Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Rhode Island Policy Reporter

My friend Tom Sgouros has a lot of varied interests. He's a trained film maker and artist, a great juggler and former circus impresario, a pretty good self-trained electrical engineer and robot builder, and in his copious free time, he is a policy wonk.

He's recently decided to start a newsletter devoted to Rhode Island policy. Named the Rhode Island Policy Reporter, it's a more or less monthly newsletter that reports on state and federal policy issues in and around the Ocean State. Each issue takes on a different subject and analyzes and reports upon Rhode Island policy. Taxes, the budget, health care, the environment, and other issues are all fair game.

I warn you, it's not for the faint of heart or mind. The newsletter delves deep into what the actors in these policy arenas are doing, not what they are saying. The newsletter is information-dense. Just warning you, in case you were allergic to information!

If you'd like, you can view the first two issues by PDF. The newsletter isn't free (It's $55 a year for individuals, and $110 a year for institutions) but hey, his kids need to eat, y'know?

If you'd like to subscribe, check out the website, or just send your check (or a bunch of small unmarked bills) to:

Rhode Island Policy Reporter
Box 23011
Providence, RI 02903

Friday, September 26, 2003

The Birth of Johnny Appleseed

Today, September 26, 1774 Johnny Appleseed Chapman was born in Leominster Massachusetts.
Over the course of his life he travelled far and wide as an itinerant nurseryman, and sowed thousands of apple trees. While he didn't do it out of sheer altruism, at the same time, he wasn't particularly money focused either. He had a vision, he sought it out and practiced it.

Read a history of Johnny Appleseed

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Now is the time to go to a local orchard and pick your own apples, pears, and other delicious items!

You can get a full list of RI Orchards at the Rhode Island Fruit Growers Website There's also directions on growing apples, a list of farm stands, apple recipes, and lots of other stuff!

You may also want to check out the state's Division of Agriculture's website (part of the Dept. of Environmental Management). They've got some pretty interesting stuff there too!

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


Stone Soup Coffeehouse is one of the oldest and largest folk music venues in New England. Now in its 23rd season, Stone Soup presents fine folk and acoustic music on Saturday evenings from Labor Day through the end of May. Stone Soup has presented such artists as Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Rosalie Sorrels, Cheryl Wheeler, Greg Brown, Patty Larkin, Bill Morrissey, etc. But since Stone Soup's purpose is not to make money but promote folk music, it makes it a point to present gifted artists not as well known as those listed above, and Stone Soup also has an obligation to the many fine artists in the Rhode Island area, which has one of the richest lodes of folk artists in the nation. Stone Soup is an all volunteer, non-profit organization.

For more information, check out their website! or call (401) 457-7147

The 2003-2004 Schedule

September 27
Northern Lights ($12)
October 3, 2003 (FRIDAY):
Holly Near($18)

Holly Near: Advance tickets available
October 11
Paul Geremia (opening: Deb Pasternak)($10)
October 18
>Les Sampou (opening: Art Tebbetts) ($12)
October 25
Spellbinders ($10)
November 1Cactus Highway; Stephanie Corby(double bill) ($10)
November 8
Lori McKenna (hoot) ($10)
November 15
Cliff Eberhardt (opening: TBA)($12)
November 22
Roy BookBinder (opening: Terrence Martin)($10)
November 29
Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem (opening: Polly Fiveash and Anand Nayak) ($12)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003


The Jewish Holidays are nearly upon us! Time to get out the shofar (the horn, seen above) and celebrate the New Year, or Rosh Hashanah (which in Hebrew means "Head of the Year") You can find out a lot more about Rosh Hashanah here .

Services vary, but most synagogues have them on Sept 26, Sept 27, and Sept 28. It can be pretty difficult to get a seat at the synagogue (this is the holiday that most people go to temple for, and as a result, it's quite crowded, and often involves tickets, etc.). Several organizations go out of their way to have seats available for unaffiliated people, travellers, and anyone who needs to go to services:

URI Hillel--401-874-2740
Brown Hillel--401-863-2805
Chabad House -401-273-7238

For a list of other synagogues, Look Here!

Monday, September 22, 2003

October 2- November 1

Each year for the last 11 years, Perishable Theatre has presented The Women’s Playwrighting Festival. It’s been one of their more popular series.
They’ve experimented with a series of different formats, and what has worked for them for the past few years are one act plays.
This year's Festival winners and their plays are:

Temporaria by MF Unser, directed by Brooke O'Harra
Holy Broth by Quiara Alegria Hudes, directed by Nadia Mahdi
Johnny Hong Kong by Kathryn Walat, directed by Bob Jaffe

Tickets on sale now at ArtTix!

Performances are October 2 through November 1
Thursdays at 7PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM,
Sunday October 19th & 26th at 3PM
$20 ($15 student & senior discount)
Call 401-621-6123 or visit the Perishable website for more information.

