Friday, December 3, 2010
Please don’t share the trails
To the Editor:
I am writing to support the letter from Dusty Johnstone regarding the change in policy regarding trails in Great Brook State Park. I support Mr. Johnstone’s statements.
I am both a walker and a skier. I have been leading a walking group in Carlisle for several seasons. While the past arrangement with the ski center did indeed prevent walkers from using certain trails for several winter months, I can state from personal experience that there is still no shortage of walking trails in Carlisle. Carlisle’s trails are open to all. Thanks to our Trails Committee there are guide books, maps and on-line information.
Skiers’ tracks make an excellent place to walk but unfortunately walkers’ tracks ruin it for the skiers. It isn’t that one activity is less important than the other, it’s just that they are incompatible. The planned sharing of the groomed skiing trails with walkers may not make it unattractive to all skiers, but perhaps just enough unattractive so that the ski center is no longer commercially feasible. Then we will all have lost a unique and special part of Great Brook State Park.
Time to let Highland go
To the Editor:
I actually love the Highland Building but have to agree it is time to let it go. The Highland Building simply needs too much effort to put it in use (and what exactly are we going to use it for again?). Perhaps the community could muster the collective “sorry to see you go” to the Highland Building and create a safer playground for our children instead.
This year I’ve had the opportunity to do some “recess duty” at the school. Essentially the highly athletic boys play unstructured contact sports on the pavement and the girls roam around in packs, interwoven and independent. The older students “earn” the right to also play in the parking lot. Looks a lot like an inner-city “nothing to do” plaza. With the Spalding Building being removed and I’d imagine the Castle will eventually deteriorate, doesn’t it make sense to join those spaces into a clean, comfortable and safe playground for our kids and return the half to two million dollars we’d have to allocate for the Highland to us tax payers?
To the Editor:
The 11/26/10 article “State gathers feedback to enhance Great Brook Farm (GBF) experience” noted showcase technology, inflatable walls, climate control and current trends in reference to the new barn as if these were necessarily good things (also denoting how bad the current operations are). Truer words were missing: factory farm, intensive animal agriculture, greenhouse gases, ground water, genetically modified grain, antibiotics and environment degradation. Green, traditional and sustainable were left out. How silly we are when it is preferable for children to see their first cow up and close in a subsidized factory building than in an open field.
My concern is the well being of the cows. The article touts the new barn will allow the cows to wander freely inside. Subtracting out the stalls, calving pen, and robotic milking area leaves less than ¼ acre for the 160 cows to roam freely, not much considering that a building lot in Carlisle is two acres. Odder still since Great Brook Farm is 1,000 acres. When the gentle creature is not wandering “freely” for essentially her whole life in her prison cell, she gets to bed her 1,400 pound frame in an area the size of a twin mattress. Is it any wonder that statistically 40% of them will end up lame? Contrary to this showcase technology, cows are ruminants – animals who need to walk freely over acres of hills and valleys munching on natural grass to keep healthy.
When the new GBF barn opens, the educational materials must be honest: not only how much milk is produced, but also antibiotic use, waste generated, ground water, greenhouse gases, genetically modified grain, pollution and subsidies. With respect to the animals’ rights, the literature must explain the hard life of the dairy cow: artificial insemination, confinement, mastitis, lameness, the trauma of separation of calf from mother, the veal calf and the terrifying journey to the slaughterhouse killing floor.
Thanks from Miller documentary producers
To the Editor:
Thank you to Ellen’s and our friends and family who attended the live premiere of “Sharing Stories: An Oral History about Ellen Miller” documentary this past weekend. We appreciated your kind support and interest in the life of this accomplished women. For those of you unable to attend, you can view the CCTV program on Channel 8 at various times this month (consult www.carlisletv.org program listings) or borrow a DVD copy of the show for viewing at the Gleason Library.
In recognition of Ellen’s contribution as a public television pioneer (at stations in Boston, Ann Arbor and Providence) and in the field of media education (30 years at the Harvard Law School), CCTV has set up a scholarship fund in Ellen’s name – to subsidize deserving media-trained students in their work on non-profit projects and further studies in higher education. To send a completely tax-deductible contribution to the fund, please send a check made out to the “Ellen Miller Scholarship Fund” to CCTV, 500 Walden Street, Concord, MA 01742.
