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May 2017 Vol. 21 / No. 5

coastalmags.com

Healing at hand Community servicers

Flights of fancy

Sell, sell, sell!

Leading ladies


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TWO DAY CONTENTS

Jewelry appraisal event

MAY 2017

In every issue

THINGS TO DO

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From the publisher Dateline: South Coast by Elizabeth Morse Read

COVER STORY FRIDAY, MAY 19 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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SATURDAY, MAY 20 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

10 On the wing

by Elizabeth Morse Read

ON MY MIND

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Cuppa cawfee by Paul Kandarian

Forever for families by Jay Pateakos

by JOYCE ROWLEY

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Jewelry that heals

Grilling Mediterranean-style

by Greg Jones

BUSINESS BUZZ Arthur DeMello GG (GIA) Graduate Gemologist will be available to provide jewelry appraisal for your personal, estate or insurance purposes.

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22 1473 South Main Street Fall River, MA (508) 672-6421 www.PatenaudeJewelers.com Mon.-Fri. 9:30-5:00, Sat. 9:30-4:00

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Servicing social services by Jay Pateakos

Mad Market by Jay Pateakos

Women taking care of business by Greg Jones

CORRECTION: Last issue, baker Brandon Roderick was misidentified twice, once as “Branson” and a second time as “Broderick.” Further, the hours of operation were misstated. The Baker is open at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and closed Sundays.

ON THE COVER Looking great normally helps you feel great, but that’s especially true for Sara Yo Spirit Jewels. Dr. Hannah Hershoff, the artist who created these pieces, swears that her products have

healing properties. To learn more, turn to page 20 or visit myspiritjewel.com.


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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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FROM THE PUBLISHER May 2017 | Vol. 21 | No. 5

The world comes alive in the springtime, but it can be easy to get caught up in the superficial aspects of the season. Sure, all those flowers are beautiful, but unless you’re a gardener, you probably don’t think of the health of the soil those flowers sprout from. That’s why, while you’re enjoying the obvious beauty of the South Coast, we’re dedicating an issue to the people who are working behind the scenes to make this region such an excellent place to live. Child & Family Services has been around, in one form or another, for over 170 years. No matter the outward condition of the South Coast, the people there have endeavored to do what they can to ensure that the backbone of our society, the family, stays solid. Learn more about what they do on page 6. In that same vein, you’ll want to check out our article on two local social services groups, People, Inc. and Health Imperatives, on page 12. Even if you have never worked directly with these agencies, they have made your life better. If you’ve ever bought a house, you know that it’s one of the most rewarding and stressful events in your life. At the end of the day, you hope to look back on your decision and see that you purchased not just a house, but a home. Real estate agents work to help facilitate that feeling – to make the home buying process as pleasurable as possible. On page 16, they share their insights with Jay Pateakos. Finally, this month we celebrate Mother’s Day and all hardworking women. On page 22, Greg Jones puts the spotlight on some women who have followed their passions and created outstanding small businesses. Whether at home or in the workforce, now is the time to recognize the women who touch our lives. Anyone on a quick drive through the South Coast can say how beautiful it is here, but that’s a reason to visit, not a reason to stay. Instead, we know about that deeper beauty – that beauty you can see even on the cloudiest of days. That’s why we’re here, and that’s something worth celebrating.

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Published by Coastal Communications Corp. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ljiljana Vasiljevic Editor Sebastian Clarkin Online Editor Paul Letendre Contributors Greg Jones, Paul Kandarian, Tom Lopes, Jay Pateakos, Elizabeth Morse Read, Joyce Rowley The South Coast Insider is published monthly for visitors and residents of the South Coast area. The Insider is distributed free of charge from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay. All contents copyright ©2017 Coastal Communications Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. All information contained herein is believed to be reliable. Coastal Communications Corp. does not assume any financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisements, but will reprint that portion of an advertisement in which the typographical error occurs. Deadline 20 days prior to publication. Circulation 30,000 Subscriptions $39 per year Mailing Address Coastal Communications Corp. P.O. Box 349 Fall River, MA 02722 Phone (508) 677-3000 Website www.coastalmags.com E-mail editor@coastalmags.com Our advertisers make this publication possible— please support them.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider


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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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COVER STORY

(l-r) Susan Remy and Anne Sampaio

Forever for families By Jay Pateakos

If there’s any organization that has a family’s back when things can be their toughest—mental health, support and counseling, advocacy, psychiatry—it’s Child & Family Services. One of the oldest nonprofit organizations in Southeastern Massachusetts began as the New Bedford Orphans’ Home back in 1843, helping children left homeless and without families during the whaling era.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Child & Family Services Executive Director Anne Sampaio said that historically, the organization’s biggest hurdle has been awareness – making sure that families know that help is available. She said that especially over the last six or seven

years, Child & Family Services has grown extensively, becoming the one of the largest providers of mental health and community social services in the South Coast. “That’s what people don’t understand. They know us for adoption or for the Big Brother/Big Sister program, but we have services that cater to infants all the way to elderly,” said Sampaio. “There are services focusing on mental illness, support groups, parental training, helping families to ensure children remain with them and


not at a hospital, alternative care facility, or a foster care program. We try to work as a team to support parents.”

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Director of Development Susan Remy echoed Sampaio’s emphasis on creating awareness. “Many think we are just about mental health but we are not just that. We help families, from young children to isolated elderly. We help people who are working and have families and others who may have had an accident, lost a job, or need help in some other way,” said Remy. “We want people to know that no one is immune to mental illness and that Child & Family Services has the resources through our services to help.” With its mission, “to heal and strengthen the lives of children and families,” Child & Family Services is built on the beliefs that communities thrive when supported by strong families, that society is strengthened by ensuring that children and families attain their full potential, that families are the foundation of a strong community and are essential to a healthy society, and that families have the right to raise children in a safe and nurturing environment, Remy said. Other programs include outreach and counseling for children exposed to abuse or violence, families coping with mental illness, or matching children with mentors or loving adoptive families. These programs serve more than 20,000 people each year – individuals and families facing some of life’s most distressing challenges, Sampaio noted. Behind each program are dedicated staff who offer light and guidance to those in need during their darkest hours, in the hopes of strengthening them for better times. When children are no longer able to remain with their families, Child & Family Services, along with the state’s Department of Children & Families, work together to find nurturing permanent homes for these children to grow up in.

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

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“Our reach is statewide,” said Sampaio. But the adoption journey doesn’t end there. Child & Family Services’ post-adoption program, Adoption Journeys, works with the adoptive family to work through any questions, concerns, or issues that may arise during and well after the adoption is finalized in court. “Whether it’s permanent guardianship or adoption, we work with the family to support their needs,” said Sampaio. “It’s a hugely successful program.” And all the services provided by Child & Family Services, though some may be billed through insurance companies, are free to families and family members.

“Our programs are free and we are encouraging people to reach out to us if there’s ever a question about a child’s behavior, or if they are going through a difficult time in their lives and need someone to talk to. That’s why we are here.”

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people in this country living with mental illness is staggering. One in five adults suffers from mental illness and one in 25 – about 10 million of us – lives with a serious mental illness. As many as 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in any given year, and these illnesses don’t discriminate – 19.3 percent of whites live with a mental illness, 18.6 percent of black adults, 16.3 percent of hispanics, and a whopping 28.3 percent of native Americans. The adolescent statistics are just as alarming. Half of all chronic mental illness starts by age 14. Three-quarters start by the age of 24. One in five children from the ages of 13 to 18 either have or will have

Unseen needs

With psychiatric services, Child & Family Services has psychiatrists that devote their time and knowledge to helping the people in our community. They have bilingual and bicultural staff, specializing in adult, child, and geriatric psychiatry, in addition to physicians providing their services in New Bedford, Fall River, and Cape Cod. Child & Family Services support groups include a mindfulness and acceptance for anxiety group, an anger management group, a trauma group for women, an eating disorder group, and more. Mental health services are still the crux of what Child & Family Services provides. According to statistics from the National Alliance for Mental Illness, the numbers of

a serious mental illness. Child & Family Services has over twenty different programs that offer a variety of mental health, emergency services, and counseling programs at eleven sites throughout the state, serving over 20,000 people yearly. Sampaio stressed that Child & Family Services is committed to achieving service excellence, making quality improvement an integral part of the agency’s functions. “Child & Family Services works diligently at supporting families, especially when it comes to the mental health of a child’s parents, where research has shown that a happy family is one that will reach its full potential,” said Sampaio. “We identify what their needs are and


work together across the agency to help solve whatever those needs may be.”

When needed most Big Brother/Big Sister, which Sampaio said makes up a bulk of Child & Family Services fundraising initiatives, is something that is in high demand for families in need. There is a long waiting list of children looking for adult mentors. Director of Development Susan Remy said that there are 90 kids on the list, 73 of them boys, all looking for a match with their Big Brother or Sister. “This is a program solely run on donations,” Remy said. “It is impossible to overstate the importance of an accessible role model in the life a child. The Big Brothers/ Big Sisters program is a critical resource for the at-risk children living throughout Greater New Bedford.” Remy also spoke about the types of services that they provide throughout Cape Cod. She mentioned that CFS provides mostly in-home services due to the lack of public transportation on the Cape. “People can’t get the help they need because they have no way of getting there. We bring the help to the home,” she stated. “People there need our services. There’s this misconception that the Cape is filled with rich people, but that’s not true. They have an opiate epidemic and people dealing with mental health issues,” said Remy. “We are trying to bring awareness to that.” No matter which location, Child & Family Services is working to bring out the best in families. “We’re here to help people regardless of their situation, age, or gender,” said Remy. “Our programs are free and we are encouraging people to reach out to us if there’s ever a question about a child’s behavior, or if they are going through a difficult time in their lives and need someone to talk to. That’s why we are here.” For more information on Child & Family Services, go to child-familyservices.org.

