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Greetings from Cape Cod! We have lots of old people here! Can I tell you how much old people on the Cape hate taxes? THEY HATE THEM SO MUCH! THINGS WERE SO MUCH CHEAPER WHEN THEY WEREN’T OLD LIKE THEY ARE NOW.
They especially hate taxes that help young people who won’t get off their lawns on the Cape! I’M A TAXPAYER WITH NOTHING BUT TIME ON MY HANDS AND I VOTE is the bumpah stickah of every retiree on the Cape.
But first, let me introduce myself.
Before I moved down to the Cape, I lived and taught history in Worcester, where I raised my children, all four of ’em (Chandler Magnet/Forest Grove/Doherty). I’m married to a gal who was born and raised in the Woo and lived there her entire life until I brought her down to the Cape and showed her how well I make sand-free littlenecks in wine with pasta, capers and a little garlic. For this she exchanges bahn mi and pho like you can get in Woo. (Well, sort of. She’s Lithuanian, not Vietnamese).
I’m a jazz musician and a teacher. I graduated from HARVARD (actually, I worked my way through the Extension School at night by playing weddings and bar mitzvahs). So you know I’m smart, because all that time I was at Harvard I had to play bass at the Ritz and the Four Seasons (for reals). That makes you smart, because you meet lots of rich people getting drunk and acting stupid and you learn a thing or two. Plus the Harvard part got me a degree.
Right now I am a public school teacher here on Cape Cod, a place where retired people go so they can vote to avoid paying for the education of anyone else’s children while they park their asses in their $479,000 three-bedroom “ranch homes.”
I don’t know why they’re called that. There’s hardly any horses here.
So as you can see, I have at least three qualifications — musician, schoolteacher and Harvard grad (cum laude, no less) — to report to Turtleboy about the Cape. Writing for a blog that features a boy humping riding a turtle will come naturally.
The latest here is that the Harwich Board of Selectmen (“the BOS” for short, but they meet in the town hall, not Logan Airport) voted 4 to 1 to cut the Harwich contribution to the school budget. The cuts would force the Monomoy School District (of which Chatham is 30% and Harwich 70%) to cut over 25 teachers, increasing class sizes at all levels and reducing the teaching staff to what School Board Chairman Terry Russell calls “ a skeleton crew”).
Superintendent Scott Carpenter, who just bought a house in Chatham and enrolled his two kids in Monomoy Middle School gave a speech saying — in a very shaky voice — that, hell, HE’D pull his kids and send them to another school if the BOS turns Monomoy Schools into a POS, because WTF. Really.
By the way, just to put things in perspective, Chatham has the lowest real estate tax rate in the Cape, and Harwich’s isn’t far behind — less than half the rate in Worcester. But consider an override? For the schools? DID I TELL YOU HOW MUCH OLD CAPE PEOPLE HATE TAXES?
And yet the room was packed with students, parents and teachers. As I live and breathe.
In fact, the Monomoy School District just built a brand-new state-of-the-art high school which the taxpayers of the Commonwealth funded 50% of (old Cape Codders don’t mind spending OTHER people’s taxes! That’s different!).
Now the Harwich BOS wants to do all they can to drive out the 50 new students the high school attracted plus a lot more by laying off teachers in every department — teachers they pay salaries $8000 less than the state’s average. Does this make the Cape sound like I-GOT-MINE-FUCK-YOUVILLE? Yeah? So what else is new?
You can bet I will keep my finger on the pulse of Cape Cod (the pulse is in Wellfleet, I think) except….damn! It’s disappeared again. Medic! Another one bites the dust! Time to put out the estate sale signs and call Stem to Stern Sales….again.
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