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Please Welcome Jill Beresford MSBDC’s New Senior Business Advisor

September 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

 We are pleased to introduce you to Jill Beresford, our newest team member.

 With over 25 years of executive management and advisory experience she has worked in a wide variety of corporate environments including private, public, international, start-ups, family-held businesses, Fortune 500 corporations, Chapter 11 bankruptcies, and turn-around situations.

 Jill brings a unique problem-solving and strategic perspective to troubled situations and turns them into profitable business-building solutions.

 Her M.B.A. is from Boston University.  She is a volunteer mentor, active participant, and officer at several regional non profits.  Jill will be advising entrepreneurs and experienced business owners in Brockton, Fall River, Middleboro, New Bedford, Rockland, and Taunton.

 Please call the MSBDC office at (508) 673-9783, extension 10, to schedule an appointment with Jill or one of our other advisors located in your area.

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Norton Institute For Continuing Education

September 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

The Norton Institute for Continuing Education (NICE) announces its four fall courses for the 2014 – 2015 academic year. These presentations will be held at Wheaton (Norton, MA) College or the Norton Public Library, as indicated below. The courses are $35.00 each and require pre-registration.

 Mushrooms For New Mycophiles

 Thursdays 2:00 – 4:00 pm September 18, 25, October 2, 9, 23 & 30   Six Sessions     Wheaton College   Limited to 18 students

 This course will explore New England’s diverse, beautiful, edible or poisonous fall mushrooms. It involves field and laboratory work with walking at a leisurely pace for about a mile during each session over uneven terrain. New and returning students are welcome.

 Taught by Deborah Cato, MS, Instructor of Biology at Wheaton College.

 The Political Beethoven (1770 – 1827)

 a. Saturdays 12:30 – 2:00 pm  November 1, 8, 15, 22      Four Sessions   Wheaton College

 b. Saturdays   2:30 – 4:00 pm November 1, 8, 15, 22       Four Sessions    Wheaton College

 Each section is identical and limited to 60 students.

 Ths course will view Beethoven’s tempestuous political world through early pieces written for the Bonn court, famous middle period pieces with political overtones, and important works named after wealthy patrons. We’ll see how his works acquired new political meaning as musical propaganda in the Nazi and post- World War II periods. This course connects

in many ways to Professor Staudinger’s The Political and Fantastical Goya (see below.)

 Taught by Ann Sears, PhD, Professor of Music, Wheaton College

 The Political and Fantastical Goya (1746 – 1828)

 Fridays, 12:30 – 2:00 pm November 14, 21, December 5, 12    Four sessions Wheaton College

 Taught in conjunction with a blockbuster exhibition on Goya at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (October 2014 – January 2015),

 This course complements Professor Sears’s course on The Political Beethoven, described above. We will examine the work of one of the most extraordinary artists in the history of art, whose development often paralleled that of his contemporary, Beethoven. The instructor will also lead a visit to the MFA at the student’s own cost and transportation. Date selections for this visit will be provided.

 Taught by Evie Staudinger, PhD, Professor of Art History, Wheaton College.

 The Turbulent Sixties

 Mondays and Tuesdays, 10:30 – 12:00 noon November 17, 18, 24, 25, December 1,  2.   Six sessions     Norton Public Library  Limited to 120 students

  This course will discuss the events, personalities and conflicts of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon years. We will especially examine how all the forces dividing America converged on the 1968 presidential election and Nixon’s promise  to “Bring us Together.”

 Taught by Gary L. Hylander, PhD., who teaches history at Framingham State University and Bay Path College.

NICE, a non-profit affiliate of the Elderhostel Institute Network and a collaborative effort of Wheaton College and Epoch Assisted Living of Norton, provides non-credit nominally-priced college-level courses and free lectures for over-55 year-olds living primarily in the Norton, Attleboro, Mansfield, Sharon, Foxboro, Taunton, Stoughton, Easton, and Canton areas.

 For complete details of the lectures and courses plus other information, please consult the NICE web site at

or call Martin Aronson, NICE, at 781-784-8548.

 The web site provides a registration form for the courses. Registration will remain open until the courses are filled and/or until a reasonable period prior to the first session of each course.

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XOS Exchange Street Open Studios

September 2nd, 2014 · No Comments

More than 35 artists and designers in 3 renovated mill buildings in the Armory Arts District in Pawtucket, RI will open their studios to visitors from 10 am to 4 pm on September 20 and 21, 2013. Visitors will see a wide array of artwork including paintings, sculpture, fine prints, photography, fine crafts, wearable art, jewelry, graphic and textile design and more in the spaces in which the works of art were created. Many artists will be demonstrating their creative processes and showing work in progress as well. Visitors are invited to chat with the artists about their concepts and techniques. Sales of art are tax-free.

