The South Coast Insider - February 2016

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February 2016 Vol. 20 / No. 2

Stay fresh February vacation Celebrate leap day Chew on chocolate Beats in New Bedford Secrets of success



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Chocoholics, rejoice!

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Top shelf self-care


Traits of successful people By SHERRI MAHONEY-BATTLES


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Love poems and posies By NANCY PLANTE

St. Patrick’s Sojourn




February vacation tips


Make a day of leap year


New Bedford’s music scene

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February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

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FROM THE PUBLISHER Febraury 2016 / Vol. 20 / No. 2

Published by

Happy February! You don’t hear that one a lot, do you? Weather-wise, it’s a pretty bleak time of year. Sometimes, the best thing you can say about February is that it’s the shortest month. But before you come down with a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, make sure you read this issue of The Insider to learn about some of the fun things you can look forward to over the next few weeks.

Coastal Communications Corp.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ljiljana Vasiljevic


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Online Editor Paul Letendre


Steve Connors, Greg Jones, Paul E. Kandarian, Dan Logan, Tom Lopes, Sherri Mahoney-Battles, Sean McCarthy, Jay Pateakos, Nancy Plante, Elizabeth Morse Read, Michael J. Vieira The South Coast Insider is published monthly for visitors and residents of the South Coast area. The Insider is distributed free of charge from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay. All contents copyright ©2016 Coastal Communications Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. All information contained herein is believed to be reliable. Coastal Communications Corp. does not assume any financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisements, but will reprint that portion of an advertisement in which the typographical error occurs.


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If you’re a kid, you don’t need to be reminded that February Vacation is right around the corner. If you’re a parent, you probably don’t want a reminder. But never fear: Mike Vieira has compiled a list of things to do with the young people in your life on page 6. There’s more than enough to last the entire month! Speaking of reminders, don’t forget that 2016 is a Leap Year. While a whole extra day of February (and a Monday, no less) may seem more like an infernal torture than a mere calendrical re-adjustment, Dan Logan reveals some fun facts and top tips for making the most of this extra day on page 8. Of course, right in the middle of the month we have Valentine’s Day, which means one thing: go candy shopping on the 15th. Okay, it means other things, too. But if you’re a chocoholic, the day after Valentine’s is a holiday unto itself. But did you know chocolate can be healthy too? Get ready to drool over Elizabeth Morse Read’s article on page 12. Finally, when you want the world to melt away, there’s no better solution than spending some time getting a massage, a makeover, or simply sitting down and letting someone else worry about you for a change. If you’re looking to spend some time on self-care, make sure you read Greg Jones’s recommendations on page 20. However you choose to spend your time this month, remember that there’s enough to do so that by the time March rolls around, you’ll wish February was even longer.

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February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Publisher and Editor-in-Chief



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vacation tips By Michael J. Vieira

February Vacation. The words put a chill in parents’ and caretakers’ hearts like the winter wind. Sure, some families pack their bags, drain their bank accounts, and head to Florida theme parks for February School Vacation fun. Others might escape to the Cape or indoor water parks in search of warmth and water, but many others will be staying home in the South Coast. That’s not a bad thing. Right in your hometown (or a short drive or public transportation hop away) are some hot opportunities to help you have a cool time.

Kidding around

If you live in Fall River or the surrounding towns, head to the Children’s Museum of Fall River. Located in the old courthouse at 441 North Main Street, the stately granite building is home to ten exhibit rooms. In addition, there are “Hallway Activities” including an Air Wall, Executive Director Jo-Anne Sbrega pointed out. She also provided some highlights for the vacation week. “Each day we have lots of materials ready and waiting in the Likable Recyclable Room for your creations. We will also be featuring STEM and Tinkering Projects for Children two to ten years old,” she noted. In addition, Joanie Woodword will be at the museum offering “Laughing Yoga” at 10:30 on Friday morning. If you haven’t been to the museum in a while, there’s now more fun upstairs. “We have started developing the second floor with two exhibits in the wing we call ‘Healthy Lifestyle,’” she said, adding, “There is Children’s Exercise Equipment as well as a virtual gaming floor in which children use their feet instead of iPads!” During the school vacation week, the Children’s Museum will be closed on Monday, but open on


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Tuesday from 10 to 4. They will also be open during their regular hours the rest of the week (WednesdayFriday 9 to 5, Saturday 10 to 4, Sunday 12 to 4). Admission is $8 for anyone at least a year old. For more information, visit The nearby Providence Children’s Museum also is planning some special events during the week. They are usually open Tuesday-Sunday from 9 to 6, but will be open on Presidents’ Bounce around for as Day. Children’s singer and storylong as you want at teller Keith Munslow will entertain Pirate Shark in Swansea. on February 15 from 11:30 to 2. For more information, visit www.childrenSince 1894, the zoo has been a place to spend some leisure time with animals in a beautiful, landThe Pirate Shark at the Swansea Mall also boasts scaped environment. And that might be good for three fun attractions. Bounce around for as long you. as you want at Jumpin’ Slide, play a round of black David Gessner, a Massachusetts native who is a light mini golf, or play the newest video games at well-known essayist and nature writer, suggested Treasure Cove Arcade. There will also be mini bowlthat we are becoming a nation of “technology ing coming soon. Visit www.piratesharkminigolf. addicts” who are suffering from “Nature Deficit com and or call 508-509Disorder.” 3434 for party or admission prices. “Science is proving what we’ve always known Keep your pinky fingers up if you choose to intuitively. Nature does good things to the brain. spend some time this Valentine’s Day at Bristol’s It makes us healthier, happier, smarter,” he said in Blithewold Mansion. At 11 a.m., they’ll be holda video with National Geographic, adding, “Small ing Valentine Teddy Bear Tea. Bring your favorite doses of the natural world can bring positive benestuffed friend along and enjoy teddy bear treats fits to the way we live.” and drink tea and cocoa from fine china in an elIn addition to the zoo, there are lots of places in egant dining room. $22 for children, and $32 for the city and surrounding areas to take a walk on adults. Advance registration is required. Visit www. one of those winter days when the sun is out and or call 401-253-2707. the temperature is above freezing. Check out the Animal magnetism Quequechan River Rail Trail in Fall River. What’s cooler than going to the zoo? Did you Phase one was a paved trail less than one mile know that the Buttonwood Park Zoo is open year long near South Watuppa Pond behind LePage’s round? During the winter (November to March), Seafood and Grille off Martine Street (Route 6) the hours are 9 to 4. where Kerr Mill used to be. It is being extended

along the Quequechan River past Father Travossos Park to Britland Park. A stylish new entrance on Brayton Avenue not far from Plymouth Avenue was dedicated in October. The trail should be complete in spring of 2016 and will eventually allow folks to walk, run, or bike along the old Watuppa Secondary rail line and on an elevated boardwalk in the middle of the river which gave the city its name. As a side benefit, the Rodman Street entrance is located near Rosaria’s Diner, a great spot for breakfast or lunch. So whether you want seafood and a drink at LePage’s or coffee and eggs at Rosaria’s, you can reward yourself for getting some exercise. Other places that are great for a quick outdoor adventure are Village Park behind Town Hall or the town beach in Swansea, Pierce Beach in Somerset, or just about any place in Westport. Thanks to the efforts of a local Eagle Scout and the Westport Land Conservation Trust and the Trustees of the Reservation, you can now walk through part of what was the old Camp Noquochoke on Pine Hill Road. My friends and I created many great memories at that old Scout camp.

Hit the road

One of the benefits of living in the South Coast is the proximity to just about anywhere. Take a drive to Providence and stroll Federal Hill. It’s less expensive at lunch time, but there are some great inexpensive and kid friendly places like Angelo’s Civita Farnese Restaurant on Atwell’s Avenue. A local favorite since 1924, my kids still talk about their meatballs and French fries – a bargain at $5.70.

You can also stroll through the Arcade, the nation’s first enclosed shopping center, or wander around Brown. There are several museums to explore, but admission for youth ages 5-18 is only $3 at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Museum. They’re located at 20 North Main Street and are open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 to 5. Visit for more details. Boston is only an hour away, but by car it could take much longer. Depending where you are in the South Coast, you can take the commuter train from Attleboro or Middleboro and ride the rails. Visit for schedules and more information. Like most things, there’s now “an app for that.” You can use the MBTA mTicket app to purchase your ticket – and you now pay for parking using your mobile device. See for more information. Before you head to Boston, visit your local library (or its website) for information on borrowing free passes to museums. Most have limited passes to places like the Boston Children’s Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science and others. But beware – vacation week is also a period of high demand. Speaking of libraries, most of them will be offering special activities, so be sure to visit these great resources whether at home or away. They all have web pages and your library can now get you music, movies, magazines, and more online. The winter is also a great time to visit places that are often packed during the summer. Whether taking a ride to Cape Cod, exploring Newport, or strolling Bristol, there are lots of things to do for adults and kids – and not only during vacation week.


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Make a day of it by Dan Logan

By late February we need all the help we can get in keeping our spirits up, what with the lousy weather and short days grinding at our spirit like a buzzsaw chewing through dry pine. y the end of February, the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, Presidents Day, and National Margarita Day are but faded memories of good times gone, and Saint Patrick’s Day lies far ahead in the mist-shrouded future. We need something else to latch onto to help us across the Slough of Despond to nice spring weather and our summer vacay. Well, 2016 has a present for us. Leap Year, or perhaps more accurately, Leap Day, which is February 29. Most years run out of steam on February 28, but every fourth year we get a February 29. Admittedly, Leap Day is down there with Groundhog Day as a source of midwinter inspirational material to help sustain a positive outlook on life. Leap Day is not a national holiday. And because it falls on a Monday in 2016, it might seem an especially tortured travesty of a holiday that should take one’s mind off of mundane matters.

Leaping ahead

To paraphrase the Talking Heads, Leap Day 2016 ain’t no party. It ain’t no disco. It ain’t no foolin’ around. But it is something a creative mind can pick up and run with, the way Gronk smacks through secondaries with great enthusiasm and panache.


