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the south coast January 2013 / Vol. 17 / No. 1

coastalmags.com

New Year, new growth Grow microgreens Leap into shape Get your flu shot

Business

Small business tax tips & soap nuts

REGIONAL

Paying for public transportation

WINE

Make your own

Plus‌

Shopping tips & even more at CoastalMags.com


“We’re making a real difference for small business owners.” Linda Morad, Senior Business Development Specialist As a banking professional, city councilor, and mayoral candidate, Linda Morad has always strived to make a positive difference in the community. Now, she’s doing it again as the new Senior Business Development Specialist for St. Anne’s Credit Union in New Bedford. “Small businesses are the bread and butter of our nation’s economy. Yet here in New Bedford, the small business owner has been underserved by the big banks,” Linda says. “I joined St. Anne’s Credit Union because it’s a local institution that’s reaching out to help small businesses in our community.” A lifelong New Bedford resident, Linda knows the local business community — and what it needs to grow. “St. Anne’s has money to lend and a great commercial product line with reduced fees. We can provide small businesses with options that work for them.” Ready for a financing partner committed to small business? Call Linda Morad today at 508-324-7398.

“We’re making a difference.” Dartmouth • Fall River • Fairhaven New Bedford • Somerset • Swansea

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T O

A D V E R T I S E

I N

T H E

S O U T H

C O A S T

I N S I D E R

C A L L

5 0 8 . 6 7 7. 3 0 0 0


Best wishes for a Happy New Year from all of us at Dutchman Dental

10 Tips for a Better New Year 1. Most insurances run on a calendar year. Most benefits are use them or lose them.

7. Teeth deserve 6 minutes of love a day… 2x3 or 3x2 minutes. Love your teeth a little more.

2. Happy New Year… now use them!

8. Change your tooth brush every 3 months. Ask for 2 brushes at your next check-up.

3. Cavities only get worse. Sooner is always better. 4. One root canal, post and crown cost the same as two check-ups a year for 10 years. 5. Get your teeth cleaned twice a year to avoid #4.

9. Make a resolution to see an independent dentist this year. 10. Call us for an appointment and nip this list in the bud.

6. The average person brushes about 30 seconds, maybe 1 minute.

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• Tiverton, RI • 401-624-9177

www.dutchmandental.com


JANUARY 2013

Contents In Every Issue

BUsINESS

4

24

Clean and green

By Jay Pateakos

On my mind: We survived

30

Plan tax payments

By Paul E. Kandarian

By Sherri Mahoney-Battles

38

From the publisher

6

Dateline: South Coast

34

Civility’s dead

By Elizabeth Morse Read

By Elizabeth Morse Read

COVER STORY

WINE NOTES

12

Get the flu shot

28

Make your own

By Joyce Rowley

By Alton Long

18

Unconventional exercise

By Laura C. Monteiro

THINGS TO DO

20

Grow greens

16

Musical resolutions

By Kenneth Sutcliffe

By David M. Prentiss

32

Three rules

By Paul Letendre

REGIONAL NEWS

14

Public transportation moving By Stephen C. Smith

HAPPENINGS Visit CoastalMags.com for things to do.

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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

ON THE COVER When the weather outside is frightful, there’s nothing like a little greenery inside. Kenneth Sutcliffe gives some tips on growing microgreens in your home. See page 20 for details.


Better health starts with a strong relationship with your primary care provider. Choose a family physician for you and your family’s primary care needs today. MASSACHUSETTS Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice 300 Faunce Corner Road Dartmouth 508-995-6381 – David Clark, DO – Brett Hurteau, DO New Bedford Medical Associates Family Practice 368 Faunce Corner Road Dartmouth 508-985-5040 – Irena Gesheva, MD New Bedford Medical Associates Family Practice 370 Faunce Corner Road Dartmouth 508-999-5666 – Debby Almeida, MD

Caring for your entire family. In sickness and in health. Southcoast’s doctors treat the whole you — and your whole family. Many of our physician practices include family practice providers who can care for a range of ages — from children, teens, adults or seniors. Experience family-centered, personal care with Southcoast Physicians Network providers.

www.southcoast.org/doctors

Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice 1030 President Avenue Fall River 508-730-3100 – Carlos Correia, MD – Felicia Freilich, MD – Jessica Inwood, MD – Jason Salter, DO Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 1565 North Main Street Fall River 508-675-0369 – Miguel Brillantes, MD – Jason Diogo, MD – Diane Patrick, MD – Kenneth Piva, DO – Angela Simpson, MD – Shobhita Sundar, MD – Karl Zuzarte, MD Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice Internal Medicine/Pediatrics 109 Fairhaven Road Mattapoisett 508-758-3781 – David Chesney, MD – Joseph Costa, DO – Michael Kelly, MD – Drew Nahigyan, MD New Bedford Medical Associates Family Practice 4543 Acushnet Avenue New Bedford 508-998-0003 – Anne Marie Treadup, MD

Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice 479 Swansea Mall Drive Swansea 508-672-5300 – James Lippincott, MD – Mark Ringiewicz, MD – Priscilla Shube, MD – Jeffrey Syme, MD – Hugh Woolverton, MD Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice/ Internal Medicine 100 Rosebrook Way Wareham 508-273-4950 – Randy Caplan, DO – Valentina daCunha, MD – Piyali Datta, MD – Brian Fitzpatrick, MD – Thomas Gleason, MD – Mazhar Jakhro, MD – Robert McGowen, MD – R. Preston Reynolds, MD New Bedford Medical Associates Family Practice 53 Marion Road Wareham 508-291-2409 – Thomas McCormack, DO Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice 829 Main Road Westport 508-636-5101 – Scott Lauermann, MD – Jane Li, MD RHODE ISLAND Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice/Pediatrics 672 Aquidneck Avenue Middletown 401-847-0519 – Michelle Boyle, MD – Donald Derolf, MD – John Hand, MD – Richard Morgera, MD – Wendy Regan, MD Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice/ Internal Medicine 2444 East Main Road Portsmouth 401-683-4817 – Andrea Bond, MD – Julie DeLeo, MD – Jennifer Levy, MD – Kathleen Zeller, MD Southcoast Physicians Group Family Practice 1334 Main Road Tiverton 401-625-5552 – W. Scott Keigwin, DO – Jane Miniutti, DO


FROM THE PUBLISHER January 2013 / Vol. 17 / No. 1 Published by Coastal Communications Corp. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Ljiljana Vasiljevic

Here’s to your health!

Editors Joe Murphy Michael J. Vieira, Ph.D.

As we toast in a new year, it’s a good time to consider how to renew ourselves. This issue offers some tips for personal and financial good health.

Contributors Paul E. Kandarian, Paul Letendre, Alton Long, Sherri Mahoney-Battles, Tom Lopes, Laura C. Monteiro, Jay Pateakos, David M. Prentiss, Elizabeth Morse Read, Joyce Rowley, Stephen C. Smith, Kenneth Sutcliffe 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 ©2013 Coastal Communications Corp.

Deadline 20 days prior to publication. 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.

Circulation

It’s time to get that flu shot. Joyce Rowley explains why it’s important. To stay healthy, Laura Monteiro suggests some new, moving ways to get fit. Want fresh greens? Kenneth Sutcliffe explains how to grow and harvest microgreens in your home. Businesses also need to stay healthy. Jay Pateakos tells the story of a local entrepreneur who went green and Sherri Mahoney-Battles points out the importance of tax planning for small businesses. To benefit us all, the South Coast may finally be moving toward improved public transportation; Stephen C. Smith provides an update. Start the year right with some musical resolutions by David Prentiss. And why not celebrate the New Year with your own wine? Alton Long tells how. Plus there are more great ideas from our advertisers and writers. For up-todate listings and things to do, go to www.coastalmags.com.

30,000 Subscriptions $25 per year

Enjoy,

Address The South Coast Insider 144 Purchase Street • PO Box 3493 Fall River, MA 02722

Phone (508) 677-3000

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Website www.coastalmags.com

E-mail editor@coastalmags.com Our advertisers make this publication possible–please support them

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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

facebook.com/thesouthcoastinsider


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The South Coast Insider / January 2013

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DATELINE: SOUTH COAST

News, views and trends... from Mount Hope Bay to Buzzards Bay by Elizabeth Morse Read

The new year starts with hopes for a better one, i.e. less gridlock in Washington and a white knight rescue of Hostess Brands, maker of Twinkies and Wonder Bread. It’s time for starting those resolutions and burning off the holiday calories. Get a head start on your tax paperwork and Spring cleaning when cold weather keeps you indoors—and don’t forget that Valentine’s Day and February vacation for school children are just around the corner! n

The SRTA (Southeastern Regional Transit Authority) has reached a compromise with bus riders who protested the proposed flat-rate fare hikes for “demand service” riders. Now, in addition to modest increases per zone, riders can purchase passes for ten rides for $25, regardless of zones.

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Many South Coast individuals, companies and organizations joined in the relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Sandy. For instance, the Lion’s Club of Mattapoisett organized a convoy of trucks filled with hot meals, and moving company A. Walecka and Sons donated a truck that was filled with cleaning supplies, batteries and blankets.

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Even the TS Kennedy from the Mass. Maritime Academy set sail for New Jersey to serve as a floating “hotel” for up to 700 first responders from FEMA and power companies.

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Meanwhile, Cerberus Capital Management, which owns Steward Health Care, is looking to purchase Supervalu, Inc. the parent company of Shaw’s and Save-a-Lot.

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A woman in Yarmouth found a black widow spider in the bunch of red grapes she bought at the local grocery store…

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If you’re over 50, learn more about the bus trips sponsored by the New Bedford Senior Travel Program—Twin Rivers Casino on Jan. 8 and Foxwoods Casino on Feb. 11—and plan ahead for the five-day trip to Ottawa and the Thousand Islands on May 20-25. Call 508-991-6171 for more info.

