Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wind on December 27

This is what Narragansett Bay looked like from Colt Park around 2 pm on December 27. As you can see, the snow has finally let up - the wind has not.

December 26 - The Big Snow!

It started snowing in the morning on December 26 and didn't let up for another 24 hours.
Just as apparent was the strong wind that is still howling. Hopefully you were lucky enough to be where you wanted to be before the snow piled up. Unfortunately, for many this was not the case. Bristol's downtown parking ban started at 3pm. Several places in Bristol lost power from the high winds causing power lines to swing into transformers. Luckily these outages lasted less than an hour. Photographs were taken around 4pm at Coggeshall Farm and Burnside Street. Driving was definitely slippery!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

East Bay Citizens for Peace

The East Bay Citizens for Peace (EBCP) is a grassroots organization made up of individuals from Rhode Island’s East Bay area that are committed to peaceful solutions to conflict and to social and economic justice through the promotion of open, respectful dialogue. We strive to accomplish these goals through public forums on topics relevant to our mission, publication of position papers and community activism. We also seek to promote changes in U.S. policy by lobbying our representatives in Washington DC on issues of concern. EBCP operates by consensus and does not as a group subscribe to any one political ideology or party.
The EBCP asks you to endorse the 25% Solution to cut U.S. military spending by 25% without endangering the country’s security. Go to their website below for details.

Welcome SUN December 21, 2010

Love these gray days and this constant lazy snow. Reminds me of Colorado.
Last night was the longest night of darkness - from now on there's a bit more daylight each day.
Happy Holidays to everyone and may your traveling be safe and uneventful!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

High School Holiday Concert December 21

Newport: 2008 Tree of the Year

"This Beech tree is in front of McCauley Hall on Salve Regina University’s campus. I think it is the heart of campus. To me the tree represents the rich history of Newport, the mystery of the many years gone by and the strength to endure all the “weather” life can have. Kelley Coen, winner of the Newport Tree Society Tree of the year Nomination for 2008

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Winter Navigation and Seamanship Classes at HMM

Winter Navigation and Seamanship Classes Offered at The Herreshoff Marine Museum

Beginning January 3rd, Herreshoff Museum educator (and Kestrel Captain) Richard Feeny will be leading Piloting and Navigation classes at 17 Burnside Street. This five-day, ten-hour workshop will use Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship as the primary textbook.

Students will be taught the skills of plotting courses and bearings on provided charts, with parallel rules and dividers also provided. Topics will include the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, latitude and longitude, nautical chart symbols, magnetic and true directions, tide and tidal currents.

Classes meet from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Choose either track: Mondays - January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; or Tuesdays - January 4, 11, 18, 25, and February 1. Cost of Class: $180 for general public, $150 for Museum members. 15% discount for two people in the same family. Space is limited to 10 students.

Seamanship classes will be offered Wednesday evenings from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. Meeting dates are January 5, 12, and 19. This class will repeat in February and March. This class will kick off the Herreshoff Seamanship Institute's 2011 theme of big boat safety beyond Narragansett Bay. We will use Chapman's Piloting and Seamanship, The Glenans Sailing Manual, and selections of John Rousmaniere's writings.

Cost of Class: $105 for general public; $80 for Museum members. 15% discount for two people in the same family. Space is limited to 12 students.
To register click here: Winter Navigation and Seamanship Classes Offered at The Herreshoff Marine Museum

To register CLICK HERE:

Trees: Community Treasures Gone

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." Aldo Leopold

There was a brutal tree cutting of several healthy old specimen trees last week at 124 Hope Street on private property that was recently sold. Currently, Bristol has no Tree Protection Laws for trees on private property. One would hope that this violent act will set off discussion and the need for laws to protect sacred specimen trees on private lands or at least incentives encouraging conservation and a permitting process allowing for public comment and discussion before the trees are cut. A definition and parameters of a "specimen or historic tree" would have to be created and tree experts consulted. The Copper Beech that was cut down in one day was at least 4.5 feet in diameter and over a hundred years old.

"After a certain point in time, a tree becomes part of the community. The trees were older than the neighborhood. I came home from work, and they were all cut down, and there was a truck turning them into sawdust. This speaks loudly to the fact that we do not own trees. We are only their stewards for our lifetime."
Bill Wright

The new owner at 124 Hope Street can now likely find himself paying 50% more in energy bills especially in the summer, will add to stormwater runoff and will have more water in his basement (not less as he stated) and will no longer be able to harbor birds which in turn assist in the control of insects. His property value will also likely decrease.

Below is a link to a Tree Preservation and Protection ordinance in Newport begun in 1991. From what I can gather from a quick review, it looks like trees on private property need to be nominated by their owners to be protected.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Education commissioner Deborah Gist to hold public forum in Bristol

Education commissioner, Deborah Gist, will be holding a public forum in Bristol at the Mount Hope High School on Tuesday, December 14 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. This is part of a Listening and Learning Tour she is holding all over the state for the next year (assuming she is kept in office by Gov.-elect Chafee). She will discuss the state's strategic plan for public education as well as visit classrooms and hold after school meetings with teachers in the district.

Baby it's cold outside!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Town Council Leadership: Ken Marshall and David Barboza voted in

This news just in from Bristol Town Clerk Lou Cirillo:
"The new Chairman is Councilman Marshall, the new Vice-chairman is Councilman Barboza. The Vote for Chairman was a split vote with Councilman Herreshoff nominating and voting for himself and the remainder voting for Councilman Marshall who was nominated by Councilman Barboza.
Councilman Barboza was nominated by Councilwoman Parella for Vice-chairman and Councilman Herreshoff nominated Councilwoman Parella who declined the nomination. The vote was then unanimous for Councilman Barboza."
Full article below by Sara Bagwell from Bristol's new local online news source PATCH.

New Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm

Janet Zwolinski is named new Executive Director of Mount Hope Farm

One thing is for sure. Change is a constant at Mount Hope Farm.

Do you remember the March 2010 Bristol Phoenix front page expose by Scott Pickering that read: “Mount Hope Farm in Turmoil. Farm struggling to pay bills; Trustee ousted; Long time leader resigning”? Well things have changed in a short 9 months.

This week, after a long vetting process, a new Executive Director was chosen from 52 applicants. Billy Whitty, acting Board President, announced that Janet Zwolinski of Barrington is that person.

Ms. Zwolinski is a native Rhode Islander. She received her undergraduate degree in Historic Preservation from RWU and is a candidate for a Master degree in Public Policy from Brown University. Most recently she served as Acting Director of Development for the Herreshoff Marine Museum. She also served as the Executive Director of Preserve Rhode Island for five years and of the Preservation Society of Pawtucket for two years. Her focus has recently been on advocacy, fundraising and development for Rhode Island PBS Foundation, Roger Williams University and local non-profits.

John Day, who headed the Executive Director Search Committee, said “We received and carefully reviewed over fifty resumes for the position. A lot of very talented individuals were interested in contributing to Mount Hope Farm and in the end the Committee was faced with some difficult choices. We strongly believe that Janet’s background and skills are what is needed to guide Mount Hope Farm through the continuing period of transition that began last spring”. He continued “Many positive developments have taken place in the past six months including significant revision of the By-laws, the recruitment of new members to serve on the Board of Trustees, changes in the operations of the B&B and the event facility and the opening up of the Farm to community. With a strategic plan in the process of being developed, it is now time for the organization to move to the next level and Janet is the right person to provide the leadership to move us to sustainability that is consistent with the basic mission of Mount Hope Farm. We hope all aspects of the community will join us in welcoming Janet to her new position.”

Ms. Zwolinski said “Mount Hope Farm is at an exciting juncture in its existence. I know my background, qualifications and enthusiasm can and will contribute to the future success of the Farm”.

Since last May, Michael Gerhardt of Warren has been serving as Interim Executive Director and will be leaving sometime before Christmas. Given a short period of transition working with Mr. Gerhardt, Ms. Zwolinski will begin work on Monday, December 13.

Welcome Janet Zwolinski to Bristol and to Mount Hope Farm!

Dog Show this weekend in Providence


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Agenda Town Council meeting Dec 8, 2010

List of names of people on the new Historic District Advisory Committee. Click on text once to enlarge.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hope Street Tree Workshop Wednesday Dec 15

There is a scheduled public workshop with the RIDOT and their consultants to discuss the Hope Street reconstruction project. The meeting will be next Wednesday evening and the main topic will be trees.

David Hockney holds virtual Paris exhibition of paintings he created on an iPhone and an iPad!

David Hockney holds an exhibition in Paris of paintings done using no brushes, turps, canvas or paint. All the works were created on an iPhone or iPad using an app called "Brushes" and emailed to the gallery. The show consists of 20 iPads and 20 iPhones mounted on the gallery wall 24/7 - each displaying a painting. New works are emailed as updates are completed. One thing. He hasn't figured out how to get paid! Click to listen or read:

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Community String Performance at High School

The Community String Project is having a special winter concert at Mount Hope High School. Please try to attend and think about making a donation to this unique and worthy cause.
Click on letter (once) to enlarge.
(Logo by Lindsay Green Graphic Design)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Linden Place House Tour is Sat. Dec 11

Linden Places Hosts "Home for the Holidays" House Tour
Saturday, December 11th 2010 from 11am-5pm
Linden Place Mansion, 500 Hope Street, Bristol RI

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 by either calling the
Linden Place at 401-253-0390, by going into the Mansion gift shop to
purchase them (it's located at 500 Hope Street), or by clicking on the
link in this website: http://www.lindenplace.org/events.htm. On the
day of the tour, 12/11/10, tickets can be purchased for $25 at Linden
Place Mansion. Linden Place Members do get $5 off both ticket prices.

There are seven homes and museums on the tour this year, Linden Place
(500 Hope Street), Williams Grant Inn (154 High Street), Rulon-Miller
Home (20 High Street), Mount Hope Farm (250 Metacom Avenue), Bristol
Historical Society (10 Court Street), The Milner Home (2 Beach Road),
and The Grossman Residence (19 Surf Drive).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Classic Christmas Stories on WRNI Radio

Trinity Rep Audio Theater and WPRI-TV present an encore presentation of “Holidays: Live in Providence,” recorded last year before a live audience at Dowling Theater. Trinity Rep resident company members Stephen Berenson, Stephen Thorne and Rachael Warren read classic holiday stories including “Bless Me, Father, For I Have Sinned” by Ray Bradbury, “Two of a Kind” by Sean O’Faolain and “The H Street Sledding Record” by Ron Carlson. Gather around the radio with a mug of hot cocoa and take part in this wonderful tradition of storytelling.

LOCATION: WRNI-AM 1290AM Providence and 102.7FM Narragansett. Airs Friday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. Free podcast subscriptions are also available online at www.wrni.org. For more information, visit the website.