Good Friday Decision

To the Editor:

I write this letter with great interest. It pertains to the article written by Margaret and Robert McGee and the decision made by the School Committee to make Good Friday a school day. I first want to commend them for speaking up for what it is they feel deeply about.

My Webster dictionary defines Thanksgiving as the act of giving thanks – a prayer expressing gratitude; a legal holiday for giving thanks for divine goodness. To this end, I am recalling my first experience at attending a Thanksgiving dinner put on by the students at ORR and who ever else had a hand in it. After the opening welcome, I was expecting a call of silence so that each person may give thanks in their own manner. This did not happen. It would seem more appropriate if they were to drop the word Thanksgiving and simply say – come join us for a turkey dinner. A little on the cool side, but more accurate than the way it is being handled.

Having said this, I feel the School failed to teach the students the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Now we come to Good Friday and the decision made by the School Committee to make it a school day. This would seem to me that it is a step in the wrong direction. Instead of uniting people, you are dividing them. Wouldn’t it be a better decision to teach the students to respect another person’s views? I feel the School Committee should reverse its decision. A little respect can go a long way in teaching our students to live together in peace and harmony.

Thank you.


Francis Cairns


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 Earth Day Cleanup

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

Please come to our clubhouse at 37 Marion Road, Rochester to pick up trash collection bags and gloves on Saturday April 26 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Pick up trash along the roadside in your neighborhood and leave the filled bags along the roadside to be picked up by the Rochester DPW. Let’s give the town a good Spring Cleaning!

In conjunction with this event, The Rochester Land Trust will be collecting old electronic items (also at 37 Marion Road from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm). Among the accepted items will be computers, monitors, appliances, and TVs. If it has an engine, motor, or can be plugged in, it’s 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.

50 Years of a Changing Political Climate

On Friday, April 25 at 7:00 pm, the public is invited to the Marion Music Hall as John and Margaret (MarDee) Xifaras present “Reflections on 50 Years of a Changing Political Climate.” Long-time participants in legal and political affairs, the husband and wife have experienced politics from both personal and professional perspectives, and will offer their observations and analysis of the ever-changing landscape. John Xifaras has been practicing law for more than 50 years in various capacities – as an attorney, judge, mediator and arbitrator. MarDee Xifaras is a practicing attorney, and a frequent presenter on family law and ethics. Mr. & Mrs. Xifaras are long-time Marion residents, and have each been honored for their outstanding community service in the Boston and Southcoast areas.

Co-sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society and the Elizabeth Taber Library, the Xifaras’ lecture is offered free to the public, with no registration required. Parking is available across from the Marion Music Hall at Island Wharf Park. For more information, please call the SHS at 508-748-1116.

Gateway Youth Hockey Championships

Middle School 1 vied for their Foxboro League Championships Thursday night. The Vikings had played Mansfield in the last game of the playoff series, and they knew they had their work cut out for them. Mansfield seemed to set the tone early, when their goalie punched Vikings forward Quirino DoCanto in the face after a collision at the net. The refs did a good job of keeping the game in check though, and the Vikings kept themselves above the fracas.

After a scoreless first period, Mansfield was able to get the puck past starting goalie Teaghin Andre on a breakaway. Both teams were continuously shooting on net, and the Vikings tied up the score shortly after, when Vyper LaTulippe scored on a fast pass from Coleby Paling to Tyler Lovendale. Andre and his defense kept the net safe for the rest of his shift, blocking 17 shots in the first half of the game. Key to the defense were Paling, Caleb Riggle, Jackson St Don and Bryan Gallagher.

The 1-1 tie was broken when Mansfield took advantage of relief goalie Steven Strachan as he came in cold to start his shift. Strachan quickly recovered however, and stayed on his game, making 13 more saves through the third period. DoCanto helped the Vikings tie it up again as the third period started, getting his revenge on the goalie in the best way possible. Zack Lovendale had the assist. Mansfield pulled ahead again near the end of the third, scoring on a power play. It seemed all was lost until the Vikings pulled their goalie for a six-man attempt, and Lovendale scored with just 30 seconds left, assisted by Seth Tomasik and Paling. A 3-3 tie looked to send the game into overtime, but Mansfield managed to grab the puck and take it down the ice, scoring on a breakaway with just 15 seconds left. The Vikings took a time out, the goalie was pulled again, and the Vikings worked valiantly to tie it up, but it was not to be. Mansfield won, 4-3.

