The Best of Broadway

On Friday, July 31, the Marion Concert Band will continue its Friday evening concert series with a program of music from the Broadway stage. The program, which includes a soprano soloist and highlights from some of Broadway’s most memorable shows, is as follows:

Lohengrin (Introduction to Act III) – R. Wagner

Broadway Show-Stoppers Overture – arr. W. Barker

Embraceable You – G. Gershwin

Tracy Fiore, soprano

Opening Night on Broadway – arr. M. Brown

Hey, Look Me Over – C. Coleman

Selections from Into the Woods – S. Sondheim

Over the Rainbow – H. Arlen

Tracy Fiore, soprano

West Side Story Selections – L. Bernstein

Selections from My Fair Lady – F. Loewe

American Legion March – C. Parker

Tracy Fiore is a cantor at Holy Name Church (Fall River) and teaches Musical Theatre at the Onstage Academy of Performing Arts in Fall River. Her recent theatrical credits include Glinda/Auntie Em for the Little Theatre of Fall River’s performance of The Wizard of Oz, The Baroness in The Sound of Music, the Mother in the opera Amahl & the Night Visitors and Maggie in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (all with LTFR). Ms. Fiore has sung in an American Pop review in Downtown Disney, Orlando, FL for the Magic Music Days program, the Rockin’ America review at Disney (2009) as well as the Swingin’ on a Star Musical review in several venues in Tennessee (2007).

The concert, under the direction of Tobias Monte, will begin at 7:00 pm at the Robert Broomhead Bandstand, Island Wharf off Front Street in Marion.

Movies in the Park

The Movies in the Park series, presented by the Mattapoisett Lions Club, continues this Friday night, July 31, with the movie Up! This movie got a 98% approval rating on! Bring your family and friends to Shipyard Park and enjoy the exciting funny family adventure offering and impeccably crafted story presented by Pixar Studios! The movie will start shortly after sunset, 8:00 pm. We look forward to seeing you at the park!

Shaw Farm Trail Ribbon Cutting

The Buzzards Bay Coalition and partners from the federal government, state government, and the towns of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett will celebrate the protection of more than 400 acres of beaches, salt marshes, forests, fields and coastal farmland in Fairhaven and Mattapoisett and the opening of a new public trail connecting the bike path with Nasketucket Bay State Reservation.

Following a speaking program at DeNormandie Farm, the Coalition will formally open Shaw Farm Trail with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the trailhead on the bike path on Friday, July 31 at 2:00 pm at the DeNormandie Farm, 65 Shaws Cove Road, Fairhaven.

Keeping the Community Afloat

The communities of our Tri-Town are special, and what makes them special are the people who live in them, the people who work in them, govern them, and those who volunteer their time for the highest good of their town.

This is why, once a year, we at The Wanderer are excited to bring forward three distinctive people from each of the three towns to recognize their hours of community service and dedication to their town, and honor their innumerable contributions that keep each of the communities afloat, like the keel of a ship that keeps the vessel from capsizing.

This year, citizens from each town submitted the names of some pretty spectacular nominees for the 2015 Wanderer Keel Award. Three of them really stood out to us, and we are thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s award: From Mattapoisett, the late Ruth Bates; from Marion, Robbi Dunn-Tracy; and from Rochester, Gordon Helme.

Mattapoisett resident Ruth Bates, who passed away on November 14, 2014, was known as “an unabashed tree hugger” – a Lorax of Mattapoisett of sorts. She was one of the original members of the Tree Committee, a volunteer Bay Watcher for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, a trustee of the Mattapoisett Historical Society, and a trustee of the Mattapoisett Land Trust.

Ruth’s husband Richard Bates said, even just a few months before she died, she was attending Tree Committee hearings as a resident to ensure that any trees to be taken down by the Town were properly surveyed and not unnecessarily removed. She was known as a woman who would speak her mind in public meetings when it came to what she cared about most.

“She just loved the town,” said Bates. “When we would go on vacation, often we’d come back and she’d say, ‘Take a look at this town as if you were looking at it for the first time. What do you think? It’s pretty beautiful, don’t you think?’” Bates said his wife would ask him. “Why would you leave it?” she would then say.

Bates said Ruth just loved Mattapoisett and never concerned herself with personal recognition or monetary compensation.

“She just had a love of the town and the people,” said Bates. “She was always too embarrassed to actually accept something like this (Keel Award),” he said. “She’d have put a quash to that in a hurry.”

