Letters To The Editor: Aug. 15, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Park Is Meant For The Public


Real estate has always touted the tag-line location, location, location, and while property value is affected by this, so is adjacent activity.  If you purchase property abutting or close to a public area, expect the public.  Because current or past use has been one way does not guarantee nothing will change in the future.

It has always been my feeling that Chase Park was totally under appreciated. I was glad to see the windmill placed proudly on a park knoll.  The labyrinth, while not my jam, is a beautiful aesthetic.  Croquet would be a wonderful use of the park. 

Accepting that change is inevitable, up-fitting and expanding must be done with intelligence and proper consideration of surrounding residents, businesses, roadways and utilities. Noting that collective agreement can be challenging, the concept of public access to and use of a public park is pretty self-explanatory.

M. Jolly
Jacksonville, Fla.


Grateful For Town Workers


On behalf of The Garden Club of Harwich, The Friends of Brooks Free Library, and as a Harwich resident, I would like to sincerely thank the Harwich DPW, The Harwich Police and Fire Departments,  and all other town employees, as well as the many  volunteers who responded in such an amazingly quick, efficient,  and organized way to deal with the unexpected destruction that affected our community.  This is truly a special place we call home, but this was never more evident then  in the calm way everyone came together to do what needed to be done.   We are grateful to all of you.  

Barbara P. Obrig


No Leadership On Airport Issues


Your well-intentioned editorial last week advocating dialogue on skydiving was, frankly, a bit naïve. The selectmen have showed little inclination to talk to members of its own constituency represented by Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport—and certainly no inclination to compromise.

Leaders work to overcome obstacles and are skilled at the art of consultation. They build consensus, navigate diversity, and establish unity. That has not happened with our selectmen. In fact, they’ve made every effort to do the opposite. They’ve repeatedly worked hard to block the group from having its evidence heard in court about the proven nuisance and proven dangers of skydiving—once to the bewildered look on the face of one judge!

The airport commission has been just as disinclined toward dialogue, even trying to have a questioner thrown out by the police. Further, the commission has put forth spurious figures about the airport, claiming it brings millions of dollars to the town. That bit of fake news was debunked years ago. In fact, one might say that the airport has cost millions of dollars in years of lost real estate tax revenue as well as ongoing town “subsidies,” all for the benefit of a handful of pilots.

It would be nice to feel that our selectmen and airport commission work to establish unity. That appears not to be the case. So court action may continue—Chatham citizens should protect their town. They should be cheered on by the call of John Paul Jones, "I have not yet begun to fight!"

J. Denis Glover


Renovate Current Senior Center


This is in response to B. T. Storer’s letter a few weeks ago. I could not agree more. The town has let the current COA building deteriorate. There is no excuse for this. Our town owns so much land and buildings it is absolutely ridiculous to entertain the thought of purchasing yet another parcel of land for a new COA. If we are unable to maintain the current properties we own, why bring one more building into this mix? All one needs to do is drive by any of these properties and see the disrepair and the neglect.

I drive by the current COA several times weekly at all different hours. There are never, ever more than 10 cars in the parking lot, if that. To request over 80 parking spaces is ridiculous. There may be a few times when the lot is full; however, that is few and far between.

The BOS have suggested a property in West Chatham that the current owner paid $434,000 for. For the town to pay the $900,000 for this out-of-the-way spot is just an egregious affront to the taxpayers. We need to make do with what we have instead of building more palaces. Renovate the current building and let’s move on.

Judy Patterson
West Chatham


It's All Piling Up


President Trump retweeting the baseless conspiracy theory alleging that the Clintons are connected to Jeffrey Epstein's death is just another shovel load of manure added to Trump's dung-pile of a presidency.

Mike Rice
South Wellfleet


FAA Ignores Its Own Rules


Do you feel good about a Superior Court Judge’s recent decision to dismiss a citizen suit to block skydiving in Chatham?  Consider this.

Internal FAA documents reveal an agency riddled in confusion, conflict and manipulation, and a possibly tainted safety assessment. 

This is the same FAA that side-stepped its regulatory duties, leading to two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes within five months, resulting in 346 deaths. 

After a recent skydive plane crash in Hawaii, which killed 11, the NTSB admonished the FAA for failing to adhere to warnings given in 2008 regarding the safety of skydiving planes. 

It is a shame we, the citizens, were denied our day in court to bring to light significant evidence potentially countermanding the FAA's safety review. 

It's a shame Chatham's select board is blind to the potential safety consequences of the town's "victory" versus Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport.  And let us not forget that the airport manager and commission previously approved a skydive operator with a known history of safety violations.

For the safety of persons and property on the ground, skydiving as an aeronautical activity is prohibited by the FAA over "congested areas.”  With a summer time population of 35,000 Chatham is clearly congested. Chatham’s citizens should be concerned that the FAA  ignores its own rules in Chatham. 

Chatham is not immune to the possible consequences of an FAA agency in disarray.  Feel safe?  

David Bixby
West Chatham


Decision Will Have Far-reaching Impact


Ms. Davis, the chair of the Chatham Board of Selectmen, in her opening statement at the summer residents annual meeting mentioned that she would discuss the reasons for demising the entire charter review committee (CRC). Why did you close down the CRC ? Is it a political decision ? You have tarnished the reputations of the entire CRC membership. These volunteers were doing an excellent job reviewing the charter. I attended the BOS meeting when you announced your displeasure with the CRC. The following week the BOS held a public kangaroo court and gave the CRC members five minutes each to speak. Did this displeasure start when former chair of the BOS Mr. Nicastro came before the CRC and informed them that they were doing a great job but he would not support their recommendations as he would only support a change to the date of further CRC reviews? Or did it come about when the BOS appointed four additional members to the CRC who attempted to control the process of voting for modifications to the charter one whom stated "no changes are needed in the charter" when appointed. Ms Davis, you owe the CRC members and all taxpayers a complete open conversation of your decision. Your unilateral decision will have an effect on all committees in Chatham.

Earl Hubbard
Southbury, Conn.


Urge Exploration Of W. Chatham Site 


As the search for an appropriate site for a proposed new Chatham Senior Center continues, your recent article introduced an intriguing new option in the West Chatham Village that potentially offers a unique opportunity for substantial benefits to the whole town of Chatham.

That new candidate site abuts two open-space lots on its east side and other large lots on the west side. Those lots are owned by a mixture of public and private entities. Could a coalition of interests be stimulated to explore innovative land swaps and forms of public-private partnerships that could create a unique opportunity for achieving benefits for the whole Chatham community?

The Chatham community has ample examples of other such successful partnerships, some of which exist right in the West Chatham area. It is my humble opinion that such an effort might be well-accepted by all parties, and in particular the voters who ultimately must fund any new senior center.

I urge the select board and other public and private parties to thoughtfully explore this unique opportunity.

David Beecy
South Chatham