Barnstable This Morning

I joined “Barnstable This Morning” host Sarah Colvin on Monday’s program and began our segment talking about all the strolls and holiday events held over the weekend. I am always impressed with the time and commitment of volunteers in each village who make these events possible. We touched on the importance of the Years of Service event which was held last Friday and honored staff who have worked for the town in five year increments. This year 71 individuals who have worked for Barnstable from five to thirty-five years were recognized. We also mentioned the next steps in the court decision which allows the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod to continue their needle exchange program in Hyannis.  

Click here to view the interview:  Town Website  YouTube


Housing Production Opportunity

The Growth Management Department (GMD) along with consultant Jennifer M. Goldson, AICP, of JM Goldson Community Preservation and Planning, held two listening sessions for the Housing Production Plan.  The meeting for the eastern part of Barnstable was held on December 1, 2015 at the Steamship Authority community room on School Street in Hyannis.  The meeting for the western part of Barnstable was held on December 2, 2015 at the Osterville Village Library.  Ms. Goldson presented data from the Housing Needs Assessment and worked with the group to collect their ideas about addressing those needs through the Housing Production Plan.  For more information on the planning process, please visit the project Facebook page or search the hashtag #Barnstable_HPP on Twitter and Instagram.  GMD will reach out to residents early in the new year with more opportunities to participate.


Senior Staff Meeting

At this week’s Senior Staff meeting, we heard an update on the status of the needle exchange law suit and court decision by our legal department. Finance noted there were 125 projects submitted for the Capital Improvement Plan totaling over $200 million dollars. DPW reported that dredging in Barnstable Outer Harbor will begin on December 21st. We also discussed items which might be on an upcoming town council agenda, noting the annual joint meeting between the School Committee and the Town Council will held on January 21, 2016.


New Fuel Farm Installed at Airport

Last week, a pair of cranes lifted into place a new 250,000 pound above-ground fuel farm at Barnstable Municipal Airport. The new 60,000 gallon capacity, environmentally friendly, above-ground jet fuel storage replaces a 20 year old underground tank, which has only one-third the capacity of the new tanks. Last year, Barnstable Municipal Airport distributed more than a million gallons of jet fuel. Lawrence Lynch of Falmouth serves as the prime contractor on the project, which is being funded from the Airport’s enterprise fund reserves. The finishing touches are being put in place now. Airport Manager Bud Breault anticipates the project will be complete by year’s end. The old fuel farm will be decommissioned and removed this spring.

View an interview with Airport Manager Bud Breault about the new farm:

Town Website   YouTube




Steamship Authority Meetingg

On Thursday, I met with Bob O’Brien, Barnstable’s representative on the Board of Governors for the Steamship Authority, Port Council member Robert Jones, and Steamship Authority General Manager Wayne Lamson. We discussed some of the Authority’s long range parking needs, the scheduling of the new ferry expected this spring, and the passenger and auto traffic statistics for this calendar year. I meet at least once annually with the Steamship Authority leadership.


Hyannis Main Street: Downtown of the Month

The International Downtown Association (IDA) has recognized Main Street Hyannis as a “downtown of the month”. The IDA’s website describes Main Street Hyannis as an “interesting and eclectic all-American Main Street that is a wonderful place to visit to shop, dine, and enjoy entertainment.”  Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District Executive Director Elizabeth Wurfbain says this recognition acknowledges that Hyannis Main Street is doing exciting things and working to make our community the best it can be.


Federal Government Sends Commonwealth Emergency Relief Fundss

The Federal Government has sent Emergency Relief Funds to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be used to cover some expenses associated with winter storm Juno. Barnstable submitted claims close to $550,000 for January 26 through 28, 2015 as allowed by the federal program. We expect to soon learn the exact amount of funding our town will receive.


Hearing on Pedicab Rules and Regulations

Thursday I held a hearing on Pedicab Rules and Regulations. This year pedicabs operated under pilot regulations. Consumer Affairs is recommending the regulations be permanent. One significant amendment was allowing the pedicabs to charge a minimum of $5.00 per ride. Last year’s pilot allowing pedicabs in downtown Hyannis proved successful and hopefully this service will be offered again this year.



Cape Managers Meetingg

The December Cape Managers meeting was held in Yarmouth. We discussed and listed regional services which might be considered next year by the county. Having a regional approach to monitoring deed restricted or affordable housing units and also conducting inspections of onsite sewer treatment plants were suggested. Ever rising health care costs was also a topic of conversation.


