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December 22, 2011

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The holiday madness has died down and everyone’s ready to hibernate. But if you spend your free time indoors, make sure some of it is spent in the theatres and galleries on the South Coast. And there’s still plenty of things to do outdoors – sharpen your ice skates, get out the sleds or build a snow fort for an afternoon of exercise and fun.

Your town’s farmers market may be closed for the season, but it’s open year-‘round at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket! For details, call 401-312-4250 or go to www.hopeartistevillage.com. Or, to find farm-fresh food near you, go to www.semaponline.org.

If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, make it a priority. And, although the black bear sightings have disappeared, there are deer everywhere, so drive carefully.

The Commonwealth’s congressional districts have been redrawn, down to nine from ten – and Barney Frank has decided not to run for re-election! Hats off to one of the smartest and most colorful members of Congress and a great advocate for the South Coast!

There’s more movie madness afloat – “The Golden Scallop,” a “mockumentary” about seafood contests, was filmed in Wellfleet and will debut in the spring. And for more movie madness, check out the Fairhaven listing below.

A day-trip to Boston may be well-worth the travel to see the astonishing “Pompeii” exhibit at the Museum of Science. Go to www.mos.org or call 617-723-3500 for details.

Every year the UMass/Amherst dining services hands out souvenir “Tastes of Home” cookbooks at Parents Weekend – the 2011 edition features recipes submitted by the children of Anne Ferreira of Assonet and Maureen Teefy of Marion.

The Southcoast Health System has consolidated some of its regional services to form the Southcoast Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). Home health and hospice care agencies in Fall River, Fairhaven and Wareham will be restructured and operate out of Fairhaven, Little Compton RI, Fall River and Raynham. For more info, call 508-961-5270 or 774-627-1966.

And who says you can’t go for a boat ride in winter? Take a seal-watch cruise on the Cuttyhunk ferry out of New Bedford’s State Pier. For schedule and ticket prices (which includes lunch!), go to www.cuttyhunkferryco.com or call 508-992-0200.

If you’re over 50, check out the day trip (Jan. 16) to Foxwoods Casino sponsored by the New Bedford Senior Travel Program. Call 508-991-6171 for complete details.

With the drawdown of US troops in Iraq, many of our region’s servicemen and women will be transitioning back home here, looking for work, affordable housing and needed services. Every city and town in Massachusetts has a veterans’ services coordinator, but we can all show our appreciation for their service by helping them in any way we can. Starting this month, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will offer an option to have the word “veteran” appear on driver’s licenses or state identification cards upon renewal (that option is already available for license plates) to give our troops well-earned recognition.

The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce has recognized three South Coast organizations for their contributions to the region’s economic development. The Economic Impact Award went to the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, the New Bedford Regional Airport and Bristol Community College. The Schwartz Center for Children in Dartmouth was awarded the 2011 Southcoast Education Leadership Award.

2011 was a bumper crop year for cranberries – A.D. Makepeace, the largest cranberry grower in the world and part of the Ocean Spray cooperative, netted 38 million pounds, and global demand for this distinctively-Massachusetts fruit continues to grow by leaps and bounds.

For the first time since 2009, Social Security payments will include a 3.5% cost of living increase this month. First-class postage will be increased by one cent later this month, so stock up on your “forever” stamps early!

Attleboro: Sign up for winter art classes at the Attleboro Arts Museum -- call 508-222-2644 or go to www.attleboroartsmuseum.org.

Berkley: Scout’s honor! Seventeen-year-old Eagle Scout Steven Masterson presented the town with a new gazebo for the Berkley Common, the product of a volunteer project he organized.

Bristol: Enjoy the animals and ambiance at the Coggeshall Farm. Go to www.coggeshallfarm.org or call 401-253-9062.

Indulge in an evening of opera at Blithewold at the Jan.27 Winter Concert. Bring your friends and enjoy complimentary refreshments. Call 401-253-2707 or go to www.blithwolde.org/event/show.

Buzzards Bay: Cadets aboard the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s training ship, the T.S. Kennedy, will be distributing clothing and medical supplies when they visit Ecuador this month.

Dartmouth: After 40 years, the Hawthorne Country Club has closed its doors and has gone up for auction. Hopefully, a buyer will re-open the doors in the spring.

For the fourth consecutive year, the Dartmouth High School’s Marching Band was crowned national champions at the US Scholastic Band Association’s competition in Annapolis MD.

Southcoast Health Systems has opened a new Southcoast Brain & Spine Center at its Hawthorne St. Center, consolidating and streamlining services and treatment for anyone on the South Coast suffering from neurological problems.

