Literary Magazine Earns Honor

It is easy to appreciate the hard work of student athletes and performers on the Tabor Academy campus, but the work of artists and writers is not typically showcased.

Tabor’s art and literary magazine, The Bowsprit, has evolved to change that and is only improving as each annual issue comes out.

Tricia Smith, an art teacher at Tabor, immediately started working with The Bowsprit when she first joined the community in 2005. Her first goal was to help improve the reproductions of art to be of higher quality in the magazine.

Once this was achieved, Smith worked on the next problem: the challenge of having enough writing to fill the magazine. Although there was a student editor of the art section, “the writing section didn’t have a connection to the English Department,” according to Smith.

Over the years, the book has “matured,” said Smith who explained that a number of important changes have been made to allow the book to evolve and improve.

The magazine, which used to be small and portable with only a section of color, was accidentally created in a larger document in 2011. Smith called this a “good change,” because they were forced to find the funding and make it work. This bigger edition allowed for larger images of the art and an overall higher quality of the magazine.

The next year, the whole book was made in color and, according to Smith, “everyone thought it looked awesome.”

Although the quality of the magazine was greatly improved, it was still difficult to find writing pieces. Last year, Christopher White, an English teacher, joined The Bowsprit as a faculty advisor to help mitigate this difficulty.

“Bringing him (White) on was super important to the success of last year’s issue and future issues,” said Smith.

Now there are six writing editors who are helping to increase submissions and supply a variety of writing. Additionally, White and the students have created contests to increase submission.

In addition to the scary story competition, a rock was put on display to inspire poetry. Furthermore, students could submit photos by using the tag #tabowsprit in the social media site Instagram, and the best photos were voted on to be in last year’s magazine.

This success has not gone unnoticed. Last year’s issue won an Award of Excellence from the National Council for Teachers of English. Smith plans to continue entering each year’s magazine.

Smith feels that The Bowsprit “places an importance on the kind of work that we value as a school.”

“This year’s book will see another change because now Christopher Botello and the Media Arts Department are providing the in-house production of the structure,” said Smith.

What started in the art room has expanded to English classes and the media lab. The magazine has become available online for the Tabor Community as well.

As for the future, Smith hopes to form a connection between the outside community and The Bowsprit.

“I would like to extend the distribution to alums, parents, or friends of the school as a subscription-based distribution.” She adds that hopefully alums could eventually send in their work as well.

By Julia O’Rourke


Mechanic Street Repairs Discussed

On April 9, residents of Mechanic Street in Mattapoisett’s historic village were invited by Town Administrator Michael Gagne to meet with Jon Connell of Field Engineering and Mattapoisett Highway Surveyor Barry Denham.

This informal meeting gave residents an opportunity to air their questions and concerns regarding the roadway and infrastructure repairs slated to begin in the coming weeks. About 10 residents attended the gathering at Center School.

Most folks were primarily concerned with the length of time the construction would take, curb cuts and driveways, gas line replacement, and stormwater management.

When asked how the Town would be paying for the expensive improvements, Gagne reminded people that $400,000 was approved by Town Meeting, earmarked for such repairs, along with anticipated Chapter 90 funding arriving around July 1.

Two property owners, whose homes are located north of Hammond Street, asked why the plans did not include that section of Mechanic Street. When told that it came down to money and priorities, they exited the meeting appearing miffed.

Another resident wanted to know if trash collection would be disrupted during the construction phase. Connell said that notice would be given to alert residents to place their trash in the designated curb location for each collection cycle prior to construction, thereby minimizing any disruption.

But Connell also said, “There will be inconvenience,” reminding all that this type of work isn’t without hiccups.

On the theme of gas line upgrades, Denham told the townspeople that the work taking place on their private property by the gas company was between them and the gas company, not the Town and the gas company.

“We don’t have any control over where they locate the pipes on your property,” said Denham. However, Gagne said he would discuss reseeding lawns as promised by the utility.

Denham gave them the biggest wake-up call, however, when he announced federal regulations.

“Under current water management, MS4, we are supposed to identify and eliminate any private drains going into the sewer,” said Denham. “I must warn everyone that the Town may have to eliminate them in the future. It may be necessary.”

To this statement, Pat Donoghue asked, “Well, are you going to move the river then?” She said it was the river that caused basements to fill with water.

Further stormwater and drainage issues were discussed with Denham as he and Connell noted on maps where current public drains were located and the possibility of adding one or two more along the east side of Mechanic Street. However, with the placement of water mains, sewer mains, and gas lines he said, “There isn’t much real estate under the road.” Denham said of water, “It’s going to be a horror show no matter what we do.”

Continuing on the theme of water management Denham said, “I’ve dealt with problems in Mattapoisett for 50 years. As federal laws change, Mattapoisett may have to eliminate the private connections.”

Denham said the regulations take into consideration the possibility of freshwater and saltwater contamination from sump pumps that foul the water with fuel from heating oil tanks and washing machines.

