Letters to the Editor - February 16
Ice organizers appreciate support
If you happened by the Scoville Memorial Library Saturday and watched the artistry in ice during the Salisbury Ice Carving Competition, or if you have been able to see the finished sculptures illuminated at night and have enjoyed them, then we all have these folks to thank: Claudia Cayne and the Scoville Memorial Library, Klemm Real Estate, Ascendant Compliance, Salisbury Winter Sports Association, Sculpted Ice Works, Pieter Lefferts, Sue and Hayley Kozlowski and all of the talented carvers.
JP and I also thank all of you who come each year and leave us with your appreciation and support.
Salisbury Ice Carving Competition
Three-way tie at Chili Cook-Off
On behalf of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association, we would like extend a big thank you to all the restaurants who donated chili for the fourth annual Chili Cook-Off at the Jumpfest. It was a huge success. We would also like to thank all the participants who enjoyed tasting the delicious chili and for voting on their favorite. The money raised goes to various SWSA programs and is greatly appreciated.
This year, for the first time in the Jumpfest Chili Cook-Off history, there was a three-way tie for first place. Those winners are Country Bistro, Pastorale and The Woodland. Other restaurants who participated were The Black Rabbit, The Boathouse, Crossroads Deli, The Falls Village Inn and the Interlaken Inn. See you next year!
Everyone at Salisbury Winter Sports Association would like to thank all those who have sponsored, volunteered and attended our events during this 2011-2012 season.
Your ongoing support and commitment have been greatly appreciated and allow this unique venue and those involved to continue this tradition. We look forward to seeing all of you again throughout the remainder of the year!
Ken Barker, president
Salisbury Winter Sports Association
Community made Snow Ball a success
As the organizer for the Salisbury Winter Sports Association’s annual Snow Ball Dance this year, I was faced with a scheduling challenge due to the lack of a venue. However, the Lakeville Hose Company stepped up to the plate (as they do so often) and offered us use of the fire station for the event. Soon thereafter, the town of Salisbury advised us we could use the ex-ITW warehouse attached to the back of firehouse, so we changed plans to hold our event in that space. But that space was in need of much work before it could be used for anything.
As soon as SWSA confirmed this space would be ideal, however, Jason Wilson and the entire Lakeville Hose Company spent hours upon hours cleaning out the building to make room for our event. The end result was a fabulous, spacious venue with everything we needed to hold the event. The dance was held, a good sized crowd came and everything went off without a hitch.
All of us at SWSA would like to thank the Lakeville Hose Company; the town of Salisbury; Sally Spillane and her fabulous crew who worked wonders decorating the venue; and the dozens of local businesses who donated prizes to the annual Snow Ball raffle, which is always a favorite part of the evening. We would also like to thank the generous people at the Lagunitas Beer Company for their extensive support.
Without this support our event would not have been possible. Thanks again to all, and we will see you at our next event.
Salisbury Winter Sports Association
Much effort went into school’s evaluation process
Your editorial of Feb. 9 (“Region One needs positive leadership and better behavior”) seems to suggest that little has been done since the completion of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) report at our high school. This implication does not acknowledge the effort and organization which have gone into addressing the recommendations.
From the outset, the administration involved faculty, staff, board and community in the routine NEASC process of reviewing the document and developing an organizational plan to address the recommendations. Despite changes in building leadership, this process has continued in an orderly, step-by-step manner in accordance with the commission requirement that the principal submit two- and five-year progress reports documenting the current status of all evaluation report recommendations.
One general area of concern for the NEASC findings was Americans with Disabilities Act compliance issues in our historic building. Addressing these concerns while maintaining the aesthetics of our building presents many challenges and may entail significant expense, thus requiring thoughtful and deliberate long range planning.
All public schools in New England undergo this process with a goal to continually build upon their strengths and to address recommendations. As a school community we continue to affirm our core values to promote “personal and academic growth, as well as independence of thought and spirit for all [our] members, within a culture of respect, responsibility and safety.”
