Falmouth Heights-Maravista
Neighborhood Association

Mission Statement

To preserve and improve the residential character of the Falmouth Heights and Maravista neighborhoods.  To protect and enhance our beaches, parks, estuaries and other public spaces. To encourage activities that promote civic pride and the healthful and peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhoods.  To provide a forum to identify concerns affecting our neighborhoods, make relevant information available to our members, and address areas of concern with appropriate Town bodies.

Current News, Issues & Events

TO READ OLD NEWS, click on dates under “Annual Archive” (left).
ANNUAL CLEANUP HEIGHTS & MARAVISTA:  TBD, April 2019.  To volunteer, email cleanup@fhmna.org
“SPRING INTO SUMMER” SOCIAL:  TBD, June, 2019, Falmouth Yacht Club. Adult members and others Heights and/or Maravista residents considering membership are invited. Hors d’oeuvres; cash bar.
ANNUAL MEETING:  Saturday, August 3, 2019, 8:00 – 10:15 AM, Falmouth Yacht Club.  Guest Speaker:  TBD. See 2018 FHMNA Annual Meeting DRAFT Minutes
NEW BALANCE FALMOUTH ROAD RACE: Sunday, 8/19/18.  www.falmouthroadrace.com.  Road closures, see Police Department information at         http://falmouthpolice.com/events/falmouth-road-race/
FALL SOCIAL:  October 14, 2018. Adult members (free) and guests ($5, free if join).

Director Openings

1 Director Position Open (ending 8/19)
3 Director Positions Open (ending 8/20)
2 Director Positions Open (ending 8/21)
1 Alternate Position Open (open dates)

2018 FHMNA Annual Meeting DRAFT Minutes are now available on our website.

Answers to questions posed at the Annual Meeting 8/4/18, provided by Sargent Jim Cummings, Police Liaison to the Heights and Maravista (jcummings@falmouthpolice.us
or 774-255-4527 x4561):

          Golf CartsGolf carts and other “Low Speed Vehicles” can now be registered and are assigned special LV plates by the Registry. These vehicles are subject to some restrictions in addition to the established “rules of the road”. They must also be operated by a licensed driver. If anyone has any concerns regarding the operation of a golf cart on public streets they should call the non-emergency number (774-255-4527), so that we can go out and address the issue.

          Neighborhood Watch: The term “neighborhood watch” has become a generic term that has many definitions based on the communities in which they exist.  In Falmouth, our neighborhood watch program is also referred to as the Community Liaison Program.  Approximately 30 neighborhood groups across town work with Liaison Officers in order to address issues and concerns.  There are several other neighborhood watch program models in use across the country.  In the past, members of FHMNA have inquired about enhancing the current program to include “citizen patrols” etc.

Sgt. Guthrie, coordinator for the FPD Community Liaison Program, can provide some resources for expanded programming. However, the administration of these additional programs would be left to the association. Sgt. Guthrie can be contacted via email at bguthrie@falmouthpolice.us.

 

2018 FHMNA Bylaws, as revised per the vote taken at the Annual Meeting, are now posted on our website (Paula add link:  )

 

Route 28 Master Plan: Some of our members have asked us at our Annual Meetings if we have information about the changes anticipated on Route 28 between Friendly’s and Stop and Shop.  Because both the interchanges at Falmouth Heights Road and 28 and at Worcester Ave and 28 are the main entrances to the Heights, we thought we should email the following link to you.  This is posted on the Falmouth town website and is a 72 page detailed plan for the Town of Falmouth provided in 2016 by McMahon Associates  (Transportation Engineers and planners).

As this vicinity is outside our “focus area”, FHMNA will not be tracking the story as it unfolds.  Please watch for relevant stories in the Enterprise, and relevant town meetings of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals on the town’s agenda web page.   You can also subscribe to receive automatic email notifications of agendas for any/all town committees.

If you’ve walked past the southeast corner of the ball field lately, you might have noticed the new water “kiosk” just installed by the Town with funds raised by the Falmouth Water Stewards (FWS) as part of the FWS’s “REfill REuse Falmouth initiative”.  These stations will have filtered water taps for refilling water bottles, a conventional water fountain and a water basin for thirsty pets.

We hope to join the FWS in a Saturday dedication celebration by mid-July and will announce the date when scheduled.

The water kiosk at Peg Noonan Park was the first water station installed, chronicled in the June 15th edition of the Falmouth Enterprise.

Alan Robinson, member of the Falmouth Water Stewards, has given us the following information:

“Falmouth, we have a growing environmental problem – long-lasting, non-degradable, fresh water and marine ecosystem-impacting plastic litter. Walk along our beaches and roadways, what do you see?  Single use water bottles, soft drink and energy drink bottles, alcoholic beverage “nips”, coffee and drink Styrofoam cups, candy bar packaging – all made of plastic.   This plastic litter diminishes the appearance of our community.  When it gets into our estuaries and oceans, which much of it does, the impacts magnify.”

The Falmouth Water Stewards (FWS), a local non-profit organization focused on protecting Falmouth’s freshwater and marine environment, and Town government are partnering on an initiative – “REfill REuse Falmouth”. The initiative’s goal, enthusiastically endorsed by Falmouth’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee, is to reduce single-use water bottle use, thereby reducing litter and protecting our environment.  The goal is to install water bottle refill stations in areas such as Main Street, Shining Sea Bikeway, recreation facilities and beaches.

