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IT’S GOING TO BE A VERY GOOD YEAR! At the close of another year, we thank our readers and advertisers for a great year and wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

– from all of us at PrimeTime Magazine

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January 2013


W

ealthy or poor, money is a cause of stress for most Americans. The wealthy worry about taxes and how they can leave their estate to loved ones without the government cutting it into pieces. The poor, quite obviously, worry about putting food on the table and paying the rent, nevermind saving for retirement or putting away a healthy chunk of change into a 529 college bound plan for the grandkids. We begrudgingly write household budgets and struggle to stick to them. We resist the urge to buy that new pocketbook or go out to dinner on a Friday night, knowing that it would be better off in the bank. They say money doesn’t buy you happiness, but a lot of times, it feels like money is the root of unhappiness. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be. Part of the problem in this country is that, by and large, we are a financially illiterate nation. We don’t understand the terms investment brokers throw at us, nor do many young families comprehend the consequences of taking out a mortgage they can’t afford. We too often leap before we look. General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has noticed this epidemic, and is hoping to reverse the trend. This fall, her office turned their attention to financial literacy at all levels, and is not only hoping to improve practical math education at the elementary and secondary levels, but they are also looking to educate and empower adults. This month’s Worthy Cause spotlights Raimondo’s partner in this, the Capital Good Fund, a non-profit that provides microloans to Rhode Islanders who have fallen upon tough times. In their work with the Treasurer, the Capital Good Fund is training retired and actively employed finance professionals to coach people of all ages in how to better manage their finances. If you’re lost on how to save for retirement, or how to cut your household costs, don’t be too proud to reach out and sign up for a free financial coach. There’s no shame in educating yourself, and it’s never too late to take control of your finances. This issue of PrimeTime offers some other solutions on becoming more financially savvy. We talked to two moms who have clipped enough coupons to save literally thousands of dollars every year. They share their secrets and get you started on realizing savings of January 2013 your own, without making coupon 1944 Warwick Ave. clipping a full time job. Warwick, RI 02889 We also caught up with the man401-732-3100 FAX 401-732-3110 aging partners of Independence FiDistribution Special Delivery nancial Partners, part of the John Hancock Financial Network. They showed us the ins and outs of investPUBLISHERS ing, and advise you on how much risk Barry W. Fain, Richard G. Fleischer, you can take on at any age. If you’re John Howell overwhelmed, take a break and peruse through our penny-pinching ideas on EDITOR how to save a little here and there Meg Fraser every bit helps. megf@rhodybeat.com If managing your money isn’t your MARKETING DIRECTOR resolution of choice, Kathy Tirrell Donna Zarrella talked to a YMCA staffer and nutridonnaz@rhodybeat.com tionist about getting healthy, and Don Fowler has some ideas on starting Creative Director 2013 off with a bang. Linda Nadeau It’s a New Year, and there’s no betlindan@rhodybeat.com ter time to get organized and get back on track across the board. Make a WRITERS resolution and stick to it. It’s never too Jessica Botelho, Michael J. Cerio, Don Fowler, Terry D’Amato Spencer, Elaine M. Decker, late. Make 2013 a great one.

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John Howell, Joan Retsinas, Kim Kalunian, Mike Fink, Meg Chevalier, Joe Kernan, Kerry Park, Kathy Tirrell

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Happy New Year!

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 exceptional circumstances can be shown.

January 2013

9

Pick up the circular and save thousands each year

A Worthy Cause highlights The Capital Good Fund

10 Your Taxes

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Financing dreams

Saver’s tax credit helps with retirement

11 Investing in

your future

A primer in how to invest your money

19 Penny pinching

Small ideas that add up to big savings

SENIOR ISSUES The resolve to stay healthy.......................................................... 8 Retirement Sparks...........................................................................20 Director’s column............................................................................22 Alzheimer’s culinary challenge...............................................24 food & drink Healthy eating...................................................................................16

Meg Fraser editor

Classified ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Sue Howarth – sueh@rhodybeat.com Brittany Wardell – brittanyw@rhodybeat.com PRODUCTION STAFF Matt Bower, Brian Geary, Lisa Yuettner

inthisissue 4 Clipping coupons, cutting costs

nextmonth

February is speeding around the corner, and we can’t wait for our annual car issue. We’ll have tips on the best vehicles for seniors, stories on collectors and a feature on a Porsche that spent 13 years at the mechanic!

PEOPLE & PLACES Soprano’s actor promotes power of song.......................12 Doer’s profile......................................................................................23 Glimpse of RI’s past.........................................................................25 LIFESTYLES That’s Entertainment.....................................................................18 What do you Fink?..........................................................................21

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b y meg fraser

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g n i p p i l C s n o p u Co Cutting Costs January 2013


money matters

T

hough it has been made increasingly popular by television shows like “Extreme Couponing,” clipping coupons has been a routine for heads of household for as long as savings have found a home in the Sunday circular. But shaving a few dollars off pasta sauce or soup for the week is no longer the desired result. Today, couponers - some of the self-proclaimed “extreme” variety - are finding ways to stack coupons, scout sales and shop smart, resulting in thousands of dollars worth of savings. Each year, Pam Schiff saves about $2,000 on groceries, and that’s not including the money saved by buying some products at discount retailers. That $2,000 is all coupons. “It’s me versus the market,” she says. Schiff has had time to perfect her method. The 47-year-old mother of one has been couponing since before she got married. Her motivation is simple. “The reason I coupon is because I am so cheap,” she jokes. “I don’t want to pay more for anything than I absolutely have to.” They say ignorance is bliss, but for Schiff, she knows the value of a dollar, and she’s much happier saving than overspending. She does all her shopping at once, hitting the Garden City section of Cranston where she can maximize savings without wasting gas. She shops Aldi for inexpensive produce, Whole Foods for their sales and Shaw’s and nearby Stop & Shop, where the bulk of her coupons go. Groceries is Schiff’s primary source of savings, but she also racks up savings at CVS, Target and Wal-Mart - all of which is in addition to that $2,000 savings. At CVS, she saved roughly $600 in 2012.

Schiff recalled one instance when she purchased two jars of pasta sauce and four bags of Lindt chocolate for a whopping 22 cents. At Shaw’s recently, she saved 51 percent in one visit. One of the best parts of couponing, she adds, is the camaraderie. She shares her tricks with friends and family, and participates in a coupon exchange group with people she met online who live in New Hampshire, Connecticut and South Dakota. Each member creates a wish list of items they use all the time, and every two to three weeks, they send envelopes of coupons to one another. Extras are left in the coupon bucket at her local library. “There’s nothing worse than a wasted coupon,” she said. One of the beneficiaries of Schiff’s couponing skills is her friend, Jen Cowart. As a 41-year-old mother of three, Cowart has always been frugal, but her foray into couponing began just last year. Looking back at her receipts, she saved approximately $1,600 at CVS - her first stop for coupon shopping. Not only can she stack coupons at CVS, but she can also earn money for future purchases with the store’s ExtraBucks program. “I had no idea that I could do it,” she said. “I really didn’t know what I was doing, and I wasn’t even sure how I would get coupons.” In the beginning, Cowart was nervous. She didn’t want to miscalculate coupon savings and end up spending too much, or hold up lines because she was unsure of what to do. “What I didn’t want to do was put my family into debt by trying to coupon,” she said.

Each year Pam Schiff saves about $2,000 on groceries – that $2,000 is all coupons. (photos by Meg Fraser)

January 2013

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Now, Cowart has the hang of it. She clips coupons weekly and regularly checks coupon sites for new ways to save. Each Christmas, her family sends out a calendar filled with photos of their daughters. In the past, they paid $147 for calendars through Kodak. Using the savings site Groupon, they spent just $17 this year. In fact, all of her holiday gifts benefited from her savings. “I saved all my rebate money for Christmas shopping this year, and I had almost $200 back. I thought that was really cool,” she said. The women agree, though, that using coupons for products you won’t use is a waste. On television, extreme couponers often stockpile goods they don’t use. “I understand the sport of it, but when you watch those shows, why do you need 500 cans of dog food when you don’t have a dog?” Schiff asks. “If it’s not something you want, need or use, don’t take the coupon.” Don’t be deceived by coupons that sound like a deal if it doesn’t suit your needs, either. Schiff doesn’t go for “buy two get one free” if it isn’t something she needs or can store and save. There are only certain items she stockpiles, and the same is true for Cowart. Over the summer of 2012, though, she made a point to build up her reserves. Through May, she accumulated dozens of rolls of toilet paper, toiletries and “anything that I could find good deals on.” Cowart made it through the summer without having to spend any money on personal care items, and hopes to do the same next summer. She is especially mindful of health and beauty items, which her family consumes quickly. With three young daughters, she and her husband Don were paying heavily out of pocket on things like shampoo, body wash and laundry detergent.

“I decided those were the things I would try to save money on. I was getting it as I needed it, and I wouldn’t ever have a coupon for it,” she said. There is a cost to couponing. Most people get their deals from newspapers, which cost money either at the newsstand or through subscriptions. Some websites charge a fee as well, and even free printable coupons require paper and ink. Among the websites recommended by the women are CouponDivas.com, Wow-Coupons.net, SmartSource.com, CoolSavings.com, LivingRichWithCoupons.com, CouponMom.com and HeyItsFree.net. Comparing her shopping habits today to last January, Cowart says she can’t believe how much money she once wasted. “I think to myself, ‘I used to pay full price for all this stuff.’ Now I’m really aware and I try not to buy it at full price,” she said. “The more I did it and the more I saved, the less guilty I felt.” So is her family. Her youngest daughter, Alexandra, has noticed her mom’s shopping habits and hopes to someday benefit herself. She asked recently, “Have you seen any coupons for horses lately?” Cowart’s couponing has changed her family’s life in a real way. With all the savings they’ve realized, they are able to indulge more from time to time. “They definitely see the difference. They see that we can do more now,” she said, using a night out to get frozen yogurt as an example. Cowart is well versed in couponing, and Schiff has been working the sales for decades. Their advice for first-timers is to take it slow and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. “Only pick a few stores because so many stores accept coupons. You can only manage so much. My goal was to stick to the places I already shopped because I didn’t have any more time in my

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JEN COWART clips coupons weekly and regularly checks coupon sites for new ways to save

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January 2013


money matters schedule,” Cowart said, adding that you need to know store policies before you start. “You want to know their policies before you get in line with a carriage full of stuff and 100 coupons they won’t take.” Find what works for you. Cowart organizes her coupons by store, and says that organization is crucial to being successful. Schiff puts coupons that expire this month first, and then groups coupons by store. Store pockets in her handheld organizer are lined up in the same order as store aisles. Cowart has taken to keeping her flyers and newspapers in the car. She clips coupons during her daughters’ Friday night dance rehearsals. Schiff primarily clips on Sunday mornings before her husband and son, Barry and Ben, wake up. She starts with the flyer, making note of what is on sale that she needs or wants. Then she goes through the circulars to see if any coupons match up. She estimates it takes her two hours over the course of a week. “Everyone does it differently,” Schiff says. To start, she advises people who are new to couponing to go through their house and take an inventory of what they use regularly. Build up two or three backups of your must-have items and

then start saving the coupons. Learn the sale cycle for each store you shop at, so you can time your shopping trips accordingly. Most items go on sale through a four- to sixweek cycle. “I felt like I had to buy every coupon that came through, but I’ve relaxed a little. I know if I wait, the sale will come around again,” Cowart said. Schiff warns not to set your expectations too high right away. Hitting your stride and navigating sales takes time if you’re a newcomer to couponing. “You’re not going to see the savings until the second or third month,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing I hear, is ‘I wish I had the time,’ but it’s a lifestyle - once you get started, it becomes a routine.”

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senior issues

b y kathy tirrell

The resolve to stay healthy The New Year is here! It’s time to think about getting healthy in the months ahead. Maybe you overindulged on those holiday goodies and your new clothes don’t quite fit, or you just don’t seem to have the energy to tackle projects (like taking down the tree and putting away all those decorations). Fortunately, there are healthy ways to start off the year that can become good, lasting habits all year long. According to Edna Kurtzman, a registered dietitian who is currently the active older adult coordinator at the Bayside YMCA in Barrington, there are certain types of food older adults should try to include in their diets. “One of the most important things for older adults nutrition-wise is to get enough protein,” Kurtzman advises. She said people might not get enough protein for several reasons. First, because meats and fish are usually expensive. Second, these foods may be considered high in fat and cholesterol. Cheese or dairy products may also be difficult to digest by those who are lactose-intolerant. One solution is to be selective about the meats you buy; try to find leaner cuts of meat since they’re lower in fat and cholesterol. Eggs are fairly inexpensive and are considered a good source of protein. Experts disagree on how many you should eat per week, so if you’re watching your cholesterol, check with your doctor to find out if eggs can be on the menu. And Kurtzman said that a lactaid tablet taken before eating cheese or dairy products may help those who are lactose-intolerant. Getting enough fiber is also crucial to good health for older adults since it

 | PrimeTime 8

helps to regulate the digestive system. Good sources of fiber are fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grain cereals and breads. Kurtzman recommends that you study the package when choosing a loaf of bread. “Turn it over and look at the ingredients,” she said. “The first thing listed should be whole grain flour.” Calcium is an important component of a healthy diet, along with Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb the calcium. Ideally, we would have the benefit of a natural source of Vitamin D all year long through the sun, but that’s harder to achieve in the winter months. “It’s fine in this latitude from June to September,” said Kurtzman, “but once October comes along and we put on long sleeves and don’t spend as much time outside, we just don’t get as much sun exposure anymore.” That’s why it might be a good idea to take vitamin supplements in order to make sure you’re getting enough calcium and Vitamin D. Water is always the best thing to drink, according to Kurtzman. The usual advice is to drink six to eight cups of fluid a day, but this doesn’t have to be just water, since coffee and tea also contain water. Orange juice is a good source of vitamin C, but should be limited to four ounces or so. Even better is an actual orange, since it contains fiber and is consumed slower than a glass of juice. Running hand in hand with diet is exercise, a common resolution for the New Year. “Exercise is really, really important,” stresses Kurtzman. “We should do some form of physical activity every day. Try to target 30 minutes a day.” If you only have time to take a 10-

minute walk on a given day, that’s okay. Maybe you can fit in a yoga or Pilates class some time during the day or evening, or you can break up the walks – 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes after dinner. People vary when it comes to deciding what form of exercise is pleasurable or fun. Some prefer to stay home and use their treadmill or stationary bike. Others like to go take a long walk. Some are not comfortable exercising in a group setting. But for those who do like being part of a group, a venue like the Bayside YMCA offers a number of exercise programs for older adults. The Senior Strength Training Program uses cardiovascular equipment, strength training equipment and free weights. All of these help increase muscle strength, bone density and flexibility. “As we get older, there’s a reduction in protein, less physical activity and muscle loss,” said Kurtzman. Many older adults will develop sarcopenia, which is the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and function, so a strength-training class would be very helpful. The ‘Y’ also offers a program developed by the Arthritis Foundation called The Land Exercise Program. It’s

designed to help people with arthritis increase joint flexibility, range of motion and muscle strength. “Fifty percent of our bones and ligaments are in the hands and feet,” Kurtzman said, explaining why it’s so important to do exercises developed for arthritis. She said a new program called Moving For Better Balance is starting up in January. It’s a Tai Chi-based program meant to help people maintain their sense of balance and reduce the risk of falls. The most important thing is to keep moving, whether it’s exercising with a group, walking outside or even walking up and down the aisles of a mall or grocery store. “The best exercise is the one that you do,” says Kurtzman. For more information about the YMCA’s programs, call 245-2444 or visit www.ymcagreaterprovidence.org.

January 2013


a worthy cause

PEOPLE AND PLACES

b y M ichael j . ceri o

Financing

Dreams Gretchen Varkonyi had always been a hard worker. A successful real estate agent who also worked as an insurance adjuster, she was a proud mother who led a modest but comfortable life with her husband. That is, until everything changed. After separating from her husband, Gretchen was left alone to provide for her children. Shortly after, multiple real estate closings fell through and the insurance company she worked for relocated – leaving her unemployed. Limited support options and a difficult job market only compounded her challenging circumstances. Instead of folding, Gretchen decided to follow her dream and love of cooking by turning to entrepreneurship as a way to begin a new career. She had always dreamed of starting her own catering business, but who would help? Enter the Capital Good Fund. Established in 2009, the Capital Good Fund is the brainchild of Brown University graduates Andy Posner and Molly West. What began as a dream in social entrepreneurship has become a rapidly growing non-profit that takes a comprehensive approach to helping Rhode Islanders achieve financial stability. “Around the time I read ‘Banker to the Poor’ by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who is considered the father of microfinance, the economy collapsed,” says Andy Posner, co-founder and executive director of the Capital Good Fund. “Suddenly, poverty became an even bigger issue locally, so I decided to try and start an organization that could address the issues that were coming up as a result of the recession.” Through Alan Harlam, the director of social entrepreneurship for the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown, Posner connected with West who had expressed interest in a similar initiative. Together, the two quickly realized there wasn’t anyone in the state offering what they were looking to do – provide innovative microloans and personal financial coaching as a non-profit. The primary mission of the Capital Good Fund is to provide low-income Rhode Islanders with small loans and January 2013

financial workshops. They also offer free tax preparation services to help return money to working people. In doing so, the organization is empowering individuals to improve their lives and, subsequently, their communities. While much of their work focuses on low-income individuals and families, Posner says the Capital Good Fund is also a resource for moderate- to middle-income families, and 10 percent of its clients are 55 and older. Capital Good Fund provides microloans to individuals up to $2,000 without the need for a minimal credit score. Their goal is for the funds to knock down the barriers that prevent low-income individuals from taking that next step to achieve financial stability. Funds may be used for a wide-variety of things: to help apply for U.S. citizenship when the $875 fee is a barrier; to cover housing costs for victims of domestic abuse; to provide seed money to the person who wants to start a landscaping company; or to help a parent buy a computer that will enhance their child’s education. Since beginning their work, Capital Good Fund has provided 166 loans, totaling a quarter of a million dollars, while providing free tax services to another 230 people; returning more than $300,000 to the community. They’ve also graduated nearly 200 from financial and business coaching workshops. “Those in the middle- and upper-class depend tremendously on access to credit, whether it’s a credit card, loan or line of credit,” says Posner. “The poor don’t have this same luxury, and those who are willing to provide these same services charge incredibly high interest rates, which often causes more harm than good to the borrower.” Across the country, there’s a $100 billion industry that provides financial services to those of lesser means. This includes payday lenders, pawn shops, check cashers and rent-to-own centers. Many of these lenders can charge up to 260 percent interest, with Rhode Island being the only state in New England that

Eva Jimenez was the Capital Good Fund’s first client.

allows for such an asAfter benefiting from financial coaching & a citizentronomical cap. “We’re the only ship loan, Eva received a business loan to publish a equitable consumer bilingual children’s book that she wrote and illustrated. lender in the state that isn’t a bank,” says this while also helping improving credit Posner. “Because we want to help people scores, which is central to economic dewith limited financial options succeed, velopment.” we offer loans at a much lower rate that Anyone with a financial background allows for them to save money on inter- who would like to become a financial est while building a valuable asset – their coach may visit www.fccorps.org to sign credit.” up. Additionally, anyone in need of help The organization’s model is two-fold. can visit the site and click “Be Coached” On the operational side, it’s purely non- to receive a free session. profit, with donations received from fi“Being in deep debt can tear a famnancial institutions, individual donors, ily apart and cause significant stress and corporations and foundations. The loan anxiety, while also straining the social serside of their work resembles a business. vice infrastructure,” says Posner. “We can Nearly 90 percent of the money they lend save people anywhere from hundreds to is borrowed from individuals at a 1 to 3 low thousands of dollars per month just percent return. Due to their success, Pos- in interest if they pay off a payday loan. ner is looking for the organization to bor- We’ve also saved marriages.” row more money in the coming year to Posner says the average person saves further expand its reach and loan pool. $1,100 a year thanks to the financial “It’s important for people to know that coaching they receive – no small feat, they can invest in us with as little as $500 considering where many start. In addiand get a return that’s greater than what tion to dollars saved, the social impact of they may be receiving through a CD at their work is measured in bank accounts their bank,” he says. opened, reduction in debt and increases For people at nearly all levels of the in credit scores. financial spectrum, many are just one The Capital Good Fund is also in its pink slip, illness or emergency away from third year as part of a coalition working slipping into ruin. In fact, one in three to influence legislation that would cap the Americans is either in poverty or at 150 interest rate a payday lender can charge percent of the Federal Poverty Line. at 36 percent – the same rate the federal In their efforts to help Rhode Island- government regulates can be charged to ers take charge of their finances, Capital military families. Posner encourages all Good Fund has partnered with Rhode Rhode Islanders to contact their legislaIsland General Treasurer Gina Raimondo tor in support of this overdue change. to launch the Rhode Island Financial “I want people to understand that it’s Coaching Corps. The initiative trains easy to focus on the one low-income peractive and retired financial profession- son you might know who is lazy instead als to become volunteers and deliver the of the high percentage living in poverty Capital Good Fund’s curriculum to those despite working hard and doing everyseeking financial guidance – regardless of thing they can,” Posner said. “We’re cretheir income level. ating a national model that I believe will “The Financial Coaching Corps is our put Rhode Island on the national stage as way of serving people who may not be in being a perfect place to create an innovapoverty but could benefit from financial tive organization.” coaching and workshops,” says Posner. For more information, or to get in“The more money that people spend on volved with the Capital Good Fund, visit interest, the less they have to spend on www.CapitalGoodFund.org. the local economy. We want to reverse PrimeTime | 


your taxes

professional perspective

b y meg che v alier

Saver’s tax credit helps with retirement Low- and moderate-income workers can take steps now to save for retirement and earn a special tax credit in 2012 and the years ahead, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The saver’s credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. Also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, the saver’s credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply. Eligible workers still have time to make qualifying retirement contributions and get the saver’s credit on their 2012 tax return. People have until April 15, 2013, to set up a new individual retirement arrangement or add money to an existing IRA and still get credit for 2012. However, elective deferrals (contributions) must be made by the end of the year to a 401(k) plan or similar workplace program, such as a 403(b) plan for employees of public schools

and certain tax-exempt organizations, a governmental 457 plan for state or local government employees and the Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees. Employees who are unable to set aside money for this year may want to schedule their 2013 contributions soon so their employer can begin withholding them in January. The saver’s credit can be claimed by: • Married couples filing jointly with incomes up to $57,500 in 2012 or $59,000 in 2013 • Heads of household with incomes up to $43,125 in 2012 or $44,250 in 2013 • Married individuals filing separately and singles with incomes up to $28,750 in 2012 or $29,500 in 2013. Like other tax credits, the saver’s credit can increase a taxpayer’s refund or reduce the tax owed. Though the maximum saver’s credit is $1,000, $2,000 for married couples, the IRS cautioned that it is often much less and, due in part

to the impact of other deductions and credits, may, in fact, be zero for some taxpayers. A taxpayer’s credit amount is based on his or her filing status, adjusted gross income, tax liability and amount contributed to qualifying retirement programs. Form 8880 is used to claim the saver’s credit, and its instructions have details on figuring the credit correctly. The saver’s credit supplements other tax benefits available to people who set money aside for retirement. For example, most workers may deduct their contributions to a traditional IRA. Though Roth IRA contributions are not deductible, qualifying withdrawals, usually after retirement, are tax-free. Normally, contributions to 401(k) and similar workplace plans are not taxed until withdrawn. Other special rules that apply to the saver’s credit include the following: • Eligible taxpayers must be at least 18 years of age

• Anyone claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return cannot take the credit • A student cannot take the credit. A person enrolled as a full-time student during any part of five calendar months during the year is considered a student Certain retirement plan distributions reduce the contribution amount used to figure the credit. For 2012, this rule applies to distributions received after 2009 and before the due date, including extensions, of the 2012 return. Form 8880 and its instructions have details on making this computation. More information about the credit is available at IRS.gov.

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January 2013


b y meg fraser

money matters

Investing in your

Future For many people, people of all ages, investments are a mystery. Still, across the United States, $13 trillion worth of assets are invested, accounting for tens of millions of shareholders, according to the Investment Company Institute. Investing offers people from all income brackets the potential to build wealth over time. With that wealth comes security: bills paid, retirement and a future for children and grandchildren. It?s a promising idea, but questions loom. What about the risks? What do I invest in? Isn?t the market volatile? Am I risking my hard-earned money? There isn?t one answer, but rest assured, the answers are out there. “Everybody is different. The best advice for folks is to sit down with a financial professional to assess their own personal situation,” says Richard Beaulieu, Jr., CLU, ChFC, managing partner for Independence Financial Partners, a member of the John Hancock Financial Network. Richard runs the Warwick-based company with his brother, Kevin Beaulieu, ChFC, who is also a managing partner. Together, they advise clients on life insurance, charitable giving, retirement savings and investment strategies. Though it can be an intimidating topic, Kevin says that investing can be a smart decision, now more than ever. “Today, traditional savings account interest rates are so low people find it difficult to stay ahead of inflation,” he said. “If they?ve saved money and are thinking of retiring, they should con-

January 2013

sider investment options within their risk tolerance.” The Beaulieu?s agree that how a client chooses to invest will depend heavily on the amount of risk they can sustain. There are multiple factors to consider, but perhaps none more important than the individual?s time horizon for investing. If you have 30 years until you?d like to retire, you can assume more risk than someone who hopes to retire in the near future. “You have to come in for a soft landing,” Kevin said. “You position your assets for growth, and then you need to position your assets for income distribution.” Generally speaking, Richard says you should begin positioning yourself for income distribution about 10 years out from retirement. If you aren?t there yet, consider increasing your risk and, in turn, increasing the potential reward. Investment programs should be built like a pyramid, with a foundation of solid, lowrisk, conservative investments. Moving up the pyramid you would have medium risk investments that focus more on growth. . Finally, the riskiest investments, those that are considered speculative, would find a place at the top of the pyramid. “You have to have a long-term perspective. Over the long term, the market is favorable,” Richard said. Even if you have decades left before retirement, risky investments aren?t for everyone. The market can be volatile, and ever changing, so if watching the

NASDAQ ticker gives you anxiety, you might opt for a more conservative approach. “If you?re the kind of person who?s going to look at it every day, maybe you can?t handle that risk,” Kevin said. But if you can, the benefits could follow. “You win in the market by sticking it out,” he said. According to Independence Financial Partners, taking a long term perspective has generally been thought of as a successful strategy for investing in the markets. Diversifying your portfolio can take some of the edge off, too. If an investor spreads his or her portfolio over several asset types, the ups and downs of the market don?t seem as harrowing. Your advisor will also likely rebalance your portfolio, or adjust asset allocation. It should be noted that financial professionals generally charge a fee for these services based on the value of the account, so consider whether you?re earning enough to make the service worthwhile. Even if the market is stable, look at your portfolio regularly, both to familiarize yourself with the investments and also to ensure you are comfortable with how your money is invested. “You should look at your investments at least once a quarter,” Richard said. For some people, investing is a hobby. If you?re secure for retirement, and are not worried about your financial footing, it can be like a second career.

Kevin Beaulieu Jr., CLU, ChFC, managing partner for Independence Financial Partners, a member of the John Hancock Financial Network. If you want to take a more active role in your investment portfolio, Richard advises reading up on the market and the options that are out there. “The Internet is a huge source of information today; you can get on to any of the websites for the large investment companies and you can learn a lot from them,” he said. “You can start by reading the Wall Street Journal and Barron?s and just keeping up to date on the investment journals.” If you?re going to invest for yourself, however, it isn?t a job that should be done halfway. “If you aren?t a do-it-yourselfer and you?re not keeping up with the market on a daily basis, then you should really be looking to affiliate with an advisor who?s going to be looking out for your best interests,” Richard said. Richard & Kevin Beaulieu are registered representatives of and offer securities and investment advisory services through Signator Investors, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a registered investment advisor. Independence Financial Partners, 935 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI 02886, 401-732-4800. Independence Financial Partners is independent of Signator Investors, Inc. 121-20121218-126650 For more information on Independence Financial Partners, call 732-4800 or visit www.indfp.com.

PrimeTime | 11


b y kerry park

Sopranos actor promotes power of song Emmy-nominated actor Dominic Chianese may be best known for his role as Uncle Junior on The Sopranos, but his first love is music. More than 20 years ago, he began sharing his musical talents while working at senior centers like the St. Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., where he sang and played guitar for the center’s 300 residents. “I worked with elderly, vibrant people. I was a big hit with the Irish and Italian ladies,” he said with a laugh. It was during this time that Chianese became acutely aware of the power of music and personal connections for the elderly.

“You can feed them and put a roof over their head, but they also need something spiritual and emotional, and only people can do that. That’s why I became founder of Joy Through Art,” he told the crowd at the sixth annual RI Generations Culture Change Symposium recently.

12 | PrimeTime

RI Generations is a group of nursing home providers, advocates and regulators who work to bring positive changes to nursing homes by promoting personcentered care through a movement known in long-term care as culture change. Each year, the group sponsors an annual symposium for those in long-term care looking to improve the quality of life of the people residing in Rhode Island’s skilled nursing centers. This year, Chianese was the symposium’s keynote speaker, where he recounted how fame gave him the opportunity to create Joy Through Art, a nonprofit foundation geared toward bringing music and theater arts to nursing home residents. Research shows that the benefits of music and art are many, particularly with the senior population. Music, for instance, can trigger short- and long-term memory, decrease agitation and enhance self-awareness in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It can also facilitate relaxation and reduce anxiety – tangible benefits that influence quality of life for the better. Chianese believes these benefits are heightened when music is brought to residents by a familiar face – someone with whom they have a personal connection. Thus, he began a foundation with the goal of being able to send two professional entertainers to a nursing home 50 times per year. “The dots of our lives are already there. It’s up to us to figure out the connections,” he said.

He later went on to describe the serendipitous event that helped lead him to Rhode Island. Angelo Rotella, a local Sopranos fan and a past president of the American Health Care Association, the nation’s largest trade association of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, met Chianese while dining out with his wife 18 months ago. Upon meeting Chianese, Rotella knew only of his acting skills, but the conversation took a twist to reveal both men’s involvement with nursing homes. “That’s how we connect the dots,” Chianese said. “I didn’t know he was a president of the American Health Care Association. We just started talking.” It’s obvious that Chianese makes the most of opportunities to promote the benefits of music and art, and is adept at getting people involved. Before the end of his presentation, the spry 81-year-old had everyone engaged in song and realizing the benefits of music for themselves. Joy Through Art is funded through private donations. You can find out more about the organization and how you can help at www.joythroughart.org.

January 2013


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January 2013

PrimeTime | 13


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January 2013


Hearing Health Professionals of New England Join the team here for “January Wellness Month” Did you know that there are over 40 million Americans who experience some degree of hearing loss and that hearing loss itself affects 1 out of every 5 individuals before they reach the age of 55? Did you also know that you could be among that statistic? Hearing loss results from a plethora of causes, including illnesses, injuries and/or trauma, aging, noise-induced loss (such as loud industrial noises or headphones), and even by some medications, among others. The prevalence of hearing loss is staggering and speaks to the need for increased awareness, yearly audiological screenings and available treatment options. Christopher Curren, BC-HIS, founder of Hearing Health Professionals of New England (HHPNE) and his wife, psychologist Dr. Santi Meunier-Curren, have dedicated their entire careers to promoting health and wellness. In their personal lives, they have embraced the healing philosophies of East and West, and bring that calm, insightful and enlightened thinking to their practice. Driven by the genuine desire to help their patients achieve their full health potential, their emphasis on personal and quality care is paramount to the longevity and success of their respective practices. Christopher and Santi Curren are proud to introduce two new healthcare practices to Rhode Island – one in Garden City, Cranston and the other in Wickford. The staff here invites all those who are suffering from hearing loss, as well as those who want to establish a baseline audiogram (hearing test report) for future monitoring, to come in for a FREE hearing exam. This free exam is followed up by a free consultation and recommendation based on a thorough assessment of the client’s lifestyle and goals. From this point, if it is determined that hearing aids are warranted, the professional team here will work closely to find the best product for each patient. The Hearing Health Professionals use the Audibel ® products which are produced by the only purely American-based and operated hearing aid manufacturer in the world. The staff here also strives to find the best payment option available to its customers, including medical financing options and the “Hear Now” program which assists those with severely limited means. In conjunction with their primary mission of raising awareness about hearing loss and the importance of annual hearing exams, the professionals at Hearing Health have assembled a 5-point presentation regarding hearing health education. This presentation is available to ANY business, agency, doctor’s office, church or community group that is interested in sharing the message of hearing health with its members – no matter the size or “demographics” of the group. This is NOT a sales pitch, but rather a strict effort to get the word out that hearing health is not only important, it is vital to an active life of communication, inclusion and happiness. Be sure to check with your hearing care specialist here for details. Hearing loss, no matter the severity or age of onset, is an isolating and confidence-eroding process that can be remedied by properly fit, affordable and customized hearing aids. For the sake of your own hearing health, contact the professionals here by calling 401- 944-5000 to make an appointment in any of their two local practices. You may also contact Laura Manigan at lmanigan@ hearingnewengland.com for more information.

Important Medicare Information Medicare is not designed to cover all Medical Expenses. Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover deductibles, coinsurance, and other expenses that Medicare does not cover in full. For more information about: • Medicare deductibles • Medicare coinsurance • Medicare Part A • Medicare Part B • Medicare Supplement Insurance Please Call 732-5213 to discuss with a Licensed Insurance Agent Medicare Supplement Plans are underwritten by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company, an affiliate of Bankers Life and Casualty Company. Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company, Bankers Life and Casualty Company and their licensed agents are not affiliated with or sponsored by the US Government or the Federal Medicare Program. Insurance Solicitation. CPL 04-B001

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PrimeTime November 2012 | 15


FOOD AND DRINK During the short days and cold nights of winter, many of us crave comfort foods. Unfortunately, the rich dishes we usually think of tend to be low in nutrition and packed with fat and calories. Well, take heart. It’s possible to enjoy satisfying dishes that are tasty, hearty and nutritious. Dry peas, lentils and chickpeas (garbanzo beans), all part of the legume family, are one way to make comfort foods more healthful. These ingredients pack a nutritional punch while adding flavor to recipes: just one cup of dry peas, lentils or chickpeas gives you more than half the recommended daily dosage of fiber and up to 18 grams of protein. They also contain little to no fat, making them a healthy meat alternative. Chef Tracy O’Grady, from Willow Restaurant in Arlington, Va., knows how to make the most of these versatile ingredients. “You may already love lentil soup,” she says. “But lentils have a wide range of uses, and are a great addition to hearty fare like enchiladas, veggie burgers - even chocolate cake.” And while chickpeas are best known as the key ingredient in hummus, they also appear in rich-tasting foods like Willow’s Chickpea Fries (see O’Grady’s recipe below). For more recipes and information from the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, visit www.pea-lentil.com.

Willow’s Chickpea Fries 2 1/2 1 2 2 1/4 1/4 3 1 2 1/2 1

cups water garlic clove, minced fine cups whole milk teaspoons kosher salt teaspoon cayenne pepper teaspoon smoked paprika cups chickpea flour; reserve 1 cup for dusting cup cooked chickpeas, roughly chopped cups Parmesan cheese, finely grated cup extra virgin olive oil gallon canola oil

Place water, garlic, milk, salt, cayenne and paprika in a non-reactive sauce pot and heat until it boils. Lower heat to gentle simmer and whisk in chickpea flour. Whisk just until smooth and then use a high heat spatula to finish the process. Cook mixture for about 5 minutes, constantly stirring to make sure there is no scorching. Once flour is nearly cooked, fold in chopped chickpeas, Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil. Stir until well incorporated and hot. This should take about 3 additional minutes. 16 | PrimeTime

Place in a plastic wrap lined 10 x 12-inch tray. Cover with plastic wrap and push down so it is even. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or until completely chilled. After well chilled, turn the chickpea mold onto a cutting board. Cut fries 12 times in 1-inch pieces and then cut each strip into 4 pieces, forming 48 pieces. Heat canola oil in a large stainless steel fry pot to 350°F. Dust fries with remaining chickpea flour and fry in 4 batches until hot and golden brown. Drain in paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with Orange Preserved Lemon Dipping Sauce.

Orange Preserved Lemon Dipping Sauce Makes: About 1 cup 2 oranges, juiced and zested with a microplane zester 2 preserved lemons juiced, the peel minced fine* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt to taste

*If preserved lemons are unavailable, can be substituted with 2 fresh lemons, juiced and zested.

January 2013


calendar

of

events

All that jazz FirstWorks will present Wynton Marsalis as he leads a large jazz ensemble at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. Fifteen soloists come together for this concert, bringing out the best of American big band swing. The auditorium is located at One Avenue of the Arts in Providence, and ticket prices range from $23 to $68. Call 421-4278 for information.

Saint Elizabeth Community Where RI seniors come first

Having a ball The annual Snow Angel Ball to benefit the Matthew Siravo Epilepsy Resource Center for Children and Families will take place on Jan. 26 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. Tickets are $100 per person, and include dinner, dancing and silent and live auctions. There are table and program sponsorship opportunities as well. For more information, visit www.MattyFund. org or call 789-7330. Hit the ice Dunkin’ Donuts Center hosts the American Hockey League All-Star Classic from Jan. 25 to 28. The Providence Bruins kick the weekend off on Friday, followed by a Youth Hockey Festival on Saturday, with games running through Monday. The All-Star game will be held on Monday, at a time to be determined. For more information, or tickets, call 331-6700. Share history with your family Bring your grandkids to the Providence Children’s Museum on Jan. 21 for a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and includes photographs and books of Dr. King’s life and work, as well as an interactive exploration of discrimination. There will be award-winning storytellers and actors performing “M.L.K.: Amazing Grace.” Shows are at 11:30 a.m., 1 and 2:30 p.m. and are recommended for children ages 5 and up. Admission is $9, or free for Museum members. Call 273-5437 or visit www.childrenmuseum.org for details. Fiddlers & fishermen Common Fence Music will host an open mic Tribute to the Sea, called “A Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen,” with emcee Jacob Haller. This event sells out annually, so purchase tickets early. The show is Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. Common Fence Music is located at 933 Anthony Road in Portsmouth. Call 683-5085 or visit www. commonfencemusic.org. Total ACCESS The RISD Design Center has an exhibit, “ACCESS,” from artist Jo Sittenfeld and his documentary photo class at RISD. Also on display will be work from the Open Door artist residence at Shea High School. The exhibit is up through Feb. 7, and the center is located at 30 South Main Street in Providence. Admission is free.

Saint Elizabeth Home

Short-term rehab and long-term care East Greenwich: 471-6060

Saint Elizabeth Manor

Short-term rehab and long-term care Bristol: 253-2300

Saint Elizabeth Place

Affordable apartments for seniors and mobility impaired Providence: 273-1090

Saint Elizabeth Court Affordable assisted living Providence: 490-4646

Saint Elizabeth Terrace

Affordable apartments for seniors Warwick: 739-7700

Cornerstone Adult Services

Daily support for seniors Warwick, Bristol, Coventry, and Little Compton Specialized Alzheimer’s Care Center Warwick Neck: 739-2844 Saint Elizabeth Community offers a full spectrum of care and services for older adults in Rhode Island, ensuring they receive the right care in the right

Diversions and Entertainments The Museum of Newport History displays a broad exhibit of historic advertisements and entertainment popular in the 19th century. Admission is free, and the exhibit opens at 10 a.m. through Jan. 31. The Museum of Newport History is located at 127 Thames. For more information, call 841-8770.

place at the right time. To learn how we can help

Landscapes for Learning Visit the Roots Cultural Center at 276 Westminster Street in Providence through Jan. 10 to view the Landscapes for the Learning Community exhibit to benefit high-performing schools in Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence. Admission is free and the exhibit is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Call 327-4438 for details.

www.stelizabethcommunity.com www.facebook.com/SaintElizabethCommunity

January 2013

you or someone you love, call us at 471-6060 or one of the numbers above.

A CareLink Partner and non-profit, nonsectarian 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

PrimeTime | 17


THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT

lifestyles

by DON FOWLER

Curtains up on a New Year Rhode Island ranks high in the nation in number of theaters per capita. It also rates high in the minds of critics and audiences in the quality of theater being produced both on a professional and amateur level. From our beloved Trinity Repertory Company to many of the newly formed companies, there is much to choose from on the local theater scene.

Providence Performing Arts Center

“Million Dollar Quartet,” the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical inspired by the electrifying true story of the famed recording session where Sam Phillips, “the father of rock ‘n’ roll,” brought together icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for one unforgettable night, will be at PPAC Jan. 15 to 20. We saw a preview of the show at PPAC’s announcement of their Broadway series, and it looks like a winner, especially for those of us who remember the music of the ’50s and ’60s. Green Day’s groundbreaking American musical, “American Idiot,” comes to PPAC Feb. 8 to 10, telling the story of three lifelong friends forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. The musical is based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album. We have seen Blue Man Group three times, and still have difficulty trying to describe it. They describe it as a combination of comedy, music and technology. I call it outrageous, uncontrollable, chaotic humor. You’ve got to experience it to appreciate it. And the kids will love it, too, at PPAC March 1 to 3. Call 421-ARTS for reservations.

2ND Story Theatre

Ed Shea’s successful Warren theater presents Peter Shaffer’s 1981 Tony Awardwinning Best Play, “Amadeus” from Jan. 18 to Feb. 17. We’ve seen a number of productions of the classic play about Mozart, and can’t wait to see what Shea will do with it. Shea follows that up with Ken Kesy’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” adapt-

by DON FOWLER

ed by Dale Wasserman, from March 8 to April 7. You may remember the movie about a man who serves his time in a mental institution rather than a prison, starring Jack Nicholson. It won the Tony for Best Revival back in 2001. Call 247-4200 for reservations.

Gamm Theatre

Tony Estrella’s Gamm Theatre will bring the world premiere of British playwright Howard Brenton’s “Anne Boleyn” to the Pawtucket theater during the months of January and February. Brenton puts a revisionist spin on the life and legacy of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s notorious second wife. Estrella says it is “laugh-out-loud” funny drama. Brenton says his Boleyn is witty and confident as she takes on the world of Tudor Court politics. “Anne Boleyn” was the hit of the past two seasons at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and Estrella pulled another coup to do it first in America. Tom Stoppard’s “The Real Thing” will be Gamm’s offering for March and April. Praised by critics and audiences in the United States and England, “The Real Thing” is loaded with Stoppard’s wit and wisdom, with, according to Estrella, “brilliant wordplay with poignant insights about the nature and mystery of love, commitment, and authenticity.” Call 723-4266 for reservations.

Ocean State Theatre Company

Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre Company opened in December with a pair of short Christmas offerings, and is now ready to begin their full inaugural season on Jan. 23 with Neil Simon’s “Fools,” a comedy about Leon Tolchinsky, a young school teacher who quickly falls madly in love and realizes his new love, and the entire town, have been literally cursed with chronic stupidity. He has 24 hours to break the curse and save his love forever. “Fools” runs at the new theater at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick from Jan. 23 to Feb. 10. Artistic Director Amiee Turner takes on the challenge of Jonathon Larson’s groundbreaking musical, “Rent,” Feb. 22 to March 17. “Rent” ran 12 years on Broadway, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony for best musical, and has played PPAC a couple of times. “Race,” the provocative play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet, is the story of three lawyers, two black and one white, who are confronted with the chance to defend a white man charged with a high-profile crime against a black woman. This is one intense play. It will be at the Ocean State Theatre Company March 27 to April 14. Call 782-8587 for reservations.

lifestyles

Dottie Zack sings and swings for West Bay seniors The joint was jumping at the West Bay Retirement Center when Dottie Zack and the Outlaws brought their traditional country music to a packed house of residents who clapped and sang along to Rhode Island’s queen of country music. Dottie, daughter of country legend Eddie Zack (remember the old Hayloft Jamboree?), and sister of Eddie Zack Jr., who now resides in Nashville, is still remembered fondly for her appearances at Lake Mishnock, where she still plays during the summer. She credits her father with inspiring her to follow his footsteps into the music business. “He was the wind beneath my wings,” she said. My wife and I danced to her music back in the ’70s at the Common Fence Point Association and other clubs around Rhode Island. “Things have changed over the years,” Dottie lamented. “There’s not as much work as there used to be. But I still enjoy entertaining at the campgrounds, American Legion and VFW halls, and especially senior centers and retirement facilities.” Director of Resident Programs Brad Logan was dancing up a storm with many of the residents, as the band went through a number of oldies like “Lonesome Blues,” Your Cheating Heart,” “Folsom Prison,” “Rocky Top” and a show-stopping version of “Orange Blossom Special” by fiddler Richard Dubois. Logan, an accomplished singer and actor who played the lead in the opera “Rages of the Heart,” sings in a local group, “The Three Amigos” and directs the manor’s

18 | PrimeTime

choir, plans a number of programs with music in mind. “Every month we have a special theme,” Logan said. “This month it is country, and who better than Dottie Zack to entertain our residents?” Logan mentioned that many of their special events are open to the community, proudly stating that West Bay Retirement Living, also known as West Bay Manor, was the first retirement community in Rhode Island. “The large community room was originally The First Congregational Church of Warwick,” he said. “We’ve added two large wings and made a number of improvements over the past 40 years.” The staff was decked out in cowboy hats and shirts, joining in with the residents and Dottie, who led them in singing everything from “You Are My Sunshine” to a Frank Sinatra tune. “You can make anything country”, Dottie said, reminiscing about the old days on the road with her father. “I’ve been singing since I was 16 years old, so you know I’m a senior citizen, too. My mom still runs circles around me at age 88.” Dottie loves to perform for senior groups, and says she always meets some old friends wherever she goes. You can call her at 527-5208, or email at dottyzack@ aol.com. For information about West Bay Retirement Living, call Justyne Lynne Coogan at 739-7300.

January 2013


P

money matters

eas tha d i l l t a m s to big sav in p u

Finders fee

Have a conversation with a representative from your bank and find out what kind of fee structure they have. If you’re going to be charged $5 each month for not maintaining a minimum balance in your savings account, it might be worth moving some money around to avoid the fee. Those minimum balances can be higher than you think, and one transfer could eliminate a cost that quickly adds up. While you’re at the bank, find out what kind of interest you’re earning and shop around to see if that really is the right place for you.

Add it to the keychain Even if you don’t shop at a store weekly or even monthly, sign up for free customer rewards programs wherever you can. You might only hit Big Lots during the holidays or when buying something decorative, but that keychain card will save you money during each visit. Unlike credit cards, which can get you into the habit of overspending, rewards cards keep extra cash in your wallet.

Don’t impulse buy Before you hit the grocery store, make an inventory of what you have in the fridge and pantry to make sure you aren’t duplicating unnecessarily. Then make a list of what you need and stick to it; it will stop you from impulse buys. Consider having something to eat before you go, too, as many people say they are more likely to impulse buy at the supermarket if they’re feeling hungry.

January 2013

Be prepared Keep a survival kit in your car that includes things like sunscreen, snacks, tissues, sunglasses, umbrellas, antibacterial soap and some extra clothing. These things come in handy when you least expect it, and also keep you from purchasing them when emergency strikes. It isn’t good to keep water bottles in the hot car, but try to get into the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle too, which will make the drive-thru less enticing.

Guide to eating out Eating at a restaurant is always a treat. Don’t stop yourself from indulging, but be smart about it. First, sign up for online coupon sites like Groupon. com, LivingSocial.com and Restaurant. com. Deals like 50 percent off make a big difference on the check, and can dictate what restaurant you opt for on any given Friday night. Scoping out the BYOB establishments is a good idea as well, especially if you’re a big wine drinker and want to shave some money off the check. Even if you don’t want to cut coupons, familiarize yourself with the deals offered at your favorite restaurants. Most establishments have discounted prices on certain nights of the week, or offer specials like “ladies night” with discounts for women. If you’re bringing kids or grandkids, find out what restaurants let kids eat free.

Plan it out Plan your meals for the week. Knowing what is on the menu each night helps you shop just for the items you need. Food won’t go to waste and you won’t be as tempted to stop at a fast food restaurant or order pizza on your way home. Stick to the schedule, and make it easier by doing some of the

prep work on Sundays. The same is true for lunches. Brown bagging it will save you significantly in the long run. If you spend an average of $5 each day, Monday through Friday, that’s $1,300 annually.