Marion Keel Award recipient Robbi Dunn-Tracy keeps busy in Marion with her work in the health care administration business, family, and the various groups to which she belongs. But she is never too busy to lend a hand to her neighbors whenever they are in need of assistance, says Kathi Rogers, who nominated Dunn-Tracy.

A member of the Sippican Woman’s Club, Dunn-Tracy likes what the group stands for and how they devote their efforts to raising funds for scholarships for local students. Dunn-Tracy said what she enjoys most is supporting and promoting the good things in the community, which she did for a time on her own community access show on ORCTV, up until a couple years ago.

“When people view our community, I want them to see all the positive things that can go on in the area,” said Dunn-Tracy. “If I see something good to be done, I’ll promote it.”

Dunn-Tracy has also done volunteer work with Gifts to Give of New Bedford, an organization that provides food, clothing, and toys to local families in need, in which she says she truly believes.

She was reluctant to talk about all the good work she has done, because, as one can gather from speaking with Dunn-Tracy, she is all about the helping and not at all about the recognition.

“You do things for others that you would want done for yourself or your family,” said Dunn-Tracy. “That’s how I was raised. I saw my own parents doing it … and obviously I’m trying to be a good role model for my kids.”

Dunn-Tracy said one would be surprised by the need that exists in Tri-Town, saying one wouldn’t expect there to be a significant amount of families who need help with food or shelter or clothing, but the need is there.

“We are all so fortunate to be members of this community,” said Dunn-Tracy. “But you never know what happens behind closed doors.”

Instead of focusing on her own good work, Dunn-Tracy often changed the subject to shift towards other community members whom she said deserved the Keel Award instead of her. Rogers respectfully disagrees.

“I truly believe that Robbi represents all that is good about Marion and what makes it a wonderful community in which to live,” said Rogers. “Her actions help keep Marion on ‘an even keel.’”

In Rochester, Gordon Helme is at the helm of the SHINE program (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) as a SHINE counselor, keeping Rochester’s senior population afloat as he helps the aging population of his town navigate the rough waters of health care, social security, benefits programs such as fuel assistance and food assistance, among other things. Helme also assists the Veterans’ Services Office in Rochester, Marion, and Mattapoisett.

According to Director of the Rochester Council on Aging Sharon Lally, Helme is an asset to the community.

“He saves people a lot of money and aggravation,” said Lally. “He’s just a wonderful guy.”

Two years ago, Helme assisted roughly 250 Rochester seniors. This past fiscal year, he said he assisted about 125.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been doing a good job, or they don’t like my service,” laughed Helme.

Helme said throughout his past employment, he has always worked with people. He was also the regional veterans’ officer for the New England U.S. Small Business Administration.

When asked why he devotes so much time to the Rochester C.O.A. – three days a week with the SHINE Program, as well as sitting on the Rochester C.O.A Board of Directors – while also spending two days a week at the New Bedford Veterans’ Services Office, he simply said, “Because I enjoy it.”

“I have always enjoyed working with people,” said Helme. “I just seem to get a sense of fulfillment from helping people,” instead of staying home, he added, doing “other things” that retired people may do.

The Wanderer congratulates our three 2015 Wanderer Keel Award winners and thanks those who submitted nominations to bring these outstanding citizens to the forefront to be honored and recognized for the good work they are doing in our community. Do you know anyone else in the community who deserves recognition? Email us at so we can get the word out about all the great things Tri-Towners are doing to make a difference!

By Jean Perry


Car Break-Ins in Marion

The Marion Police Department is investigating several car break-ins, which occurred during the overnight hours from Sunday into Monday morning. All the incidents happened in the North Marion area, on Route 105, County Road and Quails Crossing.

It appears that all the vehicles were unlocked. Items reported missing were tools and a car stereo.

Police are reminding people to lock their vehicles and secure any valuables. Anyone with information, please contact Marion Police at 508-748-1212.

MHS Has Games and Candy

Children are invited to the Mattapoisett Historical Society Museum for some fun! On Thursday, July 23 at 3:00 pm, children ages 4-6 will explore what life was like for Mattapoisett children 150 years ago through activities, games and a craft during our Little Explorers program. On Thursday, July 30 at 3:00 pm, children of all ages (and adults, too!) are invited to taste popular candy from the early 1900s and vote for their favorite. We’ll also make a craft to take home. Each program is $2 per person; members are free. For more information, please visit or call 508-758-2844.

