Solar Clarifications Ready for Town Meeting

Two Public Hearings were held back to back on two minor changes to the Solar Bylaw passed by the town at town meeting last fall.  The board voted on a second line in the footnote section of the Table of Principal Use Regulations which clarifies legal definitions of the words ‘solar garden’ and ‘solar systems’.  The footnote reads: Solar Farms include ground-mounted solar PV Systems as defined in Sections 8.13.2 and 16.2.7 of the Zoning Bylaw.  The reference was to the solar garden approved for installation at the town dump.

“This is being done so there will be no confusion with legal terms and definitions for the general public,” said William Saltonstall, who spoke on behalf of the Marion Energy Management Committee.  Both the Planning Board and the EMC worked for over a year to hammer out the multiple page bylaw, which was approved at town meeting.  The other item was a vote to ‘pass over’ one line in the table which was no longer needed.

Next up the board discussed the new zoning map of the Town of Marion dated April 22, 2014.  John Rockwell presented his final draft and said that a minor typographical error in the warrant item for the map needs to be addressed.  Chairman Patricia McArdle, with board approval, will speak with Town Moderator David Titus on how to address the slight error and relate it to the residents at the meeting.

The map includes seventeen districts including: Residence A, Residence B, Residence C, Residence D, Residence E, General Business, Marine Business, Limited Industrial, Limited Business, Flood Hazard District, Water Supply Protection District, Aquifer Protection District, Open Space Development District, Surface Water District, Wireless Communications Facilities Overlay District, Sippican River Overlay District and a Municipal Solar Overlay District.

The acceptance of the map will be voted upon at town meeting in May and if approved, forwarded to the Attorney General’s office as required.

The pdf file of the map will soon be available to the public on the town web site and on the Planning Board section of the site.

The boards’ hopes to hire a part time planner were dashed by the lack of applicants for the position.  The deadline for applications was April 15, 2014.  “The total price (cost to contract) was beyond what we have,” said board member Norm Hills.  The board subcommittee, consisting of Norm Hills and Rico Ferrari, met with the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to create a new contractual proposal based on the boards’ priorities and most pressing needs and try to get funding for the part time position to work on a specific area.  The subcommittee will report on the issue at their next meeting on May 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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Marion Candidates’ Night

The Tri-Town League of Women Voters will hold a Candidates’ Night in what promises to be an energetic discussion of local issues in three contested races in Marion. It is scheduled for Wednesday evening, April 30, at 7:00 pm in the Music Hall, 164 Front Street, Marion.

There are six elective positions that must be filled. For the Select Board, challenger William Dale Jones will face incumbent Steve Cushing. The Planning Board has three open positions with four candidates on the ballot: Eileen Marum, Michael Popitz, and Robert Lane will challenge incumbent Ted North. The Marion School Committee has two open positions: Michele Ouellette and Christine Winters are running again for another three-year term, and they are challenged by newcomer Kate Houdelette.

Eight positions are unopposed: Ray Pickles for Town Clerk; Catherine Gibbs for the Assessor; David Titus for Town Moderator; Elizabeth Dunn for the Board of Health; Paul Goulet for ORR School Committee; Joseph Keogh and Jeffrey Oakes for two positions on the Open Space Acquisition Commission; and no one has filed to run for the position of Tree Warden being vacated by Tim Crowley.

Citizens of Marion are strongly urged to attend Candidates’ Night to become familiar with these candidates running for town offices. Last year, only 10 per cent of Marion’s registered voters decided the outcome of the election. If you care about the leadership of this town, please attend Candidates’ Night and be sure to cast your vote on May 16.

For further information, please contact Nan Johnson at 508-748-0046 or Tinker Saltonstall at 508-748-0160.

Machacam Club

The Machacam Club will hold its May meeting on May 7 at the Legion Hall, 3 Depot Street. Social time is 5:30 pm; dinner is at 6:00 pm.

Mark Mello will return for his third visit and will make a presentation on “Pickett’s Charge.” This is a PowerPoint program and, as we have heard, was an overwhelming presentation at the last Civil War Round Table held in New Bedford. It will surely prove to be an excellent program to end our meetings for this year!

