Monday, April 26, 2010

Urban Farming

This makes you look at your driveway or lawn a little differently! Novella Carpenter started small, with some plants in an empty lot next to her house in Oakland, CA. A couple of years later, she was tending to a full-blown farm, with goats, turkeys, ducks, pigs, and a robust garden.
She also wrote a book titled: Farm City. The video is about 8 minutes.

Portsmouth: Glen Ridge Farm

Portsmouth Town Hall - 7 pm, Thursday April 29, 2010

An important meeting is taking place
about the continued livelihood and existence of an alpaca farm in Portsmouth RI.
The farm is called Glen Ridge Farm. It's on the water and they raise
alpacas and have about 80 at the moment. They have owned the property for about 11 years.

The Portsmouth Planning Board has voted 4/3 to deny approval
of an access emergency road (once a paper road) through the alpaca farm property but there
is an appeal to the zoning board in place that will be
reviewed on Thursday night by neighbor, RI Nurseries person and developer Bruce Vanacek.
If the the road is passed - it will force the farm to close cutting the barn off from the pasture.

This is the story of a small historic farm being threatened by development.
The alpaca farm has CRMC, DEM, the Portsmouth Police and Fire Chief, Ted Clement
from Aquidneck Land Trust, Preserve Portsmouth, Greenvale Vineyards on their side but this
is not enough.

This will be the only subject of this meeting. For further details call the farm and ask for Ann: 401 529 4427.
(This threat has been going on for three years. Lawyers have been hired. The story is multi-layered, complicated and expensive.)

Middletown LNG Forum on Friday April 30

Save the Bay, Newport County Chamber
and the Newport and Bristol County Convention & Visitors Bureau
invite you to a forum titled:
"Our Bay, Our Community and LNG"
on Friday April 30 from 4:30 pm at Middletown Town Hall
with speakers Patrick Lynch, Jonathan Stone and Evan Smith.

Alice Waters has a new book

In the Green Kitchen by Alice Waters

Decades before it was chic to be a locavore, Alice Waters, co-owner of California's famed Chez Panisse restaurant, was advocating for organic food and sustainable eating. In recent years, Waters has added childhood obesity to her mission, and championed edible gardens, particularly at schools. While critics claim her food philosophies are elitist, chefs such as Jamie Oliver disagree: "She has found a way to get everyone on board and really teaches kids and adults about proper food," Oliver said recently. "And she teaches them to really enjoy and cherish it too. Her books bring her recipes to everyone. There's nothing elitist about that." Waters' latest book, In the Green Kitchen, features recipes and techniques for cooking healthy, affordable meals. Available in Bristol at 'A Novel Idea' Bookstore.

Michael Swanson Historic Preservation Talk in Bristol



Historic Preservation in Bristol, Rhode Island:
Successful Rescues and Failures

A Lecture in Celebration of Linden Place's Bicentennial

Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 7:00 PM
Rogers Free Library Herreshoff Room
525 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

Linden Place will continue its bicentennial year celebration with a lecture on historic preservation by long time Bristol resident and Roger Williams University Professor, Dr. Michael R. H. Swanson. Dr. Swanson, or “Mike” as most of us know him, will reflect on America’s love/hate relationship with the historic fabric of its cities and towns resulting in battles between "Old and Revered" buildings and "New and Improved." Sparked by events such as the Historic American Buildings Survey completed during the Great Depression and the United States Bicentennial celebrations in 1976, America’s interest in its own past led to the phenomenal growth of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and to government legislation to protect historic structures. Dr. Swanson plans to talk about this reawakening of interest which led to the creation of the Historic Preservation Program at Roger Williams and to further collaboration in preserving and recording buildings to prove their contribution to the landscapes of towns like Bristol.
Dr. Swanson came to Bristol in 1972 after graduating from Case Western Reserve University with a PhD in American Studies. He was instrumental, along with Horace Knight, Bonnie Warren and Lombard Pozzi, in establishing an Historic Preservation major at Roger Williams, the first undergraduate program of its kind in the United States.
Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information contact Susan Battle at 253 0390/

