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Pawtucket City Hall

December 19th, 2014 · No Comments

City Hall offices to be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

PAWTUCKET – The City of Pawtucket is reminding residents that City Hall offices and the Pawtucket Public Library will be closed Thursday, December 25, 2014, and Thursday January 1, 2015, due to the holidays.

City offices will also be closing at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 24, 2014, and Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

Mayor Donald R. Grebien and everyone at the City of Pawtucket wish the residents of Pawtucket a happy and safe holiday season and a great New Year.

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December 19th, 2014 · No Comments

Campaign Co-Chairs are Rep. Gus Silva, Sen. Betty Crowley and Rep-elect Shelby Maldonado

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Carlene Fonseca

CENTRAL FALLS -  Carlene Fonseca, a 25-year old rising star in Central Falls politics,  announced her candidacy for the City Council At-Large seat being vacated by State Representative-elect Shelby Maldonado.  There will be a special election in February or March to determine Maldonado’s successor. 

“I am running for City Council At-Large to continue to move Central Falls forward by creating jobs and reducing crime” said Fonseca.  “I am dedicated to fighting for cleaner and safer streets, more parks and youth opportunities and schools that allow Central Falls’ young people to achieve their fullest potential.”  

Fonseca announced an impressive and diverse list of campaign co-chairs: Representative Gus Silva, Senator Betty Crowley and Representative-elect Shelby Maldonado.

“I am thrilled to endorse Carlene to succeed me on the City Council,” said Maldonado.  “She has shown tremendous leadership in our City from her days as Class President at the High School and I am excited that she has come back to her hometown to deliver real results for the people of Central Falls.”

“Carlene will be a strong voice on the City Council to move our city forward and away from its past history of corruption and mismanagement,” said Silva.  “She will fight every day to make us proud to live in our one square mile city.”

“Our City needs more young people getting involved, making a difference and rebuilding our city to a position of greatness again,” said Crowley.  “I am pleased to endorse Carlene and I hope the community will join me in working hard to get her elected in the special election.”

Fonseca has come back to Central Falls to serve the City she loves.  She is a true, homegrown success story. After graduating as Salutatorian from Central Falls High School in 2007, serving as Senior Class President and being the 6th woman in school history to score over 1,000 career basketball points, Fonseca pursued her dream of going to college in Washington, DC.  Fonseca received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2011. Then, she received her master’s degree in Criminology from George Washington University in 2013. 

Fonseca’s work experience has given her the background and the expertise to succeed as your City Councilwoman.  She served as Program Specialist and Confidential Assistant to the White House Liaison at the United States Agency for International Development.  She also worked for Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Congressman David Cicilline and Mayor Angel Taveras.   

Fonseca believes in giving back to the community and is involved in many community organizations: Vice President of the Cape Verdean American Development Center in Pawtucket, Vice Chair for the Central Falls Democratic City Committee, Board Member of the Central Falls Donald J. Wyatt Detention Center, and Marketing and Communications Chair for the RI Urban League Young Professionals.  

Fonseca’s campaign website is

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Holiday Trash And Trees Collection

December 19th, 2014 · No Comments

City announces schedule for collection of holiday trash and trees

PAWTUCKET — The Department of Public Works has announced the schedule for trash and recycling collection during the holidays as well as the schedule for collection of Christmas trees throughout the month of January 2015.

Due to the Christmas holiday, regular trash and recycling collection normally scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 25, will be delayed one day and collected on Friday, Dec. 26. Friday’s normal collection route will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 27.

Due to the New Year’s holiday, the Thursday, Jan. 1, collection of regular trash will be delayed one day to Friday, Jan. 2. The normal Friday collection will be on Saturday, Jan. 3. Recycling will not be collected during this New Year’s week, as it is an off-week for recycling.

