Thank You

To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity as we start the New Year to thank all the generous folks of Mattapoisett who have donated incredible amounts of clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, winter coats, gloves, mittens, and numerous other outerwear items for the Mobile Ministries/Loaves and Fishes Program run out of St. Paul’s Church in New Bedford. I cannot tell you how much your generosity has helped to meet the needs of the homeless and less fortunate amongst the Community.

What I found most heartwarming was that donations were sent in by folks from all walks of life, ages and faiths in the Community of Mattapoisett. Such caring told me the people of Mattapoisett respond to the needs of their fellow man and woman.

A bit about the Mobile Ministries/Loaves and Fishes Program: It goes out six days a week to neighborhoods in the City, and it dispenses food, clothing, toiletries, and other life essentials to anyone who needs them. Each day of the week has a Team that handles that particular day/run and what is really special is that numerous Mattapoisett folks are out various days each week in service to this Program.

Thank you for your great generosity and may you have a safe and healthy New Year.


Michael J. Gagne, 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.

January Programs at Plumb Library

For their January book, “Just the Facts” Nonfiction Book Discussion Group will be reading The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman. While driving out of the American embassy on February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station was handed an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top secret Soviet research. Thus started the career of Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau and one of the most valuable spies to work for the U.S. in the four decades of dealings with the Soviet Union. Both Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded in eluding the KGB until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. We will discuss this book on Thursday, January 19 at 6:30 pm.

The Café Parlez’ selection for January is Lucky Us by Amy Bloom. Disappointed by their families, Iris, the hopeful star, and Eva, her sidekick, travel through 1940s America in search of fame and fortune. Driving in a stolen station wagon, they travel from small-town Ohio to an unexpected and sensuous Hollywood, and to the jazz clubs and golden mansions of Long Island. This thrilling and resonant novel about success and failure is a great way to start our 2017 season: “Best Bets for Book Clubs.” We will discuss this book on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 pm. Books are available at the desk.

Plumb Library Knitters (and Crocheters) meets on Mondays at 6:30 pm. Bring your latest project, get advice on a problem or a new project, or just have fun hanging out with other knitters. Chocolate is always served.

Have you ever wondered what 3D Printing is all about? Drop by the library on Saturday, January 28 from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm for a demonstration of a 3D printer presented by Elizabeth Sherry of the Mattapoisett Free Public Library. 3D printers can be used to make everything from a toy to a prosthetic arm to a computer part. Come by and see what it’s all about!

On Saturday, February 4 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, Plumb Library is celebrating “Take Your Child to the Library Day” with a host of activities. Sign up at the Event Calendar for two Music and Movement sessions with SongShine Music. Meet members of the Board of Trustees, the Friends Board, the Junior Friends, or the staff. We will be demonstrating our online services such as Overdrive, Freegal, NoveList, and Enterprise, plus two online services for children: Tumblebooks and ABC Mouse. Enter for several prize drawings. If you bring a friend who gets a library card, you can put in an extra entry for a prize. Free books and refreshments will be available while supplies last.

For more information on these and any of our programs, call the library at 508-763-8600 or visit our website and Events Calendar at

Town Officials Disclose Sprague’s Cove History

In light of a $33,000 fine for the unpermitted rock formation – a seawall as per the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – at Sprague’s Cove, Marion Town Administrator Paul Dawson and the Board of Selectmen answered resident Sherman Briggs’ request for disclosure on who performed the unpermitted work and who authorized it.

During the January 3 selectmen’s meeting, Briggs asked the selectmen and Dawson for the name of who was responsible for the work that resulted in the fine, and Dawson and selectmen all agreed that no one knew who it was.

In an article dated October 5, 2014, however, The Wanderer reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed in a letter that the Department of Public Works performed the work.

On January 17, Dawson told Briggs it was, in fact, the DPW.

Dawson said the 1993 plans for stormwater remediation at Sprague’s Cove called for the placement of riprap, as erosion was severe in the area of the dyke.

