Great Decisions Program

2017 brings exciting new topics for “Great Decisions,” a Foreign Policy Association discussion group sponsored by the Mattapoisett Woman’s Club and held at the Mattapoisett Library. The discussions will begin on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 and continue for eight consecutive weeks on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. The group will meet in the conference room at the Mattapoisett Library, 7 Barstow Street, Mattapoisett, where there is an accessible entrance and elevator.

The topics are: The Future of Europe, Trade and Politics, Conflict in the South China Sea, Saudi Arabia in Transition, U.S. Foreign Policy and Petroleum, Latin America’s Political Pendulum, Prospects for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Nuclear Security.

The fees for the Foreign Policy Association discussion series booklet and one two-part DVD for classroom showing, plus refreshments and a donation to the library will be $35 each. If you are two people sharing one book, your fee is $45 (for fees & one Book). Please make checks payable to The Mattapoisett Woman’s Club and mail to The Mattapoisett Woman’s Club, P.O. Box 1444, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 by deadline of Wednesday, January 4, 2017. Please note on check: For Great Decisions. The class limit is 25, and sign up is first-come, first-serve basis. The books will be handed out at the Library ten days prior to the first day of class.

You will find this a stimulating community experience; we look forward to your participation.

No Jimmy Choos For You

Back in the 1950s when I was little, I loved to play dress-up. Ladies dresses, cosmetics, and shoes were my passion. My fondest part of the whole dress-up fantasy was the plastic slip-on high-heeled shoes. Those miniature knock-offs of adult shoes were always pink with glittery bits embedded in the hard unforgiving plastic mold, but I loved them.

From early morning to suppertime, I’d wear my plastic high-heeled shoes walking up and down the sidewalk outside our home. The shoes made the most delightful clicking sound, a sound that was music to my little ears.

In my mind, I spun tales of stuttering down a Parisian catwalk modeling evening gowns for famous movie stars. The hard plastic shoes click-clacked, click-clacked in rhythm to the music in my head. Oh, what wondrous places imagination can take a child.

While my clothing style changed from dreaming of sequined gowns to wearing blue jeans, my love of shoes remained steadfast.

As a teenager, I purchased a pair of chucky-heeled lace-up shoes, the latest fashion in the mini-shirt era for those of us whose calves refused entry into knee-high white boots.

Shoe trends in the 1960s found females donning sling-backs, flats, stacked heels, Mary Janes, kitten heels, and Pilgrim shoes. Gone were the pointy-toed stiletto high-heels of the 50s. Gone were my pink plastic high-heels.

Comfort and style were what women demanded along with color. Shoes made from non-organic materials flowed from factories. They were cheap, fashion-forward, and fun.

By the time the cultural revolution of the 1970s arrived, ladies shoe styles progressed into the groovy. In my closest were wooden clogs, cork-soled sandals, and moccasins. I was hip. I still longed for knee-high boots, but my consolation was platform shoes.

My arrival in the grown-up world of making a living meant becoming rather mainstream, demanding shoe choices that would compliment my big hair, chucky jewelry, and padded shoulder jackets. I sprained my ankle once while wearing a pair of Candi wooden-soled high-heeled slip-ons. That was the beginning of ankle damage that would come back to haunt my later years.

The corporate fashion of the 1990s found women sporting tailored pantsuits and pencil skirts with white linen blouses. Shoes became very conservative: primarily pumps and primarily black.

But something happened in the 2000s. Women – well, young women for the most part – were fascinated with high-heeled shoes again. Really high, really narrow, and really horrible to wear – shoes from hell, in other words. I guess we could blame “Sex In The City” or “Mad Men.” Yeah, let’s do that because heaven knows TV influences every facet of our lives.

Back to shoes – those slim bits of leather with devilishly high heels look amazing when one is sitting cross-legged with a cell phone poised for action. But try standing or taking a step. Doing so requires one to stick the buttocks out as a counter weight to the forward projecting torso. The misalignment of the spine coupled with the tippy-toed position of the foot leads to a really unhappy body. Maybe not right away, but definitely over time.

I’ve watched women attempt to hustle their feet through airports while wearing what I can only surmise are Jimmy Choo shoes due to the shape of the spike that was masquerading as a heel. Poor dears.

And then there are the costs. Where women once sought inexpensive shoes with high design, women today want high design and expensive shoes, cost be damned.

Several decades of walking to my office in Boston or through an airport or down long corporate corridors wearing high-heeled shoes finds me today with bunions and ankles that bear the scars of hyper-extension.

I’ve abused my feet and now I must pay the piper. Any investment I make these days in shoes is 100 percent for function, as in walking to the bathroom or doing the grocery shopping without twisting an ankle.

