Letters To The Editor: June 17, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Cape Cod Deserves Better

Editor:

I am sending many kudos to Mary Richmond for the pre-summer wake-up call. Her “Broken Connections” is a feisty reminder that despite progress and artificial accomplishments, nature is in charge and that nature dwarfs all human achievement. She raises legitimate concerns that affect all of us and our surroundings.

It’s evident that plastic containers, lawn pesticides, beach trash, and organic poisons have consequences. More significantly, beach erosion and diminishing water quality are unpalatable reckonings.

But the plucky Ms. Richmond even challenges the fashionable and sometimes sacrosanct concepts of multi-unit housing, dog walking on the beach and freewheeling anarchy. She is right.

Zoning protects the watershed and the woodland habitats. And yes, sometimes people are selfish and careless about their dogs on the beach and trash trucks regularly leave a trail of wind blown debris in someone else’s neighborhood. She feels that we have forsaken nature and each other. Immediate self-gratification has become the standard in some circles and individually wrapped sliced cheese is the convenience of the month.

Simply put, “we are not in charge.” We must heed nature’s warnings.

I’m with her. Cape Cod deserves better.

Joseph Coffey
East Orleans

 

No Excuse For Abuse

Editor:

In the last year we have learned a lot about human nature. We have seen people roll up their sleeves, rise to the challenge, and work for the collective good. Sadly, we have also seen the opposite: People balling up their fists, stomping their feet, making it clear that it’s all about them.

With the lifting of many restrictions, I have hopes of a return to civility. I still worry about some businesses where, for reasons of their own, may keep some of their regulations in place. Private companies have every right to do so, but I am sure they will be on the receiving abuse for it. It is never justified to treat business employees badly for their companies’ policies, or for any reason, but it is bound to happen.

Something happened recently that really brought this to light. A friend who grew up in Chatham was in town for a visit and decided to go to a local bar that held a special place in her heart.  She is still more comfortable wearing her mask and did so upon entering. It was crowded as it tends to be, and even more so as it was a holiday weekend.  Practically no one else was wearing a mask, but since they were already there and having drinks, that made sense.  What made absolutely no sense was the reaction of the other patrons.  I was horrified to hear that people were actually pointing and making fun of her! She was crushed, and needless to say, they didn’t stay.

What is wrong with people? No one there knew why she was wearing it. She might have had a child with an autoimmune disease or lived with an elderly parent. She might have even just felt more comfortable. It did not matter; she was not doing anyone any harm. All she wanted to do was relax and have a drink in a place that meant something to her, and this is the memory she will take away.  How sad.

Making fun of people for any reason is never acceptable. It is an immature attempt for people to feel better about themselves.  It also sets a lousy example for the young people around them.  Unfortunately, it is the person on the receiving end of the abuse that suffers the consequences. To those people on the receiving end of the abuse, whether an employee in a business or a visitor in a bar, I have a little advice. I know it will be hard to do at the time, but try to remember that behavior like that says considerably more about the abuser than it does about you.

Marcia Bromley
North Eastham

 

Package Delivery Problems

Editor:

I live in an elder community in Harwich with over 60 other seniors. Some are very senior and disabled. Some are unable to get their mail at their community mail boxes and are also unable to get any boxes or bags delivered to them by USPS. USPS no longer delivers packages or bags to apartments or condos so these items are thrown on the floor in front of the apartment mail boxes. There are many people living in other buildings, not near the main building, whose packages get stolen.

I spend quite a lot of money to order things from companies over the course of a year, especially in  2020 with the virus attacking many. What the USPS does not tell you is many people like friends and family send us packages over the course of a year and pay a lot in shipping, handling and insurance with USPS, thinking it will be delivered to our doors but sadly it will not, so therefore they are paying for something they are not getting!

What a waste, what a sad situation. I know where we could get some great ponies and riders, but that might not be the answer because then we would have to find someone to scoop. I know a few good postmasters who could scoop or how about that new postmaster general?

C. Cameron
Harwich

 

 

Technology Could Alter Airport Dynamics

Editor:

I understand why local and out-of-town pilots support the Chatham Airport master plan update environmental assessment alternative 4, but they don’t seem to understand that a displaced threshold will continue to allow use of “their” airport without sacrificing safety, and by excluding larger charter planes and turboprops, actually increase overall safety. This is important for the community because these low-flying planes are the real concern. It also appears that the draft environmental assessment is advocating revenue from car rental and 2,500 scheduled passengers, which would encourage more traffic and “commercialize” the airport.

However, the airport does not and cannot meet the FAA airport design standards for the larger turboprop aircraft. A recent draft FAA advisory says that “…such operations have potential to introduce hazards and risks….” for workers and shoppers and the multiple families living in the RPZs. The draft environmental assessment disingenuously avoids this issue.

