Chatham News

CHATHAM – Community preservation projects totaling more than $500,000 will appear on the May annual town meeting warrant, all of them with the support of the board of selectmen. Recreation-related projects dominate the CPC articles, although one critical request which almost didn't make the approved list was handled in a creative way. The historical commission had requested $30,000 under the historic preser...

CHATHAM – “Things have changed quite dramatically recently.” That was how Dr. Robert Duncanson, the town's natural resources department director, described the recent impact of storms on South Beach to the board of selectmen last week. The beach is “very narrow” and there were multiple overwashes of its southern section, he said. An area just south of Lighthouse Beach is very narrow and could break through....

CHATHAM – Deanna Ruffer, the town's director of community development since 2012, has resigned effective March 10. Ruffer said she has taken a part-time position as planner in the town of Truro. “This is an opportunity that allows me to reduce my professional responsibilities at a time in my life that I feel it is very beneficial and attractive to do so,” she said Monday. Ruffer is the second top officia...

CHATHAM – Just by walking along the shore, it's clear how much plastic washes onto the beach from the ocean. Every year, the observation is confirmed by beach cleanups, which consistently collect more plastic than any other item. It's not just a local problem; it's worldwide, as the makers of the documentary “A Plastic Ocean” discovered. “It's ubiquitous, and it shouldn't be,” said Jo Ruxton, the film's ...

Shark Numbers Keep Climbing

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Researchers can't yet conclusively say how many great white sharks are in Cape waters during peak periods from August through October, but one thing is clear: Chatham and Orleans are the hot spots. In 2016, acoustic buoys off Chatham and Orleans had the most detections of any of the receivers deployed from Marshfield to Nantucket Sound. Similar results were seen in previous years. “Orleans and Cha...

CHATHAM – The town's extensive shoreline, and the public facilities which allow people to access the waterfront, are among Chatham's greatest assets. For many, it's why they vacation or buy property here. For others, it's where they make their living. It's a major economic driver, and enhancing and protecting those facilities has long been a top priority of town government. Over the next five years, officials ...

CHATHAM – The town's share of the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School annual budget will drop by $16,000 next year, but with the district eyeing a new school building, Chatham's tech school spending is likely to see a jump beginning in 2020. If the district's 12 towns vote to approve a new $141 million building in October, Chatham's annual share of the cost will be $113,000 annually over a 30-year period. ...

CHATHAM – A proposal to use $30,000 in community preservation funds to develop National Historic Register District nominations for two neighborhoods has run into a snag. Community preservation committee members questioned whether the proposal fit within the historic preservation function of the CPA, noting that it did not directly preserve an historic resource. There were two alternatives: one is to use the...

Keating Reintroduced Monomoy Boundary Legislation

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Federal legislation to limit the western boundary of the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to mean low water has been filed by Congressman William Keating. Keating filed the legislation last Thursday. The bill is the same as one filed last fall and seeks to clarify the United States government's interest in the area west of the refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asserted authority over 3,000 t...

CHATHAM – The first time Sean Summers met Tim Roper was after Mr. Roper had zinged him in his satirical Crap Cod Chronicle. “I told him I thought it was funny, even if he did put me in a Speedo atop someone else's shoulders,” Summers said Monday. “We had a drink and were friends ever since.” A former selectman, Mr. Roper died at his Old Queen Anne Road home last weekend. He was 65. Although his wit could...

Washover Could Lead To New Break

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Recent winter storms have sent waves crashing over low sections of South Beach, and in one particular location created a washover that officials say could lead to a new break in the barrier beach. Much of South Beach south of Lighthouse Beach is little more than strips of sand barely above high water. One spot about a half mile down the beach where the higher dunes give way to low, flat sand, just pa...