Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 8-30-18

Hospital’s maternity unit should stay open

As one of the senior members of the Sharon Hospital Medical Staff and former chief of staff, I find it very painful to see the impending closure of the hospital maternity unit. Without an in-house maternity service, we cannot have a community hospital. Without deliveries, we will lose our gynecologists and the essential services that they provide to the women of our communities. 

Without gynecologists here the women of the Northwest Corner, eastern Dutchess and Columbia counties will not receive adequate care. Women will be forced to travel long distances and a few of those women or their babies may die without emergency care here. 

There were no imminent safety issues in the obstetric department. The care there has been excellent as assured by frequent inspections by federal and state certifying agencies. To me, the safety issue appears to be a ploy to justify the closure of maternity. In my opinion, the decision was financially motivated. 

Obstetrics is an essential service in a community hospital just like emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics and medicine. Health Quest should not “cherry pick” the services it will provide here. In the future, what happens as some of our older physicians not employed by Health Quest retire, i.e., in the fields of neurology, urology, pulmonary medicine, ophthalmology and urology? Will these services be eliminated, too? 

Unfortunately, Health Quest has not been very transparent on these issues. The medical staff was not notified about the closure of the maternity unit until it was released in the newspapers. Shortly after it was publicized, the medical staff convened a special meeting to discuss the issue. The overwhelming sentiment was that the maternity unit should remain open. The staff was also offended by the lack of transparency of Health Quest in the deliberations that resulted in the decision. The medical staff had no input into this decision. 

Will the medical staff and community have any role in other crucial decisions? 

What does the future hold for Sharon Hospital and its staff? What is Health Quest’s true commitment to us? Will Health Quest support independent doctors in the communities? Does The Foundation for Community Health that supported the hospital sale to Health Quest have any obligation to preserve services here? It is time to avoid a post-mortem of the Sharon Hospital. 

David R. Kurish, MD



Stand up for  a free press

My late husband, William Colvin Whalen, was a  grandson of Colvin Card, founder, publisher and editor of The Lakeville Journal.  

How proud he would have been to see the paper among those bringing attention to freedom of the press in papers throughout the nation.   

Congratulations for reminding your readers that journalism is a truly honorable profession and must be allowed to function freely for as long as  this country does.   

Mary H. Whalen  

Westport, Conn.

Editor’s note: Col Card published a weekly newspaper in Millerton and started The Lakeville Journal in Connecticut.


Thanks for keeping lake clear

I’d like to offer a word of thanks to our town’s “weed men” who work to keep our lake beautifully clean and clear. Michael Ouellette has been on the job since 1991, trained by his dad Charlie Ouellette, who’s been battling milfoil on our behalf for over 30 years. Michael said when his dad started, the lake was so weedy, only the water roped off at the Grove could be swum. 

Thanks to them — and David Bayersdorfer and Eric MacNeil who help out — for another summer of glorious swims in our crystal clear lake. Michael says the milfoil they harvest is taken to the site of the new transfer station and available for use by garden composters who can make arrangements to get it by calling Town Hall.

Helen Klein Ross




Please, leave campaign signs alone

It’s campaign season, and my opponent and I have planted a whole crop of lawn signs, each expressing support for one of us in the upcoming election for state representative in the 64th District. Each sign was paid for by a combination of small donations from neighbors and public financing under Connecticut’s Clean Election Law. Each was planted by a candidate or volunteer who cares enough about the future of their home town that they chose to spend their day lugging them around. Each was placed on the property of a supporter who wanted to share their political viewpoint.  

So it’s especially sad when people destroy them. Within hours of putting signs out, a vehicle drove on a lawn in Salisbury in an attempt to destroy two of them. Later, at a rally on the White Hart Green on Saturday, a driver aggressively circled the participants, “rolling coal” to blow a cloud of toxic smoke over people holding campaign signs. 

One of my opponent’s signs was also vandalized this week.

These are destructive and intimidating acts: Are the actors so afraid of a political message that disagrees with theirs that they need to try to silence it with violence or the threat of violence? 

We’re better than that. We have a long tradition of civil discourse and respect for one another, for democracy and for opinions that might differ from our own. Let’s uphold that by listening to those we disagree with, not trying to intimidate or silence them.  

And a special thanks to Charlie Kelley, who picked up and repaired those signs.

Maria Horn



Remembering the Mulligan Burger

Last week, we ran this recipe with the Knowltons’ names switched. Sorry about that: Here it is with the names where they should be, and thanks to Jeff Lloyd of Lakeville for correcting us on his family’s recipe origins.

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 Bill Knowlton, whose family formerly  owned the Woodland Coffee Shop in Lakeville, and 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. 

— Bill Knowlton

Donald W. 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.