Electronic devices like computer tablets and smartphones, have taken a lot of guesswork out of life.
On reading a column by Mr. Troy Clarkson titled “Serving Those Who Served,” I was taken by the fact that although Mr. Clarkson did mention David Viera’s association with several fine military-related organizations, there was no mention of the various pieces of legislation that have been passed by Matt Patrick during his former tenure as our representative.
Governor Charles Baker’s position that Massachusetts should not allow Syrian refugees into the state is a gross display of weak leadership. He is, of course, not alone. Some 20 governors across the nation have circled the wagons since the horrific events in Paris.
How is Bud doing? More importantly, how do the selectmen think that Bud is doing?
It’s that time of year again—you see it in the haunted look on high school seniors’ faces, feel it in their stress and emotional volatility. It’s college application season, and the earliest of early deadlines are hard upon us. Young adults who are convinced that their best chances of getting into “top schools” mean making binding decisions barely two months into the new school year are doing just that. They are finalizing elaborate applications, reporting SAT or ACT scores, soliciting teacher recommendations, scheduling interviews and crafting college essays that showcase their unique writing style, piercing self-awareness and subtle sense of humor in 650 words or less. All in the attempt to gain admission to the one institution of higher education that they believe holds the magic key to unlock their future success.
Not expecting Town Meeting members to be so easily swayed by the hysterical “inaccuracies” (lost jobs and families displaced, opponents serving fossil fuel interests, health problems denied) that were tossed around about the wind turbines at the Special Town Meeting, I didn’t speak to the non-binding Article 2. I wish that I had.
I am ashamed to have Charlie Baker as the governor of our state.
As an engineer experienced in the design and operation of on-site denitrifying septic systems, I was taken aback with statements attributed to a local civil engineer, where he said that seasonal denitrifying septic systems do not work.
As a former member of the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals, I wanted to applaud zoning board chairman Kimberly Bielan’s frank response to the warrant Article 3 of the Annual Town Meeting. This was the planning board recommended article to amend the flood plain overlay district by allowing the maximum building height to reach 40 feet. Not only did the board of appeals oppose this amendment, but she was also incredibly forthright to address the long lingering issue of the Falmouth’s out of date and confusing zoning bylaw (Chapter 240-Zoning-Code of Falmouth) in her earlier report of the zoning board of appeals.
Every day is a good day to express our gratitude to our military veterans and active duty personnel for their patriotism and service to America. Yet each year we also set aside one day in which we as a society can be deliberate in that expression of gratitude to these special men and women. In Falmouth, we sure know how to do it right. The gathering at the high school was outstanding. The planning, execution, and community turnout were exactly what we all hoped for and witnessed. Hoorah!
I was very dismayed by the tone of last week’s Town Meeting. It was accusatory and confrontational, and a number of folks seemed to speak just to rile things up rather than actually address the articles themselves. We wandered rather far into irrelevant points and made decisions, at times, in a punitive fashion, particularly on budget line items.
George Hampson left us last week in the way he would have wanted to – taking water samples for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, the organization he helped found, protecting the environment of the town he loved.
Special town meeting is over with Article 1 and Article 2 passed. The debate treated both of these as proxies for the wind turbine issue, even though both could have been seen as pallid and merely practical. That being noted, town meeting continues to trend, now approaching 3-2, toward congruence with the general voters, 2-1 some years ago.
Once more, the decision on the wind turbines has been delayed, with the issue being sent back to the Planning Board, the same group which has already unanimously turned down the Selectman’s proposal to re-write the bylaws. So once more, those negatively impacted wait as they have for 5 ½ years to have these massive machines shut down and removed.
George Hampson at the end of his life was, as his wife Barbara told it, doing what he loved most—playing in the mud. Another way to put it is that he was exploring a benthic community in New Bedford harbor with a staffer from the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Work or play, it didn’t make much difference to Mr. Hampson. He loved the water, especially Buzzards Bay; he loved everything about it.
The first night of Town Meeting Sia Karplus showed a fine video regarding the terrific success of growing oysters in Little Pond, demonstrating how they are cleaning the water. A nearby resident was shown commenting about how he can now see through the water, which he has been unable to do for many years.
What a wonderful tribute to those who have served in the United States Marine Corps over the years. On November 10, the Marine Corps’ 240th Birthday, the Quarterdeck Restaurant, known as “Tun’s Tavern” for the day was the scene of a packed house consisting of many veterans, several having served in WW II, the Korean War, Vietnam War and other conflicts.
