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FEBRUARY 2018 Vol. 22 / No. 2


Warming up winter Wheels of the bus Cabin crazy


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February 2018 | The South Coast Insider


10 14

Education for the future By MICHAEL J. VIEIRA

The wheels of the bus By JAy PATEAKOS

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FROm THE PUBLISHER February 2018 | Vol. 22 | No. 2 Published by Coastal Communications Corp.

loVE, loVE, loVE is iN thE air! you might have to unbundle a little and uncross your arms to realize it, but it’s out

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ljiljana Vasiljevic

there – and it has a funny way of keeping you warm.

Editor Sebastian Clarkin

There is of course Saint Valentine’s Day on the 14th, right in the

Online Editor Paul Letendre

center (or heart) of February. Who was Saint Valentine? What’s a Lupercalia? Want to send a penny dreadful? To answer all that and more, you’ll want to turn to Liz Read’s article on page 6. Romance aside, there are lots of other ways and reasons to show that you care. Take, for example, the “Get on the Bus” program jointly-sponsored by BayCoast Bank and the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce. They’ve come up with a fun and innovative way to show that they care about future generations, and they’ve found a way to get more people caring about them too. Read what Jay Pateakos learned on page 14.

Contributors Paul Kandarian, Ashley Lessa, Dan Logan, Tom Lopes, Jay Pateakos, Elizabeth Morse Read, Joyce Rowley, Michael J. Vieira The South Coast Insider is published monthly for visitors and residents of the South Coast area and is distributed free of charge from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay. All contents copyright ©2018 Coastal Communications Corp.

and both the students and the school have found heartening success.

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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February 2018 | The South Coast Insider


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Be my e n i t n e val By Elizabe

Read th Morse

Valentine’s Day is a bonanza for the greeting card industry, second only to Christmas in card sales – but where, why, and when did this billion-dollar love-messaging custom begin? A prisoner of love

Legend has it that one of the early Christian martyrs named Valentine (there were several), fell in love with his Roman jailer’s daughter while imprisoned for refusing to renounce his faith. He sent her a love note just before his execution, signed “from your Valentine,” and thereby hangs the tale. Valentine died during the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia (February 13-15), when young men selected their potential girlfriends for the following year. The Christian church’s custom was to supplant pagan


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

festivals and customs with Christian celebrations, so the sentiment of romantic love became permanently associated with St. Valentine’s feast day, February 14.

The age of chivalry

During the Middle Ages, young men wooed their heart’s desire with spoken verses or songs on February 14, because it was believed that that was the day when birds began mating, especially doves. By the 15th century, February 14 in France and England was a major festival day for celebrating courtship and romantic love

– jousting knights tied colored ribbons or scarves belonging to their beloved on their arm (hence the expression “wearing your heart on your sleeve”). The oldest-surviving written “Valentine” is a love poem composed by the French Duke of Orleans to his wife while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.

Language of flowers

In the early 1700s, the King of Sweden introduced the Persian art known as the “language of flowers” to Europe, and “floral dictionaries” became wildly popular,

allowing hidden messages to be sent in a simple bouquet. Red roses, believed to be the favorite flower of Venus, the Roman goddess of love, became the flower of choice for Valentine’s Day, and they were later incorporated in Valentine card designs. Romantic handwritten love notes (billet-doux) were popular throughout Europe during the 18th century, but they were undecorated letters or poems, usually dropped on a doorstep at night or left in a secret meeting place. For the poeticallychallenged suitor, there were sixpenny pamphlets called “valentine writers,” which included a range of stock verses to cover all levels of romantic sentiment.

Fall in Love.

Common man love notes

But the popularity of Valentine cards exploded in the 19th century – the Victorian period in England and Europe, the Civil War years in the US, and the Industrial Revolution throughout the western world. The centuries-old custom of hand-delivered love-notes faded away in Europe, when postal rates in England were standardized and public mail-boxes became common, making it possible to mail a love letter anonymously for just a penny. Up until then, outer envelopes were rarely used, as their weight added to the cost of postage (which, in some places, was paid for by the recipient, not the sender). Soon thereafter, inexpensive, commercially-produced Valentine cards became available – colorfully printed, embossed note-sheets that could either be folded and sealed with wax or else enclosed in an envelope and mailed off from any location.


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One of those early commercially-produced English Valentine cards was sent to Esther Howland of Worcester, Massachusetts, the daughter of a stationer. She is credited with starting the New England Valentine Company in 1844, the first mass-produced card industry in the US. Esther hired friends and relatives to decorate and hand-paint the cards in assembly-line fashion, years ConTInued on neXT PAGe



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ConTInued FRoM PReVIouS PAGe

before Henry Ford came up with the idea. In her first year of producing and selling her distinctive Valentine cards, she made $5,000, a huge sum at that time, and larger printing companies soon copied her business model. By the early 1900s, card-printing companies like Norcross and Hallmark introduced their first mass-produced Valentine cards, a pivotal moment in the commercialization of St. Valentine’s Day. During the 1860s, when the US Civil War separated so many sweethearts, images of cooing turtle doves and sad farewells began appearing on Valentine cards, with fold-out military tent-flaps revealing a love-sick soldier. Locks of the sender’s hair were often incorporated into the card’s design.

Victorian sentiments

Kate Greenaway, the famous English illustrator of children’s books, created dreamy, sentimental lithograph drawings for Valentine cards that could be mass-produced, making them even more popular in the late 1800s, throughout Europe and America. Winged and blindfolded “Cupidshooting-arrows” was another popular Valentine card image during the 19th

A Whaler’s “Busk Valentine” Poem

century, but they had been prudishly edited by the Victorian-era English. The actual Roman god Cupid, Venus’ son, was the representation of passionate desire, erotic love, physical attraction (much like the Greek god Eros), and had always been depicted as a naked youth, not as a roly-poly toddler of dubious sex.

The labors of love

Some late-19th century valentine cards were incredibly elaborate (and very expensive) works of handmade art, layered with paper lacework, ribbons, feathers, embossed turtle-doves, velvet, and loveknots made of the sender’s hair. Some had ingenious “mechanical” pop-outs, moving parts secured by a metal grommet, or 3D puzzles hiding garters or betrothal rings. Lonely sailors hand-crafted Valentine messages with exotic shells arranged atop heart-shaped wooden boxes. And whalers on multi-year voyages carved intricate scrimshaw drawings and poems on discarded whale’s teeth, or on strips of baleen, creating “busk Valentines.” [see sidebar]

Penny Dreadfuls

But most valentine cards during that era were inexpensive mass-produced cards with generic pre-printed messages. Some those rigid corsets of the 19th century, which gave women that “fashionable” wasp-waisted, high-bosom look, were kept sti�f by inserting thin strips of semi-�lexible baleen, metal, or wood (all called “stays” or “busks”) into stitched panels in the corset’s outer layer.

Valentine cards of the late 19th-century were more religious or moral, featuring a “bleeding heart” pierced by Cupid’s arrow, with chaste and pious verses inside. Other Valentine cards, called “vinegar valentines” or “penny dreadfuls,” were intentionally garish and enclosed snide limericks that lampooned the recipient’s appearance, profession or (unmarriageable) age. (Many of these were rejected by the US Postal Service as “unfit” to be carried through the mail.)

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Early “Kodak Moments”

Another popular Valentine card design in the late 19th century included a small mirror (“Behold my Beloved!”), or a tin daguerreotype (an early form of photography), surrounded by a flowery wreath. This immediately spurred an offshoot industry for printers and photographers to create postcard-sized photographs that could be inexpensively printed, hand-tinted, and mailed, not only for Valentine’s Day but also for birthdays, weddings, and as travel souvenirs. (It also triggered a craze for collecting these photo-cards in albums to pull out whenever guests visited.)

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A billion-dollar holiday

While the custom of sending carefully-selected Valentine cards still remains strong in the US, other tokens of affection have taken the forefront in actual Valentine’s Day spending. According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans bought 190 million Valentine cards in 2017, worth close to $1 billion. The majority of the cards were sent to romantic partners, but the remainder were sent to family, friends, teachers, coworkers – and even pets. But, according to the National Retail Association, the 54% of Americans who spent money on Valentine gifts last year spent close to $18 billion in total, including $1.7 billion on chocolates and candy, $2 billion on flowers (250 million roses!), and $4.3 billion on jewelry, not to mention on candlelight dinnersfor-two, romantic weekend getaways, and novelty items like lingerie, perfume, and teddy bears. And who knows how many e-cards were sent? Happy St. Valentine’s Day!


