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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 10-22-20

Horn is a great communicator

I will be casting my vote for Maria Horn and hope that many people will join me in doing so.  In addition to the many positive qualities and accomplishments as our State Representative the past two years that have been enumerated in previous letters to the editor, I would like to add one more. I have never before been kept so informed by a legislator as I have been with Representative Maria Horn.

Today (Sunday, Oct. 18), I received the most recent email providing information about the Zoom meeting, which she organized, with key area persons regarding the recent spike in cases of COVID-19 at Geer Lodge. Please note: Maria organized the meeting! And, true to her style of keeping the public informed, she sent an email to all who regularly receive her emails. 

Anyone is able to receive her emails; not just constituents of her political party. I applaud her for this and look forward to another two years of Maria representing us in the Connecticut Legislature.

Ceely Ackerman



Zoom- bombing Hayes’ Town Hall 

In 1950, when I was 12 and working on a Scout astronomy merit badge, my father, Edward Brecher, took me one Saturday afternoon to the Hayden Planetarium. Hungry, wanting a bite before the show, we went downstairs to have lunch in the basement cafeteria only to discover that every father and son in New York City seemed to have had the same idea that day about lunch so we got into the long shuffling line. 

Standing in front of my father, a good head shorter than he, with his two hands on each of my shoulders, I didn’t hear what was said to him by the man standing behind us, but had heard Dad suddenly roar out something and then felt him take his hands off my shoulders and spin around, at which point I broke out of line and ran. He’d had a choice then: take on the man who had made a vicious anti-Semitic remark or to run after me. He chose to comfort me. 

Now, thanks to social media and since the pandemic, Zoom, racists can spew their vile language in public with no fear of being punched in the face. The racist cowards who broke into and Zoombombed our congresswoman, Jahana Hayes (D-5), during her town hall last week did so in such a way that, unlike my Dad, neither she nor we, Jahana’s supporters, have any means to respond directly to them. 

That being the case, therefore, I say to you now, you faceless cowards, that in my book your unfair, revolting act ranks lower now — much lower, than even my deepest, most heartfelt contempt for the dangerous corrupt man now occupying the White House.   

Wm. Earl Brecher



We need Republican representation

There is a need for effective and responsible representation in Hartford and Washington. We have suffered years and years of failure in our state due to inept  Democrat one party rule. We have seen constant tax hikes,stealth tax proposals like tolls and the grocery tax and uplifting social crusade laws like the $15/per hour and expanded leave laws. What have been the results? GE has left the state, with others following. The economy has still not recovered jobs lost from the 2008 Great Recession. Business surveys chronically rate this state in the bottom five for it’s business friendly environment.                                          

When contrasting this atmosphere of stagnation with the economic revival, before the pandemic, record growth had been unleashed in the economy and stock market. How was this done? Simple. The Tax Reform Act, passed without any support from the Connecticut delegation, is responsible. It stimulated growth and deregulation causing employment for minorities and women to soar. Connecticut was sadly passed by. Programs like school choice, prison reform, and protections for religious practices were passed through executive actions. The list goes on, new trade deals, etc.

These visionary accomplishments were rejected by Connecticut legislators ­— locally by Rep. Hayes. These are policies of benefit to 5th District constituents. Representation includes making life better for your constituents. This means more than just reporting on information happening in Hartford or Washington. On the state level by voting yes on the police reform law, Rep. Maria Horn has made all people of the Northwest Corner less safe. Passage of the law will make it more difficult to recruit and keep police in law enforcement.  

In closing, two candidates running for office have exceptional qualities. David X. Sullivan has experience as a former prosecuter and stands for law and order. He has been endorsed by many orders and police organizations throughout the district. He has a creative plan to bring the electric car industry to Connecticut.    Brian Ohler has elected experience in the 64th District. He is a veteran and has training in disaster relief. Think the Kent ice jam. He has also been involved in environmental matters. Specifically the elimination of toxic pesticides along the Cornwall-Housatonic rails. Both of the candidates are committed and service oriented to bring Republican voices to the table.

Joseph Agli



Horn is right for the 64th

I am writing in support of Maria Horn’s candidacy for State Representative. To me, she models what “public service” should be. Every week she sends out a “State Capital Update” and, since March, a “Covid Update”. If you want to be informed about what our government is doing, these updates give us a ringside seat. 

