South Coast Prime Times - Feb./Mar. 2012

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S o u t h

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Prime timeS F ebr ua r y/M a r c h 2 012 • Volum e 8 • Num ber 1

Spring things Serve others Keep learning Date online Enjoy the beauty of wood

PLUS… Tax tips, book picks, cancer care and more

There are some things in life that you just can’t put a price on… If your hearing isn’t what it used to be, we can help! n Our prices are surely reasonable and highly competitive with what you’ll find at “storefront” hearing facilities. Most of our hearing instruments are currently being sold at 35% to 65% off manufacturer’s suggested retail price. n The Hearing Center is a division of Eye Health Vision Centers, a practice that has served the community for over 30 years with offices in Dartmouth, Taunton, Fall River, Fairhaven and Middletown, RI. n With a focus on audiology and hearing health, we provide comprehensive services for both children and adults.

Your hearing is one of them. The Hearing Center

n We use only the most sophisticated, technologically-advanced testing equipment available on the market today. n The Hearing Center offers five day per week walk-in service for hearing aids at our offices in North Dartmouth, Taunton and Middletown, RI and by appointment at our Fall River office. n FREE

hearing screenings offered daily at our offices in Dartmouth, Taunton, Middletown, RI and by appointment in Fall River.


video inspection of the ear offered daily.


Hearing Aid checks and cleanings.


follow up visits on all hearing aid sales. We work with you until we get it right!


lifetime supply of batteries with our digital instruments.

n We offer the absolute best hearing instruments on the market today: outstanding sound quality with unmatched feedback suppression, including digital, programmable hearing aids that fit entirely inside the ear. n Custom

swim plugs and iPod plugs available.

n Special

phones and phone accessories for hearing impaired available.

n We

at Eye Health Vision Centers

repair all brands of hearing aids.

n We accept all major insurances, including MassHealth and Commonwealth. n 0%

financing available

n Gift

certificates available

n Caring,

qualified, professional and highly experienced staff.

Arrange for a Free Hearing Screening… Contact any of our offices: 51 State Road (Rt. 6) Dartmouth, MA 508-910-2221

933 Pleasant Street Flint Village Plaza Fall River, MA 508-673-2020

73 Valley Road Middletown, RI 401-845-2020

64 Winthrop Street (Rt. 44) Taunton, MA 508-823-5536

Heart Care at Southcoast. % Top 5 in U.S. Again! That’s not just us talking. It’s HealthGrades — the nation’s leading independent health care ratings organization. In fact, Southcoast has been named a recipient of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for heart care by HealthGrades. If you have heart problems, it’s good to know that the most experienced and established heart program in the region is just minutes away at Southcoast Hospitals.

Our 2012 HealthGrades report card HealthGrades Specialty Excellence Awards • Recipient of the HealthGrades Cardiac Care Excellence Award™ 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 • Recipient of the HealthGrades Cardiac Surgery Excellence Award 2012

• Recipient of the HealthGrades

Coronary Intervention Excellence Award 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Clinical Achievements • Ranked among the top 5% in the U.S. for overall cardiac services 2012 • Ranked among the top 5% in the U.S. for cardiac surgery 2012

• Ranked among the top 10% in the U.S. for

cardiology services 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 • Ranked among the top 10% in the U.S. for

coronary interventional procedures 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

4499 Acushnet Ave. New Bedford, MA (508) 995-6900

The Wound Care Center

Are you caring for a disabled adult in your home? Beacon Adult Foster Care pays caregivers a taxfree stipend to care for your loved ones at home, as an alternative to assisted living or nursing home placement. Adult Foster Care (AFC) is a MassHealth-funded program that provides 24-hour home care services for people with chronic health care needs. AFC lets people maintain their daily routines with ongoing supervision and assistance from a qualified live-in caregiver. An AFC member must live in Massachusetts and have MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth insurance. An AFC caregiver must be 18 years of age and may not be the spouse or legal guardian of an AFC member.

For more information call 774-202-1837 or visit our website

T O A DV E R T I SE I N S OU T H C OA S T PR I M E T I M E S C A L L 50 8 - 677-30 0 0

SOUTH Westport - 3 bedroom Cape off Hixbridge Road. Recently updated South Westport home offering 1st floor master, gleaming oak floors, new furnace, new bath & enclosed breezeway. This home has a full bath and additional kitchen in lower level for possible in-law arrangement. An oversized deck overlooks a private, wooded lot. $314,900. Call 508-679-3998.

Tiverton – Stately 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath Colonial on historic Highland Road situated on nearly 2 acres of manicured grounds offering hardwood floors, mahogany paneled dining room & library, formal living room, central air, fireplace, 3 stall garage plus loft. Close to area beaches and coastal attractions. $599,000. Call 508-679-3998.

SOUTH Westport - Underwood Farm - Great 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit at Underwood Farms offering over 1,200 s.f. of living space & 650 s.f. loft area, hardwood floors, den, central air, natural gas, custom granite kitchen, & deck. Close to area beaches & attractions. $269,000. Call 508-679-3998.

Berkley - First Offering - $379,000. Bright & spacious 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath Colonial in quiet, young, convenient neighborhood. This home boasts a newly designed kitchen and family room/bonus room over the garage. Family friendly with room to grow! Call 508-679-3998.

Westport - Perfect for two! $149,000. Quaint and meticulous with new roof, windows & electric. Brand new 2 bdrm, septic‌lovely, private lot and carport. Central air & more! This home qualifies for USDA funding. No money down! Call 508-679-3998.

February/march 2012

contents 20 18 28

F e atures

Prime S e ason

12 Technology:

10 Serve the South Coast 16 Tax Tips

14 Prime Health:

Need a smartphone? by Dan Logan and Robin LaCroix

Cancer services by Joyce Rowley

36 Book Picks:


Honest history Compiled by Magoo Gelehrter

By Stacie Charbonneau Hess

18 Lifelong learning

by Dan Logan and Robin LaCroix

28 Beware of scammers

By Sherri Mahoney-Battles

20 Wood still works

By Lori Bradley

24 Elder care

By Joyce Rowley

By Elizabeth Morse Read

38 Peace on earth

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Prime L iving

By Richard Clark

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26 Elaine’s retiring

By Stacie Charbonneau Hess

G ood T imes


What’s news? By Elizabeth Morse Read

32 On-line dating

By Jay Pateakos

34 Try Lay-a-way

By Sherri Mahoney-Battles

Join us!


oastal Communications Corporation exuberantly invites you to join us in our new online adventure. Between our ever-growing Facebook page and our newly designed website, our web presence has never been stronger. Our goal is to create our own version of the “social network,” one that ties the South Coast community together, from artists to bankers, from librarians to chefs.

COPD may have taken control of your breathing. A Clinical Research Opportunity

You don’t have to let it take control of your life. If you’re at least 40 years old and a former or current smoker struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may qualify to take part in a clinical research study. If enrolled, you may receive at no cost: • Study medication

To accomplish this feat, we need your help. If you have a photo you’d like to have published, a blog you’d like to plug, a story you’d like to tell or a community you’d like to reach out to, then email us at or call 508-677-3000.

• Study-related care • Compensation for your time and travel

Consider joining a study for COPD. Take the first step. See if you qualify.

If you would like to search an event or submit yours visit www. This is a monumental undertaking for our region. We believe that together, we can create something we’ll all be proud of. thesouthcoastinsider

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From The Publisher February/March 2012 n Vol. 8 n No. 1

It’s been such a mild winter that some plants have been working their way out of the ground for months now, but there’s still something special about spring. This issue offers many ways to enjoy the season of rebirth.

Published by

Coastal Communications Corp. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Editors

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

Lori Bradley, Richard Clark, Stacie Charbonneau Hess, Robin LaCroix, Dan Logan, Sherri Mahoney-Battles, Jay Pateakos, Elizabeth Morse Read, Joyce Rowley South Coast Prime Times is published bi-monthly. Copyright ©2012 Coastal Communications Corp.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. All information contained herein is believed to be reliable. Coastal Communications Corp. does not assume any financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisements, but will reprint that portion of an advertisement in which the typographical error occurs.

Looking for a way to give back? Stacie Charbonneau Hess suggests how you can serve the South Coast. Want to try a Smartphone? Dan Logan and Robin LaCroix provide some pros and cons. Need some advice about taxes? Sherri Mahoney-Battles has some tips. It’s also a great time to get out. Jay Pateakos provides some online dating advice and Stacie Charbonneau Hess explains why Elaine’s retiring and how this doesn’t mean the Black Whale is leaving the city, but just moving to the web. That’s quite a change, but it’s nothing compared to the difference the shop and its owner helped make in downtown New Bedford. Take a stroll on a cobblestone road just to celebrate. Need more of an excuse to get out? Do a little lay-a-way shopping, Sherri Mahoney-Battles tells why it’s not a bad idea. Want to do something a little special? Lori Bradley describes why wood is a good medium to work with. Of course, there’s even more for you to discover here in these pages and on the web at where we’re building a new online community.

Next Deadline April 1, 2012

I’m also excited to announce that there’s so much going on in the area that South Coast Prime Times will now be published bi-monthly, six times a year. You demanded more content, and we’re all pleased to be delivering it to you.

Circulation 25,000


Enjoy it all: the website, the magazine, and, as we hope you can, winter.

$14.95 per year

M ailing A ddress

I know I do.

South Coast Prime Times P.O. Box 3493 Fall River, MA 02722

See you soon,

Tel: (508) 677-3000 Fax: (508) 678-3003


Ljiljana Vasiljevic

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


Our advertisers make this publication possible —please support them 8

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We’re by your side so your parents can stay at home. Whether you are looking for someone to help an aging parent a few hours a week, or need more comprehensive assistance, Home Instead can help. • Companionship • Personal Care • Meal Preparation

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• Light Housekeeping Reminders . • Medication • Shopping & Errands

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Call for a free, no-obligation appointment


Each Home Instead Senior Care ® franchise office is independently owned and operated. ©2012 Home Instead, Inc.

What do you look for in a Hearing Health Care Professional? Meet Eugene P. Antonell, BC-HIS

Choosing any. IRA was eas t was The hard paretire. waiting to r Finding an option that is right for you should be easy. At First Citizens’ we’ll provide you with options, solutions, and personalized service so you can take control of your financial security and start enjoying the road to retirement. You know where you want to be, and we can help get you there. It’s real life...and we’re closer than you think.

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For more info call 508-993-6467


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Your Neighborhood Hearing Instrument Specialist S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

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E xtra! E xtra!

In brief… February may be cold and short, but it’s long on holidays and things-to-do, both indoors and out! Plus there’s the Academy Awards, Mardi Gras—and school vacation week! March is time Eliz abeth Morse Read to celebrate all things Irish and to start thinking about gardening and sprucing up for warmer weather. So check out what’s happening all around the South Coast, whether your interests are the arts, the great outdoors or spending time with family and friends. We’ll continually update the news on our website at

Phew! The Hawthorne Country Club was sold at auction to Kevin Santos, owner of the Waterfront Grille in New Bedford. Santos plans to upgrade the HCC and keep it in the golf and banquet business. But—alas—Café Funchal in New Bedford has shut its doors.