The Lloyd Center for the Environment received a $5,300 Cultural Investment Portfolio Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for its environmental research and education programs. The Center’s Osprey Room Observatory is listed as one of the Commonwealth’s top-15 “Special Places.” Visit the Nature Center at the Lloyd Center or just walk along the trails – go to www.lloydcenter.org for a schedule of events.

Fairhaven: First it was Falmouth, then it was Dartmouth and now foes of Fairhaven’s proposed two wind turbines are threatening to file suit, even though the site’s been cleared and the turbines are en route from China.

The movie trailer for “Fairhaven,” the independent movie filmed here last year, can be seen at www.fairhaventhemovie.com. And, speaking of movies, Town Selectman Charlie Murphy, a professional actor in his own right, has been actively promoting the South Coast as a film location.

Fall River: To find out what’s happening at the Narrows Center for the Arts, call 508-324-1926 or go to www.ncfta.org. And you can still take to the sea at Battleship Cove in January -- go to www.battleshipcove.org or call either 508-678-1100 or 1-800-533-3194.

Catch a performance of The Firebarn at the Little Theatre Jan. 19-29. For complete info, visit www.littletheatre.net or call 508-675-1852.

Home sweet home! The Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River (the only Children’s Museum on the South Coast) has found a permanent home in the old Superior Courthouse. Find out what’s scheduled by going to www.cmgfr.org.

Southcoast Physician Services has opened a Family Medicine practice at Truesdale Clinic and is accepting new patients. For more information, call 508-730-3100.

The Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care has been pledged a $2 million contribution by The Charlton Charitable Trusts. The cancer care center located at Charlton Memorial Hospital will now be named the Ruth Charlton Mitchell Pavilion.

A 10-room schoolhouse in a remote village in Afghanistan has been named for Sgt. Robert J. Barrett, the first city resident to die in that country in 2010. The city’s main post office branch has also been named in his memory.

Freetown: Meditech has given up its plans to expand its business, which could have created 1,000 new jobs, due to conflicts with the state’s Historical Commission.

Lakeville: The Lakeville Library will be home for the soon-to-be-realized non-profit public access cable TV channel for the town. The town’s advisory committee is working on agreements with area cable providers. Stay tuned!

Marion: Marion resident Anne Moore Burnett has written an excellent guide for parents of autistic children, “Step Ahead of Autism,” based on her own experiences with her son – who went on to become valedictorian at Bishop Stang High School and is now a senior at Brown University.

The town is moving forward to become a “Green Community,” striving to be more sustainable and proactive in the conservation and use of energy.

New Bedford: Tight budgets didn’t prevent the city’s Working Waterfront Festival from receiving a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the September 2012 event.

For the first time in three years, the greater New Bedford unemployment rate fell below 10%, a full point lower than the same period last year.

Bristol Community College celebrated the first anniversary of its highly successful eHealthCareers programs by formally launching a nursing program, which will start in the fall of this year. It will be the first “hybrid” nursing program in Massachusetts, combining both on-site and online instruction.

The 16th annual Moby Dick Marathon will be a three-day event celebrating Herman Melville’s classic novel, Jan. 6-8. Free lectures, a dinner, quiz games and the 25-hour marathon reading at the Whaling Museum are scheduled. For complete details, call 508-997-0046 or visit www.whalingmuseum.org.

Enjoy an afternoon of opera with the Greater New Bedford Choral Society’s Winter Concert on Jan. 7 at the United Pilgrim Church of Christ. Call 508-644-2419 or visit www.gnbcs.org for complete details.

Have you heard about the 881-pound tuna that was confiscated by NOAA because it was accidentally caught in a net? The story went viral and brought international attention to the regulatory woes faced by the region’s fishing industry.

Get in the act and enjoy a performance of “Gee’s Bend” at Your Theatre Jan 19-29. For more information, call 508-993-0772 or go to info@yourtheatre.org.

When you’re downtown, stop by the CVPA University Art Gallery. For details, go to www.umassd.edu/cvpa or call 508-999-8555.

Although casinos are now on the planning table, there’s already conflict about a provision in the law giving preference to federally-recognized local Native American tribes. Developer KG Urban Enterprises had eyes on turning a brownfield site in New Bedford into a casino and feels that the provision puts them at a competitive disadvantage.

In a landmark decision, the city received a $2.6 million settlement and a 3.2 acre property from three railroad-related groups responsible for the contamination of the old railroad depot. The city had borrowed $12 million for the environmental clean-up for what will eventually be the railway station should South Coast Rail arrive. The city is investigating whether to seek damages from other entities who contributed to the toxic pollution, such as Cornell Dubilier and Aerovox.

