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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

oct22 Wellfleet

Cape Cod Notebook by Robert Finch: Beach Roses, Pitch Pines, and Big Dunes are Not So Cape Cod as You Imagine

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.

It's an old saw that there's not one square foot on Cape Cod that has not been altered by some human activity over the centuries. Harbors have been dredged, highways have been built, marshes filled in, beaches lined with stone jetties or concrete bulwarks, and woodlands carved up for subdivisions - just to name a few of the more obvious effects. In fact, we can hardly take a step out of our yards without encountering the hand of man, though some of these alterations are not so obvious. In fact, here, more than most places, what appears natural usually turns out to be a mixture of the human and natural, or an overlay of one with the other. Take, for instance, the substantial forests that now help us to hide the shock of our numbers and houses from one another. These pitch pine and oak monocultures are the direct result of previous stripping and exhaustion of native forests and soils. Our forests today approximate the originals in area only, not in variety, shape or size. Oaks are usually stunted, crooked and double- or triple-trunked. Seen in winter from the air, the effect is not unlike an expansive arctic tundra, covered with primitive branched lichen, survival at the lowest and most uniform level. Except for our dumps, gravel pits and highway cuts, we attribute most topographical features to the glacier, but this is often not true. Even today we can find many large gouges or half-bowls cut into hillsides, usually bordering a stream or a maple swamp. These are actually the healed faces of old sand pits or sand barrows, once used to supply sand to a thriving cranberry industry. On the north slope of the kettle hole below my house there is a narrow, steep, long ravine leading down to the bog at the bottom. I had always assumed that this ravine was the work of glacial runoff until my neighbor, an old Cape Codder, told me that it had been worn by her father's cows going down into the kettle hole to drink when these tree-wrapped hills were open pastures. The beach rose, or Rosa rugosa that garlands so much of our beaches and dunes and looks so natural there is actually an invasive, alien plant, a native of Asia. It is said to have arrived on the Outer Cape as part of the cargo aboard the ship Franklin, which wrecked on Nauset Beach in 1849. The ship-wrecked plants survived and reportedly naturalized themselves, eventually spreading across the entire length of the Outer Beach. The Cape shares numerous common alien wildflowers and weeds with much of the rest of the country, but some plants attest to a more local history. On the road sides and in the fields of Eastham, for instance, wild asparagus and clover continues to flourish, remnants of a vanished era of intensive truck gardening in that town over a century ago. The sand dunes at Provincetown, of course, are largely a man-released phenomenon, the result of early overcutting and over-grazing. Most of the native pitch pine forests are not natural at all, but the descendants of pitch pine plantations, planted during the mid-19th century in an attempt to reclaim the treeless and wind-swept landscape the early settlers had created. What is truly remarkable is not that every square foot of Cape Cod real estate has been occupied and altered by human activity, but that so much of what has been altered still looks so, well, natural.


oct22 Eastham

Field hockey: Nauset qualifies with win

Sophomore Emma Stevens had a goal and an assist as the Nauset Warriors field hockey team qualified for the tournament with a 2-0 win over Middleboro on Monday afternoon. The Warriors improve to 9-7-1 with the victory. Stevens got all the offense classmate Lucy McNamara would need, finishing a pass from junior Tanner Deegan late in the opening half. Senior Heather Spiegel upped that lead to 2-0 midway through the second half on Stevens' assist off a corner play. McNamara did not need to make a save en route to the shutout while Nauset coach Jodi Quill noted strong contributions from her entire squad.

oct22 Eastham

State of the Seashore program is Oct. 28

Officials from the Cape Cod National Seashore will review the projects accomplished this year and offer a preview of what's coming next during a presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Salt Pond Visitor Center. The State of the Seashore program is free and will be led by Seashore Superintendent George Price. Price will talk about what he has described as a return to near-normal park operations following drastic budget cuts in 2013. He will review plans for 2015 as well as discuss the upcoming 2016 centennial celebration of the National Park Service. A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. For more information, visit

oct22 Eastham

Cape Cod National Seashore to Host - An Era Exposed - Exhibit by Nauset Regional High School Honors Art Student

Cape Cod National Seashore's Parks as Classrooms Education Program and the Nauset Regional High School Art Department recently collaborated on an education program designed to introduce honors portfolio, printmaking, and photography students to the national seashore's historic buildings, and to inspire the creation of art based on these cultural properties. Works from this collaboration will be on display at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham between November 3 and 25, 2014. There will be an artist reception Tuesday, November 4 from 1:30 to 2:30 PM. Students in Mrs. Ogden's Honors Portfolio and Printmaking classes, and Mrs. Campbell's Photography classes visited the Atwood Higgins property in Wellfleet in September. Following an educational presentation by a park ranger, they investigated the architecture of the property's many buildings to gain inspiration for their art. The photography students shot the wide range of available textures, while the portfolio students sketched on site and then returned to class to complete their interior and exterior work, using a medium of their choice. Also being showcased in the November exhibition are works derived from field trips to the Ray Wells and Zara's dune shacks in the Province Lands. Works by printmaking students feature white line woodblocks and dry point etchings, while photographs emphasize textural details. The dune dwellings are part of a National Register historic district which derives part of its historic value from its association with the development of art and literature in America, making it a perfect educational venue for local art students.


