Residents support Main Street improvements

Nov 01, 2011

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the remark by Dave Willis, who lives in Onset, at the CEDA public hearing on October 17 in regard to the allocation of $900,000 of grant money.

Mr. Willis stated, according to the article in Wareham Week, that "monies spent [on improving Main Street] would be unnecessary because the town has the inability to maintain what they already have."

This remark is unfortunate, given that the majority of the signatures, and it was literally hundreds, for the "Onset/Wareham Clean Parks, Streets and Beaches" petition were collected on Main Street.

Businesses that participated in collecting signatures were Gourmet and Gourmand, Irene's Flowers, Minerva's, Sail Away Studio, and Town and Country Cleaners. Wareham House of Pizza on Route 6 and Nessralla Farm Stand were also huge contributors.

Those of us who live in Wareham are very much in favor of improvements to Main Street and the community in general. Mr. Willis' comments were surprising and disappointing under the circumstances.

Karen Spinks
Smith Avenue, Wareham

Comments (12)
Posted by: interestedparty | Nov 01, 2011 15:55

This is so unfortunate.  It appears that there is now brewing, a tug of war between Onset and Wareham Center.  Wareham does not need any more infighting.  Unfortunately, resources (ie., money) are in short supply so there is bound to be friction.  I understand Mr. Willis' frustration with the littering problem in Wareham.  We should look to ways to clean up the town in all parts, not just Onset and Wareham Center.  I would like to propose anti-litter/penalty signage as you enter the town from the various directions.  Mr. Willis, through his presentation at the BoS, has many other examples which the town should consider.


Onset oftens feels like Wareham's poor cousin when it comes to funding.  I have heard this from many residents.  Monies need to be fairly and evenly divided depending on each locale's needs.  Wareham Center, Onset and other town areas need to propose realistic plans for improvements needed.  A good start would be to look at the reasons people are attracted to each location.  Then determine the best use of the monies to get more people to visit each location.


Certainly people come to Onset for the beautiful beach, quaint shops and nice dining.  Wareham Center has fine dining and interesting shops too.  So, how do we utilize funds to the highest and best use?  What are the immediate needs of both districts?  These are questions that can best be answered by the merchants, patrons and residents of each area and I trust CEDA will listen to all sides.

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 02, 2011 14:27

Interested Party writes:

 "Certainly people come to Onset for the beautiful beach, quaint shops and nice dining."


I challenge Interested Party to name just one "quaint" shop in Onset.

And while he's at it, I'd like to know what "nice" dining establishments he's referring to (other than Stonebridge Bistro). 

Clearly, Interested Party does not live in Onset or Wareham.

Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Nov 02, 2011 16:27

I thinks there's a misunderstanding.   This is not about a tug of war over money because the money isn't up for grabs.   Work on Main St is going to begin this month, I understand, and will be funded by grant money.

Plans to improve the Wareham downtown area have been ongoing for some  years  and the merchants have been very involved in that process. The merchants were very active in soliciting signatures for the petition because they are well aware that  Wareham center needs to be attractive enough for tourists to want to stop.   Tourism is an essential part of our economy.

My comment was to set the record straight.  Hundreds of signatures for the petition circulated by the above campaign  were collected by the merchants on Main St, Wareham and they were a huge support..   This creates an  awkward situation since Mr. Willis, identified as representing the campaign, was recently quoted as suggesting that improvements to Main St were neither a priority nor a necessity.   I am still disappointed that the statement was made given that the majority of the support for the petition came from Main St and I think it's important to acknowledge that.

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 02, 2011 17:15

One thing I'm thrilled about is watching that eyesore on Main Street turn into a seafood place. This could really turn things around, and I shall happily patronize that business.

Proposed benches on the main drag continue to raise concerns about homeless people sleeping on them.

One solution might be to install two or three armrests on each of those benches to discourage such behavior.

Just a thought.



Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Nov 03, 2011 10:51

JB.... I think we're all thrilled about the seafood place. It would be nice for Gourmet and Gourmand to have some cafe tables outside.   I know the town as blocked that idea in the past but it would be a nice addition.  There isn't really anywhere to sit.   Main St right now is uninviting unless you need the bank or the post office.

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 03, 2011 14:38

I concur. Allow that fine bakery to install tables on the sidewalk.

Also, we need to get rid of that strict law regarding a restaurant's ability to post its daily specials on a sandwich board.

I used to love seeing what Piper Joe's and Fat Paulie's had to offer.

Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Nov 03, 2011 16:22

I didn't know about the sandwich board law.   I do wish that Wareham business signage/advertising  could be addressed.    In my opinion it's excessive, unattractive and just litters the landscape.

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 03, 2011 16:56

Karen, your above statement dumbfounds me.

What is excessive and unattractive about a few sidewalk signs touting a restaurant's daily menu?

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 04, 2011 16:31

I would like to offer one more thought on this matter.

There was a time, not long ago, when Mill Pond Diner used to post its daily specials on the Wareham Week website.

Lunch there is less than 5 bucks, and I often stopped in if the menu sounded appetizing.

Many months ago, Mill Pond Diner ceased this practice, and I have not been back since.

If sandwich boards offend certain citizens, then I would suggest that local restaurants post their specials on Wareham Week, thus eliminating the wrath of individuals who have an issue with that type of advertising.

Posted by: KAREN SPINKS | Nov 05, 2011 08:03

No, No, No   JB.......   Nothing wrong with sandwich boards.   Not excessive or unattractive.    I just didn't know  a bylaw   existed that prohibited their use.  It's probably  in the same rule book that states 'No tables on sidewalk'.

New paragraph.   There's a stretch of road (Rt 28 I think) along by  the Police station where signs greet you as you leave  highway 195.  Probably six signs alone offering haircuts.  It  looks desperate and unattractive...... in my opinion.

Posted by: Zephyr | Nov 05, 2011 09:25

I'm with you, Justin.  Many times I would go out of my way to have lunch at the Mill Pond Diner if I noticed they were having something that I liked on special.  Now that they don't list it here, like you, I haven't been there in some time.  Nice if they would start listing it again.

Posted by: justin beiber | Nov 05, 2011 13:27

Yes, Karen, some proprietors have told me they were told to remove their sandwich boards. Most don’t bother to comply. I noticed this morning that Gourmet and Gourmand has one too.

As for those obnoxious hair cut signs, I agree completely.

Have you ever noticed the utility pole at the corner of Cranberry Highway and Main Avenue in Onset. There are signs attached for deck chairs, yard sales, foreclosures, summer rentals, you name it.

A few weeks ago, I was walking down Onset Avenue, near Stonebridge Bistro, and there was a poster with a picture of a sex offender (presumably living nearby) affixed to a telephone pole. I tore it down.

I confess that in the dead of night, I have been known to remove Recall Selectmen signs as well as those Rick Stanley for Police Chief placards.

Don’t even get me started on the candidate signs during the political season.

Those I don't touch, however, because it's clearly an endemic ritual to our region.

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