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My Backyard header image 1

Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee

February 10th, 2016 · No Comments

The Rehoboth Democratic Town Committee (RDTC) will hold a Caucus on Saturday 20 February 2016, 10:00 AM at the Blanding Public Library, GOFF Memorial Hall, 124 Bay State Road Rehoboth, MA.  

All registered Democrats in Rehoboth are eligible to participate.

For more information please contact Paul Jacques, RDTC Vice Chair at (508) 922-4394.

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Essex Steam Train

February 10th, 2016 · No Comments

Essex Steam Train’s Annual Eagle Flyer Swoops into President’s Day Weekend


Relieve your cabin fever on a 2.5-hour eco-excursion in the Connecticut River Valley, February 13-15 and 20-21, 2016

Essex, CT – The Essex Steam Train will operate its annual Eagle Flyer eco-excursion starting President’s Day Weekend, February 13-15, as well as 20-21, 2016. This unique journey through the Connecticut River Valley is a great way to enjoy fresh air and catch a glimpse of local wildlife with the whole family.

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The 2.5-hour trip begins with a Vintage Diesel Locomotive 0900 at Essex Station at 1 Railroad Ave, Essex, CT 06426. Train riders can hop aboard along with a group of Master Wildlife Conservationists from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. These expert naturalists will act as guides, teaching riders about our national symbol, the Bald Eagle, and its migration south to the Connecticut River Valley.

 The Essex Steam Train operates the Eagle Flyer every year to help the people of Connecticut explore their local environment. The trip is perfect for all adults and children over the age of 2. Guests are encouraged to bring binoculars and cameras to capture beautiful photos of Connecticut’s birds and wildlife. After the event, guests can post their best photos on the Essex Steam Train’s Facebook page:

 Tours depart at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Essex. Passengers are accepted at Deep River, Chester, Hadlyme and Haddam on a space-as-available basis and tickets are cash-only at these local stops.  Coffee, tea, hot soups, sandwiches and snacks will be available onboard.

 Tickets can be purchased online or at the Essex Station, where all forms of payment are accepted. Coach Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 2-11 (children under age 2 are free); First class tickets are also available for $40.  For more information, and to buy tickets online, visit

 About the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

Owned and operated by the Valley Railroad Company, the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is a unique historic attraction in the Connecticut River Valley. The railroad has transported people in Connecticut since 1868, and the Valley Railroad Company has operated today’s well-known train and riverboat for over 40 years. The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat takes people on exciting excursions through the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley, a place designated as “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy. The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches through the quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester, and the Becky Thatcher riverboat takes visitors past the undeveloped Selden Neck State Park on its way to East Haddam. The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat offers various eco-excursions and family themed events throughout the year. For more information, visit Connect with the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat on social media: and

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February 10th, 2016 · No Comments


 Sunday, February 28, 2016

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To celebrate Black History Month, Linden Place Museum will present a Sunday afternoon concert titled, “In a Sentimental Mood”, featuring songs of one the world’s most famous jazz composers and performers, Duke Ellington. The concert will take place on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3:00pm inside the historic mansion parlors.

John Murelle, baritone, and John Salerno, pianist, will entertain audiences with a concert of familiar, and perhaps unfamiliar, songs by Duke Ellington. Author Mick Carlon will be telling the fascinating story of Ellington’s background and his music between songs performed by Murelle and Salerno.

Duke Ellington (1899-1974), the American composer and pianist, wrote over 2000 compositions. His jazz style moved in and out of the blues, gospel, popular and classical music. His more famous songs include “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” “Take the A Train,” “Satin Doll,” “In a Sentimental Mood”, “Mood Indigo” and “Solitude.” The songs of Ellington have not only endured the test of time, but keep fascinating audiences with their wildly imaginative melodies.

The concert is $15 for general admission, $10 for Linden Place members, and free for Colt Circle members. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Linden Place Mansion at (401) 253- 0390.

 Friends of Linden Place is a non-profit organization responsible for the restoration and preservation of the historic house museum at 500 Hope Street in Bristol, Rhode Island, and for the promotion of cultural, artistic, and educational programs in the community. The mansion and grounds are open to the public from May to October, during the holiday season, and also by appointment. 

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Audubon Society of Rhode Island

February 9th, 2016 · No Comments

Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Welcomes A New Avian Ambassador  

D Audubon Introduces new Red-tailed Hawk Ambassador

Young Red-tailed Hawk Can be Observed in Special Exhibit

Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI

 SMITHFIELD – February 8, 2016 – Don’t be fooled by those fluffy white feathers. His golden eyes, white breast feathers and chocolate-brown streaked pattern on his back and wings do leave a stunning impression. But underneath those good looks he is a formidable predator with razor-sharp talons, extraordinary strength, a hooked beak that rips and tears, and highly developed eyesight and hearing. An impressive bird of prey, this raptor is the newest avian ambassador cared for by the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.Visitors to the Environmental Education Center will have the opportunity to meet, observe and enter a contest to name this Red-tailed Hawk.

