Boys’ Hockey Named ‘Top Dog’

Here is a summary of this week’s sports at Old Rochester Regional High School:

            Boys’ Basketball: In the semi-finals of the South Coast bracket, the Old Rochester Bulldogs played Hanover last Tuesday. It was a close game but unfortunately, Old Rochester lost 51 to 57. Matt Valles was the leading scorer with 21 points. Russell Noonan played a good game with 14 points. Not far behind were Jason Gamache and Jacob Cafarella with ten and six points, respectively. This is the third time in four years that the Bulldogs made it to the semi-finals. Old Rochester had an amazing season and won the SCC for the third straight year. The seniors – Matt Valles, Russell Noonan, Jacob Cafarella, Pat Cummings, Tyler Mourao and Cam Hamilton – will be missed, but the Bulldogs look forward to a promising season next year.

            Boys’ Hockey: The Bulldogs took on Dartmouth early in week at the John Gallo Ice Rink in Bourne. Sam Henrie and Owen Powers both scored a goal in the first to make the score 2-1. During the second period, Noah Strawn scored a goal and Sam Austin scored two. This advanced the score to 5-3. In the third period, Landon Goguen scored the final goal for the Bulldogs. ORR/FHS hockey ended the game 6-3 and advanced to the South Sectional Finals where they would play Rockland High School. This proved to be a tougher battle. There was no score during the first period. By the end of the second, the game was tied at 1-1, with Strawn scoring the ORR/FHS goal. The Bulldogs rose to the challenge and in the third period Henrie and Tayber Labonte each scored a goal to finish the game 3-1. The Bulldogs not only beat Rockland, but won the Division 3 South Championship! Now they are off to Bright Arena at Harvard to take on the Division 3 North Champions.

            Boys’ and Girls’ Track: Members of the boys’ and girls’ track team competed in New York City last weekend in Nationals. Two teams broke the national record. Old Rochester boys’ shuttle hurdles managed to beat a national record and placed 7th in the nation. The team was composed of Danny Renwick, Will Hopkins, Harry Smith, and Eli Spevak. The girls’ team – consisting of Caroline Murphy, Maxine Kellum, Rachel Demmer, and Brooke Santos – placed 14th. The boys’ pentathlon competitor, Danny Renwick, achieved a 2nd place finish and missed 1st place by .04 seconds; he was named an All-American.

By Alexandra Hulsebosch

 

Bike Path Easement Resolutions Pending

Mattapoisett’s Bike Path Committee has spend over two decades working through requirements set by state and federal agencies, local bylaws, wetland concerns, easements and, of course, funding – a true labyrinth if ever there was.

Now in March of 2017, all that hard work and persistence is very close to making the next phase of the bike path connection between Fairhaven and Marion a reality.

But not without a few more bumps in the pavement.

On March 9, long-time member and current chairman Steve Kelleher told those in attendance that easement issues were close to resolution. He said that state conservation agencies, the Department of Environmental Protection and Coastal Zone Management had reviewed the path’s wetland crossings and mandated that it be moved 20-feet closer to the Mattapoisett River away from marshlands. That small design modification, Kelleher said, now requires new easement negotiations with the three property owners – the YMCA, the Reservation Golf Club, and the McIntire family.

Kelleher said that Town Administrator Mike Gagne was handling those negotiations but had assured him the plan modifications were “minor” and should not hold up the project.

Kelleher said that plan changes would be brought before the voters during the upcoming May town meeting.

In a follow-up with Gagne, he stated in an email response to the question of what will appear on the town meeting warrant regarding the bike path easements, “It’s premature, legal is working on it, it is in the process.”

            In the good news category, Kelleher said that 100% design of Phase 1B was now in review by the Department of Transportation – a process that takes up to 90 days – but that T.I.P funding (Transportation Improvement Program) was committed. The amount awarded to Phase 1B of the Mattapoisett Bike Path is $4.5 million.

Now that the plans have been completed, Kelleher said it was time to work more closely with both the building department and conservation commission to ensure full compliance with those governing entities.

