Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stone Harbour removes itself from HDC docket for tomorrow night

Item #12 (the Stone Harbour balcony request) has been "tabled" from tomorrow night’s HDC docket, at the request of Tom Furtado on behalf of Stone Harbour Development Corporation. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

RWU Reason & Respect lecture series

These sound like excellent lectures. We are lucky to have these people visiting RWU and Bristol to share their insights.

The philosophy behind Reason & Respect: The Civil Discourse Distinguished Lecture Series can be demonstrated by the following statement from Dr. Roy J. Nirschel, President of Roger Williams University:

“Too often in our society, politicians, media, and even some in higher education, confuse the volume of their voices with the substance of their argument. At Roger Williams University, we believe it is important to have many voices from many kinds of learners expressing differing points of view, but with respect and civility.”

Click on the link below to get schedule of lectures on October 6, 16 and Nov 3. The lectures are free but registration by phone is required.254.3210

Monday, September 28, 2009

PVD's active waterfront a visual attraction!

Below is a link to a short editorial in last Friday's Pro Jo about the port of providence being one of the most interesting sights on all of Route I-95 after passing New York City. The boat repair place he refers to I'm guessing is Promet Marine.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Stone Harbour to go before HDC for white mill balcony

This entry posted at the request of Bob and Diane Sliney and Stan Dimock , residents of Stone Harbour Condominium Complex.

Stone Harbour Development Corporation has submitted an application to the Bristol Historic District Commission to attach a 10' by 21' coated metal balcony to the historic Namquit Mill building in order to make an unsold condominium unit more marketable by creating outdoor space. The Namquit Mill, an early steam mill that was constructed shortly after the Slater Mill in Providence, is an important RI industrial structure. We encourage anyone opposed to this egregious action to attend the HDC meeting on Thursday, October 1 at 7 pm in Town Hall.

Blogger note: This is listed as item no. 12 of 14 on the HDC agenda so it will be heard most likely after 8 - 8:30 pm. I have not seen the plans for this deck but have received a copy of a letter from Stan Dimock, resident of Stone Harbour, written to the HDC. Stan is opposed to this deck for several reasons — some are: Establishing a dangerous precedent, damage to historic integrity of Namquit Mill, exacerbating drainage and structural problems, and placement in proximity to electrical transformers for the entire complex. 
Please attend this meeting if you have an opinion either for or against. LG

Pro Jo PVD working waterfront editorial 9/25/09

September 25, 2009 
Providence Journal editorial (short and to the point)
This editorial reports the need to revive the economy in RI by creating more blue collar jobs by developing and nurturing our unique and precious ports - NOT with condominiums and hotels. (Hotels and condos can go anywhere - a working waterfront can't.)

White House Ocean Task Force meets in RI

White House Task Force gets input on national oceans policy. Yesterday there was an extremely important meeting in Providence centered on the ocean(s) ... It was and will be the only meeting of its kind on the entire east coast. The Obama administration convened this meeting of the Ocean Policy Task Force, a group of senior-level federal officials working on a national policy to ensure protection of oceans, coasts and the Great Lakes.
More than 250 people showed up from Maine to South Carolina at the RI Convention Center to voice their concerns about the value of the ocean and how to protect it. Fisherman, ferry drivers, marine biologists, wind advocates, energy management experts, anti-LNG speakers and the chair of NOAA  — all gave testimony and input for the newly appointed task force. For more info go to:
In the meantime, here is a short introductory article by Peter Lord from today's Pro Jo.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Topside plantings

Have you noticed all the new Mums, mulch and grasses planted around The Topside Restaurant where gravel and empty beer cans used to be? The new owner, Dennis Liberatos, is starting the beautification transformation! What will he do with all the bikers I wonder? They are customers too! I'm sure he will work out an equitable and respectful arrangement.
Blogger update October 1: Mr. Dennis Liberatos is all excited about finding "blue mums" for beautifying the Topside parking lot. He has plans to put in a high ceilinged wrap around porch/deck that will orient itself to the bike path riders/walkers, dog walkers and a parking lot south side entrance. He'll have a shady place for people to leave their dogs with a water bowl while they enjoy their lunch on the deck. More to come.

