Harwich News

New Contract Approved For Monomoy Educators

By: Kat Szmit

HARWICH - After eight months, the teachers in the Monomoy Regional School District have a ratified contract agreement. The announcement came during Tuesday night’s school committee meeting, the only local meeting not canceled due to inclement weather, with a unanimous vote of approval from the school committee affirming the agreement. The new agreement, which is retroactively effective July 1 and expires Ju...

HARWICH — With the February sun streaming through the windows on a recent morning, John and Helen Beck sat together at a table at Rosewood Manor in Harwich Center, sipping ginger ale. After nearly 70 years as husband and wife, just being together is enough. Every time Helen visits her husband, he greets her the same way. “The first thing he says is, ‘I love you,’” she said. “She’s a good woman,” Joh...

HARWICH – When the news broke that Monomoy Regional High School senior Perry Comeau of Harwich had earned the Massachusetts Association of Superintendents Award for Academic Excellence, the congratulations started rolling in and haven't stopped, and rightly so. Comeau is one of the top students at MRHS and shows no sign of slowing down even as graduation rapidly approaches. The annual award is given to a high ...

HARWICH — With help from a health insurance windfall and a proposal to raise the local hotel-motel base tax from 4 to 6 percent, Town Administrator Christopher Clark has presented selectmen with a proposal for a balanced budget for fiscal 2020. Clark’s proposed $70,257,941 spending plan represents a 7.8 percent increase over the current year’s budget and aims to keep a similar level of service without the ne...

Commission Approves South Street Lobster Pot Storage

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The conservation commission has approved the storage of 800 lobster pots adjacent to wetlands in the yard of lobster fisherman Ken Weeks on South Street, but putting the puzzle together to ensure the traps are not stored inside the 50-foot no-disturb zone may not be an easy task. Weeks went before the commission in December after receiving a citation for storing the traps in the wetlands resource are...

Fire Engine Swap Could Save Harwich $1 Million

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Fire Chief Norman Clarke wants to make changes to the department's major equipment purchases in the capital plan which could save the town $1 million and reduce the number of fire trucks in the department. “We're putting all our eggs in one basket,” Clarke told selectmen. He proposes to change the capital plan by eliminating the purchase of a $600,000 fire engine in FY20 and a ladder truck replace...

EAST HARWICH — There’s been a change of watch at Pleasant Bay Community Boating. The group’s first executive director, Charlie Sumner, is retiring after three years in office, and former YMCA Chief Development Officer Patrick “P.J.” Richardson is taking the helm. Richardson, a 48-year-old Centerville resident, has strong ties to the Lower Cape. His parents live in Orleans, and as a youngster he spent most su...

Harwich Considers Public Smoking Ban

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The recreation and youth commission is considering banning smoking on public beaches as well as all parks and recreational facilities in town. Before making a decision, however, the commission will get together with the board of health to determine if a wider ban would be better implemented under that board's jurisdiction. Recreation Director Eric Beebe told the commission last week that a lot of ...

HARWICH — The selectmen and finance committee got an up-close look at the proposed Monomoy Regional School District budget Monday night. The school district is seeking a total of $40,901,482, with Harwich being asked to contribute $26,754,276, close to a 4.5 percent increase over the current year. With student enrollment down by 58 since FY16, a reflection of the overall decline in school-age children in the d...

Harwich Selectmen Weigh Change To Select Board

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — There is a trend in Massachusetts to change the title of executive boards in municipalities to more gender neutral terminology. Selectmen were asked to follow that trend on Monday night. Resident Amy Harris requested selectmen change the title of the executive board from “board of selectmen” to “select board.” She said 80 towns in the commonwealth have made the adjustment, including Brewster, Wellfle...

Petition Seeks To Bury Pet Cemetery

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The town has received a petitioned article for the annual town meeting warrant seeking to rescind an article approved in 2016 which authorized selectmen to transfer the 2.25 acres at 276 Queen Anne Rd. to the cemetery commission to develop a pet crematory and cemetery. “I love this town, this is not personal, I'm just against the waste of this land,” lead petitioner Tom Birch said on Tuesday. Birch w...

Retail Store Proposed For Site Of Historic West Harwich House

By: William F. Galvin

WEST HARWICH – The owners of the former Captain George Winchell Baker house, the historic structure at the corner of Route 28 and Depot Street, have filed plans with the planning board to construct a 7,489-square-foot retail store on the property. Applicant Harwich DG Series LLC did not indicate what type of retail store it plans to develop on the site. The Baker house is presently protected by a one year d...