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Local news you may be interested in.  Updated: Monday, June 29, 2015

Photos/ except as noted.



Visit our newly updated Theater and Arts Section, and plan your spring/early summer event schedule!

New galleries and art venues added for 2015. New Boston area concerts and theater venue added April, 2015!

Updated Saturday, June 27, 2015 videos


New! 06/07/2015 Click here to view video of Windscape Westport’, an interactive sculpture, and meet visual artisan Nancy Winship Milliken.


05/19/2015 Click here to view video of Westport Winery’s fight for their entertainment license.           



Headline News

Monday, June 29, 2015


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


Click here for upcoming theater and arts listings!

Updated Saturday, June 27, 2015


06/29/2015Selectmen meet tonight at Town Hall starting at 6:00 p.m. Click here to review their agenda and read the Town Administrator’s report.

Of particular note is Westport’s longtime Harbormaster, Richie Earle will announce his forthcoming retirement. Westport Harbor’s most visible presence on the water bringing reassurance to all boaters will be missed. More on this breaking news later.

Above: Westport Harbormaster Richie Earle briefing regional news reporters on the tragic duck hunting accident on January 7, 2014.


06/29/2015Mystery Photo Solved! Congratulations to Westport’s Gerry Santos who was the first to correctly guess on Monday, June 29th at 8:55 a.m. our latest mystery photo’s location as Noquochoke Orchards Drift Rd.”

Jerry is rewarded for his powers of observation with a $25 gift certificate to the Back Eddy Restaurant, Westport’s fine dining seafood restaurant overlooking the Westport Harbor!

Be on the lookout for our next mystery photo!


06/28/2015Put out to pasture. Our newly posted mystery photo shows an aging excavator sitting unused in a Westport farm field. Be the first to guess its exact location and win a $25 gift certificate to the Back Eddy Restaurant.

Click here to take your best shot at being the first to guess the exact location.  New Mystery Photo posted on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. South Dartmouth, where life slows down. Moving back to New England last May, we arrived at the airport with suitcases stuffed with swimsuits and two temporary places to live while we looked for a lease. We’d spend the first half of summer in South Dartmouth and the second half in Nantucket, thanks to VRBO and a generous friend. More...


06/27/2015 - Need another Sunset Music series to keep you busy thus weekend? Try the Sundown Series in Providence. Bring a lawn chair, a   blanket and, well you know the drill by now.

Starts at 7:00 p.m.

Sit on the lawn at the beautiful Roger Williams National Memorial and enjoy some of the best songwriters RI and Southern New England have to offer; performances of Shakespeare and more. There is limited parking accessible at the park. Lots of street parking and pay lots available. All ages are welcome. The event is free.

282 North Main Street, Providence.

Visit their facebook page.


06/27/2015And we’re not done yet with summer concert series! The Little Compton Community Center is offering “hump day” free concerts starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Little Compton Community Center, 34 Commons, Little Compton.

Come enjoy great music and savor the flavors of summer al fresco.

Each Wednesday through July 29th they will feature a different band and dinner menu. Admission is free.

Becky Chase Band

Dinner, soft drinks, wine and beer will be available for purchase.

This week was the Becky Chase Band with chowder and crab cakes,

Wednesday, July 1st is A Bluegrass Invitation Band with BBQ chicken.

July 8th will be The Little Compton Band with grilled shrimp. July 15th it’s Gary Farias with build-a-burger and salad. July 22nd presents Louie Leeman and Cheap Sneakers with paella.

And wrapping things up on July 29th is Abbey Rhode with sausage and peppers.


06/26/2015Donations Needed for "1,000 Books Before First Grade" Program. Created by the Westport Education Foundation, the "1,000 Books Before First Grade" program will begin this Fall in the Westport Community Schools to help promote early reading. Children in Pre-K and Kindergarten will be sent home each week with books to read with their caregivers. Families can chart their progress and children will earn incentives toward reaching the goal of reading one thousand books before entering First Grade.

Partners Village Store is currently collecting donations of "gently used" books appropriate for children aged 3 to 6 to be used in this invaluable reading program.

Drop your donations off at Partners during store hours of 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. to help support "1000 Books Before First Grade."

On Thursday, August 20th, join Partners’ own "Miss Joan" for a very special story hour to help launch the program.


06/27/2015New concert venue will add to the smorgasbord of weekend offerings for the local music lover. The Paskamansett Concert Series is set to launch on Saturday, July 11th with a 7:30 p.m. performance by the Spindle Rock River Rats at the historic Dartmouth Grange Hall, 1133 Fisher Road in the Russells Mills Village Historic District of South Dartmouth.

The Spindle Rock River Rats playing at Westport’s River Day 2015.

The monthly concerts, featuring Americana, folk, roots, singer-songwriter, Celtic, blues, and bluegrass music are being organized by Russ Smith, founder of the popular Sandywoods Music Series in Tiverton, RI.

Paskamansett Concert Series will be held in the Dartmouth Grange Hall at 1133 Fisher Road.

The 2015 summer and fall lineup includes the Spindle Rock River Rats on July 11th, Seamus Galligan & Michael Laureanno on August 8th, Four Bridges on September 19th, Joanne Doherty and Barbara Phaneuf on October 10th, and Grace Morrison on November 14th.


“The Paskamansett Concert Series joins the Westport Vineyards Sunset Music Series and the summer concert series at Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard in Little Compton.”


Smith has already booked Bill Harley, Fourteen Strings, Danielle Miraglia, and Matt Borrello for some early 2016 dates.

Tickets to all concerts are $15, $12 for children under 18, seniors 60 and over, and college students, with a $35 family admission price. Guests are invited to bring food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Tickets may be purchased with cash or check on concert nights (doors open 7 pm), or in advance at


06/25/2015Quaker Book Fair opens Saturday, July 11th! The Westport Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) announces their 54th Annual Book Fair featuring over 25,000 books for sale.

Fair opens on Saturday, July 11th at 938 Main Road, Westport when the ropes drop and the book-buying crowd rushes the tents! On-going through July 19th, open "dawn to dusk."

Click here for video of 52nd Book Fair.




The Westport Friends are hoping to fill their benches, not with their usual worshippers, but with over 25,000 gently-used books for sale.  The Westport Friends' Book Fair serves as the main fundraising event of the Westport Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and will take place on their grounds at 938 Main Road in Westport, Massachusetts.  The Book Fair officially opens at 11:00 a.m. (rain or shine) but will continue "dawn to dusk" throughout the week.



06/21/2015Dustin Johnson’s three-putt wins the 2015 U.S Open Golf Championship for Jorden Spieth.

Heroic play by South African, Louis Oosthuizen  who birdied 6 of his last seven holes, shooting a 29 on the back nine ended up the in a tie for second with Dustin Johnson who three-putted the 18th hole from just twelve feet to lose the championship to Spieth.

A birdie by Johnson would have forced an 18-hole playoff with Spieth on Monday.

Click here for more in our Golf Section.


06/20/2015St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea in Little Compton has a new interim rector. The Rev. William Locke joined the picturesque Episcopal Church on June 7th.

Fr. Locke has been a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island for over 20 years.

Fr. Locke will serve St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea while the parish begins a search for a new permanent rector.

Fr. Locke is married to his wife, Ethel, and the couple has two children.

St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea is an Episcopal parish serving Little Compton, RI and Westport, MA. 

Worship at St. Andrew’s is joyful and filled with the love and beauty of God.  They regularly explore different forms of music and worship.

Click here for more in our Church News section.


06/20/2015Concert series sells out on opening night. Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery’s Sunset Music Series sold out on its season opener last night with Rebecca Correia being the showcased talent for the evening.

The popular music series worked through some abutters’ concerns over expanded hours, noise and traffic issues, and parking overflow onto Cadman’s Neck Road in an agreement with the town’s Selectmen to limit attendance to just 300 cars.

Above: Rebecca Correia mixes it up with her young fans.

But the limitations on cars didn’t prevent a packed crowd from spilling out over the scenic vineyard grounds, one of the most picturesque spots in Westport.

A change for 2015 is the venue will require for the first time that all tickets will be sold in advance at the vineyard’s retail store or on-line before each performance.

This season featured a special opening night performance by the extremely talented Rebecca Correia.

The up-and-coming singer-songwriter, who Vance Gilbert called a "broken-winged angel" after their first shared performance, is a young veteran with already over 200 songs to her credit. Most recently, she co-wrote the song "So Long Goodbye" with three-time Grammy-winner Keb' Mo'. "So Long Goodbye" can be found on Keb's latest album Bluesamericana which is currently nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Americana Album. More about the Sunset Music Series...


Above: Why they call it the Sunset Music Series.




06/19/2015Town of Westport turns over a new leaf! A brand spankin’ new Nisson Zero Emissions Leaf electric automobile, that is. The Leaf is accompanied by a 6.6kw, two-point chargepoint+ charging station.

Through the energetic efforts of Energy Committee Chairman Tony Connors, Westport has acquired the Leaf which is now in service.

