Saturday, April 25, 2015
Click here for today’s
event listings in and around Westport!
Click here for upcoming
theater and arts listings!
Updated Thursday, April 23, 2015
04/25/2015 – In the spirit of Arbor Day
(yesterday,) the national
holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care
for trees, the Westport Land
Conservation Trust will be planting 30 fruit trees this Saturday to
create the one-acre Mill Pond Grove off Reed Road in Westport.
Festivities start at noon.
WLCT has done the landscaping and dug the holes for the 30 trees, so be
sure to come over to Reed Road and lend a helping hand in planting Mill
Pond Grove, Westport’s first experimental, non-commercial community fruit
tree grove. Photo/EverythingWestport.com
The Mill Pond Grove will be
an experimental, non-commercial, community fruit tree grove that is
holistically managed without the use of chemical sprays and fertilizers.
Join the Westport Land
Conservation Trust and get involved, meet your neighbors, and eventually
eat delicious fruit.
Click for all the details
under Happening Today in Westport.
04/24/2015 – Oh no, tell me it isn’t so Joe! For all you internet speed freaks
and TV series binge viewers who have been waiting for Westport to switch off
Charter Cable service in favor of Comcast high-speed internet access and
expanded TV programming, you’re wait is over.
It ain’t going to happen!
In stunning but not
unexpected news today, Comcast is set to drop its $45b merger with Time
Warner. The Justice Department and Federal Regulatory Communications
Commission have signaled stiff resistance to the merger. The death knell
for the deal came when the FCC’s general counsel told his staff that he was
going to recommend that the transaction be referred to a hearing before an
administrative law judge, an action that all but insures the deal will
ultimately be blocked, according to an article in today’s Boston Globe.
Part of the fallout of the
failed bid is Charter’s plan to acquire some of the Time Warner Cable
markets that Comcast had expected to divest, and Comcast was going to pick
up the Westport Market from Charter that expected to acquire Bright House
This incestuous exchange of cable
markets to insure that no one company would have more that 30 percent of paid
television subscribers and 35 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet
service, Westport would end up being a Comcast town.
shoulda, but now the deal is dead, considered by
those in Washington as being anti-competitive.
Oh well, back to 30mb
internet and not lovin’ it.
04/22/2015 – Westport’s Board of Selectmen
reorganized at last night’s meeting. Antone Vieira and Richard
Spirlet announced they were stepping down as
Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, and the board then unanimously
elected Craig Dutra as Chairman, R. Michael Sullivan as Vice Chairman and
Steven Ouellette as Clerk.
Select Board leadership has changed,
but the challenges facing the board are the same: presenting a balanced
budget at Town Meeting, restructuring town government to achieve
efficiency, and facing the structural budget deficit that has plagued the
town for years resulting in spending most of the town’s free cash to fund
operating expenses and allowing the town’s unfunded liabilities to reach
The new board will also have
to address the PCB-plagued Middle School and the solutions now being
considered by the Schools Building Committee.
That’s a lot on anyone’s
04/22/2015 – New hires. Selectmen last night approved the hiring of Gary
Ferry to the Highway Department as Special Equipment Operator, and
appointed Bradford J. Fish of Acushnet as the town’s new Veteran’s Service
Agent/Graves Registration Officer.
Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves (right)
congratulates Gary Ferry on his hiring into the Highway Department.
There was discussion that the
VSA should report to the Council on Aging Director and have an office
there, but the Select Board took the advice of the VSA selection committee
and kept the position under the day-to-day supervision of the Town
04/22/2015 – Today is Earth Day. Earth
Day Network's year-round mission
is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide,
through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.
Celebrate this Earth Day by
joining the Westport River Watershed Alliance’s annual Spring Beach and
Dune Cleanup on Saturday, May 2nd
from 10 a.m. – 12 noon at Westport Town Beach, Cherry and Webb Lane.
Volunteers should meet at
10:00 am at the Cherry and Webb Town Beach parking lot to receive bags and
gloves to comb the beach and dune areas of Cherry and Webb and East Beach
04/21/2015 – Twin River Group Plans to Move Newport Grand to Tiverton.
Fearing competition from
prospective southcoast casinos, the owners of
Twin River Casino announced Tuesday that they plan to move Newport Grand to
Tiverton according to a press release issued by the company.
Management Group has secured the rights to acquire 45 acres of land off of
Route 181, along the Massachusetts state border.
The plan entails constructing a casino
on a 45-acre site in Tiverton off Route 81 next to the Massachusetts
border, which will help Twin River Management Group better compete against
new casinos opening in that state.
Newport Grand would remain in
operation during the construction phase but close once work was finished.
According to AP, the company, which
entered into a contract to buy Newport Grand last
month, said a casino would better compete closer to the Mass. border.
Click here for all the details and video.
04/21/2015 – 2014 Duck Derby Champion, Linny Cakes enjoyed her visit to Hawaii!
As February continued to dump
massive amounts of snow on the SouthCoast, Linny Cakes – the winning duck from the 2014 Allens Pond Duck Derby fundraiser,
enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of Hawaii.
Click here to watch short video of
11th Annual Allens Pond Duck Derby.
This little rubber duck
earned roundtrip airfare to Oahu for Linda and Richard Crossley by beating
out the other 5777 racing ducks that were racing the incoming tide at
Barney’s Joy this past August at the 11th Annual Allens
Pond Duck Derby more...
04/20/2015 – Another reason to love
coastal villages of Southeastern Massachusetts boast one of the most
well-known osprey breeding grounds in the country.
Eighty pairs of ospreys call
Westport home and birders can spot them from late April through mid-July.
But that's not all you'll see
here; more than 300 species of birds, including the federally threatened
piping plover, can all be found at Allen's Pond Sanctuary.
Peter Gray photo
There are three different
trailheads, connecting more than 7 miles of trail. With routes to marshes,
beaches, and rocky outcroppings with beautiful panoramic views, there are
bird watching opportunities in every direction.
recommended trail at Audubon’s Allens Pond
Sanctuary is Quansett Trail (easy, around 1 mile.)
Article thanks to Caroline Meleedy for AMC
Outdoors, April 2015.
Click here to
learn more about Allens Pond and the Osprey Project.
