Property Tax Relief Available for Marion

Applications are now available to help qualified Marion residents with their 2014-2015 property taxes through the Marion Community Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (CFSEMA).

All applications must be received in the Community Foundation’s offices by 3:00 pm on Friday, August 29. Applications are available at the Town House in Marion, the Council on Aging, and the Community Foundation, 30 Cornell Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, or by calling 508-996-8253. They can also be downloaded at

The Marion Community Fund was established in 1999 by a private donor to provide qualified Marion homeowners with property tax relief. The Fund’s goal is to preserve the town’s diversity and character by providing property tax relief for Marion homeowners who are a key part of the town’s makeup and who might be forced to leave Marion due to higher taxes. There are no age restrictions on this grant.

The Marion Community Fund hopes people of all ages who qualify will apply. If you are a Marion homeowner, have owned your home for at least one year, have earned income of less than $25,000 (single) or $37,500 (married), and have assets of $46,000 or less (single) or $63,000 or less (married), excluding your home, you may be eligible for tax relief. All payments will be made to the Town of Marion and credited toward the grant recipient’s tax bill.

SLT “Osprey Marsh” Visit

The Sippican Lands Trust (SLT) cordially invites the public to visit our newly acquired property “Osprey Marsh” on Saturday, July 26 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. “Osprey Marsh” was recently gifted to the SLT by the Howland family of Marion, and is a 19.8 acre waterfront property on Planting Island Cove. Please join us in celebrating the opening of this beautiful piece of land that showcases upland forest, wetland and marsh habitats.

Executive Director Robin Shields, Head Steward Yelena Sheynin, and a rotating group of Board of Director Members from the Sippican Lands Trust will be on site during the duration of the event to greet you and answer any questions you may have about the property or our non-profit organization. A primary trail from the parking area to the shore is available to explore. The end of the trail offers a view of Planting Island Cove and beyond. Sturdy, waterproof boots are recommended as the trail cuts through marshy areas. “Osprey Marsh” is located on Point Road on the right hand side before you reach the main entrance to Piney Point. It is just beyond SLT’s “Howland Marsh” on the same road. There is a trail head sign for identification and a small lot parking.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to acquire and protect natural areas in Marion. Its purpose is to conserve land, protect habitat, provide public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town and offer events for nature lovers of all ages!

Please do not hesitate to contact SLT Executive Director Robin Shields at 508-748-3080 or online at if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!

Tri-Town Police Battle Break-ins

Tri-Town tranquility has been interrupted recently by a string of home and vehicle break-ins, but the teamwork of local authorities is making progress towards bringing the thieves to justice.

After their town experienced multiple break-ins of houses and vehicles, the Rochester Police Department announced Friday, July 18 that they made an arrest in one of the break-ins, and that they believe the suspect could possibly be linked to other crimes in their town.

Rochester Officer Kevin Flynn, in conjunction with the Freetown Police Department, obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year old Kelly F. Sorelle of Dr. Braley Road in Freetown as a result of his investigation with a break-in on Benson Road in Rochester.

Police allege that Sorelle tripped the alarm at the Benson Road home after gaining entry through a window, and she fled out the front door prior to police arrival. Nothing was taken from the home.

Sorelle was taken into custody on Thursday, July 17. Police are investigating whether Sorelle could be connected to some of the other break-ins that have recently occurred in the town. She is being charged with breaking and entering in the daytime, trespassing, and destruction of property.

Rochester Chief of Police Paul Magee praised the work of his officers on this case in a press release dated July 18, saying, “The patrol staff has been working hard to solve these cases. They are committed to catching the people responsible.”

The chief also praised the cooperation between departments.

“Because Rochester, Freetown and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department worked together so well, cases like these get solved.”

The Mattapoisett Police Department is also working with area towns to solve two car break-ins. The first one occurred at Crescent Beach at night in the first week of July when a car window was broken and some loose change was stolen. Another car window was broken at the parking lot of Turk’s Restaurant on 83 Marion Road at approximately 5:00 pm.

Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons said during a phone interview on July 21 that the two break-ins might be related.

“If you see something suspicious, call us immediately,” said Lyons. “Always remember to lock up your cars and remove your valuables.”

Marion has experienced two break-ins and a stolen vehicle, beginning with a car being broken into on the evening of Friday, July 11. The passenger side window was smashed and a pocketbook was stolen from the front seat.

Two crimes took place on Tuesday, July 15 when a truck was stolen after 11:00 pm on Briggs Lane and the owner’s debit card was used some hours later in Fall River. On the morning of July 16, a neighbor discovered that their license plate had been stolen the night before. That same night, a car was broken into on Inland Road when a window was smashed and a wallet was taken.

As of press time, no additional break-ins have been reported in any of the three towns.

By Sean McCarthy


Marion’s Oldest Resident Honored

One Marion woman has just been recognized as the Town of Marion’s oldest resident – and she has the Boston Post Cane to prove it.

