Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 7-26-18

Americans need to take a stand

Can there be any doubt that President Donald Trump has betrayed our country? The Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a clear case for treason. When does a United States president stand on the world stage, next to our known adversary, and dismiss the American intelligence community? His blatant groveling toward Putin and refusal to confront the Russian leader about the meddling in the 2016 election is nothing short of treasonous. 

Even Trump’s own director of national intelligence acknowledges Russian interference and Trump still dismisses it. Donald Trump’s NATO meeting with our allies was a disaster. He accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of being a “captive of Russia” when in all reality, he is the captive of Russia.

I have long thought of Donald Trump as a sly, thoughtless, self-serving buffoon and carnival barker, but now I will add disgraceful, weak, dangerous and a national emergency to the list. He continues to lie, betray, profit from and demoralize our country and is allowed to do so. Clearly this man is in the pocket of Putin.

When will it be enough for “We the People” of the United States to take a stand against the evisceration of our country? It’s later than you think!

Gretchen M. Gordon



There’s more to know about Cricket Valley

There’s more to the Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC) story than the recent reporting in this newspaper reveals. The series of articles about the gas to electric power plant now under construction in Dover, N.Y., was unabashedly promotional, stating up front that “the information here was taken largely from Cricket Valley’s website,” exclusively quoting CVEC spokesmen, and omitting unfavorable details.  Questions residents have were downplayed, and referred to as concerns and worries.

Many details about the threat CVEC poses to our air quality were not included in the lengthy articles:  

From page 7 of the SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) for CVEC, published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): “The Project will be a major source of NOx and VOC, both precursors to ozone, for which the Project area has a nonattainment designation.”  To clarify a point made in the article, CVEC was required to secure i.e. purchase Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) for the 322.11 tons per year (tpy) of NOx and 136 tpy of VOC it will be emitting when operational because the amounts are equal to 115 percent of the maximum permitted annual emissions.

From the same document, page 9, you find what exactly CVEC has been permitted to emit: “...191.9 ton per year (tpy) particulate matter (PM) facility limit; 191.9 tpy PM10 facility limit; 191.9 tpy PM2.5 facility limit; 569.9 tpy carbon monoxide facility limit; 46.9 tpy sulfur dioxide facility limit; 19.7 tpy hydrogen sulfide; 3, 597,766 tpy carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) facility limit; 3,576,943 tpy CO2e limit on the combustion turbine…”. I plugged the carbon dioxide equivalent tpy into a greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator on the EPA’s website because I wanted to know how many cars would emit the same amount of carbon dioxide as CVEC  will emit and the answer was 770,400 passenger vehicles driven for one year.

From the same SEQR, page 13, the DEC says the construction of CVEC will “produce a net air quality benefit across the region…”. This was discussed at length in the articles, but a key point was omitted. The region referred to here is defined as stretching from Ontario to Virginia, and from New England to Illinois. The theory is that CVEC, because it is considered to be a more efficient plant, will put less efficient gas, diesel and coal plants across this “region” out of business and thus have  “a net air quality benefit.” There is no particular consideration  given to the air quality around the plant, instead it is across this vast region.

Missing entirely from the series of articles was a discussion — or even mention —  of how wind patterns, altitude, temperature and humidity all determine where pollution settles.

Given the pollutants CVEC will be emitting and given that pollutants can travel great distances, it is safe to say that CVEC will only make our local air quality worse.

Helen Baldwin



Salisbury Republicans meet nine candidates

On Saturday, July 14, over 50 Republicans (and a few non-affiliated voters) turned out for a fundraiser/meet the candidates event at a beautiful home in Lakeville. This was the first event sponsored by the newly reconstituted Salisbury Republican Town Committee and, judging by the energy and enthusiasm of the attendees, it was a very successful event. Even a brief shower that forced us indoors for the last four speeches did not dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.  

No fewer than nine candidates for office in November participated. We heard from three gubernatorial candidates: Mark Boughton, the nine-term mayor of Danbury who received the party’s official endorsement at the state convention and businessmen Steve Obsitnik and Bob Stefanowski. Other statewide candidates who participated were Sue Hatfield, who received the party’s endorsement for attorney general, and Lakeville’s own Thad Gray, who received the party’s endorsement for state treasurer. Two candidates for federal office participated: Matt Corey, the party’s choice to run for the U.S. Senate, and Manny Santos, the party’s choice for U.S. Representative for the 5th congressional District.  Finally, we heard from our two incumbent state legislators, Craig Miner (State Senator for the 30th Senate District) and Brian Ohler (State Representative for the 64th Assembly District).    

