Cranston Chatter

Posted 9/23/20

By MERI R. KENNEDY Bulky waste pickup During the month of September, the city's Department of Public Works offers residents an opportunity to have bulky waste items picked up free of charge, with certain restrictions. Residents must call Waste

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Cranston Chatter


Bulky waste pickup

During the month of September, the city’s Department of Public Works offers residents an opportunity to have bulky waste items picked up free of charge, with certain restrictions.

Residents must call Waste Management at 800-972-4545 to schedule a free bulky waste pickup. Pickups are limited to one scheduled trip with up to three items per residential unit. Bulky waste does not include mattresses, construction debris, TVs or electronic goods, white goods or any household trash/garbage bags that would fit into a city-provided 65-gallon trash cart or overflow bags.

For more information, visit the city’s website,

NAMI-RI provides help for mental health challenges

The mission of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Rhode Island) is to offer education, resources and support to all whose lives are touched by mental illness; to advocate at every level to ensure the rights and dignity of those with mental illness; and to promote research in the science and treatment of mental illness.

Currently, the organization is offering free and virtual programs for schools, families and consumers. For more information on NAMI RI and its programs and services, visit, call 331-3060 or email

Save the date: NAMIWalks Rhode Island, now a virtual event, taking place on Oct. 10. For more information, follow NAMI RI on social media, email or give a call.

Confreda’s Corn MAiZE, hayrides, pumpkin patch

Due to state mandates on capacity and operations, 2020 at Confreda Farms will be quite different from previous years. But the fall fun will continue.

There will be two options for admission to activities this year. For $10, visitors can purchase a ticket to access the hayride and Corn MAiZE, which has a “Thank You Essential Workers” design this year. Each ticket will be sold as a two-hour time block. This will provide visitors with plenty of time to navigate the five-acre maze and take as many photos as they would like. Confreda’s classic pick-your-own pumpkin patch is still located next to the Corn MAiZE. Pumpkins are an additional fee and are sold by the pound or the each.

The second option is Confreda’s new pumpkin patch. This year, due to capacity limitations, the farm can only offer hayrides for the Corn MAiZE. For those visitors who still want to be able to pick their own pumpkin, Confreda has created a new pumpkin patch that is conveniently located within walking distance. There will be no admission fee to enter the new pumpkin patch and pumpkins are sold by the pound or by the each.

Due to capacity limitations and safety standards, in 2020 Confreda Farms will not be offering any of the Fun Park Amusement Rides, games or the annual Animal Barnyard.

Due to capacity restraints for the hayride, Corn MAiZE and pumpkin patch, Confreda Farms will be limiting the number of tickets sold to ensure everyone has enough space to have a fun and safe experience.

The best time for a visit is earlier or later in the season. The vast majority of people want to the first and second week of October, but unfortunately, these time slots will sell very quickly.

Tickets this year can be purchased online and at the door. There will be a very limited amount of tickets available at the door, so visitors are asked to please purchase tickets in advance. Online tickets will be available later in the season.

The MAiZE is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning this weekend until Oct. 31. Pick-your-own pumpkin hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more, follow Confreda Greenhouses & Farms on Facebook or visit

PawsWatch Cats Alive! online auction

PawsWatch will hold its 20th annual CatsAlive! Auction to benefit efforts to spay/neuter and provide vaccinations for community feral cats in Rhode Island. Due to the pandemic, the in-person CatsAlive! Gala scheduled for 2020 has been canceled. The organization is ready to move forward with its new CatsAlive! online auction, which runs from Oct. 16 through Nov. 14

An online auction is an ideal way to practice social distancing, have a little fun and support a great cause while the community is going through this difficult time. All donated items that would have been featured in the silent auction will be included in the online auction. PawsWatch will provide updates on where and when items can be picked up locally, as the information becomes available.

As always, funds raised from the auction will help PawsWatch with the cost of the “Trap, Neuter, Return, Monitor” program, which is the humane, effective approach to stabilize feral cat populations. Feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home. Socialized cats and kittens are adopted into homes. All animals adopted are spayed or neutered. Funds raised also assist with keeping the Community Cat Center guests healthy, warm and safe until their adoption into a loving, forever home.