All of the studio and loft locations are only steps apart. Mad Dog Artist Studios, located at 65 Blackstone Avenue, provides studios and work areas as well as a gallery for its growing number of members. As it enters its 3rd year, Director Norv Garnett is planning on expanding the number of studios in response to artists’ requests. Well known designer, artist, and advocate for the arts, Morris Nathanson will be opening his spacious and well-equipped studio at 163 Exchange Street to show and talk about his prints and sculptures.

For those visitors interested in seeing unique work/live lofts, Riverfront Lofts at 10 Exchange Court will host artists working in a multitude of mediums in the spacious and light-filled spaces of the a number of the residential units. Formerly the Lebanon Knitting Mill, the building, sited along the Blackstone River, was converted to custom designed condos ten years ago.

Exchange Street Open Studios are easy to get to – only 500 yards from Exit 29, I-95 at the MA/RI state lines. After exiting, just follow the signs. The event is free, there is ample parking, and food trucks will be on site.

 XOS is funded in part with grants from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Bristol County Savings Bank and the City of Pawtucket.

 For more information including a list of participating artists and directions, go to:  

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September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

Two-Day Conference Highlights Generational Challenges in Increasing Safety on the Road

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will host the 2014 Northeast Transportation Safety Conference (NETSC) September 3 – 4, 2014 at The Omni Hotel in Providence.

 With over 33,000 fatalities occurring on the nation’s highways each year, roadway safety remains one of the most challenging issues facing America.  NETSC brings together government officials, law enforcement, business leaders, and advocacy groups from around the region to discuss trends, share best practices and explore innovative solutions in achieving safer roads and saving lives.

 This year the conference focuses specifically on the unique driving habits and safety risks commonly associated with different age groups.  Workshops will tackle the growing trends in dangerous behaviors such as wrong-way driving, distracted driving, and drugged driving; and local efforts to curb the devastating effect of these practices through engineering, education, and enforcement.

 Featured presenters include Anders Eugensson of the Volvo Car Group who will preview next-generation vehicle design and his company’s vision to build the first fatality-free car, and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin who will discuss the alarming trend in texting while driving and his work with AT&T on the It Can Wait campaign.  Dr. Bill Van Tassel of AAA will also join to discuss his research in cross-generational driving practices.  Presentations will also be made by AAA of Southern New England, AT&T, MADD RI, Rhode Island State Police, and a host of others.

 Conference sponsors include AT&T, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., Green International Affiliates, Inc., AAA of Southern New England, CDR Maguire, Louis Berger, Gordon R. Archibald, Inc., Crossman Engineering, Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation, RI ITE and Ocean State Signal Company.

 For more information on the conference, including a complete listing of presenters and sessions, visit

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Grebien Thanks Portuguese American Citizens Committee For Endorsement

September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

PAWTUCKET – Mayor Donald R. Grebien expressed his thanks to the Portuguese American Citizens Committee of R.I. for recently granting him its endorsement.

“I am proud to receive the endorsement of the Portuguese American Citizens Committee, which represents a community that has contributed so much to our city and our state,” Grebien said. “I also applaud them for continuing to make their voice heard by taking such an active role in the political process. It is truly an honor to receive this endorsement.”

The PACC announced its selection of Grebien among its endorsements in local and legislative races in Pawtucket and East Providence as well as for state general officers and Rhode Island’s two congressional districts. The PACC issued its endorsements following its “Meet the Candidates Night” held on Aug. 21 at Grupo Amigos da Terceira in Pawtucket.

Grebien, 46, a Democrat, does not have an opponent on the ballot in the Sept. 9 primary or Nov. 4 general election as he seeks his third consecutive two-year term as mayor.

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FY14 General Fund Surplus

September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

Statement from Governor Chafee regarding the FY14 Preliminary Closing Statement and FY14 General Fund Surplus

Today Governor Lincoln D. Chafee announced that the FY14 Preliminary Closing Statement, issued by the Department of Administration’s Office of Accounts and Control, shows the state ended fiscal year 2014 with a $68 million General Fund surplus.  General revenue expenditures were $16.1 million less than budgeted.  For each year of the current administration’s term, the state’s general revenue expenditures have been less than budgeted appropriations – $18 million less in 2011, $29 million less in 2012, and $17.8 million less in 2013.  This is the fourth year in a row that the state has seen strong closing surpluses – $64.2 million in FY11, $115.2 million in FY12, and $104.1 million in FY13.  $59.2 million of the surplus funds were accounted for in the FY15 budget as enacted by the General Assembly.

