Wednesday, January 18, 2017
today’s event listings in and around Westport, MA!
Click here for
upcoming theater and arts listings!
Updated Saturday, June 27, 2015
January 18 – CPC unanimously approves
large slate of 2017 funding requests.
By Robert Barboza
Special Correspondent to EverythingWestport.com
– Unanimous votes on 11 applications for Community Preservation Act funds
in the coming fiscal year were taken by the Community Preservation
Committee (CPC) following a Jan. 12 public hearing. The vote clears the way
for action on the funding requests by voters at the annual town meeting in
The biggest chunk of funding being recommended
by the committee is a $600,000 request for open space funds being made by
the Westport Youth Athletic Association (WYAA) to
help develop a youth sports complex planned off American Legion Highway.
The alliance of youth sports leagues plans to build a half dozen baseball
and softball diamonds and three soccer fields at the site.
January 18 - Housing
Opportunity Purchase Program (HOPP) for one
lucky, qualified, first-time homebuyer.
Westport Affordable Housing Trust Fund is making one (1) grant available to assist an income and asset qualified
first-time homebuyer for the
purpose of financing the gap between the affordable price and the selling
price of an existing-market rate home in Westport.
may be selected by Lottery.
will be an Informational Session on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at
7:00 p.m. at the Macomber Primary School, 155 Gifford Road, Westport.
is highly recommended but not required to apply.
The application deadline is March 3, 2017 at
are available at the Westport Town Hall, Housing Assistance Office, 816
Main Road, Westport, or the Westport Public Library, 408 Old County Road, or
by phone at 774.264.5126, 617.270.3912, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, January 17 - Westport
lost a valued supporter of the Westport Public Library with the passing of Jane
principal clerk with 28 years at the Library was 72.
passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, January 14th. She was a
great supporter of reading, the Library and FOWL (Friends of Westport
will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by so many people who were
fortunate to know her.
hours are at the Potter Funeral Home, 81 Reed Road, Westport on Tuesday,
January 17th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. with an order of the Eastern Star
Service at 7:00 p.m.
services will be private.
lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Friends of Westport
Library (FOWL), P.O. Box 3342, Westport, MA 02790, or Cortez
Allen Chapter #161 O.E.S., P.O. Box 1384, Middleboro, MA 02346.
information is available at www.potterfuneralservice.com.
Monday, January 16 - Get Outside and Explore with the Allens Pond Sanctuary!
Snowshoeing the Shoreline on Saturday, January 28,
Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 26.
Junior Bird Club: Building Bluebird Boxes on Tuesday,
Wild, Wild Woodcock Walks on March 11th, 17th, and
read their January 2017 E-Newsletter for all the details.
Monday, January 16 – Today is
Blue Monday: Supposedly the ‘Most Depressing Day of the Year.’
True, the end of year holidays
are over, and true, there are lots of bills to pay. And true, we’re back to
a full work schedule.
But really? Who comes up with
Oh, a Welsh
psychologist named Cliff Arnall, formerly of
Cardiff University, who now works as a life coach.
he came up with a formula that determined, according to him, that the third
Monday in January was the year's gloomiest day.
Yah? Try the day after April
15th – tax day.
Or the day daylight savings
How about Valentine’s Day when
there is no sweetheart in your life.
Or to some the inauguration
of Donald Trump as President may qualify this year as the Blue Monday of
But really, depression this
time of year is probably related more to lesser daytime light or being cooped
up in the house all day.
After all we are all waiting
Saturday, January 14 - Growing movement: Westport farmer focuses on saving seeds. Westport farmer Bill
Braun says food-growers need to "embrace the diversity that nature
gives us." More...
will lead an advanced workshop on saving seeds and preserving genetic
diversity at this weekend's Northeast Organic Farming Association's Winter
Conference. The all-day event is Saturday at Worcester State University.
Click here to learn more about Bill Braun.
