This website requires JavaScript which is disabled in your browser!

News You Can't Use

News You Can Use

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

sep03 Wellfleet

New schedule for Wellfleet Swap Shop

The swap shop at the town transfer station reopened Tuesday with a new schedule of three days a week. The shop will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It was closed July 8 after someone defecated inside. Town officials said the shop would reopen only if volunteers would oversee it. The town Public Works Department oversees the operation of the transfer station and recycling center, which is at 370 Coles Neck Road. The town Recycling Committee monitors the day-to-day goings-on at the swap shop, which has been in existence for more than 20 years, according to Recycling Committee Chairwoman Lydia Vivante.

sep03 Wellfleet

Wellfleet Swap Shop reopens

sep03 Wellfleet

Driver flees scene of late night crash in Wellfleet

Less than a half hour after Wellfleet police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Cahoon Hollow Road early Monday morning, a call about another crash on the road came in. According to a Wellfleet police release, officers respond to the second single-vehicle crash of the night at 1:19 a.m. near Old County Road. Upon arrival, officers discovered a damaged 2007 Honda Pilot off the road in the woods. Witnesses told police the driver of the Pilot and a passenger had been picked up in another vehicle, fleeing the scene. The crash is under investigation. Police have not identified the driver and/or owner of the abandoned vehicle. Twenty-five minutes earlier, officers had responded to a crash at Cahoon Hollow Road and Ocean View Drive in which a driver had left the roadway and struck a tree. That driver was arrested and charged with OUI.

sep03 Wellfleet

Wellfleet dines out for Council on Aging - 2014

Between Labor Day and Columbus Day, food lovers can dine out at a Wellfleet restaurant and double their fun by giving to a good cause. Participating restaurants have chosen an evening when they will donate a percentage of their food sales to the Friends of the Wellfleet Council on Aging. The donation will support the senior center programs, services and other special needs of Wellfleet's seniors. Here are the scheduled days of participating restaurants:

sep03 Wellfleet

Ira Wood on WOMR: Republican candidates for State Senator Ron Beaty And Allen Waters

Ira Wood is an author, a teacher, a former publisher, a former selectman, and the host of a weekly radio program called The Lowdown on WOMR-FM, Cape Cod's Community Radio Station. For over 30 years Ira has made his home in Wellfleet. The Lowdown enables Ira to indulge his lifelong compulsion to pester people with questions.

sep03 Wellfleet

Cape Cod Notebook by Robert Finch: First Names and Other Casual Intimacies that Define Community

Robert Finch is a nature writer living in Wellfleet. He has lived on and written about Cape Cod for forty years. His essays can be heard on WCAI every Tuesday morning at 8:35am and Tuesday afternoon at 5:45pm. 'A Cape Cod Notebook' won the 2006 New England Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Radio Writing.

Recently I experienced a week of small disasters. Over the course of seven days I lost a pair of reading glasses, my computer froze up, I accidentally ran the lawn mower over the garden hose, lost my checkbook, a headlight went out on my car, and, to cap it all, the back part of a molar fell out. As usually happens in these cases, all of these mishaps were fairly soon righted. The two most pressing losses - my glasses and my tooth - were replaced promptly, in part because, as a long-term customer, I'm known personally to both John, my optician, and Herb, my dentist. John put in a rush order for my glasses, saying "I'll get them done as fast as I can," and I had them in two days. When I called my dentist, Herb's secretary said to come in at 5, even though that's when the office officially closes. In fifteen minutes I had a temporary crown. The point is, my "bad week" turned out to be a positive one, for it made me aware for a number of local business people I am not merely an anonymous customer, but a personal acquaintance, and that this adds to my quality of life here. Besides John and Herb, there is Lisa, Linda and Taryn at the local bank; Dave and Charlie at the car garage; Deb and Scott at the computer shop. Jane and Jean at the bookstore, Doug, Andrew, and Peter at the used book store; Charlie and Jason at the hardware store; Roger at the barber shop; Janice at the brokerage; Sarah and Roxanne at the market; and Kevin at the liquor store - just to name a few. I'm sure most of you can easily come up with lists of your own. Some of these professional acquaintances have, over the years, become genuine social friends, but that's not the point. And it's not just that, in a small town like ours, business owners and their employees "know your name." What's important is that there is a genuine warmth that comes from familiarity, from taking the time, when you go in to deposit a check or get an oil change or look for book, to ask about their daughter's soccer team, their tomatoes, how a sore arm is healing, or how the fishing is going or their upcoming choral concert - to engage in small talk, banter or even innocent flirtation - all while retaining a strictly professional relationship. They may - as my recent experience reminded me - go out of their way to accommodate you, do a little something "extra" for you, or make a suggestion based on knowing your personal preferences - such as recommending a book you hadn't even asked for, or offering you a free comb or a donut. It's a small thing, I know, but an important one nonetheless. The casual, peripheral intimacy that comes from daily interactions with local merchants and mechanics, brokers and barbers, tellers and opticians, grease the social wheels and make a small but palpable addition to my sense of living in a genuine community.

