Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 11-14-19

A grant from Salisbury Association

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Board of Trustees of the Salisbury Association approved a support grant of $10,000 to The Lakeville Journal in recognition of its vital role serving communities in Connecticut and nearby towns in New York state.  

Since 1897, in times of war and peace, The Lakeville Journal has been the lifeblood of our community, connecting its diverse businesses, churches, schools, merchants, charities and other nonprofit organizations that depend on it to inform its readers. The Salisbury Association’s mission of community preservation includes supporting the Lakeville Journal and believes that it is in the interest of businesses operating from Canaan, Kent, Lakeville, Norfolk, Salisbury, Sharon, other northwest Connecticut towns and nearby communities in Millerton and Amenia to do so as well.

The Salisbury Association board has worked with the Journal on several initiatives enriching our community, including the recent project in collaboration with Scoville Memorial Library to digitize more than a century’s worth of Lakeville Journal issues, thus preserving our local history and making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection.  

The Salisbury Association’s donation to The Lakeville Journal is a vote of confidence in the paper’s sustainability and we hope inspires its board and staff to reach out in new ways to its diverse constituencies. The loss of our local paper would make maintaining a sense of community difficult if not impossible.

Donald Ross

For the Salisbury Association



There are more-needy groups

Please don’t misunderstand what follows. I love the Lakeville Journal. Each Thursday I head to my P.O. box to retrieve it and then spread it out on my kitchen table to absorb the latest news.  I enjoy Cynthia’s never ending coverage of news, her varied features and the entire staff’s contributions.

But really… do you expect us to buy into your begging for operating funds. Newspapers need to be dependent on advertising dollars, not subscriber handouts. Sure you may say that the community newspaper’s model has changed and advertising dollars are being redirected to other formats… but is that really the case locally?  Pick up a copy of “Mainstreet” magazine, a local free features publication.  I counted 106 full-color glossy ads. 

How about “The Hills” magazine? I counted 182 display advertisements. Every single advertiser is a local business, many of which I have patronized and most of which never advertise in The Lakeville Journal.  

Your current edition had 23 display ads and 28 “Specialist Directory” ads on the back page.  If you’re not able to thrive in our community, maybe you need a better business plan. Could the problem be that your other publications such as “Discover Salisbury” are cannibalizing advertising dollars? Maybe you need an outside advertising firm as do the other publications I mentioned. I’m sorry but my contributions are going to libraries, speaker forums, food banks, first aid squads, volunteer fire departments and other truly needy causes.

Len Rosenberg



Thanks for voting

I want to take a moment and say thanks to the voters who came out Tuesday, Nov. 5, to vote for me. All elections are important from the municipal to the state and federal. Although I won’t be serving this time on one of our local boards, I look forward to supporting and encouraging all who have been elected.   

Marie Barnum



Thanks for supporting Habitat

With the help and support of many local patrons, sponsors and volunteers, Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Connecticut has gotten closer to completing our project in Lakeville, and will soon be able to start our 14th home in the area. The event “Flavors of the Foothills” at the home of Thao and Scott Matlock was a resounding success, made possible by a community, which sees the value of bringing more quality, affordable housing to our six-town area.  

Northwest Connecticut is incredibly fortunate to have so many individuals, companies and organizations who believe that the foundation of family is decent housing, and who wish to see our region thrive and prosper as a result of that underlying value. We are a local organization, serving local families, and that mission resonates in our area.  

We thank all of the advocates who generously offer support not only for Habitat but the myriad of organizations working locally to make our area a model for vibrant communities throughout Connecticut and beyond. There are too many folks to thank individually here, but know that the partner families involved with Habitat today and in the future, as well as the members of the Habitat Board, are deeply appreciative of the continuing support received.  

Thank you all for doing what you can to help Habitat help others, and know that regardless of the offer of time or treasure, Habitat is humbled by your support and trust.

Bob Whelan



Thanks for your support in the election

To our friends and neighbors, thank you for the support in last Tuesday’s election; we are grateful and honored for the trust given us for the next two years in Salisbury. We appreciate the work of our committee members, poll workers and all the people who make it possible to vote in a democratic election.

On behalf of all of our residents, thank you to all of the volunteers who work tirelessly to solve the various issues before the town. There will be challenges and opportunities ahead and we pledge to work hard to keep moving Salisbury forward and to help make it the special town that it is.

Please know that our door is always open for your concerns and ideas.

Thank you.

Curtis Rand

Chris Williams



Veterans Day reflection

The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that “only the dead have seen the end of war.” It was a warning that this most primitive of human conditions would bedevil mankind as long as human communities existed. And his words have turned out to be prophetic.

At its essence, war demands both sacrifice and service. The initial sacrifice is always made by warriors and their families. But service is also the responsibility of the warrior. Warriors serve to protect our way of life and are willing to sacrifice all that they are or ever will be to protect us. They make peace with dying because it is part of their commitment to serve something larger than themselves. 

Upon their return, however, it is the role of society to serve the warrior. The service we can, and must, provide is to help them fully return home. The failure to do so has devastating consequences. The veteran suicide rate of over 20 a day makes this conclusion inescapable.

