Letters to the Editor, Feb. 1

It Really Does Take A Town


The Chatham Children’s Fund, in collaboration with Monomoy Community Services and The Chatham Angel Fund, has once again completed our successful Holiday Project. Chatham’s elves outdid themselves this year! Numerous organizations, churches, businesses and individuals all participated in providing warm winter clothing and holiday wishes to 232 children in our town. We couldn’t do it without you!

Santa even visited the Children’s Fund, too! David and Gail Oppenheim have generously given us a permanent home, complete with an identifying sign, at 210 Stony Hill Rd. We are so grateful for their unwavering support over the years.

How great it is to be able to exist and be supported in such a wonderful way. A special thank you to them for going above and beyond for kids in need!

We try year-round to support Chatham’s families with children in a variety of ways. We rely heavily on the involvement of our entire community. Each and every donation of time, money or gifts is so appreciated. Thank you to all who have proven that Chatham continues to care for all its residents.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2018 – we look forward to your participation next year!


Pat Vreeland, The Chatham Children’s Fund

Theresa Malone, Monomoy Community Services

Ginny Nickerson, The Chatham Angel Fund


Don't Blame The Messenger

For at least 10 years, I counted currency in a very large parish. The work was both illuminating and disappointing. The offertory, at best, followed the “90:10 Rule” with only a small core group financially supporting the church. Most of the wealthy were extremely stingy except when it came to offering complaints.
Father Gerry Shovelton once said, “A good conscience is the greatest defender while a guilty conscience is the greatest tormentor.” Anyone fully contributing according to their means would never feel uncomfortable when a pastor is soliciting additional funds from the congregation. However, if a pastor’s request makes one squirm, sweat or slide down in the pew, then it is time to search for the root cause of the distress and take appropriate action instead of blaming the messenger.

Mark Dennen

West Harwich


Sea Level Rise Not A Factor

With respect to your Nov. 18 editorial, sea level rise is a term straight from the interesting theology of climate change. Sea level rise has no connection or causality with what happened in the most recent coastal storm. Lunar high tides, high winds and numerous breaks in the barrier beaches lying to the east of our shores did the damage. These breaks, formed on a cyclical basis, have been developing for years. The damage caused by them peaks and troughs over time.
Sea level rise amounts to a minuscule change on an annual basis. Further, estimates of sea level rise are swamped by the range of error underlying climate change models.
Following the '87-'91 period, large revetments were built south of the fish pier to stop erosion that would have caused immeasurable damage to the town. Later in the 1990s, conservation commissions mandated soft solutions, such as 10-20 foot coirs stuffed with natural materials, to fight erosion. Aside from enriching the installers who replaced the coirs when they failed, such efforts have been a source of envirotrash on our coastline and on the bottom of Pleasant Bay.
Since 2013, revetments have been built on private property and have successfully disrupted nature's incessant erosion of land forms. Where appropriate, these structures should be used to mitigate erosion on public lands as well.

Dick Drury


Cyr Bill Attack Misleading


Paul Craney's group misleads readers by attacking State Senator Cyr’s bill, the Safe Communities Act. He represents the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, a partisan group recently investigated by the Boston Globe for claiming tax-exempt status as a “charity” when it is not. The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which Craney cites, also operates on the borderline of “charity” and politics. It has been identified since 2007 as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of ties to Nazi and white supremacist groups. A New Jersey native and Washington lobbyist, Mr. Craney cares little about safer communities here. He cares about his donors.
Mr. Craney misrepresents Senator Cyr’s proposal, calling it a “sanctuary state” bill. It is not. Federal officers would operate without interference. Cyr’s bill would simply avoid making our police officers deputies of federal immigration enforcement. This wouldn’t impose a burden on taxpayers, it would save police time and money. Expensive mass deportations breed fear of local police, making our communities less safe.
Mr. Craney ignores what’s in the Safe Communities Act to argue against a bill that doesn’t exist. Cyr’s bill should be judged on its merits, not on false characterizations.

Matthew Brown



Town Should Support Chamber


I find it almost impossible to believe that the town is pushing back on the additional funding the Chatham Chamber of Commerce is requesting for their annual operating budget. Having served on the Chatham Merchants Board and the Harwich Chamber of Commerce Board, I have a real appreciation of the hard work and dedication of the chamber does with very little funds while trying to satisfy the needs of the members, the community and our visitors.