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Save Bristol Harbor water sampling help needed

Save Bristol Harbor will be starting their water sampling efforts in the Harbor for 2010, and volunteers are needed. This effort provides valuable data for their "Predictive Habitat Model," which will enable the Town to see potentially harmful changes to the ecology of Bristol Harbor (for more info on the Model, and to see 2009 results, go to, and click on "Harbor Management"). If you are interested in helping or want to learn more about what's required, please contact Keith Maloney at A training session for volunteers will be held:

Saturday, May 8th
Bristol Yacht Club
Light lunch will be provided.

Should teachers be trained as if they were doctors

LNG Fire in Western MA

Friday, April 23, 2010

RI Foundation job opening

The Rhode Island Foundation currently has an opening for the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. For more info and a job description go to:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

LNG opinion: Kevin Faria

Here is a link to an opinion piece by Bristol resident, Kevin Faria, titled "LNG vs NIMBY: An Incomplete Debate". This is Kevin's response to hearing several debates between HESS LNG and Save the Bay. It was first published on his blog 'Bristol Bullraker'. We welcome your comments.

URI Master Gardener Tips

Below is a link to URI Master Gardener home gardening tips.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healthy lawns make for a clean Bay

There is a very handy little booklet that Save the Bay has just published titled: "Bay-Friendly Backyards".Three of their listed top yard care tips are as follows:
1. Water your lawn no more than 1 inch per week. Use a rain gauage to keep track. Lawns that turn brown and dry during the summer are only dormant and will green up when it rains. Basically a brown lawn in summer is just a dormant lawn. It is not dead! (and you save water, electricity and money by leaving it alone!)
2. For the healthiest lawn possible set your mower blade to the highest setting.
3. Reduce your fertilizer use, and use organic, slow release fertilizers. (One of the best is home made compost! Go to the Bristol transfer station for free fabulous compost.) At first glance, your yard might be the last place you would look for pollution sources to the Bay. However, manicured landscapes — if improperly managed —can have a harmful effect on the health of salt marshes and water quality. Excess fertilizer and pesticide run off from your yard can flow directly to the Bay. This runoff ends up over-fertilizing the Bay and contributing to those smelly, summertime algal (seaweed) blooms. The algal blooms can lead to fish kills and also make the Bay less enjoyable for swimming.

The good news is that you can help! Whether you live inland or along the coast, by following these Bay-Friendly Yard Care Tips, your backyard can contribute to a healthier Bay.

Grow Smart RI Conference Friday May 14

This all day Friday GrowSmart RI conference comes every two years and is a MUST to attend if you are at all interested in the latest news, trends and best practices in sustainable economic and community development especially in Rhode Island. For more info, to see whose speaking and whose attending or to register please click on the following link: (If you register before this Friday you will receive a discounted early bird price.)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Save the Bay vs Hess LNG: TV interview

Save the Bay's advocate Bay Keeper and Biologist, John Torgan and HESS LNG President Gordon Shearer in interview with CH10 TV news host Jim Taricani. Taped for viewing at 6:30 am Sunday April18. Great job John Torgan!

Bodacious Bee almost sold out

The Kickemuit Education Foundation’s 2nd Annual Bodacious Bee is Friday, April 30 (two weeks from today!) starting at 6pm at Blithewold. Due to strong advance sales, there are only SEVEN TICKETS LEFT! If you want to attend this fabulous event -- and support educational excellence in the Bristol Warren schools while having a great night out -- RUN, don’t walk to Gil’s Television and Appliances in Bristol to get your ticket(s) while they last!

Tickets are $35 each, and include admission to the Bee and a light supper. Cash Bar, Computer Raffle and Silent Auction at the event (along with spectacular spelling entertainment at this fun and friendly adult competition).

Hope to see you there!

