Friday, February 5, 2010
Hult to step down as Selectman
To the Editor:
Upon careful consideration, I have decided to not run for another term as a member of the Board of Selectmen. This spring I will have completed nine years as a member of the Board, serving as chairman for five of those nine years. I have enjoyed that tenure immensely and am proud of what I have been able to contribute. I believe the Board to be more focused, more cohesive and more effective now than when I first joined. I do believe, however, that it is vital to regularly inject fresh viewpoints, ideas and energy into our town governance and thus for me it is time to step aside and welcome change.
During my three terms as a Selectman and my previous two terms as a member of the Carlisle School Committee, I have had the privilege of working with 18 outstanding colleagues. I can honestly say that I have learned from working with each of these people and consider all of them to be friends. One of the great benefits of public service is the working relationships that you develop with a diverse, committed and interesting group of people. It is refreshing and somewhat unique that Carlisle town government tends to be non-partisan. It’s simply a group of folks who maintain a healthy respect for each other while constantly trying to forge practical solutions for the town they love.
If you have the time, energy and inclination to serve our town, please consider running for Selectman. The challenges over the next several years will be significant. It is vital that good people step up and become involved. The first step would be to attend the Town Caucus on March 1 and have your name put forward. Specific information regarding the process can be obtained from the office of the Town Clerk. I would be happy to discuss the position and the challenges and opportunities the Board will face with anyone who may have interest.
Finally, thank you all very much for allowing me to serve the town for a significant chapter of my life. It has been my pleasure.
Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Spare our library
To the Editor:
I was appalled (I’ve always wanted to start a letter to the editor that way) to read in the January 29 Mosquito that proposed budget cuts could lead to de-certification of the Gleason Library, and what that would entail.
On state or national budget issues we can always justify the funding of our own personal sacred cows by pointing out “pork” that could be cut from other programs. Alas, our town budget is already vegetarian, shading over into vegan, so that’s not an option here.
And the FinCom are not the bad guys; I have the utmost sympathy for these volunteer citizens who have taken on what must be the most distasteful job in town government.
But please, not our library! Could a smaller reduction in its budget still save our certification? I think we could live with reduced evening hours, for example, although this probably won’t amount to much.
I am an old fella who still reads books in print. If we lose access to the inter-library loan system we will be like a TV set with one channel. But I also use the Internet, and the web-savvy library staff has helped me many times to access and print important information.
As you may have gathered, I use our library regularly, and my most potent argument is this: the number of young people who use it along with me. Have you seen them? Streaming in after school to the point where the staff sometimes has to get a bit sharp to quell their exuberance; on the computers; upstairs in the carrels – reading, talking, learning. Just like me in the library funded by Andrew Carnegie in the small Midwestern town where I grew up. (I had heard about Erskine Caldwell’s God’s Little Acre and wanted to borrow it. The librarian wouldn’t let me check it out because I was too young, but I found a way.)
And the mother I saw the other day, checking out a pile of children’s books that her daughter was literally jumping with excitement to read.
Please, not our library.
Trustees say thanks
To the Editor:
The Trustees of the Gleason Public Library extend their thanks to all those of you in the community who contacted us with questions about our budget over the past week, and who have demonstrated your interest in and support for the library as we move through the budget process.
We include the Finance Committee in our thanks for their diligence and for their very welcome assurance that our library’s certification status will be maintained. This definitive and much-appreciated support came from every member of the committee.
We will continue to work with the Finance Committee to construct a fair and feasible budget for the library that is mindful of the fiscal challenges we all face. We will continue, as well, to ask for your help as we explore ways to support the library’s services and programs, and as we create a new long-range plan this spring. Thank you.
Priscilla Stevens, Trustee, Maple Street
Ann Rosas, Trustee, Westford Street Larissa Shyjan, Trustee, Davis Road
Come to Chinese New Year celebration
To the Editor:
Somewhat to my surprise, I find myself as stage manager (the person who assures that curtains open and close at the proper times, that actors go on when they’re supposed to, and that everything runs smoothly backstage) for a remarkable production at Corey Auditorium this Saturday, the 6th of February, at 2:30 p.m. It is a celebration of the Chinese New Year in Carlisle, a program that Chiao Bin Huang, who teaches Chinese in the Carlisle Schools, has conducted for five years past. This year the program has a new twist – it is woven into a drama, The Magic Paintbrush, a play written by Alison Saylor and based on a Chinese folk tale. From my point of view, the play seems to feature about a million kids, since most parts are shared among multiple actors so that everyone gets a chance to shine onstage, and keeping track of them all backstage presents its challenges. But the result onstage is a charming show of Chinese song and dance woven into a story with a timeless moral. Don’t miss it.
