Letters to the Editor - July 19

Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal

So partisan and out of touch; it’s time for change


Voters across Connecticut recently received the Democrat’s 2012 Capitol Update brochure; mine was customized for state Rep. Roberta Willis filled with oodles of smiling photos. Fully anticipated — not surprising — it’s loaded with shaded truths lauding the state’s Ruling Party’s attempts to turn the economy around. The Brothers Grimm couldn’t have written a better political fairytale.

After controlling the state legislature for 36 out of the past 38 years, the Democrats have perfected their political shell game of beguiling gullible voters into believing things are good — or will be if re-elected — while continually picking the taxpayers’ pockets. Those unrestrained legislators treat taxpayers like the anecdotal boiling frog — tax them slowly in increasingly small increments and eventually you’ll tax them to death before they depart. Rep. Willis and her colleagues can tout job creation until a cow jumps over the moon, but until they stop their out-of-control spending, Connecticut will continue downward. Even Democrats know it!

Democrat state Comptroller Kevin Lembo has now certified Connecticut will end the year with a $192.3 million deficit. To close deficits in 2010 and 2011, the Ruling Party drained the entire $1.4 billion Rainy Day Fund. In May, Democrat state Treasurer Nappier said, “the balance of the state’s common cash pool stood at $121 million, down from $895 million at the same point in 2011.” She further confirmed disbursements from the entire common pool average approximately $540 million per week! In June, “lawmakers backed Gov. Dannel Malloy’s plan to divert more than $200 million originally dedicated to pay off 2009 operating debt to instead close the current deficit.”

Wake up voters! The Ruling Party’s treasurer and comptroller are reporting a factually grimmer picture than smiling candidate Willis portrays. Where there’s smoke there’s fire and it’s billowing out of the Democrat’s Capitol Update.

It’s the Vote Stupid. On taxing, spending, borrowing and budget legislation Republican Sen. Andrew Roraback’s voting record vs. Democrat Rep. Willis shows Roraback consistently voting no while Willis obediently votes the Ruling Party yes. Willis’ voting record exemplifies a total disregard for the taxpayers and a complete lack of fiscal responsibility or common sense, and extreme partisan politics.

In 2011 — in her own words — Rep. Willis revealed herself as true blue partisan politician who obediently obeys her Ruling Party. The Connecticut Mirror, in a political profile (www.ctmirror.org/node/187), reported that Rep. Willis cast herself as a defender of higher education against the newly elected administration of Gov. Malloy, who proposed education legislation with which Rep. Willis disagreed. Yet in March 2011, Rep. Willis, “as a peace offering,” directed her committee to approve the governor’s bill saying, “if it was a Republican governor, I would have given the proposal a hearing, but it wouldn’t have come out of committee.”

Worst of all, the 2012 election campaign will show how Rep. Willis did not protect the welfare of her constituency.

It’s time to retire Rep. Willis. This November elect a Republican candidate who will work for Connecticut and not just a Ruling Party.

Chris Janelli, Chairman
Salisbury Republican Town Committee


Bog turtle receives much-deserved attention in news stories


Three very informative articles in The Lakeville Journal have recently dealt with the endangered bog turtle, both locally and in general — the latest being Tim Abbott’s excellent Nature’s Notebook. In none of these articles, however, do I recall seeing the words biological diversity, or biodiversity.

Understanding the meaning of biodiversity is the key to understanding why it is important to try to protect the bog turtle and other vulnerable species. Extolling how cute a particular creature is, or even whether it holds the answer to a cure for cancer — though that certainly would be invaluable — does not truly speak to the essence of biodiversity. If anything, such a strategy can backfire, and sometimes has. The snail darter, kangaroo-mouse and spotted owl have been found wanting in such attributes by some critics, yet protecting them is no less important.

That’s because every organism is a representative of a particular habitat or ecosystem. The greater the biodiversity of that ecosystem, the healthier it is. When ecosystems lose diversity, and/or certain species become extinct or endangered, chances are that type of ecosystem or habitat is in trouble.

So it is with the bog turtle. This little reptile is indicative of a certain type of wetland, the calcareous fen. Very few of these wetlands remain in existence in our region. While natural changes to the landscape have played some part, direct habitat loss due to development is the primary reason for this.

But why does it matter? Because as biodiversity becomes more and more impoverished, and the variety of organisms and ecosystems becomes less and less, we lose the very building blocks on which life on Earth, including our human lives, depends. Short of life itself, I would also argue that biodiversity is the greatest gift we have been given on earth. We all feel this instinctively. We come to the Northwest Corner for the woods, fields, lakes and hills — for the eagles, bobcats, bears and beavers. Not for the shopping malls.

We live in a time of unprecedented and accelerating worldwide species extinction. A recent report found one in four mammals, one in eight birds and one-third of all amphibians endangered. Human activity is far and away the leading factor.

In foreign affairs it has become popular to talk about “Responsibility to Protect (R2P).” I believe that we have an R2P toward the threatened and endangered organisms and habitats that fall within our area. This does not mean, of course, that we can or should put a stop to all development and change. But we must act with an awareness not only of our own self-interest, but of the larger good. The phrase “Think Globally, Act Locally” has never been truer.

Fred Baumgarten


Shares the credit with others

The Chore Service and I are honored by your generous editorial of July 12. Thank you.

However, we must redirect the kudos. Although I may have come up with the idea of the Chore Service, the success of such an experiment depends entirely on the help of countless others. This generosity comes not only from individuals, businesses, foundations and the Western Connecticut Area Agency on Aging — but also from our remarkable board, staff, clients and their tireless dedicated local workers.

We couldn’t have done the work without them!

Ella Clark


Emergency crisis in Amesville

“Crisis?” you say. I regard it as such. Since the Blue Bridge was closed, emergency services have been called once a month. Yesterday for the second time there was a river accident. Last week a sick baby went to the hospital. A month ago an elderly resident had a car accident, and this morning at around 2:50 a.m. a car hit and destroyed the utility pole outside my house.

We are all fed up with the 7-plus miles to the post office, the library and our local restaurants, but it could be far more serious than anything that has occurred so far. We need a new bridge!

Heather Chapman


Fire in Salisbury brought quick, efficient response

At around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 11, a vintage recreational vehicle was swallowed up in flames. The RV was parked at the bottom of Mt. Riga Road, the extent of the combustion was significant as a 30-foot tower of flames seared the surrounding forest.

The local fire departments responded with efficiency and expertise. The professionalism of the firefighters allowed them to corral the blaze and clear the scene in fairly short order. Among the citizens who were detained during the proceedings were a group of eight aspiring soccer players who were en route to the FC Sarum Soccer Camp at the Indian Mountain School.

The intensity of the blaze and the dedication of the firefighters was certain to have made an impact on the youngsters.

Michael Whittier
Northampton, N.H.