The Westerly Sun podcast

Westerly Sun - 2021-12-30: James Siwy, Redistricting commission's decision to appoint law professor in question, and Helen Perreault

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You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, James Siwy is a former pro baseball player and police officer? A right-handed pitcher, Siwy had a brief Major League Baseball career with the Chicago White Sox, playing in two games for the club in 1982 and another in 1984. His seven-year career in the minor leagues started in 1981 and ended in 1987. After his baseball career ended, Siwy worked with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for over 20 years. Now, for our feature story: Republican members of the state's bipartisan redistricting commission want the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to tap a Stanford University law professor to help redraw congressional districts after the group couldn’t reach a bipartisan agreement and missed its deadline this week. The four commission members, all state legislators, filed a motion that requests Nathaniel Persily not serve as the court-appointed expert or special master and that two special masters instead be appointed “to preserve the public’s confidence in the fairness of the redistricting process.” The motion came hours after the state's highest court issued a notice announcing it had appointed Persily, who previously served as special master in 2011 during the last reapportionment process when Connecticut lawmakers also couldn’t reach a bipartisan agreement on congressional district boundaries. The Republicans noted that Persily's name was not on the list of three possible special masters they had submitted for the court to consider. However, he was mentioned publicly by Democratic Senate President Martin Looney as someone the Democrats would recommend to the court. Ultimately, the Democrats did not submit any names. The court has not yet responded to the Republicans' motion. According to a notice issued Thursday by the State Supreme Court, Persily is ultimately required to submit his plan to the justices on or before Jan. 18. The court will then accept submissions up until Jan. 24 and a hearing before the court is planned for Jan. 27. The court is expected to file its redistricting plan with the Office of the Secretary of the State by Feb. 15. For more information on jobs and employment, check out this story and more at thewesterlysun.com Today we’re remembering the life of Helen Perreault of Westerly. Helen was a graduate of Westerly High School in 1947, with aspirations of attending the Rhode Island School of Design. After working a couple of years at Moore's in Westerly, she then married her husband, the late Roland Perreault, Sr.  Helen was a communicant at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hope Valley, RI, where she was a very active in the Rosary and Alter Society. She was known for her hard work and frank opinions and her smile was always contagious! She served her community by being a Girl Scout leader in Richmond, a member of Women's Business Organizations in Naparee and Chariho, and from time to time a volunteer at Westerly Hospital. She was a devoted mother to her 3 surviving children, as well as her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, and nieces and nephews. Helen lived on Switch Rd. since 1949 and was an essential part of her family farm for over 50 years. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Helen’s life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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    Westerly Sun - 2022-01-07: Andre Soukhamthath, Friday by the Fire at Riverwood, and Theresa Anne Church

    2:14

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now, some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Andre Soukhamthath is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Bantamweight division of CES MMA. A professional mixed martial artist since 2011, he has also competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His current record is 14 wins and 9 losses. He is the first Lao-American fighter signed to the UFC. Next, an event that you should know about… The Westerly Land Trust is hosting Friday by the Fire at Riverwood from 3pm to 5:30. Come walk, talk, and eat s’mores while we embrace the cold. Bring warm layers, a flashlight, and get ready to experience winter in the woods. Email [email protected] with the subject Friday by the Fire with attendees names and to ask for more information. We’ll see you there! Today we’re remembering the life of Theresa Anne Church, of Bradford. Born in Alaska, she lived most of her life in Ashaway.  Ms. Church worked for many years as a food server at Amanda’s Pantry for Davis Standard. She also previously worked at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Ms. Church was a kind-hearted and generous soul who would do anything for her friends and family. She also had a great love for animals, travel, and swimming. She is survived by her brother, her niece, and nephew. She is also survived by her companion, Phil Baril, many loving cousins and friends, and her beloved dog Rosie. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Theresa’s life. Lastly, remember that reporting the local news is an important part of what it means to live here. Head over to Westerlysun.com and help us tell the stories of our community each and every day. Digital access starts at just 50 cents a day and makes all the difference in the world. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2022-01-06: Sean Soriano, Rejected teachers' contract, Robert Brochu

