Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mosaico CDC and the Bristol Garden Club join for a productive Community Service day

On a perfect morning last week - not too sunny and not too dark - Mosaico CDC in concert with the Bristol Garden Club organized a terrific community service Sense of Pride collaboration with the fourth grade students at Guiteras School right in their own back yard. Gary Watros, ex- president of the Bristol Garden Club and former NASA rocket scientist, gave the kids a 40 minute slide talk on the history of Mrs. Perry's Garden and the Bosworth Perry House, Bristol's oldest house, located opposite Sip 'n Dip. (Did you know that a 1960's Sunoco Station and a Cumberland Farms grocery store preceded the current garden?) Mr. Watros has been working patiently on this garden project for six years. The kids learned the difference between an annual and a perennial, how to plant seeds and how to prepare the soil for planting before taking trowels and shovels into their own hands. In addition, they planted two important trees; One that was started from seeds that have traveled around the moon called a "Moon Sycamore" and the other called a "George Washington Carver Green Ash" started from seeds picked from the green ash tree that grows on the plantation where George Washington Carver was born and raised. Mr. Watros mentioned a new gardening program for kids that is still in the planning stages with Blithewold and the Bristol Garden Club called the Junior Master Gardeners series for third, fourth and fifth graders. Go to for more info. This project will begin as an after school program sometime in November 2009 and run in 6 week segments. For more info call Julie Murphy, the education director at Blithewold at 401 253 2707  x 16 (Thanks to Mosaico's Jenny Astrella and Samantha Faria for piecing together the precision scheduling of this event.) 

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bristol Audubon to show free film on getting kids outside

From 1997 to 2003, children's time spent outdoors fell 50 percent. Children now spend 6 hours a day with electronic media and have almost no unstructured time. The Audubon Society of RI and the Providence Children's Museum are partnering to show a film discussing these facts. The film is called Where Do The Children Play and will be shown in Bristol at the Audubon Center at 1401 Hope Street on Thursday June 4 from 7 - 9 pm.
The film is a one-hour documentary made for public television that examines how restrictive patterns of sprawl, congestion, and endless suburban development across America are impacting children's mental and physical health and development.
Using the adage that children represent 20 percent of the world's population but 100 percent of its future, the film opens by examining differences between growing up today, with all its inherent obstacles and temptations, and childhood as it was lived 50 years ago.
The film viewing at Audubon is free.
The film can be purchased for $20 in DVD format by calling 1 800 343 4499 x154

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Did you know that the Bristol Boat Show is a non profit organization?

The BRISTOL BOAT SHOW was formed in early January of 2000 by Bristol's Harbormaster, Cpt. Joseph Cabral, and other interested citizens. The purpose of the BRISTOL BOAT SHOW was to raise funds to assist various charities and organizations involving children.
This year it will be held once again at Independence Park on the Bristol waterfront on
Saturday June 6 from 10 am - 8 pm and
Sunday, June 7 from 10 am to 5 pm

Some of the contributions made from The Bristol Boat Show last year went to Mosaico Marine Trades School scholarships, St. Michael's Soup Kitchen, Kickemuit Middle School Young Mariners Program for boat building supplies, the Bristol County Elks Club for dog training for blind war veterans and medical alert buttons for housing for the elderly to just name a few.
Please try to attend this worthy event and lend them a hand and a few dollars.

Bristol Art Museum to hold "Art in the Garden" Tour

Bristol Art Museum is having an "Art in the Garden" tour to take place on Saturday June 6th and Sunday June 7th from 10am to 4:00pm. Six houses offer dramatic views of Narragansett Bay with open fields and vistas, private gardens, and architectural landscapes. Plein Air painters will sketch the natural surroundings on site and offer their art work for sale. Three houses are located on Poppasquash Point and three more are in the Bristol Highlands.

