Letters to the Editor, April 5

Letter to the Editor

Fundraiser Livens Up The Landscape



What’s a great way to brighten March’s cold and dreary landscape? Spend an evening surrounded by the generosity of the Chatham year-round community! With remarkable support from more than 165 merchants, tradesmen, local businesses and volunteers, the 11th annual Tools of the Trade was a delightful night out and an incredible gift for the families of Monomoy Community Services.

The Monomoy staff and board of directors wish to thank David and Gail Oppenheim, The Wayside staff and the dozens of supporters who made the evening of fun, food, friends and foolishness a sparkling success.

Theresa Malone, Director

Monomoy Community Services, Inc.


<Headline>Many Help Monomoy Pantry Event



On behalf of all of the students and staff of Monomoy Regional Middle School, we want to express our deepest appreciation to all of the people who joined us for the Empty Bowls, Full Hearts fundraiser for Monomoy Market Food Pantry on Monday, March 26.

The warmth, smiles, and togetherness that filled the room can only come from a supportive and engaged community such as we have at Monomoy and, through your generous donations, our Monomoy Market can continue to provide food to those in need in our school community. For those who were unable to attend, non-perishable food donations are always welcome – just drop them off at the main office.

Also, many thanks to all of the amazing students and staff who participated: National Junior Honor Society; Student Council; Human Rights Club; Special Sips; Unifying Arts Department and, of course, all of the students who created bowls for the cause! Band and chorus provided stellar entertainment as usual – a big thank you to Glen Starner-Tate for providing piano accompaniment – and created a lovely ambiance to complete our theme of beautiful art, food, music and people!

Special thanks to MRMS Librarian, Cheri Armstrong for absolutely everything, Principal, Mark Wilson, and Monomoy Food Service staff for helping to make this all possible, and of course The Cape Cod Chronicle for their great coverage!

We truly hope that you enjoyed the evening as much as we enjoyed hosting you! This was our first Empty Bowls event and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. See you next year?


Deborah DeQuattro, visual arts teacher

Monomoy Regional Middle School

 Think Through Change


I remember when I was a child and when my children were young what a treat it was to come to Cape Cod and spend a day at the beach, bike or hike on the trails and just simply enjoy the peace and beauty of the coast. In the last few years there has been a huge change in Chatham. Where once the quaint village with small Cape houses were the norm, developers have now taken over swallowing up the charm that was unique to the town. Add to that a growing airport with skydiving and you have lost the very essence of what the Cape should be. What many think of as progress actually is destroying what brought us all here in the beginning: an escape from noise and congestion and a beautiful place to soul search. I've been coming since I was 5 years old. I'm now 70. Please think carefully about what you want Chatham to be!

Juliet Brown

Salem, N.Y.


Candidate Rallied Citizen Support


This letter is to support Peter Cocolis campaigning to fill the vacant seat left by Ms Love’s resignation.

Peter has the experience to be an excellent selectman. It is not easy serving on the planning board. You are constantly under attack from one side or the other. Yet Peter weathered the storms with grace. Under his leadership, as chair of the planning board, more progress was made from citizen support at town meetings than in the previous decade.

Always willing to listen to both sides, he has demonstrated his commitment to making Chatham better.

Buck Upson



ADU Bylaw Makes No Sense


This is the time of the year when the various town committees are pulsing with important issues that effect all tax residents in Chatham. The annual town meeting is only a short number of weeks away.

The committee that I am most interested in is the planning board and the Accessary Dwelling Unit (ADU) issue that will effect every property owner in town. On one side of this issue  are two very smart, sharp, tenacious women, Ms. Freeman and Ms. Gibbs. They are very knowledgeable on all town zoning regulations. They are trying to protect all property owners from having abutters suddenly allowed to have a second single-family home next door to them without being notified. They are trying to protect the town from additional housing which is no way tied to affordability. On the other side are the investor/developers. Mr. David Oppenheim has appeared before the BOS and PB many times in the last few months to state his reasons that Chatham needs this zoning change and that his reason is that more market rate apartments are needed. Makes no sense to me. 