oct22 Truro

CapeCast: Truro's Iconic Days' Cottages hit the market

oct22 Provincetown

Lighting of Pilgrim Monument Nov. 26

The Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum will hold the annual lighting of the monument at 5 p.m. Nov. 26. The monument will remain lighted each night through Jan. 6. The monument is located at 1 High Pole Hill Road. Admission to the lighting is free and refreshments will be served. Entertainment is planned as well. The 252-foot-tall granite monument was completed in 1910 to commemorate the first landing of the Mayflower Pilgrims in November 1620 in what is now the West End of Provincetown. For more information, visit

oct22 Provincetown

Outermost Poetry Contest Renamed For Poet Laureate Joe Gouveia

Community radio station WOMR/WFMR recently announced the submission requirements and deadlines for the contest formerly known as the Outermost Poetry Contest, and rechristened this year in honor of the recently deceased poet and radio personality Joe Gouveia. Joe Gouveia created the contest in 2012, bringing poetry submissions to the outer Cape from all over the country. "Joe slipped away from our community radio family all too young," said WOMR executive director John Braden. "WOMR/WFMR is continuing this annual tradition to honor Joe's commitment to the poetry community while supporting a great community asset." Once again this year, poet and novelist Marge Piercy will select the finalists for both national and regional categories. Prizes of $1,200 will be awarded, with $1,000 going to the national winner and $200 to a regional, Cape Cod-based poet. The deadline for submissions, hard copy only, is a Monday, December 15, postmark. Poets are encouraged to send five unpublished poems of any style or subject matter, no more than seven pages in total, and a $15 submission fee. Specifics concerning the submission requirements and process are available at as well as The Joe Gouveia OuterMost Poetry Contest Facebook page. Winners and top-10 placing poets will be announced on the Joe Gouveia OuterMost Poetry Contest Facebook page, at, and via e-mail. Finalists will be selected on January 7, and will receive a guaranteed spot on WOMR/WFMR's Poets Corner radio show. Winners of cash prizes for best national poem and best regional poem will be announced on March 4.

oct22 Provincetown

Repairs slated for Seashore roadways

The Cape Cod National Seashore will close a 2.4-mile stretch of Province Lands Road from Nov. 1 through mid-March for repairs, according to a statement from Seashore Superintendent George Price. The closure will be between Race Point Road and the entrance to Herring Cove Beach. The repairs will correct a stretch of roadway that is in the worst condition of all the park's roads and increase overhead clearance for bicyclists passing under the roadway, Price said. The roadway will be repaved and an entrance to Herring Cove Beach will be realigned. Two existing bicycle bridges on the Province Lands Bike Path will be replaced with concrete box culverts. Detour signs for drivers will be posted in the area and more information about any temporary closures or detours on the bike path will be announced at Federal funds are being used to make the repairs, Price said.

oct22 Provincetown

On this day in 1948: Cape Cod's gay whale returns

On this day in 1948 the world was being regaled with tales of our gay whale which had been frolicking about the Cape tip for a couple years now. In one previous visit, "Willie the whale" as he was dubbed, had smashed a dingy tossing a young Provincetown lad on the leviathan's back where he held on for a brief whale of a ride. Cape Cod's famous whale, Willie, which is almost as well known here as the Pilgrim Memorial, is at it again. Last week he poked his head out of the calm Atlantic to race circles around the fishing yacht Katharine II and then, while its twenty passengers (including this reporter) watched in amazement, dive playfully beneath it... Read the rest of this 1948 story below, but that's an artist's imaginary depiction of the event above.