Energy savings Sometimes, you have to spend to save. Consider having an energy audit done of your house to see where you could save money and energy in the longterm. Some of the options are obvious, like using energy-efficient light bulbs, replacing your windows and lowering the heat overnight and when you aren’t at home. Programmable thermostats can make that even easier. Always turn off the lights when you aren’t in a room, and where possible, plug electronics into power strips that you can then switch off.

Get in the Christmas spirit - again It’s a difficult mindset to get in, but shopping for next year’s holidays now is a smart way to save. Hit the sales on decorations, cards and gifts that won’t go out of style, and you’ll be thankful next December. The same is true for holidays year-round. The same approach should be used for clothing. Shop for clothes out of season when everything is on sale.

Clean sweep When it comes time to pay the bills, look at each one critically. Do you read the magazines you subscribe to? If the answer is no, it’s time to cancel. Do you watch 200 channels? If the answer is no, downgrade your cable package. Do you really use the landline telephone or are you always on your cell? You get the point. Go down the

d ad gs

enny inching

line and check all of your bills for ways to save. Also, see if it’s worth it to pay your bills online. Some companies incentivize online transactions, or will cut the price for automatic payments.

Play hardball Talk to the companies you do business with and find out if they can “do better” when it comes to your bill. They want your business, after all, and if you say you just can’t pay what they’re asking, they may lower the asking price. Your argument will be especially strong if you come armed with prices from competitors.

Keep it up For both home and car, if you set money aside monthly for small maintenance items, you’ll save in the long run. Keeping your tires filled and the oil changed will help your car run more efficiently, saving on gas and minimizing the chance that you’ll be hit with a hefty mechanic bill. The same is true for home repairs. Tackle them when they’re small, and they won’t have the chance to get bigger.

Bulk buy Bulk buying isn’t just for young families with a lot of kids. Split the membership fee for stores like BJ’s or Sam’s Club with a friend or family members and go as a group to buy the staples in bulk. Split up the items into portions, and stock up on things like paper towels and toilet paper that can be stored and saved.

PrimeTime | 19


retirement sparks

senior

issues

b y elaine m . decker

Signs it’s time to retire We’re all familiar with the warnings and contraindications that come with prescription drugs; they’re disclosed in advertisements on TV. Some of them are so horrendous sounding that it makes you wonder who would consider taking the medications. What disease could be so bad that you’d sign on for bloating and diarrhea to treat it? I think retirement should come with similar disclosures. It might cause us to think twice before doing it. After paying careful attention to TV ads for meds, I’ve developed proposed language to accompany retirement proposals. Warning: the loss of regular, sustainable income may lead to hostility and changes in mood. No longer having a place to go to work each day may cause depression and agitation and may lead to unprovoked

arguments with anyone foolish enough to cohabit with you. After dramatic changes in your daily routine, you may have trouble sleeping and may have unusual dreams. You may also experience bizarre changes in your daytime behavior, such as exercising to Jane Fonda’s workout video while still wearing your pajamas, watching court TV and taking notes, and regularly emailing the co-hosts of The View. Do not operate heavy machinery if you are angry over the fact that your IRA investments have gone straight down the toilet. Heavy machinery includes automobiles, vacuum cleaners, laundry equipment and coffee makers. In other words, don’t even bother getting out of bed until you calm down. Concerns over the stability of Social Security may lead to shortness of breath,

difficulty thinking, the inability to focus and can inhibit your basic ability to function. These side effects are usually, but not always, temporary. Do not retire if you have ever experienced nausea or had even a slight alcoholinduced buzz, if you cannot hold your breath for at least six months, or if you have ever wondered how you were going to pay your long-term-care insurance premium. If you are considering starting to collect Social Security, tell your doctor if you are taking any medications such as blood thinners, anti-depressants, mood enhancers, or multi-vitamins that contain minerals, precious metals or coal tar, or if you regularly drink green tea, pomegranate juice or Ovaltine. Seek immediate medical attention if your retirement presents with any combination of the following symptoms: ingrown toenails, flared nostrils, itchy palms, creaky knees, hot flashes or cold feet. We can be certain that if retirement came with warnings and contraindications such as these, everyone would give it more careful thought before jumping in with both feet. Then we’d probably do it anyway. After all, scary disclosures don’t stop us from taking those drugs. Now that I’ve prepared you with these warnings, here are some clear signals that it’s time to retire. You know it’s time to retire when: • You come home from work following an afternoon snowstorm to find that one of your neighbors shoveled your drive and your walk without your even having to ask. (OMG! We’re now that elderly couple in the neighborhood that everyone feels sorry for.) • The store manager who never offered to carry your 20-pound bag of cat litter to the car wants to know if you need help with a box of Clementines. • The same alarm clock that used to jolt you out of bed the second it went off can no longer rouse you from your sleep enough to provoke you to hit the snooze button. (Maybe it was the wine…)

20 | PrimeTime

• You look forward to spending some time doing a few loads of laundry and you feel like you’ve won the lottery when all the socks match. • You get excited at the prospect of shredding a stack of paperwork, especially 10-year-old tax returns. • Two out of three messages on your answering machine are prescription pickup reminders for you or your spouse. (Don’t you just love that auto-refill service?) • Your computer calendar has more doctors’ appointments on it than business meetings. And finally, you know it’s time to retire when: • The progression of what you wear in winter goes (for women) from just a bra under your top, to an undershirt over your bra, to just an undershirt. And (for men) from a dress shirt and tie to a sweater vest over a sport shirt to a plaid flannel shirt over thermal underwear.

If you recognize three or more of these signs in your own life, your retirement can’t be far over the horizon. I’m leading the way into that mysterious black hole. If you don’t see my column in the next Prime Time, send reinforcements. On second thought, send chocolate. And wine, of course. Copyright 2012 Business Theatre Unlimited. Elaine M. Decker’s books, “Retirement Sparks” and “CANCER: A Coping Guide,” are available at Books on the Square, the Brown University bookstore and SpectrumIndia, all on the East Side of Providence, and on Amazon.com. Her latest book, “Retirement Sparks Again,” should be available by the time you read this. Contact her at emdecker@ix.netcom.com to arrange a book reading or a meet-and-greet with your organization.

January 2013


wHAT DO YOU FINK?

LIFESTYLES

by MIKE FINK

World traveling by taxi The charms of travel have diminished for me; airports confuse me and the lines distress and dismay. The trains don’t have the same soothing bar-cars, complete with tablecloths and silver service. I used to make a journey and pretend it was a pilgrimage, each and every year, and January was the perfect month for such a voyage of discovery or nostalgia. To visit the countries my parents and grandparents had lived in, or the museums, libraries and public statues that had inspired me. These were my reasons for putting on hat and scarf, packing a light kit and taking off for elsewhere. I do have another philosophy to draw from, though. That, if you wait a bit, the things you seek will come to you. These are a few anecdotes to illustrate the point. Both Vietnam and Cambodia called to me, and I even had a job opportunity to teach English in southeast Asia, where the second language was French, my own acquired second language. Unfortunately, the government cancelled my arrangements; the wars were starting in and my exotic lands, noted for the delicate beauty of the women, were

January 2013

closed to me. And yet, I purchase my wines at a local shop called “Swan Liquors,” with murals of the noble and graceful birds ... and with a delightful and elegant proprietress named Hanh Vinh. We chat amiably and courteously in French, with occasional lapses into English. This lovely person is a cousin to the regal pretender to the throne, the former king of the region. “Bon soir, monsieur.” “Bon soir, madame.” Our conversations may not stray too far beyond the borders and boundaries of propriety, but each day I buy a bottle for my table, I spin my inner globe and visit Indochina. Rhode Island is the perfect place to travel without driving very far from your own backyard. I sip my coffee at “Choklad,” a Swedish cafe at the corner of Steeple, Thomas, North Main and Angell Streets, across from Roger Williams’ First Baptist Church and just downhill beneath the Providence Art Club. I have been trying to get some small gesture of funding for a flight to Sweden to visit the cemetery tributes to two of my all-time favorite icons of the 20th Century: Greta Garbo, for her

physical beauty, and Raoul Wallenberg, for his moral beauty. Neither one is actually buried in proper graves in their native land. Garbo’s ashes were scattered and Wallenberg, who died in a Soviet gulag prison cell, remains to be interred anywhere at all, except on the names of streets and statues, ranging from Budapest and Washington, D.C. to New York City and Stockholm. He’s the hero who saved untold lives from deportation to the death chambers of World War II, but, assumed to be a spy for FDR, he was arrested by the Russians. Nobody at a desk thought a grant to help me to pay respects in person to Sweden for giving birth to these fabulous persons was appropriate. But each day that I stir the cream and sugar into my morning java mug, I look at the photograph I contributed of Garbo and Wallenberg, and most recently, a lovely painting depicting Jerusalem by Anthony Tomaselli, whose studio is next door to “Choklad.” No, not that far off Jerusalem in the troubled Holy Land. No, only our own wee harbor in South County, Narragansett, where a dock pub and a wee marina, under a foggy sky, suggest more than they define. I interviewed Anthony

at his studio and at the table on North Main as well, and am fascinated by the progress of the visual study. A process of simplification and purification of an idea. And so, my current “philosophy” is, if you can’t pack your bags, summon a taxi and head outward bound. Just go about your daily routine and you will find that the world will come to you, and, like the proverbial opportunity, knock at your door and say, “Good Morning.” That is the innate creed of any true Rhode Islander. I applied for a mini-grant from several sources, to make my way to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to pay homage to the monument containing, supposedly, the ashes of Christopher Columbus. Nobody thought fit to supply even a token gift to the idea, but then, as fate would have it, I found the most perfect image of the Great Traveler right in town, near my birthplace, Roger Williams Park. So you see, as the Bible says, “There is a time!” for going, and a time for staying put – in Providence.

