Orleans News

Task Force Has Lots To Say About Orleans Ponds

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — It was a cold day for a walking tour of the town's freshwater ponds, but members of the marine and fresh water quality task force made the effort Jan. 9 without mittens and parkas. Led by chair Carolyn Kennedy, they walked around tables covered with sheets of water quality statistics at town hall. With some of the numbers collected by volunteers as far back as 2000, the data provided a picture ove...

Downtown Zoning Hearing Draws Support, Critiques

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Planning board members may have found their way forward with an even more complicated downtown zoning amendment after a third public hearing Jan. 24. Speakers were supportive of doing something to make downtown more lively, but they differed on the ways and means. After 18 months of work, the board has hammered out a plan detailed at the meeting by George Meservey, director of planning and communit...

Proposed FY18 Budget Squeezes Under 2½ Cap

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Town Administrator John Kelly's recommended operating budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 includes the maximum 2.5 percent increase allowed by state law. “We're at a crossroads,” Kelly told the board of selectmen Jan. 18. “There is nothing left in the operating budget that we can reduce to maintain 2½ unless we reduce staff. At the end of the day, we will have to talk about what services we...

Lower Cape MLK Breakfast Unites And Inspires

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Donald Trump was the man who wasn't there. As the Nauset Interfaith Association Annual Rev. Martin Luther King Day Breakfast unfolded Monday at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Orleans, attendees took a longer view of civil and human rights that encompassed achievements to be celebrated and barriers yet to be broken. “We're not where we ought to be,” the Rev. Wesley Williams, retired pastor of t...

Town Finances: Healthy And Getting Healthier

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — With significant borrowing for capital projects on the horizon, there was good news for the town from its independent auditor last week. Tony Roselli, managing partner of Roselli, Clark & Associates, said a recent audit and a conversation with Standard & Poor's indicated that the town would maintain its top-rank AAA bond rating. “You've managed to increase your reserves the last three years...

Fire At Comcast Interrupts TV, Internet Service

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — A smoky fire in an electrical panel at Comcast's facility on Locust Road Wednesday, Jan. 4 led to a temporary service shutdown on the Lower Cape. Deputy Chief Geof Deering said the department got the call from Comcast employees at 5:22 p.m. The building was evacuated as firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the basement for the fire. One Comcast employee was evaluated for smoke inhalation...

ORLEANS — Selectmen Chairman Sims McGrath, whose term ends this May, is ready to move on if somebody else will step up. “I will not categorically say that I will not run, but I do feel that it's someone else's turn,” he said Tuesday. “So I hope someone, some qualified people, will take out papers, and I hope to get a vacation. But I'll do it again if I absolutely have to.” The board's vice chairman, David...

ORLEANS — In a world full of gadgets, it's refreshing to visit the candle maker on Main Street. “It's very traditional, non-high tech,” Agostino Di Bari said of his work. “It's rewarding.” The sales area at the front of Honey Candle Co. at 37 Main St. is replete with various sizes, shapes and colors of beeswax candles and tapers. Behind that is a compact work space that includes the tools of his trade as ...

2016: It Wasn't All About Wastewater

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — In many ways, the last quarter of the year was a watershed for water quality efforts. In October, town meeting voted 369-98 to spend $3.2 million by June 2017 on the next stage of a coordinated effort to reduce nitrogen levels in local waters, including investigation of treated wastewater disposal sites, experiments with innovative nitrogen removal schemes, engineering studies for a downtown sewer ...

Reassurance Programs Make For Happier Holidays

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — We all want to be home for the holidays. But what if we can't remember where home is? For people with Alzheimer's Disease, the familiar becomes unfamiliar. They can walk out the front door and forget how to come back home. About 10 years ago, a local resident was reported missing. It wasn't known that he had Alzheimer's. Public safety personnel and volunteers began what turned into an 18-hour se...

Nauset Middle School Eyed As Backup Discharge Site

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The town will ask the Nauset Regional School District to allow testing at the middle school to see whether its running track area can serve as a backup site for discharge of effluent – treated wastewater – from a proposed treatment plant for a downtown sewer system. Meeting Dec. 14 with AECOM staff and town consultant Mike Domenica, the board reviewed a list of nine sites ranging from the Overland ...

Nauset High Upgrade Sought For Another 20-plus Years Of Use

By: Ed Maroney Location: Nauset Regional High School

ORLEANS — Some Massachusetts towns are struggling with the cost of replacing their high schools, with price tags reaching the hundreds of millions. Nauset Public Schools is pursuing a more conservative path, seeking to upgrade the existing Nauset Regional High School in Eastham so it can last another two decades or more. “The campus is tired,” said Superintendent Tom Conrad, who was principal of Nauset High ...