04/20/2015 – An ounce of prevention... Westport’s
Animal Control Officer Donna Lambert
takes another shot at controlling rabies.
ACO Lambert reports 45 pet
vaccinations at this spring’s Rabies Clinic held last Saturday inside the Hixbridge Fire Station.
“Eight of those shots were
cats,” Lambert said. “That’s the best turnout so far in these semi-annual
certificates are required to obtain a yearly dog license from Westport Town
Hall,” Town Clerk Marlene Samson said.
“We’ve issued over 500
licenses this spring, and they all have had their pets vaccinated.”
Dog Licenses are due each year by April 1st.
Above: Dr. Jacqueline A. Brito vaccinates Gumbo while owner,
Nancy (center) and Dr. Brito’s assistant calm Gumbo.
The vaccinations protect
homeowners ’pets from infection passed to them by an encounter with rabid
wildlife or other rabies-infected pets.
“The importance of getting
the rabies vaccine for your pet is that rabies is a neurotropic disease,”
Dr. Jacqueline A. Brito said. “If your pet comes down with rabies, they can
share it with you, and most people unaware of their exposure to the virus
do not survive rabies.”
Dr. Brito volunteered her
time to conduct the clinic with two assistants.
“If you know you have been
exposed when you get bitten and you know the animal was rabid, you can be
treated before symptoms start,” Dr. Brito said. “Once symptoms start very
few people survive the disease.”
“It is a state law that you
have to have it done,” Lambert said.
“Symptoms start becoming
evident from three weeks to three months with humans and animals, depending
on where they are bitten,” said Dr. Brito.
Dr. Brito said when the virus
gets to the brain it causes encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
Lambert said that you should
protect your puppies and kittens at three months of age, and then give them
a booster shot at one year old and then every three years; ferrets should
get vaccine every year.
04/19/2015 – Westport
Middle School gets failing grades on PCB remediation, overall building
maintenance. Leaking septic drainage pipes, handicap access obstacles,
extremely poor acoustics, and a decrepit locker room that looked like a
scene from the 1967’s “To Sir, With
Love” and 1955’s Blackboard Jungle were just a few of
the crushing concerns raised by School Principle Carolyn Pontes during a
public tour conducted last Monday by the Schools Building Committee and
Middle School officials.
And those were just the general maintenance issues which could
all be fixed with a few dollars more.
Buy not the toxic PCBs that have infiltrated the building’s
internal porous building materials and outside grounds.
So, what’s the solution? More.
04/19/2015 – 20 years ago today, domestic terrorists
Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City,
killing 168 and injuring 680.
McVeigh was later executed by
lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in
The blast destroyed or
damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, and shattered glass in 258
nearby buildings. St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral, a block away from the
explosion was knocked off its foundation, and was extensively damaged with
most of the stained glass windows on the east side of the church shattered,
the pipe organ extensively damaged, and the roof raised several inches off
its steel pillars.
The church was closed for two
04/16/2015 – Westport State Rep. Paul Schmid
appointed to key committee chairmanship.
Representative Paul A. Schmid (D-Westport) has been appointed to
serve as House chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural
Resources and Agriculture by Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.
Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture has the
responsibility to consider a wide-range of important issues that impact our
use and conservation of the land and the waters of our Commonwealth.
The committee hears and deliberates on legislative matters concerning
oceans, beaches and waterways, inland and marine fisheries, boating,
farming, forestry, hunting, state parks and recreational areas, air and
water quality, sewer and septic issues, hazardous waste, land policy
and climate change. More...
04/14/2015 10:15 p.m. Breaking news! Westport voters stay home. In an anemic turnout for a
town election with major ballot questions to decide, Westport voters
decided to stay home.
Just 3055 out of 11,049
registered voters showed up to cast their ballots in an election with major
consequences in the balance.
Incumbent Selectmen Craig
Dutra and R. Michael Sullivan easily won reelection, capturing a combined
62.98% of the votes cast.
Incumbents win all contests!
Prop 2 ½ questions get a big no
from both South and North Westport.
Voters rejected changing the elected
status of the Town Treasurer by 61.05%, and elected Brad Clifford Brightman, former Town Moderator, to the post.
Above: newly elected Treasurer Brad Clifford Brightman is sworn in by Town Clerk Marlene Samson
after election results were posted Tuesday night. Brightman’s
father, Clifford Brightman holds the Bible.
In a surprise outcome for the
one 5-year Planning Board seat, newcomer Andrew Sousa overwhelmed two other
challengers for the job receiving 48.59% of the vote.
Sousa, employed by the town’s
Highway Department as a heavy equipment operator, ran a strong campaign on
values and concerns for Westport’s water resources, road safety, and
control over development impact on sensitive environmental areas.
Reelected Selectman R.
Michael Sullivan was top vote getter with 1752 votes. The well-liked
Sullivan won reelection by cultivating trust with Westport voters.
Overall top vote-getter for
the 2015 town election was Board of Health member and chairman John J. Colletti with 2058.
Housing Authority incumbent
Elizabeth A. Collins easily defeated challenger Craig D. Mignone, winning 62.27% of the vote.
And Assessor Robert Grillo beat back a heated challenge from William J.
Burns, winning 66.83% of the vote.
There were no declared
candidates for Fish Commissioner, however, Everett
Mills won the 3-year seat with 14 write-in votes vs. 7 for Peter Kastner, and 5 for John Borden.
Question 6, requiring an
outside professional company to perform a 10 year revaluation of all town
properties, was convincingly defeated by 68.66% of the ballots cast; exit
polls showed some voters thought a re-assessment would raise their taxes.
Burns fell victim to the ballot question as he
Non-binding ballot questions
4 and 5 demonstrated that 74.75% of the voters wanted Beach Avenue left
open to the Knubble for all vehicular traffic;
with 62.17% wanting the road managed as town beach property.
Town Clerk Marlene Samson was
disappointed with the 27.65% turnout, expecting at least 34% of the
electorate to show up at the polls.
“I was very surprised,”
Samson said. The long time Town Clerk has been to the election rodeo many
times, and anticipated a heavier turnout over the proposition 2 ½ ballot
The Fire Station, American
Legion Hall, and the Macomber School Precincts
averaged just a 23.5% turnout, with South Westport averaging 32.5%.
