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area and has been a part of this community
this space (for the
it was like coming home again,” he continued.
restaurant employs a dozen people and prides itself on serving dishes with a nod to the “Old Country.” Diners can feast on several signature dishes, including their bone-in veal chops that are so big that they take up the entire plate, their linguini and clams and their Italian stuffed artichokes. Patrons can also dive into their fresh fish dishes, chicken or veal parmigiana with pasta, or perhaps for dessert, their amazingly delicious homemade cannolis.
Perhaps their calling card is their "World Famous Expresso Martinis,” among other specialty cocktails that are infused with rosemary, ginger and other herbs to give them an authentic flair and taste.
Palmisano said that his goal for operating a successful restaurant is simple: “I want people to feel like they are eating at my house.”
He noted about how meals are cultivated back in Italy. “It starts with visiting the local butcher shop for the freshest meat, then walking to the garden to select the vegetables, and maybe to the local store to pick up a bottle of wine. Palmisano said that the restaurant strives to maintain this tradition because “farm to table” offers the best quality and flavors for their
Fall in Love with New England
Sugarbush Resort, Vermont as their #1 Skiing Getaway on the East Coast!
The World’s for the
Feel in need off those chanics neering non-stop
It’s a more L’Agulhas, sia—roughly Appalachian encountered via bridge, boat or ferry
Just like that, it is the best time of year to frequent New England! With the colors of fall foliage in full bloom, the Patriots taking over Sunday Television yet again, Pumpkins and hot cider filling our tables, there is no better time to appreciate all that we have right here in our backyard then now. With that being said, why travel any further than our neighboring states if you’re looking for a fun fall getaway! Maybe you’ve visited before or maybe you had no idea that these charming attractions even existed, whichever the case, you absolutely can not go wrong diving into the beautiful colors of New England.
Colors of New England Featuring: Portland, Maine
Be charmed by the colors of New England from the heart of historic Boston to the farms, mountains, and coast of the North. Tour historic Boston during a 2-night stay in the heart of the city and experience a
choice on tour. Choose between a walk along the Freedom Trail with a local guide or, ride with a local guide to see Boston’s iconic treasures, whichever you chose is sure to be a spirited kick off to the trip. Explore Woodstock, Vermont, a quintessential New England village on your way to spending two nights in the quaint ski town of Stowe, New Hampshire. You will visit Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory and sample some of its delicious creations. And then, watch apples transform into cider before your eyes at Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
A person three years miles a day), or obtain able for cold, as tions through like South the physical than 385,000 same amount, down Everest Sugarbush is an overlooked gem among its peers, with many skiers heading to nearby Killington, Stowe, or Mad River Glen over this double mountain resort. So why shouldn’t you do the same? To put it simply, Sugarbush offers practically everything that those more popular ski areas boast, minus the crowds. So if you fancy schussing down a freshly groomed slope without queuing for a lift or dodging snowploughers this could be just the place for you!
Terrain: The resort is made up of two interconnected mountains, Lincoln Peak, where the majority of trails are, and Mount Ellen. Other lower peaks include Castle Rock, Gadd Peak and North Lynx. For the type of gnarly terrain you would expect from Mad River Glen, just hop aboard the Castle Rock Double chair to Castle Rock. From the top at 3,812 ft, you’ll have the steep double black chutes of Lift Line and Rumble to get stuck into. If clocking up maximum vertical drop is more your thing then you’ll find the slopes here laid out much better for top-to-bottom shredding than at Killington. Even if you ski all 111 trails here, there’s also 2,000 ac of backcountry to explore in the Slide Brook Basin area!
New England lobster dinner featuring the most fresh and succulent New England lobster. Marvel at Maine’s dramatic coast and discover the seaside communities of Portland and Kennebunkport. Be sure to stop and take a Christmas card worthy photo at the most photographed lighthouse in America, the Portland Head Light. This is New England at its finest in a perfectly timed, 8 day and 7-night tour. This tour includes 10 meals, crisp fall air and the perfect scenery to get you into the season. For more information, please contact your local travel advisor or Collette today!
You will have the opportunity to learn about the maple sugaring industry of New England on a farm tour of the Rocks Estate. Then as we make our way into the White Mountains region, relax as you cruise along Lake Winnipesaukee and admire the splendid views of New Hampshire’s largest lake. Food is a highlight on this tour as you dig in at a traditional
Town: If all that wasn’t enough, Sugarbush is generally a notch cheaper than pricey Stowe, but not at the sacrifice of luxury. For lavish lodgings, look no further than Lincoln Peak Village. For these reasons and more, when it comes to the most practical ski destina tion in Vermont, Sugarbush is a fantasic choice for a winter weekend getaway!
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There’s a Fresh Geyser Mystery in Yellowstone
John Cena Sets An Incredible Record
It’s unclear why the Steamboat Geyser had a record year
John Cena has fulfilled the wishes of 650 kids with critical illnesses who wanted to meet him, a world record for the most wishes
fulfilled through the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Guinness World Records confirmed the news and it's the record by a long shot: No one else has granted more than 200 wishes. The wrestlerturned-actor granted his first wish through the foundation in 2002, and is now the most-wished-for celebrity among children who make wishes through the foundation.
It’s the tallest active geyser on the planet— with an emphasis on “active.” From 2015 to 2017, it didn’t erupt at all. There was another largely quiet period from 1911 to 1961, but in 2018 it logged a record-setting 32 eruptions, a feat it has crushed this year with 47 eruptions, per the US Geological Survey. Why? Good question, and one that hasn’t been answered. It’s one on a long list of geyser mysteries, in fact. The gey ser-research field is a thin one, and as Yel lowstone National Park’s hydrologist ex plained the area beneath Steamboat hasn’t been mapped. However, seismic sensors there have revealed that the geyser’s water source may sit as deep as 130 feet.
Just One Teen on the Planet Aced This Test
On planet Earth, some 270,000 students took the AP Calculus AB exam in May 2022. About 20% of them scored a 5, which is the highest score possible. But Felix Zhang did something no one else did: The Indiana high schooler got a perfect score. Then a sophomore at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Felix emerged with 108 points out of a possible 108 on the multiple-choice test. Felix said he ended up fortuitously changing one answer while double-checking his work.
2022 saw the highest percentage of students score a 5 since 2016. Still, Felix didn't expect to stand alone in his feat:
Most other geysers seem to be fueled by shallower reserves; deeper equals warm er, so that could be a factor in Steamboat’s ability to propel water to heights of more than 300 feet. Michael Poland with the USGS earlier this year said it’s possible that increased snowfall in Yellowstone of late has led to more groundwater to fuel the geyser. What scientists are saying is that there’s no link between the increased activ ity and any potential looming eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano. “Yellowstone has an incredible geyser system that is un related to magmatic activity—other than the magmatic system basically providing heat,” tweeted one volcanologist. USA To day noted that the Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand has managed to shoot wa ter taller than Steamboat has, but it’s been
"I felt pretty confident knowing that I knew what to do on the test, but there was always a chance I would make a small error ... I'm pretty surprised that no one else got a perfect score." Felix is taking calculus BC this year, and he isn't alone in his math prowess in his family: His parents both teach math, his mom at Indiana University South Bend and his dad at Notre Dame.
THE TOP EARNING MUSICIANS OF THE DECADE
Top 4 World Series Games Of All Time
1988: Game 1 Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Oakland A’s 4
The NFL Is Replacing The Pro Bowl
The NFL is replacing the Pro Bowl with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game. The new event will replace the full-contact showcase started in 1951. It will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their football and non-football skills in challenges over several days.