Residents are asked to have all materials at the curb by 7 a.m. Regularly scheduled collections will resume on Monday, Jan. 5. Residents are reminded that all recyclable materials must be placed inside the blue recycling carts for collection, with cardboard boxes folded and placed under the lid. Recyclable materials not in the carts cannot be picked up by the automated arm and will not be collected with the regular trash.

Christmas trees will be collected throughout the month of January, on Thursdays and Fridays. Please place trees at the curb for pickup. Trees will not be collected with the regular trash but will be picked up separately. All ornaments, lights and stands must be removed. Wreaths, garland, roping and artificial trees cannot be collected.

Pawtucket Refuse and Recycling calendars for 2015 are now available. Calendars display recycling weeks, holidays, and additional information for your use. The calendars can be obtained by visiting the Public Works facility at 250 Armistice Boulevard, or by e-mailing DPW at

For more information, contact the Public Works office at 401-728-0500, ext. 282.

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39th Annual Penguin Plunge

December 19th, 2014 · No Comments

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Join us on Thursday, January 1, 2015 and help us celebrate the 39th Annual Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett. Join thousands of individuals who will be “Freezin for a Reason” when they take the plunge at exactly 12 noon to raise money for Special Olympics Rhode Island. It’s going to be the “Coolest Event” in Rhode Island with plenty of chills, thrills and fun for the whole family.

 The Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics is one of the original New Year’s Day Plunges in Rhode Island and is a tradition for generation after generation of plungers. The Penguin Committee is working hard to plan an event like no other, so visit our website at 

to get your official pledge form or use our online fundraising site at 

to create your own fundraising page. All proceeds from this event will benefit more than 3,000 athletes that compete year-round in over 1,600 training opportunities and athletic competitions.

 Over the past 39 years the event has transformed into one of the largest and most successful fundraising events for Special Olympics Rhode Island raising more than $2 million dollars.  All plungers are encouraged to raise a minimum donation of $50 for this event.

 For more information about the 2015 Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics Rhode Island please contact Tracy Garabedian, Director of Development at 349-4900 ext. 321 or email at

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Knitting Weekend Marketplace “Made in Rhode Island” Tradition

December 18th, 2014 · No Comments

Knitting Weekend Marketplace to Feature New England’s Premier Fiber Vendors and Artists

Marketplace is Free and Open to the Public at Slater Mill, January 17 & 18

 (Pawtucket, RI)   For the seventh consecutive year, Trad Arts Studio at Slater Mill presents “Knitting Weekend,” a boutique-style convening of professional knitwear designers and experts with non-professional and weekend knitters for an exchange of ideas, honing of skills, and opportunity to purchase wares from micro-famers and sellers in one convenient location.

 This year, the featured artists and vendors for Knitting Weekend are traveling from as far as upstate New York, Maine, and Vermont to bring the finest expertise and product to the event.

 “What’s nice about Knitting Weekend is that under one roof at historic Slater Mill, we bring it all together for participants. We offer trunk shows and a salon on Friday evening, a special Lunch with the Artists ro undtable on Saturday, intimate master classes on Saturday and Sunday morning, and an open to the public yarn and fiber arts Marketplace on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The camaraderie that develops over the weekend is wonderful,” said Mary Lee Partington, event co-coordinator.

 For those who are only interested in the Marketplace wares, free admission and a free chance at a door prize is incentive to come and interact with the finest fiber producers from around the Northeast region, whose home locations may be too remote for a day trip.

 New to the Knitting Weekend Marketplace this year is Bartlett Yarns of Harmony, Maine, the processors of 100% Wool Yarns. Dating to 1821, Bartlett Yarns is the last remaining mule spun mill remaining in the United States.

 Knitting Weekend also is excited to welcome Green Mountain Spinnery Natural Fiber Yarn: a worker-owned, thirty-year-old cooperative from Putnam, Vermont. They are notable designers and producers of “must-touch,” richly-colored classic and contemporary yarns spun on antique machines paired with new technology.

