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primetime free

rhode island

se pte m b e r 2011

The ‘it’ Factor

Look your best from head to toe

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could sit here and tell you that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and true beauty comes from within, but let’s be real - in this country, we care about appearances. Those sayings are true, but at the end of the day, if you feel good about yourself, you generally approach life in a more positive way. For Americans, and women in particular, feeling good can take a lot of time and effort - and money. A 2009 study by the YWCA showed that women in the United States spend $7 billion each year on cosmetics. Despite the stigma of the “metrosexual” label, more and more men are spending big bucks on their appearances too. It’s no longer taboo for men to get their eyebrows waxed, dye away their gray hairs or invest part of their paycheck into refreshing their wardrobe. In the past decade, the number of cosmetic surgical procedures (like facelifts) and the number of nonsurgical procedures (like Botox) has skyrocketed by more than 500 percent! We’re not saying those priorities are always a good thing, but people have the right to spend their money as they choose, and the bottom line is that people - men and women - should make decisions that make them happy, no one else. In this issue of PrimeTime, we cover some of the dos and don’ts of style and beauty to help you look your best. Annette Tutalo is the director of education at Rhode Island’s Paul Mitchell School for hair care. She has seen fads come and go, but as someone who stays up on the trends and knows her hair, she can customize the perfect style for anyone. She broke down the best cuts for any face shape, and offers advice on how to keep your hair healthy. When it comes to skin care, Dr. Ellen Frankel is the authority in the Ocean State. This month, she offers tips to avoid getting wrinkles. And if the wrinkles have already set in, she offers everything September 2011 from Botox and dermal fillers to radiofrequency 1944 Warwick Ave. treatments that will take years off your face. Warwick, RI 02889 401-732-3100 FAX 401-732-3110 This month, we help you dress at any age thanks to fashion experts Jonina Spriggs from Distribution Special Delivery Nordstrom and author Glen Sondag. Together, they offer must-have wardrobe advice for men and women this fall season. PUBLISHERS Before you fill your closet, though, get to Barry W. Fain, Richard G. Fleischer, John Howell your ideal size with personal trainers Matthew Gagliano from Fitness Together and Steve Skitek EDITOR from 426 Fitness. They both offer workout plans Meg Fraser for any skill level and hope to improve the quality of life for their clients. MARKETING DIRECTOR We also caught up with the folks at the GloDonna Zarrella ria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to talk about rebuilding confidence for women Creative Director who have been through the ringer. Breast cancer Linda Nadeau survivors involved with Gloria Gemma have a new outlook on life and their appearances thanks WRITERS to the programs and services that the organizaDon Fowler, Don D’Amato, John Howell, tion offers. Joan Retsinas, Mike Fink, Meg Chevalier, Cynthia Glinick, Joe Kernan, Kerry Park If you’ve had your fill of style and beauty, slip into your most comfy pair of PJs (the kind you ADVERTISING wouldn’t answer the door in) and catch up on REPRESENTATIVES your reading with our regulars, like Mike Fink, Donna Zarrella – Don D’Amato and Kerry Park. Carolann Soder, Lisa Mardenli, Janice Torilli,

Pr i m e Ti m e

Suzanne Wendoloski, Gina Fugere

Classified ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Sue Howarth – Brittany Wardell –

Happy shopping

Meg Fraser editor

PRODUCTION STAFF Matt Bower, Joseph Daniels, Brian Geary, Lisa Yuettner

nextmonth A Joint Publication of East Side Monthly and Beacon Communications. PrimeTime Magazine is published monthly and is available at over 400 locations throughout Rhode Island. Letters to the editor are welcome. We will not print unsigned letters unless exceptional circumstances can be shown.

In October, we turn the focus from feeling good to doing good. October is our annual volunteer issue, and we’ll bring you the people and organizations that are making a difference in Rhode Island.


4 your best accessory Find the ideal hairstyle for you

5 beauty and the botox Dr. Ellen Frankel talks skin treatment from sunscreen to facelifts

6 fitness together Matthew Gagliano talks fitness for seniors

7 the in-crowd

All of your must-have fashions, courtesy of Nordstrom

8 rebuilding confidence

Gloria Gemma puts the spotlight on cancer survivors

10 anything other than naked

Men: don’t miss this guide to male style

14 estate jewelry

Place Jewelers shares a timeline of gems

shape up 18 Steve Skitek creates tailored workouts for every age and skill set SENIOR ISSUES Director’s column........................................................................ 11 Living a long life well................................................................. 24 Retirement Sparks....................................................................... 27 FOOD & DRINK In the kitchen................................................................................. 12 LIFESTYLES What do you Fink?....................................................................... 13 Senior athletes keep competition intense.................... 15 Gay & Gray....................................................................................... 19 That’s Entertainment.................................................................. 28 PEOPLE & PLACES Doer’s profile.................................................................................. 16 A worthy cause............................................................................. 21 Providence seniors publish poetry.................................... 22 A Glimpse of RI’s Past................................................................. 27 PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE Your taxes......................................................................................... 26

b y Meg Fraser

Your Best



style & beauty

s she walks through the Paul Mitchell School, Annette Tutalo exchanges pleasantries with customers she knows by name, and stops to get a hug from a student. Styling hair is what she knows, and teaching the art to young people is what she loves. The director of education for Rhode Island’s Paul Mitchell School, Tutalo has some 200 students under her wing at any given time, and has a knack for knowing exactly the cut, color or style clients are looking for. “They really want to look better; they want to look trendy. They don’t want to look like they’ve had major services done,” she said. For most men and women, she says having a low-maintenance style is key. “They want hair they can actually take care of at home,” she said.

Annette Tutalo at work 4 | PrimeTime

Part of that is education. Tutalo not only educates students, but also gives them the tools to educate customers. Women in particular abuse their hair with harsh chemicals, damaging dyes and overusing hair dryers and flat irons. “Everyone has a blow dryer but no one knows how to use it,” Tutalo says, laughing. Blow dryers should be held six to 12 inches away from hair, and flat irons should be on the lowest setting, eventually getting hotter if need be. Women should straighten their hair in fast, light strokes, and if smoke comes off the hair that means you’re doing too much. If you do a lot of heat treatments, Tutalo says a thermal protection product is a good idea. In the summer especially, she advises clients - and students - to do a deep-conditioning keratriplex treatment at least once a month. Women should use a detangler as well, and avoid shampoos that have sodium hydroxide, which dries out the hair. As far as washing hair, Tutalo says no two people are alike. “If you’re a construction worker and you’re working with dirt every day, I’m going to tell you to wash it every day. If you’re a secretary and you’re in a very clean office and you want to shampoo every other day, you can do that.” When it comes to male clients, Tutatlo says color is the top request. Younger men want highlights that look natural, and older men want to blend away their gray hairs. In the past, men tended to shy away from services like dying or waxing, but in Tutalo’s experience, the modern man cares more about taking good care of himself than earning that metrosexual label. Hence, Paul Mitchell this month launches an all-male hair care line called Mitch. This year’s hot male styles, believe it or not, are all about looking disheveled. “They want the messy look. This is appearing even in the 50 and older group,” Tutalo said. “I think they want to look younger.” Celebrity styles play a big part in that trend. Actors like Robert Pattinson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt have set the bar for that purposefully messy look. Celebrity style icons for older women include Jane Seymour, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christie Brinkley. That goes to show, Tutalo added, that older women can pull off long hair. “There’s no set age to go short. Long hair, if it’s done well and layered appropriately, can be pulled off,” she said. Other hair trends this year include warm, red tones and asymmetrical cuts. Movement in styles is also very popular, and women are opting for waves and curls instead of that stick straight style. “It’s soft and sophisticated,” Tutalo said. Still, she warns that when clients come in with a perfect celebrity picture, they have to be ready for some critiquing. “What you have is a great picture, but we have to work with your facial features and their facial features,” Tutalo said. For example, if someone with a round face brings in a photo of a celebrity with an oval face whose hair is styled back, away from the face, that style might not work. Round faces need something on the face to reduce the roundness. Oval faces can pull off almost anything. Square faces mean hair should not cut sharply at the jaw, and high foreheads often call for bangs. “You can work with a haircut, though. You can customize it to something that’s suitable for him or her,” Tutalo said. “No two people can wear the same look.” Annette Tutalo recommends getting a hair cut every four weeks, though some of the Paul Mitchell clients still come in weekly to freshen up. Seniors over the age of 65 receive half off all services. For more information, visit the Paul Mitchell School at 379 Atwood Avenue in Cranston or call 946-9920 to make an appointment. ■

Photo by Meg Fraser

September 2011

style & beauty

b y Meg Fraser

Beauty & The



Photo by Nicole Carriere

atch a few beauty product infomercials, or flip through a fashion magazine, and you’ll feel assured that you too can look like Angelina Jolie. Visit the office of Dr. Ellen Frankel, though, and she’ll set you straight. She knows that fitting into the Hollywood ideal is impossible. But looking great at any age? That she can help with. “We turn patients away when they have unrealistic expectations,” she said. “I can’t make a 60-year-old look like she’s 18, but I can make a 60-year-old look like a 45-year-old.” Working from the joint offices of RI SkinDoc and Rejuvaderm MediSpa in Cranston, Frankel has decades of experience in skin care. While the SkinDoc side of the business offers treatment for skin conditions and preventative care to help clients achieve clear, beautiful skin, the Rejuvaderm side offers a slew of cosmetic services. When seeking out these treatments, from Botox to dermal fillers, Frankel warns that consumers need to find a doctor they trust. “You need to go to somebody who’s going to be honest,” she said. “I won’t put Botox in anyone where I don’t see wrinkles.” Generally speaking, Frankel says the client who comes in looking for a wrinklereducing treatment is over the age of 40 and has discretionary income. She sits down with them to determine what look they are going for, but will never overdo it. “Bad Botox is bad Botox. If you look like Joan Rivers, you know you’ve gone too far,” she said. “I don’t want my name on their face.” There are several types of treatments used to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. Botox is perhaps the most well known, and essentially works to paralyze the muscles of the face that cause wrinkles to form. The results of the Botox injections, or those of similar products like Dysport, show up on the face within days and last for three to six months. There is little to no pain, and the only potential side effects are bruising (which is rare) and a mild headache. “Basically there are no side effects. Botox is such a quick procedure that it’s over before you know it,” Frankel said. Dermal fillers, like Radiesse or Juvederm, replace lost volume in the face. They last six months to two years, and patients will leave the office looking refreshed. For individuals who want long-lasting results without surgery, Frankel says Sculptra could be an option. A relatively new product on the market, Sculptra reduces the appearance of wrinkles for many years, with the results gradually showing up over the course of several months. September 2011

