Hatred Comes To Harwich
It’s taken me a week to write this letter because I wanted to be very clear about the facts. My husband and I live year-round in Harwich and delight in having our children and grandchildren come to visit, as so many of us do. I want to tell you about an ugly incident that happened to us at the lakeside beach on Cahoon Road off Route 137 on June 26. To set the scene let me introduce the cast of characters. There are myself and my husband, typical grey-haired retirees; my son, daughter-in-law, and toddler daughter (all white); my daughter, her Guyanese American husband (brown), and their two teenage daughters (tan and light brown, respectively). We set our chairs up in the shade about 50 feet from the lakeshore and my husband, myself, the baby and her parents, went down to the water. My daughter and family were chatting quietly in the shade. Also on the beach near us were a Latina woman and her two small boys, not related, but also brown.
An elderly lady and her husband, who wore a red Trump hat, sat about 25 feet behind us. This elderly lady came up to my 16-year-old granddaughter and said she was angry that she sat in front of her, albeit 25 feet away. My son-in-law politely apologized and offered to have his daughter move. The woman did not think this was acceptable. This woman said, and I quote my daughter, “I don’t know how they do things where you come from, but we don’t do that here.” My son-in-law again offered to have his daughter move, but the woman just repeated her comment. My daughter asked her what she meant by this, and told her if she didn’t want the girl to move then to leave them alone and to stop making racist remarks. We had come up from the water by now to find our daughter in tears but reluctant to tell us the reason.
A few days later my daughter wrote about the incident on Facebook. I shared it with my Facebook friends. I immediately had offers of a posse to go down to the beach and tell these folks a thing or two. And the point is, these loyal supporters include two Episcopal priests, a Catholic priest, and people of Protestant, Jewish, Catholic and Buddhist persuasions. This is what I know about Harwich. This welcoming, diverse town is where I live. Now I don’t know if these Trump-hat-wearing people lived here, were summer visitors, rented, or what. But I do know what proud, patriotic, generous and compassionate people my daughter and her family are. They are known among their friends and ours for charities they support, the people they help, the kindness they show.
Now we all know how Cape businesses depend on this image of small-town, old-fashioned, American fun during the summer. This is a place where people bring their kids to make family memories, as my husband and I did years ago. This is a place where restaurants, ice cream parlors, hometown baseball games, beaches and boat rides thrive because people, all kinds of people, feel welcome and at home here. But the newspapers back in May were full of stories about how these businesses were impacted by the loss of seasonal workers, some who had been coming for years, who all of a sudden couldn’t get visas. There are dozens of summer jobs going unfulfilled and this translates to the bottom line of someone who lives and works here.
The cover of this week’s New Yorker magazine depicts a young black woman in a blue bathing suit covered in white stars holding a red and white striped beach ball. Now which image do you want for Harwich? This one? Or a guy in a Trump hat ready to decide who gets to be on the beach and who doesn’t? Let’s keep hatred out of Harwich and off the Cape.
Watch Out For Ambulances
Yesterday, as I drove on Route 6 to Hyannis, at three different times rescue trucks needed to pass. At each of these times, there were drivers in front of me, behind me and in front of rescue vehicles with blaring sirens and flashing lights, slowing their progress. Drivers must allow emergency vehicles to pass. I don’t know whether some drivers can’t hear the sirens, aren’t looking in their rear-view mirrors, or simply don’t know what to do. Perhaps there is less awareness on the part of vacationers unfamiliar with Route 6. Unfortunately where the road is a single lane, one must pull off the road onto unpaved areas. It can be difficult, especially when there’s snow on the road. But no snow yesterday and lots of traffic. The same events happened on the way home. Rescue trucks from Eastham, Chatham and Harwich traveled to the hospital in Hyannis and there were cars impeding their progress.
Unfortunately, I have twice been taken by ambulance to the hospital. I know what it’s like to be in one and the anxiety and urgency felt to get to Hyannis as soon as possible. I have long felt there needs to be better pull-off areas on this highway. In the meantime, please pay attention to your surroundings, take the earbuds out, turn down the music, check what’s happening behind you and figure out where to pull off the road. Time is of the essence in some emergencies, and you may be in one of those rescue vehicles some day.
Judith S. Winters
Monuments Review Is A Land Grab
Is President Trump’s Executive Order to review the status of 27 National Monuments simply a ruse to open up public lands for commercial development and profit? Lower Cape Indivisible believes it is and strongly opposes the review of these national monuments, one of which is close to home.
Among President Trump’s targets is Northeast Canyons and Seamounts, the first deep-sea marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean. One hundred fifty miles southeast of Cape Cod, this 4,913-square-mile marine environment was formed millions of years ago and includes three underwater canyons and four underwater mountains. It is home to many protected species of marine life such as Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, endangered whales, deep-sea corals, and deep-sea fish.
We see this “review” by the Trump administration as the first step in the plunder of public lands for corporate enrichment. Visionary presidents since Theodore Roosevelt recognized unique lands as part of our national heritage and protected them for generations to come. The harm that could be done to these sites by removing National Monument safeguards will be irreparable and irreversible.
