Barnstable This Morning

On Barnstable This Morning, I talked with host Sarah Colvin about several meetings held last week, including one with Elizabeth Wurfbain of the Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District on possible improvements for Main Street, Hyannis. I shared the discussion with Housing Assistance Corporation officials and the Chief of Police on ways to improve outreach to the homeless and the possibility of moving the NOAH shelter. We also discussed the next steps in the promotional process to fill three lieutenant vacancies in the police department.  View the interview: Town Website  YouTube


Homeless Issues

Barnstable Chief of Police Paul MacDonald met with the Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) Board of Directors on Wednesday evening. The NOAH Shelter day center programming and possible relocation of the shelter was on the agenda. As a result of that meeting the HAC Board voted to move the NOAH Shelter “for the benefit of the constituents of NOAH by better, more complete services and for the benefit of the Hyannis residents and business center.” The commitment is based on proper siting and securing funding to purchase and develop the building. No timeline has been set for the move of the shelter.


Late Summer Freshwater Pond Issues

We received some disappointing news from Long Pond in Centerville. After a few hydrilla free years, the invasive species has returned to the pond. The Conservation Division has taken steps to prohibit the launching of small boats in the pond to prevent the weed from being brought into the area. Other steps will be taken to control the spread of this invasive species. Schoolhouse Pond, off Scudder Avenue in Hyannis has tested positive for blue-green algae. The cyanobacteria can grow quickly and some blooms produce toxins harmful to people and animals. Residents around the pond are joining together to learn what steps they can take and collectively do, to improve the water quality of Schoolhouse Pond.


Back to School: Opening Day Convocation for School Department Staff

Time for teachers, time for books – this week it was back to school in Barnstable. Teachers and staff returned to school on Monday. Convocation was held that morning in the Barnstable High School Performing Arts Center. Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler delivered welcoming remarks to school department personnel.  I was pleased to be one of the speakers, along with School Committee Chair Margeaux Weber and Barnstable Teachers Association President Brooke Styche. The event included a very informative presentation on the Massachusetts Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) by Dr. Stevan Kukic, Director of School Transformation for the National Center for Learning Disabilities. Students returned to school on Wednesday.


September 3rd Town Council Meeting

Town Council met on Thursday, September 3, 2015. Public hearings were held on two Community Preservation Fund requests. One request totaled $226,781 for restoration and preservation of the exterior of the Old Town Hall building on Main Street in Hyannis. The second item was a request for $500,000 for the acquisition and preservation of affordable housing at Founders Court in Hyannis.  Council approved both requests.


Plastic Bags and Synthetic Marijuana

After considerable debate on a proposed ban on single-use plastic bags, the ordinance was adopted on a 7-6 vote.  The proposed ordinance that would ban the sale of synthetic marijuana, also known as “spice”, passed unanimously.


Town Manager Search Committee

The Town Manager Search Committee’s recommendation to seek an outside search firm for the next Town Manager was, after considerable debate, approved on an 8-5 vote. Those in the minority argued the Town Council should sit down with me and discuss a contract extension. I had requested that the Town Council President afford me the opportunity to discuss a contract extension and never received a response to that request. The Search Committee wrote to me and Assistant Town Manager Mark Ells highly recommending and encouraging each of us to submit an application for consideration in any process moving forward.


Expanded Senior Center Parking Lot Underway

Work has begun on the expanded parking lot at the Barnstable Senior Center. The Senior Center has several successful, well-attended programs, and has developed a significant need for additional parking. Providing safe parking for all, with smooth pavement and adequate lighting is important to the success of the Center. The construction is supported with funding from the “Friends of the Senior Center” and the General Fund.


Wings of Freedom Tour Returns to Barnstable Municipal Airport

A trio of vintage World War II aircraft will again visit the Barnstable Municipal Airport this September. The Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour will bring its Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator and P-51 Mustang fighter to the airport from Monday, September 14 to Wednesday, September 16.  The planes will be on display at the Airport’s east ramp with free parking on Mary Dunn Way.  For a fee, visitors may tour the aircraft, inside and out. WWII veterans can tour the aircraft for free. The vintage aircraft will be on display from 2 pm through 5 pm on Monday, September 14; 9 am through 5 pm on Tuesday, September 15 and 9 am through 12 pm on Wednesday, September 16. 


