Harwich News

HARWICH — Grasping municipal finance can be like learning a foreign language. That's the sentiment of Carol Coppola, the town's prospective finance director/town accountant, who said she's eager to make the budgetary process easier for people to understand. By unanimous vote of selectmen Monday, and pending successful salary negotiations, Coppola will take the town's top finance job in about a month. Copp...

Schools Ponder Elementary Redistricting

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Given school enrollment trends, a small imbalance in class sizes between Harwich Elementary School and Chatham Elementary could grow more lopsided over time. That's the word from Monomoy Schools Superintendent Scott Carpenter, who is seeking permission to require a certain number of Harwich children to attend classes in Chatham, should that someday become necessary. The provision is included in a p...

Lightweight, single-use plastic shopping bags are now officially outlawed in Harwich and Chatham, thanks to bylaws passed by voters. And while the initiative seems to be boosting the use of reusable shopping bags, some retailers are still providing plastic bags to customers – legally. While Chatham's ban has been in effect only since Jan. 1, the Harwich prohibition has been in place for nearly a year. “It h...

Harwich Summer Campers Coming To Chatham

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — In Chatham, there will be a lot of happy campers this summer – even if some of their parents aren't. After more than 20 years operating from Harwich Elementary School, Monomoy Cooperative Learning Program (MCLP) will be temporarily relocating its summer program to the Monomoy Middle School in Chatham while the elementary school undergoes cleaning and renovation. It means a longer drive for parents ...

Health Board Proposes Under-21 Tobacco Sales Ban

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — If the health board has its way, people under the age of 21 soon won't be able to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products in Harwich. The board is seeking public comment on draft regulations which would also extend the ban to nicotine-delivery devices like e-cigarettes. Though the draft rules have various provisions, the key section prohibits under-21 sales, Health Director Paula Champagne sa...

DeCosta, HECH, Honored By Harwich Dems

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH PORT — At an event newly named after President John F. Kennedy, Harwich Democrats Saturday honored local residents who embody civic and community involvement. The Harwich Ecumenical Council for Housing received the James Noonan Community Service Award, and resident Debra DeCosta was honored as the Mabel Canto Democrat of the Year. The Democratic town committee renamed its annual President's Day brunc...

HARWICH PORT — It's time for like-minded Americans of all political persuasions to come together to fight the president's attacks on institutions like the judiciary, the election system and the press. That was the message from Congressman William Keating, D–9 th District, who spoke before party faithfuls at the Land Ho Saturday. In the short time of the Trump administration, “the most fundamental American i...

Old Middle School Hosts Budding Artists' Colony

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — While the debate continues about the future of the old Harwich Middle School building, something interesting is happening inside. Art. So far, eight artists and craftspeople have rented out classrooms for use as studio or workshop space, some on a monthly basis and some for only a few weeks. The auditorium has also been rented for a day by musicians, and for a week by the Cape Cod Lighthouse Chart...

White Paint For Brooks Library

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — Conceding that it lacks the authority to mandate a different color, the historic district and historical commission last week authorized the town's request to paint the exterior of the Brooks Free Library white. But some members worried that the ruling might whitewash a larger issue about how Community Preservation Act funds are used. A white paint job is favored by the board of selectmen and the b...

Harwich, Chatham Selectmen Review Draft Wastewater Pact

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — A draft agreement governing the flow of millions of gallons of wastewater and millions of taxpayer dollars between Harwich and Chatham had its first review by selectmen last Thursday. The draft intermunicipal agreement is the product of two years of negotiations and more than a decade of discussions on the potential collaboration. A subcommittee comprised of two selectmen from each town and staff e...

No Agricultural Exemption For Viprino Farm

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — The conservation commission ruled last week that Resilient Family Farm on Chatham Road needs to undergo their review when seeking permission to carry out work within the 100-foot buffer zone to wetlands. Farm Owner Barry Viprino had sought an agricultural exemption from commission review, but commissioners disagreed Wednesday, saying a previous horse boarding operation on the property doesn't qualify...

HARWICH – In his talk last week at the Brooks Free Library, Monomoy High School history teacher Richard Houston referred to the recent Superbowl game: “That was a North-South contest, too — New England versus Georgia...a good segue to tonight’s topic.” The topic was Houston’s trip to Virginia to explore Revolutionary and Civil War sites, funded by the Westgate Foundation of Chatham. Created in honor of Dr. R.I...