If I had a hammer

For all you aging hippies and beatniks out there - come sing the songs of the 1960's that you know by heart. This is a popular event so come early to get a seat. All proceeds go to the RI Community Food Bank.

The Hootenanny: Back Again by Popular Demand!

May 2, 2:30 to 4:30 at Coffee Depot in Warren RI

East Bay folk-song balladeer Barry Brown is inviting all who attended the original March event to come back again for another sing-out of America’s favorite folk-songs. Those who couldn’t fit inside last time are invited to come back early. It’s a second revival of the mythic ‘1960s’ folk genre at Warren RI’s Coffee Depot, 50 Main St. More than 100 filled The Depot to capacity at the original revival on March 14. The next one takes place on Sunday, May 2, from 2:30 to 4:30. Donations will be dedicated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
“So many sang out lustily from the song-sheets we provided, or from memory, on folk-songs from the Great American Folk-Song Book that they asked that we do it again,” said Brown. Song-sheets of the lyrics will again be handed out to the crowd, and Brown’s guitar will supply the backing. He will also sing solos.
Brown, a musician and guitar teacher for 45 years, will lead the “singing community” at the coffee house – young and old - in familiar sing-out tunes. The songs will include traditional American folk-songs, and original tunes composed in the 1960s and performed by such legends as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash, and Peter, Paul and Mary. For further info call 254-2291.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Elementary School Overcrowding meeting

There will be a meeting on April 15 at 7pm at the Mount Hope High School Cafeteria concerning potential overcrowding of elementary schools in Bristol.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RI Foundation Charitable Giving Talk

Maximize your charitable giving.

RI Foundation Officer To Speak at Land Trust Meeting

Ms. Zeldy Lyman, a Rhode Island Foundation Donor Services Officer, will speak next Wednesday evening, April 21, at 7 PM in the Herreshoff Community Room at the Rogers Free Library. This event is sponsored by the Bristol Land Conservation Trust and the Bristol Historical and Preservation Society. Zeldy’s talk, entitled “How To Maximize Your Charitable Giving” will address numerous ways to make a charitable gift and support a nonprofit organization. Zeldy’s background spans more than 25 years with experience in financial services marketing, client services and investment management. She joined the Foundation in 2006 from A.G. Edwards in Providence. The Bristol Land Conservation Trust preserves open space in its natural state and supplements Bristol’s own open space preservation program. The meeting is open to the public and new members are welcome. For more information, please contact Ray Payson at 253-0247.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New FEMA disaster center in Bristol

Over the weekend, FEMA established new disaster recovery centers at the new Bristol Fire Department at 4 Annawamscutt Drive and the Middletown Police Station at 123 Valley Road. The centers provide information to homeowners and business owners affected by last month’s flooding.

Mosaico Clean Up Day Saturday May 1

This note just came in from Mosaico. If you have a spare moment to help with town clean up, please contant Diana Campbell or when you go out for a walk any day - take a plastic grocery bag with you and fill it up. It's amazing the amount of trash you can pick up doing this just a few times a week. Thanks. lg

"It’s that time of year again – time for spring cleaning. And, as is traditional here in Bristol, various organizations in Town are gearing up for the annual Earth Day Clean-up event – and Mosaico is one of those organizations.

The Earth Day clean-up is planned for the morning of May 1 from 9am to noon. This year Mosaico hopes to clean up Wood Street, from the Statehouse to Bay View Ave, and Franklin Street from Wilson St to High St. We would like to pick up trash, rake some of the leaves, and, where appropriate plant some flowers.

We can use all the help we can get with this effort. So, please let me know if you and your family are available to help with our “spring cleaning”. We’re very proud of our neighborhood and hope you can help us to keep it neat and clean.


