Robert A. Smith

Robert A. Smith, 65, of Rochester passed away Saturday, August 29, 2015 at the New Bedford Health Care Center after a brief illness. He was the fiancé of Linda Lapre of Rochester.

Born in Utica, NY, the son of the late Thomas and Vendela (Phillips) Smith, he grew up in Yorkville, NY and had lived in New Bedford.

Bob served in the Army during the Vietnam War and later worked as a CNC Machinist        for H.C.C. Aegis. He enjoyed photography and was a member of the Whaling City Camera Club. He also loved music and played the bass guitar and had worked as a videographer and a sound technician.

Private arrangements are by the Fairhaven Funeral Home, 117 Main Street, Fairhaven, www.hathawayfunerals.com.

2nd Annual Adam Bomb Motorcycle Run

On August 30, area motorcyclists will gather in a fundraising run to honor the memory of Adam Taylor with the proceeds going toward children and teens in the local area. Taylor was a resident of Acushnet who lost his life in November 2013 after he was involved in a car accident caused by a drunk driver on Route 140 in New Bedford.

Motorcyclists riding to benefit the Adam Taylor Memorial Fund, which sponsors scholarships, student financial aid services, awards, and Toys for Tots for children in the local community, will take to the roads on August 30. Tickets are $20 per person and must be purchased in advance from the Ponderosa Sportsman Club, The Rivers End. Rider check-in is 10:00 am ET; kickstands up at 11:30 am. The start of the run will be at The Ponderosa, 242 Robinson Rd, Acushnet and will conclude at The Madeira Feast Grounds, 50 Madeira Ave, New Bedford. The ride is organized to continue to share the love Adam poured into his family, friends, and community. He was always willing to help anyone, and his friends and family want to continue his tradition of selflessness to others.

All non-riders are invited to meet at the Madeira Feast Grounds at 1:30 pm where there will be food, raffles, a cash bar, and live music. Everyone is invited to come and celebrate the life of a 23-year old man who loved his community before he tragically lost his life.

About the Adam Taylor Memorial Fund: The Adam Taylor Memorial Fund was founded by close family and friends who wanted to keep Adam Taylor’s selfless love alive after his untimely death. Adam lost his life at the age of 23 after a car accident, which involved a drunk driver. The Memorial Fund supports the education of local area youths through scholarships and providing student financial aid services. The Foundation has also supported The Veteran’s Memorial, Lions Club, Veterans Transition Club, Veterans Transition House, The Joe Andruzzi Foundation, The Feast of the Blessed Sacrament and Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School. In keeping with Adam’s love of small children, the Fund also supports Toys for Tots for local children in need.

For more information regarding the 2nd Annual Adam Bomb Motorcycle Run, please contact Linda: 508-789-8777 or Kelly: 508-728-4127

Zoning Board Denies Appeals

Daniel DaRosa, represented by Attorney John Gushue, came before the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals on August 20 with two appeals – appeals that asked the board to overturn decisions made by Andy Bobola, the building inspector.

The main issue: DaRosa’s application to build a private pier across an easement. Both appeals were combined, as agreed by all parties, due to the similar nature of the appeals, that being Bobola’s interpretations of building codes and zoning bylaws.

            “We believe it’s an erroneous application of bylaws for this pier,” Gushue stated, suggesting that Bobola’s interpretation of the town’s zoning bylaws was an attempt to stop DaRosa’s right to build the accessory structure. “This is a violation of their equal protection rights.” Gushue said, from his reading of the bylaws, there was no provision in them that would restrict the issuance of a building permit.

The bone of contention is whether or not a homeowner can build an accessory structure across an easement; in this case, traversing beach property owned by someone else in order to build a private pier to reach the water.

Bobola wrote a letter in May to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection handling DaRosa’s Chapter 91 Waterways license application, in which he explained that the DaRosa property was not waterfront property and, as such, could not build an accessory structure on an easement they had been granted. Gushue called it an “unprecedented denial.”

But Bobola asked the board to imagine if accessory structures were built all over town on easements; consider the negative impacts they would have on the community and residents’ enjoyment of their property.

Regarding Bobola’s further assertion that DaRosa lacked the appropriate setbacks necessary for building an accessory structure on his own property, Gushue said, “He is just searching for some reason to deny the pier.”

Gushue asked the board members to search their consciences, telling them that they had taken an oath to apply rules equally for all residents.

“You took an oath to render a fair and impartial decision,” said Gushue. “Can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning?” He continued, “There has been much organized opposition, even in Town Hall.” Gushue provided evidence that another pier had been built in the 1990s and had been constructed across an easement; therefore, DaRosa should be allowed to do so as well.

