Some meetings in Provincetown are in person, some are online, and some are both. Click on the meeting you want to attend on the calendar at provincetown-ma.gov for a link to an agenda and details.
Thursday, May 12
- Water & Sewer Board, 2 p.m., Veterans Memorial Community Center
- Planning Board, 6 p.m., Town Hall
- Public Pier Corp. Board, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, May 17
- Conservation Commission, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Wednesday, May 18
- Historic District Commission, 3:30 p.m., Town Hall
Thursday, May 19
- Board of Health, 4 p.m.
- Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Hall
Bench Blow Up
Perhaps you are familiar with the two benches that used to be at the bend of Commercial Street as it rounds past the U.S. Coast Guard station in the West End. The area is sometimes called Kelly’s Corner. What you may not have noticed is that those shaded benches were in front of someone’s house.
The town’s dept. of public works removed the benches after one was damaged by a snow plow several months ago, said Brian Orter, who along with Michael DiMartino last year bought 119 Commercial St., the house behind the benches.
Orter told the select board on May 9 that he and DiMartino were relieved to see them go. But neighbors are campaigning for their return. Several showed up at the meeting to make their case.
Bill Docker of 12 Mechanic St. told the board, “Those benches not only represent a place to sit and a place to be in the community and in the neighborhood. They’re raising the issue of what is the heart and soul of Provincetown and where do we meet our friends? And if the turn doesn’t have the benches … is it just another real estate play or is it our community space?”
Orter painted a different picture of the benches. “People smoke weed and cigarettes and leave poop bags,” he said. “People treat our home like a bus stop. Pizza boxes get thrown on our patio. I caught a guy defecating behind a bench around Halloween. This is not really a community-oriented patch of land. Visitors call it ‘Grindr bench’ and one police officer called it ‘cocktail corner.’ You would think it was that Forrest Gump bench, but it is not.”
Orter said he would be happy to have a bench placed somewhere close by, just not directly in front of his house. In fact, the DPW staff told him that the patch of land where the benches sat was his property, at the same time that he was informed he was responsible for maintenance of the tree that shaded the benches. When Orter planted flowers by the tree, he said, a neighbor complained he was on public land, and a DPW foreman watched over him to be sure he ripped the flowers out.
Select board member Bobby Anthony, a former police chief, said compromise is possible. “Kelly’s Corner is big enough,” he said. “We can add a bench in a way so the people living in that dwelling can get some relief.” —K.C. Myers