Keith Middle School students to help build outdoor classroom at Haskell Gardens

The Trustees & Keith Middle School

Two community organizations, The Trustees and Keith Middle School, are forming a partnership and will be working together around a concomitant mission – to involve students in the development and building of an outdoor classroom situated on the 6 acre Allen C. Haskell Garden Property on Shawmut Avenue. A win-win for all in that the students – the intended users – will have direct input and help develop, grow, teach, learn and maintain the project. In doing so the Keith STEM students will learn engineering and science practices by “doing engineering and science” – resulting in greater student learning outcomes and increased connections to the property and community in which they live.

The Trustees want to make Haskell Gardens a special place for the community of New Bedford, through both outstanding stewardship and programming – what better way to do this than to engage students in the prolonged development of Haskell Gardens, working alongside and in collaboration with the professional staff of The Trustees.

When it is happening:

It began with a conversation back in May of 2015 between Matt Walsh and Jeff Bellora and will continue for many years to come. A more immediate goal is a 2-3 year focus on the design and build out of and outdoor classroom that will take us into 2017/18 school year. The program will continue to mature as the Haskell Garden Property grows into an outdoor place for teaching and learning for all New Bedford area community members.

Where it is happening:

Allen C. Haskell Gardens, 787 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford, MA 02746
Keith Middle School, 225 Hathaway Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02740

Who is involved:

The Trustees:
Matt Walsh – Family Programming Manager, Southeast Region
Kristin McCullin – Superintendent, Allen C. Haskell Gardens
Ross Moran – Engagement Manager, Southeast Region
John Vasconcellos – Senior Regional Director, Boston and Southeast

Keith Middle School – New Bedford Public Schools
Jeff Bellora – STEM Teacher
Ross Grace – Assistant Principal
Joanne Desmarais – Assistant Principal
Dr. Paula Bailey – Principal
Victoria Roman – Mathematics/STEM Director, New Bedford Public Schools
Dr. Pia Durkin – Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools

ONE Theater Group, Inc. to produce James and the Giant Peach

100% of profits to benefit Horizons for Homeless Children

ONE Theater Group, Inc. is proud to announce its upcoming production of James and the Giant Peach. The play will take place Thursday October 15th, Friday October 16th, Saturday October 17th at 7:00PM, and Sunday October 18th at 3:00PM at the Fairhaven Town Hall Auditorium located at 40 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719.

James and the Giant Peach is a family-friendly show that’s sure to entertain all ages. It tells the tale of young James, orphaned to his mean and awful Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. His life is reduced to endless chores, tending to his aunts’ needs, and worse, he is not allowed any time for friends or play. One day, James encounters a mysterious old man with a mystifying gift. In no time, James finds himself on a wild adventure on the world’s largest peach and the many colorful and funny characters (bugs!) who live inside it. Come meet James, Old Green Grasshopper, Miss Spider, Miss Ladybird, Centipede, and Earthworm, and get lost in the magic and adventure encompassed by their giant peach!

Formed just one year ago, ONE Theater Group, Inc.’s mission is to combine the performing arts with philanthropy. The organization produces two shows annually, selecting a different charity or cause as each show’s benefactor. Shows are family-friendly, utilizing local talent, high quality sets, costumes, and entertainment to bring quality theater to the local community.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children. Seating is general admission. Purchase tickets online at www.onetheatergroup.com or anytime during normal business hours at the Millicent Library in Fairhaven. Tickets may also be reserved in advance by emailing onetheatergroup@gmail.com or by calling 508-525-9972. If seating is still available, tickets will be sold at the door. Doors open 30 min. before each show.

The show is being directed by Gregory Silver and features Shayne Furtado as James, Brianne Allain as Aunt Spiker, Stevie Nicole as Aunt Sponge, Josh Boucher as Old Green Grasshopper, Erika Pires as Miss Spider, Kevin Mitchell as Centipede, Brooke Johnson as Ladybird, Patrick Long as Earthworm, and Taylor Cormier as the Old Man, TV Reporter, and Captain.

Fall River Man Convicted of Vicious Rape and Assault Sentenced to Two Decades in State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a 44-year-old Fall River man was sentenced to serve two decades in state prison after being convicted late last week of a violent rape of a teenage girl in Fall River.

Eduardo Rodriguez pleaded guilty last Thursday to several charges, including rape, rape-causing substantial injury, Drugging a Victim for Sexual Intercourse, assault with intent to rape, assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery, and wanton/reckless behavior creating a risk of serious bodily injury.

