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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 8-23-18

Cricket Valley Energy Center should not be allowed

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Friday, Aug. 3, shut down the Competitive Power Ventures fracked-gas power plant near Middletown, N.Y., by denying the renewal of its air permit. The DEC received arguments from a grassroots activist group, Protect Orange County, citing the lack of an accurate greenhouse gas emissions analysis and documented adverse health impact. Central to these issues was the evidence of corruption presented during the trial of Joseph Percoco, former aide to Gov. Cuomo, and CPV executive Peter Braith Kelly that uncovered a quid-pro-quo bribery scheme to facilitate the project’s approvals.

CPV has 30 days to respond and to reapply for an air permit, and public hearings will be held. 

The Eastern System Upgrade expansion, designed to help gas flow to CPV, is ongoing in both Orange and Sullivan Counties.  Sullivan County Residents Against Millennium (SCRAM) opposes this project that they say is threatening water resources and tearing up critical forests and farmland.

Why is Gov. Cuomo allowing construction in Dutchess County of the Cricket Valley Energy Center (CVEC)?  CVEC is nearly twice the size of CPV. CVEC will tie us for the next 40 years to climate-wrecking methane pollution from drilling, transporting and combusting natural gas. 

The writing is on the wall: The push-back against fracked gas is strong in New York as well as Connecticut, which will receive Cricket Valley’s downwind pollution. Gov. Cuomo is feeling the heat. Investors in Cricket Valley should get out now before they lose their shirts.

 Johanna Fallert

Poughkeepsie

 

Thanks for the rides

My name is Brion Horvath and I have resided in Winsted for about 10 years now. In these past six years now I lived at the Gilbert Clock Shop Apartments. I am 66 years old and disabled and most times I use the senior citizens’ bus to get around. This is due to the fact that my last car I owned had broken down and being on disability I could not afford the repair bill so I sold it. 

Many of you have seen me standing on North Main Street early in the morning with my thumb out trying to catch a ride down to Main Street here in Winsted and you just go right on by. Then in the afternoon you see me standing I front of the college trying to get home to Wallens Street, which is only three lights up from Main Street, and yet you go right on by me, to you people I say thank you.

However, there are a few of you who do recall what it was like to hitchhike and you were kind enough to offer me a ride home. Then there are a few people who offer me a ride out of the kindness of their hearts, to all those people who were so kind as to provide me a ride either going to town or giving me a ride home, my heart felt thank-yous go out to you for showing your kindness.

May the Almighty bless your kindness tenfold.

Brion Horvath

Winsted

 

Let’s vote for true tax equity

According to the latest Equilar data published in The New York Times, the declared compensation for individual CEOs of 200 major U.S. corporations in 2017 varied from a high of $103 million down  to a mere  $18 million for the year - each. (This does not include undeclared funds stashed away in tax havens here and abroad.)

Depending on the corporation, the CEO pay, as a multiple of median employee pay, ran from nearly 6,000 to 1, down to 150 to 1, averaging about 500 to 1. (These employees include mid-level management as well as blue collar workers who “shower after work” and who probably try to pay their fair share of taxes required by law.) 

Another four-year study of the annual wealth gain versus taxes actually declared and paid by U.S. billionaires showed these self-described elites pay a median effective tax rate of only 4.5 percent, compared with their secretaries who pay more like 17 percent, or compared with whatever tax rate you, the real taxpayer, pays.

Meanwhile, flip traders, hedge funders, corporate raiders and big time investors can make hundreds of millions in a single year, off-shoring much of the loot, and paying only lower capital gains tax rates on what they do declare. After taking advantage of every possible tax loophole, these “elites” pass much of their wealth on to their heirs, thus adding to and perpetuating the extraordinary concentration and disparity of wealth in the United States.

What is the Trump GOP administration doing about the situation? Three things: (1) Giving huge income tax “reform” rate reductions to the wealthiest corporations and individuals, thus adding some $1.5 trillion to the national budget deficit; (2) proposing to eliminate the capital gains tax entirely; and finally (3) abolishing the inheritance tax, thus perpetuating wealth concentration in the hands of the few. They are doing exactly the reverse of solving the problem.

If “We the People,” who actually pay our fair share of taxes, don’t take this matter to the voting booth in November 2018 and 2020, we’ll have only our own lethargy to blame and democracy will be a lost cause in America.

Tony Piel

Sharon

 

Road safety is still a concern

Smarter steps really need to be taken before there is a serious accident in Salisbury. A major problem is Academy Street. Is there parking on the north side of the street or is there not? Some signs state that there is no parking between signs while two more say no parking on that side of the street. Which is it? If there is parking on both sides of the street it leaves a very narrow lumen of roadway for moving cars, including the many jokers who choose to exit the wrong way from LaBonne’s.

Most towns that have speeding signs place them in the middle of the crosswalk ­— not to either side where they aren’t seen and are frequently ignored. A driver planning to make a left turn from Academy Street must inch out into traffic because there is almost always a car parked just where it says not to, to the right of the turn, making it virtually impossible to see cars speeding through town until they are upon one. The sign stating there is no parking should be replaced by a zebra stripe, or better yet, spikes. 

Marietta Whittlesey

Lakeville & Gallatin, N.Y.