And the best part is the car and charging combo shouldn’t cost the town a dime.

Further, the charging station is free for all Westport residents who want to charge an electric vehicle.

The stylish Leaf is no slouch on the road either, reports Town Administrator Tim King. More...

Above: Town Administrator Tim King with the town’s new Leaf!


06/17/2015Westport Town Hall clock gets an overhaul. The ubiquitous town hall clock, once so common in early rural New England and in many cases the only timepiece in the village common is now a relic of times gone by.

Inset: Andrew Sousa points to the clock motor needing replacement. Notice the signatures of all the men who have worked on the clock over the years.

With over 200 billion individual time keeping mechanisms employed worldwide in watches, iPhones, cars, computers, microwave ovens and the such, the town hall clock has been relegated to the dustbin of history, barely noticed by people scurrying by to get somewhere on time...

But historical nostalgia runs deep in Westport.

Last week Andrew Sousa, Planning Board member and Highway Department employee, with the help of electrician Bill Plamondon, climbed high into the attic of the 1939 Town Hall building and repaired the clock’s tangled mess of electrical wiring, determined they needed a new time mechanism, and will order one next month. They are also researching how to get a new neon light fixture (the old one is burnt out long ago) encircling the clock face, so that once again our Town Hall clock will shine like a beacon into the night, with the correct time of course!


06/16/2015Cat snared in illegal trap. Westport Police are searching for the person who placed an illegal leg hold trap that ensnared a cat.

Police received a call Wednesday, May 27th about what appeared to be a cat with a metal contraption attached, Det. Sgt. Antonio Cestodio said. The cat was limping and had difficulty walking, the witness reported, Cestodio said.

Charges of animal cruelty will be filed against the person, Cestodio said.

The cat was transported by Animal Control Officer Donna Lambert to a local veterinarian, who removed the trap from the cat’s leg. The cat, apparently a stray, was taken to Animal Rescue League of Boston.



Donald Trump06/16/2015Ladies and gentlemen, from the Trump Tower in downtown New York City, hereeeeeee’s Donald!

In a 50 minute, high-powered speech filled with eclectic rhetoric, fire and brimstone “the Donald’ announced at 11:25 a.m. today that he is running for Presidency of the United States of America.

Real Estate mogul and billionaire Donald John Trump Sr. will join four governors, four US senators and three former governors in what is sure to be a reality show of a primary.

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” the feisty showman told his audience of supporters.

The dealmaker said he will take on China and Japan and Mexico.

“We need someone who can make this country great! We are (a country) controlled by politicians, lobbyists, donors and supporters, and nothing gets done. Politicians are all talk.”

Assailing incompetence in Washington and deriding domestic and foreign leadership which he says doesn’t exist, Trump is sure to provide a media circus on a scale that will eclipse anything seen today on the millions of high-definition, mammoth flat-screen plasma and LED televisions in homes across America.

And in all that hubris, Donald John Trump Sr. makes some sense in what he says is wrong with America today. The question is can he fix it.

Is this the age of the corporatocracy?

Stay tuned.


06/15/2015Third shotgun located from Westport Harbor duck hunting accident. A recreational diver discovered the third shotgun lost when a duck hunting excursion in the West Branch of the Westport River went horribly wrong early Tuesday morning, January 7, 2014, bringing closure to the disastrous accident that took two lives. 

The spear-fisherman hunting the bottom of the harbor last week spotted what he believed to be a shotgun on the sandy harbor floor. A call was made to Robert Mercer of Bob’s Sea and Ski in New Bedford, and Mercer notified the police, according to Taunton Police Sgt. Matthew McCaffrey, commander of the dive team for the South Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council.

Above: SEMLEC diver Lt. Paul Roderick shows the 12-gauge Benelli shotgun recovered after a half hour search in the water on Monday, police reported. The shotgun is believed to be the one used by one of the victims, Steven James, 53, of Marshfield. Police photo.

The duck hunters’ 15-foot aluminum skiff was recovered later that Tuesday morning tangled in a buoy of Charlton Wharf, where it’s likely the shotgun fell out of the boat. The other two 12-gauge Benelli shotguns were found the day of the accident.

Click here for video news report on the boating accident.

Charlton Wharf is on the west side of the Westport harbor entrance.

Click here for news story of the boating accident.

SEMLEC SWAT covers 28 cities in towns in southeastern Massachusetts, from Duxbury to Seekonk. It is currently staffed by 45 highly trained police and paramedic personnel. Mattapoisett currently has 3 officers assigned to the SWAT team. Dartmouth and Westport police also participated in the search. Above right: police photo

Click here to view video of dramatic U.S. Coast Guard rescue of duck hunter Gregg Angell. The semi-conscious Westport man was pulled off Corey Island and transported to Rhode island Hospital where he made a full recovery.

The bodies of James and Robert Becher, 55, of Cromwell, CT were recovered from Horseneck Point on the ocean side around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning by acting Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves and Westport police officer Sgt. Jeff Majewski.

Above: 15-foot aluminum skiff recovered on January 7, 2014. Photo/Boston Globe Steve Haines photo.

High winds and an unstable skiff in choppy conditions with freezing spray were probably implicit in causing the duck hunting boat to capsize.


06/13/2015Tiverton Public Library dedication draws hundreds to celebrate opening of the town’s new public library, the construction of which spanned five Town Administrators and three Library Directors.

Half of Tiverton appeared to turn out today for the 10:00 a.m. formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony on the steps of the new facility that replaces the 87-year-old Essex Library building.


Speakers, which included Congressman and former Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Chief of Library of RI Library Services Karen Mellor, and best-selling author Michael Tougias honored the efforts of the many who forged on through the many years it took to finance and finally complete what Cicilline called “the crown jewel of libraries in our state.”

Barbara R. Donnelly, Chair of the Library Board of Trustees, thanked the generosity of the donors, among those Westport’s Al and Cindy Lees, in her welcoming remarks.

There were performances from the Greater Tiverton Community chorus, a presentation by the Boy Scouts Color Guard, and other notable speakers and refreshments.

Tiverton Public Library, 34 Roosevelt Avenue, Tiverton.

More with photos.



Above: Cutting the ribbon are Chair of the Board Barbara R. Donnelly, Building Committee Chair Leon W. Hoyer MD, Library Director Ann M. Grealish Rust, Foundation Chair Eileen M. Browning, Friends of the Library Rep. Kathyrn E. Ryan, and Town Council President Denise M. de Medeiros.


06/12/2015What was the first item ever sold on what is now known as the Internet? Odd that you should ask that question, because in the very early 1970s (71 or 72), Stanford students using ARPANET accounts at Stanford University's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory engaged in a commercial transaction with their counterparts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before Amazon, before eBay, before anything, the seminal act of e-commerce was a drug deal. The   students used the network to quietly arrange the sale of a small bag of marijuana.

Now 40 plus years later, Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison for establishing an illicit website marketplace sold drugs on-line with what the founder thought was impunity.

For those of you who are more curious, the first practical application of ARPANET was MILNET, an internetwork designated for unclassified United States Department of Defense traffic.

Today, marijuana is legal for recreational use in many states, and for medicinal purposes in most all states.

If the government can tax it, they will make it legal!

We’ve come a long way baby!


06/12/2015Tiverton indoor gun range is nearly ready to open fire. Somewhere in the great Midwest, a gun range is being built. The assembly will be able to stop a speeding bullet, time after time. And it is aimed at Tiverton. More...


06/10/2015Today, Alcoholics Anonymous will celebrate its 80th anniversary.

AA was founded by Bill Wilson of New York and Dr. Bob Smith of Akron, where the organization was born after the two men met and began their friendship and professional relationship. AA has helped countless people to find recovery from what Dr. Bob called a “terrible curse,” the disease of alcoholism.

And Westport was no exception.

“The birth of our Society dates from (Dr. Bob’s) first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935,” according to what is called the Big Book - Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism, a collection of autobiographical stories from people with varying backgrounds and experiences, but a shared illness.

Read more.

Westport in the middle 19th century struggled with “the terrible disease,” resulting in the building of the Washingtonian Hall which was located on what is now known as the Head Landing.

Washingtonian Hall photo courtesy of the Westport Historical Society


The Washingtonian Temperance Society was a 19th-century fellowship founded on April 2, 1840 by six alcoholics at Chase's Tavern on Liberty Street in Baltimore, Maryland.

Internal disputes about the Society’s direction led to an early demise.

In 1935 when Wilson and Smith joined together in forming Alcoholics Anonymous, neither of them had ever heard of the Washingtonians.

With the demise of the Society, Westport’s Washingtonian Hall sometime before 1880 became known as Riverside Hall, according to the Westport Historical Society.

In the late 19th century it was owned by George E. Gifford, who rented it out for dances. Later it was sold to a wheelwright who operated a shop for many years. From 1929 to 1935 it was owned by David Allen, who operated a tea room and ice cream parlor

Keeping in mind the building’s temperance heritage, it is noteworthy that its next owner, Arthur M. Reed, got approval from the Westport Selectmen in 1935 to open it as a tavern. However, the Landing Commission was opposed (the building was on town land), so Reed moved it a few hundred feet to the north. The tavern closed shortly thereafter because it was considered “too rowdy.”