oct22 Orleans

Winter reprieve for Orleans dining venues

Orleans Inn owner Ed Maas remembers the owner of The Cleaver telling other restaurant owners not to expect to see his customers when he went out of business. At first the others thought he was just being pompous. "But the truth was he didn't have any," said Maas. Maas was before selectmen Wednesday, with more than a dozen other restaurant owners, asking that in the dead of winter when they have no customers that they have the flexibility to close. That way, it will be a temporary closure, not a permanent one, they argued. The board was sympathetic. Selectmen agreed to a pilot program of sorts to allow restaurants to close for 90 days, instead of 30 and see if it helped. "It is a huge part of the Orleans economy," said Selectman John Hodgson, adding the health of the restaurants affected the entire community. "Let's give them a year to control their own destiny." In addition to the possibility of the longer closure, the board asked staff to look into other options that would allow restaurants to operate in the way that best suits their own individual business model. Selectmen wanted to know if allowing restaurants to open and close "as business permits" would run afoul of state law. And whether restaurants could avoid petitioning the board to ask to close - and having a hearing - would be allowed under the guidelines of the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Hodgson pointed out that no other industry, retail, for example, has to ask permission to close for renovations, or if they are short-staffed, or if they are losing money that month. The board expects to have those answers at its meeting on Nov. 5. "This is a good first step," said Selectman Sims McGrath. Christopher Kanaga, an attorney and spokesman for the group, said restaurants in Orleans - unlike those in other towns are facing a double whammy of sorts. One is that unlike the vast majority of the 351 communities in the Commonwealth, Orleans is one of 25 that has no cap on alcohol licenses. And, he said, surrounding communities - such as Chatham - whose populations swell much larger in the summer only have 14 licenses, about half of what Orleans boasts. And since they have far more people in the summer - numbers show 10,000 and more - than they can make up what money they lost over the winter. That's more difficult for Orleans restaurateurs, he said. Flexibility on closing in the winter months would "alleviate a real hardship they are operating under," he said.


oct22 Orleans

Stress reduction course at Orleans COA

A mindfulness-based stress reduction course for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults will be offered at the senior center in Orleans for six weeks. The course runs on Monday mornings, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from Oct. 20 to Dec. 1. Advance registration is required, call 857-313-6578. Facilitated by the LGBT Aging Project, a program of the Fenway Institute, the course is being funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation and co-sponsored by Lower Cape LGBT Seniors.

oct22 Orleans-Eastham

Scott Kerry elected to Orleans Chamber board

The Orleans Chamber of Commerce elected W. Scott Kerry to its board of directors. Kerry is president of Kerry Insurance Agency, a 24-year-old family run full-service insurance agency with locations in Eastham and Hyannis. He is a 1989 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and received his MBA from Suffolk University in 2000. He is the vice president of the board of directors for the Cape Cod Insurance Agents Association, and sits on the board of directors for the Community Development Partnership and St. Peter's Lutheran Church. He lives in Eastham.

oct22 Orleans

More counterfeit money passed in Orleans

Orleans Police report that In addition to the counterfeit twenty reported on Sunday, an additional twenty dollar bill and a ten dollar bill have been reported by a local bank. Police continue to urge merchants to be on the lookout and report anything suspicious to them.

oct22 Orleans

Quality counterfeit bills surfacing in Orleans

A counterfeit $20 bill of rare high quality has put local police on alert. The bill was reported to police by a local business on Sunday morning, when the receipts from Saturday were being tallied, according to Orleans police Lt. Kevin Higgins. The person preparing the bank deposit is a former bank official and noticed that the $20 had a different feel, Higgins said. Police did an initial check of the bill with a specialized pen and then worked with a bank to notify the U.S. Secret Service. Using the serial number on the bill, the Secret Service learned it had come from the Las Vegas area, Higgins said. "Chances are this bill may have been inadvertently picked up as change and then brought across the country," Higgins said. "The bill is so good, you can't tell the difference. Typically, if you put the two bills side-by-side you could tell something was wrong with one." The counterfeit bill reported on Sunday has a slightly more waxy feel than a normal $20, he said. A second fake $20 of similar quality and a fake $10 were reported to police on Tuesday, and were under investigation, Higgins said.

oct22 Chatham

Weathervane worth $1,000 reported stolen in Chatham

Police are asking the public for help in locating a dolphin weathervane worth about $1,000 that was stolen recently from a home in Chatham, according to a press release today. The weathervane has a three-dimensional copper dolphin that is about 40 inches long. The dolphin is plated with 24K gold and had been displayed on the roof of the house for about 50 years, the police said. Anyone with information can call police detectives at 508-945-1217 or leave an anonymous tip at 508-945-TTIP (8847).

