The Wanderer - Mobile Edition
Making Memorial Day Plans
By Shawn Badgley
The Tri-Town's schedule of Memorial Day festivities is jam-packed this year, with Mattapoisett and Rochester joining forces to celebrate the life and service of SPC Steven E. Gutowski, a Plymouth resident slain in Afghanistan on September 28, 2011.
Known as "Guto" to his fellow soldiers and "Goot" to friends and family in Plymouth where he worked for the Recreation Department, Gutowski was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
The Florence Eastman American Legion Post 280's events begin at 1:30 pm on Memorial Day, May 27, at the Mattapoisett Library Grounds. As part of the program, Gutowski's mother, Joan, will deliver remarks as Principal Speaker.
Other highlights include a speech from Commander Michael Lamoureux, music from the Old Hammondtown Orchestra, an address from Rep. William M. Straus, a message from Veteran Agent Berry Denham, and a reading of the Gettysburg Address from Johanna Appleton of Old Rochester Regional Junior High School.
After the ceremony, members of the Legion will place wreaths on the War Memorials. Parade Marshall Lamoureux will assemble the marchers, who will proceed to the Town Wharf for a JROTC Firing Squad Salute to the veterans who lost their lives at sea, then to Cushing Cemetery to fire a salute to those who lost their lives on land, and ending at the Legion Hall.
Marion's parade, meanwhile, will start at 9:00 am on Memorial Day at the Music Hall. After a rendition of the National Anthem from the Sippican School Band and short ceremony at the Civil War Monument, according to officials, the parade will proceed:
"South on Front Street to Main Street, west on Main Street, then north on to Spring Street, for a ceremony at the Marion Town Hall.
"After the ceremony at the Marion Town Hall, the parade will continue north on Spring Street to Old Landing Cemetery for a ceremony at the graveside of Benjamin D. Cushing.
"The parade will continue through Old Landing Cemetery, north on Mill Street to Ryders Lane, east on Ryders Lane to Old Landing Veterans Memorial Park for a ceremony at the
World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam and Gulf War Monuments."
On May 25 at 10:00 am, members of the Benjamin D. Cushing Post 2425 Veterans of Foreign Wars will place flowers on the graves of deceased veterans of all wars. The placement of flowers will start at Evergreen Cemetery and then proceed to three other cemeteries in Marion.
The Magic of Therapy Dogs
This Mattapoisett Life
By Marilou Newell
It's a little too soon to be certain, but I think everything's going to work out just fine. It isn't easy caring for a baby at this stage in life. Just the lack of sleep alone is draining. Not to mention the constant movement, the bending, lifting, walking, and reaching of it all. This is good fatigue, though. After decades of stress-related chronic fatigue and insomnia I now feel rested after a good night's sleep, even though it might not be quite long enough. Babies - in this case, puppies - wake up early.
Harry the Havanese joined us on April 24. He was selected based on his breed's gentle characteristics. This is critical for therapy work. The goal is that Harry and I will be trained to provide care to those in need.
Sure, the learning curve would be steep. But if I learned nothing else from the nearly 35 years I spent within the corporate halls of America displaying my core competencies, using my bandwidth, leveraging competitive knowledge, dripping sweat equity, having ah-hah moments, and then finally doing a brain dump for two new hires as my position was bifurcated ... well, let me tell you, I learned I needed a therapy dog immediately.
As a child, owning a dog was something I could only dream of. My mother wasn't fond of pets, especially ones that might drag dirt into her meticulously clean home. I grew up learning how to keep a home clean the way homemakers instructed in the 1950s. There certainly weren't any Magic Erasers or multi-action "cleaning bubbles" back then. Washing a floor was done with two pails and rag mops. No pets for us.
So when I purchased my first home about the time my son was eight years old, we got a dog. Zeb was a beautiful German Shepard/Lab mix. He became the best friend a boy could have. Zeb pulled sleds in the winter and bikes in the summer, making it impossible to ever walk him on a leash. But they had fun! For an only child, having a dog to pal around with is essential, in my view. Not only did my son have a buddy to play with, he also had someone to blame whenever things were broken. "How did my vase get broken!?" "I don't know, the dog must have knocked it over."