 “Bartlett Yarns and Green Mountain Spinnery make a debut at Slater Mill that weaves a common thread between our textile past and our present technology. Knitting Weekend showcases all our artists among Slater Mill’s historic collection of antique textile machines in the Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America. In a blend of fiber, industrial, and maker arts, Knitting Weekend puts gorgeous yarn in the hands of knitters,” notes Slater Mill executive director Lori Urso.

 Judy Jacobs of Ball and Skein returns this year from Barton, Vermont, with her luscious hand-dyed yarns of silk and merino blends, and woolen blends, known for their light weight, fabulous drape, and silky touch.  Lucky visitors to the Marketplace may catch Jacobs in the act, demonstrating her impressive drop-spindle spinning technique.

 Jacobs’ yarns are among five that have been selected for Trad Arts Studio’s new e-Book, Weekend Knitting from Knitting Weekend, to be released on Ravelry in January, and debuted for order at Knitting Weekend. Exclusive designs by Ellen Mason, Amy Christoffers, Bristol Ivy, Alicia Plummer, and Thea Colman featured in the book are created with yarns by Jacobs, Julie Asselin, Dirty Water DyeWorks, Foxhill Farm, and Fox Fire Fiber and Designs at Springdelle Farm – each of whom will be represented in the Marketplace.

 “Knitters interested in creating the garments featured in the e-Book can order the book and purchase the yarns in one location, without having to deal with traveling long distance, or paying for online shipping.  It’s a real convenience, and we can talk one-on-one with the yarn producers,” adds fiber artist Ruth Sunn, who has lent her knitting expertise and experience to the design of the weekend and the e-Book project.

 Other regional Marketplace vendors include Romney Ridge Farm Yarn Co., of Maine; In the Loop, Foxhill Farm, Dirty Water DyeWorks, Foxfire Fiber and Designs, Play at Life Fiber Arts, Massachusetts; and Fiber Stash, of Vermont.

 The Slater Mill Gift Shop also offers a selection of Berroco Fine Handknitting Yarns. Berroco, Inc., of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, was founded in the early 19th century. Berroco imports a range of specialty yarns from countries around the world including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Romania, Brazil and Peru. 

 Local Rhode Island artisans include Autumn Olive, Katrinkles, We Got the Buttons, and more. Like Slater Mill, these artists represent creative enterprise that expresses a new “Made in Rhode Island” tradition.

 A complete list of marketplace vendors and links to their websites can be found at

 The Knitting Weekend Marketplace is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 17, and Sunday, January 18 at Slater Mill.  Registration for other Knitting Weekend events, which run from Friday, January 16, through Sunday, January 18,  is available through Brown Paper Tickets, or call 401-725-8638 x104 for a mail-in registration form.

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Ahlers Designs – Big Sale

December 17th, 2014 · No Comments

Ahlers Designs – Big Sale

Saturday Dec. 20th, 9am- 1pm

 BIG BOGO SALE, buy 1 get 1 free

( only Ahlers Designs $10 items )

 Buying handmade gifts & artwork directly from artists is delightful and it supports the local economy.  Another wonderful reason to come down is The Winter Farmer’s Market organized by Farm Fresh RI . Our studio is located just down the hall, from The Bread Lab, 999 Main Street entrance, Studio 707, Pawtucket RI 02860.

This week we have artists include The Utopian Collection - handmade bags, giraffesandrobots – art that makes you smile, David Katz Photography, Lotus Life Designs – tee shirts with a positive message, Iamtragift collection and last but not least the Ahlers Designs gift collection and jewelry.  More info on Facebook or call 401-365-1010.

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Governor-Elect Raimondo To Nominate Stefan Pryor

December 16th, 2014 · No Comments

 Stefan Pryor State’s First Commerce Secretary

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor-elect Gina Raimondo today announced that she will nominate Stefan Pryor to the newly-created post of Secretary of Commerce.  Raimondo will submit Pryor for consideration to the Rhode Island Senate for confirmation.

