Gateway Youth Hockey

The Gateway Gladiator Pee Wees had a battle ahead of them on the ice on Saturday night in their first playoff game versus Cyclones. In the first period, the Cyclones came out strong and got on the board first. Gateway skated hard but was unable to score throughout the first frame. In the second period, Matthew Paling was able to put Gateway on the board with an unassisted goal. Both teams played well defensively, with both goalies including Gateway’s Ryker King denying shot after shot. The third period was a true nail biter with the teams still tied 1-1. The Cyclones soon scored their second goal of the game, but Gateway countered quickly when Ty Rebiero added an unassisted goal to tie the game again. Gateway had met their match in this game with great efforts made by the whole Gladiator Pee Wee team. Rebeiro was able to slide the puck left to right down the ice with 5, 4, 3.1 seconds left to lift Gateway to a 3-2 win and a great start to the playoffs. Gateway plays on Saturday morning, March 18, at 7:50 am in Bourne at Gallo rink. Come cheer them on.

Knights Teen Dance

The Next Knights Teen Dance is Friday March 24 from 7pm to 10pm for $8 at The Knights, 57 Fairhaven Rd. in Mattapoisett. A safe place for 6th, 7th and 8th graders to socialize, dance and listen to their favorite music on a Friday Night. Knights of Columbus Chaperones and a uniformed police officer are on site at all of our dances.

Friends Academy Summer Camp Fair

Friends Academy, located at 1088 Tucker Road in North Dartmouth, will hold a Summer Camp Fair on Sunday, April 2 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. SouthCoast families who are interested in learning more about the any of the school’s camp programs, including the Orton Gillingham Program and Summer Math and Writing Maintenance Program for children with language-based learning differences, are invited to tour the school with student guides, visit classrooms, and speak with camp counselors.

The Friends Academy Summer Programs serve students from Early Childhood through grade 9. This event is designed to allow families to explore the summer programs in depth and to better understand the value of the dynamic, fun, and meaningful experiences the school provides children in the SouthCoast, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island areas.

The summer programs offer a wide array of innovative, interesting programs including sports camps, creative camps, cooking camps, technology based programs, and educational programs.

Founded in 1810, Friends Academy is an independent, nonprofit day school, serving boys and girls. For more information about our summer programs call Charley Pelissier, Director of External Programs, at 508-999-1356. For information about Friends Academy, call Katherine Gaudet at 508-999-1356.

Be a Friend. Change a Life

The Friendly Visitor Program is sponsored by the Mattapoisett Senior Center to provide companionship and support to isolated seniors who express feelings of loneliness and isolation. Through weekly home visits, volunteers develop meaningful, long-term relationships with seniors who appreciate the company and look forward to the visits. Many seniors have fascinating life stories to share. And often volunteers discover they receive as much as they give. The impact is powerful. Your time and commitment can change a person’s life; friendship is an essential ingredient for everyone’s mental health. Refer someone you know or become a visitor yourself. Contact Susan Keir, Outreach Coordinator, at 508-758-4110 or email outreachcoa@mattapoisett.net.

Nasketucket Bird Club Meeting

Ever wonder about those summertime flying cigars with wings way up in the sky? Find out more about those mosquito-eating machines at the next meeting of the Nasketucket Bird Club, Thursday evening March 23, at the Mattapoisett Free Public Library at 7:00 pm. The library is located on Barstow Street and is handicapped accessible.

Chimney Swifts have a unique relationship with, and dependency upon, humans. Come learn about this fascinating connection and how you can help.

Alan Kneidel is currently doing research at Delaware State University focusing on how climate change may affect the ecological functioning of barrier island ecosystems as globally important avian stopover sites. Previously, Alan has worked at Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences as a Lead Bander and Shorebird Scientist; Klamath Bird Observatory; and fieldwork for a variety of universities.

