Robert I. Wing

Robert I. Wing, 86, of Marion, died Sunday, November 22, 2015 at Tobey Hospital in Wareham. He was the husband of Joan C. (Dougall) Wing. They had been married for 60 years.

Born in Arlington, he was the son of the late Irving & Julia (Goss) Wing. A previous resident of Bourne, he moved to Marion in 1956. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War and served from 1953 to 1955. After his military service, Mr. Wing started his career as a truck driver and quickly worked to own and operate his own trucking company, eventually becoming a consultant in the bulk transportation field.

Mr. Wing was a member and 4 time Past Master of Pythagorean Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Marion, a member of Union Lodge, Nantucket and Independence Lodge, Malden. He also served as District Deputy Grand Master of Nantucket 31st Masonic District and was Grand Lodge representative of Massachusetts to Brazil.

Mr. Wing was also awarded the Joseph Warren Distinguished Service Medal, Lodge Ambassador, 50 year Past Master certificate, Veterans Medal and was a member of the Shriners. He also was advisor for DeMolay and received the DeMolay Legion of Honor award. Mr. Wing was also a member of the Marion V.F.W. Benjamin D. Cushing Post 2425. He was also Past President of Wankinquoah Rod and Gun Club and was an Eagle Scout.

He travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe on ski vacations, enjoyed gardening, Patriots football and reading. Mr. Wing was also a model train enthusiast and collected “N” scale model trains.

The Wing family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Bob’s Masonic friends for their support during this difficult time.

Survivors include his wife; his children, Bonnie LaMotange of Beverly, Linda J. Ward of Wareham; Robert D. Wing, Deborah J. Thompson and Patricia R. Rowley all of Marion; 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his sister, the late Phyllis Wing and his brother, the late Alvin Harvey Wing.

He will be remembered as a loving husband and family man.

A graveside service will be held on Sunday, November 29, 2015 at Evergreen Cemetery, Converse Rd., Marion at 2 PM. Visiting hours have been omitted.

Donations in his memory may be made to Pythagorean Lodge Angel Fund, P.O. Box 947, Marion, MA 02738. For directions and on-line guestbook visit:

Holderness Day

“School rivalries are important because they bring out the best in each team,” said Tabor Academy Head of School John Quirk during an all-school meeting on Friday, November 13. Tabor students kept this in mind on Saturday when they took to the fields, ready to confront their rivals at Holderness School in an annual daylong competition.

Tabor’s rivalry with Holderness began relatively recently, when the last headmaster, Jay Stroud, declared it so. Holderness School, located in New Hampshire, is relatively far from Tabor, and the rivalry was established mainly because Stroud had worked there before coming to Tabor. The fact that Holderness and Tabor don’t meet during regular sports seasons, however, makes Holderness Day all the more exciting.

“There are so many reasons why I think it is a great day for the community,” said Tabor Athletics Director Dick Muther. “Many people – almost 250 athletes and coaches – are involved, and many alums have spoken to me about remembering being a part of Holderness Day. The sportsmanship, spirit, and energy you see on the day are just great.”

Holderness Day definitely represents a peak in school spirit for Tabor students. In the week leading up to the day, there are various dress-up days including Home Country Day, Favorite Sports Team Day, and Tabor Day to get people excited about facing Holderness. Then, on Friday night, varsity teams perform dances or skits in a pep rally to encourage everyone to play their hardest Saturday or, if they don’t participate in a fall sport, to attend the games and cheer their fellow students on.

Holderness Day alternates between being hosted at Holderness or at Tabor. This year, Tabor hosted the games, which added to the excitement.

“The Tabor stands were packed with loud, cheering spectators,” said Muther. “There were crowds everywhere: parents, students, family members, alums, even people from the town.”

Many members of last year’s graduating class made the trip up, supporting teams they used to play for and friends that still attend Tabor. The newly-constructed bleachers by the football field really were packed, and students brought out blankets, hats, and coats to combat the cold and continue to show their support.

Bridget Lattimer, captain of the Field Hockey team, said, “A lot of students came to cheer each other on and really made the effort to see as many games as they could. It’s really fun to have this day of rivalry where students and faculty come together as a community to participate.”

As an added bonus, Tabor won Holderness Day, ending the day with six wins, two losses, and one tie. Tabor got to keep the Holderness Day trophy, which has remained at Tabor for the last couple of years.

