The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 5, 2010


Join the discussion

No matter what your political stripe, chances are you moved to Carlisle, at least in part, because of the good schools and rural open space. What else brought you to Carlisle? What is most important for your family? Are the reasons you moved here the same as the reasons that you stay? Town officials have been trying to gauge the town’s priorities as they shape budgets, consider cuts in town services and plan major school building projects. This year it is more important than ever to follow the issues, speak up and get involved.

Waiting for Town Meeting in May can be risky, because by then the choices have been shaped by others. Read the paper, attend a board or committee meeting, ask questions, write a letter to the editor to express your views. New to municipal finance? Definitions of many terms are available on the Mosquito website ( under “Resources”), where one can also find articles describing the role of various town government boards and committees. Need more background on a topic? Try searching the Mosquito’s on-line archives for earlier articles. Too busy to attend meetings? The Board of Selectmen’s meetings are filmed by CCTV and made available later online at, in addition to being broadcast on cable channel 9.

Local taxes support a wide spectrum of services, including schools, the library, public health and safety, historical preservation, environment and recreation, affordable housing and senior services. Are all equally valuable? As energy and other costs relentlessly rise, can the town afford to support the current level of services as well as the proposed Carlisle School and Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) building projects?

Relevant upcoming meetings include: the Finance Committee meeting on Monday, February 8; the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Tuesday, February 9, at which they will hear recommendations from the Structural Financial Planning Committee; the Carlisle School Committee's public forum for superintendent/principal candidate Joyce Mehaffey on Wednesday, February 10 as well as the CCHS Facilities Master Plan Committee, also on February 10. The calendar on the back page of the Mosquito lists meeting times and locations.

What resources, projects and services matter most to you? Join the discussion and help guide Carlisle on the road ahead.

Life in the fast lane

We’ve just returned to Panama City Beach, Florida. All our first-name “friends” have returned and we’re playing golf; singing karaoke; going out to dinner in mid-afternoon for “earlybird specials;” sitting by the pool, gossiping; and walking the beach. We attended a dance last night at the Senior Center and many of our friends were there. An upscale event: $10 a head, plastic tables and chairs, a chubby DJ who calls himself “Chubby” and plays oldies plus the Macarena, Chicken Dance, YMCA, Electric Slide and other high energy classics. There were paper cups and plenty of ice (BYO), and there was a small plastic dish of trail mix on every table. There were nearly 400 people there and they raffled off some locally made fruit wine and a few of Chubby’s CDs. I was overdressed with a coat and tie, but I fixed that by taking them off and rolling up my sleeves. I stuffed the tie in Janice’s big black purse, and we were good to go.

After the dance, I drove to the front door to pick up Janice. As she approached the car, a Land Rover that had been behind me suddenly came around to her side; an arm reached out of the open driver’s window, and the driver snatched Janice’s purse and took off like a bat out of hell. He drove through a landscaped area to get out of the parking lot and bolted down the road towards the beach. I took off after him. He had a pretty good head start, but my trusty old Ford, complete with luggage carrier on the roof, responded like a V-8 Mustang as I headed toward the beach. I saw him turn west on the beach road, and followed. He must have seen me at some point, as he turned into the flooded parking lot of a tattoo parlor and did a 180. I was right on top of him at this point, and he pushed through the water to head back east on the beach road.

I closed in on him as he pulled into another flooded parking lot and came to a stop. I approached to get close enough to get his license plate, then I floored it to get back to the Senior Center. Janice was in the office with the staff and they were on the phone with the police when I arrived with the license plate number. By the time the police arrived, another patrol car was on its way to the licensee’s apartment on the beach road. Before we had completed our incident reports, the cops had the perp in custody, and we got Janice’s purse back with everything accounted for including my favorite tie. Hooray for the Panama City Beach Police Department and the long-standing Law and Order mentality of the Red Neck Riviera! Justice prevails; crime doesn’t pay; the perp is in the cooler.

So who says the life of an elderly retired couple, wintering in Florida, has to be dull? ∆



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