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Letters to the Editor - The Lakeville Journal - The Millerton News

Finding some answers: What is joy?

In October 2021, I was inspired by a simple act, which has led me to write this letter. After many trips past the intersection of Route 44 and Lincoln City Road, I began to wonder why the school crossing guard was always energetically waving and smiling as people drove past. Finally I decided to stop and acknowledge him for having me smile every time I drove past his post. I introduced myself, and as we shook hands, he said, “I am Chris Kullman and I really love this job!” He continued, “This is my way of giving joy to the students and drivers as they pass through here every day.” I realized every time I drove past, his waving caused a smile on my face.

With the negativity we find ourselves mired in, including Ukraine, the long-running pandemic, gun violence and the rapidly increasing daily shootings, it had become very easy for my mind to slip into negative thoughts in my life and all around me. So, I decided to inquire what creates joy in my life.

Here are some things that create joy for me:

Living with Jane, my amazing wife of 39 years.

The indoor and outdoor flower gardens Jane has created.

Snowplows in winter.

Our auto-start generator during power outages.

Being with our friends.

Our cats, Jimmy and Buzzy.

Sunny days with cool breezes.

Watching the sunrise from our living room as it appears over the mountain.

Driving to Winchell Mountain with Jane to watch the beautiful sunsets.

The sweet aroma of freshly mown grass.

Rebirth and greening of nature as Spring has Nature come back to life.

The incredible multicolor palette of the leaves of Fall.

Talking to animals, even the bears, I find in our driveway when I walk out the door.

Christmas lighting displays, my favorite being the many trees wound with colored lights by Tom Mariano on Route 41 from Lakeville to Sharon.

My favorite definition of joy: A source of great pleasure. The main ingredients I rely on in my life now are happiness, contentment, patience and appreciation.

Best of all is that this inquiry into joy has changed my life! I continually search for the joy and best in situations. Jane says, “I love that you are being a more positive thinker.”

Heartfelt thanks to Chris Kullman for his continual daily waves to the probably hundreds of people as they drive past him. Who knows the number of lives that have been impacted and uplifted by his simple daily action? Thank you, Chris.

Charlie Kelley



Clarification, 37th Sharon Classic

For the first time in all the years of conducting our primary annual fund raiser, the 37th Sharon Classic Road Race to benefit the Sharon Day Care was held at Veterans’ Field in Sharon Valley on Saturday, May 7, 2022, as per tradition, the first Saturday in May.

Many in the community and neighboring towns wondered why the change occurred and talk ensued that the Sharon town officials had not cooperated with us, which then inspired the change. This is NOT AT ALL TRUE. The town supports us very well and they understood why we moved our location. Now it is time for our attendees and sundry supporters to know the reasons for the move.

The beautiful historic Sharon Town Green will be undergoing curb work and other refurbishments during 2023. Thus, it became clear that we should plan ahead and relocate our fundraiser in order to be prepared. We chose Veterans’ Field and received excellent support from Sharon Parks and Recreation. The site allowed for ample parking, a new scenic race route, a pavilion for sheltering activities, and real bathrooms with running water, which the runners and attendees applauded, as well as food trucks, which could not be parked on the Green. The only negative issue that we endured was the nasty, cold, windy weather.

Change is often difficult to take, but flexibility is most necessary when planning such a detailed event. We hope to see everyone return to the new site on Saturday, May 6, 2023. In the meantime, the Sharon Day Care board and staff are working on evaluating this year’s race to ascertain what we need to improve.

We thank you for your patience and understanding in accepting a necessary change.

Janet Nickson

Sharon Day Care Board



Excellent Towns & Villages section

Many thanks for dedicating this year’s Towns and Villages publication to ways that towns are finding to create more housing, and thanks to the supplement’s editor Cynthia Hochswender for her excellent introductory article.

I agree wholeheartedly that there is a severe shortage of affordable housing in our communities. Unfortunately, there is a history of intense opposition to solving this problem. I suspect that some of the opposition has come from self-interested current landlords, who have been afraid that increasing the housing supply would lead to lower rents for existing housing.

Unfortunately, many people who are not landlords also have opposed the development of affordable housing. This seems to arise from a wish to keep our communities unchanged, and from anxiety about some “foreign element” that may move in.

It is a mistake to think of affordable housing as something that would benefit only people who want to move to our communities. In fact, it also would be a great benefit to those of us who  already live here. Our shops and restaurants are suffering severe staff shortages, to the point where some of them have had to reduce their hours. We also have trouble recruiting teachers, nurses, and many other kinds of professional and nonprofessional workers whom we really need. Our schools are shrinking because our population is getting older, which keeps increasing the cost per student of educating our children.

In many ways, we need new people to help us maintain, and increase, the vibrancy of our communities. Developing more housing in which the people whom we need can afford to live will make things better for all of us, in education, healthcare, comfort,  convenience and general economic development. Let’s all get involved, and work with our local governments to solve this problem

Cavin P. Leeman, MD



Alternative choice for childbirth: midwifery

I know that there has been much discussion of Nuvance’s closure of Sharon Hospital’s birth center. I want to make sure that you are all aware that this is just one action in a larger attack on midwifery care and women’s choices by Nuvance.

I do not know how many of you know about the Connecticut Childbirth & Women’s Center, a freestanding birth center in Danbury. The CCWC is a unique treasure. I am one of the many women who has had wonderful, empowering births at the CCWC.

All four of my children were born there (in 2011, 2014, 2017, and 2020). The wisdom, kindness, respect, and professionalism shown to me by every midwife I have interacted with there is inspiring and heartwarming. I am appalled to hear that for the second time this year a midwife at CCWC has been subject to investigation and review by the administration of Danbury Hospital, resulting in one midwife resigning in protest and another in having her privilege for care at the hospital permanently revoked.

I am concerned about the sanctions and the protocols imposed by Danbury Hospital, both for midwifery care at the hospital and at the birth center as well. I am shocked by Danbury Hospital’s refusal to accept women’s desire for knowledge and autonomy.  The negative, punitive relationship they have been pushing towards the midwives is an attack on women, on babies, on independent choice, on natural birth, on empowering births, and on kindness, wisdom and respect during the process.

I urge you strongly to do what you can to push Nuvance Health and Danbury Hospital to reverse course: to end unjust investigation of midwives, to ease up on stringent protocols and sanctions.  Instead, let’s encourage them to move towards an attitude of gratitude, trust, and support towards midwives and women’s desires for autonomy, knowledge, respect, and care as they give birth to their babies.

Gayle Shanley

Falls Village

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