Orleans News

ORLEANS — Town hall went back to its routes as a schoolhouse Tuesday, introducing 40-plus Orleans Elementary School fifth graders to their local government's people and services. At the end of the morning, the students strolled around town-owned Sea Call Farm. Selectman Kevin Galligan, the first to greet the classes, asked what they thought selectmen did. “Make decisions,” a girl said. To get something done,...

ORLEANS — It's not the imposing black monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but the proposed six-foot-tall enclosed sewer pump station control panel at the entrance to Snow Library's parking lot was a bit of a shock to some. “I think we're kind of gobsmacked here,” library trustees chair Mary Beth Fincke told town officials and consultants who presented the proposal to her board Oct. 9. Later, she said, “Ri...

ORLEANS – Finance Director Cathy Doane said it best: “There isn't one particular method that seems to be across the board equitable for everyone.” That ideal apportionment of betterment fees for construction of the downtown sewer collection system, among users as diverse as a commercial brewery and a two-bedroom condo, was not to be found. At a selectmen's meeting last month, Doane reviewed four methods use...

ORLEANS – With much attention on the waves seeking to break through the dune protecting the parking lot at Nauset Beach, another watery battleground has been less prominent. But miles from its shorelines, the town is dealing with sudden torrential downpours well beyond flood zones, where the damages aren't covered by flood insurance. The Aug. 9 microburst that hit the Lower Cape hard dropped as much as seven...

Pilgrim Lake Gets A Helping Hand With Fishway Project

By: William F. Galvin

ORLEANS — The fishway reconstruction project at Pilgrim Lake is being called a great partnership between the town and the state Division of Marine Fisheries. Together the agencies are replacing an aging structure that is failing to serving migrating herring and American eel. “It's a project our committee and volunteers have been advocating for several years,” Judy Scanlon, a member of the shellfish and waterwa...

ORLEANS — Carpenters are joiners. Ian Ellison says his house in Brewster, which he designed and built, was done “the old-fashioned way: wood to wood joinery, with pegs, not nails. There's no steel in the building.” In recent years, the owner of Ellison Timberframes has joined not only pieces of wood but also professional colleagues from Europe and the Americas as he travels the world with Carpenters Without ...

ORLEANS — Everyone agrees that Uncle Harvey's Pond needs help, but there are several opinions on how to restore its health. Last week, marine and fresh water quality committee chair Carolyn Kennedy presented an environmental assessment of the freshwater pond's status and a proposed management plan. She told selectmen of “a series of toxic blue-green algae and cyanobacteria outbreaks over the last several yea...

Formal Dog Park Ruled Out For Town Conservation Lands

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — Anyone who hoped some of the town's conservation land could be used for a dog park has been barking up the wrong tree. Although dogs and their walkers are allowed on all 14 of the town's conservation properties, they were acquired under agreements that prohibit “active recreation,” Conservation Agent John Jannell told the conservation commission Sept. 25. That definition, he said, includes enclosed...

ORLEANS — The selectmen voted last week, unanimously in most cases, to support the articles on the Oct. 29 special town meeting warrant. They were united in opposition to a citizen-petitioned article that would ban marijuana retail sales, but gave it a prominent position on the warrant before two marijuana-related articles proposed by the planning board. That position was suggested at the outset of the selec...

ORLEANS — Capt. John J. Fitzgerald, like the rest of the men on the bow section of the ill-fated tanker Pendleton, never made it to safety aboard the famous Coast Guard rescue boat CG36500 in that blizzard in 1952. But more than 66 years later, his grandson Matt got to climb aboard, learning about the famous rescue and putting context to some of his own family history. “If I had to sum it up in one word I wo...

Petition Seeks To Ban Retail Marijuana Sales

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — There will be a third article dealing with marijuana at the Oct. 29 special town meeting. A proposed bylaw that would prohibit retail sale of marijuana was checked in at the selectmen's office Sept. 14, hours before the warrant closed. Steve Bornemeier, a former planning board member, and others gathered more than 150 signatures in support, more than the required 100; those have since been certified b...

ORLEANS — The planning board voted last week to maintain a maximum of three recreational marijuana retail establishments in a proposed zoning bylaw amendment. Other options included four, which would be half of the number of liquor stores in town, or eight, the latter as recommended by the board of selectmen. “I'd like to see us walk before we run,” said member Tom Johnson, an adamant advocate of the lower n...