Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 8-16-18

It’s been a great Sharon Playhouse season

Bravo Sharon Playhouse! Under the new leadership of Alan M-L Wager, artistic director, aided by Robert Levinstein, the Playhouse started off with a huge success of “Anything Goes.” It was Broadway quality in every respect, based on the acting, singing, dancing, orchestra and set design. Consequently, it resulted in capacity attendances.

“All Shook Up” was highly energized with strong dancing and singing which our grandchildren, my wife and daughter loved. Our grandkids also delighted in seeing the youth production, “Willy Wonka Jr.”, which included many of their friends. We recently saw “Barefoot in the Park”, based on a young couple’s experience living in New York City in the early 1960s. 

It was a sophisticated, hilarious comedy for virtually everyone in the audience. The acting was superb with good timing, and the actors related well to each other. The set was also creative. There are many “old chestnuts” of dramas and comedies  that are still relevant today with wide appeal. In any event, the  community should strongly support the new team who have exciting plans for year-round programs.

Sal Accardo


Laws truly matter

Well, just read “Connecticut took a stand, is a ‘Sanctuary State’ ” by Carol Ascher (Lakeville Journal, Aug. 2). Truth be told, the title piqued my interest. Since Connecticut is a debtor state with a busted fisc, I was curious what new obligations being a “sanctuary state” might impose on its financially strapped citizens.

Learned nothing about that. Then wondered, had I missed the statewide referendum on “sanctuary status”? Seemingly not. Had our elected representatives in Hartford deliberated wisely, soberly and extensively and declared such to be the case? Not really. 

Read on and learned that activist judges had decided for themselves and articulated the intent, direction and execution of national immigration policy, and that this was a good thing. Further, I was informed by this article that states’ rights supercede federal law, a notion that I’d naively thought had been adjudicated by the American Civil War.  

Finally, I learned that one’s ethical point of view is superior to and trumps all laws — federal, state, local or community. I sadly shook my head, thinking what fools my ancestors were — learning English, studying the U.S. Constitution, taking classes in American civics, spending months working through the immigration process. 

They’d fled impressment in the Prussian army (maternal side) and famine in Ireland (paternal side). They stretched, worked hard and played by the rules to obtain the cherished prize of American citizenship. So sad, when they could have just hopscotched that whole, tiring business and demanded “sanctuary.”

Donald Black



Weren’t they really kidnapped?

Will someone, please, explain to me why officials who separated children from their parents at the U.S./Mexican border have not been charged with kidnapping and illegally transporting minors across state lines? Why haven’t President Trump and his attorney general been charged with conspiring to kidnap, transport and sequester?  

Saturday afternoon, Aug. 4, I attended a memorial service for a good friend, Marie Prentice, who after a long illness died at 86 years old on May 14. In Marie’s name, as well as for myself, I ask the above question, for surely Marie — indignant, vehement, outraged — had she been able would have thundered the question herself. 

I also ask my question on behalf of another absent friend, Lotte Hanf, a Jewish German refugee, resident in Cornwall for six decades, who died here at the age of 96. She had fled the Nazis alone and unaided with two infant daughters in 1939.  

Lotte managed to come to America only after the war. Although she had a brother living in America, who would have sponsored her, because of a quota on refugees, chiefly German and Jewish, she hadn’t been permitted to immigrate.  Lotte spent the war years with her children in Australia.  

Lotte, as a naturalized citizen but also as a former asylum seeker, would have been mortified for the sake of America’s reputation and dignity, as well as horrified because of what this administration has done to harm 3,000 helpless children.

Wm. Earl Brecher



Thanks to all for great Railroad Days

On behalf of the Board of Selectmen I want to thank all of those who participated in Railroad Days 2018.  

A very special thank you to John Lannen and the Railroad Days Committee; Chief Brian Allyn, as well as, the members of the Canaan Fire Company; William Minacci and the North Canaan Ambulance Corp; The Town of North Canaan Highway Dept. and the Transfer Station personnel; Lt. William Baldwin, Commander of Connecticut State Police Troop B; Resident Trooper Dwayne Lopriore; Auxiliary Trooper Dennis Togninalli. 

I would also like to thank all the civic organizations, churches, local businesses, news media, radio and TV, and the Marine Corp League Northwest Detachment #042 for their involvement with Railroad Days and extend a special thank you to all those who came to enjoy and partake in the activities.