In her reviews of legislative issues, she never comes across as polarizing and usually helps one understand that issues are rarely as one sided as is often portrayed. I think she is just what we need in these troubled times!

David Colbert



The theft of political signs: slipping to a darker side

I have a growing feeling of anger and frustration with the increasing frequency of the theft of political signs in our region of the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. Unfortunately, this is cultivating a civil dissonance on the local, small-town level that is evident to a greater degree throughout the country. I believe as a collective community we are better than that, and I feel a need to express a concern that we might be slipping to a darker side of who we are.

The problem with the theft of signs seems two-fold; most obvious is that it is illegal to trespass and take the property of another citizen. However, on a more significant level it is a metaphor of discord and exacerbates the anger over our political differences. Theft is inherently anonymous. It demonstrates an inability to engage in those with opposite views. There is an absence of courage and decency with theft, an unwillingness to take a risk to express your views in a respectful, civil way, face-to-face in the daylight. 

I believe that this election, in this time of angry politics and sign theft, is really not about the issues, although they are substantive. This election is about the restoration of decency in the national conscience. It is about the value of civil discussion,  care for others, and the acceptance of an opposing view without vitriol. 

Simply put, it is about a return to fundamental courtesy that seems to reside in us all, and thus is the strength of our nation. In turn, that lends us the ability to rediscover the foundation of our values to make the correct, carefully measured choices about the issues as well as our moral strength of character as a country.

Hugh Cheney



The right ones for the jobs

For medical care, I seek out qualified doctors with a medical degree and advanced training. When my teeth need attention, I visit a skilled dentist. When I need help with something electrical, I go to a certified electrician. A carpenter? Someone with experience and references. Credentials matter.

When it comes to voting for representatives to the Connecticut Legislature, a body whose function is to, among other things, write or review or improve laws that will help our state function fully for its citizens, I look first for a person with a law degree — someone who understands the law and who can craft good legislation or improve it.

We currently have two good candidates for the state Legislature, both with law degrees and real life experience with the law: Maria Horn for the State Assembly and David Gronbach for the State Senate. What a great opportunity to help Connecticut and our own region. Maria Horn has proven herself in just two years to be both a representative responsive to her constituents and one whose legal mind and training make her a go-to person for other assembly representatives when a law is difficult to read and understand. With broad and varied legal experience, David Gronbach offers us a chance for fresh thinking, a sound legal approach to laws and regulations, and a positive attitude.

I hope that my fellow citizens take a good look at our choices and join me in re-electing Maria Horn and electing a new state senator, David Gronbach.

Honora Horan

West Cornwall


The wrong proposal

The housing development being proposed in Lime Rock Station, “River Road Homes” should not be approved. Northwest Hills Council of Governments (NW COG) hand-held the Falls Village Planning and Zoning Commission (FVP+Z)  to get Zoning Regulations changed with no attended Public Hearing (2013) and apply for an Incentive Housing Zone (IHZ) in a non-compliant area. The IHZ is nowhere near a “Transit Station”, an “Area of Concentrated Development” or “Commercial Center” as required in the eligibility regulations. 

NW COG misled our Town officials into thinking all they had to do was enact the Zoning Change and everything would fall into place. It all worked for awhile. Until the newly created Falls Village Housing Trust (FVHT) applied to build. That was April 2019. NW COG failed to inform the FVP+Z  for 6 years that they had to re-apply for their IHZ annually to maintain compliance with the State. 

The land the FVHT aspires to build on is owned by Habitat for Humanity which has built four homes in Lime Rock Station. Good neighbors and homeowners. Habitat has tried to sell their 66-acre property across the road from those homes for 15-plus years. No takers. Most of the piece is heavily wooded, very steep and is bisected by the Mohawk Trail. Until recently, the president of Habitat (seller) was on the Board of the Falls Village Housing Trust (buyer) until we pointed out the obvious conflict. Also on the FVP+Z was a member of FVHT.  The FVHT hasn’t filed their 2016 and 2018 tax returns and didn’t file for “charitable” status in the state of Connecticut until last December 2019, when they were made aware of their shortcoming. The FVHT has failed to answer ANY questions of a fiscal nature, after many requests. Shouldn’t we know? 

