Letters To The Editor: Oct. 10, 2019
Stay Out Of National Politics
As I was reading the editorial in the Sept.12 Chronicle, it occurred to me I was reading the ultra-left Cape Cod Times. Alas, upon checking the page I was dismayed—it was The Cape Cod Chronicle! Until then I was a huge fan of the C.C.C.
First of all, our president did not “insist” Dorian would hit Alabama. I have heard his comment several times. Call him a liar again for repeating what a forecaster said. The news media should shoulder 99 percent of the blame for bashing our president constantly.
As far as being “dangerous to put out false information,” just look and listen to the drama we are bombarded with everyday from the media. This includes politics, illegal aliens, weather, etc. You are really stretching it to criticize our president for what you say he said about the weather. Good grief! I thought the previous president was “The Chosen One.”
The Cape Cod Chronicle would do all readers a favor by staying out of national politics. It was a pleasure to read local news without national politics. Get a life!
Mrs. B. Storer
Downtown Shop Contributes To Community
I recently attended an “Evening of Fashion” at the Chatham Clothing Bar. The event was held after the store closed, in a condo above the shop. Sandy Wycoff, shopkeeper extraordinaire, absolutely knocked the socks off the women who attended. We were greeted by a friendly member of her staff, escorted upstairs, relieved of our coats/etc., and treated to a delicious selection of food and drinks followed by a fashion show and personal shopping experience. It’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable evening if, like me, you’re even the slightest bit “fashion fixated.”
The Atwood Museum received the proceeds from the event, and to totally round things off, Sandy partnered with the experts at Forest Beach Designs for the show. The Chatham Clothing Bar is a wonderful shop, and the owner and her staff are the total package if you want to enjoy a very special shopping experience. It’s no surprise they’ve been operating successfully in Chatham since 1979!
A very special thanks to Sandy, Emma, Diane, CoCo, Lori, Sarah, Marge and Whitney!
Is It Main Street Or Route 28?
The threat of automobile dominance in Chatham's historic downtown and neighborhood centers on Route 28 is a major theme of Chatham's comprehensive plan that deserves serious consideration. All the professional planning literature warns that automobile dominance threatens pedestrian, cyclist and motorist safety, not to mention community character. MassDOT's own design guide devotes an entire chapter to traffic calming in village centers. Widening roads in a futile attempt to ease traffic and improve safety only results in more and faster traffic—a paradox apparently lost on the state's road builders. West Chatham's history is a prime example.
Agreeing to accept MassDOT's unreasonable demands was not an option when rebuilding the Mitchell River Bridge; it needn't be an option when making improvements on Main Street at the Crowell Road intersection, the entrance to downtown's village center. An option worth exploring with MassDOT is having Chatham take responsibility for the short Main Street section of Route 28 between Crowell Road and Old Harbor Road. Barnstable did this on Route 6A in Barnstable village center, successfully avoiding automobile dominance while maintaining Barnstable village center's safe, pedestrian oriented small town heritage.
My understanding is that MassDOT is open to this kind of arrangement and may be willing to use state TIP funding to make improvements conforming to Chatham's design specifications before turning the short section of Main Street over to the town. Regardless of the funding source however, when faced with maintaining Chatham's small town heritage, the direct cost to taxpayers of improving and maintaining village and neighborhood center Main Streets should not be the only criteria.
Safety Minded People Oppose Safety?
Correct me please if I am wrong. It appears that the wonderful, loving people that care so much about other people's safety, that skydiving must be stopped for the good of others to be safe. Aren't these the same people who oppose investing in equipment that would make landing at the airport safer? That sounds as dumb as moving near an airport and then complaining about the airport. I live about a quarter mile from the airport and love everything about it.
Option For Seniors, Children To Interact
The Chatham 365 Task Force suggests we build a senior center that can connect with the children and their activities and programs. I’ve recently learned the Old Harbor Road town property, which has 38,000 square feet, no longer has living relatives to protest an amendment to the deed removing all restrictions. This land could be combined with land from the elementary school. Sixty percent of the town’s population are non-residents, and this number in all likelihood will rise and the school population may decline even farther than it is right now. The parking lot in front of the school could be removed, leaving necessary handicap spaces. The playground could then be reconfigured. This would make it easier for the two age groups to connect.
