Letters To The Editor: Sept. 9, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Solution To Coast Guard Issue


After many months, the feds have turned a deaf ear to the knowledgeable voices of fishermen, the maritime community and local government officials regarding the need to keep the US Coast Guard 42-foot rescue boats. Why?  Because they can’t find replacement parts for boats designed for the challenging waters of Chatham.  The federal government is not known for “Yankee ingenuity” and how to build/design spare replacement parts. Their solution? Retire the needed boats and replace them with boats that can’t handle Chatham surf and fog.

This is a life or death decision, and the locals know it. May I suggest that a volunteer surf and rescue committee come together? Perhaps come under a non-profit umbrella like the Marconi Maritime Center.  First task: buy the boats! You may get a good price since the government thinks they are worthless. Do it now before they go to auction where drug dealers and human traffickers can buy them. Second: review the maintenance records, and third: build spare replacement parts.

Waiting for a logical solution from our “quick and efficient” federal government? Don’t bet on it.  My money is on the people of Chatham and the Cape Cod maritime community.

Maraide Sullivan
Charleston, S.C.


Help Protect Insects


This spider was on my clothesline one morning busy at work. When I came back later he had stretched himself out on the underside of the line keeping himself in the shade and out of sight, one of god's miracles that might easily get killed or maimed by a lawnmower or leaf blower. I have often wondered the fate of all the insects and small animals that are regularly subject to our rather violent machines, the leaf blower and the lawn  mower.

I have been aware for about a year or so that there are organizations and communities opposed to leaf blowing and many communities that have banned them. The noise is so deafening and the dust and dirt particles get pushed as far as 15 feet into the air and linger there for many hours. These particulates can include  animal feces. The fuel they used also gives off toxic fumes.

The facts about insects and these machines are scarce. Most articles about leaf blowers and lawnmowers concentrate on poor air quality, noise, and high fuel use. Small animals can get vacuumed up by the portable leaf vacuums, which I would assume means that any number of insects could and would get vacuumed up.

We know “insects require leaf cover for overwintering, so by blowing the leaves away/or raking them away for disposal means insect eggs, pupa, and /or adults have lost their winter cover and habitat,” according to Kristen Andres of the APCC.

A vast majority of butterflies and moths overwinter in the landscape as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, or adult. These butterflies use leaf litter for winter cover too. The leaves provide weed suppression, moisture retention (this is very important now that we are in a time of drought), valuable organic matter, and winter cover. “Leave the Leaves” has become a rallying cry for native gardeners. If you must remove some of your leaves, leave some for insect habitat as well.

I have noticed an insect decline on our property the past few years. I have only been accosted by two mosquitoes this summer and seen a moth here and there. I don’t use pesticides so  our property should be teaming with insects.

Many people clear-cut their properties now, undoing the work of millions of years. Every bug and every bacteria and every plant  work perfectly together with our sandy soil  and damp weather.

Let’s cherish our insects and protect them.

Suzanna Nickerson


Impressed With Marconi Exhibits


After a few years' lapse in visiting the Marconi Maritime Center, we visited recently with some out-of-town friends. We are astounded by the change in the exhibits, which were good before, but now are even more engaging, understandable, and well organized. For Chathamites and their friends and family, who, like us, haven’t been to Marconi for a while, this is a must re-visit for all ages, especially children. Marconi’s inventions have directly or indirectly paved the way for all of todays sophisticated wireless electronics, radio, television, radar, cell phones, and GPS, and the exhibits and movies at the center explain these in a way that anyone can relate to. Many are interactive with video and audio displays. The volunteer docents serving there are very knowledgeable and full of information about Marconi and the center’s war-time operations.

The story of Marconi’s daring, drive, genius, and determination in the face of daunting obstacles, and the story of the classified code breakers during both World Wars, their commitment, discipline, and love of country illustrate qualities that are needed more than ever in today’s America and a great historical reminder to any visitor. Chatham is very fortunate to have such a wonderful facility located here.

John Hausner


A Loss For Chatham


Yesterday afternoon I swung by Chatham Village Market to grab some things. While walking across the lot I ran into our friend, neighbor and my former summer boss Mark Simonitsch loading up groceries. With a nostalgic smile, he explained that he was leaving Chatham that very afternoon (headed to West Barnstable) after he and Nancy had lived and prospered here for over 65 years. What a great loss to our Chatham community. Mark (distinguished Navy veteran, seaman, successful business man, mentor, civic leader, reader and thinker, avid gardener and keen beekeeper) and Nancy (gifted teacher, noted civic leader and talented sailor) epitomize the kind of people that we all strive to be – and who make us better people for simply knowing. Over the years, my brother, myself and countless local men and woman had a chance to work for Mark. By any measure, he is a first class act; a serious-minded community leader who led by example, and also a teacher extraordinaire (e.g., navigation, marine laws, environmental fishing best practices; he taught our boys how to use a nautical compass, etc.). We will sorely miss seeing Mark and Nancy regularly around our town and Mark's thoughtful and respectful speaking up on key public issues. Continued success and Godspeed, Simonitsch family. West Barnstable is lucky to get you!

Ned Chapman


Local Businesses Donate To Teachers


On Sept. 1, Monomoy Regional School District welcomed back its educators for Convocation 2021 – the first time all teachers and staff had gathered together since fall 2019. The masked and distanced event included welcoming remarks, and thanks to the generosity of local businesses, we were also able to offer door prizes to our teachers and staff. We would like to thank the following businesses for their donations for Monomoy's educators: The Beacon Room, Cape Sea Grille, Chatham Candy Manor, Chatham Village Market, Curb Mobile Hair Studio, Harwich Mariners, Layton Pest Control and Property Management, Yankee Ingenuity, and The Red Nun. We are so appreciative of our supportive community!

Joy Jordan, community engagement coordinator
Monomoy Regional School District


Time To Fix Fish Pier Parking


This year, it's time to fix the parking situation on Shore Road at the Chatham Fish Pier.  Peter Cocolis has noted that, at the fish pier, "We probably have more people come here than any other attraction in Chatham" (Chronicle, Sept. 2).  As a result, cars and trucks park on the road above the pier, obstructing traffic and blocking sight lines for drivers traveling north.  With a high volume of pedestrians and vehicles on this stretch of road, driving is hazardous.  Every summer we hear selectmen vowing to address parking concerns.  This area could be improved by removing existing shrubbery and widening the verge to allow vehicles to park completely off the road surface.

Bonnie Hessler
North Chatham


U.S. Abandoned Afghan Women


The Texas Taliban attacked women’s rights to control their own bodies. Compulsory childbirth is their fatwa, pleases self-righteous religious right, and has the blessing of the Mullahs of SCOTUS.  

And us? We abandoned Afghan women and girls to the Taliban. Trump and Biden also abandoned countless allies who worked for and with our armed forces. Trump did this to the Kurds in Syria. Kurdish warrior men and women, 10,000 of whom were killed alongside our forces, were abandoned by Trump. History repeats itself. Our allies wonder: Can they count on us? I am ashamed, horrified. Trump was, is an egomaniac. Biden lost his empathy, compassion, for Afghan women and girls.

Our forces needed perhaps a decade to arm and train volunteer Afghan women warriors. They would never drop their weapons and run. They were motivated: feared, knew, Taliban brutality. And we abandoned them before they could protect themselves.

Shame on us.

Sebastian Mudry
West Harwich