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(508) 679 -1071 The South Coast Insider | February 2018



Bristol Community College awards more degrees and certificates than any community college in Massachusetts.

By Michael J. Vieira


ow more than ever, the South Coast and the nation need an educated workforce. The problem is that nobody knows what the jobs will be in the future. “We don’t know what’s going to exist, but we know some skills that will be required,” Tom Aubin, Superintendent-Director of Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School suggested, adding that future jobs will continue to require cooperation, teamwork, and critical thinking. So Diman students begin building electronic portfolios during their freshman year and include resumes, cover letters, writing samples, and other examples of their work. “We’re getting them ready for work and careers,” he said. “Employability is a big part of our curriculum.” At B.M.C. Durfee High School of Fall River, the traditional academic programs as well as the Career and Technical Education Department is also focused on the future. The dull concrete entrance to the CTE area has recently been transformed to symbolize the new approach.


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

A student-designed and painted mural highlights the school colors and includes icons representing the trades being taught. Visual art teacher Rene Gagnon and CTE director Ray Medeiros, Jr. came up with the design, which was supported by Matt Malone, the superintendent of schools. In addition, the school’s Tradewinds Restaurant has a new menu, as well as a new floor and counter. For example, the recent holiday luncheon featured stuffed pork roast, soup sides, and an amazing warm bread pudding that provided guests with a great meal at an amazing price. Cosmetology has gotten a makeover, moving from the 70s décor into a more contemporary, stylish look. Just look at the murals and signage around the school to sample the visual arts program. But there’s more. New programs like marketing at Durfee and a proposed medical assisting program at Diman are just a hint of the new future for both schools. At both schools, students spend much of their time actually working at jobs during their high school years.


Aubin pointed out that this year there are 329 seniors and 223 are out working in internships through the school’s co-op program. Students get OSHA 10 certification in their freshman year and take part in an annual job fair. In March, more than 72 companies set up displays to engage Diman students in their companies. Students mostly work in the South Coast and Rhode Island, but some travel as far as Boston. “We go where the jobs are,” Aubin said, adding, “these are very good companies.” Medeiros pointed out that Durfee students also are out working. Early education students are doing affiliations in schools and daycares. The health assistant program is preparing students for CNA certification to work in nursing homes where they also do affiliations. Riley brothers, who have trenching contracts with many gas companies, is also looking at a partnership to prepare workers for them. “A goal of the superintendent is to expand CTE opportunities for our students in both

the current and potential new Durfee,” Medeiros said. That will provide more experiences for more students. Durfee is also moving to a new six period schedule. Changes have already allowed the program to double the sophomore classes for this school year. By way of example, Medeiros explained, “If we took 15 culinary sophomores last year, we took 30 this year.” “The goal is to build interest and hopefully avoid attrition by the senior year,” he said, adding that Durfee is also trying to revamp some programs so that they are “less linear and provide multiple opportunities to get into the pathway.” There is also a big push at the state level, Medeiros noted, to make better connections between the CTE programs and college pathways so that the students are truly “college and career ready” after graduating. Some folks are surprised that Durfee even offers what has been traditional vocational education, but as a comprehensive high school, it is part of their mission. Even more surprising to many is that 60% of Diman graduates go to college. Many vocational school graduates continue on to schools like Northeastern University and the Wentworth Institute of Technology. This year, the first Diman student was accepted to an Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years, Durfee students have been accepted and attended Harvard, Tufts, Yale, as well as state schools and universities. For many, however, one of the best options might be right here in the South Coast. But a focus at both schools (as well as at BCC, Bridgewater State, UMass Dartmouth, and others) is to get the learners involved with real-life, real-world experiences through co-operative learning programs and internships. Local business can contact the schools to help provide paid opportunities, which are ideal, although in some cases students may work for the experience. Despite what some people think, there are lots of jobs of available – but many require some education or training.

Meeting the need

According to several studies and reports, middle-skill jobs represent the largest share

tech and computer-based careers. College catalogs are now online, so it’s easy to explore the options. Local institutions of higher education offer certificates and degrees in business, computer information systems, and recently BCC began a project management degree option. But looking to the future, BCC also announced a partnership with Cape Cod Community College’s aviation maintenance program in which students do their general studies at BCC and then complete the program at CCCC. Not many people know that Bridgewater State also has an aviation degree program, so students can take general education courses at BCC and then learn to fly at BSU. Douglas pointed out that BCC is the only college that is certified by the The Diman Machine Tool program state gaming commission to offer received a Massachusetts Skills Capital Grant training for the casino industry. The to update some of its equipment. CATCH (CAsino, Tourism, Culinary, and Hospitality) Institute operates a casino training facility at the Taunton Center of jobs in Massachusetts – and estimates (complete with blackjack, roulette, and suggest that that number will grow so that other tables – plus a surveillance room). by 2020, about 72% of the jobs will require But new programs need new facilities. more than a high school diploma. “There’s never been a greater need for New buildings and programs a community college education,” Bristol Durfee has been approved for state fundCommunity College President Laura ing for a new school building and Diman Douglas said. also recently received a go-ahead to start In the South Coast, where cities like New the process of a major renovation or new Bedford and Fall River continue to work school building program. on keeping students in school and getting “It’s unbelievable news,” Aubin said, “We’re them to graduate, it’s a challenge to even ready to revolutionize education.” get people to think about college. With autonomous vehicles probably For decades, the fishing fleets, the mills, less than five years down the road, Diman and then the sewing shops and places like needs to figure out how to prepare workers Quaker Fabrics offered decent work to for that industry. Programs (although he hard-working individuals. Those days are prefers to call them “laboratories”) need to gone. work together. “We need to help families to see the value Culinary now involves physics, chemistry, of higher education,” Douglas stressed. and biology. Electronics, computer proThe bad news is that the South Coast still gramming, and robotics can work together lags behind the rest of the state and the to create artificial intelligence labs. nation in terms of educational attainment. “We have to get out of the silos,” he said, The good news is that the local colleges and and that is true not only of high schools but universities have programs in place to meet of higher education. the needs of the future. At Bristol Community College, the new Google “10 in demand jobs in John J. Sbrega Health and Science building Massachusetts” and you’ll find they include is home to state-of-the-art science labs and marketing managers, administrative assistants, salespeople, nurses, and a variety of Continued ON NEXT PAGE

The South Coast Insider | February 2018



modern dental hygiene and nursing suites. Classroom space, nursing simulation labs, a teaching clinic, and more are housed in the 50,000-square-foot building. The striking new addition to the campus is not only impressive – but it’s also efficient. The college can boast that the building is the first zero net energy science building in the Northeast. The college is also looking to be an important part of the recently announced Offshore Wind Energy Projects. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is accepting proposals from companies for “long-term contracts.” One company, Bay State Wind, announced that it has committed one million dollars to fund BCC’s first endowed faculty position if selected. As part of its bid, the company would collaborate with BCC and others to develop an offshore wind training center in New Bedford. Bristol offers an Engineering Technology/Offshore Wind Power Students at UMass Technology concentration of its Dartmouth hosts both Associate in Science in Engineering today’s students and the Technology (Offshore Wind Power students of the future. Technology), as well as a Certificate of Recognition in Offshore Wind Power higher education stalled, the South Coast Technician. has helped provide additional resources “We are extremely grateful to Bay State through donations and other programs. Wind for recognizing the important role “We’re very blessed that people see the that BCC plays in the future of wind energy value of BCC,” Douglas noted. education. This partnership solidifies BCC’s commitment to offshore wind training and COMMUNITY SUPPORT the creation of jobs. It also ensures that we Thanks to the Bristol County Chamber of will be able to support the offshore wind Commerce EdUp initiative and BayCoast industry in New Bedford with highly-skilled Bank, about 800 seventh grade students faculty and programs, well into the future,” from Fall River – and a similar group from said President Douglas. New Bedford – will visit the University of Many people also don’t realize the BCC Massachusetts Dartmouth. awards more degrees and certificates than Dr. Matthew Roy, a Fall River kid himself any community college in Massachusetts who is now assistant vice chancellor for civic (1,712 in 2017) – and has done so for the last engagement at UMD, helped plan the tour ten years. It is also now the third largest which included a dining hall and dorm as community college in the Commonwealth well as library, academic buildings, and the with an enrollment in FY 2017 that reached campus center. 11,069. “We believe education is the primary Add in the almost 19,000 non-credit eneconomic driver of a region or a commurollments at BCC, and it’s clear that the nity,” BayCoast Bank president and CEO college is providing a tremendous service to Nick Christ was quoted as saying in a local the South Coast. But with public funding for


