Principal Makes Good on Promise

He sacrificed one of the most precious of grown-up commodities, a good night’s sleep, in the name of stamping out hunger in the community – “canning hunger in the community,” to be precise.

Kevin Tavares, associate principal for the Mattapoisett Public Schools, made good on his promise to spend an entire night on the roof of Center School if the students could surpass the number of canned goods Tavares had purchased for a food drive at the school. The students needed 481 to top Tavares’ 480, but before the June 17 deadline, they had collected over 800 canned and nonperishable goods.

So on June 18, before the last bell rang for the day, Tavares climbed out a window onto the roof of the school. He pitched his tent, and positioned himself, ready to wave goodbye to the students as they boarded their busses to leave on the last school night of the school year.

“I probably should have practiced making this tent,” Tavares said, fumbling with the poles, the tent flapping in the breeze.

Sure, a few colleagues heckled him for having what they considered “luxuries,” which meant a tent, air mattress, lantern, and, a chair.

“I don’t have an air mattress,” said Tavares, (wink wink).

And then the kids filed out of the building to board the busses that had just pulled up alongside the building. Tavares watched from above.

“Mr. T! Mr. T! Mr. T!” the children chanted from below. You could hear kids laughing and saying things like, “We love Mr. T!” and “Mr. T you’re crazy!” as Tavares looked down at them from the ledge, waving and smiling, and wondering how he was going to keep his second end of the bargain – to match what the students raised before the 8:30 am deadline the next morning when he was scheduled to descend from the rooftop.

The community, Tavares’ family, the Fire and Police Departments, and even a local television news film crew showed up all throughout the evening, until almost midnight, Tavares said during an 8:00 am call from his cellphone. Tavares said the police and fire brought about 340 canned goods with them.

“The community really stepped up to support this. Even former students,” said Tavares. “It was nice to see them, too.”

Tavares met his goal, and the final total of canned goods surpassed 1,000.

“It really was a special night,” said Tavares. “I’m just really looking forward to a shower.”

When asked how he would manage to top this challenge next year, Tavares said he wasn’t quite sure, but he will definitely have to raise the bar again for next year.

By Jean Perry


Academic Achievements

The following area residents have been named to the Dean’s List at Providence College for the Spring 2015 semester:

– Haley Frade of Marion and a member of the class of 2015

– Meghan Kelly of Mattapoisett and a member of the class of 2015

– Madison Lees of Mattapoisett and a member of the class of 2015

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must achieve at least a 3.55 grade point average with a minimum of 12 credits.

The following Tri-Town residents were named to the Spring 2015 Dean’s List at Stonehill College:

– Madison Costa of Rochester

– Zachary Mathews of Mattapoisett

To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must have a semester grade point average of 3.50 or better and must have completed successfully all courses for which they were registered.

Katherine Medeiros of Mattapoisett, a member of the class of 2015, has been named to Assumption College’s Dean’s List, one of the school’s highest academic honors. To earn a spot on the Dean’s List, Assumption students must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 for a five-class, 15-credit semester.

Athletic Achievements

Sean Murphy of Mattapoisett was one of 29 student-athletes to earn a major award at WPI Athletics’ annual banquet. The Poly Club Award, presented to the top male athlete in the junior class who has outstanding academic records along with campus involvement of a non-athletic nature, was awarded to Murphy.

Murphy was a human highlight reel as a defensive back for the Engineers this past season. He was a finalist for the GEICO Play of the Year with his 95-yard interception return for a TD against Curry. Then, not to be out done the following week, he returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a TD against Worcester State. Sean was named All-Liberty League Player of the Week and led the Engineers in interceptions and passes defensed. In the classroom, he maintains a 3.12 GPA with a major in biomedical engineering and just completed his IQP project down under in Australia. Sean is visible in the community as well, as he is a major component of the WPI football’s community service initiative with Burncoat Prep and is a member of Team IMPACT.

Tai Chi Classes

The Marion Council on Aging and Recreation Department are offering Tai Chi classes beginning June 30 and running for eight weeks for only $50 per class. You may sign up for a Tuesday class at 4:00 or 6:00 pm or a Thursday morning class at 11:00 am. This is a very popular class and space is limited. Please send a check payable to the Marion Recreation Department and mail to the COA at 2 Spring St., Marion, MA 02738. Call 508 748-3570 for more information.