Lower Cape Indivisible
Getting Their Just Desserts?
Reflecting upon the four teenagers who were arrested for allegedly having sex in the water at a Dennis beach on July 4th, this bumper sticker that I recently spotted in Eastham says it all: "Free seal suits available here. Rude and obnoxious people served first."
Board Working On Affordable Housing
Your editorial drawing attention to the need for affordable housing in Chatham was timely. Chatham's planning board is actively involved with implementing the town's long range comprehensive plan that directly impacts the supply of affordable housing.
The town meeting-approved plan envisions small-scale, compact village centers in South Chatham, West Chatham, The Cornfield, Crowell Road and North Chatham as places for traditional mixed-use neighborhoods with smaller lots and homes, following historic development patterns of Chatham's Old Village. Progress is advancing in this direction but much remains to be accomplished in the way of replacing obsolete zoning laws and making road and roadside infrastructure improvements before more affordable housing becomes available. Strong community support for these planning efforts is essential.
At the same time, Chatham's continued success with attracting retirees and summer residents should be viewed in the positive light Chatham families have traditionally viewed this development; as strengthening economic and cultural diversity while preserving Chatham's historic integrity.
No Substitute For A Free Press
J. Denis Glover's You Guest It column, "Our Naive and Frightened Press" (July 6) is one of the most powerful and succinct pieces I've read on the real and present threats to the first amendment of The Constitution of The United States.
We readers, and you journalists, can feed the "bottomless pit" of Trump team lies, distractions, and attacks upon a free press and other scapegoats, all the while fostering a more divided electorate. Or, we can do as Glover, and Brian Karem, executive editor of The Sentinel Newspapers, have done: Defend the press and call out the "Trumpets" constant vilification of the press.
We the people, independents, Democrats, and Republicans, lose when reporters and editors are intimidated and on the defensive. Erdogan and Putin have their way in Turkey and Russia. Shall we enable Trump, and concede an un-United States of America to this list of muzzled and cowed news sources, from the press to cable news, television and radio broadcasts, to be controlled by an egomaniacal bully and consummate fool?
No! Glover's piece needs to appear on every editorial page of every newspaper in the country.
Freedom of the press. Now. And forever!
Methodist Church Re-dedication Sunday
This Sunday, July 16, 11 a.m. the First United Methodist Church of Chatham we will celebrate the completion of the renovations that have been done over the past two years with a re-dedication ceremony.
All are welcome.
We thank Chatham and the generous help we have been given by the town to preserve and renovate one of Chatham's treasures.
The Methodist church is a true treasure with a sanctuary that has crystal acoustics and the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world.
If you can't drop in for this event our regular service is every Sunday at 10 a.m. We have a super fun minister, Reverend Barbara Kszystyniak, a heavenly choir, a multi-talented choir master, Jeanne Kuzirian, and a really beautiful church.
For the re-dedication ceremony this Sunday our former minister, Nancy Bishoff, and her husband Roy will be with us. This will be a very special event for Chatham and for our congregation. Please join us.
Another Successful Harbor Run
The 38th running of the Chatham Harbor Run/Walk took place on Sunday, June 26 with help from our sponsors: Richard Costello of the Chatham Squire, David Farrell of sealaw.org, Hank Hyora of The Chronicle and Rae Carlin of Chatham Ford. This year's race was extra special because of a runner named Ian Nurse. The first road race he ever competed in was the Harbor Run and he has come back to be Chatham's only three-time winner. Now, after recently running a 2:32 Boston, Ian is the Harbor Run's only four-time winner with a time of 34:46. Other local division winners included Brewster's Paul Hufnagel. Paul, who has had a long running career dating back to Cape Tech, came in third overall. Other local runners that won their divisions were Tom Cugno, Ted Gallagher, Larry Cole and Wendy Dunford.
On the walk side of the race, last year's winner Bill Dalrymple was dethroned by L.B. Koss. Other locals that walked well were Cape Cod Athletic Club members Martha Edwards and Jennifer Hyora. Martha won the women's race overall and Jennifer again defended her trophy and took first place in her age category. But the real story is race walker Mary Parsons. Mary, who volunteers and is committed to Chatham, organizes the successful annual Chatham Turkey Trot. She was this first female Chatham walker. Mary, who always wins her age division, could be called a role model for any novice, intermediate or expert athlete.
The Harbor Run was started once again by the original organizer John Whalen and assisted flawlessly by the Chatham Police, Chatham Fire and Rescue and Monomoy School system. The various town businesses that donated were Aqua Pools, Pine Acres Realty, Tommy Doane Tile, Cowles Eye Care, Fisherman's Alliance, Chatham Boat Co., Daily News, Chatham Fish Pier Market and Chatham Health and Swim Club. The town merchants that gave to the raffle were the Chatham Candy Manor, Yankee Ingenuity, Marion's Pie Shop, Short 'n' Sweet, Carmine's Pizza, Chatham Penny Candy, Main Street Pottery, Blue Water Fish Rubbings, Yellow Umbrella Books and Sundance Jeans.
A big thank you goes out to everyone that was involved in this year's event on a hot day. I hope to run, walk and work with everyone again next year.