A New England Nutcracker

A city rich in American history, New Bedford is also a city with its own performing arts treasures.  This holiday season New Bedford Ballet will take you on a journey back in time to the 1850s, a time when The Whaling City prospered as its whale oil lit up the world. A New England Nutcracker will be performed December 6th through the 14th at the NBB Community Theatre, 2343 Purchase St. in New Bedford. For more information visit our website, www.newbedfordballet.org. Shown here: Standing: Annie Tucker (Mattapoisett), Ari Sweet (Marion), Bailey Sweet (Marion), Camryn McNamara (Mattapoisett); : Mia Hurley (Mattapoisett), Victoria Kvilhaug (Mattapoisett), Elizabeth Bungert (Mattapoisett); Sitting: Natalie Nilson (Marion), Audrey Knox (Mattapoisett), Emma Gabriel (Mattapoisett), Grayson Lord (Mattapoisett)


Free Movie – Last Tuesday of November

It’s Complicated (R, 120 min.) is being shown at the Mattapoisett Council on Aging, COA Senior Center, Center School, 17 Barstow St., on Tuesday, November 25 at 12:00 noon. The free movie is sponsored by the Friends of the Mattapoisett COA (formerly known as the Friends of the Elderly).

It’s Complicated: The complication is the unhealthy relationship of a secret affair between a fifty-something hottie and her ex-husband. The fellow on the sidelines is her kitchen re-design architect. Her ex-husband’s current spouse is the woman with whom he cheated on his wife ten years earlier. So that makes it complicated, and “humorous?”

You get two pizza slices for only $2 prepaid. Pay for your pizza at the COA Senior Center by Monday, November 24. Also, please reserve your seat – so we’ll know how many chairs need to be set up.

Cecil Clark Davis: A Self Portrait

A limited edition of a new book is being printed and will be available for sale at the Marion Art Center on November 21. Cecil Clark Davis: A Self Portrait (1877-1955) was conceived by Wendy Todd Bidstrup with design consultation by Barbara Gee. It is an inspiring, insightful, amusing portrait of a gracious time and an amazing woman artist who lived in Marion. The narrative in first person includes diary entries, letters and observations. The text is enhanced with drawings based on illustrations by famous artist Charles Dana Gibson, whose images often reflected the lives of his close friends, Cecil Clark and her journalist husband, Richard Harding Davis. Full color photographs of her paintings are annotated with quotations of conversations with the subjects.

Her circle of friends included many of the leading figures in artistic, intellectual and political life during the first half of the 20th century: Ethel Barrymore, the actress, was maid of honor at her wedding to Richard Harding Davis, internationally known war correspondent; Walter Damrosch, composer and conductor of the New York Philharmonic was a close friend; Isabella Stewart Gardner, society matron and art collector; John Singer Sargent, world famous portrait painter; Jane Addams, advocate for women’s rights; and Teddy Roosevelt, president of the United States. She traveled widely and often had many adventures in Africa, Europe, South America and the Far East.

Publication of this book was made possible in part by an anonymous gift in memory of Betsy Arms and Lib Davis, two wonderful women who encouraged and supported the Cecil Clark Davis research project and gave generously to the community at large.

Take Joy

There came a time when living with the looping internal dialog so full of pain could not, and would not, be tolerated any longer. With that line drawn, I’d spend the next ten years sorting out those inherited belief systems that could be dispensed with forever. That done, I slowly moved forward – but not without a whole lot of help.

As I groped around searching for enlightenment from various sources, a lighted path in the form of a documentary about the life of Tasha Tudor was aired on PBS. Learning about this amazing woman’s life and her art expanded my horizons. For me, it was just the right dose of medicine at the right moment in time.

Distilling Tudor’s philosophy down to its purest form, she believed that living a peaceful, happy life was a choice – a choice as simple as ‘taking joy’ versus negativity.

Yes, a choice! I could choose to see beauty in the moment, enjoy it, versus focusing on something much less positive. By simply telling myself, “Oh, that is so beautiful!” and letting that thought seep into every fiber of my being, I could feel uplifted and, well, joyful. I was free to make a choice and ‘take joy.’ Liberation never felt so good.

