May 4, 2016
Click here for today’s
event listings in and around Westport, MA!
Click here for upcoming
theater and arts listings!
Updated Saturday, June 27, 2015
Wednesday, May 4 - Raises for all! An
anemic town meeting turnout (276) took exactly four hours to appropriate a
record budget of over $35 million, give 2% raises to all town employees,
ratify the firefighters contract, appropriate $8 million for a new police
station, pay all bills, appropriate a capital spending request of almost $800,000,
and dispatch 41 articles, most unanimously and with little discussion.
And most importantly, and with a lot of discussion the Vineyard’s summer concert series will
continue as voters sided with amending Westport’s agricultural bylaw to
include state-defined language that supports agri-tourism
Full results tonight for Westport Annual
Tuesday, May 3 - Westport Annual Town
Meeting begins tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Westport Junior/Senior High
Town meeting attendees will be faced with a 35.8 million dollar
budget, a slew of spending articles, $821,000 in capital expenditures, a few
road acceptances, and the usual ubiquitous by-law articles that could put
at risk the promise of a one-night town meeting.
Town meeting is Westport’s legislative body that determines
all spending, so zip up your pockets, come to Town Meeting and “make your
here to review the 41-article town warrant. PDF
Tuesday, May 3 - Voters will head to
Town Meeting tonight to decide whether a bid for a new $8 million police
station should head to the fall ballot, and whether an agricultural
zoning change incorporating agri-entertainment
should occur to help farming activities such as hayrides, harvest festivals
and other farm-based entertainment.
Above: Rebecca Correia in concert at Westport Rivers Vineyard and
Winery. Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Voters will also decide on a budget for fiscal 2017 that town
leaders recently discovered has more revenue in its coffers to help the
school budget, veterans budget, snow removal and other accounts. This
41-article warrant will appear before voters at 7 p.m. at the junior/senior
high school auditorium. More...
Tuesday, May 3 - Westport firefighters
get a new contract. Town firefighters have negotiated a new contract
that calls for a 2 percent raise in Fiscal 2017, the same in FY 2018 and
2019 then a boost in education benefits in the final year of the pact.
Detailing the latter, officials said that firefighters now
receive 5 percent for an associate’s degree in fire science; 10 percent for
a bachelor's degree in fire science; and 15 percent for a master's degree. More...
Tuesday, May 3 - Letter to the Editor:
show your support by voting YES to Amendment 38 at Westport Town Meeting, Tuesday May 3rd at 7:00 p.m., Westport
High School Auditorium. Perhaps the most prominent theme of the evening was the need
to provide our Farms and Town Government with relevant, contemporary
framework to address the realities of agriculture and its subordinate
activities in today’s social and business climate. More...
Tuesday, May 3 - Letter to the Editor:
Westport has supported “right to farm”
in its bylaws since 2005 as
many feel farm activities are part of what makes the town unique. But the
current law only speaks to growing crops and animals. Article 38 sensibly
expands that definition to allow farm markets, fairs and festivals,
education and farm tourism.
Tuesday, May 3 - Letter to the Editor:
Over the years, we have enjoyed many
“farm based” activities that aren’t strictly farming, whether it be the Harvest Festival, concerts
at the Town Farm, hayrides at the vineyard, or farm to table dinners. More...
Monday, May 2 – Not on my property
you don’t! The potential
development of the former Head of Westport garage into a Westport River
Watershed Alliance educational river center has caused a property dispute for
the couple owning the adjacent Old County Road land.
Neighbors concerned with the commercial expansion at the Head
Landing, the property line dispute, and traffic/pedestrian safety have
formed a Neighborhood Association to monitor the development of the
1848-established public town landing.
The issue will now come before tomorrow night’s annual Town
By petition, Sam Riley and Kristie Furrow have asked for a
formal easement to access their property on 497 Old County Road. The
selectmen have placed a similar article on the annual Town Meeting warrant.
Both articles respectively will be articles 36 and 37 on the annual Town
Meeting warrant this Tuesday night.
Since 1795, the home could only be accessed through town-owned
property at the Head of Westport Landing. This issue came to light when the
WRWA purchased the old garage building and
launched plans for a center. More...
Monday, May 2 – Hello, McFly!!! Marty McFly of Back To The Future fame may be the
first to maneuver a futuristic hoverboard, but
37-year-old, Franky Zapata has set the Guinness World Record for distance
in the air.
The frisky Frenchman traveled 7,388 feet, more than a mile,
and a lot higher over the water than McFly.
video of Zapata’s hoverboard flight!
The folks at Guinness World Records reported on its website
that 37-year-old Franky Zapata traveled 7,388 feet off the French coastal
town of Sausset-les-Pins on Saturday at a height
of 165 feet above the surface of the Atlantic.
It was reported that a Guinness World Records official was on
hand for the flight and determined that it beat the previous record of 905
feet set last year by Canadian Catlin Alexandru Durur.
Zapata, a jet ski champion, achieved the new flight on a craft
developed by his company Zapata Racing. He also held an earlier Guinness
record for doing 26 backflips with a water jet pack in a single minute.
Sunday, May 1 - Illustrated lecture
explores southcoast region’s first golf courses.
Dartmouth Historical & Arts Society president Bob Harding
presented an interesting look at the history of the region’s earliest golf
courses at an April 24th lecture entitled “Telling the Old, Old Story… of
Golf on the South Coast” that was of particular interest to the older
golfers in the audience at the Russells Mills
EverythingWestport’s special correspondent, Robert Barboza
reports on four of the southcoast area’s first golf
courses and where they are today. More...
Sunday, May 1 – WLCT’s Outreach
and Stewardship Coordinator, Brendan Buckless, of
Westport Land Conservation Trust successfully completed the 3-day Training
Workshop for the Keystone Project, held at the Harvard Forest in Petersham,
April 14 -17.
The Keystone Project is designed to
stimulate forest landowners and community opinion leaders to be advocates
of sound forest conservation, and to help inform the land management and
conservation decisions of their friends, neighbors, organizations, and
More than three-fourths of all woodland in Massachusetts is
owned by thousands of private families and individuals. Much of this land
is at risk of conversion to developed uses. More...
Sunday, May 1 - Today is May Day, a
celebratory time that got its start as an ancient Northern
Hemisphere spring festival and now usually is a public holiday; it is also
a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are
usually part of the celebrations that the day includes.
in the late 19th Century, May Day was chosen as the date for International
Workers' Day by the Socialist of the Second International to commemorate
the Haymarket affair in
those countries that celebrate International Workers' Day, the day may also
be referred to as "May Day" but it is a different celebration
from the traditional May Day.
For all you seniors out there, do you
remember making and swapping May Baskets in grade school?
Sunday, May 1 - Authorities and
volunteers search woods for missing Little Compton man. Authorities scoured the woods surrounding a Little Compton
home for a man who has been missing since Tuesday.
Michael Godles, 39, was last seen
walking towards the woods in the backyard of the home he shares with his
Little Compton police, with help from the Rhode Island State
Police K9 Unit and volunteers, searched the woods
Saturday during daylight hours looking for Godles.
In total, twenty-five volunteers and ten K9 dogs
searched with police for nine hours.
K9 dogs have been searching for Godles
since Friday, after his mother reported him missing.
A helicopter from the US Coast Guard was even brought in to
search the approximately 500 acres of land.
Little Compton Police Chief Antone
Marion says an undisclosed illness is the reason for the massive response
and search effort since Friday.
“Because of his medical condition, and Michael not having his
medication, time is of the essence.”
Anyone with information on Godles’
whereabouts ise asked to contact Little Compton
Police at 401.635.2311.
Saturday, April 30 - Join the WLCT Saturday Trail Team! The Westport Land
Conservation Trust started an informal volunteer party called the Tuesday
Trail Team last year. Each week since, this group of a dozen or so
community members has met to open up new trails, improve wildlife habitat,
and enjoy the outdoors.
“The Trail Team is in
one part good exercise; in one part learning about the Westport Land
Conservation Trust and its mission; in one part meeting new people and
working together with them; and in all parts personally rewarding,” said
Trail Team volunteer Sally Godfrey.
