Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 11-26-20
Salisbury actually can do housing
This letter is in response to Ms. Koven’s letter to the editor in the November 19 publication. There are statements made that are not factual and need to be corrected. Nowhere in the email and PDF that I sent to the P&Z is the word “propose”. This same goes for the words “proposal” or “proposes”. http://www.salisburyct.us/reports/P.HackettParkingComments11052020.pdf
The Holley Place project was not something done in the dark of night. There has been a process that many people have participated in over the last few years and has ultimately reached the Zoning application phase. Since parking has been made a reason the proposal should be denied, I wrote an email and made a PDF regarding what I called “Public Parking Potential” (see subject line of email).
The three locations for parking were only to get a handle on how much parking potential there is in the area. To call what I submitted a “parking lot proposal” ignores the reality of what was submitted.
In life the world can be viewed as either a cup half-full or half-empty depending on one’s viewpoint. As an engineer, I am trained to see the cup as twice the size it needs to be. Ms. Koven’s half-empty approach in her letter does nothing to support housing for all in Salisbury. If Ms. Koven is honest about being “eager to help any way I can”, she can start by being factual.
To state “stormwater runoff is already one of the biggest threats to our lake” ignores the fact that the runoff from the site does not enter either of the nearby lakes and does not actually reach a lake until Lake Lillinonah in New Milford. To state the proposed use “endangers our town drinking water” because the property is shown in the Aquifer Protection Area ignores the intent of the regulations, which provides an additional level of scrutiny, but does not prohibit housing or other uses. In fact, large portions of both Lakeville and Salisbury fall within the Aquifer Protection Area. http://cteco.uconn.edu/maps/town/apasmall/Salisbury_apa.pdf
There is another way. Now is the time for all to work together. The recent real estate blitz has only made matters worse for affordable housing.
Hyperbole serves no one. If Ms. Koven knows we can do it, she should start by being constructive and factual.
Please, be a hero, wear a mask
We are enthralled by rescues– the saving of lives by others. Big headlines in 2009 for the Miracle on the Hudson, in 1987 herculean efforts that saved Baby Jessica, on 9/11 selfless heroes at the World Trade Center. Blockbuster rescues blitz the media while smaller headlines herald folks pulling others from burning cars, from swelling flood waters, from violence. Unsung rescuers save a choking stranger, prevent a fall or a misstep into traffic, block a projectile, find a missing child all without headlines.
Good Samaritans abound. Good Samaritans aren’t scripted; rather they emerge in life-endangering situations with an inclination to act.
With COVID there aren’t rising waters, leaping flames, screams of despair or pleas for help rather we see endless numbers, graphs of cases and deaths — impersonal. People impacts overwhelm health facilities flanked by growing numbers of death trailers. COVID devastates the kith and kin of hundreds of thousands dead and dying.
Amid a crisis of crisis, I am stunned by the vehement upheaval regarding public response to COVID in the U.S. What is this standoff — is it really a political duel of more or less government, is it me-ism on steroids? Powerful public response to ravages on the nation’s health, safety, and security are commonplace in America. MADD mothers reshaped national alcohol consumption behaviors — conscientious party-goers designate a driver — someone to abstain from consumption for the good of others. Second degree smoke and its health ravages upended smoking in our society — smoking isn’t in public spaces, in work places and in many of our homes. Baseball stadiums stopped serving alcoholic beverages after the 7th inning. Soldiers went to war, the nation lived on food stamps.
I get that COVID social distancing restrictions have capsized small businesses. People are financially, emotionally scuttled by social restraints in our people-centered society. Closing public/people spaces is life altering.
What I don’t get is the ballyhoo about masks and personal spacing. Any and all Americans can act against COVID by simple, no skill required behaviors — wear a mask, keep your distance from others — defy an airborne virus. Any and all Americans can act to prevent harm to others while self safe-keeping. Wear a mask, keep distance from others — defy an airborne virus.
Good Samaritans aren’t scripted, they aren’t screen heroes, rather they are everyday folks choosing to act in a crisis, to contribute to the health and safety of self and others, to do good in a time of bad.
Let’s let the good drive out the bad. Let’s join to defeat COVID — do it in public — wear a mask, stand 6 feet apart, be a good Samaritan in your own space.
How do avocados rate?
Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that my avocado habit is bad for the environment and my carbon footprint? — J. Pilsen, Olathe, Kan.
Compared to other fruits and vegetables that are grown closer to home, eating avocados — most of which are flown in from Central America — can be a drag on your carbon footprint. Furthermore, they require a lot of water, fertilizers and pesticides to grow, further complicating this seemingly “green” superfood.
Avocado’s environmental impacts come from the “energy, water, fertilizer and pesticides required to grow them, the resources used for packaging materials and the energy used in processing, transporting and keeping them cool to preserve their freshness,” Tom Cumberlege of Carbon Trust tells Vice.com, also pointing out that some of the biggest markets for avocados are in the UK, northern Europe and Canada.”
