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Sunset on the Westport River’s East Branch
Friday, January 19, 2018
Photo | EverythingWestport.com – © 2018
Local news you may be interested in. Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Photos/EverythingWestport.com except as noted
Visit our regularly updated Theater and Arts Section, and plan your fall event schedule!
New galleries and art venues added for 2017.
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New! 1/8/2018 Click here to watch video of Bomb Cyclone Grayson whacks Westport.
10/16/2017 Click here to watch video of WAG preview Members Show.
Friday, January 5 – BREAKING NEWS 8:00 p.m. – Smoke pouring from a Davis Road house sends one person to the hospital.
WESTPORT – A multiple alarm smoke/fire at 102 Davis Road just after 7:15 p.m. on the coldest night of the new year sends one of the building’s occupants to the hospital, overcome with smoke inhalation.
Firefighters were alerted that property owner Leonard Cabral was still in the house at the time of their arrival; they entered the smoke-filled hoar and were able to remove Cabral to safety.
Westport with the assistance of the Fall River Fire Department responded with several fire apparatus and emergency vehicles.
The Westport Highway Department was called out with a frontend loader and several employees, already exhausted fighting snow and ice for the last 36 hours, to clear out the adjacent fire hydrants and open up the narrow roadway.
Click on images to enlarge.
Photos | EverythingWestport.com
While the fire was contained to the lower level of the house, smoke and damage to the heating system left the home inhabitable, according to Fire Chief Brian Legendre.
The Cabral’s were relocated to the home of a family member.
“I credit the quick action by firefighters Robert Greene and Captain Bruce Martin with averting what could have been a tragic situation,” Chief Legendre said. “Given the many challenges and difficult situation firefighters faced, we were fortunate no one was seriously hurt tonight.”
Firefighters were hampered by frozen hydrants, snow and frigid temperatures.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Westport Fire Investigation Unit.
The Big Chill!
Above: Head of Westport, flooded and frozen on Thursday afternoon.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Friday, January 5 – Wind-whipped Westporters can add a new term to their vocabulary – “bombogenesis.”
WESTPORT – In scenes reminiscent of the 2004 movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” the southcoast survived a blizzard of epic proportions.
A “bomb cyclone” or "weather bombs" are wicked winter storms that can rival the strength of hurricanes and are so called because of the process that creates them: bombogenesis. It's a meteorology term that refers to a storm (generally a non-tropical one) that intensifies very rapidly, sometimes referred to as explosive, hence the term bomb cyclone.
This storm named Grayson walloped Westport with 65-75 knot winds, blinding blizzard conditions, and heavy, wet snow that challenged the backs of all those who tried to shovel it from their sidewalks and snow-drifted driveways.
And now bitter cold as temperatures will drop to 2 degrees tonight and hit a low of -7 Saturday night.
The real heroes of winter storm Grayson were the workers of the Westport Highway Department who plowed tirelessly all day Thursday into the late night hours clearing roads for police, fire and medical emergency vehicles; one for fire apparatus responding to a distant house fire alarm on Whistler Point Road.
Highway Department employees removed a fallen tree that blocked Division Road, and cleared abandoned or snowbound cars that blocked roadways.
All this while dealing with broken highway department trucks, broken plows, and emergency calls.
Most of us were safe at home waiting for the blizzard that blasted Westport to clear.
Countless requests were made by police and residents alike to clear roads that the plows had cleared just a few hours before.
Hats off to fire personnel, police, and especially Westport Highway Department for keeping us safe.
More later today with photos and video.
Monday, January 1 – One man boldly goes where others fear to tread... water!
WESTPORT – 19th annual Back Eddy Polar Bear Plunge cancelled when extreme weather conditions forced manager Sal Liotta at the last minute to cancel the restaurant’s popular Polar Bear Plunge.
“With -12 degree wind chill and 36 degree water our attorney advised me to cancel the plunge,” Liotta said.
“The water temperature dropped 11 degrees in the last two days,” Liotta said.
“But anyone showing up with a reservation and swim clothing will still get the free brunch.”
“But no one is jumping today!”
Well, almost no one. 30-year-old Chris Arsenault of Westport came to jump, and by gum he was going to jump.
“I’m headed over to the state pier (boat ramp,)” Chris said. “It’s tradition and I haven’t broken it yet!”
“See ya later 2017!”
140 reservations were made by jumpers, an additional 100 reservations for guests who paid for the privilege of enjoying a Polar Bear Plunge without the ice water dunk.
