River Road Repaving Discussed

A Notice of Intent filed by the Town of Marion, c/o Department of Public Works, to rehabilitate River Road in order to improve roadway infrastructure and roadway safety, brought four residents of the road in for comments at the Wednesday evening meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission.

Shawn Sida and Magdalin Lotsteolt of CDM Smith presented a proposal of what and how River Road looks now and how it will look after the repaving. At issue are the continual flooding of the road during heavy rainstorms and snow piles from plows sitting over a catch basin, thus blocking its use.

The proposal has River Road staying at the same elevation and width, but straightened out in certain places. The entire road will be replaced, a 12-inch pipe will run underground beneath it, and two filtered catch basins will be installed with catch hoods to collect any oil and grease. No berms will be installed. The Department of Public Works will maintain the drainage swales and basins.

After the presentation, several residents weighed in on the proposal. “While we are happy and excited to have this work done, we question why the road can’t be elevated,” said Chris Collings of 13 River Road. “I find it hard to believe that not elevating the road will change this situation with constant flooding,” said Collings.

Paul Hyde of 39 River Road said that his home sits on the river side and water that comes down the road is now running between his home and his neighbor’s home. “I’m in the low spot,” he said, “the road tarmac is wearing away in front of my house.”

Hyde said he thought about putting in a berm, but that would only drive the water onto his neighbor’s lot.

“It’s called River Road for a reason,” said Jim Colageo of 41 River Road. “The bottom line is that if the lower portion of the road doesn’t come up, it’ll flood again.”

The board told the crowd that if a road is in a flood plain, it cannot be elevated. Syde agreed to meet with DPW Chief Rob Zora. The board asked the residents to provide any photos of the flooding so the issue can be discussed further. The hearing was continued until April 23 at 7:40 pm.

A discussion followed regarding a Request for Determination of Applicability to install a gunite in-ground swimming pool and a patio at 52 Water Street for applicant Maryellen S. Shachoy. The property is in a flood plain and the pool would be located approximately 150 feet from a wetland area.

Two employees from Dartmouth Pools represented the client and answered questions from the board. “The impact on the site will be minimal and all soil will be taken off site,” said Norry Alves, of Dartmouth Pools.

The board asked about any potential discharge of pool water. “There will be no discharge. The discharge line will be blocked and there will be no pumping of water into the wetlands. A filter will be used,” said Alves.

A full Certificate of Compliance was issued to Henry and Judy DeJesus for razing the existing house at 12 Hartley Lane and constructing a new dwelling, stone patio and gravel driveway.

Another Full Certificate of Compliance was issued to James and Marie T. Davidian of 21 East Avenue, Planting Island for reconstructing a licensed concrete boat ramp.

Last, the board discussed the replication of wetlands at 154 Spring Street. The applicants, William and Karen Curley, were represented by David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates, Inc. The Curleys were seeking a Full Certificate of Compliance for razing the existing dwelling and constructing a new dwelling with an attached garage, replicating wetlands and landscaping. William Curley spoke and said that he planted red cedar trees and rushes.

A question remained regarding the success of the replication of the wetland. The board explained that it was common practice to have a non-partial professional – whether a botanist or other certified professional – make a determination on the success of the replication. The Order of Conditions for the applicant included wetland replication monitoring and an annual progress report, which was not done.

“We’d like a report by a qualified professional that says the replication was successful,” said board member Jeffrey Doubrava.

By Joan Hartnett-Barry

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Frederick Anthony Rioles

Frederick Anthony Rioles died peacefully at home on Thursday April 17, 2014 at the age of 80 years old. He was the cherished son of the late Paul Rioles and Matilda (Del Russo) Rioles and the brother of Pauline Geronda, Eleanor Reilly, Anthony Rioles, Florence Rioles, Paul Richard Rioles, Florence Rioles, and Robert Rioles. He carried on a never-ending love affair with his wife, Lois (Martin), for 58 years, and he will be deeply missed by his children Karen Arbuckle and her husband Willie of Mansfield, MA, Paul Rioles and his wife Susan of Bellingham, MA, Michael Rioles and his wife Catherine of Boston, MA, Frederick Rioles, Jr. and his wife Teresa of Weymouth, MA, Andrea Rodericks and her husband Ron of Hanover, MA, Lisa Collins and her husband Christopher of Dover, MA, and Nicole Rioles of Boston, MA. Fred was adored by his 16 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