Freshmen Perform Macbeth

It has been a long-standing tradition at Tabor Academy for English I students to read and perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the second semester of the school year. This tradition was taken a step further this year to make for a great performance this past weekend.

            Freshmen began reading and analyzing the themes of Macbeth this winter, finishing just before spring vacation. The students were then assigned roles that they would play in the annual spring performance of Macbeth. The students stage the five acts of the play in this performance, with each class being assigned their own scenes.

While students were studying their characters and memorizing lines, they got to experience something less traditional to this annual project. During the first weekend in April, all of the students headed to Gamm Theater in Pawtucket, RI to see this production. However, in a slight twist, this version of the play took place during World War I. Students found this play very compelling, while it was also very helpful for them to understand their characters.

For the student production, each class had control of their costumes and set. This made for a very diverse play that kept the audience interested this past Saturday.

This event is one that the school looks forward to, but it also helps the freshmen to understand the story of Macbeth in more depth.

By Julia O’Rourke


Selectmen Approve Warrant

Selectmen approved the Rochester Special Town Meeting warrant on April 14, which features two articles. The first article is for reserve fund transfers to cover bills from prior years and any other unpaid bills that might come before the May 19 meeting, and the second article pertains to the acceptance of a new law surrounding Board of Health members who may install septic systems for a living.

The law would alleviate the seeming conflict of interest by providing independent inspections for work completed by that Board of Health member.

The selectmen will review and approve the Annual Town Meeting Warrant during their April 28 meeting, and the warrant will be subsequently posted.

Also during the meeting, selectmen approved several appointments for the Police Department as requested by Police Chief Paul Magee.

Five patrol officers were appointed for one- and three-year terms, and four reserve officers were appointed for one-year terms.

Sergeant Robert Small was appointed for a three-year term, and three matrons were appointed for one-year terms. The animal control staff was also reappointed for another year.

The Senior Work-Off program was approved for another year, effective May 1. Through the program, senior citizens are granted up to a $750 reduction in property taxes in exchange for volunteer work at local facilities such as the Senior Center, Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library, and Rochester Memorial School.

“There’s a lot of work that goes on in the Senior Center,” said Town Administrator Richard LaCamera in a follow-up interview discussing the program. He said the program has now been in existence for about seven years.

LaCamera also stated that the State has approved a $30 million pothole fund to repair roads throughout the state. Rochester has been granted $45,000, which LaCamera said is a really good thing. He said the funding is a “one-time deal.”

In other matters, Chief Magee sent selectmen a letter informing them that the Rochester Police Department has been awarded a grant to purchase two automated external defibrillators. This grant will now allow every patrol vehicle to be equipped with a defibrillator, and the two units will cost just over $3,100, with the grant covering half the expense. The remaining portion of the expense will be funded by the police donation account, at no cost to the town.

The next meeting of the Rochester Selectmen is April 28 at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall.

By Jean Perry

Ryan Pitches First Career No-Hitter

Here is a look at the second week of scheduled games for ORR spring athletics.

            Baseball: The Bulldogs had a week headlined by strong pitching. The boys notched their first win of the season over Coyle-Cassidy, 13-10, thanks to a strong performance by relief pitcher Ryan Plunkett. In his first varsity win, Plunkett struck out six opponents, allowing only one hit and no runs to turn the tide of the game for the Bulldogs. Offensively, Plunkett went three-for-four with two runs scored. Bryant Salkind also had a great game, notching four RBIs. The highlight of the week for the Bulldogs, however, was senior pitcher Andrew Ryan, who pitched his first career non-hitter in a win against Wareham, 12-0. Ryan walked only four batters to secure his first ever no-hitter. Offensively, the Bulldogs also played well, thanks to strong performances by Chris Carando (three runs), Jordan Menard (triple, two RBIs), and Kiernan Besse (triple, two runs).