Zeb was my best friend, too. He slept beside my bed at night, rode shotgun while I worked my territory, swam against the incoming tide at the Wareham River, and introduced me to the joys of trying to wash away funk of a non-specific origin that even bleach couldn't remove. When I felt sad, he'd lay his head on my lap. He was my protector and confessor. That dog knew things. No dog will ever be what Zeb was to me.
But I digress.
Harry is a Havanese. The breed's soft coat and temperament are perfect for providing humans in need with warmth and love. Of course, training is key. Harry could easily go down the wrong path and become a gangster stealing hearts while nipping at heels.
Enter the trainer. This professional recently proved to me that you can read as many books as is humanly possible to consume on long winter days while watching reruns of The Dog Whisperer With Cesar Milan, and still do things terribly wrong.
At four pounds, mostly hair and bones, Harry is learning but, moreover, I am. I am learning that every movement I make and every word I say is shaping Harry's behavior. If I fail, he fails. Talk about a demanding performance matrix.
Harry's future is very bright. I foresee him bringing joy to the people we visit in nursing homes and similar facilities. I'm hoping and therefore will be working toward Harry's inclusion at reading programs or other types of intervention for kids in need. The calming influence a dog like Harry may impart can't be measured on a corporate Pareto chart.
But for now, Harry is learning that the bathroom is outside, what "no" really means, and what is allowed to be chewed (which does not include the rugs). He is learning to walk along with our adult dog Max, and that Max is in charge of the play dates.
This pup will grow to about 15 pounds, of which 10 will probably still be hair and bones. The breed hails from Cuba, hence "Havanese." I'm thinking Harry is a lover, not a fighter. Max, on the other hand, hails from Wales, where the breed (Cairn Terrier) was developed to be ratters, hunting down and killing rodents for farmers. Max is definitely not a lover. But Max is a leader and a darned good one; well, except for his massive barking hatred for the FedEx and UPS trucks, but otherwise ... yeah, and the trash truck, but really that's ... oh, and I almost forgot motorcycles ... he's a good leader.
Max from the first day slept through the night, knew the toilet was outdoors, and demanded very little of us except constant exercise. At night, after a day of patrolling the yard for varmints, he'll pop up on the sofa beside me giving me a soulful knowing look. I'll scratch his favorite spots and whisper sweet nothings into his waiting ears. This is just between the two of us. But his temperament isn't well suited for hours of lying around being patted and cooed over. He considers that nonsense. Bring in the lover.
Harry is a tiny package of "What are we going to do now folks?" Yet, when placed in the arms of my mother, whose life in the nursing home revolves around finding the bravery to face another day of confinement in that alternate universe, he melts into her and stays peacefully placid. "I could get used to you," she told him the other day. I witnessed the magic a dog possesses. I witnessed the gift of joy a dog brings just by being present and allowing a human to stroke its coat. I witnessed my dream slowly coming true: using a dog, this dog, to bring comfort to others. The other dogs were mine exclusively; Harry is for everyone.
Each morning for the last two weeks when Harry awakens at 5:15 and announces "It's time to go outside," I'm reminded that I ain't so young anymore. But I'm happy, tired and happy. Dog magic is working on me, too.
Getting Ready for the Fireworks
The bidding process is underway for the Marion Fireworks but the work is not done. Fundraising efforts have already yielded over $38,000 towards the effort and they will continue to try and reach the $50,000 goal. The exact figure needed is not known until the bids are opened and the costs of services such as police and fire details are quantified.
Those wishing to contribute towards the Fireworks can send donations to Marion Fireworks, 2 Spring Street, Marion, MA 02738. Limited edition T-shirts are also available at the Marion Recreation office on 13 Atlantis Drive as well as at Hangman Coffee Hut, Lighthouse Liquors and the Town Clerk's office at the Marion Town House.