Less than a year old, it is believed that this hawk was injured by a fall as a fledgling, when he was approximately 12 weeks old, causing serious injury to his left wing. Because of this break and how it healed, he has limited ability for flight and non-releasable into the wild.

Last August he was spotted hopping around the median of Route 8 in Shelton Connecticut, obviously unable to take flight. He had been living and scavenging on the ground for over three weeks when rescued. Christine Peyreigne, a wildlife rehabilitator in Weston, Connecticut, cared for the hawk for over 5 months, hoping to see him recover completely. After a veterinarian determined that the bird was permanently injured, they reached out to Audubon. His new home will be a new and specially constructed hawk observation exhibit at the Audubon Environmental Education Center, funded by the Rhode Island Foundation and Audubon members. Visitors will be able to observe him from both inside as well as outside of the building and Audubon educators will be on hand to answer any questions.

Name the New Avian Ambassador!

If you love birds and are clever with words…join Audubon’s celebration and enter a contest to name the new Red-tailed Hawk! Audubon encourages the community to choose a name and enter the contest during their visit to the Environmental Education Center or online at

Additional contest details will be available on the Audubon website starting February 15, 2016.

Audubon Environmental Education Center Hours:

- Open 9:00am – 5:00 pm during February School Vacation Week.

- Winter Hours: Mon-Tue: Closed. Wed-Sat: Open 9:00am-5:00pm. Sun: Open 12:00pm-5:00pm Except for Holidays and Special Events

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island cares for seven un-releasable birds of prey: a Great Horned Owl, two Barred Owls, an American Kestrel, an Eastern Screech Owl, and now two Red-tailed Hawks. All are educational ambassadors, used in environmental education programs. The new Red-tailed Hawk is the only Audubon bird that will be housed in an exhibit space that is open to public observation.

 Please note: Although the Audubon Society of Rhode Island does care for several birds that have been injured and unable to be returned to the wild, the organization is NOT a licensed animal rescue and rehabilitation facility. We cannot accept animals that are abandoned, injured or needing care. If you find an injured animal, please call the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic of Rhode Island at (401) 294-6364.

 Audubon Society of Rhode Island is an independent not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting birds, wildlife, and their habitats through environmental education, advocacy, and land conservation. The state’s first environmental organization, the Society now protects nearly 10,000 acres in a network of refuges, pristine properties and wildlife habitats. One of the largest private environmental educators in the state, in 2014 Audubon staff taught approximately 20,000 students across the region. Audubon Society of Rhode Island is not affiliated with National Audubon.

12 Sanderson Road ~ Smithfield, RI 02917-2600 ~ Phone: (401) 949-5454 ~ Fax: (401) 949-5788 



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Providence Children’s Museum

February 9th, 2016 · No Comments

School Vacation FUN! Weekly Activities at Providence Children’s Museum February 14 – 21

Heart Smart Sunday, February 14  •  11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Celebrate Valentine’s Day with heart healthy activities. Kids test their heart rates, make valentines, learn about the anatomy of a heart, and see a real heart up close! Underwritten by Amgen Foundation.

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Keith Munslow

Keith Munslow Monday, February 15  •  11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Popular children’s singer and storyteller Keith Munslow entertains families with a lively participatory performance, packed with tinkling piano tunes, tongue-twisting poems and funny fast-paced rhymes.  Shows at 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up. Underwritten by Providence Tourism Council.

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Hoopoe Show

The Hoopoe Show Tuesday, February 16  •  11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Hoopoe the hilarious mime (Chris Yerlig) gets the audience into the act and dazzles them with silent comedy, eye-popping magic tricks and balloon wizardry in a funny, imaginative show.  Shows at 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up. Underwritten by Providence Tourism Council.

D PCM Mad Science

Mad Science

Mad Science: Up, Up and Away Wednesday, February 17  •  11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Witness mesmerizing science experiments exploring air power and pressure with hot air balloons, a vortex generator and a hovercraft in this mind-bending interactive show.  Shows at 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM & 2:00 PM; recommended for ages 4 and up.  Underwritten by Providence Tourism Council.

Imagination Playground Thursday, February 18  •  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Kids invent their own ways to play as they stack and build with huge blue foam blocks, wheels, spools, tubes and a variety of loose parts.  Construct castles and forts, create interesting sculptures and more! Underwritten by Dominion Foundation.

Paper Caper Friday, February 19  •  10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Kids fold and crease paper to create whirligigs, design gliders and fashion other fabulous flying contraptions – then send them soaring!  Recommended for ages 5 and up.

Skygazers ALSO Friday, February 19  •  5:30 – 7:30 PM Join astronomers from Brown University Science Outreach and use telescopes to view the moon and night sky.

