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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 7-30-20

The USA is in trouble

Donald Trump’s presidency has consistently weaponized racism and white supremacy to gain his objectives. He stirs up division because he firmly believes this is the key to winning a second presidential term. By taking a stance against cultural change, he can fuel anger in his base, who believe our country is “going to hell” because of liberals and minorities. 

In all reality, Donald Trump doesn’t believe or care about anything but his own profit and power. He has proven he is willing to do anything to win, no matter the consequences. His abuse of power is blatant, as shown in Portland, Ore. Militarized federal agents with weapons took a peaceful protestor off the street and shove him in an unmarked van while releasing tear gas! The United States is a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Donald Trump’s toxic attitude toward Dr. Anthony Fauci, a voice of reason during this deadly pandemic, is incomprehensible. Dr. Fauci is trying to save lives, while Donald Trump has proven again that, to him, human lives are expendable. He refused to wear a mask for months, and ridiculed those who did, while encouraging people to believe that COVID-19 will “just disappear.” Worst of all, his recommendations of treatments, such as drinking lethal cleaning products, boggles the mind. Yet, Donald Trump’s long line of sycophants stand behind him, nodding their heads in unison to curry favor with this mob boss of a president.

Does Mr. Trump really have a message for Americans other than his lying misinformation and political shape-shifting? If he does, it is “Bring back the 1950s and the Good Old Boys’ Club” where certain white men ruled with an iron hand and crushed any resistance.

Donald Trump is a serious threat to American democracy. He is an arbitrary and unhinged man, which is clear from the erosion of democracy during his presidency. From the Russian debacle, the vanity Wall he touts, attacks on transgenders, gays and minorities, to ignoring the Constitution, this erratic, malicious, ignorant liar leaves carnage wherever he goes, and that’s unacceptable.

The United States is in trouble and unless Donald Trump is voted out, another four years with him at the helm will most certainly be the ruination of our country.

Gretchen Gordon



Thanks for helping dedicated kayakers

We would like to express our thanks to the young men who are teaching sailing at the Town Grove in Lakeville: Landon, Nathan, Zim, Jacob and Wade. Each week they graciously move our kayaks from the racks into the lake and then back into the racks when we finish our paddling excursion.  

Fifteen years ago when we started to kayak at Lake Wononscopomuc, it was easier to move the kayaks around. But time takes its toll and we sincerely appreciate the assistance of these fine young men.

Debra Frank, Kathy Weigel and Barbara Zimmerman



An American tragedy is upon us now

What we are experiencing now in our country is not only a failure of a presidency but an American tragedy. Where an administration that governs a nation of immigrants seeks to wall out immigrants. Where a nation with a history of helping free Europe and then rebuild it after WWII has now proclaimed nations in poverty and turmoil to be less than garbage. Where statues of traitors to this country are defended. Where denial of science is national policy. Where mention of “the common good” as stated in our Constitution is perverted by campaign rhetoric into “a  socialist menace”. Where divisiveness is a re-election strategy. Where “law and order” fear mongering is shouted out at the very top of our government. Where “We the People” are branded anarchists. Where corporations have the rights of citizens and citizens are killed for being Black. Where the undocumented living side by side us are declared to be less than people and uncounted in our national census. Where a virus can sweep the nation and our president fails to even mandate mask wearing. Where an executive order can remove environmental safeguards that protected people but now fast track projects. Where selfishness, jealousy, avarice and deceit speak truth to millions while facts are ignored and denigrated. Where a once shining example to the world has become a shadow of what it was at the hands of the Trump administration.

Bernard Re, Jr.

North Canaan


Support these Republicans for state office

On the afternoon of July 18, approximately 40 Republicans turned out for a fundraiser sponsored by the Salisbury Republican Town Committee. We were blessed by wonderful sunny weather and a beautiful hilltop locale where everyone could mingle yet engage in appropriate social distancing.  

The attendees were delighted to hear from two excellent candidates who will be on the November ballot:  David Sullivan, candidate for the 5th U.S. Congressional District, and Craig Miner, our incumbent in the state’s 30th Senate District.  David Sullivan has been an assistant U.S. attorney in Hartford for 30 years, prosecuting all manner of federal crimes from racketeering to money laundering to mail and wire fraud. David has taught at numerous colleges and law schools, including Yale and Quinnipiac Law Schools. David is running against incumbent Jahana Hayes, who has tacked strongly left since her election in 2018 and now supports such unsustainable programs as Medicare For All and The Green New Deal. 

Craig Miner is well-known to residents of the Northwest Corner. Before being elected to the State Senate in 2016, Craig served for 10 years as First Selectman of the town of Litchfield. Craig explained that he has recently spent the majority of his time helping constituents navigate the various state and federal assistance programs put in place since the outbreak of COVID-19.  During his two terms in Hartford, Craig has served in a variety of leadership positions and has worked tirelessly to find solutions to the state’s worsening economic situation.

Brian Ohler was scheduled to participate in the event but had to cancel. His duties as overseer of Public Safety and Emergency Management at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington required that he be in Torrington for the demonstration and counter-demonstration that took place that evening. Thankfully, Brian reported that the demonstrations were peaceful and there were no injuries. Brian is seeking to regain his seat as the 64th District representative in the General Assembly, a seat he narrowly lost to Maria Horn in 2018.

In David Sullivan, Craig Miner and Brian Ohler we have three outstanding candidates who are worthy of support from all residents of Salisbury.

Tom Morrison

Chair, Salisbury RTC



We need champions for reproductive justice

When it comes to the topic of health care, most of us will readily agree that everyone has the right to comprehensive access. Where the debate begins, however, is how to ensure this access. Health-care systems around the world are crumbling under the pressure of the pandemic, highlighting the tangible barriers that were already in place preventing women from accessing treatment of any kind. 