Callers and members are asked to bear in mind the importance of call list accuracy. Caller lists should be done and reported no later than 9:00 am on May 5. Email to GPFNR@aol.com or by phone to Mike at 508-758-9311. Members with requests or changes can contact either no later than 9:00 am on May 6.

The Dixie Diehards at the MAC

Hold onto your hats, The Dixie Diehards are back in town and the joint will be jumpin’ at the corner of Main and Pleasant Street (80 Pleasant Street) in Marion, MA 02738! The Dixie Diehards Jazz Band will be making its ninth appearance at the Marion Art Center on Saturday, May 10 with a concert entitled “The Evolution of Jazz!” This concert will trace the evolution of jazz from Ragtime at the turn of the century, through the Blues, Street Marches, Dixieland, Charleston, to the sophisticated swing of the early 1940s. The Diehards will conclude with some Tin Pan Alley notables. The show starts at 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 7:00 pm.

To make a reservation – highly recommended as the Dixie Diehards always sell out! – please email marionartcenter@verizon.net. In the subject line of the email, please write “Dixie Diehard Tickets.” In the body of the email include your last name, MAC membership status, a telephone number for confirmation and number of tickets needed. Tickets are $12.50 for MAC members and $15 for non-members.

You can also call 508-748-1266 and leave a voice message that includes last name, MAC membership status, telephone number for confirmation, and how many tickets needed. The theater will be set up with cabaret tables to accommodate reserved parties of four, and guests are invited to bring their own refreshments.

Nasketucket Bay State Reservation Clean-up

On Saturday, April 26, the Commonwealth is sponsoring the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s 8th Annual Park Serve Day. Even though Nasketucket Bay State Reservation is not one of the 40 properties targeted, the Friends of Nasketucket Bay State Reservation and the Mattapoisett Land Trust believe that our own park could benefit from a spring cleaning again this year. The public is invited to spend a couple of hours enjoying the early spring beauty of the park while collecting litter and debris from the paths and beaches.

Everyone interested in helping to beautify our local “park” should meet at the Nasketucket Bay Sate Reservation parking lot at 9:00 am on April 26. Clean-up will end at 11:00 am to give us time to visit the transfer station. Please bring your own gloves; rubber boots are highly recommended. Bags will be provided for trash and recyclables. For more information, call 774-377-9191 or email info@mattlandtrust.org. Share a couple of hours in service to celebrate Earth Day.

Celebrating Earth Day in Marion

The Marion Natural History Museum hosted their very first Earth Day Celebration on April 19, providing little ones with activities that focused on our planet and stimulated their senses. There was a make your own planet earth pinwheel table, a station to decorate your own “Earth cookie” with green and blue icing, a puppet show stage, and a boat load of Legos to play with while the sounds of croaking frogs and crickets played in the background. Kids also planted their own seeds into small containers of soil to take home and watch grow. Museum Director Elizabeth Leidhold said she was thrilled to offer the Earth Day activities to the community and hopes it catches on more next year. “If it weren’t such a nice day outside maybe more people would have come to it,” said Leidhold about the nearly perfect spring day outside the Saturday before Easter.

By Jean Perry

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Electronics Recycling Event

Are you tired of looking at that old computer, television, or appliance that no longer works, but is gathering dust in your basement or garage? Bring your item(s) to the Rochester Town Hall Annex parking lot on Saturday, April 26, where the Rochester Land Trust will join with CRT Recycling of Brocton to collect electronic items and appliances for recycling. CRT will then haul these items to their Brockton facility for sorting for reuse or to be broken down for appropriate recycling of the components. Whichever the outcome, less solid waste will end up in our landfills. Visit http://www.recyclingelectronics.com/ for information on CRT. Also, on that Saturday, we partnered with the Women’s Club for the annual roadside trash pickup. Once you drop off your electronics, get gloves and yellow trash bags, select a road, and pick up roadside trash that has accumulated all year.

The following items will be accepted: CRTs (monitors/televisions), computers, network servers, large office computer equipment, CPU boxes, laptops, printers, fax machines, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, VCRs, audio equipment, video games, disc drives, modems, cards, keyboards, computer mice, electronic wires or plugs, pc speakers, recording, surveillance or camera equipment, digital cameras, cell phones and accessories, LCD products, parts or pieces of computers as well as regulated and non-regulated appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, mini-refrigerators and coolers.

