BBAHFH Gingerbread House Gala

Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity’s (BBAHFH) 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Gala and Silent Auction will be December 4 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Marion Music Hall on Front Street in Marion. Start your holiday shopping while raising funds for local families in need.

Join Habitat for a night that will feature local choirs singing Christmas carols, as well as a selection of wine from Martignetti Distributors and artisanal beer from Samuel Adams, hors d’oeuvres from On the Go Fine Catering, Turks Sushi Bar and Lindsey’s Family Restaurant, dessert from Artisan Kitchen and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts of Wareham. As you listen to the holiday music, you can provide further support to local families in need of housing by bidding on the silent auction items.

Tickets are a donation of $50 per person and are limited, so please reserve your tickets by December 1. Children under 18 years of age may come to the event for a $5 donation. Reserve tickets by email at, on our website,, or by calling 508-758-4517. Sponsors and auction items are still needed. Your support will help to make the event a success!

Thank you to our sponsors whose support allows Habitat to have such a great community event: A.D. Makepeace, Baycoast Bank, Franklin American Mortgage, and G.H. Dunn Insurance, as well as all the food sponsors listed above. Thank you for your continued support!

The event will also feature a Gingerbread House Contest. All houses will be auctioned off with proceeds helping local families in need. Entry forms are available online or by calling 508-758-4517. Deadline for entry forms to be submitted is December 1. Prizes will be awarded by category.

For more information on the event or our next build, please feel free to visit our website at Thank you for your continued support!

Mattapoisett Library Helps Kids Cozy Up

Add a little joy to someone’s life this season when you go shopping! Library patrons in Mattapoisett are helping the children of women served by The Women’s Center to stay warm and entertained this winter. Everyone is encouraged to bring in new pajamas for babies and children along with a new book for the children to read. Each month the PJs and books will be brought to The Women’s Center for distribution by the Center’s staff. The identities of the families will remain confidential.

Decorated boxes to receive the donations are in the children’s department and upstairs near the adult circulation desk. Any size new pajamas for boys or girls are welcome. A clothesline is being hung in the mezzanine to show off some of the fun PJs and to remind patrons of “the pajama drive.”

“We already have a few donations and we’re just getting started. The entire staff is excited about this project to benefit women and children served by The Women’s Center. What better gift for a child this winter than a cozy pair of PJs and a new book?” stated Library Director Susan Pizzolato.

The pajama and book drive will continue throughout the winter to benefit families who seek help at The Women’s Center. For more information, please call the library at 508-758-4171. For information about The Women’s Center, please call 508-996-3343, or visit the organization’s website

For over 40 years, The Women’s Center has provided free and confidential, 24-hour, easily accessible services for victims of violence, abuse and trauma. With offices in New Bedford and Fall River, The Women’s Center offers counseling, education, outreach, referrals and resources to those in need. If you need help or know someone who does, call the 24 Hour Hotline at 508-999-6636.

Work Halted on Appaloosa Lane

The Mattapoisett Planning Board was expecting to hear about drainage improvements at the Appaloosa Lane sub-division on November 17. What they heard instead was all about percolation testing lots.

Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering, representing Michael Solimando, owner of a parcel that has spent months in front of the Planning Board, told them that he had stopped all work on the property until updated perc testing could be preformed. A percolation test is required before designing a septic system.

Grady’s news prompted Chairman Tom Tucker to question Grady’s motives.

“Are you saying if it doesn’t perc you are not going to fix the existing problem?” Tucker asked Grady.

Grady said he felt confident that the soils would perc to the satisfaction of the Board of Health, but until those tests were completed, everything was on hold.

Grady said he had spoken with Board of Health Agent Dale Barrows regarding testing completed in 2001 at this location. Barrows told Grady that new tests were required to meet current regulations before the lots would be permitted for construction. That was when Grady halted further drainage investigations the Planning Board has been patiently waiting for since last spring.