Friday, January 13 – Lead that exceeds
state action levels has been detected in some of the water taps at the
Westport Elementary School.
Ann Marie Dargon said Friday there is no reason
for alarm. Most water faucets and taps were free of lead and copper, and no
drinking water sources, such as water fountains, showed any lead or copper,
the district is taking extra precautions...
Friday, January 13 –Twin River begins
its march through the regulatory forest Tuesday when it
presents a rough draft of its plans for a casino to the Tiverton Planning
River Tiverton LLC is on the agenda for a "pre-application/Informal
Concept Plan Review" at a meeting set for 7:00 p.m. in Town Hall, 343
Highland Road, Tiverton.
Save Tiverton will be
there, promising the route for the casino company will be rocky. More.
Friday, January 13 – Westport Town Clerk, Marlene M. Samson,
announces that Nomination Papers for the April 11, 2017 Annual Town
Election are now available for the following offices -
For Three Years: Two Selectmen, One Town Clerk, One Treasurer, One Collector
of Taxes, One Assessor, One Board of Health, One School Committee, One
Regional School Committee, One Fish Commissioner, Two Constables, Two
Trustees of Free Public Library, One Landing Commissioner, and One
Commissioner of Trust Funds.
For Five Years: One Housing Authority
and One Planning Board.
One Year Unexpired Term: One Board of Health.
Deadline for obtaining nomination papers is Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 4:00
p.m., and the deadline for filing nomination papers with the Board of
Registrars is Tuesday, February 21,
2017 at 5:00 p.m.
Candidates’ supporters have a friendly “make-believe” tussle in front of
the Town Hall Annex in last year’s April Elections. With two Selectmen’s
seats up for grabs in 2017 it could be a year of executive change for
Friday, January 13 – Speaking of passing the buck,
Westport’s Tax Collector announced that Third Quarter Real Estate & Personal Property Tax Bills are due
on or before Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
Any payment made after the due date is subject to 14% per annum
There is no grace
period. New property owners may
contact the Office of the Collector of Taxes at 508.636.1010 or email:
email@example.com if they did not receive a bill.
Third and fourth quarter bills were
mailed December 30, 2016.
Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.,
and the first Monday of the month from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Payment may be made in person at the office, by mail, or
on-line at www.westport-ma.com
using ebill. There is a 35 cent per transaction fee
using a checking or savings account.
Credit card payments are accepted on-line only, along with a 2%-4% convenience fee.
Friday, January 13 – And since we’re on the subject of
taxes, Westport’s assessors recently set the fiscal 2017 tax rate at
$9.91 per thousand dollars of evaluation; that’s 2 cents less than the
fiscal 2016 assessment of $7.93 per thousand.
But before you throw your hands up in elation, property
evaluations for many have gone up, so your net tax bill might be higher
than last year.
here to learn more about Westport property
taxes by visiting Property Tax 101.
Property taxes were originally $29.60 per thousand when first
1921, but that was before 100% evaluation was fully implemented
in 1989, when the tax rate dropped to its historic low of $6.78 per
It has steadily gone up since then.
Assessors recommended and selectmen agreed to keep a single
rate tax for both residential and commercial properties as commercial properties
only represent about 3 percent of the total tax base, and the growth of
commercial enterprises in Westport is encouraged by town boards, said
Assessor Chairman Steven J. Medeiros.
Thursday, January 12 – Westport lost a local restaurant icon
with the passing of Rita P. Lafrance on
Wednesday, January 4th. The co-founder of White’s Family Restaurant (White’s of Westport) was 93.
Thursday, January 12 – Westport also lost former town building
inspector Robert A. Maltais who passed away
on Sunday, January 8th. Maltais was also part of
the creation of the Westport Council of Aging which just celebrated their
20th anniversary. Read obituary.
Thursday, January 12 – Westport library’s Helen E. Ellis
showcase needs exhibits.
