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JANUARY 2021 Vol. 25 / No. 1

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Bits and bites

12 Timeless trust


Hope on the horizon


20 Let the sunshine in

By Brian J. Lowney

By Bradley Ellis


Spiritual soup

The arts are alive

By Michael J. DeCicco

18 Threads of history

By Deborah Allard Dion

By Michael J. DeCicco

By Elizabeth Morse Read

By Sean McCarthy



Into the wind

By Paul Kandarian

the south coast


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JANUARY 2021 Vol. 25 / No. 1

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January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

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The arts are alive by Michael J. DeCicco

The New Bedford Whaling Museum’s 2021 premiere event, the Moby-Dick Marathon (January 8-10), will be presented virtually this year. But the Museum’s curators are proud to note the rest of its programming is not. “A City for the Arts: Masterworks of Greater New Bedford” will be the museum’s main ongoing art exhibit, open now through May 2021, said Tina Mallot, director of Marketing and Public Relations. This exhibit is fairly unique in that it is honoring not only the masterworks and great artists of the city’s past, she said, “but we are also celebrating the vibrant arts community and talented artists of today. It is a living exhibition meaning that it will continue to grow in depth and significance as visitors, artists, and others contribute their responses and reactions to the show.” The “A City for the Arts” exhibit will couple historic masterworks with contemporary pieces by local living artists, she elaborated. Among the many artists whose work will be displayed include William Bradford, Albert Bierstadt,


Clement Nye Swift, Frances Gifford, and Huguette Desault May. “It will share contemporary artists’ reflections on the master artists of the past,” she explained, “as responses to the masterworks within the exhibition, and commentary on how contemporary artists see their role in the region’s artistic landscape. Meanwhile, local artist Ryan Mcfee is currently working on a mural portrait of a whale and her calf within the exhibition.

The New Bedford Whaling Museum’s “A City for the Arts” exhibit will couple historic masterworks with contemporary pieces by local living artists

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

It will be found within the Wattles Family fine arts Gallery on the first floor. “A City for the Arts” aims to celebrate and support local artists - the voices that interpret, explore, and represent the soul of our city,” added Christina Connett Brophy, Ph.D., The Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator. “Their work continues to resonate, reverberate, and inspire, as did the work of great artists from the past. Now more than ever, and when we need it most, the arts bring this city together. “It celebrates the tremendous impact the Greater New Bedford region has had on American fine art through the centuries and continuing today,” Mallot added in the press release announcing the event. It “brings together in one gallery some of the most stunning pieces from the Whaling Museum’s collections, and artworks from private collections,” she said. “These include 19th and 20th century masterworks as well as recently acquired pieces by contemporary local artists.” The entire exhibition will also be in an online gallery beginning in January, and the museum is encouraging people to

the region’s coastal charms. Their new McGovern’s Family Restaurant property was a former tomato farm, per310 Shove Street, Fall River fect for supporting the couple’s new hob508-679-5010 by: raising chickens. mcgovernsonthewater.com Fortunately for them, they had knack This well-known restaurant anda banfor it. Before too long, the Bishops had quet facility overlooking Laurel Lake more eggs than theyinknew what buffet to do usually packs them for a large with. They beganDay. selling the surplus, and on Thanksgiving The menu typicallearning about how to expand the farm ly includes traditional turkey dinner within aPaul’s stuffing, butternut squash, prime healthy and sustainable way. Toham, give and a sense of more. how successful this rib, much The restaurant expansion has been, the farm’s chicken has been offering dine-in and takeout, population ballooned from the origiincluding itshas locally famous corned beef nal 20 to over 3000. and cabbage, for 50 years. Here’s a proWhile her husband hasThanksgiving kept his IT job,for tip: if you can’t wait until contribute responses of their own through Ester has been able toyou commit herself a roast turkey dinner, don’t have toto – the link: videoask.com/fefv9fdyi. the farm full-time. She prides herself on it’s on the regular menu. Amanda her McMullen, President providing animalsmuseum with joyful, stressfree lives.acknowledges “People shouldthe know where and CEO, facility’s Merrills on thefrom Waterfront their food comes you can really challenges in the era of–COVID-19 but 36 Homers Wharf, New Bedford taste difference,” Bishop. sees athe bright future in said 2021. “As we begin 508-997-7010 a new year, the New Bedford Whaling merrillswaterfront.com Green acres Museum is forging ahead with optimism,” This favorite restaurant and function Bishop’s commitment to “beyond she said. “Through the pandemic, weorhave facility sits on the waterfront overlooking ganic” farming extends beyond cuddles been challenged just as all others, but the busy fishing port. But if fish isn’t your and words of affirmation to her livestock. we have successful pivoting our thing on been traditional turkeyatday, be sure She ensures all thevirtual animals are provided focus towatch integrate experiences and to keep for their holiday offerings. with healthy, organic meals, and that their continue best serving our community. Last year, Merrill’s served up turkey and waste is we repurposed as manure. Though endured prime rib, allhave the sides likesignificant apple sage “You can see how green the grass financial losses and are entering intois stuffing, and sweet corn and polenta raviwhere the turkeys have been,” Bishop a still uncertain year, we are striving to oli, plus pies galore. says. “That’s because theyand fertilize the remain flexible, tenacious, creative soil with their manure. Manure is the with how we move forward. There are The Pasta House basis organic fertilizers. Thereout areof no someof exciting initiatives coming 100 Alden Road, Fairhaven chemicals added, or needed, when the the Museum in 2021 and we will continue 508-993-9913 animals their job.” to ignitedo learning through explorations of thepastahouse.net Speaking of animals doing their jobs, art, history, science, and culture rooted in If theirhas Pumpkin Patchher Old-Fashioned Bishop conscripted goats and the stories of people, the region, and an (nowinto on the bar menu) getunderyou pigs clearing away doesn’t swaths of international seaport. inside, nothing will. Luckily, you can find brush on the property – the “gnarly vines” New Bedford Whaling Museum aThe recipe the sidebar for this drink and that givein the farm its name. is located at 18 Johnny Cake Hill,dinner New serve it with your Thanksgiving Gnarly Vines coordinates with neighBedford. Call 508-997-0046 for more takeout boring farms to provide its customers information. The Pasta House served up a spread with a variety of sustainable and organic last year that included turkey dinner,will ham Community focus products. Angus beef, for instance, dinner, fillet mignon, braised short rib, Forout even moreas variety, tryitthe Newinto sell almost soon as comes and more. Currently, pickup and Bedford Art Museum’s exhibit ondelivery the stock. is available from thePat regular menu, includworks of local artist Coomey ThornBut the farm is not bound by terrestrial ing their apple cider sangria to go. We’ll limitations: the Bishops have partnered ton, “Immersion & Interaction: Witnessing just have to wait and see what they dream with Captain’s Finest and March Sakonnet the Everyday.” Open until 7, it is up for Thanksgiving. Lobster to bringfeaturing fresh seafood to market. a retrospective a selection is particularly proud of a new iniofBishop paintings, drawings, and sculptures tiative at theover farm: food security commuThe Tavern culledWharf from thirty-years of Coomey nity supported agriculture (CSA) plans. 215 Water Street, Warren Thornton’s prolific career. 401-289-2524 CSAs, popular Thornton’s among farms nation“Pat Coomey ability to thewharftavernri.com wide, allow customers pre-purchase translate her everyday to experiences as an “shares” of the farm’s produce, which While quahogs nibbled by the artist, a stuffed daughter, and a mother onto anare water may not beplane a Thanksgiving abstract picture is matched tradionly by tion, the Wharf Tavern, in CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE the intensity she brings established to each artwork,”