The original Washingtonian Hall is currently a private home, on the banks of the Westport River to the west of The Head Town Landing Country Store.


06/06/2015American Pharaoh wins the triple Crown! The 37-year drought is over as American Pharaoh runs away with a heart-pounding win at the Belmont Stakes, winning the third leg of the Triple Crown in horse racing.

Check out the amazing video!


06/05/2015The Call of the Wind! Noble outdoor sculpture is where you can find it. And in this case visual artist Nancy Winship Milliken found that one of Jimmy Wood’s Main Road grazing pastures was the best place to introduce Windscape Westport, a towering, land-specific installation of 16 meadow sail forms made of raw wool, fishing net and 20 foot cedar poles.  The cedar posts were felled in South Dartmouth by Dedee and Bill Shattuck.

Westport’s prevailing southwest wind will twist and turn the woven netted forms of wool into one big flock sailing the field towards Partners Village Store and Dedee Shattuck Gallery, sponsor of the installation.

Nancy invites you into the field to join the livestock, and to touch, smell and join the herd.

Nancy, her assistants, and Sisson Brothers Landscape out of Little Compton spent the day installing Windscape onto the landscape of some of the prettiest pasture land in Westport.

Click here to view video of this unique, interactive sculpture, and meet Nancy Winship Milliken.

I invite you out into the field, to touch, smell, and join the herd.I invite you out into the field, to touch, smell, and join the herd.I invite you out into the field, to touch, smell, and join the herd.

“Historically women lived in a world of texture; silky fiber as they spun and wove clothes, feathers and slippery intestines as they prepared food, rough and heavy rocks as they tended the homestead garden.  Today, with our computers, virtual world and time spent in the office, then car, this world of texture and response is lost to another time.”  - Nancy Winship Milliken


About the artist and the installation: The artist, Nancy Winship Milliken lives in western Massachusetts and has worked on installations throughout New England, mainly Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

The installation Westport Windscape will be up until October, 2015.  There are two access points, one on The Shattuck’s property along the stone wall near the large oak tree, and one along Main Road. 

Once the grass gets a little high a path will be cut through the field so people can still take a walk through the installation. 

Jim Woods graciously allowed this project to be installed in his field throughout the summer; this project could never have progressed without his help.  Also Richard Sisson of Sisson Brothers in Little Compton prepared the field, mowing and harvesting the hay earlier in the week and auguring the holes for the cedar posts. 

The gallery had lots of help from the farming community, and this project is first and foremost a collaboration between artists and farmers.


06/02/2015Fall River soup kitchen closes. The last bags of cereal and canned goods have made their way into outstretched hands.

Folding chairs are stacked and tables sit empty in the basement of the Sacred Heart Parish in Fall River, which closed its doors Monday night as a soup kitchen.

"We were the only ones who [served meals] Monday, so that kind of leaves them in the lurch,” said Janice Rosa, a volunteer for more than 11 years. More...


06/02/2015Westport family doctor for 45 years dies at 86. James Kydd Stewart Kirkaldy, 86, an old-style family doctor who practiced in Westport for 45 years, died Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at Helen Porter Nursing Home in Middlebury, Vermont after hip surgery.

Born on July 3, 1928, in March, England, Kirkaldy, known as Stewart, was the only child of Scottish natives John and Rhoda Kydd Kirkaldy. After his early education in March, where he was an accomplished athlete as well as student, he went to medical school at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Click here to read full obituary.

A memorial service is planned for Westport.

Kirkaldy was named Westport’s Man of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 1961 and received the same honor by the Standard Times in 1965.

Above: Dr. Kirkaldy (right) at the 2014 Annual Westport Friends Book Fair with Greg Marsello, Book Fair Steering Committee Clerk.


Kirkaldy was eulogized at last night’s Selectmen’s meeting, and Select Board chair Craig Dutra asked for a moment of silence to remember the last of the old time physicians who made house calls and answered to Stew or Doc.  

The local nurses association threw Kirkaldy a welcoming party when he arrived in Westport to start his practice; the town had been without a local doctor for the past 10 years.

He bought the former Macomber house at 793 Main Road in June 1960, now owned by Al Lees.

In his retirement years in Westport Dr. Kirkaldy became best known for his involvement with the annual Quakers Book Sale, an event he co-founded and was involved with every one of its 54 years of existence.

“I am always hopefully I can continue to make the drive down from Vermont to attend,” Kirkaldy said at the 2014 book fair.

Dr. “Stew” Kirkaldy will be missed at this July’s 55th book fair, but his legacy will never be forgotten.

Click here to read Standard Times feature article.


06/01/2015 The Westport Council on Aging has released the June issue of their newsletter – Evergreen. Click here to read it now. Click here to read other Westport organizations' newsletters.


06/01/2015 Westport Senior Center announces their new Strolling Group is growing as they stroll around the town on Thursday mornings!

30 minutes of slow-paced walking on flat surfaces with great views and good conversation.

Join them at 8:45 a.m. at the Council on Aging. Call 508.636.1026 for more information and all the details!


05/30/2015 – “Lest we forget.” 'Decoration Day', later called Memorial Day, was first observed this day in 1868 by northern US states.

Click here for Westport Images of Memorial Day.

On Monday, May 25th Westport conducted Memorial Day Ceremonies throughout the town with a parade at 10:00 a.m. from Westport Town Hall, and the laying of wreaths at five town-wide locations that began at 8:00 a.m.

Rifles are raised and the brass flies as the Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard does its duty on the Fontaine Bridge.  Our Photo of the Week is in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending our’s freedom and way of life.

Click here to see all our Photos of the Week.

Need Adobe Flash Player to view album? Click here to get it.


05/29/2015 – Weird, rare, strange, bizarre, nonetheless stunning – tough to come up with adjectives to describe this interesting patchwork of a cloud formation captured late Wednesday afternoon over the East Branch of the Westport River.

One thing’s for sure, it’s a photographer’s joy not to be missed, especially when you have a camera (or iPhone) in hand.

Keep your eyes to the skies.

Click here for more Clouds over Westport.


05/28/2015 – The Red Dory Restaurant in Tiverton gets rave reviews from the Providence Journal. Dining Review: The Red Dory launches delicious dining.

Westport’s Steve Johnson opened the Red Dory last November. The casual fine-dining restaurant located in the Stone Bridge village of Tiverton, Rhode Island overlooks the Sakonnet River, and offers personal versions of Mediterranean-style seafood dishes with most of the ingredients coming from the area’s farmers and fishermen. 

Old-time location, new restaurant.

The Red Dory is located in the old Stonebridge Restaurant building that dates back to the 1930’s.

”We’re offering people a chance to enjoy food and people,” Steve said. “We’re not a temple to gastronomy. It’s not a religious experience.”

Look for a raw bar, seafood appetizers, spiced-up green salads, pasta dishes, and fish and shellfish entrees.

1848 Main Road, Tiverton, RI (across from Grinnell’s Beach.) For more information or reservations please call or click 401.816.5001 or email:


05/26/2015 – Holes–in-one will now come easy at Missouri’s Top of the Rock golf course!

A massive foursome of sinkholes combined to swallow up a good-sized chunk of the Jack Nicklaus–designed Top of the Rock golf course last Friday in Branson, Mo.

The largest hole, which is 80 feet wide and 35 feet deep in some places, was created by two separate sinkholes that formed near the entrance to Top of the Rock golf course, Martin MacDonald, conservation director for Bass Pro Shops, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Golfers in Branson, Missouri, will now have some extra hazards to cope with on their next round after four sinkholes swallowed part of the Par 3 hilltop venue.


Photos/Nate Papes/Springfield News-Leader via AP

The largest of the sinkholes abuts a pond on the course.

According to KOLR10 News, a second hole measures 18 feet deep, while the other two are (comparatively) smaller, about four feet deep.

According to AP, “The Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 course is part of the Bass Pro Shops-owned Big Cedar Lodge complex which hosted a Champions Tour event last month.

This most-challenging new hazard, the largest sinkhole, isn’t near the main course and won’t affect play (unless you duck-hook your tee shot of the first hole!),” MacDonald said.

Geologists say such sinkholes are fairly common in the Ozarks because of its karst topography, a feature in which water is constantly circulating through bedrock below the ground.

No one was injured except the course designer’s pride.

Click here to read about more curious golf news and get complete information on all golf courses in and around the Westport area.

Click here for the interesting video.


05/25/2015 – Serena Parente Charlebois wins Best in Show in the 5th annual Little Compton Spring Photography Show.

Her entry, ‘Midsummer Night’ was pure classic camerawork for which the Little Compton photographer is known: composition, soft lighting, black and white imagery, and fine art portraiture.

Where does she find those endearing, angelic subjects?

Charlebois is no stranger to winning awards, having taken home several “Best Categories” in the past at this seminal spring show.

