Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have you noticed a new sound?

The sound of the wind blowing through the newly opened leaves and the sound of many arriving migratory birds.
Spring has finally arrived in Bristol and it is certainly welcome.
Keep your eye out for bright orange (w/black) Baltimore Orioles in the flowering fruit trees. They have a very unique call and are easily visible this time of year just before the trees totally leaf out. (Ditto for many colorful warblers that are just arriving.)

Bristol has a new geek guy and computer 'fix-it' business

Twentysomething Josh Luis has just opened a new business in Dr. Wakem's old Vet Clinic building at 190 Mount Hope Ave. He has only been open for one day and is still in the throws of getting set up for customers.
He can be reached via email at: or new phone at: 401 396 9710 or old phone at: 401 619 1577
He works on PC's as well as Mac's and has all sorts of IT certificates (Mac, Microsoft, CompTIA). Previous to this he was in Newport and worked as an IT guy for a large corporation as well as in his retail shop on Broadway. He is also available for in house/store visits.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Founders of the MET Schools in Providence to start new college with RWU in Providence called College Unbound

Currently, the design of a traditional four-year college mimics that of a typical high school. Students earn a degree based on the number of college credits they accumulate. College Unbound aims to turn that system on its head. Instead of fitting a student’s interests into a set curriculum, College Unbound will design a path of study around a student’s passion, be it marine sciences or art.

Jamiel's Shoe Store in Warren receives first RI SBA economic stimulus loan

THE FIRST SMALL BUSINESS LOAN provided in Rhode Island through the economic stimulus law has been given to Jamiel’s Shoe World by Coastway Credit Union.  Alan Crisman, Executive Director of the Bristol Warren Enterprise Zone, had everything to do with making this loan a reality.  Thank you Alan!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Composter Bin Sale in Warren

Sustainable Warren and Town of Warren Composter Sale

Reduced Price: The sale price is $40.00, 20% less than the current price for individual sales
at the RIRRC (Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation) and more
than 50% less than at commercial vendors.
Local Pick up: Pick up Day for prepaid orders is Saturday, May 23, 2009, 9:00 am to noon
in the parking lot of Kickemuit Middle School, Child St. (Rte. 103) Warren.
To Order: Make checks payable to Town of Warren. Note Composter Bin Sale on check.
Send checks to: Caroline Wells, Town Planner
Warren Town Hall
514 Main Street
Warren, RI 02885

Questions: Contact Helen Hawkinson, Sustainable Warren Coordinator, at 245-1548 or
Note: These bins can be seen on the RIRRC website. They are made from black recycled plastic and come in pieces flat in a cardboard box (2' x 3' x 8") needing to be assembled. Assembly is very easy. When assembled they have a secure top and air holes on the sides. The bottom is open to the ground. They are best located in a well drained spot in the shade - but sun is okay. Because the Town of Warren is ordering in bulk, they are at this special discounted $40. price. (they are usually $50) Call Helen for more details if necessary.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Photos: Spelling Bee Audience

Click on the image once to enlarge photo and check out who was in the room! Ditto the photos below.

KEF Bodacious Spelling Bee a huge hit! Wicked Good Team wins with the word C O O L L Y.

Congratulations to the winners, the losers, the participants, the pronouncers, the judges, the food people, the audience and all involved in organizing and sponsoring a very successful event last Friday night at the VFW Hall in Bristol. The Kickemuit Education Foundation (KEF) Spelling Bee Winners were: 
The Wicked Good Team:  Christy Nadalin (captain), Karen Binder and Fred Orwiler (in red shirts above)
Runners up were the Olde China Traders /OCT Wannabees: Marie Byrnes (captain), Chris Byrnes and Anne Byrnes Baily (in yellow shirts above)
To quote from the KEF website: "We are very grateful for this great demonstration of community spirit and support. With teams representing local businesses, community groups, Town leadership, and neighborhoods, we had a great competitive Bee right to the end."
Funds raised from the festivities will support the KEF Enrichment Grants for Education Excellence in the Bristol Warren public schools. This event was filmed by Mike Davis Media and will be on local channels on Full Channel and Cox TV at a future date. Not to be missed!

