Chatham News

Town Officially Served With Suit Over Dredging

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — The conservation commission has officially been served with a suit by a Minister’s Point property owner alleging that it wrongly permitted future dredging in an area that provides the only deep-water access to Chatham Harbor. The area in question, just inside the North Inlet, was approved for emergency dredging last year, but the dredging was not carried out because of deteriorating weather. Filed ...

CHATHAM – The demographic shifts that the Chatham 365 task force was established to address aren't just affecting young families. Local institutions are also being forced to make tough decisions as the makeup of the community shifts. When Edmund Robinson, minister at the Chatham Unitarian Universalist Meeting House for the past 11 years, retires on Jan. 1, he won't be replaced by a full-time minister. In fact,...

Boards Ask That Library Tree Be Saved

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Construction of a retaining wall along the sidewalk in front of the Eldredge Public Library won't require the removal of a large stately horse chestnut tree that overhangs Main Street. If the tree is healthy, that is. The initial plans to improve the front lawn of the historic library called for removal of the tree, which probably dates from the 1930s, called for removal of the tree, which was in ...

CHATHAM – Under a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan, hunting could be allowed on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge for the first time since it was established in 1944. In a draft hunting plan released last week, the agency is proposing allowing hunting of migratory waterfowl and coyotes. Fish and Wildlife Service officials will hold an information session on the proposal on April 30 at the community c...

CHATHAM — Concerned about the ability of crews from Coast Guard Station Chatham to respond to emergencies during high surf, selectmen voted this week to send a letter to Washington for clarification of a recent decision to downgrade the unit from a surf station to a “heavy weather station.” On Monday, station commander Senior Chief Boatswain’s Mate Carlos Hessler was before the board of selectmen to answer q...

CHATHAM — In a bid to leverage a $1 million state grant, the town is proposing to spend $851,798 on a package of flood prevention improvements for the Little Beach neighborhood. Residents and property owners in the area have pledged the remaining $617,245, or 25 percent of the nearly $2.5 million project. There may be a need to call a special town meeting this fall to ask voters to approve the town’s cont...

CHATHAM – When Assistant Conservation Agent Paul Wightman needed boxes to hold trail guides for the town's conservation properties, he searched for commercially-made boxes that would fit the bill, but couldn't find any that had two compartments, were rugged enough to withstand the weather and looked good. When the woodworking group of the Chatham-Harwich Newcomers Club inquired if the town had any projects the...

How To Save Chatham

By: Tim Wood

Forum Participants Suggest Ways To Keep Town Vital CHATHAM – Prior to Saturday's Chatham 365 task force forum, Courtney Alex Wittenstein said she wrote a break-up letter to Chatham. “I'm living proof of what's happening here,” said Wittenstein, who grew up in town but lives in Harwich. “I couldn't move here, I couldn't raise my family here, I couldn't start a business here.” During the two-and-a-half-h...

CHATHAM — With it becoming less likely that some sort of shark barrier will be ready in time for swimming season at Oyster Pond Beach, selectmen have asked the parks and recreation commission to consider moving swimming lessons to a freshwater pond this summer. “I don’t know if I’m overreacting or not,” said selectman Jeffrey Dykens, who proposed the move. “I’m using an abundance of caution.” The town iss...

CHATHAM – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to allow hunting on the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge for the first time since its establishment in 1944. The refuge is proposing a public use hunt program for migratory waterfowl and coyote, and will hold an information session on the plan on April 30 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the community center. The draft hunt plan, compatibility determinations and env...

Chatham 365 Forums Saturday And Wednesday

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – There's an imbalance in Chatham—economic and demographic— that the Chatham 365 task force is working to identify and find solutions to. There's an age imbalance: 14 percent of residents are 19 years old and under; 44.5 percent are 62 and older. The number of school-age students had dropped by 35 since 2010. There's an average of about 25 to 30 births in town annually, and 150 to 190 deaths. There'...

CHATHAM — Shoaling in Chatham Harbor continues to be a serious problem, with sand choking access to both the North and South Inlets. Now, mechanical problems with the new county dredge are threatening plans to dredge Stage Harbor and its approaches. Town officials say that even if dredging is impossible, the Stage Harbor entrance channel will be navigable this summer, though the passage will be narrow. The M...