My shoes are no longer cheap knock-offs of couture styles or really anything that even hints at having a heel. Oh, no. Today, my shoes are very sensible. I shop where athletic shoes are sold to athletes and senior citizens. I shop where young sales clerks explain that one’s feet must be cradled in expensive anti-pronation inner soles stuffed inside firmly constructed boats, I mean shoes.

At a mall recently I saw a mother and her small daughter. The kid was wearing a bright pink tutu over striped leggings, a faux tiara, and plastic high-heeled shoes. Little tears sprang to my eyes. I smiled and thought, “Enjoy it while you can little girl. Before you know it, there’ll be no Jimmy Choos for you.”

This Mattapoisett Life

By Marilou Newell


Girls’ Cross Country Competes in Div. 2 All State Meet

Here is a look at the eleventh week of official scheduled games for Old Rochester Regional High School fall athletics.

Girls’ Cross Country: The girls competed in the Division 2 All State meet on Saturday and placed 13th out of 19 teams. Seven girls from Old Rochester qualified for the meet. Junior Madisen Martin led the Bulldogs and placed 54th overall with a time of 21:05. She was followed by senior Avery Nugent (74th, 21:35), senior Riley Shaughnessy (75th, 21:36), junior Maddi Scheub (116th, 23:37), sophomore Claire Noble-Shriver (146th, 23:37), junior Samantha Ball (151st, 24:00), and freshman Jaqueline Barret (154th, 24:10).

Below are the overall fall team records, followed by the conference records in wins, losses, and ties as of November 20:

Volleyball: (13-9-0) (1-19-0); Field Hockey: (10-4-4) (9-5-2); Girls’ Soccer: (14-4-1) (11-5-1); Boys’ Soccer: (6-7-6) (5-6-5); Golf: (12-3-0) (12-3-0); Girls’ Cross Country: (9-0-0) (7-0-0); Boys’ Cross Country: (9-0-0) (7-0-0); Football: (7-0-0) (8-2-0).

By Kaitlin Kelley

Leo J. Belanger

Leo J. Belanger, 92, of Mattapoisett died peacefully on Monday November 28, 2016 at Tobey Hospital. He was the husband of the late Anita T. (Desroches) Belanger.
Born in Northbridge, the son of the late Majorique “Jerry” and Diana (Leclerc) Belanger, he was raised in New Bedford before moving to Mattapoisett in 1989.
Mr. Belanger was a communicant of St. Anthony’s Church.
He was formerly employed as a firefighter with the New Bedford Fire Department for many years before retiring as District Fire Chief. He was also a repair technician at Sears in Dartmouth.
Mr. Belanger was a member of the New Bedford Track Club and enjoyed tennis and ping pong. He enjoyed daily coffee at the coffee shop with his friends.
During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy.
Survivors include his daughter, Janet Tremblay of Mattapoisett; a granddaughter, Nicole Harrington and her husband Stephen of Mattapoisett; a sister, Doris Richard of Fort Myers Beach, FL; 3 great-grandchildren, Aiden Harrington, Elizabeth Harrington and Owen Harrington; and several nieces and nephews.
He was the brother of the late Jeanette Gifford, Dorothy Almeida and Pauline Picard.
Funeral from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett Thursday at 10 AM. Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church, Mattapoisett at 11 AM. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Visiting hours Wednesday from 6-8 PM. For directions and guestbook, please visit

Donald K. Marvin

Donald K. Marvin, 95, of Mattapoisett died November 27, 2016 at Alden Court Nursing Home
after a brief illness. He was the husband of Elsie Lee (McCarthy) Marvin.

Born in Mount Vernon, NY, the son of the late Charles R. and Mary M. (Fletcher) Marvin, he lived in Mattapoisett most of his life. Mr. Marvin received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.

Mr. Marvin was formerly employed as a teacher at Fairhaven High School and Dartmouth High School and retired from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

He enjoyed sailing and gardening and was known for hybridizing daylilies. A garden was named in his honor at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, MA.

Mr. Marvin served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Survivors include his wife; 2 sons, Thomas Marvin and his wife Marta of Indianapolis, IN and John Marvin and his wife Emilie of Chuluota, FL; 6 grandchildren, James, Steven, Tess, Elizabeth, David and Andrea; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was the brother of the late Nathan Marvin and Rev. Ellison Marvin.
His Graveside Service will be held on Saturday December 3 at 10 AM in Cushing Cemetery, Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett. Visiting hours are omitted. A reception following the service will be held at The Bay Club, 63 County Road (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett. For directions and guestbook, please visit


Paul Austin Roche

Paul Austin Roche, 87, of Mattapoisett died on November 25, 2016 after a brief illness at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford.