Check our website at http://massbird.org/Nasketucket/ or email our President Justin Barrett at jmbarrett426@gmail.com

Mattapoisett Tax Relief Fund

Enclosed with the property tax bills that were mailed out in December was a donation form for the Elderly and Disabled Tax Relief Fund. The fund was established under MGL Chapter 60 Section 3D in order to help elderly and disabled residents to remain in their homes. It provides financial assistance to those who qualify. Last year, the committee was able to help five taxpayers in need with $500 being given to each recipient. In order to qualify, an applicant’s gross income cannot exceed $20,000 if single and $40,000 if married. Your total estate excluding your domicile cannot be more than $35,000 if single and $45,000 if married. Applications are available on the Town of Mattapoisett’s website, www.mattapoisett.net, under the COA tab and at the Council on Aging which is located in Center School. Completed applications and/or donations should be mailed to the Treasurer’s Office, P.O. Box 433, Mattapoisett. Applications for help must be received by April 1 to be considered.

Academic Achievements

Abigail Adams of Mattapoisett and Zachary Mello of Rochester have achieved Dean’s List for fall 2016 at Merrimack College.

Morrisville State College recently announced that Danielle Cammarano of Marion was named to the Dean’s List for the fall 2016 semester. To be named to the Dean’s List, a student must achieve an average of 3.0 to 3.99 for the semester and complete 12 credit hours.

Kirstin Gardzina of Rochester recently earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Simmons College.

Jessica Lynne Rush of Marion was named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons College in Boston. Her major is undeclared.

Emily Lucia Josephson of Rochester was named to the 2016 fall semester dean’s list at Simmons College in Boston. Her major is undeclared.

Towns Blame Contract Costs for ORR Budget Woes

An exasperated Marion Finance Director Judy Mooney set the tone of the March 9 meeting of the ORR School Committee and Tri-Town town officials when she dug her heels in the sand, drew a line, and told the school committee it brought the school district’s financial problems on itself through poor contract negotiations with teachers and school administration.

Mooney said the proposed $320,000 increase (a 2.5% increase) to the ORR budget that the three towns agreed to was the bottom line, and the school district would have to accept that. The amount is about $380,000 less than what it would take to fund the school committee’s proposed budget and about $252,000 less than needed to fund a level-funded ORR budget.

ORR School Committee Chairman Tina Rood asked the town administrators, selectmen, and finance committee members of the three towns where that seemingly arbitrary $320,000 number came from, and Mooney took the chance to speak up first.

“There is only a Proposition 2½ growth … year after year of new available funds,” said Mooney. “You’re already over, even this $320,000. Let me put that right out there.”

This year, Marion is the town being hit with the higher increase in its ORR assessment, accounting for $229,000 of that $320,000 overall proposed increase. Mattapoisett faces an increase in its assessment by $191,000, and Rochester will see a drop in its assessment by $103,000 after getting the hardest assessment hit last fiscal year.

The Town of Marion will only see an increase in revenue this year of about $555,000, according to Mooney. Town health insurance is going up by 11%, and the towns are facing assessment increases from Old Colony and Bristol Aggie, as well. That $320,000 number the three towns came up with, Mooney said, is still higher than Marion can afford right now. As it stands with its own budget, Marion is still $144,000 in the red for fiscal year 2018.

“We do not have an open wallet,” Mooney said, her voice steadily increasing in volume expressing frustration. “I’d love to have an open wallet and give everybody what they want, but we told you last year, when you’re signing on contracts … it’s an issue you put on yourself with some contracts that you signed.”

Mooney said the district couldn’t afford a 3% increase to teacher contracts, especially given that the school committee agreed to a 70/30 health insurance split for new hires.

“It becomes a huge hit,” said Mooney. “I said it last year, if you keep going this route, you’re going to be in a structural deficit, and here we are, in a structural deficit.”

Mooney’s diatribe did not stop there.

“I have kids in this school system! I hate to see this happen, because you’re taking away things that my kids deserve, but you know what? I’m looking at huge raises here. Six, seven (percent), come on!”

