Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 5-2-19

Just released in high-density: ‘The Godfather IV’ 

Produced and directed by Billy Barr, “Godfather IV” in wide-screen format, is now playing in selected theaters across the country. It takes place in The White House and stars Donald J. Trump as Michael Corleone, the part originated by Al Pacino.  

The film, about an American “Family,” also stars a number of well-known actors in key roles.  There is Lindsey “The Cracker” Graham and Mitch “The Turtle” McConnell as the Capos in the South and Midwest; Steve “The Munchkin” Mnuchin, the Capo from Los Angeles and Las Vegas and also the Family bookkeeper.  He is charged with making sure The Godfather pays no taxes (or anything else, for that matter!).

Then there is Stevie “the Miller,” whose job includes making sure the Boss extorts enough money for a higher wall along the southern border in order to keep out a rival “Family” of six 5-year-olds (he also has to make sure the White House chef provides a continuous supply of Big Macs).  That was Part One.

Part Two is about dealing with foreign rivals, particularly the Russians. According to the film’s critics, this is the weakest part of the picture as the Godfather has a sneaking admiration for Russians, which makes no sense, as they are establishing their own Families in his territory and are busy trying to undermine his real estate business.  That was not the case with either Marlon Brando or Al Pacino in Godfather 1-111.  They were so much better at it.  As a matter of fact, any self-respecting actor would be better at pretending than the current occupant of that position.

Richard J. Boyle



Eleanor Roosevelt and the Millbrook School

Readers of The Lakeville Journal of March 28 surely enjoyed Judith O’Hara Balfe’s article, “First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her connection to Millbrook,” to which I would add the Millbrook School in particular. Ed and Lucy Pulling, founders of the school in 1931, were friends of Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt, and had many mutual friends, such as the Flagler family of Millbrook, who helped with initial funding of the school.

On two occasions, the Pullings invited me, as a “ typical” Millbrook student, to have tea and dinner with Eleanor Roosevelt, probably on the assumption I could be trusted not to rattle or spill the tea cup. 

Also, my grandmother, Sadie Smith Loomis Carleton of Sharon, and Eleanor Roosevelt had previously met and enjoyed each other at a writer’s  club in Manhattan. Eleanor spoke with the same iambic pentameter as my grandmother, and you just felt her warmth. 

Clearly, Eleanor was FDR’s social conscience, the cricket on his shoulder, but she also knew to strike out on her own on humanitarian issues.  It may be said that without Eleanor Roosevelt we wouldn’t enjoy quite the same social programs and organizations  we have today, including some of  the New Deal, the Millbrook School and its Trevor Zoo, the International Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and, most noticeably, her personally inspired project, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

We mourned Eleanor Roosevelt’s passing in 1962,  but in truth she is always with us.

Tony Piel



Shared values, shared responsibilities

North Canaan, what kind of town do we want? What are the values we have in common that we will act on to uphold? What will be the decisions that will ensure that the kind of town we want happens? What are our shared responsibilities to ensure that the air, water and the beauty of the landscape is maintained? What is the common good? When do individual and business land use rights become a burden to a town, rather than a benefit? How do you weigh a business investment in our town against the health of your neighbors? What is the future of North Canaan going to be?

On Monday, May 13, a public hearing will take place beginning at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall at 100 Pease Street, North Canaan. What will be brought before the community and the zoning officials is an amendment to the Zoning Regulations of the Town of North Canaan. It will be proposed that the Zoning Board approve an amendment to add the manufacturing, production and/or storage of asphalt to the list of Prohibited Land Uses in all zones of the town of North Canaan.

It is time to declare: What are your shared community values? What is your responsibility to your community? Please make your choice known by attending this public hearing, or if you cannot attend, by emailing (zoning@northcanaan.org) or writing North Canaan Planning & Zoning, Town Hall, 100 Pease Street, North Canaan, CT 06018.

Do not underestimate the seriousness of this decision for our town. Our health. Our environment. Our future. Even what we think and feel about living and raising families in North Canaan is all at stake. 

