The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 15, 2010

Correcting “Sober thoughts”

To the Editor:

It is unfortunate that the Carlisle “Mosquito” Editorial of January 8 contained incorrect statements of fact regarding the Council on Aging’s van. I write this to correct such.

A very generous anonymous donor has twice given the COA the funds to purchase a van. A committee researched to find the best vehicle, one with a lift to accommodate a wheelchair-bound person. Our seniors now make up about 19.4 % of the townspeople and when an incapacitated or non-driving person needs to meet with his/her physician, come to a monthly COA lunch, vote, shop or take an excursion, the transportation coordinator arranges the rides. Often there are volunteer drivers; sometimes a van driver makes the trip. The Carlisle COA is also fortunate to have use of the Recreation Department van; this smaller van is more economical to use. The coordinator considers this when she makes the many calls needed to find rides.

Actually, the COA is considered by the state to be on a par with the Police and Fire Departments in towns these days. We have excellent rapport with both departments and work mutually to support our seniors. We have almost 70 volunteers listed by our outreach coordinator as well as four staff – one salaried by a grant. Among the tasks as mandated, reporters are identifying elders at risk from neglect, isolation, abuse, waning health etc.

Incidentally, seniors’ access to transportation is considered critical in most towns. As I drove by Harvey Wheeler, Concord’s COA Center last weekend, I identified five vans marked with their logo. Perhaps our generous, anonymous donor will come forward so that we may give him or her the hearty thanks that are richly deserved.

Marje Stickler, COA Chair

COA correction

To the Editor:

I would like to correct an error, and make a comment regarding Nancy Pierce’s Mosquito editorial of January 8.

In her second paragraph, Ms. Pierce states in part, “. . . Somehow, in the intervening years since the defeat of an override to buy a Council on Aging (COA) van, the COA has acquired a van, purchased by the town several years ago, as well as a part-time “transportation coordinator” paid by the town (though apparently volunteers still drive many older residents to medical appointments).”

It is true that for many years the COA staff has included a part-time Transportation Coordinator. This person coordinates transportation of Carlisle seniors to medical and other necessary appointments by means of the COA van, and volunteers using their own vehicles.

What is incorrect is that the town purchased the COA van. Ms. Pierce points out that over ten years ago, town purchase of a van was defeated at Town Meeting. When that happened, an anonymous town resident stepped forward, bought a van, and gave it to the town with the stipulation that it be used exclusively by the Council on Aging. Not content with having done that once, the same person anonymously stepped forward again about three years ago, bought a second van, and gave it to the town with the same stipulations.

I agree with Ms. Pierce that now is a time for all Carlisle residents to get involved and review which services they feel are essential and to let their opinions be heard.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, in 2008 Carlisle had total expenditures of $24,104,902. Of that amount the COA budget is a little over $100,000 per year. That would make the COA budget represent about .004% of Carlisle’s annual budget. For all the services the COA provides the town’s growing senior population, that seems like a pretty good buy to me.

Bert Williams

Former COA board member

Farewell to librarian

To the Editor:

The Gleason Public Library bids a fond farewell to the enthusiastic Nancy Boutet. Nancy was with the library for three years as a children’s and reference librarian. She was a fearless advocate for her “kids,” coming up with programs, displays, decorations, crafts and collections that reached more kids than ever before. These “kids,” both the young and their parents, along with her fellow librarians, will miss her creative spark, cheerful disposition, and smarts. We wish her the best of luck on her big adventure next door in Westford.

Angela Mollet, Director

Gleason Library

Thanks from Police Association

To the Editor:

The members of the Carlisle Police Association would like to thank all those residents who took part in our 16th annual Christmas Tree Pickup, which ran on January 9. The program was once again a huge success. We visited over 140 houses, going door to door removing trees and bringing them to the Department of Public Works to be discarded.

Your generous donations and continuous support truly makes Carlisle a great community to work for.

We wish you all a safe and happy New Year.