Philip W. Hart, chairman, Region One Board of Education
Patricia Chamberlain, superintendent,
Region One School District
North Canaan Scouts deserve praise
I am the service unit manager for North Canaan, and I am writing in response to Lynn Worthington’s article on the power of Girl Scout Cookies in the Feb. 2 issue (“Girl Scout Cookie sales profits build community”).
The Girl Scout troops of North Canaan were mistakenly omitted, and I wanted to give those girls a shout out for all their hard work also powered by Girl Scout Cookies. We hold monthly service unit meetings where all the troops in North Canaan meet jointly to work on community service projects. So far this year, we have created boo boo bunnies for the Canaan Child Care Center, decorations and party favors for the community Thanksgiving supper held at the Pilgrim House and fleece scarves for Project Nest; baked and served cookies at the tree lighting ceremony; and collected cat food for The Last Post.
We will host a birthday party in celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouting. This event is open to all Girl Scouts in Region One. We also hope to host scouts from Ghana who will be attending the 100th anniversary Change The World International Camporee in August.
The power of Girl Scout cookies is strong and moving the girls of North Canaan.
Whitney Houston is not a role model
Why doesn’t someone just say it? OK, I will. Whitney Houston was not a role model. A drug addict who had all the resources that money can buy, who had the entire world supporting her, loving her for her music, did not have the will power to help herself. This is not the person we should be idolizing.
Role models are people like my son Zachary and over 7,000 others who gave their lives while serving the country and protecting our nation in the name of “Duty, Honor, Country!”
Role models are people that serve our community each day — the police officers, teachers, store owners, parents and all the others that make our community safe and comfortable.
Let’s stop idolizing “stars” just because they have one unique talent that pleases us for a moment of time.
Board needs open communication
On the barometer of accepted behavior — it’s going to be a cold season.
The initial meetings of the newly constituted Board of Selectmen has been an unfolding and disturbing reality. A chilling experience to say the least.
At every instance of presenting perfectly credible facts and value-based assumptions, new member Mr. Lauretano was undercut by Mr. Dresser’s attempt to choke off discussion. It appeared that he had to first kiss the ring of Mr. Dresser in order to secure his imprimatur to speak.
Mr. Dresser’s pompous attempt at self-importance in circumscribing Mr. Lauretano as to when, how and what he could discuss is unconscionable, insulting and personally embarrassing to view. I suggest that such attempts to emasculate ex-Marine, ex-State Trooper Mr. Lauretano will be in vain.
On the contrary, Mr. Lauretano’s stentorian and robust voicing of significant issues demonstrate a natural leadership. Who amongst us is not concerned with multi-million dollar expenditures, fore and aft, or about alleged diminution of our present fine police protection or the ethical conduct of our elected officials and town employees? In that regard, Lauretano’s every utterance has been of enormous interest and value to the entire electorate with no bias toward any political party. Is that not the bipartisan ideal championed but seldom achieved?
Mr. Lauretano’s remarks allowed me the ability to learn about issues that are frequently technical, abstruse, profound and rarely available in our local media. His initial offerings are a welcome learning experience — and a breath of fresh air.
What we don’t need in Salisbury is the stale pablum of pedagogical and bureaucratic orientation that constitutes the petty attempts to circumscribe discourse.
Thanks for supporting Chocolate Fest
On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Kent Center School Scholarship Fund (KCSSF) hosted its 17th annual Chocolate Fest at Kent Center School (KCS). Hundreds of plates were filled with every kind of chocolate treat imaginable. Numerous dips at the chocolate fountain were had, thanks to the generosity of J.P. Gifford of Kent, who loaned us the chocolate fountain for the afternoon.
Thanks go to everyone who donated baked goods, including area restaurants and all three of the private schools in town, as well as many local bakers consisting of parents and members of the community. Thanks also go to the area businesses that donated to the silent auction, and to the vendors that attended the fest as well. We couldn’t have been successful without our able-bodied volunteers who served at the Chocolate Fest, worked in the kitchen, made up the “to-go” plates in the morning, set up and cleaned up.
As always, the support from the KCS staff, particularly the custodians, was greatly appreciated. All proceeds from the event benefit the KCSSF, which awards scholarships to Kent Center School graduates pursuing post-secondary education.
