Letters to the Editor, May 4

Playing The 'Revenue' Card


Plans for landside improvements at Saquatucket Harbor continue to change. The $5 million engineering estimate on the first plan was almost 70 percent over what was expected. There are still plenty of ways to bring the price down even more. However, what some proponents are saying is that since the Harbors generate about $1 million in revenue, then they, the harbormaster department, should be able spend it. Let’s look at that statement more closely.

Revenue is only one half of the financial picture. What amount of this revenue remains after department expenses? What actually goes to the general fund? Next, the harbors, inland ponds and lakes and waterways are all fantastic assets for Harwich. Having three south-facing harbors on Nantucket sound is a true windfall. The value of these natural resources is the reason that this revenue exists. These are “town” assets, not harbormaster assets, that when managed well, can help fund other departments (such as police, fire, library, community center, etc.) that do not generate big money. Having assets like the harbors and the golf course lowers the cost of all services to the taxpayers. Harwich government is comprised of various departments – all interrelated and interdependent, working each day to provide necessary services for our residents, friends and visitors. Pulling out the “revenue card” doesn’t justify a grandiose plan at Saquatucket.

Richard Gundersen



Selectmen Chair Sold Out?


On Tuesday, April 25 I went to the Chatham Board of Selectmen's meeting to voice my concerns with watering regulations. I was summarily attacked by Selectman Dykens. His blatant attempt to discredit my brother through me was obvious. Jeff has sold his soul to the moneyed interest in town and he is hell bent on selling out the natives and those who have come here and embraced our values. Hopefully there are enough of us, and our friends that have come here, left to make a difference.



Peter Taylor



Candidate Embodies Rotary Ethics

Sometimes we cross paths with people whose impact on our lives is both unexpected and lasting. Meff Runyon is such a person for me – which he may only learn if my letter is published!
I first met Meff as a Cape Cod Five colleague and long-time customer, and I met his wife, Bonny, as a fellow nursery school teacher even earlier than that. What has always resonated for me was what I learned about Meff during our joint membership in the Orleans Rotary Club and his subsequent involvement in the Academy of Performing Arts just as I left there.
Meff demonstrated to me then, as now, the Rotarian ethic members are expected to strive for and achieve in their personal and professional relationships. It is reflected in its motto, Service Above Self, and in its Four Way guiding principles: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Meff’s long history of service to our community has exemplified all of these, and in my view he continues to live by those principles. I support him for Orleans Selectman without reservation.

Gail Meyers Lavin



Chatham Anglers Team Needs Player Housing


On behalf of our entire organization I am reaching out to our many Anglers fans to ask you to consider housing one, or more, Angler baseball players this summer. The Cape Cod Baseball League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league and the Anglers will be hosting players from colleges across the country. Many Anglers will go on to professional baseball careers (e.g. current major leaguers Evan Longoria, Andrew Miller, Chris Coghlan and Kris Bryant are recent Anglers). Hosting players often leads to long-term friendships and host families often include the players in their summer family activities. The players arrive in early June and they depart when the season concludes in mid August. The basic requirements to be a host family are to provide the player(s) with 1) their own bedroom (two players in one bedroom is fine) and 2) access to an indoor bathroom/shower. Most host families also have cereal, lunch meat, snacks, etc. on hand for the players. For this commitment host families receive a $75 per week reimbursement. Housing players truly is a very rewarding experience as my wife and I will attest as we enter our seventh year of hosting. If you are interested in hosting Angler player(s) this summer please contact Sherie Bush at 508-737-2923 or at sbush@sbushlaw.com. Thank you very much for your consideration of this request.

Steve West, president

Chatham Athletic Association


Homeless Youth Outreach Launched


I was pleased to see the attention brought to the issue of homeless youth in last week’s Cape Cod Chronicle. In our 25 years of serving the Lower Cape communities, I can tell you that sadly, this is not unique to the Monomoy District.

Homelessness on the Lower Cape is nothing new. It is just hidden. Historically, families and youth on this end of the Cape have come up with creative ways of avoiding the shelter system, like doubling up or camping. Youth find creative solutions including “couch surfing” from house to house.

