Joseph P. McCarthy

Joseph P. McCarthy, 97, of Annapolis, MD, formerly of Rochester, MA died Feb. 17, 2017 in Annapolis, MD. He was the husband of the late Marie R. (Florentine) McCarthy and the son of the late James W. and Catherine (Bagley) McCarthy.

He was born in New York, New York and lived in Rochester for many years before moving to Annapolis.

Mr. McCarthy worked as a Draftsman for Sperry Rand Company in Syosset, NY for 30 years before retiring.

He enjoyed his family, traveling and being the Shine Coordinator at the Rochester Senior Center. He was an avid reader and history buff.

He was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Rochester, and St. John Neumann Catholic Church in East Freetown.

Survivors include his daughter, Maureen Eschbacher of Annapolis, MD; his son, Joseph G. McCarthy of Medford, NY; a sister, Theresa Sclafani of CT; 3 grandchildren, Tiffany Burch, Linda McCarthy and Joseph McCarthy; 3 great granddaughters, Kaylynne McCarthy, Brynn Burch and Brielle Burch. He was the brother of the late Marie Braun.

His Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 25, 2017 in St. Rose of Lima Church, 282 Vaughan Hill Rd., Rochester. Burial will follow in Rochester Center Cemetery, Rochester.

Arrangements are by the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 2599 Cranberry Hwy., Wareham. For directions and online guestbook, visit: www.ccgfuneralhome.com.

Mary G. (Murphy) Whalen

Mary G. (Murphy) Whalen, 96, of Rochester, formerly of New Bedford passed away Saturday February 18, 2017 after a brief illness. She was the wife of the late John W. Whalen.

Born in New Bedford, the daughter of the late Edward D. and Margaret G. (Gibbons) Murphy, she lived in New Bedford for nine decades before moving to her daughter’s home in Rochester in 2010.

She was a lifelong parishioner of St. Lawrence Church, where she was a member of the Guard of Honor Society.

Mrs. Whalen was a pioneer in the Special Education Department of the New Bedford Public Schools, having primarily taught at Keith Junior High School.

She was a member of the Catholic Woman’s Club. She was a graduate of Sacred Hearts Academy in Fall River and the College of New Rochelle.

She is survived by three children, John W. Whalen, Jr. and his wife Constance of Fairhaven, Mark E. Whalen and his wife Cherilyn of Dartmouth, and Ann M. Desrosiers and her husband Paul of Rochester; six grandchildren, Erin C. Whalen, Jessica E. Buonopane, Brian S. Whalen, Luke M. Whalen, Amy E. Carlson, and Megan K. Desrosiers; and eight great-grandchildren.

Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 AM at St. Lawrence Church. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation will be on Wednesday morning from 9-10:30 AM at the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. Lawrence Parish Food Pantry, 110 Summer St., New Bedford. For directions and guestbook, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.

SLT Bids Farewell to Executive Director

It is with a mix of gratitude and sadness that the Board of Directors announce Robin Shield’s departure as Executive Director of the Sippican Lands Trust (SLT). Since 2013, Robin has played a critical role in helping the organization become more positively recognized throughout Marion and beyond as not only a land acquisition nonprofit, but one with a true commitment to the recreational and health benefits of the entire community by making its lands open and accessible to the public.

The Board wants to thank Robin for her years of dedicated service, which resulted in many significant accomplishments. Robin has been instrumental in expanding our emphasis on public access of our properties by broadening the SLT’s exposure through regional outreach efforts and signage at our various properties, developing a “Junior Board” program that encourages children to be good land stewards, expanding our membership, and overseeing several land acquisitions, most notably the Osprey Marsh property on Point Road.

“The Board thanks Robin for the dedication, passion and enthusiasm she has given the Sippican Lands Trust over the past four years. She will be greatly missed by those who worked with her. We wish her the best of luck and future success in her career and we are hopeful and excited for the next chapter of the Sippican Lands Trust,” says Board President Kate Ross.

The Sippican Lands Trust, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 for the acquisition, management and protection of natural areas in Marion. The Trust is a membership organization of approximately 900 members and currently protects 1,400 acres of beautiful open space. The Lands Trust sponsors events, educational workshops and lectures, and makes its properties available for natural history programming of area schools and other interested organizations. Working with the Town of Marion, local businesses, environmental agencies and with other Lands Trusts, the Sippican Lands Trust believes that New England’s rich natural resources can be preserved most effectively through collaborative citizen participation.