“The big investment in time is to do Sculptra. You have to be the most patient to use it,” Frankel said. “I think it’s also the only one that’s painful.” A facelift is the most drastic option, as it requires a more invasive procedure, but the results last as long as eight years. A non-surgical, non-injection option is Thermage. Thermage uses radiofrequency technology to heat the skin and stimulate collagen production. The costs of these treatments run the gamut, and depend on how many sessions are necessary. At Rejuvaderm MediSpa, the first injection of Botox is $350, but there are savings for multiple injections, as injecting two areas costs $550. Dermal fillers are in the same price range. Juvederm treatments are around $550, Radiesse is $600 and Sculptra is $700 for the first treatment. Thermage is slightly more expensive, however. An eyelid treatment, for example, will run up to $1,000. Frankel can take care of all of these treatments at her practice, but her number one piece of advice is to avoid premature wrinkles altogether. “The best way to prevent wrinkles is to prevent getting them . The biggest thing is you have to remember the ABCs,” she said. The “A,” is to avoid the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. “B” means use block, or sunblock, with an SPF of 30 or higher and contains zinc. “C” is to cover up your body from sun exposure. The first time a patient comes to see Frankel with a sunburn, she talks to them about the importance of skin care and protection. The second time, she says “they get my wrath.” “I tell everybody they need to use a really good cleanser and sunscreen,” she said. Skin dries with age, so Frankel advises her clients to wash their faces twice a day, avoid heavy makeup with mineral oil, and use products with some moisture to avoid further drying out. And for anyone who believes tanning can clear up skin, Frankel knows that to be a misnomer. “Tanning is an addictive behavior,” she said. “When you put people in the tanning parlor, they get a high. It’s sort of like a narcotic effect.” It’s an addiction she wants her clients to avoid, and reminds them to get any mole or mark checked out if it’s larger than a pencil eraser, if it bleeds, or if it changes size, shape or color. “The only way we can cure melanoma is early detection,” she said. When in doubt, she says, see a doctor. And whether it’s skin care or skin rejuvenation, Frankel can help. ■

PrimeTime | 5

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style & beauty

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health and fitness needs

We often think of fitness programs as something aimed at young or middle aged people. “Not so,” says Matthew Gagliano, owner and Rhode Island Area Director of Fitness Together, a worldwide fitness program that aims to improve quality of life, regardless of age. “The youngest person in our program is 9 years old, and the oldest is in his 90s,” Gagliano said. “We are really building our program for senior citizens, and can provide individual and small group programs. We’ve also gone into some senior centers to explain what we have to offer.” There are four Fitness Together centers in Rhode Island: Barrington, Lincoln, Providence and East Greenwich. A visit to the Barrington location at 334A County Road found a staff of five, all trained with various degrees, plus the usual fitness equipment. Matt sat on an exercise ball

during the interview. He has a BS in physical education from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters in education from Boston University, with over eight years experience in the field. “We specialize in working with people with limitations and special needs, not just athletes,” he emphasized. “Senior issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, general fatigue, balance and diabetes are a large part of our program.” To begin training, Gagliano and his colleagues give clients an initial fitness evaluation, which takes an hour and a half. “We check medical history, nutrition, health and lifestyle. Then we assess each person, establishing four categories: Move-Active-Sport-Extreme. The clients then decide if the program is the right one for them,” he explained. Participants work one-on-one with a personal trainer three times a week, doing strength training in their state of the art, fully equipped private training room. Cardiovascular exercise is an important element. Participants are assessed every six weeks. The Type 2 Diabetes Program combines proper nutrition with exercise, and helps control weight and blood sugar level. Fitness Together is a major sponsor of the annual Step Out/Walk To Stop Diabetes, which will be held this year on Sunday, Oct. 2 at Roger Williams Park. Another component of Fitness Together is the Nutrition Together program. “This is not a diet program,” Gagliano said. “It is an integral part of the total package, whose motto is Eat Healthy, Eat Often, Eat Light. Goals are established, records kept, and assessments made for every participant in Fitness Together. They may include weight loss or gain, muscle tone, stress reduction or overall health. Gagliano is focusing on seniors who want to improve their general well being, highlighting illnesses that slow people down as they age. “My greatest pleasure is in training seniors to be sure that they live an active and high quality life,” he said. For more information about Fitness Together, call 289-2330, or check out their website at ■

Phone#________________________________________________________________________________ e-mail__________________________________________________________________________________

6 | PrimeTime

September 2011

style & beauty

b y Meg Fraser


In-Crowd Q&A with

Nordstrom stylist

Jonina Spriggs

For more than a century, Nordstrom department stores have brought high-end fashion to discerning shoppers across the country. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, the retailer now has 213 stores in 28 states, and reaches beyond those borders with its online presence. From eveningwear and business attire to day-to-day styles, they are arbiters of taste. This month, we caught up with the style gurus at Nordstrom to find out the dos and don’ts of fashion this fall. Nordstrom Personal Styling Manager Jonina Spriggs gave us the must-have tips for the perfect closet and the perfect September looks. What are the major trends we’re going to see this fall?

Jade is the new black this fall. We are seeing this jewel tone in pants, jackets, shells, shoes and accessories. Any particular colors or patterns that stand out this season? You know the saying, “fashion is cyclical?” This season we should embrace this concept since we are seeing the return of styles that were popular in the 1980’s, such as strong shoulder silhouettes, decorative buttons, bright (almost neon) colors, etc. We are also continuing to see styles that were popular in the 1970s re-surface such as platform or “flatform” shoes, wide-leg trousers and feminine blouses in blush tones.

What are the must-have items in a woman’s closet?

There are four items that every woman needs in her closet, no matter the season.

1. Black sheath dress 2. A pair of killer jeans 3. A great white blouse 4. A black blazer.

To remain current and relevant to the season, add some of the above-mentioned trends and colors. September 2011

What are the must-have accessories?

While you probably won’t go out and get a feather extension in your hair this season like our daughters are doing, you can make this trend a part of your wardrobe in the form of a broach or novelty necklace. Also, while we all have our fine jewelry pieces that will never go out of style, make it a point to get yourself a large, fun, oversized piece of fashion jewelry. Pendants are everywhere. Find one that speaks to your style and wear it with everything!

Any tips for looking great and still staying within a budget?

The four basics I talked about before are worth the initial investment; these are pieces you will wear forever. Just think: Take the total cost of the item and divide it by the 25 times in a year that you will probably wear it, and the item has paid for itself! When you see a trend that speaks to you, don’t feel the need to invest in it in a big way, go for the necklace or shoe or the look of the trend at a price that works for your budget.

For a 65-year-old woman, how do you stay trendy while still “dressing your age?”

Who, in Hollywood, stands out as a potential style icon for the 65 and over woman?

Helen Mirren is the perfect example of a woman who dresses in current and nearly “trendy” items in a way that works for her body and age without worrying what everybody is thinking of her.

I want to be comfortable while still looking great. How do you dress up a pair of jeans?

The key to being comfortable in jeans is first finding a comfortable pair of jeans. Next, go back to your essentials that you bought because they were comfortable. If these materials are still too dressy, look for comfortable knits. Ponte knit is surfacing everywhere. You can find key items that are lined and will have more structure to them but are still comfortable. Always remember, shoes are key. The designer Anyi Liu once said, “If you have to practice walking in a pair of shoes, there is something wrong with the shoes, not you.” ■

First of all, repeat after me: Age is just a number. While this may be something you have heard before, you have to remember that fashion is simply what looks good on you. If you feel good in what you are wearing, you will look good.

PrimeTime | 7

b y Meg Fraser

Rebuilding Confidence: It’s not how you look; it’s how you feel.

And nobody knows that more than the women from the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.

Gloria Gemma is known for their work in research, fundraising and advocacy, but ask the breast cancer patients and survivors involved what they take from the organization, and it’s more likely they’ll reference the sense of community fostered through Gloria Gemma programs. Part of that community is making women feel good about the way they look, often for the first time since their diagnosis. “It’s helping women find beauty from the inside out,” said Carol Donnelly of the Foundation. For the past five years, the Gloria Gemma Fashion Shows have been doing just that. In its first year, the fashion show was organized by a group of interns. To the delight of the Gemma team, it was hugely successful. Survivors walked the runway and showed confidence and beauty in the face of extreme hardship.

The event has grown ever since. Now, each spring, breast cancer patients and survivors walk the runway for the Our Heroes Fashion Show. “They’re people who really need it. They may be going through a rough time or still going through treatment,” Donnelly said. Escorts include family, friends and doctors who have stood by the survivors, and also come from all branches of the nation’s armed forces. For the women involved, they are given an exquisite gown and a seamstress donates her time to make sure each dress fits like a glove. On the day of the fashion show, survivor models have their hair and makeup professionally done. “Think of when you were a little kid playing dress up. You’re queen for a day,” Donnelly said. It also takes a dark time in a woman’s life and puts a positive spin on it. “There was no sadness there; it was happiness,” Donnelly says of the fashion shows. “We want people to take that away.” She knows first hand how important that is. Donnelly is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Treatments left her, and countless other women, feeling tired. Chemotherapy and radiation can leave the skin blotchy, make hair fall out and change skin tone. When hair does come back, often it’s a different color or texture. “You’re not feeling pretty,” Donnelly said. “It’s as much an emotional disease as it is a physical one.” Throughout the year, Gloria Gemma combats those feelings with spa days, complimentary bra fittings (especially helpful for women with a single or double mastectomy) and free hair styling. Several times each year, dress shows raise money for the Foundation while putting survivors in clothes that make them feel good about themselves. No matter how much time has passed since cancer went into remission, there’s anxiety that cancer will return. Then there’s the guilt of feeling like a burden on your family.

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September 2011

style & beauty

Gloria Gemma puts the spotlight on cancer survivors Family and friends believe the disease is in the past and want their loved one to move on. That’s not always so easy. “Everyone expects you to just move on, but unless you’ve been through it, you don’t get it. Fortunately, I hope you never do get it,” Donnelly said. “So much of your time was focused on cancer. You try to get your life back, but it’s hard. You’ve been beat up physically and you don’t feel like you did pre-cancer.” Women who have opted for mastectomies have the added challenge of feeling feminine while grappling with their new appearance. “For some women, it’s very devastating. That can be very emotional, especially if they have to wait for reconstruction,” she said. Gloria Gemma provides an outlet for women to share those emotions, however, and share reservations with people who have gone through the same thing. As Donnelly explained, the decision to have a mastectomy is not an easy one. “The decision to have a mastectomy, the decision to have reconstructive surgery, it has to be your decision alone. You shouldn’t factor in what your husband is going to think or what your parents are going to think,” she said. “It’s how you feel.”

For Donnelly, she first came in contact with the Foundation when she volunteered to help proofread a book of survivor’s personal stories. Sitting around the table, she heard women candidly share their struggles for the first time. “To hear that other people were going through what I went through and other people felt the same way that I did...they validated how I felt. It was liberating,” she said. Gloria Gemma offers support groups and social programs to get women out of the house. Groups like “Stich and bitch,” which is survivor-driven, is a jewelry and craft making class where survivors can build relationships. Every day, Gloria Gemma offers these outlets to lift the spirits and confidence of women who have overcome or are still battling breast cancer. “It’s support in disguise,” Donnelly said. “We may put the programs together, but the survivors that get together, they’re helping each other.” For more information on the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation, visit or call 861-4376. ■

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September 2011

PrimeTime | 9

style & beauty

b y Meg Fraser

Anything other than

Naked By way of background, how did you become interested in fashion? I got interested in fashion at a very young age, around age 12. My mother was a professional seamstress and sewed relentlessly every day in our small home in Minnesota. She would make a wedding dress one day, and draperies the next. She often needed another pair of hands to hold material when she cut patterns. I was that other pair of hands. From those experiences I learned what most young boys had no interest in learning - the difference between cotton and wool, satin and silk, etc. I learned clothing construction as well. It somehow translated into the queer eye and a lifelong interest in clothing. Why do you think fashion is often a taboo subject for men? How do you break that cycle? I don’t know that we have to “break the cycle” as you say. Fashion will likely always be the purview of the female sect. I do believe more men, however, are taking an interest in apparel and how they dress. Women are making fewer clothing decisions for men than they once did.