FWS is raising funds from businesses, non-profits, government entities and individual and group donors to purchase the equipment for the water stations which will be donated to the Town of Falmouth for them to install.  Volunteers will help keep them clean. Some of the funds raised were from a grant from the Falmouth Road Race.

“The water stations are designed to provide free, healthy, thirst-quenching Falmouth water to residents, vacation home owners and visitors alike. Their presence will remind us all that we can take individual action – use refillable water bottles, water pitchers filled with tap water, etc. – to achieve a public good – one that will result in less litter and protect the freshwater and marine environment.

“But, even if we are successful here (or rather when we are successful here), how will that change the world?  From small acorns grow large oaks.  Tens of thousands of people visit Falmouth from near and far.  What people see and experience here can spread.

“Where does change begin?  How about right here in Falmouth.

“For more information about the Water Station initiative and/or to sponsor via donation, please email refillreusefalmouth@falmouthwaters.org.”

 

 

On Monday, June 4, 2018, the Selectmen held an Open Hearing regarding beach rules.  Because Acting Beach Superintendent Bruce Mogardo and Beach Committee Chairman Jason Chorches gave a presentation at a prior meeting, the Selectmen chose to have members of the public speak first and then have Mr. Mogardo respond.

In the end, the Selectmen approved the rules we have previously reported to you with one change, requested by Selectman Brown, to clarify that the rules are in effect at all times and not just during beach hours when a lifeguard is present, even if they would be difficult to enforce.

Most importantly for the Heights is that Mr. Mogardo is working to hire 2 additional parking lot attendants for the Heights Beach and Old Silver, as an experiment. One attendant would stay at the entrance kiosk and the other would wander along the wall to be a second set of eyes to watch the beach and to notify the closest lifeguard of any possible problems. The lifeguard would then be responsible for making decisions at his/her discretion. When the lots are full, both attendants would watch the beach from the lots.

Please also see the FHMNA Resources Page for phone numbers to put into your cell phones in case you would like to report anything not being handled by the lifeguards, or after hours.

Below is a summary of the discussion including comments from three people who spoke and Mr. Mogardo’s responses.

Paula Lichter, VP, FHMNA presented a consensus of the Board of Directors, based on our members’ comments over the years (see the full presentation here). FHMNA asked to:

  1. prohibit hard balls and kites
  2. hire an extra lifeguard to supervise just the beach, not the water
  3. create a system to evaluate and track the effectiveness of the new rules
  4. place tents in the back of each beach so they do not block anyone’s view of or path to the water
  5. improve the beach rules’ signs and find a way to distribute them to all beach goers
  6. enforce the Town leash law and beach policy of no dogs from May to Oct, especially after the lifeguards leave the beach
  7. prohibit music which can be heard over 15’ from the source.

In addition to the prepared statement, Ms. Lichter asked if phone numbers for the Beach Superintendent, Beach House and police be added to the signs.  She spoke with Mr. Mogardo after the meeting adjourned about possible ways to make this happen without having to redo all the signs.

Dan Shearer, member of the Beach Committee, speaking only for himself, is against allowing tents of 10’ x 10’ which can “hold 4 chairs and a queen sized bed”. He was in favor of 5’ x 7’ or smaller canopy tents sold by Ocean State Job Lot.  He also noted there are specific beaches where fisherman and paddle boarders congregate after hours.  Mr. Braga read the rule that these are prohibited only during beach hours.

Another woman seconded the concern about dogs on the beach.

Mr. Mogardo’s responses:

a.     to hard balls and kites:  if it puts people in danger or jeopardizes safety, “we stop it” and “we don’t fly kites on a beach full of people”.

b.    to tent size:  “that’s up to you”.  Most other towns don’t specify size.

c.    to tent placement at the back of the beach: “we would suggest that anyway” and also that they would not be placed where they would obstruct handicapped access.

Mr. Mogardo also suggested handing out the rules with each sticker bought at time of sale, but there was no resolution, other than signage, for notifying those who do not buy a sticker.

Rather than write down every nuance of each rule, the Beach Committee and Department chose to limit the rules and train the lifeguards to use their discretion.

Selectmen Braga said she was not in favor of “hard and fast rules” but rather wanted to allow lifeguards’ discretion.  Selectmen Jones said he wants “this to be the beach committee’s decision” because they have “been appointed to make these recommendations” and that the Selectmen should approve the “advice of our advisory committees” and “see how it goes”.  He added that people should be respectful of people around them.

Mr. Mogardo said they were open to suggestions for change. They wanted to “strike a balance between peoples’ rights, peoples’ safety and the privilege of having fun”.  He added that he receives more complaints about alcohol and dogs after 5:00 than he’s ever heard before.  Selectman Moran said the Town Manager would deal with the dog issue as he sees fit.  After hours leash laws could become a police matter.

The Selectmen will hear interim reports from the Beach Department and can “tweak” them if necessary during the season.

Watch the meeting on FCTV by scrolling to 0:39:40 through 1:03:15.

Read about the meeting in the Enterprise and the Cape Cod Times.