Chatham News

Amid mounting pressure to reopen the state’s dormant economy, officials are warning that with COVID-19, caution remains the watchword. Gov. Charlie Baker this week announced a strategy for gradually reopening businesses, though the timing has yet to be decided. With the Memorial Day weekend just over a week away, business and civic leaders on the Lower Cape are all ears. An economic reopening advisory board...

CHATHAM – Groundfish quotas and allocations began anew May 1, marking the technical start of the commercial fishing season. But with restaurants still closed and other markets limited, local fishermen have fewer outlets for their catch. “The good thing is our fishing season really hasn't ramped up yet,” fisherman Doug Feeney said recently. “But we don't know what the next three months holds.” Feeney is a me...

CHATHAM — Though it’s still too early to predict the exact financial impact of COVID-19 on the next town budget, officials are bracing for significant reductions and are finding new ways to trim spending and lighten the burden on taxpayers. Even so, the town's property tax rate will increase for the first time in three years. At last Thursday’s board meeting, selectmen reviewed the latest revision of the fi...

CHATHAM — Even a few months ago, a summer without band concerts, the July 4 parade and crowded beaches seemed unimaginable. But in a heavily attended virtual forum Monday, speaker after speaker supported just that kind of approach in the fight against COVID-19. The board of selectmen and board of health will hold a joint meeting Monday, May 18 at 6 p.m. to discuss comments made at the forum and updates on the ...

CHATHAM – For the second time in two years, the historical commission has imposed a delay on a proposal to demolish a portion of an iconic home at the corner of Shore Road and Seaview Street. Commission members weren't happy with new plans to renovate and add on to the 93-year-old bow roof Cape at 233 Seaview St., which they said would be much larger than the existing building and would alter the historic stre...

CHATHAM — Though touted as a cheaper and better senior center alternative to 1610 Main St., a site on Stepping Stones Road just doesn’t deliver the goods. That was the message from selectmen this week, who voted not to support the proposal whenever it comes up for a vote. The senior center project working group presented its analysis of the Stepping Stones site Monday, completing a $75,000 feasibility study ...

CHATHAM – Although it may have receded into the background during the coronavirus crisis, climate change remains as much a threat to the future as the current emergency. But unlike the virus, there are things people can do to help counter climate change. That was the premise of “Chatham Acts On Climate,” an online forum held Saturday by the Chatham Climate Action Network (C-CAN). About 70 participants heard ni...

CHATHAM – When he extended the state emergency order to May 18, Governor Charlie Baker also announced the formation of a reopening advisory board, which was charged with developing a phased plan to reopen the economy by May 18. The plan will likely have a big impact on how the town, and local businesses, approach the coming summer season. It's also likely that the plan will leave some decisions up to local aut...

COVID Toll Rises; Planning Underway For Summer

By: Alan Pollock

Though the human toll of COVID-19 keeps growing, statistics show hopeful signs that the virus emergency may be reaching its peak. And with less than three weeks until the traditional start of the summer visitor season, that has heightened efforts to plan for the eventual reopening of the Cape’s economy. As of Monday, there were 960 confirmed cases on Cape Cod, but a large number of those people have recovered ...

CHATHAM — So maybe it’s a little early to be thinking about New Year’s Eve. But then again, less than halfway through the year 2020, most people wouldn’t mind a fresh start in 2021. While plans for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July remain up in the air, First Night Chatham is sounding a hopeful tone about New Year’s Eve. “We’re cautiously optimistic that it’s going to be business as usual,” albeit with ...

COVID-19 Prompts Deep Spending Cuts CHATHAM — Thanks to the pandemic, voters at the annual town meeting scheduled for June 22 will likely see some extreme social distancing, along with a warrant stripped down of big-ticket spending articles and a sobering town budget. Selectmen chose the new date for town meeting on Monday, but a provision is in place that allows the town moderator to postpone the session f...

CHATHAM — For Don St. Pierre, who turns 80 in August, digging ditches, climbing hills and bushwhacking through the puckerbrush isn't as easy as it used to be. He's stepping down as the town's herring warden after more than half a century of watching over the fish runs and their seasonal visitors. A Harwich native, St. Pierre started working on herring runs when he was a member of the sportfishing club Cape Cod...