Orleans News

ORLEANS — Townspeople got a report last week from the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistant Health Agent Alexandra Fitch, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Noelle Pina, Nauset School Superintendent Tom Conrad, and Council on Aging Executive Director Judi Wilson shared their stories with a virtual Orleans Citizens Forum audience Sept. 24. “It became clear we had to decide what ...

Orleans Wonders: Whose Job Is Economic Development?

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — There’s no question the business community faces a challenging landscape that includes a pandemic, a two-year construction project for sewers downtown, and a shift from retail store sales to online purchases. To what extent should the town play a role, beyond providing infrastructure and fair regulation, in growing the local economy? On Sept. 22, the planning board hosted a meeting with members of the f...

ORLEANS — “Class” is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about sewers. Ed Norton and his undershirt, yes, and perhaps escaped alligators, yet nothing particularly elevating. But DPW Director Tom Daley and the Orleans Improvement Association have put their inspired stamp on the otherwise mundane covers that will conceal access to sewer lines and drainage areas in coming years. At a conferenc...

Weekend At The Beach Reserved For Special Town Meeting

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The Saturday, Oct. 31, special town meeting will be no day at the beach — well, actually, that’s exactly what it will be. Starting at 11 a.m., the Nauset Beach gathering will cover the waterfront of town needs with articles addressing the deteriorating fire station, dredging of Nauset Estuary and Pleasant Bay, retail marijuana sales, and even a resident parking sticker for the beach itself and othe...

ORLEANS — The Governor Prence Inn on Route 6A, which did not open this season, could be acquired by the town for housing and other uses. Select Board Chair Kevin Galligan made the announcement at his board’s Sept. 16 meeting. Earlier this year, the town was approached by the Ross family, which owns the Governor Prence as well as the nearby Seashore Park Inn; the latter was open this summer. In July Gov. Pren...

Crews Contain Brush Fire Behind School

By: Alan Pollock

ORLEANS — Firefighters from several towns snuffed a brush fire in the woods behind Orleans Elementary School around 8:30 Tuesday morning. Alerted by a neighbor on Brewster Cross Road, firefighters acted quickly to contain the blaze, Fire Chief Geof Deering said. “With the dry conditions and the wind, we brought in as many personnel as we could from our department, as well as Eastham, Harwich and Brewster,” h...

ORLEANS — Notre Dame de Paris was built eight centuries ago by people who believed in miracles. Something like that happened last weekend, outside the cathedral’s charred ruins, when an international group of volunteer carpenters raised an oak truss created of the same materials and by the same methods as the roof supports lost in the blaze. “The main thing was showing the public that the cathedral can be re...

ORLEANS — If the Orleans Historical Commission gets its way, one of the oldest buildings in Orleans will be preserved either in its current location or a new location. The seven-member board voted unanimously at its virtual Aug. 26 meeting to impose a 12-month demolition delay on the front building at 12 West Rd. The building is “one of a handful of properties in Orleans that is still standing that was buil...

ORLEANS — By this time next month, it’s expected that Nauset Regional High School can end fully remote classes and institute a hybrid model of remote and in-school education. “We’re thinking we can do this by Oct. 15 and get a lot of this work completed and approved, and get it approved by all the people who do inspections for us,” Superintendent Tom Conrad told a relieved regional school committee Sept. 10. “...

ORLEANS — The winds have shifted for the town’s ship of state, and it’s time to trim the sails. Next month’s special town meeting is an opportunity for a mid-course correction that could help deal with even rougher seas ahead. Voters will be asked to increase fees and, for the first time, institute a $25 residential beach parking sticker. That measure has been rejected by town meeting in the past, but the beac...

ORLEANS — “I have grown gray in the service of my country,” George Washington said in 1783. This week, the town’s wastewater wars veterans, their locks now silver and white after decades of advocacy, gathered on the village green to break ground for a pumping station for a downtown sewer system and treatment plant. At the ceremony Sept. 8, Select Board Chair Kevin Galligan spoke of the moment in 2014 when wh...

Atlantic Workshop Debate Anything But Pacific

By: Ed Maroney

ORLEANS — The zoning board declined to sink the Atlantic Workshop’s boat last week, leaving it up to Building Commissioner Tom Evers to fire another warning shot across its bow. The woodworking workshop at 94 Main St. was allowed by special permit as a customary home occupation by the board in 2017, with a number of conditions ranging from no retail sales to no signage and including an annual review. Since t...