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Happy Holidays from www.EverythingWestport.com!

photo/EverythingWestport.com   November 29, 2014  © All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Local news you may be interested in.  Updated: Sunday, December 21, 2014

Photos/EverythingWestport.com except as noted.

 

 

Visit our newly updated Theater and Arts Section, and plan your winter event schedule!

New galleries and art venues added for 2014.

 

EverythingWestport.com videos

 

New video 11/15/2014 Take a delightful tour of The Shattuck’s current Small Works Exhibition and Sale.

 

New video 11/05/2014 View video of Westport’s world of fall waterscapes.

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/6MmWujKCzuA/mqdefault.jpg   https://i.ytimg.com/vi/pJgKoz4InYA/mqdefault.jpg

 

 

 

Headline News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

 

Click here for today’s event listings in and around Westport!

 

Click here for upcoming theater and arts listings!

 

12/21/2014 – Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest (and therefore darkest) day of the year. And it hasn’t come a moment too soon as winter begins today, and is now one day closer to ending!

Oddly, the winter solstice marks the shortest daylight period, but it’s not the day of the latest sunrise or earliest sunset.

Winter Solstice is also known in Europe as Yule. Witches & warlocks celebrate this date as the birth of the Sun God since from this point forward the days get longer.

Many cultures around the world have throughout millennia celebrated the winter solstice as the beginning of the solar year, a celebration of light and the return of the sun.  The Norse marked Yule with feasting and merrymaking. Traditional customs such as the Yule log, the decorated tree, and wassailing can all be traced back to Norse origins. The Celts of the British Isles gathered mistletoe in celebration and Druid priests sacrificed a white bull.

When a new religion called Christianity began spreading through Europe, it incorporated Pagan symbols and holidays to help convert Pagans, who didn’t want to give up their traditional holidays to Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians everywhere were celebrating the birth of Christ with a new holiday on December 25th.

Now you know the rest of the story.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hanukkah!

 

12/20/2014 – WLCT’s Early Morning Light a success! Westport Land Conservation Trust’s second annual Early Morning Light walk at Cherry and Webb walk on December 13th was a successful community outing. Over 20 people joined the land trust in this 2 mile walk across the chilly dunes to discover the flora and fauna that call this beautiful environment home. Click here to see their upcoming winter events.

 

 

12/20/2014 – Louisiana purchased twice by U.S. government. Today in history in 1803 U.S. president Thomas Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Napoleon for a total sum of 15 million dollars (around 4 cents per acre.)

But did you know that Louisiana was purchased twice?

Yes, that’s right, Democrats’ acquisition of Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D., La.) support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for gaining $200 million additional federal funds for Louisiana’s Medicaid program. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion in extra Medicaid funds - more than twenty times the assigned amount.

 

12/19/2014 – New Westport Street Guide! Newly released 2014 AppGeo Street Map of Westport has a complete street guide including Assessors Map – very detailed. Click here to view map. PDF large file, please be patient while map is loading.

 

12/18/2014 – Get a grip, not! Hands-free fueling comes to the Bay State with adoption of the National Fire Protection Association’s

NFPA-1 code as the backbone of its new statewide standards.

Massachusetts has finally caught up to many other states when it comes to filling up your motor vehicle.

But many motorists have been far ahead of this latest provision in the new Fire Code Regulations that take effect January 1, 2015.

For those of you who can remember, gas pump handles years ago had “hold-open” clips, primarily used by gas station attendants so they could wash your windshield and check your oil during a fill-up; self-service stations killed that feature because of the many spills and accidents, so Massachusetts banned the clips.

They’re backkkk!

But many of us used our gas cap as a way to keep our hands free, and warm during frigid days. And some of those handles were so stiff it hurt your hand to hold them.

Countless motorists were more innovative, using rolled up magazines to do the trick.

“To me it makes a lot of sense,” said John Paul, a spokesman for AAA of Southern New England.  “A hold-open clip would be safer than wedging your gas cap or other object into the pump handle.”

But don’t look for these clips anytime soon – they aren’t required, only allowed; competition will determine when they appear.

And, statewide standards still require the operator to stand near the pump during refueling.

 

12/17/2014 – Is “Residential Exemption” a viable solution to the beginning of the end of Westport’s deficit spending?

Just a week after Westport’s Board of Assessors and Selectmen set the town’s FY’15 property tax rate at $7.94/thousand dollars of evaluation (up 24 cents from last year,) and rejected a split tax rate between residential and commercial property, they listened to a proposal at Monday night’s Select Board meeting that would do just that.

Finance Committee Chairman Charles “Buzzy” Baron presented a plan currently being used in one form or another by 13 Massachusetts towns, with Somerset being the closest to Westport, that proponents claim redistributes the main bulk of the town’s revenue generation (property taxes) among high- and low-end residential property owners, and increases property taxes on commercial properties, non-owner occupied residential properties (includes apartments, multi-family properties, assisted living facilities, day care centers, rental properties, and second homes,) and vacant residential land as they would be excluded from the “residential exemption” plan and would pay a substantially higher rate per thousand, as much as one to two dollars.