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(508) 679 -1071 The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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COVER STORY

On the wing By Joyce Rowley

With a good tail wind they can fly 80 mph, these amazing creatures who can find their way home without a map or GPS, even when released 600 miles away: pigeons. But not the kind you see pecking about on the sidewalk. Specifically, Racing Homer pigeons.

“They fly about 40 mph on average,” said Mike Sherwood of the New Bedford Racing Pigeon Club. “Normally, we’ll put them up in the morning. They’ll have 14 hours on the wing back from Sandusky, Ohio, the last race of the season this year.” But that’s only after months of training that starts with flights just one mile out, then takes them farther and farther from their loft. By early April, the club gets together and loads them into traveling crates for a 50-mile training flight. On a Saturday in early April, club members met at the Buttonwood Community Center parking lot to load birds into stacked crates in the back of club member George Oliveira’s pickup truck for the ride

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

to Oxbridge, Massachusetts. About 150 pigeons would be “tossed” – pigeon racing jargon for being released simultaneously – to race back to their lofts. Club president Steve Santos laments that it’s a dying sport. He’s brought 44 birds with him, and wants to encourage more people to join the sport. It’s true that most of the men are middle-aged or so. Joe Dias has had pigeons since 1947. He brought two crates and quickly loads them up for the ride out.

Flocks and families

“It’s the only sport where age means nothing,” says Rick Baptista, one of the younger members and a New Bedford school

“It’s the satisfaction you get when the bird comes back to your house, your home… that’s why I do it.” — Rick Bapista

teacher. “[Member] Andy Sabina is 80 years old and he can beat me.” Baptista got into the sport through his late father, Richard Baptista, Senior. “It took 25 years for my father to develop an all-white family of pigeons, starting in 1978. His goal was to get completely white pigeons,” said Baptista. And he did. But then the elder Baptista was diagnosed with cancer and was going to have to sell his birds. Instead, Baptista told his father he’d keep his birds going. That meant learning how to breed, raise, and train the birds for racing. While wild pigeons usually weigh just a few ounces, racing pigeons weigh about a pound each.


They’re fed a special diet, receive veterinary care, and get pampered compared to street pigeons. Baptista also got to know his father better in the process. “I’d ride with him during training and talk with him all the way up and back for the last three years of his life. I’m so glad I had that time with him,” Baptista said. Baptista has added a separate family of black pigeons to the dovecote. And his brother snuck in a family of red ones, that also are also kept separate.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

White Racing Homers aren’t usually flown in the U.S. because they’re more visible to predators like Cooper’s hawks, says Baptista. They were developed in Spain,

Each bird is banded with a unique AU identification number soon after it’s born which also carries the owner’s’ information and club name in case it gets lost. A second band carries a microchip that is scanned in at the start of the race. Chip technology has replaced time clocks, where every fraction of a second counts. At the start of a race, the birds are scanned in on a device much like a grocery scanner. As the pigeon returns to its loft, it walks over a pad that scans its time and location. Winspeed, a software program developed for pigeon racing, calculates the pigeon’s time in yards per minute – a holdover from the sport’s European roots. All of which is entered into a national database maintained by the AU. “Converting distance and time to velocity

MAY EVENTS Cherry Blossom Festival

Sunday, May 7, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Cooke Memorial Park Cherry St. & Pilgrim Ave. Tickets (limited number) are $20 for adult, $10 for child under 12. Sponsored by the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society & Fairhaven Colonial Club. For resevations, call 508-995-1219 or email Gerry@WMFriendshipHouse.org.

Riverside Cemetery Tour

Sunday, May 21, 2 p.m. Riverside Cemetery, 274 Main St. Tour this lovely rural-style cemetery created in 1850 by Warren Delano II, grandfather of F.D.R. Tour lasts 90 minutes. Free.

Fort Phoenix Historical Encampment

Sat. & Sun., May 27 - 28 9 a.m. Sat. to 3:00 p.m. Sun. Cannon Firing Sat. 7:45 p.m.

one of the countries where the sport originated. The hawks disappear at some point in May, he says, as other prey becomes available. Meanwhile, Baptista has to head home to scare off the hawks that circle his loft in Dartmouth while waiting for his birds to return. The official 10-series races for the Northeast Concourse start April 18, with a 160-mile flight from Albany sponsored by the American Racing Pigeon Union (AU). Races are structured by area with clubs joining to form “combines,” and combines joining to form “concourses.” The New Bedford Racing Club is part of the New England Combine and Northeast Concourse.

allows for comparison between birds,” said Deone Roberts, AU spokesperson. “Speeds can be 35 to 90 miles per hour. But if it’s 90, you know it had help with a tailwind.” Speeds over the course of several races will determine whether a bird is the fastest, she said. The AU database keeps the birds’ race history, and owners can check on it to see where it places locally and nationally. There are national awards for the fastest birds. But racing Homer pigeons is about more than just owning the fastest bird. “It’s the satisfaction you get when the bird comes back to your house, your home,” said Baptista. “That’s why I do it.”

Fairhaven Village Militia and the Office of Tourism present a two-day program on life during the 1770s, including camp cooking, musket demonstrations,children’s games, tin smithing and more.

Memorial Day Parade

Monday, May 29, 8:30 a.m.

Parade on Main Street from Center Street to Riverside Cemetery, where a brief ceremony will be held at the Civil War monument.

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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BUSINESS BUZZ

Servicing social services By Jay Pateakos

Crucial social services – mental health services, family assistance, parental guidance, and the like – hang by a thread. Despite their importance in our society, cuts threaten the very cores of these services. This year, those fears feel very real. Potential state and even federal cuts have administrators worried that they will be unable to help the people who need it the most. The Fall River-based People, Incorporated (peopleinc-fr.org) as a human service agency serving the South Coast community, including the Greater Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton areas. It was founded in 1968 by the parents of people with disabilities who were seeking better quality care and more diverse services for their children. As a partnership of specialized, integrated programs, they provide unique opportunities to people with a myriad of life challenges. They are one of the largest providers of support and services to people of all abilities in the community. Their core belief is that people benefit from the services they provide and that

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

they deserve the highest level of quality support. With over 800 employees, they believe that this is accomplished through creating positive partnerships between their agency and the community. SAVINGS AND CUTS People, Incorporated provides a wide range of support and services to create a continuum of care for children, adults, and families of all abilities, said President and CEO Bill Perkins. Perkins pointed to the diverse services People, Incorporated provides, including supporting pregnant mothers, early intervention services, early education services,

Bill Perkins


educational support services to school districts, community wellness services, family support services, and a wide range of support provided to individuals with disabilities. “People, Incorporated has been a leader in delivering an array of services that provide individuals choices and greater control in their lives,” said Perkins. “In 2006, People Incorporated began providing Adult Foster Care services. This model provides an alternative to traditional 24-hour programs – an individual is placed in the home of a caregiver who receives a stipend for providing support services. The model creates a bond between the caregiver and the individual and typically results in the individual having a richer life with greater access to the community. It also is a much less expensive model than typical 24-hour services such as a nursing home or group home.” Perkins said the recent Section 9C cuts enacted by Governor Baker will not reduce the stipends paid to caregivers but will impact the dollars associated with the staffing and administration of the program. “The rates will essentially be returned to the level of 2005,” he said. “This reduction will impact the growth of the service, which in turn will increase the cost of necessary care as more individuals will be referred to more costly 24-hour services.” “Our ability to retain staff will also be impacted,” Perkins continued. “It is mandated that all staff serving as case managers have four-year degrees and that the program employ registered nurses to provide medical training and support to caregivers. The reduced rates will make it less likely that we will be able to attract qualified candidates for the required positions.”

Celebrating our 25th Anniversary as Long Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH) – the only one in our community

The road to recovery due to a serious medical condition can be a lengthy process that is seldom easy. But there is help along the way. Vibra Hospital of Southeastern Massachusetts is there to provide the specialized care you need right when you need it.

Vibra Healthcare Specialty Acute Care services include:

Beginning with a seamless transfer from the hospital, up until the time a patient is able to transition home, the Vibra team of dedicated physicians, nurses and specialized therapists are there every step of the way. Providing the kind of personalized care

• Complex Wound Care

that makes a real difference. Helping patients with everything from relearning to walk, to breathing without a ventilator, while helping families to understand the process and the outcomes.

