Mariner Youth Soccer Scholarships

Mariner Youth Soccer is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual scholarship program. Scholarships were awarded to Elexus Afonso and Kyle Rood from Rochester. Samantha Kirkham and Serena Jaskolka received the scholarship from Mattapoisett and Hannah Dawicki was the recipient from Fairhaven. We wish these student athletes who had played at Mariner the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Mariner Youth Soccer provides recreational and competitive soccer training at its Fairhaven facility to players ages 4-18.


A clambake will be hosted by The Knights at 57 Fairhaven Road in Mattapoisett on Sunday, August 28 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $35 per person and can only be purchased in advance by calling Jim at 508-863-3496. Tickets will not be available at the door. The clambake menu is clams, fish, linguiça, sausages, hot dogs, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, corn on the cob, brown bread and watermelon.

The Long and Winding Roads of Mattapoisett

“The big thing is the voters in this community have understood we’ve got to do our share,” stated Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Gagne as Highway Surveyor Barry Denham and Jon Connel of Field Engineering reported on the condition of roads in town.

Gagne’s comment came on July 19 as Denham explained his report on the current state of all roads in town and updated the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen on projects.

Denham reminded the board that as roads in the village undergo complete reconstruction, water mains are being replaced. He also shared his plans to do some minor repairs to other roads in town saying with a chuckle, “We will never be done with road work.”

Denham said that the successful micro-surfacing of North Street has proven that repairs of a less dramatic nature can be very cost-effective. That work was completed 10 years ago. “It seems to be holding up,” he said.

Connel is in the process of preparing engineered drawings and specifications for work on Barstow, Cannon and lower Pearl Streets, Denham said. Gagne said that the state’s joint transportation planning group that oversees grants should look favorably on Mattapoisett’s request because the town will have prepared the required 25 percent engineered plans. He said that an article would be presented at the Fall Town Meeting to fund the engineering work. Gagne then lauded the voters in town for appreciating the necessity of funding engineering work in order to seek grant monies.

Selectman Paul Silva asked about the grants. Denham said that TIP grants for $2.5 million and $4.5 million will be sought to complete the village streets Main, Water, and North Street; and Cannon, Beacon and Marion Road.

For the Acushnet Road culvert reconstruction, Denham said that the town is awaiting the fabrication of railings. Once those are installed, the project will be complete.

Denham said he was also looking into smaller projects around town that might only be minor repairs or micro-surfacing. Selectman Jordan Collyer asked what roads those might be. Denham was reticent to mention specific roads in a public forum, saying, “I’ll talk to you off line,” not wishing to heighten public expectations prematurely. He said that his goal is to repair and provide maintenance to two miles of roadways per year.

Silva asked Gagne when the town might expect the TIP grants to come through. Gagne replied, “FY2021, but maybe 2020,” if other towns fail to provide the engineered drawings. “So let’s say five years.”

“That would be sweet,” responded Gagne.

Of Denham’s work, the board was unanimous in praising, with Collyer adding, “When we tell other people what we do in our town, they can’t believe we have funds and get things done…. If it wasn’t for Barry…”

Staying on the theme of roads, Gagne reported that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has approved the installation of flashing crossing signs at three locations along Route 6. Those locations are Pearl Street, a new crosswalk near the Ropewalk shopping center, and at the high school.

Moving on to waterways, Gagne reported that the Coast Guard has agreed to hold a public hearing in Mattapoisett to discuss the disestablishment of several buoys in Buzzards Bay. Silva suggested inviting Marion and Fairhaven, while Collyer suggested including members of the Buzzards Bay Task Force. Gagne said he would contact affected communities on Buzzards Bay. Buoys in Mattapoisett Harbor, as well as several considered strategic to navigating in and around the Woods Hole area, will be discussed.

Earlier in the evening the selectmen honored and recognized retiring Mattapoisett Fire Department Captain E. Robert Guard for his 24 years of service. Jeff Riley was appointed as an alternate member of the Marine Advisory Board. Tammy Ferreira’s resignation as secretary to the Planning Board was accepted, as was the resignation of John Mathieu from the same board.

The selectmen approved a class II automobile dealership license to Charles Rider for an Internet business.