Concurrent with finding Tudor were other discoveries that continued to help free my thinking processes, allowing me to grow emotional wings and build muscles that would be needed in the future.

There was Wayne Dyer, Ram Dass, Depak Chopra, Earl Nightingale, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. Call it self-help if you will. That is precisely what most mental health rehabilitation is all about for garden-variety neurotics – getting the individual to take responsibility for their own happiness. I took that challenge. I’ve never looked back.

One day, shortly after I moved to Mattapoisett and at the very beginning of my decade of discovery, I was taking a walk near my home and met a lady who was working in her yard. We chatted briefly about the lovely day, her flowers, the season ahead, and other pleasantries. As I walked on, I was left with a feeling of joy from merely being in her presences for a few moments. That brief interaction brought Tudor’s mantra ‘take joy’ to mind. It seemed this neighbor personified those words. She was fully in the moment and enjoying it.

As the years would pass, our paths crossed many times. Sometimes she’d ride her bike past my house cycling by with her famous cheery hello, or I’d walk by her home stopping to pass a bit of time over a flower specimen she was working on, or at a public hearing on a shared community issue. Each time I was left feeling good speaking with her.

This past spring, she was walking up the dump road with her husband and another neighbor as I was walking my dog back towards North Street. She called me over where her small group was standing looking intently into the woods at something. She said, “It’s a towhee…” with a childlike twinkle in her eye. She could hardly contain the joy she was feeling; it overflowed and filled me with wonder at the discovery of this migratory bird. And there it was – a tiny little bit of living, breathing perfection. Because of this lady, I was carried along happily engaged with Mother Nature, transported to a joyful place in my soul.

Oftentimes, as we had exchanged greetings over the decades, she never knew the burden I was carrying – nor I, hers. We avoided all that and gave each other something else, something positive, a bit of gladness, a smile, kindness and warmth.

When it became obvious that something was going wrong in her world, I was troubled. It’s a small town and soon I would learn of her health struggles. She wasn’t out in her yard any longer, or on her bike or her boat.

I sent her an email. I told her I knew things were difficult for her, but I wanted her to know that over the more than 20 years of our causal friendship, she had always uplifted me. I wanted her to know what a gift her voice in my ear had been. She replied with a thank you while urging me to keep on writing.

I saw her once more, early one morning as she walked slowly at her husband’s side near their home. She told me how much my email had meant to her. I could barely contain my tears. In that fleeting split-second of eye contact, I knew I would never see her again. I wanted to say something easy and sweet. I said, “What a morning!” as we stood in the warmth of the sun. She said, “Yes, isn’t it a good day to be alive.”

She is gone now. My heart is broken for her family and close friends. What a loss to a world in sore need of people who are able to take joy and then share it with others as she had been so famous for doing.

I will miss her, but I know I’ll see her and hear her in the changing seasons, the blush of a flower blossom, in fluttering hummingbird wings, clouds, wind, sunsets, and ocean waves. Her name is now added to my list of people who by their teachings or example have given me my freedom of choice – the freedom to take joy.

Thank you dear Ruth, rest in peace.

By Marilou Newell


Applicant Compromises for ConCom Approval

The majority of the Marion Conservation Commission, with just a bit of contention amongst its members, took a no tolerance stance on building within a velocity zone on November 12, with Chairman Norman Hills refusing to budge on allowing four large storage containers to be temporarily placed in the V zone of the proposed location at 291 Wareham Street.

The owners of Saltworks Marine, LLC will take what they can get rather than risk denial from the commission to erect a specific, more secure temporary structure to which Hills was adamantly opposed.

The original plan called for the placement of four large storage containers, two of which would fall within the V zone, to serve as the base of a Quonset vinyl boat-shaped structure. Instead, in order to receive approval for any kind of storage structure, Saltworks Marine owner Daniel Crete settled for a Quonset structure anchored by jersey barriers, despite a hearty debate with the commission.

Forget about whether or not other businesses may or may not have similarly erected structures in velocity zones, as suggested by Crete and his engineering representative, David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. As far as Hills was concerned, the commission was there November 12 to uphold the Wetlands Protection Act and act upon matters under ConCom jurisdiction, not to uphold town bylaws.