Neighbors have been before the Planning Board on numerous occasions waiting to hear that Solimando would make the necessary repairs to the drainage system – a point of contention for years.

When Solimando purchased the property, the abutters had hoped that a newly engineered drainage system would resolve problems they experienced on their properties. Drainage improvements have yet to take place. And, the joint study between the Town’s engineers, Field Engineering and G.A.F., has been stalled for weeks.

On November 18, weather providing, Grady said that Barrows would witness the new perc tests.

“You were supposed to have answers for us – you have nothing,” stated Tucker. Before Tucker continued the hearing, Planning Board member Ron Merlo told Grady, “Stress to your client we want resolution for the [drainage] problems.”

Also meeting with the board was Alan Ewing, engineer representing Mason and Jean Smith for property located at 22 and 24 Ned’s Point Road.

This exploratory discussion gave Ewing the opportunity to learn if the board might allow the property owners to build a road or long driveway from the public road into the property for about 113 feet to a waterside lot.

The new lot would have to be permitted via a Form C application, and the roadway would require the reconfiguration of lots 22 and 24 at the site to accommodate its inclusion.

Tucker told Ewing that a similar request had been accommodated in the vicinity, setting a precedent in the area that might allow Ewing to move forward into the planning stages.

Before adjourning, board member John Mathieu asked the other members if they could “dust off” their notes on bylaw improvements so they could continue their work on this project. They agreed that at the next meeting they would continue their efforts of text edits and upgrades on a number of zoning bylaws.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is December 1 at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Open Space Plan Needs Volunteers

During its November 18 meeting, Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon reported to the Rochester Conservation Commission that volunteers are urgently needed to assist in crafting the 2016 open space plan.

The current plan is set to expire in October 2015, but with a lack of citizen participation, creating such a critical plan will prove difficult.

Open Space plans tie into a variety of other town plans, and are oftentimes required by the State of Massachusetts and federal government when cities and towns apply for grants and funds.

Anyone interested in lending their time and talents to this effort should contact the Board of Selectmen, Farinon told the public. Letters of interest can be sent via email to or by mail to: Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 1 Constitution Way, Rochester, MA, 02770.

Farinon also discussed options for updating websites and web pages for the Conservation Commission.

She said that they could pursue a stand-alone site until such time as the Town’s main website is overhauled. A stand-alone site would be linked to the current Town site, costing about $1,890 to create and $30 per month for outside maintenance and uploads.

The commission asked Farinon to move forward in talking to the Board of Selectmen about possible funding sources, including from fees collected from Notice of Intent filings.

Public meetings included a Negative 1 determination for tree removal at property owned by Thomas Ferreira on Walnut Plain Road. Ferreira proposes to build a home on the lot.

The commission issued Certificates of Compliance for David and Linda Gomes of 13 Briarwood Lane; and David Fredette for the City of New Bedford, 1 Negus Way, for a new gas service that has been installed for the Quittacas Water Treatment Plant.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for December 2 at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Sea Turtles

The Marion Natural History Museum’s afterschool group enjoyed a wonderful program about sea turtles of Buzzards Bay last Wednesday. During the program the students had a chance to view videos of hatchling turtles, learn a little about sea turtle biology, and handle some live terrapins. We wish to thank Don Lewis and Sue Weber Nourse for providing this exciting program. Photos courtesy Turtle Journal.

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ORRHS Play is Looking ‘Wonderful’

It would not be the holiday season without a drama club production at Old Rochester Regional High School. The school’s acclaimed drama club always puts on a play during the November/December corridor, and this year, that play is a radio broadcast of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’

Directed by Paul Sardinha and with costumes by Helen Blake, the show’s first night is Thursday, November 20 beginning at 7:30 pm. It plays at the same time on Friday and Saturday nights, and for those wanting to catch an afternoon show, there is a matinee on Sunday, November 23 at 2:00 pm.