Margaret Nye, born on March 1, 1916, sat like a celebrity in her recliner in the living room of her Converse Road home on July 19, surrounded by family, members of the press, and Selectman Jody Dickerson.

Dickerson held in his hand the Town’s 106 year-old Boston Post Cane, a tradition among New England towns that started back in 1908 to honor the town’s oldest resident. That afternoon, Dickerson passed that cane on to 98 year-old Nye, congratulating her on behalf of the Town of Marion and granting her the status as the oldest resident of Marion.

“It’s a real honor,” said Nye’s daughter Diane Kelly to her mother, leaning in closely to get a good look at the cane’s details.

Nye was born in Newport, Rhode Island and relocated to Marion with her family in the 1950s where she has lived ever since.

“You’ve still got three more years to beat Nana,” said Nye’s grandson, Will Huggins.

Nye’s two children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren reminisced about Nye’s mother who lived to be 101 years old.

“I think she’s gonna make it,” said Kelly. “She’s pretty healthy.”

In 1908, the now defunct Boston Post distributed the canes made of ebony and topped with gold to 700 New England towns. The cane was passed on to the town’s oldest living male resident until 1930 when the honor was extended to include women. Over the years, many towns have lost their Boston Post Canes, either through damage or theft.

“We lost it for a few years,” said Dickerson. “But then it was recovered.”

In order to keep the tradition alive, Dickerson said Nye would be allowed to hold onto the Boston Post Cane for a couple of weeks to show off to her friends and family members, but after that, the cane will be returned to the Town House where it will be protected and on display.

The gold head of the cane inscription reads, “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of Marion, Mass – To be transmitted.”

Dickerson said, following tradition, Nye’s initials will be engraved into the cane within the next few weeks.

By Jean Perry

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Two Arrested for Car Theft

As a result of a joint investigation with the Marion, Fall River, Mattapoisett and Plymouth Police departments, arrests of two suspects were made for their involvement in the theft of a motor vehicle, that occurred in Marion on July 15, 2014.

Information obtained from the Plymouth Police Department helped identify one of the suspects, who was caught on video at a Fall River convenience store using a stolen credit card from the thefts. Warrants were obtained by the Marion and Fall River Police Departments for two suspects.

On Tuesday July 22, 2014, Fall River Police arrested the two suspects on those warrants which included charges related to two stolen motor vehicles and the use of stolen credit cards. Subsequently during the continued investigation in Fall River, Detective Scott Smith and Officer Anthony DiCarlo from the Marion Police department recovered another motor vehicle that had been reported stolen out of Mattapoisett.

Fall River Police were also able to recover the truck and license plate stolen out of Marion on July 15th. The suspects have been connected to five vehicles stolen from Marion, Mattapoisett, Sandwich, Scituate, RI and Tiverton, RI. Four vehicles were recovered in Fall River; the fifth was recovered in Plymouth. Other items reported stolen from within the vehicles were recovered as well.

The suspects arrested are identified as:

Marcus Junior Hierrezuelo, 21 year old male resident of Fall River.

Ronnie Sulyma, 31 year old male resident of Fall River.

This investigation is still on-going by Detective Smith, Officer DiCarlo and Officer Craig LeBlanc of the Mattapoisett Police Department.

Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles and to not leave valuables or keys in them. Citizens should also immediately report any suspicious activity to their local police department.

Marion Police Department Press Release


Super Duper Summer Fair

There will be fun for all ages at the First Congregational Church of Marion’s annual Super Duper Summer Fair on Saturday, July 26 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, 28 Main Street, Marion.

Find furniture, paintings, decoys, glassware, rugs and more at the Silent Auction and Fine Gifts tables. The expanded craft table features hand-painted slates, rocks and bird houses, along with decorative iPhone covers and crocheted princess and prince crowns. Bring the children for crafts, games, dunk tank, putting green and much more. Entertainment will be provided by the Harpoon Harmonizers and Showstoppers.

Treat yourself to yummy home-baked goods, candy and fresh-picked local blueberries. Yard Sale items abound at the White Elephant table. Perk up your home and garden with some new plants and have fun at the Mystery Pound Auction. Pick up some great beach books along with nautical and sports equipment. The Mission Committee will feature gifts from around the world plus coffee, tea and Rada knives.

Stay for lunch and savor our famous lobster rolls and chicken wraps at the Chapel Café. Enjoy grilled fresh catch from the boat by Harbor Blue Seafood, along with hot dogs and hamburgers at the Sidewalk Grill. For information, go to

Summer Track and Field Camp

Summer track and field camp, for boys and girls in grades 6-12, will be held at ORRHS Saturday August 16 through Wednesday August 20, 9:00 – 11:00 am. The cost is $125 and checks should be made out to Mattapoisett Recreation. Online registration is available at (online deadline is August 6). You may also mail in registration to Mattapoisett Recreation or bring the registration form with you on August 16. Camp is coached by head coaches from Old Rochester, Foxboro, New Bedford, Wareham, and Bourne.