Tickets are $25 after June 1st ($20 before), may be purchased at Linden Place, the Visitors Center on Hope Street, or by calling 401 253-5817. For more information, visit

Farm Fresh Rhode Island at Castle Hill

A benefit for Farm Fresh Rhode Island at Castle Hill.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009. An evening celebrating Rhode Island farmers, fishermen and food artisans. Featuring two dozen local farmers and producers, teamed up with chefs from Castle Hill, Blackstone Caterers, Newport Restaurant Group and seven more. Plus, local wines, beers, a raw bar, live music and a silent auction.
Tickets $45. online and $60 at the door. A 100% compostable evening. This sounds like a really fun evening!

The Story of Stuff

Some of you may find this NY Times article and video anti-capitalist and somewhat brutal and you may be correct, but it also has some truth to it. Which is probably the reason that The Story of Stuff, a 20 minute animated video about the effects of human consumption, has become a hit in classrooms across the nation.
The video was created by Annie Leonard in December 2007. Ms. Leonard is self-educated on where waste goes and worked for Greenpeace to prevent richer nations from dumping their trash in poorer ones. She produced the video, divided into 7 tidy animated sections, with the Free Range Studios company, and with money from numerous nonprofit groups. Please take a look and post a comment.

Bristol's Ballet Prestige: Annual Spring Performance on Saturday, May 30

Russian styled Ballet Prestige will be putting on a spring performance on Saturday, May 30 at 2 pm at the Barrington Public Library. The owners, directors and choreographers of this classical dance studio are top notch Russian ballet dancers turned teachers/choreographers with over 4o years of stage and teaching experience in Europe, Asia and USA. Vera not only teaches classical ballet, modern and jazz but custom makes each and every costume and knows exactly how to compliment the dance and the dancer with the correct fitting and moving outfit.  I saw the 1 1/2 hour performance last weekend at the Mount Hope High School auditorium and it was spectacular. There are 16 dancers within a broad age range, doing a hugely diverse group of creative, inventive, colorful dances. Don't miss this if you get a spare couple of hours on Saturday. Unfortunately for Bristol, Ballet Prestige is moving from Thames Street, Bristol to 211 Waseca Street in Barrington and plans to open there in August.  We wish them luck in Barrington.    Telephone: 401 467 6698   Email:

Bristol Historical Society House Tour

The Bristol Historical and Preservation Society is having an Old Seaport House Tour on Saturday September 26, 2009. Please mark your calendars and save the date!  Call the society at 401 253 7223 after July 4th for ticket reservations or send a check today with your name and contact info to BH&PS House Tour, PO Box 356, Bristol RI 02809. Tickets: $20 in advance; $25 day of tour. A circulating trolley will be available. Further details will be forthcoming closer to the date. Rumor has it there will be 10 houses on the tour!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Silver Creek estuary becoming revitalized with salt and fresh water

Silver Creek salt marsh empties into Bristol harbor just south of Sip n Dip under a small bridge running under Route 114. It is getting a new lease on life thanks to the work of the Town of Bristol, Save The Bay, DEM, the NRCS and others. Wednesday, May 20, was the big dig day for clearing out a tidal restriction that has been suffocating the marsh for a long time. Excavation of years of fill will help open up tidal flow into the 13 acre salt march as well release more fresh water from the silver creek watershed to the harbor, especially after heavy rain. The result will be less flooding, more native birds and fish and less invasive phragmites for the residents of Bristol to enjoy. Watch this short educational 'you tube' link describing the project by Save the Bay with Wenley Ferguson (STB biologist) and Walter Burke (Director of Bristol Parks and Recreation).

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow down and give weaving a try - for free!