Thanks for bikes
To the Editor:
I would like to thank those who donated bikes and contributions to my Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout Project. Many children received bikes through the Bykes for Tykes and the Boys Town program. Some received the bikes as their Christmas presents. I appreciate your generosity.
Neighbor Fund is there to help
To the Editor:
Out of concern for the effects of the recession on local families, two Carlisle couples conferred with local clergy and set up the Carlisle Neighbor Fund in 2008. They had in mind families struggling to pay for utilities or with empty pantries. They said that people in Carlisle are proud and resourceful, but that some would surely face difficult times.
The donors established the fund with generous donations to our three local congregations, and left allocations to the local clergy. All three congregations have disbursed funds, and all three have resources remaining.
We write to remind the community to contact us in case of hardship among Carlisle residents. You need not be connected to a faith community. St. Irene Rectory, ask for Father Donohoe; The First Religious Society, ask for Rev. Diane Miller; Carlisle Congregational Church, ask for Pastor Steve Weibley. We are here to help.
Against Anti-Valentine’s party
To the Editor:
I was shocked and appalled when reading a recent article in the Mosquito announcing an event to be held at The Gleason Public Library called the “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party. In case you missed it, the complete description of the event is on the Library’s website under “Teens,” “Things To Do” and “Special Events.” The announcement invites students in the fifth through twelfth grade to this “Party” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. featuring “Un-Love” songs, making black duct tape roses, decorating broken heart cookies and flinging candy hearts across the room. Isn’t this a great example for our kids! This is not an early April Fools joke or a hoax. It’s for real.
I, for one, have notified the Library Director and the Friends of the Gleason Public Library (the sponsor) expressing my disappointment in their lack of good judgment in promoting this event. Valentine’s Day tradionally in America is a day that allows us to express feelings of love and friendship, not hate and disregard for traditional values. I trust and hope that the sponsor, The Friends of the Gleason Public Library organization, will withdraw this planned event. Will the theme of this party – “Anti-Valentine’s Day” – lead to Anti-Easter Day, Anti-Thanksgiving Day, Anti-Fourth of July Day, etc.? It could happen.
East Riding Drive
One at a time, yes we can
To the Editor:
Can we help save the world one cow, one plastic bag, one used lamp, one towel at a time?
Those among us who want better living conditions for farm animals usually don’t eat them.
You can purchase less and recycle anything useful and teach your children to follow your example.
You can donate used books to children who need them through charitable organizations.
You can donate household items directly to the needy through HGRM in Acton and other charitable organizations.
You can gather used pet bedding, towels, bird cages, to help abandoned pets in shelters.
You can buy only what you really need with a vision of its future when it is worn out.
Some of us do what we can – one cow, one plastic bag at a time.
Do you? Think about it.
LWV’s energy panel speaks tonight
To the Editor:
Over 125 people attended the screening of the film The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project on January 22 and many others have watched it on CCTV cable channel 8 during the two weeks leading up to our “Powering The Future” forum on February 5. The movie raised the point that everything is affected by energy and that how we use it, how we produce it and how we depend on it, is supporting the base of our modern civilization.
The February 5 “Powering The Future forum: Our Community and Tomorrow’s Energy,” will begin with a panel of speakers. Will Brownsberger, MA State Representative (24th District) and vice-chair of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change will be the keynote speaker.
Panel speakers are: Gretchen Brewer, author of the Plastics Recycling Action Plan for Massachusetts and consultant on conservation and recycling; Warren Leon, co-author of The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices and former Director of the Mass Renewable Energy Trust; and Christopher Ryan, Urban Planner and Principal of the planning consulting firm Relocalizations, and Planning Director for the Town of Dedham.
Following the speakers, all attendees will be encouraged to choose a group, focused on Home Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Waste, or Transportation, for an hour of brainstorming and imagining what might be possible to act on at a local level. The groups will continue to communicate and to meet during the year to effect local action around addressing our energy future.
The “Powering The Future” forum is Friday, February 5, at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street, West Concord, 7-9 p.m. Everyone is welcome. Snow date is February 7.
