Letters To The Editor: May 16, 2024

by Cape Cod Chronicle Readers

Silent Spring Revisited


There is a statue in Woods Hole commemorating Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, a historic book exposing the threat of pesticides. Today, have we heeded Dr. Carson’s prescient message?

Harwich certainly has not. At last week’s town meeting, residents voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed pesticide bylaw, the primary objection being that thorough procedures had not been followed to vet the document beforehand. Perhaps this objection has merit. But there is a greater question. That is, how could it be, in the more than half century since Silent Spring, that Harwich has taken no adequate steps to properly protect our environment, not to mention our townspeople, from the scourge of pesticides? Yes, DDT has been outlawed, ospreys and bald eagles have recovered, but is that a sign that all is well? The Cape’s vast saltmarshes are virtually devoid of American bitterns, northern harriers and short-eared owls — obligate marsh inhabitants. Whip-poor-wills, purple martins, and American kestrels, all insect-eating birds, have disappeared. We are experiencing a new silent spring but choose not to see it.

Apparently, no town in Massachusetts can restrict pesticides without special state dispensation. Excuse me? How could such an absurd authority become state law other than by outrageous political deal-making by the pesticide industry. Harwich’s leadership needs to wake up, residents need to open our eyes. Pesticides are devastating Harwich, not to mention the Cape. Voting down Article 13 — empowering Harwich to control its own destiny regarding pesticides — is not the answer. An immediate, bold, comprehensive effort by town leadership on this draconian problem is.

Herbert Raffaele


Thanks For Osprey Platform


This letter is in thanks to the new homeowner on Route 28 at Frost Fish Creek. Thank you for putting up the osprey nest platform outside of your home. What a view into their nest you must have. Well done and welcome to Chatham.

Betsy Abreu


Library Appreciates Support


On behalf of the board of directors of the South Chatham Public Library, we want to thank all who attended the benefit movie at the Orpheum Theater on April 25. Because of your support, you are helping to ensure the continued operation of the "little library" in South Chatham that has served our community for 150 years.

The Library will hold its annual Cleanup Day on Saturday, May 18 from 10 to 1 p.m. Patrons, friends, and interested folks are encouraged to drop by for refreshments, lend a hand, meet the board members, or just take a look inside if you have never stopped by.

Finally, on Saturday, June 1 at noon, at Cockle Cove Beach, there will be an installation and dedication of one of three Little Libraries gifted by the Library to South Chatham beaches. Select board members, parks and recreation commissioners and other dignitaries are invited along with all South Chatham and Chatham neighbors. Come one, come all! (Rain date, in case of heavy rain, will be Sunday, June 2 at 1 p.m.).

Peggy Holland

Board of Directors

South Chatham Public Library

Friends Support The Arts


Monomoy High School would like to again thank the Friends of Pleasant Bay for their generous grant last spring! It paid for a wonderful visit to the bay this year for some of our writing, art, and photography students. It also paid for the publishing of a lovely booklet, thanks to the great work of Thompson's Printing, that will soon be available for public viewing at the following venues: Brooks Library in Harwich, Eldredge Library in Chatham, and the Brewster Ladies’ Library. The booklets will also be available at the Harwich and Chatham town halls. Thank you again Friends of Pleasant Bay!

Lisa Forte-Doyle

Monomoy High School

Leaders With Skills Needed


We are very lucky to have two excellent candidates running for select board in Brewster. I’m casting my votes for Mary Chaffee and Amanda Bebrin. They are both proven leaders, each has a long list of valuable contributions to our town. Amanda is the planning board chair and worked on the local comprehensive plan, our stormwater regulations, and is extremely knowledgeable about housing.

Mary, who is a nurse, has been effective on so many environmental efforts, including the nips ban, the town’s lawsuit to stop Eversource from spraying chemicals, and protecting open space.

There are many complex issues ahead of us and we need leaders who have skills, not slogans.

Margretta Morris


Supports Well-prepared Candidates


The League of Women Voters did Brewster voters a great service in holding a candidate forum on May 7. The three select board candidates were asked questions on many topics. Mary Chaffee and Amanda Bebrin demonstrated their knowledge on all the issues and answered clearly. Laurel Labdon who is running on a spend less platform confusingly said she’s supporting the school override, supported buying the Sea Camps and could not explain how she would actually spend less.

I hope voters will watch the video for themselves before they vote (vimeo.com/944215065). They will see how well-prepared and competent Mary and Amanda are. We are fortunate Amanda Bebrin and Mary Chaffee are running for select board. They’ve got my vote.

William B. Brownville


Transparency Key For Candidate


It is time for Brewster to “Spend Smart and Spend Less,” and Laurel Labdon is the candidate running for a seat on the Brewster Select Board that will do just that. This letter is to endorse her and to urge Brewster residents to vote for her at this important upcoming election on May 28.

Laurel is a lifetime resident of Brewster. She knows our community well, having immersed herself in supporting our year round residents, our senior community, and our local schools. She understands that strong financial support of our schools helps ensure high caliber education, a major factor in attracting new residents to our town. However, she recognizes a need for greater fiscal responsibility and transparency.

Brewster needs to face some hard truths. Its debt obligations exceed $100 million dollars, up over 260 percent in 11 years. We already have a lot on our plate with the Nauset High renovations, the Sea Camps properties purchase, and now the list of pending expenditures for the Sea Camps that will exceed some $60 million! In the recent past, the select board has taken actions that if followed to completion, would have major negative impacts for Brewster. Only after monies were spent on feasibility studies was the community asked for input. Laurel Labdon will bring responsive and responsible leadership focusing on fiscal responsibility, preservation of Brewster’s character and values, tackling the affordable and attainable housing shortage, improving our water quality and supporting the home rule petitions for pesticide and fertilizer reduction, establishing trust and restoring the tradition of community, and leadership working hand in hand.

Laurel Labdon will listen to us, be transparent, and work hard to achieve our goals.

Miriam Eber

Nancy Ludewig


Candidates Have The Right Skills


Brewster has two great candidates running for select board — Mary Chaffee and Amanda Bebrin. I’ve worked with both on the Brewster Bay Property Planning Committee, as well as on a variety of community activities.

Amanda and Mary are second to none in terms of professionalism, leadership ability and deep concern for the future of Brewster. Anyone who saw them at town meeting on Saturday saw their skills in action.

Mary has been a truly effective leader on the select board. Amanda has been equally effective as chair of the planning board. Both have shown the ability to handle complex policy and regulatory issues, and we are lucky they are willing to serve our community.

Brewster has challenges and opportunities ahead, as all towns do. How timely that we have these highly qualified, proven leaders to help find solutions.

I’m so glad to say I will be voting for Mary Chaffee and Amanda Bebrin for Brewster Select Board.

Katie Miller Jacobus