Call For Artists

New Bedford Open Studio (NBOS) has a great deal to celebrate after ten years of providing exciting city-wide open studio events. What started out as a holiday studio sale at 21 Cove Street has grown into multiple open studio dates each year. Throughout the year, NBOS members are involved with many creative endeavors throughout New Bedford. To have even more of a presence throughout the year, NBOS has just signed on as an AHA! programming partner. Mediumstudio in New Bedford has given NBOS a new look for our next decade by redesigning the NBOS website, which can be seen at http://www.newbedfordopenstudios.org/. This new site not only has information on how to navigate the fall Open Studios Events, but it also provides an important cultural link to artists and art events throughout the year.

This year there are two open studio weekends planned. The first will be the weekend of October 4 – 5 at NBOS South Celebration and Sale at the Orchard and Kilburn Street Studio Buildings. NBOS North Celebration and Sale and Open Studios will take place on November 21 – 23 at Hatch Street Studios and Ropeworks Studios.

All artists who live, work or have exhibited their work in New Bedford are invited to participate in NBOS events and shows by becoming members. Some of the additional benefits to membership include an individual website page with space for multiple images as well as your artist information and resume and invitations to social and educational events. Membership applications are available on the NBOS website under the “join NBOS” tab. The fee for a yearly membership is $50 if paid by September 1 and $60 after September 1. Payments and applications can be submitted on the NBOS website or can be mailed to: New Bedford Open Studios/SFSEMA, 695 Pleasant St., P.O. Box 8276, New Bedford, MA 02742. For more information, call Karen Snyder at 508-287-8477.

Swift Motion for Solar Farm Approval

It took almost two years and a lawsuit against the Town before Dale and Laura Briggs could move forward with their plan to construct a solar farm on their County Road property, and on August 21, with no further discussion, the Marion ZBA passed a unanimous motion to grant the variance, giving the green light to begin construction.

The couple, who sat with Luke Hinkle of My Generation Energy, smilingly turned to look at each other once the vote was taken, ending a significant history of denials and delay. After the meeting adjourned, the couple took turns exchanging smiles and handshakes with the ZBA members.

“Once it got [to the ZBA] it moved along,” said Ms. Briggs to board member Betsy Dunn.

“Well, I’m sorry we couldn’t do it from the get-go,” Dunn told Briggs. “Good luck.”

Also during the meeting, Ken Steen on behalf of Baywatch Realty asked the board for a few changes to the Village Drive development site plan, including the addition of a central mailbox within the development.

Since plans were approved, the U.S. Postal Service has changed its policy regarding new neighborhoods, doing away with curbside mailboxes and now requiring one centralized mailbox.

Steen proposed a location approximately 200 feet beyond the Route 105 entrance to the development, avoiding putting the mailbox too close to the “very, very busy” entrance.

The spot Steen recommended is a flat, green area with enough turn-around room for the mail truck, which Steen said the Postmaster approved.

Also representing Baywatch Realty, Ed Gless presented some grading changes to an area near the hammerhead cul-de-sac, which slopes down toward a pond. Some retaining walls will be eliminated from the plan as well.

Chairman Eric Pierce asked whether or not the changes would have to go through the Conservation Commission, and Steen answered yes.

“Because it’s so insignificant, nothing changes in the drainage,” said Steen. “They should just embrace it without altering the order of conditions.”

Pierce suggested continuing the matter in order to have an independent engineering consultant review the proposed revisions before issuing approval.

“I’m not a full-blown engineer, and I just want to make sure the Town’s best interests are being kept.”

Steen said the revised plan is a “far better situation” and a better option, calling it “strictly a grading issue.”

“Initially, it makes sense to me,” said Pierce, “but I am not an engineer who can magically understand all of that.

The board decided to hold off voting on either proposed revision until the next meeting.

In other matters, Anthi Frangiadis presented plans to raze an existing garage and build a larger two-car garage at the 76 Pleasant Street property of Wayne and Teresa Mattson.

The location of the new detached garage to be constructed will be shifted slightly away from the edge of the property line, making the nonconforming lot layout   somewhat less nonconforming. The existing site of the garage is 20 by 22 feet, and the new garage will be 27 feet, 6 inches by 24 feet.

ZBA member Dunn recused herself from voting but continued on to speak in favor of the matter “as an abutter.” The request was approved.