The family will be receiving friends and relatives on Monday April 21 from 3:00 – 8:00 pm at Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd, Mattapoisett, MA. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday April 22 at 11:00 am at St. Anthony’s Parish, 22 Barstow St, Mattapoisett, MA. For a complete obituary or to leave a leave a message of condolence please visit: www.saundersdwyer.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: MGH Development Office, Attn Shawn Fitzgibbons, MGH Neurology/Dr. Gomperts LBD Fund, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1310, Boston, MA 02114 https://giving.massgeneral.org and Sacred Threads Center, 71 Walnut Park, Newton, MA 02458 www.sacredthreadscenter.org.

Good Friday Debate Gets Heated

Backlash from the Joint School Committee decision to make Good Friday a regular school day made its way to Mattapoisett on April 14.

Mattapoisett School Committee Chairman James Higgins kicked off the discussion by making it clear that he now has second thoughts about the calendar change in light of the public discourse, reading a prepared statement and clarifying that he did not vote in favor of the change, yet he did not vote against it. Nor did he abstain, Higgins claimed, saying he just simply did not vote either way because he was confused by the calendar discussion during that meeting.

He said he cannot ignore the public’s concerns and, at this point, will ask the Joint School Committee to revisit the matter.

“We cannot make decisions based on political correctness” stated Higgins. He continued, “I do not think people from other religions are offended [by the Good Friday religious holiday].”

Committee member James Muse, who voted in favor of the Good Friday change, said, “I assure you I didn’t vote on political correctness.”

Muse said Good Friday was not a federal holiday or a state holiday, and that the Good Friday decision was based on creating cohesiveness throughout the school calendar.

“I do not believe,” continued Muse, “…that we should be voting for religious holidays in a public setting.”

While some committee members discussed the value of the half-day Wednesday before Thanksgiving and discounted it as an effective learning day, a table of four teachers in the back of the Center School cafeteria spoke among themselves, appeared puzzled, raised their hands in question and shook their heads no.

Mattapoisett resident Tom Aldren asked why Good Friday wasn’t listed on the agenda. He argued that Good Friday was a holiday, pointing out that the New York Stock Exchange is closed that day. He said, as a Mattapoisett tax payer, he resented that the Good Friday change was “Rochester-driven.”

“I’m pretty upset that something this contentious was pushed through without anyone knowing,” said Aldren. He continued, “I feel pretty disenfranchised … and I’d like it to be revisited.”

“I don’t have an issue on how it was done,” said Higgins. “…This is not an issue of squeaking it by.” But that the topic was raised during the joint meeting did “surprise” him. He said he felt unprepared for the discussion and subsequent vote.

“Nothing was done deceitfully. It was an open public meeting,” said Higgins. “There was hardy debate and your position as well spoken for,” Higgins told Aldren.

One teacher joined the debate and asked the committee to also reconsider reinstating the half-day before Thanksgiving, arguing that it was, indeed, a valuable teaching day – and so are the days leading to summer vacation.

The discussion returned to Good Friday, and Muse took a defensive stance when rebutting Aldren’s comment that everything he learned about the Good Friday vote was from what he read in The Wanderer.

            “Not everything in the paper is fact,” said Muse, saying that those “facts” are “up for interpretation.” He continued, “I take offense that there was any inference that this wasn’t an open public meeting with open public debate.”

Aldren bellowed out, “Ha ha ha ha!” as Muse’s face reddened as he spoke.

In a follow-up interview, when asked what part of The Wanderer’s Joint School Committee meeting coverage was “not fact,” Muse stated that he did not read the article. He clarified that what he meant was that newspapers summarize the meetings and that they do not include all of what took place at the meeting.

The discussion ended and Aldren left the meeting.

In other matters, the committee discussed school choice options for the district, touching upon the pros and cons of school choice, but taking no action until next month. The committee asked to see more information – specifically from local real estate agents – before deciding whether to offer any further school choice slots next year or not.

Concerns focused on unexpected students moving into the district, which would drive up the teacher to student ratio. Higgins presented several studies about the benefits of smaller class sizes during early education, and advocated hiring another second-grade teacher for next year in light of some unexpected funding freeing up in the fiscal year 2015 budget.

