Letters To The Editor: Dec. 24, 2020

Letters to the editor.

Chatham Turkey Trot Thanks


Because of you, the first virtual Turkey Trot was a huge success. Even though the day was damp, we had many runners and walkers out on Thanksgiving morning. We thank all of you who sponsored us at a time when there are so many people who have been affected by the covid virus. This has been a strange year and we certainly appreciate the loving kindness our community has shared with others.

We will be presenting a check to Lower Cape Outreach Council for $21,000 to help those in need.
Our thanks to Chatham Village Market, Ericson and LaMotte, East-Southeast LLC, J.W. Dubis and Sons, In Memory of Tom Raftery, Goody Two Shoes, Community Web Development, Chatham Candy Manor, Stello Construction, Lowey Chiropractic Wellness Center, Roger Carrol Boat Carpenter, Dr. Jamie Nash, Network Chiropractor, Cape Mediation, Ryder’s Cove Boatyard, Zibrat Estate Maintenance, Chatham Clothing Bar/Kids Store, and George Avery Carpentery.

The Chatham Turkey Trot Team


Strengthen Chatham Elementary School


The editorial in The Chronicle Dec. 3 was disturbing in its lack of support for Chatham Elementary School (CES).

So is the argument of the Monomoy Regional School District Superintendent Scott Carpenter, who states that moving Harwich students to Chatham would simply replace empty classrooms at CES with empty classrooms at Harwich Elementary School (HES). 

The reconfiguration survey sent out to parents Dec. 8 with a return date of Dec. 15 gives the arguments from the superintendent’s viewpoint with four options: 1. No reconfiguration; 2. Redistrict; 3. Lower elementary school in one town with upper elementary in the other; or 4. Housing all students “under one roof.” The survey indicates a strong bias for Option 4. Limited countervailing arguments are offered. Parents are not asked whether they prefer to send their kids to CES or HES.

CES is the vibrant, yes small, essential heart of the community in Chatham. Up to 19 percent of its enrollment already comes from Harwich, compared to 2 percent of Chatham students going to HES.  The superintendent states that it would take 50 to 85 students from Harwich attending CES to balance class sizes. Might that not be possible on a voluntary basis without a change in the regional agreement?

Regionalization was voted by Chatham Town Meeting 10 years ago with the condition that we retain our own elementary school. Let’s do what it takes to keep and strengthen Chatham Elementary. That includes providing more housing affordable to young families and perhaps a little more in tax support. Chatham must not be the only town on Cape Cod not to have our own school.

Michael Westgate

The writer is co-chair of the Westgate Teachers Fellowship Fund.


Roundabout Blow Out


On Monday evening, around 4:30 p.m., while leaving the West Chatham post office, I blew out the right front tire of my Miata due to the ridiculous height of the curb. The right turn onto the roadway is extremely tight, and even with my small car, it was difficult to merge with traffic, as cars edged their way through the narrow roundabout.

The new roundabout: We all know that this project is an unnecessary use of taxpayer money, but perhaps it can redeem itself, and become more user friendly.

Frank Giasullo


A Plea For More Rest Rooms


I recently retired and was headed to the Peace Corps, but with COVID that certainly didn't happen. I decided to make Cape Cod my home and love the beauty of the Cape and the walking, riding and surfing that goes on in all Cape shorelines and communities. There is one major problem for those of us who walk four to six miles a day. There are no public bathrooms in most Cape Communities. Thank goodness for Cumberland Farms, as I plan my walks in Chatham and Harwich Port around these bathrooms. In Dennis Port, there are no Cumberland Farms and no bathrooms. Please Cape Cod, port-a-potties are needed at the beach year-round so we can continue our healthy walking, riding or surfing! With more folks moving here year-round, more people paying taxes, we need these desperately.

Susan C Suter
Dennis Port


A Little Too Nippy


A couple years ago I stopped at a local liquor store during a snow storm. While I was waiting to check out a man ahead of me purchased a bag full of nips. I asked the clerk what he planned to do with them and she replied, “he said he is plowing tonight.”

Pretty scary.

Allen Ward
North Chatham


Nips Are A Problem For All


I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I read the article “Nip Ban Means Losses For Package Stores” in the Dec. 3 Cape Cod Chronicle.

While some of the reasons provided by shop owners not to ban nips are laughable, it’s really no laughing matter, especially to people who have suffered loss due to drunk drivers. Nips are the ultimate in convenient, single-use packaging, with a horrible twist. What else are they for, except to have a “quick one” before getting to or from some location? I would ask the liquor store owners to put a price on the safety of their child or spouse or parent. Is it really worth the financial profits that are claimed?

If indeed liquor store owners “generate as much as much as 30 to 40 percent of their business [from nip sales],” I’d say that’s an awful lot of nips that are being sold, and the roadsides are a testament to their improper disposal. Because it isn’t just about physical damage to a victim or property as a result of an accident, it also has to do with the damage done to our environment, both physically and aesthetically. In my mind, it makes the Cape look like we have a lot of uncaring alcoholics! Is that what we want visitors to think when they come to the Cape? How does that help our economy?

The concept that a 5 or 10 cent deposit, or even a 25 cent deposit on nips will in any way decrease the number of nips drunk or littered is ludicrous. And to imply that good-hearted citizens could pick them up, turn them in and give the money to charity is simply absurd. The one good suggestion was that a nip ban should be Cape-wide. The owners are correct: If there’s a ban in Harwich, users will just head over to Brewster or Dennis or Yarmouth or Orleans or Chatham.

The sale of single-serve alcoholic beverages is increasing at a rapid pace. It’s a health problem. It’s a societal problem. It’s a litter problem. What price is acceptable for the damage it can cause to individual human health, accident victims, property damage and the environment? Is it really worth the profit?

Meg Morris, president
Cape Cod Anti-Litter Coalition