Letters to the Editor: Oct. 29, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Help Save Sand Pond Woodlands


Thank you for the recent article about the “race” to save the Sand Pond Woodlands. Susanna Graham-Pye’s description of its “magic” and Don Schall’s exploration of the extensive variety of plant and animal species captivated my heart. As a washashore who values the special places on Cape Cod, especially in Harwich where I live, I encourage everyone to contribute whatever they can to ensuring that the Sand Pond Woodlands remain intact as “the last piece in a critical land preservation puzzle.” We have less than three months to meet this important goal of the Harwich Conservation Trust.

Rosanne Shapiro

Don't Write Off Elementary School


In response to Mr. Huether's letter to repurpose Chatham Elementary School to a new senior center, why in the world would you assume that CES will be empty in a few years, let alone tell people what should be done with the building? I was born and raised in Chatham and now have two small children at Chatham Elementary and it's very discouraging to read proposed suggestions for CES when it will "likely become an empty building." It's typical thinking around here, unfortunately. How about we focus on keeping young people in Chatham? What are some things we can do now to keep enrollment up? How can we support Chatham's young families?

Stefanie Murray


Post-election Worries


I have been watching the run-up to the presidential election with great interest. I think it is one of the most important elections in the history of the United States as so many important parts of American life will be impacted by the results of this election. I have spoken to people from both political parties and both sincerely believe their party will be the victors. So Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will win and decisively. And Democratic voters believe that Joe Biden will win and decisively. The voters of both parties are strongly invested in their beliefs, so no matter what, one substantial political faction will be wrong, and I am concerned about the loser’s post-election behavior. Since 1797, the man who won the Electoral College count-off became the president with little or no disputes.

I hope that practice continues without incident. It will go a long way towards determining what kind of country the United States will be as we move forward.

John Whelan


Cannabis Proposals Sensible


The proposed Orleans bylaws for retail cannabis dispensaries (articles 37 and 38) are a compromise that works. The previous iteration of this bylaw permitted at least three cannabis stores in the downtown. While I supported that bylaw, I understood and empathized with its opponents, many of whom were friends. They were not comfortable with its permissiveness, fearing it would be detrimental to the downtown.

The articles proposed at this year’s town meeting address those concerns. Dispensaries are limited to a maximum of two and are prohibited in the village center. Dispensary taxes can fund youth programs, boost COVID-depleted town revenues, and provide jobs here in Orleans. Why pass that opportunity to other towns?

It is never easy to adapt to change, especially in an older, established community like Orleans. I have long held pride in our town meeting for its cautious skepticism and willingness to think through issues, even when it meant putting off new initiatives for several years. The result of that cautious skepticism is this initiative. It is sensible, limited, and protects our village center. I ask those who opposed earlier proposals to carefully consider this more careful measure, and vote in favor of articles 37 and 38.

John A. Lipman


Conflicts With Natural World


Netflix’s explosive new documentary “My Octopus Teacher” chronicles a complex relationship between a man and the world’s most bizarre animal – an octopus. It further testifies to our highly conflicted relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Most of us treasure our “pets” – dogs, cats, horses. Our allegiance to them transcends that to our own species. If our dog and a Congolese child were competing for scarce funds for life-saving surgery, we know who would live.

Yet, we torment, kill, and consume other animals that are similar in appearance, intelligence, and ability to suffer. Then, we bristle at East Asians who do the same to animals we consider pets.

We pride ourselves on being intelligent, rational beings. We have gone to the moon, unraveled and modified genetic codes, and found cures for deadly diseases. Yet we still have not figured out our relationship with non-human animals and the natural world.

Some of us have. Vegans profess compassion and respect for all sentient beings. Veganism requires no special courses or certifications. Every one of us can become one on our next trip to our supermarket. 

Howie Mosta


Mammograms Can Save Lives


With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and going through cancer treatments this past year, I am submitting this letter to urge women to please get their annual mammogram.

Last November, I walked into Fontaine Medical Center in Harwich, as I do every year, for my yearly exam. They found something suspicious and after further testing, I got the phone call that I will never forget: I had cancer. While the news was scary for me, I was fortunate that they caught it early and it didn’t spread. My cancer was the fast-moving, aggressive type; had I not gone in for my mammogram, it would have spread rapidly beyond just the breast area.

If women are afraid to make that appointment, I can certainly understand. Cancer is scary. However, the treatment I received was way beyond my expectations. They put my fears to rest with their kindness, knowledge, thoroughness, support, and care. And now, almost a year later, I can say that I am cancer free.

I truly hope that this letter will persuade any woman to get her annual mammogram. It can save your life, as it did mine.

Colleen Baker


Bring The Boathouse Home


“Homes for Historic Homes” is the quest of Protect Our Past. Once a structure has been determined to be historic, ideally it is restored on its original location. This is the current status of the effort to save the 68 Shell Dr. circa 1700 house. However, having lived in two historic structures that were moved to other locations, I have experienced the benefits of still restoring and maintaining them for posterity.