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Across the region… n

than 700 non-management positions throughout New England will be eliminated.

Much to the delight of South Coast bird watchers, Hurricane Sandy diverted many European birds, including Northern Lapwings, across the Atlantic. Start the New Year by taking the Special Olympics Penguin Plunge into Narragansett Bay on Jan. 1. Call 401349-4900 x 321. The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care in Fall River and Fairhaven have teamed up with the Boston Medical Center to offer patients cutting-edge clinical trials in treating their cancers. BMC is the primary teaching hospital for Boston University’s School of Medicine. Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care is part of the Southcoast Health System, which operates the Southcoast Hospital Group (St. Luke’s in New Bedford, Tobey in Wareham, Charleton Memorial in Fall River).

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While the Shaw’s supermarkets and Save-a-Lot stores throughout the South Coast will remain open, more

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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

The Mattapoisett Senior Center is hosting a trip to IKEA on Jan. 10, and to the Orchid Show in Hyannis on Jan. 12. Call 508-758-4100 for details.

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Attleboro Celebrate the holiday spirit on the South Coast at the “Festival of Lights” at the La Salette Shrine through Jan. 6! Free evening illuminations, with hayrides, a trolley and carousel. Learn more at www.lasalette-shrine.org/ Christmas.

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Bristol The Mount Hope Farmers Market is open again for winter in the heated Mount Hope Farm barn on Saturdays, 9-1. Go to www.mounthopefarm.org.

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Fall River Get your fresh veggies at the Fall River Winter Indoor Market at CD Recreation (the former Bank Street Armory) on Jan. 19, Feb. 16, Mar. 16 and April 20 between 1 – 4 pm.

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Bristol Community College now offers certificate programs in animal first aid and animal care at the Workforce Development Center on Davol Street. Careers in animal care are expected to grow dramatically by 2016. For more info, call 508-678-2811 x 218 or 2264.

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Dartmouth Retired UMass history professor Gerard Koot has received a $171,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to take 16 school teachers from across the country on an educational tour of England and the Netherlands.

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With almost no warning, the Friendly’s Ice Cream in South Dartmouth closed down after more than 40 years in business. The company, which emerged from bankruptcy in January 2012, also closed down their restaurants in Wareham and Taunton last year. Displaced employees hope to be reassigned to the remaining restaurants in Fairhaven and North Dartmouth.

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Dighton WWII veteran George Goulart finally received his diploma from DightonRehoboth High school, 70 years after he dropped out at 17 to join the Navy. Current principal Debbie Sarrey made the presentation at the Life Care Center of Raynham, where Goulart currently lives.

Adult Classes Open House! Tuesday, January 15th

at 1pm at Woodland Commons University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Registration ends February 1st Classes begin February 19th u 30 daytime class offerings

with qualified facilitators

u Classes held at Second Half

Enjoy a performance of “=Dinner with Friends Jan. 17-27 at The Little Theatre. Call 508-675-1852 or visit www.littlethreatre.net.

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139 South Main, Fall River, or satellite locations in SE Mass.

The Narrows Center for the Arts has a great line-up of music—don’t miss Johnny Winter on Jan. 5. For complete details, visit www.ncfta.org, www.narrowscenter.org or call 508-324-1926.

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Contact the Director:

Beverly Stevens, secondhalf@umassd.edu

www.umassd.edu/secondhalf

Fall River Municipal Credit Union is hosting “C. U. Wednesday’s” an hour long talk show hosted by Matthew Schondek, CEO and President of FRMCU. The radio show, airing on Wednesday’s at 2p.m. on WSAR 1480AM and it will feature information about money, banking, finance and helpful household tips.

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Twelve-year old Samantha Gagnon raised enough money to purchase protective vests for three police dogs working in Fall River. The vests are produced by the non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. (www. vik9s.org).

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Freetown As of March 1, the Bank of America branch on Chase Road will close down. This follows the June shutdown of the Rockdale Ave. branch in New Bedford.

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Marion The town was selected to receive a $1 million grant from the MassWorks Infrastructure Program to make major road and sidewalk improvements in the center of town.

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In this season of giving, resolve to make a difference in someone’s life…

Volunteer for Adult Literacy Our students have asked for your help!

Volunteer to help an adult learner with basic language, reading, writing, math, or computer skills. New volunteers are welcome at any time.

For more information call Dr. Michael Gauthier, Volunteer Facilitator

(508)997-4511 x2419

Continued on next page The South Coast Insider / January 2013

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Continued from previous page

Mattapoisett Greta Anderson has been named Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Arts Education Association.

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Your Theatre will present Woman in Mind Jan. 17-27. Call 508-993-0772 or go to www.yourtheatre.org.

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In early November, the doors of St. John the Baptist Church, the oldest Portuguese parish in North America, closed for the last time. Parishioners will be welcomed at the nearby Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

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Enjoy an evening of free family fun and entertainment at AHA! Night. The Jan. 10 theme is “Emancipation Nation,” and the Feb. 14 theme is “Ha! Ha! On AHA!” Go to www.ahanewbedford.org or call 508-996-8253 x 205.

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Middleborough The former Star Mill complex has been converted into 69 loft apartments, spurring long-awaited renovations to the downtown area.

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Ocean Spray, headquartered in Middleborough, reported its highest net sales in the company’s history for the fiscal year ending August 31—$1.66 billion. In addition to its cranberry products, Ocean Spray has grown to become North America’s leading producer of bottled juices and juice drinks.

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Theatre One Productions will present Lovers and Other Strangers Feb. 7-17. Call 508-947-7716.

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New Bedford The EPA has given the green light to construction of the South Terminal project. The 28.5 acre port site will position the city to become a major player in the offshore wind industry. The state will now request bids for an accelerated 19-month construction timeline.

The 2013 Moby Dick Marathon reading at the Whaling Museum will be held on Jan. 5 & 6. For info, call 508717-6851 or email mdmarathon@ whalingmuseum.org.

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The Zeiterion will present Rockapella on Feb. 10, Mavis Staples and Ruthie Foster on Feb. 15, King Kong on Feb. 16 and The Pink Floyd Experience on Feb. 17. Go to www.zeiterion.org or call 508-994-2900.

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At long last, the renovations of Route 18 are finished, reuniting the city’s waterfront with the historic downtown district.

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Newport

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Once again, the Social Security office in New Bedford has cut back on hours open to the public. Starting on Jan. 2, the office will only be open from 9 AM to noon on Wednesdays and from 9 AM to 3 PM on all other weekdays.

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On Jan. 13, the Greater New Bedford Choral Society will perform its Winter Concert at Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church, with guest musicians El Caribe Steel Drum Ensemble. For more info, visit www.gnbcs.org.

Get out on a seal watch tour from Bowen’s Ferry Landing. Call 401-3246060 or visit www.savebay.org.

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Head for the Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant’s performance of “Greetings” Feb. 14- Mar. 24. Go to www.newportplayhouse.com or call 401-848-7529.

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Portsmouth

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Rush on Feb. 2, and The Amy Black Band on Feb. 16. Call 401-683-5085 or go to www.commonfencemusic.org.

Join the ambiance at Common Fence Music—enjoy A Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen on Jan. 19, David Jacobs-Strain on Jan. 26, Tom

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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

Providence When the kiddies are out of school, take them to the Providence Children’s Museum. Call 401-456-8144 or visit www.childrenmuseum.org.

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At the Providence Performing Arts Center, listen to The Million Dollar Quartet Jan. 15-20. Call 401-421-2787 or go to www.ppacri.org.

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Listen to the sopranos of the Sarasa Ensemble on Jan. 20 at the Museum Concerts of Providence. Call 401-2745073 or visit www.museumconcerts. org.

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If you enjoy jazz, catch “Jazz at the Lincoln Center” at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Jan. 27. Go to www.vmari.com or call 401-421-2787.

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There’s something for everyone at Rhode Island College’s Performing and Fine Arts Series—music, dance, drama, art. Enjoy The Muir String Quartet on Feb. 4 or The Rap Guide to Evolution on Feb. 11. For complete details, go to www.ric.edu/pfa or call 401-456-8144.

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n Check out Crime and Punishment Jan. 17-Feb. 24 at Trinity Rep—Call 401-351-4242 or go to www.trinityrep.com. Trinity Rep offers discounts for seniors, students, educators and heroes (military, police, and firefighters). And get discount tickets there for performances of the RI Philharmonic, too!

Start the new year with a national tour performance of Jekyll and Hyde at the Providence Performing Arts Center Jan. 1-6. For more info, go to www.ppacri.org or call 401-421-2787.

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Continued on page 10


Illustration by Terry Cracknel provided courtesy of The Architectural Team, Inc.

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Continued from page 8

Stafford &_______________________ Company Insurance

Home • Auto Business • Life

Rehoboth When a ballot machine broke down on election day, causing officials to have to hand count almost 900 ballots, a technician discovered that a spider had taken up residence inside, building a web which blocked the sensor…

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At about the same time, a hot air balloon made a surprise landing in the front yard of a Rehoboth home near Rt. 44.

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The Arts in the Village Concert Series will present The Boston Trio on Jan. 26 and the Tempus Continuum Ensemble on Feb. 9 at the Goff Memorial Hall. Call 508-252-5718 or visit www.carpentermuseum.org.

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Insurance Choice… Talk to a professional in your hometown OR Call an 800# in Fargo

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Rochester If you’re over 50, enjoy free movies and popcorn on Fridays at the Rochester Senior Center. Call 508-7638723 for info. n

Jennel Garcia may have been eliminated from The X Factor, but she’s got a great future ahead of her.