“We are a small
non-profit organization that manages over 650 acres of land open to passive
recreation spread across 10 destination properties throughout town,” said
Ryan Mann, Executive Director of WLCT. “Our vision for each property is to
promote wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, and welcoming spaces for
the public. The Trail Team volunteers are making a once distant vision an
immediate reality. I encourage all community members to get out on their
local trail and see first-hand the tremendous service that your neighbors
The Saturday Trail Team will begin meeting at 9:15 am at the
Westport Town Farm, 830 Drift Road, on May 7th and continue throughout the
summer. For more information or to join the team, contact: Brendan P. Buckless, Outreach and Stewardship Coordinator;
Westport Land Conservation Trust; 508.636.9228; Brendan@WestportLandTrust.org.
Friday, April 29 - Westport native, Jason Alden wins Master
Shifter-Kart Class season opener at F1 Boston.
East Bridgewater - In a nail-biter of
high-performance kart racing with a dramatic twist, 43-year-old Jason Alden
went to the inside on the "fountain" hairpin turn on the 16th
lap, muscled into the leader’s line, passing him, and quickly navigated
through heavy, slow traffic to take the checkered flag at the
season-opening "Master Shifter-Class event" at F1 Boston, East Bridgewater.
After running a close second for the
first 15 laps, Alden drafted the leader through the "fountain's"
chicane executing a very risky passing maneuver to the inside on the
A world-ranked driver, Alden also
took 6th place in this month's Sofina Foods US
Open at Nola Motorsport Park, Florida.
Karting is commonly perceived as the
stepping stone to the higher ranks of motorsports, i.e., NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series and NASCAR-sanctioned short track races held on dirt and asphalt
tracks of all shapes and sizes.
Shifter karts with a 250 cc two-stroke
single cylinder with 5 and 6-speed gear boxes typically produce 65 hp and are capable of 140 mph.
More with photos...
Friday, April 29 - Brockton casino shot down by Gaming
Commission. The state Gaming Commission Thursday
rejected plans for a $677 million Brockton casino, dashing hopes for an
economic catalyst in one of the state’s poorest cities and clearing the
field for a tribal casino in nearby Taunton.
The 4-1 vote ends the year-long
effort by Mass Gaming & Entertainment, a partnership of Chicago-based
developer Neil Bluhm and local businessman George
Carney, to build a vast casino-hotel complex on the grounds of the Brockton
Friday, April 29 -
Newly elected Westport School Committee vice chair questions board's
practices. Forty percent of the School Committee's membership changed
after the annual Town Election and more changes came during Tuesday's first
meeting after the election.
The school board voted to make recently elected Margot
Desjardins its vice chairwoman while former vice chairwoman Nancy Rioux has moved up to chair.
However, the committee stalled on appointing members to
certain subcommittee groups and to the secretary positions. Desjardins
noted that a few of the committees — the Policy and Budget subcommittees —
do not have a clear charge or description.
"I saw no charge for the policy subcommittee and it deals
with the most significant piece of school committee business, which is
creating a policy," Desjardins said. More...
Monday, April 25 – Eye on the Catch: New
Bedford becoming hub for emerging fishing technology.
Last March a who’s who list of port officials and technology
gurus met at The Black Whale restaurant on New Bedford’s waterfront for an
The results? A consensus that high-tech gizmos, toughened for
ocean use and placed on fishing boats could collect better data on ocean
water temperature, salinity and more, exclusively for the fishermen who own
The subject was Internet of Things (IoT), generally defined as the merging of physical objects with
connected, network technology.
Sounds far-fetched, but read on. More...
Monday, April 25 – Meet the new boss,
same as the old boss? Selectmen met Last Monday night and their first
order of business was a reorganization of their board. Michael R. Sullivan,
on a second motion, was elected Chairman; former Chairman Craig Dutra was
selected as Vice-Chairman.
Sullivan was previously vice-chairman.
In a now traditional selection, rookie Shana Shufelt was nominated as Clerk, which she graciously
Above, from the left: Shana Shufelt, Steven Ouellette, Craig Dutra, Antone Vieira, and R. Michael Sullivan.
Monday, April 25 - Westport
Land Trust recognized at 4th Annual Massachusetts Service and Volunteer Day
at the State House.
Westport, Massachusetts – Last Thursday, April 14, Westport Land
Conservation Trust outreach and stewardship coordinator, Brendan Buckless, gave a brief speech regarding his 2014-2015
service term as an Environmental Educator for the Buzzards Bay Coalition on
behalf of the Massachusetts Service Alliance and Commonwealth Corps to
members of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives. More...
Sunday, April 24 – Selectmen noted this week the passing of Westport former
Fire Chief, George E, Dean on Tuesday, April 12th. Born in Westport, the lifelong Westport resident
was appointed fire chief in 1972 and served until his retirement in in
1982. Mr. Dean was a founding member of the Westport Permanent Fire
Fighters Local 1802, a founding member of the Greater Emergency Medical
Services, and was Past Master of the Noquochoke A.F.
& A.M. Masonic Lodge.
Mr. Dean enjoyed life in Westport,
especially town politics, where is served on the Westport Finance Committee
for many years.
Friday, April 22 – 41-article warrant approved for Town
Meeting. Selectmen at their last meeting accepted and closed the
Warrant Articles for the upcoming May 3 Town Meeting on May 3rd.
Click here to
review warrant. PDF
Thursday, April 21 - Westport Middle School – repurpose
for non-school use, rebuild new middle school, or simply demolish, focusing
instead on a new Junior/Senior High School. All expensive options to be
sure for a town that can’t pass a Proposition 2 ½ override or balance its
budget on existing revenues.
Thursday, April 21 - Town Meeting Warrant ‘Article 38’
Information Session at Westport Grange on Thursday, April 28th starting at
voters, farmers and Town Board Members are encouraged to join
representatives from the MA Farm Bureau, Westport Agricultural Commission,
MA Farm Wineries and Growers Association and South Eastern Massachusetts
Agricultural Partnership at the Westport Grange on Thursday, April 28th at
6:00 p.m. for an information session regarding Article 38 on the Town
Warrant for the upcoming Annual Town Meeting.
38 which seeks to clarify the guidelines for agriculture and agritourism by restating the definition as set forth in
the MA General Laws by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be voted on
at the Tuesday, May 3rd Westport Town Meeting.
Westport has been a ‘Right to Farm’ Community since
2005 when the Right to Farm guidelines were
adopted in the General By-Laws of the Town. The proposed article seeks to
reinforce Westport’s’ commitment to maintaining its agricultural past,
present and future by including the same guidelines in the Zoning by-laws.
Westport Grange, 931 Main Road,
from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. More...
Tuesday, April 19 – Reorganization, town’s tax levy,
assessors on the hot seat, and Westport Selectmen
welcome a new member, Shana Shufelt to
the board at tonight’s Selectmen’s meeting which will start at 6:00 p.m. at
first order of business will be reorganizing the officers. Then, a tame
agenda faces the new board; setting the town’s tax rate, discussing a MOU
(memorandum of understanding) with the state’s Department of Revenue DLS (Division of Local Services) which requires several
actions that the Board of Assessors will need to implement in the coming
high point – Westport’s tax base experienced twice the “new growth” than
anticipated which should help the town’s troubled budget.
and more at tonight’s Selectmen meeting.
Click here to review agenda
and Town Administrator’s Report.
Monday, April 18 – Gary Hoyt sweeps awards at WAG’s “Coastal Light” Spring Open Juried Art Show. Westport - Honorary judge Samantha
Ladd of Osprey Sea Kayak
took her time scanning, studying, and pondering before finally picking her
interpretation of the best interpretation of the show’s theme from the 55
proved a difficult process as “they are all so good,” Ladd said.
winning selection? ‘Dead Calm’ by Gary Hoyt.
Calm’ has raw energy. I feel like I’m in it. Power of the coastal storm,”
Ladd said in making her pick.
here to view video of the recent Westport Art Group’s art show including
all the winning entries.
juried show was open to all artists working in oil, watercolor, acrylic,
pastel, photography, mixed media, collage, hand-pulled prints, and
entries were eventually winnowed down to 55 by Tiverton artisan, Kelly Milukas who judged the artwork for exhibition in the
work highlighted the show's theme, "Coastal Light."
won awards for: Best Interpretation of the Theme, First Place in Mixed
Media, and an Honorable Mention.
instructor Robert Abele also
shined with an honorable mention in Mixed Media, and first prize in the
This photographer’s pick
for most interesting and well-executed entry was also an Alternate
Honorable Mention in Mixed Media; ‘Early Morning Workout’ by James
Constantine. “The dance of light and pattern on water is very good,” Milukas said.
