Sock Donations for Vets

The Mattapoisett Public Health Nurse Amanda Stone will be representing our community at Stand Down for Veterans in Boston on September 8.

Amanda will be providing much-needed foot care to homeless and “at risk” veterans.

Amanda is looking to bring with her from our community donations of clean white cotton socks to support the group’s “A Pair and a Spare” program that provides two pairs of socks to each veteran who receives foot care at the event.

Mattapoisett, Marion, and Rochester residents wishing to donate clean white cotton socks may leave them at the Veterans’ Office at the Mattapoisett Town Hall.

For additional information, please contact Amanda Stone at 508-758-4118.

Frustrations Aired Over Subdivision

During the August 7 meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board, the agenda was extremely lean. With no hearings or planned public discourse of any kind, the board members focused their attention on bylaw updates and changes that have been long in the making.

But after putting those aside and inquiring if there was any other business, Chairman Tom Tucker quickly became frustrated – the topic was Brandt Point Village.

Once again, Tucker asked Planning Administrator Mary Crain if the current development team had responded to the board’s request to meet with them vis-à-vis to discuss the list of incomplete projects at the large subdivision and to respond to why things weren’t moving along as agreed many months prior. “They still have ignored our request,” he said.

“This has been going on since 2008,” said Tucker, appearing to be addressing the board’s newest member Janice Robbins. “We’ve asked for a cease and desist…[and] we’ve been refused.” He said the Town did not have an appetite to shutdown construction in order to gain compliance.

The Planning Board, over the nearly ten years since the subdivision was permitted, has seen several development teams come and go.

Robbins asked if an agreement had been signed for certain activities at the site with the latest team, Marc Marcus and Armand Cotelleso of Omega Financial. Tucker responded ‘No,’ just verbal confirmation that specific things would be completed by last January 2017. Robbins remarked after the date on the current surety agreement was determined, January 2018, that “Technically, they are not out of compliance.”

It was explained to Robbins that, although legal documents governing the subdivision indicate that all Phase 1 items such as sidewalks, septic certifications, mail kiosk, stormwater management systems, and roadways must be up to independent peer review standards and were to have been completed by January 2017, it was basically a verbal contingency placed on the acceptance of their construction surety.

Tucker felt that since the verbal agreement had been written down and videotaping of that agreement archived, that was sufficient to get work at the site completed.

Tucker also believed that since occupancy permits were being withheld on Phase 2 pending completion of Phase 1 “they would get things done.” Now the Planning Board was again faced with how to gain Phase 1 compliance.

Tucker asked Crain to contact the Town’s legal counsel to ascertain what they could do at this juncture. Crain responded that counsel had said they could re-open the public hearing process and rescind the subdivision permit.

Robbins wondered aloud what would happen if that were to occur. Tucker said, “They either walk away or finish.”

Gail Carlson, also a new member of the board and resident of the beleaguered subdivision, added that gaining cooperation from other board members to collectively come up with a strategy that might assist in gaining cooperation from Marcus and Cotelleso was needed.

Crain and Tucker noted there had been a lack of response from the Conservation Commission and Board of Health when the Planning Board had previously reached out for assistance.

Tucker asked Crain to contact Town Administrator Michael Gagne, town counsel, Field Engineering (the Town’s peer review consultants), the Conservation Commission, and the Board of Health with an invitation to attend the next meeting of the Planning Board.

Earlier in the evening as Planning Board members reviewed the bylaw governing signs, it became apparent that a draft executed by Crain several years ago when she was a Planning Board member might not be robust enough when contrasted against the sign bylaw the Town of Rochester composed.

Crain had been employed by Rochester as the town planner when that document was written and accepted by the state’s Attorney General’s Office.

Tucker asked Crain to re-visit Mattapoisett’s draft, incorporating certain line items from the Rochester document and returning to the next meeting with a more fully fleshed out draft for their review.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for August 21 at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.

By Marilou Newell


Community Nurse Recognized for Excellence

On August 8, Mattapoisett’s Community Nurse Amanda Stone received the Massachusetts Community Nurse Award of Excellence presented by the Board of Selectmen.

Town Administrator Michael Gagne said that while other cities and towns cut back on public health nursing services as a cost-saving measure, opting instead to use the services of visiting nurses, Mattapoisett had made the investment.