Goetz again?

A recurring bit of troubling news concerning Goetz Boats/Custom Technologies. Word has it the company has once again found themselves in financial trouble and has had to lay off some workers with an unfinished yacht in it's new facility. Details to follow.

MacArthur Genius Grant Winners List for 2009

There are some really interesting topics here. Click the link below to read the names of the 24 winners and what they are doing. (In my art school days, Rackstraw Downes was a visiting critic and boy was he tough!)

HOUSE TOUR is this Saturday!

The Bristol Historical And Preservation Society is hosting a 10-house House Tour this weekend. All the houses on "The Old Seaport House Tour" are in downtown Bristol with the exception of  one — just north of the Poppasquash turn off on Hope Street (opposite Hillside Rd). The tour is from 10 am to 4 pm (rain or shine) and the weather is predicted to be a beautiful fall Saturday.  A crew of people have been coordinating this event for months. The booklet (ticket) is 60 pages long filled with ads and house write ups by local historians and photographs both old and new. Tickets are available at Paper Packaging and Panache or  by calling the Historical Society at 253 7223 and are $20 reserved and $25 the day of the tour. Please support the Society and all the wonderful volunteers especially the home owners who are so generously opening their homes (and working like mad) to make this day a huge success. A looping trolley on Hope and High Streets will be available all day. Hope to see you at the show! (click image once to enlarge)
Blogger note: The weather held out and the day was wonderful with an excellent turn out - many people attending from MA, CT and NH. Thanks again to all involved for making such a successful day and fund raiser for the Bristol Historical Society!!!

Traces of the Trade film showing at Library Monday, September 28

The Bristol Historical and Preservation Society will be hosting two showings of the film titled "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North" on Monday September 28th at 3 and 7 pm in the Herreshoff Community Room at the Rogers Free Library in Bristol. This Katrina Browne film traces her De Wolf ancestors to the triangle Slave Trade starting in Bristol - to Ghana and then Cuba and back to Bristol.

The book titled "Inheriting the Trade by Tom DeWolf as well as DVD's will be available for sale.
Light refreshments will be served. Call 253 7223 for more details.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A benefit for the new East Bay Food Pantry in Bristol

Bristol has a new food pantry that opened on August 26. It is an outreach of the First Congregational Church in Bristol and is a non profit 501 c(3). As of November, they will become an affiliate of the RI Community Food Bank. They are located under the green awning at 150 Wood Street in the basement of Franklin Court and are open one day a week on Wednesday's from 11 - 5 pm. (See photo above) They do not serve hot meals but have a pantry where people can come in and pick up non perishable items. Fifty families have already registered with the organization in the three weeks they have been open. The space will also have a thrift shop called Stone Soup Thrift Shop that will be opening by the end of October. Donations of non perishable food and items for the thrift shop are currently being accepted and can be dropped off during business hours on Wednesday's. For more info call 401 396 9490 or go to the website :  Below are the details for the fundraiser.
An Evening to Benefit the East Bay Food Pantry, Monday, October 19th at 6:30 pm. Location: The Admiral Pub/Tav-Vino 267 Water Street in Warren. Tickets are $30 and include buffet style dining and soft drinks. There will be a cash bar and raffles. Entertainment will be provided by Colby James, a local favorite. Tickets are available for purchase at The Beehive Cafe on Franklin Street in Bristol, Paper, Packaging and Panache on Hope Street in Bristol, and the Admiral Pub in Warren or by calling 401-330-9679.