sep03 Wellfleet

Nothing says "summer is over" better than a desolate beach parking lot

sep03 Wellfleet

Volunteer workers needed for Wellfleet oysterfest

Volunteers are sought Oct. 18 and 19 for the 14th annual Wellfleet OysterFest, according to Shellfish Promotion and Tasting Inc. Executive Director Michele Insley. There are a variety of volunteer jobs available, including admissions, bus ambassadors, family fun area, food and beverage service, education and cooking demonstrations, merchandising, recycling and setup and cleanup. Volunteers get free admission for the two-day event and free food and drinks. For more information about volunteering, contact Jane Temple at 508-349-3499 or email For more on OysterFest, visit

sep03 Eastham

Route 6 detour planned for Windmill parade

The town will hold the annual Windmill Weekend Parade on Sunday, and traffic will be detoured off Route 6 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., according to Eastham police. The detour northbound will be at the intersection with Samoset Road and southbound at the intersection with Great Pond Road. Windmill Weekend runs from Friday through Sunday. For a full list of events, go to

sep03 Eastham-Orleans

Call of the wild: Wild Care's volunteers keep nonprofit on its mission

Long before OmbamaCare there was Wild Care, an even better deal for the opossums, goldfinches and even the snakes of Cape Cod. While the medical care is free for the patients, Wild Care, located just over the Orleans town line in Eastham, depends on donations and grants. They'll celebrate their 20th anniversary Sept. 10 with a fund-raising dinner. Wild Care was founded in 1989 by Karen Von den Deale. "She started by caring for animals in her backyard," explained Judy Bullard, a member of Wild Care's board. "In 1994 she applied for tax exempt status as a 501(c)3 corporation." So this is Wild Care's 20th year as an official non-profit, 25th in all. Von den Deale continued to run Wild Care for several years until Leila Larned took over as executive director. She helmed it for nine years and was succeeded by Jackson Zee and then Stephanie Ellis who left last December. The position is currently open as the board opted to hire a communications person (Lisa Cavanaugh) to help with fund-raising. Wild Care is constantly scraping for funding - after all, the birds don't have bank accounts. "The public doesn't seem to understand that aspect," noted Animal Care Coordinator Jennifer Taylor. "They think we're here as part of a public service. But we only have one rehabilitator on staff and have to depend on volunteers to go out to the [Chatham] Fish Pier and find that gull." "It takes $17,000 a month to run this place," Bullard added. "That's mostly animal food and medication and there's a mortgage on the property. Like many non-profits we struggle month to month to make it work." They are able to collaborate with the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, which focuses on larger animals - Wild Care doesn't handle bats, foxes, raccoons or other animals that may carry rabies. The 100 volunteers are essential, and so is the Internet. "It's a really big help," Taylor said. "For instance, we had baby, six-inch snakes in a glue trap. If you peeled them off you'd tear the skin. I went on the Internet and they said just use corn oil. Twenty minutes later they're off and fine and can be released. There are a lot of tricks people have learned over the years. In this field there are a million ways to do things. There's no correct way."


sep03 Eastham-Provincetown

Wild Care's Birds, Beds and Breakfast

Please join Wild Care Cape Cod for an exclusive weekend of birding & tracking with Vernon Laux, Senior Naturalist at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation and Diane Boretos, Master Tracker and certified professional Wetland Scientist. Itinerary includes tracking and interactive talks about birds and mammals of Cape Cod. The weekend will include great food, including Saturday night dinner at Napis Restaurant, cocktails, and two nights at our luxurious hotel located in the heart of Provincetown. Your tax deductible donation will go towards helping Wild Care further its mission of helping injured, orphaned and ill Cape Cod Wildlife.


sep03 Provincetown

Talk of split tax in Provincetown spurs non-residents to weigh in with selectmen

Though a concrete proposal still has yet to be produced, the selectmen have stated in their annual objectives that they intend to "explore" a residential tax exemption that would stand to benefit a segment of full-time residents and shift that burden to non-resident property owners. For now, the selectmen have stressed patience, reminding property owners that they have yet to form an opinion on the matter and that they intend to consider various tax rate scenarios - including a range of exemption possibilities - before setting the annual tax rate later this year. Town staff is currently working on a tax Town staff is currently working on a tax exemption proposal with Provincetown-specific figures that could be distributed to town officials and the public by the end of the week, said Finance Director Dan Hoort. On Monday, however, the mere inclusion of a possible residential tax exemption in the selectmen's goals was enough to spur outcries from dozens of non-resident property owners who see themselves as the losers in such a proposition. In essence, the tax exemption debate pits the town's full-time resident property owners against those who claim property in Provincetown as a second home. The "townie" versus "part-timer" square-off is an age-old, underlying factor in many town issues, but perhaps is never more blatantly presented than when it comes to taxation. The fight, ultimately, is unfair from the onset, the part-timers have argued. The assessor's office estimates that at least 70 to 80 percent of Provincetown homes are owned by part-time residents and therefore contribute property taxes accounting for a significant majority of the town's overall operating budget. At the same time, those same property owners don't have a say in electing the town's selectmen, who determine the tax rate each year. That right, along with a say on spending decisions made at town meetings, go to the people who claim Provincetown as their primary residence when registering to vote and filing their state income taxes. The perceived unfairness in the equation, combined with fears that it could suddenly be made significantly worse, was at the core of many of the counter arguments to an exemption on Monday. The issue takes on an emotional element when part-time residents are made to feel like outsiders in a town where they too have deep, enduring ties, several explained. "It's hurtful and alienating. It's not just about math," said Mary Ann Bosworth, a non-resident property owner who shares a seasonal dwelling with her cousin.


sep03 Provincetown

Provincetown writer-composer tackles hot button issue with 'Gun Control, the Musical'

