Letters To The Editor: Oct. 1, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Oppose Ballot Question 2


I strongly oppose Nov. 3 Massachusetts Ballot Question 2 on “Ranked Choice Voting.”

First, in my view, it is actually nothing more than a political scam being promoted by the radical Massachusetts Democrat Party. Second, “ranked choice voting” is a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win. Third, it obscures true debates and issue-driven dialogs among candidates and eliminates genuine binary choices between two top-tier candidates.

Finally, it also disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two ultimate finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner. 

Ron Beaty
West Barnstable

The writer is a Barnstable County Commissioner.


Keep County Services Strong


We believe in strong county government. There are many serious issues that need addressing,  such as affordable housing for our workforce, coordinated efforts on wastewater remediation and how climate change is effecting our shores. That is why we are voting for Mark Forrest and Sheila Lyons. 

We have known Mark and Sheila for several years through their joint efforts at developing “Open Cape” broadband infrastructure, which still needs to be completed.  Mark was even able to get federal funds for it.  In addition, Mark has done some of the groundwork for veterans to receive healthcare through the Duffy Clinic. Sheila has worked as a social worker with Cape Cod seniors for many years. She also has worked extensively on health care issues and with the homeless.

These two capable candidates will work to connect county services and resources in housing, healthcare, and environmental issues to support our local businesses and towns.

Sandra Rhodes
Robert Singer

Preparing For The Holidays


Believe it or not the holidays will be here before we know it! The Chatham Children’s Fund Holiday Project appeal is early this year since COVID Safety Guidelines necessitate that our distribution process will have to change. Whether you have supported us in the past or were looking forward to your first year as an “elf” – we definitely need your help!

We have been busy connecting local families with food and resources throughout this pandemic. We know many of you have been generous in supporting our Chatham Coronavirus Impact Fund, food pantries and other local charities. We anticipate an increase in the need this Christmas. We plan to continue to provide warm winter clothing and holiday wishes to local children in need. Although we will not be assigning individual children to our community shoppers, we will engage our in-house shoppers in safe shopping practices. You can still support our efforts through donations and gift cards.

We so appreciate your loyal support as we work to make Christmas brighter for Chatham children. Donations can be sent to the Chatham Children’s Fund 166 Depot Rd., Chatham, MA 02633 and gift cards can be left at Monomoy Community Services (same address) there is a mail slot in the door. Questions and referrals can be addressed by calling 508-945-1501 or by email at info@monomoy.org.

Thank you for your concern for local children – we look forward to better times in the future. Stay safe – wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance. It does make a difference!

Pat Vreeland, Children’s Fund Coordinator
Theresa Malone, Director of Monomoy Community Services
Ginny Nickerson, Chatham Angel Fund Administrator

Doubts About Monomoy Theatre Project


As a new full-time resident of Chatham and a registered Massachusetts voter, I have been following with great interest, and not a small degree of emotional concern, the controversy surrounding the planned development of the property at 777 Main St. where the Monomoy Theatre is located. I am certainly hoping that the operation of the theater can be resurrected, but I fear the plans being presented to the town at this time may not be practical.

Having served as the artistic director of the Monomoy Theatre for 37 years and as a member of the summer theater company for 10 years prior to that, I am very aware of what this theater needs to maintain a successful artistic presence in the community. The plans I have seen for the development of the property, while necessary for the new owner to receive a satisfactory return on his investment, do not include what I believe to be many essential elements required to function as a residential theater. If the new owners believe they can make a profit by charging rent to a university or other organization, I believe they will find it very hard to succeed financially. In the meantime, the town will have relinquished the carefully designed zoning laws that allow Chatham to retain its charm.

I believe that when the many followers and patrons of the Monomoy Theatre read that the theater will be back if the zoning is changed, they are being misled. Before making these zoning changes, I suggest the town ask for a much more detailed plan from the owners showing exactly how the Monomoy Theatre can successfully function in their proposed development of the property.

As an active member of the Friends of Monomoy Theatre, Inc., I fear the development of this property without significant, detailed plans for the theater could result in disappointment for both the owners and for the many townspeople who would like to see the theater working again.

Alan Rust


Column Lays Out Environmental Warnings


What a treasure the column entitled Conservation by Kristen Andres has been. Week after week she provides fascinating and educational information about conservation and the fragile environment we cherish here on the Cape. The latest from the Sept. 24 Chronicle is among the best (although it’s difficult to cite any one of them as less worthy of attention). As someone who lives on the edge of a marsh overlooking Nantucket Sound, I am constantly aware of the beauty of the marsh’s changing colors, the range of migrating birds stopping by on their treks and the protection a marsh provides against tidal surges and storms. As she points out, our marshes also provide a vital “carbon sink” storing three to five times the amount of carbon as tropical rainforests.

