Opinion/Letters: Wing Island boardwalk project needs redesign to preserve natural beauty

Thank you for bringing the Wing Island boardwalk project to the attention of your readers. (9/20)

While I support the goals of this project, I would like to propose a different approach that takes into account the words of John Hay: "We can thank the marsh for all its transformations, and above all its constancy." Constancy meaning, enduring and unchanging.

As a 50-year resident of Brewster, Quivett Marsh and the views from both Wing Island and the Drummer Boy Park are just that: enduring and unchanging. As such, they reflect the town of Brewster Vision Statement, which has the majority approval of residents:

Related: Does Brewster need a boardwalk from Quivett Marsh to Cape Cod Bay? Citizens react to plan

“We work to preserve the rural, small-town feel of Brewster created by low-density development and open space, which contributes to protecting water resources and providing scenic areas for recreation and contemplation”.

I think the current proposal to build 10-foot tall, 10-foot wide, railed boardwalks, crisscrossing Quivett Marsh goes against the essence of John Hay and this vision statement and would destroy the amazing scenic area we love. As it is, it attracts many people to Brewster. I often think of the town as bookmarked by Quivett Marsh on one end and Namskaket Marsh on the other. We have provided access to Namskaket without destroying it. I believe we can do the same at Quivett Marsh.

As a former member of the Coastal Adaptation Strategy Committee and also the Brewster Coastal Management Plan Committee I can point to statements that support an alternate approach to access from Drummer Boy to Wing Island: “Expand access … in ways that preserve the natural habitat and respect the overall coastal and land-based ecosystems. Including wildlife habitat and salt marshes.” (Coastal Adaption, September, 2016)

I do support an improved boardwalk from the Museum of Natural History to Wing Island, but one that is modified to be less intrusive, 4 feet wide or just enough for one wheelchair, with two wider side spaces to ‘pull over’ if two are coming at the same time. This is what was done successfully at the Red Maple Swamp, Fort Hill in Orleans.

Lastly, the $1 million donor’s anonymity raises questions about the level and direction of influence of the donor on this project.

The project designs will be discussed during the Monday (Sept. 26) Brewster Select Board meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. You can attend the meeting via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89092910526?pwd=WHM2V3hrVklhSTloWWhVU09kanUzQT09, passcode: 509224)

Mary O’Neil, Brewster

Decency, respect must be restored in our nation

What kind of people treat others (women, men and children) with such disrespect and cruelty that they lie to them, tell them they’re going to Boston for work, and then put them on a plane and send them, (as if they were cargo) to an island completely unannounced. Not even coordinating with officials or having the decency to notify anyone else that these human beings were going to be arriving there. The only place they notified was Fox News! Exploiting people for political stunts tells you all you need to know about them. They are nothing but unscrupulous cowards!

Thankfully, the great people of Martha's Vineyard welcomed and cared for these migrants with dignity, kindness and warmth. This type of decency, humanity and respect is so needed to be restored to our entire country. Our nation is crying for it.

Gwen Johnson, Harwich

Bigger SSA ticket office is not necessary

As the Martha’s Vineyard representative to the Steamship Authority, for two and a half years James Malkin has been responsible for overseeing the design and planning of the ticket office in Woods Hole. As though he has finally heard his own “boats before buildings” message and the howls of protest from both sides of Vineyard Sound over the size, cost and sardine-can-opened-with-a-screwdriver design of the ticket office, he has now reported on his work: “I am not comfortable with the big terminal building, but the horse is out of the barn on that one.”

It isn’t too late, Mr. Malkin. You don’t have to build this albatross with your name on it. You can do what you and so many of us have all been saying about priorities: You can stick with the ticket office that has worked fine for years or, if you must spend the money, you can build a ticket office of the same size with a design that is appropriate for the village of Woods Hole.

John Woodwell, Woods Hole

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Wings Neck boardwalk must be redesigned to preserve the area's beauty