Pilots spoke about using modern technology. Well, no one needs permission to use GPS in a car, so pilots are free to use GPS for horizontal guidance to the airport, but approaches should still be made under visual conditions. Straight-in, which is proposed, is dangerous without a control tower. I have already seen two near accidents.

The National Environmental Policy Act has the explicit goal of "productive harmony between humans and their environment.” This is not happening. The pilots gave no consideration for the people of Chatham, and there is no discussion of social impact in the draft environmental assessment.

The FAA and the draft environmental assessment identify an alternative solution. It is to do nothing but displace the thresholds, and essentially return the runway to its pre-1959 configuration, moving the RPZ hazard zones away from residents, workers and visitors in West Chatham and from those living in Agnes Lane. It makes no sense for the town to spend millions of dollars, destroying wetland, vernal pool habitat, peoples’ safety and the values of their property with avigation easements when aeronautical technology is about to undergo such dramatic changes with electric-propulsion, vertical-take-off and autonomous technologies.

 

Dr. Michael Tompsett
West Chatham

 

Ospreys Have The Last Word

Editor:

We banned DDT to save the ospreys. It was a good thing. The ospreys have no need to be grateful for something that should never have happened. And today, at the town meeting, the ospreys were complaining that their home on top of a ball field light pole was being invaded by noisy people. Development and nature are never in accord. The ospreys have an advantage over most species. They can build their nests above the land that developers (us) want. I’m not against development. I just lament that we can’t do it without destroying nature.

Richard Stenberg
Chatham

 

Safety Vs. Convenience

Editor:

The Chatham Airport Commission wants to impose easements on 21 privately owned properties near the airport. These easements will allow the town to cut down or top any trees any time. The FAA suggests the easements should also include the right for planes "to cause noise, vibrations, fumes, deposits of dust, fuel particles, fear, and interference with sleep or communication." And the property owner can’t do anything to stop it.  

Can you imagine what these easements will do to these residents’ health and sense of well being, to say nothing of their property values?

The commission alleges that the easements are all about safety in bad weather. It is not. It is about the convenience of people who can afford to own a plane or charter one. If the commission's concern is about safety, then planes can divert to the extremely safe Hyannis airport when the weather is bad.  But of course that is not convenient.

