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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 11-19-20

Don’t recreate a building we voted unanimously to demolish

I am writing with a bit of history regarding the old Holley Block building pictured in a vintage photo in this paper last week. The original Holley Block was built in the mid-1890s on the site of the Holley Company Store. Over the years, the structure grew to accommodate a livery stable, post office, newspaper office, Mason’s Hall, a cluster of lively shops and a few “bachelor” apartments. Lack of parking presented no problems before horseless carriages became popular. 

By the 1960s, Holley Block had become “an obsolete eyesore.” (Lakeville Journal, 5/30/68). We were given the chance to vote whether or not to tear it down in a special Town Meeting held on a snowy evening in December 1967. “People came out in a whirling snow storm and a sentence of doom was cheerily pronounced on the Holley Block in an unanimous vote.” (Lakeville Journal 1/4/68) A donor made a gift towards the purchase of the site and demolition. In return, we promised that if any future building were ever built there, it would be (unlike the tear-down) “in keeping with the Federal or early Eighteenth Century image of our villages.” 

To recreate a building that the town unanimously voted to demolish, and razed with enthusiasm, seems an ill-advised choice for any purpose.

Helen Klein Ross

Lakeville

 

Salisbury can do better for housing

A parking lot proposal that is posted on the Salisbury Planning & Zoning Commission website (‘P. Hackett Public Parking Potential’) should send chills down the spine of anyone who cares about the public parks and green spaces in Lakeville-Salisbury. The proposal includes paving over Bauer Park, the green at the end of Factory Pond in Lakeville, that has recently been turned into a beautiful, well-enjoyed garden with benches by the Lakeville Community Conservancy. The plan also proposes widening Ethan Allen Street to build 32 parking spaces along the edge of Factory Pond.

Turning Bauer Park and/or Ethan Allen Street, the entryway to the Town Grove, into parking lots is being proposed because the Salisbury Housing Committee is intent on destroying Bicentennial Park, a site that includes an existing parking lot and a tree-lined public park on Route 44 and Holley Street, to construct a 4-story apartment building on a quarter acre site in the center of Lakeville’s historic district. 

The resulting parking plan is not only an expanded assault on the historic heart of Lakeville and the rural feeling of our village, but paving over two green parks and widening Ethan Allen Street in this unique and sensitive area endangers our town drinking water (these areas are in the Aquifer Protection District) and the health of Lake Wononscopomuc.  Storm water run-off is already one of the biggest threats to our lake. This shortsighted plan makes matters even worse. Why turn one mistaken idea into a disaster? 

I want to see — and am eager to help any way I can — our town create needed affordable housing. But why try to shoehorn an oversized building into an area that is too small, too dangerous with complicated car and pedestrian traffic, and too important to the historic district, our town water supply, our public green spaces, and the health of the beloved lake that we as a community have a duty to protect? And why eliminate an existing parking lot only to pave over two public parks to create other parking lots? It just doesn’t make sense. 

There must be another way. What about other sites in town that would not raise all of these critical issues and create so many additional problems? 

It’s my belief that we as a community should come together and work out a better plan. I know we can do it. 

Stephanie Koven

Lakeville

 

Act now and fight to combat COVID

As residents of Litchfield County, we are now in a Red Level of Risk in the war against COVID-19. The Red Level is as hot as it gets. We have lost 149 in this county to horrid death by COVID, and there will be more.

Please join the national effort to defeat this enemy, not with guns, but by wearing masks, social distancing, staying at home, avoiding crowds and washing hands. This requires strong civic commitment and self-discipline, but Americans have demonstrated in the past that we have both.

The medals of honor are reserved for the health care workers, scientists, first responders, and essential workers on the front lines. As the rest of us fight behind the lines, we will see the risk level slowly decline from Red, to Orange, to Yellow, to Green. 

When we are Green again, we can slap each other on the back in congratulations that together we mastered the virus.

Help is on the way from a vaccine; but for a while, we are on our own. Thank you for joining this fight.

Stay safe and protect your families.

G. A. Mudge 

Sharon

 

People need support and accurate info

 America is experiencing Differences Of Opinion (DOOs, an acronym I coined) on many levels, not only resulting in a close election but whether the results in all states should stand and possibly other options to discuss what happens next. We gain insight when we map legalities out yet also recognize the emotional and belief components in any situation.

From the grassroots level, any person can be of two minds or both agree or disagree with aspects of almost any issue. 

When two people are weighing in on things, that level of variation and complexity compounds quickly. We know there are laws and foundations but we are also discovering repeatedly there are gaps and dysfunction in the systems.

Even for a person trying to decipher what to do for their nutrition to prevent insulin resistance that leads to diabetes, there is a lack of information shared early on in life and some conflicting theories as to whether food, exercise, stress, and lifestyle makes a difference or not. 

So even in these basic ways people are left in the dark or left without support and accurate information to make adjustments and stay the course to health, safety and support. In terms of interpersonal interactions there are laws and guidelines, but not clear pathways to file complaints and concerns, explore one’s feelings and beliefs as well as consider those of others and look for middle ground or amicable ways to clarify social, physical and other boundaries. 

The point of being in community at the local, state, national and global level is to make peace, not war, and have friends who can help work things out to allow people to live and not be in fear or pushed to the brink of extinction physically, socially or otherwise.

Even prisons are under scrutiny for ways they treat people humanely even if inside for a life sentence or serious crime. With COVID at our door, we are all feeling challenged to remember what life was like and could evolve to be if things ever get back to normal.

Many are concerned not only with the military gaining more control over public health but also artificial intelligence spying on and redefining human beings. WilliamHenry.net and NoLiesRadio.org among many others discuss taboo topics while it is still legal to do so. 

We all deserve a shot at hearing the theories to consider what is going on with individuals, communities, states, and countries as 2021 approaches.

Let’s keep in mind the DOOs and Don’ts in life in terms of not silencing others completely but rather to use an open “What IF” mindset to hear the fears, concerns and hopes behind what someone is saying and find ways to make peace, not war on any level.

I share many ideas and resources on my blog forum Livfully.org . I network and consult with people can be reached on my FB Catherine Palmer Paton page or cppaton@yahoo.com

Catherine Palmer Paton

Falls Village

 

More hurricanes, viruses 

It is by far the worst hurricane season on record. During 2019 we had 18 named storms including 6 hurricanes. This year the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is tracking to be the most active hurricane season on record and it’s not over yet. To date it looks like 30 namesake storms including 14 hurricanes. 

It is well recognized that our fossil fuel burning and human encroachment is wreaking havoc with our ecosystems across the planet. What we need to face also now is that ecosystem disruptions are also wreaking havoc on our health. 

As we struggle with  COVID-19 today we must also face the facts that we are enabling more zoonotic spillover of viruses to jump from animals to humans as we impact natural habitats without regard for the consequences. 

As more hurricanes are the result of our activities as humans heating up the oceans. More viruses will emerge as a result of our encroachment on more and more natural habitats and the destruction ecosystems that once created a buffer zone that prevented animal and human virus spillover. 

Unless we face the climate emergency that we are in the midst of we will have more and more dangerous hurricanes and more and more dangerous viruses every year.  

It is past time to recognize the connection between our health and how we interact with nature on this planet that we share before it is really too late.

Bernard Re Jr.

North Canaan

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