Long-time advocate, committee member and organizer Bonne DaSousa updated the group on safety issues at the intersections of Mattapoisett Neck Road and Brandt Island Road.

DaSousa said an ad hoc committee set up by the selectmen to review safety issues and solutions at those two intersections had uncovered yet another “very complicated” process. She said that in the absence of a fully engineered plan – one executed by a “traffic engineer” – the state would not consider or allow the town to make changes.

“Any changes have got to comply with the uniform traffic control division … it’s more confusing than you can imagine…” DaSousa said.

DaSousa explained that the federal government oversees all manner of traffic safety signage to ensure national uniformity. “We have to spend the money to do a traffic study then get it blessed,” she said.

The selectmen had hoped to provide motorists and bicyclists with additional safety measures at the two intersections based on concerns that both categories of users were at risk.         The speed limit on Mattapoisett Neck Road is 40 miles per hour and 35 miles per hour on Brandt Island Road. Ad hoc committee member Police Chief Mary Lyons had investigated various types of traffic signs from lighted portable speed displays to new paint colors on crosswalks. And while both the committee and the selectmen were eager to provide new visual safety measures, changes cannot be made at the local level without first receiving federal permission, DaSousa stated.

DaSousa also shared that the Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path, a private group supporting the town committee, was planning fund raisers to help finance the bike path where it crosses through the Mattapoisett Industrial Park acreage. “We are not ready for a public discussion on this yet,” DaSousa said, “…but are committed to paving…” a half-mile stretch in this area.

DaSousa emphasized in a follow up to the meeting that, “People think of bicycling as recreation, but in Boston it is critical for getting cars off the road.” She said, “Our young people are going to be moving to urban areas … they need to know how to share the road … road safety is critical.”

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Bike Path Committee is scheduled for April 13 at 7:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell

 

Rochester Rabies Clinic

The Rochester Rabies Clinic will be held on Sunday, April 9 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm at the Grange Hall on Hartley Road in Rochester. Shots are $12 each and will be given by Dr. J. Brito, DVM. Licensing will be available for Rochester residents: $10 for intact males or unspayed females; $7 for spayed or neutered. All animals must be properly restrained, with dogs on leashes and cats in carriers. Contact Rochester ACO Anne Estabrook at 508-649-9813 with any questions, and know that all are welcome to this event.

UCT Golf Tournament

The Bette-Lee Marsland / Upper Cape Tech Golf Tournament will be held at the Falmouth Country Club on Sunday, June 11 with 7:00 am registration and 8:00 am shotgun start.

This is our 20th annual golf tournament and we need your help in the way of teams and sponsors. If registered by May 19, cost is $120 per player. After May 19, it will be $130 per player. Cost includes golf, carts, high-quality golf apparel, great prizes and raffles, and a BBQ lunch catered by the chefs of the Upper Cape Tech Culinary Arts Department.

One hundred percent of the proceeds go to the students in the way of scholarships and financial assistance. Please support the students who will support the communities of Cape Cod in the future. Please contact Roland Poliseno at 508-759-7711 ext. 233 with any questions.

For further information and registration, please visit www.uppercapetech.com.

Thoughts on the Arts

To the Editor:

No doubt you’ve heard this before. New Bedford is a hotbed of the arts. Not long ago, the Massachusetts Cultural Council declared the city the “most creative community” in the state. Previously, The Atlantic Monthly magazine named New Bedford the “Most Artistic City in America.”

It abounds with a plethora of artists, galleries, the UMass Dartmouth Fine Arts Department, film makers, numerous theater and performing arts groups, a fine symphony orchestra, cultural collaboratives, and museums.

One might think an affluent community in close proximity to such a beacon of the arts might reflect an appreciation for the potential the arts offer to the education of their children and to the prestige of the community in general. Alas, in our special community to the east, not so much.

Each year when budget season rolls around, the arts are invariably perceived to be expendable. Whether it be a town organization or the school department, the arts are always the first to be threatened with a trip to the chopping block.

