Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 1-27-22
Depot needs rehabilition right now
The Lakeville Community Conservancy, concerned that the 1870 Railroad Depot in the heart of our local and National Register Historic Districts is showing signs of deterioration, submitted a proposal to the Board of Selectmen in December 2021 and January 2022, aimed at its rehabilitation. Our immediate course of action would be to arrange and pay for a comprehensive Conditions Assessment (to be conducted by a state-sanctioned historical consulting firm). This would provide the community with a clear course of action on how to properly restore this important architectural gem.
For those unfamiliar with the Lakeville Community Conservancy (LCC), we are a not-for-profit civic organization, funded by donors, and are responsible for many of the improvements in Lakeville over the past six years. A partial list includes: creating and maintaining the gardens at Cannon Park (across from the firehouse); improvements to Community Field (signs, fencing, lighting, new benches, trash receptacles and dog stations); installing, planting and maintaining all of the 16 flower boxes along Main Street; planting and maintaining the garden at Bauer Park (at Factory Pond); and installing the Christmas lights each year at Cannon Park, Bauer Park and in the garden of the Lakeville Post Office.
Dedicated to the health and well-being of our town, the LCC understands the importance of an historic building like the Railroad Depot and thus is willing to allocate resources, time and energy toward saving it. Once the building has been rehabilitated there are many possible uses for it — a welcome center for visitors, offices for local civic associations, a small-business incubator, an exhibition space that would celebrate Lakeville’s many historic highlights and use during the summer by the Extras program at Salisbury Central School. However, any decisions regarding use — with input from the community — should be made at a later date. The immediate focus must be on the condition and rehabilitation of the Depot.
Considering that the Railroad Depot has been vacant for over seven years, we believe time is now of the essence. We are eager to reschedule the onsite January 18th meeting that was abruptly canceled and look forward to continuing the discussions we initiated with the selectmen in early December. A newly refurbished depot will add not only beauty but vitality to an important part of town and we believe that everyone — residents, businesses and visitors, alike — will reap the rewards.
The Lakeville Community Conservancy
You can make difference to your town
As everyone knows by now, there is a serious need for more affordable housing in our communities if our towns are to remain vibrant and economically diverse. You have an opportunity to make a difference.
The Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission is looking to fill two vacancies in 2022. The charge of the Commission is “to facilitate and promote the creation of affordable housing in the Town of Salisbury.” Members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen and must be registered to vote in Salisbury. Anyone interested in being considered for one of the vacancies should email Georgia Petry at email@example.com by Feb. 11.
To learn more about affordable housing efforts in Salisbury, visit salisburycthousing.org.
Come join us!
Mary Close Oppenheimer
Member of the Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission
Kindness and caring at Fairview Hospital
Several weeks ago, I thought I was having a heart attack. I called 911 and the North Canaan Ambulance took me to the Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. Mass. I was treated promptly and professionally by a skilled staff who found the problem. I was a patient for several days and was kindly treated by everyone.
I highly recommend this hospital to everyone.
Carolyn A. McDonough
Fresh starts, new chances
With January 2022 fully underway and plenty in the air to remind people we need to plan to stay healthy, productive and connected, we can deem this year one of Fresh Starts and Second Chances. That may mean many things to people to assess and pursue goals on a personal, family and social level. Where might we start to make the most of our time together whether online, in our neighborhoods, towns, states and wider regions?
The concerns most are tuning into understand the interplay of the laws of the land, the givens with basic property, social, business, non-profit and other structures setting the stage. There are rules, fees and cultural norms to understand and revise to reflect our modern times.
When learning from the past there is a growing awareness that often doing too little too late is costing people their safety, health, freedom and finances. We need to plan ahead for a decade in our own lives on the game board of the country, state and even town in which we live. Widespread efforts to help one another be clear about options for living in one state for six months and a day and then being able to travel (or return to another state if desired) to maintain lifelong ties or enjoy a warmer climate or reach other goals could be a reminder that U.S. citizens have freedom.
Many elders or others with care needs may not have family or others they can count on and again plans should be clearly put in place. Neighbors and people in shared regions can strive to thrive and help many benefit, maybe giving others “second chances” as is safe and reasonable if there were upsets in the past.
That can pave the way for more collaboration. If there have been abusive issues however more safety measures or possibly continued separation would be advisable. The lessons of Gabby Petito dying at the hands of the man she was involved with, not able to address serious violence and abuse that were publicized is typical of many coercive control patterns that play out in society.
Charts from duluthmodel.org can start to help more see the community and individual roles to strive for to give more people a chance for safety and support in any walk of life. Let’s make this a year of reverent and promising Fresh Starts and Second Chances in the United States of A-Miracle and wider world as well.
Catherine Palmer Paton