Letters To The Editor: March 21, 2024

by Cape Cod Chronicle Readers

Stores, Residents Helped Book Drive


The MLK Action Team of the Nauset Interfaith Association would like to thank the local independent bookstores who partnered with our Education Task Force to support our community book drive. The drive was intended to provide new books featuring protagonists of color and the wonderful array of cultures present on Cape Cod to the third grade classrooms of the Dennis-Yarmouth school district. We collected over 460 books which will provide the third grade classrooms in the three elementary schools with 36 new books apiece. A very heartfelt thank you to Belonging Books, a locally owned and operated online bookstore, Below the Brine of Harwich Port, The Brewster Bookstore, Sea Howl Bookstore of Orleans and Where the Sidewalk Ends of Chatham.

We also have to thank all community members who supported the drive with the purchase of a book or books. We are very proud and thankful for what we have accomplished together.

Karen Boujoukos and Angelina Raneo Chilaka

Co-Chairs, MLK Action Team’s Education Task Force

Appreciate Historic Home Restoration


In stark contrast with the construction of megahomes sprouting throughout the Cape, I would like to recognize, through your pages, the Kaveney family for their choices in the replication, renovation, and in the high quality of work chosen in carrying out their project on the John Kenrick (Sparrow) home which is located at the corner of Namequoit Road and Route 28 in South Orleans.

For many years, it has been painful to watch this property literally rotting into the ground. Now in new hands, I drive by this property and my head is turned to see the care this owner has taken to replicate a keystone, historic and nostalgic architectural Cape Cod icon.

I am grateful for the extra time and great additional expense which these folks have undertaken to re-create this historic gift for all of us to enjoy.

Marc Norgeot


Harwich Trust Takes Right Approach


Kudos to the Harwich Affordable Housing Trust for its very thoughtful and complete work in planning the development of the Marceline property. I was impressed with the trust's ability to work collaboratively, both internally and externally (with the Community Development Partnership). I look forward to hearing/reading more about this project as the trust's important work continues.

Rosanne Shapiro


Time To End Unnecessary Growth


For those who live in Harwich, “build it and they will come” is a way of understanding the Harwich Select Board. This can only mean that we have town leaders racing towards overdevelopment and a continued diminution of the town’s character.

The March 11 board meeting included a presentation by a state highway representative regarding the soon to be realized, and apparently long awaited, sidewalk construction between Wychmere Harbor and Saquatucket Harbor. It was said that the sidewalk was an ask by the town, that residents should be grateful for just a sidewalk/pole relocation scheme rather than suffer a full-blown road project. I am not grateful.

To my knowledge there is no existing study regarding the number of pedestrians that amble between the harbors on any given day, month or year. Where will these walkers come from? Not likely from a nearby neighborhood. Where should they park their cars as they exist to enjoy a walk between the harbors? As best I know, there is presently not enough beach parking in Harwich Port. Connecting the harbors, Harwich’s “String of Pearls,” can only be the beginning of a greater congestion problem that need not be rushed. If the new sidewalk must be, at least begin construction where presently there is none, not all the way up in town at Bank Street. Doing so would eliminate electric pole relocations closer to many front doors. Do state and town taxpayers have money to throw toward questionably needed projects? Can the select board articulate a cost benefit based on present data and need for this sidewalk? I think not. This is a solution looking for a problem, not unlike the pet cemetery of the recent past. The select board should hold off implementation of the project, scale it back, or forget it altogether. When and where we all can do so, it is time to slow the siren of habituated growth.

Matt Sutphin


Conflict Allegation Lacked Citation


I noticed in last week's Chronicle the latest screed from the coven about affordable housing.

It reminded me of a line from Shakespeare's MacBeth (Act V, Scene 5, Lines 16-27): “... Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more..."

When alleging a conflict of interest, it is necessary and useful to cite to laws, regulations, reports by unbiased public regulatory agencies, and/or findings by a court of law or jury in litigation so that the reader does not conclude that the screed is, in reality, from Earth 2.

Since the screed does not provide any quotations from such sources, let alone cite to such items, we can reasonably conclude that it is derived from whole cloth. As MacBeth noted (ibid.): "... It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing...".

Tom Clarke

West Chatham

Pool Cost Could Build Housing


Have the people of Harwich gone insane? An $18 million pool?

Do they realize how many houses they could build or apartments for affordable housing? Maybe then our children, grandchildren and more could afford to stay on the Cape.

Pat Barker


Need To Address Water Supply


May have read with increasing interest and concern The Chornicle’s articles and editorials about water quality and supply in Chatham. The “big picture” suggests to me, and hopefully as well to an ever-increasing number of Chatham residents, homeowners, business owners, the select board, town manager, public works director, sewer and water advisory committee and other advisors and consultants including Ms. Leah Stanton and the Weston and Sampson firm, that the various partial solutions in discussion or acted upon relate to the available supply side of the issue. In other words, corrective action now seems to be on short-term and other solutions to best treat and manage the town’s restricted share of the Cape’s sole source aquifer’s output.

Perhaps I’m unaware of other solutions being considered to address the need or demand side of the issue. That is to say what can be done to meet the demand for water beyond that which the aquifer can realistically provide, and what is the town doing or should be doing about that issue?

I respectfully urge that, if it’s not already quietly doing so, the town government seek comprehensive proposals ASAP to meet this need through augmentin the town’s water supply by creating at least a seasonably operable (if not year round) seawater desalination plant connected to Chatham’s existing large water storage tanks and distribution system. Such proposals should be sought from three or more qualified engineering firms with outstanding records in the field seeking recommended answers and solutions as to:

• What is the town’s estimated freshwater need in the coming decades?

• How much of that can be reasonably expected to be supplied by the Cape’s single source aquifer during both “high and low seasons?”

• Design of a desalination plant and system (plus suitable safety factor) big enough to more than comfortably offset the difference between those two answers.

• What existing and expected environmental, regulatory,and engineering issues are involved and how to meet them.

• Expectations and recommendations as to the pros, cons, cost, timeline and other elements to meet Chatham’s current and future water needs in a timely manner

• Aid in pursuit of federal, state and private foundation grants for such a project, especially so if this were to be a “leadership demonstration project.”

• Other needs and requirements the town’s leadership, staff and advisors deem appropriate. Their firm’s bid to accomplish the above.

Yes, funding such a solution — or other practical alternatives, if any — will be costly. However, if nothing is done soon to properly address this challenge in a timely way, clearly Chatham’s enviable position as one of America’s finest tourist destinations could abruptly end. Without an adequate water supply, Chatham as we know it will become uninhabitable while real estate values, the tax base, and businesses will collapse. Water supply augmentation, not conservation, seems to be the correct path.

Think big; make no little plans! Having considerable working experience with large projects, if wanted, I offer to serve on a volunteer steering committee to help get this started.

David Oakley



Election/town meeting policy: We accept candidate or town meeting article endorsement letters. However, letters related to elections and town meetings will not be published in the edition immediately preceding the event. See below for deadlines.

Letters to the editor should be signed and include an address and telephone number for verification. Letters may be edited for spelling, grammar and length and should be limited to 250 words or less, though longer letters will be allowed at the editor’s discretion. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Letters about public issues will be a priority over letters of thanks. We reserve the right to reject any letter. Send letters by mail to Letters to the Editor, 60C Munson Meeting Way, Chatham, MA 02633; by email to editor@capecodchronicle.com as plain text, not as an attachment; by fax to 508-945-2579; or fill out the form on our website under “Contribute.” Deadline for letters is Monday at noon.