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Planning plans New Bedford based Health Imperatives (healthimperatives.org) serves the most vulnerable people in our society. Services include birth control, gynecological exams, cancer screening, STD testing and treatment, education on sexual and reproductive health, screening for domestic violence, substance abuse, and more. Continued ON NEXT PAGE

The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

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These services are provided by licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, and professionally trained counseling staff. In addition, Health Imperatives operates the Wareham Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program. “These are people in and out of homelessness or drug treatment or suffering from domestic abuse,” said President and CEO Julia Kehoe, who runs a total of eight clinics across the state. “Any cuts will have impacts on people seeking services that they desperately need. These are people without insurance. This isn’t just pregnancy prevention but also disease prevention, cancer screenings – things that could get far worse and more expensive as time goes on.” According to Health Imperatives’ website, “no one will be denied services because of an inability to pay” and services are offered to “all individuals” regardless of insurance or income status. They welcome people of all genders, races, ethnicities, immigration, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Clinic locations include Brockton, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Plymouth, Wareham, and Weymouth. Health Imperatives also subcontracts federal funds to Citizens for Citizens’ Fall River and Taunton Family Planning. Kehoe told the story of an abused woman who was in fear of trying to leave her husband, finally telling him that she


had an appointment at the New Bedford Family Planning office. There, she told the nurse practitioner what was going on, who in turn called the police and found a safe place for her to live. Without the clinic, where would people like that be? “People think of these clinics as places to have abortions which we do not do. Through birth control and education, unintentional pregnancies are at an all-time low,” said Kehoe. “I believe the threat to cut these kinds of services could have a chilling effect.” Kehoe said that one of their challenges is to continue marketing their services with a reduced budget, since many local residents are unaware of their critical programs and services. “We certainly could serve more people,” she said. “It’s important for us to let people know we are here to help them – to know we can assist them.” She said that without a lot of the preventative services that they provide, people would end up at the emergency room, which does nobody any good. She cited another recent case which saw the detection of breast cancer very early, something that with treatment would likely save this person’s life and keep healthcare costs down. In fact, for every public dollar spent on family planning, the government saves $7.09, according to a 2014 Guttmacher analysis. “What we do provides support for the long term, helps economic stability, and provides a higher quality of life,” said Kehoe. “The more long-term care we provide the more self-sufficient people will become. The cutting of this long-term care will put these people’s lives in a tailspin.” Kehoe said that they are celebrating their 40th anniversary this summer – the Brockton branch opened in 1977. They will continue to push the message of their vital services to the people who so desperately need them. “We really make a difference in the community helping to keep costs down. We are here as disease protection, and early detection,” said Kehoe. “The more people we service, the more it strengthens us and the better off we all are.”

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

15


BUSINESS BUZZ

Mad market By Jay Pateakos

Did it go from being a buyer’s market to a seller's market overnight?

A

ccording to local realtors across the South Coast, it sure seems like it. They are all grappling with low house inventory and houses priced right getting multiple offers (can you say “bidding war?”) and many of them say the hot market is just started to get heated up.

Christmas in July

Jeanne Fuller-Jones, agent/partner of Easton’s Keller Williams Realty, said that the homes she is listing, if they are at a reasonable price and in a good location, are receiving multiple offers, some of which are above the asking price. “People are staying where they are because there isn’t a lot of supply,” said Fuller-Jones.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Jeanne Fuller-Jones

“Most buyers just don’t have a lot of options. Before, it was like ten new listings today and ten tomorrow, and now it’s like three today and that’s not much of a supply.” Fuller-Jones said she doesn’t see this changing anytime soon. To her and her fellow realtors, the current market is more in line with what they are used to seeing in June or July. “We always joke that the spring market starts January second, but this year, that’s true,” she said. She has worked with buyers who have made multiple offers over the asking price, only to get turned away. One of her customers even offered $10,000 above the asking price and still lost out on the home. “The rates are still good but the challenge


is finding a house that you want to be in or finding one you can get. Be prepared to pay full price and to know that you are not going to get a four bedroom, three-and-ahalf bath home for $150,000,” Fuller-Jones warned. “You’re going to have to pay for it.”

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Barbara Monize, owner/broker of Swansea’s Bay Market Real Estate, has experienced many market changes in her 40 years of listing and selling real estate. Heading into a sellers’ market, the best advice Monize gives to her buyers is to do their homework first – go to a lender and get pre-approval so you know what you are comfortable with paying. First-time buyers are typically looking for properties in the $200-$300K range. Since those properties are moving quickly, it’s crucial that buyers be prepared going in. After you figure out your budget, Monize says the next step is to call a realtor and start narrowing down options to officially start your search. She hopes that the bidding wars don’t get too out of control and end up over-inflating the housing bubble. “People are putting these houses on the market in a great price range and we’re getting calls four or five hours after it was listed and these buyers, in order to get the homes, are paying full price or more, and are paying for their own closing costs,” said Monize. “It’s pretty discouraging for people. There are just plenty of buyers right now and Continued ON NEXT PAGE

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www.janesullivanlaw.com The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

I don’t see it changing anytime soon. This will go through the spring, summer, and fall and likely into next winter.” Monize advised homebuyers to do their homework first. Visit the listed house and its neighborhood before you rush to set an appointment, because it may not be a neighborhood or house size you want, and won’t be sure until you see it yourself. “It may not have a backyard or the square footage you want, and you may be able to eliminate it from your list,” added Monize. “When you do the homework ahead of time, it makes it a lot easier when you need to make a decision.”

15 months straight, and median home prices are up for the last 13 months,” added Sweet. In February of 2017, 11,409 houses were for sale. Just last February, that number was at 17,514, meaning that there has been a 35% drop. And condos aren’t doing any better, with listings dropping 30% over that same period. “We had a house on the market in Westport three weeks ago and we got an offer three days later. People are just nervous to put their house on the market if they don’t have another place to go,” said Sweet. “There are just so many people looking for houses and they are going to jump at any house they like.” Sweet said that while sellers sometimes accept contingency plans in order to bide time for you to sell your home, a “kick-out clause” is becoming more popular with the diminishing housing stock. These clauses give sellers the right to “kick out” the committed buyer and pursue other offers if the buyer cannot sell his or her own house within a brief timeframe.

Fight for your right

Margaret Sweet

Markets moving

In Bristol County, Margaret Sweet, owner/broker of the Dartmouth-based Sweet Property Brokers, reported that the median sales price for a home went up 5.8% in the 4th quarter of last year with the average home sale price being $317,490. That’s good for a 7.9% increase over the same quarter in 2015. In that same fourth quarter, there was a total home inventory of 1,047 homes, down 35.8% from 2015. “There’s just no inventory. Everyone will tell you that. People want to move out of their homes but they can’t find a home,” said Sweet. “People are nervous and it’s because of that that people are not putting their houses on the market.” Across the state, homes, on average, were sold within 68 days, 21% faster than the time it took to sell last year. In February, 2,519 homes were sold in the state as opposed to 2,830 last year, a drop of 11%. The median price went from $309,000 in 2016 to $330,000 this year. “Median prices have been up or flat for

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Jim Sabra, owner/broker of Westport’s Equity Real Estate, said that it has definitely become a seller’s market, and that although it is possible that they will go up soon, interest rates are still very competitive. “Westport has seen an increase in home prices during the last quarter. It’s a very desirable place to live with a very low tax rate of $7.90 per $1,000,” said Sabra. “With the geography, landscape, and tax rate, it’s making this area very attractive for buyers.” But with a low inventory of houses, what good is a desirable area if people can’t find any homes? Sabra also confirmed the bidding wars that are taking place these days, referencing a Dartmouth house he listed at $369,000 that eventually sold for $390,000. He had received seven offers for the home in just three days. He and his partner Louise Hill advised buyers to hire an aggressive broker who can provide them with the information they need quickly. “People should have pre-approval in hand and have all their finances in order before they go looking. First-time homebuyers

need to take their classes,” said Sabra. “When you look at homes, you need to be ready and have all the information you need in order to pull the trigger quickly.”

Stephen Kelleher

Build your dream

For some people, if they can’t find the house they want but they can afford it, they instead build it. According to Stephen Kelleher, principal at Stephen Kelleher Architects of Fairhaven, they’ve been busy with waterfront home construction, as well as condos and other housing projects across the state, including a recent 90-unit condo development in Ashland. Waterfront homes they’ve developed include those at the Village in Mattapoisett and Piney Point in Marion. “We’ve noticed over the last five to six years that we are doing more designs for people looking for homes where they can age in place. All floors are connected by stairs and have an elevator. That’s one of the largest trends,” said Kelleher. “Also, we are doing a lot of remodeling where the master bedroom is on the second floor and we are moving it into the first floor for easier living, all to accommodate aging in place.” This may be the answer to the mystery as to why inventory is so low: an aging population, growing in size, prefers to remodel instead of move. Time will tell how this will play out, but no one seems to think that there will be much change in 2017. In the meantime, it’s sellers and agents who are reaping the rewards.


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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

19


COVER STORY

Jewelry that heals by Greg Jones

The story of Dr. Hannah Hershoff’s jewelry began in 2013 when a cousin of Dr. Hershoff returned from a trip to their family’s home village in southeast China.

T

he story of Dr. Hannah Hershoff’s jewelry began in 2013 when a cousin of Dr. Hershoff returned from a trip to their family’s home village in rural southeast China. The cousin told Dr. Hershoff of the beautiful stones she had found, made from a mineral mined near the village. The mineral was Jingdezhen (JDZ) kaolin, named for the town where it is mined. It is known as a special type of “China clay,” and artisans had used it during many different imperial dynasties. It was not Dr. Hershoff’s first exposure to the mineral; her father was the manager of the mines where the mineral was

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extracted. But the jewelry made from the mined kaolin seemed to have a beauty beyond a first-glance appreciation. The process involved in turning the kaolin mineral into jewelry is a long treatment involving water, fire, and wood in a kiln. Do it carefully, at the perfect temperature, for just the right amount of time, and you end up with a one-of-a-kind jewel that only becomes more beautiful as it is worn.