Gagne said that the work would likely begin in about four to six weeks, once the bidding process is completed. Connell assured the residents that his team will be available to work closely with them to ensure as much collective cooperation as possible during their summer of construction noise, asphalt smells, dirty windows, and a new road with new sidewalks.

By Marilou Newell


The Rochester Country Fair Announces Theme

The Rochester Country Fair Committee is excited to announce this year’s fair is centered around a “Prehistoric” theme. For the past 16 years, families in our local area come together each summer to celebrate our rural and rich farming history with some old-fashioned, unique, and entertaining events. This year’s festivities will take place from August 13 to August 16 on the newly-renovated Fair Grounds located on Pine Street.

Make no bones about it, this year’s fair will feature fun events, such as Tractor Pulling, Woodsman Show Competitions, Pie Eating and Pie Bake Off Contests, dinosaur dig hunt, Pebbles & Bam Bam Contest, and the return of the Buana Iguana Reptile Show. The Fair Committee is also working to bring a Highland Games Exhibition as well as Vyntyge Skynyrd, New England’s Tribute band that captures the musical fire and soul of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

“We’re all excited to continue to bring new and entertaining events to the fair and are incredibly thankful for all of the support we’ve received,” said Julie Koczera, co-chair of the Rochester Country Fair Committee.

Co-Chair David Souza added, “I am looking forward to bringing together the community and offering exciting new events.”

The Rochester Country Fair is completely funded through the generous donations of local residents and businesses, advertising through ad and banner placements, and fundraising events throughout the year.

Requests for advertisements must be received by May 22 for inclusion in the fair program book. There are several tiers of budget-friendly advertising placement available to purchase. Email the Rochester Country Fair Committee at for further information.

About Rochester Country Fair: The Rochester Country Fair Committee was founded in 1999 by a small group of Rochester residents – Dianne Wood, Julie Koczera, Arthur Westgate, Chris Faustino, Duffy Clapp, Pat Lafleur, Slim Bernier, and John Lafleur – to celebrate a Millennium Celebration. Completely funded by fundraising events and donations, the Rochester Country Fair has since flourished into an annual, family celebration held at the Pine Street Fairgrounds in Rochester, Mass.

Kids Equipment Day

Marion Recreation is proud to host our Third Annual Kids Equipment Day! Join us for a fun-filled time to climb on, take pictures in, and visit fire trucks, dump trucks, bulldozers, mowers and police cars. This great family event for all ages takes place on Saturday, May 9 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm at Washburn Park. Please note the new location. Attendance is free. Plastic hats given to the first 100 kids under 13 who attend!

For more information, visit or contact Marion Recreation at 774-217-8355 or Hope to see you there!

Tinkham Pond Bridge Update

Probably not until July – that is Mattapoisett Highway Surveyor Barry Denham’s estimate of when the Massachusetts Department of Transportation will complete its review process of the proposed reconstruction plans for the Tinkham Pond Bridget culvert on Acushnet Road that has been closed since October 2014.

Denham said it could be anywhere from a week to three months but conceded, “Who knows? It’s probably going to be further out on the three months than the week.”

Preparation work for the construction, said Denham, will only take a couple of days to complete, and the precast concrete culvert installation would only take about a day. Backfill, compacting, and roadway construction would follow the weeks after. That is not the issue though, Denham said. “It’s everything getting to that point.”

Field Engineering Project Manager Ken Motta accompanied Denham to present the plan for the project to the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen on April 14, giving selectmen a brief overview of the status of the project’s progression.

The current culvert has a span of 12 feet, and the project calls for a wider culvert of 20 feet. The blacktop area today is 19 feet wide, which will be expanded to 26 feet at the culvert. Denham mentioned the addition of a “four-foot strip on the south side,” and the addition of a sidewalk to the north.

“It will take a lot of that curve out of that area,” said Denham, making the way safer with guardrails at the brook. “It’s going to be a lot nicer setup than it is right now.”

The crucial aspect at this point is the Mass DOT approval. Then, said Denham, the plans could move ahead to the Conservation Commission for approval and the bidding process could begin.

Selectman Jordan Collyer pointed out that the structure was originally made of fieldstone years ago, and now the replacement of it “baffles the mind.”

“[Now it’s] going to cost two-thirds of a million dollars to replace,” said Collyer, adding on a sarcastic ‘thanks’ to the federal government’s stricter guidelines on this class of project.

But this was an emergency, said Denham, and this culvert absolutely must be replaced. Collyer wondered if the Town could contact Representative William Straus to help expedite the state approval process, citing the matter of great importance because the road is a vital link between Mattapoisett and the neighboring town, Acushnet.

“This is the time,” said Denham. “It needs to be done now.”

Denham said the design presented that evening is not necessarily the final draft of the plan, depending on Mass DOT’s approval conditions.

“We’re pretty confident that what Kenny’s got here on paper is what it’s going to look like,” said Denham, adding that he is not confident enough, however, to put the plan out to bid just yet.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for April 28 at 7:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.

By Jean Perry


Make Believe Day

If you happened to gaze into the sixth grade classrooms at Sippican Elementary on April 3, a quite unusual sight would have met the eye. Princesses, super heroes, athletes, and everything in between roamed the halls.

