Letters to the Editor, Aug. 30

Letter to the Editor

Trashing Route 39, Harwich


I know that you get many letters and have contributors writing about all the trash, but I have yet to read a “thank you for trashing” letter. Here is mine.

Dear Careless,

Thank you for carelessly losing your $100 American Express gift card along Route 39 near my home in Harwich. The date was the palindromic 8-18-18.

As a member of the Garden Club of Harwich G-Trash Committee, I regularly leave my home ready to do battle with trash left by disrespectful residents and visitors who think of Harwich as their personal trash bin and cigarette ashtray – nips bottles, beer cans, cigarette butts/filters, styrofoam containers, an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic plastic bottles, dirty diapers and more – mindlessly tossed on the roadside. You may have seen me with my long tongs and big blue bucket that easily holds the 10-plus pounds of trash that I pick up along each side of the road.

Back to the AX card. I checked it out on the AX website noted on the back of the card, typed in the number and CVV code and much to my surprise found just short of $50 still available. Today, thanks to your generosity, I purchased a few months worth of bird seed and bird suet, a rain jacket and insect repellent for rainy day trash pick up.

Our roadsides are not your trash bin. Our plants and animals are not here for your abuse. Please keep a trash bag in your car, feel free to use the given ashtray in your car and toss it all in a proper bin.

Judi Sitkin



An Accident Waiting To Happen


Chatham Municipal Airport is described appropriately as uncontrolled, since it does not have a control tower and the airport manager has an agreement, which does not include control of operations. These facts were highlighted on Thursday afternoon, while sitting on our patio with friends, one of whom was a pilot. We observed a plane taking off from the airport flying north directly over us, with simultaneously a second plane at about the same altitude, but flying in the opposite direction obviously in the process of attempting to land. This is scary. I and others have seen incipient collisions of this type occur previously, so this is yet another example of an accident waiting to happen, which could be made much worse by the fact that Chatham Airport is now used by bigger jets and turboprops, is close to town, and has been surrounded on all sides by dense residential areas since it was originally created 70 years ago

Dr. Michael Tompsett


Supports Newspaper's Position


With admiration, I support your stand as editor of The Cape Cod Chronicle that you stated in the last edition of the paper. The sentiment regarding the publication of Fake News was well stated from my standpoint, I felt, and I think you. Bravo!

Joan D. Carlisle

Due Diligence Done By Town

I reference Mr. Bixby's letter of Aug. 2 wherein he cites federal regulations stating that residential land use and construction next to or near an airport is expressly incompatible and prohibited. In defense of historic efforts by the airport commission and town of Chatham, I refer Mr. Bixby and others to to efforts made by town of Chatham through the airport commission to prevent Sky Way development by White Pond Realty Trust by securing funds then available from The FAA (1984-85) to prevent development of properties adjacent to airports. See The Cape Cod Chronicle Aug. 22, 1985. The FAA denied the funding request by Henry Greenlaw, chair of the airport commission, who did report that homes to be built on the White Pond property in question would require FAA certification concerning sound proofing and antenna heights. He further indicated that approvals would be required from The Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission. Subsequent correspondence from The FAA and Mass Aeronautics stated that there were no regulations governing the construction of buildings adjacent to airports as to type of construction or soundproofing. At that time the only relevant regulation limited the height of structures to 40 feet if in the flight path, and since Chatham had a height limit of 35 feet, that regulation was not applicable to Chatham Airport.
I credit Chatham with having done its due diligence in this matter. While building our home on Sky Way we were advised of the town's inquiries to the above-mentioned agencies and were advised of the risks we were taking. Receipt of the communication from FAA and Mass Aeronautics removed any risk factors, our home construction was completed , and we enjoyed 31 years of home ownership and living on Sky Way.

Bruce Wood


Stop Glorifying Predators


I swim in oyster pond twice a day, but not any more. We have seals in the swimming area.

Your editorial provided no solution.

The seals need to be regularly harvested to stop the current problem and to end the era of the shark which is scaring visitors.

I recently took a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Newport, Block Island and Nantucket. They have no seal or shark problem.

The glorification of these dangerous predators in Chatham is reckless and a threat to the future of this beautiful community.


John M Dowd


Keep CG36500 At Home


I don't know if you are interested in reader feedback, but I would feel very strongly against moving the cherished lifeboat whose story formed the basis of “The Finest Hours” from Orleans to Washington.  As a resident (though not native) of Washington who has spent parts of every summer in Chatham for several years and is very attached to the area, I feel that the boat would be lost in Washington among a thousand other distractions. It needs to be where the heroism took place and where those who value the story and the area may see it in its natural habitat.

