Letters to the Editor, Feb. 21

Letter to the Editor

Stop The Madness, Save Monomoy



Say it isn’t true that the town of Chatham, that is us, the people, the town government, the business owners,

all who love Chatham tradition and summer after summer of superb theater, are going to let the Monomoy Theatre disappear. Will someone please come forward with a plan to stop this madness?

Carole and Lou Maloof



Confused By Pet Cemetery Opposition 


We, as pet lovers, are people who develop strong bonds of love with our pets and they reward us with unwavering loyalty and unconditional love. When their short lives end, most pets are left at the vet for disposal. A pet cemetery would be a place to give our beloved pets a dignified farewell, and a place to remember our loyal friends. Having a place to visit would ease the grief and sadness of the loss.
I don't know why there is such a mean-spirited opposition to the pet cemetery, but I suspect selfish interests. 
Our town provides parks, a library, a bike trail, beaches, and so much more that contribute to the quality of life in Harwich. The pet cemetery would make our town just a little bit nicer place to live.

Mike Mullane



Chatham Has Lost Its Priorities


Interesting to read in today’s Chronicle that the community preservation committee turned down a request from the Chatham VFW for $205,000 to upgrade their heating system.  Couldn’t this have been provided under the guidelines of rehabilitation and restoration?  Yet this is the same committee that approved repairs at St. Christopher’s Church and the Masonic building? These two entities are owned and operated on property that is exempt from property tax and as such are already receiving the full benefit of the taxpayers. This is also the same committee that approved funds for repairs of a tennis court, $7,000-plus worth of improvements to Seaside Links Golf Course, and the relocation of the skateboard park. Let us not forget the $450,000-plus for the bleachers in Veterans Field. Some of those funds should have come from the town budget – not the CPC! Seriously folks, what is going on in this town when you deny veterans a place to go? How many members of that committee served in the military?  Is it because there aren’t enough beautiful people that go there and that it's military related?  This is quite disturbing to me.  Oh, and now the push is on for a swimming pool to be added to the new COA being built in the boondocks.  This town has lost its priorities. I will not be voting for the new COA, along with many other folks my age.  No need for another palatial building to be added.   Terry Bassett wrote an outstanding letter several weeks ago about the proposed location for this outrageous expense.  Pay attention! We have enough.  Fix what we have for the folks that are here now without increasing our taxes.  Make what we have work and make it affordable for those less fortunate.

Judy Patterson

West Chatham


Pool Not A Priority


While I am curious as to the outcome of the debate regarding the possibility of a municipal pool at the Chatham Community Center, I think that there is a more pressing matter to be discussed.

As a member of the community center who works out at the facility five days a week, I think that the topic of installing small locker rooms with showers should be more on the fore burner.

I know from experience that most municipal decision makers are concerned about return on investment for tax dollars spent.  I would contend that for less money and liability, locker rooms and showers would benefit more people per tax dollar extended than a swimming pool.

Please do not misinterpret my stance, in that if it’s decided that a pool would be a solid financial decision due to the potential revenue stream for the town, then I’m all for it.  It’s just that showers and proper changing accommodations is basic for a facility that offers amenities such as a fitness center and a large gymnasium.

I wish the decision makers well on the matter of the pool, but I ask as a resident to please regard my suggestion. 

Matt Fitzpatrick



Zoning Laws Must Change


Thank God for Beverly Nelson.  It is amazing how many locals have taken umbrage at her accurate portrayal of the situation.  The town is no longer capable of providing housing for its young people.  But it could.

I wrote a brief editorial a month or so ago providing a simple solution to all this hand wringing – building small market-rate houses for people on very small lots.  Did anyone comment on that proposal?  No, indicating that there is probably no real interest in solving the problem.

Locals have to look at the economic facts and discover that they are their own problem.  If you continue to insist that all lots in town have to be one-half to a full acre, then eventually only the wealthy summer residents will be able to live in town.  You have met the enemy and they are you.

Is there something about Chatham's "small town character" that requires that housing should be the same it was in 1959?  In fact, quite a bit of housing in downtown Chatham is not on one-half to one acre lots and the ZBA is

constantly granting exceptions to our outdated codes to allow housing improvement there.  We have to disrupt the stagnant thinking in town and provide for our future generations.

If I'm wrong I'd like to see a slew of editorials disproving this scenario.

And Mrs. Nelson should be proud to be in Chatham and if she is shunned by the locals as some have suggested, it is they who are in the wrong.