Superintendent Doug White explained that the funding Higgins referred to is one-time funding, and Higgins suggested a new teaching position could be initially limited to a one-year position.

The second grade next year faces a ratio of 1:23 in two classrooms, and 1:22 in the other. The committee discussed a target class size of 1:17 to 1:19 as optimal.

The next Mattapoisett School Committee meeting will be May 19 at Center School. The time will be earlier, at 5:30 pm, because of the Rochester Town Meeting.

By Jean Perry

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Good Friday Decision

To the Editor:

I write this letter with great interest. It pertains to the article written by Margaret and Robert McGee and the decision made by the School Committee to make Good Friday a school day. I first want to commend them for speaking up for what it is they feel deeply about.

My Webster dictionary defines Thanksgiving as the act of giving thanks – a prayer expressing gratitude; a legal holiday for giving thanks for divine goodness. To this end, I am recalling my first experience at attending a Thanksgiving dinner put on by the students at ORR and who ever else had a hand in it. After the opening welcome, I was expecting a call of silence so that each person may give thanks in their own manner. This did not happen. It would seem more appropriate if they were to drop the word Thanksgiving and simply say – come join us for a turkey dinner. A little on the cool side, but more accurate than the way it is being handled.

Having said this, I feel the School failed to teach the students the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Now we come to Good Friday and the decision made by the School Committee to make it a school day. This would seem to me that it is a step in the wrong direction. Instead of uniting people, you are dividing them. Wouldn’t it be a better decision to teach the students to respect another person’s views? I feel the School Committee should reverse its decision. A little respect can go a long way in teaching our students to live together in peace and harmony.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Francis Cairns

 

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.

Rochester Earth Day Cleanup

The Rochester Women’s Club is again sponsoring a Town-wide cleanup event to celebrate Earth Day.

Please come to our clubhouse at 37 Marion Road, Rochester to pick up trash collection bags and gloves on Saturday April 26 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Pick up trash along the roadside in your neighborhood and leave the filled bags along the roadside to be picked up by the Rochester DPW. Let’s give the town a good Spring Cleaning!

In conjunction with this event, The Rochester Land Trust will be collecting old electronic items (also at 37 Marion Road from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm). Among the accepted items will be computers, monitors, appliances, and TVs. If it has an engine, motor, or can be plugged in, it’s electronic trash and can be dropped off. A fee will be charged for certain items. Call Norene at 508-763-3628 for more details on this collection.

50 Years of a Changing Political Climate

On Friday, April 25 at 7:00 pm, the public is invited to the Marion Music Hall as John and Margaret (MarDee) Xifaras present “Reflections on 50 Years of a Changing Political Climate.” Long-time participants in legal and political affairs, the husband and wife have experienced politics from both personal and professional perspectives, and will offer their observations and analysis of the ever-changing landscape. John Xifaras has been practicing law for more than 50 years in various capacities – as an attorney, judge, mediator and arbitrator. MarDee Xifaras is a practicing attorney, and a frequent presenter on family law and ethics. Mr. & Mrs. Xifaras are long-time Marion residents, and have each been honored for their outstanding community service in the Boston and Southcoast areas.

Co-sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society and the Elizabeth Taber Library, the Xifaras’ lecture is offered free to the public, with no registration required. Parking is available across from the Marion Music Hall at Island Wharf Park. For more information, please call the SHS at 508-748-1116.

Gateway Youth Hockey Championships

Middle School 1 vied for their Foxboro League Championships Thursday night. The Vikings had played Mansfield in the last game of the playoff series, and they knew they had their work cut out for them. Mansfield seemed to set the tone early, when their goalie punched Vikings forward Quirino DoCanto in the face after a collision at the net. The refs did a good job of keeping the game in check though, and the Vikings kept themselves above the fracas.

After a scoreless first period, Mansfield was able to get the puck past starting goalie Teaghin Andre on a breakaway. Both teams were continuously shooting on net, and the Vikings tied up the score shortly after, when Vyper LaTulippe scored on a fast pass from Coleby Paling to Tyler Lovendale. Andre and his defense kept the net safe for the rest of his shift, blocking 17 shots in the first half of the game. Key to the defense were Paling, Caleb Riggle, Jackson St Don and Bryan Gallagher.

