Wellfleet Rail Trail extension being railroaded by state

This time the state seems determined to have its way with the town of Wellfleet. In 2018 the state’s highway pros came to town to present a solution to our Route 6 troubles. There have been numerous accidents, including fatalities, and we had been casting about for a remedy. The state’s answer was the radical […]


Opposing cell phone antennas then and now

Mashpee and Centerville citizens’ cell phone antenna struggles are reminiscent of Wellfleet’s tilting at cell phone towers 20-plus years ago in the infancy of the industry. Up to several hundred determined Wellfleetians argued that microwaves beamed from cell towers were unhealthful, and that the gangly towers were in any case unsightly, and a contradiction of […]


Free college for all is simple democratic realism

A good thing to come out of the so-called “college admissions scandal” is recognition that it’s not a scandal at all, in the sense of especially shocking or outrageous. The wealthy using their money to get their kids into colleges that will enhance their chances of continuing the family tradition of being rich? It may […]


Eastham deserves a downtown

Every town deserves a downtown, a Main Street. You could argue that the downtown is what makes a town a town, or the sort of town it is. What Eastham has instead of a downtown is a 4-lane highway. In a public meeting late last month concerned townspeople complained about life with Route 6 in […]


Highway driving: a human era adventure

Self-driving cars have hit a bit of a speedbump since the fatality in Phoenix last year in which an SDC with a distracted human co-pilot failed to cope with a human jaywalker. Nevertheless, the imminence of SDC as well as the AI features already found in cars still nominally human-driven put in a different light […]


The Globe is wrong on nuclear power

The Boston Globe has recently been throwing its editorial weight behind nuclear power. It laments the scheduled closing of Pilgrim in June, claiming that the only serious response to climate change is nuclear power. In encouraging a renaissance in this moribund industry it joins the strange bedfellow of president Trump, who enthusiastically supports both nuclear […]


The Cape Cod National Seashore and our no-frills president

“National parks struggle to stay open,” went the headline of a recent story about effects of the federal government shutdown, which at this writing is close to the end of its third week. Trump has said that for all he cares, the shutdown can go o n for months, even years. Become the new normal, […]


Resisting the AI future?

What will become of us? How technology is changing what it means to be human” is the title of a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine. Something about the helplessness of that plaintive question says a lot about our situation when it comes to the computerization of life and AI (artificial intelligence). Two […]


If it can’t happen here, why not?

“It can’t happen here.” Since Trump was elected, we’ve heard this phrase a lot, with its ironic message of Oh yes it can. In fact it might be happening even as we speak. (And we, frogs in slowly heated water, have just gotten used to it.) So what’s the “it” that we’d like to think […]


The crazy-making premise of Veterans Day

The recent Veterans Day got more media notice than usual as the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, its earlier form, created to commemorate the ending of World War One. That war was demoted to just another world war from the “Great War” when it turned out not to be the “war to end all wars.” […]