WCAI Series Reporting

WCAI brings you original in-depth reporting on issues facing the Cape, Islands, and South Coast: Wind Turbines, Education, Water Quality, Alzheimer's, and more.

Explore all our special reporting series in our Special Reporting Series Archive.


In This Place
4:35 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Local Fishermen Supply Bluefish To Family Pantry Of Cape Cod

Nancy Civetta, Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman's Alliance Communications Director, and Mary Anderson, Executive Director of the Family Pantry of Cape Cod.
Brian Morris/WCAI

The Family Pantry of Cape Cod operates out of a nondescript building in an industrial section of Harwich. It’s open three days a week, and offers a lifeline for many Cape Cod residents and families who come here to stock up on much-needed food items. Recently, frozen bluefish fillets have been added to that list. 

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New Bedford Mills: Part 2
8:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Modern Uses For Some Of New Bedford's Old Textile Mills

Interior of Manomet Place in New Bedford's North End
Brian Morris/WCAI

New Bedford’s textile mills once churned out fabric 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of the old mills have been torn down, but others survive as artist spaces, outlets and apparel manufacturers. About a half dozen of the red brick structures have been restored and turned into high-end apartments. Manomet Place in New Bedford’s North End is one example. 

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New Bedford Mills: Part 1
8:46 am
Tue September 23, 2014

New Bedford's Textile Mills: Relics Of An Industry That Flourished...Then Faded Into History

Exterior of former Nashawena Mill
Brian Morris/WCAI

Driving through New Bedford along Route 195, it’s hard not to notice the long red brick buildings on either side of the highway. These are the old textile mills, built mostly in the early 1900’s. They’re a familiar part of the landscape, but many people don’t know the stories these buildings have to tell: of the immigrant workers who came here by the thousands; of the working conditions they faced; of a textile industry that exploded in New Bedford and then faded just as quickly; and of the present-day debate about whether to save these buildings or tear them down. 

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Part 6 - Home Away From Home: Immigrant Stories
7:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Here for Work, Immigrants Face Violence

Jose was stabbed while biking home from a neighborhood store in New Bedford, leaving him unable to work. He's now fearful to leave his apartment.
Credit Sarah Reynolds

Friday is payday for many New Bedford businesses. That makes for a bustling Acushnet Avenue with money-sending shops on nearly every block. Transportes Vasquez sends money and other goods from immigrants in New Bedford to their homes in Guatemala. The owner, Luis Vasquez says on average, 500 people come by to send money every weekend.

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Part 5 - Home Away From Home: Immigrant Stories
7:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Unauthorized and Paying Taxes

The Community Economic Development Center in New Bedford helps low income residents -- many of them immigrants in the country illegally -- file their tax returns. Immigrants often file tax returns with the hope that it eventually could help them stay in the country.
Credit Sarah Reynolds

February and March is a busy time for the Community Economic Development Center in New Bedford. It’s tax season. For the past eleven years, this community organization has participated in a federal program that helps low income people file their taxes. It offers free tax service to families making less than 52-thousand dollars a year. Williams says she gets all kinds of people coming in who fit the bill. And many of them are immigrants who are here illegally, like Luis Farfan. He stops by every year to file his tax return.

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Part 4 - Home Away From Home: Immigrant Stories
7:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Not Licensed To Drive

Celia Alves does not have one of these -- a Massachusetts driver's license -- because she doesn't have the papers to be here. But Alves says she needs to drive in order to survive.
Credit stock photo

When Celia Alves first gets in her car to drive home after a long day of work, she prays.

Dear God,” she began, “I want to say thank you so much for this beautiful day and for your protection…”

Alves is not a nervous driver. She’s been driving a long time – for 24 years – most of those years on the Cape and in her native Brazil before that.

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Part 3 - Home Away From Home: Immigrant Stories
7:36 am
Wed September 17, 2014

First Generation: Torn Between Two Cultures

Mara, a senior at Bridgewater State University, is leery of using her full name and photo because some of her family is in the country illegally. She provided this self portrait.
Credit Courtesy photo

Mara, of Falmouth, first came to Cape Cod with her parents when she was ten. These first generation immigrants who arrive when they’re young often are the ones who struggle most, as they have feet in two worlds. But two years ago, things got a little easier for some of them. A new presidential directive called DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – allows children who were in the U.S. before their 16th birthday to get work authorization and to defer deportation. Some opponents say the program amounts to temporary legalization, and they want it repealed.

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Part 2 - Home Away from Home: Immigrant Stories
7:36 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Growing Old in Portuguese New Bedford

Margarida Xavier in her house with her President John F. Kennedy print, which was given to her by her former employer. Xavier worked as a housekeeper with the family in New Bedford for 32 years.
Credit Sarah Reynolds

In a grey duplex on a narrow street in New Bedford, Margarida Xavier fixes a pillow on her living room couch and sits down. She’s 86 years old. She moved to New Bedford from the Azores in Portugal more than 50 years ago, but she still doesn’t speak much English. She’s lived alone since her husband died ten years ago. And it’s been lonely.

But every few weeks she gets a visitor – Lucy Oliveira, the Senior Services Coordinator with the Immigrants’ Assistance Center in New Bedford. Oliveira comes by once or twice a month to visit and to help Xavier read her mail. 

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Home Away From Home: Immigrant Stories - Part 1
7:30 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Nantucket, Microcosm of a Changing Region

About 200 people, mostly immigrants, show up every Sunday night at St. Mary, Our Lady of The Isle Catholic Church on Nantucket. The church has seen such an increase that the Catholic Diocese of Fall River sent a Spanish-speaking priest for the community.
Credit Sarah Reynolds

Young immigrants have been crossing the border into the U.S. in record numbers over the past few years.  This summer, Governor Patrick offered Camp Edwards as a temporary place to house the youngest of them. People held rallies around the Cape in response – some opposing the plan and some showing support. The Governor’s plan may have struck a chord with Cape Codders since demographics are in flux here, too.

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Coastal Issues
1:03 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Rough Waters: Homeowners Feel Blindsided

  Homeowners Feel Blindsided by Proposed Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

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