Letters to the Editor - January 12
Support the new Black Goose Grill in Sharon
A survey done by Sharon’s Economic Development Study Group between August 2009 and May 2010 revealed that the one business that a majority of those responding — 64 percent — wanted to see open in Sharon was a good restaurant. (The only thing they wanted more — 87 percent — was a grocery store. That niche has been filled most admirably by the Sharon Farm Market.)
Happily, with the opening of the Black Goose Grill in the Sharon Shopping Center, Sharon can check “restaurant” off of the wish list.
Owner Rob Caeners has made a significant contribution and commitment to Sharon with the opening of this restaurant. Rob and his family live in Sharon. Mrs. Caeners works at Sharon Center School. The Black Goose stayed open extra nights during the October power outage to serve people of the town who could not cook at home. A recent fundraiser hosted by the Black Goose raised a little more than $700 for the Sharon Fuel Bank.
Many improvements have been made to the space occupied by the Black Goose to improve the ambience and make the restaurant welcoming. Rob has recently been granted a license to sell beer and wine, so you may now enjoy those beverages with your meal.
We have both enjoyed a number of very fine meals at the Black Goose. Portions are generous and prices are reasonable. I am told by a very reliable source that she had “the best breakfast burrito ever” at the Black Goose Grill.
This is a call to action for the residents of Sharon and neighboring towns. Support our fledgling restaurant. Make a commitment to support our local businesses just as these business owners have made a commitment to our community.
Former members of the Sharon Economic Development Study Group
Rude comments at Board of Selectmen’s meeting not acceptable
I attended last Thursday’s Salisbury Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) meeting, looking forward to hearing the discussion of several agenda issues. Instead, I had one of the most astounding experiences, courtesy of a prominent member of the Salisbury Democratic Town Committee (SDTC).
I had noticed at the December BOS meeting she had been verbally disruptive whenever Selectman Mark Lauretano, my husband, had occasion to speak. However, as she was across the room from me, I was still able to hear the selectmen and counted myself probably lucky not to be able to hear the content of her remarks.
On this occasion she was seated behind me, surrounded by her enabling colleagues. True to form, she maintained disruptive mutterings and exclamations whenever Selectman Lauretano spoke.
The BOS reached the subject of 25 Academy St., and Selectman Lauretano began his remarks. At that moment the person in question loudly exclaimed, “What an a*****e he is!” She then kept up a running barrage of disparaging chatter every time Selectman Lauretano had occasion to speak.
When the subject of the closing of Troop B came up, she burst out with, “That’s just a red herring he dreamed up!” She again continued her disruptive remarks in a lower tone.
The next thing I heard her loudly proclaim was, “He wastes too much time!” It was again followed by more of her run-on disruptions.
Turning around, I whispered to her by name, “If you cannot stand to sit through a complete selectmen’s meeting, then I suggest you go home and watch it on the television.” I added that my husband was not the person in the room deserving of the appellation she had bestowed on him. There was peace and tranquility for the rest of the meeting.
What is particularly striking about her performance at the last two BOS meetings was that on both occasions she was surrounded by her fellow party members who made no effort to make her stop her disruptive, rude and insulting behavior. Their failure was and is tacit encouragement that such displays are acceptable behavior for Democratic political operatives at public meetings.
Given the reportedly growing Democratic obsession about time wasted at BOS meetings the last two months, I did a quick study of the monologues of selectmen Lauretano and Dresser at the Dec. 5 BOS meeting. Selectman Lauretano used about 13 minutes of the approximately 90-minute meeting, while Selectman Dresser used about 27 minutes. If the Democrats are going to start complaining about time being wasted, I would advise them to look to their own.
Personally, I prefer my BOS spending 60 to 90 minutes once a month on the business of a town with a multi-million dollar budget, numerous committees and commissions, as well as a large number of employees, instead of only a cavalier half-hour as has all too often been the case. As I pointed out to the Democrat in question, anyone incapable of sitting comfortably and/or respectfully through a meeting can watch it on television.
Boxtops help public schools
As Lee H. Kellogg School’s coordinator for the Boxtops For Education fundraiser, I want to thank all the community members who have contributed boxtops to our Falls Village students. We are very close to reaching our year goal of $500.
Each boxtop is worth 10 cents to schools. This week, I sorted and bundled 1,920 boxtops, which earns Kellogg School $195.20, in addition to $215 earned in the fall. The money goes into the student activity fund and supports many activities and events at the school.
At a quick glance in kitchen and bathroom cupboards, many people discover at least 10 items with Boxtops for Education labels. This is an easy, positive method to earn money for the school. I wanted to write this not only to thank community members for participating, but also to encourage others to clip and save boxtops for our local schools.
Lee H. Kellogg School
Health care needs to be a two-tier system
I have been puzzling about the country’s entitlement programs, which I support in principle but recognize that, in their present form, they may well prove to be economically unsustainable. That is true for Medicare. I think that is not true for Social Security, which can be fixed if the legislators had just a little more courage.
One solution to Medicare has come to mind, in addition to administrative features which could reduce fraud and eliminate waste. I still hope an efficient administrator/manager can correct obvious deficiencies. The creation of two tiers of benefits can fix it.
I, like most Americans, feel that everyone should enjoy access to routine health care. However, health-care technology and expense has exploded in the past 60 years, with costs rising exponentially which is not sustainable. The extra costs associated with prolonging life, beyond routine care, should not be at public expense.
We all should have access to routine health care at public expense, just as we do with education up through high school. We do not provide free college education, even though in many cases we do assist in supplementing the private responsibility for higher education. That is a two-tier system. I think that concept should be applied to health care as well.
With CAT scans and MRIs, with joint replacements, with open heart surgery and stents and organ transplants, marvelous opportunities exist now that did not exist years ago, all designed to prolong a comfortable life. People often talk about “saving” lives. That is a misstatement. It is not possible to save a life, but only to prolong it. We are all terminally ill, whether we choose to face that fact or not.
In economics we effectively apply cost benefit analysis to most transactions. How much do you get at what cost? The cost to prolong a life for six months, or for a year, or for two years, etc., should be kept within established guidelines. Those guidelines should be created by professional health-care providers, applying sound economic and medical principles.
Most health-care costs are incurred by old people, like me. Let’s establish criteria which would limit how much of the costs associated with the new technologies should be at public expense based upon the cost and the benefit. Extra costs to prolong life can be supplied by the private sector, either individually or through insurance. We should, regardless of the costs, provide pain-free care, to the extent that is possible, to everyone, and that expense would be well within reasonable bounds. The extra costs associated with extending life at any cost should not be at public expense, and those reductions to the budget would be enormous.
It will be difficult to implement such a plan, requiring courageous leadership. It took a long time to get women the right to vote and to pass civil rights legislation. I hope to excite discussion, with two tiers, not tears.