Movies in the Park

Mattapoisett Lions Club closes the season of Movies in the Park on Friday, September 26 with the movie Beetlejuice. A very funny movie with an amazing cast, including Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder and Geena Davis! The movie will be shown at Shipyard Park and will start at 7:00 pm. Bring your parents and friends, along with plenty of blankets to stay warm, to Shipyard Park on Friday night. See you all next summer for the third season of Movies in the Park.

Mattapoisett Lions Club Harbor Days Festival

To the Editor:

I would like to thank all of the people who volunteered to help with the Mattapoisett Lions Club Harbor Days Festival. A lot of time and effort goes into the planning and execution and we couldn’t do it without the help of the citizen volunteers, the Rochester Lions Club, the Fairhaven Lions Club and the Bridgewater Lions Club. A special thank you goes to the Town of Mattapoisett’s police, fire, highway, and building departments and the selectmen’s office.

The Mattapoisett Lions Club is asking for your support for our next event to be held on Friday, September 26 as part of the Movies in the Park series. This last movie of the season, Beetlejuice, will be sponsored by the Hollywood Scoop. We would like to thank our previous supporters as well: The Seaport Ice Cream Slip, the Mattapoisett Cultural Council and Check Collision.

We will also offer a French Toast Breakfast on Sunday, October 5.

Lions club members are men and women who strive to make a difference in their local community as well as in communities worldwide. Their volunteer efforts go beyond the support of vision care, to addressing unmet health and education needs worldwide.

If you would like to consider becoming a Mattapoisett Lion, please join us for dinner. Send an email to me at

Thank you,

Marianne DeCosta, President


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.

Rochester Historical Commission

On Saturday, September 27 there will be an Open House at the East Rochester Museum Church/Museum from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm featuring a new display of Rochester’s past activities from newspaper stories in the Georgia Chamberlain collection, and photos and stories from the Historical Society collection as well as a Bake Sale with some of the old-time Rochester treats we grew up with.

Our Gift Shop will be open with new sweatshirts ready for the cold weather, in addition to our usual T-shirts, hats, and sweatshirts. All of our Rochester books, maps, note cards, cup plates, and more are available. Beautiful little wooden curio boxes with the town seal are also new this year. All are great gifts for newcomers or friends and relatives who have moved away from Rochester.

More Rochester History: Edyie Johnson has been collecting memories from Rochester residents and former residents to include in a book titled Rochester Remembered: People, Places, and Things. The book is an interesting glimpse of life in an earlier Rochester. A limited number of Edyie’s books will be available free of charge at the September 27 Open House.

The book was sponsored by the Historical Society and partially funded by a grant from the Rochester Cultural Council, which is supported by The Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Come to the Open House and revisit “the good old days” growing up in Rochester.

You may have your own old stories and photos you could share with us and add to our collection. If you have any Rochester history you are willing to share, please contact any of our officers.

The museum and gift shop will also be open on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm from September 28 through October 26.

This Doesn’t Fit

To the Editor:

“This doesn’t fit” said board member Steve Gonzales (The Wanderer, 9/4/14). Indeed, most (all?) of the people quoted in your publication regarding the possible CVS in Marion agreed with him, as do all of my friends.

Once more, the many reasons against: size!!!, suitability, traffic congestion and real need.

We do have a “Rite Aid” as well as a “CVS” in Wareham, both conveniently close to Shaw’s supermarket.

I have been a resident of Marion since 1965.


Dagmar S. Unhoch, 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.

Standing Room Only at Private Pier Hearing

As anticipated, the proposed Goodspeed Island pier into Mattapoisett Harbor’s recreational space brought out residents from throughout the town, not just the village neighborhood. A standing room only crowd came to hear about Daniel DaRosa’s plans to construct a 290-foot pile supported pier, which is designed with an L-shaped wave attenuator that is 75 feet in length.

