Schools Step Up During Crisis
I want to express my congratulations to the administration and teachers of the Monomoy School District! They are amazing educators and they are dedicated to seeing that all students of the district are being educated.
Being a retired teacher and wife of a retired school administrator, we are in awe of the time and effort that has been put into keeping students educated during this crisis. Our grandchildren are working hard through the virtual education program developed in the Monomoy District and we feel very proud of the efforts of the administration and the teachers. These teachers are hard at work ensuring learning continues not just driving through neighborhoods and waving at their students! Kudos to Superintendent Scott Carpenter and his team of educators!
Kathleen M. Gruszka
Some Crisis Shopping Tips
I have shopped at both Chatham Village Market and the Harwich Stop & Shop in the past few weeks, once at each store. My comments are not intended to be a criticism of the stores or their employees. I hope these suggestions might lower the risks we take when shopping.
In a number of aisles, it’s impossible to maintain a six foot distance. Some aisles are barely six feet across, and sometimes they have displays on the floor, further reducing maneuvering space as customers enter aisles from both directions. A few suggestions:
Remove, or move, floor displays during this time. Anything that reduces floor space and requires people to pass one another even more closely adds unnecessary risk.
Use wide tape to create arrows on the floor of aisles (at least the narrower ones) to make them one way only (adjacent aisles, opposing directions). No passing, period. Stores probably can’t change the width of their aisles. Shoppers can reduce the risk to themselves and others if they stay at least six feet behind any person in front of them in one-way aisles. Passing others in narrow aisles adds risk to all who are present. No patience? Check that aisle another time (or skip that purchase).
When you come across friends or family and you’re in an aisle, please don’t just stop to socialize right there, even from six feet away. Agree to meet in the parking lot, or to move to an area of the store where you won’t be blocking others as they negotiate the aisles. Many of us want to get in and out as quickly as possible, again, lessening the risk of exposure—ours, and everyone else’s.
Many thanks to the employees who risk their lives daily so that we can purchase groceries.
Stella S. Ross
Respect Dedication Of Selectmen
Can you stand an upbeat letter?
Watching the Chatham Selectmen's meeting on Channel 18, I feel blessed and reassured we have a dedicated group of people serving us.
The time, research, self-sacrifice, etc. they give is more than admirable. Can you imaging giving up every Monday evening, plus hours outside the meetings, to help this wonderful town? I know I'm not the only one who has stopped Cory, Peter, etc. at the grocery store, dump, etc. to voice my opinion. They listen intently and respectfully. (I always apologize for taking their time.)
Speaking of respect, how refreshing to witness the respect the selectmen show between themselves. I have said for at least 60 years the lack of respect for self and others if going to bring us down. The board is the greatest example of how we need/must relate to others.
Just look at what has been handed to them regarding the COA. I may not agree on the Main Street location, but I respect how they have handled the utter frustration handed to them.
School Committee Takeover Attempt?
If the letter writer (“Is This Any Way To Run A Town?” April 2) is genuinely concerned with the way Chatham is managed, why is he running for regional school committee? Our school committee and school officials manage schools. They do a great job. They don't manage grievances the writer says he has with Chatham town officials. If he were serious, the writer would run for selectman in Chatham on a transparent reform agenda.
The writer is leading an attempt to take middle school land for a Chatham senior center. He's running against school committee incumbents who voted to preserve school land for educational purposes.
Chatham's select board, council on aging, our regional school committee and school superintendent unanimously oppose taking school land for non-educational purposes when a viable senior center site in West Chatham is available. In these challenging times, or any time, playing politics with our schools and our children's education disqualifies the writer as a serious candidate for school committee. You need bigger ideas to win elections.
What We Choose To Do
Two questions: 1) Why don’t we ask our allies, South Korea and Taiwan, to manufacture N95 masks and ventilators, instead of our enemy China? China wants to do to Taiwan what it did to Tibet (or Hong Kong). China helps North Korea …Who do we help? 2) Why not explore the possibility of “repurposing” the solid brick Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich as affordable housing, instead of destroying it and making an artificial reef?
We have time to think this through: First, China’s “wet market” in Wuhan started COVID 19 with a “zoonotic” leap from endangered pangolins and bats, as co-vectors to us.
Cruel and unsanitary “traditions” may create COVID-2020. (Pangolins are the most heavily trafficked and poached species, endangered in Asia and now in Africa, because of Chinese “wild” prices and demands for these docile anteaters’ flesh and scales. Pangolins roll into a ball that protects them from tigers or lions, not from us.)
Secondly, why destroy a structure which may help The Cape provide affordable housing? Conversion is costly, but much less than knock it down and try to build comparable space. Classrooms may become studio or one- or two-bedroom apartments. Why not?
What do we choose, as a nation, a town, a community?
Remember Foreign Service Officers
As a retired officer in the United States Foreign Service, I was proud to represent America while serving in multiple countries while on active duty. I am writing in advance of Foreign Service Day on May 1, asking that we all acknowledge and honor the service of fellow officers posted around the globe at nearly 300 posts. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its march across the world, officers are working around the clock to bring home thousands of Americans stranded abroad, often with less than full support from Washington as critical positions in Washington and at embassies remain vacant. Foreign Service officers are dedicated, hardworking public servants whose sole missions are to serve Americans abroad and to promote America's interests, values, and national security. At this frightening time when they are exposed to the added threats of COVID-19, on the upcoming Foreign Service Day, we should include in our thoughts and prayers our Foreign Service officers who are truly the tip of America’s spear.
Through Rain, Sleet And Virus
For many years I have been going to the West Harwich Post Office to receive my mail. With the coronavirus and everyone keeping a safe six-foot distance, I was becoming very apprehensive about going to the post office.
On Saturday I spoke to Marge Cummings, the mail carrier, who was driving her mail truck down my street, and told her my concerns and asked her if she would be able to deliver my mail and leave it on my doorstep.
She got out of her truck and said she would put a mail box with a post in front of my house. The next day to my amazement, Marge came to my home and she and her husband had spray painted a mail box and installed it in front of my home.
I felt so humble and grateful, to Marge for taking the time and effort to help a total stranger find a solution to a threatening situation. Marge, I will be eternally grateful!
COAs Continue To Do Their Jobs
“The World Turned Upside Down” is a song from the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” That certainly describes the way we all feel right now, living with this new normal. But it’s comforting to know that the services that are always available to our seniors are still functioning even though the council on aging facility has been closed to the public since March 16 and to the staff who work there since March 25, when they started working remotely.
Kudos to the director of the COA, her staff of outreach workers, and Elder Services, for the work they’ve been doing keeping our seniors safe during these scary times. Nothing is worse for our most vulnerable population than isolation. Meals on Wheels continue to be delivered to an increasingly longer list of needy seniors. COA staff, while working remotely from their homes, have been fielding phone calls and seeing to the health and wellness needs of our older residents. They are doing this while also caring for their own families, homeschooling their children and taking care of their parents. Referrals for grocery and pharmacy support are being sent to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for execution by Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). My Senior Center Voice Connect (robo) calls were made to approximately 1,200 homes in the COA database with town updates and service referral information. COA Outreach is working with EOC to refer residents to appropriate resources as physical and mental health issues emerge.
These are stressful times for all of us. But if the COA needed to prove its worth, they have done so in a tremendous way!