Farmer's Market to open in Bristol Friday

Starting May 1, this coming Friday, the RI DEM is opening Colt Park Farmer's Market in Bristol. This will be open for the season every Friday from 2 -  6 pm.

In the first few weeks of operation, the market will offer mostly bedding plants, hanging plants, cut flowers, early vegetable crops, honey, and maple syrup. More vendors will join with traditional summer crops as they are harvested.

For a list of other markets and farms in RI go to the following links:

Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown, Young Family Farm in Little Compton and Freichs Farm in Warren are all open for the season this week.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busy Days

Ted Hayes has temporarily returned to the Bristol Phoenix newspaper to serve as editor. Welcome back Ted. We have missed you! Scott Pickering will continue to work along side Ted on the Bristol Phoenix as well as the other East Bay Newspapers. In additon, Ted will continue working on the Newport paper.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bristol Changes

• Ed Cifune, Dad, architect and the chair of the Bristol Historic District Commission (HDC), has recently resigned. He has been on the HDC for a total of 10 years and is looking for a change. Good luck Ed. We will miss you and your thoughtful, knowledgable ways. His replacement must be an architect or a person with a degree in Historic Preservation.

• Word on the street is that the Topside Restaurant is being sold to Dennis Liberatos, current owner of Thames WaterSide Restaurant (Goff's). From what we are told, the sale will not go through until mid-summer. Mr. Liberatos has owned Thames WaterSide for two years.

•Keep an eye out for the opening of the new home accent store called SUE CASA on State Street next to Persimmon Restaurant under the old Hotpoint sign. Take a peek in the window and introduce yourself to Susan O'Donnell, the proprietress. She has some beautiful things!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Third Annual Silver Creek Cleanup on Saturday April 25 from 9 am to noon.

Save Bristol Harbor, in conjunction with the Town of Bristol and the DPW’s “Keep Bristol Clean” program, is conducting its Third Annual Silver Creek Cleanup on Saturday, April 25, 2009. (In the event of rain, the cleanup will be held on May 2, 2009.) Those who are interested in assisting with the Silver Creek cleanup should contact Stan Dimock at 837-5838 or email him at Volunteers assisting with the cleanup at Silver Creek should assemble at Thomas Park (directly across Hope Street from the Sip-n-Dip donut shop) at 9AM sharp. Following a brief safety briefing, the volunteers will fan out along the north and south sides of Silver Creek, retrieving whatever trash they encounter along the way. Trash bags, gloves, sunscreen, and bug spray will be provided, as will light refreshments. Volunteers should wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the marshy environment. Last year’s Silver Creek cleanup was a tremendous success. We’re counting on your support again this year as part of the “Keep Bristol Clean” town-wide Earth Day event! The cleanup will run from 9AM to noon.

Sold Out: KEF 1st Annual Spelling Bee at VFW Hall Friday April 24

The Kickemuit Education Foundation (KEF) is having their first ever adult Spelling Bee at the Bristol VFW Hall on Hope Street.
They may have as many as 20 teams competing for the Spelling Championship.

Funds raised from the festivities will support the KEF Enrichment Grants for Educational Excellence in the Bristol Warren public schools.

To sponsor the event or to be placed on the waiting list for tickets, please contact Diana Campbell at 254-1692, Nancy Chace 254-1166 or Lee Ann Freitas at 253-2960.

To learn more about KEF and/or the spelling bee go to:

Master Gardener Hotline at URI

It's that time of year again and who better to contact with gardening questions than the URI Master Gardener URI Cooperative Extension Center. This is a fabulous service that more people should use.

