Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 4-11-19

Supporting victims key to healthy society

The recent tragic loss of a family of five to apparent murder-suicide in Sheffield, Mass., has many grieving and our society needing to address next steps to recover and strengthen community. The need to know more about mental health and safety in relationships of all kinds is clear if not dire. 

Abuse and control patterns are not obvious to outsiders, victims nor even advocates and local communities. Alarming statistics are waking more people up in the legislative and advocacy fields to protect the human rights of women and children.

The plot thickens when considering the fate of children in custody disputes. Too often children end up in the hands of an abusive, controlling parent. 

The victim, typically the protective mother, may be barred from them. That would be a fitting response for the abuser initially, however. The legal path is not as clear and secure as most would hope it would be with systemic support. 

Primary aggressor laws now in effect in Connecticut can take years for police to use them properly. Dual arrests or wrongful arrests and subsequent fall-out were making it hard for victims to seek help for years.

The entire country can benefit from insights from the free online newsletter from the California Protective Parents Association.

The 14th annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference highlighting the  #MeTooMovement will be held in Albany, N.Y., the last weekend of April. 

 Advocates such as California Protective Parents Association’s Connie Valentine have proposed House Resolution 72 in the U.S. Congress to keep domestic violence victims and their children together during initial custody orders. In England, Coercive Control is now against the law.

 More efforts are being made to clarify safety standards for caregivers and to help individuals to understand their rights to safety and fair treatment under the law. Safe and Together Institute.com offers many programs to this end.

Young people and adults (whether living with abuse or not) need to know about safety and their rights whether in their homes, schools or other program or faith settings, in relationships, work places and the world at large.

We need more avenues for  24/7 public access to online and phone support as well as meaningful resources over the long haul to improve safety for one and all. 

I share many more ideas and resources on my blog at www.livfully.org. Thanks for being brave about these tough learning curves. The journey to a smarter, safer way of life for all is worth it!

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village and Brooklyn, N.Y.


State cannot stand more taxes

If forced regionalization, a statewide car tax, statewide property tax, expanded sales taxes and the billion dollar toll tax is not enough, now the Democrats in Hartford want new taxes on our home heating oil, electric bills and gas bills. I for one can’t afford another 14 cents a gallon for heating oil. Connecticut has the second highest move-out rate in the country. We also pay the second most taxes in the country. If these taxes become a reality, we soon will have the highest move-out rate in the United States, along with the highest taxes.

However, the big question is, “Where is state Representative Maria Horn?” I have not heard a peep out of her about this lunacy with the exception of her support for tolls, which will only increase the cost for everything that is trucked into Salisbury and the 64th District. Thanks, Maria.

I would have hoped that our state representative would be fighting for us and against forced regionalization of our schools, statewide property and car taxes and massive new taxes on our oil, electric and natural gas bills. Whose side is she on? Why has she been so quiet?

The town of Salisbury is facing massive increases in our property taxes both on our cars and homes if a statewide car and property tax is approved. Why isn’t Maria Horn fighting against this publicly?

The only conclusion I can see is she is more concerned about the Democrat bosses in Hartford than the people in her district.

Janet Lynn



Staying connected in our rural area

A letter appeared in The Lakeville Journal last week, April 4, condemning fiber internet broadband as a source of radio frequency radiation. It mistakenly attributed radiation to fiber optic lines. Fiber optics issues no radiation. It is light, not electromagnetic, and cannot radiate. As the letter correctly observed, wire-line networks are clearly safe. 

If our communities would get behind the initiative of Northwest ConneCT and connect everyone through an advanced fiber optic network, the need for 5G and expanded 4G diminishes considerably. We would then have the time required to make informed decisions about antenna distribution and placement for our mobile networks without being pushed there by the FCC or mobile and cable television carriers. NorthwestConneCT supports giving our residents the time to consider and make their own decisions about small cell antennas.  

Frontier and our cable companies are not connecting everyone and are not upgrading their networks in our region. Thousands in our region do not have broadband connections now. The letter went on to recommend that the state Legislature pass a law requiring cable companies build-out services to everyone.  Under current regulatory rules, neither the federal government nor the state can compel carriers to connect everyone.  

Along with our safety, communities now have the responsibility to ensure adequate communications for everyone. Northwest ConneCT, a nonprofit, was started by members of our communities to address the problem faced by the rural towns in our area. Northwest ConneCT is devoted to that end.  

Jessica Fowler

Chair/ Vice President 

Roberta Willis

Board member


Sharon, Lakeville


Then and now, a call to our nation

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” President Abraham Lincoln made this Proclamation 153 years ago. It was succinctly said then.

For the past 68 years, our presidents have declared a National Day of Prayer. Neighbors, it is to this celebration I invite you on Thursday, May 2. Here are several opportunities in our immediate area: 8 a.m., Cornwall on The Green; noon, Falls Village on The Green; noon, Sharon Hospital Chapel; 5:30 p.m., North Canaan under the Pavilion across from McDonald’s; and 6 p.m., Salisbury next to the Salisbury Town Hall. 

I look forward to setting this time aside with you.

Marie Barnum



What a concert at Hotchkiss

Fabio and Gisele Witkowski shone in a program of piano works for four hands at the Hunt Concert at Hotchkiss’ Elfers Hall on Saturday. An interesting, challenging and enjoyable program was performed with inspirational energy and remarkable precision.

How lucky Hotchkiss is to have these talents, and how lucky Salisbury is to have so many Hotchkiss concerts open for free to the public.

George Massey