Hayden Bergeron: An Inspiring Youth

During the long summer months, students who have moved home from school often have trouble filling their free time. The phrase, “Mom, I’m bored” is the most frequent one to land upon parents’ ears around this time of year.

But there is one local youth local who decided to take matters into his own hands and create fun, unique activities to pass the time. Hayden Bergeron is 18 years old, a recent Old Rochester Regional graduate and soon to be UMass Dartmouth student, and a driven young entrepreneur. He has lived in Rochester his entire life with six siblings and an incredibly strong mother who have helped shape him into the man he is today.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Hayden through the volunteer landscaping work he does on the weekends in Marion. For the past two summers, Hayden has pulled into my driveway promptly at 9:00 am to begin working. This past Sunday, as I dragged myself outside with a cup of coffee and my journal – my mind barely awake – I noticed that Hayden was already well into his work. He seemed calm and at ease, moving diligently around the yard in the pale morning light. As we spoke about his hobbies and summer plans, I realized that this landscaping job was only just scratching the surface.

Hayden and his siblings have come up with a myriad of ways to pass the time during the summer months. In his spare time, Hayden collects silver currency (coins and dollars) to sell on eBay. One of his younger siblings has accumulated a large collection of baseball cards and autographs to sell to interested buyers. In addition, Hayden is currently growing the hottest chili pepper in the world: the “Carolina Reaper”, which he says will most likely be eaten by one of his friends.

On top of all of these various jobs and hobbies, Hayden also works full time for a construction company during the week. In the little free time he has left, Hayden likes to play basketball, football, and lacrosse with his friends, and enjoys moments with the people who are closest to him. On the weekends, Mrs. Bergeron gathers all of her children (including three adopted from Haiti) for an outing to Church in the Pines. According to Hayden, this outing is a special time for siblings to bond, as religion continues to play an important role in Bergeron family dynamics.

It is clear that the Bergeron clan always makes the most of their free time, often finding new and interesting ways to spend their days. Hayden balances his life with the right amount of work and play, and continues to make family a top priority. I think this family could be an inspiration to all of us who are looking to fill time as the season draws to a close.

So as the summer winds down and your kids are wondering what to do with themselves, remember that time is what we make of it. There are always new, creative ways to fill the hottest months. So open up that paint set you’ve been dying to use. Or do some gardening. Practice a song or take a walk with a friend. But no matter what you wish to do to fill your days, make the most of the time that is given to you. Make some memories you will never forget.

By Jacqueline Hatch


Taste of the Town

Dear Editor:

A colossal thank you is offered to all the wonderful members of the Mattapoisett Women’s Club who gave generously of their time and energy to make the Taste of the Town a magnificent event and success. We appreciated the cooperation, dedication and time members took away from family and friends to unselfishly reach out and serve the community. Also, special appreciation is extended to devoted vendors and loyal patrons for supporting the Mattapoisett Women’s Club scholarship fundraising efforts. We could not have done it without you.

Finally, deep thanks to the glorious Showstoppers. This spirited group of young performers dazzled everyone with their array of songs and boundless enthusiasm.

With deep gratitude,

Lois Ennis and Eileen Marum

Co-chairs, Taste of the Town Committee

Mattapoisett Women’s Club


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.

Free Movie: Last Tuesday of the Month

The Book Thief (PG-13, 2 hr. 10 min.) is playing at the Mattapoisett Senior Center, Center School, 17 Barstow Street, on Tuesday, July 29 at 12:00 noon. Sponsored by the Friends of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging (formally known as the Friends of the Elderly), the movie is free.

You get two pizza slices for only $2 prepaid. Pay for your pizza at the Senior Center by Monday, July 28. Also, reserve your seat – so we’ll know how many chairs are needed.

The Book Thief is a 2013 American-German war drama film about a young girl living with her adoptive German family during the Nazi era. Taught to read by her kind-hearted foster father, the girl begins “borrowing” books and sharing them with the Jewish refugee being sheltered by her foster parents in their home. She creates a magical world that inspires them all.