“The DPW, in an attempt to preserve that … dyke, continued what’s now being called a seawall,” said Dawson. “Essentially, it’s rocks…” This occurred in 2013, he stated.

Dawson maintained that there was no malintent, and that continuing the rock wall for stormwater mitigation was part of the 1993 plan.

The Town, Dawson said, was unaware that the area was under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it was never anyone’s intention to circumvent any rules and regulations.

Over the course of time, he continued, whatever maintenance there was at the cove was done by an annual meeting of the Conservation Commission and DPW Superintendent Rob Zora.

“I think everybody at the time thought that they were operating under that … maintenance plan,” said Dawson.

Zora was concerned that the DPW was being “thrown under the bus.”

“That area has always been under the Conservation Commission,” said Zora.

“I don’t think the DPW should be thrown under the bus for any work that we did there…. It’s a town issue. We need to take care of it.”

Dawson said the Town was still in talks with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, hoping the $33,000 “mitigation,” as the Corps refers to the fine, will somehow be mitigated itself.

By Jean Perry


Gateway Youth Hockey

Squirts: On Saturday, the Gladiator Squirts kicked off the weekend with an early morning win against Milton 9-1. The Gladiators took a while to get going, but late in the first period Brayden Cannon opened the scoring on a pass from Ben Hebbel and Tommy Clavell. Hebbel added a goal on a rebound to close out the first period with a 2-0 lead. The Gladiators dominated the next two periods with goals from Liz Kilpatrick (2), Clavell (2), Cannon, Brayden Hathon and Pat Tripp. Assists were plentiful as the team displayed a true team effort with strong passing all around. In net, Ryan Killion stopped eight of the nine shots he faced.

Pee Wees: On Saturday, January 7, the Gateway Gladiators Pee Wees faced Duxbury. The first period was a back-and-forth affair with a number of shots taken but nothing reflected on the scoresheet with Ty Rebeiro ringing one off the post that echoed through the rink. In the second period, Joe Urnek found the back of the net assisted by Rebeiro. Thomas Leger also scored with an assist from Nathan Ribeiro. In the third period, Rebeiro scored unassisted as did Ribeiro, and Urnek added his second goal of the night assisted by Rebeiro, securing the 5-0 Gateway win.

On Sunday, January 8, Gateway Pee Wee Gladiators took home their second win of the weekend, this time against the Coastal Stars. In the first period, Ribeiro put Gateway on the board with an unassisted goal. Rebeiro added another goal assisted from Urnek and Ribeiro. In the second period, Rebeiro came in with a goal assisted by Leger. In the third, Ribeiro put in another unassisted goal and closed the game out 4-0. Defense Sean Pollock, Lucas DeMoranville, Matthew Paling, and Leger played hard. Goalie Ryker King made key saves.

Bantams: After a two-week hiatus, the Gateway Gladiator Bantams took the ice again and skated away with 5-0 victory against Milton. Tyler Lovendale got the scoring started, just nine seconds into the game, taking a faceoff pass from Quirino doCanto to beat the goalie with a hard wrist shot. The second goal of the game was scored two minutes later when doCanto took a feed from Lovendale and Stephen Old to beat the goalie again. Jack Martins scored unassisted to make it 3-0, just over a minute later. Martins finished out the scoring in the first, assisted by Will Goldman. Three minutes into the third period, while short handed, doCanto stole the puck, and beat two Milton players and then the goalie, making it 5-0. Alex DeMarco played great in net, making 28 saves.

Mattapoisett Republican Town Committee Meeting

The Mattapoisett Republican Town Committee announces its next meeting on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library, 6 Barstow Street, Mattapoisett, in the downstairs conference room. Light refreshments will be served. Republican and unenrolled voters are invited to attend to celebrate the historic Republican win and talk about the election, as President Donald Trump strives to “Make American Great Again.”

