realize the continuation of our programs and to satisfy queries. I must commend each and every one and especially our Town Administrator, town employees, other seniors and board members for a wealth of help. Happy New Year!

Marje Stickler, COA Board Chair

There are angels among us

To the Editor:

As the Outreach Coordinator for the Carlisle Council on Aging, I am often cheered to see the kindnesses and generosity of our Carlisle residents. During this holiday season, I would like to ensure that I thank the many volunteers who made it possible for 80 seniors to enjoy a lovely lunch and music program at Union Hall on December 17. Thanks go to Verna Gilbert and the many volunteers (including Helen and Ray Taylor, Marje Stickler, Nadine and George Bishop, Jean Sain, Natalie Ives, Love Seawright, Alice and Gordon Hardy and so many others) who helped with the actual meal, set-up and clean-up, table decorations, etc. Thanks to Liz Bishop and Phyllis Goff who took the role of Santa’s helpers, to St. Nick, (Nick Lunig), for the cheer he brought, to the Saltonstalls from Community Chest who wrapped gifts and to Ray Taylor for the accompanying music.

A very big thank you and applause to the Carlisle Middle School Band ensembles and the Director of Bands, Kevin Maier. They did a fantastic job performing and providing such a wonderful array of pieces.

I would also like to thank the Kindergarten Daisy Troop #72680, Troop Leader Amy Versaggi, Sara Smith and parent helper Liza Snell and Chrissy McCormack for the clever favors which each senior was thrilled to take home to enjoy over the holiday season.

In addition, thanks for all of the wonderful work and support provided each and every day throughout the year by our COA and Friends’ Board, and our many volunteers.

I would also like to thank Judy Andrews and the wonderful parishioners from St. Irene Church who generously donated gift certificates for our seniors.

A special acknowledgement should be made to a Carlisle family who decided to anonymously “pay it forward” by playing Secret Santa to a family who is going through a difficult time. Their generosity and thoughtfulness has made me smile for over a week.

Angela Smith

Carlisle Council on Aging Outreach Coordinator

Scott Brown for U.S. Senate

To the Editor:

In our recent all-town survey, only seven percent of Carlisle residents indicated that they have a lot of trust in the federal government. I’m with the majority on this one. Why can’t Washington embrace small town values like responsibility and thrift?

Our federal government has become a Vesuvius of red ink that is drowning the economic fortunes of our nation and saddling our kids with crushing debt. Indeed, Barack Obama plans to borrow more money in his first two years in office than George Bush did in eight (and Mr. Bush’s record was nothing to be proud of). Washington politicians don’t understand the meaning of fiscal responsibility.

That’s why I’m sending them a message by voting for Scott Brown on January 19. I’ve known Scott for many years. He’s levelheaded and has both feet on the ground. Scott’s experience is in town and state government. Before joining the legislature, Scott served as Selectman and on the Board of Assessors in the town of Wrentham. Scott understands how to set priorities and balance a budget. He understands that reckless federal spending is making it more difficult for communities like Carlisle to make ends meet. After all, federal income taxes and town revenues come out of the same income stream – your paycheck. Scott also understands that massive federal borrowing drives up interest rates and makes it more difficult for towns to finance school and capital projects.

There’s a big difference between Scott and his opponent. Consider this simple fact: Massachusetts gets back only 82 cents from the federal government for each dollar sent to Washington. You can check the figures here: Martha Coakley wants to make the federal government even bigger. Where’s the sense in that? More of your money would remain in Massachusetts if we had a smaller, leaner federal government.

Scott Brown is in tune with the everyday citizen. He’ll bring something to Washington that is sorely needed: common sense.

James Bohn

Concord Street

Martha Coakley for U. S. Senate

To the Editor:

I encourage others to join me in voting for Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate. Over the years, as she has moved her career steadily forward, she has gained wide-ranging experience that will serve her highly effectively in this new position. She is more than ready to represent us well. She ran a solid campaign in the primary against worthy opponents and prevailed by a wide margin.

The Senate’s recent passage of the health care bill – 60-39 – illustrates vividly the Democrats’ tenuous hold on its ability to support the President’s agenda. For all practical purposes, Senator Kirk’s vote, available largely through Senator Kennedy’s foresight, was the 60th, the crucial 60th. There are many good reasons to support Martha Coakley. But for that reason alone, it is essential that she be elected to this position, filled so ably for so long by Senator Kennedy and so well in recent months on an interim basis by Senator Kirk.

Kenneth M. Deitch

Laurelwood Road

Member, Carlisle Democratic Town Committee

Member, Carlisle Democratic Town Committee

Vote Scott Brown

To the Editor:

We have an incredible opportunity to elect the 41st Republican Senator, denying the Democrats the 60th Senator and a filibuster-proof majority. A 41st Republican Senator will stop the Democrats from pushing through their agenda and legislation without a true debate. Will it matter?  Yes! ....and it is likely that it will matter before the Democrats can get passage on their healthcare bill. 

Scott Brown can be the 41st Senator to stop the Obama proposal that’s being pushed right now through Congress. He can bring it back to the drawing board to begin a true bipartisan debate.

This is the only state in the country to have a special Senate election prior to the 2010 elections so the 41st Senate seat is crucial.

State Senator Scott P. Brown blasted Martha Coakley for her support of a national health care plan that Brown says would raise taxes and fees on Massachusetts residents and businesses without providing any benefits.

Back in April 1775, colonists joined together to reject being governed without representation and won the first battle of the American War of Independence in 1775...”the shot heard ‘round the world”.

With your support we can deliver the second shot heard around the world by sending State Senator Scott Brown to Washington D.C. as the 41st U.S Senate Republican vote.

Join us on January 19 and vote Scott Brown.

Susan Deisenroth

Minuteman Drive, Concord

Sally J. Naumann

Lowell Street

Elect Martha Coakley

To the Editor:

I believe Martha Coakley possesses exactly the kind of qualities a U.S. Senator needs in our political system, having shown herself to be a public servant of deliberative judgment and judicious temperament, and to be an individual unafraid to follow her conscience or stake out an independent position.

Her positions and the experience that qualify her to serve in the U.S. Senate can be easily studied at her website Prominent among them are: her experience as the Commonwealth’s chief law enforcement officer dealing with difficult issues relating to terrorism; dealing as Attorney General (AG) with the deceptive, reckless, and fraudulent activities in the banking sector that endangered our economy and the economic security of families throughout America; and dealing as AG with abuses in the health care sector, filing lawsuits to deter those practices that drive up costs and achieving record recoveries in Medicaid fraud cases.

Therefore, I encourage Carlisle voters to cast their ballot for Martha Coakley in the special election on January 19.

Frank Rigg

South Street

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