Stop Unwanted Airport Development
The roadway project in West Chatham has been an outstanding success, benefiting everyone, calming traffic and easing those hair-raising intersections. Unknown to many people another danger lurks, brought home by that plane accident in Provincetown recently. The center of West Chatham Village is designated as a so-called "Runway Protection Zone" (RPZ) The FAA demands that for the protection of people and property, the RPZ be completely empty of residential and commercial buildings, gas stations and even roads.
But guess what! Central West Chatham has them all. It's a long story, but the planning board was asked by airport officials to zone central West Chatham Village as a dead zone. This would shut down any development, especially much needed affordable housing development for Chatham's working families. The value of dozens of existing homes and businesses would be severely reduced. All of this in order to expand Chatham's small plane airport into a commercial airport.
Chatham selectmen, town officials, neighborhood residents and local West Chatham businesses worked together to reverse state highway expansion in West Chatham. We will need to work together again to stop unwanted airport development.
Don't Lower Airport Visibility Ceiling
For me, the main thrust of the Chatham Airport Master Plan Update is to lower the visibility ceiling in order to facilitate increased inclement weather landings. This may significantly heighten risks, especially for people on the ground.
It’s risky to land here in inclement weather conditions. Why, you ask? CQX has a single, short 3,001-foot runway, with no crosswind runway, which is important in inclement weather. There is no control tower, which is also important with rapidly changing weather conditions. And there are no usable runway protection zones.
Throughout its history, CQX has had a 600-foot visibility ceiling. If pilots are unable to see the runway at 600 feet, landings are redirected to an alternate airport. Lowering the visibility ceiling from 600 feet will certainly increase the frequency of inclement weather landings at our airport and thereby increase risks, particularly for those of us on the ground, but also for those in the air. As the recent Provincetown crash showed, inclement weather conditions are when many small plane accidents occur.
Recognizing our runway’s inherent limits and our lack of adequate RPZs, may I suggest our select board and airport commission send a joint letter to FAA that firmly states our desire to maintain the 600-foot visibility ceiling at our airport. We need your voices to speak up for us.
For our well-being and peace of mind, tell the FAA not to lower the 600-foot visibility ceiling! Many in town will welcome your efforts and many more may actually sleep better, especially on inclement nights.
Outreach Helps Raise Money For Haiti
The culture committee at Monomoy Regional High School would like to send an enormous thank you to both the Cape Cod Times and The Cape Cod Chronicle for helping us get the word out about our "Helping Haiti Week" and our fundraiser for HopeforHaiti.org. Your stories enabled us to raise, as of Monday, Oct. 4, over $3,000! Kind and generous folks from Cotuit to Wellfleet have sent us checks, often with lovely notes attached. We are so moved, and our Haitian and Haitian-American students are thrilled and very grateful as they work on their thank you notes. Merci!
Monomoy Regional High School Culture Committee
Make A Difference At Home
Please do research on the biodiversity of Cape Cod, the effects of lawn care on the aquifer, and the effects of light pollution on the environment, including our neighbors. Following are samples of my own research.
In disrupting ecosystems, light pollution poses a serious threat in particular to nocturnal wildlife, having negative impacts on plant and animal physiology. It can confuse the migratory patterns of animals, alter competitive interactions of animals, change predator-prey relations, and cause physiological harm.
The primary concern about the pesticides used in lawn care is that they can leach through the soil and contaminate the groundwater.
Lawn maintenance consumes millions of gallons of water during the Cape’s summer sunny days, while the synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides used to keep them pristine looking dump nitrogen, phosphorous and toxins onto the Cape’s sandy soil — and from there into waste and ground waters.
We can turn off many of our lights, we can use organic or no chemicals as lawns are unnatural on Cape Cod (beautiful landscaping can be done with minimal lawns). We can each make a huge difference right from home.
Full Disclosure On Airport
Decisions about the airport depend on full disclosure. Who uses it? How many flights annually? What is the potential cost to Chatham taxpayers? What will be sacrificed, buildings, trees ponds? Who is in charge? Is this important to the town? Voters should decide.”
Tom and Merry Dahms
South Chatham and St. Louis
Commission Can Cut Through Dead Zone
Chatham Planning Board’s Warren Chane’s asks, “Why remove existing theater support structures?” (“Plan Board Reluctant To Approve Monomoy Theatre Subdivision Without Assurance Of Theater's Preservation,” Oct. 7.)
This question gets to Greg Clark’s definition of himself as heading a production company with a record of saving National Register properties.
In most places, historic preservation means financial reward with a plaque. However, on Cape Cod, the Cape Cod Commission has teeth and can save a town’s historic treasures. Hidden in Monomoy’s legal dead zone is the need for the entire theater property to be designated a National Register Historic Site.
Warren Chane, Robert Wirtshafter, Arthur Spruch and Rodger Griffin have questions, especially about how the ball field lighting will affect a proposed subdivision of single homes. These questions are indications Chatham’s legal zoning dead zone.
Planning Board Chair Kathryn Halpern and Community Development Director Kathleen Donovan are concerned with what is now legal and they must see the legal dead zone.
The Cape Cod Commission has the authority to preserve this entire historic property. The property is currently inadequately zoned and its rightful designation of National Register of Historic Places is being held up, for now, because the Cape Cod Commission has legal teeth to save historic property.
There was another buyer for the property whose intention was to save the entire theater site. The Chatham Planning Board is responding to the desire of our community to save the Monomoy Theatre, but the legal dead zone is in the way.
The Cape Cod Commission is a resource to help cut through Chatham’s legal dead zones.
Encourage Thrift And Reuse
The Bearly Used Thrift Shop at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House (UUMH) in Chatham closed last weekend after a busy and successful summer. We want to thank everyone who donated, volunteered at and supported us this year. After missing last year due to COVID, we were delighted to be able to be back. Operation of the shop is part of our UUMH Ministry of Thrift, encouraging the reuse and recycling of our resources to help the environment.
We expect to reopen in mid-May 2022 and look forward to welcoming our community friends and neighbors back!
Death Of Common Sense
A ban on the sale of single-use bottled water (in plastic) is now in effect in Wellfleet. Yet recreational marijuana stores are now open here.
So now anyone of legal age can buy all the pot they want in Wellfleet – but not bottled water.
The town of Wellfleet should hold a funeral for common sense because it died here long ago.
Require COVID Vaccinations
To prevent further spread of the coronavirus, we should require everyone to get fully vaccinated (including a possible third dose) unless exempted by a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition. We should write to our legislators and executives at all levels of government.