oct22 Chatham

Building mussels

About 85 percent of fresh mussels consumed in the United States are imported from Canada. And while mussel farms exist in the United States, there are none beyond the 3-mile limit of state waters. That's about to change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced last week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued the first offshore shellfish aquaculture permit on the East Coast for roughly 30 acres in Nantucket Sound, immediately adjacent to the area where Cape Wind plans to build its 130-turbine wind farm. The permit was awarded to Chatham commercial fisherman Domenic Santoro. Santoro did not respond to an email or telephone message seeing comment for this story. But last year he told the Times that he hoped the project would smooth out the difficulties of working in state waters. Another permit has already been awarded for an aquaculture farm in federal waters off the West Coast, but that project hasn't yet been installed. The idea is to start small so that fishermen and scientists can work out any potential problems, said Scott Lindell, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole who has worked on the project. The initial deployment on Nantucket Sound in the spring will include three 480-foot-long lines with 10-foot-long mussel-filled socks every three feet, secured on either end by12-foot-long helical anchors, Lindell said, adding that the plan is to eventually have 25 of the lines. NOAA made a series of recommendations, including the phased approach, and worked closely with the Army Corps and Santoro on the permitting, agency spokeswoman Maggie Mooney-Seus said. "There really isn't a precedent for how you do this type of permitting," she said. The state Division of Marine Fisheries raised a series of concerns as part of an environmental assessment by the Army Corps, including the size of the area, potential conflicts with other fisheries and the possibility of the additional lines. Nobody at the division was available on Tuesday who could say whether those concerns have been alleviated, according to a spokeswoman. There were no concerns raised by other fishermen about potential conflicts and additional review will be required if lines are added, according to the environmental assessment. "We didn't want to get ahead of ourselves with putting too much in the water," Lindell said. The lines will be suspended at a depth of 20 to 30 feet and marked by buoys so other fishermen can avoid them. Lines that come to the surface will be sheathed in black corrugated piping so marine mammals and turtles don't become entangled, Lindell said. "Our principle concern was around turtles," he said, adding that whales aren't frequently spotted near the area. The proximity to Cape Wind's proposed wind farm is expected to be a benefit because the turbines' monopoles will act as structure where mussel seed can collect, Lindell said. Mussel farmers could even collect the seed off the monopoles, which would benefit both the offshore wind energy company and the fisherman, he said. Eventually, there could be hundreds of acres of mussel farms in the Sound, Lindell said. Other ideas include mussel farming among the turbines or growing seaweed in the area, Lindell said. The proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm was originally conceived of as an "ocean ranch," where both wind energy and fish resources could be harvested. "We've always pointed out that adding subsurface substrate will act as an artificial reef," said Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers. "This has been seen now in European waters with projects there." A study published earlier this year in Current Biology showed that tagged seals traveled from one wind turbine off Europe to another. Researchers believe the animals were foraging on prey that gathers around the base of the monopoles. "Anecdotally over the years, we've definitely seen a lot of fishing activity around our data tower," Rodgers said about the meteorological data tower Cape Wind has in Nantucket Sound. The proposed mussel farm next to Cape Wind's footprint is not a surprise, Rodgers said. "They've been good enough to come in and meet with us to discuss their plans," he said. Although the wind farm developer has asked that the aquaculture equipment not interfere with the project during its construction, the company is open to future discussions about the association once the project is operating, Rodgers said. Audra Parker, president of Cape Wind's primary opposition group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, said she wasn't familiar with the details of the aquaculture project but that it appears to be a much more benign and compatible use than the offshore wind farm. "It benefits the local economy versus harming it like Cape Wind with impacts to tourism, property values, commercial fishing as well as posing an increase in electric rates," she said, adding that the goal of the alliance is the long-term protection of the Sound. This includes protecting existing uses like fishing and examining the impact of new uses, she said.


oct22 Chatham

Warrant sweep nets father and son in Chatham

Responding to recent complaints of criminal activity in the Commerce Park area, the Chatham Police Department conducted an arrest warrant sweep in that area. During that sweep, a father and son were located and arrested for outstanding arrest warrants. Arrested were: James A. Anthony III, (Age 56) on an arrest warrant for failure to pay fines; and his son, James A. Anthony IV (Age 24), on an arrest warrant for violating his conditions of probation. Both are scheduled to be arraigned in Orleans District Court on Tuesday, October 21st.


oct22 Chatham

Father and son arrested in warrant sweep

A father and his son were arrested Tuesday when police conducted a warrant sweep in an attempt to control theft in Commerce Park, according to Chatham police Lt. Michael Anderson. Police arrested James A. Anthony III, 56, of Chatham, on an arrest warrant for failure to pay fines. They also arrested James A. Anthony IV, 24, at the same Chatham address, on an arrest warrant for violating probation. The pair do not face charges connected with the Commerce Park thefts. The elder Anthony's case was dismissed, according to an Orleans District Court official. His son is being held without bail until Friday, according to a Barnstable District Court official. Commerce Park is an area of business off Route 137 in the western end of town. Reports in the last month of larceny, breaking and entering and attempts to break and enter led police to add extra patrols and conduct investigations, Anderson said. One of the methods police use to control a burst of illegal activity in a neighborhood is to conduct a warrant sweep and have people detained to see if the illegal activity stops.

oct22 Chatham

Political notes: Chapman's own money helps narrow fundraising gap

John Chapman is invested. Chapman, a Chatham lawyer running to unseat U.S. Rep. William Keating, D-Mass., gave $70,000 to his own campaign on Sept. 30, bringing the amount he has contributed so far to nearly $337,500, according to a campaign finance report filed Wednesday. The loan, made on the last day of the reporting period for the Federal Election Commission's October quarter, brought Chapman's total receipts between Aug. 21 and Sept. 30 to $146,247 - about $10,000 less than the nearly $157,000 Keating raised without any loans to himself during the same stretch. Keating, a two-term Democrat from Buzzards Bay, entered this month with $832,640 on hand, exceeding Chapman's campaign account by $700,000, according to a review of the candidates' FEC filings. "Congressman Keating deeply appreciates the support he continues to get throughout the campaign. This filing represents a steady commitment toward keeping an independent voice in Washington to represent the residents of Southeast Massachusetts," the campaign said in a prepared release. But Chapman's campaign said it has what is needed to unseat Keating. Bill Keating is an automatic vote for President Obama and his policies, and has failed to respond to the needs of the district. We will have enough money to get out that message," said Chapman's campaign manager, Vince Voci. The filing period ended about a week before a poll by Emerson College and WGBH showed Chapman holding a 5-point lead over Keating. Last month, a poll commissioned by Keating showed he led Chapman 45 to 33 percent, with the majority of undecided voters leaning Democratic.