Acushnet Road Repair Inching Again

Ken Motta, senior project manager of Field Engineering, came before the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission on June 22 seeking an Order of Conditions for the massive culvert and road repair project that residents have been waiting for – often angrily. But on this night, it was all systems go for this long anticipated work.

Motta provided details ranging from Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection regulations to wetlands remediation plans to river ways guidelines.

“Every attempt will be made to reuse stones from the channel,” said Motta, a nod to the Historical Commission’s request that the remnants of the mill that once stood on the site – large granite pieces – be either left in place or repurposed to help cover the box culvert.

Motta said that 500 feet of Acushnet Road are to be repaired, requiring widening of the roadway to meet Massachusetts Department of Transportation standards, which also requires wetlands remediation. The DOT requires that the road be widened to 11-foot lanes with three-foot shared-use lanes. The shared-use lanes are for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Rounding out the long list of agencies overseeing and controlling the work is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their involvement deals with the river flow. “Hydraulic efficiencies will be made to help water flow,” Motta said.

Commission member Peter Newton inquired as to how river flow will be managed during construction. Motta replied that Tinkham Pond flumes will be opened to lower water levels and sandbag-style temporary check dams will also be used to control water flow. He said that this process would take about two or three days.

Newton also asked when the wetlands replication work would take place. Motta said that the roadwork will be started first while awaiting the delivery of the culvert to the site and remediation immediately afterwards. He hopes to have remediation completed during the fall.

Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold said, “This is a very visible site, so it’s important that the replication area be done right.”

“This is an important project,” said Chairman Robert Rogers. “A lot of complex details.”

Motta said that the engineered drawing and volumes of documentation are now in the hands of both local and Boston-based offices of the DEP.

An Order of Conditions was issued.

The board members also heard from Leidhold regarding several potential wetlands violations. She had received a concerned notification from the DEP regarding what appears to be a random piling being placed in the water near 56 Ocean Drive. The contractor who installed the piling had reported to the DEP that there was a permit. None has yet been found. Rogers instructed Leidhold to send the property owners a letter requesting their attendance at the next Conservation Commission meeting and to bring in the permit to confirm they are not in violation of any regulations.

Leidhold also brought up possible violations occurring at 21 Meadowbrook Lane, a property owned by Marion resident Elliot Koffman. Abutting neighbor, Ed Camara, 34 Meadowbrook, told the commission that a year ago he informed the harbormaster that a long row of wooden pallets were being used as a walkway through the marshlands so that the residents renting the house could access their boats. Rogers asked Leidhold to send a letter to the property owners and the residents advising them of the violation and the need to repair the damage.

Leidhold also asked if the commission members would agree to send a letter to the partners of Blue Wave, LLC regarding clearing near wetlands lines along the Tinkham Road solar farm off North Street. She said the area in question needs to be stabilized so that stormwater runoff doesn’t continue to erode the landscape.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for July 13 at 6:30 pm in the Mattapoisett Town Hall meeting room.

By Marilou Newell


Good Stuff

My father was the TV man. Not unlike the shoemaker and his shoeless children, there were times when our television required a swift smack on the side of the cabinet to make the black and white picture flicker into focus and sometimes there was a small portable TV on top of a dead floor model, but usually we were bathed in the blue glow of a working TV.

In his private bedroom, he would always have some beat-up jury-rigged TV for his own use. In this retreat he would watch “The Lawrence Welk Show” or “Hee Haw.” His taste ran to country and western twangers or folk tunes. To this day, I remember the following verse, “Cig-er-ettes and whiskey and wild, wild women; they’ll drive you crazy, they’ll drive you insane – hee haw…” Thank you, Buck Owens.

Dad had an impoverished childhood. Basic needs were sometimes not met, including food. The dad I knew spent his entire life focused on securing funds by fixing televisions and other things in order to provide food for his family.

Fish and chips, as far as Dad was concerned, was the ultimate meal. Better than Thanksgiving and Christmas put together, he loved fried fish and chips.

In his later years, after the head injury and the slow but steady disintegration of his mental functioning, he remained delighted when a plate of fried fish and French fries was placed in front of him. If you added in a cup of clam chowder, he was elevated to heaven on earth.

Nothing brought Dad greater pleasure than when I would take him out to his favorite restaurant where he would feast on a hot cup of coffee, cup of chowder, and a massive plate of fish and chips. He’d eat it all, not a crumb would be left on his plate while declaring throughout the meal “This is good stuff.”

