Celebrating Women Composers

The Tri-County Symphonic Band will present a concert “Celebrating Women Composers” on Sunday, March 26 at 3:00 pm in the Fireman Performing Arts Center on the campus of Tabor Academy in Marion, MA. This concert will present the World Premiere of “Helen Of Troy,” composed by New York City composer JoAnne Harris. Last August, the Tri-County Music Association was approved for a Cultural Investment Portfolio Projects grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council in the amount of $2,500. As part of the Cultural Investment Portfolio Project, composer JoAnne Harris was commissioned to write an original work for the band. She completed “Helen of Troy” last month.

Flutist Wendy Rolfe will be our soloist as the band displays its versatility and numerous sonorities in this concert featuring mostly modern pieces written for band by some of the best and brightest women composers of recent times. Marion, MA resident Wendy Rolfe is one of the United States’ leading performers on historical and modern flutes. She has recorded solo CDs, “Images of Eve,” and “Images of Brazil.” She has toured the USA with a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Ms. Rolfe was a Tanglewood Fellow and has also performed at the Waterloo, Monadnock, and Buzzards Bay Music Festivals, and the Boston Early Music and Connecticut Early Music Festivals. She performed and taught at International Festivals in Brasilia, Peru, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and Finland. She has appeared with Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the BBC “Proms” series, and performed with Boston Baroque at the Casals Festival. She is Professor of Flute at the Berklee College of Music. Ms. Rolfe earned the D.M.A. and M.M. from the Manhattan School of Music with Harvey Sollberger, and the B.M. from the Oberlin Conservatory with Robert Willoughby. She studied with the legendary Marcel Moyse, Lois Schaefer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Janice Smith of the St. Louis Symphony. Ms. Rolfe will be performing Cécile Chaminade’s Flute Concertino as well as “Variations and Theme” by Anne McGinty on the “Celebrating Women Composers” concert.

Tickets for the concert are $15 for adults, $5 for students. Children 12 and under will be admitted to the concert free of charge. Tickets may be purchased at The Bookstall in Marion, The Symphony Music Shop in North Dartmouth and online at BrownPaperTickets.com. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door.

ORRHS Musical Ushers in Spring

Come usher in the springtime by going out to see the Old Rochester Regional High School Drama Club’s musical production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat!

Beginning March 30, come see the age-old biblical tale brought to life with a bit of colorful flair by the talented high school cast and crew.

Directed by Paul Sardinha, the musical tells the story of Joseph (played by junior John Roussell) as he is betrayed by his eleven brothers who are jealous of his multicolored coat that symbolizes he is the favorite son of their father. Follow Joseph throughout his journey through Egypt as he is faced with many trials aimed to defeat him. The musical also stars junior Elle Gendreau, senior Sara Achorn, freshman Ryu Huynh, senior Jonathan Kvilhaug, junior Christopher Savino, and senior Sienna Wurl.

“People should go see it because it is so much fun and it is guaranteed to make you smile,” said Savino, who plays Potiphar, an Egyptian millionaire.

“It’s a musical that is only singing with the exception of two lines,” said senior and crewmember Alexandra Nicolosi. “Even though it’s a Bible story, it’s really interesting for everyone.”

Senior Nicole Ochoa, another crewmember, agreed. “I think it’s really funny, and the music is super catchy, too.”

“It’s a very colorful musical,” freshman Liam Hartley added, who plays Joseph’s eldest brother Reuben. “We just finished painting the stage [to add to the effect].”

The multi-colored theme of the musical is also reflected on the production’s official title design and the ORRHS poster, illustrated by juniors Lindsey Merolla and Elise Parker.

“I didn’t draw inspiration from the cast so much as the original play itself,” Merolla said. “It’s so colorful, and I wanted to integrate the elements from the play, such as Joseph’s various dreams. I sketched a few ideas at first and everything just fell into place after that.”

None of this would be possible, though, without the strong bonds that those in the drama club form throughout their weeks of rehearsal.

“It’s a nice group of friends,” Ochoa said. “All the friends I make [in drama] I am very close with.”