Please join this collaborative effort of the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, ConcordCAN (Concord Climate Action Network), Carlisle Climate Action and Concord-Carlisle Adult and Community Education. You do not have to have seen the movie to be involved in this process nor to have attended past forums. For more details, please visit www.lwvcc.com/lifeinthebalance.html, email Green_Initiatives@lwvcc.com, or call 1-978-369-3842.
Cindy Nock, Vice-President
League of Women Voters Concord-Carlisle
Reader recommends Red Balloon
To the Editor:
Now is the time that parents of young children start to evaluate preschools for the 2010-2011 school year. If you are one such parent, allow me to recommend the Red Balloon Preschool in the heart of Carlisle.
Each of our three children, who now go to the Carlisle Public Schools, attended the Red Balloon – we were a Red Balloon family for five consecutive years! The Red Balloon provided a nurturing, safe and welcoming environment, and our kids were extremely well prepared for attending the “big school” in kindergarten.
The Red Balloon’s teachers were professional and experienced and, at the same time, fun and comforting for our kids. The teachers focused on students’ long-term educational foundation (for example, reading readiness and listening skills) and also more mundane yet important tasks, like ensuring that each student knows his/her address and phone number by heart. When it came time for our kids to leave the Red Balloon to attend kindergarten, they were reassured that many of their preschool friends would be in school with them the next fall. And I am still close with the large number of friends that I made as a parent at the Red Balloon.
Good luck in the preschool search!
Innocent until proven guilty
To the Editor:
I was horrified to see the inaccurate reporting that was done regarding my son Jason Baliestiero in last week’s paper. (See “Carlisle resident summonsed for assault,” page 13, January 29, 2010 Mosquito.) Jason was not arrested at my home involving the incident with Alex Malo.
Jason has been charged with having a fight with an individual in Maynard that supposedly involved him hitting the person with a golf club. Jason denies attacking this individual with a golf club and or even hitting this alleged victim. The incident involved my son being called to this person’s house – a neighbor called my son reporting that his girlfriend was being attacked by her former boyfriend. My son did arrive and tried to break up the fight; I am sure any man would do the same thing if a loved one was being hurt. The supposed victim had no evidence of being hurt, no marks on him, no admittance to the hospital and no reports of any doctor visits. This supposed victim has also not shown up for the last two court appearances.
My son is innocent until proven guilty and I am sure the facts will prove his innocence. In the meantime I urge you to be more responsible in your reporting. Reputations do not deserve to be ruined by false statements.
Berry Corner Lane
Thanks from Town Clerk
To the Editor
I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers, wardens, registrars and all others whose tireless efforts made our recent elections so successful.
At the Primary Election in December we enjoyed nice weather and a steady stream of voters all day. Despite the more challenging weather at the General Election in January, the voter turnout was more than double that of the Primary Election.
The volunteers at both elections were incredibly thorough, patient, and accurate. The dismal conditions outside did not affect the warm and friendly attitudes of the workers and I am very grateful to have such a magnificent team working for us! The Election Wardens, Kerri Piette and Rochelle Landon, did a terrific job lining up workers, organizing their shifts and assuring that everyone was up-to-date on the ever-changing election laws.
Our Board of Registrars Cynthia Schweppe, Liz Bishop and Seba Gaines spent countless hours verifying and signing the multitude of absentee ballots cast, especially in the General Election. Assistant Town Clerk Irene Blake and our industrious volunteer Ann Wright worked diligently with me to register new voters and manage the absentee ballots before the election and then continued to work well into the night at the two elections.
I would like to thank everyone for their patience during these past few weeks as we have managed the two elections in the midst of our busiest time of year in the Clerk’s office. We were preparing and compiling the annual street listing/town census and new dog licenses as well as several other year end projects.
The overwhelming volunteer efforts make it possible for us to conduct efficient elections. The volunteers always display pride in their work and seem happy to be such an integral part of this most American right. I am certainly proud to have their help and look forward to having them on our team for years to come. Persons 16 and older may now work at elections. All necessary training is provided. If you have an interest in working at elections or town meeting, please contact me by telephone at 1-978-369-6155 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town Caucus will be held Monday, March 1, 2010 at 7 p.m. in the Clark Room. There are several openings for elected office on the May 18, 2010 Annual Town Election and being a caucus nominee is the easiest way to get on the ballot. You may also collect signatures on nomination petitions or even run as a write-in candidate. If you have any questions please contact me.
Charlene M. Hinton
© 2010 The