Henry Back, Briggs Out, Hills In
By Shawn Badgley
In an election that took shape as town policy in Marion took center stage, Selectman John Henry easily won re-election, while Sherman Briggs was bounced from the Planning Board.
With 495 votes, the plain-spoken and razor-sharp Henry cruised to victory over challengers Dale Jones (185) and Planning Board member Ted North (149), just days after a Town Meeting that saw the incumbent carrying the flag for the Board of Selectmen on contentious article upon contentious article.
Two of those articles comprised the solar bylaw, and they met divergent fates: Article 30 (which sought to formalize the residential solar installation process) failed, and Article 31 (mandating a Municipal Solar Overlay District and allowing for a community solar garden) carried.
Similarly, the Planning Board's candidates' fortunes split Friday night: Incumbent Briggs (364 votes), who was against the solar bylaw, lost his spot, while solar bylaw opponent Tom Magauran did not seek re-election. But Jerry Ferrari (447 votes), a Marion resident who voted against both articles, earned a seat, as did Energy Management Committee member Norm Hills (430 votes), a dogged solar bylaw advocate.
Briggs was recently cited in an ethics violation as a Conservation Commission member for a conflict of interest in dealings with Tabor Academy.
Elsewhere on the ballot, Bradford Eames was re-elected to the Board of Assessors unopposed; David Titus, who clashed with North and Magauran during Town Meeting earlier this week, was re-elected as Moderator unopposed; incumbent Albin Johnson beat back challenger Kerry Reynolds to retain his Board of Health seat; Christine Marcolini won re-election to the Marion School Committee with no opposition; and incumbents Randy Parker and John Rockwell were re-elected unopposed to the Open Space Acquisition Commission.
In the other race of note, Linda Harju outlasted Michelle Ouellette to earn the Old Rochester Regional School Committee's open seat.
Two Retirement Projects on Agenda
Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals
By Marilou Newell
With no controversies, no abutters' objections, and no questions from the public or the Board members, the two hearings scheduled for the night took much less than the 15 minutes allotted each.
First up was Susan Nilson of CLE Engineering in Marion and Stephen Kelleher, architect from Mattapoisett. They were presenting a project for William and Jane (Hiller) Farran of Philadelphia for property located at 53 Angelica Avenue. The house on the property was built in 1759 and the two-acre site also has several outbuildings. The petitioners were requesting permission to make improvements and alternations to the barn for conversion into a guesthouse. It was noted that a member of the family will reside in the guesthouse with the Farrans eventually occupying the home when they retire in Mattapoisett. Without any issues, questions or concerns about the project, it was unanimously approved.
The other applicant to come before the Board was Carl Hoines of Fairhaven regarding 150 North Street. The property currently sports a mobile home trailer and several outbuildings. The Hoineses, having received approvals from the Board of Health and Conservation Commission, want to tear down the existing structures and erect a new larger modular home (currently under construction at a factory located in the Carolinas) with a full basement. Neighbor Robert Sylvia spoke in favor of the project, saying, "It will bring up property values." The Hoineses told the Board once the home is completed they, too, plan on retiring in Mattapoisett. This request also easily received approval.
The Board then adjourned and went in to executive session.
Marion Planning Board
By Joan Hartnett-Barry
A changing of the guards happened at the Monday meeting of the Marion Planning Board resulting from the Friday election. Incoming members included Jerry Ferrari and Norm Hills, who were welcomed as new members. Outgoing members included Tom Magauran and Sherman Briggs, Jr.
Chairman Jay Ryder, who later turned over the reins to new Chairman Pat McArdle, opened with a heartfelt thank you to outgoing member Sherman Briggs.
"We want to thank Sherman Briggs for his many, many years of service. The number of your volunteer hours is unmatched. He has a will to the town that is true dedication. We support you," Ryder said. Both the Board and the audience applauded.
