Letters To The Editor: Oct. 31, 2019


A Delicious Way To Help


We want to take a moment for a special thank you to all who purchased ice cream at Short 'n' Sweet on our last day, Oct. 14. Not only did you get some great ice cream but you helped support Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod with a donation of $1,350.

Again, many thanks to all for a wonderful season. We look forward to seeing you in 2020.

Jan and John Newton
South Chatham


Plan Enhances Airport Safety


As a private pilot at the Chatham Airport, I have a big job these days evaluating the master plan draft the commission has published. I fly each week from Chatham for Angel Flight, a national charity offering transportation to patients who must travel to get needed medical care. Every bit of that, including flying myself home, is at my expense. I do this in sun or clouds or rain or snow or fog or night, so safety at the Chatham Airport is very important to me.

Just to focus on a portion of that plan, scrutiny of diagrams for all three proposed landing scenarios shows about 85 percent of tree clearing is on airport land. The remaining 15 percent involves a combined 16 land owners at either end of the runway (9 and 7) for clearing if current landing technology is not changed, and 22 homeowners (13 and 9) for new safer landing technology clearing. Any tree clearing under aviation easement occurs at no separate cost to the land owner, who in fact is individually compensated financially. It’s important to understand why the extent of tree clearing varies between the three options.

Any tree clearing addresses compliance with tree clearance approach regulations, not a new opportunity to fly closer to the ground. With all three options, (including the existing one) the airplane flies at exactly the same height above the ground at all points on the approach. Safety is dramatically enhanced.

Gary Ferguson


Clarification On Emergency Flights


Regarding Mr. Fessenden’s comments in his “airport could save your life” letter of Oct. 17, he is mistaken when he says that the “proposed moderate instrument landing system” at Chatham Airport might make the difference between life and death for a seriously injured person. I suspect he did not consult the Chatham Fire Department before he wrote his letter.

Medevac protocol mandates that a helicopter out of LaGuardia or Logan will operate only in VFR conditions, regardless of whether it is he or Elizabeth Warren who needs to be evacuated to Boston or New York. The company strictly adheres to this policy. It will not fly in an IFR situation, so the best anyone can hope for is a speedy ambulance ride.

John Hutchinson


Don't Rush Into COA Decision


We should not rush to choose a site that is not compatible with the Chatham Council On Aging needs.  The Main Street location does not meet their needs!  It should not be in a “business zoned area.”  We zoned that area  for businesses—let’s keep it that way.

Let us find some land in Chatham that would allow our seniors serenity and an area to walk and relax if they so wish.  They deserve it.  

I had a tour of the current COA building provided to me by Director Mandi Speakman.  I recommend the same tour be available to all so they may see firsthand how inadequate the building is.  The town should devote more attention to its seniors (of which I am a member).  Sooner or later all of us will become seniors and as such it is important to have a senior center that meets all of their needs.

Note:  Let’s change the name from COA (Council on Aging) to the Chatham Seniors’ Council or Chatham Council of Seniors.

V. Michael Onnembo
South Chatham


Selectmen Need Role In Airport Issues


This is to express my concern about the appearance that our elected officials are not accepting responsibility for the actions of the Airport Commission, whose members they appoint and can revoke. Many townspeople are opposed to the master plan update that commission members seem to be approving apparently without the selectmen's or the town manager's oversight. I would like to see the airport commission and BOS meetings separated so that more selectmen and the town manager could attend commission meetings. We elected the selectmen and put our trust in them for important decisions, not the airport commission. I sincerely hope that nothing will be finalized in the airport master plan update, until the board of selectmen and the town Manager have held public hearings on it.

Carol Gordon
South Chatham