The Mattapoisett Track Club was given approval to hold an adult wharf dance on August 20 between 8:00 and 11:00 pm.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for August 16 at a new time of 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


“I Was Here…”

Once in a while you’re out in nature approaching a bend in a hiking path, reaching the top of a mountain, or, in this case, meandering along the beach, and you come across something that draws your eye in. Someone has taken stones and carefully stacked them one on top of each other, perfectly balanced and oftentimes appearing to defy gravity itself.

The rocks, although perfectly natural and at home in the setting, are far from natural in their formation.

Just when you thought you were the only one out there, with the rest of the world forgotten about for the time being, feeling alone and at one with your aloneness, someone has left behind a sign of having passed that way before, of having existed momentarily in the place at which you find yourself, and is in a way saying to you, “Hi. I was here.”

For centuries, humans have been stacking rocks all over the world as ways to mark a significant place, a gravesite, the location of a battle in history, or as trail blazes to guide others along as they hike. This human-made stacking of rocks is commonly known as a cairn, from the Scottish Gaelic word càrn.

I come across a few of these now and again as one who spends a lot of time exploring the outdoors and traveling about to hike new hills and discover forest trails I’ve never been down before. Every now and then, they start cropping up along a stretch of beach at the Nasketucket Bay State Reservation as they have been over the past few days. Some have gotten a bit creative, too, incorporating driftwood and seashells along with the usual rock tower formations.

One late afternoon last week, I was walking along quietly deep in thought when from afar I spotted a group of them and it yanked me out from my flow of inner consciousness back to the beach where I stood.

I walked up and pondered the cairns, appreciating the transience of this temporary art installation and wondered about the people and the reasons why they would build them.

Some people wish upon the rocks as they balance them up, wishes that are likely the same or similar to the wishes we all secretly have. Wishes that may or may not come true before or after the sea swallows them up and the rocks tumble down.

The cairns could be a way of connecting with others on a spiritual level, leaving behind a sculpture of peace and tranquility, which seems to me the silent language of the cairn and how I usually feel when I look at it.

Not all people feel that way when coming across a cairn, however. Actually, there are a lot of people, including conservationists, telling people to please just stop it already with the cairn building. The old hiker’s adage of “leave no trace” echoes out from cairn to cairn, and some areas in the world, notably Iceland, have essentially been invaded by cairns created and left by tourists oblivious to the effects of leaving behind stacks of stones everywhere. In some areas, cairns are cropping up uncontrollably and are even threatening the very ecosystem and habitat of local wildlife.

At the Nasketucket Bay State Reservation beach, though, they seem right at home. I imagine some young people stopping to stack rocks together for a while, testing their balancing abilities and starting over again with the occasional mishap when that final rock on top doesn’t quite make it so they exchange it for another that might do the trick.

I think about my life and the symbolic cairns that mark the different paths I’ve taken, and I think about the metaphorical cairns I may have built along the way that perhaps have guided others who came after me. And I ponder the mystery of it all and the messages left by the people who balanced the rocks on the mountains, the deep forest trails, and the beaches for me to see that seem to say, “I was here before you, I passed this way too, and you are not alone.”

By Jean Perry

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Taste of the Town

Dear Editor,

The Mattapoisett Women’s Club expresses their heartfelt appreciation to all Mattapoisett restaurants and vendors who were instrumental in making the 14th annual “Taste of the Town” a resounding success.

A special thank you is extended to Kelly Zucco and the venerable Showstoppers Musical Entertainment for their truly radiant and lively performance.

A warm thank you is extended to our many devoted friends and neighbors from near and afar who supported enthusiastically our scholarship fundraiser.

Finally, the “Taste of the Town” Committee acknowledges and appreciates all the family time that is willingly given up by so many of our members in order to champion the civic endeavors of the Mattapoisett Women’s Club.

With sincere gratitude,

Lois Ennis and Eileen J. Marum

Co-chairs, Taste of the Town Committee

Mattapoisett Women’s Club


The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Ecumenical Service of Peace and Unity

Tri-Town Police Departments and clergy announce a special “Ecumenical Service of Peace and Unity” to be held at 9:30 am on Saturday, July 23 at the main entrance of Old Rochester Regional Junior High School.

All are invited to this service to celebrate and support the unity in and among our communities of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester. All law enforcement officers living in the Tri-Town and their families are encouraged to attend.

Clergy from several Tri-Town churches will lead the service, which will include comments from clergy and Police Department officials.

