Letters To The Editor: Nov. 23, 2023

November 22, 2023

Grateful For Center For Active Living


With a few signs of winter approaching, I was visited in my thoughts of a distant memory. When I made the decision to be a full time resident in Chatham I had friends back in New York concerned of how I would spend the winter. Somehow they must have envisioned me moving to the wilds of Alaska. At the time I wasn’t sure either, but last week I found myself in Job Lot buying one of those desk-size calendars for bigger spaces! If you will be a snow bird nesting in Chatham this winter I can share a few tips with you. I find myself spending more and more time at the Center for Active Living; every month I look forward to the book selection Liz makes for our book group, always great reads and great discussions. This month alone was amazing with activity choices. I toured the police station, which was truly educational and one more reason to feel grateful for living in this town and plan to sign up for the reassurance telephone program our police department offers. If you live alone, definitely check that out. We decorated huge pumpkins for home decor, had a delicious turkey dinner at the Wild Goose Tavern, learned about ways to maintain healthy immune systems over the holidays with great tasting appetizers shared by Heather Bailey in cooking class, heard about the work of Independence House here on the cape from Deer Sullivan, made beautiful flower arrangements with Sonny for our Thanksgiving tables, and saved lots of money, thanks to our Shine program on my Medicare prescription program. I even won a basket of treats at bingo. And I must mention that I was born on Thanksgiving so I was invited to the upcoming birthday party program.

I would also like to mention that keeping in tune with healthy, active living, my program of Artful Living/Wellness Warriors will be offered again starting the end of January, thanks to the Friends of the COA, free to participants, and I hope you will check out the details at the CFAL and plan to become a Wellness Warrior.

I would love to have you join me there along with the wellness practitioners I will have as guests.

No problem finding fun ways to enjoy health and active living here in Chatham. I definitely have to find time to put those Nordic Walking poles we learned to use last month to good use. I can certainly put the CFAL on my gratitude list this Thanksgiving.

Gail Tilton

North Chatham

Is Land Commodity Or Asset?


"A group in Orleans wants to ‘rewild’ the 22-acre parcel they control on Sipson’s Island.” Good for them.

If they need wildlife to “stock” the area, they can head up to the Frost Fish Cove area.

That is where most of the animals and birds, driven out of Kent’s Point when their drinking water sources (freshwater seeps) were contaminated by elevated PH levels caused by the thousands of free-roaming dogs (no leash law), now inhabit.

How interesting that a group of volunteers wants to encourage preservation of wildlife while an official town committee (Orleans Conservation Commission) charged with, among other things, the preservation of property described in Appendix “D” of the now-discarded 1995 Kent’s Point Management Plan, as “viewed on a larger scale, the entire property now serves this function due to its natural conditions and may be justifiably classified as a ‘Wildlife Conservancy Area.’”

Kudos to the Sipson Island Trust folks. Unlike the Orleans Conservation Commission people, you clearly understand Sam Lorusso’s point about whether land should be viewed as a commodity or an asset.

Pete Norgeot


Some Postal Concerns


I would like to take a moment to express grievances which I believe are likely not confined to me or my neighborhood relative to postal delivery.

First let me say that I recognize that it is hard to find willing employees to fill postal service jobs these days. The USPS is always advertising locally and I suspect that the last few years, marked by the pandemic with all of its inherent challenges, did little to help that situation.

I am appreciative of the USPS as an organization. I appreciate the complexities of what we, as citizens, take to be a fundamental service in our country and one that can too easily be taken for granted.

What I do not appreciate, however, and would like to loudly protest are things like this:

I resent receiving an expensive order of Christmas Cards which were delivered after sundown and placed on top of my mailbox in a rainstorm to be discovered, thoroughly soaked, the next morning.

I resent the frequency with which my mail is delivered to other people’s mailboxes and the frequency with which I receive mail belonging to my neighbors.

I resent the mail carrier who feels it is acceptable to literally toss a large package (shipped by Amazon via USPS) into the very end of my driveway in a rainstorm without making an effort to deliver it to my covered entryway or minimally, to place it under the mailbox at the roadside.

Not too many months ago, I was distraught by the mail carrier who tried to jam a too-large package into my mailbox and caused the box to become unusable as well as damaging the post to which it was affixed. While “accidents can happen,” it was a sorry discovery which would have been softened by the decency of ringing our doorbell or leaving a small note.

In summary, I do not like paying for products which are ruined upon arrival by careless handling of delivery personnel. I do not like the fact that there is not an easily identified accountable party to whom complaints can be directed for examination, resolution or restitution. Most of all, I do not like the seeming indifference. Gone are the days, apparently, when customer service was a top priority and customer satisfaction reigned supreme. Most of the time, I suppose we should consider ourselves lucky to simply receive our mail (or anyone else’s for that matter) at all.

Debra Cody


Questions Housing Project’s Affordability


Everyone agrees that Harwich needs affordable housing, but we wonder how many of the 288 Pine Oaks Village units would in fact be affordable, and we wonder how “affordability” would be defined.

The Massachusetts Housing Development Incentive Program has recently earmarked millions of dollars to subsidize housing units in key commonwealth cities. But 80 percent of those units will be market rate, that is "priced consistently with prevailing rents or sale prices in the municipality.” Given the oppressive cost to rent or buy a home in Harwich, we wonder what that market rate would be for the proposed Pine Oak Village units, and if it would apply in fact to 80 percent (or 231) of them.

We wonder what “affordable” rate would be charged for the remaining 20 percent (or 57 units) and if it would be capped or subject to increase.

And we wonder what percentage of these units would in fact be guaranteed for Harwich residents and workers. I’m hoping for substantive answers to these questions.

Paula Myles

North Harwich