The “unagreed plea” was submitted to Superior Court Judge Rene Dupuis. Second Assistant District Attorney Silvia Rudman, who prosecuted the case, argued that the defendant should serve 30-40 years in state prison due to the egregious facts of the case and the significant injuries suffered by the victim. The defense, however, argued for a 20-21 year state prison sentence.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Dupuis sentenced Mr. Rodriguez to serve 20 to 21 years in state prison, to be followed by 35 years of supervised probation. The condition of his probation include undergoing Sex Offender Counseling; participation in a relapse program; cannot reside with any children except his own; no unsupervised contact with minors; no employment that puts him in regular contact with minors; cannot date a parent of a minor without permission of probation; must register as a sex offender; must remain on GPS monitoring while on Probation; no contact with the victim in this case; complete a batterers program; and submit DNA to the state database.

The defendant and the teenage girl were known to one another at the time of the March 2012 incident. The defendant was accused of picking up the victim from school, and instead of taking her to her home, he brought her to his own Fall River apartment. Once inside the apartment, the defendant grabbed the victim by the hair, slapped her across the face and forced her to drink vodka and swallow oxycodone pills. The defendant forced the victim onto his bed, covered her mouth and punched her several times in the face before raping her. At some point during the assault, the victim lost consciousness. The defendant then drove the unconscious victim to a strip mall in another town outside of Fall River, where he left her in the parking lot behind a grouping of retail stores.

The victim was found unresponsive the following day and was rushed to an area hospital for treatment. The injuries to her face were so severe that she required surgery after doctors discovered that her orbital bone was broken.

“I am happy to see that a substantial prison sentence was imposed for this very violent and egregious crime. This is a defendant who does not belong on the streets again,” said District Attorney Quinn. “I want to thank Silvia Rudman and the entire Fall River Police Department for their hard work and tenacity in holding this defendant accountable.”

Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine, whose officers and detectives were crucial in building a strong case against the defendant, called the crimes particularly disturbing even to his seasoned investigators.

“This was a particularly egregious case and disturbing to seasoned police officers and prosecutors. I commend District Attorney Quinn and Chief prosecutor Silvia Rudman for their focus and tenacity in securing this significant prison sentence. Also, I commend Detective Brian Cordeiro of the Fall River Major Crimes Division for, not only his investigative work, but also his compassion for a young traumatized victim,” Chief Racine said. “Also, praise to Fall River Police Department’s crime scene Detective Thomas Faris for his expert ability in securing crime scene DNA evidence; where there appeared to be no evidence to connect the suspect to the victim.”

In an effort to protect the victim’s identity, no further details can be released by this office.

Police Arrest Dartmouth Man on Narcotics Charges

Alex Cieplik, 28, of South Dartmouth, MA.

On Sunday, October 4, 2015, the Dartmouth Police Department arrested Alex CIEPLIK (28) of South Dartmouth, MA on narcotics charges.

As a result of the arrest an indeterminate amount of heroin and drug paraphernalia was seized.

CIEPLAK was charged with: Possession of a Class A Substance (Heroin).

10 Ghoulishly Creative Halloween Ideas for the Yard or Home

If you have some dolls, ketchup and a little bit of imagination you can have a creepy yard!

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to consider decorating our yards, windows, porches, walkways, etc. to make sure the local kids have a positive blast Trick or Treating this year. It seemed that the easy, lazy way to celebrate Hallow’s Eve was to just stop by a chain store and grab a few bags of candy, toss them in a bowl and mete it out when the kids rang.

Easy to make, fun to eat.


I’m happy that the “Tricking” aspect of the holiday has had a sort of revival these past years. I am seeing bigger, more creative, displays. More holiday spirit. Some are so elaborate they could charge an admission fee!

If you’re just stopping by the pharmacy to grab a few bags of candy then this isn’t for you. Keep your boo-ring self away! For those of you who have loads of Halloween spirit, this article is for you. I’ll share some of the best ideas I have seen in local yards or online, so you can add a little extra to your decorations. Some are incredibly cheap, others will take a bit of money to pull off – it just comes down to how much spirit you have. Pardon the pun.

Dismembered Digits
Use some hot dogs or cocktail wieners, and cleverly slice them up to resemble the wrinkles on knuckles. Shape some onion slices and glue them onto the “fingers” with some pasta sauce and serve! Make them really fun, by putting them in a hot dog bun before serving.

Zombie Heads from Food
All you need for this one is some pasta for hair and the base, a bunch of mozzarella cheese to sculpt the face, a few olives for eyes, peeled tomato chunks for the nose, and either tic-tacs or chiclets for teeth. Voila – very creepy!

Have a Gruesome Barbecue
Almost everyone has a grill. Unhook the propane tank, drag it out. Use some rubber body parts or create some eyeballs or fingers with some arts and crafts or the hot dogs or pasta and cheese that we mentioned above.

Serve this for actual dinner or use as a display in your yard or home.
Add a little extra, by writing up a menu complete with prices. Maybe even have a zombie waitress offering to serve the boos and ghouls.