1955 onsmall, the historic wharflocal! that dates Shop shop ® isn’t all about summer. toWhy the AARP 1700s, The Massachusetts Auto Insurance Program from Plymouth Rock Assurance. risk your health (and sanity) at Last year malls they served upFriday? a feast Take of turkey, crowded on Black roast prime rib, sausage stuffing, and advantage of incredible offerings in your more. The restaurant currently offers own neighborhood on Small Business dine-in and takeout, including some ovSaturday, November 28, throughout Stafford & Company Insurance en-ready dishes like seafood casserole the South Coast. Check out sbsshopri. and stuffed lobster. com for shop-and-stroll events in Rhode The AARP Massachusetts Auto Insurance Program from Island. For that special gift, support local Plymouth Rock offers AARP members in Massachusetts special White’s of Westport savings craftsmen and artists by heading over to in addition to the everyday benefits that set Plymouth 66 State Road, Westport Rock the Waterfire Arts Center in Providence apart from its competition. With Plymouth Rock, lower 508-675-7185 rates are just the beginning. to visit the safe outdoor pop-up markets shop.lafrancehospitality.com (waterfire.org/art-mart). And on First More Than Just Insurance. Plymouth Rock Assurance®. White’s has been offering family-style Thursdays 5) youpickup can “shop takeout and(November curbside meals for E S T. 1 9 0 0 andexhibit’s dineso local” in Barrington, Bristol, the press releaseDay notes. “Theand months, when Turkey comes Warren (discovernewport.org). works init’s Immersion & Interaction: around, a good bet they’ll have a hanKick-off the holiday season at Frerichs dle (or afor drumstick) onnot that too. Witnessing the Everyday do blatantly Callrather today a free, Pork • Meat • Chourico • Chicken Currently, theartist’s restaurant isNight offering meal Farm in Warren withlife, “Girls Out” illustrate the but rather reflect no obligation Buffalo Chicken • Chili • Salmon packages andactivity, platters like its “Taste of the relentless on November 6, 7 andintentionality, 8 – buy your and auto insurance quote: with chowAlso try Stuffed Quahogs and Desserts New England” that colorful energy Pat comes Coomey Thornton holiday trees, greenery, and gifts there, der, quahogs andThis clam cakes itsaItalian offers the world. exhibition is too 508-673-5893 (frerichsfarm.com). Then or mark HOURS: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat 7am-3pm package of salad, lasagna, meatballs andMain St. North celebration of her works and a 1000 testament your calendar for the Newport Block 1729 South Main St. breadsticks. Bothcontinues meals serve six.River, Also Fall to the & talent that to come outMA of 02720 Party Holiday Stroll at Bowen’s Wharf Fall River, MA available are dinner-for-two meal packs 508-673-5893 the SouthCoast.” on November 27 – you can watch like fish and chips, lobster rolls, bourbon TheIlluminated New Bedford Art Museum is also the Boat Parade while beef kid-sized pasta andis required for Program eligibility. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify Actual tips, coverage isand subject toeven the language of the policy as issued. AARP membership for auto insurancethe from Plymouth Rock based driving history or other factors. Premiums will be based on verified information andFacebook.com/ the coverage choices and policy options that you select. featuring works ofonits current Comyou shop and enjoy Caribbean music Plymouth Rock paysfor royaltytwo. fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP does not employ or endorse agents, producers meatballs With more than 60 or brokers. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. HartleysOriginalPorkpiesFallRiver munity Artist in Residence, Dawn Spears. (bowenswharf.com). years in the hospitality industry, White’s A Native American artist (Narragansett/ is accustomed to cooking for a crowd. Chocktaw) Spears is a doll maker, It’s the thoughtful gifts photographer, and multimedia artist, who Delicious Custom Cakes, Cupcakes and Desserts that count uses cultural symbolism and the vibrant And if you can’t find gifts for all the specolors of our natural world as inspiration cial people in your life, consider buying for her work. We are sure to have the purrfect cat giftQuality cards to restaurants, shops, vineResale the Whole Additionally, until for March 28, youFamily or the cutest K-9 to steal your heart yards, special eventtovenues, local First you’ll need concoct cinnamon can view “Excellence In Fibers VI,” farms, a so if you are looking for love, e-commerce or½grocery stores. your syrup. Mixexhibition ½websites, cup sugar, cup water, free online showcasing an check withSchedule us first!! Use mail-order services to deliver flowand a three-inch cinnamon stick in a ESTATE PLANNING outstanding 52-piece selection of* textile Faxon Animal Care ers, sweets, and specialty yearsmall pan. Bring it1,100 just to afoods boil, turn off artwork from over entries. The 113 check-up * Excludes gift certificates, expires 10/ 31/ 20 & Adoption Centertoday! round to someone tofound thank or the heat and let it you cool.want Remove the at high-resolution images can be 624Durfee Brayton Avenue • Fall River, MA 474 St., Fall River, 270 Huttleston Ave. (Rt. 6)it to tocinnamon express your stickappreciation. and discard or use 265 MA Walnut Plain Road newbedfordart.org/fibers. 508-676-1061 508-679-0535 Rochester, MA Fairhaven, •if 508-991-2229 For those are always hard to buy garnish thewho cocktail you like. The syrWhen visiting inMA person, the New www.faxonarl.org www.janesullivanlaw.com — or visit Facebook for weekly hours will for three weeks inticket the fridge. a up giftCall for,last consider signing them up for— Bedford Art Museum’s timed 508-763-4905 artisanbakeshop.com To make the cocktail, fill a shakan annual subscription to keeping a streaming entry system is the key to the er halfway with Combine ¼ cupin service, app, podcast, premier sports/ museum safe for ice. COVID-era visitors pumpkin puree with three ounces movies/cultural channel, magazine, 2021. Patrons are asked to reserve aor time bourbon, two ounces maple syrup, ¼ newspaper. a donation in their slot online orOr bymake telephone to allow in a ounce syrup, one ounce orname tocinnamon their favorite charity, educationmaximum of twelve people every hour. ange liqueur,orand two organization. al institution, cultural Visitors can call (508) 961-3072, or go dashes orange bit- it would be appreciConsider how much to newbedfordart.org. Same-day tickets ters. Shake well. atedbe if you upgraded an older may purchased online or byrelative’s phone Fill two old fash— HOURS — 154 Huttleston Ave., Rt. 6 digital capabilities with an easy-to-use during gallery hours up to thirty minutes Mon. & Tue. 8:30-4:30pm ioned glasses with smartphone, tablet,closes. or notebook , MA – and before the Fairhaven museum Wed. & Sat. 8:30-12 Noon ice, pour in the then to set up or Skype. The helped New Bedford ArtZoom Museum is located Thu. 8:30-5pm • Fri 8:30-6pm strained cocktail Monday - closed • Tue-Thu 11:30am-9pm You can keep the holiday spirit alive this atand 608 Pleasant Street, at the intersection whatafindfairhaven.com Fri-Sat 11:30am-9:45pm • Sun 12-9pm garnish with a year, even though you may not all toof Pleasant and William Streets. Itsbe new twist of orange peel 177 Columbia St. • Fall River, MA Hours: Thu., to Sat. 10-5:30from • Fri. 11-7 gether toWed., celebrate Thanksgiving. It10 just hours Thursday Sunday and aare cherry. Sun. 1-4 • Closed Mon. & Tue. (508) 675-7018 a.m. tosome 4 p.m.imagination and good cheer! takes

The New Bedford Art Museum’s exhibit “Immersion & Interaction: Witnessing the Everyday” is a retrospective featuring Now available in your area through a selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures culled from over thirty-years of Pat Coomey Thornton’s prolific career.