    5:33

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Sean Soriano is an American mixed martial artist who competes in the lightweight division of the UFC. He made his professional debut in 2009 competing primarily in regional promotions across New England before moving to South Florida in 2011 where he began training at Blackzilians. He compiled a record of 8–0, before signing with the UFC near the end of 2013. He currently has a record of 14 wins and 8 losses. Now, for our feature story: The longest-tenured teachers, a group that makes up the vast majority of those employed at the town's public schools, would have received a one-time bonus or payout in the first year and 2% pay increases in each of the next two years under the contract proposal rejected by the teachers union in November. Newer teachers would have received pay increases in line with a previously established system that rewards length of service and the attainment of new academic degrees with raises. The proposed three-year deal also would have changed how the cost of health insurance is shared by the district and the teachers. Those choosing to move to the high-deductible plan would have had their deductible covered 100% in 2022, 50% in 2023 and 25% in 2024, with 20% co-insurance each year. Those choosing to remain on the preferred provider plan would have had a 30% co-insurance in 2022 and 2023 with a move to the high-deductible plan required in 2024. The one-time payout would have been $1,725.80 per qualified teacher. In Fiscal Year 2022, three deans of students would have received  $1,600 stipends to match stipends received by other deans. Details of the contract proposal are contained in a fiscal impact statement that was recently acquired by The Sun. The contract carried a fiscal impact of $861,000 in 2022, $1.6mm in 2023 and $2.1mm in 2024, for a total fiscal impact of $4.6 million over the length of the deal. The Westerly Teachers Association, which represents the school district's teachers, has 216 top-step teachers and 49 teachers below top step as of Aug. 13. The union previously rejected a contract offered by the School Committee in August and is currently working under a contract that expired Aug. 31. The proposed contract rejected in November would have established the teacher work day as 6 hours and 55 minutes from the current 6 hours and 40 minutes. The additional 15 minutes was to be used as a cushion before the start and after the end of the school day. As a concession, the School Committee agreed to reduce the teacher calendar by one day from the current 185 days by eliminating one professional development day. The contract also called for increasing the number of evening meetings each year for parent-teacher conferences and programs from two to three meetings. As a retirement perk, the contract would have allowed teachers to accrue an additional 40 sick days beyond the 120 maximum to be paid at a rate of $50/day at retirement, provided that teachers had maintained a minimum of 100 days in their sick-time account. The 40 days would not have been available to be discharged as sick leave during teachers' employment. The contract also would have provided an incentive for retirement in the form of a $10,000 retirement bonus for teachers who provided notification no later than Dec. 1. The contract also would have introduced new provisions constraining teachers from conducting personal business during their planning and preparation period by requiring them to notify principals and to sign in and out. The language also would have precluded teachers from seeking permission to be out of the building during unassigned periods. For more information on jobs and employment, check out this story and more at thewesterlysun.com Today we’re remembering the life of Robert Brochu of Westerly, formerly of Misquamicut and Bradenton, FL. He was the beloved husband of Nancy. Born in Norwich, he graduated from Boston University, and then the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1967. After a residency at Saginaw Osteopathic Hospital, he moved his family to Scituate where he opened his own practice caring for people of all ages, even making house calls when necessary. In addition, Dr. Broch u was also an assistant to the RI State Medical Examiner for over 20 years, a long-term member and president of the RI Society of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. After moving to Florida, Dr. Brochu served as Chief of Medicine for Manatee County Rural Health Services for over 15 years, continuing to work until his retirement in 2018. "Dr. Bob" will always be remembered for his passion, for his love of life and his unbelievable caring for his patients, family, friends and co-workers. Besides his wife Nancy, he leaves five children, three stepsons, sixteen grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and his loyal Frenchie "Beau". Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Bob’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2022-01-05: Michael Stefanik, Dr. G and The Believers, and Cynthia "Cindy" Berg