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

newspaper. “This tour provides inspiration to the kids that they can be here. They can do this.” UMD Chancellor Robert E. Johnson and Fall River Superintendent Matt Malone shared stories about their early education – and pointed out that there were some folks who didn’t think they were college material. “I believe we must collaborate with our regional partners on the South Coast to create the vibrant economy that benefits us all and strengthens our community,” Johnson said in his message to the university as the new academic year began, adding: “I believe in working with others to find solutions, not just to identify problems.” Bridgewater State University has also stepped up to help the South Coast. In May, BSU President Fred Clark and then-BCC President Jack Sbrega met to announce BCC2BSU, a guaranteed dual admission which started in the fall of 2017 for targeted programs. “We aspire to be a ‘next-generation university’ and this won’t be just another transfer agreement; we’re going to invest in it,” President Clark said at the May signing ceremony at the BCC Attleboro campus, where BSU has offered courses for the past eight years, adding: “We want to build and expand upon the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Commonwealth Commitment, and I think we’re going to do that through this partnership.” The agreement is similar to the MCC2BSU program with Massasoit Community College. Through the initiative, students who are not accepted into programs at BSU can be granted a “conditional admission” rather than a traditional rejection. If students enroll at BCC or Massasoit and participate in the new initiative, they would not have to re-apply to BSU after they complete their associate’s degree. “The state needs us to produce more college-educated workers. It’s a desperate crying need in all corners of the state,” said President Clark said. “We’re going to focus on gateway cities and underserved populations.”

In education, the new initiative will serve as a “grow your own teacher” program, according to President Clark, helping to address teacher shortages and lack of diversity in Gateway cities. Although, Bridgewater has grown into much more than a teachers’ college. Its business and STEM programs are among the fastest growing and most respected in the region. The college has also done a great job of blending historic buildings with new dorms and other facilities, including the $98.7 million science building that opened in 2012. Current BCC President, Laura Douglas, also was excited about the opportunities provided by the new streamlined pathway with BSU. “It makes it very easy to transfer credits,” she said, adding that BCC is also looking to develop similar “express degree” programs with UMD. But to prepare students for the uncertainty of the future, are these programs enough?

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In the interest of full disclosure, I still teach and advise at BCC and worked there for about half of my professional career. Before that, I taught and advised publications students at B.M.C. Durfee High School, which is also my alma mater – after which, I received two degrees at Bridgewater State. To say that I value and advocate for public education is an understatement. Looking to the future of education in the South Coast, one thing is clear: teachers and other educators cannot succeed alone. It will take public and community support to get the job done. Instead of focusing on the negatives, working to improve the conditions and social issues which cause them would be more beneficial. In the end, we all should be supporting new buildings and programs, encouraging students to stay in school and continue their education, and advocating state and national leaders to invest their money into the future: our kids. To me, the future isn’t uncertain. I’ve met our South Coast students from K-12 to postgraduates, and from my perspective, the future looks good. By working together, we can only make it better.

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The wheels of the bus By Jay Pateakos

BayCoast’s bus is an investment in the future.

Many of us owe everything to our educations, but we are the lucky ones. There are thousands of students in our region whose road maps will not take them anywhere near higher education.


ateway cities like New Bedford and Fall River continue to struggle with high dropout and low matriculation rates. In response, an initiative has arisen to show these students what you and I know: that education is everything. In 2010, the Fall River Chamber of Commerce (now known as the Bristol County Chamber) formed EdUp, an initiative to showcase the power of education and to improve the education system in the South Coast. Together with BayCoast Bank President Nick Christ, they formed “Get on the Bus,” a jointly-sponsored program that has taken an active role in furthering EdUp’s noble goals. “It all started with the debate inside Fall River about level-funding schools, trading out school education for servicing potholes or hiring more police or fire personnel,” said Bristol County Chamber President Robert


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

Mellion. “With a 55 percent dropout rate, we needed to have all hands on deck if we are ever going to turn the tide of economic development. We need a workforce for the 21st century and we are now building that foundation.” Mellion credits Christ and Baycoast as the beacons that have help put education on the minds of many South Coast residents and businesses over the last few years. Baycoast funds all of the Get on the Bus initiatives as well as EdUp.

Rubber meeting the road

Nicole Almeida, First Vice President and Marketing Director for BayCoast Bank, said that Get on the Bus is aimed at making education the number-one priority for the South Coast. The initiative is bolstered by a real bus that drives around the region collecting stories about how education has positively impacted people’s lives. Several campaigns

have been planned to utilize the stories that are gathered on the bus. The initial campaign selected the most compelling stories from those collected over the summer, and the deserving schools mentioned within were awarded prizes and grants. Almeida said that this serves the dual purpose of directly making a difference in students’ lives today, and also doing so indirectly, by using storytelling to bring the topic of education to the forefronts of people’s minds throughout the South Coast. ”We support and invest in education in our area because we believe that education is the only way to transform lives and communities for the better” said Almeida. It’s not lip service. In November, all 7th grade students in the Fall River Public School system visited the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth to enjoy a sense of what college is about. It’s a rare opportunity typically missed by most students. UMass Dartmouth college students

served as hosts during the program, providing tours of the campus and dormitories and during the final tour on November 21, UMass-Dartmouth Chancellor Dr. Robert E. Johnson and Superintendent of Fall River Public Schools Matt Malone addressed students in the campus auditorium, underscoring the significance of a college education and the avenues students can travel to achieve their goals. “BayCoast Bank is proud to anchor this outstanding project,” said Christ, noting that feedback from students participating in the “Get on the Bus” program has been positive. “It’s important that these young students recognize that college is not out of reach for anyone – we’re delighted to help deliver this message!” Julie Ramos Gagliardi, VP of Corporate Giving and Community Relations for BayCoast Bank, said these UMass Dartmouth visits were so successful in that many of these students had never thought about going to college and now were inspired to think that it could be in their future.

Growing minds and wallets

Acknowledging that educational attainment is the primary driver in the economic growth of any community, the Bristol County Chamber Education Committee, chaired by Christ, has worked to increase support for education and to develop opportunities for public/private partnerships. Ramos Gagliardi notes that they are already seeing the value of collaboration. As a part of this effort, they brought together school administrators from Somerset, Swansea, Westport, Fall River, and the Diocese of Fall River to talk about how what area educators need to effectively do their job. “Overwhelmingly, these professionals talked about how social and emotional issues often keep students from being able to learn and succeed academically,” she said. BayCoast Bank and the Bristol County Chamber Foundation funded a series of region-wide professional development programs to give area educators the tools to help them address their student’s social and emotional needs. A week-long program this summer focused on responsive classroom ConTInued on neXT PAGe

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The South Coast Insider | February 2018



techniques and provided training to over 90 educators at a significantly reduced cost to area school districts. In late October, over 200 educators attended a free day-long summit focused on social and emotional learning put together with the help of the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the Bristol County DA’s office at Somerset Berkley Regional High School and were provided free resources and materials for use in their classrooms. “This was the first time that area school districts looked at professional development from a regional perspective. Aside from saving money, these opportunities provided a chance for area school districts to share best practices and learn from one

“You need vital educational skills to be in the workforce and that’s why we are doing this. We are laying down the foundation to make this area attractive for businesses.” another,” Ramos Gagliardi said. “We hope that as a result of the movement, people start to talk about how education can improve lives and open doors. We hope that the stories we collect about the positive impact of education will inspire students to stay in school and continue their education, and we also hope these stories will inspire adults to identify ways that they can support education, either with grants, sponsorships, or by mentoring,” said Ramos Gagliardi. “By asking everyone – educators, parents, students, and the business community – to get on the bus and support education, we can continue to identify opportunities to pool resources, collaborate,


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

The bus is a mobile classroom and storytelling space.

and find new ways to move the needle in terms of educational attainment.”