In addition, the FY14 Preliminary Closing Statement shows the budget reserve and cash stabilization account is fully funded with a balance of $177 million.  The Rhode Island Capital Plan Fund available balance is $124.4 million.

“I am very proud of our team of directors and state employees throughout all of state government who deserve significant credit for spending less than their enacted budget,” stated Governor Chafee.  “I am gratified once again that the state has ended each year that I have been Governor with a healthy surplus.  For the last two years, my administration has submitted a balanced budget on time and now, due to the strong fiscal management exhibited by our state agencies, we can announce that this is the fourth straight year in a row with state agencies coming in under budget.

“Recent economic indicators – including the steadily declining unemployment numbers, the increase in median house prices, continued economic growth in Q1 and Q2 and projected growth for Q3 – combined with this latest news of the state’s positive economic performance, show that together we are strengthening Rhode Island’s economy.  I am proud that my administration has set a strong platform for the next governor and the next stage in our state’s recovery.”


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September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

5th Anniversary of LET’S LAUGH TODAY in Franklin is on Monday, September 22nd!

Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Let’s Laugh Today in Franklin with laughter and milk and cookies and feel like a little kid again! Boost your joy factor, lighten up, release happy chemicals and open channels of expression and well-being to source your natural aliveness! Experience the health benefits of joyful laughter on Monday, September 22nd from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at the Meetinghouse of the First Universalist Society in Franklin, 262 Chestnut Street, Franklin.  

Laughter Yoga is a body/mind practice for well-being that involves deep breathing and a few stretches, playful laughter exercises (no jokes or comedy), clapping and deep relaxation. It can strengthen the immune system, combat the negative effects of stress, and is a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety. Any age and any level of physical ability can participate in this uplifting experience! New laughers are always welcomed! $5 donation to the church, $10 maximum per family.  

 Please bring your water bottle because laughing is dehydrating.  Led by Certified Laughter Yoga Teachers, Linda and Bill Hamaker. If you have any questions, just call them at 508-660-2223 or e-mail See other opportunities to laugh at

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Senator Cote Named ‘Friend of Small Business’

September 1st, 2014 · No Comments

 Rhode Island’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business has named Sen. Marc A. Cote a “Friend of Small Business” for his work during the 2013-2014 legislative session.

 The federation cited Senator Cote’s support for regulatory reforms and other measures to lower the cost of doing business as the reason for the honor.

 In awarding the distinction, NFIB/RI State Director Bill Vernon thanked Senator Cote for “standing with us on issues making it easier and less costly to do business in Rhode Island and to grow jobs and the economy in a small business state.”

Founded in 1943, NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business.

 “Small businesses are critical to our state’s economy. They provide a great deal of the jobs that support Rhode Island families, and their health means more jobs and better pay for Rhode Islanders, who will put that money back into the economy buying local goods and services for their families,” said Senator Cote (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield). “Protecting and boosting small businesses has always been a high priority for me, and I’m proud to be a friend of small business.”

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EPOCH Senior Living

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Doreen Demers named director of sales and marketing at EPOCH Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard

G Doreen Demers

Doreen Demers

EPOCH Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard has hired Doreen Demers as director of sales and marketing.  Demers will work alongside current director Bob Giggey to provide guidance and support to families and their loved ones when choosing the right home and making the transition to senior living.

Demers has worked in the senior living industry for the past six years. She previously worked as the Director of Community Relations for another senior living organization, where she consistently received recognition for excellent service.

“I am so pleased to join the EPOCH team on Blackstone Boulevard,” Demers said. “They have earned an excellent reputation with a lot of positive feedback from families. Finding solutions for seniors within a community that can offer all levels of services is so valuable.”

For more information about EPOCH Senior Living on Blackstone Boulevard, please call 401-273-6565 or visit the community at 353 Blackstone Blvd.

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New England Wild Flower Society Announces September Programs

August 29th, 2014 · No Comments

Framingham, MA – New England Wild Flower Society’s Programs Department is offering a wide variety of programs in horticulture, botany, and conservation in September, including those listed below. For more information on these programs or to register online, visit

or contact

Native New England Shrubs

Thursdays, September 4, 11, 18, 6:30-8:45 p.m.; Saturdays, September 6, 13, 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA, and field sites. Roland “Boot” Boutwell will introduce students to about 50 species of native New England shrubs, which vary widely in size, shape, color, and characteristics of bark, flowers, and fruits. We will emphasize plant identification, family characteristics, and historic uses. Fee: $238 (Member)/$280 (Nonmember)

Are You Going to Scarborough Marsh?