Hathaway Pond Dam & Fish Ladder

A lot of water has gone over the Hathaway Pond Dam since the Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC) acquired the Hampson property in 2011 in Rochester where the dam is located. At that time, their plan was to remove the dam and restore the area to its natural state as it was before the dam was built in 1804, hence lowering the pond area to a stream bed.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Office of Dam Safety (ODS) had previously classified the dam as in an unsafe condition and a potential threat to life and/or property downstream. To resolve the unsafe conditions, several options were proposed in the Hathaway Pond Dam Feasibility Study prepared by Inter-fluve Inc. for BBC. Those options were: (1) complete restoration of the dam; (2) a partial restoration of the dam; and (3) removal of the dam and earthen berm with construction of a pedestrian bridge. Estimates ranged from approximately $650,000 to $227,000 respectively. BBC’s choice was for complete removal of the dam.

That proposal was met head on with resistance from property owners on the pond, agricultural interests that depended on the water resource for maintaining ground water levels, irrigation, frost control and harvesting cranberries and Alewives Anonymous, Inc. that viewed Hathaway Pond as the primary spawning area for herring in the Sippican River as the recently installed ladder at Leonard’s Pond had not yet proven effective for fish passage into the pond.

Efforts were started to ‘Save Hathaway Pond’. Greenwood ‘Woody’ Hartley III began circulating a petition seeking signatures of the landowners, farmers, environmentalists, taxpayers and citizens of Rochester, Marion and the surrounding towns that wanted the dam at Hathaway Pond to remain and be repaired as the pond and its surrounding ecosystem provided a healthy and important environment to the citizens and wildlife of the area. Approximately 450 signatures were gathered. Representative Bill Strauss, speaking at a public meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission, pointed out both the historical significance and socio-economic issues associated with preserving the dam and pond, supporting the neighborhood, local farmers and AA.

Also the issue of the ‘Unsafe’ classification of the dam was brought forward to be reevaluated. Hartley-Rhodes, Inc. contracted with GeoEnvironmental, Inc. (GZA) to perform a study of the Sippican River watershed. GZA compiled and released the Hazard Classification Assessment of Hathaway Pond Dam and pointed out in their findings that the impact of the dam’s failure, even during the most unusual weather events, would be minimal. Their opinion was that ODS should consider downgrading the hazard/unsafe classification of Hathaway Pond Dam to ‘Low Hazard’. With that report and the recommendation, Hartley-Rhodes submitted an Application to Change Hazard Classification to ODS.

The Office of Dam Safety determined that it would change the classification of the dam to Low Hazard in December 2011. In February 2012, ODS additionally ruled that the dam property is indeed ‘land in agricultural use’ and exempt from their rules and regulations.

Beaton’s Inc. received deeded water rights to the pond along with authority to maintain and repair the dam for agricultural purposes when they purchased the Hiller cranberry property.

Negotiations between Beaton’s Inc. and BBC were initiated to reach an amicable agreement. The eventual outcome was that ownership of the dam property would be transferred to Beaton’s Inc. and also, among other things, improved fish passage would be incorporated into the dam.

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries provided a section of aluminum Alaskan steep pass fish ladder.

Doug Beaton contracted with EA Engineering, Science, and Technology from Warwick, RI, to design plans for the new fish ladder to be installed in one of the spillways of the dam. Other dam maintenance and improvements were also planned.

The framework and supporting structure for the ladder were fabricated at Beaton Inc’s workshop.

AA established the Hathaway Pond Dam Ladder Fund to help offset expenses of the new ladder. The AA members, the many supporters of the ‘Save Hathaway Pond’ campaign, the environmentally-minded citizens of Rochester, as well as those from our surrounding communities and local business, responded with a financial commitment to help the project along.

The required hearings were held and permits from the Rochester Conservation Commission were granted in early 2013 and construction was started in March. Part of the installation was completed before the anticipated herring migration started, but conditions didn’t allow for completion until August of 2013.

During the Alewives Anonymous, Inc. Annual Meeting on April 27, 2014, it was announced that AA would transfer to Beaton’s Inc., the donations collected – AA monies earmarked specifically for Sippican River improvements and additional monies totaling $10,000. Mr. Douglas Beaton gratefully accepted the funds and expressed his appreciation as follows: “Art, Matt and I want to thank You, AA, and others for the extremely generous donation in support of Hathaway and the River Herring Project. The Dam still needs some repairs, and I believe some of that money will be used for those repairs. Last night’s meeting was a ‘classic’ example of when ‘Grass Roots America’ organizes, cooperates and performs to “get ‘er done.” Looking forward to working with AA, the Rochester community, and others to eventually have river herring spawning in Hathaway and Leonard’s Ponds.”

Mr. Beaton has been supportive in all things herring and has helped AA wherever possible in any of the projects that have come up.