People move to Provincetown from all over the world. Some live here and telecommute. Others retire and begin new journeys. Many bring their talents and creative juices with them, become part of the community and enrich the town. One such person is Jim Brosseau. A musician and journalist, who continues to work from his home in Provincetown since moving here in 2010 from New York City, Brosseau has written for such publications as USA Today, Ad Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler and Town & Country. Brosseau is premiering a new theatrical work, "Gun Control, the Musical," at The Provincetown Theater, this Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 3 and 4. This staged reading includes a cast of Provincetown favorites, including Spencer Keasey, Sarah MacDonnell, Jane Macdonald, Dan McGhie, Grif Griffith and Bragan Thomas. "Gun Control" follows one parent's journey to redeem his child's death in an all-too-familiar mass shooting. But it's not all grim - there is music and humor and a love story too. Nor is it doctrinaire or preachy. "Jim has taken what is clearly a divisive issue and has given the audience every possible point of view without judgment," says Keasey. "I want people to step back and say, let's look at this issue and try to find some common ground. I have a character who is a gun dealer. She says, 'I am a mother. I want to protect my kids. Let's arm all the right people so we'll be protected,'" says Brosseau. The question for a musical theater story is always, does it sing? Can a story about the second amendment make a musical? There is so much passion on both sides it seems like a perfect match. "In a lifetime of making music, I've seen firsthand it's power to communicate." Brosseau says. "Music can provide a sort of time-out from the things that divide us." Brosseau taught himself to play the piano when he was three years old. "My break came when I was eight when the right hand could play independently of the left," he says. Although he worked as a journalist in New York City, he continued to play at lounges and private parties. "I had ideas about musicals living in New York City. I saw everything. Watching those musicals over the years became my school," he says. His musical influences range from Stephen Sondheim to Cole Porter, Motown to Steely Dan. Brosseau began writing musicals when he came to Provincetown. "Provincetown calls your creative bluff," he says. "If you are a painter or singer, a writer or whatever it is that you do, you either do it here or you don't do it at all."


sep03 Provincetown

The White Party 2014 supporting the Outer Cape Health Service

The White Party in Provincetown, MA was started by the late Peter Page and has become a yearly tradition for over three decades. Funds raised through this party go to support the Outer Cape Health Service.

sep03 Orleans

Coward classic promises evening of goose bumps and repartee in Orleans

Ellen Birmingham is a ghost. She is dressed in a white beaded evening gown and she is unseen by the others in the room. And, according to Judy Hamer, Birmingham's director in the Academy Playhouse's "Blithe Spirit," she "does so quite gracefully." Noel Coward's play tells the humorous story of Charles Condomine, who, while conducting a séance as research for his next novel, manages to accidentally summon his late wife Elvira, played by Birmingham. Charles, played by Terrence Brady, recently seen as Monsieur Thénardier in the Academy's Les Misérables, is the only one who can see Elvira, which makes dealing with his living wife, Ruth (played by Diana Back), quite difficult. A comedy of errors ensues, with Elvira and Ruth each vying for their husband's attention, their competitiveness growing with each scene. Characters include an eccentric medium prone to distraction (played by Jane Taylor) and a maid (played by Rachel Hatfield) who has to remind herself not to run in the house. Hamer worked with Peter Earle, executive director of the Academy of Performing Arts, to choose the play. Earle had been talking about "Private Lives," another Coward play that was a hit at the Academy back in spring. "I'm a ghost enthusiast," Hamer says. "The only Noel Coward play I know pretty well is 'Blithe Spirit' because of the ghosts and [Earle] said that could be good. It's a great play." Birmingham was originally slated to stage manage the play, her first time running tech for a full production at the Academy. She had previously been in four consecutive productions and "was looking forward to a change." However, several cast members found they couldn't fit the show into their schedules and had to drop out at the last minute, causing Birmingham to step in as Elvira only a few weeks before opening night. Other cast members were shuffled around to accommodate the changes. Brady, originally cast as secondary character Dr. Bradman, switched roles to play Charles after the original actor left. "My dialogue went from four pages to 80 pages," Brady jokes. "It's been a crazy transition but I'm enjoying it. I always like a good challenge." "It's been really difficult in terms of having a whole cast together," Hamer says. "Losing people and then getting people, and then losing those people and getting more people. But those that are committed are just brilliant and that's been the positive part of it. Everybody who has been here the whole time has really bonded."


sep03 Brewster

Brewster man arraigned after allegedly driving into beach

A 30-year-old Brewster man who allegedly drove his Jeep into Parker's River Beach late Sunday night was arraigned today in Barnstable District Court. Michael Vera pleaded not guilty to charges of operating under the influence of liquor, resisting arrest and operating negligently. Yarmouth police and fire departments, as well as Department of Natural Resources personnel, responded to Parker's River just before midnight Sunday after Michael Vera drunkenly submerged his vehicle in the water, police said. Vera then swam ashore and fled the scene on foot, Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos said in a statement. A short distance down the road, the man encountered police Officer Justin Haire and became combative and resisted arrest, police said. He was eventually restrained. Because of a possibility of lightning Sunday night, divers were not sent into the water, according to a police spokeswoman. Instead, a beacon was placed on top of the Jeep as a warning to boats in the area, and divers returned the next morning with Silver Cloud Towing & Repairs to remove it, she said.

sep03 Harwich

Harwich Police: Suspect grabbed runner's buttocks

Police enlisted a K-9 unit to search for a man after he grabbed a woman's buttocks while she was on her daily run on Tuesday, Harwich police Officer Aram Goshgarian said. The woman told police she ran past a young black male wearing a red baseball cap and khaki shorts at the intersection of Route 39 and Church Street around 4:30 p.m., he said. After she passed him she felt someone grab her, he said. She turned around and screamed and the man ran away, she told police. The K-9 unit was unable to lead to any suspects, Goshgarian noted. The incident is under investigation.

sep03 Harwich

Homeless council asks for school supplies

The Homeless Prevention Council is collecting back-to-school items, cash donations and gift cards for school supplies for children. The council helps people and families from Brewster to Provincetown. The nonprofit is looking for No. 2 pencils and erasers, pens, scientific calculators, flash drives, backpacks for children up to Grade 5 (especially for girls) and more. For a complete list go to: Cash donations, gift cards and checks may be mailed to: Homeless Prevention Council Backpack Program, c/o Maureen Linehan, P.O. Box 828, Orleans, MA 02653.