The Pastime Foundation and Kickemuit Middle School to co-sponsor a filmmaking workshop

Click once on image above to enlarge.
Parents and friends can see the films showcased at 4 pm in the Mount Hope High School Auditorium on October 24.
Details and downloadable application forms are available on the KMS web site (click on District Schools and select KMS). For more information or to sponsor a student — parents can contact Nancy Chace at 254-1166.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

TED Talk: On need for Ocean Protection by Silvia Earle

I've been reading a book by Silvia Earle called Sea Change. It was written 15 years ago and describes what we cannot see or experience beneath the ocean's surface and how we need to protect and preserve this vast space. It's written from a marine biologists point of view but in a style very understandable to the layman. Silvia Earle has been an advocate for the oceans and the creatures who live in them for about 40 years. She is known in her circles as "Her Deepness".

Silvia Earle was a prize winning speaker this year at the annual TED Talks. For those of you who may not be familiar, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and is an invitation- only conference where the world's leading thinkers and doers gather to find inspiration.
Below is a video link to her TED talk. (It's about 15 minutes.) I have several copies of her paperback Sea Change if you'd like to read it. I plan on giving one to the local library if they don't already have a copy. The second link gives background info on Silvia Earle. I am guessing she is around sixty years old. Among other things, she is a former chief scientist at NOAA  —  the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She gave up eating fish over two decades ago.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bristol Economic Development Commission business survey

"The Bristol Economic Development Commission (BEDC) reports that responses to its "business owners survey" are coming in and wants to encourage all business owners who haven't yet responded to do so. The EDC will prioritize its objectives for 2009-10 based on these survey results. Hard copies of the survey are available at the Director of Community Development's office in Town Hall where, if you'd prefer to complete the survey online, you can also get the website link needed to do so. If you'd like Bristol to become more business friendly, this is an opportunity to register your point of view. All of Bristol's business owners should participate."

Ken Marshall/Cara Cromwell Pro Jo LNG Op-Ed in todays paper

Finally today  - The Providence Journal prints the LNG op ed piece by Ken Marshall and Cara Cromwell — and no less important a month after it was written. The link for the piece was too long to work so the article is posted below in its entirety.
Tell Both Sides of the LNG Story

Submitted to the Providence Journal
August 13, 2009

Kenneth Marshall, Chairman, Bristol Town Council
Cara Cromwell, President, Save Bristol Harbor

We read with surprise your August 11th editorial entitled “Lift for LNG.” Our surprise was caused not only by the Journal’s apparent support for this horribly misguided and ill-conceived proposal, but also for some of the inaccuracies the editorial contained. We appreciate this opportunity to set the record straight and provide your readers with a broader view of the proposed project.

We want to make clear that we are not opposed to truly offshore LNG facilities and have offered our support for a plan that moves this facility out into the ocean. However, we cannot – and will not -- sit idly by as our state’s greatest resource – our bays - are turned over to a private corporation in a for-profit endeavor. We strenuously disagree with your editorial’s assumption that this LNG is needed in New England – and/or that building this facility will help bring energy prices down.

The truth is that if Weaver’s Cove is ever built, it will be unnecessary and underutilized. Between the LNG facilities in Everett, New Brunswick and the new offshore Gloucester facility, all of New England’s LNG needs will be met, now and well into the future. It’s important to note that while LNG is a “clean” fuel, it takes a tremendous amount of “dirty” energy to transport it here from Trinidad and Tobago, so as the U.S. government takes steps to lower carbon emissions, we will favor Canadian LNG over other sources, making the proposed facility a white elephant.

Weaver’s Cove Energy first proposed bringing LNG tankers into a Fall River terminal in 2003. The project was not derailed by “wildly overstated” safety fears (as your editorial suggests), but by U.S. Coast Guard Captain Roy Nash who indicated that LNG vessels could not safely transit the route, with particular concern for the waterways in and around the new and old Brightman Street Bridges.

Undeterred, Weaver’s Cove scrapped that plan and created an “in-bay” berthing platform where LNG tankers – 910 feet in length – could offload their cargo in the middle of Mount Hope Bay. The proposed berthing facility would be about an acre in size and two stories high. In the new plan, LNG would be offloaded and moved through a 4.5- mile pipeline to the facility in Fall River. While your editorial alludes to the long safety record of LNG, it must be noted that this 4.5-mile pipeline will utilize a new and untested technology that has been the subject of some concern in the engineering community.

