Letters To The Editor: June 13, 2024

by Cape Cod Chronicle Readers

Looking For Person Responsible For Roundabout


I would like to know whose cousin was the architect for the new roundabout in South Orleans. Thanks.

John Harris


Roundabout Good Idea, But…


Having been born in the house (now office) at the intersection of Portanimicut Road and Routes 28 and 39, and spending 20 years there, I’d like to chime in on the roundabout.

We would frequently hear the screech of tires as sleeping/drunk drivers heading east on Route 39 barreled through the intersection. They repeatedly knocked down the signs and guardrails there. Some people were injured, but to my knowledge nobody ever died there.

The roundabout is a good idea. It can save lives.

But whoever designed that cement bunker and the monstrosity on the top certainly wasn’t a Cape Codder. Rubberneckers, trying to figure out if maybe a Chinese spy satellite was posted there, will possibly cause more rear-ending accidents than pre-roundabout.

Designers (a relative term) surely didn’t realize that Orleans is still a rural town, trying to avoid city ideas and ways. I guess that didn’t work out too well did it?

Pete Norgeot


Eliminating Pesticides A Priority


Mary Richmond is on target. Her column on pesticides made me remember Rachel Carson’s 1962 book “Silent Spring.” She was a visionary and her writings sparked a battle against big chemical pesticides companies who made and sold DDT.

Her purpose was to protect our lakes and ponds, forest animals, birds and our environment. Mary Richmond exemplifies the pioneer spirit of Rachel Carson. Both women recognize that pesticides and chemicals have no limits or boundaries in its unintended effects.

Ms. Richmond calls it right: “poison is poison.” Above all else, we have to protect our water sources on Cape Cod. Clearly, eliminating pesticides should be a priority.

Joseph E.Coffey

East Orleans

Saddened By Select Board Behavior


I am saddened by how members of the Harwich Select Board continue to disrespect each other while in session.

In the June 6 issue they are quoted using phrases such as "shut up" and "you're a blow hard." This behavior should not be acceptable. As a select board member you disrespect each other but even more so you disrespect all of the citizens of Harwich. Next thing you know you'll be swearing at each other!

We did not elect you to represent us in this fashion. You should be ashamed. If you cannot conduct yourselves in an orderly and respectful manner you need not represent us.

Jo Dagenais


Treasure Chest Permits Available


The Harwich Treasure Chest Committee wishes to make people aware that $5 brown stickers will be sold beginning June 12. They may be purchased seven days a week at the community center until July 20. They will also be sold at the chamber of commerce (for an additional $3) until Labor Day. And as always, they can be purchased online.

Eleanor Gerson, Chair

Harwich Treasure Chest Committee

Understanding Airport Tree Plan


Quite by accident I attended a Chatham Conservation Commission meeting on March 27. Confused by the dialogue exchanged between the airport consultant and the members of the commission, I asked: “My concern is the number of trees that will be taken down.” I assumed they were speaking of many but never expected the answer: thousands of trees. To say I was surprised would be mild. I could hardly think/speak. How had I not heard this? Had I not read an article in the paper that told this fact? Was this information in conversations in Chatham? Had I been so busy in my life that I was unaware of what was going to happen 2.8 miles from my home? I started asking friends/neighbors. No, they had not heard. I was not alone. I wanted to learn more. Thankfully, our town meetings are easily accessed online. Again, I was surprised! The first presentation to the conservation commission by the airport consultant was on Dec. 13, three months earlier! At that first meeting, a map showing “tree removal” around the airport was presented. How could such an extensive “plan” not be known by so many?

Understanding the “airport plan” can be found weekly on Page 4.

Harriet Prout


Not Too Late For Roundabout


I applaud Bill Amaru's excellent commentary on the South Orleans roundabout, and now that it is a part of our everyday communal experience, I hope we can make some improvements.

Orleans residents tend to be a creative and environmentally conscious group of citizens. Even though it would have been impossible to please everyone, it seems that with some community input, we could have had a much better result. In my own opinion, a large evergreen tree or even a flagpole displaying the US, Massachusetts and Orleans banners would have been preferable to the sculpture now in place. Even better would have been artwork honoring Edward Winslow, who was a model of right relations with the Wampanoag people, or something honoring the native people themselves. We were told that no one wanted to tend a garden in the middle of the whizzing traffic, but in fact, there are many traffic circles and triangles on the Cape with lovely plantings. The Orleans Conservation Trust is right up the street and could have given valuable insight in creating a green and environmentally friendly alternative.

At this point, what is done is done, but it can still be improved. The area where the "Welcome to Orleans" sign stands could be transformed to a small park (giving us a reason to use those sidewalks!) and the other areas of plain grass could include rows of hydrangeas or be topped with whiskey barrels full of flowers. Ever since we arrived in South Orleans (1997) I have envisioned a coffee/pastry shop near the post office, but was told it would not be allowed due to zoning issues. Wouldn't it be fun to get your mail, grab a coffee and head to a new park nearby?

