The Wanderer - Mobile Edition
The Calm Before The Storm
By Marilou Newell
Just as the African proverb states, "It takes a village to raise a child," it also takes a village to prepare for natural disasters.
On October 13, the Town of Mattapoisett, in partnership with the EPA, FEMA, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), rolled out its multi-departmental emergency plans.
The presentation was held in Old Hammondtown School and was led by Jeri Weiss of the EPA who, along with members of her team, have been developing plans with various town departments for a year.
"The day will come," said Town Administrator Michael Gagne in his opening remarks, indicating that another devastating hurricane like Bob will hit the area. "It isn't if, it is when..." he said.
But instead of being harbingers of doom, Mattapoisett is arming itself with to-dos and plans.
Gagne attributed climate change, rising water levels, and changing weather patterns as to why more powerful storms have been plaguing North America. He urged the public to make plans for the inevitability of another killer storm. He urged pre-planning saying, "So you can get in your car and leave."
Mattapoisett's public employees were thoroughly involved with Weiss, from the environmental agent to the police department to the Council on Aging, fire department, and water and sewer department. While each department had specific information, all held the primary ideal of saving human lives.
And as for public water and sewer services, Nick Nicholson said that although plans are in place, "Things come up and bite you."
Nicholson said the water department has had plans in place for years to turn off public water services to coastal areas where storm damage could allow the intrusion of saltwater into the freshwater system. The same goes for the wastewater system.
He told the audience that homes tied into the public sewer system should have back-up electrical systems since the lack of power could render grinder pumps inoperable. Nicholson said that he had been working with the EPA using computer modeling to study the impact of various storm categories on these vital public services.
Nicholson said that Hurricane Bob had permanently crippled the Fairhaven pump station on River Road and that Eel Pond, where an underwater sewer line serves 1,400 customers, could suffer flooding damage from a Category 3 storm. "It's opened my eyes," he said of the EPA study telling everyone to "plan early!"
Weiss said, "The town is planning ahead; the residents should also." She then played a video that captured comments from municipal department heads making specific suggestions to help the public in making their own emergency plans.
Gagne said, "Plan to leave, go to family or friends," or to shelter provided at ORRHS.
Fire Department Chief Andrew Murphy talked about emergency planning for pets. "Have a crate and food and water for three days, have someone who can take your pet out of the area."
Police Chief Mary Lyons said in the video tape, "We make announcements about 72 hours before," adding, "Get out of potential flood zones. Have what you need ready to go."
Highway Superintendent Barry Denham said, "Residents should know the flooding potential of the areas where they live." He also stated that not unnecessarily relying on emergency responders was critical to ensuring that those services would be used in the most expedient manner. "Don't do anything foolish!"
Nicholson instructed residents to shut off gas and secure propane tanks.
Rounding out the taped comments, Gagne said, "Don't wait till the last minute to get out. Peoples' lives are lost, it happens. Get out of danger. Lives can't be replaced."
Around the room were tables where residents could gather information geared toward assisting with preparedness planning from state and federal agencies as well as town departments.
Jackie Coucci, director of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging, staffed one of the informational tables. Coucci's message: "Be a good neighbor."
She said, "We become a resource to others until a family member or friend can help." Her focus for senior citizens is, "Be proactive, not reactive."
A handout recognized the importance of exchanging telephone numbers and keeping cell phones fully charged. Coucci said that seniors could find themselves alone and that "being alone can be very scary." She urged residents to stay in touch with one another, especially senior citizens in their neighborhoods.
Eagle Scout candidate Jared Watson's project was also part of the preparedness program. Watson created and installed visual displays called the Marker Trail positioned at 15 different locations throughout the town. Using data from previous storms, the signs show the height of storm surge waters. Some of the signs show water as high as 18 feet.
Jodi Bauer, local business owner and adult leader of the Mattapoisett Boy Scout program, worked with ORCTV recording interviews with residents who remembered the hurricane of 1938. Bauer interviewed Richard Cedarberg, Betsy Winslow Converse, Donald Tucker, Lois Howard Tucker, and Bob Winstrom. Their memories of that infamous storm now stand as permanent testimony to the importance of being prepared.