“Mattapoisett’s position was significant,” Gagne said, noting that community nurses provide a level of care and continuity not readily available through other means. “A community nurse can do so much more, providing a regional approach to such issues as drug use, emergency inoculations, and so much more,” he said.

Selectman Jordan Collyer told Stone during the presentation, “This is a great accomplishment … you’ve been a tremendous hire for us.” He shared that the Council on Aging and others in the community “…love having you available to help,” and added, “We’ve made your role bigger, especially in a community with a population averaging over the age of fifty-five.”

Stone responded by thanking the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health to whom she directly reports. She said, “Any award comes from a team effort. Thank you for the support.”

Stone has been a full-time employee for the town for 12 years.

One outreach program that is near and dear to Stone is Operation Stand Down. She recently announced that for the eleventh year, the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses is sponsoring Operation Stand Down, a one-day event that provides foot care for at-risk and at-home veterans.

“We identified an unmet need,” Stone said, referring to foot care for homeless or otherwise at-risk veterans, and homebound veterans.

“The tent that we set up on the day of the event was named ‘The Spa’ by the vets,” she said with a warm smile.

Operation Stand Down takes place on September 8 at City Hall Plaza in Boston where Stone will be representing the Tri-Town area. Tri-Town residents wishing to assist can drop off clean white socks at the Veterans’ Office in Mattapoisett.

In other business, Gagne said the first village neighborhood engagement meeting recently took place with about 25 residents coming out to discuss the design of streets in the village. He said that on Thursday, August 10, a second meeting focusing on Water Street would take place at 6:30 pm in Center School.

The meetings are being facilitated by VHB, the engineer group hired by the Town to assist in planning the future look of Mattapoisett’s village streets and with final plans for Phase 1B of the bike path. Gagne said the process of engaging the public in discussions would help to formulate plans that will be fully vetted in November.

As for the bike path itself, Gagne said people are really starting to get excited. “This coming spring, the project should be out for bid,” he said.

Gagne said VHB is working on the design of safety features planned for the bike and pedestrian crossings at Mattapoisett Neck and Brandt Island Roads, features that will assist motorists and others when someone is entering the roadway.

On that note, Selectman Tyler Macallister said, “This is a public service announcement,” and then proceeded to share a near-miss incident involving a bicyclist and himself. “The person on the bike, an adult, didn’t stop at the crossing.” He said he was not traveling fast on Mattapoisett Neck Road at the time of the event, but nonetheless it was frightening. “Please be careful!” he told the public.

Gagne said VHB is looking at traffic signaling devices similar to those recently installed on Route 6 and that he would be meeting with abutters to hear and work through any concerns they may have, especially light pollution. He said part of the design would include motion-sensing mechanisms that will alert the bicyclist or pedestrian that they are approaching the crossing.

Gagne said the Town would be holding a Fall Special Town Meeting during November to handle matters related to the bike path. He encouraged voters interested in submitting articles for the warrant to do so soon and offered assistance in preparing any articles citizens wanted to bring forward for town meeting vote.

The selectmen also met with Treasurer Brenda Herbeck and Town Clerk Catherine Heuberger to sign documents for short-term notes and bonds. The retiring bonds earned up to $271,000, and those monies will be used to pay down other debts. The earnings were from bonds that were taken for school and library improvements between 2007 and 2009.

The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen is scheduled for September 12 at 6:30 pm in the town hall conference room.

Mattapoisett Board of Selectmen

By Marilou Newell


Richard J. Scarpellino

Richard J. Scarpellino, 85, of Marion, formerly of Ramsey, New Jersey and Brooklyn, New York, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 12, 2017. His loving companion, Josefa Simon, was at his side. Mr. Scarpellino was the husband of the late Rebecca Ann (Wilmington) Scarpellino. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of the late Salvatore and Margaret (Savastano) Scarpellino. Mr. Scarpellino lived in Marion, MA for 21 years. A jazz enthusiast, “Bebop” excelled at the trumpet and piano, writing songs and a novel, sailing, and watching basketball and baseball. He was Director of Basic Sciences and Chief Scientist of the General Foods Corporation, consulted for Givaudan, and held numerous patents dealing with food and flavor chemistry. He received his BA from Brooklyn College and a PhD in Food Science from Cornell University. He served for three years in the US Coast Guard during the Korean War. He is survived by his daughter Susan (Scarpellino) Saidenberg of Rexford, NY, his brother Ralph Scarpellino, Sr. of Manalapan, N.J., and his four grandchildren: Lucia Saidenberg, Emma Saidenberg, Julia Arp and Ryan Arp. He was the father of the late Rebecca (Scarpellino) Arp and Richard Scarpellino Jr., and the brother of the late Elizabeth (Scarpellino) Nawracaj.

