Letters to the Editor: Aug. 6, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Noticing Small Act Of Kindness


We have been enjoying Harding’s Beach in Chatham since May 1987. We often take for granted the daily service of the life guards but this past Sunday we witnessed the kindness and consideration of one of Chatham’s “finest.” There had been a significant improvement to Harding’s this past spring when tons of sand were dredged out from the boat channel and the resulting sand slurry piped in to supplement the eroding beach.

However the improved beach presented an interesting dilemma. For the first time in our memory, we had two levels of sand at Harding’s which were separated by a three foot “drop-off” from the upper level to the lower level. This three-foot “cliff” presented an obstacle for some of us but an “enjoyable cliff” for many youngsters to jump off!

Charlie, the empathetic lifeguard, noted this predicament and went to work. He obtained a shovel to create a stairway of steps from the upper level to the lower level beach so we could walk safely from the upper level to frolic on the beach below. We noticed and greatly appreciated Charlie’s thoughtfulness and unexpected kindness.

In a short conversation, Charlie told us that he was a 2020 graduate of Nauset High School and lived in Chatham. His plans in the fall are to attend college during these challenging times. We are the parents of two sons who are also the parents of four grade-school children. We know how growing up in today’s “me too” self-centered society can often influence today’s young adults. However, Charlie’s civic service of noting that a problem existed and fixing the problem speaks volumes about Charlie and the value of “service to others” that his parents instilled in him. Being called “one of Chatham’s finest” is not an exaggeration. Often we take for granted the small acts of kindness extended to others. It was our privilege to witness Charlie performing such a selfless act. Charlie made walking to the ocean and cooling off a safe journey for all of us.

Thank you, Charlie. You are really extraordinary and we think you are one of Chatham’s finest!

Kathie and Steve Curran
West Chatham


Remembering Olivia de Havilland


I am recalling a memoir about Olivia de Havilland being a summer guest at the old Snow Inn in Harwichport. This memoir is based on a newspaper writeup with a story of her enjoying herself as she went out sailing on the hotel's schooner Laura S. with a photo of her at the wheel of the Laura. Another photo of Olivia showed her horseback riding at the Brewster Riding Stable aboard her favorite horse, a black Morgan gelding named Allenby. (I remember Allenby back in the late '50s who, by that time was retired from riding but kept around the barn in Brewster.) Olivia became a popular friend of Mrs. Biddle Thompson, operator or the Snow Inn, and from the sound of things found the Cape to be a great vacation get-away from the demands of the movie world.

Ellie Small
South Hadley


Public Trust Neglected


With new great white shark sightings and related human fatalities yet again occurring this summer, we once more are reminded that our elected state and federal public officials have heinously neglected their responsibilities to protect the public.
Obviously it is up to individuals to provide protection for themselves instead.

Shark Shield is a range of personal electrical deterrents developed by an Australian company of the same name. Shark Shield takes advantage of small, short-range electrical receptors in shark snouts which are used for finding food. The electromagnetic field generated by Shark Shield is intended to cause unbearable spasms in these sensitive sensors which turn sharks away. More specifically, the way it works is that sharks have little gel-filled sacs they use to find food at close range, in the same way people use touch. What this does is create a powerful electric field. The little gel-filled sacs are expecting to feel an electrical field from the heartbeat of potential prey. However, a shark instead gets near a powerful electric field which causes its gel-filled sacs to spasm and forces it to turn away. 

The technology in question uses a direct current of 100 volts which in reality is quite minimal.

The public is strongly urged to explore this highly effective personal shark mitigation option. 

Ron Beaty 
West Barnstable

The writer is a Barnstable County commissioner.


Share The Music


My name is Barbara Reed, president of the Chatham Music Club, a non-profit organization which promotes the appreciation of classical music through performance and education. We typically perform two concerts each year, one at no charge to the community. We also hold four to five in-home recital meetings throughout the year, but COVID-19 arrived in town last March and musical performances stopped…everywhere! For those of us who love to sing or play an instrument and share our talents with family, friends and the community, it has been a sad time. Fear of infecting others or being infected has isolated us all and our “musical nourishment” has been greatly diminished. So many in the community feel the loss of concerts, movies, live performances and in-person church services with hymns, anthems and instrumental offerings.

The Chatham Music Club has been sharing inspirational performances via email with our members, including recordings done by our members or those they know. It helps us all to stay connected. If you feel you need more classical music in your life, please contact me at barbnanreed@gmail.com. We welcome you to our membership as a listener or performer. We want to share our musical endeavors with you and bring joy into your life! Be well and stay safe.

Barbara Reed


Experts Leave Us Up The Creek


When the idea to “restore” Muddy Creek as a free-flowing estuary by replacing the culvert with a bridge came into play, I cautioned Dr. Duncanson to be careful what he wished for. In the first instance, I stated that the increase in tidal rise — normal tidal rise without even considering the possibility of rising sea levels — would cause flooding upstream that had been previously irrelevant. I cautioned that salt water intrusion would kill the established brackish and freshwater ecosystems of the mid and upper creek. The denuded banks of the upper reaches would be immediately susceptible to significant erosion with fine sediments running into the creek and sweeping downstream. Finally, after the bridge was in and the ebb-tide roaring through, I told Dr. Bob that the ebb-tide run would eventually destroy the access road. I was told that there were plenty of “experts” who had made assurances concerning the project and that, in any event, the project would be closely monitored. Now it seems Dr. Bob’s monitors need expert engineers to fix a problem that common sense and a modicum of local understanding could have prevented. What do we actually get for our tax dollar, when the high-priced help can’t get it right, and the higher priced hired guns the hired help hires collect their money and run home laughing?

Seth Taylor


A Long, Slow Descent


“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." - President Abraham Lincoln

"Person, woman, man, camera, TV." - President Donald Trump

How far this country has fallen. On oh so many levels.  And here's what #45 tweeted on July 31: "We beat Obama 4 years ago, he worked harder than Crooked Hillary, and we'll do it again!"

Whatever you say Mr. President.

Mike Rice
South Welllfleet