By day, Glen Sondag is an investment advisor in Chicago. But whether he’s in the office or out to dinner, he’s always dressed for the occasion. The problem for many men, he believes, is that they get little guidance on how to put themselves together and they’re too bashful to ask. It’s a problem Sondag doesn’t have, but one he’s willing to help others with. In his how-to guide, “Anything Other Than Naked,” Sondag breaks down the dos and don’ts of fashion for men and shares some of his personal secrets to looking great.

10 | PrimeTime

When it comes to fabrics and clothing construction, how do you spot quality clothing? The average man is not likely to be very discerning when it comes to clothing construction and likely uses price as a clue to clothing quality, or he relies on brands that he believes offer good quality. There are scores of ways to spot quality. For example, one-ply cashmere sweaters are generally not great quality. When selecting a suit, if the slacks are not lined to the knee in satin, you can bet the quality of the suit is lousy. If a shirt or suit has a pattern, look to see pockets line up with the pattern. Ties with flimsy linings will not hold a good knot. What makes a great suit? Tailoring and the quality of the fabric make for a great suit. Suits are labeled as ‘Super 100, 110, 120 and 130.’ This is a way to tell the quality of the fabric, albeit a Super 130, while a better fabric than a Super 100, will not necessarily wear better. It will look better, however. The quality of the waistband of the trousers is yet another telling example of quality. A heavily reinforced waistband will hold up for many years. You can wear a solid navy blue suit and still not look like everyone else by the way you accent the suit. Adding a colorful pocket square is just one example.

What are the biggest dos and don’ts for male fashion? Biggest do’s: keep your shoes polished and use cedar shoes trees when stored. Learn to tie a tie with a dimple in the knot. Make sure your tie touches the top of your belt buckle but does not extend below the buckle. Socks should be mid-calf or over the calf length and should be darker than the color of the trouser. If you are wearing a sport shirt with the collar open, don’t have a t-shirt showing at the neck - wear a v-neck t-shirt underneath. If you wear a V-neck sweater, wear a button down collar shirt so that the collar doesn’t jump above the sweater. Make sure your trousers touch the top of your shoes. Biggest don’ts: buttoning all three buttons on a three button suit jacket, and buttoning both buttons on a two-button model. The rule is simple: always leave the bottom button unfastened. There is no such thing as a short-sleeved dress shirt; dress shirts (shirts worn with a tie) must be long-sleeved. In your opinion, how do you dress casual without looking messy? Very easy - always simply look neat and clean. Clothes should not be wrinkled, soiled or torn. Shoes should not be dirty or scuffed. You’re invited to a dinner party at a friend’s house. They make no mention of attire. How do you dress for the occasion? When in doubt, dress up, not down. You will never be embarrassed nor have to apologize for looking too good. A good choice for a dinner party would be a sport jacket, no tie. Let’s talk accessories. How do you choose them, and how do you know when to wear them? Be careful to keep jewelry to a minimum. No pinky rings. A bracelet or neck chain is ok, but only when dressing casual. A pocket square is great accessory with a suit or sport jacket. ■

September 2011


b y catherine tayl o r d i re c to r , r i d e p a r t m e n t o f e l d e r l y a f f a i r s


A New Name –

A renewed dedication to the mission During this year’s session of the Rhode Island General Assembly, legislation was passed that directed that the Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs (DEA) become a Division within the state Department of Human Services (DHS). Although this is a significant change, the work and the mission of Elderly Affairs remain the same: “To preserve the independence, dignity, and capacity for choice for seniors, adults with disabilities, families and caregivers.” Governor Lincoln Chafee supports this mission and is committed to ensuring that Rhode Island’s 202,000 persons age 60 and older have a strong and vibrant voice in state government. Later this summer, Governor Chafee will be meeting with members of the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on Aging to talk about the challenges of growing older in the state. As DEA Director, I know it is crucial to retain DEA’s integrity as Rhode’s Island’s State Unit on Aging, as required by the Older Americans Act. Important Older Americans Act funding for home-delivered meals and congregate meal sites, in-home services, disease prevention and health promotion, support for family caregivers, legal services, long-term care ombudsman services, and programs to protect seniors

September 2011

against abuse, neglect and exploitation, depend on it. It is also important that DEA continues to play its federally required role as “effective and visible advocate for older individuals.” As I see it, placing DEA within the DHS administrative structure will also present new opportunities to promote a comprehensive, consumer-directed longterm care system as called for under the Older Americans Act. Steven Costantino, secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and Sandra Powell, director of DHS, are working to ensure that there is a smooth transition of DEA to DHS and that we continue to improve services to seniors and adults with disabilities under the new structure. We are already reaping the benefits of an enhanced partnership with our sister divisions in DHS. DEA has already planned for the future. Recently, DEA submitted its State Plan on Aging for October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2015, to the Administration on Aging (AoA). After seeking input from the state’s aging network agencies, advocates, families, caregivers and consumers at six public hearings held this spring, Rhode Island’s State Plan on Aging sets these goals: • To enable elders to remain in their own homes with

high quality of life for as long as possible through the provision of home- and community-based services, including, but not limited to, supports for family caregivers. • To empower older people to stay active and healthy through Older Americans Act services, including, but not limited to, evidence-based disease and disability prevention programs. • To ensure the rights of older people and prevent their abuse, neglect and exploitation. • To empower older people and their families to make informed decisions about, and be able to easily access, existing home- and community-based options. We at DEA are eager to implement our goals and to continue our work on behalf of Rhode Island’s elders and adults within this new structure, while honoring our strong tradition of customer service. As DEA will continue its role as advocate for the citizens we serve, we will also strive to find new opportunities for supporting seniors and adults with disabilities in their desire to remain independent and in the community. ■

PrimeTime | 11

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Precious Days

Precious days: that’s what Walter Huston called September in his famous post-war song at the top of the Hit Parade. I’m using the phrase to pull back those happy days of yore when the East Side ice cream parlor par excellence was labeled “Rigney’s”. Dan Rigney stays in Bonnet Shores until the autumn equinox, and I meet him at the barbershop in Narragansett. What we talk about is ice cream. Ice cream as history, Rhode Island history throughout our lifetimes, his history as the heir to the “Rigney’s” legacy of the iconic American dessert and mine, as a loyal and devoted customer, a social rendezvous to look forward to as a solace for back to school. Now, Rigney’s ice cream featured many old-time virtues. There was absolutely no commercial tooting of their own horn. The pint cartons were plain white, with no logo and no name. Another claim to fame: the prices were kept very modest, and if they rose with the tides of time, it was but a penny per season, no sudden shocks. A six-cent cone might go up and cost you seven cents; grin and bear it. I remembered the counters as ebony marble, but Dan Jr. tells me they were more complicated than that, with speckles and swirls. At the Rigney’s on Hope Street in Providence, there were dark wooden booths, where you could hide with your date after school let out in the afternoon, as you sipped your cabinet or coffee float. That was once you had outgrown the wrought iron children’s round-table and chair, and given up the chocolate jimmies and moved on to the dignified cups of water in the chrome containers for the delicate paper triangles. Anyway, to sum it all up, it was America. It was what we had fought for and what we came back to with the signing of the peace treaties in the September aftermath of the first Victory Day. Victory for a Rigney’s sundae or banana split. Dan Rigney tells me the details of the start, the reigning glory, and the wide range of his family’s business. The pride, the humility, the generosity of spirit and the bygone methods of his father’s fortunes. “Do you know why we Rhode Islanders call our coffee ice cream sodas ‘cabinets’?” he asked me on the phone. “Not really, but it must have something to do with furniture, no?” “My family made household furnishings, and I think that is why maple walnut was a favorite flavor with my dad.”

Dan explained that there was a mirror on a mahogany shelf, and somehow the words did that metonymy thing...the way a “flutterby” became a “butterfly” in the linguistic lore of our language. So, I am writing this memoir with a sort of moral stuck onto the end, like a cherry on top of the fudge sauce. It is this: that small servings of something elegant and true are far, far better that the heaping portions that damage American health and figures. I was traveling to Philadelphia during a dog-day heat wave, and we stopped at a deli off the highway that served enormous desserts after sandwiches so stuffed they were impossible (and undesirable) for a fellow like me to handle. I can’t face a lot of anything! I chalk it up to the Providence past, with its love of freedom within limits of space. Somehow, Rigney’s ice cream was just perfect, splendid but modest, honest but romantic, and intimate but very much communal. When Rigney’s closed

its doors, I got messages from most of the people I knew, expressing their sympathy for my loss, which they shared with me. Now, how many shops and stores do you know that can lay claim to that much customer devotion? Doesn’t the economy of a society depend upon small businesses and their following of friends at their counters and tables? Dan invited me to his home in Bonnet Shores. The original sign was there on the front porch, and so were the tiny tableand-chairs for tots. He handed me an original glass for the ice cream floats and a cup used for hot cocoas, the perfect size. Not too big, but not puny either. Just right, as in a fairy tale. He is proud of his father’s success, not quite certain of what drew him to the ice cream focal point, but sure of his dad’s sincerity, generosity of spirit, and good will (which are virtues of the product also). He showed me portrait photos of the family, which has absorbed the history of the state. There is somehow a touch of the founding

creed of the colony: all are welcome into the family. I left with smiles and entered my home with the souvenirs of our mutual memories of the sweet legacy and the unique meaning of ice cream, especially Rigney’s, to native sons and daughters wherever they may be, and from wherever they may have come. And, by the way, as a postscript: Davis’ Delicatessen on the very spot of Rigney’s establishment, likewise earns its fan club, and by absorbing the spirit and soul of the space, serves whatever portions you require, and I can vouch for their sour tomatoes and pickles. They are far better and nicer than the over-sweet, bloated boasts of the emporium that brags about size, not style, and lacks the true East Side, Providence genius for getting things just right. ■

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PrimeTime | 13

b y john howell

style & beauty

Estate jewelry sparkles with history and intrigue It’s a sunburst. Or, maybe, because it is dazzling white, it should be called a starburst. But then, even though diamonds encrust its surface, there are shimmers of sapphire blue and an occasional, ever so tiny, twinkle of gold. Rodney Baril holds the broach for a closer look through a jeweler’s loupe. He turns it slowly examining the center 2-carat diamond. Extending like rays from the core is an assembly of smaller diamonds, a total of more than 14 carats. This is a piece of estate jewelry dating to the 1880s and it looks as bright and shiny as if it was minted yesterday. “Broaches don’t get a lot of wear. They’re not like rings and bracelets,” he says. Estate jewelry isn’t found in chain jewelry stores. It’s usually one of a kind pieces that occasionally have been handed down from generation to generation and now, for whatever reason, the family has decided to sell. In the case of the starburst, Baril bought it from a man who had bought it from an estate being liquidated by Tilden-Thurber about 30 years ago. For years the broach probably sat in a safe. Now it is back in the light and holds the commanding spot in a showcase of estate jewelry. It is priced at $20,000. As much as Baril would like to have a story for the starburst, he doesn’t. Because it lacks hallmarks, he believes it is American made. Another telltale is that it is 14 carat gold. Had it been made in Europe, it most likely would have been 18 carat gold. He has little doubt that it is unique and handmade. If Tiffany had made it, it would bear the name and on that basis alone would be worth more. And if it had been made in England, Baril could name the manufacturer and the city and year in which it was made. English jewelers follow strict regulations for hallmarks, but that’s not the case in this country where “it’s wide open,” he says. Baril reaches into the case and takes out a ring. It looks to be a topaz. It’s not. The center stone is a cognac diamond. The stone is 1.6 carats and is surrounded by 32 fine white diamonds totaling about 4 carats and like its name is a hue of the liquor and perhaps just as intoxicating for the person captivated by the unusual. Baril knows where the ring is from. He can’t say who owned it although he will tell you he has it on consignment from an attorney who is liquidating an estate of a woman who left no family. Her will specifies that her assets be distributed to charity. The ring, Baril calculates, was made in the 1960s. He has it for sale for $10,000. Estate pieces that command the highest prices, apart from those with the names of marquis manufacturers, he said are Victorian and Art Deco [1920-1930] in design. Generally, pieces from 1970 and more recent aren’t in the same demand as those that are older. On rare occasions Baril will come across Native American and African pieces and antique Chinese work. He confesses to know little about this jewelry or its market and in those instances seeks the professional advice of others.