Read Moffett
Chatham

Cape Cod Deserves Better Editor: I am sending many kudos to Mary Richmond for 
the pre-summer wake-up call. Her “Broken Connections” is a feisty reminder 
that despite progress and artificial accomplishments, nature is in charge and 
that nature dwarfs all human achievement. She raises legitimate concerns that 
affect all of us and our surroundings. It’s evident that plastic containers, 
lawn pesticides, beach trash, and organic poisons have consequences. More significantly, 
beach erosion and diminishing water quality are unpalatable reckonings. But 
the plucky Ms. Richmond even challenges the fashionable and sometimes sacrosanct 
concepts of multi-unit housing, dog walking on the beach and freewheeling anarchy. 
She is right. Zoning protects the watershed and the woodland habitats. And 
yes, sometimes people are selfish and careless about their dogs on the beach 
and trash trucks regularly leave a trail of wind blown debris in someone else’s 
neighborhood. She feels that we have forsaken nature and each other. Immediate 
self-gratification has become the standard in some circles and individually 
wrapped sliced cheese is the convenience of the month. Simply put, “we are 
not in charge.” We must heed nature’s warnings. I’m with her. Cape Cod deserves 
better. Joseph Coffey East Orleans No Excuse For Abuse Editor: In the last 
year we have learned a lot about human nature. We have seen people roll up 
their sleeves, rise to the challenge, and work for the collective good. Sadly, 
we have also seen the opposite: People balling up their fists, stomping their 
feet, making it clear that it’s all about them. With the lifting of many restrictions, 
I have hopes of a return to civility. I still worry about some businesses where, 
for reasons of their own, may keep some of their regulations in place. Private 
companies have every right to do so, but I am sure they will be on the receiving 
abuse for it. It is never justified to treat business employees badly for their 
companies’ policies, or for any reason, but it is bound to happen. Something 
happened recently that really brought this to light. A friend who grew up in 
Chatham was in town for a visit and decided to go to a local bar that held 
a special place in her heart.  She is still more comfortable wearing her mask 
and did so upon entering. It was crowded as it tends to be, and even more so 
as it was a holiday weekend.  Practically no one else was wearing a mask, but 
since they were already there and having drinks, that made sense.  What made 
absolutely no sense was the reaction of the other patrons.  I was horrified 
to hear that people were actually pointing and making fun of her! She was crushed, 
and needless to say, they didn’t stay. What is wrong with people? No one there 
knew why she was wearing it. She might have had a child with an autoimmune 
disease or lived with an elderly parent. She might have even just felt more 
comfortable. It did not matter; she was not doing anyone any harm. All she 
wanted to do was relax and have a drink in a place that meant something to 
her, and this is the memory she will take away.  How sad. Making fun of people 
for any reason is never acceptable. It is an immature attempt for people to 
feel better about themselves.  It also sets a lousy example for the young people 
around them.  Unfortunately, it is the person on the receiving end of the abuse 
that suffers the consequences. To those people on the receiving end of the 
abuse, whether an employee in a business or a visitor in a bar, I have a little 
advice. I know it will be hard to do at the time, but try to remember that 
behavior like that says considerably more about the abuser than it does about 
you.   Marcia Bromley North Eastham Package Delivery Problems Editor: I live 
in an elder community in Harwich with over 60 other seniors. Some are very 
senior and disabled. Some are unable to get their mail at their community mail 
boxes and are also unable to get any boxes or bags delivered to them by USPS. 
USPS no longer delivers packages or bags to apartments or condos so these items 
are thrown on the floor in front of the apartment mail boxes. There are many 
people living in other buildings, not near the main building, whose packages 
get stolen. I spend quite a lot of money to order things from companies over 
the course of a year, especially in  2020 with the virus attacking many. What 
the USPS does not tell you is many people like friends and family send us packages 
over the course of a year and pay a lot in shipping, handling and insurance 
with USPS, thinking it will be delivered to our doors but sadly it will not, 
so therefore they are paying for something they are not getting! What a waste, 
what a sad situation. I know where we could get some great ponies and riders, 
but that might not be the answer because then we would have to find someone 
to scoop. I know a few good postmasters who could scoop or how about that new 
postmaster general? C. Cameron Harwich Technology Could Alter Airport Dynamics 
Editor: I understand why local and out-of-town pilots support the Chatham Airport 
master plan update environmental assessment alternative 4, but they don’t seem 
to understand that a displaced threshold will continue to allow use of “their” 
airport without sacrificing safety, and by excluding larger charter planes 
and turboprops, actually increase overall safety. This is important for the 
community because these low-flying planes are the real concern. It also appears 
that the draft environmental assessment is advocating revenue from car rental 
and 2,500 scheduled passengers, which would encourage more traffic and “commercialize” 
the airport. However, the airport does not and cannot meet the FAA airport 
design standards for the larger turboprop aircraft. A recent draft FAA advisory 
says that “…such operations have potential to introduce hazards and risks….” 
for workers and shoppers and the multiple families living in the RPZs. The 
draft environmental assessment disingenuously avoids this issue. Pilots spoke 
about using modern technology. Well, no one needs permission to use GPS in 
a car, so pilots are free to use GPS for horizontal guidance to the airport, 
but approaches should still be made under visual conditions. Straight-in, which 
is proposed, is dangerous without a control tower. I have already seen two 
near accidents. The National Environmental Policy Act has the explicit goal 
of "productive harmony between humans and their environment.” This is not happening. 
The pilots gave no consideration for the people of Chatham, and there is no 
discussion of social impact in the draft environmental assessment. The FAA 
and the draft environmental assessment identify an alternative solution. It 
is to do nothing but displace the thresholds, and essentially return the runway 
to its pre-1959 configuration, moving the RPZ hazard zones away from residents, 
workers and visitors in West Chatham and from those living in Agnes Lane. It 
makes no sense for the town to spend millions of dollars, destroying wetland, 
vernal pool habitat, peoples’ safety and the values of their property with 
avigation easements when aeronautical technology is about to undergo such dramatic 
changes with electric-propulsion, vertical-take-off and autonomous technologies. 
Dr. Michael Tompsett West Chatham Ospreys Have The Last Word Editor: We banned 
DDT to save the ospreys. It was a good thing. The ospreys have no need to be 
grateful for something that should never have happened. And today, at the town 
meeting, the ospreys were complaining that their home on top of a ball field 
light pole was being invaded by noisy people. Development and nature are never 
in accord. The ospreys have an advantage over most species. They can build 
their nests above the land that developers (us) want. I’m not against development. 
I just lament that we can’t do it without destroying nature. Richard Stenberg 
Chatham Safety Vs. Convenience Editor: The Chatham Airport Commission wants 
to impose easements on 21 privately owned properties near the airport. These 
easements will allow the town to cut down or top any trees any time. The FAA 
suggests the easements should also include the right for planes "to cause noise, 
vibrations, fumes, deposits of dust, fuel particles, fear, and interference 
with sleep or communication." And the property owner can’t do anything to stop 
it.   Can you imagine what these easements will do to these residents’ health 
and sense of well being, to say nothing of their property values? The commission 
alleges that the easements are all about safety in bad weather. It is not. 
It is about the convenience of people who can afford to own a plane or charter 
one. If the commission's concern is about safety, then planes can divert to 
the extremely safe Hyannis airport when the weather is bad.  But of course 
that is not convenient. Read Moffett Chatham