Parade to Feature ‘Caparisoned Horse’

They say the custom dates back to the time of Genghis Khan – the riderless horse led to the burial place of its fallen warrior to soon after be sacrificed and eaten in his honor – when it was believed that a horse was useless without its warrior companion.

Things have changed over time in obvious ways, but the sentiment behind the riderless horse remains constant.

Today, the solemn practice of leading the horse with no rider, known as a “caparisoned horse,” is reserved for extraordinary people during their funeral procession, a moving tribute to a great life that has passed on to death.

On each side a boot, traditionally of the deceased, is placed in the stirrup facing backwards, symbolizing the fallen rider’s last look back on life before riding into the afterlife.

Going back in U.S. history, Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be honored by the cap horse, which was President Lincoln’s personal horse, Old Bob.

The cap horse is truly a poignant sight to behold, the vision of a horse that must go on without its rider.

This Memorial Day in Mattapoisett, parade watchers will witness Mattapoisett’s first caparisoned horse in recallable Mattapoisett history make its way through the village dressed in a traditional black saddle and pulled by Cheryl Randall Mach in honor of our fallen heroes.

The brown and cream ‘Honey,’ Mach’s registered paint horse, has been practicing for weeks for her first caparisoned horse procession slated for Monday.

“This is our first time doing this, thanks to Dad,” said Mach. Her father is George Randall, a Mattapoisett veteran and member of the Florence Eastman American Legion Post 280. He suggested to Mach that she participate with Honey in the parade to help draw attention to the Legion.

With only a week until show time, on Sunday, May 22, Mach readied Honey outside her stall for a dress rehearsal with the boots of Mach’s grandfather, Arthur C. Lewis, a member of the cavalry in WWI, securely mounted in the stirrups and a shiny silver cavalry sword hanging on her side.

“He taught us how to ride military style,” said Mach, recalling time spent with “Grandpa Lewis” when she and her sister were little. “At his farm in East Longmeadow, he would drill us.”

Mach said Honey had previously attended a police horse training to get her used to sirens and noise including barking dogs, and diversions like smoke and other obstacles. She said she has been quite the spectacle in her neighborhood these days, walking Honey up and down Chapel Road where Honey’s home is at Peacock Farm. But practice makes perfect, and Mach wants to be sure Honey is confidant on the big day.

“A sword hanging off your side isn’t normal for horses these days,” said Mach. “Not like they used to.”

Cap horses, Mach said, have traditionally been darker horses, but these days more people are using horses of all different colors and breeds.

“This was really all Dad’s idea,” said Mach.

Randall said the legion is having a hard time recruiting new members and he worries about the future of Post 280.

“We really got to try to keep the legion going,” said Randall.

See Honey on Monday, May 30, in the Florence Eastman American Legion Post 280 Memorial Day ceremony and parade at 1:30 pm at the Mattapoisett Library.

Mattapoisett resident Richard Langhoff, retired professional engineer, is the guest speaker of the pre-parade service. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Vietnam War era veteran, Langhoff trained as a U.S. Air Force pilot through the Aviation Cadet Program, while also training as a navigator. He served in the 463rd Troop Carrier Wing of the Tactical Air Command and holds a commercial pilot license.

Langhoff began his work career at age 17 as a technician at Westinghouse Electric’s Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, builders of the nuclear reactors in the first nuclear submarine, USS Nautilus, as well as the world’s first commercial nuclear power station and first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise.

While at Bettis, he attended college, interrupting his education to enlist in the Air Force. After graduating with a degree in metallurgical engineering, he worked as a metallurgist for several companies.

In 2002, he retired from Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems in Portsmouth, Rhode Island as a principal systems engineer. He is now a part-time school bus driver and part-time driver for the Mattapoisett Council on Aging.

Langhoff has been a member for over 30 years in the Florence Eastman American Legion Post 280 where he currently serves as a director and chaplain.

After the ceremony, which features the Old Hammondtown Concert Band, junior high student Luke Thomas Couto will recite of the Gettysburg Address and the New Bedford High School Junior ROTC will post the colors.