In wrapping up the event Weiss said, "The town is prepared, but the residents need to be prepared." She said that directions on how to make a plan would be available at the COA, the police and fire stations, and at the library. There is also information posted on the town's website www.mattapoisett.net, along with the videos that were shown.
In the audience were members of the town of Marion Planning Board and/or Conservation Commission - Norm Hills, Eileen Marum, Margie Baldwin, and Jennifer Francis. Hills said, "This is impressive." The group plans to bring information back to Marion and evaluate the potential of putting a similar program together for their residents.
For more information on weather-ready Mattapoisett, visit http://bit.ly/2aZaE6H or https://community.fema.gov. You may also contact the Mattapoisett police or fire department for more information.
Voters Say 'No' to Town Hall Annex Study
Rochester Special Town Meeting
By Jean Perry
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.
Gerrior Proposes Turtle Garden
Rochester Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell
What started out as a pretty straightforward bit of 'ConCom' business - the consideration of a notice of intent filing for an area that had been disturbed and was jurisdictional - became something quite unique during the October 18 meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission.
Applicant Jonathan Alexander, 127 Mary's Pond Road, represented by Nick Dufresne of Farland Corp. sought approval to remove soil materials he had brought into a 25-foot no disturb zone and to plant conservation wetland seed mix as a repair. In spite of the fairly large area in question, the commissioners were receptive to the plan. That is until commissioner Laurene Gerrior asked fellow commissioners to "think outside the box."
"I'd like to suggest a turtle nesting solution," Gerrior told the commission. She explained that turtles prefer to nest in sand gravel soils and that instead of planting the entire 2,000 plus square-foot area with vegetation, they might consider leaving some of it sandy to allow for what she called "a turtle garden."
The commissioners seemed caught off guard and weren't sure how to proceed. Gerrior distributed an informational handout to help illustrate her idea. After reviewing the flier and asking Dufresne how feasible her suggestion was, they got down to serious consideration of the concept.
Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon said, "A wildlife habitat is intriguing." Fellow commission Rosemary Smith thought, "It would be a good test case."
Dufresne deferred to his client who was in attendance, noting that the turtle garden would be a more economical solution for the homeowner. Alexander said he agreed it could work out well for him, too.
Before closing the discussion for the evening, Gerrior wanted to be clear that turtles have minds of their own, "But we can't make them come." With chuckles in the air, the application was continued until November 1, at which time Dufresne and Alexander will return with updated plans.
The commission also heard from two applicants proposing solar array projects.
The first up was from Clean Energy Collective with a notice of intent for property located at 268 Mattapoisett Road owned by Micheal and Johnann Forand. Representatives from CEC explained that the project would be a community solar generation facility with power going directly to Rochester consumers versus projects in other towns that send solar electricity to a utility grid without benefit of local consumer electrical savings.
The plans for the one-megawatt solar farm were described by Dan Wells of Goddard Consulting and Evan Watson of Prime Engineering as coming right up to the 25-foot no disturb zone, but otherwise having little impact on the parcel. To screen the completed power site from neighboring properties, fencing and native planting such as butterfly bushes are being planned, they said.
An issue about the location of the wetland delineation was resolved in November 2015, Farinon explained. She also said that Field Engineering was the town's peer review consultant for the project.
Abutter Sue Lacey said, "I'm very happy about the project ... it has a meadow ... and the plantings are a good choice."
Farinon told the commissioners that the project is awaiting feedback from Field Engineering and that several boards are working in parallel. The application was continued until November 15.
The second solar project came in the form of an RDA submitted by William Milka, 243 New Bedford Road. Represented by Stuart Clark of CivilTech, Inc., Milka's plan calls for the installation of a 250-kilowatt solar field outside jurisdictional buffer zones. Milka will install three utility poles and the solar panels will be mounted inside a former bog space, Clark explained.
Clark said that Milka had not yet received a building permit and that he would be meeting with the chairman of the Planning Board to determine the necessity of submitting a site plan for formal review.
The commission approved the project with a Negative 3 decision.
The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for November 1 at 7:00 pm in the town hall meeting room.
Denham Insists On Hired Oversight
Mattapoisett Planning Board
By Marilou Newell
With the full board and a new planning administrator in attendance, Highway Surveyor Barry Denham pled his case for professional oversight on subdivision projects.