Diana Campbell
Executive Director
Mosaico CDC
240 High Street
Bristol, RI 02809
Note: This date was first reported incorrectly as May 8. The clean up is May 1.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Save the Bay Annual Meeting at Bristol Yacht Club

Save the Bay Annual Meeting
The Bristol Yacht Club is honored to be hosting Save the Bay's 40th Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00 pm.
Guest speaker is Newport filmmaker Sprague Theobauld.
Tickets: $20. (Tickets are limited, so please respond asap.)
To purchase tickets online:

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hazardous waste dump runs

Residents must discard household hazardous waste (HHW) via the RIRRC Eco-Depot program, as they normally would. Examples of common HHW include oil-based paint, fluorescent light bulbs, lawn chemicals, pesticides, antifreeze, pool chemicals, turpentine, muriatic acid, and fire extinguishers. Any product that is flammable, combustible, explosive, toxic, corrosive, poisonous and hazardous to health qualifies as HHW.

RIRRC warns residents to use caution when handling and transporting materials to Eco-Depot. Some products can cause reactions if they are combined with other hazardous products so it’s best to keep the HHW in original containers. Line your vehicle floor with newspaper or plastic, and put bunched up newspaper between different HHW products.

For more information about what qualifies for HHW collections, directions, collection dates, and handling instructions, visit the Eco-Depot page on or call
942-1430 x 241.

If Bristol has an Eco-Depot day it will be announced.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Verizon FiOS for the East Bay

At this time, Verizon does not plan to seek any more franchise approvals nationwide, including in the 10 Rhode Island municipalities without FiOS: Barrington, Block Island (New Shoreham), Bristol, Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Warren, Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro said in an e-mail.

Bristol County tax deadlines granted to May 11

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

RI Flood Resource Guide

Here is a very useful link to a Quick Guide Manual to disaster relief for RI residents from Senator Reed.

Peace vigil Saturday by Bristol Post Office

April 10, 2010 11 AM – NOON

Hope St., Bristol
(by the Post Office)


Sponsored by East Bay Citizens for Peace, a grassroots organization committed to peaceful solutions to conflict and to social and economic justice through the promotion of open, respectful dialogue. For more information contact 247-9738, or

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Osprey return Friday, April 2

A pair of osprey has returned to their nesting platform at the head of Bristol Harbor. They were first seen on Friday, April 2 just as all the tree buds are beginning to form and sprout little bits of green and red. Hopefully there is enough fish for them to catch in the harbor and the nearby inlets. They look thin! An egret was spotted on March 28 wading in the marshes near Bristol Marine! Photo: A pair of osprey in Westport, MA. Note the radio transmitter on the one on the left. HIs name is Hudson and he just returned from Brazil.

Bristol County FEMA confusion

There has been some confusion with FEMA coverage for Bristol County RI. I asked Rep Gallison about it and this was his response:
"What happened was that there was confusion with the storm 2 weeks ago when a request for the disaster declaration was asked for Bristol County but did not qualify, coupled with the fly over on Thursday (April 1, 2010) which did not show homes or businesses underwater. RIEMA and FEMA have come in to do an assessment. That is why we need everyone to register with FEMA at This, along with photos is critical documentation. Senator Whitehouse did a tour of the Town at 4 pm today and said everything is in place for Bristol County to get the Declaration.
Ray Gallison

PS: You may also see a request to cut down on sewage use. The system is treating 11 million gallons a day, way over capacity (approx 4M), plus some of the pumps were underwater which causes some damage."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bristol County covered by FEMA

Office of the Governor
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, State House, Providence, RI 02903