As President of Alewives Anonymous, Inc. and on behalf of the Board of Directors and the AA membership, I would like to express our gratitude and deepest appreciation to Mr. Beaton, Beaton’s Inc. shop crew and everyone else they had involved in the project to install the new aluminum steep pass fish ladder at the Hathaway Pond Dam in 2013 and the many individuals and businesses that supported this project financially.

BBC installed and operated an electronic fish counter in the ladder during the 2014 herring migration season to monitor the fish population entering Hathaway Pond. AA installed and operated an electronic fish counter in the ladder at Leonard’s Pond. The counts from both counters on the Sippican River for this year were very low. Adjustments to the water flow in the ladders were made and will serve as a guide for next year when we hope to start seeing improved results for the herring population in the Sippican River.

Alewives Anonymous, Inc., The Herring Helpers, PO Box 42, Rochester MA 02770, is dedicated to the preservation and increase of the alewife fishery resources in the Mattapoisett River and the Sippican River in the towns of Rochester, Marion and Mattapoisett, MA. We invite you to PLEASE join and help support our efforts. Annual membership is $10. Arthur F. Benner, phone, 508-763-2024; email, artbenner@comcast.net.

By Arthur F. Benner

President, Alewives Anonymous, Inc.


Planning Board: You Can’t Regulate Stupidity

A raised island that dictates a right-turn only out of a new filling station on Cranberry Highway turned into a figurative speed bump in a discussion about safety during the July 22 Rochester Planning Board meeting.

Half the board favored altering the site plan for Rochester Crossroads, LLC to include a raised island to reinforce a no-left turn out of the proposed Seasons gas station and half were against it.

Chairman Arnold Johnson was adamantly in favor of the raised island, as were board members Gary Florindo and Ben Bailey, and neither were budging from their position despite a meeting the developer had with Police Chief Paul Magee. According to Rochester Crossroads’ attorney Richard Serkey, Chief Magee approved language for a condition to monitor the site if the developer stuck with the plan to only install scored concrete to reinforce the traffic flow. That condition would allow the chief to review any incidents regarding safety of the exit within the first year and, if the chief later deemed the scored concrete island inadequate, he would have sole discretion to report to the Planning Board to revisit the matter.

“And we advised him that we could live with it,” said Serkey.

Board member Susan Teal said she liked that option because it would give the board a chance to “see how it plays out in the field.”

Johnson, however, while admitting that even he disobeys left-turn only signs, said people would still make the illegal left turn unless a raised island is installed to stop them. He also took issue with the wording of the chief’s condition.

“The chief does not have the authority,” said Johnson, regarding the language granting the chief sole discretion. “First off … he can advise the board, but that stipulation cannot be written as is.” Besides, added Johnson, the chief told Johnson that he does not think the scored pavement is going to be effective.

Jim Kane, manager of ADM Management Corporation, said the developer’s main concern was snow removal, saying that a raised island would obstruct snow plowing.

Bailey asked Kane why he thinks that drivers will adhere to the left-hand turn sign.

Kane replied that if drivers do not follow the sign, the developer would “run right back out and do what we didn’t want to do” – install a raised island.

“Are you saying you want to wait for accidents to happen, or do you want to put up a camera?” asked Bailey. How would the developer monitor potential violations?

Teal had some ideas, such as visible tire tread on the grooved pavement and neighbors calling in complaints.

“Why do we want to put a burden on the neighbors to fix this thing?” said Johnson.

The only thing that will document problems, said Florindo, is an inevitable accident.

The main issue at hand, as board member Michael Murphy pointed out, was that “You can’t regulate stupidity.”

Things got a little tense between Bailey and Serkey before the discussion shifted back to monitoring the potential safety hazard.

“I’m a big proponent of landowner rights,” said Bailey. “However, we’re talking about the potential for someone to be killed in a car accident … I also know that’s a very dangerous corner.” Bailey said he understood that the developer wanted to try the grooved concrete first, but he for one would not approve that.

Florindo interjected and, during a heartfelt diatribe about the potential for a fatal accident as a result of sticking with just the scored concrete, managed to persuade Kane to agree to the raised island.

“These are small potatoes,” said Florindo. He said he was willing to go along with 99% of the rest of the plan, but Florindo wanted that safety issue addressed. “Let’s face the music,” said Florindo. He told Kane the only way the developer could realize the necessity of the raised island would be when the chief calls them up and tells them of a fatal accident.