Louise Rosenthal

Chevy Chase, Md.

Fear Of Manure


I am writing in response to an opinion piece I recently read by Thomas Gelsthorpe where he insists that modern chemicals for garden use are safe and cause no harm to our environment. He also states that manure is not a chemically precise fertilizer and should not be used by gardeners.

I’m probably about the same age as Mr. Gelsthorpe, and I remember hearing the sound of a truck, early in the morning, spraying the elm trees in front of the Old Dillingham House on Route 6A. It was a futile attempt to save the stately trees from disease.

Later, there was an attempt to save the environment from gypsy moths with an aerial bombardment of insecticide, sort of like crop dusters out west. If we did not want our gardens to get sprayed, we were told to fly an inflatable yellow balloon over our property.
At some point around this time, Rachel Carson came out with her book, “Silent Spring.” The Federal Fish and Wildlife Service, corporate America, agricultural agencies in general, crucified her. They claimed that she had no science background and was basically creating hysteria over nothing. Advocates of pesticides put DDT on their Rice Crispies to prove their point. It’s no secret that we have one of the highest breast cancer rates in the state. We run marathons to find a cure for cancer, and then spray our gardens with weed killer on the same weekend, which leaches directly into our aquifer.
Now we have Mr. Gelsthorpe’s article about our fear of chemicals. It claims that if people use caution in applying pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, they are safe. In my home maintenance business, I see sheds, garages and outbuildings piled up with rusting bottles and cans of Round-Up, pesticides and weed-killers, rotting into the ground, piled up against cellar walls, etc. I can tell you that the average homeowner is not using these chemicals with care or disposing of them safely, and they are a hazard to our fragile water supply on Cape Cod.
I believe that our so-called modern societies are using too much fertilizer in general. I had a fish weir set up on the Brewster flats in the '80s. Eelgrass was common in certain areas in abundance. In the '70s, we had some amazing sets of bay scallops. Today it’s hard to find a scallop shell on the flats, and the eelgrass, so important to our bay’s ecosystem, is gone. I’d be interested to know what’s happening to amphibians, bats and our pollinators, locally and globally, not to mention our aquifers and the soil itself.
My real fear is not the use of manure on our gardens, it’s the load of something of a similar nature that we are being fed by Monsanto and the makers of the herbicides and pesticides they are selling to the public and insisting they're not causing environmental damage.

Carl F. Ahlstrom

Support Sewer Work Delay


We wish to publicly applaud the efforts by Susan Blake, of blake & co. in Orleans. Sue illustrated the meaning of business leadership by drafting a petition and personally inviting store owners and chamber members along Main Street to support requesting the town work with the department of transportation to delay their upcoming work in an effort to lessen the negative effects of the trenching and paving project on business revenue in the Orleans Village Center. 

In the spring most, if not all, businesses along Main Street reported adverse impacts to their revenues during the sewer construction which led to this petition and the need for their concerns to be reviewed in the scheduling of the fall project. We recognize the efforts of Tom Daley, the Orleans Department of Public Works, Lt. Kevin Higgins and the Orleans Police Department in doing their best to keep businesses accessible during the spring project and expect the same efforts in September and October. 

At an upcoming board of selectmen meeting, Mr. Daley will present the dollar amount for the additional set-up and breakdown needed for Revoli Construction to respond to this request. We strongly encourage the selectmen approve this request to continue the diligent efforts to lessen the impact of this project on the revenues of our Main Street businesses during the shoulder season.

Board of Directors
Orleans Chamber of Commerce


Bus Should Be ADA Compatible

The Friends of the Harwich COA received a replacement senior bus in December 2017, the extraordinarily generous gift of Mr. Athens (plus the Thude donation).
Continuous recruitment of volunteer drivers will always be a significant challenge, without whom the bus doesn't run. But why isn't the bus ADA compatible? There is no lift. Stairs make the bus unusable by seniors using wheelchairs, walkers or canes. Just climbing stairs presents a risk for falls and increased liability. Seniors who could most benefit cannot access the bus.
I urge the Friend to immediately consider trading or replacing the current bus for an ADA compatible bus with a lift, like the COA bus.
At eight months, depreciation is still minimal. Mileage is probably extremely low, given its limited use to Shaw's in Harwich Port. Replacing the bus now would limit any loss.
No doubt Mr. Athens would be pleased to know so many more vulnerable seniors could benefit from his generous gift of an ADA compatible senior bus.
Please consider the community's needs to correct a valuable senior resource. The Harwich senior community is growing larger and older. The gift of a bus is amazing but it is of limited value if it is non-ADA accessible to all seniors.

Kathy Kelleher