Who Needs Climate Change?
Not “on a winter's day” (credit Mamas and Papas) but here and now on California's Monterey Peninsula. Walking along Scenic Drive in Carmel, Calif. this week, I wore a hat, leather gloves, and a Polar Fleece jacket. The temperature was struggling to hit 48 and a high of around 60. Typical.
I was reminded of that wonderful 1957 Novel by Nevil Shute, “On the Beach.” As many of you may recall, Shute tells us that a nuclear WWIII has devastated most of the Earth. The remaining survivors are gathered in Melbourne, the southernmost city which is temporarily safe from radioactive fallout. For at least six weeks.
Got me thinking that we are the Melbourne of the lower 48 during June Gloom, No Sky July and Fogust, as the meteorologists call it, with exceptionally low high temperatures and overcast conditions most of the time.
We can market this for those others, as on Cape Cod, who are sweltering under 100 degrees back East. I must act fast since it gets nice here in October. And I'll be on the Cape in August to get my dose of summer heat and humidity.
So, like a friend who was constantly berated by her family when she failed at various diets, she finally wore a button that read "I beat Anorexia." No one mentioned her weight again.
As for us on California's Central Coast, we could sell buttons here that read "Climate Change, we don't need no stinkin' Climate Change here." And keep that dreamin' alive.
Monterey, Calif. and Chatham
Enforce Store Guidelines
I want to report a very disturbing incident that happened to my granddaughters in Orleans. I have owned my house in Orleans for over 20 years. I support local businesses frequently.
Today, two of my granddaughters went in to a local convenience store to purchase a can of soda. One was holding a bunch of bags from stores around town. The other was purchasing the soda. The cashier looked at the one who was purchasing the soda, who happens to be Asian, and accused her of shoplifting with no proof at all. My other granddaughter, who happens to be white, was actually holding all these bags from shopping but was assumed innocent. It is so obvious to me that racism was the issue. My granddaughters also felt this was direct racism.
I went back to the store to confront the cashier. He laughed and said there was no racism and his manager said the same. They called me a “Karen.”
What can be done about this local business and its discriminatory policies? As the Cape becomes more diverse, businesses need to set policies and enforce these with their workers!
Sand Needed To Protect Beaches
The Cape Cod Chronicle of July 28 features a front page article on grants the state’s Seaport Economic Council handed out this week to several waterfront communities including Chatham, Harwich and Orleans for shoreside improvements and other grants for dredging projects. Chatham will receive $1 million for improvements to the fish pier and $500,000 to help on-going dredging of the Stage Harbor inlet. Both are good news for the community.
However, the current dredging equipment cannot move the sand west along Chatham’s South Coast to the border with Harwich. I had the opportunity to speak with the supervisor of the county dredging operation last year. He told me if Chatham invested in another pump the dredged sand could be moved further west to replenish the beaches in South Chatham. As the current moves from west to east this would be beneficial over time to all the South-facing beaches, not just those in closer proximity to Stage Harbor inlet. Furthermore, collective political action by the towns along the lower and outer Cape to remove the state’s restriction of “off-shore harvesting” of sand, as allowed in California, would provide a close by and more abundant source of sand to protect our shores.
I hope both of these recommendations will be pursued to protect the beaches that we are blessed to have and that bring visitors and money to our shores.
Everyone Draws On The Same Water Source
Bob Staake’s letter to the editor in the Thursday, July 28 edition and a recent opinion piece in another publication both address the same problem of over-watering and fertilization of our lawns. Mr. Staake refers sarcastically to the mysterious nightly rains creating lush lawns. In my neighborhood one does not have to wait to see the irrigation systems coming on in the middle of the night. There are some systems that water the grass (and the street) multiple times throughout a 24-hour period with no thought to alternating schedules as mandated by the water department.
How is this allowed? It is allowed because the property owners have a well and private wells are not governed by the town. It is only the usage of town water that the town regulates and that, alone, is a mighty big challenge of enforcement. Whether town or private well, we are drawing on the same resource, a resource that is not infinite.
In this very dry season, it would be nice to think that everyone would do more to conserve this precious commodity. It would be nice to think that everyone would look past their present manicured, verdant lawn to a future where we can be thankful that we took individual initiative to protect our water supply at the expense of our lawn.