Since 1993, works by area craftspersons,
artists and collectors have been showcased at the Westport Free Public
Library in memory of Helen E. Ellis, a Westport woodworker and
Woodworking, paintings, crafts, pottery, quilting, knitting
(just to name a few) and all kinds of collections (dolls, shells, etc.) are
They are always looking for new displays. Please speak with a
staff member if you have something to share.
Call 508.636.1100 or speak with a staff
member at 408 Old County Road,
Wednesday, January 11 – Frozen Westport to Flooded Westport in
Temperature swing of 50 degrees in in
less than a day.
50 degrees today, 52 degrees tomorrow.
This morning at the Head. Right:
Photos | EverythingWestport.com
After spending all Sunday night salting, clearing and
ultimately sanding Westport roadways, the Highway Department may now have
to spend many more hours clearing storm drains and dealing with potential
See video on
New England weather can be capricious at best.
“We’ll have potential problems with blocked storm drains which
we’ll have to watch out for,” said Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves. “We’ll deal with the problems when and where
they happen. We’re rested.”
For all of the rest of us, dust off the golf clubs.
Tuesday, January 10 – When just one won’t do, hire four!
In the first robust move by Westport to better prevent farm animal neglect
and abuse, Selectmen Monday night voted unanimously to appoint four new
Assistant Animal Control Officers, positions which will require selectmen
to forward their nominations to MDAR Division of
Animal Health for their consideration and potential appointment as
municipal animal inspectors.
Above: Handshakes all
way round. Newly appointed Jenna Correira and
Jessica Carvalho are congratulated by selectmen
on their appointments. Not present were Lindsey Bamford and Elizabeth Corsi, also appointed.
Tuesday, January 10 – Bitterly Frigid, Frozen Westport. Westport is in the
middle of a deep freeze, with single-digit nighttime temperatures and
daytime temps not much better.
But wait a day.
Temperatures are projected at 45 degrees
by midnight Tuesday, with rain starting noon on Wednesday accompanied by
temperatures approaching 50 degrees; Thursday a high near 54.
It’s never dull living in the northeast
where weather is as fickle as it is unpredictable, and if you don’t like
it, wait a day, it will change.
Above: The East
Branch north of Hixbridge Road is chocked Monday
with ice floes and snow pack.
Above: The Head of
Westport under a mantle of snow and ice.
Tuesday, January 10 – Twice a No to F&R.
F&R Auto Sales, the used car lot that
consumers have long complained about and the Attorney General’s office is
suing, got the gavel last night as Westport selectmen refused to take
action on owner Francisco Correiro's request to
grant the embattled car lot a temporary Class II license to sell used cars.
Above: F&R Auto Sales’ owner Francis R. Correiro (left,) denied last December 28th for a
renewal of his Class II license to sell used cars, was once again turned
down when Selectmen took no action on a new request to grant a provisional
license based on improved performance in Monday night’s Selectmen’s
Sunday morning, January
8 – Winter storm Helena
wallops Westport with a foot of snow.
On any given Sunday morning it would be wonderful to wake up
to sunshine and clear blue skies.
On any given Sunday morning.
But not this Sunday morning as Westporters wake up to the
aftermath of blizzard Helena, wake up to backbreaking work in 14 degree
freezing temperatures, and wake to the prospect of ubiquitous snow removal
everywhere they look.
Residents, start your tractors, snowblowers
and plows, and shovel, shovel, shovel!
All photos by EverythingWestport.com
Above: Winter storm
Helena hits Westport Point where popular Henry the Swan and companion Henrietta
hunker down near the Harbormaster’s shack and sit out the blizzard.
Pond at the height of the storm.
Pond Sunday morning.
Above: Peter is
filling four gas cans Saturday evening at Cumberland Farms in preparation
for the worst.
Click here for video of winter storm Helena’s impact on
Saturday, January 7 – Westport Storm
Warning posted at 8:20 a.m.
