Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 2-16-17

Salisbury volunteers need a new ambulance

It is all well and good to read the factual account of how the Volunteer Ambulance Service was started in 1971. However, there are a few of us still around who remember the personal commitment, dedication and sacrifice involved. 

I do remember that fateful accident which was the final impetus needed to put words into action. 

There had been other accidents and other instances where family members were not able to get any medical assistance in time to make a difference. Reese Harris was definitely the driving force. My husband, John Harney, operated the White Hart Inn and was able to implement the phone service, but he, along with others, made the personal commitment. John always slept with his clothes on the chair to run when the call came. This is what our volunteers are still doing.

They are there when you need them. 

Now they need our help in securing the funds for a new, updated ambulance which will meet Connecticut state regulations. Reese Harris helped write those first regulations and would approve of the new technology the state is requiring to save lives. The goal is to have two ambulances ready to meet your call for help. 

It is imperative for all members of the community to make their contribution to whatever degree possible. The Ambulance Service responds to all calls. They need everyone to respond to their call.

Please make your contribution now to the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service, Inc., P.O. Box 582, Salisbury, CT 06068-0582. 

Elyse Harney



Volunteers helped make Snow Ball a success

As the organizer of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) annual Snow Ball Dance, this year was another huge success and all of us at SWSA would like to thank the Lakeville Hose Company, the town of Salisbury, the many volunteers and dozens of local businesses who donated fabulous prizes to the annual Snow Ball raffle which is always a favorite part of the evening. We would also like to thank our generous friends at the Lagunitas Beer Company for their extensive support again this year. Without this support our event would not be possible.

 For those who may not know, as a 501(c)3 nonprofit group we are all volunteers and our mission is to acquaint the children in our nearby communities with Nordic ski-jumping, cross country and Alpine skiing and to teach the skills necessary for their enjoyment and lifelong pursuit. Our donations to local elementary and middle schools to help fund school ski programs play a large part in making our mission happen. We also have our own SWSA Ski Jumping Team that competes throughout the region. For more information go to www.jumpfest.org.

 Thanks again to all, and we will see you at our next SWSA event!

 John B. Sullivan

Salisbury Winter 

Sports Association



SVAS needs new ambulance

I am a real believer in the need for a new well-equip​ped ambulance in Salisbury, as (unfortunately) I have needed help three times in the last year. And help I got, and fast. If our volunteers feel that a new vehicle would help them better serve their needs, then I am 100 percent for getting one quickly.

The Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service does a wonderful community service and everyone should sleep more soundly knowing they are minutes away.  

David Sims



Thanks for a great Jumpfest

Everyone involved with Salisbury Winter Sports would like to thank all those who participated, volunteered and supported another great event this last weekend. We appreciate everyone’s efforts from Lakeville Hose Company to Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance and beyond who made another wonderful weekend possible.

Thanks to all!

Ken Barker


Salisbury Winter Sports Association



Warren was wrongly censured

During the recent Senate confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren started to read a highly relevant letter written by Coretta Scott King in 1986, the GOP-dominated Senate, led by Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, invoked the rarely used Rule XIX against use of insulting language about a fellow senator, and voted to stop Senator Warren from speaking.

Curiously, senators Bernie Sanders and Tom Udall were then permitted to read Ms. King’s exact same letter without objection. Is a woman to be censured when men are not? Did Mitch McConnell and others finally wake up to the fact that they had misapplied the rule? Yet they maintained their censure of Elizabeth Warren.

Neither Elizabeth Warren nor Ms. King used the kind of nasty, disparaging language like “crooked,” “deceitful,” “dishonest,” “liar,” or “criminal,” that President Trump and his supporters commonly use to impugn others. You wouldn’t allow this kind of language in the home or schoolroom; why is it acceptable in public political discourse today?