“The most impressive part of the day,” said Muther, “was not the win, but the amazing school spirit we demonstrated. I was very impressed by the support of the community.”

As Quirk promised, Holderness Day really did bring out the best in all the athletes and spectators who attended the games, and both schools had much to be proud of in both their accomplishments and their communities.

By Madeleine Gregory


Lack of Timely Legal Response Noted

Planning Board member John Mathieu during the November 16 meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board stood by his assertion that it was essential to receive “legal written opinion” for many cases and issues the board handles on behalf of the town.

“It is my opinion that we need a little back-up in our file, legal written opinion,” said Mathieu. “I want back-up in the files.” Mathieu was referring to the matter of language changes to the covenant between the town and the condominium complex, the Villages at Mattapoisett, for public trash collection.

The residents had secured a positive vote from the Planning Board after several hearings. Then along came Brandt Point Village requesting the same.

In both cases, the Planning Board was disposed to make covenant changes in favor of their request for trash collection after learning that the new contract with ABC Disposal stated “all residents shall be entitled” to trash collection.

Mathieu noted that during the October 19 meeting, the board had discussed requesting written legal opinion.

Chairman Tom Tucker said that at the last meeting of the board on November 2 – a meeting Mathieu had not been able to attend – the town’s counseling law firm Kopelman & Paige was present and told the board members a written legal opinion on the matter was not necessary.

“I move we table these until we get a written legal opinion,” Mathieu said in response. The board moved to table the signing of covenant changes pending written legal opinion.

In other matters, Mathieu said he had recently visited Ocean Breeze Lane. He said residents had complained about the roadway topcoat in the development that still had not been applied. He also stated that drainage was problematic and that both issues had been ongoing since 2013.

“We decided we would send the matter to town counsel,” said Mathieu. “I don’t know what happened…. It seems like we’ve been waiting for an answer.”

Tucker thought that Town Administrator Michael Gagne might have said the matter was going to court.

“We should at least be kept up to speed,” Mathieu said. “I’m looking for written legal opinion…. I’m a real estate lawyer,” he added.

Mathieu wanted to clear up what he had previously stated during the October 19 meeting, claiming that he did not say the town’s legal counsel was “unresponsive,” as discussed at the November 2 meeting when Mathieu was absent and the town’s attorneys appeared to defend against allegations that they were in fact unresponsive.

“I did not say town counsel was unresponsive; I didn’t say that,” Mathieu maintained. “The discussion was about not getting information quick enough from them.”

“I want the record to be straight, my personal matter with them has no bearing on my work here,” Mathieu stated in response to Attorney Jonathan Silverstein’s November 2 comment that Mathieu might have been reacting to prior litigation taken by Kopelman & Paige against Mathieu on behalf of the town.

Mathieu said individual members of the board should not be reaching out to town counsel on their own, but that information should flow through the chairman to the Planning Board secretary.

“From now on, if Tammy asks a question (of legal counsel), it’s for our next meeting,” said Mathieu.

Tucker said, “I’ll call tomorrow.”

In the ongoing matter of what needs to be completed in Phase 1 of the Brandt Point Village, Building Inspector Andy Bobola requested an opinion from the Planning Board as to whether or not developer Joseph Furtado should be granted building permits for Phase 2.

The question of what type of surety Furtado had in place for Phase 1, which is still incomplete, came into play as the board struggled with whether or not to affirm Furtado’s request of the Building Department to issue permits for Phase 2.

Mathieu suggested allowing Furtado’s attorney time to review a response from Brian Winner, town counsel, in which a suggestion from the previous developer to move funds received from the sale of the last lot in Phase 1 to Furtado didn’t fall into regulatory guidelines for sureties. Mathieu noted that Winner’s email response was not, in his opinion, written legal opinion since it lacked a signature and wasn’t on official letterhead.

Mathieu was in favor of helping Furtado towards completing the project saying, “We are beating a dead horse with Mr. Furtado…. I’d like to see him complete this.” He went on to say, “I hear we are a difficult board to get through. I’d like to help him.”

But other board members weren’t so eager to allow the Building Department to grant permits.

After additional discourse that reflected both a willingness to see the project finished and an attitude of caution, they moved to respond to Bobola by saying that no consent should be given for building permits on Phase 2 until a topcoat is applied to the roadway in Phase 1. They also moved to invite Furtado to their next meeting.

Earlier in the evening, the board approved the removal of several diseased trees along River Road as requested by Tree Warden Roland Cote.