Commissioner Jeffrey Doubrava asked why the structure could not be shifted two more feet away from the V zone. Davignon explained that the applicant would be filing plans for further development on the property and a shift in the placement would affect construction logistics.

ConCom member Stephen Gonsalves showed support for the project right from the beginning.

“It’s amazing and quite an improvement on that property,” said Gonsalves. When the discussion heated up, Gonsalves was the first to question the relevance of the V zone between December 15 and May 15, the five-month time period Crete is seeking for the temporary structure. “Velocity zone, to me, means hurricane season,” stated Gonsalves.

“So if we move this outside the velocity zone, you’ll be okay with it?” Crete asked the commission, before adding that the move would hinder the construction process.

Davignon asked the commission, “What kind of ‘velocity’ are we talking about in the winter?”

“Common sense obviously doesn’t play a role,” snapped Gonsalves during the height of the debate.

Crete said other companies situated alongside his at the waterfront very often have temporary structures raised during the summer months, the active hurricane season.

“Every single weekend, [they] have a huge structure in the velocity zone with a permit from the Building Department,” said Crete. “We’re obviously not going to have a hurricane in the middle of the winter.” Crete said the Quonset structure was built “to withstand everything short of a tornado.”

Hills asked Crete to which companies he was referring, and Crete’s only named example was Sperry Tents.

Crete said he could use jersey barriers weighing about 6,000 pounds each instead of the storage containers as the base of the structure, but it would cost him more and the site would be less secure without the actual storage containers.

“It’s a much greater cost, but we gotta do what we gotta do,” Crete resigned.

Hills said he could agree to that, but not the storage containers.

“I’d really like to see this project go forward,” said Gonsalves. “I think this would be a win-win for the Town.”

The commission granted permission for the temporary jersey barrier-anchored Quonset structure and issued a negative determination.

Also during the meeting, the commission voted in favor of endorsing a conservation restriction for 105 Allens Point Road. The existing house would be demolished and the driveway removed, and the area returned to its natural state with the planting of indigenous plant species. The conservation restriction, if approved by the Board of Selectmen, would prohibit redevelopment of the oceanfront property.

The commission approved an amended Order of Conditions for Marshall and Wilma Bailey of 41 Dexter Road for a proposed pier reconstruction and shed reconstruction. The pier will be shifted away from a neighboring pier to add more space between them.

The commission determined that no wetlands exist at 8 Thomas Lane, the property of Chad and Gina McLeod, who plan to construct a four-bedroom dwelling on the land.

Engineer Nick Dufresne discussed his client Ashley Briggs’ Notice of Intent to build a single-family house and garage within the 100-foot buffer zone at 73 Cove Street, and the matter was continued until December 10.

The Request for Determination for LEC Environmental Consultants to confirm the wetlands boundaries at 345 and 390 Wareham Street was continued until December 10 at the request of the applicant.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for December 10 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry


Open Space Plan Needs Volunteers

During its November 18 meeting, Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon reported to the Rochester Conservation Commission that volunteers are urgently needed to assist in crafting the 2016 open space plan.

The current plan is set to expire in October 2015, but with a lack of citizen participation, creating such a critical plan will prove difficult.

Open Space plans tie into a variety of other town plans, and are oftentimes required by the State of Massachusetts and federal government when cities and towns apply for grants and funds.

Anyone interested in lending their time and talents to this effort should contact the Board of Selectmen, Farinon told the public. Letters of interest can be sent via email to vlafreniere@townofrochester.com or by mail to: Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 1 Constitution Way, Rochester, MA, 02770.

Farinon also discussed options for updating websites and web pages for the Conservation Commission.

She said that they could pursue a stand-alone site until such time as the Town’s main website is overhauled. A stand-alone site would be linked to the current Town site, costing about $1,890 to create and $30 per month for outside maintenance and uploads.

The commission asked Farinon to move forward in talking to the Board of Selectmen about possible funding sources, including from fees collected from Notice of Intent filings.

Public meetings included a Negative 1 determination for tree removal at property owned by Thomas Ferreira on Walnut Plain Road. Ferreira proposes to build a home on the lot.