“Being at the school [for rehearsals] for such long intervals with all the other drama members really makes you feel like a family,” Merolla added.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be presented at the ORRHS auditorium from Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 pm, and on Sunday, April 2 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $12 for students and seniors and can be purchased at The Pen & Pendulum in Mattapoisett, The Marion General Store in Marion, and Plumb Corner Market in Rochester.

By Jo Caynon

FY18 Sippican Budget Up a Mere 0.6 Percent

The FY 2018 school budget of $5,896,051 approved by the Marion School Committee on March 15 reflected only a $35,395 (or 0.6%) increase from last year, but committee members lamented that it did not include the part-time physical education teacher eliminated from the FY17 budget, and it also excludes the district’s request to add a part-time health teacher.

“This is perhaps the most disappointing piece of this particular budget,” said Assistant Superintendent Elise Frangos. “I know that next year I will be coming back to request this again.”

Frangos said Rochester managed to add a health teacher to its budget this year, and Mattapoisett has enjoyed the benefits of having a health teacher for one year now.

“The health teacher position not only augments the science and technology curriculum,” said Frangos, but it also fosters healthy decisions around friendships, substance abuse, nutrition, and exercise. “Sadly, as our children from Marion move forward to the junior high, they will not have that foundation knowledge as our sister community schools will.” Frangos continued, “Data points directly to the students needing this important knowledge.”

The Town of Marion has been under a financial constraint this year, and the Finance Committee only agreed to support the modest $35,000 increase.

“We had to absorb all of the other increases,” said School Committee Chairman Christine Marcolini. “We weren’t able to bring [the health and the .5 physical education position] without sacrificing something else from the strong program that we currently have.”

Marcolini continued, “This is something that the school committee, both of these pieces, feel very strongly that Sippican needs … but it just wasn’t possible without cutting something else.”

The goal, she said, was to preserve the current level of staff at the school and the services students currently receive.

Frangos pointed to some cuts in spending for supplies for social science and science and technology classes. “…Supplies to really do the kinds of things we would like to for STEM,” said Frangos. “It’s very, very challenging when you see some of those cuts.”

One item included in this budget that is new to the school this year is the addition of a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), which Sippican School Principal Lyn Rivet referred to as critical at this point with the changing dynamics and student population at the school.

“Students are coming with greater needs…. We as a staff need a different skill set in order for ourselves to know how to approach these children,” Rivet said. The BCBA would assist with supporting students as well as staff and offer strategies both within the school and at home for children with higher social-emotional needs. “At this point, this is a critical position to our building,” said Rivet.

A part-time psychologist position of .4 was added to the budget this year as well.

Some major areas of the budget that helped account for the under 1 percent overall increase were a $21,000 reduction in Bristol Aggie tuition, a realignment of kindergarten staff accounting for a $27,000 decrease, and a circuit breaker offset of $54,000.

Contractual obligations rose by $103,731, while special education costs went down by $15,000 and the supplies line item was decreased by $83,000.

What we have here, said Marcolini, is “the best case scenario with the hand we’ve been dealt.”

“It’s not perfect, but I think we can live with this budget,” Marcolini said, adding that the budget is the most stressful aspect of being on the school committee. “And I feel good about the experience the kids are going to have walking into our school on a day-to-day basis.”

The next meeting of the Marion School Committee is scheduled for May 3 at 6:30 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry

Early April Programs at Plumb Library

April is National Greyhound Adoption Month. On Saturday, April 1 from 10:30 – 11:30 am, you can meet our reading/therapy dog, Amos, and learn about greyhounds, their origins and anatomy, what makes them great pets, and care requirements from Denise Schumtiz. Denise is an adoption representative from Greyhound Pets of America, Massachusetts. She has been volunteering for GPAMA since 2012. She has helped to find over 300 greyhounds homes and loving families. Denise and her husband Matt have six greyhounds of their own at home. Our friend, Amos, came from GPAMA. Denise will talk about Greyhound Pets of America, Massachusetts and their mission and how they receive their hounds and find them their forever homes. Brochures and pictures of current adoptable dogs that are looking for homes will be shared, and there will be a Q&A about the adoption process or greyhounds in general.