May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

“I was familiar with the stones and knew they were beautiful, but I never thought I could make jewelry from them,” Dr. Hannah said. She thought she might give it a try. “So I got a few pieces from the local area and made some bracelets. I thought I might give some of the pieces to members of my family, and then I forgot about it,“ said Dr. Hershoff. Forgot about it, that is, “until one day, my sister-in-law came to visit.” Before we get too far along

with this story, it’s important to know that Dr. Hershoff already had a well-respected professional life as an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon. Since leaving China, Dr. Hershoff had built a career as a Harvard-trained research scientist. She holds a PhD and an MD, and had been working in the medical field for 25 years. When the sister-in-law entered Dr. Hershoff’s kitchen, “She was drawn to one of the items sitting on the kitchen counter,” said Dr. Hershoff, who gave her the piece. Then, two weeks later her sister-in-law called, asking what was in the jewelry. “I asked her why she asked,” said Dr. Hershoff. The woman


explained that she had been feeling “really low in spirit,” but that she now felt empowered – felt she could overcome her problems. Inspired, Dr. Hershoff shortly thereafter made six bracelets and gave them to six women, whose ages ranged from 16 to 64. “After two or three months, to my surprise, six out of the six women told me how wonderfully the bracelets had changed their lives,” said Dr. Hershoff.

provide her bracelets to customers in Silva & Co Jeweler in the Dartmouth Mall. “I was trained at Harvard University and have a scientific background, so I had to do some research on the mineral to see if there was any compound in it that could explain these positive changes people were feeling. I was unable to solve that mystery – all I knew was that something was certainly happening.” Now, Dr. Hershoff and

“I couldn’t find what chemicals were in it… but there was certainly something happening.” “The 16-year-old, she had huge problems in her life. She never thought she was pretty, even though she was a model, so we asked her to wear the bracelet,” said Dr. Hershoff. “After a month we interviewed her and she was feeling much better.” That experience was, in essence, the beginning of Sara Yo Spirit Jewels. Dr. Hershoff left her well-established 25-year medical career and started to

her husband, Randy, are the owners of Sara Yo Healing Fashions. Dr. Hershoff exhibits a line of more than 400 designs, and each stone is unique. Dr. Hershoff also provides her customers with a complimentary “Five Element Healing Program,” based on Taoist philosophy that has been practiced in China for thousands of years. Learn more with a visit to her website: myspiritjewel.com.

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

21


BUSINESS BUZZ

Taking care of business: of the South Coast by Greg Jones

Businesses are alive and well along the South Coast, with new ones opening on a regular basis and old ones growing deeper roots in their communities. Many of those businesses, new and old, are owned by women, either by themselves or in partnership with their husbands. Nationwide, 29 percent of businesses are owned by women, and that share has been growing, up from 26 percent in 1997. These women to be involved in a wide range of businesses, ranging from generations-old family businesses to relatively recent startups.

In style

Plante Jewelers of Swansea (plantejewelers.com) has been a South Coast mainstay for generations, going back to 1905. Nancy Plante noted that her son, Marcel, is the 4th generation of Plantes to be in the business. Together with her husband Pierre, Nancy operates a retail jewelry business that specializes in colored gemstones and provides services such as custom-designed jewelry and watch repair.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Nancy Plante

Nancy’s eye for beauty has been sharpened by her bachelor’s degree in fine art, and she has been associated with the store since 1996, doing occasional freelance work on advertising “off and on since 1981,” she said. Women, she feels, can bring some unique advantages to the retail jewelry business. “In our store, most of the jewelry is for women, so my women employees and I can model jewelry, wear it, find out how the jewelry works for us, and share that with the customer.” She noted that not all men are comfortable choosing jewelry for the woman in their life. “Some men like it and enjoy it,” she said, “but there are a lot of other men who are nervous about it.” Both men and women often like seeing jewelry they are considering on a woman, to better judge how it might look, “even if it is a woman who is choosing for herself,” said Nancy. In a specialized business like Plante Jewelers, finding a mentor can be difficult. Sometimes it comes from someone you work with, as is the case with a woman Nancy identified only as “a friend who is also a sales rep for some of our jewelry collections.” The woman is particularly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about


handmade jewelry by American designers. “We like to feature American designers in our store,” said Nancy, “and we get some of that from her.” Another mentor figured early in Nancy’s life, back before jewelry, when she was a librarian in Texas. Talking about a fellow librarian who had “worked in libraries for decades,” Nancy said that, “she taught me a lot about how to help people choose what they need or want.” Helping people discover just what it is they want, but don’t yet know, “can translate to choosing jewelry,” said Nancy. She offered a few words of advice to younger women who are thinking about either starting a business or joining and working for a business. “Starting a business, realize that it is more work than might appear from the outside, and it will take over your life,” she said. Being in business, she urged women to “make a personal connection with your customers and suppliers. A personal message or phone call can create a relationship that will serve both of you well.” Going from being an employee in a large company to being your own boss will have many changes, some less obvious than others. Nancy counseled the would-be business owner to “analyze how you will arrange for health insurance, time off, and other needs, in addition to how the actual business will be run.” Nancy also suggested spending some time working at a company similar to the one envisioned, “or at least to shadow someone at work to give you a true feeling of what is involved. It’s been my observation that it is much more complex on the inside than it appears from the outside.

Sure of insurance

Christine Rua is the co-owner, with her husband Jason, of RuaDumont-Audet Insurance Agency, Inc. (rda-insurance.com). The company is a full-service insurance agency, founded in 1908 and going back three generations. She is the senior vice president and COO of the company.

Christine has been in the insurance industry for 14 years and, she said, “involved in our agency for the past eight years.” She attended UMass Dartmouth and has had “various training and accounting courses.” “The Rua-Dumont-Audet Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency,” said Christine. “We offer personal insurance, business insurance, and financial services.” Her agency is a major player in the South Coast, with offices in New Bedford, Fall River, and Taunton. Her inspiration is the fact that “I enjoy the day-to-day challenge in our industry as well as the interaction with our customers,” she said. And yes, like many women in business, she has met the occasional customer who wants to speak to the “real” boss. She greets that with a smile and says, “You are speaking to her.” Christine feels strongly that “women should support and encourage each other. All women should focus their attention on building each other up and not tearing each other down.” To that end, her agency attends monthly meetings of Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women. “We are an unbeatable force when we work together.” For young women considering a career in business, Christine offers solid advice and encouragement, saying, “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to with determination and dedication. With each and every challenge you are presented with an opportunity!” Clothes can also make the women. “Dress for the job you want, not necessarily for the job you have,” she suggested. Find a mentor to work with. “My greatest mentor is my husband,” she said, “who is committed to growing his family business and works endlessly to see its success. He is inspirational.” Christine Rua

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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(l-r) Jennifer Marshall and Megan Parisee

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

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Healthy, local

Simmons Café and Market (facebook. com/simmonscafemarket) in Little Compton is owned by Jennifer Marshall and her husband, Rupert. Jennifer was inspired to buy the old F.A. Simmons Store after watching it languish on the real estate market for five years. “I used to park across the street and count the cars that drove by,” said Jennifer. “I always thought the location had such potential and that our community deserved and needed a fast, healthy café where people could meet.” Buying the old store was by no means a sure thing. “My family certainly had reservations, but believed in me to follow my dream to revitalize the café,” she said. Finally, on January 14, 2004, the couple signed the purchase and sale agreement and had the grand opening on May 10.

Jennifer has a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from Marlboro College Graduate School. She has about 14 years experience working in retail and restaurants, but the inspiration for Simmons Café and Market was her desire for “a place to get lunch quickly, and feel good about what I’m ordering and eating. This has become increasingly difficult,” she said. The keywords were “local” and “healthy.” Simmons Café and Market is, in her words, “a hip, healthy café and market, which serves local, healthy, and organic food and products.” Just like the local stores of a generation ago, the manager, Megan Parisee, “knows our regular customers by name, and exactly what they usually order. We have a credit system so that customers do not have to carry cash or credit,” said Jennifer. Her café is “a place for everybody,” she said. “We have such a diverse clientele…

“Follow your dreams, take risks, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, when possible.”


that’s one of the things I love about our work and our team. It doesn’t matter who the customer is, we’re going to try our best to serve you well and make every bite of what you eat from our café delicious.” Jennifer’s mentors, the people who have inspired her to fulfill her dream of the perfect local café and market, are many. “Sometimes it has been people telling me what I can’t do who have inspired me the most. While growing up in PA, I will never forget my stepfather telling me that I would never get into State College,” she said. “I always wondered what he thought, if he had ever heard that actually I attended an Ivy League university. I qualified for federal and state aid to pay for school and a loan to pay for housing, bills, and books. I worked 35 hours each week at a local restaurant to make ends meet.” Jennifer is not a member of any “women in business” professional groups, “but I would like to be,” she says. “I had some phenomenal women leadership in the graduate program I attended, and during my ten years working in New Bedford, MA, for the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts.” Jennifer is very thankful for the support she gets from Rupert, her partner and husband of 9 years, and their two children, aged four and seven. Rupert also runs Simply Local Wood a sustainable forest management and firewood business based in Fall River. She offers advice to other women that matches her life’s philosophy: “Follow your dreams, take risks, and don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, when possible. You can do anything that you want to, you just have to persevere and stay positive. Seek mentors. Plan, plan, plan.”