He was the beloved husband of the late Eleanor Roche for 56 years. He was born in Boston, the son of the late John Roche and Mary (O’Toole) Roche. During his life, Paul lived primarily in Boston, Madison CT, Sudbury and Mattapoisett. He was a parishioner of St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett, and was married there in 1957. He was a graduate of Boston English High School, class of 1947 (where he lettered in track) and Boston College, class of 1955 (Business degree). He proudly served as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1950-1953. He worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years, primarily with Liberty Mutual where he met his wife in 1956.

He leaves his four sons, Brian of Southborough, David and wife Patricia of Southborough, Stephen and wife Donna of Hollis NH, and Christopher and wife Kathleen of Westford; and his sister Barbara of Baldwin, MD. He also leaves 11 grandchildren whose visits he so loved, and many nieces and nephews.

His family will receive visitors at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett on Friday December 2nd from 10-11:30 AM, followed by a 12 PM Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church in Mattapoisett. Burial will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery. For directions and guestbook, please visit


Tech Help Desk an Asset to Students, Staff

New to the high school this year, the Student Technology Help Desk has been a beneficial addition to the educational electives available to students and a helpful resource for staff as well.

Led by history teacher Michael Linane, student members from all four grades spend one block of their school day at the help desk answering calls from staff that may need assistance with a piece of technology or taking classes online to better understand different programs that they may use. The group runs very independently, with several members stationed at the desk for each period.

“Whether you want to learn to build a website from scratch, or take a Chromebook apart and put it back together, you have a team there to help you figure it out,” junior Lauren Gonsalves said. “If you’re thinking of doing something technology related in life, then this is the perfect opportunity.”

The position opens up a number of chances for students to delve into the world of technology, computer programming, and engineering.

“Sometimes I go down to visit Mrs. Wheeler in the junior high to learn how to make certain things work,” junior Alice Bednarczyk said. “Just last week, she taught me how to set up a projector and fix any issues that may pop up.”

Opportunities can occur closer, as well. Within their home base in the school library, members have access to Chromebooks that they can practice repairing before actually applying their skills on malfunctioning equipment, as senior Jacob Juneau was doing with an exposed Chromebook circuit board during one of his shifts. When one laptop refused to charge despite numerous attempts, junior Gheorghita Battaglia successfully corrected the issue and sent it back into use.

Tasks like performing repairs are determined based on ten assigned roles within the group: tech bloggers, IT agents, digital media designers, social media coordinators, app developers, digital citizenship, Google app specialists, Google app/extension reviewers, and website administrators. Each title describes the overall type of work undertaken by someone in the position.

“My role is tech blogger, where I’m supposed to create helpful articles people can read so that they understand how to use certain apps and websites,” Bednarczyk said.

“I’m a web admin, so I build websites,” senior Noah Petitpas explained. “It’s something I’ve always had an interest in doing and it might help figure out future career options.” He was in the process of uploading an article to the help desk’s website which he, Linane, and a third member collectively run.

Petitpas has created a website for a gaming community while also running two personal sites, something other members do as well. Gonsalves is one of these individuals and stated that, not only did it give a chance to use skills learned from time in the technology team, but it also gives a space to publish achievements “right where colleges can see them.”

Bednarczyk agreed. “The help desk doesn’t just look good on a college resume. As I help other people understand the technology around them, I learn more and more every day.”

The benefits of being involved in such a group are not just seen by the members.

“The Student Help Desk is a great program that provides students with the experience to their expand technological abilities,” said school librarian Allison Barker. She has the chance to observe students on their bi-daily shifts as they work out of the library and agrees that the work they have done so far has been immensely helpful to the school community as a whole.

By Jo Caynon


Holiday Fair

Make your list and check it twice. Get your holiday shopping done early. The Mattapoisett Congregational Church’s annual Holiday Fair will be held on Saturday, December 3 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. A host of holiday ‘shops’ will be featured in Reynard Hall, 27 Church Street, Mattapoisett.

You will find all your favorites: handmade and knitted items, jewelry, heirloom treasures in silver, crystal and china, as well as never-been-used gifts and holiday decorations. The busy holiday season can be made less stressful with the purchase of delicious homemade goodies and already prepared frozen entrees.

Make your list and check it twice. Park the car once. Get all your holiday shopping done in one day and enjoy this most beautiful season amidst a quaint, seaside village.