There is a $15 charge for televisions, and a $10 charge for monitors. These items require extra care in recycling due to their cathode ray tubes. A video showing part of the process can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPx09iB7R04. While there is no charge for other items, the RLT requests a donation of $5 for other electronic items or bag/box of accessories and $10 for appliances and other large items. Funds raised will go toward protecting open space in our community. RLT members will be there from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm to help you unload. For more information, call Norene at 508-763-3628.

Mattapoisett Woman’s Club Garden Tour

 

On Saturday, June 28 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, rain or shine, the Mattapoisett Woman’s Club will host their biennial garden tour “Down by the Bay.”

Nine gardens will be featured including a lily farm, Bay Club, seaside, and village locations. Not only will there be spectacular gardens, but some of the home sites are situated in historic Mattapoisett village. A variety of formal, informal, cottage gardens and a working daylily farm will delight and inspire you. Colorful perennials, annuals and vegetables, and beautiful views and warm sea breezes will surround you as you enjoy this year’s spectacular gardens.

A delicious buffet luncheon will be served at the Bay Club, an Audubon Sanctuary, on the terrace overlooking the beautiful #1 fairway. What a perfect spot to relax and rest along your tour! Reserve your luncheon tickets early – no luncheon tickets will be sold on the day of the tour.

Advance tickets will be sold at the following local shops beginning May 3: Periwinkles in Fairhaven; The Bookstall in Marion; and Isabelles, Pen & Pendulum, Town Wharf General Store, and Ying Dynasty Restaurant in Mattapoisett. Advance tickets are $15 for the tour only, and $40 for the tour and luncheon. Tour day tickets will be $18. Remember, luncheon tickets will be sold in advance only. For additional information, please call Barb Van Inwegen at 508 864-5213.

Sippican Woman’s Club

The Sippican Woman’s Club will hold a luncheon and its Annual Meeting on Friday, April 25 at noon at The Kittansett Club in Marion. There will be a cash bar from 12:00 – 12:45 pm. Seating is at 12:30 pm, with luncheon served at 12:45 pm.

The Nominating Committee will present the slate of officers for the upcoming club year. Nominations will be taken from the floor as well. Guests are welcome. RSVP by April 21 to M. J. Wheeler, 27 Riverview Lane, Marion, MA 02738. The luncheon is $25 per person, payable to SWC. Include luncheon selection in memo portion of check. Luncheon choices are: Spinach- feta-stuffed chicken breast with tomato orzo salad and Greek herbs; Grilled fillet of salmon with lemon and herbs, green beans, leeks and roasted fingerling potatoes; Vegetarian frittata (mushrooms, leeks, tomatoes and asparagus) served with mixed greens and shallot-herb vinaigrette. All entrees are served with carrot and ginger soup, artisan rolls and butter, followed by a dessert platter of assorted petite pastries, coffee/tea.

For membership information, contact Jeanne Lake at 508-748-0619 or visit our website: www.sippicanwomansclub.org.

ORR Seniors Receive Sobering Message

Everyone noticed the boxes of tissues placed at the end of every row in the auditorium on April 10, as students filed in and prepared for “Every 15 Minutes,” a presentation to seniors about drunk driving and texting while driving. The tissues were an ominous sign of what was to come, but some students seemed amused, probably convinced that tissues would not be necessary.

Each student that passed through the doors was greeted by a dark figure in a black cloak, his face a skull. He looked the students in the eyes as they passed, and then the figure of death led a stream of others cloaked in black behind him to the front rows of the auditorium, while their classmates chuckled, finding it funny.

The sentiment did not last long, though.

Once Linda Chaves, an ER trauma nurse, spoke to the students about her experiences with drunk-driving injuries at Newport Hospital, the mood quickly changed.

“I’m not here to lecture you,” said Chaves. She was there with a message, and she began by listing the statistics.

Every 15 minutes, a person dies from drunk driving. Drunk driving claimed 24,365 American lives in 2012, and injured or maimed 917,000. There are 1.6 million DUI arrests every year.

Things quickly became solemn as Chaves got to the point when she had to deliver the devastating news to a mother that her son was killed after he drove drunk and crashed.

