The Hollow Open Space “Improvements”

Gordon believes that communication with the villagers is the number one job of a town councilor

Picture of a green grassy field, The Hollow August 2019
The Hol­low ‑August 2019

This past Thurs­day evening, Gor­don Starr called a meet­ing to at the Stur­gis Library where Town of Barn­sta­ble archi­tect Mark Mari­nac­cio pre­sent­ed the plans for “improv­ing” The Hol­low”. The town’s Com­mu­ni­ty Preser­va­tion Com­mit­tee has slat­ed a $162,000 com­mit­ment to this “open space” project. The town coun­cil will vote on appro­pri­at­ing these funds at Thurs­day’s (8/15/19) town coun­cil meeting.

The more than thir­ty atten­dees were con­cerned about the plans. After much dis­cus­sion and the over­whelm­ing sen­ti­ment that “The Hol­low isn’t bro­ken, so please don’t fix it”, atten­dees large­ly agreed that improve­ments to the turf, updat­ing of the ball field mate­ri­als, and hand­i­cap access improve­ments would like­ly be good for The Hollow.

In Gor­don’s words…

Thanks for com­ing out to lis­ten and share your mem­o­ries and visions for The Hollow. 

I orga­nized this meet­ing to assure that we learn about this project before it is final­ized, and I think we have a sense of how to pro­ceed.  On Thurs­day, August 15th, the Town Coun­cil will have a hear­ing and a vote about approv­ing funds to improve The Hollow. 

My read­ing of our group is that there is  gen­er­al sup­port for improve­ments, but it is imper­a­tive that we have a seat at the table as the plan is final­ized.  We sup­port this appro­pri­a­tion with the under­stand­ing that the com­mu­ni­ty will be involved in the devel­op­ing of the final plan.

The Town Coun­cil meet­ing will start at 7pm at Town Hall.  There are two chances to speak.  There is a time ear­ly in the agen­da for any cit­i­zen to speak dur­ing pub­lic com­ment time. … If you can not make it, you can go on the Town of Barn­sta­ble web site and email the Town Council.

Thanks again for your pas­sion and will­ing­ness to step up.If you have any thoughts or ques­tions, please email me at

Gor­don Starr

2019 One Cape Summit

Kris Clark (left) & Gordon Starr (right) at the One Cape Summit
Barn­sta­ble & West Barn­sta­ble Town Coun­cil Can­di­dates Gor­don Starr & Kris Clark at the 2019 One Cape Summit

I spent Mon­day and Tues­day at the Cape Cod Com­mis­sion’s 2019 One Cape Sum­mit. Work­shops addressed cli­mate change through adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion. Also fan­tas­tic dis­cus­sions about the issues con­cern­ing year-round hous­ing on the Cape.

Picture of the patio of the Wequasset Resort where the 2019 One Cape Summit was held.
2019 One Cape Sum­mit: Wequas­set Resort patio over­look­ing Pleas­ant Bay 

This year’s One Cape Sum­mit focused on Envi­ron­ment and Econ­o­my. Day #1 fea­tured speak­ers on envi­ron­men­tal con­cerns. Eric Fish­er, CBS Boston’s WBZ-TV’s chief mete­o­rol­o­gist recount­ed not only the con­di­tions lead­ing up to the pre­vi­ous week’s tor­na­does, but also stat­ed that July 2019 was the hottest July on record for Boston. In fact, the Wash­ing­ton Post reports that June was the 414th con­sec­u­tive month with above-aver­age glob­al temperatures.

The One Cape Sum­mit Day #2 agen­da includ­ed pre­sen­ta­tions on town plan­ning tools. These tools inte­grate design, eco­nom­ics and pub­lic input to devel­op strate­gies for improv­ing qual­i­ty of life while increas­ing liv­ing space den­si­ty. Town of Barn­sta­ble plan­ners are look­ing to the future to ensure that afford­able work­force hous­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties are created.

Final­ly, a pre­sen­ta­tion by the US Cen­sus Bureau empha­sized the need for our par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2020 cen­sus. The impor­tance of keep­ing respon­dent data strict­ly con­fi­den­tial was both empha­sized and reit­er­at­ed. And, the US Cen­sus Bureau is offer­ing cen­sus tak­ers jobs at $19/hour. Here’s a link to see if you qual­i­fy 2020 US Cen­sus Job Oppor­tu­ni­ties.