Saturday, October 25, 2014
Click here for today’s
event listings in and around Westport!
Click here for upcoming
theater and arts listings!
10/24/2014 – Westport Selectmen probe
inequities in property tax assessments.
the Board of Assessors in-house cost benefit analysis currently underway,
some of the town’s selectmen felt the timing was right to ask the assessors
some questions of their own.
Above left: Selectmen question Assessors
over under-assessments of waterfront properties. Right: Patrick Donovan of Vision
Government Solutions speaks to Selectmen about his company’s appraising
“How can a house "be
assessed at $800,000 when it's sold for $3 million, then valued at $1.5
million a year later?" Select Board Chair, Vieira asked, relaying
questions from a conversation he had with a resident. He theorized that
perhaps the problem lay in appearances, not practice. More…
10/24/2014 – Hey buddy, got a Loco foco? On this day in 1836 the self-lighting matchstick was patented
in the United States. In 1836, a patent was registered in the United States
by a shoemaker with the name of Alonzo D Phillips (Springfield,
Massachusetts) for the manufacturing of friction matches called 'Loco focos'.
(supposed to mean 'self-lighting') was originally a self-igniting cigar
patented in New York in 1834 (and probably the original exploding cigar).
It then became applied to the Lucifer match. It was later applied to a
political party, the Democrats, after an incident at a party meeting in
1835 at which opponents of the radical element within the party turned out
the gas lights, but the radicals promptly produced candles which they lit
The modern match, however,
has a long history dating back to 1669. Click
here to read about the linage of
the common self-striking match. Who wudda thought?
10/24/2014 – Karaoke anyone? Friday night is where it’s at – check out these locations:
The Knights of Columbus, 28 Fish Road, Tiverton;
Bluegrass Jam at the Dartmouth VFW; karaoke featuring country music at VFW Post 5329, 134 Shove Street, Tiverton; karaoke night at Bayview Holy Ghost Citizens Club, 66 Bottom Street, Tiverton; the VFW Post 8502, 843 State Road (Route 6) in Westport offers
karaoke on Friday nights in the newly renovated lounge; pro karaoke by Rick
& Joan every Friday at the Liberal Club, 20 Star Street, Fall River; and LePage’s Seafood hosts karaoke every Friday night at 439 Martine
Street, Fall River.
Get all the details in our Friday’s event listings
Today In and Around Westport.
10/23/2014 – Mobility mats matter for disabled,
seniors and the young. Martin Costa grew up in
Westport and loved to visit local beaches, which many say are the best on
“I am spinal cord injured and
use a wheelchair as well as short leg braces and a cane to ambulate, but
since my accident in 1985, I have never visited Westport beaches because of
the poor accessibility conditions,” the Westport campground owner and
former DJ said.
All that will change soon,
thanks to efforts of the town’s Commission
on Disability to make a local beach
universally accessible through the installation of mobility, or access mats
(portable pathways) that can be used by the elderly and disabled community,
parents with strollers and families with young children.
Above: John Pelletier (left) talks with Elaine Ostroff and Ryan Mann about the ease of the use of the
new mats obtained with CPA funds.
Universal accessibility is
becoming very important, a top priority issue in many areas, according to
the United Nations.
Town officials plan to
install 189 feet of five-foot-wide beach "access
mats" that will extend from
the eastern edge of Beach Avenue by the Knubble
to the ocean’s high water mark.
A trial of the recently
acquired access mats was performed this past Monday and “worked quite well”
according to COD member John Pelletier.
But a plan before the Board
of Selectmen championed by Selectman R. Michael Sullivan, the Buzzards Bay
Coalition and several Acoaxet residents may hamper access to the Knubble to seniors and the disabled who like to view
the beauty and serenity of the beach from their automobiles. More with photos...
Above: is this the future for Beach Avenue? It will be if a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the town and an alliance of
Acoaxet residents and abutters, WLCT, and the Buzzards Bay Coalition is
approved by Selectmen and accepted at next spring’s Annual Town Meeting.
10/23/2014 – Today! Westport ROMEOs will
host Westport Town Administrator, Timothy King this Thursday.
will be a noontime luncheon this Thursday, October 23rd at White’s of Westport in the Presidents Room.
Westport ROMEOs will host Tim King, Westport's recently appointed, fulltime Town Administrator. King has ably
stepped into the very large shoes of former Administrator, Jack Healey and
Business Manager Steve Lombard.
Harwich Port, has 37 years of municipal experience, three of those in
Wellfleet, Massachusetts and 12 more as the manager of Ellsworth, Maine
which has a year-round population of 7,000 that swells in the summer. His
experience includes being town administrator in Auburn, town manager in a
Rhode Island town and in two towns in Maine.
addressing the board, said he is looking forward to working in "one of
the most beautiful places in New England.” King’s observation of Westport
prompted BOS Chairman Antone Vieira to quip that
“lobstering seemed to be the common denominator
in the communities in which King has worked.”
will speak about the many challenges facing Westport including the school
district’s salary negotiations, Beach Avenue, and what the town’s possible
plans may be for the town's school buildings.
information, please call Greg Jonsson at (508)
971-4177, or email him at email@example.com.
10/22/2014 – Mystery Photo
posted today at 11:00 a.m.
Be the first to correctly identify the location of this dramatic cloudscape
and win a $25 gift certificate to Ten
Cousins Brick Oven, Westport’s newest restaurant specializing in brick
oven pizza, salads, pasta and more.
to take your best shot.
View our photo album of more dramatic Cloudscapes of Westport, click here.
– Third Master
Plan Update this Saturday, October 25th.
Of the four planned workshops, ‘Historic &
Cultural Resources, Capital Facilities & Human Resources, and Land Use
Priority Setting’ on October 25th is by far the most important.
Westport residents are invited to offer their input on these three
sections of the Master Plan Update on Saturday, October 25, 9 a.m. to 12:30
p.m. at the Westport Free Public Library, 408 Old County Road,
The third of four public input sessions,
Workshop 3 will address goals and objectives for Historic & Cultural
Resources, Capital Facilities & Human Resources, and Land Use.
Refreshments will be provided. Admission is free; to RSVP or if you have
any questions, please contact James Hartnett, Town Planner at 508.636.1037
or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More...
10/22/2014 – New Bedford’s
Bob's Sea and Ski inducted into Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
State Senator Michael Rodrigues joined Michelle Ann Pelletier Colberg, Bob Mercer, and Pamela Parent-Melanson as Bob's Sea and Ski
was recognized and inducted into the Special Olympics Hall of Fame.
In the 15 years that they've worked together, they have raised more than
$300,000 for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts.
is a cause that is near and dear to my heart, and being a part of the Hall
of Fame induction was truly an honor,” Senator Rodrigues said.
two years, Special Olympics Massachusetts recognizes the outstanding
commitment of athletes, coaches, families, volunteers, law enforcement
personnel, and corporate partners for their support. Nominees must have
been involved with Special Olympics Massachusetts for at least five years. Submitted photo
10/20/2014 - Westport
Selectmen met Monday at Town Hall starting at 6:00 p.m. Click here
to review complete agenda including Town Administrator, Tim King’s
10/20/2014 – If you row it,
you tow it! Oarsmen
(and women!) muscle the 32-foot Cornish Pilot Gig, Harmony, out of the
water and up onto a trailer last Saturday afternoon after taking a risky
row around Gooseberry Island despite high winds and even higher seas.
are the conditions,” said the boat’s builder, owner and helmsman, Ben
Booth, “when these pilot boats were sent out to guide incoming sailing
vessels around the dangerous rocks during bad weather. It wasn’t just a
Sunday sail.” More with photos later.
pilot boats “conscripted” volunteers out into Buzzards Bay to demonstrate
the craft’s seaworthiness on Saturday during the Westport Fisherman’s 5th
Annual Classic Wooden Boat Exhibit at the historic Life Saving Station on Horseneck Point.