Funeral services and burial will be private. To leave a message of condolence for the family please visit

Patricia A. Fleurent

Patricia A. Fleurent, 75, of Mattapoisett passed away Thursday, August 10, 2017 in St. Anne’s Hospital.

Born in New Bedford, a daughter of the late Leo H. Fleurent, Sr. and the Late Sophie (Wypych) Fleurent Pitta she lived most of her early and later years in the area, while also living in New Jersey for 30 years.

Miss Fleurent loved her cats. They were like her children. She also loved the beach.

She is survived by two brothers, Leo H. Fleurent, Jr. and his wife Rochelle of Fairhaven and Robert “Pete” Fleurent of Wareham; nieces and nephews, Lynne Sylva, Michael Fleurent, Randall Fleurent and Nicole Fleurent. She was the aunt of the late Bruce Fleurent.

Her Funeral Mass will be Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 9 am in St. Mary’s Church, Main Street, Fairhaven, MA. Burial will be private. For online tribute,

107th Rochester Grange Fair

The Annual Agricultural Fair will be held on August 19 from 1:30 to 7:00 pm. Admission to the fair is free. There will be exhibits of home-grown vegetables, fruits and flowers as well as baking, needlework and crafts. If you are looking for something tasty, check out our Bake Table. There is always something sweet to be found there. Our tried and true Ham & Bean Supper will be held at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for children under 10.

For those of you with gardens or like making things with your hands, think about entering the Fair. Our bright pink Fair Books are out and around the Tri-Town area. All the information you need is in them for entering. The books are a guide. If you have something you would like to enter, but it is not in the book, bring it to the hall. We accept all. To enter, bring your vegetables, etc. to the Grange Hall, 205 Hartley Road, on Friday, August 18 between 2:00 and 4:00 pm and between 7:00 and 8:30 pm.

Remember, anyone of any age is eligible to enter. We look forward to seeing many old friends and meeting new ones at the fair. If you have any questions, please call Sue at 508-295-8908 or email

Champions of MSL

The Old Rochester Lady Bulldogs claimed their first MSL title since 2007, defeating the Lady Spartans of Bishop Stang 49-34. The Mattapoisett Summer Basketball League, which has been operating since 1982 under the direction of ORR Coach Bob Hohne, consists of 16 area high school teams divided into an American and National Conference. After playing 9 regular season games, all teams qualify for the playoffs. Finishing second in the National Conference with a 7-2 record, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Dartmouth 48-36, Apponequet 48-40, and in the conference Championship game the undefeated Falmouth Clippers 33-24.

In the League Championship game, ORR faced Bishop Stang, the champions of the American Conference. After a close first half, ORR’s speed and defense paved the way for the 49-34 victory. Incoming freshman Cassidy Yeomans, who led ORR with 26 points, was named MVP of the league.

The Lady Bulldogs will return to action this weekend playing in the Assumption College Summer Slam.

RHS at the County Fair

Stop in at the Rochester Historical Society booth at the Rochester Country Fair on August 18, 19, 20. We will have farming artifacts, Rochester T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats for sale, books on the history of Rochester, information on many of the older homes in Rochester and much more. Additionally we’ll have a photo contest and raffle. Saturday will feature a Bake Sale. It would be a good time to renew your membership or join the Historical Society for next year.

There will be no monthly Historical Society Meeting this month (August). Our September meeting will be Wednesday, September 13 (a week earlier than usual) at 7:00 pm at the Church/Museum at 355 County Road. Keeping in line with the theme of the Country Fair, the subject of this meeting will be History of Farming in Rochester, Past and Present. Connie Eshbach will be the speaker. Members and non-members are always welcome. Please come and learn about Rochester’s roots … Perhaps you have some farming stories to share.