Kane agreed, saying, “We have much bigger fish to fry.”

And just like that, the discussion moved forward to address drainage issues until the hearing was continued until August 12 to allow time for Field Engineering to generate a report to the board.

Also at the meeting, Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Richard Cutler went over some proposed changes to the zoning bylaws a subcommittee had been studying.

A public hearing regarding amendments to the Town Subdivision Rules and Regulations was brief with little discussion, with board members flipping through the proposed changes handed to them by Town Planner Mary Crain.

The board approved a division of land for Michael Murphy of County Road. The board approved taking a section of Murphy’s Lot 3A and adding it to adjoining Lot 3C. Lot 3C remains an unbuildable lot, yet the land division creates a less non-conforming lot. As a relative to the petitioner, board member Michael Murphy recused himself from discussion.

Two public hearings for Harris Real Estate Boston, LLC have been continued until August 12 at the applicant’s request.

The next Rochester Planning Board meeting is August 12 at 7:00 pm at Town Hall.

By Jean Perry


Ellen (Fallon) White

Ellen (Fallon) White, 77, of Marion died July 24, 2014 at Tobey Hospital after a long illness.

She was the wife of Thomas A. White, Jr.

Born in Boston, the daughter of the late Peter and Mary (Cullen) Fallon, she was raised in Brighton and later lived in Westwood before moving to Marion 15 years ago.

Mrs. White was an active communicant of St. Rita’s Church.

She was formerly employed as a teacher for many years in Boston.

Mrs. White was a member of the Marion Women’s Club. She enjoyed spending time with her nieces and nephews.

She is survived by her husband; 2 brothers, Peter Fallon and his wife Theresa of Hyannis and Edward Fallon of Weymouth; a sister, Katherine Fallon of Jamaica Plain; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett Monday at 9 AM. Funeral Mass at St. Rita’s Church at 10 AM. Visiting hours Sunday from 4-8 PM. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

Property Tax Relief Available for Marion

Applications are now available to help qualified Marion residents with their 2014-2015 property taxes through the Marion Community Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts (CFSEMA).

All applications must be received in the Community Foundation’s offices by 3:00 pm on Friday, August 29. Applications are available at the Town House in Marion, the Council on Aging, and the Community Foundation, 30 Cornell Street, New Bedford, MA 02740, or by calling 508-996-8253. They can also be downloaded at www.cfsema.org.

The Marion Community Fund was established in 1999 by a private donor to provide qualified Marion homeowners with property tax relief. The Fund’s goal is to preserve the town’s diversity and character by providing property tax relief for Marion homeowners who are a key part of the town’s makeup and who might be forced to leave Marion due to higher taxes. There are no age restrictions on this grant.

The Marion Community Fund hopes people of all ages who qualify will apply. If you are a Marion homeowner, have owned your home for at least one year, have earned income of less than $25,000 (single) or $37,500 (married), and have assets of $46,000 or less (single) or $63,000 or less (married), excluding your home, you may be eligible for tax relief. All payments will be made to the Town of Marion and credited toward the grant recipient’s tax bill.

SLT “Osprey Marsh” Visit

The Sippican Lands Trust (SLT) cordially invites the public to visit our newly acquired property “Osprey Marsh” on Saturday, July 26 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. “Osprey Marsh” was recently gifted to the SLT by the Howland family of Marion, and is a 19.8 acre waterfront property on Planting Island Cove. Please join us in celebrating the opening of this beautiful piece of land that showcases upland forest, wetland and marsh habitats.

Executive Director Robin Shields, Head Steward Yelena Sheynin, and a rotating group of Board of Director Members from the Sippican Lands Trust will be on site during the duration of the event to greet you and answer any questions you may have about the property or our non-profit organization. A primary trail from the parking area to the shore is available to explore. The end of the trail offers a view of Planting Island Cove and beyond. Sturdy, waterproof boots are recommended as the trail cuts through marshy areas. “Osprey Marsh” is located on Point Road on the right hand side before you reach the main entrance to Piney Point. It is just beyond SLT’s “Howland Marsh” on the same road. There is a trail head sign for identification and a small lot parking.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to acquire and protect natural areas in Marion. Its purpose is to conserve land, protect habitat, provide public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town and offer events for nature lovers of all ages!

Please do not hesitate to contact SLT Executive Director Robin Shields at 508-748-3080 or online at robinshields@sippicanlandstrust.org if you have any questions. We hope to see you there!