Dad made his last stand in a nursing home, a place he always called “the end of the world.” I arrived after work one evening for a visit to learn he had been banned from the dining room for some sort of inappropriate behavior. He had not yet received a tray that would be delivered to his room. He wasn’t upset, but he was firm that whatever crap they’d bring him would not be worth the wait. I knew what his answer would be, but I asked him anyway. “What do you want to eat?”

I returned about 30 minutes later with two full orders of fish and chips and two cups of chowder. Dad had insisted that ‘his friend,’ his roommate, be served as well. After setting up their food on rolling tray tables, I watched these two old gents tuck into the food as if starved for weeks. They would occasionally look up at each other, oblivious to my presence, grin and nod in acknowledgement that the food was good.

When they were done, I cleaned up the take-out containers, wiped their mouths with warm face clothes, and asked if I could get them anything else. The roommate was already nodding off in his wheelchair. Dad didn’t answer right away. He was lost in thought or just lost. I patted his hand to bring him back to the present. He looked up at me and said, “Thanks. That was good stuff.” It would be the last real meal both men would share together. The roommate passed away two days later.

The blue glow from the wall-mounted TV illuminated Dad’s aged face. After a moment, he turned his eyes towards the TV and smiled. It was a rerun of “The Lawrence Welk Show.” I left him sitting there comfortably satiated and peacefully enjoying the TV. He no longer wanted for anything. I had given him “the good stuff,” just as he had always tried to give me.

By Marilou Newell


Proposed Gas Station

Dear Editor:

While watching the Monday, June 15 Planning Board meeting, it was disturbing to hear that the proposed gas station at 439 Wareham Road will contain a convenience store, have at least 34 parking spaces, two curb cuts on Route 6 and two curb cuts on Mill Street, as well as a 24/7 ‘Anytime Fitness Center,’ and then, G.A.F. engineer, Bob Rogers announced, “There’s a real desire to make this friendly to trucks and vehicles with boats.”

I live in the senior housing and handicapped complex known as Marconi Village directly across the street from the proposed gas station, and I did not hear our Planning Board ask the tough questions that would protect seniors. So, let me help them: a. How will this gas station protect and enhance the character and quality of life for its Marconi Village and Mill Street neighbors? b. How will this proposed gas station strengthen the pedestrian environment? From my perspective, the two curb cuts on Mill Street will take away from pedestrian safety; c. How will this proposed gas station provide the needed flexibility to respond to unique conditions and constraints inherent to the neighborhood; and d. How do the owners of this proposed gas station and convenience store with a 24/7 ‘Anytime Fitness Center’ plan to minimize the negative impacts for adjacent neighbors resulting from on-site activities?

Marconi Village’s once quiet and peaceful environment has evaporated into an island of noise with the pervasive heavy traffic on Route 6, Atlantis Avenue, Mill Street and now, more inescapable noise – gas station/fitness center customers talking loudly and slamming car and truck doors all day and into the middle of the night. There will be huge tractor trailer trucks delivering gasoline, acrid fumes and the potential for fuel spills. The Planning Board must explain how this gas station will protect and enhance the character and quality of life for its Marconi Village and Mill Street neighbors.

At that Planning Board meeting, Michael Popitz, a physician, seemed exceptionally concerned about a proposed solar farm being built in the middle of the woods off Tucker Lane, and the possibility that a noise level of 60 decibels (dB) emanating from the site or the sound equivalent of a normal conversation at three feet might disturb people who live one half to two thirds of a football field away (solar panels produce power only when the sun is shining, thus inverters would be completely silent at night). I sure hope Dr. Popitz can summon the political will and the courage to stand up and show that same concern for Marconi Village seniors, because when compared to the noise level of a normal conversation at three feet, the chronic and inescapable noise from heavy traffic (85 dB), tractor trailer trucks (81-94 dB) and car horns (110 dB) could really drive a neighborhood to distraction.

Let me be clear, I understand the enthusiasm for this gas station especially after hearing glib comments that some “love this style” of building and find it “very tasteful.” However, I am asking the Planning Board to think a little deeper and harder and with more compassion about what this project really means to Marconi Village seniors. There is more to a successful business model than “love this style” and “It’s very tasteful.” We deserve a more thoughtful and robust discussion and a more respectful business model that causes harm to no one and is beneficial to everyone.


Gwendolen Breault, Marion


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.