There is also a regional Inauguration Blast! event on Friday, January 20 at 7:00 pm at the Mezza Luna Restaurant, 253 Main Street, Buzzards Bay. The Master of Ceremonies will be Don McKeag. Ticket price of $35 includes an Italian Buffet from antipasto to dessert. Tickets are limited and reservations are required.

For more information, contact Jane Awad, Chair, Mattapoisett Republican Town Committee at 508-813-6304 or email

Academic Achievements

Dean College is pleased to announce that Shaun Lavoie of Rochester has earned a place on the Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester.

Congratulations to Jennifer Galavotti of Marion, who was recently named to the fall 2016 dean’s list at Keene State College. Galavotti was among 1,400 students who were honored for academic excellence in the fall 2016 semester. To qualify for the dean’s list, Keene State undergraduates must be enrolled in a degree program and must have completed a minimum of six credit hours in the semester, receiving no failing or incomplete grades. Students must achieve a 3.5 or higher grade point average on a 4.0 scale to earn dean’s list honors.

Lasell College in Newton, MA recently named Schyler Oliveira of Rochester, MA to the Lasell College Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester.

Oliveira, whose major is Entrepreneurship, is a member of the class of 2017 and was among 722 students honored in the fall 2016 semester.

To achieve the Dean’s List, each student must be full-time, carrying 12 or more graded credits for the semester with a grade point average of 3.5 or above.

RMS to Start School Newspaper

It seems that some students with a nose for news will be starting up a digital school newspaper of sorts at Rochester Memorial School, Principal Derek Medeiros told the Rochester School Committee on January 5.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Medeiros. “Ever since I started at RMS, I’ve had a student or a group of students talk about a school newspaper.”

RMS did have a school paper of its own, but that was many years ago, Medeiros said.

Instead of the traditional paper and ink newspaper, Medeiros said the students and staff assisting the students would incorporate the use of digital technology via video recorded interviews culminating from the students’ research, investigation, and writing.

Students will begin by interviewing different staff members in the school to piece together video interviews that, after editing, can be posted to the school’s website and shared digitally perhaps during morning all-school meetings, said Medeiros.

News anchors will present on the video and editing and tech students will fine-tune the final work.

Students and staff have chosen Wednesday afternoons after school as the time to meet to work on their ongoing news project.

“They’re really excited about it, and we’re looking forward to those episodes starting to come out,” said Medeiros.

School Committee members approved of the digital school newspaper idea.

“It’s a great response to something that was initiated by students,” said School Committee member Robin Rounseville.

In other matters, Business Administrator Patrick Spencer said FY17 budgetary matters at RMS were all on track for the middle of the fiscal year.

“At this point, we’re in a very good place,” Spencer said.

Also, the food service department revenue is up with slight increases in school breakfast and lunch participation.

So far, revenue stands at about $64,000, with expenditures to date at $58,000. A net surplus of roughly $5,700, said Spencer, is important because some equipment upgrades and replacements on the horizon will be fully paid for by revenue without having to seek funding through the town budget.

Food Services Director Jill Hennessey said breakfast participation is up 1% from last year to 8%. Last year, lunch participation was at 32% and this year it is up to 40%.

“So, we are steadily increasing,” Hennessey stated.

The next meeting of the Rochester School Committee is scheduled for February 2 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Jean Perry


Mattapoisett Lions Club Award

The Mattapoisett Lions Club, a member of Lions International consisting of 45,000 clubs and more than 1.3 million members worldwide making this the world’s largest service club organization, is pleased to announce two (2) $2,500 scholarships to be awarded this year to a graduating high school or homeschooled student residing in Mattapoisett, Marion and Rochester.

The funds for this Award are raised through fundraisers held by the Mattapoisett Lions Club throughout the year, including Harbor Days, an annual Arts and Craft Festival held in Shipyard Park every third weekend of July and attended by up to 10,000 people.

