ORR Restore Passes in Marion and Mattapoisett

Marion, Mattapoisett approve ORR renovation project

May 15, 2019

As of May 14 both Marion and Mattapoisett Town Meetings have approved a $2 million high school renovation project to go to town votes on May 17 and May 21. Rochester Town Meeting on will also need to approve the measure on May 20 and vote on it in a special town election before the project is fully approved. 

Against the Finance Committee’s and Board of Selectmen’s wishes, Mattapoisett voters approved the Old Rochester Regional field and auditorium renovation project for the ballot at 190 to 80 on May 13. Marion voters also approved the measure against their Finance Committee’s recommendation on April 14. The positive vote was met with cheers from the Marion audience. 

The debt-excluded project involves resurfacing the track and rebuilding the grass infield with turf. Lights for the main stadium field, as well as auditorium fixes such as a digital LED light system, audio system and wiring upgrades and the addition of auditorium monitors are also included.

School Committee Chair Cary Humphrey said the renovations would cost Mattapoisett taxpayers $19.57 a year. In Marion the cost would be $25.11 per year for the average taxpayer. The debt would be funded by a Proposition 2-1/2 override, which would temporarily raise the town’s permitted tax rate above the norm to pay for the renovation project.  

Mattapoisett Finance Committee Chair Pat Donoghue said she was doubtful of that number.

Donoghue said through her research she found the artificial turf will last at best 10 to 12 years and the manufacturer guaranteed it would last 8 years.

“I’m sure you can find a salesman that will tell you it will last forever but until I see something in writing from the company or the manufacturer that says it’s really gonna last at least 20 years, I’m not going to be comfortable financing over 15,” said Donoghue, “We don’t do debt on assets that are going to deteriorate over time.”

Some Marion residents supported the project overall but were concerned about maintaining the new facilities.

However the project’s proponents pointed out that renting the fields out to youth sports leagues and other community could help cover the costs of maintenance. 

Marion’s Stephen Health said that the “maintenance that has been done or not been done [on the current field] is not going to fix that field. That field is going to be dangerous as long as it is grass. The field that is proposed is going to be safer, less maintenance costs.” Though some were concerned about the wear on the turf field and the cost of replacing components, Heath said, “I wouldn’t worry about it going away in 15 years.”

ORRHS senior and Lacrosse Captain Gates Tenerowicz responded to Donoghue at Mattapoisett’s meeting.

Tenerowicz said she witnessed a player from another team roll her ankle while walking up from the net on the field, and had a teammate slip and tear her ACL. 

“I understand the financial concerns with this project but to me what is the cost of my safety and my peers’ safety and the pride of my community?” said Tenerowicz, “Frankly it’s terrifying to see your friends, and your peers and even your competitors put at risk.”

In response, Donoghue said while there are valid safety concerns, she said there are many throughout the town, with some that take higher priority.

“I don’t philosophically disagree with providing our students with the best that we can,” said Donoghue, “However, they are not the only people in town, they are not the only ones that I’m concerned about. It’s everybody.”

Heath pointed out that “Mattapoisett approved field and renovation, despite the fire station [approval at a high cost]. I think I would be ashamed if we here in Marion valued our kids less.”

Anthony Mattson felt it was unfair to hold maintenance costs against the school, given Marion’s record with maintenance costs.

“How dare anyone talk about the lack of maintenance at the school when we’re dealing with the septic system” issues, he said.

Voters in Marion and Mattapoisett also approved a separate warrant article to fund one-third of the cost of making the press box at Old Rochester Regional’s football field handicap-accessible. The Old Rochester Regional Athletic Booster Club has raised $50,000 to cover the cost of the box itself. However the handicap ramp and elevator will cost $60,000. The booster club proposed that each town will be asked to contribute $20,000 to fund a ramp and lift that would allow wheelchair access to the box.

Rochester must approve this proposal for it to go through as well.

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Restore ORR

What is Restore ORR all about?  What started out as a 5 million dollar project has been scaled down to a 2 million dollar project.

What does it entail?  There are 3 areas to be repaired at the Old Rochester Regional High School.

