Letters to the Editor, Jan. 18

<Headline>Negative Impact Of Skydiving



How unfortunate that Cape Cod elected officials are promoting aviation and skydiving interests (to benefit the few) at the expense of their constituents’ quality of life. We have watched similar scenarios unfold in communities across the country. If the Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport lose their judicial case against the town, you can rest assured the entire community will be the real losers when skydiving operations ramp up.
Here is what you can expect, based on our experience here in Boulder County, Colo., where skydiving has wrecked our quality of life. Multiple turboprop planes, including a 23-passenger Twin Otter, operate from sunup until sundown, on weekdays and every good weather Saturday and Sunday. The jump planes climb at full power throughout their ascent, lasting about 10 to 15 minutes, to reach jump altitude (13,000 feet above ground). Unlike other general aviation flights, the jump planes don't go anywhere, except in circles around your community. After dropping the skydivers they descend quickly to the airport, reload passengers and repeat. You can look forward to 12 hours or more of nearly constant airplane noise every weekend day.
The FAA’s role is to promote aviation and prevent noise regulations. Skydiving operations create a serious community noise nuisance –for anyone who would dare to spend time outdoors. So long as your town’s misguided officials accept federal airport grants, there will be absolutely no local control over noise regulations. Unfortunately, the only way to restore local control over your airport would be to forego the grant money – and that will require that you elect officials who will represent the best interests of the citizens.

Kimberly Gibbs
Boulder County, Colo.


Costs Of Local Control


Chatham faces growing development pressure from two outside sources. The Federal Aviation Administration is attempting to force Chatham to expand local airport operations to include skydiving, significantly increasing airport activity, takeoffs and landings and aircraft traffic over Chatham. The state department of transportation has proposed significantly expanding the scale of Route 28 at the Crowell Road intersection and downtown Main Street. Airport and highway development impacts a community more than most other types of development. Development decisions affecting the quality of life in Chatham should be made in Chatham, not in Washington and Boston.

One response is to push back against these outside government agencies vigorously, like the town's response when the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service attempted to grab South Beach, claiming the beach belonged to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Acquiescing to unreasonable demands from outsiders is not in Chatham's DNA. Another response is for Chatham to fully assert local control over development. Chatham is not obligated to accept federal and state funding with strings attached, surrendering local control over development to federal and state agencies. The town of Barnstable took steps to assert local control over state highway development in historic Barnstable Village.

Maintaining local control over Route 28 and Chatham Airport development may add to the town's budget but those added costs need to be compared with the cost of losing our small-town quality of life in Chatham. The leadership challenge will be to summon the collective will of the people to preserve Chatham's independence

Rick Leavitt



The One And Only Carl Olson

We have been in Chatham over 25 years and don't know that many people but there is one you could not help but love...Carl Olson.
A lot of his charm was that he was a “bad boy” and that only compounded why you liked him anyhow. I even married one myself.
I first met him years ago in 2004 when I hosted a writing group and, fortunate for me, it was just when Carl decided to spill out some of his hilarious and well-written, unforgettable memoirs. He had us on the edge of our seats every Monday waiting for the next installment until his sister got wind of them and put a stop to these colorful reminiscences. And did we ever miss them.
Whenever I saw him whizzing by in his big black SUV he's stop traffic and talk briefly with his big wide grin almost insulting with his gruff persona. We were on the “chowdah list” and welcomed delivery whenever he got to us. In exchange we would drop off a Christmas wreath at his house in December. We got the better exchange. When we had a clock party in 2010 he was there with us to celebrate.
I knew he was very intelligent even though he put on the “aw shucks” country boy face. The twinkle in his eyes and gruff manner were a thin disguise for a very perceptive, wise man who loved life. Whenever you met him he made you feel good.
I am especially sad because there is no one in town even close to his big personality, sly fox that he was. I must say it is just like him to decide to leave us on New Year's Eve so he would have the last laugh.
His beautiful wife Carol and two beautiful daughters must have made him proud! Always, always remember him fondly, the one and only Carl Olson.

Fleur Jones


Community Comes Together To Help

The family of Nancy B. Olson would like to thank all of the people who made this difficult time so much easier for all who loved her.
The professionals at the Chatham Fire and Rescue were exactly that: professional. The doctors and staff of the Cape Cod Hospital's emergency room were fast, thorough and correct in their diagnosis. We cannot come close to properly thanking the doctors, nurses, nurses' aides and everyone at the ICU. They were gentle and thorough with Mom and us.
Once it became clear that Mom wasn't going to “come back,” she was moved to a beautiful room in the “tower,” where she passed the last six days of her life with comfort and dignity. The staff could not have been nicer to me or to my sister, who was there 24/7. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Judy Barrows, whose son had the great wisdom to marry my daughter; Judy is a nurse at CCH, and truly made this situation tolerable. Also, thank you's to Erin and Ray, whose constant dedication to my mother's comfort was and is greatly appreciated.
Dear friend and true professional Jeannie Heroux, wearer of many hats at CCH, both educated and comforted us every time we began to get overwhelmed. Dr. French, when explaining Mom's situation to us, made a difficult situation understandable to this addle-pated man.
I was greatly surprised and immensely grateful for the compassionate and caring way that Mom was “handled” by Casper Cremation Svc. Just not getting voicemail was quite a relief.

