For the Forfeit of A.R.C.’s License
To the editor:
I support the town’s decision to ask the Aquacultural Research Corp. (A.R.C.) to forfeit its grant in Wellfleet Harbor (as reported in “A Bad Year for Shellfish Seed Sows Discontent,” Sept. 22, front page).
The company flatters itself by saying we would not be short on seed if we hadn’t taken this step. My observation as a lifelong shellfisherman is that the grant in question has barely been used for propagation purposes under A.R.C.’s control. If it had not been revoked for violation of residency requirements, it could have been revoked for not meeting minimal production requirements.
A.R.C. says it needs to grow oysters to market size in order to fund its hatchery operation in Dennis, and, as the Independent previously reported, in addition to the three-acre grant they were asked to forfeit they are using another 1.73 acres of other farmers’ bottom to do so. For farmers to sublease the space they’re licensed to use sets a bad precedent.
What grant holders receive in compensation for this is not known. While the town’s leases are public information, these private subleases of Wellfleet’s grow-out space are not. The select board, rather than reconsidering A.R.C.’s grant revocation, should direct their shellfish constable to put an end to this practice.
If it is not illegal, then I would ask: what self-respecting shellfish farmer would yield grow-out space to an entity that is ultimately his competition in the marketplace?
My concern is that A.R.C. is functioning here as a for-profit seafood production corporation with an appetite for productive shellfish bottom — grow-out space that should be used to keep independent farming alive.
Wellfleet should stand by its own well-thought-out regulations rather than trying to bend them to aid a private enterprise.
A.R.C. Is a Partner, Not a Threat
To the editor:
As someone who has been in the shellfish industry since 1982, I would like to weigh in on the issue of A.R.C.’s shellfish lease, the loss of which was reported in “A Bad Year for Shellfish Seed Sows Discontent” in the Sept. 22 issue of the Independent.
One of the last things I did when I was Wellfleet’s shellfish constable in 1982 was to help get A.R.C. the lease that the town has just decided to revoke. I did this for two reasons: First, I thought that if A.R.C. had its own bed, it would not need to sublet other beds for its economic survival. Second, I knew that A.R.C. could not make it financially on seed sales alone.
In 1982, A.R.C. was the only viable source for clam seed anywhere. I don’t even know if it had started producing oyster seed yet at that time. The industry was in its infancy then, to say the least. But now, if A.R.C. were to go under, the shellfish industry would be in a very difficult position.
I realize that the rules requiring leaseholders to reside in town make it difficult for the select board to issue A.R.C. a lease. But A.R.C. shouldn’t be looked on as a threat to local aquaculture. Instead, it should be seen as an important business partner that helps all the growers in town. I wonder where we would be as an industry if A.R.C. had never existed?
As growers, we need all the seed sources we can get. I hope they can survive financially without the production their lease in Wellfleet allows.
The Great Pond Swim
To the editor:
Because your coverage of the annual Swim for Life [Sept. 15, page A14] was appropriately focused on the Provincetown event, I want to give a shout-out to another local branch of the swim that is smaller and less known, but no less joyous (and successful as a fundraiser).
I have been a grateful Swim for Life participant only recently. My first swim in 2019 was the first year that Wellfleet’s Great Pond was the alternative freshwater site. That year the pond was the only place to swim, as the remnants of Hurricane Dorian canceled the Provincetown Harbor swim for the first time ever.
The pond has continued to host a wonderful crew of swimmers, volunteers, and supporters, each swimmer welcomed at the finish with much-appreciated raucous cheering (and cookies). Especially in the wake of the past two years of Covid, I was disappointed this year to be unable to join in the Provincetown celebration, as I felt compelled (with several others) to leave quickly after swimming to attend Wellfleet’s town meeting. (Note to town: please don’t do this again. The Swim for Life is always on the same September Saturday.) Thanks to Jay Critchley, the pond swim was scheduled early so we could make it to the meeting.
I hope that Wellfleet’s Great Pond will continue to be a Swim for Life option, and I plan to continue swimming it as long as I’m able.
A Response to ‘Poppycock’
To the editor:
The response by Truro Town Manager Darrin Tangeman to last week’s letter questioning the town’s need for a “communications and marketing coordinator” is such poppycock that it almost defies a response. But it is so reprehensibly off base that at least one letter should call him to task.
Tangeman allows that the “marketing” aspect is but a small “portion of the job”; then he charges folks with having a “misconception” about the meaning of the “M word.” After this insult, he goes on to say that if those who don’t understand what marketing means would only open their minds a bit, they would “see the benefit of being better informed on the value proposition of the town’s provision of services in relation to the taxes and fees they pay for those services.”
That is, the communications and marketing person would not primarily be “marketing” but would be selling residents on the idea that the taxes they pay are worth it because of all the great services provided by our town.
Our taxes may well be fair — even low, compared to other places as wonderful as Truro. But to maintain that the communications and marketing person would not spend most of her time marketing the town and then, in the same breath, say that the job requires that time be spent selling the residents on the wonders provided by the taxes levied means that Tangeman is the one harboring a misconception about the “M word,” not the taxpayers he serves.
Truro and Westport, Conn.
Let the Tower Arise
To the editor:
Your article about PB Boulangerie [“Four Years Later, Eiffel Tower Remains out of Sight,” Sept. 22, page A6] left me disappointed in the town, given PB’s numerous awards and year-round commitment to staying open for serving the locals. Given that there is a lighthouse on top of a store on Main Street, along with a boat that says “Welcome to Wellfleet” in town, and even a boat with a fisherman on top of another restaurant, it seems a bit hypocritical to refuse permission for Chef Philippe Rispoli’s tower.
PB has done wonders to bring diversity to the Cape and support local workers. I will be going there this week and offering my support, thanks to your article.
A Stellar Sporting Event
To the editor:
Thank you for Allen Gunn’s Sept. 15 story about the Cape Cod Classic Wood Bat Tournament [page A15]. When Bob Manowitz said that he can’t imagine Labor Day weekend without this tournament, he echoed the words of hundreds of adult baseball players who enjoy the intense competition, spectacular fields, collegial atmosphere, and the Cape’s incomparable hospitality year after year.
Any story about the Cape Cod Classic must acknowledge the role that Pete Beck and Alex Masel played in creating, building, and sustaining this tournament for a quarter century before handing over the reins this year.
I’ve played in baseball tournaments throughout the U.S., and the CCC remains my favorite. It is the stellar sporting and family event that so many of us anticipate and enjoy every year because of Pete, Alex, and their junior management team.