Letter Policy

Letters must include the writer's name, daytime phone number and home address, and can be up to 300 words. Any letter that does not include a phone number for verification purposes will not be considered. The Cape Codder publishes letters that are focused on local events or on issues and topics relevant to the Lower/Outer Cape. Deadline is noon Tuesday (this may change on a holiday week) and letters should be e-mailed to managing editor Donna Tunney at dtunney@wickedlocal.com. Guest commentaries, up to 500 words, are published on a space-available basis. Email the editor or call 774-722-1160 to discuss submitting a commentary.

 

NO SMOKING

The ordinance prohibiting smoking at Brewster public beaches was recently amended to include town parks, like Drummer Boy, where cigarette butts had been a previously ignored litter issue. Here’s why this is a good idea.

Secondhand smoke has serious negative health consequences. Unlike other self-indulgent behaviors like eating fast food or drinking alcohol in public, secondhand smoke is not singularly linked to the participant.

The negative effects of smoking in public carry over into other people’s lives with a tangible and sometimes permanent impact.

Cigarette butts account for thousands of pieces of litter annually and detract from Drummer Boy Park’s aesthetic.

If smokers would dispose of their waste properly when they’re in public places, this might not be an issue, but they don’t.

Smoking bans have been shown to substantially reduce litter and therefore the cost of cleaning up outdoor recreation areas, as well as to improve their overall appearance.

Discarded cigarettes are also a fire hazard. And discarded cigarette butts may be harmful to birds and other wildlife that nibble on or even swallow them.

Prohibiting smoking in outdoor recreation areas shields young children from seeing smoking as a common adult behavior to be emulated. And restrictions on smoking are a major factor in helping to persuade smokers to quit, and to help those who want to stop smoking to do so.

Every ban on smoking also sends a clear educational message to the smoker that his conduct is not desirable and indeed, is found to be irritating by a majority of other people.

Peter A. Schaible Brewster

 

WASTIN' AWAY

Since the Wellfleet Select Board has issued host community agreements to five companies proposing to open recreational marijuana shops here (four on Route 6 and one downtown), perhaps Jimmy Buffett could write a theme song for this tiny seaside town titled: "Wastin' Away In Marijuanaville."

So much for "keeping Wellfleet - Wellfleet." Kiss that good intention goodbye.

Five pot shops opening in Wellfleet will be more nails in the coffin for this town's family friendly summer vacation economy, along with the town's ocean beaches being used as bar rooms, especially Cahoon Hollow Beach, and the escalating great white shark problem.

Alarming.

Mike Rice

Wellfleet