Denham told the Mattapoisett Planning Board members that he had been trying to get the developer for the Appaloosa Road project to finish mandated work on River Road.
"We've got to do things differently," he asserted so that the town's best interests were better served.
Denham said that when this project and others were approved by the Planning Board, there were formal conditions that could force developers to pay for professional oversight, ensuring that what had been approved was actually taking place on the job site.
"I don't think the developer should get those services for free," Denham explained, referring to his involvement in attempting to keep a keen eye on what he referred to as increasingly more complex subdivisions. "I have no way to verify that [construction] is done right!"
Denham's frustration boiled over when Planning Board Chairman Tom Tucker said that historically the highway surveyor was the town's "clerk-of-the-works" and that Denham could charge for the time he spent checking up on developers' work.
"I can't charge for my time!" Denham roared back. "There's no mechanism for me to charge my time ... and if I could ... it would only go back into the general fund." He continued, "My time is supposed to be on the highway department."
Denham explained that due to the complexity of subdivision projects - their size, intricate stormwater management systems and other "technical" aspects - he simply could not be expected to keep up and do his highway work, too.
Tucker and the board members agreed that there were provisions in conditions imposed on at least two on-going subdivisions: Brandt Point Village and Appaloosa Road. Tucker instructed Mary Crain, who is now the newly-appointed Planning Board administrator, to contact one developer while he would contact the other to determine their willingness to pay for a construction manager.
With no other business before the board members, new member Gail Carlson welcomed Crain to her new position as a staff member of the Planning Board.
Crain had been an elected member of the Planning Board for the past several years and most recently was the town planner for Rochester. Her resume includes a master's degree in planning and previous positions in the towns of Everett, Salem, and Watertown. In a follow-up interview, Crain said, "I'll be doing more work on zoning and bylaws, helping the board review projects...." She added that she was pleased to be "working in the town I live in."
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for November 7 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.
Town to Remove Unsafe Pump House
Marion Conservation Commission
By Jean Perry
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.
More Wellspring Farm Complaints
Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals
By Andrea Ray
The chairman's invitation to the audience to address any new business at the October 13 Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals meeting prompted Cathy Mendoza, 32 Hiller Road, to stand up.
"Wellspring Farm is disregarding everything they were told to do," she told the board, referring to a recent decision to grant Wellspring Farm a special permit. "You can't reason with them, it's a joke," she continued. "This is what you've allowed to happen."
Mendoza has been a vocal opponent to the operations at Wellspring Farm for some time now.
"Violations of the open meeting law have occurred on both sides," Cutler replied. "They aren't required to hold to those regulations yet."
"I can't believe this," Mendoza fumed. "What happened to the right to undisturbed use and enjoyment of my property?"
Cutler explained, "We walked the property line. We didn't feel there was anything stopping you...."
"Did you see the tarps I've had to put up around my pool to get some privacy?" Mendoza demanded incredulously. "You did a fantastic job."
"This has now gone to the Superior Court. We can't say any more," Cutler replied.
"I will take pictures every day. I'll email every day," Mendoza stated. "We shouldn't have to live like this in a residential area."
Cutler reiterated that the board could not say any more due to the court case, leaving Mendoza and another neighbor to exit the meeting. After she left, board member Jeffrey Costa noted that she'd also left a complaint on the town Facebook page.
For a moment, there was silence. "What's Facebook?" Kirby Gilmore asked.
"It's that thing that everyone knows about," Costa informed him.
Gilmore wondered aloud how Facebook could make any money. Costa told him that was Twitter's biggest problem, leaving Gilmore even more befuddled. "Twitter?"
When told it was another social media platform, he was flabbergasted. "All these people talking about every aspect of their lives..."
"They've got your name, address, email, where you live," Davis Sullivan piped in. "Just send 'em your social security number, they already have everything else."
Gilmore shook his head in disbelief.
There was a 10-minute interim between the end of the public meeting and the public hearings. Gilmore and resident Cathy Bishop chatted happily about the influx of wild turkeys into Rochester and their lack of flight ability. "You thought this was just the Zoning Board of Appeals," Cutler said before asking the room if they knew what a group of turkeys was called. "I'm sure we'll see the answer in The Wanderer," he joked. (He was right. The answer: a rafter.)