The 2023 Games will be held in Las Vegas, and the flag football game at Allegiant Stadium is Sunday, Feb. 5.
Quality of play in the Pro Bowl has often been criticized. Players have been concerned about getting hurt, and treat it as an exhibition more
than competition. A flag football game could increase competition while avoiding potential injuries resulting from tackling, blocking, and hitting.
What’s more, the NFL has a major interest in flag football. The league partnered with the International Federation of American Football to bring flag football to the World Games in July with an eye on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
Looking Ahead at Rhode Island’s Economic Outlook for 2023By Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO, Rhode Island Hospitality Association
Last month, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) hosted its 19th Annual Economic Outlook Breakfast, providing a deep dive into how Rhode Island’s vital hospitality industry will fare in 2023. While the event was held virtually the last two years, this year’s inperson event was well attended by hundreds of industry professionals.
Panelists included Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research & Knowledge Group at The National Restaurant Association (NRA), who provided insight into the restaurant industry; Rachel Roginsky, Principal of Pinnacle Advisory Group, who offered data and perspective in the lodging industry; and Heather Singleton, Chief Operating Officer of RIHA and the RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF), who discussed how the workforce looks in the year ahead.
Analysis on these fronts suggests that by 2023, Rhode Island’s restaurant and lodging industries will continue to reshape and recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, international inflation and economic concerns, and other global factors.
Roginsky analyzed the lodging markets in Providence, Warwick, Newport, and Middletown. Providence saw a significant increase of 38.5% in RevPAR from 2021, but the market is still down 15.7% from 2019. Warwick also shows an increase from last year. With passenger counts continuing to increase at T.F. Green and more conventions and events in the area, a significant decrease in unemployment and a recovering economy, Warwick’s RevPAR increased 27.2% from 2021, and has increased 18.4% since 2019. On Aquidneck Island, Newport saw a substantial increase in RevPAR (up 14.0% from 2021, and up 22.2% from 2019). Roginsky analyzed the Middletown market, noting that RevPAR is up 21% from 2021 and 21.1% from 2019.
Hudson Riehle addressed the economic backdrop and performance of the restaurant and food service industry nationally. According to Riehle, the industry
will remain in transition throughout 2022 and 2023; national restaurant sales are projected to advance, despite strong geographic variations.
Some of this year’s biggest challenges for restaurant operators include employee recruitment, the economy, food costs and availability, sales volume, and labor costs. According to Riehle, hospitality job openings were over 1.3 million in July of 2022. The growth of labor costs is accelerating with average hourly earnings increasing by 11.1% in 2022, compared to 9.3% in 2021, 3.1% in 2020, and 3.8% in 2019.
While inflation is likely to decelerate in 2023, economic growth is expected to be more moderate. Additional national restaurant industry findings suggest that a greater emphasis will be placed upon food delivery, carryout, drive-thru service, alcohol, new business models, cost management, value-added products, and digital services/ products.
Heather Singleton, who spoke on behalf of RIHA/RIHEF, discussed key statistics affecting the Rhode Island labor force, as well as leisure and hospitality employment on a national scale. According to her findings, Rhode Island’s unemployment rate in July was 2.7%, compared to 6.0% in July of 2021. Similarly, the United States’ unemployment rate in July was at 3.5%, compared to 5.4% in July of 2021.
Since findings suggest that hospitality labor shortages and rising labor costs are not going away any time soon, Singleton’s presentation highlighted various available resources for employee recruitment and retention. Among these resources is the “Rhode Island Hospitality Jobs’’ website, a convenient resource for its hospitality members to post job openings and for job seekers to easily identify local opportunities in the industry through the use of a simple search tool; the RI Hospitality Association Group 401(k) Plan, established in partnership with U.S. Wealth Management; RIHEF’s Cook Apprenticeship Program; and the Rhode Island Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The net-net is that Rhode Island’s recovery process is ongoing, albeit at an accelerated rate. Many factors stand in the way of a swift and full recovery including supplychain problems, workforce shortages, food costs, and more. But all projections are pointing to a better 2023 for all.
J.P. Morgan Wealth Management was the presenting sponsor for the 2022 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival held September 16-18. Returning for its 17th year, the Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is one of most anticipated events of the summer. This world-class festival showcases unique wines, spirits and culinary events over three days in the spectacular setting of Rosecliff. New this year, James Beard Award Winning Celebrity Chef Michael Solomonov. Solomonov is an Israeli chef and restaurateur, known for his Philadelphia restaurant Zahav.Photos by L.A. Reilly
That Will Give You the Creepsby Julia Romano
When October rolls around in Little Rhody, it’s countdown time to Halloween, and if you’re seeking cool and creepy things to do during this ghoulish season, haunted houses should most definitely be at the top of the list. And, in Little Rhody, there is a great variety from which to choose that will appeal to “victims” of all ages.
The spooky attraction is a tradition that’s been around for a very long time. The earliest reported haunted house dates back to the early 1900s, but for decades following, there hasn’t been a whole lot of information about them. What we do know is that since that time, these frightful and creepy attractions have been an integral part of celebrating Halloween all across the country for both the kids and adults.
If you can feel the hair on the back of your neck rise up, not knowing what’s coming next, or you can feel your heart dreadfully jumping from under your skin, as you roam the rooms of zombies and other terrifying creatures, your experience was an extraordinary success.
What is it that causes us to be enthusiastic about being “scared out of our minds” within the fright filled walls of haunted houses?
According to Frank McAndrew, a professor of psychology at Knox College, who has written extensively about creepiness and horror, these experiences provide an ideal emotional cocktail.
“A group of researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark have referred to this type of behavior, i.e.,
paying good money to go to horror movies or commercial haunted house attractions, as ‘recreational fear.’”
The group describes recreational fear as “a form of play that combines the perfect mix of fear, enjoyment, and surprise, and just the right doses of these emotions appears to be addictive for many people.” There may also be a human survival element that makes these Halloween attractions so appealing.
If you are a Rhode Islander who is one of the many that thrives on this type of “recreational fear” during the Halloween season, you will never be far from a great haunted attraction featuring live actors with unbelievable makeup, animatronics, Hollywood set designs, creepy costumes, air blasters, and so much more, all of which will provide the experience you are seeking.
Here are some of the most popular haunted attractions that are visited annually.
Fortress of Nightmares - Fort Adams fortressofnightmares.com
Fortress of Nightmares returns to Fort Adams in the middle of October. Its hours are from 6 pm until 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. This is an authentic haunted house, and during October, they also conduct spooky paranormal investigations. Ask about being part of their 10:30 pm ghost hunting investigations. Fort Adams holds this frightful event, annually. Check their web page for details.
Haunted Labyrinth - Cranston www.hauntedlabyrinth.com
Haunted Labyrinth opened its doors in late September. For the past 3 decades, Haunted Labyrinth has been advertised as the “Scariest Haunted House in New England.” Located in Cranston, this eerie and creepy attraction features themed rooms, as well as scary mazes. Tickets are $12-13. Located at the Hope Youth Center, it’s open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 7 pm to 10 pm in October. Check their web page for details.
13th World Haunted Hill - Cumberland www.mahauntedhouses.com
This popular Haunt attraction opens in early October as a bigger and better 13th World. Haunted Hill has been re-themed with all new attractions, in its same previous location. The owners have been providing an experience that has been terrifying people in southern New England for more than 10 years. Tickets are $20. Attraction runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in October. Doors are open from 7 pm to 10 pm most nights. Check their web page for details.
