Friday, March 26, 2010
The time for a better school is now
To the Editor,
On April 5, Carlisle has one of the most important Town Meetings in many years. Carlisle is one of a handful of towns that were allowed to move forward with the MSBA [Massachusetts School Building Authority] process and be eligible for 40% reimbursement of eligible school building project costs. Hundreds of towns would like to be in Carlisle’s position. That said, it does not make the reality of the current economic environment any easier. But the alternative seems even harder. Voting yes to move forward commits the town to $13M to be bonded and paid out over 25 years. We end up with a beautiful new preK-2 building, much needed renovations and repairs, technology modernization throughout the other buildings and a much more cohesive campus. Or we could spend $10.4M ($6M to renovate Spalding, $4.4M to repair other buildings) with no reimbursement and have the same facilities we have today. A small cost difference for a significantly different and better result.
Moving forward with the new school project makes sense to me. If we do not take this opportunity because we want to wait for more favorable economic times, Carlisle can opt out, get back in line behind 400+ schools that will be in front of us, start the process at Step 1 – meaning all we have spent thus far will likely be lost, and wait years. Forty percent reimbursement on eligible expenses is guaranteed now. That may not be the case when the state gets through a couple of hundred other school projects.
There is no time that is a good time to build schools but there is a right time and the way the state has structured the process that right time for Carlisle is now.
Heidi (Reichenbach) Harring
Support for Gorecki
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my unqualified support for John Gorecki’s candidacy for town Selectman. I would like to publicly thank John for stepping forward thereby giving the citizens of Carlisle a choice at the polls on election day.
The selection of our next Selectman comes at a critical time for Carlisle. With a school building project yet to be voted on and severe budgetary constraints across all departments, the Selectmen face unprecedented challenges.
I have known John for several years. He is a rational, calm decision maker. He is courteous and engaging in all interactions. He thoroughly analyzes a problem, asking appropriate questions and gaining consensus before making a final decision. He is the consummate volunteer willing to give of his energy and talents with no thoughts as to how it will benefit him. He is a patent lawyer working at home available to his family and to his community.
I have been impressed with John’s commitment, his sense of humor, his calm, deliberate thought process and his engaging manner. He would be an incredible asset if elected Selectman and I urge all Carlisle citizens to strongly consider his candidacy.
Gratitude from flood victims
To the Editor:
Some have said that a person’s true character comes not when life is easy, but when times are hard. We can certainly say that about our beloved town of Carlisle. My husband and I moved here three and a half years ago, about six weeks before the birth of our first child. We did not know a soul, but it did not take long for this amazing community of ours to become a part of our family.
This week we have seen what a bear (or fill in your own “b” word) Mother Nature can be. Our house, as well as our patience, has certainly been tested this week as we watched our brand new basement playroom float away. We watched in shock as low tide quickly became high tide. But what shocked us even more was the amazing outpouring of support from friends and neighbors who have housed us and fed us until our house becomes heated and livable again.
We particularly wanted to share our appreciation and thanks to our phenomenal Carlisle Fire Department, who so tirelessly came to our home again, and again, and again. Ok, make that five “again’s,” one of those in the wee hours of the morning. They certainly provided our two children plenty of “entertainment value” as they pumped the waters from their playroom – particularly our son who donned his fire hat, fire jacket and fire boots to welcome them and their fire truck to our home. More importantly, these men provided my husband and me with an upbeat can-do attitude along with incredible response time.
Thanks so much to these incredible volunteers, and to our dear friends, for making these hard times an occasion to reflect on how lucky we are to be “Carlislians.”
Cary and John Keller
Getting to Calm author in Concord
To the Editor:
Are you a parent of a tween or teen? If yes, then we have a talk for you. The Concord Carlisle Parents Initiative invites you to hear Laura Kastner, PhD., nationally renowned speaker and author of Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens on March 31 at 7 p.m. at the Alcott Elementary School auditorium, 93 Laurel St., Concord.