Winter Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service as
of January 07th at 4:25 a.m. EST until January 08th at 1:00 a.m.
The forecast has been downgraded with snow accumulation of 8 to
12 inches, but still a dangerous storm.
Winter Storm Warning from 7:00 a.m. Saturday to 4:00 a.m. Sunday for locations
including East Coastal and interior Southeastern Massachusetts.
Snow Accumulation of 8 to 12 inches on Saturday; heavy at
times this afternoon and early evening, then tapers off by midnight.
Untreated roads will become snow covered and slick.
Visibility will be reduced. Travel will become hazardous as
snow becomes heavy at times along with gusty northeast winds resulting in
considerable blowing and drifting of snow.
Winds...north 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
Temperatures in the low-20s tonight
with a high of 29 degrees Saturday and a high of 24 degrees Sunday.
Hazardous travel conditions can be expected. (See story
Travel will be slow at best on well treated surfaces, and
quite difficult on untreated surfaces.
Only Travel In
An Emergency. If You Must Travel...Keep An Extra Flashlight...Food...And
Water In Your Vehicle In Case Of An Emergency.
Much of Westport area and SouthCoast
received 4-6 inches of light and fluffy snow from a fast-moving storm
bans Saturday in Fall River, New Bedford and Dartmouth.
traveling to an event check for cancellations or postponements.
Friday, January 6 – Breaking
News! 10:30 a.m. Westport Winter Woes. The new year’s first snow storm is causing havoc on Westport
streets, causing numerous accidents.
Slick road conditions caused
by 3-5 inches of light fluffy snow packed down on warm asphalt by traveling
vehicles is creating slick conditions, causing some unaware drivers to spin
out and run off road surfaces.
First responders have their
hands full this morning.
Town safety officers are advising
caution when driving, and Highway Department crews, after clearing all
roads, will sand every thoroughfare in town starting late this morning.
going to sand all roads in town.” Chris Gonsalves,
Police said some parts of Route 177 are “like a skating rink.”
Temperatures in the mid-20s are
exacerbating the icy conditions.
More of the same expected Saturday with heavy snow in the
forecast beginning at 10:00 a.m. with daytime temperatures in the mid-20s.
Above: This late
model sedan spun out on the north end of White Oak Run.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Drivers should exercise caution until becoming familiar with
road conditions, especially after the first winter storm this year.
Above: This pickup travelling
east on American Legion Highway spun out of control, driving across and off
the road heading west.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
third accident, a minor fender bender between two vehicles on Route 6 near
Supreme Gas occurred around 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, January 5 - Westport
A. Schmid III after being sworn in Wednesday, January 4th for the start of the 190th Session of the Massachusetts
General Court in Boston. Shown with Rep. Schmid is
Representative Carole Fiola of the sixth
back to work guys and make Massachusetts great again!
Thursday, January 5 - Macy’s to close stores in Brockton,
Taunton... but Dartmouth stays for now.
Macy’s stores anchoring malls in Brockton and Taunton are
among 68 nationwide that are scheduled to go dark, eliminating about
160 jobs in the two struggling Southeastern Massachusetts cities.
Inset: Macy’s in
The closings are part of a major cost-cutting move announced
in August by the nation’s largest department store chain. Twenty other
Macy’s stores in Massachusetts will remain open. The only other New England
location slated to be shuttered is in Bangor, Maine. More.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017 – Our
photo of the Week could also be our photo of the New Year as this young
lady taking a leap of faith joins all of America taking a leap of faith
with our newly elected federal government led by president-elect Donald J. Trump.
Monday, January 2, 2017 – The
family that plays together, plunges together!
There was a swarm of polar and penguin plunges
Sunday, and thousands took to the icy waters along the southcoast
to bring in the New Year with a shockingly fresh perspective for 2017!
Back Eddy Polar Bear Plunge.
