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Tuesday, March 26 News

Letters: New words, Current town issue...

To the Editor:

Every so often new words that puzzle enter our conversations.

Such as: Bitcoin, groping, the cloud, streaming, artificial intelligence, virtual reality.


Larry Aasen


Current town issue

To the Editor:

I’m a physician and a long time resident of Westport. My field is Internal Medicine but I also spent two years on the staff of Hallbrooke Hospital as head of the drug addiction and methadone maintenance program, and am very familiar with controlled drug issues.

The key mistake people make isconfusing street use of marijuana which can blight lives and neighborhoods, with medical use which can benefit suffering human beings.

Every drug ever used can heal or can harm. Digitalis can benefit a failing heart, or in excess lead to serious complications. Antibiotics can heal but in excess also can cause serious problems.

Medical Marijuana dispensaries are pharmacies, a special kind of pharmacy, with much greater regulation and supervision than any other pharmacy. No one there can or will write a prescription for you. And you cannot bring a paper prescription from a doctor. In CT all controlled substance prescriptions must be electronically sent by the doctor to the pharmacy, which can call the doctor to confirm, eliminating altered or stolen prescriptions.

There are additional checks. Since 2013 every RX for a controlled substance in CT is reported at once to a central data base. Every patient’s controlled drug history is there, eliminating patients going to multiple MD’s for prescriptions. And every doctor’s prescription history is there too, to identify a physician whose practice consists of writing controlled drug prescriptions. This can lead to suspension or revocation of his medical license.

There are 30 serious diseases

recognized by the CT DCP (Dept of Consumer Protection) as legitimate indications for medical marijuana. List available on Google. If you or someone you love, or a complete stranger, have one of these diseases, it is inhuman to deprive them of ready access to proven help. I hope everyone can agree on that.

Robert G Schneider


Flexing for FLEX

To the Editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, staff, donors and friends to express deep gratitude to the community for its extraordinary support of our recent FLEX: experiences — five days of exciting events at the Library.

When the Transformation Project is complete in 2019, a hallmark of the new Library will be flexibility. One night, the space will be able to host more than 650 people for a large concert or lecture, then the next day, return to a space suitable for collaborative and independent reading, reflection and study. On Wednesday, March 21, we kicked off these FLEX: experiences which were designed specifically to give the community a preview of our future flexibility by bringing together art, authors, music, cinema, dance, food and more in unexpected ways.

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The events began with a luncheon hosted by New York Times bestselling author Jane Green and headlined by Sam Kass, former White House Chef and Executive Director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign. On Thursday, we screened two classic films starring Westport icons Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Thursday evening, gourmet guru Ruth Reichl joined us for a Food Lovers’ Q&A with local restaurateur Bill Taibe, Annie Farrell of Millstone Farm and Lulu Powers. Friday was Unplugged day at the Library, and we welcomed a dozen local authors for conversation with our audience. In the evening, the Library’s Great Hall transformed into a lounge with performances from a half a dozen local acts. Saturday night we hosted Rock & Roll Stories at the Michael Friedman Gallery, featuring firsthand stories about some of music’s biggest icons. FLEX wrapped up with a Family Day filled with fun: story time with a half a dozen local children’s authors, face-painting, arts and crafts, an incredible flash mob all MC’d by local tech guru David Pogue.

During FLEX, nearly 3,000 people came to the Library for the events themselves and to get a preview of the new space. We were thrilled to welcome old friends, new faces and an extraordinary array of talented individuals from near and far. These events would not have been such a success without support from the community. In particular, we would like to acknowledge our partners and sponsors including: Moffly Media, The Water People, Pepperidge Farm, Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Arogya Tea, Tarry Lodge, Compo Farm Flowers, Stew Leonard’s, Stew Leonard’s Wine, Trader Joe’s, Riverside Realty Group, Intensity Fitness, Soma Samadhi, Faces Beautiful, Rye Ridge Deli, Tutti’s, Via Sforza, Dance Express w/ Luisa, BeMoved, Sky Zone, New England Smart Energy, Positano, Savannah Bee Company, Veracious Beer and Wine, M.EAT, Spotted Horse, Granola Bar, Green & Tonic, Shake Shack, Athleta, Aux Delices, Faces Beautiful, Soleil Toile, Sakura, Westport’s Academy of Dance and Posh Spa.

Next year, our community will have an exceptional, flexible, innovative 21st century Library boasting an extraordinary variety of features and functions: an expansive Forum on the main level, a completely updated Children’s Library; an expanded café; an increased number of conference rooms and quiet areas; beautiful panoramic views of the Saugatuck River; an entire level dedicated to the adult book collection; a professional, state-of-the-art recording studio; a larger MakerSpace and so much more.

We have no doubt the new building will be spectacular - complete with the latest technology, the best amenities and an exceptional collection of materials. But without people, a spectacular building full of features is nothing more than just that - it needs a community to bring it to life. We need you, our community, not only to use and enjoy the space and programming, but also to continue to support our mission. We are more than 88% of the way to our fundraising goal for the project, and we invite you to participate in bringing us across the finish line.

Please come visit us at the Library, see what’s happening first-hand and learn more about the future of your Library!

Bill Harmer

executive director

The Westport Library

Politician indecisive, uninformed

To the Editor:

My word cloud for Peter Lumaj: indecisive, uninformed, demeaning and a bull*****er.

Sunday morning I had breakfast with Lumaj and a few other people. I can say without a doubt that there are better ways to spend the morning.

He easily grasped at and assumed I do not talk or pay attention to politics when it was said that me and my mother do not talk politics. (She is hard right; I am slightly left.) I found it shocking he easily accepted his own idea that I had a lack of political knowledge, as if I am an empty head.

The entire breakfast was blatant finger-pointing and blaming, rather than informative or conversational. The dirty words “liberal,” “Democrat” and “this generation” seeped out of his mouth more than carbon dioxide. In my opinion, this is the worst attribute of a politician for our government. We should all be working together and forming an alliance to make life better for all.

From what I could understand, “this generation” doesn’t matter and we are just lazy and entitled. Yup, heard that all before. The lazy assumption was when he looked at me and stated, “It is good and OK to work, you know?” after he and others talked about this generation not wanting to work. Well, to answer your question, I do know that, as I have consistently had a job since I was 16. Sometimes having two or three at a time. At one point I was working 70 hours a week while taking five courses at an accredited state university, where the lowest grade I earned was a B-plus. All of my friends work and most also attend school, so I really do not understand how you call our generation lazy.

The idea that this generation does not matter was built up by the continued degrading comments and “no offense, but” statements (directed at me and the other 26-year-old at the table).

Lumaj spoke about his arrival in America, spending six months taking refuge in a church basement and learning English. The church supported them and it allowed his family time to settle and succeed. A truly heartfelt American dream tale. Then he complained about immigrants who come to this country and live off of welfare. Immigrants are not allowed to receive welfare benefits for the first five years after arrival due to the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Most places only allot eight months worth of benefits for only refugees. About the same amount of time his family stayed at the church. His family survived and flourished and added to the economy because of the help of others, resulting in a successful family owned and operated real estate business. Churches support refugees from donations and grants. In other words, they used taxpayer money to help others, similar to welfare benefits. This is interesting information coming from someone who claimed he had never received government assistance.

Connecticut does not need another politician who won’t actually do anything, ignore the people and discredit a huge majority of the population. We are affected by the crashed housing market, increased college tuition, high rent, high taxes and low wages. This generation is really not to be blamed for these problems of today.

Deanna Gauthier