We also want to make clear that our opposition to the Weaver’s Cove plan is centered primarily on environmental and way-of-life issues. The enormous berthing facility would claim 73 acres of winter flounder habitat and the dredging needed for the facility and the pipeline would stir up centuries of toxins that sit on the bottom of Mount Hope Bay, polluting a clean but fragile ecosystem.

Current estimates from Weaver’s Cove indicate that there would be 140 transits to and from the facility every year. During those transits, all of us who use the water – for commercial or recreation purposes -- will be removed from the LNG route between Newport and Somerset for a period of time. This would include visiting cruise ships that are critical to our tourism and hospitality economic generator for the State of Rhode Island. The exclusion zone established by the Coast Guard will stretch for miles, essentially shutting down narrow passages in the Bay for everyone except for the gigantic LNG ship. The State Police and RI Turnpike and Bridge Authority have stated that these transits may close the Mount Hope and Pell Bridges for up to forty minutes at a time with no notice given. Our public safety officials work closely with our neighbors in Portsmouth and in an emergency, we cannot be cut off from key routes to Newport Hospital and Charlton Memorial.

Furthermore, should this proposal go through, state and local governments will be forced to shoulder some of the financial responsibility for public safety. Whether an accident actually occurs, we must be prepared and our employees must be properly trained. Bristol currently has a volunteer fire department. Providing salary and benefits to a department that is capable of providing support to an LNG facility would cost taxpayers upwards of $6 million per year and place our public service family and friends in an unnecessary and potentially dangerous and unprecedented situation. This kind of a burden – for a facility that we don’t want or need – is excessive and unfair for Rhode Island as a whole.

We are fortunate to live in this great state, so rich in beauty and natural resources. As community leaders we see no mission more important than protecting our environment, preserving our way of life, and ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy what we have passed down. We encourage all Rhode Islanders who love this state, enjoy her waters, and believe as we do that our bays belong to all of us and not a for-profit corporation to join with us in opposition to the Weaver’s Cove facility in Mount Hope Bay.

Save Bristol Harbor Annual Meeting Tuesday, September 15

Save Bristol Harbor Annual Meeting is tomorrow Tuesday, September 15 at the Bristol Statehouse at 7 pm. All are invited to attend. 
Look at this list of 2009 accomplishments. (Click once to enlarge.) This is a group that knows how to get things done! Congratulations to all and to Cara Cromwell, president, for her sound leadership!

Coggeshall Harvest Fair this Saturday and Sunday

The Coggeshall Harvest Fair is this weekend on both days September 19 and 20th from 10 - 5 pm.

The Harvest Fair is an annual event which began in 1973 and today attracts up to 5,000 visitors from across Southeastern New England. Offerings at the Fair include quality vendors, traditional competitions, and unique entertainment. At the heart of the Fair are live demonstrations of historic and traditional crafts and skills presented by artisans from across the Northeast. It is this focus on artistry and craftsmanship that sets Coggeshall Farm’s Harvest Fair apart from other events, and makes it the valuable asset to the community it has proven to be for 35 years.
There will be period games and competitions from a frying pan toss, watermelon eating and an apple pie contest. Also on hand will be preserves made from Coggeshall Farm fruit, reprints of historic books and posters form the 18th C and hay and pony rides. Go to for a list of vendors and other events. If you would like to help out and be a volunteer please call 401 253 9062 or email

Town Council Agenda for this Wednesday's September 16, 2009 meeting
Note: Noise ordinance first reading is on page four with representatives from Blithewold in opposition and the neighborhood home owners association on Van Wickle Street in support. The ordinance is to lower the decibel limit from 70 as it is now to 50 as it was originally a few years ago.

Blogger note: This was "continued" until the next TC meeting by Chairman Marshall.

