Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 5-4-17


To all in Region One

Dear parents, students, and community members in Region One:

On March 22, at a meeting with parents regarding the 2017-18 Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) schedule, Assistant Superintendent Pamela Vogel proposed a process that would include teachers, parents and students to develop a new schedule for the high school.

Since March 30, a group of 10 parents representing a cross section of Region One has met four times to extensively discuss the future of our high school. Topics included mastery-based learning, proposed grading practices, findings from earlier parent meetings, NEASC expectations, student data and scheduling options. From the outset of these meetings, we agreed that the high school should continue to strive to be a school of excellence ensuring success for all students. It is our understanding that the High School Leadership Team will be engaged in a similar process.

We are writing to inform the public that our parent meetings have been productive and informative. We are now looking forward to collaborating with the teachers to share our ideas. We believe that the result of this partnership will produce a schedule that best supports the HVRHS students.

Richie Crane

North Canaan 

Melanie Cullerton

North Canaan 

Tracy Dowd


Dennis Fallon


Mike Flint


Cricket Jacquier

North Canaan

Rachel Matsudaira


Heather Ongley


Denise Sorrell

North Canaan 

Deanna Swanson




Thanks for support for new Salisbury ambulance

On behalf of the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Squad and Board of Trustees, we are extremely pleased to announce that our Campaign For The New Ambulance has been a tremendous success. The price of the new vehicle, and our goal for the Campaign, was $250,000. To date we have raised $384,000 in cash and pledges! 

The money we received over and above the cost of the new ambulance will be safely tucked away in a restricted and responsibly managed investment fund, to be used to replace within three to five years our second ambulance. 

We cannot thank the community (individuals, schools, companies, foundations and banks) enough for the outpouring of support you have given us. 

We will continue our 45-year tradition of providing volunteer 24/7 emergency medical assistance to the Salisbury community and beyond, and trust in your support of our operating and capital needs going forward.

With deep gratitude for the strong support of our squad and mission, the Board of Trustees voted to dedicate the new ambulance in honor of the Salisbury community and name it “The Spirit of Salisbury.”

We invite everyone to see their new ambulance at SVAS headquarters after the Memorial Day Parade. 

Pat Barton

Chief of Service

Don Mayland

President of the Board

Salisbury Volunteer
Ambulance Service



Connecticut should keep bottle refund system intact

I live in a beautiful, clean town. I want to keep it that way. This week, our Connecticut state Senate, including our state Sen. Craig Miner (R-30), will vote YEA or NAY to trash recycling as we know it.

Here’s what the proposed Bottle Bill (SB-966) would do: Instead of giving back the 5- cent deposit on bottles and cans, we would have to pay a tax — no refund! Craig Miner promised us no new taxes. This is a new tax.

No deposit? What happens to the incentive to pick up litter? What happens to our beautiful, clean towns?

What happens to the bottle-recycling machines, which by the way are made in Connecticut? This “bottle tax” would kill around 700 recycling jobs across Connecticut. We want businesses to remain in Connecticut. Kill jobs? Kill businesses?

We need to improve the current program, not kill it. Ask lawmakers to support HB 5618 instead! 

This Senate Bill 966 is coming before the State Senate soon ... maybe this week. 

And the fiscal impact to the state? 

The Office of Fiscal Analysis has examined the fiscal impact to our state, and concluded that this Bottle Bill creates a loss to General Fund revenue: “The bill eliminates the existing bottle redemption system beginning on July 1, 2018. This results in a General Fund revenue loss of approximately $33.5 million annually from bottle escheats beginning in FY 19.” Really? Revenue loss? Not what we need now.

Why would anyone support this bill? Why would Sen. Miner support this bill that raises taxes, kills jobs, loses the state money and trashes the environment?

Now is the time to ask our representatives in Hartford questions on this issue.

How will Craig Miner vote on SB-996?

Craig Miner 860-842-1421


Other state Senators:


And how will the Senate leadership direct this vote?

Sen. Bob Duff, Sen. Majority Leader: 860-240-8600

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz: 860-240-8500

How will other Connecticut state Senators vote?


Joanne Hayhurst




New spark plugs in Bottle Bill

If your car needs new spark plugs and an oil change, do you throw out the car? The beverage industry is lobbying hard to do just that, replace our existing returnable deposit bottle bill program with a sales tax on consumers. They want to put the burden on us, on the state through another administrative headache and on municipalities.

Instead we should improve the existing program. HB 5618 and other similar bills would do just that, by raising the deposit amount, by including more kinds of drink containers (coolers, teas, juices and the like) and by increasing fees to redemption centers. These operators have not had a fee increase in 40 years and are going out of business due to rising costs.

Here’s the deal — states with refundable deposit laws have on average about a 70 percent rate of return (Connecticut is currently on the low side, closer to 50 percent) vs. states with no deposit program, which average about 33 percent recycling rates. Michigan, which has a 10-cent deposit, has a 97 percent rate of recycling! And it’s not just about litter. It’s about local jobs, saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Susannah Wood



Save Connecticut recycling

I have lived in this town for 33 years, which is three years less than the enactment of the  original Redemption Law which put a 5-cent deposit of bottles. In the year 2009 water bottles were added. We are one of 10 states with a “Bottle Bill.”  

Studies have proven that Bottle Bills reduce roadside litter by 30 to 64 percent and increase recycling by 70 percent over the states without deposit laws.   Over my years in Salisbury, I have seen a number of children’s organizations that make money by collecting and recycling bottles. Our new Transfer Station is relying on the present recycling system to offset costs.

There is presently a law soon being brought to our state Senate that would eliminate this Bottle Bill. Instead of giving back the 5-cent deposit on bottles and cans, the new law would put a tax on them. There would be no refund. The incentive to recycle would be diminished and roadside litter would increase throughout the state. In addition to the cost of $400 million to taxpayers, around 700 recycling jobs would be lost in Connecticut.

We need to improve the current program, not kill it. Ask your lawmakers to vote against Senate Bill 996 that would end recycling. Ask them to vote for House Bill 5618, which will improve our recycling program.

Joanne Taber



Holocaust comparison inaccurate

This is in reference to the article, “Remembering when immigrants were treated as the enemy in WWII,” by Kaitlin Lyle in the April 13 edition of The Lakeville Journal. At one point in this article, it was stated, “When describing what life was like for Japanese-Americans in the camps, [Jeffrey] Urbin said they were similar to those in the German concentration camps.”

I was floored when I read this. I have to be clear that I think what happened to the Japanese-Americans in this country during World War II (Executive Order 9066) was a terrible, misguided decision made at the top, that caused so much pain and heartache to so many citizens. However, these camps were nothing like the concentration camps in Europe to which Jews (and others) were shipped in box cars and imprisoned in the absolutely most abject conditions for the sole purpose of outright murder or forced labor until they dropped dead. 

I hope Mr. Urbin, who is an education specialist at the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park, studies up on the Holocaust. There are many, many books for him to read.

Amy Goldberger