“I want to let you know, I come in here to ask to cut down trees,” said Cote. “I’ve also planted trees.” He said that in a partnership with the Tree Committee, 15 trees had been planted since the beginning of the year.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for December 7 at 7:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Friends of the Mattapoisett COA

Everyone is invited to join the Friends of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The FMCoA serves as the fundraising arm of the Council on Aging. You can become a “Friend” and help out through your annual membership. Pick up the FMCoA membership application at the Senior Center or go online Download the PDF-form (top-left menu item). Your membership will be valid through the end of 2016! For more information, contact Bob Kelley at 508-758-6311 or email

SLT Third Annual Guided Dog Walk

Shake off that food coma, grab your canine friend, and come join the Sippican Lands Trust for our third annual guided dog walk on Sunday, November 29. The Hot-to-Trot Post-Thanksgiving Doggie Walk will begin at 10:00 am at our White Eagle Property kiosk. All dogs and owners are welcome. Dogs must be leashed and under their owner’s control at all times.

White Eagle is located off of Route 6 in Marion. Turn onto Parlowtown Road across from the town cemetery and follow it until you reach the cul-de-sac. Veer left onto the dirt road and follow past an abandoned cranberry bog on your right. Parking is available directly past the bog and along the dirt roadside. The kiosk is a short walk beyond.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to conserve land, protect habitat, provide public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town and to offer outreach for nature lovers of all ages. Please do not hesitate to contact Executive Director Robin Shields at 508-748-3080 for more information. Visit us on Facebook and at our website

Two-Family Conversion Causes Concern

The new owner of a Front Street house that was historically used as a two-family wants the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals to grant a Special Permit for an official conversion of the single-family to two-family, but opposition from a neighbor and a cautious ZBA could keep it a single-family house.

Richard Schaffer, the attorney for 444 Front Street owner Chris Shachoy, said history of two-family use goes back a long way, but two years has lapsed since the last time it was used as a two-family dwelling.

Plans for the house include the enlargement of a rear deck plus an additional deck, but the footprint would remain the same and the window arrangement of the house would be the only visible change from the front.

“The neighborhood would not be changed,” said Schaffer, “[we’re] just taking an older house and updating it and making it look more attractive.” The house, said Shaffer, was originally built by the younger brother of Elizabeth Taber. “This particular addition … would not be a detriment to the neighborhood or the character of the town.”

ZBA Chairman Eric Pierce asked if the home would be owner-occupied, and Schaffer said yes, at least in the beginning.

Pierce wanted to do some research on the request before making a decision, saying the board had never dealt with a case such as this. He wanted to be sure the board wouldn’t be “putting our foot in a bucket.”

Resident Helen Hills said that her family sold the house to Shachoy, that the house was built in 1838, and that the entire second floor was made into a separate unit in 1960 when her cousin’s older brother got married. She claimed it became a rental property in 1990 and was rented a long time, and various other families lived there until her cousin died four years ago.

“It’s a beautiful house, and I’m glad to see it fixed up,” Hills said.

There was concern from neighboring resident and realtor Bernadette Kelly over the existence of several other two-family houses on that part of Front Street. She wondered what the Town’s plan was for that stretch of road at “the entryway to our town.”

“It is a lovely house [and] it would be great to see it preserved,” said Kelley, “I’m not particularly comfortable that it’s going to be preserved as an investment property.” It is being lovingly maintained for now, she said, but that is not always the case with rental properties, she commented.

Schaffer brought up the nearby Marion Village Estates, saying this house was only adding one unit, and rental properties in Marion are in demand. The one unit would not burden the town services, said Schaffer, and a house can be run-down whether or not it’s a rental.

“A lot of houses in town that are not rented are run down,” argued Schaffer.

Kelly disagreed with Schaffer’s reasoning.

“How does this actually fit into the existing character of the neighborhood, because the Baywatch neighborhood does not fit into the character of the neighborhood,” said Kelly.

Schaffer replied, “The single-family dwelling could be rented out as it is already. So there’s no difference.”

Hills’ comment was that Shachoy was within his right to tear the old house down, but he chose to renovate it. She argued that the recognition as a two-family would not make any difference.

“We will have to dig a little deeper into the bylaws,” said Pierce, and the hearing was closed for the application to be taken under advisement. When Schaffer asked Pierce to keep the public hearing open in case issues arise that he would like to address, Pierce refused, not even sure if he could re-open the public hearing or not.

