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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 10-27-22

Republicans’ divestment of America

Kevin McCarthy has stated that if the Republicans win Congress they will:

Get rid of Social Security and Medicare; Reverse the law allowing the government to negotiate prescription drug prices for seniors; Pass a national abortion ban bill; Make the Trump tax breaks permanent for corporations and the super rich.

Deficits will rise. Democrats believe corporations and the very wealthy should pay their rightful share.  As a result the deficit has been reduced this year by $1.4 Trillion.

Democrats want to codify a woman’s right to make health decisions about her own body. Republicans want to control a woman’s body.

Republicans want to water down support for Ukraine, siding with Dictator Putin in his illegal war.  President Biden has worked tirelessly to rebuild our relationship with our allies and to strengthen NATO in support of Ukraine and democracy.

While Republicans continue to lie about a “stolen election”, President Biden and the Democrats worked to get the COVID pandemic under control; gave a lifeline to small businesses and citizens to ease the challenges of the COVID shutdowns; invested in infrastructure upgrading and repairing our crumbling bridges, rail, roads, airports, broadband; planned for our future against global warming with the largest investment in decades to reduce greenhouse gases; passed the most significant gun safety bill in decades; created incentives in manufacturing semiconductors here in America rather than importing them from China; given debt relief to students overburdened by the high cost of education;   held those responsible for the attack on the U.S. government to prevent a peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of our democracy.     

This they have accomplished despite Republican obstruction.

If the Republicans gain control, they will reverse all these gains by not raising the debt ceiling to pay for programs already underway.

It is imperative we elect Democrats to continue this investment in America rather than Republican divestment. Newly elected Republicans will vote with their MAGA controlled party. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger  are examples of what happens when you have another opinion.

Vote for your future.  Invest in America. Vote for Jahana Hayes, Dick Blumenthal and the other Democrats running in federal and statewide elections. Our democracy depends on it.

Jo Loi



Sharon Hospital needs to keep L&D

I am outraged by Nuvance Health’s continued threats to close vital departments at Sharon Hospital when they have not yet obtained the necessary permission to do so.

For years now, Nuvance Health has been spreading the rumor that they are planning to close Labor and Delivery and make cuts to the Surgical Department and the Intensive Care Unit at Sharon Hospital. They started making these announcements long before they had even sent in their application to the CT Office of Health Strategy, whose approval is required. Instead, they seem to hope these rumors will help the departments “close themselves,” by frightening expectant mothers and other local residents into seeking care elsewhere, and nurses into finding other jobs.

I am a local mother who gave birth to my first son at Sharon Hospital a year and a half ago. My delivery was complicated, but my experience was made so much better by the fantastic Labor and Delivery unit and the amazing nurses and doctors who cared for me there. My husband and I hope to have another child someday soon but are now fearful of the potential risks and unknowns if we’re forced to drive to some other, unfamiliar hospital an hour away.

Our area has undeniably been changing since the pandemic began. More and more young couples and families are moving to this area, and among our friends our age, many hope to have more children. There is a great need for a reliable Labor and Delivery unit in our community, and we have it! And it’s not something we can afford to lose. Having a baby, and especially getting great care while doing so, creates a bond between a family and a hospital, and keeps them coming back for future care. My husband moved to this area when he was 3 years old, and his younger brother was born at Sharon Hospital. Their family has been getting cared for at Sharon Hospital their whole lives. My husband even told me about Sharon Hospital early in our marriage, and how excited he was at the thought of our children being born there. I had never had that kind of connection to a hospital before, but I now see what he means.

Sharon Hospital is a special place. It is more than just a hospital, it is a cornerstone of our community and so meaningful to so many who live here. We are lucky to have such an amazing facility nearby and we must do everything in our power to keep it. I urge you all to submit written testimony to the CT Office of Health Strategy as soon as possible to let them know how important Sharon Hospital is to you and to encourage them to deny Nuvance’s application. Written testimony should be sent to ohs@ct.gov. Please reference Docket No. 22-32511-CON.

Meredith Murphy



Don’t miss 50th exhibit

Founded by members of this community 50 years ago, Noble Horizons is grateful to be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with an exhibit at the Salisbury Association.  The Salisbury Association preserves, chronicles and shares the history of our community, and we hope you will explore this multi-media exhibit on display in their historic 1833 Academy Building through Nov. 30.

