In our weekly marathon of trying to keep up with what’s going on in town halls and virtual committee meetings about schools and budgets, health and housing, we stop now and then to talk about the future of community journalism. We can’t be sure what it will look like, but this summer we’ve gotten some glimpses that have given us hope. A group of young writers who worked with us has reminded us that every generation has new stories to tell.
Student stories in this week’s issue:
We’ve written about how local businesses and town governments are coping with the coronavirus pandemic, but Garrison Guzzeau reached out to nonprofits from Eastham to Provincetown to ask how they are adapting, and what they worry about hope for now. Read his story here >
When Outer Cape eighth graders consider where to go to high school, Nauset Regional High School and Cape Cod Regional Technical High School are most often at the top of their lists. Talia Kantor Lieber wondered what goes into students’ thinking on where to go. She learned that their families figure in the decision-making. And that other questions loom and distract in this pandemic season. Read Talia’s story here >
A lot has changed about visits between grandparents and grandchildren during this crisis. Alyia Vasquez looked into the experiences of elders and her own generation. What she found was partly what you’d expect: it’s been hard and isolation is an issue. But she also found some surprising good news in the workarounds and new rituals people are trying to stay connected. Read Alyia’s story here >
Niev Witnauer is interested in truth-seeking reporting. But this summer she decided to explore stories where the truth may never be known — the kinds of ghost stories and legends often told at summer gatherings here. She delved into some of the Outer Cape’s most popular tales, from an alien invasion in Truro to a shipwreck off Marconi beach, and discovered the details as well as some people who help keep those stories alive and evolving. Read Niev’s story here >
Every summer that they can remember, Eve and Thea Samaha have made a pilgrimage to the Chocolate Sparrow on Wellfleet’s Main Street. This year, the store was shuttered, a “For Rent” sign posted on the lawn. The story deserved investigation. They learned about what happened, asked what might happen next year, and tapped townspeople’s longing for old fashioned shops like this one to be a part of our towns. Read Eve and Thea’s story here >
We are grateful to our 2020 Summer Fellows who were mentors and editors on this project. They all had their own stories in this week’s issue, but two of them that focus closely on younger people’s lives were in this special section. Don’t miss Cana Tagawa on the questions facing college students — will local students take a gap year or forge ahead into remote learning? And Allyson Birger reports on young people’s sense that they can turn this thing around — and it looks like they will be voting.