David Downs has taken a serious topic (clutter) and created a fun-filled humorous program loaded with amusing personal examples of his own love/hate relationship with STUFF. In “Downsizing Your Stuff,” Dave shares original thoughts, practical tips, and easy to understand strategies that anyone can use to begin the process of change. Join us on Saturday, April 8 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm for an innovative, upbeat program that contains useful information that will help motivate you to begin downsizing. Register at the Events Calendar at www.plumblibrary.com for this fun informative program. Sponsored by the Friends of Plumb Library.

Gateway Youth Hockey

Squirts: On Sunday, March 12, the Gladiator Squirts opened the playoffs with a loss to the WHK Hawks 5-1. After a back-and-forth scoreless first period, the Hawks opened the scoring with two goals in the second for a 2-0 lead. The Hawks continued the offensive attack in the third, extending the lead to 5-0 before the Gladiators got their lone goal of the game from Brayden Cannon on a pass from Liz Kilpatrick to bring the score to 5-1. In net, Ryan Killion stopped 18 shots.

On Saturday, March 18, the Squirts offensive attack woke up with a 9-1 win over Canton to even their playoff record to 1-1. In net, Killion stopped 21 of 22 shots. On offense, Patrick Duggan got the Gladiators going in the first on a pass from Cannon. Mike Brown followed it up with a goal from the point on a pass from Kilpatrick to close out the first with a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Cannon, Patrick Tripp and Tommy Clavell each scored to extend the lead to 5-1 after two periods. The third period offense was led by two goals from Clavell, one from Cannon and one from Brayden Hathon.

On Sunday, the Squirts continued the playoffs with win No. 2 over Walpole Express, 4-1. The Gladiators, supported by the strong defensive play of Brown, Tripp, John Goll, and Bree Killion, dominated the entire game. In net, R. Killion was stellar, stopping 23 of 24 shots. The offensive attack was balanced with Clavell scoring two goals on passes from Kilpatrick and Hathon in the first. Duggan scored on a pass from Kilpatrick early in the second to extend the lead to 3-0. Kilpatrick added a late goal in the second on a penalty shot with a slick move drawing the goalie to the right while pulling the puck around and finding the back of the empty net. The final 4-1 score was a total team effort with the team playing its best hockey of the season.

Pee Wees: Gateway Gladiator Pee Wees faced off against the South Coast Stars on Saturday in their second week of Yankee Conference Playoff action. Gateway opened the game with five unanswered goals to start the first period. Scorers were Ty Rebeiro assisted by Brady Kidney, Sean Pollock assisted by Matthew Paling, Rebeiro assisted by Jacob Hebbel and Matthew Stone, an unassisted goal from Paling, and Rebeiro securing a hat trick with an assist from Lucy Murphy. In the second period, the game tightened up with strong defense from Lucas Demoranville and Thomas Leger and strong effort from Connor Macleod helping to get the puck to the net. In the final frame, Rebeiro was able to score his fourth goal of the game with assist from Joe Urnek, making the final score of the game 6-0. Goalie Ryker King made a number of key saves to shut down the Stars throughout the game.

The Pee Wees’ next playoff game will be on Saturday, March 25 at 6:40 pm at Pembroke.

Bonding Over Bobbins

The room was filled with anticipation as Bobbie Gaspar and Mary Chaplain introduced a group of 11 ladies and one younger lady to the joys of operating a sewing machine.

On March 18, the Mattapoisett Public Library sponsored a program on how to operate a sewing machine. Participants would learn the basics while making a covered pillow to take home. According to library staff member Robbin Smith, the program proved so popular that a second session is planned for May, although that one is also full to capacity. And while the goal of the two-hour program isn’t to impart mastery level skills, these ladies were looking forward to taking home a neatly covered pillow, one they had crafted themselves.

Being in the library always makes me feel like I need to do some research, so I did. Looking back at the history of the sewing machine, one finds a patchwork quilt (pun intended) of early efforts dating as far back as the mid-1700s. None of the earliest machines ever proved practical. A century later, with many failed efforts, the sewing machine had still proven to be an interesting concept only.

