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The Lakeville Journal Opinion/Viewpoint

Letters to the Editor August 11

Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal

Columnist Shanley gets it right in his assessment of the U.S. economy

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Black racer

Nature's Notebook

I came across a serpent in an Edenic setting last weekend, stretched out in the sun on a pile of brush just over an embankment. It was a black racer, Coluber constrictor, with its large eyes and a white area under the chin, and though they are not uncommon in our region I had not seen one for many years. This is a very fast snake, and it turned tail and vanished as soon as it caught sight of my movement as I was pointing it out to my son, Elias.

Murder Trial

Editorial Cartoon

Finances matter for state pols

If You Ask Me
With polls showing 80 percent of the voters disgusted or angry with Congress and the 20 percent not disgusted or angry apparently in a heat-induced coma, Connecticut voters will have only Democratic congressmen to blame next year. As a result, we may see stronger and maybe even better financed Republican challengers seeking to replace these Democrats in the 2012 election, leaving their congressional monopoly in some danger.

E. coli outbreak, Germany, 2011

The Body Scientific

In 1897, an epidemic of dysentery occurred in Japan. Ninety thousandpeople were affected and a staggering 30 percent of them died.

Dr. Kiyoshi Shiga discovered the bacterium, now named Shigella dysenteriae, that caused the disease. The discovery allowed Dr. Shiga to trace the infection to its source, which was contaminated water, and stop the epidemic.

Dr. Shiga showed that the bacteria secrete a toxin, now called shigatoxin in tribute to his important work. We have since learned a lot about shigatoxin, including what the molecule looks like.

CT-N is vital to our democracy

Guest Commentary

At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked whether the delegates had decided on a monarchy or a republic. His response was, “A republic, if you can keep it.” These words seem more prophetic today than perhaps ever before.

Take the case of Bell, Calif., where the city council voted to give themselves and other local officials enormous salaries. These salaries were approved at council meetings with little or no discussion or explanation. Apparently, no one in Bell took the time to attend those council meetings.

It’s now harder to see who lives next door

Letters to Editor - The Lakeville Journal

A recent state Supreme Court decision has brought into question whether citizens will be able to access tax assessors’ records in a timely way, or even at all. While some Connecticut residents, who would rather have their property ownership kept private, may applaud this, it’s a step toward more closed government records that should not have been taken.

Turning Back The Pages 8-4

75 years ago — 1936

A dinner party in honor of 25 years of continuous service of three members of the Lakeville Telephone Exchange — Miss Hanna Stuart, chief operator, Miss Frances Stuart and Miss Margaret T. Garrity, was given recently at Ragamont Inn by the young ladies of the local office.

Letters to the Editor August 4

Letters to Editor - The Lakeville Journal

Art exhibit preview at Maxon Mills — wow!
I spent some time today viewing the open studios and the seven floors of art exhibits at Maxon Mills, home of the Wassaic Project, as they prepare for their summer festival this coming weekend.
As both an artist and a local for over two decades, I find myself ridiculously grateful that Eve and Bowie have created this perennial gathering of artists and musicians.

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Connecting to nature

Nature's Notebook

As I make final preparations for the Sharon Audubon Festival coming up Aug. 13-14, I have been thinking again about how to instill a “culture of conservation” where the conservation ethic is automatic in all people.

Conservation wouldn’t happen without people. And, conversely, you could safely say there would be no need for conservation if it weren’t for people and their impact on natural resources. For individuals to take active steps to conserve our environment, there needs to be a reason, be it aesthetic, emotional, biological, spiritual, financial or all of the above.