    2:36

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island resident, Michael Stefanik was an American professional stock car racing driver? He competed mainly in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, but also made appearances in the Busch Grand National series and the Craftsman Truck Series. A seven-time champion in the Modified series, Stefanik was named the second greatest NASCAR Modified driver of all-time in 2003. His nine total championships tie him with Richie Evans for the most in NASCAR history. Stefanik is a member of the 2022 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. Next, a fun event this week.. Tonight, Dr. G and The Believers will be playing at the Knickerbocker Music Center on Railroad Avenue in Westerly starting at 7:30 PM. They’ll be playing high energy, blues and upbeat music. Bring your dancing shoes. We’ll see you there! Today we’re remembering the life of Cynthia "Cindy" Berg, of Pawcatuck Born in New London, she was a lifelong resident of Stonington, attending local schools and was a graduate of Stonington High School class of 1975. Cindy was most recently employed by the Stonington Community Center as the Thrift Shop Manager for 24 years, until her retirement in 2020. She always enjoyed seeing her regular customers and volunteers, many of whom she got to know very well over the years. Cindy loved all things Stonington, living by the water and enjoyed reminiscing about her Portuguese heritage and growing up in "the Village". She was an avid New York Yankees and UCONN women's basketball fan. She leaves her daughter, her husband, her son, her brother, her sister, a granddaughter, several nieces and nephews and her beloved dog, Scout. She was predeceased in 2008 by her first husband. Cindy's family would like to thank Hartford Health Care at Home for their care during her final months. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Cindy’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2022-01-04: Joe Soares, Newport mansions to require vaccination, Donald Balla

    3:30

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island raised, Joe Soares, is a former all-star wheelchair rugby player for the United States and a Paralympic gold medallist, who later coached the Canadian paralympic team after he was cut by the U.S in 1996? This episode figures prominently in the award-winning 2005 documentary film Murderball. Now for our feature story: Visitors to Newport's ornate gilded-age mansions will need to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before being admitted starting Monday. According to The Preservation Society of Newport County, visitors who purchase tickets or memberships onsite will be asked to provide proof of vaccination at time of purchase, People who already have tickets, and members, must provide proof of vaccination at the entrance. The rule applies to people age 5 and older. Starting January 15th, the Preservation Society will also require visitors to the mansions to provide proof of a COVID-19 booster shot for all those eligible to receive it. The same requirements — which also include face coverings indoors — will also apply to employees, including volunteers and interns. CEO Trudy Coxe said in a statement: “We continue to monitor the latest developments regarding COVID, and we intend to be flexible and responsive to evolving conditions. Our goal, first and foremost, is to help protect the health of our visitors and our staff." The nonprofit Preservation Society oversees 11 historic properties in the city, including The Breakers, The Elms and Rosecliff. For more about the coronavirus pandemic, the recovery, and the latest on all things in and around Westerly, head over to westerlysun.com. Today we’re remembering the life of Donald Balla. Don was born in Westerly and lived most of his adult life in New York City, returning to Westerly 10 years ago. Don will be dearly missed by his partner of 47 years, George, his sister, his niece, his nephew, great-niece, his loyal friends and cousins, whom he enjoyed spending the Christmas holidays with. If you met Don, you were not likely to forget him. Quirky and unique, Don carved out a life filled with all the things he loved. Music from one of his vintage Victor Talking Machines would often be heard at his door. His apartment was filled with records, books, films and memorabilia that he collected over a lifetime. Don had a generous spirit, a kind nature, a passion for good conversation and a love of all things antique. The Balla and Cardounel families wish to thank Pace of Westerly for helping Don and his family navigate this last very difficult chapter in his life with compassion and dignity, and to Dr. Sarah Petrides at the Westerly Hospital along with the nurses and CNA's who treated Don with the utmost care and respect during his final days. Don's favorite saying was "your health is your wealth". Truer words were never spoken. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Don’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2022-01-03: Albert Henry Soar, Expanding COVID testing capacity, and Joan C. Anderson

