Living Is Good, But...
Last week’s Letter “And The Living Is Good” brought on a sly chuckle, because five of the first six items listed (“temperatures rising” being the exception) are purely money focused and materialistic. This leads me to believe that Mr. Fields profits from those activities, either as a business owner or absentee landlord who rents; i.e., to him “good” equals dollars. I, on the other hand, am a year-round, retired senior resident who finds those activities to be very disruptive to the way of life that makes Cape Cod, particularly the Lower Cape, as wonderful as it is, in the off season.
The worst of it is the increased traffic on all roads, tourists shopping in supermarkets with a slew of kids in tow, and in particular, “restaurants overflowing.” In the off season it is nice to be able to make a last-minute decision on where to eat out, but that is impossible in the summertime; dining out needs to be planned with a reservation one week out, and sometimes/places, two weeks out. Tourists do not seem to mind wait times of an hour or more, but I am long past that time of my life.
I’ll go with Mr. Fields’ “Hooray, it’s summertime” but for the natural reasons, like gardens blooming, bird feeders full, gold goldfinches, migrant birds back, and whales sighted. I’ll even add longer days, dining al fresco on our deck, and the smell of summer rain.
No, I do not hibernate during the tourist season, but having lived for 15 years on the Mexican Caribbean coast in a tourist environment (December 15 to May 15), I have learned how to live with it and make the most of it. That means allowing more time to go to medical appointments, the theater, restaurant, shopping; buying theater tickets as early as possible; and most important, making the restaurant reservation at least one week out.
The living Is good, when adjustments can be made to alleviate the disruptive tourist season.
Baffled By Food Truck Drama
I can’t seem to understand how a food truck, from an established business here in town, will be the undoing of the restaurants in downtown Chatham.
Why has an option, on a busy summer night, of where a visitor chooses to eat been taken away from them?
Time For The Majority To Speak
After 25 years in Chatham and having enjoyed all it has to offer, I humbly admit I am a senior and am part of the majority of our town. With this in mind I feel I must plea that the new senior center be an integral part of the community center. We are the core of Chatham and feel we must be at the center of life in our fair town.
There has been costly studies and a lot of money spent for naught. The arguments for not allowing the new proposed senior center to be built at the center of town are not valid in my mind.
The new center should be on the back lawn of the community center with a road shooting out onto Depot Road with secured guard rails. If indeed we are the majority and majority should rule, why not listen and change previous thinking from the past? Let’s move forward and give our seniors the respect and love they deserve.
There was some objection that the Little League was using this patch in back of the present day community center. Why not give them the excitement of using the baseball field for the thrill of being real future baseball players? Use the days when our Anglers are not at home.
Fleur Feighan Jones
A Physical Fitness Milestone
Four hundred eighty runners and walkers returned for the 40th Chatham Harbor Run/Walk. There had been only one four-time winner, now we have a five-time champion. His name is Ian Nurse. Ian has slowed down a little—he has a 20-month old child; his priorities have changed—but he is still king of the pavement around Chatham. Other notable runners who returned for the 40th race were Chatham’s fastest year-round resident Geoff Newton; two of New England’s fastest 70-year-olds, Duke Hutchinson and Ted Gallagher; and a major sponsor, Dave Farrell, who also ran in the very first race. The women’s side of the race was also loaded with talent, with Rebecca Trachsel from Winchester winning the women’s division. Three other elite runners who returned were former race director Tony Asa Thomas, recent champ Dawn Varnum and annual division winner Janet Kelly. The three-mile walk had 72 participants with local standouts Deb Patrick, Joanne Creel and Bill Horrocks returning. Bill annually wins the over-80 age category.
This year’s race was celebrating four decades of physical fitness. There has never been a major accident because of the dedicated work of the Chatham Police And Fire And Rescue departments. Race starter John Whelan has been there since the start, as well as Richard Costello of The Squire and Hank Hyora of The Chronicle. Citizens Tommy Doane and Dr. Neil Cowles have donated time and water. Water stop sponsors along the way have been Pine Acres, The Cape Cod Daily Deal.com, Aqua/Splash Pools, the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance, the Chatham Health and Swim Club and new sponsor Chatham Works Fitness Center. The local merchants that consistently gave to the raffle are Yankee Ingenuity, the Candy Manor, Carmine’s Pizza, Main Street Pottery, Chatham Penny Candy and Short ‘n’ Sweet Ice Cream. Harwich Stop & Shop and Chatham Pier Fish market donate food and ice. The Monomoy Middle School opens up its gym, and this year the weather was fabulous for both the runners and supporters. Thanks to everyone involved and hope to see you all again at the Harbor Run/Walk next year.
