Mattapoisett Woman’s Club

October 1941 was the first official gathering of the Mattapoisett Woman’s Club. You may have seen the video of our eight decades of involvement in our community in May at the library or on our local TV station, the ORCTV public channel (Verizon 36, Comcast 9). If you haven’t seen the video, please go to ORCTV’s vimeo page where you can watch it at any time:

Last month, we welcomed our new officers: Kathy McAuliffe, president; Elaine Grant, corresponding secretary; Roxanne Bungert, vice president; Suzan Mitchell, treasurer; and Marie Rottler, recording secretary.

This month we are holding a members and invited guests anniversary tea with displays of memorabilia from the 1940s through the present.

We hope you can join us for one or more of our upcoming programs. In November, join us for lunch and a fascinating program about establishing a sustainable lifestyle. Not sure what that involves? Come see how changes in your daily life can make a big impact on your future.

We meet in Reynard Hall, Mattapoisett Congregational Church, 27 Church Street, usually the third Thursday of the month at noon. For more information, reservations, or directions, please call Barb at 508-864-5213.

Machacam Club

The Machacam Club will hold its monthly meeting on November 2 at the Legion Hall at 3 Depot Street. Social time is 5:30 pm; dinner is at 6:00 pm.

The meal will be a traditional ham & bean supper with pie for dessert. Our speaker for the evening will be Robert G. Moore, ESQ. Bobby’s subject is not Estate Planning but, as requested, will be reminisces of his early days (1950-1960) as a young boy growing up in the small town of Mattapoisett. More than likely, it will be filled with Bobby’s special brand of humor as he gives us all a great trip through the past.

Callers and members are asked to bear in mind the importance of call list accuracy. Caller lists should be done and reported no later than 9:00 pm on Monday, October 31 by email to GPFNR@AOL.COM or by phone to Mike at 508-758-9311. Members with requests can contact Mike by phone at 508-758-9311 no later than 9:00 am on Tuesday, November 1.

Selectmen Finalize Town Administrator Contract

The Rochester Board of Selectmen is pleased after Town Administrator/Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Szyndlar’s six-month trial contract period and has decided not to wait until December to finalize a new three-year employment contract with Szyndlar.

During a brief October 17 meeting before commencing the Special Town Meeting, the selectmen signed the contract effective October 23 for three years with an annual salary of $120,000.

“We had to re-negotiate two months prior to the end of the six-month period,” said Selectman Brad Morse. “We did that, and we’re happy with the way things are going, so we moved forward.”

Also during the meeting, the selectmen approved the hiring of Kelly Smith as a part-time clerical assistant to assist at Town Hall.

Szyndlar had requested the addition of an assistant who could help in the Selectmen’s Office, as well as float throughout the Town Hall departments as a general office assistant.

Smith will officially begin her new position at Town Hall on Monday, October 24.

In other matters, selectmen swiftly signed the $240,000 borrowing note for the purchase of the new ambulance that was approved during the last Annual Town Meeting.

The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for October 24 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Jean Perry


Dozens Defend Neighbor Accused of Logging

The majority inside the jam-packed standing-room-only meeting room at the Marion Town House last Thursday all had one thing to say about David Jenney of 818 Point Road, and that was that Jenney is a good guy.

Although no one present disputed the claim, there was the matter of whether or not Jenney has been operating a business of logging and selling firewood at his residence, which some residents living at The Cove told the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals on October 13.

Building Commissioner Scott Shippey said he received complaints about noise and logging activities coming from Jenney’s property that abuts The Cove neighborhood, a residential development that was built on land once owned by Jenney’s great-grandfather, grandfather, and father and eventually sold to the developer.

According to Jenney’s attorney John Mathieu, Jenney and the Jenneys before him have always cut and harvested wood from trees on the property, selling off any excess firewood the Jenneys do not use themselves during the winter. Mathieu said it is an intermittent and ongoing operation that is done mostly offsite and should be considered a grandfathered and allowable act since the activity has taken place for decades before the enactment of residential zone bylaws that would consider it a bona fide business.

“He’s been doing it most of his life,” said Mathieu. “I don’t think Mr. Shippey had all the information.…”

Shippey said this ongoing issue concerning tree cutting has caused contention between The Cove residents and Jenney since 2012. He said there have been some “very substantial logs” processed at the residential property, saying it looked like the operation went beyond just “personal use,” prompting him finally to issue a Cease and Desist Order to Jenney.

