Sprague’s Cove

To the Editor:

I attended last Monday’s Selectmen’s meeting on Sprague’s Cove. I came out baffled.

I have a big question for the ConCom – Why do you discount and ignore the vote at the last Town Meeting that denied you the funds to keep on poisoning phragmites?

You killed absolutely EVERYTHING down there when you say you needed to kill the phragmites.

You ripped out the cedars, willows, beach plums, tupelos, oaks, maples, wildflowers, and on and on … over 35 varieties of plants.

You sought advice from the designers, ignored their advice, and stubbornly kept insisting that phragmites are ruining the basin’s function.

You didn’t read the plans (perhaps you can’t read plans) of the basin and you didn’t clean out the exit pipes as your own management plans told you to.

You cut all the willows that kept the geese away, when your own management plan said not to.

You didn’t realize that the water level was too high, making the basin almost 50% smaller. If you could read plans, you would have seen this from a quick look at them.

Your track record is horrible. Why don’t you throw in the towel?

Annie Rockwell, 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.

Dogs Continue to Cause Nuisance

The incessant barking from a residential kennel remains ongoing after over a year of complaints, and the Rochester Board of Selectmen offered no concrete solution for the matter, choosing instead to take the issue under advisement and consult with town counsel before taking action.

Neighbors of Liberal and Melinda Teixeira of 368 North Avenue testified August 25 before the selectmen that the dogs belonging to the couple continue to cause a nuisance with their barking. Since June 20, 2014 neighbors have called in over ten complaints to police about the noise that one neighbor called “extreme.”

“We’ve tried to be good neighbors,” said Rosemary Boling who lives across the street from the Teixeira property. She said she did not want to call in complaints about the noise and wanted to work with the neighbors, “but this has just been so ongoing.”

Boling offered to play some recordings she took of the dogs barking for the selectmen, one of which she said was over an hour long; however, selectmen instead took neighbors’ word for it after hearing testimony from several of Teixeira’s neighbors.

This was not the first time the Teixeiras and their neighbors have come before the board regarding a dog nuisance, which dates back to September of 2013 when the Teixeiras had beagles in their kennel, which have since been removed. Selectmen offered the Teixeiras a chance to mitigate the noise, which they attempted to do by removing a number of beagles, moving the kennel 300 feet back from the house, and using bark-deterring collars and additional fencing.

Attorney Robert Moore, representing Melinda Teixeira in the absence of Mr. Teixeira, spoke for Teixeira, saying the couple seeks to resolve the problem.

“We don’t know what else we can do,” stated Moore, adding that the Teixeiras are not “calloused” and want to correct the situation. He said Ms. Teixeira recently looked into taking dog instructor classes to train the dogs not to bark as a possible solution to the problem.

The Teixeiras currently have a license to keep one small dog kennel and one hobby kennel, allowing for a total of 16 dogs on the property. They run a dog breeding business, but under the law, over four litters of pups per year are prohibited.

Selectman Naida Parker asked Teixeira how many litters there were last year, and Teixeira admitted that there was probably over four, but she could not recall how many.

“Then it rises above the hobby kennel license threshold,” said Parker. “And most people I know, know how many litters they’ve had over the year.” She said she found Teixeira’s answer possibly “disingenuous.”

Moore struggled to explain that the Teixeiras, although they breed dogs for profit, are not an actual commercial dog kennel, which requires Zoning Board of Appeals approval for a commercial business within a residential zone. He said the dog hearing was “a little intimidating” for Teixeira, which is why he was present that evening.

“It’s an open book,” said Moore. “And if we’re not in compliance then we will be.”

Parker referred to a kennel on Snipatuit Road that is a fully-enclosed structure where the dogs are kept indoors throughout the year, as opposed to the Teixeiras’ material “greenhouse-like” structure, which is more sound permeable.

“That’s the level of familiarity I’ve had with commercial kennels,” stated Parker.

Abutter to the Teixeiras, Bill Nazarro, said he barely hears the dogs bark, and blamed wildlife such as deer and turkeys for inciting the dogs to bark.

“I think it’s really quieted down,” said Nazarro, adding that he was the closest neighbor to the kennel – however, neighbors voiced their disagreement.

Alan Boling said the bottom line is that the solutions the Teixeiras previously offered up simply are not working, and the barking continues during the early morning hours as well as late at night.

“[The barking] goes on all day long. This is tough. And you can’t get back to sleep,” said Boling. “There’s just too many dogs, which is causing the barking and causing the problem.”

Moore suggested the Teixeiras head toward a fully enclosed kennel as a solution, while Chairman Brad Morse suggested ordering the Teixeiras to apply for a commercial kennel license with the ZBA.

“The system that’s working now … doesn’t seem to be working,” said Selectman Richard Nunes, adding that it must be solved. “It isn’t something that I would ever want to go through,” continued Nunes. “It is what it is – and it’s a mess.”

Nunes made a motion to compel the Teixeiras to apply with the ZBA, then retracted his motion for one allowing selectmen to take the matter under advisement, seek counsel, and continue the hearing until the next meeting.

“As the whole town knows, I’m a dog person,” said Parker. “I’m not anti-dog and I’m not anti-kennel … but it has to comply with the neighborhood.”

Morse apologized to those in attendance, saying he was sorry the board could not act faster to resolve the issue.

“We are doing our best,” said Morse. The hearing was continued until 7:10 pm on September 15.

Also during the meeting, the board greeted new Superintendent-Director of Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Frank Cote, as well as several other new staff members at the school.

“I’m excited to be the new superintendent – I think more so than anything else,” said Cote. “I look forward to a long relationship with Old Colony.”

The board also decided to put setting a date for a Special Town Meeting on the agenda for the next meeting, scheduled for September 15 at 6:30 pm at Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

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David Stephen Bettencourt

David Stephen Bettencourt, 67, of Lakeville passed away on August 19, 2014. He was the son of Manuel and Mildred (MacRae) Bettencourt. David was born in New Bedford and lived several years in Middleboro before moving to Lakeville.

David attended Old Rochester Regional High School, class of 1966. After graduating he served his country in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in the Vietnam War. David was recognized for his courageous actions during the war and after his injuries he sustained. He was an avid reader and enjoyed constructing model boats.

David is survived by his sister Sandra Jones, his brothers; Howard Pierce, Edward Pierce and Theodore Pierce and his very dear friend Cheryl DuBois and family as well as several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother Richard Bettencourt.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend David’s service at the Massachusetts National Cemetery at Otis Air National Guard Base on September 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM.

In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the local Veterans Center.

Evelyn May (Silveira) Pursley

Evelyn May (Silveira) Pursley, 92, passed peacefully at home on Monday, August 25, 2014. A lifelong resident of Mattapoisett and communicant of St. Anthony’s Church, she was the daughter of the late Antone Silveira and Carolinda (Avila) Silveira. She was the beloved wife of the late Gene Everett Pursley whom she met while serving in the US Navy.

She is predeceased by her husband, Gene (2005), and brother, Milton A. Silveira (2013). She is survived by her son, Ricky Pursley. She is also survived by three granddaughters, Carinda (Pursley) Soulos and husband, Perry; Julia (Pursley) Fill and husband, Dan; and Rianna Pursley. She is also survived by her sister, Alberta “Birdie” Silveira; nephew, Leland Silveira and wife, Lara; nephew, Doug Silveira; niece, Carolyn Krumrey and husband, Bill; nephew, Scott Silveira and wife, Susan.

Evelyn was a proud graduate of Mattapoisett Jr. H. S, 1935, Fairhaven H. S. 1938, New York Institute of Dietetics 1954, and Fitchburg State College (B.S.) 1969, Framingham State College (M. Ed.) 1972. She held Certifications from the Massachusetts Dept. of Education in Home Economics, Secondary School Instructor, Culinary Arts Chef, Guidance Counselor, and Director of Evening Adult Education. She taught Foods & Nutrition and Family Living at Fairhaven High School from 1967-1985. She was also the Director of Evening Adult Education at Fairhaven H.S. from 1974-1978. She taught at New Bedford Vocational High School – Adult Evening Practical Arts from 1955-1958 and was a substitute teacher there from 1963-1967. She taught hundreds of students during her teaching career and made a huge impact on her students’ lives. She was a member of the Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Planning & Building Committee.

Evelyn was a proud veteran of the U.S. Navy (WAVES 1943-1948, USN 1948-1952) having enlisted in 1943. She quickly rose to the rank of Chief. She served both in World War II and the Korean War, and was the recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, American Area Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal. While serving at the N.T.S. Hunter College NY in 1943, her WAVES unit was passed in review by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. This past year, she was awarded her 60-year continuous membership in the Florence Eastman Post 280 American Legion, Mattapoisett. She was the first Woman Commander of Post 280, Past President WAVES National Unit 18 Cape Cod, and Charter Member – Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation (1991) in Washington, DC.

Evelyn was the Past President Massachusetts Home Economics Assoc., Past President Southeastern Massachusetts Home Economics Assoc., and Past President Psi Chapter, Delta Kappa Gama (Women Educator’s International Society). The Massachusetts Governor appointed her to the Commission for Vocational Technical Education and she served on the Board of Directors. She was a member of several Teachers Associations at the local, state and national level.

Evelyn was a Hospice Trainer and Volunteer serving on the Annual Giving Campaign; First Coordinator of Volunteers; Member, Chairperson, Past President and on the Board of Directors of the Mattapoisett Council on Aging; Member, Chairperson, Past President and on the Board of Directors for Coastline Elderly Services; Chairperson of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the to the Massachusetts State Secretary of Elder Affairs; and the Past President, and 1st & 2nd Vice President, to the Toby Hospital Guild. Along with her husband, Gene, they Co-Chaired the Tobey Hospital Capital Campaign for Mattapoisett. She also was a Past Representative of the Telephone Pioneers of America (largest volunteer organization in the USA).

In addition to serving on Massachusetts Governor Paul Celluci’s Transition Team for Elderly Affairs, she was the recipient of the following rewards as a testament to her service: Delta Kappa Gamma Society Achievement Award, Mattapoisett Woman of the Year, Marian Medal from the Diocese of Fall River for St. Anthony’s Church, Frank J. Manning Award from Governor Paul Celluci (the Highest State Award given for Elderly Advocacy), DOVE Award for Service to Elders from the Office of Elders Affairs, Telephone Pioneer Partner of the Month Award Thomas Sherwin Chapter, Golden Citation-American Business Woman’s Association, Professional Development Certificate Old Rochester Regional H.S., and Outstanding Board Member Massachusetts Home Care.

Funeral from the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6), Mattapoisett Saturday at 9 AM. Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s Church at 10 AM. Burial will follow in St. Anthony’s Cemetery. Visiting hours Friday from 6-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donation can be made to Florence Eastman Post 280 American Legion, P.O. Box 738, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

Library Thank You

To the Editor:

The Elizabeth Taber Library wrapped up this summer’s program for children, “Fizz Boom Read!” with an End-of-the-Summer-Program Ice Cream Sundae Social.

Over the course of six weeks, many children 2-12 years old enjoyed story times, reading games, a bubble show, various crafts such as: beading-a-solar system, bike decorating for the parade, fairy house building, tie-dying T-shirts with sharpies, constructing mini-robot bugs and faux lava lamps along with drop-in activities. Attendance for the summer programs totaled 3227. It was especially exciting, with the help of donations from Eastern Bank and the Sippican Woman’s Club, to “Read for a Good Cause”. Each hour participants spent reading raised $1 to support the work of Heifer International. Our readers were able to purchase two goats, a llama, a trio of rabbits, a flock of chicks, honey bees and a hive for families living in third world countries.

I would like to thank all of the participants (and parents, grandparents, baby-sitters, and nannies!) involved in our program, along with our 21 junior volunteers: Taylor Read, Sydney DaSilva, Hannah Borges, Grace Russell, Alyssa Foraro, Gwen Miedema, Morgan Miedema, Daphne Poirier, Tasha Sudofsky, Emma Mastovsky, Owen Patnaude, Alexa McLeod, Natalya Rivera, Rachel Pina, Emma Williamson, Max Richins, Megan Clavell, Bridget Clavell, Prosser Friedman, Sam Harris, and Lauren Craig.

Special thanks go to Dot Brown and Jelmer Miedema for their expert assistance with the science activities, and to the Harris family for their cheerful, hardworking help with the Fairy Houses and the Ice Cream Sundae Social.

Many thanks go to Jessica Barrett, Sippican School’s Media Specialist. Jess and I worked together to create the school’s summer reading lists. Sippican Elementary School students visited our library in June to learn about the public library’s resources, the summer program and the books on the summer reading list.

Thanks to everyone on the staff: Molly Driscoll, Rachel Breen, Anthea Andrade and Colleen Packard, as they cheerfully helped out with the large groups of children and a seemingly endless flow of books.

Many thanks go to our enthusiastic Library Director, Libby O’Neill, who gave the program unfailing support and encouragement.

Several agencies and businesses in town lent their kind support to the library’s summer reading program. They include Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Sippican Woman’s Club, Sea Dips Ice Cream, and Uncle Jon’s Coffee.

Working with the children and their families in the community as well as my colleagues here at the library was a powerful reminder of the joy and excitement of sharing the love of reading. I hope everyone enjoyed the library’s summer program and the delights of summer reading as much as I did!

Rosemary Grey

Children’s Librarian, Elizabeth Taber Library

 

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.

Tri-Towners to Participate in Jimmy Fund Walk

On Sunday, September 21, Debbie Cohen, Hailey Cohen, and Lauren Cohen of Marion, and Michelle Drew, Loretta Sherman, and Maryann Sullivan of Rochester will walk up to 26.2 miles along the historic Boston Marathon® route in the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai.

They will join an expected 8,500 walkers with the goal of raising more than $7.5 million for the Jimmy Fund for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, bringing the event’s 26-year fundraising total to more than $100 million. It raises the most money of any single-day walk in the nation. Since 1989, The Boston Athletic Association has proudly supported the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk, and since 2002 Hyundai has been the proud presenting sponsor.

“The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk unites thousands of people young and old – from adults, children, parents, neighbors, colleagues, cancer patients, to cancer survivors – who share a unified goal to cure cancer,” says Zack Blackburn, director of the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk. “Their dedication and commitment to fundraising enables Dana-Farber to focus on cancer care and research.”

Walkers can choose from four routes along the historic course:

- Hopkinton 26.2-mile, rolling start: 5:30 to 7:30 am

- Wellesley 13.1-mile, rolling start: 8:30 to 10:30 am

- Boston College 5-mile, rolling start: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 3-mile: 1:30 pm, which will include many patients and their families.

Those unable to participate on event day can become “Virtual Walkers” and fundraise for the event online. The Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk finishes at Copley Square in Boston, where walkers can celebrate and enjoy complimentary food, beverages, a speaking program, and entertainment.

All walkers must raise a minimum of $300, and walkers 12-years old and younger have a fundraising minimum of $100. Pacesetters are extraordinary fundraisers who raise $1,500 or more.

On the evening of September 21, the Prudential Center and The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge will glow in red and yellow to mark the 26th annual Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk.

To register for the Boston Marathon® Jimmy Fund Walk presented by Hyundai on September 21, to support a walker, or to volunteer, visit www.JimmyFundWalk.org or call 866-531-9255. Registrants can enter the discount code NEWS for $5 off the registration fee.

Marion Republican Town Committee

The Marion Republican Town Committee will conduct its next monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 2 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, 164 Front Street, Marion. The public and new members are welcome.

Mattapoisett Water Restriction Lifted

The restriction of outdoor water usage in Mattapoisett has been officially lifted as of today, August 27, and residents can now resume using their outdoor sprinklers and hoses as usual.

Water and Sewer Superintendent Nick Nicholson said during a phone interview this morning that the Fairhaven well at Tinkham Lane has been repaired and the required testing was completed on Monday August 26. The well finally went online on Tuesday, ending the need for the water restriction.

“We are in a really good position,” said Nicholson while he checked the live online status of the well. “Everything is as it should be.”

The Water and Sewer Department placed the emergency outdoor water restriction back on August 7 after the well failed. The main concern was not having enough water in the event of an emergency such as a significant fire.

The Tinkham Lane well pumps approximately 1.5 million gallons of water daily, on average.

Nicholson said the well was ready to go on Monday, but the Town preferred to wait a couple more days before lifting the water restriction, just to be certain. He thanked the residents of Mattapoisett for their cooperation during the month of August.

“Because it really did make a difference,” said Nicholson.

By Jean Perry

 

Quorum Confusion Delays Vote

Can we vote or can’t we vote? That was the million dollar question on August 27 when the Rochester Planning Board, poised to approve the site plan review with its town counsel-approved draft decision in hand, lacked a quorum to constitute a “super majority” of five members, which the chairman thought was needed to approve the Rochester Crossroads LLC application.

Attorney Rich Serkey for Rochester Crossroads LLC sat patiently as the board moved through the other items on the agenda to see if board member Susan Teal would make the meeting in time to vote on the approval of the Phase I construction of the access roadway and drainage area for the Cranberry Highway property.

At first, Chairman Arnold Johnson expressed concern over the lack of a quorum, and after all the other matters were addressed, he stepped out of the meeting room with a cell phone and called Town Counsel Blair Bailey to see if the board could still make the vote with only four members.

Johnson returned and announced that the application, being a site plan review and not a special permit, did not require a super majority, but it did require all four votes to be affirmative for final approval – a gamble Serkey took.

There were a couple of changes to the conditions made earlier that afternoon, including the combining of two separate conditions into one, which Johnson said did not alter the intent, and some language was changed to avoid a problem should an unresolved zoning boundary require a trip before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The board’s decision was unanimous and the site plan review was approved.

The site plan review for Colbea Enterprises was continued until September 9 at the request of the applicant in order to allow for time to organize the traffic study for the proposed filling station/convenience store/coffee drive-thru on property owned by Rochester Crossroads on Cranberry Highway. The board approved a contract for Field Engineering, acting as consultant for the town, to work with Greenman-Pederson, Inc. on the traffic study.

In addition, Johnson mentioned a discrepancy between previously completed site calculations and Colbea’s recent predevelopment calculations, which differed slightly and need to be clarified.

Other than that, the chairman stated that he does not anticipate any further delays in the process for approving the site plan.

“Everyone seems to be on board, barring some catastrophic revelation,” said Johnson, saying the board should only need to continue the matter for one more meeting “[then] have it all wrapped up … for the first meeting of September.”

Also during the meeting, the board addressed a request from Grace R. Ashley of Dr. Braley Road for an Approval Not Required application to split one lot into two. Part of the property lies in Freetown and the other lies in Rochester.

Johnson said the application was incomplete since it was not totally in compliance with Rochester’s rules and regulations, which require that frontage and well locations be marked on the plan.

Serkey, as he waited his turn, gave some free legal advice to the board, which it took when the board denied the application without prejudice instead of dismissing the application without prejudice.

The board also discussed amendments to the zoning bylaws in preparation for bringing the proposed changes to a Special Town Meeting in October.

Two applications for Harris Real Estate Boston, LLC regarding King’s Highway were both continued until September 23 at the applicant’s request.

The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for September 9 at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

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Three Special Permits Granted

Mattapoisett’s Zoning Board of Appeals on August 23 granted three special permits in rapid succession. Each of the projects brought before Chairman Susan Akin and members Paul Milott, Norman Lyonnais, and Tony Tranfaglia, as well as Director of Inspectional Services Andy Bobola, was represented by Field Engineering.

First up was Mark Robert for property located at 169 Brandt Island Road. The applicant was seeking a special permit to take down the existing residence and build a new single-family home. After assurances from Bob Fields that the height of the new structure will meet current code requirements and that lot coverage will not be increased dramatically, the board approved issuance of the special permit that saw no public comment.

The second hearing was for William and Debra Poutsiaka, 4 Maple Road, with an application for a special permit to construct a 50-square foot addition to the first floor, a 260-square foot addition on the second floor, and expansion of the existing deck by five feet westerly and three feet on the southerly side. Again with no public comment or concerns regarding the request, the application was approved.

Last up was the hearing for construction of two small additions to property located at 14 Ned’s Point Road, owned by Highlander Nominee Trust of Wayland. One addition, located on the north side of the residence, is planned at 273-square feet, and the addition on the southwest corner will be 166-square feet. Calling the plans a “nice looking project,” Bobola agreed with the zoning board members who unanimously agreed to approve the special permit.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Zoning Board of Appeals is scheduled for September 25 at 6:00 pm.

By Marilou Newell

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