The next meeting of the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals will be September 25 at 7:30 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry

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Marion Council on Aging

Take the AARP Driver Safety Classroom Course! Learn proven safety strategies to maintain your confidence behind the wheel. This course is offered on Wednesday September 24 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Marion Police Station. Bring a bag lunch and please arrive before 9:45 am to fill out class certificate. There is a $15 charge for AARP members and $20 for non-AARP members. Please call the COA office to register at 508 748-3570.

Check out the monthly movies at the Music Hall at 7:00 pm. Free admission and popcorn. On September 12, Double Indemnity will be shown. Preregistration is not needed.

Lunch and Learn will begin again in October. This event is offered on the first Wednesday of the month at noon at the Marion Police Station. Free and preregistration is not needed. Bring your lunch. In October, come learn about the pros and cons of obtaining a reverse mortgage.

Low impact aerobics are offered every Monday and Friday at the Atlantis Drive facility from 9:30 – 10:30 am for $4 per class.

Mattapoisett Friends Fundraising

Donations of high end antiques, Oriental rugs, fine art, important paper collectibles, sterling and gold are being sought by Mattapoisett Friends Meeting as part of its fundraising efforts to restore its historic meeting house.

Frank McNamee of the Marion Antique Shop has agreed to handle the sale of vetted items at its annual November auction. A mid-September deadline has been set for this particular sale. Vetting will be done by Mr. McNamee.

A receipt for income tax purposes, for the full value of any item sold, will be given the donor by the church.

Mr. McNamee is also helping the cause by reducing the seller’s commission by half for which the meeting is grateful.

Two donations have already been accepted. One is an 1871 scrapbook with articles pasted over a partial logbook of the New Bedford whaling ship Courier, covering the last part of a voyage begun in 1829. Two articles in the scrapbook deal with President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.

Another is a type of metate, called a grinding stone or grinding slab, carved by pre-Columbian Mayans from one piece of stone. It is accompanied by two mano stones, hand-held carved stones for grinding corn and other grains.

To date, the Friends Meeting has raised more than $82,000 toward the estimated $245,000 restoration project. Phase 1 of the work is expected to begin next month.

For more information, call Brad Hathaway at 508-758-3579.

ORRHS Welcoming Four Exchange Students

The Old Rochester Regional High School community is welcoming four foreign exchange students into its halls this year. Antione Geller, 18, from Belgium, and Elena Voigt, 17, from Germany, are studying at ORR through the Cultural Homestay International exchange program. Two more students will be joining ORR from the AFS program – Paola Briceno Sanchez, 16, from Mexico, and Marianela Belmonte, 16, from Argentina. The AFS students won’t arrive in America until September 8 due to late house placement, but they will be welcomed into the ORR community soon thereafter. The Cultural Homestay International students, on the other hand, have had some time to settle into their new homes in the Tri-Town. Elena Voigt arrived here from Germany on August 19. Since then, she has been getting to know her host family in Rochester, managing a five-hour jetlag, and taking in her new surroundings. “I haven’t even realized that I’m here yet,” said Voigt after the new student orientation at ORR last Friday. While being immersed in a new country can be overwhelming, Voigt is still looking forward to being a student at ORR, meeting new people, and joining the school’s cross country team. The Clancys, Voigt’s host family, are excited about the year to come. Holly Clancy and her daughter, Alyssa Clancy, a sixth grade student at Rochester Memorial School, attended ORR’s orientation along with Voigt. Holly Clancy said she hopes to “blend” with Voigt, learning about her German culture as Voigt learns about American culture. The family already has some trips planned to allow Voigt to experience as much of America as possible; they’ll be visiting Florida, New York City, Boston, and even Canada over the next year. Clancy first considered hosting a foreign exchange student when she met Louisa Truss, an exchange student from Germany that attended ORR last year. Truss was a student aid in Clancy’s class at the ORR preschool. “I got talking to Louisa and just loved her,” said Clancy, “and I thought it’d be great to have an exchange student live with us.” After filling out a sizable application and passing a home visit and a background check, the Clancy family was approved to host a student. The next step was to choose their new family member from a list of applicants. “We wanted someone that liked to ride horses, because my daughter does, and Elena was the first one [Cultural Homestay International] sent us,” Clancy recalled. “Just reading through everything about her, I felt that she was perfect for our family.” The Clancys are just one of four families in the Tri-Town who have decided to welcome an exchange student into their home. Kim Corazzini, the AFS club advisor at ORR, is pleased to have such a good turnout this year. She noted that finding host families each year can be very difficult. “It’s always a struggle, which is sad, because I think when people do [host], it’s very gratifying,” said Corazzini, adding that she does admit that this gratifying experience is a big commitment. On the national level, the AFS program has also seen struggles. “It’s been a very difficult year for them to place kids,” said Corazzini. Thankful to have four exchange students this year, Corazzini is looking forward to immersing them in the ORR community. She hopes to hold an AFS club welcome social for the exchange students to meet their American peers soon after the school year starts. “The kids become very fascinated with it because they meet friends; they learn about people from different countries,” she said. Corazzini also looks forward to the opportunities the exchange students will have to learn about American culture. She noted that it is not a common practice in other countries for students to have a graduation ceremony or a senior prom. Culturally, these are some of the differences the exchange students can experience at ORR. “What we like to do is to have them have an opportunity to experience the things that are particular to the United States,” she said. As the school year is just beginning, the exchange students have a lot to look forward to. Through joining the ORR community, they’ll share their culture while learning about ours. If your family is interested in hosting an exchange student, either this year or in future years, please visit www.afsusa.org/host-family for more information. By Renae Reints ORRexchangestudents082814