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

You are, in fact, regaining a day in your life that has slithered away over the last four years. It’s up to you how to use it. Leap Days and Leap Years are the astronomer’s way of reconciling our neatly configured 365day calendar with what’s actually going on in the universe. We operate according to the Gregorian calendar, implemented by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 as a way to keep Easter at a fixed time of year (and at the same time introducing solutions to other astronomical complications to our daily life). Over time, the Gregorian calendar became widely accepted as a tool for keeping things synced from one country to the next. The Earth orbits the sun not in a precise, convenient 365 days, but in a sloppy, awkward 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 16 seconds (365.2425 days). Those extra 5+ hours really make a hash of things even after a few short years. Without leap years, after a few thousand or a few million years summer will be winter and your local South Coast Independence Day parade will be held

in deep snow, not that that isn’t already a possibility what with erratic weather patterns and all. Since the universe is constantly rearranging itself, I’m willing to bet even the 365.2425 day calculation is at best a fairly close approximation of what’s going on out there. The earth is whirling around the sun and around the center of the galaxy with a tiny wobble here, an oh-so-slight perturbation there. Meaning, at some point I suspect the Gregorian calendar is going to require further work in the next billion years or so. There are other calendars in use such as the Buddhist, Hebrew, Hindu, and Islamic calendars, but they all compensate for the universe in their own ways. I digress. Leave the calculations to the astronomers

and the implementation to the civil authorities. Every fourth year, the calendar catches up with those 5+ hours per year it hasn’t accounted for, so an extra day is added. Look at Leap Day 2016 positively, not as just another cold day to heat your house, but as an opportunity. But, it’s pretty much an opportunity you’ll have to create for yourself, from the ground up.

An extra day

Is there anything you can do on Leap Day that you can’t do any other day? Well, not really. If you’re determined to make the most of Leap Day, you might start by making a list of 29 things you might do on Leap Day. Search the Internet for ideas. I’ve done that. Nothing dramatic really leaps out at me (pun intended.) If Leap Day 2016 is your birthday, this year you can actually celebrate on your birthday. One of my aunts, Palmeda Vasconcellos of New Bedford, was born on Leap Day, and she made it to 100 years old (celebrating on February 28th rather than February 29th when necessary), and she always had a sunny disposition. Extrapolating from that admittedly sparse bit of information, being born on Leap Day may mean a long and happy life. If you’re a party animal, you’ve got all the reasons you need for a wild Monday evening after work. Leap Day, yeah! You’ve got all week to recover. Incidentally, for better or worse, people are rarely able to squirm out of legal commitments in years that aren’t Leap Years because something originally occurred on February 29. Leap Year has always served as a last gasp offensive or defensive weapon for people trying to finagle legal deadlines or contract dates. Don’t put all your eggs in that basket. Typically, anything starting or ending February 29th when there is no February 29th gets pushed to March 1st, instead of pulled back to February 28th. Conversely, if there’s a February 29th and it adds a day that works against you (if you’re serving a prison sentence, for example) that’s tough, too. Use Leap Day as a shopportunity, if you’re so inclined and not still broke from Valentine’s Day. As Leap Day gets closer, usually around the beginning of February, marketers start popping up with Leap

Year specials such as reduced travel deals, price ski lift tickets, restaurant discounts and retail store bargains. This is where your list might come in handy. Include the items you’d buy or do if they are discounted; this way you can react instantly if you spot the right deal. Search “leap day deals” on the web for advance warning of possible sales. For example, in 2012 Sunday River in Maine and Stratton Mountain in Vermont offered heavily discounted lift tickets to skiers, but people benefited most if they knew all the rules. Maybe low-key Leap Year works for you. Say, some take-out Chinese and a movie. Carolyn Longworth, director of the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, suggests you put a hold on “The Pirates of Penzance” video at your local library. This operetta tells the story of a young man held prisoner by pirates; he expects to be freed on his 21st birthday— but the pirates claim, since he was born on Leap Day, his release isn’t due until he’s 84. Obviously, the most intriguing thing about Leap Day appears to be the astronomical and mathematical tidbits used to come up with Leap stuff. Bear with me here. On our Gregorian calendar, January 1 and December 31 fall on the same day of the week except in a Leap Year, when everything from March onward gets pushed back an extra day. So, January 1, 2016 was a Friday, and January 1, 2017 would be a Saturday except that 2016 was a Leap Year—so January 1, 2017 will be a Sunday. Unfortunately, the leap year correction doesn’t quite do it over time, so a year evenly divisible by 100 also has to be divisible by 400 to be a leap year. This means the years 1600, 2000 and 2400 are leap years, but 2100, 2200 and 2300 are not. This allows for an extra three days of correction every 400 years, though that really doesn’t matter much to you and I. Don’t kill yourself to make sense of this unless it really intrigues you. On the other hand, this whole calendar thing is quite interesting when you get into it. Like any other day, Leap Day is what you make of it. At least get out there and try to wreak your own kind of creative havoc to battle the winter blues. Enjoy February 29, and remember it doesn’t delay the arrival of spring.

Obviously, the most intriguing thing about Leap Day appears to be the astronomical and mathematical tidbits used to come up with Leap stuff.



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The South Coast Insider / February 2016



All about

Emma Jean’s By Jay Pateakos

The origin stories of businesses are as diverse as the businesses themselves. Emma Jean’s, the bakery/candy store/ice cream spot in Fairhaven that has blossomed into a successful restaurant, is no different. athy Melanson, a lifelong Fairhaven resident who owns Emma Jean’s along with her husband Ken, who owns the Northern Wind Inc. scallop processor business in New Bedford, always lived the retail life. On the side, she was always one of those mothers baking things for her four daughters. She loved to bake and she did it so well that her daughters prodded her to think of one day opening up her own place. Those thoughts continued to swirl in her mind when tragedy struck the family and her grandchild, Emma Jean, was stillborn. Something positive needed to come from this pain, somehow. “With all my years in retail and my husband owning his own business for 30 years, I never thought of opening my own bakery and ice cream shop until my daughters suggested I go for it,” said Melanson. “So I did.” The name of that business, located at the former Dorothy Cox candy location at 111 Huttleston Avenue, came without hesitation – Emma Jean’s. The full name is Emma Jean’s Bakery & Café, Candy House, and Ice Cream Shoppe. “We wanted to make it a colorful place, somewhere you can go where it would put a smile on your face,” said Melanson. While the ice cream side of the business is seasonal, the bakery and candy store side are open seven days a week.


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Growing up

About a year after opening Emma Jean’s in 2011, the Melansons were approached about their interest in buying the adjacent property that held the long-time town restaurant staple, The Huttleston House, which was set to close for good. It’s one thing to open up an ice cream and candy shop, but it’s completely another to open up a restaurant. The Melansons thought long and hard. There’s really no more demanding of a business out there then running a restaurant, but the Melansons decided, with the property right next door, to give it a shot. “We put the right people in the right places, people with a background of running restaurants that put us ahead of the game, so that we were not doing this alone,” said Melanson, whose daughters, Christine and Samantha, work as managers at the business dubbed EJ’s Restaurant and Deli. “We wanted to create a family-friendly restaurant where family and friends could come and gather.” It seemed like a great fit. The already-existing bakery could supply the fresh bread needed for the restaurant and in addition, the Melansons opened a retail and wholesale deli on the site for people to be able to take home fresh meats. Opening in September of 2014, EJ’s Restaurant and Deli has thrived, but not without its growing pains. Kathy said she learned fast that customer expectations can be difficult at times and an even worse struggle to

hire and maintain good help ensued, something many businesses face. Employed since its opening, General Manager Justin Braun has been the calming influence the Melansons needed. With 20 years of restaurant management under his belt, Braun said he was looking for a restaurant/butcher shop combination management role at the same time the Melansons were. As far as he is concerned, it was meant to be. “It was a concept that was new and different and I sat down with Cathy and Ken and it just seemed a perfect fit,” said Braun. “We wanted to focus on home-style meals, like getting those home-cooked meals when you go out, things like beef stroganoff, or bacon-wrapped meatloaf.”

On the menu

Their giant menu includes dozens of items, from brick oven pizza, hand-made burgers, seared sea scallops, marinated steak tips, salads, and many sandwiches. The fish is locally caught, the meat ground on site, the bread baked next door, with Braun joking that there’s really no need for a freezer at all on site since everything is made or brought in fresh. “Nothing is ever, ever frozen,” Braun said with an abundance of regular and chef’s specials every day for people to choose from. They even added breakfast to the EJ’s repertoire

“We wanted to make it a colorful place – somewhere you could go where it would put a smile on your face.”

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recently, opening on Saturdays and Sundays. Fairhaven Board of Selectmen Chairman Charles Murphy knows a thing or two about Emma Jean’s, not only as a long-time Board of Selectmen member who has seen their business move in and then expand to a restaurant, but also on a personal level – his daughter has worked there since it opened its doors four years ago. “It is so good to see a flourishing business in our town with great food for all. I think we need more businesses in Fairhaven since we have so many vacant buildings, and with the hiring of a new Town Administrator, there is hope for new ideas on seeing this accomplished,” said Murphy. “As for EJ’s, we are proud to have this establishment in the Town of Fairhaven and glad that they provide another social dining opportunity for our residents and people who come in from other areas. I know that the Melansons work hard and want to have their business known for good food and good service... they have accomplished that.”


But like any good business, there’s always a need for tweaks. With the struggle of operating two major businesses under one roof, the Melansons have decided to close the retail aspect of the deli, moving its operations to the bakery side. Braun said a lot of the items people have grown to love like the meat pies or pierogis will still be available for sale, but they felt there was a need to utilize the deli space more as an extension of the restaurant side. “We found that people either knew us as a deli or they knew us as a restaurant, but not as both, despite our best marketing,” said Braun. So the deli side, which Braun said is roughly one quarter of the buildings space, will be renovated into a casual side to the restaurant, something he said is badly needed in town these days. “We want to create a gathering place for lighter fare and cocktails, a private place with couches and

maybe some entertainment where people can come, sit down, relax, and talk,” said Braun. While not the biggest of renovation projects, Braun said it will take some time to redesign the former deli area, hoping for an early spring opening, but he wanted people to know that the deli items they’ve grown to love will still be available on the bakery side. Melanson said that’s not all the things planned for 2016. While they currently make in-house about 25 percent of their ice cream offerings, she said they will be upping that number to at least 50 percent while also creating some light menu options in the bakery area like nachos and small sandwiches. Melanson said the bakery is another priority for 2016. She noted that although the bakery stays busy making many types of bread for the restaurant, she wants to do more to have that bakery be a destination for people shopping for fine breads. Braun said with the new restaurant addition coming, they’re hoping to get into more events like beer and wine tastings, in addition to some light entertainment, to give people a reason to get out and come by EJ’s. “People know who we are and they know they come here for a great family restaurant, with homemade food in a great atmosphere,” said Braun. In looking back over the last four years, Melanson said she is most proud of the fact that although she could have built up Emma Jean’s in any town, she did so in her own hometown, where many, many people know each other and support each other. “It’s something to look back on and be proud of – a place that makes people happy, a place people can embrace and be comfortable at,” said Melanson. “We want people to have a comfortable place to eat, a family-friendly atmosphere that gives you that small-town feeling, based out of our hometown.” “Our hope is to have another EJ’s somewhere someday,” she added. “I’d like to see that happen.”

