Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

To the Editor:

Last Friday night, a small group of us attended the MAC production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Funny and affective, it was a rousing triumph. The acting by David Horne, Cynthia Latham, Susan Sullivan, Suzie Kokkins, Adam and Sam Roderick was terrific, as was the direction of Kate Fishman. The set made excellent use of the small stage, and the lighting and sound were all first rate. Having seen the same play at Trinity Theatre in Providence a short while ago, we know this production to compare well with it. What a boon for our community to have such excellent stage performances a short drive away. Kudos to the Marion Art Center.

Jim and Corinne Marlow

 

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.

Knights of Columbus Awards Scholarships

Damien Council No. 4190 of the Knights of Columbus recently awarded eight $500 scholarships to deserving area students. Funds for the scholarships were raised from middle school dances held throughout the past school year, as well as other Council fundraising activities.

Directing the scholarship program was Grand Knight Al Fidalgo and the Scholarship Committee, including Chairman Carl Junier, Jim Alferes, Jim Hubbard, Jim Grady, and Jason Mello.

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

– Hayleigh Aubut of Fairhaven and Fairhaven High School

– Amy DeSousa of Acushnet and New Bedford High School

– Daniel Fealy of Mattapoisett and Bishop Stang High School

– Jane Kassabian of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Drew Robert of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Nicole Tetreault of Fairhaven and Fairhaven High School

– Paige Watterson of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Margaret Wiggin of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

Women’s Guild Spaghetti Supper

The First Congregational Church of Rochester Women’s Guild will hold a Spaghetti Supper on Saturday, September 10. There will be one seating at 5:00 pm. Adults cost $10 and children under 12 years of age cost $5. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the church secretary at 508-762-8858. No tickets will be sold at the door.

DCR Makes Parks of the Southeast Accessible

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation sent its regional interpretive coordinator Amy Wilmot to Marion on Monday, August 15, to encourage area residents to take advantage of the abundance of nature, culture, and history the region’s state parks have to offer.

Wilmot, who has been employed by the DCR since 1995, said the talk organized and sponsored by the Marion Council on Aging was the perfect opportunity to tell the public about the wonderful state forests and parks within 30 minutes of Tri-Town, a few that are just a bit farther out, as well as a couple that would be considered day trips but nonetheless, on the must-do list.

Massachusetts, the fifth smallest state in the country, is actually ranked number nine out of 50 on the national list for most acreage of state park land. There is just about half a million acres of state forest and parks in Massachusetts that are open for all of us to enjoy.

“We encourage everyone to use our parks,” said Wilmot. “And it’s not just state forests and ‘parks.’ We have pools and we have golf courses, and we have skating rinks…. Great outdoors as well as history.”

When Wilmot says the DCR encourages ‘everyone,’ she means everyone.

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Mass DCR has invested a significant amount of money and resources into making parks, recreational waters, beaches, and hiking trails wheelchair and ADA accessible for all to enjoy.

For example, at Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport, boardwalks have been installed and bathhouses modernized, and sand mats have been placed to help beachgoers cross the sand with greater ease.

“Walking on the sand can be difficult,” said Wilmot. In addition to beach mats, Wilmot said special beach wheelchairs are available for use at Horseneck Beach that feature larger “bubble tires” to traverse the sand. Accessible water floats can be used as well, which are essentially like floating stretchers, as Wilmot described them, which allow those with mobility challenges to enjoy swimming.

Did you know that the DCR offers Massachusetts residents age 62 and over a lifetime MassParks pass for a one-time fee of just $10 that entitles you to free entry into all Massachusetts state parks, beaches, and forests with free parking?

Although most area parks like Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven and Nasketucket Bay State Reservation offer parking for free, several others in the state charge a per vehicle parking rate, which is definitely money well-spent.

“The Nasketucket State Reservation is an absolutely fantastic place to explore all throughout the year,” said Wilmot. “It’s one of my favorite places.”