Housing Authority Board Vacancy

The Mattapoisett Housing Authority Board is eager to fill a mid-term vacancy. Any town resident with an interest in the welfare and safety of our local state housing facility is encouraged to write a letter of intent to Louise Sousa at 1 Acushnet Road, Mattapoisett, MA 02739.

Taber Library Memoir Workshop

What’s black and white and read all over? If you write it well, your memoir! Record your precious memories before they fade. The Sippican Historical Society and Elizabeth Taber Library will help! The two organizations have teamed up to offer a free, four-session memoir writing course, led by Marion’s Judy Rosbe, an accomplished author and historian with five local history books to her credit.

To be held at the Elizabeth Taber Library at 3:00 pm on four consecutive Wednesdays – September 10, 17, 24 and October 1 – the memoir writing course will accommodate 15 participants. SHS has donated copies of Legacy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Personal History for use by all course participants. Registration is required as space is limited, so stop by the Library now to reserve your spot and pick up your assignments!

Sprague’s Cove

To the Editor:

I attended last Monday’s Selectmen’s meeting on Sprague’s Cove. I came out baffled.

I have a big question for the ConCom – Why do you discount and ignore the vote at the last Town Meeting that denied you the funds to keep on poisoning phragmites?

You killed absolutely EVERYTHING down there when you say you needed to kill the phragmites.

You ripped out the cedars, willows, beach plums, tupelos, oaks, maples, wildflowers, and on and on … over 35 varieties of plants.

You sought advice from the designers, ignored their advice, and stubbornly kept insisting that phragmites are ruining the basin’s function.

You didn’t read the plans (perhaps you can’t read plans) of the basin and you didn’t clean out the exit pipes as your own management plans told you to.

You cut all the willows that kept the geese away, when your own management plan said not to.

You didn’t realize that the water level was too high, making the basin almost 50% smaller. If you could read plans, you would have seen this from a quick look at them.

Your track record is horrible. Why don’t you throw in the towel?

Annie Rockwell, Marion

 

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.

Dogs Continue to Cause Nuisance

The incessant barking from a residential kennel remains ongoing after over a year of complaints, and the Rochester Board of Selectmen offered no concrete solution for the matter, choosing instead to take the issue under advisement and consult with town counsel before taking action.

Neighbors of Liberal and Melinda Teixeira of 368 North Avenue testified August 25 before the selectmen that the dogs belonging to the couple continue to cause a nuisance with their barking. Since June 20, 2014 neighbors have called in over ten complaints to police about the noise that one neighbor called “extreme.”

“We’ve tried to be good neighbors,” said Rosemary Boling who lives across the street from the Teixeira property. She said she did not want to call in complaints about the noise and wanted to work with the neighbors, “but this has just been so ongoing.”

Boling offered to play some recordings she took of the dogs barking for the selectmen, one of which she said was over an hour long; however, selectmen instead took neighbors’ word for it after hearing testimony from several of Teixeira’s neighbors.

This was not the first time the Teixeiras and their neighbors have come before the board regarding a dog nuisance, which dates back to September of 2013 when the Teixeiras had beagles in their kennel, which have since been removed. Selectmen offered the Teixeiras a chance to mitigate the noise, which they attempted to do by removing a number of beagles, moving the kennel 300 feet back from the house, and using bark-deterring collars and additional fencing.