140 reservations of would-be jumpers is a lot of free brunches for the seaside restaurant to serve, with people coming from as far as Boston and Providence to prove their mettle.
Hey, a free brunch at the Eddy is not to be ignored.
Saturday, December 30 – Selectmen brought to task over 2017 incomplete farm animal census.
WESTPORT - Animal advocate Kathy Saylor-Feininger (pictured left) questioned Selectmen Wednesday night as to why the barn books (state animal inspections books) were not yet completed.
“The farm animal census is usually conducted in the late fall,” Town Administrator Tim King responded. “We are late and for that we apologize. We have about 166 sites to inspect and we’re about halfway done.”
Feininger was told that some confusion among the newly appointed municipal animal inspectors and the town’s fulltime Animal Control Officer having requested a small stipend to participate and pump up the pace of the inspections were responsible for the delay.
The Animal Control Officer and the Assistant Animal Control Officers are also state-appointed municipal animal inspectors who report to the state.
Select Board chairman Steve Ouellette assured Feininger the census would be completed and also apologized for the delay.
Feininger pointed out that by wintertime many of the animals would be gone from the farms (slaughtered for market, or sold) and the census wouldn’t accurately reflect the health and care of the animal populations normally on the farms during the rest of year.
King said the Select Board was going to review the job descriptions of the animal control officers to insure that future animal counts would be done in an “expeditious way.”
He also told Feininger that “work on the census will be completed shortly.”
The scandalous American Legion Highway tenant farm is closed, and was not involved in this year’s census.
The state controls animal inspections.
Click here to learn more about animal inspector’s responsibilities.
The health and safety of the Commonwealth’s domestic animals are the Division of Animal Health’s primary responsibility. Through inspections, licensing, awareness and education the Division helps to ensure the general welfare of companion and food-producing animals across the state.
When problematic situations develop, Animal Health staff work with the Department of Public Health, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the MSPCA, local veterinarians, local health departments, municipal animal inspectors and animal control officers to respond.
“Municipal animal inspectors are responsible for getting good census of the domestic animal population of the town, be sure that all of the animals appear to be in good health and free from disease, and observe animal housing and ensure ample food and water are supplied.
The inspectors are also the first line of defense with rabid animals and rabies control in the domestic animal population.” – MDAR
Above: Farms could be forced to sell for a less than market value under the current APR program, according to Sen. Rodrigues.
Westport aerial photo | EverythingWestport.com
Click on image to enlarge.
Friday, December 29 – APR program must be updated to protect farmers, according to Westport Senator Michael Rodrigues. A 40-year-old state program designed to preserve agricultural land is under review amid complaints from farmers about how it is run.
The criticism focuses on the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture’s intervening in the sale of farm properties. Some farmers have bristled when the department, using its right of first refusal, has rejected buyers.
“It’s 40 years later. Agriculture has changed a lot, and the program has not changed with it. – Senator Michael Rodrigues
The 1977 Agricultural Preservation Restriction Program was a first-in-the nation attempt to protect farmland from commercial and residential development. The program uses taxpayer money to purchase the development rights to farmers’ land. Owners get money in exchange for giving up the option of selling the properties for non-agriculture uses.
Above: Planning Board Chairman Jim Whitten points out the 200 foot buffer zones on Westport waterways will do little to reduce nitrogen flow to the rivers as “all nitrogen in the town ends up in the Westport River.”
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Click on image to enlarge.
Friday, December 29 – With order to reduce nitrogen levels in Westport River, town officials consider options.
WESTPORT — The town is under state order to reduce the nitrogen levels of the Westport River by 71 percent, but selectmen on Wednesday agreed that a bylaw regulating septic systems might not be the best move right now.
Selectmen directed the WRWC to continue to hold public forums and discuss the issue toward a reduction in nitrogen to the river and other wetlands.
The Planning Board had voted unanimously to reject the WRMC recommendations as not going far enough.
Water Resources Management Committee members Maury May and Phillip Weinberg met with selectmen on Wednesday and discussed some of the WRMC ideas, including possible health board regulations or a bylaw change that would regulate septic systems.
May and Weinberg mentioned that 50 tons of nitrogen goes into the Westport River...
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Tuesday, January 23 - Want to be part of land protection in Westport? Join the Westport Land Conservation Trust and volunteer with Trail Team Tuesday! They will then carpool to each week’s project site. Projects will vary depending on the week but may include woodworking, trail trimming, boundary marking as well as other tasks depending on the groups skill set. They will finish up around lunchtime. Wear sturdy footwear and clothing for working outside. They hope to build a team that will be both rewarding to work with as well as accomplish important tasks to enhance the safety and experience of visitors.