The first of two public hearings of the night came from Donald and Cathy Bishop of 703 Neck Road, who sought a variance to allow an addition closer than 40 feet from the property line, and a special permit to allow the conversion of a single family dwelling into a multi-family dwelling.
"Our son would like to move back into Rochester, with his son," Donald Bishop explained. "We'd like to see our grandson, and we're not so fond of stairs these days."
Property abutter Doug Smith wrote in a few concerns, which Sullivan read aloud. "He's wondering if the permit will be transferrable, which it will. He also wants to know if it will affect possible resale value of his property, and the answer to that is that I don't know. His last question is to ask if it will be harder in the future for him to obtain such a permit if the neighboring house already has one."
"That isn't the case," Cutler explained. "We examine each permit granted on a case-by-case basis."
The variance and the special permit were granted, on the conditions that at least one unit is occupied by the owner, all parking must be off the street, and emergency services be notified of the change.
The second request for a special permit came from William Milka of 241 New Bedford Road. Milka was also looking to convert a single-family dwelling into a multi-family dwelling.
"We've built an attached garage," Milka explained, "and our daughter lives with us, so we'd like to make living quarters above the garage for her and our grandson. She manages the barn across the street, and horses require odd hours considering things like illness and injury. We thought it was a good place for her to be close to the barn."
The board had very few reservations and the special permit was quickly granted, with the requirements that at least one unit be occupied by the owner, all parking must be off the street, and emergency services be notified of the change.
The next Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on November 3 at the Rochester Town Hall.
Landscape Projects Approved for Mattapoisett Shores
Mattapoisett Conservation Commission
By Marilou Newell
It's been a long time coming for these abutting properties, but all parties were finally able to reach an agreement that resulted in approvals by the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission for one Notice of Intent filing by Leslie Keselli and Whitney Renault, 14 Bay View Avenue, and one request for an amended Order of Conditions from Brandon Westley/Grand Vista LLC, 23 Grand View Avenue.
Al Ewing of Ewing Engineering presented plan revisions that were previously debated and modified through a public hearing that began in September and closed on this night as commissioners heard Ewing's presentation.
Ewing said of the revised plans that stones planned near an existing revetment would now be pulled back away from the coastal beach area, with coastal beach limits illustrated on the plans. Silt fencing and a walk-through passage allowing public access across the beach were also noted on the plan, and lot corners had been placed.
The commission was satisfied that public comments had been taken into consideration along with its recommendations. An Order of Conditions was approved for the NOI.
David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates was up next representing Westley and his request for an amended Order of Conditions. This request had also been continued from September to allow for revisions requested by the commission and the public.
Davignon explained drainage plans that would allow for a southerly flow of stormwater and the addition of soils to increase elevation on one side of the property.
Noting their agreement with the revision, the commission approved the request.
These approvals put final closure to long-simmering differences between the owners of the properties and a tangled history dating back a number of years.
Also coming before the commission for a continued hearing was David Pichette, S & K Engineering, representing Michael Hanley for property noted as 0 Angelica Avenue. The Notice of Intent filing is for the construction of a single-family dwelling. Pichette was returning to the commission with requested plan revisions. Those revisions included details for a concrete slab under the proposed dwelling and another slab under propane tanks. The NOI was approved.
David McIntire was also returning with his request for extensions on Order of Conditions for seven lots in The Bay Club on Shagbark Circle. Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold had confirmed wetland boundary flagging as requested by the commission. Extensions were approved.
A scheduled NOI filed by Daniel and Lisa Craig, 4 Seabreeze Lane, for their application to retain 21,826 square feet of lawn established within a jurisdictional buffer zone that was not permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection was continued. Chairman Bob Rogers said, "We received a late request for a continuation, so we won't be having any discussion on the NOI this evening." The hearing is continued until November 14.
Also continued was a NOI by Samuel Waterston, 13 Shipyard Lane, for changes to an existing waterfront groin. The hearing is continued until November 14.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for November 14 at 6:30 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room.
Dozens Defend Neighbor Accused of Logging
Marion Zoning Board of Appeals
By Jean Perry
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.