Summer Reading Program Kicks Off

“Be a Hero Every Day!” is the theme of this year’s summer reading program for children, and registration is ongoing in the Mattapoisett Library’s Children’s Department. Sign up and receive a hero lanyard, reading hours card, and the schedule of activities for ages toddler through sixth grade.

The Wareham Gatemen will read to children and sign autographs on Wednesday, July 1 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm. No registration is required, and all ages are welcome. A craft project will also be available.

Well-known storyteller Rona Leventhal will present “Heromania! Stories of Heroes Big and Small” for ages five and up on Wednesday, July 15 at 11:00 am. Rona will take the audience on a journey around the world and back with her pocket full of stores of heroes and heroines of all shapes and sizes. Be ready for dancing, singing, and laughing! Register at the library. The program will take place in Reynauld Hall at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church on the corner of Barstow and Church Streets.

Summer reading participants who read six hours or more will be eligible for the ice cream sundae party at the end of the six-week program and will be entered into a raffle to win one of four grand prize packs filled with fun items. Those who read at least six hours will earn a free ticket to a Pawtucket Red Sox game.

Readers report their reading hours each week and earn points that translate into donations from a generous local family to four different local non-profits that benefit the Mattapoisett community. Stop in and learn more about these worthy efforts and how you can help.

Each week during the program there will be a drop-in craft, new “hero challenges,” Legos, computer games, and special events. Story time will be offered every Thursday at 10:30 am.

Chess Club will meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm. Both children and adults are invited to learn the game and sharpen their skills. Bring a chess set, if you have one.

Teen Events and Programs: “Unmask” is the Summer Reading theme for older students. Stop by the Student Lounge upstairs to meet friends and find books on the summer reading list and new titles just published. This is also the place to find DVDs, video games and graphic novels. Make your own buttons and enjoy the cereal bar.

Student Writers and Artists: On Tuesday, June 30 from 2:20 to 3:15 pm, learn how to submit your writing or photos of your artwork to The Marble Collection, the Massachusetts High School Magazine of the Arts. Get tips on how to have your work selected. Adults who mentor student writers and artists are also encouraged to attend. Refreshments are being served, so please sign up by calling 508-758-4171 or emailing Liz Sherry at

During Harbor Days on July 17 & 18, visit the MOBY Fair on the library lawn. Come and see what all the My Own BackYard project buzz is about. New backpacks are chock full of equipment, books and activities on an array of natural science subjects, including rock hounding, camping, organic gardening, invasive species, letterboxing, nature journals and more. Pan for gold, make structures with sticks and stones, all in the name of science! While perusing the cool stuff, enjoy a root beer float.

Comic Con rules at the library all day on Saturday, July 25, so start organizing your stash of comics for our comic book exchange. Each participant in the exchange is eligible for the drawing of new graphic novels and more. Celebrate comic culture and test your skills with Dr. Who Trivia. Have your photo taken in the Tardis instant photo booth. Sponsored by New England Comics, Time Capsule Comics, and The Boston Superheroes.

Thousands of additional ebooks are now available. Mattapoisett Library patrons have three additional collections of ebooks and videos to browse, thanks to participation in the state’s ebook project. Fiction and non-fiction titles can be downloaded to most devices. All that is needed is a Mattapoisett Library card. Stop in for more information or visit the library’s website at

Friends of the Library Used Book Sale: The next used book sale will be held the week of Harbor Days, July 16-18 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Members of the Friends are invited to the Preview Sale on Wednesday, July 15 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The Friends continue to accept book and DVD donations in good condition any day the library is open.

Knitting Club: Knitters – both experienced and beginner – gather every Thursday from 3:00 to 4:30 pm in the downstairs meeting room. Anyone of any age is welcome to join in. Knitting needles and yarn are available so new knitters can give it a try.

Signing Savvy: Want to learn sign language to communicate more effectively with a hearing-impaired person or to begin a fun way to communicate with your baby or toddler? Visit the library’s website with your Mattapoisett Library card and select “Signing Savvy” on the left side of the home page. The free program enables searches for words and phrases you want to learn and saves your list of new signs.

Jillian Zucco to Compete for Miss Massachusetts

The 76th annual Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant is Friday, June 26 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, June 28 at 3:00 pm at the beautifully restored Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester. This is the seventh year that the pageant has taken place in Worcester, having previously been held in Fall River and New Bedford.