With this week’s salute to our nation’s veterans, it’s an appropriate time to offer one more salute: this one to the employees of Cape Cod Harley-Davidson on MacArthur Boulevard and the tribute they offer to veterans’ funeral processions as they pass by the shop on their way to the nearby Massachusetts National Cemetery.
Opioids such as oxycodone can be a godsend. Better known by marketing names such as OxyContin and Percocet, the drug has shown itself able to take on excruciating pain experienced by people in the wake of surgery or injury, and win.
Town meeting has voted to put our new combined dispatch communication center in the basement of the police station. While the police station is not in the flood zone, it is in an area that could be subject to storm surge from a hurricane (according to a Cape Cod Commission map). The town manager said that didn’t matter since in a strong hurricane every thing would be evacuated anyway. I personally would feel a lot safer in a hurricane emergency if I knew the combined dispatch center was open and functioning, not evacuated!
The Trustees of Sandwich Beaches is urging people to first come out to vote at the Special Town Meeting to be held November 16 at 7 PM at Sandwich High School, and second to please vote in favor of the additional expenditure of $600,000 now required to complete the beach restoration project scheduled this fall.
I’d like to publically thank Bill Daley for his great work in honoring Sandwich’s Civil War veterans. He spent countless hours researching each individual, ensuring that all those who fought in the Civil War were given a place of honor upon the newly dedicated plaque now on display at Sandwich Town Hall. His perseverance and dedication to this endeavor are truly outstanding. Thank you.
Sandwich residents went to the Barnstable Court in November 2014 to prevent the inappropriate construction of an amusement park in a historic district neighborhood. That construction had been approved by the Sandwich Historic District Committee in April 2014.
Please exercise your voting privileges, and come to Town Meeting on Monday at 7 PM in the Sandwich High School auditorium. The warrant has been posted, and the following important articles (in abbreviated format) need your vote. The warrant with complete article wording can be found on the Town of Sandwich website or posted at the Town Hall Annex. Please remember that the warrant serves as notice of each article that is to be presented. The actual motion to be voted will be read by a member of the board of selectmen that evening.
I saw a rather troubling scene at the main library last Saturday. There was a family of three humans and their dog and the flock of turkeys that roams the town. The son was either a teen or preteen with a young dog on a leash. He would rush at the birds with the dog while his mother took cellphone pictures. The father stood nearby smiling, looking proud of his son for being so brave as he rushed at the turkeys. This might have been tolerable if it had just happened once or twice but this went on for some time while the mother encouraged the child so she could get a better angle for her pictures. Looking for popularity on Facebook? The young turkeys hid under a tree while the older ones stayed between them and the aggressive humans.
There can be no question about whether a property tax bill should be sent to Heritage Museums & Gardens next year. For sure, the hill-top facility should receive a bill for the portion of its property that has been converted into an aerial adventure park.
Kudos to June Atwood and the other women who perform with Eddie Scheer at the Royal Megansett Nursing & Retirement Home.
The editorial “Community Preservation Should Be A Priority” published October 30 was spot-on. The Enterprise carefully detailed the upcoming CPC articles describing in the purposes for each, but persuasively making the point that these requests have strayed from CPA’s original purpose of preservation. It is worth rereading the critical policy points in the last two paragraphs of the editorial. This all matters, not because these proposals are poor ideas, but rather they are disguised capital projects that should be competing for our scarce dollars through our budget-making process with the potential hammer of Proposition 2½ forcing everyone to sharpen their pencil.
Lisa from Mashpee says the media should be covering the other side of the story about the superintendent of schools, who has been charged in connection with entering uninvited into the home of Marilyn King while attempting to learn whether Ms. King’s daughter, in fact, was a resident of Mashpee and entitled to attend Mashpee schools.
The October 23, 2015, statement on Page 5 of this paper not supporting grinder pump management in the Little Pond Sewer service area by the Town of Falmouth brings an interesting perspective to the discussion justifying why the Town of Falmouth should actually take over that responsibility for those pumps. The statement even alludes to why the town should also pay for the costs of installing the pumps. But first, let’s look at the justification for why the town should take over maintenance, repair, and replacement of the pumps.
During the past 30 years, thousands of students attending North Falmouth Elementary have enjoyed the school’s playgrounds. Now these structures need to be replaced, their safety and accessibility questionable under current recommended guidelines, and their parts obsolete, thus more difficult to maintain.
I would like take the opportunity to clarify the following facts concerning Lawful Permanent Residents (also called green card holders) and Article 23.
At the request of the administration of the Town of Falmouth, three consulting firms’ studies were completed for a combined public safety dispatch center for the police and fire departments.