10/15/2014 - Southcoast
Radiology and Imaging Services is offering free mammograms for uninsured
individuals during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. Screenings will be offered at all 12 Southcoast Breast Imaging Centers across the region.
Statistics show that one in eight women over the
age of 40 will develop breast cancer. Since patients are less likely to
experience symptoms during the early stage of breast cancer, when tumors
are small and most treatable, early detection and regular screenings are a
necessity to reduce advanced stage diagnosis and often improve treatment
10/15/2014 - Southcoast Health
unveils new look and name for both the Southcoast
Wellness Van and Southcoast Blood Mobile.
Southcoast Wellness Van, formerly the Health Van,
and the Southcoast Blood Mobile, formerly the
Blood Donor Van, recently underwent complete external makeovers and name
changes in line with Southcoast Health’s mission
to promote the optimal health and well-being of individuals in the
communities it serves. More...
10/14/2014 10:20 a.m. – You’re on the
air with Lt. Brian Beaulieu!
Westport firefighter Lt. Brian Beaulieu discusses home safety up front and
personal with a WSAR home audience and talk show host Ric
Oliveira at Your Healthy Home Expo held at White’s
of Westport over the weekend.
over 40 health conscious exhibitors, visitors experienced firsthand the
latest technologies used to promote a healthy home. Over 40 local business
and artisans demonstrated how they can contribute to your healthy home. Click here
for a list of exhibitors.
left: “Cyclone Cindy” Brunelle, Senior Mad Scientist, entertained the young
and the not-so-young public with her “fun” science demonstrations. Right: a Tyler Well and Pump
representative was on-hand to discuss potential water issues with wells and
– Never Forget. Westport’s 9-11 steel
completion as Mr. Albanese and his son align the five granite stones with
plaques into a perfect pentagon surrounding the twisted steel girder from
the devastated World Trade Center.
generations of Albaneses have provided memorial
stone products since 1954, and were a natural choice for this most revered
monument to the men and women who lost their lives on that fateful day in
Deputy Fire Chief, Sam Manley looks on.
to view this and past Photos of the Week.
10/06/2014 – New Lyme Support Group starts in Rehoboth. The Bristol County,
MA Lyme Support Group has officially started.
This Group provides support and networking
opportunities to individuals affected directly and indirectly by Lyme and
associated tick borne diseases. The Group strives to encourage awareness
and prevention of Lyme and associated tick borne diseases through education
and community involvement where appropriate.
Their first monthly meeting
will be held on Thursday, October 9th from 6–8 p.m. at Goff Memorial Hall,
124 Bay State Road, Rehoboth, MA.
This meeting is free and open
Please join them for one of
their upcoming support group meetings from 6-8 p.m. on: 11/13/14, 12/11/14,
1/8/15, 2/12/15, 3/5/15, 4/2/15, 5/14/15, 6/11/15, 7/9/15, and 8/13/15.
Meeting dates subject to change based on Goff
Memorial Hall’s scheduling needs.
For more information you can
visit the Bristol County, MA Lyme Support Group on Facebook, email Annie LaBrie at BCMLDSG@yahoo.com, or visit their website.
10/04/2014 – Come out, come out wherever you are. The search for eleven
stolen Sailor’s Valentines, burglarized from Marguerites Restaurant on
Friday, August 15th, and the pursuit of their abductors has produced
startling discoveries of drugs and weapons, but no artwork.
Artisan Barbara Chadwick, who
created them “just wants them back.”
On Wednesday, September 17th
the police executed a search warrant at 230 Main Road, just south of the
high school and discovered a enormous cache of
nearly 300 firearms, some of them illegal, and many unlawful high-capacity
The home owner was charged
with a host of gun charges including the possession of a covert weapon, two
counts of possession of a short barrel rifle, possession of high capacity
law enforcement restricted gun magazines, transferring/selling illegal high
capacity gun magazines, and four counts of having an unsecured (loaded)
But the Valentines still
remain to be recovered. More...
10/03/2014 – Artisan Fair a big hit at the Handy House! The first ever
Artisan Fair last week at the Handy House drew multitudes of visitors who, for an hour or so, stepped back into an
earlier time when skilled craftsmen and women produced most durable goods
used or consumed in and around the local farmhouse.
those goods are considered arts and crafts, and the people who make them
Click here to
view photo album of the Westport Historical Society’s 1st annual Artisan
Fair. Need Adobe Flash to view album? Click here.
Friends of the Westport
Library (FOWL) October/December
2014 quarterly newsletter is
now available and on-line.
Read Newsletter now. PDF
To view other Westport organization’s
Director, Christine Quinn announces her resignation. Quinn will leave
this December 15th.
“Westport is a lovely community and they
have a wonderful Council on Aging,” Quinn told EverythingWestport in an interview.
The North Easton resident was appointed
COA Director in April of 2013, replacing longtime Director Mary Ellen Gomes
“I want to explore other options,” Quinn
said. “Geriatrics has always been my calling, and I really like working
directly with the elderly and disabled.”
The Westport COA Director has a lot on
her plate, overseeing a staff of 19 employees and growing, and 100
volunteers. Working at just 1 percent of the town’s budget, but providing
valuable services to 25 percent of the town’s population, the COA is
constantly scrabbling for grants and donations to fund their services for
Selectmen just approved a new part-time
position, a Mealtime Site Coordinator, a unique and key position that
oversees the complex, daytime nutrition requirements of the Center’s Social
Day Program seniors.
The new position, which used to be funded
by Bristol Elder Services but no longer, will now be
paid through a Senior Center revolving account at no cost to the town
Quinn advocates Aging in Place, seniors
living where they have lived for years, not typically in health care environments
or nursing homes, but by using products, services, and conveniences which
allow them to remain home as their circumstances change.
“The ratio used to be 2–1 in nursing
homes, but is now changing 2-1 in favor of the home of your choice, safely
and independently as you get older,” Quinn said. “This is the area in which
I’ve been trained, and would like to work in; it’s a life-long vocation.”
Above: COA’s Volunteer Coordinator, Susan Sharp (left) and
Director, Christine Quinn take a moment out of their busy day to commune on
the Senior Center’s stylish back deck built by carpentry students from Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School.
a shocker! With less than six weeks
until the election, the race for the next governor of Massachusetts is now
a dead heat, a Rasmussen Reports poll has found. Democratic Attorney
General Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie
Baker each have 42 percent support in the race to replace two-term
Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.
Other recent polls have indicated that
the race may be more open. A WBR/MassINC poll
conducted September 16-21 gave Coakley a 10 point
lead, while a Boston Globe poll conducted September 21-23 gave Baker a 2
point lead. More...
– You’ve come a
long way, baby – or have you! On this day in history, in 1904 a woman was placed under
arrest for smoking a cigarette on New York's Fifth Avenue.
"You can't do that on Fifth Avenue," the
arresting officer said.
Today, she would be arrested for smoking inside of
Saks Fifth Avenue.
"You can't do that inside Saks Fifth
Avenue," the arresting officer would say.
Yup, we’ve come a long way!
Inset: Early 20th century advertising poster in the Dennison Museum.
Read more from This Day in History.
Fuel Assistance Betterment Fund is running on fumes. A call has gone out for
donations to support the Fuel Assistance Betterment Fund as it is almost
The long-standing town fund started with
and is only supported by donations, and was not used for several years
until recently, said the treasurer’s office.
