Letters To The Editor: Dec. 23, 2021

Letters to the editor.

An Existential Threat To Chatham


OK, I understand why Chatham changed the name of the town’s governing body from the sexist “board of selectmen” to the “select board.” After all, the gender of the members of the board is totally irrelevant to their jobs.

But why on earth was the name changed to the “select board?” That sounds awfully “elitist” to me. “Well, ‘we are among the select,’ and you are just, well, just a commoner.” Sound like something “Jef the Cyclist” in the Pearls Before Swine comic strip would think up. After all, he used to be Jeff the Cyclist until he dropped the second “f” because the letter was extra weight that simply slowed him down. If you aren’t familiar with the comic strip, just Google it.

Why not simply change the name to the “Chatham Town Council?” Town council is a common term for a municipal governing body. Then the members would be gender neutral “councilors” or “town councilors.” 

I can think of two possible explanations. First, Massachusetts law might bar the use of the term “council,” and second, perhaps the members like to think of themselves as being the “select few” amongst the masses. Perfectly understandable, because running the town of Chatham has got to be a thankless task. When you think about it, only a masochist would want to deal with the true, the most severe, the gravest existential threat to civilization as humankind knows it. Thousands of years of history, the work of thousands of generations endangered by one thing. Just one thing!

I speak, of course, of the Chatham Municipal Airport.

Paul J. Galanti
Indianapolis, Ind.

Community Members Expand Student Horizons


Many thanks to wonderful Harwich residents Angelina Chilaka, Albert Raneo, and Paul Reece. Ms. Chilaka and Mr. Raneo recently visited the Monomoy Regional High School creative writing II: global outlook class to talk to the students about Cape Verdean culture and history both in Harwich and in Cape Verde itself. We learned so much, and the students wrote beautiful "Found" poems from their talk. Just today, MRHS 2020 graduate Paul Reece visited that same class to talk about Korean culture, education, politics, music, food, and more! Paul will be heading back to South Korea soon to serve in the U.S. Air Force! Monomoy High is very lucky to have so many wonderful, generous people in our community! Thank you!

Lisa Forte-Doyle and the MRHS Global Outlook class

Giants Got A Lot Of Help


We would like to both thank, and commend the work of, the Chatham DPW crew, and the parks and recreation team, for all of the assistance in getting the Giants deployed at the community center. At each turn the individuals we worked with—Gary Glazier, Susan Mabile, Ron Friendly, Noah Mabile and Rich Corres — were professional, courteous and timely. It was a real pleasure, and incredibly helpful, for us to have their assistance.

We’d also like to offer our grateful thanks to Bette Hahner and Andy Young for their help with both the installation of the lights and their input on layout.

Mary Beth and Stephen Daniel

Impact Depends On Perspective


Kevin Galligan said Dec. 1 that he has seen how unregulated rentals have negatively impacted his neighborhood and others around town. "The character of our neighborhood has changed," he told his fellow select board members. "I've been here 36 some-odd years, and it'll never go back."

Funny how things work out when it's your neighborhood. As a planning board member, Galligan and the board had zero concern about road access, unleashed dogs, and the wildlife wasteland created with the dog park they allowed on the beautiful land Charlotte Kent had preserved. Neighbors, and their documented objections, be damned. FYI, "mutt mitts" don't collect urine.

Shoe on the other foot? Maybe when you are retroactively "fixing" things, you could get the wildlife and the "lady slippers" back onto Kent's Point and get the dog traffic off Keziah's Lane. After all, our problem has only existed for 25-plus years.

Should be a piece of cake, right?

Pete Norgeot


Heartfelt Thanks From The Kids


Our gratitude is mighty because of the abundant and heartfelt generosity of our community. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to provide unique challenges for our families, many of whom are not able to work because they are the caretakers of adult family members and kids. We have so many non-profit and private partners and angels who stepped up to help us provide warm clothing for the winter, and gifts for the holidays. We would like to mention some of the non-profits and organizations that leaned in to help us, including The Harwich Fund of Cape Cod Foundation, Cape and Islands United Way; Cape Cod 5; Harwich Employees’ Association; the Angels and Elves at Allen Harbor Club; Pilgrim Congregational Church Mission Fund; Pilgrim Congregational Church Knitters’ Group; the Harwich Women’s Club; Lucy Gilmore and the Early Childhood Resource Center; Alexis Mahon, who organized a book drive; the Guild of Harwich Artists; the teachers, staff and administration from the Monomoy schools.

And to our private donors, many thanks because we can’t do this without you!

Warmest wishes for the holidays and a healthy, happy 2022!

Harwich Children’s Fund
Angie Chilaka
Sheila House
Ann Marie Dooley
Toni London

Economic Study Sources Questionable


In a Dec. 16 letter, public figure Stephen Daniel (Chatham Finance Committee chair) explained that he did not "appreciate" the "anti-airport crew" criticizing his position taken in a public forum (letter to a newspaper) on a public issue (the town supported airport).

Mr. Daniel goes on to quote some government speak from the "MassDOT Aeronautics Division" that the studies used to assess the economic impact of local airports use a "modeling process... approved by the FAA" to assure us that the study results are legit. Now, those sound like two completely independent and unbiased parties in the study's creation. The text he quotes twice describes the study output as estimates, yet twice in his letter Mr. Daniel misleadingly describes that output as "facts," perhaps so he can include a snarky quote from a Mr. Moynihan. I think one can reasonably conclude that the study's output is structured conjecture, the methods of which are dictated by a highly biased regulatory apparatus. They are not facts.

Whatever one's opinion on the airport, if Mr. Daniel is too naive to see the obvious sources of bias in the economic impact study, then yes, his judgment can be questioned. As to his unwillingness to have his positions challenged, attempting to cloak himself in the armor of "integrity," I am reminded of another quote, not attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan: If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Bill Glass


A Tale Of Two Roads


Dear Old Queen Anne Road:

Your sidewalk looks wonderful. It's so smooth and accessible. I am (sigh) envious.

Yours truly,
Stage Harbor Road.

Linda Simonitsch