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Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 11-15-18

What America really means

The heart-wrenching and horrific attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is a tragedy beyond words. It is the worst anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States. The sad truth is that it’s not so shocking. We are living in a pervasive and permissive time of hate-filled rhetoric coming from the highest office in our country. President Donald Trump spews venom while proudly declaring he is a nationalist. 

I am very certain he means white nationalist, since he denigrates minorities, immigrants, women and anyone who doesn’t agree with him. What really frightens me are the people who blindly buy into his lies and mischaracterizations. Then there are those who might not agree with Trump’s brand of politics, but remain silent. I wonder if they think by not acknowledging the words and deeds of our narcissistic and ego-bloated president, it will all just go away.

Words have a profound effect on people and when these words are used to incite violence and wrong-doing, is it any surprise the murders committed at the Tree of Life Synagogue happened? Donald Trump didn’t hold the gun that killed the people, but his speeches have caused a rise in extremist attacks. His sly, biased, hate-filled rhetoric has given these extremists “unspoken” permission to commit heinous acts.

It is unfortunate and dangerous that our president continues to promote fear of anyone or anything different than ourselves. Different doesn’t mean dangerous, it just means different. The tribal politics of the Trump administration have divided our nation and twisted our values. I pray it isn’t going to last and we find our way back to what being an American really means.

Gretchen M. Gordon

Sharon

 

Maria Horn thanks voters 

Thank you to all the voters in the 64th District for electing me to represent you in Connecticut’s House of Representatives on Tuesday, Nov. 6. I am grateful that you have placed your trust in me, and I pledge to work hard on your behalf in Hartford. 

Both Rep. Ohler and I ran campaigns we can be proud of, focusing on the issues important to us in the Northwest Corner: jobs, health care, education, the environment and getting our state finances on a sustainable track to support these crucial investments.  

Many of you have reached out in thanks that we ran a campaign of candor, civility and respect: together we can shape a community that reflects and stands up for those values. 

A special thanks to those who worked at the polls: the strong turnout, wet weather, and tight race made this a long day for many of you.  Our transparent and bipartisan process for overseeing elections can be time-consuming, but it is the bedrock of our democracy.

In this close election, every vote counted, every volunteer made an impact, and every conversation mattered. That includes the many conversations I have had with those who may have supported my opponent: I have learned from all of you and look forward to continuing those conversations as we begin the work ahead. 

We all want to live in a vibrant, healthy and financially sustainable community, and I will support and protect those values for us in Hartford. Thank you. 

Maria Horn

State Representative-Elect, 64th District

Lakeville

 

Thoughts from Brian Ohler

Dear Friends, It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve as your voice in Connecticut’s General Assembly. As the polls closed Tuesday night and various towns began reporting their numbers it was clear that our race was going to be very close. Due to the massive voter turnout it took registrars longer than usual to tabulate their numbers. In the end, however, we did come up short in our bid to be re-elected for a second term. 

While this news is not what we had hoped for it’s what we’ve been dealt. Free and open elections are one of the greatest rights that can be bestowed upon us as Americans. It would be easy to hang my head in disbelief but that is not who I am. The problems that Connecticut currently faces are far too vast to get angry and or to place blame. The voters of the Northwest Corner have spoken and we must accept it with humility and civility. 

The love that I have for our little corner of the world, for you, and for your families, will never be let go. We’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together, and we’ve cheered together. We’ve created so many wonderful memories and I will never forget them. 

Maria Horn was a formidable opponent and I congratulate her on her bid to represent the 64th House District. Over the past eight months, during the height of the campaign season, Maria and I had the opportunity to speak together on a number of occasions. At all times, our dialogue remained cordial and respectful. 

Given the polarizing political climate in our country it perhaps could’ve been very easy to add to that negativity. But we refused to go that low. We stuck to the facts and I am hopeful that our debates proved to be insightful for many of you. I wish Maria and her family good luck and good health as they move into this new role. 

To my family, my extended family, and my friends, I thank you for being so supportive and patient during my time in office. Our loss today in no way defines who we are or diminishes the many great things that we were able to accomplish in just two short years. My commitment and dedication to you will never waver. You’ve always been there for me and I’m eternally grateful and forever indebted to you for that. 

For those of you who know me personally, who know of the many personal adversities that I’ve navigated through in years past, you understand that life has a tendency to throw me the occasional curve ball. Well, this is another one of those moments. It’s now time for me to step back out of the batter’s box, look down the third base line for that next call, and realize that someday soon I will have another chance to serve you. I love you and God bless you all. Respectfully,

Brian M. Ohler

State Representative, 64th House District

North Canaan

 

Seeing both sides

I am writing in response to Tom Olownia’s letter last week accusing your paper of “leaning to the left” and for being a “personal sounding board for the likes of …” someone with whose politics he does not agree. In conversation with neighbors of both political persuasions, it’s curious to me how often each “side” feels the victim, leaned-against by popular opinion and local press. 

In my experience, this paper does an impressive job striving to serve “both sides” of our community. But as we are being led by an administration which seems set on dividing us, it’s important to remember we’re not “sides” defined by political affiliation, we’re neighbors with varying opinions on issues of concern.

Helen Klein Ross

Lakeville