Bristol Looms is having a benefit "weave-a-thon" Saturday June 6 from 11 - 4 pm. Maya Tavares, Bristol Looms owner, is asking that you come by her shop (upstairs behind Striper Moon on Bradford St) and give weaving a try. She said that everything woven on this day will be made into blankets and donated to Hasbro Children's Hospital. Anyone who particiaptes will receive a coupon for $15. off their first weaving lesson! For more info contact Maya Tavares at Bristol Looms at or call her at 401 254 7400. What a great opportunity to try out weaving and a great way to slow down and be productive at the same time.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A new East Bay Food Pantry on the corner of Wood and Franklin Streets is having a benefit 5K run/walk in June

Get Off Your Can!
5K Run/Walk to Benefit New East Bay Food Pantry

Shake a leg for those in need on Saturday, June 20th, with the 5K Run/Walk To End Hunger. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m. at Colt State Park in Bristol. The event will benefit the newly formed East Bay Food Pantry, an outreach of the First Congregational Church of Bristol. The East Bay Food Pantry will be located at 150 Franklin Street in Bristol in the Franklin Court complex, alongside the Stone Soup Thrift Shop, a companion outreach designed to help the pantry become self-sustaining. The East Bay Food Pantry will complement the work of other local organizations which are committed to ending hunger in the East Bay community.

Race registration for individuals 16 and up is $15 with pre-registration by June 10th, and $20 the day of the event. Children 15 and under may participate for free with the donation of a canned good. The first 100 to register will receive an event t-shirt. Official times will be tracked and posted by Spitler Race systems. This race is sanctioned by USA Track & Field.

Runners will be divided by gender into the following age groups: Under 15, Ages 16-24, Ages 25-39, and Age 40+. Medals will be awarded to the top male and female in each running group. Walkers will begin the race after the runners depart.

For information on how you can register, please contact Anita Randall at or call 253-7288.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

New and changing businesses on State and Thames Streets in downtown Bristol

• There is a new business going in on Thames Street where Northwind Sports used to be (next to A Jour Jewelry) called Organically Good. They will have sandwiches, salads, do catering as well as have yacht provisions. 

• Revival (in the old Be Here Now Bookstore space at 227 Thames Street) will be sharing the small space next door with a new retail business called Sea Star to be run by Bonnie Blue selling unique "sea-inspired" local arts and crafts. Bonnie Blue is a sailor, a children's book author, a jewelry maker and is on staff at RISD in the computer department. She has also been on staff at the Herreshoff Marine Museum for several years. (Details to follow.)

Striper Moon is moving to lower State Street next to Judge Roy Bean Saloon in the space formerly occupied by European Kitchen. They will be having a large Memorial Day weekend tent sale at the Bradford Street store in the parking lot Friday May 22 through Monday May 25. Lots of bargains at 50 - 75% off. They are hoping to be in the State Street location sometime within the first two weeks of June.

Sue Casa is now open for business next to Persimmon Restaurant under the old Hot Point sign on State Street. Susan O'Donnell, proprietress, is selling select modern home decor and limited furniture as well as her fish prints. ( She may also be able to help you with her superb interior decoration skills. 

• Aidan Graham, owner of the famous Dunkin Donuts building, has agreed with the Town of Bristol to have a "Downtown Bristol Information" sign/map (approx. 38"h x 24"w) on the south facing brick wall of the building. The DBMA map of downtown Bristol will be  displayed under plexiglass as well as a hand painted old fashioned arrow pointing west noting "Thames Street Shops". Thank you Aidan and to all involved in getting this done. Something similar might be necessary for the north end of town near Franklin Street. Contact Ed Tanner, Bristol Principal Planner, at Town Hall for details.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Basically British rent dispute goes to court

Avtech attempts to evict Basically British Tea Room in Warren for $25,000 in unpaid rent and utilities. Fab Goldberg, Basically British owner, pictured above.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Save the Bay gardening workshop: Saturday May 16, 9 am - noon

Reminder: At the Save The Bay Center, learn about yard and garden tips that are good for the environment. Join fellow home gardeners and landscapers for a morning of “green” tips and special purchase offers for rain barrels, environmentally friendly yard care products and native plants. Experts will host question and answer sessions. Enter the raffle to win goods and services donated by participating exhibitors. Workshops include, “Sustainable Lawn Care,” by Rosanne Sherry; “Container Gardening,” by URI Master Gardener; “Ecological Landscaping for the Big Three: Habitat, Stormwater, and Resource Conservation,” by Kate Venturini.

