The Wanderer - Mobile Edition
Preserving the Good Life
By Jean Perry
If one happens to drive by Marion and Robert Faelten's Pierce Street home in Rochester early morning on any given day in August or September, chances are one will find them both standing inside their kitchen fully immersed in the labor of love they share every year, as they have done for all 50 of the late summers they've had together.
Early this Tuesday, the kitchen is exactly where Marion and Bob could be found - Marion before a bowl of roasted peeled heirloom tomato varieties, pouring bare handfuls of them down into a clear glass mason jar through a funnel, and Bob next to her before a bowl of boiled water and sanitized jar lids and rings, holding his metal tongs and ready for Marion's 'OK' before taking one and placing it onto the top of the jar.
The couple that cans together clearly stays together (and laughs together), at least in this household. And with the 49-and-a-half years of marriage they share, this couple knows a thing or two about canningcraft. And yes, I just made that word up because if ever there were two people with the master recipes for a good jelly, relish, pickle, preserve, or Sambuca (they even make their own liqueurs), it's Marion and Bob - patience, process, and partnership. They even include a few scoops of sugar, a dash of lemon juice, and a sprig of homegrown herbs here and there.
Actually, the two grow not just the herbs, but most of what they can, right in their own garden, and this year the plum tree in their front yard, like most other fruit trees this year, yielded so many plums, enough for over two dozen jelly jars with some leftover.
"It all takes time," said Marion. And not just in the kitchen, for the entire garden is started by seed inside their greenhouse (Which, if you happen to drive by their house any given summer afternoon is where you would find them cracking open a couple of cold ones). A multitude of heirloom tomato varieties such as black pearl, green Cherokee, green zebra, and fuzzy peach to name a few - all started with seeds collected and kept from the year before - will all be roasted in the late summer and preserved for the winter when Marion loves to make homemade pasta and top it with a sweet, savory tomato sauce.
"A hundred and forty heirloom tomatoes," said Marion. "That's where you get all the beautiful color," she said, motioning to the colorful bowl of tomatoes the couple roasted and spent the morning peeling the day before.
"I laid them out on baking pans, added ten cloves of fresh garlic around, added some rosemary here and there, and then roasted them until they just collapsed."
Marion loves to cook. Her dream is to have her own cooking show on The Food Network. She even has a catchy name for it - "Thyme With Marion." And as she pointed out, there is no show currently featuring a New England chef.
"My dad was an Italian butcher," she said. "We didn't grow up rich, but we always ate wonderfully." Marion started canning with her parents when she was young and although she did not take to it so much in early adulthood, a neighbor who was a canning connoisseur reignited Marion's interest.
Bob, one of five children, said his mother would do some canning, too, and she was quite good at it. "She didn't can as much as we can," he said, because with work and five children there just wasn't enough time to devote to it.
"Back away!" Marion playfully says to Bob as he recounts his story, holding a tong- clutched jar cover over the tomatoes before Marion was ready for him. Bob is the "trained monkey" as he referred to himself.
"Can you grab that one for me?" Bob asks his wife as he struggles to grip a lid with his tongs. "Thanks."
As the couple cans, looking around the kitchen one can see rows of jars of jellies resting on top of the old white Glenwood coal stove that belonged to Marion's grandmother. The pantry is stocked with myriad ingredients, flours, spices, and canning implements. The staircase wall leading to the basement is lined with row atop row of canned fruits and vegetables of every color, texture, and taste - a virtual library of flavors all concocted by the Faeltens.
"I just go crazy," said Marion. For example, in her plum jelly she added jalapeno pepper to some jars, grated orange zest, and craisins to others.
Marion and Bob also make their own juices, but as for Marion, "I want no part of juicing." The method is dubious and messy, she thinks. Like that time of the big cranberry catastrophe when the suspended bag (pillowcase actually) of smashed cranberries suspended by the ceiling over the kitchen sink suddenly fell, splashing red juice all over the walls and floor as it exploded open on the counter.
"It makes a really good stain," said Bob.
The whole canning thing isn't a money saver, says Marion. "It's our labor of love. And the product is much purer than what you get from the supermarket."
"I love the different colors of the jars," says Marion as she looks them over. And after another season of canning is over, she will view the fully stocked shelves leading to the basement and remember - "It's so rewarding."
