Letters To The Editor: Sept. 22, 2022

Letters to the editor.

Grateful For Meservey Remembrance


Dan Meservey was remembered recently by many in our community. He was well known! Some might think of him as the face of West Chatham. As a selectman, Dan earned respect of many more folks in our growing town.

Generations in my family patronized his businesses as he was honest and smart. He seldom showed a temper and always had a smile. He was knowledgeable and humble in nature, not timid! He followed his passion for cars and shared his enjoyment with those who appreciated his work. My family and I are grateful for his continued help over the years.

I first met Dan when as a young boy my parents brought us kids to the dune buggy races. We always rooted for him during the Sunday races, which were very exciting!

Dan was a kind and respectful man, two valuable qualities shared by his wife Sharon and children Dan, Doug and Lisa. They created an awesome environment to celebrate his life. There were many local characters who shared experiences with Dan and many more who expressed their appreciation. The videos and photos captured his life well!

His tribute was shared by folks from the racing community where Dan elevated his effort towards down south decades ago. I am grateful to have known him and to call his family friends.

Michael Hall


Letter Fails To Convince


In response to Mr. D’Elia’s Sept. 1 letter (“Questions Direction of Country”), I must say I was quite impressed with the erudite introductory references to classical scholars and Enlightenment thinkers who he correctly cited as foundational to our government’s founding. I even enjoyed his somewhat bitter list of exploiters ("kings, czars, emirs, kaisers”) who only rose to power by virtue of “birth or assassination.” Brilliant!

But then I was soon adrift into the usual yarn of claiming the “creator” was who we should all become beholden to. This term was only referenced in our nation’s founding documents as the Deist argument that if a God existed, he was merely the “clockmaker” who set all into motion, not the Theist argument where He (God) and Mr. D’Elia have an ongoing presence and role governing the order of the universe and humanity.

His reference to the origins of the middle class was also laudable, but lost in the sea of right-wing paranoia claiming “95 percent of academia, media and woke politicians...ignore free speech.” Oh really? Can he prove this without undertaking Fox News punditry as his only source with the daily blather of “alternate facts?”

I was not aware that the media suppressed free speech (I dimwittedly thought they actually portrayed free speech).

Ah, but yes, allow Mr. D’Elia to awake each morning to trumpet the claim that we must all bear arms (you know, muskets, 18th century rifles, flintlocks and why not AK-47s because we must all stand guard against those pesky snakes and other varmints).

In summary he invokes by prayer the help of a deity, then suggests revolution. Wait...didn’t that fail on Jan. 6?

Mark Phillips
Grand Junction, Colo.


Aquifer Is Not Running Dry


In the past few weeks, we have seen letters to the editor proposing to build a desalination plant on the Cape, another suggesting we hire a landscaper to teach us how to “hardscape” our front yards, and we’ve had several letters and an editorial shaming people who use their private wells for irrigation. These writers all seem to be working under the assumption that we are in danger of running out of water.

Fortunately, there is excellent data on the level of water on the Cape, thanks to a US Geological Survey program of measuring key water resources. In Chatham, USGS installed a well in 2012 that measures the level of the Cape aquifer every 15 minutes (please Google MA-CGW 138R Chatham, MA to check the data).

So how worried should we be? 

The water level in Chatham on Sept 12. was 28.83 feet below land surface. This compares to a median level during the past 10 years for the same date of 28.36 feet. That is, the water level is down a little less than six inches below average. When you consider that the aquifer near Chatham contains a lens of water that is 250 to 300 feet thick, the water level is about 2/10 of 1 percent below where it normally would be at this time of year, a trivial amount. 

Perhaps we can all relax a bit about the quantity of water available on the Cape and focus on the real water issue, which is water quality. To our water leaders and journalists, please check the data and stop spreading panic and imposing restrictions as if we are critically short of water. We are not.

Jay Hunt
North Chatham


Backpack Donation Helps Program


We thank the Lower Cape Kiwanis Club for its donation of 19 new backpacks fully loaded with school supplies for children K-12. Families who visit Hands of Hope Food Pantry and Outreach Center truly appreciated your generosity. Collecting these backpacks through the month of August really helped our program considerably.
We acknowledge all your efforts to assist food and financially insecure neighbors in our greater community and send thanks for your continued support.