Softball: The Lady Bulldogs had a rough start to their second week, losing their first two games in close scores. Against Apponequet, the girls were edged out 4-3 and then lost later in the week to GNB Voc-Tech, 6-3. However, the girls rallied back in the latter half of the week to secure their first victory of the season over Wareham, 15-5. Junior Kaleigh Goulart and freshman Olivia Labbe had great games, each securing three hits and a home-run. Goulart also played well defensively, picking up her first win of the season from the pitcher’s mound. Maddie Lee and Sam Allaire also provided offensively, recording two hits apiece.

Boys’ Track: The boys’ track team remained undefeated this week with a 93-43 win over Wareham. Kevin Saccone won four events (long jump, triple jump, 110 hurdles, and 200-meter dash) to lead the Bulldogs to their second consecutive victory. Mike Wyman had a fantastic race in the two-mile, where he ran 9:27, five seconds off the school record, with virtually no competition. Colin Knapton won three events (javelin, high-jump, and 400-meter-dash) and Ben Rounseville also pitched in with a win in the 400-hurdles.

Girls’ Track: The Lady Bulldogs also remained undefeated this week, easily beating Wareham, 99-37. Paige Santos won three events (high-jump, 400-hurdles, and 110-hurdles), and the Lady Bulldogs claimed nine other events on the day to defeat what was expected to be one of their top competitors for the SCC title.

Boys’ Tennis: The tennis team won their lone match this week against SCC rival Bourne with an easy 5-0 victory. The Bulldogs won all five matches, with Alex Bilodeau, Alden Truesdale, and Doug Blaise claiming the first, second, and third singles’ matches, respectively. Freshmen Maxx Wolski and Sean Nutter won at first doubles, 6-1, 6-3, while Connor Blagden and Steven Burke won 6-3, 6-1 at second doubles. With the win, the Bulldogs claim their first conference and second overall win.

Girls’ Tennis: The Lady Bulldogs had an exciting match against Bourne this week, where they just edged out the Lady Canalmen, 3-2, to earn their first conference win. Julia Nojeim won yet again at first singles, and sophomores Charlotte Levine and Amy Bichajian also won at second doubles. The heroes of the day, however, were senior Rachel Brown and freshman Sophie Church, who bounced back after a tough first set loss to win 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles. The duo, which had never played together, was pivotal to the ORR win and allowed the Lady Bulldogs a chance to remain in the hunt for the competitive SCC title.

Boys’ Lacrosse: Thanks to strong performances by Ethan Lizotte and Connor Severino, the Bulldogs won their lone game this week against Pope John Paul II in a 12-1 blowout. Severino and Lizotte each scored four goals apiece to lead ORR, which had eight players score in the game. Also contributing were Chris Nadeau (three goals), Nic Suprenant and Landon Goguen (two goals apiece) and Charlie Tirrell, Ryan Manning, and Mikey Pruchnik (one goal apiece).

Girls’ Lacrosse: The Lady Bulldogs had a strong start to their week, easily defeating Sturgis West, 15-5. Bailey Truesdale was the leading scorer of the game with five goals, while Mikayla Demanche and Ali Grace each had a hat trick. Goalie Madison Thomson made seven saves on the game. The win against Sturgis West lengthened the girls’ undefeated streak to three games. Unfortunately, that streak was snapped later in the week as the girls suffered their first loss of the season to Bourne, 16-13. Truesdale played fantastically during the loss, scoring eight goals, while teammate Demanche notched four and senior Rachael Chandler added one. The Lady Bulldogs trailed 9-7 at the half and were never able to recover despite a strong offensive effort.

Below are the overall spring team records, followed by the conference records in wins, losses, and ties as of April 13.

Baseball: (2-2-0) (1-1-0); Softball: (1-4-0) (1-3-0); Boys’ Track (2-0-0) (2-0-0); Girls’ Track (2-0-0) (2-0-0); Boys’ Tennis: (2-1-0) (1-0-0); Girls’ Tennis: (2-1-0) (1-0-0); Boys’ Lacrosse: (2-2-0) (1-0-0); Girls’ Lacrosse: (3-1-0) (1-1-0).