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Chocoholics, rejoice! By Elizabeth Morse Read

February is National Chocolate Lovers Month! Along with flowers, frilly cards, and red underpants, nothing screams “Valentine’s Day” more than a box of chocolates. Read on to learn more about this mythical “food of the gods.” The story of Xocoatl

The cacao tree is scientifically known as Theobroma Cacao – “food of the gods.” The ancient cacao tree and its precious beans were native to Mesoamerica and were unknown to the European world until the 16th century. Xocoatl (“hot liquid”) was the original name of what we call “chocolate” today. But cacao beans were more than just a delicacy food – they were precious commodities also used as currency in the Aztec/Mayan world, similar to how salt was traded in ancient Rome. After cacao beans are dried and roasted, they’re processed to separate the dark cocoa solids


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

from the creamy cocoa butter, which are then reblended according to a specific end-product recipe. Any further commercial processing determines whether it becomes dark chocolate (bittersweet), milk chocolate (sweetened), white chocolate, or powdered cocoa. But white chocolate and Dutch-processed cocoas, while very tasty, have been stripped of all the nutritionally-beneficial chemicals found in dark chocolate. White chocolate may taste chocolate-y, but it contains no dark cocoa solids – it’s basically cocoa butter mixed with sugars and milk solids. And milk chocolate may be sweeter and creamier than dark

chocolate, but milk cancels out the antioxidant flavonoids in dark chocolate. Chocolate shouldn’t be combined with dairy products (like in ice cream, milk-chocolate candy bars or Nestle’s Quik) – it’s a total waste of good chocolate.

The chemistry of chocolate

The cacao bean, much like coffee beans and tea leaves, has a very complex chemical profile – unadulterated, minimally-processed dark chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals, like caffeine, theobromine, and other chemicals related to amphetamines or which mimic the brain’s

response to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The psychoactive chemicals in chocolate boost the brain’s production of serotonin and endorphins, which makes you feel mellow and mildly euphoric. So, eating good dark chocolate (1 oz./day max) is definitely a mood/pleasure-booster – and it’s legal. Chocolate has many chemical properties that are actually good for your health. In the pre-modern era, it was used to treat fatigue, coughs, melancholy, chest pains, and hypochondria. Now we know why. Theobromine, a caffeine-like alkaloid found in dark chocolate, is a scientifically-known vasodilator and diuretic, good for treating high blood pressure, angina, edema, bronchial congestion, and asthma (this is the chemical that is toxic to animals, so keep Fido away from the brownies.)

Researchers have found that dark chocolate, which contains tannin, actually protects tooth enamel and is a natural alternative to fluoride in preventing tooth decay. But dark chocolate also contains a unique nutritional punch – it’s packed with riboflavin, vitamin B12, antioxidant flavonoids, and trace minerals like manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. It has earned its reputation as a “super-food,” right up there with other antioxidant-rich foods like cranberries, garlic, red wine, tea, and apples. Dark chocolate is included in the Healing Foods Pyramid, a wholefoods, plant-based diet. And researchers have found that dark chocolate, which contains tannin, actually protects tooth enamel and is a natural alternative to fluoride in preventing tooth decay.

“Let there be dark!” chocolate

Not all of the chocolate goodies out there are created equal. There is no comparison between unsweetened dark chocolate/cocoa products, and the Oreos, M&Ms, and Coco Puffs we eat in America. Continued ON NEXT PAGE

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rations of salt to keep their strength up. Native American warriors carried strips of pemmican (simChocolate-flavored junk-food (an American speilar to jerky), made of dried meat, fat, and crancialty) contains very little of the original cacao bean. berries. Back in the early 1800s, the British Navy It’s been over-processed and adulterated with sugstocked Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits on all vessels ars, fats, flavorings, and chemical additives. to prevent scurvy, the scourge of ancient mariners Meanwhile, Europeans consider chocolate to who spent years at sea. be good for children’s health, whereas many And dark chocolate has long been supplied as a Americans take a much more puritanical view – we nutritionally-dense, heat-resistant, light-weight susee “chocolate” as a sweet, addictive indulgence per-food for modern-era warriors. that causes (a) cavities, (b) midriff bulge, and (c) Even centuries ago in America, dark chocolate acne. (Actually, it’s all the added sugars, fats and was known to be a healthful energy food, espeflavorings that do that – not the chocolate.) The cially for the combat troops. Starting from the chocolate-producing countries in Europe have been Revolutionary War on to WWII D-rations and the very successful in selling child-targeted products sundries kits of Vietnam and Desert Storm (even like Kinder-Schokolade and Nutella, a spreadable on Apollo missions!), chocolate has always been chocolate/hazelnut blend for toast or sandwiches. included in US military rations. Wounded soldiers It’s also a bit much for most Americans to conduring the Civil War were fed extra chocolate rasider eating chocolate on meat or vegetables, but tions to help speed their many classic recipes recovery. The Norman from south-of-theRockwell image of border (where American GIs givchocolate origing their chocolate inated, after rations to children Dark chocolate all) use dark in war-torn counchocolate as a is included in the tries is iconic. cooking (not just Healing Foods Pyramid, baking) ingredient. Cocoa Think of Mexican a wholefoods, casanovas mole poblano sauce Chocolate has long plant-based diet. and chili recipes – dark been associated with affecchocolate is the ancient tion and romance – think of the “secret ingredient” in many heart-shaped box of chocolates Latin-American recipes reserved on Valentine’s Day, for instance. But for celebrations and holidays. The throughout history, chocolate was ruchemistry of dark chocolate somehow mored to be a powerful aphrodisiac – a nattempers the burning sensation of fiery pepural form of Viagra, if you will. Dark chocolate pers, and its deep color and creaminess adds contains powerful vasodilators that increase blood body to a sauce. flow, and erectile dysfunction is basically a circuContinued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

Like Chocolate for Blood-Diamonds?


hocolate is, indeed, a heady aphrodisiac – a status-symbol of prestige and sensuous pleasure. Premium-quality chocolate products are relatively expensive, putting chocolate in the same category as caviar, diamonds, saffron, ambergris, or truffles. Unfortunately, while the cacao tree originated in Mesoamerica, more than half of the world’s cacao crop is now grown in western Africa, where there’s been chronic exploitation and abuse of children, women, workers, and the environment. So those exotic chocolate nibbles you splurged on for date-night may have been grown by some grossly-underpaid “sweatshop” laborer overseas. That’s why it’s really important that you eat only Fair Trade certified chocolate. (Just read the label.) We’re all getting better about sourcing our fresh foods when we shop, like asking where that cod fillet or avocado came from. We’re becoming more mindful of the global farm-to-table human food-chain, and what it is we’re really putting into our mouths. Fair Trade certified products are sustainably sourced and produced, from start to finish (see Chocolate is a valuable global commodity, rife with the potential for abuse and exploitation along the production line. Fair Trade certified dark chocolate is the way to go. Check out Theo Chocolate of Seattle (www.theochocolate. com), which claims to be the only organic, Fair Trade, Fair for Life certified Bean-to-Bar chocolate factory in North America. And put down that Snickers bar!


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Melts in your mouth… not in your hands!

Dark chocolate remains solid up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it softens in your mouth or when it’s baked in a cookie. Cocoa butter (aka Theobroma oil) is what gives chocolate its creaminess. But when isolated from cocoa solids, cocoa butter is a natural moisturizing base used in skin lotions, lip balms, soaps, suppositories and ointments that “melt” at body temperature.

An army marches on its stomach

Military geniuses like Napoleon realized that only well-nourished troops would have the stamina to fight. Caesar’s Roman legions were given daily

latory problem, n’est-ce pas? Barry-Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, is promoting chocolate as a possible sexual-enhancement product.

Like water for chocolate

In 1989, first-time novelist Laura Esquival of Mexico published Como Agua para Chocolate, which literally translates to “Like Water for Chocolate.” The 1992 film version of her novel was the highest-grossing Spanish-language movie ever released in the US. But the joke’s on us nonSpanish speakers. “Como agua para chocolate” is a nuanced Spanish slang expression meaning angry or sexually aroused (in other words, “hot-blooded.”) Which brings us full circle, back to the original xocoatl, the “hot liquid” we now call chocolate.

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by Nancy Plante

alentine’s Day makes us all think about love. Whether it’s a retail slogan, a silly rhyme on a greeting card, or those conversation hearts, words of love will be everywhere in the days leading up to February 14. The fact is, love has certainly been around a lot longer than Valentine’s Day. Ever since humans have had language, I’ll bet they have talked about love. Beginning in the 1400s, couples in Europe and England exchanged gold or silver rings (or sometimes bracelets) with a line of love poetry engraved on the outside. Later the fashion was to engrave the message inside. These short poems are known as “posies.” Some posy rings from the 1400s, 1500s, and 1600s have survived today, in museums, or unearthed in the British countryside by people using metal detectors. Seeing a picture of an ancient posy ring, we think of the day it was given, the hands that wore it, and the many years that have passed since it proclaimed love to its first wearer. The simple rhyme would be carried forever inside the ring. It is touching to read these declarations of love from people who lived so long ago. The oldstyle spelling somehow makes them seem even more charming and heartfelt. In thee my choyce I do rejoyce Endless be my love for thee My love is great though this be small Remember me Time shall tell I love you well Of all the rest I love thee best Be thou mine as I am thine And many refer to death as well as love, as they swear their love forever: Not two but one till life be done Love till you dye and soe will I To my end thy loving frend To me till death as dear as breath Till death depart you have my heart

These posies can inspire today’s brides and grooms who want something more than initials and dates inside their wedding bands: My harte you have You are written on my heart Nul autre (no other) or vous et nul autre (you and no other) Pours tous jours (for all days) Some posies appear to be love poems that are too long to have been engraved inside a ring. These lovers were inspired to go beyond one line: Many are the starrs I see/yet in my eye no starr like thee Mine eye did see/My heart did choose/True love doth bind/Till death doth loose My heart my dear to thee I give/For thee to keep whilst both we live The world hath strived to part/Yet God hath joined us hand and heart Kindly take this gift of mine/For gift and giver both are thine If in thy love thou constant bee/My heart shall never part from thee You are that one for whom alone/My heart doth only care./Then do but joyn your heart with mine/ And we will make a pair. There is no other/And I am he/That loves no other/ And thou art she As I’ve been reading these little love poems there is a certain rhythm that feels familiar. This last one could be straight from a Beatles song: Love me true as I do you. However you choose to say it, the sentiments of love are timeless. This Valentine’s Day commemorate your love by taking part in this tradition. Write a posy on a slip of paper and put it near her coffee cup in the morning, or write it in lipstick on his mirror. Put your hand over your heart and declaim it to make a sweet and silly moment. Or just use one of those little conversation hearts: Be mine.