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Lea McBratney

Like many woman entrepreneurs, she entered the business world after preparing for an entirely different career. Lea has a bachelor’s degree in education, but has taken her own professional path. “Even though I had no prior experience in the business world, I feel fortunate that my hard work has paid off,” she said. Dartmoor Gifts is a retail gift shop, “featuring the works of local artists along with unique items for the home and garden,” she said. “We offer a wide variety of items such as wind chimes, statuary, bird accessories, jewelry, handblown glass, and much more.” Lea noted that she has had many mentors over the years “who have inspired me on multiple levels,” but there is one person who ranks at the top of that list. “Clearly, my mother had the strongest influence in

“I believe that a woman with passion and drive can be unstoppable in any endeavor she chooses to pursue in life…”

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

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giving me the confidence to set and attain my goals, despite the obstacles that may lay before me.” She absolutely believes that women can accomplish anything they truly set their mind on. “Women have proven over the years that they can become successful business owners. I believe that a woman with passion and drive can be unstoppable in any endeavor she chooses to pursue in life,” she said. She has advice and encouragement for any woman considering entering the world of business. “I would encourage any woman who is thinking of starting a business to first create a vision and then to formulate a business plan. If you believe in your vision, prepare yourself to work hard, especially in the first years when you are laying the foundation of your business.” The customer is, ultimately, the person who must be pleased for any business to succeed. “Most importantly, remember that customer service is always your top priority. As my mother instilled in me early in life, showing respect and kindness to all is crucial,” she said. “It can either make or break your dream, while it also allows you to find true joy in your daily tasks.” Lea noted that “the Dartmoor Gifts website is currently being refined,” but that you can reach her at 508-636-7700 or visit at 201 Horseneck Road in South Dartmouth.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Patti Brightman, Corporate Clerk of Brightman Lumber in Assonet (brightmanlumber.com), began her career at the family-owned business when she was 13, “as soon as I got off the school bus,” she said. Besides her early start as a young teenager, she has an Associates Degree in Accounting and Business Management and a Medical Assisting Certificate. Brightman Lumber is a land-clearing service for development and residential customers, with a sawmill to utilize the downed timber. “We specialize in rough and finished lumber,” she said. Patti doesn’t show up for work in red

Patti Brightman

flannel shirts with a chainsaw over her shoulder. “I don’t do logging,” she said. “My dad, brother, and another crew, they go out and do land clearing. My nephew runs the sawmill.” Logging runs deep in her family. Her grandparents and her great-grandparents were loggers, with a work history that encompasses Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Oregon, and British Colombia, among other places. Patti said she considers ”my whole family as a mentor. Their work ethic and how they treated people in general taught me many lessons for business skills.” For other women who are thinking about going into business or starting a business Patti suggests they “make sure you are getting into something you really enjoy doing and don’t be afraid to ask others for advice.” Women can bring some unique values to the business world, including, she said, “the skills of time management due to the many roles that we have to handle throughout the day.” That includes people skills, “from dealing with customers every day.” Brightman Lumber, it is probably safe to say, has a majority male customer base. We asked if many people, whether vendors or customers, ever asked to speak to the “real” boss. It has happened, she said, “ but that was more prevalent years ago.”


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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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THINGS TO DO

Mediterranean-style By Elizabeth Morse Read

It’s time for eating outdoors again! May is the month for picnics, parades, barbecues, and eating fresh local foods again, instead of cold-weather casseroles and crock-pot stews. Get your hibachi or gas grill cleaned up and, this year, try something new on the menu instead of burnt-to-a-crisp burgers and supermarket potato salad. Eat fresh, eat local – Mediterranean style! Picture yourself relaxing on a Greek Island, nibbling on the catch-of-the-day and local foods served tableside, watching the sun go down with family and friends.

Ultimate picnic foods

I became addicted to Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern foods when I lived in New York City. For the first time in my life,

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

I willingly ate all my vegetables. My go-to snack food became dolmas, those little flavored rice-logs wrapped in grape leaves. Instead of bagel-with-a-schmear while reading the Sunday newspaper, I nibbled on fresh-baked spanakopita, lamajhoun, or baklava. I discovered pita bread, falafel, hummus, eggplant, pilaf, couscous, orzo, tabbouleh and real Armenian string cheese (for someone who’d grown up Irish/English

in New Bedford, this was all pretty exotic fare). There’s a sushi bar, pizza parlor, or McDonald’s just about everywhere you look on the South Coast, but it’s sometimes hard to find the subtle foods and flavors from the eastern half of the Mediterranean Sea, from Sicily and Greece to Lebanon and Israel to Northern Africa. It’s an incredibly healthful diet, based on fresh fruits and vegetables, Continued ON PAGE 30


Mediterranean-style tips Fish-buying for serious grillers Many people, even here on the South Coast, don’t like to eat fish, whether it’s baked, fried, steamed, or grilled. Why? Because very few people have eaten fish that was cooked properly. Fresh fish has a much more delicate texture than meats do, so it cooks very quickly and must be eaten immediately. It may be tolerable to eat overdone or reheated meats, but eating overdone fish is just plain nasty, like eating salty mush or chewing on erasers. No wonder so many people don’t like to eat it! When you go to a reputable fish counter, the prepared fish are either whole-and-gutted, trimmed along the bone (skinless fillets), cut against the grain (steaks, usually with skin attached), or else the leftover trimmings (“chowder fish”) and kabobs. They all require different cooking techniques and lower heat than when you cook meats. If you really want to grill fish the right way, do not buy anything labeled “previously frozen” – read the labels. You want only the freshest sea-to-plate fish possible. Don’t waste your money on cheaper day-old or thawed-out fish – it just won’t stand up to grilling. Seriously, wouldn’t you prefer to eat a local butcher’s fresh filet mignon over a frozen mail-order filet mignon?

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A barbecue essential: roasted garlic Why heat up your indoor oven for 45 minutes when you can use your microwave to make roasted garlic in less than 8 minutes? You can mash and whisk it with some olive oil and herbs to make a flavorful baste/marinade for grilling, or a creamy topping for breads and salads, or tossed with cooked pasta or veggies! The trick is to use the giant “elephant” garlic bulbs (which practically peel themselves) – they have a milder flavor than small garlic bulbs. (So no more stinky, sticky fingers!) Separate elephant garlic cloves, slice off the roots and a bit of the top ends, and peel off the skins. n Place cloves in a microwave-proof bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and add a few teaspoons of water or white wine. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, crushed rosemary, or oregano. n Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap (do not pierce). n Microwave at 50% power (medium) for 7 minutes. Fork-test for tenderness. If it needs to cook more, do it in one-minute intervals at 50% power until completely softened. n

When cooled, mash with a fork, add more oil as needed. Serve at room temperature.

n

Kabob-grilling Whether you’re grilling veggie kabobs, fish kabobs or meat kabobs, if you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you’ve soaked the skewers in warm water for 15 minutes before you thread on the uncooked food. Otherwise, you’ll end up with itty-bitty splinters in your mouth.

4 Paquette Drive N. Dartmouth, MA

774 -305-4733

Allen Street to Tucker Lane

Tue.-Sat. 10am-5pm Sun. 12pm-5pm Closed Monday

The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Continued FROM PAGE 28

seafood, olive oil, seeds/nuts, and simple grains. Most of these foods can now be found in local markets or easily made from scratch. For instance, caponata is a chunky sweet-sour cooked dish made primarily of eggplant, often served with fish. Baba ghanoush (ghanooj) is a creamy spread made from roasted eggplant. Hummus is a dip/spread made of pureed chick peas, tahini (sesame “butter”), olive oil, herbs, and garlic. Tzatziki is a cooling blend of yogurt and chopped cucumbers. Tapenade is a spicy spread made of finely chopped olives and capers. Put them all in bowls along the picnic table, and serve with dolmas, raw veggies, and pieces of pita, flatbreads, or Italian ciabatta. Add bowls of quartered lemons (use it on everything instead of salt or vinegar), mashed roasted garlic [see sidebar], and cruets of olive oil both sweet (with basil pesto) and savory (with oregano or crushed rosemary). For the hot nibbles platter, grill peppers, asparagus, eggplant and Portobello mushrooms [see sidebar].

Grilling fish: “where’s the beef?”

Why ruin the same ol’ steaks/burgers/hotdogs/linguica/chicken/ribs whenever you “fire up the barbie” outdoors? Most of it ends up charred on the outside and undercooked on the inside, anyway. Why not learn how to properly cook fish on your backyard grill? Grilled fish steaks (like swordfish, tuna, halibut, shark, mahimahi, bluefish, salmon), foil-packets of fish fillets, and marinated fish kabobs are just as hearty, juicy, and flavorful as any properly-grilled meat. Plus, grilling fish is much faster, uses less fuel, and is lot less smoky than when you grill fatty meats. Grilled fish is “done” as soon as the flesh turns from milky to opaque white – but it’s safe to eat fresh fish that’s undercooked (like seared tuna), which is certainly not the case with pork, sausages, or poultry! To cook fish steaks and kabobs, make sure the grill itself is first brushed smooth and clean and is well-oiled before heating it up. The heat source should be kept 3-4” away from the fish. Fish steaks should be 1 ¼″ thick, preferably with some surrounding skin intact. When the grill is hot, cook

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

one side for about five minutes, or until the skin starts to contract. Using tongs and an oiled spatula, flip the steak and grill for another 3-5 minutes, knife-testing for doneness. If the inner flesh is white and juicy, it’s done. Remove from the grill and serve immediately. With skewered fish kabobs, turn them constantly, let them sear on each side, remove them from the grill within ten minutes total. They’re “done” and edible very fast, unlike meat kabobs, so have everything else ready and on the table before you put them on the grill. Foiled fillets will need the cooler side on the grill, in order to steam-cook and not boil to death (if you were ever a Scout or go on fishing/camping trips, you already know this). Heavy-duty aluminum foil makes great steam-packets for cooking delicate fish fillets over a low fire. All you need is a fish fillet, a splash or two of olive oil and an acidic liquid (e.g., wine, lemon juice), a few lemon slices, and some herbs. Fold the aluminum square into a tent around the seasoned fish, and crimp all edges air-tight (do not pierce!). Place the foil packets on the grill, and resist the temptation to open them before they’ve had a chance to steam for about ten minutes. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

On the side: salads and desserts

If I never again see an iceberg-and-tomato salad drowning in Ranch dressing, or a bland macaroni-and-mayo salad, or soggy coleslaw that comes in a paper cup, I will be a happy woman. All it takes is a little imagination to make a good picnic/BBQ salad, whether it’s made of fruit, nuts, vegetables, or a combination thereof. What’s fresh, seasonable, and available around here in late spring? Strawberries, baby spinach, rhubarb, asparagus, mint, radishes, fiddleheads [see sidebar], early lettuce, scallions, and more. You can make a classic strawberry-and-spinach spring salad! And instead of a bland potato or macaroni salad, serve tabbouleh or an orzo-asparagus salad [see sidebar]. For dessert, make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Or top vanilla ice cream with stewed strawberry rhubarb. Or stick with the Mediterranean theme and serve fruit and some baklava. Ban boring barbecues!