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13 The January South Coast | November 2020 The South 19 2021Insider | The South Coast Insider 7 Coast I


Spiritual soup By Brian J. Lowney

For many South Coast residents, the start of the new year means an opportunity to head south and enjoy bright sunshine, warmer temperatures, and perhaps a few rounds of golf. Pastor Ken MacMillan of St. Paul United Methodist Church, New Bedford, shares that both winter and the COVID-19 pandemic offers people of all ages an opportunity to “slow down and be reminded to enjoy and appreciate life each day.” He adds that once these

This pandemic and the winter months are not forever things. Bring positivity into your and other people’s lives and make each and every day the best one possible.

Pastor Ken MacMillan


January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

Folks, however, who can’t enjoy a few weeks or months in the tropics, can dispel the winter doldrums and enjoy life to its fullest even when temperatures plummet and there’s a foot of snow on the ground or the pavement is covered with a sheet of ice.

conditions improve and return to a degree of normalcy, people should not resort to a hectic life but rather should be more mindful of caring for each other and enjoying life’s simple blessings. “I just try to enjoy nature as much as I can,” the minister begins. “I take walks and quick drives in the car and roll down the window and enjoy some fresh air.” Adding that his goal is not to be “cooped up,” the pastor adds he keeps his sanity by frequently taking on new projects in his busy house, helping his wife and their champion Salukis, and assisting his two sons with their school work. The pastor also oversees two active urban churches and their ministries and operates a successful web design company. “It’s important to get outside and enjoy most aspects of life but still avoid personal contacts,” he continues. “You simply can’t shut yourself off from the world.” Pastor MacMillan emphasizes the importance of individuals to “remain

healthy, eat healthily, and stay motivated,” no matter the season. “Self-care is very important,” he continues, adding that people should take the time to prepare healthy snacks and meals and enjoy their food. Pastor MacMillan emphasizes that this practice should continue not only continue throughout these trying times and winter months but also throughout the year. “It’s kind of hard to bring others up if you don’t do it yourself,” he says, noting that during the winter months, when many people become discouraged, depressed, and isolated because of weather and climatic conditions, it’s crucial to forge ahead with daily living, stay vibrant, and keep learning new things every day. “Always try to stay active,” the pastor observes.”This pandemic and the winter months are not forever things. Bring positivity into your and other people’s lives and make each and every day the best one possible.” For those individuals who have Internet access or television, the pastor suggests viewing church services and listening to sermons in a preferred denomination, and reaching out on the telephone to speak to those who need a lift in spirits. Terry submitted recipe for “A fewGalib minutes of yourher time will brighten Portuguese stuffing, which is surely a people’s lives,” he says. “Stop and take meat crowd-pleaser as it incorposomelovers’ time and be a good, honest, and rates both chouriço and sausage. genuine friend to them.” “It is my own,” Galib said.it’s “I have been for According to the pastor, important making this for a few years.” people of all ages and seasons – especially

French stuffing

during the winter doldrums – to entertain their minds. Submitted by Louise Menard from her “Read as much as possible,” he shares, mémère Diana Bouchard adding that while books, magazines, and n 2 pounds ground pork interest, winter periodicals also stimulate n onion, chopped is1also a good time to learn a new hobby n such as knitting, 2 cups water painting, or playing Scrabble. n 1 tsp. Bell’s seasoning are socrumbs many things you can do,” n “There ½ cup bread Pastor Ken says, adding that he also n 2 chicken bouillon cubes enjoys preparing nutritious meals for his n Salt and pepper, to taste family and trying new recipes. Preheat ovencooking to 350°F degrees. In a he “I have been like a crazy chef,” saucepan, place thethe water, pork,and onion, quips, sharing that Internet watchand salt and pepper. Break up the pork ing cooking shows on TV are both great and brown. Turn down heat and simmer ways to broaden your culinary horizons for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add the and sharpen cooking skills. two bouillon cubes and stir until dissolved. “This is a good time to serve the You may add more water if needed. Add people of God every day in every way,” he the Bell’s seasoning and bread crumbs. concludes. You may need to add additional bread crumbs depending on how much liquid is left. Place stuffing in a baking pan and bake for a half-hour or until the top is browned. If cooking a chicken or turkey, put a little of the drippings onto the stuffing for flavor.

Irish stuffing

Submitted by Mary Delaney Murphy from her late grandmother Mary (Sheehan Delaney Potatoes (decide on the amount based on the number of people and size of turkey) n Butter n Cream or milkan extensive selection of Featuring n Onion, traditional and natural fibers to meet chopped all chopped your knit and crochet needs n Celery, n Poultry seasoning, to taste • Thousands of skeins of yarn to fit n


every budget to andtaste project Salt and pepper • Large selection of patterns & books

Boil and mash potatoes with butter, milk Needles, & accessories or • cream. Addhooks, celery,notions onion, salt, pepper • poultry Projectseasoning help and advice and to taste. Mix all and place in turkey.services As the turkey bakes, the • Finishing dressing will pick-up the baking and juices • All levels of knit & crochet classes of the turkey.

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Check Facebook, our website, Portuguese stuffing or call for current shop hours and classLinhares information Submitted by Patti from her late mother Mary S. Correira 782 Main Road • Westport, MA

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12 torpedo 774-264-9665 rolls StudioByTheSeaRI.com n 1½ to 2 www.woolsisters.com pounds ground chouriço n 2 Tbs. crushed red wet pepper n 2 Tbs. minced garlic January 2021 | The South Coast Insider 9 n 2 Tbs. olive oil n 2 Tbs. marinade (Michael’s Portuguese chouriço marinade) n


Bits and bites by Michael J. DeCicco




lay Arcade, the new arcade bar in downtown New Bedford, opened on August 16 after successfully overcoming the hurdle of trying to start up its unique venue in an era of COVIDmandated business shutdowns. The newest 8-bit star in New Bedford’s sky comes courtesy of co-owners and husband and wife team Adam and Lauren Katz. Adam said that he and Lauren began renovating the former Slainte Irish Pub at 34 Union Street around Saint Patrick’s Day. Then came the orders to keep their doors shut in face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We powered through the crisis until opening in August,” Katz said. “We had a private event, a soft opening, but the state came in and shut down our games, and we could only serve food, mainly takeout, until Phase IV openings allowed us back in full business on September 16.”