The auditorium: 1/3 of the spotlights do not function and it’s difficult to find replacement parts since the equipment is old.

The lights run hot.  Care needs to be taken when operating them.

Parts of the audio chain were replaced in recent years and this will complete that part to make the system fully digital.

The Track: The track is at the end of its expected useful life.

The top layer is disappearing exposing the tar base.

The track is cracking

Main field:

•The ground is uneven with large areas of bare grass.

•The field is used through the spring and fall and never has a chance to recover. Despite being maintained, the constant usage prevents the grass’ repair.

•Because the ground is so compacted due to age and high usage, the field doesn’t drain effectively.

•These conditions force game cancellations or require games to be scheduled off-site. (including last autumn’s soccer playoffs)

•The lighting on this field is old and ceases to function occasionally.

•Our student athletes are put at a competitive disadvantage having to play in these conditions.

What is the solution?

1.Re-surface main stadium field with artificial turf

(Note: Crumb rubber will NOT be used for infill material. A number of alternative infill materials are currently available for use with synthetic turf fields.)

2.  New six-lane track and re-build of grass infield

3.  LED lights for main stadium field

4.  Digital LED light system for auditorium (Cooler/safer, more energy efficient)

5.  Audio system upgrades to wiring and the addition of monitors   for stage and control booth

This plan enables us to use just one of the two grass fields in the back of the complex, so the grass has a growing season to recover.

This plan also enables us to generate revenue through rental of the auditorium and artificial turf field to outside groups. The revenues generated would be held by the ORR District in a revolving account specifically designated for capital improvements.

What is the impact on the average homeowner?
Marion: $25.11 / year
Mattapoisett: $19.57 / year
Rochester: $34.39 / year
Town Meeting Dates:
Marion: May 13
Mattapoisett: May 13
Rochester: May 20

Get out to town meeting and make your voice heard!

How does this affect our tri-towns?

According to Kate Lanagan MacGregor, broker-owner of BOLD Moves Real Estate,

“It is no secret that people who move to the area do so because of the schools. We have a quality education, athletics, arts, and community. We must stay at least on par with what other schools offer in the way of facilities.

Also on a personal level, Kate stated, ” I am a 1980 graduate of ORR. When I was there, I ran the hurdles in track, I had those cinder pieces in my knees and legs all the time. When we went to other schools where they had better tracks, we simply were not competitive.  With the quality of athletes and students that we have in this area, it is time to restore ORR!”

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Easter Activities in the Tri-town

Easter Weekend was a busy time in the Tri-towns.  An Easter Festival was held in Rochester on Saturday at the First Congregational Church attended by over 385 kids.

Captain Bonney’s Ice Cream, Plumb Corner Market, the Rochester Lion’s Club, the Rochester Women’s Club, The Rochester Police Department, and Plumb Library all worked together with the church to provide a great day for the area children.  There were lots of activities and games to keep the kids occupied and hot dogs provided by Plumb Corner.  A lot of people came together to make it a great event.

Saturday, April 20th also found  the Mattapoisett Lions Club’s Easter Egg Hunt at Ned’s Point.  The event was rescheduled from last Saturday because of the weather.  Although, bad weather threatened, it held off for the kids to find 2.000 eggs in about two minutes.

The First Congregational Church of Marion held its Easter Sunrise Service at 6am at Silvershell Beach.  For the late risers, there was also an Easter service at 10am at the First Congregational Church in Marion.

Easter 2019 turned out to be a great day!

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Easter Happenings in the Tri-towns

Easter is only a couple of weeks away.  Here are some of the local Easter events happening in the tri-towns.

Easter Carnival

Saturday, April 20, 2019 – 12:00pm to 2:00pm

ROCHESTER — The First Congregational Church will team up with Plumb Corner merchants, Captain Bonney’s, Rochester Lions Club, Rochester Women’s Club, Rochester Police Department, and Plumb Library to host an Easter carnival with lots of goodies for children to enjoy.

