Letters to the Editor - Aug. 9

A Primer On Nuisance Law


If one does not agree with an opinion, there is no reason to insult the writer. Both David Bixby and J. Dennis Glover begin their anti-airport letters by personally insulting Barry Fulcher. Bixby describes Fulcher’s opinion (“The Chatham airport has been here a lot longer than you have; why weren’t you aware of the proximity to your property when you bought your home here?”) as simplistic, old-fashioned and ignorant of airport law. Glover wrote that Fulcher’s position was contrary to the wisdom expected of a senior. Such insults are irrelevant and do nothing to advance a cause.

Actually, Fulcher was stating a well-established doctrine of real estate law called “coming to the nuisance.” If one builds or buys property near a pre-existing, known, lawful business that can be called a nuisance (the airport and/or its related activities), he has no cause to complain.

The courts have recognized the unpleasantness of a nuisance situation and have fashioned various remedies. Thus, a law textbook case on nuisance, Del Webb v Spur, resolved Del Webb’s complaint that a pre-existing cattle feedlot was too near his recently expanded development of Sun City, Ariz., by ordering the cattle farmer to move or cease operations if Del Webb indemnified him by paying for his losses.

The Bixby/Glover letters muddy the ongoing local issues because they attack the presence of the airport itself while the ongoing Great Hill controversy has morphed from complaining about the noise (nuisance) into questioning the safety of the lawful skydiving business located there. Nevertheless, if the anti-skydiving people win their case and skydiving is forbidden, a possible equitable solution might be for them to indemnify both the skydiving business and the town of Chatham for losses caused by their suit.

Elizabeth Tuttle Edge


Thoughts From A Native


It's amazing to me that people are still writing letters about the airport. Perhaps instead those letters should go to the zoning board, which allowed and builders and real estate agents who built and sold homes in the flight path.
From what I have read, day trippers and buses are the biggest traffic complaint. Did anyone consider how many people live in Chatham and go away for the winter coming back to add to the summer traffic? Then there are the second home owners who come on vacation and often are joined by several members of their family with sometimes four, five or more cars in the driveway because it's a great time for families to get together. 
Just thoughts which I'm sure someone will quickly try to rebuff.
Always a native, no longer a resident

Barbara Eldredge Stevenson

San Diego, Calif.


Volunteers Issue At Treasure Chest


I am reaching out to express a common interest of dealing with the unrest surrounding the Harwich Treasure Chest and its history of patronage and changes taking place this summer. 
I have been a taxpaying citizen in Harwich for years. It seems obvious to many but spoken by few that the problems with this site has less to due with the patrons than it does the volunteers that "work" there. First, and foremost, the volunteers are all about keeping whatever they see as most valuable and setting these items aside for themselves. They are often rude and appear frustrated when patrons are interested in the items they themselves see as valuable. Many, many times it has been observed and experienced by myself and others that they are angry when they can't get first "dibs" on items. They yell and proclaim that the 30 minutes is up, often when they are angered by others getting what they themselves want. The treatment has been unnecessary and constantly abusive toward kind-hearted people whom basically mean not to disrespect them, however they are most often threatened with the police coming or that they "have to leave" when there really is no reason for this at all. I myself have brought many items for charity of others and seen upset customers feeling helpless about the bossy, discourteous and sometimes, threatening behaviors of these volunteers. 
Let's tell these volunteers they aren't allowed to take the charity brought to this shop. Let's tell them that patrons don't need harassing about the 30 minute time frame. Let's allow our taxpayers to use the vital recycled items to take care of their homes and families and keep this lying and misrepresentation away from our beloved cape citizens!

Louise Johnson

Harwich Port


A Cranberry Thank You


We all know Cranberry Valley Golf Course is our crown jewel but it is the staff that makes it exceptional. On behalf of the Harwich Women’s Club, I want to thank Roman Greer, Director of Golf, Dick Fagan, our golf pro, and the wonderful staff for their assistance in making this fundraiser such a success. We also give kudos to Ron Leidner of the Hot Stove at Cranberry for his generosity. Wonderful weather, great participation and willing club members made it possible to send 10 lucky children to summer camp. We sincerely appreciate the contributions from all who participated. A warm cranberry thank you to all.

Joan Garrity

Harwich Port


Toy Library Deadline Looming


If you haven’t heard about the development of Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc., it’s helpful to be reminded of the critical importance of play for children and family healthy development. As Dr. Stuart Brown says, “Play is a basic biological drive as integral to our health as sleep or nutrition. Play is the single most significant factor in determining our success and happiness.” Despite this knowledge, children are not having the healthy childhood play experiences today that you or I may have had. By creating Cape Cod Toy Library as a specially designed, free, year-round, space where children and their families can come to play and learn together, and interact with others, we can ensure all children and families have equitable access to safe and age appropriate play materials for their development.

