Letters To The Editor: Aug. 12, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Addressing Housing Crisis Is Paramount


When Rome burns, we mustn't fiddle. Our housing crisis is worse now than before the pandemic. Town leaders in Orleans need to act now. I am concerned that Orleans officials are proposing a three-year process to determine what to build on the Governor Prence property, since this site has been through two extensive potential use studies including input from hundreds of residents.

The most recent study was completed in February 2021 at a cost of $50,000 to the town. Seven hundred residents provided input. In addition, the Cape Cod Commission worked with Union Studios in 2018 to gather community input on the style of housing Orleans residents would like to see built on the Prence site. The resulting design concept showed 52 units of housing mixed with retail space. In fact, the area was rezoned to allow for exactly this type of housing as a result of all that time, work, and community input.

Unfortunately, two Orleans select board members, Andrea Reid and Meff Runyan, are asking the town do another study on the property, exploring potential use as an entertainment complex or community center (even after a community center has twice been voted down by town meeting). We have a housing crisis. Not a crisis of entertainment complexes or community centers.
It’s time for people who want housing for our year-round workforce to contact the select board and make their voices heard. You can do so at www.town.orleans.ma.us/select-board.

Stefanie Coxe
Yarmouth Port

BYOS Policy Should Change


One of the little idiosyncrasies about renting a vacation cottage in Chatham is that for most places you have to bring your own sheets or waste half a day scouring them from a neighboring town and then returning them at a hefty price. That’s OK when I was driving from Boston, but now that I live in Denver, with 10 other family members bringing sheets and towels for 11 is a hardship. I realize COVID has thrown a wrench at landlords this year, but this little nuisance has been going on forever. Give me a break. We had two landlords for our two, two-week rentals and one stood out as a gem, the other one flopped. So it goes.

Bob Bower
Denver, Colo.

Move Theater To Garage Land


I am so glad to hear that Alan Rust and friends are still present and interested in reopening their wonderful theater.  The buyer of the Monomoy property, Greg Clark, stated three years ago that he would create a year-round theatrical program, which was obviously disingenuous. The least he might have done was to donate the theater building and historic house to the town, since they are going to make a healthy profit from the six houses they are putting on the rest of the site. 

I have an idea that might solve two problems.  Why not move the theater building to the Eldredge garage property and establish an arts complex there.  It would be the perfect location and the parking area could be used during the day for the town's parking activity.  We would finally have a real use for that property and a permanent location for an arts complex in downtown.  I believe we could find substantial support from citizens for such an idea, including myself.
Phil Richardson
Chatham and Tiburon, Calif.

Group Ready To Restore Schoolhouse


The citizens of the village of West Harwich have created an historic district, called Captains' Row. This stretch of town from the Dennis Port line to the Herring River is home to wonderful old captain's houses. The crowning jewel of this district is the West Harwich Schoolhouse. The Friends of Captains' Row are ready to enter into negotiations with the board of selectmen to purchase this building and restore it to its original beauty as a gift to all that live and work in Harwich. It is our sincere hope that the selectmen and the town as a whole will support us in this effort.

Virginia Doyle
West Harwich

Long-term Shark Solution


We will soon be coming upon the third anniversary of the tragic and bloody death of 26-year-old Arthur Medici by a voracious and menacing great white shark off the shores of Cape Cod.

Since that vicious attack, it has become more clear than ever that most Cape Cod residents are demanding a long-term solution to the growing killer shark problem, which is exasperated by the seal overpopulation problem. Residents demand it be dealt with in the most serious manner possible.

I again call for our respective elected officials on the federal, state, and local levels to immediately begin the long, arduous process of trying to amend the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) so that at some point in the years ahead we will have the ability to effectively cull the huge unnatural overpopulation of seals here on Cape Cod.

This is the only realistic long-term solution to getting a handle on our shark problem itself. The so-called experts keep bellyaching about how this whole quagmire is a natural occurrence. Well, that is not only mistaken, it is a bald-faced lie! The great white sharks have killed and maimed people because they are drawn here by the excessive seal population, which in turn was allowed to happen because our government created the Marine Mammal Protection Act which artificially caused said unnatural seal population explosion.