Economies of scale

Mellion said only 18 percent of area adults having a college education, which means that the remaining 82 percent have seen drastic changes in their job opportunities. “Ten years ago or so you could get a job in textiles without a college education, but you can’t now. Many of these jobs, even at fast food places, you need a baseline of education,” said Mellion. “You need vital educational skills to be in the workforce and that’s why we are doing this. We are laying down the foundation to make this area attractive for businesses. Southeastern Massachusetts is hot right now with the South Coast Marketplace and Amazon, but we need to keep this momentum going. We need to reassure the businesses in the community of this.” Mellion noted that in all the communities he’s worked for over the years, he’s never seen initiatives like this, so strongly aimed at improving education and then working so hard to make it happen. “We’re trying to break a cycle; to raise the bar,” added Mellion. “We’re getting so much great feedback from parents – which their kids want to learn more at school that they are excited to go. This is what the bus is doing.” As for the future, Ramos Gagliardi said

that while they have had some success to date with programs aimed at both educators and students, they want to do more outreach with parents. The Bristol County Chamber Education Committee is already talking about how to use the Get on the Bus campaign to get information to parents regarding how college can be affordable. “We hope to expand College Day (which happens the first Friday in June) to get everyone talking about education. Educators have already seen great value in the regional training programs that were started in 2017 and hope to continue them this year,” said Ramos Gagliardi. “We want to collect more stories that will continue to inspire people. We want to find other ways and opportunities to get the message out to area students. We hope to encourage more corporate and community partnerships that support education.” BayCoast CEO Nick Christ acknowledges that there is outreach that needs to be done for one group in particular. He explains it this way: “As the Bus continues its tour 2018, perhaps its most important group of passengers will be parents as we strive to engage and assist them in the most meaningful way to be champions of their children’s education.” For more information on the Get on the Bus initiative or to donate or partner up for the sake of education for the future, got to

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The South Coast Insider | February 2018



Strength of sisters By Ashley Lessa

ur Sisters’ School, located at 145 Brownell Avenue in New Bedford, has been educating and empowering local economically disadvantaged middle school girls since 2008. As the school celebrates its 10th anniversary, teachers, parents, volunteers, and students alike are celebrating the much-loved school, and are eager to tell the world more about the people and programs that make up OSS.

Welcome home

There is perhaps no school more welcoming to than OSS. Everyone, from the 5th


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

grade students to Head of School Sarah Herman, is quick to reach out and introduce themselves – all with bright smiles and firm handshakes. But before entering the buzzing excitement that fills the OSS halls comes the entryway. The entrance to the school is quiet and warm. Sunshine beams into the space, lined with encouraging words and woodworks made at the school’s annual summer leadership camp. Student tour guides Karla and Lainie explain that this is a “sacred area,” a place to transition from the outside world to the academic space inside. At 7:30 each school day, middle school girls pass through

this space before starting their nearly 11-hour program. You wouldn’t expect students to sound energetic when speaking about long school days and homework, but Karla and Lainie are practically buzzing. Walking through the halls of the school (colorfully decorated with murals, student art, and awards), they are eager to show off everything from a well-stocked first aid station to student artwork. Their enthusiasm only increases while discussing their academic work. In their humanities class they’re discussing slavery and reading Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. Even though the material is dark, they’re

glad to be covering it. The tough subjects aren’t glossed over here, but both Karla and Lainie remark that they prefer this authentic way of learning. When entering the STEAM (science, technology engineering, arts, and math) lab, the girls show off the equipment, including iPads and tripods, as well as a green screen. They talk about their favorite projects, for some of which they have stayed well past their already long school day just to work on. Those long hours were entirely voluntary. Seeing this type of enthusiasm about academics in middle schoolers is somewhat shocking, but everywhere in OSS there are students who seem excited to learn. Perhaps this is because OSS provides far more than simply an academic school day. Their goal is to not only educate, but also to inspire – to engage the whole girl. Head of School Sarah Herman explains that they refer to the day as a “program” for this reason. From 7:30 in the morning until 6:15 at night their students not only explore academic subjects but also read quietly, play at recess, listen to and converse with guest speakers, practice musical instruments, attend advising sessions, and of course, get their homework done. They also focus on core values and problem solving, what they refer to as “tools” for everyday life. They even have literal tool boxes to make this point, and give out “Tool Belt Awards” during school assemblies in honor of those students who have made use of those tools. Some current tools include “building community” and “self-esteem.” Karla explains that many students in other schools struggle to understand the practical applications of what they learn, “but we will use [the tools] in our lives.”

way for OSS to move towards the future. While students and coworkers have nothing but great things to say about the educator, she has an equal enthusiasm for the school and its students. “It isn’t just a job,” says Eugenio, “It’s living and working with cool humans… empowering young women.” Part of that empowerment is respecting young women for their whole selves, and acknowledging that they have valuable knowledge to share. Tour guides Karla and Lainie seem wise beyond their years, but perhaps this is simply because they are given the chance to make their voices heard in a way many students aren’t able to. “We relate a lot to them” says Karla about her teachers. “They’ve gone through a lot of what we have.” The girls often go to their teachers for advice, and teachers in turn ask their students for help. In an anecdote, the

Empowering young women

To Our Sisters’ School students, being a member of the wider community and learning about how to solve problems and overcome obstacles is essential. Often, the daily program varies to include events like field trips and sailing lessons, which are considered foundational parts of their education. “The entire community is our campus,” says Eugenio. From art projects involving the beauty of the ocean to pieces that capture the inspirational people of the community, the Greater New Bedford area is a visible presence

The students are not the only people who are winning awards lately. Visual and Creative Arts Teacher Tobey Eugenio recently received the 2018 Middle Level Art Educator of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Art Education Association. Along with being an arts teacher, she is also the lead designer of the school’s new Outdoor Classroom, and teaches a class called “Dendrites,” which explores the many ways a brain can learn. Eugenio has helped lead these initiatives, which has paved the

“Every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher.” girls explain that once, a teacher happened to be studying for the LSAT for law school while the students were working on their PSATs; together they worked on problems for both tests. In Lainie’s words, at OSS, “every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher.”

Expanding impact

within the school walls. The relationship is reciprocal – because OSS is a single-sex school, they cannot receive government funding. As a completely tuition-free school, they rely entirely on generous donors and many volunteers to keep up their work. Lisa Schmid Alvord, co-founder and co-president of the Board of Trustees, often quotes an African proverb that states, “When you run alone, you run faster, and when you run together, you run farther.” Schmid Alvord believes this saying to be particularly applicable to the work of OSS. “At OSS, we have traveled far because we have traveled together,” she says. As OSS moves into its second decade, they will continue to rely on these donors and volunteers, as well as teachers like Eugenio to keep up their work, and to expand their impact. OSS has begun a campaign called OSS10 in order to continue support the teachers and volunteers that inspire their students, create and sustain their innovative curriculum, and develop interactive educational spaces both on campus and in the broader community, such as the Outdoor Classroom Eugenio helped design. They break these initiatives down into “People, Program, and Place.” Some of the specific projects they hope to complete include further development of their Robotics and STEAM lab, and the creation of a gymnasium space to support a comprehensive health program. They are also working on their “Community as Campus” initiative in the hopes of collaborating with local businesses and organizations in order to further utilize the entire area as an interactive classroom, and to instill the value of conscientious citizenship into their students. If you who would like to visit OSS and experience this warm, positive learning environment for yourself, you are free to pay them a visit. Or if you would like to contribute your time or a donation to the ongoing success of OSS, or to partner with them as a local business, nonprofit, or other community member, reach out to the school at 508-994-1255 or visit their website at to learn more. The school is also currently accepting applications from current 4th graders for next year’s 18-student 5th grade class.

The South Coast Insider | February 2018



Off the beaten path By JOyCE ROWLEy

Winter on the South Coast… what will it be this year? Waist-high snow drifts or sweatshirt weather?


inter on the South Coast – waist-high snow drifts or sweatshirt weather? Mark Twain summed it up when he said: “If you don’t like the weather in New England, wait a few minutes.” But his wry exaggeration is now our reality. What we can be sure of is that we can find unique and interesting places to go, whatever the weather may be. And in between storms, the South Coast offers spectacular vistas, winter wildlife viewing, and miles of coastline to explore. Here are three South Coast sites that are off the beaten path, but close enough to enjoy.