"You look forward to doing it again next year already," says Bob.
"It's the highlight of the year," said Marion. For after months of planting the garden together, weeding together, and harvesting together, surely turning a few more steps of this twelve-month tango keeps them in time together.
"We do just about everything together, we really do," says Marion.
"It's family," Bob says.
"Yes," Marion agreed.
They especially enjoy that afternoon beer from the greenhouse. "We look at the garden and just sit there and watch it grow," said Marion, caught up in the conversation as she went through the canning motions.
"Did you see me put salt in this jar?" she asks Bob.
"Yes," he confirms.
Once the jars of tomatoes are plunked into the boiling water to sit for 45 minutes, the Faeltens turn their attention to the lemon verbena and cheap vodka for some homemade limoncello.
"We make our own liqueurs," says Marion. "My dad made dandelion wine that was like champagne when it was corked."
The Faeltens' preserve reserve of homemade canned foods will last them an entire year, even after they give away many jars as gifts during the holidays.
"They make great gifts," says Marion ... and anyone else lucky enough to be on the Faeltens' Christmas list.
Waltzing the Good Waltz
By Jonathan Comey
When Bill Tilden of Old Rochester Regional took the Plymouth County Suicide Prevention Coalition informational class, it was an eye-opener on the scope and specter of the problem.
"It was very impactful," the school's athletic director recalled. "It was something that has been on my radar since."
Of course, Tilden didn't know that taking the class would eventually lead to the sight of him, dressed in a dramatic stage ensemble, dancing the waltz in front of a crowd that stood 200 strong.
But there he was, after 10 weeks of preparation, taking part in the "Dancing with the Dignitaries" event last Saturday night, finishing second overall and helping the night raise over $10,000.
He decided to participate at the urging of school nurse Kim Corazzini, who is heavily involved with the Plymouth County program. She wanted to have representation from the eastern end of the county and thought Tilden fit the bill.
"She is the kind of person that when she wants you to do something, you do it," Tilden said. "She's just got that type of effect on you."
Of course, that doesn't mean Tilden thought it was going to go as well as it did. When it started, he just hoped that his athletic focus and work ethic would overcome a total lack of experience and talent.
"Am I a dancer? No, not at all. Basically, you're just hoping not to embarrass yourself," he said. "I guess I just said, 'Let's give it a shot.'"
Most of the contestants weren't dancers either, so Tilden felt like everyone was in the same boat. "Really, none of us were known for hitting the dance floor."
But as they worked individually and in groups with a dance instructor over 10 lessons, they got better - and they formed bonds.
"There were a couple guys that I'd run into pretty regular, and we really made connections that I think will last for a long time."
On the night of the event, Tilden said he felt prepared - and, of course, he had members of ORR's "Dog Pound" in the house to cheer (and maybe laugh a little).
"The Rochester Police Brotherhood covered a bus for us, and we had a bunch of kids that drove up too," Tilden said. "We had a lot of the front row covered by the Dog Pound, loud and proud. They did the school an honor by how they carried themselves."
Performing the waltz with his partner/trainer, Tilden won the "fan favorite" award while finishing second overall, and he went from total newbie to perfectionist by the end of the show. "There were definitely a couple of things that were off," Tilden said, perhaps dreaming of his next performance. "Two spots, definitely, where I missed."
Tilden is sure everyone came away from the event having had fun and coming together in a positive way around a dark and confusing issue. Tilden noted that two Old Rochester alums died from suicides in just the last few weeks, and he hopes that fundraisers like this one can make a difference.
"Everyone's heart was in the right place to be there," he said. "It was really an amazing night, and I think just keeping the subject of suicide prevention as a topic of conversation is important."
Until Tilden's pro dancing career takes off, however, it's back to his day job.
But if you hear the strings and rhythm of the waltz drifting through the halls of ORR, don't be surprised to see the AD, working on those moves he missed one more time.
A Brief History of Rochester Farms
By Marilou Newell
It would be impossible to tell the whole story of farming in Rochester in the brevity allotted a newspaper story or even in an hour-long presentation. For the history of farming in Rochester, one needs time to absorb the vast richness of it - as rich as the soils that have been turned and nurtured down through the centuries.