Mosaico Workforce Development Planner

Mosaico Workforce Development Planner needed
Mosaico CDC is currently looking for a qualified individual with experience and knowledge of workforce planning and development to be responsible for the management and coordination of existing and future job training programs in the areas of marine, health and green technology trades. This is a one year consulting position. Qualified individuals should send a  cover letter and resume to Mosaico CDC, 240 High Street, Bristol RI 02809. Details and required qualifications available at If this link does not work, please call: 253 4627

Bristol Art Museum welcomes Barnaby Evans

As part of an ongoing lecture series by The Bristol Art Museum, Barnaby Evans is coming to Bristol to give a talk on Wednesday, September 30 at 7 pm. Mr. Evans is the creator and producer of Waterfire in Providence. Please join him for this talk about his inspiration, creativity and challenges in producing this popular event. The lecture is free.
For a list of more BAM lectures for the fall, go to:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Walking Tour: Bristol's Little Streets by Kevin Jordan, Ph.D

Kevin Jordan will be leading a walking tour on Thursday, September 17 of Bristol's downtown side streets called "Bristol's Little Streets". The tour leaves from the Bristol Historical Society at 48 Court Street and starts at 3 pm. Kevin is the past chair of RWU Department of Architecture and Historic Preservation and is a font of information on the town of Bristol.  Free to members and $5 for others.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bristol Independent Galleries holds Gallery Walk September 26

Click on poster once to enlarge. This is the same date as the Bristol Historical Society's 10-house House Tour from 10 - 4 pm.

Bristol Looms wins Best of RI

Congratulations to Maya Tavares. Bristol Looms was 
chosen "Best of Rhode Island 2009 Editor's Pick" by 
Rhode Island Monthly magazine.
Maya Tavares, Bristol Looms, 49 Bradford Street Unit 2, Bristol RI 02809 (401) 254 7400

Have you ever wanted to play a string instrument?

If so, here is your chance for ADULT lessons that run a full school year for practically nothing. Instrument rentals are also available. Give it try and email Bob Arsenault today!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

KEF walk and health fair this Saturday from 1- 4 pm

KEF is a thoughtful and well organized group who fund many innovative school related projects that otherwise would go unnoticed...and all within the Bristol Warren School District. If you can't go, think about sending them a check. More info on KEF is on their website noted below: (This is the group that had the fabulous adult spelling bee last March.)

The Kickemuit Education Foundation's 3rd Annual Walk For Educational Excellence & (NEW!!!) Wellness Fair will be held at Hugh Cole Elementary School and KMS track in Warren, this Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 from 1- 4pm. There will be raffles and fun for the kids including a bouncy house, clown shoe soccer and face painting, as well as free screenings and demonstrations from more than two dozen exhibitors in the health and wellness industry.

Proceeds from the event fund innovative educational programs for the students in the Bristol Warren school district. Tickets are $10 for Adults, $5 for Children 5-18. Students who bring completed fitness logs are FREE. More information, fitness logs and advance registration is available online at

E. coli detected in water system

A boil water advisory has been issued for Bristol County, RI.
Customers of the Bristol County Water Authority water system are being told to boil their water after E. coli bacteria was found in the system. For more info call the BCWA at 245 2033/245 5071 or the Health Dept at 1 800 942 7434. (Blogger note: I tried all three numbers; all three busy.)
If you gain any new info, please post in the "comments" section.  Click once on  article above to enlarge.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tide Cold Water Wash

Tide (laundry detergent brand of Proctor & Gamble) has recently launched a detergent specifically designed for cold water usage. In other words, even white clothes that normally go in hot water can now be done in cold water and not necessarily with bleach.
The commercials cite the monetary savings from not heating water for every wash as well as environmental benefits from using less bleach and less power to create hot water.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Agenda for HDC Workshop Thursday night at 7 pm

There will be a special Town Council meeting to discuss Historic District Commission (HDC) streamlining and improvements to HDC procedures. The workshop will be on Thursday September 10, at 7 pm at Town Hall. The agenda is posted above. Click once on agenda pages to enlarge. This agenda was posted on 8.25.09 and reposted on 9.4.09.