More details with Precinct
04/11/2015 – Letter to the Editor. Westport resident Richard
Phillips writes a two-part opinion editorial concerning Westport’s troubled
Insert: Richard Brewer, Chairman presents his group’s
analysis to the Westport ROMEOs.
“I believe that there are two
large components to the financial difficulties in the Town:
(1) Unfunded employee benefits which I estimate to be in
excess of $100 million more...
(2) Education expenses which account for over 60% of the budget and
are rising faster than revenues.” More...
Editor’s note: Phillips is a member of the newly-formed Westport Financial
Advisory group that recently released its non-partisan findings of
Westport’s financial health in meetings with Selectmen, the Westport
Business to Business group the Westport ROMEOs and others.
Phillips shares the group’s findings with EverythingWestport
readers; findings which mirror the issues Westport Selectmen have been
facing over the last several years.
Phillips letter gives a detailed, probing analysis
that should be read by every Westport taxpayer.
04/11/2015 – Trout fishing season opened today in Rhode
Island. Adamsville Pond and Brook
which is shared by Tiverton, Little Compton and Westport has
been stocked by the RI
The RI Department of
Environmental Management has stocked more than 100 ponds and streams with
80,000 hatchery-raised brook, brown and rainbow trout in advance of the
season. Each weighs about one-and-a-half pounds.
Grab your pole and get ready
For you Westport fishermen click
here for all the details of the
Massachusetts trout fishing season (opened April 1st) with stocked waters
and state regulations.
Don’t forget your fishing
04/9/2015 – Sandywoods popular series of music
performances on the skids? One of the most prolific,
entertainment venues for local live music is in jeopardy with the
resignation of Russ Smith, program coordinator and organizing force of Sandwoods Center for the Arts’ popular series of live
Already under financial
pressure, Smith’s departure will aggravate a deepening problem with the
governing board’s years-long failure to “meet regularly, to engage in any
fundraising activities, or to apply for any number of available arts
Earned revenue from concert
ticket sales, instructor’s fees, overall lack of attendance at many events
and diminishing community support has caused Sandywoods to cancel some
activities like their Farmer’s Market, their Tuesday night “Open Mic at
Sandywoods,” and their weekly live-model figure drawing sessions.
Mr. Smith resigned as program
coordinator on Saturday, March 28th of this year.
Sandra Dugan, Sandywoods’
property manager will be serving as the interim program manager. She
announced that all scheduled activities will take place as planned.
But there is some doubt that
the May 23-24 Sandywoods Folk Festival will take place because some members
of the governing board have concerns it will not meet financial
The festival has been named
one of Rhode Island’s Top Five Spring Concerts by GOLOCAL PROV Lifestyle.
In a letter sent to the
press, Smith expressed frustration with declining revenues, citing the
situation is “not healthy or viable” and “didn’t allow for marketing
activities, and reasonable compensation (for staff), making it impossible
to hire badly needed staff.”
Memorial Day weekend will be a
little less memorable if the Folk Festival is cancelled, and the long-term
outlook for the live music program is shaky at best without addition
funding and organizers committed to continue the success Russ Smith has
achieved over his many years as program coordinator.
“It’s time for a new
challenge. I leave proud of the foundation that’s been built during the
past few years,” Smith said.
04/8/2015 – Hey Westporters, there’s a
new law in town, and you better take notice - wipers on, headlights on!
legislators previously approved legislation requiring your headlights to be used 30 minutes before
sunrise and sunset.
But that’s not all – the law was amended to also require drivers to turn
on their headlights when the vehicle's windshield wipers are needed, and
also when visibility is less than 500 feet, most likely due to fog.
The amended law goes into effect April 7th.
amended law, Chapter 481 of the Acts of 2014, was approved in January,
Better beware - drivers can be ticketed
for failing to comply with the new headlight law, and the offense is
considered a minor surchargeable traffic
violation, which could increase your insurance premiums!
04/7/2015 – Can I check this gun please? A Westport man exhibited a
lapse of judgement and even less common sense when he carried a pellet gun
into the Fall River Justice Center last Wednesday, as luck would have it,
during the on-going Hernandez trial.
According to a press release,
Fall River Police arrested David Cosme, 42, of
308 Sanford Road, Westport, after they said he entered the courthouse at
9:55 a.m. carrying a black metal handgun inside an opening in the lining of
Man, you just can’t make this stuff up.
Court Officer Nadine Lindsey was
working at the front entrance security station when she spotted something
“She placed Cosme’s jacket on the X-ray conveyer and, as it passed
the monitor, she recognized what she believed to be a firearm,” Detective
Lt. Ronald Furtado, a police department spokesman, stated in the press
“The jacket was then searched
as additional court security and police were summoned for assistance.
During this time, it was documented that all operations at the security
checkpoint came to a halt.” More.
Court officers searched Cosme’s jacket and found a black metal handgun that was
hidden in an opening in the lining of the garment, police alleged.
“Further inspection of the
handgun revealed it to be a pellet gun,” Furtado stated. “Cosme was reported to have said he brought the pellet
gun into court for a case he had been previously charged with.”
The gun was described as a
Daisy Powerline .177-caliber air pistol.
Well that makes perfect
sense; carrying a concealed weapon into a court house where you’re trying
to defend yourself against a previous weapons charge.
Police did say there was no
connection between this incident and the ongoing trial of Aaron Hernandez
taking place in the courthouse.
Cosme was charged with disturbing
the peace while armed.
Cosme will return to the Fall
River Justice Center to face charges which also includes the rarely used
charge of actions that “illegally blocked roadways, sidewalks or common
04/5/2015 – They only have
eyes for you!
Whooo woulda thought it.
husband/wife duo of Mark and Marcia Wilson recently gave a smashing
follow-up performance of "Eyes on Owls - A Live Owl Show" at the
Westport Middle School.
year’s inaugural event sold out with only one scheduled performance.
year’s show was even better with three scheduled performances bringing in
well over 350 people.
by popular demand, naturalist/owl experts Marcia and Mark Wilson gave a
fun-filled educational lecture followed up by a live introduction to seven
owl types in front of a wide-eyed audience on Saturday, March 28th.
event was sponsored by the Westport Land Conservation Trust.
