Working Waterfront Festival Unveils Winning Design


The Working Waterfront Festival is pleased to announce the winner of our 2014 Design Contest – Jason C. Eckhardt of New Bedford. Mr. Eckhardt has been a professional illustrator for over thirty years. His editorial cartoons have appeared in the New Bedford Standard-Times and have won the Best Cartoon award from the New England Newspaper and Press Association five times. His work has also appeared in publications from Dell Magazines, Doubleday, and various small presses. “The Festival Committee was impressed with Mr. Eckhardt’s ability to convey the 2014 theme Fishing Families” (Laura Orleans, Festival Director). Mr. Eckhardt’s design will appear on the Festival t-shirt, program guide, and poster.

The 2014 Festival will be held on the New Bedford waterfront September 27th and 28th. Festival performers will present programs in area schools during the day on Friday, September 26th and a Festival Sampler will be presented on Friday evening. This year, we put the spotlight on the historic and contemporary role of fishing families, both on shore and at sea. Programming will highlight the skills, knowledge, and traditions which are passed from one generation to the next. We will explore what it means to grow up in a fishing family; consider the important support role family members play; and pay tribute to the many family businesses which are part of the industry. We will encourage multiple generations to compete in fishermen’s contests; showcase family recipes on the Foodways Stage; and collect family stories in the FishTales Area.

The Working Waterfront Festival is a project of the Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern MA, a non-profit organization. The FREE festival, a family friendly, educational celebration of New England’s commercial fishing industry, features live maritime and ethnic music, fishermen’s contests, fresh seafood, vessel tours, author readings, cooking demonstrations, kid’s activities and more. It all takes place in New Bedford, MA, America’s #1 fishing port, on the last full weekend of September. Navigate to us at www.workingwaterfrontfestival.org.

Bishop Stang rise to meet Junior Achievement Titan Challenge with 5th place finish

Students Earn 5th Place at the Junior Achievement Titan Challenge

Bishop Stang High School, a diocesan, co-educational, college preparatory school located on the Southcoast, announced it had three teams that competed and one that took fifth (out of 47) teams in the Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts’ inaugural Titan Challenge. The competition was held in partnership with UMass-Dartmouth, Bristol County Savings Bank and other local business partners.

“The students far exceeded what we thought they would accomplish in their first simulated event of making business decisions and running a company,” said Edna McKenna, Junior Achievement Advisor and Business Teacher at Bishop Stang High School. “The students were extremely engaged in the process, and it allowed them to bring their business strategies to life as they acted in the role of CEO, CFO, Marketing Director, and Research & Development Lead.”

The challenge was held at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth along with local business executives and partners helping to facilitate and coach each of the teams. Students came from high schools throughout Plymouth and Bristol counties for the day-long simulated business event. The three rounds of online and computer-based simulations, directed the students to develop plans for a fictional product for a fictional company.

“The Titan Challenge was a great experience for me as I am considering pursuing a career in finance and management,” said Marc Rice, Acting CEO and Junior at Bishop Stang High School. “The business simulation gave us the exposure of making strategic decisions in a business atmosphere.”

Along with Bishop Stang’s fifth place win, it also had a team place 19th and 30th. The top three winners were awarded team scholarships of $1,000, $750 and $500.

Road Closures at Key Intersections, Construction Projects Underway Throughout New Bedford


Now that more moderate temperatures have arrived, the New Bedford Department of Public Infrastructure has begun working on improvement projects at several key intersections throughout the city.

Improvements to Intersection of Route 6 and Route 140 at Brownell Avenue
As of April 1st, the City of New Bedford in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has begun the project to improve the safety and flow of vehicular traffic at the intersection of Kempton Street (Route 6), Route 140 and Brownell Avenue. The project improvements will include re-paving of roadway surfaces, adding new traffic signals, improved drainage systems, trees and sidewalks, traffic signs and pavement markings. Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes of travel and when possible, avoid the intersection while it is under construction.

The project will be conducted in phases over a period of 36 months. This project has been a longtime priority of the City of New Bedford and MassDOT as it is one of the highest volume intersections in the City and the efficiency of traffic flow is among the poorest. In addition, Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District and MassDOT have identified the intersection as the 15th most dangerous intersection in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts based on the history of motor vehicle accidents that have occurred there.

MacArthur Drive Rail Rehabilitation Project
Crews are currently working to complete the MacArthur Drive Rail Rehabilitation Project to rehabilitate a section of rail from Union Street southerly to the Fairfield Inn Hotel. The project consists of removing existing rail and replacing it with new railway, improving utilities and protection measures where required, and installing new concrete driveways and wheelchair accessible ramps.

Lower Union Street
On March 24, 2014 crews began work on the final phase of the Lower Union Street Improvement Project. This phase will includes installation of crosswalks constructed of granite runners and bluestone at the intersection of Water Street and Union Street. In addition, the area within the crosswalks will be constructed of cobblestones.

