Letters to the Editor, May 10

Letter to the Editor

Stairway To Heaven

I just received a receipt for a donation to the Eldredge Public Library. And I think I have read in The Chronicle that the current librarian is retiring.
Which got me to thinking: what was the name of the Chatham librarian back in the 1940s and 1950s who was stone deaf? Stone deaf but able to hear the thoughts of anyone even thinking about climbing the old circular staircase to the balcony, let alone someone approaching the staircase even tip-toeing. Whenever I looked at the staircase, she would materialize out of nowhere to give me a look that I always thought was reserved for Catholic nuns, And I thought about something else.
And does the staircase still exist? The last time I was in Chatham was 2012, and I didn't visit the library. Alas, at my age I'm not sure when or even if I will return. Of course, time passes, Chatham changes (although not always in desirable ways or with a modicum of grace) and the only names I recognized on the library letterhead were Gay Witherbee and Rich Costello.

Paul J. Galanti
Indianapolis, Ind.


Consider Impact Of Water Rate Change


I agree with John Sweeney. Much of the cost of the infrastructure is a function of the maximum water demand. Clearly that is in the summer with irrigation systems forming a major part!

In the winter the system is just ticking over, the out-of-pocket cost mainly being the electricity to run the pumps. The staff levels are determined by the maximum demand as is debt maintenance. The largest users should bear the most cost; I would go as far as not to bill at all from November to March.

I think we should also consider the effect on the poorest. Certainly those using the least water should not have their costs increased!

James Cooper



Remembering Jean Young


Jean Young lived a full life as chief archivist/department chair, leader, volunteer, mentor, wife, mom, and friend.  She lit up the Atwood House and Museum's archives department at least twice a week with her feisty personality and charm.  While she insisted that she and her team of volunteers were shy bookish types who enjoyed hiding in the lower level of the museum, prowling through pieces of paper and documents, there were peals of laughter pouring out of her department week after week, year round.  She put the fun into everything she did as she went out of her way to help visitors with research projects and celebrate successes and milestones with her talented group of volunteers.

Jean was always on a mission – to live, to celebrate, to organize things, to help others, and to get things done.  Some days she was full of energy and you did not notice her oxygen pack that acquired various names and personalities over the past year.  Other days she might be a bit more reserved.  Five days before passing away, Jean sat in a staff meeting, unusually quiet and particularly pensive.  At the end of the meeting, I apologized and asked her if I had bored her to tears.  She slowly explained that she was not feeling well and just trying to get through the meeting.  I wondered if I had wasted her precious time.  We were not allowed to grieve or mourn or pity her – "no sad puppy dog eyes."  That was one behavior she would not accept around her.  She also would not accept help to carry her work around the building.  She wanted to be self-sufficient and independent until the end.

Jean's stoic resolve made us all feel better.  Like there was hope and no time to be wasted – neither hers nor ours.  So we celebrated, most recently with a cookie day.  Other days we ate cake, even drank champagne, enjoyed organic coffee and simply spent time around one another laughing.  The joy around her was ever present, even through her pain.

And now she's gone, having left many completed projects behind and others well on their way to being finished.  Her new exhibit, "Double Take," created with the help of husband Andy Young, has just been hung.  It was the first exhibit to be ready for this upcoming season.  That was Jean – always ready, exceeding expectations, ahead of schedule and present with beauty and dignity.

So how much will we, at the museum, miss Jean Young?  Hugely!  She filled the "big shoes" of Mary Ann Gray as archives chair and welcomed visitors into the department as her predecessor had for many years.  Jean mentored her team of volunteers, finding important projects for each of them.  She offered great advice to each of us around her and she was always there for us.  I can't imagine what our museum family will be like without her.  She told me not to worry – "people always step up and life goes on.  And besides, the work never really gets done."

So now our hallways, the Wendy Wade Costello Gallery, and the archives areas will be a little quieter, a little sadder, and a little less festive, but we owe it to Jean to keep her generous and witty spirit alive as she has done and continues to do for us.

Danielle R. Jeanloz, executive director

Atwood House and Museum/Chatham Historical Society


Chairman Defends Plan Board


In response to a letter questioning my leadership and the integrity of the Chatham Planning Board, I wish to point out a series of successes. The planning board helped homeowners in expanded flood zones to protect their property. Under my leadership, the board took the initiative to prevent the kind of overdevelopment on Route 28 that has plagued other towns on the Cape. Currently, the planning board is addressing the critical housing shortage for young people and young families who grew up in Chatham, went to school here and want to stay in Chatham. Seniors share similar lack of viable housing alternatives as our working families. We encourage every interested member of our community to speak at planning board meetings. Our success in getting things done hinges on bringing our community together to address the challenges facing Chatham today.