The parade will start from the library and proceed to Water Street, to the Town Wharf, on to Cushing Cemetery, and end at the Legion Hall on Depot Street where refreshments will be served to the marchers.

Rochester will hold its Memorial Day observance on Sunday, May 29, with a parade that will begin at the Town Hall at 11:30 am, march to the memorial at the intersection of Mary’s Pond Road and Route 105, and conclude around 1:00 pm.

In Marion, the parade starts at 9:00 am on Monday, May 30, at the Marion Music Hall on Front Street. The observance will start with the National Anthem and the raising of the colors.

After a brief service, the marches will organize and proceed down Main Street to Spring Street and turn right down Spring Street to the Marion Town House for the service and speakers.

The parade then proceeds north on Spring Street to Old Landing Cemetery for a service at the gravesite of Benjamin D. Cushing. After the short service, the parade continues on Route 6 east, turning right onto Ryders Lane over to Front Street and Veterans Memorial Park.

By Jean Perry


Students Perform Spring One-Acts

The annual Spring One-Acts are some of the most anticipated performances of the year. All of the plays were student-directed and two of them were student-written, as well.

Junior Anaelle Ndoye wrote and directed one of the plays, while junior Joslyn Jenkins wrote and directed one play and also directed another. Duhita Das and Jackson Burke, both juniors, also directed plays. The plays were all performed last week, on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.

Das was in charge of overseeing the whole production and said it was interesting mostly because “it was completely student-run.” Mr. Tyler, one of the teachers in the Acting Department, suggested that she manage the One-Acts as her spring activity. She was in charge of finding students to write or choose plays to direct, holding auditions and scheduling practices.

“We had more students than ever before audition this year,” said Das. “It was so exciting. Ultimately, we chose five different plays.”

The hardest part, said Das, was the organization and communication with so many different types of people, as she described it. She worked with Mr. Van, who helped with technology, lighting, and the behind-the-scenes work, as well as Tabor’s Headmaster Mr. Quirk, who helped with logistics and permissions.

“The best part was definitely seeing the final product,” said Das. “After working so hard all spring, it was great to see how funny the actors and the plays turned out.”

Senior Lulu Ward acted in the One-Acts for the first time in her Tabor career.

“I’ve always said that I’ll do it my senior year,” said Ward. “And I’m so excited I did it. I’ve done the fall drama before, but it was really cool that the whole thing was done by students.” She noted that it felt more casual and much more improvised. It was less rehearsed because they couldn’t meet quite as often, so they had to think more on their feet.

Acting in or directing One-Acts is a common item on the bucket lists of many Tabor students. They are always hilarious and always incredibly fun to be a part of. Students are free to participate in the One-Acts in addition to sports and other activities, so they get to step out of their comfort zone and try a new, exciting activity.

Writing and/or directing a play is a very rewarding process, too, as you get to see the results of your work. Das and the other directors noted how fun it is to see your work transformed by the actors’ own involvement and influence. Actors add inflection or spin to words to change the meaning, but the end result is the perfect combination of the talents of all those involved.

“It was an incredible process,” said Das, “and I can’t wait for more people to branch out and direct plays or audition for them next year!”

By Madeleine Gregory


As-Built Plans To Be Confirmed

The newest team developing the beleaguered Brandt Point Village subdivision met informally with the Mattapoisett Planning Board on May 16 to discuss the current status of Phase 1 and the tri-party agreement pending for Phase 2.

Mark Marcus of Omega Financial Corporation, the current lender and trustee replacing Joseph Furtado, along with builder Armand Cortellesso and attorney John McGreen, came before the Planning Board, each taking a turn explaining that Phase 1 as-built plans for both Phases 1 and 2 had been prepared by McKenzie Engineering and forwarded to Field Engineering, the town’s engineer.

Ken Motta of Field Engineering, also in attendance, said that he recently received those plans and would be completing his review in the coming days. He said he would also confer with Al Loomis of McKenzie Engineering.

Marcus and his team need Phase 1 to be accepted by the Planning Board before moving forward on June 6 with the previously negotiated tri-party agreement that would allow Phase 2 homes to be constructed while giving financial surety to the town.