Opponents claim the Residential Exemption redistributes income among the town’s taxpayers.

If you’re confused about all this you’re not alone.

What is “Residential Exemption” and what is the effect on the average home owner?

Let’s try to break it down for you.  More today.

 

“The ‘tax exemption’ addresses the vast financial difference between those having second vacation homes, non-owner occupied properties, and commercial properties here, and those of us in town working or retired, trying to make ends meet, and trying to remain living on the Island.” - Tisbury resident.

 

12/16/2014 – Local Westport real estate broker appointed to Westport Economic Development Task Force.

Suzanne M. Alden of Alden Hill Real Estate was appointed on October 6th by a unanimous vote of the Select Board to the Westport Economic Development Task Force, the first woman and real estate broker appointed to the committee, according to Selectman Steven Ouellette.

Above: Ms. Alden is congratulated by Selectman Michael R. Sullivan.

The goals of the Westport Economic Development Task Force are to promote economic development along route 6 and route 177 corridors; review electronic infrastructure in town, including the internet; support the Housing Partnership Committee in its efforts to pursue affordable housing in the town; establish a communications strategy with other town committees and the public; and collaborate with the Central Village project.

The Task Force accomplishes these objectives by assisting the Board of Selectmen in promoting, nurturing, and overseeing economic development in Westport that would support the overall objectives of the town’s Master Plan.

Suzanne Alden is the leading real estate broker with properties sold in the Westport/Dartmouth area according to MLS statistics.

 

12/15/2014 – Westport Select Board meets tonight at Town Hall starting at 6:00 p.m. Lots on the agenda: budgets, Beach Ave. and ballot article. Annual licenses (yawn!).

Town Administrator’s report will include update on COA Director search and police station design committee, and the rising cost of electricity.

Be prepared to settle in for the long haul!  

 

12/13/2014 – Time to make the donuts, and win an award doing so.  Our Photo of the Week shows an awesome Fall River Herald Reader’s Choice Award for Rory and Kathy Couturier and their beautifully-appointed store at the Head Landing in Westport.

The couple’s store, the Country Store at the Head Town Landing, was voted by the readers of the Herald News as the area’s best Donut Shop and the runner-up for Best Convenience Store!

Readers from Somerset, Fall River, North Dartmouth, Westport and Tiverton voted in the Herald’s 2014 Reader Choice Awards.

The Couturiers proved that if you do it right, they will come.

Congratulations Rory and Kathy!

 

12/13/2014 – New Mystery Photo identified by Westport Main Road resident Chuck Goldberg. Chuck correctly guessed, The Paquachuck Inn has this Christmas greeting, on the side.”  Our latest Mystery Photo was posted on Monday, December 8, 2014 at 4:15 p.m.

Chuck made his guess on Wednesday, December 10th at 3:12 p.m.

Because he was the first to correctly identify the location of our “holiday” mystery photo, Chuck wins a $25 gift certificate to Lees Market, Westport’s local and convenient one-stop supermarket for all your grocery needs.

Chuck took his best shot and won. Be on the lookout for our next mystery photo which will be posted before Christmas.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

 

12/09/2014 – Westport real estate taxes on the rise! Westport FY’15 tax rate set at $7.94 per thousand, an increase of .24 cents. After an impassioned and sometimes rancorous analysis by a few town residents with Assessors over perceived inequities in waterfront and upper end property assessments, Selectmen last night voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the Fiscal Year 2015 tax rate.

A request by audience members to postpone the setting of the new tax rate was not taken up by Selectmen.

The increase in the tax rate was due to Proposition 2 ½, a slight decrease in property evaluations, and exclusionary debt (bonds) adjustments.

More today.

 

12/10/2014 – Martin Cutler, 31 will spend a little more than one year in state prison after he pleaded guilty this week to burglarizing and desecrating St. John the Baptist Church in Westport last year.

The Taunton man was sentenced Tuesday to three to three and a half years. But with 634 days of time served being credited to him, Cutler could be released from prison in about 15 months.

Cutler, who had been held without bail since his July 2013 arraignment in Fall River Superior Court, pleaded guilty Tuesday to breaking and entering nighttime for felony, larceny from a building, threat to injure a church and intimidating a witness.  More...

 

12/10/2014 – Tiverton gets a new eatery, finally. Acclaimed Boston chef/restaurateur Steve Johnson “knocked on the door” of The Stone Bridge Restaurant a dozen years ago, but the owner wasn’t ready to sell at the time, he said, adding, “that’s how long I’ve been thinking about this place.”

With the recent opening of The Red Dory, Johnson finally realized his dream of owning a restaurant in the near-perfect location at 1848 Main Road in Tiverton.

“Seafood is more appropriate to a coastal region, but I also love pork and veal dishes and I’ll work them into the menu as well,” Johnson said.  More…

 

12/06/2014 – Westport. Two cars rolled over and three people were hurt in a crash on Interstate 195 west on Saturday at 3:20 p.m., according to the Fall River Herald.

None of the injuries were considered life0threatening, according to the Massachusetts State Police, who handled the accident. Names of those involved were not immediately available.

Two of the three traffic lanes were shut down as troopers and Westport Police and Fire cared for the injured and removed the cars.