Half of Cape Cod is 50 or older

The nation's stock of affordable housing that is physically accessible and well-located is too small to meet the needs of the nation's 50-and-over population, which is expected to grow to 133 million by 2030, according to a report released Tuesday. The report, from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the AARP Foundation, estimates a more than 70 percent increase in the 50-and-over population between 2000 and 2030. A map included in the report estimates the 2010 50-and-over population as exceeding 40 percent in Berkshire and Franklin counties and approaching 50 percent on Cape Cod. "High housing costs currently force a third of adults 50 and over - including 37 percent of those 80 and over - to pay more than 30 percent of their income for homes that may or may not fit their needs, forcing them to cut back on food, health care, and, for those 50-64, retirement savings," the report said. "Much of the nation's housing inventory also lacks basic accessibility features (such as no-step entries, extra-wide doorways, and lever-style door and faucet handles), preventing older persons with disabilities from living safely and comfortably in their homes. Additionally, with a majority of older adults aging in car-dependent suburban and rural locations, transportation and pedestrian infrastructure is generally ill-suited to those who aren't able to drive, which can isolate them from friends and family."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Off-Cape traffic slows, locals wave goodbye to visitors

Route 6 westbound lanes were backed up "in pockets" just before noon Monday, according to the state police in Yarmouth. A minor car crash at Exit 5 was off the road and causing no lane delays but traffic was slow due to the curiosity of other drivers, the state police said. Traffic was also reported as slow between Exits 10 and 11 with protesters on an overpass holding signs seeking the closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. State police in Bourne also reported a traffic backup in the westbound lanes of Route 6 to at least Exit 4.

sep02 Wellfleet

Connecticut man charged with OUI in Wellfleet

A Connecticut man was arrested early Monday for driving under the influence of alcohol after his car struck a tree on Ocean View Drive, according to the police. Police received a report minutes before 1 a.m. that a Jeep Grand Cherokee had struck a tree at the intersection of Cahoon Hollow Road. Patrol officers found the Jeep with heavy damage to the front, with driver David Kupershmidt, 22, of Watertown, Connecticut at the scene. There were no other occupants, the police said. Kupershmidt declined to be treated by rescuers and after an investigation at the scene police placed him under arrest. After his booking, Kupershmidt was released from police custody on bail. He is scheduled for arraignment on Tuesday, police Lt. Michael Hurley said. Within a half-hour of the crash involving Kupershmidt, police were called to the intersection of Cahoon Hollow Road and Old King's Highway for another car crash. There, the police found no occupants of a 2007 Honda Pilot, which was in the woods and damaged. Witnesses told police that the two people in the Honda had left the scene in another vehicle. On Monday at around 9 a.m. the crash involving the Honda remained under investigation. There were no roadway closures in either crash, the police said.

sep02 Wellfleet

Two MV-vs-tree crashes on Cahoon Hollow Road in Wellfleet

Wellfleet Police report that at approximately 12:54 a.m., officers responded to a report of a vehicle striking a tree at the intersection of Cahoon Hollow Road and Ocean View Drive. Upon arrival, officers observed a Jeep Grand Cherokee with heavy front end damage off the roadway. The operator, David Kupershmidt, 22, of Watertown, CT (right) was the only occupant of the vehicle. Kupershmidt refused medical treatment and after an on scene investigation he was placed under arrest for Operating under the Influence of Alcohol. There was no roadway closure due to the accident. Approximately twenty five minutes later at 1:19 a.m., officers responded to another motor vehicle crash on Cahoon Hollow Road near Old County Road. Upon arrival, officers discovered a 2007 Honda Pilot in the woods with damage and learned that the two occupants had fled the scene. Witnesses at the scene advised officers the two occupants left in another vehicle that picked them up. At this time, the crash is still under investigation. There was no roadway closure due to the accident.

sep02 Wellfleet

How badly do we want to save lives on Route 6? by Brent Harold

Two bad Route 6 accidents in Wellfleet within three days in mid-August injured several, killed one (the second fatality in two years) and tied up traffic for hours. As we say after every such terrible accident, this is unacceptable. The next selectmen's meeting focussed on what to about Route 6. As Rep. Sarah Peake, who spoke at the meeting, put it: "There's got to be something we can do." You'd like to think so. But we've been here before. A working group of town and state highway officials that, according to Peake, will meet in mid-September to discuss Route 6. They might want to start with the apparent reality that although we would like to prevent fatalities, we don't seem to want it as much as we want some other things. There is of course an outpouring of grief for the well- known local woman who died, as there was last year for the teenager killed as he crossed the highway on a bike. But most of the public outrage and most of the selectmen's questioning of the police and fire chiefs at the meeting had to do with why it took so long to get traffic moving again. In a sense the two concerns, saving lives and expediting traffic, are in competition. Accidents are a function of too many cars going too fast on the highway. If it were just a matter of saving lives, which some would say ought to be the prime concern, we could make some obvious moves. We could bring the speed limit down-to the 40 of Eastham, or even 30. As low as it takes to make it safer. We could, as some have suggested, erect a solid barrier down the middle to eliminate head-on crashes (as in big city highways). But lowering the speed limit wouldn't address the need to get somewhere fast. And people trying to get onto the road and on their way in either direction in the most efficient way possible wouldn't accept a solid barrier. (After a horrendous head-on collision of two cars filled with five local residents in 1997 the speed limit in Wellfleet was lowered from 50 to the current 45. Even Wellfleet's police chief complained, "It's awfully slow.It's just annoying.") What we've always had is a country highway with a speed limit consistent with highway expectations and unlimited access from side roads. Presumably, it's how we like it. You could argue that the lack of safety improvement over the years is tacit acceptance of the unintended consequences of such a road. Is it time to radically redesign the road-and with it the quality of our lives? A former selectman in the 90s, as part of the discussion of the Suicide Alley problem, seriously proposed replacing quaint Route 6 all the way to P'town with an Interstate-style, divided, limited access highway. To him, a longtime resident, it seemed the only sensible thing to do. It was not a popular idea. And no attention was paid to it. But we could do that. If we wanted badly enough to save lives.