Saturday, September 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Scarborough, ME. Join Ted Elliman on an exploration of Scarborough Marsh. This 3,100-acre estuary, the largest salt marsh in the state, not only has a great diversity of plants, it is also very important as a nesting, breeding, and feeding ground for wildlife. During our visit we will investigate the flora of the salt marsh, including Spartina grasses, black grass, glasswort, sea lavender, silver-weed, seaside goldenrod, salt-marsh aster, narrow-leaf cattail, and many other species. Fee: $28 (Member)/$35 (Nonmember)

Native Woody Plant Materials

Tuesday, September 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thursday, September 18, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. ; Tuesday, September 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA, and The Arnold Arboretum. This class will explore the diversity of our native woody species and their uses in home gardens and surrounding landscapes. Instructor Dan Jaffe will stress growth characteristics, cultural requirements, and the best horticultural uses of the woody plants currently commercially available. Learn how to stagger your plantings for continuous bloom, fruit production, and fall color. This intensive course will serve anyone wanting to work at a professional level but is also appropriate for the avid home gardener. Fee: $144 (Member)/$182 (Nonmember)

Ferns of Horn Pond Mountain

Saturday, September 20, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. in Woburn, MA. Ferns have been around for more than 300 million years, and in that time the diversification of their form has been phenomenal. Join Don Lubin as he investigates the ferns of Horn Pond Reservation in Woburn. We hope to see two Asplenium species, two Woodsias, and a Selaginella, as well as numerous more common ferns. Fee: $33 (Member)/$40 (Nonmember)

Woodlands of the Mineral Hills

Wednesday, September 24, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. in Northampton, MA. The Mineral Hills Conservation Area is a low range of hills with unusual geology. Instructor Laurie Sanders will lead the class to the section of the site that includes a former rock quarry as well as an adjacent hickory-hop hornbeam slope and chestnut oak-dominated ridge. The flora here are varied, and the narrow band of hickory-hop hornbeam forest is the richest plant community of all. We will see interesting grasses, asters, goldenrods, and more. Fee: $28 (Member)/ $35 (Nonmember)

Small Motor and Garden Tool Maintenance

Thursday, September 25, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. Nate McCullin will teach all the basic maintenance procedures any homeowner can perform to reclaim old tools, extend the life of reliable tools, and retain the value of new ones. Topics include oil changes, greasing, air-filter cleaning and replacement, fuel facts, winterization, and storage as well as troubleshooting tips and techniques for maintaining hand tools. Learn how to sharpen blades, remove rust, replace handles, and keep all your gardening equipment ready for use. Fee: $40 (Member)/$48 (Nonmember)

New England Invasive Plants: Identification, Documentation, and Control

Friday, September 26; Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA. Botanists, ecologists, horticulturists, and conservation professionals are united in their concern about invasive plants, but there is still some confusion about what invasives are and what to do about them. Students will learn from Ted Elliman the basic ecological problems created by these aggressive species and the complicated and sometimes political issues involved, including the process by which a plant becomes labeled as invasive. You will learn to identify some of New England’s most common invasive species through images, specimens, and short local field visits. Fee: $180 (Member)/$215 (Nonmember)

Lichens on Monuments and Rock Walls in Cemeteries

Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA and Mount Wadsworth Cemetery in Sudbury, MA. This workshop with instructor Elizabeth Kneiper will provide an introduction to lichens and explore the assemblages of lichens that colonize monuments and rock walls in cemeteries. In the morning, we will use stereoscopes to examine lichen features and distinguish species. During the afternoon, we will visit Mount Wadsworth Cemetery to study rock-colonizing lichens, examining the microhabitats that affect their distribution and the impact of lichens on rock surfaces. Fee: $66 (Member)/$88 (Nonmember)

New England Wild Flower Society is dedicated to conserving and promoting the region’s native plants to ensure healthy, biologically diverse landscapes. Founded in 1900, the Society is the nation’s oldest plant conservation organization and a recognized leader in native plant conservation, horticulture, and education. The Society’s headquarters, Garden in the Woods, is a renowned native plant botanic garden in Framingham, Massachusetts, that attracts visitors from all over the world. From this base, 25 staff and more than 700 volunteers work throughout New England to monitor and protect rare and endangered plants, collect and preserve seeds to ensure biological diversity, detect and control invasive species, conduct research, and offer a range of educational programs. The Society also operates a native plant nursery at Nasami Farm in western Massachusetts and has seven sanctuaries in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont that are open to the public. 

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