Although the contracted salary increase is 3%, some teachers who increased their education or moved up in employment steps received higher than a 3% increase, as Business Administrator Patrick Spencer clarified in a follow-up interview.

You wanted to know where that $320,000 number came from, Mooney said to Rood, who tried defending the pay raises by saying teachers went three years without one.

“You’re putting us in a very bad situation,” said Mooney, adding that she has been monitoring the school committee’s contract negotiations over time.

“And we’re not going anywhere else besides that [$320,000],” Marion Finance Committee Chairman Alan Minard chimed in. “Face it!”

The heat from the three towns continued.

“Your level-service [budget] is four percent because you settled on contracts that are too high for anyone to support,” Mooney said.

Marion Selectman Steve Gonsalves called it “financial mismanagement,” criticizing the school committee for not running the school more like a business.

“Education can’t be an open pocketbook where we keep reaching in for money,” said Mattapoisett Selectman Jordan Collyer.

Phrases such as “That’s the reality!” and “We can’t afford it!” rang out from around the conference table all at once.

Mattapoisett Town Administrator Michael Gagne summed it up using the “piece of the pie” analogy.

“The municipalities can’t afford to give you more than the $320,000 and fairly treat the other agencies that they have to fairly budget,” Gagne said, mentioning health insurance cost increases of 12% the school district should have foreseen and which now account for $431,000 of the ORR budget. “You’ve got some issues … but you got some fiscal issues, you’ve got to grab them.”

Gagne also criticized the school district’s lack of any “meaningful” OPEB (other post-employment benefits) savings. “We are forced by the laws to collect x dollars, we don’t get x plus three [percent] without a Proposition 2½ override.” And if the district needs more money, he added, then an override would be necessary, but don’t count on Marion voters to approve that, he said.

That goes for Mattapoisett as well, said Collyer. “Mattapoisett will not approve an override. It’s not fiscally responsible,” he said.

“You have to stay within your budget and you haven’t,” said Rochester Selectman Richard Nunes, “and your contracts haven’t.”

Rood retorted, “Our number one resource is our staff for our kids.”

“Your teachers are your most valuable resources…. I hope they’re saying we’re their most valuable resource…. I’d love to have what they have, but we’re living in a Proposition 2½ world … we can’t live this way. And you’re throwing it on us but it’s really on you. We told you this last year!” Mooney said.

Some in attendance watching the meeting, such as Marion School Committee members Michelle Smith and Christine Marcolini, said it was the children now who were being “punished.”

Facing a very real possibility of that “right-column” conservative budget that would leave some items unfunded such as technology instruction, music instruction and band in the junior high, less art instruction, technology upgrades, and positions the district needs like an additional guidance counselor and a special education coordinator, Rood asked the others, “How can we work together, because that number that you have suggested is so devastating to the school.”

“We don’t have any more money,” said Minard.

Conceding, Rood said, “I will look at the numbers you have given me, and we will talk about them at the budget sub-committee meeting.”

This is a united front across the three towns, Rochester Finance Committee Chairman Kris Stoltenberg said. “We are now really united … and I will join Mattapoisett and Marion and join their cause … just as I hope they’ll fight for us.”

The ORR School Committee will seek to make up some of the budget gap by adding additional School Choice slots to fund the $18,345,489 level-service budget it proposed.

After another lengthy discussion and a long pause of silence, Collyer said, “I hate that we have to sit here and have this conversation.”

“You have to realize,” Mooney said to the school committee members. “You’re just one piece of our pie.”

Mooney warned the committee that the district would likely be looking at the same $320,000 number next year as well.

Superintendent Doug White said, “I think the committee heard you, and we’ll go back and address what has been heard tonight.”

White suggested a future meeting where representatives from the school district could sit with selectmen from all three towns and just have a conversation about the future of education and what a 21st century education will mean for the students, the district, and the three towns.

