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IN THE GARDEN Eating Green • Tips for Gardeners • Cleaning Communities


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2012 study conducted by market research firm Scarborough showed that nearly 80 million Americans - about half of homeowners - spend at least some time gardening. So when it comes to hobbies, gardening is right up there at the top of the list. For many people, in fact, it’s more than a hobby, and we talked to several of them for the May issue of PrimeTime. Roseanne Sherry, for example, took the Master Gardener course at the University of Rhode Island in 1980. Eight years and plenty of planting later, she joined the organization as a full-time employee, now serving as the consumer horticulture educator. You want to know how to attract butterflies to your garden? Curious about what plants will survive in shade or how much you should be watering your flowers? Sherry has all the answers, and we only scratch the topsoil with her when it comes to the ins and outs of gardening. Shannon Brawley from the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association focused a bit more on lawn maintenance, while the folks over at Rhode Island Resource Recovery gave us a primer in starting your own compost heap. Not only does compost increase recycling and divert trash out of landfills, it’s also a source of nutrients and moist, rich soil for your lawn and garden. For avid gardeners, that’s an appealing benefit, since - in that same Scarborough study - it showed that gardening homeowners are 25 percent more likely to purchase or use ecofriendly products. The study also revealed that gardening homeowners are 26 percent more likely to buy locally grown food, a trend that is exploding here in Rhode Island. We caught up with Ken Ayars from the Department of Environmental Management to talk about the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and he gave us a guide to markets around the state as well. If you don’t have much of a green thumb, how about a blue thumb? Barney Webster is the owner of Nelumbo Water Gardens and he walked us through the process of starting an aquatic garMay 2013 den, complete with water lilies, fish and 1944 Warwick Ave. frogs. Warwick, RI 02889 If you don’t feel like putting the effort 401-732-3100 FAX 401-732-3110 forth on your own landscape, consider Distribution Special Delivery visiting the work of someone else. Kathy Tirrell visited the Blithewold Mansion gardens and shares with us a calendar of PUBLISHERS upcoming events, and the doer’s profile Barry W. Fain, Richard G. Fleischer, focuses on the folks responsible for cleanJohn Howell ing up Neutaconkanut Hill, an area that EDITOR could use some more TLC. If you want Meg Fraser to financially support a green cause, read megf@rhodybeat.com more about the Southside Community Land Trust and the work they’re doing MARKETING DIRECTOR Donna Zarrella to clean up Providence and feed low-indonnaz@rhodybeat.com come families. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a garCREATIVE DIRECTOR dener myself, but I am fortunate to reap Linda Nadeau lindan@rhodybeat.com the benefits of someone else’s green talents. As the weather continues to warm WRITERS up, I love sitting outside on my deck, Jessica Botelho, Michael J. Cerio, Don Fowler, taking in the view of lilies and violets Terry D’Amato Spencer, Elaine M. Decker, and a number of plants I have no name John Howell, Joan Retsinas, Mike Fink, Meg Chevalier, Joe Kernan, for. It’s a place of peace, relaxation and Kerry Park, Kathy Tirrell serenity, and in today’s crazy world, don’t we all need a little of that? ADVERTISING Happy spring! REPRESENTATIVES


Donna Zarrella – donnaz@rhodybeat.com Carolann Soder, Lisa Mardenli, Janice Torilli, Suzanne Wendoloski, Gina Fugere


Meg Fraser EDITOR


Farm fresh eats


Blithewold is blossoming


Water views

State promotes shopping with local farmers

Mansion opens up gardens to celebrate spring

Backyard gardens get submerged

10 Seeds of hope

Southside Community Land Trust makes city cleaner, healthier, greener

12 From garbage to garden

Turn trash into usable soil through composting

14 Gardening 101

URI Master Gardeners give us a primer on planting

15 In the garden

Tips and secrets of flowers and more

24 Protecting the green

Creating landscapes that preserve natural resource

PEOPLE & PLACES A Worthy Cause ....................................................................... 9 Doer’s profile ...........................................................................26 Glimpse of RI’s past ..............................................................27 SENIOR ISSUES Aging on display ...................................................................13 Director’s column .................................................................20 Retirement Sparks ................................................................21 Alzheimer’s Association ....................................................22

LIFESTYLES That’s Entertainment ..........................................................28 What do you Fink? ...............................................................29

A Joint Publication of East Side Monthly and Beacon Communications.

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In the Garden

PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE Your Taxes ..................................................................................19

PRODUCTION STAFF Matt Bower, Brian Geary, Lisa Yuettner

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.



In June, we set sail for our annual travel issue, and share tips on where to go and what to do on any budget! PT | 

off to

MARKET we go


Guide to Rhode Island’s summer farmers markets

Brown University Farmers Market Corner of George and Thayer Streets September to November, Mondays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hope Street Farmers Market Lippitt Park, Providence June to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Kennedy Plaza Washington Street, Providence June to October, Fridays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parade Street Farmers Market Next to Cranston Armory, Providence June to October, Thursdays, 3 to 7 p.m.

Aquidneck Growers Market 909 East Main Road, Middletown June to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Woonsocket Farmers Market 450 Clinton Street July to October, Tuesdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Aquidneck Growers Market II Memorial Boulevard, Middletown June to October, Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Pawtucket Farmers Market Slater Park June to October, Sundays, 12 to 3 p.m.

Block Island Farmers Market Magnisses Corner June to September, Wednesdays, 9 to 11 a.m.

South Kingstown Farmers Market URI’s East Farm May to October, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Block Island Farmers Market II Negus Park June to October, Saturdays, 9 to 11 a.m.

South Kingstown Farmers Market II Marina Park, Wakefield May to October, Tuesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Goddard Park Farmers Market Goddard State Park, Warwick May to October, Fridays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Haines Park Farmers Market Metropolitan Park Drive, East Providence May to October, Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Broad Street Farmers Market 807 Broad Street, Providence July to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Colt Park Farmers Market Colt State Park, Bristol May to October, Fridays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Hope Street Farmers Market Lippitt Park, Providence June to October, Wednesdays, 3 to 6 p.m.

Coastal Growers Farmers Market 2325 Boston Neck Road, Saunderstown May to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Bristol Farmers Market 461 County Road June to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Fishermen’s Memorial Park Farmers Market Fishermen’s Memorial State Park, Narragansett May to October, Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Exeter Farmers Market 773 Ten Rod Road July to October, Wednesdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

North Scituate Farmers Market Route 116 Village Green May to September, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Cross Mills Farmers Market 4219 Old Post Road, Charlestown May to October, Fridays 4 to 7 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Capitol Hill Farmers Market 1 Capitol Hill July to October, Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Charlestown Farmers Market 4417 Old Post Road June to Sept., Fridays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Neutaconkanut Park Farmers Market Plainfield Street, Providence July to October, Mondays, 3 to 6 p.m. Northwest Farmers Market 451 Putnam Pike, Glocester May to October, Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ship Street Farmers Market Corner of Ship & Richmond Streets, Providence April to October, Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 4 | PT

Pastore Complex Farmers Market Pastore Complex, Cranston July to Oct., Fridays, 11 a.m. -2 p.m.

Blackstone River Visitors Center Farmers Market 295 North in Lincoln July to October, Tuesdays, 2 to 6 p.m. Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Cranston May to November, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Burrillville Farmers Market 135 Harrisville Main Street, Harrisville June to October, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Whole Foods Farmers Market 601 North Main Street, Providence May to October, Mondays, 3 p.m. to dusk Whole Foods Farmers Market II 151 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston June to October, Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to dusk Sakonnet Growers Market Pardon Gray Preserve, Tiverton July to September, Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Johnston Farmers Market Memorial Park, Hartford Avenue July to October, Mondays, 2 to 6 p.m. Richmond Farmers Market 5 Richmond Townhouse Road, Wyoming May to October, Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Governor Notte Park Farmers Market Governor Notte Park, N. Providence June to Oct., Fridays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

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Farm Fresh Eats


In Rhode Island, only 1 percent of food that residents consume is produced locally. But as the local food movement continues to take root, and the state’s agriculture industry experiences a renaissance, healthy, organic, locally-grown food is finding its way onto more plates. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than at farmers markets. A tradition that not long ago was struggling in the Ocean State, now yields more than 50 markets in the summer and annual additions to the winter marketplace, courtesy of the more than 1,200 working farms statewide. Ken Ayars, chief of the state’s Division of Agriculture, called the growth “meteoric.” “We’ve seen a proliferation of farmers markets across the state over the last 15 years,” he said. “They’re becoming more normal places to shop.” Seniors, he adds, are an important part of that, particularly through the state’s Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which provides incentives to seniors to take advantage of the rich landscape of farm fresh shopping. “There’s two main missions. One is supporting the agricultural community. These coupons can be redeemed at farmers markets and roadside stands, and the money goes right into the pockets of farmers,” explained Ayars. “The second mission is to support the senior community.”

Run by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Agriculture, the program is supported by the state’s Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA). DEM secures funds for the coupons from the USDA and distributes them to Elderly Affairs. Elderly Affairs then taps into its network of senior centers to distribute coupons worth $15 per individual. Last year, the program reached 18,734 seniors. Traditionally, in order to receive coupons, you must be a Rhode Island resident, age 60 or older and earn no more than 185 percent of the poverty level. In 2012, handicapped people living in elderly housing were also included in the program. In addition to providing coupons that get seniors to the markets, the DEA’s Nutritional Specialists run informational meetings at senior meal sites around the state to emphasize the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet. Getting that message across is especially important, Ayars said, because many seniors are on fixed incomes and might be discouraged by the high cost of produce. “Locally produced food tends to be higher priced – that’s a fact,” he said. However, as agriculture grows stronger, he says there won’t be as much of a price difference. “There’s no way we can match the availability of food at Stop & Shop, but I think what the public recognizes is that the food that comes to us in the off-season is often coming to us from thousands and thousands of miles away. When you know where your food comes from ... it’s better for our diets and our health in general.” Participation in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program continues to be strong. Eighty-three percent of Senior Farmers Market Coupons that were distributed last year were cashed in. Those coupons were accepted by 175 farmers at 46 farmers markets and 20 roadside stands throughout the state. “Seniors seem to embrace it,” Ayars said. While he believes seniors are just as attuned to the local food movement as anyone else, he says there are added benefits – benefits that can be seen watching seniors mingle as they visit the booths of farms in their backyards. “It’s as much a social issue as anything else,” he said. “It’s a chance to get to a market and meet with friends. Markets seem to be a center of communities.”

Ken Ayars of DEM at Casey Farm (photo by Meg Fraser)

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by K AT H Y T I R R E L L



Spring is here at last! Flowers are budding and blossoming all around us, and who doesn’t feel happy and inspired by the beauty and wonder of nature? If you’re looking for a place to visit that’s truly uplifting, then Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum in Bristol is the place for you. Nestled on Narragansett Bay, 25 minutes east of Providence, you’ll find the 33-acre summer estate featuring a 45-room mansion filled with family heirlooms, surrounded by beautiful gardens and trees, including a 90-foot giant sequoia. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of each room of the mansion from April through mid-October, Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and most Monday holidays. It is closed on July 4. The gardens and grounds are open year-round daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The original mansion, built in 1895 and designed by the New York architectural firm of Hoppin and Koen, was destroyed by fire in 1906. Fortunately, all of the furniture was removed from the building in time, escaping damage from the fire. Today’s visitors can view the original furnishings and more when visiting the current mansion, rebuilt in 1908, designed by the Boston architectural firm Kilham and Hopkins. “We became a non-profit in the late ‘70s,” said Blithewold’s Communications Director Tree Callanan. She estimates 30,000 people flock to see the beautiful sights at Blithewold every year. During the month of April, it’s Daffodil Days, a yearly attraction running from April 6 until April 28, featuring “tens of thousands of brilliant yellow daffodils” for everyone’s enjoyment. Located inside the Visitors Center, you’ll find a small gift shop that carries a variety of garden items, including books on gardening, jewelry, candles and hats, garden ornaments, tools, and gloves, along with shirts, scarves and magnets.

Find the

If you visit during the month of May, here are some of the planned events: • May 2 Rosemary Verey: The Life and Lessons of a Legendary Gardener, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. • May 9 Botanical Beauty for the Bride-to-Be, 5 to 7 p.m. • May 11 Mornings in the Vegetable Garden, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

• May 15 - June 19 Introduction to Watercolor, 10 a.m. to noon at Carriage House and Grounds • May 23 Tree Mob at the Arnold Arboretum, held from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Blithewold Mansion and Arnold Arboretum • May 25 Behind the Scenes Tour, 11 a.m. to noon


GOLF BALL for a chance to win a

Golf Foursome Package to VALLEY COUNTRY CLUB


Tickets can be purchased in advance online on their website or in person at the Visitors Center. The price of admission is $24 for a family (2 adults, 2 youth), $11 for each adult, $10 for AAA members, $9 for seniors, full-time students or military personnel, $3 for children between 6 and 17, and no charge for children under 5. The Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum is located at 101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114) in Bristol, and is accessible by RIPTA bus #60. For more information, call 2532707, send an e-mail to info@blithewold.org, or visit the website at www.blithewold.org.

BEACON COMMUNICATIONS 1944 Warwick Ave., Warwick, RI 02889 attn: I Found It! or send an e-mail to: megf@rhodybeat.com


Entry Deadline: May 31, 2013 Name_________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________ Phone# _______________________________________________________________________________

Fruit Hill Farmers Market at RIC Fruit Hill Avenue, Providence August to Oct., Thursdays, 3:30-6 p.m.

Island Market 499 East Main Road, Middletown June to October, Thursdays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Wickenden St. Farmers Market 65 Brook Street, Providence June to October, Tuesdays, 2-6 p.m.

Weekapaug Farmers Market 4 Wawaloam Avenue June to Aug., Fridays, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Westerly/Pawcatuck Farmers Market 85 Main Street June to Oct., Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Westerly/Avondale Farmers Market 93 Watch Hill Road June to Sept., Fridays, 3 to 5:30 p.m.

East Greenwich Farmers Market Rector Street Sept. to Oct., Mondays, 3-6 p.m. W. Warwick/Thundermist Farmers Market 186 Providence Street July to October, Thursdays, 3 to 6 p.m. Davis Park Farmers Market Corner of Chalkstone & Oakland, Providence Sept. to Oct., Sundays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aquidneck Growers & Artisans Market 141 Pelham Street, Newport June to Sept, Tuesdays, 2 to 6 p.m.

Pier 9 Farmers Market Pier 9, Newport July to Oct., Fridays, 2 to 6 p.m. Rumford Farmers Market 20 Newman Avenue May to Oct., Tuesdays, 3 to 6:30 p.m. Cross Mill Farmers Market 4219 Old Post Road, Charlestown May to Oct., Friday & Saturdays, 4-7 p.m. *Editor’s note: The state’s Department of Environmental Management last updated their list of farmers markets in June 2012.


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This Shouldn’t Be Hostile Territory for the Elderly.

We’re Proud to Introduce Elder Friendly Emergency Rooms at Roger Williams Medical Center and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital. Older adults can find the environment of an emergency room as traumatic as the reason they’ve been brought there. Bright lights, noise, staff who haven’t had geriatric-specific training can all combine to make an emergency room visit upsetting and uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why CharterCARE Health Partners, corporate parent of Roger William Medical Center and Fatima Hospital is proud to introduce Rhode Island’s first elder friendly emergency departments. Both hospital emergency rooms have undergone physical renovations – designated elder treatment areas, non-glare lighting, non-skid flooring and sound-absorbing ceiling tiles – to provide a comforting and compassionate environment for older patients. Just as important, all emergency room staff – physicians, nurses, social workers and technicians – have received geriatric training and enhanced assessment tools to ensure that the special needs of the elderly do not go overlooked in the fast-paced emergency room environment. Senior friendly emergency rooms are just the latest example of our statewide leadership in elder care. We are the largest provider of geriatric psychiatric care, we have designated medical NICHE units with specialized nursing and provide direct access to an array of supports services like rehabilitation and home care services. For more information, visit chartercare.org


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Nelumbo grows backyard water gardens Fifteen years ago, Barney Webster was working as a painting contractor. He enjoyed being outside and working with his hands, so when a client asked if he could help install a backyard pond, he took a shot at it. Little did he know, it would become his new passion. Painting now behind him, he has more than 100 clients as the owner of Nelumbo Water Gardens. “I started building them for one client after another and after a while, all my clients had water gardens,” he recalls. “I’ve always said live by doing what you love and the money will follow.” Webster’s Wickford backyard is a testament to his second career. Homegrown bamboo creates a welcoming archway into the yard. A greenhouse covers an underwater garden of sorts where he is able to grow his aquatic plants. Two ponds display the fish and frogs popular among his clients. Several trees hide a growing collection of moss. And down a grassy slope, makeshift benches surround an outdoor fire pit that, one March afternoon, is host to a giant water lilly leaf he uses to make fountain molds. The options and add-ons for a pond or water garden are endless, and Webster has seen it all, but his advice for beginners is to start small. Even if they plan to install it on their own, he recommends calling an expert for a consultation. Yards need to be sited properly, getting an idea of the terrain and where a pond would best fit. Webster sketches out possibilities, sometimes even carving them from clay, and then uses string to map out the plan on the lawn. He says siting the pond is the most important part of the process, especially if you plan to someday expand. When doing a consult, he likes to get an idea of what kind of budget he is working with and then takes the client to see a similar pond. A starter pond will run you about $2,000, and the costs go up from there with size and add-ons. 8 | PT

Perhaps surprisingly, Webster says the market for these backyard water features is strong, and the economy has not affected his business. Run with the help of his wife and two children, Nelumbo Water Gardens is busy yearround. In winter and summer, they are busy installing new ponds. In fall and spring, they make the rounds maintaining projects. Over the years, Nelumbo’s signature style has evolved. Rock necklaces used to provide a structured edge to ponds, but Webster now prefers a more natural look. He prefers to build transition shelves filled with plantlife that make the pond look “like God put it there.” Lotus plants can be found in nearly all of his creations. Webster knows there are misconceptions out there about water gardens. While certain bugs, like mosquitos, are attracted to water, he says ponds serve more as a trap than a breeding ground, as fish will eat the eggs. Fish will survive on bugs, and Webster calls the fish food people feel compelled to buy “pretty food.” The maintenance, he adds, doesn’t have to be arduous. His company will handle maintenance for clients, but even if they want to take care of it themselves, he says that high-efficiency water pumps and self-cleaning filters eliminate the need for changing water often. These high-efficiency pumps can cost only $5 per month to run. “Ponds actually use less water than a lawn - a lot less,” he said. “If it’s built right, it’s really low maintenance.” Webster believes the benefits make the investment of money and time more than worth it. He loves to see his water creations evolve. “It’s alive in many ways; it creates an ecosystem,” he said. “You go out and look, and something’s changed every day.” Ponds and water gardens also offer a place to relax. He finds that his customers end up spending much of their free time by their personal waterfront property. Webster is no different. “I can’t wait to get home and get out here. That’s what we love to do,” he said.

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A Greener Providence There’s no question that planting riety of career opportunities,” says Lupo- coverage by 30 percent by 2020. of Groundwork’s job-training program as 40,000 trees across Providence and im- li. “Just as important, the garden has also To accomplish this, Groundwork individuals seek permanent environmenproving the landscapes of the city’s strug- been successful in improving access to Providence is working with the Provi- tal work. gling neighborhoods within the next suitable grow-space in the city for those dence Neighborhood Planting Program As a rapidly growing organization, decade are ambitious goals. Fortunately, who want to produce their own food.” to leverage the planting of 40,000 new Groundwork Providence is looking to Groundwork Providence is up to the The Groundwork Garden is a hub for trees by homeowners, land-owning in- grow its team of volunteers. According to task. the Providence Community Growers’ stitutions and the city of Providence. By Lupoli, the best way to get involved is to Established nearly 30 years ago as Network, one of six sites in Providence securing and supplying trees at minimal participate in a tree planting; events are Keep Providence Beautiful, Groundwork that serve as distribution centers for gar- cost to Providence residents, the program regularly posted to their website at www. Providence has evolved beyond its clean- dening materials and host community is successfully increasing the urban tree GroundworkProvidence.org. Volunteers up efforts, extending into education are often needed to asand training programs. sist with administrative “The physical improvements we tasks. implement are always done with “While there’s often the intention to not only improve a lot of interest in our the parcel of land itself, but also to work around Arbor Day use the work as an opportunity to and Earth Day in April, educate and provide resources for we’re always in need of the entire community,” said Sheri volunteers. Our efforts, Lupoli, deputy director of Groundboth with planting and work Providence. “In doing so, we especially around educahave been able to create employtion, are year-round,” ment opportunities for trainees in says Lupoli. our job development program.” Entirely funded by One of the primary focuses of grants and donations, Groundwork Providence is to clean Groundwork Providence up beautify underutilized and preoffers local businesses viously polluted parcels of land. and individuals a variIn doing so, the organization aims ety of ways to support to reconnect the fabric of urban its work. Every donated neighborhoods while providing dollar the organization space where people can grow their receives or earns through own food and learn about the enits GroundCorp venvironment. ture goes directly into Dubbed the Groundwork Garits programs. Along with den, the design and construction of accepting donations by the space is done by at-risk adults cash and check, donors participating in the organization’s In addition to the raised beds used by members of the community to grow a wide variety of pro- have the option to make job-training program. duce and flowers, the Groundwork Garden also features a newly-installed Ecolab to host educational a gift online through Having secured federal funds workshops for farmers of all levels and ages. Groundwork’s website. through the EPA EnvironmenThe organization also actal Workforce Job-Training grant, cepts donated tools, garGroundwork Providence conducts dening equipment, build12-week trainings twice a year, targeting events. It will house the soon-to-be-com- canopy in some of the city’s most in-need ing materials and planting mediums. individuals with limited career opportu- pleted outdoor Ecolab, which will hold neighborhoods. To date, nearly 10,000 “Each of us at Groundwork Provinities in Providence, Central Falls, Paw- educational workshops for farmers of all trees have been put in the ground, and dence live in the city and take immense tucket and Woonsocket. Now in its third levels and ages. the benefits are substantial. pride in the community and our unique year, the program’s curriculum centers “Our garden is one example of the “With greater tree coverage, daytime opportunities to initiate changes,” said on identifying the needs of the employer many interventions we seek to imple- temperatures in the summer decrease due Lupoli. “Our hope is to continue growcommunity to include certifications in ment as a way to educate and involve the to shade, air pollution is filtered, storm ing as a valuable resource and build parthazardous waste operations, construction community in urban revitalization,” says water overflow is reduced and winter nerships with other organizations that safety, CPR/First Aid, lead and asbestos Lupoli. “We don’t specify what people winds are slowed, which can have a direct share our aspirations for a more beautiful abatement, indoor air quality and un- should grow in their plots, but we do have impact on the reduction of heating costs. capital city - it’s all about creating posiderground storage tank inspection and guidelines for growers to follow so all can Overall, these neighborhoods can expe- tive change from ‘the ground up.’” maintenance. This is combined with 60 enjoy the same benefits of a healthy and rience an improved quality of life where For more information on Groundhours of classroom training from some of productive garden.” additional tree canopy thrives,” Lupoli work Providence, visit www.GroundNew England’s leading experts on enviRepresenting what may be Ground- explained. workProvidence.org or contact Sheri Luronmental science, storm water manage- work Providence’s most ambitious initiaTo further support Trees 2020, poli at 351-6440 ext. 15. ment, brownfields revitalization, tree care tive is Trees 2020. Developed in 2008 in Groundwork Providence recently comand horticulture, and more. partnership with Doug Still, Providence’s pleted its new Hope Tree Nursery, built “We target chronically unemployed City Forester, the program addresses the by the organization’s GroundCorp propopulations and provide job training in lack of residential tree planning in the gram - a social venture initiative that the fields of sustainable urban landscape city. Funded by the Helen Walker Raleigh offers landscape design-build and mainand environmental workforce develop- Tree Care Trust Fund of the R.I. Founda- tenance services. The program provides ment - each an area that offers a wide va- tion, it aims to increase Providence’s tree paid, hands-on experience to graduates

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Seeds of

Nestled between Broad Street and Prairie Avenue in south Providence, surrounded by double- and triple-decker houses, an elderly woman in a conical hat is tilling the soil. It’s still too cold to do much planting, but as the warm sun hints at spring’s approach, she is ready to be back in the garden. Amid a paved landscape of city streets, the Southside Community Land Trust has carved out corners of green like this one at City Farm, in the hopes of protecting open space while teaching low-income individuals and families how to grow their own food. “We’re surrounded by concrete in the city ... green space is important. It can really improve quality of life,” says Outreach Director Jessica Knapp. The Land Trust was started 32 years ago by a group of Brown University graduates who wanted to establish their own type of co-op style living. While their knowledge of growing food was limited, they found support from the Laotian and Cambodian immigrants living nearby, and City Farm was created. South Providence continues to attract diverse migrant communities from agrarian backgrounds, providing the perfect collaboration between the Land Trust and Rhode Islanders, both native and transplanted, who want to support their families. At City Farm, there are six different languages spoken.

Photo by Meg Fraser

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IN THE GARDEN SCLT directly owns or leases 16 community gardens in the capital city, and is part of the Providence Community Growers Network that includes 42 gardens and three urban farms. “What started here in 1981, it just continued to expand to be in all neighborhoods of the city,” Knapp said. Gardeners are given a plot of land and access to resources like $5 compost. Plots vary in size, but most gardeners will have two 4-by-8-foot beds in which to plant. There are not many rules by which to abide, but gardeners are asked to avoid the use of non-organic fertilizers and must attend at least three community work days each year. They pay low-cost dues, and are encouraged to grow food, though flowers can be seen mixed between rows of carrots and squash. Many ethnic crops like taro are grown by immigrant families, though farmers are not immune to trends like kale, which has become increasingly popular. “It really depends on the kind of ethnic background; it depends on what people want to eat,” Knapp said. Gardeners plant vegetables by midJune, with some revisiting their land as early as February or March. Community gardens are busy straight through

October, with most participants visiting their space a couple times each week. In some gardens, such as the plot on Somerset Street, there are waiting lists. “It is really in high demand,” Knapp said. She attributes that to increased awareness. At the national level, she believes the work of First Lady Michelle Obama has shed light on the benefits of growing your own food. Locally, she says Rhode Islanders are becoming more health-conscious. “People want to reconnect with their food. For a lot of people, it’s a health concern,” she said. The other obvious benefit, Knapp said, is financial. “Especially in this neighborhood and a lot of the priority communities we work with, vegetables are really expensive, so growing your own is a great way to get beautiful tomatoes, for example, and you don’t have to pay $5 a pound,” she said. All participating families save money, and some turn a profit. City Farm is a working commercial farm, and the more accomplished farmers sell their products at farmers’ markets for supplemental income. Urban Edge, a 35-acre farm in Cranston, features greenhouses that let

farmers grow crops year-round. Aside from providing land, SCLT runs as many as 30 free workshops each year, ranging from beginner planting advice to advanced gardening. Sessions help community gardeners prepare their soil and mitigate weed and insect problems, with some workshops covering such complex issues as raising chickens or urban beekeeping. The hope is both to educate individuals so they can yield the best crops, thereby better supporting their families, and also to empower them to spread the spirit of preservation. The Southside Community Land Trust has set a goal of opening one new garden every year, and continues to meet that standard. In 2009, they started three gardens. “We’re working really hard to make sure there’s more gardening space,” Knapp said. Going forward, that work is made easier thanks to support from the city of Providence. Mayor Angel Taveras and the Providence City Council support the work of the Land Trust, and through the Lots of Hope program, provide long-term, low-cost leases for vacant, city-owned land. That support is crucial.

“I hope that the state of Rhode Island, not just the consumer but the legislature, recognizes how much potential there is for this work,” Knapp said. Alleys and lots once filled with trash and debris are being transformed into vibrant community gardens. The gardens beautify the area, and better yet, Knapp says they create close, fulfilling relationships between neighbors. “One of the most exciting things is to watch leaders emerge. The community engagement is probably the most valuable thing that happens,” she said. “It’s very transformative. It’s a completely different way of urban life.”


What: Southside Community Land Trust’s 21st annual Plant Sale When: Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: City Farm, Corner of Dudley Street & West Clifford, Providence




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Garbage to Garden

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that is certainly the case for Krystal Noiseux, the recycling program manager at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) that oversees the state’s Central Landfill. Recycling is a priority for her at work and at home, and she is pleased to report that nationwide and locally, turning trash into treasure is becoming more common practice. “It’s becoming more normal and, I think, in the next 10 years, it’s going to become as normal as recycling. It’s just as normal as recycling for many of us,” Noiseux said. For many years, misconceptions about composting kept even environmentally conscious families at bay. For starters, people fear that compost will smell, or worse, attract pests. Noiseux says neither is true, if done correctly. “We put our food scraps in the garbage bag and it’s sitting there, usually causing odors, and yet that’s not gross? If you manage [compost] properly, it doesn’t give off odors,” she said. Compost is made up of three parts brown materials to one part green materials. Brown materials include leaves, dead flowers, twigs, paper towels and tissues and even the contents of your vacuum cleaner bag. Green

parts generally come from the kitchen, like vegetables, coffee grounds and egg-shells, but also include grass and yard trimmings. Meats, bones, animal waste and dairy should all be omitted. You can keep an airtight kitchen pail with green parts and add them to the compost heap as needed. “The rule of thumb is anything that was once living, can be composted,” Noiseux said. If that brown-to-green balance is maintained, your compost should not smell. The moisture balance must be maintained, adding water if it is too dry or adding shredded paper or cardboard if it is too moist. Users must also stir the pile regularly so it stays in a state of aerobic decomposition. Ideally, the only odor given off will be an earthy smell. If you have a yard, you can keep your compost in open compost heaps, the most natural way to compost. Enclosed bins are another option, and many families choose to build a bin to fit their needs, though they are available for sale as well. In urban areas, enclosed bins are preferable. RIRRC sells starter bins called Earth Machines for $40, and Rhode Islanders who “like” them on Facebook get the bins for a $25 deal. RIRRC sells between 700 and 1,000 bins annually - a good sign for Noiseux. “There’s a lot of interest,” she said. “It’s a popular thing.”

If you’re composting indoors and don’t want to worry as much about turning the mixture, tumbling bins will help you to easily spin the compost. Automated bins do the heavy lifting too, separating finished compost into a separate drawer that allows you to easily access ready-to-use soil. Another option is a worm bin, where a specific type of worm, known as the red wiggler, will do the same aerating work that a tiller will do. “There are all different ways you can go about doing it,” Noiseux said. “It’s really not labor intensive.” Noiseux says the benefits pay for the initial investment. You will take your trash out less frequently, that trash will be less likely to smell, and once finished compost has been created, that product can be used in place of costly chemicals to maintain your lawn and garden. How quickly finished compost is ready depends on the size of the pile and how well it is being aerated. An automated bin could complete the process in as little as one month. Heaps for a single individual could take as long as one year. Composting is also, of course, a benefit to the environment. “You’re saving landfill space,” Noiseux said, explaining that food waste is heavy and is the biggest component of landfill space nationwide. “It’s good for the environment and it’s good for all of us.”

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Aging on display It would be impossible to walk into Ralph Gaulien’s room at Heritage Hills Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and not be impressed. And, it’s hard to imagine who could have a five-minute conversation with the man and not be inspired. Gaulien is the antithesis of what most people think of when imagining a 94-year-old nursing home resident. His days are full and his talents are many, the evidence of which is spread out across his room. A former engineer, Gaulien is known far and wide for his detailed creations - exhibits that tell the story of his life. In one corner of his room sits a working carousel, in another an in-depth replica of the Towers in Narragansett. Airplanes, blimps, the Eiffel Tower - all sorts of examples of his abilities crowd the space. With rare exception, most things are made from scratch, using whatever materials he can get his hands on. “I make everything out of junk. That’s my claim to fame,” he says. The foundation of his Narragansett Towers model, for example, is made from Morton salt containers, though one would never know it. Thousands of hand-made bricks cover the structure, and when the creation is finally completed, hundreds of pebbles, assembled with glue and tweezers with painstaking meticulousness, will form a stonewall enclosing the scene. Gaulien spent two years of his childhood at the Towers when his father worked at the casino and his familiarity with the renowned building is evident. So too is his artistic talent and engineering precision. A World War II aircraft with only one engine and half the landing gear gone graces another corner. Gaulien created it to look just the way it was when he last landed it. And the carousel in the corner? It’s much like one he built with his late wife that still stands in the Lincoln Senior Center today. When not “building,” you might find Gaulien on Facebook, reading or writ-

ing an article for the facility’s newsletter, or playing an organ that a family who “adopted” him gave him. Though not a gardener, he recently suggested raised garden beds, which Heritage Hills will install this spring. Clearly, he intends to live life to the fullest and hopes to engage others to do so as well. His next project, he says, is a replica of the State House. When asked if his considerable talents could fix the problems inside the structure when the project is complete, his devilish grin says it all. “I have too much to do,” he cheerfully complains about all his projects, but one can tell he wouldn’t have it any other way. Mother’s Day marks the beginning of National Nursing Home Week, a week to honor those who live and work in America’s nursing homes. Too often, we fail to realize that the individuals residing in our skilled nursing are dynamic, vibrant personalities like Gaulien. And though Gaulien’s gifts are exceptional, he is not alone. Knowing that it’s difficult to bring people like Gaulien to life on paper but impossible not to be impacted by them in person, the Rhode Island Health Care Association (RIHCA) - a professional organization comprised of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities throughout Rhode Island - encourages everyone to visit a local nursing home between May 12 and 18, and in fact, throughout the year. “Enjoying the gifts that our residents can impart is something we can do not only for them, but also for ourselves,” said Virginia Burke, RIHCA’s president and CEO. “Our residents have so much to share. They are an important part of our community - we owe ourselves the opportunity to learn from them.” For a complete listing of RIHCA members participating in National Nursing Home Week, visit www.rihca. com.

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Roseanne Sherry took the URI Master Gardener course in 1980. In 1988, she joined the organization full-time, and now serves as the consumer horticulture educator. She can rattle off a list of native flowers, tell you what plants attract hummingbirds and breakdown the ideal pH levels of soil. But even if those topics are foreign to you, Sherry says there is enormous enjoyment to be found in gardening, and if you’re new to the landscape, don’t panic. “You’re not going to be a perfect gardener right off the bat,” she said. Aim not for perfection, she adds, but for fulfillment. “Gardening is a lifelong hobby. Real gardeners love to play in the dirt.” Before you get started, whether you’re looking to plant food or flowers, soil is one of the most important components to a successful garden. The Master Gardeners at URI will conduct free pH tests for soil, or you can send it out to the Universities of Massachusetts or Connecticut for comprehensive testing for a small fee. If your soil doesn’t have the balance that plantlife is looking for, it can easily be altered with a little lime or other nutrients. After planting, add an inch or two of mulch made with things like clean grass clippings or peat moss, which will minimize weeds and keep soil cool and moist. When adding fertilizers, you should look for products that are balanced in their nitrogen and phosphorus contents. For the same reason, crops should be rotated every year to avoid draining the soil of particular nutrients or attracting disease and insects specific to certain plants. “If you don’t understand the soil, the crop is a hit or miss,” Sherry said. If your soil is rocky, you might need to bring in new soil or perhaps bring your garden off the ground in raised beds - also a good alternative for the elderly or disabled who might not be able to get down on their knees with ease. Raised beds will not diminish the quality of your garden. “It just looks different. The plants don’t care so much; as long as you provide what the plants need, they don’t care what it looks like,” Sherry said. Once your soil is worked out, you want to site your garden. “You want a bed so you can reach into the center of it without having to step into it,” Sherry explains. The ideal garden, then, is about three to four feet wide, and as long as you so desire. You should be in the garden regularly, checking for weeds, insects or disease, and also harvesting crops when necessary. “You want to spend a couple hours a week just getting out there and looking. If you’re always traveling in the summer, don’t put in a garden,” Sherry said. For some, like her, it’s a more time-consuming prospect. “The obsessive ones may spend a full work week out there,” she said, laughing. Personally, Sherry loves to grow food, and says more novice and experienced gardeners are eating the fruits of their labor. “We’re finding a tremendous resurgence of veggie gardening,” she said. To grow a proper vegetable garden, you will need at least six hours of sun on the site, and ideally, a flat surface. If you’re planting on a slope, create terraces that step down the hill, each one flat to avoid erosion. Vegetables can be started in containers indoors or greenhouses in March, but whether you’re transplanting or starting from seeds, mid-May is about the time that your garden is ready for most planting, like warm weather crops such as beans, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.


“If it blooms, it’s going to be a warm season crop,” Sherry said. Be careful, though, because times change depending on climate, which is especially unpredictable in New England. “When your night temperatures reliably stay above 50 degrees, that’s a better time to go on than a date on a calendar. A gardener does need to learn about weather.” Only cool weather vegetables, like your greens (lettuce, broccoli, onions, carrots, kale), should be planted earlier, perhaps in April. Kale can yield a second crop in the fall, as well, if planted in late July or early August. Early spring is generally the time that most gardeners are outside with their flower bulbs, too, and Sherry said that she sees a trend toward flowers that attract wildlife. Herbs attract pollinators and flowers with tubes or trumpets, like honeysuckle, petunias and lilies, are all popular with hummingbirds because of their long beaks. Flowers of the echinacea variety are good for butterflies and shrubs with flowers or fruit will bring birds to your yard. Attracting these pollinators will help support your garden, and also make it a more enjoyable place to sit and relax. “You don’t have the ‘Disney gardens’ anymore,” Sherry said. “That’s not what Mother Nature makes. We never want to encourage monoculture.” Do your homework, and consult with the Master Gardeners through their free hotline or e-mail service. They know when to plant even the tricky crops, like pumpkins, which go into the ground in late May because their growing season is so long. Garlic too has a long season, and is best planted in October for yields the following July. They are just as well versed with flowers, and can open up your yard to new possibilities. “Think outside the tomato plant,” Sherry quips. When it comes to watering your garden, she warns that plants need only one inch of water per week, so be aware of the forecast. If your yard is prone to flooding, you should consider raising your beds. A rain gauge is an inexpensive investment that can help you make sure you’re not overwatering. “One inch of water a week is, ideally, what Mother Nature already gives us,” Sherry said. The golden rule, in that sense, is to go with the flow. “Gardening is an artificial means of trying to mimic Mother Nature. You want to learn how to live with her and help her,” Sherry said. And if at first you don’t succeed, try and plant again. “I don’t like people to give up on gardening,” she said. “Give it a chance. You just have to understand what you’re working with.” On July 13 and 14, the URI Master Gardeners will again host their “Gardening with the Masters” tour of 35 gardens statewide. Tickets will be available at the May 11 East Farm Festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or by visiting urimastergardeners.org. With questions on gardening, call the Master Gardeners’ hotline at 1-800-448-1011 or 401-874-4836, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Gardening is an artificial means of trying to mimic Mother Nature. You want to learn how to live with her and help her

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in the garden



Want to attract migratory songbirds to your garden? The Natural Resources Science Department at the University of Rhode Island suggests Arrowood Viburnum, Pokewee, Virginia Creeper, Highbush Blueberry and Shadbush as options to get the birds chirping. Ancient civilizations burned aster leaves to ward off evil spirits. Chrysanthemums are associated with funerals in Malta and are considered unlucky. The Titan Arums is the largest flower in the world, producing flowers 10 feet high and three feet wide that give off a pungent, unpleasant odor, hence their nickname, the “corpse” flower. Scientists consider the Archafructus Sinesis the oldest flower in the world, speculating that it bloomed roughly 125 million years ago. It resembles a water lilly. Did you know that Rhode Island was the last state to adopt an official state flower? When we came around, we settled on the violet in 1968. Photos by Linda Nadeau

There are more than 250,000 species of flowering plants known and recorded on Earth today. Nearly 60 percent of fresh cut flowers in the United States come from California. Different butterflies are attracted to different types of flowers. Monarchs, for example, like milkweeds. Painted Ladies prefer thistles, mallows and yellow fiddleneck, and the American Painted Lady loves cudweed and everlast. Picking off flowers frequently encourages most annuals to flower more abundantly.

Roses are related to pears, apples, plums and apricots, so it should come as no surprise that rose blooms are edible. Look but don’t touch: all parts of the Nerium leander are poisonous and, if ingested, can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac and central nervous system problems or even death. The average strawberry has 200 seeds. It is the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower on record was more than 7 meters high. Carrots in the grocery store are most often orange, but white and yellow varieties come from Europe and purple carrots are available in the Middle East.

Cinnamon can be used as a natural fungicide. Newspapers can be buried, serving as a weed barrier when creating a new bed. Just be careful to avoid color pages, the advertising inserts or anything printed on slick paper. Flowers like caffeine, too! Caffeine is a natural herbicide, so tea and coffee grounds can be added to compost Bamboo can grow 35 inches in a single day. Ever wonder why cranberries float? Small pockets of air inside make them buoyant. M 

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Scandinavian Retirement Community Built on a reputation of caring, kindness and unparalleled service

Beams of sunlight stream into the room and cast a golden glow on a shelf full of verdant house plants, each plant thriving under the warmth of the afternoon sun. Thriving also in this sunny space is Olive Kimball, a soft-spoken yet lively new resident of the Scandinavian Retirement Center in Cranston. You would never guess by her engaging conversation and spritely manner that Olive was on the threshold of her 96th birthday ~ 96 years filled with love and family, and faith. Looking back, Mrs. Kimball grows nostalgic when talking about her childhood in Warwick, reminiscing about long summer days spent canning vegetables from her father’s prolific garden. She becomes wistful when talking about her late husband and their two daughters, but there is also a genuine and joyful optimism in her voice. Olive has just moved into the Scandinavian Retirement Center, and while she is still “learning her way around”, she says: “I am a lucky, lucky person! I have a tremendous desire to keep going, and the people here have been loving and kind.” Surrounded by her own furnishings, photographs of loved ones, her carefully tended plants, and a lifetime of memories, Olive joins many other residents here at the Scandinavian Retirement Center as they enjoy the comforts and amenities of this welcoming retirement community. Along with her fellow residents, Olive is not retiring from life, but rather from the worries and strains that home ownership often bring to those in their senior years. Like Olive Kimball, resident Marion Kelly enjoyed a full and active life with a loving late husband of 56 years, an attentive daughter and a grandson whom she adores, before a series of strokes convinced her to move to the Scandinavian Retirement Center. After a trial period in one of the center’s “Respite” apartments, Marion moved into her roomy apartment, which like her, is also bright and sunny. It is tidy, and comfy, and uniquely hers. Marion sits in her comfortable armchair, chatting openly about how her life has changed since coming here, but how enriched it has become with new friends, thoughtfully planned activities (her favorite ~ “Hi-Low Jack” every Tuesday night!), and plenty of space to call her own. Each apartment here has a large living area, a full walk-in closet, a bedroom with an adjoining bathroom that is designed for independence, and a kitchenette, complete with a refrigerator and microwave. Daily housekeeping services are offered. Marion, still full of life at 85, loves getting her nails and hair done right on site, but also takes advantage of the center’s transportation to local shopping and banking as well. There is a real feeling of community here at the Scandinavian Retirement Center ~ a feeling of respect, of dignity and of home. This is home now to Olive and Marion and many others who have chosen to live in this close-knit retirement community. With 35 apartments, full-service dining room, many common activity areas and 24-hour nursing support, this center gives the definition of “retirement living” a whole new meaning. Come tour the Scandinavian Retirement Center on 50 Warwick Avenue, right on the Warwick/Cranston line. For more information or to schedule a visit, call Director of Resident Services, Tai Sodipo, R.N. at 461-1444 or visit their web site at www.ScandinavianHome.com.

Caring, Kindness & Quality 4QBDJPVTPOFCFESPPNBQBSUNFOUTr4IBSFETUVEJPBQBSUNFOUTr3FTQJUF4VJUFT Call for details or arrange for a tour... we would love to meet you!



50 Warwick Avenue, Cranston, RI 02905



A non-profit organization A CareLink Member

Resident MARION KELLY exudes warmth and a feeling of contentment in her cozy Scandinavian Retirement Center apartment .

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scenes from the expo

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SENIOR Wednesday, April 10 Warwick Mall

Photos by Linda Nadeau

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SENIOR 18 | PT

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by M E G C H E VA L I E R

Tips for estimated tax payments Some taxpayers may need to make estimated tax payments during the year. The type of income you receive determines whether you must pay estimated taxes. Here are six tips from the IRS about making estimated tax payments: 1. If you do not have taxes withheld from your income, you may need to make estimated tax payments. This may apply if you have income such as self-employment, interest, dividends or capital gains. It could also apply if you do not have enough taxes withheld from your wages. If you are required to pay estimated taxes during the year, you should make these payments to avoid a penalty. 2. Generally, you may need to pay estimated taxes in 2013 if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your federal tax return. Other rules apply, and special rules apply to farmers and fishermen. 3. When figuring the amount of your estimated taxes, you should estimate the amount of income you expect to receive for the year. You should also include any tax deductions and credits that you will be eligible to claim. Be aware that life

changes, such as a change in marital status or a child born during the year, can affect your taxes. Try to make your estimates as accurate as possible. 4. You normally make estimated tax payments four times a year. The dates that apply to most people are April 15, June 17 and Sept. 16 in 2013, and Jan. 15, 2014. 5. You should use Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals, to figure your estimated tax. 6. You may pay online or by phone. You may also pay by check or money order, or by credit or debit card. You’ll find more information about your payment options in the Form 1040-ES instructions. Also, check out the Electronic Payment Options Home Page at IRS. gov. If you mail your payments to the IRS, you should use the payment vouchers that come with Form 1040-ES. For more information about estimated taxes, see Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax. Forms and publications are available on IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-8293676).

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Hearing Health Professionals of New England Free Public Hearing Screening Program in Warwick beginning Thursday, May 2nd Beginning Thursday, May 2nd from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Free Public Hearing Screenings will be offered as a result of a new public health partnership between CareWell Urgent Care of Warwick and Hearing Health Professionals of New England (HHPNE). There is no cost, no co-pay, and no obligation for the Hearing Screenings, and each appointment lasts about 10 minutes. If a hearing loss is detected you will be referred to the HHPNE Cranston location (200 Midway Road, Garden City Post Office Plaza, Suite 161) for a Complete Hearing Exam, which is also complimentary. CareWell Urgent Care of Warwick is a new Urgent Care facility located at 535 Centerville Road in Warwick. HHPNE will be hosting Free Public Hearing Screenings every Thursday in May, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome, but if you would prefer to make an appointment to have your hearing screened, please call CareWell Urgent Care at (401) 773-7220. CareWell Urgent Care of Warwick and HHPNE have created this Health & Wellness Public Education program in support of May being Better Hearing Month. The partnership will continue throughout the summer months on a rotating schedule. For a complete listing of Hearing Screening dates, please call HHPNE at (401) 944-5000. This new health awareness partnership has created a FREE Hearing Health Series for the public to take advantage of. “Because the Johns Hopkins University study suggests that an intervention ‘even as simple as hearing aids’ could delay Dementia or other cognitive disorders means something needed to be done to make Hearing Exams more available to our local communities, says Christopher Curren, Founder and President of Hearing Health Professionals of New England, “We’ve created this community program so that people can get their hearing tested and are able to refer to the results year-after-year. We call this creating a Baseline for your Hearing. When a problem is detected, it can be confronted as it occurs, rather than postponing treatment. This is something we felt was necessary to offer and are proud to do so.” Hearing loss can be a very scary and isolating process. Because it typically occurs over long periods of time, it can also creep up so gradually that it becomes very hard for the person affected to notice. Did you know medical professionals recommend every person over age 55 get a Complete Hearing Exam every year? Even with over 40 million Americans suffering daily from hearing loss, only 1 in 10 people ever seek help. This is an alarming statistic that keeps increasing from year to year. “This is what we are trying to counter by offering this program to the public,” states Curren.

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b y C A T H E R I N E T E R R Y T A Y L O R D I RE C TO R , R I D E P A R T M E N T O F E L D E R L Y A F F A I R S


Unleash the power of age Older Americans Month has been observed annually during May since 1963 to recognize the contributions of seniors to the history, culture and traditions of the nation. This year, the theme for Older Americans Month is “Unleash the Power of Age.� The theme exhorts us to change our attitudes toward aging to embrace the idea of a powerful, not frail, stage of life. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 41 million Americans, including 152,000 Rhode Islanders, are 65 and older. In less than 40 years, the senior population is projected to be 92 million people. There is power in the sheer numbers of older Americans. Those numbers translate into a powerful and growing voice. Today’s seniors are also more likely to “Unleash the Power of Age� through advocacy. Seniors are speaking out for their right to economic security, a safe environment and self-determination. Aging policy

is changing to reflect the demand by older Americans to age how and where they want. As a result, long-term care policy now emphasizes aging in place, and many long-term care facilities are respecting residents’ freedom to start their day and have their meals when they choose, instead of according to the institutional schedule. Age can bring with it powerful wisdom, instead of the cognitive decline that we all dread. In fact, brain scientists are coming to the conclusion that brainpower does not decrease with advancing years. Evidence suggests that the brain at mid-life, from 35 to 65 and even beyond, is more elastic and supple than we used to believe. As the brain ages, new cognitive systems form, which can manage information better than the younger brain that is so adept at retaining raw information. Excellent memory matures into wisdom. When seniors stay connected to fam-



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ily, friends and their community, mood is generally better and the brain functions better. Isolation, boredom and loneliness are detrimental to good brain health. Other factors that support brain health are good nutrition, exercise, sufficient sleep and good management of chronic health conditions and stress. Today’s seniors are unleashing their power to control these determinants of their physical and brain health. The power of aging can also be seen in the productivity of today’s seniors, who often stay in the workplace longer, launch new careers, go back to school, volunteer or travel. For most seniors, retirement means finding a new way to contribute to our communities. And finally, contrary to the popular fears, there is power in the aging brain. In 2002, researchers for the Ohio Longitudinal Study, who have been following the effects of aging in the same group of people since 1975, made a very

surprising finding: older people with a more positive attitude toward old age lived seven and a half years longer than those who dreaded it. “It’s a pretty robust effect,� says Suzanne Kunkel, the gerontologist who heads the study. “People with a positive perception of aging, of themselves as an aging person, seem to have a longevity advantage.� As the poet Robert Browning wrote, “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.� Celebrate Older Americans Month this May, and unleash the power of age!

Help Stop Medicare Fraud! Join the Senior Medicare Patrol Program and volunteer to educate Medicare beneficiaries about fighting fraud.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3. 1. PROTECT Your Medicare Number


Read Your Medicare Summary Notice

3. REPORT Your Concerns

Volunteer today to fight against Medicare fraud. Bi-lingual volunteers needed.



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For more information, call the RI Division of Elderly Affairs at 401-462-0194 TTY: 401-462-0740


Empowering Seniors To Prevent Healthcare Fraud

Rhode Island

This ad was produced, in whole or in part, through grants from the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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The lawn as a metaphor A key step in my retirement plan was to downsize the house. That meant that, in addition to de-cluttering and staging the inside, I needed to get the outside looking its best, too. We all know the two mantras of every real estate agent: “location, location, location” and “curb appeal.” I selected our home back in 1992 with location in mind, and the neighborhood has held up nicely. I wish I could say as much for our yard. I began implementing my downsizing plan by having major repairs made to the house’s exterior and having it painted. That done, I directed my attention to spiffing up the yard. This made me painfully aware of the condition of the lawn. As I pushed the mower around, I could feel that the terrain was treacherous. There were lumps and bumps under my feet. It looked like a training ground for baby gophers. There were no actual holes, but some of the indentations were almost as dangerous. There were also an astonishing number of small rocks and pebbles, like the ones that collect on the beach at the high tide line. Apparently, years of frost heaving had coaxed them from their beds deeper in the earth. I was using a service to do basic weed and grub control, liming, etc. I decided to contract with them to expand their involvement and to aerate the lawn and overseed it. As I faced up to the fact that my lawn needed a wider array of professional services, it occurred to me that it was a metaphor for our hair as we age. Overall, it was a lot thinner than it was in years past. Like my husband’s head these days, it had a lot of bald spots. The crabgrass reminded me of my own hair on many occasions - wild and out of control and sticking up in all directions. Large portions of it still had good color, but some areas were so faded, they were almost colorless. In short, it looked a lot like me in the mirror, when my roots are overdue. I wondered if it was time to abandon my do-it-yourself hair coloring and let a salon tackle that chore. As I mulled over the lawn metaphor and looked around the entire yard, I started

thinking about the rest of our bodies as we approach retirement. The rocks on the lawn were the lumps and bumps that appear on hands and feet with no warning or explanation. Are they signs of some internal “frost upheaval” that I should be worried about? The sidewalks, with cracks and discolorations here and there, were suddenly like skin in areas exposed to years of sun. Tree roots bulging up through the lawn and the walk were varicose veins. I decided to wear crop pants from now on. I saw small clumps of grass/hair sprouting in places they didn’t belong and bushes that could have used trimming. I won’t provide the details of that analogy, because it would be TMI, but I’m sure you can use your imagination. The miniature picket fence around the flowerbed used to be white; now it was grayish yellow. I instinctively raised my hand to cover my mouth. Standing on the front walk, I noticed that the wicker seats on the chairs on our wide front porch were sagging and unraveling. I stood up a little straighter and sucked in my tummy. Who would have thought that an assessment of my house’s curb appeal could lead to a cold, hard look into the mirror of self-reflection? The world can be a cruel place as we enter our so-called “golden years.” That’s OK. There are professionals out there who offer services that can improve MY curb appeal, too. Of course, I won’t be able to afford them until we finally sell the house and downsize. In the meantime, I’ll just pour another glass of wine. That seems to give my skin a nice glow. By the second glass, my hair starts looking pretty good, too. Copyright 2012 Business Theatre Unlimited. Elaine M. Decker’s latest book, “Retirement Sparks Again,” follows her first two books, “Retirement Sparks” and “CANCER: A Coping Guide.” All are available at Books on the Square, the Brown University bookstore and Spectrum-India, on the East Side of Providence, and on Amazon. com, including Kindle editions. Contact her at emdecker@ix.netcom.com to arrange a meet-andgreet with your organization.

Tell us why your mother could use a therapeutic massage for a chance to win a 1 Year Gift Membership to

C R A N S TO N • E A S T G R E E N W I C H

Mail your MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE by May 31, 2013 to: PrimeTime Magazine Mother’s Day Contest 1944 Warwick Avenue, Warwick, RI 02889 Your Name: __________________________________________________ Your Mother’s Name: __________________________________________ Your Address: ________________________________________________ City: _______________________________________________________ State: _______________________ Zip: ____________________________ Your Phone Number: __________________________________________ Your Email: __________________________________________________

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Home & Hospice offers spring workshops Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island is hosting a series of free workshops for dementia caregivers this spring. Workshops are facilitated by members of the company’s interdisciplinary team, including physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, grief counselors and more. The first workshop is scheduled for May 15. Attendees will benefit from “Dementia 101: What’s happening to my loved one?”; a presentation on the progression of dementia from symptoms to treatment. “Keeping yourself healthy: body, mind and spirit” will be held on May 22. This workshop introduces the common stresses felt by caregivers and provides options for self-care. The following week, on May 29, a workshop to enhance communication will be held, entitled “Deeper than words: How do we connect when memory is lost?” June sessions start off on June 5 with “Facing difficult decisions,” a presentation on some of the medical and legal issues involved in caring for someone with dementia. A final workshop, “Facing the changes: Dealing with progressive loss,” will help caregivers with the grieving process, and will be held on June 12. All workshops run from 5 to 6 p.m. at Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island’s Aronson Education Room at their 1085 North Main Street facility in Providence. Call 415-4659 for more information. Reservations are not required.