Easy roasted peppers

why heat up your oven? If your BBQ grill is already hot, you may as well roast peppers! They make a great side-dish or sandwich topping, and leftovers can be stored for later meals. Cut off stem tops and a slice of the bottom of bell peppers (green, red, yellow).

n

Slice in quarters, remove all seeds and inner membranes. Pierce a few times.

n

Dip in herbed olive oil, coating both sides.

n

Place skin-side down on a cooler corner of the grill until the skins are charred and wrinkly.

n

Carefully flip with tongs or an oiled spatula, grill for another minute until fork-tender.

n

Peel off charred with a fork skin when cooled.

n

Grilled asparagus

If there’s any local veggie that screams “late spring!” around here, it’s asparagus. Grilled asparagus is a delicacy not to be missed. Buy the thickest asparagus stalks available and snap off the woody ends. Coat in salted olive oil and place on a well-oiled hot grill. Turn constantly for 2-4 minutes until uniformly charred.


Mediterranean-style recipes Mediterranean-style pasta salad

Fiddleheads: a rare treat

You’ve probably never noticed, but every late spring in the produce section or at the farmers market, you’ll find these weird little green coins called fiddleheads. They’re actually the unfurled tops of baby ostrich fern (which are related to asparagus), and they resemble the scrolled top of a violin (which is how they get their name). If you like asparagus, you must put “eat fiddleheads” on your bucket list. Fiddleheads have a sharp, caraway/nutty asparagus flavor, very fibrous, and full of antioxidants, potassium, iron, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Trim the cut ends off, soak/swish thoroughly, and drain. They should be steamed tender-crisp, then eaten in a salad, marinated, or stir-fried. Buy them and try them this month.

dragGING out the same old macaroni or potato salad recipes of picnics past when you can make a spring salad with orzo pasta and fresh seasonal veggies? Orzo is a small, rice-shaped pasta perfect for salads when cooked al dente and tossed with a little olive oil. (It’s great for soups, too.) Cut up spears of fresh asparagus that have been steamed until tender-crisp (or grilled), chop up a few scallions and a handful of baby spinach. Toss with the cooked orzo, a spritz or two of lemon juice, freshly-ground black pepper, and just enough olive oil to coat (but not drench) everything. You could also add sliced black olives, chopped roasted peppers and/or minced parsley. To make a full-meal salad, you could add drained beans, slices of hard-boiled egg, or a fish kabob. A mayo-free pasta salad that stands up to the heat outside – perfect for picnics, lunch bags, and picky eaters.

Grilled eggplant and Portobello mushrooms

If you’ve never eaten a grilled eggplant and Portobello mushroom pita sandwich, you’re in for a real treat. Both have a meaty texture and subtle flavor – try topping them with some roasted peppers! Prep unpeeled eggplant by making uniform ¾" slices, salting them liberally on both sides, and letting them “weep” between sheets of paper towels for 15 minutes.

n

Mediterranean-style bean salad

This is a real kitchen sink recipe. Drain and rinse a 15 oz. can of white beans (chick pea, cannellini), mix with chopped scallions, parsley, sliced olives, diced roasted peppers. (Or, you can take the easy way out and just prep extra veggies when you make tabbouleh and mix the beans with that.) Toss with olive oil, black pepper/paprika, celery seeds, and few splashes of lemon juice. Refrigerate and stir before serving.

Prep mushrooms by scraping out inner gills and making 4-5 equidistant 1" cuts from the edge inwards so that it will lie flatter on the grill.

n

Tabbouleh salad

Despite its exotic name, tabbouleh is very easy to make, and it’s a tasty alternative to traditional potato/pasta salads. It normally uses bulgur wheat, which may be hard to find, but you can easily substitute barley, couscous, brown rice, or even orzo pasta cooked al dente. The grain-to-veggie ratio when you make tabbouleh should be about 1:1. Finely chop/dice seeded plum tomatoes, parsley, mint leaves, and scallions (whites and greens). Some people add chopped seeded cucumbers or radishes. Blend your veggies thoroughly with cooked grain, then drizzle and toss with olive oil and lemon juice until coated. Great as a side or sprinkled on a sandwich instead of the same old lettuce-and-tomato slices.

Baste both sides of eggplant slices and mushrooms with olive oil blended with roasted garlic.

n

Place on a cool, oiled section of grill for three minutes.

n

Carefully flip with an oiled spatula, baste again, cook until fork-tender. Do not overcook.

n

TheSouth SouthCoast CoastInsider Insider | May 2017 The

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DATELINE: SOUTH COAST

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

by Elizabeth Morse Read

The outdoor festivals, road races, parades, and food-fests are back! Time to clean the barbecue grill and patio furniture and make your summer vacation and camp plans. Make sure to celebrate Mother’s Day and Memorial Day with family and friends! Across the Region The long-delayed South Coast Rail project will be split into two parallel phases, according to MassDOT. The first phase will be to upgrade the Middleboro diesel commuter line, with construction beginning in 2019 and completed in 2024. The second phase would continually upgrade the proposed Stoughton electric route, with full completion estimated in 2030. For the first time in program history, the UMass Dartmouth’s women’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Division III National Tournament, winning their first three games and advancing to the “Elite Eight” round before falling to Amherst. Congratulations, Corsairs! The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, a statefunded investment agency, has awarded $4.4 million to Bristol Community College to renovate its life science and engineering laboratories. MLSC also awarded $110,000 to New Bedford High School to establish a biotechnology training program; $108,000 to New Bedford’s Global Learning Charter School; and $25,000 to the city’s Middle Schools. Other schools throughout southeastern Massachusetts also received grants to boost life science and STEM education. Southcoast Health has joined the Massachusetts Value Alliance, which will control costs of medical supplies for surgical procedures, electronic health records, and hospital maintenance services, which would translate into lower out-of-pocket costs for patients. Camp Angel Wings, a two-day bereavement camp for children 6-12 sponsored by the Southcoast Visiting Nurses Association, will be held July 15-16 at Camp Welch in Assonet. Early registration is encouraged. Call 508-973-3426 or go to southcoast.org/campangelwings.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

The Buzzards Bay Action Committee (BBAC) and the Town of Acushnet have partnered with the Great American Rain Barrel Co. to offer lowcost ($69) 60-gallon rain barrels to residents of Acushnet, Bourne, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Rochester, Wareham, and Westport. Barrels must be pre-ordered and paid for by May 13. Pick-up will be on May 20, 9-11 a.m. at the Acushnet DPW Recycling Center. For details, visit greatamericanrainbarrelcompany.com, click on “community programs” and find “BBACAcushnet,” or call 800-251-2352 Slain New Bedford teacher George Heath has been posthumously awarded a Carnegie Hero Fund medal for his heroism, when he selflessly intervened and saved a woman being stabbed by a deranged attacker at a Taunton restaurant in 2016. Elspeth Cypher of Freetown has been unanimously approved to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the first SJC justice from Bristol County in over a century. Robert E. Johnson, current president of Becker College in Worcester, has been chosen as the new Chancellor of UMass Dartmouth. Find out what’s going on at your local YMCA – start making plans for summer camps! For schedules, go to ymcasouthcoast.org. Sign up now for the 24th Annual Buzzards Bay Swim on June 25! For info, go to savebuzzardsbay. org/swim. Pet Food Aid, a non-profit organization, collects pet food donations and distributes them to food banks throughout Bristol County. Volunteers and donations gratefully accepted. For more info, visit petfoodaid.org or call 774-204-5227. Newport has banned single-use plastic shopping bags.

Fill your baskets with local produce and plants. To find a farm, vineyard or farmers market near you, visit semaponline.org, pickyourown.org, farmfresh.org, or localharvest.org. To find food events in southeastern Massachusetts, go to ediblesouthshore.com. UMass Dartmouth has received more than $1.6 million in grants for scallop fishing research and diabetes-related bone fracture research. The Massachusetts Bar Association has given its Public Service Award to the UMass School of Law for promoting access to justice for low-income individuals and providing affordable legal education to a diverse population. Yaniv Dinur has been chosen as the new musical director of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, replacing retiring maestro David MacKenzie.

Acushnet Talk a stroll through the Acushnet Sawmills public park and herring weir! Canoe/ kayak launch, fishing, trails. For info, visit savebuzzardsbay.org.