“Stefan Pryor has the depth of experience and the drive to help me lead Rhode Island’s comeback,” Raimondo said. “Stefan’s economic development successes in Newark and in Lower Manhattan are a testament to his ability to lead the Department of Commerce in Rhode Island.  Our focus from day one will be on creating opportunities for everyone by making Rhode Island a place where companies want to invest and grow.”

As Rhode Island’s first Secretary of Commerce, Pryor will oversee activities related to commerce and economic development.

Pryor served as Deputy Mayor and Director of Economic and Housing Development for the City of Newark under Mayor Cory Booker from 2006-2011.

In that capacity he and his team recruited new commercial tenants to Newark including Panasonic North American headquarters, Manischewitz (world headquarters), Pitney Bowes,, Bartlett Dairy, and Standard Chartered Bank.  Pryor played a key role in orchestrating plans for Newark’s first new downtown hotel in 40 years and first new office tower in 20 years.

 Pryor was the President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which was created after the September 11, 2001 attacks to coordinate the economic revitalization of Lower Manhattan. Pryor served in a number of leadership capacities with LMDC before serving as President.  The LMDC coordinated the development of the master plan for the World Trade Center and the design for the September 11th memorial.  The agency also oversaw economic revitalization projects that have rejuvenated business, residential life, tourism and the arts in lower Manhattan.

Most recently, Pryor served as the Commissioner of Education in Connecticut, overseeing the State Department of Education.  During Pryor’s tenure, Connecticut’s graduation rates increased each year and Connecticut achieved the highest score in reading among participating states on the 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2013, which also showed a significant narrowing of the black-white achievement gap in reading.

 “I am looking forward to joining the Raimondo administration,” said Pryor. “Governor-elect Raimondo is focused on attracting and growing businesses in Rhode Island with the goal of making this state stronger for everyone.  I will work every day with that goal in mind and will aim to deliver results for Rhode Island.”

Pryor received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University.

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December 16th, 2014 · No Comments

Donations Will Benefit Rhode Island Community Food Bank

  Providence, Rhode Island, December 16, 2015 – The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)  is partnering with Whole Foods Markets and other sponsors for its 3rd annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank on  Saturday, December 20, 2014.

 RIPTA staff members will be at the Whole Foods at University Heights on North Main Street in Providence and the Whole Foods on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston from 9 a.m. to noon to collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items. People who donate will receive promotional gifts from RIPTA such as drawstring bags and tee-shirts, while supplies last.

 Other community partners participating in the food drive include radio stations Coast 93.3 and B101, as well as the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rhody Sports.

 “We are so grateful to RIPTA, Whole Foods, and I Heart Radio for coming together to stuff a bus with healthy food for people in need,” Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank said this week. “The Food Bank is currently serving more than 63,000 people each month through its network of food pantries statewide—a near record high. It takes the support of the entire community to ensure that we can keep the shelves stocked during the holiday season, and all winter long.”

RIPTA will have a bus at each location with the goal of filling each one with donations for the food bank.

 “RIPTA is partnering up with Whole Food Markets, I Heart Radio, and the Food Bank in an effort to ensure that no one will go hungry this holiday season,” said Dan Bannister,  Marketing and Outreach Manger for RIPTA.  “We’re looking forward to being in Cranston and Providence Saturday and meeting the people who will help us make this food drive successful.”

 A recent report on hunger in Rhode Island from the Community Food Bank shows that the demand has nearly doubled from what it was in 2007.

 “The level of hunger…in Rhode Island today remains nearly as high as it was at the peak of the recession,” the reported was quoted in a November 23 article in the Providence Journal newspaper.

 As a partner in Saturday’s food drive, Whole Foods Market has agreed to match the food donations up to $500 per store.

 Schiff noted that an advantage of having the event at the two markets is that if people forget a donation, they can simply purchase something while they’re doing their own shopping.