Somerset Ambitious plans for the Ocean Research and Innovation Center at Mount Hope Bay at the former Somerset Station have been unveiled. The privately-funded, for-profit center would include bioscience laboratory facilities for entrepreneurs, an aquaculture pond, and a village center featuring green space, waterfront residential units, commercial space, a hotel and a public pier.

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Downtown renovations will continue with the help of a $1.28 million state grant.

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Somerset

Tiverton Check out who’s playing at the Sandywoods Center for the Arts— there’s the April Verch Band on Jan. 11, the Atwater-Donnelly Trio on Jan. 12, the Jeremy Kittel Band on Feb. 2—and more! For info, go to www.sandywoodsmusic.com.

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Wareham In a recent survey, more than half of the students at Wareham High School expressed an interest in wearing school uniforms.

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Town Meeting approved the installation of a solar field at the wastewater treatment plant, which is projected to provide a significant savings for the town in energy costs.

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Taunton Fall River

Bristol County Savings Bank, based in Taunton, has bought four Admirals Bank branches—two in New Bedford and one each in Fall River and Raynham.

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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

Warren n Enjoy a performance of Amadeus Jan. 18-Feb. 17 at the 2nd Story Theatre—For details, call 401-247-4200 or go to www.2ndstorytheatre.com.

Westport Listen to Zefira on Jan. 27 at Concerts at the Point at the United Methodist Church. Go to www. concertsatthepoint.org or call 508-636-0698/9927.

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Whaler’s Cove Assisted Living Centrally located between Boston and Cape Cod, Whaler’s Cove Assisted Living offers a supportive setting for older adults who need assistance with daily activities. Whaler’s Cove residents enjoy a comfortable environment enriched with cultural diversity and social stimulation.

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10:00 –2:00 pm Walk-ins Welcome! 114 Riverside Avenue New Bedford, MA 02746

Call 508-997-2880 www.whalerscove-assistedliving.com

The perfect time of year for laser skin resurfacing Caring for a mentally or physically disabled family member can be an emotional or financial concern. If your loved one is currently on MassHealth Standard or Commonhealth insurance, you may qualify for financial assistance from Beacon Adult Foster Care. As a caregiver you are eligible for a monthly, tax-free payment while you provide the care your loved one needs in the comfort of your own home.

For more information call 774-202-1837 or visit our website www.beaconafc.com

Get a new you for the new year. Call today for details on our special promotion. 651 Orchard St. • Suite 202 • New Bedford, MA 774.202.7049 • www.avalonmedicalspa.net The South Coast Insider / January 2013

11


YOUR HEALTH

, t o h s u l f r u o y G et u l f e h no t t by Joyce Rowley

In statistics, the first people to act are called “trendsetters.” Those who wait till the last are labeled “laggards.” Most of you fall into the first category when it comes to flu vaccinations. But for you laggards, influenza is in full swing this month. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated, there’s still time and plenty of vaccines. And as long as the flu is going around, it’s a good time to get vaccinated. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) expects the winter of 2012/2013 to be a banner year for the flu. By November 24, 2012, the country had already reached the influenza-like illness (ILI) baseline where illnesses can be attributed to influenza virus. This 12

is the earliest that we hit the baseline in almost ten years, with the exception of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. For comparison, 2011/2012 was such a mild flu season the baseline wasn’t reached until mid-March. You may have held off getting vaccinated because it doesn’t seem to make sense. After all, the vaccine is made from last year’s

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

influenza virus, supposedly. How does that protect us against a new strain? “How well the vaccine works depends in part on the match between vaccine viruses and circulating viruses,” says Melinda Wharton, acting director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “If the influenza viruses spreading are very different from the vaccine viruses, the vaccine won’t work as well.”

Highly successful planning The flu going around this year appears to be characterized as one of the H3N2 viruses, which is why CDC is expecting a severe flu season. And it’s also the reason that CDC believes the available vaccines are a

good match. In fact, for 18 out of the past 22 years, CDC has been able to accurately assess the type of predominant flu virus and so match the vaccine to the virus. That’s what the trendsetters know, and why they get their shots early. Getting vaccinated early reduced or eliminates your chances of getting the flu. Nobody likes the flu, you laggards are thinking, but what’s with all the fuss? We all use those anti-bacterial handi-wipes at the grocery store, right? That’s part of the problem. Influenza is a virus, not a bacterium. The wipes may remove some of the virus from your hands physically, but it really can’t kill it. And not everybody is equally resistant to the virus.


There’s no hand-wipe for flu The influenza virus can be deadly to some people. The very young and very old, pregnant women, those who are chronically ill with diabetes, asthma, heart or lung disease, and those with suppressed immune systems like those undergoing chemotherapy, for example, are particularly at risk. Nationally the numbers are startling: the flu causes up to 200,000 hospitalizations annually and between 3,000 to 49,000 deaths, depending on the flu’s severity. So even if you’re fit as a fiddle, that person next to you at the grocery store may not be. The symptoms don’t appear for up to a day or two after you actually have the flu and during that window of opportunity you can spread it like Typhoid Mary.

You CAN be careful But although bacterial wipes don’t offer much protection, washing one’s hands does—especially after coughing or blowing your nose. It also helps to avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as these are rapid pathways for the virus to take hold. Locally, SouthCoast Health Systems and Hospital Groups started a new policy this past fall for just that reason. They’re now requiring all of their employees and physicians to get an influenza vaccination. If not, they must wear surgical masks when working within six feet of a patient. That’s how determined they

are to reduce the spread of influenza in the community. SouthCoast is also asking people to avoid visiting at the hospital while they’re sick. If you must see go to visit family or friends or bring someone to the emergency room, you can pick up a free surgical mask at the information center or emergency room desk to be worn while visiting St. Luke’s, Tobey or Charlton hospitals.

Now it’s easier than ever to see a Hawthorn Orthopedic Specialist

Who can get vaccinated Everyone over the age of 6 months should get vaccinated, with a few exceptions, says the CDC. If you’re allergic to eggs or have other severe allergies, please consult your doctor first. They can also tell you which type of vaccination is best for you: live or inactive virus, and intradermal (under the skin) vs. intramuscular (in the muscle). It’s cheap, it’s easy, and you’ll feel better. So what are you waiting for?

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The South Coast Insider / January 2013

13


REGIONAL NEWS

A ticket to ride

Paying for transportation

by Stephen C. Smith

It’s really pretty simple. As American citizens, we believe that we deserve and need a world class transportation system encompassing everything from pothole free local streets to congestion free interstate highways. In Southeastern Massachusetts, we expect fast and efficient commuter rail service, bus service that is available during working and shopping hours, and no traffic slowdowns on Routes 24, 95 and 195. We read about sleek bullet trains throughout Europe, China and Japan and think—if we’re the greatest country in the world, why can’t we have that here? All of these things are within our grasp, but are we willing to pay for them? Massachusetts has a lingering hangover from past transportation excesses. Most people believe that the Big Dig cost too much, was rife 14

with corruption, and serves only one community. Add those concerns to the belief that the MBTA is a bloated bureaucracy filled with early-retiring patronage employees and it’s hard to make the case for more transportation dollars. We need to take two aspirin and move on. Governor Patrick, MassDOT Secretary Davey and the legislature have taken strong steps to address these excesses and should be congratulated. It’s time to let go of past injustices and focus on the future. And the plain fact is that the future looks grim without more money on the table.

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

In Massachusetts, the collective revenue devoted to transportation (gas tax, federal funds, tolls, fares, sales tax, registry fees, among others) falls more than $1 billion short of what is needed every year to keep the current system in good repair and initiate worthwhile new projects. There is no free lunch here. If we want a great transportation network to support a great economy, we have to be willing to pay for it. If we want to ride the train, we have to buy a ticket. The Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District (SRPEDD) recently completed the 2012 Regional Transportation Plan. The plan documents enormous needs for improvements across the region for all modes of travel. Given the requirement that the plan be financially constrained (it cannot include projects for which there is not an identified source to pay for them), many critical regional projects


and needs fall outside financial constraints. Some of the projects and services that will go unfulfilled without additional dollars in the pipeline include: n

South Coast Rail

SRTA and GATRA weekend and evening service

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Middleborough Rotary Improvements

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Route 24/Route 140 interchange improvements (Taunton)

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New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge replacement

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n Conversion of Route 79 to a boulevard (Fall River)

Upgrade of Route 24 interchanges to appropriate design standards

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geographic breadth of the problem and the solution. Southeastern Massachusetts and other outlying parts of the Commonwealth must have their needs addressed in equal measure. Revenue balance: Many potential revenue sources should be considered, including gas tax, VMT (vehicle miles traveled) fees, tolls, fares, registry fees, etc. Policy makers must also remember that the benefits of transportation improvements extend far beyond improving mobility and reducing congestion. For example, South Coast Rail will have enormous urban revitalization, job and housing benefits, especially in the three Gateway Cities that it will serve. In light of the non-transportation benefits that this project will provide, non-traditional transportation revenue sources such as the internet sales tax should be on the table for consideration.

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Transportation planners, providers and policy makers should be held accountable for the value and performance of these projects and services.