The area was cleared at 4:30 p.m., troopers reported.

 

12/05/2014 – Westport’s Food for Friends food pantry a lifeline for seniors and families in need. “Demand for our donated food is up 15 to 20 percent,” Food for Friends volunteer Vicki Wilding said. “And 80 percent of those that come here are seniors.”

Statistics now show that one in nine people in Eastern Massachusetts is at risk of going hungry.

The Greater Boston Food Bank provides food to over 500,000 people each year and partners with 550 agencies, of which the Westport food pantry is one, in 190 cities and towns in Eastern Massachusetts.

According to Catherine Drennan of the Boston Food Bank, “one donated dollar to our organization can provide three meals.”

One of the biggest benefactors to Westport’s food pantry has been the Westport Town Farm which yesterday dropped off a couple of bushels of late season produce.

Westport Town Farm has donated 1,200 pounds of fresh produce—a little bit of everything the farm grew from arugula to zucchini— to underserved communities and food pantries in the area,” Town Farm’s Carroll-Bergman said.

Read more on the Town Farm donations.

Many of the food pantries in the area serving new clients they’ve never seen before.

“Our economy may be expanding but it’s not reaching the truly needy,” Pastor John Costa of Westport’s Lighthouse Assembly of God said.

The church is the new location for Westport’s Food for Friends, formerly run out of the Westport Senior Center.

Unemployment benefits running out, lack of jobs and Social Security which isn’t keeping pace with inflation is forcing more people to the area’s food pantries.

Donations can be dropped off at the Food for Friends, 522 American Legion Highway, Westport. An outdoor collection box is available for use in off hours.

Food for Friends is open to those in need on Thursdays from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. during the winter months.

 

12/05/2014 – Tiverton Firefighters will distribute holiday food baskets to families in need in time for the holidays.

This is the third year the Tiverton Fire Department will provide baskets to families in need. Firefighters provided baskets to about a dozen families in the first year and about 10 last year, reported Tiverton-Little Compton Patch.

“We anticipate the same amount of people this year,” said Tiverton Fire Department Union President Pat White.

People can sign up their own families or sign up members of the community who might be in need.

“We like to know the amount of people in the family and the ages of the people so we can provide for a Christmas dinner and food staples they can use throughout the year,” White said.

The fire department would also like to know the ages of the children in the families and what they would like for a toy, White said.

Sign up or register a family in need by dropping off people’s names, the family’s address, telephone number and the number of people in the family.

Call Tiverton Firefighter Whit Corbishley at 401.266.4446 or leave information in an envelope addressed to Corbishley at Station No. 2, 85 Main Road, Tiverton.

Basket numbers are limited and the name drop-off deadline is Friday, December 19th. Firefighters will drop-off the holiday food baskets to the families around Monday, December 22nd and Tuesday, December 23rd, White said.

 

12/05/2014 – Continuing the holiday season goodwill, the Little Compton Police Department will help struggling families find joy this holiday season through a charity event this month.

 

“Members of the community can donate unopened

and unwrapped toys for the Kids, Cops and

Classrooms event held later this month.”

 

The seventh annual Kids, Cops and Classrooms gives parents who are going through tough times the opportunity to buy presents for their children, according to the Little Compton Police Department Facebook page.

The event will be held on Wednesday, December 17th at the State House in Providence.

Donations of unopened and unwrapped toys can be sent to the Little Compton Public Complex, 60 Simmons Road, Little Compton.

 

12/05/2014 – Southcoast Health announces December schedule for community screenings, vaccinations and community blood drives.

During the month of December, Southcoast Health will be giving away a canvas tote bag to blood donors as a thank you for  their critical role in helping to ensure blood is available to patients in need. Each donor will receive the colored-strapped tote embossed with the message, “Give back, give blood.”

The Southcoast Blood Bank is the only blood donation venue that directly supports the local community’s blood supply. A donation to the Southcoast Blood Bank Donor Room or a Southcoast Health-sponsored blood drive helps to keep the local blood supply strong.

Inset: Donate this month and receive a complimentary Southcoast Health canvas tote bag.

 If you plan to donate, please remember to bring a proper form of identification. Southcoast Health offers the community two different ways to make a donation:

Click here for all locations, dates and times for community screenings, vaccinations and community blood drives.

 

12/03/2014 – Lees launches Groceries-2-Go! Lees Market is unveiling a convenient, curbside pickup and a home delivery service of its supermarket items starting immediately.

Using their website, shoppers can simply add selected products to the site’s shopping cart, and choose either pickup or delivery.

Delivery is available to Westport and Little Compton; curbside pickup is available seven days a week.

Place any order between now and March 31, 2015 and receive your order Fee Free! There is no limit to how many orders you can receive Fee Free.

A member of their Groceries-2-Go team will hand select each item, ensuring that you get exactly what you have selected and that it is of the highest quality, according to their website.

Lees said there is a $50 minimum order required for the new services.

Visit their website for all the information including fees, and enroll today.  Lees Market, 796 Main Road, Westport. 508.636.3348.