Monday, April 18 – Southcoast VNA taking registration
for 13th annual Camp Angel Wings. FAIRHAVEN— Southcoast
Visiting Nurse Association, known in the community as Southcoast
VNA, will host its 13th annual bereavement camp, Camp
Angel Wings, in July. This is a meaningful, fun-filled, two-day camp
experience for children and teens, ages 6 through 15, who are grieving the
loss of a loved one. The camp will be held on July 16th and 17th from 8:30
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Camp Welch in Assonet. More...
Monday, April 18 – Volunteers plant new fruit trees at the
Mill Pond Community Grove. On Saturday, April 16th, community members and the Westport Land
Conservation Trust planted new fruit trees for the second year in a row at
the Mill Pond Conservation Area; most were plum trees.
The effort was led by volunteer Emily Vogler,
a landscape architect who teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Above: Volunteer Emily Vogler assists volunteers in the planting of a plum tree;
a row of six were planted. Photo | EverythingWestport.com
“Many towns have community gardens where individuals have plots,”
said WLCT Executive Director, Ryan Mann. “This is
an attempt to bring the community together under one plot. In a few years we
hope that the public will be able to take a walk here and pick an apple
along the way.”
Future plans also include a public garden where residents are free to
pick the vegetables. More with photos.
Sunday, April 17 - CHICAGO — A new poll
shows that most Americans surveyed are happy with their friends and family,
feel good about their finances, and are more or less content at work,
according to a news report from Associated Press. It’s
government, particularly the federal government, that’s making them see
Almost 8 in 10 of those questioned in an Associated Press-GfK poll say they’re
dissatisfied or angry with the way the federal government is working; while
about the same proportion say they’re satisfied or enthusiastic about their
personal lives. Republicans are far more likely to be angry — half of GOP
voters, compared with about one-quarter of Democrats or independents — and
those Republicans are much more supportive of Donald Trump, the
front-runner for the party’s presidential nomination. More...
Friday, April 15 – Fish Commissioner,
me, really? Well, apparently Westport’s Peter Kastner
was elected Fish Commissioner, and he wasn’t even running for the position.
Kastner had been a former Fish Commissioner.
Town Clerk, Marlene Samson said a final hand-counted vote
tally from last Tuesday’s annual town election showed Kastner
receiving 22 write-in votes.
So, what does a Fish Commissioner do anyhow?
Probably not what you think.
According to town records, the three town Fish Commissioners
are responsible for monitoring and managing the town’s herring runs which
includes periodic inspections, clearing and maintenance of Adamsville Dam, Cockeast Pond, Forge Pond, Kirby Brook and Sam Tripp
Brook. They monitor the numbers of
herring and document their findings.
The three commissioners develop and support a public awareness
in preserving natural herring runs in Westport.
Thursday, April 14 - Local
Verizon workers join in strike. NEW BEDFORD — Seven hundred Verizon employees from Brockton to
New Bedford, Fall River, the South Shore and Cape Cod and the Islands
joined the 39,000 striking company workers along the East Coast on
Wednesday morning, said Eric Hetrick, business
manager for IBEW 2322, which represents some of
Striking employees include clerical, linemen, cable slicers,
installers, service representatives, central office personnel and
technicians, Hetrick said. More...
Thursday, April 14 - Christopher
Morton, 24, killed in motorcycle crash with garbage truck on American
Legion Highway in Westport. A Rhode Island
man has died after the motorcycle he was operating crashed with a trash
truck in southeastern Massachusetts.
24-year-old Christopher Morton, of Tiverton, Rhode Island was riding on
American Legion Highway in Westport at about noon on Wednesday when the
garbage truck traveling in the opposite direction turned to make a pickup.
The motorcycle struck the rear passenger side of the truck.
Morton was taken
to a hospital where he died. It wasn’t clear if Morton was wearing a helmet
as Rhode doesn’t require it.
requires that a motorcycle helmet be worn by anyone who is under 21 and
operating a motorcycle, regardless of their level of experience, and by all
passengers. Also required are all “new” motorcycle operators, regardless of
age, for one year from the date of issuance of their Rhode Island motorcycle
The truck driver
was not injured.
The road was
closed for more than three hours. The investigation is ongoing and no
charges have been filed.
Thursday, April 14 - Big steps for medical marijuana sites in Fairhaven, Freetown.
Westport Selectmen turned their back on two applications.
FAIRHAVEN — Plans for two medical marijuana facilities on the SouthCoast took big steps forward Wednesday, as a
Colorado-based company... more.
Tuesday, April 12 – 9:00 p.m. Resurgence of the South. Shana Shufelt
wins Selectman’s seat, upsetting two-time incumbent Richard Spirlet when
what can only be described as an apathetic electorate in the three
northernmost precincts failed to show up at the voting booths to support
the likable and hardworking Spirlet.
Westport Water Resource
Management Committee guru Bill Harkins slam dunks a win in the three-way
race for one seat on Board of Health; the seat was left open when BOH member Sean Leach abruptly resigned a few months
Above: Board of Health candidate
Bill Harkins is sworn in by Town Clerk Marlene Samson just after his
Harkins beat back two capable
challengers by a wide margin (1002 votes against Phil Weinberg’s 673 and Heather
Salva’s 404.) Harkins handily won four of the
five precincts, losing Precinct Five by only 48 votes.
Incumbent School Committee
member Melissa Pacheco is ousted from the School Committee in a squeaker
after failing to receive support from the schools’ unions; three candidates
ran for two positions which were won by former School Superintendent Margot
DesJardins and Finance Committee member Mark
The south shall rise again. Finance Committee Chairwoman
Shana Shufelt overcame a 43-vote deficit in
Precincts A through D to pick up a resounding overall 169 vote win in
Precinct E (High School) which represents South Westport, particularly
Wet, wild, and windy weather
coupled with an anemic north Westport turnout cost the three-peat re-election
of the popular Spirlet to a highly mobilized South Westport.
A later than normal opening
of the polling stations (10:00 a.m.) probably contributed to a lot of
working Westporters’ failure to make a showing at the ballot box.
Precinct A – Ballots cast - 302 14.27%
Precinct B – Ballots cast – 606 25.22%
Precinct C – Ballots cast – 311 14.47%
Precinct D – Ballots cast – 382 18.45%
Precinct E – Ballots cast – 630 24.44%
The better than average
ballots cast in Precincts B (Town Hall Annex) and E (Westport High School)
proved to be the difference in the hotly contested selectman’s race.
Congratulations to all
winners. More detailed analysis tomorrow.
Above: Politics in Westport! A friendly, just-for-fun fracas broke out between
political opponents’ supporters and their candidates at the Town Hall Annex
polling station Tuesday afternoon. One sign was reported injured!
Tuesday, April 12 – Take your best shot in controlling rabies. Animal Control Officer Donna Lambert conducted her
fifth annual Rabies Clinic on Sunday, April 10th at the Hixbridge
Road Fie Station. They had their best turnout yet, “vaccinating close to
about 60 dogs and cats,” Lambert said.
certificates are required to obtain a yearly dog license from Westport Town
Hall,” Town Clerk Marlene Samson said.
“We’ve issued over 500 licenses so far this
spring, and they all have had their pets vaccinated. We expect over 1000
licenses before it’s all said and done.”
Licenses are due each year by April 1st.
A. Brito vaccinates Gumbo while owner, Nancy (center) and Dr. Brito’s
assistant calm Gumbo.
File photo | EverythingWestport.com
The vaccinations protect homeowners ’pets from
infection passed to them by an encounter with rabid wildlife or other
“The importance of getting the rabies vaccine for
your pet is that rabies is a neurotropic disease,” Dr. Jacqueline A. Brito
said. “If your pet comes down with rabies, they can share it with you, and
most people unaware of their exposure to the virus do not survive rabies.”
Dr. Brito volunteered her time to conduct the
clinic with two assistants.
“If you know you have been exposed when you get
bitten and you know the animal was rabid, you can be treated before
symptoms start,” Dr. Brito said. “Once symptoms start very few people
survive the disease.”
“It is a state law that you have to have it done,”
“Symptoms start becoming evident from three weeks
to three months with humans and animals, depending on where they are
bitten,” said Dr. Brito.
