Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - 9-2-21
Education, not regulation, for lakes
I am writing today as a 22-year lakefront homeowner on Twin Lakes, as the President of the Twin Lakes Association (TLA) and as the spokesperson for the Salisbury Lakes Homeowners (SLH).
The TLA is comprised of over 300 community members who love Twin Lakes. The goal of the TLA board has been to remain neutral while keeping members apprised of the proposed regulations and their potential impact. These issues were discussed at our annual meeting, and we invited Curtis Rand to share his views on the subject. We have added educational material to the TLA website about ecologically sound lakefront property maintenance practices and intend to continue this type of education.
SLH was formed immediately after the March 1 informational meeting where the proposed IWWC regulations were first presented publicly. At the conclusion of this meeting, the town administrator asked that a comprehensive list of questions be collected from the community. We complied. Also, Curtis Rand suggested that I speak with Mary Silks, a Lake Wononscopomuc Association (LWA) board member and co-author of the proposed regulations. Ms. Silks was kind enough to speak with me for 90 minutes and explain the development process and the concerns that the LWA was trying to address.
We must agree to disagree on when the public could reasonably have been expected to know about the proposed regulations, which would have afforded an early opportunity to voice concerns. That no longer matters, and we are here now. Clearly, a large part of our community feels disenfranchised by the process. Fortunately, there is time to correct that.
I do not question the motivations of those who support the proposed discretionary regulations. And those who support the proposed regulations should not question my motivations nor other members of the public who raise legitimate concerns. We are as concerned as anyone else about maintaining the health of our precious lakes.
Through the activities of SLH, we have raised awareness and asked important questions that have yet to be fully answered by the IWWC. However, our actions have had an impact. I commend the IWWC commissioners for taking the initiative to educate themselves and to carefully consider the questions and concerns that have been raised by the public via SLH.
Some believe more regulation is required to slow development and protect our lake ecosystem. However, many of the examples cited to justify the regulatory expansion occurred within 75 feet of the shoreline, which is already within the authority of the IWWC to regulate.
Unfortunately, they did not. I am unconvinced that the expansion of the regulatory authority of the IWWC is justified nor will it slow lake development or enhance protection of our lake ecosystem.
It is my belief that education, not regulation, is the most effective means to foster community trust and cooperation to protect our lakes. Let’s use this as an opportunity to come together as a community to increase investment in education to promote environmentally sound behavior and while enforcing the regulations in place today.
Grant C. Bogle
Stop the misinformation on FV
This is in response to Colter Rule’s letter of Aug. 11, “It’s time to unify Falls Village,” about the River Road affordable housing project.
A majority of Falls Village residents already support this project. All that’s needed now is for the minority of obstinate objectors — like Mr. Rule himself — to stop fear mongering and spreading misinformation about it.
Mr. Rule’s letters are more than opinion. He repeatedly makes specific what I believe are false claims about financial liabilities he says the town will incur. He repeatedly attacks town officials, charging all manner of malfeasance. His claims have all been thoroughly and repeatedly refuted by town and state officials in letters of rebuttal also published in the Journal.
Yet the paper continues to publish new letters from Mr. Rule with more of what I believe to be false claims. That only sows confusion.
Mr. Rule’s Aug. 11 letter claimed Falls Village “would be responsible to repay the funds if the development doesn’t get built.” He was apparently referring to preliminary funds obtained by the FVHT for well drilling, etc.
But a July 21 attorney letter states the town is not liable for the housing trust’s “predevelopment loan.” As always, Mr. Rule is trying to frighten townspeople into opposing the project with what he sees as liabilities.
Mr. Rule’s letter began by stating it was only to be read by Falls Village residents, which is typical of his arrogant attempts to control the narrative. The housing issue affects all towns. If some towns don’t do their share, others have to do it for them. The longer that projects like River Road are delayed, the greater the number of families and businesses that suffer. It’s everyone’s problem.
Another common claim from Mr. Rule is that the River Road project is too far from town. He says it’s better to “start small and build a few units in town where new citizens would be included, not marginalised far away.”
That claim may be opinion, but everything about it is misguided. New residents would be no more “marginalized” on River Road than current residents. And there’s no reason to start small, as if this project was some sort of untried new concept. And no matter where in Falls Village one lives, even in the village center, you still have to travel miles to other towns for shopping.
My own opinion is that Mr. Rule’s letters are self-serving and inaccurate, and that he only pretends to have the best interests of affordable housing residents at heart. He vehemently objects to having 16 units of affordable housing built on River Road because that’s where he lives. He’s grasping at straws trying to prevent it.