 

12/02/2014 – The town of Westport and its residents will face a road/walkway salt shortage, and they will pay more for the privilege of waiting for it.

“Last year we paid about $48 per ton,” Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves said. “This winter that price will jump to $70.”

Demand determines the price.

In 2010, the United States produced a total of 43.3 million metric tons of salt. This figure decreased to some 40 million in 2013. The northeast, because of a severe winter, faced a shortage.

Currently the town’s shed is full of a sand/salt mix ready to go, but yes, they have no salt stockpile.

“We buy it as we need it,” Gonsalves said. “But we always fully stock a sand/salt mix in preparation for winter.”

Inset: the Highway Department’s sand mix barn is full now, but it won’t take many storms to empty it.

Gonsalves said they will selectively use “liquid brine,” a salt and water mix, to pretreat roads prior to a storm to weaken the bond between snow and asphalt. This practice can reduce salt usage by up to 25 percent.

“We also use the brine tankers to de-ice the roads as well.” Gonsalves said.

For homeowners, the Ace Hardware Store on American Legion Highway is fully stocked with salt melt, but it won’t last long once freezing temperatures settle in.

“We just received the order we placed last October with our salt melt vendor,” said Keith Ponte, the store’s District Manager.

“We were lucky. Since the end of October the vendor has stopped fulfilling orders. Once we run out it may take a while to get resupplied,” he said.”

The Ace store is maintaining their price from last year, but their costs have gone up. Ponte encourages anyone wanting salt melt to buy it now.

“We want our customers to know we have a good supply on hand, and the price is right. Don’t wait to restock your supply.”

Last year’s harsh winter left all retail outlets with empty shelves by mid-winter, including the big box stores like Home Depot.

 

12/01/2014 – Overloaded electrical outlet blamed for $100,000 in damages to 19th century farmhouse. The standard warnings from law enforcement and fire officials are repeated year after year, especially overloading electrical outlets during the holiday months with portable electrical heaters.

But tragedy can demonstrate just how serious fire safety should be taken.

At approximately 9:39 p.m. Sunday evening, the Westport Fire Department responded to a 911 call of a structure fire at 52 Pine Hill Road.  When the first engine arrived, firefighters found a two-story, wood frame farmhouse with heavy fire coming from the rear bedroom on the first floor.

After confirming that everyone was out of the house, firefighters began attacking the fire and were able to bring it under control in about 45 minutes. 

Despite the structure being heavily damaged by the blaze, firefighters were able to save some of the occupants’ belongings that were in an adjacent first floor room.

The investigation into the origin and cause of the fire by the Fire Investigation Unit revealed that prior to calling the fire department the occupant, family member Norine Collins, attempted to extinguish the flames herself.

Collins told firefighters that she tried to put out the fire, but it proved to be too much for her, Captain Michael P. Silvia said.  

“The fire, ruled accidental, was in the area of a multi-outlet adapter which was plugged into an electrical outlet near the head of the bed. Also plugged into this outlet was a 50’ extension cord connected to a 1500 watt electrical heater,” Captain Silvia said.

Fortunately there were no reported injuries.

Assisting Westport at the scene were firefighters from Tiverton, Dartmouth District 3, and a medical rescue unit from the Fall River Fire Department.

The Tiverton and Dartmouth firefighters brought tanker trucks to assist Westport pumpers.

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to the 1878 farmhouse and contents.

The three-bedroom house on 20 acres is currently listed for sale.

The Westport Fire Department again cautions people not to overload electrical circuits, especially when using portable electrical heaters and holiday lighting displays.

The fire department also urges people to immediately exit a burning building before calling the fire department.

 

12/01/2014 – East Beach Road threatened by a powerful nor’easter.

The poster child for endangered seacoast roads under attack from winter storms, East Beach Road once again survived a battering from strong winds and coastal flooding when winter storm Cato roared through Westport a day before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“The water was breaking over the rocks and washing up onto the road,” said Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves who spent part of his Thanksgiving with three of his road crew fighting the erosion from the pounding surf that threatened the roadbed’s integrity.

“We back-filled behind the rocks and were able to prevent any asphalt erosion,” Gonsalves said.

Westport’s Highway Department has been keeping a watchful eye on the coastal road that is designated as an evacuation route in case the Route 88 bridge should become disabled.

Above: Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves surveys the storm surge at East Beach. Most officials agree we’re only one bad storm away from another washout on the embattled shore road.

 

More past headline news continues below.

 

 

Bulletin Board

 

Click here to see all events happening today in and around Westport.

 

j0295218Click here to find a “tag, cut and carry” Christmas tree farm near you.

Click here for holiday Christmas tree safety tips from local safety departments.

 

On-Going! Twelve Days of Christmas... in a Glass!

Join Lees Wine and Spirits on Friday, December 12th through Tuesday, December 23rd for free wine, beer and spirits tastings. They'll be popping corks (and caps) from all corners of the globe daily.  Stop by to taste what they're pouring. Monday-Friday tastings are from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday tastings are from 2-4 p.m. Sunday tastings are from 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Lees Wine & Spirits, 796 Main Road

Westport.

 

Last Day!! Save 20% during Erickson’s Florist open houses this holiday season.

