Letters to the Editor - June 16
Conservatively amused at liberally annoyed responses to letter
It is always amusing to see how the opposition responds to a letter to the editor, and I am happy to say the two or three liberal rebuttals directed at my last effort supplied me with no end of merriment.
My apologies to all those offended by my faulty syntax and my effort to comply with The Journal’s 500-word limit by citing publisher Harvard College rather than the voluminous list of authors for The Black Book of Communism.
Having seen and heard Mr. Soros call himself a communist on video, I take the man at his word and would advise Mr. Chubb to do so as well. Every individual I named in my previous letter is a self-avowed communist.
Mr. Chubb failed to grasp the significance of my remarks about our children and how they are indoctrinated to feel guilt about their ancestry, history, faith, nation and traditions while at the same time the educational establishment is supposedly filling their psyches with invaluable self-esteem. That is an absurd contradiction with unfortunate results for the children and society.
It is heartwarming to know that Mr. Chubb appreciates the state bureaucracy, but having worked within it for almost 30 years, I have a different opinion.
The good folks within the system are worn down by the inflexible regimentation, the triplication of documentation and effort, perpetual obsolescence of technology, suppression of creative, effective problem-solving and general waste of money. Opportunistic employees take every advantage of the bureaucracy to advance themselves and their own agendas at the expense of their co-workers and the public.
The state employee unions are self-serving, contributing to a corrupt system by collaboration with politicians and state management. Union votes “buy” politician’s votes for unrealistic contracts. The grievance system is corrupt with arbitrators influenced by ex parte communications threatening to not use the arbitrator’s services in future if an important decision is not satisfactory.
Both sides engage in the corruption. Never mind, the arbitrator will re-pay the loser with favorable decisions for the next few years or so in other less important cases, the merits of which will be irrelevant.
Ah, yes, F.D.R. and Social Security. The president and Congress lied about it and immediately began plundering the funds as the money poured into the Treasury. The plunder has never ended, contributors have never gotten back what they put into it and they never will.
Teddy Roosevelt did the right thing in trust-busting, but that was a matter of identifying a form of criminal fraud and legislating against it. Admirable, but it does not absolve him from the problems his well-intentioned progressivism contributed to in the long term.
Woodrow Wilson was everything I described.
Anyone interested in learning more about them all should read editors Ronald Pestritto and William Atto’s “American Progressivism,” Pestritto’s “Woodrow Wilson and the Roots of Modern Liberalism,” and Amity Shlaes’ “The Forgotten Man.”
Helping our community
Since Sharon Health Care Center opened in October 1992, Dr. Joel Danisi was the first and only medical director, until now. He has stepped down to pursue new and exciting opportunities.
If you or a loved one has resided or rehabilitated at Sharon Health Care Center over the last 19 years, Dr. Danisi has impacted your life. If he was your physician, he was directly involved in your care and if he was not, he probably covered for another doctor by responding to a medical question.
He has been an integral part of our team with medical policy issues, quality improvement, survey compliance and continuing education. His commitment to his patients and our staff through his 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week availability was truly admirable. On behalf of all you have touched in some way, we thank you and wish you all the best.
To Dr. Douglas Finch, our new medical director and clinical leader, we welcome you and look forward to working with you and being the recipients of your enthusiasm, compassion and expertise.
Peter Belval, Administrator
So where has Alfred Nemiroff’s support been?
While I would like to argue with every single horrifying word in Alfred Nemiroff’s letter of June 9, I will simply say this: Despite Mr. Nemiroff’s assertion that he would “personally and preferably contribute to any ‘private, philanthropic, religious or other charitable foundation’ that would undertake [an effort to build affordable housing],” in the five years since I first offered to donate land for this purpose, I have received not even a private word of support from Mr. Nemiroff, let alone public support or a financial contribution.
Despite this, and despite his misunderstanding of “social engineering,” at least Mr. Nemiroff is honest with his opinions. There is no ambiguity. He has clearly shown us who he is.
Much more frightening are those who publicly support affordable housing but privately do everything they can to stop it, including putting up shills to do their dirty work for them. As a victim of these people, I know exactly what and who I’m talking about.
More frightening still are those at the apparent forefront of the affordable housing movement. The third and most recent iteration of a committee on this subject is the Salisbury Affordable Housing Commission (SAHC). This commission was funded with $50,000 taken from another fund, the Land Capital Fund.
Although I publicly requested this information, none has been forthcoming about how and why the Land Capital Fund was set up and whether, in fact, it was even legal to take money from it.
An additional $25,000 has been added to the town budget and was used to hire a staff person with such a clear conflict of interest that they should not be on the town’s payroll.
And now, even more money is being put to use to clear brush at the site of the proposed new transfer station.
It seems that the SAHC has decided, despite reams of their own material recommending otherwise, despite the fact that the town owns a great deal of vacant land as well as vacant buildings in the town center, and despite the fact that land in the town center has been offered as a donation, that the very best place for affordable housing is on the Millerton town line, on the land that was purchased (per authorization of a town meeting) for the new transfer station.