Cortellesso said that Phase 1 roadway work should be complete in about ten days and assured that other matters often brought to the board’s attention by Phase 1 residents would be subsequently completed.

Marcus and company will return to the Planning Board on June 6 for a public hearing that will include the tri-party contract.

Also coming before the board was Allen Decker of the Buzzards Bay Coalition regarding property off Long Plain Road that was recently accepted by Town Meeting. The applicant asked for and received a Form A subdivision of the property for conveyance purposes with two parcels going to the Mattapoisett Water and Sewer Department and one being retained by Howard Tinkham. The acquisition of the property, as explained by Decker, is for the purpose of protecting fresh water drinking wells and the Mattapoisett River Valley.

James Santos, 5 Fairview Drive, asked for approval of his driveway application that had also been reviewed and accepted by Highway Surveyor Barry Denham. The board approved the application.

The Planning Board and Denham discussed the best practices moving forward to ensure that driveway construction documentation is in line with existing bylaws.

Planning Board member John Mathieu, along with members Karen Field, Mary Crain, and acting Chairman Nathan Ketchel agreed with Denham that a form will need to be completed by his department prior to residents submitting their applications to the Planning Board. Mathieu said that by having driveway plans placed on the agenda, public discourse could take place. Approved plans will then be filed with the Building Department.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for June 6 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


BOS Releases Town Hall Restoration Funds

Tuesday, May 17, marked Stephen Gonsalves’ first meeting as a selectman. “Welcome!” said fellow Selectman Stephen Cushing. “Thank you,” Gonsalves replied, “I want to thank the voters for bringing me in.”

Gonsalves and Cushing, joined by fellow Selectman Jody Dickerson, set out to reorganize the Marion Board of Selectmen, something that Cushing reminded the audience they do every year.

Dickerson was re-assigned to chairman, while Cushing became vice chairman. Gonsalves now sits as the clerk. In addition, Dickerson remains Marion’s parking clerk.

The board spent a majority of their time listening to a presentation from the Marion Town House Building Committee. The committee had come to the board asking for a release of the Community Preservation Funds, which had already been authorized for the committee in a prior meeting. They intended to use the funds for Phase 1 of the renovation, which is to develop more schematic designs.

The committee informed the selectmen that they felt the best course of action was to renovate the current Town House and add a small entryway at the west end of the building, as well as a small addition to connect the current meeting hall with the original building.

The size of the renovation project was reduced by 2,000 square feet, which brought the total cost of the renovation to $11,974,606.

“We know that seems incredibly expensive,” committee members admitted, “but if we were to build elsewhere, we’d have to buy the land, plus the cost of building the new building. Without the land costs, the number we came up with is $9,680,381. And if we were to demolish the current Town House and rebuild on this property, the cost of building plus demolition of the former building would cost approximately $11.2 million. For such a small difference, we think the best option is to renovate the current Town House and return it to more of what it would have looked like when Elizabeth Taber built it.”

The selectmen agreed with the historic preservation angle and agreed to release the Community Preservation funds.

“There doesn’t seem to be any sense in moving away from the path we’re on,” said Cushing.

Town Administrator Paul Dawson then gave an update on the Future Generation Wind Project. Energy Management Committee member Bill Saltonstall gave more information on this project.

“The turbines will begin to be live in June, and the remaining turbines are planned to be running by June,” Saltonstall said.

Dawson then commented on the Electric Car Grant Project, which has currently placed one electric car with the Marion Recreation Department.

“The Recreation Department is pleased with the outcome,” Dawson reported. “But if we were to apply for two more vehicles, our reimbursement would be $3,000 less than it would be if we applied for three more vehicles. We aren’t sure where the fourth vehicle would go yet, though. The first consideration is the Department of Public Works. That would remove the department’s truck from the road, but we don’t know how the electric cars would do on unpaved road. The other option is the Council on Aging, to use for their Meals on Wheels deliveries.”

“Do we know how far the van goes on each Meals on Wheels delivery run?” asked Cushing.