Factory of Terror - West Warwick www.factoryofterror.com
This terror filled attraction opens every Friday and Saturday nights in October. Also open every Sunday night, plus on additional dates in October and November. The featured 5 attractions include “Psycho Alley,” “Asylum,” “Dracula’s Hideaway,” “4D Blackout,” and “Ghost Cemetery.”
See their web page for full pricing and schedule details.
Field of Screams - West Greenwich www.hauntworld.com
Don’t miss their opening night in early October. Spend an entire hour at Field of Screams with the ghouls, zombies, and disembodied spirits. Doors open at 6:30 pm and close at 10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and at 9:00 pm on Thursday and Sunday nights. Field of Screams gives you the only “4D haunted maze” in Rhode Island, appropriately named “Cirque Du Souls.” You also must visit “Haunted Insane Asylum” and the “Dead River Haunted Hayride.” They also feature a “Zombie Paintball” attraction. They are open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights in October, plus added dates. Check their web page for details.
How Much is Too Much When it Comes to ExerciseBy: Susan Gazerro
I was having a conversation with a friend about exercise. He had mentioned his daughter is “obsessed” as she does a minimum of three hours a day of exercise. I also have a family member who does a minimum of two hours a day at the gym. I myself, to some, may seem to exercise to excess. For some people, exercise is as much a mental thing as it is a physical thing. I rely on it to clear my mind, as it’s been scientifically proven to definitely assist with brain function. Now, is there such a thing as too much exercise? The answer is yes, and I hope to explain why in this article.
Doctors recommend 150 minutes of physical activity per week for the average person. However, elite athletes will spend many more hours exercising every week.
To know the effects of over-exercising, you should assess how it makes you feel physically and emotionally. Even if you kept it to 150 minutes per week, it could still be too much. You should always feel a little sore the day or two after, but, if you are really sore, you probably pushed too hard, especially if you haven’t been exercising for a while or never have.
When exercise is part of your daily routine, it has many benefits. Some of these include improved heart health, a lower risk of depression, better bone health, as well as better overall health. On the contrary, over-exercising can have the opposite effects on your body.
Even the elite athletes take rest days. After a workout, your body needs time to rest and repair itself. Running too far too often, lifting too much weight, or simply pushing yourself too far can lead to muscle strains, sprains, shin splints, and stress fractures.
If you feel overly achy and sore, it likely means your body needs a rest day. Design a workout that uses different muscles with different intensities on different days of the week. One day do an upper body workout. On another day, focus on jogging or walking. Throw in a stretch or yoga day. Have a lower body and core workout day. To avoid injury, make sure you don’t do the same workouts over and over again. I have always used the method of changing it up every class I teach because I believe variety is how you see results. I also know that doing the same thing over and over can and will slow down your progress because your body will hit a plateau.
You want to find your healthy weight and maintain that weight. We are all built differently and we all have our own healthy weight. I do want to say that some overweight people are healthy, just as some slim people are unhealthy. It’s not just about the number on the scale. Some effects of over-exercising can lead to too much weight loss. When your weight drops too low, it can begin to affect your hormones, your bones become more fragile, your immune system weakens, you become moody as your brain is now not getting the energy it needs, etc. Underweight women are also at a higher risk of early menopause, osteoporosis, and infertility.
Over exercising can disrupt your metabolism. When you exercise too much and burn too many calories, it can actually slow down your metabolism. People do not realize this and ultimately this makes weight loss more difficult. Furthermore, when people slow down their metabolism, it doesn’t bounce back quickly. This is why you see people who go on extreme diets and extreme exercise regimens and then gain the weight back very quickly when they stop.
As much as I preach exercise is the best medicine for depression, too much exercise can leave you feeling fatigued and even more depressed. It can affect your sleep and your appetite causing you to feel even more fatigued. If your workouts don’t make you feel energetic, you may need to switch up your fitness plan by lowering your
intensity or even changing what type of exercise you’re doing. You might even need to add more healthy carbohydrates and protein to your diet.
You may also need to examine why you exercise. Are you working out because you want to be healthy? Or, are you doing it as a punishment for eating a cookie at lunch? When you view exercise as a punishment, you may overdo it and not reap the mental health benefits of physical activity.
When exercise becomes compulsive, it can damage your relationships with friends and families. Again, the question becomes are you exercising too much, or for the wrong reasons?
Exercise should always be your choice. If you feel anxious or guilty after skipping a workout, you may be exercising compulsively, and if this is the case, re-evaluate your intentions for a healthier you!
“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for something you ate”
Financial Solutions for Life from Your Community Bank
FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE PAUL JONES
USING A PLATFORM OF ENCOURAGING SMALL BUSINESS GROWTH, ACTIVISM AND BEING PROACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY AS HIS CAMPAIGN.By Mark Berger
Paul Jones enjoys nothing more than helping people. It does not matter if the situation is local or universal; he looks to offer and execute solutions that are universally acceptable and applied. He also helps families transition their older loved ones into their next phase of their lives. Additionally, he can be seen aiding others in the community that has served him well for years.
Those are some of the reasons why Paul Jones is vying to become the next state representative for North Smithfield and Burrillville. Jones is a Democrat seeking to defeat Republican incumbent Brian Newberry in the general election on Tuesday, November 8.
He has been endorsed by several statewide officials, including U.S. Cong. David Cicilline, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, U.S. congressional candidate Seth Magaziner and State Rep. Greg Amore. He is also endorsed by Climate Action RI, Working Families RI, and several other organizations.
Jones said that his major focus is on helping small businesses get services and support from the state level. Being a small business owner himself, Jones understands first-hand what obstacles stand in the way of accomplishing whatever goals need to be met. Too much ‘red tape’ and ‘hoops to jump through’ lead to disenchantment and anger from those trying to do business.
“As a small business owner, I see what issues we are facing. It could be fees and taxes one day to not being user-friendly enough on another. We need to work harder to ensure that more business opportunities are available for those looking to do business in this state. I look forward to that challenge,” he said.
Jones will support legislation to help business owners create more wealth for more workers, invest in capital expansion, and make it easier, overall, to be an Ocean State entrepreneur. Part of this growth will be through embracing new, exciting industries, such as renewable energy and recreational marijuana; however, he strongly believes the growth of Rhode Island’s economy will also hinge on embracing the trades and supporting the growth of our current industries.
The plight of senior citizens is another topic close to Jones. He will pursue and support an expansion to Medicaid reimbursement rates so more seniors can get much-needed care. Jones will also advocate for the frontline healthcare workers, who care for our most vulnerable, and will vote for job protections, which make sense for the realities of care. Paul will also propose the creation of a joint commission on senior services to act as a single, focused body, working to transform how we help our seniors live and thrive in Rhode Island.
He also supports reproductive rights and says that he will work toward making that remain in force.
“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is sacred. Decisions around reproductive health should be between a woman and their doctor, not the government and unelected judges. My opponent voted against the Reproductive Privacy Act in 2019, which shows how out of touch he is with the district and the state as a whole. As your Representative, I will be a stalwart supporter of a woman’s right to choose how, when, and if they start a family,” he said.
Jones served on the North Smithfield School Committee for seven years and has been involved in town politics for even longer. He also served on the North Smithfield
Library Board of Trustees, as a member of the Economic Development Commission, the town’s Fire and Rescue Service Board of Directors, and Past Chair of the Town Democratic Committee.
Paul is the owner and lead concierge of The Care Concierge of New England in North Smithfield. He helps families navigate through the difficult process of placing older loved ones in either managed care, memory care, or other care facilities. He works with statewide facilities to get them placed in the best possible situation so they are cared for properly and provide ‘peace of mind’ for the family.
For Jones, it comes down to wanting to do the right thing for those who are impacted the most. To be elected as the next state representative would signal the next step toward aiding more people in both the short and long term.
“My entire life has been dedicated to helping others. There are many challenges facing our state and our district, and I am prepared to do as I have always done – work hard, lead with compassion, and focus on improving the quality of life for all the residents of North Smithfield and Burrillville,” he said.
Besides your vote on or before November 8, Jones is seeking volunteers. Anyone interested in holding signs around town, making calls, donating time or contributions, or helping Paul on election day would be greatly appreciated.
For more information, please visit Paul’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/electpauljones.
Additionally, you can learn more about the candidate by visiting his website at electpauljones.com, or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Alternative Investments May Fit Your PortfolioBy Edward Pontarelli Jr.
The state of the markets in 2022, where both stocks and bonds experienced declines in the first half of the year, may have you thinking about other investing op tions. If you’re wondering how to further diversify your portfolio alternative investments are one option to consider. They include real estate, commodities, hedge funds, private equity and private debt, and venture ca pital. Before you dive in, here’s what you should know about these nonconventional assets. You should also be sure to seek the advice of a trusted financial advi sor who can help you evaluate your risk tolerance, time horizon and whether alternatives could have a suitab le place in your portfolio.
A different kind of investing
Alternatives, as the name implies, are not mainstream investments, and if included in a portfolio, should only make up a small portion of it (no more than 15% to 20% is one rule of thumb, but the appropriate amount may vary).
Commodities can include natural resources such as crude oil, wheat, corn, and coffee. Trading typically occurs on the futures market, which means the in vestments are more complex than typical securities. Real estate includes publicly-traded real estate in vestment trusts (REITs), which trade on the stock mar ket, or private REITs, which have different investment requirements. Investors may also invest directly in land or property.
Private equity, private debt, hedge funds, and ventu re capital are available to individual investors through
professionally-managed funds. These segments of the market were off limits to all but the wealthiest inves tors and institutions until recently. Such assets are more accessible today than they were in the past and, like other forms of alternatives, can play a role in your portfolio.
The potential benefits of alternatives
The primary benefit of including alternatives in your asset mix is portfolio diversification. An effectively di versified portfolio can help you generate more consis tent investment performance over time. Historically some types of alternatives have shown the potential to hedge against the negative impact of weaker per formance periods in stock and bond markets.
Further, alternatives may be a hedge against higher inflation. These types of assets have the potential to keep closer pace with rising living costs.
Potential challenges with alternative investments Alternative investments are a long-term portfolio po sition. You need to be certain that you won’t need to liquidate assets early to access money committed to alternatives.
In addition, some alternatives aren’t subject to the same level of regulatory oversight as other securities. Be certain you fully understand the nature of the in vestment you select and the terms of the offering.
It may not be as easy to determine whether a speci fic investment is truly appropriate without significant research or professional guidance. To that end, talk to your advisor about how alternatives can most effecti vely be incorporated, and which types are a good fit, for your own portfolio.
a Financial Advisor and Mana-
Wealth Advisors a financial advisory
Financial Services, Inc. in Providence,
in fee based financial planning and asset management
Marginal Gains: Little changes can make a big difference in your financial lifeBy: Carrie McPherson
Mastering your finances and having a healthy relation ship with money isn’t always easy. Far from it. But a few small adjustments in your day-to-day life can meaning fully accelerate progress toward your financial goals -–no matter how modest or ambitious those goals may be. It all starts with a commitment to spending carefully, sa ving diligently, and investing wisely. Consistency in your investment strategy and minor enhancements to your investments can make a big difference over time.
How a little bit can add up
Can you find an extra $100 per month to set aside to ward your retirement? That comes down to about $3.30 per day. If you did that consistently, earning a 7% average annual return, that modest amount could add up to more than $51,000 in 20 years, approximately $117,600 in 30 years, and more than $248,500 in 40 years. The longer you accumulate that small daily amount, the more signi ficant the results.
Can you bump up the extra savings to just $5 a day (or $150 per month)? If so, that total after 40 years would climb to more than $372,800. What if you’re able to ge nerate an 8% average annual return instead of a 7% re turn? This small increase would grow your $150 monthly contribution to a total of $486,270 after 40 years. (No fees or taxes are assumed in these hypothetical calcu lations.)
Small steps to help strengthen your financial foundation You should make it a priority to identify sources of mo ney that can be added to your long-term investments. Here are some simple ideas on where to find extra mo ney for your retirement plans and other savings needs: Be more cognizant of purchases that you might take for granted today. Cut back on meals out or treating yourself to whatever catches your eye while shopping. Capitalize on sale prices when buying groceries or other everyday staples and stick to your shopping list as much as pos sible to avoid splurging on unforeseen splurges.
Be sure to boost your retirement savings every time you get a pay raise and try to grow your retirement plan cont ributions yearly to keep pace with inflation.
Make sure you fully capitalize on an employer match, if offered, through your workplace retirement plan.
Determine if there are ways to restructure any debts you carry to reduce interest costs and potentially lo wer monthly payments. Then, invest the difference. If time and your lifestyle allow for it, consider taking on a “side hustle” that can generate extra income that you can put toward your retirement savings. If you are 50 or older, take advantage of the “ca tch-up contribution” provisions in tax law to boost your retirement savings beyond the standard maxi mum amounts.
Now is the time to save
The sooner you can start saving more for retirement, the greater your opportunity to build more wealth. Now is the time to start searching for more ways to save while talking to your advisor about how to most effectively put that money to work.
Connie Pepin of Realty One Group Executives: Serving People Over MoneyBy Mark Berger
Connie Pepin’s experience in real estate encompassed her vision on how she wants to run her team. While working for her previous agency, she learned a lot and was able to build a clientele, but she also discovered some practices that left her head scratching. This led her to hire a real estate coach, find a new brokerage, and form a new team called “The Treasured Homes Team.” Pepin took those lessons—the good and the bad—and used them to create her vision.
She decided to join Realty One Group Executives, located on 458 Putnam Pike in Smithfield, because they are agent-oriented and offer a 100-percent commission, where the agent only pays a transaction fee for each sales transaction. This pay structure is very conducive to teams because the team leader and agent partner make way more money since the brokerage is not getting a large percentage. Pepin and her two agent partners, Rose Galligan and Claudia Simas, are here to educate people in the home-buying process and also help sellers prepare their homes to be sold.
“I work to serve people, not to serve money,” she said. “My agent partners make as much or more than me on a transaction. That is the way I conduct business. Not all teams will do that. Instead, they keep the majority of the transactions for themselves.”
With that said, it costs a lot of money to start and build a team. However, the new agents join teams because they need help in creating and maintaining their pipeline and confidence in this industry. They need to understand how valued they are for their part in growing the team and should never feel
unappreciated and/or disposable. Unfortunately, this is exactly how some teams make their agents feel.
Pepin obtained her real estate license in 2017, but has been in sales her entire life. Her initial exposure to real estate was focused more on the investor side of it, with rehabilitating and flipping properties. Pepin realized quickly that she needed to obtain her real estate license so she could save money in realtor fees. As the market started rising, she decided to focus her attention on being a realtor and learned rapidly that she loved her new title.
She is licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
One area that Pepin takes pride in is helping both senior citizens and the disabled. She is saddened and disappointed that some agents would use them for their own gain. That means, seeing dollar signs instead of someone in need. This rankles her because buying or selling a home has enough challenges without the person getting taken advantage of, especially by a realtor, whose job is to represent that client. But in some cases, the realtor does not actually care because it is the money they are most concerned about - amassing more of it for themselves.