The bottom line is that the FVP+Z and FVHT are in the deep end, way over their heads, led down the garden path by the NW COG. It does not inspire confidence, Not to mention the vast ramifications for our little town. We are not a “wealthy” town like Salisbury, Kent or Sharon. Our budget is 1/6 of Kent’s. And, by the way, the majority of their and the other towns’ affordable housing is within walking distance to their town centers. Not “River Road Homes”. Fully 2 miles from Falls Village and 7 miles from the nearest quart of milk. 

We recently created a Petition for Town Referendum that asks “Shall the Town Government, Its Committees and Commissioners approve the Falls Village Housing Trust’s application to build a 16 unit, 29 bedroom development in Lime Rock Station ? Yes or No?” 

It has been signed by 70 citizens and taxpayers asking for a vote, to decide yay or nay if this burdensome behemoth is appropriate for our Town. We will submit it shortly. Time and again we have stated that we are not against affordable housing. Not this way. By this group. At this time. Thank you.

Katy Keller

Falls Village


Voting does matter

It is good to know that local Republican Bill Littauer will not vote for Trump. And learning about his journalism career, and his witness to many of the historic people and events that were formative for me as I came of age in the 1960s and 1970s makes me think we have something in common.  

But I must correct the record again. I never suggested that Bill publicly apologize for Trump. I said that is what I would do if the Democratic Party was responsible for getting anyone half as bad as Trump and his enablers elected. 

I have had my own witness and involvement with important events and people. I even met a couple of my heroes from political, civil rights, peace, and other social movements. In fact, I was raised by one. My late mother went to jail several times during her nearly four decades of activism and nonviolent civil disobedience. While fighting and sacrificing to refine the soul of this country, she was mocked, shunned, threatened, brutalized, and even audited by the IRS for her activities. But like the two courageous senators Bill mentioned, the only two to vote against the Tonkin resolution, Mom was right. And she was no quitter. We could use more women and men like that, especially men. 

Actually, we have them, in our inspiring Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, our incredibly hard-working State Representative Maria Horn, and our superb challenger for the State Senate, David Gronbach. Coming from different backgrounds, they have shown what diversity, compassion, intelligence, creativity, and courage can do to make our towns, our state, and our country better places for everyone. I have never been prouder of our Democratic slate. 

Their Republican opponents though, have not acknowledged the incompetent and dangerous leadership at the top, have not shown they understand the injustice built into our society, and have not articulated credible solutions for serious problems. The recycled plans for lower taxes, fewer regulations, and more law-and-order policies, never have and never will help deal with systemic racism. They certainly will not help with climate disruption, COVID-19, and the lack of affordable housing and health care.   

I cannot believe these candidates are the agents of reform Mr. Littauer hopes for. Are Mr. Sullivan’s attempt to associate Jahana Hayes with Marxism, and Brian Ohler’s Northwest Chatter FB page examples of promoting civil dialogue? How about Craig Miner getting rated as one of the 12 worst state legislators in the country on environmental issues? 

I am delighted that the national Democratic leadership is showing signs of returning the party to its roots. We can thank 2018 for that, the year of the great surge of women into politics. It took women, mothers especially, to end the Vietnam War. And so it will be now, as we fight to save our democracy and our country. 

Vote Democrat on Nov. 3, our future really does depend on it. 

Al Ginouves

Chairman, Salisbury Democratic Town Committee



Do moderate Republicans still exist?

If your family has been voting Republican for generations, and you feel you must do the same, think! Trump has squashed any “moderate Republicans” down in national offices. Is statesmanship dead? These senators and others have done what they are ordered to do. What has happened to people who would stand up and say and do the proper things no matter what the threats to their careers, etc.? If they had done what they should have in the impeachment, Trump would be gone and Mitch McConnell too.

Your parents and grandparents voted Republican so you must? No: You are not voting for Theodore Roosevelt who started the National Parks (which Trump is already destroying for his best buddies, the oil and coal corporations.) You are not voting for Dwight Eisenhower who said corporations (and the military) must not be allowed to take over the government. You are not voting for Nixon, who in spite of his awful maneuvers, did approve and begin the Environmental Protection Agency — which Trump has gone far to destroy, and intends much more.