“Well, they tend to run 80-90 miles at a time, generally,” Dickerson reported. “So we’d need to know if that’s how far the van drives every time it makes its delivery rounds. If the electric car can’t get all the way around the route, then there’s no point in putting it there.”

“That’s true, and the other issue is that it won’t remove a gas-run car from the road either,” Dawson said. “The COA van will still be used for things like doctor’s appointments, so it will still be in use.”

Town resident Ted North stood up to talk about the electric cars.

“There’s a misconception that these cars were free,” he said, “but they weren’t. Their leases, currently $9,300 for a 36-month lease, were paid for by tax credits from the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ scheme. We’ll never recoup the costs of these cars.”

The selectmen agreed to wait for more information on the mileage of the COA van before making a final decision on the application for further electric cars.

Before the board adjourned, Dickerson had one unfortunate announcement to make.

“As co-chair of the 2016 Marion Fireworks Board … we unfortunately are not able to go ahead with the fireworks this year,” he said. The town needed $50,000 to offset the expenses of fireworks, said Dickerson, so the board ran a fundraising campaign. “However, we were only able to raise a little under $10,000. We’re hoping to be able to do something for 2017. The money raised will stay in the same account, hopefully for use in 2017. Anyone who donated will be able to get refunds, as we’ve done in the past,” he clarified.

“That’s a shame,” said Cushing.

“It is,” agreed Dickerson, “and we aren’t alone. Wareham also had to cancel its fireworks this year.”

“The economy hasn’t really bounced back,” Cushing mused. “Everyone’s a little cash-strapped right now.

The next meeting of the Marion Board of Selectmen will be on June 7 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Andrea Ray


Harbormaster Art Museum

Mattapoisett Harbormaster Jill Simmons has become a de facto art museum curator since the town acquired prints and photographs that now grace the walls of the tiny harbormaster’s office at Shipyard Park. Local photographer Misty King has several of her pieces on display, along with two pieces by USCG’s artist Michael Mazur. Mazur’s pieces depict scenes from the 2003 Bouchard oil spill off West Island. Simmons welcomes the public to stop by and take a look at the mini art installation. Photo by Marilou Newell

Harbormaster_1 Harbormaster_2 Harbormaster_3 Harbormaster_4

Donald C. “Woody” Wood

Donald C. Wood, affectionately known as “Woody” throughout his life, passed peacefully at Sippican Healthcare on May 22, 2016. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Marjorie, to whom he was married for over 66 years. He was the father of four daughters, Roxanne Roberts, Betsy Jackson, Dianne Wood, and Susan McMahon. Born to the late Kenneth and Elizabeth (Rowland) Wood, he was a lifelong resident of Mattapoisett.

He was the brother of the late Kenneth M. Wood, Jr. and Richard E. Wood.

Woody was a devoted member of the Mattapoisett Fire Department, starting out as a call-firefighter at a young age. He remained a firefighter for the town, working his way up to Chief, until he retired in 1993, and also worked as a firefighter for the federal government at Camp Edwards, Fort Devens and Wellfleet A veteran of World War II, he served proudly in the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Mattapoisett Congregational Church, a member of the Plymouth County Fire Chiefs Association, the Machaucum Club, the Pythagorean Lodge A.F. & A.M. and a former trustee of the Mattapoisett First Meeting House, now the Historical Museum.

As the proud grandfather of nine, Caitlyn Roberts, Megan Ocampo, Sarah Johnson, John Roberts, Ian Lake, Caleb Wood-Daggett, Nathaniel Jackson, Emily Jackson, and Seamus McMahon, he derived great pleasure watching sporting events or performances of his grandchildren. Many afternoons and evenings were spent watching soccer, hockey, baseball, or basketball games, babysitting or providing transportation whenever and to wherever needed. He was their biggest fan and they his. In addition, he leaves five granddaughters, Maddie, Eden, Emelia, Ellery, and Brinley whom he loved and enjoyed. A true “family man” in every sense.