Noble’s story unfolds in a video featuring historic footage from the last 50 years as well as heart-warming memories and stories hand-written by men and women who have lived at Noble. You’ll discover mementos from community events such as the Habitat for Humanity Birdhouse exhibit, a do-you-know contest to identify Noble friends from the last 50 years and recorded recollections from over 30 local residents reflecting on the ways Noble has impacted the area’s nonprofits, businesses and of course, seniors, their families and friends since its founding in 1972.

We are especially grateful to the Salisbury Association for honoring Noble Horizons with its 1741 Award, which recognizes organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the local community.   

Members of the Tri-state region have helped Noble Horizons grow from a little community of 12 cottages in 1972 to a flourishing village within a village today. We thank the Salisbury Association for graciously sharing the first half-century of Noble Horizons and look forward to creating the next chapter of the Noble story with you.

Caroline Burchfield

Noble Horizons



As sent to Bob Smith, chief, Lakeville Hose Co.

Dear Bob,

I am late getting this note of appreciation and thanks to you and your fellow firefighters. But, please understand how very thankful Diane and I are to live in this town which has such an outstanding company of firefighters. Not to mention that they are all good friends and neighbors too.

We are so appreciative of the way you all responded to the 911 call we made from our Reservoir Rd. house last week when smoke was pouring out of the fireplace and the heat was rapidly approaching a flash point. I don’t think 10 minutes went by from the time we made the call to the arrival of Mike Brenner and then the truck from the firehouse, loaded with friends. What a great feeling of support and comfort that was!

The words thank you don’t come close to expressing our feelings! But, I will say them anyway. Thank you so very much!

Diane and Don Mayland



Sharon Hospital’s ED prepared for all patients

As Sharon Hospital continues the regulatory process for the proposed closure of the Labor & Delivery Department as part of the growth-based Sharon Hospital Transformation Plan, I want to reassure the community that our Emergency Department team is well-prepared to care for our patients. We are here and ready to support your critical medical needs every day, including those related to labor and delivery.

Emergency Department providers have labor and delivery training as a foundational learning through their residency program when training to become a physician. Throughout the regulatory process to phase out Labor & Delivery, Nuvance Health and hospital leaders have instituted additional clinical trainings to prepare staff to help mothers and babies through emergent situations. The trainings have and will continue into the future and are reinforced through simulated drills.

The Emergency Department providers and nursing staff are also completing Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) training that mirrors the training current Obstetrics and Pediatric providers complete. This training ensures the Emergency Department staff will be fully equipped to stabilize infants prior to traveling to one of the neighboring hospitals, in the event of an emergent birth that requires resuscitation.

While this training ensures we are prepared for any emergency, according to data from similar, nearby facilities who closed their Labor & Delivery units, we do not anticipate the proposed closure of Labor and Delivery to result in emergent births at Sharon Hospital.

We continue to ensure our teams, in partnership with local EMS personnel, are prepared for any emergency. We continue to meet on a regular basis with the local EMS squads to ensure continuity of communication across all areas as Sharon Hospital adopts changes.

Sharon Hospitals’ Emergency Department is open for the community 24/7/365, equipped with staff that have undergone strong clinical training to handle emergent situations, including those surrounding pregnant women and babies in the community.

Together, we look forward to providing care for all members of our community when called upon.

Dr. Leroy Nickles



Internet needed by all

As someone who relies on an internet connection for work, I can safely say that lacking access to reliable high speed internet is one of the only downsides of living in our beautiful town of Sharon.

Fortunately our neighbors have formed the Sharon Connect Task Force, which has worked towards a proposal by which Comcast will wire every home in town within six months, with no out of pocket cost to end users and only a third of the build-out being covered by the taxpayer. Building a municipal network would cost 10 times as much and take several years, if it ever gets done at all. The process of laying the cable is quick and minimally invasive, and as much as some of us may feel reluctant handing over any money to Comcast, it feels like a small price to pay to have reliable cable and internet in our beautiful neck of the woods.

Furthermore, high speed internet is increasingly seen as a “must have” by home buyers, and failure to wire our town with it will harm home values and consequently tax revenue significantly, with the impact increasing every year as our world becomes more and more connected.

I would like to strongly urge all my neighbors to vote in favor of this proposal when its timing is set, and would like to thank the members of the task force for their hard work in getting us to this point.

Jack Breslauer



Bermudez-Zimmerman is the right one to lead the 30th District

Last week I drove to the Brookfield High School debate for the 30th District State Senate seat.  The moderator raised relevant issues ranging from school governance to those of municipal clean water and women’s healthcare.

