Letters to the Editor July 28
Disagrees with Journal’s approach to reporting town political news
Last week’s article by Patrick Sullivan on Bob Riva’s candidacy, alternative candidate slate and the Salisbury Republican Town Committee (SRTC) caucus was surprising.
Several weeks ago when The Lakeville Journal received the press release of my candidacy, Cynthia Hochswender refused to publish anything on the subject, emailing that they always wait until autumn to make sure all candidates get equal coverage. The fact that there were two GOP candidates for selectman going into the July 26 caucus was apparently not newsworthy for town Republican voters, either.
It was also odd that Patrick Sullivan never contacted any of the SRTC members, candidates or Chairman Chris Janelli regarding the content of the article to obtain any comments or information we might share. The comment(s) attributed to Mr. Janelli were from an unrelated, off-the-record conversation with Patrick Sullivan several weeks prior, not the result of an interview specifically about this article and Mr. Riva’s claims. We were all unaware such an article was being written.
The article was couched in such terms as to embarrass and discredit the SRTC and all the candidates on its slate going into the caucus. It was published in the last edition before the caucus, guaranteeing there would not be any opportunity for any of us to respond to the issues it raised.
The question of whether or not Mr. Riva intended to embarrass the whole GOP slate of candidates, as well as everyone on the Salisbury Republican Town Committee, would be purely speculative. What I do know is that we have encouraged him to bring his supporters to the caucus for a floor nomination, and let the chips fall where they may.
The Journal is, however, certainly responsible for the accuracy of what it publishes and whether or not it consistently adheres to established policy. It has failed in every possible way to fulfill those responsibilities. Mr. Sullivan’s poor journalistic ethics and failure to make any attempt whatsoever to get all sides of the story is reprehensible and completely unprofessional.
That his article got past editorial staff is unconscionable, appearing to show that The Journal only selectively follows good journalistic standards and its own election season rules. The result was an article that cast the whole GOP candidate slate and the Salisbury Republican Town Committee — all of them worthy, hardworking and decent people — in the worst possible light, without affording us the opportunity to defend ourselves and/or explain where we believe the real problem lies.
This article does not give all the candidates equal coverage. Nor is the public informed about what is going on in town and why it is happening.
Despite Mr. Sullivan’s article, which contained only information and comment from Mr. Riva, the public still remains ignorant as to why there are two GOP candidates for selectman, what objection Mr. Riva has to the slate candidates other than myself, and no idea what “factions” the article was referring to. The credibility of The Journal at this point is highly questionable.
Mark A. Lauretano
Editor’s note: The Lakeville Journal stands by Patrick Sullivan’s reporting.
Republican have it in for us common folks
What do Republicans have against the common man? Why do they want to cut the deficit by bleeding the middle class of this country, the backbone of the nation’s past success, those who constitute the principle demand for the products and services of business?
The Republican way is to hit the common man, the working stiff, the sick, the elderly and the disabled while rewarding the oil companies, hedge fund managers and the billionaires.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives recently passed a bill, the so-called Cut, Cap and Balance plan, which would have penalized the elderly, depriving them of Medicare while substituting a kind of coupon, trashing Medicaid, which hits our most vulnerable citizens, the disabled, the poor and grandma in a nursing home in her last years after running out of assets. And, it would result in losing an estimated 700,000 jobs. Fortunately, the Senate turned it down.
Remember how we got here. During the last Republican administration we jumped into two wars, which we pretended were free (did not include them in our budget), cut taxes especially for the millionaires and billionaires, the famous “Bush tax cuts,” and took on Medicare “D” to provide medications without considering the cost. Those were the days when, as Vice President Dick Cheney said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”
Surprise! Now we have to pay the bill. Our current national debt is about $14.2 trillion. As President Obama has tried to bring about recovery and get jobs back, including tax cuts, we have spent about $600 billion. The Bush-era tax cuts plus major spending for two wars and the Medicare D benefit added $3.2 trillion, five times the money in the effort to spark the economy. What’s to be done?
Surely, all Republicans and Democrats must work to approve the debt ceiling and fix our deficit.
What’s holding it up? A large number of the Republicans in the House of Representatives have signed a pledge not to raise taxes, a credo created by Grover Norquist, a rich man’s son, president of the Americans for Tax Reform. These “pledged” Republicans are holding up the train, not allowing a compromise so as to approve the debt ceiling and a fair deficit decision.