Elderly and disabled clients are vulnerable and may believe that the discounted brokerages are saving them money. Unfortunately, the hidden fees can sometimes amount up to 7% or more.
Pepin does not work that way and would want to be treated with dignity and respect if she or someone she cared about were ever put in such a situation.
“It’s deplorable how some people operate. These people may be desperate or not have the information needed to make informed decisions. Seniors and the disabled are often targeted by predatory agents who are often only out for themselves. They are
fueled by money or a fast commission, and simply, not for serving their clients.
“You are in good hands with us,” Pepin continues. “We work from an honest perspective and strongly believe in the biblical statement, ‘do unto others as you want done to you.’ My strong Christian beliefs do not allow me to work any other way.”
Pepin’s long-term goal is to keep the practice sustainable after she retires. That means leaving a legacy for her children and helping her business move forward. She thinks fostering a teamlike atmosphere and discussing issues when they arise are key components for a successful business. They often hold discussions on topics that arise during the process and come to a consensus on how to proceed. Again, she doesn’t have an ego where “her way is the only way,” which leads the conversation. She encourages input from her agent partners.
does not do is
The other subject Pepin and her team “dual agency.” That is where an agent is working for both the buyer and seller on a property. While it is legal in the New England area, it presents a risk that the agent may favor one party over the other. She puts the dual agency matter in another way.
“If you are appearing in court, you would not want your attorney to act for both the plaintiff and the defendant,” she said.
While Pepin has two agent partners working for her, she is currently looking to expand her team. She is focused more on newly-licensed agents that are licensed in RI, MA, and/or CT. They must have a positive attitude, a valid driver’s license, can work in a team atmosphere, and have the tenacity to learn in and away from the field.
Her advice for those looking to either buy or sell a home in this market? For sellers, it’s pricing your property accurately and appropriately. Fewer people are getting $50,000 over asking price now that the market is shifting and homes are sitting a little longer. So, to ensure your house does not sit for a while on the market, price it correctly the first time by working with a realtor like Pepin, who can make the right call. Failing to do that means the home may stay on the
market longer and a price reduction is often the way to fix that issue. For the buyer, ask for references from the realtor. Make sure they have the experience, but also, the ability to work well with others. Uncovering issues before working with a realtor can prevent unwanted issues down the road.
“You should not only read “Google reviews” because a realtor can literally go and make erroneous reviews. Instead, ask your realtor for an approved list of clients’ names and phone numbers so they can actually call them and ask questions. You should feel 100-percent comfortable with the realtor you hire,” she said. “Hire” being the operative word because yes, they most definitely should be working on completely benefitting you and your situation.
For more information about Connie Pepin and Realty One Group Executives, including applying for a job, please contact her at 774-571-0818 or email@example.com.
Genesee Way is a beautiful and serene community with pond views and 6 custom homes. 761C welcomes you home with stone walls and long private drive leading to a majestic colonial on nearly 3 acres! This show stopper has been exquisitely renovated by Davitt Design Build to the highest of standards including smart home technology. The grounds are lush and vast with blue stone patio, outdoor kitchen, salt water in ground pool, outdoor shower, fire pit and private reflecting pond. The interior is as grand as it is inviting with thoughtful consideration given to both design and function. The kitchen features quartz counter tops, center island, Viking 6 burner stove, wall steam oven, beverage drawers and built in appliance cabinet/ coffee station. Each room holds its own character and charm with 3 fireplaces throughout the first level. The primary suite has a private balcony, newly renovated bathroom, walk in closet and dressing room beyond compare. Finished 3rd level brings additional flex space for guests. Finished lower level currently functions as movie room, recording room and features amazing home gym and full bath. This home is turn key! Minutes to area beaches, shopping, restaurants and the highway. Enjoy the 3D tour... you won’t be disappointed!
Fuse Energy Helps Groups Save Money, EnvironmentBy Mark Berger
Much has been said and done since the 1970s to make the world more environmentally-friendly. Gas-guzzling cars have been replaced with fuelefficient vehicles. Now, there are hybrid models that use less fossil fuel and emit fewer toxins into the atmosphere. Even packaging at fast-food restaurants has gone from styrofoam containers to either paper covers, or boxes made from biodegradable materials that can be recycled. These are some of the changes that have been made to help preserve the environment and create healthier options.
The same idea holds true for developing energy. Gas ruled the roost for decades until shortages and soaring prices made it necessary to discover alternative sources. That’s where solar energy came into play—providing the way for the same energy needed for daily activities, while preserving our surroundings and saving money for its users. One such company with a presence in 13 states, including Rhode Island, works with municipalities, non-profit organizations, and residents, to curb their electric bills, while making a statement that they are doing no harm to the environment.
Fuse Energy is a one-stop company focusing on providing renewable energy solutions, community solar programs, and electricity and natural gas supplies. They work with all such groups in achieving true savings and feeling good about making a difference.
Managing Partner Tom DeFeudis said that all of the state’s 39 cities and towns have bought into the company’s “community solar program” because of the ample savings it gives, up to 25 percent in many cases. Non-profit groups can save up to 15 percent on their electric bills, which can be a difference maker for those organizations working on a limited or shoestring budget.
DeFeudis said that the initial response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have shown the cities and towns real savings on their bills, and that has been a game changer,” DeFeudis shared. “Municipalities are constantly searching for ways to give services to its people at affordable prices. That’s why our programs are designed to keep costs down, while giving excellent products and services.”
DeFeudis noted that one town, Coventry, will save more than $50,000, annually, on their energy costs by enrolling in their plan. They were able to pass along the savings to its residents and demonstrate a better alternative to what they previously used.
Those who are concerned about saving the environment can rest easier knowing that Fuse Energy remains committed to doing its part. First, they build their solar farms on land that serves no other purpose. Many of their farms are built on land that was formerly dumps or landfills. Second, they use the roofs of existing buildings. Doing this means they are not cutting down any trees to make room for them. Finally, they are creating jobs, locally, because people need to be hired to build the solar panel farms.
Non-profit agencies are able to realize such savings. They can save with the building they own and the program may be transferred to another building if they lease that property. It’s a fit all the way around.
DeFeudis said that they have nearly two-dozen nonprofits enrolled in the plan. One of them, AccessPoint RI, will save $7000, annually, for the next 25 years.
Another non-profit agency, Ronald McDonald House Charities, will save $5000, annually, for their Providence location.
RMHC New England CEO Gretchen Manning said, “We are very busy. Tom explained how the program works and made it easy for us to enroll.”
Fuse Energy was founded by Steve Janes in 2019. DeFeudis joined the company a year later. They have numerous years of experience in the industry and understand what it means to have clean, affordable energy that won’t negatively impact any budget. They have plans that can help people who would like to learn more about the community solar program and its benefits.
Fuse is a commercial-energy procurement and advisory firm. Their focus in Rhode Island is community solar enrollment for nonprofits, institutions, schools, and municipalities, to help them save on their annual electricity spend, while developing clean energy for the state.
For additional details about the company or this program, please contact:
Tom DeFeudis 508-320-7301 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information can be found by visiting their website: fuseenergygroup.com
BLACKSTONE VALLEY POLAR EXPRESS TRAIN RIDE RETURNS
Hop aboard America’s longest running THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride!By Jenn Lombari
Once again, people of all ages are eagerly await ing the captivating magic that the holiday season brings.
The Blackstone Valley Polar Express started in 1999. It’s the longest running Polar Express Train Ride in existence. This year, they are expecting over 15,000 passengers.
Be a part of the magic! Come and join the Black stone Valley Tourism Council as they kick off the 2022 season with their production of the popular Blackstone Valley Polar Express Train Ride.
