The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 12, 2010

Helping Haiti

To the Editor: 

All of us have been shocked by the devastation in Haiti resulting from a deadly combination of poverty and the powerful earthquake. Many in Carlisle have connections to the aid efforts. As I write, our remarkable neighbor, Ray Offenheiser of Oxfam, has just left for Haiti. Carlisle’s Maureen and Mike Ruettgers and Marjie and Geoff Freeman have long supported the work of Partners in Health in Haiti.

  My brother Jim Ansara had been working with Partners in Health (PIH) on plans for a hospital in Haiti when news of the earthquake hit. He flew to Florida to get medical supplies flowing. Then a call from Haiti came from Dr. Dave Walton, “Please find a way to get 30 surgeons into Haiti inside of 48 hours.” Somehow the Partners team did. The next call was ”please come to Port-au Prince, immediately, all power out, generators don’t work, no light for operations.” Jim managed to get there and get the generators working. For two weeks, he worked alongside Dr. Walton and other staff, both Haitian and American, to do what they could. You can read his experiences on his blog

  His wife, Karen Ansara, set up the Haiti Fund. Jim and Karen agreed to match each dollar donated up to $1,000,000. The Fund will invest in emergency relief and also in long-term efforts. As of today they have raised $788,645, including donations from a number of families in Carlisle. If you would like to make a donation or learn more about their work go to

Jim and Dr. Walton are headed back to Haiti. They are fast tracking efforts to build the hospital which now must be a teaching hospital. The one teaching hospital is gone. They will continue the approach of PIH which is to assist Haitians to do what needs to be done. One remarkable statistic: the clinics in Haiti run by Partners employ 4,000 people, nurses, doctors, technicians, etc. Of those 4,000 employees, only six are not Haitian.

As the cameras turn off and the reporters leave, the catastrophe will not be over. I hope those of us who can help will continue to support Oxfam and Partners in Health. Thousands of lives literally depend on us.

Michael Ansara
Lowell Road

What message are we sending?

To the Editor:

We would like to add our feelings to the Anti-Valentine event scheduled at the library. What is wrong with positive feelings? Our three children went to school in Carlisle and it was unthinkable to be so negative. Yesterday my daughter and grandson were visiting from Lexington and both were shocked at the Anti-Valentine sentiment. Black roses? Roses have always been a symbol of love, friendship and joy with different colors having different meanings. Black roses symbolize death and destruction! There is so much pain and negativity in the world today and much of it filling the news, why would adults promote this kind of behavior?

We are all for team building efforts but what message are we sending young people?

Joan and Alex Parker
Russell Street

Invitation to democratic caucus and meeting tomorrow

To the Editor:

The Democratic Town Committee invites residents to our annual caucus tomorrow, February 13 at 10:30 a.m. After the caucus, we will have our first meeting of 2010, around 11 a.m. The committee welcomes your thoughts about the Obama administration, the election of Scott Brown, Governor Deval Patrick’s bid for re-election, the big public policy debates going on right now across the country, and other issues important to you. We have a lot to talk about!

The caucus and meeting will be in the third floor conference room at the First Religious Society (access through side door on Church Street). The caucus will elect four delegates and three alternates to the June 6, 2010, Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Anyone can attend the caucus, but to cast a vote, you must have registered as a Democrat in Carlisle by December 31, 2009.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Susan Stamps
Cross Street

Gaining ground thanks Carlisle community

To the Editor:

The Board and Staff of Gaining Ground would like to thank the hundreds of people in our community and beyond who helped make The Gaining Ground Table: Inspirational Recipes Season by Season, a runaway success. We hope that our recipes and information are helping to encourage healthy, seasonal eating as well as raising awareness about hunger in our area.

Headed by long-time Gaining Ground volunteers Valerie Kolligian Thayer and Esther Boody-Alter, the cookbook was a team effort that involved more than 40 local chefs, home cooks, Gaining Ground board members, friends and other contributors, including cookbook committee volunteers Timm Brandhorst, Heidi Harring, Cece McNally, Stephanie Shenton and cover photographer Allison Cottrill, all of Carlisle.

Our thanks also goes to the Carlisle businesses and organizations that generously agreed to carry the cookbook, including Ferns Country Store, The Carlisle Farmer’s Market and the Carlisle Garden Club.

We are currently sold out of our second printing and are planning to print more books in the fall. We’ve donated dozens of cookbooks to local families participating in our Concord Food For Families program, as well as to the Gleason Public Library, so inspirational recipes are always readily available.

Pam Fielding Goar, president
Francine Royce, board member, Gaining Ground
Michael Ansara, Lowell Road

FOGPL thanks

To the Editor:

Many thanks to all who helped make the (Friends of Gleason Public Library) FOGPL annual community potluck supper a great success this past weekend. I would especially like to thank Barney Arnold and Michael Ansara for allowing us to use their home for this event. It was perfect for the potluck. Thanks to our four high school helpers (Justin Delgado, Satchi Davis, Rebecca Bishop and Katrina Stropkay) for the able job they did directing the parking of cars, passing hors d’oeuvres and helping with cleanup, to name a few of the tasks they helped with. Thanks to all the FOGPL board members and Angela Mollet, Gleason Library director, for all their help, without which the potluck would not happen. And a final thank you to all the attendees who provided such a varied selection of delicious foods.

If you have not yet donated to the Friends, please take a moment to send your check, made out to FOGPL, to the Friends of the Gleason Public Library, 22 Bedford Road, Carlisle, MA 01741. Without your financial support, many of the summer reading programs, lecture series, workshops, museum passes and collection enhancements would not be possible.

Verna Gilbert
FOGPL board member and potluck coordinator

Thanks for successful Cover to Cover

To the Editor:

The 2nd Annual Cover to Cover month of events held in January 2010 at the Gleason Public Library is not an easy endeavor to undertake. But, then again, if you like to read and talk about books, one could argue some of the “work” was fun. Planning started in the spring with reading through our lists of potential books. In the early fall Carlisleans voted for their top choice, and The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin was selected. Then the events were planned including book discussions, a lecture series, and the stellar panel highlighting again the amazing minds here in Carlisle. Our thanks to the planning committee for the humor, hard work and endless reading this endeavor entailed. Our appreciation to Jennifer Albanese, Estelle Keast, Ann Rosas, Martha Patten (librarian), Nancy Pierce, Marilyn Harte, Susannah Vazehgoo, David Freedman, Tom Raftery for his appropriate cartoons, and to the panelists Phil Lotane, Barbara Lenk, Mark Green, Greg Peterson, James Bohn and Susan Stamps; to Dave Ives for filming the panel for CCTV, and the others who participated by picking up the book and talking with your friends and neighbors. Finally, thanks to the Friends of the Gleason Public Library for supporting this program. Start reading for next year!

Angela Mollet
Library Director

Food and pet supplies, oh my

To the Editor:

The staff and the animals at the Lowell Humane Society thank the folks in Carlisle for their generous donations of food, supplies, cages, toys and towels. The Humane Society takes in approximately 3,000 animals a year and tries to find new homes for them. Our current wish list includes litter, gas cards, stamps, bleach, hay, paper towels and greens for bunnies. Items can be donated in the bin at the Carlisle Post Office.

Special thanks to Carol Foster for promoting our cause and gathering donated items for our furry friends. For more information go to You may also call us or contact Carol Foster.

Chris Arnott, outreach director,
The Lowell Humane Society

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito