Rare “Blood Supermoon” Wows the World

Did you get to see the “Blood Moon?” If yes, we bet you added to the world’s one big collective “wow” Sunday night by saying it a few times.

Some local residents stationed themselves out at Ned’s Point to watch the total lunar eclipse of the supermoon, and probably billions of others around the world were doing the same from Alaska all the way to India.

All eyes were on the heavens the night of September 27 when the moon passed through the Earth’s shadow while also at its closest proximity to Earth of the year, known as a perigee full moon, a supermoon, a celestial culmination of events that has not happened since 1982 – the proverbial stars were indeed aligned for the manifestation of such a monumental moon.

Tri-Town was spared a prior forecast of partly cloudy skies, offering an unobstructed view of the total eclipse of the moon as the shadow first fell at 9:07 pm, spreading across the face of the moon until complete coverage at precisely 10:11 pm. The total eclipse lasted an hour and 12 minutes before the shadow slowly waned, coming to completion at 12:27 am.

There were Blood Moon gatherings all over Tri-Town, and those that chose the Mattapoisett landmark Ned’s Point as their preferred vantage point found company with dozens of others who oohed and aahed at the striking sight of it all.

Sunday night’s astronomic event was a rare one, indeed. There have only been five supermoon eclipses since the year 1900. The next supermoon total eclipse will not occur again until the year 2033.

By Jean Perry

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Apple Watch Saves, Changes Life of Student

Paul Houle, a senior at Tabor Academy, arrived at pre-season three weeks ago with clothes, books, and one new addition – an Apple Watch. Excited about his new gadget, he of course wore it to his football practices that day. After practice, however, when his heart rate should have slowed significantly, he glanced at his Apple Watch, which has a heart rate monitor, and saw that it was still beating at about 145 beats per minute.

He consulted the Health Center and was rushed to the hospital. There, he was diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which fibers from your muscles are released into the bloodstream.

It is a serious condition, which can lead to kidney failure and even death in severe cases. It’s a good thing he caught it early, Houle said, explaining what would happen if he had played another practice.

“I would have lost all control of my muscles and there was a good chance I would have fallen down on the field and died right there,” Houle said.

But the miracles don’t end there. A couple of local media sources reported the events and the next day, Paul Houle received a call from none other than Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. Cook checked in with Paul, asking him about school and how he was feeling after his near-death experience. Then, much to Paul’s surprise, Cook offered him an internship with Apple in California next summer and sent him the new iPhone 6s Plus the day before it was released, making him one of the first people in the world to get this new phone.

Since then, Houle has been interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Huffington Post, Business Insider, and Good Morning America.

“There have been countless other websites that have covered my story all over the world,” Houle said. “I was with Good Morning America until around 1:00 am one night this week.”

Houle never expected this kind of attention, he said. When he purchased the Apple Watch, it’s capability to track heart rate didn’t even cross his mind.

The heart rate monitor “was never a feature I thought was going to be a big deal for me,” Houle noted. “But when it was elevated, I knew something was wrong.” It’s a good thing he was paying such close attention.

From the actual event of his near-death experience to everything that has happened in its wake, the Apple Watch has irrevocably changed Paul Houle’s life.

By Madeleine Gregory


Mini-Organ Festival

Following the success of its organ recital in June, the First Congregational Church in Marion, Massachusetts, will present a Mini-Organ Festival on its historic George S. Hutchings organ on two Sundays, November 1 and 15, at 4:00 pm.

Performing on November 1 is Christa Rakich in a program of music by Nicolaus Bruhns, J. S. Bach, and Anna Amalia, Princess of Prussia, in addition to modern works by James Woodman and Ms. Rakich herself. Flutist Wendy Rolfe will be featured as soloist in the Bach and Amalia.

In addition to works by J. S. Bach, Steven Young will perform music of Vincent Lübeck, Henry M. Dunham, William Bolcom, and John Knowles Paine on November 15.

The First Congregational Church in Marion was built in 1841. In 1884, with support from local philanthropist Elizabeth Taber, a new mechanical-action organ by George S. Hutchings was installed. Hutchings was prominent among American organ builders and built organs for the old Boston Music Hall, the Old South Church, and Symphony Hall.

Tickets for the recitals at $10 may be purchased at The Bookstall on Front Street in Marion and at the door. For more information and reservations, call 508-748-2067. The First Congregational Church, located at 28 Main Street at the corner of Front and Main in Marion, is handicapped accessible.