This 3-hour experience is based on the popu lar children’s book “The Polar Express” by noted Rhode Island author Chris Van Allsburg, which was also made into an animated family movie fea turing Tom Hanks.
Put on your pajamas for this trip which includes a 90-minute excursion on a real-life train filled with a reading of the classic children’s story, singa-longs, hot chocolate, a delicious Polar Express cookie, games, and a special visit from Santa to deliver the first gift of Christmas to every child! During the journey passengers will view the North Pole that includes a giant 35’ Christmas tree, gor geous decorations, and “elves” to welcome the train’s arrival, performed by children from The Dance Step. After returning from the trip, fami lies can stay for a photo with Santa in the historic Blackstone Valley Train Depot.
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council President, Bob Billington, comments, “we are grateful that people have allowed us to be a part of their holiday tra dition. Because of this we always work to expand THE POLAR EXPRESS experience and make our
show better. This season is no different and we are excit ed for you all to see what we have in store.”
Guests will be greeted by a small Christmas village out side the depot where they will have the opportunity to take photos in front of custom-made Polar Express backdrops, as well as peruse the officially licensed Polar Express Gift Shop, enjoy children’s activities, and write letters to Santa.
Returning this year is the crowd-pleasing stage show orchestrated by renowned performer Emily Luther (The Voice), John Guevremont - Creative Director at Mount Saint Charles, and students from this acclaimed academy that will take guests through the introduction of the beloved Polar Express story! This performance starts the show and will lead passengers right into the calling of “All Aboard” with our Conductor and board ing the train.
BVTC is seeking volunteers for various positions at the Blackstone Valley Polar Express. Those interested in being a part of this event should contact Joan Loos at email@example.com or call 401-724-2200
For more information and tickets visit www.blacksto nevalleypolarexpress.com or call the ticketing office at 401-495-1213
Here are some reviews from past guests:
Our experience with the Blackstone Valley Polar Express went above and beyond our expectations. We were greeted with smiles and welcomes from everyone we meet. We were treated as though we were the only family around. Thank you for giving us such wonderful memories!”
“I am so happy we chose Blackstone Valley Polar Express this year. We had so much fun, and the workers on the Prancer car were super fantastic! I rate this by far 5 stars! Excellent, worth every penny. The mugs are beautiful, hot cocoa and cookies were delicious! I would not think twice about coming back next year! Our 5 year old grand daughter was super thrilled and to see her and the rest of the children having so much fun ….. well, that’s what it’s all about!”
THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride is the largest fundraiser for Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, an international award-winning 501(c)(3) non-profit.
Proceeds from this event go toward their Blackstone Valley Heritage Environmental Trust Fund aimed at providing environmental education opportunities for local youth in Rhode Island & nearby Massachusetts.
Reliable Pest ControlBy L.A. Reilly
Family owned and operated since 1954. Michael Hoffman’s company is known for being the best around. “It never stops! My phone rings 24/7. I’ve gone on Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, Mother’s Day. Once I even got a call to remove a goose in someone’s bathtub.” His company motto is “Follow The Leader” and after my interview I can see why. I went on a call with Mike, his son AJ and his dad to remove a hornets nest.
Professional, personal and knowledgeable. It was amazing to see them in action.
LA: Your family has been in the business for almost 70 years. Started with your grandfather, down to your dad, you and now your son AJ. Tell me about the history of Reliable Pest Control.
MH: When my grandfather got home from the war he went to work for a pest control company in Providence. My grandmother wanted to relocate to Bristol so my grandfather left the company he was working for and started Reliable Pest Control when they moved to Bristol in 1954. He did that on his own and my dad went to the carpenters union. My grandfather got sick and my dad went to go work with my grandfather because he couldn’t work alone anymore and eventually gave the business to my dad in 1984. My grandmother use to work with my grandfather and kept notes on 3x5 index cards and when they gave the business to my dad, he had 20 shoe boxes full of 3x5 index cards with all the company records written on them. I came on board in 1990. My dad semiretired in 2017 and I took over in 2019. I worked for my dad 29 years before I took over. We are one of the only pest control companies that answer the phone 24/7. I’ve been on Block Island and Florida and took the next plane home to do a job.
LA: Did you have to go through training and get certified?
MH: When you turn 18 years old you can get license to be certified. I went to URI at the cooperative extension. They give you classes and training. Then you get your basic license but you still have to be certified in different categories. In order to do rats you have to get a rodent license. Ants & termites is a separate license, mosquitoes etc. I have them all. AJ has a couple more to go. I wanted to open every door possible so I got certified in everything. I take every job imaginable.
LA: What do you consider the most dangerous in your line of work?
MH: Bald-faced Hornets. They can kill you. Plus, I am allergic to bees.
LA: What was the most challenging pest control job you ever did and how did you handle it?
MH: I got a call to go to Prudence Island. My client opened up a wall in a house and exposed thousands of yellow jackets. By the time I got on the ferry it was a day later and the nest was fully exposed. There were thousands of bees all over the house and windows. I had to go in and treat them while they were flying around. I had to kill the nest and remove it. We have bee suits but I didn’t bring one
because I thought they just needed a yellow jacket nest taken down. They didn’t tell me they ripped the paneling down and the whole nest was exposed. I had to finish the job. I sprayed my way into the house. It took a couple hours and only got stung about 5 times. I went by myself and I was 18 years old. It was one of my first jobs.
LA: What precautions do you take when performing pest control services?
MH: For example if it’s racoons, we use elbow length gloves. For squirrels we use eye goggles because they go after your face. And bees we use bee suits.
LA: Can you tell me the most interesting story that happened to you since you started
MH: I got stuck under a building during a termite treatment. I had to belly-crawl to get under the building so I could trench around the uprights. You treat the soil so the termites can’t go from the soil to the wood. I belly-crawled, digging the posts and I went under a beam and got stuck. My dad had to come with a shovel and dig me out. He pulled me by my ankles and yanked me out. This was on my second week working with my dad. Another time I went to a house to get rid of a skunk that fell in a cistern. I was crawling on the board and it broke. I fell and crushed the skunk. I was able to climb my way out with the dead skunk but the smell was unbelievable. I use a combination of baking soda,
peroxide and ivory liquid for a paste and use it as a scrub to remove the smell. I get sprayed maybe once a week.
LA: How do you feel about AJ taking over?
MH: I am excited because I want my son to succeed and nervous because my baby is taking over my baby. My child will be taking over what I’ve worked my entire life for.
LA: What is the most common types of pests that infest this area?
MH: For residential it’s carpenter ants.
LA: Have you ever encountered a pest you never saw before?
MH: Yes! Cicada Killer wasps. It’s a member of the bee family. It takes the cicada fly, drags it down a hole and lays eggs into it which the larvae feeds off of for a year.
LA: You have the reputation for being the best in the area. What makes Reliable Pest Control so successful?
MH: Customer service! We don’t do any advertising. My father always said “If you do a good job for somebody they tell 5 people. If you do a bad job for
somebody they tell 10 people. The smallest account is just as important as the largest account.
LA: What do you think is the most important aspect of being a pest control technician?
MH: Always tell the truth to your customer. I always tell my guys “You may not always know the answer but be up-front with people and tell them you don’t know the answer but will find out” Never “BS” the customer.
LA: What are your future plans with AJ taking over?
MH: I want to continue my customer service. I want AJ to continue my legacy but I want him to find a good balance between work and having a life. I want AJ to run the business not the business run AJ.
Reliable Pest Control’s technicians are fully licensed and insured in Rhode Island and Massachusetts serving the pest control needs of families and businesses.
What’s Up With That?