His Funeral Service will be held on Saturday at 10 AM in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett. Burial will follow in Cushing Cemetery. Visiting hours Friday from 4-8 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Mattapoisett Firefighters Association. For directions and online guestbook, please visit

Don’t Touch!

“When I returned to the spot the next day, the spot where I had seen the baby owl out in the open and it was still there, I knew the Mom wasn’t taking care of it.” With wisdom honed from 27years of training and experience, Mattapoisett’s Animal Control Officer Kathy Massey knew what had to be done.

“Mom will usually try to hide a baby that has either fallen to the ground from a tree or is resting. Mom knows where her baby is,” Massey stated. In the case of the baby owl she came upon in Fairhaven, however, it was obvious to her that mom wasn’t around to help.

“You have to be licensed by the state to handle or rehabilitate wild animals,” Massey said. She and her fellow animal control officers in the Tri-Town area rely on licensed shelters and wildlife handlers to take over where their work stops. For “Little Baby Owl,” Massey contacted the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable.

But what do average citizens do when they come across what they believe is a hurt or wounded wild animal?

The Tri-Town officers have two words they hope everyone will heed: “Don’t touch!” These officers who specialize in dealing with animals want people to understand the danger they may be putting themselves or their children in if contact is made and that humans are limited in what help they may render to the animals.

“Sometimes baby birds will fall out of a nest,” says Massey, “but Mom is usually very close by.” She explained that just because a bird is flapping around on the ground doesn’t mean it is hurt and certainly not that its mother isn’t close by. “Mom probably knows exactly where her baby is,” Massey said.

Rochester Animal Control Officer Ann Estabrook and Marion’s ACO and Police Officer Susan Connor echoed those sentiments. Their message is clear: leave wild animals alone.

The three veteran ACOs understand that when people see a baby animal alone, their first reaction will be to try and help. But, they stressed that baby animals are in their natural environment and most likely not alone at all.

The issue of wild animals interfacing with humans in suburban settings gets a bit more complicated when the animal in question is a deer, fox, raccoon, coyote, snake, or bird of prey.

“Animal control officers can’t remove wild animals unless they are a threat to the public,” said Connor. She said the regulations governing wild animals are very specific, including the actions that officers may take when called to assist.

“People call when they see coyotes with mange. They look terrible and are probably starving, but its just mother nature’s way of controlling animal populations,” Connor stated, adding that there isn’t much hunting allowed and certain animal populations have outstripped resources. “It’s never easy to see, but…” she said of witnessing a wild animal that seems to be in distress. “We have to let nature take its course.”

Connor also said that rabies is a problem, especially in fox and coyote populations, while Massey said that raccoons might carry a worm that can be transmitted to humans with tragic consequences.

Regarding wild animals like woodchucks that can be pests to homeowners, Connor said, “Call a PAC.” PACs are “problem animal control agents.” PACs are licensed by the state to handle the removal or dispatch of skunks, raccoons, porcupines, some birds, rabbits, and other wild animal species.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs, PACs have been trained to handle wild animals in a safe and controlled manner and are fully versed on state and federal laws governing the handling and removal of animals. A list of licensed PACs may be found at

Estabrook said that when it comes to deer, there are few options should one be injured.

“Deer don’t tolerate being transported when injured. The stress of being transported makes it worse,” Estabrook said. She said there aren’t any rehabilitation facilities for deer and any injuries incurred in an automobile incident “causes massive damage.”

Estabrook also wanted people to understand that birds are equally difficult to assist.

“Say a bird flies into a window and is stunned,” said Estabrook. “There isn’t a vet who is going to perform brain surgery on the bird. It will either make it on its own or it won’t. Either way, people shouldn’t try to intervene.”

It may sound heartless to the average person, but to the officers who deal with wild and domestic animals, as well as humankind, the most humane action a person can take is to call their local animal control officer.

“We know what needs to be done or not done,” said Connor.

If you come upon what you believe is a hurt or abandoned wild animal, contact your local police department and they will dispatch the local animal control officer. For a list of rehabilitation centers, visit www.mass.gove/eea/agenecies. And remember, “Don’t touch.”