The Old Rochester Regional School Committee’s Budget Sub-committee is recommending a 4.7 percent increase over the current budget which to their credit includes, along with other upgrades and services, making a part-time art teacher full-time. However, the district has been informed by the towns’ leaders to expect significantly less. The result … wait for it … would be to drop one high school art teacher back to part time and to cut the junior high’s music teacher, resulting in the elimination of the school’s band and music program.

It is ironic that just as the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced in February that the arts are “integral to what determines a successful school in the Commonwealth” and that “access and participation in arts education be included in Massachusetts Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as a strategy to broaden the curriculum for every Massachusetts child,” Old Rochester succumbs to using cuts in the arts as a threat.

Adding insult to injury, the School Committee has been told that the Old Rochester Community Television (ORCTV), whose studios are housed at the high school, will no longer fund the district’s schools’ video programs which it has done for a number of years resulting in … wait for it again … the likely disappearance of all video classes at the high school and programs at the elementary schools. Considering that the video production classes are the only ones that encompass all learning disciplines including art, music, reading, writing and performing not to mention technology as well as learning styles which include visual, aural, linguistic and kinetic, this would be a significant loss.

Whether these important curricula will be lost remains to be seen. Their demise would be another blow to the arts, the overall curriculum and the district standing academically. Having served on a school committee and on numerous statewide arts advocacy boards, I understand that this is the first skirmish in a long budgetary battle which will result in some sort of compromise. Nevertheless, this mindset that the first to go are the arts must change if the community expects to maintain a viable educational program in our schools.

With current regime in Washington threatening to cut the National Endowment for the Arts, those who count the arts as expendable will be emboldened. The struggle to support creativity in schools and communities will go on. It is up to the education leadership and the fiscal decision makers to recognize that the arts in schools must have consistent funding and status along with the other core subjects of Science, Technology, English, and Math.

The arts may be losing support in Washington, but here in Massachusetts it is finding it at the highest levels. The tri-town communities would do well to learn, as their counterparts across the State and nearby have, that a commitment to achieve the goal of returning the arts to their rightful place in the community and “integral to what determines a successful school in our children’s education” is the right thing to do. But, you’ve heard all this before.

Dick Morgado, Mattapoisett

 

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.

ZBA Unsure of Proceeding with Conversion Request

Town counsel for the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals on March 9 was unable to give sound legal advice on how to handle an applicant’s request to deny the special permit request to convert to a two-family, with a subsequent request to approve a kitchen to be built in an addition built to be inhabited by the owners’ adult children. The hearing was continued so that attorney Barbara Carboni could look further into the matter.

Engineer David Davignon represented the owners, listed only as 418 Point Road Trust. Davignon said the building commissioner issued a building permit for an addition to the main house, but constructing a kitchen was prohibited because an addition that contains “a place to sleep,” a bathroom, living space, and a kitchen is considered an apartment and not able to be permitted without ZBA approval.

What the owners did was begin construction of the addition according to the building permit conditions and connected the structure to the main house via a covered breezeway. Davignon now requested, for lack of a better solution to get the space needed to house the owners’ grown daughters when they visit, that the board deny the original special permit application in order to now allow the kitchen for the in-law type space.

“The site is being built; it is not the intention of the applicant to rent the addition, and the sole purpose of the addition is for overflow space for family,” Davignon said, offering up signed affidavits from the owners for assurance.

For a conversion to a two-family, an accessory apartment must be no more that 1,200 square feet and located within the principal structure or in an existing accessory structure, such as a garage. The new construction is 2,400 square feet and is a new structure; thus, under the town bylaw, it is not allowed for a conversion.

“We’re here for a kitchen to be placed in that proposed dwelling,” said Davignon. “We didn’t want to classify it as a two-family … but it was the only mechanism to get it on the docket.”

ZBA Chairman Marc Leblanc turned to Building Commissioner Scott Shippey and asked, “The second kitchen is only allowable if deemed an auxiliary unit?”

Shippey said the new addition could be used as a separate dwelling because it is separated by a breezeway. It has two points of egress, a place to cook, a bathroom, and at least one bedroom. “So it could be considered a two-family,” said Shippey. “However, there are a lot of houses that have two kitchens in it but don’t have other points,” he added, such as two entrances.