Creative Signs
Don’t have a heck of a lot of money to spend or time to create? If you have a tractor, excavator, backhoe or even a few shovels, you can place a sign like the one in the photo. “Halloween Special: bodies buried $5. Buried very deep: $10.” Let your imagination run wild and you can come up with something even better, even let the kids get involved and you can litter the yard with signs to strike terror into the local trick-or-treaters – perhaps even straighten out the annoying neighbor.

Skeleton Invasion
Over the years, you may have accumulated the popular Halloween skeleton. Perhaps you can borrow a few from the neighbor. Attach them to the house with some nails or heavy staples, so it looks like they are climbing up the side and trying to get into the house through the windows. Even one skeleton will look great!

Horrible Pumpkins
Instead of the classic pumpkin, you can make a vomit pumpkin that will be a conversation piece for the kids coming towards the house. Simply make a larger mouth and instead of clearing out the inside of the pumpkin, pull it all out through its mouth – spill the contents down a step or two.

Creative Uses of Clothing
Take some old shoes and pants, place some sticks through the legs to add some structure. Stuff with rags and/or hay. Place upside down so that all that is seen is from the waist down and it looks like the rest of the body is stuck underground. Inversely, if you have more money or “gear” you can do just the upper body and make it look like the lower body is underground and this person or creature is crawling out.

Everyone has a grill – head to the local novelty store or one of the seasonal Halloween store for body parts. Add a menu and let ‘er rip!

If you have a bunch of white pillow cases or sheets, make a circle of half a dozen ghosts. Add some branches or twigs underneath, with balloons for heads and make it look like they are holding hands.

Creepy Dolls
Have a bunch of dolls in the attic or cellar. Pull them out, remove a head here, a limb or eye there. Put some fake blood and wounds on them and place a bunch of them in the yard standing up or beckoning trick-or-treaters.

Crow Wreath
The dollar stores have crows for cheap. You can glue them in a circle. Place a few eyeballs or hot dogs fingers within the circle. Attach to your door.

Use Peppers instead of Pumpkins
Want a cheaper, cleaner alternative to pumpkins? Use yellow, green, red and orange peppers. Cut the top so it’s a lid, just like you would with pumpkins. Carve a face just like usual.


Laughing it All Off; Comedian Colin Quinn on his upcoming show, The New York Story at the “Z,” on October 10

Colin Quinn of SNL, Grown Ups, and Trainwreck fame comes to New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater this Saturday, October 10th. (Photo credit: Mike Lavoie)

Colin Quinn of SNL, Grown Ups, and Trainwreck fame comes to New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theater this Saturday, October 10th. As part of the 2015 “Stories Untold” series, he brings a riff off of his critically acclaimed “The New York Story”, a one-man show directed by Jerry Seinfeld.

Between working on new material and touring the Northeast corridor, Quinn took the time to chat with me about what we can expect from the show, what we shouldn’t expect for the future of human nature, and how to laugh it all off.

“It’s sort of about New York, but its become something else now,” the one-man show focuses on the history of the north east and all of the ethnic groups at play. “New Bedford is a pretty interesting city, you’ve got the Portuguese and Cape Verdeans,” he hints at some possible material. Switching his act up at every show based on location and what’s in the news, we are sure to expect some hilariously offensive stereotypes that are sure to ring true. Encouraging us to drop the political correctness and embrace the history of those hushed tropes, and recognize “hey, that’s like my brother, that’s like my cousin, that’s just like me.”

On working with comedy legend, Quinn tells me “He let me stay at his house in Long Island and we went over the whole show every day.” Working day and night the two wrapped up their preparations in just seven days. Why do you have to make it sound like bffs? ‘Do you guys do everything together?’ Yes. You make it sound like we have two straws in our milkshake.”

But their dynamic isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. “He would tell me ‘you should cut that’ and I’m like ‘No, why?’ And he’s like ‘well, I’m jerry Seinfeld’. Yeah, but I’m CQ.”

Their back and forth banter seems to have done the trick, the show, his third after “Long Story Short” and “Unconstitutional” comes highly acclaimed across the board.

“Critics Pick! Four Stars!”
–Time Out New York

“Totally Hilarious!” No one is spared from Quinn’s dexterous mixture of mockery and admiration.”

“New York Witty. ‘New York Story’ is his best work yet!”
–New York Post

Always working on new material, Quinn takes inspiration from the news, history, and what he calls the “fatality of human nature”. “I’m working on the fact that when you look at the whole world, people get more and more aware, sensitive, compassionate, and things get worse and worse. The most fascinating thing, the comedy of life, is that after all these years on the planet, the exact same problems from the Old Testament, the Code of Hammurabi, our human nature has not changed one bit even though technologically we are a whole different breed of person. But we’re exactly the same, its psychotic.”

Quinn tackles larger-than-life issues by looking at it straight in the face and telling it as it is. “I don’t mean to be depressing, I know it doesn’t sound funny.