Rising fuel costs coupled
with reduced funding from state programs like Citizens Energy Heat Assistance
(which is closed for the 2014 heating season) are blamed for the situation.
Forecasters are calling for a severe
“We recently paid for several deliveries
out of the fund, and have only enough money for one more delivery,” the
treasurer’s office reported.
Requests for assistance are initiated
through the Council on Aging’s outreach coordinator, Andrea Lemos.
Residents in need are referred to the
Betterment Fund when they have exhausted all other forms of fuel
assistance, said the COA outreach coordinator
If need is determined then a recipient
will receive a one-time delivery of 100 gallons, according the treasurer’s
Anyone wishing to donate to this fund may
mail a check to the Town Clerk’s Office, 816 Main Road, Westport, MA 02790.
Donation checks should be made out to the Town of Westport, noting on the
check that the money is to be used for the Fuel Assistance Betterment Fund.
Call the COA outreach coordinator at
508.636.1026 for more information on fuel assistance.
Visit the state’s fuel assistance website.
turns over a new Leaf! Selectmen at their Monday,
September 22nd meeting unanimously approved the purchase of an all-electric
car, the Leaf by Nissan, a project long promoted by Energy Committee member
“The majority of the Energy Committee
members felt the purchase would be a symbol to the community to encourage
green energy projects” selectmen said.
The Leaf is certainly a lifestyle
selection for energy conservation and carbon footprint advocates, but will
its promise be a boon or a boondoggle for the town of Westport? More...
Council on Aging October newsletter, Evergreen is now available on-line. Click here to view the newsletters of
this and other Westport organizations.
09/25/2014 – Selectmen designate September 25th as
Ataxia Day in Westport. Joining Westport was
Governor Devol Patrick who also declared September 25th as Ataxia Day.
International Ataxia Day was established
Former selectman, Jim Coyne, who lost his
beloved wife, Janet to Ataxia, championed the effort in Westport.
Ataxia is a group of degenerative
neurological disorders characterized by impaired coordination of movement,
vision, speech, hearing and other involuntary actions. In the US alone,
over 150,000 people are affected by ataxia.
Above: Select board Chairman Tony Vieira congratulates Jim
Coyne as Selectman Craig Dutra looks on. Photo/EverythingWestport.com
Firefighters respond to house fire at 96 Charlotte White Road. An alert passerby probably
saved a life yesterday and certainly limited damage to a Charlotte White
Road residence when they noticed
smoke coming from the two-story wood frame house and alerted the property
owner, Roger Chandanais, who was sleeping inside.
Westport apparatus arrived at 12:15 p.m.
and found moderate smoke coming from the structure’s back side. After
confirming that everyone was out of the house, firefighters attacked the
fire that was located in the first floor bathroom ceiling.
Because of the age of the building,
firefighters had a difficult time extinguishing the blaze, which had
extended up the exterior walls to the second floor, causing $150,000 in
The fire was brought under control in
approximately one hour.
An investigation of the fire found it
originated in the bathroom ceiling near the exhaust fan, and was determined
to be accidental. Due to the extensive damage to the house the Red Cross
was called in to assist the owner.
recently lost his wife of many years, Regina, who passed away in July of
Assisting Westport were firefighters from
the Tiverton Fire Department and the Rehab Unit from the Fall River EMA.
There were no reported injuries and firefighters remained on the scene
until approximately 5:30 p.m. Photo
by Captain Silvia, WFD
row, row your boat - this week’s Photo of the
Week. Head of Westport resident and boat
builder, Ben Booth encourages rowers to put their back into it as his 32’ Cornish
Pilot Gig heads south down the East
Branch of the Westport River, completing a circuit run that started at Hix Bridge.
Booth, an accomplished racer, won the
Blackburn Challenge, a 20+ mile open water circumnavigation of Cape Ann.
Booth’s Pilot Gig, “Daharma
Voyage,” will compete in this week’s Slocum
Challenge Regatta on Saturday.
to the editor: The other side to the
Beach Avenue kerfuffle. Westport resident and President of the
Massachusetts Chapter of the Spinal Cord Society, Martin Costa spoke out by
thanking all parties involved in making Beach Avenue accessible to Westport
“I am spinal cord injured and use a
wheelchair as well as short leg braces and a cane to ambulate, but since my
accident in 1985, I have never visited Westport beaches because of the poor
accessibility conditions,” the campground owner and former DJ said.
“The hard work of several committees
including the Beach Committee, Disabilities Committee, and especially
Selectman Vieira who never gave up the fight, does not go unnoticed by me
and many others who have been deprived of the pleasure that many Westporters take for granted... a day at our beautiful
Above and below: handicap access to Knubble
Beach on Beach Avenue.
this day in history in 1692, Giles Corey of Salem
Massachusetts was pressed to death for standing mute and refusing to answer
charges of witchcraft brought against him.
Stones were piled up on a plank laid over
the prostrate Giles.
The stubborn farmer knew his life would
be spared if he confessed, but his farm would be forfeited to the town.
Not wishing his family to be left
penniless, the unfortunate Giles would only answer “more stones” when asked
if he wished to confess while slowly being crushed.
He is the only person in America to have
suffered this punishment.
Read more of This Day in History.
– Westport Affordable Housing Trust Fund
committee announces new Housing Funding Program.
current Subsidized Housing Inventory is 3.5%, which means a shortage of 417
affordable housing units to meet the state's Chapter 40B 10% goal.
The Trust has
announced the availability of a funding program to support the creation of
affordable housing in the Town of Westport.
The Seed Housing Funding Program (SEED) seeks applications for funds
from qualified project proponents to create multiple new affordable housing
units in Westport, Massachusetts. Funding will be granted per affordable
housing unit created.
that contain at least 30% affordable dwelling units in the total project
will be considered for funding.” - Westport Affordable Housing Trust Fund
here to learn more
about obtaining funds and/or grants to develop affordable housing in
State Senator Michael Rodrigues feted once again with legislative
recognition. Last Friday, Senator Rodrigues was
honored by the Massachusetts Correctional Officers with legislative
recognition for his work on Beacon Hill in support of these hard-working
men and women. Senator Rodrigues thanked the MCOFU “and all of our
correctional officers for your tireless work!”
Murphy, a member of MCOFU, said “the Executive
Board and Legislative Representative Chuck Dywer
did an outstanding job by picking you!”
hurricane walk teaches importance of conservation. "Wednesday, September 21, 1938 began
clear and calm, but by mid-morning the weather had changed; the sky
darkened, and the wind began to blow," Westport Land Conservation
Trust Executive Director Ryan Mann told a group of over 100 listeners at a
recent '38 Hurricane walk around Westport Harbor.
Protami – Dartmouth/Westport Chronicle
"Three houses stood where we are
now, and by nightfall they were gone," he continued, gesturing towards
the ocean from atop a big rock alongside Beach Avenue in Acoaxet. The
shoreline then was almost 100 feet farther out than it is today, he told
the crowd. More...
entrepreneurs need not
Eight aspiring entrepreneurs trying to
pry money from the cold, calculating hands of three “angel” investor
groups, fought for funds for their businesses last night at SNEEF’s Piranha
Pond Pitch Party.
Emulating the popular television reality
show, Shark Tank, selected area entrepreneurs presented startup plans for
their business babies at the annual Piranha Pond Pitch Party, sponsored by
the Southern New England Entrepreneurs Forum (SNEEF).
There were big winners, a few maybes, but
some left empty-handed. More later.
