Jennette Barnes | CAI

Jennette Barnes

Reporter/Producer

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. She feels grateful every day to see life through the eyes of people who share their stories.

Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to WCAI. She wrote for The Boston Globe for five years and twice worked at The Standard-Times of New Bedford, where she began as a reporter, rose to the position of editorial page editor, and later returned to write long-form projects.

Jennette got her start in journalism chasing politicians as a member of the New York State Capitol press corps, and then landed in Rhode Island, where she learned the art of community news at The Warwick Beacon.

Her work has received numerous New England journalism awards.

A series she pitched for The Standard-Times on Portuguese-American culture became the book A Nossa Vida: The Portuguese Experience in America. She loves learning about cultural heritage of all kinds, especially if it involves a bakery.

She is a mom, a kayaker, and a serious public television fan.

Ways to Connect

Sarah Mizes-Tan

The public panel overseeing the decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is asking lawmakers to change the panel’s voting rules.

Members of the 21-seat Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel said it’s been hard to get anything done, because the law requires them to have 11 votes to pass a motion, no matter how many people are present.

wikipedia

Two competing petitions are calling for action on Barnstable High School Principal Patrick Clark’s administrative leave.

One asks the Barnstable School Committee to reinstate Clark, whom Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown placed on leave for undisclosed reasons in September; the other asks Clark to sign a release so Mayo-Brown can make the reasons public.

David Bigelow

Once, there was a famous shark, and a boat that inspired one of the most famous movie lines of all time. The Orca, the fishing boat from Jaws, is long gone, but an effort is underway to bring the vessel back to life.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

Today is legally Columbus Day in Massachusetts, but a movement is gaining steam to abandon the holiday and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead.

wikipedia

Barnstable High School parents, alumni, and other members of the community urged the School Committee on Wednesday to find a way to bring back the principal, Patrick Clark.

Superintendent Meg Mayo-Brown placed him on leave in late September for undisclosed reasons.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

A small group of parents and school staff got up early enough on a recent Saturday to make it to North Falmouth Elementary by 8:30 a.m.

They came for a morning of work, setting up outdoor spaces for kids to play and learn.

Liz Lerner

Now that summer is over, the results are in: Although some businesses remain under strain, the tourist season was busier than expected, according to the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

Local restaurants are greeting Gov. Baker’s loosening of coronavirus restrictions with careful optimism.

Starting Monday, the rules allow patrons to sit directly at a restaurant’s bar — instead of just at high-top tables near the bar — provided they order food.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

With a week to go to finish the 2020 Census, workers are knocking on doors to find people who haven’t replied.

 

Some are reluctant to answer because they live in an illegal apartment, or because someone in the home is in the country illegally. Others don’t fill out the Census for their seasonal home — which they’re supposed to do.

 

And some people just aren’t going to troubleshoot if there’s a problem.

mass.gov

Nantucket is experiencing a surge of COVID-19 cases, and officials are concerned about risk factors that could feed the outbreak.

The 40 people diagnosed on the island in a 10-day period ending Sept. 16 represent more than a third of Nantucket’s cases for the entire pandemic. 

Markus Winkler

Local hospitals are still conserving N95 masks and requiring nurses to reuse them.

Shannon Sherman, co-chair of the union that represents registered nurses at Cape Cod Hospital, said employees are expected to re-use an N95 mask for up to five shifts, or until it becomes soiled.

U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census deadline comes in less than two weeks, on Sept. 30, and many local residents haven’t responded, especially on the Islands.

Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard have the lowest Census response rates in Massachusetts. Fewer than one-third of island households have filled it out. Cape Cod is next, with only half responding.

Jeff Behler, regional director at the Census Bureau, tells CAI that people who own a summer home may not realize they’re supposed to respond for that address, not just their primary residence.

Imagine leaving a job you really like to work fewer hours and live a more balanced life. Not an easy choice.
 

Then the pandemic hits, and your new employer shuts down.
 

That’s what happened to Sarah Butler. She lives in Bourne with her husband.

mass.gov

The latest cluster of COVID-19 cases in Chatham should not affect the reopening of the Monomoy Regional Schools, according to State Representative Sarah Peake.

Peake, who serves on the Cape Cod Reopening Task Force, said there is no indication of community spread and no known connection to the Monomoy schools.

Zoom

Parents know high-quality child care and preschool slots can be hard to find on the Cape and Islands. Now parents and providers, with some support from the business community, are asking the state to dedicate more public funding to early education and care.

They hope to make care more affordable for families and raise the pay of staff, who sometimes earn so little that they qualify for subsidized child care for their own children.

Jennette Barnes / CAI

An ocean technology company installed a particle sensor Tuesday in the Cape Cod Canal to monitor plankton and potential microplastics.

Jennette Barnes

Polls were quiet around the region yesterday, but turnout was heavy for a state primary thanks in large part to mail-in voting.

Alecia Orsini

118 people who were furloughed from Cape Cod Healthcare during the pandemic are losing their jobs permanently.

They include 40 people in service occupations, such as food service and cleaning, plus a part-time nurse at Falmouth Hospital. The remaining two-thirds are nonunion and senior management.

At press conference today, CEO Mike Lauf said patient volume is still off by double digits in major departments, and government aid hasn’t made up for it.

 

NOAA

Coast Guard personnel from Air Station Cape Cod are helping with Hurricane Laura relief on the Gulf Coast.

New England for Offshore Wind

A new coalition of 40 organizations is asking the six New England states to work together to support offshore wind.

 

But cooperation could butt up against some of the interstate competition that has happened in wind energy so far.

Mattapoisett master plan website

Mattapoisett has embarked on its first master planning process in 20 years.

The town’s mix of housing types and the busy Route 6 corridor are likely to get a lot of attention as the town lays out its vision for the future, according to Planning Board administrator Mary Crain.

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries / Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Frequent shark sightings this summer along the Atlantic coast of Cape Cod haven’t deterred people from heading to the seashore.

As schools work to make their reopening plans a reality by mid September, officials on Cape Cod are offering very specific health recommendations — down to how to test employees for COVID-19 and what cleaning products to use.

Home prices on Cape Cod are rising, even as some people remain out of work or have less income due to the pandemic.

 

The hot real estate market could put additional pressure on rentals and spur an eviction crisis, participants in a “State of Cape Cod” summit said on Thursday.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

On a Friday last September, James Longworth came home from the gym and didn’t feel well.

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