Friday, September 19, 2003


That's right folks-- It's International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Here are the 5 basic words you'll need as a pirate!:

Ahoy! - "Hello!"

Avast! - Stop and give attention. It can be used in a sense of surprise, "Whoa! Get a load of that!" which today makes it more of a "Check it out" or "No way!" or "Get off!"

Aye! - "Why yes, I agree most heartily with everything you just said or did."

Aye aye! - "I'll get right on that sir, as soon as my break is over."

Arrr! - This one is often confused with arrrgh, which is of course the sound you make when you sit on a belaying pin. "Arrr!" can mean, variously, "yes," "I agree," "I'm happy," "I'm enjoying this beer," "My team is going to win it all," "I saw that television show, it sucked!" and "That was a clever remark you or I just made." And those are just a few of the myriad possibilities of Arrr!

For advanced pirate speaking tips, check out the official website


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

National Prostate Awareness Month

September is national Prostate Awareness Month. There are Awareness Drives, Auctions, and all kinds of stuff to help wipe out prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer among men in the United States. This year alone, it is estimated that more than 220,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and that nearly 29,000 men will die from this disease.

To find out what's going on to raise awareness, check out   The National Prostate Cancer Coalition's website. The NPCC, founded in 1996, is the largest advocacy organization dedicated to ending the devastating impact of prostate cancer on men, families and society.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The mission of The Providence Plan is to restore hope and create new opportunity for the people of Providence through a comprehensive initiative designed to address the fundamental causes of poverty and urban decline.

The Providence Plan was founded to achieve six principal goals:

• Put people to work
• Retain the city's middle class
• Make our neighborhoods safe and livable
• Prepare today’s children for tomorrow’s jobs
• Provide decent and affordable housing
• Increase jobs and taxes in downtown Providence

The Providence Plan seeks to achieve these goals and others by building partnerships among city, state, and federal agencies; business, labor, civic, and religious groups; community-based organizations; academic institutions; and concerned residents.

To this end, you can check out their website and see what initiatives they ahve going on right now!

Friday, September 12, 2003


Heard a great presentation on NPR about a new book about ventriloquism called Dummy Days, written by the guy who is currently directing Shrek II.

NPR put together a great resource page,and the audio will be available after 10 am eastern today.

See the NPR Page

Thursday, September 11, 2003


A strong and ably acted production of Arthur Miller's classic play that thinly veils McCarthyism through the lens of the Salem Witch Trials. It's a great and beautiful play, and the production is rumored to be equally strong. Just 7 more performances left, so make sure to get your tickets!&Thu-Sat, 8 p.m.; Sun, 2 p.m., 7 p.m.

location: The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
street:  La Salle Academy, Br. Michael McKenery Arts Center, Pawtucket
phone:  401-723-GAMM
web page: www.gammtheatre.org
begins:  Thursday, September 04, 2003
ends:  Sunday, September 21, 2003

Monday, September 08, 2003

Books, Boats, Brushes, and Taste Festival

I went and performed at the BBB-Taste Festival in New London on Saturday. The weather was perfect, the waterfront was crowded, and there was so much going on!

I performed as both a clown and as an author. I had been hired as a clown, and then it turned out they had a spot on the Children's author's stage open, and they gave it to me! What I didn't realize is how High Powered a festival this was. Other Children's authors included Avi (Newberry award winner!), Joanna Cole (Author of the Magic School Bus), Lane Smith (The Stinky Cheese Man, and illustrator for Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach, and me! I was a little overwhelmed!

Anyway, one of the authors was Walter Wick, the writer/photographer of the I Spy series. He's from Connecticut. His books are absolutely amazing, and ingenious, and if you don't know them, you are going to love them! Check out his website!

Friday, September 05, 2003

Pawtucket Arts Festival

A myriad of events are going to take place at the Pawtucket Arts Festival from Sep 5-Sep 21 in the city of Pawtucket. From studio visits to a Rubber Duck Race,from folk music to discussions about the future of Pawtucket's artists, there's something for just about everyone!

Despite the fact that nearly every other festival in Rhode Island has suffered a body blow in terms of funding (Convergence and First Night, most notably), the Pawtucket Arts Festival is thriving!

So go on down to Pawtucket, buy some local art, have some local food, see some great events, and thank the Lord that someone has figured out how to maintain their festival!

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Help Revive First Night Providence!

First Night Providence has gone away, but the artists are bringing it back!

If you'd like to be involved in helping to raise First Night Providence like a phoenix from its ashes, well now is the time to step up to the plate!

There's an artists meeting TODAY

Thursday, September 4, 2003
Big Nazo Studio
Fulton and Eddy Streets

Please invite fellow artists who are interested in helping to organize/create a festival for this year on a very limited budget.