The commission issued Certificates of Compliance for David and Linda Gomes of 13 Briarwood Lane; and David Fredette for the City of New Bedford, 1 Negus Way, for a new gas service that has been installed for the Quittacas Water Treatment Plant.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for December 2 at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Bishop Stang Honor Roll

The following Tri-Town students have been recognized on the Bishop Stang Q1 Honor Roll:

Samuel Appleton, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Sandra Decas, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Meghan Domagala, grade 12, Second Honors, Rochester

Emma Downes, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Aidan Downey, grade 9, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Caroline Downey, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Adam Estes, grade 11, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Daniel Fealy, grade 11, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Carolyn Foley, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Hunter Foley, grade 11, Second Honors, Rochester

Kyleigh Good, grade 12, Second Honors, Rochester

Jeannette King, grade 9, First Honors, Rochester

Matthew Lee, grade 12, Second Honors, Marion

Rubén Llanas-Colón, grade 12, First Honors, Mattapoisett

Elizabeth Lonergan, grade 11, Second Honors, Marion

Maura Lonergan, grade 12, First Honors, Marion

Mariah MacGregor, grade 12, Second Honors, Rochester

Martha MacGregor, grade 9, Second Honors, Rochester

Anne Martin, grade 12, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Katherine Martin, grade 12, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Lillian McIntire, grade 11, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Hannah Nordstrom, grade 10, Second Honors, Marion

Christian Paim, grade 11, Second Honors, Marion

Madeline Pope, grade 10, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Carli Rita, grade 10, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Jessica Rush, grade 11, Second Honors, Marion

Joseph Russo, grade 9, First Honors, Marion

Matthew Russo, grade 9, First Honors, Marion

Tyler Trate, grade 9, Second Honors, Mattapoisett

Olivia Ucci, grade 10, Second Honors, Marion

Driver Safety

An Open Letter to the Woman in the Powder-Buff Blue VW Convertible Leaving the Parking Lot of the Marion General Store around 11:00 am Thursday, November 13

Dear Madam:

Perhaps, as you were pulling out of the parking lot of the Marion General Store, you were too distracted talking on your cellphone (held in your right hand) to see the pedestrian entering the crosswalk in front of you. That is understandable.

Perhaps you did notice the pedestrian, but opted not to yield. That is a bit less understandable.

But certainly you took notice of the fact that you clipped the pedestrian’s left leg with the right rear quarter of powder-buff blue VW convertible as you pulled out. When our eyes met in your car’s sideview mirror, the wide-eyed expression on your face made it clear to me that you knew very well you had hit me. I do not understand why you did not stop, if only to apologize. Instead, you drove away.

It should not matter that I was not injured, and suffered only a bump to the knee. The incident could have been much more serious. I beseech you, for the safety of all: In the future, please refrain from talking on the phone while you drive; please yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk; and please stop if you strike someone with your car, even if is only a glancing blow.

Most respectfully,

Gregory Ruf


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

Tri-County Music Association Showcase

The Tri-County Music Association will present its annual Scholarship Showcase on Friday, November 28 at 7:00 pm in Lyndon South Auditorium on the campus of Tabor Academy, 85 Spring St., Marion, MA. This benefit concert is a special fundraiser for the Tri-County Music Association Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $20 each and can be purchased at The Bookstall in Marion and the Symphony Music Shop in Dartmouth. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

Eleanor T. Burr

Eleanor T. Burr, 61, of New Bedford died November 17, 2014 at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford.

She was the daughter of Gertrude T. Burr of Mattapoisett and the late Carleton Burr.

Survivors include her mother; 3 siblings, Toby Burr and his wife Barbara D. Burr and Cornelia Burr-Tarrant and her husband Thomas A. Tarrant, III, all of Marion and Walter T. Burr of New York City; nieces and nephews, Tucker Burr, Alaska Burr, Thomas A. Tarrant, IV and Elizabeth B. Tarrant; and her extended family at LifeStream.

Her Memorial Service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. In Lieu of flowers, donations in her memory maybe made to LifeStream, Inc, Attn: John Latawiec, P.O. Box 50487, New Bedford, MA 02745 with memo for the Sandra M. Cabral Scholarship Fund For Nursing.