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St. Patrick’s Celtic Sojourn at the “Z”

Niko Alexandrou

by Greg Jones

Mark your calendar and make reservations for March 18 to celebrate the 10th annual “St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn” with Brian O’Donovan at the Zeiterion Theatre.

If you saw “The Christmas Celtic Sojourn” at the Zeiterion last December 17, you will be pleased to learn that you won’t have to wait until next December to once again enjoy the infectious rhythms and gravity-defying dances that are part of the Celtic musical tradition. A radio broadcast of these Celtic cultural traditions has been shared with Boston-area fans for the past 28 years, courtesy of Brian O’Donovan and radio station WGBH with the weekly broadcast of “A Celtic Sojourn.” In 2003, O’Donovan began organizing “The Christmas Celtic Sojourn,” a live performance featuring the singers and musicians that had made his radio program so popular. The addition of dancers completed the full range of Celtic performing arts, and in 2006, O’Donovan added a series of performances to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

O’Donovan is very modest about his role in the growing popularity and success of the Celtic Sojourns, saying, “Celtic music is broadly appealing. It’s a bit arcane, but once they see it they like it.” Indeed they do, with more than 13,000 people attending the Christmas Sojourns. The St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn will play at the Zeiterion, the Sanders Theater at Harvard University, and the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. “I’m a fan of vaudeville and variety theater, moving from one thing to another,” said O’Donovan. “I started doing that on radio, creating a piece that was bigger than the individual parts.” In 2003, at the Somerville Theater, he put on the first live show, “and it worked,” said O’Donovan. “I didn’t expect it to be as resonant as it was. The following year we did three shows and I saw

there was something there that was appealing to people.” O’Donovan says the St. Patrick’s Day performance “will be different” from the Christmas Celtic Sojourn. “I’m very conscious of balancing things. I want to sure there are strong vocals to go with strong music, Irish dancing music.” O’Donovan noted the contributions to show made by dancer Kevin Doyle. “He is the choreographer, and he dances himself,” he said. Doyle is “steeped in traditional Irish dance, and is also an accomplished tap dancer, so he integrates great American tap into his repertoire.” The Celtic Sojourns typically sell out early. Contact the Zeiterion box office at http://ticketing.zeiterion. org/public/ or call 855-502-6090 to make your reservations.

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Self-care on the South Coast


by Greg Jones

ne of the better aspects of living in an area as desirable as the South Coast is that we have a wide range of businesses that might be loosely categorized as “spas” – all dedicated to keeping their patrons well groomed and toned, offering relaxing and therapeutic massages, facials, and hair care. That sore back muscle you got after putting the lawn chairs in the basement? A therapeutic massage from Debbie Bolton, owner of Divine Massage on 34 Barstow Street in Mattapoisett, will ease things for you. “The most satisfying thing is when people walk in here hurting and they leave feeling better,” said Debbie. Debbie is a 2009 honors graduate in massage therapy from the Salter School in Fall River and she has continued to train and learn. She said that she is “now certified for prenatal massage, which is very popular, and lymphatic drainage.” Debbie said that when she first opened her business, “I thought I was going to attract the luxury part, people just coming and wanting to relax, but really, 85 percent of my clients come in here because they are hurting.”


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

View of Main Street through the window of The Wax Pot in Warren.

The most popular treatment is a therapeutic massage, using heat packs that are prepared in a device called a Hydrocollator and then wrapped in towels. The heat relaxes sore muscles, with a massage treatment by one of the seven trained massage professionals at Divine Massage. If there is someone on your gift list and you can’t figure out what to buy, a gift certificate from Divine Massage might literally hit the spot. Have a look at the Divine massage website, or give them a “like” on Facebook. It’s a busy place, so you should make an appointment, and “we can usually get you in in a day or two,” said Debbie. Divine Massage takes reservations online or by phone at 508-933-4935.

Back Into Balance

Dana Giglio is the owner of Swansea’s Back Into Balance. She has been a licensed massage therapist since 1999, and she says that the most satisfying aspect of her work is “helping people every day, easing their pain and taking away discomfort.” Back Into Balance has been providing therapeutic massage therapy for South Coast people since 1994, and Dana began working for Back Into Balance in 2002. She purchased Back Into Balance

in 2004 and hasn’t looked back. “Each client is a new and interesting challenge that keeps me invested in their health and well-being,” said Dana. “I have a framed quote in our office that says, ‘This is our happy place.’ I think that goes for both therapists and clients.” Dana said that she thinks of the seven people on her staff as “my extended family, and I enjoy who I work with.” Part of what makes Back Into Balance special is that it focuses exclusively on massage therapy. “We don’t sell products or push memberships,” said Dana. “We are one of the few massage-only centers. We do not identify as a spa.” Everyone on the staff is highly trained, said Dana. “Our Therapists are certified in hot stone, reflexology, reiki, and prenatal massage,” she added. The gender mix is 50/50, according to Dana, adding that, “if you are a member of the Massachusetts Laborers Union your insurance may cover massage therapy.” A gift certificate from Back Into Balance would bring a smile to the recipient’s face, perhaps a gift certificate to that special person in your life for a Couples Massage. So how often should you go to Back Into Balance?

There’s no “ideal frequency,” said Dana. “Everyone is different. I think whatever works for you. Most clients visit once a month, some two times a month, others weekly.” Between visits, “drink plenty of water,” said Dana, “and don’t over-do it after your massage. Meditation and breathing exercises... stretch your muscles in-between sessions.” Back Into Balance has an active online presence, on Facebook and on their website, Check the website for regular special offers, and give Back Into Balance a call at 508-6722227 or email at They’re easy to find, at 1211 GAR Highway in Swansea, and Dana suggested contacting Back Into Balance to make an appointment, even though they can usually accommodate same-day appointments.

Lynne’s Place

“Taking care of your hair” can have many meanings, as hair doesn’t always do exactly what you want it to. One of the biggest problems is that it sometimes grows in places where you don’t want it, and we’re not just talking about shaving legs here. Guys with hairy backs can feel uncomfortable at the beach, and people with a “unibrow” stretching across an entire forehead can find themselves wishing there was a “hair eraser.” Lynne Reilly, the owner of Lynne’s Place, at 863 County Street in Somerset, can take of any of those problems, and more. Lynne is a licensed aesthetician, a licensed and certified laser hair removal technician, a licensed electrologist, and a licensed medical aesthetician. She’s also a chemical engineer, “but that was back before I had kids,” she said with a chuckle. There is a bit of a backstory here, and it’s worth telling. About the time she “had kids,” she had an electrolysis treatment on her lip to remove dark hairs, and this inspired her to get the training to perform the treatment herself, working at home. “Then I became an aesthetician,” she said, “and then I heard about laser hair removal. I sent people to doctors. The people came back and said I had to learn to do it. “So I did, “she said, “I became laser-certified and for fifteen years we have been making people happy with laser hair treatment.” Lots of people. “We treat over 120 people a week,” she said. And the difference with laser hair removal, in contrast with electrolysis, is that “it’s not a lifetime thing. Eventually you won’t need it.” That’s because electrolysis treats one hair at a time, whereas, “one laser treatment is about a Continued ON NEXT PAGE

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year’s worth of electrolysis,” said Lynne. The staff at Lynne’s Place are all trained in the services they provide, whether it’s laser hair removal, facials, hair styling, or massage therapy. But the focus is laser hair removal. “Between the four of us [laser techs] we have over eighty years of experience,” said Lynne. “We want to be known for laser hair removal, said Lynne. “We specialize in that. Eighty percent of our clients come for laser hair removal, and just twenty percent for skin care.” The best part about Lynne’s Place, said Lynne, is that it’s “just helping people. I know it sounds weird, but we really change lives, removing hair is so much a necessity than a luxury.” Lynn put on her engineer hat and explained how the laser works. “The laser ‘sees’ the darker hair and cauterizes the blood supply so no hair can grow back. There’s permanent reduction, as high as ninety percent with some people.” It’s not painful, according to Lynne. “People who have waxed prefer the laser,” she said. When the laser is being used, a cooling spray bathes the skin, further reducing any sensation. The laser doesn’t work with blonde, red, or other light hairs. “The darker and coarser the hair the better,” said Lynne. “You start treatment with a shaved area, then the laser disc touches the skin and goes a certain depth beneath the skin. It ‘sees’ the pigment of the root, and it heats up. Over the course of the next week or so the detached hairs find their way out of the skin,” said Lynne. And it’s not just a “ladies only” place. “We get lots of men as customers (of all ages,) but it is mostly women,” said Lynne. For the full story and pictures of Lynne’s Place, go

Lynn Reilly of Lynne’s Place in Somerset

to their website at or on Facebook. Lynne’s Place is at 863 County Street in Somerset, near Somerset High School. Give her a call at 508-646-0000 to make an appointment.