Here’s looking at ya kid! Marcia Wilson and her
owls got up front and personal with youngsters from the audience.
an accomplished hooter herself, demonstrated owl calls to the delight of
the young and not-so-young in the Middle School auditorium more...
brother/sister team takes top spots in inaugural running of LC’s Spring
Fling Road Race.
Brian Doyle of Swansea wins the first running of the LCEF Spring
Fling 4.8 Road Race Saturday, finishing the loop in 29:49, almost a full
two minutes ahead of runner-up Geoff Manning of Little Compton (31:36).
Dan Murphy rounded out the top three
finishers with a time of 33:08.
Top female and fifth overall was Caroline
Leverque at 33:44. Theresa Gallagher was second
female and sixth overall just three seconds later with a time of 33:47.
And keeping it in the family was Brian
Doyle’s little sister, Mackenzie Doyle who finished third female and
seventh overall at 34:29.
Other coinciding area running events kept
the Spring Flings’ turnout to a lower than expected 64` registered runners,
but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the organizers, runners and
spectators who came out to cheer their favorites on a day that was sunny
day and in the 40’s, and to support Little Compton’s Educational
The Spring Fling 4.8 Road Race was
formerly the LC Winter Scenic Road 4.8 Road Race which drew hundreds of top
runners from a wide area, but was cancelled last year.
“It was a good day,” said 22-year-old
Brian Doyle who said he’s been running what seems like his whole life.
“Sunny but windy, especially on the back side,” the race winner said.
Click here to watch
video of LC 2015 Spring Fling 4.8 Mile Road Race.
The winter event was brought back this
year but a blisteringly brutal winter made race conditions impossible, and
the fundraising road race was rescheduled and renamed.
Click here for complete race results. Posted by on
Cool Runnings by Spitler
MA Alzheimer's Partnership presents Seminars for Caregivers.
The Alzheimer's Partnership is offering four
seminars for caregivers in a variety of locations for the public's
If you are currently a caregiver or expect to be
in the future, this program will provide you with the tools to handle the
demands of this responsibility.
Panel members are professionals in a variety of
fields and will provide valuable information on the topics of Elder Law,
Adult Day Health, Alzheimer's Association Programs, Assisted Living,
Homecare, Hospice, Long-Term Care, Geriatric Care Managers, Monitoring
Programs, Reverse Mortgages, State Agencies for Elder Services, and a
caregiver's personal experience more...
03/31/2015 – The Westport Council on Aging’s monthly
newsletter EVERGREEN is on-line.
The April, 2015 issue is now available. PDF
Read newsletter now.
Click here to
view all Westport organizations’ newsletters on-line.
03/31/2015 – Massachusetts State
Senators promise collaboration and shared leadership by bringing the State
House to the people.
State Senator Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, hatched the idea for eight Commonwealth Conversations tours, which have now been
“Since we took office on January 7th, we’ve initiated a sweeping set
of reforms that promise to change the culture of the Massachusetts State Senate
and make it more accessible, more open, and more transparent in its
Some consider these changes long overdue. We share their instinct –
the time is ripe for action,” Senator Rodrigues said. More...
03/31/2015 – Southcoast Orthopedic Surgery to host monthly total joint
The beginning-of-the-month seminars are open to anyone in the South Coast
community who is interested in learning more about total joint replacement.
“Don’t Let Joint Pain Slow You Down”, will be
hosted by Southcoast Health Orthopedic Surgeons
Michael Langworthy, MD, and Gary Ferguson, MD.
one-hour seminars from 6 to 7 p.m. will be held in Fall River and North
Dartmouth, and will cover arthritis, hip and knee pain and other orthopedic
conditions. The doctors will also use the opportunity to talk about
non-surgical and surgical treatments, nutrition, medications and exercise.
Light refreshments will be served.
is required by calling 508.973.1101. The schedule for 2015 is more...
03/30/2015 – Westport School Committee approves new cable director
position, but has many
concerns about long-term success because of dual roles and funding longevity.
Committee member Antonio Viveiros asked what
would happen “if selectmen change their minds,” and he was concerned the
town could lose funding for the position, even if the program thrives more...
Above: Selectmen met last week with three members of the
School Committee and Superintendent Ann Dargon to
discuss merging of the town’s public, government and school cable channels
for one year.
03/30/2015 – Westport behind the budget eight ball. A no-layoff
pledge and reduced state aid has decimated the town’s free cash account;
$470,000 in snow removal spending is just the icing on the budget deficit
is in freefall.
aside, Selectmen Craig Dutra and Chairman Tony Vieira asserted that
selectmen cannot keep reshaping the budget proposals for fiscal 2016.
“Every week we
get the latest version of the selectmen’s budget,” Dutra said, making a
reference to the movie “Groundhog Day,” prompting Town Administrator Tim
King to break out in uncontrollable laughter.
that the “horse has left the barn” in terms of selectmen tweaking the budget.
Committee Chairman Charles “Buzzy” Baron said the “free cash” situation is
But first you
have to have some free cash for it to be a concern.
pass two, binding Proposition 2 ½ ballot questions worth close to $1.25
million in this April’s elections and free up a lot of moola
for annual operating expenses? More...
03/29/2015 – Slower than expected state job growth causes uptick
in Westport’s unemployment rate to 8.3 percent from the
previous month’s 8.1 percent.
Bedford (10.4 percent) and Fall River (10.8 percent) were higher.
adjusted average jobs estimate showed that statewide there was a gain of
800 jobs in February and over the last year a gain of 58,100. Click here for the full
03/29/2015 – On
Saturday, March 28th hundreds of firefighters took to the stairs of the
Omni Providence Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Providence.
Six Westport Firefighters were among
No, this wasn’t a dangerous skyscraper
fire or other disastrous incident, but the eighth annual stair-climbing
fundraising event for the American Lung Association of the Northeast more...
03/28/2015 – WRWA announces new Community Engagement
Manager staff position. The Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) is
happy to announce that Steve Connors will join their staff as Community
Connors, the former steward of the TTOR town
farming effort, will assume his new position April 1, 2015.
Said WRWA president Tom Schmitt: “We’re
delighted to bring Steve on board. He brings a deep knowledge of the
community, a commitment to preserving the environment and a wonderful track
record of working with volunteers and staff more...
