Can Home Rule Work?
Regarding a meeting of state department of transportation officials with residents of Wellfleet to discuss a roundabout solution at Main Street and Route 6: About 100 people in Wellfleet did what over 2,000 people in West Chatham could not do – got the state to back down and promised to come back with a design the town wants.
Maybe we can meet with those same officials. They backed down on one of the most traveled and dangerous roads on the Cape and still insist on two roundabouts and a major redesign on a thousand feet of road in West Chatham that basically serves the neighborhood and, in season, cars going through to go somewhere else.
Over $4 million and more than two years of construction will be required for their plan but the citizens and businesses of West Chatham will be the ones that will have to live with it.
Congratulations to the people of Wellfleet for showing us that home rule still has a chance.
Monomoy Community Pitches In
We of Monomoy Dollars for Scholars wish to thank members of the Monomoy Community for their wonderful generosity to the students who graduated as members of the Class of 2018. Because of their kindness, our organization was able to award over $100,000 to approximately 60 students attending Monomoy Regional High School or who are residents of Chatham or Harwich. Higher education is more and more expensive every year. Our scholarships come from bequests made many years ago as well as donations received this year. Close to 60 organizations and individuals donated the funds for the named scholarships. Many more individuals made additional donations, distributed as a part of Monomoy Dollars for Scholars scholarships.
In September we will be accepting applications for scholarships for second, third and fourth year students. We always appreciate new donations in any amount. If any reader is interested in donating, Monomoy Dollars for Scholars can be contacted through our website or by mail (P.O. Box 244, North Chatham, MA 02650).
Dorothy Tripp, co-presidents
Monomoy Dollars for Scholars
Tip Of The Hat To Deputies
I have been a recreational clammer in Stage Harbor for more than 40 years. I now have grandchildren who wait expectantly for their summer vacation to use gramp's quahog ring, chase hermit crabs, and collect assorted treasures from the water.
I write to congratulate the town of Chatham for assembling an extraordinary group of shellfish wardens who patiently interact with our kids and provide stories and knowledge they carry to their homes well beyond the boundaries of Chatham.
Kudos to Rene, Larry, Paul and many others whose names we have forgotten for their valuable and much appreciated service to our town.
Keep 'Em Coming Back
When I learned that the Nauset Garden Club (NGC) was returning to Crosby Mansion to do Art In Bloom, I smiled because I knew what to expect. Soon, members of the NGC would start showing up, earlier than expected, to work their magic.
It never ceases to amaze me how this dedicated group of women can transform our historic residence into a thing of beauty with their art and floral decorations. At every Crosby Mansion open house someone asks me when the next Christmas at Crosby will occur. I explain that the NGC does this once every three years because it is such a major project. Visitors don’t necessarily understand the work involved, but they sure do enjoy the end product. So, to the members of the NGC, I say, “Thank You,” for your generosity and talent which are very much appreciated. Please keep coming back to the mansion to do Art in Bloom and Christmas at Crosby. Your fundraisers highlight our work in restoring and preserving the mansion known as “Tawasentha.”
Al Williams, vice president, docent
The Friends of Crosby Mansion, Inc.
What Chatham's Missing
Since Chatham voters have banned the sale of recreational marijuana, I think it's a darn shame that these truly wonderful, popular strains of pot will never be sold legally in Chatham: Death Star, AK-47, Agent Orange, Ghost Train Haze, Trainwreck, Green Crack, Facewreck Haze, Atomic Northern Lights, Querkle, Chemdawg, Black Domina, Super Glue, Jack the Ripper, Purple Voodoo, White Widow, Blockhead, Skunk, Headband and Great White Shark (how appropriate). Yup, a darn shame.
Photo Triggers Parade Memory
I was so happy to see the “Remember When” in last week’s Chronicle that featured the “First Grade Marching Band” in the Fourth of July parade in 1984!
