The January session is full and there's just a handful of slots remaining for the Feb. 12 “Stop the Bleed” class sponsored by the Orleans Citizens Forum and the Orleans Fire Department. The 90-minute session trains civilians of all ages how to help people injured in accidents and shootings. Go to orleanscitizensforum.org/stop-the-bleed/ to register. Keep your calendar handy to circle another date. On Feb. 7 at 3:30 p.m., the Forum will host a meeting on “Dredging – Options, Pros and Cons” at the senior center.
The recent cyberattack on Cape Cod Community College has the region's towns examining the security of their systems. At the Dec. 12 selectmen's meeting, Finance Director Cathy Doane read a statement from Management Information Systems Coordinator Peter Van Dyck: “Orleans MIS is diligent in maintaining the defense of electronic systems. The treasurer/collector has worked with our banking partners to ensure protection of accounts and the transfer process. Regarding the breach at Cape Cod Community College, no matter how well prepared (one is), disaster is only a click away. We are reviewing our systems.”
The topic arose during the board's discussion with independent auditors Powers & Sullivan, who reported that the town's accounts are in good order. Responding to a question from Selectman Kevin Galligan about computer hacking, auditor Mike Nelligan said the firm “talks to management to get comfortable that there's malware protection... but we're not IT (information technology) auditors. We don't try to hack in.” Nelligan added that, “in this building, I believe you are protected.”
Next-door Brewster doesn't have a board of selectmen anymore; town fathers and town mothers there serve on the select board. Provincetown, Truro, and Wellfleet have converted also. “At some point, we should have a discussion whether to continue to call ourselves selectmen or not,” Selectman Mefford Runyon told his Orleans colleagues last week. It appears a proposal may be brought before May's town meeting.
Selectman Mark Mathison is the board's leading proponent of the get-all-the-parties-in-one-room school of problem-solving. Last week, he suggested that competing uses for town property at Portaminicut Landing be resolved at such a session “to put this to bed so people can make plans and we can better utilize the property.” Selectman Mefford Runyon urged that recreational users of the landing be involved. The property is under the control of the conservation commission, which may be the locus of any big-tent talk.
Another major gathering promoted by Mathison, this one related to dredging Nauset Estuary, is getting closer to reality. Town Administrator John Kelly said half of the 38 regulators and scientists invited to a general meeting in Lakeville have responded, with Jan. 11 a possible date. Kelly noted that Cape Cod National Seashore Superintendent Brian Carlstrom has signed up to participate.
During public comment at last week's selectmen's meeting, Judith Bruce applauded the Orleans Improvement Association for its many good works, starting with the holiday lights it provides. This year, OIA has added several illuminated “Giants” by Cape artist Michael Magyar, including a fisherman holding up a catch in front of the windmill. “This fall, I learned the planters all along Main Street were also provided” by OIA, Bruce said, as were the picnic benches by the food trucks at Nauset Beach. Her conclusion? “It's a fabulous organization.”