The Wax Pot

Susan Archambault is owner of The Wax Pot located at 422 Main Street in Warren, Rhode Island. It’s a “one-woman show,” which she started because of her desire to help people look and feel better about themselves. “The concept behind The Wax Pot was to help make waxing and skincare more accessible for individuals who might not be comfortable going into a larger day spa environment,” said Susan. That’s why there is no staff at The Wax Pot. “I have an intimate, one-on-one setting that allows me to build a relationship and establish a rapport with my clients,” said Susan. “Clients have my undivided attention, which allows us to talk freely about concerns and

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To apply, complete our general application at customized client treatment plans,” said Susan. The most popular services at The Wax Pot are eyebrow shaping, ear candling, and facials. “I specialize in finding solutions to a client’s concerns, whether it be reshaping a client’s eyebrows or finding products and services to treat a client’s specific skin needs,” said Susan. With a small business like The Wax Pot, the client feels special, reaping a full ration of attention. Susan enjoys working with her clients, saying that, “the most satisfying part of my job is the excitement you see when a client can see the progress her or his skin is making, or the brow shape they envision comes to life.” The satisfaction works both ways. “It is extremely gratifying to watch a client become more confident and feel ‘pretty,’” said Susan. While most of her clients are women, Susan said that approximately ten percent of her clients are men, “predominantly for waxing and ear candling services, however I do have some who come in regarding skin concerns.” Gift certificates are available, and Susan said that walk-ins are welcome, but warned that her business is growing, saying that she might not always be able to fit somebody into a full schedule. Because of the highly individualized treatment Susan offers, it’s important to her that clients feel comfortable and never rushed, so calling for an appointment is advisable. Evening appointments are also offered, outside the usual business hours. Visit her website at or call at 401-289-2550. Contact via email at to make an appointment.

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Turning up the volume

in New Bedf



The New Bedford music scene is no Liverpool or Seattle, and they want to keep it that way. or years, musicians in the New Bedford area have referred to the South Coast metropolis as the “Secret City” – an area teeming with talent that offers both quantity and quality and is rarely recognized outside the region. If your iPod plays anything outside of opera you may want to get off the couch, put down your gadget and explore the opportunities that come from delving into the original live music that New Bedford has to offer. There is a diversity of genres, ranging from solo acoustic performances to hiphop, punk to pop, heavy metal to jazz, Indie rock to noise bands.

Low frequency

“It’s cool to be under the radar,” claims Sara Shaughnessy, who has been a disc jockey at UMass-Dartmouth’s radio station WUMD for 17 years. For four years she hosted the program “Local Anesthesia,” which was devoted entirely to local music. For more than a decade she has booked and promoted concerts at local venues. “New Bedford has a lot of things that you’ll pay a lot of money for in a bigger city,” she says. “Local music can be as good or better as other music on your radio. You could find a great band you’ve never heard before.” “One show can ignite another,” says Jason Medina, who has booked concerts in the area for more than 10 years under the moniker of The Transient Authority. “You may go out to see a band you know and be introduced to another band of a different persuasion, something you didn’t know you’d like. This city is stylistically vast,” he says. “We don’t need bands to come here from outside cities.” Medina says that the musicians and club owners aren’t booking local music because it will make them rich. “People are doing this because it’s a passion,” he says. “Passion and creativity are the driving forces.”


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Snapshot of sound

It’s a Saturday night in downtown New Bedford. The bar located No Problemo is hosting the thrash metal band Iron Force. Across the street The Pour Farm has the R&B sounds of Eric Andrade’s band. Around the corner Dublin’s is taking in the underground hip-hop of Purge. A few blocks away the singer/songwriter Craig DeMelo performs at the Rose Alley Ale House. That afternoon Gallery X hosted an all-ages hardcore punk show. “There’s a lot going on for our little piece of the world,” says Craig Paiva, owner of No Problemo. “New bands are popping up all the time.” For more than 15 years, Kevin Grant has been a singer with a collection of hard rock bands, beginning with the popular group Gaskill. Grant has lived in Providence, Boston, Lowell and Somerville, and has been back in the area for seven years. “I can say without hesitation that New Bedford is one of the best cities for music in Massachusetts,” he says. Grant attributes the musical prosperity in New Bedford to three factors – the influx of college students to downtown, the fishing industry, and the collapse of the textile industry. “The students are hanging out downtown and bringing in new ideas and thought patterns,” he says. “The fishing industry brings in money because they’ve got a pocket full of money and they’re looking for a bar with live music. And because of the collapse of the textile industry there’s a lot of spaces that can function as cheap rehearsal rooms. “Because there’s such low overhead, bands are able to play music that’s limited only by their creativity. They’re not worried about having to play music they don’t want to in order to exist. Most bands are more concerned with the love of the music than how much they’ll get paid.”

Singing standards

And so it is with the record label Whaling City Sound. Founded in 1999 by Neal Weiss, the label

was initially devoted to bringing some of the city’s top notch talent to a larger audience. Beginning with a CD by Marcelle Gauvin, “Faces of Love,” the label would go on to release records by other local performers such as jazz pianist John Harrison, jazz guitarist Jim Robitaille, jazz saxophonist Marcus Monteiro, the easy rock of Butch McCarthy and Dori Legge, The New Bedford Sea Shanty Chorus, the rock of Shipyard Wreck, the exotic high-energy groove-infused sounds of The Dancing Dogs, the blues of Mark T. Small, the electronic music of Grand Army and the folk-inspired music of Pumpkin Head Ted. “There’s an amazing abundance of performers here, we’ve got it great,” Weiss says. “It’s good to see how much the musicians support each other. There’s a sense of camaraderie.” “If you’re following local music there’s a sense of community,” Shaughnessy says. “Music connects emotionally to people and relates them to one another. Art is as important to a community as paying the bills.” Butch McCarthy has been a creative fixture for the area for four decades. “It’s more satisfying to get applause for your own songs than it is when you play someone else’s,” he says. “People will approach me at my shows or get in touch with me on the Internet and they want to talk about my songs. They might want to know what the lyrics mean or share their own interpretations. It develops an interaction. “You put a lot of hard work into your songs,” McCarthy says. “When you get the appreciation it makes it all worthwhile.” “I put a lot of myself into my songs,” DeMelo says. “I’m looking to capture an experience. I want to describe the feelings, the emotions and the mood. The inspiration for a song could come from anywhere. A song could be deep or playful, but it’s a cathartic vehicle. It’s rewarding when you get to play it for people.”

J Kelley has been a stalwart of the local scene, performing in a variety of incarnations from solo acoustic to duos to a full band. Kelley’s songs may inspire an audience to think of Brian Adams, Tom Petty, or The Gin Blossoms. He has reached the point in his career when he can play local shows consisting almost entirely of his own material. His first two CD’s, “Untied” and “Reservoir,” sold a combined 3,000 copies. “The challenge for a lot of local bands is to get people off the couch,” Kelley says. “People tend to think that music made in their backyard can’t be that good.” “The thought exists that if a band isn’t on Capitol Records they must be crap,” Shaughnessy says. “But music is like food – you have the chance to explore and see what you like. People should remember that all music was local once.”

has taken the band around the planet. The positive hardcore of the band Have Heart also resulted in world tours. The boy band LFO sold five million records and climbed the charts with the song “Summer Girls.” The band War Games, which built a following with the name Another Option, has toured America with the popular Warped Tour. Medina has a vision for music made in New Bedford – to erase genres and find commonalities between bands that wouldn’t traditionally play on the same bill. “I like to book shows where there’s a collaboration of genres and take people outside their preferences,” he says. “I want people to explore.” Oftentimes Medina will have his bands perform with a large visual backdrop where he projects images that augment the band’s performance. “Passion and creativity are more important than

Neil Weiss “There’s no particular scene here,” Medina says. “New Bedford is a scene unto itself.”

New hits

A popular approach for local musicians to get their songs heard is to mix their original tunes with songs by more popular artists – a technique that keeps an audience interested and willing to take in an occasional song they’ve never heard before. Many times a performer or band will have copies of their CD’s available for audience members to purchase and take home with them – a tool for recruiting fans. And some New Bedford bands have recruited a lot of fans. Dating back to the 1970’s when the band Tavares was on top of the disco world, other local bands have earned national and international audiences. The melodic punk of A Wilhelm Scream

were there to genuinely appreciate it. John Campoli books all ages hardcore concerts at Gallery X. “I’d like to think it’s a matter of time before New Bedford gets another all-original club, a mediumsized room with a stage and a soundman,” he says. “The need is there, it’s a void to be filled. You could put it in an old mill with low overhead, book bands of varying genres and combine it with an art gallery.” Ron Poitras has a rare perspective on original music in New Bedford. In the late 1970’s he began playing original music with The Gluons and Blue Hollow before becoming the soundman at The New Wave Café from 1997 to 2011. He currently operates a recording studio and manages a record label, Flat Bubba Records. “New Bedford has always had a great music vibe,”

Ron Poitras style,” he says. “Whether they’re a single person with an acoustic guitar or a band with big stacks of amplifiers, they really have to mean it. People know when you mean it.” Medina was a student of local music who attended shows for five years before he began booking his own gigs as the Transient Authority. “I did my homework,” he says. “I wasn’t looking for what was already being done, I tried to figure out what sounds were missing.” But for all of its’ virtues, the New Bedford original music scene has a noticeable deficiency – a club that is devoted exclusively to original live music on a regular basis, a room with a stage and a quality P.A. system. In the recent past clubs such as the New Wave Café, Bridge Street Station, and the Black Watch Pub would welcome area musicians to showcase their songwriting skills for people who

Poitras says. “There’s still an abundance of talent, more than any city of its’ size.” “If you find that you like a band you’ve never heard before it’ll make you want to go to see a band the next weekend,” Shaughnessy says. “If you go out you’re not just supporting a band you’re supporting the local economy.” Tom Allen of New Bedford has been using his acoustic guitar to make music in the South Coast for nearly 30 years. He is currently performing and recording with the Jethros. “There’s a lot of original music in this area,” he says. “Once people are exposed to it they’ll probably enjoy it.” According to Kevin Grant, “New Bedford is a perfect artist’s town. Hopefully it won’t become too recognized.”

The South Coast Insider / February 2016



Down by the

by Steve Connors

Westport River Most people who take a trip to Westport are either heading to the popular Horseneck Beach or to one of the many interesting shops or good restaurants. But Westport contains an environmental gem: an estuary with osprey, egrets and herons, and expansive views across the river that seem unchanged over time. From the bridge at the end of Route 88, the lovely wide harbor filled with sailboats stretches to the west. Green and golden salt marshes, sheltered inlets, and an expanse of blue waters fill the view to the east. This is the Westport River, and for four decades, the Westport River Watershed Alliance (WRWA) has been working tirelessly to help keep it clean and filled with healthy aquatic life. The river is a valuable resource for the South Coast, drawing vacationers, tourists, boaters, fishermen, shell fishermen, and artists. Combined with its many working farms and open fields, the river and


its 100-square mile watershed with cold water streams make Westport a distinctive and beautiful community.