Thank you all for your hard work and planning to make this happen and to make it a huge success. Hope to see you all again next year. Thanks for a job well done everyone!

Charles P. Perotti, First Selectman

North Canaan


It is only a matter of time

In an issue devoted to a single story, the Aug. 5 issue of The New York Times Magazine chronicled the first two acts of what will likely be the greatest tragedy in human history: the failure to address climate change.

As Aristotle defined it, tragedy occurs when human weakness — timidity, self-interest, expediency, anger — obscure reason, resulting in devastating and fatal consequences.

We all are players in this drama, now in its fourth and penultimate act — the one in which errors compound and events slide at accelerating speed toward an irrevocable conclusion. The protagonist and his cohorts cannot reverse the momentum of their misdeeds and thus enact the essence of tragedy — the incapacity of those involved to stop the catastrophic course of action to which they have committed themselves.

At this stage, the only thing that might bring us collectively to our senses, inspire each one of us to radically alter the way we live, is a fire, a flood, or a food shortage that would endanger our very selves. What failure of reason and imagination requires such drastic circumstances when it is only a matter of time until we too are the victims of our own folly?

Lyn Mattoon




Canaan Depot answers needed

I was surprised that a recent letter in the paper said the Canaan Depot still isn’t done. Driving past it yesterday, much of the grass around it was overgrown, and tall, thick weeds were growing up around it. That’s reminiscent of the sidewalks of North Canaan.

It is not only far past time for this job to be finished, but time for an accounting as well. I mean a thorough A-to-Z accounting in this paper of how the project proceeded from step to step, who paid for each phase, how much was paid, and so on.

The new foundation and shell on the lost half of the building were put up years ago. Who paid for that, and how much? How much of the government grant was used for the rest of the work? Is it on budget or not?

Did the contractor pay a penalty for being so late? How could it be so late? Some taxpayers might suppose that once the contractor got the job, they were free to go off on other jobs and just come back to the depot whenever it was convenient. Taxpayers might further suppose that the job was dragged out in order to use up all the grant money. Was it?

Who are the individual owners of the building? Do they profit from its renovation? What was the property worth after the fire, and what is it worth today? It must have had very little value then, and a great deal now. If the Railroad Historical group is non-profit, does anyone profit from today’s value of the building? If each member of the original group put in, say, $10,000 after the fire, what is such an investment worth today? Do the original investors at least recoup the money they put up to save the property? I’m curious how it works.

There are many people who labored for years on this project who undoubtedly deserve great credit for the restoration. Had the building been totally lost, it would have left a big hole in town.

But this project has dragged on for years like some huge government overrun. And it’s not a terribly complicated building is it, basically just a big open-frame structure?

And from what I’ve read, much of the interior finish work was left undone for future tenants to do themselves to their own specifications. Even Sheetrocking was reportedly left undone. Finish work is usually a big part of the cost and time of any job, so it becomes even more inexplicable how this one has taken so long. Government red tape is no doubt responsible for some of it, but what else?

It’s time for a very thorough public accounting here in the paper.

Mark Godburn



Cruelty of zero-tolerance policy must end

This is a followup letter to one I wrote earlier concerning the so-called zero-tolerance policy with regard to illegal immigration.

Returning to their families only some of the children our government kidnapped and snatched from their parents is not good enough. Every single child taken from his or her family should be returned with all deliberate speed to the parents from whom he or she was taken. Failure to do so, it seems to me, could only be ascribed to one of two reasons. 

Either the children and their families mattered so little that very inadequate records were kept at the time of the separation; or the government hopes by keeping some of the children to salvage a portion of the zero-tolerance policy, hoping that, although diminished, the specter of family separation will serve as a deterrent to further illegal border crossings.

Do the people pursuing these measures understand that a policy founded on cruelty is un-American and totally outside the system of values embraced by this nation? I was heartened by the outpouring of criticism by my fellow citizens to this horrific policy of forced family separation, and I think all of us need to keep up the pressure on our governmental representatives until all the children have been returned to their families. 

Allowing this cruelty to get by will be to fail as citizens to respond in a resolute way to the horrific situation promulgated by this zero-tolerance policy, and to lay the foundation for an even more egregious act of legislative or executive cruelty in the future.

Deborah Brasher