14 | PrimeTime

But Baril, a gemologist, who worked for Ross Simons for 17 years before starting his own business, Place Jewelers, in Apponaug 18 years ago, knows what to expect in Rhode Island. He is frequently called in to appraise the value of an estate. Sometimes it’s a matter of fairly distributing the deceased’s jewelry between the siblings based on value. “I see a lot of stuff, a lot of costume jewelry because so much of it was made here,” he says citing the names of Coro and Trifari. There is a market for costume jewelry, but it’s not one Baril deals in. It’s not all rings, bracelets, necklaces and broaches either. Baril said there is a demand for watches, especially pocket watches. Like jewelry, Baril said the condition of watches could have a dramatic effect on value. Repairing watches can be costly and in some cases, he said, people don’t want to spend the money and just as soon get what they can. Unlike artwork and antiques, Baril does not see an investors’ market for jewelry. High-end pieces he said gravitate to cosmopolitan markets and the auction houses like Christies. He doesn’t believe many people with money are looking to jewelry as a means of beating inflation or salting away something for the future. Rather, he sees jewelry as an heirloom that carries a sentimental as well as an intrinsic value. “And they buy it primarily because they like it and want to wear it,” he said. Perhaps for that reason, Baril, hasn’t come across much quality jewelry in the current frenzy to cash in on all-time high gold prices. Gold is selling for more than $1,500 an once. He said he gets a lot of gold chains. When someone does come in with a piece that carries greater value because of the elements and the workmanship that went into it, as well as style or age, he’ll buy it or recommend it be sold on consignment. As for gems, Baril said they are natural, synthetic or imitation. The synthetic gems, such as synthetic rubies, are lab-grown and have many of the same qualities as the natural stone. Differentiating them may require ultra-violet light and detecting the telltale signs of how the crystals were grown. Imitations, on the other hand, are easier to spot because they are substances, like glass for example, made to look like something else. And he does have his favorite pieces although he reminds himself, “I’m not a museum. It’s for sale.” He’s tried reminding his wife, Anne, of the same thing, but it hasn’t worked. “She’s not into recycling,” he says. But then, the appeal of jewelry is that it often commemorates an occasion and like good memories, they are treasured. Estate jewelry carries that added dimension of fond times from the past whether known or only imagined. ■

September 2011

Senior athletes keep competition intense Think you need to be a college student to be a standout athlete? Ann McGowan knows that isn’t true. The 87-year-old McGowan of Providence once again turned in Rhode Island’s best performance at this summer’s National Senior Games in Houston, Texas. McGowan competed in eight events and won five medals and three ribbons. Her results included: Gold Medal in the hammer toss; Silver Medals in the javelin and the triple jump; Bronze Medals in the 100-meter run and the long jump; a fourth place ribbon in the shot put; a fifth place ribbon in the 200-meter run; and a seventh place in the discus. More than 9,000 athletes took part in 18 Championship events. Rhode Island results included: • Walter Anthony, Providence, ran in the 100-meter race and qualified for the semi-finals. • Bill Balson, Coventry, finished fifth in the long jump. • Ray Carroll, Saunderstown and John Hunt, Lincoln, were part of a team that competed in 3x3 basketball. They were the defending Gold Medallists in the 70-74-age division, won four games and lost two to finish just out of the medal position. • Sandra Croft, Warwick, competed in swimming. • Rick Elliott, Cumberland, competed in cycling. • Janet Freniere and Al Freniere, East Greenwich, competed in track and field. Janet finished 13th in the 100meter run and ninth in the 200. Al finished 13th in the 100; 17th in the 200; 13th in the triple jump; and 17th in the long jump. • Judy Kelley, Westerly, and Janet Rissler, who resides in Connecticut, competed in tennis in ladies doubles. The pair lost their first round match in the Championship bracket and won their consolation match. • Joe Nartowicz, Cumberland, finished seventh in bowling. • Wayne Peacock, East Greenwich, finished 12th in both the 5K and 10K road races and 12th in the long jump. • Tom Roy, North Scituate, finished sixth in bowling

The 34th annual Ocean State Senior Olympics began in June with basketball, cycling, swimming and the game signature event, track and field. The Ocean State Senior Olympics is a member of the National Senior Games Association, and is the only qualifying site in Rhode Island for the National Senior Games. The national event is held bi-annually, and the 2013 summer games are scheduled for Cleveland, Ohio. Registration materials are available at For more information, call the Olympic hotline at 383-9575. The event schedule continues beginning Saturday, Sept. 3 with archery at the Tiverton Rod & Gun Club. Practice will begin at 9 a.m. and the competition is scheduled to start at 10. Additional Scheduled events include: • Sunday, Sept. 11: 5K road race in Warwick’s Goddard Park at 10 a.m. • Saturday, Sept. 15: Ten-pin bowling, starting at 10 a.m., at the Old Mountain Lanes in Wakefield. • Saturday, Sept. 17: Table tennis in Manville at 11 a.m. • Sunday, Sept. 25: Triathlon at the Westerly Town Beach in Misquamicut at 9 a.m. ■

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PrimeTime | 15

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From IBMs to knitting needles

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ifteen years ago, Karen Holmes was a full-time computer programmer, living in Boston, working the full-time days expected of her. If her professional time was anchored in work, so was her non-work time. Her husband also worked in cyberspace. The couple lived a busy, corporate kind of life. “I needed an outlet, something totally different, to be with a different group of people,” Karen recalled. Her solution: a knitting group. As a 10-year-old, Karen had taught herself to knit. She credits her grandmother’s genes, as that generation in her family adeptly knit, sewed and crocheted - unlike Karen’s mother. “She couldn’t sew a button on. The skill skipped a generation,” she said, laughing. But Karen hadn’t seriously knit since adolescence. Born in Dallas, she graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, majoring in sociology. In 1977, she joined a Boston advertising agency, where she worked on media buying. Later, she segued into the world of computers. The world of yarn, patterns and sweaters was very much in her past. Karen knew the basics, but the basics are just the first rung for accomplished knitters. Through the group, she mastered newer and more difficult techniques; she discovered the astounding varieties of yarns and the profusion of patterns; she discovered the cyberspace community of knitters. The more she knit, the more she enjoyed it. Her first delight was the one of creating a truly unique garment. “There was the satisfaction of doing something yourself, having somebody say, ‘I loved your outfit. Where did you buy it?’” she said. Secondary delights came from the relaxing process of knitting. She savored the intellectual challenge of figuring out a new pattern, determining how to amend a pattern or correcting mistakes. “Every knitter makes mistakes and learns how to correct them,” she added. Karen notes that a lot of experienced knitters have recognized that their creation “won’t work,” and they have unraveled and started anew. Layoffs nudged Karen into early retirement, but instead of searching for another job in information technology, she decided to open a yarn store. She married her avocation with a newfound vocation as an entrepreneur. September 2011

PEOPLE AND PLACES Today, Fresh Purls at 769A Hope Street on the East Side of Providence, four years old, is a store that does much more than sell yarn. Throughout the week, it offers a stream of workshops and classes. “ME time” gives attendees one-hour midday to escape their usual chores and knit together. A “Sweater Weather” group started in the summer, for knitters eager to tackle sweaters well before winter. “Knit Therapy” focuses on knitting problems. “A Stuffed Animal Knit-ALong” invites knitters to tackle a stuffed animal - a perfect holiday gift, and one that will use up yarn left over from another project. “K2Tog” is designed for knitters who need extra help. Apart from classes, customers often drop by to buy yarn, to search for patterns, to ask for advice or simply to talk knitting. Millions of people of all ages and backgrounds knit. Some take up the needles to fill a creative urge, to create a truly unique garment. The number of patterns, many available for free, is boggling - the possibilities for color and texture, almost as boggling. Other people knit to give hand-made presents. Still others do “charitable knitting,” turning out mittens, hats and scarves for newborn infants, for residents of homeless shelters, for soldiers or for children whom Santa might well pass by. Many knitters relax by working with their hands. In fact, knitters with arthritis feel that knitting keeps their fingers limber. And for many knitters, the craft is intensely social. In groups, they meet fellow knitters who advise not just on patterns, techniques and problems, but who become friends. To start knitting, go on a website, such as, which has free videos, ask a fellow knitter, or drop by Fresh Purls, where Karen or her assistants Becky, Sherry and Helen will offer encouragement and advice. ■

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style & beauty

b y Meg Fraser

Shape Up As the cliche goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. It’s a fitting phrase for the 426 Fitness studio, and for personal trainer Steve Skitek. On the outside, 426 Metacom Avenue is a large brick building in Warren that used to be home to a cotton mill. On the inside, the 30,000 square-foot facility is spotless and modern, and houses every kind of fitness equipment imaginable. On the outside, Steve Skitek, CPT, is perfectly toned and, frankly, intimidating. He looks the part of a personal trainer, the kind you might see training celebrities on television. But spend a half hour with him, and you’ll find that Skitek is warm and accommodating, and willing to cater his workouts to any age or skill set. “I don’t train people like body builders because we’re not body builders. Our general population are not athletes,” he said. “My job, as a trainer, is to make people feel comfortable.” On a recent Thursday morning, Skitek is busy making Bill Grandgeorge feel comfortable. The 77-year-old Grandgeorge is a theater professor at Roger Williams University. He had a knee replacement not long ago, and his mobility was impaired. With a trip to Prague coming up, he worried he would not be able to get around and tour the city on foot. Within two months, Skitek had him on track and ready to take on Europe. “There’s no question it paid off. I have more confidence in my body’s ability to function,” Grandgeorge said.

The trip is over, but Grandgeorge continues to return to 426 Fitness and has lost 16 pounds and counting. “Now that the trip is over, I don’t want to lose what I’ve gained,” he said. He also had kind, albeit witty, words about the fitness studio staff. “They’re all young and they all have muscles, but they’re wonderful people,” he said, laughing. When a client comes in to see Skitek, especially if they’re a senior, he tries to get to know them before working up a sweat. He asks questions about their medical histories and any medications they’re taking. Often, clients won’t realize that a certain medication could impact their heart rate or ability to do specific workouts. “I have to dig a little deeper sometimes,” Skitek said. “There’s a very old 50 and a young 80.” If need be, he hooks clients up with Rhode Island Rehabilitation, which has an office in the gym. Regardless of medical issues, he says there’s a workout for everyone. He has many clients who suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and fibromyalgia, and he knows that some days, he needs to take it easy. “You have to gauge when their having a good day or a bad day,” he said.