Undaunted by the task and inspired by the importance of capturing the history of farming in this SouthCoast country town, the Rochester Historical Society is well on its way to unveiling an exhibit of the town's agrarian culture from the past to the present.
On September 13 as members and guests of the Rochester Historical Society gathered for their monthly meeting, the group was granted a peek into the past when Connie Hartley Eschbach rose to speak on "Rochester Farms, Past and Present."
Eschbach said, according to records in the town hall, that over 98 percent of all land in the Town of Rochester is classified as agricultural-residential. She noted that some 4,000 acres fall into the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 61A category of reduced property taxation for agricultural lands. "It can be the difference between paying $600 per year or $200," she said.
But far beyond the financial aspect of owning property in Rochester is the deep sense that farming is as critical to its society today as it was in the past.
Eschbach transported the audience to the earliest days when settlers in 1673 purchased land from the indigenous people and began farming between the Sippican and Mattapoisett Rivers.
"Eastover Farm is where they had forges and sawmills," she said, adding that it was an essential aspect for cultivating the lands.
As Eschbach plowed the fertile history of the town, familiar names sprang forth -Leonard, Hillier, Cabral, Vaughan, White, Humphrey, Hartley, and Florindo. It was from notes taken from L. C. Humphrey's diary, she said, where much of the town's farming history between the 1800s and 1950s had been gleaned.
Eschbach nodded to the efforts of Historical Society member Betty Beaulieu and others who researched the town's farming past as the members strive to preserve the historical data.
Sound bites from Eschbach's presentation contained such charming anecdotes like: "Humphrey said there were so many chickens in Rochester they could be heard clucking all the way to P-town." Another, "They used old cranberry vines to keep the barns dry and clean."
Eschback also added, "The barn on Vaughan Hill is still a working farm ... but inside is like a laboratory with people wearing white lab coats."
Eschbach's own ties to the town run generations deep, as it does through many who attended the talk. As she spoke, the heads of those with those old family names nodded in recognition.
Around the antique church building that has become the museum of the Historical Society were large displays of photographs documenting farming then and now. The group will continue to build the exhibit over the coming days.
For Eschbach, there is continuity in the town where farming is concerned. She sees a parallel from past farming activities to modern enterprises.
"The old farms are mostly all gone," Eschbach lamented, while quickly adding, "Yet farming is still vital with such things as beekeeping, vegetables, beef, chickens, sprouts, and alpacas." She proudly and with humor added that whenever she tells people where she is from they inevitably say, "Oh Rochester, I love the corn from Rochester!"
Regarding the sanctity of the land, Eschbach stated, "Today, there are seven hundred sixty three acres of land in restricted conservation status."
As she thanked the local farmers and those in attendance, Eschbach prevailed upon the residents of the town saying, "It's up to us the residents to protect the fields, woods, and bogs from development."
Eschbach invited the public to return on September 30 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm when the Rochester Historical Society opens its farming exhibit celebrating agriculture in all its many forms through the ages, a celebration that will include a homespun favorite - a bake sale.
To learn more about the farming history in Rochester, you may visit the Plumb Library where L. C. Humphrey's notes are kept. You may visit the Rochester Historical Society Museum located at 355 Country Road any Sunday in October between 1:00 and 3:00 pm.
Is It Fake Or Real News
By Marilou Newell
On September 17, the Mattapoisett Public Library hosted the second in a series of three civically-oriented discussions sponsored in partnership with the Tri-Town libraries in Marion and Rochester. Visiting the Mattapoisett Public Library were Mindy Todd of NPR, WCAI radio, and Paul Pronovost, editor-in-chief of The Cape Cod Times, to discuss the rising issues around fake versus real news and its dissemination.
Pronovost started the discussion by saying, "Fake news isn't new." He then explained that ten years ago the "phenomenon of misinformation" began with the advent of the Internet, which was intended "to get us more deeply involved, but we are now more shallowly informed." Pointing to the last presidential election as a sharp turning point in the sharing of sensationalized incorrect information, Pronovost said, "The elections proved that fake news affects us all."
According to Todd, the term "alternate facts" was really spin - an attempt to sway the populace's thinking in a particular direction - but that, of course, "alternate facts aren't facts at all."