PrimeTime | 21


senior

issues

b y catherine T erry tayl 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

A path to improving care Rhode Island has taken the lead in crafting a statewide strategy to improve the care of the 25,000 Alzheimer’s patients living here, and to provide stronger, more useful support to their families. We are at the halfway mark of developing the Rhode Island State Plan on Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders. A joint resolution approved by the General Assembly last May directed Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, chair of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, and me, director of the Division of Elderly Affairs, to convene a workgroup, in cooperation with community partners and advocates, to write the plan. The resolution calls for the plan to be delivered by July 1 of this year. Our objective is to make recommendations to the governor and the General Assembly on how to educate Rhode Islanders on the resources that already exist in Rhode Island and how to find them; how to coordinate those resources more effectively; and what additional resources we need to build into our health care, social service, housing, economic and legal systems to be a fully “dementia-capable” state. The state’s efforts are building locally on the work of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, which aims to find effective ways to treat, or significantly delay, the progress of the disease by 2025. Six sub-committees are studying Rhode Island’s response to Alzheimer’s from every angle: research and clinical care, residential care, the role of caregivers, the workforce, access to care and supports and legal considerations. As part of this development process, Lt. Governor Roberts and I have been holding a series of Listening Sessions across the state to hear caregivers, family members, health care providers and other affected individuals tell their stories about dealing with Alzheimer’s. These free, public sessions are designed to elicit valuable input regarding the challenges posed by a disease that robs its victims of the ability to think, talk and live a normal life. To get each conversation started, we ask participants to share their answers to these three questions: • How has dementia affected your day-today life? • What resource or program has been the most helpful to your family in dealing with dementia? • If I only had (fill in the blank), caring for someone with dementia would be easier. Several themes are emerging. Among them are the need for information, support groups, respite, adult day health services and resources for younger Alzheimer’s victims. This is some of what we’re hearing: 22 | PrimeTime

• Information on Alzheimer’s resources is scarce or hard to find. Too many Rhode Islanders are not aware of THE POINT (462-4444); The Pocket Manual (The Rhode Island Guide to Services for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities), published by the Division of Elderly Affairs and available on the DEA website (www.dea.ri.gov); or the wealth of guidance available through the R.I. Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association at 421-0008. These are all excellent places to start, but none of them are yet household names. • Support groups are lifelines for caregivers. Support groups give caregivers the opportunity to talk and share experiences, learn more about available programs and resources and feel less alone. Attending is a challenge, however, when caregiving responsibilities make it hard to leave the house. Online support groups and on-site Adult Day Care Services make participation possible for many people. • Respite for caregivers is critical. Respite care makes it possible for caregivers to work, sleep, attend to other family relationships, keep their own medical appointments and recharge. Without respite, caregiver burnout and declining health is a great risk. • Adult Day Health Centers are an essential support for caregivers who work or who are frail themselves. These centers offer caregivers the peace of mind that their loved one is being cared for in a secure, engaging and therapeutic environment. Yet transportation, cost and availability are all barriers to taking advantage of this support that can make the difference between remaining at home and moving to a nursing home. • Younger Alzheimer’s victims and their families are especially isolated. Most services, supports and benefits for people with dementia are geared toward the elderly, and many are not available at all to those younger than 65. Support groups and Adult Day Health programs can be paradoxically alienating for younger generations of sufferers and their families. As we develop the R.I. State Plan on Alzheimer’s, the workgroup will assemble and carefully address the information and perspectives that families, caregivers and health care professionals offered in these Listening Sessions. If you were not able to participate in one of these meetings, there is still time to give us the benefit of your experience and have your voice incorporated into the final plan. I encourage you to let us know how you would answer the three questions we asked. Please email your responses to lgrimaldi@dea.ri.gov. I look forward to hearing from you, and to sharing the results of our work in July. January 2013


DOER’S PROFILE

by JOAN RE TSINAS

people

and

places

Words of Wisdom Libraries open up world of languages The New Year’s resolutions roll forth: those dreary admonitions to cut back on desserts, on luxuries, on indolence, coupled with resolutions to hit the treadmill. Why not a resolution that is fun? Learn a new language. If you are planning a trip overseas, gear up to talk to the people there: China, Japan, Argentina or Italy. All tourist meccas, all flooded with Americans baffled at the billboards, bewildered by the menus, forced to mime questions. If you are not traveling, learn along with a grandchild, who most likely is studying a language in school. The two of you can read a foreign newspaper, eat at an ethnic restaurant, and maybe travel to that nation together. If you were born outside the United States, when you return to see relatives, converse with them in their, and your, native tongue. And if English is your second language, hone your English skills. In the not-so-distant past, the easiest way to learn a language was to live in that country – hardly an option for most Americans. Schools taught by rote memorization methods, with an archaic “language lab” thrown in. At home, people could purchase tapes and sit by a recorder, repeating phrases. Not surprisingly, most Americans are not polyglots.

January 2013

Computers offer a far easier, user-friendly entrée to the most difficult languages. You can log on to a language learning program, pick one of more than 40 languages – including Swahili, Urdu, even classical Greek – and click to start. You pick your level, and proceed slowly or quickly. You can start with basic conversation, graduate to text (the programs will guide you through Hebrew, Russian, Chinese), and even master grammar. But you set the pace and the program will let you download to a mobile device, so that as you sit in an airport, you can practice “It is nice to meet you” in the language of your destination-country. If you are not a native English-speaker, the programs offer English instruction, geared to different languages. Rhode Islanders with library cards have free access to Mango Languages through AskRI (www.askri.org), Rhode Island’s virtual library. In 2007, a team of linguists, teachers, software developers, writers, voice talents and designers developed this program, which promises “real conversations to help people start and maintain conversations. Consumers won’t have to memorize words and phrases you often wouldn’t use.” One myth of aging is that older people can’t learn a lan-

guage. While children pick up languages readily, adults can learn, no matter their age. Research shows that aging brains remain capable of mastering new information. And the software manufacturers point to a strong demand for their services from adults. So click onto a new world.

Gatekeeper of languages Mango Languages arrives magically via cyberspace. Click onto askri.org for a nifty selfpaced way to master almost any language you want. But there are people behind the magic. The state’s Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) has brought Mango (as well as a plethora of other electronic resources) to Rhode Islanders. Meet Karen Mellor, a program manager at OLIS. A graduate of Brown University who majored in semiotics and a musician who performs around the state, Mellor became a librarian as a second career. In 2008, she, along with colleagues, recognized two overarching changes in libraries. First, the digital revolution had happened. Students weren’t reaching for that tattered encyclopedia destined to be immediately out-of-date. The bound Readers’ Guides were passé. A world of information lay “out

there,” in cyberspace. Second, that information was not free. Libraries had to buy it. Not surprisingly, people in wealthier communities, with wealthier libraries, had access to more information. The same division extended to school and university libraries. O L I S brought together representatives of the state’s library consortia; the group identified a number of resources that would benefit all Rhode Islanders. OLIS then used existing funding for the Statewide Reference Resource Center to purchase for all libraries one comprehensive set, including not just the popular World Book Encyclopedia, but EBSCOhost (scholarly journals and popular magazines), Heritage Quest (for genealogists), and Tutor.com (Homework Help). “We were looking for efficiencies, to use the collaborative buying power of the state and library consortia to get better deals,” Mellor said. Ask Rhode Island’s website was born. The efficiencies dovetailed with the ultimate goal. “We wanted to give each and every Rhode Islander free access to these resources,” she said. Two years later, patrons, as well as librarians, wanted additional resources. Ed Garcia, director of the Cranston Public Library, had seen Mango at an American Library Association conference. Mellor, whose language experience was limited to high school Latin and German, asked fellow OLIS staff to help her evaluate the language software. Polyglot Howard Boksen-

baum, the director of the Office of Library and Information Services, and Chaichin Chen, who was raised in Taiwan and is fluent in Chinese, confirmed that Mango would fill a niche. Mellor reported “the biggest challenge” was funding. But the state was able to use federal grant money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In expanding the site, the state did not cut services. Mango is now freely available to all Rhode Islanders, even from their home computers. Mellor reports over 12,000 sessions last year. The users run the gamut, from a state official en route to China, to a schoolchild grappling with Spanish, to an immigrant learning English. Rhode Islanders live in a world where people speak hundreds of languages. Thanks to the state’s libraries, Rhode Islanders can more easily enter that world.

PrimeTime | 23


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primetime

issues

b y C amilla F arrell de velopment direc tor , alzheimer ’s association

RI

chapter

Alzheimer’s culinary challenge Congratulations to all of the wonderful winners – the chefs and the five health care communities who donated their time, talent and resources to put on a Cooking Challenge for Charity like no other at the perfect Rhode Island venue, Rhodes on the Pawtuxet. “It was truly a wonderful event again this year and the chefs really went over the top,” said Rhode Island Chapter Executive Director Donna McGowan. Chefs from five health care communities, including Village House, Benchmark Senior Living, Epoch on Blackstone, Scalabrini Villa and The Seasons participated in the ultimate “cookoff” to see who is the “Top Chef.” “We had an exciting panel of celebrity judges including Cindy Salvato of Rhode Island Culinary Tours, Chef Frank Terranova of Johnson & Wales University, Joe Zito – TV Maitre D’, Chef Kevin Sutcliffe of Atria Senior Living, Charlie Hall from Drink and Dabble and Paul Palange of Senior Digest represented the professional ‘Judge’s Table.’ The over 200 attendees also got to vote for the ‘People’s Choice,’” McGowan said. The Top Chef Overall winner was Village House Chef Ghazal Ghazal, and he also took first place for the People’s Choice Award with his pork osso buco. Chef Ghazal has had several positions in the food industry, including restaurateur, and since 2007, he has been the food service manager for the Village House, a long-term care facility with memory care located in Newport and owned by Health Concepts. Chef Vincent Messina of Epoch on Blackstone took first place, winning both the Judge’s and the People’s Choice Award for best display with a replica of a “Lobsta” roll food truck that looked like it was parked on a city street, complete with parking meter and road signs. Chef Vinny was the overall winner last year and we appreciate his creative efforts again this year. Chef Vinny is campus director of food service and dining for Epoch Senior Living, a senior living community with memory care located both on the East Side and Blackstone Boulevard. Chef Vinny is also owner and operator of Gianfranco’s Ristorante & Bar in Johnston. The winner for best taste was Chef David Magnelli from The Seasons with his venison tenderloin and