How can we in conscience continue to ignore the destruction of our marshes by the use of fertilizers to sustain golf course-quality lawns and the use of sprinkler systems to keep them green throughout the summer when the runoff of pollutants is killing off these vital protections of our fragile Cape environment? Even if you’re not a believer in short-term climate change, how can anyone ignore the damage done by pollutants to the fragile eco-system we call Cape Cod? Do we need to destroy the Monomoy lens, run out of potable water and experience more flooding like the Little Beach area before we wake up and restrict activities that will deprive our children and grandchildren of enjoying the Cape Cod we have known?

John Sweeney
South Chatham


We Can All Do Better


When I wrote my recent letter to the editor about taking our flag back, I was very careful not to overdo my take on Trump supporters and their impact on the social discourse. My point was, and remains, that our flag belongs to all of us, and that it symbolizes the very freedom to disagree with others. Also, despite our differences, we all love our country. Most of my friends and neighbors responded with understanding and agreement with my intention.

Although they expressed their opinions in different ways, a couple of Trump supporters did not. One was a signed response to my letter in The Chronicle which I thought was a reasonable statement from someone who seemed to disagree with me. The other was a vulgar diatribe I received in an anonymous letter sent to my home by someone proudly indicating he was a Trump supporter. I have read about individuals who have been physically and verbally attacked because they spoke out against Donald Trump and his actions and policies. But political bullies can be just as intimidating through written word. Perhaps a third response was that of an intrepid individual who stole three American flags and an anti-Trump sign from my yard during the night. Stealing flags and yard signs. Really? I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, because it seems at least some Trump supporters have adopted his behaviors of intimidation. I believe my fellow Americans are and can be better than that. God bless and heal our country.

Joseph Boro
South Chatham

Upweller Economically Important


Chatham was number one in wild quahog landings in Massachusetts in 2019. The total commercial shellfish harvest was worth $2,500,000 – real money flowing into our economy.

This achievement is a direct result of our local Chatham shellfish propagation program which is 100 percent dependent on a reliable upweller.

That's the problem. Our current facility was built in 1998 and is falling apart, which is why a new one is to be built at 90 Bridge St. as part of a multi-use project.

In 2014 the taxpayers bought that property “...for municipal and public, water dependent uses.” Since then, the project has been thoroughly vetted by multiple committees. Hours of planning and six public meetings over four years have been devoted to honoring that mandate. Last year the board of selectmen unanimously endorsed the project which was further validated by the recent awarding of a $295,000 grant from the Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council.

To think of our upweller as a mere tourist attraction ignores the economic realities. Our upweller is an economic engine for Chatham and supports a historical, lucrative shellfishery for all of us.

Protect Chatham shellfishing by supporting the upweller.

Bob Davis

The writer is a member of the Chatham Shellfish Advisory Committee.

Columnist's Observation Appreciated


In her Sept. 24 “Making Nature Connections,” Mary Richmond points to the necessity of standing still and “being quiet” to properly connect with nature.

Her art class in the Truro dunes looks energetic and healthy, a happy, eclectic combination of painting class, nature appreciation class, and gym class.

She knows the value of simplicity. Her gospel is nature. Her community is its year-round beach and forest creatures. She walks nature’s path everyday. She offers sound advice. 

She maintains that many good things will happen if we get off the fast train and begin to watch and listen. You will hear music in the rhythmic movement of the ocean with the clapping of the shore waves. You will spot “zippy runs” of field travelers and  clear tracks of early morning dune crossers. 

You will see a plan. 

But mostly, you will learn to hold small things in your heart again. 

Joseph Coffey
East Orleans 


Oppose Monomoy Theatre Proposal


I am writing in reference to the Chatham Special Town Meeting being held this coming Saturday. After listening to the board of selectmen discussions on this topic, it’s apparent that many (including the BOS) find this meeting to be in poor taste with the current pandemic. I couldn’t agree more. This proposed massive development project  is nothing more than a developer’s dream to construct 24 to 32 million-dollar condos. To go to the lengths this particular individual has gone to should show folks what the true intentions are. Be damned with attainable housing. Here’s a chance to pass this off as a great new theater that supposedly will be restored.  There is Nothing in this bylaw that requires the theater to ever open as a theater again. In addition, plans call for retail shops and a wine bar.

Do we really need to develop this area and put in condos and more shops? How about supporting the places we have now? The council on aging graciously agreed to opt out of the STM held back in June because many of their members were afraid to attend because of the pandemic. For this individual to collect signatures to force a STM that will cost between $11,000 to $12,000 for his dream is beyond selfish.

If voters agree to change the zoning for this ridiculous development, our town will never be the same. Think of the green space that will be destroyed on Depot Road. Do we really want more condos for the affluent? What about the folks that are struggling to get by now – with no sight in the future for any attainable housing?

Please join me in voting no against this article. 

Judy Patterson
West Chatham

Ride A Bit First


As a frequent user of the Old Colony and Cape Cod Rail Trail, I suggest Colleen Baker and Rich Tucciarrone ride a few miles on the bike path before they suggest changes to the way it is operated. It might make their suggestions more practical.

Paul Grogan

Is Reconciliation Needed?


There is a major difference between our country and South Africa. South Africa admitted and dealt with racism. What will we do?

Richard Stenberg