Letters to the Editor, May 16


A Vote For The Schools


Harwich voters: Please take the time to cast your vote for school committee candidate Merideth Holden Henderson on Tuesday, May 21. This is a critical time for our town and our Monomoy School District. Our public school systems face so many challenges: balancing state mandates, the individual needs of all students, providing fair and attractive contracts to faculty and staff, all while competing to retain and attract school choice students and present the taxpayers with a suitable budget. Merideth’s personal and educational background make her the strongest candidate for this position. Both the Holden’s and Henderson’s are multi-generation Harwich/Monomoy families. Their passion and devotion to this community is second to none. Growing up in this town, attending this school district, having a mother who was a Harwich educator, and now having children/nieces/nephews in the district all speak to Merideth’s true dedication to the community. Her background in education and her volunteer efforts on numerous committees not only make her prepared for this position but also make her most deserving. Voting for Merideth is not just a vote for a single position, it’s a vote for our schools, it’s a vote for our kids, and it’s a vote for our future. 

Justin Tavano



It All Came Together


Thank you, Harwich! The Guild of Harwich Artists hosted the ArtWeek 2019 – Mystery Painting Puzzle on Saturday, May 4 at the Harwich Cultural Center. Thanks to the almost 100 community painters who participated, and the many local business sponsors, the event was a resounding success. Fledgling painters of all ages showed up during the day to paint a piece of a larger image while experiencing the fun of painting. As the individual painted panels were hung during the day the mystery image was revealed to be a large composite painting of Red River Marsh in Harwich. The composite work will be hung in the Harwich Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center in Harwich Port for all to see.

Michael Rudden


Support Made Fundraiser A Success


The Rotary Club of Chatham extends its sincere gratitude to Knots Landing Bar and Grill for so generously allowing us to use their facility for our Casino Night fundraiser. It was a wonderful venue and allowed us to realize a profit to be deposited into our Good Works Account, which ultimately is returned to the community in the form of scholarships, toolships, donations to the Angel Fund, contributions to Habitat for Humanity and the Creative Arts Center, seniors' Thanksgiving luncheon, Chatham A’s Youth Baseball Clinic and many more programs.

Our gratitude extends to those businesses who sponsored a table for the event, adding to the grand total realized.

We also wish to acknowledge the wonderful individuals who attended our fundraiser. Without the support of these citizens and visitors, we would not be able to donate to the many programs we help to fund.

Danielle Berg, event chair

Chatham Rotary Club

Is Anywhere Safe?


Nancy Droney's son and grandchildren are afraid to enter the Chatham ocean and have not done so for two years, presumably because of fear of sharks. So the Droneys will spend this summer in Nova Scotia so son and grandchildren can visit them and safely enter Nova Scotia waters (Letters to the Editor, May 2).

The Droneys and others might be interested in the following: “[The]American research team Ocearch visited Nova Scotia this fall on a hunch: Could the movements of great white sharks Hilton and Lydia suggest an undiscovered mating site for the mysterious predators off Canada's Atlantic coast? The team hoped to capture and tag one shark. Instead, they saw more than 10, collected samples from seven and tagged six sharks, a first for the team in Canadian waters. Ocearch Expedition Leader Chris Fischer...data could help teach scientists more about the linkages to great white populations tagged near Cape Cod, Mass.”

Don Edge



Seals At Core Of Safety Issue 


The Wall Street Journal released on May 3 a full-page article on "Shark Attacks Have Cape Cod On Edge." This will no doubt hurt summer tourism and the many businesses whose livelihood depend on seasonal visitors. Chatham's selectmen recently asked citizens for suggestions on how to safeguard our recreational waters. Although not a scientist, I researched the problem looking for possible solutions. I learned seal overpopulation is a problem worldwide as it disrupts the ecological balance over time resulting in unwanted consequences.
Prior to 1972 we culled seals almost to extinction. In reaction to this near decimation Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972. Since then no culling has occurred. This brings us to today's reality.
It is time Congress and the federal agencies amend this act to reflect an enlightened understanding of ecological balance between marine life and man. I hope our local scientists can provide data that will help determine the right balance between marine life, preservation of native species, our community's wellbeing and safe recreational waters.
At present maybe we can do small things that might incentivize seals to feed off the oceanside of Monomoy Island. Our selectmen could contact shark prevention experts like Shark Defense, Inc. They have a pending patent on a proven product A-2. A-2 is a non-toxic extract that acts like a chemical trigger and sends sharks off in flight. It is a humane method that protects both man and shark. It might be worth the conversation.

Margaret Wood


Set Sipson Record Straight


Our family has received a newsletter from the Orleans Taxpayer Association (OTA) regarding FY2019 property taxes. The organization is clearly well-versed in local tax issues, but there is an inaccuracy in the letter that bears clarification.
Under the section “Property Tax Trend,” the OTA included the purchase of Sipson Island in Pleasant Bay in a list of significant projects that could impact the capital plan, whereas in reality the funds being requested at the upcoming town meeting to contribute to that purchase would come out of Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds, targeted specifically for open space, which have been raised by the statewide CPA surcharge (referred to in the OTA newsletter under the section “Your estimated property tax calculation”) and thus would have no impact on the tax rate for Orleans citizens.
We believe that the purchase of Sipson Island represents a rare opportunity to preserve a unique aspect of the Orleans landscape, while also providing public recreational access to a property that has hitherto been held in private hands. We sincerely hope that the OTA will set the record straight with its members prior to town meeting.

Tony Davis and Family
South Orleans 

Opposes Bike Crossing Lights


Putting lights up at certain road/bike trail crossings, I think, is a bad idea. The bike path is for recreation; the people on the road are coming from a job or going to a job. There are already many signs at every bike crossing. All lights will do is slow down traffic even more. And it seems that the only ones not following the signs are the bike people; maybe one in 10 will stop and walk their bike across; the rest ride across, and let’s not forget the bike rider who stops in the middle of the road as if he or she is a traffic officer and will make you stop! Hello! If we see you, then we see the group of you on the bike path crossing!

We do not need lights on any bike path crossing. Just look in Harwich, you come up to the crossing and slow down or stop, but no one is there; they’ve already gone by and are down the bike path.

The bike path is a nice thing but for many of us working stiffs we never get the use of it or the benefits. Again it’s recreational. Use it, enjoy it, have a great ride, but lights at bike path crossings—I don’t think so.

Kevin Nelson