Looking glass

Start with the New Bedford Museum of Glass (NBMOG) to develop an appreciation for the art and craft of glass. Now in its 25th year, the museum holds over 7,000 objects and a research library with 8,000 volumes of books on everything glass. The collections span 3,000 years of glassmaking


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

from ancient unguent bottles of the Mediterranean to modern art glass by international artists. Run by NBMOG curator and executive director Kirk Nelson, the museum is recognized for its catalogued collections of Steuben and Tiffany glassware, U.S. and European glass, and two New Bedford lines, the Mt. Washington Glass Company and Pairpoint Glass, whose fine cut glass, glass chandeliers, and crystal were legend in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It’s a great place to teach children raised in an era of “just toss it” plastic and Styrofoam about the beauty and utility of glass. It is as much a history museum as an art museum. A photograph of an epergne labeled “Dining room day after Nellie’s wedding” brings alive a different time, when Nellie Shirley, daughter of Frederick Shirley, agent for Mt. Washington, married on October 14, 1903. The photograph (a rarity itself back then) shows a traditional Victorian dining room: a linen-covered table with six candles in sconces, rolls and pastries on serving dishes with stacked plates alongside, and the two-foot-tall cut glass epergne draped with flowers left from the wedding. Behind it, a

mantle clock sits above the fireplace and a sideboard laid out with glasses and plates fills the corner of the room. It’s a glimpse back to a time when furniture, linens, and glassware were expected to be handed down through generations, not tossed after a single use. In fact, the pictured four-piece epergne was handed down through the Shirley family for over one hundred years and then donated to the NBGOM by the granddaughter of Frederick Shirley. In counterpoint, the NBMOG has modern hand-blown glass vases that boggle the mind with the contour, style, and swirling colors. International artists Dale Chihuly, Harvey Littleton, and Edris Ekhardt are represented in the contemporary collections. There’s so much to explore in the renovated mill at 61 Wamsutta Street next to the New Bedford Antiques Center, you could spend hours or plan on repeat visits. NBMOG is a nonprofit, so you can even become a member! Visit for more information online, and to view their online catalogue. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. There is a small admission fee of $5 for adults, $1.25 for careful children (clumsy children slightly more).

Making history

Up Route 6 in Marion, the sippican historical Museum offers a suite of approaches to telling the Village of Marion’s history: oral histories and a speaker series, a self-guided walking tour titled “Wharves, Wood Shingles, and Whaling Captains: Sippican Village from the 17th to the Early 20th Century,” and a recently-acquired collection of scrimshaw from the 19th century whaling era. Located in the center of the village, the museum is made up of a cluster of buildings at 139 Front Street that includes the Marion Post Office. Started in 1963, the Sippican Historical Society founded the museum with the goal of fostering interest in the history of the Town of Marion. Current collections on exhibit include the Maritime Room of vintage tools and documents on the shipping and whaling industry; the ghost ship Mary Celeste, whose captain came from Marion; and the Golden Age of Marion, with prints from former Marion resident Charles Dana Gibson of Gibson Girls fame. If the weather is right, use the walking tour of the densely-built village to learn the local lore of sea captains, postmasters, clergy, and doctors who designed the architecture spanning four centuries. Despite the ravages of three major hurricanes, the Wharf Village remains one of the few in Massachusetts that has so many intact historical buildings.

Beginning at the Sippican Historical Society’s home at 27 Main Street, built by Dr. Walton Nye Ellis in 1834, the tour winds around 47 properties ending at the General Store at 160 Front Street across the street from the museum. Built as a Congregational church between 1794-1799, the Front Street property represented the first step towards becoming a village. Prior to that, Marion residents had to travel to Rochester Center to attend church – a considerable distance by horseback.

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Explore by foot

By mid-February, you may feel up to braving the cold for a walk through the woods. Try an invigorating guided Sunday Stroll through the LaPalme Farm, sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and SouthCoast Health. Led by an outdoor educator, you’ll get fresh air, exercise, and a bit of winter wildlife watching in this 50-acre conservation area. Meet up at the parking lot on Blain Street in Acushnet at 10 a.m. for the one-hour hike. Dress for the weather, of course, and the stroll is weather dependent. Although the hike is free, please pre-register online. Don’t forget to sign up for an email reminder for the event. Or plan your own walk at the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s handy event page at Choose a town, month and host. Then click “go” for an event near you. There’s something going on from Westport to Wareham for all ages. Winter may not be your favorite season, but with a little extra effort, you can find a way to warm up to it.

The South Coast Insider | February 2018



Outdoor February By DAN LOGAN


As this is being written early January, there’s six inches of frozen snow on the ground, and the streets are an unbroken sheet of ice. Temps are single-digit and 15-20 mile an hour winds are a wind chill below zero. That’s a three-week jump on the super nasty Winter of ‘15, which started on January 24; sub-freezing temperatures stuck around for six weeks and so did the ice and snow. Please don’t add three weeks to that in 2018. Still, for perspective, southern New England’s record-setting winter lows rate


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

as mild weather in the upper Midwest. An active outdoor life is still feasible. But it might help to switch from walking, running, and biking to sports that take advantage of the conditions rather than fight them. Try ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing – sports suitable for the whole family, sports that don’t require elaborate and expensive facilities to have a good time.

Ice skating

Ice skating devotees prefer predictable conditions. Ice that’s available when one wants to skate. Smooth ice. And locations

where one doesn’t run the risk of a plunge into cold water if the conditions are misread. That’s why skating rinks dominate these days; skaters don’t have to wait on the weather. Getting out on the nature-made stuff provides a different experience. It’s usually free. One makes do in with a car bumper or tree stump when pulling on one’s skates. And “smooth” is a relative term on natural ice. One’s skates might chatter across intriguing ice ripples. And rough spots or barely sub-surface tree branches produce occasional stumbles. Best (or worst) of all, the sound of ice cracking nearby is likely to cause the hair to

stand up on the back of one’s neck. In the wild, the ice, it turns out, is as much a part of the experience as the skating. Buttonwood Park in New Bedford is a good spot to try skating on natural ice. Generally warmer winters in recent years have meant fewer skating opportunities at the Buttonwood Park pond. The old warming house has been turned into a senior center. Still, it’s a good place to skate if the conditions are right, and it doesn’t take a long stretch of cold weather to freeze the pond.

Cross-country skiing

The spots that are good for walking, running, and biking in the other three seasons are often ideal for cross-country skiing in winter. They’re also free. The bike paths along the Massachusetts and Rhode Island coast are fair game for cross-country skiing (as well as for snowshoeing). Try X-C on the Phoenix Bike Trail in Fairhaven, which turns into the Mattapoisett Rail Trail, which extends to Mattapoisett Neck Road. You can go even farther and cross the pedestrian bridge to Reservation Road if you don’t mind some rougher ground. Add in the Little Bay connector at Arsene Street in Fairhaven and there’s about five miles of paved path, much of it with a grass border making for easier skiing or snowshoeing if the snow on the paved route has gotten too beat up for smooth travel.


Three or four million people participate in snowshoeing in the United States, according to the Statista statistics portal. Not a huge number, but the sport doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment, expansive territory, or big hills. And modern snowshoes are much more compact and efficient thaal snowshoeing. The bike paths so eminently suitable for cross-country skiing are also good for snowshoeing. For a more woodsy experience try snowshoeing the Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, off Brandt Island Road in Mattapoisett. There’s a big parking lot

leading to more than 200 acres of mixed terrain. More than three miles of trails lead through open fields and a forest of oak, pine, and tupelo, winding up at the rocky shoreline along Nasketucket Bay. There are no bathroom facilities at the Nasketucket Bay State Reservation, but it’s only a couple of miles to the commercial parts of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett.


Dressing for the weather

Sledding is largely a neighborhood event, where any mound taller than a six-year old can temporarily pass for a mountain. A hilly neighborhood is definitely a plus for the faster descents. For example, in Mattapoisett the Ship Street hill drops quickly to sea level over a two-block stretch, teasing sledders with a slight bend in its midsection. Sledding the region’s big boys can liven up a family outing. For example on Clasky Common in New Bedford, there’s a steep, block-long run from County Street to State Street. In Westport, Potato Hill (or the Potato Farm, as it is known), is a literal bowl in the ground east of Route 88, where Hix Bridge Road and Cadman’s Neck Road intersect. The 10-acre hole is a bit steeper on the Cadman’s Neck Road side, while the Hix Bridge Road slope is shallow and more appealing to younger children. What slides down doesn’t slide up, so it’s a serious trudge to get back to the top from the bottom of the bowl, particularly when there’s a layer of fresh snow. Potato Hill’s big disadvantage lies in its popularity – on a good day, sledders park their cars anywhere they damn well feel like it on the narrow country roads, creating single-lane traffic and ridiculous impasses for sledders and residents. Still, it might be worth the effort to get the ride. Well off the coast but also worth the trip, Diamond Hill in Cumberland has several long sledding runs. Diamond Hill was once a ski area equipped with rope tows, but now it’s a big, wide-open park. Other Rhode Island sledding hotspots include Roger Williams Park, near the Temple to Music, and Fort Adams State Park in Newport, near the soccer fields.