 

Remembering the Mulligan Burger

Every so often, but especially in the waning days of summer, The Lakeville Journal likes to share with our readers the recipe for the renowned Mulligan Burger. It comes from Donald W. Knowlton, former owner of the Woodland Coffee Shop in Lakeville, whose father created the cole slaw that made the burger unique and beloved among their patrons.

Do yourself a favor, and fire up the grill while summer nights are still warm and bright, and try a Mulligan Burger. Knowlton would be interested to know what you think of it. We welcome letters to the editor on this important topic. — Ed.

 

Dad’s cole slaw recipe is essential for a Mulligan Burger. But first: The burger featured a quarter-pound charcoal-broiled burger. Under the bun went the slaw, lettuce and tomato, then the burger, of course. To finish, a toothpick with a slice of pickle on the top. 

Donald W. Knowlton

Liverpool, N.Y.

 

Bill Knowlton’s recipe for cole slaw

All vegetables should be chopped, not minced. A blender using water should not be used.

1 green cabbage, about 1-½ pounds

2 medium sized green peppers

2-3 medium sized onions

1 cup of red cabbage for color (optional, but very good)

1/3 cup of vinegar

½ cup sugar

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 medium carrots, grated

Blend ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix in considerable amount of Hellman’s Mayonnaise.

You may vary the amount of sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar to your taste, as noted.

Slaw will be quite moist. Serve with a slotted spoon.

 

Where’s forgiveness?

The definition of forgiveness is, “An excuse of one’s fault and offense. To be pardoned.” There’s an old Indian proverb that states, “Bury the hatchet,” which means, forgive. And it’s a fact that people who walk through life with a grudge toward someone live miserably, and when they pass, it’s they who are full of regrets. Forgiveness isn’t a disease, if it’s given freely, but the lack of it can be when it becomes paranoia, showing unreasonable distrust or an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance, when it can cloud one’s judgment and can affect families and friends. 

Clergy who go to seminars and retreats are taught to express their calling, and forgiveness is part of that. Have you ever been in church on a Sunday, any church? How many times do you hear the words “forgive” or “forgiveness”? Or if you read the scriptures, these words go from cover to cover. You use the words in prayer. In God’s eyes, one of his teachings is to forgive those who trespass against us, and to forgive our trespasses. 

When a simple thing such as forgiveness becomes a burden to one’s soul and festers in the mind, blinding the eye to see, one should not lead his fellow man on a path he can’t follow.

Michael Parmalee

North Canaan

 

Drive over the covered bridge, right now

Not much time left! The sound of history will disappear in just two weeks.

The unmistakable rumble of vehicles traveling through the West Cornwall Covered Bridge will fade away as the 10-foot wide, 2-inch thick oak boards will be replaced with a “glued laminate product.”

No need to bore you with the “benefits” of this replacement because any reasonable person understands that preserving history almost always costs more and requires more creative thinking than taking the quick and cheap approach. 

It is sad that the major tourist attraction for the entire town of Cornwall, the West Cornwall Covered Bridge, will be stripped of one of its most unique and  endearing qualities when it undergoes renovation beginning next month.  

One can only hope that the next time the covered bridge is renovated, there will be a more historically sensitive Board of Selectmen in place who will demand that the Connecticut DOT engineer a solution that will restore “the rumble.” 

There’s not much time left.  Get in your car and drive through the West Cornwall Covered Bridge … it’s a special treat!  And “the rumble” won’t be around much longer.

Joanne P. Wojtusiak

Cornwall Bridge

 

Snowbound Mothers

It was bitterly cold, the snowflakes reflected in the light of the headlights as they came steadily down. A few inches of powder covered the gravel road although it had just been plowed. We inched down the hill in four-wheel drive, and turned onto Route 4, where the car tracks lead through the powder off into the distance. 

I was timing the pain when we turned into a plowed parking lot, the lights of the building were ablaze. The door opened as we walked to the entrance, a nurse was standing there with a wheel chair. The relief to arrive, the welcoming warmth that greeted us, left a strong impression as I was pushed upstairs to the Maternity Unit to have my first child.

Two-hundred-and-fifty mothers give birth every year at the Sharon Hospital. Although many may plan their births, some babies arrive early and sometimes with unexpected complications. It is a sad thought that women in the Northwest Corner might have to drive hours on icy roads to get the professional help they need to have a safe delivery.

That is why Maria Horn, who is running for state House Representative in our area, the 64th District, believes that the Sharon Hospital should keep their Maternity Unit open. 

She is the mother of three children. She understands what it means to a woman, worried and uncertain about both her health and her child’s, to have to drive long distances in bad weather to get the medical help she needs.

A community hospital should treat the whole community. Let’s keep a small but professional maternity open at Sharon Hospital.

Let’s hear from other mothers on how they feel.

Liz Piel

Sharon

 

Looking for a reason to celebrate

The world is watching in disbelief

As he thinks his office is his personal fief

Descending further each day

Mental capacity no longer in play

His decisions hurt us all

Can’t wait for his downfall

Like a nightmare, and we can’t wake

Worse than an ulcerous stomach ache

I want the RICO act invoked

And all his ownerships revoked

That would be one great day

We could celebrate with some Beaujolais!

Michael Kahler

Lakeville