“This is my first Focus Award (Best of Show) Charlebois said. “I couldn’t be more pleased. In the past I have won Best in Category.”

Charlebois has received national recognition for her ability to capture emotional and natural portraits of children and their families.

The show’s awards were presented at a Special Preview Party on Friday, May 23rd at 7:15 p.m.

The Peoples’ Choice Award went to Westport’s photographic artist, Karen Raus.

More photos will be posted later.


05/25/2015 – Westport will conduct Memorial Day 2015 Ceremonies throughout the town on Monday, May 25th.

Parade kicks off at 10:00 a.m. from Westport Town Hall; laying of wreaths begins at 8:00 a.m.


“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.” – Justin Latini



Last year Vietnam Veterans Chapter No. 207 President Justin Latini captured the essence of a solemn Memorial Day ceremony with the words of a famous slogan: “All gave some, but some gave all.”

This Year Mr. Lattini will be coordinating the ceremonies, as Westport’s newest Veterans Agent, Bradford Fish is out of town with prior commitments. Click here for all the details with photos.


05/22/2015 – New interim pastor in the Harbor. The Acoaxet Chapel is pleased to welcome Pastor Mark Gelinas as their interim pastor.  Mark and his wife Val come to them from Pacific Union Church.

Click here for more Acoaxet Chapel news and news from other local churches in and around Westport.


05/22/2015 – Wilfrid’s Garage in Westport under new ownership. The papers were signed Friday and the keys passed over to new owners, Christopher Cotta and Joan Lisa Steadman from former owners Rick and Helene Anctil (right in photo.)

The Main Street service station, one of Westport’s oldest commercial businesses, will continue operation as a full-service garage, retaining the name of the founder who started the iconic business in the mid-1950s.

Rick Anctil’s father, Wilfrid, started up the business as a one-stall garage on land his father-in-law owned (Jim Hancock, Sr.) in the mid-1950s when Wilfrid returned from Korea. More...


05/22/2015 – The Westport Land Conservation Trust (WLCT) is excited to announce the reception of a grant from BayCoast Bank.  The grant, facilitated with the help of BayCoast Bank Assistant Treasurer Gina Palmer, will allow WLCT to pay a graduate student from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, to partake in an internship performing administrative duties to align WLCT with the standards and practices set forth by the Land Trust Alliance

A portion of the grant will also fund a summer internship designed to utilize GPS technology to map WLCT properties using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) technology, a valuable resource moving forward. 

WLCT would like to thank BayCoast Bank and Gina Palmer for their funding of this grant.  Grants such as these are incredibly important to WLCT, and the Trust appreciates BayCoast giving back to their community. 


05/20/2015 11:30 a.m. – Breaking news-Westport. At approximately 11:00 a.m. today a late model Toyota Camry LE was involved in a chilling collision with an 18-wheeler (sand and gravel tractor trailer) as the Camry was exiting Lees Market, across from BayCoast Bank.

The tractor trailer was heading south on Main Road at the time of the accident.

The Camry sustained heavy damage, sending the woman driver, purportedly in her 70s, to the hospital in a Westport Fire Department ambulance.

“She was pretty badly banged up,” said one of the police officers on-site.

The accident is being investigated by Westport police who briefly preserved the accident scene for further investigation.


05/17/2015 – Neighbor’s disgruntlement over Westport Rivers Winery’s weekend concerts has been fermenting for some time, and it all came to a head this Monday night in a crammed Town Hall Selectmen’s meeting.

Attorneys Brian Cory and Daniel Perry squared off over the issue of when an agricultural property can go too far in providing an entertainment venue that some perceive as an improper agricultural use of protected farmland.

Click here to view video of Westport Winery’s fight for, and their approval of an entertainment license for 2015.

“I’m thrilled the Board of Selectmen recognized the community significance of this event,” Robert Russell told EverythingWestport after the Board’s unanimous vote to grant the Vineyard an entertainment license for 2015.

The Vineyard will kick off its 15-concert series with Rebecca Correia on Friday, June 19th.


05/17/2015 – Borden Street residents have long complained about dangerous road and traffic conditions on Westport’s southwest-most side street off Route 6.

There are automobiles zipping through the strip mall’s parking lot around a stop sign, going the wrong way onto Route 6 to take a western turn towards Fall River.

And you don’t even want to talk about the cars coming from the west on America’s oldest highway, cutting across the entrance to Borden Street and flying into the mall’s parking lot.

“We’ve had it with contaminated water runoff turning our lawns yellow, dangerous road ice build-up in the winter months, and the unsafe entrance to our road, one resident recently complained to Selectmen at their weekly Town Hall meeting.

“What are you going to do about it?”

Click here to see what Westport’s Highway Surveyor “did about it.”


05/16/2015 – Is Sandwoods on the skids? Nearly a dozen years ago, Joseph Bossom and Mika Seeger had a vision to turn their Sandywoods Farm into a community of artists living in eco-friendly affordable housing, sharing inspiration, ideas and healthy food grown in a community garden.

The Sandywoods arts center and housing development, with 50 affordable rental homes, opened with great fanfare in 2010.

Now, Joseph Bossom says that the whole thing is a “disappointment,” in fact, and blamed the management of the nonprofit land trust and overseer, a noisy wind turbine and other factors.

Most of what Joe Bossom says is true, says former event/concert organizer Russ Smith, but “Sandywoods is still a great place, with almost unlimited potential. The way that Sandywoods is managed is a total disaster,” Smith said.

Read the expose article by the Providence Journal’s Christine Dunn.


05/15/2015 – Edmund Beaulieu will turn 99 next Tuesday. But last night Ed was honored and celebrated at Westport Grange No. 181 Patrons Of Husbandry for his 80 years membership and service to this venerable fraternal organization.

The Sanford Road man started out as a junior Grange member and has been active ever since; he’s still the Grange’s Steward, responsible for and in charge of all tools and supplies, today largely a ceremonial post.

Nowadays, Ed’s duties are more domestic, setting up the Grange Hall for their monthly meetings.    

Not to be outdone, Ed’s wife, Helen is the Grange’s Treasurer.

Apparently membership in the Grange is a life-long commitment as 94-year-old Eleanor Gay, herself a 75-year member, was in attendance to pay homage to Ed.

The Grange, founded after the Civil War in 1867, is the oldest American agricultural advocacy group with a national scope.

They are also the only organization that accepted female members since their inception.

Apparently being a Grange member is a long, long obligation and privileged journey.

Mathew Johnson, Master-Massachusetts State Grange sent his greetings: “Congratulations on your rare and incredible accomplishment of 80 years continuous service to the Grange! Such an accomplishment is simply amazing!”

Pictured above with Ed is current Grange Master, Jeff DeNardo (left) and former Grange Master, Ed Horky.

The Westport Grange meets at 7:00 p.m. the second Thursday of the month. Westport Grange, 931 Main Road, Westport.


05/13/2015 - Our Photo of the Week is truly amazing and an OMG moment that is remarkable for the fact no one was hurt. This massive white oak crushed the home of Virginia King at 19 Greenwood Avenue in Westport last Saturday.

Click here to see enlarged image of this and hundreds of other Photos of the Week!


05/10/2015 3:00 p.m. – Nightmare on number nineteen Greenwood. Virginia King had just settled down on her living room couch, her aged dog lounging on an accompanying love seat. She picked up a book, intent on spending a comfortable Mother’s Day afternoon reading.

Out of the blue and without any warning a thunderous boom above her head startled the 70-something grandmother who then fled out the front door, the dog right behind her.

When she got outside she couldn’t believe her eyes!

Click here to see what scared Virginia King. Full story with photos coming soon.


05/10/2015 - Southcoast VNA to offer bereavement workshop for children starting Monday, May 18th.

Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association, known in the community as Southcoast VNA, is offering a free, five-week bereavement workshop for children between the ages of 6 and 13 grieving the death of a loved one. Click here for more detail in our Future Event Listings.


05/10/2015 – 814. 814 is a great credit score; Angel Number 814 indicates that you are fully supported by the Universe; and in the year 814 emperor Omortag arranged a peace with the Byzantine Empire, avoiding years of conflict.

But 814 is also the number of dollars remaining in Westport’s free cash account after Town Meeting authorized $1.7 million to fund operating expenses, buy some vehicles, and explore how the financially strapped town should replace the PCB-plagued Middle School money pit.

Westport’s annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting adjourned Thursday night at 10:00 a.m., only to resume on Tuesday, May 19th at 7:00 p.m. to handle the acceptance of several private roads into the fold of public byways maintained by the Highway Department.

814 may be a great credit score but it spells rocky roads ahead for Westport finances.

Click here to review 2015 Town Meeting warrant with annotated voting results from two nights of Town Meeting. PDF

Click here to review 2015 Special Town Meeting warrant with annotated voting results from two nights of Town Meeting. PDF


05/10/2015 – At first glance, it looks like nothing much ever changes in Adamsville, a historic village that spans Little Compton, Tiverton, and Westport, Mass.

But here and there, change is always going on.

