APR I L 2012
• ‘How To’ Yard Sale • Find Treasure – In Your Attic! • Getting Your Home Ready to Sell
! e g a k c a P f l o G Win a
AGE 6 TURN TO P
pring-cleaning is somewhat of a conflicting term. We think of the word spring, and a smile spreads across our faces. The snow is melting, the birds are chirping and soon it will be time for neighborhood barbeques and cannonball contests in the backyard swimming pool. We think of cleaning, and the gut reaction is slightly less exciting. We think of the noxious smell of bleach, aching back muscles and pruned fingertips (and not the good swimming pool kind). The term also elicits different reactions from different people. You get someone with a mild to moderate case of obsessive compulsive disorder (like myself, for example) and the idea of reorganizing my kitchen cabinets is about as exciting as a Friday night can get for me. Add in the scent of wood polish, and I’ve just walked into a dream. For many others, though, the idea of spending a weekend gutting your house just to put it back together, all dusted and polished, is the kind of activity we put off until it has to be called summer cleaning. Love it or hate it - it needs to be done. Spring is the perfect time to do a thorough cleaning of your house, and tackle the trouble spots that are overlooked with Saturday morning’s mass dusting. You wash the walls, dust ceiling fans, shampoo rugs, clean the curtains and even wax the floors (if you’re ambitious enough). Along your cleaning travels, you’ll likely find clothes you no longer wear, furniture that is no longer in style and books you’ve already read three times over. What better way to clean your house than to cut back on all that clutter? The more open your floor plan, the less messy things will look. Not to mention, that means fewer obstacles, which makes for a much safer home for seniors. Consider hosting a yard sale, or joining a neighborhood sale. We’ve got your how-to in this issue of PrimeTime. Or, if you’ve got some real valuables, check out a Rhode Island consignment shop and see if you might be able to turn more of a profit. We got the run-down on how April 2012 consigning works from new business owner 1944 Warwick Ave. Susan Paradis, who owns Auntie Annie’s Attic Warwick, RI 02889 401-732-3100 FAX 401-732-3110 in Jamestown. This month, we took spring-cleaning to Distribution Special Delivery mean something entirely new as well. As people get older, staying at home can become a challenge, but it doesn’t have to. While you’re PUBLISHERS emptying out the closets, consider eliciting the Barry W. Fain, Richard G. Fleischer, John Howell help of a professional like Gerry Plante from Safely Home. He can come in and point out EDITOR some of the dangers lurking in your home, and Meg Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org make small, often inexpensive changes that can make your house safe and comfortable. If MARKETING DIRECTOR the time has come for you to sell your home, Donna Zarrella and move to a more accessible space, we sat email@example.com down with appraiser Jamie Moore and real esCREATIVE DIRECTOR tate agent Jo Anne Samborsky to find out how Linda Nadeau to make your home more appealing so it sells firstname.lastname@example.org faster and at a price you’re comfortable with. WRITERS If you’re at home to stay or ready to move Don Fowler, Don D’Amato, Elaine M. Decker, out, spring is the perfect time for a fresh start. John Howell, Joan Retsinas, Mike Fink, Meg Chevalier, Cynthia Glinick, Clean up, get organized and get comfortable, Joe Kernan, Kerry Park because once summer comes, it’ll be time to R-E-L-A-X. ADVERTISING
PR I M E TI M E
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Meg Fraser EDITOR
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A Joint Publication of East Side Monthly and Beacon Communications. PrimeTime Magazine is published monthly and is available at over 400 locations throughout Rhode Island. Letters to the editor are welcome. We will not print unsigned letters unless
May is one of our favorite months of the year - the annual animal issue! So if you’re a friend of the four-legged, don’t forget to pick up PrimeTime.
INTHISISSUE 4 TO STAY OR NOT TO STAY
Real estate experts talk about aging in place, or moving on out
5 PARADIS FOUND IN JAMESTOWN Susan Paradis hunts for home goods
6 “HOW TO” FOR YARD SALES
The dos and don’ts of running a yard sale
10 BUT IT’S NOT JUNK! Don Fowler drags his feet for cleaning house
12 HOME SAFE HOME
Safely Home gives you the tools to get your home ready for the future
14 HOMES ARE
Flipping houses with a heart
LIFESTYLES What do you Fink?8 That’s Entertainment.............................................................. 18 PEOPLE & PLACES A worthy cause ............................................................................9 Sharing your story ................................................................... 11 Doer’s profile .............................................................................. 16 Glimpse of RI’s past ................................................................. 19 Senior Olympics returns to Rhode Island ................... 24 SENIOR ISSUES Planting seeds for multi-generational relationships..................................... 13 Retirement Sparks ................................................................... 20 Director’s column .................................................................... 22 PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE Your Taxes..................................................................................... 20
b y MEG FRASER
To Stayor notTo Stay? You work hard, buy a home and raise a family there. It’s more than a piece of property – it’s a reflection of your life’s work and a treasure chest of memories. Leaving that home behind can seem unfathomable. Still, for many seniors, aging in place can be a challenge, if not impossible. But Jamie Moore and Jo Anne Samborsky believe that getting older doesn’t have to mean losing your home or your dignity. Moore, who runs Jamie Moore Appraisal Service, Inc., is also the president of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors. She works closely with senior advocates like Samborsky, a realtor with Keller Williams. Both women are members of the Senior Resource Alliance and have met many seniors who feel lost when faced with the prospect of selling their home. “When I see they’re making a move, it’s because they have to, not because they want to. The senior today, they’ve probably been in their house forever,” Samborsky said. Despite the reluctance to leave, she believes homeowners should begin planning for the future sooner, rather than later. If they must leave their home, they should reach out to a realtor, and specifically one who has experience working with seniors. “If they don’t know a real estate agent, they should contact an elder law attorney,” said Moore, explaining that an elder law attorney can help navigate the majority of the complex maze that is life planning. Some real estate agents are well versed in the issues facing seniors today, though. Samborsky, for example, has her certified senior real estate specialist designation, a certification that comes only after an intense class and proctored exam. With seniors in particular, she says, an agent needs to be there for the long haul. “A lot of times they’re going slow, so I’m going slow. You have to be sensitive,” she said. “It’s not an overnight process.” A good agent will walk a homeowner through the process start to finish, but if you are considering putting your home up for sale, there are two major things to consider – where will you go, and how do you make your home more appealing. Many seniors downsize to a smaller home or apartment, to an in-law apartment with children, or perhaps an assisted
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living facility. All housing options should take into consideration the challenges people face as they get older. Opt for a single-level home or rental unit, and keep laundry accessible on that level. Make sure there is parking available close by, and handicap accessibility in kitchens and bathrooms. If you don’t drive, check out the RIPTA bus schedule nearby, and figure out how easy or difficult it would be to get to the grocery store, doctor’s office or senior center for social activities. “They have to think about the things that are going to impact them, age wise. Things can happen like that,” Samborsky said, snapping her fingers. Condominium complexes are another housing option where yard work and major upkeep is taken care of, but all options need to be carefully examined both for cost and for how long the individual believes they will be able to stay in that new home. “The condominium is a wonderful option when you’re older, but it can be expensive,” Moore said. Samborsky also suggests contacting your city or town’s office of housing development to see what options are available for senior and subsidized housing. There are often wait-
ing lists to get into these sought-after properties, another example of the importance of planning. Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, it’s going to take some effort to get it ready to show. Start with a good cleaning and begin downsizing to get rid of any furniture or other items that won’t be making a move with you. Excess furniture in good condition will be picked up by the Furniture Bank at no cost to the homeowner, just by calling 401-831-5511. “Make it very neutral and sparse because people can’t picture their furniture in that room if it’s all cluttered,” Moore said. That means removing excess furniture, clearing shelves of knick-knacks and collectibles, and taking down family photos. “They’re not buying your kids or your family,” Samborsky said. Other improvements that help sell a property require an investment, but one that often times can be recaptured in the final sale price. “Pull up the carpeting and have the hardwood floors refinished – it makes a huge difference,” Moore says. Kitchens and bathrooms are selling points for homes, so if possible, update appliances and countertops to modernize the look of a home. Pull up carpets, take down wallpaper and paint with neutral, soothing colors. Updating the landscaping can be helpful as well, especially if bushes and trees block the front of the home. Sprucing up the garden and fixing any exterior blemishes can significantly improve the curb appeal. But if you’re not ready to leave home, don’t rush into anything. Contact an elder law attorney or senior real estate specialist to better understand your options. Moore and Samborsky have seen too many seniors living in substandard conditions because they didn’t want to be an imposition to their families. There are many resources available to protect seniors, and there are always options like reverse mortgages that could allow you to improve your quality of life by converting equity in your home into income. “They’re not used to looking for handouts,” Samborsky says, explaining that seniors are sometimes too proud to tap into the resources out there. But it’s not a handout, she says; it’s about keeping seniors safe and healthy, and allowing them to age in the dignified way they deserve – the way they earned.
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Paradis found in
Jamestown When Susan Paradis moved to Jamestown, she was looking to give her house an identity – to make it uniquely her own. She scoured consignment and antique shops for one-of-a-kind pieces, but by and large, had to leave the island to find the hidden gems that give character to a home. Not anymore. Now, the 55-yearold Paradis has two properties filled with furniture, art and more that beckon people in with their charm and personality. The first is her own home; the second is Auntie Annie’s Attic, a consignment shop on Narragansett Avenue that she SUSAN PARADIS opened in February of this year. “I really get an eclectic mix of things. There’s always something new coming in, which makes it fun, and it’s exciting for the people who keep coming back,” she said. The idea to open Auntie Annie’s was inspired by Paradis’ passion for beautiful furnishings and home goods, and also for her desire to retire. She continues to travel weekly for work, but hopes to soon retire from her day job and relieve her son of the Tuesday through Friday duties at the shop. “I was looking for a venture of this sort to do, and also when I bought my house in Jamestown, when I was looking to furnish it ... I had a hard time finding pieces,” she said. The danger is that Paradis occasionally becomes her best customer. When a customer comes in looking to consign their own goods, she has several options for reselling. The first is she purchases the item directly from the seller. Paradis only does that when she is extremely confident that it will sell or, she said, laughing, if she wouldn’t mind taking it home herself. The other two options are for sellers to rent space at Auntie Annie’s and sell their own items, rotating goods as they so choose, or to do traditional consignment. With consigning, Paradis works with the seller to settle on a price that both parties are fair. Some sellers are more flexible than others, but she never sells an item for less than the seller is willing to accept. For lower end goods, they split the profits evenly. For higher end goods, they work out a percentage they both think is fair. Paradis doesn’t have a strict deadline for how quickly things must sell, but in the busy spring and summer season, when foot traffic in Jamestown picks up, she generally gives items one month before it’s time to retire them.
So far, Paradis hasn’t had to do much digging for goods. Sellers come to her. “I have more people interested in bringing things in than I have space for,” she said, calling the business “self-propagating” in that sense. Sellers run the gamut from regular consigners who do it as a side business of sorts and people who are cleaning out their homes and tell Paradis to sell their items for whatever she can get for it. Some want to overprice their items, while others don’t realize how valuable their pieces are. When Paradis is confronted with an item she is unfamiliar with, she searches eBay and does other research to make sure she’s getting a fair price for her seller and her customer. For people who are interested in consigning their own items but are unsure of how to go about it, Paradis encourages them to reach out to her and her son, Jeremy. If the seller is local, she may take a drive to the house and see for herself if the items are appropriate. More often, sellers e-mail photographs of their items to Paradis and she gives them an idea of whether or not it will sell and for how much. If an item is too physically large for the relatively small shop, Paradis will sell it on eBay and, in the near future, will begin keeping a photo album on the counter that shows off the store’s additional inventory. At Auntie Annie’s Attic, they are looking for new or gently used goods, or antiques that are in good condition without any significant damage. “The things that are moving are the well-priced furniture pieces, a lot of the art that’s unique and the jewelry is moving constantly,” she said, adding that she keeps a notebook of requests from customers who are hunting for very specific items. Still, Paradis says customers never cease to surprise her. She glances over at a shiny decoupage of Elvis, shrugs and smiles. “I’m sure that will sell.” Personally, she enjoys nautical pieces, and furniture
. . . I’m looking for anything that has antique charm – that unique quality you can’t find in any of the department stores.
that has a cottage feel to it. “At this stage in my life, I’m looking for anything that has antique charm – that unique quality you can’t find in any of the department stores,” she said. Scanning the open room at Auntie Annie’s, there’s plenty of that. A teal dresser and mirror with unusual detailing towers over a dusty rose Victorian sofa, and across from a wall covered in nautical art, glass encases costume jewelry and vintage broaches. A Raggedy Ann doll sits in a child’s high chair and various China patterns fill a cherry oak hutch. The pieces have found their way to Auntie Annie’s in a variety of ways, but they all have Paradis’ seal of approval. She is looking forward to meeting more sellers, more buyers and finding more unique pieces for her home – provided she has the room. Visit Auntie Annie’s Attic at 123A Narragansett Avenue in Jamestown. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in consigning your own items, call Jeremy Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m. at 508-439-2956. On Saturdays and Sundays, call Paradis from noon to 5 p.m. at 508-330-4721.
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a ‘how to’ for
s e l a S Yard News outlet CNBC published a series recently called “Faces of the Recession.” In one installment, they cited a Pew Research Center survey that showed eight in 10 adults have taken steps to economize in the downturn economy, and nearly six in 10 have begun shopping more in discount stores. If more people are looking for a bargain, why not capitalize on the trend and clean house while you’re at it? Face it, you never use your blender and the spare TV in the basement is never going to see the light of day again. You don’t wear polyester anymore and, whether you like it or not, shoulder pads are no longer in fashion. Clean out the closets and rummage through your kitchen drawers and really ask yourself, ‘Do I need this?’ If the answer is no, or if you haven’t used it in more than six months, add it to the yard sale pile and follow these tips to make an extra buck while you simplify your life.
Find the Golf Ball for a chance to win a
Have change ready at the beginning of the day, and make sure you keep your money in a safe place that is inaccessible to shoppers
Be realistic with your prices. The items are used, after all, and no one goes to yard sales looking to pay full price.
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too hot, so don’t wait until the middle of summer. Don’t host your yard sale on a weekend when many people travel, but if there’s an event that usually draws outsiders into your neighborhood, capitalize on the opportunity.
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Give EVERYTHING a price and
make it easy to understand. For example, make all movies 50 cents, and offer discount for large purchases, like 10 movies for $3. Individually pricing movies, books or T-shirts is confusing and could be a turnoff for buyers in a rush.
Be warned: shoppers WILL want
to bargain with you. If you’re really averse to that, put up a sign that says so.
Spread the word! Post on Craig-
slist, Facebook, community bulletin boards and in your local newspaper. Put simple signs up on main roads near your house (Check hardware stores like Benny’s for easy to read, pre-made signs). Just be sure to take the signs down later and dispose of them properly.
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Have all of your sale items
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the night before your sale. If you start at 8 a.m., expect some early birds will show up at least a half hour early.
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Put your best foot forward,
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which in yard sale layout, means put your furniture, electronics or most appealing items close to the street where curious passersby will see them.
If possible, find a way to hang your clothes. If
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they’re folded on a blanket, you’ll spend half of your day refolding.
Group similar items together. If
a shopper is looking specifically for baby toys, they can make a beeline right for your toy table and won’t get frustrated wading through the rest of the items.
Save your plastic grocery bags
in the weeks leading up to your sale. Consider having a few cardboard boxes for heavier items, like books, too.
Invite friends and family to
showcase their items too – the bigger the yard sale, the more attractive it will be to passing cars. That being said, make sure all sellers can be present for the whole sale, and can handle their own customers. That way you’re not stressing out about dividing profits. Keep a log of what sells and for how much.
Dust and wash your items before putting them out.
Keep the pets inside; they could scare people off.
Keep items visible. Unfold beach
chairs, assemble toys and use bookends to keep books on display, not crowed in a box.
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It sounds silly, but the day before
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your yard sale, plan out what you and your fellow sellers will be eating for breakfast and lunch. Cook things ahead of time if you don’t plan on ordering out, because you should spend as little time as possible inside and away from the sale.
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Check your city or town’s code
of ordinances for regulations on yard sales. Some municipalities limit the number of sales you have each year, or put time limits on them.
Have an extension cord from the house ready so shoppers can test out electronic items before buying.
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Rearrange things as items sell. If you’re having a really successful day, take tables down as they’re no longer needed, so it still looks like your yard sale is full.
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WHAT DO YOU FINK?
by MIKE FINK
A trip up Frenchmanâ€™s Creek It takes a little longer to get from Providence to Frenchmanâ€™s Creek than it would to steer your automobile driving wheel for Ledgemont. You can hit a few golf balls or pop into the pool at either club. And this past winter, the weather wasnâ€™t all that different at the one from the other. At West Palm, instead of Seekonk, you get a lovely, thick, white terrycloth robe to wrap around and belt in your chilled wet body after a dawn dip in the warmed water, and the birds along the everglade canals are egrets, herons and storks, instead of pigeons or our wild turkeys, but the mood is mostly the same - relaxed. My college and graduate school roommate and lifelong friend lives in Florida at the gated community with its name taken, I believe, off the title of the novel by Daphne du Maurier, or maybe via the movie adaptation, starring Joan Fontaine. I pursued a bit of research on the artsy French street signs (Monet Drive, Loire Avenue, etc.) and the evolution of the landscape. I remember finding out that the romantic Frenchman was actually something of a pirate and a poacher, one of the villains in the ecological melodrama of this region. Feathers from the native shorebirds could serve as fancy millinery decoration for womenâ€™s hats, the issue that created the first Audubon Society. Environmentalist pioneers saved the snowy white subspecies and launched a national campaign to protect all endangered creatures, the true aristocrats of the hemisphere and its once and bygone diverse habitat. The Hollywood movie version leaves all INDYProJo_4c4.75x5.4_v1:Ad front 2/24/12 7:33 AM Page 1
that out and just shows off the gorgeous costumes of the era. Anyway, nowadays, this world offers comfort, luxury, hospitality and excellent health care facilities. It also serves as a friendly culture for many Rhode Islanders, who arrive by golf cart at the â€œ19th Holeâ€? for their high-class self-serve breakfast. It IS fun, and the little muffins and munchkins are delightful. I pester the staff for sugar, not saccharine, and ceramic cups, NOT paper or Styrofoam. For butter, NOT margarine, and especially for coffee, NOT decaf, whatever vile thing that may be (What a pain in the neck I can be)! Why are we so terrified of actual, natural, ingredients? That former roommate of mine, on the other hand, he turns down any offer of a cocktail, avoids caffeine as well as alcohol and uses the word â€œsoothingâ€? to describe his primary emotion in this miniature world. Well, I honor, love and enjoy my friend, and his wife (who WILL take a glass of wine) but I like to make gentle fun of him as well. He sent me an e-mail thank-you note for joining him at breakfast and dinner. I quote: â€œFrenchmanâ€™s is the perfect artificial setting for me. After an intense past life I feel burnt out... no regrets! Everything is manicured and watered and not a blade of grass is out of order. Even the birds are perfect specimens. We have our own group of ducks who wouldnâ€™t be caught dead eating a stale piece of bread. Itâ€™s exactly like the place that Lampwick took Pinocchio to. So far I havenâ€™t grown any donkey parts but sometimes I act like an ass. Be well and I look forward to seeing you again soon.â€? See, those are his statements, not mine.
Not one word of the above is intended judgmentally, only whimsically, with a grain of salt. In fact, I kind of wish my parents had lived to enjoy such a regal retreat. Although, I admit, I like the weeds and a bit of benign neglect, the shabby chic of our town. Still, I clink my virtual glass to our Great Escape. The problem is, nothing is quite what it seems. You canâ€™t fully trust what you see. The land of Ponce de Leon is a variation on The Twilight Zone. The birds didnâ€™t get here by migrating. They were brought in. The waterfall was designed and constructed. When people talk, it is to a machine, not to a human face. When they walk, it is on a treadmill. There is not much existential angst or travail; mostly the Guatemalan staff does the work. If you speak roughly to any one of them, you will get in serious trouble with the citizen judges, the band of residents who have the power to deprive you of privileges if you misbehave. Iâ€™m real glad I paid my visit. Our son met us there and joined his grandfather on that dodgem-car open Jeep that hauls your clubs, your bottles of water, whatever apparatus you require on your sojourn among the groomed spaces within the protective and selective wrought iron perimeters of the Shangri-La. We had a splendid time with lots of laughs. There is a small museum nearby in Palm Beach, the Norton. Our former RISD museum director is the present supervisor/curator of the Norton. In fact, our last season RISD Cocktail Exhibit is up there currently. We spent a superb afternoon among the treasures of the collections. Hereâ€™s my cocktail toast-salute to our mirrored cousin-community.
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A WORTHY CAUSE
by MICHAEL J. CERIO
PEOPLE AND PLACES
Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale Throughout the Colonial years, the Jonnycake, a simple cornmeal flatbread, served as a basic form of sustenance. Today, the modern Jonnycake is a staple New England cuisine that is often said to have originated right here in the Ocean State. Named after this centuries-old fundamental food, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale was founded with the purpose of just that - to provide basic necessities to people in need throughout southern Rhode Island. Currently located in two buildings along Kingstown Road in Peace Dale, the Jonnycake Center was founded nearly 40 years ago by a group of four women who saw the need for an agency that could help people struggling to meet their basic needs. During its early days, the Jonnycake Center operated out of a small storefront space in Wakefield. While much has changed over the years, the Center’s mission has remained the same, a testament to the foundation built by its founders. “We’ve come a long way since the days of making chicken dinners for seniors on Sundays,” said Susan Gustaitis, executive director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale. “The Center has changed a lot, but it’s all been in a positive way in order to meet the needs of our neighbors. In fact, one of our founders, Verna Greene, is often at the Center and regularly talks about how pleased she is with the direction of the agency and the growing number of services we provide the community.” One of the most distinct aspects of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale is the connection between its Thrift Store and the agency’s emergency food program. All of the store’s donations and sales directly support the Center’s ability to provide food assistance to the community. What started out as weekly yard sales at local churches to help people get clothing while raising money for those Sunday dinners has become an irreplaceable source of revenue. “Our store really serves a dual purpose in that it generates over $100,000 in revenue annually while also providing lowcost, or sometimes free, clothing, furniture and other household goods,” said Gustaitis. “It allows for people who are struggling to come in and have the opportunity to clothe their families and get other items that are critical to their needs at home. It’s a huge piece of our puzzle in making things fit to accomplish our work.” Just over three years ago, the Jonnycake Center moved its emergency food program to a new building next door to its longtime home. This new space has been vital to keep
up with the growing demand, while also allowing for the expansion of the thrift store. Thanks to increased space, the Center has added furniture to its lineup of available resources. “The addition of furniture in our store has been very well-received, and we’re pleased that we can make it available for those who need it,” said Gustaitis. “But, more importantly, by relocating our food program, it’s helped us provide a better environment for our clients by being able to offer the client choice model for emergency food distribution.” The client choice model of food distribution allows individuals and families to choose the food items that best meet their needs. “Our work is all about meeting the needs of our clients, and this is the best way to do it,” said Gustaitis. “The old model didn’t always work with the wide range of people we help, whether it’s their dietary needs, food allergies or cultural preferences. Client choice allows individuals and families to come in to our Center and choose the foods they want with dignity and respect.” Over the past few years, the Jonnycake Center has seen a tremendous shift in the types of people struggling to make ends meet. The biggest change, according to Gustaitis, is the number of people who were once donors and now need assistance. As recently as 2005, the organization was serving an average of 39,000 meals each year through its emergency food program a number that ballooned to 225,000 meals last year. “Today, there are a lot more folks who are struggling and falling into this category because of the economy.” As the assistance resources offered by the Jonnycake Center become more critical, Gustaitis is hopeful that members of the community will think of her organization as they embark upon spring-cleaning projects around their homes. “We are always in need of traditional household goods and clothing for our store.
As long as the items are in good shape, we’ll make sure they find a good home where they’ll be able to help another family,” said Gustaitis. For those in the surrounding Peace Dale community, the Jonnycake Center has a van available to pick up donated items for a small fee to cover the cost of gas. The organization also has the ability to deliver furniture to people who have made a purchase. “The biggest thing that I’ve learned since being at the Jonnycake Center is the need for our community members to educate themselves about the seriousness of hunger and poverty and who it affects,” said Gustaitis. “There is a lot of poverty and hidden need in our communities, even where people don’t envision it.” Always in need of donations for its Thrift Store, Gustaitis is fully aware that the Center must continue to be proactive in its work to engage the community and generate support. Their website and Facebook are updated regularly to reflect upcoming events and food drives.
“If we’re in need of a specific item like peanut butter, or turkeys during the holidays, we can quickly get the word out as our needs change,” said Gustaitis. Though the needs of the community may change, the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale remains a constant resource to help struggling neighbors when there is nowhere else to turn. Representing a place of security for thousands, the Center has become a vital stitch in the fabric of South County’s safety net. For more information on the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, or to get involved with their work, visit www.JonnycakeCenter.org or call 789-1559.
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by DON FOWLER
But it’s not junk... “Mom, when are you going to start getting rid of some of this junk?” our daughter asked. “When your father and I are gone, you and your brother can have it all,” Joyce replied. “We don’t want it!” Robin and Scott retorted in unison. “You could have one heck of a yard sale,” I chipped in. “Nobody wants your collection of 8-track tapes, National Geographic from 1965 to 1980, black and white TV, Kodak camera, word processor and reel-to-reel tape recorder,” Robin said. Even the library turned down my college textbooks, first edition of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” and Colliers Complete Set of Encyclopedias. “Why don’t you put all the album photos and super 8 film on discs?” Scott asked. “I like going through old albums,” I replied, ignoring the dust on the covers and the fact that the glue on those little black “corners” expired long ago. We did try to get rid of a bunch of old stuff in a neighborhood yard sale, spending two full days gathering and sorting, and lugging boxes out to the curb, where most of it remained for Monday’s trash pickup. The result was a total income of $32.65. We spent $50 for our neighbors’ junk, for a net loss of $17.35. It is all sitting in the basement waiting for the next yard sale. The children left the nest years ago, leaving their bedrooms to be converted into an office and a storeroom. We are fortunate to be able to remain in our home and not have
to downsize to an apartment or assisted living facility. So why not fill up the empty space! Need a cardboard box? We have plenty. Plastic bags, storage boxes and boxes of containers that can hold hundreds of things we don’t have and will never have? Just ask. Lamps, kitchen appliances, tools, furniture, chairs and a variety of other junk, all in need of some minor repair, but too good to throw away? We’ve got a whole basement full. Old light bulbs, a 10-year supply of toilet paper and hangers? Help yourself. Years ago, on Joyce’s 50th birthday, I organized a surprise party, urging friends and relatives not to bring a present. Joyce collects frogs and I made the huge mistake of telling them to find a card or an inexpensive frog. The response was overwhelming and continues to this day. There are frogs in the yard and in every room in the house. Our granddaughter counted over 100 of them. Same goes for Santa Clauses. We did donate all of our Christmas decorations to the church bazaar, but Joyce couldn’t part with the more than two dozen Santas. We have been fortunate to have travelled extensively, and have always brought back an inexpensive souvenir, and usually a doll in native costume. Many are displayed in our den, and many more are gathering dust in the attic We’ve reached the point where we can’t remember where most of them came from … and the kids and grandkids don’t want them. What to do?
About once a year we think about downsizing. What should we keep? What should we throw away? What should we give away? Who would want it? It is an exercise in futility. The fact is that everything we own has a history and a memory. We don’t need it, but we don’t want to part with it. So our memories fill every nook and corner of our house, where they will probably remain until our children and grandchildren hold that one big yard sale. We’ll save the downsizing for someone else.
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PEOPLE & PLACES
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Sharing your story Biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., and John F. Kennedy line the shelves at your local library, next to the Diary of Anne Frank and memoirs of Hollywood starlets. But have you ever considered telling your story? Deborah Halliday has.
alling herself “The Storian,” Halliday has found a new career, writing personal histories. The idea came to her while she was working on her doctoral dissertation in human development about life’s transitions. She was interviewing dozens of young people on the verge of graduating from college or just making their way into the real world, and found that they were surprisingly candid about their fears, as well as their dreams. “I fell in love with their words,” Halliday said. “I said to myself, ‘I need to do this.’ I need to get peoples’ words on paper.” Since April of 2010, Halliday has been doing just that listening to hours of stories from regular people, and weaving them into a cohesive family history. “I try to preserve the actual words as much as I can. I want it to be a good representation of the person with as little of me in it as possible,” said Halliday, who is a resident of Warwick. The first time Halliday meets with a client, she leaves her recorder at home. She gets to know the person and tries to make them feel comfortable as she gets a handle on
the direction the story will take. Some personal histories are written chronologically; others are thematic, or focus on specific life experiences, like armed services or childhood. Histories can be written in the first person for an individual, or alternate between the voices of a married couple. Getting a client to open up in the first place can be a challenge. “People tend to not value their own experiences and their own memories,” she said. Often times, the client is a son or daughter who has enlisted Halliday’s services; the narrator is an aging parent who is tenuous to open their lives up to a stranger. “Sometimes the kids want it but it’s a hard sell for the parents to do it,” she said. “But everybody has a life story; I honestly believe that.” Halliday explains that having a personal history is particularly important to leave behind for family members who are young, or perhaps not yet born. Grandchildren might not know what questions to ask but someday will crave information about their ancestors. “Maybe someday they’ll want to know, but you won’t be there to tell them,” she said. Her oldest narrator to date was 96 years old, and her youngest client was just 57 years old. The service is appealing to seniors who have lived full and interesting lives, but Halliday encourages younger people to consider commissioning a personal history. They can add to the history as time goes on. “Do it now, because the way you remember it now, you have a completely different outlook at this point. You capture it in a voice that’s much closer to the experience,” she said. After the initial visit, Halliday schedules an appointment for a week or so later. She generally meets the narrator at their home, where they’re comfortable, but can meet in a public place as well. Most interview sessions last about one hour.
Halliday has learned not to ask yes or no questions, but as her meetings continue, she has found that most narrators are eager to share, and need little prompting from her. “Once people know that you care and that you’re really listening, they talk,” she said. And when the conversation touches upon deeply personal or emotional topics, Halliday lets the narrator decide how much to share and how quickly. “One of the keys to a good interview is to understand what kind of silence you’re hearing,” she said. There need to be at least three one-hour interviews for Halliday to glean enough information for a personal history, and five hours is the standard. Once each interview is over, then the real work begins. Halliday estimates each hour of conversation yields 12 to 15 hours of additional work. She transcribes the interviews and edits them for grammar. She gives the typed interview back to the narrator (one for each session), so that he or she has the chance to review the information. If they want to take items out, they can, or reading it over again could spark additional memories. After additional revisions from the narrator, Halliday begins putting together a single history. “When all the interviews are done, I take all the interviews and merge them together. It’s like doing a complex jigsaw puzzle but there’s not one answer,” she said. Confidentiality is key, and Halliday never shares interviews with anyone other than the narrator. “What they’ve handed me is something of real trust. I feel honored to help them tell their stories,” she said. The narrator has a final chance to make changes to the text before sitting down with Halliday to begin supplementing the story with photographs, family trees and copies of documents. This is one of Halliday’s favorite parts of the process, as she helps to select the right photos for certain passages and does independent research for more materials to include. Each hour interview yields approximately eight to 10 pages, with the standard package resulting in a 45-page, single-spaced book. At the front, Halliday leaves a page for a personal inscription - making for the ultimate family keepsake. Clients can purchase spiral-bound copies, hard covers, or even leather-bound books for an additional fee. The project, start to finish, will cost approximately $2,000. Halliday believes it’s worth it. “This is something that only grows in value. Once the person is gone, you can’t recapture those memories,” she said. “People always say, ‘I should write my memoirs someday,’ but someday never comes. This is something that assures those memories are preserved.” Deborah Halliday is a member of the Oral History Association and the Association of Personal Historians. For more information, visit www.debthestorian.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gerry Plante has been working as a contractor for decades, but in 2007, his business took a different turn. While doing maintenance work for group homes, he learned about the National Association of Home Builders’ course to become a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Plante enjoyed working with seniors, and over the years, had seen how modest changes to their homes could keep them living independently. He earned the CAPS certification and started Safely Home, a home improvement company dedicated to adapting homes to meet seniors’ needs. It’s rewarding work for Plante, but he believes more seniors need to be aware of the dangers lurking in their own home. “Unfortunately, more often than not, they contact me almost always after a fall or an injury. Very few people are proactive and if they are, it tends to be their children who are concerned,” Plante said. He believes it’s never too early to begin thinking about the future, and changes are best made before there is an injury or an emergency. Often, small, relatively inexpensive changes can make a big difference, and help seniors avoid
costly stays in rehabilitation centers or even nursing homes. “The first thing that comes to my mind is clutter and I’m going to use that as a catchall. People will put something in the hallway that narrows the hallway, like a side table. When someone’s walking by, they have to negotiate by that area,” Plante explained. For him, cutting back on clutter is an easy, no-cost way to reduce the chances of a fall. Easy, of course, is a relative term. “People have a hard time getting rid of things,” he says. Once people are willing to cut back on the amount of “stuff” they have floating around, hallways and rooms can be cleared for easy passage. Improving lighting, especially in stairwells, will also help the cause. Other improvements require an investment, such as widening doorways. “So often, bathroom doors are like 28 inches wide, even if the other doors in the house are 30 inches; negotiating into a bathroom can be a challenge and that’s especially so if someone is using a walker,” Plante said. He advocates for adding a second handrail on hall-
ways and staircases, raising the toilet and adding grab bars to bathrooms, all for safety reasons. An improvement many homeowners overlook, though Plante is attuned to it as a former firefighter, is making sure the address number on the exterior of your home is visible and well lit, to ensure quick access by emergency personnel. New homes are often built with these safety principles as part of universal design, a trend to make every home accessible to people of all ages. Plante points this out to his customers who are reluctant to make their home handicapped accessible because they falsely believe it will reduce the value of their home. Accessibility improvements are often value neutral, and Plante maintains they are nothing to be ashamed of. Moreover, as more and more contractors and vendors realize the importance of keeping seniors safe at home, the changes Plante advises for are becoming increasingly attractive and affordable. “You can make it look like they’re part of the décor,” he said. “They don’t jump out at you.” For more information on Safely Home, visit safelyhome. com, call 658-4700 or toll free, 888-658-4774.
For general accessibility • If possible, move your washer and dryer to your main living level, where your bedroom is, so you don’t have to lug around heavy laundry baskets • Install grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower, to help you better maneuver in these slippery rooms of your home • Replace doorknobs with levers, and do the same for sink hardware • Purchase light switches that are backlit to help you find your way to the bathroom at night • Opt for a handheld showerhead • Store food, clothes and other items you need daily access to in easy to reach places • Get rid of area rugs. They’re a huge tripping hazard, so go hardwood or full carpet • Install stairway railings, or double check to make sure they’re steady and secure • Make sure your telephone is easily accessible • Raise your dishwasher to avoid excessive bending • Look out for tripping hazards. If your walkway is made of cobblestones, it could be time to pave over it, or at least fill in the spaces between stones. If the doorway between your hallway and living room is uneven, level it off • Make your house number more visible
For wheelchair accessibility • Alter the height of your toilet to make for easy transfers • Build ramps into your home • Trash the tub in place of a shower with little or no lip. There are also water-deflecting doors that can be installed • Purchase a shower seat so you can bathe comfortably, while remaining seated • Lower sink and countertops so you can continue to prepare food • In your cupboards, consider purchasing pullout shelves that drop down on a hinge within your reach
• Recess the cupboard space under the sink and food preparation areas to allow room for your feet, if you are in a wheelchair • In your bathrooms, go with articulating mirrors that can adjust for a person of any height - including those in wheelchairs • Want to stay in your multi-level home? Consider purchasing a stair lift to make life easier • Through a company like Safely Home, you could purchase an overhead lift to help transfer you in and out of bed
Don’t miss our spring expo!
Wednesday, May 2, 2012 • WARWICK MALL • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
iE XvPinOg SENIOR L P R I M E T I M E
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M A G A Z I N E
A FREE Senior Event! A
b y K E R R Y PA R K
Planting seeds for multigenerational relationships While most of us spend our spare time in the spring doing yard work or spring cleaning, the staff at Elmhurst Extended Care has a different mission. Spring is the time for planning Kamp Kallimos, the annual weeklong summer camp that brings the residents of the Providence-based skilled nursing facility together with the children of Elmhurst employees. Elmhurst subscribes to the tenets of the Eden Alternative, a movement toward vibrant, vigorous living in nursing homes. The Eden Alternative goes back to nature to achieve its goals, by integrating plants, animals and children into the everyday lives of the elders residing in long-term care settings. In â€œEden language,â€? the term elder has its own significance: they are those with something to teach, by virtue of their life experience. Encouraging relationships, therefore, between nursing home residents and children from surrounding communities, syncs perfectly with Eden beliefs. In his book, â€œIn the Arms of Elders,â€? Eden founder Dr. Bill Thomas writes of a fictitious island called Kallimos, where elders are revered. That was the inspiration for Kamp Kallimos, an idea generated by Elmhurstâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Committee three years ago. Since then, for one week each July, Elmhurst is home to the quintessential summer camp experience, complete with playground fun, scavenger hunts, tie-dye afternoons and barbecue suppers. The age of the campers runs from 7 to 10 and older kids work as camp counselors. â€œBy the end of the week, itâ€™s really amazing the relationships that have developed,â€? said Elmhurstâ€™s Director of Enrichment Lisa DeCuyke. â€œWe have an orientation for
Elder Viola Kilkenney & Madison Benjamin at Kamp Kallimos the kids that helps them understand the Eden Alternative and how people live at Elmhurst. We pair them up with a â€˜grand buddyâ€™ with similar interests. Last year, for example, Carl, one of the campers, wanted to be a policeman so he was paired with George, who retired from the police force. George was able to share his experiences with him and encouraged him to pursue his dreams. They bonded.â€? By the end of the week, each of the kids has made a friend and a lot of them keep in touch after the camp ends, according to DeCuyke.
â€œThe nicest thing is to have that continuing relationship with the children. Itâ€™s so much more meaningful to let the relationships develop and continue on.â€? In keeping with that belief, Elmhurst insures that activities with children are ongoing throughout the year. The facility hosts a 4-H club, for example, that has been known to bring sheep with them on their visits. Recently, roughly 150 students from Immaculate Conception School visited to start a pen pal program. DeCuyke is also planning a mentor program, pairing students with elders who can help teach them in specific areas of interest. Implementing programs is not without struggles. â€œItâ€™s become difficult because of everyoneâ€™s budget constraints,â€? she said. â€œBusses and programs cost money.â€? Despite the constraints though, DeCuyke and the rest of the Elmhurst staff manage to provide a consistent, multigenerational environment. The evidence is everywhere. Enter a common area and youâ€™re sure to find a bucket of toys. Elmhurst residents are already asking about this yearâ€™s camp and planning is underway. And, DeCuyke added, the nursing center is on a never-ending quest to find new and interesting ways to bring kids and elders together.
â€œWe love kids. We have an absolute riot! The whole experience is amazing. They learn from each other,â€? she said. Elmhurst is not alone. Nursing homes throughout Rhode Island host a variety of intergenerational activities. If you are interested in taking part, visit www.rihca.com to find a skilled nursing center in your community.
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Pď?˛ď?Šď?ď?ĽTď?Šď?ď?Ľ | 13
b y MEG FRASER
14 | PT
single family home on Warwick’s Massachusetts Avenue was on the market for exactly one day. In just 24 hours, an offer had been made and accepted. In this uncertain housing market, where so many buyers are hesitant to jump into a major purchase, it’s quite an accomplishment. It’s a lovely home, and priced to sell, but there’s something different about this home that makes it stand out – it’s a BornAgain home. Ron Marsilia started BornAgain Homes about two years ago. He has been purchasing properties and giving them new life for many years, especially in Dallas, Texas, where he owns multiple apartment complexes. But around the same time he retired from a Virginia investment firm, and was ready to make real estate a full-time job, his wife was promoted at Fidelity and relocated to Rhode Island. If he was going to spend time here with her, though, he needed something to keep him busy. Why not replicate his Texas success in the Ocean State? Along with investor David Narcavage and with the help of Premiere Homes owner Stephanie Soscia, 62year-old Marsilia is building a reputation for a company that flips houses and makes them affordable for Rhode Islanders. “We want them to know that when they see a BornAgain sign, or see Premiere Realty representing a home, that we do good work,” Marsilia said. BornAgain Homes has purchased and resold 52 homes to date, and continues to juggle multiple projects. They look for reasonably priced properties in neighborhoods that are on the “path of progress,” according to Marsilia. He is targeting Warwick at the moment, and is particularly taken with the Oakland Beach area, which he believes is a “hidden gem.” Once BornAgain is in a home, the real work begins. “We try and give people a little bit more than they expect. They’ll always have something that’s the BornAgain touch,” Marsilia says. “Anywhere you go, kitchens sell a house, bedrooms sell a house and bathrooms sell a house.” Those are the area he targets. Touring the Massachusetts Avenue home, it’s clear where the money has been spent. A glass tile backsplash in the kitchen offsets cherry wood cabinets with sleek hardware, and real granite countertops cover stainless steel appliances. There are hardwoods throughout the home, and crown molding adds interesting detail to a floor plan that Marsilia opened up by knocking down a wall. “I find that buyers are looking for a more open floor plan,” agreed Soscia. She is in charge of the staging, though the home they just sold never got that far. The home sold before Soscia put any furniture in at all, but she says the choice of paint colors is always intentional. “We like to stick to a neutral palate but add an accent to make the home pop. We don’t like white walls – we like it to be warm,” she said. “The houses are in pristine, move-in condition and priced right are going in days.” On average, Marsilia puts $20,000 to $25,000 into a home. He tries to get in and out as fast as possible, usually finishing a project in around five weeks. He works closely with vendors to ensure the pricing is right, but is a favorite among them, as he deals only with cash. “I finance everything myself; it does make a difference,” he said. A
SPRING CLEANING Soscia helps determine the market conditions and how similar homes in the neighborhood are priced, though she says BornAgain always shoots to price just under the market expectation. Oftentimes, that low price leads to big reactions from buyers. In one of the recent sells, Soscia was moved by the buyer, who cried tears of
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happiness when her offer was accepted. â€œIt was just priceless,â€? Soscia said. â€œItâ€™s exciting; you feel good.â€? â€œTheyâ€™re in it to make money, but theyâ€™re looking to give back to people too,â€? she added of her teammates at BornAgain. When a home is complete, they hold an open house celebration specifically for the neighbors, inviting them to see their work firsthand, and get to know the company
who is trying to improve their neighborhood. Marsilia admits that a project is not worth the time, effort and financial investment if he doesnâ€™t turn over a 10 percent profit. Most homes result in 20 to 22 percent. Heâ€™s a businessman, and that profit is necessary for his company to thrive, but at the end of the day, he says itâ€™s the reaction of buyers that makes the work worthwhile. â€œI get a lot of satisfaction out of this, I really do. I think the reaction of the people that buy these houses is important,â€? he said. â€œI get a real kick out of this.â€? For more information on BornAgain Homes, visit www. bornagainhomes.com.
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Pď?˛ď?Šď?ď?ĽTď?Šď?ď?Ľ | 15
by JOAN RE TSINAS
Farm Girl Roots
Sixty years ago, when David Handel was sowing seeds in his 100-acre farm in central New Jersey, he wasn’t just growing soybeans, wheat, rye and potatoes. He was growing a gardener.
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armers’ families are used to working; everybody does his or her share. So even as a toddler, Linda Handel trekked behind her father, helping to weed and gather the crops. As she got older, she took on more responsibility. Her father raised chickens; Linda collected eggs at 4 a.m., helping to clean, wash and sand dirt from the eggs, loading them into weighing machines and finally packing them in boxes of 10 flats. The family had a personal garden; in the summer, Linda gathered the tomatoes, zucchini and beans. She learned to can those vegetables, in order to eat them in the winter. She dug, by hand, the potatoes, working alongside the crew of farm workers who came north each season to harvest crops. They sorted potatoes by size before loading them into chutes. Linda helped bundle the potatoes into burlap bags, which she helped to sew, again by hand. Her father saved many sacks of the potatoes for seed. She took care of the ducks, cats and dogs on the farm. Although post-war New Jersey morphed from an agricultural to an industrial state, in Linda’s youth, agriculture still reigned. In fact, Linda remembers watching the New Jersey Turnpike being built. The farming life ended for Linda when her parents separated. She moved off the farm with her mother. She went to high school in New Brunswick, N.J. She remembers the first day of school as “the worst day of my life.” The farming life, with its chores, disappeared, but her interest in agriculture remained strong. During college (Glassboro College in New Jersey), she majored in education but spent summers on an agricultural farm at Rutgers University. At Rutgers, she was on the team that helped develop freestone peaches. Even as a sixth grade teacher in Philadelphia, Linda’s green thumb persisted. “I always had something growing, always something edible, often sprouts,” she recalled. In 1971, she got a master’s in clinical psychology. On a whim, she came to Rhode Island. “Within the first year I had a garden, with corn, tomatoes [Jersey, naturally], peas, lettuce and, of course, potatoes.” Fast-forward 40 years. Linda lived in several homes in Pawtucket and Providence. In each, she planted a garden, where she planted the favorite standbys as well as newer crops, like onions that you can eat like apples and purple carrots. When one house had a yard, but no sun,
she convinced the gardener/caretakers at cumber you’ll ever eat.” She’ll invite them start seeds. On St. Patrick’s Day, she, her Swan Point to donate some land in front to try a Walla Walla onion that “tastes like partner and the other gardeners planted of the green house for a vegetable garden. an apple.” the first crop of peas to be ready to eat the Linda proposed a swap: she would grow Linda still works as a clinical psycholfirst week in July. Greens, tomatoes, zucvegetables and share them in exchange for ogist with an office in her home, but once chini, cucumbers go into the plot. Her use of the land. Some employees joined in the snow melts and the temperature rises, partner composts the stalks just about the gardening. Linda looks outdoors. every day all summer, along with other Today, in her current house, she has “I can’t wait to get my hands and feet volunteers. Through the summer and filled the yard with plantings. Her latest in the dirt,” she said. “To smell the soil. I into the fall, along with the 40 other garexperiment, slotted for this spring, is a just love to see the first seeds sprout.” dening teams, they work on their plots. breed of beet that will yield yellow, red Sometimes they erect “hoop houses” for and white bulbs on one stalk. She will winter crops of arugula and kale. plant leeks from seed for the first time. Ardent gardeners don’t eat all they Arugula, watermelon, lettuces - whatharvest. In the summer, Linda will knock ever she may want to eat - is here. She on neighbors’ doors, basket in hand, to and her partner tend the compost piles offer a just-picked tomato or “the best cuat home, although she admits that taking the kitchen compost outside to the barrel is her biggest contribution. But avid gardeners will confess: they don’t garden just for their Think cities in the summer. Now think hot sidewalks, crowded apartments, streets filled own pantries. They with cars. You don’t think “farms.” But in Rhode Island’s cities, you can find pockets of farmgarden for the exciteers, tending their tomatoes, beans, zucchini and lettuces. ment of making seeds Providence has at least 30 plots of land, divided into smaller plots, rented out for nomigrow. So five years ago, nal fees. Each year, more plots morph into gardens. For a list, see southsideclt.org/pvdcomLinda joined the ranks munitygardens. of “Community GarCities, after all, have vacant land, the mark of a poor real estate economy, and cities deners,” who garden on have residents who want to grow crops for economic, nutritional or recreational reasons. vacant lots, some owned Indeed, the Southside Community Land Trust, which operates 11 community gardens, has by the city, some by a constructed one on raised beds with treated soil on what was the Riverside Mills site in Olnon-profit organization. neyville. The city of Providence oversees six gardens. Neighborhood associations, housing With a friend and complexes and churches have all plunged into making Providence green. then with her partner, Novices, as well as experts, can draw upon a wealth of expertise. Some community garshe got an 8’ x 10’ dens have their own websites, with planned activities. For instance, a seed-swap at the Fox lot on Sessions Street Point Community Library (www.foxpointgarden.org); the Southside Community Land Trust that holds 40 lots. She sponsors talks and lectures for beginners (www.plantprovidence.org); and fellow gardenturned her back porch ers will share ideas, as well as their vegetables. into a greenhouse to