With recent temperatures falling to record or near-record lows, we’re being given an opportunity to rethink our techniques for dressing for the conditions. Doing quite a bit of outdoor photography during the early January cold weather, I found I had to adjust my wardrobe. I know what works for me on a stint outside on an average breezy 30-degree day. When it was 10 degrees and really windy, my usual outfit quickly felt inadequate, to put it mildly. I began planning each day’s mission more carefully. I thought about how long I’d be outside (usually 1-2 hours), and what I’d be doing out there. Usually I’m standing in an exposed spot on a hurricane barrier with my camera and long lens on a tripod. So I added a cheap plastic windbreaker to my wicking t-shirt, warm fleece, and winter coat layers. I pulled on wind pants, put on thin socks under a heavier pair, chose some heavier gloves, and added a scarf to protect my face from the prevailing northwest wind. I was good for two hours in standaround mode. Anything else that would have made me more comfy? Ski goggles for the wind would have been nice. And a balaclava to seal the gaps the scarf managed to miss. But what if I decided to do some photography in the lee of some nearby trees, hike around where I’m out of the wind? Now the cheap plastic windbreaker and the balaclava become sweatboxes. But if I take them off once I start sweating, the sweat feels as if it’s instantly turning to ice. That’s where the planning comes in. Maybe dress for more activity one day, less activity the next. Or practice operating at a more measured pace if you’re wearing more gear. Or, spend more money on waterproof, breathable gear that slows heat buildup. Any of these approaches will help you stay comfortable longer on unusually cold days.

The South Coast Insider | February 2018



News, views and trends…

from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay

February may be the shortest month of the year in the dead of winter, but it sure is long on festivities! Gather together with family and friends to enjoy Super Bowl Sunday, the Winter Olympics, Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, and Chinese New Year! Take advantage of school vacations to enjoy some of the many outdoor activities on the South Coast, too. And don’t despair – spring’s just around the corner!

Across the Region Don’t miss the 2018 Newport Winter Festival February 16-25! Ten days of music, food, festivities, and fun throughout Newport County. For more info, go to or call 401-847-7666. Mark your calendars for the 18th Annual Frederick Douglass Community Read-a-Thon at the First Unitarian Church on February 11! For more info, call 508-979-8828 or go to Stay in shape and engaged with your community this winter – find out what’s going on at your local YMCA! For schedules at all locations, go to The Salvation Army is always willing to accept your bagged/boxed donations – clothing, books, furniture and housewares. To schedule a free pickup, go to My Brother’s Keeper of Dartmouth and Easton is looking for volunteers and gently-used residential furniture for South Coast families in need. Free pick up. Call 774-305-4577 or visit If you’re 50 or older, check out the day trips sponsored by the New Bedford Senior Travel Program –there’s “On Your Feet!” at the PPAC on February 4, Foxwoods Casino February 12, Twin River Casino March 13, Boston Flower Show March 14, Sugar Madness Luncheon at East Hill Farm March 20, and plan ahead for the 3-day trip to Dover Downs Casino March 25-27. For info and reservations, call 508-991-6171, Tuesday to Thursday, 9 to 3.


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

Fill your baskets with local produce, pies, and winter greenery! To find a farm, vineyard, or winter farmers market near you, visit,,, or localharvest. org. To find food and wine events, go to or Southcoast Health and the Buzzards Bay Coalition have created “Discover Buzzards Bay,” an initiative to promote active outdoor recreation. A series of guided monthly outdoor walks, called “Sunday Strolls,” and an online portal with information about more than 100 public places to walk, birdwatch, kayak/canoe, fish or cross-country ski can be found at – and check out and massaudubon. org. To learn more about state parks and wildlife refuges in Rhode Island, go to or

Acushnet Go on a free “Sunday Stroll at LaPalme Farm” on February 4, 10-11 a.m., sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Southcoast Health. For info and directions, go to Talk a winter walk through the Acushnet Sawmills public park and herring weir! Canoe/kayak launch, fishing, trails. For info, visit

Attleboro The Attleboro Community Theatre will perform “American Strippers” February 16-18, 23-25, March 2-4. For more info, call 508-226-8100 or go to

by Elizabeth Morse Read

Check out the Capron Park Zoo – sign the kids up for Zoo Classes! Call 774-203-1840 or go to Or stroll through Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center! For more info, call 508-223-3060 or visit

Bristol Take a winter walk through Blithewold Mansion and Gardens! For info, call 401-253-2707 or go to Or visit Linden Place Mansion, the setting for the movie The Great Gatsby. For info and reservations, call 401-253-0390 or visit Eat Fresh, Eat Local! Head for the Mount Hope Bristol Winter Farmers Market at Mount Hope Farm on Saturdays from 9 to 1. Cash, credit card, SNAP/EBT, WIC and senior coupons accepted. For more info, go to Find out who’s playing at the Stone Church Coffeehouse at the First Congregational Church. For info or tickets, call 401-253-4813 or 401-253-7288. Check out the 18th-century Home and Hearth Workshops at the Coggeshall Farm Museum! For details, visit or call 401-253-9062.

Dartmouth Enjoy the outdoors at the Lloyd Center for the Environment! Take the little ones to “Nature Discovery” on February 17 (third Saturday each month). For details, call 508-990-0505 or visit Or take a winter stroll through Paskamansett Woods, a nature reserve operated by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. For more info, visit Don’t miss the Tri-County Symphonic Band’s performance of “All Italia!” on February 11 at the Dartmouth High School Auditorium! For info and tickets, go to Don’t miss the South Coast Chamber Music Series – plan ahead for “Chiaroscuro” on March 11 at St. Peter’s Church in South Dartmouth. For more info, call 508-999-6276 or go to

Mark your calendar for the monthly Paskamansett Concert Series at the Dartmouth Grange Hall. Fourteen Strings will perform on February 10, and Joanne Doherty on March 10. For more info, call 401-241-3793, or visit

Easton head for either the Marketplace at Simpson Springs (508-238-4472) or the winter farmers market at Oakes Ames Memorial Hall (508230-0631) on Saturdays. For more info, go to Find out what’s happening at the Easton Children’s Museum! For info, call 508-230-3789 or visit

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Fairhaven Put on your dancing shoes! Head for the First Congregational Church on the third Saturday each month (February 17), 7-10 p.m., for social ballroom dancing! Beginners welcome. For reservations and info, call 401-230-3420 or go to dtdballroom@ if you’re interested in the history of Japan-America ties, visit the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House, where it all began. Go to or call 508-995-1219 for details. Find out what’s happening in Fairhaven! For info on tours, events and historical sites, go to or call 508-979-4085.

Fall river st. anne’s hospital, part of the Steward Health Care system, has been recognized as one of the country’s forty-four “Top General Hospitals of 2017” by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization, and was one of only six general hospitals in New England to receive this designation. Check out the “Fall river Portraits” exhibit of UMass Dartmouth and Diman Regional High School student photography on display at the Staircase Galleries at Fall River’s Government Center through May. the Narrows Center for the arts has a fabulous lineup – there’s Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish February 2, Lenny Clark & Dan Smith February 3, Birds of Chicago March 2, Pat Travers Band March 17, The Smithereens March 24 and Blue Oyster Cult March 31! For a complete schedule, visit or call 508-324-1926. the Fall river Public library hosts free afternoon movies (and popcorn!) every Wednesday at 1 p.m., in addition to showings on Monday nights. For more information, visit the library’s Facebook page or visit

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The South Coast Insider | February 2018


Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Sharpen your skates (or rent them) and head for the indoor Driscoll Skating Arena! For more info, go to or call 508-679-3274. Bundle up and go on an expert-guided seal watch and nature cruise from Borden Light Marina (75 minutes) through April! For information and registration, call 401-203-7325 or go to events/seals. Enjoy the wintery weather! Explore nature trails or historic landmarks, join a walking group – learn more at or call 508-324-2405. Check out what’s playing at the Little Theatre of Fall River! For more info, go to or call 508-675-1852. Find out what’s going on at the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River! For info, go to or call 508-672-0033. Plan ahead for the Fall River Symphony’s performance of “The Titan” on March 4 at the Jackson Arts Center at Bristol Community College! For info and tickets, call 508-678-2241 or go to