The Lions Club motto is “We Serve,” and one of the largest charitable causes of Lions International includes raising funds for eye research in an effort to end preventable blindness throughout the world and providing services for those in need in our community.

To qualify, a graduating student or homeschooled student shall be enrolled in their first year of a recognized school of higher education, must be a resident of the Tri-Town area, and have demonstrated service to the community.

To obtain an application, learn more about this award, or to learn how to become a member of the Lions Club, visit our website: Award applications are available through the guidance department at your high school. Applications must be received by March 25.

Mattapoisett Woman’s Club January Meeting

Come join the Mattapoisett Woman’s Club on Thursday, January 19 at Reynard Hall of the Mattapoisett Congregational Church, 27 Church Street, Mattapoisett. We gather at 11:30 am to socialize with members, followed by a luncheon at noon. Mr. Ross Moran, Trustees of the Reservation, is our guest speaker and will talk about the Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens in New Bedford. The Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens, located in the heart of New Bedford, are six acres of landscaped gardens, historic buildings and greenhouses. Mr. Moran’s slide show will give us a tour through the gardens and the property. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Gardner at 774-377-5810.

Tabor Expands Partnership with New Bedford’s CEDC

Recently, Tabor Academy has expanded its collaboration with the Community Economic Development Center (CEDC) based in New Bedford. Each week throughout the school year, a group of Tabor students travel to New Bedford to provide English tutoring to members of the community who have immigrated to the United States.

The CEDC is a nonprofit organization that, according to their website, “fosters economic justice in the local economy through people-centered development.” Among many things, the CEDC provides opportunities, resources, and networks to those needing help becoming a part of the local economy. Specifically, the organization focuses on economic development, community building, neighborhood improvement and public policy.

The CEDC works largely in part with immigrants from Central America, many of whom have limited knowledge of the English language. Because of this, everyday activities such as finding jobs or housing, using public transportation, or filling out government paperwork can become a significant challenge. This group is the focus of the English tutoring provided by Tabor students.

The program began under the leadership of Jonathan Sirois, a Spanish teacher at Tabor, who was looking for a way “to foster better and more meaningful relationships with the local community.” The program began with weekly visits to New Bedford on Thursdays after extra-curricular commitments in the afternoon, but due to recent success, they have added a trip on Tuesdays as well.

During the hour-long tutoring sessions, students will work with the community members individually. Starting with a baseline discussion from a worksheet, the conversation expands based upon specific ability levels or needs. Whether the community members are teenagers new to the language or people applying for United States citizenship after decades living in the country, everyone is there to develop a basic understanding of English.

“They are all extremely friendly and they tell you their story before and after moving to this country,” said Tabor sophomore Christopher Mills.

The ability to develop knowledge of language goes both ways in this partnership. For students like Mills, this tutoring program not only provides the opportunity to meet people from the local area that they would never have the chance to meet otherwise, but also gives them a chance to improve their Spanish. The ability to have actual conversations with native speakers, says Mills, allows him to improve substantially in a short amount of time.

Though this program provides great opportunities for Spanish-speaking students, the partnership with the CEDC is open to all students at Tabor. While the growing success of the program has allowed it to expand to a second day of the week, the core members of the tutoring group hope it will continue to grow and gain popularity among Tabor students. Since students can go and tutor as many or as few times as they wish, it provides a flexible way to expand upon the boundaries of Tabor’s campus and community.

This tutoring program with the CEDC is one of several reoccurring community service efforts pursued by Tabor students on a weekly basis. Each week, Tabor students volunteer with things such as Sunday school, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sunday Supper, and more. Additionally, there is an ever-changing list of opportunities for students to give back to the Tri-Town and South Coast communities.

The school regularly hosts events for the Special Olympics, including the Special Olympics Polar Plunge event on January 22.

Twice a year, the entire Tabor community comes together to complete dozens of volunteer service projects across the region in the “Day of Service.”

By Jack Gordon