"Also, we want to thank Tom Magauran, for his nine years of service on the Planning Board. By voice and by letter, Tom has told us that he is available as a consultant on issues ongoing and upcoming," Ryder said. Again, the Board and audience applauded.
The reorganization had Jay Ryder stepping down and appointing Pat McArdle as the new Chairman. Steve Kokkins was appointed as Vice Chairman, and newly elected Norm Hills as Clerk.
In joking mode, outgoing Chairman Jay Ryder said that the Planning Board was like the "'Hotel California' ... you can check out, but you can never leave," with the Board and audience in laughter.
The Board approved past minutes and determined that no comment would be made on issues regarding ZBA issues at 40 Dexter Road or at 5 Spinnaker Lane.
Next up was a continued public hearing of a Site Plan Review, Johnson Family Investments, 806 Mill Street c/o GAF Engineering/Anthi Frangiadis Associates. The property is the location of the former Frigate Restaurant on Route 6.
Four abutters to the property spoke about the impact of the proposed local produce market and ice cream window. The property, in the rear, abuts the back of the Old Knoll area.
The proposal is waiting for comments from the Town of Marion's engineering firm, Field Engineering, a Mattapoisett firm, regarding the project.
Owner Arnie Johnson spoke and addressed the Board.
"Last week I met with four abutters and walked the property," Johnson said. "We want to be a good neighbor and do the right thing. We have addressed all points in the Massachusetts Highway permit process and want to be right with our neighbors."
Several abutters attended the meeting and spoke about concerns. The property just behind the property is Old Sheepfield Road, part of the Old Knoll neighborhood.
Abutter Christine Dole addressed the Board and said that she and her family worried about the ice cream window proposed at the site.
"What about loud music and children running around the area?" she asked.
Johnson responded by saying that he will only be selling fruit smoothies and ice cream and not burgers and clams from the window.
"This will not be Kool Kone," Johnson said.
"I want to work with the abutters on this," he added. At issue is the ice cream window, which would be close to one of the abutters' property. Marlene and John Sousa of Mill Street attended, and asked about the buffer of trees and brush from the business. Johnson said he would be willing to meet with any and all abutters to address issues.
Hours of the new establishment will end at 7:00 pm for the produce market and at 9:00 pm for the ice cream window.
The public hearing was continued to June 3 at 7:10 pm.
Easement Holder Can Cut Vegetation
Rochester Conservation Commission
By Nick Walecka
The Rochester Conservation Commission ruled Tuesday night that Gregory Kamon of 11 Briarwood Lane could cut vegetation specified by the Commission on the easement that he shares with David Gomes.
Gomes lives on the adjacent lot, and he disagreed with Kamon's decision to cut vegetation along the walkway, which borders Gomes' deck.
"I don't want to cut a lot," said Kamon. "I just want it to be passable. I'm not looking to do a lot. For the very few times I put a canoe in, I just want a spot to get it in."
Gomes argued it was illegal for Kamon to perform work on his property, but the Commission ultimately decided it was reasonable for Kamon to perform plant maintenance to the path.
Gomes has 21 days to appeal their decision, and if he wants to, he can take legal action regarding the matter.
The Commission also discussed the allocation of $5,000 from a grant they received from the Makepeace Neighborhood Fund for the Dogget's Brook project that is currently under way.
Commissioners said that several people have volunteered their time and equipment to working on the project, and that most of the money from the grant will be used for seeding and new signage on the property. The volunteers will clear overgrown vegetation on the path to the conservation area, as well as clear some large mounds that currently exist on the back of the property.
"It's exciting," Commissioner Rosemary Smith said. "It's going to cost a lot for the seed mix, and it's going to cost a lot for the signage."
Smith added that they hoped the work would be done for the end of August so that the seeding could occur in the fall.
The next Conservation Commission meeting is scheduled for June 4.
SRPEDD Makes Its Next Stop
Rochester Planning Board
By Nick Walecka
Officials from the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District met with the Planning Board on Wednesday to present an interactive map showing the results of regional land use research that they have done in Rochester and 27 other surrounding towns.