Landis Major, on behalf of himself and 22 other Jenney Lane residents, said he and his neighbors should enjoy the freedom from excessive and unnecessary noise, citing the State Constitution. He read a letter opposing Jenney’s tree cutting and log splitting activities at the site and maintained that Jenney would require a permit to continue operating as a business.

One after another, people in town recognized Jenney for his generosity and testified that the family had been cutting down trees and chopping them up for decades, only selling off any extra wood to neighbors close by who verified this; however, what Shippey said he needed was proof – photographs, documentation – anything that could demonstrate that this was true in order to allow it to continue.

“I am just so proud and honored to be across the street from David,” said Nancy Hart of 2 Joanne Drive, who has known Jenney for 20 years. “His dad used to cut firewood out in the back. David has cleaned [the property] out, he has beautified the property … and he’s a person you can rely upon for integrity.”

Applause erupted in the room.

David Mitton of 27 Zora Road said he used to live at Hammetts Cove and gave a heartfelt speech about Jenney, the bylaws, and good intentions.

“Please don’t force Dave out of Marion,” Mitton said to the board.

Phoebe Dean of 10 Holly Road, who said she has known Jenney her whole life, echoed Mitton’s sentiments.

“I really want to speak to the importance of the fabric of what makes a town like Marion,” said Dean. “You have so many different kinds of people that contribute … and that’s what makes this town great. I think it’s a very important consideration [to] look at the bigger picture and how we all benefit.

Doug Thackeray said he’s known Jenney his whole life, too, and firewood has been cut and chopped there for at least 60 years.

“[In Marion], the little guy’s kind of in the way,” said Thackeray. “Half of these people (at The Cove) are going to be sitting under a palm tree in Florida and this guy (Jenney) is going to be out of business. And you just see the little guy taking a back seat in the town and it’s been going on for quite some time now. It’s a small town and a person should be allowed to make a living.”

Again, clapping erupted.

Bill Claffin of 618 Point Road gave an impassioned speech saying, although perhaps Jenney has done some work there that may have disturbed the surrounding neighborhood, the parties should work together to come up with an agreement rather than have the ZBA make a ruling on the matter.

“It seems to be that the degree of aggravation Jenney and the people that have made complaints and the actions of the town just seem to escalate to the point where it’s become a very difficult situation,” said Claffin. “We are a small town … rural, small, comfortable, friendly town … that is now bulging with problems…. I think it would behoove your honorable board … to help negotiate … to come to a happy resolution to the entire problem”

Well said, ZBA member Betsy Dunn commented.

Shippey acknowledged that the town has no official noise ordinance regulating noise within a residential zone, but commented, “You should always be mindful of your neighbors.”

As more and more stood up to speak well of Jenney, the board had to remind them that the matter at hand was whether Jenney was running a business, not whether he was a good man or not.

A number of interesting legal arguments arose throughout the rest of the lengthy discussion, to which Town Counsel replied, “Is Mr. Shippey correct [in issuing a stop order]? In my opinion, Mr. Shippey is correct.”

When Mathieu suggested continuing the hearing so that The Cove residents could talk with Jenney and Shippey and form an agreeable arrangement, Shippey agreed.

It was continued until October 27.

In other matters, the board continued the hearing for Kate Hill, owner of the Silvershell Inn. The board is considering making it a condition of approval for the third bedroom permit that Hill not rent the house out in its entirety. Whitten advised the board that it be specific in its decision to avoid future legal questions on similar matters.

The board continued the public hearing for 418 Point Road Trust for a special permit to convert a one-family into a two-family because the board could not determine whether the project could be considered a “conversion” since the addition to be used as a second dwelling had not yet been built.

The board closed the public hearing and took under advisement the request by Daniel Gibbs of 4 Derby Lane to convert a one-family into a two-family.

Also, the board almost approved a special permit for the conversion of a one-family into a two-family for Kenneth and Susan Connor of 466 Front Street, but decided to take the matter under advisement first in order to draft an appropriate list of conditions.

The next meeting of the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for October 27 at 7:30 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry


Eunice N. (Viera) Parsons

Eunice N. (Viera) Parsons, 88, of Mattapoisett died October 19, 2016 at Tobey Hospital after a brief illness.

She was the wife of the late Ralph H. Parsons.

Born in New Bedford, the daughter of the late Manuel and Estelle (Sisson) Viera, she lived in New Bedford before moving to Mattapoisett 14 years ago.

Mrs. Parsons was active in the family seafood business for many years, Captain Frank’s Seafood Market/Acushnet Fish, Inc. She was still currently working in the business at the time of her death.