What’s Up With That?
Economists estimate that only about 8% of the world’s currency exists as physical cash; the rest is electronic. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States, was the first American president to be born in a hospital.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
According to Hawaiian mythology, the octopus is the only surviving member of a previous version of Earth WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Isolated ants live just six days, whereas ants in a colony live up to 66 days.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
More than 780 million adults around the world cannot read or write.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
53 percent of the people who live in Fiji don’t have access to clean, safe water—even though Fiji water is the nation’s largest export.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Humans don’t get goosebumps on their faces because the muscle in the facial hair follicle has evolved to help make facial expressions instead.
It’s estimated that the iceberg that sank the Titanic started to develop during the reign of King Tut. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
According to one survey, only 18% of parents allow their children to use technology at the dinner table. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT
Eating while walking triggers more overeating compared to eating while watching TV or having a conversation with a friend.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Dolphins develop unique “names” for their friends, who then respond when called. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
According to one survey, only 18% of parents allow their children to use technology at the dinner table.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Roughly 3 out of every 4 people have glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
When asked how they felt about an overweight president, 64% of Americans said it has nothing to do with getting the job done, a poll found.
other of The Jersey.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
1 out of every 21 New Yorkers is a millionaire. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Steve Jobs had a high school GPA of 2.65.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
The first animated couple to be shown in bed togeth er on primetime television were Wilma and Fred Flintstone.
Studies have shown that people really do take longer to leave a parking spot when you’re waiting for it.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
the The Kentucky.
Your brain replays some of your memories while you sleep to consolidate them and store them long-term.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
If you are stranded in a desert, do not open a cactus for water—cactus pulp contains toxic alkaloids that will make a person vomit.
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Credit for the Dealership’s success comes from a total team effort.
Toyota of Smithfield Feels Presidential by Mark BergerPhotos by Myke Yeager Photography
Being considered the best at something requires dedication and drive to succeed. The achievement of one can be attributed to the support of others. It’s the comradery of rallying for a cause that makes winners out of them. Those results are often shared to show how “teamwork makes the dream work.”
There is no better example of this than recently, when Toyota of Smithfield received the prestigious 2021 President’s Award for exceeding expectations in several key customer service areas. Of the nearly six-dozen Toyota dealerships in this region, only 20 earned this distinction. Toyota of Smithfield owns the Rhode Island bragging rights as the ONLY such facility in the state to earn this award. It speaks to their never-ending mission to treat every transaction with class, speed, and accuracy. General Manager John Durrani said that it was a complete buy-in, with every employee in every department and the management team contributing to the positive vibes and feedback from those who went in to view their stock or got their vehicles serviced. Their purpose has not changed since they took over a couple of years ago.
“There are so many people to thank for this wonderful achievement. Everyone bought into our mission and have worked tirelessly to ensure that each customer walks away happy and with “peace of mind.” That is what we strive for when anyone walks through our service department or showroom. Our receiving of the President’s Award is not a vindication of our efforts, rather, it’s a tribute to the family-like atmosphere we have created.” - General Manager John Durrani said.
Winning the award was far from easy. The dealership dealt with between 100-200 interactions per day. Those ranged from making appointments to test drives to financing customers. While there are ways for interactions to go sideways, they always work to ensure it doesn’t happen. If something does, then they continue working toward a positive outcome. Their 78 employees and 13 managers are experienced in handling any scenario because of their training and their ability to
solicit information from other employees, some of whom may have dealt with that situation before.
In order to be considered for this high honor, a dealership has to exceed their sales’ expectations by 106 percent during a 12-month period, and maintain exceptional customer satisfaction and retention. Customer satisfaction and retention were the main focuses to qualify for this award.
“We are not perfect, but we possess the knowledge and expertise to manage the process of buying, selling, repairing, or refinancing a vehicle as smoothly as possible. We are known for staying on top of any issue until it gets resolved. Nobody wants to be left hanging without answers. Our employees are devoted to making sure they make the most out of the customer experience,” Durrani explained. That extends to the transactions. Many dealerships believe their commitment ends once the customer and vehicle leave the lot. For Toyota of Smithfield, that is not the case, as they follow up with the customer to ensure they are happy with the service, and answer questions or address
any concerns that may arise. It may be having them fill out a survey to determine what works well and what may need improvement.
All of this is done to make sure that no stone is left unturned, and the customer becomes part of the Toyota of Smithfield family. Durrani knows that without the continued support of the community, they would not have achieved the level of success they are experiencing.
“The last two years, we were heavily dedicated to customer satisfaction,” he said. “We are constantly striving to improve in every area so that our customers feel comfortable and confident that we will tend to their automotive needs. The road to success is still under construction, but our intention is to provide customers with a great experience.”
Included in their mission statement is standing behind their products and services. Meaning, they are proactive in addressing problems before they become bigger ones.
Durrani credits the management staff for being the drivers of this unique and honorable award. Those people include: General Sales Manager, Mo Durrani, Service & Parts Director, Kyle Robillard, New Car Manager, Mike Patnaud, Used Car Manager, Victor Jimenez,
Customer Relations Manager, Nadine Lovelace, Parts Manager, Dom Austin, and Service Manager, Justin Olivo.
As for inventory, they still welcome patrons to trade in their used vehicles. High demand and low inventory have made the need crucial.
To help facilitate the need for more certified, pre-owned vehicles onto their lot, Toyota of Smithfield offers 115% of the book value for any used cars. It does not matter whether the customer decides to purchase a car from their lot.
“We will buy your trade, even if you don’t purchase a car from us,” Durrani stated.
The Dealership’s Peace of Mind Purchase Process means no hassles over pricing, trade-in values, cash back and rebate incentives offered up front, as well as the best available leasing and financing terms up front. Durrani said that this is just part of the all-around, customer-driven experience he implemented to ensure the process does not get bogged down in miscommunication.
Schedule an appointment by calling them at 401-723-0962, or visiting their website at: toyotaofsmithfield.com.
Elves for Elders Continues to Bring Cheer to Seniorsby Mark Berger
The 22nd annual Elves for Elders campaign has grown to aid thousands of senior citizens in having a happy holiday. They receive gifts and sometimes more from the community though “stars” picked up at various merchants throughout the state.
The objective of Elves for Elders is obtaining gifts for seniors in facilities statewide who might not otherwise receive a gift during the holidays. The program has grown from 300 gifts in its initial year to over 1,500 gifts in the past five years.
These gifts arrive from donations made by individuals and company drives. Presents range from pajamas and other clothing to toiletries (shaving cream, shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, as examples). The gifts are placed in bags and transported to the area care facilities to be given to the residents.
Event Founder and Coordinator Maxine Mae Hutchins said while people must still remain vigilant—particularly in the healthcare industry—current events make it possible to make it more in-person and less distant.
“This began as an idea to show seniors that they have not been forgotten,” said Hutchins, who works at Right at Home in Warwick. “The amount of support we received over the past several years has been fantastic and much appreciated. It keeps growing because more people want to help. That means being able to reach more seniors who may not have the benefit of family or relatives nearby.”
The Elves for Elders program began from a simple act of kindness, according to Hutchins. She decided to hand make and send out holiday greetings to seniors who she discovered received nothing for the holidays. Reasons stemmed from the person not having family members in the area to being alone. It was a comment from one recipient, who said that was the only card she got, that sparked Hutchins with the idea that endures to today. The program works in getting gifts for seniors. Participants are asked to provide details—regarding something they either want or need. It could be a pair of pants, shirts, accessories or anything else, within reason. The gift requests are written on paper “stars” with the person’s request and specifics. Anyone who wants to contribute may purchase the star request, put them in a gift bag and deliver them to desired locations throughout Rhode Island.
