Jack Valentine’s legacy

To the Editor:

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Jack Valentine, long-time Carlisle resident and the last of the founding members of the Carlisle Conservation Foundation. Without their foresight and commitment to preserving the rural feel of Carlisle, our town would look and be very different. One need only drive down Acton Street to see the open fields that were preserved in perpetuity by Jack and Betty Valentine, drive on 225 West past the South Sorli fields or travel down West Street off the Benfield and Spencer Brook properties to see all that has been preserved by CCF working in conjunction with Carlisle families interested in retaining the rural character of our town. And these are but a few of the land tracts in town that have conservation restrictions placed upon them to protect them from development. 

As we honor and celebrate the life of Jack Valentine and the CCF continues its work of preserving and safeguarding conservation land in Carlisle, we take this time to also express our deep gratitude to Jack and his fellow founding members for their vision, their foresight, and their love of open space in Carlisle.

Dale Ryder, president, Carlisle Conservation Foundation 

Town Meeting Forum

To the Editor: 

On September 27, at 7 p.m. the League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle is holding a Forum on the future of our Town Meetings, at the Trinity-Episcopal Church located at 81 Elm Street in Concord. 

This is a unique opportunity to speak with our Town Moderator Wayne Davis and Concord’s Town Moderator Carmin Reiss and two moderators who preceded her: Eric Van Loon and Ned Perry. Among them, they represent substantial insight into our towns’ histories.

If you are confused or concerned with the Town Meeting process or interested in how technology may be changing our Town Meeting in the future please come to this forum. Democracy depends on citizen participation or as the League likes to say “Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Come for an interesting and informative evening.

Cindy Nock, LWVCC Carlisle Board Member

Launa Zimmaro, LWVCC Carlisle Member

Come to CRTA meeting

To the Editor: 

I was inspired by last week’s editorial, “Filling Mason Jars” by Ann Quenin. In the midst of our predictable flurry of family activity as summer wanes and another school year begins, it was helpful to reflect on her question, “when the doldrums of winter hit; when there is more darkness than daylight; when our country feels more fractured than ever, those are the mental Mason jars I will open. What’s in yours?” 

One source of inspiration—and aspiration—I draw from these days is a local group that has gathered periodically since last November to consider how we each might contribute to address our great country’s “fractures.” Current discussions include: in the wake of Charlottesville and increasing intolerance locally, what can we do to promote acceptance and inclusion? How can we support young American “Dreamers” and defend DACA? What can be done to ensure access to affordable healthcare for all Americans? What political efforts or elections might some choose to actively support? 

Carlisle Rising to Action (CRTA) will meet next on Monday, September 25, at 7 p.m. for socializing and, beginning at 7:45 we will share updates, suggested actions and ways to get involved. All are welcome—join us next week at the home of Michael Ansara and Barney Arnold (225 Lowell Street). I hope you can come. Together, we can consider how to support one another in building stronger community and citizenship.

Kathy MacDonald

Nowell Farme Road 

FRS should be antenna location

To the Editor: 

On Monday, September 25, at 7:45 p.m. in Town Hall, Carlisle’s Planning Board will continue its hearing on an antenna in the steeple at the First Religious Society. The First Religious Society (FRS) has a permit for two cell providers and currently hosts T-Mobile. The church has been in negotiations with Verizon. Plans are in place. The site is ready. Experts hired by the town and by Verizon have said that the antennas pose no health risks. Verizon has shown that the FRS antenna would provide better coverage north, south and west of the steeple than an antenna at Banta-Davis. Nonetheless, the board has asked Verizon to switch its site to Banta-Davis, where the town plans to erect a communications tower.  When Carlisle was founded in 1651, the town was the church and the church was the town. Today, FRS remains an integral part of this modern town. Our growing Unitarian Universalist congregation of two hundred members has a full-time minister, an active Religious Education program for more than 70 children and a vibrant musical community. We host weddings and funerals and blessings at birth. We open Union Hall for the lighting of the town Christmas Tree. We take pride in our connection to the town’s history and its very identity. 

The care of old buildings is complicated and expensive. Carlisle’s iconic white church in the town center was built in 1811, long before Thoreau derided the backward citizens of our “city of the woods,” presumably because he couldn’t get a cell signal. FRS stands today, thanks to the ingenuity of Yankee carpenters and the continued efforts of our Building and Grounds Committee.  The funding to keep the building in good repair stands as a monument to the good works of Carlisle’s 2017 Honored Citizen, Alan Cameron (alongside many others). Alan worked to obtain permits to place antennas at FRS. Having served decades on Carlisle’s governing committees, he understood the need to support efforts to preserve our historical character and our thriving, modern community.

A strong cell signal benefits the entire town, as does supporting FRS in the upkeep of our venerable old building.

Rick MacDonald

Nowell Farme Road

Walking for Jimmy Fund

To the Editor:

This Sunday, September 24, I am joining over 100 other Massachusetts Police Chiefs on the Boston Marathon course. We are walking to raise awareness, and more importantly money, for the Jimmy Fund. The Jimmy Fund provides direct support for the important work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This disease has touched my family, and I’m certain many other Carlisle families. Information about the walk is available on the Jimmy Fund home page. If you plan to walk, I will see you out there! If you would like to donate, please search for me or another person that you know that is walking using the “find a walker” search window.

Chief John Fisher

Carlisle Police Department