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WCAI News

Reporter's Notebook

Jan 13, 2020

For our Reporter’s Notebook, WCAI reporters Sarah Mizes-Tan and Eve Zukoff join host Steve Junker to talk about covering the region and some of their most recent stories: from the rise in English Language Learners to the Cape’s readiness for Electric Vehicles, and more. 

Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries

What does a pile of construction rubble have to do with fish? When old concrete gets put on the ocean floor, it goes from trash to habitat. Workers did just that to an artificial reef two miles off the coast of Yarmouth last week; they dumped pieces of granite and concrete to expand a reef that was built in the 1970s. WCAI's Kathryn Eident talked with biologist Mark Rousseau of the state's Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF)about how his office manages artificial reefs like this one.  

Prospective car buyers at the Cape’s first-ever electric vehicle show in September had a chance to look under the hood of a Volkswagen e-Golf.
Eve Zuckoff

Cronig’s Market in Vineyard Haven is a lot like any other grocery store. Piles of vegetables, kids pulling on their moms’ arms, cashiers ringing out.  

But what makes this store different is what’s outside.

Eve Zuckoff

At the Cape’s first-ever electric car show this fall, hundreds of people gathered to test drive electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“Got four wheels, that's a good start,” said Mark Borgmann, a musician from Dennis who came to test-drive the Chevy Volt, a plug-in hybrid.

Courtesy of Diane Martin

Environmentalists have filed a petition in Yarmouth asking the town to declare a climate emergency.  

If approved, the declaration would require Yarmouth to demonstrably reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, getting the town to net-zero at the “earliest technologically and economically feasible” time.

Electric vehicle charging station at Cronig's Market in Vineyard Haven.
Eve Zuckoff

The Steamship Authority announced it will welcome a pair of electric buses to its fleet to transport passengers between parking lots and ferry terminals in Falmouth and Hyannis.
 

That’s thanks to two grants—one state, one federal—which add up to $875,000. The monies will help the authority switch from diesel to batteries, which will, in turn, help the agency reduce its carbon footprint and join the larger trend in the transportation sector toward electrification.

The North Atlantic right whale population has a chance at recovery if entanglement & ship strikes can be avoided.
NOAA Photo Library / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The federal government has committed $1.6 million dollars to help fishermen offset new regulations designed to protect North Atlantic right whales from entanglement in trap/pot gear.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

In the past year, Barnstable High School has seen a dramatic increase in its population of students coming from Brazil. Today, in the hallways between classes, visitors are almost as likely to hear Portuguese being spoken as English.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

Provincetown is poised to become the first town on Cape Cod to have a retail marijuana store. On Thursday, the company Curaleaf, of Wakefield, Massachusetts, announced it had received final approval for a storefront on Commercial Street. Massachusetts began permitting marijuana retail stores in November 2018, but Cape towns have been slow to adopt the legislation. Many towns have either deferred approval or voted to ban retail stores entirely.  This means in many ways Provincetown's store will serve as an example for others.

Eve Zuckoff

In a new experiment, scientists working at the Mass Maritime Academy in Bourne are finding that ocean acidification may have a profound effect on juvenile sea scallops.  

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

For the past few years, schools from Provincetown to Bourne have seen an uptick in the number of students who are classified as English Language Learners. Barnstable Public Schools has been at the epicenter of this increase, particularly in its high school.

Eve Zuckoff

Nearly a dozen states, including Massachusetts, are collaborating on the Transportation & Climate Initiative, a regional program that would curb greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.

House Impeachment Vote

Dec 17, 2019
Annette Elizabeth Allen/NPR

Wednesday, December 18, the House of Representatives debates and votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump. View the live stream here.

Sarah Mizes-Tan

A recent Harvard University report finds there is a lack of diversity within the six science organizations in Woods Hole. Estimates say 90% of researchers at these institutions are white, while 10% are people of color. The 15-page report also details a series of issues including, overt racism and microagressions, and a lack of cultural competence. Leaders at these organizations say they're working to increase diversity. 

WCAI's Kathryn Eident talked with Lead Reporter Sarah Mizes-Tan about how diversity and inclusion need to be considered not just in the workplace, but in the community of Woods Hole itself.

Sarah Mizes-Tan / WCAI

One day in late November, a group of scientists and employees gathered at the Marine Biological Laboratory for mandatory mingling. In an exercise laid out by two diversity trainers from the University of Chicago, attendees were encouraged to say hello to people they hadn't spoken with before and taught techniques for engaging with people who may have different perspectives from their own.

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