“So, because of the other pier in 1998, we should permit this one?” asked ZBA member Susan Akin. “We are going to go by current zoning, not 1998.” She emphasized that the DaRosa property was landlocked.

Bobola said, for 31 years, he has striven to apply building codes and zoning bylaws with an even hand, and he took umbrage to Gushue’s comments. He then explained his rationale for the letter to the DEP that was written with the guidance of town counsel, and his refusal to issue a building permit.

“I remain open minded,” Bobola said, concluding his comments. But he noted that DaRosa had not provided complete documents as required when requesting a building permit. It was missing a decision from the Conservation Commission.

That remains an open issue in DaRosa’s proceedings. A decision by the DEP regarding an appeal by the Town and the Conservation Commission to the DEP’s superseding orders is still pending. Gushue advised the board that he had received verbal confirmation that the DEP would render a decision in favor of DaRosa’s application.

Several residents came forward to voice their concern with the proposed construction, again, citing various wetlands issues, recreational use of the waterways where the pier is proposed, and the lack of DaRosa’s direct waterfront access.

Bobola told the members of the ZBA that DaRosa should appeal his denial of a building permit to the state building authorities and not the local zoning board.

Akin closed the public comment segment of the hearing and the board debated the merits of DaRosa’s appeals.

In the end, the board agreed with Bobola that DaRosa’s property was landlocked and, therefore, could not receive a permit to build a pier across an easement. They also agreed that they could not hear the appeal regarding the denial of a building permit, since it was beyond their jurisdiction and it needed to be heard by the state board. Both appeals were unanimously denied.

In other business, the Mattapoisett Congregational Church received a Special Permit to divide a parking lot from a residence in order to have the lot legally associated with the church. Also coming before the ZBA was Neil Lefaivre of Empire Construction, representing Shawn Martin, 5 Henshaw Road, with a request for a Special Permit to build an addition to an existing residence. The permit was approved.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for September 17 at 6:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room, pending applications.

By Marilou Newell

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The Summer Wind

The song Summer Wind, made famous by the one and only Frank Sinatra, spoke of a fleeting romance ignited during the summertime, and then lost. There are other summer songs that come wafting in on warm breezes. Songs like Don Henley’s Boys of Summer, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ See You In September, the Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy, Sealed With a Kiss sung by Brian Hyland, and, of course, Summer Rain by Johnny Rivers.

How many of us can relate to those free wheeling youthful romances forged in the hot sun while laying on a beach towel next to your heart throb? Yet, somehow, in the back of our minds we knew the heat would peter out by Labor Day. Still, for those blazing moments of fevered passion, we were lost in the thrill – the memory, drifting back into our consciousness on a summer wind.

Oh, I sigh at the memory of my first summer love with the ice cream man. He wasn’t really a man, more an older teenager whose summer job was to drive the ice cream truck along the beach boulevard in Onset.

Tommy was an art student whose well-heeled parents mandated he have a common experience of sorts before sending him off to study art in Venice. I don’t think they planned that I would be part of that common experience for their precious sonny-boy, but in a very innocent chaste manner I was. We never held hands and never kissed. Yet, for me, he was my summer love.

The ice cream truck moved along slowly, as Tommy jingled the bells manually. There was no such thing as canned music back in those days. The ice cream man pulled a cord inside the cab of the truck, jingling the bells while little children trained like Pavlov’s dog came running and screaming “Momma, the ice cream man!” He would stop the truck, pass out ice cream novelties, and then move to the next stop. I met him as I patiently waited at the end of a long line of hollering children and impatient mothers. Our eyes locked briefly but meaningfully, and love at first sight was born.

From the beginning, Tommy spoke to me as if I was important, knowledgeable, and going places when I graduated from high school. He would talk to me about art in between collecting sand-covered coins from little children and red-faced mothers who had just hopped across burning sands and ascended a steep flight of stairs to reach the cool white ice cream truck. On hot, sunny days our conversations didn’t last very long, as lines formed next to his truck while he dispensed chocolate-covered ice cream bars, popsicles, creamsicles, and sundae cups.

How I loved cloudy overcast afternoons when Tommy could transport me to the world of art and culture without interruption because the beach was empty. He would expound in grand eloquence all his hopes for the future while sharing all he knew about art and art history. He’d also share difficulties at home, further endearing him to me.