    3:44

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about news, the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial.  Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Albert Henry Soar was an American football running back and defensive back in the National Football League who went on to have a long career as an umpire in Major League Baseball? Soar played nine seasons for the New York Giants, and caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the 1938 NFL Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers at the Polo Grounds. Now, we turn our feature story…. Gov. Daniel McKee said Rhode Island is expanding its coronavirus testing and vaccination capacity as record numbers of new cases continue to strain the state. To get more people vaccinated, and to give residents a chance to get their booster shots, the state will reopen a mass vaccination site at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence by mid-January. He acknowledged that many people are frustrated with long waits for tests, and long turnaround times, a situation he witnessed firsthand in Central Falls this week. McKee said “We can do a lot better." The state has hired a second lab to accelerate testing and to turn PCR tests around more quickly, and a third one will be brought online to get testing turnaround times down to 48 hours, officials said. Testing sites will also be open on New Year's Day rather than stay closed for the holiday, he said. Rapid tests are also being distributed to high-risk areas. Several protestors could be heard at some points outside the briefing shouting and blowing air horns. The processing of tests for nursing homes and schools continues to be prioritized. The governor also said that there are no plans to delay the start of school reopenings after the holiday break and no plans to switch to remote learning, although some districts “may take a phased approach” to bringing students back into classrooms. For example, students in the Providence public schools will return to in-person learning after the holiday break on a staggered basis. “This phased approach will allow the district to conduct testing as students return to prevent potential exposures”. Pre-K, kindergarten and grades 1, 6 and 9 are now scheduled to return on Jan. 3. Grades 2, 3, 7, 10, and 11 will return on Jan, 4, and grades 4, 5, 8, and 12 will return on Jan. 5. The district, the state's largest with about 22,000 students, said all teachers and staff, regardless of the grade they work with, will be required to return in person for the first day of classes. Stay up to date on this story and more at westerlysun.com Today we're remembering the life of Joan C. Anderson of Westerly. Born in Warwick, she was employed in assembly at the former Leviton Manufacturing in West Kingston for over 12 years until the factory closed. She previously was a head waitress at the former Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Hope Valley for 10 years. Joan was a former member of the VFW Post #12, North Kingstown Ladies Auxiliary. She is survived by her children, her sister, and by 19 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Joan’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2021-12-31: Albert Smith, Annual Penguin Plunge, and Joseph B. Bliven

    3:24

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now, some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Albert Smith is a former football player, coach, scout, and executive? He served as a part-time scout for several NFL and USFL teams before joining the Buffalo Bills in 1986, serving as a scout and executive for them for 14 years. With the Bills, the team won four AFC Championships. He joined the San Diego Chargers in 2001 as a director of pro personnel, and was promoted to general manager and executive vice president for them two years later. He stayed with the Chargers until being fired following the 2012 season. Happy New Year’s Eve! Next, an event that you should know about… It’s New Year’s Eve. And now is traditionally when we’d tell you about all the parties and fun things going on in the community. But Covid is spreading again. Be safe, have fun, and ring in, hopefully, a more hopeful 2022. Tomorrow at noon, The Warm center is hosting their annual penguin plunge at the Windjammer surf bar to raise money for those in need in summer rhode island. Tickets are $25. We’ll see you there! Today we’re remembering the life of Joseph B. Bliven, loving husband and father. Joe was born in 1942 in Westerly. During his youth, Joe was known by his middle name Brian. He had four daughters by his first marriage and on July 14, 1974, he married the love of his life, Alice combining their two families into one. Joe enjoyed working with his hands and spent most of his professional life as a press mechanic, most notably for Harris Seybold and Dartmouth Printing. He also worked as a machinist and after retirement, spent many hours in his workshop, making beautiful wood creations to sell at craft fairs. He was especially proud of his intricate marble machines. In 1978, Joe and Alice moved to Enfield, New Hampshire with their six children. Joe loved working with large animals and spent many years traveling in New England with his oxen as a member of the New England Ox Teamsters. After a move to Vermont, Joe owned horses and learned to drive carriages for competition. Late in his life, Joe and Alice went on a "great adventure" and lived in Greensburg, KY for several years until Joe's health made it necessary to move back to be nearer family. Joe was a kind and humble man. He was always willing to show and teach about things he knew, or things he did, but never one to brag of his accomplishments. Always the quiet one in the conversation, Joe never drew attention to himself but willingly shared his wisdom with those who needed it. Joe is survived by his wife, his daughters, his sons and many grandchildren and great grandchildren, his mother, and his brother. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Joe’s life. Lastly, remember that reporting the local news is an important part of what it means to live here. Head over to Westerlysun.com and help us tell the stories of our community each and every day. Digital access starts at just 50 cents a day and makes all the difference in the world. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2021-12-30: James Siwy, Redistricting commission's decision to appoint law professor in question, and Helen Perreault

