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Town Hall meeting
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Col. Stacy L. Yike, 66th Air Base Group commander, welcomes the crowd to the town hall meeting on Oct. 6 at the Minuteman Club. Traffic safety, civil engineering and housing were hot topics of discussion during Colonel Yike’s first town hall meeting since assuming command of the air base group. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rick Berry)
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Town hall meeting brings information to base community

Posted 10/14/2010   Updated 10/14/2010 Email story   Print story


by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

10/14/2010 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Traffic safety, civil engineering and housing were the main topics of discussion on Oct. 6 during the first town hall meeting conducted by Col. Stacy L. Yike since taking over as installation commander.

The meeting began after Colonel Yike's welcome with Chris Perkins, civil engineering director, giving an update on various CE initiatives.

"We received many questions from the base community about snow removal since we weren't able to provide grass cutting services this summer," he said. "The good news is we will be providing snow removal services this winter and we will be shoveling two entrances to all base buildings."

Mr. Perkins also noted that building signs will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect the new unit names. Many organizations changed names or moved to different buildings as a result of the reorganization in late June.

Another item Mr. Perkins discussed was a plan for a new middle school.

"We will soon be meeting with DODEA [Department of Defense Education Activity] officials to start putting plans in place for a new middle school," he said. "It could be in place by as early as December 2012. Another year after that, the process could start all over again for a new primary school."

After Mr. Perkins' presentation, Lt. Col. Chris Echols, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander, updated the attendees with information on seat belt and phone violations.

"During a sweep in September, we cited 16 people in one hour for seat belt or cell phone violations," he said. "People should also be aware that a new Massachusetts law calls for a $100 fine if someone is pulled over for texting while driving."

Colonel Echols went on to explain that if the community notices any traffic violations, such as vehicles not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks, they may call the law enforcement desk at 781-377-2315 or 781-377-2316 to report the violation.

Next on the agenda was housing. Colonel Yike reported that the housing construction should be complete by August 2011 and the project is currently 70 percent complete.

"As each housing project is completed, the construction footprint is reduced here on base," she said.

Colonel Yike also mentioned that surveys were recently distributed to base housing residents to address tenant satisfaction. Those surveys are due back on Nov. 15.

Just before the meeting opened for discussion, the 66th Force Support Squadron presented information on the many activities, events and services they offer.

"We're the fun squadron," said Carolyn McCafferty, operations officer, just before raffling off tickets to the Boston Celtics versus Miami Heat basketball game for Oct. 26.

Both Ms. McCafferty and Capt. Joe Green, 66th Force Support Squadron commander, explained the diverse services the squadron offers across the base.

"We literally can take care of you from the cradle to the grave," said Captain Green. "We help register your child in DEERS after he or she is born, we can help take care of them at the Child Development Center, Youth Center or Afterschool program and both Carolyn and I are the installation's mortuary officers."

The pair went over the various ways the squadron sends out information about activities and events. Their website, www.hanscomservices.com, provides a calendar of events and an opportunity to sign up for e-mail alerts for events and ticket offers. Force support information is also included weekly in the Hansconian, in the monthly publication called Leisure Times and on the electronic marquees located throughout the base.

Ms. McCafferty also touched on the benefits of being a club member. She reminded the room that a club membership drive is scheduled to kick off on Oct. 15.

The meeting wrapped up with attendees asking a variety of questions about the schools and housing. Members of civil engineering, security forces and the safety office plan to meet soon to address some of the concerns community members brought up during the meeting.

Colonel Yike also stressed that base leadership and the new school liaison officer, Lisa Pizarro, had a close partnership with the Lincoln and Bedford school districts and will continue to meet with them regularly to ensure the best for the children's education.

"I want to know what's on your mind as people who live, work and play at Hanscom," said Colonel Yike. "I think these town hall formats are a good way for us to communicate. I will plan to continue this forum quarterly, but I look forward to your suggestions on other ways to exchange information. If you have more questions, drop me a note on Straight Talk and I'll try my best to find the answers."

Straight Talk can be reached by e-mailing hanscom.straighttalk@hanscom.af.mil or calling 781-377-3732.

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