Advisory Committee Needed For DPW
I'm really glad to hear the Orleans DPW will be using their old building for storage of anything that needs to be under cover. But I am disappointed the town has appropriated $570,000 to buy new equipment.
It is my understanding the DPW wishes to buy a bucket truck to cut limbs around town on our roads. My suggestion would be to hire a tree company to do the work two to three weeks each year, thus saving the taxpayers all expenses incurred in ownership of such a truck.
Next, our town has a total of 56 miles of road. I would like someone on the DPW staff to tell me just what the town owns for equipment to maintain those 56 miles.
It has also come to my attention that Orleans is thinking of buying a tractor (truck) to haul trash to SEMASS. Here is another instance where the board of selectmen could appoint a five-person committee to advise them whether there is a real need for such items before spending the taxpayers' money.
Columnist Has The Right Words
Mary Richmond consistently exhibits a unique passion for the defenseless and a genuine concern for nature’s smallest creatures in her weekly “Nature Connection” column.
Her recent column “Conflicts Of Interest” (July 4) resonated with me and other readers, some of whom wrote that they wanted it to be re-printed “on the front page of your paper” and in “other news media.”
Unquestionably her piece is a gem! It’s one of those “must read” articles that you tape to your refrigerator next to your favorite photos and other treasures so that everyone sees it and reads it.
Kudos to her for calling out the selfishness and indifference of those who are systemically damaging air quality and water purity and are cavalierly contributing to a plastic and toxic world for the sake of convenience.
She highlights the basic bond between nature and people as a requirement for world survival. She juxtapositions clean air and water with money and greed. She implores recognition that our natural interests are instinctive and wonders at the inexplicable organized destruction of nature’s heritage.
She is on target and expresses most people’s anxiety and frustration with polluted ponds, poisoned wetlands and eroded beach dunes on beautiful Cape Cod. A corollary to her column is more public awareness for the needs and protection of the homeless population and those addicted to drugs and alcohol in these conflicting times, especially faced with the legalization of marijuana’s unpredictable impact on the community.
History will measure us by our treatment of the weak, dependent and innocent whether ocean life, animal life or human life, not by our bank accounts. As Ms. Richmond wrote: “In the end, what we do to the plovers, we will do to our own small and weak that need special attention. It’s that simple”
Town Has Mismanaged Pier Project
As a former chairman and long time member of the Chatham waterways advisory committee, I must comment on the construction fiasco at the fish pier. I agree with Mr. Sheehan that his company has been unjustly maligned. This is just one more example of the problems we have of managing water-related projects. The natural resources department has consistently failed taxpayers. We have been plagued by change orders, schedule changes, and extra costs that were never bid into projects. For those doubters look at the final cost of the Bridge Street dock which still isn't finished. For some reason the town manager, with full knowledge, allows this to go on. Who knows what other projects are mismanaged and over budget.
Where's The Accountability?
When is this town ever going to come to grips with the back-handed manner in which it has dealt with our local fishing community over the past? For years it allowed the fish pier, one of our most important business operations and tourist attractions, to slowly deteriorate, only employing haphazard and emergency maintenance when absolutely forced. The interior was a virtual pigsty until several years ago when dealers were finally required to fulfill their obligation to maintain a sanitary and safe work area, something the town should have been more responsible for since it owns the facility. We think nothing of appropriating millions of dollars to create white elephants like those two beauties on George Ryder Road across from the airport—more suitable for a town of 25,000 than 5,000—while neglecting to invest much more than a pittance in one of our most valuable resources.
The too-little, too-late recognition that Stage Harbor may be required to serve as a backup or even a replacement off-loading operation for our commercial boats is a perfect example. Now we are scrambling to try to come up with a satisfactory resolution.
And how about the bumbling, fumbling way we handle the necessary dredging of our waterways? The fingers of blame point everywhere—Mother Nature! Bad weather! The county! Let’s look in the mirror, huh? Who’s in charge here?
And today we have our current comedy of errors, the Observation deck at the fish pier. It wasn’t until late last month that boats were finally able to resume off-loading because there was no power to operate the equipment. And does anyone really believe that the public will be able to access the pier this summer? Once again, all we hear from all parties is—don’t blame me! Why don’t we have any answers to a few simple questions, such as, who’s basically in charge of this fiasco? Who did the due diligence on this construction company? And why was the scheduling botched from the very beginning?
Folks, this is mismanagement, pure and simple. And we should expect some accountability here. Fat chance. Don’t bet on it.
Arthur H. Loomis