On a mission

The WRWA was founded forty years ago (then-called the River Defense Fund) by a group of citizens concerned about a proposed sewage lagoon on the east branch of the river. The organization now has nearly 1,500 members, and a number of initiatives that support its mission to restore, protect, celebrate, and sustain the Westport River. The watershed includes areas of the five surrounding communities of Fall River, Dartmouth, Freetown, Little Compton, and Tiverton. Throughout the year, WRWA educators provide fun and exciting learning experiences to about two thousand

February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

children in school-based programs, and at the very popular weekly summer sessions down at the waterfront. These programs are hands-on – catching minnows, planting dune grass, bird-watching with binoculars, and much more. The children come away with an appreciation for this marvelous and lovely estuary that is a part of their hometown. WRWA scientists conduct weekly water testing during the summer, identifying problem areas where bacterial and nitrogen levels impair the water quality. They then make recommendations, and work with the town and other agencies to develop solutions and seek funding to make them happen.

of public events, beginning February 27th with the third annual “Buoy the Winter Blues” fundraiser and community get-together.

Celebrating 40 years To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, the WRWA is hosting a series

Lobster trap buoys with original designs by local artists hang at the Dedee Shattuck gallery in 2014. This year’s Buoy the Winter Blues event will take place February 27-March 5.

Over 60 local artists are painting and decorating cedar lobster buoys hand-made in Maine. The buoys will be hung and displayed at the Dedee Shattuck Gallery from February 27 to March 5. The artist reception will feature jazz, wine, and a silent auction of the buoys. Also on February 27, the WRWA will host a “Brushes and Brews” event the evening of the show opening, with artists sharing their knowledge and skill with aspiring painters to produce an acrylic painting of a familiar Westport scene. Beer will be provided by Buzzards Bay Brewing. There are multiple events where residents can take active roles as environmental stewards, including beach and shoreline cleanups, in which teams scour the areas along the ocean and River for plastic and other trash. The very popular electronics recycling drop off days will continue in 2016 – important opportunities to responsibly dispose of old computers, televisions, and other appliances, most items free of charge. Last year, the WRWA collected over 12,000 pounds of old electronic equipment, which was then delivered to recyclers who remove valuable metals for use in new manufacturing. The River Day Festival, now in its 28th year, will be on June 4 at the Head of Westport, with engaging activities for kids of all ages, local

food, and great folk music. Other regional organizations participate with displays and information. Creative artistic designs are submitted by Westport Elementary School students, with the blue ribbon winner’s painting featured in the event Poster. Many local businesses support this community celebration with volunteers and donations, and over 1,000 guests spend an enjoyable day along the river. The Westport River Watershed Alliance’s big birthday celebration will take place on July 16, when folk legend Tom Rush will perform an outdoor concert at the Westport Rivers Vineyard. This event is co-presented by the WRWA, The Narrows Center for the Arts, and Westport Rivers Vineyard, and sponsored in part by Lafrance Hospitality. And no summer is complete without Westport’s best party of the year – the annual Gala, held at one of Westport’s exquisite coastal properties. Live music, great food and drinks, and an amazing silent auction combine to make this a memorable experience for everyone. This year’s Gala is scheduled for August 13. More information on the Westport River Watershed Alliance’s many events and celebrations in 2016 can be found at www.westportwatershed. org. Happy Birthday, WRWA!



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The South Coast Insider / February 2016



Celebrating the


Renaissance by Greg Jones

Jasmine Guy is a woman of manifold talents, with a biography that includes singing, acting, and directing on stage, screen, and television. Additionally, she has a dance resume that includes her work with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She is also a published author and a motivational speaker, but it will be her stage performer persona that will delight the audience at the Zeiterion on February 5, when, accompanied by the highly acclaimed Avery Sharpe Trio, she will present “Raisin’ Cane.”

Get that swing

Her production, with music composed and directed by bassist Avery Sharpe, celebrates the period known as the “Harlem Renaissance,” which spanned roughly from the end of WWI to the mid-1930s. It was period of phenomenal growth, creativity and development of the arts in the AfricanAmerican community living in New York City, especially in Harlem. “Raisin’ Cane” “showcase[s] the thoughts, works, music, and ideology of artists who came to light throughout the entire period,” said Guy. “Rather than a chronological ‘history’ of the Harlem Renaissance, we present a broad pastiche that incorporates the spirit of this artistic and


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

forward-thinking African-American community,” she said. It’s important to remember that there was much more going on during the Harlem Renaissance than music, even though the Renaissance gave the world musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Count Basie, among others. The writers of that period were every bit as important and inspirational as the musicians, and “Raisin’ Cane” grew out of Guy and Sharpe’s reading and discussion of Jean Toomer’s book, “Cane.” Published in 1923, it has been favorably compared with James Joyce’s “Dubliners” and Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio.” Referring to the writers who inspired “Raisin’ Cane,” Guy said that “their expression, their bold, new style of writing, is in full flower in this show. “The words of W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, Wallace Thurman and more are woven throughout the show,” she said.

“Between the words, the music, and the dance, we present a 3-D view of that period and, hopefully, my performance conveys the energy, excitement, and the pure entertainment that marked this period in America,” said Guy.

Suited to Zoot

It promises to be an evening of unique entertainment, and Jasmine Guy, who was born in Boston and whose mother is from Acushnet, has put together a work of musical history and theater that is unique. And the music? Guy said, “Avery wrote all the original music, which is awesome, and I get to interpret some of the greatest literary artists of the period, plus do a little sing 2ing and dancing.” Don’t miss this special performance at the “Z” at 8 pm on February 5. Reserve your tickets by calling the Zeiterion ticket office at 508-994-2900 or go to

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Traits of successful people by Sherri Mahoney-Battles


ver the years, I’ve read many books and articles by writers who claimed to have the inside track on the secrets to success. Just recently, I was scrolling through Facebook when a chart that outlined some character traits of successful people versus those of unsuccessful people caught my eye. My own years of experience as an accountant meeting clients both successful and unsuccessful has rendered a bit of a bird’s eye view into people’s financial lives, so I decided to do a little more research on the topic to see how closely my clients matched the traits the internet associated with either success or failure. I questioned how success was measured. Do we measure a person’s success solely on a bank balance, or are there other factors such as relationships, inner balance, and emotional health? I know that I’ve met people who are quite successful financially but who struck me as being bitter and lonely. I’ve also met people devoted to developing their inner karma who continually depend on their friends for a couch to sleep on. Clearly, the measure of success needed to be someone who was successfully rounded in all areas including of finance, relationships, inner balance, and emotional health. The following is a list of traits that I believe shapes a successful person. Take a look and see


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

how many of these behaviors you can identify in yourself or the people you know. Attention to Detail – Yes, successful people tend to sweat the small stuff. They strive for excellence.

Successful people tend to develop good habits while unsuccessful people tend to develop habits that are detrimental to their success. A Sense of Gratitude – Incredibly successful people have every right to be arrogant, but most of them aren’t. They are the first people to thank the people around them for helping them make it to the top. Conversely, unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement. The Need to Compete – Most successful people are highly competitive. They hate to lose (even when they are children, they hate losing at board games.) The need to compete and win is deeply rooted almost from birth.

Forgiving – Successful people forgive others and move on. They let go of the past, learn from mistakes, and move on. Unsuccessful people hold grudges and are anchored in the past. A Drive to Improve – A successful person is his or her own worst critic. They are constantly setting higher goals to overcome. Don’t waste your breath criticizing these people since they tend to identify their shortcomings on their own and rapidly develop a plan for improvement. Read and Journal Regularly – A successful person’s mind is always growing. They absorb the written word and have larger vocabularies because of it. Successful people track their experiences through journaling. Unsuccessful people lose hours of time in front of the TV. Setting Goals – Successful people are quicker to identify their skillset and have the ability to focus in on their goals. Unsuccessful people will often spend years drifting from job to job without any clear plan. React Quickly – A successful person is quick to identify when something isn’t working and develop a new plan of attack. Unsuccessful people get stuck too often and remain stuck for too long before moving on.

Keep a “To Do” List – Successful people are great at maintaining lists of things they need to do. They don’t want to risk trying to remember and forgetting something as a result. They are lovers of sticky notes. Self-Love – They take care of themselves emotionally and physically. They know that in order to succeed they need to be healthy, centered, and focused, so they reward themselves with things like good food, meditation, exercise, and getaways. Generate Ideas – Successful people are the ones that identify a problem and then design a solution to fix the problem. Unsuccessful people are great at identifying problems especially problems caused by other people, but they lack the ability or initiative to develop a solution. They love the drama involved in complaining about problems and deep down don’t really want the situation to improve. Trustworthy – It’s almost impossible to be successful without being trustworthy. Successful people are clear, concise, truthful and transparent. They strive to be authentic when they express their opinions. You may not always agree with their opinions, but you usually know where they stand. Want Others to Succeed – Successful people champion others. They freely share their secret to success and encourage success in other people. They are not stingy with their ideas.

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Own Failure – Owning our failures encourages trust and teaches others that failure is acceptable and not something to be hidden. Unsuccessful people are quick to pass the buck and reluctant to accept responsibility for their mistakes. Exude Joy – Successful people live in joy. They enjoy what they do and their interactions with other people. They accept the hiccups that life presents and move on. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, are usually angry, bitter, and resentful. How many traits of yours do you see reflected in this list? I find myself in alignment with many of the traits on the list, but I confess that there are a few areas where I see some room for improvement (which is likely due to my ability to own failure.) Most of the items on this list are nothing more than habits. Successful people tend to develop good habits while unsuccessful people tend to develop habits that are detrimental to their success. The great news is that it’s never too late to start developing good and healthy habits – habits that will lead us toward success. Most importantly, remember that the measure of a successful person is more than just a bank account balance.