Dr. Brito said when the virus gets to the brain it
causes encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
Lambert said that you should protect your puppies
and kittens at three months of age, and then give them a booster shot at
one year old and then every three years; ferrets should get vaccine every
Monday, April 11 - Westport taking another shot at private
property hunting bylaw, maybe. An article at Town Meeting in May is scheduled
to revisit a bylaw proposal that would restrict hunting on private
property, but selectmen wonder if it is the right course of action.
The item a year ago was
narrowly approved by voters and then later rejected by the state Attorney
General's office. More...
Monday, April 11 - The Masters doesn’t begin until the
back nine on Sunday! England’s Danny Willett’s
flawless play and Jordan Spieth’s collapse on the par 3 12th hole gave the
Europeans their first Masters victory in 17 years.
Nine holes away from another
wire-to-wire victory, the defending Masters champion threw it away Sunday
with a collapse around Amen Corner that was shocking even by Augusta
National standards. With a five-shot lead heading to the 10th tee, he dropped six shots in three holes and could never
Sunday, April 10 - Beach Avenue closed! Exercising an extra measure
of caution, Westport Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves
shuttered the troubled seashore road when unsconfirmed reports of vehicles
getting stuck in beach sand washed up and over the far east end due to
Friday’s windy, high surf, stormy weather.
“I’m talking to the
Conservation Commission about reopening,” Gonsalves
The last couple of hundred
feet of Beach Avenue is covered with about six inches of beach sand
deposited from turbulent wave action.
later today with photos.
Sunday, April 10 - Board incumbent, Finance Committee chair
square off for Westport selectman seat
WESTPORT — Selectman Richard
Spirlet is vying for a third term on the board and recently said at a
candidate's breakfast that the town's... more.
Saturday, April 9 – Oh, say it isn’t so! Your Netflix is about to get
a little pricier, according to
an article in the Boston Globe.
When Netflix raised its
prices in May 2014, its previous users were grandfathered in — allowed to
pay $8 per month, at least until 2016.
Well, it’s April 2016 and
next month, grandfathered customers will say their goodbyes to $7.99.
Starting in May, all subscribers will pay $9.99, or two extra dollars, for
the streaming service.
While the increase is less than the 60
percent price hike in 2011, most of Netflix’s users don’t know that their
bill is about to go up!
Saturday, April 9 – Debris on de beach road! Chris Gonsalves
did not need the reports Friday to know that the storm from the night
before deposited a ton of debris onto East Beach Road.
Gonsalves, the highway surveyor, began
his day at 7:00 a.m. and directed workers to start removing the stones and
dirt so that the road would be accessible.
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
“It happens frequently,
whenever there’s a high tide and a storm,” he said. “We are just taking out
the material deposited. It’s just debris and didn’t deteriorate the road.” More...
Saturday, April 9 – Speaking of East Beach Road, the Dartmouth Historical & Arts Society will present ‘The Buildings of old East Beach’
before the 1938 Hurricane’ on Sunday, April 10th.
Featuring speaker David
Jones, the talk starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Russells
Mills Schoolhouse, 1205 Russells Mills Road,
David Jones will take local
history buffs on a photographic walk down Memory Lane, better known as East
Beach Road, in an illustrated lecture on “East Beach before the
More information in Event
Friday, April 8 – To the editor: Bill
Harkins brings critical skills to the Westport Health Board.
I am writing this note as a
concerned citizen who highly recommends the election of Bill Harkins to the
Westport Board of Health (BOH). I have known Mr. Harkins for many years
and have a good sense of his love and commitment for this community and
concern for its future, being a long time resident. As I will show, he has
the experience and proven track record of achievement to excel in this
Friday, April 8 - WLCT receives meadowland grant. The
Westport Land Conservation Trust has received grant funding from the
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to complete a grassland
meadow restoration at the recently expanded 157-acre Herb Hadfield
Conservation Area. More...
Thursday, April 7 – Ok all you armchair golfers – look
to Augusta! The Masters Championship started
today, and it started without the winningest majors’ champion since Jack
Nicholas. Tiger Woods will sit out the 80th playing of the tournament Bobby
And Arnold Palmer joins Woods
behind the ropes.
Jordan Spieth isn't ready to
end his reign as Masters Tournament champ. The Texan opened today with a
bogey-free round of 66 to take the first round lead in defending his title.
Danny Lee and Shane Lowry
finished in a tie for second place after shooting 4-under 68, and the
star-studded cast of Paul Casey, Soren Kjeldsen,
Ian Pouler, Sergio Garcia, and Justin Rose all
shot 3-under 69. Rory McIlroy faltered late and finished with a 70.
Thursday, April 7 – Tell me it ain’t
so Joe! Hey you
Route 88 commuters going or coming
from work. Forget that second cup of morning coffee – MA DOT will be
performing substructure repair on the bridge carrying Route 88 traffic over
Route 177 and will cause detours for motorists during the next three
The detour is scheduled to
begin on Sunday, April 24th to allow for resurfacing and related work on
Route 88. Work hours are scheduled for Sundays through Wednesdays from 7:00
p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 7 – 'We did it!' Tribe
breaks ground on Taunton resort and casino. With a tent filled to capacity with tribal members,
financial backers and politicians, Cedric Cromwell was elated and nearly
beside himself with joy. “This is a historical day in the tribe’s history.
It’s a signal that something great is about to happen,” Cromwell said
Cromwell at one point
exultantly said, “We did it! We did it!” More...
Thursday, April 7 – Get your checkbook out Westport
On an average, the town's town property valuation has gone up 4.6 percent,
according to the most recent assessors' data.
But, that doesn't mean all
properties have increased in value since the last valuation, according to
the assessors' department.
Yah, right. And the moon is
made from green cheese! More...
here to view your assessment.
To view a property card
online, click assessors under the tab – Boards and Committees - on the town
web site; click on GISMaps; click search and enter an
address. On the left side, will be the Valuation. To print the Property
Record Card click the Property Record button on
the left side of the web page.
It’s a little confusing but
No computer or iPhone? Property evaluations will
also be available in list form at the Assessor’s Office from 8:30 am. -
4:00 pm. weekdays until April 13th and also at the Westport Free Public
Library during their business hours.
Thursday, April 7 – To the editor: Phil Weinberg sites his
career, professionalism and experience in seeking Board of Health seat.
“My opponent for
the seat on the Westport Board of Health, Bill Harkins, recently wrote to
criticize my performance as Regional Director for the Southeast Region at
the Mass. Department of Environmental Protection. Of the two criticisms he raised, one is
unfounded while the second underscores his misunderstanding of how to solve
complex problems with real world solutions that serve the public health and
the best interests of taxpayers.” More...
Wednesday, April 6 - Westport
selectman continues push against marijuana legalization.
In Selectman Richard
Spirlet's 36 years in law enforcement, he was involved in hard drug
raids. In all those raids, he recalls, the arrested parties almost always
had marijuana in possession.
Spirlet, a retired
police captain, is one of five selectmen who took a unanimous formal vote
two weeks ago against the referendum for this fall's election ballot
seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Selectmen agreed
to draft a letter and send it to sources such as the Massachusetts
Municipal Association. More...
Wednesday, April 6 - WESTPORT —
Bicyclists in Southeastern Massachusetts have
long envisioned a world where they can pedal pretty much anywhere. Now that
vision is getting closer to reality.
"We are here
today to build a bike culture," Bob Espindola said at the SouthCoast
Bikeway Alliance's sixth annual bike summit. "It's really important to
keep people engaged."
The summit, held at
White's of Westport, attracted cyclists from throughout the region more...
Tuesday, April 5 – To the Editor: WWRMC chairman stresses
judgment, experience as key factors in Board of Health race.
“There are several
important issues facing Westport including Water and Sewer proposals,
Noquochoke Village septic system issues, and landfill capping using
contaminated material in the past and now being forced on Dartmouth.
I am not a
proponent of water and sewer and feel that there are many alternatives
available which need to be researched and utilized before we entertain any
thoughts of saddling the town with the cost of this expensive
infrastructure. Fall River is facing steep increases in water and sewer
fees that will challenge home ownership in the Spindle City.”
Monday, April 4 – To the Editor:
In my opinion, the town is lucky to have the chance to elect Shana Shufelt
to the Board of Selectmen.
I had the pleasure
of serving on the Finance Committee with Shana Shufelt for five
years. She brought youth. She brought new ideas.
