Newport Comedy Series Pg. 21 BOrN FrEE thursday, July 11, 2013 Vol. 41, No. 28 STEAM Gets Cool Reception What’s INsIdE By Tom Shevlin NATURE Pg. 26 table of Contents CalENdar FaIth COMMuNIty COMMuNIty BrIEFs CrOssWOrd PuZZlE dINING Out MaP EdItOrIal FIrE/POlICE lOG FrOM thE GardEN MaINshEEt NaturE NaVy COMMuNIty rEalty traNsaCtIONs rEEl rEPOrt rECENt dEaths sENIOr saVVy sudOKu 13 23 4- 5 25 17 6 5 14 12 26 8 27 24 23 22 25 www.Newport-Now.com twitter.com/newportnow Facebook.com/newportnow Al Fresco Movie Nights In this photo taken last summer, the lawn of the Newport Art Museum was the setting for an outdoor movie night hosted by newportFILM. This summer’s line-up of special showings and outdoor screenings begins Thursday, July 11 with “Stories We Tell,” shown at the Casino Theatre. See story on page 15 for details. (Photo courtesy of Hilary Bovay) 18-Mile aquidneck Bike route Planned By Tom Shevlin In their latest effort to ease traffic and encourage alternative forms of transit, the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission will unveil plans for a new 18-mile bikeway on Monday, July 15. The bikeway is seen as the first step in a long stated goal of developing a safe, scenic bikeway along the island's western shore. Funding for the project is from a $75,000 grant grom the Newport-based van Beuren Charitable Foundation. According to the Planning Commission executive director Tina Dolen, the project is an outgrowth of the commission's landmark Aquidneck Island Transportation Study and could be finished in as little as 3-4 years. Much of the early work is being done by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. "RIDOT is already taking the lead," Dolen says. With state crews re-striping the scenic coastal trail, much of the 18-mile loop is either already in place, or soon will be. Beyond striping, the project's main thrust will involve widening and resurfacing Anthony Road in Portsmouth, which will serve as a critical connection linking the northern and southernmost ends of Aquidneck Island via a designated cycling corridor. The improvement, "though relatively minor, will have impacts vastly greater than its scope and cost," according to the Commission. Most notably, once the Portsmouth connections are in place, the handicap accessible bikeway will provide access to the bay for fishing, swimming, marine education and family activities at the proposed Greene Lane Park. It could also remove cars from the road and provide a commuter path for employees of the island's defense industry, downtown Newport, and elsewhere. Once complete, the bikeway will consist of a mix of both dedicated bike lanes plus a 1.2 mile "rail and trail" path, with riders biking alongside a section of the island's coastal railroad. More than that, though, it will connect 55 miles of off-island bike trails, allowing riders to explore not only Aquidneck Island, but also Tiverton, Little Compton, and the East Bay. The route is indeed ambitious. Stretching across each of Aquidneck Island's three communities, the trail will take cyclists from Atlantic Beach in Middletown, through downtown Newport and along JT Connell Highway before linking up with Burma Road. From there, it will continue on to the proposed 1.2 mile rail trail, brushing past Green Animals, up Cory's Lane and onto Bristol Ferry and Anthony roads before connecting onto the new Sakonnet River Bridge. As Dolen described in her grant application to the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, "Local interest in bicycle travel has increased tremendously over the last several years; but most roads on Aquidneck Island are heavily traveled routes such as 114 and 138 and cannot safely accommodate cy- In the second of a series of planned public hearings, about 50 teachers, parents, school administrators, and community leaders gathered at the CCRI campus to air their views on a proposed countywide charter school on Monday, July 8. The Newport County STEAM Academy, which was first proposed by a small group of education advocates earlier this year, is aiming to provide students in grades K-6 with an option to pursue a curriculum heavy in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. To proponents, the school represents a golden opportunity to position Aquidneck Island as a hub for science and technology education, and would give some parents the right to choose where their children are taught. Opponents see things different- see stEaM on page 3 Welcome Center at Issue By Tom Shevlin New Burma bikeway will be located along the waterfront and separate from road as shown in this rendering. Below: East Main Rd. with proposed separate bikeway. clists. Families, commuters, students, the handicapped and visitors need a safe and enjoyable means to explore the island without a car." "Shoreline Bikeway’s unique scenic beauty and wide recreational appeal will make it a top tourist destination in Rhode Island with unquestionable impact on the lo- www.Newport-Now.com Free local News Matters cal, regional and state economies," Dolen says. The ceremony will take place at Midway Pier on Burma Road just opposite Greene Lane in Middletown on Monday July 15 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Refreshments, cycling, and talks from local and federal dignitaries will all be on tap, and the public is welcome to attend. The Preservation Society of Newport County will take its plan to construct a visitors center on the grounds of The Breakers to the city's Historic District Commission next week. But those interested in the project might have to wait to hear the full scope of the plan until a later date. One of nearly two dozen agenda items scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, July 17, the issue is expected to be continued to a special meeting in the coming weeks, say city staff. The decision to take the matter up separately underscores not only the significance of the application, but also the strong public interest that has enveloped the project since plans for the new facility became public roughly one year ago. Tuesday’s meeting will be the first time that the hotly debated plan is presented to a local decision-making body. It will also provide the first opportunity for opponents, who fear that the facility could have a significant negative impact on the surrounding area and Newport's historic fabric, to air their concerns in a formal setting. Design renderings show a meandering structure of more than 3,700-square feet and screened by see WElCOME CENtEr on page 7 Newport-Now Right Now: Scan the QR (Quick Response) Code with your mobile phone’s barcode app to get instant access to our website, with updated local news.