Newsletter of Barnstable County

Edition 10

Highlights of May 2024

In May 2024, Barnstable County continued to make a significant impact across various areas, demonstrating its commitment to serving the region and enhancing the quality of life on Cape Cod.  

(Image above: Last day of training for SHINE volunteers!)

Human Services Initiatives  

May was Older Americans Month, celebrated with the theme "Powered by Connection." In June, the SHINE program, dedicated to providing Medicare counseling to residents, will complete its largest-ever training class with 27 newly certified SHINE counselors, including six Veterans Service Officers.  

A behavioral health needs survey for children and young adults aged 0–21 will remain open through June 9. The County urges residents with children or youth to participate in the survey to help inform future funding and services. The anonymous survey is available online at Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Emergency Preparedness  

Emergency Preparedness Director Chip Reilly provided specialized emergency preparedness training for people with disabilities in collaboration with the Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD). In an interview on WCAI, Chip reminded residents to prepare for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season starting June 1. Collaborations with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and Woods Hole Sea Grant provided valuable resources.  

Environmental and Public Health Initiatives  

Cape Cod once again found itself making headlines in the environmental science community. Scientific American and WBUR published the first two episodes in their three-part series on Scientific American’s “Science Quickly” Podcast, hosted by Rachel Feltman. The series dives into the world of scientific discovery, featuring the Massachusetts Alternative Septic System Test Center (MASSTC). Concurrently, MASSTC, which had recently launched its ‘Waste No Water Library Tour’, discussing wastewater management and urine diversion, with the fourth stop at the Wellfleet Public Library in May.  

Community and Recognition  

Local leaders, including Commissioner Mark Forest, praised an amendment in the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act that would end funding for the proposed machine gun range at Joint Base Cape Cod. The Board of Regional Commissioners continue to closely monitor this issue.

(Image from left: Beth Albert, County Administrator; Cyndy Jones, Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year 2024 recipient; and Commissioner Sheila Lyons.

Cyndy Jones, President of Heroes in Transition, was honored with the 2024 Mercy Otis Warren Cape Cod Woman of the Year Award for her dedication to veterans and their families. Beth Albert, County Administrator, and Sheila Lyons, County Commissioner, attended the ceremony to highlight the County's sponsorship of the annual award and congratulate Ms. Jones on her achievement.  

The Seaside Le Mans announced its 2024 beneficiaries, including Children's Cove and Heroes in Transition. This annual event is scheduled for September 7, 2024. 

Community Engagement  

The Master Gardener Association of Cape Cod hosted its 25th Annual Plant Sale on May 18 and began the "Evenings in the Garden" educational series, continuing throughout the summer.  

In celebration of National County Government Month, the Commissioners awarded certificates of appreciation to winners of the National County Government Month Photo Contest, which included Susan Evans for her entry “Nobska Light at Dawn,” and Keala McCarthy for “Lifeguard Winter Scene.” Additional winners included Garrett Keenan for “Fire Trucks” and Hanna Thornton for “Greys Beach at Sunset.” The winning photos will be featured in the next Barnstable County Annual Report and other digital platforms.  

Economic and Housing Initiatives  

The Barnstable County Commissioners also authorized several grants to support key County initiatives, including services for child abuse victims, affordable housing projects, planning for a household hazardous waste collection facility, and support for infectious disease investigations.  

The Cape Cod Commission (CCC) released "Housing Cape Cod: The Regional Strategy", providing a series of recommendations to address the region's housing crisis. Additionally, the CCC released its draft 2024 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for public comment.  

These activities highlight Barnstable County's ongoing efforts to engage the community, promote public health, protect the environment, and support local initiatives, making a significant difference in the lives of Cape Cod residents. To read about more Barnstable County initiatives, visit News and Resources at

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