The Museum is open free of charge from 5:00 – 8:00 PM for “MetLife Family Friday – Free at Five!,” sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Be an Engineer

Saturday, February 20  •   11:00 AM – 2:00 PM In celebration of National Engineers Week, kids investigate the world of engineering at fun-filled activity stations with members of the Society of Women Engineers.  Experiment with electrical conductivity and discover how well different materials conduct; mix up gooey oobleck and learn about liquids and solids; investigate the power of pulley systems; and more!  Families can also browse books on engineering and technology.  Recommended for ages 5 and up. Presented by the Society of Women Engineers, New England Shoreline Section.

Rigamajig Sunday, February 21  •  11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Invent creative contraptions with a large-scale building kit featuring wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, rope, and nuts and bolts. Underwritten by National Grid. 


for a full calendar of events.

 Providence Children’s Museum – play is powerful!

The Museum is located at 100 South Street in Providence’s Jewelry District.  September through March, open Tuesday through Sunday and Monday school holidays, 9 AM to 6 PM, and selected Fridays until 8 PM.  April through August, open 7 days.  Programs are free with Museum admission of $9.00 per person; always free for Museum members.  Call (401) 273-KIDS or visit

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Job Lot Shock Announcement Underscores Imminent Peril of Tolls

February 9th, 2016 · No Comments Calls on State Leaders to Immediately Withdraw Toll Legislation

Providence, RI— On Saturday, at the grand opening of their new store in North Kingstown, Ocean State Job Lot made the shock announcement that they are suspending the construction of a new $50 million warehouse due to Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposal to toll trucks. The Governor’s administration has said that truck tolls would simply put the state on the same field as other states which toll. 

But no other state comes close to cramming so many gantries into such a small area, nor does any other state toll trucks only, a legally questionable approach that would almost certainly lead to tolls on cars.  And Job Lot, a Rhode Island-based company, said that under the pending toll legislation, they would pay $1 million a year in tolls, a figure that is more than six times what they currently pay in tolls to RI, MA, CT, NH, VT, ME, NY and NJ combined.  (View their testimony here, courtesy of the Gaspee Project.)

Job Lot is only the latest in a series of Rhode Island businesses who have said they will be significantly impacted by tolls.  On Saturday, the CEO of Cranston-based Taco John Hazen White, Jr, expressed real concerns about tolls and indicated that the company is in the process of calculating their impact.   UPS, Greylawn Foods and at least two trucking companies, TW Byrne Transport and M&D Transportation have gone further than Taco, publicly stating that they would move operations and jobs out of state if tolls are implemented.

“The testimony of M&D Transportation’s Mike Collins at the Senate hearing was riveting and indisputable”, says spokesperson Monique Chartier.  “He offered to show the numbers.  His company simply cannot survive in Rhode Island if tolls are implemented.” “But these are only the companies who have chosen to speak out”, continues Chartier.  “How many more companies are quietly watching events on the sidelines, poised to reduce their work force or move over the border if truck tolls come to the state?”

Last week, RIPEC, the R.I. Public Expenditure Council, released revenue projections of the toll plan based upon RIDOT’s own numbers.  They showed that, while tolls do not adequately fund bridge repairs in the short term, they produce an unprogrammed surplus of over $700 million over the long haul. “So tolls don’t get the job done short term”, points out Chartier.  “But long term, they become a permanent tap into the veins of Rhode Island residents and businesses, exactly as everyone has feared.”

The RIPEC study also concluded that the industries hardest hit would be manufacturing, transportation and warehousing/logistics – the very industries the Governor’s recent Brookings study held out as “valuable opportunities for development and growth in RI”. “With Job Lot halting the construction of a $50 million new warehouse and UPS transferring a dozen jobs from RI to MA, tolls are chasing jobs away before the bill is even voted on in committee”, emphasizes Chartier.

 “The shocking announcement Saturday by Job Lot should jolt everyone awake to the very real danger posed to Rhode Island by tolls. We call on state leaders to immediately withdraw this toll legislation before the damage to the state’s economy and job base becomes irreversible.” is a coalition of citizen groups opposing not just the Governor’s Truck-Toll plan, but ANY toll proposal. The public is encouraged to take action to oppose tolls at

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Linden Place Mansion

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

Linden Place Mansion is Gearing Up for Summer Arts Camp 2016!


Registration is beginning for Linden Place’s Summer Arts Camp for Kids! This weekday creative camp is for camper’s ages 6-14 and takes place on the beautiful, historic grounds of Linden Place Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Each day is filled with creative fun from 9:00 am until 2:45 pm. Campers participate in a variety of activities from costume making to games on the Mansion grounds, from arts and crafts to writing and singing music, and to playmaking and creating dances. Each one-week session is arranged around a different theme and ends with a performance staged by campers for friends and family to enjoy!

There are two consecutive one-week sessions, July 11-15 and July 18-22. Parents can register their children for one week or both weeks of camp. Registration is $210 per student per week, which also includes a Linden Place Camp T-shirt. A $30 discount is available for each additional camper from the same family. Linden Place members receive a $30 discount per child!

To request a registration form, please call 401-253-0390 or visit

Friends of Linden Place is a non-profit organization responsible for the restoration and preservation of the historic house museum at 500 Hope Street in Bristol, Rhode Island, and for the promotion of cultural, artistic, and education programs in the community. The mansion and grounds are open to the public from May to October, during the holiday season, and also by appointment.

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CCRI Westerly Jobs Skills Training Center

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

Rep. Azzinaro highlights CCRI Westerly Jobs Skills Training Center project

STATE HOUSE – Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly) was joined by Governor Gina Raimondo, Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Westerly, Charlestown, North Kingstown), CCRI President Dr. Meghan Hughes, philanthropist Charles Royce, representatives from Electric Boat, and Westerly Superintendent Roy Seitsinger, Jr. at the Westerly train station on Feb. 4 to announce plans for a new CCRI Jobs Skills Training Center in downtown Westerly adjacent to the train station. 

The purpose of the facility is to train students and prepare them for high paying jobs with companies like Electric Boat. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our community and I am proud to have helped secure funding for this exciting project.  It is going to bring new life to our downtown, while also serving as a training center for Westerly residents to learn new skills for good paying jobs,” said Representative Azzinaro. 

“I’d like to thank Speaker Mattiello, who made a commitment of state support; Governor Raimondo; Senate Minority Leader Algiere; the civic-minded folks at Electric Boat and the Westerly School Department.  This is a perfect example of what can be accomplished for the community through productive and innovative public-private partnerships,” added Representative Azzinaro.

In 2014, Representative Azzinaro was speaking with Charles Royce and thanked him for his efforts to revitalize downtown Westerly.  Royce commented that a CCRI presence was necessary for the revitalization and he pledged financial support.  Representative Azzinaro then mobilized House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) and then CCRI President Ray DePasquale to meet with Charles Royce.

Collectively, they identified the need for a traditional community college program with specialized job training, focusing on a large regional employer as an anchor tenant.  Representative Azzinaro then recruited Electric Boat to establish a campus located between its Groton and Quonset Point facilities.

Permits for the project have been obtained and construction will commence soon on the site near the Westerly train station. 

The campus will consist of a job skills training center and 18 academic classrooms.  The center will be dedicated to enrolling and training high-skill, high-wage workers in electrical, maritime pipefitting, maritime sheet metal, and carpentry. 

Electric Boat is working closely with CCRI to develop the curriculum.

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February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

Old Colony Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 100, First Baptist Church, 118 South Main Street, Attleboro, MA 02703



 9 Washington Street

Attleboro, MA  02703




 SHOP                       DONATE              VOLUNTEER


Call or email store manager Ray Reed at 508-639- 9577 

or visit 

for details and to sign up. 


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Bishop Feehan High School

February 8th, 2016 · No Comments

Bishop Feehan Welcomes Scholarship Winners


Back row from left: Hannah Kline, Naji Karam, William Redding, Peter Fielding, Benjamin Poirier, Aidan Soliday, and Taylor Spears. Front  row from left: Hannah Carnes, Elizabeth Castono, Tori Young, and Audrey Bulger.

Bishop Feehan High School president Chris Servant ’66 and principal Sean Kane presented 11 incoming members of the class of 2020 with Presidential and Principal scholarships, as well as the first ever Mercy Spirit scholarship at a dinner in their honor. The President’s Scholarships were presented to those students who score highest on Bishop Feehan’s entrance exam and the Principal’s Scholarship were given to five students who display exceptional leadership potential in one or more areas.   The Mercy Spirit Scholarship  honors the life and memory of Bishop Feehan’s beloved Sister of Mercy, Sr. Patricia Harrington, and was given to a student “whose life reflects the gifts of dedication, faith and service that Sr. Pat exemplified every day of her life.”

C Feehan Graduate

Sammy McSweeny

The keynote speaker and 2014 Feehan grad, Sammy McSweeny, business major at Providence College, spoke about her positive experiences as a student at Feehan.

The recipients are -

President’s Scholarship: Audrey Bulger (N. Easton), William Redding (N. Attleboro), Aidan Soliday (Rehoboth), Taylor Spears (Wrentham), and Tori Young (N. Attleboro).

Principals Scholarship: Hannah Carnes (Medfield), Elizabeth Castano (Norton), Peter Fielding (Bridgewater), Naji Karam (Fall River), and Benjamin Poirier (Lincoln, RI).

Mercy Spirit Scholarship: Hannah Kline (Johnston, RI)

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