Over the last 12 months our Food Pantry and Outreach Center has helped over 4,200 people with emergency food, eviction notices, oil, utilities, funds to move into new housing, back to school filled backpacks, and toys and gifts at Christmas. This assistance would not be possible without the help of our many friends and donors.

Catherine Driscoll, director
Carole Kull, assistant director
Hands of Hope


Exciting Year Ahead For Nickersons


Last weekend about 100 descendants of William and Anne Nickerson, the founders of Chatham, arrived in town to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Nickerson Family Association, Inc. (NFA). The descendants and their families traveled from as far as California and Canada and from as near as Chatham. Everyone had a wonderful time meeting new cousins and seeing old friends during three days of festivities in Chatham and Harwich.

We thank all those who helped us in celebrating our 125 years. Specifically, we thank Tim Wood of Chatham Walks; Kevin Wright and his docents at the Atwood Museum; Judith Ford and her volunteers at the South Harwich Meeting House; and the Rev. Joe Marchio of the First Congregational Church of Chatham. We believe that good food makes for a successful weekend, and we thank Cindy and Blake Stearns and their crew at Marion’s Pie Shop; Rik and Caren Morse at the Chatham Filling Station; Eric Paone at Chatham Light Liquors; Matt and Kristi Eldredge at Backside Bakes; and the staff at Chatham Perk and the Dennis Public Market.

We look forward to an exciting year as we continue interpreting William and Anne’s recently-excavated c. 1664 homestead. On our campus the c. 1829 Caleb Nickerson Homestead is open for tours through September, and the “Nick House” is open for genealogical research. We will soon be reconstructing a c. 1695 barn we believe was built by William and Anne’s son William, and we will let you know when we set a date for our barn raising at the NFA campus.

Robert E. Nickerson, president
Debra Lawless, executive director
Nickerson Family Association, Inc.
North Chatham


Wake Up To Electric Rates


“It’s not a bit funny, this feeling inside/I’m not one of those who can willingly fry/I don’t have a vote here, but, boy if I did/I’d cap the electricity, with a reasonable lid.” (Apologies to Bernie Taupin and Elton John).

In a Sept. 7, 2022 Wall Street Journal article the following sentence appeared: “Californians paid on average about 29 cents per kilowatt hour in June, by far the most in the continental U.S. and twice as much as in neighboring states.” Doing the math on my current Eversource bill in Chatham gets me to 29.44 cents per kilowatt hour and that is after getting the best deal possible last November on the electricity generation portion of the bill. It appears that the writer of the WSJ article isn’t aware of Cape Cod electricity rates. Cape Cod voters, please wake up and do something about this. Surely the descendants of the people who tossed the tea into Boston Harbor can figure out what is wrong here and work things back in the correct direction.

Craig Chambers
Bonita Springs, Fla.


Border Policies To Blame


I support controlled immigration and not a worldwide free-for-all to just arrive here and stay.  You don’t have facilities to support them? Who does with this moronic do-gooder totally open border and the chaos it brings to our country. I now support sending as many as will agree to go to Martha's Vineyard and the Cape Cod area by the hundreds or thousands. You're not so kind and inviting now. You are a major problem and cause of this mess by your pseudo kindness that only other people have to pay the price for. Start building decent housing projects right there for them now and do your part to support your moronic border policies.

Terry McManus
Fairfax, Va.


More Postal Problems


OK, so what is the latest on who dumped the Chatham Post Office mail? This is the season for crickets, but this is ridiculous.

Years ago, the Chatham Post Office was a pleasure to do business with. Now all I see are sour faces. I am a friendly person trying to make workers' jobs easier. It's like a challenge. However, I guess I have lost. Now I go out of my way to another P.O.

An elderly friend several times has not had her outgoing mail picked up. The last time a spider web greeted me when I opened her box. Her mail had not been picked up, either.

Compare the above with West Chatham, where Bill would talk about his shellfishing escapades. And South Chatham, when I forgot to put a zip code on a card. When I called, the clerk was delightful and said she would take care of it.

B. Storer
South Chatham


Thoughts On The Times


Hitler said that a big lie is more easily believed than a small one. If so, the biggest lie is that man can be God!  Erwin W. Lutzer, senior pastor, Moody Church, Chicago.

First, they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one to speak out for me. Dr. Martin Niemoller.

It has been said that after God died in the 19th century, man died in the 20th, for when God is dead, man becomes an untamed beast! Victor Frankl.

