Smarter Government Steering Committee Meets

On Tuesday, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells attended the Smarter Government Steering Committee meeting.  This committee is coordinated by Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director Kristy Senatori, and is an opportunity for the County to meet with Town Managers and Town Administrators from across Cape Cod to discuss common efforts that typically have an information technology focus.  The meeting agenda included the Regional Wide Area Network (RWAN), planimetric data acquisition, e-permitting, performance management, unified communications, hardware/software inventory survey, and electronic voting. To illustrate the value of the collective coordination occurring in this committee, the cost of planimetric data acquisition for the Town of Barnstable was reduced from $109,571.00 to $12,147.00 because we all shared in the cost of a flyover to create the data.  Each community participating in this effort realized proportional savings.

Councilor Meetings

Councilors Sara Cushing and Eric Steinhilber met with Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells, Director of Regulatory Services Richard Scali and me about ways to improve communication with local businesses seeking permits. We looked at a couple of specific cases and discussed when, where and how a permit might have been better handled. We agreed that steps such as early communication and pre-meetings with all parties prior to a regulatory board hearing seem to be ideas that could improve the process. I also had the chance to meet with Councilor Phil Wallace regarding issues in his precinct. Topics included Sandy Neck Park, the Lombard Field Complex design planning process, the Paine Black House, and the West Barnstable Shooting Range.

Greater Hyannis Civic Association Meeting: The Dangers of “Spice”

On Tuesday evening, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells attended the Greater Hyannis Civic Association’s Board meeting.  Barnstable Chief of Police Paul MacDonald presented an overview of issues facing our community with the use of “Spice”.  “Spice” refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana and, while labeled as “not for human consumption”, are nonetheless marketed as “safe”, legal alternatives to that drug.  Spice users report experiences ranging from altered perception to extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations.  Spice mixtures have been easy to purchase and are sold in some stores in Barnstable.  Because the chemicals used in Spice have a high potential for abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has designated the five active chemicals most frequently found in Spice as Schedule I controlled substances, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess.  Manufacturers of Spice products attempt to evade these legal restrictions by substituting different chemicals in their mixtures, while the DEA continues to monitor the situation and evaluate the need for updating the list of banned chemicals.   The subsequent discussion focused on how to curtail the sale and use of this product in the Town of Barnstable, specifically in the village of Hyannis.  The Chief has communicated with the businesses selling this product and requested that they cease the sale of “Spice”.  Town Councilor Jen Cullum expressed her concerns regarding the need for immediate and preventative action on this issue. Town Council Vice President Ann Canedy, State Representative Brian Mannal, and State Representative Randy Hunt all actively participated in the discussion on proactive efforts to end the use of “Spice”.  

Homelessness: Leaders Organize Meetings

Following growing concerns regarding the homeless population, Town Councilor Jen Cullum organized a meeting with Town staff and Councilors to discuss ways to serve that population.  Town officials, including the Barnstable Police Department, are concerned about the costs associated with serving the needs of the homeless.  A coalition of business, civic, and municipal leaders, along with homeless service providers, have been working to restructure the sheltering system. The discussion revolved around the multiple causes and impact of homelessness on the community. Councilors agreed to have a follow up meeting next week. 

Barnstable’s Oldest Resident Celebrates 107th Birthday

Community Services Director Lynne Poyant and Assistant Director of Senior Services Donna-Marie Burns were on hand Wednesday to celebrate the 107th birthday of Marjorie Johnston, the Town of Barnstable's oldest resident.  The Cape Regency Rehabilitation and Health Care Center was all abuzz!  Marjorie had many well wishers, flowers, cake and even champagne!  She was looking forward to a telephone call on her new hearing assistance phone with her son Milton later in the day.  Congratulations and Best Wishes to Marjorie!



Portside Tavern Ribbon Cutting

A new restaurant is open for business on North Street in Hyannis. On Thursday afternoon, Town Councilor Phil Wallace, Growth Management's Economic Development Specialist Mike Trovato, Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells and I joined the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce's President and CEO Jessica Sylver, President and CEO, Board Chair Chris Kehoe, and the Murphy Family for the ribbon cutting of the Portside Tavern at 72 North Street, Hyannis.  The Murphy Family has a restaurant background and we are pleased to welcome them to the Town of Barnstable.