Comment by Jeff Tash
In none of the recent accidents was speed the issue. In August the roads are simply carrying far more traffic than they were designed for. I wonder if airBNB has significantly increased the number of summer tourists. Decreasing speed limits and erecting Jersey barriers would impose a hardship on local residents 12 months of the year while traffic jams only occur during 6-8 weeks of peak tourist season. An interstate highway does not solve the problem. Where are all the drivers supposed to go? On the outer cape the vast majority of local businesses are located along Route 6. Perhaps the solution is to restrict the making of left turns.

sep02 Eastham

2014 Eastham Windmill Weekend - September 5th - 7th

The biggest and best weekend in Eastham is the weekend after Labor Day, known here as Windmill Weekend. The town puts on a party with lots of events and it's always fun for the whole family. The 37nd annual Windmill Weekend includes an art show, a craft show, a car show, sand 'art' at First Encounter Beach (my favorite), concerts, a photo contest, a tennis tournament, a parade, 5 mile and 2 mile runs, and much more. Go to the Windmill Weekend website for more information. This year's theme is "Winds of Change". Come - join the fun!

sep02 Eastham

Construction for New Eastham Library To Begin This Month

Eastham residents will have a new library late next year, according to Eastham Library Director Debra Dejunker Barry. The process to construct a new library began with a grant that the previous library director wrote several years ago. The said Nauset Construction of Needham will build the $9 million facility which is expected to open in either December 2015 or January 2016. The library board of trustees were awarded a construction grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners for $4.3 million and the town matched the grant with $4.5 million. Until then, Barry said they will have a temporary home in three trailers by the end of the month. The modular trailers are being set up on Eastham Town Hall property. While those trailers are being set up, the library will continue with its regular hours on Samoset Road. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new library is scheduled for Saturday, September 13 from 11 AM to 1 PM.

sep02 Truro

Deputy shellfish warden appointed in Truro, despite conflict

After considering a possible conflict of interest and ruling the conflict is not significant enough to have a significant impact, selectmen this week appointed Steve Wisbauer as a deputy shellfish warden. The board two weeks ago appointed Assistant Harbormaster John Bloom as one deputy shellfish warden at the request of Harbormaster and Shellfish Warden Tony Jackett, but held off on appointing Wisbauer because he holds a shellfish grant. "In a small town there are always going to be conflicts," said selectmen chair Jay Coburn, noting the important thing is to be aware of possible conflicts. At selectmen's instruction, Bob Lawton, acting co-town administrator, sought an opinion from town counsel, who advised that they can formally accept the conflict as long as they deem it not significant enough to present a problem. One stipulation was that the two deputies work at different times and not together, which Lawton said is the case. "This will provide better coverage down at the harbor," Lawton said. Selectman Janice Worthington said Wisbauer is doing a very good job at the harbor. Selectman Bob Weinstein said that because Wisbauer holds a shellfish grant, he wants to be sure there is no appearance of conflict. Lawton assured the board that Wisbauer will not be inspecting his own grant. Coburn said he would like to see Wisbauer do as little inspecting of grants as possible, "because he would be inspecting competitors." Lawton said he would convey that to the harbormaster, who is aware of such concerns. "He knows that he has to be very careful," he said.

sep02 Provincetown

Former Provincetown police chief to challenge firing

Former Police Chief Jeff Jaran says he will fight his termination last year by the town at an arbitration hearing Oct. 30. The selectmen fired Jaran, Provincetown's police chief for about five years, in December after months of controversy related to his alleged angry outburst at The Squealing Pig pub after an N.W.A. rap song containing anti-police lyrics played on the sound system. Some members of the public complained that Jaran intimidated customers and employees at the pub. Also, the police union accused him of campaigning inside the police station and using his authority to get officers to vote for Selectman Austin Knight in the May election. The selectmen hired an independent investigator, Frank Rudewicz of Marcum LLP, to look into the union's complaints as well as the incident at The Squealing Pig. Rudewicz's report found that Jaran violated local and state laws when he held staff meetings to discuss the need to support Knight. Rudewicz also found that Jaran did not behave violently at the Squealing Pig, but patrons were intimidated. Afterward, he "unnecessarily" directed officers to collect names of the people in the bar that night, the report found. The selectmen voted Dec. 11 to fire Jaran with three years left on his five-year contract. He was paid about $127,000 in 2013, according to the contract. The night of the termination, Jaran's attorney, Andrew Gambaccini, said Jaran would dispute it at an arbitration hearing, where he expected "full vindication." The arbitration process allows the town and Jaran to each select one arbitrator, while the third is mutually agreed upon by both parties. The hearing is closed to the public. Neither the town attorney, John Giorgio, nor Gambaccini returned calls for comment.

sep02 Provincetown

Provincetown's 'Audition' to end season with a bang

Marti Gould Cummings is a natural-born wash-ashore. Her first time in Provincetown, she won Showgirls and received a standing ovation from the anonymous crowd. "That's when I said, 'I guess P'town likes me,'" she recalls. Since then, her own affection for Provincetown has only grown and today she calls it the place "where she is most herself." Her "townie" evolution took another step this summer when she signed on back in June to co-host the weekly talent and variety show "Audition" at The Crown & Anchor with Kevin Aviance. This Tuesday, Sept. 2, Cummings and Aviance wrap up a successful season of Tuesdays at The Crown with the edgy variety show's grand finale. In the season's big bang of a conclusion, participants who won the best act in previous shows (along with anyone who got the nerve to perform four shows without winning) compete for a grand prize of $5,000. Perhaps her best memories will be working with Aviance. "When they asked me to do the show, I was sort of on the fence because I was going to have to travel back and forth from New York so much," she says. "And then they said Kevin Aviance is doing the show, and I said, 'Where is my contract? I mean, he's a genius. And so kind and creative. One of the best parts about doing the show is that we've really become good friends." Cummings' own performance is "messy," as she fondly describes it. "My drag aesthetic is really that I like to wear what makes me happy. So if I'm feeling like full fishy drag that day and that makes me happy, then I'll wear the big ball gown and big hair. If I'm feeling clowny, then I'll be a clown. I think with drag, you have the ability to be whatever you want to be. That's the fun of drag. Everyday I can look completely different and still keep my character. And I like short skirts." Though personally she has many insecurities, she says, she commands the stage with apparent confidence. "It's my job, I guess," she explains. "When I'm on stage, it's like something comes over me. Like, in real life, like right now, I feel like I'm a really boring, not funny person. But when I'm on stage there's something that happens and I feel like I'm another person and all that insecurity is gone. Then the minute I step off stage it's like, 'Did they like me? Did they think I was funny? Was the show good? Am I going to have a show next week? Oh my god!"


