The Point

9:00am and 7:00pm

WCAI's award-winning public affairs program. Tuesday through Thursday, Mindy Todd hosts a lively and informative discussion on critical issues for Cape Cod, the Islands and the South Coast. Every Friday is the News Roundup, as WCAI News Director Steve Junker speaks with news editors and reporters from around the region.

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Andrew V /

On the News Roundup, this week on The Point with Mindy Todd: In the wake of last week's mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, local law enforcement authorities consider safety measures at local schools.  The panel overseeing the state's casino gambling law has delayed a vote to open the licensing process to bids from commercial developers in southeastern Massachusetts. And: Dogs return to Drummer Boy Park.  Mindy Todd discusses the issues with news editors.

The Cape Cod Foundation

Planned giving, bequests, and major gifts are crucial to the health of non-profit organizations on Cape Cod and the Islands.  On The Point, Rose Resnick, Vice President of Development Solutions of New England,  Mike Brogiolio Executive Director of The Cape Cod Foundation and  Lynn Mason-Small from the Rogers and Gray Foundation, talk about philanthropy.

Has society’s lack of knowledge or understanding of mental health issues contributed to the rise of mass murders? On The Point, the tragic shooting in a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school last week has sparked national debate about gun control, increased security measures, and how American culture might have influenced these events. Psychologist Michael Abruzzese and Psychiatrist Marc Whaley join Mindy Todd to talk about mass murder, how to speak to children about these events, and whether society’s attitudes toward mental health issues has fueled the problem.

On The Point, Kathy Moser, musician and songwriter, talks about conducting workshops at rehabilitation centers around the country. She finds similarities in the processes of songwriting and recovery, and believes sobriety and creativity go hand in hand.

An aptly named fishing boat in New Bedford Harbor. / flickr

There’s nothing new about tension between New England’s fishermen and the scientists and regulators who oversee their industry. But the situation has reached fever pitch in the past two years, in large part due to a federally mandated deadline to end overfishing and the introduction of a new management scheme, known as catch shares, in which a total catch limit is set and the catch is divvied up among eligible fishermen.

This week's top stories from WCAI news partner, The Cape Cod Times:

Gov. Deval Patrick to announce cabinet shake-up - Gov. Patrick is expected to announce that he will replace at least four long-time cabinet members as he heads into the final two years of his term.

Town of Aquinnah aims to stay free of casinos - The town of Aquinnah has joined the Wampanoag tribes of Mashpee and Gay Head (Aquinnah) in seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought against the Commonwealth by a private casino developer who alleges the state law giving federally recognized tribes the first shot at a casino license is unfairly discriminatory.

White-winged crossbill
Christopher L. Wood /

The Audubon's 113th annual Christmas Bird Count officially gets underway tomorrow, December 14th, and runs through January 5th. For ornithologist Vern Laux, it's a whirlwind few weeks, but also an anticipated holiday tradition and a chance to catch up with friends. Of course, it's also an invaluable source of data that scientists use to study everything from evolution to climate change. There are counts all over Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. Find a Christmas Bird Count near you ... then tell us what you saw!

Charley Parkhurst was a legend among 19th century Wells-Fargo stagecoach drivers, known as one of the best. He chewed tobacco, smoked cigars, played cards, drank and cussed with the best of them. He died in 1879. Then, and only then, was Parkhursts' lifelong secret revealed - he was a she.

Although the subject of much speculation, few facts are known about the life of Charley Parkhurst, also known as One-Eyed Charlie or Six-Horse Charlie:

The mission of Massachusetts Community Colleges’ is to provide affordable education that serves the needs of their individual regions. This means providing the appropriate coursework, training and skills students require now, while looking ahead to be prepared for how community needs will evolve in the future.

An unnamed mushroom found in South Carolina and posted on
Patrick R. Smith / Encyclopedia of Life

I feel like I'm becoming a broken record. Each week, my guests wow me with just how little we know about their chosen field. Today, it was the diversity of life on Earth. Earlier this year, Encyclopedia of Life ( passed the one million page mark. While that's impressive, it's nowhere close to the project's goal of one page for every species on Earth. In fact, Nathan Wilson, technical director for and a curator on the site, says we don't even have a good handle on how many species there are on Earth.