Letters To The Editor, April 23, 2020


Welcomes Airport Scrutiny


Leaders in our community should welcome and expect careful scrutiny of their statements, especially when those statements are made to influence public policy.  Challenging these statements is a public duty for all citizens especially when those statements undermine the operation of our public institutions.  I am proud and grateful to be in a country where free speech is allowed, and all citizens are entitled to their opinions; however they are not entitled to their own facts. I serve on the airport commission dedicated to preserving and protecting the airport as it has served the entire community for many years, neither expanding it nor shrinking it, but modernizing it and making it safer for all the citizens of our town.  

Rene Haas



The Chocolatiers Of Human Kindness


We commonly think of the traditional phrase "the milk of human kindness." Over the Easter holiday, thanks to the Chatham Candy Manor, I experienced a wonderful variation on that theme. To back up, last year my Mom, a cheerful 100-year-old who still finds wonder in the world around her, went to Liberty Commons for more comprehensive and proactive care than we were able to provide at home. I wanted to find a special way to thank all the terrific, very hard-working, energetic, thoughtful and kind staff at Liberty Commons who each day care about helping Mom to be the best that she can be. That meant from the owner Mr. Bogdanovich and his staff, to the nurses and aides, the activity crew, the kitchen staff, the handymen, the cleaners—a village of countless jobs that it takes to keep folks like Mom perking. I wanted something fun and special to recognize all that those individuals were giving up to come to work each day, all that they were risking in this fragile time to make sure that my mom and others in residence were safe and able to have care for their needs.

I reached out to the Chatham Candy Manor to ask them if they had a really big chocolate bunny that I could pick up and deliver to Liberty Commons, something that would make a statement. It was their craziest time of year but when Candy Manor owner Robbie asked why and I explained that I wanted to find a special way to say thank you to all those at Liberty Commons. He asked chocolatiers Susan and Becky, who quickly said that they were up for it. It turned out to be more than I had a budget for, but Robbie, who together with his wife Paige now own the town's beloved institution, said that because it was for Liberty Commons it "just seemed like the right thing to do in these difficult times." So, since Robbie assured me the gentle giant was gender neutral, I named the bunny "Pansy" and on the Friday before Easter, all 18-inches of her solid chocolate, plastic-wrapped self, was sprayed with antibacterial, strapped into my front seat and off we went. She was passed off, glove-to-glove, mask-to-mask, to Activity Director Steve Franco outside the entrance to Liberty Commons.

So, this is really a story of two special instances of human kindness, that of the Chatham Candy Manor and that of Liberty Commons. On behalf of a lucky town, thank you to both institutions.

Deb Norris



On The Front Lines


As a former university English professor, and more recently a retired journalist on Cape Cod, I have the highest praise for the April 16 edition of The Cape Cod Chronicle.
Thank you for your coverage of so many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic as it touches our communities and for balancing it with excellent, uplifting photographs and articles, such as Kat Szmit’s beautifully written piece about Harwich’s Kyle Charlotte on page 2. What a remarkable young man!
I hope that all of your readers appreciate the work everyone at The Chronicle does to keep us informed and smiling during this challenging time. You, too, are on the front line, and you are doing a remarkable job.

Nicole Muller
East Harwich


Meaning Of Sky Hue


An old Naval algorithm stated, “Red sky at dawn, sailors be warned!” Did you see the red sunset last Thursday?

Did you observe some degree of “red sunset” on Sunday? It signified “Red sky at night, sailors delight.”

That was the day we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

Allan K. Brier



Protests Overlook Virus Danger


A photo of a Chatham resident, part of a group protesting coronavirus-related restrictions at the Bourne Rotary on Sunday, was featured in a recent newspaper article. 
I wonder if that person would like to trade places with a family member of mine who was stricken by that virus and has been on a ventilator for several days now. My family member was slowly improving until he suffered a stroke, leaving him in a semi-vegetative state unable to breathe on his own.

Mike Rice

South Wellfleet

Earth Day Lessons For Plastic


I feel sad, frightened, and perhaps dismayed over the state of our environment on Cape Cod, a place of endless natural beauty. Dismayed and sad because of the way we treat these natural resources. Our behaviors are often for the moment, convenience reactions, actions based on short term gain rather than big-picture conscientiousness and sensitivity to the impact of how our behaviors affect the world.

Since the 1970s there has been a 60 percent decline in biodiversity and all animal species. World population has doubled. Climate change is happening. Plastic production has gone from two million tons in 1950 to 8.3 billion tons today with only 10 percent down-cycled, 12 percent incinerated and the rest land or ocean-filled. The term “recycled” does not apply to plastic.  Glass, paper, cardboard, and metal are infinitely recyclable. It is cheaper to make virgin plastic than to collect, sort, wash, and then make a plastic product of lesser grade, e.g. carpet or decking, from a plastic bottle. 

As we have learned from the coronavirus, humans, when scared enough, can change their behaviors. Plastic’s impact is no different than a virus, only its timeline differs. It takes longer for plastic to affect us. COVID-19 affects humans. Plastic affects every living species. Plastic is inert, not a microorganism, and as a result it persists for thousands of years, not just a few weeks. Similarly we ingest and breathe plastics through contact. It is in our food chain.  Coronavirus is also a result of our disrespect of nature, wild animal trafficking. Plastic is toxic to all life in its production, use, and disposal. 

I am wondering why we do not approach plastics with the same urgency and attention as the COVID-19 virus. Can we take our current change of behaviors of increased conscientiousness and awareness and apply it to everything around us? Behavior makes a difference and we are responsible for what happens to us. Our actions make a difference. If we could learn to love the earth and the environment as much as we do money what a place the earth could be: happy, not sad; hopeful, not dismayed; pleased, not frightened; beautiful, not polluted. 

Patrick Otten