For more information, please contact Rev. Amy Lignitz Harken at Mattapoisett Congregational Church, 508-758-2671.

$1.5 Million Surety Proposed

The long awaited report from Field Engineering on the condition of the Brandt Point Village subdivision is in, and it isn’t good.

Bob Field, principal and founder of Field Engineering, Mattapoisett, the Town’s peer review partner, submitted his report to the Planning Board on July 18. Field’s report listed a number of deficiencies, a familiar list of problems that have plagued residents living in Phase 1 of the massive development.

As Field presented his 16-page report to the board members – along with his bill for $6,890 – he said, “Once we got involved with the as-built plans, it was much bigger than anticipated…. There is an extreme amount of work … there is an extensive amount of stuff, a substantial amount of work yet to be done.”

One of the major deficiencies documented by Field was the stormwater management system. Field noted that the system was installed with undersized drains and insufficient layering of gravel that would ensure the integrity of the road above.

“Catch basins throughout the site don’t meet standards,” Field explained. He said they were too small and placed in a shallow position that over time would cause the asphalt surfaces to fail.

Field told the board it might elect to establish a modification to the state standards allowing some of the basins to remain in place while mandating that others be fixed. But Chairman Tom Tucker thought otherwise.

“I got no problem making them tear it up and make it right,” he told Field. Field responded that there was “no getting around” five or six of the suspect drains that need to be replaced, but Tucker said, “The contractor took a shortcut.”

Highway Superintendent Barry Denham confirmed suspicions he has verbalized over many months of discussions, that roadway construction and drainage issues at the site were not meeting requirements. But regarding the size of the catch basins reported to be four inches versus the standard eight inches, he said, “I didn’t know.” He said that although he made frequent visits to the construction site to keep an eye on things, over the years there was no way to witness this installation due to lack of notification by the contractors.

Tucker concluded, “Their engineer is going to have to come up with a solution. Everything they tell me…. They want to do what’s right, let them put their money where there mouth is.”

Other problems noted in Field’s report are lack of testing of the sewer system and failure of the Phase 1 roadway.

Tucker asked the residents of the development if the newest team of owners had been in contact with them to discuss repairs. They confirmed not a single call had been placed. Denis Demos, one of the residents who has become a fixture at Planning Board meetings said, “Their contractor told me they were building houses in two weeks,” referring to Phase 2 of the project.

Tucker, now clearly frustrated, said, “Four times I’ve asked for a cease and desist!”

However, outgoing Planning Board Secretary Tammy Ferreira said, “You never really followed through.” Tucker responded that each time a cease and desist had been sought, new owners came forward with new plans to take care of all the problems.

Planning Board member Mary Crain was confused and asked, “Why isn’t town counsel issuing action?” Tucker replied, “We are very limited. We have to ask the town administrator if we can talk to town counsel.”

Planning Board member Karen Field made a motion to contact the town administrator requesting legal assistance to issue a cease and desist if necessary. The motion was passed.

Regarding the question of what dollar amount should be imposed on the owner/developer, Omega Financial Group of Rhode Island, Field recommended $1.5 million.

In other business, Tree Warden Roland Cote received approval to remove a diseased tree at the corner of Barstow and Church Streets. He also said that in the nine years he has headed up this department, he has planted 30 trees.

Bob Field, representing Mahoney and Sons for property located on the north side of Route 6 between Yard Boss and Shipyard Galley, received preliminary commercial development plan approval. Field said the owners were seeking a letter from the Planning Board in support of their conceptual plan in order to obtain permission to make curb cuts on the state highway. The board members voted to provide the needed document.

A letter of resignation was read into the minutes from veteran Planning Board member John Mathieu. Mathieu explained via the missive that after nine years, it was necessary for him to step aside immediately due to the demands of his profession and charitable activities.

Before closing the meeting, Tucker noted that Secretary Tammy Ferreira was also “leaving us.” On July 19, the Board of Selectmen will formally accept her resignation.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for August 1 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Buzzards Bay Musicfest Returns to Marion

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Buzzards Bay Musicfest returned to Tabor Academy in Marion this past week, bringing with it sensational musical selections from Mozart to jazz standards. The five-day-long festival spanned from July 13-17 and featured two orchestra concerts, two chamber music performances, and a jazz concert.

This year Antony Walker, music director of the Pittsburgh Opera, returned as guest conductor, as well as Grammy-nominated jazz artist Orrin Evans.

