Letters To The Editor: Feb. 1, 2024
Bewildered By Republicans
I suppose mental health professionals are able to discern Donald Trump’s admiration for men he calls big, powerful, tough, strong leaders like Kim Jon Un, Putin and Viktor Orban. Trump has said he likes them “the tougher and meaner they are.” And yet he has demeaned members of our military. Men who gave their lives in service to our country, calling them “losers” and “suckers.” When he said he didn’t think John McCain was a hero because he had been captured, his crass cruelty was on display for all to see. When in France at a military cemetery, he refused to honor those buried there for fear his hair would be disheveled in the rain.
What is it that causes this candidate for the presidency to be so without empathy? Why did he make fun of a handicapped reporter who dared to ask him a question at a press conference? Why tell police when they arrest someone to not be too careful placing them in a car? Does Trump equate kindness with weakness? All this to say nothing of his caveman attitudes about women.
The list of men who sat in Congress as it was being attacked and desecrated have now joined forces with the weak in support of Trump. Their Leader. Men like Lyndsey Graham, Rubio and Cruz and others have displayed themselves to be hypocrites, condemning Trump on the day of the insurrection, now pledging loyalty to the person who invited the mob to come to Washington, saying “It will be wild.” Have they forgotten Trump thought his vice president should be hung? There are supposedly intelligent people angling to be vice presidential candidates should Trump be the republican candidate. Amnesiacs or cynical deal makers? Endorsements made out of fear are shameful. Perhaps they are willing to serve a dictator, rather than fight for democracy.
My dad was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, strong and dignified. I didn't always agree with him but I always respected him. Although I miss him, I am thankful he has not lived to witness the end of the party he worked for, to which he was devoted his entire life. It appears the party of Lincoln, law and order, and respect for authority no longer exists. It has been destroyed.
Judith S. Winters
Local Architect Needed
Chatham absolutely needs to address the need for more affordable housing for the Chatham workforce (year-round as well as summer), but there also needs to be viable options for year-round families. We are losing the future heart of our community because young professionals and families cannot afford to live here. I've seen the drawing of what is proposed for the Buckley property. In my opinion, it is not the right plan for this town. I have lived in many cities, and this plan resembles something you would see on the outskirts of a large city, not the historical district of a small Cape Cod town. We also want the residents to feel like they are part of the community, not packed together in ugly three-story buildings surrounded by concrete. Perhaps a local architect can design a plan that will be more attractive and appropriate with the surroundings, while accomplishing the need for affordable housing.
A Community Team Efforts
On behalf of the Harwich Children's Fund, we would like to thank all of our donors and elves for their support and generosity during the holiday shopping season. We were able to provide school clothing, pajamas, coats, boots, books, and toys to over 224 children within the Monomoy Regional School District. Thank you to Lucy Gilmore for donating numerous books and the Harwich Women's Club for donating toys. We were successful due to a true community team effort.
Wishing everyone a very happy and healthy New Year!
Angelina Raneo Chilaka
Harwich Children's Fund
Merchants Support Game Day
On Jan. 23 we held our annual Game Day and Luncheon event. As part of the fun afternoon, raffle baskets are assembled with tickets sold to attendees to help raise additional funds for our current $1 million pledge for cancer services of CC Hospital. This year we took a different approach and created “Gift Card” baskets. The response from our local Chatham/Harwich merchant community was overwhelming! Within a brief two weeks of soliciting we had 48 merchants/businesses who contributed gift cards which translated to raffle ticket sales of over $1,000. Our best philanthropy Game Day event ever! We want to thank each and every merchant for their continued generosity which directly supports our vital mission to enhance hospital services for all individuals residing ontThe Cape! We are all so fortunate to live in a community that always gives back to each other.
Chatham Harwich Hospital Auxiliary Branch
Keep Sidewalks Clear
This letter was sent to Harwich town officials:
I am writing this letter to address the concerns I have regarding the situation with sidewalks on Route 28 in Harwich Port. I have been before the select board to address these concerns and have not seen any progress.