Are you going to vote for one who has handled this COVID totally wrong and is responsible for thousands of people’s deaths, who might have been saved if Trump had taken it seriously and had the research for vaccines begun instantly, instead of laughing it off? (I think he saw that this whole disease could be used for his benefit.) You will be voting for who is out to wreck this democracy, for the benefit of the only people that count — billionaires, huge corporations — the top 1%. 

He couldn’t care less about the rest of us. His niece Mary Trump said so in her recent book. Wreck the air, water and land; treat Blacks and others badly; slam women down in any ways possible; remove decent judges from the courts, to be replaced by more evil, unethical and immoral ones; allow and bring back all kinds of dangerous chemicals in food. There are so many hundreds of illegal and unethical, totally wrong, things Trump and his destroyers of America have done.

Think hard. You must change. You are not voting for a real Republican. He is corrupting that whole idea as fast as possible. Drop the “it can’t happen here” idea. It already is going fast and big. These extremists (Sorry, I refuse to use the words, “Right Wing”) are totally wrong. 

So, if you vote for Trump, I believe you are acting against the best interests of the democracy of America. It is the most critical moment in the history of America. It must be stopped now.

If there is an election: Trump is already threatening to cancel it as fraud if he loses. I think he is crazy enough to try to declare martial law, due to protestors, and cancel the election. That is far beyond sanity, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he tried anything to wreck the election.

Roger W. Coleman



The Salisbury model

We attended the Zoom public hearing meeting Oct. 8 on the affordable housing project proposed for the corner of Route 44 and Holley Street in Lakeville. We do not object to the site for housing but we and others object to the scale of the proposed apartment building on a tiny lot that is now essential parking for our local businesses and a busy intersection becoming busier with traffic diverted to the new Transfer Station. Thirteen apartment units on a third of an acre with no outdoor space is not how we feel affordable housing should be planned for our community.

We suggest a model that would be smaller-sized housing, what we could call “The Salisbury Model.” It would be a project with individual dwelling units which would give each family a bright space in a smaller multiple dwelling building. 

In other historic, rural towns where people object to affordable housing, they do not necessarily resist the concept but rather the intrusion of urban design not in keeping with the soul of their community. The smaller housing models are less expensive and allow for local control without having to meet a developer’s break-even targets or to weather interference from state or local governments. Lower costs could allow the raising of local monies. Our community raised over $2,000,000 to renovate our beautiful library and $1,000,000 to create an amazing ski jump used only four months of the year. Our town owns the Pope property with over 13 buildable acres and land it purchased directly behind LaBonne’s. There are at least 40 other parcels that could be considered for use.

The concept we’d like to see is a variation on the “tiny house” model that is designed and adaptable to any parcel, with multiple units on the parcel. This idea is better suited to small towns like ours, and is the opposite of the outdated Coop City concept we saw constructed in cities during the 1960s and ’70s. We no longer want to “put” people someplace. A more enlightened approach is one in which people get their own space which includes healthy living for children with some private outdoor space. It’s an idea that would help build and strengthen our entire community. 

We believe there is a better way to allow people to live affordably in our town. Wouldn’t it be preferable to solve the problem of affordable housing in our area by creating healthier, long-term housing more suited to our community?

Stephanie Koven

Susan Galluzzo



Horn will serve the best

I’m writing to express my strong support for the re-election of Maria Horn as our House representative from the 64th District in Hartford.

When the coronavirus epidemic exploded last spring, and the state legislative session was called off, Maria immediately pivoted to manage the pandemic’s extraordinary hardships in the Northwest Corner. She helped many people get unemployment insurance and small business loans. She constantly sent out email newsletters — as many as three a week — with important information and links about how to deal with the health crisis. 

In the past few days, she has displayed impressive leadership by organizing an online  meeting with community leaders to report and share essential facts about local virus outbreaks at Geer and area schools.

It’s difficult to grasp how much time and dedication this has taken and continues to take her. Disturbing talk from those opposed to her re-election suggests that if you’re not from here, you cannot effectively serve the district. Maria’s actions and effectiveness prove that this is absolutely wrong. 

