Virus Keeps Candidate Off Ballot
Under ordinary circumstances, I would have been able to get the signatures, by Thursday's (March 26) deadline, necessary to qualify as a candidate for the board of selectmen this spring, as I had back in 2008 and 2009.
However, due to COVID-19, we all have been advised to practice "social distancing" which, for any of us, makes it risky to handle, or even sign, a paper document that has been recently handled by many other people, any of whom may have the virus.
Unfortunately, the current system does not allow electronic signatures, so you will not see my name on the ballot as an "official" candidate...unless you want to print it in the blank provided.
In any event, I will continue to advocate, with others, to propose ways to improve openness, transparency, and citizen engagement at public meetings, via the public email group at OpenChatham.com and on Twitter @OpenChatham.
Kids Come Through In Crisis
We and our neighbors found a flyer, complete with beautiful drawings, left at our homes yesterday, addressed to "Dear E. Harwich Neighbors." It was written by six middle school students who were offering to run errands to our local shops to assist any of us who needed help. And they carefully explained their very safe process to avoid spreading the virus. As though this were not special enough, it is their closing sentence that so touched my heart. "We wish for neighbors to know that no one need be caught in fear and isolation; we will help as we are able..."
If these children are examples of their generation, we will be in very good hands. And to their parents, I say how proud you must be, and we thank you for the lessons you are teaching these beautiful children. That little flyer made my day, and I will share it and keep it always. Thank you.
COA Needs Broader Representation
It is disappointing that the Chatham Council On Aging would misuse the "Senior Times" section of the March 12 Chronicle to represent such a narrow, one-sided view of the debate over the site for a new senior center.
I am also disappointed that The Chronicle Editors allowed this to be printed in the Senior Times section of its excellent weekly when, to date, their reporting has been fair and balanced.
In the midst of a feasibility study, with a focus on getting the facts straight in an apples-to-apples comparison, the COA has clearly demonstrated an inability to be objective.
The unfortunate statement that "the petitioners have divided the town" is totally untrue. And, the repeated traffic information "zeroing in on safety" and 2018 traffic volume information for Stepping Stones Road begs the question, "how does it compare to the proposed site on Route 28?
Estimated 2018 Traffic Volumes (Cape Cod Commission): 1610 Main St.: Average daily trips: 13,074; average summer daily trips: 17,203. Stepping Stones Road: Average daily trips: 3,488; average summer daily trips: 4,589.
The COA has failed to recognize the needs of a generation of baby boomers whose voices are being ignored. We need to revise how we think about senior centers. Broader representation and objectivity is sorely needed.
Industrial Expansion Has Impacts
If residents along the western end of Queen Anne Road need additional opponents to protest the expansion of industrial development along Queen Anne Road and their neighborhood, I feel certain every residential neighbor from Main Street to the intersection of Route 124 will stand with them. The amount of big and small truck traffic from local businesses as well as from other towns has grown tremendously in the past few years and residents along this road have had to "grin and bear it." Let's work on adding the much-needed residential properties which would give us less noise and heavier traffic as well as enhance the residential look of our road and our property values.