Concert and recording artist Christa Rakich is artist-in-residence at the First Congregational Church in Somers, Connecticut. A prizewinner at international organ competitions, Rakich has received acclaim for her interpretations of the music of J.S. Bach. She concertizes widely throughout the U.S. and will have just returned from Europe, where she played in Alsace, Germany, and Holland. As a Fulbright Scholar, Christa Rakich studied for two years with Anton Heiller at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. She holds degrees from Oberlin College and New England Conservatory and has served on the faculties of Westminster Choir College, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory, and the University of Connecticut. At Harvard, she was Assistant University Organist in Memorial Church.

North Rochester Church Yard Sale

The North Rochester Congregational Church, located at 247 North Avenue, Rochester will be having a yard sale on Saturday, October 10 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm in the basement of the church. There will be a variety of items for sale. Contact Patti Keller at 508-947-6618 with any questions or if you have any items you would like to donate.

Municipal Bike Walk Plan

A public input session about walking and biking in Mattapoisett will be held on October 8 at 6:30 pm at Center School Cafeteria. People of all ages and abilities who use public ways, including walkers, wheelers of all types, and motorists are invited to give their input into the draft Mattapoisett Municipal Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan.

Program description: 6:30 pm – Introductions and brief overview of the purpose of a Municipal Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan; 6:40 pm – Break into four small groups to discuss walking/wheeling experience on public ways in four sections of our town: 1) north of I-195; 2) south of I-195 and west of River Road; 3) south of I-195 and East of Church Street extension; and 4) south of I-195 between River Road and Church Street Extension. People will be asked to mark large maps with their primary destinations, favorite routes, and areas that they consider hazardous for walkers, bikers. Separate comment sheets will be provided for participants to make specific written notes. At a future date, a separate meeting will specifically address the Route 6 Business District.

At 7:00 pm, the group will come together for a brief information session about various projects including Bike Path planning. This will be followed by a “priorities setting” discussion. The public input session should conclude by 7:30 pm.

Fitness Room Opens at Rochester Senior Center

It was a long time coming, said Rochester Council on Aging Director Sharon Lally to the Rochester Board of Selectmen on September 28, but the new fitness room at the Rochester Senior Center is now open for business.

For nearly a year, two smaller rooms have undergone remodeling to create one larger room, the new home for a fitness center for members to join for a $20 a month fee.

Lally said already 13 members have signed up for the service, all of which are assisted by the fitness center’s overseer, Tammy McKane, a certified group exercise instructor and gymnastics teacher.

There are 12 pieces of exercise equipment – cardio and resistance training for muscle strength – that the senior center purchased pre-owned by a Curves exercise facility. The equipment is in very good condition, said Lally.

The COA surveyed town seniors looking for input on preferred business hours for the fitness center, eventually coming up with a schedule of Monday and Wednesday from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, and Friday 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Hours could increase, Lally said, as new members sign up.

New members are required to fill out four different informational forms, including a health form for a doctor to complete, which will need to be resubmitted on an annual basis. The Town has worked closely with Lally to limit its liability in the case of member injury.

“I think that we have done everything that we can to make sure that we have crossed our ‘t’s and dotted our ‘i’s,” Lally told the board, with Town Counsel Blair Bailey present and in agreement. “It’s a ‘go’ and we hope to hit the ground running and I’m very excited about it,” Lally said.

In other business, the board accepted Police Chief Paul Magee’s appointment of two new full-time police officers.

Alexander Malo and Dylan Hicks were both welcomed to the force, with several fellow officers present to support Magee’s choice of candidates.

Malo’s employment will be effective October 1, and his full-time position is one that was approved by Town Meeting in the fiscal year 2016 budget. Hicks’ employment is effective October 21, and Hicks will be replacing an officer who has transferred to the Massachusetts State Police. Both men are subject to the contingencies that they complete full-time police academy, pass a medical physical examination, and pass the state written test.

In other matters, the board approved a new policy and procedures for health insurance under the Federal Affordable Care Act.

Municipalities are required to report the health insurance status of their employees to the federal government and must adopt a specified “look-back” period for determining eligibility for all employees.

Also during the meeting, Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon told the board about a Rochester Open Spaces and Recreation community forum on Monday, October 5 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Memorial School cafetorium to present the data collected from a town-wide survey. This will also give residents the opportunity to provide input on priorities and goals. The guest speaker will be Bill Napolitano of SRPEDD.

The meeting room at the Town Hall was recently remodeled with new drywall to replace the old paneling, new ceiling, a fresh coat of paint, and a new table skirt for the conference table.

Town Administrator Michael McCue announced a Special Town Meeting set for November 30 at the Rochester Memorial School cafetorium at 7:00 pm.

