Orleans News

Nauset High Clinic Draws Anti-Vax Protesters

By: Ryan Bray

EASTHAM – A vaccine clinic at Nauset Regional High School Jan. 13 drew protestors to school property in the morning and afternoon. Nauset High Principal Chris Ellsasser said that eight people protested the clinic with signs outside the main entrance before the start of school. A group of about 15 people returned in the afternoon to continue the protest, he said. About 190 people participated in the clinic. ...

ORLEANS – The Underground Mall off Route 6A has been vacant for years. But Chris DeSisto sees parking inside the existing buildings and landscaped greenspace breaking up the expansive pavement. More than anything, however, he sees an opportunity to provide moderately-priced housing to people in and around Orleans who need it. DeSisto, owner of Maple Hurst Builders, presented preliminary plans for building w...

ORLEANS – A proposed charter change has led to a disagreement between the finance committee and the town's finance director over how big a role the committee should have in reviewing the town's financial affairs. The charter review committee took a preliminary vote Jan. 3 not to support a proposed charter change proposed by the finance committee seeking to give it the authority to independently review all of t...

Revised Project Scope Sought For Estuary Dredging

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – The question remains as to if and how town officials can proceed with plans to dredge the Nauset Estuary, and select board members say they need more information in order to navigate a path forward. Without the town of Eastham, whose select board voted last month to withdraw from a memorandum of understanding with Orleans to partner on the project, town officials are now left to consider a new scope ...

EASTHAM – The Nauset Regional School Committee tapped Brooke Clenchy in April 2021 to stand in as interim superintendent of schools. Now she is in the running to assume the post full-time. Clenchy is one of four finalists for the top Nauset job. The committee is also looking at Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Sarah Ahern, Wareham Public Schools Superintendent Andrea Schwamb and Frank Tiano, the current ...

ORLEANS – A few years ago, the family of Bill Moore, a local Korean War veteran, came to Kevin Higgins asking that his name be included on the town’s Korean War memorial in Veterans Memorial Park. The plaque on the memorial was rebronzed to include Moore’s name, and its inclusion was recognized as part of the town’s annual Memorial Day ceremony. But Moore, who was in a wheelchair, could only observe the cer...

A new year comes with New Year's resolutions, and officials in Chatham, Orleans and Harwich aren't short of them for 2022. We asked select board members from each of the three towns what's topping their list of legislative priorities this year. Perhaps not surprisingly, the creation of housing was almost universally cited as an ongoing need among officials in each community. "I'd hate to talk about anything...

ORLEANS – The Orleans School Committee is interested in hearing the town's proposal for possibly siting a new fire station on elementary school land, but members say they're not committing to anything. The committee voted 5-0 Dec. 20 to host a meeting Jan. 12 to discuss the idea in concept. Town Administrator John Kelly, Facilities Manager Ron Collins, Fire Chief Geof Deering, Orleans Elementary School Princip...

ORLEANS - It was a busy year on a host of fronts in Orleans, but once again, it was COVID-19 that drove the 2021 narrative. In a year that began hopefully with the arrival of vaccinations and ended with a resurgence of the virus, 2021 was dominated by the pandemic every bit as much as 2020. In between ongoing discussions about vaccines, masking and possible mandates, town officials grappled with a host of other i...

Orleans Businesses Lobby For A Seat At The Table

By: Ryan Bray

ORLEANS – With noise from indoor and outdoor music a growing concern in Orleans, Town Administrator John Kelly came to the select board Dec. 1 with a potential solution. Kelly offered an amendment to the town's annual indoor entertainment license that would have required license holders for 2022 to close their windows and doors when hosting music inside. But the amendment came without any input from restaurant...

ORLEANS – Can Orleans soldier forward with dredging the Nauset Estuary without partnering with Eastham? Select board members are hopeful. The Eastham Select Board's vote Dec. 13 to back out of a memorandum of understanding between the two towns to move ahead with permitting for the dredge leaves Orleans officials with some decisions to make. But there was interest expressed by the Orleans Select Board Dec. 15 ...

ORLEANS — A consultant has been tapped to help guide the planning board in putting together its economic development strategic plan. Streetsense Consulting began work in late November. The firm was hired through $60,000 authorized through annual town meeting in May, planning board member Chip Bechtold said during the board's Dec. 14 meeting. The plan is designed to help the board, and the town, look far int...