Get 20% off all holiday arrangements and centerpieces by mentioning you saw this article on EverythingWestport.com.

Join them for their annual Holiday Open Houses on each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until Sunday, December 23rd. Holiday arrangements, festive decor, Antiques, gifts, tree trimming, wreaths and more....

Specializing in weddings and special occasion decor with over 35 years serving Westport and surrounding communities. They deliver!

For more information call 508.636.5990.

Erikson’s Florist, 609 Old County Road, Westport.  Holiday hours:  M-F 10-5, Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 11-5.

Check out their upside-down Christmas Tree!

 

Today! Celebrate the Holiday Season at White's of Westport on Sunday, December 21st!

Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Photos with Santa, face painting, coloring, cookie decorating and a full breakfast buffet.

Please call 508.675.7185 for reservations.

Adults | $18   Kids | $14   Infants | $2

66 State Road, Westport.

Click here to view upcoming holiday events at White’s!

 

 

11/30/2014 – Battle of the Jeffs. Alabamian Jeff Flagg captures the 2014 REMAX long drive title with a whopper of a hit into the wind at 365 yards 20 inches.

The win netted Flagg a cool quarter million dollars in the winner-take-all competition.

Speaking of cool, it was a clear but chilly night; the low 50s in the no-humidity desert feels like the low 40s.

Flagg, a 29-year-old former minor league baseball player defeated the 43-years-young Jeff “Critter” Crittenden by a mere 13 inches to capture his first RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship in the nippy Nevada desert.

“Thirteen inches,” Critter said. He held up one of his size-12 ½ Foot-Joys. “I lost by my shoe.”

The Critter had decided earlier this year that this would be his final season of long drive.

In a sport where these guys hit the golf ball further than any one else in the universe, it came down to just 13 inches to determine this year’s winner

“I’m speechless,” first-time competitor Jeff Flag said, accepting his check and the World Drive Championship belt.

More on our Golf Page.

 

11/29/2014 – Southcoast Health earns ‘Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®’ recognition from the Joint Commission.

 

The southcoast hospital group is recognized for excellence in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

 

Southcoast® Health today announced it has been recognized as a 2013 Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States, for its performances in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care.

Southcoast Health is the only healthcare system on the South Coast, Cape Cod and Islands, and Plymouth to earn this recognition. More…

 

11/26/2014 – The Council on Aging’s December newsletter, Evergreen, is now available on-line. Click here to view it now.

 

11/26/2014 – Sylvan Nursery horticulturist to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  

Melanie Lévesque has always dreamed of climbing the highest mountain in Africa. 

The avid climber and horticulturist at Westport’s Sylvan Nursery will realize that dream next month as she will begin a week-long climb of the 19,341-foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro.

Levesque said every climb is a spiritual journey for her.

"It's never about reaching the top, it's about what you learn along the way," she said.  More…

 

11/26/2014 – Thanksgiving with all the trimmings? A powerful nor’easter threatens Westport with high winds, rain (again!) but little snow.

Travelers to the Vineyard can expect seas of 2 – 4 feet, and 6 - 9 feet if your destination is Nantucket. Gale force winds are in effect starting at 3:00 p.m. today extending through late tonight.

Just what we need on the busiest travel day of the year.  Winter storm Cato is forecast to slam into the northeast with up to 12 inches of snow in high elevation areas.

Winter’s first storm may pose a traveling nightmare to those Westporters heading west or north to spend the holiday with friends and family.

Expect delays at airports and slow highway travel. 

The weather gurus’ advice – head out a day early and spend one more day with family members.

Thanksgiving is the deadliest travel day of the year according to the most recent data available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More fatalities even than Christmas, Labor Day and the Fourth of July.

Major Northeast cities are likely to see moderate to heavy rain most of the day on Wednesday, though New York and other places also were gearing up for several inches of snow, National Weather Service meteorologist Bruce Sullivan said.

Higher elevation areas west of the Interstate 95 corridor could see as much as 6 to 12 inches before the nor'easter exits Wednesday night.

Wear seat belts, don’t drink and drive, and don’t speed on slippery roads. Most important: using common sense when traveling.

 

11/25/2014 – The Open Space Committee wants input from Westport residents as the town updates the 2006 Open Space and Recreation Plan.

On-line survey still available for input!

Residents are asked to complete the online Open Space and

Recreation survey.

Open space is defined as “public and privately owned undeveloped lands that are important for a variety of reasons, including recreation, agriculture, forestry, scenic qualities or other qualities, that contribute to the overall character of the town.”

Click here to take the on-line survey.

Do you know all the outdoor places in Westport where you can walk or hike? Get to the ocean? Play baseball, tennis, or golf? Go fishing or shell fishing? The survey lists all these and many more places. It asks which ones you have used in the past year. Opinions on which ones should be preserved and which ones the town needs more of are important to the committee.

The updated Open Space Plan will also make the town eligible for grants administered by the state for land acquisition, preservation, and recreation projects such as trails, parks, and fields.