The 18th rendition of the Back Eddy’s Polar Bear Plunge was a sellout with
mild temperatures (41 degrees F) notwithstanding a severe wind chill from a
brisk north wind (20 kt) that didn’t deter many
from taking the leap of misguided faith into the Westport River (44 degree
believe you me; they come from miles around to take the dare of the chilly
dip for a breathtakingly tasty Back Eddy brunch.
Above: Is this kid cool or what?
Photos | EverythingWestport.com
Penguin Plunge at Children’s Beach.
Since 1975 the Westport Penguin Plunge has sponsored a New Year’s Day
swimming event in Westport Harbor. The noon-time “run and splash” was next
to the town beach, next to the Westport Yacht Club, on the river side of Cherry
and Webb Lane. The sound of a hunter’s horn launched the wave of hardy
young and not so young turned up to take a chilly dip down in Westport
out at Children’s Beach!
Photos | EverythingWestport.com
organized by Jonathon Paull, Fred Johnson, and Jack Dolan, the New Year’s Day
activity event has been an annual event ever since, raising money for
with video and photos later.
Friday, December 30 – FOWL newsletter released. The
Friends of the Westport Library (FOWL) have released their first quarter
to read Fowl newsletter. Click
here to read other local organizations newsletters.
Friday, December 30 – New Animal Action Committee jumps into
action, albeit with caution.
By Robert Barboza
Correspondent to EverythingWestport.com
WESTPORT – A new 12-member town committee has started meeting
to discuss what steps the town might take to prevent reoccurrences of the
animal abuse cases discovered at a tenant farm off American Legion Highway
Selectman Shana Shufelt, elected as
the chair of the new Animal Action Committee, said the group’s goal was “to
identify whether Westport needs to implement changes” in current health
regulations, local licenses and permits for keeping animals, and other
bylaws dealing with agricultural operations involving livestock of all
“This is not a policy-making group,
but an advisory committee that would be meeting regularly to develop
recommendations for possible regulations and/or bylaws that could be
implemented by other town boards and departments.” - Shana Shufelt
A total of 59 suggestions came from committee members and a
crowded audience of animal advocates.
Thursday, December 29 – Breaking News! Westport Route 6
used auto sales outlet denied license renewal request. By an
unanimous 5-0 vote, Westport selectmen Wednesday denied renewing F&R Auto Sales’ Class II license, citing numerous
complaints and trial court proceedings against the embattled used car
dealership at 1052 State Road.
Used car lots are required to
renew annually their Class II auto sales licenses.
Select board chair R. Michael
Sullivan introduced a long list of complaints made to the Office of
Attorney General, compiled by Town Administrator Tim King, which included
113 complaints involving automobiles purchased from F&R, prompting Sullivan to
say that F&R has amassed more complaints than
all the other Westport used car lots combined.
Above: F&R Auto Sales’ owner Francis R. Correiro (left) was denied a renewal of his Class II
license to sell used cars at Wednesday night’s meeting.
Despite a passionate and
spirited defense of F&R’s most recent
business practices by Fall River Attorney Thomas J. Hallal
who claimed the used car lot has reformed over the last few months and
deserves a chance, Selectmen didn’t buy it and reproved their bad employee
practices with customers.
Selectwoman Shauna Shufelt pointed out that F&R
didn’t have a repair license and questioned how repairs can be performed
there without one.
F&R’s new business manager, Nelson Martinez (pictured right in above photo) since
September claimed that he has shaped up the company and has had no
complaints since his tenure began.
has amassed more complaints than all the other Westport used car lots
combined.” - Selectman R. Michael Sullivan
F&R Auto Sales made international
news with the now infamous “pizza delivery guy abuse” scandal that was
captured on their security camera and covertly released to the public.