We are extremely lucky to have Maria fighting for us. Let’s re-elect her!  

Laurie Lisle



Horn is good for the 64th

You may ask why a registered Republican who served in the Marine Corps is voting for Maria Horn. Simply put, she is the candidate best equipped to deal with the needs of the Northwest Corner. She will not be a part-timer as she has no other career demands. She gets deep into the issues and reflects on a nonpartisan basis about what is best for all constituents. It is not about party affiliation, historic voting patterns,  or gender.  

I don’t expect to agree with her on all issues nor should anyone. To my surprise my wife and I sometimes fail to agree. It is about voting for best thinker and  hardworking representation. As a footnote she communicates clearly and nonpolitically on a regular basis.

Philip V.  Oppenheimer



Why Maria Horn?

As a retired educator I’m supporting Maria Horn. Education is one of the major “industries” in the Northwest Corner and I, like many other retirees from the public schools, need their Connecticut Teachers’ pension.

Due to the Windfall Elimination Provision, I am not entitled to receive my fully earned Social Security benefits. Thankfully I had enough quarters to get Medicare. However, teachers who do not have enough quarters solely rely on the Teachers’ Health Insurance upon retirement.

The Teachers’ pension fund as well as the Health Insurance fund have been woefully under-funded for decades. Well, the can that got kicked down the road led to near bankruptcy of both these funds.

We retirees have been contributing to our pension and health plans during our teaching career. Maria voted to support the retired educators, unlike Brian Ohler, by making sure the state of Connecticut kept its promise for its portion, avoiding costs becoming the towns’ responsibility.

Maria listens, investigates, comes up with solutions on many issues, not only the one related to teachers. That’s why I’m voting for Maria Horn and hope you will, too.

Jo Loi



A racist attack on Hayes

How sad it was to read, last week, the letter Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sent out to those of us who receive her newsletter.  Representative Hayes is currently serving her first term as our 5th Congressional District Representative in Washington, D.C. She is the first African-American woman to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress.  In running for re-election, she has been holding frequent Zoom meetings with constituents.  

As many of you have heard, a recent meeting was interrupted multiple times by people directing disparaging remarks at Rep. Hayes.  This is an understatement.  The shockingly blatant racism expressed was disturbing. Despite this, she was able to handle the rest of the meeting smoothly and with grace. Afterwards in her letter, Rep. Hayes described how personally painful it was. She asked us to consider the trauma of such an experience for an African-American. And we all must. As Rep. Hayes wrote, “...a refusal to acknowledge it is a non-starter for anyone who seeks to heal our nation.”

Kathy Lyon 



Gronbach will get things done for the 30th

Almost three years have passed since David Gronbach left office after serving a single term as mayor of New Milford; yet he remains a polarizing figure. Is that because he was bad at his job? No, it’s because he did his job.

After decades of Republican-dominated government, residents of the Town of Steady Habits have become accustomed to mayors who make an appearance at every community function, shake hands, kiss babies, and get nothing done.

Gronbach’s two-year term was a whirlwind of activity that caught all of us by surprise. Instead of rubber-stamping business as usual, he pored over every line item on the town’s balance sheet, and identified numerous ways to reduce expenses without raising taxes or cutting vital services, such as education.

He not only followed through on his campaign promise to convert Pettibone School into a community center, but succeeded in getting it open and running in short order, and at minimal cost to the town. From all accounts, Park & Rec, Social Services, and the Youth Agency are thriving in their new spaces.

If the Republicans had gotten their way, this property would be nothing but another vacant lot with a “For Sale” sign and a giant stamp on top saying “Price Reduced.”

Nobody’s perfect. David Gronbach’s fatal flaw is that he’s not a politician. He doesn’t take marching orders from wealthy special interests. He does his homework and makes decisions based on real facts, not alternative facts.

New Milford residents of modest means are worse off because he’s no longer our mayor. But residents of the 30th Senate District will be well served by having him represent our interests at the state level.

Vote Gronbach on Nov. 3!