In the earlier phases of the Project, the City upgraded the concrete sidewalks along the last block of Union with wider sidewalks composed of a mixture of brick and bluestone and narrowed the roadway and paved it with cobblestones.

As part of this streetscape improvement project, new lights will also be installed and trees will be planted throughout the limits of the project.

As of Monday March 31, 2014 the last block of Union Street is closed to vehicular traffic for two to three weeks while P.A. Landers, the City’s paving contractor on the project, reconstructs the sidewalks and roadway at the intersection of Water and Union Streets. Crews from the Department of Public Infrastructure under the leadership of Commissioner Ron Labelle will work alongside P.A. Landers to help reduce the project costs.

Motorists are encouraged to watch for detour signage and use either Elm Street or Walnut Street to enter and exit the downtown. Businesses on lower Union will remain open for business during the construction and residents and visitors are encouraged to patronize these establishments.

Rodman Street Plaza
In April, crews will begin working to install a plaza at the end of Rodman Street using bluestone material. The project will include green space and a stone sitting wall will be constructed on the west side of the plaza.

New Bedford Makes Public Beaches, Parks, Playgrounds and Zoo Smoke Free

smoke-free-new-nedford-maIn an effort to encourage residents and visitors to embrace healthy living, the City of New Bedford is posting new “smoke-free” signs at its beaches, parks, playgrounds, and zoo. The signage reflects the New Bedford Board of Health’s progressive no smoking regulations, some of the most precedent-setting in the Commonwealth. The regulations prohibit smoking in public places and include a ban on the use of nicotine delivery products such as e-cigarettes.

Adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for more than 440,000 deaths each year, or nearly one out of every five individuals, according to national health statistics. The City’s new signs are intended to curb smoking and the production of harmful second-hand smoke which can lead to serious health conditions including cancer, asthma, respiratory infections, and heart disease. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of second hand smoke. Cigarette butts are made of acetate and do not degrade easily in the environment, they are also a source of filth and can be dangerous if eaten by children, pets and wildlife.

“Children exposed to second-hand smoke inhale many of the same cancer-causing substances as smokers. There is no safe level of exposure; even brief exposures can be harmful. Promoting an entirely smoke-free environment is necessary to protect both smokers and non-smokers alike,” said Brenda Weis, New Bedford Health Director.

Creating and installing the signs was a team effort involving municipal departments of Health, Zoo, Parks Recreation & Beaches, Public Infrastructure, and Traffic, as well as community partner Southcoast Health System.

“Parks, playgrounds and beaches should be healthy, clean public spaces that all residents and visitors can enjoy. Promoting smoke-free public places will ensure that the thousands of people, particularly the children, who visit these areas daily will enjoy fresh air in a safe, healthy environment,” said Patricia Andrade, M.D., Chairperson of the New Bedford Board of Health.

For more information or to view the signs online, please visit: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/health/overview.html

Beckham Plans New Bedford Soccer Stadium


By Andrew O’Leary

Soccer superstar David Beckham has shocked the sports world by vowing to bring a 40,000 seater stadium and Major League soccer team to the Whaling City by 2015.

Today the athlete turned model, turned investor will use his international star power and new cell phone to call someone at the Boston State House, trying to rally support from the governor and legislators for the Major League Soccer franchise he plans to site right in the heart of New Bedford’s Pope’s Island.

The 38-year-old former England captain said he had never previously visited New Bedford but has done a Google search and feels that the easy access to a new Pope’s Island stadium via Route 6 will allow fans to pack out the stadium on game day. The large number of soccer enthusiasts living in Melville Towers is also expected to be a big draw.

2014 Whaling City Festival is a GO!


UPDATE: On 2 April, the Park Board unanimously approved the 9 p.m. closing time.

According to Allen Richard, the President of the Whaling City Festival, feels the 2014 Whaling City Festival will happen this year.  It needs to pass one final hurdle, approval from the Park Board. The board meets at 6pm at the Buttonwood Senior Center on Wednesday, 2 April, 2014.

The dates of the festival will be from July 11-13, 2014, but the hours will change. The festival hours will start two hours later (11 a.m.), but be open until 9 p.m. each  night.

The annual festival was in danger of not happening this year due to the 8 p.m. daily closing time that made it difficult for organizers to recruit vendors. The festival organizers will provide more police officers and better lighting until 10 p.m. Stay tuned!

2nd Annual International Portuguese Music Awards winners announced

IPMA recognizes outstanding achievement in the music industry by international artists of Portuguese ancestry (Paulo Chaves)

The second annual International Portuguese Music Awards (IPMA) and Gala took place this past weekend on March 21st and 22nd. The two-night spectacular consisted of the IPMA Gala and the IPMA Show.