Inspector Andy Booth

The Carlisle Police Association

Thanks for flu clinic

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Linda Fantasia and other representatives of the Board of Health for the excellent H1N1 Flu Clinic on Saturday, January 9. I would also like to thank the legion of volunteers (many of whom were Council on Aging volunteers!) for making the clinic flow smoothly and making it a fun event which allowed many of us to catch up with neighbors.

I am sure it was not an easy task to get so many people vaccinated and to do it so nicely.

My thanks to each and every person involved with the event.

Angela Smith

Martin Street Resident

Council on Aging Outreach Coordinator

A note from the author of The Nine

To the Editor,

I am thrilled to share a letter of encouragement from author of The Nine and well-known political analyst, Jeffrey Toobin with the readers of Carlisle and hope that you will all join the Gleason Library for the Cover to Cover events scheduled for the remainder of January.

“I am pleased to learn that The Nine has been selected for the Gleason Public Library’s Community Read & Cover to Cover events in January 2010. The power to nominate federal judges is one of the great prizes of any Presidency, and Obama assumed office at a propitious moment. In recent years, the introduction of a Supreme Court nominee has become a major political undertaking, providing a revealing glimpse of the environment in Washington. The Court is a product of a democracy and represents, with sometimes chilling precisions, the best and worst of the people. I encourage your community to talk with each other about law and politics.

Thanks, Jeffrey Toobin”

Susannah Vazehgoo

Cover to Cover Committee

Gleason Library

Ed. note: The Mosquito received several letters in support of candidates. Below is a representative sample. Some have been edited for length.

Brown shows common sense

To the Editor:

As the Massachusetts special election for the vacated U.S. Senate seat quickly approaches, once again we are looking for change. Our elected leaders must exemplify leadership and character, and State Senator Scott Brown is our best hope. Scott Brown is the kind of Senator we need to bring common sense to Washington D.C. Martha Coakley appears to represent another rubber stamp vote for a fringe left-wing platform being promoted by a majority, intoxicated with power and big government solutions. Well this isn’t the change I suspect most Americans anticipated. President Obama promised bi-partisanship, compromise, moderation and relief from the challenges of the previous eight years. What we got is not only one-party rule, but significant expansion of Federal powers, huge deficits, Senatorial misconduct, and National Security vulnerability. Let’s return balance and sanity to Washington.

Scott Brown stands for fiscal responsibility, individual accountability, limits on the reach of the federal government and a foreign policy that protects U.S. citizens. Scott is a family man, hardworking, fair and respectful. Please join me in making him our next U.S. Senator.

Douglas Stevenson

Cross Street

Coakley’s voice is needed

To the Editor:

At this critical time of rising public skepticism about the climate crisis and campaigns of anti-scientific disinformation from global warming deniers, we need Martha Coakley in the Senate more than ever.

As Attorney General, Martha demonstrated a national level of leadership with Massachusetts v. EPA, the Supreme Court case which successfully challenged the previous administration’s policy of refusal to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. In addition, Martha worked to implement the pioneering Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first mandatory, market-based effort to reduce GHG emissions.

The evidence is in. The science about global warming is settled, and the debate is over. We must have a strong voice in the Senate to join with John Kerry and others to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which creates new clean energy jobs and reduces the danger of global warming. Please vote for Martha Coakley on January 19.

Bob Luoma

Palmer Way

The people’s seat…

To the Editor:

Massachusetts voters understand that it is not a requirement to be a small ‘democrat’ to be elected to a seat in the U.S. senate. Democrats in our statehouse have not been heaping themselves in glory lately. The same is true in Washington, where spending our money is the rule of the day. If you were upset with the last administration’s record on spending and debt, then you should be even more upset now. I am unhappy that my grandchildren, and yours, will be the ones paying off the debts congress is piling up today. It will hurt our economy and the next generation for years to come.

With the healthcare reform bill Congress is promising better care and lower costs. I have to ask, do we believe the bill will deliver both of those things? I don’t think the deals (read “bribes”) made to get the 60 votes for passage were fair or reflective of a national consensus.

I also ask you: Does the healthcare bill contain tort reform? Does it regulate those annoying advertisements for drugs on the television? Does it make my health insurance portable across the nation? The answer of course is no. Making these changes would impact campaign contributions.