Marion Don’t miss the South Coast Chamber Music Series – plan ahead for “Chiaroscuro” on March 10 at St. Gabriel’s Church in Marion. For more info, call 508999-6276 or go to Go on a free Mindfulness Walk through Hagemann Woods on February 17, sponsored by the Buzzards Bay Coalition and Anchor Yoga. For more info, go to events. Find out what’s going on at the Marion Arts Center! For info, call 508-748-1266 or go to

Old Rochester Regional High School won the Massachusetts state finals in Samsung’s “Solve for Tomorrow” technology contest, winning the school a $25,000 prize and the chance to compete in the national competition in Washington, DC. The ORR team proposed a customized drone to monitor soil moisture for local cranberry growers for more effective, targeted watering. Head for the winter farmers market at Old Rochester Regional on the 2nd and 4th Saturday each month. For hours and more info, go to Explore the trails, wildlife, and scenery of the Mattapoisett River Reserve – leashed dogs welcome. Hike, birdwatch, cross-country ski! For more info, go to

Middleboro Take the kids to the Soule Homestead! For details, call 508-947-6744 or go to

Middletown Head for the Middletown/Aquidneck Growers Winter Market at Newport Vineyards & Winery on Saturdays from 9 to 12:30. Cash, credit card, SNAP/ EBT, WIC and senior coupons accepted. For more info, go to Get in touch with nature at the Norman Bird Sanctuary! Check out the after-school programs. For details, call 401-846-2577 or go to

New Bedford Check out the exhibit “Scapes: Placemaking in the 21st Century” at the New Bedford Art Museum/ Artworks! through March 11. For more info, call 508-961-3072 or go to

Enjoy fresh local foods year-round! Visit New Bedford’s Indoor Winter Farmers Market at the Times Square Atrium every other Thursday from 3 to 6:30 through June! Credit, debit and SNAP accepted; free parking at the Elm Street garage with validation. For dates and more info, call 508817-4166 or go to Enjoy the winter weather at Buttonwood Park! Take the kids to see the “Science on a Sphere” and the new “Rainforest, Rivers and Reefs” exhibits! Don’t miss the Wildlife Education Series presentations on New World Primates February 1 or The Importance of Bees March 1. For info, call 508-991-6178 or visit Gamers, team-builders, and mystery-solvers! Head for the “Mass Escape” in downtown New Bedford! Groups of 4-8 people can work together to prevent a nuclear crisis or solve a murder mystery. For more info, go to MassEscapeRoom. com. Enjoy free family fun and entertainment on AHA! Nights.” The February 8 theme is “Please Be Seated.” The March 8 theme is “I Am New Bedford: History, Herstory, Ourstory.” For details, go to or call 508-996-8253. Sharpen your skates (or rent them) and head for the indoor Hetland Skating Arena! For more info, go to or call 508-999-9051. Mark your calendars for Your Theatre’s next production! Plan ahead for “Six Degrees of Separation” March 15-18, 22-25. For a complete schedule, call 508-993-0772 or go to yourtheatre. org. It’s all happening at the Z! Don’t miss Moth Radio Hour February 1, Globalfest Latin Music February 8, Jessica Lang Dance February 10, Masters of Illusion February 15, comedian Judy Gold March 1, spirit-medium Candace Dalton March 8, Ladysmith Black Mambo March 11 – and special schooltime performances! For info and tickets, call

PORTSMOUTH - Jump in your jalopy and check out the Newport Car Museum, recently named one of America’s 10 Best New Attractions for 2017 by USA Today. The Museum opened in June and has since hosted over 15,000 visitors. Designed to appeal to men and women, young and old, it features five galleries, more than 60 cars, and 50,000 square feet of exhibit area. Get up close and personal with these magnificent mechanical marvels, or even take them for a virtual test drive in a driving simulator. Purchase tickets at the door or online at


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

508-994-2900 or go to take a wintery stroll through the urban greenspace of the Allen G. Haskell Public Gardens! To learn more, call 508-636-4693 or go to learn about american military history at Fort Taber-Fort Rodman and the museum! For info, call 508-994-3938 or visit Explore the whaling-era mansion at the RotchJones-Duff House! For more info, call 508-997-1401 or go to Visit the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park! For more info, go to And while you’re there, visit the Whaling Museum and the Seamen’s Bethel! For more info, visit or call 508-997-0046. if you’re a fan of americana and roots music, check out “Music in the Gallery” at the Wamsutta Club –For tickets or info, go to brownpapertickets. com/events or contact korolenko8523@charter. net. Plan ahead for “Movie Night Pops Concert” performed on March 31 by the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra at the Zeiterion! For info and tickets, visit tickets are already on sale to hear Gloria Steinem speak on May 19, presented by the New Bedford Lyceum, at the Zeiterion! And get your tickets early for “West Side Story,” performed by the New Bedford Festival Theatre July 20-29! For tickets and info, call 508-994-2900 or go to

Newport Mark your calendars for the 2018 Newport Winter Festival February 16-25! Ten days of music, food, festivities, and fun throughout Newport County. For more info, go to or call 401-847-7666. Bundle up and go on an expert-guided seal watch and nature cruise from Bowen’s Wharf (60 minutes) through April! For information and registration, call 401-203-7325 or go to events/seals. Get your ice skates sharpened and head to the outdoor Newport Skating Center! For schedule and info, call 401-846-3018 or go to skatenewport. com. Enjoy a dinner-theatre night out at the Newport Playhouse! “Remember Me?” will be performed February 15 to March 25. For more information, call 401-848-7529 or go to

Plymouth Plymouth resident robin ireland, a girls soccer coach at Apponequet Regional High School and a Freetown-Lakeville district teacher, has been honored with a Carnegie medal for his heroism

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Find out who’s on stage at the Spire Center for the Performing Arts of Greater Plymouth! There’s Kris Delmhorst February 10, Soul City February 17, Laszlo Gardony February 21, Susan Cattaneo & Chuck McDermott March 2, Robbie Fulks March 3, The New Motif March 9, Divas with a Twist March 10 – and jazz and blues jam sessions on Wednesdays! For tickets and info, call 508-7464488 or visit


head for the winter farmers market at Plimouth Plantation on the 2nd Thursday each month. For hours and more info, go to sharpen your skates (or rent them) and head for the indoor Armstrong Skating Arena! For more info, go to or call 508-746-8825.

Portsmouth Get back to your musical roots at Common Fence Music! Plan ahead for Anais Mitchell March 24. For a schedule and info, call 401-683-5085 or go to Check out the Newport Car Museum! Sixty-plus vintage cars and driving simulators! For more info, call 401-848-2277 or visit

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Providence dream about this coming summer at the Providence Boat Show February 2-4 at the RI Convention Center! For complete details, visit rhode island College’s Performing arts series presents talented musicians, actors, dancers and artists for all to enjoy! Plan ahead for globalFEST Latin Music February 7, Muir String Quartet February 12 – and plan ahead for Dublin Irish Dance March 13! For a complete schedule of events, go to or call 401-456-8144.

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Eat Fresh! Eat local! Head for the Farmers & Artisans Market every Sunday at the Arcade in downtown Providence (free parking!). For more info, go to listen to the rhode island Philharmonic’s performance of Romantic Rachmaninoff on February 16-17, and plan ahead for the performance of Beethoven’s Seventh on March 16. For info and tickets, call 401-248-7000 or go to

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The South Coast Insider | February 2018


Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE Head for the Junior League of RI’s 6th Annual Winter Sparkle food-sampling extravaganza on February 9 at the Roger Williams Park Casino. For more info, email

WESTPORT - On February 25 at 3 pm, Make your way down to the Point for a musical evening with the Neave Trio, featuring works by Dubussy, Foote, and Piazzolla. The event is sponsored by Concerts at the Point and is held at the Westport Point United Methodist Church at 1912 Main Road. Tickets are $25 and $10 for students. Learn more at