On November 1st, there will be a tree at Warwick Mall, located at the customer service booth near the center of the mall. Paper stars will be placed on the tree with a senior’s first name, gift request and size. Participants can select a star or stars, make the purchase and return the gift or gifts (along with a gift bag) to the customer service desk.
Other tree locations are:
Coffee and Cream 900 Victory Highway, North Smithfield
Davenport’s Restaurant 1070 Mendon Road, Cumberland 1925 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence
Lulu’s Krazy Daisy Fashion Consignment 706 St. Paul Street, North Smithfield
Mission Nutrition 156 Gansett Avenue, Cranston
Salon Sunflower 662 Great Road, North Smithfield
Shana’s Kitchen 1517 Old Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln
The tree at Warwick Mall comes down on December 10th, according to Hutchins. The “elves” then collect, sort and assemble the packages. The gifts are then distributed to various locations across Rhode Island.
Hutchins usually plans a day for the elves to put the gifts together for the big drop later in December. That volunteer event takes place on December 16th at Lakewood Baptist Church, 255 Atlantic Avenue in Warwick.
The need for gifts is still relevant, even during these uncertain times, she said.
“There are still protocols in place at nursing homes and at these facilities because of the threat of spreading the virus,” said Hutchins. “That makes what we do even more important. We don’t know what will happen during the next few months with mandates and regulations. So, it’s important to make sure we have everything in place and deliver these bags of cheer to these people.
“Getting some type of gift from anyone - be it from a family member or a total stranger—can make that person’s day.”
The stars can be a jumping off point, Hutchins said. Donors have also included gift cards, perfume/ cologne, soap, Q-Tips, shower caps and other treats along with the main gift. She explained that seniors are on a fixed income and may not have the resources or transportation to pick up those necessities.
When the trees come down on December 10th, there are often stars that are not taken and filled.
This year’s fundraiser will be a Quarter Auction on October 18th at 5:00 pm, Tri-City Elks Lodge #14, 1915 West Shore Road in Warwick.
For more information about the project and how you can help, please contact Maxine Hutchins at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“When my oldest mare died, I allowed the others to see her, sniff her body, and realize that she had died, not just disappeared,” she wrote. Pugh added that the mare’s daughter, Dolly, was brought out of the barn to witness the burial.
“She stood over her mother until the heavy equipment came to move the body, dig her burial spot, and bring her down to the site,” Pugh continued. “Dolly followed the backhoe and waited patiently, standing guard until her mother was completely covered and the equipment left. From that day forward, when she was let out of her stall in the morning, the first place Dolly would go was to her mother’s grave and stand over it for a few mo ments before moving on to graze. She is now buried alongside her mother.”
Pugh revealed that cows also grieve.
“I saw my neighbor’s cow give birth to a premature calf,” she recalled. “It didn’t live long, less than an hour. As the mother stood over her baby, trying to nudge it back to life, all the other cows gathered around. Then they formed a line and each cow walked by, gently touch ing the dead calf and then moved on. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen.” Pugh remembers that the cows also comforted the mother by gently nudging her and remaining with the grieving animal for the rest of the day.
“Years later, when that same farmer’s horse died and was being buried, the cows that had been lying in the cool shade under the trees all stood up and watched the burial. It was almost like they were paying respect to the dead,” she added.
MORE THAN JUST A FISH STORE Essentials for All Your Animals Needs
MORE THAN JUST A FISH STORE
for All Your Animals Needs
Dog Facts You Didn’t
4 times as many scent cells as a cat’s
Post Rd, North Kingstown
valued member of
Post Rd, North Kingstown
estimated 1 million dogs in the United States have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner’s will.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not sweat by salivat
They sweat through the pads of their feet.
Dogs can alert their owners of an epileptic seizure up to an
Walt Disney’s family dog was named Lady. She was a
develop a close
Ask An Expert
Is Painting Over Wallpaper a Good Idea?
My name is Tom Lopatosky. I’m the President of LOPCO Contracting (www.LopcoContracting.com) & I’m honored to have the opportunity to talk to you about home improvement on a monthly basis. I love answering your questions! Please send them to tom@ LopcoContracting.com or call 401-270-2664. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this column!
Once in a while, I get asked a serious question, which is done with valid intention. But for some folks who may hear the same ques tion, it may invoke a bit of giggling until they hear the response, which will possibly change their tune and get them to nod their head in approval and in agreement. “Is Painting Over Wallpaper a Good Idea?” falls directly into this category.
If the average home improvement contractor/painter was to over hear someone asking me this question, their initial reaction may be a bit of head shaking, accompanying a chuckle, as the question on its surface may seem a bit ridiculous to them.
Afterall, if one was going to paint a wall with wallpaper on it, wouldn’t they want to take the wallpaper off first? I mean, serious ly, isn’t that the whole purpose of painting a wallpapered wall properly? If you paint over wallpaper, aren’t the surfaces just going to look like painted wallpaper?
Possibly. However, possibly not.
As crazy an idea as painting over wallpaper may appear to be on the surface, there are not only viable circumstances which may jus tify doing so, but there are typically ways to paint a wallpapered wall to make it look like a regular painted wall, without any longterm negative implications.
Even if it “can” be done, why the heck would someone want to paint over wallpaper in the first place?
Possibly, for a number of reasons…
The person undertaking the project may be afraid that if the wal lpaper is removed, the walls that the wallpaper is attached to may come off with it. In many instances, this is a legitimate concern! Maybe the person taking on the project is short on time and needs to get the walls painted quickly.
Or, perhaps the person merely wants to paint the walls and not have to deal with the hassle of removing the wallpaper.
If the goal is to paint the wallpaper and truly have things looking like a normal painted wall, there are certainly things that must be done in order to achieve this. The first thing one should do is to make sure that the walls are clean and that any loose paper is sur gically removed (a razor knife teaming with a putty knife will work fine for this task).
After that, a prime coat of ‘GARDZ’ or comparable pri mer should be applied to the wallpaper to stabilize its sur faces and to neutralize any weird reaction that the layers of product might have, as they interact with any adhesives that were used to originally hold the wallpaper in place.
Following this, I would suggest priming the walls with a latex primer, then smoothing out any imperfections and/ or seams with a thin layer of joint compound or spackle, sanding the dried joint compound or spackle after it has dried, spot priming the sanded areas, and then repea ting the process of smoothing out/sanding/priming until the surface appears to be prepped out properly enough (smooth looking and feeling) to paint.
Then, finally, apply two coats of finish (in this scenario, my suggestion is to use a ‘matte’ sheen) and voila, at this point, you should have some pretty good looking painted wallpaper!
Although I am certainly not advocating for painting over wallpaper as a common practice, as my preference truly is to remove the wallpaper completely, prior to painting, I am simply acknowledging that contrary to popular opi nion, wallpaper can absolutely be painted and is not as horrible an idea as one may initially think.
About Tom Lopatosky
Tom Lopatosky has run his own carpentry and painting business in Providence since 1995; LOPCO Contracting – the “Personable, Particular Professionals” – specializes in carpentry and exterior & interior painting. Recently LOPCO Contracting was named ‘RI’s Finest Painting Contracting Company’ by ShopInRI Magazine. In 2013, Tom was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) and a “40 Under 40” award winner by Providence Business News. He is a member of both the PDCA and RIBA (Rhode Island Builders Association). Tom has weekly ‘Home Improvement Tips’ that air on the radio on 630 WPRO AM (during the weekday morning news) and on television on WPRI 12 (during the Saturday morning news.