I came away ready to emphatically endorse Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman based on her concise answers and knowledge of the history behind issues.  Even though Stephen Harding grew up Brookfield, I was surprised at how fuzzy he was on how to address community concerns with concrete steps.  Typically, Bermudez-Zimmerman would cite a problem and Harding’s response was “Yeh, I think we need to look into that.”

Both candidates have strong familial ties to education.  They differed on whether to fund charter schools.  The Democratic candidate said it is important to support the schools we have now, not divert funds and risk lack of oversight for rogue schools.  As an example, she pointed out that it would be a shame if her opponent’s wife, a teacher, had funds siphoned away from her classroom.

It was on the issue of women’s health that we saw the strongest contrast.  Whereas Ms. Bermudez-Zimmerman was clear on the need for privacy, protection, comprehensive care, her opponent touted the need for a “practical” approach.  It was not reassuring.

Judging the candidates side by side, I am clear that we need a strong advocate for the NW corner who has researched issues when we come to her with concerns, not someone playing catch-up.  We need the dynamic Eva Bermudez-Zimmerman for State Senate.

Molly Fitzmaurice



Sharon needs townwide internet

Soon, residents of the Town of Sharon will vote whether to move forward with Comcast wiring the many roads in town that do not yet have either internet or reliable internet. We urge all in town to vote in favor of the plan.

When we purchased our property in the South Ellsworth section of Sharon, the site plan showed that we had a Frontier pole at the end of our driveway. We thought that meant it would be easy to bring internet to our house. We were naive and incorrect. Frontier said there isn’t service at that pole and they actually recommended we contact Comcast for service instead. Comcast said the nearest service is 18 poles away and we would have to pay $6,500 upfront to bring the wires to our home. This is not a cost we can easily afford.

We have virtually no cell service and the little we have is not consistent. There is just the occasional moment when we can get texts and possibly a brief call from one spot or another. Though even those spots are not consistent, so we can receive a text and while still standing in the same spot, not be able to send a text because the signal is now gone. We signed up for Starlink and that is also not consistent because of how wooded our area is. So far we’ve only had a couple of minutes per hour of internet with Starlink. I know that neighbors have similar issues with connectivity.

If anything were to happen where we needed to call for emergency services such as an ambulance, we would have to drive up the road to get a signal. And in some situations, that might not be possible, so the consequences could be dire. High speed internet for all roads in Sharon means that residents can work and learn remotely and that people can reach emergency services when needed.

Even if you are one of the lucky few in Sharon who has access to high-speed internet and good cell service, please vote yes to the Comcast wiring proposal. It is good for the entire town if we can provide this basic utility to everyone.

Claudia Carson & Tom Jeziorny



Check out the Sals./Shar. transfer station website

The Salisbury/Sharon Transfer Station website (conveniently called salisburysharontransferstation.com) has more useful information than you might think.  On the HOME page, you will find the basics, including hours of operation, and downloadable forms and guidelines. You will also find: a color-coded guide to the areas for disposal of different materials; the RecycleCt widget, a box where you can type in an item to see if it is recyclable; and a quiz to test your recycling know-how (and learn from the results).  Occasionally, a pop-up button will appear on the HOME page, alerting residents about holiday closings or other news like the Swap Shop closing due to staff shortage.  For those who live far from the Transfer Station, it might be wise to check for an unexpected closing.

The rest of the menu, which appears across the top of each website page, includes: PRICE LIST for items that shouldn’t go in the garbage hopper (carpets, tires, asphalt shingles, etc.); SWAP SHOP with information and hours (9:00 to 3:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and 9:30 to 12:30); SITE MAP; USER GUIDE; USER FEE FORM; STICKER APPLICATION (how to apply to windshield); and RESOURCES.

The RESOURCES drop-down menu has video, website, and PDF links, all of which provide educators and interested residents with all kinds of informative material. You can learn how recyclables are sorted at a Material Recovery Facility (or MRF), find lesson plans for classrooms, view a slide presentation about backyard composting, peruse a School Composting manual.  In addition, the RESOURCES menu includes a Local Champions page; a link to an article from Main Street Magazine by Salisbury writer Caleb May about food waste diversion and the Transfer Station’s food waste pilot; definitions of acronyms used in the waste management business, and a map that shows the destinations of the various materials collected at the Transfer Station.

Barbara Bettigole


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