If our elected officials continue to do nothing but pay lip service to this important matter, then they will indeed have blood on their hands if another human is massacred yet again by a killer shark off the shores of our beloved Cape Cod.
Scientists, bureaucrats, and animal rights activists apparently believe that shark lives matter, but I am here to tell them that human lives matter more!

Ronald Beaty
West Barnstable

Work Together To Save Land


Just a thought for folks to consider. There is an incredible opportunity to save two very large tracts of land which abut Cape Cod Bay and Long Pond in Brewster I would like to see the towns of Dennis, Orleans and Harwich, if acceptable to the town of Brewster, consider joining in this purchase.

An authority could be created to manage the properties with membership from each town involved. The benefit to provide additional recreation on our precious ocean and a pond is immeasurable to the towns. The benefit to Brewster is less of a capital outlay for the purchase and less operational costs long term.

Every town on Cape Cod very much needs to consider these types of consortiums for a multitude of services being provided.

Just a thought.

George Robinson


Hold On To Your Cash


There is a man at the corner of Route 6 and Route 132 dressed in new-looking, clean clothing who is begging for money from cars at the traffic light. He holds up a sign that says BROKE. My son has passed him when the light is green, but on Saturday evening the light was red so my son stopped. The occupant of the car in front of him passed the man a $5 bill which he gladly took. My son quickly tore a $1 bill out of his pocket but when he held it out, the beggar sneered, "I don't take $1 bills." So, don't offer this man any money unless it's in big bills or...don't offer this man any money!

Flo Harris
South Dennis

West Chatham Is Chatham, Too


I am writing to whine!  West Chatham is having a good summer.  The village center and the "corridor" itself is working famously despite endless past criticism. The businesses are thriving.  Why is there never coverage of us?  At Local Color Gallery, we have a fabulous weekly farmers market.  There are many vendors, lots of good food choices, very happy customers and much good will. Our newest vendors are two very young entrepreneurs selling that quintessential American summer product, lemonade. In the gallery itself, lots of satisfied customers. Next door to us, Ocean State Job Lot is always busy yet happy to share their parking lot.  Across the new and improved road and its outstanding sidewalks, restaurants Kreme and Kone and Mom and Pops are thriving. Just up the road the old Shop Ahoy sign has been restored and the businesses there appear to be flourishing: Larry's PX, Shop Ahoy Liquors, newly minted Dogfish Taco Co. and Sweet Dreams Ice Cream. If you love pottery there is Barn Hill Pottery as well as Chatham Stoneware. Come and visit! We are Chatham, too!

Julie Eldredge-Dykens
West Chatham
The writer is the owner of the Local Color Gallery.


Health Centers Strengthen Community


Every year in August, Outer Cape Health Services (OCHS) celebrates National Health Center Week. This year, from Aug. 8 to 14, we pause and reflect on the impact that community health centers like OCHS make across the country and to our own region’s health and wellness. As a federally qualified community health center, OCHS serves nearly 18,000 patients from Yarmouth to Provincetown.

This year’s National Health Center Week theme is “The Chemistry for Strong Communities.” The building blocks of this chemistry include mission, values, populations, affordability, enabling services and innovations. A year and a half into a worldwide pandemic, we applaud our dedicated clinicians and support staff who have worked tirelessly to deliver care to those in our community who need it most. Collectively, our three health center sites in Provincetown, Wellfleet and Harwich Port have contributed to high regional vaccination rates in concert with local health, county and state resources. 

Universally, health centers work to make “health equity” a central theme to ensure access to services for all. By definition, we specialize in identifying those underserved and vulnerable populations in our midst. Through the health center model, low-income, un- or under-insured, minorities, and rural workers receive the best health care services available, regardless of ability to pay. We also screen patients for social needs such as food or housing insecurity, helping them to connect with other services in the community to address these issues.

Nonprofit health centers traditionally operate with limited capital resources but remain determined and highly innovative. Our existence would not be possible without our state and federal legislative delegation and their unwavering support. The delegation, along with donors and foundation partners, are vital in advancing the health of our community. We thank these partners for their support and advocacy and celebrate with them, this national health center week. Together, our combined “chemistry” strengthens us all.

Pat Nadle, CEO
Outer Cape Health Services