Letters to the Editor, July 22

Letters to the editor.

Not Happy With Sticker Change 


Is anyone else disappointed in the new Chatham beach/transfer sticker? Personally, I miss the traditional
lighthouse logo!


Barbara Starkey


Cape Cod People Are The Best!


There is a young man walking around Harwich Port that I would love to put my arms around. He was in Cape Cod 5 on the afternoon of July 12, and he is my unknown hero. That day I tripped and fell at the bank. From the moment I yelled help, he was right there beside me. I didn't know it at the time, but I had fractured my nose. The blood was pouring, but this sweet guy calmly kept handing me tissues and stayed with me until the EMT arrived. When I got to the hospital, a nurse told me her son had just called. He was concerned and wanted to know that I was OK, so his mom was doing just that...checking up on me.

I assumed this young man worked for the bank, but when I went back the next day to thank him and the entire staff that had cared for me, I was surprised to learn that this young man was a customer who just happened to be near me when my accident occurred. So to my unknown hero, I sincerely want to say thank you, and also hugs to your sweet mom who took the time to find me at the hospital.
I also want to applaud Cape Cod 5, Cape Cod Hospital and the Harwich EMT team. Your help and professional attention once again proves that Cape Cod people are the best.

Dona Webber

East Harwich


Remembering The 'Pet Patrol'


Congratulations to The Animal Rescue League's 100 years on Cape Cod. It was nice of The Chronicle to mention Don Westover and his dedication as the Cape's shelter manager. More than 50 years ago in the spring of 1970, a brand new radio station (WVLC) went on the air in Orleans, and one of our first entries into local public service programming was Don Westover's "Pet Patrol" where he listed all of the area's lost and found pets. One of my daily newsroom tasks each morning was recording his program, which usually ran about five minutes. He ended each broadcast with the tagline, "Don't give up, your pet won't." The show ran for a number of years and I imagine many pets and their owners were reunited thanks to Don and The Animal Rescue League.

Gordon Benoit


Questions About The Time 


How is it even remotely possible that we hate each other so much that it has become acceptable to

belittle, deride, and injure each other, and in so many ways?  Is that our new expression of creativity

and cleverness?  Are we so inured to suffering that we are blinded to our own shortcomings?  Are we so

terrorized by differences that we cannot celebrate exquisite diversity, resorting to terrorism?  Are we so

smitten with our Neanderthal selves that we choose to remain unevolved, ignoring our higher human


What are we so afraid of?  How does anger instantly flare into wildfires?  Why do we love our guns so much? How can we carve into each other like a roast?

Hearts clench and beat, fists clench and beat. Voices rise in rage instead of praise.  A bullet just punishment

for a missed spot in line at the deli.

We may not like each other but we must love each other.  We survive with the ability be be together, resilient

and adaptable - not by brute strength.

There is no “them,” there is only “us.” So, how is it possible, and why?

Maria C. Mazzer

North Chatham


A One-Every-125-Years Experience


Happy 125th anniversary to the Eldredge Public Library! The celebration on July 11 was a special occasion, appropriately marking the gift of the library to the town of Chatham by Marcellus Eldredge in 1896. Thank you to Director Amy Andreasson, Trustee President Gay Murdoch, guest speaker Alan Rust, Selectman Dean Nicastro, Town Manager Jill Goldsmith, Marcellus Eldredge descendant Nancy Phelps, the trustees of EPL, the Friends and Junior Friends of EPL, the Chatham Band, and all of the attendees. You helped make the day a noteworthy event benefiting this beloved institution.

Rachel Barnes
Trustee, Eldredge Public Library


Shocked At Treatment


I am shocked and saddened to learn of the town's cruel treatment of Mr. John McGrath, a Chatham native, business owner and senior citizen. I am also questioning why The Chronicle chose to feature this matter over other more pressing matters the board of health considered that day. It is clear to me that there is a strong desire among certain town officials to deprive Mr. McGrath of his property and livelihood. This is new Chatham trying to erase old Chatham, and I won't stand for it. The town obviously is grasping at straws in trying to find the authority to enter the property. They are guessing without proof that he profits from the illegal dumping near his property and they are guessing without proof of the presence of a rodent infestation. Mr. McGrath has been on the Chatham waters for nearly seven decades. This man has helped countless mariners, pulled countless boats out of the water before storms for absent owners, entertained countless tourists on his dock making for lasting Cape memories, and everyone knows if you need help laying a foundation in the dead of winter and you're short a body, Mr. McGrath will always be there for you. He deserves respect, understanding and forbearance. My advice to the town of Chatham which under current conditions erroneously thinks it may have a "legal path" to remove the alleged debris? Back off.