CALENDAR Gaspee Days are back From May 25 to 27, visit Pawtuxet Village on the Cranston/Warwick line and shop the ware of more than 150 craft exhibitors. This annual festival attracts approximately 50,000 people daily, and also features live music and food. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Go to gaspee.com or call 781-1772 for details. Sail away to Block Island Check out the fifth annual Taste of Block Island food festival featuring more than 60 businesses. There will be gallery openings, wine and beer tastings, shop-



ping discounts, restaurant specials, kayak tours and more. Admission is $5. May 31 to June 2, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. blockislandchamber@yahoo.com Cherry Blossom Festival Central Falls and Pawtucket join forces for the annual Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Festival on May 4 and 5, from 12 to 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 or $10 and includes a road race, plant giveaway, ceremonial tree planting and a carnival. 175 Main Street in Central Falls. Call 724-2200 or visit www.richerryblossomfestival.com.

RHODE ISLAND HOUSING’S NEWEST LOANS OFFER OPTIONS TO MORE RHODE ISLANDERS Great homes come in all shapes and sizes. Take the next step with one of Rhode Island Housing’s expanded home loan options. To learn more, call 401-243-0000 or visit www.rhodeislandhousing.org.





Caregiver’s Journey The Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter is pleased to announce the return of ouAr annual Caregiver’s Conference. The 2013 all-day free conference for caregivers, named “Caregiver’s Journey,” will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick on June 25, from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. The Division of Elderly Affairs, R.I. Department of Human Services, sponsors the conference in part, with funds from the Administration on Aging and the MetLife Foundation. The Keynote Sponsor is Brookdale Senior Living. A fee will be charged for health care professionals and professionals seeking CEUs. The keynote speaker, world renowned author Stephanie Zeman, MSN, RN, best known for her book, “Kisses for Elizabeth,” will give the keynote address and present a workshop during the conference. Stephanie Zeman is a nurse specialist in dementia care and has worked with this fragile population for more than 20 years. In addition to the Keynote address, we will be offering 24 workshops with topics ranging from “Challenging Behaviors” to “Clinical Trials and TrialMatch.” There will also be more than 30 exhibitors related to Alzheimer’s care. If you are a caregiver or health care professional, or want to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease, this conference is for you. On-site respite is available for your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. The conference schedule is as follows: 8-8:45 a.m. Conference registration, exhibitor time and continental breakfast 9:15-10:15 a.m. Keynote address by Stephanie Zeman, MSN, RN 10:45-11:50 a.m. Session A: choice of eight workshops 12:30 -1:30 p.m. Lunch and exhibitor time 12:45-1:30 p.m. Unveiling of state plan for Alzheimer’s disease by Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts 2 - 3 p.m. Session B: Choice of eight workshops 3:15-4:15 p.m. Session C: Choice of eight workshops

With the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease on the rise, our “Caregiver’s Journey” conference is timely. New statistics just released by our National Alzheimer’s Association based in Chicago, Ill., states that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease throughout the country is increasing. Our conference addresses the need for more education about living with Al-

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zheimer’s disease, person-centered care and ways to cope. Stephanie Zeman will speak about her book, “Kisses for Elizabeth,” which she wrote for both family and professional caregivers in mind. It is a practical resource for anyone experiencing difficulty with significant behavioral issues but is also helpful to caregivers who simply want to provide the best possible care. At the “Caregiver’s Journey” conference, you can choose from 24 workshops provided by qualified presenters in their field of expertise. Just some of the workshops to be offered are: legal and financial considerations; caregiver stress; demystifying younger onset Alzheimer’s disease; managing behaviors; clinical trials; and many more. Conference brochures are available to the public on our website, www.alz. org/ri, or by calling the R.I. Chapter office at 800-272-3900. Although the conference is free to family caregivers, advance registration is required. The fee is $50 for health care professionals and $75 for professionals who wish to receive CEUs. The Alzheimer’s Association Rhode Island Chapter, an affiliate of the National Alzheimer’s Association, is a private, non-profit organization started in 1989 by family caregivers and interested community health care professionals. The Chapter programs and services include a 24-7 helpline, support groups, training for families, an early stage engagement program formerly known as Live and Learn, newsletter, advocacy, resource library, conferences, lectures and special fundraising events. If you are interested in receiving more information about Chapter programs and events, contact Program Director Marge Angilly at mangilly@ alz.org or Development Director Camilla Farrell at cfarrell@alz.org; or if you would like to receive a conference brochure, contact the Chapter Office at 1-800-272-3900.

DON’T MISS IT Alzheimer’s Association Caregivers’ Conference June 25, 2013

8 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick

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Celebrate Mother’s Day with an Egg-cellent Brunch Eggs Benedict Casserole Prep Time: 15 min. • Cook Time: 40 min.

6 12 1½ 3 1 2½ 12 1

cups French bread, cut into cubes large eggs cups milk tablespoons fresh chives, chopped teaspoon salt teaspoons Tabasco brand Original Red Sauce, divided ounces Canadian bacon, chopped (9-ounce) package Hollandaise sauce

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Preheat oven to 350° F. Place French bread cubes in 8-cup shallow casserole dish. Beat eggs, milk, chives, salt and 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce in large bowl; stir in Canadian bacon. Pour over bread cubes. Let mixture stand 5 minutes. Bake 40 minutes or until mixture is puffed and set. Prepare Hollandaise sauce as package directs. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco sauce. Keep warm until ready to use. Serve casserole with warm Hollandaise sauce.

Classic Bloody Mary

Combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice and Tabasco Original Red Sauce; stir, and pour over ice. Garnish with a celery stalk.


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$995.00 This service includes: Collation of information, one person transfer of remains to funeral home, use of facilities for mandatory waiting period, preparation of remains (not embalming), cremation container, transfer of remains to crematory, securing death certificate and filing of certificate with appropriate town or city, and crematory fee.

Route 44 • Greenville Common Greenville, RI (401) 949-0180 andersonwinfield.net

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Protecting the Green Creating landscapes that preserve natural resources Over the past decade, more and more Americans have become attuned to the environment. They’re decreasing their carbon footprints, buying local and learning to grow their own food. It’s a national movement, but locally, the Rhode Island Nursery & Landscape Association (RINLA) is behind the scenes supporting these efforts on behalf of green-related industries. Since 1919, RINLA has represented nurseries, sod growers, farmers, greenhouses, designers, landscape architects and more. Basically, if it’s grown outside, they’re a part of it. “You can see how closely linked we are to Rhode Island’s quality of life,” says Shannon Brawley, executive director for RINLA. “We play this huge role in every-

body’s life and they just don’t realize it.” Often times, landscaping is an afterthought - an accessory to the main attraction or, in this case, your home. But having seen what her members can do, Brawley says that designing your lawn should be done from a big-picture perspective. “You want to step back and look at your landscape as a whole. You want to take that kind of integrated approach,” she said. Even if you plan to care for your lawn and gardens yourself, Brawley says it is always a good idea to consult with a professional. The lawn is the foundation for an attractive property, and should be cared for accordingly. You should mow your lawn at a high setting to promote deep root growth and avoid insect infestations. Clippings can then be recycled, leaving them on your lawn to replenish nutrients to the roots. New varieties of sod and grass continue to be developed that are drought resistant and offer other benefits. “Hire a professional that is going to put the lawn in correctly,” she said. The RINLA website has a tool that identifies members geographically. Members


VOLUNTEER COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE And help turn lives of hurt into lives of hope.

can help you identify the types of grass, flowers, plants or trees you want, and which will work in your area. More and more, Brawley says clients are looking to create yards that support Mother Nature. “We’re seeing, in the industry, a real pull toward the creation of habitat,” she said. That is true both for growing native plants that support wildlife, and also for preserving water resources. The average lawn needs no more than one inch of water each week, and since the state receives between 39 and 54 inches of rain annually, lawns should be watered sparingly, only when dry conditions necessitate it. At this year’s Spring Flower and Garden Show, many exhibitors showed off their ideas for protecting water resources. Many RINLA clients are following suit, opting for permeable paving that reduces water runoff, or using rain barrels and garden swales. Rain barrels capture rainwater that can later be used to care for your lawn and gardens. Similarly, swales are ditches that collect water and allow that water to slowly soak in, supporting nearby growth. “You’re looking at water as a resource, rather than waste,” Brawley said. Even if you don’t have a lawn, she recommends vertical gardening or container gardening to improve your indoor-outdoor space and to support wildlife. “No space is too small,” she said. From her office on URI’s East Farm, Brawley says it is an exciting time to be green, because so many Rhode Islanders are becoming educated about natural resources. Even in cities, she sees that awareness developing. Restoring natural life to urban landscapes continues to be a priority for RINLA. Individuals can support that mission in many ways, including planting native plants, managing storm water, reducing pesticide and herbicide use, keeping cats indoors, reducing outdoor lighting and recycling more. “You want to protect open space and farms, so then, where are people more likely to live? They’re living in suburban, urban areas, so it’s going to be really important for us to support livable urban communities,” she said. She believes that restoring natural life and protecting natural resources in our communities will ultimately help people to live happier, healthier lives. “You need that special place when you go home to relax. It really forces you to slow down and evaluate what’s important,” she said. RINLA will host its Green Market Festival on Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Farmer’s Daughter and Landscape Creations of Rhode Island in South Kingstown. The theme of this event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is “Celebrating RI Green Economy and the Environment.” For more information on RINLA, visit www.rinla.org or call 874-5220.

We are a well established, stable community dedicated to providing quality care for Assisted living and Dementia Care Residents. Affordable Assisted Living and Dementia Care as well as Skilled Nursing Come and experience the Cortland Place difference where everyone is cared for, Like family. Call Jen Burns 401-949-3880, ext 140 to schedule a visit and take home one of our homemade apple pies


For more information call CASA 401-458-3330 PAID FOR BY


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Bridging the generation gap

EPOCH Assisted Living on Blackstone Boulevard in Providence has started a new monthly reading program with the nearby Early Learning Center. EPOCH residents read stories to pre-school students ages 3 and 4 from the Center, and everyone participates in activities like charades. Of course, punch and cookies are part of the fun, too, provided by EPOCH. (Photos courtesy of Warren Sullivan)

Guide to Garden Clubs STATE FEDERATION Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs www.RIGardenClubs.org LOCAL CHAPTERS Apple Blossom Garden Club: Greene Barrington Garden Club (BarringtonGardenClub. blogspot.com) Bristol Garden Club (BristolGardenClub.com) Chatham Village Garden Club: Warwick

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Cindy-Wood Garden Club: East Greenwich Country Garden Club of Oaklawn: Cranston Cumberland Garden Club The Dirt Gardeners: Providence East Greenwich/Warwick Garden Club Edgewood Garden Club: Cranston (EdgewoodGardenClub.org) Gardeners of Westerly Gentian Garden Club: Scituate (GentianGardenClub.org) Governor Francis Garden Club: Warwick (MyGFNA.com) Hameho Garden Club: Barrington Jamestown Garden Club Newport Garden Club (NewportGardenClub.org) Perennial Planters Garden Club: Providence (PerennialPlanters.org) Plum Beach Garden Club: Saunderstown (PlumBeachClub.com) Portsmouth Garden Club (PortsmouthGardenClub.com) Quononoquott Garden Club: Jamestown Seaside Garden Club: Newport Sogkonate Garden Club: Little Compton (Sogkonate.org) South County Garden Club (SouthCountyGardenClubofRI.org) Sundial Garden Club: Providence Tiverton Garden Club (TivertonGardenClub.blogspot.com) Wantaknowhow Garden Club: West Greenwich Western Cranston Garden Club Ye Kingstowne Garden Club: North Kingstown PT | 






Elli Panichas: Reviving a forest A Nature-Quiz: You hike up a narrow path in a forest laden with blueberry and blackberry bushes. You pass cathedral rocks, a few with hieroglyphic-type lines. Native Americans gathered here, to savor a panoramic vista that spreads for miles. Where are you? Clue: Not New Mexico, British Columbia or New Hampshire Answer: Silver Lake, on the Providence/Johnston line. You are on “the Hill.” Not Federal Hill, Smith Hill or College Hill, but the highest of them all - Neutaconkanut Hill. The vista spreads from Woonsocket to Fall River to Newport.

