Letters to the Editor, April 18, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Don't Trash This Tour


The Tour de Trash is the once-yearly town-wide litter campaign intent on preserving the attractiveness of our beautiful little patch of earth.

Last year, 1,200 lbs. of trash, 513 lbs. of recyclables and over 1,200 empty NIP bottles were collected and hauled away. Much of it would still be around if it weren’t for the 100-plus volunteers who helped make the 2018 event the best ever; the operative word being “volunteers!”

If you are free between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning, April 27, want a little fresh air and exercise, meet a bunch of great folks plus show pride in this wonderful town of ours, then sign-up at harwichconservationtrust.org/ or simply show up at the Harwich Community Center on Oak Street at 9:30 a.m. We provide everything you need including lunch. How can you beat that!

Richard Ellis


A Hands-on History Lesson


On Friday, April 19, 244 years after the Minutemen pursued the British from Concord to Boston, Boy Scout Troops from Maine, Cape Cod, and Greater Boston will follow the historic trail of April 19, 1775. They'll trade in their Troop numbers for "Militia" names representing the towns along the route.

Not only is the hike an opportunity to learn more about this historic day, it fulfills a requirement of the Hiking Merit Badge. There is a 10-mile and a 20-mile option, both of which are part of earning the merit badge. Scouts who wear their uniform and complete a questionnaire while at historic stops along the way, can earn the Minutemen's Pursuit Trail patch and/or medal after completing the trip.

The Lexington Militia, AKA Chatham Troop 71 will encamp in Acton to be at the ready. Starting off from Monument Square after breakfast provided by the Concord Masons, the militias will hike to Old North Bridge, then to Meriam's Corner along secret trails used by the Minutemen. The route continues through Lincoln, Lexington, Arlington, Cambridge, and Somerville, where the day wraps up with a view of Boston from Prospect Hill.

Judy Carlson


Fear Mongering Isn't A Solution


The Cape Cod Chronicle tells us nothing can be done besides the present campaign to scare the hell out of the population in favor of two deadly predators because they have been here longer. 

They ignore the Mammal Protection Act which allows for management of the species to protect the public safety. In other words, federal law places a higher priority on human life. They do it to protect their backsides and blame the citizen in the event of another attack. 

Sensible, well-managed culling of the excessive seal population similar to Oregon and other places protects both species.
It would be helpful if our courageous public officials who took an oath to protect us, not seals and sharks, spent the education money to illustrate that seals are not cute and commissioned our fisherman to cull the seal population. 

Fear mongering is not a solution. 

One more attack and there will be hell to pay.

John M. Dowd

The Effects Of Climate Change At Home


Recently sitting down to a dinner of steamed littlenecks, unprompted my 2-year-old son said, “I’m a big clam guy.“ His musing really got me thinking about the future of the shellfish aquaculture industry and the increased threats posed by an increasingly volatile climate. 

From Alaska to Florida, you’ll find shorelines across America being impacted by climate change in the form of sea level rise, ocean acidification, and increased frequency and severity of storms. The aftermath of these climate catastrophes has cost Americans billions of dollars in damages, with coastal communities and their businesses bearing the brunt of the costs. Cape Cod shellfish growers have witnessed these impacts firsthand. 

As president and CEO of the largest shellfish hatchery in New England, my livelihood and the livelihood of many Cape Cod shellfish growers and their families are closely linked to the health of the ocean and its ability to sustain life. Where there’s good ocean you’ll find good, hard-working people making a living from the sea. The business I run, Aquacultural Research Corporation, is a part of the lifeblood of the “Blue Economy” supplying needed shellfish seed to local growers. However, climate change and its impacts are threatening the viability of the business, my family and my community. It costs growers more and more to rebuild and repair our farms after a severe storm. It costs the community in lost revenue. And it is costing the consumers, retailers and restaurants who enjoy the shellfish we raise. 

While this isn’t a problem that we can fix overnight, we also can’t afford to wait. There are steps we can take right now, that we have to take, to meet this challenge. We know that humans are causing climate change and we know what we need to do to change course. We need to significantly reduce carbon emissions and transition to a low carbon future.

Shellfish growers from all over the country last week made the trip to Washington, D.C. to talk to our representatives in Congress and demand federal policy to address the climate crisis. Dozens of growers and business owners just like me shared their stories of how climate change is impacting our livelihood and our communities, and why action is needed right now. 

But the conversation doesn’t end in the nation’s capital, nor should it. We will also be talking with governors, mayors and state legislators, anyone who will listen really, about what needs to be done to address the growing climate crisis. 