By Marilou Newell


No-Touch Zones Cause Concern

It came to light during the May 17 meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission that the commission is facing with greater frequency property owners whose applications are difficult to accept.

“I know it’s frustrating,” said Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon, “but with small lots it’s a problem.” She said that, increasingly, the commission is receiving applications with plans to build or modify locations abutting 25-foot no-touch zones.

They reviewed an after-the-fact Request for Determination of Applicability for tree cutting and a request to construct a stone retaining wall within a 100-foot buffer zone that also comes into contact with a 25-foot no-touch zone.

After discussion on how best to work with the homeowner, Aristides Papadakis, 68 Bradford Lane, Farinon said that, with a RDA filing, conditions for construction would have to be limited versus if the applicant had filed a Notice of Intent. With a NOI, wetland flagging was mandatory; not so, with RDA filings.

But with a desire to work with Papadakis to the best of their abilities, including Farinon’s in-field work to help establish wetland lines, the commission members agreed to a Negative determination with the condition that no alterations or construction take place inside the no-touch zone.

The commissioners pondered the wisdom of requesting wetland flagging for any application that includes work up to a 25-foot no-touch zone.

“We are going to see more of these,” Farinon stated, saying that similar filings had been made for their next meeting.

The commissioners asked that Farinon monitor ongoing work at Papadakis’ property.

A NOI filing for Ken and Nicole Spencer, 62 Nathaniel’s Drive, consists of the construction of an 18- by 20-foot dwelling addition and an 18- by 40-foot in-ground pool within the 100-foot buffer zone, up to the 25-foot no-touch zone.

The project received a Positive determination with conditions to ensure no work would exceed the engineered plans, that erosion controls would be in place, and that a pre-construction meeting would be held.

A request for a Certificate of Compliance was issued to Jason and Michelle Hantman, 14 Foster Road, for the completion of a 24- by 24-foot building addition and 12- by 14-foot deck within a 100-foot buffer zone.

Two continuances were requested by Farinon for Certificates of Compliance sought by 1) Andrea and Donald King, 425 Neck Road; and 2) Michael Williams, 692 Walnut Plain Road. Both filings were continued until June 7.

The commissioners also approved a RDA filing by Andrew and Susan Revell, 59 Bradford Lane, for the construction of a 6-foot wide wheelchair accessible path and a 24- by 16-foot tree house play set.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for June 7 at 7:00 pm in the Rochester Town Hall meeting room.

By Marilou Newell


Old Rochester Farmers’ Market

This year’s Old Rochester Farmers’ Market will run from June 7 – October 18. The market is open every Tuesday from 3:00 – 6:00 pm, held outside the gymnasium of Old Rochester Regional Junior High School. The market has live entertainment on a weekly basis and will also have additional activities, such as face painting for kids as well as free yoga from 5:00 – 6:00 pm on every third Tuesday. This year’s market will have a variety of items to choose from including fresh local produce, breads, cut flowers, herbs, fruits, sweets and pastries, yogurts, cheeses, pasture-raised pork, grass-fed beef, non-GMO local chicken, sweet and savory pies, honey, jams, fresh eggs, organic baby food, sauces, ethnic foods and artisan crafts. Don’t miss out visiting our market. Accepting applications for new vendors; please email

White Sharks in the North Atlantic

Marion Natural History Museum presents “White Sharks in the North Atlantic” with Dr. Greg Skomal, Senior Marine Fisheries Scientist, MA Marine Fisheries. Despite its well-established presence in the North Atlantic, the white shark is not considered an abundant species and efforts to study its life history and ecology have been hampered by the inability of researchers to predictably encounter these sharks. However, with the protection of marine mammals over the last 40 years, the western North Atlantic gray seal population has rebounded and there is strong evidence that white sharks have expanded their foraging strategies to include active predation on these animals off Cape Cod, MA. For the first time, researchers have predictable access to white sharks in the North Atlantic. This presentation will highlight the results of this research. The program will be on June 10 from 7:00 to 8:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, 164 Front Street, Marion. Cost is $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Marion Natural History Museum phone 508-748-2098,