Since 1991 Homeless Prevention Council (HPC) has served more than 33,000 clients on the Lower Cape. We provide comprehensive case management solutions to support self-sufficiency and stability in our community. Whether our clients are homeless, living on the edge, renting or a homeowner, or simply dealing with a one- time crisis, we are here for our neighbors in need. HPC collaborates with our community partners and knows how to locate resources and get people connected to the services they need.

As a response to the recent concerns that have come from many of our school districts, including Monomoy and Nauset, we have launched our new Outreach to Homeless Youth Initiative. By providing case management and being a trusted resource to youth between the ages of 16 to 24, we hope to partner with our local schools and community groups to help youth stay in school and experience stability. Our campaign is clear: couch-surfing, living on a campsite or staying in your car is not a real home. While they are limited, there are resources available to support youth stabilize their housing. We sincerely hope that our community will reach out to the experienced case managers and the trusted resources at Homeless Prevention Council as we continue to help our neighbors in need.

Maggi Flanagan, program director and case manager

Homeless Prevention Council


The Power Of Volunteers


A notice in the April 13 issue highlighted the challenge facing Chatham’s Fourth of July Parade committee with sustaining the leadership needed to continue running this incredible event. I have recently heard similar difficulties being experienced by other Chatham organizations. As chairperson of First Night Chatham, I know firsthand that our board will be exploring new and creative ways to sustain the talent needed to organize one of Chatham's signature events. It is remarkable how much of what we consider the uniqueness of Chatham is in fact powered by volunteer teams. There are many examples. To mention a few: our great museums, the Fourth of July Parade, Lighthouse tours, band concerts, Sharks in the Park and other merchant-based but still volunteer-powered events, and of course First Night. It is difficult to sustain all these attractions and events, and fresh energy is needed to keep them going. It is well worth the effort.

 Ron Clark


That Chatwich Love Affair?
The push by the Chatham elected “leaders” towards long-term sewer hookups with our neighboring town, Harwich, appears to me to be a one-way relationship more beneficial to Harwich than to Chatham.
I am not an expert regarding the Monomoy regional school marriage, but there appear to be issues with the cost savings projections, the curriculum and getting a handle on the school choice preferences made by parents.
In The Chronicle's 27 April edition, Ms. Elaine Gibbs spells out convincingly that Chatham is receiving another poke in the eye resulting from “negotiations” with Harwich by our elected officials. My recollection is five or six years ago, Chatham voters approved expenditures of tax dollars to sewer the entire town of Chatham over an extended period. The investment I recollect was in the vicinity of $300 million, but recent estimates differ from my recollection.
Now we have a selectman telling Chatham that $6,750,000 paid to Chatham over seven years will allow Harwich to dump 300,000 gallons per day of their wastewater into the Chatham wastewater facility for 50 years. I believe he stated, “this is a good deal for Chatham.” In addition, the additional treated waste will be emitted into the Cockle Cove estuary. If Chatham decides the combination isn't working after 25 years, Chatham taxpayers will write a $2,704,000 check to the town of Harwich.
There is an expression that goes something like this, “Don't pour liquid in my ear and tell me it's raining.” Whether or not Chatham selectmen decide to hire a professional negotiator or not, this wastewater “hookup” should not be permitted to go forward by Chatham taxpayers. The town is on the hook for plus or minus 30 percent of the regional school commitment and here comes Harwich for additional Chatham largesse, “Fool me one, shame on you. Fool me twice,m shame on me.”

John E. Lynch

Cheez Whiz, That's Harsh!

It has to stop now!
These morons playing with their electronic toys while driving is out of control. All police officers should be issued a can of Cheez Whiz and when one of them is observed crossing the yellow line forcing another car to swerve out of the way, upon being pulled over and presenting their driver's license, said document should be covered with the Cheez Whiz and they should be compelled to swallow it.
The fee to get a replacement should be $1,000 and their vehicle should be impounded and sold at auction. This situation would resolve itself in no time flat.

Tom and Alice Cronin