The hearing was already closed, the matter would be taken under advisement, the board would render a decision, “…And then you can sue us,” said Pierce.

“Appeal,” Building Commissioner Scott Shippey corrected Pierce.

“Appeal,” said Pierce. “Sorry.”

The next meeting of the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for December 10 at 7:30 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry


Giving Mindfully This Holiday Season

Some gifts just can’t be put in a box, wrapped and tied with a bow. Some you can’t even hold in your hands, while others may be literally handed to one, but given to another –to a person across the world you might not ever meet in this life.

These are the gifts the Friends at the Mattapoisett Friends Meeting House had to offer on November 14 during their annual Alternative Gift Fair held each year before the holidays. And even if you missed the chance to visit the Friends on this day, they want you to know that it is still possible this Christmas to be mindful, thoughtful in your gift-giving, while showing the people in your life that some gifts must be experienced to be appreciated.

There was a variety of alternative gifts to consider, all represented at the Meeting House in one form or another.

Take the gift of membership, for example, over an item that gives once and is soon forgotten once trees are taken down and presents put away. The Mattapoisett Historical Society hopes you might consider giving your loved ones in love with our local history a membership to enjoy all the benefits, such as free admission to the museum and events, and discounts on merchandise.

Maureen McCarthy of the Historical Society stressed the importance of knowing and appreciating local history.

“If we ignore our history, we’re just another place,” said McCarthy. If one knows their local history and learns to appreciate it, she said, “It makes your living place a whole lot more relevant to you. It’s all part of the fabric of it.”

A Buzzards Bay Coalition membership is like giving another (and yourself) the gift of a cleaner, more vibrant bay and the promise that it will be protected and will retain its beauty for generations. The BBC table at the gift fair was lined with BBC caps, T-shirts, and maps of protected areas, as well as renderings of future projects that rely on the funding of new memberships.

Why not give the gift of a bike path? The Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path were represented that day, offering merchandise and ways to donate as a meaningful gift for someone that will ensure the tires keep on turning towards the realization of a cohesive bike path that will finally connect the area towns.

Real estate makes a great gift in the form of protected conservation land that you, your family, and everyone can enjoy from a membership with the Mattapoisett Land Trust.

MLT Treasurer Gary Johnson, in addition to offering memberships, was peddling his latest gift idea – his handmade squirrel feeders – with proceeds of the squirrel feeder sales going directly toward the benefit of the land trust.

“I thought people would be interested in getting squirrels away from their bird feeders by giving them their own,” said Johnson. He had not yet sold a single one, until suddenly, Mark Anderson of Mattapoisett came over, flashed his $50, and bought the very first one.

There were handicrafts made by fair trade women crafters of the nonprofit organization SERRV for sale, with ethical profit sharing with the people who make them. Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate were on display as well and are still available for purchase through the Friends for the fair trade coffee-loving friends in your life.

The Mattapoisett folks involved with Sanga Sangai, a small nonprofit in Nepal that feeds, clothes, and provides educational opportunities to street children, had their table of knick-knacks and handcrafted beaded necklaces and bracelets, with all proceeds going directly to their friends at Sanga Sangai. Johanna Duponte of Mattapoisett said the Nepal earthquakes devastated the organization’s school and headquarters, and they are still in great need of funding to help rebuild. Her granddaughter, Ava Duponte, 5, created gift cards with markers, crayons, pens, paints, and other implements of mass creation to sell, and they are still available for $1 a piece.

Representatives from the St. Vincent de Paul at St. Gabriel’s Church were giving cards to accompany donations made in another’s name to benefit the food pantry, and there was a table set up with a myriad of other alternative gift organizations like Heifer International, Doctors without Borders, and Operation Smile for making life-changing donations as a gift in another’s name.

Consider the impact your gift can make this Christmas. The Friends have invited anyone wishing to learn more about their suggestions for alternative gifts to contact them at

You may also find further information at,,,,, and

By Jean Perry

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Coastal Zone Management Plan, Fees, and Fixes

A working meeting between the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen and the Marine Advisory Board focused on three areas of the waterfront enterprise fund: coastal zone management, fees, and wharf improvements.

MAB Chairman John Cornish presented the selectmen with a draft that was not offered for public discussion at the time. The MAB members had taken an earlier document – one that was deemed inadequate to protect the public’s use of waterways along Mattapoisett’s coast – and attempted to beef up elements they felt were important. Recreational uses from shellfishing to paddle boarding, public beaches to kayaking were included as the types of recreation that should be protected and spelled out in the updated document as the board recognized the needs of more than just the boating public.