sep02 Provincetown

Zany, talented, larger-than-life Linda Gerard remembered in Provincetown

She was a singer, an actress, a "Funny Girl" and a fixture in Provincetown's entertainment scene, and she will be remembered for all that and more as family and friends gather to celebrate the life of Linda Gerard on Sept. 7 at the Pied Bar. No other place would do. The Pied Piper (now known as Pied Bar), a gay women's bar and nightclub founded in 1974 by Pam Genevrino, Gerard's longtime friend and former lover, is where Gerard, who died in March, forged her reputation as an unforgettable cabaret act here in town and made a lasting impression on many of the young gay women for whom the bar was a refuge. It was also where she began her second, informal career, that of "ambassador for Provincetown and gay women," her daughter, Regina Binder, says. Gerard first came to Provincetown in the summer of 1975 in the flush of a decade-long career as Broadway performer and Manhattan nightclub star. Hired by Phyllis Schlossberg to do a nightly show at the Post Office Café, she was an instant hit. It was a simple act, just Gerard and the piano, but she packed the house, Genevrino recalls. Gerard was asked to come back the following summer, which she did - with a three-piece band. The owner didn't want it. "So she walked down the street to the Pied Piper, and she said to me, 'I need a job.' I said, 'OK, what do you do?' She said, 'I sing.' I said, 'OK, you're hired," Genevrino says. Gerard performed for six nights a week at the bar - a hole in the wall at 193A Commercial St., formerly known as the Ace of Spades - and, like the legendary instrumentalist for which it was named, soon had an enormous following. "I can close my eyes and still see the line from the door of the bar up Commercial Street and all the way to the Little Store to get in," says Binder, who with her twin sister, Cynthia, was in her early teens at the time. Gerard's act started at 7 p.m. and continued until 9, when the disco began. She sang what she wanted - Broadway tunes, Gershwin, requests from the audience - keeping the audience entertained between numbers with funny prattle; her wide-mouthed frog joke was particularly popular. "My mother was genuinely zany," Binder says. "Linda would literally do anything, it didn't matter. She was a phenomenal person," says Genovrino, who became romantically involved with Gerard soon after their business partnership began. After a fire destroyed the bar in 1978, Gerard and Genevrino pooled their resources and rebuilt it, Gerard getting down on her hands and knees to help lay the tile. Around Memorial Day weekend, not long after the bar reopened, there was a problem with the cesspool. Gerard emceed in the back yard when the repairmen came to fix it in the middle of the night.


sep02 Provincetown

Have We Made It Through Another Provincetown Summer?

I hesitate to say we've gotten through another summer season here at the tip of Cape Cod, because we've still got a number of visitors in town, many of us haven't yet made the money we need to get through the long winter with no opportunity for employment, and we're only midway through the potential hurricane season. Despite all that, this is likely to be a summer I'll remember fondly, even though I worked an extra day each week for the same money, had very little time to myself, and came down with a few minor symptoms of Augustitis in the last couple of weeks. I found myself becoming quite cynical, and even a bit short-tempered a few times, so I took two days off (you know, like a person with a normal job in the "other world" would do) and I went to see some art, had a therapeutic glass of wine, and I'm recovering quite nicely, thank you. Yesterday, when every possible thing that could go wrong at work did, and even a couple of things that were impossible also happened (you know how that is, too,) I remained calm and unflappable. We've had such perfect, mild weather all over the east coast all summer, so people didn't have to escape from unbearable heat and humidity in Boston or New York. I think that has meant fewer daytrippers, or people who might break out of the city in an unplanned visit of a few days when the weather is hot and nasty. We seem to be consistently a few degrees cooler here in the summer than folks are in Boston, for example, and there's always a cool breeze in the evening. With temperatures that didn't get much over the mid seventies this summer, and refreshingly low humidity most of the time, my little attic apartment (with no air conditioning) was pretty habitable shortly after nightfall most nights, instead of at 2 or 3 in the morning like in most hot, humid summers. The cool weather, and the cool water, may have cut into our normal number of visitors, but cuts our risk of hurricanes dramatically, too. The season was especially short this year, too, with really chilly, rainy, windy weather several weeks into our normal season, and Labor Day falls on the earliest possible day, shortening the season by yet another week. I think all of this adds up to fewer visitors this year, probably less money, and I'm definitely behind financially, but overall I'm glad to have had this short, mild season, and I'm ready to have no more daily time commitments, to choose how I want to spend each day, and to be blissfully unemployed. And every year, on the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, if you listen closely you can hear a kind of collective sigh of relief as we all walk out the door in the morning and begin to feel like we're getting our town back. Maybe soon I'll be the one lying on the edge of the beach in a sweatshirt, and a blanket, watching the tide roll in and out.


