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CAI News

Melissa Doroquez /

As millions of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, many Native Americans and their supporters will commemorate the National Day of Mourning.

Held in Plymouth since 1970, the annual event is both solemn and political. It remembers the murder and oppression of Native Americans — and the theft of their land — by European settlers. It also serves as a protest of modern-day racism.

Kisha James, granddaughter of the founder and a senior at Wellesley College, said attendance has grown to more than 1,000 people a year.

On a sunny day in October, an excavator is digging into a layer of sand and cranberry plants along the Child’s River, near the border of Falmouth and Mashpee. Tree stumps are scattered about, and channels of water are diverted around up-turned dirt piles.

"Sometimes mother nature needs a helping hand, and that’s what we’re doing here,” said Gary Anderson, surveying a scene that resembled a construction site. 

Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School Facebook page

Local school districts selected for the state’s COVID-19 testing program are making plans to roll out their testing protocol, which could vary substantially from one district to the next.

At Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich, students will get the nasal swab right in the nurse’s office. Results are ready in 15 minutes with no special equipment.

COVID-19 Test Site Locator Map - Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

State money for COVID-19 testing is starting to arrive in Barnstable County from legislative earmarks.

The county Department of Health and Environment plans to establish its own testing sites.

Department director Sean O’Brien said the first batch of funding is $300,000 secured by Rep. Dylan Fernandes in the supplemental budget in July, and it must be used in Falmouth, which is in Fernandes’ district.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

For the past five winters, three Martha’s Vineyard churches took turns sheltering the homeless on different nights of the week. But those pop-up shelters relied mostly on elder volunteers, and they closed abruptly in March because of COVID-19.

This fall, a committee went looking for a new location. What they found could change the island’s approach to homelessness.


Demolition of the main emissions stack at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is scheduled to begin Wednesday as part of the ongoing decommissioning of the plant, which closed in May, 2019.

Liz Lerner

Gov. Charlie Baker is urging schools to bring children back to the classroom, and a Cape Cod public health official says the idea appears to be backed by science.

“Our governor and his team remain science-based and empirical in their approach, which is laudable and very welcome here,” said Vaira Harik, deputy director of the Barnstable County Department of Human Services.


A earthquake that hit Buzzards Bay Sunday morning is one of the strongest in decades to strike the area.

Initial reports put the earthquake at a 4.2 which was downgraded to a 3.6.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

In recent years the United States produced more plastic waste than any country in the world, according to new research led by a Woods Hole scientist. 


The research, published in the journal Science Advances, shows the United States generated 42 million metric tons of plastic waste in 2016. 

Liz Lerner

A spike in COVID-19 cases reported Monday and Tuesday on Cape Cod largely stems from one indoor event, according to State Senator Julian Cyr.

Association to Preserve Cape Cod

 The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) has released its second annual State of the Waters report this week, and found an increase from last year in the percentage of saltwater embayments and ponds with unacceptable water quality. 

Cape Cod Foundation

A person who wished to remain anonymous has bequeathed a more than $6 million dollar gift to help the local arts scene on Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod Foundation is managing the gift. CAI's Kathryn Eident talked with Foundation President and CEO Kristin O'Malley about how her organization will award the money, and other funds the nonprofit manages, as well.

Jennette Barnes / WCAI

Halloween is Saturday, and many parents are wary of letting their children trick-or-treat because of COVID-19. But there’s nothing spooky about another fall ritual — picking out pumpkins.

At Coonamessett Farm last week, five-year-old Maureen Shannon and her brother Grady, 4, were drawn to the chicken barn, with its flock cluck-clucking in the outdoor pen and, inside, two small goats eyeing visitors with curiosity.

Gerald Beetham; Association to Preserve Cape Cod


1. What does a cyanobacteria bloom look like? 

Often, cyanobacteria blooms can look like bright green paint on the water’s surface. They’re also described as looking like pea soup, but colors can range from blue, to brown, to red, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Association to Preserve Cape Cod

 As CAI reported this week, algal blooms in local ponds can be dangerous to humans and animals. They are also a sign of a bigger problem; pollution from human sources like septic systems and more recently, the effects of climate change.  CAI's Kathryn Eident talked with Climate and Environment reporter Eve Zuckoff about some of the key things she learned in reporting about cyanobacteria blooms and how to tackle the problem.  

Eve Zuckoff

Part Three of a three-part series

Biologist Karen Malkus’s laboratory in the Barnstable Town Offices features a marble vanity with a mirror framed by light bulbs.

“It used to be …  the ladies’ room, which is now converted into the lab,” she said recently.  

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.

Eve Zuckoff

Part Two of a three-part series

On a rainy Monday morning in Mashpee, ecologist Kevin Johnson balances on one foot while trying to pull on a pair of waders.

“I'll wade out … around knee- to waist-deep and take my sample there,” he said.

Eve Zuckoff

In early August, carpenter Michael Forgione told his mother that he was heading out to go crabbing in the brackish waters of Chilmark Pond on Martha’s Vineyard. Carol Forgione, a 72-year-old nurse practitioner, wished him a good catch.


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.

Eve Zuckoff

Cape residents are pushing back against the Army National Guard’s proposal to build a machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod. 

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.

Massachusetts Army National Guard

“Devastating,” “absurd,” and “unambiguously awful” were among the reactions to the Massachusetts Army National Guard’s proposal to build a machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod, at a public hearing last night.

The number of cases of coronavirus on Nantucket has slowed over the last week, but health officials are still keeping a close watch on daily tests.  

The island has suffered from two surges since early September, one related to the trades, and the most recent related to a potluck gathering at a local church.