Call for weekly schedule and postponements.
Tuesday, January 23 – Kripalu Yoga at the Grange with Karen Moore Holiday For July and August classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Classes are also available from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. on Mondays.
Pay by the month - $30 minimum; any additional classes are $15. Classes must be attended within the month. Drop ins are welcome at $18 per class.
For more information call 774.644.9977 or visit: www.sanctuarysadhana.com
Tuesday, January 23 - Zumba Pilates
Bootcamp at Sandywoods Farm, 43 Muse Way,
Tiverton, RI 02878 (Yellow Building). Every Tuesday from 8:00 – 9:00
Fee: $7.00 per class and $30.00 for 5 classes.
Aerobics at the Westport Senior Center from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m. Join aerobics instructor Wendy Sperduti-Ray for a fun fitness workout. All are welcome. Cost is $2.50 per class. Call ahead to be sure the class isn’t full.
Session I aerobics on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Session II aerobics on Tuesday.
For more information please call 508.636.1026.
Walking-Hiking Group at the Westport Senior Center.
Every Tuesday starting 8:45 a.m. they leave from the Westport COA. Are you interested in walking/hiking with others who love the outdoors? Have you wanted to walk some of the wonderful trails in our area but have some reservations about heading out alone?
Join the group. All ages welcome. Call 508.636.1026 for more information.
Note: Strolling Group every Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m.
Seniors can get help with health insurance, supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage plans and other medical or food assistance programs.
Every Tuesday, free and open to all. 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon.
You must call the center to make an appointment with Janet Holmes, who is there every Tuesday morning. 401.625.6790.
Tiverton Senior Center, 207 Canonicus St, Tiverton.
Weight Watchers Meeting from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Sakonnet Bay Manor, 1215 Main Road, Tiverton. $42.95 for a monthly pass. www.weightwatchers.com.
Tuesday, January 23 - Westport Library Needleworkers meet the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the Westport Public Library. Bring your needlework, quilting projects to work on along with your bag lunch. 408 Old County Road, Westport.
Call 508.636.1100 for any questions or more information.
Senior functional fitness (Jazzy Yoga) by Debbie Gagnon at the Little Compton Community Center on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
The fee is $2.00 for members and $5 for non-members; all seniors are welcome.
Functional Fitness that includes a low-impact, interval-aerobic movement with dance elements, combined with Pilates and Toning with weights, focusing on the Core Muscle groups and cardiovascular system. Safe and effective.
For more information please call 401.635.2400 or visit their website.
The Dragon-Flowers Mahjong Group meets every Tuesday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Game Room at Sakonnet Bay Manor, 1215 Main Road, Tiverton. Experienced American-Mahjong players are welcome to join any Tuesday. For more information, call or click Gretchen at 401.359.0113, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
They also give lessons for anyone interested in learning this fascinating game of tiles. The next class, which meets once a week for four weeks, will be announced soon. Contact Pat or Gretchen for details. Reservations for class are required.
Tuesday, January 23 - Ballroom Dancing at the Liberal Club, 20 Star Street, Fall River from 12:30 to 3:45 p.m. Singles welcome. Call 508.994.7240 for more information.
Tuesday, January 23 - Knitting and Crocheting at the Westport COA. 1:00 p.m. If you're new to knitting or crocheting, it's a great way to pick up new tricks and always have someone at the ready to help you through the difficult parts of patterns or explain a new-to-you technique.
Inset: from the left - Mary Ellen Moore of Dartmouth, Jane Bernado and Paula Gagnon of Westport, and Nancy Cronin of New Bedford are part of a group of women numbering from 8 to 15 each week who meet at the COA.
For knitters and crocheters of all skill levels committing to a group is a way of making time for it that hopefully you will stick with.
The class is led by Gertrude Vigeant.
Westport Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport. Call 508.636.1026 for more information.
Tuesday, January 23 – Westport food pantry is open on every Tuesday. The Food for Friends food pantry is at the former Westport Middle School, around the back from the tennis courts. It serves Westport residents 18 and older and is open on Tuesdays from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m.
All donations are welcome.
Drop off donations in the box labeled “food pantry” just outside the door. To volunteer to help, call 774.201.0566 or email Pastor John at Romans8five@aol.com.
They appreciate the donations. The top 10 things they need are; canned fruits and veggies, pasta and pasta sauce, hearty soups, snacks, canned tuna or chicken, rice and cereal.