My sister and I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the staff at the Chatham Senior Center, where Mom found a second family and a second calling. After 20 years of dedicated labor in the card department of a well-known downtown establishment, she was unceremoniously let go, resulting in quite a depression that lasted until day one at the “centah.” She enjoyed every second her time there, and I would like to single out Tina and Jan, who frantically tried to reach me when Mom failed to show up. Thank you!
My beautiful children and my sister's beautiful children all got together in Chatham to not only join us in mourning Mom, but greatly help us get her affairs in order and find good homes for all of Mom's beautiful outfits.
Also, thank you to Sheila, Greg, Chooch and everyone at the Chatham Squire for letting us all raise a glass to my Mom. She lived 91 wonderful years, 56 of which were spent with my Dad, George; two happier people will not be found, and I am sure heaven is getting tired of hearing the song “More” over and over.

David H. Olson

Many Thanks From CECH

Thank you to all the generous donors in 2017 to CECH, the Chatham Ecumenical Council Helping Prevent Homelessness. Thanks to your support we were able to help 41 families in our area this year with almost $50,000 of aid.  So many depend on what we do and all we do depends on you. We can be contacted at www.cechomelessprevention.org or P.O. Box 81, West Chatham, MA 02660.

Paul Greenough, CECH treasurer


What's Behind That Ad


The notice in The Chronicle asking parishioners to send their inputs directly to the bishop may be an unprecedented approach and offends some because it makes public a matter some feel should be addressed internally.  However, Catholics should quickly recall and never forget the extremely painful and costly experience in Boston where private inputs at the local level regarding priests were initially not believed and then silenced to keep the issue an internal church matter to the detriment of all. The Catholic Church is hierarchical and not a democracy, so issues must first be brought directly to the local pastor who may or may not have the objectivity or self-awareness to acknowledge and accept that there even is an issue. When confronted, the priest can easily disagree, disregard, or dismiss any issue.  Then the only recourse left is to involve church hierarchy even though in this case the bishop is the person who placed this priest at Holy Redeemer.

The notice’s very appearance, while it expressed no judgment, does beg the question why.   Was it motivated by a lack of response, inflexibility, or outright dismissal of parishioner concerns at the pastor level?  Given that there have been three other pastors over the last 20-plus years at Holy Redeemer, and that none of those previous three ever created this type of response from parishioners, the notice may have been the only approach to be sure to engage all parishioners at a critical time and ensure feedback to the church hierarchy.

Alan Young

Harwich Port


No Place For Racism


Racism is evil. History has shown that silence in the face of racism is evil.


Stanley Selkow



Story Behind Controversial Ad


I want to provide some background on why I am placing the notices in the paper. I apologize to those who were concerned that the first notice did not have my name.  I have not done this before so I did not think about including it.
First, let me provide some context. I was raised Catholic. I am the product of 17 years of Catholic education. I have worked for 12 years in my career for two large Catholic health systems and I currently serve on the board of trustees of Providence College. I have belonged to a number of parishes and attended many. I have been a parishioner at Holy Redeemer for 40 years.
It was very apparent from the first month of our new pastor’s arrival that he was not going to be a good cultural fit for Chatham. The Cape, and Chatham in particular, are unique.  That uniqueness is the result of the demographics of our community. This is a fishing town first, a destination location for summer residents and vacationers, home to many small business owners and also home to those of us who work in other locations but make it back here every weekend because of the relationships we have, the beauty of our surroundings and the renewal we get from spending time with friends and family.  Until last July, part of my personal renewal was attending mass at Holy Redeemer.
This pastor came in to this community and assumed he understood who we are and what we need.  He did not take the time to learn our traditions, listen to the parishioners or seek counsel from those that have been here for many years.  He knew what needed to change and he started changing.  When pastors are assigned to new parishes they are advised not to change anything for at least a year; he chose to change immediately.  His focus on vestments and other accoutrements is an unnecessary waste of our church money, money that should go to the things that are important, like helping those that are less fortunate. His unnecessary pressure on giving reflects poor judgment and consideration. This parish is blessed with generous parishioners who have always provided the necessary financial support for our church.
I called Bishop deCuhna and discussed the issue with him. He asked the Vicar to call me. I spoke to the Vicar, Fr. Greg Mathias, several times. He recommended that I have parishioners write letters to him. I asked him how many letters he wanted. He said five.  I then spoke to many parishioners and to a person they were frustrated, unhappy and many had stopped going to our church because it was no longer a place of solace for them. Many parishioners wrote letters to the Vicar. I followed up with both the Bishop and the Vicar and despite doing what they asked, they have taken no action. They also have not acknowledged the letters that they have received.
I have chosen through these notices to make everyone aware that they can call the Bishop. Some people that I have spoken to would not think to call. Some thought we just had to accept this man.
I don’t think we should. This is our church and our parish. We will be here long after him and what will our church be, traditions that we have had...all gone.
I recommended to the Bishop and the Vicar that we adopt a practice that the Lutherans have. They interview pastors and select someone who will be a good cultural fit.
I have also learned over the years that action is often taken when there is a financial challenge at an institution. I have also chosen to take money that would normally go to our church and donate it to Providence College to support Catholic education.  I told the Bishop that I was going to do this.
Please let the Bishop know that there is nothing more important than retaining the character and traditions of our church which is a reflection of our community.  I will continue these notices hopeful that we will get some action.

Meg McCarthy