Cranston Chatter


Occupied Circles to showcase local artist

As the owner and lead designer for Michelle Lee Designs in Johnston, Michelle Gradus Parenteau of Cranston, has worked on interior design projects for commercial and residential clients across the country. Her art show, “Occupied Circles" will be held on Feb. 4 at the Cranston Public Library. The opening reception will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. 

She graduated from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and started her interior design company in 2004. Her playful use of color and texture is seen both in her design work and in her paintings. Michelle has explored various styles of painting ranging from mixed media, acrylics, chalk paint, pastels and collaging. With Michelle’s versatility, she can create unique personalized pieces of art for many of her clients. She has also been featured in many galleries throughout Rhode Island.

Winners at Western Cranston Garden Club

At their February meeting, The Western Cranston Garden Club announced the winners of the Annual Christmas Door Decorating Display. Pat Yearwood who came in 1st Place, Cheryl Celeste who came in 2nd Place, Clara Ruzzo who came in 3rd Place and Paula Munko who was Honorable Mention. 

The doors were judged by Vera Bowen and Ann Huntoon; Master Judges of the Rhode Island Federation of Garden Clubs.

Mayor's Emergency Fuel Assistance Program

The Mayor's Emergency Fuel Assistance Program is available to Cranston residents who need immediate delivery of home heating oil. The program is open to HUD income qualified individuals and families who have less than a quarter tank of oil in the winter months.

The program offers a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of oil and is limited to Cranston residents only. Last year, our allocation of $16,000 helped 31 families. For help, call the Department of Community Development at 461-1000 ext. 7226.

Return of the Penguin Plunge

After being cancelled on New Year’s Day due to the extreme cold, the 42nd Annual Penguin Plunge to benefit Special Olympics RI has been rescheduled for this weekend, Jan. 21 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. 2018 also marks the 50th Anniversary of Special Olympics, which they will kick-off with a big splash.

Color and Calm

Every Friday at the Auburn library for adults will be held Color and Calm from 4 to 5:45 for a relaxing start to the weekend. Library provides coloring books, mandalas, colored pencils and markers. Soothing music and herbal and decaf teas. They have recently changed the hours to add more time for coloring and relaxation. No reservations required.

Roger Williams Park Zoo is "hiring"

Roger Williams Park Zoo are recruiting for teen volunteers for our Zoo Camp Counselors in Training (CITS). Zoo Crew Counselor-in-Training (CIT) is a volunteer opportunity open to teens in grades 7-12.

More information on Zoo Crew Counselors-in-Training can be found The application deadline is Jan. 21.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, or about the zoo- feel free to contact Andrea at

Need help accessing or getting food?

Everyone needs a little help from time to time. If you, or someone you know, needs nutritional assistance, CCAP’s Food Bank can help

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 12 percent of Rhode Islanders, 51,000 households, are food insecure, meaning they are often unsure where their next meal will come from due to lack of resources. The most severe conditions associated with hunger are reported by 4.7 percent of our state’s residents, 20,000 households.

Call CCAP today to learn more about CCAP’s Food Bank located at 311 Doric Ave. (lower level): 467-7013.

At the Senior Center

The Michael A. Traficante Enrichment Center, located at 1070 Cranston St. will offer the following programs and activities:

Just to Say Hello Program is a Cranston Department of Senior Services program that provides a daily telephone call to Cranston seniors who are alone and have few family contacts.  Each day a caring volunteer will make a simple, friendly phone call at a mutually agreed time which helps relieve loneliness, enhances wellness and develops friendships.  If you know of any Cranston senior who would like to receive a daily telephone call or if you would like to be a volunteer caller contact Jennifer Kevorkian, Social Services Director at 780-6254.

Movie Time will be presented on Jan. 22 at 9:30 a.m. and will feature “Hidden Figures” starring Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Costner & Jim Parsons. Three brilliant African-American mathematicians working for NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.  These three women served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

Book Club will be meeting on Jan. 23 at 10:30 a.m. to discuss “The Shoemaker’s Wife” by Andrianna Trigiani. A breathtaking multigenerational story that spans two continents, two world wars, and the quest of two star-crossed lovers to find each other again.

Alternative Options for Chronic Pain will be presented by the URI Pharmacy Outreach Program on Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. New studies are encouraging!  There are alternative ways to assist you in managing pain.  Activities such as yoga, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, and massage are all worthwhile alternatives as we age.  They will discuss how do they work and what other alternatives are available to you.

Keep On Dancing - Ball Room Dance Lessons will be held on Tuesdays from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at a fee of $4 per person. Line Dance Lessons will be held on Wednesdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. with a fee of $2 per person.

AEA Arthritis Exercise Program will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., beginning Tuesday, Feb. 6 through Thursday, March 15. Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength & flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Don’t let arthritis pain immobilize you. Even moderate exercise can ease some pain.  Join in for this Free six-week Arthritis Exercise Program.  Sign up now by calling 4780-6000.

Membership Drive 2018 for both renewal & new memberships begins this week and you may sign up any day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Center. Anyone 55 years or older may join. Cranston residents only $10 and non-Cranston residents: only $12.

In search of Cranston history

! The Cranston Historical Society is always so grateful to the good people of our city who allow us to borrow old pictures of Cranston schools, activities, businesses, parades, landscape photos, farm pictures, etc. that show Cranston's rich history, civics and industry. If you have any of these, and would like to share, call the Society at 944-9226.

Rhode Coders Club to begin this weekend

Don't miss your chance to sign up for the next session of the popular Rhode Coders Club, a free HTML/CSS coding class series for adults ages 18 and over. Rhode Coders Club is perfect for absolute beginners who are interested in learning about programming and coding, improving their analytical skills, or looking to advance their careers.

The next session will take place weekly on Saturdays (Jan 20-March 24) from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in the Central Library's C-Lab.

Register today at Questions? Email Don Gregory at

The Rhode Coders Club is working with State and Federal organizations to help facilitate exploration of computer programming/coding for all Rhode Islanders.

Spot the Dog clothing

This year the Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation is featuring their mascot, Sport the Dog on Tees and Hoodies in adult and children sizes. All proceeds will benefit the Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation which grants funds to character-building initiatives that benefit community children K-12.  With your support, they are proud to have granted over $150,000 over the years to programs in arts, academics, sports and health.

Sport makes a terrific holiday gift, while fulfilling your year-end giving goals. Visit and order your dog today.

Early call for artists for Wickford Art Festival

The 56th Wickford Art Festival will be held on July 7 and July 8 and are currently seeking artists to be included.

Applications accepted beginning Feb. 1 and must be postmarked by April 15. Visit for application, instructions and jury list.

Did You Know?

In the Georgian calendar, the calendar that most of the world uses, January is the very first month of the year. The name January came from a Roman god Janus. According to the Roman legend, in 700 B.C., the ruler Numa Pompilius added January to the end of the 10-month Roman calendar. When it was added, Pompilius gave 30 days to January. However, Romans later made January the first month of the year. Moreover, in 46 B.C. Julius Caesar added a one more day to January and that's why there are 31 in January today. January was known as the wolf month to the Anglo-Saxons because in winter, wolves came into the villages to search for food. (Source: January Fun Facts)

To submit your news from the community, e-mail Meri R. Kennedy at Photos in .jpg format are accepted and news can range from community events, promotions, academic news and non-profit events. E-mail today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald. Please include a daytime telephone number in case we require any further information. Be sure to check out our website at


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