a tender scallop in a squash nest. Chef David Magnelli has had a varied career in the food industry and joined The Seasons as Executive Chef in 2011. The Seasons in East Greenwich is an independent retirement residence for seniors and memory-impaired adults. Runner-up for best display were Chefs David Silva and Steve Morrissette with their fall-themed table and succulent shrimp and crab cakes. Both Chef David and Chef Steve have been previous winners for most creative and they are currently employed by Benchmark Senior Living, a senior living community with three properties in Rhode Island complete with memory care. The Rookie of the Year was Chef Steve Bernardi from Scalabrini Villa with a lovely display and tasty pot roast. “I always loved cooking and being around the senior community and my job is the perfect combination,” Bernardi said. Scalabrini Villa is a skilled nursing facility with memory care located in North Kingstown. Let’s not forget the wonderful entertainment that evening, with DJ Crazy Phil and Master of Ceremonies Robert Elmer III who came all the way from Westerly for the event. Elmer is employed by The Elms Retirement Residence in Westerly. The Alzheimer’s Association held a silent auction fit for a foodie, with many baskets laden with wine, food and cooking utensils, and if you did not win a silent auction item, there was still a chance for the 50/50 raffle. Many thanks to Razee Motorcycle Center, Ideal Home Care Service, Horizon Beverage and Sweenor’s Chocolates for sponsoring the event, and to Victoria Court Pacifica Senior Living for providing the cheese tray. Special thanks to photographer Larry Kent for taking the beautiful photographs that evening. Again, many, many thanks to all of the chefs, marketing staff and food service support from all of the communities who volunteered to make our event a success. The Alzheimer’s Association raised more than $8,000 to support local programs for families dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease. If you would like more information on events, contact the Rhode Island Chapter Office at 800272-3900 or visit www.alz.org/ri.

To find out more about this valuable advertising opportunity, Call Donna

401-732-3100

donnaz@rhodybeat 24 | PrimeTime

January 2013


PEOPLE AND PLACES

A GLIMPSE OF RI’S PAST h i s t o r y w i t h T e r r y d ’a m ato S p e n c e r

Alva and Belcourt “I know of no profession, art or trade that women are working in today as taxing on mental resources as being a leader of society” -Alva Vanderbilt-Belmont Alva Smith, daughter of Murray Forbes Smith of Mobile, Ala., became one of the world’s most written about women in the late 19th century. Her rise in American society was dramatic, and never dull or commonplace. She married millionaire William Kissam Vanderbilt and forced her way into New York Society. Later, she divorced Vanderbilt and married his best friend, millionaire Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont. As the wife of both millionaires, she was the hostess of some of the most expensive and lavish social events that rivaled the extravaganzas of Ancient Rome. Alva’s vitality and daring seemed to know no bounds. She was the first to cycle in Newport in bloomers, the first society woman to own an automobile, the first in her “set” to cut her hair at the shoulders and, most newsworthy of all, the first to divorce one millionaire and marry another. In 1896, 43-year-old Alva Smith Vanderbilt married Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont. For a number of years, gossip had linked Alva with Belmont. To quell the rumors, Belmont became very inconspicuous through the negotiations for and the marriage of Alva Vanderbilt. Marital woes and bachelorhood As early as 1882, Belmont had accompanied the Vanderbilts on their world cruises and was with them on the last family cruise in 1893. He had a very unhappy four-month marriage to Sarah Swan Whiting in 1884. The union seemed doomed from the start when the bride’s sister and mother accompanied the newlyweds on their honeymoon. It is reported that they spent so much of Oliver’s money that he left in panic. There was one daughter, Natica, as a result of the marriage. Her death, occurring while she was still in her 20s, is said to have greatly affected Belmont and his health, which was never good, deteriorated from that time. Until his marriage to Alva, Oliver H.P. Belmont had led the life of a confirmed bachelor. This lifestyle was obvious in Belcourt, his 60-room “summer cottage” on Bellevue Avenue. Belmont had commissioned Richard Morris Hunt to build his magnificent Newport home. Hunt incorporated some unique features because of Belmont’s bachelor status. As a result, there was only one master bedroom in the living quarters on the second floor. The master bathroom had the first shower installed in Newport and “Bachelor Buttons” were incorporated in the design of the damask wall covering. A castle found in dreams The building itself seemed to reflect the fantasies of a young boy enamored with the romantic aspects of European castles of earlier centuries with the modern comforts of the late 19th century. The creation of Belcourt required the services of 300 European workers and took three years to comJanuary 2013

plete. It was built to gigantic proportions. The exterior walls are made of brick and Westerly granite, and at some places are four and a half feet thick. Hunt was also commissioned to make special quarters for Alzar, Belmont’s 6’6” Egyptian valet. Alzar’s room was on the third floor, directly above the master bedroom. According to Carol J. Marconi’s “Belcourt Castle,” access to Alzar’s apartment and the third floor was via a spiral stair, supported only by a central oak column. This, she tells us, “...winds to the right as in the days of the sword so that the castle defender could descend in a duel giving him the advantage.” Alzar, in his own right, was one of Newport’s most colorful servants. Terrence Gavan, in his “The Barons of Newport,” says of Alzar, “With his flashy military jacket and red fez, he attentively stood behind Belmont’s enormous armchair as guests were greeted in the Grand Hall at Belcourt.” Later, after he had been promoted to chief butler, we are told, Alzar “would dazzle guests in uniforms glittering in gold...” A palatial stable Perhaps the most outstanding deviation for the norm in homes was the special treatment given to horses. O.H.P. Belmont loved horses and insisted that the mansion should be designed so that he could ride his horses or drive his carriage right into the building. Maude Howe Elliott, in “This was my Newport,” quotes her mother, Julia Ward Howe, saying: “It is a most singular house. The first floor is all stable with stalls for some 13 or more horses, all filled, and everything elaborate and elegant. The table servants wore red plush breeches and silk stockings and had powdered heads!” Maude Elliott adds that Belmont’s horses were provided with the finest equine clothing ever seen. The horses had clothes for all times of day, made of pure white linen embroidered with the Belmont crest. The love O.H.P. Belmont had for his horses is even more obvious when we become aware that he had two of his favorites sent to a taxidermist in France to be stuffed and mounted so that they could be stationed on the second floor near his bedroom. Alva means changes at Belcourt Belmont only lived in his fantasyland for two years before he married Alva Smith Vanderbilt in 1896. Once married to the domineering Alva, Belmont found it necessary to make significant changes in the magnificent castle on Bellevue Avenue.

CLUES ACROSS 1. Easy as 1-2-3 4. Goat and camel hair fabric 7. A woman’s undergarment 10. British bathrooms 12. Assemblages of parts into one entity 14. Semitic fertility god 15. Dull & uninteresting 16. Yemen capital 17. Stare impertinently 18. Banished persons 20. Heart failure & energy supplement 22. Reduction in force 23. Women’s ___ movement 24. Polynesian wrapped skirt 26. Double-reed instruments 29. Own (Scottish) 30. Summer window dressings 35. Many not ands 36. Paddle 37. Being a single unit 38. Silly behavior 44. Insecticide 45. A blank area 46. Reduces stress 48. Morning moisture 49. Tear away roughly 50. Elevated 53. Cristobalite 56. Baseball’s Ruth 57. Indian monetary unit 59. Contest of speed 61. Having a slanted direction 62. Gross receipts 63. A river in NE Spain 64. The brain and spinal cord (abbr.) 65. Dynegy Inc. on NYSE 66. Japanese monetary unit

CLUES DOWN 1. Linen vestment worn by priests 2. The trunk of a tree 3. Transmission line cable 4. Freshwater duck genus 5. Bulk storage container 6. Oil obtained from flowers 7. Shopping containers 8. Abnormal breathing 9. Brew 11. Bake eggs in their shells 12. Serviceable 13. A person in the navy 14. A child’s slight injury 19. Fain 21. Supports trestletree 24. Parian Chronicle discovery site 25. Greek famous for fables 27. Farcical afterpiece 28. Dispatches by mail 29. Hall of Fame (abbr.) 31. Aah 32. Unnaturally pale 33. Before 34. Fixed in one’s purpose 39. Madames 40. Frosts 41. City drains 42. Baseball playoff 43. Cruise 47. Steeple 50. Precipitation 51. Cas____: winter melons 52. A unit of two 53. Viewed 54. Taxis 55. 4840 square yards 56. London radio station 58. Perform work regularly 60. Longest geological time

PrimeTime | 25


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The Saint Antoine Community is turning 100 years old in 2013. Monsignor Charles Dauray and the Sisters of Charity (the “Grey” nuns) founded L’Hospice St. Antoine in 1913 as a home for the frail elderly. Throughout its history, Saint Antoine has held to its founding belief “to care for the elderly and the frail with love, charity and a cheerful heart.” Staff committees have been meeting, planning for special events and communications’ activity that will mark the 100th year anniversary.

Michael, Patrick, Jerome Quinn Directors 2435 Warwick Ave. Warwick 738-1977

Appears in Tuesday Warwick Beacon, Thursday Cranston Herald and PrimeTime Magazine

Please contact your sales representative for advertising information

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Fax 732-3110

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26 | PrimeTime

January 2013


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January 2013

PrimeTime | 27


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January 2013

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Resolve to get your financial house in order with our money matters issue

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