Bristol Visit the mansion and gardens at Blithewold! Don’t miss “Gateway to Spring” while the daffodils are in bloom. For info, call 401-253-2707 or go to blithewold.org. Wander through Linden Place, the elegant mansion used as the setting for the movie The Great Gatsby! For info, call 401-253-0390 or visit lindenplace.org. 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 coggeshallfarm.org or call 401-253-9062.

Tell your healthcare provider you want Catholic Memorial Home.

Dartmouth Take a stroll through Paskamansett Woods, a nature reserve operated by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. For more info, visit dnrt. org. Or go on nature walks at the Lloyd Center for the Environment! For details, call 508-990-0505 or visit lloydcenter.org. Mark your calendar for the monthly Paskamansett Concert Series at the Dartmouth Grange Hall. Eric McDonald will perform on May 13. For more info, call 401-241-3793, or visit paskamansettconcertseries.weebly.com.

Fairhaven The annual Cherry Blossom Friendship Festival will be held on May 7 at Cooke Memorial Park. For more info, go to fairhaventours.com or call 508-979-4085.

1

Join the Fairhaven Great Stride Walk to cure Cystic Fibrosis on May 21 at Fort Phoenix! To register or donate, go to cff.org/greatstrides. Mark your calendars for the annual Father’s Day 10K & 5K Road Races on June 18! For details, go to fairhaventours.com or call 508-979-4085. Come one, come all! Don’t miss Fairhaven’s annual Homecoming Day Fair on June 24 – for details, go to fairhaventours.com.

Thinking about selling your home?

Join our waiting list today!

Browse through the Oxford Book Café on Saturdays from 9 to 1 at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Coffee and homemade snacks, used books on sale, WiFi. To learn more, call 508-9922281 or visit goodshepherdfairhaven.com. If you’re interested in the history of JapanAmerica ties, visit the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship House, where it all began. Go to wmfriendshiphouse.org or call 508-995-1219 for details.

Fall River Check out “Dance of the Dragon Queen” on May 13 at the Eagle Event Center in Fall River. An interactive dinner theatre and ball inspired by Game of Thrones, costume judging. For tickets and info, call 508-673-2939 or go to ahafallriver. com.

Now accepting applications

Adult communities for 55+ Join our extended family! Safe, worry-free living with fun activities and friendly on-site management Oakwood

– Swansea – 508-324-1279

OakwoodSeniorEstates.com

Find out what’s playing at the Little Theatre! “9-5: The Musical” will be performed May 18-21. For info, call 508-675-1852 or visit littletheatre.net. Pastry-cook extraordinaire Courtney Silva Rezendes was the winner on a recent episode of the Food Network’s ”Spring Baking Championship.”

Continued ON NEXT PAGE

Westport Village

North Farm

WestportVillageApartments.com

NorthFarmSeniorEstates.com

– 62+ Westport – 508-636-6775

– Somerset – 508-676-9700

— Equal Housing Opportunity —

The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Continued FROM PREVIOUS PAGE

Celebrate the dog days of summer Install a New Air Conditioning System and Beat the Heat! • Ductless Mini Split Units • Condenser Replacements • AC Installation • Duct Cleaning

$10 OFF Air Conditioning Cleaning

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Marc’s Heating & Air Conditioning

Highland Adult Day Care has relocated to the historic Quequechan Club, offering expanded support programs for the elderly and disabled adults. For more info, call 508-673-1290. The Fall River Public Library now 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 fallriverlibrary.org. Bring a lawn chair to the free musical performance “Songs for a New World” on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. on the meadow at the Fall River Heritage State Park. For details, visit brownboxtheatre.org or call 508-698-1802 x 216. Get outside and enjoy the weather! Explore nature trails or historic landmarks, join a walking group – learn more at walkfallriver.org or call 508-324-2405. The Narrows Center for the Arts has a fabulous line-up – there’s An Evening with Y & T May 2, Richard Shindell May 6, The Weight Band May 11, Savoy Brown May 13, The Subdudes May 19, John Mayall June 8 – and more! For a complete schedule, visit narrowscenter.com or call 508-324-1926.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Journey through time and discover a sailor’s life at Battleship Cove, America’s Fleet Museum (508-678-1100 or battleshipcove.org) and the Maritime Museum at Battleship Cove (508-6743533 or battleshipcove.org/maritime-museum). All new tours, interactives, and exhibits – visit two museums for the price of one! To find out what’s happening in greater Fall River, check out the online events calendars at welovefallriver.com or at ahafallriver.com or call 508-294-5344.

Marion Don’t miss The Dixie Diehards on May 6 at the Marion Art Center! For info, call 508-748-1266 or visit marionartcenter.org. Enjoy “Hollywood Blockbusters” under the tent at Tabor Academy in Marion on June 11, performed by the Tri-County Symphonic Band. For more info, go to tricountysymphonicband.org.

Plan ahead for the free, family-friendly music festival on June 17 at the UMass Dartmouth Center overlooking South Watuppa Pond! For details, go to ahafallriver.com or call 508-294-5344.

Sign the kids up for summer programs at the Marion Natural History Museum! Call 508-7589089 or visit marionmuseum.org.

Check out the Children’s Aquarium and Exploration Center of Greater Fall River! Learn more at aquariumgfr.com or call 508-801-4743. And find out what’s going on at the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. Reduced admission on the first Friday each month. For info, go to cmgfr.org or call 508-672-0033.

Explore the trails, wildlife, and scenery of the Mattapoisett River Reserve – leashed dogs welcome. Hike, fish, bird-watch, picnic. For more info, go to savebuzzardsbay.org.

www.marcssheetmetal.com

508-675-3180 866-675-3180

Don’t miss the Fall River Symphony Orchestra’s “Movies & More!” tribute to John Williams on May 7 at the Jackson Arts Center at Bristol Community College. For details, visit fallriversymphonyorchestra.org.

Photography exhibition: “Honoring Cape Verdean American Veterans,” at the New Bedford Free Public Library. The exhibition, created by Ron Barboza, runs until May 24.

Mattapoisett

Continued ON PAGE 36


FLASH

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2

4

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The Zeiterion’s Center Stage Gala a swingin’ success!

The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center transformed into a swingin’ Sinatra Supper Club for its third annual fundraiser, the Center Stage Gala, on Saturday, April 8. The glamorous evening featured live entertainment from The Strictly Sinatra Band, dinner, dancing, open bar, silent auction, and the inaugural Paragon Award honoring first recipients Deborah and Benjamin Baker. All proceeds benefit the non-profit theatre’s mission to provide programming that inspires, educates, engages, and entertains. For information on next year’s gala and all upcoming Zeiterion events, visit Zeiterion.org to join the mailing list.

1. Michael Dutra and the Strictly Sinatra Band wowed the guests! 2. Paragon Award winners, Deborah and Benjamin Baker. 3. Gala attendees delighted to the live music. 4. “Cigarette Girls” added to the Sinatra in Las Vegas theme!

The South Coast Insider | May 2017

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Middleboro Take the family to the Sheep Day/Earth Day events on May 6 at the Soule Homestead! For details, call 508-947-6744 or go to soulehomestead.org.

Middletown Get in touch with nature at the Norman Bird Sanctuary. Check out the 35th Annual Birds & Breakfast on May 21, and plan ahead for the 11th Annual 5K Run on June 17! For details, call 401846-2577 or go to normanbirdsanctuary.org.

New Bedford

Spend an evening enjoying blues, folk, and Americana music performed by David Jacobs-Strain, accompanied by Bob Beach. The concert will be held at the James Arnold Mansion at 427 County Street in New Bedford on May 19 at 7:30. Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door. Visit brownpapertickets.com/ event/2914522.

Don’t miss the Greater New Bedford Home, Health, and Wellness Show on May 20 at the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School. For more info, go to newbedfordchamber.com. Get ready for “Viva Portugal!” – a family-friendly festival in downtown on May 6. For info, call 508994-2900 or go to zeiterion.org. Oooh! Aaah! Take the kids to see the “Science on a Sphere” at the Buttonwood Park Zoo! For info, visit bpzoo.org. Mark your calendars now for the free and family-friendly “Reggae on West Beach” Summer Series starting June 25! For details, go to destinationnewbedford.org.

Check out the special exhibit “Ropeworks: Exploring the Nets and Knots of the Industry” at the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center through May 28. For more information, call 508993-8894 or go to info@fishingheritagecenter. org. Enjoy FREE family fun and entertainment on AHA! Nights. The May 11 theme is “We Art NB.” The June 8 theme is “Launch: New Spaces, New Places.” For details, go to ahanewbedford.org or call 508-996-8253. It’s all happening at the Z! Don’t miss “Pippin” May 4, Viva Portugal! May 6, Jacques Pepin May 20, The B-52s June 3, George Thorogood and the Destroyers June 6, The Cult June 9 – and more! For info, call 508-994-2900 or go to zeiterion.org. Head for the farmers market at the Bristol Building on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10 to 1 through May 20. For info, call 979-1500. Curtain time! Your Theatre will perform “What the Butler Saw” on May 11-14, 18-21. For details, call 508-993-0772 or go to yourtheatre.org.

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

Michael James

Head for the “Red, White & Brew at the Zoo!” fundraiser on May 19 at the Buttonwood Park Zoo! For info, call 508-991-6178 or visit bpzoo.org.

Relive American military history at Fort TaberFort Rodman! For info, call 508-994-3938 or visit forttaber.org.

Take a stroll through the Allen G. Haskell Public Gardens! For details, call 508-636-4693 or go to thetrustees.org.