 The Cranston Whole Foods Market is located at 151 Sockanosset Cross Road, adjacent to the Garden City Shopping Center.  The Providence market is at 601 North Main Street in the University Heights Plaza.

 For RIPTA, this will be the third annual “Stuff-a-Bus Food Drive” benefiting the Rhode Island Food Bank. A committed community partner, RIPTA has already collected nearly 9,000 pounds of food for the Rhode Island Food Bank since 2012. For more information on RIPTA programs and services, visit

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Doing Business In Pawtucket

December 16th, 2014 · No Comments

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[Pawtucket, RI] December 15, 2014 - The Pawtucket Foundation hosted a capacity crowd of 90 real estate brokers, commercial bankers, developers, engineers and architects at Slater Mill for its first economic development forum. Attendees from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut had the opportunity to meet key City leaders and learn about development plans, incentives and resources.

 The event began with breakfast provided by Russell Morin Fine Catering and a networking period. Aaron Hertzberg, Executive Director of the Pawtucket Foundation, kicked off the program by welcoming the crowd and thanking Slater Mill for hosting the event. Hertzberg highlighted news of the Slater Mill and the Blackstone Valley becoming Rhode Island’s first National Historical Park. Afterwards he introduced the panel, which included the Director of Planning and Redevelopment, Barney Heath, and Mayor Grebien’s Chief of Staff, Dylan Zelazo.

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The forum was an effort by the City and the Foundation to build relationships between the public and private sector and share opportunities and tools for development. “Whether you as brokers, lenders and developers are in Pawtucket intentionally or not, you are working as the City’s sales force, helping to attract, retain and grow businesses,” Hertzberg explained to the group.  “We want to put our best foot forward and make it as easy as possible to for you to facilitate transactions.”  He continued, “we understand that at the end of the day lending terms have to fit and spaces have to work for your clients, but we believe we can build credibility for Pawtucket and your deals.

 In his remarks, Zelazo stressing the City’s customer first approach in developing partnerships with the private sector and making Pawtucket an easy place to do business. Heath followed up with a rundown of reasons to do business in Pawtucket, including the City’s work to establish a standardized Tax Stabilization Agreement, consolidate the the Departments of Planning and Zoning and advance plans for commuter rail.  The preliminary engineering phase of the rail project is expected to be completed in June of 2015, he explained.  

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The panel explained several of the existing tools that the City offers for development which are also highlighted in new economic development packets handed out to each participant. After the presentation period ended, the panel fielded questions regarding the commuter rail project, the outlook for downtown, and received compliments from developers and brokers for excellent customer service, ease of access and speed of response.

 In closing remarks, Mayor Grebien thanked all of the participants and reinforced that his administration is committed to working with the private sector to continue successful development in Pawtucket.

 Economic development packets with local marketing materials are available upon request.  If you are interested in future Pawtucket Foundation events, email Joe Sandmann.

 The forum was funded by the Pawtucket Foundation and builds on recommendations outlined in the recently completed

River Corridor Development Plan.

The Pawtucket Foundation thanks all those that participated in the forum and welcomes input on future events.

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RI Public Art Works

December 14th, 2014 · No Comments

A RIA alltogethernow 

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that All Together Now, a recent Percent-For-Art installation located at the Interlink Station, 700 Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick, has received an American Institute of Architects award in Miami. The work was installed by Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar of R & R Studios in May of this year. This is the third AIA award received by a RISCA public art project. In 2013, the Heber Youngken College of Pharmacy Medicine Garden received an award from the Vermont chapter as well as the Rhode Island chapter of the AIA.

RISCA continues to work with some of the best public artists in the country. Finalists for the public art component of the new University of Rhode Island College of Biotechnical Life Sciences building include Alice Aycock, Carl Cheng, Erwin Redl and Michael Singer. The public will be invited to hear the finalist presentations for the URI commission in the spring of 2015.

Dates will be announced soon.

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