News | CAI


Forest land on Martha's Vineyard is perforated by houses.
David Foster / Harvard Forest

Plants absorb one-third of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, but if temperatures keep rising in the next 20 years, plants could become 50 percent less effective at absorbing carbon, according to a new study co-authored by a Woods Hole scientist. 

Poetry Sunday: Jenna Sammartino

4 hours ago

Jenna Sammartino reads the poem, "Another One."

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, people have a lot of questions about who is eligible, and when and how to sign up.

Jennette Barnes / CAI

The vaccine rollout continues across the region, with first responders and older veterans receiving theirs this week. Gov Baker vetoes a major climate bill, as legislators promise it’ll land right back on his desk. And Massachusetts will be getting a new state seal, and the Mashpee Wampanoag will be part of the design commission.

MassGovernor youtube channel

Cape and Islands environmentalists and climate activists are decrying Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to veto a wide-ranging climate change bill. 

Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce

The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses hurt by COVID-19 to apply for a sector-specific grant by 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Eligible sectors include restaurants, entertainment venues, gyms, salons, and independent retailers.

Partners in Health

Single-day COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts hit an all-time high earlier this month of nearly 9,000. The growing numbers make contact tracing a gargantuan task, and at times, the effort has fallen behind.

Beverly Costa-Ciavola, who lives in Falmouth, tested positive for COVID-19 the day after Christmas, but never heard from anyone.

On The Point, we talk about staying active at any age: why exercise important for our mental and physical health, what types of activities we should be focusing on depending on our age, and how to avoid some common injuries.

Our region has an eclectic and vibrant music scene, and coming together to perform or take in live music is something we typically enjoy year-round. This year is anything but typical. In-person music events and performances are canceled, and musicians are socially distant from one another. On The Point, we hear how the pandemic is impacting local musicians, and sample works of just a few of our regions talented musicians.


Rand Burkert

Shortly after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, Julio Cruz and his family moved to the Outer Cape. With Spanish as his first language, Julio enrolled in an English as a second language class at Nauset Regional High School. Surprisingly his ESL class focused on building a garden of all things. The teacher Rand Burkert connected the students to each other, and English, by growing crops they remembered from home.

Budnick Family

Some weeks I’m scraping the bottom of the birding barrel looking for “Bird Report” content. This is not one of those weeks. No, this past week brought the opposite problem, the one where a truly absurd number of noteworthy bird happenings coincide, leaving me wondering how to tie them all together. 

Bird News in January

Jan 12, 2021
adobe stock

It's the monthly Bird News program on The Point: wildlife biologist Mark Faherty brings us the latest of the season's birding highlights (and reports on other creatures too). More people are birding during the pandemic, leading to more interesting bird sightings! An unusual flight of about sixty puffins was recently seen near First Encounter Beach in Eastham. It's been a good winter so far for finches and their kin. Mark gives us tips for the bird feeder, and notes the presence of remaining migrants that seemed to have stayed on to overwinter here, including several orioles.

Meg Woolhouse/GBH News

Public school enrollment in New England is down during the pandemic. But even when kids are enrolled, it can be a struggle to get some to show up. This week on NEXT, how one district is tackling absenteeism and why doctors are increasingly concerned about youth mental health. Plus, Massachusetts school districts try to cope with a teacher shortage. And when a Vermonter’s business plummeted after COVID hit, she donned an inflatable T-Rex costume and started dancing. 

Jennette Barnes / CAI

First responders from around the region began getting their first doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

CAI visited a clinic hosted by the town of Sandwich that vaccinated 92 public safety personnel from Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich, plus members of the fire department from Joint Base Cape Cod.

Vern Laux, 2013

On a late afternoon earlier this month I walked out to one of the rip-rapped bluffs overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. I like this spot because it provides a particularly satisfying perspective.

New England for Offshore Wind

Time is ticking toward a deadline for Governor Charlie Baker to sign a broad ranging climate bill that's now sitting on his desk. CAI's Kathryn Eident speaks with CAI's climate change environment reporter, Eve Zuckoff about what's in the bill and how it could affect all of us here in Massachusetts.

U.S. Secretary of Defense / CC BY 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons /

Public safety personnel around the region are scheduled to start receiving COVID-19 vaccines today.

The town of Sandwich is hosting a vaccination clinic for police, firefighters, and emergency medical workers from Sandwich, Bourne, Falmouth, and Mashpee, and for the fire department at Joint Base Cape Cod.

Poetry Sunday: Eliza Blanchard

Jan 10, 2021

Eliza Blanchard reads the poem, "far shores." 

Liz Lerner

Cape Cod Healthcare says it cannot open a COVID-19 step-down unit because staff and money are stretched too thin.

The health system received a necessary state license extension on Wednesday, but the state is not providing the same funding package as in the spring.

New Bedford Whaling Museum


It’s that time of year again — when Herman Melville left from New Bedford on a whaling trip that would inform his iconic novel, “Moby-Dick.”

And with the anniversary comes the Moby-Dick Marathon, a round-the-clock reading of the entire book, hosted by the New Bedford Whaling Museum.



In a milestone for the PCB cleanup in New Bedford Harbor, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency transferred the project’s dewatering facility to the city of New Bedford on Thursday.

The EPA used the facility to remove water from contaminated sediment. The sediment was trucked off site, and the water treated and released.

COVID-19 cases are trending upward in many communities on the Cape, Coast, and Islands as the second surge in infections continues.

The rate of new cases — the number of cases per 100,000 people — has stabilized on Cape Cod but continues to rise in Dukes and Nantucket Counties, according to Vaira Harik.

New Bedford /

New Bedford has just joined a small number of Massachusetts municipalities to develop its own city-wide climate action plan. 

Hubble and NASA

CAI's John Basile talks with Regina Jorgenson of the Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket about the mysterious signals coming from a nearby star. But, don't start writing those pen-pal letters to E.T. just yet.

J Junker

Cape Cod officials want to open a COVID-19 recovery facility to relieve pressure on hospitals – but they’ve been waiting on state approval. Meanwhile, the Cape passed 250 deaths from the coronavirus this week. And local representatives react to the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump extremists.

We have those stories and more on the local news roundup, as CAI News Director Steve Junker speaks with some of the region’s leading journalists.