Town Hall Building Committee

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of the Town Hall Building Committee. I applaud the work these professionals – an architect, an engineer, and a businessman – have done for the town over the past few years. After attending all their presentations, I realize that they have carefully reviewed all the options available to us, including the pricing of a new building. They have talked with all the employees in the Town Hall and determined how much space each one needs, as well as calculating the building requirements to meet state codes. The committee certainly has done its due diligence for us. They have presented those plans and suddenly they are asked to start another process, spending thousands more dollars to investigate another building. When they presented in the past, there was a clear directive from the community to work with the current Town Hall.

The Building Committee has given us several options working with the current building. We have spent over $350,000 on architect fees and every year that we delay, building costs rise. In my mind, to send them back to the drawing board is an exercise in futility.

Some things are more important than a few extra dollars on our tax rate. The Town Hall and Library are iconic buildings and should continue to function for the same purposes for the next 100+ years. They are the cement for the village as are the General Store and the Post Office.

I spend a lot of time in the Town Hall. Although the windows are not in good shape – and we probably could have replaced them with the money already spent – the building is structurally sound. When I am in the cellar, I marvel at the solid foundation and the huge beams. It is a magnificent building, and it should be preserved. I cannot believe that a majority of citizens would vote to have that became another condominium.

We were presented with four options. I favor Option 3A, the Town Hall renovation without a large meeting room. The annual total tax impact on a $400,000 house is $146.99. The annual total tax impact for a new building is $165.69.

Most of us live in Marion because we love the town. I am not opposed to change but the village – comprised of the Town Hall, Library, Sippican School, Masonic Building, General Store, Post Office, Churches, Historic Society, and shops – is what makes Marion so charming. Let’s preserve the character of the town that brought so many of you here and has always been home to the rest of us.

Betsy Dunn, Marion

 

The views expressed in the “Letters to the Editor” column are not necessarily those of The Wanderer, its staff or advertisers. The Wanderer will gladly accept any and all correspondence relating to timely and pertinent issues in the great Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester area, provided they include the author’s name, address and phone number for verification. We cannot publish anonymous, unsigned or unconfirmed submissions. The Wanderer reserves the right to edit, condense and otherwise alter submissions for purposes of clarity and/or spacing considerations. The Wanderer may choose to not run letters that thank businesses, and The Wanderer has the right to edit letters to omit business names. The Wanderer also reserves the right to deny publication of any submitted correspondence.

Rochester Country Fair Dinner Dance

The Rochester Country Fair will be celebrating this year’s Dinner Dance with a “Tribute to the American Farmer” theme on Saturday, March 18 at the Redmen Hall located at 758 Main Street in Wareham.

Guests are encouraged, but not required, to dress in their best farmer jeans and shirt and show their American Farmer pride. We are excited to celebrate this theme for the Fair since Rochester has such an extensive farming history that makes our town unique.

The Dinner Dance Fundraiser will kick off the night with a stuffed chicken breast dinner prepared by Matt’s Blackboard, which will be served at 7:00 pm. Music by “The Relics” will begin at 8:00 pm.

Tickets to attend are $20 each, while supplies last, and unlike prior years, all tickets must be purchased in advance at The Hair & Body Solution, located in Rochester’s Plumb Corner Mall, or at The Ponderosa located on Rt. 105 Acushnet / Rochester Line. You may also reach any of the Fair Committee Members.

Donations of raffle items are needed and will help support the Rochester Country Fair. We would especially love to have some home grown/made items from some of our local farmers.

Visit our website www.rochesterma.com for additional event information or support.

All Around Accomplishments for ORR Sports

Here’s an update on the Old Rochester Regional sports for this week:

            Boys’ Basketball: Due to the inclement weather, the boys’ basketball team was only able to partake in one game this week. The Bulldogs played Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech last Tuesday and managed an 80-71 point lead. Senior captain Russell Noonan led the team with a career high 39 points and eight assists. Jason Gamache followed with 15 points and seven assists. The duo worked together to stop the Bears. Bennett Fox followed adding 12 points and six assists. The strong defense and aggressive offensive ultimately set ORR apart and helped them to dominate. The Bulldogs are now tied for first in the SCC with Bourne. Their record is 12-4/11-3 SCC.

            Girls’ Basketball: The Lady Bulldogs also started their week off with a 56-43 point win over the GNB Voc-Tech Bears. The second-year senior captain, Sophia Church, led ORR with 15 points. Not far behind was co-captain, Olivia Labbe, with 12 points. Also adding to the score were Maddie Demanche with eight, Emma Collings with six, and Mary Butler with five. During their rescheduled matchup versus Wareham, the Lady Bulldogs triumphed 44-30. The game started off slow, but Collings soon took control and finished with 16 points. Church was not far behind with 10 points. At the end of the week, ORR remains in a three-way tie in the SCC with Apponequet and GNB Voc-Tech. Their record is now 14-4/12-3 SCC.