Here, where the revolution started, let’s do something revolutionary on January 19! Let us claim the people’s seat with a vote for Scott Brown!

Bob Macauley

Log Hill Road

A vote for Coakley would be historic

To the Editor:

Massachusetts voters have an historic opportunity on January 19 to elect the first woman from Massachusetts to serve in the U.S. Senate. Martha Coakley has served the Commonwealth for the past 20 years, first as an Assistant District Attorney in Middlesex County, then as Middlesex District Attorney, and now as Attorney General. Coakley has established a reputation as an advocate for women, children, and working families. Her long list of endorsements provides evidence of her success and the faith others have in her leadership. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed her, calling her “the best candidate to represent the needs of working families.” The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police, in giving her their endorsement, called her a “great partner to law enforcement.” MassEquality said she has been a “tireless advocate for LGBT equality,” and the National Organization for Women cited her strong commitment to feminist issues and her “leadership to protect and advance equal rights and opportunity.” Both the Sierra Club and the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters have endorsed her candidacy and her support of environmental issues.

The fact that Martha Coakley is female is not reason enough to vote for her. The fact that she is the best candidate is. We get a bonus, however, when we elect Coakley to the Senate – we get to send the first woman from Massachusetts to serve in the U.S. Senate, something that is long overdue. Please join me on January 19 in voting for Martha Coakley.

Marlene Fine

Acton Street

Raise your expectations – elect Scott Brown

To the Editor:

As an entrepreneur I know monopolies are a problem. They take their customers for granted. They provide bad service. Where else can you go?

Political monopolies are a problem too. They take the voter for granted. They’re not responsive. They provide bad service. What alternative do you have?

The Massachusetts Democratic Party is a political monopoly. Democrats hold every federal office in Massachusetts. That’s a problem. They can take the voter for granted. They do and it shows.

Martha Coakley is taking you for granted. She’s not making herself available. She’s not addressing your concerns. Ms. Coakley’s indifference to the voters has been highlighted by the press. The Boston Globe’s Brian McGrory writes: “[L]et’s take a look at Coakley’s campaign schedule for today. Well, actually, we can’t. There isn’t one. She isn’t doing anything in public – no meetings with voters, no debates, no public appearances. For all we know, she’s spending much of her time at home with the shades drawn waiting for January 19, Election Day, to come and go.” You can read the full story here: If Ms. Coakley isn’t interested in addressing your concerns now, when she wants your vote, why should you expect that she will be responsive to your concerns, answer your mail or provide even a modicum of constituent service after she takes office? You shouldn’t.

Scott Brown is different. He’s working to earn your vote and your support. He knows that as a Republican Senator from Massachusetts, he’ll be in the crosshairs of every liberal interest group. He’ll have to do a great job to keep his position. He will.

Monopolies are a problem. The solution is competition. Vote for Scott Brown. Then raise your expectations. He’ll work hard to exceed them.

Jon Golnik

Republican Candidate, Massachusetts 5th Congressional District

Elizabeth Ridge Road

Support Brown

To the Editor:

There is so much bad legislation being written in Washington these days it is hard to keep track. One terrible idea, called “cap and trade,” would increase energy costs and move energy-intensive industry overseas while doing little to help the environment. Another bad idea is “card check,” which would remove the secret-ballot requirement for union organizing. But the worst is the sprawling, utterly irresponsible healthcare bill, which would introduce hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes and would represent a massive intrusion of the federal government into one-seventh of the American economy. Scott Brown opposes all three of these monstrosities, and Martha Coakley supports them.

The healthcare bill in particular is so hideous it is hard to know where to begin. The Senate version contains a stunning 40% excise tax on so-called “Cadillac” health-care plans. According to the Congressional Budget Office, this single tax could cost taxpayers nearly $150 billion in its first decade, and within its first three years could strike almost 20 percent of all workers with employer-provided health coverage. (Note: In one of the bill’s many handouts to special interests, the longshoremen’s union is exempt from this tax!)

Space limitations here cannot allow a full discussion of this bill’s substantial flaws. But bear in mind that moderates like Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins rightly oppose this disgraceful politicization of medicine.