In what universe does this even make sense? And, does it strike anyone that the very concept of “Dumpville Manor” is insensitive, at best?
Splendid turnout to honor men
The Salisbury Rotary Club Foundation wishes to thank the more than 120 people who came to honor Digby Brown, Gerry Baldwin and the redoubtable Carl Williams last Tuesday evening, June 7, in Torrington at the Cornucopia Banquet Hall.
The turnout was splendid and the evening a great success.
We wish to thank particularly the wonderful group of sponsors who underwrote the celebration of achievement, The Paul Harris Awards Dinner: Founders Insurance Group, Geer Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, John Harney Associates, LaBonne’s Markets, Lime Rock Park, Salisbury Bank & Trust Company, Sharon Hospital, Ackerly Brown LLP, Best & Cavallaro, Litchfield Bancorp, Boathouse Restaurant, Robinson Leech Real Estate, Salisbury Town Hall, Wake Robin Inn and the Salisbury Winter Sports Association.
We all had fun, we learned about our honorees and their achievements, we dined elegantly.
And we raised money for continuing the Salisbury Rotary Club’s activities here and around the world.
Many, many thanks to one and all. A great job was done.
Rick DelPrete, President
Salisbury Rotary Club
Planning and zoning — who decides?
The special permit process does not need to be amended. It exists to protect the lake and to allow property owners, new and old, a limited option to enlarge by meeting the strict new site plan requirements that provide state-of-the-art systems for erosion and sediment control, storm water management, septic and landscape planning.
This actually results in lake environmental protection that would otherwise not be enforced on any of these old and declining properties. Those who argue against this permit claim that increasing the impermeable surface area damages the lake by reducing vegetative barriers and stressing poorly maintained septic systems — exactly the point.
Building up a story does not increase coverage and to apply to do so means those old septic systems get replaced with better, up-to-date ones. The application process addresses every conceivable aspect of lake protection. Without this second-story option property owners are forced to expand on the conforming part of the property, which does increase impermeable surface.
Words that scare and create distasteful class envy like “McMansions” and “ adversely affecting environmental quality” have been used to get a knee-jerk reaction against the special permit. If you actually read what is required just for the application part of the special permit, you will see that it does more to protect the lake than anything done in the last 30 years.
I write on behalf of many full- and part-time residents who believe that the special permit process was created for a reason; not all situations are the same in this unique community and it is the job of the Planning and Zoning Commission to use this process to make a fair and reasoned decision on a case-by- case basis.
A vote against the special permit process is a vote of no confidence in the ability of the commission to make these informed and impartial decisions, rendering their work “paper pushing” and not thoughtful stewardship.
But towns can and have banned outdoor wood furnaces
The Lakeville Journal quoted Cornwall First Selectman Gordon Ridgway as saying, “We can’t be any more restrictive than the state is.”
If that quote is correct and that is what he actually said, then First Selectman Ridgway has been misled and is incorrect. In fact 16 towns have already banned outdoor wood furnaces.
To explain how the laws in the United States are written: the federal government sets the standard when they write a law. States and towns can be stricter than the federal law — but they never can be less strict. Towns can then be stricter than the state law — but never less strict. This holds true for all our laws, unless a particular law pre-empts towns from their normal rights of being stricter than the state.
It is important that towns protect their citizens from outdoor wood furnaces. The state is having a hard time banning outdoor wood furnaces because the industry lobby is so strong. However, it is less strong in the towns.
Cornwall should follow the 16 other towns that have banned outdoor wood furnaces if Cornwall wants to stop the neighbor-to-neighbor issues and protect their citizens’ health and property values.
Environment and Human Health, Inc.
It was so cool
Well, what a night on Saturday, June 4! The heavens definitely shined upon us. In recent years, Evening Under the Stars guests have struggled with heat and/or dramatic rain squalls. But this year we enjoyed cool evening breezes and clear skies, punctuated by a bright crescent moon.
After a lively cocktail hour, followed by a dinner of special South African dishes, everyone’s energy seemed to rebound as the evening progressed, and the lively sounds of Swamp Yankee warmed everyone up.
Our special thanks go to our wonderful co-hosts and owners of Black Flag Farm, Liza and John Steinmetz, who allowed us to transform their beautiful property into the plains of South Africa and were happy to welcome all 251 guests to join them at Black Flag Farm.
Our event committee really outdid themselves this year and represented so many communities in the area: Michaela Lawrence, Tracey Finch, Beth Isler, Charles Tomlinson, Helen Killmer, Ann Perse, Heidi Woelper, Liz and Eric Macaire and Lucinda Winston. We could not have done this without them.
Our volunteer auctioneer, Don Klein, did a superb job in helping us raise money, as well as entertaining the audience with a few surprises.
We are happy to report that this year’s gala raised over $85,000. These funds will help to pay for much-needed behavioral health therapy for those clients in the area who have no insurance or other means of payment. You can be assured that this support will help continue to change lives.
We are very grateful to the community for the friendship and support to CMHA’s Northwest Center. We hope you all have a wonderful summer, and thank you for helping to make this event our most successful ever.
Vice President of
Priscilla F. McCord
Event & Development