Play Arcade visitors will likely say it was worth the wait. They’ll find a choice of 22 classic 1980s-era cabinet-style video games in the bar and dining area and another 26 games, including air hockey, in a second room. Plus, it offers a choice of 24 craft beers, many of them brewed locally, and a roof deck with food and beer service and a beach bum getaway design. Food-wise, Katz said, visitors will find handcrafted pub-style entrees, from snacks and burgers to buffalo macaroni and cheese and grilled pizzas. The snacks include Garlic knots and tetrominoshaped tater tots, appropriately called “Tetris Tots.” “And almost everything has a vegan option,” Katz said. He added that throwback PlayStation and Nintendo consoles are available at most of the dining tables (if your tastes are slightly more modern, there is also an Xbox 360). The restaurant/arcade

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

is looking to play retro cartoons and TV commercials on its television screens, and it plans in the future to hold throwback movie nights of cult classics like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. He and his wife started the unique venue, Katz said, because they knew the downtown area had a need for something fun to do. Two years ago the planning began. The realization of their dream began this year. “We grew up in arcades as kids,” he said. “We were looking to bring the same feeling from those days back again.” Katz said the hard part of realizing their dream operation was not in trying to find the classic machines. It was the process of opening, particularly the licensing process. The machines are being used in a “co-op” with the Bit-Bar Arcade in Salem, meaning the latter is supplying and managing the games. But Play Arcade, he

to visit the safe outdoor pop-up markets (waterfire.org/art-mart). And on First Thursdays (November 5) you can “shop and dine local” in Barrington, Bristol, and THESE PLATFORMS Warren (discovernewport.org). Kick-off the holiday season at Frerichs PROVIDE VISITORS WITH Farm in Warren with “Girls Night Out” CHOICES on November 6,THAT 7 and 8 – INCLUDE buy your holiday trees, greenery, and gifts there, TOTALLY IMMERSIVE too (frerichsfarm.com). Then mark your calendar for the Newport Block RIDES THROUGH SPACE, Party & Holiday Stroll at Bowen’s Wharf ACROSS THE on November 27 – youGLOBE, can watch ON the Illuminated Boat Parade while A ROLLER COASTER, OR you shop and enjoy Caribbean music (bowenswharf.com). THROUGH A DINOSAUR WITH GIGANTIC It’sPARK the thoughtful gifts thatSPECIMENS count OF THE

And if you can’t find gifts for all the specialPREHISTORIC people in your life, consider buying BEASTS gift cards to restaurants, shops, vineLOOMING YOU. yards, special eventOVER venues, local farms, e-commerce websites, or grocery stores. said, will be rotating its array of games so Use mail-order services to deliver flowwhat it offers to the public is always fresh. ers, sweets, and specialty foods year“So far there’s been an amazingly round to someone you want to thank or positive response,” Katz said. “Everyone’s to express us your welcomed to appreciation. the city with open arms. For those who always hardbusiness to buy At the same time,are the customer a gift for, consider signing them up for has been a bit slow going and it is only an annual subscription a streaming just getting better now.to But we were service, app, podcast, premier sports/ very lucky. If we had opened before the movies/cultural channel, magazine, ora pandemic started, we would have lost newspaper. makehave a donation their lot before weOr would had thein chance name toNow theirwe’re favorite charity, educationto grow. growing. alPlay institution, organization. Arcade,or at cultural 34 Union Street in New Consider how much it would appreciBedford, is open Wednesday be through ated if you upgraded an older relative’s Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. For reservadigitalcall capabilities with an easy-to-use tions, 774-202-7353. smartphone, tablet, or notebook – and (BIT )COIN OPERATED then helped to set up Zoom or Skype. he North Dartmouth Mall’salive newthis You can keep the holiday spirit arcade, the you VR Zone, which opened year, even though may not all be toweekendThanksgiving. of October 24,Itisjust a getherthe to celebrate hybrid of theimagination type of gaming takes some andexperience good cheer! owner and manager C.J. Wilson previously offered at the Swansea Mall. The front half of the new space features a variety of arcade games including Digital Dart Board and Skee Ball, plus bumper cars that are both adult-sized and smaller, kiddie-sized. And there’s even a digital Juke Box. The other half of the Zone contains party rooms and, more importantly, the titular Virtual Reality Zone lounge. This section, Wilson said, features the startlingly realistic interactive virtual reality platforms HTC Vive, HTC Vive Pro, and Oculus Rift.


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a gamer could want, said Wilson. He said Faxon Animal Care his&new location Center improves upon what Adoption had been offered in Swansea two years 474 Durfee St., Fall River, MA ago,when he had the VR Zone in Swansea. 508-676-1061 “Every experience here in the lounge www.faxonarl.org offers a 365-degree view. A way to really immerse yourself in the experience. You’re in it. It’s all around you.” These platforms provide visitors with choices that include totally immersive rides through space, across the globe, on a roller coaster, or through a dinosaur park with gigantic specimens of the prehistoric 30+ years experience beasts looming over you. — HOURS — Pet boarding, owner on premises 24/7 Both front and back sections also feature Mon. & Tue. 8:30-4:30pm A/C, fenced in yard, outdoor kennels motion pods. These Wed. & Sat.pods, 8:30-12Wilson Noon said, One-on-one training for basic obedience offer 40 different motion experiences. Thu. 8:30-5pm • Fri 8:30-6pm The three VR platforms in the lounge WITH THIS COUPON — OFFER EXPIRES: 11/30/20 increase that offering to hundreds of 1100 Reed Rd. North Dartmouth, MA different experiences. Monday -Saturday 9am-5pm Wilson added that the store will be downloading even more content regularly. “It’s a new-school arcade,” he said 9 The South Coast Insider | November 2020 proudly. “It’s not your dad’s arcade. We’ve got to offer something different than Doggy Day Care arcades of the past. And virtual reality is the major draw right now.” The VR Zone is located next to the AMC movie theater at 200 North Dartmouth Mall. Its soft opening hours are Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Mention this ad for $5 OFF! Customers may call on holidays or school vacations for hours at 401-369-6421.

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2020 The South Coast Inside January 8 2021 November | The South Coast| Insider 11


Benjamin & Nathan Building

Timeless trust By Bradley Ellis


all River native Anthony F. Cordeiro recognizes the importance of building strong relationships rooted in trust and integrity. His Commercial Real Estate agency Cordeiro Properties (cordeiroproperties. com) exemplifies three decades of endless hard work and dedication to the community. “We are committed to building, growing, and helping to bring valuable opportunities to the Fall River area,” he says. Cordeiro’s passionate words are matched by a tireless work ethic extending throughout his devoted team. Most impressively, Cordeiro and his agency have been continually ahead of the market curve, confident in taking calculated risks, ultimately yielding beneficial results for all parties involved. Cordeiro Properties has improved Fall River’s downtown through various


development projects providing professional business office space, accessible parking facilities, and market-rate residential apartments. For example, Commonwealth Landing has become a staple full-service office and retail building that hosts premier restaurants, organizations, and lofts. Following suit, the agency completed two recent spotlight properties under the umbrella of The Downtown Lofts. The two properties include the Benjamin & Nathan Building as well as Trolley Square. Benjamin & Nathan, named after Anthony’s twin nephews, is located at 170 Pleasant Street

