Board Envisions Better Use of Property

Members of the Marion Planning Board agreed that they would like the large property currently for sale at 78 Wareham Road (Route 6) developed according to their vision of a “cluster” development rather than the subdivision-style plan presented to them on August 15 during a pre-submission conference with Steve Gioiosa of SITEC Engineering and the prospective buyer of the property, Ron Medeiros.

The 60 acres that abut the Weweantic River has several existing structures, including a main single-family dwelling and several outbuildings, which Medeiros would plan to occupy.

There is 2,500 feet of frontage along Route 6, which Gioiosa commented is not common for a tract of land such as this, and proposed dividing the land into lots for a conventional housing development while conserving significant areas of open space, including the space along Wareham Road.

Gioiosa referred to the town’s Waterfront Compound Bylaw and said this proposed plan would “be ideal for this type of property.”

Gioiosa said he interpreted the bylaw as allowing for this type of development near the waterfront with its requirements for open space protection and preserving some buffers for the public way, all ideal features for the property, Gioiosa said.

“We didn’t want to go too far without input from the board,” said Gioiosa. “We want to be sensitive to what the board would be looking for.”

The buyer refrained from completing any topographic survey of the property and contacted the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program to seek preliminary information about the site relative to NHESP jurisdiction.

Planning Board member Steve Gonsalves commented that Gioiosa had “a lot of houses in there,” when looking at the plan.

Will Saltonstall questioned the original intent of the Waterfront Compound Bylaw and its relation to this particular project, saying his initial thoughts are that it was intended for an entirely different type of use.

“I really see that bylaw not being intended for new development but more of a way to deal with previously existing [development],” said Saltonstall. “While I can see how your thoughts here could justify [it] … the Waterfront Compound Bylaw was not meant to create a new subdivision.”

Saltonstall said his gut reaction was that a traditional subdivision was not “the best use” of the land, suggesting there was a “higher and better use.”

The same idea crossed Planning Board member Jennifer Francis’ mind, she said.

“I really do think that this … bylaw was created … to try to keep these larger estates in this town, keeping them in that sort of feel and spirit … of open space,” said Francis. “It’s designed more to allow families to subdivide land or to allow other family members to perhaps build on it.”

Francis, who has been active in the town’s new Master Plan process, said one very clear message from the community was a desire for alternative types of development, not this traditional subdivision housing development.

“There are other needs that are much more pressing in this town,” said Francis, “that might align you better from what we’re hearing from the community.” She asked the buyer and the engineer to be flexible to meet the community’s vision of Marion.

However, as Gioiosa pointed out, there is currently no zoning bylaw that would allow for this type of alternative development or “cluster” housing, but zoning does currently allow for traditional subdivision development.

“Alternative use zoning,” said Gioiosa, “obviously we would look at that if there was a mechanism that would accomplish that…. I’m not sure the special permit [would allow to] deviate much from what the current bylaw says.”

Planning Board member Stephen Kokkins said there was a need for more “empty-nester” housing, describing a cluster-type development where neighbors could bike and walk, with a “small store.”

“The waterfront compound approach might be unappealing to some,” said Kokkins.

Chairman Robert Lane concurred with the board, saying what Gioiosa had presented was a bona fide subdivision. No question about that, replied Gioiosa.

“To me, it ends up being a subdivision and to me it ends up being totally outside what the spirit of the Waterfront Compound Bylaw [intends],” said Lane. “Way, way, way away” from the intent of the bylaw, Lane said.

The listing broker for the seller, Terry Boyle, said the seller is looking for the best terms and maximum financial benefit from the transaction, pointing out that the property has been on the market for over three years with little interest.

“A development like this is the highest use,” said Boyle. With an alternative conceptual use, Boyle said, there has been no interest from buyers. “We’re down at the bottom here and there’s a difference between the plan that you’re looking at and a subjective plan in the future.”

Lane replied by saying that the interest of the owner and the interest of the community don’t always align and bylaws exist to protect both parties.

“You cannot market it in a vacuum without considering these other factors,” said Lane. “More importantly, looking at the plan in relation to the Waterfront Compound Bylaw and Special Permit [process], I have grave doubts as to whether or not this plan meets those requirements.”

Furthermore, said Lane, the board would not be so eager to entertain a plan that sought to “maximize” the development of the land by maximizing the number of houses that could be fit on the land.

Medeiros was present that evening and told the board he would be willing to work with the Planning Board to come up with a plan more palatable to the board, but he cautioned the board to “be careful what you wish for.”