The IPMA Gala was held at the Cultural Center located at 205 South Main Street in Fall River, Massachusetts. The star-studded event included a red carpet entrance, cocktail hour, and formal dinner. This year, Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado was honored as the 2014 IPMA Person of the Year.

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Morgado has become a familiar face to American audiences, both on television and on the big screen. He is best known for playing “Jesus” in the History Channel’s miniseries, “The Bible.” The Emmy-nominated show had the highest cable ratings in 2013 with more than 100 million viewers. Morgado is currently starring in the major motion picture “Son of God”, where he, again, brings to life the story of Jesus Christ. The 20th Century Fox feature film is currently playing in theaters across the United States and has already grossed more than $42 million.

Morgado was chosen as the IPMA’s Person of the Year for his extraordinary accomplishments as an actor. He also, recently, appeared on the hit ABC drama, “Revenge”. Morgado’s rise to fame has opened the door for many other projects. He was recently cast as one of the lead actors in the new science fiction drama, “The Messengers”, set to air on the CW Network. Unfortunately, because the pilot is currently filming in New Mexico, Morgado was unable to attend the Gala in person but he accepted his award via video.

The Gala included special appearances by all the 2014 IPMA performers, including Nuno Bettencourt, a Portuguese-American musician best known as one of the founding members of the band Extreme and guitarist for pop superstar Rihanna on her last four world tours. Marco Paulo, one of Portugal’s most popular and recognizable pop stars for nearly five decades was also in attendance.

The Gala included two musical performances: José Carlos from Lowell, Massachusetts captivated the crowd with some Fado classics and Michelle Ferreira from Long Island, New York performed several of her pop-acoustic original songs. John Gonsalves, a former probation officer and current sports hosts on WJFD Radio and reporter on RTP International, was the Master of Ceremonies for Friday night.

The IPMA Awards Show, itself, held on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford, Massachusetts opened with a bang with the performance of the song “More Than Words” by Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt of the Grammy-nominated band Extreme.

The awards show also featured performances by several prominent artists. Nelia (USA), who followed Bettencourt and Cherone, got the crowd moving with her high-energy and thrilling combination of songs. Maria De Barros (Cape Verde) took off her shoes, went into the crowd and got the audience on their feet. Reno (Canada) rocked the house with a couple of his original songs, and Tony Gouveia (Canada) captivated everyone with this intimate Fado performance. Marco Paulo didn’t disappoint as he sang some of his biggest hits. He was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his exceptional 48-year career, in which he sold over 4.5 million records. Bryan Wilson & Sebastian Crayn closed the show with an electrifying performance.

Awards were handed out to the following artists (http://ipmaawards.com/2014-ipma-nominees-winners):

  • Bryan Wilson & Sebastian Crayn (Romania) – Dance
  • Joey Medeiros (USA) – “Música Popular”
  • Josh Pereira (USA) – Pop
  • The Procussions (USA) – Rap/Hip-Hop
  • Ménage (Canada) – Rock
  • Fatima Santos (USA) – World Music/Fado
  • Fatima Santos (USA) – Song of the Year
  • Sandro G (USA) – “Casal Garcia” People’s Choice Award
  • Melisse Andrade (USA) – New Talent

The “Casal Garcia” People’s Choice award was voted on by the general public via the IPMA website. Votes from 66 countries were collected.

The two finalists for the New Talent category, Melisse Andrade (from Boston) and Rachael Stark (from California) performed live on stage. A panel of judges was present and selected Melisse Andrade as the winner. IPMA will award her with a trip to Portugal to make promotional TV appearances.

Ricardo Farias of Dartmouth, Massachusetts and Natasha dos Santos of Toronto, Canada co-hosted the show. The show was taped and will be streamed on the internet and televised on RTP International (RTPi) at a later date. RTP International reaches more than 20 million people worldwide. The dates of these airings will be announced on our website and official Facebook page.

Following the awards, the official IPMA After-Party was held at Trio Café & Lounge in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

For more information about IPMA, please visit IPMAawards.com. “Like” the official IPMA Facebook page for breaking news and exclusive content: facebook.com/InternationalPortugueseMusicAwards

Association of Zoos & Aquariums Grants Accreditation to the Buttonwood Park Zoo

Photo by Keith Lovett.

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced that the Buttonwood Park Zoo was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission.

“Only zoos and aquariums that meet the highest standards are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “The community should take great pride in knowing that the Buttonwood Park Zoo is a proven leader in the care and conservation of wildlife, and in inspiring people to take action to protect the natural world.”

“The Buttonwood Park Zoo is honored to be regarded as one of the finest zoos in North America.  We are proud that AZA recognized the beauty of the zoo, the quality of its animal care, conservation, and education programs, and the tremendous support the Zoo receives from the City of New Bedford, the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society, and the Greater New Bedford community,” said Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Keith Lovett.

