Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 8-9-18

Time to finish the Canaan Depot

There is a growing concern in North Canaan about the on-going Depot project and continued delays.

The CHRA (Connecticut Historical Railroad Association) which owns the building can’t seem to deliver on the promise of a finished project and citizens are getting frustrated.

The first bid went out nearly three years ago but had to go out to bid again because the CHRA board took some action that required a “do over.”

The second bid came in nearly a year later. Work was to begin in February of 2017 and be completed by May. As with any project, understandably, one runs into the “unexpected problems,” however, it is now the summer of 2018 and we are still waiting. 

The project was primarily funded by a federal grant and state grants.

As with any grant, a percentage has to be covered by tax payers. 

The hope and message was that it would be open for this year’s Railroad Days Celebration. However, “recent developments,” whatever they are, have once again delayed the opening and issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

As these delays continue so does the cost to the town, taxpayers and the lack of communication between the CHRA and the town is deafening.

It’s time the CHRA Board of Directors let the good citizens of North Canaan, who have donated thousands of dollars through their taxes and personal donations, get some concrete answers on an end date and opening.

These delays continue to undermine the town’s attempts at economic redevelopment.  

It’s been 17 years since the fire. Almost every town in our region has had huge projects that have been completed in a more timely manner. The time for excuses on this project is growing old and its board of directors need to get this done.  

Susan J. Clayton

North Canaan


Book signing a big success for Hotchkiss Library

Who would have thought?  Notwithstanding a storm that (1) dumped sheets of rain on the Town, (2) felled trees onto routes 4, 112 and 44, delaying guests and participating authors, and (3) knocked out power, disabling devices used for credit card  purchases, shutting down the lights and fans and making it necessary for the caterer to work in the dark, the Hotchkiss Library of Sharon’s Aug. 3 book signing (its 22nd), was a big success.

How did that happen? It was through the efforts of 42 intrepid volunteers, among whom was a bevy of seventh- and eighth-graders serving hors d’oeuvres, hard work by staff and trustees, and plucky patrons who scoffed at the rain, the heat and the darkness. Our thanks to all of them. We are also indebted to our seven generous author dinner hosts, some of whom contended with the power outage by serving dinner by candelight.

Most notably, though, it was through the help of some of Sharon’s firemen. Having just been out on a call, they hooked up two generators and soon the lights were back on, the fans were whirling away and credit sales were being racked up. Thanks to them, the event, potentially a huge disappointment, was salvaged.

The Fire Department, along with the Ambulance Squad, are used to rescues like this. Please come to the library at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, for Volunteer Day, at which we will honor these dedicated members of our community.

Gretchen Hachmeister

Book Signing Chair

Tom Trowbridge, President Board of Directors



What does court nominee Kavanaugh really believe?

Congress and the American people are entitled to know what Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh really thinks about torture, unlimited detention of suspects, warrantless eavesdropping on all Americans, as well as presidential powers, immunities and pardon of self or others.

The involvement of Kavanaugh in the authorization of the post-9/11 mistreatment of suspected terrorists is a matter of dispute and contradictory evidence, but one thing is clear: Kavanaugh has consistently failed to take a clear position against torture, solitary confinement or other mistreatment of prisoners, in which he may or may not have participated.

This isn’t rocket science. The 1985 international treaty known as the Convention Against Torture, drafted and signed by the USA, spells it all out, including the definition of torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment, and specifies that prosecution and punishment is mandatory, without time limitation, immunity or pardon, even for a head of state.

The U.S. Constitution states that treaties authorized by the United States are “the supreme law of the land.” There is no higher law.

A product of the right-wing Federalist Society, Kavanaugh was a natural pick for the Supreme Court by Donald Trump because Kavanaugh’s previous writings showed that he believes a sitting U.S. president should never be investigated or sued for anything while in office, and whatever a president may have done was legal, because he did it.

Kavanaugh joins a number of other extremists, including some law professors, who believe that in any event, a president can always pardon himself, and pardon anyone else he sees fit. The obvious “reductio ad absurdum” argument against this is that a president could be a serial killer, or hire several killers, to silence his critics, and then pardon them all, including himself.  

No, the power of pardon does not extend to felonies or high crimes such as felony murder or treason (aiding and abetting an enemy state).

“We the People” have the right to know what Brett Kavanaugh really thinks and believes on these issues.

Tony Piel



Election Day is coming

Less than 100 days to go

Then to the voting stations and lo

We have a chance to make change

Get rid of the current mange

Remember they are in charge

‘Cause of apathy by and large

By people not doing their civic obligations 

Voting rights are our country’s foundations

Let’s follow our youth

Pledged to be at the voting booth

And proudly change our country’s path

And hobble the current sociopath

Michael C. Kahler



World’s religions will gather 

The next Parliament of the World’s Religions is Nov. 1 to 8, in Toronto, Ontario. 

The Parliament is the oldest and largest interfaith organization in the world. The first event was in 1893 at the Chicago World’s Fair. It is credited as opening the possibility of interfaith dialogue to a predominantly Protestant Christian country. The “religious building” at the Chicago World’s Fair was packed every day with curious and eager participants.

It took 100 years before the next Parliament in 1993, but the Parliament has been a regular event ever since: 1999 (Cape Town), 2004 (Barcelona), 2009 (Melbourne), 2015 (Salt Lake City). There were 10,000 inspired and inspiring participants in Salt Lake City and that number is anticipated in Toronto in November. 

The Parliament vision is below. Notice that only the first three of the seven reference “religious.” The Parliament Board, staff and hundreds of volunteers are focused on the well-being of Planet Earth and everyone on it, whether or not individuals identify with a religion or philosophy:

• Religious and spiritual communities live in harmony and contribute to a better world from their riches of wisdom and compassion; 

• Religious and cultural fears and hatreds are replaced with understanding and respect; 

• The richness of human and religious diversity is woven into the fabric of communal, civil, societal and global life; 

• People everywhere come to know and care for their neighbors; 

• The world’s most powerful and influential institutions move beyond narrow self-interest to realize common good; 

• The Earth and all life are cherished, protected, healed and restored; 

• All people commit to living out their highest values and aspirations.

Both signatories below have attended the Parliament and are proud to be presenters in Toronto. Come one and all, with or without a formal religious identity.

To learn more and to register, go to: www.parliamentofreligions.org 

The Rev. Eileen L. Epperson

The Rev. Dr. Diane