Harwich News

Harwich Health Board Decides Not To Mandate Masks

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Health Director Meggan Eldredge has received many calls from people urging the health board to put in place a regulation requiring the wearing of masks in public places. But while the board of made it clear last week that people should be wearing masks in public, it stopped short of issuing a mandate. Enforcement would be just too difficult, board members said. Board of Health Chair Pamela Howell ...

HARWICH — Critical budget items will be the focus of the June 22 annual town meeting. Other articles, especially those likely to generate prolonged discussion, will be postponed. That is, if the town can hold the session on June 22. “I’m still skeptical we’ll have a June annual town meeting,” Selectman Michael MacAskill said last Friday. If the meeting is held, Board of Selectmen Chairman Larry Ballantin...

HARWICH – With the COVID curve far from flattened in the United States, and Massachusetts continuing to see new cases, it came as no surprise when Governor Charlie Baker canceled schools across the state on April 21, but Monomoy Superintendent Dr. Scott Carpenter was ready. “It’s one of those things that on some level I think was a bit of a relief,” he said. “I, personally, went into this thinking it was going...

Industrial Zone Expansion Proponents Have Lost Interest

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The property owners who initiated a proposed change to the Industrial Light District along the west end of Queen Anne Road have now informed the town’s planning department they have no interest in pursuing the zoning change. The request to change the zoning was made to Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh last summer by Alan and Edward Hall. In a public hearing on the proposed zoning change before the pl...

Public health officials are sounding the alarm after it was revealed this week that 60 of the 92 patients at Brewster’s Pleasant Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The key concern is that an outbreak of COVID-19 in nursing homes might create enough seriously ill people to overwhelm hospitals, Barnstable County Health and Environment Director Sean O’Brien said Tuesday....

HARWICH – With Governor Charlie Baker's announcement Tuesday that schools will remain closed, members of the Monomoy High School Class of 2020 face the disappointing prospect of never seeing the inside of the school again, as well as uncertainty as to when and if a graduation ceremony will be held. High school seniors throughout the Cape—indeed, throughout the nation—are in similar straits. And communities aro...

Out With The Old

By: Kat Szmit

EAST HARWICH — After serving the region for more than four decades, the East Harwich fire substation on Route 137 went under the wrecking ball last week. The firehouse was built in 1975, when East Harwich was largely undeveloped.  In recent decades, it became an important response base for fire and medical response to Harwich, Chatham, Brewster and occasionally Orleans.  Stripped of salvageable equipment and mate...

Selectmen Authorize Release Of Virus Infection Numbers

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen voted last week to allow Health Director Meggan Eldredge to release figures on the number of COVID-19 cases in town. Selectmen also expressed confidence in the leadership of Eldredge and Interim Town Administrator Joseph Powers, who are working together to direct the town's response to the pandemic. Eldredge has not released the number of infections and deaths in town following a state D...

Day-to-day mishaps and misdeeds seem pretty trivial when a pandemic is raging, but traffic accidents, neighborhood conflicts and crimes aren’t taking a break. Some perpetrators see it as an opportunity, Orleans Police Chief Scott MacDonald quipped. For law enforcement agencies, that means adapting to a new way of policing during the COVID-19 emergency. The number of calls for service to Lower Cape police de...

Virus Claims A Second Allen Harbor Marine Employee

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — A second employee at Allen Harbor Marine Service has succumbed to the coronavirus. Bob LeBlanc, 87, the marina's facilities manager, and father of Craig LeBlanc, owner of the business, passed away last Monday after a week of hospitalization. COVID-19 has hit the business exceptionally hard. On March 28, Julie Bruchu Bradley, 59, a sales administrator at the marina, died after a brief battle with t...

Seth Doane Details Battle With COVID-19

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Seth Doane, a 1996 graduate of Harwich High School and a CBS News foreign correspondent who lives in Rome, has been battling the coronavirus for nearly a month. In an email interview, Doane provided insights into his battle with the virus and the measures Italy has taken to counter the pandemic. “I’ve been quite fortunate as my symptoms were mild,” Doane wrote. “I suppose I should say the symptoms ‘h...

HARWICH — Outer Cape Health Services and several other community health centers which have been struggling to stay open as revenues slide during the COVID-19 pandemic will benefit from an infusion of federal grant money. Congressman Bill Keating, D-Ninth District, announced last week that $3.5 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be distributed among six centers in th...