Society loses, as these gifted men and women will not be assuming the community and family leadership roles where they are so desperately needed. Few are braver or more “other-centered” than men and women who have served in the military and we suffer as a culture without these values in our midst.

The most sacred bond warriors have is with their comrades. The bond is simple. As one Marine said to me, “For a warrior...no one ever gets left behind. If someone’s lost, we go find them. If they are wounded, we go get them and if they’re killed… we bring them back home with us. We don’t relate to all of this ‘I or me.’ We think us. A warrior alone is in trouble...as are all human beings. We seem to forget that a lot these days.”

Another veteran told me he was sometimes on patrol with another soldier with whom he disagreed on almost everything. When I asked him how he felt about that, he said, “It didn’t matter. I had his back and he had mine. I knew that was the bottom line. We were fellow soldiers and fellow citizens of the same country. We stood for the same things. When it came down to it, I knew he’d protect me with his life. And I knew he could count on me to do the same for him. If one of us didn’t make it, we’d do all we could to bring the other guy back.”

As a community, we share the same bond with these warriors. The mission of our communities is the same: that none of our warriors get left behind. We need to bring them all home.

There are lots of ways to do this, none of which involve buying something on sale. Take in the countless offerings of veteran artists, writers, performers and poets around the city and state. Welcome a veteran home, no matter how long it’s been since he or she returned home.

Jane Strong

Founder, The Equus Effect



Our wonderful ecosystems are worthy of support

Several years ago our Habitat for Humanity celebrated its 25th birthday at the LaRoches’ Lion Rock Farm at the Salisbury/Sharon border. Habitat thanked one of our major donors not only for their generous and constant support of Habitat but for their support of so many organizations important for our well-being, including social services, education, public safety and conservation.

I noted that we were gathered in an incredible spot, surrounded by prime agricultural fields dipping to rare alkaline wetlands: Beeslick Pond to the east and Mudge Pond to the southwest. Then the land rises to the high fields of the Briscoes and the forested hills of Red Mountain to the east and The Twin Oaks Field and Indian Mountain to the West.

Looking north, the forested Taconic Ridge extends 100 miles to Vermont.

This is a rich diverse intact ecosystem and our alkaline soils, variations in altitude and connectivity to other open lands north and south makes us an important piece of the climate change challenge. And these protected lands provide inspirational views in all directions deepening our sense of where we live.

I pointed out that protection of this ecosystem had the support of The Nature Conservancy at Beeslick Pond; the National Park Service conserves the Appalachian Trail; protection of Fairfield Farm and the Aresty Route 41 acreage is by the Conn. Department of Agriculture.

The Tory Hill Preserve and the Twin Oaks Field are protected by the Salisbury Association and Sharon Land Trusts with support from a DEEP state open space grant. Many of our townspeople have donated conservation easements protecting important parts of this landscape. Many participants protecting an extraordinary expansive diverse ecosystem.

I suggest that this is analogous to the varied contributions of our non-profit organizations to foster a healthy human ecosystem, each focusing on certain needs and aspirations to support a healthy vibrant community.

These organizations are reaching out for your support with their annual appeals. Let’s not bemoan the large number of requests; let us rather give thanks that there are so many opportunities to support our communities. These organizations leverage your donations with volunteer help and often secure grants to supplement their funding. Your support means so much. Please give until it feels good!

And that includes supporting this newspaper, without which I could not make this appeal; without which we could not stay in touch with our own towns or our region. I think of myself as living in a connected Northwest Corner. Without this newspaper, that concept will evaporate.

George Massey

Selleck Hill



Be aware of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Anyone who watches “Jeopardy” knows Alex Trebek. Alex Trebek’s new line is, “I wish I’d known sooner, the symptoms…”. He is referring to the deadly disease he has been so eloquently public about: pancreatic cancer.

My husband, John, died nearly a year ago from the same disease. I wish I had known sooner, the symptoms. Mr. Trebek is putting a public face on this disease. Most people know someone who has succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Mr. Trebek is urging people to learn the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.  His PSA for the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition talks about persistent abdominal pain, back pain, sudden onset diabetes, weight loss and yellowing of the skin or eyes. These are symptoms that are vague, but are also indicative of this usually fatal disease.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and funding research to diagnose and treat this deadly disease. I urge you to go to www.pancan.org  to learn more about what you can do to increase awareness during the month of November and beyond. 

Thank you.

JoAnn Luning



Avoiding time travel

We were pleased to see the picture of our new office space in The Lakeville Journal of Nov. 7, but must point out that while we may be moving to the “Little Red Building,” we are not engaging in time travel. The firm Warner, Vail and Brown ceased doing business in 1985. Our firm is Ackerly Brown LLP with offices in Salisbury (soon to be) and Bantam.

The “Little Red Building” has been home to many lawyers in the past and we are excited to join their ranks. Jake Rand practiced there for many years, including with Donald Warner (of Warner, Vail and Brown). Don’s father and his grandfather (both judges) also practiced law in the same “Little Red Building.”

We value all the historical connections while looking forward to the future.

Louise F. Brown

Emily D. Vail