            Boys’ Hockey: The ORR/Fairhaven Ice Hockey dominated Dighton-Rehoboth with a 5-2 win. The game starts off with defenseman Landon Goguen scoring. Little did he know, he had just recorded the 100th point of his high school hockey career. It is a great accomplishment that few players achieve. The game continued with Noah Strawn hitting in two goals before the end of the first period. In the second, Goguen got another to advance the score to 4-1. Strawn finished the game with one more goal in the third. The Bulldogs continued their winning streak in their second matchup of the week against GNB Voc-Tech with a 10-1 victory. The game started out fast with one goal apiece from Ryan Labonte and Ryan Raphael. Soon the score advanced to 8-1 with the help of additional goals from Labonte and Raphael, along with Strawn, Goguen, and Sam Henrie. The Bulldogs are now 16-1.

            Boys’ and Girls’ Track: This past Saturday, both the Old Rochester Regional boys’ and girls’ track teams competed in the Indoor Track Championship against Apponequet, Bourne, Case, Dighton-Rehoboth, Fairhaven, Seekonk, Wareham, and Greater New Bedford RVTHS. The girls’ team dominated their competitors with 109 points to take the lead in their sixth straight SEC Championship. They were distantly followed by Dighton-Rehoboth, who achieved 58 points. There were first place wins by Madeline Scheub in the 600 (1:51.27), Madison Martin in the 1-mile (5:52.76), Avery Nugent in the 2-mile (12:43.54), and Brooke Santos in the 55 hurdles (9.09). The Lady Bulldogs’ 4×400 relay team also took first place (4:35.82) in the event. Danny Renwick won the 55 hurdles (7.96) and the high jump (6-foot-6). The boys’ track team placed second overall.

By Alexandra Hulsebosch

 

Neighbors Concerned Over Land Trust Plans

During the February 13 meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission, the Mattapoisett Land Trust and Buzzards Bay Coalition sought permission for two projects that would open the way for public access on two parcels.

Representing the MLT was President Mike Huguenin accompanied by MLT member Paul Osenkowski. Representing the Buzzards Bay Coalition was Matt Spinner, land steward director.

The two applications before the commissioners were for requests for a Determination of Applicability. Such applications are generally viewed only in the context of the Wetlands Protection Act by the commission. That point became a rub as the evening wore on.

Up first was an RDA for 0 Acushnet Road submitted by the MLT. In this request, the group sought permission to clear trees, overgrown vegetation and to install a trail to the Mattapoisett River near Tinkham Chapel. They also sought to place a memorial bench at the site in memory of Lorraine Walsh whose daughter Crystal Walsh had approached the MLT regarding the idea.

Huguenin described the planned clearing as removing dead or dangerous trees within the jurisdictional riverbank area for a small trail to the water’s edge, modest clearing of invasive plants, and the bench. Chairman Bob Rogers then explained the commission’s problem with the plan.

Rogers said, “In the flood zone, we can’t do anything but protect all the vegetation.” He said that due to DEP regulations governing river areas, an RDA was insufficient, that the MLT would have to submit a Notice of Intent that carried a higher degree of governmental oversight – namely, the Department of Environmental Protection. Rogers said that in fairness to everyone else living along the riverbank, the NOI was necessary.

“Because of the riverfront, we can’t condition this with an RDA,” Rogers said. “This may not be allowed by the DEP.”

Rogers’ comments were responded to by Osenkowski who said, “It’s time that a board that represents Mattapoisett tells what’s good for Mattapoisett, not Beacon Hill!” He pleaded that the application would be an improvement benefiting the community with greater access to the resource area. Rogers said, “But we can’t touch a tree within 100 feet of the river front.”

There ensued nearly an hour of discussion that included public input as Rogers and Huguenin attempted to find a middle ground.

Diane Zartman, 116 Acushnet Road, said that if the area was opened up for public use, it might encourage more vandalism, more inappropriate trash dumping than abutters presently experience. She expressed doubts regarding the wisdom of making the area welcoming without increased policing.

A middle ground was ultimately found. Rogers and the other commissioners accepted that the MLT had a right to create a trail that meandered through the woods, but that they would also have to file a NOI for tree removal and installation of the memorial bench.