oct22 Chatham-Harwich

Chapman and Keating to debate at Monomoy Regional High School Oct. 29

Congressional candidates for the 9th District will square off at Monomoy Regional High School on Oak Street in Harwich on Wednesday, October 29 at 12:45 p.m. According to a release from the school, the debate between incumbent Congressman Bill Keating (D-Bourne) and his opponent John Chapman (R-Chatham) will be run by US Government students. Students will serve as moderators, panelists and timers during the afternoon debate. The debate will be watched by Monomoy Regional High School seniors and juniors. The public is also invited to attend. This is the first public event to be held in the new school's auditorium, according to MRHS teacher John Dickson. The brand new school was completed in time for the start of the 2014-2015 school year. To learn more about Congressman Bill Keating, visit his website here. To learn more about John Chapman, visit his website here. In recent radio and Internet ads the Congressman's opponent has called him "invisible and ineffective". For more information about the debate, contact John Dickson at 508-274-7367 or

oct22 Chatham-Harwich

Chatham, Harwich to talk sewage costs

Chatham is willing to take some of Harwich's wastewater, but probably not at cost. "We could look at an additional premium to discharge in Chatham," said Robert Duncanson, the town's director of health and environment. "A surcharge is a fine idea," said Selectman Jeffrey Dykens. "Some people don't want Harwich's you-know-what," added Selectman Sean Summers, saying an add-on may make it more palatable to Chatham residents. The board was discussing a possible memorandum of understanding with its neighbor in advance of a sit down between the two boards of selectmen next Wednesday. Harwich is looking to send 300,000 gallons a day to Chatham to be treated in its new sewage treatment plant. The suggestion, from Harwich, is that it pay 23 percent of the cost of the plant - which was about $40 million. The number Harwich has suggested is about $9.2 million, but Chatham officials have pointed out that doesn't include interest costs. Chatham selectmen haven't yet decided if that amount, which is based on Harwich's portion of flow to the 1.2 million gallon a day capacity system, will work. And they have many other points to settle on as well, but the board did agree they wanted to sit down and negotiate. "East Harwich can be accommodated without having negative impacts on the Chatham plan," said Duncanson. "Environmentally it is the right thing to do. There is no downside as far as I can see." If Harwich sends 300,000 gallons a day to be treated in Chatham it will be saving about $12 million a year. Harwich's figures estimating the cost of buying property, building a treatment plant, and operation and maintenance costs would run about $28 million. Selectman Seth Taylor wanted a few items spelled out in the agreement. One was that there be substantial penalties if Harwich goes over 300,000 gallons a day. He explained Chatham was a "mature" town and pretty built out, whereas East Harwich had tremendous room for expansion. He didn't want that expansion traveling to Chatham. He also said when the sewer main was put in to bring the wastewater to Chatham, Harwich needs to construct one beside it that would take the waste back. "I don't want to dig twice," he said. The idea is that once Harwich settles on a town-wide plan, and builds its own facility - and Chatham finishes sewering the entire town and its plant is at capacity - it will treat its own waste. If it turns out that Chatham can continue to take the waste than the pipe - built at Harwich's expense - doesn't have to be used.


oct22 Harwich

Harwich Police Investigating Car Break-Ins

Harwich Police are investigating after one motor vehicle was broken into and an attempt was made on a second on Monday night. A vehicle had its window smashed on Mary Beth Lane and had items stolen. An attempt to break the window of another vehicle was unsuccessful on nearby Partridge Lane on the same night. Harwich Police are asking the public to call police immediately if they see any suspicious activity.

oct22 Harwich

West Harwich woman faces OUI charges

A 31-year-old West Harwich woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Falmouth District Court to a drunken driving charge. Meghan Rice of 189 Route 28, Apt. 5, was also arraigned on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Mashpee police located Rice in her Volvo parked in a Honey Dew Donuts parking lot after Barnstable police reported a similar Volvo was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Barnstable, according to court records. Rice allegedly told police she was not in a crash, records say. She also allegedly told the officer she was six months pregnant and was coming from an AA meeting, according to records. The woman allegedly had slurred speech, red glassy eyes and failed a series of field sobriety tests, record say. In her car, police allegedly found a bag with three full bottles and two empty bottles of wine, according to records.