David Vogel of Beacon Angels and Mass Medical Angels (center), Mitch
Sanders Angel Investor (2nd from left) and Jennifer Schwall
of Cherrystone Angels had good feelings for Randy Nason’s
(2nd from right) Black Infusions, naturally infused, hand–crafted cordials
made from black figs and black apricots. The liqueurs have no artificial
flavors, no added flavors, and no coloring and are gluten free. The
Boston-area startup got a big thumbs up from the
panel of venture capitalists.
at the Knubble. As if the controversy over opening
Westport Harbor’s Beach Avenue wasn’t enough for area residents, sometime
around September 2nd vandals spray-painted graffiti onto a rock outcropping
on WLCT conservation beachfront at the popular visitor gathering point
known as the Knubble.
Beach pass and handicap parking
restrictions have been largely ignored, prompting Selectmen to seek
volunteer parking monitors for issuing tickets to violators, a proposal
that does not have the support of at least one Selectman and the Police
Should the town charge the elected
Constables to enforce town beach parking restrictions? Maybe so, maybe so.
– Westport Police, raiding a Westport home in
search of stolen
art from a local restaurant, wound up finding drugs, guns, and a large
amount of rifle ammunition.
Seizing on a tip, Westport police
vehicles converged on an Old County Road residence in search of stolen
Sailor’s Valentines, but wound up instead discovering a large cache of
guns, ammo, marijuana and Oxycodone pills.
A tip from two suspects arrested in that
break-in led police to a house owned by Dwayne and Stephanie Hart.
The art collection, created by local
artist Barbara Chadwick, is valued at over $15,000.
The Harts were arrested Tuesday after
police executed a search warrant at their Old County Road home, located
across the street from Westport Public Library and in a school zone.
against Baker for Governor!
voters select Democrat Martha Coakley to run
against Republican challenger Charles D. Baker for Governor.
In a typical mid-term election only 14.12
percent of Westport’s 11,494 registered voters cast ballots.
Following state polling trends, Westport
Democrat ballots cast show 521 votes for Martha Coakley
(Massachusetts Attorney General,) 446 for Steven Grossman, and 176 for
Donald M. Berwick.
Republican voters chose Charles D. Baker
(former CEO for Harvard Pilgrim Health,) over Mark R. Fisher, 222 to 202.
Both primaries for governor mirrored
p.m. Westport police officer Jeffrey Belyea
delivers a precinct’s results to Town Clerk Marlene Samson for tabulation
and transmission to the State Board of Elections.
Westport Town Clerk Marlene Samson, after
reviewing early morning ballots cast (27 by 9:00 a.m. at the Town Hall
Annex) predicted an anemic 8 percent turnout; but a late surge in the early
evening boosted the numbers to a little over 14 percent.
In other election results Republican
voters choose Mark C. Alliegro for Representative
in Congress to challenge uncontested Democratic incumbent William R.
And Democrat Deborah B. Goldberg got the
nod by a substantial margin to run against Republican candidate for
Treasurer, Michael J. Heffernan.
Several races were uncontested, and many
Republican primary contests had no candidate at all.
Precinct 2 (Town Hall Annex) had the best
turnout at 15.82 percent, and Precinct 4 (Briggs Road Fire Station) least
with 12.86 percent.
Comedienne Joan Rivers funeral had a
better turnout than the showing by Westport voters.
Westport’s State Senator Michael
Rodrigues and State Representative Paul Schmid were unopposed; so were our
Representative in Congress Bill Keating, District Attorney Sam Sutter, and
Bristol County’s Register of Probate and County Treasurer.
Westport’s State Representative, Paul Schmid casts an early morning ballot
at the Town Hall Annex.
the German-American Socialist editor, author, and organizer from the late
1890s said, “Politics is the gentle
art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by
promising to protect each from the other.”
But Alan Keyes said, “The act of voting is one opportunity for us to remember that our
whole way of life is predicated on the capacity of ordinary people to judge
carefully and well.”
Westport election results will be
reported in detail tomorrow, Wednesday, September 10th.
Click here to view sample party ballots.
when we got there, the polling places they were bare. Pundits predicted low
voter turnout in this year’s state primary.
- 2014 Duck Derby winners are
off to Hawaii with their prize quacker, Linny Cakes!
video of the 11th Allens Pond Sanctuary’s 2014
Click here for more photos and a list
of all winners!
who hails from Fall River, was on a trip with her girlfriends in Atlantic
City earlier this year when one mentioned the Allens
Pond Duck Derby and its fantastic grand prize of dinner for two, anywhere
in the world with 2 nights’ lodging and round-trip airfare...and she
thought “wow – that’s nice.”
Fast forward to
a summer lunch at the Bayside, where Malcolm Johnston and Michaela Kerxhalli-Kleinfield were selling duck entries for the
Derby and Linda adopted two – one for her and her husband, Richard and one
for her daughter. She said she’s
never won anything and thought that a gift certificate to Peckham’s Greenhouse would be nice.
she get the surprise of her life when Sanctuary Director Gina Purtell phoned to tell her she won
growth better than no growth? It was mostly good news heard by the
Westport Economic Development Task Force at their August 28th meeting...
yet another solar power producer is looking at land in town to site a two
megawatt solar farm, and a meat processing plant is being proposed for
another piece of property in the north end of town.
“We need to examine what we’re doing
here, and see if it’s productive. I say it is not.” – member Jack Baughan
With the lure of low property taxes and
plenty of commercial and industrial sites available all around Westport,
business owners are regularly coming to town to look at opportunities for
doing business here, Economic Development
Coordinator Michael P. Sullivan told the board.
But the very slow growth of new
commercial ventures has some members seeking a new direction. More...
– (Westport) Drift Road fender-bender sends one
to hospital. Two vehicles collided just after 9:00
p.m. this Wednesday evening at the intersection of Drift Road and Sisson
Farm Lane, sending the driver of a green passenger van to the hospital.
According to those on the scene, a
northbound, late model grey sedan was turning left onto Sisson Farm Lane
when a passenger van, traveling in the same direction on Drift Road
attempted to pass the sedan, struck it and, bouncing off to the left, took
down a row of mailboxes before ending up in a wooded area on the west side
of Drift Road.
The driver of the van was transported to
the hospital by a Westport Fire Department ambulance with
According to observers the van was
– The Galley
Grille at White's of Westport has reopened
after extensive renovations closed the popular State Road eatery since July
restaurant brings a new and improved dining experience.
They are open daily for lunch and dinner,
but unfortunately they are closed this Labor day.
specials, Wednesday trivia night, and Prime Rib nights were available
during the renovations.
Follow them on Facebook or visit www.galleygrille.com.
Urgent Care Center to open in Wareham on September 2nd. New center offers walk-in visits for the
public 7 days a week without an appointment.
Southcoast Health Urgent Care provides patients
with convenient, quick treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, on their
schedule, without waiting for an appointment.
ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the new
Health Urgent Care Center in Wareham.
Urgent Care Center at Wareham Crossing will provide Wareham and the
surrounding communities with a new, convenient way to access the high
quality care that we at Southcoast are proud to
deliver," said Keith A. Hovan, President and
CEO of Southcoast Health. "With an expanding
roster of skilled physicians and other medical professionals, under the
fine direction of Dr. Pamela L. Spatz,
"From our experience in Fairhaven,
where last August we cut the ribbon on Southcoast’s
first Urgent Care Center, we know there is a need for immediate,
high-quality care when patients have not-quite-an-emergency, and a primary
care doctor is not available," said Pamela L. Spatz,
MD, Medical Director, Southcoast Health Urgent Care.
humane side of the Beach Avenue controversy has largely been overlooked, according to
Westport’s Commission on Disability.