Also new in the document were suggestions on what the lengths of private docks and piers should be. Town Administrator Michael Gagne reminded the board that South Coastal Regional Coordinator David Janik of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office, a branch of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, had suggested they be “very specific” on this point.

Another essential topic the selectmen wished to work out with the MAB was fees. The MAB in turn had asked Harbormaster Jill Simmons to assist in collecting comparative data from surrounding towns.

Simmons found that Wareham, Marion, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven, Fall River, and Plymouth all had mooring fees greater than Mattapoisett.

“We are right at the bottom,” Simmons said. Her written report included mooring fees that ranged from a high of $150 per year plus $100 per foot for a slip, to Mattapoisett’s low of $25 annually plus $1 per foot for vessels 35 feet or less or $2 per foot for vessels greater than 35 feet. Simmons felt that Mattapoisett’s per-foot structure was unfair, noting that one boat would be paying more than a neighboring boat simply because it was one foot longer.

The MAB has struggled, Cornish said, with not knowing how to approach increasing user fees to get more in line with neighboring communities and bring the waterfront enterprise into greater financial stability.

Simmons said she had been frustrated at not being able to understand Mattapoisett’s municipal bookkeeping.

“I owe Suzanne Szyndlar a public apology. She’s been great,” Simmons said. But the difficulty in figuring out how the earnings flowed against expenses had been on ongoing effort on her part, one that she was finally “getting a grip on.” She expressed appreciation for the assistance she had received from Town Hall staff.

Gagne offered insights into fiscal management, including the necessity of the waterfront enterprise establishing funds for contingencies.

“There’s no money in the budget for unexpected expenses,” said Gagne. “In 2015, retained earnings were $810; that’s no buffering whatsoever.”

Gagne thought that perhaps looking at a mooring fee of $65 gradually increased over several years might work saying, “When you let a fee stay stagnant for five or ten years then have an increase, it looks huge.”

Cornish acknowledged that there was a willingness on the part of the MAB to increase fees, but also cautiousness as well. Selectmen Jordan Collyer said, “We should be in parity with other harbors.”

A third topic of conversation was a recently drafted priority list: a list of must haves, to-dos, and a couple of wishes for the harbor side that the MAB had requested from Simmons. That list had been whittled down, prioritized, and offered to the selectmen for this meeting.

Collyer expressed his frustration at a list saying, “We get kicked in the teeth in public because we don’t listen to the MAB. You know what people want to see … the reason you are an advisory board is to tell us. Don’t just say, ‘Jill needs to tell us!’” He said that the members of the advisory board were in the public sphere and were hearing from the boating community more than the selectmen were and, therefore, should offer those views.

In defense of the list, Cornish said everything on it “needed to be done.”

The Mattapoisett Marine Advisory Board will meet again on November 19 at 7:00 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


4th Annual Pizza with Santa

The Marion Police Brotherhood will hold its 4th Annual Pizza with Santa on Saturday, December 5 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, 164 Front Street. Once again, we will be accepting donations to help “fill a cruiser” with new unwrapped toys for The Justice Resources Institute, a local nonprofit organization providing intensive foster care and adoption programs for children and adolescents in our community.

Please register at the Marion Police Department, 550 Mill Street, or email by December 1.

Machacam Club

The Machacam Club will hold its monthly meeting on December 2 at the Legion Hall, 3 Depot Street. Social time is 5:30 pm; dinner is at 6:00 pm.

This meeting will be a ham & bean dinner with pie for dessert. We hope it will prove worthwhile as we try to overcome the ban on “Stove Top” cooking with this being the third option.

Our speaker for the evening will be our own Captain Brad Smith who has an interesting topic range on Sub Rescue Operations with Atmospheric Dive Suits, Remote Sub Rescue Vehicle and its predecessor, the Sub Rescue Chamber. He will try to finish off with some slides of Sailing Traditions (i.e., the Crossing the Line Ceremony).

Callers and members are asked to bear in mind the importance of call list accuracy. Caller lists should be done and reported no later than 9:00 pm on Monday, November 30 by email to GPFNR@AOL.COM or by phone to Mike at 508-758-9311. Members with requests or changes can contact either no later than 9:00 am on Tuesday, December 1.