To the editor:
Paul Benson’s article “As Deadlines Draw Near, Park Service Clams Up” [Aug. 10, front page] raises important points. It has ever been a love-hate relationship in these parts with the Cape Cod National Seashore managers, but now the hate quotient is rising.
The fate of the dune shacks is worrisome, but the fire hazard posed by thousands of acres of unmanaged woodland stretching from the Wellfleet-Eastham line to the Beech Forest in the Province Lands is grave. There is a fire tower on Route 6 in Wellfleet that once upon a time was manned. How quaint — a little like the signs that declare this artery an evacuation route.
What has happened since the Seashore was established in 1961 borders on criminal neglect. Over these 62 years, the Park has accumulated thousands of dead trees, and the woods have developed in many places a thick understory of debris, trigger-ready for a massive fire. An uncontrolled fire whipped by high winds could create a Maui on the Outer Cape.
None of the lapses of the Cape Cod National Seashore is more threatening than this one. We should urge our elected officials to advocate for more funding for the Park Service so that it can manage what they have responsibly. Perhaps the Seashore could learn a lesson from nonprofits like the Trustees of Reservations and Mass Audubon, both examples of excellent stewardship.
John C. Marksbury
Emergency Care: A Team Sport
To the editor:
Thank you for keeping us informed about the state of emergency services on the Outer Cape. It’s great news that Provincetown has staffed up — albeit at the expense of Lower Cape Ambulance and the town of Truro. [“LCAA Service Will Dissolve at End of Summer,” Aug. 10, front page]
This would have been a wonderful opportunity for the chiefs and town managers to sit down and figure out how to work cooperatively and not compete for the limited pool of qualified EMTs and paramedics with different salaries, benefits, and promises.
Now that it’s a done deal, it’s time to work with what remains. Outer Cape Health Services needs to come to the table and see how it can help avoid the three-hour round trip to Cape Cod Hospital for minor injuries, particularly during the busy season when we need all hands on deck. As a federally qualified health center, OCHS should be able figure out how to do that — but not without all parties working collaboratively.
While Provincetown is fairly easily delineated, Truro is not, with its dirt roads and niches that take a while to get used to. Mutual aid agreements require each force to know what’s where.
Emergency care is not a competitive solo enterprise. It’s a team sport. It’s time to think about how our small towns can join resources to benefit our residents and visitors. The good of one should not defeat the good of all.
Laura Logue Rood
Provincetown and Boston
Vigilance on Holtec’s Plan
To the editor:
The Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) released its tentative determination to deny Holtec’s application for a Surface Water Discharge permit from the former Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. [“State Agency Denies Holtec’s Permit Change,” July 27, front page]
Gov. Maura Healey has continually affirmed her opposition to the proposed dumping of Pilgrim’s radioactive and chemically contaminated water. We applaud this action.
The DEP cited the Ocean Sanctuaries Act, confirming it is illegal to dump industrial wastewater into protected Cape Cod Bay. Even Holtec identifies the water as “industrial wastewater” in its application.
This is the first step in halting Holtec’s plan. Now DEP must finalize the decision and issue a formal denial.
Holtec has a history of ignoring state authority, however, and continues to pursue a permit via the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But bound by the AGO-Holtec 2019 settlement agreement, Holtec must abide by state laws and regulations.
Holtec bought Pilgrim to profit from the $1.1 billion decommissioning trust fund. It’s a lot cheaper and faster to dump. In New York, Holtec plans to dump Indian Point’s wastewater into the Hudson River, putting profit before people. We must remain vigilant.
The next step is a DEP public hearing at Plymouth Town Hall at 6 p.m. on Aug. 24. There will be a rally on the Plymouth green at 5. Comments should be sent by Aug. 30 to [email protected] with the subject line: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station.
This is an opportunity to speak up about this greedy corporation and save our bay. Can we seal the deal to protect our communities and the environment? We must.
The writer is director of Cape Downwinders.
The Biden ‘Crime Syndicate’
To the editor:
I have a problem with Heidi Jon Schmidt’s letter to the editor in the Aug. 3 Independent about the upcoming presidential election. It strikes me as completely false.
I am a middle-class person who has to pay double and triple for everything I buy. I believe there was a coup — it was committed by the Biden crime syndicate who stole the last election. And it still continues today. It is the Biden administration that wants to take away our free speech.
I cannot send $50 a month to help anybody get elected because I cannot afford it. Gasoline has gone from less than $2 a gallon to closer to $4. Grocery prices have doubled and tripled. I do not see how this is helping the middle class.