Remembering Sheila Burns

At Thursday night’s special School Committee meeting, the School Committee made note of the passing of a beloved longtime School Department employee. Sheila Burns was a first-grade teacher at Centerville Elementary, served as Principal of that school, was instrumental in the founding of the Barnstable Education Foundation, and served on the Superintendent Search Committee. The School Committee was gathered Thursday night to interview the three finalist candidates of that very search. Prior to the start of the session, School Committee Chair Margeaux Weber asked the group gathered to observe a moment of silence in Sheila’s honor. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at noon on Saturday at Our Lady of Victory Church in Centerville.



Inside Barnstable Town Governmentt

The twenty-second session of Inside Barnstable Town Government: A Citizens Leadership Academy will begin on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. The academy is an eleven week commitment, with the goal of educating the citizens of Barnstable about the operations of Town government, while also obtaining valuable feedback and participation from those citizens participating in the Academy. The program is designed to advance understanding of and participation in civic affairs, as well as to increase awareness of the challenges facing municipal government. Classes are held Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9:00 PM in various locations around town. The Academy also includes a bus tour of the seven villages. Classes are conducted by Town staff and provide interactive learning experiences, group discussions and site tours. The program is free of charge and is open to anyone who lives or works in the Town of Barnstable. Class size is limited – register early to avoid the waiting list.


Applications are available in the Town Manager’s office at Town Hall, 367 Main Street, Hyannis, or online. For further information, please call 508-862-4610.   Click here for an application.

Poll Workers Needed

Town Clerk Ann Quirk is in search of poll workers for various elections. Workers will assist with a variety of duties, including voter check-in and check-out. Workers are especially needed for the Presidential Primary election in March. Poll workers will ascertain the ballot given to the voter. This year, there will be 4 different ballots, one each for the Democrat, Republican, Green Rainbow, and United Independent Party. If you are interested in becoming a poll worker, contact Town Clerk Ann Quirk at 508-862-4044.



46th Annual Osterville Christmas Stroll

Friday December 11, 2015

10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
A full day of fun and events including the Festival of Trees, dog parade, Christmas tea, Teddy Bear Tea, window decorating contest, horse-drawn carriage rides, trolley rides, refreshments, and much more!
Click here to view the schedule.

Last week, we asked: Holiday strolls abound this weekend! We want to know: which village is holding a celebration for the first time in many years? Several readers knew the answer was Marstons Mills. These same readers were from Marstons Mills!


This week’s question: What year did the Steamship Authority begin operating out of Hyannis? Email your answer here.  




Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

December 7-11, 2015


Monday December 7, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch joined us live in studio on Monday morning to discuss the Superior Court decision allowing the South Street needle exchange to remain open, and a plan that could bring affordable housing to the former Marstons Mills Elementary School. Tom also thanked the 71 employees and 20 retirees who were honored at this year’s Years of Service ceremony, held at Town Hall on Friday December 4, 2015.  Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler talked with us about the ongoing search for a new Superintendent, which will culminate this week with public interviews and an appointment expected on Friday.  Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about registration for Spring semester courses.

Tuesday December 8, 2015

Chief of Police Paul MacDonald shared with us information about a relatively crime-free week in Barnstable. The Chief also discussed how the department works with our various villages during the holiday strolls, and had reminders for our viewers to protect themselves from theft in the holiday season.  Our Community Profile segment featured Barnstable Town employee Theresa Santos, who heads up Toys for Tots collection in Town Hall.  We welcomed special guest Paula Aschettino, chair of Citizens for Homeowners Insurance Reform. Paula had important information for homeowners who have concerns about rising insurance rates.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos outlined plans for a dredging project that will begin in Barnstable Harbor the week of December 21.


Wednesday December 9, 2015


Our Business Barnstable segment led off Wednesday’s show. Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade ran down the real estate statistics for November 2015. Director of Growth Management Jo Anne Miller Buntich talked with us about the Housing Production Plan, a pair of community vision sessions that were held at the beginning of the month, and the work that remains.  Director of Veterans Services Ed Merigan discussed veterans’ insurance issues. Director of Finance Mark Milne provided an update on projects, including the ten-year forecast, Capital Improvement Plan, Open Budget website, and the FY17 Operating Budget.


Thursday December 10, 2015


In honor of International Human Rights Day and the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Barnstable Human Rights Commission, we aired an interview that we’d taped in February featuring members of the HRC, Theresa Santos and Laura Roskos. Next, we visited Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Bud Breault who showed us the new above ground fuel farm at the Airport.  Our Board Committee and Commission segment featured newly named Planning Board Chair Stephen Helman.


Friday December 11 2015


Our Arts & Culture segment led off our Friday program. This week, we visited the Barnstable Senior Center Woodcarvers. Next, we headed over to visit with Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado, who had information about recreation programs during the holiday break.  Hyannis Youth and Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo talked with us about a plethora of activities and events being held at the HYCC. Natural Resource Officer Amy Raitto had updates on oysters, openings and closings, and news about scallops.


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