Most people are familiar with ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ which has become a Christmas classic since its 1946 release. The strong reputation of the film and the inspiring theme of redemption it displays make it a good choice for a holiday play.

Senior Ian MacLellan, a drama club veteran, plays the main character George Bailey in this production. MacLellan cracked a joke about his role, saying, “There are no small parts. I do what I can with the small role I was given.”

For MacLellan, the lead role wasn’t necessarily his goal when he auditioned a few months ago.

“I didn’t really walk in with a part in mind,” he said. “But I did my best and I ended up getting something good.”

MacLellan discussed the radio aspect of the show.

“It’s more about the tone of your voice, though there is some physicality to it. Body language doesn’t matter as much,” he stated, though he seemed to like the idea.

Junior Holly Frink portrays George’s wife, Mary. Although she says she wanted the role of Violet, Frink was happy with the character of Mary and described her attributes.

“She’s married to George. She’s a very sweet woman, always trying to help,” said Frink. “She’s a very selfless woman, and you see how she grows throughout the show.”

When asked what she will remember most about the show, Frink said, “It’s my first lead role, and I’m playing a role of someone I aspire to be like.”

“We’re learning to put all our motions into our voice,” said Frink about the radio show nature of the play. “And we don’t have as much freedom to move around.”

Kylie Machado, a junior, has a small role as a background character.

“This is the first year I’ve been on stage,” said Machado. “I wanted to get a different feel for drama, as I’ve always been backstage working with the crew.”

Machado praised the sense of community the drama club has, and the way Mr. Sardinha works to make it interesting for all participants.

“We learn a lot about drama, and Paul talks about so many different things,” said Machado. “You definitely make a lot of friends.”

After watching a rehearsal of the production, one would agree that the play is coming along well. All the actors and members of the crew, as well as those participating in set design and musical accompaniment, are working hard and showing plenty of devotion to creating memorable performances.

Make sure to catch the play during one of its four showings from November 20 to November 23.

By Patrick Briand

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Friends of ORR Swimming Wreath Sale

Friends of Old Rochester Swimming is holding a holiday wreath fundraiser to help raise money for the ORR Swim Team.

Please help make our holiday fundraiser a huge success! Help support the ORR swim team by asking your family, friends, and neighbors to purchase their fresh holiday wreaths from F.O.R.S. ORR Swimmers have the order forms and the forms can also be downloaded from the ORR High School website. Orders are due by Friday, November 28 and the pick-up date for the wreaths is either Saturday, November 29 or Saturday, December 6 between 10:00 am – 2:00pm at the ORR High School main door. Happy Holidays to all and thank you for supporting our team. For more information or to place an order, please email or call 508-717-2445.

Annual Christmas Fair

The churches of St. Anthony, Mattapoisett and St. Rita, Marion invite all Tri-Town residents to our annual Christmas Fair from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 6 at St. Anthony’s Church Hall, 22 Barstow St., Mattapoisett. Come enjoy malasadas and muffins for breakfast. Stay for a hot dog, wrap sandwich or hot lunch. Shop for live wreaths and fresh holiday greens, hand-made ornaments and gifts, Silpada jewelry and kitchenware from Pampered Chef. Take a chance on our grand raffle with gifts valued over $800. Children of all ages will enjoy our toy shop and craft workshop. Santa will arrive at 10:00 am. The fair honors all major credit cards and proceeds help support college scholarships. Parking is free and the hall is handicap accessible via the Barstow Street entrance.

ORR Performs Well at All-States

Here is a look at the eleventh week of results in scheduled games for all ORR athletic teams.