These are all longstanding items for which there is a regional consensus on their need and importance, but for which there is no identified federal, state or local funding source. All have economic development significance that extends beyond their obvious transportation purpose. The Governor and legislature will be commencing the discussion about additional revenue in early 2013. The business community and the general public need to join the debate. All parties need to learn about the broader economic, environmental, and quality of life benefits of these transportation improvements and enhancements. Three points should be in the forefront of these deliberations: n Regional Equity: This is a statewide problem that needs a statewide solution. Too often discussion has centered on the Big Dig and the MBTA, but everyone must recognize the

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Expanded service from GATRA and SRTA and improved bicycle access should be considered alongside big construction projects such as South Coast Rail and highway improvements. Transportation planners, providers and policy makers should be held accountable for the value and performance of these projects and services. To earn scarce funding, projects should demonstrate improvements in safety and congestion, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, increased ridership, and economic and land use benefits. Let the debate begin! n

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15


CLASSICAL SOUTH COAST

Finding the right notes Musical resolutions for the New Year by David Prentiss

T

his is the time of year we make resolutions, and we should not neglect musical resolutions here in the South Coast. Usually people make resolutions about things that they feel they “have to do” or “really should do” rather than about things that are more positive or fun. The great thing about musical resolutions is that you are resolving to do something that you will enjoy. For example, if anyone needs help thinking of a musical resolution for 2013, I would suggest resolving to go to more concerts this year (especially New Bedford Symphony Orchestra concerts, of course!) My own resolutions for 2013 are to play the bassoon more, listen to more music that is new to me, and figure out a way for more children in New Bedford to take music lessons. I asked some of my music-loving friends for their musical resolutions, too: 16

Marcia Bornhurst Parkes, Assistant Chair Music Department, College of Visual and Performing Arts, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth: “As a newcomer to the South Coast Region, my musical New Years’ resolutions are to conduct regional wind band musicians; foster relationships with area music professionals, amateurs, and the greater musical community; grow UMass Dartmouth audiences by hosting engaging concerts and events; and compose and premiere a new composition.” Sheila Converse, pianist and board member of the Buzzards Bay Musicfest: “The usual for me—more practice! And I will continue going to as many concerts as I can to expand my knowledge of the music literature. Music enriches my life like nothing other! Hope to do more playing—to not aim for perfection, but just the sheer joy of playing and sharing music.” Terry Wolkowicz, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra Education Coordinator: “I think I need to keep my nails shorter. When I play the piano in our education

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

videos they clatter too much on the piano keys.” Neal Weiss, owner of Whaling City Sound: “My resolution is to do whatever I can to support quality live and recorded music, until it jeopardizes my family’s financial stability and future. I also hope to inaugurate a concert series at the New Bedford Art Museum in the memory of Joe Davis.” MaryJo Lopes, NBSO Executive Administrator: “I asked for guitar lessons for Christmas, so my New Year’s resolution is to learn how to play.” Melanie Hayn, oboist, Spinnaker Wind Quintet: “I made these resolutions in November to get a head start—get the hang of knife sharpening and work on my own reeds, play more chamber music for appreciative audiences, and seek out more musicians to play with!” Jan Bichsel, volunteer piano teacher at Our Sisters School and NBSO board member:


“I want to bring as many friends as I can to the NBSO Young People’s Concerts in March so they can see how important music programs are for children.” Janice Weber, pianist, South Coast Chamber Music Society and Boston Conservatory faculty member: “My resolution is to learn Messiaen’s Vingt regards sur l’enfant-Jésus by next December. Wish me luck!” Conee Sousa, NBSO Marketing Coordinator: “I resolve to attend the Pink Floyd Experience at the Z in February.” Paul Cienniwa, harpsichordist, director of Sine Nomine and music director at First Church Boston: “I resolve to be less dogmatic about baroque ornamentation.” Randall Elgin, pianist, The New and Improved Piano Trio: “Not so much a resolution (maybe a realization after decades of playing): Have faith that no matter how bad the initial reading is, with repetition I will get even the challenging parts. That’s why they call it practice. That’s what I am currently doing for Beethoven, Piano Trio No. 2!” Jesse Holstein, NBSO concertmaster: “My resolution is to play scales and arpeggios every day. When I am trying to cram practicing to learn music for upcoming concerts, it is too easy to let that go. It is analogous to getting exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep in our daily lives. Yes, we can let it go a bit, but always to our detriment. Playing scales and arpeggios always seems to help center my pitch and streamlines the work I need to do.” Darcy Kuronen, Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: “My resolution is to relearn and musically master two of Bach’s French Suites (in C minor and G major) on my modern replica of a little German-style clavichord, and then perform them

sometime in the spring at one of two historical houses in Jamaica Plain that host concert series.” Thomas C. Sargent, Sr., St. Anthony of Padua Church Music Director & Organist: “I resolve to keep exploring unfamiliar (to me) aspects of music.” Toby Monte, Fall River music teacher and NBSYO Music Director: “My musical New Year’s resolution would be to try to spend more time practicing. I spend a lot of time conducting so I’d like to find more time to devote to preparation for my own playing.”

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Phil Sanborn, Tabor Academy music teacher and Music Director, TriCounty Symphonic Band: “I’m resolved to continue bringing topnotch artists to the Tri-County stage (like Mark Romatz, New York Metropolitan Opera bassoonist and Ben Paille, U. S. Air Force Band of Liberty trumpeter) and distribute even more awards to music students through the Tri-County Music Association Scholarships and Summer Study Grants program.”

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Daniela Chirigotis, Fairhaven music teacher and NBSO violinist: “My New Year’s music resolution is to attend more live concert performances, not just perform in them!” Kate Sudofsky, violinist, The New and Improved Piano Trio: “I want to give my children more exposure to live music and more exposure to my own playing so they can see the important role music can have in your life.” Tom and Barbara Jansen, NBSO volunteers: “We have made a resolution to do everything possible to hand on the love of music to our grandchildren by providing them with piano lessons.” I hope these musical resolutions inspire you to make your own. Have a Happy and Musical New Year! n

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Overhead Arts offers hands-on instruction in the circus art of silks and trapeze.

COVER STORY

Flying and dancing to fitness by Laura Monteiro

The new year brings new resolutions, and one of the most popular is to lose weight. Although gung-ho at first, most people lose steam around mid-February when they’re overwhelmed with large chocolate Valentines and heated throw pillows. This year, instead of the same old jogging pants and walking shoes, take a giant leap out of the exercise box and try an unconventional way of getting off the couch and shedding the pounds. Flying high

If you’ve ever admired the toned physiques of the aerial performers at the circus, take a class with Teresa Kochis at Overhead Arts. Located in The Ropeworks building in New Bedford, Overhead Arts offers handson instruction in the circus art of silks and trapeze. Kochis holds a Bachelor’s in Visual

18

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

Arts and Aerial Dance from New York University’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study. From 2001 to 2008 she served as a coach coordinator and social circus instructor for the outreach program of Cirque du Soleil. Classes include Circus Kids (ages 7-12), Flying Circus Yoga (ages 3-6), beginner/intermediate aerials, open level aerials and beginner/gentle beginner silks. Individual and group lessons are available. Kochis also offers a Mommy/Daddy & Me Flying Circus Yoga class for children—and their parents—to be able to exercise together. Students will gain core strength, balance and flexibility while experimenting with the way their body moves. Children will participate in things like juggling, pyramid building and scarf juggling as well as getting some supervised time on the 19 foot high silks and trapeze. Teresa will ringing in the new year on December 31 at New Bedford’s AHA! (Art, History, Architecture) Night


With affordable classes, family discounts and a store inside the studio offering everything a good dancer needs, Christine’s Academy of Dance is the perfect place to start—or fineDancing stars tune—your dance abilities. Christine Xavier of Christine’s Xavier stressed the importance of Academy of Dance in Fall River is physical activity in children. “You also looking forward to the new year. have to keep them mov“Dancing is a good ing and away from the way to exercise,” said video games,” she said. Xavier, a dance teacher You have to keep “A lot of parents start who started the them moving and them in dance when Academy in 1990. they’re young and most Offering everything away from the of them stay with it. It’s a from lyrical dancing video games. sense of pride for them.” and ballet to hip hop Xavier also underand jazz, Xavier hopes stands how hard it is to to incorporate some belly dancing in get back in shape after the holidays. the new year. She also offers ballroom “No matter how good you are all dancing, which seems to be a hit with year, the holidays always blow it,” she the adults. laughed. “Bikini season comes around “A lot of adults are also signing up sooner than we think.” For more infor tap because of the exercise and formation, visit www.christinesacadthe fun,” said Xavier. “It’s a team emy.com. n environment.” from 5-8 p.m. at Nativity Preparatory School, 66 Spring St. For more information, visit www.overheadarts.com.

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Christine Xavier (front left) says: “Our school is well balanced in all types of dance styles. Our classes are affordable, and we offer discounted multi-class pricing and family discounts.

The South Coast Insider / January 2013

19


COVER STORY

Microgreen magic by Kenneth Sutcliffe

A couple of years back, in what seemed like an eternal January darkness, I decided that I needed something to pull me up and out of my typical mid-winter slump. After ruling out heavy drinking and a monastic lifestyle, I settled on something that has helped me overcomethe winter blues ever since: microgreens. Now, I’m not saying this is a magic bullet or a panacea, and let’s face it, nothing will replace a hot toddy on a cold winter’s night, but growing a miniature, edible garden has become a little spot of sunshine in my otherwise dark winter existence. A full harvest in the middle of a New England winter, I knew, was a possibility. The idea of growing one’s own food year round, even in our climate, has been explored for quite some time. Homesteading pioneers Helen and Scott Nearing, authors of the classic book The Good Life, had proven that it could be done even in Maine’s harsh climate. Today, farmers like Maine’s own Eliot Coleman, writer of Four Season Harvest, produce food year round, but most of us lack the infrastructure and the time to implement such intensive methods. 20

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider


Healthy bargains Microgreens provide a low-cost, minimal investment solution to growing at least some food at home. They are healthy, and considering the high prices of fresh salad greens today, a bargain considering how quickly they can be grown at home. From start to finish, the entire process of planting, growing and harvesting can take as few as ten days. If you’ve never heard of microgreens, you’re not alone. People who get out of the house more often than I do already realize that in fancy-pants dining establishments in big cities, microgreens have been all the rage for a few years now. Apparently people with money to spare have a thing for high-priced salads made of itty-bitty leaves. But let’s face it, for most of us a trip to the big city to scarf down a twentyfive dollar salad isn’t high on our bucket list. Basically, microgreens are the tiny leaves of common salad greens and garden vegetables, harvested at a very early stage in their development. They’re packed with vitamins and ridiculously easy to grow. They can be grown the way plants have been grown forever, in soil, or for those out there with an aversion to soil, in a “growing medium”. Some people even grow them hydroponically, with their cute little roots soaking in a nice bath of vitamin and mineral rich water.