By Michael Kassabian


Congregational Church Rummage Sale

On Saturday, May 3 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church Parish Hall, 27 Church Street, there will be plenty of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and domestic goods for sale at bargain prices. And don’t miss “The Boutique Booth.”

In addition, there will be White Elephant Tables filled with a large variety of items, including books. Questions? Call 508-758-3744. Donations may be left in the Parish Hall beginning April 21.

Brandt Beach and Leisure Shores

Dear Editor:

I wish to call to the attention of not only the Brandt Beach and Leisure Shores communities, but also to the whole town of Mattapoisett, about the changes that the Brandt Point Realty Trust is trying to get in their original agreement for a cluster development on Brandt Island Road. Their attorney, Mr. John Williams, is asking for an amendment to the previous agreement which would allow for a change to three-bedroom homes from two-bedroom homes so that he can better market the sale of this land. In his presentation, he notes that the original plan called for a septic system that could handle 10,000 gallons of water treatment a day and that this would be “improved” with a system that could handle 15,000 gallons a day. I truly question whether or not such a system would ever be placed, and I’m told that some of the people who live south of this development have seen an increase in the ground water flowing through their yards just as a result of the first few houses that have been erected since phase one was initiated. Barry Denham had to demand that the roads that had been put in by the developer were not up to standards and that changes had to be made. If this is any indication of the way this development is going to proceed, then the claims of an “improved” septic system must be looked at with skepticism. A perennial stream runs through Leisure Shores and originates from this land. It’s soaking wet back there where phase two is planned.

This whole plan was originally “sold” on the basis that there would be 41 housing units with two bedrooms, eight of which would be three bedroom units. That brings it to a total of 90 bedrooms. With the new “plan” there would be approximately 120 bedrooms. This makes it a significant increase in the number of souls that must be serviced by the town without any increase in revenue to the town. We the citizens and tax payers of Mattapoisett would like to thank the Brandt Point Realty Trust for thrusting this cost upon us. Mr. Williams is quoted as saying that the schools of Mattapoisett are under filled and that “Mattapoisett is a dying town.” Thanks again for “filling” our schools without increasing our revenues. He should come down to Brandt Beach and see the large number of young children that will be “filling” the schools.

The Planning Board voted to require another full hearing regarding this request for and amendment on the grounds that this is a significant change to the original agreement. I urge all who care for Mattapoisett to attend this hearing and discuss this issue completely.

We are being sold a bill of goods by someone who wants a BAILOUT. This country has seen enough bailouts. The developers made a bad decision and we don’t have to “fix it” for them. Just because they didn’t plan their venture correctly doesn’t mean that we have to “pull them from the financial fire” that they had not seen. We shouldn’t have to absorb the costs of a faulty plan just to stuff our schools. The cost in services provided by the town like fire, police and emergency services for this development doesn’t balance with the revenues that this development will provide. The runoff of water which will come from this area will have a serious impact on the water quality in the Brandt Island Cove where some of the cleanest water on the south coast of New England lies.

Watch out all you quahogs, oysters, and fish in Brandt Island Cove, the Brandt Point Realty Trust is coming to make Mattapoisett an “undying town.”


Paul E. Osenkowski, 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.

Dwayne Cameron Mathematics Scholarship

Applications for the Dwayne Cameron Annual Mathematics Scholarship Award are being accepted for qualified applicants at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett.

In October 1989, Richard I. Arthur, President and CEO of Sippican, Inc., established this annual scholarship to honor Dwayne Cameron on his recognition as Mathematics Teacher of the Year. Mr. Cameron was chosen as the 1989 Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by the National Science Foundation. This award is given annually to the student most deserving of such an honor, to be based upon the criteria set by Mr. Cameron and Old Rochester Regional High School. Lockheed Martin Sippican has continued to sponsor this $1000 scholarship after the retirement of Mr. Arthur. After Mr. Cameron’s passing in 2007, the award was increased to $1500 thanks to generous contributions from his friends, former students, and colleagues.

Seniors and alumni of ORRHS, who are currently enrolled as full-time students in graduate school or a four-year college or university, are eligible for this $1500 scholarship and are encouraged to apply. Please request an application from the Guidance Department of ORRHS. The deadline for applications this year is May 19.