By 1840, Elias Howe had patented his version of a sewing machine. So had Isaac Singer. Subsequently, there was a long drawn-out legal battle between the two. Although these gentlemen never fully brought their own machines to mass production, by selling their patents to others, they lived out their remaining days as very wealthy men. The rest is history, as they say.

What all these men did do, however, was to appreciate the importance of finding a way to mechanize sewing in all its forms, from commercial to domestic. The impact on what was and still is primarily women’s work was profound.

Furthermore, the sewing machine was recognized during the industrial revolution as a critical invention.

Fast-forward a few centuries to 1969. I was enrolled in home economics classes at Wareham High School. Female students on one hand were being told “you’ve come a long way baby…” and on the other hand the importance of running a home with efficiency and grace. We girls who were deep in the throes of revolting against anything and everything that intimated “little woman” suffered through ‘home ec.’ Now I wish I had paid more attention.

As it turns out, home economics originated in the late 1800s as a science. The Huffington Post ran an article by Brie Dyas titled “Who Killed Home Ec? The Real Story Behind Its Demise,” on September 29, 2014.

In her article Dyas writes, “The creation of home ec is often attributed to Ellen Swallow Richards, a chemist and instructor at MIT, who paved the way for MIT’s Women’s Laboratory, which existed from 1876 to 1883 with a goal of advancing the scientific education of women at the Institution.

At the Women’s Laboratory, Richards turned her scientific attention to the study of how to make home life more efficient…Richards was very concerned to apply scientific principles to domestic topics – good nutrition, pure foods, proper clothing, physical fitness, sanitation, and efficient practices that would allow women more time for pursuits other than cooking and cleaning.”

            While I thought home ec classes were ‘dumb,’ I did want to make that A-line skirt Miss Jackson was valiantly trying to teach us how to put together using a sewing machine.

As I recall, two things stand out the most from that experience: 1) bobbins are living demons whose ways of becoming tangled are too numerous to calculate, and 2) making a waistband for an A-line skirt truly is a science.

Suffice it to say, I somehow managed to create the skirt and even wore it a few times before I was informed how misshapen it was. Kids can be so cruel sometimes. But that exposure to the mysteries of operating a sewing machine left a gap in my fabric-crafting soul.

Deep in the recesses of the library, the ladies chatted quietly over the sewing machines lined up along the walls of the meeting room. They encouraged one another as Gaspar and Chaplain showed them how to thread a bobbin, my nemesis. These ladies were happily bonding over bobbins.

The instructors described various parts of the machine such as the pressure foot, throat plate, and feed dog. Then it was time to begin sewing the straight seams that would form the covers for their pillows.

Ann Marie Ridings, Mattapoisett, had received her first sewing machine many years ago from her father and through the years had acquired others that she used for quilting projects. And while a seasoned veteran of sewing machine operation, complete with puncture wounds, she shared, “I wanted to learn how to make a pillow.”

Patricia McPartland, Mattapoisett, said, “My mother could make clothing but I never learned.” On this day, seated beside the youngest lady in the group, she was taking the first steps towards learning how to use a sewing machine.

And what about that youngest participant?

Well, it turns out that she was one of the most experienced seamstresses in the room. “I’ve made clothes for my dolls, and I’ve made pillows,” said Brenna Carrier, 12 years old. She deftly produced a very straight seam indeed.

My take-aways are these: my desire to operate a sewing machine has been satisfied through vicarious participation and that operating one is both an art and a science. But moreover, the importance of passing on knowledge in the world that still needs home economics classes can’t be overstated. We should be putting down the iPhones and revving-up the sewing machines.

By Marilou Newell

Suspicious Device Reported in Road in Marion

The Marion Fire Department received a call at 9:04 am on Friday, March 24, about a suspicious device in the middle of Pumping House Road off Route 105 in Marion.

Fire Chief Brian Jackvony said firefighters secured the area, closed off the road, and viewed the suspicious device from afar using binoculars. What they were able to identify was a soda can with two lit cigarettes sticking out of the top, placed in the middle of the road on top of a water valve metal street cover.

“It was certainly out of the ordinary,” said Jackvony.

