Friday, November 19, 2010
Pity – don’t chastise
To the Editor:
I was appalled to recently read a critical letter from a resident of the Town Center that singled out an individual for allegedly manipulating the timing of Halloween. My first reaction was to write a very different letter but then the old adage of “Pity, Don’t Chastise” prevailed.
The letter kept referring to “him” and “her” but it was obviously directed at Larry Bearfield and Robin Emerson and Ferns Country Store. What a shame. The pity here is the negative impact that such a letter has on these folks who try so hard to provide a fun and safe environment for the benefit of the town’s children (and some of the adults, too). Most don’t know that they are the ones who quietly coordinate the evening with the Police and DPW. The safety of the children is the single, biggest reason for establishing a trick-or-treat schedule for the center. I can only imagine the impact such a letter has on their desire to go and put themselves out in another few weeks to provide another fun and festive holiday venue – Christmas on the Common.
Bah Humbug. Personally, such a letter would have left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth for trying so hard to please and being so off-handedly criticized in public. For the past six years, I have gladly donated candy to the collection box that they provide space for at the store. The candy is then distributed among the Town Center residents by volunteers to help offset the burden of hundreds of trick or treaters. I will continue to donate and I hope Larry and Robin continue to promote fun and a sense of community spirit to Halloween.
To the extent that my heartfelt thank you to Larry and Robin can offset some of the negative feelings of that letter, I offer my thanks to both of them for making the town center a fun, festive, fair and, above all else, a safe place for our children.
Thanks for flu clinic
To the Editor:
Last Friday almost 100 Carlisle seniors and public health employees participated in the flu clinic sponsored for them by the Board of Health (BOH). Vaccines were provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The BOH has organized a second flu clinic, free for all Carlisle adults, on Monday, November 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Carlisle School cafeteria. In addition to dispensing flu vaccine, these events allow the town to test its emergency preparedness capabilities.
We offer special thanks to all the volunteers and clinicians. This successful clinic could not have taken place without the assistance of the Council on Aging, many individual volunteers and Emerson Home Care. Thank you for your support!
Member, Board of Health
Praise for curb-cut fees
To the Editor:
Kudos to Building Commissioner John Luther for initiating curb-cut fees. There has been a disregard by homeowners and contractors to protect our roads during construction. I think in some cases a flat fee of $5K isn’t enough!
[See related article on page 8 of last week’s Mosquito.]
Lock those medicine cabinets
To the Editor:
Kudos for front-page coverage “Alcohol, drugs remain a concern at CCHS.” When nurse Chris DeBruzzi says “we should lock all cabinets that can hurt [our children],” don’t forget medicine cabinets. Kids can mistakenly think that if drugs were prescribed by a doctor, they’re safe. Not! Half the overdoses in Massachusetts Emergency Rooms are for prescription drugs, and half for street drugs. Since my 20-year old daughter died of a heroin overdose at her treatment facility last year, I’ve heard from many parents of heroin addicts that prescription painkillers came first – often from a friend who had been prescribed (e.g. after wisdom teeth surgery) and was giving them to friends. Prescription painkillers are very addictive, and very expensive -- that’s when people sometimes switch to the cheaper -- and often more easily available -- heroin. Pills can be crushed and snorted, as well as ingested.
If anyone in your family is being prescribed, make sure to ask the doctor what, why, quantities and possible alternatives. Tell them if anyone in your family is having substance issues. Make sure all pills are accounted for. These drugs have their place when correctly prescribed for those who truly need them, but misuse can be catastrophic, and sometimes fatal. The Chelmsford police report housebreaks for prescription painkillers. A one pill per day Oxycontin addiction ($70) multiplies to $490/week, or almost $26,000/year.
DeBruzzi’s claim that if she had additional staff “we could do a ton more intervention programs” is supported by economic research. In 2004 a U.N. office cited that every $1 invested in treatment and prevention saves $7 - $10 of drug-related crime and health costs. In 2005, spending on substance abuse and addiction related programs was a staggering 21.8% of the total state budget, almost a quarter of that in the justice system alone (Massachusetts Oxycontin and Heroin Commission report, November 2009). I’d prefer to see my tax dollars invested in prevention, than having up to ten times more spent on consequences.
© 2010 The