Enjoy an evening of free fun and entertainment at AHA! Fire and Ice, Thurs., Jan 12. Go to www.ahanewbedford.org or call 508-996-8253 for a full schedule of events – and don’t forget that there’s plenty to do, enjoy and eat at AHA! After Nine.

Our Sisters’ School is looking for volunteers to help the students succeed. For more information, call 508-994-1255 or visit www.oursistersschool.org.

Enjoy a Harpsichord Recital with Paul Cienniwa at the New Bedford Art Museum on Jan. 19. Call 508-997-0046 or go to www.newbedfordartmuseum.org.

Objective Logistics, a started-in-the-basement restaurant management software company, has landed $1.5 million in new venture capital to fine-tune and market its MUSE software.

Don’t miss the excitement at the Ocean Explorium – call 508-994-5400 or go to www.oceanexplorium.org.

And find out what’s happenin’ at the Buttonwood Park Zoo (including the Zoo Choo train and Carousel, weather permitting). Call 508-991-4566 or visit www.bpzoo.org

For a schedule of upcoming 2012 events at the Zeiterion, contact the Z at 508-994-2900 or go to www.zeiterion.org .

Portsmouth: Enjoy a Gathering of Fiddlers and Fishermen on Jan.24 or Ellis Paul on Jan. 21 at Common Fence Music, 933 Anthony Road. For a schedule of events, call 401-683-5085 or go to www.commonfencemusic.org.

Providence: Little Rhody is at the forefront of the locavore movement. Many area businesses, hospitals and institutions have signed up for Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Veggie Box produce delivery program, which provides a 10 lb. box of fresh fruits and vegetables every other week. Mayor Angel Taveras arranged for city employees to sign up and pick up their boxes at City Hall.

Pack up your ice skates and head for the rink at Kennedy Plaza! For more info, visit www.kennedyplaza.og/skating-information, or call 401-331-5544 x5.

The RISD Museum of Art is a little gem and worth a visit. Call 401-454-6793 or go to www.risdmuseum.org.

When the kids are out of school, head for the Providence Children’s Museum. Call 401-273-KIDS or visit www.childrensmuseum.org.

Get in the act at the Providence Performing Arts Center! Watch Shrek: The Musical Jan. 19 or Rain: A Beatles Tribute Jan. 27. For more information, call 402-421-2787 or go to www.ppacri.org.

To find out what’s playing at Trinity Rep -- go to www.trinityrep.com or call 401-351-4242.

Rehoboth: Find out what’s happening at the Carpenter Museum, sponsored by the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society. Learn more at www.carpentermuseum.org or call 508-252-3031 or 509-252-5718.

Rochester: Neighbors Katelyn Bellamare, 7 years old, and Lauren Sylvia, 17 years old, were both selected to perform in the Providence Festival Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at the Providence Performing Arts Center Dec. 9-11.

Somerset: Phew! The new Somerset-Berkley Regional High School has received approval for a $50 million reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, roughly 60% of the costs for the new school, slated to open for the 2014/2015 school year.

Taunton: Kopin Corporation’s “Golden – i” wireless computing headset has received the coveted Recognized Product Innovator of the Year (2011) Award from the Technology Services Industry Association.

Tiverton: Find out what’s going on in town-go to www.tivertonfourcorners.com or www.farmcoast.com.

Wareham: Online station www.warehamradio.com now offers local programming and talent to the greater Wareham audience. For more information, go to warehamradio@gmail.com.

Sign up for “Flick and Float” Jan. 13 at the YMCA Southcoast in Wareham. Call 508-295-9622 or go to www.ymcasouthcoast.org for complete details.

Warren: Enjoy an evening with Matt Borrello at the Stone Church Coffee House on Jan 14! For details, call 401-245-8474 or go to www.churchstreetcoffeehouse.com.

Westport: Woodsman, spare that tree! The 200-year-old linden tree in Central Village will not be cut down to make way for new sidewalks.

Westport High School junior Allyson Duarte was selected to dance in NYC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade with Camp Broadway, a national theatre arts education company.

Enjoy an afternoon of classical music with The Claremont Trio on Jan. 15 (snow date Jan. 29), part of the Concerts at the Point series. For more info, go to www.ClaremontTrio.com or www.concertsatthepoint.org.

Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery, the largest in New England, recently celebrated its 25th year in operation, now producing up to 6,000 cases of Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay annually. For info about tours and tastings, go to www.westportrivers.com.

by

December 22, 2011

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