Aren’t these the same people who made a pledge to the flag and the republic? Clearly these Republicans have signed away their responsibilities, their duty to govern. They grovel at the feet of Mr. Norquist and care not a fig for the common man.
Why do the Republicans dislike the common man, the elderly, the disabled, the poor, our educational system, global warming, on and on? The wealthy people they support have the money to pay for votes, so Republicans continue to give tax deals to billionaires.
Lead Republican in the Senate Mitch McConnell keeps repeating, his main goal is to get rid of our reasonable president: forget the country. Republicans do not think of the masses, they just want power.
John Ritchie Jr.
Big Rig a hit
On behalf of the Housatonic Child Care Center, we would like to thank everyone who made the Big Rig Event a success.
Thank you to all of you who came out on such a hot day. Thanks to our sponsors, Best and Cavallero Real Estate, Harney Real Estate and Founders Insurance Group. Thank you to The Lakeville Journal for the publicity and to Lindell’s Rental for the Bounce House and popcorn machine. Thanks to Becky Allyn and Mark Gomez for the pony rides.
A very special thank you to the Lakeville Hose Company for their hard work and generosity and to all the HCCC staff who came and worked. A huge thank you to the “big rig” folks who came out with their equipment and gave up their Saturday for us.
We hope to continue to have this great fundraiser in the future.
Hope Mongeau, Secretary
On behalf of the HCCC Board of Directors
Bravo to TriArts for ‘42nd Street’
I was intimately involved with the original production of “42nd Street” on Broadway, produced by the indomitable David Merrick, and think the cast at TriArts, along with the directors, orchestra, crew, designers, etc., did a vibrant, charming job of reproducing that huge, sometimes unwieldy, show.
The score soared, costumes shined and the hoofers sure knew their steps. And all with a stage, crew, orchestra and cast one-fifth the size of the original. Long live our dear Playhouse.
Quick response to Riga fire
I am writing to express overdue thanks to the members of the Lakeville Hose Company and all of the many mutual aid fire departments who responded to the fire on and near the Appalachian Trail on Riga plateau in Salisbury.
As the stewards of the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut, we certainly appreciate the extreme effort required to control and extinguish fire in such remote and difficult terrain. It is also evident that the operation was conducted in a way to minimize collateral resource damage to the treadway and other trail structures. We are very appreciative for this sensitivity.
It is well known that fires are not allowed anywhere on the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut. In spite of our best educational efforts, there seem to be those who feel the rules do not apply to them. Our management committee and our Ridgerunners will continue to drive home the “no fires” message to all trail users.
Again, thanks to all the responders who did such a great job during this incident.
Dave Boone, Chairman
AMC Connecticut Chapter Trails Committee
Complaints put out the fire
For the past several months we have faced controversy over our outdoor wood furnace. The furnace has been up and running for six years, and in all those years, we’ve had not a single complaint — until recently.
Due to just two complaints (one anonymous) to the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), local regulations have required us to shut down our furnace — despite the fact that the DEP has inspected and monitored our home, tested our furnace and judged it to be burning efficiently.
The issue has been very difficult for us. We are both hard-working people; my husband and I each work multiple jobs to support our family. This furnace has been a mainstay in heating our home and providing us with hot water for bathing and washing. In such difficult economic times with oil at record-high prices, the furnace has helped keep us afloat, staving off unwieldy fuel bills.
It has helped to teach our children the importance of work as a team, with everyone pitching in with wood cutting and stacking.
In the end, we have shut down our outdoor wood furnace as required. We are currently looking to install a new indoor system, which will do all of the same things the outdoor one has.
As a family, this whole controversy has been very emotional. We have lived in Cornwall for 20 years and have become more and more invested in the town as those years have gone by. The majority of the Cornwall community has been so wonderfully supportive of us these past several months.
We’ve received so many letters of support, and the emails, phone calls on our behalf to the town and state have been amazing. People, not only from Cornwall but surrounding areas — even as far as New York City — have stopped us at work, at the dump, at church, and have even dropped by our home to discuss and understand this dispute.
While we wish the issue of our wood furnace operating had turned out differently, the support we have received and the knowledge that our community is behind us and truly cares for us mean more to us than anyone can imagine. The move we made to Cornwall 20 years ago has proven to be gratifying beyond compare. Thank you once again to all of you.
Donna and Ted Larson and family