“I’ve seen Form-A lots…” said Medeiros, alluding to the frontage of Route 6. “It’s not the best interest of the town…. My goal is to keep the density down as much as possible, save the high impact area … the waterfront property, and get some value out of it…”

“I think the board will be as open as it can be,” Lane stated.

The board suggested Gioiosa browse the latest drafts and developments of the Master Plan to acquaint himself with what the board envisions for the town and, ultimately, the 78 Wareham Road property.

The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for August 29 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry


Roy A. Kainu

Roy A. Kainu, 56, of Marion, died August 18, 2016. He was the son of Ellen (Peltola) Kainu and the late Urho Kainu.

He was born in Weymouth and lived in South Middleboro before moving to Marion.

Mr. Kainu worked as a Finish Carpenter. He had also worked for Cape Dory Yachts.

He graduated from Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School.

Survivors include his daughter, Anita Kainu of Assonet; his mother, Ellen (Peltola) Kainu of Plymouth; and a grandson. He was the brother of the late Marie E. Dixon.

His funeral service and burial will be private.

Maurice A. Fuller, Jr.

Maurice A. Fuller, Jr., 91, of Rochester died August 19, 2016 at Tobey Hospital after a brief illness.

He was the husband of the late Arlene M. (DeMoranville) Fuller.

Born in New Bedford, the son of the late Maurice A. and Ruth (Barrows) Fuller, he lived in Rochester all of his life.

Mr. Fuller was formerly employed as highway surveyor with the Town of Rochester for many years until his retirement.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was the recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Survivors include his daughter, Nancy J. Fuller of Bradford, VT; a sister; 6 grandchildren, Rebecca Guaraldo, Jared Fuller, Gregory Hookway, Kate Stallmann, Abby Hookway and Rachel Hookway; 4 great-grandchildren, Megan Guaraldo, Ethan Fuller, Cole Fuller and Lucas Fuller; and several nieces and nephews.

He was the father of the late David A. Fuller.

His Graveside Service will be held on Thursday at 11:30 AM in North Rochester Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Saunders-Dwyer

Mattapoisett Home For Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt. 6) Mattapoisett. For online guestbook, please visit

Extreme Tiny House Waterfront Living

She was sick and tired of paying rent and had always dreamed of owning waterfront property. However, the reality of economics put buying a home with waterfront access out of reach. But with a bit of creative thinking and an opportunity to have the dream come true albeit in a slightly different way, Jill Simmons found her home by the sea – or should I say on the sea.

Since April 1994, Simmons has been living on a houseboat. Docked in Fairhaven, she has the best of all worlds – panoramic views of the water, absent the crippling property taxes.

Simmons, a retired New Bedford police officer and current harbormaster for Mattapoisett, was familiar with houseboats. Her husband George “Skip” Gray, a retired police officer from Marion, was living on one when they first met in the 1970s.

“He had the party boat in Marion,” she recalled. Their lives went separate ways for a couple of decades. But her desire to live near the salt water never evaporated.

Some twenty years later, she was able to reel her dream in – and her husband.

“A guy I was doing some work for had built a stick house on a barge,” Simmons said.

At 576 square feet, the 18- by 32-square-foot home contains a great room that functions as a living room/kitchen space. It has a bedroom and bathroom and windows everywhere that look out onto New Bedford Harbor, a place with which she is well acquainted. Simmons is the founder of the New Bedford Police Department dive team and seaport security program.

The water-bound home does not have a motor and would have to be towed should it be relocated.

When asked about personal possessions, “Sarge” gave a typical direct response, “You don’t accumulate a lot of crap.” She explained, “When you live in a house with a garage and a basement, you fill it up. That’s what people do.” But when you are living in a tiny home, especially one floating on the water, collecting material possessions is simply not an option, she emphasized. Simmons chuckled, saying, “I’ve got way too much stuff right now.”

But living in a houseboat requires more than a mere paring down of material goods; it takes knowledge and a willingness to understand the dynamics involved in maintaining this unique type of structure.

For starters, there is waste management.

“The Fairhaven pump-out boat takes care of that in the summer, and in the winter, I get a service that comes and pumps out the sewer tank,” she said.

Simmons’ knowledge of marine rules and regulations and the everyday realities of living on a boat is essential for making it all work out.

“The thing that people fail to understand is it’s a boat. You have to pay attention to the weather, your lines, the water temperature. You have to know every aspect of a houseboat and how to deal with it.”