The remarks by all nine candidates were extremely refreshing.  There was no display of anger, vitriol or bitterness and no personal attacks on their likely opponents. Rather, we heard straightforward facts about the deep financial troubles that have been building in Connecticut over the past decade — including the enormous loss of jobs, people and businesses — and a series of thoughtful ideas about how we can begin to reverse the state’s deteriorating condition. Our committee believes that the ideas advanced by these candidates should have broad appeal to voters of all persuasions. Our candidates are not interested in grandstanding or photo-ops at the latest demonstration; rather, they all care deeply about our state and want to do something to help Connecticut once again become a state that people and businesses want to move to, not move out of.

Special thanks go to the committee members who worked long and hard to make this event a success: Barbara Schoenly, our event coordinator, and Mieke Armstrong, Marie Barnam, Maureen Dell, Janet Lynn, Diane Mayland, Vivian Nasiatka and Jeffrey Nasiatka. Don Mayland and Newt Schoenly handled parking and set-up duties and Sarah Morrison served as our photographer.

Thank you to all the people who attended and to all the candidates who participated. We look forward to the primary Aug. 14 and the election  Nov. 6.

Tom Morrison, Chair

Salisbury RTC



Take action

Constant lying is the norm

Ethical behavior is foresworn 

Has he become mentally unfit

Or really is he just a twit?

No matter, our democracy is at stake

Should not be entrusted to such a flake

What can we do, just moan and cry

Or just lay down and die?

Or better still we energize

Stop sitting and arise

Help register new voters to the list

Explain the importance of the vote, we insist

Then remove McConnell and his kind

Changing the balance comes to mind

Bring back government based on our ideals

Not on TV’s art of the deal

November is our watershed

For the better or more deadhead?

Michael Kahler



Elect Gray state treasurer

This November, Connecticut has a chance to put our state on the path to financial stability and economic recovery. I am optimistic about the future of our state. However, we must elect new leadership in Hartford that is committed to making the necessary tough decisions. After repeated tax hikes, deficits and downgrades, most voters realize that the first step in restoring Connecticut to prosperity is to stabilize our deteriorating financial condition (among the three worst in the country, along with Illinois and New Jersey).

The turnaround starts by participating in the Republican Primary Election on Aug. 14 where we choose our candidates for the Nov. 6 General Election. 

With your vote, Thad Gray, candidate for state treasurer, can be a critical member of the new leadership team. Thad has the leadership skills and experience to tackle the challenging problems in the Treasurer’s office: state pensions and a debt crisis. Connecticut’s state employee and teacher pensions are severely under-funded, while our bond rating has been cut several times to one of the lowest among our fifty states. This means it is more difficult and expensive to borrow, crowding out money for needed public services. State Treasurer is no job for a beginner.

Connecticut born and raised, Thad has decades of experience investing for public and private pension funds. His knowledge of the capital markets and the broad range of financial products will enable him to produce better returns on the state’s investments. He understands the responsibilities of Treasurer and has exactly the right skills for that role.

Thad stepped up to run for this immensely challenging position last summer and is committed to building a brighter future for our state. Indeed, as a political outsider, Thad won his party’s endorsement at their convention in May because Republican officeholders, leaders and town committees across the state recognized the value of his experience and integrity. 

Thad’s candidacy is a unique opportunity to elect an investment professional, not a politician, to the very important office of State Treasurer. I hope all eligible Republican voters will join me in voting for Thad Gray on Aug. 14, so we can elect the best qualified State Treasurer on Nov. 6.

Mary Robertson



Happy River and Railroad Days

With all the modern needs to work and ways to enjoy life, it may be easy to overlook  the “MA/NY” ways the Housatonic River “ConnecTs” states such as Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut (especially now when many people have second homes in the rural parts in those three states). 

The impact of the Housatonic River on local communities and the historical roots of US-All (in America and beyond) have touched generations since the settling of our country.

By now, thanks to the writing and outreach of Sharon’s Ed Kirby, most people likely have gained a better understanding of the historical significance of the location of the iron industry that produced cannons and cannon balls as instrumental factors in succeeding in the Revolutionary War for Independence from English rule. For thousands of years before that the natives of this land lived along the riverbanks. 

The celebration of Railroad Days in North Canaan can be a time to reflect on the area as a whole over time. Where we are today is largely the outcome of the work of many generations beforehand literally laboring in intense times and fields. There is still more work for everyone to pursue for peace and well-being for citizens of our country and the wider world possibly even with help from “other realms.”

With technology, industry and respect for nature and humanity, we can find solutions to more challenges for greater segments of the population. Let’s take time to work from the ground up with organizations such as HVA and Audubon and others for humanity to live sustainably such as permaculture promotes. As I explore on an open forum livfully.org, we can all plan to live with greater agreements and practical precautions to prevent injuries or unnatural deaths linked to our our thoughts, words, actions and outings. 

The roads we are privileged to drive on as well as the road of life in our wealthy country can also be given their due consideration as we pave a fair-minded future for our states and beyond. Thanks for being a team player with a sense of appreciation for the train ride of our lives with a river of gratitude. Happy River and Railroad Days, #HRRD!

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village