Letters To The Editor: Sept. 3, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Disappointed By Anti-racism Vote

Editor:

As your recent article stated, the Monomoy Regional School Committee passed the Massachusetts State Association of School Committees’ anti-racism resolution at their monthly meeting and I applaud them for doing so. But in spite of strong positive support from Dr. Carpenter and committee members Terri Russell, Sharon Stout and Tina Games, the Monomoy vote was not unanimous. Committee member Joseph Auciello offered an alternative that made no mention of anti-racism. After much discussion, Chairperson Games proposed the adoption of both documents, citing Mr. Auciello’s version as an acknowledgment of past and ongoing efforts and the anti-racist resolution as a strong public statement for moving forward. Incredibly, Mr. Auciello, the author of the alternative statement on race, voted against his own document rather than accept it alongside the anti-racism resolution. Equally disappointing, Ms. Zibrat-Long also chose to display her lack of support for an anti-racism statement by abstaining rather than vote in favor of the compromise adoption of both.

I suspect history, and hopefully voters, will be kinder to those who chose leadership and inclusion by voting for the resolution over the equivocation and divisiveness of those who voted against it.

Karen Boujoukos
Harwich

 

Ocean Deserves Better Treatment

Editor:

One Budweiser box, one plastic Pure Leaf tea bottle, one plastic ham and cheese sandwich box, a cloth Handy-Wipe, one Schweppes lemon lime soda can, and three mylar party balloons. All items found floating in the ocean midway between Chatham and Nantucket during one 20-minute diversion from fishing. Most common at sea are the balloons. Surely we can treat our ocean waters better than this?

David Bixby
Chatham

 

Community Helped In Difficult Time

Editor:

We would like to express our deepest and sincere appreciation for the extraordinary love and support we have received from this unique and very special community when our son, Josh, died unexpectedly on July 27.

We would particularly like to acknowledge the outpouring of love from not only our precious family but our numerous friends, colleagues, Cockle Cove neighbors, the First Congregational Church of Chatham, Trinity Christian Academy, The Cape Cod Chronicle, Nickerson Funeral Home, the Chatham Police and Chatham Fire and Rescue. Together, all of you are helping us to cope with this very tragic loss in our lives. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

If your heart so leads, please donate in Josh's memory to the Chatham Police Association, 249 George Ryder Rd., Chatham, MA 02633 or the Chatham Fire and Rescue Association, Box 751, Chatham, MA 02633.

God bless you all for being there for us.

Nathaniel and Joy Wordell
Chatham

 

Shares Concerns About Styrofoam

Editor:

I live on Clearwater Drive and have fished John Joseph and Bucks Pond for many years. I read the article with great interest (“Conservation Commission To Examine Use Of Styrofoam On Docks,” Aug. 27). There are land-based docks on the western end of John Josephs Pond. Are they partially supported by Styrofoam? Perhaps someone should look into that?

I do share my neighbor's concerns about the Styrofoam washing up on the shores of both ponds. The Styrofoam is chewed on by the muskrats that inhabit both ponds. I have cleaned the Paradise Path Beach numerous times. I do think the problem was worse a few years ago.

Any chance of controlling the muskrat population in addition to eliminating Styrofoam ?

Walter Trelewicz
Harwich

 

New Policy 'Cancels' Public

Editor:

It appears that the “Cancel Culture” has landed in Chatham. While a few board of selectmen stalwart observers were paying attention, the BOS made the draconian move to eliminate effective community participation in the deliberative process of government. With only Cory Metters dissenting, the board voted to limit the total time for a member of the public to speak to less than five minutes. The public may no longer participate in real time during the board’s open consideration of any agenda item on their schedule. The effect of this policy is to deny members of the public from actively engaging in any potential policy considerations. There will be no opportunity to rebut, correct, or provide clarity to anything that a member of the BOS or the staff may deliberately or erroneously assert. How can this help in any way with an open and active town government? I’m relatively certain that the four members who decided to take this action will argue that the public still has the right to speak to any agenda item. However, no one should be fooled. This new policy undermines community participation and demonstrates a lack of respect for the citizens by the BOS majority.

Beth Taylor
Chatham

 

Move Toward Equality

Editor:

I was disappointed by Russ Allen’s column Discovering Harwich: Racism and Harwich, Part 2, published in your Aug. 6 edition.
The column is an excellent example of white privilege, as the author has decided to define racist incidents and racism in Harwich on his own terms and adhere to a subjective definition of journalistic purity. To decide that only verifiable incidents are evidence of racism is to dismiss the very real experiences of people of color.