She let out a scream, said Chaves, “Like a wild animal that got its foot caught in a trap.”

Parents seated in the first row were the first to start reaching for the tissues to wipe away tears.

Chaves told the captivated audience how a hospital staff prepares the body before loved ones enter the room to see their lifeless child, under a heated blanket, with one single hand placed on top – the first thing a distraught mother reaches for.

The stage was very dimly lit – no stage light shone on Chaves – and the auditorium was dark. The tone was already serious, but the energy in the room shifted dramatically when Chaves disclosed that, several years ago, while at work, the police arrived to give her the devastating news that her own 19 year-old son, Charlie, was killed after he drove drunk and struck a tree.

She recalled the last time Charlie called her from college, the night before he was to return home for a visit – “I love you, Mom,” he told her. “I love you too,” she told her son.

“I can’t tell you how precious those words are, because they were the last words I ever heard him speak,” she said.

At that moment, those tissues at the end of each row did not seem so uncalled for. Tears were falling, noses began running, and tissues were suddenly being passed down.

“Please think before you go out,” Chaves pleaded. “Call your parents, stay where you are…” Whatever you do, she begged, do not drive drunk or get into a car with someone who has been drinking. That decision could have a lifetime of consequences.

“And I’m living that lifetime,” said Chaves. “Please be safe. You are loved by a lot of people who care about you.”

A film created by ORR students followed with the star being the grim reaper who met the seniors at the auditorium door. He walked from classroom to classroom, every 15 minutes entering another and calling on his latest victim, who quietly got up and followed death out the door – leaving behind only a photograph and the name of the student taped to the wall.

The message was driven home as students saw their friends depicted as victims, with the saddest, most sorrowful music one could imagine playing in the background. At one point in the film, one of the “deceased” victims sat alone at a table in the middle of the cafeteria, invisible to the others who were carrying on without them, living their lives and getting ready for their bright futures – a future the victim would never get to have.

Students performed a skit with the Rochester Police depicting a crash, with a white, blood-soaked blanket draped over the friend of the teenager who selfishly chose to drive drunk – now in handcuffs.

One girl read a poem that she wrote to her mom about what her final thoughts would be while dying after a crash. Some students and their parents who were seated on the stage in a semicircle began sobbing and wiping tears as they got ready to read the letters they wrote to their parents “from beyond the grave” and the letters their parents wrote to their “dead” children.

Rochester Police enacted mock house calls to a few parents, delivering to them the news that their child had been killed while the child witnessed the scene unfold.

What transpired next was extremely emotional and, if it didn’t hit the kids in the audience by that point, it did now when moms and dads, sons and daughters read their letters to each other, struggling to get though it – wrapping their heads around just how important a child is to their parents, how their children are their whole world, and how life would end without them.

The message was love. To let love keep them from making the fatal mistake of driving drunk, getting in a car with someone who has been drinking, or texting while driving. To allow the image of their parents’ suffering – and one father who was an emotional wreck on the stage – keep them from ever taking the risk.

“My family means everything to me,” a father read from his letter to his son. “Each day is a challenge. I just wish and pray to have you back,” he continued as tears poured down his reddened face. “And I can’t wait for the day I take my last breath so I can hold you again.”

There was serious sobbing in the audience now. It was safe to assume, that at this point, not one eye remained dry.

“My arms will ache to hug you,” said one mother to her daughter who was crying on the stage.

Parents continued reading letters remembering their dead children, and students read their own letters, apologizing for their selfishness and their stupid mistake.

“What I just witnessed is pretty much going to keep me sober for another day,” said speaker Pat Cronin, who talked about his battle with drug addiction. “I wish that I had this in my high school.”

ORR Faculty Member Deb Soares said her son, Terell, is 21 years-old and still thinks about the impact the “Every 15 Minutes” program had on him. She said he always calls her when he needs a ride after drinking.

“I didn’t expect it to hit me this hard,” said Ali Grace, an ORR student, after the presentation. “I know that, due to this, my choices in the future are definitely going to change.”

“It was very powerful,” said Colin Knapton, who appeared on the stage during the presentation. “It was very personal.” He said the presentation has convinced him to never take the risk of driving drunk.

By Jean Perry

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