Support Local Theatre! The drama club of Old Rochester Regional High School will present The Boy Friend, March 22-25. Contact Lisa Cardoza at 508-758-6762 for more information. New Bedford’s Your Theatre will present Tennessee Williams’ Night of the Iguana March 15-25. Call 508-993-0772 or go to Middleborough’s Theatre One Productions at the Alley Theatre begins its 30th season in February. Visit Theatre One on Facebook or call 508-947-7716 for a complete schedule. Find out what’s playing at Fall River’s Little Theatre by calling 508-6751852 or go to


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All Creatures, Great and Small Well, there’ve been no more sightings of the black bears, but a few right whales showed up in the Cape Cod Canal, there have been several dolphin strandings, strange-lightsin-the-sky were reported regionally during December, and there have been several reports of rabid raccoons and skunks—one unfortunate man on the Cape became the first confirmed victim of rabies in the state since the 1930s, possibly bitten by a bat. Better make sure your pets’ shots are up-to-date. Go for a stroll and visit the animals at Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence (call 401-785-3510 or go to www., or at New Bedford’s Buttonwood Park Zoo (508-9914566 or or the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol RI (401-253-9062 or www.

Get Involved in Your Community! The Boys and Girls Club of New Bedford is looking for folks to mentor the kids. Go to or call 508-992-8011. Find out what’s what’s good for you at your local YMCA. Check out the Spring Program Guide for all locations at Join in the free meditation group every fourth Tuesday of the month at the Unitarian Church in Fairhaven. All are welcome—call 508-992-7081.

651 Orchard Street, Suite 202 New Bedford, MA 774.202.7049 Fat Loss Program with Cornerstone Wellness

(l-r) Irving Restituyo, MD, Sylvia Goncalo, RN, Flavia Thornson, RN, William Thornson, PA-C

Dedicated to providing state of the art anti-aging treatments utilizing the latest in cutting-edge technology. All services provided by medical professionals using physician grade products only. Consultations are available in Portuguese and Spanish. Call 774-202-7049 today for your complimentary consultation.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors Take a sunrise stroll on the Annual Owl Prowl at The Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth on Feb. 19 (raindate Feb. 26)—Go to www.lloydcenter. org or call 508-990-0505. Get some exercise by joining the free crosscountry skiing (weather permitting) at the Westport Town Farm on Feb. 18. Make a reservation by calling 508636-4693 x 13. Or schedule a tasting and tour of Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery. Learn more at www.

M aking M on ey M at ters L ess Ta xing

Tax Preparation without the S-T-R-E-S-S

25 Years Experience Specializing in small business and individuals Enrolled Agent… Licensed by the Internal Revenue Service

171 Pine Hill Road • Westport, MA

Call Sherri Mahoney today 508-636-9829

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The Roads Less Travelled

When the Kiddies Are Visiting Take them to the Children’s Museum in Easton for “Whoddunnit?” presentations from State Police investigators, FBI agents, Child ID technicians and police dogs. Call 508230-3789 or go to www. Or check out the Children’s Museum

They’re predicting that a gallon of gas will be over $4.00 by springtime, so plan your excursions accordingly! Check out some of the lesser-known museums on the South Coast, like the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River ( or 508-6757333), the Museum of Archeology in Middleboro ( or 508-947-9005), the Thermometer Museum in Onset ( or 508-295-5504) or the Glass Museum in New Bedford (www. or 508-984-1666). Sample what’s happening at Newport’s Winter Festival Feb. 17-26 by going to or by calling 401-847-7666. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) at the parade in Newport! For info, go to If you need to dream of warmer weather, head for the New England Boat Show Feb. 11-19 at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. Call 617-954-2000. Or visit the Rhode Island Flower and Garden Show at the RI Convention Center Feb. 23-26. Go to www. or call 401-272-0980. Attend broadcasts from the 92nd St. Y, plays, music and more at Tiverton Four Corners. Go to for complete details. Your town’s farmers market may be closed for the season, but it’s open year-‘round at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket! For details, call 401-312-4250 or go to Or, to find farmfresh food near you, go to www.

of Greater Fall River. Find out what’s scheduled by going to www. Feb. 20-24 (school vacation) is “Cabin Fever Week” at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. Special events and crafts every day 12-2 free with admission. Call 508-9914566 or visit And don’t miss the excitement at the Ocean Explorium during vacation week! Call 508-994-5400 or go to Or head for the Providence Children’s Museum. Call 401-273-KIDS or visit


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After Hours Enjoy an evening of free fun and entertainment at New Bedford’s AHA! Night on the second Thursday of every month. March 8’s theme is “Hear Me Roar.” Go to or call 508-996-8253 for a full schedule of events—and don’t forget that there’s plenty to do, enjoy and eat at AHA! After Nine. Bring the family and friends to the Attleboro Winter Night Festival on Feb. 25 (rain date Feb. 26). Call 508-223-2222 or go to Enjoy “An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan” performed by Opera Providence at Blithewold in Bristol RI on Feb. 24 and 26. Call 401-253-2707 or go to Keep up on what’s happening at Common Fence Music in Portsmouth RI. Listen to Dirk Powell & Riley Baugus on Feb. 18, and in March, there’s Celtic music, Rumbafrica and more. For a schedule of events, call 401-683-5085 or go to

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“Let Me Entertain You!” Lots going on in the Bay State! Catch Hugh Masekela on Feb. 24, or The Temptations Feb. 25. at the Zeiterion in New Bedford. In March there’s the Joffry Ballet Company, Joan Rivers, Monty Python’s Spamalot and more. Call 508-994-2900 or go to . Enjoy an afternoon of piano music March 25 at Westport’s Concerts at the Point. Go to www. Or enjoy an afternoon of “German Gems” performed by the Tri-County Symphonic Band on March 18 at Tabor Academy in Marion. For details, go to Don’t miss the Annual Young Artist Competition on Feb. 26 at BCC, sponsored by the Fall River Symphony Orchestra. For info, go to And to find out what’s happening at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River, call 508-324-1926 or go to And there’s lots more going on in the Ocean State! Providence’s Trinity Rep opens a great season this month! There’s Merchant of Venice at the Chace Theatre through March 11; and a trilogy of new drama, Three by Three, starting Feb. 16 at the Dowling Stage. Call 401-351-4242 or go to Discounts for seniors, students, educators and heroes (military, police, and firefighters). And get discount tickets for performances of the RI Philharmonic, too! Find out what’s on the program for the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra by calling 401-248-7000 or by visiting Or if ballet is what you want, check out the Festival Ballet in Providence. Go to Dance! Music! Theatre! Check out the Spring Performing Arts Series at Rhode Island College in Providence. Go to or call 401-456-8144 for complete details. Get in the act at the Providence Performing Arts Center! Watch a performance of Mary Poppins Feb. 8-19 or Come Fly Away Mar. 2-4. For more information, call 402-421-2787 or go to

On the Road Again… Check out the day trips sponsored by the New Bedford Senior Travel Program. There’s a Mardi Gras event Feb. 21, the Rhode Island Flower Show Feb. 23 or Foxwoods Casino Feb. 27 or a Maple Sugaring tour along the Ipswich River on Mar. 14. Call 508-991-6171 for complete details. Many COAs and senior centers throughout the South Coast sponsor trips and transportation, so check out what’s available in your town, too. Save yourself some gas money!

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Prime living

S erving in the South Coast “Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” —Martin Luther King

Deirdre, 54, a Swansea native, works full time. Since her children are now grown up and on their own, Deirdre has been Stacie thinking about how Charbonneau she might be able to hess give more of her time to her community, not knowing exactly where she was needed. Then an opportunity came along that fit perfectly: SMILES, a mentoring agency based in New Bedford, matches adult volunteer mentors with school-aged children (“mentees”) to spend time together during the school-week, in a supervised setting. Although the time commitment adds up to just a little more than one hour a week, including driving back and forth to Hayden-MacFadden, the elementary school where Deirdre mentors, the rewards filter throughout the rest of her week. “I wake up and think, Ahh, Friday! (her day to mentor at Hayden MacFadden). I get one hour of sweetness in my work week.” The sweetness comes in the form of an eight-year old girl, a vivacious third grader For the majority of the hour Deirdre and the girl take turns reading to each other. “What I love about SMILES is that it’s highly organized. They are so prepared. It’s all about the child; the whole 45 minutes, it’s just for me and her.” Deirdre had to go through initial training that explained the role of the mentors, as well as the boundaries set by SMILES. For 14

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example, SMILES provides every child with the gift of a book, and they discourage outside gifts from mentors—they want to keep everything equal. Should a mentor and mentee feel that they want to spend more time together, say at a baseball game or a family barbecue, and forge a longerterm connection, SMILES and the Big Brother/Big Sister program collaborates to make that happen, with the stipulation of additional training. When Deirdre relocated for work last year, away from Swansea and into the city, she noticed “a higher number of children apparently on their own,” and “moms looking tired.” Having been a mother of three young children herself, she had empathy for that particular dilemma. “Everyone has something to give,” she says. “I love that SMILES is one on one. You really do feel like you’re making a difference. At the end of the session, when the kids line up to go, you get that one last look from your child—it just brightens your day.”

Other opportunities Opportunities for volunteering time and energy abound in the South Coast. You may have a particular passion – the arts, the environment, the elderly, etc. To find a situation that fits your interests and availability, just let people know you are willing to help! You’ll soon have many options. For example, say you love decorating and / or planning events. Some organizations accept short-term volunteers to help organize events; a planning committee

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for a fundraiser, led by the organization’s director, might ask you to generate excitement and get the word out through hanging posters or drafting press releases, or to make sure there are enough flowers on the tables the night of the event. The benefits of being on a committee are improved social connections: often volunteers will host planning “lunch meetings,” or meet at a restaurant to mix volunteer “business” with pleasure. Your role as a volunteer should play on your strengths and interests. The rewards are not limited to the organization you assist; giving your time, talents and energy, without seeking a reward, can bring unexpected benefits.

Heath care Community Nurse & Hospice Care, based in Fairhaven, invites volunteers with a variety of interests. “Indirect” volunteers may organize a spring fundraiser to bolster the organization’s efficacy in a particular area. “Direct” volunteers work to alleviate the burden on families by working more closely with Hospice patients. Direct volunteering, in this case, naturally requires a greater time commitment because of the training and screening process. It can be intense and it’s not for everyone, but it’s a wonderful way to give back. As Clare Healy Foley, Executive Director of Community Nurse & Hospice Care, explains, “A lot of our volunteers are retired people who want to give back after their own experience with Home Care or Hospice. They have been affected in some

way by what we do. There are many ways to get involved; some people may not feel comfortable being a Direct volunteer, but they will go, for example, to the North Dartmouth Mall (and attend a community outreach event). We really value all our volunteers.” Community Nurse & Hospice Care hosts many events throughout the year, such as the upcoming Great Golf Ball Drop & Gala at the Kittansett Club in Marion on May 11, 2012. They are always looking for new volunteers to help them in their mission of providing quality health care to patients at home.

Big Brother/Big Sister This perhaps the oldest and best-known of all the volunteer organizations. Big Brother/Big Sister is predicated on the longterm commitment of the volunteer and his or her relationship with a younger person for whom the volunteer is a role model. Big Brothers and Sisters are adults of all ages – from new college-graduates to retirees. In the best of circumstances, the Big Brother or Sister is a reliable constant in a young person’s life. The commitment of a Big Brother or Sister is just 4 hours a month, for a minimum commitment of one year. Time spent with your little brother or sister might be after school or on a leisurely Saturday afternoon (parent-permission dependent), once a month. Currently, and at any given time, there are at least 100 names on the waiting list for a Big Brother or Sister. Parents can refer their own children to be on the list for

a Big Brother or Sister, and so can teachers, counselors, or Child & Family Services. Generally, volunteers are matched with a child of the same gender, aged 7-14. They are expected to give the child one-on-one attention, but are encouraged to do free or inexpensive things with the child, and not to give expensive gifts. “But some volunteers do spend money on their little brother or sister, and many do take the child to their family gatherings and barbecues, and that’s okay too,” says Deanna Bodeau, Program Coordinator of the Big Brother/ Big Sister program for Child & Family Services in New Bedford. “Especially in the beginning, though, we really do encourage that one-on-one.” There’s always a need, Boudeau says, “because as soon as we place one child with a Big Brother or Sister, there is another one referred to our office.” SMILES Call 508-999-9300 or email Big Brother/Big Sister Program Coordinator Deanna Bodeau at 508-990-0894 Community Nurse & Hospice Care 508-992-6278 or email

Stacie Charbonneau Hess serves in her community as a volunteer, most recently as Vice Chair of the AHA! Project, a monthly arts & culture event that invites the public to take part, for free, in the artistic community of downtown New Bedford.

More ideas for nature lovers The Trustees of Reservations welcomes volunteers of every age and skill level to assist in its outdoor programs. Here’s what’s coming up in March: March 3, 2012, 1-3 pm. Nest Box Building , Watuppa Reservation Headquarters Cost: $15 per box taken home Help to improve bluebird habitat by building a nest box you can take home with you or donate to our nest box program. The populations of these beautiful birds have been in decline due to a shortage of natural nesting cavities, and competition from non-native species. By helping to build well-designed nesting boxes, participants can encourage the return of these birds and improve the biodiversity of our region. March 10, 2012, 1-3 pm. Bluebird Monitor Training, Westport Town Farm, Cost: FREE The open fields of the Westport Town Farm provide an ideal nesting habitat for rare grassland birds such as Eastern Bluebirds. Volunteers are needed to monitor nest boxes regularly during the spring and early summer at locations in Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, and Rochester. Come learn how you can participate in this ongoing project to bring back the Blues. For these and upcoming opportunities, call 508-636-4693 x13 or email:

303 State Road n Westport, MA n



Cemetery Lettering


Cleaning & Repair


Mailbox Posts




Address Rocks


Pet Markers


Laser Etchings


The doctor is always in. Meeting your heart surgeon is one thing. Getting to know him is quite another. Before, during and after their surgery, Southcoast heart patients and their families are delighted with the expert care and personal service available close to home. Learn about our outstanding quality at

Heart Surgery at Southcoast. Big city heart care. Without the hassle. SOUTHCOAST HOSPITALS CHARLTON • ST. LUKE’S • TOBEY

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Smartphones do i need one ?

So what is a smartphone? Do you absolutely have to have one? For kids it’s a no-brainer—you get a smartphone. If it isn’t a smartphone, it’s an embarrassment. If you’re older, the smartphone is a thornier issue: show me why smartphone service is worth paying 30 dollars a month, on top of my existing cellphone bill. And add to that the price of the smartphone itself, which usually runs from $100 to $400. There’s no doubt about it, the smartphone is an incredible convenience. Communication, information and entertainment are available almost instantly, whether you’re sitting in bed or driving down the highway. Text, data and talk is the smartphone mantra. The main downside is the expense. Who thought we’d look wistfully back to the days when a $100 monthly phone bill was mainly long distance charges that you could make the choice to avoid. With a smartphone you’re usually committing to a monthly payment. But, if communication with family and friends or business associates is the lifeblood of your day, a smartphone may be worth the monthly tab. Things change fast Fifteen years ago we had simple cellphones for calls. If we wanted a tiny mobile computer that would let us store and work on information, we got a personal digital assistant (PDA) like the Palm Tungsten or HP Jornada or Apple Newton. You could hook your PDA to your computer and synchronize your information, so you had it available when you hit the road. Not perfect, but better than lugging a laptop around.


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Still, technology kept marching forward, and 10 years ago it was already apparent that more computer capability could be shoehorned into a cellphone. Wireless networks were expanding and improving. The PDA soon went the way of the dodo. Now your options are a simple cellphone, which is fine for phone calls and modest text and entertainment use, or a smartphone.

The pros Smartphones offer convenience. Communication, information and entertainment are always close at hand. n There are applications (“Apps”) for every task under the sun, from GPS navigation to e-mail, to book and periodical readers. You can set up medication reminders, or plan your next trip. If you’re competitive, you can play games against opponents from around the world. n

n Apps for smartphones are free or very inexpensive, with many costing $10 or less.

If you use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, you can use it on your smartphone.


Smartphones are a multimedia cornucopia. You can listen to music, take,


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look at and edit still images, and shoot videos and watch movies. Smartphones are very capable. If you’re in business, you can conduct much of your business on your smartphone, from scheduling to creating documents to placing orders and making payments. You can make better use of your time.


The cons The monthly bill. Two-year contracts are the standard payment model and the basic data plans start at about $30 a month above and beyond the cellphone bill. n The price of the phone itself. n

The learning curve. It’s a pain in the neck to get to the convenience stage of owning a smartphone. Before that you must compare service plans from the service providers (the largest carriers include Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint), then compare the phone models that each carrier offers. Once you commit, you must learn to use the phone.


Battery life. In the way musclecars inhale gasoline, smartphones are addicted to electricity. Even with modest use, the battery may not last the day, so an extra battery may be a necessity.


Small screen. A 4-inch can be difficult to read.


Small keypads. Most operations on a smartphone are accomplished by touching the screen, but you have the option to type on a tiny keyboard or a virtual keyboard. This can be frustrating for those with big hands.


The entire smartphone ecosystem keeps improving, even if the purchase process doesn’t seem to get easier. The major carriers seem determined to make it as difficult as possible to compare apples with apples, so it can be a challenge to figure out which service plan and phone model will give you the most bang for your buck. One good approach is to talk with your friends; see how they like the carrier and phone model they chose. The popularity of smartphones rests on their ability to move data (mainly texting and the Internet). All this data puts a strain on the carrier’s wireless networks, so the carriers keep improving the networks. Users can pay to access faster networks. So– called “3G” service is slower but cheaper. “4G” is more expensive but faster. New phone models come out in a steady stream, and it’s difficult to find out which one best suits your needs from reading the marketing literature. Apple’s iPhone is wildly popular because it’s attractive, easy to use, and offers lots of apps. Phones that use the Android operating system are the iPhone’s main competition. The Android world has a anarchic feel to it, but it also offers more flexibility than the tightly controlled iPhone universe, so there are advantages to each. The major carriers offer both iPhones and Android phones. The choice between cellphone and smartphone is cut-and-dry: you now have a pretty good idea whether or not you’ll put a smartphone to good use. If you decide you want a smartphone, don’t be discouraged by the details you’ll have to attend to. As you become more attuned to what smartphones can do, you’ll put yours to more use. For the willing learner, a smartphone is a good companion. No wonder kids like them. Dan Logan and Robin L aCroix are freelance writers and photographers who partner in Tightrope Photography, a Rehoboth-based company specializing in family history.

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John Robson

Prime Health

They’ve got the

By Joyce Rowley

south coast covered

Southcoast Health System adds cancer services & technologies From Fall River to Wareham, Southcoast Health System has initiated state-of-the-art cancer treatment technology and services so that their patients don’t have to travel to get the treatment they need. “We are dedicated to bringing our patients and their families the very best cancer treatment and making it available right here in their community,” said Therese M. Mulvey, MD, Physician-in-Chief & Medical Oncologist for the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care. “It is crucial for South Coast communities to have access to high-quality oncology services without having to travel. The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care have been developed with the primary


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focus on our patients’ medical, emotional and social needs.” To accomplish this goal, Southcoast Health System has invested considerably in facilities, services, and staffing. Two cancer treatment centers—Fairhaven Cancer Treatment Center, and the Mitchell Building on the Charlton Memorial Hospital campus in Fall River—costing $60 million—were completed by 2011. And this past fall, the $13.9 million Southcoast Medical Center, housing specialty and primary physicians under one roof, opened at Rosebrook Park in East Wareham. Southcoast invested another $8.5 million in new radiology imaging equipment

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in 2011 for all facilities and anticipates investing $8 million in 2012, said Debra Demarais, Executive Director of Radiology Imaging Services for Southcoast Hospitals Group, a partner of Southcoast Health System. “Investing in current equipment with new technology is essential to providing the highest quality care to our patients within our communities,” said Demarais. “A key focus for the Radiology Imaging Services department is to provide quality imaging with the lowest possible radiation dose while at the same time ensuring the patient’s experience meets and exceeds their expectations.”

New Technologies Here are some of the changes that Southcoast has made to bring services and technologies closer to the patients. 64-slice CT scanner – The “slicing” refers to the images that are taken and pieced together—not the effect on the patient. A CT scanner is like having multiple x-rays of a part of the patient which are then read by a computer that pieces them together. The new scanner is faster, gets clearer images, and reduces radiation dosage by 30 to 50%. All this leads to more timely and accurate diagnoses.


Wireless digital detector – The digital detector has now gone wireless. Since the equipment has to be swung around the patient, technologists say it’s great not to deal with all the extra cords, particularly useful in operating rooms. And it carries a lower dosage of radiation than older models.


Portable digital x-ray – At Tobey Hospital, when every minute counts, this machine allows the operating room surgeon or emergency room physician to see digital images immediately. Previously, images had to be downloaded elsewhere and brought back for viewing.


SPECT/CT camera – This is the first of its kind in the Southcoast and allows the cardiologist to get a better image of the patient’s heart. Currently it is only available at the Medical Center at Rosebrook.


Mobile PET/CT scanner – Mobile PET/CT scanners at both Fairhaven and Truesdale clinic in Fall River allow a more comprehensive view of the cancer site.


New services But perhaps the most significant way that Southcoast Health System has changed its cancer treatment is the multi-disciplinary approach. Richard Miller, M.D., Physician-inChief of Surgical Services and Elizabeth Blanchard, M.D., medical oncologist and Director of Clinical Trials Program for the Southcoast Cancer Treatment Center, lead the team with Dr. Tushar Kumar. “Patients don’t have to drive all over town to get the tests they need when they’re sick,” said Doctor Kumar, a radiation oncologist who splits his time between the two Southcoast Cancer Treatment Center in Fairhaven and Fall River. Dr. Kumar specializes in cancers of the prostate, head and neck.

It began with a thoracic cancer treatment clinic at the Mitchell Building at Charlton Memorial Hospital, he said. Now Southcoast will begin a breast cancer treatment team clinic in Fairhaven. Once a week, the surgeon, radiologist and radiology oncologist will meet at the new Fairhaven Southcoast Cancer Treatment Center to discuss four to five patients’ cases. Then this multi-disciplinary team will meet with the individual patients. “The patient gets all of the opinions on one day. Each doctor explains what the patient is going to get for treatment, what side effects there may be, what to expect. Patients don’t have to go to three different doctors over two weeks for different opinions,” said Dr. Kumar. “We’re really making sure our patients are being taken care of—having a nurse to call when they get home,” said Dr. Kumar. “Our technology is amazing, that part is already set. Sometimes the best technology is good support staff.” Key to the patients’ support is a “nurse navigator” who ushers patients through every part of the process, describes the treatment options, and is “plugged in” to the doctors when the patients have questions—even after the patients go home. “We’re really making sure our patients are being taken care of—having a nurse to call when they get home,” said Dr. Kumar. “Our technology is amazing, that part is already set. Sometimes the best technology is good support staff.” Southcoast Health System is a not-forprofit charitable organization that provides community-based health delivery system offering advanced health services throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and East Bay, Rhode Island. It includes Southcoast Hospitals Group, formed in 1996 from the merger of Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford and Tobey Hospital in Wareham and 40 facilities throughout the South Coast region. For more information on the radiology equipment or treatment discussed in this article, go to Joyce Rowley is a contributing writer to The South Coast Insider/Prime Times magazines on health, education and the environment. She has a bachelor of science degree in geology and a masters degree in community planning.