Thank You

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Mattapoisett police officers Jason King, Dennis Tavares, Turner Ryan and William McImail, as well as paramedics Shawn Samanica and Shawn Grajoies from the Fairhaven fire department.

I greatly appreciate your quick response, professionalism and excellent care in my time of need.

Raymond M. Briggs, Mattapoisett


The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Academic Achievements

Paul Grossi of Mattapoisett graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Bay Club Seeks Changes to Zoning Bylaws

Mattapoisett’s Planning Board has spent time working on improving the language in several zoning bylaws – changes they hope will make the bylaws easier to understand and to implement in the community. To that end, they have dedicated portions of their regularly scheduled meetings to the effort while also imploring the community to add their voice. Once they are satisfied that all changes and improvements are complete, they hope to put the edited bylaws to the vote during the Fall 2014 town meeting.

During the July 21 meeting, Brad Saunders, managing partner of D + E Management LLC (a Bay Club partner), presented the board with language changes to bylaws governing cluster housing developments. Saunders explained that due to demand changes in the real estate market, partners at the Bay Club are looking to move from high-end homes to more affordable mid-range townhouses. Present zoning bylaws, however, would make that difficult. With this in mind Saunders gave the board a letter that included the following suggested changes: Add new subsection Zero-Lot line Lots.

   – Up to 20% of the lots in a Cluster Subdivision may be designated as zero-lot line lots, provided the entire Cluster Subdivision is served by a public sewer system. A zero-lot line lot is a signal-family residential lot created with no side-yard setback on one side of the lot, thereby creating a shared building envelope between two adjoining lots. This shared building envelope shall only be used to build a duplex where the common wall between the two units is the common boundary line separating the two adjoining residential lots. No lot can have more than one side yard with a zero setback. – The following minimum dimensional regulations shall apply to zero-lot line lots in lieu of those identified in Article 6, for conventional single-family developments: Minimum Lot Area – 10,000 sq ft; Minimum Lot Frontage – 45 ft; Minimum Front Yard Setback – 25 ft; Minimum Side Yard Setback – 0 ft (shared side) / 20 ft (unshared side); Minimum Rear Yard Setback 10 ft; Maximum Lot Coverage 25%; Maximum Building Height 35 ft.

            The letter also contained the following statement: This addition will provide the Bay Club with flexibility to diversify the mix of residential product offerings while maintaining the basic ownership model of single-family homes on individual lots. The zero lot-line design will allow for the development of a duplex townhouse product within the Split Rock Lane neighborhood. There appears to be a strong demand for this type of residential unit at the Bay Club and the added diversity to the cluster subdivision concept will benefit both the Bay Club community and the Town of Mattapoisett.

Saunders also submitted language changes to Article 3 that would allow lands zoned ‘Limited Industrial’ to be used as ‘open space’ in cluster housing sub-divisions.

            Chairman Tom Tucker said they were not prepared to comment on his suggestions and needed time to review the proposed language changes. Saunders asked if a public hearing on his changes could be scheduled now. Tucker said it was premature to do so and that there was plenty of time before town meeting to review this request.

In other business, Brian Grady of GAF Engineering was back before the board with an update on drainage designs for the Appaloosa Lane sub-division project long stalled by changing ownership and water problems. Grady said that he has been working with Field Engineering (the town’s consultant) as well as Highway Department Superintendent Barry Denham to review all problems at the site. Grady said that a new plan to handle water on the site was in the conceptual phase and if acceptable to the board would move forward into full engineering specifications. He also said that test hole drilling to investigate soil quality questions was to be done on July 22.

Denham then spoke and presented the following reality check: It wasn’t the applicant’s responsibility to do anything more than control and handle water on his site. However, given that the Appaloosa site was abutted by 50 acres that were draining into it and thus contributing to the water, it now became a much bigger problem – one the town needed to address.

Denham said that since the drainage system on River Road was insufficient to handle all that would drain from Appaloosa and the other 50 acres, he wanted to work with GAF to find a solution. He said, “I believe that we can work together and satisfy everybody.”

Tucker asked about the repairs to existing catch basins. Grady said those would be completed. Grady asked for a month before returning to the Planning Board with a new fully engineered plan. Tucker asked him to come back in two weeks with an update.

Residents impacted by water overflowing onto their properties were again in attendance this night more watchful then interjecting.

Douglas Schneider of Schneider Engineering also met with the board representing Jann and Kenneth Williams in a matter of conveying a strip of land to their neighbor. Although approval wasn’t required from the board, they did agree with the request.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for August 4 at 7:00 pm.

By Marilou Newell