Letters to the Editor: Aug. 27, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Bad Encounter With A Dog


Recently visiting my daughter on Cape Cod, I brought my grandchildren to Jackknife Cove in Chatham. It was extremely hot.

It's an idyllic spot for kids to wade and splash in the shallow lagoons, and safe to cool off. It was an extreme low tide with many families and shellfishermen about.

While there, a man came on the shore with an unleashed dog. Dogs doing what they do, the dog deposited a large load right where the shellfishermen were scratching. A shellfisherman chased them off, but the man just laughed.

For the next half hour or so, this same man allowed his dog to frolic among my grandchildren, dangerously close to biting them.

Why are there no signs preventing this unhealthy behavior? Surely this dog and the others I saw that day at Jackknife couldn't be healthy for the shellfish beds.

All other towns ban dogs from beaches Memorial Day to Labor Day on Cape Cod. Why doesn't Chatham?

Eric Watson
Troy, N.Y.

Editor's note: Chatham Park Department rules prohibit dogs on Chatham beaches, including Jackknife Harbor Beach, from May 1 to Sept. 15


The Price Of Prestige Lawns


Restrictions on the use of water now occur most years. In the '60s lawns were mostly brown; today they are pristine green, obtained by the liberal use of sprinklers, worse in a way than chemicals.

Driving around one sees the roads are often wet due to badly adjusted sprinklers, clearly the cost of water is of no interest. Surely it is about time market forces played a role.

The maximum demand determines the number of wells and storage much of the costs. From November until March there is little demand and the costs mainly just keep the system in good order. So why not make that period free? This may not save much but it would help the less well-off.

The price could remain the same at present for the base volume used for the rest of the year. Above that level as the volume consumed rises so the price arranged so the income for the year balances the costs and at the time of highest demand might be enough to encourage users to use water in the best way. It may not reduce demand enough to stop restrictions every year, but it might help.

The cost to the town of these prestige lawns is high — water restrictions and chemicals flowing into the embayments, the effort which is the main reason for sewering the whole town, the cost of which, including connections, is well over $600 million.

Several things give me cause for concern. A tertiary treatment system recently installed at considerable cost may be worse that what went before. Before the liquor flowed onto the old sand beds, a perfect slow sand filter, removing particulates and acting as a biological filter. Slow sand filters are the gold standard for water treatment. The water commissioners in 1991 asked a leading consultant for an estimate, and they came up with a figure of up to $500 million, hence my estimate of $600 million today. That is a lot of money and there are other ways of ensuring healthy embayments.

James Cooper


Protecting The 'First House'


It is heartening to know that the town of Chatham understands the importance of saving the circa-1700 First Period house which was built at its 68 Shell Dr. location. To have such a well-preserved gem existing from the original Nickerson era of Chatham offers a rare opportunity to save history. A question to be resolved is “Where is the best location for it to be placed for the public good?” Protect Our Past (POP, www.protectourpast.org) is working with all the parties involved, including the owner, the Nickerson Family Association and the community of Chatham to ensure this “First House” plays a valuable role in experiencing the history of Chatham. Please contact me at ellenbriggs@comcast.net if you are interested in helping us Protect Our Past!

Ellen Briggs


Each Step Forward Creates Change

If we were to stop the sale of plastic water bottles in Chatham, it would create a certain amount of change. If the sale of plastic water bottles were to stop within other areas, this would also create more change. Changes for the good of our children grandchildren and generations that follow. Changes to our planet. Changes to improving our damaged environment. Changes in the depletion of water life.

We already know approximately 26 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away and only about 15 percent are recycled.
But did you know some plastic bottles are made from a high-density polyethylene? This is probably why when a plastic bottle stays in a warm car for a while before drinking, you may taste the chemicals of the plastic bottle in your drinking water.
We might also want to think about the changes due to the consumption taken from our natural resources, such as oil and gas, just in the distribution of these bottles. Do you think these toxic gases and global warming affects our planet?

I am just one person stepping forward in hopes of creating changes for the good of our planet. Won’t you join me?

Dee Shippelhute