Monday, April 4 – The Friends of the Westport Library have
published their Spring 2016 newsletter. Click here to read the
newlettter. Helen E. Ellis Case will celebrate National Poetry Month in
April with publications by local poets.
On exhibit in the Manton
Room for April: Macomber second graders share sewing and designing skills
from their two-year quilt project.
Sunday, April 3 – Shootin' for
the big time: Westport's Ted Bolduc, pro wrestler, is on the WWE's radar
Two years ago, Ted
Bolduc was ready to hang up his wrestling tights and boots. Now he’s
flirting with the big time.
My how times have
Sunday, April 3 – Westport
selectman speaks out. “If Westport were to legalize
marijuana, it would send a message in the community, and especially to our
children; that the drug marijuana is acceptable. Drugs are addictive, even
though marijuana is considered a ‘soft drug’, it is still addictive. The
use of marijuana usually leads to the use of ‘hard drugs’, which is why it
is called a ‘Gateway’ drug. It is the opinion of this selectman, and the Westport’s
Board of Selectmen, that it is in everyone’s best interest to avoid
exposure to risk, and protect citizens’ health.” More...
Richard Spirlet is running for re-election to the
Westport Board of Selectmen.
Sunday, April 3 – Third time not
a charm for New Bedford’s Daniel DaCruz Pedro.
The New Bedford man was arrested and charged with
multiple break-ins at a Westport Gas station.
Westport Police say Daniel DaCruz Pedro, 39, broke
in to the gas station three times in just four days and stole lottery
The suspect was caught on video smashing the windows
of the gas station located on 634 American Legion Highway. Police responded
to alarms on March 23, 24, and 26, all between 9:30 p.m. and 12:00
The suspect is well know to New Bedford Police
and had an active arrest warrant for larceny over $250 out of New Bedford
District Court. Officials also discovered the suspect was operating a
stolen GMC pickup truck which was later recovered in New Bedford.
DaCruz Pedro was arrested Friday at his home in New
Bedford his arraignment scheduled for Monday, April 4th at Fall River
Nickelson lead the investigation that obtained video surveillance and
photos from Westport Gas and other locations.
Pedro was booked on
charges of three counts each of destruction of property over $250, larceny
from a building, breaking in and entering at nighttime, and receiving
Saturday, April 2 – Letter to the Editor: Bill Harkins
most experienced to serve on Westport Board of Health.
Bill Harkins is
a longtime Westport resident who serves all of Westport with his leadership
on the Westport Water Resource Management Committee, and now is a candidate
for the Board of Health.
Harkins to the Board of Health will complement the existing strengths of a
dignified Board whose tasks determine our future. More...
Saturday, April 2 – 14-year-old boy Westport’s next 351
Ambassador. Adam Charest was in
the cafeteria when the lunchtime announcement came over the intercom: he
would be Westport’s next 351 Ambassador.
Photo | Jason Protami
overwhelming, really an honor,” the 14-year-old said of the chance to
represent his town to the rest of the state. More...
April 2 – To the Editor: Residents express support for Phil
Weinberg for Board of Health.
We want to express
our strong support for Phil Weinberg, who is running for the Westport Board
of Health. Phil’s personality and
experience qualify him uniquely for this role. More...
Saturday, April 2 – 29 percent sewer rate increase sought in
Fall River. For those
Westporters who are concerned with the potential cost of installing public
sewer lines in the north end of town, as well as the cost of maintaining
that infrastructure, they may be in for a rude awakening.
The average Fall
River single family home may experience this year annual increases ranging
from $425 to $560. More...
That sticker shock
may motivate Westport leaders to refocus on alternative septic systems
designs that can reduce nitogen pollution in Westports impaired waters.
Saturday, April 2 – The Donald campaigns in Westport! Leading Republican
presidential candidate, Donald Trump and a contingency of his caricaturized
supporters wave to passersby on Charlotte White Road in Westport.
artist and political provocateur, master of the sculpted parody, Roger
Chandanais is never at a creative loss for tweaking the nose of local
His latest creation
is an eye-catcher for sure.
It’s EverythingWestport’s Photo of the Week.
Click here to view this photo
and other Photos of the Week.
Saturday, April 2 – ‘Chef On A Shoestring’ big hit at at the
Westport Senior Center. Back by popular demand,
Kyle Stuart (pictured right) of Johnson & Wales University hosted
the first class of the third season in preparing delicious and nutritious
meals at a cost anyone can afford.
entertaining and instructional series shouldn’t be missed by anyone wishing
to strech their food budget without sacrificing quality and taste in
preparing budget-conscious meals!
This series of six
classes began on Friday, April 1st and will continue each Friday for the
next five weeks,
The classes start
at 11:00 a.m. Call the Council on Aging at 508.636.1026 to reserve your
spot in the class. Fee $16.00
Friday, April 1 – RI's 'cooler & warmer' campaign gets axed by Raimondo. The
governor also accepted the resignation of chief marketing officer Betsy
this is no April Fool’s Day joke, although the campaign is a spectacular
Any first-year marketing
student can tell you if an explanation is needed for a one-liner, you’re
campaign is doomed from the get-go.
$120,000 ordered returned
from PR firms to the state. More...
Friday, April 1 – Not in my yard you don’t! Selectmen’s election sign dispute has caused quite a stir
More about the sign dispute.
Westport seems for the moment to be spared that childish
In the past Westport elections haven’t always been so.
Selectmen Tony Vieira experienced sign loss in his last
successful relection bid, saying the thefts usually start in the remote
areas first and work inward towards the center of town.
Town Clerk Marlene Samson reminds candidates that
placement of election signs on town property is not allowed, and the cheeky
signs will be removed.
Signs on the edges of roadways and intersections are also
not allowed unless permission has been obtained from the abutting property
owner; signs placed without permission will also be removed.
So place those signs carefully candidates, and may the
best man, or woman, win.
Thursday, March 31 – 95 lose their
jobs at local hospital.
the company that runs Charlton Memorial Hospital, has laid off 95
The action follows
a $30 million loss in fiscal 2014 and a 6 percent increase in expenditures
during the first half of this fiscal year, hospital president Keith Hovan
explained in a letter to employees distributed Wednesday. More...
Thursday, March 31 - Don’t drink
and drive or get high in Bristol County next weekend! A “Sobriety
Checkpoint” will be implemented Saturday, April 9, into Sunday, April 10,
by the Massachusetts State Police on a public way in Bristol County. It
will be operated during varied hours, the selection of vehicles will not be
arbitrary, safety will be assured, and any inconveniences to motorists will
be minimized with advance notice to reduce fear and anxiety.
The purpose is to
further educate the motoring public and strengthen the public’s awareness
to the need of detecting and removing those motorists who operate under the
influence of alcohol and/or drugs from our roadways.
The program is made
possible by a grant from the Highway Safety Division of the Massachusetts
Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
Thursday, March 31 – Former School
Superintendent Margot Desjardins announces candidacy for Westport
School Committee. “My name is Margot
Desjardins and I am a candidate for a seat on the Westport School
The schools have
seen a lot of change in the past three to four years. Now we need to
pull everyone together to reassess who we are and where we want to
go. We have work to do. I am ready to hit the ground running.
I have experience
in the field of education. As a teacher I developed an award winning
elementary science program and was selected as a Massachusetts Teacher of
the Year. I served as Westport’s first curriculum director for a short time
and then spent a decade as your superintendent of schools. I have also
taught school in several states and was the principal/CEO of New Bedford’s
first charter school, a partner of the Gates Foundation’s High Tech High
School in San Diego.” More...
March 31 – Now is the time to prepare, become a safer
boater. The U.S. Coast
Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of
over 80 percent of the hundreds of boating fatality victims each year.
Spring is here and
now is the best time to take advantage of Safe Boating training.
The local U.S.
Coast Guard Auxiliary is reminding boaters to take a boating education
course now before the season rush.
About Boating Safety – Starts April
12th at the Westport Fire Station, 54 Hix Bridge Road, Westport; Tuesday
evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Course Fee -
Thursday, March 31 – Westport’s top
lawman restructures detectives unit, brings down local house break-ins by
50 percent. Westport police restructuring leads to drop in crime more...
Wednesday, March 30 - Sea-run brook
trout get a second chance at survival in Westport brook. A partnership
between the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT)
has led to the conservation of 50 acres of forests and wetlands to help
preserve some of Westport’s threatened sea-run brook trout habitat.
sea-run brook trout could be found in coldwater streams all along the
southern New England coast. However as a result of coastal development,
Angeline Brook in Westport... more.