03/27/2015 – Biting off
more than they could chew.
Westport Police Sgt. Johnny P. Couto, under the watchful eye of referee Stacy
Gallagher, jams chicken wings into his mouth last night as the leadoff man
on a four-person police department team that took on Acushnet’s wing-kings.
out-of-towners took the day, but not without a lively fight from Westport’s
police department team will just have to wait until next year to take home
the coveted Fire Breathing Chicken Trophy!
practice, practice, practice.
all fun and for the benefit of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Bristol County.
Click here to view video of Chicken Wing Eating contest
at White’s of Westport pitting a Westport Police
team against an Acushnet Police team!
The annual buffalo chicken wing-eating contest
that pits local police and firefighters against each other for a good cause
returned to White’s of Westport for the biggest
wing-eating smack down east of the Narrows!
teams competed for trophy’s and gagging rights!
Above: Sgt. Johnny Couto
jams in the last of his five wings with referee Stacy Gallagher of the Cape
Code Advocacy Group insuring every last scrap was picked off, eaten and
swallowed. Team member Rob Rebello is waiting in
the “wings” for his turn.
03/27/2015 – Did you miss the lively
candidates’ forum at the High School last night? Public
Access Coordinator Valerie Bain recorded the candidates’ opening statements
and their answers to several
selected questions offered up by committee and the audience; their
performance will be aired publically on Town Channel 190.
more information call or email Valerie Bain, Public Access Coordinator at
508.636.1038, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inset: unopposed candidate for Landing
Commissioner, Jefferson “Jeff” Bull of 149 Horseneck Road made an
impassioned statement about preserving Westport’s town landings which he feels are being lost to
the public due to lack of use, shoreline buildup and abutter take-over. Click here for a list of Westport town
information to come.
03/26/2015 – For his
longstanding service to the town, Warren Messier has been named The
Standard Times 2014 Westport Man of the Year.
says he has always lived by the words his father taught him: “The greatest
satisfaction that one can have in life is to be able to give and help
just been a way of life with us,” Messier said. More...
03/26/2015 – New Bedford is
all-in as it vies for the state's final gambling license. A
landmark decision in New Bedford City Hall
and the dramatic clearing of a high hurdle in Boston took a giant leap
forward last Thursday for the $650 million casino and hotel project
proposed for the Whaling City’s waterfront.
Jon Mitchell and the developer of Foxwoods casino proposing a $650 million
waterfront casino announced a deal Thursday, March 19th prompting state
regulators to grant the company until May 4th to secure financial
commitments and other requirements for the first phase of the license
competition. The deadline also applies to a competing proposal in the town
plan, which now appears slated for a citywide vote in late May or early
June will face stiff completion from proposals in Brocton and Somerset.
thought this (deal) was dead as a doornail," Gaming Commission
Chairman Stephen Crosby said of the New Bedford proposal. "The fact
that it happened is a huge change."
agreement between New Bedford and the New York City-based KG Urban
Enterprises calls for a $4.5 million upfront payment to the city, followed
by $12.5 million in annual payments once it opens its doors.
Click here to read full AP article.
tuned for more information.
03/25/2015 – Meet the candidates tomorrow night at the Westport High School. Westport
residents are invited to Candidates Night at the High School Auditorium
starting at 6:30 p.m.
Powell will be the moderator.
audience will have the opportunity to hear from the candidates, as well as
be informed about the six ballot questions. In addition, there will be an
opportunity to ask questions of the candidates from the 4 contested races,
and to those speaking on behalf of the ballot questions.
More under Bulletin Board.
Click here to review the six ballot
03/24/2015 – Westport
Council on Aging gets a new Director. Selectmen
at last night’s meeting voted unanimously to appoint Beverly Bisch of Fall River as the Westport Senior Center’s new
was a difficult pursuit, but the search committee could hardly have found a
Above: New COA Director Beverly Bisch is surrounded by members of the Westport COA
Board of Directors. From the left: Cathy Davis, Muriel Kokoszka,
Beverly Bisch, Judy Turner, William Gifford, and
committee struggled for many months, interviewing scores of candidates, but
eventually settled on a
very experienced applicant for the Selectmen’s consideration.
off to the COA’s Board of Directors Chairwoman, Marcia Liggin,
who jumped in as interim director during the extended quest for a new
03/24/2015 – Letter
to the Editor. Pamela
Costa announces her run for Westport Selectman.
am running for the Board of Selectmen because I can bring a new perspective
and new ideas to our town government.
need to budget more responsibly and live within our means. We also need to
save for our town employees’ future retirement and unexpected expenses. I
believe, with some restructuring, we can improve our internal processes and
maximize town employee
03/23/2015 – Westport young
adult author, Penny Piva strives to make people
author, Penny Piva, from Westport, has been
writing “since forever and ever.”
third grade, at the Westport Head School, I wrote about ‘The Cat Who Ate
French Fries,’” Piva said, and she hasn’t stopped
03/23/2015 – Visitors to yesterday’s
presentation of "Civil War 3D Photographs and Poetry" at
Sandywoods Center for the Arts presented by John Wojtowicz and
Laurie Robertson-Lorant were treated to an
unusual viewing of Civil War photographs… in 3D!
were over 10,000 documentary photographs taken during the Civil War; more
than 70% of those photographs were stereographs, the 1800s equivalent of 3D
War photographer, Mathew Brady pioneered stereograms (3D pictures) taken
with a special stereoscopic camera, which has two lenses.
the presentation the haunting words of poets Melville, Whitman, Harper,
Gibbons and others disturbingly amplified the harrowing images of the death
and destruction in America’s “great rebellion.”
War photographers like Mathew Brady,
Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan found enthusiastic audiences for
their images as America's interests were piqued by the shockingly realistic
medium. For the first time in history, citizens on the home front could
view the actual carnage of faraway battlefields.
War photographs stripped away much of the Victorian-era romance around
Top photo: John Wojtowicz, adjunct professor at Massasoit
Community College, operated the stereoscopic projector and recited poems
keyed to individual photographs. Bottom
photo: the four co-conspirators convicted of President Lincoln’s
assassination are hanged.