This year’s pageant will include Jillian Zucco, Miss Middleboro 2015. A resident of Mattapoisett, Jillian is a 22-year old senior at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where she is in the Honors Nursing program. She graduated in 2011 from Old Rochester Regional High School. Jillian is the daughter of Kelly and John Zucco of Mattapoisett.

Again this year at the state pageant, supporters may help select the Eleventh Finalist for Sunday’s show with the Online Voting. For a minimum vote of only $1, fans may visit the Miss Massachusetts website and cast their vote for the contestant of their choice who they would like to see as the eleventh finalist. Each dollar that is donated counts as one vote. Online voting is now taking place and will end at midnight on Friday, June 26. For more details, visit and click on the Online Voting link.

Keel Awards

The Wanderer is pleased once again to announce that we are soliciting nominations for our 20th annual “Wanderer Keel Awards.” The yearly community service honor – which is presented to one Tri-Town resident from each of the three central towns in our circulation area – will be announced in our July 30 edition, and each winner will be the subject of a short feature highlighting their contributions to the local community. But The Wanderer needs your help in selecting these “unsung heroes.”

The requirements are simple. Nominees must be legal residents, for at least five years, of Mattapoisett, Marion or Rochester and must have contributed in some way to the overall benefit of the community – either directly to town residents, or indirectly through efforts in promoting town activities, or working to keep the wheels of local government well oiled. The only restriction is that these persons cannot benefit from their efforts in any other way – either financially or politically (hence, sitting elected officials are not eligible).

In doing this, we hope to applaud those who are rarely recognized for their countless hours of service and focus on the many people behind the scenes who remain otherwise anonymous, but provide crucial support to many town functions. Like the keel of a ship, which keeps the vessel from capsizing, the recipients of the Annual Wanderer Keel Award will be recognized for their stalwart efforts in keeping the community on an “even keel.”

Past recipients of this honor include:

MATTAPOISETT: Maurice “Mudgie” Tavares (1994); Priscilla Alden Hathaway (1995); Norma Holt (1996); Gale Hudson (1997); Kenneth Stickney (1998); Clara Morgan (1999); Betty and Bert Theriault (2000); John N. “Jack” DeCosta (2001); Jo Pannell (2002); Stan Ellis (2003); Evelyn Pursley (2004); Luice Moncevitch (2005); Seth Mendell (2006); Bradford A. Hathaway (2007); Kim Field (2008), David Spencer Jenny (2009), Stephen L. Kelleher (2010), Bento Martin (2011), Howard C. Tinkham (2012), Ellen Flynn (2013), Jennifer Shepley (2014).

MARION: Claire Russell (1994); Ralph and Phyllis Washburn (1995); Annie Giberti (1996); Jay Crowley (1997); Tyler Blethen (1998); Olive E. Harris (1999, posthumously); Kathleen P. “Kay” Reis (2000); Loretta B. “Lori” Schaefer (2001); Ann and Warren Washburn (2002); Andrew Santos Sr. (2003); Eunice Manduca (2004); Annie Giberti (2005); A. Lee Hayes (2006); Horace “Hod” Kenney (2007); Margie Baldwin (2008), Jack Beck (2009), Dr. John Russell (2010), Jane McCarthy (2011), Nancy Braitmeyer (2012), Rodney Hunt (2013), Hanna Milhench (2014).

ROCHESTER: Joseph McCarthy (1994); Jean Fennell (1995); Katherine Hartley Church (1996); Chris Byron (1997); Albert Alderson (1998); Arthur and Aline Lionberger (1999); Kenneth E. Daggett (2000); Georgia D. Chamberlain (2001); Mary P. Wynne (2002); Evelyn F. Benner (2003); Mike Meunier Sr. (2004); Arthur F. Benner (2005); Pamela J. Robinson (2006); Anna E. White (2007); John E. Lafreniere (2008), Cathy Mendoza (2009), Kate Tarleton (2010), John Cobb (2011), Thomas Goyoski Jr. (2012), Kevin Woodward (2013), Kate Lanagan MacGregor (2014).

Please send the name, address and telephone number of recommended nominees, along with a brief description of their key contributions to the community and why you feel they are deserving of this honor to: Keel Award, The Wanderer, P.O. Box 102, Mattapoisett, MA 02739, or e-mail your submissions to

The deadline for nominations is Thursday, July 23 at 3:00 pm. Selected recipients will be announced in the July 30 edition.