These additional funds are required to help the chamber continue their efforts in marketing and branding Chatham regionally, nationally and internationally. While one could argue we have plenty of visitors in the summer, the chamber along with the merchants have done a remarkable job expanding our season from early spring until the first of the year. That doesn’t happen by accident, and without effort and funding, funds that should come from the town who benefits from the millions in tax revenues driven by the chamber members.

I had to laugh at the town manager suggesting analytics be done to measure the return in investment! Save your catch phase words! That was a ridiculous comment and insulting to the hard work of these organizations. Who was it that got the public restrooms when the town turned a blind eye? It was the chamber and the merchants and Walter Meir, not the town.

Don’t be short sighted. Other towns in Massachusetts give far more to the local chamber. Chatham is getting off easy.

Tony Guthrie



Parish, Pastor Owed Apology


So, Meg McCarthy comes out of the shadows and has the temerity to defend her position. What an embarrassment to Catholics everywhere.
Tell us, Meg: Did the bishop need to consult with you and get your approval before stationing Fr. Sullivan at Holy Redeemer? Did the bishop confide in you his charge to Fr. Sullivan as to the reforms so sorely needed at Holy Redeemer after years of lackluster and indifferent leadership? Do you have first-hand knowledge of the parish's finances and the sorry shape they're likely in? Did you have the decency to reach out to Fr. Sullivan directly to see if there was some way to reach common ground on your grievances before blind-siding him by airing your dirty laundry so publicly? Even if you did attempt to reach him and were unhappy with the outcome, taking it up with the bishop and then imploring your fellow parishioners to support your ambush was just plain wrong.
All of your self-proclaimed "qualifications" in no way qualify you to speak to matters of parish and diocesan management, and it is appalling that someone so steeped in a Catholic upbringing doesn't realize that. It doesn't matter if you've been a Holy Redeemer parishioner for 40 or 400 years, your approach was out of line and you owe Fr. Sullivan and the parish at large an apology.

Joe Smith

Riverside, Conn.


Take Back Airport Control

In last week’s Chronicle Kimberly Gibbs described how a coercive federal bureaucracy and skydiving noise have “wrecked our quality of life” in Boulder County, Colo.  It could happen here in Chatham.  The money we very eagerly accepted from the FAA came with very big strings.  Unregulated and unlimited noise is a potential consequence of local officials in Chatham accepting federal airport funds.  
To quote the much esteemed former selectman, Tim Roper, "we are tied to these golden handcuffs that are now locking us into a position where the people in the town feel they are losing their quality of life, losing their peace of mind, and potentially losing property values – all due to the overbearance of a couple of federal administrators – not elected officials.  This is really disturbing.  The federal government is supposed to help you.  Well, I'm not sure where the help is coming from, except for the few people who have planes at the airport and enjoy it.  But for the rest of the 6,000-plus citizens of the town, I don't see this as an improvement to our lives.  Again, I've said it in the past.  We spend so much time and effort trying to preserve Chatham's peace and tranquility.  We're spending millions of dollars cleaning our waters for the sewer system.  Compared to all that, it is a slap in the face from the federal government to suggest we have to allow an activity simply because they are going to give us a big new shed to park a vehicle we don't have.”
In 2013 an FAA official told a packed audience of concerned Chatham citizens that there are no limits on the number of skydiving operations in Chatham, no limits on the number of skydiving planes operating at once, and no limits on the size of skydive aircraft.  Will Chatham become the next Boulder?  It doesn’t have to be this way.  We could just say no to more FAA funds and take back control of our airport and our lives.

David Bixby


Don't Forget The Horses

I read the article about the “bike trail” and having better signs and I felt I had to write this letter.
I would like to remind the committee that at least the “CC Rail Trail” is and was for the use of horses as well as bikes. I do not know if the Old Colony spur to Chatham is set up that way. If someone doesn't remind the powers that be that it is not just a bike trail but a bridle trail as well, horse people will lose the use of it eventually!
Speaking of that, maybe a list of “rules of the road” could be added to the maps, if made. Like “no flags on bikes” and “horses keep to the side” and let people know you are coming up on someone, etc.


Margie C. Campbell