    3:49

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, James Siwy is a former pro baseball player and police officer? A right-handed pitcher, Siwy had a brief Major League Baseball career with the Chicago White Sox, playing in two games for the club in 1982 and another in 1984. His seven-year career in the minor leagues started in 1981 and ended in 1987. After his baseball career ended, Siwy worked with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for over 20 years. Now, for our feature story: Republican members of the state's bipartisan redistricting commission want the Connecticut Supreme Court to reconsider its decision to tap a Stanford University law professor to help redraw congressional districts after the group couldn’t reach a bipartisan agreement and missed its deadline this week. The four commission members, all state legislators, filed a motion that requests Nathaniel Persily not serve as the court-appointed expert or special master and that two special masters instead be appointed “to preserve the public’s confidence in the fairness of the redistricting process.” The motion came hours after the state's highest court issued a notice announcing it had appointed Persily, who previously served as special master in 2011 during the last reapportionment process when Connecticut lawmakers also couldn’t reach a bipartisan agreement on congressional district boundaries. The Republicans noted that Persily's name was not on the list of three possible special masters they had submitted for the court to consider. However, he was mentioned publicly by Democratic Senate President Martin Looney as someone the Democrats would recommend to the court. Ultimately, the Democrats did not submit any names. The court has not yet responded to the Republicans' motion. According to a notice issued Thursday by the State Supreme Court, Persily is ultimately required to submit his plan to the justices on or before Jan. 18. The court will then accept submissions up until Jan. 24 and a hearing before the court is planned for Jan. 27. The court is expected to file its redistricting plan with the Office of the Secretary of the State by Feb. 15. For more information on jobs and employment, check out this story and more at thewesterlysun.com Today we’re remembering the life of Helen Perreault of Westerly. Helen was a graduate of Westerly High School in 1947, with aspirations of attending the Rhode Island School of Design. After working a couple of years at Moore's in Westerly, she then married her husband, the late Roland Perreault, Sr.  Helen was a communicant at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hope Valley, RI, where she was a very active in the Rosary and Alter Society. She was known for her hard work and frank opinions and her smile was always contagious! She served her community by being a Girl Scout leader in Richmond, a member of Women's Business Organizations in Naparee and Chariho, and from time to time a volunteer at Westerly Hospital. She was a devoted mother to her 3 surviving children, as well as her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, and nieces and nephews. Helen lived on Switch Rd. since 1949 and was an essential part of her family farm for over 50 years. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Helen’s life. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2021-12-29: James Silva, Weekapaug Inn New Year's Eve Dinner, and Richard Davis

    1:57

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island-born, James Silva is a former college and pro football player who was a safety in the NFL for three seasons? He played college football for Boston College, and earned consensus All-American honors. He was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Next, a fun event this week.. The Weekapaug Inn is hosting their annual New Year’s Eve Dinner from 5:30 to 11:30 PM on Friday. Ring in the New Year with a six course meal, entertainment, and more. Tickets are $250 per person. We’ll see you there! Today we’re remembering the life of Richard Davis, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, who passed away peacefully at The Windsor Reflections Memory Care Facility.  He was born in Hartford in 1933 and was raised in Quonochontaug. Richard served in the U.S Army achieving the rank of Corporal before being honorably discharged after two years of service. He retired from General Dynamics as an electrician. Richard is survived by his son Todd of Sarasota, Florida. He is pre-deceased by his loving wife Starlyne "Muffy" Davis, son Mark S. Davis and daughter Tracey A . Pacsosa. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Richard’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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    Westerly Sun - 2021-12-28: Bertrand Shurtleff, Maddie Potts Fieldhouse permit fees, and Ralph “Tony” O'Connell