A quick midwinter fix Microgreens are bigger than sprouts. They are typically harvested around ten days, a full seven or eight days past their sprout stage. There are many varieties available, from the mild flavored mizuna, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi to the spicy, like mustards and arugulas. For those of us bitten with the gardening bug, they also provide a midwinter fix for our typically warmweather obsession. Supplies for growing microgreens are now readily available from a Continued from on next page

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variety of retailers. Sources like Sproutpeople, GrowingMicroGreens, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and Burpee, among others, all have a selection of seeds. Individual varieties and mixes are generally sold by the pound. A quarter pound mix runs around fifteen dollars. Twenty-five pounds of seeds, enough to start a microgreen business, will run you around a cool grand. Many companies also offer growing mediums, kits, and hydroponic systems for growing. Some have started to push fancy LED lighting systems for growing, but for home growing these are hardly necessary. I recommend buying from a repu-

cost prohibitive. Small packets can cost anywhere from two to four dollars, sometimes more, and they will contain enough seeds for maybe one microgreen container. Containers for sprouts, strawberries, blueberries and such are perfect little containers for starting your microgreen enterprise. Start saving them and you’ll be well on your way to creating a little garden paradise. I suppose that any small, clean, and food-safe container will work. Soil is important. Grabbing a scoop of dirt from outside may be cheap, but it’ll also introduce lots of potentially harmful stuff into your mini garden. Many microbes and insects are hugely beneficial in gardens, but lead paint chips are not. If you haven’t had your soil tested (which many Universities

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table and reliable supplier. Companies like Johnny’s Seeds have a long and well-established reputation, good customer service, and seeds that work. To grow your own, you really don’t need much: containers for growing, a bit of clean soil, water, seeds, sunlight, and warmth.

Seeds, soil and water Order seeds first. All seeds are not equal. Most companies treat their seeds meant for planting in the garden before distribution. While these seeds may be fine for planting in a garden, they may not be safe for microgreens. Also, buying small seed packets for growing microgreens is

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

will do for free), buy a decent potting mix. You’ll need only a small amount in each container, so it shouldn’t add too much to the overall cost. Fill each container right to the top. Water the containers until the soil is fully saturated.Again, filtered water might be a good idea, especially if you haven’t had yours tested. Microgreens will be drinking up water, and if the water isn’t safe, then the things you’re growing won’t be either. Sprinkle the seeds over the soil. Imagine that you are dusting the surface, and make sure to get an even coating of seeds. Anywhere from a half teaspoon to a teaspoon should be


sufficient for a small container. Cover the seeds with a damp paper towel or clean cloth. Seeds must be kept moist to germinate properly. A loose covering of plastic wrap on top of each container may help to keep the humidity level high.

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And loving care Water daily by lifting the plastic and the towel and spraying with a gentle mist. Some people also dip the bottom of the containers briefly in a cool water bath. Doing so gets water deep into the soil and encourages root growth (at least that’s what they say). Warmth is also important. Plants naturally receive warmth in nature when the sun dapples their leaves with light. Since many people, particularly in our northern climate, will be growing microgreens in the winter, with relatively little indoor light, this poses a small problem. Plants grown without adequate light will get “leggy”, a term we gardeners use with a cringe. “Leggy” plants have long stems, tiny leaves, and little color. Giving your microgreens lots of light will encourage healthy leaf growth and development. If you can’t afford a grow lamp, just place them in a sunny location, out of a draft, and move them if possible during the day so that you maximize the solar potential of your location. Harvest the greens with a clean pair of kitchen shears, trimming them as needed. They are delicious on their own, but will make great tasty additions to sandwiches and soups, and can even be used as a garnish on seafood, meat, and poultry dishes. n

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23


BUSINESS NEWS

Nuts about clean soap by Jay Pateakos

There’s surely an inventor in all of us, wanting to create something never seen before; something the whole world discovers they need, and never knew it. Ninety-nine percent of us never make it past the dream phase, and for good reason: it’s simply not as easy as it sounds. Not even close. After 35 years selling industrial chemicals to pharmacies and other businesses, Tiverton resident Brian Furze felt it was time to try something new; something that would be good for the environment. Taking a leave from work to take care of his ailing parents, Furze said he realized during those rare quiet times that he was in need of moving his career into another direction. You could say he has now reached that point.

Soap nuts More than five years ago, Furze happened on what are called “Soap Nuts.” These unmodified fruit shells grow on Sapindus Makurossi trees throughout many parts of Asia. The soap nuts, which contain a high quality natural surfactant, or soap, fall from the trees, are harvested and simply dried in the

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sun, with no chemical processing. Furze said the soap nuts harness incredible cleaning power. After all his years of selling and using chemicals that were far from safe for the environment, Furze set about using the soap nut shell as a laundry detergent. He named his product Karma Clean: Soap Nut Laundry Detergent and developed his brand’s logo of a “Happy Buddha,” a smiling Buddha seen washing his clothes. All in all, the

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

process of taking the product from idea to development and then to sales took more than four long years. “There are so many natural products that come from trees, and with this one, you simply hit it with a mallet, use the shell for cleaning and the seed for other things,” said Furze. “Every part of each nut is used in some way, with the seed inside of the shells used to make jewelry, for planting new trees or for animal feed.” When he adds a few shells to a glass of water for a demonstration, the water instantly suds up. Furze said he spent the last four years making sure the product, once produced, would be Continued on page 26


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Continued from page 24 viable in the retail marketplace. Soap nuts were known for centuries; Furze was tasked with making something very old seem new. He created a patented delivery system that seals four soap nuts into a 3 inch by 21/2 inch pouch with two holes. Furze explains that you simply have to put the packet in the wash in lieu of any detergent (and yes it even acts as a fabric softener). Each packet is good for at least five washes. “It could go longer, but the shells will start getting softer though it doesn’t lose its effectiveness,” said Furze. “You put it in a Tupperware of water and it still makes suds. It can act as a replacement for Windex or a floor cleaner. You can use it for anything you want to clean.” Furze launched Karma Clean this

every supermarket, independent or not. He visited all 14 independent supermarkets in Rhode Island. Some needed to hear the whole pitch, doubting what they heard until they saw it work, while others were hooked immediately. All of them bought it. “I’ve been in the business 35 years and I’ve never seen the level of acceptance I’ve seen with this product,” said Furze, who not only does the sales but helps maintain and fill the stock at each of his dozens of sites. “I want to get experience at every level of this product, from development, to product demonstra-

Brian Furze

Many detergents are like toxic soap, stuff that stays on your clothes, and even the “natural” detergents aren’t what they say they are… this is the only all-natural laundry detergent, and it’s been known to help people fighting skin ailments like Eczema and Psoriasis. past July and being in the sales field for three and a half decades prior has had its advantages. As president and the lone sales rep, Furze took to the streets to talk to retailers and independent supermarkets about the advantages of his newlylaunched product. Each Kara Clean box contains 30 packets, good for more than 150 washes with a retail price point of $19.99.

Local help Al Lees, owner of Lees Market in Westport, was one of the first supermarkets Furze visited. Karma Clean has been on its shelves ever since. “They are always looking to help locally-owned companies and they were a big help for me, at the beginning and even now,” said Furze. Sales continue to do well with the product at Lees, but Furze didn’t intend to stop until it was eventually in 26

tions in stores to filling the shelves.” Citing the laundry detergent business being worth $6.5 billion annually, Furze said major brands go through millions of dollars and years of research in their product development, while Karma Clean was spawned on a shoestring budget and by just him alone, with no prior experience in developing a consumer product. It may not have been funny during the 4-plus year process but Furze laughs now about how many people reacted when he began his marketing initiative to see if people would even want a product like this. “People just mostly said I was out of my mind. They said the Karma Clean Happy Buddha would offend people,” said Furze. “My thoughts were nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I did it.” Karma Clean is now in places like Dave’s Marketplace, Tom’s Market, Clements Marketplace, East Side

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

Marketplace and more than a dozen others. Furze recently secured space at Whole Foods, and has had favorable meetings with Harris Teeter, WalMart, Market Basket and others. The year 2013 looks bright indeed as society continues to be more conscious of what they buy and the impact those products will have in the world around them.