There is no other more important issue than the welfare of a whole community. What will you exchange for that? What kind of town do you want? Is it Canaan, “The land of milk and honey” or is it “Asphalt Valley”?

Bernard Re Jr.

North Canaan


Northwest Connect intent has been misunderstood

In her rejoinder to a letter from Jessica Fowler and Roberta Willis that referred to fiber optic networks, Ms. Blake Levitt misunderstands the intentions of Northwest Connect. We are not proposing a vehicle for broad distribution of small cell antennas. We are proposing, rather, a network consisting entirely of fiber optic lines that would connect all homes and businesses to the internet at speeds in both directions up to one gigabit per second.  

Another point Ms. Levitt may have missed in her assessment of our intentions concerns the use of any fiber optic network for 5G small cell antennas. 5G antennas expect to operate at 10 gigabit per second data rates for several simultaneous users. These antennas will not be able to share fiber strands with other antennas in a single cable. Verizon is installing 5G cables in Boston with 1728 fiber strands in an area they already cover with a fiber optic network for their FIOS system. In their final form, 5G antennas will likely require new, dedicated fiber optic cables rather than climb onto an existing cable and share capacity with other antennas.

Finally, Ms. Levitt seems to misunderstand our point about a fiber optic network sooner rather than later. A universal fiber optic network will satisfy many of the applications targeted by 5G. If communities installed such networks, they would have more time to develop suitable 5G antenna siting rules and, for rural communities such as ours, significantly reduce the number of antennas actually needed to support those applications such as autonomous vehicles that do require a 5G mobile network. 

Kim Maxwell President 

Northwest Connect



Clarification on organizer Presler’s Kent meeting

Having read the account in The Lakeville Journal of a recent GOP voter training session in Kent (April 11), some clarification is needed.

Scott Presler is an affable young man who is passionate about helping Americans elect the best leaders. There does not appear to be a hateful bone in his body. When Scott was asked at the training how to handle people who accuse him of hate, his response was to give them back love, because the haters don’t know what to do with that.

It is a lie that Mr. Presler is a member of a “hate” group. Mr. Presler works for no group and does freelance voter registration and get-out-the vote training. He previously worked for ACT for America which has been falsely named as such by two left-wing propaganda outlets. ACT openly invites the participation of Muslims but stands against the child brides, honor killings, female genital mutilation, and the execution of gays that the Sharia Law of Islamist Extremist advocates.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been in the news quite a lot lately. Considering “racism” is what the group usually accuses those on the right of, it is fitting the co-founder and former chief litigator for SPLC was fired, allegedly for a history of racist behavior toward minority employees. The SPLC collects donations and spends less than 31% and sometimes as low as 18% on charitable purposes. Because of this, and Charity Watch giving them an “F” rating, Sen. Tom Cotton asked the IRS to review their tax-exempt status. I could go on about the 60 organizations considering legal action against the SPLC and losing a multi-million dollar defamation settlement to a moderate Muslim group, but no need.

I can only assume that is what led to citing the false claim of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). I cannot believe that Abe Foxman approves of what far left extremist Jonathan Greenblatt has done to this once venerable and important organization. As Bethany Mandel of The Federalist put it, Greenblatt has an “increasingly heavy-handed bias. Greenblatt was essentially turning the vaunted nonpartisan anti-hate organization into a left-wing pressure group and vehicle for partisan score-settling.” The ADL has increasingly taken a decidedly anti-Israel stance in recent years in favor of highly partisan political attacks. They too, stand to lose their IRS classification as a nonprofit.

These are the liars that brought out the few dozen protesters who don hijabs and pretend they care a whit about the victims of Sharia. They display the kind of hate that only ignorance can bring. 

Shame on State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) who led the protest and the members of the Kent Democrat Town Committee for falling for these lies. Shame on them for not doing their homework to find out the truth. And shame on them for believing the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution only applies to people who agree with them.

John Morris, Member

Republican State Central Committee