The deadline for completing the Open Space Plan and Recreation Survey is November 25th. Paper copies of the survey are also available upon request at 508.636.1019 and can be picked up at the Town Hall, Town Hall Annex, the Council on Aging, and the Westport Public Library. Completed surveys can be brought to drop boxes at the above locations.

 

11/24/2014 – Westport continues to get battered by heavy wind and rains as evidenced by the town’s best rain gauge – the Head of Westport. The East Branch overflowed its banks this morning, threatening to float Osprey Sea Kayaks canoes and kayaks out to sea.

The Westport Highway Department was called out to clear the piles of waterlogged leaves off the many blocked storm drains. Minor roadway flooding was reported throughout the area.

Inset: Highway Department workers clear the drains at Sam Tripp Brook on lower Drift Road.

Unseasonably warm temperatures continue today with a high of 61 degrees.

Rain returns Wednesday with temperatures in the low 40s; you can expect a cloudy Thanksgiving Day, but sunshine is forecast to return on Friday, unfortunately accompanied  by a high of 32 degrees.

Things could be worse; all this rain could have been snow, and voila, Buffalo, New York all over again!

 

11/24/2014 – Thanksgiving comes early to COA food pantry. This year’s harvest from The Trustees of Reservations Westport Town Farm was a bountiful one, according to TTOR Outreach Coordinator Margaret Carroll-Bergman.

“In addition to providing vegetables at its farm stand in the weekly Farmer’s Market, the Westport Town Farm donated 1,200 pounds of fresh produce—a little bit of everything the farm grew from arugula to zucchini— to underserved communities and food pantries in the area,” Carroll-Bergman said.

“Most of the food was distributed to Foods for Friends pantry in Westport that is managed by the Westport Council on Aging, and to the Share the Harvest group at the Dartmouth YMCA,” added TTOR Farm Manager Steve Connors.

In the fall of 2008, The Trustees initiated a Community Gardens project that honors the Town Farm's tradition of helping to feed people in need in Westport and nearby towns.  

“Thanks to the support of our membership and the community, Westport Town Farm continues its mission to provide fresh produce to people who might otherwise not have access to healthful foods,” Connors said.

Photo Caption: From left: Jessica Belliveau, Sam Young, Manju Canuel, Savannah Gardikis, Matt Mailloux, Brendan Bothelo, Kaitlyn Habib, Eva Thompson, Chelsea Sandner.

11/22/2014 – WLCT moves forward with preserving open space at the southern tip of South Watuppa Pond. The Westport Land Conservation Trust has entered into an agreement with the Camara family to purchase 37 acres just to the west of Tickle Road and north of American Legion Highway. The property will have a spur that abuts South Watuppa Pond, providing access to that historic, recreational body of water.

Inset: click on image to enlarge.

Previous to this acquisition there was no public access on the eastern side of the pond.

The purchase which was stated to be around $400,000 will be paid by the WLCT ($200,000) with a proposed plan to use CPA funding to pay the balance.

When the purchase of this vulnerable and critical landscape is completed, WLCT plans to create trails on the property and provide access to South Watuppa Pond for the public’s enjoyment.

They are currently working on a plan for managing the property. For questions please feel free to call 508.636.9228 or email: Rmann@westportlandtrust.org.

 

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11/21/2014 – Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2014 has arrived at Lees Wine and Spirits! Get it while it lasts!  Once it's gone, it's gone until next Thanksgiving...  

 

11/19/2014 – Oxford Dictionaries announces today the latest update to its free online dictionary of English. Reflecting research into current language usage trends, new entries include adorbs, binge-watch, cray, humblebrag, listicle, neckbeard, SMH, side boob, vape, and YOLO.

And the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is… vape, as in inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette.

These words for the most part define our changing social culture involving trends, and the internet and texting, and it’s not a pretty picture.

Our personal favorite is bae (not to be confused with British Aerospace - now BAE Systems,) a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.

What, like we can’t take the effort to say “baby” or “babe?”

Well, we hope you enjoyed this little listicle (an article on the Internet presented in the form of a numbered or bullet-pointed list.)

 

11/18/2014 – Coyote attack in Tiverton neighborhood. We all hear them at night, howling and yelping.

A Crandall Road homeowner’s Doberman pinscher got up close and personal with a coyote last week as his dog fended off an attack by one.

And this incident is not a one-off according to Tiverton’s Animal Control Officer, Paul Bell.

Bell has had his position for nine years, and has been called for coyote sightings in every neighborhood and almost every street in the community.

 

10 tips for living with coyotes in Westport. Click here to learn how.  PDF

 

Unfortunately the Doberman in question was not up-to-date with its rabies vaccination.

“If the dog is up-to-date on its immunizations, the owner will have to keep the dog inside for 10 days,” Bell said. “If the dog isn’t vaccinated or not-up-to date, it has to be kept in strict home confinement for six months. If I see the dog outside on its own, I’ll have to take it and place it into quarantine.”

It’s a crime if a pet owner doesn’t comply with quarantine confinement.

There have been no reports of attacks on humans according to RI state authorities

Westport holds annual rabies clinic with $10 vaccinations.

Westport’s Animal Control Officer, Donna Lambert, recently held her annual rabies clinic and “had a pretty good turnout,” she said.