18 | PrimeTime

When it’s a bad day, Skitek sticks to the low-impact exercises and PNF (proprioceptive muscular facilitation) stretching, which improves flexibility and makes muscles long and lean. He’s also an advocate for RNT (reactive neuromuscular training) as a means to improve balance. “RNT training trains your brain not to fall down,” he said. An example of RNT training is lifting weights while kneeling on an exercise ball. Skitek admits it sounds scientific, and intimidating to some, but getting in shape doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. The biggest obstacle, he says, is mental. “They have a fear; ‘I think that if I move a certain way I’m going to break’. They think it’s going to take a lot of time and it doesn’t have to. They’re misinformed of what working out is like,” he explained. “You have so many options these days. You’re able to get your heart rate up, work on your core and work on your flexibility in a half hour. As we age, our workouts need to be shorter and more intense.” There are many options at 426 Fitness, too. There’s a stationary bike room for spin classes, traditional exercise equipment, free weights, water rowing, yoga and pilates. Classes also include cardio ballet, tai chi, parkour, kickboxing and a class that Skitek runs called TRX suspension.

“Most of the people who stick with this class are 50plus. At the same level, I have 18-year-olds taking the class,” Skitek said, demonstrating what TRX is by hooking a stretchable band to a solid post and using his body weight to do resistance training. The key for Skitek is customizing workouts, going at the client’s pace and helping them to better function on a daily basis. Not everyone is going to run a marathon, he said, but if a client wants to keep up their sailing or golf hobby into their senior years, they need to stay healthy. “Working out is more about functional moving patterns. It’s less of the free weights and more of the dynamic movements. The worst thing you can do is stop,” he said. And that’s where Skitek comes in. He’s ready to motivate clients and work with them to create a workout and a schedule that makes exercise enjoyable. “My workouts with my clients are never the same. You want to keep the muscles guessing of what’s coming next,” he says, stopping to chat with one of the regulars. “When you exercise, you feel better.” For more information about 426 Fitness or to schedule a session with Steve Skitek, visit www.426Fitness. com or call 247-7440. ■

September 2011




Reading between the lines


ome years ago, I was peppered with telemarketing calls from a statewide newspaper. They had a habit of calling right when I was preparing dinner for my then-partner and our son. It was clearly an inconvenient time to discuss the “convenience of home delivery.” Although I asked to be removed from their calling list I continued to be solicited. I tried being polite; I tried being rude; I even said “sorry, wrong number.” Nothing worked. The next time someone called I let him or her finish their pitch and then calmly told them, although what they proposed had merit, I couldn’t make use of it. Why, the telemarketer asked? Because, I said, I am illiterate. Silence. Then, okay, sorry to have bothered you. Click. It worked! I was, of course, being facetious and thought myself very clever. I did not know how close to reality I had actually come. Literacy, as defined by the National Center for Educational Statistics, includes the ability to read, write, compute and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as an adult. In the United States, 30 million people over the age of 16 - that’s 14 percent of the country’s adult population - cannot read well enough to complete a job application, understand a newspaper article written at an eighth grade level, or read the label on a bottle of medicine. “In Rhode Island, about 8 percent of the population still lacks basic literary skills,” said Mev Miller, founder and director of WE LEARN (Women Expanding/Literacy Action Resource Network), a networking organization designed for educators who want to communicate and collaborate with advocates for women’s literacy and leadership, “and nearly one-quarter, that’s something like 23 percent of women in the United States have severely limited literacy skills, compared to 17 percent for men,” she continued. “Forty-five percent of women in the United States have literacy proficiencies lower than an average high school student and nearly 40 percent of female single parents have an eighth grade education or less.” While organizing WE LEARN is among Mev Miller’s many passions, she was not always this involved in literacy issues. In fact, her training was in campus ministry and then book publishing, working for a lesbian-feminist press. Soon she became a cooperative owner of a lesbian-feminist bookstore. But like the prophetic lightning bolt from the blue, she became aware of all the women who don’t access the printed word because they can’t. That led to her going back to school to earn an Ed.d, and she’s been working in the education field ever since. “WE LEARN doesn’t run literacy programs, but it does provide support services to those who do. It is a community promoting women’s literacy as a tool that fosters empowerment and equality for women,” she said. You may, at this point, be asking yourself why should I keeping reading this? I am reading, after all, so how does this concern me? The truth is, illiteracy is not just someone else’s personal problem. The consequences of low levels of adult literacy are costly for society at-large, too. Seventy-five percent of female heads of household live in poverty, so the likelihood of being on welfare goes up as women’s literacy goes down and those low literacy levels cost the United States $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, criminal justice costs and the loss of tax revenue due to unemployment. What do we do? The literacy problem is systemic and the solutions are complex. Women, in particular, face a number of persistent, gender-based barriers that limit their access to September 2011

literacy acquisition. One of the many programs WE LEARN offers is “Leading through Reading” discussion circles in which women can collaborate, recognize their strengths and affirm each other. The following is examples of the kind of impediments to learning and the feelings and sentiments expressed by women learners who took part in a Leading through Reading focus group.

“No one ever clapped for me in my life.” Society conditions many women to expect failure and many question whether or not they are even capable of learning to read.

“Who will watch my children?” Obtaining childcare is a primary hurdle for women to overcome when seeking assistance. A male partner may refuse to supervise their own children and other family members may not be available.

The information gathered from Leading through Reading discussion circles and focus groups is used to inform those who teach ESL classes and basic literacy programs. Since WE LEARN is strictly a labor of love, not a source of income for Mev Miler, she relies on a part-time position teaching adults at Green Path Ways and the support of her partner of 22 years. She recognizes how fortunate she is and the need to give back. You might say that WE LEARN is a true reflection of the woman who sowed the seed and continues to nurture what it is has become, by seeking to build a just society and healthy communities through basic literacy, which women need to gain access to systems of power and to achieve personal empowerment. I never got another telemarketing call from that newspaper, but even so, I will also never again “belittle” the women whose personal, cultural and class situations will never match my own. I applaud their bravery and stand aside to let them rise. ■

“How do I get to the literacy program?” It’s hard to get on a bus with four children, drop them off at day care, go to the literacy program, study for an hour or two, and then pick up the children to go home, all by bus. Relying on other people usually requires arranging two family schedules. “Families, the house, the kids, and food, it all comes first.” Shopping for food, cooking, laundry and house cleaning are daily time-consuming activities that usually fall to women. “Women’s Work” often makes it difficult to schedule regular classes. “Men are afraid that if women can depend on ourselves, we will leave them behind.” Male attitudes greatly influence the behavior of women. If the man doesn’t believe in the value of literacy, or if his own self-esteem and, therefore power, is an issue, a woman’s fear of failure may be too great to challenge a mate’s decision. “Being beaten until you are embarrassed to go out the door is not uncommon.” Literacy programs are often located in the midst of the neediest populations where crime rates are high and violence against women restricts access to education, affects the ability to learn, concentrate and achieve goals.

“There’s nobody to talk to.” Physical and emotional isolation are not uncommon for many women. Feeling alone can immobilize women.

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“I feel the choice is literacy or my family.” In cultures with traditional values, women are often not educated at all and may stay in abusive situations in order to not break-up the family.

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“We like you the way you are.” Children may be fearful that their mothers will pay less attention and friends may question the woman’s motives. Sending the message “you think you’re better than we are” is incentive not to change.

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“It’s hard to walk into a classroom when you have holes in your shoes.” Literacy programs often reflect the predominant white middle-class culture. Women may feel that since they don’t look everyone else, they can’t do things like other people.

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calendar of events Calling all animal lovers South County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center presents the fourth annual WOOFStock Pet Festival and Adoption Event on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year’s proceeds will benefit the friends of the North Kingstown Dog Pound. Space is still available for vendors and exhibitors for the “Mutt Marketplace.” Tables are free, though donations are accepted. For more information, contact Lisa Galligan, recreational director, at 294-4545 ext. 4106, or Reginald Wilcox, director of admissions at 294-4545 ext. 4102. 20 | PrimeTime

Ronnie and the Satellites Ronnie and the Satellites will be performing on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 7 to 11 p.m. at The LeFoyer in Pawtucket. Tickets are $8 per person and there is a cash bar available. They are also performing on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Slater Park in Pawtucket. The doo wop band will be opening for the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, and the show starts at 4 p.m. Call 258-6571 or e-mail

68. Dryer residue 69. German river CLUES ACROSS 1. Former Russian federation 5. Gomer __, TV marine 9. America’s favorite uncle 12. TV singing show 13. Enlarges a hole 15. Contest of speed 16. Throw forcefully 17. Plebe 18. “A Death in the Family” author 19. Batting statistic 20. 11th US state 22. Grand __, vintage 25. The content of cognition 26. Boxes of wine bottles 28. Diego, Francisco, Anselmo 29. An upper limb 32. Buddy 33. Muddle with infatuation 35. The cry made by sheep 36. Outward flow of the tide 37. Instances of selling 39. Subdivision of a play 40. Point east of due north 41. Made full 43. Vietnam War offensive 44. “Hi-Ho Steverino”’s Louis 45. Soak flax 46. Nostrils 48. Come to the surface 49. Dame (Br. title abbr.) 50. 2008 movie Millionaire 54. Pakistani rupee 57. Aboriginal Japanese 58. Shifted to change course 62. Paddles 64. Radioactivity units 65. Saudi citizens 66. Go down slowly 67. “Emily” actress Stark

