What Eastham Has Lost
To the editor:
I hope Eastham’s T-Time Development Committee acknowledges what anyone who reads the local news knows: Cape Cod has an overwhelming housing shortage. It’s never been this bad.
Other towns are finding acreage, building consensus, and dealing with NIMBYism and the attitude known as “BANANA” — Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.
Eastham lost 201 affordable rental units between 2000 and 2019. Those losses continue, thanks to VRBO and Airbnb. It seems only logical to use the tax revenue from short-term rentals to build up our housing supply again.
Affordable rental units can fit in with our idea of what Eastham represents: the look and feel of the town we love. I sought out Alan McClennen, chair of the Orleans Affordable Housing Trust. Because of his leadership and guidance, Orleans will be able to house the people who will care for you at the Terraces retirement community, ring up your purchases at Stop & Shop, pour your coffee at the Chocolate Sparrow, landscape your property, and cash your checks at the bank. His advice: hire a professional facilitator to guide the work of the development committee. Orleans did it — and accomplished its goal in just seven months.
I asked Mr. McClennen about the apartments on Old Colony Way in Orleans. Why do they have such curb appeal? He said the general guideline for such town houses was to build 10 to 12 units per acre. Do they look like dormitories or barracks?
We have lost long-term town residents to that appealing and affordable Orleans neighborhood because there was no equivalent in Eastham. See for yourself how attractive it is. If we put all the money from the short-term rental tax into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, maybe our town could get back what it has lost, and then some.
That Bills-Oilers Game
To the editor:
Your Sept. 16 story “How Janet Benjamins Became a Buffalo Bills Fan” [page A23] really should have come with a “trigger warning”!
I started to read a lovely story about a local resident’s happenstance football fandom and was then flooded with vivid memories of the Jan. 3, 1993 NFL playoff game between the Buffalo Bills and Houston Oilers.
Like Janet Benjamins, I distinctly remember that game, though not in the same way. To me, as a then-teenager growing up in Houston with a Warren Moon poster on my bedroom wall, it was not “the greatest comeback in NFL history,” but the low point in my history as an Oilers fan. Your article brought back all the trauma of watching the Oilers — play by play — squander a 38-3 third-quarter lead and then lose in overtime.
Alas, the Houston Oilers are no more (having moved to Tennessee after the 1996 season to become the Tennessee Titans). Good, bad, or otherwise, though, we’ll always have the memories!