Monthly Archives: December 2015

Taking Joy

The seasonal injunction to rejoice is always a tall order, even if you’re one of those lucky enough to be comfortable. It seems there are always more reasons, if you read the newspaper, to despair than to rejoice. In fact, given the shape the world is in, despair can seem the only reasonable—the only decent—attitude. […]


A month after the terrorist attacks on Paris, (and a few days after emails threatening schools systems of our two biggest cities) you would think that we would be working hard to understand this terrible and frightening phenomenon for the usual reasons we try to understand something bad: to keep it from happening to us […]

Email terrorism

On December 15th our two largest cities get emails threatening their school systems. New York decides it’s clearly an amateurish prank and does nothing about it. LA takes it seriously and cancels about 1000 schools. Most of a million kids stay home, confounding parental expectations, throwing how many workplaces off when at least some of […]

The death, by secondhomes, of outer Cape towns.

It was a shock to read in a recent news story a summary of an independent study on Truro’s future. “By 2035, Truro’s population of year-round residents is predicted to fall from 2,003 to 1337, with new home-buyers choosing seasonal or part-time occupancy . . . . the number of young adults is expected to […]

To be or not to be Paris

“We are Paris” is the headline these days. (Sometimes even in French to show just how serious we are about our solidarity.) But I imagine a lot of us are expressing thanks this holiday, at least under our breath, that we are not Paris—that we are an ocean away and well buffered from all that […]

Wellfleet’s formula biz bylaw shot down

In 2011 Wellfleet voted in a bylaw to ban “formula businesses.” The logic of the bylaw is that such chains and franchises as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC and other usual suspects would have a deleterious effect on our quality-of-life and the character of our town. Some months later Cumberland Farms proposed enlarging its long-grandfathered store […]