Call 1 800 448 1011 from 9 am - 2 pm Monday - Thursday
Or visit the website:

"To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves." Gandhi

Mount Hope Farm to hold worm composting lecture/demo Wednesday April 22

Mount Hope Farm will be hosting the famous worm ladies from Charlestown RI on Wednesday evening April 22 from 7 - 9 pm in the barn. They will discuss and show a method of composting using worms which hastens the breakdown process and turns all your kitchen scraps into a valuable soil supplement for your garden. They will demonstrate with worm bins and red wigglers.
Admission: $15 or $25 a couple
Reservations required: Call 254-1745  x 103

Free Composting Workshop in Warren Tuesday night April 21

The Master Composter & Recycler program is offering several free workshops that will give you all the basic information needed to start and maintain a compost bin. The lecture/workshop is roughly an hour and a half. Come learn about how you could be turning all of your food scraps as well as leaf and yard waste into a valuable soil amendment by composting. Various topics will be discussed in this workshop including; the benefits of composting, the do’s and don’ts, how to build and maintain a compost, as well as composting with worms!

There are only five words to remember when making compost: brown, green, chopped, water and air. Mix brown (dead leaves or straw, for example) with green (grass clippings, vegetable trimmings), chop them up with a lawnmower or shredder and add a little moisture. Toss it all together like a big stir-fry, and that’s it.

Tuesday April 21, 2009
6:30 pm - 8 pm
George Hail Library
560 Main Street
Warren, RI

If you have questions or would like to have a composting workshop in Bristol or another town please contact
Sejal Lanterman at
Sejal is the RI Master Composter and Recycler Program events manager at URI
For more info run your cursor over the blue type below and click:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Susan Boyle on you tube will make you smile

From a small town near Edinburgh, Scotland, Susan has wanted to perform in front of a large audience since she was 12. Here she is at age 47 doing her thing. Run your cursor over the blue link below and click.

Portsmouth High School's new 1.5 megawatt wind turbine will be on PBS TV tonight at 8 pm

Wednesday April 15, 2009
Portsmouth High School's new 1.5 megawatt wind turbine will be on PBS TV tonight at 8 pm.

The turbine is shown on a new PBS TV program called Planet Forward featuring ways to create alternative energy. Students from RWU contributed to the making of this program. To quote from the Planet Forward website:

"The first Planet Forward program will explore the feasibility of moving rapidly away from fossil fuels. Dispensing with the old top-down model of public affairs programming, in which experts expound to voiceless viewers, Planet Forward’s emphasis is bottom-up, with citizens leading and driving the conversation. Seeking to engage a young and diverse audience, Planet Forward is working with several universities and local public television stations to create a groundswell of engagement and local activity. Planet Forward is public affairs for the next generation – think innovation, not pontification."

"Planet Forward is a whole new type of citizen conversation, flowing from web to television and back again. We're bringing together citizens and experts to talk about energy. You submit your viewpoint to the site, and the best submissions have a chance to be featured on the Planet Forward television special. After the show, the discussion moves back to the web site. You can find out more on our About Planet Forward page."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A "Novel Idea" Bookstore to hold health and wellness event Saturday April 25 from noon to 3pm

A Novel Idea Booksellers invites you to YOU! Day where they will be holding health and wellness sessions throughout the store featuring the following professionals in their field:

Matthew Gagliano - Matthew is the owner of Fitness Together in Barrington and he will be demonstrating the latest concepts in exercise science relating to abdominal(core) conditioning. He will also be available for any questions pertaining to weight loss, weight management and exercise.

Jeannette Bessinger - Jeannette is the creator of the Whole Life Nutrition approach and co-author of the best-selling book. "Healthiest Meals on Earth". Her most recent book is "Simple Food for Busy Families". You can "Ask the Nutritionist" with Jeannette as well as sample tasty favorites from her cookbooks.

Marie Crain - Marie is the owner of Ocean Massage in Bristol and will be providing "mini-massages" to demonstrate her massage skills and describe the many benefits of massage including improved health, stress reduction, sleep improvement and pain control.

Barbara Casey - Barbara is an certified instructor in the "Alexander Technique" which is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities.