Before the hearing of this ‘notice of intent’ began, Mattapoisett Conservation Commission Chairman Peter Newton told the crowd that the commission would only be reviewing the project through the filter of the “Wetlands Protection Act” (WPA) since that is all they were charged with the responsibility of doing. He said that other town boards would be reviewing the project on the merits of its design or impact on the community, but not this board. With that said, he invited David Davignon of N. Douglas Schneider & Associates to present the project in detail.

Davignon began his commentary on the project by stating that the applicant already had rights to the beach in front of his property and a deeded easement. He stated that DaRosa has received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers (as of September 22). Other agencies he has contacted on behalf of his client were Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and National Heritage. He said that Marine Fisheries had requested a few modifications to the plan, such as changing pressure-treated lumber for a more environmentally friendly material and the height of the float that is planned for the end of the dock. National Heritage responded that they found nothing in the plan that impacted their area of oversight. Davignon also said that he anticipates that the permit from the Army Corps will trigger other agencies’ review. Those agencies were not listed.

As described in their filing with the town, the pier will be for the applicants’ swimming, fishing and boating activities. To construct this large-sized pier, shellfish beds will need to be removed and re-established in another location. No eel grass beds are reported in the construction zone. A man-made dune with beach grasses will be crossed, allowing the applicant to walk from the lawn area of the residence directly out to the end of the dock. At mean high tide, the pier will extend 183 feet into the harbor itself.

Before Newton opened the hearing up for public comment, he again reminded the crowd, which had patiently waited for more than thirty minutes as the commission members questioned Davignon on various aspects of the project, that their questions and comments should not be about recreational use of the public waterway impacted by the pier, but instead should relate to jurisdictional wetlands issues only and that all comments should be respectful.

Harbormaster Jill Simmons was the first to speak, citing numerous calls her office has received. She said that people were very concerned about losing such a large area of the harbor to a private venture, that the Marine Advisory Board was concerned from a waterfront management perspective, and that she was also very concerned about a variety of safety issues the pier may cause the recreating public. Simmons noted that the pier will be close to the mooring field, making navigating in that area problematic. Though Davignon had noted in his commentary that there are similar piers on the shoreline, Simmons countered that those piers are not in an area of the harbor heavily utilized by the public.

The most succinctly prepared speaker of the evening – who spoke on behalf of more than 50 residents and who had presented a written statement in opposition to the project – was Mike Huguenin. He kept his comments focused on the WPA as instructed by Newton, making the case that the commission needed its own engineering study or at least a more thoroughly researched study from the applicants’ experts, in order to understand the long-term environmental impact of the pier. He pointed to the “little piece of barrier beach” in front of DaRosa property as critical to the entire island. Huguenin directed the commission’s attention to the large sewer pipe located in this area and the potential of it being ruptured in the event of a storm that could damage the pier causing it to be thrust into the pipe. He repeatedly urged the commission to carefully consider a more ‘serious study’ for the project. Huguenin and the other signatories wrote: “We request that the commission require the applicant to conduct and submit a detailed coastal engineering study that looks carefully at the probabilities and possible consequences of damage to the proposed structure from storm winds and waves, and the resulting environment and public infrastructure damage.”

Peter Trow, one of the signatories, said that a proposed pier for Molly’s Cove in 2008 was denied in 2012 due to WPA impact and that DaRosa’s pier was in a velocity zone. “…This is unreasonable use of a sub-titled area … the greater public trust of many people using the area needs to be considered…” Trow said.

“The harbor is the signature of Mattapoisett,” emphasized Paul Osenkowski.

“If we had a local wetlands law,” said Brad Hathaway, “we’d have the laws to protect the people’s land.” Hathaway wondered aloud what had become of the proposed local wetlands bylaws that had been voted on during a town meeting in the past; however, that query was not responded to by the commission. The conservation commission is only charged with implementing the state mandated wetlands protection act.

Commission member Mike King commented on the shallow water in the site zone as not being of much use as public recreational waters, while member Tom Copps wanted to see drawings on exactly where the sewer pipe is located and spoke to the issue of scouring from the pier’s pilings.