Mike Lusi, Trail Manager, Robert Fitzpatrick, NHC Vice President, grimace in amusement as Elli introduces them as ‘the next generation.

View from the Hilltop Meadow

Guided walk to the King Monument

Unique outcroppings within this Oak/Hickory Forest. 26 | PT

Elli Panichas grew up near this Hill. During the Depression, in the summer, her family, with hundreds of other families, ate picnics on the Hill; they strolled through the flower gardens; they listened to band concerts at the peak. For immigrant families crowded into three-decker tenements, the Hill marked a bucolic respite. When the Works Progress Administration (WPA) opened hiking trails in the 1930s, people would saunter up. “The Hill was the life of the neighborhood,” Panichas recalls. The Depression didn’t mark the “glory days” of the Hill. Its glory began with the Narragansetts and other tribes who gathered on the top, where they looked down upon Silver Lake and the settlement beneath. Throughout the forest, carvings on rocks mark the rising and the setting of the sun. Today, we see the large rocks as lovely; the Natives saw them as sacred places, where braves hunted and prayed. Roger Williams noted this special place. From the Native Americans to today, the Hill has had a checkered past. The Industrial Revolution brought mill-owners to Providence, who recognized the power of the region’s waterways and the beauty of the Hill. The natives had no concept of “ownership”; but the English settlers did. Eventually, “ownership” - marked not by centuries of use but by deed - passed to two families, the Bordens and the Kings. Today atop the Hill, a stone monument traces the lineage of the Kings, a family that petered out in the early 20th century when the heirs had no children. The forest remained open to the public. Late in the 19th century, families from the East Side would take the trolley to stroll the paths. From the King family, ownership passed to the city of Providence, which maintained the Hill as a park. But the land wasn’t protected from either development or neglect. After World War II, the city sold off some house-lots and the forest fell into disrepair. Weeds grew over the hiking trails. The city no longer maintained the gardens. The band concerts stopped. In the vacuum, new “users” took over: drug dealers, vandals and delinquents, who found the forest a perfect cover for their gatherings. Not surprisingly, neighbors stopped coming. Years passed. The Depression-era families who had loved the Hill moved on; their children lived in the suburbs. The new families who settled in the three-deckers warned their children to avoid the Hill. Panichas grew up at the foot of the Hill, but after marriage, moved away. When she returned to Rhode Island in 1971, she built a house on the top of the Hill. She relished the panorama, but not the reputation.

“The pristine forest had become a dangerous dumping ground,” she said. She joined with a few other families who lived on the Hill. They resolved to restore Neutaconkanut. The group began their research into the history of the forest and the Native Americans who lived there. Their newly formed Neutaconkanut Hill Conservancy (NHC), a 501(c)3 non-profit, partnered with the city’s Parks and Recreations Department. Their mission: reviving this neglected Hill. In phase one, this partnership cleared the land of weeds, debris and even abandoned cars. Elli’s career had given her the wherewithal to forge relationships with organizations that could help. She had served as publications director at Rhode Island College, followed by ownership of a marketing/design studio. In retirement, she had the time to focus on the Hill. Others brought their own expertise. “We have a landscape architect, carpenter, police office, librarian, electrician, realtor, retired Army officer and a journalist/photographer - along with other members’ talents,” she said. In 2008, the city received a $100,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Management to restore the trails. Students from Providence College’s Urban Action Program joined with scores of volunteers to dig, shovel, weed and discard. Today, the cleanup is complete. Phase II is underway, introducing this urban forest to Rhode Island’s urbandwellers. Last summer, the Rhode Island Philharmonic performed Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf ” atop the Hill, drawing an audience of 450. Throughout the year, the Conservancy holds Family Days and seasonal guided walks up the trails. This year, the Paul Cuffee School incorporated the Hill into their fourth grade science curriculum. Next year, Elli hopes for more schools’ participation. In September, the Conservancy will invite all Rhode Islanders to explore the Hill. A History Committee is soliciting photographs and anecdotes from families who once lived in the area (including seven former governors). The day will include activities, music, food and hikes. Urban residents have few opportunities to appreciate nature, or to develop a culture of conservation. “We are lucky to have Neutaconkanut Hill as a place for that to happen,” said Robert McMahon, director of Parks for the city of Providence. Visit this special place, a spot that enchanted Native Americans. For more information, visit the Conservancy’s website at nhill.org.

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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

Aerial History In Rhode Island UP UP ANDAWAY!! In January 1992, Rhode Island Governor Bruce B. Sundlun made public plans for, a $192 million major rebuilding of the state airport facility at Hillsgrove. The plan calls for a 268,000 square foot terminal that, according to state officials, will eventually be of no cost to the state. According to a report of the American Automobile Association, ground was broken for the new two tier terminal in December 1993. The terminal and other areas of improvement are scheduled to be completed by 1997. IMPACT ON RHODE ISLAND The report notes that in 1990, the number of passengers that passed through Green Airport reached 2.5 million and the impact on the Rhode Island economy exceeded $437.5 million annually. In addition, the airport with over 1200 workers, was one of the state’s largest employers in the 1990s. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS’ FALTERING MOTOR All of this occurred in less than ninety-years after Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first free flight in an aeroplane on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk , North Carolina . Their early engine was similar to that of a contemporary automobile with four cylinders in line, with water cooled barrels and air cooled heads. This early engine delivered 12 h.p. for 179lbs. in weight, and carried the Wrights for a distance of 852 feet in 59 seconds. To those of us in the twentieth century, aware of the massive jet planes now landing at Green Airport this minor miracle seems far in the distant past. John Williams Haley, in The Old Stone Bank History of

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The Wright Brothers Plane on the day of the first flight December 17, 1903 Rhode Island commenting on the busy day and night air traffic in 1944, says, it’s a long way from the “over sized box kite, a sagging, fragile contraption of light wood, cloth, glue and wires, propelled by a coughing, faltering, smoking gasoline motor (that) carried a human being into the air. for the first time in the history of the world”. MYTH AND IMAGINATION Man’s desire to fly, of course, preceded the Wright brothers by many centuries The Greeks were aware of this obsession of man for in their mythology they tell of Daedalus and his son Icarus who supposedly flew with wings made of wax and feathers. In the rich imagination or myth, we were told that the architect Daedalus, after building the labyrinth for King Minos, sought to flee from Crete to Sicily . Unfortunately, as they were flying towards their safe haven

Daedalus’ young, head strong son Icarus, against his father’s advice, flew too close to the sun and the wax melted and plunged the lad to his death. Many real attempts to soar above the earth were made during the Renaissance and some of the worlds greatest minds worked toward that goal, Inventors who tried this were Leonardo daVinci (1500), Francisco de Lana (1650) and Sir George Cayley (1816). Their finest efforts, however, were to no avail. AEROSTATION - THE BALLOONS In October l783, Monsieur Jean Francois PilatredeRozier was able to ascend from the earth in a balloon fashioned by Jacques and Joseph Mongolfier. John Williams Haley, in his history of Rhode Island says that less than twenty years later, Rhode Islanders became very much interested in aero-station, the sci-

ence of aerial navigation dealing with lighter than air vehicles. Haley says that in 1900, a dog and a cat were sent up in a small linen balloon. He notes they, “Went up very genially, without expression of alarm”. He goes on to say, “to the dog it proved fatal, but the cat, blessed with eight extra lives, escaped”. Serious ballooning involving humans in Rhode Island, however, began with James K. Allen, who first soared above Rhode Island in 1856. We are told by Haley that Allen made his first ascent from a vacant lot in providence which is the site of the Providence City Hall. Allen thrilled Rhode Islanders by his flights and was the highlight of many Fourth of July celebrations. He and his son Ezra, became famous when they enlisted in the Federal Army during the Civil War as observers. According to John Haley, the Allens’ met Count Zeppelin, then a member of the German Embassy at Washington, and gave the famous “inventor of the lighter than air dirigible” his first ride in the aircraft. From the late 1850’s until the twentieth century success of the Wrights, ballooning became a delightful pastime to partake in or to watch. One early newspaper report (circa 1857) tells us “the balloons went up slowly and majestically...they floated down the Bay and later passed in a northeasterly direction over the country, within hailing distance and speaking frequently to the people over whose heads they were passing...”. The story of early aviation and the coming of the airport to Rhode Island will be continued.

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Dinner and a Show Cranston’s Mezza for Lebanese and American cuisine “You’ve got to try their grape leaves,” my friend Richard told me. We did, and Joyce proclaimed that Eli Makhlouf makes the finest grape leaves she has ever tasted. Eli is the owner, operator and chef of Mezza, one of Cranston’s best restaurants, specializing in Lebanese and American dishes. He has been in the restaurant business since his college days in Boston and then on to more recent ventures, owning a pizzeria in Coventry and a year at Water’s Edge in Pawtuxet Village. Eli recently opened Mezza at 1460 Oaklawn Ave. in the large 1500 block of stores and restaurants near Phred’s Drugs, a space recently occupied by a cupcake and wine bar. We enjoyed his Mezza Plate #1, which featured generous portions of three grape leaves, hummus and tabouleh, all prepared in-house, and as fresh and tasty as could be. A garnish of pickled cucumber and turnip came from Lebanon, and were a fine addition to the plate, along with the pita bread ($9.95). For the same price, the Mezza Plate #2 substitutes Baba ganoush for the grape leaves. The entrée menu offers everything from linguine alfredo ($9.95) to surf and turf ($15.95), with most items, Lebanese and American, falling in the $12.95 range. A Syrian man sitting at the next table told us, “This is as close to the way my mom made her dishes as I’ve ever had.” I chose the lamb kabob, served with rice pilaf and steamed veggies. The tender lamb was marinated with fried onions, which gave it a sweet, savory taste. I never would have thought of cooking lamb with onions, but it blends beautifully. Joyce chose the chicken shawarma, a chicken breast marinated in garlic, with a side of Eli’s homemade garlic sauce, creating another delicious taste. A Greek salad added to her enjoyment of the meal. Mezza will occasionally serve leg of lamb as a special; a dish that Eli says requires tender loving care to create properly. Not only is the food served hot and tasty, but the colorful presentation also caused us to sit and look at it before lifting our forks. Prices are quite reasonable, the food is cooked to order and the portions are large enough to provide most of us with

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a delicious lunch the next day. Mezza is closed Sunday and Monday so Eli can spend some time at his Warwick home with his two daughters, who were seated in a back table doing their homework during our dinner. Mezza is open for dinner Tuesday and Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fish and chips are a Friday special.