CLUES DOWN 1. Exclamation: yuck! 2. Pronounce indistinctly 3. One of Serbian descent 4. Antiquities 5. Communist China 6. Affirmative shout 7. A boy or young man 8. Made textual corrections 9. Palm starch 10. Dicot genus 11. Mild and humble 14. “Village Wedding” painter 15. Beam out 21. 42nd state 23. Confederate soldier 24. Utilizes 25. Place in quarentine 26. Taxidriver 27. “Tiny Alice” author Edward 29. Make less active 30. Plural of 15 across 31. Marshall Dillon 32. “Milk” actor Sean 34. Female store clerk 38. Convey a message 42. A small amount 45. Red wine region of No. Spain 47. Freedom from activity 48. Rural delivery 50. Cutty __ (drink) 51. Chinese dynasty 970-1125 52. Change by reversal 53. House mice genus 55. A sudden attack by a small force 56. Gray sea eagle 59. Spoken in the Dali region of Yunnan 60. Point north of due east 61. Winter time in most of the US (abbr.) 63. Swedish krona (abbr.) September 2011

a worthy cause

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Trinity Repertory Company: Rhode Island’s theater for everyone From humbled beginnings reasonable. We have tickets in the basement of Providence’s priced as low as $15 for evTrinity Union Methodist Church ery performance.” in 1963, to its present home Ticket packages for subat the Lederer Theater Center scribers start as low as $21 downtown, Trinity Repertory per ticket and offer benefits Company has become one of the such as being invited to readcountry’s most respected regional throughs, rehearsals, preview theaters. nights and special deals at Trinity Rep is Rhode Isdowntown businesses. land’s largest arts organization There are also ‘Pay-Whatand strives to make an impact You-Can’ performances as on the community. Each year, part of the theater’s outreach performances play to more than efforts to cultivate new audi120,000 people, helping Trinity ences. to be a driving economic force in One of the backbones Providence. contributing to Trinity’s sucTrinity has an operating cess is Artistic Director Curt budget of $7.4 million, employs Columbus. He emphasizes more than 100 artistic and adbeing open and accessible ministrative staff, and generates to the community, the actmore than $12 million each ing company, residents and year. staff. Throughout the years, the “Curt is as open and company has been recognized as generous of a person as anya leader in performing arts. In one I have ever met and that 1968, Trinity was the first Amerspirit has translated throughican theater company to perform Resident company members Fred Sullivan, Jr. as Charles Dickens and Brian McEleney as Edgar Allan Poe in the world premiere of out the entire company; parat the Edinburgh International Stephen Thorne’s The Completely Fictional - Utterly True - Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe. ticularly around education,” Festival in Scotland. And, in said Dobrowsky. “His vision 1981, it was recognized with the advanced high school students looking to make sure our production materials are of Trinity becoming a ‘pubprestigious Tony Award as an Outstand- audition for colleges, and classes specifical- top-notch. We also want to preserve and lic square’ has come to fruition; a place ing Regional Theatre Company. ly designed for autistic students,” said Do- properly renovate our historic home that where people in the community can come “What has made Trinity Rep so suc- browsky. “Our flagship program, Project we care so much about.” and talk to us about our work.” cessful throughout its history is our work Discovery, has allowed over one million Jennifer Salcido, Trinity Rep’s assistant Of course, Trinity’s success is also deon stage. All of our achievements should Rhode Island students to see live theater. director of marketing and public relations, rived from the strengths and talents of its be attributed to the strength of our ac- We are sincerely committed to our educa- speaks energetically about the campaign actors, designers and production staff. tors, our directors and our designers, all tion and life-long learning programs- they and its impact to help the company ex“All of them have a shared history at of whom are world class,” said Tyler Do- are a vital part of who we are.” pand. Trinity, and have learned from past resibrowsky, associate artistic director. Established in 1966, Project Dis“At a time when schools are faced with dents,” said Dobrowsky. “The mentoring In addition to its theatrical perfor- covery reaches students in Rhode Island, increasing budget cuts, and a lack of fundspirit is what being a member of our actmances, Trinity Rep has been an educa- Massachusetts and Connecticut and gives ing, programs such as the arts are often the ing company is all about.” tional pioneer through its Brown Uni- them access to theatrical performances and first affected,” she said. “Growing our abilServing as Trinity’s signature perforversity/Trinity Rep MFA and Project in-school workshops. Last year alone, this ity to reach an even wider audience of stumance, and its most recognizable, Adrian Discovery programs. program introduced more than 15,000 dents, not only here in Rhode Island, but Hall’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Started in 1977 as the Trinity Rep young people to the experience of live the- regionally, will help to make Trinity that Christmas Carol” will open for its 35th Conservatory, today known as the ater. much more accessible for young people annual production run on Nov. 18. Brown/Trinity Rep MFA, this program While Trinity Rep has become an icon- who otherwise might not have the opporThere is still plenty of time to get to offers professional training for actors and ic Rhode Island institution, they continue tunity to experience live theater.” Trinity Rep this season and enjoy one of directors. to be focused on the future. The organizaTrinity relies on the support of the their world-class performances. You can Trinity offers one of the most in- tion is currently in the midst of a fundrais- community and its loyal base of subscribalso get involved with their efforts to exdepth education programs in the country ing campaign, “The Theatre for Everyone,” ers; annual ticket sales account for only 50 pand access to the arts Rhode Islanders of for non-professionals. These programs which will fund improvements to its facil- percent of the organization’s total budget. all ages by contributing to “The Theatre work with children as young as 5 years ity and expand education efforts. “As a non-profit, community support for Every Generation” campaign. Visit old, to those geared towards engaging re“Technology is progressing at such a is critical to our efforts,” said Salcido. “ to learn more and tired seniors. fast rate, it’s important to keep up,” says ery time you come to a performance, your make a tax-deductible donation. ■ “We offer free in-school classes for Dobrowsky. “To keep pace with other seat is subsidized through the generosity Providence schools, have programs for successful regional theaters, we want to of our donors. This helps to keep the cost September 2011

PrimeTime | 21

b y kayleigh karutis

people and places

Providence seniors publish poetry book For Rick Benjamin, a published poet who teaches literary arts and environmental studies at Brown University, there have been a lot of poetry gigs throughout the years. His experience working with budding poets in their 80s and 90s at EPOCH Assisted Living on the East Side, though, is his favorite by far. Benjamin has been working with the poets at EPOCH for almost two years, meeting twice a month to read poetry and write some of their own as well. Most of the participants were skeptical at first. Some had never written a verse of poetry in their lives, Benjamin said. “When I brought up writing our own poetry, one person said, ‘That’s a horrendous idea,’” Benjamin said, laughing. “But they kept coming back every other Monday and were just amazed at what they came up with.” Despite its hesitant beginnings, individuals in Benjamin’s workshop eventually began crafting some inspired work. Now the highlights of their efforts have been compiled into an anthology entitled, “Life, Loss, Love.” The book details the trials and triumphs of individuals with a wealth of life experience to draw on. As it took shape, it became not only a creative outlet for the EPOCH poets and Benjamin, but an opportunity to mourn, rejoice and heal as well. Benjamin said he was inspired when one EPOCH poet was able to utter the name of her long-dead son, a name she hadn’t spoken in 20 years. In concluding her poem, she reflected on whether uttering his name would lighten her burden, or if she had instead made everyone else’s heavier. “I believe in poetry’s ability to enlighten and heal. I’ve seen some things with this group that are just amazing,” Benjamin said. EPOCH resident and poet Lino Fiori was one of the skeptical attendees at first. He said he was encouraged by Benjamin’s low-key, thoughtful attitude. Now he has his own poetry published in “Life, Loss, Love,” and looks forward to Benjamin’s workshops with enthusiasm. “I’d never written poetry before so it was a surprise to me that I could do it at all,” Fiori said. “I love listening to the other poems. Some of them are just really, really wonderful.” One of Fiori’s poems in “Life, Loss, Love” opens the “Love” portion of the book and reflects on the difficulty of expressing the depth of one’s love for another.

Fifty-nine words for a love poem? Are you serious? Have you never been in love? Fifty-nine words aren’t enough for a preface to what I want to say. Tongue-tied I’d surpass the number. Either that, or I wouldn’t try. My love poem might end in a stare and a tear. The 137-page book includes two poems by Fiori as well as poems by 23 other EPOCH seniors. It is dedicated to David Horvitz, who wrote several of its poems before passing away prior to publishing. Ursula Rickenberg, one of the poets, created the colorful cover art. Each poem in the book was written in 20 minutes or less, Benjamin said. He had more than 100 poems to choose from and has enough material left to create at least two more anthologies. It’s a far cry from his first visit, when his suggestion to write was met with considerable grousing. “[Benjamin] wanted them to write their own poems, but he knew this would be a tough sell,” said Jean Costa, executive director of EPOCH on the East Side. “Rick encouraged participants to start to try their hand a t poetry. At first, the residents were hesitant, but over time, they blossomed under his tutelage.” While the residents have nothing but praise for their instructor, even dedicating one of the book’s poems to him, Benjamin said he got as much out of the process as his students. His latest book of original poetry contains many poems that began during a workshop at EPOCH, he said. “From the beginning I saw just how extraordinary this experience was going to be for me,” he said. “I’m not a fan of clichés but this group of elders truly is wise, and I’d be an idiot to pass up an opportunity to interact with them.” Many gigs come and go, but his experience at EPOCH has been truly unique. “As long as I’m able and as long as they want me to, I’m never going to stop [visiting EPOCH],” Benjamin said. “There’s no reason I’d ever stop doing it.” EPOCH residents are directing the sale proceeds of “Life, Loss, Love” ($10) to the EPOCH Literary Scholarship for aspiring high school writers. Copies can be purchased at EPOCH Assisted Living on the East Side, One Butler Avenue. ■

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September 2011

ght business spotlion Heatherwood Nursing & Rehabilitative Center Quality residential and rehabilitative care with the loving touch of home

As soon as you enter the physical therapy room of Heatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Newport, you are immediately aware of the feeling of warmth, caring, and true professionalism. Not only is there is a great deal of personal interaction between therapist and patient but a strong commitment to the goal of achieving the patient’s maximum functionality and independence. As they are moved through a series of therapeutic motions on a piece of specifically designed equipment; or a small motor activity that encourages dexterity and motor planning, it is evident that both patient and therapist are working towards that goal. According to Cynthia Holmes, the Rehabilitation Manager (under the auspices of “Rehab Care”), the primary goals of the therapy department are: To restore full function to a patient; To continually evaluate and adjust patient’s individual treatment plan; and lastly, To always reach for a “higher level of independence”. Cindy is very passionate when it comes to what goes on in the therapy room. She oversees not only the level of care provided to the patients, but also the professional development of the therapists themselves. Professional development is part of their routine here, and a real “team” approach is taken amongst each of the disciplines which include physical, occupational, and speech. Cindy and the therapists realize that the success of any treatment plan is wholly dependant on the morale, commitment, and hopefulness of each patient, and so, each patient is treated as a partner in their own recovery. A philosophy of mutual respect, dignity and compassion are highly valued and fostered by the team of Rehab Care at Heatherwood. Heatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is a privately owned, 112 bed community tucked in the heart of historic Newport. It has 42 long-term resident beds, 40 beds in their new memory care program (called “Bridges”), and 30 beds for short-term rehabilitation. Skilled nursing services are available on every floor in this neighborhood like setting, which offers many of the comforts of home. Both private and semi-private rooms are available, along with areas for social gatherings, exercising, religious services, and extras such as cooking classes and even Wii bowling. At least weekly, residents are brought on local excursions outside the center for shopping, dining, or just a scenic drive. Their extended visiting hours provide ease for families with scheduling difficulties and their open door policy for “friendly pet” visits are just another reason why Heatherwood is a great choice for a loved one. The staff at Heatherwood is esResidents and therapists pecially proud of the new “Bridges” work together to achieve memory support program. “Bridges” the best therapeutic results offers a secure and supportive enviin Heatherwood’s “Rehab ronment for people with memory Care” center. impairment and focuses on each individual’s personal history, social preferences, and cultural background. Each resident is treated with compassion and respect. Coming to the decision that a loved one will need nursing or rehabilitative care can be stressful and painful for families. The loving staff at Heatherwood understands the difficulties of this transition and is committed to helping families through the process with the utmost compassion, dignity and care. To learn more about both Heatherwood, please contact Jennye Durante, Director of Admissions at 401-849-6600, ext. 4041, or visit the website at

Heatherwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center “It’s all about you, it’s all about the experience” Subacute Care • Rehabilitation • Long-Term Memory Care Neighborhood

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106 and counting: Living a long life well “What’s your secret to a long life?” asked Greg Gillis, activities director for Cedar Crest Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre in Cranston. He was speaking to Cedar Crest resident Mary Ruggieri at a party to celebrate her 106th birthday. Mary’s answer? “Hard work, no junk food, a good night’s sleep and no fooling around.” Having graciously responded to questions from news reporters in attendance, Mary smiled at the cameras as she blew out the candles on her cake. Surrounded by her sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mary’s celebration was a testament to the “good living” indicated by many people who are living to 100 and beyond. According to the Population Resource Center, the number of people age 65 and older will nearly double between 2000 and 2030 - and we’re living longer. Currently, there are about six million Americans over age 85. In 2031, when baby boomers begin reaching 85, the number of the “oldest old” will increase and rise to an estimated 21 million by 2050. That’s a lot of people. Like many other centenarians, Mary most likely enjoys genetic factors that increase her chances of exceptional longevity. Common studies attribute between 20 and 30 percent to genes and 70 and 80 percent to environment. Similar to others like her,

Mary made good lifestyle choices. She tended toward vegetarianism, didn’t smoke, exercised regularly and spent a great deal of time with her family, practicing her religion and volunteering in the community. Mary was an original member of the Supreme Emblem Club of the USA, a national organization started in Providence in 1925 and dedicated to charitable acts in the community. Prior to living at Cedar Crest, Mary resided at an assisted living community with plenty of socialization. While there, she maintained her membership in the Manton Seniors of Johnston and bowled weekly until the age of 103. Now at Cedar Crest, Mary is still very social and visited frequently by her friends and family. Cedar Crest is now home to three residents over 100 and 35 people between the ages of 90 and 100. Some are short-term rehabilitation patients and others residents.

