Letter to the Editor, Aug. 25


Commission Needs Mindset Change


In reading my recent Airplane Owners and Pilots Association magazine, I note how frequently its writers speak against FAA recommendations and regulations. It's as if they think there's a constitutional amendment to protect whatever pilots want to do.

The attitude pervades columns in my new issue. Excerpts from two suggest this mindset: “...regulations shouldn’t try to set rules...” and “There will always be someone, some group, some government entity...that attempts to make aviation safer at the risk of making it more restrictive...They’ll say, ‘We’ll save hundreds of lives if we can just add one more regulatory requirement!’ and they'll say it without any understanding of what that ambition might cost in terms of our flying liberties.”

The tone reminds me of the NRA. The feeling appears to be that regulations must be unthinkingly resisted and recommendations obeyed only if pilots want to—because regulations are inevitable steps to limiting their "rights" and will lead to more restrictions.

The attitude is often reflected by our airport commission, airport manager and a number of wealthy Chatham pilots. I begin to understand something of what's behind the AC's adamant resistance to better management, to landing fees, to avoiding conflict of interest, and to virtually any sensible recommendations for reform—even to the degree of calling out the police to suppress them! And to why they want to ensure that regulations are just voluntary like the so-called "fly friendly" program—which term means "ignore them if you want." Wink, wink, nod, nod. The attitude causes bad feeling, sarcasm, and argument.

This unfortunate mindset, witnessed regularly at our AC meetings, explains a lot and should be abandoned. To paraphrase Lincoln, "Though the relations between reform-minded citizens and the AC may have strained, they must not break the bond of affection."

J. Denis Glover



Dictator Not Wanted Here

Trump is un-American. People have begun to say so. It needs to be said.
There are those who need direction from external sources and those who are directed by their internal voice. People who need to hear what to think, and those who reason. Either process works as long as the person makes the decisions based on issues and not force-fed trivia or false distractions.
Dictators alone provide all the answers; surely a relief to many, but the dictator, once in power, may operate as a loose cannon, without conscience and entirely to his own benefit. Still, now, in our America, in our time, a potential dictator needs the peoples' vote to win.
My America does not need a dictator. My Americans think on their own, work together for strength and good, and cast aside those who would rule. Yours?
Ensuring that all voters may easily and quickly vote their beliefs will give power and representation to the unheard and aid in the minority disenfranchisement rife in our society. Trump and the Republican Party make their position clear. They would:
• Degrade people based on race, religion, income levels and sex;
• Deny quality education;
• Deny the right to vote to the qualified;
• Deny humanitarian principals upon which our country is built.
What can we do? Right now, vote out Trump and for good, and the Republican Party that let him in, until they represent not factions and the fractious, but all responsible and caring Americans of all faiths, colors, sexes and incomes.
Eileen Segall

South Chatham

Clarifies School Com Position

To clarify: I would never discourage parents from joining the school committee. Suggestions were made at the Massachusetts Association of School Committees workshops that in my opinion diminish the role and active engagement of parents in their children's schools.  Although it hasn't been my experience at Monomoy, I fundamentally disagree with the suggestions, as what parent would want to serve on a committee with these restrictions in place?  In addition, the purview of the school committee is very narrow.  Therefore, oftentimes when community members come to us with their concerns, it is outside of our jurisdiction to do anything about it.  That feeling of helplessness is what I've found most frustrating.  These restrictions inhibit me to best serve the community.


Amy Middleton


Thanks, Harwich Rec



Congratulations to the Harwich Recreation Department for providing a fun, convenient and affordable playground camp.

Programs like this are terrific for families with children and really help with scheduling.  Best wishes on your continued success.


AB  Murphy



We Share The Same Water


Cape Cod is a single source aquifer. We all share our fresh water.

Some people put signs which say "Private Well" on their large lawns as they water them. Unless they draw their water from off-Cape, they use the same water we all drink. And we're in a drought.