LOCATION: Save The Bay Center, 100 Save The Bay Dr., Providence. Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to noon. Free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.


Bring in your soil sample for testing by the URI Master Gardeners.

Spinning a festival out of wool: Saturday May 16 from 9- 4 pm

Reminder two: Celebrate fiber arts, hearth cooking, weaving, spinning and dyeing.
The 3rd Annual Wool and Fiber Festival, hosted by Coggeshall Farm Museum, will take place this weekend with more than 30 vendors of fibers and yarns from sheep, lamb, alpaca and llama. Representatives from the R.I. Spinners Guild, Bayberry Spinners and Slater Mill Guilds will provide information and demonstrations of knitting and weaving. The Children's Craft tent, supported by the RISG and Northeast Handspinner's Association, will provide workshops and have hand-spindle kits for sale. Food and beverages will be available for sale featuring clam cakes and chowder, Del's lemonade and the Hot Dog man.

LOCATION: Coggeshall Farm Museum, Rt. 114 off Poppasquash Road, adjacent to Colt State Park in Bristol. Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. $8 adults; $5 seniors and children ages 12 through 16; $3 children ages 6 to 11; free for museum members and children younger than 5.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Herreshoff Marine Museum needs help

We all know that Bristol is a beautiful and patriotic place. It should come as no surprise that the outside world is discovering this. In addition to being named a 2009 Distinctive Destination by the National Trust, it was just ranked number 9 by Peter Greenberg, travel editor of NBC's Today show, from among 25 top US cities and towns that best embrace American core values. In keeping with this theme, the Herreshoff Marine Museum is looking for a flag volunteer. Someone to put up and take down their large American flag every day for the summer. Do you know of anyone who would like to do this? Perhaps a veteran, a patriotic citizen or just someone who would enjoy it? The flag needs to be put up at 8 am and taken down sometime around sunset. Please give Terry Souto a call at the Herreshoff Marine Museum at 401 253 5000 or email her at if you can help or know of someone who can. The Herreshoff Marine Museum is also looking for a few good volunteers to help out in the gift shop, to be docents and to help out with the sailing school.

Bristol landfill is taking electronic waste

Are you aware that the Bristol landfill has a bin for electronic waste? They take computers, towers, monitors, key boards, mice, TV's, VCR's, radios and GPS units. There is a minimum drop off charge of $10. If you have questions please call Jim Sylvester, the DPW foreman, at 253 4100. Hours are: M-F 7:30 - 3pm and 8-noon Saturday. (Please note: This photo was not taken at the Bristol landfill.)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

RISD's Annual Runway Show is Saturday May 16

RISD's Apparel Design Department presents their own Project Runway
at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Providence RI
Main show at 7pm: $24-$62
2pm preview: $17 (advance); $22 (day of show)
For tickets and directions: or call 401 421 2787
Proceeds benefit RISD Scholarship Fund

Every spring RISD’s Apparel Design students have an opportunity to drape, zipper and buckle their creations on to fabulous looking models who offer the perfect foil for showing the clothing to an admiring public. The runway show takes place at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, a restored 1920s theater appropriate to the on-stage drama. For an enthusiastic audience of RISD people and community members it’s the first and best chance to get an up-close view of the fashion tastemakers and trendsetters of the future.

Work for each Collection is chosen by a panel of guest critics and represents specific assignments given to sophomores, juniors and seniors in Apparel Design. Seniors display their thesis projects — unified bodies of work that showcase professional-grade conceptual and technical skills; juniors focus on knitwear projects and coat collections; sophomore “innovatives” projects are created from nontraditional materials.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

LNG Issues are not over

Below is this week's editorial in the Bristol Phoenix focusing on continuing LNG concerns for our area. A group from Save Bristol Harbor is meeting this week with some 'higher ups'. A report of those meetings will be forthcoming. LNG, if anything, is more of an issue now than it ever was. Please feel free to post a comment. We want to hear from you. Click on '0 comments' and type away. Thanks.