You can view completed media recordings from the Carlisle Oral History Project (currently being produced under the auspices of a CCI/CCTV collaboration) at the Gleason Public Library. If you would like to become involved with the project in any way or nominate a candidate for an oral history show, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-978-369-9598.
We look forward to recording more interesting stories about Carlisle’s exceptional residents for many years to come.
Anne Marie Brako and Alex Sayde
A big tail-wagging thank you
To the Editor:
If I had written this thank you on Sunday after the Carlisle Farmers Market I would have thanked all the generous folks in Carlisle for their support for the Lowell Humane Society. The donations of crates, food, leashes, pet supplies,toys and cash were amazing. I was thrilled to talk with a young girl who adopted her kitten from the shelter. That made my day. Thank you all so much.
With my car loaded and feeling proud, I visited the shelter Monday morning. I was overwhelmed by what greeted me. The staff and volunteers were knee deep in hay, cleaning the cages of the ten bunnies and eight ferrets. The animals were then given carrots and greens donated by Foxbarn Farm. On to the kitten and cat rooms. Can you imagine cleaning the litter boxes for 80 kittens and cats, playing with them and enjoying their antics? Ten dogs also needed to be walked.
The staff and volunteers are such wonderful and caring folks. The whole experience was overwhelming and they were thrilled with what Carlisle had donated.
The Humane Society numbers increase over the holidays since many people abandon their pets due to financial reasons or because they are going away and cannot board them. The pets end up fending for themselves. Many realtors find pets left behind when folks move . The Lowell Humane Society also accepts sick and injured animals that they restore to health so that they may also find their forever home.
Here is my challenge. Consider adopting a new best friend. A furry friend is a friend for life, an experience you will never forget.
When I returned home, I was joyfully greeted by Dixie, Teddy, Moonbeam and Squeekie. Does life get any better than that welcome? All my pets are from shelters, sleep in pet beds and have cat towers from the Transfer Station.
Thanks, Carlisle, for making the difference in a pet’s life.
Something to be thankful for
To the Editor:
Last week my wife and I discovered a Carlisle tradition in the making. It was the Thanksgiving Community Dinner held at Union Hall on Thanksgiving Day. This dinner is the product of Carlisle resident Mary Zoll’s imagination and was new to us. Having spent years fighting our way across the country to visit far flung relatives, we felt it was time to stay closer to home this year. So we decided to give the Thanksgiving Community Dinner a try.
Mary brought the turkey, stuffing and gravy while others brought vegetables, side dishes and deserts. For a meal traditionally focused on consumption of turkey, it was interesting that about 40% of attendees were vegetarians – which allowed Mary to “pardon” one lucky area turkey.
The meal was great. There were singles, couples and entire families in attendance. We hope this young tradition will grow in participation and endure for many years. Thanks to the First Religious Society for making Union Hall available.
If you missed the dinner, you won’t have to wait until next November for another. There will be a similar Holiday Community Dinner held at Union Hall on December 25. You are invited to attend, to bring a pot luck item, to meet old friends and to make new ones.
Please register by calling the FRS office at 1-978-369-5180. Let them know if you are a carnivore or a vegetarian. If you’d like to help out with room set up, kitchen help or clean up, mention that too, and Mary will be in touch with you. The Carlisle Community Holiday Dinner – it’s a good thing.
Make Family Trees a family tradition
To the Editor:
If you have never taken your children to “Breakfast with Santa” at the Concord Museum, I hope you will consider doing so this year. Held every year in December as part of the museum’s Family Tree exhibit, the morning begins with a holiday picture on Santa’s lap followed by a walk through the museum where your family can enjoy the magically decorated trees crafted by museum volunteers+, each one with a children’s book theme. (For a complete list of the books showcased, please visit the Concord Museum website).
Leave enough time for your children to create adorable tree ornaments and other arts and crafts and to take part in the ever popular cookie decorating and face painting activities. There will also be lots of yummy breakfast treats on hand.
Don’t miss out on this very special holiday event which takes place on Saturday, December 11, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are available in advance by calling the Concord Museum or at the door.
I look forward to seeing you there!
© 2010 The