Chatham News

CHATHAM – The closure of restaurants locally and around the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the town's $2.5 million commercial shellfishing industry, throwing dozens of residents out of work. In an effort that's about as grassroots as it gets, several local groups are scratching together a program that aims to get clam chowder onto the dinner tables of local families and some dollars into the ...

CHATHAM – A group of residents hopes to raise $300,000 to provide financial assistance to community members undergoing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with Monomoy Community Services (MCS) and the Lower Cape Outreach Council (LCOC), the Chatham Coronavirus Impact Fund will focus on paying housing, energy, medical and vehicle repair bills for residents who have lost jobs or are otherwise sufferi...

Officials: COVID-19 May Be Nearing Peak

By: Alan Pollock

Though the official toll increases daily, the number of people sickened by COVID-19 is expected to peak or plateau this week or next, public health officials say. In coronavirus hotspots like New York, California and Washington State, statistics hint that “we’re potentially seeing the caseload level off,” County Health Director Sean O’Brien said Tuesday. Here, the timing of the peak number of cases depends on ...

CHATHAM — Facing the possibility that all sorts of fee and tax revenue will be down because of the COVID-19 emergency, town officials are preparing an austere budget plan for fiscal 2021. Finance Director Alix Heilala told selectmen Monday that she and Town Manager Jill Goldsmith are making contingency plans in case available revenue declines to 75 percent or even half of the current year’s local receipts. ...

Pawlina Extends Stay 14 Months

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – Rather than retiring next January, as previously announced, Chief of Police Mark Pawlina will instead remain on the job through March 2022. Pawlina said the 2021 date had been somewhat arbitrary, and upon reflection, he decided to extend his tenure for “mostly personal reasons.” He had originally tied retirement to his daughter's graduation from college, but said his youngest son will still be in ...

CHATHAM – The recently passed federal CARES legislation provides $2 trillion in financial relief for businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19. But its complex mix of loans, grants and other programs can be difficult to navigate. Add to that all the other state and federal programs available to those who need help during the emergency, and a person can easily drown in paperwork and a confusion of acronyms. ...

CHATHAM – Chatham Bars Inn, the town's largest private employer, is instituting a “pause in operations” through April 30. The announcement came prior to guidance issued by the state department of public health Tuesday limiting the use of hotels, inns and short-term rentals to healthcare workers and those on the front line of the coronavirus response (see "Concerns Arise About Out Of State Visitors" ). Whil...

CHATHAM – When he decided to take on the job of filling bird feeders as a volunteer at the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Jan “JC” Crocker had no idea that it would lead to a multi-media project that would take three years and more than 3,000 hours to complete. The final product brought the refuge's visitors center into the 21st century and earned Crocker national recognition. The National Wildlife Refuge A...

CHATHAM — Plans are now in place for the long-awaited renovation of the town's trash transfer station and recycling center. But given the financial uncertainties caused by COVID-19, selectmen last week said they'd like to see a scaled-down project rather than the $4.3 million renovation that they pursued earlier. Selectmen heard a brief presentation from DPW Director Tom Temple, who argued that the disposal ar...

COVID-19: Towns Bracing For The Worst

By: Alan Pollock

With public health experts saying that the peak number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts is still about two weeks away, local officials say social distancing is more important than ever. The number of confirmed cases in the state and county climbed steadily this week, but Chatham Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson said it’s not wise to focus on those numbers. “Everybody should probably assume that th...

Concerns Arise About Out Of State Visitors

By: Kat Szmit

As cars with out-of-state plates pop up with more frequency around the Cape, residents are expressing concerns with what they see as an unwillingness to consider the health and safety of those who live and work here year-round. The concerns seem to have been heard by state officials. On Tuesday, the state department of public health issued new guidance mandating that hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, a...

CHATHAM – The need for social isolation is one of the most difficult aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, cutting off visits from families and friends, often their only social interactions, can be difficult. “It's just very limiting for us all,” said Liberty Commons resident John Shearer. “But it's a sacrifice that a few of us have to make. We're very...