    5:26

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Bertrand Shurtleff was a pro football offensive lineman who spent three seasons in the NFL with the Providence Steam Roller and the Boston Bulldogs after playing for Brown University? Later he was a professional wrestler, teacher, public speaker, and author. Now for our feature story: Members of the Town Council have rejected a request seeking to have each of Chariho’s three towns pay for a third of the permit fees for the construction of the Maddie Potts Fieldhouse at Chariho Athletic Stadium. Hopkinton is now the second of the three Chariho towns to refuse requests to reimburse the Maddie Potts Foundation for fees already paid. Council Vice President Sharon Davis and councilors Scott Bill Hirst and Bob Marvel all voted to deny the request during a meeting on Monday evening. Council President Steven Moffitt Jr. and Councilor Michael Geary were unable to attend Monday’s meeting. Each of the three council members expressed different concerns with the matter and who should pay, but all three were in agreement that either Chariho or the Town of Richmond should be responsible for sorting out any confusion and settling the matter. The fees were paid for by the Maddie Potts Foundation after Richmond officials said the town’s policies did not allow for it to waive building permit fees. Davis, who led the meeting in Moffitt’s absence said: “When the motion was approved to move forward with this project, it was made clear that there would be no use of public funds on this project. Paying for this would constitute use of public funds. As far as I am concerned, the foundation was supposed to pay for everything, and that was what everyone agreed to. That’s how it should remain.” All three officials, who spoke against the measure before voting to deny the request, said they have nothing but respect and admiration for the Maddie Potts Foundation and what the organization is doing. They said volunteers and family have been wonderful in working with the towns and providing nonprofit services for the school community. The concern, however, was that perhaps the town should not have charged fees for a project that will improve the value of public property, or the foundation and Chariho School District should have agreed that the district would pay those fees before getting underway on the project. “My concern is that the school district won’t pay these fees and they have been put on the town, but this project directly supports the students and the school system,” Marvel said. “We have an opportunity here that is worth it, but I think the School Committee should be willing to front money for this.” Inflation and building costs have skyrocketed since preliminary estimates were provided, which led to a 100% increase in building costs. When the project kicked off, Maddie's mother, Stephanie Potts, said the foundation was looking at an estimated $600,000 build. The projections now call for a $1.2 million price tag to complete the work. For more about the coronavirus pandemic, the recovery, and the latest on all things in and around Westerly, head over to westerlysun.com. Today we’re remembering the life of Ralph “Tony” O'Connell, M.D., husband, father, grandfather, friend, psychiatrist, and educator. Born in Manhattan, he grew up in the Bronx and Larchmont. Married to Jane O'Connell for 58 years, he was a genuine and devoted New Yorker. He was intellectual, with a dry and sometimes irreverent sense of humor, a steadfast faith, a curious mind, and a generous heart. A lifelong sailor, he taught sailing at the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett. He was a music lover who enjoyed opera, classical music, and The Beatles, and who enthralled many generations of Burke and O'Connell children with his seemingly effortless ability to play piano by ear. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and an M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, he received a fellowship at Oxford University Medical College and completed a surgical internship and psychiatric residency at Saint Vincent's Hospital where he was chief resident. He was a captain in the United States Army Medical Corps and Chief of Neuropsychiatry at Ireland Army Hospital in Fort Knox. After residency, he was vice chair and clinical director of Psychiatry at St. Vincent's until 1996 when he was appointed Provost and Dean of New York Medical College, where he had been a faculty member since 1980. Prior to his association with New York Medical College, he was Associate Professor at Cornell University Medical College. He published extensively in scientific journals and authored many book chapters and papers and served as the editor of Comprehensive Psychiatry. He was a member and president of many societies, clubs, associations, non-profits, and charities.  Tony was active at the Misquamicut Club in Watch Hill and enjoyed swimming and sailing his beloved "Aunt Dolly" in the Atlantic and walking on the beach. He made a tradition of swimming on Memorial Day, and sometimes New Year's Day, "to make sure your heart was working." He will be remembered for his sense of humor and intellect, his values, and finely tuned moral compass, his love of dogs, and all things family. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Tony’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  • The Westerly Sun podcast