The bickering over Beach Avenue pushes to
the side the real opportunity Westport has in giving the town’s seniors and
persons with handicaps access to coastal area most would consider to be the
jewel in the crown of Westport beaches.
John Pelletier, a Tickle Road resident, and
George Norton, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran amputee and Director of the
New England Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, visited the Knubble Friday to witness the installation of the new
handicapped parking signage installed by the town’s Highway Department.
The handicapped parking spaces now give
persons with disabilities easy access to the prettiest beachfront spot on
“We’ll be down here a lot,” said
Pelletier who was accompanied by wife Mary.
Pelletier, a Commission on Disability
member, was injured in a hunting accident 10 years ago.
Above, from the left: John
Pelletier, Mary Pelletier, George Norton, and Jeff Bull of Westport’s Beach
Committee. Bull demonstrated the principle of using Mobi-Mats
(simulated with plasticor corrugated board) that
will easily allow wheelchair access to the Knubble’s
The State’s Department of Environmental
Protection issued a “cease and desist order” last week against any further
maintenance to Beach Avenue - work the Highway Department was doing to
improve the stability of the handicapped parking spaces at the Knubble.
More with photos...
– Photo of the Week. Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves and department employee Tony
Medeiros screed the finishing touches on the poured concrete platform that
will support the polished granite stone and monument makers for the 9-11
steel memorial at the Hixsbridge Fire Station.
Donations are paying the cost
of WTC memorial.
here to read about the arrival of
the steel I-beam relic.
View this hi-res photo and others
in our Photo of the Week album.
08/27/2014 – Breaking rock at the town yard. Haunting memories of 1800’s
chain gangs come to mind as Westport’s Highway Department starts breaking
down a mountain of stone rubble, road sweepings and construction debris
that has built up over the years at the town yard.
And not a single shovel,
pickaxe, sledgehammer or wheelbarrow is being used.
And inmates are out of the
A.J. Potter’s mobile crushing
division has been called in to attack the mountain with earth movers, rock
crushers and conveyor systems, and break down 1000 cubic yards of debris
into loom, pea stone and gravel, suitable for future road construction and
repair, stormwater runoff, and other landscaping
“We’re saving thousands of
dollars by not having to buy this material,” Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves said. “And we need to recycle this rubble for
the space it takes up.”
08/26/2014 –Westport Selectmen recognize Richard Lafrance and the
Hampton Inn’s 25th anniversary.
The town’s largest employer,
Lafrance Hospital Group has “contributed millions in payroll taxes, meals
and hospitality taxes, as well as benevolent and charitable support that
have greatly benefitted Westport and its residents,” select board Chairman Antone Vieira said during the presentation. Story will
be updated later.
Above: from the left, Selectmen Steven Ouellette, Vice
Chairman Richard Spirlet, Richard Lafrance,
Chairman Antone Vieira, and R. Michael Sullivan.
Town Administrator Tim King (right) looks on.
08/25/2014 – Happy 25th Hampton! On Monday, August 18th
Lafrance Hospitality Company and Hampton Inn Fall River/Westport celebrated
the hotel's 25th anniversary with food, fun, and friends. Past and current
employees were honored for their dedication to the success of the hotel,
including a General Manager and two housekeepers who have been with the
hotel since day 1.
It's estimated that the two
housekeepers have changed nearly 170,000 beds each during their tenure with the company!
CEO Richard Lafrance thanked
everyone who stopped by to celebrate with them.
Select board Chairman, Tony
Vieira and Vice Chairman Richard Spirlet were on hand to congratulate
Richard and his family’s milestone, and will recognize Lafrance at
tonight’s Selectmen’s meeting.
here to view 18 photos.
08/25/2014 – Baseball hats off to Westport’s 1964
Little League state champions! And speaking of
anniversary’s and citations, Selectmen at their last meeting feted several
members of the town’s 1964 Little league tournament team on their winning
season’s 50th anniversary.
Above: select board chair Tony Vieira reminisces with Tom Hancock
(far left) and members of the 1964 state tournament team.
Half a century ago, 15
all-stars from Westport’s inaugural, official Little League season took on
all comers to win the state championship.
Westport resident Tom
Hancock, choking up at times, relived the memories of that Cinderella
season. More with photos.
08/24/2014 – The Westport Farmer’s Market will
continue for six more weeks!
But the all-volunteer Youth
Corps crew’s tenure is done.
They will be missed.
“Sad to say that the summer
season is flying by, and is ending for the Youth Corps team. Some of the
crew are heading off to college next week, and
others will be returning to high school,” Farm Manager Steve Connors said.
View video of the tenth Westport Town Farm Farmer’s Market
with the Spindle Rock River Rats!
View video of a day in July, 2014
at the Westport Town Farm Farmer’s
Market with Alpaca shearing demonstration and Dan the Pickle Man!
“The volunteers may be gone
but don’t forget the Farmers Market; every week there is something new and
different. And all the summer fruits and vegetables are abundant now,”
“It has been a great season
and we’ll miss the daily routine of work in the gardens at Town Farm and
Cornell. A few of the locals will be
returning occasionally to help out at our events and the remaining Farmers
Markets,” Connors said.
Above: Youth Corp members have been a huge help at the
Westport Town Farm’s farmer’s market, directing traffic, working in the
gardens, and tending and harvesting the vegetables with deliveries to the
Westport Food Pantry. Submitted photo.
Above: Scott Peets of Dartmouth is new to the Farmers
Market providing farm fresh eggs. “One day it hit me, I wanted to start a
farm. Here we are on our journey to providing quality nutrient dense food
in a sustainable manner to our local community,” Peets said. photo/EverythingWestport.com
Farmers Market at the Town
Farm – every Saturday from, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 830 Drift Road,
Westport. Call 508.636.4693 x103 for more information and events schedule.
08/24/2014 – SouthCoast Arts and Cultural Community to get boost
from State Grants.
Westport Cultural Council will pocket a
‘local cultural council program allocation’ of $4,300; Westport River
Watershed Alliance recipient of a $5,800 ‘direct grant.’
legislative delegation announced today that the Massachusetts Cultural
Council (MCC) has awarded grants totaling $97,530 to cultural organizations
and local cultural councils in Fall River, Freetown, Lakeville, Rochester,
Somerset, Swansea, and Westport.
"The MCC does a great job promoting
arts and culture throughout Massachusetts and the SouthCoast.
The arts are an integral part of the overall economy as well as the quality
of life for our residents. I'm happy to support and thanks to the
MCC," Westport State Representative Paul Schmid said when announcing
the grants. More.
of up to $5000 offered for return of stolen Westport art. A thief broke into a Westport restaurant
on Friday, August 15th, and made off with eleven art pieces valued at more
Westport police announced the theft
The artwork, sailors’ valentines created
by local artisan Barbara Chadwick, was on display on the walls of
Marguerite’s Restaurant at 778 Main Road in Westport.
Apparently the thief or thieves weren’t
hungry as they took nothing else.
Police are seeking any information
possible about the crime or the location of the stolen art collection.
Local artisan, Barbara Chadwick, has been
creating the valentines for years, and has appeared in many art exhibition
and sales events in the local area.
Local artisan Barbara Chadwick during a SouthCoast
Artists Tour demonstrating how to create a sailors’ valentine. Chadwick said she had hoped it was a joke
when Marguerites' owner called to tell her of the theft.
Sailors' valentines were made in Barbados
between 1830 and 1880 by the natives and sold to English and American
sailors. This was a port of call for the ships coming home. The sailors
bought these souvenirs as tokens of love to their wives or girlfriends.
Her collection was being displayed at the
restaurant and was the subject of a recent article in a New Bedford paper.