In an age when technology allows humans around the globe to communicate in less than a heartbeat's time, Pronovost said, in the past, newsrooms were the gatekeepers where information could be vetted for accuracy. Today, however, "Spin-masters can go directly to you, get to you first, get you onboard," pushing inaccuracy into the public domain. Those bits of misleading and incorrect data spread, taking on a life of their own, he indicated. "People are passing things around with no fact checking," he asserted.
Using the old adage of "if it's too good to be true, it isn't true," Todd urged the audience to consider the source of any information or story they read or hear.
Dishearteningly enough, "Fake news is three times more likely to be shared on social media than real news," Pronovost said.
Todd shared that news at one time was considered a public service, "but now it's entertainment." She said ratings, not accuracy, have become the measure by which news broadcasts are measured.
And both news veterans believed that people aren't taking the time to ensure that what they are exposed to from the Internet is real or not.
"People pick what they want to hear, what supports their views, what they already believe, rather than challenging the source," Pronovost said. "When there are so many voices to be heard, it's hard to hear them all."
Of mainstream media outlets, both Todd and Pronovost said time is spent fact-checking information, with Todd saying, "We spend time breaking down false news. We check our sources. We are not going to give them a forum to spread falsehoods." She said mainstream media uses editors who question stories and verify information before reporting it.
But as long as money can be made via clicks on websites, fake news will continue to be problematic, the duo concurred.
So how does one ensure that information received, whether in print, social media, radio or television, is in fact factual? The bottom line is - do your own fact checking.
The library provided handouts to help the public use the Internet to secure real information and to check the facts.
For students and young people, there is www.newseumED.org, a platform for learning about fake news and the "complexities of digital citizenship, including students' active role in the flow of information."
Another handout listed a variety of Internet sites, such as www.izitru.com, that can help in determining if images posted on social media are real or provide guidelines on information sharing.
Todd and Pronovost urged the attendees to do their homework, verify information using resources they trust, and to question any information that seemed suspicious.
But probably the most important shared moment was when retired children's librarian Linda Burke said, "We have a responsibility to encourage the coming generations to question media." Todd and Pronovost believe we should all be doing just that on a daily basis.
The next civic presentation is scheduled for October 24 at 6:30 pm in Rochester's Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library when Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and Robert Macedo of SkyWarn and the National Weather Service will discuss "Climate Change and You."
Town Master Plan Unveiled
Marion Planning Board
By Sarah French Storer
After three years of dedicated effort, the Marion Planning Board on September 18 presented the completed Master Plan to a small crowd of Marion residents at the board's Monday night meeting. The board is hoping the Master Plan will be adopted at the Fall Special Town Meeting on October 23.
Planning Board member Jennifer Francis introduced the presentation, reminding the audience of the long history of the development of the plan. She suggested to the group: "Keep in mind, this Master Plan is not a road map, but a vision. It doesn't say how to get there; it describes what we want Marion to be in the next ten years."
The plan is a result of five public workshops, hundreds of public comments, and input from various advisory groups. Francis pointed out that board member Norm Hills and former board member Rico Ferrari spearheaded the effort, and board member Steve Kokkins served on the committee. Hills reminded the attendees that approval of the plan is only the beginning, saying, "Implementation will require participation from the [Marion community]."
Grant King, a Principal Comprehensive Planner at SRPEDD who worked closely with the Planning Board on the Master Plan, presented a brief summary of the final product.
King informed the group that this presentation was "setting the table" for the Open House to be held Saturday, October 14, at Sippican School. SRPEDD staff members will be on hand that day to discuss each element of the plan in detail and answer any questions the public may have.
King described the organization of the plan, underscoring the effort the Planning Board made to ensure the plan was user friendly. As Kokkins had noted earlier, Grant described the plan as "a living, breathing document."
"The Master Plan is concise, data rich and thorough, but approachable and engaging," King said.
Each of the nine elements, or chapters, included in the plan begins with a quote derived from the comments provided by residents about their thoughts of and aspirations for Marion. This quote illustrates the theme of the element, which is then more fully described with goals and strategies for achieving the stated goals.
Grant pointed out that the Planning Board added the Climate Resiliency element to the Master Plan, which is not one of the elements currently required by Massachusetts State Law.