“Education is changing dramatically,” White said. “What we have to offer and what we’ll need to do for our students is not the same as it was even five years ago.”

The three towns agreed to the idea.

In closing, Rood said, “As school committee members, we’re here to advocate for those students’ needs. They don’t get to vote, and they are the future,” she continued. “We are asking for what is needed to support our kids.”

By Jean Perry

 

Peggy A. (Bowen) Cote

Peggy A. (Bowen) Cote, 85, of Marion passed away on Saturday March 18, 2017 at home surrounded by her family.

Born in New York, New York, the daughter of the late Edwin and Irene V. (Bedard) Bowen, she lived in New Bedford for most of her life before moving to Marion 22 years ago.

Peggy was formerly employed at the Holy Cross Fathers Mission House in Dartmouth until her retirement.

She was a devout Catholic, who was a Eucharistic Minister and Catechism teacher for 30 years.

She is survived by eight children, Michael Cote, Susan DeChaves, Annette Cote, James Cote, Joseph Cote, John Cote, Francis Cote, and Jeannine Cote; her siblings, Richard Bowen and Laura Worsham; 26 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; and nieces and nephews.

She was the mother of the late Raymond Cote and Robert Cote.

Her Funeral will be held on Thursday at 9am from the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford, followed by her Funeral Mass at Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church at 10am. Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery. Visiting hours will be on Wednesday from 4-7pm. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

 

Marion Art Center Art Classes

The Marion Art Center is now accepting registrations for its Spring 2017 Adult Art Classes. Offerings include:

Acrylic Painting for Adults: Mondays, 10:00 to noon at the MAC Studio; April 3 to June 5 (8 weeks), Note: No class April 17 or May 29; Instructor: Catherine Carter. Discover the versatile medium of acrylic paint. Students will practice basic application techniques, color mixing, and using value to create the impression of three-dimensional space. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. There will be no class on Monday, April 17 or Monday, May 29. Tuition for the class is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members (supplies not included). *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

Beginner & Continuing Drawing for Adults: Tuesdays, 10:00 am to noon at the MAC Studio; April 4 to May 23 (8 weeks); Instructor: Anthony Days. This class will expose students to a number of traditional illustration skills and concepts. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. Tuition is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members (supplies not included). *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

Pastels for Adults: Wednesdays, 10:00 am to noon at the MAC Studio; April 5 to May 24 (8 weeks); Instructor: Cynthia Getchell. This class is designed for those who would like to work with pastel but do not know how to begin, or have tried working with the medium but are having trouble achieving desired results. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. Tuition for the class is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members (supplies not included). *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

The Art of Reupholstery: Wednesdays, 10:00 am to noon at 188 Front Street in Marion; April 5 to August 16 (Tuition covers total of 10 classes on dates of participant’s choosing), no classes in June; Instructor: Harriet Ingerslev. This class will teach students the basics of reupholstery, an applied art that has its roots in the Renaissance period. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. Tuition is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

Watercolor Painting for Adults – All Levels: Thursdays, 10:00 am to noon; April 6 to May 25 (8 weeks); Instructor: Patricia White. After a brief introduction each week, students will explore different techniques, while working on the landscape, still life, figurative, and/or imaginative painting, in a nurturing environment. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. Tuition for the class is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members (supplies not included). *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

Continuing & Advanced Watercolor Painting for Adults: Fridays, 10:00 am to noon; April 7 to May 26 (8 weeks); Instructor: Jay Ryan. This course is a perfect “next step” for those who would like to explore watercolor painting beyond a basic understanding of color and brush strokes. Note: A minimum of 5 students is required. Tuition for the class is $180 for MAC members* and $195 for non-members (supplies not included). *Current MAC membership is required for discount. The 2016-2017 Membership Year runs August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2017.

To register online, please visit http://www.marionartcenter.org/about/register/. For more information, call the Marion Art Center at 508-748-1266.