Attorney Robert Moore, representing Melinda Teixeira in the absence of Mr. Teixeira, spoke for Teixeira, saying the couple seeks to resolve the problem.

“We don’t know what else we can do,” stated Moore, adding that the Teixeiras are not “calloused” and want to correct the situation. He said Ms. Teixeira recently looked into taking dog instructor classes to train the dogs not to bark as a possible solution to the problem.

The Teixeiras currently have a license to keep one small dog kennel and one hobby kennel, allowing for a total of 16 dogs on the property. They run a dog breeding business, but under the law, over four litters of pups per year are prohibited.

Selectman Naida Parker asked Teixeira how many litters there were last year, and Teixeira admitted that there was probably over four, but she could not recall how many.

“Then it rises above the hobby kennel license threshold,” said Parker. “And most people I know, know how many litters they’ve had over the year.” She said she found Teixeira’s answer possibly “disingenuous.”

Moore struggled to explain that the Teixeiras, although they breed dogs for profit, are not an actual commercial dog kennel, which requires Zoning Board of Appeals approval for a commercial business within a residential zone. He said the dog hearing was “a little intimidating” for Teixeira, which is why he was present that evening.

“It’s an open book,” said Moore. “And if we’re not in compliance then we will be.”

Parker referred to a kennel on Snipatuit Road that is a fully-enclosed structure where the dogs are kept indoors throughout the year, as opposed to the Teixeiras’ material “greenhouse-like” structure, which is more sound permeable.

“That’s the level of familiarity I’ve had with commercial kennels,” stated Parker.

Abutter to the Teixeiras, Bill Nazarro, said he barely hears the dogs bark, and blamed wildlife such as deer and turkeys for inciting the dogs to bark.

“I think it’s really quieted down,” said Nazarro, adding that he was the closest neighbor to the kennel – however, neighbors voiced their disagreement.

Alan Boling said the bottom line is that the solutions the Teixeiras previously offered up simply are not working, and the barking continues during the early morning hours as well as late at night.

“[The barking] goes on all day long. This is tough. And you can’t get back to sleep,” said Boling. “There’s just too many dogs, which is causing the barking and causing the problem.”

Moore suggested the Teixeiras head toward a fully enclosed kennel as a solution, while Chairman Brad Morse suggested ordering the Teixeiras to apply for a commercial kennel license with the ZBA.

“The system that’s working now … doesn’t seem to be working,” said Selectman Richard Nunes, adding that it must be solved. “It isn’t something that I would ever want to go through,” continued Nunes. “It is what it is – and it’s a mess.”

Nunes made a motion to compel the Teixeiras to apply with the ZBA, then retracted his motion for one allowing selectmen to take the matter under advisement, seek counsel, and continue the hearing until the next meeting.

“As the whole town knows, I’m a dog person,” said Parker. “I’m not anti-dog and I’m not anti-kennel … but it has to comply with the neighborhood.”

Morse apologized to those in attendance, saying he was sorry the board could not act faster to resolve the issue.

“We are doing our best,” said Morse. The hearing was continued until 7:10 pm on September 15.

Also during the meeting, the board greeted new Superintendent-Director of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Frank Cote, as well as several other new staff members at the school.

“I’m excited to be the new superintendent – I think more so than anything else,” said Cote. “I look forward to a long relationship with Old Colony.”

The board also decided to put setting a date for a Special Town Meeting on the agenda for the next meeting, scheduled for September 15 at 6:30 pm at Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

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David Stephen Bettencourt

David Stephen Bettencourt, 67, of Lakeville passed away on August 19, 2014. He was the son of Manuel and Mildred (MacRae) Bettencourt. David was born in New Bedford and lived several years in Middleboro before moving to Lakeville.

David attended Old Rochester Regional High School, class of 1966. After graduating he served his country in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in the Vietnam War. David was recognized for his courageous actions during the war and after his injuries he sustained. He was an avid reader and enjoyed constructing model boats.

David is survived by his sister Sandra Jones, his brothers; Howard Pierce, Edward Pierce and Theodore Pierce and his very dear friend Cheryl DuBois and family as well as several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother Richard Bettencourt.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend David’s service at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at Otis Air National Guard Base on September 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the local Veterans Center.