LNG scheme: New cause for concern

Preposterous as its plan to build an upper-bay LNG facility may sound, and overwhelming as local condemnation of the idea may be, don't ever count Weaver's Cove LNG out.

Declared dead in the water too many times too count, this proposal to import liquefied natural gas up a narrow passage aboard thousand-foot supertankers is adept at dismissing opposition, finding friends in high places and climbing back off the mat. It may be doing just that again.

Key to efforts at keeping these flammable cargoes out of crowded places has been the repeated conclusion of the Coast Guard that it is not equipped to assure public safety. It cited the bridges that must be cleared, the cramped channel from Prudence Island on north, and the proximity to populous places.

Given that Coast Guard resources are as limited as ever and the hazards every bit as real, logic suggests that the Coast Guard would view Weaver Cove's latest proposal every bit as dimly as it did in the past.

Except that there's reason to wonder what could be going on up there in Fall River behind closed doors. The Coast Guard has dutifully sent public notice announcing the time and place of meetings to discuss safety issues surrounding the LNG plan, but added that the public is not welcome. While it is listening to Weaver's Cove LNG and has called in some area fire and police chiefs, the Coast Guard will not hear from the many others who work, play and live near this channel, except in writing. There is no opportunity for the rest of us to challenge, or even know until later, what claims Weaver's Cove is making about these public waterways.

And the faces have changed. C.G. Capt. Roy Nash, who wrote the previous opinions, is gone; presiding now is his successor, C.G. Capt. Raymond Perry.

Whatever comes of this closed Coast Guard process, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission awaits. The same FERC, which blithely and without explanation declared that LNG safety and security issues 'could be overcome' and dismissed Coast Guard objections, still counts three Bush appointees among its membership.

This LNG scheme was bad to begin with and is worse now that Weaver's Cove LNG wants to park supertankers in Mt. Hope Bay and close the waters to everyone else.

All outside the hearing room door can only hope that the folly of this plan is as evident now as it was every time the Coast Guard studied it before..

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Sunnyside: Breakfast and lunch with a water view

The Sunnyside is a new restaurant in Warren and is open for business. They are in the location that Three Rivers use to occupy. They serve casual breakfast and lunch like breakfast pizzas, salads, burgers and seafood. Unlike Three Rivers, the chances of an hour long wait are slim, as the new restaurant will seat about fifty people, sharing the entire space with Tav-Vino, which will be open for dinner. In preparing for the new arrangement, Sunnyside owner Joe Simone and Tav-Vino owner Paul Bullock updated the kitchen, adding a wood-burning grill and a high tech griddle. It’s a much needed addition to the Warren dining scene, which has recently seen the closing of both India and Feast or Famine on Main Street. Happily, breakfast in Warren now comes with a view again. Visit the link below to read the menu.

The Sunnyside, 267 Water St., Warren, Telephone: 247-1200

New Bristol bloggers

Below is a link to a new local blog by thirtysomethings Kevin and Samantha Faria. If you have a little one in diapers and are looking for an environmentally friendly way to keep diapers out of the landfill then please read on:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

RI to suspend greyhound racing in 2009

Twin River Gambling Parlor and Dog Track says it plans to suspend greyhound racing May 31 but the State Regulatory Commission argues it must stay open until August 8 to comply with the rule to run no fewer than 125 dog races for the year. (Twin River is obligated to hold at least 125 racing days as a condition for offering its video slot machines.) In any case, the dog track will be closing in 2009 for what it states as financial reasons. For more info on dog racing, greyhound adoption and to view a map of the ten states where it is still legal go to::