Newton asked Davignon to consider several design modifications and to provide engineering studies that the DaRosas had recently completed to address some of the areas touched on during the hearing. The notion of peer review was not completely dismissed, as the hearing was continued until the next commission meeting on October 15. That meeting will be held at a larger venue to accommodate more people.

Other business included a negative one finding for Joanee O’Day’s request for determination of applicability for the addition of an 8-foot deck located at 8 Linhares Avenue; a negative 3 finding for Nichole Balthazar of 12 Shore View Avenue for a 12- by 16-foot addition located in a flood zone; and approval with standard conditions of Ken Fleury’s request to construct a single family dwelling on Brandt Island Road, including filling in part of the backyard for a lawn area.

Mattapoisett’s Conservation Commission meets again on October 12 at 6:30 at a location to be announced.

By Marilou Newell


Gardening at Sippican School

Members of the Sippican School Garden Club have been busy this harvest season caring for their vegetables, herbs, and flowers after school. On September 23 it took ten enthusiastic little gardeners to pull up a ten-foot tall sunflower and carry it to “Weed Mountain.” After, the kids collected greens, grasses, and flowers to make an arrangement for the main office. Photos by Jean Perry


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Geoffrey P. Moran

Geoffrey P. Moran, 74, died on September 17, 2014 at his home. He was the beloved husband of Grace Baron Moran, brother of Gail Enman of Acton MA, former husband of Judy Moran of Amherst MA, and father of three sons, Matthew of Charlestown, MA, Sean of Thompson Falls Montana and Andrew of Pristina Kosovo. He has one grandchild, Merrimac Moran, of Nashua, NH.

Born in Boston, MA and a life-long student of art, history and nature, he has enjoyed and nourished these interests in homes in Newburyport, MA, Norton, MA, Little Compton, RI and Machiasport, ME before moving to Marion, MA in 2011.

He was a student at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His Masters of Arts degrees in Architectural History (University of New Hampshire) and American History (University of Massachusetts Amherst) prepared him for his career as a teacher of History at Bradford College, Contract Archaeologist with National Parks Service, Founder and Administrative Director of Brown University’s Public Archaeology Lab, teacher at Brown University (with a specialty in Vernacular Architecture) and Principal Preservation Planner and State Archaeologist for Rhode Island. Geoff’s abilities to coordinate public and private agencies and clients led to positions with Wilbur Smith & Associates and finally to service with the Towns of Foxboro and Norton, MA as Compliance Officer and Special Projects Coordinator.

His boundless energy led him over the years into the world of low-tech farming, small business as the owner and manager of three MA locations of Off the Dock Seafood, and volunteer service with Norton’s Historic District Commission, Conservation Commission, and Land Preservation Society. His leisure activities included chorale singing, travel, boating & fishing, photography, painting and sculpting wildlife art, and religious iconography. He is perhaps best known to Marion friends as a member of the local arts community. A celebration of his life will take place at St Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, Marion MA on Thursday, September 25 at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, our family welcomes donations made in his memory to the Groden Center, Inc. 610 Manton Ave. Providence, RI 02909 or at

YMCA Plans Nature Explore Classroom

The Mattapoisett YMCA is already one of the Southcoast’s most accessible natural settings for children to learn and have positive experiences in nature. Now, the staff at the YMCA is excited about a new design for an outdoor certified Nature Explore classroom that will offer children an outdoor space where they can engage in activities to help them further appreciate and understand the natural world.

Joe Marciszyn, the executive director at the Mattapoisett YMCA, said now that he has a conceptual plan in hand, the next step will be raising the funds to construct the outdoor classroom and go before the required town boards and commissions for the proper permits. Basically, the plan is still in Phase I.

Staff gathered for what Marciszyn called “a huge planning” meeting on December 10, 2013 to discuss the concept of creating the Nature Explore space, an idea Child Care Director Tricia Weaver came up with while visiting the Hidden Hollow at the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich one day.

Weaver said she envisioned an outdoor space “where kids could be outside and learning and enjoying nature.” She said that when she saw the Sandwich Nature Explore classroom, she had one thing only on her mind.