The Chadwick family has offered a reward
up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the
Westport Detective Ryan Nickelson said he believes the thieves are hoping to
sell the artwork, passing the valentines off as antiques.
Anyone with information is asked to
contact Westport Police at 508.636.1122 or Detective Ryan Nickelson at 774.264.5174 who is leading the
The 84-year-old Chadwick said she started
making the valentines as a hobby.
“Each piece takes more than 100 hours to
create,” she said.
"We are hoping that if we get the
information out there, dealers will know what they are looking at and will
give us the information we need to get them back to their owner,"
Detective Nickelson said.
are from Mars and Women are from Venus... at least that’s what we’ve been told
most of our lives.
But do you know the top ten things that
make men and women more confident?
This surprising survey revealed some
things we already knew, and definitely some things we didn’t!
For example, the number one confidence
builder for men was, get this, a sunny day (for women this was number two!)
And for women...a great new haircut; for
men number 2 was a fresh shave.
Number 10 on the list for men (for women
this was 12) was... asking someone on a date, and getting an immediate and
A sunny day over a hot date?
Well, that’s what the survey said. Click here for all ten.
– Westport Board of Health issues EEE
Westport by the Massachusetts Arbovirus
Surveillance program has found a positive mosquito result for the EEE
Testing in Westport by the Massachusetts Arbovirus
Surveillance program has found a positive mosquito result for the EEE
Virus. The mosquito species found is Culiseta melanura which feeds almost exclusively on birds.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the
Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) recommend that you take
steps this mosquito season to protect your animals and yourself from West
Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Read more....
– Westport Harbor gets
a striping! Harbor residents woke up this morning to the welcome sight of
painted lines clearly marking the center and sides of most of the roads in
the Harbor area.
It was a long time in the coming.
Hi-Way Safety Systems out of Rockland, MA did a professional job of laying down road
travel lanes and fog lines last night between 8:00 p.m. and midnight.
Above: Atlantic Avenue looking
east at the Elephant Rock Beach Club is clearly marker, allowing nighttime
motorists better visibility of the roadway on those misty, foggy nights so
prevalent at the Harbor.
“We previously used our frontend loader to remove the sand from the
sides of Atlantic Avenue,” said Highway Surveyor, Chris Gonsalves.
“Our new street sweeper then quickly cleaned off the pavement, clearing the
way for Hi-Way Safety to paint the lines on Atlantic as well as Old Harbor
Road, River Road, Acoaxet and Howland Roads and some side streets like
Prospect Avenue and Cross Road,” Gonsalves said.
“The residents had been requesting this for some time, but we had to
wait for the new sweeper and money from the WRRP to move forward with the
The 2014 Pothole and Winter Rapid Recovery Program helped support and accelerate the repair of potholes and other damage
caused by the severe winter weather.
The roads were painted with a water-based latex paint, a product that
should last “three to five years, depending on the asphalt surfaces,” Gonsalves said.
is National Senior Citizen’s Day. So, hug a senior today!
It shouldn’t be hard to find one.
30% of Westport’s population is aged 55
Westport seniors have raised their
children, supported our schools and paid their taxes.
And many seniors are the heart of the
town’s volunteerism efforts.
The Westport Council on Aging celebrated
seniors at their annual Magnolia Night on Tuesday, August 12th. See photos.
Westport seniors enjoyed fast food and even faster cars at the annual
Magnolia Day family picnic event at the Westport Council on Aging, 75 Reed
Road. The event features the Cajun band ‘Magnolia.’
Some people celebrate Senior Citizens Day
on August 14th as it was the day past US president Franklin Roosevelt
signed the Social Security Act in 1935. However, in 1988 Ronald Reagan, who
was the US president at the time, declared August 21st to be National
Senior Citizens Day.
This observance was established in honor
of senior citizens in the US who made positive contributions in their
communities. The day was also created to bring awareness of social, health,
and economic issues that affect senior citizens.
Magnolia Night had more classic cars in attendance than any other previous
year. Bottom: guests kicked up their heels to the searing tunes of
the Cajun band “Magnolia.”
takes hit in unemployment numbers, according to the figures released
today by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce
Westport's rate moved from 6.6 percent in
June to 7.2 percent in July.
But we are not alone.
According to the press release, Fall
River's unemployment increased from 9.3 percent in June to 10.1 percent in
July; Freetown's rate went from 5.8 percent in June to 6.8 percent;
Somerset's rate increased from 6.3 percent to 7.7 percent; and Swansea's
rate went from 6.8 percent to 7.6 percent.
Other cities in the region did just as
poorly with New Bedford coming in at 10.5 percent in July following a 10
percent rate in June, and Taunton’s rate moved to 7 percent after posting a
6.3 percent rate in June.
– It doesn’t take a special day to appreciate a
Veteran. But it sure goes a long
when you do.
VFW Post # 8502, 843 State
Road was the site of a family day event Saturday to thank all Veterans for
their service, celebrate with them a family day of fun and comradery, and
to remind them they are not forgotten.
“The non-stop entertainment
was unbelievably talented, the food was delicious, and all the volunteers
in booths, parking lot and elsewhere were extremely hard working and
helpful to guests,” Captain Daryl Gonyon, USAF
Ret. Vietnam veteran said.
Crossley’s duck, Linny Cakes, takes the 11th Running of the Ducks at South
Dartmouth’s Barney’s Joy.
Allens Pond Sanctuary really should give a
consolation prize for the most curious name these duck handlers give their
The Fall River resident now has two
difficult decisions to make; where in the world she will have dinner for
two, and more importantly, who with!
The Grand Prize winner won dinner for
two, anywhere in the world, including transportation and two-nights lodging
when her duck, Linny Cakes, stayed the course, holding back a
field of 5778 bright yellow rubber ducks to take top honors.
quirky quackers break from the gate in the 11th
running of Allens Pond Duck Derby.
At exactly 10:36 a.m. duck number 4897
now known to be Linny Cakes, crossed the finish
line well ahead of the flock.
Duck Number 4897 was never challenged in the
1.1 furlong race at Barney’s Joy.
A strong west wind and incoming tide
propelled the competitors to record times, with nary a duck missing the
capture booms at the race’s end.
“We’re 30 ducks shy of a record,” bubbled
Gina Purtell, Allens
Pond Sanctuary Director. “It was great day for our Duck Derby, and I’m so
As well she should be as the decade-old
fundraiser brings in thousands of dollars each year to assist the
conservation and protection efforts of this local Audubon sanctuary.
And it was great weather for ducks, what
with clear skies and balmy temperatures. Race conditions were perfect.
View video of the 11th
Allens Pond Sanctuary’s 2014 Duck Derby.
Dashing Ducky Linny Cakes is plucked from the
fray at the finish line, winning Fall River resident, Linda
Crossley, a Dinner for two anywhere in the world.
Click here for more photos and a list
of all winners!
Beach Road paved!
08/15/2014 – Remember
this? Thursday, September 1, 2011.
Sub-tropical storm Sandy further
destroyed East Beach Road, taking an additional 400 feet of paved surface,
forcing town and state officials to finally discuss programs needed to
protect the federally-assisted evacuation route against further
we now have this – but how long will it last?
Finally, after almost three years from
the day tropical storm Sandy destroyed it, 290 degree asphalt mix was laid
down yesterday on East Beach Road by crews from Rhode Island’s Narragansett
Improvement Corporation. The long overdue shoreline road repair was
thwarted by political indecision, a bureaucratic DEP, and a failed
application of reconstituted asphalt and cobble that left the troubled road
impassable last winter. More later.