I agree with Richard Latimer who last month wrote that Falmouth should simply buy the houses of those who have suffered from the town’s two turbines. Perhaps above-market compensation should be paid. These few residences could, among other possibilities, be sold to buyers who do not mind living near turbines.
I just read on Facebook that the school is considering the removal of the National Seashore program.
I applaud and salute Mr. Herbst, Ms. Kerfoot and Mr. Brown for their stand against the turbine bylaw amendment.
I am writing to express my support for Article 23, which asks the Board of Selectmen to petition the legislature to allow permanent resident non-citizens the right to vote in local elections. For me, the issue is simple. We have a group of people, who live, work and pay taxes in Falmouth. What is the harm in letting them vote in our local election? When so many people do not even bother to vote, I welcome their participation and hope you will too.
Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper said that a board of health’s letter to the zoning board of appeals (Oct. 19) confirms the board’s opinion that there is no evidence of health effects associated with wind turbines.
In response to the October 30 editorial, “School Committee Must Act Sooner, Not Later,” specific reference was made to the pending administrative investigation versus the criminal investigation. I would like to make some points regarding the process and the importance to a validated administrative investigation.
Citizens of Falmouth should pay attention to the Special Town Meeting on November 10. The future of the town will be decided for the short term and the long term by three articles.
Eric Turkington is right about one thing. It is time for us, the citizens of Falmouth, to put the wind turbine issue behind us, but in a way that is logical, is fair to everyone including the taxpayers and is in keeping with the fundamental constitutional principle of due process of law. His proposal, however, asking the CEC to help us tear down the turbines, is far from being logical or fair to us taxpayers. It is, rather, a fiscally irresponsible reaction to a handful of residents that would be both costly and detrimental to the Town of Falmouth and the general welfare of its citizens.
Finally there has been some good news about Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. It is closing by June 1, 2019. Because we’re less safe today than the day that announcement came from the Entergy Corporation, it is not the end of the story.
Enough is enough: after six years and thousands of dollars and man-hours expended on negotiations about the wind turbines, it has become clear to me that there are really only two options open to the town. Shut the turbines down and remove them, or take the surrounding properties by eminent domain.
Petitioners Article 24 in the November Town Meeting warrant asks the town to develop a policy by which the town will ensure the ongoing proper operation of the 700 low pressure pumps required to be installed as part of the Lower Little Pond Sewer Service Area currently under construction.
As a very proud parent of an Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School junior as well as a graduate of the Class of 2014, I would like to respond to a recent letter concerning Upper Cape Tech in your October 30th edition. There are presently 26 regional vocational technical high schools in Massachusetts. They have a different operational structure compared to a comprehensive system such as Bourne. The Upper Cape Tech school administration has to work with five boards of selectmen, five Town Meetings, and five finance committees. Unlike town schools, a regional school cannot have special Town Meetings to pay for unexpected costs. A regional school district gets one crack at a budget and needs to make do within those constraints.
Article 18 does much more than merge the Historic Districts Commission and the Historical Commission. The Article will expand the caseload for historic district review. Presently only in the Quissett Historic District are views from the water a concern; the view of structures from Quissett Harbor is regulated. Article 18 adds views from water bodies with respect to all historic districts. This will dramatically increase the Commission’s regulation of structural features not visible from a public way, mostly in Woods Hole.
“The notable veterans who have died should be profoundly remembered and celebrated. The ones who are lucky enough to be alive and came home as wounded warriors should be cared for. Those who are walking around may look well, but many are not. There’s a lot this country should do for those past and present!”
Alexander Watt, the attorney representing one of the families that is contesting the legality of the town’s turbines, made an astonishing statement before the appeals board last week. Mr. Watt, in arguing that his clients should not be penalized for not immediately contesting the construction of the turbines, said they had a right not to know that installation of Wind 2 was imminent, despite the publicity around it. The town, he said, “wants to impose upon the neighbors an obligation to read every newspaper, to take part in every Town Meeting. Maybe that’s an ideal that would be laudable,” he said, “but we are also a free country and should not have to embroil ourselves in public discussions.”
The Mashpee School Committee is committed to a reasoned and fact-based resolution concerning the allegations surrounding the home visit conducted by Mashpee Superintendent of Schools Brian A. Hyde on September 29.
Town Meeting Article 21 is a non-binding resolution that calls upon the state’s top officials to direct the governors of the commonwealth’s public pension fund (in which Falmouth has approximately 10 percent of its holdings) to divest those funds of holdings in fossil fuel industries.