“Rabies vaccination for pets is required by law, so at $10.00 per pet it was a heck of a deal, a real bargain, especially because the one-year and three-year shot are the same price."

In response to the Tiverton coyote attack, Lambert said it’s always best to avoid contact with a coyote. 

 

11/17/2014 – It’s raining cats and dogs out there! A flash flood warning was issued today as up to three inches of rain has fallen over the last 36 hours with more expected this evening.

Storms dumping heavy rain swept into the Westport area this afternoon, flooding roads and low-lying areas.

If you’re a Direct TV viewer, good luck with reception.

Temperatures will likely fall to the mid-30s overnight. Showers are likely, though mainly before 11 p.m.

Lots of wind tomorrow.

On Wednesday, “drier air is expected to move in, less humid conditions, and it should continue through the weekend,” the National Weather Service said. Temperatures in the low 40s and sunny skies are expected for the week with a high of 54 on Sunday.

Only in New England.

 

11/16/2014 – Dramatic West Branch waterscape of the Acoaxet River. Our Photo of the Week is a southerly West Branch scene not normally appreciated by most Westporters as, with the exception of the Adamsville Landing, West Branch waterfront is all privately owned.

 

11/15/2014 – Affordable, high-quality artwork at The Shattuck. The Shattuck’s highly anticipated small works annual exhibition features first-class art at affordable prices ranging from $12 felt-covered stones to $500 sculptures and paintings by nearly 60 established artisans.

Stretch your holiday shopping budget by stopping by tonight’s Artists’ Reception and meet the talent behind this dynamic exhibition.

And enjoy the grounds of the area’s most celebrated art gallery.

Dedee Shattuck Gallery celebrates artistic expertise and craftsmanship, spanning many mediums including painting, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, furniture, and textiles. 

This show of affordable works features many of the unforgettable emerging and established artists that The Shattuck has showcased previously, as well as several bright new voices.

Exhibitions and Artists’ Receptions are free and open to the public.

Take a delightful tour of The Shattuck’s current Small Works Exhibition and Sale.

 

 

 

Click here for more past events and news you may have missed.

 

 

Find out about all local area upcoming events.

 

Click here for our weekly calendar!

 

See all theater and art events now!

 

 

 

 

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Send an email to:

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If you are from the southcoast area, please feel free to email us any upcoming event you would like to submit.

 

 

Upcoming holidays and observances:

 

December 2014 Monthly Observances

 

World Aids Month

Bingo's Birthday Month

National Drunk & Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month

 National Write A Business Plan Month

 National Tie Month

Operation Santa Paws

Safe Toys and Gifts Month

 Spiritual Literacy Month

 Universal Human Rights Month

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Worldwide Food Service Safety Month

More.

 

Daily Observances for

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ann & Samantha Day

Crossword Puzzle Day

Forefathers Day

Global Orgasm Day

Humbug Day

International Dalek Remembrance Day

National Homeless Persons' Remembrance Day

Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

World Peace Day/Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice (Winter)

Yalda

Yule

 

Click here to check out all the daily, weekly and monthly 2014 holidays and celebrations, both official and unofficial. Great fun!

 

This Day in History

Sunday, December 21, 2014

68   Vespian, a gruff-spoken general of humble origins, enters Rome and is named emperor by the Senate.

1620   The Pilgrims land at or near Plymouth Rock.

1708   French forces seize control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a victory at St. John's.

1790   Samuel Slater opens the first cotton mill in the United States (in Rhode Island).

1862   The U.S. Congress authorizes the Medal of Honor to be awarded to Navy personnel who have distinguished themselves by their gallantry in action.

1866   Indians, led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse, kill Captain William J. Fetterman and 79 other men who had ventured out from Fort Phil Kearny to cut wood.

1910   Over 2.5 million plague victims are reported in the An-Hul province of China.

1928   President Calvin Coolidge signs the Boulder Dam bill.

1944   German troops surround the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne in Belgium.

1945   General George S. Patton dies at the age of 60 after being injured in a car accident.

1946   An earthquake and tidal wave kill hundreds in Japan.

  

More Today in History.

 

 

Click here to view all scheduled Westport town board and committee meetings this week.

 

Click here to view all Theater and Arts events this week in and around Westport.

 

 

Westport Historical Society presents an exhibition – Room to Learn: Westport’s One-Room Schoolhouses. Exhibition started Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: t10.jpgJune 9th and is ongoing: Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bell School, 25 Drift Road, Westport.

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Click here to take a virtual tour of the exhibit.

 

Visit the Westport Historical Society website.

Like them on Facebook.

 

 

Happening Today in and around Westport!

Today’s events, listed below, you don’t want to miss! Scroll down to view them all.

 

Click here to see all events this week.

 

Click here to see future events after this week.

 

Sunday, December 21

v  Sunday, December 21 Celebrate the Holiday Season at White's of Westport on Sunday, December 21st!

Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Photos with Santa, face painting, coloring, cookie decorating and a full breakfast buffet.

Please call 508.675.7185 for reservations.

Adults | $18   Kids | $14   Infants | $2

66 State Road, Westport.

Click here to view all upcoming holiday events at White’s!

