June 4 -1916: High gas prices force boatmen to return to sail

2006: Arrest made in Falmouth murder case. 2007: Chatham beach break threatens 100 homes
Catboats on Pleasant Bay's Round Cove in East Harwich. Photo by Walter Brooks.

1916: Cape Cod Catboats staunch and popular

High cost of gasoline has compelled many boatmen to return to the use of sails. Price per gallon now as high as 30 cents

On this day in 1916, The Sunday New York Times reported that the small fishing dory is the most seaworthy of all craft that sail the seven seas. Next to this comes the Cape Cod "catboats," which have come into general use and may be found almost anywhere.

For years these small craft were equipped with motors, but the recent surge in gas prices has driven many to remove their engines and go back to sails.

The Catboat was invented here on the Cape by Andrew Crosby of Osterville a half century before this story was written and the style became wildly popular only to die out in the mid-20th century when sleeker sloops became the rage.

But by the 1970s the Catboat made an impressive comeback and there are more of these gaff-rigged, single-masted sailboat seen on our bays today than ever.  The inset shows a fifteen foot catboat hacking against the tide and the wind past clam diggers on Tern Island opposite the Chatham Fish Pier and a paragraph from the story below.


2006: Arrest in Falmouth murder, 40-year-old great niece charged

On this day in 2006 District Attorney Michael O’Keefe announced the arrest of 40-year old Robin Casali (right) for Winifred Moniz’s murder. Casali was arrested on Tuesday on drug charges and arraigned Wednesday on charges of murder, breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony to wit robbery. The press statement says Casali lived next door to Moniz and was related by marriage. Casali was ordered held without bail and the investigation is continuing.

Almost exactly 3 years later on May 15, 2009, she was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the stabbing death of her great aunt. A Barnstable Superior Court jury convicted 43-year-old Robin Casali, rejecting the defense argument that Winifred Moniz was actually killed by her husband, Wayne Moniz.

2007: Gap in Chatham beach widens - Officials consider plan to fill breach

Chatham break

On this day in 2006 it was reported that when an April northeaster punched a gap through the long, sandy spit that forms Nauset Beach in Chatham, local geologists and officials were not overly alarmed. Several predicted the sea would soon return the same amount of sand it took away and plug the cut.

But the break in the barrier beach, which protects much of mainland Chatham from the Atlantic, is only getting deeper and wider. If it continues to erode, officials say, it could eventually expose more than 100 North Chatham waterfront homes to the ocean's relentless pounding.

Now, Chatham officials are considering a massive public works project to close the cut. .. Selectmen have authorized Ted Keon (Chatham coastal resources director) to seek emergency state permits to fill in the cut, which grew from about 50 feet wide in late April to more than 600 feet today. Tomorrow, they are scheduled to discuss holding a special town meeting to ask residents if they would be willing to pay a tab that could reach $1 million, or more, to close the opening.

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