Harwich News

HARWICH — Without really diving into the central issue of whether Monomoy’s two elementary schools should be combined or reconfigured to accommodate shifting enrollment, selectmen and the school committee last week debated who should be able to make that decision. Facing the potential for overcrowded classrooms at Harwich Elementary School and a relative shortage of students at Chatham elementary, the region...

HARWICH — The harbormaster's staff has been busy relocating this week in preparation for demolition of the frail building that has served the department for more than 40 years at the head of Saquatucket Harbor. Harbormaster John Rendon said this week the plan is for the old building to be demolished, likely on Dec. 18, to make way for landside improvements there and on the former Downey property. A constructio...

Selectman Jannell Brown Acquitted Of Assault

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — An Orleans District Court judge last week found Harwich Selectman Jannell Brown not guilty of a single count of domestic assault and battery following a July 18 incident. The misdemeanor assault charge stemmed from an argument in which her accuser called police to report that Brown was refusing to give him his car keys and had slapped him in the face. Brown described the man as her former domestic ...

Expanded Uses Proposed For Community And Cultural Centers

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The need to expand services at the community center and cultural center was a clear message sent by selectmen Monday night to Town Administrator Christopher Clark and staff. The message comes on the heels of a few parents urging selectmen a couple of weeks ago to open the community center on Sundays and holidays for their children. The message certainly had the ear of selectmen. On Monday night board...

Selectmen Respond To Open Meeting Law Complaints

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Selectmen on Monday night rejected a charge by former board member Linda Cebula that they violated the Open Meeting Law last month. Cebula alleged the board violated the law by its agenda for the Nov. 13 meeting lacking “specificity” and a posting error for the board's interview/nomination subcommittee on Nov. 16. In the instance of the Nov. 13 meeting, Cebula stated selectmen provided “no indicat...

Appeals Board Halts Sand Pit Operation, But Not Use Of Road

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The appeals board has upheld Building Commissioner Raymond Chesley's issuance of a cease and desist order halting a commercial sand mining operation in a pit off Jay Z Drive. The board also took the position that it has no legal basis to deny the use of Jay Z Drive by commercial vehicles accessing the pit. The rulings essentially allow trucks to access the pit but prohibits its operation unless a new...

HARWICH — For the last decade, visitors to the Harwich Historical Society’s Brooks Academy Museum could climb the stairs and explore a model railroad display depicting Harwich in the first half of the 20th century. But in a couple of weeks, the display will be dismantled to make way for new exhibits. The circular layout depicts scenes from Harwich...

For the Family Pantry of Cape Cod, children hold a special place. From food and clothing distribution to Toy Day, Dec. 17, the Family Pantry isn’t ignoring the young ones who make up one-third of the pantry’s over 9,100 clients in Barnstable County. Already 1,200 children ages birth through 15 have signed up for Toy Day. (The final day for signups for children of current Family Pantry clients is Dec. 2.) ...

Former Selectman Files Open Meeting Law Complaints

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Former selectman Linda Cebula has filed two state Open Meeting Law complaints against the board of selectmen and its interview/nomination subcommittee. One relates to “specificity” of the agenda and the other challenges steps taken when revising an error in the date of a meeting. In her complaint Cebula cites the Nov. 13 meeting of the board of selectmen as providing “no indication that votes woul...

Gonsalves Steps Down After 22 Years As Water Commissioner

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Danette Gonsalves said she was 13 years old when she started to hear the names of water commissioners and employees in the water department around her kitchen table. The intricacies of the department's operations became more familiar as she grew up. The flow of water department knowledge came early in her life because her father, Richard Hathaway, served for 21 years as a water commissioner. “At 1...

Chatham Raids Harwich's Community Development Department

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — Harwich's loss will be Chatham's gain as two employees in the town's community development department have informed Town Administrator Christopher Clark they have taken jobs in Chatham. Clark announced this past week that town planner Aly Sabatino and building inspector Jay W. Briggs are leaving to take positions in Chatham. Briggs has already left; he started work on Monday as Chatham's building com...

Treasure Chest Under New Scrutiny

By: Alan Pollock

HARWICH — The committee and volunteers who operate the Treasure Chest, the swap shop at the recycling center, are coming under new scrutiny following some public complaints. While town officials say better leadership should smooth out the problems, Selectman Jannell Brown last week floated the idea of shuttering the program. Brown, the board's liaison to the Treasure Chest committee, said most of the public ...