Remembering Ellen Burcroff
Like many in town, we mourn the passing of Ellen Burcroff, a lifetime contributor to our community in a multitude of quiet, generous ways. For those who wish to gather in her memory, please join us on Saturday, Sept. 11, 9:30 a.m. on the lawn of Holleywood, a house that she and her husband Robert Anderson revived. Parking will be at the Town Grove. Signs will direct you to the outdoor gathering. Masks, please.
Helen and Donald Ross
Join in caregiving, caring
On a recent TV crime show the difficult issue of child abuse was explored. A judge intimidated a competent child witness to her sibling’s abuse by a caregiver (adoptive parent) by firing questions about knowing the difference between telling the truth or telling a lie. We can all aim to live with integrity and compassion based on the truth. Allowing freedom and advocating for others is a boundary more can explore for themselves and others in their community. How many people witness abuse but deny or delay in intervening or advocating in some way? We should try to understand why.
Why isn’t there more talk about how to protect and care for children, pregnant women and others in need of support? What about needy elders and others at high risk for abuse, neglect and denial of services? Special efforts should be made to help people have basics for care in their own home or in the community. The now defunct institution in Wassaic NY housed 5000 people, most with profound needs before shifting to community-based care homes. Clearly more help is needed to have support for the huge wave of elders needing support due to age-related decline in ADLs (Activities of Daily Living.)
There are people who may be open to receiving help if there is a supportive network with training and guidelines shared among all parties about being respectful and managing conflict or concern with support as well.
Many people do not understand what is being required to afford care or provide appropriate support. People who are helping may be dismissed or maligned for their efforts, possibly accused of crimes along the way directly or indirectly. Those are choices playing out and eliminating meaningful connections. Forgiveness, healing and offering more of a community response is needed.
Caring for people and educating youth and others is a team sport for everyone, whether online, finding help, doing the direct work or sharing insights. Schools, states and towns can share the laws and terms of caring for oneself and others in each state, school, home or other settings.
More people can join the “Caregiving Olympics” and aim for integrity and compassion rather than confusion and dismissal of efforts. Each person is worth fighting for to have a safe, decent life and support when needed.
Catherine Palmer Paton
Be responsible: Get the vaccination for COVID-19
Unfortunately, COVID is still here and is even increasing. (See the Connecticut government website: www.portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Data-Tracker)
The Delta Variant now targets the unvaccinated young, aged 20-40, the main group filling hospitals here and elsewhere. Connecticut deaths recently increased by 32 for a total of 8,330. Nationwide, the death rate is 617,997! An astonishing and horrifying number.
In a sea of misinformation, those facts are verifiable. Those who believe crazy stuff like microchips are embedded in vaccines ought to know that Donald Trump, his family, and most Republican leaders have been vaccinated, because they know the importance of prevention. Remember, Trump funded the vaccine in the first place.
Promoting vaccines and requiring them in many indoor places is not some weird authoritarian response. It is sane policy that saves lives and allows the economy to grow.
It is time for the unvaccinated to reconsider their decision, both for their own safety and the safety of others, including the safety of the medical staff that might care for them and who fear bringing COVID home to unvaccinated children.
At the very least, unvaccinated people should wear a mask and maintain social distance to protect others and be responsible citizens. With rights come responsibilities.
I Really Don’t Care Do U: defining our days?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
— The Golden Rule
Yet winning votes and saving lives is our national duel
In an age when folks forcefully assert their right
To carry a deadly disease where’er they might
The former first lady, she done gone South,
Didn’t say or do much, a tight-lipped mouth
M didn’t wail, shout, protest or coo
Turned her back: “I Really Don’t Care Do U”
Has this sentiment the Golden Rule broken?
I Really Don’t Care Do U thus spoken
Doth it shape our morals, our druthers
Turning us from care to disregard others?
Afghanistan now bleeds to an end
Decades of bickering whether to send
More soldiers, billions, diplomacy or guns
To a nation absent leaders, the Taliban run
“Be honorable – let’s get ’em all out”
Casting aspersions at Biden they shout
Politicians colored both red and blue
“But settle them Afghanis away from me and you”
“I Really Don’t Care Do U”: defining our days?
Turning of backs — shooing Afghans away
To other lands far far from us
Who better handle this humanitarian fuss
Let “patriots” stroll the Capitol halls
Let the maskless steal the health of all
Condemn the regard of one for another
I Really Don’t Care Do U smothers
The once shiny city on the hill
Dimmed its glimmer, made honor a frill
“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” Ronald Reagan, 1989, Farewell Address