Much of the fertilizers and pesticides and herbicides we put on our lawns ultimately enters our aquifers, and the water we all ultimately drink. It behooves us all to be conscious of the many ways we impact our shared aquifer.


Stanley Selkow



Hey, We're In A Drought Here!


I am sure there are folks who disagree, but I drive down to the Chatham Lighthouse to watch the sunrise often, and sprinklers are going off everywhere. Water running down the street... There is a person north of CBI whose system has blown a head and it looks like an infant peeing into the air. Then, when I drive past CBI I have to turn my wipers on. Are they unaware that we are in drought conditions? Sure, CBI needs to keep the place in fine shape to maintain its business, and I understand that, but the rest of the folks drowning the street might reconsider their water usage.


Stu Upson

North Chatham


No Room For Cronyism


A good example of what can happen when a person is less than fully informed is the letter (“Twisted and Misconstrued,” Aug. 18) regarding Selectman Seth Taylor’s illegal use of the harbormaster’s brother’s mooring in Ryder's Cove.

Town counsel’s report on the investigation clearly states that assignment of the mooring violated town bylaws and harbormaster regulations because Mr. Taylor was not on the Ryder's Cove wait list. Mr. Taylor took advantage of more than 100 people on that wait list and cheated one of them out of a mooring for last season.

Selectman Taylor’s excuse that he availed himself of a mooring “as could any other citizen of the town of Chatham” flies in the face of the fact that he is an elected official, not just “any other citizen.” He failed to keep his sworn oath of office to faithfully and impartially perform all the duties incumbent upon a selectman according to the town charter and bylaws. Instead of investigating the illegal practices of the harbormaster department himself, Selectman Taylor chose to take advantage of them, as well as those citizens on the Ryder's Cove wait list.

Town officials should hold public hearings on town counsel’s investigative report and recommendations in order to prevent this kind of cronyism from happening again.


George Myers



Many Contributed To New Bridge


Thank you Don St. Pierre for your kind personal words about the final reconstruction of the Mitchell River Bridge (like the return of the thump-thump-thump of the wooden decking as you drive across). This detail was one of the many that the Friends of the Bridge made to retain the special qualities of the original National Register eligible structure, the last single span timber drawbridge in the entire country.

Also,  please don’t forget the hard work done by the other members of the Friends’ Steering Committee — Don Aikman, Spencer Grey, Mary Ann Gray, Carol Pacun and Bob Walsh – and the many, many other supporters who came to all of the meetings, who stood up when it counted, and who never wavered throughout the process. The bridge we now have is the result of their work, and we owe them all a vote of thanks.


Norm Pacun



Suggests Studying Old Fire Station


This letter was hand delivered to Robert MacCready, chair of the Harwich Community Preservation Committee.

I am writing on behalf of the Harwich Civic Association to suggest that the town propose a study of the former Bank Street fire station now referred to as the old harbormaster's building.

This structure has been important to the town of Harwich since its construction in 1928. Originally, according to fire historians on the Cape, calls would come into the fire station and an alarm would be sounded for fire fighters. Over time the second floor residential component was modified and expanded to house fire fighters. In the capital budget passed as part of town meeting on page 12, line 2 is noted for reuse or demolition of the BSFD (OHB). This study would focus on reuse. In addition to its role in the town, the site is on an area planned for pedestrian access from Harwich Port to Harwich Center. The close proximity of the fire station was also no doubt considered in planning of Pine Oaks I and II and could be considered for the future, The primary structure will not be classified as historic by town standards until 2028.

Funding would be from community housing for essential town employees on the second floor (above possible flooding) , and possible open pace and recreational use for the property. Such a study would consider present use of the property by various groups, an analysis of the primary structure and other structures. An environmental report in the structure and site would be completed. Various code approaches to continuing use and reuse would be included. The goal would be to work with the neighbors, town groups presently utilizing the structure and potential other groups. Providing this valuable information to town decision makers will be a good use of CPA funding. Thank you and your Committee for your work for the town.

Brooke N. Williams, president

Harwich Civic Association