This creative and unusual spirit day for the sixth grade was founded by one of the teachers, Cathy Sinnott. She called it “Make Believe Day.”

Prior to this event, students wrote poems and read stories based on growing up, which everyone had mixed feelings about. The main purpose of this dress-up occasion was to have everybody re-live the memories and feelings of being young.

“There are two reasons for this day,” Sinnott explained to the class,” to be young again and feel the sensation of hope that you’ll always have an inner child.” And at 8:40 the next morning, students paraded in dressed as the character or profession they pretended to be as a child.

To kick off the event, a Mystery Guest greeted students, who turned out to be Mary Poppins from the Zeiterion production of the musical. She answered questions about her character and background, as well as read a story. All of this was followed by a chorus of “A Spoon Full of Sugar,” which put a smile on positively everyone’s face.

“Mary Poppins’ performance was a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious one,” exclaimed Emma Vivino, who was decked out in her childhood artist outfit.

As Jane and Michael did in film, students wrote a description of their dream Nanny. Jillian Craig and Grace Magee shared theirs and it was just as good as the one created in 1964.

After Mary was bid farewell, a 15-minute naptime took place. And it wasn’t a surprise that this was one of the most favored events throughout the day. Following that was a snack, which consisted of dry Cheerios.

“The Cheerios were awesome,” explained John Mollica, who was dressed in a robot costume.

To conclude their day of fun, students went outdoors to play Aleuth, which is a traditional African game similar to Sharks and Minnows. However, the sharks are lions and the minnows are townspeople.

“Make Believe Day was a great chance to explore and be little again,” commented Emma Williamson toward the end of the day.

Overall, this smashing spirit day was a success, and hopefully it will be part of sixth grade for years to come.


By Bessie Pierre

Bessie Pierre is a student at Sippican School.

Jeffrey Mark Stopka

Jeffrey Mark Stopka, 58, formerly of Rochester, MA, passed away suddenly on Friday, April 10, 2015 at his home.

Jeffrey was born in Acushnet, Massachusetts on March 17, 1957 to Henry Stopka and the late Nancy Lake Stopka. He was employed by the United States Air Force as the manager of the base commissary. Jeffrey was also retired from the United States Army Reserve and served one year in Iraq. He was an avid New England sports fan and also had a great love for Nascar Racing and for cooking.

A service celebrating Jeffrey’s life was held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in the chapel of Seymour Funeral Home.

In addition to his father, Jeffrey is survived by his wife, Marites Stopka; son Jethro; brother, Steve Stopka of Rochester, MA; sister, Deborah Veary and husband Kenneth of Rochester, MA; brother, Gary Stopka and wife Anne of Rochester, MA, and sister, Jennifer (Jenny) Thomas and companion, Dennis Lynch of Fairhaven, MA.; and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Marie A. (Berardi) Bourdon

Marie A. (Berardi) Bourdon, 63, of Mattapoisett died April 9, 2015 at New Bedford Rehabilitation Hospital after a long illness.

She was the wife of Robert W. Bourdon.

Born in Newton, MA, the daughter of the late Augusto and Mary (Rufo) Berardi, she was raised in Watertown before moving to Mattapoisett in 1978.

Mrs. Bourdon was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett.

She was active in Girl Scouts and school activities when her children were young.

Survivors include her husband; 2 daughters, Jennifer Bourdon of Mattapoisett and Kathleen Barnes of Gatlinburg, TX; a brother, William Berardi and his wife Mary Ann of Holliston, MA; a sister, Janet Sanuik and her husband Chet of Milford, MA; a grandson, Jordan Barnes; and several nieces and nephews.

Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 21st at 9 AM in St. Anthony’s Church. Burial will follow in the Massachusetts National Cemetery. Arrangements are in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Road, Route 6, Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 10 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701. For directions and guestbook, please visit

Tarot for Tabbies

Habitat for Cats will present a Psychic Fair called “Tarot for Tabbies” on Friday evening, May 1 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm at III Suns on 665 Orchard Street, New Bedford, MA.

Tarot card readers at the Fair will be The Loon Witch, Lionheart, Cricket Song and Lady Morgandy. Angel and Crystal readings are also available. The renowned Medium is Ron O’Berry. Chris Tarini will be offering Reiki.

The admission fee is $10 and readings will be $25 for a 15-minute reading (includes admission). Beverages and refreshments will be available along with some beautiful raffle prizes. All donations will go directly to helping homeless cats in the New Bedford area. For more information, visit HFC’s website at

Toastmaster’s Club Awards

The Mark Whalen of the SouthCoast Toastmaster’s Club recently awarded the Competent Communicator award to Eric Frost (left) and Steve Galavotti (right).  Both members completed ten speeches from the Competent Communicator manual.  Frost is from Plymouth and Galavotti is from Mattapoisett. Toastmasters provides public speaking and leadership training in a friendly, supportive environment.  The club meets at the Wareham Library, 59 Marion Road, Wareham from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. For more information go to: or call 508-292-6706.