Chatham News

Storm Washes Over North Beach Island

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Last week's coastal storm may have spared the area the heavy snow that fell elsewhere in the state, but the churning ocean took a toll on North Beach Island. The storm knocked down several substantial dunes and washed over a narrow section of the barrier island approximately opposite Chatham Bars Inn. “We've been watching that narrow section, fully expecting exactly what happened,” said Coastal Re...

A survey of parents of Chatham and Harwich elementary school students as well as elementary school staff shows that a majority prefers housing all Monomoy Regional School District elementary students in one building. A breakdown of the responses, however, shows that Chatham parents overwhelmingly want to retain the town's elementary school, either in its current configuration or through redistricting. In a sim...

CHATHAM — Though the issue is clearly polarizing for some, the time is right for Chatham and Harwich to face facts when it comes to the future of their elementary schools. That’s the message from Monomoy Superintendent of Schools Scott Carpenter, who said the district will soon complete a survey of current and future elementary school parents to gauge their feelings on the situation. Plummeting enrollment i...

As Erosion Continues To Encroach On Monomoy Refuge Headquarters CHATHAM – Under an unseasonably warm sun last Sunday, the observation deck overlooking the beach at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Morris Island headquarters was crowded with youngsters who squealed as each wave struck the rocks below and sent up a mist of salt spray. Just to the east of the deck, unobserved by the group, the high coastal...

CHATHAM — Facing renewed calls to establish a citizens’ advisory committee to monitor the update of the airport master plan, the airport commission is offering a few options for the way it receives public input on the plan. And it’s seeking public input on those options. Though many parts of the controversial airport master plan update are already in the hands of federal regulators, and it’s not sure what ...

Selectmen Mull Senior Center Options

By: Tim Wood

Elementary School's Fate A Factor CHATHAM – When selectmen meet Dec. 29 to prioritize upcoming capital projects, two major issues will color the discussion: how to proceed with a proposed new senior center and the future of the town's elementary school. When selectmen postponed and then pared back the agenda for the annual town meeting in the spring, they deferred a vote to choose one of two proposed senior...

CHATHAM – When he was hired in 2015 as assistant director of the Chatham Historical Society, Kevin Wright didn't have much experience in the museum field. But his expertise as a designer, working mostly in newspapers, ended up serving him well. “I quickly fit in because of my graphic background,” he said. While he concentrated on designing museum exhibits, he learned a lot on the job, including applying for gr...

Selectmen Seek Dialogue And Data On Nips

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Treading lightly over what they admit is a complicated issue, selectmen Tuesday opened a dialogue about the proliferation of single-serve “nip” bottles of alcohol. The 15-milliliter bottles litter area roadways, and the problem has led other towns – including Harwich – to consider banning their sale. Nip bans are already in place on the Upper Cape, Selectman Jeffrey Dykens noted. When he walks Route ...

COVID-19 Brings More Disruption, Tragedy

By: Alan Pollock

Chatham Records Another Death CHATHAM — The pandemic’s toll on Chatham is growing. In the span of a week, new cases caused three restaurant closures and prompted a new round of testing at Liberty Commons. And public health officials confirm that the town has now recorded its third fatality from COVID-19. “There was a death of a Chatham resident over the weekend who had tested positive for COVID-19,” Health ...

When a 63-year-old woman was killed by a great white shark off Bailey Island in Maine in July, state officials needed help. This was the first ever fatal shark attack in Maine waters, and local authorities had little experience dealing with the apex predator. Greg Skomal, shark biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, and several other experts were called in to positively identify the ani...

CHATHAM – The historic home at 68 Shell Dr. is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Massachusetts Historical Commission has determined. Whether it will be listed or not remains to be seen. Later this month the zoning board of appeals will be asked to approve its relocation on the waterfront property to make way for a new, larger home. The full Cape is thought to have been built...

Sears Park To Host Seasonal 'Buoy Tree'

By: The Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – Does a Christmas tree have to be a tree? Not if it's festive enough. The Chatham Merchants Association and Chamber of Commerce is assembling a “buoy tree” to bring the holiday spirit back to the Sears Park triangle. For many years the small downtown park hosted the town Christmas tree, a large evergreen donated by a resident annually and festively decorated by the park department. It was the fo...