It’s just a way of looking at it that’s funny.” Rather than distracting audiences through comedy, he forces them to tackle real life issues and the moments when we have to ask ourselves “what’s the point?” with a sense of humor. “When you hear something fatalistic, but you know it’s so true, we laugh, because it’s the only thing we can do.”

Don’t miss Quinn’s unapologetic installment in the Untold Stories series this Saturday, October 10th at the Zeiterion Theater. Tickets are still available at the box office or zeiterion.org

New Bedford Wellness Initiative Starts Adult Wellness Program in New Bedford

The adult wellness program will begin Sunday October 18th

The New Bedford Wellness Initiative is pleased to announce, through generous sponsorships and community partnerships, a community wellness program for adults to be held every Sunday at the Boys and Girls Club in New Bedford. This program is free and open to the public. Its offerings will include classes in cardiovascular exercise, yoga, meditation, smoking cessation and nutrition. The classes will be led by a certified instructor.

The adult wellness program will begin Sunday October 18th 2015 and will run every Sunday from October 2015 until October 2016. The classes will start at 11:00 am end at 3:00 pm. The class schedule is as follows; Cardiovascular exercise: 11am- 12pm, Nutrition and Weight Loss: 12pm-1pm, Yoga: 1pm-2pm, Smoking Cessation: 1pm-2pm and Meditation: 2pm-3pm. There also will be health screenings including measuring weights and blood pressures.

In 2014 the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data report listed New Bedford as being one of the least healthy communities in Massachusetts. Multiple studies have shown that an unhealthy diet, poor physical activity, and smoking are the major risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, diabetes and lung disease.

The wellness program will provide the tools to make lifestyle changes that can decrease these chronic diseases, and also will address mental well-being to reduce stress and promote a healthy mind body connection. The goal of this program is to promote health and wellness throughout southeastern Massachusetts by making these classes free and accessible to all community members.

The New Bedford Wellness Initiative’s mission is to raise health awareness, prevent disease and promote recovery from illness through healthy living. This initiative was started by local cardiologist Michael Rocha in 2014 to unite the community’s resources around a common mission of health and wellness.

In addition to the upcoming Wellness program for adults at the Boys and Girls Club, the New Bedford Wellness Initiative holds monthly wellness walks in the community, has screenings of movies about health and wellness at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and has a Facebook page with over two thousand followers.

Giesta Seeks End to ‘Most Violent’ City Title

Candidate blames Mayor for ignoring available resources

This week the FBI released its crime statistics data for 2014. Democratic Mayoral Candidate Maria Giesta expressed her concerns at New Bedford being rated worst for violent crime in the state of Massachusetts.

“We’re not talking about pickpockets and vagrants, these statistics speak to rape, murder and violent assaults. New Bedford has been rated the worst, and we simply must help our police officers retake the streets from those responsible for these appalling numbers,” she said.

Giesta blames an out of touch Mayor’s Office that forces its police department to operate without the resources it needs to fight the worst kinds of crime.

“It’s abhorrent to me that given the number of federal grants available to hire more police officers and provide funding for the necessary equipment, Mayor Mitchell continues to ignore these vital resources.  We cannot continue to allow thugs to kill, rape and steal from our residents.”

Giesta said that crying poor and sacrificing public safety is unacceptable.

“It’s not about having enough money. If something matters to you, you make it a priority and find a way. If elected, I will fight for every single DOJ dollar and shift resources to equip our police officers with the necessary tools they will need to eliminate crime city-wide”

Giesta says Community Policing efforts are the way to solve the crime problem.

“Criminals will have no haven in our city when they know our officers, and networks of caring residents are watching,” she said. “One violent crime is too many.”

New Bedford had a violent crime rate of 12.6 per 1,000 residents, based on 1,199 violent crimes in 2014.

9th Annual Salty’s Silvery Moon Soiree

Photo by David StGermain

Salty the Seahorse and the Mattapoisett Land Trust once again wish to invite children of all ages to join us for what has become a fall tradition of fun in the firelight on Saturday, October 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Dunseith Gardens (Route 6 at North Street). The Land Trust will provide the cooking fires, with hay bale seating, and the ingredients for “S’mores” as well as cider as a healthy thirst quencher. Entertainment will include music and storytelling by Toby Dills. Entrance to the property will be illuminated by luminaria created by the students at Center School.

All are welcome. Guests need to park off site, so please bring a flashlight to help you return to your car and for safety on the grounds..

For more information you can contact the Land Trust by email at info@mattlandtrust.org or call 774-377-9191 and leave a message.

Bishop Stang Class of 1965

On Sunday, September 27, the Bishop Stang Class of 1965 celebrated their 50th Reunion with a Memorial Mass in the Chapel of the Annunciation at Bishop Stang High School.

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