The event will offer carnival games for prizes and candy-filled eggs, a bouncy house, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream samples, face painting, balloon animals, and the Easter Bunny.   The event will take place at the Rochester Congregational Church.

The carnival will also benefit good causes, as the Rochester Police Department will be hosting a Fill-a-Cruiser Food Drive for Damien’s Pantry.

Pre-register at


Sippican Lands Trust Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Saturday, April 13, 2019 – 10:00am
The Sippican Lands Trust will hold its Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday April 13 at 10 a.m. at Peirson Woods in Marion.

This event is free and open to the public. Participants should bring a basket or container for collecting goodies and arrive promptly to the event.

Peirson Woods is a 30-acre parcel of land with woodlands and wetlands including a vibrant salt marsh. The property is home  including herons, winter buffleheads, osprey and other bird species.

Peirson Woods is located off of Point Road in Marion just past the Marion Golf Course. Street parking is available.

The rain date for this event is Sunday, April 14 at 1 p.m. For directions or further information send an email to or call 508-748-3080

 Breakfast with the Easter Bunny

Sunday, April 7th at 8AM-11AM
Rochester Senior Center on Dexter Lane
Come order off the menu ad get pictures with the Easter Bunny
Sponsored by the Rochester Lions Club
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Old Rochester Hires New Head Football Coach

Old Rochester hires new head football coach

by Grace Ballenger

Mar 25, 2019

Old Rochester Regional High School has hired one of its assistant coaches, Bryce Guilbeault, as head coach after Justin Kogler accepted a position at West Bridgewater high school.

Kogler left his position at Old Rochester for family reasons, since he has two young children and Bridgewater is closer to home for him.

Guilbeault has been assistant coach at Old Rochester for three years now, and said he is excited to work with the players as head coach next season.

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ORR Lady Bulldogs Advance to Quarter Finals

The Lady Bulldogs came out firing in the Feb. 28 game, leading 13-10 after the first quarter, powered by a strong defense and 6 points from Junior co-captain Mary Butler.

ORR played a different game in the second quarter though, scoring only 5 points and allowing the Wolverines to take a halftime lead of 24-15.

“I told the girls at halftime that we are significantly faster than they are and we have to use our speed to wear them out” coach Bob Hohne said.

The Lady Bulldogs listened. Coming out of the locker room with a new energy and toughness, they finished the third quarter only down by 2 points, at 32-30.

The team played an incredibly physical 4th quarter defensively, wearing down the Westwood offense and grabbing many rebounds. They held Westwood back to scoring only 5 points in the quarter.

The last-quarter scoring was led by two clutch 3-pointers by Freshman Annemarie Perry and a 6 for 7 free throw clinic by Junior Cadence Johnson. These helped the team pour on 20 points and win 50-37.

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs will will be the quarter final game in Falmouth, on Saturday at 6:30 p.m

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Tri-Town Happenings

Things to do: Enjoy lectures, an author talk, music, go on a date

Feb 8, 2019

There’s a lot happening in the tri-town on any given week, and with St. Valentine’s Day coming up there are a few Valentine’s Day events as well. Visit for your itinerary.

Thursday, February 7

Enjoy some jazz.

The Old Rochester Regional High School Music Department will be hosting a fundraiser concert by The Southcoast Jazz Orchestra to raise money for a trip to Nashville this April. The 17-piece Southcoast Jazz Orchestra is led by Bob Williamson.

The performance will be at 7:00 p.m. in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at The Symphony Music Shop or can be reserved at They will also be available at the door.

Explore cultures from around the world.

The Old Rochester Regional School District will celebrate the cultural and ethnic diversity of its schools with Family Night. From 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., there will be music, dance, food samples, photographs of a vacation, a coin collection, crafts, and more. Email or to RSVP for the event.

See a fresh set of artists.

Artists from the Wareham/Bourne Art Association will display their art in Marion’s Benjamin D. Cushing Community Center for the month of February. An opening reception for their art, with food and the chance to meet the artists, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

Friday, February 8

Hear an author speak.

