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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 1-20-22

Interstate COVID challenge

“Sports do not build good character, they reveal it.”

John Wooden

 

At the 2022 Australian Tennis Open, currently underway, Novak Djokovic, an anti-vaxxer, created an international circus, focused on compliance with COVID prevention — public health. The conflict is ugly, unnecessary, and tangles the rights of individuals to take risk with their responsibility to not put others at risk.

This tangling of risks and rights is mirrored in the chambers of the U.S. Supreme Court.  Recently, the Court reviewed in deliberations the legality of OSHA to regulate the work place for which the agency was created, has been legislatively empowered. Justice Samuel Alito, in these deliberations, made a remarkably uninformed argument that unvaccinated Americans have chosen to accept a risk of infection and should be allowed to do so.

Is Justice Alito aware, knowledgeable that there is a COVID pandemic raging globally and that unvaccinated Americans take a risk they have accepted but that most in their presence have not? COVID is highly contagious just being in the vicinity of someone infected– someone known, unknown, consciously taking a personal risk or unconsciously taking another person’s life.   

Interstate regulations for commerce and for airwaves are of long standing in the U.S.  The Federal Communications Commission was established in 1934 because air belongs to all Americans and so airwaves need federal not state oversight.  Ought there not be an Interstate COVID regulation as air belongs to all Americans? If Americans are protected from radio transmission ought they not be protected from disease transmission? Mr. Justice Alito, do not Americans have as much right to non-diseased, non-potentially fatal air as they do to radio & TV regulated air — in the workplace, any place?

 

“A sound spirit of legislation … banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another.”

— Thomas Jefferson

 

Kathy Herald-Marlowe

Sharon

 

This is a deep injustice in Lakeville

I and my family have lived and worked here in Lakeville for over 50 years. As physician, psychotherapist and school board member, bait-seller at O’Hara’s landing, EMT and Holley Place waiter, we have all been deeply involved in the life of the community, concerned about and connected with those in every echelon of it.

During that time, we have of course seen changes, but never more than in recent years. Our population has swelled as many have moved here to embrace the joys of a more rural daily life that our community elegantly provides.

Change is inevitable; it can be both revitalizing and destabilizing. We have seen both manifestations of it here in our community.

But I want to write about it in a very specific circumstance here in Lakeville. For 30 years, I have known and respected Leslie Eckstein, a person of enormous talent, absolute integrity, and incredible work ethic, who has most recently rejuvenated the center of Lakeville by creating the much-loved Green Café and gym. The old firehouse sat vacant for years, and Leslie had a dream.

The two came together and with Churchill’s stunning remodeling, a derelict building has become a hub for many of us who work out and take classes in the gym, consume delectable and lovingly prepared food in the café, and are recipients of her skillful massages. She and her family worked so hard during Covid to stay afloat, and what a joy and further testament to her tenacity and community support it has been to see this important business not only survive but thrive.

However, Leslie does not own the building. It has been for sale, and now as I understand it, has been purchased by an investment group from New York City that wants to turn it into a large Italian restaurant similar to others they own, seating close to 100.

There are many concerns. But to me the most important concern is Leslie herself. The group bought the building knowing she had a lease until September. They want to open their new restaurant in June. Pinned on the bulletin board in the café are the exchanges between lawyers that tell you what I cannot fit in this letter. Go in and read them.

They describe deep injustices, and make me wonder what would make this restaurant feel in any way hospitable for town residents to patronize. Leslie deserves much better, for all she has given our town, she should be able to stay there peacefully and legally until September when her lease is up, not to be forced out with no way to continue earn a livelihood and support her four children.

We are better than this. Pushing out established and valuable community-owned businesses without thoughtful discussion of all the ramifications of doing so is plain wrong. Let’s give Leslie Eckstein and Studio Lakeville our full-throated support and let her know how very much the vibrant pulse of her business has meant to us.

Sharon L. Charde

Lakeville

 

100-plus trees gone: I am still learning

The 100-plus “hazard” trees have been cut. The logs are neatly stacked in piles behind fences, behind NCon security officers, behind a D.E.E.P. bureaucracy.

Housatonic Meadows Park is no longer a place of hopeful expectation. It has been transformed from a peaceful, even joyful little beauty with tall oaks lining a sweet river into a battleground. And the battle was lost.

There were letters of protest launched to the highest levels, but the saws still came. There were phone calls to lawyers across the state, but the saws still came. There were placards of anguish held aloft, but the saws still came.

My dog still loves to visit the park. He’s a real sniffer, that one. He still has found lots of olfactory pleasures away from the trees, in the field by the road. I guess I have a lot to learn.

Michael Moschen

Cornwall Bridge

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