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by DON FOWLER
A taste of the Caribbean at Aruba Steve’s
f you have been to Aruba, you have probably eaten at one of the three restaurants that Steve Correa’s family owns on the Caribbean island. Correa has brought a taste of the island to downtown Providence, where, at the corner of Dorrance and Westminster Streets, you can enjoy exotic rum punches, island music and the unique flavors of the Caribbean. Correa was born in Curacao, where his family goes back 13 generations. He lived and worked at his three restaurants in Aruba, and attended the University of New Hampshire where he majored in hotel management. “I met my wife when she visited one of my restaurants while she was on vacation,” Correa said. “She was from Rehoboth, and I have friends in New York and Boston, so Providence looked like the best place to bring a touch of Aruba to the
United States.” Most of the seats were filled with businessmen, office workers and students when we lunched on a Tuesday afternoon. The busy corner is a great place for people watching and there are outside tables for an up-close view. The space was previously occupied by a bar that was only open evenings, leaving Correa with the challenge of changing the image, which he did by opening up the room and letting the sun shine through the windows. Surfboards hang from the ceiling, island music plays softly in the background and the bandstand looks like a shorefront hut. On weekends, Correa cooks outside on the grill. While the place is jumping in the evening, with live music Thursday through Saturday and karaoke on Tuesdays, lunch and dinnertime is a great time to taste the
many specialties. I can unequivocally say that I had the most tender and tasty pulled pork sandwich I have ever eaten, seasoned with the Correa family special sauce, straight from Aruba, and piled high on a fresh, hot bun. Correa buys pork loins and slowly cooks the meat to perfection. All of the ingredients are fresh and made in-house. All of the meals are made to order. Also from his restaurants in Aruba are two sauces - hot and very hot. The hot is very hot, and the very hot is wow! For $8.95, with a side of island coleslaw, it is a meal in itself. Joyce chose the jerk chicken and chili burrito (no beans) for $7.95. It came with chips and was stuffed with chicken, tomato, melted cheese, sour cream, salsa and special seasoning. Aruba Steve’s is famous for its island drinks. The sun had gone over the yard-
arm, so we tried them. Joyce had the Steve’s Mojito, which brought back memories of lying on the beach sipping the delicious rum drink. I enjoyed an Aruba Sunset, which was enriched with fresh pineapple and mint. The variety of island-style sandwiches dominates the menu. We’ll be back for the fish tacos, made with mahi mahi ($7.95) and a blackened mahi BLT ($9.95). For those who are satisfied with pizza and hot dogs, which includes the late night younger crowd, there are a variety of those items, some with an island flare. We’ll be back many times to Aruba Steve’s, a short walk from Trinity, PPAC and the Dunk, and a perfect stop before or after a Sunday afternoon Bruins game. They are located at 79 Dorrance St. in Providence. The phone number is 6544944. Check them out online at www.arubasteves.com.
Senior-friendly arts facilities
emember the not-so-old days, when the elderly and the handicapped could not gain access to many public and private buildings? We’ve come a long way folks, especially when it comes to being able to enjoy arts and entertainment. PPAC The Providence Performing Arts Center is a shining example of retrofitting an old building so that everyone may enjoy the performances. A special lane is available for cars and vans to unload directly at the theater entrance. People in wheelchairs and walkers can easily maneuver their way to their seats with the friendly ushers assisting them and storing any equipment in the lobby. When the show is over, they are right there to help you out. Aisle seats and special areas have been reserved for the handicapped. An elevator will take you to the mezzanine and balcony. Have a hearing problem? Special listening devices are available for free. TRINITY REP Like PPAC, Trinity has an unloading area, an elevator, special seating and helpful volunteer ushers. When my wife broke her foot and hobbled into the upstairs theater, not having thought to call ahead, the staff had seats set aside for those who could not climb the stairs.
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Visit our Booth at the Senior Living Expo on May 2nd for more information. 18 | PT
VMA “Vets” used to be an impossible place for anyone with even a minor handicap. Today, you can drive up to the door to let out passengers, or you can park in the two state offices parking lots and take a shuttle bus. They also have an elevator and special seating and all of the amenities that PPAC and Trinity have, including handicapped restrooms. Years ago, theaters had a few places in the back or on the aisle. Today, even the smallest theatres have made space, often the front row, for wheelchairs, giving the handicapped the best seat in the house. More arts and entertainment Pawtucket’s Gamm Theatre has a little tighter space, but no stairs to worry about. Warren’s 2nd Story Theatre recently added a lift after a successful fundraising effort. Showcase Cinemas offer handicapped parking close to their entrances. They also have doors that open with the push of a button (at wheelchair height), plus earphones for the hard of hearing. While stadium seating may offer more of a challenge, spaces for wheelchairs are plentiful. As you look at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the first thing you see is a steep staircase, but a closer look shows a couple of ramps with self-opening doors. Some of the best seating in the house is available for wheelchairs and folks who have difficulty climbing stairs. The only problem is very limited handicapped parking around the Dunk. We have been attending events at all of these locations over the years and salute the leadership for making it possible for everyone to attend.
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A GLIMPSE OF RI’S PAST
PEOPLE AND PLACES
h i s t o r y w i t h D O N D ’A M AT O
Rocky Point: The early 20th century The Age of the Automobile
Babe Ruth. Edward Gillan McGuire was the well-known “barker” at the Midway and later became a very famous magician called “The Great Gillan.”
In the first two decades of the 20th century, there were still many more horses and carriages than there were automobiles, but the trend toward the motorcar was sure and steady. During this time, however, the trolley ruled supreme for the working class. The 1930s saw major changes in the method of getting to Rocky Point, in the ownership of the resort and in the results of the destruction by the Hurricane of 1938. Some frightening aspects of the ‘20s and the ‘30s were the economic hardships caused by the closing of the mills and the strange popularity of the Ku Klux Klan, which grew in the state. Klansmen met in Pawtuxet, openly walked through Rocky Point and burned crosses in the fields near Hardig Brook.
The Hurricane of 1938
Rocky Point in the 20th Century
While the wealthy sailed their yachts or drove their expensive cars to escape the cares of the times, the less affluent sought escape at the shore resorts and amusement centers by coming via trolley. After Randall Harrington died, Paul and Alfred Castiglioni assumed control of Rocky Point. During their tenure, a number of new attractions were added to the midway and thousands flooded the park. Admission was free and families could determine what they could spend as each ride charged a fee. Big attractions in the ‘30s included appearances by Gertrude C. Ederle, who swam the English Channel in 1926, and by the “Sultan of Swat,”
One of the early advertisements for Rocky Point told customers to “follow the arrow to a barrel of fun,” and went on to describe the many special features at the “most beautiful spot on the Atlantic Coast.” (From “Rocky Point, A Rhode Island Treasure,” by Donald W. Wyatt 1997)
The Providence Journal book, “The Great Hurricane,” reported, “Rocky Point, that Mecca of politicians and shore dinner consumers, fell like a house of cards before the southeast fury. The roller coaster was shattered, the great dining hall ... was a soggy mass of lumber, a thousand bathing suits hung from the backwoods trees. ...The oldest and most famous shore resort of the state was no more.” During the hurricane, on September 21, 1938, a large tree fell over the moat near the monkey house, allowing the monkeys to escape. Strangely enough, six monkeys, which had escaped from Rocky Point in 1938, were living in the woods on Warwick Neck. They not only survived the hurricane, but managed to live through the winter as well. They were seen on the Neck and Spring Green Farm for at least another year. Warwick was still trying to clean up the wreckage caused by the Hurricane of 1938 as she entered the decade of the 1940s. For a while, it seemed that even Warwick’s oldest and largest amusement center, Rocky Point, had reached the end. The park was returned to its earlier owners, the Harringtons, as the entire area began to stagger back from the effects of the storm. The owners, however, never gave up hope. The story of Rocky Point will be continued.