“That this was the perfect location for one,” said Weaver. She clearly envisioned a thoughtfully-designed outdoor space for kids to climb, build, dig, make music, and experiment with the elements at the Mattapoisett YMCA.

“We want to bring that kind of experience to Mattapoisett,” said Marciszyn. “A place where kids and their families can truly come on the weekends and be in the environment.”

A place, simply, to unplug while plugging into nature.

Marciszyn said the engineer came out to the site and came up with a couple of different conceptual plans before deciding on which one best fit the site.

The majority of the space for the Nature Explore area is east of the existing pavilion, which will be incorporated into the design.

The dirt road that passes the pavilion would be reconfigured to accommodate the various stations within the outdoor classroom that includes an open-space area and designated areas for music and movement, “messy materials,” building, nature art, climbing, and gardening. All of these components, including a gathering area, are required in order for the space to be accepted as a certified Nature Explore classroom.

Instead of just constructing a playground with swings and slides and standard play equipment, Marciszyn said the staff “wanted something different.”

“Something with its roots in nature versus the plastic stuff,” said Marciszyn.

The YMCA will hold a “Party with a Purpose” luau fundraiser on Mattapoisett Harbor on September 26 from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm. Tickets are $50 and are available at the Y or online at Proceeds will help fund the next phase in the development of the Nature Explore Classroom.

Nature Explore is a collaborative program of Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

By Jean Perry


CVS ConCom Hearing Postponed

A short agenda became even briefer when two of the three hearings were postponed at the September 10 meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission. The developers who are planning to construct a CVS at the corner of Front Street and Route 6 contacted the commission after requesting the meeting and said that they were not yet ready. The requested hearing was continued indefinitely.

A notice of intent filed by Thomas Stemberg of 114 Point Road was continued until the September 24 meeting at the request of the applicant.

A request of determination of applicability was heard for Hanafee Family Trust, 0 Main Street for the renovation of a cobblestone ramp 400 feet from closest water and wetlands. Twenty feet of cobblestones need to have the grout replaced due to winter damage. Work will have to be done during low tides and with the use of quick-drying grout. Members Joel Hartley, Jeff Doubrava, and Steve Gonsalves had made a site visit to review the scope of work. Satisfied that the work was necessary and limited, the commission voted to allow the work to proceed with previously established conditions.

In other business, a letter drafted by Chairman Norman Hills to the Board of Selectmen requesting their approval and the issuance of a license to A & J Boatworks to store boats on property owned by the town and in wetlands was reviewed. The commission had sought and received legal counsel from Jon Whitten. Whitten found “nothing that would prevent a one-time license.” Hills said, “[they] will pursue other options in the future.” After reading the draft, the commission agreed to send it on to the selectmen with minor edits.

One final topic discussed by the three board members in attendance – Steve Gonsalves, Norman Hills, and Joel Hartley – was the selection process for a new Conservation Commission secretary. Hills said that as the appointed representative for the commission during the interviewing process, he would be working with “the head of zoning.” Gonsalves asked if he could participate in the interviewing process, saying he might have other types of questions from those Hills may ask of an applicant. Hills directed him to speak with Doubrava. The posting of a clerical position for this commission that will also work part-time for the zoning board of appeals received 11 applicants, which have been narrowed down to four.

The next meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission is September 24 at 7:00 pm in the Town House conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Author Talk with Ray Covill

Join us at the Elizabeth Taber Library on Thursday, September 25, at 6:30 pm for a book reading, discussion and signing with Ray Covill, author of Revisiting Armageddon: Asteroids in the Gulf of Mexico. Author and researcher Ray Covill explores the enigmatic mysteries surrounding Earth’s constantly changing evolution. Kathie McGuire, director of Brighton Publishing LLC, describes Covill and his book by saying, “Using his vast library of both knowledge and wisdom, author Ray Covill unveils a credible account of Earth’s often misunderstood past, and the abundance of changes that continue to transform our planet today.” Born and raised in the Fairhaven/New Bedford area, Covill was raised with an understanding and respect for nature and the beautiful planet on which we live.