Surely there are libertarian and moderate voters out there who are aghast by this, and who are strong enough to say “Enough is enough.” Please stand up and be counted. Vote Scott Brown for U.S. Senate.

Jonathan Beakley

West Street

Get out and vote

To the Editor:

On Tuesday next week, a Special Election for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat will be held in Carlisle. Local and even state-wide elections are known for their low voter turnout. Presidential elections have turnouts usually just over 50%; last year’s election, at nearly 57%, was the highest in recent decades. Off-year elections average in the high 30% range. Special elections – even those with historic trappings like the current one to replace Ted Kennedy who served in the Senate for 46 years – have even lower turnout rates. Some political experts predict a 35% turnout for the coming election.

Carlisle’s voters have always represented a great exception. Here, turnout for presidential elections always exceeds the national and state-wide average. But even Carlisle is subject to low voter turnout in less publicized elections. Voting in national elections carries equal importance with voting in local and state-wide elections. Why be one of millions when you can be one of thousands or even hundreds?

Your state vote and local vote count more directly. Yes, the President is the public face of our country, and he has to deal with the national issues facing our country. But what about the smaller issues? They also get your tax dollars. They regulate what life is like in your own state and your own town to a much greater degree than the executive branch of the federal government. Surely state-wide elections deserve your scrutiny and attention.

As a 17-year-old, I will have to wait until next year to vote. But I hope that everyone in this town with the time to drive down to the Town Hall will evaluate the issues, consider the candidates, and vote. Your voice deserves to be heard and the only way to ensure that it will be heard is to vote.

Caroline Howe

Acton Street

Election guidelines

To the Editor:

This is to remind everyone that the General Election to choose a new State Senator will be held Tuesday, January 19, 2010. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. and we are expecting a substantial turnout for this election.

Friday, January 15, 2010, is the last day to obtain an absentee ballot for this election and the Town Clerk’s office will remain open until 5 p.m. to accommodate absentee ballot requests. Please keep in mind that absentee ballots are only available to those voters who will be out of town or in the hospital on election day. Voters may vote in the office or may request a ballot to be mailed to a family member. The absentee ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. on election day, so please consider this when requesting mailed absentee ballots.

The deadline to register to vote for this election was December 30, 2009. If you wish to confirm your voter status, please call the Town Clerk’s office at 1-978-369-6155.

Also, the Annual Town Census was mailed on Tuesday, January 12, and should be returned as soon as possible. Failure to respond to the Town Census may result in your name being removed from the voter list. Please do not confuse this Street Listing Census with the Federal Census that is conducted in the spring every ten years.

Dog license renewal forms are included with the Town Census and all dogs must be registered no later than March 31. After that time a penalty may be collected along with the cost of the dog license. Fees increased this year for the first time in over eight years. Licenses for spayed and neutered dogs now cost $10 each and licenses for female and male dogs are now $15 each. Fees for kennel licenses also increased in 2010. Four or fewer dogs cost $35, five to ten dogs cost $75 and eleven or more dogs cost $100.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by phone or by email at

Charlene M. Hinton

Town Clerk

Movie will tell of energy challenges

To the Editor:

The amount of media coverage about environmental issues and its presentation as isolated events or news bites can be overwhelming, making it a challenge to discern the interrelatedness of one situation with another, or see the “big picture” that leads to deeper understanding and meaningful action as individuals and society. The “Life in the Balance: Powering the Future” program, co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, ConcordCAN (Concord Climate Action Network), Carlisle Climate Action and Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education, is an opportunity to connect the dots through shared experience and discussion.

“Powering the Future,” a two-part program, begins on Friday, January 22, with a free screening of “The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project,” a new, award-winning documentary that explores the energy challenges we face. An informal reception will follow the film. Please join us at the Alcott School Auditorium, 93 Laurel Street, Concord, from 7 to 9 p.m. All are welcome, but seating is limited. Email (subject line: “tickets”) for reserved seats. Snow date is January 24.

For more details, please visit, email, or call 1-978-369-3842.

Launa Zimmaro, Chair

Carlisle Climate Action

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito