The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 25, 2010

Carlisle gardening community responds in force

To the Editor:

Last week, I called for help from the Carlisle gardening community on short notice. I was taking seedlings to Roxbury, where immigrants, who know plenty about planting in their countries of origin, were starting an informal neighborhood vegetable garden. The rapid response from the Carlisle community was incredible. Each time I got home, there were yet more supplies at the end of my driveway. I was astonished, filled with profound gratitude, and close to tears.

The Garden Club contributed pots and transplanting know-how. Kevin Brown and John Bakewell contributed two huge boxes of potatoes. Maureen Ruettgers contributed lots of healthy, ready-to-plant tomatoes. She also sent 70 heads of the healthiest lettuce, already harvested and bagged.
 The Shohets gave lots of hay. 

When we delivered the material (which came from several sources), you should have seen the people who were prepared to start their gardens. Their faces shone with joy. They were as deeply touched as I had been.

Back here on the home field, Vera is a friend from Albania living in a neighboring town. When Albanians were allowed to leave Albania, many of Vera’s relatives emigrated to Turkey, Greece and Italy. Her husband won a visa to the U.S. through his exceptional talent in music; but there were other reasons why they came to the U.S. “In the U.S., you are never a foreigner and a second-class citizen.” Evidently, this is not true in European countries.

Vera also said, “Generosity is built into the character of Americans.” I asked her, “Is it because we have so much abundance, and we can afford to share?” She was adamant. “No, Americans give of themselves when they don’t need to.” Her relatives in Albania received refugees from Kosovo who had gone through horrific events. “Only America came to the aid of Bosnia and Kosovo. Americans had no other motivation but compassion and generosity.”

God bless the Carlisle community. May He guide us in correctly stewarding our extensive resources.

Madeleine Prendergast

Stearns Street

Students celebrated diversity

To the Editor:

This is in response to the letter from Nancy West last week regarding the student discussion of college expectations. I felt some chagrin that as the reporter for this event I may have given a wrong impression of these admirable and forthright students. The statement that one student looked for people like herself when doing a high school campus visit, in the context of the discussion, did not seem intended as a slam against diversity. Rather it reflected an appreciation that each campus has a personality and that a match with your own is important. Are students rushed and competitive, or laid-back and friendly? Does the way people dress indicate clothing competitiveness or suggest a racy social scene? These are clues as to whether it will be easy to find friends who share your values and general outlook.

Clearly, these students celebrated diversity, as indicated by the friendships they spoke of with people from other countries and social situations. I listened with pride that CCHS should have produced such well-spoken students who seem to have managed their college years with maturity and openness to new experiences.

Cecile Sandwen

Suffolk Lane

Carlisle School Garden Project underway

To the Editor:

Many thanks to those of you who have already contacted the Carlisle School Garden Project Team to volunteer.

With summer here and vacation plans already in motion, the focus of the team for the next two to three weeks is creating the volunteer pool for the local foods/school lunch study group and general needs listed below. There is a range of volunteer opportunities from less to greater levels of involvement and time, in the following areas:

• Fundraising (now and throughout the project)

• Building compost structure (late August/September)

• Building and/or maintaining garden beds (late August/September and on-going maintenance)

• Construction material donations based on specs for garden and bins

• Communications and publicity

• Graphic design

• Photography and videography

• Computer skills for flyer and poster design and information sharing

This is a great opportunity for Carlisle School and CCHS students to become involved while earning community service credits and for town residents to participate in a community project. If you would like to participate in any capacity or if you would like additional information about the project, please contact the project team at We invite all interested community members to join us in making the Carlisle School Garden a reality.

Launa Zimmaro

Lowell Street

Thanks from Alan Ticotsky

To the Editor:

Thank you for your kindness and support for me during my 35 years in the school district. I have been fortunate to spend nearly my whole career in this friendly town, which has maintained an unwavering commitment to educational excellence.

Students and their families have offered me a climate of respect and trust, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to learn and grow during my time on the faculty. I will miss the satisfaction of working with such a dedicated community, but I leave with a lifetime of memories and enough good wishes for whatever comes next.

Alan Ticotsky


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