The Town has already begun implementing some strategies outlined by the plan, such as the Stewards of Community Open Space, a committee approved by the Board of Selectmen to bring all the organizations with an interest in open space together on one committee so that they may more effectively communicate.
In addition, Marion is part of the Community Compact Cabinet, which develops mutual standards and best practices with the state.
The Transportation and Circulation Task Force has been working under the tutelage of Francis and has completed the Complete Streets Policy, which enables the Town to apply for grant funding for transportation-related projects.
In closing, Grant reminded the group that there will be a survey distributed to the residents in October to assess the public transportation needs of the town residents.
In other business, the board dispensed with two Approval Not Required applications. Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering represented Sylvia Companies for a property located at 265 Wareham Street. The applicant wanted to create two lots from one, in which both lots were conforming to zoning in both area and frontage.
Hills asked what the intention for the two lots were, saying, "You're probably not going to be able to build there because they are in a velocity zone and not likely to get sewer hook-up." Grady acknowledged Hills' comments, but could not elaborate on the future use of the lots.
The second ANR was for 30 Sippican Lane, on behalf of Lars and Ruth Olson, represented by Doug Schneider of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates. The application was the creation of two parcels, both to be conveyed to the abutter to the south. One lot was created to correct a 60-year-old error in which bounds had been inaccurately located and land had inadvertently been occupied due to this error. Both ANR applications were approved unanimously.
The public hearing for the Site Plan Review of the application for Tri-Town Motors located at 149 Wareham Street was presented by the applicant Dwight Crosby. The proposed business will be located in the old Comcast building, which Crosby said would be greatly improved in appearance with his high-end used car dealership. Crosby noted that they would leave the existing lighting on the building, and they intended to move the birch trees currently in front of the building to the side to shade the lighting from the neighbor.
Francis underscored the effort of the Planning Board to take the opportunity of a new business application to improve the appearance of Route 6.
"The change of use to a used car dealership is not a better-looking business," she said. Francis was concerned about the lack of green space on the site, especially along the roadway, with the removal of the birch trees to the side of the building.
A lengthy discussion ensued regarding both the lighting and the plantings, with board members agreeing that the existing lighting may be acceptable but the planting along the road needed improvement.
Marion resident Susan Connor spoke enthusiastically in favor of the project, saying she knew the applicant both professionally and personally.
"We would be lucky to have people of this caliber in Marion," said Connor.
After considerable discussion, the board agreed to approve the site plan with the condition that the applicant provide an updated plan showing the low evergreen plantings along Route 6 between the road and the five cars on display in the lot, and the lighting on the building would remain as it is currently. The board also approved the Special Permit for the change of use for the property.
The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for October 2 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
New Plan Unveiled For Snow Fields Lots
Mattapoisett Planning Board
By Marilou Newell
Once again, the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room was packed with abutters waiting to hear and see the plan modifications for a two-lot subdivision at the end of Snow Fields Road. But on September 18 what they got instead was a completely new roadway plan, one that would take the most contentious part of the project out of the purview of the Planning Board.
Sitting in as chairman for the evening was Nathan Ketchell flanked by Planning Board members Karen Field, Janice Robbins, and Gail Carlson. Also at the table was Mary Crain, town planner and board administrator.
David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. came forward representing Dennis Arsenault, rolling out copies of a new conceptual design for the entrance way into the uplands situated some 1,100 feet deep into property surrounded by a state-recognized swamp at the end of Snow Fields Road.
Davignon told the board that the proposed project had had one public hearing thus far with the Conservation Commission, saying that process was far from over. Then he directed everyone's attention to the new concept.
The planned extension of Snow Fields Road into Arsenault's property would now be a private common driveway with frontage at the west end created by the construction of a large public cul-de-sac. The cul-de-sac would function as a public way, allowing emergency vehicles to turn around as needed and provide frontage, but the house lots themselves would be at the end of a long private driveway, taking it out of Planning Board oversight. Now only the cul-de-sac would be required to receive regulatory oversight by the board.
Davignon said Arsenault had met privately with the Fire Department and that their preliminary review of the new plan had been favorably received. Pointing to the driveway on the drawing Davignon said, "Everything becomes a common driveway ... a common driveway doesn't need Planning Board approval.... This eliminates some of the waivers asked for.... It also changes the width..."