Coretta Scott King’s letter was spot-on the key qualification issue confronting the confirmation hearing:  Had Jeff Sessions in fact used the power of his office as U.S. Attorney in Alabama to suppress the voting rights of African-Americans? The fact is, he had. This combines two hot issues: racism and suppression of the right to vote. Does the leopard change its spots? Will Attorney General Sessions act differently from his past, and act more as implied in his current speech? We have to put him on notice.

When truth is censored, when falsehoods are presented as “alternative facts,” when an ignorant gullible mass fall for nationalistic rhetoric, when voices of reason and science are censured, what happens? History tells us: Democracy is crushed, oligarchy replaces it, Il Duce is crowned, and yes, you have it: fascism. Just ask the citizens of Italy. 

Tony Piel



Need more than just saying thanks

Sometimes saying thank you is not enough. It is a good start but more is needed. This past summer my son Ben had an accident involving a fall, leaving him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. Due to the quick response from the ambulance crew, and the expertise they arrived with, he is walking today and on the road to recovery.

Being on the receiving end of an ambulance call, hearing the siren in the distance and praying it gets there soon, gave me a new appreciation for the volunteer organizations in our community. The ambulance and fire company worked together in a coordinated effort to ensure the safest and most expedited transport of Ben from the accident scene to the waiting helicopter, and a flight taking approximately 18 minutes to get from Salisbury to Hartford Hospital. The initial triage and speed of care Ben received is one of the reasons he is walking today.

The people of our community who showed up, most being pulled from work without hesitation, and the concern I witnessed during the actual event and to this day, is truly amazing. We, as a community, cannot take these people and organizations for granted.

The ambulance squad is starting a public fundraiser for a new ambulance. The current ambulance is tired and needs updating. Please contribute what you can. It is too easy to assume someone else will support the cause. But if we all contribute what we can, everyone will be ensured of the same quality service we received in our time of need.

Thank you to the ambulance and fire department for your service. 

Chris Lancto



Those who are in search of a ‘bad hombre’

When I hear this withering phrase, I imagine an old John Wayne movie rife with stereotypes (apologies to JW fans).  More reasonably, this phrase might conjure up a murderer or the ruthless drug lord Joaquin (“El Chapo”) Guzman, recently extradited from Mexico to the United States

But it turns out that what actually constitutes a “bad hombre”, is someone like Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) arrested Guadalupe in Phoenix on Wednesday, Feb. 8, and deported her to Mexico the next day, Thursday, Feb. 9. She was abruptly separated from her family: her husband and two teens, a son named Angel and a daughter, Jacqueline.

Twenty-one years ago, in 1996, Ms. Rayos crossed the border with her parents. She was 14 at the time. In 2008, she was arrested for having a false ID at a water park where she was working. Following her arrest she spent three months in the county jail and another three months in a deportation center. 

After her release, she was required to report to the immigration center on a regular basis. She did this dutifully over all those years, and then was arrested a week ago. Her son Angel remembers the first arrest of his mother in 2008. 

“‘I was in the second grade. I never forgot that night, and I’ve lived in fear of losing my mother every night since.’ On Thursday, Jacqueline was packing her mother’s suitcase ... her toothpaste, her brush, her favorite pants and shirts. ‘Nobody should have to pack her mother’s bag’, she said, her lips quivering, tears filling her eyes, ‘It isn’t fair.’” (Ascription to Nicholas Kristoff and The New York Times.)

No, it isn’t. 

So it seems that Guadelupe is what a “bad hombre” looks like. Her deportation, along with hundreds of others in the last week, has sent shock waves of fear throughout immigrant communities all around the country.  

John Carter



Reason to hope?

Do I feel a little hope

Are people seeing through the dope

Resistance is catching on

Even in the Senate, yon

Not a day goes by, that he tweets

Or says, another falsehood, so to the streets

But he hears not, for his inner voice

Tells him he should rejoice

Not see the truth that’s all around

He believes he should be crowned

Give thanks that every day

More people are saying nay

As the populace acknowledge his vanity

And see it as real insanity.

Michael C. Kahler