Chemical free Furze said early criticism of his product was that there wasn’t any “clean smell” after a load of laundry. “What does clean actually smell like?” he asked. “What you are smelling in other laundry detergents is fragrance created from the use of chemicals. You’re not smelling clean clothes, you’re smelling chemicals. We all need to start trending away from chemical use.” Back in the day, Furze explained,


before the dawn of the dryer, people would hang their clothes on clothes lines. The smell that came from those clothes—free from the chemicals now used to make up detergents—is what Karma Clean smells like. Furze warned that even those laundry detergents that claim to be all natural aren’t. One particular product has an active ingredient of sodium hydroxide—something you can also find as an active ingredient in Drano. “Many detergents are like toxic soap, stuff that stays on your clothes, and even the “natural” detergents aren’t what they say they are,” said Furze. “This is the only all-natural laundry detergent, and it’s been known to help people fighting skin ailments like Eczema and Psoriasis.” Though undocumented, Furze said he has had numerous customers contact him about the positive effects his product has had on their skin, some who were suffering skin ailments for many years and now find themselves free of skin issues. “All fibers in clothing are porous, and the residue of the chemicals stay on the clothing,” said Furze. “It’s not good and it’s one of the reasons why people get rashes. There is nothing bad about Karma Clean. It’s just soap nuts.” Furze partners with a company in Stoughton that gets the soap nuts shipped in and packaged on site, then shipped to supermarkets. While continuing to knock on doors to promote his product, Furze admits selling the product hasn’t been as hard as he thought it would be. “There seems to be an immediate understanding of this product. Merchants understand and realize the importance of products like this. Would this have been possible 10 years ago or 15 years ago? probably not,” said Furze. “People are more concerned than ever about what they do and the impact it will have on the environment.” For more information on Karma Clean, go to www.karmaclean.info or on facebook at www.facebook.com/ karmaclean. n

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To schedule tours please call 508-998-1188 The South Coast Insider / January 2013

27


WINE NOTES

Make your own wine by Alton Long

Earlier this fall, I when I was driving down a major road into Fall River, I noted a sign in front of a store “Uvas”. I asked my local friend and neighbor “What the heck is a “Uvas.” He smiled and laughed, and told me “Uvas” is Portuguese for “grapes;” in particular, grapes that can be used to make wine. Home wine making is an ongoing tradition in this region. Later, I found another neighbor, who had a dozen grape vines running along his property in back of his home. He told me the previous owner made “sour wine from it.” But now his wife made jelly, and it was delicious. Of course I have learned that if you add enough sugar, almost any fruit wine can be made fairly palatable if not delicious. And, a good winemaker could probably made a nice dry balanced wine from those same grapes. Home winemaking has been a tradition for centuries. It made a real revival during prohibition in the United States when the constitutional amendment banning the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages was passed and enforced from 1920 to 1933. Naturally many people found ways of getting around this, one of which was a loophole that permitted citizens to make a limited amount of wine for themselves. But some folks went further and tried to distill the wine to make brandy and eventually whiskey. 28

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider


Today the hobby of home wine making is alive and well. My first experience with “ho’made wine,” was that made by my Methodist Grandmother. Somehow she considered this a “kitchen” product, in no way related to the demon gin that was prohibited in her faith. I was even allowed to sip a little on holidays, when I was a teenager, and I found it “interesting,” but I never had enough to feel any “effects.” My mother’s mother was Lula Mae Abington, but she was always called by all of us “Mother Mae.” Her recipe shows how much this is an amateur method, but the quality of her wines and the pleasure they brought our family at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are long remembered. Here it is for your amusement, and amazement. Maybe you might like to actually try it out!

Mother Mae’s recipe for grape wine n Add 1 quart of water to each gallon of fruit. n

Let it stand 3 days. Skim each day.

Strain and add 3 pounds of sugar to each gallon of juice. n

Wait 3 days & bottle and store in a cool place. n

She used a wad of gauze for a stopper in the side of the barrel, and she put a cloth bag of sidewalk salt over the gauze. I do not remember ever tasting any “spoiled” wine that she made. After the initial fermentation, she would put the wine into a big five gallon water jug and add a little more sugar daily and until it ceased bubbling. Then she added a little more sugar to make it slightly sweet. The fermented wine was put into Mason jars, filled as close to the top as possible. They were sealed with the screw top caps. Here’s another home recipe that is for making 10 gallons of wine. It starts with one bushel of wild Mustang grapes, a common grape

variety in the southeastern part of the U.S. It says you can substitute a bushel and a half of Concord Grapes; or, you can use one bushel of Concord and a bucket of wild Mustang grapes. The footnote says this latter combination is the best of the three. You wash the grapes, and mash them with a potato masher, or a fourinch by four-inch board, in a large clean tub. You then dip out as much of the juice as you can, picking up no floating grape seed or leaves, and pour the juice into a funnel placed on a five-gallon water jug. Do not fill the jug more that two thirds as there will be some expanding froth as the juice ferments. Again, use a wad of gauze for a stopper. Put a bit of bread yeast in the jug; or, buy some good wine yeast from a winemaking shop.) Once the juice ferments, you should siphon the fermented juice off the “lees”, which is the sediment from the dead yeast. You may have to do this twice. When the wine is no longer fermenting, and if it is during cold weather, you may want to set the jugs in the garage to chill, which will help clear up all the yeast and small floating particles. Be careful to not let it freeze. Most wine makers add a little chemical “Sulfite” at this point. This will prevent any further fermentation and reduce the chance of the wine spoiling. But some folks prefer to take their chances and use no sulfites. In any case, at this point, it should be ready for bottling. You may never be able to achieve a wine as good as your favorite brand that you buy at a shop. but once you get the hang of it and produce a faultfree and decent wine, it is a special joy to taste it and say” Wow! I made this myself!” Some local shops sell equipment for ramming in corks, but screw caps are easier and just as good if you expect to drink the wine within a year or two. There are winemaking books available in most good bookstores; or, you may know someone who is willing to help you. Good luck! And have fun! n

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29


BUSINESS

Taxing times by Sherri Mahoney-Battles

Most entrepreneurs start businesses with stars in their eyes, unaware of the slippery slope ahead of them. There are so many things to do: find a location, design a logo, set up a website, put together advertising. The list seems endless, and most people will wait until the tax filing deadline to grapple with the tax implications of being self-employed. Taxes are inevitable, and a small business owner can get hit particularly hard. A new business owner who waits until the filing deadline can create a large snowballing tax debt which expands with each coming tax year. Believe me, it happens. Over the years I have worked with many selfemployed individuals whose tax debt exceeded $100,000.

The basics Let’s start with the basics of how a small business owner is taxed. Most taxpayers are taxed at an average rate of 15%. Self-employed people pay an additional self-employment tax of 15.3%. Why do self-employed people pay self-employment tax? An employee has 7.65% withheld from their wages for Social Security 30

and Medicare taxes. The employer then matches and sends in the other half of the Social Security and Medicare for a total employee and employer tax of 15.3%. The self-employment tax is Social Security and Medicare combined, and it is included with the total tax you pay for the year. Some people will be self-employed for years not even realizing they are paying into Social Security. So, a selfemployed person in a 15% tax bracket will pay 15% federal tax, 15.3% self-employment tax, and approximately 5% in state income taxes. This represents a total tax of approximately 35%. A self-employed person in a higher, 25%, tax bracket will pay 25% federal tax, 15.3% self-employment tax and 5% in state income taxes for a total tax of approximately 45%. Can you imagine

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

giving 45% of your income away to pay taxes? Self-employed people do it every year.

Paying attention A critical part of being in business is accurate bookkeeping and tracking of business expenses to significantly lower the business owner’s tax liability. A business owner who takes in $50,000 in gross business income but has business expenses of $20,000 will only pay tax on $30,000, reducing the tax liability by $7,000 to $9,000. The Internal Revenue Service defines a business expense as “ordinary and necessary” for your trade or business; to be deductible it must have a legitimate business purpose. The list of potential deductions is extensive, but some examples of business expenses include advertising,


commissions, materials, labor, office expense, legal and professional fees, vehicle expense, supplies, dues and publications, telephone, software, utilities, bank charges, loan interest, equipment, tools and home-office expenses. Some expenses might be partly business and partly personal; for example, a computer could be used both personally and for business so you would divide the cost between the two and deduct the business portion. A business owner with a legitimate home office will deduct a percentage of home related expenses such as mortgage interest or rent, real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, repairs and utilities against business income. The balance of the mortgage interest and real estate taxes not deducted as a business expense will be deductible as an itemized deduction, but there’s a benefit in using a portion as a busi-

significantly lowering their tax bill.

A real-world case study Butch, a client of mine, worked for a company for many years doing grounds maintenance for their multiple locations. About ten years ago he phoned me, busting with excitement. The company had decided to outsource their grounds maintenance, and had offered Butch a higher hourly rate to perform the same services, but now as an independent contractor. Butch was finally going to realize his dream of self-employment, and he was ecstatic with the amount they were willing to pay for his services. The first year working as a contractor Butch fell out of a tree while trimming branches and broke his leg. Since he was self-employed there was no worker’s compensation insurance to pay him during his recovery time. Then winter hit and the buildings

mowers, tractors, and wood chippers; all great tax deductions. He rented a storage yard (also deductible) where he stockpiled woodchips and firewood and began selling these items. A few years ago he took delivery of a truckload of Christmas trees which he sold from his yard. The tree and firewood sales covered the cost of the storage yard.

Flexibility for change The same managers who had made the cost/benefit analysis that determined his termination of employment were either offered early retirement or downsized. Someone higher than they did another cost/benefit analysis which showed the company could hire younger, less experienced workers for less money than the seasoned workers. The new younger managers came in with sharper pencils and got bids from

The road a business owner travels is often a scary and lonely journey with many twists along the way. ness deduction: it will reduce the selfemployment tax as well as the federal income tax, whereas an itemized deduction will only reduce the federal income tax.