 

v  Sunday, December 21 Zumba Fitness at St. John the Baptist Church, 945 Main Road, Westport from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Also meets on Sundays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Put more wiggle in your week!

$5 per class; proceeds to benefit McAuley Ministries.

No dance experience necessary. Ages 12 and up welcome (16 and under with an adult.)

Zumba is the dance fitness revolution that fuses Latin and other world rhythms with easy-to-follow dance moves to create a calorie-burning, body-energizing workout that you will love!

Visit their website.

 

v  Weekly AA Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at Little Compton Community Center, 34 The Commons, Little Compton. Get Directions with MapQuest.

Weekly meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous every Sunday night.

For more information please call 401.635.2400. Visit the LCCC website.

The meeting is free and open to all.

 

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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Tips for healthy and safe living.

Need Adobe Reader to view PDF documents?

 Click Here to download.

 

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!

 

   Coyote

 

10 tips for living with coyotes in Westport. Click here to learn how.  PDF

 

Want to make a comment, submit a correction, or report a news story or event of interest. We would be delighted to hear from you.

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Send an email to:

EverythingWestport@hotmail.com.

 

If you are from the southcoast area, please feel free to email us any upcoming event you would like to submit.

 

     

 

Westport Historical Society presents an exhibition – Room to Learn: Westport’s One-Room Schoolhouses. Exhibition started Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: t10.jpgJune 9th and is ongoing: Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bell School, 25 Drift Road, Westport.

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Click here to take a virtual tour.

 

 

 

Westport Council on Aging

  Announcements 

 

COA Evergreen Newsletter – July/August, 2014

Read latest newsletter now.

View the Evergreen’s August schedule - get the schedule and hourly timetable of COA weekly events.

 

Westport Council of Aging has a new video! Click here to see it now.

 

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February 14, 2013 - The Westport Council on Aging is expanding the hours of its food pantry operation to include Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Food for Friends Food Pantry is for needy Westport residents 18 years of age and over. Proof of residency required.

Each client who signs up for the Food for Friends program is assisted personally and confidentially, meeting with the outreach department to assess individual needs.

 

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Jun 25th 2008 Wednesday - First Time Ever House Tour at Westport Point. The Friends of the Westport Council on Aging sponsored this House Tour in the Historic District at Westport Point.

There were more than just a few rooms with a view for the over 300 visitors who toured Westport Point homes on the first ever Point House Tour sponsored by the Friends of the Council of Aging.

 

Read the full story with photos now!

 

 

Aerial views courtesy of Geno Silvia

New England Wings - Custom Aerial Photography

www.newenglandwings.com

 

Enlarge

Baker’s Beach and Westport Point.

 

Enlarge

Westport’s Central Village featuring Partners Village Store and Kitchen, Alden Hill Real Estate, and Town Hall Annex.

 

 

 

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Local area organizations’ newsletters now on-line!

 

 

The Westport Land Trust’s event schedule for Winter Events 2014/2015 is now available.

 

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Click here too see upcoming events now.

 

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www.westportlandtrust.org

 

 

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Monthly newsletter is now available on-line.

 

Brushstrokes

 

 

September/October 2014 issue now out.

 

Read Newsletter now.

 

PDF

 

 

 

Click here for their most recent E-Newsletter.

Click here to read their fall/winter 2014/2015 events schedule.

 

The Trustees of Reservations 572 Essex Street

Beverly, MA 01915

978.921.1944 www.thetrustees.org

 

 

The Friends of the Westport Library (FOWL) quarterly newsletter for October/December 2014 is now available.

 

 

 

Read Newsletter now.

 

PDF

 

http://library.westport-ma.com/

Visit FOWL’s website.

 

 

The Westport River Watershed Alliance’s monthly electronic newsletter RIVER NEWS is now available.

 

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The July, 2014 issue is now on-line.

Read newsletter now.

 

Click here for event calendar.

 

The Westport Historical Society Winter 2014 The Harbinger newsletter now available on-line.   

 Read newsletter now.

 

Review Harbinger past issues.

 

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PDF

 

Visit their FaceBook page to stay up-to-date on current events.

 

The Westport Council on Aging’s monthly newsletter EVERGREEN is now available.

 

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The December, 2014 issue is now on-line. PDF

 

Read newsletter now.

View the Evergreen’s December schedule.

 

 

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Click on the above header to read the November 2014 Allens Pond Sanctuary’s “The Perch.”

 

Click here to view Allens Pond Sanctuary's upcoming Program schedule. 

 

1280 Horseneck Rd.
Westport, MA 02790
(508) 636-2437


allenspond@massaudubon.org

 

 

Be sure to visit these informative and fascinating pages of EverythingWestport.com!

 

 

Photo Essays of Westport

Hundreds of high-quality digital images illustrating the rural culture and beauty of Westport; its rivers, shores and picturesque landscapes. Go there now!

 

 

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View Upcoming Event Calendar

Get up-to-the minute announcements of the when, where and whys of local social business events. Go there now!

 

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Local Theater and the Arts

 

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Conservation-Land Walking Tours in and around Westport

Explore Westport one step at a time!  Click here!

 

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