Jan Newton, Margaret Moore, Pam Dubis and I worked with Nat Wordell, the then-music teacher at Chatham Elementary School, to coach the 22 first graders who marched in the parade. The parents of all 22 students also helped behind the scenes. Under Margaret’s leadership the first graders performed choreographed routines while playing their kazoos to songs they had learned in school. Practices began in March in Nat Wordell’s music classes and after school when the weather improved right up until July. The Ben Franklin Store donated the kazoos and Cape Cod Five donated funds to buy the uniform T-shirts and hats. The kids worked hard and were a hit!
I loved being a part of this because it epitomized everything that makes a good parade entry: a communal effort, creativity, music, youth, non commercial, people powered, and crowd pleasing. It took some time and effort on everyone’s part, but judging from the cheering and the smiles that day, it was really worth it! Thanks for bringing back the memory!
Enforce Fireworks Laws
Since early June, portions of Red River Beach in Harwich have been off limits to beachgoers, vehicles and dogs to protect a threatened species: piping plover chicks. Beachgoers who ignore the concrete barriers, cordoned off areas and warning signs risk the complete closure of Red River Beach by the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Harwich town officials.
Apparently the ban does not apply to fireworks, which this July 4 attracted so many spectators that access roads to Red River Beach were lined with parked cars.
These are illegal amateur displays. The noise and smoke from fireworks frighten birds. I lived on Oahu during the 1999-2000 New Year’s celebrations, which included excessive use of fireworks both legal and illegal. Two days later, hundreds of mynah birds and java sparrows washed ashore on Kailua Beach. Likely the noise and smoke drove them out to sea where they became too exhausted or confused to return to land. As the warning signs at Red River Beach state, the adult piping plovers, if frightened away, could abandon the nest and chicks. Surely prolonged explosions and crowds pose an even greater risk to their safety.
As of July 8, the concrete barriers, cordoned off areas and warning signs are still there. Apparently the nesting chicks still need their space. If so, enforce the firework’s law here and at other areas where wildlife needs protection. There should be no holiday from ensuring that a threatened species survives.
Carleton R. Rehr
Invitation To Eagle Scout Court
Please join us at the Methodist Church on Main Street in Chatham at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 to recognize Carlisle Nash's achievement on earning his Eagle Scout rank. His Court of Honor will be followed by refreshments downstairs.
Warren Nash, Scoutmaster
Airport Com Appointment Rejected
On July 2 my first three-year term of service on the Chatham Airport Commission expired. My request and hope for reappointment was rejected by vote of the board of selectmen.
Typically, a request like mine is approved by unanimous vote. When my desire to continue service was considered, the BOS chose, instead, to appoint another individual, a pilot, by a vote of 1-4, denying me the opportunity to continue to serve.
I wish to deeply thank Selectman Peter Cocolis for putting my name up for nomination. Without his doing so, my term would have ended quietly, without even a vote.
By way of perspective, four years ago the then BOS expanded the AC from five to seven members to allow for a wider range of opinions and perspectives to be heard. By last year’s and this year’s appointments, the current board has summarily reversed that thinking.
I now understand that three years of researching FAA regulations, studying other general aviation airport procedures, questioning the status quo, looking for better alternatives, was not the type of service the current BOS wants from an airport commissioner.
I had voted against the approval of the new 10-year airport management contract because I felt it put an unfair burden on the taxpayers to fund capital improvements at the airport and it failed to provide adequate and safe supervision of skydiving activities.
I had publicly questioned the selectmen’s decision to accept, without question, the FAA’s incomplete Skydive Safety Assessment – incomplete because it never spoke to the main issue, that Chatham is a congested area and skydiving is expressly prohibited in a congested area.
Considering how the BOS treated my request for reappointment to the airport commission, there can be little doubt that the BOS has little tolerance for allowing opposing viewpoints, for dissenting opinions, particularly when voiced publicly or in print. That’s regrettable, because open dialogue and discussion should be the mainstay and hallmark of our government, locally and nationally.
Thanks For A Great Parade
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Chatham July 4 parade and helped make this year's parade so special! We could not have done it without your theme suggestions, grand marshal nominations, exciting floats/entries, and your wonderful enthusiasm!
Congratulations to all of the award winners and thank you to everyone who joined us for the parade this year! Have a great summer and we hope to see you again next year!
Justin Bohannon, chair
Chatham Independence Day Parade Committee