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Prime living

Tax-filing tips

Sherri MahoneyBattles

The 2011 tax filing season has begun, and as a tax preparer I relish the beginning of each new tax season. I know most people do not look forward to filing their income taxes with the same enthusiasm, but a few tips and tax savings can make the process a little more pleasant. Organization is the key to a smooth tax preparation. Label a folder or envelope 2011 Tax Documents, then as documents arrive in the mail collect them in the folder or envelope. Most of these forms will be marked with the words “Important Tax Document”, but if you have any doubts as to the importance of a document just drop it in the folder. It’s better to have your tax preparer tell you something isn’t needed than to be missing a critical form at filing time. Tax forms are due to be delivered to recipients by January 31st, but not all companies meet this deadline. Additionally, in recent years many 1099 forms were corrected after a taxpayer had already filed their return, requiring clients to amend


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their returns. So, even if you receive revised tax forms in the mail after you have filed your return be sure to compare it with the original to see if an amended return is necessary. (Our firm provides clients with organizers which list the previous years’ information. Over the years, our clients have found these organizers to be incredibly helpful tools.) The organizers show a snapshot view of documents and amounts from the previous year. So, if a particular document isn’t received or if the amount is significantly different from the previous year, we typically ask why. If you do your own taxes or if your preparer doesn’t provide an organizer, a review of the previous years’ return or documents can serve the same purpose. It is much easier to get the return right the first time than to receive an IRS notice questioning why income was omitted from a return.

Do your homework Nothing stops a tax returns completion faster than a taxpayer with missing information. Thanks to IRS matching requirements much of the information needed to complete a return is mailed to taxpayers on information forms. These forms include

things like interest income, dividend income, mortgage interest, W2’s, etc. There are, however, circumstances when a taxpayer needs to provide information not included on these forms. The most common situation for missing information arises when a taxpayer sells stocks or investment property. The amount of the sale is reported to the IRS, but only the amount of the gain is taxable. So, a taxpayer needs to know the date the asset was acquired as well as the original cost of the asset when it was purchased so the amount of gain can be determined. Also, under current tax law a married couple can exclude up to $500,000 in gain from the sale of a primary residence ($250,000 for a single person). If the sale price of your home exceeds $500,000 it’s important to know the original cost of the home plus improvements in order to know if there is a gain that exceeds $500,000 which would be subject to taxation. For tax year 2011, the personal exemption amount is $3,700. You can deduct an exemption of $3,700 for yourself, your spouse and any tax dependents. So, a married taxpayer with two additional dependents has an exemption deduction of $14,800. As more adult children are returning to their parent’s nest due to lack of employment older taxpayers are taking on the financial responsibility for supporting not only their adult children but their grandchildren as well.

A ‘silver’ lining As a result, older taxpayers may find themselves eligible for exemptions they were not eligible for in recent years. There are a series of tests a taxpayer must pass in order to determine the eligibility of a dependent exemption. Most taxpayers have a choice of taking either a standard deduction or itemizing deductions and may elect to use whichever one provides the higher deduction. The 2011 standard deduction for married taxpayers is $11,600 ($5,800 for single taxpayers). Married taxpayers over age 65 enjoy a higher standard of $12,750 with one spouse over age 65 or $13,900 with both spouses over age 65 ($7,250 single taxpayer deduction over age 65). The standard deduction eliminates the need for many taxpayers to keep track of expenses such as medical costs, real estate taxes, excise taxes, mortgage interest and

charitable deductions. Typically, a taxpayer’s highest itemized deduction is mortgage interest. So, as taxpayers get older and pay off their mortgages their itemized deductions decrease and the standard deduction provides a higher deduction. A taxpayer should review their itemized deductions each year to determine which method is most beneficial. A taxpayer who has a higher standard deduction for several years may still find there are some years when it is beneficial to itemize deductions. Things like higher medical deductions, increased mortgage interest, real estate taxes or a year of high charitable donations may trigger a beneficial itemized deduction. Additionally, medical deductions are

taxes are one of two things in life you cannot avoid, and a taxpayer who is prepared and maximizes their deductions is one who walks away from the process without filing like a victim. deductible only to the extent they exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income. So, a taxpayer who has a decrease in income may find their once non-deductible medical expenses are suddenly tax deductible. Also, many taxpayers are finding their portion of their health insurance costs and out-of-pocket medical expenses has gone up resulting in higher medical expenses.

Senior ‘Circuit Breaker’

tax credit Senior citizens in Massachusetts may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on their state income taxes for the real estate taxes paid on their residential homes. The maximum credit allowed is $980 for 2011. This is a refundable credit, so taxpayers who are not required to file returns should

file a return to receive a payment of this credit. The credit amount is equal to the amount by which their property tax payments exceed 10% of their “total income” for the current year. Renters may attribute 25% of their rent towards their property tax. For purposes of this credit, a taxpayer’s “total income” includes taxable income as well as exempt income such as social security, treasury bills and public pensions. The taxpayer must be 65 or older and the assessed valuation of the taxpayer’s home must not exceed $729,000. Taxpayers who are eligible for this tax credit must complete Schedule CB, Circuit Breaker Credit, along with their 2011 state income tax return. Taxpayers who have missed this credit in recent years can file an Application for Abatement to claim the credit for a prior year. Many taxpayers are unaware of this credit and miss out on the benefits every year! Schedule CB and further information is available at or by contacting Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Customer Service Bureau at 617887-MDOR. Each tax season presents its own challenges, and educated, organized clients are among the most pleasant to work with. Most tax preparers love to “talk shop,” so a client who comes in with a list of questions and is willing to listen to our often lengthy and boring answers is a dream come true. As a tax preparer I keep my ears open to my client’s conversation looking for any potential deductions a client might not have even have thought about. Make a list of any tax questions you have prior to your tax appointment. I cannot tell you how often a client has asked what they thought was a stupid question only to end up with a wonderful tax deduction. The bottom line is that taxes are one of two things in life you cannot avoid, and a taxpayer who is prepared and maximizes their deductions is one who walks away from the process without filing like a victim. Sherri M ahoney-Battles, of Taxing Matters, specializes in income tax preparation for small business owners. She lives on a farm in Westport with her husband, a plumbing and heating contractor, and their two daughters.

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Participants in The Second H alf, which offers courses for enrichment, enjoyment and social engagement.

G ray Mat ter Classes, workshops and lifelong learning Many of us had more than enough of the traditional educational process by the time we finished high school or college. As we got older, the notion of sitting in yet another classroom— by choice—didn’t enter our heads. Been there, done that, and it wasn’t pretty. These days, however, lots of adults are finding themselves back in school. Lifelong learning has become a buzzword as more of us recognize we need occasional tweaks to our knowledge base in order to advance our careers--or to scout out a new and more satisfying direction for our lives. Lifelong learning goes by several names-continuing education, adult ed, permanent education, community education— but they’re all opportunities to help you move your life in the direction you want it to take. With the arrival of the personal computer, and a decade later the public’s discovery of the Internet, things changed. Learning to use the software and hardware was a pain, but ultimately it was worth the effort because for many people because computers


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were so damn useful. And, with the right software, entertaining.

Back to school So ho ho ho, it was off to school we go. Computer education opportunities popped up everywhere from public libraries to private training centers. And once these adults went back to school, they found they liked it a lot more than they did when they were younger. Grades, tests and term papers were less of an issue, or non-existent. The subject matter seemed more relevant. And you could find a training regimen that suited your psyche, be it formal and rigorous, or informal and, dare we say it, fun. The enervating straitjacket of the semester-long course gave way to courses that weren’t too long, or too short, but just right. Educational institutions of all stripes worked to make it more convenient for working adults to take classes. Also, any and every subject became fair game. Schools began offering career advancement classes alongside more serendipitous options. At the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School, for example, the Adult Education program offers a wide range of classes aimed at trade certifications and computer

training. But there are also classes in developing foreign language skills and on topics such as cake decorating, gardening, art, jewelry making, sewing, furniture refinishing and upholstering that could open the door to a career change. Many of these courses are evening classes that run for eight weeks, but other may meet for only one or two sessions. While learning specific skills or information for career enhancement is the most common reason for taking a class, lifelong learning offers much more diversity than that. It can be a painless way to satisfy your curiosity about a subject, like learning the back story to the American Revolution, or how to attract exotic birds to backyard feeders. There are other reasons lifelong learning is attracting participants. For some people a certificate is a motivator. For others, the knowledge gained is enough. Often students want to push beyond their comfort zone, looking for a subject that really grabs them that they had previously been unaware of. Regular meetings add a social component to the learning process, and the classes give people the opportunity to make friends with others who share their interests.

BCS There are a large number of institutions in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts that offer some form of continuing education. For example, the Barrington Community School in Barrington, Rhode Island hosts a wide range of courses on such topics as estate planning and personal finance, computers, fine arts and photography, and literature and music. Other subject areas include cooking, fitness, health and personal growth. At BCS, crafts classes cover such specialties as knitting and purling, and Nantucket Basket Weaving, and there are family programs such as Backyard Astronomy for Adults and Families, and Tap Dance for Adults & Teens. The BCS brochure is available online and at many locations in Barrington, or you can call to be put on the mailing list. Most classes meet at Barrington Middle School, Barrington High School or at Atria Bay Spring Village.

TLC The Learning Connection, originally called the Providence Learning Connection, has been around since 1981 and registers more than 10,000 students a year for

its array of courses. Many of the classes are held at the Learning Connection’s facility at Wayland Square in Providence, but there are also classes held at other locations or in the field. As with many of these institutions, the instructors are members of the community who propose classes on subjects they know well and are passionate about. The Learning Connection offers dozens of classes on many aspects of starting and running a business, career development, and niche business opportunities. (By way of disclosure, the authors of this article teach digital photography classes at the Learning Connection.) More exotic options include Bollywood Dance, men’s knitting, rapier-fencing, curling, surfing and paddleboarding. Browse the web site for class descriptions, or call to receive a class catalog.

BCLIR A collaborative learning approach is used in classes at BCLIR (Building a Community of Learning in Retirement), pronounced “be clear.” Peer coordinators develop a course syllabus and facilitate the classes, but the participants are expected to prep for and drive the meetings. Daytime classes meet once a week usually for ten weeks for two hours, in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Courses typically fall in the categories of art, current events, economics, history, literature, music and science. BCLIR costs $25 a year to be a member, and $50 per class for members. As is typical of most of these lifelong learning institutions, you don’t have to be a member to take classes, but members get a discounted price.

UMD The Second Half is a program run by UMass Dartmouth for students interested in intellectual stimulation and social interaction in a relaxed setting. Most classes are held in Fall River, at the Professional and Continuing Education Center on South Main Street. Among the topics for this spring’s study groups are Shakespeare, the French Revolution, gardening, the Titanic, politics, opera, and the connection between microwave ovens and the universe. Try your local library for classes that may interest you. The larger libraries in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts offer courses. For example, the Center For Lifelong Learning at the Providence Public

Library offers computer and technology classes in addition to lectures on Rhode Island history and culture.

Audubon If lifelong learning strikes a chord but you still you don’t like the thought of being confined to a classroom, the Audubon Society of Rhode Island may be your ticket. In addition to regularly scheduled day hikes at several of ASRI’s 15 nature preserves throughout the state, the organization runs evening hikes in search of owls and Woodcocks. Through ASRI you can learn about gardening and landscaping for wildlife, identifying trees, dyeing eggs the traditional Ukrainian way, or go snow shoeing in the moonlight. ASRI also has a large number of programs for children. Mass Audubon runs its own similar programs throughout Massachusetts. These days there are plenty of opportunities for classroom education beyond high school and college. And it’s not difficult to find exactly the training environment you’re looking for.

