2006-11-16 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

The Boy Scouts of Jamestown Troop 1 collected some 2,100 pounds of food in their annual Scouting for Food drive here on the island. The donated items are stored in the St. Mark Food Pantry.

So, what happens to all those non-perishable goods, particularly with Thanksgiving coming up next week?

Mary Beth Martin at St. Mark told us the stored food is "an ongoing year-round project for people in need." This time of the year they also work closely with the island Rotary Club's distribution of Thanksgiving baskets, she added.

Rotarian Win Reed said this year the club will arrange for 28 baskets to be delivered locally, with six additional going to Advent House in Providence. The basic baskets are prepared by McQuade's market for the Rotary Club. "The store does a great job and gives us a very good price on the baskets," Win said. They are then taken to the Food Pantry for distribution, he added.

Here's where Kathy Brownell takes over. During October and November, she has been collecting information from many valuable sources concerning families in need of help this time of year. Other names come in anonymously to St. Mark and the St. Vincent de Paul group that organizes the donations.

Kathy emphasized that the pantry is non-denominational, and in addition to the Boy Scouts is supported by annual food collections by the postal workers and general donations from individuals and community-minded groups such as the Jamestown School's kindergaten classes.

Kathy added that in addition to the Rotary Club's Thanksgiving baskets, Jamestown Cub Scouts Pack 1 has this year donated four turkey baskets, and the school bus drivers have adopted two families who will receive food baskets.

All of the baskets are supplimented with non-perishable items from the pantry.

When ready, Kathy and the St. Vincent de Paul members make the deliveries.

"They're beautiful," Kathy said, "But, we worry that people will go without."

***

Chris Crawford had to have been the happiest guy on the island when his beloved Colts wupped it up against the Patriots.

*** DIRL = "Dan in Real Life."

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If you're going by the Press office today, stop in and give Donna Drago and Alice Dunn big hugs and wish them a happy birthday.

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The presentation of a traditional Mummers' play will be featured during the Jamestown Community Chorus' Holiday Concert Dec. 9 and 10 at the Central Baptist Church.

The Mummery is a show based on the legend of St. George and the Seven Champions of Christendom. It was originally a mime show in medieval times, but eventually dialogue was added with heroes and adversaries of pretentious and hypocritical natures.

The seasonal music chosen by chorus members will include "Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Winds" by John Rutter, "The Best of Rooms" with lyrics by Robert Herrick and performed a cappella, Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols," "This Little Babe" with words by the 16th century lyricist Robert Southwell, "I Saw Three Ships" by Willcocks, and "Lullay My Liking" by Hoist.

Also, "Worthy is the Lamb" by Handel, "The Sleigh" by Kountz, "O Joyful Children," "The Christmas Song," "Silent Night," "Sing We Now of Christmas," and no Christmas musical program would be complete without "White Christmas."

Tickets cost $11 for adults and $7 for seniors and children. They can be purchased at Baker's Pharmacy, Jamestown Hardware, the Secret Garden, and at the door on the concert dates. Sing out!

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The picture of the moon behind the Newport Bridge in last week's Press was the Beaver Moon. The Harvest Moon is in September.

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This week we present the "best of" items written for this column by Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic.

Have you noticed people avoiding your pet lately? Dr. Hatch may have the answer to solving this embarassing predicament.

"Is Fluffy smellier than you remember? There are a number of reasons why a pet may acquire an unpleasant odor. If the teeth are discolored or there is an odor more than the usual doggie breath, a dental checkup and regular cleaning of your pet's teeth may be the answer.

"Ear infections also have a very distinct odor. If your pet's ears are red or sore, if there is a bad odor, or if Fluffy reacts in pain when you examine his ears then a doctor's visit is in order. If the teeth and ears are fine, then check the skin for any hot spots, flaky dandruff, or an oily or waxy feel to the coat. These skin conditions may require medicated shampoos or other medicines that your veterinarian can recommend. Some pets benefit from supplements for the skin or even thyroid supplements if your pet tests low on blood work." WOOF!!

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A reader noted with delight the abundance of grass growing on the beach at Mackeral Cove and recalled that the grass was originally planted as an Eagle Scout project.

That Scout, Chris Calabretta, was 17 when in April, 1992, he first put the roots into the ground as a demonstration project to determine if American Beach Grass (amiophila breuiligolata) would survive and grow in that location.

Later, with the experiment a proven success, more grass was added to the area when the beach was extended and boardwalks installed.

Chris, now 31, is still a resident of the island and continuing with his experimentations and deep interest in the mysteries of the marine world. He is a Ph.D. student at the URI School of Oceanography and in another year of two will have his doctorate in biological oceanography. He is currently working in coastal areas determining the health of ecosystems.

And it all started with some beach grass and an Eagle Scout candidate. Great job, Chris.

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Kudos to Jamestown sixthgrader Olivia McGowan, 11, who is this year's winner in the Jamestown Lions Club's entry in the annual International Peace Poster Contest.

Mike Smith, contest chairman for the local club, said that the competition is held in the school's sixth grade each year. Olivia's poster will now go the Lion's District 42 for competition with other schools' entries.

*** Tired of Christmas yet?

***

In answer to last week's poser, Charlie Masso wrote, "Spike told his mother to 'Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma.' Incidentally, his given name was Lindley Armstrong Jones but his father, being a railroad man, nick-named him 'Spike."

Al Bates offered, "I could be in left field on this, but the title that comes to mind is 'Leave the Dishes in the Sink, Ma.'" Thanks, guys.

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Richard Botelho writes,

"I could not believe what I read in the Press last week under Town Hall Records, Building Permits. Have we all gone absolutely insane??? Why in anyones world would you re-roof, install skylights, replace doors and windows in a building which will be vacated by the town by next October?? Could we not use the funds for another purpose? I suppose if it is done, when the new Town Hall opens we will have the Public Works Department removing all the doors, windows and perhaps even the "skylights" and storing them at the Waste Water Facility with all the other junk!! Sounds like a waste of my tax dollar."

Dunno, Richard, but we sure could use that new roof.

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Our favorite charity has always been the Salvation Army. It's not out there looking for headlines or running commercials during disasters bragging of its accomplishments. The Salvation Army just does its job of helping people.

We hope this year while you're out shopping you'll contribute something to The Salvation Army kettles to help it do that job.

Last year in Rhode Island, the organization provided child care to 413 children, served meals to 19,613 people, visited 10,000 people in nursing homes, sent 200 children to camp, provided energy assistance to 3,100 families, served 31,632 people (unduplicated), and provided disaster services to 37,106 people through the mobile canteen. Thank you.

*** Be true!

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Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760. You can e-mail us at jtnwalrus@ hotmail.com, or drop your items off at the Jamestown Press office.

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