Letters to the Editor - Lakeville Journal - 6-20-19

The buzzing of a swarm of bees with chainsaws

My 90,000-mile tomato-red Ford Ranger with roll-up windows is required to have a muffler. If the muffler is taken off, I’ll be ticketed and required to put the muffler back on. Why? Because without that muffler, I’d be waking up every homeowner, every cow and every rooster for miles and miles.

I live in bucolic Salisbury, a couple of miles away from Lime Rock Race Track (sorry, Lime Rock Park) where, although cars have to meet noise regulations set by the track (not the town or the state, but the track), those regulations don’t seem to consider the fact that noise travels beyond the confines of the park.

What does this noise sound like? Imagine you’re home with every window shut and you hear what sounds like a swarm of bees wielding chainsaws coming your way.

The faster the car, the noisier the car. That’s a fact. What’s also a fact is that the state of Connecticut seems to have turned a blind ear toward controlling noise pollution.

But why? When Lime Rock was built in the 1950s, cars were not as fast as they are today, so we can assume they weren’t as noisy.  So why, as race cars have gotten noisier and noisier, have the sounds coming from the Connecticut state Legislature gotten quieter and quieter?

Why haven’t laws regulating noise constraints kept up with this increasing noise level? Both per car and from the point at which the noise is emanating?

Even NASCAR is trying to combat noise. Which is not impossible. In fact, back in the 1970s, NASCAR toyed with the idea but abandoned it because the quiet cars were unpopular with racing teams and spectators alike.  Boo hoo.  Today, they are revisiting technologies and options.

I personally love cars. And I personally have nothing against the Lime Rock.   

I just want them to be more understanding neighbors. And if they can’t or won’t be, I want our elected leaders to show them the way.

Because one only has to stand a couple of miles away from the park to realize that the sounds you’re hearing on a beautiful Saturday aren’t the chirping and tweeting of wrens and chickadees, but the sounds of black and yellow sawing machines.

Josh Tavlin



Remembering Kaelan and his important legacy

Many people in the Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut Tri-corner area and online were deeply concerned 10 years ago to learn that Kaelan Alexander Palmer Paton lost his life at 16 years of age at the base of the falls in the Salisbury and Falls Village section of the Housatonic River as the result of trying to save friends.

Unfortunately, part of the more complex reality is that many adults had allowed the youth to swim in the river as a way to celebrate their last day of school that year, on June 16, 2009. 

Yet that “call” for more clear agreements and accountability from adults and youth can have a response from our nation to have important conversations and set better laws and guidelines.

I have learned from many about important aspects and meanings of many kinds of loss and challenges for our times, our local and wider areas and other topics.

In addition to hundreds of talks with people locally and at events, I have blogged about many aspects on my blog livfully.org, which have reached over 200,000 people. Kaelan’s Memorial Service is on YouTube and was covered respectfully in The Lakeville Journal to help people appreciate his wonderful life and courage as well as his extensive circle of family and friends. 

There is also a Facebook Fundraiser Remembering Kaelan Alexander Palmer Paton to mark this time and do more advocacy for safety. Many thanks for all of the support efforts over the years for our families.

The sharing on livfully.org and in letters to the newspaper is yet another kind of “call to all,” hoping the responses will flow more readily into people’s actions and communities, much as Kaelan’s life story spoke to many. I am happy to have people join in outreach efforts. I can be reached at cppaton@yahoo.com or 347-471-9209.

What he didn’t get to continue to do, like many who leave the earth plane, we can join in carrying to the next level. We can get more in tune with our times. Let us all advance good sportsmanship in life. We benefit by putting principles of honesty and teamwork above personalities.

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village and Brooklyn, N.Y.


Dirt bikes: electric or gas?

My name is Jackson Carol. I am in eighth grade at Salisbury Central School and my eighth-grade project was on gas vs. electric dirt bikes. Gas motorcycles were invented in the late 1800s, but the more recent development of electric motorcycles has changed the game. There are several advantages of having an electric dirt bike.

They do not have heating and exhaust issues. Owners of an electric dirt bike rarely experience maintenance problems. There is no need for oil or radiator fluid changes. The owner simply has to clean it. They are perfect for people who like to be environmentally conscious and do not want the hassle of fluid changes. 

On the other hand, one disadvantage of an electric dirt bike is that the range is very short, unlike a gas dirt bike. A gas-powered bike can travel up to 200 miles on a single tank. Electric dirt bikes can only travel about 60 miles on one charge. They also take up to eight hours to recharge. 

Another advantage of a gas dirt bike is the initial price. They range from $4,000 to $9,000, but electric dirt bikes can cost up to $12,000 or $13,000. Gas dirt bikes also weigh a lot less because there is no big battery. 

Gas dirt bikes have their drawbacks too. They can smell and emit gases that are harmful to the earth. Also there may be a heating issue, as the bike heats up it can actually overheat. Maintenance is necessary on these bikes because the motor needs to be lubricated regularly. 

My personal opinion is to stick with gas dirt bikes for now because electric dirt bikes cost so much more and also the range is very limited. I would not be able to ride for as long on an electric dirt bike. 

Jackson Carol

Salisbury Central School



Appreciating the power of the sun

It’s coming up on the longest day of the year, whoop-de-do! I can’t wait to drink in every single one of those photons from the sun. This time of the year, the tilt of the axis of the earth’s rotation puts us, up here in the northern latitudes, in the enviable position of being in a more direct line for the photons to come through our life giving exo-thermo-meso-strato-tropo-sphere for a longer and longer amount of time each day. More daylight — less night. Ain’t it the best!

I don’t know about you, but getting a bit tipsy thinking about all those extra photons can make me almost forget about the obdurate, defensive, one could say downright cynically self-serving opposition to scaling up the utilization of photons for generating and distributing clean renewable energy from our sun (solar power) by the fossil fuel and electrical energy industries. (Bye the bye, our sun has got a ways to go before it runs out of gas — hydrogen that is, 6 billion years give or take.) 

The major CO2 producing moneymakers have done everything under the sun to blot that giant fusion generator in the heavens from our power hungry minds. So much so that you might think that eclipses of the sun weren’t naturally occurring celestial phenomena but rather a trademark for the fossil fuel industry. Heavens to Betsy, the “drill-baby-drill” siren songs being churned out by the engines of every oil supertanker worldwide (and now oil-shale/sand pipelines) that reverberate from (coral killing) sea to (ice cap melting) shining sea, only confirm that the “eclipse-o-holics” in charge of the fossil fuel business want us to continue to pay through the schnoz so that they don’t have to go to energy rehab to get clean. Unfortunately, they’re just the suppliers, we’re the addicts. Dirty energy addicts. 

In report after report, we have been warned in no uncertain terms, of the extreme long-term damage to the worldwide biosphere (which includes the wholesale extinction of enough species to fill a 21st century Noah’s Ark) as well as the projected dire effects to populations worldwide by the preventable folly of our present course of manmade increased CO2 level climate change.

The sun gives us “photons” for free. Our celestial energy supplier has got a long, long, long future ahead of it churning out those liberated and potentially liberating particles of light-energy. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But, the terrestrial clock is ticking louder and louder for us photon ignoring dirty energy addicts.

It kinda makes you realize the truth (hopefully not too late) of the old adage “the best things in life are free.”

Michael Moschen

Cornwall Bridge