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by ELAINE M. DECKER
by M E G C H E VA L I E R
Seniors, beware Time to downsize of scammers The Internal Revenue Service warns senior citizens and other taxpayers to beware of an emerging scheme tempting them to file tax returns claiming fraudulent refunds. The scheme carries a common theme of promising refunds to people who have little or no income and normally don’t have a tax filing requirement. Under the scheme, promoters claim they can obtain for their victims, often senior citizens, a tax refund or nonexistent stimulus payment based on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the victim was not enrolled in or paying for college. The IRS has identified and stopped an upsurge of these bogus refund claims coming in from across the United States. The IRS is actively investigating the sources of the scheme, and its promoters may be subject to criminal prosecution. This is a disgraceful effort by scam artists to take advantage of people by giving them false hopes of a nonexistent refund. We want to warn innocent taxpayers about this new scheme before more people get trapped. Typically, con artists falsely claim that refunds are available even if the victim went to school decades ago. In many cases, scammers are targeting seniors, people with very low incomes and members of church congregations with bogus promises of free money. The IRS has also seen a variation of this scheme that incorrectly claims the college credit is available to compensate people for paying taxes on groceries. The IRS has already detected and stopped thousands of these fraudulent claims. Nevertheless, the scheme can still be quite costly for victims. Promoters may charge exorbitant upfront fees to file these claims and are often long gone when victims discover they’ve been scammed. The IRS is reminding people to be careful because all taxpayers, including those who use paid tax preparers, are legally responsible for the accuracy of their returns, and must repay any refunds received in error. To avoid becoming ensnared in this scheme, the IRS says taxpayers should beware of any of the following: - Fictitious claims for refunds or rebates based on false statements of entitlement to tax credits. - Unfamiliar for-profit tax services selling refund and credit schemes to the membership of local churches. - Internet solicitations that direct individuals to toll-free numbers and then solicit Social Security numbers. - Homemade flyers and brochures implying credits or refunds are available without proof of eligibility. - Offers of free money with no documentation required. - Promises of refunds for “Low Income – No Documents Tax Returns.” - Claims for the expired Economic Recovery Credit Program or for economic stimulus payments. - Unsolicited offers to prepare a return and split the refund. - Unfamiliar return preparation firms soliciting business from cities outside of the normal business or commuting area. This refund scheme features many of the warning signs IRS cautions taxpayers to watch for when choosing a tax preparer. For advice on choosing a competent tax professional, go to www.IRS.gov.
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I’m not much of a cook, but I expect to do more of it after we fully retire. In preparation for our downsizing, I’m clearing out the kitchen and pantry to see which items are worth keeping. I’m finding things that haven’t seen the light of day since they made the move with me 19 years ago. To get started, I set out storage boxes labeled “Donate,” “Keep” and “Now What?” With my kitchen foray, I’ve developed a theory that you can tell when someone was married by the wedding gifts they received. For my first marriage, we received at least three fondue pots during the decade of “Do you fondue?” (Did you?) Two of them turned up on the top shelf in the butler’s pantry - one for cheese, one for beef cubes. I can’t remember when I last used either of them. Gobs of melted cheese. Deep fried red meat. Cholesterol. Need I say more? I move both fondue pots to the “Donate” box. There are countless cheese boards, so per my wedding gift theory, I married in the ‘80s, but I didn’t (either time). Cheese boards must be like picture frames - the universal wedding gifts that transcend time and styles. Though I use as many as three of them at a time for holiday entertaining, I need to get rid of some cheese boards. I put six in the “Now What?” box and change the label on it to read, “Re-Gift.” I also have more salad bowls than I need. The large stainless one and the wooden one get regular use, so they’re keepers. The glass one with the silver-plated rim was a gift (Re-Gift). The plastic one matches all that picnic ware I bought and used once. Will we picnic when we’re retired? Keep, just in case. These hand-painted pasta serving bowls can also be used for salads. Keep, Keep, Keep. One of my miscalculations is a mini crock-pot that goes into the microwave so it cooks faster. My microwave is called the Half Pint; that’s not just a clever nickname; it’s close to its capacity. The mini crock doesn’t even fit in it. Though I’ll probably have a standard microwave in our next abode, I’m as likely to be crock potting as fonduing. Into the “Donate” box it goes. Be still my heart: it’s a pullout shelf full of Corningware, the new bride’s best friend. I have everything from serving-sized bowls with plastic covers for leftovers to huge casserole-sized ones that are missing their glass lids. I rarely use any of it, but retirement will likely change that. Sorting through all of this will be a project in itself. I find another storage box, put back the label “Now What?” and fill it with the Corningware. Another shelf has been hiding a similar trove of Tupperware. Pie holder: Donate. My mother was the baker; I can never compare, so why try? Iceberg lettuce holder: Donate. I’ve moved on to romaine and it won’t fit. A holder for some sort of cheese block or pound-sized butter: Donate. I have one that holds a single stick; I don’t need to encourage milk fat consumption. All the Tupperware has been dispatched, but I don’t feel smug. I know there’s another shelf waiting with Ziploc bowls and used deli containers that still need sorting. My “Donate” box still has a lot more room. I wonder if there’s a show like “The Biggest Loser,” but for people who need to get rid of stuff, not pounds. I could use someone like Jillian to be my tough-as-nails coach. “Don’t you dare put that in your ‘Keep’ box! It’s ‘Donate’ or the trash or you’ll never reach your goal. You can do it! Focus. Lift. Push.” I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I need a glass of wine and a snack. I grab a cheese board from the top of the “Re-Gift” box. Hmmm ... This is kind of cute - just right for one serving. Maybe I should keep it. Jillian is shouting something vile at me, but I turn off my mental TV, lean back and relax. I carefully stack slices of artisan cheese onto gluten-free crackers. Who says I don’t know my way around the kitchen?
Elaine M. Decker has published a collection of Retirement Sparks posts. It’s available at Books on the Square, the Brown University bookstore and Spectrum-India, all on the East Side of Providence, and on Amazon.com. ISBN: 9781468095708. E-mail email@example.com for more information. Books on the Square will host a Meet the Author event for Decker on Thursday, April 12 at 7 p.m. A
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b y C A T H E R I N E T E R R Y T A Y L O R D I RE C TO R , R I D E P A R T M E N T O F E L D E R L Y A F F A I R S
for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and is sponsored in Rhode Island by DEA. Partner agencies include Tri-Town Community Action, South County Community Action, East Bay Community Action, Progreso Latino and United Way 2-1-1. SHIP volunteers provide one-on-one counseling to seniors, adults with disabilities, families and caregivers to help us understand our Medicare benefits, bills and rights. SHIP volunteers can also discuss insurance, teach beneficiaries how to read the Medicare Summary Notice or inform about programs that will help pay for medications. SHIP counselors can offer assistance not only on Medicare supplement insurance plans, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D plans, but also on other health care coverage options such as TriCare for Life, Veterans programs or Medicaid. The Rhode Island SHIP is looking for dedicated and resourceful volunteers with all sorts of talents and skills. Our SHIP team will connect our volunteers with roles that best suit their interests and abilities.
At the end of that hour, however, the beneficiary will be able to make an informed choice about health insurance options. They can make their choices knowing that they are purchasing a health care plan that is designed to help them stay well and manage their medical conditions. The best part of all is that counseled individuals come away with a sense of control over the process. SHIP is always in need of new volunteers. SHIP can be an ideal volunteer opportunity for someone who is newly retired, has a background in health care or has a desire to get involved in a new volunteer experience. It’s not necessary to have a health care or medical background to join SHIP. We provide the training. The only requirement is a commitment to help others. You can be part of a dynamic team, meet new people and set your own schedule. If you’re looking for a meaningful way to help your friends, neighbors and community, please call SHIP today at 462-0510.
Navigating the sea of health insurance choices
One of the biggest challenges we face when we turn 65 - in fact, it has become a rite of passage - is sorting out the myriad health insurance options that become available to us. We find ourselves asking questions that have no one-size-fits-all answer. “Should I sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare supplemental insurance plan? What Medicare Part D plan is the best for me? If I’m still working, do I need to sign up for Medicare? How much do these plans cost?” Luckily, we don’t have to make these extremely complex personal decisions without help. SHIP volunteers are on hand to help us navigate all of the available health insurance options. The Rhode Island State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is part of a national partnership to help consumers make informed health care choices, offering free, confidential, objective Medicare education and counseling through the coordination of five community agencies statewide. SHIP is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers
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No matter what your interests or abilities, SHIP has an opportunity for you. Each volunteer makes a unique difference to people with Medicare. Volunteers help educate people about Medicare, market the SHIP program and assist with administrative tasks. They work on special projects and more. SHIP volunteers also reach out to their communities to talk to beneficiaries about health care. Nowhere was this outreach more evident than during the annual Medicare open enrollment period that ran from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. With the help of our five SHIP partner agencies, DEA sponsored more than 40 open enrollment events at senior centers and community sites statewide, where SHIP volunteers counseled 4,828 beneficiaries about Medicare Part D and other health insurance coverage. Overall, 45 SHIP volunteers provided 8,068 health care counseling hours to 15,387 seniors and adults with disabilities in 2011. A SHIP volunteer counsels each client individually. The average counseling session can often take up to an hour.