The benefits are two-fold A self-employed person who anticipates a tax liability should make estimated payments during the year, making payments as the money comes in, rather than waiting to come up with a large sum months after the money has come and gone. The second valuable benefit for the taxpayer who reviews their tax situation before the end of the year is the opportunity to be proactive and make business expenditures that will reduce tax liability. For example, a business owner with income climbing into a higher bracket might make the decision to purchase a new computer or new vehicle before the end of the year,

didn’t need grounds maintenance during the colder months so he went for several months with no billable hours. As an independent contractor he wasn’t able to collect unemployment when the workload slowed. Then tax time rolled around, and he had an $8,000 tax bill. He had lost income due to his injury and had little income during the winter months, so he had spent whatever money he might have saved to pay taxes during the lean times. How could he owe so much in tax, he lamented, since there was no money sitting in the bank? Finally, Butch started to pay attention when I explained how he was being taxed. He bought a dump truck with a plow so that he could provide plowing services during the leaner winter months, and we maximized the tax deduction for the new truck, significantly reducing his tax bill. In the following years he purchased

other contractors. Suddenly, Butch had to compete with others who could offer the same services for less money. He struggled for a year or two, but eventually realized he needed to offer his services to a larger client base. Once he was less dependent on one client he reaped the benefits of having his apples in more than one basket. Most years when we get together I get the feeling that he enjoys some of the freedoms his self-employment offers, but sometimes he reminisces about the carefree days of paid holidays and vacations and somebody else to help fund his retirement. The road a business owner travels is often a scary and lonely journey with many twists along the way. It may not be possible to anticipate all of the bumps that may interfere with your journey, but an entrepreneur who addresses their tax issues will find the traveling much easier. n

The South Coast Insider / January 2013

31


COVER STORY

rules for success by Paul Letendre

It was June of 2001, a few months before the World Trade Towers disaster. My wife Karen and I had spent a perfect 10 day motorcycle vacation in Nova Scotia. We had near-perfect weather—that doesn’t happen in Nova Scotia, not in June. Traffic was light; the summer tourist season hadn’t started yet.

Careful what you wish

It’s a new year, a mile marker of sorts. It does us well to take some time to think about what has worked well and not so well in this journey we take; to think about how we aim for one destination and often end up someplace entirely different.

32

“Wouldn’t it be cool if the Corporation expanded up here and I could get a transfer?” I asked Karen on our last night there. Karen doesn’t usually curse, “You’ve got to be f&<%*ng nuts. This is a great place to visit but I’d never live here.” Not a real positive response, I’ll take that as a maybe, I thought. The Corporation that I worked for was a national distributor with a warehouse in Norton. It was a good company, but I was frustrated there. I felt stuck in middle management without a lot of foreseeable potential for advancement. Not long after that June, the Corporation did expand up into Canada—they bought 20 or so distribution divisions up there. In the process, I got unstuck from middle management and took a transfer to

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider November 2012 / The South Coast Insider

upper management in Toronto. Yes, Toronto is in Canada. We Americans don’t know much about Canada or Canadians. They know everything about us—possibly more than we know about us. English speaking Canada looks very much like an extension of the U.S., but don’t be fooled, it ain’t. There are enormous differences. First, they are celsius and metric: when they say the temperature is zero degrees it means it’s thirty-two degrees. When they say the speed-limit is 80, it means 50. Their Thanksgiving is on our Columbus Day. Yes, Christmas is their biggest holiday, but Boxing Day (December 26th) is their second biggest (kind of like our Black Friday). But the biggest difference between Canada and U.S. is instead of Dunkin Donuts, they have Tim Horton’s. At Tim’s you can buy a coffee and pay with a coin (a $2 coin) and get change back. It just feels right to buy a coffee and pay with a coin—and still get money back! Toronto was wonderful. Karen wasn’t initially keen on the move, but quickly fell in love with the city and its lifestyle.


Yet another departure Not long after we got settled the corporate office called and offered me an executive position in Atlantic Canada, the easternmost provinces; no, not next month, next week. When Corporate calls and offers, you go. So in the late summer of 2005 Karen and I were again driving to Nova Scotia, this time, not on a motorcycle, but in a packed car from Taunton to Toronto. To put it mildly, Karen again wasn’t keen on this move. On that 2001 week long vacation trip, as nice as Nova Scotia was, we did run out of things to do. It has a lot to offer, but not enough to take up a week. Now we were going to live there. I did take a few days to make this transition from Toronto to Halifax via Taunton. The Corporation provided me with a condo to live in while we searched for a permanent place. After getting me semi-settled, Karen would fly back to Toronto to “take care of the details”—sell the Toronto house, pack everything, arrange for movers, take care of all the paper work, drive the other car to Nova Scotia, get the cars re-registered—do all the small stuff. During that ride northeast, I tried to convince Karen that she would again fall in love with an area. She wasn’t buying it. There was a lot of silent time during our 30 hours of driving. Karen was thinking about selling one house and buying another. I had a lot of time to think about my new position. I was moving into this position in a predominantly rural marketplace. I had been weaned on markets in Boston and Toronto, now I was going to a place that more demographically resembled Montana: lots of miles (no, kilometers); not so many people. I’d be one of the two executives at a division that had four separate branches, spread from Newfoundland to the Maine border. During my pretransfer briefing, I had been warned that the staffs would be wary of me; I would be the “guy from the States that

Corporate has sent.” Yes it would be a challenge. So, during this long ride, doubt settled in, my confidence was fading. I’m going into a situation where I don’t know crap. The company’s annual meeting would be held on my third day there and I’d be addressing 8 or 10 managers from each of the branches. They were expecting solutions and answers. I didn’t even know the questions.

Finding my footing I was still trying to figure out the maps and the population centers. Two of the four biggest markets have the same name (St. John). I hadn’t met any of the players, and had no clue as to who the competition was. Yes, I had been sent dozens of emails with scores of attached reports, and had spent six, maybe eight hours alternately poring over these and going back to the maps to figure out which is where. “Who’s in more trouble, them or me?” I thought. Three days in and I’d need some speaking points. With no real knowledge of specifics, these points would have to be general. After going through a few days of mental gymnastics, this is all I could come up with:

1

Improve each day

Take baby steps. Constant small improvements in how we do something leads to constantly and consistently better performance. Whether it is golf, bowling, filling out business charts, or selling widgets: when we get better at something then we derive some enjoyment from doing it, we get a little shot of positive energy.

2

Do the right thing

We all need to build relationships that are founded on trust and respect. Honesty is first and most fundamental in all of our business and interpersonal dealings. It’s not

always easy or obvious, but when we are doing the right thing, we get a pretty good feeling about whatever it is we are doing. We get shot this positive energy that both feeds us and is contagious.

3

Enjoy doing what we do

Fifty years from now most of us will be worm farmers. We spend a big portion of our lives doing our jobs. If we don’t enjoy it then it’s probably a good idea to either learn to or do something else. There are lots of reasons to have bad moments. There are no reasons to have a bad day. When we’re able to find enjoyment in whatever we do, then the quality of our lives improves and we develop this contagious positive energy. These three things became the essence of my first talk to the workers there. When I delivered them, I almost felt embarrassed that I had no specific remedies or something of greater good to bring to the table. I wasn’t real confident going into that speech and a couple of minutes into it I sensed that I needed something more, maybe I needed to project some authority, so, the “3 Guidelines,” became the “3 Rules.” The “Three Rules” took on a life of their own. They are still around up there in Atlantic Canada, long after I’ve left. Although I delivered them, I probably learned most from them.

A real sense of place Ultimately, I learned that when I take my own advice and strive to get better at whatever it is I’m doing, then I get real satisfaction from doing it, and a positive momentum can ensue. And when I know that I’m doing the right thing, this too is deeply satisfying. And when I’m improving and doing the right thing, and feeling good,—well, that’s what’s it’s all about, isn’t it. Now if I only can get Karen to agree on a destination. n

The South Coast Insider / January 2013

33


COVER STORY

Is civility dead? by Elizabeth Morse Read

If the recent campaign season and eleventh-hour “fiscal cliff” negotiations in Washington didn’t alert you, there’s been an alarming erosion of civility and spirit of compromise in American governance. It’s gotten to the point where you want to keep the kiddies from watching the TV news, because the grown-ups who are supposed to be the role models are increasingly rude, demeaning and downright hostile to members of the opposition—and even to the President himself. Compromise has become a four-letter word; our elected officials behave like brats and schoolyard bullies, 34

and the nation’s direction is captive to ideological extremists (like the Tea Party), unelected influencers (like Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Super-PACs), loud-mouthed rabble-rousers (like Rush Limbaugh), and the tyranny of Mob-Think. Have we reached the tipping point of no return, perpetual stalemate and polarization, with our futures held hostage to the childish tug-of-war in Washington?

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

How low can you go? In a recent CNN survey, people were asked to predict how members of the lame duck Congress would behave in the “fiscal cliff” negotiations. Less than 30% responded “as responsible adults.” 67% said “like spoiled children.” The most recent Gallup poll of registered voters found that the approval rating of the current Congress hit an all-time low of 10%. Another Gallup poll asked voters to rank the most and least trustworthy people/ institutions in the country: Congress came in next to the last, just above car salesmen. That’s a pretty sad commentary on how we perceive our elected officials,

but it also highlights the shrinking pool of mature, moderate candidates in either party. The individual who thinks for him/herself and tries to “do the right thing” has become an endangered species. Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), considered a Tea Party darling when first elected, lost in his bid for reelection not so much because Elizabeth Warren won, but because he was quickly judged to be too bipartisan and willing to compromise with the dark side (i.e., the Democrats) by his own party. Unless candidates and elected officials toe the party line, sign pledges to the lunatic fringe, and pass the litmus test of being against


anything the other side proposes, they are thrown under the bus, no matter their contributions and long-standing dedication to civility and consensus (like Richard Lugar R-IN)—or else they just throw their hands up in total frustration with the partisan gridlock and retire (like Olympia Snowe R-ME or Jim DeMint R-SC). Even Jon Huntsman, a highly-qualified and respected candidate for the Republican nomination in last year’s primaries, had committed the unforgivable sin of serving as the U.S. Ambassador to China for a Democratic administration! Even more scandalous—he was the only Republican hopeful who had refused to sign Grover Norquist’s “pledge” barring any new tax. The GOP is in danger of purging its membership of all but the most rabid ideologues and partisan members—and “reaching across the aisle” (i.e., compromising) for the greater good of the country is seen as treachery and treason, no matter the potentially cataclysmic results. There is zero tolerance for dissension within the rankand-file against the monolithic party platform, and no tolerance for being civil with a non-Republican. And the Democrats aren’t blameless, either—they just haven’t yet produced quite so many outrageous zealots. My grandmother used to say, “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” a homely way of teaching unruly children that you’ll get what you want faster by being nice, not nasty.