The author couldn’t find any contemporaneous examples of racism. There were no “official” racial incidents reported to HPD and MRSD. As further evidence that racism on the Cape/Harwich does not exist, a 2018 conference was referenced where “an African American student was invited to discuss his experience with racism at MRHS and reported he had no story to tell” — a minor and dated data point. However there is a group of young people of color — Cape Cod Voices — openly sharing their experiences with racism, and Truce Colors of Cape Cod (on Facebook) shares a wide range of racist and exclusive behavior on the Cape. Harwich arrest data in 2018 and 2019 showed people of color arrested from 9.8 percent to 19.2 percent of the time — when they represent only 2.9 percent of population. If people of color are arrested at three to six times their representation, one would think that deeper analysis is needed to assess if bias or racism is a driver. To say that verifiable evidence of systemic racism is elusivetotally ignores current demographics and the barriers to access (such as access to low-cost mortgages and government-sponsored education through the GI Bill) that people of color have had to fight against for centuries.

Information and opinions shared in our communities through a key communication vehicle such as The Cape Cod Chronicle are critical in the formation of public opinion, education, and even creating a case for action. With this in mind, I find the column misleading at best and dangerous at worst, as readers could easily come away with the belief that there is no racism in Harwich or on the Cape because the author drew the box of racism so small that nothing fit in. Based on my personal interactions, racism does sadly exist on the Cape — it’s just not reported. We have to work with our town leaders, schools, and the police to move towards equality.

Jeff Spalter
Chatham

 

Voting By Mail Offers Choices

Editor:

You would have driven to the local polling booth to cast your ballot in person. Now you have the opportunity to “vote by mail.” But you don't need to go to the post office. Instead, take your ballot directly to the town hall and drop it in the ballot box that is waiting for you. That way there should be no concern about late ballots or backlogs at the post office. Do vote by mail if you need to. Still, vote and be counted!

Bill Bogardus
South Chatham

 

Leading Some, Not All?

Editor:

The president is president of the United States. He doesn't like Democratic cities. He doesn't like Democratic states. What is he president of?

Richard S. Stenberg
Chatham

 

Resolutions Only Cloud The Issue

Editor:

The resolution adopted by the Monomoy Regional School Committee (MRSC) on racism left me wondering which of our "public and private institutions" are practicing the hateful race mongering alleged in the resolution — the Chatham Men's Club? The Harwich Board of Selectmen? And who are the individuals in the offending institutions perpetuating what hateful practices? Better point a finger at someone else, lest everyone think it is me. One can see that such heated but vague and unsubstantiated rhetoric is, if it is to be taken seriously, divisive. Not the intention, I am sure, but unfortunately the result. If the response to my challenge is "Oh, we're all good here; the resolution is accusing 'those people' elsewhere," then is it within the mission of the MRSC to strain to produce proclamations moralizing about others less righteous than we are?

Turning to the potentially productive part of the resolution, I believe the referenced achievement gap is a result of complex issues largely outside the power of school systems to fix that are also immune to vague condemnations of institutions which produce no actionable way forward. I would like to be proven wrong on this point. How about another resolution from the MRSC, also published in this paper, promising to release, annually, relevant statistics on the achievement gap in our schools so that we can hold the MRSC accountable for the task they have assigned to themselves? Resolutions that leave all of us wondering who among us are being accused of being the awful villains depriving children of a fair education do not serve to further this worthy goal.

William Glass
Chatham

 

Senate Candidate Is Dangerous

Editor:

Good job condemning Ron Beaty in your Aug. 26 editorial (“Defeat Ron Beaty”), but I am surprised you endorsed Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai for the Republican side of the Massachusetts Senate race in the same opinion piece. The reason you stated for the endorsement was Dr. Ayyadurai’s “moderate positions and scientific background are at least rational.” I beg to differ. Dr. Ayyadurai pushes conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus on social media. He encourages followers to not wear masks and says, “to hell with social distancing!” He also touts false COVID-19 preventatives and treatments. Although he holds a Ph.D, he is not a medical doctor. You do not have to look very far online to find these and other controversies about him. Dr. Ayyadurai does not, in my opinion, appear at all rational, and he actually seems quite dangerous.

Marianne Miller
South Dennis

 

Disagrees With Editorial Position

Editor:

Being that your horrifically venomous Aug. 26 editorial and radical Democrat propaganda piece titled “Defeat Ron Beaty” was utterly devoid of truth and without factual foundation regarding my highly productive four-year tenure as a Barnstable County Commissioner, I dare say you will be sorely disappointed by my decisive re-election on Tuesday, Nov. 3!

God bless America!

Ron Beaty
West Barnstable

The writer is a Barnstable County Commissioner and Republican candidate for re-election.