Letters to the Editor, July 20

Does Harwich Need A Pet Cemetery​?


I have recently had occasion to drive down the industrial area on Queen Anne Road in Harwich. I just learned that the large swath of land being cleared was for a town-funded pet cemetery.

Harwich has very few industrial areas left to build on. These three or four lots could have created 15 bays for the working class to start or expand a business. Those businesses could have created jobs for year-round residents.

I realize this went to town meeting but the selectmen have to first put it on the warrant and endorse it. Anyone can make an argument for anything, but in this case all the town has done is taken potentially a great deal of tax money off the rolls that could have been used for more appropriate government expenditures like schools and roads, or numerable other worthwhile projects. They have driven up the price of industrial bays which only increases costs and hardship for the local people. In short, they made things just a little more difficult.

Is a public place to bury pets truly more important than these things? How often do they talk about finding ways to help keep young people here? Over the years I can't remember many conversations about the high priority of offering a public place to bury pets.

So why would they provide their support and endorse this project? The answer is fairly simple. It is far easier to punt than it is to take a stand. Saying no is harder than saying yes. I hope people pay attention at election time to the number of times their leaders allow such foolishness to be placed in front of town meeting, where small groups of well-organized people can tip the balance on almost any warrant item. Only in New England do 200 people make the decision for 10,000.

Let's hope the selectman and the town thinks twice next time they are asked to support a handful of people’s “pet project.”

Sean Summers



Likes Alliances 'Big Ideas'


As property owners and summer residents of Chatham, my wife and I are proud to support the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance.   Sustaining and growing our local fishing fleet is critical to Chatham’s continued vitality. We are particularly pleased to see the Alliance’s Pier to Plate program, where abundant local species such as skate and dogfish are sustainably caught and then made available  to consumers through various local restaurants and seafood stores.   We’ve noted that a number of our local establishments, including (but certainly not limited to) Bluefins, Chatham Fish and Lobster, the Squire, and the Red Nun are proud participants in Pier to Plate.   I hope all of our wonderful local restaurants and shops will participate and support our local fishing fleet.   The Alliance’s slogan is “Small Boats.  Big Ideas.”   Pier to Plate is just such a “big idea.”      Let’s all do our part to support it.

Rob Johnson



Sick Of Lying Press


Two weeks ago, The Chronicle's reader opinion page featured J. Denis Glover's You Guest It piece “Our Naive and Frightened Press.” Last week two letters, “Hatred in Harwich” and “No Substitute For A Free Press,” expressed a similar irrational ranting of hatred for President Trump.

I know it would be an exercise in futility to correct all of Mr. Glover's inaccuracies but let's look at one: "Team Trump Lies." Would Mr. Mabry, in his letter, have us defend a press that is hell bent on facilitating a coup? Or defend "reporting" that calls Melania Trump a "hooker" or attacks her son? Given the many retractions printed by the liberal media, is it really likely the Trump camp is the one doing the lying?

And while Mrs. Schlansky, in her letter “Hatred in Harwich,” states she wanted to be very clear about the facts, the fact is that the Trump hat wearer and his wife made not even the subtlest reference to race when speaking to her family, according to what her family members repeated to her. I have sometimes been irritated when I have picked a spot on the beach from which I could see the waves and children frolicking in the water only to have a party come and put chairs and blankets down in front of me close to the waterline. Me thinks perhaps Mrs. S. might be somewhat touchy about her family make up if she jumps to such a conclusion based on a hat! Would she have felt the same if her family was not "mixed" or the wearer's hat read "Stronger Together”?

But, then again, let them rant and lie because the American people are getting sick and tired of it and it is unlikely they will want such despicable people in office in the future. After all, it was Comey's revelations about Hillary's emails and her lying that ultimately cost her the presidency, thank heaven!