One of the parks Wilmot highlighted was Freetown State Forest with its free parking for family use of the wading pool and splash pad, which Wilmot said DCR recently invested in to upgrade. With the use of slides, Wilmot showcased attractions at Freetown State Forest, including Profile Rock and miles and miles of hiking trails.

Myles Standish State Forest also made the list of Wilmot’s favorite Southcoast spots, which offers not only hundreds of camping sites, but also 15 miles of paved bike path within the 13,000 acres of protected state forest. There is swimming there, picnic sites and parking for the day for beach use is just $8; however, seniors with a MassPark Pass – free!

“And fall is an absolutely beautiful time to visit,” said Wilmot.

Another of Wilmot’s favorites is in Foxboro, a bit farther away but worth your time, Wilmot said.

  1. Gilbert Hills State Forest is open year-round for passive recreation with no parking fee, and restrooms facilities are open year-round.

“It’s a great place to go hiking,” said Wilmot. “I always recommend this place. The trail maps are really great.” Lions Falls is a small but beautiful waterfall that Wilmot testified is a gorgeous 1.5-mile hike in the spring.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful place,” Wilmot said. “There’s a hill … and that’s the highest spot between Blue Hills [Reservation] and Diamond Hill in Cumberland, Rhode Island.”

  1. Gilbert Hills is also a location of an active raven’s nest, a rarity in this part of the state.

Wilmot also encouraged listeners to visit Mount Greylock in Lanesborough, as well as Walden Pond in Concord next year to experience a number of upgrades and improvements the DCR has done to the two locations, including more ADA accessibility to the sites.

The Boston Harbor Islands, also part of the state and national park system, are a highly recommended day trip, with $18 giving you full ferry access to all the islands and back for the day.

One of the state’s most recent acquisitions for the eastern Massachusetts region is Sweet’s Knoll State Park in Berkeley alongside the Taunton River abutting Dighton Rock State Park.

Sweet’s Knoll, acquired in 2010, is a smaller park of roughly 50 acres, Wilmot said, and there are three miles of abandoned railroad bed that can be explored and hiked. Parking is free.

“We want people of all abilities to come in and enjoy our parks,” said Wilmot. Some parks even offer special hiking wheelchairs that come with straps that those accompanying an individual with a wheelchair can pull up to lift the wheelchair and its occupant above more challenging areas of a hiking trail. “I want to stress the importance of sharing this wealth of natural resources we have.”

Whether it is a state park, a town park, or a community park, Wilmot emphasized how important it is to share them with the children in your life.

“If you do go visit one of these parks,” said Wilmot, “bring a kid with you.”

For further information, visit www.mass.gov/DCR, call 617-626-1250, or email Mass.parks@state.ma.us.

By Jean Perry

ParkTalk

SLT Junior Board Program

Calling all young environmentalists. The Sippican Lands Trust is seeking 3rd-8th grade Marion students to join our Junior Board Program. Started in 2014, the Junior Board is a group of dedicated young members who seek to increase environmental awareness and involvement among peers. They aim to share the SLT mission, to host events, and participate in activities on many properties owned by the Trust.

The Junior Board meets on the third Wednesday, ten months of the year (September-October) and (January-August). Meetings are held either on the trails or in the SLT office. Some of the activities you can anticipate are the annual Halloween preparation and event, snowshoeing, bird watching and box preparation and maintenance, bee hotel building and maintenance, tree identification activities, the annual Easter Egg Hunt preparation and event, July 4th preparation and event, and assistance and participation in Sippican Lands Trust events throughout the year.

Please send in your application form to the Sippican Lands Trust office at 354 Front Street, Marion. Application forms are available on the SLT website www.sippicanlandstrust.org, at the SLT office, in the library entrance and in Uncle Jon’s. Applications are due by September 1, 2016 for election to the Junior Board. Participants will be notified by September 10. There is a $25 membership fee. Please attach a check made out to the Sippican Lands Trust. If you are not selected this year, your check will be returned and you will be put on a waiting list.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to acquire, protect and maintain natural areas in Marion. Its purpose is to conserve land, protect habitat and offer public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town. Currently, its main focus is to develop more events and educational programs for nature lovers of all ages.