Dr. Kastner will share strategies with parents to help their children learn from their mistakes, develop emotional regulation skills and build their social and emotional competence. Parents will discover ways they can keep themselves “cool-headed,” so they can choose the best ways of handling some of the classic challenges during adolescence. Dr. Kastner will also address these questions: Parents need to have strong authority, but how does one stay out of power struggles?; With as many responsibilities as parents have to raise good and smart kids, how does one prioritize enhancing the parent-child relationship and positive connections?; What are the critical family strengths that help to build emotional, academic and social competence?; When everybody seems stressed out all the time, how do parents choose the right child rearing priorities with all the pressures families experience these days?
Hope to see you there,
Thanks for Fire Department help
To the Editor:
If I really needed another reason to tout Carlisle’s virtues, I was handed a gift last weekend, amid the three day biblical-like rain that poured down, and into my basement. The Carlisle Fire Department with multiple visits kept me from drowning until my guaranteed dry basement folk could show up with the really big pump that should have been installed the first time. One smiling face, after another, reassured me that they were there to help – our volunteer army – engineers, salesman, selectman, trades people, old and young, familiar and unfamiliar. The later and the colder it got, they still took the time to say a kind word, and struggle to get those old work-horse pumps going. I apologized to one young face early in the event about needing to call for help after more then 25 years in town without needing assistance of this type and the young man quipped back, “Well, it’s about time.”
Other than the batch of chocolate chip cookies in my oven, that I’ll deliver on a regular basis, I promise, I can only say sincerely, thank you.
Thanks from the LWV
To the Editor:
The Alliance for Democracy (North Bridge chapter), the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle, ConcordCAN (Concord Climate Action Network) and Carlisle Climate Action were heartened when nearly 120 people turned out for “Democracy in the Balance: Corporate Power in Politics” on an unseasonably balmy Friday evening, March 19. Clearly, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United has hit a chord with many citizens. They wonder, “What are the consequences of granting broad free speech rights to corporations who wish to spend money on influencing elections?” The forum began a discussion in our community that we hope will continue and lead to effective action.
We are grateful to Concord attorney Jeffrey Clements and Voter Action Legal Director John Bonifaz (www.freespeechforpeople.org) for speaking at the forum, and we also thank Mary Zepernick of the Campaign to Legalize Democracy (www.movetoamend.org) for preparing remarks that we shared with the audience. We want to thank our kind hosts at the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Concord, and we look forward to sharing a video recording of the forum soon with the help of our friends at CCTV Channel 8 (www.carlisletv.org).
People who wish to learn more about Democracy in the Balance may contact one of us or email DemocracyForum@lwvcc.com.
Cindy Nock, Vice President, LWVCC
Exception taken to TV program
To the Editor:
Recently CNN television aired a very unkind and irresponsible program promoting a transgender makeover as a normal way to deal with a severe psychological problem. In the program doctors and psychologists claimed that they could surgically turn a confused, disturbed man into a woman – a feat that is biologically impossible, and they portrayed all the steps in this horrific process. The saddest thing to see was a loving family of husband, wife and son destroyed. It was indeed poignant to see the son, a teenager, who had enjoyed many happy hours with his father now having to deal with a father dressed flamboyantly as a woman with high heels, makeup and bouffant hair style.
Here was a normal man, who admitted to not having grown up in a strong, loving family, first misled by a psychologist who encouraged him to follow through on his belief that he was a woman in a man’s body and then mutilated by doctors who surgically performed irreversible, useless procedures on his genitals. Sadly not one of the people with whom this man worked or encountered understood the problem enough to recommend “the talking cure” as one National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) member put it.
An article at www.narth.com; titled “The Desire For A Sex Change” by Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D. gives an excellent overview. Fitzgibbons, a psychiatrist, says that sex-change surgery is a collaboration with a mental disorder, not a treatment.
Sally J. Naumann
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