Toward the goal of making 432 Route 28, Harwich Port the home and hub for Cape Cod Toy Library operations and outreach, there’s been tremendous professional pro-bono volunteer investment. Since Jan. 1, more than 60 volunteers have signed up to support CCTL’s development, 40 of which have been actively involved. An estimated $100,000-plus value of pro-bono professional time (more than 3,000 hours) has been invested toward the goal of purchasing 432 Route 28.

In six short months, Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc., a new nonprofit on the Cape, has been successful in raising the initial $50,000 deposit toward the purchase of the building per the agreement made with the owners of 432 Route 28 at the end of December. An additional $9,759 has also been invested in the due diligence completion of inspections and appraisals. To dates, financial support toward “securing a home” for Cape Cod Toy Library, has come from 125 private donors, 75-plus local businesses, and 225 fundraising event participants. However, “angel” funding support is needed to make the purchase and development of this building “a dream come true” for Cape families. The building owners have plans to put the building back on the market unless there is funding in place for the purchase this summer by Aug. 20.

The characteristics of 432 Route 28, Harwich Port have inspired the vision for Cape Cod’s Toy Library. It offers all the elements wished for by Cape educators and mental health professionals who work with and intimately know the needs of Cape children and families. Now, it’s up to the community to help make the wish come true for Cape children and families. What’s needed now are “angel” supporters. Any size donation can be sent to help secure this property. Send checks to Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc., PO Box 555, E. Harwich, MA 02645 or go on the www.capecodtoylibrary.org for more details. Let’s seize this opportunity for our Cape families!

Deb Schaller Willsea, founder, president

Cape Cod Toy Library, Inc.


Orleans Needs DPW Advisers 


Recently, I visited the town building looking over their equipment. In particular, the Peterbilt sander truck! The sander is still sitting in the body. The sander had been rinsed, but left in the water. This had run down the sides and the frame rusted. Also it didn't look as if it had been greased lately. Instead of repairing the bed someone had put two signs in the body for flooring.

I think better care needs to be taken with all the town's equipment and have someone who cares and takes pride in what our equipment needs. I'm asking that the selectmen have an advisory committee to help out in making the decisions on what can be repaired and put back into service and what needs to be replaced. The group should have experience in the area of trucks and other equipment to help make the best decisions. 

Buddy Young



Time For New Parade Committee


After much thought and consideration, as of July 18, all of the members of the current Orleans Fourth of July Parade Committee stepped down. We have very much enjoyed our time on the committee (a total of almost 60 years) and look forward to helping new committee members carry on this Orleans tradition. It is time for new volunteers to serve. We are a resource for you should you decide to be a part of the Orleans Fourth of July Parade event. We are very organized with information, contacts, time lines and responsibilities and will gladly help a new committee get going. We hope that some folks step forward to embrace this long-standing tradition. You can contact the Orleans Town Administrator’s office for more information about the process.

Jane Peno, Bonnie Roy, Sue Christie, Deb Steven, Judi Weil, Barbara Howerton

The Orleans 4th of July Celebration Committee


More Questions On Airport


Mr. Fulcher, a Chatham pilot, asked (letters, July 26) why did people who dislike airport activity buy a home near the airport?  It's a simple question and could be answered in a variety of ways, but a simple answer is that the Chatham Airport has changed dramatically over the past 15 years. From a sleepy little airport to a "happening" active airport with jet fuel sales, turboprop and jet charters, unlimited touch and go's, many more early-morning and late-night flights, and the most glaring example: skydiving.  You'll recall the skydiving proponents viewed Chatham as a "mecca" for the activity, a northeastern hub, but this ambition was hell on the surrounding community, completely disrupting a quiet, peaceful quality of life. 

And for what?  Who profited? Did the town really need skydiving to attract visitors? The answer is no. Instead of asking why people live near the airport, does Mr. Fulcher also ask why skydiving came to Chatham to begin with?  Instead of making the taxpaying neighbors the enemy, why haven't the selectmen, the airport commission and yes, even pilots, reached out to the surrounding community to grapple with this dynamic?  Having an airport smack dab in the middle of small town, with no limits on its activities, invariably invites problems. Where is the town leadership in addressing this?  Having an airport commission predominantly made up of pilots and purged of surrounding neighbors has not lead to any real answers. The options have to be better than being told to shut up or move.  Town leadership has to do better!

Doug Lindsay