SRPEDD initially performed land use surveys in each of those towns in 2008 in conjunction with the announcement of the still yet-to-be-approved South Coast Rail Project, and these recent results are based off those initial findings yet include up-to-date information.
Grant King and Bill Napolitano of SRPEDD were both adamant in promoting the importance of the research, which specifies land use in towns potentially affected by the rails. Their presentation included the interactive map of Rochester, with specified areas highlighted according to their current and potential uses. The map will be accessible to elected officials of the town, and could be instrumental for future town planning as well as for neighboring towns to plan with each other.
"If we give you the best information available, and it can help the development of the community," Napolitano said. "It will really help the towns work together in the future. You know what resources are there, what areas to protect. It really gives you a good read on the carrying capacity of the area."
The SRPEDD research plans also act as sort of a middleman between the towns and the state. With potential grants available to the municipalities, the maps can help make them more appealing when they apply.
Part of the main focus of the plans are to show priority development and protection areas within the region.
The GIS show "target natural resources to protect and target areas to develop," King said. "It's a good tool for you and your professional staff, and we're always here to help you with it."
Planning Board Chairman Arnold Johnson recommended that each member of the Board take a look at the map to identify any potential problems or changes that the town feels it should make. King asked that each member do so by June 1 so they can continue with the next phases of their research.
"The end result, when we're all said and done, is that we agree with these designations, but we'll have this forever," Johnson said. "That will influence our zoning and Planning Board development."
SRPEDD Plan Gets Mixed Reviews
Mattapoisett Planning Board
By Marilou Newell
The evening's meeting started out quickly with a fast turnaround for Brian Porter, Vice President of Brophy & Phillips Co. Real Estate regarding Mattapoisett Landing Units 6, 7, 8 and 102, situated on Fairhaven Road. Porter was before the Board to explain plan changes for one unit from triplex to a duplex. With no concerns, the Board approved the changes as submitted.
The balance of the night was then given over to Grant King, Principal Comprehensive Planner for SRPEDD for a public hearing on the draft of Mattapoisett's future in terms of re-zoning, land protection, property protection and growth.
King prefaced his presentation by stating for the assembled, "This is not SRPEDD's work; this is your work." He also made it clear that is was an informal conversation of the draft work that had been done with a coalition of townspeople from Mattapoisett. He then explained the necessity of this work for Mattapoisett's future.
Putting the material in context, he said that in 2008, as part of the Southcoast Rail Project, an original plan was prepared. Via a PowerPoint presentation, he overlaid the 2012 plan to demonstrate some differences for the group's consideration.
He then explained that a 2010 state executive order (EO 525) required cities and towns in the corridor region to establish fully fleshed plans. The directive doesn't tell municipalities what they must do or develop, plan or build, but that those plans have merit. Throughout his presentation, King emphasized that the draft was the town's plan, not SRPEDD's.
He explained the priority development areas were where the group thought types of light commercial or other construction might be reasonable to help revenue sources for the town. One example is a site off Crystal Springs Road that is an old gravel pit; it might be considered for rezoning for low impact development.
The meeting was then turned over for public comment.
Bonnie DeSouza said the "landfill area was recently approved for solar farm - it's a perfectly good area for that." She added that "another old gravel pit behind the Knights of Columbus might be a good spot for commercial development" and "the entire length of Route 6 should be more business friendly." She went on to say "We don't want to change laws that might affect the use of the boatyard areas, for the important work it does for our water recreation."
Mary Crain asked, "Can the same be said about the boatyard at Brandt Island?"
King said the same logic would apply and swiftly made the changes to the draft.
Paul Osenkowski asked, "What is low impact development?"
King said it is "mostly associated with storm water runoff ... so rather than a CVS coming in, rather than just building a parking lot, we could make them build in swales to divert rainwater runoff."
Osenkowski said, "It seems because of an executive order we are being asked to increase the number of homes and businesses so that we can increase revenue into the town and pack more people into cluster development."
