Letters to the Editor - 5-16-24

Amenia Fire Co. assists in dramatic dog rescue in North Canaan

In a heartwarming display of community cooperation and swift action, the Amenia Fire Company played a pivotal role in the rescue of a small dog named Rippy from a perilous situation in the North Canaan area.

The North Canaan Animal Control received a distressing voicemail around 6 p.m. on Monday May 6, reporting the sound of a dog barking near Lower Road, close to the quarry. Promptly responding to the call, personnel from North Canaan Animal Control, alongside quarry workers John and Bobby Foley, initiated efforts to locate the stranded animal. Despite hearing the barking, initial attempts to locate the dog were unsuccessful.

Subsequent to a Facebook post alerting the community about a missing dog, believed to be in the vicinity, further collaborative efforts ensued. Brian Ohler, the First Selectman of North Canaan, demonstrating unwavering commitment, deployed his drone to survey the area, although no heat signatures indicative of the dog were detected.

Undeterred, the search intensified the following day, with the dog’s owner providing crucial information about the missing pet. An observation by Bobby Foley during the lunch break revealed the dog’s persistent barking from the same area. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, coordinated efforts were made involving the safety and plant managers of Specialty Minerals, culminating in the dispatch of Northwest Rope Rescue Teams, The Amenia Fire Company, North Canaan Fire Company, and North Canaan Ambulance.

Harnessing their expertise, the Rope Rescue Team descended approximately 50 feet down the cliff to reach Rippy, who had fallen and become trapped. Miraculously, the resilient terrier mix was safely retrieved and reunited with his owner.

Amenia Fire Chief Christopher Howard, along with members of the Amenia Fire Company, including Lt. Richard Howard Jr., Lt. Zach Klingner, Rescue Lt. Christopher Klingner, Past Chief Richard Howard Sr, Firefighter Tony Maillet, Past Chief Aaron Howard Jr., and Probationary Firefighter Jason De Addio, played an instrumental role in the successful rescue operation.

The strong relationship between the Amenia Fire Company and the Northwest Rope Rescue Team is fundamental to providing effective emergency response in Eastern Dutchess County and the Northwest corner of Connecticut. Through regular joint training exercises and coordinated response efforts, these teams ensure rapid and efficient assistance in challenging situations, such as Rippy’s rescue.

“We are immensely proud of our team’s swift response and collaboration with other agencies, resulting in the safe rescue of Rippy,” stated Chief Christopher Howard. “This heartwarming outcome underscores the importance of community solidarity in times of crisis.”

Expressing gratitude to all involved parties, Rippy’s owner extended heartfelt appreciation, acknowledging the invaluable role played by each participant in ensuring Rippy’s safe return home.

Aaron Howard Jr.

Public Information Officer

Amenia Fire Co.


Greenland’s ice loss problem

In Mark Godburn’s Lakeville Journal letter of 5/9 2024 (Greenland has lost only 1.6% of its ice), he denigrates climate scientists by suggesting that they are minimizing the impact of the recent ice loss in Greenland.

The authors of the original article do not minimize their findings at all; indeed they are sounding yet another alarm when they actually entitle their article ‘Land cover changes across Greenland dominated by a doubling of vegetation in three decades’ (Scientific Reports 14, 3120:2024).

That doubling of actual open land is the real story. Although a doubling of open land is troubling to the authors, ice loss in Greenland is a volume problem that involves the entire ice sheet, not just the edges.

Much of Greenland’s ice sheet has lost over 20 feet of thickness since 2002, and the rate of ice loss (volume) is accelerating. It now averages 270 gigatons per year (270 billion tons per year).

Climate change deniers may want to believe that a narrow two-dimensional perspective of a three dimensional problem minimizes climate change, but it just makes it harder for the rest of the world to solve the problem.

John Hoffman


Why we need affordable housing

The authors of the letter to the editor titled “Protect the rail trail” portrayed the end of the Rail Trail as we know it — paved over and shared by walkers, cyclists, and cars. The first of several “threats”, they cite, is a report by Colliers Engineering & Design titled “Salisbury Village Planning Study.” The purpose of the study was to provide data for long term planning.

The Colliers report studied a variety of issues related to open space and made recommendations. That is what consultants do — they study an issue and make recommendations. As far as we know, there has been no action on these concepts by Planning and Zoning, the Wetlands Commission, or the Historic District. The fact that one member of our town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is in favor of paving over part of the Rail Trail does not mean that paradise will be paved over immediately. Nor is such a view “shocking.” Whether we agree or not, don’t we want diversity of viewpoints when Town actions that affect everyone are considered?

We cherish the Rail Trail and thousands of other facets of our Town deserving purpose and poetry — but also facts and clarity of intent. The authors of “Protect the rail trail” instead reveal affordable housing as their intended target. They state that the Pope Housing project will have a negative effect on the Rail Trail. The housing proposed for the Pope property has been designed in a manner to protect the wetlands and the historic district and would not have an impact on the rail trail.

Affordable housing is urgently needed in Salisbury if we want teachers in our schools, employees at the banks and other local businesses, and nurses at the hospital. These are the folks who have been priced out of the opportunity to enjoy Salisbury and all that it offers. We want to live in a community that embraces young and old, welcomes people across the economic spectrum, and is forward looking. We need affordable housing to ensure this.

Helen Scoville, Kathy Voldstad, Carol Magowan, Cathie Scoville, Kim Fiertz and Judith McGuire


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