Meetings are being conducted remotely. Go to eastham-ma.gov/calendar-by-event-type/16 and click on a particular meeting to read its agenda. That document will provide information about how to view and take part remotely.
Thursday, May 28
- Council on Aging Board of Directors, 1 p.m.
- Board of Health, 3 p.m.
- Joint School Committee, 6 p.m.
Monday, June 1
- Select Board, 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 4
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 5 p.m.
Sun Shines on Eastham 400 Sunset Series
There’s not a day the sun will go down this summer without mention of the notorious “First Encounter” of Pilgrims and Nausets at Eastham’s eponymous beach. Starting June 1 at First Encounter Beach or at eastham400.org, depending on progress with the pandemic, a 10-minute presentation will begin every night through Labor Day, 15 minutes before sunset.
Among other “400” activities that will go forward, Sundays at dusk in July and August will be time for storytelling around a campfire, either at First Encounter Beach or online. Recent Nauset High graduate Joanna Holleck of Brewster, a sophomore at Gettysburg College, will produce both series in collaboration with John Hanlon, who has organized the National Seashore’s summer campfires for 20 years.
“I’m excited to learn more deeply about this place I love and where I grew up,” Holleck told a virtual meeting of the Eastham 400 committee on May 18.
The news is less good for a July visit to Rock Harbor by the shallop Elizabeth Tilley, a replica of the sort of vessel from which the Pilgrims set foot on First Encounter Beach. Plans had been to share costs with Provincetown, which has now canceled its summer events. Committee members will review options, including a virtual program, with the John Howland Society, which has charge of the Tilley.
Plan Addresses Flooding
There’s no need to hazard a guess about what Eastham needs to do about climate change and sea level rise. It’s there for all to read in the 2020 Hazard Mitigation Plan approved by the select board last week and sent off to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for certification.
Town Planner Paul Lagg told the board May 18 that action items lay out “a strategy for what the town wants to do in the next five years and beyond.” The town must have the plan approved in order to get in line for state or federal grants, Lagg added.
FEMA’s community rating system “rewards towns that undertake floodplain protections beyond the minimum,” said Lagg. “Property owners get discounts on flood insurance policies” when that’s done. Both he and the department’s community development assistant, Debbie Cohen, are certified to assist home owners.
Let’s Keep It Friendly
Select board chair Aimée Eckman offered a “personal point of view” last week on the early return of part-time residents during the pandemic. “I don’t look at part-time residents as tourists,” she said. “I know people see out-of-state plates, [but] they’re our neighbors and friends. From the part-timers I’ve seen coming this spring, they’re extremely responsible.” She added that not every year-round resident is abiding by guidelines. “Just try to be patient with people and educate them if you see them doing something that might be a problem,” she said. “I think they’re open to being educated if people aren’t screaming at them.”
June 1 Meeting a Door Into Summer
Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe plans to present a draft summer services program to the select board June 1 that will include guidance on beaches, recreation programs, and the like. Her plans are informed by group meetings with other town administrators, select board chairs, health agents, and from National Seashore administrators who have been working towards creating uniform policies.
Licensing for Alcohol Sales
Eastham has no seasonal package store licensees, and select board member Jamie Rivers wants to keep it that way. “The town is very well covered by our year-round off-site liquor licenses,” she said May 18 during the board’s review of licensing practices.
The current board can “look at the application package, make it tighter and more clear, look at what criteria you’re looking for, gaps or gluts, but you can’t set a policy for the next board,” advised Town Administrator Jacqui Beebe.
Board chair Aimée Eckmann thanked Rivers for requesting more details from applicants for liquor licenses. “It has really made a huge difference,” she said. “There’s more of a plan instead of them just signing an application, throwing it at us, and we rubber stamp it…. If they go out of compliance, it’s clear what they said was supposed to happen.”