For additional information, please call the church office at 508-758-2671 or email

Yes To Mixed Use – No To Family Apartment

On November 17 at Old Hammondtown School, KK Kam Reality Trust presented its application before the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals for a mixed-used special permit that would allow owner Todd Rodrigues, 81 County Road, to construct two buildings for commercial and residential use under the same roof in the village business district.

The village business district was established some years ago in Mattapoisett to encourage a variety of property use types with an eye towards making Mattapoisett more pedestrian friendly with businesses and services within easy walking and bicycling distance of residences.

Paul Rodrigues represented his brother Todd, owner of Yard Boss, a local landscaping business. The buildings are planned for parcels adjacent to Yard Boss.

Rodrigues described that one structure would be 15,000 square-feet with commercial space on the first floor and apartments on the second floor. A second building would also contain commercial space on the first floor and apartments above. The Rodrigues’ plans called for a total of nine apartments in all primarily two-bedroom units. He said that the buildings would be connected to the public sewer via a previous agreement between the town and The Bay Club property.

A letter from the Mattapoisett Planning Board was read into the minutes. Planning Board members wrote in support of the project, noting that the plans would allow for a greater range of housing options in Mattapoisett while also providing an opportunity for residents to walk or bicycle to restaurants and services.

There was some concern expressed by Chairman Susan Akin and ZBA member Mary Anne Brogan as Rodrigues began to discuss the second of the two proposed buildings. He referenced that the second building would be much like the first but did not have engineered drawings for the board members to review.

Rodrigues said that the second building was not fully designed but asked for and received a recess in order to gather conceptual drawings from his office.

During the recess, the meeting moved on to the next hearing for Teodor Georgescu, 121 North Street. Georgescu was seeking a variance and a special permit that would allow an apartment above a detached garage to be permitted as a family apartment.

In July, Georgescu had been before the ZBA when it was discovered that the apartment in question was being rented out but was not permitted as such. Georgescu had argued at the time that when he purchased the property, the seller and the realtor had represented the apartment as legal. Director of Inspectional Services Andy Bobola had said at that time that the space had never been permitted for occupancy and that the owner had used it for an in-home business. Georgescu’s July application was denied.

In the latest application, Georgescu was asking that the apartment be recognized as a family or in-law apartment in spite of the fact that the garage was not attached to the main residence.

Akin said, “It still doesn’t fall under the rules,” and wondered aloud what had changed since the earlier filing. Bobola answered, “Nothing.” Bobola said that the apartment did not meet the bylaws and that it did not meet safety codes.

Board member Norman Lyonnais asked if the apartment was being taxed as such. Georgescu said he had been paying taxes on the space as an apartment. Lyonnais said, “I’m really having a difficult time with this.” He asked how the space could be taxed as an apartment but not be permitted as such.

“I have no idea why it’s been taxed as an apartment,” Bobola said. Georgescu urged the board members to understand that this time was different; this time it was for affordable housing for a family member.

“It’s an illegal apartment. For an in-law apartment, it has to be attached,” Akin insisted.

ZBA member Ken Pacheco said, “We’re back to the same thing; it doesn’t meet the requirements.”

The ZBA members unanimously voted to deny the request.

Rodrigues’ hearing was then reopened as conceptual drawings for the second building were displayed. By then, abutter Donald Fleming, 86 Church Street, was present and questioned if the project had sufficient handicap access to the second floor residences. Fleming also aired concerns that the property would not provide adequate outdoor space for any children who might reside there.

Bobola placed a call to a state building code authority who confirmed that the proposed project was not required to provide handicap access to the second story because it was less than 20 units.

After vetting that the Planning Board had addressed parking issues and that the state would address traffic flow onto Route 6, the hearing was closed. The project was unanimously approved and will become the first new project to fall under the village business district.

Three planned hearings regarding a cease and desist notice and an appeal at 102 Fairhaven Road Unit 29 were withdrawn without prejudice.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals will be held on December 15 at 6:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room pending hearing applications.

By Marilou Newell


Friends of Plumb Library Holiday Fair

The Friends of Plumb Library will hold their annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, December 3 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Plumb Library, 17 Constitution Way, Rochester. Featured will be the Silent Auction, offering handmade items, gift baskets of many types, and gift certificates from local businesses; the famous Bake Sale; the Rochester Historical Society selling their T-shirts and books on local history; Essential Oils make-and-take; Pampered Chef; Avon; and a visit from author Nancy Cote. There will be entertainment and a visit from Santa.           Donations are being accepted for the Auction until Wednesday, November 30, and for the Bake Sale, starting on Friday, December 2. Sign-up sheets are at the library’s circulation desk. For more information, please call the library at 508-763-8600 or email