A similar application from the Buzzards Bay Coalition was met with greater abutter resistance.

The location along Long Plain Road leading to the MLT’s Woodcock Preserve was another spot the Walsh family hoped to place a memorial bench for their mother. Again, the wisdom of allowing greater public access to a resource area was questioned.

Spinner described the creation of a small, four-car parking area off Long Plain Road with a trail that would connect to a vernal pool in the MLT preserve. He said that the BBC would install bog boards along the new trail.

But Kimberly Pires, whose property abuts the proposed project, was quite concerned saying, “That’s going to be a major problem.” She said that presently passersby feed her horses, causing the animals to become sick. She said that signage had not stopped the problem, and that if a parking lot was created next to her pasturelands, she expected even more problems for her animals.

“For me and my horses, this is a nightmare,” she said.

Rogers was sympathetic saying, “A positive project shouldn’t cause a negative impact for you,” but that those types of inconveniences were not within the scope of the Wetlands Protection Act. Pires questioned the point in attending the meeting if her concerns were not going to be taken into consideration. Rogers countered that she had a right to appeal their decision.

Another abutter, Amy Rose-Baptista, also spoke against the plan. She said, “We live in a rural area … I want it to stay pristine.” But Huguenin said that the MLT and BBC were lawfully obligated to provide public access.

Mike Costa, 18 Long Plain Road, worried about an increase in all-terrain vehicle use. He said that ATVs were a constant problem for residents in the area and that trails and parking would increase the nuisance. Osenkowski said that the MLT had problems with ATV use in other locations and that they tried to build in obstructions along the trails to discourage the drivers.

In the end, the RDA received a Negative 3 determination.

Also coming before the board representing several clients was Rick Charon of Charon Associates. Charon received Negative 3 determinations on RDA applications for 16 Shore Drive owned by Patricia Tortorella for a second floor addition; 13 Cove Street owned by Judith Lamson for a sewer related utility shaft; 14 Cove Street owned by Marc Brockman for a sewer related utility shaft and related sewer piping; and 11 Briar Road owned by Richard Priester for two new decks. All projects were within flood zones.

Donna McCaffery, 16 Cove Street, NOI application for the construction of a single family home on a barrier beach also represented by Charon was continued until February 27.

The final hearing of the evening was represented by Jon Connell of Field Engineering for Julie Cabucio, 3 Oyster Lane. The project is the construction of a garage within a flood zone. The NOI was conditioned to include reference to FEMA Bulletin 5 to ensure compliance to all federal regulations.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Conservation Commission is scheduled for February 27 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell

January’s Women’s Marches

To the Editor:

Many Americans are worried about the direction our country is taking under the new administration. January’s Women’s Marches in Washington, Boston and around the country vividly demonstrated these worries and concerns, ranging from the potential loss of people’s health insurance coverage to threats to the environment. The energy flowing from these marches has fueled a broad range of follow-up actions by participants and sympathizers.

The Mattapoisett Democratic Town Committee saw a challenge in supporting these follow-up actions and organized a meeting last Saturday, February 11, at the Quaker Meeting House on Route 6. While winter conditions made travel difficult, some 65 individuals from Mattapoisett and nearby towns showed up to discuss “What’s next?” A welcome message from the state Attorney General, Maura Healey, set the tone for the discussion.

The participants agreed that the most important priority for the near future was to stem the damage done to policies and institutions of American democracy. For the time being, they saw resistance as calling for a firm “No” on Executive Orders and appointments that undermine the progress achieved over the last generation and beyond.

Some stressed the need to keep it local, focusing on issues that directly concern all. Given the make-up of the state’s representation at the national level, with Democrats at the helm, progressives need to combine the defensive posture with positive reinforcement for efforts undertaken by elected officials to fight our fights.

Participants agreed that the defense of the nation’s gains under President Obama should not lead the Democrats to become the “Party of No.” Several contributors to the discussion stressed progressive ideas as positive building blocks for the future. And the message has to be clear – distinctive and memorable sound bites.

There was agreement that priorities were needed to allow people to focus on specific issues, perhaps even on a rotating basis.

Only a few young people were in attendance, and several participants challenged the group to find ways to build on the energy and enthusiasm generated by young people in the Women’s Marches and in the election campaign. The group agreed that meetings like this one are not enough, and social media will need to play a bigger role.