She enjoyed shopping and Scrabble.

Survivors include her three sons, David H. Parsons and his wife Jane of Marion, Paul H. Parsons and his wife Robin of Westport, and Warren H. Parsons of Mattapoisett; four grandsons, Warren, Jerahmy, Christopher, and Cory Parsons; and nieces and nephews.

She was the mother of the late Ralph H. Parsons, Jr., the grandmother of the late Aaron Parsons and the sister of the late Joseph Viera and Dorothy Owens.

Her Funeral will be held on Monday at 8 AM from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett, followed by her Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 9 AM. Private family burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Provincetown. Visiting hours will be on Sunday from 1-5 PM. For directions and guestbook, please visit


Rochester Women’s Club Appreciation Social

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and the Rochester Women’s Club is showing their appreciation to its local volunteers.

If you are a member of an official volunteer organization based in Rochester or if you are a giver of your precious time in an effort to make Rochester a better place, please join us on November 9 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the club house for our Appreciation Social.

The Club House is located at 37 Marion Road in Rochester. RSVP please by email or by calling Marsha at 508-322-0998.

If you volunteer in any capacity, please join us and let us thank you.

Family Fun Festival

The Mattapoisett Lions Club proudly presents the first ever (Free) Family Fun Festival on Saturday, October 29 from noon to 4:00 pm at Shipyard Park. Bring the family down for hay rides, pin the nose on the pumpkin, a coloring station, corn hole toss, a pumpkin patch, goody bags, apple cider, hot chocolate and more. All ages welcome.

Town to Remove Unsafe Pump House

The pump house situated behind the ball field at Washburn Park in Marion has been deemed unsafe to remain and will be removed by the Marion Department of Public Works after the Marion Conservation Commission gave approval for the work.

On October 12, the Conservation Commission received the Request for Determination of Applicability to remove the old structure that was likely built in the 1930s and once served as an irrigation source for the field. Facilities Director Shaun Cormier submitted the RDA request.

Conservation Commission member Norman Hills said he went to visit the site that previous Saturday and said he agreed that the pump house is indeed an unsafe structure.

“It’s in bad shape,” said Hills. “It’s not performing any function other than a graffiti wall. They take it down and cap the foundation. I don’t see any real problem with that.”

Since past work at Washburn Park was already under an enforcement order, the commission was adamant that Cormier’s presence at the site during the work be a condition of the approval. In the conditions, the commission also wanted it noted that “capping the well” would be synonymous with “capping the foundation” so that no earth moving work would occur to remove any of the actual foundation.

Chairman Cynthia Callow also requested that the Conservation Commission check in on the work as it is being done.

“Because they [the DPW] tend to go crazy when they’re out there,” Callow said.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for October 26 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry


Jacquelyn J. McCarter of Mattapoisett, MA passed away October 5, 2016 at St. Luke’s Hospital, New Bedford in her 89th caring year as a consummate wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and homemaker.

Jackie was an exceptional cook, avid gardener, accomplished puzzler, spirited reader; and most of all, a loving wife and partner of husband, Robert for 70 years. During those years she amassed various collections of bears, antiques, and porcelain dolls established from her grandmother’s doll hospital in the 1930’s and 40’s in Amherst, Mass. She loved her home, gardening and creating picturesque sea side gardens and habitats for the birds.

She proudly invested herself in learning about the adventures of her family, exemplifying her skills in patience and love. She broadened her world with travels with her husband on banking conventions and vacations including an around the world in 80 days travel experience, a trip to Italy and Europe with friends, to Hong Kong for a granddaughter’s 1st birthday; and, locally with her dearly loved friends on garden and shopping excursions. She flew as navigator in a single engine plane race flying cross country in the Powder Puff Derby.

Her husband and family were central to her being and she always set an example while creating and caring for those she loved. She was the beloved mother of and is survived by sons Barry and his wife Kathy, Alan, Rob and his wife Jill, and daughter Shanna; and a proud and dedicated grandmother of Christiana and Jenna and great-grandmother of Hadassah.

She is also survived by sister-in law Elinor and several nieces and nephews. Jackie was predeceased by her brother Robert of Connecticut. She was the daughter of the late Alfred and Emma (Page) Jansen of Amherst, Mass. and later, Hartford, Conn. where she was born on May 25, 1927. She and her husband Bob settled in Middletown, Connecticut, moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, and finally, to Mattapoisett while raising her family and following the banking career of her husband.