A "Novel Idea" Ltd. Booksellers
450 Hope Street
Bristol, Rhode Island 02809
Phone: 401-396-9360

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy White obits

I only met Happy White a few times at RWU in the wing of the library named for her. She was always so grateful to help others become inspired by new ideas and art. Bless her. Below is a link to her obits in todays Providence Journal. She was born in 1916 and was 92 when she died.

Please visit the Notice for Mary "Happy" (Tefft Schwarz) White.

Click on the above link or cut and paste the url into your browser's address bar.

Green Landscaping Workshop Saturday morning May 16 from 9 am - noon

Save the Bay (at the new headquarters on the water in Providence) is holding their second annual Green Landscaping Workshop on Saturday May 16 from 9 - noon. Please join them for a morning of gardening tips and excellent buys on everything to get your garden off to a good green start. There will be local experts speaking on a range of topics from Sustainable Lawn Care to Container Gardening to Native Plants and how to use them. The use of excessive lawn and garden fertilizers will be discussed noting their threat to harbor water quality and the shellfishing industry. Last year experts explained simple ways to compost. There will be a garden project table for kids. Rain barrels will also be on sale as well as yard care products and native plants. To reserve a rain barrel in advance, visit (Last year there were plenty available that were not reserved.) The rain barrels are recycled olive barrels from Italy and come in several colors. If you have questions, ideas or want to exhibit eco-friendly wares or services contact Marci Cole Ekberg at Save the Bay at 401 272 3540 x 113 or email her at 

Meet Bo: The Obama's first pet. A gift from Senator and Mrs. Kennedy

After months of anticipation, the day has finally arrived: Sasha and Malia, you have earned the puppy that has come to the White House. Christened "Bo" by the Obama daughters, the six-month-old black-and-white Portuguese water dog is a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy. (Malia and Sasha, The Washington Post reports, chose the name in honor of their cousins' cat, Bo, and their maternal grandfather's nickname, Diddley, says a source.) The dog's official debut was undercut by leaked photos to a website called FirstDogCharlie that then spread through gossip site TMZ. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Obamas first met the dog several weeks ago at the White House, where he was a hit with the girls. While the president said he preferred a rescue dog, it seems the idea had to be jettisoned in favor of a hypoallergenic breed for Malia. The family plans to make up for it with a donation to the Humane Society instead and hopefully a Greyhound Rescue group as well.
(from the LA Times - full story at link below),0,4631254.story

College admissions or rejection letters coming in

It was all too much, apparently, for a young man named Paul Devlin. After getting the heave-ho from one too many colleges, he wrote a letter that was published in the New York Times. It begins:

"Dear Admissions Committee:
Having reviewed the many rejection letters I have received in the last few weeks, it is with great regret that I must inform you I am unable to accept your rejection at this time.
This year, after applying to a great many colleges and universities, I received an especially fine crop of rejection letters. Unfortunately, the number of rejections that I can accept is limited."

Any “admissions” department who’d turn down someone who could write a letter like that is in the wrong business.

For some consolation go to and
see all the famous people who either dropped out or never attended.

Woody Allen was a double dropout (NYU and City College).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Risd grad and "Milk" film director to speak in Providence

Tuesday, April 28
Alumni Lecture Series: Gus Van Sant '75 FAV
RISD Auditorium at Canal Walk

Gus Van Sant, whose most recent film, Milk, garnered an Academy Award for Best Actor for Sean Penn, has made his way in the film industry with such early independent standouts as Drugstore Cowboy (1989), My Own Private Idaho (1991) and To Die For (1995). With Good Will Hunting (1997), Finding Forrester (2000) and Milk (2008) his biggest commercial successes to date, he says he’s lucky to be able to continue to make the kind of movies that interest him most – more or less on his own terms.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Colt Andrews Makeover Schoolyard Project continues to raise funds.

