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Congrats To The Few Who Voted



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To the Editor:

Congratulations to the nearly 17 percent of Newtown voters who turned out to reject pickleball courts at the April 23rd referendum. “Nicer roads, better schools, NO pickleball,” seems like a fine slogan for our town. The pickleball invasion already strained town resources as the one Treadwell Park court was so heavily used it forced waiting players to resort to BYO lawn chairs. What do these people want, a pickleball stadium with seating? If this was a respectable sport, it wouldn’t be called pickleball. Pickleballs are even made of plastic! Right at a time when the town is considering a plastic bag ban, we couldn’t possibly endorse a recreational activity that uses plastic. A proper American game would use a leather-wrapped ball sourced from non-GMO, free-range cattle.

The seniors seem particularly riled up in favor of pickleball when they already have plenty of courts available to them in Florida and Arizona. Why poison the North with a multi-generational activity simply because their grandchildren live in town? Newtown has long maintained a traditional senior center, and we’re finally building a new, bigger one. We lock our seniors inside so they may comfortably pass their time with painting and bingo. Let’s hope the walls are strong enough, as we don’t want any seniors escaping to the outdoors for exercise with the younger population.

The Newtown Facebook community has shown great talent in this election, too — bravo! These masterful influencers have proven we don’t need a Russian factory to sway political outcomes. We can “kill the beast” with our own tribal network. Clearly, those online who have not succumbed to the pickleball siren are in a better position to offer unbiased commentary. Our social media groups have demonstrated the wisdom of attacking the interests of a few for the indifference of many. A common enemy unites us. Vive la tribu!

Lastly, the town could never accept an anonymous $25,000 donation toward a pickleball project. We already have the Hawley School, Edmond Town Hall, and the Cyrenius H. Booth Library — these are all magnificent municipal buildings built for the common good that would cost millions today and have been named to honor their patron’s family. Other donors generously support a myriad of nonprofits. They gain publicity via print and online media in exchange for their donations. Some have their names emblazoned on T-shirts and others receive mention in The Newtown Bee. How could we ever adequately recognize an anonymous donor? Are we to tie ribbons around trees, post yard signs, or pen letters addressed to “Anonymous Donor, c/o Newtown Post Office 06470?” What guarantee do we have these expressions of gratitude would ever reach the donor? Also, let’s be sensitive to the fact that the landscaping companies employed in town would have to move the yard signs to mow lawns.

Let the neighboring towns support pickleball courts and players. May their roads deteriorate and schools suffer.

Submitted by:

Kelley T. Johnson

16 Chestnut Hill Road, Sandy Hook         May 1, 2019

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