The safety of pedestrians and motorists is at risk. There are many obstructions with the parameters of the sidewalk layouts that need to be addressed. This problem is most noticeable during the summer months but is persistent year round. These obstructions impact sight line issues at intersections (Sea Street among the worst), multiple sandwich signs and planters being the greatest concern. We have a sign code in Harwich which is not being upheld. I have read the code and I will reiterate that there are multiple violations on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, these kinds of violations greatly impact people with sight disabilities and force pedestrians to step around and enter the roadway. The situation is challenging for pedestrians and families with young children in strollers. This is an accident waiting to happen.
I would request that all of you look into this issue from your jurisdiction and hopefully you can resolve this situation before next summer’s busy season begins.
Please help keep our sidewalks clear and safe!
Leave Drummer Boy Park Alone
After reading Rich Eldred’s Jan. 11 article in The Chronicle, I recently attended a meeting of Brewster’s new Drummer Boy Park Planning Committee. That meeting’s agenda included finalizing an online survey (targeted for Jan. 22) asking Brewster residents to weigh in on improvements to the park.
The committee’s initial plans for enhancements have a preliminary price tag of nearly $3 million. At the meeting, I pointed out that there weren’t any low-cost options or a choice to simply do nothing; leave the park alone!
In the meeting it was revealed that expensive stormwater remediation is only necessary for further development of the park. Yes, we know there is a puddle when it rains a lot. But there is plenty of alternative parking available, even for the largest events. With no planned development, stormwater remediation is not required. In other words, we can do nothing.
Why do I bring this up? In my opinion, the town is still pushing to develop Drummer Boy Park. More paving, more parking spaces, a new playground…what’s next? This is only one phase; an expensive phase that will no doubt lead to more development of this unspoiled resource.
I urge everyone to go online and take the survey! This is the only way that we can be heard! Tell the town again to leave Drummer Boy Park alone! With $66 million for the CCSC development and other critical expenses looming, is this a necessary use of our tax dollars?
Concerned About Excessive Density
The following letter was sent to the Chatham Select Board:
As a local who grew up in Chatham, I have always witnessed and experienced the need personally and professionally as a realtor for much more affordable housing. I am happy to see more options finally coming forward as the need has been great for decades.
I do think the conceptual plans for 50 to 60 units at 1533 Main St. is too much density for the site. We need as much green space, and architectural Cape style design and a variety of unit sizes to help families and working people stay in the community. I live nearby and am glad our roundabouts slow down the traffic for safety, but with that many units with cars it will change the volume of traffic especially when summer hits.
I look forward to seeing new concepts tailored to Chatham and the West Chatham Village center.
PS: I am very disappointed none of the letters were read at the meeting. We need as much transparent democratic discourse as possible on this housing issue which has been a shameful stain on our community spirit forcing young and old to move away for decades. We can't cram 60 years of neglect into one project of excessive density.
Phyllis Nickerson Power
Small-scale Housing Better
The following letter was written to the Chatham Affordable Housing Trust to be read in my absence at their recent meeting. It was not. Neither were the others. Questions from community members were not answered. In addition to this recent reality, it became clear that this “trust” answers to just themselves. As a citizen of Chatham and this country, I am concerned that such a governing body answers to no one. Many are concerned about the need to find an affordable housing solution for this town. Let’s all have a voice in the quest to find an answer that suits this town. And now my letter:
As in every town on the Cape, Chatham has a dire need for affordable housing. Most agree. However, the proposed density of 5 to 60 units with 80 to 90 parking spaces for three-story apartment buildings plus its design is not appropriate for this relatively small parcel of land. The designers, who appear not to have a building history on Cape Cod, are really designing a suburban complex not suited for this town’s iconic streetscape. This is excessive for this section of Route 28 in Chatham.
Not to be overlooked, West Chatham is an historic business district. As founder and president of Protect Our Past, the fact is a 50 to 60 unit apartment building simply does not belong in this location. It would be an egregious violation of the purpose of an historic business district identification.
In addition, the Cape Cod Commission is in favor of small scale multi-family housing in village centers. West Chatham is a village center, an historic business district village center. Their recommendation: a “Cottage Court,” a cluster of small detached single-family dwellings with green space, 1.5 stories, gross square footage 1,500, no more than 12 units per acre.
Another example of an affordable housing offering within reason is Brewster Landing, a complex of townhouses with garages, all built on a smaller scale with lower density and more green space. This is a much better model. Yes, it may serve fewer people, and it would be in balance with the community. An additional location to house more families may eventually have to be found in the future.
Protect Our Past
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