Carol Spelbos and Lee Sohl
Chocolate Fest Co-Chairs
Accusations could harm businesses
One might have easily missed the article about planning and zoning “no-nos” in the Salisbury section of the paper the week before last (“PZC’s chairman points to sign no-nos” ), but if you live or work in Salisbury, I doubt you did.
While Ms. O’Brien was certainly doing her civic duty in making certain that the Planning and Zoning chairman knew about the minor infractions of some local businesses (two of which are direct competitors), it seems a real shame that she would throw local businesses under the proverbial bus by drawing such negative attention toward them. Some of these businesses are only in fledgling stages (by Yankee standards) and could certainly be harmed by the finger pointing.
Signs have been fixed and seating and clothing racks taken care of I’m sure, but actually making accusations to the P&Z that a competitor is “engaging in unfair trade practices”? Well ladies and gentlemen, that is a sign of desperation if ever I saw one.
Ah yes, the tomato pie! It is a dish my family has been making for more than 20 years. I remember testing that recipe when Anita Westsmith submitted it to the “Food from Friends (Some Famous) of the Town Hill School” cookbook. I also remember writing to First Lady Reagan asking for a recipe, and getting one in return for that same book! But truth be told, the recipe Anita submitted was simply her own version of the James Beard recipe in “American Cookery” c. 1975, found on pages 552 and 553. So perhaps Ms. O’Brien ought to be calling her signature dish the “Beard Pie?”
At any rate, the pie has been tweaked by all who have made it, and if you try both the one at Chaiwalla and the one at the Country Bistro, you will see (actually taste) that no two tomato pies are equal. And that being said, you will see there is no business sabotage taking place in Salisbury, just the need of an attitude adjustment.
A search for abandoned, once-viable medicines
The history of medicine has many strange twists and turns. One that interests me, from a very personal point of view, is the abandonment of certain therapies that, in their day, worked. Last week, I became the beneficiary of one.
At about age 6, I fell out of a hay loft and, on the way down, hit my nose on a turkey roost. Had I missed the roost, I would have been fine, because I landed in a soft heap of what the turkeys had left behind. As it was, the ridge of tissue between the two nostrils (the septum) got shoved rather rudely to the right, ever thereafter restricting air flow in that nostril and making a happy hunting ground for bacteria and other noxious substances. (No, not cocaine, but more on that later.)
What resulted was a lifelong battle in my schnozz between me and the tiny bugs, bacteria and viruses, that almost always cause sinus infection at some point each winter.
Living in New York in the late 1960s and 1970s when the air was notoriously foul, I became something of a schnozz infection recidivist. But I found a savior — an elderly ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist who would spray 2 percent cocaine up each nostril to deaden it (no, it does not make you high) and would then affix a cotton ball dipped in something called Argyrol (a dark brown liquid that smells and looks like pine tar and is a potent antiseptic) and run that through my nose until it came out in my throat, then back again.
Weird indeed! And painless.
But it worked, it really worked.
The bugs died a nasty death. The infection vanished. My nostrils cleared up. I was healed, with just a couple of treatments.
My ENT retired. I found that none of the younger ENTS were using this therapy anymore, relying instead on antibiotics, and these, I soon learned, engaged in an even battle with the bugs, taking quite a while for the good guys to win. I searched, but found no one who used the old wire-down-the-nose therapy. I resigned myself to bout after bout of schnozz infection. Each winter I got one.
Now, it turns out there is an ENT of fine reputation in Sharon (also Great Barrington), one Dr. Ari Namon. I turned on him with all the persuasive tactics that 46 years of law give one. Last year he went out and bought a bottle of Argyrol. Last Wednesday he sprayed some anesthetic down my nose (not cocaine, nobody uses it anymore — too many junkies out there who break into ENT offices and steal it). With the schnozz appropriately anesthetized, in went the Argyrol, all the way back to the throat.
Bingo! The bugs went down like the Charge of the Light Brigade.
The next day I felt almost cured, and by the time you read this I will be back doing my ski patrol duty at Butternut.
Thank you, Dr. Namon.
Stuyvesant K. Bearns