The 1-1 tie was broken when Mansfield took advantage of relief goalie Steven Strachan as he came in cold to start his shift. Strachan quickly recovered however, and stayed on his game, making 13 more saves through the third period. DoCanto helped the Vikings tie it up again as the third period started, getting his revenge on the goalie in the best way possible. Zack Lovendale had the assist. Mansfield pulled ahead again near the end of the third, scoring on a power play. It seemed all was lost until the Vikings pulled their goalie for a six-man attempt, and Lovendale scored with just 30 seconds left, assisted by Seth Tomasik and Paling. A 3-3 tie looked to send the game into overtime, but Mansfield managed to grab the puck and take it down the ice, scoring on a breakaway with just 15 seconds left. The Vikings took a time out, the goalie was pulled again, and the Vikings worked valiantly to tie it up, but it was not to be. Mansfield won, 4-3.

Freshmen Perform Macbeth

It has been a long-standing tradition at Tabor Academy for English I students to read and perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the second semester of the school year. This tradition was taken a step further this year to make for a great performance this past weekend.

            Freshmen began reading and analyzing the themes of Macbeth this winter, finishing just before spring vacation. The students were then assigned roles that they would play in the annual spring performance of Macbeth. The students stage the five acts of the play in this performance, with each class being assigned their own scenes.

While students were studying their characters and memorizing lines, they got to experience something less traditional to this annual project. During the first weekend in April, all of the students headed to Gamm Theater in Pawtucket, RI to see this production. However, in a slight twist, this version of the play took place during World War I. Students found this play very compelling, while it was also very helpful for them to understand their characters.

For the student production, each class had control of their costumes and set. This made for a very diverse play that kept the audience interested this past Saturday.

This event is one that the school looks forward to, but it also helps the freshmen to understand the story of Macbeth in more depth.

By Julia O’Rourke

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Selectmen Approve Warrant

Selectmen approved the Rochester Special Town Meeting warrant on April 14, which features two articles. The first article is for reserve fund transfers to cover bills from prior years and any other unpaid bills that might come before the May 19 meeting, and the second article pertains to the acceptance of a new law surrounding Board of Health members who may install septic systems for a living.

The law would alleviate the seeming conflict of interest by providing independent inspections for work completed by that Board of Health member.

The selectmen will review and approve the Annual Town Meeting Warrant during their April 28 meeting, and the warrant will be subsequently posted.

Also during the meeting, selectmen approved several appointments for the Police Department as requested by Police Chief Paul Magee.

Five patrol officers were appointed for one- and three-year terms, and four reserve officers were appointed for one-year terms.

Sergeant Robert Small was appointed for a three-year term, and three matrons were appointed for one-year terms. The animal control staff was also reappointed for another year.

The Senior Work-Off program was approved for another year, effective May 1. Through the program, senior citizens are granted up to a $750 reduction in property taxes in exchange for volunteer work at local facilities such as the Senior Center, Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library, and Rochester Memorial School.

“There’s a lot of work that goes on in the Senior Center,” said Town Administrator Richard LaCamera in a follow-up interview discussing the program. He said the program has now been in existence for about seven years.

LaCamera also stated that the State has approved a $30 million pothole fund to repair roads throughout the state. Rochester has been granted $45,000, which LaCamera said is a really good thing. He said the funding is a “one-time deal.”

In other matters, Chief Magee sent selectmen a letter informing them that the Rochester Police Department has been awarded a grant to purchase two automated external defibrillators. This grant will now allow every patrol vehicle to be equipped with a defibrillator, and the two units will cost just over $3,100, with the grant covering half the expense. The remaining portion of the expense will be funded by the police donation account, at no cost to the town.

The next meeting of the Rochester Selectmen is April 28 at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

Ryan Pitches First Career No-Hitter

Here is a look at the second week of scheduled games for ORR spring athletics.

            Baseball: The Bulldogs had a week headlined by strong pitching. The boys notched their first win of the season over Coyle-Cassidy, 13-10, thanks to a strong performance by relief pitcher Ryan Plunkett. In his first varsity win, Plunkett struck out six opponents, allowing only one hit and no runs to turn the tide of the game for the Bulldogs. Offensively, Plunkett went three-for-four with two runs scored. Bryant Salkind also had a great game, notching four RBIs. The highlight of the week for the Bulldogs, however, was senior pitcher Andrew Ryan, who pitched his first career non-hitter in a win against Wareham, 12-0. Ryan walked only four batters to secure his first ever no-hitter. Offensively, the Bulldogs also played well, thanks to strong performances by Chris Carando (three runs), Jordan Menard (triple, two RBIs), and Kiernan Besse (triple, two runs).