The next meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen is scheduled for October 5 at 6:30 pm at the Rochester Town Hall.

By Jean Perry


National Merit Scholarship Program

The principal, Michael C. Devoll, of Old Rochester Regional High School announced that Jeffrey P. Murdock, Evan M. Roznoy, and Paige C. Watterson have been named Commended Students in the 2016 National Merit Scholarship Program. A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), which conducts the program, will be presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2016 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top five percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2016 competition by taking the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).

“The young men and women being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

October Programs at Plumb Library

Love to doodle? Join us for a relaxing and enjoyable class to discover your own uniquely personal art form. Learn to use doodling to tap into your latent creativity and find a restful state of mind. Patterns of tangling will be taught that will be combined with your own ideas to produce a fun finished project. No memorizing patterns. No pressure to copy someone else’s style. This program is best for ages 13 and up, and is free thanks to the Friends of Plumb Library. All materials will be provided. Register by calling us at 508-763-8600 or visit the Plumb Library Events Calendar at www.plumblibrary.com.

For their October book, “Just the Facts” Nonfiction Book Discussion Group, will be reading The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford. First published in 1963, this book exposed the excessive expense of funerals at the time and caused an uproar in the funeral industry. In publishing her research, Mitford felt that funerals were becoming too industrialized and that funeral directors preyed on the bereaving. Written with wit and wisdom, this book was a cause celebre in its time. We will discuss this book on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30 pm. Copies are available at the desk.

The Café Parlez’ selection for October is Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen. Frances Osgood, single mother in 1845 New York City, jumps at the chance to meet the famous Edgar Allan Poe, if only to help her fledgling career. What follows is a flirtation, then a seduction and an illicit affair. But when Edgar’s frail wife, Virginia, insists on befriending Frances as well, the relationship becomes as dark and twisted as one of Poe’s tales. Inspired by literature’s most haunting love triangle, Lynn Cullen delivers a perfect rendering of Poe, his mistress’s confession, and his wife’s obsession. We will discuss this book on Thursday, October 29 at 6:30 pm. Books are available at the desk.

The Friends of Plumb Library and the Rochester Friends of the Elderly will be holding another Dinner and Movie night at the Council On Aging, 67 Dexter Lane, Rochester on Saturday, October 17 at 5:30 pm. Cost is $8 per person or $25 for a family of three or more. The movie will be “Halloween Town.” Enjoy a great spaghetti supper and a fun movie. For more information, call the library at 508-763-8600 or register on the Plumb Library Event Calendar.

Marion Flu Clinics

The Marion Board of Health is pleased to announce seasonal flu clinics for the residents of Marion. The flu vaccine will be available as nasal mist for residents between the ages of 2 and 49 years of age and is also available in the injectable form for all residents over the age of 6 months.

Those attending the flu clinics are reminded to wear a short sleeve shirt and to bring all insurance and Medicare cards. Vaccinations will be given to all regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.

– Wednesday, October 14, 4:00 – 7:00 pm at the Marion Sippican School

– Monday, October 26, 2:00 – 6:30 pm at the Marion Town House

– Monday, November 9, 2:00 – 6:30 pm at the Marion Town House

Transportation to the clinics can be arranged with the Council on Aging. For information, call the Marion Board of Health at 508-748-3530.

James R. Oldfield

James R. Oldfield, 32, of North Easton died September 29, 2015 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.

He was the fiancé of Kaitlin B. Hansen, originally from Mattapoisett.

Born in Boston, the son of Janice L. (Feroli) Johnson and her husband Michael of Weymouth and the late Donald Oldfield. He lived in Quincy most of his life before moving to North Easton this year.

Jim was looking forward to his new career as a commercial scallop fisherman.
Jim had a passion and energy for living life to it’s fullest. He enjoyed snowboarding, riding his motorcycle and the company of his dogs Stuka and Charlie.

Survivors include his fiancé; his mother and step-father; his brother, Michael Feroli of Foxboro; 2 sisters, Jennifer Pavao of East Bridgewater and Meredith Saldi of Onset; 2 uncles, Tracy Johnson and Larry Johnson; an aunt, Ann Marie Perry; 9 nieces and nephews, Aidan, Ciara, Brenna, Meredith, Kyle, Joseph, Tyler, Michael and Ian.

His Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday at 10 AM in the Trinity Lutheran Church 16 Temple Place, Fairhaven. Burial will follow in Milton Cemetery. Visiting hours Tuesday from 4-8 PM in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett. In lieu of flowers, as a tribute to Jim’s love for animals, please make a donation to your local animal shelter. For directions guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.