“But if it acts like a duck, then it’s a duck?” Leblanc said.

Carboni said she needed to give some more thought before issuing any advice on how the board should proceed on this unique situation, calling it a conundrum.

“Ideally, I would have some time to look at the issue so that I could advise the board if there are alternatives, if there is some sort of relief that can be granted,” said Carboni. “I wouldn’t want to do it on the fly.”

There was talk about future sale of the property and how a new owner might interpret the property as a two-family residence, although permits for two-family residences are not transferrable.

Attorney for the property owner, Gregory Aceto, said he is aware of the controversy two-family conversions create in Marion, but asked the board to please find something in the bylaw that would allow the kitchen in the addition, emphasizing the use of affidavits to ensure the space would never be rented out.

“If you spy anything in the bylaw, a legal argument about relief…” said Aceto, “because we can’t find anything that fits this conundrum that we have. I’m not sure I really have a legal argument to demand the kitchen.”

The board expressed a desire to cooperate with the property owners in some way, but Shippey cautioned the board, and the petitioners, that if the board denies the special permit as requested and was unable to subsequently approve the kitchen, then the applicant would be barred from applying for a special permit for two years.

“I just don’t want to offer an opinion that’s not well-grounded at this point,” Carboni said.

The hearing was continued until March 23 at 7:45 pm.

Also continued, at the applicant’s request and to the chagrin of a number of abutters and residents wishing to voice their opposition to the project, was the public hearing for Christian Loranger’s application to build a 12-unit condo at 324 Front Street. That hearing was rescheduled for March 23 at 7:30 pm.

The next meeting of the Marion Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for March 23 at 7:30 pm.

By Jean Perry

Old Colony Welcomes World-Famous Autism Expert

She’s a household name to educators and parents of kids with autism, and a well-known author, professor of animal science at Colorado State University and spokesperson for autism.

Dr. Temple Grandin gave a presentation to a packed gymnasium at Old Colony RVTHS on Saturday, March 11. She’s easy to recognize, standing at the podium in her signature embroidered cowgirl shirt, bolo-style tie, and western belt buckle.

Having autism herself, she knows all about having a “different kind of mind.” Her message that day was a simple one: “The world needs different kinds of minds.”

The problem, says Grandin, is that the unique minds, the visionary minds, the ones “that have a little bit of autism,” which in turn “gives you a little more intelligence,” are down in the basement addicted to video games instead of gaining exposure to other possible interests, trades, and skills for which these minds are particularly gifted.

Grandin said that she herself was a bored student in school for the most part. The teachers she considered good teachers, however, introduced her to all types of hands-on learning – the kind of learning that is being cut from schools more often in America – including music and art, words which elicited supportive applause from the audience.

“Which is a terrible thing to do,” said Grandin, adding that the arts and “building things” are what cultivate the minds of Nobel Prize recipients. “The things that are taken out of school are the things that win Nobel prizes.”

The Asperger’s individuals, the autistics, the nerds – “the quirky people” – says Grandin, are irreplaceable in this world.

Those like Jane Goodall who, with a two-year secondary degree “went through the back door,” and without conventional education became an expert on chimpanzees. Then there’s Thomas Edison, deemed “hyperactive” and “addled,” a high school dropout on the autism spectrum, said Grandin. There is also Stephen Spielberg, who suffered with dyslexia and was rejected from film school – all people with different minds who made a difference by becoming great through unconventional ways around conventional education.

The way to success for these students, said Grandin, is exposure to interests and trades that cannot be replaced by highly specialized artificial intelligence in the future, and getting kids off the video games.

“Let’s get them addicted to things that can get them jobs,” said Grandin. Books, reading, Legos, she said. “Let’s get them beyond Legos. You got to find out what they’re interested in.”

Grandin believes the outcome is horrible for the child who remains in the basement playing video games, when parents and teachers should really be pushing trades such as mechanics and electronics, things that the different mind is equipped to build.

Early exposure to work outside the home is crucial, Grandin emphasized, especially to jobs that can help build a portfolio so the young adult can sell their work instead of relying on job applications and interviews where those with limited social skills might falter.

