Orleans News

ORLEANS — “A house divided against itself, cannot stand,” Abraham Lincoln said in 1858. Yet that's what town meeting did Oct. 29, standing to vote on an article banning recreational marijuana sales and illuminating a deep divide in the community. After more than an hour of passionate, sometimes tearful argument, voters approved the ban by 270 to 255. Then they amended and passed by voice vote rules and regul...

ORLEANS — “A house divided against itself, cannot stand,” Abraham Lincoln said in 1858. Yet that's what town meeting did Oct. 29, standing to vote on an article banning recreational marijuana sales and illuminating a deep divide in the community. After more than an hour of passionate, sometimes tearful argument, voters approved the ban by 270 to 255. Then they amended and passed by voice vote rules and regul...

ORLEANS — Far from the busy construction site at the town disposal area where the new DPW/Natural Resources is nearing completion, the temporary office of the harbormaster and shellfish department sits on a gentle rise at the end of leafy Portaminicut Road. It's a fine observation point for watching boats arrive at the town landing and unload. With the new building on track to open next month, Manager of Nat...

ORLEANS — Voters should head to the Nauset Regional Middle School gym early on Monday, Oct. 29, if they want to be seated when the 26-article special town meeting begins. The session will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. if the required quorum of 200 is present. That's not all that Town Moderator David Lyttle and Town Clerk Cynthia May will be doing to speed things up after May's lengthy annual town meeting. May ...

ORLEANS — Town hall went back to its roots 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...