Chatham News

Baker Freezes Reopening Plan Citing a surge in parties like the one in Chatham July 12 where at least 13 people may have contracted COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker Friday announced a freeze on the state’s economic reopening plan, new restrictions on public gatherings, and new enforcement of those rules at parties – even ones on private property. “There have been many reports of pool parties, birthday parties, ...

Spike In Shark Sightings Prompts Warnings

By: Staff Reports

A spike in great white shark sightings along the Cape's eastern coast, coinciding with the popular “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel, prompted officials this week to issue reminders about adhering to “Shark Smart” guidelines. The Cape Cod National Seashore issued a press release Monday explaining that sharks — and seals — are part of the Cape's natural, wild ecosystem, and that while sharks rarely bite hum...

CHATHAM – Fish chowder is a Cape Cod tradition, and the Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance hopes a new program centering around the staple will facilitate two goals: supporting local independent fishermen and providing food pantries with delicious, nutritious ready-to-serve meals. The program takes advantage of the wide availability of small haddock, which don't bring a strong price in the marketplace (d...

Your Property Might Flood In A Storm

By: Alan Pollock

Even If FEMA Maps Say It Won’t Time was, if you wanted to know which parts of town flooded during major hurricanes, you’d ask old timers. Then FEMA developed maps showing flood zones down to the property level. But both methods have a major shortcoming: they rely on past events to predict the future. The problem is, the environment is changing quickly, and some of the baseline assumptions used in convention...

CHATHAM – A tour through downtown reveals that most of the people out and about — and there are plenty — appear to be comply with the board of health's face covering order, which aims to minimize the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Interviews with shop owners and employees confirm that, with a few exceptions, most people are following the rule. When people aren't wearing masks, most put them on when re...

Figuring out how, when and where great white sharks are likely to feed on seals close to the shore is the goal of a study now underway by Dr. Greg Skomal, shark scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Skomal's work, using different tags that collect a variety of information, will paint a broad picture of the behavior. Bryan Legare, a biologist at the Center for Coastal Studies, hopes that h...

Wildlife advocates are scratching their heads over the discovery of an unusual number of sick terns in the region. Nearly 20 emaciated and dehydrated juvenile terns have been brought to Wild Care in Eastham over the past few weeks, found in towns from Chatham to Provincetown. Most have died; three remain in the care of the wildlife rehabilitation facility, according to Executive Director Stephanie Ellis. The m...

CHATHAM — At least part of a 19-acre tract of town-owned land off Middle Road should be used for affordable and attainable housing, selectmen said last week. But board members appear to be split on whether to use the whole parcel for housing, or to hold some of the land in reserve for other potential uses. Meeting last week, the board voted unanimously to ask staff to develop a plan for using a portion of th...

Health Board Sees Progress At Schoolhouse Pond

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Despite severe overcrowding Monday, the board of health says that parking restrictions and other efforts are reducing congestion on the beach at Schoolhouse Pond. The board ordered additional parking deterrents in a bid to keep COVID-19 from spreading among beachgoers who are not social distancing or wearing masks. On Friday, the town installed signs along Sam Ryder Road limiting parking to residen...

All Tested Negative At Chatham Clinic

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – All of the 33 people who attended last week's pop-up clinic at the annex tested negative. The town originally reported that 34 people were tested, and that all were negative with one pending. In a press release issued Wednesday, officials said that the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod (VNA) and Cape Cod Healthcare verified that 33 people were tested. The results come as a relief to local off...

Homelessness: The Pandemic’s Next Threat

By: Alan Pollock

With unemployment on Cape Cod standing at 28 percent and food pantries seeing unprecedented demand, it’s clear that many local families are on the edge financially. Without federal action, many of them will be facing the loss of their housing this fall. Given that uncertainty, local towns and housing groups are hurriedly knitting together a new safety net. “With Federal Pandemic Unemployment Insurance en...

Coalition Developing To Save Oldest House

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Two non-profit organizations are teaming up with the town's historical commission to try to save what many believe is the oldest house in town. The house at 68 Shell Dr., which sits on Bassing Harbor, is believed to have been built by the son of Chatham's first European settler, William Nickerson, around 1700. A demolition delay on the house imposed by the historical commission expired last month, an...