Of the new design, Davignon said, "I request you take this under advisement. We still have to finish with ConCom," and asked for the board's reactions.
Ketchell instead opened the hearing up to public comment first.
Abutters asked about stormwater runoff from the proposed long private driveway but were reminded that those issues were under the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission. They also questioned the viability of a hammerhead at the east end of the driveway serving the two uplands lots. That configuration seemed acceptable.
Also in attendance was Highway Superintendent Barry Denham.
Denham said that although the new design seemed to "side-step" the need for a roadway through the swampy expanse and although the fire department had warmed to this new conceptual design, it was still questionable how emergency vehicles would access the lots if needed. He said that during emergency situations, his department was charged with ensuring that downed trees or snow did not impede access to people needing services.
In response, Davignon asserted, "There is nothing in your bylaws that says they can't have a long driveway.... No bylaw in place." He added, "Other towns do, you do not ... the bylaws are what we are held to."
Robbins said she needed time to study the new design, while Crain asked Arsenault if the fire department had any further comment on accessing the lots. Arsenault said they had not.
Denham said private water wells planned to serve the two-lot subdivision would have to be drilled and water tested before building permits would be issued.
The board asked for written comments from various Town departments and boards.
The hearing was continued until October 2.
Earlier in the evening, the board reviewed plans submitted by Carol Lawrence for property owned by Gingras Trust located off Randall Road.
Represented by Al Ewing of Ewing Engineering, the plans call for the construction of a roadway into the 15-acre parcel, creating a new lot and thus providing necessary frontage for the planned two-lot subdivision.
Ewing then read from a four-page report that listed multiple waivers for the Planning Board's consideration.
There ensued an hour-long discussion on the merits of the roadway as designed, eliciting a number of questions and concerns from the board members.
Of primary concern to Robbins was the width of the proposed new street. Ewing's design called for it to be only 16 feet wide, one of the waivers requested, with a hammerhead turnaround at the end for emergency vehicles.
Ewing said that most of the waivers took into consideration the fact that the road would be serving only one house lot. But Robbins countered that while that might be the case now, in the future, given the size of the property, further subdivision might be pursued making the road layout inadequate. "What if someone wants to put in 40B housing?" she wondered and noted the size of the parcel, "Other things could be developed."
Denham had sat in on an informal preliminary meeting to review this project and offered the board members his insights. "In the past, the Planning Board has allowed a road for one house lot." He pointed to Whitetail Run also off Randall Road. He said that, at that time, the board had allowed a single lot roadway but that any future development off the road would require the applicant to improve it to meet current regulations. "It's possible in your decision on this one that any further building brings it back to the Planning Board."
The hearing was continued until October 2.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for October 2 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.
Loranger's 120 Front Street Plan Approved
Marion Conservation Commission
By Jean Perry
The Marion Conservation Commission on September 13 approved and issued special conditions for 120 Front Street, LLC's Notice of Intent to raze and reconstruct a one-family house at 120 Front Street, with the addition of a pool and some grading.
Commission Chairman Cynthia Callow commented that she found the engineer honest, and, "I like what the client does, so hopefully together we can put something together to make everybody happy."
A portion of the property is within the flood zone, and there are some bordering vegetative wetlands, placing constraints of the workable area. In order to stay as far outside the buffer zone as possible, the size of the pool was reduced and a pool house featured on the previous plan was taken out and relocated as an attachment to the house.
The height of the house was also reduced by 5 feet, from 23 feet 6 inches to 18 feet 6 inches.
Commission member Jeffrey Doubrava stressed the importance of containing roof water runoff, and the engineer presented mitigation that would direct any flowage through a swale towards the back of the property.
Some trees located near the property line of Saint Gabriel's Church were also discussed, and the commission wrote in its Order of Conditions that the owner of 120 Front Street, LLC, Christian Loranger, would have to advise the commission before removal. Another condition was the 48-hour notice of a pre-construction meeting to review silt filtration installations.
In other matters, the commission granted a Negative Determination for Don R. Lipsitt of 4 Island Court to demolish part of a deck and rebuild it slightly smaller.
