Letters to the Editor, Dec. 1

Letter to the Editor

Theater Program Builds Community


There is nothing better than a live performance that is so powerful it stays with you days afterwards. BoldCo’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” was that performance for me.

BoldCo is a brand-new educational troupe for adults over 55, launched by Cape Rep Theatre under the direction of Julie Allen Hamilton. BoldCo joins the wildly successful YoCo and VetCo programs that all offer free, eight-week, professional theatrical training to anyone willing to participate (and commit!) in our community. None of these groups require prior experience, so generally the people who get involved are pretty, well, Bold!

Over the course of the eight weeks, BoldCo actors learned how to project their voices, how to move on stage with multiple exits and entrances, and how to work as a team to tell a story — things you probably expect from this sort of program. Unexpected and amazing was the confidence they projected and the heart and soul they had for the material. They tackled extremely sensitive issues with grace and strength. With multiple actors seamlessly took turns performing the main role, their camaraderie as a troupe was palpable.

Director Julie Allen Hamilton said that she had dreamed of this program for years. She did a fabulous job of training and directing a group of inexperienced adults. The new troupe gave a stunning, beautiful performance.

We are so fortunate to have Cape Rep supporting this type of free education, and to have people in our midst like Julie who are committed to teaching — not to mention the fearless BoldCo actors themselves! This is community building at its best. Thanks to everyone involved!

Meri Hartford



Thanks For Turkey Trot Help


Thank you to the Lower Cape Outreach Council for putting together a terrific Turkey Trot. I haven’t seen the final numbers but I certainly hope the donations exceeded pre-pandemic levels. This is a wonderful tradition for a very worthy cause.
I would also like to publicly thank the gentleman who slowed down to check on me when I had an unfortunate misstep on the curb along Oyster Pond. Your compassion and encouragement were much appreciated and helped me get over my embarrassment and shock. I hope you had a great run and very happy Thanksgiving.

Kelly Walsh



Keep Warm In Chatham


The Chatham Community Center is just that — a community center for the community. In the event of a snow storm that requires our community to seek shelter, our community center should be open and prepared to meet their needs. Our taxes should assure our residents who need care receive it. The community center needs to be open for warming during the day and overnight. People can come prepared to spend the night knowing that we do not provide showers or medical care, but we do have bathrooms and kitchen facilities. Residents can bring items that will keep them comfortable during the night. 

If this is indeed out of the question, why not use the elementary school with a cafeteria and other capabilities? And why are we looking to install a permanent generator next spring instead of now? 

Harwich and/or Cape Cod Tech is too far for our residents to travel in a storm. We need to take care of our Chatham residents in our town.

Carol Gordon

South Chatham


Time To House A Family


The photo of 127 Old Harbor Rd. in last week’s edition with the sign “A Family Could Be Living Here” perfectly illustrates the horrible housing problem that exists in Chatham. This once beautiful historic property has been for many years deteriorating rather than being repurposed as a home for a family and perhaps an additional living unit in the garage building.

One excuse is that we should respect the wishes of the generous donor, Mrs. Ellis. We’re sure she would have been thrilled when, despite her intent, the property was used for years as the water department, and now we’re sure she would be even more thrilled to see her home vacant and deteriorating year after year.

Times change, and what now would be a better way to honor her wishes than to restore her home to house a family whose children might go to our schools or enjoy the playground to the rear of the property.

A majority of voters supported this intelligent, caring restoration and use of this property but it failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote.

The most disappointing naysayers were two of our longest sitting select board members who say they support addressing the desperate housing needs of Chatham.

One Select board member has stated the property is too valuable for this use and should be looked at for other town needs, whatever those may be, even though housing is our biggest challenge.

The other Select board member, who probably should have recused himself, apparently feels it’s better for the property to continue to deteriorate as we search for some other space needs, whatever those may be. While we wait, it serves as overflow parking for his relative’s summer tenants and guests.

Chatham is finally acquiring sites for affordable/attainable housing, which is progress. However, it will likely be years before any meaningful building occurs. Smart planning requires us to put all the town’s properties to the highest and best use. A vacant deteriorating building serves no one.

Our family and so many others agree “A Family Could Be Living Here.” What could be more important?