Elderly Housing Must be 62 years of age or older. Rents are based on 30% of adjusted household income.

Health care organizations such as Cedar Crest have acknowledged that in order to thrive, they must adapt to the changing demographics and needs of our aging population. Mary lives in a section of Cedar Crest designated as a “neighborhood” for long-term residents. In Champlin Way, culture change is engaged with individualized activities and consistent staffing, which let residents feel more at home. Cedar Crest also has a large short-term population of patients receiving rehabilitation services. Providing care for these patients has given the staff a glimpse of the future and demands of the baby boomer with requests ranging from vegetarian diets to Internet access, as well as their expectation to participate in their own care. Nursing facilities like Cedar Crest are adapting to these changing preferences by providing more individualized care than ever before.

With the inevitable growth of our aging population, what can we learn from those living life well at an advanced age? Is it possible to hold a more positive perspective on growing old? According to The New England Centenarian Study from Boston University Medical Center, we need to defy the myth “the older you get the sicker you get.” Instead, it should be a case of “the older you get, the healthier you’ve been.” This study, begun in 1995, followed centenarians in the Boston area with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. In their study, they found several traits that centenarians share that includes not smoking, staying lean/avoiding obesity through diet and exercise, an ability to handle stress well, as well as being generally social and easygoing. They also discovered that Alzheimer’s disease was not inevitable and that centenarians often had very healthy appearing brains. Certainly a good reason to get out that Sudoku book or Scrabble game! Curious about how long you will live? Check out the Life Expectancy Calculator on This is a free test developed by Thomas Perls MD, MPH, the founder and director of the New England Centenarian Study, the largest study of centenarians and their families in the world. More can be learned about the study at ■

Senior living. Vibrant living.

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Great apartments with full kitchens, great prices and a great time to make a move! 24 | PrimeTime

September 2011

Professional Directory Call On These Businesses for Top Quality Products and Services Designed to Make Your Life Easier.


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x216 to Place Your Ad. PrimeTime | 25

your taxes

professional perspective

b y meg che v alier

Are you an innocent spouse? Or an injured spouse? Rather than allowing tax issues to burden you, take your life into your own hands and consider alternatives. This month’s article explains the difference between Innocent Spouse Relief and Injured Spouse Relief. Innocent Spouse - When you file a joint income tax return, the law makes you and your spouse responsible for the entire tax liability. This applies not only to the tax liability you show on the return, but also to any additional tax liability the IRS determines to be due, even if the additional tax is due to income, deductions or credits of your spouse or former spouse. In some cases, a spouse (or former spouse) will be relieved of the tax, interest and penalties on a joint return. This is called Innocent Spouse Relief. You must meet all of the following conditions to qualify for this specific relief: • You filed a joint return. • There is an understated tax on the return that is due to erroneous items of your spouse or former spouse. • You can show that when you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that the understated tax existed. • Taking into account all the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax. Generally, the tax, interest and penalties that qualify for relief can only be collected from your spouse or former spouse. However, you are jointly and individually responsible for any tax, interest and penalties that do not qualify for relief. The IRS can collect these amounts from either you or your spouse. Injured Spouse - You may be an Injured Spouse if you file a joint tax return and all or part of your overpayment was, or will be, applied to your spouse’s past-due federal tax, state income tax, child or spousal support or a federal non-tax debt, such as a student loan. Who is eligible to file an Injured Spouse allocation? The injured spouse may file a request to receive his or her share of the joint tax refund overpayment that was, or is expected to, offset if the injured spouse: • Is not required to pay the past-due amount (i.e. federal tax, state tax, child or spousal support, student loan) • Has earned income that was reported on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, or • Reported payments such as federal income tax withholding from wages or estimated tax payments, or claimed Earned Income Tax Credit or other refundable credits, on Form 1040 (Note: See Publication 555, Community Property). What to do if you believe you qualify as an Innocent or Injured Spouse? Innocent Spouse - If you believe you would qualify as an Innocent Spouse, you should complete Form 8857, Request for Innocent Spouse Relief. You should file Form 8857 as soon as you become aware of a tax liability for which you believe only your spouse or former spouse should be held responsible. The following are some of the ways you may become aware of such a liability: The IRS is examining your tax return and proposing to increase your tax liability; or the IRS sends you a notice. Injured Spouse - If you believe you would qualify as an Injured Spouse, you should complete Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. ■

26 | PrimeTime

calendar of events Block Island celebrates 350 years Block Island will celebrate its 350th anniversary in style on Sunday, Sept. 11, with a concert featuring the Beantown Swing Orchestra and its own hometown band, The Booze Beggars. The concert will take place on the Sullivan House Lawn from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., overlooking New Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Tickets are $20 each and all proceeds will go to benefit the Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad. Island hotels have put together deals for concertgoers. Multiple packages include overnight accommodations, round-trip ferry tickets, meals and bike rentals. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Happy Grandparents Day! Celebrate a day for grandparents at the Providence Children’s Museum on Sunday, Sept. 11. From 5 to 8 p.m., admission is free, thanks to the MetLife Foundation. MetLife Family Friday Free at Five! on Sept. 2 will feature activities in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The museum is located at 100 South Street in Providence. For more information, call 273-5437. Fall Fest From Sept. 16 to 18, check out the Misquamicut FallFest at Misquamicut State Beach. Admission is $5 for adults, parking is $3 and children under 3 get in for free. The festival features live entertainment, food, rides, crafts and more, and is open from 5 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 16, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

on Sept. 17, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 18. There is a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Need more information? Call 322-1026 or go to www. Marco? Polo! Catch up with the Newport International Polo Series before the 2011 season comes to an end. Matches are every Saturday this month through Sept. 24. September matches start at 4 p.m. at the Glen Farm Polo Grounds, located at 715 East Main Road in Portsmouth. For a full schedule or further details, go to or call 846-0200. A different kind of cruise Check out some classic cars while listening to oldies music and entering for the chance to win prizes at the Oakland Beach Cruise Nights. Every Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m., car lovers and their families gather at the beach park for a free night of fun. The cruise nights last until dusk and run through Sept. 26. Call the Warwick Tourism department with questions at 738-2000 ext. 6202. Warren Mills Project The Museum of Work and Culture hosts the Warren Mills Project through Oct. 30 at its gallery at 42 South Main Street in Woonsocket. Presented by artist Deborah Baronas, the project blends art and history, focused on Warren’s rich mill history. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is $8 per person. For more information, call 769-9675 or go to

Cornerstone grant keeps seniors on their feet Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc., a provider of adult day services in Rhode Island, was awarded a $43,150 grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation enabling Cornerstone to introduce a program to help improve the strength, balance, mobility and endurance of its participants, and to promote healthy aging. The day center staff at Cornerstone was certified as Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program instructors and restorative therapy aides. The goal of the program is to reduce falls and related injuries, and the participants are enjoying this new opportunity for enhanced exercise. “We are very grateful to Tufts Health Plan Foundation for awarding Cornerstone this grant and so pleased with the response from our participants,” said Administrator Dottie Santagata. Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc. opened the first Adult Day Centers in Rhode Island over 35 years ago, and today has five centers in Warwick, Coventry, Bristol and Little Compton. For more information on Cornerstone or Saint Elizabeth Community, visit

September 2011



h i s t o r y w i t h d o n d ’a m at o

A state divided; an unexpected opportunity After William Sprague III died in 1856, his nephew William became the dominant figure in the A&W Sprague Company. While his brother Amasa devoted a great deal of time to his horses, and his cousin Benomi developed Rocky Point, William IV (1830-1914) indulged himself in military matters. He spent lavishly in helping and reorganizing the Marine Artillery Company of Providence. In 1859, Sprague combined business with pleasure and took a trip to Europe. He had an earnest desire to view the military establishments of the Old World and he was told that a trip would greatly aid his health, which had failed somewhat because of the various pressures of business. He visited all the battlefields in Italy and became personally acquainted with the Italian patriot, Garibaldi, to whom he contributed liberally to help the cause of Italian unity. Without realizing it, this trip to Italy and a later one to France, would have farreaching effects on the manner in which his life would evolve. It was a time of great unrest in Rhode Island and the United States. The country was divided over the issue of the expansion of slavery and the political situation in the state was chaotic. Old party lines were being shattered. Rhode Island was looking for a candidate who had not been embroiled in the fighting, and Sprague, being abroad, seemed to be the man of the hour. William Sprague grew up in a household where politics often dominated the conversation at the dinner table. His father, Amasa, had been elected to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1842, and his Uncle William had been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1836, governor in 1838 and U.S. Senator in 1842. The Spragues were very independent thinkers and often worked with the Democratic Party. At times, they were in opposition to the Yankee conservative, anti-Catholic Whigs who were coming more and more under the control of Henry B. Anthony. Using the fear of the ever-growing Irish population, Anthony, as editor and owner of the Providence Journal, took control of the state legislature and had himself elected to the U.S. Senate.