Despite Falling Gas Prices, Cape Drivers Still Paying More

Gas prices are the lowest they have been since 2011, but drivers on the Cape are still paying more than anybody else in the state. Triple-A Southern New England says the average price for a gallon of regular gas on the Cape is $3.37, 20 cents higher than the statewide average. Prices have dropped 9 cents in the past week and 22 cents in the past month. Triple-A Southern New England found gas selling as low as $2.89 and as high as $3.43.


Massachustts Gubernatorial Debate on October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


NStar to inspect lines with helicopters

Beginning this week, NStar will use helicopters equipped with high-resolution cameras to inspect electrical equipment between Bourne and Wellfleet, the company said in a statement. The helicopters will hover over equipment for up to five minutes. Weather permitting, the Cape Cod inspections should wrap up in mid-November, the company said. The helicopter being used for NStar's transmission line inspections is a black Hughes MD 500, registration number N801SB.

oct21 Wellfleet

Wellfleet FY15 Tax Rate and Bills Update

Wellfleet's FY15 tax rate was set on October 10, 2014 at $6.78 per thousand. This is 8 cents increase from FY14 or about 1.2%. For the median single family house in Town it means an increase of less than $40. The issue date for first-half FY15 tax bills is October 31. Payment is due December 1, 2014.

oct21 Eastham

"State of the Seashore" Presentation October 28

The final presentation in Cape Cod National Seashore's fall symposium, "Beyond the Beach," will be a "State of the Seashore" program with Superintendent George Price at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham at 6:30 PM on October 28. The program is free, accessible, and open to the public. 2014 saw a return to near-normal park operations, following the drastic budget reductions of last year. In addition to routine park operations, Superintendent Price will touch on many of the projects that were accomplished in 2014, including installation of a new roof on Old Harbor Life-Saving Station; the upgrading of many trails across the national seashore; rehabilitation of the Nauset Bike Trail and construction of two new footbridges on the Nauset Marsh Trail; installation of picnic shelters at the Doane Picnic Area in Eastham; development of a parkwide sign plan; investigation into the cracking and spalling at Highland Light; commencement of a bicycle and pedestrian master plan; a successful science symposium; and the selection of a new concessioner at Highland Links and a new interpretive partner at Highland Light. Superintendent Price will also look ahead to 2015, and provide plans and updates related to shoreline change and anticipated impacts to facilities; construction; and funding needs related to historic buildings and trails that are in disrepair. He will also provide a preview about the upcoming 2016 centennial of the National Park Service. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

oct21 Eastham

Eastham man, 20, arrested for second OUI

Gregory Takakjian, 20, was arrested for the second time for driving while intoxicated, as well as on other charges, after leaving the Wellfleet OysterFest on Sunday. Takakjian, of Eastham, was stopped by Eastham police at 9:20 p.m. Sunday on Route 6 near Locust Road for speeding. Police stated in court reports that he was traveling 71 mph in a 40 mph zone. He said he was thinking of pulling over to call his mom because "I think I had too much to drink and I don't want to drive my car and have you see me doing it," according to court documents. Police said he admitted to having some beer and smoking some marijuana. When police searched his car, they found a small amount of marijuana and three tabs of blotter paper. Takakjian told police it was "acid," or LSD. Police stated they also found a Massachusetts driver's license for another man, age 24. Takakjian said he used it to buy beer in Wellfleet, police stated. Takakjian was arraigned in August 2012 for operating under the influence of alcohol. The case was continued without finding, court documents stated. His current charges include OUI liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, misuse of a license, speeding and possession of a class B drug. Takakjian is the son of Truro Police Chief Kyle Takakjian.

oct21 Truro

New Truro Administrator To Start November 3rd

Truro Selectmen have approved a new 20-month contract for their new Town Administrator, who starts next month. Rae Ann Palmer was selected for the position on September 17 and will begin her duties on November 3. Palmer's 20 month contract begins November 1 to June 30, 2016 and according to Truro Selectman Jay Coburn, she will be paid an annual salary of $120,000. Coburn says that despite Palmer's start date being next month, she has already participated in town meetings and has hit the ground running. Palmer was previously the Assistant Town Administrator in Wethersfield, Connecticut for four years.

