Barnstable This Morning

On this Monday’s episode of “Barnstable This Morning”, I joined host Sarah Colvin in high spirits following the New England Patriots Superbowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. I talked about how leadership examples shown in team sports such as football can also apply to leading a team here at Town Hall. Storm cleanup efforts continued over the weekend, and I provided an update on the efforts of our DPW crew, as more snow fell Monday morning. We discussed ongoing budget meetings with varous department heads, and a meeting with our local legislative delegation in preparation for a district meeting regarding the Chapter 70 School Foundation Budget review.  

View the interview:  Town Website  YouTube

 Town Council: Barnstable Police Community Impact Unit

The three members of the Barnstable Police Community Impact Unit (CIU) are headed to Nashville, TN this month to attend the National Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training. This trip is possible thanks to a generous $50,000 donation from the Lyndon Paul Lorusso Charitable Foundation. This unique “train-the-trainer” course will teach officers to identify signs of mental illness, diffuse situations, and redirect individuals to appropriate services. The result will be better outcomes for the individual in crisis and enhanced safety for officers and the rest of the community.  The training will certify each member of the CIU to teach an 8 hour mental health first aid course to the entire patrol force of the Department.  I commend the Barnstable Police Department for its attention to this issue, and for being on the forefront of leadership in addressing mental illness through understanding and positive treatment. The CIU gave the Council an update on their work, including the number of individuals served, and accepted the Lorusso Foundation donation.


Town Council: Coordinated Storm Update

Chief of Police Paul MacDonald, Director of Public Works Dan Santos and Director of Community Services Lynne Poyant joined me during Town Manager Communications at Thursday’s Town Council meeting to provide update on the Town’s respose to Winter Storm Juno.  Chief Paul MacDonald serves as our Emergency Management Director, and reported that there were no major injures or deaths related to the storm.  Dan Santos reviewed the DPW response to the storm.  Public safety is always our first concern, and police and fire personnel were able to respond to all calls for assistance.  We are preparing for more winter weather coming through next week, and DPW has already staged equipment at key places in town.

Click on the names to view presentations from Thursday’s meeting:

Chief of Police Paul MacDonald       Director of Public Works Dan Santos

Community Services Director Lynne Poyant   

Councilor Response to Presentation


 Town Council: Lowell Park Presentation

An effort to “Keep Lowell Park Green” is underway. At Thursday night’s meeting, Barnstable Land Trust Executive Director Jaci Barton and Community Preservation Committee Chair Lindsey Counsell made a presentation outlining plans to purchase land in and around Lowell Park in Cotuit. The plan is designed to enhance the area and ensure its protection. The appropriation requests will be up for a public hearing at the Council’s February 26th meeting.  Photo of Lowell Park courtesy the Cotuit Kettleers.


Town Council: Informative Presentations

The Council heard a pair of presentations at Thursday night’s meeting. First, Cape Cod Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative Director Cheryl Bartlett spoke to Councilors regarding her work on battling the region’s substance abuse issues. The presentation provided the opportunity for Councilors to ask questions and share concerns with Bartlett. Councilor Jen Cullum works closely with the Youth Commission, and serves as a representative on the Barnstable County Regional Substance Abuse Council.  Councilors also heard a presentation from Laura Cronin, chair of the Citizens Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC). Cronin shared with Councilors the importance and process of CFAC’s annual review of the capital and operating budgets. 


Aging Mastery Graduates

We congratulate the 34 graduates of the inaugural session of the Aging Mastery Program at the Barnstable Senior Center.  Developed by the National Council on Aging, the program is an approach to aging that celebrates the gift of longevity, and encourages modest lifestyle changes that produce big results. Over the past fourteen weeks, the participants heard speakers from Cape Cod Healthcare, Town Nurse Peg Stanton, Emerald Physicians, and more, who covered a variety of topics including healthy eating, physical activity, medication management, and mindfulness. Barnstable is proud to be one of the first twenty-two communities in the nation to offer this program. It is funded by the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and co-facilitated by Director of Senior Services Madeline Noonan and Assistant Director Donna Burns.


American Capital Energy/Clean Focus Lawsuit

Assistant Town Attorney Charles McLaughlin updated the Town Council this week on a legal dispute between American Capital Energy (ACE) and Clean Focus. Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative, on behalf of the Town, awarded ACE a contract and lease to construct and operate the landfill solar array and then sold the lease to Clean Focus. The project is complete and online and now ACE and Clean Focus are involved in a payment dispute. Clean Focus has posted a full payment bond, should it lose the case. Barnstable is at no financial risk from this suit and will be fully reimbursed for its legal costs. ACE and Clean Focus are entering into discussions in an attempt to mediate their dispute.


Foundation Budget Legislative Hearing

This Saturday a legislative commission will be conducting a public hearing to hear concerns about the Chapter 70 School Foundation Budget. The hearing will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Dennis Yarmouth High School on Station Ave., Yarmouth. A pre-meeting, including Town Councilors, finance staff, school officials and members of the Cape delegation met last week. Senator Dan Wolf, State Representatives Brian Mannal, David Vieira and Tim Whelan participated in a  discussion of school funding, and the impact changes to the Chapter 70 formula would have on communities like Barnstable. Finance Director Mark Milne, School Superintendent Dr. Mary Czajkowski, and I all intend to testify.


Inside Barnstable Town Government
The 22nd session of Inside Barnstable Town Government began this week. Thirty- five Barnstable residents, including several AmeriCorps Cape Cod volunteers, began the 11 week journey on Tuesday night. I welcomed the group gathered in the Town Hall Hearing Room and later returned to give a History of Town Government. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti discussed the role of the Town Council. The class had a pictorial tour and history lesson from Barnstable historian Nancy Shoemaker. Next week, the class will travel to Barnstable Police Headquarters to learn about police operations and get a tour of the facility. Inside Barnstable Town Government is designed to give an overview of town functions and responsibilities, and increase civic engagement.


NSTAR is now Eversource

Utility company NSTAR, which supplies electricity to residents and businesses in Barnstable, now has a new name. The company began using its new name, Eversource, on Monday, February 2. Customers will still be able to reach the utility through the same telephone numbers to report outages, inquire about their bill, or schedule appointments.  All of the previous log-in information remains in place, and any customers visiting the old website will be re-directed to the new Eversource website. 



Women’s Hockey East Returns to Hyannis

The exciting Women’s Hockey East tournament will return to Barnstable in March. The top teams in the Women’s Hockey East conference will battle it out for the championship on the ice at our very own Hyannis Youth and Community Center. The semi-finals will take place on March 7, and the championship game will be held on Sunday, March 8. Tickets for this exciting weekend are available now, at a price of $10 per day. Groups of ten or more will receive a 50% discount if tickets are purchased before February 23. Contact Joe Izzo at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center for more.





Last week’s trivia questionn: Last week, we asked: What is the highest snowfall recorded in Barnstable, and when was it measured?  Not one of our e-News readers got this answer right – and we think it was because we too had some difficulty getting a consensus on the answer! What we do know is that snowfall during Juno topped two feet in many areas of town, which is certainly the most snowfall we’ve had at once in many years.


This week’s trivia question:  Q: During Thursday night’s Town Council meeting, Town Manager Tom Lynch mentioned the number of new Facebook fans that “liked” the Town of Barnstable in the past week. What is that number?  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.

Thank you to all for reading eNews and responding to our trivia!