Letters to the Editor - February 9
Argument against liquor law changes in Connecticut
A number of our customers come from the Lakeville/Salisbury area, so I read with interest about the Connecticut governor proposing that package stores open on Sundays. There are two (perhaps three) salient points to be made here.
One, people already are conveniently able to buy as much wine and or spirits as they need, or can tolerate. It is difficult to understand how Sunday opening will increase consumption and, therefore, tax revenues.
Secondly, having tried opening our New York State shop on Sundays for several different periods, I can state clearly that there is but one pie. You can cut it in six slices (days) or increase overhead and lower employee morale by making seven slices. There is at the end of the day just the same pie.
Lastly, and I think importantly, we all have a better attitude with a day off.
Pine Plains Fine Wines & Spirits
Pine Plains, N.Y.
Bravo to letters
I would like to make a very brief comment on two excellent letters in the Feb. 2 issue of The Lakeville Journal. One was by Susan North of Kent regarding CL&P shouldn’t pay, and the other was by Patty Mullins of Sharon concerning bear hunting.
Bravo, ladies! I couldn’t have said it better.
TriArts’great show for Daryl Fund
The evening of Jan. 14 was indeed magical. The Bok Gallery at TriArts was filled to capacity with friends of Daryl Avery who came from near and far to hear Michael Berkley, Michael Brown, Starr Herrmann, Ed Herrmann and Wanda Houston perform a show of wonderful music — much of it personalized in Daryl’s honor — and enjoy an amazing array of food and drink donated by The Black Rabbit, The Boathouse, Chaiwalla, The Falls Village Inn, Harney Tea, Manna Dew, Pastorale, The Woodland, the Ragamont Inn and many friends.
We would like to thank all of these amazing performers and businesses who donated their services to make the event so successful. In addition, we would like to thank Sabrina Brennan, who chaired the event, the multitude of volunteers who turned out to help, and all of you who purchased tickets or made donations. It was certainly a night to remember! With your help, The Daryl Fund continues to grow to help Daryl with the expenses he has incurred in treating his cancer.
For those of you who have performed, volunteered, put on an incredible fundraiser and helped provide meals, transportation, moral support and funds over the last six months, we wish to thank each and every one of you. Your extraordinary acts of kindness are what make the Northwest Corner such a special place to live. We are very grateful!
Laurie Batchelor and Carol Kalikow, trustees,
The Daryl Fund
Has the spirit of Scrooge infected Salisbury?
Although the season is long past, this observer has been made aware that the ghosts of Salisbury past, present and future have been put on high alert because it has been rumored that the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge is once more abroad in the land.
According to a story in The Lakeville Journal of Feb. 2 by Patrick L. Sullivan (“PZC’s chairman points to sign no-nos”), the owner of the Chaiwalla restaurant in Salisbury has unleashed the dark forces of the Planning and Zoning Commission upon her unsuspecting fellow business owners for alleged infractions of zoning regulations. Apparently, the rather lengthy list of complaints could not be ignored by the chairman of PZC and his zoning enforcement officer.
Accordingly, this dynamic duo donned their laser measurement devices and forthwith set out to investigate. The alleged infractions included a couple of signs too much, a few tables too far, a blinking neon sign and too many real estate agents in a building too small to hold them and not enough parking per agent. The list also included a stolen recipe. A stolen recipe? Apparently even PZC did not know that the production of a tomato pie outside of Chaiwalla required a zoning variance.
Now, as this observer understands it, the Salisbury ghosts of past, present and future were finally taken off high alert. They decided that this tale did not really reflect Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” but was more like “Saturday Night Live.” However, on a more serious note, they did leave this message: That civility is never out of season and that local businesses should be supported, not harassed, or unduly hampered.
Food pantries help families
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of our community, our corporate donors and local businesses for their many generous donations to the Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry. The food pantry is a mission of the North Canaan Congregational Church and is located at 30 Granite Ave. in North Canaan.
We receive donations throughout the year from area organizations and community members. With your wonderful monetary donations, as well as donations of nonperishable foods, we are able to serve more than 90 families in our community and surrounding towns.
There would not be enough space to thank everyone individually, but we would like to extend a special thank you to the North Canaan Stop & Shop. Through the Connecticut Food Bank we are now partnered with Stop & Shop, and they very generously donate meat to the food pantry, as well as breads, pastries and other grocery items. They have also been collecting nonperishable donations in a large bin, located next to the Redbox movie kiosk, for several months.
We would also like to thank our kind, dedicated, wonderful volunteers who give their time every week: Judy Cash, Peggy Cser, Karen Haddon, Bev King, Tabitha Shepherd, Gloria Topping, Gladys Wilcox and Carroll Woodward. Thank you to all. Your kindness and generosity is greatly appreciated.
Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry
Too much power to president
Charles R. Church would have us believe that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “does none of those things” that human rights activists and others have condemned — namely, give the president the power to place American citizens in indefinite military detention, without charge, trial or any other recourse, simply on being branded a “terrorist” under a very broad set of criteria.
This is demonstrably false. Where the law says it does not “affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens,” it is in actual fact codifying “laws and authorities,” such as the Patriot Act and executive orders, that allow for not only indefinite detention but also the outright assassination of American citizens. In so many words, the NDAA now formally extends these “laws and authorities” to citizens.