Tom O’Brien

New Milford


Putin likes Joe Biden, not Donald Trump

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy insists on repeating the lie that Vladimir Putin has reasons to favor Donald Trump for president and to oppose Joe Biden. Recent history clearly shows that the person far more likely to favor Putin’s interests is Biden. Consider these examples: When Obama-Biden assumed office, one of their first acts was to cancel an agreement with Poland to station medium-range missiles in that country as a deterrent against aggression by Putin’s Russia.

While Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, she and the Obama-Biden administration approved the sale of 20% of the USA’s uranium assets to a corrupt Russian corporation with links to Putin. Not surprisingly, the Russians contributed millions of dollars to the equally corrupt Clinton Global Initiative, and they hired Bill Clinton to deliver a speech in Russia for money in amounts most Americans can only dream of.

In contrast, President Trump has pressured Europeans to increase their contributions to NATO to discourage Russian aggression.

He has promoted vastly increased U.S. natural gas production and exports to Western Europe to reduce their dangerous reliance on Russian natural gas. This removes Putin’s ability to blackmail Europe via threat of shutting off gas supplies and significantly reduces Putin’s profits from sale of the gas.

Trump has also made clear his total support of the Eastern European nations formerly held in the Russian Iron Curtain and in return the leaders of these nations have expressed their respect for his efforts.

These facts and others prove that Putin suffers with Trump as president and would support Joe Biden and the Democrats as weak replacements with whom they can literally roll over.

Lucille A. Paige



He is our friend, our neighbor and our voice

We live in a very unique area, outside of the big cities and at a much slower day-to-day pace. That being said, still, we are very aware and connected to what is happening in our over-taxed state. We don’t want to hear that the governor needs to do another project to promote more business in Bridgeport or Hartford and we will be taxed to help pay for it and our current local representative will certainly vote for that tax increase. Sadly, we don’t benefit from that in any way at all. Just another unfortunate burden for us.

We need a representative who will represent us. Brian Ohler has proven time and time again that he will always be here for the Northwest Corner of Connecticut’s needs. He was born and raised here, he’s the guy next door, who walked home from school with your kids. He served our country for 12 years, and afterwards furthered his education, became part of his hometown community by joining several public organizations and stays involved in public safety.  

He is employed as the associate director of safety and engineering for Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington and for the northwest region of Hartford Healthcare. He oversees public safety, emergency management, telecommunications and small projects. As Brian said, “I’ve always been in public safety,” as a volunteer firefighter and an EMT. He’s a man who gets right in where he is needed and is there to help the citizens of Connecticut.

Whether he is fighting for new and worthy laws for our state in Hartford or locally, Brian will always be at your side, making sure your rights are being protected and your voice is heard. He’s the man you can trust.

Vote for Brian Ohler!  He will always be there for you!

Jane Pinckney



Here are good reasons to support Maria Horn

I am writing to encourage you to vote on Nov. 3 for Maria Horn. For the past two years I have had the opportunity to work with Maria on many issues that directly affect the town of Norfolk and the Northwest Corner of Connecticut. I am fortunate in my position to have a representative that will communicate with me, provide answers to my questions and to work as my advocate in my dealings with the state government.

Each of the towns in the Northwest Corner deals with many of the same issues: road and bridge funding, affordable housing, solar and broadband to name a few. Wading through the quagmire of paperwork and regulations from the state of Connecticut can get to be tiresome, but I know when I call or email Maria, I am going the get the support I need. 

I was recently on a conference call set up by the Energy & Conservation Committee of the State General Assembly. The call was to discuss LCO No. 3920, “Act Concerning Emergency Response by Electric Distribution Companies and Revising the Regulation of Other Public Utilities.” Although I wanted to voice my concern about Eversource’s lack of response during the August storm, my reason for being on the call was to encourage the committee to consider raising the virtual net metering rate cap. 

This is very important to the town of Norfolk considering our future solar project at the landfill. While still on the call, I emailed the chairs of the committee with my concerns, copying Maria. I heard back from Maria while still on the call letting me know that she would contact the chairs. Before the call was over, I heard back from the chairs and another member of the committee, all positive. 