Peter Cocolis

Chatham Planning Board

Although we don't typically run letters from or about candidates the week before an election, we are making an exception with this letter because it responds directly to criticism of the writer regarding the planning board which was published in a letter in last week's edition.


Is Trump Squeezing The Charmin?


The Trump administration has imposed a tariff on uncoated groundwood paper (newsprint) imported from Canada. That tariff has resulted in the cost of newsprint to jet by 30 percent, from what I've read.
That reeks of being a backdoor attempt to kill off printed media, much of which President Trump classifies as "fake news."
I'm willing to bet the tariff was the brainstorm of one of Trump's henchmen. When the president signed off on the tariff, I imagine he thought he was putting the squeeze on the Charmin.
Nevertheless the tariff on imported newsprint from Canada is cause for great concern.

Mike Rice

South Wellfleet


Reject W. Chatham Project


Anyone in favor of the West Chatham road project, please drive to Orleans to the intersection Route 28 and Route 6A.  West Chatham will have two of these small “roundabouts” within 900 feet.  The entire West Chatham road project is a waste of millions of dollars, our money – be it federal, state or local funds, it is all our taxpayer dollars.  There is no “free money.”  This road project was rejected at a May 2013 town meeting.  Let’s reject it again!

Edith Tuxbury

West Chatham


Protect Quality Of Life


Your local land trusts and the diversity of other nonprofits working to enhance our shared quality of life are able to make a difference on the Cape thanks to strong support from you as members as well as local businesses and foundations. While supporting staff and busy schedules, Cape Cod business owners are also generous with their donations of time, in-kind services, and connections. So, it’s important to recognize longstanding business backing of local causes that benefit the community at large.  For example, The Cape Sea Grille in Harwich Port recently hosted the 16th annual Spring Winetasting Dinner to benefit the land-saving work of the Harwich Conservation Trust.

Not only did the award-winning Cape Sea Grille offer a delicious dinner and exceptional service, but owners Jen and Doug Ramler also connected with other local businesses that generously contributed donations of food and wine. Thank you to Ed and Susan Ring of Ring Brothers Produce, Dave Carnes of Chatham Fish and Lobster, Matt O'Brien of William and Co., Matt Schultz of Classic Wines, Jen Cullum of Horizon Beverage, Don Mitchell of Ideal Wine and Spirits, Carol Bosch of MS Walker, and Ann Morello of United Liquors.

With strong business support, nonprofit land trusts are able to preserve land that protects water resources, scenic views, wildlife habitat, and other natural features that define the Cape’s unique environment, inspire folks to put down roots, and draw countless visitors.  Thank you Cape Sea Grille and the many generous businesses that support nonprofits.  Here’s to a prosperous summer season for all.

Michael Lach, executive director

Harwich Conservation Trust


A Day Of Service


On May 3 volunteers from CARE of the Cape and Islands and AmeriCorps descended upon the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center to work with CMMC staff/volunteers in readying the center for this season’s opening. Our “guest workers” were both diligent and downright enthusiastic whether working on the grounds/gardens/trails or doing some much needed interior cleaning/painting/window washing CARE volunteers, under the leadership of executive director Jill Talladay, participate in a half day of service each year for a Cape nonprofit and CMMC was very fortunate to be the choice for the 2018 CARE work project. We are most appreciative for the hard work and efforts expended last week.
Several local businesses provided “nourishments” for our spring clean-up volunteers. We would like to acknowledge event sponsor Chatham Perk and local supporters Chatham Bakery, Chatham Village Market, Marion’s Pie Shop, Meservey’s Shell, West Chatham, and the East Harwich Stop and Shop. All were willing and generous donors for this event.
CMMC opens May 11 on weekends and at 10:30 a.m. on May 12 hosts the grand opening of “Chatham Heard Round The World,” its major new exhibit featuring demonstration of one of 17 powerful RCA transmitters used in South Chatham. The center will welcome Cape Cod residents at no charge on Saturday, May 19, and swings into full-time action in June with STEM summer camps starting July 2. Please come visit us and check out both new and permanent exhibits at our spruced-up center in North Chatham.

Dorothy Bassett
CMMC Operations Manager
Jan Whittaker
CMMC Volunteer