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

and includes 20 modern apartments. At 30 Third Street, Trolley Square offers 18 conveniently located market-rate apartments. Between the two buildings, all 38 apartments are now completely rented, a testament to the growing demand. Cordeiro is known for naming buildings after family members. He named the iconic Kay Building after his wife Kyra, and named the MelCor Building and the

“We are committed to building, growing, and helping to bring valuable opportunities to the Fall River area”


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“The dream has always been to pass the torch to the next generation. My daughters are doing a great job of making that a reality.” Merrill Building after his two daughters, Melanie and Merrill. Both daughters have recently completed their Master’s in Business Administration and have been instrumental in the business’ growth. Melanie, his eldest daughter, worked extensively on the Commonwealth Landing project and Merrill served as a project assistant on The Downtown Lofts. The family’s passionate vision is centered around building strength and opportunity for the future. Whether it is

noticing a need for residential housing or recognizing optimal areas for commercial office space, every action is intentional and meaningful. Cordeiro and his team understand the importance of keeping commitments, as they have proven time and time again with such projects as the Lizzie’s Professional Building and Bristol County Savings Bank Building. When they take on a project, they are invested for the long haul and do everything necessary to ensure it will be a sustainable venture.

Cordeiro has the same outlook on his business. “The dream has always been to pass the torch to the next generation. My daughters are doing a great job of making that a reality.” Ultimately, Anthony F. Cordeiro is playing the long game, taking actionable steps in the present while simultaneously planning for the future. One thing is for sure: he hasn’t just built beautiful trophy properties – he has built timeless trust.

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider



HOPE on the Horizon

By Elizabeth Morse Read


e see it non-stop on TV, our cell phones, in magazines, and even in our dreams. It’s the screensaver from hell: a swarm of golf balls studded with cocktail toothpicks ending in red bubbles. Those cocktail toothpicks surround the golf ball like a crown (corona) and those “bubbles” are the COVID-19 virus’ “spike proteins,” which latch onto our cells and allow the virus to enter and infect us with a plague of Biblical proportions. And whether you call it SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus, or COVID-19, it has overwhelmed the world’s population, health systems, and economies. In less than a year, COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death in the US, leapfrogging over cancer and heart disease. And almost every 30 seconds, another American dies of it. We are on the cusp of a catastrophe.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The United States represents less than 5% of the global population, yet we have almost 25% of the world’s COVID-19 infections and deaths – more than any other nation. How is it that the entire


continent of Africa, with its 1.3 billion people, has recorded 52,000 deaths compared to the staggering totals here? Both South Korea and the US reported its first case of COVID-19 on January 21, 2020 – yet, South Korea had reported fewer than 600 total deaths, compared to the projected 362,000 American deaths by January 1. In early December, the US first recorded 200,000 confirmed new cases in a single day, more than all cases ever recorded in Japan, a country of 127 million people, since the beginning of the pandemic. But the daily “confirmed” cases don’t tell the whole story. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, due to a lack of widespread testing and tracing in 2020, only one in eight infections have actually been identified. In addition, the CDC believes that as many as 40% of infected people are asymptomatic “silent spreaders” responsible for causing at least half of all other known infections. After so many Americans ignored public health warnings about not traveling or gathering for Thanksgiving, the national

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

surge increased exponentially in December: over 100,000 hospitalized, and the highest daily death toll since the pandemic began – 3,100. That’s more than Japan’s ten-month total of 2,161 deaths, more than all who died on 9/11, and more than all who perished at Pearl Harbor. And Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that a similar surge after Christmas and New Year’s Eve would bring the country “to a really dark time” by mid-January. It took 98 days from the first reported infection in the US to reach one million confirmed cases. Four million new infections were recorded in November alone (double that of October) and another million new cases were confirmed in just the first five days of December, the next million in just three days. Confirmed cases could reach 20+ million by early January. And if this explosion is not tamped down, some experts predict there could be more than half a million Americans dead by April. The facts are mind-numbing and soul-crushing. We need a miracle.

The race for a cure

In December 2019, the Chinese govern-


How traditional vaccines work Starting with Jenner’s smallpox vaccine in the late 18th century, traditional vaccines introduce microscopic bits of weakened or inactivated viruses into a person’s body, alerting the immune system to start making virus-neutralizing antibodies against any future detection of that virus. Life expectancy for the average American has nearly doubled in the past 100 years, largely due to the development of vaccines. Most childhood illness vaccines are 90-99% effective: the most effective have been for measles, tetanus, polio, and smallpox. In fact, smallpox has been eradicated worldwide due to massive World Health Organization (WHO) vaccination programs – the last case was reported in 1977. But scientists are constantly tweaking vaccines in order to improve effectiveness. For example, the Zostavax vaccine, developed to prevent shingles (herpes zoster), used a live virus platform, but turned out to be only 51% effective. The newer Shingrix vaccine, which uses an inactivated virus platform, has proved to be 90-97% effective. On the other hand, after 30 years of research, scientists have yet to find a successful vaccine for the HIV virus. Annually, flu shots are anywhere from 40-70% effective, depending upon which inactivated flu strains were included in the mix. Yet less than half of all US adults get an annual flu shot, many claiming that they “felt sick” after getting one. After any vaccination, you may experience mild side effects like fatigue, fever, or minor body aches for a day or so – but this does not mean that you’ve been infected with the virus. Such inflammatory symptoms are actually a sign that your immune system has revved up in reaction to the presence of a weakened or inactivated virus.

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ment first reported a localized outbreak of severe flu-like cases to the World Health Organization (WHO). Identifying it as a novel “coronavirus,” the Chinese shared the new virus’ genetic sequence on January 12 with the global scientific community. This new respiratory virus quickly proved to be both highly contagious and exceptionally lethal, especially among the elderly population – 40% of all US deaths have been residents of nursing homes. Scientists and public health officials were terrified that this virus could be as deadly as the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19, which killed 675,000 Americans and 500 million worldwide – almost a third of the world’s population at that time. In an unprecedented move, governments across the globe cooperated in finding a cure, researching dozens of potential vaccines in a race against time. Within just a few months, promising vaccines began clinical trials on humans, a timeline that previously took years – and two vaccines based on a never-before-used genetic

technology emerged so breathtakingly safe and effective that they will revolutionize medicine as profoundly as did the discovery of penicillin [see sidebar]. Just eight months after receiving the new virus’ genome, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech start-up Moderna applied for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for distribution of their radically new vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. After completion of Phase III clinical trials, both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines proved to be 95% effective in preventing infection, far exceeding the FDA’s minimal 50% efficacy rate, and Moderna’s vaccine also proved to be 100% effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalization in trial participants who did contract the virus. Vaccine development normally takes up to ten years, but with this new mRNA technology, it took only 63 days from gene sequencing to the first human trials. EUA was granted just a year after CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

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Future applications of mRNA technology Much like a computer operating system, mRNA therapies instruct your body to produce its own “medicine.” Along with CRISPR gene-editing technology, which can replace a missing gene or remove a defective gene, the breakthrough mRNA technology is being investigated for treatment of cystic fibrosis, rare genetic metabolic disorders, rabies, hemophilia, melanoma, aggressive breast cancers, autoimmune disorders, and many disorders where transplantation and lifelong immunosuppression is the only treatment. It is also being researched as a way to regenerate damaged heart tissue after a heart attack. Amazingly, mRNA drugs can even be injected directly into the spinal cord, allowing them to enter the brain by bypassing the “blood-brain barrier,” a membrane that protects the brain but also makes it difficult to treat brain diseases.

the coronavirus first emerged in China, and supervised vaccination of American healthcare workers and nursing home residents began before Christmas. There is finally light at the end of the very long and very dark tunnel we called 2020.