Please call the Sippican Lands Trust at 508-748-3080 or email info@sippicanlandstrust.org for more information. Thanks and we look forward to an exciting year of Junior Board Activities.

Buzzards Bay c420 Championship

The first ever Buzzards Bay c420 championship was one of the biggest c420 regattas – 173 boats – the class has seen in its history. The massive fleet was stored away in the beautiful Ft. Taber Park with The Community Boating Center of New Bedford running the show. Executive Director Andy Herlihy and his team of volunteers and staff were top notch in providing a great venue, beautiful racing, and a welcoming atmosphere.

The Regatta was a three-day event with the first two days sailed in a qualifying series and the last day was a Gold and Silver fleet final. Day 1 saw a classic Buzzards Bay sea breeze with a nice build all day maxing out at 15 knots. The Race management team pushed the sailors for four races knowing that the next day could bring thunderstorms. The racing was tight in both fleets, and the stage was set for a Day 2 final day of qualifying. Day 2 arrived with a big breeze starting in the morning left over from a front that had passed through in the night. Steep waves ruled the racecourse as the breeze eased and settled in a bit. Day 2 saw an average breeze of 10-15 knots but with puffs much higher in the 20s, so the sailing was challenging. The fleet battled the conditions well, and the qualifying series ended with a tight regatta especially for the top five spots. On the final day, the fleet was greeted with a nice NW breeze, but the fleet knew that it would not last long and the best bet for racing was for the sea breeze to fill. The NW breeze died off to glass and the fleet floated in the bay until 11:30 am when the sea breeze trickled in and slowly built. The sea breeze provided beautiful 12-15 knot conditions under sunny skies. At the end of the day, Luke Arnoe and Mariner Fagan continued their consistency for the whole event with a solid 1, 4 last day helping them come from behind to win the first c420 Buzzards Bay Championship.

The c420 Buzzards Bay championship is the biggest stop in the Triple Crown series this year and the top points will make the series interesting going into the final event – North Americans in LA – next week. The Community Boat Center of New Bedford did an incredible job hosting this large fleet and putting on some classic Buzzards Bay races. The fleet left the park happy and excited for next year’s event.

2016 c420 Buzzards Bay Championship Top 5

  1. Luke Arnoe/ Mariner Fagan – 22 pts
  2. Connor Baylies/ Kimmie Leonard – 25 pts
  3. Truckie Greenhouse/ Jack Denatale – 25 pts
  4. Jack Brown/ Kelsey Slack – 34 pts
  5. Jack Johansson/ Claudia Loaicono – 36 pts

Marion Institute Upcoming Events

TEDxNewBedford Salon: New Perspectives on Patient Care, 7:00 to 9:00 pm, August 23. Join in to view recorded TED talks and discuss innovative approaches to patient care as the Marion Institute’s BioMed Network co-sponsors the fourth in a series of TEDxNewBedford Salons. A panel of doctors from Southcoast Health and Hawthorn Medical will help guide the discussion after we view a couple of inspiring TED talks. Refreshments will be served.

GROW Education Cooking Demonstration, 5:00 to 6:00 pm, August 25. Join GROW Education and gourmet food supplier Sid Wainer for an interactive cooking demonstration with plenty of free samples. The demonstration will take place at Gomes School and no registration is required.

Taste of September, 5:30 to 8:00 pm, September 15. Join GROW Education for a waterfront cocktail party at Low Tide Yacht Club at Fort Tabor Park featuring hors d’oeuvres prepared by How on Earth with food harvested from our GROW Education gardens, desserts by Not Your Average Joe’s, cocktails by Little Moss, wine from Travessia, and live music by Southcoast Jazz. There will be a silent auction including personal training and fitness packages, local restaurant gift certificates, golf packages, art and more.

