‘A Serious Disconnect’
To the editor:
At the last two Wellfleet town meetings, voters overwhelmingly approved measures to resolve the town’s financial problems and alleviate the crisis in affordable housing, the two critical issues facing the town.
On a less positive note, there seems to be a serious disconnect between the select board and the voters on the one hand and two of the most important town committees on the other. The finance committee voted not to recommend the purchase of Maurice’s Campground, even though it had strong support on the select board and the other relevant committees. It appeared that only three of the nine members of the finance committee attended the meeting. One member, who opposed the purchase, gave her reasons, which came down to fear that given the past problems, the town did not have the competence to handle such a complex transaction. The two other members who were present strongly supported the purchase.
If the town does not go through with the purchase, the land, which is being offered at below market price, will almost certainly be sold to a developer who could construct 20 expensive houses on it. In view of those facts, it is unbelievable that the finance committee could recommend against the purchase.
Then the chair of the planning board came out strongly against a modest bylaw change that would permit some small seasonal cottages to be converted into year-round residences; a small step to help alleviate the affordable housing crisis. His arguments against the bylaw change made no sense. Maybe it is time for new leadership on the planning board, with a chairman who is fully committed to supporting the creation of affordable housing in Wellfleet.
Markers of the Season
To the editor:
I saw my first big yellow school bus yesterday; it stopped a line of cars as a tiny kid got off and rushed into the arms of his enormous father. Beautiful sight, says I.
I waited all this horribly hot summer to see that scene. It didn’t disappoint me. I’m 72, and I still have all the time in the world to patiently watch that scene. I tell time by such moments. The first “conk-a-ree!” of the returning red-winged blackbirds in late March. The first flakes of snow on a gray late autumn afternoon. The lengthening of the shadows at August’s end. The scent of freshly mowed grass.
Lou and I weren’t hungry for dinner last night. (That in itself is a marker of another season.) We had plain spaghetti with butter, salt and pepper, and a shake of Parmesan cheese. There was a peach in a bowl. “Want to split it?”
“Nah, you love peaches, you have it.” So, I did. “How was it?”
“Well,” I responded, “it’s not the best peach of the summer, but it’s the last peach of the summer.” Our sole remaining peach tree gave no fruit this year, for the first time. Another marker, I suppose.
We tend to gorge on peaches, corn, and tomatoes in summer; it’s hard to find a decent peach in January. It may have made the 10,000-mile journey from southern Chile from their summer to our winter, but the durability that science endowed that peach comes with the sacrifice of its authentic taste. Perfect peaches equal summer. Remember that when you become old and daft and can’t remember what season (much less what day) it is.