I’m proud to be a part of the shellfish growing community that dates back hundreds of years on Cape Cod. My moments of professional joy come from watching our growers look after their harvest, building businesses that support their families. Putting on a suit and going to meetings in an office building filled with Congressmen is not what shellfish growers are comfortable with. But as members of the Shellfish Growers Climate Coalition we did just that. And we’re going to keep doing it until policymakers step out of their comfort zone and act on climate. We all need to do that—speak up, get out of our comfort zone, and act on climate. All our futures depend on it and so too do the futures of all of the young “big clam guys and gals” who hope to share shellfish with their children. 

Rob Doane, president/CEO
Aquacultural Research Corporation

Not An Easy Fix


The following letter was sent to the Chatham 365 task force:

Thank you for your efforts in regards to the public forums.

The issues facing Chatham families are many fold and difficult to answer within the confines of three minutes.
It seemed to me that this task force is a massive push to socialism, "here we are, now subsidize us."

The problem is when you subsidize one group, coupled with excessive capital projects, the more downward pressure you place on the remainder of society. The lack of child services is directly related to the disconnect of government policy and the needs of families. The corresponding escalation in the cost of living, very simply pushes service providers and families out.

A case in point of wasteful government spending and the feigning of environmentalism through banning plastic bags and electric town vehicles is the placement of the new COA facility on very environmentally sensitive land with a view of the sewage treatment plant; let's spend millions to preserve open space on one side of Goose Pond while clear cutting the other! While I'm in favor of updating the facility, basic arithmetic says the numbers to justify the expense just don't add up. We're continually told we don't have the money for necessities (town employees haven't had a raise in many years, $16 million in arrears to retired employee benefits etc.) while engaging ostentatious capital projects.

In closing, there are many more issues that I could address to illuminate the loss of families, we've been making the same arguments for years only to receive the shoulder shrug of indifference from those with the power to enact the fundamental changes required to stem the tide. The task force is trying to "solve" a problem it has taken many years of social engineering to create. 

Sam Lucarelli 
South Chatham 

Support Plastic Bottle Ban


Plastic has now invaded every part of our lives. Practically every item we use is made of plastic or has a plastic component.
Just sitting where you are right now, count the number of plastic items around you. You will find it in the seating you’re sitting on, shoes, buttons, zippers, paint and polyurethane, pencils, pens and the fabric of your clothing...

Plastic is not biodegradable it can only break down into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes plastic dust. It is now being found in our water supplies and in our food supplies, in our ocean and mixed in the sand of our beaches. We inhale it, and we inhale the toxic gases produced from burning it. We are made sick by it.

How do we change our behavior to reduce the amount of plastic that we use? How do we save our natural environment for a future generations and provide a healthy sustainable environment for those of us who are living now? Ultimately we must radically reduce our plastic use.

Once manufactured plastic will be here forever. Recycling although a worthy effort, has not turned out to be a solution for most of our plastic waste.

Here in the United States only 20 percent of plastic beverage bottles get recycled. The other 80 percent go to landfills, or remain in our ocean, waterways, and other natural settings.

With Chatham’s proposed municipal bottle ban, we will be taking a small and meaningful step forward toward this goal of reduction.

Suzanna Nickerson

The Horses Have Left The Barn


After joining the local bandwagon against Mrs. Beverly Nelson, Mr. Gerry Milden, et. al., suddenly I woke up! It’s not their fault they are here tearing down the historical Chatham homes, building next to the water and generally thumbing noses at the locals.
The blame lays solely on the shoulders of the “powers-that-be.” Whether it is the “planning” board, tax and spend, spend, spend group, builders, selectmen (by the way, do the people who want to take “men” out of the name want to take it out of women—can’t call them females? What is next?) or others.

Apparently Mr. Milden and too many others don’t know, much less care, why the Native Americans did not live year round by the water. It’s too elementary to go into here. So, it sounds like he would rather save his precious revetment and deny our hardworking fishermen a living. They are the backbone of this community, and it is the ilk of the Mildens and Nelsons who are literally tearing the once quaint, down-to-sand (earth) village down. Bottom line is money from the taxes these people pay. One thing I am grateful for is keeping my taxes down so far.

It is refreshing and comforting to read the likes of John Whelan, etc. and know there are others who want to keep what is left of our beloved village of Chatham. No more 18-month delays, then inevitable tearing down. How about a permanent ban? There are plenty of houses off Cape that could be destroyed thereby leaving us to our own. However, that will never happen. I am glad I’m as old as I am (80) so I won’t have to watch the destruction of Chatham much longer.

Chatham 365—the horses are out of the barn and they are running rampant. Good luck.

B.T. Storer
South Chatham