He said the protocol for an incident such as this is to contact the State Hazardous Material Division and the State Police bomb squad.

“At this point we really didn’t know what was in the can,” Jackvony said.

Hazmat was contacted in case anything flammable or chemical was contained inside the can.

After the Marion Fire Department left the scene at 10:44 am, the State Police kept the road sealed off while the bomb squad assessed the suspicious item.

According to Jackvony, the item was removed and taken with the State Police for evidence.

“We were very precautious in our approach to it,” said Jackvony.

A press release from the State Fire Marshal’s office reported that there was no threat associated with the device and it caused no damage. If anyone has information about it, they are asking you to contact either the Marion Police Department at 508-748-1212 or the State Fire Marshal’s Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit at 1-800-682-9229.

By Jean Perry


Animal Shelter Donations

“It’s been ruff living in a shelter. Make a paw-sitive difference today.” This sentiment is the reasoning behind Hailey Cohen’s community service project. Over the past few weeks, Hailey has been volunteering at the Fairhaven Animal Shelter, located on Bridge Street in Fairhaven. She is also collecting desperately needed supplies for the shelter. The shelter provides a safe and temporary home for animals that have been abandoned and is a nonprofit organization that relies heavily on the kindness of the community for support. The shelter is in need of supplies such as wet/dry cat food, wet/dry dog food, and non-clumping cat litter. They need household and cleaning supplies as well – bleach, Windex, anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and gently used towels and blankets. Hailey is now asking for the public’s help. From mid-March until the end of April, she has set up collection drop-off boxes in the Elizabeth Taber Library, Spring Street in Marion, and the shopping plaza at 67 County Road in Mattapoisett (Sister’s Hair and Shipyard Galley). She will be checking the boxes on a weekly basis and delivering the supplies to Fairhaven. Your donation goes a long way to help provide for these animals.

This summer, as Hailey turns 13, she will have completed her Jewish studies and will celebrate with a bat mitzvah service. As part of the curriculum at Falmouth Jewish Congregation, each student must partake in a community service project as a way of learning to become a responsible citizen who makes a positive difference in his/her community.

For more information or questions, please contact Debbie Cohen at debcohen@comcast.net or 508-273-3552.

24th Annual Buzzards Bay Swim

With spring on the horizon, there’s no better time to test the waters and get ready for the 24th annual Buzzards Bay Swim on Saturday, June 24. With nearly 200 swimmers and 20 teams already signed up, the Swim promises to be a fun, philanthropic outdoor event that you won’t want to miss. Swimmers can register now at www.savebuzzardsbay.org/swim.

The Swim draws participants of every age, ability and fitness level, and first-time swimmers are encouraged to register. Swimmers complete a 1.2-mile open water point-to-point course across outer New Bedford Harbor to raise money for clean water in Buzzards Bay. Beginning in the South End of New Bedford and ending at Fort Phoenix Beach State Reservation in Fairhaven, participants are greeted at the finish line with a beach party featuring a pancake breakfast, fresh coffee and pastries, live music, free massages and local beer.

“When I first told people I was swimming the Bay, people said, ‘I could never do that.’” said Rosie Byrnes of New Bedford, a three-time swimmer who first participated in 2013. With a few months of weekly training that first year, Rosie was able to work her way up from swimming just 12 laps in a pool to 44 laps – the equivalent of the Swim’s 1.2-mile distance – by June.

Don’t want to swim solo? Many swimmers recruit friends and form a team to swim across the harbor together. This year, several spirited teams including “Just Keep Swimming,” “#cleanwater,” and “Scollops not Scallops” are registered and training for the Swim. The champion “Salty Seadogs” of Lakeville will be back to defend their Wheeler Cup award for fastest adult team, as will the youth teams from Waltham’s MetroWest Aquatic Club, who won the Quicks Awards for fastest youth teams in 2016.

Prizes are awarded for the top fundraisers and fastest swimmers, both individuals and teams. Swimmers who have participated in the Swim for five, 10, and new this year, 20 years will also receive special participation awards.