Musicians selected by Artistic Director and Concertmaster Charles Stegeman travel from all over the world to participate in the festival and stay with their host families located in Marion.

“They come to us from teaching institutions, professional orchestras, and a variety of other musical venues across the globe, and we are grateful for the excitement and enrichment they provide for our community,” stated Chair Trudy Kingery with President Sally Conkright in the festival’s program booklet. And what an incredible sight it is to see all these musicians with diverse backgrounds come together on one stage to create these musical works of art.

The Musicfest itself actually has its roots in Kansas City. According to Kingery, one of the founding members, the festival started twenty years ago with a man named Russell Patterson, the music director of the Kansas City Lyric Opera who was retiring to the Cape. He and other founding member Margot Foster contacted Kingery about bringing a festival to the Buzzards Bay area.

“I was president of the arts center,” said Kingery. “And so [Margot Foster] came to me and said, ‘Can you do something with this?’ and I said, ‘Okay.’” Since then, the festival has expanded and evolved and is “an event which had grown each year in regional repose and national reputation,” according the Stegeman.

I, myself an oboist and a music major at Boston University, was able to attend the Friday night chamber music concert, as well as the closing orchestra concert on Sunday afternoon. Chamber music concerts, such as the Thursday and Friday concerts of the festival, feature one instrumentalist per part, and the groups range in number from a solo individual to an octet.

Friday’s concert featured a Beethoven Piano Quintet, a string sextet performing Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence, and Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet – a standout of the evening.

Harp soloist Rita Costanzi swept the audience away with her brilliant technique and eloquent and celestial interpretation. With her performance, combined with the excellent blend from the woodwinds and the virtuosity of the strings, the piece was mesmerizing and truly lovely.

Sunday’s orchestra concert was equally impressive and engaging. The performance opened with Rossini’s vibrant Overture to “La Scala di Seta,showcasing the technical prowess of the upper winds. The program also featured soloists Charles Stegeman on violin and Michael Strauss on viola in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat Major, K.364 as well as a refined and thoughtful rendition of Bach’s Air on the G String. The five-day festival concluded with Haydn’s rousing Symphony No. 103 in E-flat Major, “Drum Roll,” bringing the full house to their feet.

The Buzzards Bay Musicfest and its board are dedicated to bringing high quality classical performances to the South Coast free of charge.

“We work behind the scenes together all winter long to put this together in conjunction with our artistic director Charlie [Stegeman],” said Conkright. About 97 percent of the festival’s funding comes from individual donors who generously support bringing the arts into the community.

As stated on their website, “every contribution counts, and each monetary gift helps to provide a rich musical experience for so many.” The Buzzards Bay Musicfest is certainly one of the best festivals of its kind in the area, bringing to the community delightful and memorable performances for the past twenty years.

By Ashley Perry

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Friends of the Mattapoisett Library

The Friends of the Mattapoisett Library held its annual book sale during the Harbor Days week. The Aardvark popped in on Thursday, July 14, to buy some books and pass out squeaky aardvarks to the kids. Photos by Jean Perry

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Annual Summer Hymn Sing

The annual summer hymn sing of the First Congregational Church of Marion will be held on Sunday, July 24 at 10:00 am. The hymns to be sung will be set to tunes whose names celebrate Massachusetts communities.

“A lot of us don’t pay much attention to the names of hymn tunes,” says Ben Dunham, chairman of the church music committee. “For instance, ‘Our God, Our Help in Ages Past’ is sung to the tune called St. Anne, after the church where its composer, William Croft, was organist.”

“What we’ve done is select a group of tunes all titled with the names of Massachusetts towns: Marion, Wareham, Dennis, Truro, Hanover, Waltham, and others among our favorites.” Dunham continued, “We invite everyone to join us.”

According to the Rev. Dr. Sheila Rubdi, pastor of the church, “There will be no sermon per se but rather commentary on the Biblical verses upon which some of the hymns’ texts were based and a bit of background on the authors.”

Guest soprano Amanda Chace will be featured in special music during the service. The last hymn tune will be Maxwell by Dwight Thomas, commissioned by the church in 2000 to honor her grandfather William Maxwell’s years of service as organist. Current organist of the church is Beverly Peduzzi.

The First Congregational Church, located at 28 Main Street at the corner of Front and Main Streets in Marion, is handicapped accessible.