    Westerly Sun - 2021-12-27: Bobby Sewall, Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center's food panty, and James Wilgis

    4:51

    You’re listening to the Westerly Sun’s podcast, where we talk about news, the best local events, new job postings, obituaries, and more. First, a bit of Rhode Island trivia. Today’s trivia is brought to you by Perennial. Perennial’s new plant-based drink “Daily Gut & Brain” is a blend of easily digestible nutrients crafted for gut and brain health. A convenient mini-meal, Daily Gut & Brain” is available now at the CVS Pharmacy in Wakefield. Now for some trivia. Did you know that Rhode Island native, Bobby Sewall, pro football wide receiver. He played college football at Brown University and was recognized as one of the best athletes in Ivy League Football history. Sewall scored more points than any Ivy League player during his tenure at Brown. As a sophomore against Dartmouth, he tallied 18 catches, 15 rushes, 4 touchdowns, and threw a 48-yard touchdown pass. It was the best individual performance in the history of the Ancient Eight. The 18 catches in one game bested the entire nation (at all levels) that season. He played professionally for the Tennessee Titans, the Jacksonvilee Sharks, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, we turn our feature story…. If there is one service that has grown ever more important in helping meet the town’s food insecurity concerns over the past five years, it’s the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center’s food pantry. When the shelves are full of recently donated or purchased inventory, the center bustles like a small town grocer on a Friday morning, with staffers packing up food for residents in need and supplying parents with supplemental weekend food for their children as part of the PNC’s backpack program. Down the hall, clients are able to take advantage of a household goods “store” that provides health and beauty products, jackets, bathroom essentials and other similar products. The variety of options and filled-to-the-brim shelves tell two different stories. The first is that “feel-good, holiday classic” of community members giving back — the other, a less warm-and-fuzzy tale of the growing need for assistance. PNC Executive Director Susan Sedensky said: “When I started as executive director, in 2017, people who used our services seemed to be ‘hidden.’ Our region is geographically so beautiful, and many neighborhoods are wealthy, and as a result, most people seemed unaware that there were people living in their own community who were food insecure”. She continued: “Since COVID, the general public seems to be more aware that local hunger exists. People seem to realize that kids, many who go to school with their own kids, may be food insecure and are in need of food for the weekend when school meals are not available.” For clients of the PNC, efforts over the past five years have led to ever-expanding opportunities. When Sedensky took over, those who received assistance were able to come just once per month. That expanded to twice per month, and the backpack program was introduced prior to the pandemic. Then the public health emergency forced a significant change in the center's operations when community needs skyrocketed and state regulations forced the PNC, as it did so many other organizations, to close their building over safety. To keep the food pantry available to residents, it also meant moving forward without volunteers. The PNC had previously relied heavily on retirees who had the time to help but shifted immediately to hiring paid staff and providing curbside assistance so that services remained available. Those staff members are and will continue to be an important part of operations moving forward, Sedensky said. Once vaccinations were available, she said the center also saw a rise in volunteers from a new group of residents who became aware of the need as a result of the pandemic and their own experiences. More importantly, she said, business owners and residents continued to provide generous donations to meet the growing needs. “It just resonated with people. The pandemic made them feel, and in some cases even see first-hand, that this could be anyone.” Stay up to date on this story and more at westerlysun.com Today we’re remembering the life of James Wilgis. He was the husband of Carmela Wilgis who predeceased him in 2020. Born in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, he devoted his life to serving in the US Navy as a submariner, including overseas during the Vietnam War, later retiring as an Electricians Mate Master Chief Petty Officer. Jim then graduated from URI and worked at the Underwater Sound Lab until retiring. He was a life member of the Westerly Yacht Club, and also a member of the U.S. Power Squadron earning a full certificate. Fishing and boating were his passions, but he loved to spend time with his grand and great-grandchildren at family gatherings. He is survived by his two step children, two grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Thank you for taking a moment with us today to remember and celebrate Jim’s life. That’s it for today, we’ll be back next time with more! Also, remember to check out our sponsor Perennial, Daily Gut & Brain, available at the CVS on Main St. in Wakefield! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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