Jackie will always be with her family, in the memories of foods and floras’ and the home she created, in her pride of their being, in the celebrations of life, the Christmas Day extravaganzas; and notably in the silence and quiet of life. Her burial service will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA. on October 26, 2016 at 11AM.

Arrangements are by the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit


Voters Say ‘No’ to Town Hall Annex Study

Rochester Town Meeting voters took the October 17 Special Town Meeting as a chance to voice their opinion that taxes are too high and the town doesn’t need a new town hall.

Scores of residents clapped and cheered as neighbors complained about rising taxes and their desire to see excess free cash money returned to them to defray tax increases rather than go to other places such as the next fiscal year budget or stabilization funds and anticipated contract settlements.

This was reflected in the residents’ definitive votes turning down three warrant articles: Article 4 for $20,000 to hire an owners project manager, a state requirement, in order to undergo an analysis of the town hall annex options and to become eligible for grants to fund it; Article 5 to transfer $32,000 to fund anticipated dispatch and police contract settlements; and Article 6 to transfer $67,000 into the stabilization fund thus returning reimbursement money from FEMA that covered the cost of snow and ice removal from 2015.

“Why didn’t you lower our taxes when you got that money back?” asked resident David English, eliciting applause. “They used to put this money back to reduce taxes, why don’t they do that anymore?”

Others echoed this sentiment, including resident Dennis McCarthy who said town government employees make too much money in their “cushy” jobs and taxpayers are watching their tax bills increase.

“If there was money to give back,” said Selectman Richard Nunes, “we would do it. The problem is nothing’s going down. Expenses are up…. There’s nobody here cheaper than I am, but there really isn’t any money to reduce your taxes.”

Richard Cutler, chairman of the Town Hall Annex Study Committee said that in order for the town to move closer towards a solution to address the Town Hall Annex and Town Hall overcrowding situation, the town would need $20,000 to hire an owners project manager to provide expertise and also to make the town eligible for state and federal grants to help cover costs of the project, whether it be an annex only or a new town hall.

State rules of engagement, he added, require an owners project manager for grant eligibility.

“Any potential funding from any outside source requires a thorough analysis,” said Cutler, “that’s why we’re requesting the $20,000.”

Planning Board member Ben Bailey agreed that his taxes were high enough, but the working conditions at the annex as well as at Town Hall were poor with overcrowding and lack of handicap access.

“This study is not just money down the drain,” said Bailey, “it’s the ticket. It’s the gateway to get other funding from other groups … it’s not an automatic $7 million new town hall as you’ve been told.”

Bailey was referring to a handout circulated by resident David Eckert urging a ‘no’ vote on the article. Addressing Town Meeting, Eckert stated, “It’s a pipe dream.”

“We have many needs that are important to this town,” said Eckert. However, with $7 million – $4.9 million plus potential interest – it would be more expensive than buying each of the town employees their own house for $250,000.

The Finance Committee refrained from making a recommendation during a prior selectmen’s meeting, and Chairman Christian Stoltenberg spoke out at Town Meeting as to why he opposed the article at this time.

“It’s my personal opinion that the Finance Committee should get involved with the building committee, perhaps make a more detailed presentation … in June … because at that point, I will know where the budget stands,” Stoltenberg said. “I don’t want to recommend your vote tonight.” He added, “The more that the townspeople are involved, the better the vote will be.”

Town Meeting voted overwhelmingly against the article, 106-26.

For Article 5, the allocation of $32,000 would have prevented a subsequent article at the Annual Town Meeting to approve the retroactive contract settlements to union employees that will ultimately require payment.

The article failed, 89-47.

Article 6, to return $67,000 back into the Stabilization Fund, failed 80 in favor to 43 opposed, a vote that required a 2/3 majority vote but missed that number by just two votes, Selectman and Town Clerk Naida Parker commented after adjournment.

As for the other articles: Article 1 to spend $10,000 to codify the town bylaws passed; Article 2 to replace the air conditioning system at the police station for $27,000 passed; and Article 3 allocating $1,500 for town clerk expenses to restore antiquated books, $4,800 for police station A/C repairs, $3,100 for a Council on Aging fire protection system, and $17,725 for unforeseen increases in town insurances passed.

Article 7 to amend the town employee grievance procedures passed with a minor amendment to add in specific language suggested by a resident, language deemed unnecessary but benign by town counsel.

Article 8 to amend the town employee bylaw pertaining to the probationary period passed. The probationary period for employees will return again to six months instead of the three that Town Meeting passed years ago.

A total of 155 voters turned out that evening, meeting the quorum of 50 for a special town meeting.

By Jean Perry