Letters to the Editor, Sept. 28

Need For Roundabout


This letter was sent to the Chatham Board of Selectmen and Town Manager Jill Goldsmith on Aug. 20.
Last Tuesday's (Aug. 15) rather weak presentation by the traffic consultants Howard-Stein-Hudson (HSH) proved to be an exercise long in excuses and short in intelligible solutions.
We reside in the neighborhood and over the years have seen the absurd ways drivers have been trying to negotiate this dangerous and confusing intersection. The total lack of a logical traffic flow should be an engineer's worst nightmare, yet HSH is proposing to basically retain the existing bad configuration with the addition of hanging traffic lights above the roadway, turning lane(s) and new sidewalks to nowhere. The ADA required walkways have to have a purpose and should lead to crosswalks with push-button control lights at least 50 feet away from the traffic center to keep pedestrians from crossing at the busy intersection.
It seems to us that Mass DOT is leaning on the venerable HSH consultants, who, we must assume, should have gotten the feeling of exasperation by the motoring public, to promote the presents deficient layout. The department of transportation does not want to get involved in a grade correction and drainage situation. However, all problems can be solved if one wants to, and the “we cannot build this” response by the MassDOT Project manager is surely not an acceptable reaction.
This intersection, where four roads converge at different angles and sightlines, cries for a roundabout, just as it was determined to be the best and valid answer in West Chatham. We must assume that people who oppose a round traffic pattern have never experienced in England or Ireland the smooth and self-regulating movement of cars and trucks in a disciplined and orderly fashion. Indeed, where Old Queen Anne Road intersects with Route 39 in Harwich, we have a well designed and perfectly functioning roundabout while, on the other hand, the rotary in downtown Chatham does not work because of the way Main Street leads into the area (but that's a problem for another day).
Chatham has a chance to correct a very unsafe and perilous traffic situation, and the town has to insist that HSH and MassDOT have to produce the best and not necessarily the cheapest solution to this horror of an intersection which, in our humble opinion and we suspect even in the minds of the experts, is an efficient and safe roundabout.

Gerd and Norma Wagner


Discouraged By Education Stagnation


I began my teaching career in 1970 in Franklin, Mass., birthplace of America's father of public education, Horace Mann. Reading Karen J. Ryder's resignation from the Monomoy Regional School School Committee brought flashbacks of working in a system under civilian control. That can be a good thing (local autonomy) or bad when it alienates the essential dissenting voice. No lowly classroom teacher can afford to be a squeaky wheel and have any hope for continued employment. No department head can afford to be too innovative without alienating a school principal. No school principal can afford to put too much pressure on his or her superintendent without risking reassignment to educational Siberia. And no superintendent can so alienate a school committee that they decide to buy out the contract.

As a rule, dissension is rewarded with dismissal, or in Ms. Ryder's case, resignation. American public education suffers from such aversion to innovation that students supposedly being prepared for success in the 21st century are instead relegated to educational standards suitable to the population who traversed the country in wagon trains.

After nearly a half century, it is discouraging to see how little has changed.

Mike Garvan


Tie-dye Tradition Will Continue


On behalf of the First Congregational Church, I would like to thank our community and countless summer visitors for supporting a unique and special fundraising effort that has become a beloved summer tradition.   Since 2005, each Wednesday afternoon for 10 weeks in the summer, we've been offering tie-dye making on our church lawn.  Participants, who come from near and far and represent all ages, have great fun in creating one-of-a-kind wearable treasures.  Each summer, about 1,000 shirts are made.  It is an activity that appeals to both boys and girls and people of all ages. And, best of all, they are nearly impossible to mess up!

Monies raised from tie-dye have been going to local, national and global missions since its inception.  This year over $7,000 was raised.  Those funds were distributed to the Water Project, a non-profit building water wells in sub-Saharan Africa, and Food and Meds for Kids, providing nutritious food and vital medication to children in Haiti  The last tie-dye event of the season raised over $1,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

This great happening would not be possible without the countless volunteers who offer their time and talent each week.  Thank you to all who have participated in this wonderful tradition.  We hope to continue the fun for many years to come!

Amy Middleton



Encourages School Com Candidates

I would like to thank Karen Ryder for her service and contributions during her tenure as a Monomoy Regional School Committee member.
As stated in last week’s Chronicle, the school committee is now looking for Chatham residents to submit a letter of interest and application for the position she vacated. This is a perfect opportunity for someone to dip their toes into the role of a school committee member prior to election season.
I would also like to encourage everyone to take the time to watch our meetings (shown live and on replay on cable Channel 22, posted and archived on the district website, www.monomoy.edu), attend meetings, and ask questions.
If you have questions, feel fee to contact me at Nancy.Scott@monomoy.edu.

Nancy Scott
Monomoy School Committee Chair


Reduce Plastics Now


“Plastics” was the word we heard, along with Dustin Hoffman.  Since then we have been inundated by plastics – bottles, toys, food wrappers, fishing nets, ropes, TV sets, radios, utensils, and many other things we use regularly.

The movie “A Plastic Ocean” presented at the Orpheum Theater on Saturday by Madhavi Venkatesan, PhD, of Sustainable Practices showed how our environment is being overloaded and ruined by plastics faster than we can say “give me a paper bag.” Shocking scenes in the movie showed seabirds killed by stomachs crammed with indigestible plastic.  Outside the theater Rebecca Arnold of Chatham displayed large piles of plastic debris, only a sample of what she he had collected on our shores this summer.

The world we are giving to our kids and grandkids is full of plastic debris and environmental hazards.  We have to make big changes fast but we can do little things right now, every day.  Every act that reduces plastic waste reduces the load on the water, the land, and living creatures.  Every choice we make on the use of plastics counts.  Our kids and grandkids will live better for it.

Dave Van Wye



Marijuana Health Risks Real

In 2016 among young children in the state of Colorado, a 30 percent increase in hospitalizations for the ingestion of marijuana edibles since legalization has been reported, despite regulations on packaging and sales. (Denver Post, June 25, 2016, JAMA Pediatrics). The potential adverse health effects of marijuana use, of which this is one example, are considered by many to be real.

Kenneth W. Travis, M.D.



Appreciate Payson Tribute


The many friends of John Payson appreciate the eloquent tribute to him written by Alan Pollock that appeared in The Cape Cod Chronicle on Sept. 14.

Earl Hubbard

Southbury, Conn.