Andrew Dunlop

Beaverton, Or. and Chatham


More Criticism Of Airport Plan


Unfortunately local pilots and the airport commission continue their disingenuous behavior. The AMPU, the airport layout plan, the five-year plan, and the environmental assessment continue to include approach surfaces, without consideration for residents or the environment, and an expectation of vertical guidance to allow approaches in poor visibility.

A recent letter perpetuates the grossly erroneous myths that only a few individuals oppose the airport proposals and that descents would be quieter. I have measured the turboprop sound levels much greater than the FAA/OSHA threshold of 85dBA, which causes damage to hearing and health, and that will continue. The “pure fiction” of commercialization of the airport is belied in the environmental assessment, which states that not implementing the airport proposals will impact revenue from car rentals and the 2,500 scheduled passengers allowed a year. That removes any doubt about the intent of the present proposals, which could launch the airport down a very slippery, costly commercial slope.

Common sense says that you don’t encourage large aircraft to fly in clouds over a hill and congested residential areas, and business districts and residences in RPZs, into an airport which cannot meet the required design standards. These arguments are based on authoritative sources such as FAA advisories and documents produced by Gale Associates. The FAA proposes a safer, zero-cost solution for such situations, which would eliminate large aircraft and maintain the character of Chatham. This is not exaggeration, misinformation or innuendo!

Michael Tompsett



EPA Letter Raises Questions


A July 6 letter from the US Environmental Protection Agency about Chatham Airport has more bad news about threats to our town’s water supplies. The EPA’s authority comes from Chatham’s location within a sole source aquifer.  The subject of their review was an environmental assessment the airport submitted in connection with its proposed expansion of use. 

The airport is within 0.2 miles east of the Indian Hill well, 0.35 miles north of Well 8, and 0.4 miles north of the Training Field well.  It is in the heart of Chatham’s water resource area from which our drinking water is pumped. Yet in each of the five categories, EPA made serious criticisms. For example, under aquifer protection, the letter notes that the airport’s environmental assessment provides no information about depth to groundwater or groundwater flow, nor does it include any discussion of past contamination and measures to protect the aquifer. 

Under spill prevention, the airport assessment plan simply says a plan will be developed. EPA wants this updated prior to commencement of construction.  As for stormwater management, EPA wants monitoring wells and “advanced BMPs which account for spill control,” including pretreatment capabilities. EPA points out that the airport’s assessment does not include whether underground injection is planned.

Let’s hope that Chatham’s select board, its water and sewer advisory committee, board of health, and their staffs will pay close attention to these shortfalls. The EPA has done Chatham a big favor by defining the issues town officials and staff must be on top of to protect our water supplies.


Debby Ecker




<Headline>Eye-opening Info About Monomoy Schools



The guest editorial written by Charles Gruszka in the July 8 issue of The Chronicle was a real eye-opener regarding the costs of the Monomoy School district for Harwich and the benefits Chatham has accrued since regionalization. An eye-opening figure is that regionalization has cost Harwich $34 million over its FY2011 assessment versus savings for Chatham of over $16 million. No wonder Chatham has the lowest tax rate and all new infrastructure! It behooves both towns to continue discussions on amending the regional agreement with an eye toward a funding formula that will work for both towns long term. The goal should be to maintain the excellent educational quality of the Monomoy schools and have fairness in how costs are assessed.

The Monomoy school committee is considering a recommendation from the school administration to amend the regional agreement. This will be discussed and possibly voted on at the SC meeting on Aug. 11. If it is approved it must then be approved by both select boards, town meeting in both towns and the commissioner of education. In any case this just brings some immediate relief for Harwich and is not a long-term solution. Chatham taxpayers may ask what are the advantages to them of a different cost sharing formula? As presently constituted Chatham is hostage to what Harwich can afford. Without higher contributions from Chatham, the district will be unable to sustain a position of quality that many other communities in the state look at with envy and will commence a slow spiral to mediocrity. We owe it to our students to maintain and improve our schools and that is why the discussion on adjustments to the regional agreement need to be aggressively pursued. As referred to by Charles Gruszka, the agreement between Manchester-by-the-Sea and the town of Essex appears to be more appropriate and worth serious consideration in trying to come up with a long term solution for our towns and its students.

Mark Kelleher

West Harwich

The writer is a candidate for selectman in Harwich.