The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 17, 2010

• Carlisle firefighter George Middleton of East Street was featured on NPR’s Here and Now, on September 10, during a segment about people whose birthdays are on 9/11. Strangely enough, he shares that birth date with another Carlisle firefighter. You can hear George’s thoughtful comments at ∆

• Last month, Merritt Maxim and his family of Heald Road were visiting the Alexander Graham Bell Historic Site in Baddeck, Nova Scotia and ran into fellow Carlisle resident Doug Stevenson and his family of Cross Street, walking on the sidewalk. Greetings were quickly exchanged and each family went on their respective ways to enjoy summer vacations, but it proves that you never know when or where you might run into a fellow Carlisle resident. The Maxims are next door neighbors of Doug’s parents Bruce and Sonia Stevenson. ∆

Catherine Brennan receives a certificate of appreciation from William Galvin at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. (Courtesy photo)

Catherine Brennan of Bedford Road was recognized, along with other high school students, for her outstanding service as a volunteer State House Tour Guide this summer. Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin recently hosted the Summer Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon and Doric Docent Book Award presentation at the Massachusetts State House. Each year over 95,000 people visit the State House. ∆

How I became a Mosquito reporter

reprinted from September 24, 2004

I read with interest the article about empty nest syndrome in last week’s Mosquito. I think I caught a mini-version of this dread disease when my older child entered middle school, and it resulted in my becoming a staff reporter for the Carlisle Mosquito.

During my kids’ elementary years my focus had been on school-centered activities – room parenting, library and playground volunteers, CEF Pig ‘n Pepper fundraisers and CSA functions. School volunteer work offered what I needed at the time – flexibility, friendship with other parents and the satisfaction of supporting an institution of great worth to my family. But as my older child entered sixth grade and my younger fourth, I needed a change. There was less need to be so involved in my kids’ lives; in truth, they no longer really appreciated my maternal presence at school. And it was time to step aside and let some of the new parents have a chance to experience the benefits and occasional frustrations of school volunteering.

I considered returning to work, and for four months took on a project in my field of high-tech marketing. The experience gave me a new appreciation for working mothers and a new awareness that I just wasn’t ready to make the compromises necessary to make even a part-time job in my field work. My need was less for a high-paying job than one that provided flexibility, camaraderie and a chance to make a contribution.

I had always admired the Mosquito. Until I moved to Carlisle in 1992, I had never experienced a real town paper, one providing the local information that connects neighbor to neighbor. During my time on school volunteer committees I had written a few articles for the paper, and when I learned reporters were needed, I checked it out.

Now three years later, I have written many features and reported on the Selectmen and Finance Committees. The Mosquito provides the flexibility I need. Most weeks I work less than eight hours, but can take on more or less as other obligations allow.

Through my reporting I have gone from a know-nothing on town issues to someone who is sought out on the soccer field for my informed opinion. I’ve had a birds-eye view as the Benfield purchase was negotiated and have gotten to know the people who decide town priorities and direction. It’s satisfying to have people I meet notice and comment on my articles (usually favorably, but not always).

Not so long ago, I knew hardly anyone who wasn’t a parent with similar aged kids. Through the Mosquito I’ve gotten to know some of the most interesting, creative, nicest members of the community, of all ages. I’ve especially enjoyed working with the talented Mosquito staff who coddled me through my first assignments and who throw a wonderful, well-attended holiday party every December.

So if you’ve ever considered a job at the Mosquito, I urge you to try it out. Worried about your writing skills? Here’s the opportunity to develop them, and the very experienced Mosquito editors can help. Worried about getting over-committed? Most ongoing reporting jobs are teamed if enough reporters are available, so responsibility is shared. Wondering if reporting is right for you? Give me a call at1-978-287-4369 or email I’d be happy to talk with you. We always need talented people. ∆

[Sandwen is now truly an empty-nester with both children in college and she still enjoys writing for the Mosquito.]

Mosquito writers needed

Like to write? The Mosquito always needs more reporters, but now there is a special need for those interested in covering town government. If you think you might be interested, call news editor Betsy Fell at 1-978-369-8313.

Where in Carlisle?

The wide spread of its huge branches indicates that this large White Pine started its life in an open field many years (perhaps hundreds of years) ago. Now the field is being reclaimed by forest and small trees are growing up around it. It is visible from a trail that is in the Carlisle Trails Committee’s new Trail Guide. There are several other similar large old pines right around it. If you know where this tree is located, send your answer to

(Photo by Marjorie Johnson)

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito