Project GROW

Project GROW is now accepting applications for 2017-2018 preschool enrollment in Marion, Mattapoisett, and Rochester schools. If you are interested, please contact the Early Childhood Office at 508-758-1863 or email

Marion Town House Thoughts

The Town House Acquisition Committee members are professional experts in architecture and the construction of specialized and repurposed facilities. They hired an architectural firm with expertise in historical preservation. Together they identified 12 potential solutions and used a professional process over four years to refine concepts and costs estimates. Get the facts; do not rely on hearsay, unsubstantiated claims, and scare tactics.

We are developing a new Marion Master Plan. The key goal identified by Marion residents at the workshops is the Village Style concept that plays through every one of the eight parts of the Plan. The Town House location is a keystone for our existing Village; Route 6 is a Village bypass.

Marion reuses historic buildings; old is not useless. The conversion of the VFW building for the Council on Aging is an excellent example. Building Permit data confirms that in the last 10 years, only 1.6 percent of the permits were for new construction. New Bedford, Newport, and Portland, ME exemplify shortsighted decisions that cost the town heritage and character. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.

We choose to live in Marion because of the village atmosphere, the pleasures of swimming and boating, and the proximity to large cities. We make decisions based on many criteria; cost is only one. If cost were utmost, we would all be living in tiny houses, driving old cars, and the owners of 8-foot rowboats. Quality, design aesthetics, and pride of ownership, are historically important to Marion residents.

The Town House has served for over 130 years because it was well built. We owe the same consideration to our children and grandchildren. The least costly option often is not the most cost effective one. Let’s renovate the Town House for another 100 years.

Norman Hills


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.

MOSAC Considers Grant for Phragmite Control

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has contacted Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission Chairman John Rockwell, offering an opportunity to apply for grant money to assist in phragmite removal at the Grassi Bog property as part of the Grassi Bog Restoration Grant.

Rockwell said on January 5 that the NRCS would provide a grant to fully fund a phragmite control contract at the conservation property managed by MOSAC.

Rockwell brought the matter up to fellow MOSAC members, who encouraged Rockwell to pursue the grant funds.

“Hey, it’s free money,” said Rockwell. He estimated that there is roughly a 3,000 to 4,000 square-foot area of phragmites at Grassi Bog.

“It’s getting bigger every year,” said MOSAC member Alan Harris.

The NRCS will pay for the contract, which would entail the manual application of pesticides to each individual phragmite, once a year for three years. The best part about the nature of this particular grant, said Rockwell, is that once the commission selects a contractor, the NRCS can be billed directly.

“We (MOSAC) wouldn’t even have to pass through any money,” Rockwell said.

Rockwell said in a follow-up email on January 6 that the invasive problem at Grassi Bog “isn’t that bad, as of yet,” but the Town would not have to match any of the funding should it be officially granted to the town.

No specified amount has yet been stated.

The next meeting of the Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission is scheduled for January 19 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Recreation building at 13 Atlantis Drive.

By Jean Perry


Bernadette D. (Donoghue) Weber

Bernadette D. (Donoghue) Weber, 93, of Marion, formerly of Westwood, died Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at Sippican Health Care Center in Marion. She was the beloved wife of Ernest W. Weber.

Born in East Boston, she was the daughter of the late Daniel and Mary (Stewart) Donoghue. Mrs. Weber worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for Western Electric Co. Mrs. Weber also worked as bookkeeper for the New England Patriots during the time when Billy Sullivan owned the team.

Survivors include her husband Ernest; her son, William E. Weber and his wife Susanne of Marion and Long Boat Key, FL; her daughter, Jean Connelly and her husband Michael of Weymouth; her grandchildren, William Weber, Jr. and his wife Elizabeth of Walpole, Cheryl Ann Redmond and her husband Scott of Richmond, VA, Michael R. Weber and his wife Kristen of Medfield, Kathleen Connelly of Weymouth and Ryan Connelly and his wife Kelly of South Boston. Also surviving are 10 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, January 16, 2017 at St. Rita’s Church, Front St., Marion at 10:30 AM. Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Marion. Visiting hours will be Sunday from 2 – 5 PM at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Highway (Rt. 28), Wareham.

Donations in her memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant Street, Watertown, MA 02472.

Scott L. Almeida

Scott L. Almeida, age 51 of Acushnet, passed away Sunday, January 8, 2017, after a brief illness.

Born in New Bedford, he was the son of Leonard and Joyce (Barcroft) Almeida. Scott spent 22 years employed by D. W. White as a machine operator. He adored his family and dog Rusty. He got a rush out of anything with an engine and enjoyed fishing and having campfires. Scott was most proud of his 3 daughters and his many accomplishments in the construction field. Scott was an enthusiastic member of I.U.O.E. Local 4.

He is survived by his parents; three daughters, Shawna R. Almeida of Mattapoisett, Meghan E. Almeida and Chris Madeira of New Bedford and Kristin L. Almeida and Matthew Cobb of Acushnet; his beloved longtime companion Janice M. Richard of Acushnet, three step-children, 4 granddaughters, and was thrilled to be expecting his first grandson.

His Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, January 22, 2017 at 6:00pm in the Rock Funeral Home,1285 Ashley Blvd. New Bedford. Visitation prior 3:00PM to 6:00PM. Burial private. Relatives and friends invited. For tributes and directions:

Edward R. Nick

Edward R. Nick, 81, of Marion died January 9, 2017 at Tobey Hospital after a brief illness.

He was the husband of Barbara (Detmer) Nick, with whom he shared 55 years of marriage.

Born in Bridgeport, CT, the son of the late Louis J. and Jeanne (Beaudin) Nick, he lived in Connecticut before retiring to Marion 13 years ago.

Mr. Nick enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, clamming and fishing. He was an avid hockey fan and loved the game of golf. He enjoyed cooking grand meals to share with family and friends. His biggest passion in life was enjoying time with family and friends and helping people in any way he could.

Mr. Nick served in the U.S. Navy.

Survivors include his wife; a son, Kevin Nick and his wife Kelly of Tolland, CT; a daughter, Kimberly Owens and her husband Patrick of Carlsbad, CA; 5 grandchildren, Cameron, Caleb, Hayden, Brennan and Ailish.

He was the father of the late Douglas Nick.

Private arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit

Marion Fire Fighters Spaghetti Dinner

The Marion Fire Fighters Association will hold their Annual Spaghetti Dinner on January 14 at the Marion Social Club from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. This is a benefit fund for the Annual Scholarship Award. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door or call Ronnie at 774-263-2589 or Arnold at 508-317-7726.

OC Robotics Prepares for Competition

The year 2017 has gotten off to a rocky start for the Old Colony Robotics team. In the final weeks leading up to their qualifying competition, tensions are high. Students and advisers have both been working long hours to make final preparations.

Every Tuesday for the past five months, the team has met after school to plan and build machines to compete in this year’s VEX Robotics Starstruck Competition. They have spent countless hours building and rebuilding to refine their ideas and work out bugs. Veteran students Tanner Stafford and John Barnes have been hard at work not only on the robot, but also on leading the newer members of the team.

Problems have arisen of varying issues. Smaller challenges like scheduling matters have been easy for the team to overcome. Larger challenges, however, have truly put the team to the test.

Broken motors, stripped gears, coding mistakes, and failed ideas have kept the team on their toes as they adapt to each problem they face. Together they’ve managed to not only survive the tribulations, but also thrive under the pressure.

Though slightly stressful, this challenge presents an amazing opportunity for the students. The VEX Robotics Competition is the fastest growing high school and middle school robotics competition. It presents its engineering challenge in the form of a game where teams compete against each other year round. It is an opportunity for students to come together and learn engineering skills as well as teamwork and critical thinking skills.

Now, in the final hours, the team has been staying after school everyday well into the night in an effort to assure everything is perfect. They need to get past this first event at Bristol Community College in order to continue to the next level.

The game is on and the students and advisers alike look optimistic.

The competition was to be held on January 7, but due to the storm it was postponed to January 21, allowing the team even more time to perfect their machines. We wish them good luck.

By Elizabeth Jerome

4 Seabreeze Lane Headed Back To Court

On January 9, Brandon Faneuf of Ecosystem Solutions, representing Daniel and Lisa Craig, 4 Seabreeze Lane, once again sat down with the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission trying to reach a compromise – a little give and a little take on jurisdictional lands that had been encroached by the Craigs.

For months, the Craigs have been seeking permission to maintain an immense swath of wetlands and bordering vegetated buffer zones they altered, landscaped areas that the Conservation Commission has contended were ‘no touch zones.’

The Craigs sought to keep over 20,000 square feet of groomed lawn and other landscaped features in violation of the sub-divisions permits. They also sought relief from Superior Court. The court’s decision had been to uphold the commission’s enforcement order.

Again the Craigs attempted to receive grace in the form of an Order of Conditions on a new filing that would make the court’s decision null and void while also appealing their ruling.

During a marathon December 12 hearing, Faneuf and the Town’s independent environmental expert John Rockwell hammered away at possible remediation and restoration plans, trying to reach a compromise that would satisfy not only the Town and the property owners, but also the Buzzards Bay Coalition.

An informal polling of the commissioners at that hearing found the majority in favor of granting the Craigs an Order of Conditions on their Notice of Intent filing, in spite of the court ruling. That hearing was continued to give Faneuf, along with Rockwell and the Town’s Conservation Agent Elizabeth Leidhold, sufficient time to draft a new Order of Conditions – one that would grant compromises to the original Enforcement Order.

As the January 9 hearing drew to a close, opposition to a compromise was raised.

Mike Huguenin, president of the Mattapoisett Land Trust, said, “I don’t know why somebody can take a resource area and then give us back only half.”

Korrine Petersen, senior attorney with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, read from a letter indicating that their position was not to compromise with the Craigs, but to enforce the commission’s orders and to put some areas under a conservation restriction to ensure their preservation into perpetuity.

Chairman Bob Rogers, who has firmly been in favor of keeping the Enforcement Order in place, said, “A big part of me just wants to take that Enforcement Order and let that be our Order of Conditions – in so many ways that’s the right thing to do in my mind.”

Commissioner Mike Dubuc said, “I’m in favor of the Enforcement Order.”

Commissioner Chapman Dickerson concurred, commenting that the other residents had complied, so the Craigs should also, in order to “be fair.”

Disagreeing with his fellow commissioners, Mike King said, “It’s best to negotiate a reasonable solution.”

Commissioner Trevor Francis agreed with King at first, but not for long. When the vote was cast, compromise was off the table.

All commissioners except King voted for the Enforcement Conditions. The Craigs’ appeal to the Superior Court ruling will now move forward.

In a follow-up, Petersen, speaking on behalf of the Buzzards Bay Coalition, whose role in the matter has been the protection of resource areas abutting Eel Pond, said, “I am immensely pleased.”

In other business, Negative 3 determinations were handed out to Thomas Kane, 21 Meadowbrook Lane, for the installation of a new septic system; Dry Well Realty Trust, for 6 Cedar Street, for a new septic system where a new home is planned; the Mattapoisett Land Trust on their RDA filing for the removal of invasive species at the Dunseith Gardens property; and DG Service, 23 County Road, represented by Robert Field of Field Engineering for an RDA filing to construct a 2,200 square-foot addition to an existing commercial structure.

New sidewalks planned by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation along Route 6 from the boundary of Fairhaven to the intersection of Main Street also received a Negative 3 determination on their RDA filing.

A NOI filing by Samuel Waterston, 13 Shipyard Lane, represented by Susan Nilson of CLE Engineering, for improvements to an existing groin and the addition of a floating dock was continued until January 23 to give the commissioners additional time to process comments from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, EPA, Division of Marine Fisheries, Coastal Zone Management, and other agencies.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for January 23 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Second Saturday Book Sale

The tables are re-stocked for the Friends of the Mattapoisett Library’s Second Saturday Book Sale on January 14 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, downstairs at the library, 7 Barstow Street. This month, there is a new selection of cookbooks and a collection of books on quilting. As always, there is fiction and non-fiction for all ages, CDs and DVDs. Stop by to browse and to support your library.