Please email Martine Ireland at if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.

For more than 20 years, PawsWatch has been actively helping communities address the free-roaming cat population. To learn more, visit or follow the “PawsWatch” or “PawsWatch at the Community Cat Center” Facebook pages.

CCAP’s Learn to Earn teacher assistant training program

CCAP has announced that its free Learn To Earn teacher assistant training program will be held Nov. 30 through Dec. 10. The class will run for two weeks, with sessions held Monday through Thursday, noon to 3 p.m. The program is open to people between the ages of 18 and 24 with a high school diploma or GED and clean BCI. For more information, call 562-8325.

Medicare open enrollment

Medicare health and drug plans make changes each year to things like cost, coverage, and providers and pharmacies in their networks. Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is when all Medicare members can change Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to better meet their needs for the following year.

Information for 2021 plans will be available beginning in October. To schedule an appointment, contact the Cranston Senior Enrichment Center’s Social Services Division: Jennifer at 780-6254, Amy at 780-6200 or Matt at 780-6255.

Mindful Mondays

Mindful Monday is a weekly drop-in meditation group open to all teens 13 to 18 years old. Brief meditations are facilitated by CCAP’s Community Response Program team members.

The program will be held on Mondays, on Zoom, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning on Oct. 5.

For more information, contact Jennifer Pelkey at or 318-2555.

Transportation volunteers for seniors

Transportation volunteers are needed for the Cranston RSVP program. RSVP is seeking volunteers to deliver brown bag lunches to seniors, run errands for seniors and transport Cranston homebound seniors to medical appointments.

Anyone interested in becoming an RSVP volunteer can contact Karen at 780-6159 for an interview. You must be 55 years of age or older to volunteer and a BCI is required. A mileage reimbursement is given to cover travel costs.

Study seeking seniors

The Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital is involved in The Ahead Study, which is testing an investigational treatment aimed at delaying memory decline in people before the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are apparent.

The study is for men and women aged 55-80 who are not experiencing any memory or thinking problems but who may be at an increased risk of memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease. This is the first Alzheimer’s disease prevention trial to enroll people as young as 55 years old. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please call 606-4664.

Free dental assistant training

CCAP is excited to announce a new free dental assistant training program. This 13-week program will be run using a hybrid model, with classroom work using Zoom on Mondays and Wednesdays and hands on clinical sessions Fridays and Saturday mornings at CCAP’s Coventry dental office.

Participants must live in Rhode Island, be 18-24 years old, and have a clean BCI and a high school diploma or GED. Call the Cranston Youth Center at 562-8325 today.

CCAP Emergency Housing Assistance

The Comprehensive Community Action Program’s Emergency Housing Assistance program assists individuals/families living in Cranston, Coventry, Scituate and Foster with back rent, security deposits, mortgage assistance, late fees associated with back rent or mortgage, moving costs and utilities. Funding is limited. For more information, call CCAP at 467-7013 or visit

CCAP’s Learn to Earn program

The Comprehensive Community Action Program’s youth employment, training and education programs assist the youth of Rhode Island ages 14-24 through free education, training programs, work readiness and job placement assistance. They provide a full range of services to young people who are enrolled in school or out of school. All enrollees are connected with a case manager to assist them in their education or employment goals throughout the program. Cash incentives and bus tickets are given to those who qualify. Call 480-8984 or visit for more information.

Park View Veterans Day 5K canceled

An annual Veterans Day tradition in Cranston will not be held this year, school officials have announced. The Park View Middle School Veterans Day 5K is typically held in November, starting and ending at the Roger Williams Park entrance across from the school on Park Avenue. Proceeds from the event support the veteran’s organization Operation Stand Down RI.

“As with virtually every aspect of life, this year is something that we have never experienced or could have possibly imagined,” Principal Cheryl Anderson and race director John Macera wrote in a letter to the community. “Never have we had to put our lives on hold this long and try to plan for the future with so much uncertainty. Due to the financial commitments which are invested in staging this event, we are forced to make this announcement at this time.”

The letter continues: “Out of an abundance of safety for all, the postponement for this year’s race will only strengthen our resolve and give us the opportunity to recalculate to make the 2021 Park View 5K even better. We wish you safety and good health in the coming year.”

Neighbors helping neighbors

Barbara and Kevin Dwares of Cranston are once again collecting individually wrapped desserts such as brownies, cookies, banana breads, cookie bars, etc., to be delivered to Help The Homeless RI on Saturday afternoons. The donations are needed by noon on Fridays. Please drop them off at 46 Balsam Court in Garden City. Please put them in the plastic container located near the breezeway. The bin will be outside every Wednesday through Friday.

RI Dream Center seeking donations of water

The Rhode Island Dream Center is collecting cases of bottled water to give to people experiencing homelessness. The center’s food truck is headed back out on the streets to serve food and water to those in need. Summer heat can be a time of true misery for the homeless, as many are forced to spend the majority of their day outside on the streets, in the heat, with limited access to any water.

The goal of the drive is to collect and give out 650 bottles of water each week during these hot summer months. All cases of water can be dropped off at the Rhode Island Dream Center, at 330 Park Ave. in Cranston, Monday-Thursday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

To learn more, visit or follow the organization on Facebook.

CCAP launches new online benefits application platform

As part of its continuous effort to provide the best possible service, the Comprehensive Community Action Program, or CCAP, has announced the launch of its new online application platform, which can be found at

With a goal of expanding access to CCAP social services programs, the application portal will improve clients’ access to up-to-date housing and utility assistance program information, allow clients to upload documents and electronically sign applications and make it easy to access benefits.

CCAP is one of Rhode Island’s largest organizations dedicated solely to fighting the war on poverty. For a full list of CCAP programs and services, visit

For questions about the new portal, email or call 467-7013.

CCAP Food Bank offers help, seeks donations

The COVID-19 public health emergency is creating an urgent food security challenge for households in the community. CCAP’s Food Bank, located at 311 Doric Ave., lower level, can help, and can be reached by calling 467-7013.

The Food Bank’s hours are Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m.; Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30-6:30 p.m.; and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Food Bank has suspended walk-in service. Clients can pick up their regular monthly pre-made food bags at the Food Bank window.

Donations may be made at CCAP’s location at 311 Doric Ave. in Cranston on any weekday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., excluding holidays.

CCAP is seeking paper goods, cleaning products and a range of nonperishable food items. Specifically sought are peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, tuna, brown rice, canned and dried beans, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned soups and stews, granola bars, canned fruits and vegetables, tomato sauce, breakfast cereals and extra virgin olive oil.

For more information, call 467-7013 or visit

Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

The Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon until late October. It is held at 60 Rhodes Place in Cranston.

The market’s organizers have made some changes to keep vendors and patrons safe. All foot traffic is now one-way from start to finish. Stands are more than 8 feet apart to create social distancing space and cones clearly mark where to stand. Masks must be worn by all visitors and vendors, and hand-washing stations can be found throughout the market. Visitors are additionally encouraged to keep their pets at home.

Parking for the market is in the upper parking lot, and no eating is permitted while shopping at the market.

For more information, visit

50th reunion for Cranston East rescheduled

The Cranston High School East class of 1970 has rescheduled its 50th reunion to Aug. 7, 2021, at the Cranston Country Club. Cocktail hour starts at 6 p.m. followed by a buffet dinner and music by Tommy Tunes. The Reunion Committee is seeking help in locating classmates. Please send information to Jim Brailsford at or Barbara Russo at

Trash and yard waste

Trash pick-up is continuing a normal schedule, while yard waste pick-up will be on residents’ usual trash day until mid-December. For more information, visit

Did you know?

Halloween goes back more than 2,000 years. Halloween all started as a pre-Christian Celtic festival called Samhain (which means “summer’s end”) held around the first of November. It celebrated the final day of the harvest and the crossing of spirits over into the other world. People in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Northern France would ward off ghosts by lighting sacrificial bonfires and wearing costumes.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at Photos in jpg format are accepted and news can include community events, promotions, academic news and nonprofit events. Email today and see your news in our column in the Cranston Herald.

chatter, Kennedy


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