Category Archives: Columns

Interview with a principled anti-vaxxer

I had a conversation with a covid anti-vaxxer recently. It was an intense and, for me, clarifying experience. It was my first such conversation—we don’t run into many anti-vaxxers in this neck of the woods. Everybody I know has been long and happily vaxxed, believing ourselves to be not only safer personally but part of […]

9/11 from a pond in Wellfleet

As if to make up for the Y2K flop, 9/11 got this spanking new millennium off to a rousing start, headed on a trajectory which so far it has yet to correct: to hell in a handbasket. (Stephen Pinker’s rose-colored glasses notwithstanding) I can’t remember the last minute, hour, day of my pre-9/11 innocence. (You […]

Thinking about work, creativity and the meaning of life

My sense is that not a lot of deep thinking about labor goes on on Labor Day. Do we even toast labor or laborers with our beers? It functions more as a last gasp of summer. In a tourist destination it has a somewhat different meaning. Do Cape Codders still wave goodbye to exiting summer […]

Coyote history: threat, pest, enhancement?

Coyotes made the front page again. In recent years it’s been my impression that they are not as newsworthy as they once were. Last week a 3-year old girl was bitten at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown. She was taken to the hospital but is OK. The coyote was shot by a ranger and was […]

The Seashore, the best thing about Outer Cape, created over local opposition.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, probably the most important event in Outer Cape history since the fateful advent of Europeans, Every once in a while you’ll hear someone give credit for the Seashore park to progressive, nature-loving Outer Cape residents. A article published in the […]

It’s crowded in Wellfleet. But is it too crowded?

This town of Wellfleet always feels crowded in summer to locals. After all, most of the year most of our houses are unoccupied. The population, we’re told, swells by a factor of seven or more in summer. But the word on the street is that it is more crowded than usual this summer. Unprecedentedly crowded. […]

Town meeting: Enclave of democracy, siege mentality

Wellfleet’s recent town meeting, held outdoors at the Elementary School ball field, over six hours of a fine Saturday, was both sobering and refreshing (in no particular order.) Our town has troubles: widely publicized fiscal incompetence, housing prices ridiculously out of the reach of the sort of young people who might want to settle here, […]

For a real town, taking on market forces

Cape towns need to “commit to a fundamental reimagining of what we are willing to do,” Senator Cyr is quoted in this paper a few days ago, “or we will not have year-round sustainable communities.” “Fundamental reimagining” is a challenging phrase. What might he mean by that? At Wellfleet town meeting on this coming Saturday, […]

In a democracy, government is us

One way to see Biden’s ambitious agenda is that it’s an old guy wise enough to not care a lot about another term , transcending the politically calculating caution more typical of a younger politician. Call it burnishing his legacy. Call it doing the right thing, as he sees it. Which also happens to be […]

Wellfleet’s latest revolution?

It certainly feels like a different sort of June in this Outer Cape town. Everyone has a story of pandemic-related crowding: more people at the beach, more people walking dogs, more cars on the back roads. Unprecedented traffic on Route 6. What happened to our sleepy June respite before the seasonal onslaught? And then there […]