Wednesday, March 30 - Westport’s
mystery of the headless alligator! The remains of an alligator with its
head severed were found dumped in the woods
in the area of Briggs Road and Christopher Circle in the North End of town,
Inset: police photo.
Antonio Cestodio, a spokesman for the Westport Police Department, said the
remains were discovered in the leaves and under some briars by a passerby
walking in the area about 9:00 a.m. on March 18th... more.
Tuesday, March 29 – An editorial
that appeared in today’s Boston Globe says GMO labeling laws promote fear
But that opinion
flys in the face of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Environment,
Natural Resources and Agriculture, which has announced the release of a bill
from Committee that will require the labeling of food products that contain
genetically modified organisms
Representative Paul Schmid, Chairman of the State’s Agricultural and
Recreational Committee recently released a bill that would require labeling
of food that has genetically modified ingredients, and that cleared a
legislative committee on Beacon Hill early this month, moving it one step
closer to passage.
That’s good news
for food purists, but it’s an impractical and potentially burdensome
solution that will cause unwarranted alarm and needless expense, according
to the contentious editorial in the Globe.
The author says
lawmakers should reject the bill.
But it seems
consumers have reject that notion. Conneticut, Maine and Vermont have
already implemented labeling; so should Massachusetts.
Click here to read editorial.
Monday, March 28 - School Committeewoman Melissa Pacheco announces re-election bid. The life-long Westport resident cites
fiscal experience, extensive education competence, and integrity.
“My name is Melissa Pacheco and I am
pleased to announce that I am running for re-election for Westport School
Ms. Pacheco cites broad fiscal
management experience, extensive higher education knowhow, and “is an
honest, dedicated and caring individual.” Pacheco is a Westport High alum,
parent, and town resident.
Monday, March 28 – Westport
Council on Aging releases their April issue of Evergreen. Click
here to view it now.
here to review all other community newsletters.
Saturday, March 26 - Police with K-9 arrest man for breaking
and entering at Westport liquor store. 29-year-old Nicholas J. Spanos of Somerset man was arrested after police and a
K-9 unit found him hiding in a liquor store bathroom after breaking and
entering early Thursday morning, police said in a press release.
The man was trying to break
into the store’s ATM machine with a crowbar.
Around 2:45 a.m. Thursday,
Westport Police with assistance from Dartmouth police and a Fall River K-9
unit responded to Country Liquors in Westport more...
Saturday, March 26 - Not
in my back yard! NIMBYs are alive and well as a proposal by Barnstable
officials to ship Cape Cod's homeless to New Bedford, Fall River and other
Southeastern Massachusetts cities is quickly rejected by New Bedford
leaders as "foolish" and "irresponsible." More.
Thursday, March 24 – Beach Avenue gets a
close shave. In what hopefully will be the last chapter in the saga
embroiling Beach Avenue, the Westport Highway Department under the
supervision of the town’s Conservation Commission scraped and cleared
windswept sand from the eastern-most 300+ feet of Beach Avenue, enhancing
accessibility to Knubble Beach for handicapped and mobility-challenged
Above: ConCom agent Chris Capone (center) directs the
depositing of sand scraped from the road’s surface onto the adjacent
Photo | EverythingWestport.com
Personnel from the Westport Land Conservation Trust looked on,
being the largest land stakeholder abutting the road that has served
vacationing residents and beachgoers since the turn of the nineteenth
The roadway was scraped by the highway department’s frontend
loader, and the giant buckets of sand were gently deposited onto the
roadside coastal dunes under the direction of Westport ConCom
agent Christopher “Chris” Capone.
”I issued the ‘order of conditions’ once comments were
received from Natural Heritage,” Capone told EverythingWestport.com.
The embattled seashore road has a storied history, once
servicing grand vacation homes, a casino and a yacht club, to being
neglected during the late 1980’s when lean town budgets interrupted
periodic maintenance of the roadway.
Thursday, March 24 – Westport Selectmen at
night’s meeting recognized the Westport Junior Basketball League and presented William Baraby, its
first director and Tom Hancock, volunteer extraordinaire with an Official
Citation of the Westport Board of Selectmen. Read official citation.
Selectmen also approved the Council on Aging’s appointment of Susan
Sharpe as Outreach Worker, and Edmund Hicks appointment to the COA
in a surprising announcement, Selectmen reported that the Massachusetts Supervisor of
Public Records broadcast an emergency regulation that “a charge for black
and white copies of public records shall not exceed 5 cents per page.”
The town had been getting 50 cents per page.
But stay tuned as additional, substantial changes to the
Public Records Law are likely to be made in the near future by the General
Remember, he who giveth can also taketh away!
Thursday, March 24 - The Westport Historical
Society’s March 2016 E-newsletter now available on-line.
here to view it now. Click
here to review all our community newsletters.
Visit their FaceBook page to stay up-to-date on current events.
Tuesday, March 22 – Westport
School Committee sent back to the budget drawing board.
Westport school leaders will
meet again today in an attempt to reach a budget figure that fits into the
town's bigger fiscal picture.
The School Committee last
week could not agree to one of three proposed budget alternatives for
fiscal 2017 that would reduce the proposed school budget to a number
recommended by town officials.
School authorities will now meet
Tuesday, March 22, to try to nail down a proposed figure. More...
Tuesday, March 22 – “Instead five old white guys (Westport Selectmen) who have lived through the unsuccessful
war on drugs found it easier to rely on the messages of the 1980s and
simply say no thank you.
and gambling offer their own version of sin, but while Westport leaders are
preparing for any hell that a casino may bring they’ll take purgatory for
the weed.” - Will Richmond, Fall River Herald City Editor. More...
view - Legalizing recreational marijuana is just another step
towards the decline of our western civilization, and the Fall River Herald
city editor most of all should know that better than anyone; they report
the mountainous stories of drug-related crime in the Spindle City.
State legislators who visited Colorado, the chairman of the special legislative committee on marijuana, and
Governor Baker all oppose the referendum to legalize marijuana in
We must not give up the good fight to save our youth. We can’t wait until we’ve lost everything that we realize our
Selectmen were right in resisting the legalization of recreational
Monday, March 21 – Just say no! For
a year, state Senator Jason M. Lewis maintained strict neutrality as he studied marijuana
legalization — interviewing 50-plus experts, scouring the research, and
observing firsthand a state where it is legal. But now he is speaking out
against the expected November referendum in Massachusetts to legalize
His position carries special weight. Lewis chairs the special
legislative committee on marijuana. More...
Monday, March 21 – Have camera, will
travel! Own a camera, got a good eye for composition, love the natural
world, love to shoot things?
Then the Westport River Watershed Alliance wants you.
They’re reviving their traditional photo contest for their
2017 calendar and are looking for great shots that show the beauty and
diversity of the Westport River watershed to grace its pages.
They are seeking landscape and nature photos from all seasons,
but only 10 photos per person please.
Submit your photos by this May 1st in .jpg format by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit their website for all the details.
Monday, March 21 – Salt marshes on the
decline in the Westport River. The Westport Fishermen’s Association is partnering with the
Buzzards Bay Coalition (BBC), the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
(MBL) and the Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program to examine the rapid
decline of salt marshes in the Westport River. More...
The project was initiated by the WFA
because several members had observed salt marsh degradation and partial
collapse of banks in many areas of the river, including the herring ditch
into Cockeast Pond.
Sunday, March 20 - Letter to the Editor: Residents seek individuals who are
honest, sincere, and compassionate.
The diversity of a five member board
is essential to making certain that all voters and residents of Westport are
represented on all the important issues that come before them. Westport
Selectman, Richard Spirlet is exemplary in diplomacy, equality, checks and
balances, and integrity across the board. Richard is genuinely
interested in the citizens of Westport and he engages voters. He is a
listener, a great mediator and friend to all. More...
March 20 - Letter to the Editor: Westport resident suggests
redefining “special interests.”
“My mother liked quoting
scripture to her kids. A particular favorite was “Blessed are the
peacemakers” from the Sermon on the Mount. She would have conceded to
the skeptics in town that this is a sentiment easier to quote than to
follow. But she would have pointed out that it was still easier (and
more common) to allow such skepticism to serve as an excuse to fall into divisiveness.”