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News, views and trends... from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay

by Elizabeth Morse Read

Happy Leap Year! February may be the shortest month of the year, but it’s jam-packed with family fun and festivities! There’s Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Presidents’ Day, Mardi Gras—and another school vacation week! across the region The avalanche of brutal winter weather and recordhigh fuel oil prices that started 2015 ended with recordhigh temperatures on Christmas Day, record-low fuel prices, with only a dusting of snow just before the New Year. The Standard-Times’ 2015 South Coast Man of the Year is New Bedford’s Mayor Jon Mitchell. The 2015 South Coast Woman of the Year is Valerie Bassett, executive Director of the Woman’s Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts. Hit the slopes with a sled or toboggan! Try Fort Phoenix in Fairhaven, Potato Hill in Westport, Fort Taber in New Bedford – or, for the ride-of-your-life, try the Seven Hills at North Park in Fall River!! Corsair Innovations, a team of engineering researchers at UMass Dartmouth, has been awarded $250,000 by Head Health Challenge for its revolutionary anti-brain injury textile called FEAM (Fibrous Energy-Absorbing Material), which can be used in helmets, sports uniforms and military/police protective gear. Head Health Challenge is a program developed by the NFL, Under Armour, GE and the National Institute of Standards & Technology to prevent traumatic brain injury. Kudos! Uh oh… once again the future of South Coast Rail may be in jeopardy, due to the fact that the state budget is on a collision course with its debt ceiling. Stay tuned… Rhode Island lawmakers have proposed a sales-tax holiday on August 6-7 of this year, a week before the scheduled sales-tax weekend in Massachusetts. Bristol Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. From its original building on Durfee Street in Fall River, BCC now has a full campus on Elsbree Street and branch campuses in New Bedford, Attleboro and Taunton. Congrats!


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Head for the week-long 28th Annual Newport Winter Festival February 12-21! Events, food, family fun and festivities. Learn more at or call 401-253-0246.

“Radio T.B.S. (Trailer Park Broadcasting Scandals)” will be performed by the Attleboro Community Theatre in February and March! For details, call 508-226-8100 or go to

Back in December, a juvenile humpback whale visited the South Coast, with sightings in New Bedford, Marion, Narragansett Bay and Padanaram, on its way south for the winter.


“My Brother’s Keeper” of Easton and Dartmouth is looking for volunteers and gently-used residential furniture and non-perishable food for families in need. Free pick-up. Call 774-305-4577 or visit www.

Don’t miss the “Elegance and Opulence” Winter Music Series, performed by Opera Providence, on February 14 and March 13 at Blithewold Mansion. For details, call 401-331-6060 or visit or

In a surprising development, UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman has stepped down. Stay tuned…

Learn about life in the 18th century—take the family to the Coggeshall Farm Museum for “Home and Hearth” workshops! For details, visit or call 401-253-9062.


Stroll through the Blithewold Mansion and Gardens! Daffodil Days will start March 31. For info, call 401-2532707 or go to

The Standard-Times’ 2015 Acushnet Man of the Year is David Wojnar and the Woman of the Year is Joanne Harding.


At long last, the new town library is open in the former Marie S. Howard school building. Talk a stroll through the newly-restored Acushnet Sawmills public park and herring weir! Canoe/kayak launch, fishing, trails. For info, visit

attleboro Take the kids to Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center! For more info, call 508223-3060 or visit

Take the kids on Dino Land or Thomas the Tank Engine train rides at Edaville Railroad! For more info, visit www. or call 508-866-8190.

dartmouth The Standard-Times’ 2015 Dartmouth Man of the Year is Rick White and the Woman of the Year is Kristen Lancaster. For the second year in a row, the Dartmouth High School football team won the state Division 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, defeating Melrose High School 26-21. Congrats!!

“The Hunchback of Seville” will be performed at Trinity Rep February 4 – March 6. For more info, call 401-351-4242 or go to Mark your calendar for the monthly Paskamansett Concert Series at the Dartmouth Grange Hall in Russells Mills. Fourteen Strings will perform on February 13, and Mike Couto, Lisa Couto and Ray Cooke on March 12. For more info, call 401-241-3793, or visit

Meet your friends on Saturdays at the Oxford Book Haven and Café at the Church of the Good Shepherd in North Fairhaven. Fresh soups and desserts, used books on sale, WiFi. To learn more, visit or call 508-992-2281.

Paskamansett Woods, the newest nature reserve operated by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, is now open to the public. For more info, go to

fall river

The Dartmouth Friends of the Elderly will host a multi-day trip to the Colorado Rockies July 23-31, and another to Central and Eastern Europe September 18-October 1. For more info, call 508-636-6453. Explore the Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth! Try your hand at canoeing or kayaking! For details and dates, call 508-990-0505 or visit

easton Check out the Children’s Museum in Easton! For info, call 508-230-3789 or visit www.childrens

fairhaven The Standard-Times’ 2015 Fairhaven Man of the Year is Jeffrey Osuch; the Woman of the Year is Anne Silvia. Fairhaven now has its first Town Administrator – Mark Rees, the former City Manager of Portland, Maine. The vacant Oxford School in north Fairhaven will be refurbished as housing for over-62 seniors. No decision has been made yet as to the vacant Rogers School in the town’s center. Japanophiles!! If you’re interested in the history of Japan-America ties, plan a visit the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House, where it all began. Go to or call 508-995-1219 for details.

After more than 60 years, Al’s Variety (aka The SevenUp Store) in Corky Row has closed its doors… Plan ahead! Fall River’s Little Theatre will perform “Broadway Bound” March 17-20. For details, call 508675-1852 or go to AHA Fall River starts the 2016 season with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on February 14. For details, go to or call 508-294-5344. Help invigorate and showcase the arts and culture scene in Fall River – volunteer for AHA Fall River! There will be AHA events on April 21, July 21, October 20 and December 15 in 2016. To get involved, call Sandy Dennis at 508-673-2939 or Donna Winn at 401-663-6889. The Narrows Center for the Arts has a fabulous lineup – there’s Samantha Fish on February 11 – and plan ahead for Leo Kottke March 12, Pousette Dart Band March 26, John Mayall March 27, and Aztec Two-Step April 9! For a complete schedule, visit or call 508-324-1926. Cannatech Medicinal Inc. of Attleboro wants to buy land in the SouthCoast Life Science and Technology Park in order to grow medical-grade marijuana and open a dispensary in Fall River. Stay tuned… Head for Battleship Cove! Call 508-678-1100 for info or visit Check out the largest collection of Titanic memorabilia in the US, including the one-ton model used in the 1953 movie, at the Fall River Marine Museum in Battleship Cove. For more info, call 508-674-3533 or visit Get the kids out of the house and onto the ice! Take them skating at the Driscoll Arena on Elsbree Street. For hours and info, call 508-679-3274 or visit www.

Continued ON NEXT PAGE

The South Coast Insider / February 2016


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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Bristol Community College has received the go-ahead from the state Board of Higher Education to offer an associate’s degree program in veterinary healthcare. Classes will be conducted at the main campus in Fall River, and supervised hands-on experience will be available at area animal shelters, pet stores and farms. For more info, call 508-678-2811 x 3888. Charlton Memorial Hospital is looking for energetic volunteers from the greater Fall River area. To learn more, call 508-973-7038 or go to volunteer. Free trolley rides to-and-from the city’s Senior Centers are now available – for a schedule, contact the Council on Aging at 508-324-2401. Check out what’s going on at the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. For more info, go to or call 508-672-0033.

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The Standard-Times’ 2015 Freetown People of the Year are the members of Friends of Hathaway Park. The Freetown Planning Board unanimously approved AmeriCann’s plan to build a medical marijuana growing and processing facility off Route 24.

lakeville The Standard-Times’ 2015 Lakeville Woman of the Year is Teresa Mirra, and the Man of the Year is Ken Upham.

marion The Standard-Times’ 2015 Marion Man of the Year is Frank McNamee – the Woman of the Year is Joanne Mahoney.

mattapoisett The Standard-Times’ 2015 Mattapoisett Woman of the Year is Julie Craig, and the Man of the Year is Paul Sardinha. — HOURS — Mon. & Tue. 8:30-4:30pm Wed. & Sat. 8:30-12 Noon Thu. 8:30-5pm • Fri 8:30-6pm

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February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

The Winter Farmer’s Market has returned to the ORR Junior High School gymnasium, and will be open on the second and fourth Saturday of every month through April. Explore the trails, wildlife and scenery of the Mattapoisett River Reserve – leashed dogs welcome. Hike, fish, picnic, bird-watch – and it’s a great place for cross-country skiing, too! For more info, go to

Enjoy the centennial season of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra at the Zeiterion! The NBSO will perform Britten, Schumann and Mussorgsky on February 20 and Poulenc, Ravel and Tchaikovsky April 9. For more info, call 508-999-6276 or visit

middleboro William Driscoll of Middleboro received New England’s only Carnegie Heroes Award for his personal bravery back in September of 2014, when his split-second actions on Rt. 44 prevented a major traffic catastrophe.

It’s all happenin’ at the Z! Don’t miss “Moby Dick” on February 7, the NBSO performing Britten, Schumann and Mussorgsky on February 20, A Night with Janis Joplin February 26! Plan ahead for the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus on March 6, the Bohemian Quartet March 10, a St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn March 18, Experience Hendrix March 24, One Night with Queen April 5, the NBSO performing Poulenc, Ravel and Tchaikovsky April 9, and Doo Wop 12 on April 16! Go to or call 508-999-6276.


After almost 40 years, Carmen’s Bakery in the south end of New Bedford has closed its doors.

Take a stroll through the Norman Bird Sanctuary! EcoTours for all ages. For info, visit or call 401-846-2577.

The Harbor Walk, a ¾ mile path atop the hurricane dike in the city’s south end, has officially opened to the public.

new bedford

The South Coast Chamber Music Series will perform “Sweethearts” at St. Gabriel’s Church in Marion on February 13, and at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford on February 14. For more info, call 508-9996276 or visit

The Standard-Times’ 2015 New Bedford Man of the Year is Dr. Michael Rocha; Woman of the Year is Gail Fortes. Mayor Jon Mitchell is pitching New Bedford as a new location for the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center should the Woods Hole-based facility decide to relocate instead of renovate or rebuild. Stay tuned… To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will offer free admission on January 18, April 1624, August 25-28, September 24 and November 11 this year. Spoken-word poet Erik Andrade of New Bedford won the title of Slam King 2016 at Cambridge’s famed Lizard Lounge. The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center has received a $12,000 Cultural Heritage Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The chronically overcrowded Registry of Motor Vehicles in downtown New Bedford is looking for a new and larger location, preferably still in the downtown area. Stay tuned…

Find out what’s happening in New Bedford! For details, visit or www. or call 508-990-2777. Take a winter walk through the Buttonwood Park Zoo! For info, call 508-991-6178 or visit Take a tour of the city’s historic district and the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park! For more info, go to And while you’re there, explore New Bedford’s evolution from a whaling port to an industrial giant at the new exhibit “Energy and Enterprise: Industry and the City of New Bedford” at the Whaling Museum. For more info, visit or call 508-997-0046. Curtain time! Mark your calendar to see ”Love to Hate to Love: Poetry for the Soul” on February 6, and “Almost, Maine” March 10-20 performed by Your Theatre in New Bedford. For info, call 508-993-0772 or go to Visit the whaling-era mansion and grounds at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House. For more info, call 508-9971401 or visit

Continued ON NEXT PAGE

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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE If you’re 50 or older, check out the trips sponsored by the New Bedford Senior Travel Program. There’s a daytrip to Foxwoods on February 22, and a St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Aqua Turf Restaurant in CT on March 16. There will be a multi-day day trip to Montreal and Niagara Falls May 15-20. For details, call 508-991-6171.