Marion Art Center Celebrates 58 Years

The Marion Art Center celebrates 58 years of serving the area as a unique community center for the arts.

This year, classes and lessons in music, art, dance and theater were offered throughout the year. ArtStart, a summer program for children is running its 29th year. The theater has recently produced Dixie Swim Club, Anton Chekov’s Seagull, Drinking Habits and Love, Loss and What I Wore. Rehearsals are underway for its summer comedy production A Bad Year For Tomatoes by John Patrick. MAC hosted the Halloween Parade and the Fourth of July float won fourth place in the Civic Group division! Special events included the 9th annual Arts in the Park at Bicentennial Park with over 40 artisans exhibiting beautiful handmade jewelry, paintings and ceramics. One of eight gallery shows during the year, the gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of mono-prints and oils by Copley Society master Leslie Baker and sculpture by St. George Tucker Aufranc.

Membership is open to all and the annual membership drive is underway. For information, please call 508-748-1266, visit the website, and click on the Membership tab, or stop by during gallery hours: Tuesday – Friday, 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Saturdays, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Marion Art Center is located at 80 Pleasant Street, Marion, MA 02738. Admission to the galleries is free and open to the public.

ORR Senior Ready for Year Abroad Study

Old Rochester Regional High School student Cate Feldkamp is getting ready for senior year in a way that is above and beyond your average back-to-school shopping for clothes, shoes, and school supplies. She is spending her free time learning a new language, getting together her passport, itinerary, and official documents, and figuring out how to pack as much as she can into one suitcase.

Feldkamp’s senior year will be unlike any of her peers’ at ORR. In fact, no ORR student in at least four years has done what she is about to do. Feldkamp is preparing to embark on a year-long foreign exchange experience in Sweden, and she couldn’t be more excited. For Feldkamp, the world is an open door just waiting for her to walk through.

“I just woke up one morning and decided I wanted to travel,” said Feldkamp. She explored the option of graduating early to head abroad on mission trips, but while expressing her sudden desire to see the world, Feldkamp said the school administration thought it would be best if Feldkamp finished school in the AFS-USA foreign student exchange program.

ORR hosts about two to five foreign exchange students from other countries annually, but rarely does an ORR student seek to become a foreign exchange student herself, said Kim Corazzini, the ORR AFS-USA coordinator and school nurse.

“She got this in her head and pursued it,” said Corazzini. Feldkamp went through the application process back in April, obtained the teacher recommendations she required, and went through an interview process before acceptance into the program. It was up to fate at that point as to whether or not she would go to Sweden.

“Essentially, you wait to see if [a family in the chosen country] chooses the student. And she was chosen pretty quickly,” said Corazzini. “Cate really is a nice, nice kid. She has a lot of great qualities about her.”

Feldkamp found out the week before the April school vacation that a family had accepted her.

“I was just speechless,” said Feldkamp. “I couldn’t believe it. I kept checking my email and when it came, I said, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is actually happening. There’s no turning back now. This is actually going to become my life.’”

There are some things Feldkamp will miss out on while she is away in Sweden for her entire senior year – like senior prom, graduation commencement, and all the other end-of-the-year activities that most ORR seniors look forward to. But what Feldkamp will experience instead will be something she wholeheartedly desires, something ORR could not offer her: a full immersion into a new culture, new language, and new traditions.

“I can’t wait to experience something new and something different,” said Feldkamp.”To live as someone else does, outside of my comfort zone.”

Feldkamp said the schooling in Sweden is remarkably different than in the United States. For one thing, high school is more like “junior college,” as Feldkamp described it. Study is based more on what interests the student rather than standard academics and a few electives.

“I won’t just be taking classes I’m forced to,” said Feldkamp. “I’ll be taking classes I actually want to take.”

There is some anxiety, though, as Feldkamp logs onto her Rosetta Stone account that the AFS-USA program gave her to learn Swedish. She knows that she will have to attend classes in another language, make new friends speaking a different language, and manage day-to-day life in another country far away from her family and friends.

“I think Christmas will be weird,” said Feldkamp. And never having been away from her family for longer than two months at a time will surely foster a little homesickness, Feldkamp acknowledged. But then, she remembers what she is getting – a whole year abroad and the opportunity of a lifetime.