The video went viral on the
Selectmen have not completely
ruled out granting a conditional license in the future; they requested that
the company come back before them with proof of successful handling of all
complaints, and a current positive track record that might convince them to
issue a temporary or short-term license, giving the town a chance to review
progress at the used car lot.
may be a tall order as the complaints stacked up against the used car
lot are numerous: “59 consumers
complained of vehicle defects that impaired their use and safety; 17
consumers complained of vehicles that failed state required inspections; 12
consumers complained that F&R failed to
provide required documents; 17 consumers complained that F&R retained their vehicles for repair but that
problems persisted; 15 consumers complained that F&R
refused to repair defective or inoperable vehicles; and 6 consumers
complained that the business put inspection stickers on their vehicles
without their permission.”
Westport Police Department conducted several inspections during 2015 and
2016 and reported violations on practices designed to protect consumers.
Police also reported 26 complaint calls over the past year.
WESTPORT - A used car dealership -
which last year was the center of a firestorm when a video of an employee
bullying a pizza delivery man went viral - is being sued by the state
Attorney General's office for deceptive and misleading business practices
after more than 100 complaints, court records show. Click here to
read full article.
Thursday, December 29 – Breaking News! Westport
TA Tim King stays put. Tim
King will be celebrating the New Year in his current job as the thoughtful
and effective Westport town administrator.
King was a finalist but was not selected by Eastham to be
their new town administrator; the search committe
deciding instead to keep things local by voting 5-0 on Wednesday to promote
assistant administrator Jacqeline Beebe,
succeeding 25-year veteran Eastham town administrator, Sheila Vanderhoef.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Mr. King had wanted to move closer to his Harwich, Cape Cod
Westport Selectmen have said that they would like to extend
King's contract beyond 2017, saying performance goals need to be
Mr. King was hired in 2014 as Westport Town Administrator,
replacing a retiring Jack Healey.
King’s 30 years’ experience includes his last job as
Wellfleet’s town administrator; Wellfleet is a lower Cape Cod town.
The Eastham search committee has chosen
two finalists out of a field of 20 for the town's top job: current
Assistant Town Administrator Jacqueline Beebe and Westport Town
Administrator Timothy King.
Administrator Sheila Vanderhoef
will retire March 17, 2017 after 25 years of service, said Dave Schropfer, chairman of the search committee.
for Eastham’s interviews of King and Beebe.
Wednesday, December 28 – Breaking News! No retail pot just yet! Massachusetts State lawmakers
voted today to delay the opening date for recreational marijuana stores in
Massachusetts by half a year — from January to summer 2018.
The extraordinary move, made in informal sessions with just a
half-dozen legislators present, would unravel a significant part of the
legalization measure passed by 1.8 million voters just last month. About
1.5 million people voted against it.
Click here to read the full story.
Wednesday, December 28 – Major Loss of Westport Salt Marshes.
Reported by Molly Weiner, WFA summer intern.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association, the Buzzards Bay Coalition,
the Marine Biological Laboratory Ecosystems Center (MBL), and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program
partnered on a project over the course of the summer in 2016 to quantify
salt marsh loss and identify any possible factors influencing the loss in
the West Branch of the Westport River.
Above: The eroding
marsh edge can be seen at Sanford Flat in the river’s West Branch. Photo | WFA
The water quality of both branches of the River suffers from
nutrient over-enrichment from various sources including septic systems,
agricultural runoff, storm water, and lawn fertilizer. The potential
factors affecting salt marsh loss in the West Branch of the Westport River
include sea-level rise, hurricanes and nor’easters, nitrogen, and
herbivory. Coupling the use of historical aerial images of the area as well
as field work allowed for an examination of what role each factor is
from the WFA newsletter.
Wednesday, December 28 – Have tree, will travel? Hey all you Westporters with real Christmas trees;
when you’re through with those evergreen symbols of Christmas gone by, you
can dispose of them at the Transfer/Recycling Center on Hixbridge
Road during normal business hours, which for this week will be only Saturday, December 31st.