sep02 Orleans-Chatham

State-wide plover permit in works

Jonathan Regosin, chief of conservation science at the state's Natural Heritage program, had thought, by now, there would be a couple permits on the Cape this summer that would have allowed increased public access to beaches while still protecting endangered species. But there isn't a single one. Members of the regional beach access committee who were gathered around the table earlier this month at the Cape Cod Commission's office with Regosin, agreed. It's been hard and time-consuming to secure what is called a Habitat Conservation Permit (HCP). Orleans, which has spent a year and devoted hundreds of staff and volunteer hours on the mission, is still waiting for approval from the federal government. In the meantime, hundreds of off-road vehicle users who in the past would have spent the last month driving on the barrier beach that stretches toward Chatham are still waiting for the last few piping plovers to take wing. ( Officials are hoping to open the beach to oversand vehicles as early as today.) "The process we've been going through in Orleans has been very cumbersome," said Selectman John Hodgson, who spearheaded the effort. But the group, made of representatives from 10 Cape towns so far, is striving to simplify the process, with the state's help. The state signed off on Orleans' habitat conservation permit early this summer and is now working with towns on a statewide HCP, meaning that Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife will secure an umbrella permit from the federal government so towns will only need to apply to the state. "The most important part of this is it's going to streamline the process when it comes to managing our beaches," said Hodgson after the meeting. Regosin agreed. He said the goal of the piping plover statewide habitat conservation plan is to save time and money, as well as provide more conservation, more access and less conflict. "I think we can find a way where birds can be better off and there could be more access," he said. The statewide HCP wouldn't be completed until 2016 (Orleans is hoping for sign off from the federal government for next summer for the south side but could use the statewide permit for Nauset Spit) and its specifics are still a bit fuzzy. The state is waiting to hear whether it secured a $190,000 grant from the federal government to bring in consultants to help draft the document. Chatham Selectman Sean Summers, who chairs the new access committee, said that when Orleans gets its HCP permit for plovers it will be the first on the East Coast, although they are very common in the West.


sep02 Orleans

'Beston's Cape Cod' Class Back for Fall Session

My presentation, Henry Beston's Cape Cod, was expanded to a class for the summer session of Nauset Community Education. Now it's back for a three-week session this Fall. The class moves to Tuesday nights, beginning with a one-hour session on Sept. 23, and continuing for two more sessions on Sept. 30 and Oct. 7 at the Nauset Middle School in Orleans. All classes begin at 7 p.m. Learn what brought Henry Beston to Cape Cod, where he spent a year on the beach and wrote the classic nature book, The Outermost House. He was seeking solace after serving as a volunteer ambulance driver in France during World War I, which led to his experiences on the outer beach. Presentations will include photographs and interview footage from the Henry Beston Society. Pre-requisite reading: The Outermost House"by Henry Beston. Fee is $50, with registration closing Sept. 8. The class is based on the numerous lectures that I've presented about Henry Beston and his classic Cape Cod nature book, The Outermost House, to audiences here on Cape Cod and beyond. During those 13 years, thousands of people have learned all about how Beston and his book were cited by the National Park Service to preserve the outer beach, and the story behind The Outermost House. On the Nauset Community Education site, click on "Course Offerings," and scroll down to "Workshops." For more information, call 508-255-4300. Hope to see you in September!

sep02 Chatham

Library a "little treasure" of South Chatham

Elayne Perlstein tried the light switch a second time. Moments earlier, Perlstein, the one and only staff member of the South Chatham Public Library, had unlocked the front door of the one room building and tried the lights to no avail. After a quick call to a trustee, she gave it another go. With a flicker, and then a jolt, the lights lit up the room and Perlstein's mood suddenly matched the glow. "Now you can see it in its real glory," she said. The tiny building, with about 3,800 books on its shelves, and an annual circulation of 7,500 volumes, is open twice a week for three hours a day, year-round. In July and August, another 30 minutes is tacked on to the schedule. "This became my home," said Perlstein, who has been the librarian at the South Chatham branch since 2005. Every month, she scours book sites for books and articles, and talks with patrons about what they read. Perlstein estimates she buys 25 to 30 new titles every month to make sure the selection remains fresh. The library is run by a nonprofit group, said Arthur Smith, the volunteer treasurer of the library. It has an annual operating budget of $16,000, which goes to buy books, pay Perlstein's salary and pay for maintenance. "It's just a nice little treasure of South Chatham," he said. The library gets money from the town and holds an annual fundraiser. It also accepts donations, has an endowment and receives a small stipend from the state, Smith said. The one-room library has been operating from its Route 28 location since 1934. There are no DVDs or CDs, just books. The library is not part of the Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing (CLAMS) system. Instead, Perlstein relies on handwritten records of what residents and summer visitors borrow. "I love when new people come in," she said, taking down the name, address and telephone number of a couple from Pennsylvania, who stopped in to ask whether they could check out an item. The tiny library also draws a steady stream of regulars. Chatham resident Peggy Cuniff popped in on a July day, dropping off a pile of books. Cuniff, a retired elementary school teacher, reads four books a week and makes frequent trips to the library. "She has all new books," Cuniff said. "I like good books and fresh paper." But despite the new titles, Perlstein said she tries to keep the place traditional. Readers often leave notes on the books when returning them and a glass jar sits on her desk for any overdue fees, although she'll often waive them. "You just step out of 2014 and you step back into an old-fashioned place," Perlstein said about entering the building. South Chatham Public Library at 2559 Main St. is open Tuesday and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

sep02 Harwich

Harwich Hosts Annual Cape Cod Senior Softball Classic Tournament

This year's annual Cape Cod Senior Softball Classic Tournament in Harwich will host the "Veteranos", a team of senior players from Cuba. A 60+ bracket team will be competing at the fields in Harwich behind Whitehouse Field this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 5 through the 7. The Cape Cod Senior Softball League players will also be working with local schools. The Cuban team will visit and tour Barnstable High School and meet with students who have done an exchange in Cuba. The Cuban players will also be housed by league and local families for the three nights they will be on Cape Cod. The Cape Cod Senior Softball Classic is an annual six-day tournament bringing in teams from across the country in five different age classifications. Annually, the tournament brings more than 50 teams and 1,300 players and families from off Cape Cod, in addition to a number of teams who play on the Cape during the regular season. The tournament is sponsored by the Cape Cod Senior Softball League which plays a league schedule from Memorial Day until Labor Day weekend.

