Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 10-7-21
Thanks for help with the Women’s March
There is a reason why people write letters to be published in newspapers thanking volunteers. It is the best way to recognize people for their selfless contributions.
I am one of those people. Yesterday, Oct. 2, we attracted 300 people in Kent, for our Women’s March, which was one of hundreds held nationwide. Our three speakers, Conn. Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, state Representative Maria Horn (D-64), and journalist Jane Whitney, host of PBS “Common Ground,” formerly “Conversations on the Green,” were inspirational.
This event could not have happened without the help of those who offered to volunteer without remuneration, too numerous to mention all here. Michael Jay handled the audio. Chuck Sadowski organized the layout of our staging area. Susan and Bob Riley made directional signs, and Bob built a riser on which the speakers could stand. The Kent Memorial Library provided chairs, not a small thing.
Ellen Corsell, owner of Heron Gallery, let us use her electrical outlet for the audio. Linda Bernardini and Rita Kho joined us to lend a helping hand, while Ira Smith provided water. Trooper Andrew Fisher made certain that we had state troopers at the event. Katie Moore allowed us to use her property to stage the remarks of our three speakers.
Last but not least, a big thank you to my cochairs, Janet Rivkin and Jane Zatlin.
Leslie Lillien Levy
Action needed now to save hospital
“The truth never damages a cause that is just.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
As a resident of the Sharon Hospital service area, I am extremely grateful to Dr. Kurish for speaking the truth to us last week in his letter to the editor. Find last week’s paper and read it if you have not.
On Wednesday evening, Nuvance announced to us all on a Zoom webinar that they were doing exactly what Dr. Kurish told us they were going to do, part of which was to close labor and delivery at Sharon Hospital as soon as possible, even though Nuvance has an agreement with the state of Connecticut to keep it open for a further three years.
Seven people were on the screen in the webinar, whose names appear to have been removed from the video which is linked to the Nuvance/Sharon Hospital website:
Dr. John Nelson — Director of Community Affairs, Nuvance
Dr. Mark Hirko — Part-time President of Sharon and Putnam Hospital, Nuvance
Dr. John Murphy — President and CEO of Nuvance
Dr. Mark Marshall — VP of Medical Affairs, Sharon Hospital, Nuvance
Christina McCulloch —Chief Nursing officer Sharon and Putnam Hospital, Nuvance (began her time with Nuvance as a nurse at Sharon Hospital)
Kerry Eaton — CFO of Nuvance
Despite the desire to frame this as a “conversation”, all of them are in the employ of Nuvance. There was no one on screen who represented the interests of the patients of Sharon Hospital. Also absent was any representative of the Foundation for Community Health.
Zoom is no place to have a conversation with seven people on the screen and 130+ not visible to those seven people, nor each other, and unable to ask follow-up questions.
So, let’s have a real conversation. Watch the Zoom “conversation” which can be found on the Nuvance/Sharon Hospital website. Talk with your neighbors and friends.
Be in touch with your first selectperson, our state representative, Maria Horn, and our state senator, Craig Miner.
The Save Sharon Hospital Group is working to arrange small, in-person, conversations and organize local residents who want to hold Nuvance to its agreement with the state to keep labor and delivery services at Sharon Hospital.
We need your help. Send an email to SaveSharonHospital@gmail.com
Sharon Hospital is a 4–star hospital, one of only two in Connecticut. Let’s save it.
A letter to Americans (shortened from my speech at the Salisbury Women’s March, Oct. 2)
I am here to encourage you all to stay focused and to stay involved in the struggle to preserve and expand women’s rights, to save the United States Supreme Court from itself, and to save our democracy. As law professor Steven Vladeck said to Congress on September 30, “a world in which our constitutional rights are nothing more than the whims of 50 state legislatures is not a federal system. It’s not a system with the rule of law. And frankly it’s not a system that is going to be sustainable in the long term.”
Our nation and our system of government are based on the principle of democracy. But what is democracy? Abraham Lincoln had it right when he spoke in Gettysburg of “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” That was 1863. Today we have a government that is increasingly of the few, by the few, and for the few. And we have a Supreme Court that is out of touch with the will of the people. Nowhere is this more evident than in its recent decisions regarding abortion.
Inn Griswold v. Connecticut, the Court established the constitutional right to privacy in marital relations, then, In Roe v. Wade, to a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. Almost immediately after Roe v. Wade, the federal and state governments began their effort to restrict the right the Court had just recognized. And in a series of cases from 1989 through 2020 the Supreme Court allowed the states to chip away at abortion rights without overturning Roe v. Wade.
This year Texas enacted SB 8, a statute authorizing any person in the United States to bring suit against an abortion provider or anyone assisting a woman seeking an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The statute replaces the rule of law and state liability with a system of vigilante enforcement and a $10,000 bounty to anyone who brings and wins a suit. The Supreme Court, which should have issued a temporary injunction suspending the law’s enforcement until the case could be heard, instead issued a 5-4 ruling from what is known as its shadow docket allowing the law to stand. As a result, women in Texas whose pregnancy is beyond six weeks have no access to licensed abortion providers without going out of state.
The current Supreme Court majority is out of touch with the popular will. Well over 60% of Americans support a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy. Our Constitution cannot endure as a living document if its interpreters defy the will of the people. And that is why it is now up to us to act and to elect representatives who will ensure that our government is the one that President Lincoln described in Gettysburg. I firmly believe that we can and will put our nation on the right track … but only when we have as many women in Congress and state legislatures as we do men.
Time to move on to next chapter for this BoF member
I want to thank the voters of Salisbury for giving me the opportunity to serve on the Board of Finance for the past 24 years with 14 of those years as Chairman. I decided not to seek reelection this year to a fifth term because it was time for me to go and give others an opportunity to serve on this important town board.
Over the years I have served with dedicated and exceptional members, especially Carl Williams former Board of Finance Chairman, who was my mentor. The board has striven to work closely with the Board of Education and Board of Selectmen to develop and recommend approval of budgets that are fiscally prudent that meet the diverse needs of our town.
The current six-member board is composed of very capable and knowledgeable members. One member is up for reelection and three others are running for election to the board this Nov. 2. On election day you will have an opportunity to vote for four candidates to the Board of Finance. They all merit your support.
They include Joe Woodard who is running for my seat on the board for a full six-year term, Janet Graaff who is running for reelection to a full six-year term, Michael Volstad who is running to complete Mike Clulow’s term for two years, and Rick Cantele who is running to fill the remainder of Mat Kiefer’s term for four years. I urge the voters of Salisbury to support these qualified candidates. Regards.
Board of Finance Member