The center is closed New Year’s Day, but will reopen Monday,
January 2nd from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Trees can be deposited in a special dumpster at no charge
until the end of January.
Tuesday, December 27 – Fallen branch shuts
down road, local power. The Westport
Highway Department responded to a large, fallen tree branch Tuesday on Old
Harbor Road, and needed the help of police and an electric utility company
to clear it.
“We couldn’t remove the branch until the power was shut off,”
Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves said.
The branch was tangled up in the power lines, and presented a
real danger to department workers who had to remove it to open a portion of
Old Harbor Road.
Photo | Chris Gonsalves
Tuesday, December 27 – Massachusetts minimum wage hike is,
well, minimal! Among other
things, the new year will ring in a new minimum wage to Massachusetts.
It will be among the highest in the nation for the moment; minimum wage increases to $11 per hour on January 1, 2017.
But it will be quickly followed with steeper increases from
Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, Maine, Washington, New York, California and the
District of Columbia, all with hourly wage rates rising anywhere from $12.50
Not to be outdone, Raise
Up Massachusetts, an alliance of labor unions, community organizations
and religious groups plans to file a bill in January to gradually raise the
state minimum wage to $15.
Ok, so what do we do with all the current, more skilled
employees who earn the higher new wage rates now when they see entry level
jobs get automatic raises to what they are now receiving?
It is hoped that the proponents of higher minimum wages have
put some thought into the incoming administration’s plans to keep jobs from
Sunday, December 25 – School price tag reaches $95.2 million.
boards say school is a go; now the MSBA and the
town’s voters will have their say!
By Robert Barboza
WESTPORT – Unanimous votes from the School Building Committee,
Board of Selectmen, and Westport School Committee on Dec. 21 endorsed the
submission of a $95.2 million “preferred option” plan for a new co-located
junior and senior high school off Old County Road to the Massachusetts
School Building Authority (MSBA) for review and
Coming with the state approval would be an expected commitment
of an estimated $39.4 million in construction reimbursements for an 185,610
square foot joint middle school and high school built at the site of the
closed Westport Middle School, contaminated with PCB materials.
photos and architectural plans.
Friday, December 23 - Expertise
sought before Westport health agent role filled. Selectmen are
proceeding with caution before filling the next senior health agent
The board has delayed finalizing the job description, and
Selectman Antone Vieira Jr. advised forming an ad
hoc committee and calling on health professionals within the community to
help selectmen formalize a job description. Selectmen cautioned against
"business as usual," after they recently cut ties with longtime
Senior Health Agent James Walsh.
note. Westport Selectmen will meet Wednesday, December 28th to
review and discuss the posting of the Sr. Health Agent position to replace
James Walsh after he resigned several weeks ago.
Thursday, December 22 –
Westport Board of Health members followed up yesterday with a successful inspection
of the American Legion Highway tenant farm after a previous effort last Thursday was blocked by lock and
BOH members John Colletti, Karl Santos and board chairman Bill Harkins
were joined by Paul Halfmann of the Massachusetts
Department of Public Health, Fall River Attorney Karen Benson with client
Richard Medeiros, and a representative of Thor Technologies, an
extermination company, made a scheduled 10:00 a.m. inspection of the site
described by the media as the worst animal abuse case ever in the
The group was able to inspect all the lots and will provide a
report to Selectmen next week.
structures at the tenant farm.
A previous public health visit last Thursday by the board,
also attended by Town Administrator Tim King and Animal Control
Office/Animal Inspector Donna Lambert, was intended to confirm compliance
with removing condemned buildings and ramshackle structures, clean up the
accumulated filth and debris, check for any remaining animals on-site, and
verify the results of a recent rat extermination effort.
Unable to gain access to many gated and locked lots, King and
Lambert left in frustration when their request to cut the locks was denied
by Attorney Benson citing those tenants still had active leases and the
court had granted short stays to several tenants to comply with the BC
Superior Court injunction granting town officials full access to the
Above: Last week’s
inspection found evidence of fresh rat feces and some dead rats according
to BOH members. Police photo
Reports of animals residing on the lots were greatly
exaggerated as only a cat and duck were still on-site.
