The Way the Water Flows
To the editor:
Last week’s article about the recent joint meeting of two select boards regarding the Walsh property in Truro [“Provincetown and Truro Discuss New Wells at Walsh Land,” Oct. 27, front page] omitted key information, unnecessarily fueling division.
Under the subhead “Water Wars,” the article notes that a recent report by Sole Source Consulting (written by Thomas Cambareri, a retired 31-year veteran water manager at the Cape Cod Commission) shows that groundwater at Walsh flows toward the nearby North Union Field well field, while also noting that a report by Tighe & Bond cites older data that indicate a different flow direction.
Based on my experience working on the permitting of North Union Field for Truro, Sole Source is correct. Sole Source cites an analysis put together by a consultant who worked for Provincetown about 12 years ago when the North Union Field well field was being tested. It appears to me that Tighe & Bond likely made an honest mistake, citing only a study that predates the installation of pumping wells at North Union Field.
If you had reached out to Provincetown or Tighe & Bond you could have easily clarified this. Instead, you attempted to stir up controversy by declaring a “water war.”
The article also says that none of the officers of the Truro Environmental Defense Fund, which commissioned the Sole Source report, attended the joint meeting, creating the impression that the TEDFund doesn’t care. Brian Boyle, who is listed as science and engineering advisor on the TEDFund website, attended the meeting via video teleconference.
The Independent should focus more on reporting accurate news, including all relevant context, and less on sowing division.
The writer chaired the Truro Water Resources Oversight Committee from 2004 to 2018.
Protecting the Aquifer
To the editor:
I attended the joint meeting of the Truro and Provincetown select boards the other evening, and there was no public comment.
The topic was mostly water and everyone wanting more. It seems the first question would be: how much water can we safely pump out of the Pamet Lens? It is not an endless source. Since this is our sole source of water, it is important that we take care of it. We cannot build more than the land can support.
The aquifer must be protected and managed, and that cost must be borne by all of the users, which means all of Provincetown and Truro.
We have a known PFAS contamination in two wells that serve a condominium complex. I attended the last Truro Board of Health meeting, and the talk was about filtering and getting them municipal water. There was a discussion about the contamination, source, and spread, but it was short, and there were no funds to enable them to take any action. If the aquifer becomes contaminated, having municipal water won’t make a difference.
A fee could be added to each person’s water bill — maybe three cents per gallon. For Truro residents on wells, it could be a per-bedroom charge. This would generate a fund to allow us to test for PFAS, handle problems, and proactively manage our aquifer.
Many things can be done quickly, efficiently, and at reasonable costs. Most important is that all of the water users need to pay to protect our aquifer.
Clinton C. Kershaw
To the editor:
I was very interested in your article “The Many Happy Returns of the Mushroom Hunters” [Oct. 20, page B1].
I am sure there are many mushroom foragers. I am one of them, having learned from my uncle Heaton Vorse which ones I could safely take, cutting the stems and leaving the rest of the mushroom in the ground.
There are also, however, many takers — not foragers — in our woods who strip them clean. I have repeatedly seen the backs of cars filled with boxes of boletes. And it is not something those pickers want seen. They are not forthcoming when asked about what they are going to do with so many mushrooms. I know what they do: dry them and sell them for a lot of money.
The last couple of times I went looking, there was nothing left. I know it’s been drier than normal, but that is really strange to see. If you’re not out early, you’re out of luck.
I don’t think it’s right that people come to our woods from out of town and strip them clean. It’s been happening for a number of years now.
How can this be addressed? Limiting what can be taken by one car? Very hard, if not impossible, to enforce. And who wants more rules?
But what’s happening is not right.
Provincetown and Ossining, N.Y.
Regime Change at the Jail
To the editor:
There are many reasons we need to change the decades-long regime at the Barnstable County House of Correction. The primary reason is that the profile of the average inmate is not the same as it was 20 years ago.
Today, the majority of people in the jail are suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. These people need myriad services that they are currently not receiving. As a result, the inmates are less likely to be rehabilitated.
Simply put, the Barnstable County House of Correction has become a revolving door of recidivism. This serves neither the inmates nor our communities.
Letters to the Editor
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