“I think that it’s definitely scary,” said Feldkamp. “It is a little scary to think about. I’ll be living away from my family for a year with AFS.” But hey, a lot of other kids in other countries do it, so why not she, said Feldkamp.

“There is a whole world out there,” said Feldkamp. “It’s not just Marion or Massachusetts. There’s way more out there to see.”

Feldkamp expects that, for the first few months at least, she will be “super homesick.” And her friends are sad to see her go.

“They are sad. Definitely sad,” she said. “We’re just trying to spend as much time as possible together before I leave this summer.”

Feldkamp has been in touch with her host family for months now, and she feels as though she knows them already.

“I love my family that I’m staying with so much already,” Feldkamp said. “I know they care for me a lot, so I’m not too nervous about getting homesick, but I’m sure I’ll miss my dog and my mom. I’m really close to my mom.”

Feldkamp leaves for Sweden on August 19 and will not return home until July 4, 2016.

“I know I’ll have lifelong friendships in the end with all the people I meet, and I’ll have a totally new perspective on the world,” said Feldkamp. “I’ll also gain some independence doing more things by myself along the way.”

Corazzini said the AFS-USA program at ORR is always looking for families to host a foreign exchange student, much like Cate, from another country who is also looking to walk through that open door into the world.

For information about hosting an exchange student for a half year or a full year, contact Kim Corazzini at 508-738-3801, or visit the AFS-USA website at

By Jean Perry


Enforcement Orders, Hearings Continued

For many months, the Rochester Conservation Commission has tried to get two property owners into some sort of reasonable compliance with wetlands protection laws, and ever so slowly it now appears that the commission is gaining ground.

The July 21 meeting started after commission members returned from a site visit to property owned by Robin Baptista of 78 Alley Road.

Represented by Kevin Ford of G.A.F. Engineering, Baptista came forward with a new plan for wetlands restoration.

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon outlined the extent of the violations. In back of the house, grading and earth movement was done in the 100-foot buffer zone. Farinon said no permits were requested and, after being ordered to stop and directed to file appropriate applications, Baptista continued earthworks in jurisdictional areas.

Ford described 2,400 square feet of wetlands in one location that have been disturbed by Baptista, an area under the control of the commission. He said that an additional 476 square feet in another location has also been disturbed.

Ford said Baptista wished to return the 25-foot no touch zone to a natural state by re-seeding with a wetlands mixture.

Commission member Michael Conway expressed concern over a utility pole situated within the 25-foot no touch zone. He said, in his estimation, the pole should be removed along with all associated electrical wiring.

Commissioner member John Teal said, “My inclination would be to leave it…. It will be more trouble to move it.” That led commission member Laurene Gerrior to say, “It’s wrong, and everyone else has to do it right.”

Ford replied to these statements, saying, “I think it does no good to move it.” Baptista told them that the pole had been there prior to his owning the property. That issue was then dropped.

ConCom member Kevin Cassidy said he wanted to see something more than siltation fencing along the no touch zone. Farinon said the fencing has been installed incorrectly and would need immediate attention.

“The fencing is a high priority … backed up by wattles or hay bales,” said Farinon.

The plans submitted were inconclusive regarding what type of demarcation Baptista intended to install along the no touch zone. In the absence of that, and the need to repair the fencing, Farinon suggested that the hearing be continued. The commission agreed.

Then came the Lalli enforcement order. Travis and Dustin Lalli have been before the commission and given directives to repair earthworks, to cease and desist activities affecting wetlands on the property, and come up with engineered plans, including engaging a wetlands scientist.

Farinon reported that she met with Travis and inspected the areas that he had backfilled with the ConCom’s approval. She attested that the work was done well. She also said the Lallis’ attorney, Andrea McKnightly, sent a letter stating that Outback Engineering has been engaged by the brothers to help them prepare necessary data for the commission.

Chairman Rosemary Smith concluded, “They have been in contact as they promised, and they are moving forward as they promised.”

Both matters were continued until the next Rochester Conservation Commission meeting scheduled for August 4 at 7:00 pm in the Rochester Police Station conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Thelma (Briggs) Ladner

Thelma (Briggs) Ladner’s graveside memorial service will be held Sunday, August 9, 2015, 2pm at the North Marion Cemetery, County Road, Marion, MA.

All who knew, loved and remember Thelma are invited to join us in her memory.