Here are some institutions that regularly offer a variety of continuing education classes. Their web sites list their current class schedules, pricing and other useful information Audubon Society of Rhode Island, 401-949-5454 Barrington Community School 401-245-0432 Center For Lifelong Learning at PPL, 401-455-8000 Greater New Bedford Regional

Vocational Technical High School 508-998-3321 Ext. 195 Learning Connection 401-274-9330 M ass Audubon 1-800-283-8266 The Second H alf 508-677-4694

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Prime Living

Brian Weir



Alive and well in the South Coast A lovingly handcrafted piece of solid wood furniture is a joy to observe and touch, and is an increasingly rare find in the midst of so much mass-produced contemporary particleboard laminated furniture. A finely crafted piece of furniture is a treasure and a living link to the past: a L ori physical reminder of the people who interacted B r adley with the object on a daily basis. The South Coast is home to numerous wood artisans working to keep the art of fine woodworking alive and available to the public. Schools such as the Rhode Island School of Design, Bristol Community College and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth make the South Coast rich in artisans. It’s worth a trip to a studio, gallery, or show of fine crafts to acquire a piece that’s an embodiment of the passion of its creator - a genuine treasure that can be passed on and cherished by new generations. Woodworker Michael Pietragalla graduated from the historic Swain School of Design (now the UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts) and chose to stay in the area, working at his craft in the Hatch Street Studios in the north end of New Bedford. He dedicates his career to developing innovative


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new designs one piece at a time, and to keeping traditional wood working alive through antique restoration projects.

Restoring the old Pietragalla’s current commission is an extensive restoration of a massive donated pharmacy bench, circa 1860, for future display in the lecture hall at the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy in Kingston. The University plans to use the bench to educate students about the history of the pharmacy business— druggists used the wooden structure to organize, store and mix raw chemicals into preparations for patients—and compare the past with modern techniques used by hospital and chain pharmacies. Upon receipt of the massive bench, Pietragalla and assistants carefully dismantled it, removed decorative moldings and cabinet fronts. They assessed which pieces needed the most repair and reconstructed many parts, such as cabinet fronts, from scratch. Such an extensive restoration takes knowledge of historical furniture styles and a good creative imagination. After individual parts are reconstructed, the entire structure is stripped and refinished. A collaborating architect looks at stain

Michael Pietragalla

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samples and chooses a color that is closest to what the finish would have looked like when the object was new. Stains are handrubbed in multiple layers deep into the wood and the final bench is sent out for additional layers of spray lacquer for a durable and glowing finish before going on permanent display in Kingston. Pietragalla comments, “Much of this process is like trompe-l’oeil painting. We have to examine the intricacies of a wood grain and recreate that in many layers of stain so that it looks old, no different at all from the rest of the piece. Doing this work is kind of like participating in an archeological dig. We visualize how a piece once looked and functioned and try to recreate it in the way is was meant to be used.”

Creating something new Clients can visit Pietragalla at his Hatch Street studio and select from his Japanese-inspired pieces or order custom designs. If a piece is intended for use in a high-traffic area, such as the kitchen, he may opt to spray the final lacquer finish for high durability. In creating his elegant furniture, Pietragalla often applies both stain and final lacquer layers by hand with soft cloths that bring out the rich inner colors and radiance of the wood. A showpiece, such as a tea table or display cabinet may be finished entirely by hand. Hand rubbing is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.

A labor of love “I love fine wood furniture,” he says. “I can feel the spirit of the people who used the piece when I’m doing my restoration work, and I want to bring that same kind of spirit to my own creative

Continued on next page

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Turning a wooden bowl is a lengthy process. Weir begins with a rough log and uses a chainsaw to create a rough shape called a blank. He then places the blank on a machine called a lathe that rotates it at an extremely high rate of speed while Weir uses a variety of sharp chisels to form and refine the rough wood into a vessel or bowl shape. Weir generally forms the outside of the shape first and then finishes the inside to a smooth sheen. He frequently uses green, unseasoned wood that morphs and changes as it dries gradually over the course of a month. As it matures, a bowl develops a unique character and glow, exposing the luminous beauty of the grain patterns hidden inside the wood. Weir has worked with some form of wood for most of his adult life. An avid sailor, he started working with wood in the service of boat carpentry. His growing passion for woodworking eventually led him to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine where he completed an intensive 3-month course and developed his creative style. His greatest satisfaction comes from working in an art form that connects him firmly with the value of antiquity. Weir states, “The makers hand is evident in fine woodworking, something that is lost in factory produced work. Hand crafted objects improve with age because they are passed down from generation to generation.” Lori Bradley is an artist, writer and educator. She creates largescale ceramics and mixed-media paintings in her studio at the Hatch Street Mill complex in New Bedford. Photo by Alexander Neil. Michael Pietragalla / Floating Stone Woodworks H atch Street Studios


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work, so people will want to hand my furniture down through the generations to their loved ones.” Several miles from Pietragalla’s New Bedford studio, Brian Weir creates his fine furniture in the Shaker and Danish Modern styles in South Dartmouth. He also creates elegant turned-wood bowls that he sells at South Coast galleries such as Gallery 65 on William Street in New Bedford and, beginning this summer, Woods Hole Handworks in Woods Hole. Like Pietragalla, Weir is motivated to create his pristinely crafted furniture and bowls by a need to connect with the ideals of the past. Wood turned bowls were made in the earliest civilizations yet Weir also revers modern wood turners emerging during the revival of fine crafts in the 1970’s such as Bob Stocksdale, Rudy Olsonik and David Ellsworth. To Weir wood bowls are alive and vibrant, “With a few tools and a little knowledge you can take a piece of rough wood and turn it into something both beautiful and functional. There are so many different kinds of wood, each with their own particular feel, grain, and color.”

Inspiration and work



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Brian Weir Woods Hole H andworks G allery 65 on William www.


Total Ey e Car e







Total Ey e Car e









Total Ey e Car e


Total Ey e Car e

Total Eye Care offers latest technology and recognized expertise Some commonly asked questions… Q: How does cataract surgery work? A: Cataract surgery today is an outpatient procedure. The patient reports in the morning and returns home the same day. Often times, there are no patches and no needles around the eye. Q: How do I know whether my cataract is “ripe”? A: This term is an old-fashioned term that is no longer in favor today. In the past, cataracts were taken out using a large wound when the cataract had “liquefied” or “ripened.” Nowadays, cataracts are dissolved in a no-stitch operation and “ripeness” is no longer applicable. Q: Then how do I know whether it is the time to have my cataract removed? A: The right time to have your cataract removed is when it interferes with your activities of daily living. For some people, this takes place when they can no longer read, drive, sew or watch TV with the same level of vision that they would like. For others, this occurs when they are bothered by other cataract symptoms, such as glare, double vision, halos or difficulty functioning in bright lights. Q: Can I see immediately after surgery? A: As with any surgical procedure, everyone’s body heals differently. Some patients can see immediately after surgery, while other patients experience “swelling” and thus vision takes longer to “clear up.” Q: How come some people get patches on their eyes after surgery while others don’t? A: It depends on how the doctor numbs the eye for surgery. Most patients can be numbed with eye drops, and do not need to be patched after the surgery. Occasionally, others need an injection to numb the eye, and this requires a patch afterwards for protection. Q: Is laser vision surgery very risky? A: Only after a complete eye exam can the specialist establish whether or not you are a good candidate for laser vision surgery.

Q: I am older and would like to eliminate glasses entirely. I was told this is impossible and I would always need glasses. Is this true? A: Some patients have no need for glasses at all after cataract or laser vision surgery. The ophthalmologist, after a complete exam, can explain how this is done and whether or not you are a good candidate.

About Total Eye Care

Q: I was told that I have “dry eyes” by an eye doctor, but my eyes are always watering. How can this be true? A: When the eye dries, the lacrimal (or tear) gland is stimulated to produce more tears. Thus, patients with dry eyes often present with teariness.

Just steps from Charlton Memorial Hospital, Total Eye Care provides quality, value and style for the heart of Fall River. Our large optical dispensary has over 700 frames for you to choose from, ranging from unique designer frames to budget frames. We have the latest European styles as well as many complete budget lens/frame packages.

Q: I have had several pairs of glasses made recently, but none of them feels “right.” What is the problem? A: Only a complete eye exam can tell you the cause of these symptoms. Sometimes, this can be due to another eye condition, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal diseases, tear film abnormalities and other processes. Q: Should I have both eyes operated on at once? A: It depends on the surgery. Laser vision correction surgery can be used to operate on both eyes at once for added convenience with minimal increase in risk. Cataract surgery, because it is surgery inside the eyeball, should be done in a sterile room (operating room) and each eye should be done separately. Q: I was told that I am a glaucoma “suspect.” I feel fine but am terrified that I am going to go blind. A: Nowadays, we are very aggressive in identifying people who are at risk for developing glaucoma, so that they never develop the disease and never lose vision. For that reason, there are many people designated as “glaucoma suspects.” However, while careful follow-up is critical, most of these patients never lose any vision with appropriate treatment.

Iman Ali, M.D. is a graduate of Brown University, where she received both her Bachelor's Degree and her Medical Degree. She completed her internship and residency in New York City at NYU Medical Center, and post-graduate fellowship training in Cornea, Cataract, Laser and Anterior Segment Surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. She is a board-certified Ophthalmologist. She served as an Assistant Professor at New York University Medical Center and the Residency Program Director at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. Her work with Laser Vision Correction has been featured in the Lenox Hill Hospital Annual Report. She has served as a Panelist at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and on the ASCRS Board of Young Physicians. She has taught laser cataract surgery at the American Academy of Ophthalmology. She has been featured on the national television program BusinessWeek Money Talk performing live LASIK surgery on a patient. She is the author of many articles and book chapters. She is involved with ORBIS, Research to Prevent Blindness and many other vision outreach programs.

Total Eye Care is located in the New Boston Medical Center in Fall River and our new location is at the Rosebrook Medical Building in Wareham.

Glasses are the first thing people see when they look at you. Most people wear glasses every day on their face. At Total Eye Care, we will help you find the glasses that will help you both see the best and be seen the best. We also have a large range of sunwear to protect delicate eye tissue from the sun. In addition, we provide a complete range of contact lenses and fittings. Come and see how many people who could not tolerate contacts in the past now can wear contacts both comfortably and successfully. Consider upgrading to a premium contact lens that offers new levels of superior vision. Feel the difference more oxygen and more moisture can mean to you.

Scared of surgery? Most people are Come discuss whether surgery is necessary at all, and if so, what is the safest, least invasive way to improve your vision. Understanding what is recommended and why it is vital is key to taking charge of your eye health.

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F ebruary / M arch 2012


Prime Living

A dult foster care Helping our elderly and disabled stay in the community By Joyce Rowley

What do you do when you’ve had a stroke and can’t go back home to live alone? Or you’ve had a horrendous car accident, made it through rehabilitative care, but now need help with basic living activities like dressing or getting in and out of a wheelchair? At a time like that, the comfort of home is invaluable. Having to move away from family and friends can add an emotional burden to an already difficult period of adjustment. Adult Foster Care (AFC) has been set up by the Commonwealth to help frail elderly or adults with disabilities who can no longer live independently. To be eligible, the person must be over 16, unable to live alone due to a physical, medical, cognitive, or mental condition. Also, they must need help with one or more daily living activities such as bathing, walking, dressing, toileting, or eating.

Community-based solution But if the person needs round the clock skilled nursing care, then AFC is not for them. Although caregivers are trained, they are not intended to replace a registered nurse or physician. Instead, AFC provides a family home setting as an alternative to a nursing home for those people who just need personal care assistance. It is particularly beneficial for people who are long-time residents in the community by letting them stay in the community with their family, friends and familiar sights. Beacon Adult Foster Care in New Bedford is one of 50 State licensed adult foster care agencies in Massachusetts that match caregivers with those in need. What sets them apart, says Keith Quinen, Executive Director, is that Beacon AFC seeks to be a community-based hub for AFC events and activities.