Time and time again, President Donald Trump has made it clear he doesn’t respect the lives of women and girls. His dangerous Global Gag Rule makes it even harder for people in developing countries to access family planning, barring organizations from receiving desperately needed U.S. reproductive health funding if they so much as mention the word abortion. 

This chokehold on funding has forced clinics abroad to close and cut off access to essential reproductive health care, causing life-threatening consequences. 

This is unacceptable. 

Fortunately, we have a solution. The #Fight4HER Campaign is fighting to pass the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights Act, or the Global HER Act. This piece of legislation would permanently repeal Trump’s Global Gag Rule and restore funding to health-care organizations all over the world. 

Our biggest opposition comes from Trump and his supporters in Congress. Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal must stand up for women and families and support this bill. 

For the safety of all people around the world, especially women, we must demand the immediate repeal of Trump’s Global Gag Rule.

Claire Foley

West Cornwall


Mohawk Trail part of the proposed housing equation

A few yards. That is the distance between The Mohawk Trail and the five-building, 16-unit, 29-bedroom housing project under consideration in Falls Village. With the permission of Habitat for Humanity, I am more than happy to walk with anyone  from River Road up to the trail. Or we can easily access the trail from the property of the adjacent landowner who has given me permission to access the Mohawk from his house. The entire section of the Mohawk Trail from Music Mountain Road to Johnson Road is spectacular with a lovely view from Lookout Point but it is rugged in parts so not accessible to all who might be interested.

A locator map for the Mohawk Trail was omitted from the original Incentive Housing Zone application. In fact, the application failed to indicate the  presence of The Mohawk Trail on this property in any way. It is a requirement of a properly executed application that a public use of the land be noted.

It is possible that the consultant who filled out the application was unaware of the presence of  the trail on the property or unaware that this section of the trail cuts very close to the road because of the very steep slope behind it. A properly warned hearing would have allowed for the vital input of townspeople who could have educated out-of-town consultants about the local land. 

I am heartened that people finally seem to be asking questions about this proposed development and I thank The Lakeville Journal for giving everyone a forum for discussion. 

Furthermore, I do want to want to state clearly that I support Affordable Housing in the Smart Growth district of our town. To build housing that is literally on the wrong side of the tracks is not the right way to welcome new people into our community. 

Laura Werntz

Falls Village


Safety and inclusion 

I commend the statements made in last week’s Lakeville Journal by Selectmen Henry Todd (Canaan/Falls Village) and Curtis Rand (Salisbury) as well as our senator, Craig Miner (R-30) and representative, Maria Horn (D-64).

Bilingual signage, both wayfinding as well as prohibitive and warning, is an important first step.  It sends a clear message to all the visitors to the Falls that we are a welcoming community. It’s a recognition that we anticipate and accommodate the needs of non-English speaking visitors. Access to rivers, lakes, state parks, and all other properties acquired and/or managed through state and federal agencies is the right of every resident of our state.  We are fortunate to have the privilege to live in an area that is rich in natural beauty and recreational opportunities.  Over the years, Connecticut has invested significantly (and continues to invest) in protection of open space in the Northwest Corner for the welfare and enjoyment of all.

Senator Miner is correct that the current patchwork of closures and restrictions to accessing state waterfront property results in the over-crowding of areas such as the Falls, which cannot safely manage the growing influx of day trippers.  Boulders, gates, guardrails, saw horses, and caution tape are but stop gap measures which send a decidedly unwelcoming message.   

The recent addition of guardrails (2019) has exacerbated traffic and parking problems on Housatonic River Road, and has scarred one of Salisbury’s most scenic roadways. Excluding people is not a long-term remedy, nor is it a socially just solution.  We need a management strategy for this unique, fragile, and potentially dangerous natural area that meets the needs of all stakeholders, not a select few.   

Michael W. Klemens



Too much like the Gestapo

Those who lived through World War II

Are now living it anew

The similarities of the two leaders

And their idiotic believers

One had Gestapo the other Ice

Both are evil to be precise

And ego driven rallies were the rage

Of both strutting on the stage

For the life of me, I don’t know

How to rid us of this woe

Hopefully the voting booth

Will rid us of this “stable” uncouth

And normality can return

Of this day, I do yearn.

Michael C. Kahler



The nuclear family is important to children’s well-being

To prove their “virtue” many individuals and corporations are screaming their support for and sending money to Black Lives Matter.

Supporters and donors should be aware that the BLM website states “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure...”

The breakdown of the nuclear family in the last 50 years with children raised in fatherless homes has been the main reason young men, particularly young black men, turn to drugs, crime and violence. It isn’t news and it isn’t a surprise that children of all races have a far higher chance of having a stable, productive life in two-parent families with a strong father figure. 

But BLM denigrates and wants to dismantle the “Western prescribed” nuclear family. The very structure that has been weakened in the past five decades, with disastrous results for members of those families as well as society, is the institution targeted for destruction by BLM. 

It would be impossible for the most retrograde pre-1960 segregationist politician to formulate a policy more certain to condemn generations to poverty and failure than this one touted by Black Lives Matter. 

If Black lives really mattered to BLM, instead of spouting on their website about “comrades,” “liberation,” and other Marxist rhetoric they would demand that public policy support efforts to restore the family. 

This point was illustrated by columnist Chris Powell in a recent column when he wrote about the tragedy of 15-year-old Jayson Negron. Abandoned by his family, living on the street, he turned to drugs and stealing cars.  He died tragically after a run-in with police.  

The point is, fathers matter, families matter in children’s lives. As a society we need to work to restore and strengthen the family ASAP.

John Morris


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