Visit the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park! For more info, go to nps.gov/ nebe. And while you’re there, visit the Whaling Museum! For more info, visit whalingmuseum. org or call 508-997-0046.

The Coalition for Animals of Greater New Bedford will be having its 17th Annual Pet Fest and Walk for Animals on Sunday, May 22nd, at Buttonwood Park (next to Lawler Library, 745 Rockdale Ave.) in New Bedford from 11 to 3, rain or shine. Animal lovers without dogs are also welcome! Visit ontocoalitionforanimals.com to download the registration and sponsor forms.

A “must-see” exhibit – “Inner Light: The World of William Bradford” at the Whaling Museum through May 2017. For more info, call 508-9970046 or visit whalingmusuem.org. If you’re a fan of Americana and roots music, check out “Music in the Gallery” at the Wamsutta Club. David Jacobs-Strain will perform on May 19, and Ellis Paul on June 16. For tickets or info, go to brownpapertickets.com/events or contact korolenko8523@charter.net.

Newport Don’t miss the Newport Waterfront Oyster Festival May 19-21! For more info, visit bowenswharf.org/events. Mark your calendars! The Great Chowder CookOff will be held at Fort Adams on June 10. For info, go to newportwaterfrontevents.com.


Enjoy a dinner-theatre night out at the Newport Playhouse! “The Foursome” will be performed through May 13. “Lunch with Mrs. Baskin” will be performed May 18-June 29. For more information, call 401-848-7529 or go to newportplayhouse. com.

Tiverton

To plan your activities in the Wareham area, go to warehamvillage.org. or onsetbay.org.

There’s always something going on at Tiverton Four Corners – don’t miss the Garden & Herb Festival on May 23! For more info, go to tivertonfourcorners.com.

Warren

Plymouth

Head for the Sandywoods Center for the Arts! There’s Pete Seeger Tribute May 6, Bohemian Quartet May 12, Willie J. Laws Band May 19, Bob Dylan Tribute June 3 – and more! For a complete schedule, go to sandywoodsmusic.com or call 401-241-7349.

Find out who’s on stage at the Spire Center for the Performing Arts of Greater Plymouth! There’s Session Americana May 5, Peter Yarrow May 6, Eric Anderson May 13, Jazz Fest May 26-28, Billy McLaughlin June 2 – and more! For tickets and info, call 508-746-4488 or visit spirecenter.org.

Wareham

Enjoy the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra perform “Spring Pops!” on May 13 at Memorial Hall. For info, call 508-746-8008 or go to plymouthphil.org.

Tobey Hospital will undergo a multi-million dollar upgrade, expanding the Emergency Department’s capacity almost threefold, and creating private rooms inside the hospital.

Head for the winter farmers market at Plimouth Plantation on the second Thursday of the month through May 11.

Don’t miss the band concert on May 27 at the Onset Band Shell! And mark your calendars – the “Summer of Love” Concert Series starts June 28! For details, go to onsetbay.org.

Portsmouth

Register now for the 2017 Harvest Triathlon on June 10! For more info, visit maxperformanceonline.com.

Get back to your musical roots at Common Fence Music! There’s Mark Erelli on May 13. For more info, call 401-683-5085 or visit commonfencemusic.org.

The Vietnam Memorial “Moving Wall” will be on display in Wareham August 17-21.

Enjoy live music at the Greenvale Vineyards! For complete info, call 401-847-3777 or go to greenvale.com.

Westport The Sunset Music Series at Westport Rivers Winery starts on June 6 with Rebecca Correia. Pack a picnic and a corkscrew! $10/carload when tickets are purchased in advance. For more info, call 508-636-3423 or visit westportrivers.com. Enjoy free, family-friendly fun at River Day on June 10! For more info, go to westportwatershed. org. Plan ahead for the Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival on June 17 at the Westport Fairgrounds! To learn more, go to coastalwinetrail.com/events. Take a leisurely walk around rural Westport – go to westportlandtrust.org. Explore 18th and 19th-century life at the Handy House. For more info, visit wpthistory.org or call 508-636-6011.

Get ready for the Wareham Oyster Festival on June 1! For more info, visit warehamvillage.org.

MODERN MEETS BALLET

A music-infused retelling of the classic Spanish story of tyranny overthrown.

May 11–June 11 by Lope de Vega

Check out what’s playing at 2nd Story Theatre! “Art” will be performed through May 21. “The Best of Everything” will be performed May 5-28. Call 401-247-4200 or go to 2ndstorytheatre.com.

DANCE THAT HITS YOUR PLEASURE RECEPTORS

translated & adapted by Curt Columbus

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The South Coast Insider | May 2017

37


On MY Mind

Cuppa cawfee By Paul Kandarian

I love coffee you know how much I love coffee I’ll tell ya how much I love coffee I make a giant pot in the morning and by two in the afternoon I swear or maybe sooner the friggin’ thing’s gone like it is right now and it all gets me jazzed up and tingly and crap and I write and stuff without a single punctuation mark or anything else to interrupt the stream of caffeinated consciousness that’s how much I love coffee ya know and another thing… Yes, I have a serious coffee addiction, and have had it roughly forever. I remember watching the old Juan Valdez commercials and thinking “Wow, lucky dude, surrounded by coffee beans and gets to use a donkey.” Okay, I didn’t have much of a life in those days. But it was full of coffee. I used to work at a daily newspaper, where coffee and cigarettes ruled my working hours. I’d smoke two decks a day easily, and power down gallons of java (the bathroom at my office was my office away from my office). I drank so much that one time I started having major panic attacks, and went to a doctor. When he found out how much coffee I drank, he pronounced coffee addiction the problem. Turns out caffeine overload mirrors panic attacks, including swearing you’re having a heart attack. So I cut back – not down, never down – just back. I mean, they weren’t real heart attacks, so why bother? Back in those days, coffee was pretty

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May 2017 | The South Coast Insider

much just that: coffee. That was before it became de rigueur, a phrase I almost never get to use and makes me sound très Français. Coffee these days is an adventure, a multi-billion dollar adventure – 40 billion in the US alone. And we drink a lot of coffee. One study puts us at 3.1 nineounce cups a day, which may sound like a lot but it’s how much I drink in the morning to get my heart beating.

I detest Starbucks because of its dismissive attitude. You walk in any Starbucks and are instantly enshrouded in that curious mix of Kenya Kangunu Starbucks Reserve and suffocating condescension. More fun stats to sip: 54 percent of Americans over 18 drink coffee; we spend an average of $2.38 a cup; 35 percent of us drink it black; and collectively we wolf down 400 million cups a day, making us the leading and most jittery coffee

consumers on the planet. To me, coffee is coffee is coffee, or as Rudyard Kipling put it “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke.” I have no idea what that means but it sounds de rigueur so I toss it out there. My point is I drink coffee because it’s coffee. Which pretty much makes me a caffeine whore. There, I said it. Admitting it is half the problem, but it’s one problem I don’t intend on solving because like I said, I’m a caffeine whore. Ordinarily, I don’t care where I get my fix, up to and including buying gas station coffee, which, all things considered, is only a bit more flavorful than the gas they sell. I remember one time ages ago when I was driving a truck for work and stopped at a gas station in New Jersey somewhere (which pretty much describes all of New Jersey – it’s just “somewhere”) and asking for a large regular, except in a Boston accent, which made the local Somewhere in New Jersey goons roar with laughter as they repeated “Lahge? You want a lahge coffee? Hey, you from Bahstin? Huh? Bahstin? HAHAHAHA!” which made me realize that anywhere in New Jersey pretty much sucks. But one place I hate going is Starbucks. And not because of the coffee, which is spectacular and so powerful it can make you actually feel your fingernails growing like the transformation scenes from “An American Werewolf in London.” I detest


Starbucks because of its dismissive attitude. You walk in any Starbucks and are instantly enshrouded in that curious mix of Kenya Kangunu Starbucks Reserve and suffocating condescension. I had to go to one on a Sunday recently on the way home from somewhere (not in New Jersey) because I was unable to find a DD, a much more human coffee chain and one that approved of the wicked funny Casey Affleck Dunkin’ Donuts sketch on Saturday Night Live that also created the fictional and fiercely funny “Vanilla Nut Taps” (which Starbucks would never deign to serve, by the way). So I go in and there’s a million people in line because it’s Sunday at Starbucks, and people are ordering macchiato this, doppio that, coffee from faraway places with exotic names that even Dora the Explorer probably never heard of, and in sizes like short, tall, grande, venti, trenta because being snooty means ascribing, small, medium and lahge much loftier names. The people shuffle up, give their orders

and names before shuffling obediently off to the side to eagerly wait for the coffee scientists in the nearby Starbucks Chem Lab to concoct their oddly-named and weirdly-sized brews. I step and say “Lahge human coffee please,” and the clerk blinks and cocks her head curiously, turns around and jerks a thumb at the uncomplicated and little-used regular coffee spigots and says “One of those?” in a yougotta-be-kidding tone, like that stuff is the Starbucks equivalent of gas-station java. I say, proudly, “Yes, one of those.” She fills it without taking my name because the coffee scientists aren’t whipping up anything complicated that necessitates earnestly etching clever designs in the froth. I go to the cream table, brushing by the throngs waiting for their whatchamacallit brews, plunk some milk in my cup and leave, feeling their envy burning into my back as I go. And I drive home happy, sipping away and feeling my fingernails grow.

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The South Coast Insider - May 2017  

The world comes alive in the springtime, but it can be easy to get caught up in the superficial aspects of the season. Sure, all those flowe...

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