March 20 -
Providers’ Council honors job creation champions – Michael Rodrigues,
Providers’ Council members
celebrated the statewide success of job training programs and honored
legislative champions during a Champions
for Job Creation Legislative Breakfast on March 16 at WORK Inc. in
The Council presented
awards to state Sen. Michael Rodrigues of Westport and state Rep. Daniel
Hunt of Dorchester for their consistent support and leadership with regard
to Competitive Integrated Employment Services (CIES), the state’s only
welfare-to-work program, and other successful vocational training
programs. Daniel Hunt’s mother, Jean, accepted the award on his behalf. More...
Saturday, March 19 – Bill
Harkins announces he is running for the
open seat on the Westport Board of Health.
The current Chairman of the Westport Water Resource Management
Committee cites experience and commitment.
“Three years ago I requested and was appointed to the Westport
Water Resource Management Committee (WWRMC). This is the only committee or
board which represents the entire town having members from every voting precinct,”
he said in his announcement. More...
Saturday, March 19 – Did you miss
the Westport political Candidates Forum at the recent Business to Business
here to view video! Be sure to watch the first 16 minutes which
highlights our two candidates for Selectman; incumbent Richard Spirlet and
challenger Shana Shufelt.
Saturday, March 19 – Tomorrow is the first day of
Spring, but didn’t Mother nature get the memo? Spring started last month!
Meteorological spring began
on March 1st, but to many the official first day of spring is marked by the
In 2016 the spring equinox
will fall on Sunday, March 20th, at 1:30 a.m. EDT.
Then again, hats off to
Punxsutawney Phil, that predictive groundhog for getting it right for 2016!
Saturday, March 19 –
Massachusetts Environment Committee releases bill to require GMO labeling.
institutes a $1,000 per day violation to someone who knowingly violates the
provision of the law.
BOSTON - State Representative Paul
Schmid (D-Westport), House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment,
Natural Resources and Agriculture, has announced the release of a bill from
Committee that will require the labeling of food products that contain
genetically modified organisms (GMO). More...
Friday, March 18 - Battleship Cove will host an Easter tea party to benefit the restoration of the Fall River Carousel &
Pavilion on Saturday, March 26th, with seatings at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at the carousel.
Guests will enjoy English-style
sandwiches, sweets and pots of tea along with unlimited rides on the
carousel. Guests will also decorate their own cups and saucers as
Thursday, March 17 - January unemployment
rates take unexpected upwards leap in local communities; Fall River now
highest of all the cities in the Bay State. Westport 7.2 up from 5.9
percent; Fall River 9.5 up from 8 percent in December.
Although the state unemployment rate is down to 4.7 from 4.9
percent and the national rate is slightly down to 4.9, this trend is so far
missing the south coast communities.
Unemployment in Dartmouth, Somerset, Swansea, and Tiverton RI
all up by .4 percent or more since December 2015.
Hard for the state to put a good spin on these numbers.
here to review report.
Thursday, March 17 - Letter to the editor: Richard Spirlet
votes to support what the majority of Westport residents want. He doesn’t bend to special interests who think they know what is
best for the rest of us. More...
Thursday, March 17 - Flagship Cinemas will
close its New Bedford theater by August 31st and the company's CEO said
the decision was made in part because he believes the city no longer wants
to host a movie theater. More...
Thursday, March 17 - UMD hosting 750
students at robotics competion this weekend. More
than 30 teams made up of 750 high school students from across New England
will compete in this year’s game “Stronghold℠” challenging their STEM
and teamwork skills.
Tuesday, March 15 – And then there were
three. Three weeks before Westport’s annual town elections. Only three
contested seats up for your consideration (two candidates withdrew.) Only
three school committee candidates to fill two seats (one candidate
withdrew.) And three candidates for one three-year term on the hotly
contest Board of Health seat open due to the surprise resignation of third
voting board member Sean Leach.
Thirteen elected positions with only three contested races –
that’s three times too much apathy from town
residents in running for public office.
More later on the candidates who are running.
here to view the April 12th specimen ballot.
Tuesday, March 15 – Twin River Casino
turmoil! Should Westport officials get involved in the talks of a
potential Twin River Casino on the Tiverton-Fall River line?
That question is being mulled by Westport selectmen.
rendering drawing courtesy of Twin River Management Group
"Should we start stirring up a stink or hold back?," Selectman Steven Ouellette asked last week. More...
Tuesday, March 15 - Out-of-balance budget woes. Westport Selectmen have sent along
a proposed $36.6 million budget for fiscal 2017 to the Finance Committee, though
they said it will take a bit more work before it can be fully balanced.
Selectmen, at a recent
meeting, decided to add about $9,000 more to the Highway Department budget
to cover the expense of filling a long overdue foreman’s position. This was
after the Town Administrator reduced the department’s budget by $40K. More...
here to review proposed Fiscal
2017 budget. PDF
Tuesday, March 15 – Mashpee tribe speeds
up timetable for Taunton casino opening. The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe said Monday that it plans to open
a $1 billion casino on reservation land here in the summer of 2017, an
aggressive timetable that bolsters the tribe’s case to state regulators and
would probably make it the state’s first full-scale casino. More...
Monday, March 14 – “Good Day for
Drying” was the top money earner for 3rd Annual WRWA Buoy the Winter
Sandy Hall, a Dartmouth resident, illustrator,
printmaker and painter got a whopping $500 bid for her creation, a simple
but elegantly hand-painted buoy depicting an “antique clothes dryer” or
better known as a clothesline still in use today!
“Overall, it was a record auction,”
said Steve Connors, WRWA Community Engagement Manager. “We were thrilled by
the turnout and the support for all the artisans and the Watershed
Click here to see the updated video
of the 3rd Annual WRWA Buoy the Winter Blues fundraiser.
Above: Dartmouth’s Sandy Hall and her buoy “Good Day for
Sunday, March 13 - Westport candidate for Board of Selectmen wants to bring
change, give back to the community.
When Shana Shufelt
announced her candidacy for Selectman two months ago, she thought that
Westport was home to some of the best people around, and now that “I have
met so many more of you I am certain of it.
I want to be sure you know who I am so you can make an informed decision
with your vote on April 12.” More...
Saturday, March 12 – Indian Casino to break ground next
month. The Mashpee
Wampanoag Tribe intends to break ground on its Project First Light casino
in Taunton in less than a month.
But a Chicago-based casino developer, who
is proposing a $677 million casino at the Brockton Fairgrounds, is helping
fund an East Taunton residents’ lawsuit to halt the project, saying a
federal agency overstepped its authority in approving the land application,
which included 155 acres in Taunton for a casino.
It seems the group’s bet may exceed table
Saturday, March 12 – Two
local, pet-friendly fundraisers support efforts of non-profit volunteer
organizations. Forever Paws
Animal Shelter announces their annual Spring Fling. More...
And Habitat for Cats offers bowling
and board games fundraiser that will benefit homeless cats. More.
Saturday, March 12 – Westport detectives bust residence for drug distribution.
After an anonymous letter alerted detectives to drug
distribution going on at a residence, detectives executed a search warrant
Thursday afternoon, according to a Westport Police Department press
Saturday, March 12 – Westport firefighters CARES program offers services to
the elderly and at risk members
of the community by working in collaboration with the Westport Council on
Aging and providing access to a variety of services the Council on Aging
has to offer. More...
Saturday, March 12 – Schmid, Gobi
spearhead state-wide comprehensive agricultural bill. State
Representative Paul A. Schmid (D-Westport) and State Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer),
Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and
Agriculture filed a comprehensive, omnibus agricultural package last week. More....
is a leading agricultural community in the region,” said Schmid.
The measure aims to provide opportunities and protections to
current and prospective farmers throughout Massachusetts, increase access
and availability of locally grown food products, and invest in educational
and agricultural programs to further grow the industry.
Friday, March 11 - Mass. beekeepers all abuzz at the sting
of proposed state plan. Proposed reforms have enraged
beekeepers, who say the state has ignored their plan to address the
problems and underestimated the threat pesticides present to bees.
Inset: Beekeepers say we’re running out of time.
They complain that the plan
was drafted mainly by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau, a private group that
represents many of the state’s nearly 8,000 farms, many of which rely
heavily on pesticides.
“This is egregious,” said Ann
Rein, president of Plymouth County Beekeepers Association and an author of
the rival plan. “The beekeepers’ plan would help bees. [The department’s]
plan will not.”
