Barnstable This Morning

On Monday morning’s “Barnstable This Morning”, I talked with host Sarah Colvin about a variety of events and issues, including continued planning for the future of the Osterville Bay School property, funding for a pumpout station at Hyannis Harbor, the Early Learning Center dedication, Cape Cod Chamber’s sports tourism study, and the Cape Managers’ Meeting. The Cape managers toured the new South Yarmouth Bridgewater State University campus and were impressed with the facility. Students interested in taking course work, a certificate progam, or pursuing a degree should go to for information.

Watch the interview: Town Website  YouTube


Meals On Wheels

Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells and I went to the Senior Center on Wednesday to thank volunteers for all their efforts providing Meals on Wheels to Barnstable seniors. In 2014 they delivered 38,637 meals to 309 different seniors throughout Barnstable. They served 3,900 complete meals to 73 seniors in our Town. I had the oportunity to accompany Jim Anderson from Osterville on his Wednesday route. Mark traveled with volunteer Fran Norton.  Meeting the seniors who make up the program and those that depend on the service reinforced the value of this program. Watching Jim deliver the nutritious meal, have a word with his friends on the route, and hear ther words of appreciation for the Meals on Wheels program was very gratifying.



FY 2016 Capital Budget

The FY 2016  Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has been submitted to the Town Council and is available for review on the Town’s website. There are 43 proposals for the Town Council to consider. The various enterprise funds have 23 requests totaling $12,252,500. The General Fund, including schools, has 20 proposals totaling $15,163,700. The total Capital Budget is $27,416,200. The CIP covers infrastructure need, water quality projects, municipal facilties and school facilities. I will be using my next two appearances on Barnstable This Morning to discuss the CIP process and projects. The Town Council will take up approval of the CIP in April.


Town Council: Cape Cod Commission Presentation

Cape Cod Commission Executive Director Paul Niedzwiecki made a presentation at this week’s Town Council meeting. Paul reviewed the Commission’s work on the four large retail centers along Route 132. The Commission has been working with our Growth Management Department to determine what is on the minds of our retailers, what they see in the future, and how the Town and Commission can help them grow and thrive. Town Councilors also heard a brief update on the 208 Water Quality plan.


Town Council: Proposed Zoning Changes

The first order of business for the evening was a proposed zoning amendment for Route 132, extending the HB Highway Business District. This change will allow for business growth in that area. The item had been previously approved by the Planning Board and Thursday night was approved unanimously by the Town Council.


Town Council: Grant Acceptances

Several gift and grant acceptances appeared on this week’s Council agenda. Thursday night, Councilors approved a grant for the Barnstable Police Department Community Impact Unit from the Department of Mental Health in the amount of $72,711, and a grant of $3,500 from Cape Cod Healthcare and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office to fund the Seventh Grade Youth Summit.


Town Council: Airport & Harbor Funding Accepted

Town Council approved four items for the Barnstable Municipal Airport, as well as a $234,300 gift from Hy-Line, to assist with the construction of pump stations for commercial and pleasure boats at the Ocean Street Docks.




News from the School Committee


  • Athletic Fee Increases Scaled Back

School officials are pulling back on a plan to raise athletic fees for the next school year. Instead of the proposed increase of $75 to $225 per sport, officials opted to increase fees by $25 per sport.  If the budget passes, the new athletic fee would be $125 per sport, with a family cap of $500 per year. The School Committee will vote on the proposed FY16 budget at their next meeting, scheduled for April 9, 2015.


  • Interim Superintendent Selected

The School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Barnstable School District Attorney Bill Butler as Interim School Superintendent. School Committee Chair Margo Weber said the subcommittee tasked with finding an interim replacement for Superintendent Dr. Mary Czajkowski agreed that appointing Butler would be the least disruptive option. School officials will now work to plan the transition. Dr. Czajkowski remains in her current capacity through the end of June. 


  • Early Learning Center Named

The new Barnstable Early Learning Center will be named after local philanthropist Enoch Cobb. The School Committee voted to officially name the center the Enoch Cobb Early Learning Center during this week’s meeting. Cobb bequeathed more than 100 acres of land to the town following his death in 1876. Cobb requested the money generated by the land be used to benefit Barnstable Public Schools. Construction is now underway on the center, located at Hyannis West Elementary School.


Barnstable Bulkhead Work

Repairs to the Barnstable Inner Harbor bulkhead is underway. Northern Construction Service, LLC of Palmer, MA is the General Contractor working directly with GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., our engineers.  The contractors will be excavating about 5 feet deep on the land side of the steel bulkhead sheets in order to install a new structural system.  The wooden guardrail and asphalt pavement will be removed and reinstalled after repairs are made in order to restore the area to its current condition. According to the current schedule, the Town marina will be closed during the repair process until May 1, 2015, after which the marina will be open for use until October 19, 2015. If the entire project is not complete this Spring, then the contractor will remobilize in the Fall to complete the work.  The grass area to the west of the marina will be used by the contractor during operations, and the roadway to the south will be closed to traffic.  Access to the private marina will be via Freezer Road during these operations.