sep02 Harwich

Sen. Daniel Wolf shares lessons a year after curtailed run

In August 2013, state Sen. Daniel Wolf held a fundraiser at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum for his fledgling gubernatorial campaign. It would prove to be the campaign's last public event. Early the next morning, Wolf, founder and CEO of Cape Air, suspended his ill-fated run. Two months later, he decided to end it once it became clear the State Ethics Commission would not finalize an exemption to the conflict-of-interest law in time for him to re-enter the race. (Unanimously approved in January, the exemption allows public officials with a financial stake in state contracts - such as Wolf's interest in the agreements allowing his Hyannis-based airline to fly out of Boston - to remain in office under specific conditions.) Close to a year to the day later, with an exemption in hand and his eyes set on re-election, Wolf returned to that museum last Tuesday to reflect on the past year and look ahead to a possible third term in the state Senate. "What I've learned in this past year is humility, how to say I'm sorry; if the press wasn't here I'd actually be a little less filtered. As I've learned in the past year, know when the press is in the room, right Fenlon?" Wolf said, referring to the gubernatorial campaign's spokesman, Matt Fenlon, now executive director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, who was looking on through aviator sunglasses. Wolf said he was encouraged that the topic of inequality has garnered enough attention to become an issue regularly covered by the "mainstream media." While he still does not know much about either of his two possible GOP opponents - Mashpee financial consultant Allen Waters and Ron Beaty, the self-described tea party candidate - Wolf said he plans to focus his campaign on the issues of economic development, wastewater, transportation and energy. "I'm not going to be out-businessed by a Republican in this race," Wolf said. "This is going to be a positive race. I will say nothing negative about my opponent. But I'm going to talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur, running a business." On transportation, Wolf said the proposed third bridge is needed over Cape Cod Canal. He asked for a show of hands from those who oppose the proposal, and seeing none, said, "Good, it's unanimous here." "We need a third bridge, not to get more people here and clog the roads more, (but rather) because we're relying right now on 80-year-old infrastructure," he said. "When I sit in a traffic jam in February for an hour and a half to get off of Cape Cod, something's wrong." And in perhaps the most confrontational portion of the speech, Wolf reiterated his opposition to NStar's use of herbicides to manage unwanted vegetation under power lines, saying he wants to continue looking into creating a "countywide utility that would be of a different ownership structure and serve us better." "It's outrageous to me that 15 towns vote against NStar using chemicals near our power lines. We have volunteered to sit down and come up with a mechanical means of keeping the land under those power lines accessible and clear," Wolf said. "And we are basically given "¦" he paused and brushed the back of his hand under his chin, before continuing, "an F-you by NStar. It's not acceptable."


Cape Cod's namesake fish population rapidly disappearing

There aren't enough cod left on Cape Cod. That soon becomes evident to the tourists crowding an observation deck to watch fishermen unload their boats in this picturesque harbor sheltered from the ocean by sandy dunes. Today's catch: pounds of skate, a fish that looks like a sting ray until fishermen catch it, when they cut off its wings and throw the body back into the water. The skate wings, white triangular pieces of flesh trailed by streams of blood, slide down ramps onto the loading dock. "Eeeewww," says 5-year-old Felix Haight. "It looks like raspberry jelly," he adds, as his mother wrinkles her nose. The next boat brings in dogfish, which looks like a mix between a shark and a lizard, and is no more appealing to the tourists. For generations, the fish sliding down this ramp would have been cod, a ground fish that has been caught in these parts since the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, and before. But for reasons that scientists are still trying to determine, the cod population, shrinking for decades, dropped off precipitously in the last few years. Last year, commercial fishermen caught just 2 million pounds of cod in the Gulf of Maine, which stretches from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, down from 13.1 million pounds in 2009. Two decades ago, fishermen hauled in 30.5 million pounds. Some fishing regulations have been put in place over the decades to prevent overfishing, but recently, fishermen couldn't even reach the annual limit of 14 million pounds. "It really fell apart in the last two years," said Greg Walinski, who has made a living fishing in Cape Cod for 35 years. "We're at the point now where it's become economically impossible to do it." While other once-overfished populations such as haddock are rebounding, the news about cod has gone from bad to worse. This month scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wrote that their new analysis "presents a grim picture for the potential recovery of the iconic fish stock." The amount of fish big enough to spawn off the Gulf of Maine is at 3% to 4% of normal levels, the scientists said. The decline of the fish has dealt an economic blow to the hundreds of Cape Cod fishermen who used to spend their whole year catching cod. Most have switched to skate and dogfish, which are often canned and shipped to Europe. Some have given up fishing in the winter to work construction; others have left the industry entirely.



On this day in 1996: 20-mile back-up at bridges as visitor's flee Hurricane Edouard

On this day in 1996 Hurricane Edouard moved toward the coast of Massachusetts, cutting short a Labor Day weekend holiday for thousands of visitors who jammed the roads from Cape Cod with a nearly 20-mile traffic backup. Property owners left behind were busily boarding up windows and stocking up on groceries and supplies as the storm, with 90 mph winds, drifted up the East Coast. Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld (R) declared a state of emergency, as did several municipalities on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Berths on ferries from those popular resort islands were scarce, and some towns declared bans on driving to keep people indoors. Hurricane Edouard was the strongest hurricane in the 1996 Atlantic hurricane season, reaching winds of 145 mph on its path. Edouard remained a major hurricane for eight days, an unusually long amount of time. A Cape Verde-type hurricane, the storm formed near the coast of Africa in the middle of August. It moved westward then curved northward, and persisted until early September when it became extratropical to the southeast of New England. Edouard, originally forecasted to strike the northeast United States, produced hurricane force gusts to portions of southeastern Massachusetts while remaining offshore. The winds caused minor damage totaling to $4.25 million. In addition, the hurricane generated strong waves and rip currents to coastlines, killing two people in New Jersey and causing numerous injuries.

News Archive