The Sippican Woman’s Club will host author Catherine McLaughlin at Handy’s Tavern for a discussion on her novel, “Blue Collars,” about a large working-class New Bedford family. McLaughlin will read from her book and speak about the writing process and how she keeps busy in her retirement. Lunch will begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by a brief business meeting before McLaughlin’s presentation.

Enjoy food, music and games.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day early with dinner, music and a game night at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church’s Open Table. The event will be held at the Congregational Church’s Reynard Hall. There is no charge for the meal. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the meal is served at 5 p.m. Participants may stay after for Game Night at 6 p.m.

Learn to stop ticks.

The Sippican Lands Trust will host a special workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 152 Front Street to review basic tick biology, scientifically proven protection methods, and bust any commonly held myths.Blake Dinius, the entomologist educator for Plymouth County Extension, will speak at the talk.

See a classic film.

The Classic Film series continues with the showing of “A Streetcar Named Desire” the Marion Music Hall at 7 p.m. Arrive early and listen to music before the film. David Pierce will offer comments at the movie’s conclusion.

Saturday, February 9 

Go to a farmer’s market.

Need meat, produce, soaps, or bread? You may be able to pick up all of these things at the Old Rochester’s Winter Farmers’ Market, which is held at the Old Rochester Junior High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

See more new art. 

Anthi Frangiadis will be hosting her last trunk show in Marion on Saturday, to feature Brenda Morrison of Wareham and Janice Kissinger of Dartmouth. The Valentines-themed show will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and feature wearable art made of repurposed clothing, glass jewelry and other glass utensils. The show will be held at The Drawing Room, 11 Spring St., Marion.  

Leave the kids behind for a date.

For parents who have been struggling to find Valentine’s date time, the First Congregational Church of Rochester may have a solution. From 6 to 9 p.m., adults at the church will entertain your children with crafts, games, dinner, and a movie while you enjoy the time out. Leave your children in Fellowship Hall at 11 Constitution Way in Rochester. To register, visit

Sunday, February 10

Eat grilled cheese.

The Fearons and Costa families are holding a grilled cheese fundraiser from 5  to 7:30 p.m. at the Bay Club in Mattapoisett. Families can enjoy grilled cheese and adults can have a drink while children watch “The Incredibles” and munch on popcorn. Tickers are $15 per person, with the proceeds benefitting SouthCoast Health Pediatrics.

Monday, February 11

Learn about neuroscience.

P.h.D student Sage Aronson will talk about how the brain processes signals and how that can lead to teenage depression at Tabor Academy’s ScienceNow lecture. The talk will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Stroud Academic Center.

Thursday, Feb 14

Learn art observation tips over lunch

Take a visual journey into the world of art observation Jill Sanford, who will present a lecture to the Mattapoisett Woman’s Club at 11 a.m. in Reynard Hall at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church. Sanford will review the basics of line, color, form, texture and composition, then the audience can apply that knowledge to specially selected art images.

Watch ‘Heathers: The Musical’ open.

Tabor Academy will host their high school edition performance of their winter musical, “Heathers: The Musical” on February 14 to 16 at 7:30 p.m. “Heathers: The Musical,” a satire dealing with the challenges of teen life, became an Off-Broadway hit in 2014.

The show will be in Tabor’s Fireman Center for the Performing Arts in Hoyt Hall.

Visit for all your local news and events in the Southcoast Tri-towns of Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester.

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Local Tri-town Events

Even though the holidays are over, there are still some fun events happening in the tri-town to keep you busy.

According to the Sippican Weekly:

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 7:45am to 12:30pm

ROCHESTER — Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School Cross Country team and National Honor Society are jointly hosting the 7th annual Frosty Runner Road Race on Jan. 26 for runners who don’t mind the cold.

Options for the Frosty Runner include a 10.5 mile run and a 3.1 mile run/walk. All races begin and end at the school, located at 476 North Avenue, Rochester, MA.  Race maps are posted below.

Registration and number pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. Post-race food and refreshments will be served to all registered participants. There will be awards for top and divisional finishers.

