Solar Projects mark Earth Day in Barnstable

 

The Barnstable Municipal Airport celebrated Earth Day on Wednesday with the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC).  CVEC marked completion of 25 solar projects totaling 28 megawatts of solar energy on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

 

The 6.7 megawatt Barnstable Municipal Airport and Barnstable Fire District project is the largest on Cape Cod, and one of the largest in New England.

 

I attended the ceremony along with many town, state, and federal officials. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti and Precinct 8 Councilor Debra Dagwan were in attendance.

 

The Airport project is comprised of 24,000 solar panels providing enough energy to power over 1,000 homes. The energy cost savings for the Airport and Fire District will be $596,000 in the first year and in excess of $16 million over the next 20 years.

 

This Airport project, combined with the solar facility on top of the town's capped landfill, and the other ground and roof-mounted solar arrays around town mean that Barnstable is host to more solar than any other Cape community, and more than most of the other 351 Massachusetts cities and towns.

 

Patriots Day:  Barnstable Police Officer Steve O’Brien Sings at Fenway Park

Patriots Day is always a favorite day here in Massachusetts, especially with the running of the historic Boston Marathon, and a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. While the rain and wind may have slowed down the pace of sports on Marathon Monday, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our Boston sports fans. Watching the game from the comfort of home here in Barnstable, it was a thrill to see  Barnstable Police Officer Steve O’Brien sing “God Bless America” in the 7th inning.  Because of the rain, it turned out the song was the grand finale for the Red Sox game. (The Sox won, by the way, 7 to 1 over the Orioles.)  Photo courtesy Arthur Caiado

 

Click here to view a story and watch a video of Officer O’Brien’s Fenway Park performance.

 

 

 

 

 

Stewarts Creek Study

The Department of Public Works hosted a public meeting this week, and residents were invited to share concerns about the Army Corps of Engineers culvert project at Stewart’s Creek. Nearly forty residents attended Wednesday night’s meeting, and many were in favor of dredging the creek, something that had originally been included in the project but was not completed. A consultant is finalizing a study on the effectiveness of the project, and will soon present recommendations to residents and the Department of Public Works.

 

Cape Cod Rail Trail Extension Moves Forward

An effort to extend the Cape Cod Rail Trail through our town is moving forward. Last week, Town Council approved spending $215,515 in Community Preservation funds for final design, testing and construction services for the creation of Barnstable’s portion of the path. The proposed route would run through Division of Fisheries and Wildlife land, south along Mary Dunn Road to Independence Drive. It is expected that work on the rail trail extension could begin in 2017.

 

New England States GFOA Presentation

Finance Director Mark Milne, Human Resources Director Bill Cole, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowski, and I traveled to Waltham to present at the New England States Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). Our topic was “One Vision, One Community-Barnstable’s Consolidation of Finance and Personnel Operations.” Our unique system of combining municipal and school finance and personnel departments has improved financial reporting, provided greater tranparency and accountability to the public and improved employee relations. We are proud of this innovative budgeting process and always pleased to share the implementation of the concept with finance directors from New England.

 

Senior Center Volunteer Luncheon

On Wednesday afternoon, we celebrated our exceptional Barnstable Senior Center volunteers. Town Councilor Debra Dagwan, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells and I participated in this special event.  In my remarks, I let them know how special and valued they are, not just to the Senior Center, but to the entire Barnstable community. Every day we are blessed to benefit from their collective wisdom and knowledge, and we know that the Barnstable Senior Center is a better place because of their dedication and hard work. Our volunteers serve as a wonderful inspiration to us and a compelling reminder that civic engagement and volunteerism is an important key to successful aging. A thank you also goes to the Senior Services staff for the incredible job they did in making the event such a success. They truly exemplify teamwork at its finest.

 

 

Boston 2024 Olympics: Local Meeting To Be Held in May

An effort is underway to bring the Olympics to the city of Boston in the year 2024. The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Boston 2024 Olympic Bid Community Meeting at Barnstable High School in May. Hear about the Boston 2024 Olympic bid proposal, ask questions, and learn how to get involved. The meeting will take place in the Barnstable Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

 

Inside Barnstable Town Government Graduates 22nd Class

On Tuesday, April 7th,  a graduation ceremony was held for the over thirty residents who took the 22nd Class of Inside Barnstable Town Government. The class spent eleven weeks traveling around town, learning about all aspects of town government. From the airport to the Senior Center to the HYCC and even a full tour of the police department, Inside Barnstable Town Government is a way in which residents can learn more and become further involved in the daily operations of our Town. We congratulate the most recent graduating class, which included several members of AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Congratulations and we look forward to seeing our newest graduates around town.

 

 

 

Dinghy Regulations

New in-season regulations for storage of vessels on Town property will go into effect on May 1st, 2015.  Residents from Cotuit and other areas of town spoke out at a public hearing on Friday, April 17th, regarding the storage of vessels on town owned property during the boating season. I reviewed testimony presented at the public hearing, and on Wednesday of this week approved the regulations. These new rules, which cover in-season storage of vessels on town property, call for a limit of twelve feet in length and five feet in beam of the vessels placed on the beach. Those wishing to store vessels at town landings must also affix an identification decal to the vessel. Decals are available at no charge from the Harbormaster’s office.   For more information, you may contact the Harbormaster’s Office at 508-790-6272.

 

Boatbuilding Class Launch: Saturday, April 25, 2015

A boat built by students will see the water for the first time this Saturday in Hyannis.  This program was a joint effort between the Barnstable Recreation Division and the Maritime Museum with funding provided by the JFK Memorial Trust. Since February, six sixth and seventh graders have been working one-on-one with volunteers at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum on the boatbuilding project. Working several hours twice a week, the students created a sailing Bevin skiff. Their hard work will be put to the test this weekend as the boat will be launched at Veterans Beach in Hyannis. A special launch ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th at  3:00 pm. The public is invited to attend and cheer on these hardworking boatbuilding kids!