In another instance, Maria informed me the governor would be visiting Torrington and would I be available to meet him to discuss Norfolk issues. A meeting at the Norfolk Hub was arranged and along with other Norfolk residents we were able to discuss projects that are going on in Norfolk, including the work of the Norfolk Foundation, the impact Infinity Hall has on the community, the development of the Haystack Woods Affordable Home Ownership project and the development of a fiber optics network in Norfolk. All these items require assistance from the state and when you can get the ear of the governor it never hurts.

So, I encourage you to support Maria Horn in her re-election campaign to continue her work for the Northwest Corner.

Matt Riiska

First Selectman



You should vote as if your life depends on it

With “Oaktober” and the election season in full swing, everybuddy can find a reason to get in the game of Life and of What IFs. As I explore on Livfully.org and in outreach over the decades, every person counts, whether they can vote or not. Younger people (children, teens, the unborn) also could have a form of meaningful representation since they are being tasked with caring for the earth and our collective future. For those women feeling they ‘have to have an abortion’ due to lack of support on any level and over time, more voluntary support should be rendered.

 All childcare should be free at this point in time, as should birth control and counseling, particularly early on and often in life to help people understand their emotions, the economic challenges and options that are at play, educational support and pathways to health to prevent insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, substance abuse, violence and poverty. 

I am realizing the vision for a more fair, friendly world and a way to pay debts and keep roads and public services up and running can come with a high price tag. Preventing problems in the human realm makes good sense and delivers huge benefits to all involved.

 As for finding the funds to help people ‘stay afloat and make a decent living’ that is more challenging, but not impossible. America and other advanced countries overconsume resources, so finding ways to help curb consumption would be the goal rather than everyone living in unsustainable ways. As more women and youth join forces with men who have traditionally run the show, things can only get better.  More team approaches to join in efforts are springing up online so don’t delay in “finding your tribe” (globally, nationally and locally.) 

This is the critical “planting time” for the top gardeners of our forest of friends and families in our country with everyone’s good health being instrumental in keeping our economy and very lives going. Breathing, exercising, eating right and being kind are all great steps toward a positive outcome for a kind, capable government. Let’s let love in with the day and create waves of teamwork to share and care, which our world needs now more than ever to prevent a downward spiral of climate change refugees, loss of resources and the few ruling over the many. Vote as if your life depended on it because if very well could! 

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village


Horn is stronger for 64th

Recently published interviews with Brian Ohler and Maria Horn confirm that there’s a lot to like about each candidate. 

Brian Ohler clearly loves and cares deeply about the Northwest Corner. He grew up here, served in the U.S. Army, and as an RN, EMT and mother of a veteran, that is meaningful to me. He has a wonderful, large, extended family. If likeability was the only consideration it’s possible I’d have to flip a coin to decide for whom to vote for 64th District representative. The truth, however, is that you simply cannot find a better person than our current 64th District representative, Maria Horn.

Maria is not a close friend. This is not about gravitating to the candidate with whom I most closely identify. This is about supporting the best, most highly qualified person.

Maria is whip smart, absolutely trustworthy, kind, fair and extremely hardworking. Her professional accomplishments are impressive, her work and leadership on behalf of local nonprofit organizations legendary. She is the kind of person you are grateful to have on your team, squad, committee, or company.  She is the kind of person who is so good at what they do, so highly competent, that they make everything better. 

We should be grateful to have Maria Horn serving our community. If we are wise, we will re-elect her as our 64th District Representative. 

Clare Rashkoff



Vote for the one who best represents your interests best

Lou Timolat writes (Oct. 15) supporting Brian Ohler for 64th District Representative. Mr. Timolat cites Ohler’s very commendable military service as his primary qualification for office. I fully join in Mr. Timolat’s praise of such service, but fail to see how that service is critical to the votes a State Representative will have to cast. 

Will Ohler support a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body if that decision is returned to the states? Will he vote to further develop alternative energy sources before our planet becomes uninhabitable in many areas? Will he vote to expand access to health insurance, particularly for those who cannot afford it?  

Of course, it is politically popular to run against taxes, which everyone agrees should not be so high as to hamper growth and drive people out of Connecticut. More significant, however, are the questions of what revenues are you willing to support and what services are you willing to reduce.

Maria Horn has served us very well. Why change to a candidate whose credentials seem to be that he is nice fellow with a commendable service record? 

Dan Silverman

Falls Village

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