March 10 – Marijuana in Westport?
Westport’s State Senator Michael Rodrigues appeared Tuesday, March 8th in a
press conference as the Special Senate Committee on Marijuana released its
report. Click here to read this sobering report
in its entirety.
Wednesday, March 9 - Multi-language mediation
service available for Westport victims of fraudulent business behavior and
Having trouble with a local contractor for non-performance, or a used car
dealership not taking your calls after selling you a lemon?
hiring an expensive attorney please consult with a local state-funded
Consumer Program Mediator.
met Monday night with Mali Lim, a local Consumer Program Mediator to
discuss their New Bedford Local Consumer Program.
this video for the surprising, if not shocking, details of which business
sector accounts for about three quarters of all consumer mediation activity
in our area.
Click here to
visit the New
Bedford Local Consumer Mediation Program.
View video of
Monday’s Selectmen’s meeting with Mali Lim.
Wednesday, March 9 - Old Country Buffet closed
permanently; assets up for auction in Dartmouth.
Country Buffet, a fixture on the Dartmouth restaurant scene since mid-1993,
has closed its doors for good, company... more.
is sad to see this location close its doors since so many local patrons
have been coming here for years.” said Sean Doonan,
COO for Auction Nation, in a news release. He said the bidding is not only
for people in the restaurant industry, but also for patrons and the general
venerable eatery will be missed by many.
Wednesday, March 9 - 68-room, boutique hotel and
restaurant is in the works for downtown New Bedford. Plans
are moving forward for a $10 million hotel project that will renovate a
vacant building in downtown New Bedford and include a restaurant and
banquet space, city officials said Tuesday.
Group, a Boston-based private investment firm, will convert the
46,600-square-foot building at 218-226 Union St. into a 68-room hotel,
3,300-square-foot restaurant and 5,100-square-foot banquet space, Mayor Jon
Mitchell’s office and a Columbus Group executive announced. More.
Monday, March 7 – Gov. Baker rejects recreational marijuana. “This November, voters in
Massachusetts will be asked whether to legalize marijuana. Our state has
already decriminalized the drug for personal use, and we’ve made it legally
available for medical use. The question before us now is whether marijuana
should be fully legal and widely available for commercial sale. We think
the answer is “no.”” - Charlie Baker, Maura Healey
and Martin J. Walsh
Sunday, March 6 – Picture of the Week! Best beak ‘buds’ hang out at
the Westport town docks. Henry the Swan has become a friendly fixture,
having been fed and watered by the Harbormaster’s shack occupants during
cold spells, and now Henry calls it home, inviting feathered friends by for
a drink and a snack. Click
here to see more about this photo
and other weekly photos.
Sunday, March 6 – Hartnett gets a raise to $85,000 on July 1st and it will increase more July 1, 2017.
Last summer, planning board officials
told selectmen that Town Planner Jim Hartnett is underpaid for the job he
does. It took a few months, but at February 22nd selectmen's meeting, the
former Fall River city planner got a promotion and a raise.
Hartnett will now serve as an
assistant Town Administrator for planning. As a result, he will continue to
serve as planner but will also assist Town Administrator Timothy King on
special projects, according to the selectmen’s office. More...
Saturday, March 5 – The Westport Lions Arts & Craft Show
in October has been cancelled – NOT! Apparently someone is
circulating an email that the Lions Club’s popular show has been canceled
for this year, but that is simply not true, says Linda Harrop,
Westport Lions Arts and Craft Show Chairperson.
In fact, Ms. Harrop wants you to know the Westport Lions are now
accepting applications for their 12th Annual Juried Arts and Craft Show to
be held October 15th and 16th, 2016 at the Westport High School.
Applications may be obtained from Ms. Harrop by
emailing DLHarrop@aol.com or calling her at
508.678.2255 or Mike Sullivan at 508.636.8642.
There will be a Lions Arts
& Craft Show this October, so get your applications filed early.
Saturday, March 5 – Weinberg announces candidacy
for Westport BOH. Philip Weinberg, formally the director of the
Southeast Regional Office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental
Protection, has announced that he is running for a seat on the Westport
Board of Health.
Board of Health has a broad set of responsibilities that directly impact
the health and quality of life in the community including, for example,
effectively managing solid waste recycling and disposal, protecting wells
and waterways from contamination, ensuring food safety at restaurants and
public events and planning for and responding to public health related
Saturday, March 5 - Richard Spirlet for Westport Selectman.
“I would appreciate your vote on April 12th as I run for a
third-term as your Selectman.
I am pleased to
announce that I am running for a third-term as Selectman for the Town of
Westport. I believe I have made considerable contributions to the Board and
to our Town during these past two terms, and I believe I can continue to
make a positive difference; because I want to do more.” More...
Friday, March 4 - Westport Affordable Housing Trust
specialist gives update on proposed housing complex, Noquochoke Village.
Westport Planning Board expresses a need to
reduce nitrogen discharge by over 95% from a proposed 65% level. Questions
on nitrogen level reduction for planned septic field prompt further
analysis by the builder who sites higher cost.
Hearing will continue to Tuesday, March 8th.
The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) has been
working with the Trust, other town officials, and the community for the
past four years to plan for the construction of 50 units of new
mixed-income rental family housing at Noquochoke Village, said Leonardi Aray, Housing
Specialist for the Westport Affordable Housing Trust. More...
Friday, March 4 – Westport School Administrators, Selectmen
disagree over relocation space to alleviate cramped Junior-Senior High
School administration offices.
space tight at Westport Junior-Senior High School, administrators and
selectmen are considering making use of office space at Town Hall Annex on
Main Road, or the COA facilities on Reed Road.
percent of administration offices moved. Space is at a premium,"
Superintendent Dr. Ann Dargon said, listing
options her team has explored.
Above: School Committeewoman Mellissa
Pacheco argues that electronic communications infrastructure and ADA
compliance upgrades at the Middle School would be money wasted when the offices
are eventually moved into a new Junior/Senior High School.
superintendent asked for accommodations at the annex, which formerly served
as town hall.
school staff into the present town hall's basement had also been discussed,
but renovations would be needed there, too.
Antone Vieira Jr. and Craig Dutra questioned
relocation choices that didn’t include the Middle School. More.
Thursday, March 3 – Westport school officials to slash
administrative staff to save cash. Administrative staff at the
junior/senior high school will be consolidated after a recent 3-1 vote by
the School Committee.
Vice Chairwoman Nancy Rioux pitched the idea and
says she believes it can help save approximately $150,000 in fiscal 2017.
suggestion comes in the midst of budget talks in which selectmen have proposed
a budget increase of around $488,000, according to school officials.
school superintendent, Dr. Ann Dargon in
contrast, has proposed a budget approximately $808,000 more than last year.
Thursday, March 3 – Westport’s “Cukie” Macomber shares some thoughts on guns, name-calling in
a Letter to the Editor.
“I have two subjects to write about. The
first is Smith’s Hill where I and other neighborhood kids sledded all
winter during the 1930’s. We pulled our sleds down Hix Bridge Road, onto Cadman’s Neck Road and then went
screaming down that snow covered hill. There was no other hill in the
area as good as Smith’s for sleds.” More...
Above: Sledding at Smith’s Hill during the
February, 2016 snow storms.
Thursday, March 3 – Fed up with Charter cable problems or
pricing? Here’s your chance to speak up and do something about it.
Westport resident volunteer is needed to serve on the Westport Cable
Advisory Committee to review all cable TV related issues and budget along
with contributing ideas and suggestions on how to improve service for the
are generally one weekend evening per month.
applicants may contact Chairman Steven Ouellette at 508.677.0905 or email: email@example.com.
You may also visit or call the
Westport Board of Selectmen at 508.636.1003. Westport Town Hall, 816 Main
Wednesday, March 2 – Voter anger reflected in republican
voter turnout. An interesting statistic emerged during Super Tuesday’s primaries which is mirrored in Massachusetts and here in
Westport - votes in the Bay State’s republican presidential nominee are up
23 percent from 2008, those for democrats are down 7 percent.
Inset: Voters lined up most
of the day at the Town Hall Annex
to exercise their right to vote.
continued to shatter turnout records in the 2016 primaries and caucuses on
Tuesday, while Democrats lagged behind in what analysts said was a clear
indication of an enthusiasm gap heading into the general election.
reflected this trend with similar results.
what last night results show. More...
More past headline news continues below.