Avocados also require an astonishing amount of water to grow, some 320 liters per fruit.
Furthermore, the global popularity of avocados in recent years has led to “monoculture” farms that grow only one crop over and over, degrading soil quickly and requiring increasingly more chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Compared to meat, avocados are still a much better deal for the environment — and much less of a drag on your carbon footprint. Indeed, the Evening Standard reports that eating a kilo of lamb generates some 46 times the carbon emissions as the average pack of avocados. Enjoying a piece of farmed salmon will also increase your carbon footprint more than having some guacamole or avocado toast every now and again.
As a consumer, the best thing you can do with an avocado is to “make sure that it doesn’t go to waste,” says Cumberlege. “… avocados will not last days in the fridge after they have been prepared, so [they] should be enjoyed sooner rather than later.”
Give thanks for this
Here we are Thanksgiving eve
With nothing more up our sleeve
Has Trump conceded yet?
Our aspirations met?
This is written one week out
So I don’t know, without a doubt
But hoping he is preparing for lock up
His crystal swapped for a tin cup
When he is gone away for good
The country healing, start it should
So as we sit at the turkey table
Hoping the country will become stable
And hate groups no longer invited
By his rhetoric incited
Let’s give thanks that this is done
And no more idiocy will be spun.
21st Century Fund is so important
Only one year ago, I asked a friend, “What is this 21st Century Fund?” She answered, “I have no idea!” That is when I dug in to find out for myself and finally joined the Board to help communicate what it is.
Perhaps because I never had children who attended HVRHS, or because I have only lived here for 25 years, I was sadly ignorant of the amazing contribution the community has made to our regional public high school through this fund.
Essentially the 21st Century Fund supports grants to teachers and students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School for innovative ways for students to learn, within or beyond the classroom. That means it backed those who asked for a robotic team which has since received national recognition; it allowed students to purchase the kit for an electric car engine, inspiring them to go to local businesses for whatever they needed to actually create the body of the car and compete at Lime Rock, and it has assisted teachers in partially funding trips to China, Germany, and the Galapagos Islands.
This means the fund, made possible by the generosity of community members, has allowed our public high school to truly compete with the programs of many private high schools in our area. We can be sure that our public school children have similar educational opportunities available to them because people old and young, local or implants, wealthy or not, recognize how important the education of the next generation is.
I am so proud to be part of this enrichment fund, and so grateful to be part of a community that views education as a priority. Let’s all learn more about the 21st Century Fund and support it in its essential work.
A good argument for supporting local businesses
Last week I received a notice from Aetna, my Medicare prescription drug insurance provider, stating that while they would continue to include my local pharmacy, Sharon Pharmacy, in their network they would no longer offer me “preferred prices” on my prescriptions. They suggested instead that I shop at CVS in New Milford or Big Y in Torrington. Since I am fortunate that I have few prescriptions and they are not expensive, I had no intention of following their suggestion to change my provider.
This weekend I came down with a cold and checked my medicine cabinet for some cough syrup and saw that the bottle label indicated possible interactions for those diagnosed with Parkinson’s — which I have. Well, it was Saturday afternoon so I knew I would never reach my doctor…so what to do?
I called Sharon Pharmacy and John, the pharmacist on duty, answered my call and addressed me by name. He looked up my prescription history and advised me that it would be safe to take the cough syrup. I was so relieved and grateful! Can you imagine what would have happened had I tried to call CVS or any big box pharmacy?
Deliveries from big box retailers and online services may have been life-savers for many during this pandemic. Still, there remains a vital and very special role for local stores. I appreciate the professional and personal service provided by Sharon Pharmacy and I will continue to be their customer.
I hope each person who values the unique lifestyle we have here in the Northwest Corner will make a decision to support their local pharmacy (and other local businesses) today so that all of them can survive and flourish… and be there when we need them.
Joanne P. Wojtusiak
Giving heart felt thanks
In mid-July of 2020, our home burned down. The immediate response of the North East community, our friends near and far and our families was astonishing and humbling in its generosity and support.
The Millerton, Copake, Ancram, Lakeville and Wassaic fire companies came to help that hot day to suppress a raging fire.
We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the five fire companies and all the remarkable volunteers. Our neighbors came down the road to offer help. Our friends took us and our kitty Scout in while we arranged a place to live. Our community stepped in with funds, clothing, housing and unconditional love.
Today we are resettled and have begun to rebuild our home on the property we love. To say that we are fortunate people is a significant understatement. We have been so greatly blessed in this unexpected process by so many in unending ways.
Thank you. To each of you, thank you. May you be equally blessed in your lives. And may these challenging times continue to reveal what community truly means.
With deepest gratitude to our extraordinary community.
Janice Hylton, Gail Smallridge & Scout the Kitty