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The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Police investigations should be open to public

Every year when Sunshine Week rolls around, it seems there is some open government issue under discussion that is of great importance to the public. In Connecticut this year, the freedom of information issue under statewide discussion is a bill pending in the Legislature that if passed would reduce the information available to the public from police investigations. 

Thank you, Rep. Hayes

Of all the issues our new U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-5) could have chosen as the topic of her first floor speech, background checks on gun buyers is perhaps the most welcome. After all, 97 percent of Americans agree that universal background checks when purchasing a firearm are appropriate and should happen, and it is an issue that holds particular and strong meaning for her constituents. Gun violence in the urban areas of the 5th District is of great concern as well as the memory of the mass school shooting in Newtown in 2012. 

Happy 25th, 21st Century Fund

One bit of inspiration, absorbed by the right person, can change the course of many other people’s lives. This is the root of the story of the 21st Century Club for Housatonic Valley Regional High School. The right person was the late John L. (“Jack”) Mahoney, who was the high school’s principal back in the 1990s when he took a sabbatical to visit highly successful schools across the United States to see what they were doing differently. 

Keep funding for more than classroom studies

During any school budget season, but especially this one with talk of consolidations and economic efficiencies taking the fore more than ever, it’s important to step back and take a hard look at the students who are being educated in our school systems and observe objectively what is positively affecting their experiences there. The need to save money is understood by every taxpayer, but educating our young people  in all facets of their lives should also be valued, and budgets should be crafted accordingly.

Don’t expect this to happen much; or could it?

The argument can be made (and has here in the past) that truly civil discourse is next to impossible on social media. It can be seen as both too personal on some levels, and too impersonal on others. What is the recourse if a person makes an inaccurate statement, starting a stream of comments based on an incorrect premise? Often none, and attacks can become both too ad hominem and too rooted in a disconnection from a shared humanity.

Find a way to agree on rebuilding the sidewalks

It can be hard to make a change, even if it’s for the better. The uncertainty of the outcome of any new initiative is part of the hesitation. Will it work out as well as expected?

The importance of the news, past and present

Really, what is news? With entertainment, advertising and self promotion so much a part of the mix now on all platforms, it’s sometimes hard to tell. But whether it’s local, statewide, national or international, it should be information that is relevant and useful to our lives, shouldn’t it? Otherwise, we would be hard-pressed to see it as important. We should be able to judge that for ourselves, and know why it’s better for us to know certain things than to be ignorant of them. 

Thanks for writing

This is a time when communication is fast and sometimes careless, with partisan and often rude rants on social media becoming the norm rather than the exception. In such a climate, it can seem positively archaic to continue to use platforms that are based on civil, thoughtful discourse, with a forced period of time in between approach and response. When, for instance, is the last time you wrote a letter? Even emails are less common now than texts or other quick forms of conversation online, some of which can lead to miscommunication rather than mutual understanding.