How mRNA vaccines work

Imagine if it were possible to instruct our bodies to make the therapeutic drug we needed to either cure a disease or to prevent becoming infected by a disease. What if scientists could manufacture an “imposter” protein that would trigger the same immune response without risking an actual viral infection? That is the genius of mRNA vaccines – they mimic the genetic sequence of the COVID-19 spike protein, tricking our own immune system into thinking that the real virus is present.


The mRNA vaccines use synthetic genetic material to stimulate our cells into producing a harmless viral protein that our immune system learns to attack, triggering production of neutralizing antibodies without ever exposing people to the actual virus. In other words, an mRNA vaccine turns the body into both an antigen- and an antibody-producing laboratory. Unlike traditional vaccines, mRNA vaccines can be produced rapidly in a laboratory. It took Moderna researchers only two days to design the new synthetic mRNA spike protein after receiving the genetic code on a Microsoft Word file from the Chinese. Even if a virus mutates, scientists can tweak the genetic sequence to produce updated vaccines quickly, or else create a cocktail of proteins to target several strains. The mRNA vaccines work like an Operating System on a computer, allowing scientists to insert genetic code from a virus – like an app – to easily create a customized vaccine. In order to survive its journey through our bloodstream, the synthetic mRNA protein is protected, encapsulated in a biodegradable bubble of lipid (fats) nanoparticles (LNP).

The importance of mass immunization

A recent Gallup poll showed that almost 60% of Americans were willing to be vaccinated. But it is crucial that at least 70% of the population be vaccinated in order for herd immunity to kick in so that life can return to some version of “normal” again [see sidebar]. There will need to be a massive public education effort to convince people that the vaccines are both safe and effective – a big sell to a skeptical public, given the barrage of chaos and quackery that came out of Washington during 2020. On top of that, there is a long-held resistance among some sectors of the population who don’t trust scientists, pharmaceutical companies or the federal government itself when it comes to vaccines. Fewer than 20% of Black Americans believe that the new vaccines are safe and effective, a resistance linked to past unethical medical programs like the US

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

government’s Tuskegee Experiment. Likewise, a growing body of “antivaxxers,” parents who refuse to vaccinate their children due to a baseless fear of their developing autism, join many citizens who resist any government effort that infringes on their freedom to choose what they do with their lives – like being forced to wear masks in public. In an effort to further bolster a hesitant public’s confidence in the vaccines, many states have set up review committees to further vet for the safety and efficacy alongside the FDA’s rigorous evaluation processes. Also, the private sector plans to persuade people to get vaccinated. The Ad Council, a nonprofit advertising group, is planning a $50 million ad campaign, similar to its push in the 1950s urging people to get the polio vaccine. Former Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney proposed that anyone receiving the vaccine be given a $1,500 incentive payment, seeing as no new stimulus checks have been forthcoming. As outrageous as that might seem, cash payments were given to parents in India to increase childhood vaccinations – and they increased a whopping 600% as a result. CVS, Stop & Shop, Walmart, and Walgreens have partnered with the CDC to provide free vaccinations throughout the country as supplies become available. In a pilot program, Rhode Island will be one of four states to receive early supplies. CVS projected that it would deliver the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to skilled nursing facilities, front-line workers, and medical professionals by the end of December, with a second shot 21-28 days later. Other traditional vaccines [see sidebar], like those still in clinical trials at Johnson & Johnson, AstaZeneca, and Novavax, will become available by springtime. By June, anyone who wants to get a vaccination should be able to do so. But until vaccines have been widely distributed, Americans must continue to follow public health guidelines: wear a mask, keep socially distanced, wash hands frequently, and avoid crowds, especially indoors.

consumerism that involves Personal freedom vs. demonstrations,public sit-ins and, I kid you not because I’m The good

keep their distance, marching against4.2 sanitation crisis because worldwide, travel – as if safe measures that billionrestrictions of us live without sanitation governments must impose for the good options. Think of that the next time you’re afraid them, a “Zombie Walk,” So, asof we say goodbye (and goodwhere of their peopleto constitute some of lucky enough be relaxing withkind a magavolunteer zombies with riddance!) to 2020, wander we havemalls a personal on autonomy or personal choice to make. we each blank stares andWill explain “Buybecome Nothingpart political zine in a assault comfy loo. freedom! to the common good is of theto solution in this race to eradicate Hungry?Looking November is your month, with Day” befuddled shoppers before, I asmuch moresprinkled than the sum of what is good COVID-19, or will be part of the problem, tasty days throughout, odes to sume, eating their flesh. for individuals. It means a regard refusing toya, getwhat’s vaccinated or even to wear everything from bananahaving pudding to vinHow are new, how’s it gofor alland citizens and seeking to respond a mask? ing? Say that and more on November 21, egar everything in between, includeffectively to the needspickles, of the least Listen to Hello what Pope Francis had to hopes say in “National Day,” created in the ing hot sauce, nachos, espresso, fortunate.” a recent New York Times editorial: “Most deviled eggs, French toast and more. that conflicts can be resolved through Make your resolution now – governments acted responsibly, imposing communication rather than the use of Honoring allNew thatYear’s grub makes perfect get vaccinated. Happy 2021! strict measures to contain the outbreak. sense that November 15 is National Clean force, a lofty goal that, given there really Yet to hassome nevergroups been a protested, time whenrefusing there’s not Out Your Refrigerator Day. war raging somewhere around the globe. In closing, and in observance of World Philosophy Day is an international November being an election month, I’d day proclaimed by UNESCO comes into like to add it is now National Impotency Herd immunity Month, which has nothing to do with the being every third Thursday of November. and the “Swedish Model” Republicans in Congress, much as it Or does it? Hmmm? Silly as World Toilet Day on November sounds When COVID-19 first flared up in the spring, most like it should. Happy winter, people! All eight damn 19countries sounds, ittook is anaggressive actual United Nations action to “flatten the curve” observance day to tackle the global months of it. – stay-at-home orders, mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, bans on large gatherings, shutting down bars, restaurants, and non-essential businesses. In large part, such strict measures did slow down the spread of contagion, but one western country, Sweden, decided to follow a different path. Instead, they chose a relaxed approach that relied on people using common sense to avoid exposure, allowing life and business to carry on as usual. As a result, the nation’s nursing homes were ravaged, and by the time the second surge hit Europe this fall, Sweden was recording nearly 6,000 new infections each day, and 20% of the citizens were testing positive for the virus. They have since imposed strict lockdown measures similar to its European neighbors. But right-wing and libertarian politicians in the US hailed “the Swedish model” as a template for achieving herd immunity without crippling the economy. They promoted an alternative risk-based approach to the pandemic which provided “focused protection” for high-risk individuals while avoiding the social and economic damage created by lockdowns and behavioral restrictions. They claimed that, by allowing lower-risk individuals to resume their normal daily lives, an increase of immunity in the population would eventually protect those at higher risk. They believe that, by allowing the virus to circulate and “healthy” people to become infected, the greater population would reach “herd immunity” – and then the virus would die out. But as of now, only about 10% of the world’s population has been infected with the coronavirus, so many more people would need to become infected in order to achieve herd immunity through natural infection alone – and many, many would die unnecessarily along the way. Without a vaccine and public health mandates, scientists predict that at least 1,000,000 Americans would die before herd immunity was reached. Widespread immunization, rather than letting a virus run rampant, is a far better strategy in achieving herd immunity. And the number of people who need to be vaccinated depends upon the disease – in the case of measles (the most contagious disease in the world), it’s 95%; for polio, it’s 80%; and the best estimates suggest that for COVID-19, at least 70% need to be vaccinated. That means that at least 160,000,000 Americans would need to be vaccinated (or else immune due to previous infection) in order to reach that 70% threshold for herd immunity.