“We actively coordinate with other human service organizations and we are a proud member of the South Coast Senior Resource Association, which is a group of professionals and service agencies with a personal and proven commitment to assisting the senior population in our community,” Quinen said. To further keep their clients and caregivers in touch with the community, they use their website. “Our website promotes local events and news of interest to our members and the community we service through our blog and Facebook page,” said Quinen. “For example, recently we had postings on the South Coast Walk to End Alzheimer’s and a community calendar of World AIDS day events.”

A dult foster care benefits One benefit of adult foster care is that the client lives like a member of the family. The caregiver provides assistance with everything from medication reminders to transportation to medical appointments and social visits. The caregiver may also do the laundry and shopping as needed, cook meals, and clean. The client is assessed for the level of care needed. People who need daily assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, getting in or out of a wheelchair and ambulating are considered Level I. If assistance with three or more activities is needed, or intervention with wandering, resisting care or disruptive behavior

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is needed, then the client is placed with a caregiver experienced in Level II care.

How caregivers are selected The caregivers go through a thorough screening process, even if they are related to the client, says Holly Stevens, Program Director at Beacon AFC. Although the State only requires a physical and tuberculosis test, Beacon also requires that the caregiver receive approval by their physician to ensure that they’re up to the task. As is required under State law, Beacon AFC conducts a criminal background investigation of all caregivers. Finally, the caregiver’s home must be assessed and meet State requirements. Beacon AFC provides caregivers with initial training. Once an adult is placed in the home, one of Beacon’s registered nurses or care managers visit monthly and provide ongoing one-on-one caregiver training. Some clients need both an RN and a care manager visit depending on how much personal assistance is provided. Caregivers receive a tax-free monthly stipend for the foster care. The amounts range from $600 to $1,500 depending on the level of assistance with daily needs. The program is based on income and the costs are reimbursed through Mass Health. “This money goes a long way in helping to defray the costs of providing full-time care for someone,” said Quinen.

Resources Beacon Adult Foster Care South Coast Senior Resource Association For general information on adult foster care:

Adult care

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not taxed and is non-reportable to the IRS. Federal Medicaid law prohibits payment to a spouse or legal guardian. The process begins with a home visit and the client and family meeting. A complete assessment of needs is then done by a Registered Nurse. Once in the program the client and family caregiver receive ongoing support from a team of professionals, including a Registered Nurse and a Care Manager. This team provides specific caregiver training, establishes a formal Plan of Care, and conducts regular home visits. Caregiver Homes staff also coordinate with other services such as Adult Day Health Programs, Hospice Care or Visiting Nurses, to help ensure that clients receive the range of service they need to stay comfortably at home and in their communities. If you want more information about Caregiver Homes please call 1-866-797-2333 or visit www.caregiverhomes. com

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Caregiver Homes is an alternative to placing relatives in a nursing home, funded through Massachusetts and federal funds. The State-approved Enhanced Adult Foster Care program pays a family caregiver a daily stipend to take care of an aging relative or disabled individual at home, or pays non-family caregivers to provide this care. Here’s what a caregiver says about what Caregiver Homes has done for him: Sixty-three year old Frank Rezendes was in a bind. He was out of work and had his eightyseven year old in-laws to care for. Neither could live alone and Frank was left with the option of caring for them during the day while his wife worked and then taking a job when his wife returned home, which would have been stressful for the whole family. He knew he did not want to put his in-laws in a nursing home. One morning he noticed a newspaper ad for Caregiver Homes. He called, and discovered that this program would allow his in-laws to stay at home, help the family financially, and provide them with the support they needed. As Frank says, “It has been a blessing for all of us.” A Caregiver Homes’ Client must be at least 16 years or older and need 24 hour supervision and daily assistance with physical care and must be on Mass Health standard, or eligible for a Frail Elder Waiver under the Mass health regulations. Caregiver reimbursement is

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F ebruary / M arch 2012


Prime Living

Seeking the Black Whale

A New Bedford institution changes shape Elaine Lima is a self-proclaimed “Die-hard New Bedfordite.” Stacie When asked Charbonneau if she would hess consider selling her trademark “Black Whale” t-shirt brand, she replied, “I’ve had offers, but I don’t want to change it to another location. I don’t want it to be outside of New Bedford; I want to keep it right here. I love New Bedford. I was born and raised here, and my family is here. I want to keep the business in the family.” Her storefront at 788 Purchase Street in downtown New Bedford might be closing, but Elaine is quick to say, “I’m not really retiring, I’m just changing the way I do business.” Like many businesses, Elaine’s has had to morph to thrive over the past thirtyone years—to accommodate demand and technology. Flexibility in business is one of the keys to Elaine’s legacy.

A whale of a success Elaine Lima’s success story is a familiar one of ingenuity and perseverance. In 1979, after years of cleaning houses, Elaine had a collection of items given to her by clients, and so much “bric-a-brac” in fact, that she decided to open her own store. Soon,


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Elaine began doodling on t-shirts as gifts to friends and family, and she noticed the New Bedford insignia really sold. “I began drawing little whales on baby t-shirts,” she reminisces. Soon, the New Bedford High School Majorettes wanted custom t-shirts too, and from there, she began designing for several local institutions. That’s when the light bulb went off. “I saw people walking around New Bedford with those Black Dog t-shirts, showing off that they’d been to Martha’s Vineyard. When I decided to start making Black Whales, I thought, ‘now you can show off that you’ve been in New Bedford.’”

Tradition and transformation Elaine is a champion of New Bedford as a tourist destination. In the Black Whale shop, she proudly displayed a map of the world dotted with pins that delineated where visitors to New Bedford came from. The map is fascinating, portraying visitors

dise. I want to keep it in the family. My son and his family will manage the business. It’s a natural progression for them. My family can run everything.” Part of Elaine’s success is surely her generosity and flexibility. During my visit in early January to her almost-empty store, Elaine was offering t-shirts as gifts to neighboring business owners and friends. Her grandchildren were helping to pack up the items in the store. Elaine was getting ready to take her granddaughter out to lunch. She continued to explain her journey. “I’ve moved seven times, you know,” she told me, describing her ambulatory projects as they traveled throughout downtown New Bedford. Remember, when Elaine opened her first business, there was still a Cherry & Webb on the block! That seems like a lifetime ago to this native South Coaster.

Remember, when Elaine opened her first business, there was still a Cherry & Webb on the block! That seems like a lifetime ago to this native South Coaster. from far-flung regions of the world. People would remark that they came to New Bedford for two things: to see the world-class Whaling Museum, and to procure a t-shirt with Elaine’s Black Whale on it. “It was a big compliment,” she says modestly. Because Elaine’s businesses have been a fabric of the downtown for three decades, she has witnessed a complete transformation of the city. “When I began, there were 27 retailers here in the downtown. After that, there were only a few of us who stayed around. Now, there are many beautiful galleries as New Bedford has gained a reputation as an artistic city.” (New Bedford was recently voted the seventh most artistic city in the U.S. by Atlantic Monthly magazine.) So why close up shop now, when New Bedford and its downtown commerce is on the rise? “The Black Whale is not going away,” Elaine reassures. “We’re just going to change the way we do business. We’re hoping to have a website up in the spring that will feature all the Black Whale merchan-

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Moving onward So I can’t help but asking, “What are you going to do now during the day to day?”— but before I even finish my question, she has an answer formed. “Things are changing, but I’m not going away. I’m retiring from this roof over my head on Purchase Street, but who’s to know what’s in my future?” This sense of exploration and invention is surely what secured Elaine Lima’s success in business, spurring a trademark that sends shouts of historic New Bedford’s majesty throughout the world, with a simple design on a simple t-shirt. If you missed the closing of the Black Whale shop, check online in spring 2012 when Elaine plans to have her website up and running, and visitors from anywhere will be able to order their own little piece of the Whaling City.

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Prime Season

Beware of scammers When the infamous bank robber Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he supposedly answered, “Because that’s where the money is.”


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Eliz abeth Morse Read

Picture this: you’re enjoying your second cup of coffee—and your phone rings. Caller ID says “unavailable,” but you answer anyway. A sobbing female cries out, “Grandma! Help me!

I’ve been arrested!” Your coffee mug hits the floor and your blood pressure hits the roof. “Allison? Is that you, Allison?? What’s going on?” The sobbing voice fades away and a gruff man gets on the line. “Ma’am? This is Sergeant Smith of the Royal Mounted Police in Ontario, and your granddaughter—Allison, is it?—is in

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serious trouble up here. Drug trafficking charges, unfortunately. If she doesn’t post $10,000 bail before three o’clock today, she’ll be escorted to the jail to await a defense appearance the week after next…” Is your pulse racing yet? You panic and eagerly write down the instructions he gives you to wire the money to such-andsuch account number by 2:30. You dash to the bank, close your savings account and head for the nearest store or institution that wires money. Uh oh! You’ve just been hoodwinked and ripped off. And chances are, you’ll never see that money again. P.S. you’ll find out that your granddaughter Allison has never even been to Boston, never mind Canada. But this happens daily across the United

States, and, if you’re over 50 years old, you’re a prime target for telephone scams like this. According to government statistics, Americans lose up to $40 billion of their hard-earned dollars to telephone scams every year. And, according to AARP, people 50 and older, although they’re only 40% of the adult population, represent close to 60% of telephone scam victims. Here’s why—and how not to fall victim.

But why me? Mature Americans—from Boomers to the Great Generation—are generally polite and trusting. We’re also at home most of the time, use a land-line phone—and statistically, we have a healthy bank account and little debt. We’re the “golden goose”—and today’s internet-savvy con artists do their homework on us and then dial-for-dollars. Their ploys are sophisticated, global, wellresearched, interconnected—and virtually untraceable. You’ve got enough common sense not to reveal your PIN, your Medicare or Social Security number, etc. to a stranger at the door, but all of our personal information is pretty much available if you know how and where to look. A relative’s Facebook page may inadvertently reveal details of your location or personal circumstances. A random newspaper article may mention your former employer or alma mater. Your credit history and directions to your address are available online. And professional telephone scammers take full advantage of available information to create a profile and “sales pitch” that will get you to part with your money. They know that 80% of people over 65 have at least one major medical issue—so maybe they’ll try to sell you cheap prescriptions, “miracle cures,” life insurance, or pre-paid funeral arrangements.

A plethora of cons Or maybe they call and say that your medical coverage is due to expire and you need to post a deposit today. Or else they’ll know that you’re recently bereaved, and they’ll claim to be Social Security or an estate attorney in Nebraska or a former employer and there’s an unclaimed money issue that needs to be resolved, so send in a retainer for the legal work right away. Or they’re bank specialists in foreclosure avoidance or financial advisors with hot

Be prepared to protect yourself and your money To prevent annoying telemarketing calls, sign up for the national “Do Not Call ” registry at 1-888-382-1222 or at


Always insist that a caller give you a call-back number where you can verify their identity. The number will most likely be a phony, untraceable cell phone number, but it’ll alert the scammer that you’re not as gullible as they assume. Write down the date/time and caller ID number and a summary of each conversation. If you tell them not to call you again—and they do—they’re in violation of federal law.


If you suspect that a caller is trying to scam you, call your local police immediately, as well as a trusted friend or relative. You should also contact your state’s attorney general’s office. In Massachusetts, that’s 508-990-9700 or Your “heads up” call may help your friends and neighbors, as scammers frequently target specific towns or zip codes.


Even if you can’t remember buying a Jamaican lottery ticket or whatever (scammers take advantage of seniors’ declining memory and slower reaction time), it’s illegal for Americans to wager in foreign lotteries.


No reputable bank or government agency or charitable organization would ask you to “confirm your personal information” (social security number, PIN, Medicare number, checking account number, etc.) over the telephone. Insist that they put their request in writing and mail it to you on official letterhead—then contact the institution and the Better Business Bureau to report the call. This kind of information is exactly what identity thieves and Medicare fraud crooks try to wrangle out of unsuspecting people.