            Football: The boys’ football team was only one of two teams to participate in games this week, as all others were eliminated last week in their respective state tournaments. This week in another non-playoff game, the Bulldogs faced off against Norwell and lost in a hard-fought 16-14 defeat. Quarterback Alex Aruri played well, scoring both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns on rushes, but was taken out of the game with three minutes remaining due to an injury whose extent has yet to be determined. Almost a year ago, Aruri hurt the same knee and was forced to take eight months off to recover. Hopefully, he will be able to recover in time to lead the Bulldogs in their final game of the season on Thanksgiving, November 27 at Apponequet at 10:00 am.

            Cross Country: Last week at the Division 5 race, the ORR girls’ cross country team made history by placing second overall and moving on to the All-State meet for the first time in the history of the program. This week, the girls raced at the difficult Franklin Park course in the Division 2 race with the best runners in the state. The Lady Bulldogs had a strong showing, placing eleventh out of eighteen overall teams. Nina Bourgeois led the way with a 20:27 5K that was good for 61st place. Madisen Martin also broke the 21 minute barrier, running a 20:49 for 77th place. The rest of the top seven was rounded out by Avery Nugent (101st, 21:11), Sam Ball (105th, 21:13), Riley Shaughnessy (108th, 21:17), Rachel Scheub (135th, 21:43), and Maddie Scheub (141st, 21:54). Though this is the end of the season for the Lady Bulldogs, all eyes will be on them next fall, as their entire varsity lineup will be eligible to return. Also running the All-State meet on Saturday was Michael Kassabian, who qualified as an individual at the Division 5 race. Kassabian placed 69th overall in the D2 boys’ race with a time of 17:20.

Below are the overall team records, followed by the conference records in wins, losses, and ties as of November 16.

Football: (5-4-0) (4-3-0); Field Hockey: (14-5-1) (12-1-1); Girls’ Soccer: (14-4-2) (12-3-1); Boys’ Soccer: (12-4-2) (11-3-2); Golf: (15-1-0) (15-1-0); Volleyball: (7-12-0) (7-10-0); Boys’ Cross Country: (5-1-0) (5-1-0); Girls’ Cross Country: (6-0-0) (6-0-0).

By Michael Kassabian


ORR Adds Sailing to Sports Program

It has taken a couple of years to get the program afloat, but starting in the spring of 2015, Old Rochester Regional High School will offer the sport of sailing, and Athletic Director Bill Tilden expects significant interest from students.

“We’ve had kids talk to us for quite a few years about sailing,” said Tilden on November 12 before the Old Rochester Regional School Committee approved the new program. He said last year, he surveyed student interest in the program and 31 signed up for the then-tentative program. Twenty-nine of which were students currently not enrolled in a sporting program at the school.

The new coed sailing program is being sponsored by the Mattapoisett Community Sailing Association (MattSail) and is fully funded for the first three years of the program. On the fourth year, the organization will fund 75 percent of the program, then 50 percent and 25 percent in the following two years, respectively.

MattSail will provide eight boats – four for each team, with two sailors per boat – and all the safety equipment would be provided.

Tri-Town is known as a sailing community, said Tilden, and its high school ought to reflect that, like in Dartmouth and at Tabor Academy.

“We think it would be a fantastic way to honor the community and become more of a part of it,” said Tilden.

MattSail has committed to supporting the school’s new sailing endeavor and, as Tilden stated, is now just “looking for the bodies to put in the boats.”

“Any way we can get those [ORR] kids to the next level is worth it,” said Tilden.

The committee unanimously approved the new program.

“I certainly think it’s a great thing for the Tri-Town students,” said ORR School Committee Chairman James O’ Brien.

Also on November 12, Superintendent of Schools Doug White presented the Certificate of Academic Excellence to Andrea Harris for meeting the criteria for superior academic performance. Harris ranks second in her class, was a National Merit semifinalist, and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, among other things. She is a member of the Math Team and has participated in three seasons of school athletics.

“You make Tri-Town proud,” O’Brien told Harris.

The next scheduled meeting of the Old Rochester Regional School Committee is scheduled for December 10 at 6:00 pm in the ORR Junior High School Media Room.

By Jean Perry