Now Chatham has the opportunity to do the same. It faces the reality that its Coast Guard boathouse is another example of a priceless treasure which was let go, moved off Cape from its original property, and still, after 11 years, has yet to find its second home. It is hard to find words to describe the disappointment in this town’s attitude toward saving its historical identity.

However, today we have a chance to rectify this homeless situation. Today, with David Dougherty spearheading the drive to bring this boathouse back to Chatham, this town has a chance to do the right thing, bring it back to Stage Harbor. This building is part of Chatham’s timeline filled with cherished stories. Protect Our Past is putting the pieces in place to capture on film each stage of this Coast Guard Boathouse’s life-cycle with all its memories. The ending of this saga is up to this town.  Please, return it to Chatham for its adaptive reuse for the public good. Bring it home! 

Ellen Briggs, founder, president
Protect Our Past


Hurry Up And Vote


Recently I read that one young woman claimed it was “too cumbersome” to vote. Perhaps if she knew what Susan B. Anthony did to receive this right (never to see in her life), she might overcome this difficulty. I can never forget the first time my mother voted. I was only seven, and could not vote until 1934 (the age was 21 then).  I have voted ever since.

This year is more important than ever, particularly for women.  So if you have not yet voted, hurry up and vote!

Juliet R. Bernstein


The Library Is Open


We’re open (with special COVID-19 hours and safety protocols)! The Eldredge Public Library Trustees would like to invite you to visit our wonderful library in person once again. 

We would also like to extend our gratitude to EPL Director Amy Andreasson and her incredible staff. They have truly gone the extra mile to ensure that patrons be able to enjoy library services throughout the pandemic. During this difficult time, EPL provides valuable resources, educational opportunities, and comfort, so we deeply appreciate the professionalism and dedication of Amy and her staff. 

Visit www.eldredgelibrary.org/covid for information about in-person and remote library services. 

Gay Murdoch, president
Eldredge Public Library Board of Trustees


The Importance Of Eagle Scout Rank


Congratulations to Andrew Davock on earning the Eagle Scout rank, and thank you to The Cape Cod Chronicle for highlighting Andrew’s accomplishment. It has been said that one cannot appreciate the significance of earning Eagle until it is too late to accomplish, meaning that the true impact of the accomplishment is not appreciated until one is well beyond the 18 year age cutoff for earning Eagle. I can attest to the truth of that statement, having earned my Eagle in 1974 when our county was in turmoil over Vietnam and Watergate. Only decades later, when my son joined Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and earned his Eagle rank, did I truly appreciate the importance of being an Eagle Scout in my own life, and the awesome pride in my son’s achievement. My advice to Andrew is to continue to live life according to the Scout Oath and Law, no matter what is going on in society around you. The satisfaction it will give you in life is tremendous, and it will help you navigate tumultuous waters.

John Andres


Essay Contest Highlights Mayflower


A wonderful Chatham author, Hannah Carlson, is sponsoring an essay contest open to all students on Cape Cod. Entitled “Four Reasons I’m Thankful for America,” the contest celebrates the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower, which Carlson writes about in her new book, “The Adventures of the Plimoth Plantation As Told By The Mayflower Mouse.”

First and second place prizes of $100 and $50 respectively will be awarded to three grade groups, and the winning entries published in The Chronicle and at SchoolmasterPress.com. Contest deadline is 4 p.m. Nov. 9. Entries can be sent to Protect Our Past, Box 606, North Chatham, MA 02650 or emailed to carlson@schoolmasterpress.com.

Maura Cook


Friends Appeal During Pandemic


The Friends of the Chatham Council on Aging are pleased to announce the start of their 2020/2021 Annual Appeal Fundraiser. Letters should be in your mailboxes by the end of the month. This appeal replaces our regular membership drive which was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With your tax-deductible donation at any level comes full membership in the Friends.

The Friends of the Chatham Council on Aging was formed in 1978 to raise funds to support efforts and programs at the senior center. Even though the COA doors have been closed to the public since March, the director and her staff have worked tirelessly to keep Chatham's seniors connected through virtual and online classes and special programs. After several annual programs lost their funding due to COVID-19, the Friends picked up those costs as well. Your donation is now more important than ever!

We understand that these are difficult financial times. Many other nonprofits like ours also rely on donations. We thank you in advance for your contribution.

Judy Hanlon, president
Friends of the Chatham Council on Aging


The Saving Grace Of Golf


A big “thank you” to the whole crew at Chatham Seaside Links. Throughout the whole season they were always upbeat, courteous and helpful. Golfing there afforded us all a welcomed respite from COVID.

Bob and Amanda Davis
Stamford, Conn.