Letters To The Editor: Sept. 30, 2021

Letters to the editor.

Find Different Fire Station Site


The other day, I was standing at the front door of my home on a beautiful sunny day looking across Eldredge Park Way at the skateboard park and further into the beautiful green ball fields. I was feeling very fortunate to have been living here in Orleans for over 20 years surrounded by an emerald in the heart of Orleans.

Suddenly, it was shattered when I realized that the town was seriously considered building a new fire station where the skateboard park is and perhaps three to five more acres. Now, I was imagining a large concrete structure with a driveway aimed at my house and ambulances and fire trucks screaming out of the driveway, in spite of the newly installed lights being moved near my own driveway flashing all day and night.

Obviously, I have a personal stake in where that station is being built for two reasons. First, it will destroy the beauty of that piece of Orleans landscape and a children’s park that my grandson enjoys so much with other boys. Second, the station will have a very negative impact on the value of my home. I do not think it is fair, and the plan completely disregards the impact the station will have. I strongly urge the town to reconsider their plan and find another location.

Robert P. Singer


Entertaining The Whole Town


The tent was bigger than the Madison Square Garden tent for the circus combined with the smaller circus tent at Lincoln Center. It is the most beautiful, classy tent ever seen in Chatham or anywhere else. It has the old town buzzing all week long. A friend told me it was even bigger than the factory where he used to work.

The gossip mills are spinning. The price began at $3 million and escalated to $6 to $9. Everyone had a bigger guess and finally topped off at $12 million.

Then on went the speculation about who the entertainment would be be. It began with Aerosmith and ended with Bruno Mars. All the workmen were sworn to secrecy and all said no to Aerosmith, but just smiled to Bruno Mars. So Bruno Mars it was.

All I want to see were the flowers but never got lucky thought there were carloads of boxwoods pasted onto boards which were carefully carted inside. The next day someone showed me a photo of the outside ceremony with a river of blue which must have been hydrangeas. In the bushes were spotted sneaky onlookers trying to look small hunkered down sprinkled among the hydrangea.

I did get a fleeting glimpse of a six-foot bouquet tucked under a small awning at the Sunday brunch. Someone at the Candy Manor got a quick peek at the painting of Chatham Bars Inn bought by the brother-in-law for “them” and said was going to their house on Shore Road which was, all surmised, where Bruno Mars could slip in and out without fanfare because he is a slight person.

At any rate it is a tribute to money well spent to entertain all of Chatham from someone who earned every penny with hard work and lots of smarts.

Motorola, Motorola, Motorola. Greg “Charlie” Brown, thanks for all the entertaining. And to top it all off, you even supplied the biggest, brightest moon on the water for us every single evening. But in the end can we ask...where was the big pumpkin? Is it the moon?

Fleur Feighan Jones


Which Interest Is More Important?


Once again we are seeing the “poor” pitted against the “environment” as if there were an inherent impossibility in reconciling the needs of both. The recent article on our need for housing in Harwich played up the crisis as a reason to change zoning, increase density, and put in sewers to whisk away the negative impacts. Can I please mention the obvious? The “rich” are the drivers of environmental degradation both globally and locally.

No hard feelings, but the facts are that consumption is the culprit. Let’s not pretend that developers are charitable institutions trying to help us who are sadly hampered by so-called snob zoning and ecological limits blocking their generous intentions. I’m really not feeling the tragic loss of a Dunkin’ Donuts in East Harwich half as much as I am the loss of every last wooded bit of land that suddenly sprouts a million-dollar trophy home. I see that there are three major groups who all need land on Cape: year round housing; second homes and seasonal residences; and non-human ecological systems.

To have a healthy, functional community we cannot do without any of these. One is over-developed and growing by leaps and bounds at the expense of the others. Please do not try to convince us that year-round housing requires the further destruction of natural systems. Clearly our imbalance is in the loss of year-round housing to second-home buyers and investor/landlords.

Our economy will continue to drive toward the cheapest possible laborers, the building up of every possible lot, and the foolish idea of endless growth. This is madness.

Clara Mclardy


Green Lawns Are In


Working remotely is in, camping is in, the air fryer is in, and unfortunately, green lawns are in, too.  What ever happened to the Cape Cod lawn?  More and more on Cape Cod, Cape Cod lawns are being converted to high maintenance irrigated lawns, and new construction often includes an expansive fine turf lawn.  These non- sustainable lawns put pressure on our sensitive natural resources and require high amounts of water, fertilizer, and pesticide applications.

These high-intensity fine-turf lawns have a tremendous effect on our municipal water system infrastructure at a time when the Chatham water system is under increased pressure from climate change-induced drought and weather extremes and PFAS contamination.  Most of Cape Cod has sandy soils which are poor in their water and nutrient holding capacity.  Growing fine turfgrass here requires more irrigation and increased fertilizer usage which puts pressure on our coastal ecology as nutrient residues migrate to our shorelines.  Fine turf requires pesticide (insecticides, herbicides, etc.) usage which negatively impacts our natural resources and ecosystems.  

A proposal to beautify Kate Gould Park calls for the “upgrade” of the landscaping to include water-loving non-native ornamental plants and a fine turf lawn.  Is this proposal responsible given our current state of affairs?  Is it really necessary to suburbanize this landscape? This proposal calls for a new added irrigation well which will tap into our strained freshwater aquifer.  The town of Chatham should set an example by encouraging a native and sustainable landscape.  Natives are attractive, are adapted to our environment, and do not require high-intensity maintenance practices for their good health. Drought-tolerant fescues coupled with clover can be planted in lawn areas.  

