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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

Dump Trump

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The songs of spring birds

Nature's Notebook

The birds are coming back. We see and hear new birds every day as those long-distance migrants return from their journey. How amazing it is that birds weighing no more than a 25-cent piece can find their way back from their wintering grounds in Central and South America. So accurate is their timing and navigation that they can return to the same acre to breed.
Audubon Sharon has been helping monitor populations of migratory songbirds at bird banding stations throughout Litchfield and eastern Dutchess counties for almost 15 years.

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Hospitals should be good for your health, shouldn’t they?

Body Politic

The last time our nation assessed the risks of hospitals was in 1999. The Institute of Medicine found that between 44,000 and 98,000 patients died each year from medical mistakes. Around a million others suffered injuries. Nonetheless, if you were sick, where else were you going to go?

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A warning shot across our bow

The Independent Investor

Last Monday’s surprise announcement that the outlook for U.S. debt has been downgraded reverberated around the world. Global markets shuddered. Investors rubbed their eyes as they reread the announcement and then hit the “sell” button. Markets declined by 1 to 2 percent.
Yet, by the end of the week, stocks and bonds recovered. Was this some kind of false alarm?

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The case for and against nullification

Insight

At a political event in Connecticut, participants were confronted by a demonstrator bearing a sign admonishing us all to “Read the Constitution!” One could hardly disagree. So I asked her whether she, herself, had actually read the document. She replied, “No, I haven’t, but people should.” Right on.
Another demonstrator carried a sign calling for “Tort Reform Now!” No doubt we could use some reform, but what, I asked, is a “tort”? He didn’t know, but like he said, “Whatever it is, it needs reform.” Right again.
Didn’t we conclude a long war over this very issue 150 years ago?

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Presidential run or circus act

If You Ask Me

If you believe Donald Trump is the most embarrassing candidate for president the Republican Party has ever had, you haven’t met Roy Moore, who recently joined Trump, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and others in the cast of hopefuls being assembled for the Iowa caucuses.
And who is Roy Moore, you might reasonably ask. For starters, he is even less presidential than Trump, and that is no small achievement.

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Turning Back The Pages April 28

75 years ago — April 1936
SALISBURY — John Erickson is doing some interior decorating at the Philip Warner house.
LAKEVILLE — William Smith had the misfortune to dislocate his left shoulder when he stepped backward and fell through an open trap door leading to the cellar of the wine store at the A&P store last Saturday. The injury was treated at Sharon Hospital, after which he was able to return to his home.
TACONIC — Norman Miller is driving a new coupe.

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Budgets of their times

This budget year has been for Connecticut, across the board, extremely difficult, with a plethora of thorny problems and no easy solutions. The state deficit of $3.5 billion for the 2012 fiscal year starting July 1 has been partially mitigated by the budget now ready to go on for approval by the tax and budget committees, and the House and Senate, in Hartford.

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The basics of pruning

The Garden Coach

Even experienced gardeners are stymied sometimes, especially when it comes to pruning. They often put off pruning for fear of making a mistake, but then wind up with an overgrown mess.
As a garden coach I find that a new set of eyes, a few simple suggestions of how to approach a problem and a good deal of pointing and talking with my hands usually gives a gardener the confidence and knowledge to proceed.

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First fruits

Nature's Notebook

There is a hemlock tree on Factory Brook in Cornwall with bark that looks as if it’s been gone over with a giant rasp. The outer bark has been chipped away like kernels on an enormous cob of corn, with the bits lying in a great heap by the tree roots. The tree will survive, and so will the very satisfied porcupine that feasted on its soft inner layers.

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