Robert and Ellen Kaplan of 42 West Avenue received a Negative Determination to construct an addition and deck adjacent to the addition.
CLE Engineering on behalf of The Town of Marion was approved for a three-year extension on an Order of Resource Delineation for 369 and 371 Wareham Road.
The Kittansett Club was approved and issued an Order of Conditions for a Notice of Intent application to treat and remove phragmites at various areas of 11 Point Road.
Dwight Crosby of 149 Wareham Road received a Negative Determination for a RDA submitted for the removal of two birch trees and two shrubs to be relocated. New flowerbeds will replace existing mulch beds.
The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for September 27 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.
Old Rochester Regional School Committee
By Jean Perry
Superintendent Doug White told the Old Rochester Regional School Committee on September 13 that the school district did things a little bit differently for teachers and staff on opening day this year.
Aside from meeting in the auditorium instead of the cafeteria, White unveiled the school district's new initiative: branding ORR.
Each staff member was given a T-shirt with the logo of their respective school featured on the front and the hashtag #WEareOR on the back - We are Old Rochester.
All staff members from all schools also signed a large red and white banner with the school district's new hashtag #WEareOR, which will travel around the three towns to all the schools for display.
White said the message to staff was this: What does it mean to be Old Rochester?
"I really challenged the staff to really think about what that means," said White. He asked, what is it to brand our selves? With words, designs, logos, slogans - being consistent, keeping the messaged focused, maintaining a presence, and building those logos.
Speaking of logos, ORR High School Principal Mike Devoll said that ORR would be unveiling its new bulldog logo during Homecoming, so stay tuned...
White said the branding of Old Rochester is a tool to engage the community and tell the story of Old Rochester, by Old Rochester.
"We need to get our story out there, because if we don't tell our story, someone will tell it for us," White said. "We need a way to engage our stakeholders in a two-way communication over and above what we've currently been doing ... and make sure that everybody in our community knows the efforts in our schools and that they support our efforts...."
"We want to ensure that our voices are the ones telling our story. We can't let anyone else tell our story for us," said White.
The next meeting of the Old Rochester regional School Committee is scheduled for October 25 at 6:30 pm in the ORRJHS media room.
All Hands on Deck at ORR
By Jo Caynon
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, thousands of people in Texas, Florida, and the Antilles archipelago have lost everything they own and are now faced with the heavy task of rebuilding. With much of the country's attention focused on those specifically in Florida and Texas, one student at Old Rochester Rehional High has decided to spread the love to some of the affected islands as well.
Senior Alice Bednarczyk is the creator behind the ORRHS "Bake Sale for Irma Victims."
"All the proceeds from our bake sale will be going towards helping the people of the Virgin Islands recover from the awful hurricane that just devastated their homes," said Bednarczyk. "They need as much help as they can get and this is the least we can do."
All proceeds from the bake sale will go to All Hands, a local nonprofit based in Mattapoisett that assists with the long-term needs of any world-wide community affected by natural disasters. All Hands merchandise will also be sold at the bake sale for donation prices.
Bednarczyk explained how she came up with her fundraising idea.
"In my freshmen year of high school, a senior raised several hundred dollars for the 2015 Nepal earthquake just by selling whoopie pies," said Bednarczyk. "I remembered that moment as I saw all the destroyed homes on national television. Since bake sales at ORR typically make a sizeable donation amount, I figured that a bake sale would be the best idea to raise money for this cause."
"I've had tons of support so far," Bednarczyk said. "Principal Devoll immediately green lit the bake sale idea. Ms. Barker, the school librarian, also taught me how to make posters online that I then put up around the school to raise awareness. Overall, everyone has been incredibly eager and helpful about everything."
The National Honor Society and their advisors, English teachers Randy Allain and Kathleen Brunelle, were also very enthusiastic towards the idea. In fact, Bednarczyk has already served as an inspiration to her NHS peers since they have begun to plan other ways they can give back to the hurricane-affected communities.
The bake sale will be held on Thursdsay, September 21, during the high school open house from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Don't worry if you can't make it, though, according to Bednarczyk.
"If people want to donate, we will have containers for donations at the night of the bake sale, but you can also go on All Hand's website at www.hands.org. Just select the donate option and choose "Hurricane Irma Response," Bednarczyk said.
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