Kathy Jones

Chatham and Florida


Thank You, Cape Cod Chronicle

On behalf of Fishing Partnership Support Services and the thousands of fishing families served by our organization throughout the northeast, I want to thank you and your colleagues for the excellent coverage of our recent (June 22) first-ever fundraising event, the 2017 Chatham Port Tour and Seafood Celebration.
The advance publicity was tremendous, as was the post-event coverage on your June 29 edition. Special praise is due Kira Barrett, your reporter/photographer who stayed for the entire event and captured its highlights so well, and Amy Tagliaferri of your advertising department, who did a superb job on our ad. I also want to thank The Chronicle for generously serving as an event sponsor. That really helped put us over the top.
In its debut, this event was everything we hoped it would be – a great way to honor the incredible legacy and the vital work of Cape Cod's commercial fishermen and to generate the resources that will help sustain the Fishing Partnership as it provides more than 20 distinct services, at no cost, to commercial fishermen and their families. We're already looking forward to holding the 2018 Chatham Port Tour and Seafood Celebration! Thanks again.

J.J. Bartlett, president

Fishing Partnership Support Services


Waivers Not Best For Town


Your editorial "Development Quid Pro Quo" (July 6) addresses the fact that the planning and zoning boards fail to live up to zoning regulations in Chatham by allowing special waivers to developers. This is disconcerting for several reasons.

First, permit waivers were offered for the former Chatham Medical Associates property at 78 Crowell Rd. to place three "luxury homes" on 1.35 acres (58,806 square feet). This normally would require 60,000 square feet, 1,194 short, and the Chatham planning and zoning board gave them special consideration. Why? 

Second, allowing the same company to buy its way out when developing a 14-lot subdivision, as might happen to the former Hunter's Pine Acres Cottage Colony, circumvents the town's priority to develop affordable housing. The "buy out" is possible because of a town bylaw which permits a developer to pay a fee, in this case $203,000, to not build even one affordable house. We all know the company will more than make up the $203,000 payment if allowed to develop the 14 units without a single affordable unit.

Third, Chatham desperately needs more affordable homes in a community of high end homes; 6,000 people are year-round residents, and more than 20,000 are summer residents. I would suggest that planning and zoning take a firm stand and reject the proposed 14-home development unless the developer agrees to build two affordable homes out of the 14 planned. The quid pro quo would be a cul-de-sac that would greatly help to execute the developer's plan. If this is not acceptable to this developer, other developers may be willing to build two affordable homes under these conditions.

Special waivers, which allow crowding of homes on substandard lots and also lock out moderate income home buyers, are contrary to the best interests of Chatham.

Bob Hall

West Chatham 


Festival Great Community Event


Just got back from the first annual Harwich Cape Verdian festival at Brooks Park. The rain held out and it was what I would call a successful event. If you missed it, you missed a great time.
The entertainment was great, Candida Rose is a very talented lady. The food was unbelievable, although jag is a regular in my house, I have never had summer jag before.  What a treat. 
Got to talk with many I have not seen in some time and met some new people, so all in all it was a fantastic community event that I hope continues.

This is what Harwich should be.  My thanks to the committee for your hard work.  If I can support next years event in any small way, please let me know.

Gary M Sinclair



Who's More Hateful?


Over many years of my life I have also run into grumpy elderly people, fortunately, it only shows up in a small percentage of us old folks. In your article you repeatedly describe the two older folks as wearing “red Trump hats. I therefore question, where is the hatred actually directed?

J. Coyle



Harwich's Unsung Hero


It seems like the dory “Hero” is part of the Herring River. It’s been in West Harwich so long, the river looks empty without it. The little red boat has folks gawking out their car window and stops walkers in their tracks. Everyone responds to the beauty of the setting. Painters paint the scene. Photographers take pictures. It gets featured in magazines,  newspapers and art galleries.  It has even graced the cover of the town’s annual report. There is no doubt that it is the second most scenic view in Harwich, after the Wychmere Overlook.

What would we do without it?

It’s all the work of one person, a musician, teacher and boat builder named John Stevens who places the boat precisely in its location in the river to attract the attention it receives. He called it an art installation before anyone knew what the term meant. “Folk art that floats,” he says. Most people don’t know who he is or even think about why the boat which is rarely used, is there. They just enjoy it.

Charles D. Cahoon (1861-1951) was recognized as the village artist in his day. It is maybe time to recognize this unsung hero in our  midst today. John Stevens deserves a moment of glory for creating the colorful dory, maintaining it year after year and sharing it with everyone who passes over the Herring River bridge. His installation has truly beautified the town of Harwich.  Both Hero and unsung hero should be honored.

Stephanie Foster

West Harwich