Technically speaking, Simmons has mastered the science as well as the art of living on a houseboat. She said that it drafts 11 inches and in the wintertime, she keeps a thermometer in the ocean to gauge the temperature; after all, her freshwater tanks are attached to the underside of the structure.

“The average temperature of the seawater in the winter is thirty-two degrees,” she said. If it gets any lower than that, she has to take measures to ensure the water tanks don’t freeze.

Over the years that Simmons has lived in her houseboat, which is named Sea-Hab, she has had her own electrical power line dropped from a nearby pole.

“I don’t have to pay the marina for electrical power,” she stated with a smile. Conveniences have not been lost either. “I have full Internet and cable access,” she said.

More recently, Simmons has purchased suitcase-sized generators for emergency back-up power.

“I have to be able to carry the generators myself in case I’m alone and the power goes out. I have to know how to wire them up and keep things going,” she said.

Life in a marina carries with it a host of considerations, but for Simmons and Gray those considerations are outweighed by the joy of living so close to the ocean. After long careers dealing with the public, along with years of living in close proximity to neighbors, this couple understands the joy of friendly interaction as well as peace and quiet.

“In April, I’m glad to have people coming back for the season, and in late October, I’m glad to see them go,” she said.

And there are numerous details both small and large involved in living on a boat.

“Gray water can go overboard, so it does,” she said. Gray water is water used for bathing or washing dishes. As for fresh water, she fills her 350-gallon tanks as needed.

“Everything is about being conservative,” she shared. “I grew up with my grandparents on a farm … they didn’t waste anything.” Simmons is proud that her environmental footprint is small. “I don’t make a big impact.”

And then there is her address…

“I fought with the registry for years,” she said, explaining that you have to have a physical address to get a driver’s license because a post office box number doesn’t qualify.

“I finally got them to accept Fairhaven Harbor added to my P.O. Box number as my legal address.”

Regarding the costs involved in owning a houseboat, she said that because it’s a boat first and foremost there aren’t property taxes involved, just excise taxes. As for the marina expenses, she said those run around $4,000 per year plus insurance at around $1,700 annually. When contrasted against the average mainland rental unit rate of $1,300 per month, the cost savings quickly add up.

Of course there are some logistical considerations. For one thing, there is the trip from the parking lot to the front door, which in Simmons’ case, is about 485 feet.

“Oh, that can be very tough in the winter,” she said. But she’s not complaining.

And what about the fact that the Sea-Hab doesn’t have an oven? Well, that’s simply not a problem for this couple. Since tying the marital and marine knot in 2003, Gray handles the galley duties. Simmons laughed, “I don’t cook!”

By Marilou Newell


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

To the Editor:

Last Friday night, a small group of us attended the MAC production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Funny and affective, it was a rousing triumph. The acting by David Horne, Cynthia Latham, Susan Sullivan, Suzie Kokkins, Adam and Sam Roderick was terrific, as was the direction of Kate Fishman. The set made excellent use of the small stage, and the lighting and sound were all first rate. Having seen the same play at Trinity Theatre in Providence a short while ago, we know this production to compare well with it. What a boon for our community to have such excellent stage performances a short drive away. Kudos to the Marion Art Center.

Jim and Corinne Marlow


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.

Knights of Columbus Awards Scholarships

Damien Council No. 4190 of the Knights of Columbus recently awarded eight $500 scholarships to deserving area students. Funds for the scholarships were raised from middle school dances held throughout the past school year, as well as other Council fundraising activities.

Directing the scholarship program was Grand Knight Al Fidalgo and the Scholarship Committee, including Chairman Carl Junier, Jim Alferes, Jim Hubbard, Jim Grady, and Jason Mello.

Scholarships were awarded to the following students:

– Hayleigh Aubut of Fairhaven and Fairhaven High School

– Amy DeSousa of Acushnet and New Bedford High School

– Daniel Fealy of Mattapoisett and Bishop Stang High School

– Jane Kassabian of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Drew Robert of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Nicole Tetreault of Fairhaven and Fairhaven High School

– Paige Watterson of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

– Margaret Wiggin of Mattapoisett and Old Rochester Regional High School

Women’s Guild Spaghetti Supper

The First Congregational Church of Rochester Women’s Guild will hold a Spaghetti Supper on Saturday, September 10. There will be one seating at 5:00 pm. Adults cost $10 and children under 12 years of age cost $5. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling the church secretary at 508-762-8858. No tickets will be sold at the door.

