Cloverleaf and Climate Change
To the editor:
In “We Must Act Locally on Climate” (Aug. 6, page A3), Dick Elkin clearly explains the reasons why significant building projects must, from now on, meet a standard of net-zero emissions. The logic is straightforward and inescapable: we must bring our net emissions of greenhouse gases down to zero as soon as possible if we are to have a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change, and it is far easier and cheaper to accomplish this by building right the first time rather than building wrong and retrofitting down the road.
While Elkin focuses on the proposed renovation of Nauset Regional High School, his argument applies equally to affordable housing projects such as the Cloverleaf development in Truro. No town should grant approval to a significant building project such as Cloverleaf or the new high school that fails to meet net-zero emissions standards. This is the new normal.
Truro and New York City
Preventing Community Spread
To the editor:
Paul Benson’s Aug. 13 assessment of the Cape Cod epidemic [page A1] pointed out the contrast between new Covid-19 cases observed last spring and this summer. Most of the new cases reported in the spring originated in nursing homes, whereas superspreader house parties in Chatham and Falmouth were the principal source of the July surge of new cases.
Furthermore, the high death rate associated with Covid-19 infections in long-term care facilities — more than 50 percent of the deaths on Cape Cod were of residents of just five nursing homes — was not seen in the summer clusters, which predominantly involved young people.
Another important distinction not mentioned in the article is that most Cape Cod residents were powerless to control transmission of the disease in nursing homes. We can all help prevent community spread of Covid-19, however, by exercising the self-discipline lacking in the partygoers who violated guidelines recommended by health-care professionals.
Wearing facial covering and engaging in social distancing will help control the spread of this virulent disease on Cape Cod until more permanent solutions become available.
Ronald A. Gabel
The writer is a retired anesthesiologist.
The Plastic Bottle Ban
To the editor:
A very important subject is coming before our town meetings: you will be asked to vote on banning plastic water bottles. Businesses that carry beverages in plastic bottles are concerned.
Remember the controversy surrounding the banning of plastic bags a few years back. That ban has been a great success.
What a relief not to see any single-use plastic bags blowing across the highway or stuck in the trees, and none on the beaches either.
Addressing the issue of plastic in our environment can’t wait any longer. All species are affected by the billions of discarded plastic bottles. The time has come to ban them once and for all. As it is, we see plastic bottles everywhere: floating in the water, discarded on the sides of roads, and even way out in the Seashore, half buried by sand.
With the recycling of plastics becoming more of a problem — not enough products being made from the tons of recyclables that are generated daily — we need to stop the flow to consumers, who in some instances are not aware there is a problem.
Research into how plastic ends up in the food chain is grim. Water can be carried in so many other ways.
We have heard all about the “new normal.” Let’s begin our new normal, leading the way with a cleaner environment here on Cape Cod.
Provincetown and Truro
Tawdry Can Be Fun
To the editor:
As a longtime former resident now living in Vermont, I have enjoyed keeping up with Provincetown goings-on through the Independent.
I must admit, I liked the true crime story in the most recent edition [Aug. 13, page A4], tawdry though it might be. I also liked reading about my old friend Paul Bowen [page C3], who is now a neighbor up here in Vermont. I loved the article about Harry Kemp [Aug. 6, page B6], particularly Sal Del Deo’s reminiscences.
And I love Amy Whorf McGuiggan’s forays into Provincetown’s history. Her recent piece about Rosilla Bangs [July 23, page B7] was an example of her research skills and her ability to bring Provincetown history to life. I also love Dennis Minsky’s columns.
Thanks to all for keeping local journalism alive and relevant in my old home town.