03/23/2015 – Southcoast® Visiting Nurse Association,
known in the community as Southcoast VNA, is
offering a free, five-week bereavement workshop for children between
the ages of 6 and 13 grieving the death of a loved one.
workshop will be held on five consecutive Mondays beginning March 23rd
from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the New Bedford Public Library.
for all the details and to register.
03/20/2015 – The Board of
Selectmen voted unanimously at their last meeting to merge public,
government and school cable channels for one year.
one-year merger pilot, will be re-examined after the first year, and will
need Town Meeting approval in May before it can take root.
and town authorities mentioned that the town has the money for the merger,
which will benefit both the school system and the town.
access years ago had been limited and spotty at best, and this new plan
will hopefully continue and improve the equity of public program selection.
Access Coordinator Valerie Bain (pictured above at the microphone)
initially had concerns about the merger.
Steven Ouellette said the town Cable Access Coordinator will still direct
the town government section, but would be able to use students to run
cameras and film meetings. Ouellette said there will still be three
Harbor church announces their Easter schedule. Acoaxet
Chapel, 36 Howland Road, Westport Harbor announces their Easter
celebrations times and dates. Click here
to visit our Church Announcements section for all the up-to-date
03/20/2015 – Spring officially begins with the vernal
equinox today, although it hardly feels like it
in Westport where winter is making an unwelcome comeback.
6:45 p.m. EDT on March 20th, the sun appears directly overhead at Earth’s
equator, marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
year, the spring equinox has the unusual distinction of coinciding with
both a ‘supermoon’ and a total solar eclipse.
According to those who track such things, there hasn’t been a solar eclipse
on either the March or September equinox since 1662!
Westport wasn’t privy to either phenomenon.
Above: This oil painting entitled ‘First
Day of Spring’ by WR Jones depicts Westport’s first day of spring just
03/20/2015 – Westporters
take notice; RI moving to ban hand-held phones while
Senate passes a bill that bars the use of hand-held cell phone behind the
wheel. If the House follows suit and approves a similar bill, drivers could
face fines up to $100 by 2017 for using a non-hands-free phone.
state’s argument is that everyone agrees that texting while driving is
about as safe as driving drunk, many don’t realize that talking on a cell
phone while holding the phone to your head can be just as distracting. More...
03/19/2015 – Story updated 03/20/2015. Winter is not
leaving without a fight. Dissing
the first day of spring and the vernal equinox, old man winter is bloodying
Westport’s nose with intermittent snow on Friday throughout the evening and
Saturday morning followed by rain.
forecast at less than an inch.
old man just isn’t going to go down quietly.
record amounts of snow and a busted snow and ice budget approaching half
million dollars that the town doesn’t have, spring may be springing but
winter isn’t throwing the towel in just yet.
80 percent chance of light snow on Friday afternoon and evening will give
way to lingering snow showers overnight with a low of 29 degrees.
may experience rain/snow showers (40 percent.)
03/18/2015 – Photos of the
The River Road herring run was a place of refuge this winter for hordes of
swans, ducks, geese and a few pintails seeking protection from the wind and
the cold, and finding an occasional meal provided by man.
town residents sympathized with the waterfowls’ plight and, despite
Massachusetts wildlife officials’ guidelines to the contrary, fed them
Bob Wood, Al Lees, and Atlantic Frontier Ducks Unlimited plus others
contributed money, corn and time to help the starving birds survive the
some it was too late
frozen landscape with a heavy snow cover prevented the birds from reaching
their winter food supplies, and casualties littered the iced over inlets
and nearby roadways.
03/17/2015 – The legality
of medical marijuana and the absence of licensed dispensaries in this area
are presenting law enforcement with some unintended consequences,
said Detective Jeff
Majewski after several arrests were made in
connection with the theft of medical marijuana during a Westport home
Wednesday, March 11th, a Pratt Street resident was robbed at gunpoint by
three men who allegedly stole one pound of medical-grade marijuana. All
three were eventually arrested, along with a female charged with driving
the getaway car.
to read full article.
03/16/2015 – Westport
Attackers pistol-whipped man, stole his medical
Board of Health moved
recently to ban the use, sale and possession of synthetic marijuana and
related cannabimimetics throughout the town while
Rhode Island lawmakers are moving to legalize marijuana for recreational
use throughout their state. more...
03/16/2015 – Hard work
never killed anyone. As
a young boy growing up working on Westport farms, Claude Ledoux learned the value of hard labor, and a farming
family’s reliance on the sustenance the land provided.
lesson would guide him throughout his life.
marine, farmer, engineer, civic leader, historian and a longtime Westport
shared his journey, and his knowledge of agriculture, with an audience who
came to hear him talk about farming in the 1940s and ‘50s in Westport.
transplanted French Canadian
03/17/2015 – No completed
town census form, no ballot for you on April 14th town election day! The
Westport Board of Registrars is reminding all those who have not returned
their completed census forms to do so immediately. Registered voters who do
not respond to the yearly census will be placed on the inactive voting
who has not received a census form, especially new homeowners, should call
the Registrars’ office at 508.636.1001 and request a form. The Town Clerk,
also a Registrar, can help you if the Registrars’ office is closed.
Registrars’ office is at Town Hall, Main Road, Westport; hours are 8:45
a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
03/16/2015 – The Westport Fire Department put out a fire in a residential structure
late last Friday night.
Around 11 p.m. on March 13th, fire officials received a call about a fire
on 506 River Road, Westport.
Spokesperson Captain Silvia said when the fire department arrived there was
smoke pushing from the windows of one room in the backside of a
The female occupant made it outside safely while firefighters put out the
The waterside house sustained smoke damage while the room was moderately
damaged by the fire.
No injuries were suffered and the case remains under investigation.
03/15/2015 – Letter
to the Editor. Mr. May commits to a unique
combination of experiences that can make a positive difference in the way
our Town is managed.
Dear Voters of Westport,
May, am running for the Westport Board of Selectmen on April 14th because I
believe I have a unique combination of experiences that can make a positive
difference in the way our Town is managed.
My primary concerns are twofold – protecting the heritage of our
Town and while managing our finances to secure our future more....