Register online at or download the form below and mail it to Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School

Event Date:

Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 7:45am to 12:30pm

Event Location:

Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School

Friends of Old Rochester Music to host brunch

Jan 14, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — The Friends of Old Rochester Music will host its third annual brunch at The Inn On Shipyard Park on Jan. 27.

The brunch will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature live music from Old Rochester student musicians.

Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for kids, with proceeds going to benefit the group.

For more information and to reserve tickets, email

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Upcoming Holiday Events in the Tri-Town

The holidays are fast approaching and there are many events going on in the tri-town!  Don’t miss out!  Here are some local events happening in the days ahead!

Holiday Happenings

by Daniel Monahan
Dec 6, 2018

Thursday, Dec. 13

Make a Candy Lighthouse

Move over gingerbread houses! The Mattapoisett Library will be allowing children to build a candy lighthouse starting at 3:30 this year.

Cookie Swap at the library

Join the Elizabeth Taber Library for the Annual Cookie Swap at 4 p.m. Event organizers ask participants to bring a dozen or so cookies, and promise coffee, good company and the chance to sample a few cookies.

Friday, Dec. 14

Inside the Pages of “The Nutcracker”

The Mattapoisett library will host its second holiday event for children at 3:30, bringing in dance instructor Kay Alden to let workshop participants dance to “The Nutcracker” instead of just watching.

Gift Wrapping at Elizabeth Taber Library

From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Elizabeth Taber Library will also hold holiday gift wrapping sessions to help patrons prepare for the holidays.

Annual Holiday Luncheon and Party

Looking for a festive way to fill you belly? The Rochester Council on Aging will host its annual holiday party, with a complimentary meal at noon. Sign up in by calling 508-763-8723.

Saturday, Dec. 15

The Occasion Singers Holiday Concert

Midway through the month the First Congregational Church of Marion will host a holiday concert by the Occasion Singers at 7 p.m.

Guests must purchase tickets for the concert, but tickets will include appetizers, wine, and the chance to sing along with the group.

Sunday, Dec. 16

Lessons & Carols

The next night will feature another 7 p.m. concert, this one from the Tabor Academy Choristers at Wickenden Chapel.

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Bulldogs Play at Gillette Stadium on Saturday!

Bulldog’s perfect season hinges on Super Bowl matchup

Nov 25, 2018

After winning 14 straight games, the Old Rochester Bulldogs will look to top off their impressive season with a win against Stoneham in the Division 6 Superbowl on Dec. 1 at Gillette Stadium.

Back in September, the Bulldogs opened up their season with a crushing 42-0 victory over the Wareham Vikings. Their dominance on the scoreboard did not end there, and it took two more weeks before the defense let up a single point. 

The Stoneham Spartans head into the championship game at 11-0, with the one loss coming in overtime against Reading Memorial High School. The Spartans are not strangers to the end zone this season, as they have had seven games with 40 or more points. 

Both teams have the ability to run up the score or to play lights out defense, suggesting that the matchup has the right ingredients for an instant classic. 

“We need to make sure we’re ready to go and we have to have great practices like we have all year,” said Bulldogs coach Justin Kogler when asked about his preparation. “We have to be super focused coming into the week and ready to play.”

The showdown against Stoneham will be the final game in a Bulldogs uniform for the 22 seniors on the roster, who graduate from Old Rochester in the spring.

As part of the MIAA State Football Championships, fans will also be treated to an NFL-caliber game presentation with music and replays on the stadium’s high-definition video boards. The Kraft family will again donate the use of Gillette Stadium’s field for the games.

Tickets for are on sale via Ticketmaster, and will be available on game day at the Gillette Stadium Ticket Office, located outside the Patriot Place Gate. Tickets sold at the ticket office for Friday’s game will be available beginning at 9 a.m. and tickets for Saturday’s games will be available beginning at 8 a.m.

All fans will enter the stadium via the Patriot Place Gate in NRG Plaza, located near the ticket office. Tickets are $17 for adults and $14 for students and senior citizens. Children 5 years old and younger will receive free admission.

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What a great accomplishment for these boys and what a great thrill to play at Gillette Stadium!  

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