Yet, these days, everyone’s ready to sue someone rather than work out differences and disputes, indulging in verbal food fights and tantrums until they get their way. The Congressional version of this infantile behavior is the filibuster, the stonewalling delays in committees, the endless brinkmanship that drags us all to the edge of the abyss in a game of political “chicken.”

Sticks and stones Very few right-leaning politicians or conservative leaders spoke out when radio host Rush Limbaugh called a young woman a “slut” and a “prostitute” for her views on contraception. Even fewer disavowed Donald Trump for his increasingly ridiculous “birther” claims against President Obama, or when Rep. Allen West (RFL) stated that 70-80% of Democrats in the House of Representatives were really Communists. West, who was defeated in the November elections, also claimed that Obama supporters were “a threat to the gene pool,” and that his colleague Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) was “vile...despicable…and not a Lady” and therefore he did not have to respect her. Smear campaigns and character assassination are nothing new in American politics (read up on John Adams’ and Thomas Jefferson’s race for the White House) but the most recent campaign season reached new lows, thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of Citizens United.

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35


Continued from previous page Super-PAC ads, paid for by anonymous campaign contributors, deliberately saturated the airwaves with dishonest and distorted claims that demonized the opposing candidates. Even when criticized for the ads, both sides claimed they had no control over their nameless supporters’ statements or tactics. This gutless hand-washing effectively sanctions demagoguery, propaganda and bigotry. But, just as disturbing, how does this kind of mudslinging differ from bullying? We can admonish our children never to taunt, resort to name-calling or

In a stunning breach of decorum, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted out “You lie! You lie!” while President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress in 2009. Unlike governmental bodies in other countries, where booing and outright brawling are commonplace, the U.S. Congress has always prided itself on its tradition of comity and chivalrous treatment of “the honorable opposition.” You wouldn’t want to be a blind follower of any leader or authority figure, but we’ve reached a point where almost no one shows any respect for the office, the rank or the badge.

Neanderthals—and it’s even harder for children to learn to respect their elders. Whatever happened to playing fair, telling the truth, holding your tongue, and treating your fellow man and woman with courtesy and compassion? When did it become acceptable to settle disagreements with threats, guns, and road rage, or to express displeasure with someone by posting “anonymous” rumors on the internet or billboards or bathroom walls? When did all the grownups in this country regress to preschool behavior? And how are we supposed to raise a generation of children, teenagers and young

play team sports if we don’t all agree to accept “give and take” and waiting our turn? How are our children supposed to learn to “play well with others” if all the grown-ups have taken leave of their senses? Diplomacy is the art of convincing others to willingly do what you want —and this requires restraint, respect and rational behavior. This applies whether you’re dealing with the four-year old who wants to flush the new baby down the toilet, or with your ex-wife who’s giving you heartburn, or the contractor who put the windows in upside-down, or with a political opponent who

Whatever happened to playing fair, telling the truth, holding your tongue, and treating your fellow man and woman with courtesy and compassion? lying, never to stand silent when they witness someone else being cruel and dishonest, but if we, the adults, tolerate such behavior in our leaders, how are our children supposed to learn differently?

Nyah, nyah, nah-nah-nahh… A few years ago, two South Coast town leaders got into a very heated argument after a meeting and ended up slapping each other around in the parking lot. When both pressed charges against the other, the district attorney said, “We have courts for adults. We have courts for children. But we don’t have courts for adults who act like children.” 36

Whether you voted for President Obama or not, he is the president. He should not be distracted by the likes of Donald Trump and his conspiracy theories, Joe Wilson’s outrageous heckling or partisan attacks about socialist take-overs, his religious affiliation, or supposed plots to rescind the second amendment. Likewise, teachers should not be blamed for all that’s wrong in our schools and police officers should not be blamed for the crime rates. Both perform stressful and largely thankless jobs for our communities (like the president), and deserve our respect. But it’s hard to behave well locally when our national leaders act like

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

adults to behave like civilized people if we and our elected officials do not?

Do unto others… Somewhere in the past few years, we began demonizing and demeaning anyone who didn’t agree with us. We started resorting to brinkmanship and bullying to achieve our goals and make ourselves feel good. We marginalized moderates, exalted extremists and hardened our hearts to diplomacy, trust, negotiation, compromise and just plain old neighborliness. How are we supposed to resolve divorce disputes, contract violations, international conflicts, or even

doesn’t want to hear what you’re saying. Rodney King, the unlucky man savagely beaten by rogue LAPD officers in 1991, famously asked, “Can’t we all just get along?” when their acquittal sparked riots in 1992. He did not stoke the flames of revenge or urge on the rioters. If he can forgive his trespassers, why can’t we? There will always be days when you feel like you’re having a battle-of-wits with an unarmed opponent, but choose the high road and find an equitable solution. Who knows? Maybe members of Congress will take notice and start doing their jobs. n


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The South Coast Insider / January 2013

37


ON MY MIND

Post-apocalyptic prognostications by Paul E. Kandarian

If you’re reading this, congratulations, you survived the end of the world December 21, as predicted by the Mayans, who were so good at what they did, they disappeared off the face of the Earth far ahead of schedule. They did this for two reasons: First, they could see into the future and realized that by December 21, 2012, humans would have pretty much screwed up civilization and the planet and deserved a sudden, ignoble end. Secondly, they were famous pranksters; archaeologists recently uncovered something that the Mayans had fashioned out of a rubber tree and is now widely confirmed as being the world’s first whoopee cushion. So there you have it: December 21 was the Mayans’ ultimate gag, a global whoopee cushion, to be collectively sat on by the entire world population which would emit a monstrous, gaseous noise, engaging every human alive to laugh raucously at what the Mayans called “The Forbidden Thunder,” the resultant comic sonic boom blasting us all into an as yet to be determined afterlife. But it didn’t happen. December 21 came and went with nary a concussive blast to be heard. Gladly, or sadly, depending on your level of happiness or depression, we’re still here. And that leaves us all free to make predictions for 2013, which, in the proud calendrical tradition of the Mayans, I realize can be scrambled 38

into the year 1032, when, as true history buffs, or readers of The Mayan Guide to Whacky Numerical Facts

January 2013 / The South Coast Insider

for Your Next End of the World Party, know is when Koenraad II succeeded Rudolf III as King of Beurgundy.


So here are my predictions for 2013. The fiscal cliff will come. Some will plummet off it screaming, some will not, and the rest of us will be left wondering what the hell a fiscal cliff is. America will continue to top the charts as the most obese nation on Earth. The blubbery epicenter will continue to be the South, where giant plastic jugs of fried pork rinds are routinely sold at check-out counters to augment purchases of cigarettes, scratch tickets and National Enquirers. The overall South will gain so much weight in 2013 that by year’s end, it will all settle into the ocean, making Ohio the country’s newest beachfront community, leaving millions of southerners desperately clinging to pork rinds as floatation devices until they eat them and quietly sink below the surface. Global warming will continue. This will be attributed by one side of the environmental fence as humanity’s callous disregard for the Earth as we emit poisonous gases into the sky, and by the other side as the Earth’s regular cycle of warming and cooling. The Earth will continue to do what it damn well pleases because it’s bigger than all of us, was here long before any of us, and will continue to exist long after we’re gone. A slate of presidential hopefuls will be announced for the 2016 run, despite the odds of anyone being elected president running about 1 in 43,000,000. Unless one of them is a Mayan. Those people just have a way with numbers. A new scientific survey will reveal no one really believes scientific surveys. Unemployment numbers will swell from out-of-work surveyors.

Angry, Scowling Rich White Man Party.” But by the time the actual presidential election of 2016 rolls around, Trump’s continually constipated face will reduce him to nothing more than a shriveled, prune-like mound of a man, with a finely coiffed mound of golden hair atop. To be sold at auction for billions. A new reality show will be unveiled, called “You, Me and All of Us,” consisting of a mirror held up on the TV screen reflecting anyone watching it in an extreme state of advanced boredom. It will be immediately hailed as vastly more interesting than any Kardashian, dead, alive or yet to be born.

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Network news will lead with anything any member of the royal family says, does or thinks. In a new medical procedure called a “Bidenectomy,” our vice president will say one stupid thing too many and finally have to have his foot surgically removed from his mouth. Charlie Sheen will marry Lindsay Lohan. They will have children, and in the near future a new reality show, “The Irrelevant Spawn.” Democrats and Republicans will switch places, realize how incredibly remarkable they are as human beings with good intentions aching to do the right thing, panic, and switch back again before any good can come of it. The Mayans will return from wherever they’ve been, acclimate to their new world and create a new “End of the World Whoopee Cushion,” creating huge demand and becoming billionaires. So there you have it, 2013 predictions. They’re all yours. Or Mayan, if you prefer. n

Donald Trump will name himself as the leader of a new faction, “The

The South Coast Insider / January 2013

39


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January 2013 / The South Coast Insider


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The South Coast Insider - January 2013