If the calls originated in Canada (and many do), alert our northern cousins by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center at 1-888-495-8501 or at


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F ebruary / M arch 2012


Continued from previous page

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stock tips, or you’ve won the Jamaican lottery—just wire a processing fee and your checking account number where they can wire your windfall. Or they know you’re having financial problems and they offer a get-rich scheme selling products or services from your home and all you have to pay is a start-up fee for samples. And these scammers also know that very few older Americans will complain of their predicament and report the abuse —they’re embarrassed and feel like idiots for being so gullible. They don’t want to appear feeble-minded and incapable of living independently. It’s estimated that as many as five million older Americans are scammed each year, but the vast majority never report it. Unfortunately, once you fall for a telephone scam like this—it doesn’t end. These crooks share information and use what’s called the “sucker list” for follow-up scams. They might claim to be the FBI, saying that the money you wired last week to Nigeria puts you in danger of being charged with money-laundering, tax evasion, terrorism, whatnot—but if you want to clear up the issue and get your original money back, send even more money to this new account number, and they’ll cut through the international red tape for you. You may suddenly start getting unsolicited catalogues in the mail or unusual emails. You may suddenly become a victim of identity theft, where your bank/credit card accounts receive unauthorized charges. Most banks and credit card companies protect you against unauthorized charges, but they won’t reimburse you for money you willingly wire in a scam.

But Caller id said… If a strange man knocked on your door and said he was the Pope, you wouldn’t believe him. So why should you believe it when your caller ID says “Miami PD” or “Social Security Admin?” For a very small fee, you can disguise your identity when you make a phone call—it’s called “spoofing.” It’s illegal, but it’s the widespread digital version of a prank call, highly favored by telephone scammers. But it can also be used by people you know—an estranged

relative, a disgruntled neighbor or an employee with a grudge.

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Always ask for a return-call telephone number where you can verify the identity of the caller. And if you tell them not to call again, they’re in violation of the law if they do. You can utilize the “call block” feature on your phone or you can register for the national “Do Not Call List” [see sidebar on page 29]. If the calls persist, you may have to consider changing your telephone number. If you receive any calls like the above, contact the police and your nearest trusted relative or friend immediately. Explain what is happening to everyone; many bank employees or customer-service employees at stores offering money-transfer services

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for a returncall telephone number where you can verify the identity of the caller. have been alerted to these scams on senior citizens and, in many cases, have convinced the victim not to transfer funds without notifying someone beforehand. No matter how dire the threats of doom and disaster, take a step back and think this through. Once your money leaves the country, it’s virtually untraceable. Your knee-jerk instinct to protect your family, your home or your nest-egg is exactly how the scammers manipulate you. Elizabeth Morse Read is an award-winning writer, editor and artist who grew up on the South Coast. After twenty years of working in New York City and traveling the world, she came back home with her children and lives in Fairhaven.

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F ebruary / M arch 2012



Online dating: the experts

Dating isn’t the only thing that’s changed over the years. The therapy and psychology applied to it have changed as well. Jay Pateakos While online dating seems to be the way to go these days for people of any age group looking to meet compatible people, the process and followthrough are not cut-and-dried. Andrew Aaron, a licensed social worker in New Bedford, with a website entitled, helps singles to build online dating profiles, steers them toward the proper techniques in finding a suitable mate, and warns them away from people who may not be as they seem. “Online dating is like the largest singles club there is, with so many people eager to find a relationship, and the beauty of it is you can sort through so many candidates and narrow your A ndrew A aron search as you see fit based on what you want,” said Aaron. “It’s so much better than the old days, when your mom would tell you she knows of a boy down the street who would be good for you to date. Now you get to locate people, within your age group and geographical range. You can reach out and make contact with anyone with relative ease.”

Not always a positive thing Aaron said many of the people who turn to online dating are people who were jilted in their last relationship or marriage who are struggling to find their way in the dating field again, many who have been away from it for countless years. The pattern of rejections sometimes continues online when winks or emails are not reciprocated, and an already-depressed state can intensify. Other issues involved in online dating include former lovers stalking each other’s dating activities or the fact that finding some-


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one online seems so impersonal. “A lot of people feel the wall of privacy a dating website offers is a little too scary; too casual, allowing people to be more deceitful,” said Aaron. “They feel it is too synthetic, too much technology, that there is nothing romantic about it and so they don’t do it. In the whole dating process, it’s not a bad way to go at all, but of course it has its pitfalls, like anything.”

Not what they seem One of the most common issues of online dating is people lying on their profiles. For some, its little white lies like subtracting a few years from their actual age (in some cases more than 10 years) in hopes that when the lie is discovered, the two people are so far along in the relationship that the lie no longer matters. In other, far worse cases, the person may not even be single. “There are plenty of profiles out there of people who are not what they seem, not who they say they are, and that’s why I recommend an extensive email and phone exchange before there is any face to face meeting,” said Aaron. “A lot of people on dating websites are not available and are not honest about it. These dabblers are just on to gauge if there would be any interest if they were single.” New Bedford Psychotherapist Mark Savino said his clients who have had success with online dating have been those who get into the paid, more secure dating websites. “Places like eHarmony and Match have allowed people a more comfortable process of dating then meeting them through Facebook or some of these free sites,” said Savino, “basically you get what you pay for here.” Savino said people need to have a grip on their exact expectations so they, and their dates, know where M ark Savino each other stands. “When people have unrealistic expectations, it leads to problems. You may have one person who is online looking for a meaningful relationship while someone else is just using it as a tool to meet people,” said Savino. “To me, online dating parallels traditional dating where you need to take your time in meeting the right person, where you may be talking to someone online for three weeks, but you should take the next 6-8 months to really see what that person is like.”

Take your time Savino said he knows of several people who have been hurt by online dating through false expectations and taking too little time to discover the real person in their date. They moved too quickly, and discovered the person they met was a gambler, a drinker, or much worse. “Take your time, look at the whole person, and use online dating as a starting point. It doesn’t have to be the only tool you use,” said Savino. “Find a site which asks a lot of questions about you, your likes and dislikes; if it does that, you are less likely to run into problems. Exercise good judgment.” Aaron estimates he has helped thousands of people flesh out the best profile to provide an accurate rendering of their personality. His experience has helped him to form some strong opinions on what it takes to negotiate the online process and find the perfect match. “It’s not an easy process, but from my own estimates, each person has to extensively meet and talk to 25 different people before they can find one that’s right for them,” said Aaron. “The more people you meet, the greater chance you have of finding the person you are truly compatible with. I would expect you to talk to between 50 to 75 people in all, but most don’t see it that way.”

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you invest your heart in anything. Be cautious and be careful Be cautious and be careful Aaron said far too many people get into online dating hoping to find that special match on the first try, with little effort, but that’s a pipedream, and a potential danger. “People go in not thinking it’s going to be too much of an investment of their time, but it’s just the opposite. It involves a lot of reading, sifting through profiles, sending emails, checking emails,” said Aaron. “It’s a pretty substantial time commitment and a lot of people don’t expect that.” Aaron said if people go into the online dating scenario with their eyes wide open, understanding there will be pitfalls along the way and some major effort is required to succeed, it’s an excellent place to meet people. “If you want to develop a relationship, this is a good way to do it, but it could take six months or nine months or longer before it happens. Take your time before you invest your heart in anything. Be cautious and be careful,” said Aaron. “There will be a lot of disappointments, but I know many people who have met a lot of wonderful people online. It’s going to take a lot of your attention, but it will also be a lot of fun. I’ve known people twhohave met three to four really good matches all at once. People just need to know what they expect from a partner. That’s very important.”

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Jay Pateakos has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years including daily and weekly newspapers and monthly magazines. A native of New Bedford, Mr. Pateakos currently lives in Marion and has three children. S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

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Buy now, pay later or lay-a-way Sherri MahoneyBattles

During the holiday season I was surprised to hear stores promoting their lay-a-way service. I have a two-fold fascination with this new marketing tactic, the first being purely nostalgic.

When I was young my mother would take me shopping for fall clothes at Sears Department Store, and the clothes would be put on lay-a-way. We would go back every other week or so, and my mother would pay $20 each time. Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, and lots of other purchases all went on lay-a-way at Sears and K-Mart. I can clearly remember the excitement when my mother would make that last payment, and a clerk would go into the back room and return carrying large boxes that we had put on lay-a-way months earlier. Over twenty years ago I read The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. I particularly remember a passage about delayed gratification. I knew then that I was the type of person that would always save the frosting on the cupcake for last. My second interest in lay-a-way is purely professional. Over the years I have worked with dozens of clients weighed down with thousands upon thousands dollars of credit card debt. Lured by huge marketing campaigns promoting a “buy now pay later” attitude, many of my clients found themselves buried under a mountain of debt. In the last few years more and more clients have had 1099-C forms as part of their tax preparation. These are forms that the credit card companies issue when they agree to compromise or reduce an individual’s credit card debt. Unfortunately, the cancelled part of he debt is typically taxable, and the the taxpayers have no idea that they will have to pay the tax.

pitfalls of credit card debt awaiting them as they entered college. I warned them they would find card companies set up at tables at orientation, offering easy applications and not concerned about the students’ ability to pay. For many years the credit card companies took the position that everyone should have credit cards. They calculated their risks and knew that high interest rates they charged would more than cover the number of people who filed for bankruptcy or settled their debt for a lesser amount. No wonder I was reading articles about the alarming number of graduating college

Targeting the inexperienced Ten years ago I was doing presentations to students at local high schools about the


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students who were filing bankruptcy due to astonishing high credit card debt.

Times have changed A few months ago my twenty-three year old daughter applied for and was denied a credit card. Kudos to the credit department that had the foresight to realize that a college student employed only part-time might not be the best credit risk. Most credit card companies have tightened their criteria. Could this possibly mean a return to a time when people actually save their money and wait until they can afford something before purchasing it; a return to a period of delayed gratification? Stores like Sears and K-Mart have seen the change coming, and programs like lay-a-way and Christmas Clubs may become popular once again. Personally, I welcome the return to a laya-way lifestyle. I have already started my Christmas shopping, and I am putting it all on lay-a-way.

Pinnacle of His Hopes Memoir of New Bedford man who survived Holocaust Branded on My Arm and in My Soul: A Holocaust Memoir details the harrowing experience of a Polish Jew who bore witness to the worst of the Nazi regime. Landau, an adopted son of New Bedford, bares his soul on the pages of his book, which is supplemented by photos, letters, maps and other primary documents. He tells the tale from his idyllic life before SS officers took him away and shot his mother before his eyes, to his time getting moved from camp to camp around Europe like cattle, to his eventual immigration to the United States and the various ways he contributed to his community. It exposes the hatred, racism and fear that permeated his world, the darkest period of human history. Ultimately, Landau’s memoir is a story of healing and acceptance. Never one to shy away from the tattoo on his arm, he dedicated much of his life to teaching others of the terrible violence men commit on one another. This memoir represents the pinnacle of his hopes, and is a story that all should read, no matter their age, race, or creed. Branded on My Arm and in My Soul is published by Spinner Publications, a community-based, non-profit publishing house in New Bedford, MA, dedicated to recording and promoting the history and culture of the people of southeastern New England. The memoir is another volume in Spinner’s ongoing study of important events of the 20th century. The book was released locally in November and is available through

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Book Picks by Baker by M agoo Gelehrter

Courtesy of Baker Books –

The Big River, borderline disputes, a highway that stretches forever, and the truth about the people who made America, including some people we made into myths. Here’s a sampling of honest, quirky, authoritative readings in real history, surprising, scary, factual and entertaining.