Earl Hubbard

Southbury, Conn.


A School Security Alternative


I attended a discussion on school safety recently where the emphasis was on hardening the schools (making them less of a soft target) by having more law enforcement involvement, modifying the infrastructure with metal detectors and bullet proof glass, etc. There was a resounding acknowledgment that this would be very expensive and would create a prison-like atmosphere in our schools.

I offered an alternative for further hardening of the schools by providing an added robust layer of protection with little or no cost and it was well received. Since it has been well received, I decided to take the time to share it with you, in hopes that it may help elsewhere. The idea is that the schools would make an area in the school building available to armed area law enforcement (federal, state, county, local, environmental police, etc.) for performance of their routine work/meetings, etc., that would not necessarily have to be performed at the main office/station. This idea is not to be confused with the resource officers currently at schools. This idea could replace them (if coordinated well enough) or could be in addition to them.

Again, there is a lot of routine law enforcement office work that does not necessarily need to be done at the central/main station and could be done at a remote office/annex/precinct/substation within the school. Instead of law enforcement doing their routine work at their current location, merely shift some of them to the school grounds to do it. Some could report to the school grounds full time if it is a good fit for their type of office work and others could use the remote facility randomly. In some ways the more random the better, thereby any would-be assailant could not telegraph how many armed officers would be on campus at any given time.

More routine armed law enforcement involvement on campus (with marked police vehicles parked randomly outside), as described above, would be a constant deterrent and a significant additional layer of protection for the schools, at no cost. If done correctly, nationwide, this would effectively erase our schools as soft targets with regard to this evolving mass murder problem within this nation.

It was brought up that making the space available could be a challenge. If space within any school is not currently available, it seems that the one-time cost of a small addition, portable building or whatever would be perpetually cost neutral once established. I know there are a lot of creative people involved in law enforcement and the school systems that could get this idea done for little or no cost, if they really wanted to, in order to deter this evolving problem.

Any feedback, positive or negative is greatly appreciated.

Dan Baker



Found Selectman Candidate To Be Fair


We have been Ocean Port Lane homeowners for the past 31 years and have been full-time residents since 2012. Our family has enjoyed the ambiance of a sandy lane close to the Barn Hill Landing and Harding's Beach. This past summer, we became very familiar with Peter Cocolis, who as chairman of the planning board was fair in fostering a dialogue between the developer of Hunter’s Rise Subdivision (Eastward Companies) and our Ocean Port neighbors.

We were able to watch Peter in action at eight planning board meetings in the July through January time period. He diplomatically conducted the meeting so that there was fair discussion from all interested parties. He also read all the letters of concerns from the Ocean Port neighbors and encouraged comments from the public. Peter always asked for input from his fellow board members as they deliberated the many issues such as water runoff and soil erosion and density of 14 building lots.

We always had the feeling that Peter was a good listener to these issues. He treated all comments both written and from the floor with courtesy and understanding. During this seven-month-long process, there were twists and turns in the planning documents submitted for the board’s approval. Peter acted impartially, keeping in mind the future needs of the town and its citizens.

Later we discovered that Peter brought to each planning board meeting the voluminous long-range comprehensive plan for the town of Chatham that was approved by town meeting in the early 2000s. He had it on hand as a reference, so that if a proposal came before the board, he could easily refer to this document.

However, Peter’s involvement as a citizen of Chatham does not just include his service on the planning board. He is also the town’s representative on the Cape Light Compact and he has been a very active member of the Chatham Men’s Club, serving for many years on the program committee and as assistant moderator before being elected the moderator.

Peter has limitless dedication to this town. We enthusiastically endorse his candidacy for selectman. We are convinced Peter Cocolis will continue to serve the town with the same impartial, courteous understanding that he has demonstrated during the past seven years on the planning board.

Kathie and Steve Curran

West Chatham