“The world needs us visual thinkers,” said Grandin. “Many are shunted into special education because they can’t do the tests. A lot of visual thinkers are ending up in the basement.”

And many of these kids are not gaining the basic skills they need, such as shopping, said Grandin. “We need to show them the real world is a lot more interesting than video games.”

“I would’ve been a prime candidate for video games,” said Grandin about how her brain works, but luckily, growing up in the 50s, she was taught manners, life skills, and was given opportunities by dedicated parents and teachers to explore her interests.

Grandin asserted, “They’ve got to learn how to work. That’s one of the biggest things that I’m seeing.”

“The world needs all kinds of minds,” she said, opening herself up to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Old Colony Superintendent-Director Aaron Polansky asked all teachers in the audience to stand, accounting for nearly half of those in attendance.

“It tells a story when you look out into the crowd and you see all the teachers here on behalf of their students,” said Polansky.

Polansky said that it was important to bring Temple Grandin to Old Colony because her message fits in with the philosophy of the school. The school received a grant from the Greater New Bedford Work Investment Board, which helped fund Grandin’s visit.

By Jean Perry

 

John,”jack” Kilgour

John,”jack” Kilgour 75, of Marion died on St. Patrick’s Day at home. The day was most appropriate since Jack loved taking part in all things Irish, even though years later he learned his heritage was more Scottish and less Irish. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Maryann, his father John J Kilgour, his loving daughter Holly Rae Nadeau, two sisters, Denise Hubert and Noreen Lusco, two brothers Lawrence Kilgour and Thomas Till, his aunt Marie Molongoski, and 4 grandchildren.

Jack served the New Bedford Public Schools for 41 years, first as a teacher, then vice principal, principal, and finally as Director of Adult Education. He retired in 2000.

He was passionate about cooking and created Italian dishes with tips from friends and by watching cooking shows on TV. He developed a red pasta sauce that could rival anything that Martha Stewart could make.

He loved to golf and was a member of Fall River Country Club and Reservation Golf Club. He was a very competitive player and was proud of his sandtrap skills.

A martini was not a martini unless it was …”A Chopin martini, extra dry, ice cold,shaken, straight up, rocks on the side with 3 blue cheese stuffed olives.”

Jack had a wonderful voice and always had music in his heart. It was not unusual for him to break out in a song to entertain a group. Amazingly, he knew all the words to many old songs.

He loved traveling with his wife especially to Maine and Bermuda.

His family and friends would describe him as a sincere, passionate, man with strong convictions. If you wanted an honest opinion you would ask Jack.

He was deeply loved and will be missed by his siblings. He brought a tremendous amount of joy and laughter into their lives.

In accordance to his wishes, he will be cremated and his ashes will be mixed with his beloved cats , Scotch and Soda , and spread over his favorite places.

To give the family time to grieve privately, a celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
Special thanks to Community Nurse Home Care of Fairhaven who thoroughly supported and anticipated the family’s every need.

Left Right Center Fundraiser

The Rochester Women’s Club is pleased to announce the return of our Left Right Center Fundraiser. This is our second year hosting this fun-filled event to support our scholarship fund.

Please come down to The Ponderosa (242 Robinson Road, Acushnet) on Saturday, April 29 at 7:00 pm to join in on the fun. The Women’s Club will provide snacks. Cash bar will be available. Call Dee at 508-763-4748 for more details.

Rochester Town-Wide Cleanup

The Rochester Women’s Club is again sponsoring a town-wide cleanup to celebrate Earth Day.

Come to the clubhouse at 37 Marion Road in Rochester to pick up trash collection bags and gloves on Saturday, April 22 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. There will be coffee and donuts on a first come, first served basis.

In conjunction with this event, the Rochester Land Trust will be collecting old electronic items, also at the clubhouse during the same hours.

Among the accepted items will be computers, monitors, appliances and TVs. If it has an engine, motor or can be plugged in, it is electronic trash and can be dropped off. A fee will be charged for certain items.

Call Norene at 508-763-3628 for more details on this collection.