We cannot be shortsighted.  Clean water and our natural environment are not something we should take for granted.  These are shared resources. Everyone has a shared interest in protecting and preserving them for our time and for future generations.  Our survival depends on it.

Robert Del Vecchio


What Happened To Colonial Ordinances?


This: Thanks for the art history lesson. When I first saw the Sept. 9 Shark Cove my reaction was "that's a Mondrian trout, who's this De Stijl character?" Thanks to Google I now know that De Stijl (the style in Dutch) was Mondrian's art movement.
That: Whatever happened to the Colonial Ordinances of 1641-47 where the Massachusetts Bay Colony conveyed most, but not all, rights of ownership to the area between the mean high water mark and the mean low water mark to the private coastal landowner. My father didn't like anyone walking on "his" property period, until Mother Nature and the 1987 Breakthrough proved it wasn't his after all. The family never disabused him of the notion that his property ended at the customary "mean high water mark." That could, and maybe now is controlled and limited by the terms of the deed, but the deed for 41 Andrew Hardings Lane was from "a point east to the waters of Chatham Harbor." So a comment in another edition about title ending at the MHWM might be in error. Now Chatham can change the law, but if a change takes away property of a landowner there must be compensation under the U.S. Constitution. Of course that doesn't apply if the taking is by Mother Nature, as was the case.

Paul Galanti
Indianapolis, Ind.


No Fights In Bad Weather


Bad weather was a major factor in the fiery airplane crash that ran off the runway in Provincetown on Sept. 9. The Provincetown crash is an example – in our own backyard so to speak – of why Chatham Airport should only be a fair-weather airport. A crash like this in bad weather with residences, businesses and people in our “safety zones” (RPZs) would most likely be much more devastating.

Non-flying residents of Chatham should clearly understand that the new airport master plan update (AMPU) would allow CQX to be open during bad weather. As Select Board Member Cocolis said about plane crashes, “accidents happen.” Why make it easier for a disastrous accident to happen in Chatham? Allowing CQX to be open in bad weather is definitely a bad idea.

Who can stop these changes from being implemented? Only the town of Chatham as the owner of CQX can.

Please let our town officials know your thoughts and feelings about CQX's AMPU and the many proposed changes to the character of the airport and its impact on the quality of life in Chatham.

Carol Bliss
West Chatham

Editor's note: Pilots can currently land at Chatham airport in all weather. The proposal in the master plan would change the approach during periods of poor weather to make it more direct and, according to airport officials and pilots, safer.


Questions Revolving Fund Spending


When the town votes at its annual town meeting, on spending limits for warrant articles for the airport commission airport revolving fund, who is accountable?

Are those spending limits enforceable and by who? Are there any legal consequences for the commission for not complying with the spending limits? I have been trying to get answers to those questions without much success.

The airport commission's airport revolving fund has exceeded those spending limits for at least the last three years. In fact, for the last full fiscal year, the commission exceeded the revolving fund limit by 60 percent. Has any other department, committee or commission in town exceeded their limits? And if so, what have been their consequences?

In fact, the commission chairman, Mr. Harrison, was quoted in the July 22 Chronicle:

“Last week, the select board unanimously reappointed Harrison and another incumbent airport commissioner, which he takes as a vote of confidence. The select board is supporting us.”

This is making a mockery of the town’s vote on spending limits. Instead of the commission suffering any consequences, the select board rewards it by unanimously reappointing their members.

Is this any way to run a town?

Juris Ukstins


Refuge Path Is Public Right Of Way


The path to The Morris Island portion of Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is a public right of way. The Quitnesset homeowners have been interfering with this access by posting a succession of more and more hostile signs at the entrance to the path.

There are now four separate signs warning of dire consequences if I leave anything there temporarily or even stop my car. The effect is intimidating. And the homeowners have no business taking other people’s property.

It seems obvious to me that it is best not to be unpleasant to people who are doing you no harm. Too bad the people at Quitnesset Association disagree about this.

Frank Kahr
South Chatham


Eviction Makes No Sense


So much for the town of Chatham trying to create “affordable housing.” I just got an eviction notice on my home of the past couple years because the town wants to buy the place but demands the owners empty the place of all the tenants first. How does that make any sense?

Three fishermen were living here this year and now everyone is supposed to leave because the town wants the land to build housing for people who can’t find a place they can afford to live in Chatham. Guess what? I found a place I can afford, but the town wants me to leave. They don’t want to do it themselves, so they are getting the Buckley family to do it for them.

Joe Buckley and his son, Andrew, rented me a cottage and have been fair with me all along. I have a lease. I am not in arrears. But the rest of the family only sees dollar signs. I was at the town meeting this spring where all the town officials got up and said nothing was going to happen to the property until the family worked out a deal for Andrew to keep a small part of the land to live on. There's been no deal. It’s all still in court and will probably be months until it is finished. But all of a sudden I have to be out of my home, with my truck and boat and tools and fishing gear, and they know it.

One member of the family is a minister out in Oregon and it was his lawyer that served me with eviction papers. I repeat, I have an active lease. It runs until the end of the year, Dec. 31, 2021. No one from the town has offered to help find a place for any of the tenants to go. I have to stay in Chatham to keep my commercial shellfish license and other permits.

That tells you all you need to know about how town officials are going to run this new housing project. Lies, doubletalk and misdirection all around.

If the town doesn’t want me out on the street in a few weeks, then they have to tell the Buckleys to back off right now. Andrew isn’t any part of this, and I think if Joe Buckley were still alive he would be ashamed to see how the rest of the family is behaving. Money really is the root of all evil.

Randy Saul

Find Different Fire Station Site