Lest we forget, even before the NDAA was signed, such “laws and authorities” were not only in effect but had been fully implemented. Two American citizens living in Yemen were executed in cold blood by American drone missiles, and Private Bradley Manning continues to be held without formal charge in conditions that are tantamount to torture — for allegedly passing “secrets” to WikiLeaks that were not really secrets at all, including a videotape that showed an unprovoked and merciless slaughter of a group of Iraqis, including children and a Reuters journalist, by an American helicopter gunship. Have those people even been brought up on charges, let alone thrown into solitary?
The president’s “signing statement” to the NDAA purports to reassure us that the benevolent leader will not actually use his unlimited powers over us. But by signing the law, he has left the door open for anyone in power to do precisely that, and it will be entirely legal in our so-called democracy — which increasingly resembles the country against which we fought for our “independence.”
More questions surround the Dodd-Frank debate
Wm. Earl Brecher was clear but not convincing in his first letter of Jan. 19. Here are two questions for him.
What does it take to create a blueprint for arguably the greatest nation in history? A bloody, eight-year conflict, careful painstaking thought, debate, consensus and about 9,800 words: roughly 6,300 for the Constitution and Bill of Rights and another 3,500 for the other 17 Amendments.
What does it take to undermine the blueprint? Legislation that eats at its fabric such as the roughly 390,000 word Dodd-Frank bill.
We have had, for almost 225 years, a federal government comprised of three equal branches whose equality is insured by certain checks and balances. Two checks of the legislative branch over the executive are the power of the legislature to make laws and to fund executive actions.
True, Dodd/Frank was created by the legislative branch, but that creation was hardly bipartisan; Democrats held an overwhelming advantage in both the House and the Senate at the time the bill was passed. The four months following the bill’s passage was sufficient time “to [write] and approve the regulations needed to implement the act,” to quote Mr. Brecher. Unless, in the words of House Speaker Pelosi, the Democrats “[had] to pass the bill so that [they could] find out what [was] in it.”
Led by Dodd and Frank, the two representatives who did more than anyone to thwart measures to rein in government intrusion into the housing market, Democrats wrote and passed a bill that addressed symptoms, but not the root cause of the problem: the overreach of the U.S. Community Reinvestment Act. In the words of Pogo, “[They] have met the enemy and he is us.”
Congressional legislation required the U.S. CRA to mandate financial institutions to underwrite mortgage loans that flew in the face of economic sense, not to mention common sense, by derogating long-established criteria for down payments as well as the income levels, and the work history of the borrower.
People in no position to make the financial commitment necessary to purchase a home went ahead and did so with the blessings of corrupt, or at least badly misguided, elected government officials including Senator Dodd, Representative Frank, and community organizer, state senator and later U.S. Senator Obama, all of whom fought for these changes. This is a matter of record.
Back to the corrosive power of legislation — this debate began when Mr. Brecher praised the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau and the appointment of Richard Cordray as director. Brecher claimed, “the bureau [CFPB] by its nature is vulnerable, politically.” Really? Mr. Brecher admitted in the first letter the Senate’s authority to confirm was circumvented by Obama. CFPB is funded directly by the Federal Reserve, a private entity, so the House’s check on the executive through its funding authority was also negated; a point not made by Mr. Brecher.
In the words of Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), this “represents the sort of unaccountable system of government “historically reserved for despots.” Who can disagree?
Bistro responds to tomato pie accusations
Further to last week’s Lakeville Journal “PZC’s chairman points to sign no-nos” article, Mary O’Brien has been warned that if she continues to privately and publicly falsely accuse Bistro of selling “her tomato pie,” we will institute a suit against Ms. O’Brien for defamation.
For your information and that of your readers, we at Bistro have never seen nor tasted Ms. O’Brien’s tomato pie. Bistro tomato pie and the tomato pie tartlet, served at dinner Friday and Saturday nights, are original to Bistro and are always made with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh chives. Reliable sources have reported that Ms. O’Brien’s tomato pie is made with canned tomatoes and dried herbs.
The Bistro recipes are original to Bistro Sous Chef David S. Hunter and his wife Cheryl, and are opulent variations on the Anita Westsmith tomato pie recipe that appears on page 193 of the decades-old Town Hill cookbook, “Favorite Recipes From Friends.” The little book was a fundraiser put together and contributed to by members of our family, the late Madeleine Hunter and her children and her stepchildren, who are my children: Holly Hunter Stonehill, Sous Chef David Hunter, and Kris Littledale, all of whom are members of the Bistro team, and have loved and used the Town Hill cookbook since they shared with Madeleine the fun of putting the book together and contributing to its content.
Herewith, a photocopy of Anita Westsmith’s tomato pie recipe on page 193 of David Hunter’s worn Town Hill cookbook, and of a page from the front of the book. It long ago lost its cover.
In addition, I would like to point out that the only person who might have a claim to “own” the tomato pie concept would be the late James Beard. According to David, Ms. Westsmith said her recipe was based on the James Beard recipe, which is there for all the world to copy on the James Beard website.
Since you have published Ms. O’Brien’s false accusation, we ask that you publish this response.
With thanks for your consideration of this request.=
Your Country Bistro, LLC