David and Gail Oppenheim



Thanks For Happy And Safe Stroll


Several hundred families and friends of all ages strolled down Main Street for the Orleans Improvement Association’s “Orleans Winterfest" candlelight stroll. There were many smiling faces and glowing candles as the group made its way to the tree lighting in Depot Square.
OIA would like to thank those who helped make the stroll such a memorable time. Mrs. Claus led the stroll, followed by Dan Anthony, Nauset High School band director, along with several talented band members playing familiar favorites. The beautiful tree at Depot Square was lit after an enthusiastic countdown by all. Refreshments followed, courtesy of the Hot Chocolate Sparrow across the street.
Festive elf hats and candy canes for participants, donated by TD Bank, added to the festive atmosphere. The Orleans police kept the streets safe and clear of traffic. The DPW, thanks to Tom Daley, Ron Trudeau and crew, worked hard again to light the way down Main Street and this year added more lit trees along the cemetery which was greatly appreciated.
Thank you all for making this year’s stroll a happy and magical time for many families and friends.

Marcia Bechtold
Orleans Improvement Association


Beware CQX Propaganda


I continue to be alarmed by the systematic purposeful persuasion by a small group of homeowners who are twisting FAA regulations and facts to appear as advocates of safety, when in fact their proposals would reduce safety at Chatham Airport (CQX). Shortening the usable runway reduces safety margins for landing in wet conditions, crosswinds, and at heavy weight and will not change the runway protection zones (RPZ), which exist for the protection of people and property on the ground. They are trying to scare people by calling the RPZ a “danger zone,” presumably adopting a phrase from the movie “Top Gun,” when in fact no such thing exists.

Another myth is that curved approach paths are safer than straight-in approaches. Studies from the Flight Safety Foundation and the International Civil Aviation Organization have shown that straight-in approaches are 25 times safer than circling approaches. They also vilify turboprop aircraft saying they are too noisy. While enjoying the beach at Ridgevale last summer, it was clear to me that the piston engine airplanes are far noisier than the turboprop aircraft.

Another incorrect statement is that “large commercial aircraft” are now flying into CQX, threatening public safety. Large aircraft of more than 41,000 pounds up to but not including 300,000 pounds cannot land at CQX because the 3,001-foot runway is too short.

The airport commission is making appropriate infrastructure improvements to remove obstacles and implement straight-in approaches to improve safety, particularly in low visibility conditions. Don’t be fooled by misinformation.

Leo Eldredge


Chatham Turkey Trot Thanks


This year the Chatham 5K Turkey Trot returned after two virtual years, to an in-person race on Thanksgiving morning, and it was a huge success. The race drew 2,271 registrations and grossed over $100,000! All of the proceeds of this family fun run benefit the Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC).

LCOC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide comprehensive assistance to those in need

of immediate support and to encourage long term self-sufficiency.

This was the Turkey Trot's 18th year, but the first year it was managed by LCOC. LCOC would like to again

take this opportunity to thank the original founders of the race, Linda Redding, Mary Parsons, and the rest of the Chatham Turkey Trot board, for their hard work over the years. We would also like to thank all of the race sponsors, raffle donations, Chatham Police Department and the community as a whole for all of the support this year!

All of the proceeds of this race will help LCOC with their year-round programs which includes nine emergency food pantries, a financial assistance program and Katy’s Korner, a free clothing resource. During the holidays, LCOC also hosts a Thanksgiving turkey distribution which assisted 547 households this year, and Santa Stop, our holiday toy distribution. This year we estimate to provide toys, books and stocking stuffers to over 300 children.

From the entire LCOC team, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Katie Wibby, CEO

Lower Cape Outreach Council


True Meaning Of Holiday


I have watched over the years many people in my professional and personal orbits benefit from the free meal served at Brax Landing in Harwich Port on Thanksgiving Day. This was the first year that I had the opportunity to take my grandson in and pick up meals to be delivered. I would never be able to put into words my gratitude for what these lovely people actually do. The effort, the compassion, the patience, the good humor and frankly, the love on display was a sight to behold. To see my grandson, a hockey player himself, react as he watched the Nauset Hockey Team line up to take meals to be delivered, was a gift I was totally unprepared for.

Thank you to the Brax family for reminding us what it means to put aside petty grievances and remember that we are all together in this journey and indeed have so very much to be thankful for.

Tracy Cannon
South Chatham

Correction On Climate Story


In the interest of accuracy and personal responsibility, I'm writing to suggest a correction to "In Fight Against Climate Change, Salt Marshes are the First Battleground." As discussed in the two previous presentations by the Chatham Energy and Climate Action Committee to the Chatham Select Board, the best available projection of economic impact to Chatham related to sea level rise and storm surge is $3 billion between now and the end of the century. In my presentation I noted that as around 70 years; however, your article quoted me as saying 7 years.
Similarly to earlier reporting on this subject, your otherwise outstanding article makes a significant contribution to informing Cape Cod Chronicle readers and Chatham citizens about this important subject.

Robert M Wirtshafter, Ph.D.
Chairman, Chatham Energy and Climate Action Committee