08/14/2014 – And
trucks are rolling, finally, on Beach Avenue. Politics gave way to
practicality Thursday when the controversial beachfront way was resurfaced
with road-base gravel along a 24 foot swath from Acoaxet Road to the
intersection of Town Way.
The price paid was for easy access to
Westport’s prized and most pristine town-owned beach for seniors and
persons with disabilities.
Drive gets its mojo back.
“We just sucked it up,” said one resident
when asked about her road finally being paved. “I’m just very happy it’s
finished,” a sentiment echoed by another Riverview Drive resident out for a
“I’m really happy. It was frustrating,
and the politics were frustrating. But Dick Spirlet and Tony Vieira (selectmen)
were very nice in getting this job done, as was Chris (Gonsalves
– Highway Surveyor.)
08/13/2014 – East
Beach Road under attack once again! Less than a day away from asphalt
paving, East Beach Road was assaulted by high winds and heavy surf from a
strong storm surge driven by 30+ knot south winds.
The road less traveled (lately) just
can’t seem to catch a break.
Highway Department employees and anxious
seasonal residents who own campers on the embattled road kept a watchful
eye as pounding waves from 4 to 5’ seas in Buzzards Bay threatened to break
through the fragile shore road during the morning’s high tide.
Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves takes photos of
the storm surge this morning at East Beach. Most officials agree we’re one
bad storm away from another washout on the embattled shore road.
A crew from Rhode Island’s Narragansett
Improvement Corporation had wrapped up the scraping and road base
preparation last Friday, and planned to start paving on Tuesday.
seasonal residents are living on the edge where the next bad storm may wipe
out the rest of their remaining shoreline lots.
Is it time for the sometimes backwards,
always bureaucratic Department of Environmental Protection to
change its idealistic approach to seashore conservation in favor of public
safety, and allow the installation of an armored revetment to protect the
emergency evacuation route road?
Many town officials, East Beach residents
and businesses certain think so.
More with photos and video...
08/13/2014 – WRWA
is recipient of $7,284 donation from GTCC which spells GREAT! The
Greater Tiverton Community Chorus celebrated a most successful spring
season with their Water Music Concerts, a benefit series performed to
support the Westport River Watershed Alliance and The Nature Conservancy of
Rhode Island in their work for water conservation in southern New England.
The chorus performed three April concerts in Tiverton, Portsmouth and
Above: On Saturday, July 26th, outgoing chorus
president Buzz Brownlee presented checks splitting $14,566.95 to John Berg,
Sakonnet Landscape Manager, The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island; Curt Freese, interim executive, Westport River Watershed
Alliance; and Tom Schmitt, president of WRWA. More...
08/11/2014 – Super
sunset upstages supermoon spectacle.
A large crowd gathered at Gooseberry
Island last evening and there wasn’t a parking spot to be found as scores
of spectators awaited the stage-east appearance of this summer’s second of
three “supermoons.” But a spectacular western
sunset stole the show.
debut was hampered by a low-lying, foggy horizon,
and the dramatic size of the moon when seen rising from the sea was
obscured by the mist.
Still, a spectacularly large, bright moon
levitating above the Elizabeth Islands in Buzzards Bay isn’t to be sneered
Of this summer’s trio of supermoons, the one rising this month is the brightest,
according to the Washington Post.
The Perseid Meteor Shower will also be starring in the heavens and
will peak between August 11th and 13th.
meteor shower is known as one of the best meteor showers to observe,
producing fast and bright meteors that frequently leave trains, but in
August, a nearly full moon will upstage the show,” NASA says.
However, a spectacular sunset beat the
meteor shower to it.
Supermoons appear to be about 14 percent bigger and
around 30 percent brighter than normal because they are closer to the earth
(perigee.) And because this August 10th supermoon
will be the closest to the Earth, it was expected to be the brightest of
the summer’s trilogy.
Earth’s lunar satellite is about 221,765
miles from the earth at perigee (supermoon), with
an average annual distance of about 238,857 miles.
Click here for photos and video of the ‘Drama at Gooseberry Island’.
All the actors came in on cue that night in March 19th of 2011 to produce
a stunning perigee moon: magnificent sunset, clear skies, full moon, and
the closest the Earth's largest satellite has been to our world since
March of 1993.
08/10/2014 – Going
once, going twice... how about going for the umpteenth time as the
Westport River Watershed Alliance took advantage of a pristine harbor
property to host their perennial Beyond
the Sea Summer Gala Fundraiser.
Above: New this year.
Honorary auctioneer Stephen Fletcher took to the gavel and sacheted guests through several high-priced items all
for the benefit of the proactive water conservation and preservation group.
Check out the YouTube
video of Westport River
Watershed Alliance’s annual Summer Gala 2014.
Beautifully situated at Westport Point on Windward lane, this
year’s Gala was extraordinary. Wilhelmina’s Catering served up an array of
delicious hors d’ouevres, including artisanal
cheeses from Formaggio Kitchen, Back Eddy smoked
salmon, Wicked Kickin’ Cheesecakes, and Ten
Cousin’s chowder. Guests enjoyed popular local wine and beverages to the
popular local acoustic musicians Toph and Tom.
And to this fabulous extravaganza was added a most profitable
surprise – a live auction!
Click here for more information and check out the auction items.
Click here to see the new photos of the 2014 WRWA Summer Gala fundraiser.
08/08/2014 – Two
fires in two days test local firefighters. Thanks to alert homeowners,
fire detection devices, and quick response from the Westport Fire Department,
two local homes, one historic, were saved from rack and ruin when
firefighters entered the structures and quickly confined and extinguished
Although they suffered moderate smoke
damage throughout, the houses themselves were saved. Read more...
Read additional story below.
08/08/2014 – Right Whale, Roseate Tern and the
Leaping Brook Trout come to the assistant of the WRWA to the tune of
seen these specialty plates before; a whale tail protruding from
the water, a leaping brook trout.
But the plates
are more than just a soothing seascape; they’re for a good cause.
the special plate fees (of just $40 every two years) go toward the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET).
have generated over $18 million since they were first issued 20 years ago.
River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) received a
financial boost of a $15,000 grant from the Massachusetts Environmental
Trust (the Trust). This grant will enable WRWA to identify sources of
pollution relative to the applicable water quality standards for fecal
coliform (FC) in the West Branch of the Westport River. Read
08/05/2014 – Mayhem on Main Street. Fire department vehicles from
Westport and Little Compton responded quickly to a 911 call a little before
noon today that reported an explosion in the basement of a home at 1950
Main Road, Westport Point.
The home owner, while working outside in
the yard, reported hearing the bang and phoned in the emergency call.
The alert home owner and quick fire
department response saved an historic structure from rack and ruin.
The eruption and resulting fire were the
result of an electrical failure in the home’s main electrical panel,
according to the contractor called in to access and repair the failed
The fire, contained in the basement, was
“I was lucky to be at home at the time,”
said the owner. “I can’t go back into the house just yet, so I’m staying
with some neighbors.”
The fire apparatus clogged the narrow
street for a couple of hours, frustrating lower Main Road residents trying
to return home.
1950 Main Road is the historic Captain
Edward G. Sowle house, circa 1835, in Westport
Point’s historic district.
08/05/2014 – Work
is progressing on the construction of the Westport Fire Department’s 9-11
steel I-beam memorial.
The Highway Department is putting in a
commendable effort in setting up the World Trade Center steel first
obtained by the fire department in March of 2011.
Donations are paying the cost of WTC
Click here to read about the arrival of the steel
Highway Department worker, Tony Medeiros
(pictured below) is making the final measurements before concrete is poured
in preparation for the installation of a granite slab “pentagon-”shaped
platform which will support four memorial plaques and cross-lighting for
the twisted, steel I-beam.