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ght BUSINESS spotliON Scandinavian Retirement Center An Assisted Living Community
Some of the services at Scandinavian Retirement Center include: MEAL SERVICE • Three meals with a choice of entrée served daily • Late morning selfserved continental breakfast cart • Afternoon snacks served daily • Tray service is available TRANSPORTATION • To medical appointments (residents can still visit their own doctors) • For weekly banking, shopping, library visits, local postal services • For planned outings and activities HEALTH CARE & PERSONAL ASSISTANCE • Medication Administration • Follow up with personal physician as needed • Full time licensed nursing on site • Assistance with activities of daily living • Housekeeping and laundry services • Priority admission to the Scandinavian Nursing Home for qualified stays Small enough to be personal and responsive to every resident’s needs, yet part of the larger Scandinavian Home family, the Assisted Living Community is living at its best for men and women seeking support, security, and the comforts of home without worries. For more information or to schedule a visit, call the Director of Resident Services, Tai Sodipo, R.N. at 4611444. Please visit their web site at www.ScandinavianHome.com. The Scandinavian Retirement Center a non-profit Assisted Living Community, is located at 50 Warwick Avenue in Cranston. The name reflects the heritage of its founders, but today they are an inclusive community that welcomes people of all faiths and ethnic origins.
Heatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center “It’s all about you, it’s all about the experience” SUBACUTE CARE • REHABILITATION • LONG-TERM MEMORY CARE NEIGHBORHOOD
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How do residents at Scandinavian Retirement Center like to keep busy? There are parties like the Super Bowl Pep Rally, Mardi Gras, and decorating cookies with Girl Scout friends. Guests come frequently to entertain and enlighten our residents. Creative pursuits include everything from making cards or using knitting looms to creating the dining room centerpieces. Our residents’ interests set the tone. A variety of games are always scheduled including the new favorite, TriBond. Jigsaw puzzles and computer games also fill up many happy moments. Of course, restaurant trips and other outings are on the calendar as well. Right now the assisted living community is looking ahead to the annual Spring Tea, a long held tradition, when residents and their guests get out their finest hats for an elegant occasion. Excitement is also brewing about an upcoming visit by baby farm animals and the return of a favorite storyteller. Residents are fed spiritually through weekly communion from neighboring St. Paul’s church, a weekly prayer service, as well as many monthly services including Catholic Mass, Interfaith Communion, Tea for the Soul, Rosary, Catholic Communion, Shabbat Service, and the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Our Chaplain is also available for residents who wish to talk individually. To keep physically fit, many exercise programs are available. These include yoga, meditation, physical and massage therapy, and Wii games. The “It’s Never 2 Late” computer system helps keep brains exercised as well. With just 35 apartments in the Assisted Living Community, residents and staff come to know each other well. Bonds of friendship and trust grow easily, and residents are able to balance the level of privacy, socialization, independence and support that fits their personal lifestyle and needs. Scandinavian Retirement Center also offers Respite Suites for those who need a short term stay.
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Come see what sets us apart! • Assisted Living since 1992 • Spacious one bedroom apartments & shared studio apartments • Priority admission to Scandinavian Home Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
SCANDINAVIAN RETIREMENT CENTER An Assisted Living Community 50 Warwick Avenue
Cranston, RI 02905
401-461-1444 Email: Info@ScandinavianHome.com Phyllis and her family get into the spirit of the season at the annual Spring Tea!
A non-profit organization A CareLink Member
Call for details or arrange for a tour... we would love to meet you. A
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PEOPLE AND PLACES
Senior Olympics on the horizon
The Ocean State Senior Olympics celebrates their 35th anniversary in 2015 with a schedule that currently includes 15 events. The opening weekend is scheduled for June 8, 9 and 10 with the games’ signature event, track and field, scheduled for Sunday, June 12 at Rhode Island College. The scheduled events include archery, 3-on-3 basketball, 10-pin bowling, cycling, golf, pickle ball, 1,500-meter race walk, 5Kroad race, softball, swimming, table tennis, tennis, triathlon and volleyball. The track competition has added a 50meter race and the newest sport to be offered is pickle ball. Pickle ball was created in the state of Washington in 1965 and has grown in popularity in places like Florida and Arizona, and in the northeast in New York. It is played with 24-inch table tennis-like paddles and hollow whiffle balls. Lincoln Parks and Recreation will host the first pickle ball event. Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in each sport, event and age group. The sporting competitions are held within five-year increments, beginning with 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 and so on. The Ocean State Senior Olympics offer men and women over the age of 50 a program of fun, fellowship and friendly competition at some of the outstanding athletic facilities in the state. The games are targeted at encouraging older adults to develop and maintain good physical fitness through regular participation in exercise, recreational activity and sporting competitions. The Ocean State Senior Olympics is a member of the National Senior Games Association and is the only sanctioned qualifying event in Rhode Island. The National Senior Games are held biannually with the next national games scheduled for July 21 through Aug. 5, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2012 Rhode Island events will be the qualifying competition for next year’s national games in Cleveland. For more information, call the Ocean State Senior Olympics hotline at 383-9585 or visit www.riseniorolympics.org.
Expanded Foreclosure Prevention Assistance
If you are 62 years of age or older and unable to refinance an unaffordable mortgage; need assistance to meet your lender’s minimum refinancing requirements; or have suffered a severe financial hardship and need assistance moving forward, Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island, HHFRI, can help you make your mortgage payments. To learn more, call 401-277-1500; visit www.HHFRI.org; email info@HHFRI.org; or visit our booth at the Warwick Mall PrimeTime Senior Living Expo. The U.S. Treasury has given funds to Rhode Island Housing to help prevent foreclosures and stabilize the housing market. HHFRI is the program that will distribute these funds.
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS Coffee and ballet Don’t miss the final session of Project Ballet Coffee Hour, hosted by the State Ballet of Rhode Island, on Saturday, April 21. Admission is free, and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., you have the chance to see how a ballet is created, how dancers are trained and more. From Studio to Stage takes place at the State Ballet Rehearsal Studio at 52 Sherman Avenue in Lincoln. For more information, call 334-2560. Weaving together a successful show The Narragansett Bay Quilters’ Association is hosting their Garden of Quilts show on April 21 and 22 at North Kingstown High School. The show will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $8, and the show A
includes classes, lectures, raffles, vendors and more. There will be a fashion show featuring the Hoffman Challenge Fashions on Saturday at 2 p.m., and a quilt auction on Sunday at 2 p.m. There will be more than 300 quilts, vendors and exhibits at this event, which the association hosts every other year. Visit their website at www.nbquilts.org. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Catch one of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best-known musicals at the Courthouse Center for the Arts through April 15. Shows will take place Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 through $25, and can be purchased at www.courthousearts.org or by calling 782-1018.
Take me out to the ballgame Can you believe it? Baseball season is here! The Pawtucket Red Sox kick off their season on April 5, and will play through September at McCoy Stadium and stadiums around the country. Enjoy the Triple-A PawSox at the stadium and treat yourself to a hot dog and beer. For more information, including a full schedule, call 724-7300 or visit www.pawsox.com. Hopping into the zoo Grab the grandkids and visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo on April 6 and 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and get a glimpse of the Easter Bunny. There will be refreshments, crafts and photos with the Easter Bunny. There will be an additional fee charged from zoo admission. Call 941-4998 or visit rwpzoo.org for details.
Casino Theatre Singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor will perform as part of the Casino Theatre Concert Series at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Taylor’s 40-year career has spanned folk, country, bluegrass and blues genres. Tickets to his show on April 7 range in price from $45 to $60. The Saturday show begins at 8 p.m. For more information, call 8496053 or visit tennisfame.com/LivingstonTaylor. The Hall of Fame is located at 9 Freebody Street in Newport.
Step into history The Smith-Appleby House Museum will host historic museum tours with Colonial re-enactors on April 7 from 1 to 4 p.m., and April 14 and 22. Admission is $5 for adults, and children are free. 220 Stillwater Road in Smithfield, and no reservations are necessary. PT | 25
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS Explore Mexican art On April 11 and 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the Portsmouth Arts Guild Center for the Arts will host lectures examining Mexican art from the 1890s through the 1940s. Madeline Ruiz, a teacher of art history at CCRI in Newport, will lead the discussion, and the Guild’s “Imagine Blue” exhibit will be on display. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is $7.50 for members and $10 for the public. The center can be found at 2679 Main Road in Portsmouth. Call 254-1668 or visit www.portsmouthartsguild.org for more details. Rock your Chakra! Learn how the chakra system influences people on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. There will be a guided yoga class, an instructed dance session and then a full-on dance party, all tapping into the chakra system. It costs $25 to participate, or $10 just for the dance party at the Jamestown Arts Center. Classes are on Fridays from 7 to 10 p.m., on April 13, May 11 and June 8. Call 560-0979 or visit www.jamestownartcenter.org with questions. David Sedaris visits PPAC Humor writer David Sedaris will share readings of his work and sign books at the Providence Performing Arts Center on April 14 at 8 p.m. The author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Naked,”
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“When You Are Engulfed in Flames,” and more, is a best-selling author. Admission ranges from $25 to $55. For tickets, call 421-2997 or go to ppacri.org. Daffodil Days Stop by the Blithewold Mansion Gardens and Arboretum from April 14 to May 6 for the annual Daffodil Days event. See more than 50,000 blooming daffodils and other spring bulbs on the sprawling 33acre estate. Blithewold is located at 101 Ferry Road in Bristol. Admission prices vary. For a complete breakdown, or for more information, visit www.blithewold.org or call 2532707. A healthy dose of sustainability The Community College of Rhode Island’s Flanagan campus will host a seminar, “Healthy Planter, Healthy People: A Sustainable Living Connection,” from April 16 to 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Stop by to hear guest lectures, participate in interactive workshops and view documentaries as part of this Earth Day celebration. For more information, contact SEA president Greg at SEA.CCRI@gmail.com.
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