All funds raised through the Swim support the Buzzard Bay Coalition’s work to protect clean water in communities across the Buzzards Bay watershed – from Little Compton to Vineyard Sound.

Newcomers “Scenic Swim Team” from Austin, Texas, are already at the top of the fundraising leaderboard, having raised $1,500 so far. Not to be outdone, locals and members of team “ButtersBergers” of Acushnet are attempting to raise $5,000 this year in honor of their fifth Buzzards Bay Swim. Think you can outdo them? Register now at www.savebuzzardsbay.org/swim.

The Buzzards Bay Swim is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series Event, presented nationally by Toyota. The SPLASH Series engages local citizens in recreational use of our waterways to celebrate access to clean water. Event sponsors also include Amica Insurance, Anderson Insulation, YMCA Southcoast and Fiber Optic Center.

Injured ORR Boys’ Hockey Team Falls Short at States

Averaging over six goals per game, the Old Rochester Regional High School boys’ hockey team made it clear they were the top Division 3 South program this season.

The Bulldogs (24-4-0) earned their spot in the State Championship on Sunday, March 19 at TD Garden against undefeated Shrewsbury, but ultimately they took a 3-1 loss to the significantly larger Central Massachusetts program.

“It’s a Division 1 team that’s fully loaded with no injuries,” Bulldogs Head Coach Eric Labonte said of his opponent. “Even if we were fully healthy, I think they’re a bit too much for us.”

By that, Labonte means that Shrewsbury High’s enrollment of over 1,600 students would make them a Division 1 team if they were located in Eastern Massachusetts. Instead, only Division 3 hockey exists in Central Massachusetts, so Shrewsbury is in the smaller bracket despite being a larger school.

As aforementioned, depth was another issue for the Bulldogs. They skated just three defensemen against Shrewsbury and junior Evan Stanley got hurt in the first period, adding to the team’s misfortune as they were already without his classmate and fellow defenseman, Zak Labonte. In Stanley’s place, eighth-grader Sam Parks stepped up and saw significant ice time.

By contrast, depth was an asset for Shrewsbury.

“They were running three lines and five defensemen,” Labonte said of his foe. “We were out there with Band-Aids on trying to make it work. We got run down.”

On the ice, one major problem the Bulldogs ran into was Shrewsbury’s tough defense. Throughout the season, their opponent allowed a meager 28 goals in 24 games and had eight shutouts.

In the first two periods, the Bulldogs could not muster anything on the attack, but a minute into the third period, senior forward Sam Henrie changed that. He flipped one up into the back of Shrewsbury’s net; it was his 40th goal of the season.

“He’s been doing that all year for us,” Labonte said of Henrie. “He’s the first one in on the forecheck. He’s basically been a one-man forecheck. He uses the body and comes up with the puck.”

Senior forward Noah Strawn (44 goals, 48 assists) was the Bulldogs other top scorer. Albeit the two forwards put up nearly half of their team’s goals this past season, Labonte credited senior defenseman Landon Goguen (19 goals, 39 assists) for setting up his team’s offensive success.

“He’s a one-man breakout,” Labonte said of the defenseman. “He’s probably the most patient, smartest kid I’ve ever coached in 23 years of high school hockey. He can shoot the puck from the point. He’s real patient with the puck and you can’t have a breakout without the defensemen leading it. He’s been spectacular for us all year.”

While the game itself did not go the way they wanted it to, the Bulldogs did appreciate the priceless opportunity to play hockey at TD Garden.

“It’s what every kid wants,” junior forward Tayber Labonte said. “It’s the place to be. The Bruins skate on the ice, so it’s the ice you want to skate on. It’s awesome.”

The Bulldogs lose five seniors to graduation, which might not be a particularly large number, but they are losing a handful of high-quality players. In addition to Strawn, Henrie and Goguen, the Bulldogs will lose forward Ryan Labonte (11 goals, 16 assists) and goaltender Chase Cunningham (1.57 goals allowed per game, four shutouts), who were seniors this season.

“I love them all,” Tayber Labonte said. “They’re great guys and I’m friends with all of them. I’ve known Sam and Lan since I was two years old. It’s just tough to watch them leave.”

By Tom Joyce