Monetary donations also are welcome: every $1 donated purchases $10 worth of food at the grocery store because they are a member of the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Checks to support the pantry should be made out to ‘The Lighthouse Assembly of God’ with ‘Food Pantry’ noted at the bottom. Volunteers, both individuals and groups, are always needed. If interested, call 774.201.0566 or email Pastor John at Romans8five@aol.com.
Tuesday, January 23 - Zumba classes at Countryview Estates! Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Countryview Estates, 213 Hurst Lane, Tiverton. Admission is $5.00, all are welcome.
Latin Dance Fitness!
Ditch the workout, and join the party! No previous experience necessary. Easy to follow Latin dance steps provide a fun and fat burning cardio workout.
For information please call or click Fatima at 401.378.3872, or email: DAMITAF@aol.com.
Country Line and Couples Dance Lessons with JoAnn and Andy. Beginner and intermediate dancers. Tuesdays 6:30 to 9 p.m., VFW Poirier Post, 281 Appleton Street, New Bedford. Thursdays 6:30 to 9 p.m., VFW Silvia Post, 134 Shore Drive, Tiverton RI. $7 per class. For more information call: (774) 202-5543 and ask for JoAnn.
Tuesday, January 23 - St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to open its doors to those struggling with addiction, in recovery at 7:00 p.m.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 351 Elm Street, Dartmouth will offer a special Service of Hope and Healing for anyone struggling with addiction, those in recovery as well as their family, friends and supporters beginning
In light of the opioid epidemic on the South Coast, this service of hope and healing is open to anyone in the local community who is struggling with any type of addiction. It is open to folks of any denomination or no denomination. Their purpose in hosting this evening is to help people know that they are not alone, in the midst of what might seem like a very isolating experience. All are welcome to attend this service no matter where they are on their spiritual journey.
This service is offered by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing.
For more information, please call 508.997.0903.
Tuesday, January 23 – Westport Special Town Meeting at 7:00 pm. This is the chance for every registered voter to get up and express their opinion on town matters.
The Special Town Meeting will be at the Westport Jr/Sr High School in the auditorium.
Click here to review the five-article Special Town Meeting Warrant.
Tuesday, January 23 - Open Mic Night with Gary Fish at Sandywoods Farm, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton RI 02878.
Every Tuesday from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Free, donations appreciated. BYOF, BYOB coffee served.
Sandywoods Center for the Arts. For more information contact Sam at email@example.com.
Contact Gary Fish for more information at 401.632.7484 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stump Trivia! 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. every Tuesday at Wally's Tap House, 13 Crandall Road, Tiverton.
The event is free and open to the public over 21.
Come play Stump Trivia at Wally's Tap House on Monday nights! Bring some friends and grab some food and a drink! If you've played Stump Trivia, you know just how awesome our game structure is and there are prizes for the top two teams of the night.
Game starts around 8 p.m., so get there a little early to get a good seat!
For more information please call 401.624.1212, or visit their website.
ExTension Exercise Class
every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. at the United Congregational Church, 4 S of
Commons Rd, Little Compton.
Get fit and feel great! Questions? Call or click Mary at 401.418.3905 or email: email@example.com.
Find out more about the above and other local area events coming up this week. Click here for our all of this week’s event listings!
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Do you heat your home with fuel oil?
Then you’ll want to review new safety standards for protecting against costly oil leaks that could be very expensive to remediate.
Click here PDF to see how to protect your oil tank’s fuel line as required by law. The Massachusetts Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law requires you to upgrade your home heating system equipment to prevent leaks from tanks and pipes that connect to your furnace. By making a relatively small expenditure now, you can prevent a much greater expense in the future.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) positive mosquito findings in Westport and a widening swath through Southeastern Massachusetts.
Click here for more information and learn how to protect yourself from EEE.
A defective or non-functioning smoke alarm almost cost a young Westport woman her life in a recent July 4th Drift Road fire. The house burnt to the ground but the woman was saved by an alert Fire Chief.
Protect yourself, your family and pets with proper smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Is your property safe? Click here to get all the details and state requirements for all age homes. Do it now! PDF Large file, Please be patient.
16 tips .....
... you need to defend yourself against deer ticks and Lyme Disease. Click here to get them now!
10 tips for living with coyotes in Westport. Click here to learn how. PDF
Aerial views courtesy of Geno Silvia
New England Wings - Custom Aerial Photography
Baker’s Beach and Westport Point.
Westport’s Central Village featuring Partners Village Store and Kitchen, Alden Hill Real Estate, and Town Hall Annex.
Local area organizations’ newsletters now on-line!
Updated as of Monday, January 22, 2018
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