Stone walls, white-picket fences, tall trees and historical farmhouses mark this quaint village, along with a smattering of local businesses, including Gray's Daily Grind and the Grist Mill, the Barn restaurant, and the newly renovated Simmons Café and Market. More.


05/10/2015 – Southcoast Health’s Monthly Calendar Listings for May.

Click here for a comprehensive listing for Southcoast Health’s Monthly Calendar Listings for May: Support Groups, Childbirth & Family Education, Maternity Services, Weight Loss Seminars, Medical Fitness/Rehabilitation Programs, and Rappp.


05/10/2015 – The Southcoast Wellness Van announces its May schedule for community screenings and vaccinations.

The Southcoast Wellness Van travels across the region bringing health screenings into the communities of Southeastern Massachusetts. Free mobile health services available by the staff include: Cancer screenings and education, Blood pressure screening, Cholesterol screening, Teen resource information, Glucose (diabetes) screenings Nutritional information and education, Health education services, Medical physician referral, and Vaccinations. Click here for all the schedules.


05/08/2015 – Westport Town Meeting wrapped up last night after eight grueling hours over two days. Controversy swirled around several Warrant articles, and emotions ran high as town meeting members tried to get their heads and hearts around several contentious issues.

194 were in attendance the second night of town meeting: A:20; B:52; C:22; D:20; and E:80.

Article 37 – Restraint of dogs. No dogs shall be allowed on beach or town-owned recreational areas from April 16th through September 15th. Period. With one minor word change voters narrowly carried this article. More.

Article 39 Westport’s Town Administrator (TA) sat stoically while voters debated with town officials over provisions in this article affecting the TA’s responsibilities, ultimately gutting the article’s intent (removing section 6405) but keeping the TA as chief financial officer.

Select Board Chairman Craig Dutra who proposed the article later tried to withdraw it over objections and votes taken by town meeting attendees. More.

Article 40 Firearms and Weapons. Beware all you hunters who like to roam private property without the owners’ permission; new proposed regulations were adopted last night by a close, hand-counted vote to require written permission from all Westport property owners before hunting on privately-owned land.

Violators can face fines of up to $200 per daily violation.

No hunting on my land!


Article 41 Road safety article defeated by Town Meeting despite pleas from Highway Department employees. New regulations controlling standard road widths to improve public safety and town departments’ (fire and police, highway department) access into developments was deemed by Town Counsel to have no legal standing if approved at Town Meeting.

Predictably, it was defeated but the Highway Department stood by the article’s intent to improve public safety on town-owned roads. 

Article 43 – This much-needed article carried unanimously at last night’s meeting was the adoption of the win-win article that permits detached accessory apartments by special permit in Westport,

An amendment offered by Tim Gillespie and approved by voters increased the allowable square footage from 600 to 750 square feet for detached accessory apartments in Westport, a much needed change to a much needed new by-law.

The Planning Board ultimately recognized the needs of seniors who can’t afford to live in town, and those seniors still in town will could use a new means of income to help them stay in their homes; property owners’ children and possibly their families who find themselves homeless through lack of full-time employment; helping the disabled to stay in Westport; and even more important – increasing the total number of affordable housing units in Westport, helping the town reach its required minimum of 10 percent affordable housing.

And don’t forget the added property tax revenue through “new growth” that falls outside the limits of Preposition 2 ½, money the town sorely needs to meet its financial obligations. More.

 Articles 50 through 57 - And confusion and controversy swirled around the town’s inability to accept several private town roads as public ways because of a narrowly missed time frame with paperwork.

After many false starts and challenges to the Moderator’s stance on adjourning Town Meeting, attendees agreed to continue Town Meeting until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19th to dispose of Articles 50 through 57. More.


05/07/2015 – Westport Town Meeting will resume tonight at 7:15 p.m., acting upon the remaining 25 articles.


Click here to review 2015 Town Meeting warrant with annotated voting results from Tuesday evening. PDF


A Special Town Meeting that will address two articles starts at 7:00 p.m. before the Annual Town Meeting reopens.

Click here to read the Special Town Meeting warrant. PDF


Above: From the left: Town Counsel, Town Administrator, and Selectmen at 2015 annual Town Meeting.


05/06/2015 – Four hours and 34 articles later, Town Meeting suspended its activities, scheduled to resume Thursday evening at 7:15 p.m. to finish up the remaining 25 articles.

573 were in attendance the first night of town meeting: A:84; B:142; C:74; D:83; and E:190.

A Special Town Meeting that will take up only two articles will start at 7:00 p.m. before the Annual Town Meeting resumes.

It’s amazing, and a testament to the work done by the Selectmen, Town Administrator, Department heads and the Finance Committee that voters can quickly dispatch a record FY’16 budget of $34,354,819 in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, but then expend an exorbitant amount of time on special interest Articles.

The ever controversial and highly contentious Beach Avenue Article 14 passed on a close hand count of 168-133. The article will permit the Select Board to acquire by almost any means possible (no Eminent Domain, however) land to create a 48-foot wide vehicular turnaround about 1000 feet down from the embattled road’s entrance. 


A last ditch effort from the floor to raise the salaries of three elected officials failed by a strong majority vote.


Tax Collector Carol Borden called for raising the salaries of the Town Clerk, Tax Collector and Town Treasurer from $61,771 to $64,271 but failed to receive the approval of Town Meeting.

Borden was successful, however, in securing an additional $2500 for the Treasurer’s office to fund additional time for that office’s clerk, an action that was later deemed to be in error by Town Counsel David Jenkins after Selectman Antone Vieira questioned the appropriation.

Above: Town Moderator Steven Fors (right) in conference with Town Council David Jenkins, assisted by Town Clerk Marlene Samson over a question posed by Selectman Antone Vieira of the authority of Town Meeting to increase budget line item amounts. Town Administrator King looks on. Photo/

Oh well, just another night at Town Meeting.

A high point was a very professional and well-turned out presentation by Schools Building Committee member, Tracy Priestner (below) to appropriate up to $700,000 for a school buildings’ assessment.

Town Meeting attendees showed their appreciation for the “Our Town. Our Children. Our Future” PowerPoint presentation with thunderous applause and unanimous acceptance of the article.

The $700,000 will determine which action to take with the remaining school buildings after the School Committee’s recent vote to shut down the PCB-plagued Middle School.

Decent but still disappointing turnout by town voters.

573 town voters turned out on the first night, a respectable but still disappointing number considering the town’s 11,500 plus registered voters.

More to come with photos.

Westport’s Annual Town meeting resumes Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. in the Westport High School’s auditorium.

Click here to review the Town Meeting warrant. PDF

Click here to review Westport Annual Town Report 2014. PDF Large file (243 pages), please be patient.

Click here to read the Special Town Meeting warrant. PDF


05/04/2015 – Fall River’s Damra Pao runs away from the field in the 11th running of the Devin Laubi Foundation’s annual 5K Run/Walk.

The Westport-based organization provides financial assistance to families of children with cancer.

Sunday’s race day conditions were ideal and the 34-year-old Pao took full advantage, setting a blistering pace, finishing well ahead of the pack at 19:21.

Pao was more than two minutes ahead of the 2nd and 3rd place winners.

The event had a good turnout with 103 participants.

“It was a great day for a run,” Pao said.

James Chaves (21:33) and Richard LeBlanc 21:35) took second and third place, respectively, with Sherri Andrade (22:57), Annette Ainsworth (23:29), and Madalena Boudreau (24:06) as the top three females.

Under 18 winners were Elliott Pawlak, 1st place (23.46); Abigale Long, 2nd place (24:45); and Alexis Kublin, 3rd place (33:29).

Noted runners from Westport were Annette Ainsworth, 2nd place female at 23.29 and Elliott Pawlak, 1st place ‘under 18’ at 23.46.

All results posted here.

Click here for pictures.


05/04/2015 – Westport River Watershed Alliance announces winners of River Day Poster contest.

The Westport Watershed Alliance (WRWA) has chosen the winners for this year’s River Day Poster contest.  Students from grades 2-5 at the Westport Elementary School submitted designs, with the theme of river habitats, featuring the wildlife and scenic beauty of the Westport River and its watershed.  Over 100 art works were submitted, making the task of choosing the winner from many worthy entries a challenge.  The winning art work will be the artistic basis for the poster for the annual River Day event, which will take place this Saturday, June 6th at the Head of Westport.

This year’s overall winner is third grader Ella Turenne, whose colorful crayon depiction of fish, birds, trees and sunshine was the judges’ hands-down favorite.  The other ribbon winners more...


05/03/2015 – Charlton Memorial Hospital Retirees Association to host quarterly meeting on Friday, May 15th.

The Retired Employees of Charlton Memorial Hospital, a part of Southcoast Health System, will host its quarterly meeting on Friday, May 15, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Mooney Assembly Room at Charlton Memorial Hospital, 363 Highland Avenue, in Fall River. All Charlton Memorial Hospital retirees are welcome to attend.