Upcoming Wait List Lottery for Slips at Prince Cove and Gateway Marina

50 names are being added to waiting lists for slips at the Marina at Prince Cove in Marstons Mills and Gateway Marina in Hyannis. The Gateway Marina wait list is open to all. Prince Cove is limited to Town of Barnstable real estate taxpayers and residents only. Applications are due on Wednesday, July 22. Names for the list will be chosen by a lottery, to be held on Friday July 24, 2015 at 1:00 PM at Barnstable Town Hall, 367 Main Street in Hyannis. Successful applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable initiation fee of $25.00 for non-residents and $15.00 for residents.  Click here for full details and an application.



ArtsBarnstable Weekend Highlights

Summer is here and Barnstable is bursting with activity. is the place to go to discover a plethora of programs and events for you to enjoy.  Here are just a few highlights of the upcoming weekend: On Saturday, begin the day with the Cape Cod 5K Championship and then stick around the village of Osterville for the sights and sounds of the 44th Annual Osterville Village Day. Events include a craft fair, field day and children’s fair.  Are you a fan of flowers? Bursts of blue, pink and sometimes purple are dotting green leafy bushes from one end of Cape Cod to the other, and for the first time, these beautiful blooms are being celebrated with the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival. Through Sunday, enjoy activities and garden tours throughout our villages and Cape wide.  Perhaps some local theater is what you’re seeking? Well, find out what happens when a teenager is forced to answer the age-old question: To clean or not to clean? The answer will be revealed in The New Classics Theater Company’s performance of “Alex Comes Clean”, an original play written and directed by Barnstable High School grad Matt Kohler. Performances will take place at the Guyer Barn, 250 South Street in Hyannis at 7:00 PM July 16-18 and at 5:00 on July 19.


Visit for a full list of all things

 arts and culture in our seven villages!






Last week’s trivia question: Last week, we asked: What is your favorite of Barnstable’s many beautiful beaches? We agree: it is hard to choose a favorite! Among our responses, of course: Sandy Neck, Long Beach (if you’re lucky enough to get a parking spot!), Craigville and Kalmus!

This week’s trivia question: Many Cape Codders have one must-do Cape Cod summer activity. What is yours? Email your answer here.  



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

July 13-17, 2015


Monday, July 13, 2015

Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler stopped by our studio Monday morning to review the recent School Committee meeting and provide an update on plans for a search for a new Superintendent.  Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick discussed plans to engage an engineering firm to examine potential changes at the Barnstable Transfer Station.  Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about summer session, and a conversation with the local legislative delegation regarding funding for a planned project at the school.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015


In his weekly appearance, Chief of Police Paul MacDonald previewed a presentation he made before the Greater Hyannis Civic Association Tuesday evening, highlighting the dangers of the designer drug “Spice”.  Our Community Profile segment featured local teacher and author Mick CarlonFirst Barnstable State Representative Tim Whelan talked with us about Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito’s recent visit to the Cape to discuss the Community Connect Cabinet.  Director of Public Works Dan Santos shared with us information about new Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors that will be placed around town this week.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015


We began Wednesday’s show with a visit from 1717 Meetinghouse Trustee Roger Henson, followed by a segment highlighting the replacement of the restored Paul Revere bell.  Barnstable County Register of Deeds Jack Meade reviewed the recording statistics for June of 2015. Director of Regulatory Services Richard Scali outlined several issues that came up at this week’s Licensing Authority hearing. Director of Finance Mark Milne reviewed financing planning for future erosion control work at Sandy Neck Beach Park.



Thursday, July 16, 2015


We took our viewers to Hyannis Golf Club to begin our Thursday morning. Head Golf Pro Jesse Schechtman shared the top three misconceptions about the game of golf.  Next, Barnstable Municipal Airport Assistant Manager Katie Servis talked with us about a busy summer season at the airport.  2nd Barnstable State Representative Brian Mannal outlined his appearance at the Greater Hyannis Civic Association’s meeting this week, and talked with us about plans to help further protect regional transportation funding.  Precinct 11 Town Councilor Phil Wallace joined us live in studio for an update on what’s happening in his precinct.


Friday, July 17, 2015


The Key Idea was the focus of our weekly Arts & Culture segment. Artist Lenore Lyons discussed this inspiring community art project in which individuals are invited to select a key and discover what it might mean, unlock, or protect.  Hyannis Youth and Community Center Marketing Manager Amy Harwood talked about things to do at the HYCC during the summer. Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado reviewed rules and regulations for our Town beaches. Animal Control Officer Charlie Lewis provided information about coyote, fox and bats – and how you can protect yourself and your animals.