Our Connection To Life
Regarding the letter in The Chronicle titled " Rights of the Unborn” (July 28), human life does not begin at inception. Only the potential for life exists. The same potential that an acorn, when planted, will become a tree. Human life begins at birth when a fully developed fetus can breathe on their own. Our connection to life is this umbilical cord connected to Mother Earth we all share called breath. Without this simple fact we cannot enter or stay on this plain called planet Earth. Until then this unborn life is all hope, love, hearsay and divine intervention…none of which are admissible in a court of law.
Viva Las Vegas
In Las Vegas and Nevada in general, all irrigated turf areas are classified as “functional” (e.g., athletic fields and cemeteries) and “non-functional” (most lawns). Non-functional lawns are replaced with plantings that require less water. The rationale for this is to conserve water, a precious commodity in the desert southwest. It is also a precious commodity here on Cape Cod, with a single-source aquifer and a population that burgeons during the dry summer months.
Maintenance of a TruGreen (formerly and more honestly known as ChemLawn) style lawn not only squanders water, it contributes to the degradation of our environment with the runoff of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides into our waterways. The color of the West Reservoir in West Harwich this summer, due to highly toxic blue-green algae, is truly shocking. The only thing more shocking is the smell.
I have never understood why so many people turn their patch of Cape Cod, which is unique, into an image of Anywhere, Suburbia, by installing an irrigation system to keep an un-dead lawn on life-support systems that threaten to destroy our environment. And if you don’t think you are compromising your own health by regularly dumping a cocktail of chemicals into your property, you have got your head buried in the dicamba, quinclorac, and sulfentrazone-drenched sand.
Caring Words, Dangerous Results
Despite knowing that my response to Joe Meeks’ letter, published in last week’s Chronicle, will not change minds, will fall on deaf ears, still, here are my thoughts.
While Mr. Meeks’ letter sounds so caring, so sensible, so innocent, it fails to consider the ramifications of no choice for women, which is where we suddenly find ourselves. Like the wolf in sheep’s clothing, this warm and fuzzy vision of caring for the unborn fails to have any real compassion for those it will truly effect. They are words that will cause women to die from miscarriages that hospitals will now refuse to treat, ectopic pregnancies that will also go untreated, and attempted secret abortions that will cause huge numbers of needless deaths. History, (HIStory) has shown us all too clearly the muddy and well-worn road this kind of logic trudges us down, once again.
The issue at hand, concerning women, does just that. It concerns women. It should not be up to the Mr. Meeks of our society, or our government, as to how and when women become pregnant or prevent them ending a pregnancy, and also how a woman is treated if she has an unwanted pregnancy, and has to give her child up for adoption. Women are again being shamed for being women, for reproducing, for not reproducing, and for wanting control over their own lives. How dare they.
Mr. Meeks, how would men react if our government passed a law requiring them to have a vasectomy, to prevent impregnating women, and shamed them in every possible way if they refused to abide by this new law? Arrested them? What would you say? This is no business of yours? Keep your laws off my body? I’m a man? I have my rights? I’m an American and this is 2022, not 1822?
Think, think, think. It’s not that simple, and your caring words cause dangerous results.
Compromise On Turboprop Aircraft
I appreciate the informative article regarding Chatham Bars Inn’s new contract with Tradewinds Aviation (“Critics: Inn's Air Charter Deal Will Increase Airport Traffic,” July 21).
In the piece, the chair of the airport commission seemed to question whether increasing the number of Pilatus turboprop aircraft landings into our airport will “equate to more traffic, or noise” by answering, “I don’t know.” As a former airport commissioner, as well as a West Chatham resident, the answer to both questions are “yes.”
The article stated that “the starting price for a one-way route and one-night stay in the inn’s deluxe room category is $5,400.” That is a very profitable venture for CBI.
After reviewing the airport revolving fund (the town’s account used to finance CQX), there is no revenue collected by Chatham for Pilatus airplane landings into or out of the airport.
I believe that the airport commission can set parameters on activity both in the sky and on the ground at our airport without any repercussions from the FAA.
I would like to suggest to the commission, as a taxpayer, that they set a limit on the number of turboprop plane landings at CQX. Allow Tradewinds Aviation to set up their contractual agreement for flights to Cape Cod with Barnstable Airport in Hyannis instead of CQX.
By effecting that compromise action, the commission will improve its standing with those residents who live near the airport. And I am certain CBI can afford the additional cost in fuel for their Lexus shuttle limousines to deliver their guests here in Chatham.
Susan N. Wilcox