05/01/2015 – Mistaken identity? Not!  A driver of a Chevrolet Cavalier that allegedly ran a stoplight while westbound on Charlotte White Road and collided with a car on Route 88, denied he was driving the car despite eyewitness testimony, a photo taken by the driver of the other car, and a neighbor’s surveillance video which showed the man in the driver’s seat, according to an article in the Westport Shorelines.

Despite his multiple denials, the driver is now in the hot seat. More.

Like Dean Martin said,” If you drink, don't drive. Don't even putt.”

Submitted photo.


05/01/2015 – Casino creep. Massachusetts‘s first casino will open as scheduled by June 24th, developers say. Can New Bedford or Somerset, both in the running for a license in the southeastern part of the state, be next?

Owners of Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville reported to state regulators that the project remains on schedule despite New England’s brutal weather, according to an AP story.

MGM is develoing an $800 million resort in Springfield, and Wynn is building a $1.7 billion one in the Boston area.

Brockton, Somerset and New Bedford are vying for the last license in our area; and smart money is betting it will end up in Somerset or New Bedford.

Chip up Westport, chip up!


04/28/2015 April showers bring May flowers, but May flowers bring... Botanica!

The Shattuck is pleased to present Botanica, a group exhibition exploring flora in a variety of mediums, complimentary to the galleries emphasis on the relationship between contemporary art and the environment.

The exhibit runs Wednesday, April 29th through Sunday, May 31st, with an artists' reception on Saturday, May 2nd from 5-7 p.m.

Artisans Anna Kristina Goransson, Beth Galston, Georgia Marsh, Jessica Calderwood, Leslie Ferst, Reenie Barrow and Yoonmi Nam will participate in the exhibition.

Dedee Shattuck Gallery, 1 Partners Lane (off 865 Main Road), Westport.


Wednesdays - Saturdays: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sundays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.


04/26/2015 Toast of the Town. Central Village honored three of its own today, bringing tears to the eyes of Partners Villager Store and Kitchen founder, Nancy Crosby who was toasted along with founding partner Jan Hall and the new owner of the iconic retail specialty store, Lydia Gollner.

The ownership torch for Westport’s social hotspot was transferred to Golllner several weeks ago in a quiet celebration, but friends, family and customers came out today to celebrate the women who have given so much to a business that had its humble beginnings back in 1979 as a 300 square foot appendage to Nancy’s wine and beer making business, Crosby and Baker.

Gollner vows to continue the Partners legacy for decades to come.

Click here to view video!


04/25/2015 Sandywoods Center for the Arts announces on-going weekly events!

Women's AA Meetings, Kundalini Yoga, Zumba with Fatima Devine, Zumba with Serina Honeycutt, and Open Mic Night at Sandywoods Farm. Click here for all the details.

Sandywoods Center for the Arts, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton.


04/25/2015 Our Photo of the Week was taken during a tour last week of the PCB-troubled Middle School led by the school’s Principle, Carolyn Pontes.

The public tour was to raise awareness of the building’s deteriorating conditions due to a lack of maintenance, and to highlight problem areas created with past PCB remediation efforts which have yet to be completed.

High costs (estimated at $17 million) to remove the remaining 5 percent of the PCBs’ sources have triggered the School Committee to permanently close the building this summer, and move grades 5 through 8 to other Westport school buildings.

See a hi-res of this photo and other Photos of the Week.


04/25/2015 In the spirit of Arbor Day (yesterday,) the national holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant and care for trees, the Westport Land Conservation Trust will be planting 30 fruit trees this Saturday to create the one-acre Mill Pond Grove off Reed Road in Westport.

Festivities start at noon.

Above: the WLCT has done the landscaping and dug the holes for the 30 trees, so be sure to come over to Reed Road and lend a helping hand in planting Mill Pond Grove, Westport’s first experimental, non-commercial community fruit tree grove. Photo/

The Mill Pond Grove will be an experimental, non-commercial, community fruit tree grove that is holistically managed without the use of chemical sprays and fertilizers.

Join the Westport Land Conservation Trust and get involved, meet your neighbors, and eventually eat delicious fruit.


04/24/2015 Oh no, tell me it isn’t so Joe! For all you internet speed freaks and TV series binge viewers who have been waiting for Westport to switch off Charter Cable service in favor of Comcast high-speed internet access and expanded TV programming, you’re wait is over.

It ain’t going to happen!

In stunning but not unexpected news today, Comcast is set to drop its $45b merger with Time Warner. The Justice Department and Federal Regulatory Communications Commission have signaled stiff resistance to the merger. The death knell for the deal came when the FCC’s general counsel told his staff that he was going to recommend that the transaction be referred to a hearing before an administrative law judge, an action that all but insures the deal will ultimately be blocked, according to an article in today’s Boston Globe.

Part of the fallout of the failed bid is Charter’s plan to acquire some of the Time Warner Cable markets that Comcast had expected to divest, and Comcast was going to pick up the Westport Market from Charter that expected to acquire Bright House Networks.

This incestuous exchange of cable markets to insure that no one company would have more that 30 percent of paid television subscribers and 35 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet service, Westport would end up being a Comcast town.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but now the deal is dead, considered by those in Washington as being anti-competitive.

Oh well, back to 30mb internet and not lovin’ it.


04/22/2015 Westport’s Board of Selectmen reorganized at last night’s meeting. Antone Vieira and Richard Spirlet announced they were stepping down as Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, and the board then unanimously elected Craig Dutra as Chairman, R. Michael Sullivan as Vice Chairman and Steven Ouellette as Clerk.

Select Board leadership has changed, but the challenges facing the board are the same: presenting a balanced budget at Town Meeting, restructuring town government to achieve efficiency, and facing the structural budget deficit that has plagued the town for years resulting in spending most of the town’s free cash to fund operating expenses and allowing the town’s unfunded liabilities to reach $49 million.

The new board will also have to address the PCB-plagued Middle School and the solutions now being considered by the Schools Building Committee.

That’s a lot on anyone’s plate.


04/22/2015 New hires. Selectmen last night approved the hiring of Gary Ferry to the Highway Department as Special Equipment Operator, and appointed Bradford J. Fish of Acushnet as the town’s new Veteran’s Service Agent/Graves Registration Officer.

Inset: Highway Surveyor Chris Gonsalves (right) congratulates Gary Ferry on his hiring into the Highway Department.

There was discussion that the VSA should report to the Council on Aging Director and have an office there, but the Select Board took the advice of the VSA selection committee and kept the position under the day-to-day supervision of the Town Administrator.


04/21/2015 Twin River Group Plans to Move Newport Grand to Tiverton. Fearing competition from prospective southcoast casinos, the owners of Twin River Casino announced Tuesday that they plan to move Newport Grand to Tiverton according to a press release issued by the company.


Twin River Management Group has secured the rights to acquire 45 acres of land off of Route 81, along the Massachusetts state border.


The plan entails constructing a casino on a 45-acre site in Tiverton off Route 81 next to the Massachusetts border, which will help Twin River Management Group better compete against new casinos opening in that state.

Newport Grand would remain in operation during the construction phase but close once work was finished.

According to AP, the company, which entered into a contract to buy Newport Grand last month, said a casino would better compete closer to the Mass. border.

Click here for all the details and video.


04/21/2015 – 2014 Duck Derby Champion, Linny Cakes enjoyed her visit to Hawaii!

As February continued to dump massive amounts of snow on the SouthCoast, Linny Cakes – the winning duck from the 2014 Allens Pond Duck Derby fundraiser, enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of Hawaii. 

Click here to watch short video of 11th Annual Allens Pond Duck Derby.

This little rubber duck earned roundtrip airfare to Oahu for Linda and Richard Crossley by beating out the other 5777 racing ducks that were racing the incoming tide at Barney’s Joy this past August at the 11th Annual Allens Pond Duck Derby more...


04/20/2015 – Another reason to love Westport! The coastal villages of Southeastern Massachusetts boast one of the most well-known osprey breeding grounds in the country.

Eighty pairs of ospreys call Westport home and birders can spot them from late April through mid-July.

But that's not all you'll see here; more than 300 species of birds, including the federally threatened piping plover, can all be found at Allen's Pond Sanctuary.

Peter Gray photo

There are three different trailheads, connecting more than 7 miles of trail. With routes to marshes, beaches, and rocky outcroppings with beautiful panoramic views, there are bird watching opportunities in every direction.

The recommended trail at Audubon’s Allens Pond Sanctuary is Quansett Trail (easy, around 1 mile.)

Article thanks to Caroline Meleedy for AMC Outdoors, April 2015.
Click here to learn more about Allens Pond and the Osprey Project.


04/20/2015 – An ounce of prevention...  Westport’s Animal Control Officer Donna Lambert takes another shot at controlling rabies.

ACO Lambert reports 45 pet vaccinations at this spring’s Rabies Clinic held last Saturday inside the Hixbridge Fire Station.

“Eight of those shots were cats,” Lambert said. “That’s the best turnout so far in these semi-annual clinics.”

“Rabies vaccination certificates are required to obtain a yearly dog license from Westport Town Hall,” Town Clerk Marlene Samson said.