oct21 Provincetown

Dance festival makes its 10th anniversary return to Provincetown

The Provincetown Dance Festival started in 2004 as part of the celebration of the opening of The Provincetown Theater. Its co-producers, Adam Miller, Sara Sweet Rabidoux and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, have returned every year to bring cutting-edge, contemporary dance companies to town. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, the festival is back again Friday through Sunday, Oct. 24-26. This year's line-up includes 11 New England dance companies. An eclectic, multicultural group of dancers, some are new to the festival and others are old favorites. From Indian dancers to street tap performers, it's a cavalcade of new ideas and forms of dance. As a child, Miller studied at the School of American Ballet in New York City. He went on to become a principal dancer with the Pennsylvania, Hartford and Seattle's Pacific Northwest ballet companies. Transitioning to choreography, he founded his own company in Hartford, Conn., before, in 2006, becoming an artistic director for Cirque du Soleil. "In my middle age," he says, "I got to run away and join the circus." Rabidoux, a member a member of Ryan Landry's Gold Dust Orphans who also works as a composer, costume designer and producer, founded the contemporary dance company Hoi Polloi in 1997. The line-up Malina Srinivasan, is a third-generation Bharatanatyam dancer. Her dance company tours throughout India, Europe and the U.S., bringing contemporary ideas to this classical storytelling dance from South India. For the festival, she is performing a solo performance. Ali Kenner Brodsky, artistic director of Ali Kenner Brodsky and Company, is a leading New England creative artist. She received the 2014 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship for Choreography. Chorographer and videographer Marti Renzi brings film to the festival. She has created site-specific dance pieces at the Guggenheim Museum, Union Station and the Staten Island Ferry. She produces video dances and has worked with John Sayles, Project Company, David Gordon and Twyla Tharp. Sean Curran Dance Company's artistic director, Sean Curran, began as an Irish step dancer in Boston. He is chair of The Tisch School of the Arts' department of dance at NYU. A former lead dancer with the Bill T. Jones-Arne Zane Dance Company, he was an original cast member of the off-Broadway hit "Stomp." A festival favorite, the Boston Tap Company is an urban edgy company founded by choreographer and Broadway dancer Sean Feilder, who has performed at Jacobs Pillow, Mass. Museum of Contemporary Art and in New York City and Washington, D.C. tap festivals. Ego Art is a contemporary dance company from Somerville, led by artistic director Nicole Pierce. Known for its provocative multimedia dance installations that combine sculpture, video and sound design, they have been playing in and around Boston since 1999.


oct21 Provincetown

Province Lands Road Reconstruction

Superintendent George Price announces that Province Lands Road, between Race Point Road and the entrance to Herring Cove Beach, will be closed for reconstruction between November 1, 2014 and mid-March 2015. Work includes resurfacing 2.4 miles of Province Lands Road, realigning the entrance road to Herring Cove Beach parking lot, and replacing two existing bicycle trail bridges with concrete box culverts to increase the overhead clearance for bicyclists passing under Province Lands Road. Detour signs will be posted identifying Race Point Road as the alternate route to Provincetown Airport, Race Point Beach, and the Province Lands Visitor Center. More information about temporary closures or detours on Province Lands Bike Path will be announced at a later date and posted to the Cape Cod National Seashore website, Federal Highway funding is being used to repair this stretch of roadway, which is in the worst condition of all park roads, and to improve bicyclist safety through the replacement of the undersized road crossings.

oct21 Provincetown

Provincetown Is Reframing Its History In A Cool New Way

In Provincetown, a series of 25 picture frames set up in various locations is providing a history lesson for residents and visitors. The frames are part of an art installation called "Re[Framing] Provincetown." The project was created by Tsao & McKown Architects for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), which is celebrating its centennial. Each frame is split in half - on one side is a historical photo or painting of the site and on the other side the frame is open to show what the site looks like today. On the back of each frame is an invitation for people to share their stories, memories and photographs of a particular site by sending them to PAAM or posting them on social media using #reframingptown. The museum has been collecting those stories since the frames went up in August. On Sept. 26, PAAM debuted part two of the picture frame project using the stories they had already collected. That exhibit is called "Re[Framing] Provincetown: Animating History Through Sharing." At the exhibit, visitors can look through all of the collected documents (a sort of communal scrapbook) and watch historical films about Provincetown. The museum also set up a recording booth to capture people's oral histories.
The PAAM exhibit will run through Oct. 26, but the museum will continue collecting stories until the frames are taken down. All of the materials collected through the project will be added to PAAM's permanent collection.


oct21 Orleans

Counterfeit $20 passed in Orleans

Orleans Police report that a counterfeit $20 bill was recovered from a local establishment from Saturday night. The serial number is MB 46325080 B, 2013 series. The bill has no watermark, security thread or Hologram images. Merchants are asked to be on the lookout and If any additional bills are identified, to notify your local police department.

oct21 Brewster

Brewster man arrested after passing out in drive-thru line

A 49-year-old Brewster man was arrested late Friday after he passed out in his car in a McDonald's drive-thru line, according to Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos. Police responded to the call to the fast-food restaurant near Forest Road and Route 28 at 11:47 p.m. to find Todd Ricci passed out behind the wheel of a Chevy pickup truck, Xiarhos said. Employees told police Ricci had passed out between the ordering and the pick-up windows. When cars in the line began beeping, Ricci woke up and then passed out again, the police said. Police administered a Breathalyzer test, which Ricci failed, Xiarhos said. Ricci was charged with operating under the influence but there was not a record of his arraignment on Monday.