Softball: The Lady Bulldogs had a rough start to their second week, losing their first two games in close scores. Against Apponequet, the girls were edged out 4-3 and then lost later in the week to GNB Voc-Tech, 6-3. However, the girls rallied back in the latter half of the week to secure their first victory of the season over Wareham, 15-5. Junior Kaleigh Goulart and freshman Olivia Labbe had great games, each securing three hits and a home-run. Goulart also played well defensively, picking up her first win of the season from the pitcher’s mound. Maddie Lee and Sam Allaire also provided offensively, recording two hits apiece.

Boys’ Track: The boys’ track team remained undefeated this week with a 93-43 win over Wareham. Kevin Saccone won four events (long jump, triple jump, 110 hurdles, and 200-meter dash) to lead the Bulldogs to their second consecutive victory. Mike Wyman had a fantastic race in the two-mile, where he ran 9:27, five seconds off the school record, with virtually no competition. Colin Knapton won three events (javelin, high-jump, and 400-meter-dash) and Ben Rounseville also pitched in with a win in the 400-hurdles.

Girls’ Track: The Lady Bulldogs also remained undefeated this week, easily beating Wareham, 99-37. Paige Santos won three events (high-jump, 400-hurdles, and 110-hurdles), and the Lady Bulldogs claimed nine other events on the day to defeat what was expected to be one of their top competitors for the SCC title.

Boys’ Tennis: The tennis team won their lone match this week against SCC rival Bourne with an easy 5-0 victory. The Bulldogs won all five matches, with Alex Bilodeau, Alden Truesdale, and Doug Blaise claiming the first, second, and third singles’ matches, respectively. Freshmen Maxx Wolski and Sean Nutter won at first doubles, 6-1, 6-3, while Connor Blagden and Steven Burke won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles. With the win, the Bulldogs claim their first conference and second overall win.

Girls’ Tennis: The Lady Bulldogs had an exciting match against Bourne this week, where they just edged out the Lady Canalmen, 3-2, to earn their first conference win. Julia Nojeim won yet again at first singles, and sophomores Charlotte Levine and Amy Bichajian also won at second doubles. The heroes of the day, however, were senior Rachel Brown and freshman Sophie Church, who bounced back after a tough first set loss to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles. The duo, which had never played together, was pivotal to the ORR win and allowed the Lady Bulldogs a chance to remain in the hunt for the competitive SCC title.

Boys’ Lacrosse: Thanks to strong performances by Ethan Lizotte and Connor Severino, the Bulldogs won their lone game this week against Pope John Paul II in a 12-1 blowout. Severino and Lizotte each scored four goals apiece to lead ORR, which had eight players score in the game. Also contributing were Chris Nadeau (three goals), Nic Suprenant and Landon Goguen (two goals apiece) and Charlie Tirrell, Ryan Manning, and Mikey Pruchnik (one goal apiece).

Girls’ Lacrosse: The Lady Bulldogs had a strong start to their week, easily defeating Sturgis West, 15-5. Bailey Truesdale was the leading scorer of the game with five goals, while Mikayla Demanche and Ali Grace each had a hat trick. Goalie Madison Thomson made seven saves on the game. The win against Sturgis West lengthened the girls’ undefeated streak to three games. Unfortunately, that streak was snapped later in the week as the girls suffered their first loss of the season to Bourne, 16-13. Truesdale played fantastically during the loss, scoring eight goals, while teammate Demanche notched four and senior Rachael Chandler added one. The Lady Bulldogs trailed 9-7 at the half and were never able to recover despite a strong offensive effort.

Below are the overall spring team records, followed by the conference records in wins, losses, and ties as of April 13.

Baseball: (2-2-0) (1-1-0); Softball: (1-4-0) (1-3-0); Boys’ Track (2-0-0) (2-0-0); Girls’ Track (2-0-0) (2-0-0); Boys’ Tennis: (2-1-0) (1-0-0); Girls’ Tennis: (2-1-0) (1-0-0); Boys’ Lacrosse: (2-2-0) (1-0-0); Girls’ Lacrosse: (3-1-0) (1-1-0).

By Michael Kassabian

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