Park Theatre solidifies its niche with Engelbert If you were part of the older, enthusiastic, sold-out crowd at the Park Theatre recently, you were treated to a standout performance by 76-year-old Engelbert Humperdink, who proved that he still has the pipes and the charisma to wow his audience. Engelbert had the crowd in the palm of his hand as he sang his greatest hits, throwing in a few from a new duet album, where he sings with the likes of Elton John and Willie Nelson. Engelbert brought back memories of the old Warwick Musical Theatre, where some of the greatest performers returned in the twilight years of their careers, some sounding better than ever, and others not knowing when to retire. The Park has succeeded in bringing in the former, with Engelbert topping the list. Manhattan Transfer, Dr. John, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Buddy Guy and The Glenn Miller Orchestra all filled the 1,200 seats and attracted many senior citizens who were thrilled with memories of the past. On June 7, the Park is bringing in The Kingston Trio for another nostalgic evening, which is sure to be a sell-out. Jusuf Ghandi is the person responsible for booking these performers and keeping the music tradition alive. We’ll be looking for more performances that attract those of us who can’t get enough of the great music from the past performed by artists like Engelbert who “still have it.” I’ve also noticed a number of middleaged folks who brought their parents or their children to the shows, exposing them to a time when music was music.

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The Rant My writing career kicked in during the era of the penny postcard. For 1 cent, I could rant and sign and send, or spew my scribbles across the land. You didn’t stick a stamp, you just had to drop the drab item into the khaki corner box and, voila! You kept in touch with cousins, chums, charming girls, neighbors or classmates. I also, then and still, like to cut out a square from the daily funnies and paste it on. If I ever came across any of those messages while visiting, I might have a look, but often couldn’t decipher my own scrawl or even get the point I was trying to make. In these days of sophisticated instant access - friending or texting or whatever people do in the cafes with their magical miniature devices - I have tried to find artistry or tomfoolery in the form of Ranting. Now, I know I did not invent the genre I label “The Rant,” but I have polished my version of it via simple email. If I do not deliver my regular Rant to my son and youngest child, he will shoot me a return, RSVP e-mail demanding the daily dose. I use no capital letters. I finish my anecdotes without a dot, a period or any punctuation, at the end. I omit the final “e” in words like hav or giv. And I TRY to misspell words, on purpose, whenever the intelligent computer lets me get away with it. I used to get an automatic compliment from my Dell - or is it an Apple? This is true: it jumped out with the declaration “You have perfect spelling!” People raise eyebrows in disbelief until they see it themselves with astonishment. It’s been a while by now since I received this intended flattery. Whew! If you want to stay young, you have to abandon all the care and respect you used to be so proud of during your childhood! What do I mean by a Rant? Well, it is stuffed with non-sequiturs, and contains mostly self-mockery bordering on confession, but without any moral or meaning. I print only insults and complaints, never anything cheerful or useful. I eschew logic in favor of pointlessness and absurdity. I prefer gloom, defeat and petty worrying or time wasting, and avoid pleasurable reminiscence, in favor of agonizing reminders of failure or embarrassment. I may let fly with anger, rage or contempt, but never righteous disapproval, simply personal irritation about minor inconveniences. If I laugh before pressM 

ing the send button, I know I’m on the right track. My son, by the way, grades my contributions, tries to hurt my feelings or betray my confidences, and never, ever, responds with anything similar from his end of our world, only crits my complaints about my lot in life. He does, however, admiringly and affectionately - even respectfully - “publish” them, by forwarding the more outrageous attacks on sanity to his friends and even to their fathers and grandmothers. I have started a trend, perfected a genre of expression, and made an art form out of AOL. I do have one or two more or less sincere principles and guidelines. Kindness to animals is one. A taste for restraint in filling your plate and a preference for a certain degree of abstemiousness. Watch your gut. I like nice table manners. I have a patriotic streak in my nature, since I was a Depression baby and a Duration (World War II) boyhood. I like old things and have a hard time purchasing anything new. Even these ideals can be contradictory, with a lot of exceptions and excuses. However, I also like waste and admire kids who throw pennies into the street, although I admit, I also pick them up. I pepper my fancy thoughts with foul language for flavoring and savoring. In fact, I may have invented all these ploys. As a boy, I strung a string from my bedroom window to Faith’s next-door chamber sill. We spoke through the echo of a dixie cup, or clothes-pinned a piece of paper with a few code words. So spring marks a special time for me, when I can include among my rants just a tiny iota of fatherly advice about how to save the world for tomorrow. Take good care of yourself; you belong to me. You see, I love the silly old songs and find wisdom within their nonsense. So here’s my Rant for the month. Keep on looking for the bluebird and listening for his song, whenever May flowers come along. No, let’s re-write that in the form of a Rant; Squawk like a blue jay and listen to the mockingbird.

Senior Olympics celebrates 36 years The Ocean State Senior Olympics celebrates their 36th anniversary in 2013 with a schedule that includes 15 events. The traditional opening weekend is scheduled for June 7, 8 and 9, with the games signature event, track and field, set for Sunday, June 9 at Rhode Island College. The scheduled events include archery, three-on-three basketball, 10pin bowling, cycling, golf, pickleball, 1,500-meter race walk, 5K road race, softball, swimming, table tennis, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. The Ocean State Senior Olympics Providence native and Rhode Island has launched a new website at www.ris- College graduate Virginia O’Connor eniorolympics.org for the 2013 games. smiles for the camera following a 50The technology for both the website yard freestyle race in the R.i. College and athlete registration was developed Recreation Center at the Ocean State by Fusesport, the registration and web- Senior Olympics. (Submitted photo) site provider for the National Senior Games to be held in Cleveland this summer. Rhode island is one of many states that have signed up for this service, which will allow participants for the first time to register online. Athletes will still be able to register by printing out a registration form and mailing it in to the Ocean State Senior Olympics. The RI Senior Games offer men and women over the age of 50 a sporting experience that emphasizes fun, fellowship and friendly competition at some of the outstanding athletic facilities in the state. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded in each sport, event and age group. The sporting competitions are held within five-year age increments, beginning with 50 to 54, 55 to 59, 60 to 64 and continuing through the oldest participant. The Ocean State Senior Olympics is a member of the National Senior Games Association and is the only sanctioned qualifying event in Rhode Island for the national competition. The National Games are held bi-annually with the next national games scheduled for this summer from July 21 to Aug. 5, in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information, call the Ocean State Senior Olympics hotline at 3839585 or visit the website at www.riseniorolympics.org.




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On the boat again Check out the Rhode Island Boat Show on May 4 and 5 at five locations statewide. View sail and powerboats of all sizes and chat with vendors. Admission is free, and the show features sailing classes and demonstrations with Narragansett Sailing. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. www. rhodeislandboatshow.com. Newport in the 1840s Newport Historical Society Adjunct Curator Matthew Keagle will discuss Newport’s transition from trade to tourism and the decade of the 1840s as a crossroads for the city. Admission to this lecture is $5 per person and guests are asked to RSVP to 8418770. Colony House on Washington St., May 9, 5:30 p.m. All about the suits Custom clothing expert Jim Fortier of Marc Allen Clothiers and RISD Professor Dennis Congdon will discuss the late RISD professor Richard Merkin, considered the “ultimate original,” artist-dandy. The program will take place on May 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chace Center Galleries at 224 Benefit Street in Providence. Join the Cotton Club Slater Mill Museum plans its first fundraiser of the year for May 10 from 7 to 11 p.m. Cel-


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CALENDAR ebrate the museum and the decade that founded the Old Slater Mill Association: the roaring 20s. All proceeds support educational class trips. For more info on tickets or sponsorship, contact Kasey at kjohnson@ slatermill.org, www.slatermill.org or call 725-8638. Must be May URI’s East Farm hosts their Spring Festival on May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free, and guests will find green exhibits, a URI Master Gardener plant sale, kids activities, food and entertainment. Go to www. uri.edu or call 874-2900. Grand opening celebration The Rhody Center for World Music and Dance hosts its grand opening on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free, and guests can take part in free classes, teacher demonstrations and activites for all. Free classes run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., demonstrations from 4 to 5 p.m. and an open dance floor from 5 to 6 p.m. Visit TheRhodyCenter.org for a schedule or call 327-0920 for details. Out in the garden Join Blithewold Mansion Grounds Assistant Manager Dan Christina for Mornings in the Vegetable Garden, a tour with tips for the home gardener. Program runs all summer, starting on Saturday, May 11, from 10:3011:30 a.m. Admission is free with regular Mansion Admission. 101 Ferry Road in Bristol. Another Spring Festival Tiverton Four Corners will host a Spring

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“Nestival” on Mother’s Day weekend to benefit the Tiverton Food Pantry. On May 11 and 12, for $1 admission, pick a prizefilled egg with prizes from local retailers in the village. 12 to 5 p.m. 3852 Main Road in Tiverton. Time to give back Join the Volunteer Fair at Rough Point in Newport on May 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. Speak to non-profit organizations from Aquidneck Island and the surrounding area and find opportunities to give back to your community. Listen to music from Doris Duke’s record collection and visit the cash bar. There will also be prize drawings throughout the night. Free and open to the public. 680 Bellevue Avenue All about WaterFire Visit the Jane Pickens Theater and Event Center on May 16 at 7 p.m. for a screening of “WaterFire: Art and Soul of a City,” a documentary that takes viewers behind the scenes of one of the state’s most popular attractions for tourists and locals alike. Admission is $15, and the theater is located at 49 Touro Street in Newport. Take a walk On May 18, explore the Colonial Point neighborhood and the Brick Market area for a walking tour that gets you inside colonial homes and covers the area’s vibrant landscape of craftsmen, merchants, religious dissenters and more. Admission is $15 per person, or $10 for Newport Historical Society members. Tours leave from 127 Thames Street at 11 a.m., running through 12:15 p.m.

Bring your appetite Taste the flavors of Rhode Island on May 23 at 5:30 p.m. at Taste of the Bay, featuring local beer, wine and spirits with food from Rhode Island’s top restaurants. This event also features live music and local art, all from Save the Bay’s waterfront campus in Providence. For more information, call 2723540 or visit savebay.org. Come on Down! The Price is Right will be on stage live at Twin River Casino on May 24 at 8 p.m. Admission is $30 for guests over the age of 18 and guests must arrive at 5 in order to be eligible for selection in the game. For tickets or more information, call 475-8346 or visit www.twinriver.com/eventscenter. php. High tea St. Columba’s Chapel in Middletown is hosting their 22nd annual English Garden Party on Saturday, June 8, 1 - 5 p.m., rain or shine, on the church grounds at 55 Vaucluse Avenue. Parishioners look forward to welcoming visitors and have been busy preparing the tea, collecting salable items, baking for the Plentiful Pantry, arranging flowers for the Chapel Flower Festival and organizing children’s activities. Admission is free, and tickets for the Devonshire Cream Tea are $10. The Children’s Tea, which includes a show/workshop presented by POW! Science! is $5 per child. Tickets may be purchased on the day or in advance at the church office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Call the chapel at 847.5571 or visit www.stcolumbaschapel. org for more information.

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An issue dedicated to green thumbs, covering gardening, landscaping and more


An issue dedicated to green thumbs, covering gardening, landscaping and more