Again King said, "This is not SRPEDD's work, this is not the state's work, this is your fellow citizen's work." He said, "this is a basic plan use exercise which is taking place across the 27 communities in SRPEDD coverage." He continued, "where do the towns want growth, where to the towns want protection ... the state is providing grants for towns that have made statements about growth ... there is some incentive [to the town] by making money available."
The state is offering two types of grants. One is for Massworks projects such as sewer extensions, bike paths, roadwork, and the other is for economic development studies that may include residential expansion studies. But King also said, "The state is not trying to influence behavior with funding."
Brad Hathaway spoke, saying, "25 years ago they tried to extend the business along Route 6, the same town meeting they turned the same business area back to residential ... I think this is a very poor turnout by the town on something that is so important to the town," noting that there were approximately 15 people present.
Hathaway then reminded the group, "We cannot protect the wetlands in this town without a wetlands protection bylaws, mostly because of the action of the Conservation Commission. Until we get wetlands protection bylaws, this is ridiculous."
King responded, "But we are not talking about zoning now ... that would have to go to town meeting for public vote before any of these suggestions, before any zoning changes can be implemented."
Gary Johnson asked, "Can you compare Mattapoisett to Marion," indicating that he wished to see how the latter had zoned its part of Route 6. He said, "We can't have non-discriminatory plans for Route 6 from border to border."
Bob Rogers wanted to clarify that, "business development doesn't mean it has to be commercial development ... it could be medical offices, or senior housing."
Board member Karen Fields asked King, "What do you see in the future for villages to stay a village?"
King replied, "Good planning and good zoning work."
King went on to say that SRPEDD will review the plans to find the things that are most important for the town. He encouraged everyone to participate in regional meetings and to visit the SRPEDD website at www.srpedd.org/scr-update.asp.
Still a Busy Schedule for Seniors
By Jessica Correia
After the seniors' last day of class on May 21 earlier this week, there remain a few events before graduation that are mandatory for the Class of 2013 to attend. Unless you have an excused absence from the event, all seniors must attend, or they cannot walk at graduation.
This week is seniors' finals week, with the finals having started on Wednesday, May 22. On Wednesday the final exams were Day 1 Block 4 and Day 1 Block 1. On Thursday, May 23, the finals schedule is Day 2 Block 4 and Day 2 Block 2.
Friday, May 24, the schedule starts off with Day 1 Block 2 and finishes with Day 1 Block 3. The next finals day is Tuesday, May 28, due to Memorial Day weekend. Finals will resume with Day 2 Block 1 and Day 2 Block 3.
The following day, Wednesday, May 29 there is a mandatory meeting in the auditorium at 10:30 am. Seniors will be receiving cap, gown, and graduation tickets during this meeting.
To request extra graduation tickets you must speak to Mrs. Durocher on senior sign-out day. Extra tickets are first come first serve, so if on senior sign-out day you did not request tickets, you should call the office and request them as soon as possible.
The following week is prom. Promenade starts at 4:15 pm on June 4. The Prom is located at Wequassett Resort in Harwich. Doors open at 6:30 pm and close at 10:30 pm.
On June 6, there will be a mandatory graduation rehearsal from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. There is a meeting for Senior Assembly entertainers only in the gym at 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Senior Awards Night is also June 6, starting at 7:00 pm. If you cannot attend, you must have your absence cleared with the principal.
There will be a dress code for Senior Awards Night, Senior Assembly and Graduation. Jeans, sneakers and shorts are not allowed. Boys should be in collared shirt with ties and girls should have an appropriate dress and shoes.
On June 7, seniors should report to the auditorium no later than 8:30 am for Senior Assembly. Seniors must wear their gowns but no caps.
On June 8, seniors must report to the gym at 12:00 pm to pick up flowers and tassels before Graduation, which starts at 1:00 pm. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outside, where there is unlimited seating. Should the weather infringe on the ceremony, it will be held inside with limited seating. Should the weather be uncooperative, seniors should report to the library at 12:00 pm.
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