Tri-Town Police Battle Break-ins

Tri-Town tranquility has been interrupted recently by a string of home and vehicle break-ins, but the teamwork of local authorities is making progress towards bringing the thieves to justice.

After their town experienced multiple break-ins of houses and vehicles, the Rochester Police Department announced Friday, July 18 that they made an arrest in one of the break-ins, and that they believe the suspect could possibly be linked to other crimes in their town.

Rochester Officer Kevin Flynn, in conjunction with the Freetown Police Department, obtained an arrest warrant for 24-year old Kelly F. Sorelle of Dr. Braley Road in Freetown as a result of his investigation with a break-in on Benson Road in Rochester.

Police allege that Sorelle tripped the alarm at the Benson Road home after gaining entry through a window, and she fled out the front door prior to police arrival. Nothing was taken from the home.

Sorelle was taken into custody on Thursday, July 17. Police are investigating whether Sorelle could be connected to some of the other break-ins that have recently occurred in the town. She is being charged with breaking and entering in the daytime, trespassing, and destruction of property.

Rochester Chief of Police Paul Magee praised the work of his officers on this case in a press release dated July 18, saying, “The patrol staff has been working hard to solve these cases. They are committed to catching the people responsible.”

The chief also praised the cooperation between departments.

“Because Rochester, Freetown and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department worked together so well, cases like these get solved.”

The Mattapoisett Police Department is also working with area towns to solve two car break-ins. The first one occurred at Crescent Beach at night in the first week of July when a car window was broken and some loose change was stolen. Another car window was broken at the parking lot of Turk’s Restaurant on 83 Marion Road at approximately 5:00 pm.

Mattapoisett Police Chief Mary Lyons said during a phone interview on July 21 that the two break-ins might be related.

“If you see something suspicious, call us immediately,” said Lyons. “Always remember to lock up your cars and remove your valuables.”

Marion has experienced two break-ins and a stolen vehicle, beginning with a car being broken into on the evening of Friday, July 11. The passenger side window was smashed and a pocketbook was stolen from the front seat.

Two crimes took place on Tuesday, July 15 when a truck was stolen after 11:00 pm on Briggs Lane and the owner’s debit card was used some hours later in Fall River. On the morning of July 16, a neighbor discovered that their license plate had been stolen the night before. That same night, a car was broken into on Inland Road when a window was smashed and a wallet was taken.

As of press time, no additional break-ins have been reported in any of the three towns.

By Sean McCarthy


Marion’s Oldest Resident Honored

One Marion woman has just been recognized as the Town of Marion’s oldest resident – and she has the Boston Post Cane to prove it.

Margaret Nye, born on March 1, 1916, sat like a celebrity in her recliner in the living room of her Converse Road home on July 19, surrounded by family, members of the press, and Selectman Jody Dickerson.

Dickerson held in his hand the Town’s 106 year-old Boston Post Cane, a tradition among New England towns that started back in 1908 to honor the town’s oldest resident. That afternoon, Dickerson passed that cane on to 98 year-old Nye, congratulating her on behalf of the Town of Marion and granting her the status as the oldest resident of Marion.

“It’s a real honor,” said Nye’s daughter Diane Kelly to her mother, leaning in closely to get a good look at the cane’s details.

Nye was born in Newport, Rhode Island and relocated to Marion with her family in the 1950s where she has lived ever since.

“You’ve still got three more years to beat Nana,” said Nye’s grandson, Will Huggins.

Nye’s two children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren reminisced about Nye’s mother who lived to be 101 years old.

“I think she’s gonna make it,” said Kelly. “She’s pretty healthy.”

In 1908, the now defunct Boston Post distributed the canes made of ebony and topped with gold to 700 New England towns. The cane was passed on to the town’s oldest living male resident until 1930 when the honor was extended to include women. Over the years, many towns have lost their Boston Post Canes, either through damage or theft.

“We lost it for a few years,” said Dickerson. “But then it was recovered.”

In order to keep the tradition alive, Dickerson said Nye would be allowed to hold onto the Boston Post Cane for a couple of weeks to show off to her friends and family members, but after that, the cane will be returned to the Town House where it will be protected and on display.

The gold head of the cane inscription reads, “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of Marion, Mass – To be transmitted.”

Dickerson said, following tradition, Nye’s initials will be engraved into the cane within the next few weeks.

By Jean Perry

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