Home » Letters to the Editor - November 10

Letters to the Editor - November 10

United Way is appreciative

The United Way of Northwest Connecticut is very grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of our Fall Day of Caring.

Thanks to a dedicated group of over 75 volunteers, projects that have been or will be completed in the next week will benefit the Boy Scouts, Canaan Child Care, Catholic Charities, Falls Village Day Care, Family Strides, FISH, Girl Scouts, LARC, Pleasant Valley Children’s Center, Susan B. Anthony Project and Winsted Area Child Care.

Individuals who volunteered their time, energy and enthusiasm came from Alcoa Howmet, BD, Kelly Services, Northwest Community Bank, the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, Torrington Rotary, Union Savings, Webster Bank, and John Field, fire chief, City of Torrington Fire Department. Also, we are thankful to Mt. Claire Water Co. for donating bottled water.

The Day of Caring benefits all of us in many ways.  It provides individuals and local businesses with an opportunity to give back to their community through volunteerism, and it helps local non-profits and other organizations save time, money, and resources.

We are very proud of everyone’s hard work, and we look forward to continuing the trend next spring.

Stephanie R. Barksdale , Executive Director
United Way of Northwest Connecticut


Thanks, Marshall and Jill

Public officials continually search and strive for new avenues by which to bring service to their constituents in relevant and effective ways. Public radio shares this obligation toward its community, we the listeners.

Marshall Miles and Jill Goodman deserve our heartfelt thanks and highest praise for their public service work during the recent storm-induced electrical emergency.

Our wondrous electronic devices failed, not by cyber attack, but by the hand of Mother Nature. The failure was nearly complete. WHDD of Sharon, the self-proclaimed “smallest NPR station in the nation,” stood tall and was a veritable beacon of community news, announcements, advice, interviews with officials and good cheer.

The “old” technology of battery-powered AM and FM radio along with land-line phones ruled the day. But neither new nor old technology are the real issues. Instead, an unflinching commitment to community broadcasting showed its power, its concern and its effectiveness to all the citizens of the Tri-state region.

Thanks, Marshall and Jill. Keep up the good work. WHDD is at the head of our giving list this holiday season. We hope others will feel the same.

Charles C. Vail
Margaret C. Vail


I second that tribute to squad

I would like to thank the town of Salisbury for the very thoughtful and generous dedication of its 2011 Annual Report to the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service. The men and women, and their families, who have given so much of their time, talents and hearts to provide our community with vital emergency medical service, have worked overtime this fall to prepare for Hurricane Irene and to help many during our recent snow storm and resulting power outage.  We tend to take their services for granted, and we are indeed fortunate that we can do so!

 Thank you for recognizing our volunteers.

Tina Chandler
President, Salisbury
Volunteer Ambulance Service


Radio station deserves thanks

I am writing to commend WHDD Radio (FM 91.9 FM/AM 1020), specifically Marshall Miles and Jill Goodman, for their outstanding work during the October snowstorm. Information and updates were available around the clock, and in fact, I’m not certain if Marshall slept more than a few hours a night, just to make sure we were all kept up-to-date.

From the start of the snowstorm, WHDD provided updates not only on the air, but through social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. Without the continuing communications from WHDD and their work with local community organizations, fire departments, town officials and others, we would not have known about the extent of the power outages, closings and cancellations, and most importantly warming stations, food donations and availability, as well as critical travel advisories.

WHDD is an invaluable resource to all of us in the community and we are very fortunate to have one of the best radio stations in our neck of the woods. Thank you WHDD for all you do. Hats off to you and your staff. And now, get some rest!

Anita C. Shapiro


Communities helpful during storm

I would like to take the time to thank Marshall Miles and the WHDD crew for their information and updates during the storm and its aftermath. Also, a big thank you to the Lakeville Hose Company for the great dinners on Monday and Tuesday.

I would like to add that on both Monday and Tuesday, Bob Riva and Jim Dresser were at the firehouse dinner to make sure that everyone was OK and to see if they needed anything. They were also giving updates as to the situation in town.