With the support of the Bristol Warren School Committee and local elected officials, a group of citizens has launched the "Colt Andrews Makeover:Schoolyard Edition" project.Parents, children, teachers, staff and community members have come together to design a plan to renovate the schoolyard. Plans for the schoolyard include an outdoor classroom space, children's gardens, a safe physical education area and accessible playground equipment. It's a huge project because there is significant site work involved to create a safe and level play area. The group is working closely with businesses in the community to secure as many in-kind donations as possible and will be working hard in the coming months to raise the rest of the funds necessary to renovate the schoolyard. With this in mind, the Colt Andrews Schoolyard project is having a Spring Fair and Flea Market on May 2, 2009 to raise needed funds. Details on this event are two posts down.

Save Bristol Harbor looking for pairs of dedicated summer sampling volunteers

Save Bristol Harbor (SBH) is in the process of building a Predictive Habitat Model for use in factually projecting the impact of future development and usage on the water quality of Bristol harbor and the surrounding waters. In order to do so they need to collect significant data over an extended period of time.
They are looking to enlist 20 volunteers (they currently have 10 SBH members signed up, so they need 10 more) who are willing to commit to taking water samples from May through September. Samples need to be taken weekly, on the same day and before 8:00 am. The plan is to establish at least 10 teams of two (2) volunteers so that one of the two will be available each week to take samples.
Training on how to take the samples and measure/record the results will be conducted by the URI Watershed Watch on Thursday, April 23rd at the Bristol Yacht Club (BYC) from 12:00 noon to 3:30p. It will include classroom and "practice" sampling from the BYC docks and will be conducted rain or shine. A light lunch of wraps, salad, chips and soft drinks/water will be provided at 12:00 noon.
Please email to register Keith Maloney (Save Bristol Harbor member) at with your name, address, and telephone number.
If you are able to do this it will make a huge difference in the sustained water quality of our harbor now and in years to come. Thanks.

Colt Andrews School Spring Fair and Flea Market on Saturday May 2


Nina Murphy at (401) 253-9759
Rain Date is Saturday May 9

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Annual RI Wool & Fiber Festival at Coggeshall Farm Saturday May 16

Here are details for the Fiber Festival. Let's hope Rhody Warm Blankets are not needed!

Annual R.I. Wool and Fiber Festival
Saturday May 16, 2009
9 am-4pm

Hosted by Coggeshall Farm Museum
Rt. 114 (off Poppasquash Rd) Bristol RI

Vendor info and volunteers welcome

* Sheep Shearing *Kid's Craft Fiber Tent *Vendors *Fleece to Shawl
* Local Fleece * Demonstrations by local Guilds and crafters * Skirting Demonstrations
* Fiber tool consignment * Rhody Warm Blankets * Fiber animals
* 18th Century Farmhouse- hearth cooking- weaving-spinning-dyeing

Contact info: Linda Rhynard 401-258-7577

Rose Kerr, Chinese ceramics leading expert, to speak at RISD Museum April 22

This info just in from Mike Byrnes and the Olde China Trader (
Two lectures by Rose Kerr: Wednesday, April 22 at 10:30am and 2:00pm at the RISD Museum, Benefit Street, Providence RI (Free to members)

Ms. Rose Kerr is Keeper Emeritus of The Far Eastern Collection of Chinese Ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Musuem in London and a leading expert in the field. The V&A collection contains some of the best examples of Chinese ceramics in the world. Ms Kerr has written a number of excellent works on Chinese ceramics which touch on both the science of the potter and the cultural and social milieu in which such works of art are created.