There were also calls for more traditional ways of communicating, including stand outs, call-in to radio shows, or writing letters to the editor of newspapers.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to follow up on the various actions. The next MDTC meeting will be held on March 25 to choose delegates for the state Convention. A major Town Hall Meeting with the state Attorney General, Maura Healey, is scheduled for April 5; the event will be held at the First Unitarian Church, 71 8th Street, New Bedford at 7:00 pm.

Ulrich Ernst, Co-Chair

Mattapoisett Democratic Town Committee

 

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.

Pancake Supper to Benefit ORRJHS Students

February 28 is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the Lenten season begins and the day when the Mattapoisett Congregational Church (MCC) traditionally hosts its pancake supper. Not only will pancakes be served, but also sausage, special toppings, desserts and drinks. Serving the piping hot pancakes beginning at 5:30 pm will be members of the choir and students from Old Rochester Regional Junior High School (ORRJHS).

Although the MCC has hosted pancake suppers on Shrove Tuesday for many years, this one is particularly special. The Church Council agreed to donate 100% of the proceeds to students from ORRJHS who will soon embark on a school-sponsored trip called “The Holocaust Tour.” Approximately 25 kids and chaperones will visit the Netherlands, Germany and Poland as they study the “greatest crimes against humanity” that is part of the English curriculum.

A ‘free will’ offering will be collected. So mark your calendar. Please come and celebrate Shrove Tuesday with your family and friends in Reynard Hall at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church on February 28. Everyone is welcome.

Applicant Wants to Build in Wetlands No-Build Zone

Marion Conservation Commission members appeared a bit taken aback on February 8 when an applicant requested the commission vote on the spot rather than continue the public hearing, seemingly aware that the commission would deny the Notice of Intent.

After the commission referred to the placement of a swimming pool and pool house planned for the no-build zone close to wetlands as “a stumbling block” and reiterating that building cannot take place within a no-touch zone, property owner Christian Loranger said he preferred the commission simply vote that evening so he could “move on.”

The public hearing was continued from the last meeting so that soil testing by a wetlands specialist could be undertaken. The commission also requested roof drains and some buffer zone lines added to the plan.

Engineer Jamie Bissonnette said the latest plan reflected a reduction in the size of the pool slated for the no-touch zone, as well as some minimalizing of grading at the location.

Conservation Commission member Norm Hills reckoned the hearing would have to be continued since the information was only just received by the commission and needed an additional site visit. He then went on to address the pool and pool house.

“The pool and pool house are where we really don’t see [they] should be,” said Hills. “We commented last time and you really said nothing about it.”

But it is just the way it has to be, according to Bissonnette.

Bissonnette pointed out that for years a barn stood on the spot of the proposed pool, within that very no-touch zone, but the commission was not satisfied with that argument.

“That’s fine,” said Hills, “but the problem is that existed a long time ago. We’re talking about a clean sheet of paper and this is not a good start for a clean sheet of paper.”

Chairman Cynthia Callow asked why the pool and pool house had to be on the site of the old barn.

”I’m not really sure where else we could put it on the site,” said Bissonnette.

The proposed pool house is 24 feet by 26 feet, which the commission noted was more the size of a two-car garage than a ‘pool house.’

Bissonnette said it would be more like a two-family situation with the addition, which was then described as more of an in-law suite with a kitchen, which would also be used as a ‘pool house.’

“It’s almost completely inside the no-build zone,” said commission member Jeffrey Doubrava.

When Hills said the hearing would have to be continued at least, Loranger responded, saying, “I’d rather not continue it. I’d rather just take the vote now.”

“Okay,” said Hills. “Basically what you’re saying is you have no intent on changing.”

Loranger said he reduced the size of the pool and that was that.

“From my point of view, I think we should deny this,” Hills said. He said it goes far into the no-touch zone and argued that the pool house no longer appeared as simply a pool house.

“There’s more than that that we’re going to have to put down [in the written decision] because this is going to be appealed and will go before DEP.”

The consensus of the commission was to deny it, but the commission refrained from voting until it could word the decision properly.

The commission chose to hold a special meeting just for this item on Wednesday, February 15 at 7:00 pm.

Loranger asked if this was usual, saying he thought the commission would have to take the vote that night.

“Normally we do, but this is a case that we’re going to take an extra week to get the wording proper,” said Hills.

Loranger went on about how much money he has already spent on the property and his eagerness to proceed.

“But if it goes to appeal, it’s going to take even longer,” said Hills.

“Well, it is what it is,” said Loranger. “You’re going to deny me and we’ll go from there.”

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Marion Conservation Commission will be February 23 at 7:00 pm at the Marion Town House.

By Jean Perry