Friday, April 2, 2010 401-954-3873
Federal “Major Disaster Declaration” Extended to Bristol County
Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) were informed Friday evening that President Obama has approved the request to amend the "major disaster declaration" to include Bristol County, RI. With this approval, the Disaster Declaration is in effect for all counties in Rhode Island. FEMA teams worked throughout the past two days to assess the damage in Bristol County to reach the required threshold of damage for the declaration.
Governor Carcieri expressed his appreciation to President Obama and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for their support and swift action. “The response from the federal government to assist Rhode Island has been tremendous. President Obama and Secretary Napolitano assured me that all available FEMA resources would be made available to us as we recover from this devastation. FEMA response teams have been on the ground, working around the clock to assess the damage and to register Rhode Islanders who have been affected by the severe storms and flooding. Our recovery will take time, but we are working closely with our federal and local partners to do everything possible to ensure residents and businesses get the assistance and relief they need.”
All Rhode Islanders and businesses who experienced damages and losses from the recent severe storms and flooding are eligible to register with the FEMA, regardless of whether or not their property is located in a designated flood plain.
Any individual or business affected by recent severe storms and flooding should register with FEMA at, or call 1-800-621-3362 (TTY 1-800-462-7585).

Friday, April 2, 2010

FEMA Flood info from Rep Gallison

Bristol County has been declared a Disaster Area and this afternoon (April 1) Governor Carcieri flew into Town with General Bray and the RIEMA Director to tour the devastation to our Town. (There has been some confusion whether Bristol County was eligible. It is.) Documentation is also extremely important so photographs etc would be helpful. Also save all receipts.

(Source: FEMA in a Pocket Guide)


Program: Individuals and Household program (IHP)

Who may be eligible: Homeowners, individuals and households (home owners and renters)

What potentially covered: Damages to home, personal property, home repairs, rental assistance, clothes, washers, dryers - all things that may have been affected with flood waters

What to do:

Register online at or 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for hearing or speech impaired

FEMA will provide a nine-digit registration number.
NOTE: It is critically important for anyone who may have already called 211 or spoken to FEMA due to the last storm event, still MUST REGISTER with FEMA.

Information needed for call:
Social Security Number
Telephone number where to be reached
Address of damaged property
Current address of residence
Brief description of disaster-related damages and losses
Insurance information (homeowners, personal property, rental, etc.)

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will be established by FEMA in affected areas. For information on a DRC contact FEMA.

(Source: FEMA in a Pocket Guide)


Program: US Small Business Disaster Assistance Program (low interest loans)

Who is eligible: Business owners

What to do:

Register online at or 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for hearing or speech impaired.

FEMA will provide a nine-digit registration number.
NOTE: It is critically important for anyone who may have already called 211 or spoken to FEMA due to the last storm event, still MUST REGISTER with FEMA.

Information needed for call:
Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)
Social Security Number or Name of Business
Primary Contact Telephone number where to be reached
Address of damaged property
Brief description of disaster-related damages and losses
Insurance information

Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) will be established by FEMA in affected areas. For information on a DRC contact FEMA.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's from the Bristol Phoenix

If you had a chance to read the Bristol Phoenix today on page three re Mount Hope Farm (MHF) stating 'Cove Cabin Sold' to Michael Fonseca for $410K - please know that it was an April Fool's joke. Read the rest of the entries on the same page and you will see they are all April Fool's jokes. (This was confirmed by a current MHF Board member.)

Flood Assistance Resources from the Rhode Island Foundation

Thank you to the Rhode Island Foundation for sharing all these important links for flood assistance with Preserve Bristol. Note these links have been updated and are now all LIVE. More links here:

East Bay Chamber to hold emergency response seminar

East Bay Chamber of Commerce will hold Emergency Response Seminar for East Bay Businesses.
The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training and the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation will present emergency response sessions to provide information on Disaster Unemployment Insurance Procedures and options for financial assistance for impacted business owners in the East Bay from the flooding that has taken place.
The emergency response seminar will take place at the East Bay Chamber of Commerce, 16 Cutler Street in Warren on April 7th from 1 - 3 pm . Please call the chamber office at 245-0750 to make your reservation.
Earlier this week, President Obama issued an Emergency Declaration for the State of Rhode Island , making all five counties – Bristol , Kent , Newport , Providence , and Washington – eligible for federal assistance.

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue at the Internal Revenue Service granted a federal income tax filing extension for all Rhode Islanders. The new federal income tax filing deadline for Rhode Islanders will be May 11, 2010 .