10:30 a.m. Ceramics and Society in Song and Yuan China
(10th-14th centuries)
2:00 p.m. Politics and Porcelain in Ming and Qing China
(14th-19h Centuries)

Her books include:
Song Dynasty Ceramics, Ceramic Technology,
The World in Blue and White
Editor of The T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art: Chinese
Art and Design Victoria and Albert Museum

For more info: call 401 243 4511

Sunday, April 5, 2009

St. Michael's last concert Saturday April 18

The Community Concert Series at St. Michael's presents its last concert of the season, "The Topsy Turvy World of Gilbert & Sullivan" on Saturday, April 18, at 8 p.m. at St. Michael's Church.
The newly formed Flickers G&S Ensemble, under the artistic directorship of Eric Bronner, will perform rousing favorites with style and flair from the musical masters of political and social satire, featuring selections from "Pirates of Penzance", "HMS Pinafore", "The Mikado", "Iolanthe", "Ruddigore", "The Gondoliers", and more. There will be a post-concert reception with the artists.
Due to the popularity of the sold-out dinner/concert package offered at the last concert, there will be a choice of two packages this time: Le Central for $40 (396-9965, view menu at or Leo's Ristorante for $30 (253-9300). The package price includes a prix fixe dinner and concert ticket given at the restaurant. Reservations for the package should be made by calling the restaurant.
This is the first year that the non-profit concert series will be able to offer a $1000 college scholarship to a graduating senior planning to major in music.
Concert tickets only are available at Paper Packaging & Panache and at the door for $20, $15 (seniors), and $10 (students).

Cool osprey facts

I neglected to say in my previous post that Stan reported seeing an osprey catch a fish yesterday during the shore line clean up. Did you know that osprey usually mate for life and return to the same nesting place year after year from their winters in South America. Their diet is 99% fish so they need to be near water. They are amazingly efficient and the only raptor whose outer toe is reversible, allowing it to grasp its prey with two toes in front and two behind. They have barbed pads on the soles of their feet to help carry slippery fish. They generally carry fish with the head forward cutting down on wind resistance. Their life span is typically 20 - 25 years if not interrupted by boating and car accidents, shootings or poisoning by pesticides (still legal in South America).

Stan's Save the Bay clean up draws 40 people to pick up trash along the head of harbor

Stan Dimock and Save the Bay reported that yesterdays clean up at the head of Bristol Harbor had at least 40 people show up from all parts of the state including a bus of 10 students from Johnson and Wales University. Stan reported they picked up over 800 pounds of trash in black garbage bags. They also created several piles of large pieces of wood from pallets, old moorings and pieces of damaged docks that had washed ashore over the winter. Thank you Stan and to all your wonderful helpers for making Bristol a more beautiful place. We are indeed lucky to have Stan, the clean up guy, be a resident of Bristol!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coggeshall Farm has 7 baby lambs.

Coggeshall Farm has 7 baby lambs as cute as can be. Get out to Poppasquash, take a look and bring the kids. Mark your calendars for their Third Annual Fiber Festival on May 16 from 9 to 4 pm rain or shine. (

Osprey and egrets have returned

The last day of March a pair of ospreys were back on their perch on the nesting platform at the head of the harbor. This was the first day to hear the spring peepers as well. If you saw or heard them earlier please post a comment. Although it still doesn't feel it, this must mean spring has arrived!

The Town of Bristol offers free compost and mulch to its citizens.

Drive up to the landfill on Minturn Road off Metacom and its yours for the taking. The compost is almost black and is mixed with sludge from the sewer department. The mulch has no sludge in it. The compost is best used when dug into the soil when planting. The mulch is best when used as a top dressing to hold weeds in check and moisture in place. (If the compost is used as mulch it can be a bit smelly - especially after rain.)

Beretto's Exxon Station on Hope Street has a new generic 'Global' sign up

Because of the Exxon Mobil merger 10 years ago, it is required by law for the station to no longer display the Exxon sign. The gas is still from Exxon. Beretto's is now calling themselves "Global" because there was an inexpensive existing sign ready to go with the word "Global" on it that fit the required space. They would prefer to be called Beretto's but said to customize the sign was far too expensive.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Haiku poem written by a female 10 year old, 5th grade student at Guiteras School

The assignment in art class was to illustrate a poem. She decided to illustrate her own poem. Here's the poem:

"Some boys are so cute
Chasing after them is hard
True love pays its price."

The painting she did was as good as the haiku!