Truro town meeting to vote on $212,000 childcare voucher scheme


The Truro Town Assembly will debate an important initiative to benefit local working families: Section 7A, which allocates $212,500 to a one-year childcare voucher fund. Massachusetts’ child care system is in crisis, with families paying unsustainable rates, child care workers earning poverty wages and facilities unable to sustain their bottom line. Child care can cost families up to $20,000 a year for infants and $16,500 for toddlers, plus a year of public college, mortgage or rent. Similar programs have been adopted in several towns on Cape Cod, including Chatham and Eastham.

The childcare vouchers launched by the city are a small step towards solving the childcare crisis in Truro. Locally, I urge Truro voters to pass Section 7A on Saturday, and for other Cape Cod towns to consider similar legislation, a first step in making child care in Truro affordable and accessible to all working families.

Taxpayers can also do much more, and the Common Start Bill (H.605/S.362) now before the state legislature aims to do just that. The bill proposes “base funding” for facilities, dramatically increasing family grants and raising the salaries of child care workers to parity with K-12 teachers.

Labor shortage:Childcare keystone of economic recovery in Cape Town

Under the plan, families would pay no more than 7% of their annual household income for childcare, facilities would receive per-seat subsidies to subsidize facility delivery costs, including for supplies, facility improvements, salaries and what is known as the “wrap-around”. -services” for children with special needs, extended hours and other supports.

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With concerted local and national support, we can solve the child care crisis now.

Sandra Faiman-Silva, Ph.D., Falmouth

Harwich Town Meeting: Vote for Article 37

On Monday, May 2, voters in Harwich Borough Assembly have the opportunity to make a significant investment in the future health of our town and region. Section 37 asks voters to approve spending $950,000 in Community Preservation Act money to help kick-start the Harwich Conservation Trust’s purchase of what is called the Lower Cape’s largest undeveloped property . The Trust has launched a $3 million fundraising effort for an 85-acre parcel located in the Six Ponds Special District, which consists of 1,200 acres of rare plant and animal habitats.

Community Preservation Fund:Harwich Conservation Trust will ask constituents of the Borough Assembly to help buy 85 acres

Deforestation due to development and industrial uses is causing a planetary crisis that few can deny any longer. Once an undeveloped forest is lost, it is difficult, if not impossible, to restore it to the complexity that exists in its important animals, plants, and other biota that have evolved and thrived over time. We must seize every opportunity to save these critical spaces which, although essential in themselves, also function as carbon sinks, living organisms that generate moisture and sanctuaries for humans in quest for comfort in natural and preserved places.

We urge all Harwich voters to attend the Harwich Town Hall at 7pm on Monday at the Harwich Community Center and vote for this important article.

Deborah Ennis, Harwich

Ennis is a member of the Harwich Climate Action Network

Funding needed to support aging-in-place programs, not nursing homes

The April 22 Times article on abuse and deaths in nursing homes made my heart ache. For years I have spoken to anyone who wants to hear about the horror of beloved elders who end their lives in the misery and indignity of nursing homes (see my June 7, 2016 My opinion).

When my own mother was dying, Brewster/Harwich Nursing Home never called me to say she was asking me because they thought I “wouldn’t want to be bothered”. Say what? It was the last weekend I could have spent with her before she died in my arms because a nurse called me two nights later to come quickly. My mother left with anger in her heart. And I have a trauma, which never ends.

Related:Some Cape Cod retirement homes are proving unsafe for residents due to a labor shortage

We need a dedicated federal and state fund to keep seniors who cannot afford home care (most seniors) at home. This would ultimately save money, money that floods corrupt nursing home practitioners. This would give work to home care providers. It would ensure family cohesion and a comfortable end of life. What does it say about us as a callous, indifferent, and increasingly willfully cruel society that we didn’t do this? Petition your congressmen, please.

Lee Roscoe, Brewster

Is it time to reduce the number of state representatives?

Cape Cod Times reported on Page 1 (4/27) that the Massachusetts House rejected (124 to 32) tax relief suggested by Governor Baker — in a state that has about $8.5 billion in surplus funds.

There are 156 members of the House in this Commonwealth of 6.893 million (one representative for every 44,186 people). The United States House of Representatives has 435 members (and 332 million citizens), or one representative for every 763,218 members. Does this state really need a third of the number of state representatives compared to the whole country? Isn’t it time for an initiative/signature campaign to halve the membership of the Massachusetts House? Wouldn’t it be a great “blow for freedom” to let the citizens decide?

William Skinner, Centerville


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