DCR Makes Parks of the Southeast Accessible

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation sent its regional interpretive coordinator Amy Wilmot to Marion on Monday, August 15, to encourage area residents to take advantage of the abundance of nature, culture, and history the region’s state parks have to offer.

Wilmot, who has been employed by the DCR since 1995, said the talk organized and sponsored by the Marion Council on Aging was the perfect opportunity to tell the public about the wonderful state forests and parks within 30 minutes of Tri-Town, a few that are just a bit farther out, as well as a couple that would be considered day trips but nonetheless, on the must-do list.

Massachusetts, the fifth smallest state in the country, is actually ranked number nine out of 50 on the national list for most acreage of state park land. There is just about half a million acres of state forest and parks in Massachusetts that are open for all of us to enjoy.

“We encourage everyone to use our parks,” said Wilmot. “And it’s not just state forests and ‘parks.’ We have pools and we have golf courses, and we have skating rinks…. Great outdoors as well as history.”

When Wilmot says the DCR encourages ‘everyone,’ she means everyone.

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Mass DCR has invested a significant amount of money and resources into making parks, recreational waters, beaches, and hiking trails wheelchair and ADA accessible for all to enjoy.

For example, at Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport, boardwalks have been installed and bathhouses modernized, and sand mats have been placed to help beachgoers cross the sand with greater ease.

“Walking on the sand can be difficult,” said Wilmot. In addition to beach mats, Wilmot said special beach wheelchairs are available for use at Horseneck Beach that feature larger “bubble tires” to traverse the sand. Accessible water floats can be used as well, which are essentially like floating stretchers, as Wilmot described them, which allow those with mobility challenges to enjoy swimming.

Did you know that the DCR offers Massachusetts residents age 62 and over a lifetime MassParks pass for a one-time fee of just $10 that entitles you to free entry into all Massachusetts state parks, beaches, and forests with free parking?

Although most area parks like Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven and Nasketucket Bay State Reservation offer parking for free, several others in the state charge a per vehicle parking rate, which is definitely money well-spent.

“The Nasketucket State Reservation is an absolutely fantastic place to explore all throughout the year,” said Wilmot. “It’s one of my favorite places.”

One of the parks Wilmot highlighted was Freetown State Forest with its free parking for family use of the wading pool and splash pad, which Wilmot said DCR recently invested in to upgrade. With the use of slides, Wilmot showcased attractions at Freetown State Forest, including Profile Rock and miles and miles of hiking trails.

Myles Standish State Forest also made the list of Wilmot’s favorite Southcoast spots, which offers not only hundreds of camping sites, but also 15 miles of paved bike path within the 13,000 acres of protected state forest. There is swimming there, picnic sites and parking for the day for beach use is just $8; however, seniors with a MassPark Pass – free!

“And fall is an absolutely beautiful time to visit,” said Wilmot.

Another of Wilmot’s favorites is in Foxboro, a bit farther away but worth your time, Wilmot said.

  1. Gilbert Hills State Forest is open year-round for passive recreation with no parking fee, and restrooms facilities are open year-round.

“It’s a great place to go hiking,” said Wilmot. “I always recommend this place. The trail maps are really great.” Lions Falls is a small but beautiful waterfall that Wilmot testified is a gorgeous 1.5-mile hike in the spring.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful place,” Wilmot said. “There’s a hill … and that’s the highest spot between Blue Hills [Reservation] and Diamond Hill in Cumberland, Rhode Island.”

  1. Gilbert Hills is also a location of an active raven’s nest, a rarity in this part of the state.

Wilmot also encouraged listeners to visit Mount Greylock in Lanesborough, as well as Walden Pond in Concord next year to experience a number of upgrades and improvements the DCR has done to the two locations, including more ADA accessibility to the sites.

The Boston Harbor Islands, also part of the state and national park system, are a highly recommended day trip, with $18 giving you full ferry access to all the islands and back for the day.

One of the state’s most recent acquisitions for the eastern Massachusetts region is Sweet’s Knoll State Park in Berkeley alongside the Taunton River abutting Dighton Rock State Park.

Sweet’s Knoll, acquired in 2010, is a smaller park of roughly 50 acres, Wilmot said, and there are three miles of abandoned railroad bed that can be explored and hiked. Parking is free.