Christine Cacioppo

South Orleans

Event Highlighted Airport’s Benefits


On behalf of the many volunteers who helped plan and execute the Chatham Municipal Airport’s 2024 open house, we wish to thank the thousands of community members who came to the airport on Saturday to celebrate planes, trains, automobiles, helicopters, trucks, first responders, and so many great local community organizations.

It was wonderful to see the thousands of smiling faces, many belonging to small children, as they got a chance to get up close and personal with everything from the Chatham Fire Department’s impressive ladder truck all the way to the model railroad displays.

The “doors” to the airport are open seven days a week to all, and we hope many of the thousands of community members who joined us on Saturday will return on a regular basis, whether for breakfast at Hangar B or even just a chance to gaze skyward on a sunny day.

Lastly, the Boston Medflight helicopter in attendance at the open house was a good reminder of the life-saving role the airport plays. Nobody ever plans to have a heart attack or a car accident, but it’s nice to know that the Chatham Airport will be ready to help get you or your loved ones to Mass General should the need ever arise.

The Chatham Airport was originally founded as a private airport in 1929 by Wilfred Berube. This year, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of its establishment as a municipal airport. We look forward to 75 more years of the airport being a valuable asset to the community.

Kenneth Bacow


Cycling Issues An Enforcement Problem


In his recent letter to the editor, Jared Fulcher correctly notes that speed is not the primary safety problem on the bike trails, and points instead to cyclists who "erroneously assume the right of way at road crossings" and ignore stop signs and red lights, making themselves a nuisance on the roads. I agree.

I regularly bicycle on the trail and drive across the intersections, so I've observed the same behavior that Mr. Fulcher has. I've also noted that when I drive the speed limit on Route 6, my car is overtaken by dozens of motorists exceeding the limit, often going 60 to 70 mph. When motorists drive over the speed limit on Route 6 I suspect it is for the same reason that cyclists fail to observe the laws: Lack of sufficient enforcement.

More enforcement of the laws at busy intersections along the bike trail would prove educational to the many cyclists who flout the law. And local authorities should also enforce current laws in Massachusetts that allow cyclists to take a full lane on the roads at any time and mandates that motorists allow at least four feet when passing a cyclist on the road and wait until it's safe to pass. Motorists should do this without harassing the cyclists with their car horns and rude gestures or intimidate them by nearly side-swiping them, as has frequently happened to me.

Educating motorists and cyclists alike would make our roads and trails safer for all. But it's worth remembering that while a bicycle might prove a nuisance at road crossings along the trail, a motor vehicle may become a mortal threat.

Matthew Brown


Chronicle Editorial Was Proper


I think it was Thomas Jefferson who said, “I disagree with you, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.” Many papers were established to support a candidate and defeat his opponent. That’s why so many papers today are known as either Democratic or Republican. In the good ones, all the rest of the articles are unslanted.

The dictionary definition of an editorial is “a newspaper article written by an editor that gives an opinion on a topical issue.”

The editor is pleased when his opinion is heeded and at the same time publishes letters that disagree with him. I’d say you received the correct information and I congratulate The Chronicle for publishing your letter on the same page as the editorial that urges voters to stay informed. A corollary would be to get out and work to support your candidate.

Lucy Mitchell


Rock Harbor Approval Right Thing For Town


On behalf of the Orleans Shellfish and Waterways Improvement Committee, I would like to thank the voters of Orleans who voted favorably at town meeting for the bond bill for the Rock Harbor commercial wharf reconstruction project, and also for the override at the ballot box the following week.

In addition, we would like to thank Nate Sears, natural resources manager/harbormaster, for all his work shepherding the project forward during the past eight years.

And none of this would have happened without the participation of the town’s fishermen, their friends and supporters, and town officials, including all the members of the select board and finance committee.

Special thanks go to the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance of Chatham, which, as part of their working waterfronts project, paid for and helped distribute brochures about the project.

We also thank The Cape Cod Chronicle for in-depth reporting on the fincom meeting prior to town meeting, and the commentary by Bill Amaru, local fisherman and historian, as well as the report on the town meeting itself.

And a thank you also to Tony Pearl, our committee’s liaison from the fincom (and himself a former “Coastie”) who clearly articulated the cost/benefit analysis and warned that we might have to pay a lot more if we didn’t fix the bulkhead now.

He was right. I just read an article in The New Bedford Light which reports that for the second time in six months, an almost 500-foot portion of the dock collapsed and fell into New Bedford Harbor, causing injuries and potential hazards to navigation in the harbor.

Fortunately, the citizens of Orleans, faced with similar deteriorating conditions, decided to make repairs and improvements, and thus ensure continuation of our working waterfront for future generations.

Suzanne Phillips, chair

Orleans Shellfish and Waterways Improvement Advisory Committee