Oil Slick seen behind Stone Harbour

A sharp eyed dog walker reported an oil slick in the harbor approximately 40 yards long x 10' wide behind Stone Harbour Condos yesterday afternoon to the National Response Center. The oil appeared to be coming from an out flow storm drain running under the condo complex near the white mill. The EPA and the Coast Guard were immediately contacted who in turn contacted DEM. This morning DEM was at the site and beginning investigations. They said the oil was so thin that placing booms would not be effective. They also thought the slick would evaporate when the sun came out. Two years ago a similar oil slick appeared in the same area that was traced back to Andrews School. After heavy rain, the sump pump at Andrews School pumped oil (mixed with basement water) from the school's basement into the street. The oil traveled through the storm drain system directly into Bristol Harbor near the Stone Harbour Marina (there are several outfalls that empty under the boardwalk). DEM was informed of this this morning. Water that enters any of the Town's storm drains west of High Street, drains directly into Bristol Harbor.
To report an oil spill call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802 or DEM at: 401 222 1360 and on weekends: 401 222 3070

Here is an update from DEM May 6, 2009:
"We tracked the oil odor back up the storm drain to the drain in front of the Andrews School. We were able to trace it back to the boiler room sump pump. We spoke to Mr. Simmons who is the Maintenance Director for the schools. We advised him that he should install some absorbent boom in the sump and in the drain in front of the school so as to remove the school as a possible source for the oil coming out into the harbor. He will do this as soon as he can find a source for the booms." (I've emailed DEM to ask the source of the oil. LG)

Second update from DEM May 7, 2009:
"The school is now on natural gas and the oil tank has been removed.
The oil contamination is residual from the original spill that happened
several years ago. The Department feels that it would not be cost
effective to have the school do anymore digging to complete the
remediation of the oil in the soil. Instead we suggested the placement
of absorbents in the storm drain system in the basement and at the front
of the school. This should take care of the oil coming out of the
contaminated area."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Harvest Calendar: Local Fresh Food Guide to RI

This is a wonderful calendar from Farm Fresh RI showing when locally grown foods become available to eat!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Newly restored Aquidneck Mill opens in Newport on May 14

On Thursday, May 14, the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS), a non profit organization, will celebrate the opening of the newly restored 1831 Aquidneck Mill. Originally built for textile manufacturing, the Mill has been restored to house expansion space for IYRS, a maritime research library, the school's new Visitor Center, and lease space for twelve companies that have relocated businesses, jobs, and new economic activity to the Lower Thames Street neighborhood. The ceremony on May 14 begins at the school's campus at 11 am at 449 Thames Street. Ceremonies will be followed by an open house that runs until 2 pm. Newport Collaborative Architects served as architects of the project and construction was managed by Farrar & Associates. The Aquidneck Mill is one of only two surviving mills in Newport.

This is a good example of a mill project that Bristolians can eye for possible comparable ideas for Robin Rug. Much of the relocating businesses are marine related trades. For more info or directions call IYRS at 401 848 5777 or visit

IYRS has a new Marine Systems program taught in Bristol at 253 Franklin Street in Andy Tyska's marine complex. These programs are year round and focus on marine technology systems and specialties. See page one of the April 29 - May 1, 2009 East Bay Life section of the Bristol Phoenix newspaper. Also see a related article in the April 30, 2009 Phoenix on page 9 titled: Mosaico offers money for Bristol residents to learn marine industry skills. Call Mosaico at 253 4627 for more info or drop by their office in the northeast corner of the Bristol Statehouse building or visit

Read a short perceptive interview with Morgan Huntley, a young IYRS '08 Marine Systems graduate at:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Octogenarian, Bristol resident and local photographer, Jerry Landay, to exhibit new work in the Barrington Library opening Saturday May 2, 2009

"I am trying to end up with painterly images. The photo is merely the first sketch." The exhibit consists of 23 Digital Image Artworks. Please join him for this special occasion.

Colt Andrews School Spring Fair and Flea Market postponed to May 9 due to inclement weather


Nina Murphy at (401) 253-9759
If it is raining the event will be held indoors in the Colt Andrews gymnasium.