“We’ve issued over 500 licenses this spring, and they all have had their pets vaccinated.”

Dog Licenses are due each year by April 1st.

Above: Dr.  Jacqueline A. Brito vaccinates Gumbo while owner, Nancy (center) and Dr. Brito’s assistant calm Gumbo.

The vaccinations protect homeowners ’pets from infection passed to them by an encounter with rabid wildlife or other rabies-infected pets.

“The importance of getting the rabies vaccine for your pet is that rabies is a neurotropic disease,” Dr. Jacqueline A. Brito said. “If your pet comes down with rabies, they can share it with you, and most people unaware of their exposure to the virus do not survive rabies.”

Dr. Brito volunteered her time to conduct the clinic with two assistants.

“If you know you have been exposed when you get bitten and you know the animal was rabid, you can be treated before symptoms start,” Dr. Brito said. “Once symptoms start very few people survive the disease.”

“It is a state law that you have to have it done,” Lambert said.

“Symptoms start becoming evident from three weeks to three months with humans and animals, depending on where they are bitten,” said Dr. Brito.

Dr. Brito said when the virus gets to the brain it causes encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.

Lambert said that you should protect your puppies and kittens at three months of age, and then give them a booster shot at one year old and then every three years; ferrets should get vaccine every year.


04/19/2015 – Westport Middle School gets failing grades on PCB remediation, overall building maintenance. Leaking septic drainage pipes, handicap access obstacles, extremely poor acoustics, and a decrepit locker room that looked like a scene from the 1967’s “To Sir, With Love” and 1955’s Blackboard Jungle were just a few of the crushing concerns raised by School Principle Carolyn Pontes during a public tour conducted last Monday by the Schools Building Committee and Middle School officials.

And those were just the general maintenance issues which could all be fixed with a few dollars more.

Buy not the toxic PCBs that have infiltrated the building’s internal porous building materials and outside grounds.

So, what’s the solution? More.


04/16/2015 – Westport State Rep. Paul Schmid appointed to key committee chairmanship.

State Representative Paul A. Schmid (D-Westport) has been appointed to serve as House chairman of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture by Speaker Robert A. DeLeo.

The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture has the responsibility to consider a wide-range of important issues that impact our use and conservation of the land and the waters of our Commonwealth.  The committee hears and deliberates on legislative matters concerning oceans, beaches and waterways, inland and marine fisheries, boating, farming, forestry, hunting, state parks and recreational areas, air and water quality, sewer and septic issues, hazardous waste, land  policy and climate change. More...


04/14/2015 10:15 p.m. Breaking news!  Westport voters stay home. In an anemic turnout for a town election with major ballot questions to decide, Westport voters decided to stay home.

Just 3055 out of 11,049 registered voters showed up to cast their ballots in an election with major consequences in the balance.

Incumbent Selectmen Craig Dutra and R. Michael Sullivan easily won reelection, capturing a combined 62.98% of the votes cast.


Incumbents win all contests! Prop 2 ½ questions get a big no from both South and North Westport.


Voters rejected changing the elected status of the Town Treasurer by 61.05%, and elected Brad Clifford Brightman, former Town Moderator, to the post.

Above: newly elected Treasurer Brad Clifford Brightman is sworn in by Town Clerk Marlene Samson after election results were posted Tuesday night. Brightman’s father, Clifford Brightman holds the Bible.


In a surprise outcome for the one 5-year Planning Board seat, newcomer Andrew Sousa overwhelmed two other challengers for the job receiving 48.59% of the vote.

Sousa, employed by the town’s Highway Department as a heavy equipment operator, ran a strong campaign on values and concerns for Westport’s water resources, road safety, and control over development impact on sensitive environmental areas.

Reelected Selectman R. Michael Sullivan was top vote getter with 1752 votes. The well-liked Sullivan won reelection by cultivating trust with Westport voters.

Overall top vote-getter for the 2015 town election was Board of Health member and chairman John J. Colletti with 2058.

Housing Authority incumbent Elizabeth A. Collins easily defeated challenger Craig D. Mignone, winning 62.27% of the vote.

And Assessor Robert Grillo beat back a heated challenge from William J. Burns, winning 66.83% of the vote.

There were no declared candidates for Fish Commissioner, however, Everett Mills won the 3-year seat with 14 write-in votes vs. 7 for Peter Kastner, and 5 for John Borden.

Question 6, requiring an outside professional company to perform a 10 year revaluation of all town properties, was convincingly defeated by 68.66% of the ballots cast; exit polls showed some voters thought a re-assessment would raise their taxes. Burns fell victim to the ballot question as he supported it.

Non-binding ballot questions 4 and 5 demonstrated that 74.75% of the voters wanted Beach Avenue left open to the Knubble for all vehicular traffic; with 62.17% wanting the road managed as town beach property.

Town Clerk Marlene Samson was disappointed with the 27.65% turnout, expecting at least 34% of the electorate to show up at the polls.

“I was very surprised,” Samson said. The long time Town Clerk has been to the election rodeo many times, and anticipated a heavier turnout over the proposition 2 ½ ballot questions.

The Fire Station, American Legion Hall, and the Macomber School Precincts averaged just a 23.5% turnout, with South Westport averaging 32.5%.

More details with Precinct breakdown tomorrow.


04/11/2015 – Letter to the Editor. Westport resident Richard Phillips writes a two-part opinion editorial concerning Westport’s troubled finances. 

Insert: Richard Brewer, Chairman presents his group’s analysis to the Westport ROMEOs.

“I believe that there are two large components to the financial difficulties in the Town:

(1) Unfunded employee benefits which I estimate to be in excess of $100 million more...

(2) Education expenses which account for over 60% of the budget and are rising faster than revenues.” More...

Editor’s note: Phillips is a member of the newly-formed Westport Financial Advisory group that recently released its non-partisan findings of Westport’s financial health in meetings with Selectmen, the Westport Business to Business group the Westport ROMEOs and others.

Phillips shares the group’s findings with EverythingWestport readers; findings which mirror the issues Westport Selectmen have been facing over the last several years.

Phillips letter gives a detailed, probing analysis that should be read by every Westport taxpayer.


04/11/2015 – Trout fishing season opened today in Rhode Island. Adamsville Pond and Brook which is shared by Tiverton, Little Compton and Westport has been stocked by the RI DEM.

The RI Department of Environmental Management has stocked more than 100 ponds and streams with 80,000 hatchery-raised brook, brown and rainbow trout in advance of the season. Each weighs about one-and-a-half pounds.

Grab your pole and get ready to fish!

For you Westport fishermen click here for all the details of the Massachusetts trout fishing season (opened April 1st) with stocked waters and state regulations.

Don’t forget your fishing license!


04/9/2015 – Sandywoods popular series of music performances on the skids?  One of the most prolific, entertainment venues for local live music is in jeopardy with the resignation of Russ Smith, program coordinator and organizing force of Sandwoods Center for the Arts’ popular series of live musical performances.

Already under financial pressure, Smith’s departure will aggravate a problem with the governing board’s years-long failure to “meet regularly, to engage in any fundraising activities, or to apply for any number of available arts grants.”

Earned revenue from concert ticket sales, instructor’s fees, overall lack of attendance at many events and diminishing community support has caused Sandywoods to cancel some activities like their Farmer’s Market, their Tuesday night “Open Mic at Sandywoods,” and their weekly live-model figure drawing sessions.

Mr. Smith resigned as program coordinator on Saturday, March 28th of this year.

Sandra Dugan, Sandywoods’ property manager will be serving as the interim program manager. She announced that all scheduled activities will take place as planned.

But there is some doubt that the May 23-24 Sandywoods Folk Festival will take place because some members of the governing board have concerns it will not meet financial objectivities.

The festival has been named one of Rhode Island’s Top Five Spring Concerts by GOLOCAL PROV Lifestyle.

In a letter sent to the press, Smith expressed frustration with declining revenues, citing the situation is “not healthy or viable” and “didn’t allow for marketing activities, and reasonable compensation (for staff), making it impossible to hire badly needed staff.”

Memorial Day weekend will be a little less memorable if the Folk Festival is cancelled, and the long-term outlook for the live music program is shaky at best without addition funding and organizers committed to continue the success Russ Smith has achieved over his many years as program coordinator.

“It’s time for a new challenge. I leave proud of the foundation that’s been built during the past few years,” Smith said.


04/8/2015 – Hey Westporters, there’s a new law in town, and you better take notice - wipers on, headlights on!

Massachusetts legislators previously approved legislation requiring your headlights to be used 30 minutes before sunrise and sunset.

But that’s not all – the law was amended to also require drivers to turn on their headlights when the vehicle's windshield wipers are needed, and also when visibility is less than 500 feet, most likely due to fog.

The amended law goes into effect April 7th.

The amended law, Chapter 481 of the Acts of 2014, was approved in January, 2015.

Better beware - drivers can be ticketed for failing to comply with the new headlight law, and the offense is considered a minor surchargeable traffic violation, which could increase your insurance premiums!