If you are on Facebook, check us out at Rochester MA Historical Society. There’s always something interesting on it.

The Not-So-Common Prehistoric Loon

The common loon is one of the oldest living creatures on this planet, with credentials of ancient fossils written on limestone pages of time in Earth’s crust more than a billion years ago.

This iconic spirit of the waters we enjoy today has somehow miraculously eluded extinction both before and after the Mesozoic cataclysms because of land and water amphibian adeptness of survival that is still apparent today with their behavior of clever elusive capacity.

The name ‘loon’ is derived from the Scandinavian “lom,” meaning clumsy or lame, in reference to their limited mobility on land with legs farther back on their body like other vertebrates such as frogs and salamanders, to lead a successful double life as an amphibian.

That is why the loon nests at the water’s edge. Unable to stand, it slides on its belly like aquatic reptiles like the alligator. But then once in or under the water, it is a powerful swimmer, propelled by webbed feet shaped like scuba diver flippers and helped by underwater flapping wings, and is able to dive down to 200 feet where its diaphragm constricts under pressure to minimize oxygen requirement to stay under for almost a full minute. Then, surfacing in an unpredictable direction, it can cruise along in a partially submerged depth with only the eye in the top of the head showing like the periscope of a submarine.

But all too soon, it must migrate to the ocean well before ice forms, from which it cannot take off for flight. That is when we see it here, having turned a salty color to adapt to the habitat.

Fortunately, the loon population has come back to be relatively stable to overcome man-made detrimental conditions such as acid rain, chemicals in the water, nesting disturbances, ingestion of poisonous lead fishing weights, and power boat mortality. Most effective remedial results have been the mission of public awareness, plus subsequent State and Federal regulation initiated by the Loon Preservation Society of Moultonborough, New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee where my wife and I spent last week on our annual vacation.

Upon arrival, during our stay, and for our departure, we like to think the loon’s calling seems to acknowledge and enhance our presence annually for many years. This may be much the same as the aging couple in the movie On Golden Pond on Squam Lake nearby.

Henry David Thoreau described the call of the loon as the most unearthly sound he had ever heard. There are two calls. There is the wail that seems to mourn the passage of time and memories of past summer seasons on the lake. But even more soulful is the shrill warning tremolo yodel that alerts us to the bygone miracle of creation on Lake Winnipesaukee, which in Native American means “smile of the great spirit.”

With all this, my mission of this article and drawing is to share with you this message of the loon as a living barometer of a healthy aquatic environment.

By George B. Emmons

Elizabeth Taber Library Board of Trustees

To the Editor:

The Elizabeth Taber Library Board of Trustees would like to thank Nita Howland, Susan Schwager and Nancy Rolli, who unselfishly and tirelessly took on the work of administrating the 2017 Annual Elizabeth Taber Library Book Sale in late July.

There are many shades of volunteers but few like Howland, Schwager or Rolli, who take on the monumental task of putting on the book sale each year, from beginning to end, including book donations sort-through to set up and sale and eventual take-down.

As one of the only private libraries left in the state, the Elizabeth Taber Library must do significant fundraising each year to help balance our budget, including sponsorships, donations and events. The Annual Book Sale is our biggest fundraiser and this year, when we needed it the most, Nita, Susan, Nancy and company made sure the book sale was a huge success once again, raising more than $6,000 for the library and its programs.

Thank you very much Nita, Susan, and Nancy, and thank you to many others who helped including the Marion DPW, Charlene Sperry, Margaret Winslow, Madelaine Smith, Michelle Sampson, Marthe Soden, Karilon Grainger, Joan Barry, Diana Markel, Nicole Davignon, Genya Hopkins, Steve Carnazza, John Rolli, Kathy Feeney, Bob Raymond and family, Susan Mead and family, and the members of the Baptist church who picked up the leftover books on Sunday.

Without these people and the silent assistants not mentioned, this event would not have been possible. Thank you all for your time and your dedication in helping to make the Elizabeth Taber Library the community focal point it has become.

Jay Pateakos

Elizabeth Taber Library Board of Trustees

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.