 

Renewal Time: Sandy Neck ORV Permits

The weather is warming up, and now that almost all of the snow has melted, we are thinking about summer and time spent at the beach. Sandy Neck offers a front beach driving corridor, available to all permitted vehicles. This permit is obtainable for approved four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles as well as two-wheel drive motor homes. Now is the time to obtain or renew your Sandy Neck off-road vehicle permit.  The off road vehicle (ORV) permits are sold at the Sandy Neck Gatehouse and are valid from April 15, 2015 through April 15, 2016. Day passes are not available for the ORV beach. In order to purchase a permit and/or to access the beach, you must be in possession of the minimum required equipment. Further information and requirements for obtaining a permit can be found at the Sandy Neck website.

 

USDA Rabies Baiting

The annual spring wildlife rabies vaccination effort is underway. 242 bait stations in Mashpee, Sandwich, Barnstable, Yarmouth, Dennis, Harwich and Brewster are now loaded and ready to be accessed by wildlife.  The bait stations are strategically placed in wooded areas around town, and are designed to attract raccoons. The bait is harmless to pets, but because the intent is to vaccinate wildlife, pet owners are encouraged to keep animals away from the baits. Barnstable town employees are slated to begin hand-baiting on May 5th, 2015.  The program is a joint effort of the US Department of Agriculture and the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force.

 

CCMHG Spring Walking Challenge Kickoff Celebration!

The Cape Cod Municipal Health Group (CCMHG) is kicking off its Spring Walking Challenge this Saturday, April 25th, 2015 at Marathon Sports on Station Avenue in Yarmouth.  The group will meet at 9:00 AM and walk three miles to and from Town House Park in South Yarmouth. The Walking Challenge encourages members of the Cape Cod Municipal Health Group to get out and enjoy the sun. You can register for the challenge at www.walkingworks.com , click on BCBS of MA, CCMHG, and choose your employer team. 

 

Road Work: Cotuit

The Department of Public Works will continue with culvert improvements on Main Street in Cotuit this Saturday, April 25, 2015.  The work will be limited to the section of Main Street near the intersection with Pinquickset Cove Circle.  Vehicle access during much of the construction operations will be restricted to one lane.  If possible, motorists are advised to avoid this section of Main Street to reduce delays.  Work hours will be from 7:00 AM until 3:30 PM on Saturday As always, please slow down and use extreme caution when traveling through the road construction area and follow posted safety signs.

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Autism Awareness Campaign

Barnstable is participating in Lighting it Up Blue in honor of Autism Awareness Month. CapeAbilities is an organization dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities on Cape Cod by educating, counseling and providing residential, therapeutic, social and employment supports that empower them to achieve meaningful and valued roles in the community.

 

 

Last week’s trivia question: This coming Monday is Patriots’ Day, a holiday celebrated in Massachusetts and in Maine. When was Patriots’ Day declared a holiday, and what does it commemorate? eNews readers Michael C, Leslie S, and Demi K all knew that Patriots Day commemorates the battles at Lexington and Concord, the first of the American Revolution. However, no-one knew that the holiday was declared in 1894 by Gov. Frederic T. Greenhalge. It was celebrated on April 19 until 1969, when it was changed to be the third Monday of April. The Boston Marathon has taken place on Patriots Day every year since 1897, and the Red Sox have played at Fenway Park on that day since 1959.

 

This week’s trivia question:  Sandy Neck off-road permit stickers are now on sale. What items must you have with you in order to receive your sticker and gain access to the beach? Email your answer here

 

 

Barnstable This Morning is our daily live news program that includes up to date newscasts, important community information, and interviews with Town leaders. Tune in every weekday morning at 7:00 AM on Barnstable (Comcast) Channel 18.

 

Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

April 21-24, 2015

 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 

Barnstable Police Deputy Chief Craig Tamash filled in for Chief MacDonald on our Tuesday morning program. We discussed the recently passed state law regarding headlight and taillight use during inclement weather.  Our Community Profile segment featured outgoing Cape Cod Symphony and Conservatory Executive Director Jerome Karter. Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf talked with us about a new public-private partnership that will allow the Aquaculture Research Corporation to continue operations. Director of Public Works Dan Santos continued our discussion about planned capital improvements.

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

 

We began Wednesday with a special segment featuring the Barnstable Police Community Impact Unit. Sergeant Jean Challies led a discussion on the work the unit has been doing in and around Main Street in Hyannis. Director of Growth Management Jo Anne Miller Buntich discussed a number of ongoing projects. We talked with Stacy Gallagher, Executive Director of Children’s Cove about the work that organization does on Cape Cod. 

 

 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

 

Thursday morning we welcomed Cape Cod Commission Environmental Economist Mahesh Ramachandran to our program to discuss an interesting study he recently completed in the Three Bays watershed.  Consumer Affairs Supervisor Elizabeth Hartsgrove talked with us about a new Gateway Greeter position for the summer at Bismore Park.  5th Barnstable State Rep Randy Hunt joined us for a discussion about next week’s House Budget week at the State House.

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

 

Fun Friday began with our Arts & Culture segment. This week’s Shanty Spotlight featured multitalented artist Kris BuehlerHyannis Youth and Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo joined us to preview the exciting US Figure Skating Theatre on Ice competition that is coming to the HYCC in June.  Next, Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado previewed the upcoming launch of the Boatbuilding class boat, the Y achievers program, and upgrades to the skate park at the HYCC. Finally, Harbormaster Dan Horn joined us live on the phone to discuss changes to the town’s dinghy regulations.