“We want people of all abilities to come in and enjoy our parks,” said Wilmot. Some parks even offer special hiking wheelchairs that come with straps that those accompanying an individual with a wheelchair can pull up to lift the wheelchair and its occupant above more challenging areas of a hiking trail. “I want to stress the importance of sharing this wealth of natural resources we have.”

Whether it is a state park, a town park, or a community park, Wilmot emphasized how important it is to share them with the children in your life.

“If you do go visit one of these parks,” said Wilmot, “bring a kid with you.”

For further information, visit, call 617-626-1250, or email

By Jean Perry


SLT Junior Board Program

Calling all young environmentalists. The Sippican Lands Trust is seeking 3rd-8th grade Marion students to join our Junior Board Program. Started in 2014, the Junior Board is a group of dedicated young members who seek to increase environmental awareness and involvement among peers. They aim to share the SLT mission, to host events, and participate in activities on many properties owned by the Trust.

The Junior Board meets on the third Wednesday, ten months of the year (September-October) and (January-August). Meetings are held either on the trails or in the SLT office. Some of the activities you can anticipate are the annual Halloween preparation and event, snowshoeing, bird watching and box preparation and maintenance, bee hotel building and maintenance, tree identification activities, the annual Easter Egg Hunt preparation and event, July 4th preparation and event, and assistance and participation in Sippican Lands Trust events throughout the year.

Please send in your application form to the Sippican Lands Trust office at 354 Front Street, Marion. Application forms are available on the SLT website, at the SLT office, in the library entrance and in Uncle Jon’s. Applications are due by September 1, 2016 for election to the Junior Board. Participants will be notified by September 10. There is a $25 membership fee. Please attach a check made out to the Sippican Lands Trust. If you are not selected this year, your check will be returned and you will be put on a waiting list.

Founded in 1974, the Sippican Lands Trust strives to acquire, protect and maintain natural areas in Marion. Its purpose is to conserve land, protect habitat and offer public access to the beautiful, protected lands of our town. Currently, its main focus is to develop more events and educational programs for nature lovers of all ages.

Please call the Sippican Lands Trust at 508-748-3080 or email for more information. Thanks and we look forward to an exciting year of Junior Board Activities.

Buzzards Bay c420 Championship

The first ever Buzzards Bay c420 championship was one of the biggest c420 regattas – 173 boats – the class has seen in its history. The massive fleet was stored away in the beautiful Ft. Taber Park with The Community Boating Center of New Bedford running the show. Executive Director Andy Herlihy and his team of volunteers and staff were top notch in providing a great venue, beautiful racing, and a welcoming atmosphere.

The Regatta was a three-day event with the first two days sailed in a qualifying series and the last day was a Gold and Silver fleet final. Day 1 saw a classic Buzzards Bay sea breeze with a nice build all day maxing out at 15 knots. The Race management team pushed the sailors for four races knowing that the next day could bring thunderstorms. The racing was tight in both fleets, and the stage was set for a Day 2 final day of qualifying. Day 2 arrived with a big breeze starting in the morning left over from a front that had passed through in the night. Steep waves ruled the racecourse as the breeze eased and settled in a bit. Day 2 saw an average breeze of 10-15 knots but with puffs much higher in the 20s, so the sailing was challenging. The fleet battled the conditions well, and the qualifying series ended with a tight regatta especially for the top five spots. On the final day, the fleet was greeted with a nice NW breeze, but the fleet knew that it would not last long and the best bet for racing was for the sea breeze to fill. The NW breeze died off to glass and the fleet floated in the bay until 11:30 am when the sea breeze trickled in and slowly built. The sea breeze provided beautiful 12-15 knot conditions under sunny skies. At the end of the day, Luke Arnoe and Mariner Fagan continued their consistency for the whole event with a solid 1, 4 last day helping them come from behind to win the first c420 Buzzards Bay Championship.

The c420 Buzzards Bay championship is the biggest stop in the Triple Crown series this year and the top points will make the series interesting going into the final event – North Americans in LA – next week. The Community Boat Center of New Bedford did an incredible job hosting this large fleet and putting on some classic Buzzards Bay races. The fleet left the park happy and excited for next year’s event.

2016 c420 Buzzards Bay Championship Top 5

  1. Luke Arnoe/ Mariner Fagan – 22 pts
  2. Connor Baylies/ Kimmie Leonard – 25 pts
  3. Truckie Greenhouse/ Jack Denatale – 25 pts
  4. Jack Brown/ Kelsey Slack – 34 pts
  5. Jack Johansson/ Claudia Loaicono – 36 pts