At each stop on his route, he’d pop out of the truck, lean against it dressed in his sparkling white shirt and pants, and continue to fill my juvenile head with thoughts of Gauguin, Michelangelo, Renoir and Picasso. All I knew about art was what little was imparted to us in art class in junior high school. In Tommy, I found my personal art professor, mentor, and, oh yes, my summer love.

I was also working that summer I met Tommy, but I was self-employed. I was the local babysitter and hairdresser for the street I lived on. I made a pretty good living, netting nearly seventeen dollars a week. I took care of the neighbors’ babies who always seemed to bawl the entire time their mothers were gone. As the local hairdresser, washing and setting neighbor ladies’ hair in rollers and pin curls, I heard all the gossip that was going around. Usually, the theme was which young daughter was up to no good with someone’s bad boy son.

My parents frowned upon having a boyfriend at the age of fifteen, so I didn’t tell them the real reason I headed to the beach every day, regardless of the weather. My mother would have considered me a “fast” girl. My father would simply have said, “It ain’t good.” So I fabricated girlfriends that existed only in my imagination. The fact that I never brought any of these girls home to hang out at my house didn’t seem to faze my parents. My father was too busy earning a living, and my mother was generally distracted with her own personal problems. I, on the other hand, had Tommy.

As summer burned, the days melted away. My secret meetings with Tommy, which I anticipated in a fever and then relived in detail throughout the evening, were coming to an end. Labor Day would be the official end of summer, and Tommy would head off to college. And I – well, I would be left behind with dreams of rich fabrics, ancient architecture, oils and water-colors, statues, and luminescent glazes. I would be left to imagine Tommy walking cobbled Italian streets carrying an easel and canvas while wearing a painter’s smock and a beret.

I don’t recall our last meeting, but I do remember that, for a long time, he faithfully sent long letters postmarked “Italia,” thick with his lush script, mini-drawings, and scrolls decorating the pages. Each letter swept me away – far, far away.

The school year dragged on, and the boys in my classes seemed so raw, so unrefined compared to my Tommy. No one could measure up. But, truth be told, no one was trying.

I was not a popular girl or a happy girl. I was merely waiting for school to end so that my real life could begin somewhere else, warmed by a summer wind.

By Marilou Newell

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Judith E. (Pratt) Briggs

Judith E. (Pratt) Briggs, 71, of Marion, died August 27, 2015 in St. Anne’s Hospital, Fall River. She was the wife of David A. Briggs and the daughter of the late Robert C. Pratt and Elizabeth (Robinson) Bazilian.

She was born in Wareham and lived in Marion for over 50 years.

Mrs. Briggs worked as a C.N.A. at Rowland Thatcher Nursing Home in Wareham for over 20 years before retiring.

She enjoyed crocheting, playing Pac Man and Canasta, Facebook and scratch tickets. Most of all she loved spending time with her family.

Survivors include her husband, David A. Briggs of Marion; 2 sons, Michael Pratt and his wife Amy Sirrico of Wareham and David A. Briggs, Jr. and his wife Amy of Wareham; a daughter, Laurie Shippey and her husband Scott of Wareham; a sister, Jean Pratt of Hyannis; 4 grandchildren, Christopher and Meghan Shippey, Lillian Briggs and Jeremy Collins; and her beloved dog, Casper.

Her graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 31, 2015 in the North Marion Cemetery, Marion.

Visiting hours were held on Sunday at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham.

Marion’s Water and Sewer Rates Increased

Interest in the topic of increases in water and sewer rates was expected to bring out the public to the Marion Board of Selectmen meeting on August 25. Only nine residents showed up. But in spite of the surprisingly low turn out, the subject matter was fully vetted.

Speaking first was Finance Director Judy Mooney who explained that rate increases were proposed at 2.5 percent for Tier I and 3 percent for Tiers II and III water consumers. She then stated that a 10 percent rate increase across the board was proposed for those households tied into the municipal system.

“I hate being the bearer of bad news,” said Mooney. “If this rate doesn’t go through, the state will not approve the enterprise funds…. If this doesn’t go, an even larger increase is in the future.”

Mooney said, in real terms, a household of four would see an increase of $4.19 per year in water bills and $22.70 in sewer expenses. She further cautioned all in attendance that, although the evening was dedicated to looking at just fiscal year 2016 budget needs, FYs 17, 18, and 19 would see even higher rate increases.

“If we don’t have a rate increase in FY16, it impacts things we’ve already put in place,” Mooney said.

Chairman Stephen Cushing asked, “What if we put off a rate increase, we’d be in line for a bigger increase?” Mooney replied, “We’d have to make up four quarter billings in a three quarter cycle.”

