Election, Town Meeting Deadlines
Letters relating to the annual town meeting and election in Harwich will be accepted for publication through the issue of April 26. Letters relating to Chatham's annual town meeting and election will be accepted for publication through the issue of May 3.
Get The Facts Straight
I don’t write many letters to newspapers but Kathy Jones’ tea party letter (“America On The Rise,” April 12) drove me to it. Hard to believe that letter ended up in The Chronicle.
First of all, there is not enough space to factually rebut her letter point by point. But if she and her friends gave up Fox News for a while, they might learn a little about the truth and be outraged about the right things.
Second, I could not resist one point as she referred to Melania Trump’s “strong sense of moral values.” Was she referring to Melania’s soft-core porn photos or staying with a self-admitted abuser of women?
Solution Must Be Rational And Fair
The editorial in the April 12 Chronicle points out that year-round residents seem to be using less water than before, while summer consumption remains high, probably due to lawn irrigation systems. The proliferation of these systems is a recent phenomenon due to the importation of the idea that suburban lawns belong on the Cape’s arid soil. I have lived at the bottom of a long, sloping street for 35 years that had small cottages on it once. Now water from irrigation systems pours down the street on summer mornings dumping nitrogen into the fragile marsh across from my house. I agree that those consuming water for non-essential purposes should pay more for it. But the town’s proposed solution outlined in an accompanying article is to raise the cost of water 37 percent for low water users, 24 percent for medium users and less than 10 percent for high water users (the very people who are most likely to have irrigation systems)! To penalize year-round residents, many of them single and/or elderly (who are not the problem) and barely raise the cost for high water volume users will not address the problem and is one more case of voodoo economics.
The right answer is to make it more costly for high-volume users with irrigation systems by requiring separate metering or assessing a higher tax on properties that have them.
The board of selectmen and water and sewer advisory board need to come up with a rational proposal to bring forward at town meeting. We are all in this together and the solution needs to be rational and fair.
Housing Issues Recognized
Last week brought welcome news that three local housing organizations have been awarded tax credits by the Baker Administration. The higher cost of housing and persistent homelessness are the reasons these tax credits and the work of these organizations is so important. It is crucial local residents have the tools that will enable them to be residents of the Cape and Islands for years to come.
Governor Baker's announcement is welcome news that state leaders are working to resolve this issue.
No Need For Pet Crematorium
Townspeople on local social media are expressing many reasons why the pet cemetery and crematorium are a bad business deal for Harwich. Some have noted that it is not proper for the town to try to run a for-profit business. That should be left to private enterprise. I would simply say that the overblown plan is a very poor choice. This project has been presented by people wearing rose-colored glasses. Here are a few more realistic images: One person in town is responsible for lifting dead pets into a furnace, with possible back-up personnel. She is suggesting a burn time of 10 minutes per pet, if the pet is 20 pounds. But so many pets are much heavier. People driving past on Queen Anne Road, heading to the dump or elsewhere, cannot help but see forlorn people carrying their pet into this proposed building where the crematorium, cemetery office, restrooms, viewing and reception spaces are planned. It has been said that fumes from the burnings “should not” be smelled. “Should" being the operative word. Further, smoke from the burnings “should" be only lightly gray smoke.
Vets around here routinely help with a pet’s demise and cremation in a facility that they recommend. We don’t need this crematorium/funeral parlor for pets here.
Why are we doing this? The focus of our tax dollars should be about critical things such as sewering or the East Harwich fire station. Let’s let this unnecessary expenditure be voted down.
Candidate Has Strong Local Commitment
In a recent edition of The Chronicle, I read that Jamie Bassett is seeking election to the Chatham Board of Selectmen. Jamie is an outstanding candidate. He was raised in Chatham schools and went on to graduate from Colby College as a French literature major. He then traveled the world as a published photographer. Jamie is young and smart, with honest and hopeful insight into Chatham’s problems and needs. A commercial shellfisherman, he has been a member of Chatham’s Shellfish Advisory Committee for more than seven years and chairman for the past three years. He also served on the last charter review committee, first as an alternate and then as a voting member for two years.