The cat was removed.
Thursday, December 22 –
Fall River man goes on wild and whacky crime spree.
The partially-masked thief was foiled
in a failed armed robbery attempt at Westport Apothecary.
Tuesday, December 13th was not one of Justin Tunney-Lassiter’s better days.
In fact it couldn’t have been any worse.
After fleeing the Dartmouth Target store in an alleged
shoplifting incident, the Fall River man attempted to evade a mid-day police
chase that started at Faunce Corner Road, and
ended up in the Dartmouth Mall parking lot where pursuing police broke off
the chase after the 29-year-old Tunny-Lassiter struck several cars and ran
down a pedestrian while driving a stolen 2010 Dodge Caliber.
But the man on the run wasn’t done yet. In fact he was just
getting started, adding more felony acts to his resume.
Thursday, December 22 –
Westport Jr/Sr High School architectural plans a
And they’re going to the Massachusetts School Building
Authority (MSBA) for their review and
Wednesday night, after a report from the school’s project
manager and architect, the School Building Committee, School Committee and
the Board of Selectmen all voted unanimously to send the project’s plans to
At stake is millions of dollars of state reimbursement
(projected at $39 million) of the total cost of demolition and construction
Click here to
review latest OPM Monthly Project Report
all the details. PDF
The new Old County Road school building would add $528 to the yearly
tax burden of an average $400,000 Westport property over a period of 20
years; $468 for a period of 25 years, $440 for 30 years.
The school project has been amorphous from the start, shaping
and reshaping architectural plans to reduce cost without losing basic
Above: After a 90
minute meeting all boards voted unanimously to approve the plans for
transmission to the Mass School Building Committee.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Wednesday, December 21 - Rochester road crews
finish paving the Charlotte White and Main Road intersection today;
Main Road in front of the Jr./Sr. High School and
Old County Road are next up and last up for the year, says that master
purveyor of all things pavement, Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves.
“Work should be completed today,” Gonsalves
said. “If not, then by tomorrow morning.”
The $900,000 plus in Chapter 90 state money allocated to
Westport this year went to good use as road resurfacing long overdue now
gets its due, and despite the slight inconvenience to daily commuters, most
Westporters are grateful.
Sunday, December 18 – Surfs up! The Dark Knight takes on
Mr. Freeze as East Beach is battered with high winds and an even higher
storm surge, creating ideal surfing conditions not to be ignored.
This guy seems to be in the groove as he’s hangin’
five down by the Life Saving Station!
Photo | EverthingWestport.com
There is a gale warning in effect until 5:00 p.m. this
Seas in Buzzards Bay are 9-12 feet, ideal for surfing but a
real threat to small craft and coastal erosion.
East Beach is getting whacked, but seems to be holding its
This afternoon expect SW winds 25 to 30 kt
with gusts up to 40 kt. Patchy fog. Rain. Vsby 1 nm or less.
Tonight NW winds 20 to 25 kt with
gusts up to 35 kt... becoming N 15 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt
after midnight. Seas 6 to 9 ft. a chance of rain.
Radical temperature swings from a low of 6 degrees yesterday
morning to 55 degrees today, and plunging to a high of 29 degrees tomorrow.
The weather should make up its mind already!
Above: This seagull
seems nonplused as waves pummel his perch Sunday morning. Photo EverythingWestport.com
Cobble was unceremoniously dumped by heavy wave action over
East Beach Road, but otherwise very little erosion thanks to the Highway
Department’s efforts to protect the new asphalt surface.
Below: The road
direction sign has it just about right as motorists
were forced to
weave around the heavy cobble on East Beach Road.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Click here to watch video of winter storm creating Havoc on East Beach
Previous headline news continues below.