C. Cameron


Tougher Penalties Needed


Due to drought conditions and low water pressure complaints, the town of Harwich instituted a widely published mandatory water ban effective Aug. 1 to ensure adequate water supplies for fire protection and health and safety needs.

A trip around town reveals that a significant number of entitled homeowners have decided that their need for a lush green lawn trumps the critical importance of protecting the public water supply. Evidence of their disregard for the welfare of their fellow brown-lawned and rule-complying neighbors is unmistakable from often daily wet pavement, puddles and manicured verdant yards.

Discussions with Dan Pelletier, superintendent of the Harwich Water Department, convince that he and his staff are doing all possible through the use of written warnings and fines to control this widespread and reprehensible disobedience of the town mandate. Unfortunately, penalties for non-compliance are limited to fines whereas threat of shut-off might attract more attention of those who consider themselves more deserving than the rest of us who seek to protect the public welfare.

Superintendent Pelletier assures that essential firm enforcement of imposed fines is in progress.

You ban violators know who you are as do your neighbors. Shame on you!

Ralph Smith
Harwich Port


Seniors Deserve New Facility


I thought that I'd try my hand at the COA discussion. Almost as ongoing as that on the airport. At least the seniors don't make much noise. Maybe they should make more.

The select board has had a proper study made of the two viable alternatives. Upon examination the community thinks that sharing the community center with the senior would not be appropriate, although it is done elsewhere.

That leaves the replacement of the present facility. This appears satisfactory except for a noisome issue – parking. If a traffic professional were hired, he would state that the maximum number of parking spaces for such a facility would be five spaces per thousand square feet of building. So, in this case that would be 46 spaces.

The proposed plan accommodates this number of cars with surface parking which is normal.

So, if the this approach can be agreed to, we would appear to have a solution to this ongoing problem. Our seniors, of which Chatham has the second highest percentage in the state, deserve a new place to explore and expand their lives.

Phil Richardson
Chatham and Tiburon, Calif.


A Win-Win For South Chatham? 


Three cheers for South Chatham’s National Historic Register listing. It’s a great corner of Cape Cod, but here we go again.

We already host the dump, which has always drained into Buck’s Creek; a multi-town industrial sewer complex on both Middle and Morton roads; major pumping stations too, at the north end of Route 137, featuring a distasteful, fire engine red unclogger crane (Welcome to South Chatham!) and a new big dig at the south end; one if not both large solar panel arrays; the town’s main watershed, drawing down the water table of its own ponds; run-down Commerce Park for hauled boats, fish gurry, and too green lawns; a gigundous stump dump, to banish the brush blocking beautiful views; and quirky New England junk yards. We get everything the rest of Chatham doesn’t want.  

Now the plan is to turn five acres of nice woods west of Route 137, abutting the lovely Twine Field, into affordable housing. Which we indeed need, somewhere.

But here’s a better idea that’s not too late to implement: With Holy Redeemer’s $3 million expansion, would the Diocese of Fall River consider closing the demographically unneeded Our Lady of Grace chapel, making its already cleared land and oversized parking lot available for affordable housing, so we can conserve the wooded five acres? There could be a nice path through the woods to the Twine Field for our new and current residents to enjoy. I have long cautioned that we should guard against the primary intersection into town turning into a Willow Street. Preserving a piece of woods there will help.

This is neither a NIMBY nor bigoted argument. My proposal would actually locate the affordable housing closer to my home. And my family has attended the chapel since it was first built. But its overdue closing and the highest and best use of that already developed land as affordable housing instead of destroying our limited open space would achieve a just win-win for both our people and the environment. 

David J. Farrell, Jr.
South Chatham


Clear Up Aquifer Question


The Cape Cod Commission, which is tasked with protecting and preserving the region's resources, including the Cape aquifers, states on their website that in a typical year 10 percent of the precipitation entering the Cape aquifers is pumped to supply drinking water. The other 90 percent makes its way to the salt waters surrounding the Cape. There is a tendency to think of the Cape drought in the same terms as the diminishing resources of the lakes and reservoirs out west. A lens aquifer is different. I suggest that the Chatham Select Board invite a hydrology expert from the Cape Cod Commission to provide an update on the condition of the Monomoy lens aquifer that supplies our water so that we are all on the same page.

Mike Hluchyj