Phil Richardson

Tiburon, CA and Chatham 


Limit Scale Of Houses


It is time to talk about Chatham’s changing face. Our planning board is having a discussion on limiting the scale of residential structures, as suggested by Selectman Dean Nicastro.  With its help we can salvage some of our history, heritage, natural beauty, and quality of life.  Bloated eyesores, some incorporating every architectural feature known to man, except perhaps gargoyles, sometimes on inappropriately sized lots, loom on our horizon.  Big houses that lean over modest houses in our neighborhoods are an assault on our traditions and legacy.

We are all concerned about Chatham’s serious housing problem and its impact on young and working families, but our regulations and zoning bylaw encourages gentrification and big houses, many of which are used for only a few weeks each year.  A zoning bylaw amendment to limit house size is a way to stand up for those who need year-round housing.

Chatham citizens have had a long and vigorous history of seeking to protect its special identity, and the long range comprehensive plan contains numerous actions the planning board can take to make certain that Chatham retains some resemblance to our Chatham of the past. 

Gloria Freeman

North Chatham


Use Beach Fees For Raking


I hope some of the new beach fees can find their way to daily cleaning of our beaches. Our grandson spent part of last summer with a severe cut of his foot after he stepped on a shell in the seaweed washed on the beach. What we need is a sand rake towed by the proper size tractor. Rentals maybe available for not too much of an outlay.

Francis Kelly

South Chatham


Who Speaks For The Tree?


Censorship is bad, bad, bad. But that raises the question: Must a newspaper publish every letter to the editor it receives? I ask this because the letter from Matt Sutphin in the Jan. 31 issue of The Chronicle stuck in my craw. A letter castigating and essentially casting into the Fires of Gehenna a neighbor who had the gall, the audacity, and, thanks to “googling gall,” “the audaciousness, audacity, brashness, brass, brassiness, brazenness, cheek, cheekiness, chutzpah (also chutzpa), crust, effrontery, face, nerve, nerviness, pertness, presumption, presumptuousness, sauce, sauciness, temerity, impertinence, effrontery, presumptuousness, etc.” to cut down a tree on his own property, repeat on his own property, because the letter writer disapproved. And, personally, I think the grandeur of the tree matters not, though Joyce Kilmer was and is right.

I’ve had neighbors who have done things on their property I wish they hadn’t. I’ve had, or more accurately my family have had neighbors, who abused permission to use some of our property for what we expected to be personal use for a business. In all of those cases I, or we, expressed our displeasure to the neighbor. In none of these cases did I, or we, write a letter to the editor. In part because we knew that to do so would make a good neighbor relationship impossible in the future.

And if Mr. Sutphin really feels guilty about having “cut down” a special tree some time in his past, he might consider going to confession. Or if he wishes to spite his neighbor he could always move away.

Of course maybe he just wanted to vent. If so, I hope seeing his letter in print makes him feel fulfilled. In any event, or perhaps in current usage “whatever," if I was the editor of a newspaper his letter never would be published.

Wait a minute, as a retired law professor, how could I miss the obvious course of conduct — a lawsuit. 

Paul J. Galanti

Indianapolis, Ind.

At Least We Saved The Pond 


Kristin Andres' conservation observation, “Our Legacy” (Feb. 14), was a powerful and clear message of the harsh realities of climate change. 
Caused by we humans at the expense of other species' extinction, habitat degradation, out-of-control wildfires, mudslides in burnt over land, ever more powerful hurricanes, storm surges, floods, and the predictable collapse of our planet to recover from what we began before 1900: the industrial revolution, along with mechanical and chemical farming of once fertile lands, poisoned in the push for high crop yield. We did this. 
Over 82 million humans will be added this year (subtract deaths from births). The numbers escalate daily as global population growth explodes. 
Please don’t offer the tired old trope of some countries having a greater population of elderly. We are in trouble. Unless human families stop at one child, at most two, per couple, globally, we’re past the tipping point where catastrophic changes are irreversible. 
We researched the problem and it is us. Some continue to bury their heads in the sand, deny, lie, open up the pristine Arctic and Atlantic coasts to drill for oil, sonic blasts – that destroy sea life, mammals, fish, zooplankton. Spills. “What, me worry?”
Harwich can be proud we and others saved Cornelius Pond. 
How many developments bulldozed forest, mushroomed in our town since June of 2017? Our legacy is on us. 

Sebastian Mudry

West Harwich