Temple Grandin on Life with Autism, 3:00 to 5:00 pm, October 22. Temple Grandin has an important message to share: it is time to re-frame the way we think about autism. Dr. Grandin’s ground-breaking achievements in livestock handling and facility design can be attributed to her unique visual way of processing information. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear her story in her own words: join in for a presentation and book signing at the First Unitarian Church of New Bedford.

You can find more information or get tickets to any of our events by visiting www.marioninstitute.org.

Tucker Lane Solar Screening Still Problematic

The drought is having an impact on plantings meant to screen the Tucker Lane solar farm from the public and is rendering that screening as an ongoing issue with the project.

The Marion Conservation Commission on August 10 discussed a letter sent by Jay Myrto of Clean Energy Collective stating that, although the developer had difficulty finding trees as tall as the ones originally proposed, they did finally purchase them and the installation was completed.

The commission, however, followed-up with a subsequent on-site visit and lamented over what the members found.

“There are eight [plants] that were planted and seven of them are dead,” said Chairman Cynthia Callow. She said the evergreens “didn’t look indigenous to me,” and said perhaps the Planning Board should be informed. “The eighth one is going to be soon dead. It rained today, but we’re in the middle of a drought.”

Callow mentioned that residents of Tucker Lane can still see the solar arrays from their properties, and commission member Jeffrey Doubrava suggested sending the Planning Board a memorandum regarding the matter.

“And suggest that when the weather breaks in the fall that [Clean Energy Collective] needs to go replace them,” said Doubrava.

Although Myrto in his letter requested that the Conservation Commission “close out” the matter after the plantings, Doubrava pointed out that the enforcement order is for two years, “So there is no closing out,” Doubrava said.

In other matters, the commission received a request from John Rockwell asking that the commission accept the current flagging of the wetlands at the area of the proposed bike path, but the commission decided to hold off on the matter for now.

“We were supposed to do this this week, but we didn’t” said Callow. It’s going to take us about an hour to do it. It’s a long way to walk and we don’t really have a plan.”

Commission member Norm Hills was concerned that Rockwell had not submitted a formal filing for the request, either as a Request for Determination of Applicability or a Notice of Intent.

“We need formal documentation,” said Hills. “I think we should have formal documentation.”

The commission members all agreed and decided to wait and see what Rockwell would produce in the near future.

Also during the meeting, the commission continued until August 24 the public hearing for Doug Thackeray’s Notice of Intent to construct and maintain an aquaculture project east of Stewart’s Island at Sippican Harbor.

The commission also briefly discussed imposing fines for residents who complete projects without Conservation Commission approval, ending up as after-the-fact filings.

The commission guesses that anywhere between 5 to 10 percent of filings are after-the-fact, which it deemed far too many. After some talk, the commission determined that it did have the right to impose non-criminal fines of $300 per day that a resident is found in non-compliance, but Callow felt that the commission could take some action first to try to prevent future after-the-fact filings.

“…Ignorance is not an excuse … but I don’t think we (the commission) do a good job educating the public,” said Callow. “I think we could do a better job with that before we start fining people.”

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is scheduled for August 24 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry

 

St. Philip’s Episcopal Church

Clergy from nearby and around the country visit the “Church at the Town Beach” in Mattapoisett from July 3 to September 4. Services using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer are at 8:00 am and 10:00 am.

On Sunday, August 21, The Rev. Nathan Humphrey, Vicar, St. John the Evangelist, Newport, RI will be officiating. All are welcome.

Marion Cub Scout Pack

Marion Cub Pack 32 will host a recruiting event on Saturday, August 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Washburn Park on Front Street. Boys entering grades K-5 who are interested in seeing what Cub Scouts is all about can come meet the Pack, build their own boat to race in a rain gutter regatta, join us for some kickball, and other games. Snacks and drinks will be provided. For more information or to RSVP, please email kevgretton@aol.com.