Discover The Barker Playhouse on Benefit Street, the oldest continuously-running little theatre in America! Don’t miss Fusionworks Dance Company February 3-4, and plan ahead for “Twelve Angry Jurors” March 9-11, 16-18. For more info, go to or call 401-273-0590. Mark your calendar for the Festival Ballet Providence’s performances of “The Little Prince” on March 3-4 and 11. For more info, call 401-353-1129 or go to Check out the schedule for Brown University’s Theatre Arts & Performance Studies Department – plan ahead for “Erratics” March 1-4, 8-11. For info and tickets, call 401-862-2838 or go to taps or Plan a day trip to Roger Williams Park! Visit the Museum of Natural History & Planetarium, the Botanical Gardens, the Pre-School Adventures (through February 9)! For more info, go to rwpzoo. org or call 401-785-3510. Sharpen your skates (or rent them) and head for the Alex & Ani City Center! Check out the bumper cars! For more info, call 401-331-5544 or go to Sports fans! Watch the Providence Bruins or the PC Basketball team in action at the Dunkin Donuts Center! For more info, call 401-331-6700 or visit Head for Trinity Rep to see “Into the Breeches” through February 25. And don’t miss “Othello” February 15-March 18. For tickets and info, call 401351-4242 or visit FirstWorks will present “American Rhapsody: The Gershwin Songbook” on February 25 at The VETS. For info and tickets, go to Spend an afternoon in the galleries at the RISD Museum! And check out the courses, workshops and “tours for tots”! For details, visit risdmuseum. org or call 401-454-6500. Enjoy the new theatre season of The Wilbury Group in Providence. “The Skin of Our Teeth” will be performed through February 4 – plan ahead for “The Flick” March 8-24. For more info, call 401-4007100 or visit Find out what’s on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center and The VETS! Don’t miss Music of ABBA February 1, “On Your Feet!” through February 4, Shen Yun February 10-11, FirstWorks Presents American Rhapsody February 22, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” February 27-March 4, “An American in Paris” March 13-18, Red Hot Chilli Pipers March 18 – and more! Call 401421-2787 or go to and


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

Explore the Children’s Museum in Providence! Go to or call 401-273-5437.

Rehoboth Reserve your tickets now for the Arts in the Village performance at Goff Memorial Hall by The Boston Trio on February 24. Plan ahead for the Daurov/Myer Duo Match 24. For more info, go to

Swansea Head for the year-round farmers market at Stony Creek Farm on Sundays. For hours and more info, call 401-465-4832 or go to

Check out who’s playing at “Live Music at the Bliss” at the Bliss Four Corners Congregational Church! For info, call 401-624-4113 or visit

Wareham Stay fit this winter with Yoga with Laura at the Boys and Girls Club in Wareham! For a schedule and more info, call 508-295-7072 or go to onsetbay. org.



Check out what’s playing at 2nd Story Theatre! “The Tribute Artist” will be performed through February 18. “Talley’s Folly” will be performed March 9-April 8. Call 401-247-4200 or go to

Sharpen your skates (or rent them) and head for the indoor Aleixo Skating Arena! For more info, go to or call 508-824-4987.



Make your reservations for Concerts at the Point! Don’t miss the performance on February 25 by the Neave Piano Trio. For more info, call 508-636-0698 or visit

Find out what’s going on at the Sandywoods Center for the Arts in Tiverton! Don’t miss the Celtic-band favorite Fellswater on February 17! Kick up your heels with the Magnolia Cajun Band on February 3. Heal with a Gong Sound Bath, with Yoga: Mindful Flow & Meditation on Sundays, or with music and movement on JourneyDance on the 2nd Saturday each month (February 11), or join in the Contra Dancing on the 3rd Wednesday of each month (February 21). Sign up for lessons in Zumba, Pilates or figure drawing. For more info, go to or call 401-241-7349. There’s always something going on at Tiverton Four Corners! For more info, go to or

Go “Snowshoeing on the Shoreline” at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary on February 11 or March 3, 10 to noon, hosted by Mass Audubon. For info, fees and directions, go to Eat Fresh! Eat Local! Head for the winter farmers market at the Town Hall Annex on Saturdays. For hours and more info, go to Take a leisurely ramble around rural Westport! For more info, call 508-636-9228 or visit Explore 18th- and 19th-century life at the Handy House. For more info, visit or call 508-636-6011.


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508-678-4666 The South Coast Insider | February 2018




Bread? Milk? Bananas! By Paul Kandarian

s I write this with shaking fingers and mind, shivering from the cold, it is 284 below zero outside, the wind whipping at 400 mph. The house is coming apart at the seams. I don’t have long to live. I look outside my window, or try to: the 100-foot snow drifts make nothing visible. But if I could see, it would be a horrific landscape littered with the frozen dead of man and beast and the very future of our planet as well. This is not the result of global warming gone amok. This is not all of us suddenly being transported to a distant planet with a life-threatening atmosphere. This is not the rambling, feverish imagination of a madman. This is the winter storm-weather coverage on TV news. I’ve gone on these rants before. Mostly on Facebook, where instant gratification is the reward. Back in the ancient days of pre-social media (you know, when people actually looked at each other and talked) if you were a wise ass like me and wanted to rant about something, you had to wait for a month, as in the case of this publication. Now, of course, you only have to wait until your fingers get through tapping out whatever wiseassery you have in mind and boom, snarky mission accomplished. I, for one, never want to go back to those prehistoric communications dark ages. But I digress. Just after New Year’s, we were expecting snow. But not just any snow. Armageddon-style snow. Man-eating snow. Life-ending snow. And wind, howling, raging, angry wind. And floods. Epic, biblical floods, floods so huge Moses himself couldn’t part those giant waters.

Or so the TV people had us believe. As they always do, causing people to morph from humans to sheep and bow to the breathless gushing on TV about the storm of the century. I know it’s all about ratings and in search of them, so TV stations whip out the big guns, (or wheels if you prefer) like whatever freak show Channel 10 in Providence turned into by turning into Channel 10 in Boston (Motto: “We Mirror Your Confusion Over Who We Are!”). They touted this monster thing called “NBC 10 Boston’s exclusive StormRanger mobile truck,” a one-of-a-kind vehicle, they said with a completely straight face, equipped with a live, high-powered Doppler Radar that “enables StormRanger to get out ahead of a storm.” They said “StormRanger” in the promo like a million times. They made it sound like a superhero movie trailer: “StormRanger! F’ing up forecasts and smashing into low overpasses all over New England!” And we respond to this hoopla-hype by buying crappy wheat products and moo juice. I cannot say this enough, but it truly baffles the hell out of me: what on God’s snowy Earth is so gotta-have-it about bread and milk? Please, someone, help me here. Bread and milk? Honestly? How stupid are you? Foods like bread and milk rot – like your minds watching TV storm coverage. Food in cans, no. I’m thinking things like Spam or Dinty Moore’s Beef Stew, which have roughly the half-life of uranium. You could bury those things in the ground until the end of time (or when Drumpf and Kim Jong-Fat-Boy finally fry as they madly press their Big Bomb Buttons) when you could dig them out of the nuclear wasteland and they’d still be edible. I went to the Stop & Die-in-Line Supermarket in Fairhaven the

I went to the Stop & Die-in-Line Supermarket in Fairhaven the night before this storm, which I knew would be painful, but I needed stuff that wasn’t bread and milk (which they were completely out of anyway – the bread and milk shelves were gutted).


February 2018 | The South Coast Insider

night before this storm, which I knew would be painful, but I needed stuff that wasn’t bread and milk (which they were completely out of anyway – the bread and milk shelves were gutted). I got what I needed and headed for the 10-items-or-less aisle – with no less than 20 people ahead of me. I left my little basket on the floor, walked out and drove to Fieldstones in Marion, a new farmstand/market where they coincidentally had a ton of actually healthy bread and local milk. The added benefit was supporting a small business – always the way to go. But the most maddening part of TV weather coverage besides being totally unnecessary – it’s winter, people, it’s gonna snow and be cold, duh – is the pompous arrogant hypocrisy of it. They send these idiots out to stand in the storm who tell people at home to stay out of the storm as they stand out in the storm holding their hoods over their faces and the ungodly wrath of Mother Nature erupts around them. Sometimes it’s comical. I was watching one TV moron dude standing in Scituate, talking, or rather shouting to his rapt viewers who couldn’t survive without him to stay indoors and certainly not stand near the seawall because the storm-tossed waters of the ocean often and easily send huge rocks cascading over it. And where did he say or rather shout this from? Yup, about 20 feet from the seawall. I’m not a religious man, but lordie did I pray for a massive boulder to come flying over as if tossed from Mother Nature’s catapult and smite him into ratings heaven. It didn’t happen. But there’s always a next time. It’s called “winter.”

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The South Coast Insider | February 2018


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The South Coast Insider - February 2018  

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IS IN THE AIR! you might have to unbundle a little and uncross your arms to realize it, but it’s out there – and it has a f...

The South Coast Insider - February 2018  

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IS IN THE AIR! you might have to unbundle a little and uncross your arms to realize it, but it’s out there – and it has a f...