Letters To The Editor: April 8, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Clarifying Word Choice


I write in the hope that James Coyle might allow himself a deep breath and a review of what he presents as fact. Then-president Trump never banned flights from China. He restricted travel of some non-Americans, but planes from China arrived here every day in the month following his Jan. 31 “travel ban,” and they carried tens of thousands of passengers. Most of these were American citizens returning from China and non-US citizens with permanent resident status.

Also, people who present themselves at a border seeking asylum are not “illegals.” They are, as their situation suggests, “asylum seekers.”

Bob Rice


A Chance In Chatham


I wonder how Marion Nickerson Ellis would feel about the town using her property at 127 Old Harbor Rd. to help a young family get a toehold here in Chatham. I'm guessing she would like nothing better.

Betsy Abreu


Restaurant Treatment Seems Punitive


I strongly urge Harwich Selectmen to renew the liquor and entertainment licenses so the Port and Ember restaurants can open this spring.

I'm dismayed at the excessive punitive treatment of the Brackett family, who have made significant contributions to Harwich for over 40 years and are the single biggest contributors to the revitalization of downtown Harwich Port. That should mean something. My family was at the opening of The Port. My daughter worked as a hostess and wait staff while going through law school, as have countless students over the years. The Port and Ember are frankly the primary reasons many visit and shop downtown. If forced to close, not only will the Bracketts lose their businesses and all future earnings, businesses in downtown Harwich Port will suffer from their loss as a result.  

The interim town administrator and selectmen made their point and are looking vindictive at this point. While they may have the power to make an example of the owners by having effectively tried and convicted them in the press without due process, that power should be tempered with common sense, equal treatment, and some restraint. I don't see it. Town government should be helping navigate – not excessively punishing – local businesses. It's been an unrelenting struggle to survive for over a year, with everyone facing unprecedented challenges and constantly changing state and local rules. 

Enough damage has been done. It's time for selectmen to end this now and renew their licenses so the Bracketts can do what they do best. It's the right thing to do for the owners and the downtown. 

Elaine Gibbs


Serious Questions About Housing Plans


Recently there was a decision by the Chatham Select Board to consider property off Middle Road to create affordable and attainable housing. Without a doubt, Chatham needs affordable and attainable housing. I applaud the select board for wanting to increase affordable units in Chatham. Also, the recent support for purchasing land in South Chatham is another option for increasing affordable housing. However, I would like to point out that the five members of the board are not the same members who were not on the board 14 years ago. Some members were not even in Chatham 14 years ago when it was decided not to build on the same property being discussed. Since that time Chatham has spent millions of dollars on a sewage treatment plant as well as hundreds of thousands on purchasing property around Goose Pond to help preserve and conserve the area.

My concern is having any large number of units built on property near a conservation area where septic is being considered. Across the street from the property being considered for affordable housing is the sewer treatment plant. It is as though the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing! Why would a septic system even be considered when the wastewater treatment plant is across the street?

The same question should be considered when building any housing with multiple units for affordable housing.

Margaret Stenberg


She Got The Joke!


Thank you so much for the laughs in the April 1 edition of the Cape Cod Comical. Yes, I believe it’s true that a protest by neighbors against a planned theme park was canceled after all were given free lifetime subscriptions to Disney-Plus, the vendor’s parent company. And yes, “Old Widow Lydia’s Cove” just doesn’t have the same ring as Aunt Lydia’s Cove. The roundabout added to the runway at the Chatham Airport makes as much sense as any recently installed roundabout in Chatham, so why not? And I can’t wait to feed the two great whites in the shark tank at Yankee Ingenuity. Is there a waiting list? Gullibility is my middle name and April Fool’s is my game.

Rosemary “G” Shields

Our Mission Was Successful


When I first received the April 1 edition of the "Chronicle" in the mail, I said to myself "Oh, good The Chronicle is here, now I have something to read."

I quickly scanned the "Trump Tower Chatham Proposed" article and thought to myself, OK, whatever. When my husband got home from work that evening, I started to read the article to him and his response was "that can't be, it must be a joke."
I kept reading and re-reading "Pull Off This Wrap-around for Real News!" Then I looked at the date and realized the paper was dated April 1, 2021 (April Fools Day).

In short, I thought the wrap-around was absolutely phenomenal. I loved it and the articles that it contained. I can't wait until the April 1, 2027 edition to see what you and your clever staff come up with. Thank you for making me laugh!

Rosa Curtiss
Wilton, Conn.


Group Will Keep Public Safe From Skydiving


On March 16, The Chronicle reported that the State Appeals Court dismissed the Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport lawsuit against skydiving in Chatham. You reported that the decision “affirms” a lower court ruling that “requires the town to allow skydiving.”

The hundred-member strong membership of CSCA strongly disagrees with your interpretation. We actually went back to the Appeals Court to ask them what they meant by “affirm.” This week they responded, “As our…decision explains, this case is not ripe, and thus, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over it. As that required dismissal of the case, our decision was properly captioned an affirmance of the judgment of dismissal, albeit on grounds that differed from those held by the Superior Court.”

In plain language, the Appeals Court made no ruling about skydiving or about the Superior Court’s basis for dismissing our lawsuit. It only ruled that our case was not “ripe” enough, i.e. ready to be litigated in court. This ruling means that our claim that skydiving over Chatham constitutes an illegal nuisance is not permanently barred, but can be heard in the future when and if the threat to the public from skydiving becomes more concrete than the Appellate Court found it to be.

Should the airport manager and the town again try to proceed with a skydiving contract, CSCA remains ready to seek another injunction to stop it. The merits of our case have never been heard. The former senior officials of the National Transportation Safety Board who reviewed skydiving in Chatham stand ready to testify that skydiving in congested Chatham is dangerous and violates federal law. Let’s be smart and let us all enjoy living in Chatham without the nuisance and danger that skydiving would bring.

Joe Tischler, president
Citizens for a Safe Chatham Airport, Inc.


Impressed By Chatham EMTs


Ever since December 2020, my husband has been experiencing chest and jaw pains on and off. Last Monday, he was in such distress that his cardiologist urged him to call 911. The EMTs, Mark, Scott, and Steve, arrived quickly with an impressive amount of new equipment I had never seen before. While in our home they gave Read two EKG’s and administered several other tests. They even put in a “port” for IV infusions. The EMTs moved swiftly, were friendly, professional and asked good questions about his medical history and medications. They carried Read out and down stairs on a “stair chair” which can navigate any terrain and which transformed into the gurney so that that a patient can be easily moved from sitting to lying down in the ambulance.

Chatham is lucky to have such excellent EMTs as well as such impressive equipment. Thank you Mark, Scott and Steve.

Jane Moffett