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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 9-13-18

Sickened by behavior

Dear Hotchkiss Community,

I was one of two Deans of Students at Hotchkiss from 1973 to 1976, the first female administrator at the school. It was a heady time since it was the first years when young women were accepted into this prestigious all-male school. It was a big deal for all of us. On Orientation Day when you girls arrived it was full of excitement about this big change for the school, and the discussions buzzed about these new beginnings. I felt proud to be at Hotchkiss during these momentous years.

When the law firm interviewed me about the inappropriate behavior at Hotchkiss by faculty, and reading the open letter from the headmaster, I am sickened to know what I did not know then. The males who are named were my colleagues, and their wives were my friends. I feel incredulous that I did not know this abuse was happening. It is unthinkable and sickening, and I am sorry that I did not protect you.  

I wish the “Me Too” movement was alive back then, and I am grateful that the brave women have stepped forward. It gives me assurance that the law firm is investigating, and that the current Hotchkiss community is responding. I honor your voices and your courage. If anyone from these years when I was at Hotchkiss would like to reach out and talk to me, I would like to hear from you.  My email is DagnyStJohn@gmail.com.  

With love and blessings to you all.

Dagny St. John

Woolwich, Maine

 

Change is needed in Connecticut

Connecticut politicians need to wake up and do the right thing. Our state has to stop people from voting with their feet and leaving the state, as are corporations. New outside revenue is needed, such as installing tolls and sports betting. Massachusetts brings in $400 million a year from tolls. All states from Maine to Maryland minus Vermont (no tolls), have tolls and easily balance state budgets. There is a lesson for Connecticut here. 

If one uses the toll roads, they pay as they go. Connecticut companies, with all their new-found Trump tax wealth could subsidize their employees’ toll expenses. With tolls, there will be less wear-and-tear on highways, less accidents and mass transit will be encouraged in this small, crowded state. It’s free out-of-state money that will subsidize Connecticut taxpayers. It’s a no-brainer for Connecticut.

It’s too bad that Connecticut and Litchfield County legislators are asleep at the wheel and have no foresight. They can’t see past their large corporate and special interest big donors. Sports betting should have been approved in Connecticut with the approval of the casinos. Mississippi and New Jersey approved gambling and according to my contacts, it’s a revenue gold mine for those states. It’s free tax money for the state, folks. People will gamble anyway, somehow. Tolls and sports betting would reduce the tax burden on our residents also. 

Most Litchfield County residents hardly or never use toll roads that are proposed. I don’t use them. Over the last few years, Hartford has clobbered us, increasing our tax burden, especially on stressed-out seniors. Politicians who say they will reduce the state income tax and other taxes first are incorrect, and it’s voodoo economics, but it sounds good. Revenue must be brought in first, then cut taxes. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Why hasn’t this been done?

The state needs to cut astronomical yearly pension payouts like $200,000 to $300,000 payouts to retired judges, UConn professors and others. This is insane. Students don’t benefit from that.

Education spending is ridiculous in this state. It doesn’t mostly go to schoolchildren, but rather goes to administration and pork spending. Stop throwing money at education. General Electric moved to Boston, saying that Connecticut does a poor job of training students for the future.

If politicians can’t take my advice in this letter, they should not be working for you, the taxpaying citizens. They are only working for some special interests and don’t deserve re-election. For those who believe politicians who say that tolls are just another tax: remember, out-of-state money is as good as ours to reduce Connecticut taxes. 

I’m tired of paying double in Connecticut for everything, because our legislators don’t have the guts to stand up to their large donors and special interests. Aren’t you tired too? So far, I’m hearing the same old political baloney in this election as the state’s quality of life continues to recede. Our spending is out of whack, but Connecticut politicians are afraid to change that.  

William Bures

Norfolk

 

Vote ‘yes’ on Question 2 Nov. 6

It was instilled upon me at a young age that the Connecticut state parks and forests belong to the people. Public lands are important to all of us, shouldn’t we decide how they’re used? Three generations of Bronsons before me spent their entire professional careers promoting and protecting our states parks and forests. It was not the intention of my forefathers to have this land sold with no public comment. 

Currently, the General Assembly can sell, swap or give away state parks, forests and other valuable public lands with no public input. A public land conveyance constitutional amendment will be on the ballot on Nov. 6. Please vote “yes” in order to require a public hearing and two-thirds vote from the General Assembly before your state parks and forests could be sold, swapped or given away. 

Improving accountability and transparency in government is something we can all agree on, which is why I encourage my fellow residents of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut to vote “yes” on Question 2 to protect your public lands. Election Day is Nov. 6, your vote counts. 

Joel (Jody) Elliott Bronson , Connecticut Forester 

Falls Village

 

First Kent Carnival was great

On Labor Day weekend, the inaugural Kent Carnival was a rousing success. All the town’s nonprofits were invited to participate as a chance to have fun, recruit new members and share their good works. We are grateful to Katie Moore and her family for donating the field, and to Heather Strid and Tobias Feeley for providing music. 

Booths were offered by the Kent Volunteer Fire Department, Kent Quilters, Kent Land Trust, Boy Scout Troop 11, Kent Affordable Housing, First Congregational Church of Kent, Connecticut Antique Machinery Association, and the hosts, The Kent Memorial Library. 

What a lovely day it was! Thanks to all who joined us celebrating all that we love about living in Kent.

Sarah Marshall, Director

Kent Memorial Library

Kent