Noise Infringing On Rights
We wish to express growing concern over increasing noise pollution in Harwich by two restaurants, Ember and Perks. Our home is well beyond the 150-foot maximum noise limit, but we are assaulted seven nights a week by excessively loud music and by the ensuing raucous behavior that accompanies the music and lasts well beyond the supposed 10 p.m. stop time. This is an infringement of our civil rights and quality of life. We cannot use our outdoor living spaces, cannot open our windows and we can't sleep. Harwich is becoming an unruly drinking town, where the greed of two restaurants takes precedence over the lives of hundreds of affected tax-paying residents. We encourage the noise committee to take immediate and responsible action on this important issue. If town leaders continue to disregard this constant disturbance of the peace, we encourage affected citizens to begin a media campaign to boycott the restaurants, and to involve the court system. Selectmen who do not respect their constituents must be voted out office. Many Harwich residents owned their homes for years before Ember and Perks began blasting music into the night. This is a violation of basic civil rights and must stop, or be stopped.
John and Carolyn Fletcher
Dangerous Approach At CQX
Turboprops at CQX are for-hire or fractional ownership aircraft. They’re very noisy.
Late into the recent meeting, Airport Commissioner Haas finally acknowledged that under the Master Plan’s proposed straight-in, instrument approach, turboprops would be coming in at a much lower, 30:1 slope, which is way closer to the roofs of our homes than they do now.
The 30:1 slope is the reason trees on 46 private, residential properties will be cut down. Properties on Main Street, George Ryder, George Ryder South, Agnes Lane, Skyline, Horizon and North Skyline Drives would be subject to avigation easements under eminent domain takings to implement the straight-in instrument approach.
Landing here in bad weather is dangerous due to our short runway, no cross-wind runway, non-functioning Runway Protection Zones and no control tower. Chatham has historically been a good weather airport. In bad weather, Barnstable Airport is safer, with longer runways, better approaches, and a control tower.
The Commission wants to transform CQX into a bad weather airport with newer instrument guidance in order to better accommodate turboprops and increase their frequency here.
The Commission wants us to believe that those aircraft, approaching CQX much lower to the ground, landing here on our runway that is 200 ft. shorter than FAA recommendations, in bad weather, will somehow enhance the safety of people and property on the ground. It won’t. It’s risky and unsafe.
While we are living, working, biking and shopping in what should be our Runway Protection Zones, we want CQX to continue as a small, piston-engine aircraft airport, not the home to more turboprops, coming in much closer to the ground. Please keep attending airport commission meetings and voicing your opinions!
Driving Away Committee Volunteers?
Apparently the news is not good for volunteerism in Chatham. At a recent selectmen's meeting, Selectman Metters read a long list of boards and committees which need citizen volunteers. I wondered why townspeople aren’t volunteering.
Perhaps it is indifference on the part of some. Others may have no capacity for controversy which can often lead into incivility. Perhaps it is because some like sitting on the sidelines criticizing. While we all cherish Chatham, some people are interested in Chatham only as their playground. Some citizens might be angry or scared or frustrated or even feel hopeless. There are some people who are generous with their time, experience, and expertise or interest, and we thank them. But there are many whose negative attitudes about government need to be improved. They are attuned to issues that need to be changed, but afraid to address them. Trust is missing.
Not so long ago the selectmen appointed new members to the charter-mandated Charter Review Committee and then inappropriately interfered with their work by telling them they wanted only one change to the charter. The charter is clear that the review committee “shall report to Town Meeting concerning any proposed amendments or revisions to the charter which such committee deems necessary.” When committee members proceeded with their work, the selectmen, with the exception of Selectman Metters, voted to eliminate the committee and dismiss the members, labeling the committee “dysfunctional.” Members requested a meeting with the selectmen, but were refused the opportunity to understand why they all were being dismissed. As a former member of the committee, I have to agree with a previously published letter that it felt like an abuse of power.
Citizen participation is essential to good government. The present challenge is to convince people to step forward without fear of being harmed and hurt.