The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 27, 2010

Opinions

Vigilance thwarts burglaries

With so many Carlisle residents away from home during the next week and over the long Labor Day weekend, it is an especially important time to be vigilant about our homes and neighborhood security. House breaks spike during these periods when an inordinate number of residents are traveling.

Over the years, a number of residents have lost many valuable and irreplaceable items to thieves. In some cases, the thefts might have been prevented if the homeowner had followed some basic precautions or if a suspicious neighbor had been willing to make a call to the police.

Carlisle is fortunate to have a very responsive police force and when residents take the initiative to get them involved, the results can be very gratifying. Among one of the more notable examples, suspicious Cross Street and Sunset Road residents helped officers nab some burglars last year simply by calling the police station and providing helpful information about the thieves and their minivan. Subsequently, recovered evidence linked the criminals to other thefts in the area as well.

According to Carlisle Police Chief John Sullivan, “the police can be at a homeowner’s door within three minutes, on average, of receiving a call.” That’s very impressive but, of course, it only makes a difference if residents call the police when they see some suspicious activity. Indeed, Chief Sullivan suggests that, too often, residents are hesitant to “bother” the police about some irregular activity. Instead, he strongly urges residents to always call the police if they have even the slightest doubt about someone’s behavior.

Some common-sense rules that will improve your chances of avoiding a house break-in when you’re traveling include: locking doors and windows, stopping newspaper and mail delivery, installing and using alarm systems and alerting neighbors that you’ll be away. Also, the Carlisle police have prepared a helpful list (see page 8) that clarifies the types of suspicious activities they would like to hear about as well as what information is helpful to convey to the police when describing a suspicious activity.

In addition, if the police know when someone is going to be away, they are happy to provide a free house-check service whereby they’ll periodically check on your home. (The non-emergency telephone number for the police is 978-369-1155.) In short, there are a number of ways in which Carlisle residents can thwart potential house burglars, particularly when working in tandem with our outstanding police department. To be effective, though, it is incumbent upon us, particularly during this vulnerable period, to be proactive in undertaking preventative measures to safeguard our properties while also alerting the police when we observe any suspicious activity. ∆

Our refrigerator

I recently had a call from a local newspaper who wanted to know what I had in my refrigerator. Who woulda thunk it? I mean, I can barely see into our refrigerator. It is chock-a-block with so many good things to eat that I shall not starve until well past any foreseeable demise. But the reporter who called said, “You gotta tell me; almost every one I have contacted has either refused to confess to or won’t let me see his/her ‘fridge.” How embarrassing can the comestibilia cabinet really be? It is just a reflection of our own personal peccadilloes and per/aversions, but that really can be a problem if revealed in, say, the Globe. This sounded like a lot of fun.

Firstly, I shall freely admit that our fridge has more than its fair share of edible esoterica. We like to cook in this house and our children are also into it. So there are lots of things that are a little out of the ordinary: four grinds of corn meal; chestnut flour? Then there are the four or five mustards depending on the salad dressing or marinade that might come to mind as dinner time approaches. Why does our fridge look the way it does? For one, we are keenly interested in how other folks prepare their foods and what makes their foods particularly palatable. For two, as a farmer, I am constantly taste-testing our produce and looking for recipes for our CSA (Community-supported Agriculture or farm-share program).

Those issues are all about abundance and the availability of good, clean and wholesome foods. But that was not really the purpose of the survey. I know for a fact that the micro-survey did not look at a statistical cross-section of fridges in the Boston area. If it had, the results would have looked a lot different and the results of my fridge would have been way out in left field! What really was revealed was that our refrigerators are truly an extension of our personality profiles and to some extent reveal a lot about our relationships to the people we live with and, perhaps, how we choose to differentiate ourselves by what we eat. What might pass for something utterly inedible in one fridge might be a staple in another. (I have no use for energy drinks, for example; you might dislike pickled herring).

So, here’s the fruit and nuts of the issue, apparently. The copiousness and quality of one’s fridge contents has little to do with income. Lots of people who can afford to eat well fill their refrigerator with what might not pass for ‘food’ in some households and some people who can afford to eat either have nothing ‘good’ in the fridge because they do not care about diet particularly or do not perceive that food might be an art form or recreational opportunity. Clearly some people in the survey thought that going to the fridge was akin to gassing up at the filling station – just taking care of the equipment. I say, “play with your food!” Throw off the contrivances of our culture and have a good time … and a good meal.

 

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