Chatham News

CHATHAM — In the event of a power outage that causes people to lose heat in their homes, the town is prepared to open the community center as a warming center, with limited services available. Should they need a place to stay overnight, bring pets, get a meal or other assistance, they’ll be referred to a regional shelter in Harwich, and some residents are unhappy with that plan. “A personal care site is kind o...

CHATHAM – A temporary, less powerful light has been installed at the Chatham Lighthouse while a new generator is installed at the Coast Guard Station. The installation will require that power to the lighthouse's lamp be cycled on and off, which could damage the sensitive mechanism, according to Senior Chief Ross Comstock. The lower-intensity light is expected to be on at all times while the work is being done,...

CHATHAM — Like other shorefront communities, Chatham is already feeling the effects of climate change. While updating building codes, reducing fossil fuel use and other strategies are necessary, job number one is protecting the town’s salt marshes. That was the word from the chair of the energy and climate action committee, Bob Wirtshafter, who updated the select board last week. In the next seven years, Chath...

Tibetan Students Enjoy A New England Thanksgiving

By: Elizabeth Van Wye

CHATHAM – Sasha Rivers, a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, is excited to have two of her college friends join the Rivers family for Thanksgiving in Chatham. Having company for Thanksgiving is not unusual, but this year Lobzang Gyalsen and Kalsang Lhano, Tibetan Buddhist monastics who are also studying at Emory University, will join the family to experience their first New England Thanksgiving. Kalsang, a...

Chatham Secures Land For Housing; What's Next?

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – With the finalization of the purchase of 2.5 acres of land in West Chatham, the town now has more than eight acres of land available for construction of affordable and attainable housing. Now begins the hard work of determining how to develop the properties. The town has hired Barrett Consulting to help coordinate the process, and the first of what will likely be several community engagement sessi...

No Hunting Warden In Chatham This Season

By: Tim Wood

New Signs Will Warn Hunters, Beach Walkers Of Each Other's Presence CHATHAM – The town won't have a warden for the upcoming waterfowl hunting season, but will put up signs warning both hunters and beach walkers of each other's presence on area beaches. But that doesn't mean that the idea of a seasonal position to oversee hunting activities in the fall and early winter is dead. While there's no money in the ...

CHATHAM – The late senator Paul Tsongas was fond of telling the story about looking for a vacation home on the Cape in the late 1980s. He asked House of Representatives Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O'Neill, a long-time Harwich homeowner, for advice. O'Neill recommended that Tsongas buy property in Chatham. “Chatham is run by Republicans. It'll never change,” the speaker replied. For decades, that was true; while...

Radioactive Medical Waste Found In Chatham Trash

By: Alan Pollock

Officials Urge Caution After SEMASS Rejects Load CHATHAM — A load of municipal trash from Chatham was rejected by the SEMASS trash-to-energy facility earlier this month after modest levels of radiation were detected from two of the trash bags inside. In response, officials are urging people to be careful when disposing of certain types of medical waste. On Nov. 1, radiation detectors activated at the West W...

SOUTH CHATHAM – On Oct. 21, Fred Ritvo was delivering a pizza to a business in Commerce Park. It was raining and he saw a big puddle ahead, “but it really didn't look that deep,” he recalled. He started forward slowly, but when the water reached the headlights, he realized continuing wasn't a great idea and began to back out. The suction of the water as he reversed ripped away his license plate and its bracket...

Tavano Named Chatham’s Next Fire Chief

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — On Dec. 1, Justin Tavano will become the youngest fire chief in recent memory in Chatham, possibly the youngest in the department’s history. But at 41, the Harwich native has impressive credentials, lots of experience and a passion for the fire service. “I feel well prepared,” he said. As deputy chief under current Chief David DePasquale, who is retiring, Tavano has been involved in all aspects of ru...

Chatham Marks A Day Of Gratitude For Veterans

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — On a bright, unseasonably warm Friday, Chatham residents had any number of things they might be doing. The fact that so many paused to give thanks to veterans is telling, said retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Robert Franz. “You could have been many different places today, yet you chose to come here,” Franz told the Veterans Day assembly at the community center. Following a rendition of “Going Ho...

CHATHAM – A week after the zoning board of appeals shot down a request to build a single-family home on the former Monomoy Theatre property, the board declined to approve a second house on the land off Depot Road. The two homes are part of a four-lot subdivision that owner Greg Clark hopes to build to help finance the restoration of the historic Monomoy Theatre building and Washington Taylor House on the Main ...