Photo by Keith Lovett.

To be accredited, the Buttonwood Park Zoo underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.

The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution’s operation, including animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff and animals; educational programs; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; visitor services; and other areas.  Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal hearing of AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, after which accreditation is granted, tabled, or denied.  Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the Commission’s decision is made.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, please visit www.aza.org.

New Bedford Guide’s Top 10 Stories of the Week

Photo by Lisa Reagan.

This week was interesting to say the least. Here are New Bedford Guide’s top stories this week from our website or Facebook page. Click on the bold title to read the original story.

  1. Rochester Woman Drives Into Harbor from Fairhaven – At 5:15 a.m on Wednesday, a 32-year old Rochester woman drove her 2007 Nissan Maxima into the New Bedford-Fairhaven Harbor. Facebook discussion here. Ken Cost created a popular Meme that we posted on Facebook here.
  2. Couple Arrested For Breaking Into New Bedford Home with 2-Year Old Daughter in Minivan – Parents of the Year nominees took their 2-year old daughter with them to rob a house on Durfee Street in New Bedford. Facebook discussion here.
  3. Man Arrested in New Bedford for Assaulting Man and Stealing His Sneakers – A man got out of a cab near the New Bedford bus station and got mugged for his sneakers. The New Bedford Police quickly caught the man. Facedbook discussion here.
  4. New Bedford Guide’s Best Portuguese Restaurants – On March 1st, we asked YOU for the best Portuguese Restaurants in the area. 27 restaurants got at least two votes. They are all located in New Bedford, Fall River, Wesport and Acushnet. This is a great list to explore and try new places. Facebook discussion here.
  5. New Bedford’s Shawmut Diner to Close on March 31st, 2014 – The Shawmut Diner will close its doors on 31 March and be placed into storage until it is sold. It will be replaced by a Cumberland Farms. Celeste & Phil Paleologos are GREAT people and operated the diner for over 30 years! We wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors. Facebook discussion here.
  6. Putting the New Bedford City Council’s 44% Pay Raise in Perspective – The 44% City Council pay raise is probably the most controversal thing to come out of the City Council in years. This article details why the pay raise was more than fair and probably too low. Facebook discussion here.
  7. City Councilor Gomes Invites Pope Francis to New Bedford – New Bedford Guide may have done the impossible. We got a large portion of the city to read the New Bedford City Council agenda. City Councilor Brian Gomes put forward a motion to officially invite the Pope to New Bedford. Facebook discussion here.
  8. Fatal Car Crash in New Bedford – We received a photo showing first responders at the scene of a car accident. Around midnight Friday night a man driving 80 – 100 MPH crashed on Route 18 in New Bedford. The passenger was killed and the driver was medically evacuated and sent to a RI hospital with life-threatening injuries. Facebook photo and discussion here.
  9. Tavares Brothers to Perform at BCC Scholarship Fundraiser on April 5th – Tavares coming back to the south coast, Massachusetts area is big news and their performance will raise money for a scholarship. Double win for the area!
  10. Truck Jackknifes on 24 Northbond –  A truck jackknifed on 24 north bound caused a HAZMAT team to do a clean up and backing up traffic for hours. Photo here.

Couple Arrested For Breaking Into New Bedford Home with 2-Year Old Daughter in Minivan


This morning at approximately 11:50am officer Jeremy DeMello was dispatched to the 100 Block of Durfee St. regarding a break in progress into a single family home.

An alert neighbor observed a Dodge Caravan pull into the driveway of a neighbor’s home and witness a female get out. The female knocked on the front door several times but got no answer. It was at this time that the male suspect exited the vehicle and went to the rear of the home and the witness heard loud banging. As this was going on, the female paced in the driveway looking around and was acting as a lookout.

The male suspect then exited the home and passed off items to the female. They both left in the Caravan heading in an easterly direction.

Officers went to the home and observed that the rear door had been forced open and the home burglarized. Within minutes, Officer Elvin Ramos spotted the van on Mt. Pleasant St. near Durfee St. and conducted a motor vehicle stop. The female passenger had an amount of jewelry that was taken from the home secreted in her pants. There was also a hammer in the van that was used in the break.

Also in the van was the couple’s two year old daughter. DCF was notified and placed the girl in the custody of her grandmother.

The arresting officer is Jeremy DeMello.

Both parties were transferred to the Ash St. Jail and will be arraigned tomorrow in New Bedford District Court.

– Jeffrey Pina age 26 of New Bedford, Ma.
– Christie Marie Hoffman age 26 of New Bedford, Ma.

Breaking and Entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony
Larceny in a building
Possession of Burglarious tools (hammer)

Source: New Bedford Police Department

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