Letters to the Editor, Aug. 17

Town Deserves Explanation


When vacationing in your lovely town at the beginning of August, I read and watched on TV the discovery of a the body of a young man missing for nine months, found in a decommissioned USCG boat within sight of where he was last seen. I was shocked to see the cold response by the Police Chief of Chatham upon finding their missing person 100 feet from where he disappeared. I have read articles and listened to news all the while shocked how a town with seemingly unlimited fiscal resources could let this happen. What was the final cost for local, state and federal searches? The residents of Chatham deserve answers to this incompetence. Simply put who is responsible for a missing person in the state of Massachusetts? Where I am from its the local police chief not the Coast Guard, state police or federal wildlife officials. I have read and listened to your police chief's responses of "we checked our list," and "we called places the missing person was known to frequent," followed by "we called the USCG and asked them to check their property." Is that standard SOP for a Massachusetts police search?

How could this happen? Let's see this intensive search "checklist." Was the missing person’s family (mother, father, siblings ) contacted and asked of his state of mind, etc.? The town of Chatham deserves an explanation from the police chief. I was only visiting for a few weeks but I too feel I need an explanation.

Aurora Perino

Cape Coral, Fla.

Curious About Pendleton Position


During an excursion to Monomoy Island in the summer of 1958 I witnessed the wreck of the stern of SS Pendleton. It was in a nearly vertical position with the stern on top, the hull facing the beach and leaning at about a 10-degree angle toward the ocean. It was very impressive.
I have been trying to find an image of the wreck in this position without success. All images of the wreck show it on its side before and after that time frame. I surmise that the storm that separated Monomoy from the mainland earlier that year left the wreck in that position. Does anyone know how long it stayed in that position and does anyone have an image of it?

Rick Horgan

Wilton Manors, Fla.

Detour A Better Choice


Robert D. Aron's letter in the Aug. 10 issue gave me a great laugh! Can you image two hideously ugly and out of place pedestrian overpasses on Main Street, Harwich Port? The charm and quaintness brigade would be aghast!

If Mr. Aron finds it so arduous to drive this way why doesn't he simply drive around it?

William Nobles



 She Knows The Score

Repeat game. Another loss. Same score: airport management 100, Chatham taxpayers 0.

Norma Avellar


Doomsday Clock Moves Ahead


How can I forget?  It is forever etched in my memory: Hiroshima bombed on Aug. 6 and Nagasaki three days later, on Aug. 9. Two cities in Japan, “the only country to be irradiated in war,” said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the 72nd year of the bombing of Hiroshima.  He said he “would firmly advance the movement  to a world without nuclear weapons.”

Indeed that has already begun.  Last month the “first-of-its kind agreement negotiated at a UN conference,” the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed by over 120 nations. Despite saying  he “would advance the movement for a world without nuclear weapons,” Abe would not sign the treaty. Nor would the countries in the nuclear club.  There are now nine: the U.S., Russia, China, France, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel and now North Korea. Russia has the most, at 7,000, with the U.S. a close second with 6,800 and the others  with various amounts in the hundreds, while North Korea has a mere 10.

A mere 10? All that is needed is one, as those of us who lived in 1945 can attest.  Little Boy, the name given the bomb, killed 140,000 in Hiroshima, and three days later, Fat Man, killing 70,000  in Nagasaki, showed us the destructive force of nuclear bombs.  Indeed, when scientists at Los Alamos, N.M. saw how powerful the test bomb was, they felt it should not be used.  Professor Albert Einstein, who had written President Roosevelt urging  America to develop the bomb, after he had heard from former colleagues that Germany was making progress, said “We will have to develop a new way of thinking if mankind is to survive.” And President Eisenhower, as general of the European theater of war, said,  “Did they have to drop that damn thing?”

Now we have President Trump tweeting something more extreme each day. First he speaks of “fire and fury that  the world has never seen” and the next day the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” for conflict and hopes the North Koreans will “understand the gravity of what I said.” He said that Kim Jong Un “will not get away with what he is doing”  and if he “utters one  threat he will truly regret it,” creating alarm  in Asia – and actually all over the world.  Representative David Cicilline, Democrat from Rhode Island, on the House Foreign Service Committee, urged Speaker Paul Ryan reconvene  the House from its summer vacation to consider legislation  that  would prohibit a “preemptive strike against North Korea.”

Does President Trump understand what his bombast might do?  He was born in 1946 after WWII had ended.  Even then he should know some history. During his campaign he said he wanted to “make America great again.” Does he want to destroy America — or the world? In South Korea, an ally of ours with whom we have a treaty, a senior fellow at The Institute for Peace and Cooperation said, “No American president has mentioned military option so easily, so offhandedly as he has.   He unnerves people in South Korea, few of whom want war in Korea.”

I am unnerved too.  We in America are not affected by war, though we have been at war for almost 14 years, unless  family members are involved.  We do read about the many problems our veterans face.   We also read – or see on TV – what is occurring in war-torn nations, about those who try to escape, the biggest migration, according to the UN.  Much of it becomes “ho-hum,” so different from the 1980s when it was felt there was the threat of nuclear war.  The threat is even greater now with a temperamental man in North Korea and one in our White House.  The doomsday clock of “The  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” is  closer  to midnight.

Juliet R, Bernstein



Concern Over Large Subdivision


The Ocean Port Lane neighborhood in West Chatham is concerned with the 14-lot Hunter’s Rise subdivision plans proposed by Eastward Company that will adversely change the topography and impact our neighborhood. On behalf of our 21 neighbors, we have written a brief summary of our four concerns.

First, water run-off and erosion as a result of tree-cutting and excavation on this large seven-acre parcel at 288 Barn Hill Rd.

Second, the topography of the seven acres results in an elevation drop of 18 feet from 48 feet elevation at Hunter Rise to 30 feet at the 928-foot southern boundary property line which borders our neighborhood. The existing vegetation and trees act as an anchor to stabilize the “sandy soil” that exists in our neighborhood. Gravity dictates that water seeks the lowest level which is Ocean Port Lane.

Third, the Eastward Company proposes “stormwater bio-retention areas” and “rain gardens.” However there is very little detail about how these retention areas and rain gardens will ameliorate the water flowing from severe rainstorms. Run-off will occur not only from the paved roadway but also from rainfall on the roofs of the 14 proposed 2,850-square-foot homes. The effectiveness of these rain gardens in this terrain has not been proven.

Fourth, vehicular and pedestrian safety is a neighborhood concern when many boating visitors (using the Barn Hill town landing) park boat trailers along the eastern side of Barn Hill Lane. The congestion reduces the narrow road to one lane of traffic. With this proposed subdivision there will be another road exiting onto Barn Hill Road, such that three roads exit in the space of 150 feet.

We encourage any interested citizen to attend and express their views/concerns at the next planning board meeting, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. at the town hall annex. This meeting will likely be the final opportunity for public discussion of this large subdivision that will have an impact on our neighborhood today and perhaps on the entire town of Chatham in the future.

Kathy Read

Steve Curran