oct21 Chatham

Chatham may revisit rentals tax; resident tax break

Roslyn "Roz" Coleman, a member of the finance committee, rents out her home every summer and knows a tax on that rental would help bolster the town coffers. "It would be easy for me to pay a tax on my property and it would come from my renters," she said. Coleman noted she was one of many in town who rent out their homes and the money raised could go to human services and schools. Her idea was one of many talked about at the budget summit between the selectmen, finance committee, and Monomoy regional school representatives Tuesday. The discussion marked the start of the 2015 budget process for officials. Selectmen Chairman Florence Seldin said a tax on weekly rentals, similar to the tax on hotel and motels, had been passed in several towns but has always run into a stumbling block - the state Legislature. But, she added, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo appears to be softening his "No way" stance. Chatham Town Meeting would need to approve the idea before it would even be considered by the state, however. Selectman Seth Taylor pointed out a way to help those locals most in need without having to get the OK from Beacon Hill: changing the tax rate structure. He said Chatham could consider giving residents a 20 percent exemption on their tax bill. "That's like a kidney for those folks who are barely getting by," he said. Non-resident taxpayers would make up the difference. Another idea, he said, would be to eliminate the three percent land bank tax; the town would instead have a "modified" community preservation act as many Cape towns do. That would mean a 3 percent surcharge, as opposed to six percent. Selectman Sean Summers said the boards ought to think of cutting expenses, perhaps through regionalizing more services, instead of always looking to raise revenue. Staff, boards and the economic development committee will discuss the ramifications of the suggestions in the coming weeks. Finance Committee Chairman Ken Sommer said some had discussed taking advantage of increasing the hotel motel tax, as well as a tax on home rentals, but the town has lost about 50 percent of its lodging rooms in the last decade. The effects of various decisions need to be thought out, he said.


Wolf testifies at trial of anti-nuclear activists

The trial of the four anti-nuclear activists, charged with trespassing on the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station property on Mother's Day, continued Monday with Plymouth District Court Judge James Sullivan listening to testimony from state Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, and Dr. Richard Clapp, former director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry. "Dan spoke about the dangers of the aging reactor and lack of oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and legislative avenues," said Diane Turco, one of the defendants and the founder of the Cape Downwinders citizens group. "Clapp discussed cancer rates around the plant," Turco said. Those rates are considerably higher for some forms of cancer than state averages, she said. Defendants Mary Conahan and Susan Carpenter also testified. Fourth defendant Sarah Thacher testified on Friday, the opening day of the trial. Court action will continue Wednesday with testimony from Dr. Helen Caldicott, an international expert on the medical and environmental dangers of nuclear power. Sullivan had barred Caldicott from testifying on Friday, but said he would reconsider if other testimony made her comments relevant. He decided Monday to allow the doctor's testimony. Turco, who is defending herself, will be the final witness. The three other defendants are being represented by attorney Bruce Taub.


Risk just part of the job when painting Sagamore Bridge

For 40 years Donnie Durgin traveled the country painting bridges but, for once, he's snagged a gig closer to home. Durgin, an Orleans resident and project manager for Atlas Painting and Sheeting Corporation, explained that being a painter doesn't always mean you will be painting homes and buildings. In his experience, it means he will often be dangling hundreds of feet in the air, painting bridges, tanks, and overpasses. With the Sagamore Bridge's $12.3 million dollar painting project, Durgin got a lucky break and found out that he would be working just a half hour from his home on the Lower Cape. As he prepared for the project in January of 2013, he assembled a crew of 25 - some workers coming from as far away as Texas and Mexico. Durgin said that, in such a specialized field, bridge painting companies can't hire "just anybody." "I mean anyone that's really good in this trade, the contractors know them and they try to hire them," Durgin said. "And that's what we did for this project because painting bridges like the Sagamore Bridge is a real specialty and we absolutely need guys that know what they are doing." And part of being prepared to take on a painting project on the Sagamore Bridge, Durgin said, requires "extensive training." Atlas Painting, which is headquartered in Amherst, New York, requires all of its workers to be experienced bridge and industrial painters who are trained in occupational safety and environmental compliance. They also must be certified bridge climbers. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also stays on site to manage and maintain all safety regulations to keep workers safe - not only from falls but also from oncoming traffic. Bob Zwahlen, construction representative for the Army Corps, said staying safe is a "constant part of the job." "Even before we get started working on the bridge, safety procedures are mapped out and an accident prevention plan detailing every single thing the workers will do is submitted, evaluated and approved," said Zwahlen. "All of our workers are in a union so they are all trained and certified in bridge climbing, and we also have certain qualifications that we need to meet so we are not polluting the guys or the environment. "Once we actually get on the bridge to work, we have a full-time safety person with certifications who patrols the job constantly. Every morning there is a safety meeting, a toolbox meeting, and one of us from the Army Corps is there as well. It serves as a constant reminder that we all must be as safe as we can. If there is one wrong move, or anything out of whack, someone could literally lose their life."


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