03/13/2015 – Banned in
Westport! Westport’s Board of Health has just this month approved a ban on the use, sale
and possession of synthetic marijuana and related cannabimimetics
throughout the town, while Rhode Island lawmakers are moving to legalize
marijuana for recreational use throughout their state.
Synthetic marijuana, a drug that has been linked
to a series of recent overdoses as it remained on store shelves despite
federal attempts to ban it more....
03/13/2015 – Buoys and girls at
the Brewery. This year’s event buoyed organizers
hopes for a repeat performance of last year’s successful, inaugural show
and sale. The Westport River Watershed Alliance held its second
fundraiser featuring artistically decorated and sculpted lobster pot buoys.
event evolved from a wish to host a fun winter event that might raise some
money in the process, according
to event organizer Gay Gillespie.
up last year’s very successful inaugural event, Gillespie, a former
Director of the WRWA, was concerned that all the good ideas would be used
needn’t have worried.
artists outdid themselves this year,” Gillespie said. “We raised $9000
dollars, with the top buoy "Celebrate Westport" by Don Cadoret (pictured right) fetching $550!”
next two were $500 each; "Sphinx" by Nancy Shand
and "Four Seasons at the Head" by Kristie Furrow.
sampled beer while sampling spectacular
buoy artistry at the tables set up in the fermenting room of Buzzards Bay
Brewing, 98 Old Horseneck read more with photos...
03/13/2015 – Well, it’s
Friday the 13th. Do you suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia? If
so, you’re not alone. According to those who study such things, fear of Friday
the 13th affects between 17 and 21 million Americans. But how did this
tongue twister of a superstition originate, and does Friday the 13th really
deserve its bad rap?
may be surprised at the complexity and historical longevity of the answer,
which starts with the beginning of man’s creation. More.
03/12/2015 – Changing of
the Guard. Westport’s
iconic landmark and purveyor of all things elegant and tasty will have a
Village Store and Kitchen has been sold.
Above: Handing over the keys from the
left: Jan Hall, Lydia Sweetser Gollner, and Nancy Crosby. photo/EverythingWestport
the town’s social hot spot, the popular retail business and café was
nurtured under the loving and very capable care of Nancy Crosby and Jan
Hall for over 35 years.
will be missed by the many of us who know them.
the silver lining here is they couldn’t have sold the whole kit and
caboodle to a better person.
Monday, March 16th the keys will be handed over to Westport resident Lydia Sweetser Gollner.
“I am thrilled
and honored to continue the legacy of Partners into the future. Nancy and
Jan’s accomplishments and service to the community are what I look forward
to expanding upon.” -
Lydia Sweetser Gollner
had its beginnings in 1979 as a 300 square foot appendage to the wholesale
wine and beer making supply business of Crosby and Baker. Located at the
intersection of Hix Bridge and Main Roads more...
03/12/2015 – Now is the
time to make your creative ideas happen.
The Westport Cultural Council
invites all members of the community to put their creative ideas on paper
and apply for funding this
spring from the Helen E. Ellis Fund, administered by the Westport Cultural
the deadline for applications is Monday, March 16th by mail or by dropping
off your completed application at the Westport Town Hall. You can find applications online at: www.westportculturalcouncil.org
or at the Westport Public Library.
ideas and interests are important to them. For more information, email: email@example.com.
03/12/2015 – Click here
to read the Westport Historical
Society’s March e-Newsletter. Click here
to review all Westport organizations newsletters.
03/11/2015 – Westport
Selectmen advise that
anyone interested in filling the open Cemetery Laborer position should get
their application in by the deadline of Wednesday, March 11th.
03/11/2015 – Westport
selectmen introduce and welcome newly appointed interim Veterans Service
Agent Donat “Dan” LeBlanc
at Monday night’s select board meeting.
Service Agent applications for the permanent position were due by Friday,
a Purple Heart recipient who lost an arm during the Vietnam War served as a
veteran’s hospital administrator for nearly 30 years.
graduating from New Bedford High School in 1964, Dan enlisted in
the United States Marine Corps in 1965, where he trained as a helicopter
mechanic and machine gunner.
Inset: Selectman Steven Ouellette welcomes
LeBlanc as the town’s interim VSO.
served in Vietnam from April to October of 1966. He received two
meritorious combat promotions, and was awarded the Expert Riflemen’s badge,
Combat Aircrewman Wings with 3 strikes, 3 Air
Medals, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation
are honored and very happy to have Dan as our interim VSO,” select board
vice-chairman Richard Spirlet said.
03/11/2015 – Graduating
high school seniors from Westport can apply for scholarships available through the Community Foundation of
Southeastern Massachusetts (CFSEMA).
Except where noted, the scholarships must be
applied for online at www.cfsema.org/scholarships. The application deadline is Thursday, April
30th, unless otherwise noted.
Luther B. Bowman Scholarship is available to Westport High School graduating
seniors who plan to attend a two- or four-year college, business school,
trade school, secretarial school or a technical school more...
03/11/2015 – 22nd annual
Buzzards Bay Swim on Saturday, June 20th. New Bedford Harbor may be icy and covered with
snow, but the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s 22nd annual Buzzards Bay Swim on
Saturday, June 20th is enlisting swimmers right now.
And, swimmers who sign up through April 1st at
their website can register for free.
The Buzzards Bay Swim is a fun community event that
supports a great cause: clean water in Buzzards Bay. Swimmers complete a
1.2-mile, open-water course across outer New Bedford Harbor, beginning in
the South End of New Bedford and ending at Fort Phoenix Beach State
Reservation in Fairhaven.
The Swim draws participants of every age,
ability and fitness level. Some swimmers form teams with their friends,
families and fellow swim team members.
More than 300 swimmers are expected to
participate in this year’s Swim, hailing from communities across
southeastern New England and around the United States. More.
03/08/2015 – A little off
the top, please! Westport
Highway Department workers spent their sunny Saturday shoveling snow off
the Police Department building’s flat roof, which has been a persistent
source of water leakage.
water’s leakin’ in from the top of your
roof..... Who do you call? Snowbusters!
have been made to identify and correct the problem, but for now they’re
living with the problematic roof while they research what the long-term
solution will be to the leaky, moldy building.