Jamie has served the community – his community – in an exemplary manner. He is willing to carefully study and analyze issues and listen closely to both his associates and the public’s concerns. Always showing respect for the opinions of others, he has a strong commitment to transparency, accountability, and consensus building. These qualities will serve him well as a member of the board of selectmen.
Chatham is and has always been “home” to Jamie. If you give him your vote, he won’t let you down. You will receive fair dealing, trustworthiness, and respect. I wish him well.
Beware Of Deep State Agenda
A big thank you to Kathy Jones for informing readers of POTUS' many accomplishments. It is difficult to find such information in most newspapers. Anyone who watches NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN or MSNBC will never see this kind of news because they are too concerned with helping the Left succeed in their attempt at a soft coup to unseat our legally elected president.
Just one read of the IG's report (not fake news) reveals the depth and breadth of the corruption in the DOJ and who has been telling the truth and who hasn't.
To paraphrase journalist Sharyl Atkisson, herself a victim of the Deep State, when she suggested how to determine fake news from real news, when you see a headline be skeptical because whoever wrote that headline does have an agenda.
Opposes Harwich Pet Crematory
Harwich wants to spend taxpayer dollars on a project that essentially puts it in the business of pet cremation, a specialized business that is already served by private organizations much better equipped to control costs and deliver service than a town government could ever be. The initial cost estimate of $600,000 does not include debt service costs, or any ongoing operations costs such as staff (salary, pension, benefits), utilities, refrigeration of pet remains, insurance, etc. There’s no information about the Cape Cod pet owner market: how big is it, what pet burial services are lacking, current marketplace pricing, etc. Without this, what leads Harwich to believe that it can enter this specialized market and successfully sustain the operation?
As pet owners we had a relationship with our veterinarian. When the time came, we entrusted her to handle our pet’s cremation/burial. My sense is that many other pet owners take the same approach. Harwich taxpayer dollars are already stretched very thin by projects such as the sewer project, the firehouse project, the library repair project, etc. Spending money on the development of a crematory whose specialized services are already provided privately, with no evidence that there’s a sustainable market demand beyond the private sector, is not very prudent. A petition is circulating requesting the pet crematory as an agenda item on the selectman’s April 23 meeting. Join the opposition groundswell – voice your opinion at this meeting and then vote this project down at the town meeting on May 7.
Trusts Vet, Not Town
Like Richard Gundersen, if I was an investor on the television program “Shark Tank," I too would also be out!
In 2016 it was suggested a future crematory could be considered on the site. I voiced my concerns regarding the location of a crematory on Queen Ann Road then and do again now.
Aside from the cost involved with what I understand to be a super conservative break-even year estimate of 2024 to be seven animals per week, this area consists of businesses and residential homes. Yes, I am the "Burger King" quoted lady in a past Chronicle article regarding this issue and whether it be a good smell or a bad smell, smells still travel and I stand strong with my opinion.
Lastly, I am also a pet owner and have entrusted the remains of past pets in the hands of my vet to be taken to well known cremation facilities off Cape.
Vote Yes On Warrant Article 18
Chatham citizens have always been forward thinkers particularly regarding environmental issues. We and our visitors have long enjoyed the natural beauty of Chatham – magnificent beaches, breathtaking shoreline and our historic, enchanting town.
In an effort to insure that natural beauty continues, the town banned the use of plastic bags due to the “significant impacts on the marine and land environment.” It is time to ban the use and sale of balloons for the same reasons. After all, it's simply littering! But at a closer look it is a far more disturbing issue.
When balloons are released they ultimately fall to land and ocean. The colorful balloons are mistaken for food and ingested by wildlife. Birds, sea turtles and fish have been reported to be severely underweight and starving. Stomach and intestines are blocked by balloons and their strings, eventually causing a slow, painful death.
Furthermore, the gas typically used for balloons is helium; it is unsustainable. We need affordable helium for products like MRIs, fiber optics, welding and LCD screens. Balloon usage is a frivolous waster of a precious natural resource.
Provincetown, Nantucket, Atlantic City, New Shoreham, R.I. and many other towns, municipalities and states which, economically dependent on unlittered and ecologically safe environments, have banned balloon release. Let us be responsible stewards and savvy business people and do the same. Please vote yes on Article 18.
Susan M. Hesse