A driving point in sewer rate increases is the NPDES permit looming in the imminent future, and the town is anticipating this to equate to higher costs in processing sewage. The town’s current permit requirements are being handled, said Selectman Jonathan Henry, but new, stricter EPA requirements will affect costs – how much is presently not known.

Resident Jay Ryder then came forward to share information he had found from a Tighe & Bond study. Ryder said, “Annual water rates (in Massachusetts) are $112 to $1560. The average is $532, and Marion’s are the second highest. Sewer rates go from $221 to $1,874 with an average of $756. Marion’s are the third highest.” Asking Mooney he inquired, “Can’t we pay for these some other way?”

Mooney came back to the microphone with this response, “You’ve got Tabor Academy, why aren’t we getting a PILOT payment in lieu of taxes?” She continued, “There are 36 properties, at the current rate that comes to $836,000 we could be receiving … I’m throwing it out there … their children are going to Sippican School without paying taxes.”

Henry responded, “PILOT program is an old issue…. A new Board of Trustees at Tabor will deal with local issues which is new … it’s an open issue.”

Henry also pointed to the fact that most cities and towns don’t go it alone when it comes to water and sewer service, but those that do are facing the same issues that Marion is facing – higher costs to provide services.

In the end, Chairman Cushing called for a vote. The increases were unanimously approved.

The next scheduled meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 8 at 7:00 pm at the Police Station conference room.

By Marilou Newell

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Sonja Fellman Stone

Sonja Fellman Stone, 96, beloved mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister-in-law, neighbor, friend, and role model, passed away peacefully in her Mattapoisett, MA family home. Sonja was born in Lexington, MA, daughter of William and Hildur Fellman, of Finland and Sweden. She is predeceased by her loving husband of 70 years, George E. Stone and her sisters Linnea Scales, Violet Hanson, Naemi Thomas and brothers Sigward and Adolph Fellman. She is survived by her children Sonja Peterson and husband Frank; Lars Stone and wife Colleen; Suzanne Pike and husband William; Cynthia Stone and her companion, the late, Jeffrey Girard; Sandra Stone; grandchildren Mariel Stone and companion Jesse Duarte; Bonnie Stone and husband Erik Kowalski; Charlotte, Caroline, and Catherine Stone; and Jessica and Erica Pike; four great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Louise Fellman, Alice Coletti, Marguerite Lever and many nieces and nephews.

A patient, loving, forgiving, and religious woman, Sonja always put other’s needs before her own. She supported her husband in all aspects of life, including within the workplace as administrative assistant and bookkeeper for their family-owned independent insurance agency in Arlington, MA for over 30 years. Later in life, Sonja demonstrated her commitment to her family by working part time for 12 years as a Greeter at the Fairhaven Walmart where she was one of their oldest employees retiring at age 85.

Sonja was a member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church and enjoyed attending services. She found peace when singing hymns, enjoying nature, going to yard sales, sewing, and above all, spending time with her family. She had a quiet way about her, and everyone she met was touched by her warm smile and kind spirit.

Relatives and friends are invited to honor Sonja’s life by attending a memorial service Saturday, September 12th at 11 am at Advent Lutheran Church, 62 East Grove Street, Middleboro, MA. In lieu of flowers donations in Sonja’s memory may be made to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, NAMI Massachusetts, The Schrafft Center, 529 Main Street, Suite 1M17, Boston, MA 02129.

Marion Republican Town Committee

The Marion Republican Town Committee will conduct its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 1 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, 164 Front Street, Marion. The public and new members are welcome.

2015 Mattapoisett Street List Books

The new 2015 Street List Books are now available at the Mattapoisett Town Clerk’s Office. The cost for a copy of this newly redesigned book is $10. Stop by during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm) and pick up one of these handy reference books. While you are at Town Hall, don’t forget to grab a free copy of the new color street map of Mattapoisett that was published by a company called Mail a Map with the cooperation of the Town Clerk’s Office. A link to the map is also available on the Town of Mattapoisett’s website, www.mattapoisett.net.

From Alaska to the Bayview Hotel

Join the Mattapoisett Historical Society and Seth Mendell on Sunday, September 6 at 5:30 pm at Shipyard Park as he talks about the life of Whaling Master Charles Bryant, who was instrumental in the purchase of Alaska and in later life the proprietor of Mattapoisett’s Bayview Hotel. In case of rain, meet at the Mattapoisett Historical Society Museum at 5 Church Street. Suggested donation: $5. For more information, please call 508-758-2844 or visit www.mattapoisetthistoricalsociety.org.