retirement sparks

By 1850, the anti-Irish, anti-Catholic, Know-Nothing Party came into power in the state and united with the anti-slavery Whigs. By 1855, this combination elected William Hoppin as governor and seemed well entrenched with only some mill owners, as the Spragues, in opposition. Within a year, however, the Whigs, bitterly divided over the slavery issue, disintegrated with many of them joining the new Republican Party. The Democrats were also divided between those who favored Thomas Dorr’s reforms and those who were anti-Catholic. Throughout this, many wealthy mill owners feared the slavery controversy, as they didn’t want to alienate the southern plantation owners for fear that their cotton supply would be cut off. As a result, some observers noted, Rhode Island had formed an “unholy alliance” between the “lords of the loom” and the “lords of the lash.” The division in the state made it obvious by the late 1850s that Rhode Island was not a strong anti-slavery state. The state had cast its vote for Republican John C. Fremont in 1856 with the belief that this would help keep the Union together. When the Republican Party in Rhode Island nominated Seth Padelford for governor in the coming 1860 election, there was considerable division in party ranks. Many Republicans felt that Padelford was too much of a radical and an abolitionist. New alliances were made between disgruntled and moderate Republicans who joined the Democrats and called for a fusion candidate on a “Conservative” ticket. It was in this political climate that William Sprague found himself in January 1860. Much to his surprise, on Jan. 19, the moderate Republicans nominated him for governor. Soon after, his company, the Marine Artillery, now an influential group in Providence, also decided that he was the man to beat Padelford. The story of William Sprague, “the boy governor” will be continued. ■


b y elaine m . decker


Thinning out the closet This month, I’m wading deeper into the topic of downsizing for retirement. Some months back, I decided to tackle a major challenge - thinning out my closet. Or more accurately, closets. We have a big house and my clothes are spread throughout five closets. Yeah, I know. I’m pathetic. Adorable and well dressed, but pathetic. But I’m also a Virgo, so at least my closets are well organized. I’ve been quite controlled about adding to my wardrobe in recent years. Generally, if something new comes in, something old needs to go out. That’s helped keep my wardrobe from expanding (unlike my waist...), but it hasn’t helped cut it down. A digression for my fellow clothes horses: one of the ways I curtail my buying, is I estimate the number of times I expect to wear the item. If a top is going to cost me more than $5 per wearing, a September 2011

bottom more than $10, and so on, I buy the item only if I need it for something special. That way, I can be sure that I’ll really, as my mother used to say, “get my money’s worth out of it.” Of course, “special” is a relative term, but that’s fodder for a whole other column. Back to thinning out what’s already in those closets. I needed a plan of attack, and my assistant, Amy, described the one I devised as my clothes “auditioning” for retirement. When I was still working, I dressed every day. Each night, I would try on clothes for the next day, focusing on items that I rarely wore - things from the gray zone of whether or not to keep them. If the outfit looked bad or felt uncomfortable, the offending item went straight to the donation pile. If it looked and felt OK, I wore it to work the next day. At the end of the day, I evaluated how I thought I looked, as well as how

“connected” I felt to the clothes. If I felt good about the outfit, it was a keeper. If I didn’t, it went into the laundry on its way to the donation pile. Amy became an enthusiastic participant in this process. When I wore something she hadn’t seen before, she’d ask, “Is that auditioning?” If she liked the outfit, she gave it encouragement, “I hope you make the cut!” When I told her something just didn’t feel or look right, she waved to it and said wistfully, “Goodbye, skirt!” I thinned out a lot of clothes this way, but I’m still two closets over a retirement wardrobe. Any slacks that required dry cleaning, other than wool ones, were donated. Likewise, blouses that needed ironing. The dress that I affectionately but morbidly referred to as “my mother’s funeral dress” (now far too small) was gone. I know I probably don’t need 18 pairs of black pants, 30 black tops, and 20 pairs of black shoes (and yes, I count-

ed them). But the pants are different cuts and weights, and the tops have different necklines and sleeve lengths. And the shoes, well, did I mention my co-workers used to call me Imelda Decker? If any of you have suggestions on how to refine this audition process, please share them. I have nightmares that a month after I’ve donated one of my former favorites, I’m looking for it to wear to some “special” occasion. I just hope it’s not a funeral. ■

PrimeTime | 27




Authentic Brazilian food at Sabor Brasileiro Wesley Olivera grew up in Brasilia, Brazil, and came to Rhode Island 10 years ago with a dream of opening a restaurant that featured authentic Brazilian food. That dream came true less than three months ago, when he opened Sabor Brasileiro at 369 Douglas Ave. in Providence. Wesley worked in construction, using those skills to completely renovate a former Laundromat in a shopping plaza near the Providence College campus. He and his wife Sylvana worked night and day to make the bright and cheery place an asset to the neighborhood, offering authentic dishes at reasonable prices and adding a pizza parlor. If you have ever been to Brazil, you will remember the many food carts and bakeries serving a variety of “fritos na hora,” that wonderful pastry filled with meats and cheeses. Our favorites are the empadas, sweet, crispy dough filled with beef, chicken or cheese. At only $1.70 each, they are the way to start any meal. We also fell in love with kibe; a combination of flour and meat that is deep fat fried and has a wonderful flavor ($1.70). Served with lemon, and hot sauce if you wish, it is worth the trip to Douglas Avenue. Their pastries, breads and desserts (try the flan) are mostly cooked in-house, with some of the breads ordered from a Brazilian bakery in Massachusetts. The Brazilian cheese bread ($1.70) makes a fine addition to the meal. For my entrée, I chose Muqueca, which is a huge portion of king fish, topped with shrimp, with a fantastic sauce. It comes with the fluffiest rice I’ve ever eaten ($13 for one, $18 for two, $24 for three). I ordered for one, and took a good portion home. Joyce enjoyed the Amazonas, a colorful combination of chicken, sausage, broccoli and other veggies, and “pimentao,” served with rice and French fries ($12). A side dish of bean sauce enhanced my rice. Salads are prepared with fresh fruits and vegetables, and Brazilian soups are very popular, and a meal in themselves at $11. Try one of the many natural juice drinks made with water or milk ($3.50 or $3.75). I had a delicious tangerine, while Joyce enjoyed coconut. The bright and cheery, unpretentious restaurant seats about 48 people and is tastefully decorated. All of the breads, desserts and “salgdos” are displayed in cases available for take-out, and are hard to resist. If you are looking for something unique with very reasonable prices, try Sabor Brasileiro Restaurant and café. Their phone number is 490-0724. They are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Two nights on the Cape

When our son-in-law offered us two nights at his time-share on the Truro/Provincetown line on the Cape in July, we jumped at the chance. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to drive on a Thursday morning, with heavy but moving traffic on Route 6 to 6A. We met up with relatives and took the 10-minute shuttle bus ride, which runs every half hour, to the center of Provincetown ($2, or $1 for seniors). Don’t Drive! Parking and mobility are at a premium. Walking around the center of town is a trip. You’ll see some very interesting people, and not all of them are members of the local gay community. Tourists can be as interesting as residents. Our visit fell during Bear Week, the annual celebration of big, hairy guys. It was an unusually cool, windy day. Whale Watches were cancelled and it wasn’t a beach day, so everyone headed for the narrow downtown streets. There are fabulous art galleries, antique stores, posh shops, eateries, street vendors and performers, and the greatest Army-Navy store in the country. We ate at the Lobster Pot, 321 Commercial St., overlooking Provincetown Harbor. Joyce and I had the clambake, chowder, salad, homemade breads, mussels, corn on the cob, red potatoes and a 1-1/4 pound lobster ($30). Robin had a stuffed cold lobster roll ($19) and Mike had fish and chips ($17). Bob had Portuguese Fish ($27) and Cherry had salmon ($28). It was all very good, but expensive. I was up early the next morning, eager to walk the shoreline at low tide before heading into town for the best whale watch of our lives. There are two major companies operating out of Providence. We suggest the Dolphin Fleet, the originators of the East Coast whale watch, which for under $40 (there are senior, AAA, and coupon discounts), guarantees a future free trip if there are no whale sightings. We saw 12 to 15 different whales, including a pod of six, plus baby whales, and we saw them up close. If you have never experienced the adventure of watching whales eat, frolic and breach, you owe it to yourself to take this three-hour journey. For lunch, we bought a Connecticut Lobster Roll, a quarter pound of tender lobster meat served hot with melted butter on a warm Portuguese roll ($12.95). We stopped at a Portuguese bakery for their version of a doughboy, which is 10 times better, and sweet to the point of sinfulness. That evening we drove to South Wellfleet for dinner at the Catch of the Day on Route 6. I had the whole belly clams, which were good, but not as good as Carousel Grill’s in Oakland Beach, and nearly twice as much at $19.50. Joyce enjoyed her Fisherman’s Platter of whole belly clams, fish, calamari, sea scallops and shrimp. It was outrageously priced, but good, at $27. She even shared. The lesson is: bring your credit card if you plan to dine out on the cape. On our return trip, we drove through the drowsy town of Truro and the bustling waterfront town of Wellfleet. We wanted to get a jump on the Saturday traffic home, so didn’t stop at brother-in-law’s favorite restaurant, Arnold’s in Eastham, where he claims to have had the best sea scallops ever. The traffic leading out of the cape was horrendous (don’t travel on a Saturday), extending our return to over four hours. When we reached Seekonk we were starved, and stopped at 5Guys for a good, old-fashioned hamburger. ■ 28 | PrimeTime

September 2011

business Directory Your Guide to Products and Services Designed to Make Your Life Easier.

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PrimeTime | 29

We’re looking for new members . . .

Korean War Veterans Korean Service Veterans Meetings held 2nd Wednesday of every Month Chepachet Senior Center Rte. 44 1210 Putnam Pike, Chepachet Call Frank 231-3736 or Gil 831-3301 For More Information

calendar of events Back in time Visit the Rogers Free Library in Bristol on Sept. 8 for a presentation on the American slave cloth and its connection to New England. Textiles expert Madelyn Shaw will speak on this topic at a lecture sponsored by Linden Place. The discussion begins at 7 p.m. and the event is free and open to the public. Go to or call 253-0390 to find out more. Sign your Hitchcock right there From Sept. 8 to 18, Theatre By The Sea hosts Alfred Hitchcock’s “The 39 Steps,” which mixes Hitchcock’s masterpiece with a spy novel and a dash of Monty Python. Theatre By The Sea is located at 364 Cards Pond Road in Matunuck. Tickets are $34 to $44 per person. For reservations, go to or call 782-3800. Friends Giving Back Frank and Kathy Carpano and Bill and Karen Ciotti will host a benefit for Adoption RI at Pearl Restaurant and Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 7 to 11 p.m. There will be dinner, dancing, live entertainment and more. Admission is $45 at the door, or call Adoption RI for advance tickets and more information at 331-3000. Colonial days On Sept. 10, the Smith-Appleby House in Smithfield will run colonial tours through the museum from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $4 for adults, and children get in for free. Volunteers will portray Colonial-era characters and give true-to-life demonstrations. Visit the museum at 220 Stillwater Road or call 231-7363.

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Recipe contest revives family mealtimes Home Instead Senior Care is encouraging caregivers to dig into the recipe box to find that favorite family dish that has stood the test of time, and prepare and share a meal with their senior loved one. Enter that recipe and the story about what makes the dish so special in the Homemade MemoriesSM Recipe Contest by Sept. 15. The contest is part of the Craving Companionship program at www., launched to help seniors stay connected socially and eat more nutritiously. “Many seniors need help planning and preparing nutritious meals,” said Gary Leiter, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving all of Rhode Island. “But that’s only part of the story. Research reveals that seniors who live alone want good-tasting, nutritious food and stimulating conversation when they share home-cooked meals with family and friends.” Selected recipes and stories will be posted online as well as in the Homemade MemoriesSM Cookbook that will be available for purchase in time for the 2011 holiday season. Proceeds will go to the non-profit Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to benefit North American seniors. “Home Instead Senior Care research shows that 59 percent of seniors who live alone say they eat more nutritiously when family and friends are around,” Leiter said. “They really enjoy having that connection with someone, whether it’s a family caregiver or a professional CAREGiverSM.”


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30 | PrimeTime

September 2011

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September 2011 PrimeTime  

Style and beauty