A People’s History of the United States of A merica by Howard Zinn Harper Collins $18.99 paperback Known for its lively, clear prose as well as its scholarly research, A People’s History of the United States is the only volume to tell America’s story in the words of America’s women, factory workers, African-Americans, Native Americans, working poor, and immigrant laborers. This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

Route 66 Traveler’s Guide & Roadside Companion

The Mental Floss History of the United States

by Tom Snyder Saint. Martins Griffin $13.99 paperback

by Erik Sass Harper Collins $15.99 paperback

Right down America’s Main Street it rolled, pausing at each town along the way, then moving on, carrying travelers in search of adventure, romance, or that rare chance for a new beginning. Route 66 knew many names: the Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway, the Neon Road. And it lived up to each. Travelers met the land, found new friends—and often themselves. Now, more than a quarter-century since being officially abandoned, the old road still keeps its promise. Today, all along the highway’s 2,448-mile length from Chicago to L.A., signs carrying its magic double sixes once again give direction to the journey. Yes, they assure you, this is still Route 66. This completely updated and expanded guide will make the trip along the Mother Road easier and even more exciting.

Smarter than your old history teacher, funnier than the Founding Fathers and more American than Betty Crocker cradling an apple pie. Do you still think of Honest Abe as a heroic defender of liberty? That the late ’60s were a groovy time of peace and love? That the United States has always been dependent on foreign oil? Well, you shouldn’t! In this delightful tour through America’s knotty past, Mental Floss offers something new: a refreshingly honest history that’s guaranteed to set things straight. Peppered with trivia, charts, timelines, and, yes, plenty of history, The Mental Floss History of the United States includes the juiciest tales of political intrigue, serial killers, mobsters, Puritans, rum, witches, potato chips, and more. Here at last is the true American Dream: an insightful, accurate, and wholly entertaining history that’s 100 percent made in the U. S. of A.


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Curious Incidents in King Philip’s War by Edward Lodi Rock Village Publishing Thirty fascinating, little-known stories from the South Coast author of Ghosts from King Philip’s War and the mystery novel Murder at Anawan Rock. The uprising against the English settlers by native tribes is one of the most important American wars—(that) shaped our history. Author will be read from Curious Incidents at the Dighton Public Library on March 31 at 11 am.

Wicked River: Mississippi When It L ast R an Wild by Lee Sandlin Random House $15.95 paperback From award-winning journalist Lee Sandlin comes a riveting look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America’s historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the nineteenth century. Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River takes us back to a time before the Mississippi was dredged into a shipping channel, and before Mark Twain romanticized it into myth. Drawing on an array of suspenseful and bizarre firsthand accounts, Sandlin brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves—a world unto itself where, every night, near the levees of the big river towns, hundreds of boats gathered to form dusk-to-dawn cities dedicated to music, drinking, and gambling. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable, lifeblood to the communities that rose and fell along its banks. An exuberant work of Americana—at once history, culture, and geography. Wicked River is a grand epic that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.

A merican Nations: History of the Eleven Regional Cultures of North A merica

How the States Got Their Shapes Too: People Behind the Borderlines

by Colin Woodard Penguin $30 hardcover

by Mark Stein Random House $24.95 hardcover

An illuminating history of North Baker Books America’s eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn’t confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard reveals how intra-national differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent’s history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the “blue county/red county” maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America’s myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future.

Was Roger Williams too pure for the Puritans, and what does that have to do with Rhode Island? Why did Augustine Herman take ten years to complete the map that established Delaware? How did Rocky Mountain rogues help create Colorado? The personal element in the boundary stories reveals how we are like those who came before us, and how we differ, and most significantly: how their stories reveal the often overlooked human dimension that created the nation we are today. From the colonial era right up to the present, this book includes African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, women, and of course, white men. Some are famous, such as Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster. Some are not, and some are names many of us know but don’t really know what they did, such as Ethan Allen (who never made furniture, though he burned a good deal of it). In addition, How the States Got Their Shapes Too tells of individuals involved in the Almost States of America, places we sought to include but ultimately did not: Canada, the rest of Mexico (we did get half), Cuba, and, still an issue, Puerto Rico. Each chapter of this strange historical journey is largely driven by voices from the time, in the form of excerpts from congressional debates, newspapers, magazines, personal letters, and diaries.

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P rime S e ason

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It’s time for peace on earth

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Richard Clark

The season for greetings of “Peace on Earth; Good Will Towards All” is perhaps just a recent memory, but those wishes, so often repeated, are seldom realized for any length of time on this spinning planet of troubled nations.

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The state of peace requires rising above or going beyond history, ancient grievances, cultural constraints, lost battles and even religion. It requires an openness of mind and heart that allows for the liberating recognition of our common humanity and that what is painful for one is painful for all.

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Look to the young

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Given that older adults are the major decision makers in our society and that many of them are like those “old dogs,” unwilling to learn…or even to consider new ways of relating or resolving problems, perhaps the best hope of peace is to be found with the young. That’s not such an astounding conclusion, for we’ve always looked to the younger generations with hopefulness. So it is rather disconcerting to learn, according to a recent headline, that: “Sexual ridicule is rampant at school.” According to David Crary of the Associated Press:

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that it results in instances of suicide. In an educational environment where sexual harassment and bullying are rampant, how does or can a young person learn the ways of peace?

Building peace “During the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically via texting, email and social media.” These statistics are from a survey under the auspices of the American Association of University Women. Bullying is a common experience. Thirty percent of boys and girls in the seventh grade report being afraid of being beaten up at school. Today’s youth have many advantages that their parents and grandparents did not have, but many of these advantages seem to have hidden costs that can create emotional scars, insecurity, or fear so severe

On a recent tour of the East Fairhaven School, which is a model of design and foresight with an atmosphere ideal for learning, I was intrigued by the many posters throughout the school promoting the “PeaceBuilder Pledge.” I had never been in an educational facility that actively talked about being a “Peace Builder” and asked our guide to explain a little about the concept. She did more than that; she provided me with material about the program as used in the Fairhaven Schools. It would be great if we all, regardless of age, took the PeaceBuilders pledge which is at the heart of the program: I am a PeaceBuilder. I pledge to praise people; to give up put-downs; to seek wise people; to notice

and speak up about hurts I have caused; to right wrongs; to help others. I will build peace at home, at school, and in my community each day. The PeaceBuilders program is managed by PeacePartners, Inc. and based in California. It is a science-based, researchvalidated violence prevention curriculum for grades pre-K to 12. The six principles outlined in the pledge are modeled and practiced daily. The six principles “set behavioral expectations, reduce aggression, and transform the climate and culture of any environment to one which is cooperative, productive, and academically successful” according to Michelle Molina, President of PeacePartners, Inc. The program has been endorsed by the White House, the U.S. Departments of Education and Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Sharing the peace Teachers, counselors and administrators across the country have been contributing to the evolution of the PeaceBuilder program with suggestions and ideas that are incorporated into “Minute Recipes for Building Peace,” a compilation of suggestions for ways to enhance the program such as: Share experiences of how you have increased the peace…Create personal posters to show goals…Promote presentations by older children to younger children. The program includes “PeaceCards” that are exchanged, one child to another, to recognize a particular action or activity of peace building. The card may compliment a PeaceBuilder who “listens to others” or who “takes turns, is a good friend, or who says nice things to others.” Praise for PeaceBuilders

comes from schools and teachers across the country as summed up in these words by Sheri Becar, a teacher in San Bernadino, California: “PeaceBuilders augments the good things that are found within a school community. Children who feel valued and safe are more able to learn, retain acquired knowledge, and make positive contributions to others.” At the heart of the PeaceBuilders program is the reality of actually modeling compassion, understanding and empathy. It enables children, as part of the educational process, to experience the power of one person through one simple act of kindness. It draws from within the pupil the positive feeling of humanness and the thrill of flexing one’s compassionate “muscle.” There is the actual experiencing of the incarnation of peace…love…joy. At the heart of the celebration of Christmas is the idea of incarnation, the “en-fleshment,” the making real…the experience of love, the achievement of peace and the exhilaration of joy that is the result. Modeling is one of the most effective ways of learning how to become an effective, peaceful human being. What works and is good for one person, is good for ten people, etc. By multiplication, it’s good for a community…and even a nation. Peace on earth is not a mere sentiment or a misty dream. It is both a building process and a goal …united in an adventuresome combination. Each one of us is a potential Peace Builder. And we’re very much needed in the world of today.

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Shop for unique gifts and home accessories. Enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner. See unique architecture or a seacoast fort. Town of Fairhaven VISITORS CENTER

Richard Clark formerly worked in the incentive travel industry and is a free-lance writer with an interest in psychology, spirituality and human potential.

43 Center St., Fairhaven Mon. Tue. Thurs. Fri. Sat. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 508-979-4085 S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

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Renowned Orthopedic Doctors offer appointments available this week, maybe even today. 9 Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons are devoted to uncompromising treatment in 5 convenient locations. FALL RIVER, MA – Nagging pain? Arthritis? Sports injury? In some medical practices you will wait up to 4 weeks to see a specialist and get a diagnosis of your ailment. Wait no more! Coastal Orthopaedics, a leading orthopedic care center located at 235 Hanover Street in Fall River, MA offers their patients guaranteed appointments within the week and often can get their patients same day or next day appointments. Coastal Orthopaedics has 9 Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeons in 5 convenient locations in southeast Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island. This extraordinary bandwidth and Coastal Orthopaedics commitment to patient convenience allow Coastal Orthopaedics to offer appointments and follow up appointments within tight timeframes, something no single-doctor Orthopedic care practice can equal. “Coastal Orthopaedics is very happy to offer our patients same week or same day appointments. We get our patients started on their path to wellness faster, and that is important to us and to our patients,” commented Bill Custer, Administrator at Coastal Orthopaedics, “Our commitment to patient convenience and the excellence of our orthopedic care is what separates Coastal Orthopaedics from other care providers.” That is not everything that separates Coastal Orthopaedics from other orthopedic care providers. The practice offers expertise in general, specialty and pediatric orthopedics making them an ideal choice for orthopedic care regardless of your injury or age. Whether treating bones, joints, ligaments, muscles or arthritis each Physician, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner and staff member are committed to providing the best orthopedic care available anywhere. And, patients are provided piece of mind knowing their doctor is a leader in

“Our commitment to patient convenience and the excellence of our orthopedic care is what separates Coastal Orthopaedics from other care providers.” their field and up-to-date with the latest care, physical therapy and surgical technologies. Coastal Orthopaedics has five locations, in Fall River and New Bedford in Massachusetts and Warren, Bristol and Tiverton in Rhode Island. “Our five locations is just one example of our commitment to patient convenience,” states

Custer, “by shortening our patients commute to their orthopedic appointments we make it all the more convenient for them, that’s a great thing and something we are very proud of. Coastal Orthopaedics and our patients truly have the same goal, moving our patients towards wellness as quickly and conveniently as possible.” An extension of Coastal Orthopaedics commitment to patient convenience is having Physical Therapy facilities onsite. Their patients have the convenience of their orthopedic appointments and their recovery based physical therapy at the same location. Appointments at Coastal Orthopaedics can be made by calling 877-859-2663 or through a referral by your primary care physician. More information regarding Coastal Orthopaedics can be found at


We guarantee you an appointment this week… maybe even TODAY! The Board Certified Surgeons of Coastal Orthopaedics provide state-ofthe-art, comprehensive surgical and medical care treating bones, joints, ligaments and muscles as well as arthritis. Our Doctors have the specialized knowledge and expertise to provide exceptional care.


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It’s All About Doing What’s Best for You and Your Family

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Located Directly on Busline

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4586 Achusnet Ave. New Bedford, MA


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