Grant Award to Barnstable Police Department

The Bureau of Justice has informed Barnstable that the Police Department will receive a $13,181 grant under the 2015 Bulletproof Vest Partnership. This grant will enable the BPD to replace bulletproof vests and maintain safety standards for replacement of these vests on behalf of each police officer.


New Solid Waste Division Supervisor

PJ Kelliher, a fourteen year employee in the Department of Public Works has been promoted to be the new Solid Waste Division Supervisor. PJ is currently the Highway Division General Foreman. He is replacing Robert Lovell, who has ably served the town in various capacities for the past 32 years. PJ starts today and will work with Bob over the next few weeks.


Road Work Notice: West Barnstable & Hyannis

The Barnstable Department of Public Works will be performing roadway improvements on Pine Street, Parker Road and High Street in West Barnstable and Oakland Road in Hyannis beginning on Wednesday, September 9, 2015. Improvements will include milling of existing roadway surfaces, drainage system upgrades, and placement of new asphalt pavement surfaces. Work is expected to be completed by Friday, October 2, 2015, weather permitting.  Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes to avoid the construction work. Operations will start promptly at 7 AM and run until 5 PM, after which traffic will be opened back onto both lanes of the roadway. As always, please slow down and use extreme caution when traveling through the road construction areas and follow posted safety signs.





Last week’s trivia question: Last week, we asked: With our summer visitors departing, as we head into our “locals’ summer”, what will you look forward to the most? The overwhelming response from readers was an anticipated decrease in traffic! While we love our summer visitors, we are certainly looking forward to some relief on the roadways.



This week’s question: Labor Day Weekend is upon us! We want to know: Which US President signed the bill making Labor Day a national holiday? Email your answer here.  



Barnstable This Morning

Week in Review

August 30 – September 4, 2015


Monday August 30, 2015


Town Manager Tom Lynch began our week with a discussion on homeless issues, meetings with business leaders, and opportunities within the Police Department.   It’s time for Back to School, and Interim Superintendent of Schools Bill Butler talked with us about Opening Day for teachers and staff, and preparations for Wednesday’s first day of school. Teacher and author Mick Carlon shared with us information on his latest work. Cape Cod Community College Communications Director Michael Gross talked with us about the first day of the Fall 2015 semester, coming up on Tuesday, September 8.


Tuesday September 1, 2015


On Tuesday morning, Chief of Police Paul MacDonald continued discussions regarding the homeless population, highlighting the fact that the NOAH shelter is now dry.  Next, we took a look at the Sail Cape Cod program and the launch of the new accessible sailboat “Lila”. Cape & Islands State Senator Dan Wolf discussed the issues surrounding the homeless community on Cape Cod.


Wednesday September 2, 2015


We discussed the local economy and efforts to spur economic development in our region with Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross, our guest for this week’s Business Barnstable segment.  Director of Regulatory Services Richard Scali discussed the hire of a new Consumer Affairs police officer.  Director of Veterans Services Ed Merigan talked with us about an important property tax benefit available to veterans.



Thursday September 3, 2015


We began Thursday’s program with our weekly Golf segment. Hyannis Golf PGA Pro Jesse Schectman had information about a membership special that will begin mid-month.  Cape Cod Commission Technical Services Director Glenn Cannon was our Transportation segment guest. Glenn had updates on a number of projects, including an initiative to create a Cape-wide bicycle trail. Town Council President Jessica Rapp Grassetti had a preview of the evening’s Town Council meeting. 


Friday September 4, 2015


Our Arts & Culture segment this Friday took us aboard the vintage wooden schooner When and If. Next, we talked with Director of Leisure Services Patti Machado about the end of the summer season on our beaches. Hyannis Youth and Community Center General Manager Joe Izzo discussed the process of re-painting the Kennedy rink. Finally, Animal Control Officer Charlie Lewis had details about the fall rabies baiting program.



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