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Threads of history

n ancestry search into his grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ work in the Fall River mills led retired attorney Jay J. Lambert to complete a years-long history project that has culminated in American Textile Colossus, a new book published by the Fall River Historical Society Press. The book focuses on the story of Fall River’s cotton manufacturing mills and its people and shines a new light on an industry that transformed a small town into a thriving, internationally known center of business. “There really was no reason for Fall River at all, other than its mills,” Lambert said. “It had good luck to be built on the Quequechan River. The mills needed water power in their early days.” The Quequechan River gave those mills all the power they needed to first compete, and then to thrive. Manufacturing cotton textiles in Fall River began in 1811 in a small wooden factory building owned by Col. Joseph Durfee in the Globe area of the city. By the 1870s, there were 115 mills in the city, all owned by 40 corporations, making it the largest textile center in the country. And, there were plenty of workers as immigrants flooded to the city for the opportunity to give their families a better life. The city’s population grew from 14,026 in


By Deborah Allard Dion

1860 to 45,160 in 1875 and to more than 100,000 by 1900. “It was the English and Irish that came over first,” Lambert said. “Then the French-Canadians came over. It was by far the largest population in Fall River at one time.” Their work was hard and their pay was small. No one worker could support the family solely, so husbands, wives, and their children often all worked in the mills. A study into the textile wage system found that youth working in the mills contributed about a third of their family’s entire income. “The grind would begin even before the start-up of the machines,” Lambert wrote in his book, based on historical accounts. “The spinners rarely had breakfast before entering the mill in the morning. They were required to be there early in order to clean and oil their machines before starting up; they had no time and in many cases no inclination to eat.” Oftentimes, workers would have a mouthful here and there while they worked. They rarely left the mill during the day and stayed late to clean up. Lambert, is his research, found firsthand accounts of mill workers that he included in his book. “I have been nine years in Fall River, and have never worked anywhere else, except in England, where we worked at high

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

speed, but not [to] the extent practiced here[.] ” one mill worker was quoted. Another talked about the difficult conditions for some of the women. “The spool tenders, God pity them, were the hardest working girls I ever saw. Their work was always ahead of them, so feet and arms and body were going all day long. They were paid by the box, and could earn seventy cents a day.” The same worker continued, “There may have been honest mill men, probably there were, but I believe most of them were mad on the matter of production at low cost. All or nearly all the mills stole time. They were supposed to start the mill in the early years at six o’clock, later at six-thirty. They started ten minutes before the hour under the plea they had to get headway, which

only took two or three minutes. They started earlier at the noon. They ran until five minutes past six and so on. Always having in mind to get a little more out of the help than they were entitled to.”

Grueling work

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Lambert said his mother worked in the mills for only a short time, as most of the cotton mills closed “one mill after another” in the 1920s. A few remained at diminished capacity until the early 1960s. His mother, he said, worked in the city’s sewing shops all her life as did many others when the cotton industry folded. “I never thought of the mills that much,” Lambert said. But, he discovered in a genealogy search that nearly all of his family members in the late 19th and early 20th centuries worked in the mills, either in England or Fall River. Lambert learned that his maternal grandmother, born in 1875, came with her parents to Fall River when she was a year old. By the age of 14, she was working in the mills, as were her parents. “They all worked in the mills,” Lambert said. “That’s all there was.” He also discovered that his grandmother was actually 12 when she started working, and like so many other youngsters had lied about her age to get a mill job and contribute to the family’s income. “I learned a lot about my own family,” Lambert said. He researched at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Library and the Fall River Historical Society and started to create folders on different topics related to Fall River textile mill history. Roughly two years ago, Lambert began writing the book. “I came to the conclusion that there really isn’t a book about the mills after 1946,” Lambert said. “It finally closes the last chapter on the mills in Fall River.” The “American Textile Colossus” offers 545 pages of stories, data, and history along with 45 illustrations in 32 chapters, plus extensive endnotes, bibliography, and index. The book is for sale by the Fall River Historical Society for $28.95 at its Museum Shop, 451 Rock Street, open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information, contact Curator Michael Martins at curator@fallriverhistorical.org or call 508-679-1071 Ext. 101.



Let the sunshine in By Sean McCarthy

The sun has been around for a while – we might as well take advantage of it. “Solar power can give you economic peace of mind,” says Ryan Rego, a co-founder and Managing Partner with Isaksen Solar, a Fall River-based company devoted to establishing solar systems in both homes and businesses. “It’s much cheaper than buying energy from the electric company. Once you pay off your solar system, your electricity is free and independent – you won’t be worried about the price of electricity going up. You’ll have security and protection.” Rego says that the average domestic solar system is warrantied for 25 years but could be paid off in five to ten years.

“If you’re somebody who cares about the environment the number one thing you can do is buy a solar system,” Rego says. “Over 25 years, a solar system is going to reduce as much carbon as planting 3,000 trees. Solar systems cost less than buying electricity from the electric company, which all comes from coal or natural gas. You’ll pay less and be environmentally responsible.” For homeowners in the South Coast, the modern promise of solar power is environmental responsibility and economic sensibility. But it’s not an opportunity available to everybody.

“Fifty percent of the homeowners who we’re in touch with aren’t a good fit for solar,” Rego says. “Their house may not be in good enough shape, or they may not get enough sunlight. I have to shake their hand and tell them I can’t help them. Not every house is a good fit.” Domestic solar systems are usually mounted on the roof of a home but the option of posting solar panels on the ground (often in a backyard) is also available. Rego says that a domestic solar system requires only two or three maintenance checks over the course of 25 years.

