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'Controversial' Beach Bathhouse Opens

The Recreation Department holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new batthouse at Barrington Beach; only a handful of people show up.

The new bathhouse at Barrington Beach – criticized often during the process of getting Town Council approval -- was opened officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday morning, June 23.

Only a handful of people showed up for the Recreation Department-sponsored ceremony in muggy and overcast conditions. But town officials, including Recreation Director John Taylor, Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr. and Town Council President June Speakman, tried to make the best of the situation.

Taylor got the honor of officially opening the bathhouse by cutting crepe paper ribbons at the entrance to the bathhouse.

DeAngelis said that despite the criticism of the project and the lack of support from the Parks and Recreation Commission and the split vote of the Town Council, everyone stepped up to make the project a reality.

The recreation commission had only two members, Anthony Arico and Ed McKinlay, vote for it, said Arico, who kept saying at the ceremony that "I've very happy" about pushing the project to the Town Council.

The Town Council vote was 3-2 to build the bathhouse, with Speakman, Kate Weymouth and Cynthia Coyne supporting it. Jeff Brenner and Bill DeWitt opposed the new bathhouse.

DeAngelis also thanked Taylor for doing what he did on a limited budget. “He can be very proud of this,” DeAngelis said.

Speakman also spread around some thanks, including to the citizens group known as the “beachkeepers” -- who preferred making renovations to the old bathhouse at the entrance to the beach primarily because of the price tag, said “beachkeeper” Teresa Sarli, who attended the ceremony.

The ribbon-cutting also was used to try to showcase some of the Recreation Department’s summer programs, such as beach volleyball and paddle boarding. And the Barrington Preservation Society sold beach towels and materials about the history of the town.

Only a smattering of people, however, showed up at the 10 am ceremony.

2fullchannel.netAndy Thompson June 23, 2012 at 11:36 PM
Watching the video, I was waiting for the camera to pan to the crowd... Then I realized the folks hadn't fed the seagulls enough garbage or bread to hold their interest.
Beachgoer June 24, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Why does everyone have to be so rude.... The ceremony was great! The standup paddle demo was a huge hit and a lot of people we interested in the many programs that are going to be offered to the TOWN this summer. Let's see some more positive feedback rather then 'garbage'
Local Mom June 24, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Couldn't get there today, but Beachgoer rules - the town beach is a tremendous asset that has been ignored for years. It'll never be the South County Beaches but a great place to hang by the water with your feet in the sand, read the Sunday paper, take some binocs to watch the parade of large and small boats on the Bay. Many thanks to John Taylor and Peter DeAngelis for bringing in some fresh vision and terrific new activities. The very reliable Mobile Mug now hanging out down there for your dining pleasure, and Palagis usually swings thru in afternoon. And the "increase" for the town pass? Yeah, we pay for it in our prop taxes, but the $30 that keeps it private for the season (June/July/August) works out to $.33/day - with lifeguards and new bathrooms. Immensely cheaper than the Country Club, Kendbrin, etc. South County beaches (or Horseneck) run $20/day, takes an hour plus gas to get there, and then major hikes to get away from the huge crowds. The town beach may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it's an underrated benefit of living here.
Mary K. Talbot June 24, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Glad to see the town manager and town council supporting the efforts of John Taylor and his recreation staff. We all owe John a round of applause for his efforts during his tenure. He's a tireless worker and my family, among others, is reaping the benefits of his efforts. Thank you for the beach house, the programming and the playground, among other accomplishments. We'll miss you, Mr. Taylor, when you soon retire.
Manifold Witness June 24, 2012 at 01:11 PM
A handful of public officials who wanted this expensive beach house no matter what the taxpayers said. DeAngelis, Speakman, Weymouth, Coyne, Arico & Taylor. Awk-Ward. A few “Preservationists” who, along with Kate, are simply fine with tearing down the old building. Because Kate wanted a new one this time. A towel sold to Mrs. Coyne. DeAngelis & Speakman make speeches with a PA system and play some weird loud music. No, Mr. DeAngelis, it wasn’t (as per your ususal story) a miracle with a tiny budget – the taxpayers feel cheated out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The streets are still a mess. Mr. Taylor looks like a bundle of recreational fun.
observer June 25, 2012 at 04:30 PM
keep up your watchful eye and clever poetry
observer June 25, 2012 at 04:46 PM
The lack of attendance at the ribbon ceremony should speak loudly. Too bad Ms Weymouth didn't attend her new building. And where was the parks and rec committee. The building may be a fact but it is going to prove to be a waste of money. We haven't seen throngs of new people rushing to the beach because of this new palace.
Manifold Witness June 25, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Kate’s there! She’s there! She did not disappear! (Though they all looked like they wanted to.) She’s behind the “Bundle of Fun”. Laughing. As he wields his scissors in the air. She can not see his sneer.

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