View an interview about the project with DPW Director Dan Santos: Town Website  YouTube


Herring Count Volunteer Meeting

Once the water begins to warm up, herring will begin to populate a number of runs in town, heading upstream to spawn. In order to keep tabs on the fluctuating herring population, volunteers are needed to count the herring as they travel upstream.  This year, Natural Resource Officer Amy Croteau is leading a pilot herring count program in the Centerville River, and is looking for volunteers. A training session for interested volunteers is being held this Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 1:00 PM at the Marine & Environmental Affairs Office at 1189 Phinney’s Lane in Centerville.  Come learn why counting river herring is so important, and get involved! Light food and refreshments will be served.

Email for more details. 

Watch an interview with Amy about herring counts:  Town Website    YouTube



Water Quality Report Released

The Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills Water Department has released its annual Water Quality report, detailing specific issues pertaining to the quality of drinking water that it provides to its customers.  As part of a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandate, water utilities across the country will now begin producing annual reports that are designated to educate and inform consumers.  A copy of the report will be mailed to COMM customers with the January billing. Click here to view a copy online.






Last week’s trivia questionn: Last week, we asked: Q: The sun is beginning to warm up, snow is melting from our sidewalks, and soon outdoor dining will begin to pop up along Main Street. Our Main Street Hyannis boasts a large number of restaurants – we want to know if you know just how many?Many of our e-news readers came close, and according to Elizabeth Wurfbain of the Hyannis Main Street Business District, the exact number is always in flux, but she says the total is close to sixtyy restaurants on Main Street, all Fabulous Owner Operated Dining.


This week’s trivia question:  It has been a hard winter, and as spring is arriving so is one more visit from winter. On the Cape, we know that winter can linger until all of a sudden, summer arrives! But after all of this snow, we deserve a real Spring this year. What are you looking forward to the most this spring?   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

March 16-20, 2015


Monday, March 16, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch joined us live in studio Monday morning to discuss a potpourri of topics, ranging from plans to rehabilitate the Osterville Bay School property, water quality issues at Wequaquet Lake, and a meeting on sports tourism for our region.  Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Czajkowsi discussed the proposed Fiscal 2016 budget for the schools, and talked about the importance of this week’s youth summit.  Energy Coordinator Richard Elrick stopped by to provide an update on CVEC renewable energy projects, and to share information about new electric vehicles that have been added to the Town’s fleet. Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about the Workforce Education Resource Center, and summer session classes. In our newscast: a preview of the School Committee meeting, information about an upcoming herring count training, and new division fees approved by the Board of Health.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015


We began our Tuesday program with Chief of Police Paul MacDonald, who shared details on reported gunfire in Hyannis early Tuesday morning.  Our new Community Profile segment made its debut with Cape Cod Symphony and Conservatory Executive Director Jerome Karter.  Cape and Islands State Senator Dan Wolf appeared on the program to promote Wednesday’s Commonwealth Conversations tour. Director of Public Works Dan Santos joined us to discuss work at the Barnstable Bulkhead. In our newscast: Hy-Line will help fund a pumpout station at Hyannis Harbor, the search for a new principal for Barnstable-West Barnstable Elementary is ongoing, and some Barnstable employees are now using electric vehicles.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board Executive Director David Augustinho was our Business Barnstable guest this week. David discussed the most recent jobs numbers and talked about the school-to-careers program.  We aired a very special student-produced segment on substance abuse, thanks to our sister station b2b Barnstable High School Channel 22. The substance abuse discussion continued in our next segment, as we welcomed Barnstable County Human Services Director Beth Albert and Special Projects Coordinator Vaira Harik to talk about the County-issued report entitled “Substance Abuse on Cape Cod: A Baseline Assessment”. Governor Charlie Baker has proposed a $32 billion budget for the coming fiscal year. Director of Finance Mark Milne shared his thoughts on the budget, and how the plan could impact our Town. In our newscast:  Barnstable police investigate early morning gunfire in Hyannis, an interim Superintendent of Schools is named, and we preview Thursday night’s Town Council meeting.


Thursday, March 19, 2015


Thursday’s show began with part two of a special student-produced segment on substance abuse, courtesy of our sister station, b2b Barnstable High School Channel 22.  Barnstable Municipal Airport Manager Bud Breault talked with us about a number of projects in process and planned at the airport. 5th Barnstable State Representative Randy Hunt shared thoughts on the recently released County study on substance abuse. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti joined us for a preview of the evening’s Council meeting.  In our newscast:  A gentler hike in student athletic fees proposed, details on the evening’s Town Council meeting, and the Barnstable Youth Summit begins tonight.



Friday, March 20, 2015


Our Arts & Culture segment led off Friday’s program.  We visited with Barnstable Harbor Eco Tours head naturalist Phil Kyle. Next, we headed over to the HYCC to visit with General Manager Joe Izzo, who talked about the Lobster Pot tournament and an upcoming skating show.  Town Clerk Ann Quirk stopped by to tell us all we need to know about the current census.  Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado discussed the ongoing Barnstable Youth Summit. Animal Control Officer Charlie Lewis had details about the upcoming rabies vaccination clinics, being held in various Cape locations and towns. In our newscast: an interim Superintendent of Schools is chosen, the Early Learning Center gets a name, and new electric vehicles are in use in town.