The department plans
to use the beam in front of the town's new fire station as a memorial to
honor the more than 300 firefighters that were killed on one of America's
darkest days - September 11, 2001.
08/05/2014 – State
Senator Michael Rodrigues (D – Westport) touts a new legislative initiative
- the Social Media Privacy Act.
"With rapid technological advances
and the growth of social media, we in the legislature work to enact laws
that make sense for the times we live in,” Senator Rodrigues said.
“As such, I'm proud to announce that on
Friday, July 15th the Senate unanimously passed the Social Media
Privacy Act, prohibiting employers and school officials for asking for
someone's social media passwords as a condition of employment or
enrollment. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for their
approval," Senator Rodrigues said.
Act Relative to Social Media Privacy Protection (S.2118), that would prohibit employers from
requiring employees or applicants to hand over their social media log-in
information, or requiring employees to accept invitations to connect on
social media was added as an amendment to the Massachusetts Senate’s
proposed budget, but it did not make it into the final budget that the
House and Senate passed.
The bill may, however, did pass this
legislative session according to the bill’s lead sponsor, Senator Cynthia
S. Creem, whose office worked to advance the bill
before the session closes on July 31st.
At least a dozen other states have passed
similar social media legislation.
08/04/2014 – “Tell
me what you know about this item.” Taking a page from the famously successful
PBS Antiques Roadshow, the Westport Historical Society put on a roadshow of
its own at The Shattuck last Thursday.
It was part adventure, part history
lesson, part treasure hunt, and all fun!
The Society’s Antiques Show ‘n’ Tell packed the Gallery’s exhibition space with folks hoping to discover that
their heirloom or flea market find would be the next great historical
discovery unveiled by Skinner Inc. Americana expert, Stephen Fletcher.
The ever animated Mr. Fletcher proved to
be part expert, part humorist, and all entertainer
as he sorted through a multitude of objects and artifacts, and separated
the wheat from the chaff, attempting to solve the mystery behind their
origin and value.
Against a backdrop of abstract oils by
exhibiting artists Bryan McFarlane and Jamie Young, Fletcher with the
surprisingly skilled assistance of WHS volunteer Kathleen McAreavey, guided the audience through the interesting
items brought by an inquisitive and hopeful audience.
hi-resolution photo album! Need Adobe Flash? Click here.
Not all items were identified, but all
produced interest and opinions by the Antiques
Show ‘n’ Tell audience.
Tonight, more photos and great video.
08/04/2014 – Summertime
fun on the deck launches Senator Michael
Rodrigues reelection campaign. Enjoy an evening at McGoverns
on the Water, 310 Shore Road, Fall River on Thursday, August 7th from 6 to
Appetizers, dinner and dessert for a
suggested donation of $75.00. Please RSVP to Thelma Sullivan at
508.679.1123, or send a donation to Thelma c/o 60 Davis Road, PO Box 1486,
Please make checks payable to The Committee to Elect Michael Rodrigues.
08/03/2014 – This
day in 1492 Columbus set sail on the ocean blue – and went on to
discover the new world. Everybody knows this children’s ditty; but what you
may not know, especially the young ones, was that he was looking for a
shorter passage to the far east.
Here’s the rest of the story:
Did you know that in 1507, Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named
the new continent America after the feminine Latin version of Amerigo Vespucci's first name; and even that is
disputed by some who claim our continent was in memory of Richard Amerike, a wealthy English merchant who lived in the
Further, the new land’s inhabitants at
that time were incorrectly labeled “Indians.”
What we do know is that today’s America
is the sole super power in the world, yet we can’t positively identify the
lineage of our country’s name!
Oh, by the way, don’t feel too bad for ol’ Christopher; Colombia is named after Christopher
Columbus, even though he never set foot on Colombian soil. It was Alonso de
Ojeda, one of Columbus' companions on his second voyage, who was the first
European to set foot on the land in 1499.
Click here for other interesting events
that Happened on
This Day in History.
08/03/2014 – St.
John the Baptist Parish Fair continues today, Sunday, August 3rd from 8
a.m. - 1 p.m. at 945 Main Road, Westport.
There’s still time to buy raffle tickets
for this year’s quilt known as “Sadie’s Choice”, a masterful work of design
applique made by the church quilters’ group headed up by Louise Buckley.
quilter Joan Brenckle of Westport shows off this
year’s handmade, hand-stitched raffle quilt. Spring for a book of raffle
tickets and support the church’s programs.
There is still time tomorrow to get
involved in the New England (country) auction. Get there early for the Pancake
Breakfast from 8 a.m. until noon in the church hall. Raffle drawings will
be held at noon.
tickets are still plentiful for the New England (country) auction. So come
on down to the church hall Sunday and make these volunteers even happier with
your participation in this annual event that supports many church
08/02/2014 – Suspected revenge killing takes the
life of Westport policeman’s German Shepard.
Five-year-old Siren, who was training to
be a search and rescue dog in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, died in
April. The dog’s handler, Westport Police Det. Jeff Majewski,
said that autopsy results released last week showed rat poison in the dog’s
“A $1,000 reward to anyone
who provides information that leads to criminal charges against this timid
soul.” – Jeff Majewski
Majewski suspects the dog was intentionally
poisoned, as someone could have tossed the rat poison over the backyard
fence at this Westport home. Majewski is a
25-year member of the Westport Police Department.
“Siren was a family member, a trusted
companion, a guardian and a friend,” Majewski
wrote in a Letter to the Editor. “This was a cowardly act.”
“One day that dog might have found a
missing child or helped to locate an elderly person who wandered off from
Majewski is offering a $1,000 reward for
information about the incident. The Westport Police Department can be
reached at 508.636.1122.
08/01/2014 – The
Auxiliary of Charlton Memorial Hospital recently
announced $5,000 in scholarship awards for individuals who are pursuing a
career in healthcare.
The Auxiliary presented five $1,000
scholarship awards to area high school seniors during its annual
Scholarship Luncheon held on June 4th at the Fall River Country Club. The
Scholarships were presented by Auxiliary President Louise McCarthy.
“The committee and I were delighted to
meet and spend some time with the scholarship recipients at our annual
luncheon,” said Marion Greer, Scholarship Chair for the Auxiliary of
Charlton Memorial Hospital. “They are an exceptional group of students with
a great future ahead of them.”
2014 Westport Scholarship winners are:
Amalia K. Davis, a graduate of Westport High
School, will attend the University of New Hampshire to pursue a career in
a graduate of Westport High School, will attend Massachusetts College of
Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
08/01/2014 – State
Legislature passed Substance Abuse
on Thursday approved the compromise Substance Abuse Recovery
Bill, increasing opportunities for long-term substance abuse recovery in
the Commonwealth by supporting a continuum a care and removing barriers
that stand in the way of effective treatment, Senator Michael J. Rodrigues
“With addiction levels at the highest in
history, Massachusetts is in the midst of a drug epidemic. Addiction can
truly be a matter of life and death, making the passage of this bill all
the more historic and meaningful,” said Senator Rodrigues. “Despite the
tireless efforts of organizations like Stanley Street Treatment and Resources
[SSTAR], the SouthCoast has been hit particularly
hard by the addiction epidemic. This legislation will complement the work
of these organizations and take powerful steps toward prevention and
treatment of substance abuse.”
abuse is not just an inner city problem. It is happening in our suburbs and
it is happening in our rural areas. This bill takes a giant step forward in
treatment of this universal scourge," said Representative Paul A.
More past headline news continues below.