Domestic solar systems are usually mounted on the roof of a home but the option of posting solar panels on the ground is also available 20

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

Another economic advantage of owning the region’s coastal charms. Their new property was aisformer farm, pera solar system the taxtomato incentives that fect for supporting the couple’s come with the technology. Therenew are hobby: raising federal andchickens. state tax credits and other Fortunately for them, knack benefits that are based they uponhad theasize and for it. Before long, the Bishops had efficiency of too the system. more than they knewcan what toado Regoeggs claims that Isaksen get solar with. They sellinginthe surplus, system up began and running a day or twoand and learning about how to expand the farm in they are also skilled in the paperwork that a healthy and sustainable way. comes with the implementation. There To give a sense of how successful this are a variety of options when it comes to expansion has been, the farm’s chicken purchasing a solar system. population has ballooned from the origi“We can help with all of the details from nal 20 to over 3000. start to her finish,” Rego says. While husband has kept his IT job, Ester has been to commit herself to Shining a able light the farm full-time. prides herself on Isaksen has been She in business for more providing her animals with joyful, stressthan four years. All of its’ co-founders free “People should know where havelives. experience with national solar their food comes from – you can really companies. taste the difference,” said Bishop. Rego practices what he preaches – his Dartmouth home is entirely equipped with

Green acres solar technology. He has central air and

Bishop’s commitment to “beyond orhot water and all the amenities of a home ganic” farming extends beyond cuddles while paying nothing for his electricity. and words of affirmation to her livestock. One of the major barriers that has She ensures all the animals are provided prevented the popularity of solar is the with healthy, organic meals, and that their economic factor. That is no longer waste is repurposed as manure. the situation. “You can see how green the grass is “Whatthe hasturkeys made solar is where haveeconomical been,” Bishop that the industry has gotten bigger,”the Rego says. “That’s because they fertilize says. “The factories have gotten soil with their manure. Manure isbigger the and smarter so the cost of the materials basis of organic fertilizers. There are no chemicals added, or needed, when the have gotten dramatically cheaper. animals do their The quality of thejob.” materials have also Speaking of animals doing their jobs, improved greatly and they last a lot longer. Bishop has conscripted her goats and The panels have become more efficient. pigs into clearing away swaths of under“The economics have shifted,” Rego brush on the property – the “gnarly vines” says. “Your loan payments will be way that give the farm its name. cheaper than your electricity bill.” Gnarly Vines coordinates with neighIt may be surprising that Rego claims boring farms to provide its customers that cold weather is actually a boon for with a variety of sustainable and organic solar as opposed to a blazing hot summer products. Angus beef, for instance, will day. Cloudy weather may reduce the sell out almost as soon as it comes into amount of energy being received but it is stock. still advantageous. But the farm is not bound by terrestrial “A 50-degree is better a limitations: the day Bishops havethan partnered 100-degree day, but a 60-degree day is with Captain’s Finest and Sakonnet ideal,” Rego says. Lobster to bring fresh seafood to market. “Your house may not be a fit for but Bishop is particularly proud of asolar, new iniif it is you could potentially save as much tiative at the farm: food security commuas $70,000 over 25 years and benefit nity supported agriculture (CSA) plans.the environment the same time.” CSAs, popularatamong farms nationwide, allow customers to pre-purchase To learn more about solar power and “shares” thehome farm’sisproduce, which are find out ifof your a good fit, contact Isaksen Solar at 508-567-0647 or visit CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE isaksensolar.com.

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Into the wind by Paul Kandarian

CASUAL OBSERVATIONS in a chaotic world: I just realized something: windows are made of glass! I noticed the other day a habit of mine, rolling down the window to drive slowly by an address I’m looking for, or to peer into the woods looking for mushrooms (I’ve taken up foraging lately), as if the window weren’t made of glass and was instead a solid black pane of wood so that when I opened the window my vision would be like a revelation, like a blind man suddenly gifted with sight. I have no idea why I do this. I just do it. I think this is the same principle as turning down the radio when looking for exit signs or street names. I’m passing this off as evolution still trying to keep our vision and hearing sharp to avoid predators like sabre tooth tigers. I’m pretty sure that’s why people still run as a hobby – instinctively they sense that something sees them as food and is chasing them because honestly, why in God’s name would any sane human find running fun and do it voluntarily? Virtually everyone I’ve ever seen running down


the road has a look of agony on their face, as if they were being chased by, say, a sabre tooth tiger. Evolution’s got a ways to go, I guess.


hy do restaurants have signs that say “Don’t flush anything but toilet paper down the toilet?” Is someone going in there and saying, “Dammit, now I have to find another place to get rid of this dead body I dismembered and stuffed into my pockets.”

the toilet!” in that demanding tone. For one thing, my arms aren’t long enough to reach both at once, and suppose I only use one? Why do I have to flush both?


o keep the toilet theme going, I stopped at a very new and modern Cumberland Farms gas station recently in Seekonk, went into the men’s room and was standing at the thing that men stand in front of in men’s rooms doing my

You’re paying a boatload of money to watch TV now that used to be free, so you have to get your money’s worth Same thing as “Employees must wash hands before returning to work.” If you have to tell someone to wash up after dropping a deuce in the loo, I don’t think you want to eat there. Most confusing sign I ever saw in the john was one reading “Flush the urinal AND

January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

business when I heard this woman’s voice and I panicked thinking for a split second I was in the wrong restroom but it was actually the stunningly realistic audio quality of the very new and modern Cumberland Farms PA system that I swear sounded like she was right behind me, but she

was talking about the really crappy food offerings they sell there and not admonishing me for being in the ladies’ room.


peaking of restrooms, and this is such a guy thing, but in the public realm of urinals, for the longest time I was, as the saying goes, “pee shy,” that frustrating condition of standing next to another guy doing his business. Not sure why, but one day long ago I must’ve gotten it into my head (the top one) that if another guy’s next to me, I’ll choke up. If it’s a friend, it’s fine, I can just talk as usual and do what I gotta do. But talking to the stranger next to you is a strict violation of men’s room urinal protocol, like taking the urinal immediately adjacent to a stranger if there are others you can use. Oddly, as I’ve gotten older and the urge to go to the bathroom gets as powerful as the urge to eat, drink, and sleep, standing next to another dude doesn’t bother me one bit anymore. I gotta go, I go. Thought you’d like to know that. You’re welcome.


f you’re of a certain older age, you remember when you had three channels to

watch and maybe a handful of shows, great shows like Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show, All in the Family, etc. It’s not like I ache for those days, but now you finish watching a series on Netflix or HBO or Amazon Prime, and you have to find another. There’s no rest. You feel compelled to move on to the next show. You’re paying a boatload of money to watch TV now that used to be free, so you have to get your money’s worth. Case in point: We just finished watching The Undoing recently, loved it, and before that, Schitt’s Creek, and actually cried when we made it to the last episode of the sixth season, which I never did even in my Lassie years. And we immediately set about trying to find another series to watch and settled on The Crown, which is lovely but should come with subtitles

because even though it’s British and therefore technically in English, some of those accents are so bloody thick they all sound like a drunk Winston Churchill with a cigar in his mouth. But the rub is that there is so much TV to watch now, we cannot possibly keep track of what’s out there. Social media does that and people suggest this show or that, and if you missed anything, you can always binge watch entire seasons. Which seems like way too much cerebral work. It’s like wanting to read six books that interest you and come highly recommended and then forcing yourself to read them all in a few days. Makes my brain throb just thinking of it. My mind can’t take that kind of strain anymore. So I just watch Bonanza reruns. And of course, Lassie.

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January 2021 | The South Coast Insider



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January 2021 | The South Coast Insider

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The South Coast Insider - January 2021