Tabor to Send Boats to Head of the Charles Regatta
Tabor Academy Update
By Jack Gordon
On October 23, two crews from Tabor Academy will head to the Charles River in Boston to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR), the largest two-day regatta in the world. The crews will face off against some of the best rowing schools and clubs in their divisions from across the country and around the world.
The Head of the Charles, now in its 52nd year, will host over 11,000 rowers and tens of thousands more spectators over the weekend. These rowers will represent over 800 schools, clubs, and national teams in 61 separate events.
This year, Tabor is entering a boat in the Men's Youth Four (four rowers and a coxswain) and Women's Youth Eight (eight rowers and a coxswain). While the men's boat consists entirely of seniors, the women's boat is comprised of sophomores through seniors. These two boats will compete against 85 other crews in their respective events. The Women's Youth Eight event is set to start at 10:05 am, and the Men's Youth Four Event is set to start at 11:33 am.
The course spans three miles down the Charles River, starting at Boston University's DeWolfe Boathouse at the mouth of the Charles River Basin and finishing beyond Elliot Bridge near Allston. The course is infamous for the challenges it poses to crews with its six bridges and seven turns, the most notorious being the half-mile, 180-degree turn leading up to Elliot Bridge.
Crews race down the course in a time trial format, starting with a distance of two to three boat lengths (boats are 24 to 60 feet long, depending on the type of boat) between the crews. While the race is primarily against the clock, rowers work to overtake other crews as the race gets underway. The difficulty of the course leads to a frequency of crashes between boats as they jostle for position.
In recent years, Tabor Academy has not formally entered boats into the regatta. The last recorded win of the regatta by the school was in 1983 in the Men's Youth Eight division, beating out other scholastic and collegiate teams - including Princeton and Harvard - by 30 seconds or more.
For most high school crews, rowing is primarily a spring sport, with sprint races (held over 1500 or 2000 meter courses) as the main competition. Because of the drastic differences in the lengths of the two types of races, training is very different between the two seasons.
"It's much like training for a marathon instead of training for a single mile race. It's much more endurance-oriented, both physically and mentally," said senior Jon Mabie, a member of the Men's Youth Four.
Even this year, fall rowing is not an official sport recognized by the school, and thus the training for HOCR was completed in addition to a primary sport or activity. Because of this, training was completed early in the mornings during the week and during the day on Sundays. On one occasion, both crews got the opportunity to row on the Charles to get a feel for the course before race day.
"Training as an independent program has been a learning experience and has certainly contributed to the mental aspect of rowing training that's often harder than the physical side," said Mabie.
With over 98 years of rowing history, Tabor rowing has a large base of alumni who have benefited from the program, many of whom have gone on to compete at collegiate, international, and Olympic levels. For these alums, Tabor's presence at HOCR carries deep significance.
"I think for a lot of [the alumni], it means a lot that we as a program are still able to enter and compete in major regattas, and that we're carrying the Tabor Rowing torch. I'm sure there will be a plethora of Tabor rowing alumni watching our races to see how we do, and to see that the expectations for excellence are the same as when they were rowing, literally, in our shoes," said Jackson Hawkins, a senior in the Men's Youth Four.
Tabor alumni of all ages will be competing in the regatta throughout this weekend. In addition, the banks of the Charles will be strewn with Tabor students, families, alumni, faculty, and supporters of the school and the rowing program. To unite these spectators and competitors, Tabor is establishing a fan tent in the Reunion Village, a meeting point at the halfway point of the course with one of the best views of the racing. The village, and the Tabor tent specifically, is open to anyone who wishes to stop by.
Even before the racing has begun, the rowers already have a sense for just how special the opportunity to race at HOCR is.
"Head of the Charles is one of those events you grow up hearing about in the Boston area but never think you could be a part of. So when Mr. Bentz told us we got a bid, I was thrilled to be a part of such an amazing Boston tradition," said junior Piper Cole of the Women's Youth Eight.
Mabie also feels strong sentiment for the event. "For me, rowing in HOCR is more than just competing, it's a reflection of four years of hard work and dedication," he said.
The regatta will be held October 22-23 and will be streamed via live webcast on hocr.org.
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