Wednesday, March 18th Police Chief Pelletier and Town Administrator Tim
King will meet with John McMillan from Reinhardt Associates to discuss the
scope of services for the Police Station Needs Study.
like the timing might be just about right for that conversation.
03/07/2015 – Obstinate and
boringly bad behavior leads to charges against Westport used car lot.
Police on Friday charged two representatives, one of whom was the owner, of
a 1052 State Road business after receiving 26 complaints from unhappy
customers over the past 12 months.
Sgt. Antonio J. Cestodio said the Westport Board
of Selectmen has received "several dozen complaints" against the
dealership "over the years," including one that resulted in a
30-day suspension of its license. All the complaints have been civil in
have many dealerships in Westport and we do not receive this volume of
complaints," Cestodio said.
have charged the owner and an employee of F & R Auto, 1052 State Road
for harassing a customer who complained when the car she bought failed to
pass a safety inspection.
owner, Francis R. Correiro, 49, of Mindy Lane,
Assonet, and an employee, Mark Dambrosca, 47, of
Myrtle Street, New Bedford, are charged with threats to do bodily harm and intimidation
of a witness, according to Cestodio.
“Correiro and Dambrosca
allegedly verbally chastised her, used profanities and threatened to punch
her in the face if she showed up in person, and made a sexual comment to
her.” - Detective Sgt.
Antonio J. Cestodio
the many complaints made over the last 14 months involve "allegations
of store employees forging car documents, numerous calls of angry
customers, employees refusing to fix alleged broken vehicles, arguments
between employees, irate former employees, arguments between employees
taking place in front of customers, employees allegedly harassing a father
and his kids over a car being returned, customers afraid to return after
being allegedly harassed by employees and employees threatening
customers" Cestodio said.
Detectives are asking that anyone who has had similar, possibly
criminal-based complaints to contact them at 508.636.1122. Any civil based issues can be handled by
contacting the consumer protection division at the Attorney General’s
Office at 617.727.8400.
Lots of dough
for pizza delivery guy!
North Dartmouth pizza delivery man shown in an on-line, pirated
surveillance video being bullied by workers at a State Road car dealership
over a measly $7 tip has received his just reward more...
03/05/2015 – 8:00 p.m. Thufferin thuccotash, Thor thwacks Westport with 10+ inches of
is just ducky.
what’s up doc with the weather?
a surprise snowfall that fooled even the best of forecasters, the coastal
villages of southern New England got whacked with 9 to 10 inches and more
of fluffy white snow.
is all this nonsense going to end?
what we get for trustin’ a cwazy
roads are mostly cleared, but be wary of slippery conditions. Single digit
temperatures tonight promise lots of icy conditions – clear your walks and
driveways immediately to avoid the freezing tomorrow of the slush from
yesterday’s melting snow.
lots of sand and salt on hand.
Th-Th-Th-That’s all folks!
03/05/2015 – We’re in the
final throes of long-lasting winter storm Thor, but
the snowstorm named after the Norse god is not giving up without a fight.
today may reach 6 to 7 inches on the south coast before Thor finally peters
out sometime between 6 and 8 p.m.
plunging temperatures tonight to a low of 8 degrees promise lots of icy
conditions on roads and walkways tomorrow.
your walks and driveways to avoid the freezing of the slush from
yesterday’s snowfall and melting snow.
lots of sand and salt on hand.
the bright side, full sun tomorrow with mostly sunny weather projected for
the next 10 days with warming temperatures into the 40s.
how long is six more weeks of winter anyway?
Winter whiteout at the Town Farm. A picturesque photo taken this
morning during Thor’s heavy snowfall may help us look on the bright side of an
otherwise very dreary winter.
03/04/2015 – Photo of the
may work from sun to sun, but the Highway Department’s work is never done!
budget-busting winter ($340,000 and counting) has pushed the Westport
Highway Department’s manpower and aging equipment to the limit, but somehow
they keep on going despite the best efforts of Ol’ Man Winter and plowing
photo of the week shows massive drifting on Adamsville Road being cleared
by the town’s frontend loader as the sun sets on winter storm Neptune.
to view this and other photos of the week.
current storm Thor whipped up a lot of slush this morning which will
undoubtable end up as ice tomorrow night with a Thursday nighttime low of 9
out the sand and salt.
man winter came in with a blast.
how I wish he or she
a thing of the past!
time I go to open my door -
Snow, sleet, wind, rush in
And they are predicting more!
Hoback © 2003
Thor is done yet.
overnight rain/snow with more snow into Thursday morning – with a 50
percent chance of 2 to 6 inches total accumulation.
03/02/2015 - Southcoast rail lumbers
forward despite elephant in the room. After
listening to updates on environmental and public outreach efforts for the
state’s $2.3 billion South Coast Rail project last Wednesday in downtown
New Bedford, Kyla Bennett, a longtime opponent of the proposed line, raised
her hand and asked about “the elephant in the room.”
elephant to which Easton resident Bennett was referring has been lumbering
around a lot lately in SouthCoast transit
discussions, amid the turmoil besieging Boston’s MBTA system after brutal more...
03/01/2015 2:15 p.m. – Breaking news! 3-alarm blaze
consumes Westport building, automobile(s), contents. A
noontime fire today swept through a large structure used for servicing
vehicles and storage.
building was a huge fireball when we arrived,” said one Westport fireman.
tanker units from Little Compton and Tiverton assisted Westport in
suppressing the structure fire at the far end of Maya Way, off Charlotte
building was entirely destroyed.
acrid smoke, snow banks and icy conditions hampered the firefighters’
efforts to tamp down hot spots and sort through the debris.
were no persons in the building, and no injuries were reported.
fire is under investigation. Click here for more pictures.
03/01/2015 – Storm warning! Well, March appears
to be coming in like a lion; hopefully it will leave as a lamb!
storm Sparta is forecast to dump 3-5 inches of snow tonight on Westport.
a slight chance it may be more.
our snow pack needed to be refreshed, right?
like there’s no hope avoiding this one. Sparta’s coming right at us.
heart, in the never ending parade of winter storms, another one brewing in
the west named Thor is on its way to the Northeast and should hammer us
Wednesday. But the storm named after the popular Norse god will be met by
43 degree temperatures and should turn to rain.
More past headline news continues below.