Plan a dinner-theatre night out at the Newport Playhouse! “The Foursome” will play February 18-March 24. For more information, call 401-848-7529 or go to


Enjoy FREE family fun and entertainment on AHA! Nights. The February 11 theme is “Fire & Ice,” the March 10 theme is “All Sewn Up,” and the April 14 theme is “Sustainable Southcoast.” For details, go to www. or call 508-996-8253.

The indoors winter farmers market at Plimouth Plantation will be open on the second Thursday of the month through May. For more info, visit

If you’re a fan of Americana and roots music, check out the Salon Concerts at the Wamsutta Club. There’s Jeff Scroggins February 6, Cormac McCarthy March 5, Jim McGrath & the Boatmen March 17-20, Flynn Cohen April 2 – and more! For more info, go to


newport Head for the week-long 28th Annual Newport Winter Festival February 12-21! Food, family fun and festivities. Learn more at or call 401-253-0246. Stroll through the free 10th Annual Illuminated Gardens at Ballard Park on February 19-21. For more info, go to Go on a Seal Watch/Nature Cruise in Newport Harbor! The one-hour tours will leave from Long Wharf through April. For details, call 401-324-6060 or visit Get out the ice skates and head for the Newport Skating Center! For more info, visit www.skatenewport. com,, or call 1-888900-8640 x 709.

Get back to your musical roots at Common Fence Music! There’s Wild Ponies February 6, and The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (at Channing Church in Newport) on February 13. For more info, visit or call 401-683-5085.

providence Start thinking about Spring! Visit the 2016 Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show on February 1821 at the RI Convention Center. For details, go to www. or call 401-253-0246. Plan ahead for a Gala Evening with Sir James Galway and the Rhode Island Philharmonic on March 23 at The VETS. Call 401-248-7000 or go to www.ri-philharmonic. org. Don’t miss “Hansel and Gretel,” performed by Festival Ballet Providence, on February 6-7 at the FBP Black Box Theatre. For info, call 401-353-1129 or go to Find out what’s on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center! There’s “Pippin” February 16-21, the multi-media concert “StarTrek: The Ultimate Voyage” on February 14. Call 401-421-2787 or go to www.ppacri. org.

Catch “Stupid F#*%ing Bird” through February 6 performed by The Wilbury Theatre Group. For info, call 401-400-7100 or visit

Catch “Stupid F#*%ing Bird” through February 6 performed by The Wilbury Theatre Group. For info, call 401400-7100 or visit Don’t miss the stunning performances at Rhode Island College – The Muir String Quartet will perform on February 1. For info and tickets, call 401-456-8144 or visit Listen to the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s performance of “Ride of the Valkyries” February 20! For details, go to Explore the Children’s Museum in Providence! Go to or call 401-273-5437. Take the kids to the Roger Williams Park Zoo! Don’t miss half-price admission during Winter Wonder Days through February 28. For more info, go to www.rwpzoo. org or call 401-785-3510. “The Hunchback of Seville” will be performed at Trinity Rep February 4 – March 6. For more info, call 401-3514242 or go to

rehoboth Plan ahead to hear “Andrius Zlabys & Friends” on February 13 at Goff Memorial Hall, part of the “Arts in the Village” series. For details, visit

rochester The Standard-Times’ 2015 Rochester Woman of the Year is Diane Lagasse – Rochester’s Man of the Year is Dave Souza.

taunton Electricity rates in Taunton should be slightly lower this year. Round 1 Entertainment, a multi-faceted entertainment complex, is now open at the Galleria Mall, offering bowling, arcade games, pool/ping pong, karaoke, darts, and snack bar serving beer and wine. Compassionate Care Hospice of Taunton needs volunteers to visit patients and provide respite for families. Training is provided. For more info, contact Jeannine Hight at 508-399-5900 or at

tiverton Head for the Sandywoods Center for the Arts. There’s Gary Fish & Friends on February 20, Willy J. Laws Band February 26, Fellswater March 19 – and lots more! For a complete schedule, go to or call 401-241-7349.

wareham The Standard-Times’ 2015 Wareham Man & Woman of the Year are William and Betsy Tatlow. A new HomeGoods store will open at the Wareham Crossing shopping center this spring.


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

At UMass Dartmouth’s GAEA climate change summit in December, projections showed that access to Wareham’s Tobey Hospital was vulnerable to flooding caused by rising sea levels and storm surge.

warren Check out what’s playing at 2nd Story Theatre! “Hysteria” will be performed through February 14. Call 401-247-4200 or go to

westport The Standard-Times’ 2015 Westport Men & Women of the Year are the members of Walk for Westport. Concerts at the Point will present the Adaskin String Trio on February 21, and the Dover String Quartet March 13. For more info, call 508-636-0698 or visit The Westport Land Conservation Trust is looking for volunteers for the “Tuesday Trail Team.” To learn more, contact or call 508-636-9228. Explore 18th and 19th-century life at the Handy House. For more info, visit or call 508-636-6011.

Find out what’s on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center! There’s “Pippin” February 16-21, the multi-media concert “StarTrek: The Ultimate Voyage” on February 14. Call 401-421-2787 or go to


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In$tant winner By Paul E. Kandarian

How much does a dream cost? In America, two bucks. Like everyone else in the country, I got caught up in Powerball fever last month, that insidious disease with its main symptom being the ache for untold riches just by spending two bucks to successfully guess six numbers. Two bucks seems a fair tradeoff for the world’s largest jackpot of $1.5 billion. Sure, my two bucks will guarantee me a cup of coffee or a couple of things down at the dollar store or one-gallon plus of gas, but who wants a sure thing? I prefer a challenge in life, and nothing’s more challenging than cashing in on a dream fortune for a lowly two dollars. Powerball fever caught on with the media, as if no other news mattered anymore, not Donald Trump’s latest lie (including his hair), not ISIS taking over the world (Obama’s fault, according to the Republicans), not the Patriots chances to reach the Super Bowl (with or without properly inflated balls). It was fun to watch, if a bit puzzling. They’d show footage of hundreds of people standing in line to buy a Powerball ticket, as if they were waiting for Adele tickets or the new iPhone. My first thought watching was “Did they film this in East Overshoe, Middle-of-Nowhere, USA, where the only other store selling Powerball tickets is a 200-mile drive in the old pickup?” I felt lucky to live in a highly populated area where lottery outlets rival Dunkin’ Donut in number. There’s a store down my street where, after slogging through the discarded Keno tickets and piles of instant-ticket shavings, I find no one ahead of me to buy into my dream. But the Powerball people don’t make it all that enticing, to be honest. In this last go-round, the chances of winning the whole thing by getting five numbers plus the Powerball number were about one in 300 million, or roughly the same as Donald Trump admitting he has a comb over.


February 2016 / The South Coast Insider

Those are some pretty steep odds, given that the amount of possible number combinations in Powerball is the same 300 million. If you play Powerball, you know it’s really hard to come up with even one winning number, let alone six, so you’d think that getting a few might pay off. Think again. Get the Powerball number alone, that

tag-on at the end that they do for who-knows-what reason, you’ll rack up four bucks. But at least you’ve doubled your investment. Get one regular number and the Powerball, also four bucks. Get three numbers, or two numbers plus Powerball, now you’re getting somewhere – all the way up to seven bucks, which will get you

almost four gallons of gas, which still isn’t enough to get to another store in the old pickup if you live in East Overshoe, Middle-of-Nowhere, USA. But get four numbers, or three numbers and the Powerball, now we’re talking. We’re talking 100 bucks. We’re talking immense letdown when you realize how hard it is to get even four numbers right and when you do all you get is a lousy Benjamin for God’s sake. However, should you get four numbers and the Powerball, it gets rewarding, to the tune of $50,000. Get five regular numbers, bingo, you’re a millionaire because that’s what you get: $1 million. And your odds here are way better than winning the whole enchilada – one in five million – but imagine the number of enchiladas you could buy, after the enchilada tax, also known as the IRS, which will reach into your pocket for 39.6 percent. Oh, and don’t forget state tax, because the state won’t. And consider the payback rate of playing the lottery. In Massachusetts, about 73 percent goes back to winners. Want a better payback? Go the nearby casinos, where paybacks are in the 90-percent range. We spend a lot on the lottery here in the U.S. One study showed that in 2014, we it was more than $70 billion, which CNN Money calculated as more than we spend on sports tickets, books, video games, movie theaters, and music combined. Also more than NASA’s budget of $17 billion or total foreign aid of $38 billion, which suggests you’d be better off blasting your two bucks to the moon or ponying up to help the starving children of name-the-country-here. But winning will make you happy, right? Maybe not. It also made Jeffrey Dampier dead. He won $20 million in the Illinois lottery in 1995, and in 2005 was murdered by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. I have no idea why they thought putting a bullet in Jeffrey’s head would get them his money, but they have a lot of time to ponder it: they’re both spending life in prison, where I’m pretty sure they don’t sell Powerball tickets. Which might be the only place that doesn’t. I just read another story about a woman, single mom of three, who worked four jobs and won a relative pittance by Powerball standards, about $1.3 million. She said she doesn’t feel she’s changed – but the people around her have. “I don’t know whether ‘happy’ is the word,” she said when asked if the money made her that. “I’m still trying to grasp it.” Two bucks is a mighty cheap tradeoff for a dream, but the actual cost is likely much higher. Meanwhile, I’ll take my chances. They aren’t that good anyway.

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