04/7/2015 – Can I check this gun please? A Westport man exhibited a lapse of judgement and even less common sense when he carried a pellet gun into the Fall River Justice Center last Wednesday, as luck would have it, during the on-going Hernandez trial.

According to a press release, Fall River Police arrested David Cosme, 42, of 308 Sanford Road, Westport, after they said he entered the courthouse at 9:55 a.m. carrying a black metal handgun inside an opening in the lining of his jacket.

Man, you just can’t make this stuff up.

Court Officer Nadine Lindsey was working at the front entrance security station when she spotted something suspicious.

“She placed Cosme’s jacket on the X-ray conveyer and, as it passed the monitor, she recognized what she believed to be a firearm,” Detective Lt. Ronald Furtado, a police department spokesman, stated in the press release.

“The jacket was then searched as additional court security and police were summoned for assistance. During this time, it was documented that all operations at the security checkpoint came to a halt.” More.

Court officers searched Cosme’s jacket and found a black metal handgun that was hidden in an opening in the lining of the garment, police alleged.

“Further inspection of the handgun revealed it to be a pellet gun,” Furtado stated. “Cosme was reported to have said he brought the pellet gun into court for a case he had been previously charged with.”

The gun was described as a Daisy Powerline .177-caliber air pistol.

Well that makes perfect sense; carrying a concealed weapon into a court house where you’re trying to defend yourself against a previous weapons charge.

Police did say there was no connection between this incident and the ongoing trial of Aaron Hernandez taking place in the courthouse.

Cosme was charged with disturbing the peace while armed.

Cosme will return to the Fall River Justice Center to face charges which also includes the rarely used charge of actions that “illegally blocked roadways, sidewalks or common hallways.”


04/5/2015 – They only have eyes for you!

Whooo woulda thought it.

The husband/wife duo of Mark and Marcia Wilson recently gave a smashing follow-up performance of "Eyes on Owls - A Live Owl Show" at the Westport Middle School.

Last year’s inaugural event sold out with only one scheduled performance.

This year’s show was even better with three scheduled performances bringing in well over 350 people.  

Back by popular demand, naturalist/owl experts Marcia and Mark Wilson gave a fun-filled educational lecture followed up by a live introduction to seven owl types in front of a wide-eyed audience on Saturday, March 28th.

The event was sponsored by the Westport Land Conservation Trust.

Above and below. Here’s looking at ya kid! Marcia Wilson and her owls got up front and personal with youngsters from the audience.

Marcia, an accomplished hooter herself, demonstrated owl calls to the delight of the young and not-so-young in the Middle School auditorium more...


04/4/2015 – Swansea’s brother/sister team takes top spots in inaugural running of LC’s Spring Fling Road Race.  Brian Doyle of Swansea wins the first running of the LCEF Spring Fling 4.8 Road Race Saturday, finishing the loop in 29:49, almost a full two minutes ahead of runner-up Geoff Manning of Little Compton (31:36).

Dan Murphy rounded out the top three finishers with a time of 33:08.

Top female and fifth overall was Caroline Leverque at 33:44. Theresa Gallagher was second female and sixth overall just three seconds later with a time of 33:47.

And keeping it in the family was Brian Doyle’s little sister, Mackenzie Doyle who finished third female and seventh overall at 34:29.

Other coinciding area running events kept the Spring Flings’ turnout to a lower than expected 64` registered runners, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the organizers, runners and spectators who came out to cheer their favorites on a day that was sunny day and in the 40’s, and to support Little Compton’s Educational Foundation.

The Spring Fling 4.8 Road Race was formerly the LC Winter Scenic Road 4.8 Road Race which drew hundreds of top runners from a wide area, but was cancelled last year.

“It was a good day,” said 22-year-old Brian Doyle who said he’s been running what seems like his whole life. “Sunny but windy, especially on the back side,” the race winner said.


Click here to watch video of LC 2015 Spring Fling 4.8 Mile Road Race.


The winter event was brought back this year but a blisteringly brutal winter made race conditions impossible, and the fundraising road race was rescheduled and renamed.

Click here for complete race results. Posted by on Cool Runnings by Spitler Race Systems.


04/01/2015 Southeastern MA Alzheimer's Partnership presents Seminars for Caregivers.

The Alzheimer's Partnership is offering four seminars for caregivers in a variety of locations for the public's convenience. 

If you are currently a caregiver or expect to be in the future, this program will provide you with the tools to handle the demands of this responsibility. 

Panel members are professionals in a variety of fields and will provide valuable information on the topics of Elder Law, Adult Day Health, Alzheimer's Association Programs, Assisted Living, Homecare, Hospice, Long-Term Care, Geriatric Care Managers, Monitoring Programs, Reverse Mortgages, State Agencies for Elder Services, and a caregiver's personal experience more... 


03/31/2015 – Massachusetts State Senators promise collaboration and shared leadership by bringing the State House to the people.

State Senator Michael Rodrigues, D-Westport, hatched the idea for eight Commonwealth Conversations tours, which have now been completed.

“Since we took office on January 7th, we’ve initiated a sweeping set of reforms that promise to change the culture of the Massachusetts State Senate and make it more accessible, more open, and more transparent in its procedures.

Some consider these changes long overdue. We share their instinct – the time is ripe for action,” Senator Rodrigues said. More...


03/31/2015 – Southcoast Orthopedic Surgery to host monthly total joint replacement seminars. The beginning-of-the-month seminars are open to anyone in the South Coast community who is interested in learning more about total joint replacement.

“Don’t Let Joint Pain Slow You Down”, will be hosted by Southcoast Health Orthopedic Surgeons Michael Langworthy, MD, and Gary Ferguson, MD.

The free, one-hour seminars from 6 to 7 p.m. will be held in Fall River and North Dartmouth, and will cover arthritis, hip and knee pain and other orthopedic conditions. The doctors will also use the opportunity to talk about non-surgical and surgical treatments, nutrition, medications and exercise. Light refreshments will be served.

Registration is required by calling 508.973.1101. The schedule for 2015 is more...


03/30/2015 – Westport School Committee approves new cable director position, but has many concerns about long-term success because of dual roles and funding longevity.

School Committee member Antonio Viveiros asked what would happen “if selectmen change their minds,” and he was concerned the town could lose funding for the position, even if the program thrives more...


Above: Selectmen met last week with three members of the School Committee and Superintendent Ann Dargon to discuss merging of the town’s public, government and school cable channels for one year.


03/30/2015 – Westport behind the budget eight ball. A no-layoff pledge and reduced state aid has decimated the town’s free cash account; $470,000 in snow removal spending is just the icing on the budget deficit cake.

Town spending is in freefall.

Metaphors aside, Selectmen Craig Dutra and Chairman Tony Vieira asserted that selectmen cannot keep reshaping the budget proposals for fiscal 2016.

“Every week we get the latest version of the selectmen’s budget,” Dutra said, making a reference to the movie “Groundhog Day,” prompting Town Administrator Tim King to break out in uncontrollable laughter.

Vieira noted that the “horse has left the barn” in terms of selectmen tweaking the budget.

Finance Committee Chairman Charles “Buzzy” Baron said the “free cash” situation is a concern.

But first you have to have some free cash for it to be a concern.

Will voters pass two, binding Proposition 2 ½ ballot questions worth close to $1.25 million in this April’s elections and free up a lot of moola for annual operating expenses? More...


03/29/2015 – Slower than expected state job growth causes uptick in Westport’s unemployment rate to 8.3 percent from the previous month’s 8.1 percent.

Only New Bedford (10.4 percent) and Fall River (10.8 percent) were higher.

The seasonally adjusted average jobs estimate showed that statewide there was a gain of 800 jobs in February and over the last year a gain of 58,100. Click here for the full state report.


03/29/2015 – On Saturday, March 28th hundreds of firefighters took to the stairs of the Omni Providence Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Providence.

Six Westport Firefighters were among them.

No, this wasn’t a dangerous skyscraper fire or other disastrous incident, but the eighth annual stair-climbing fundraising event for the American Lung Association of the Northeast  more...


03/28/2015 – WRWA announces new Community Engagement Manager staff position. The Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) is happy to announce that Steve Connors will join their staff as Community Engagement Manager. 

Connors, the former steward of the TTOR town farming effort, will assume his new position April 1, 2015.

Said WRWA president Tom Schmitt: “We’re delighted to bring Steve on board. He brings a deep knowledge of the community, a commitment to preserving the environment and a wonderful track record of working with volunteers and staff  more...


03/27/2015 – Biting off more than they could chew. Westport Police Sgt. Johnny P. Couto, under the watchful eye of referee Stacy Gallagher, jams chicken wings into his mouth last night as the leadoff man on a four-person police department team that took on Acushnet’s wing-kings.

The out-of-towners took the day, but not without a lively fight from Westport’s finest.

The police department team will just have to wait until next year to take home the coveted Fire Breathing Chicken Trophy!

Meanwhile, practice, practice, practice.

It was all fun and for the benefit of the Children’s Advocacy Center