Small communities sure are great, and you find out who you can depend on.

Randy McKee


Salisbury Board of Finance
November 1983 – November 2011

My time on the board will soon be over.

So should I celebrate and have a hangover?

Not really at all, but I’ll send happy greetings

To all the members at our Board of Finance meetings.

Keith Bond, Jack Rogers and Robert Royce —

They were my mentors, the real McCoys.

Dr. Fred Gevalt, Alice Yoakum and John Flynn

Told me not to give up, but just hang in.

Gerry Baldwin, Garth Kauffman and Sandy Clarke

Helped me to hit the ball right out of the park.

Miriam Jones, Art Eddy and Rollin Bates

Came to the meetings to be helpmates.

Don Mayland, Rob Hydon and good old John Rice

Made sure our decisions were very precise.

Dick Fitzgerald and our guru Zenas Block

Made sure our numbers were solid as a rock.

Bill Willis, Rob Bettigole and Mat Kiefer

Wished that our meetings would be much briefer.

And if you want to have a panic attack,

Try to find a rhyme with Carol Dmytryshak.

Those were the Board of Finance members

Whose names and faces I’ll always remember.

But I worked with selectmen for many hours

Who knew exactly the Board of Finance powers.

The genius of all was Charlotte Reid

Who worked very hard to get me up to speed.

There were two Georges: Kiefer and Bushnell

Who knew the town’s needs all too well.

Bob Smithwick, Bud Trotta and Ann Cuddy

Made sure their budget was easy to study.

Peter Oliver and Val Bernardoni

Were really all business and never were phony.

Bobby Riva and stately Jim Dresser

Made good decisions and weren’t second guessers.

And last, but not least, is Curtis Rand.

He’s been a selectman forever in his native land.

Boards of Finance and selectmen are what this poem’s about,

But I would be very remiss without any doubt,

If I failed to mention the glue that holds the town together

At any hour and in any kind of weather.

That is the guy with an office in Town Hall,

Our comptroller Joe Cleaveland, a best friend to all.

Each person I’ve listed is really a gem

My thanks and best wishes to all of them.

Twenty-eight years have gone by very much too fast

But it’s a time in my life that can’t be surpassed

If I were just younger, I would run again,

But that can’t be, so I’ll just say, “Amen.”

Corporal Doggerel (Carl Williams)


Assistant superintendent missed the point

“Misleading” was how Assistant Superintendent of Schools Diane Goncalves characterized my claim of declining student performance on Region One’s state assessments. I guess she missed my “narrow” point; Region One is paying the state’s fifth highest amount ($19,781.50) for its per-pupil expenditure.

Surely, we deserve to have better than “flat” (mediocre) performance results from year to year. Playing the percentages game with individual assessments, as Ms. Goncalves has done, can be a dangerous and deceiving game so I will repeat my claim; “the declining performance data in Region One concerns me.”

When half (or fewer) of our students are not making the grade (GOAL) in mathematics, reading and science year after year, I cannot call that progress!

Furthermore, I would encourage the public to log onto the “accountability and improvement” pages (www.ctreports.com) from the Connecticut State Department of Education. Look closely at the results of our students this year and in years past. Then compare them with the other regional districts in Litchfield County. Region One’s scores are below Region Six (Wamogo), they are below Region 10 (Lewis Mills), they are below Region Seven (Northwestern) and they are below Region 12 (Shepaug). Our students are performing second to last in science and writing and last in mathematics and reading among all of these regional school districts. When contrasting the percentage of students from these five regional districts who passed all four assessments, only 29 percent of Housantonic’s students passed all four tests; again, dead last!

People, we have been lulled into complacency in our school district by a lot of “edu-babble!” We need a more accountable Regional Board of Education; a board that recognizes the substantial needs that exist, and that can work together to address these needs.   

Philip B. O’Reilly, Ed.D.

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