NEWS

Cranston Chatter

Posted 3/31/21

By MERI R. KENNEDY Easter Bunny to visit Cranston The Easter Bunny is coming to Cranston! The visit begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, in Edgewood. The Easter Bunny's route will continue through the city, with stops at Park View Middle School,

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Cranston Chatter

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Easter Bunny to visit Cranston

The Easter Bunny is coming to Cranston!

The visit begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, in Edgewood. The Easter Bunny’s route will continue through the city, with stops at Park View Middle School, Cranston High School East, Stadium Elementary School, Bain Middle School, George J. Peters Elementary School, Orchard Farms Elementary School and the Cranston Ice Rink. The tour will conclude at Garden City Elementary School.

The tour will be streamed online via Facebook. For more information, visit the Facebook page “The Easter Bunny is coming to Cranston!!”

Sponsors include 4everGreen Turf Management, the Cranston Fire Department, the Cranston Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Kenneth J. Hopkins, the Cranston City Council and other community donors.

Yard waste pickup starts April 6

Spring has arrived in Rhode Island, leading many Cranston residents to take advantage of the warm weather and start clearing out winter debris from their yards. If you’ve already begun filling up yard waste bags, don’t place them at the curb for pickup just yet.

Yard waste collection resumes for the season the week of April 6 in Cranston. Residents are asked to place their yard waste at the curb with their trash and recycling bins on their regular pickup day.

Waste must be placed in large paper bags or a corrugated cardboard box or trash barrel clearly marked “yard waste.” Plastic bags will not be accepted. Branches must be bundled and no longer than 4 feet long.

Meshanticut Park Earth Day cleanup

City Council President Chris Paplauskas will host an Earth Day cleanup at Meshanticut Park on Saturday, April 24, starting at 10 a.m. Participants will meet in the Cranston High School West parking lot. Gloves and trash bags will be provided. Please wear masks and practice appropriate social distancing.

Cranston Hall of Fame

For the past 40 years, the Cranston Hall of Fame has inducted over 200 people into its ranks. And it is back on track to induct a brand new class of 2021.

The induction ceremony will take place again at the Alpine Country Club, with the event planned for Friday, Oct. 15.

Nomination forms can be found on the Cranston Public Schools website, cpsed.net, under the “Culture” tab. The site also includes ticket information for the induction ceremony.

The Hall of Fame honors graduates of Cranston’s high schools who are in successful positions within their chosen fields and have made a significant contribution to their communities. Honorees must have graduated in 2011 or earlier.

The deadline for this year’s submissions is Wednesday, April 14. Forms can be returned by mail to Cranston Hall of Fame Foundation, P.O. Box 3704, Cranston, RI 02910-0704.

Author to discuss ‘Trial by Fire’

The Cranston Public Library will host author Scott James on Saturday, April 17, at 3 p.m. as part of its ongoing Visiting Author Series. The event, presented in partnership with Barrington Books, will stream on Crowdcast.

In his new book, “Trial by Fire: A Devastating Tragedy, 100 Lives Lost, and a 15-Year Search for Truth,” James explores The Station nightclub fire that killed 100 people in 2003, the worst tragedy in recent Rhode Island history. After nearly two decades of silence, several central figures in the disaster share their versions of events for the first time, including the nightclub business owners who were convicted in the criminal case.

James will be joined in conversation by veteran local news anchor Pamela Watts, who was among the first to break the news of the fire on that fateful day. The author will also take questions from viewers.

The event is free and open to the public. Register at www.crowdcast.io/cranstonlibrary. Questions about the event? Email Zach at zach@cranstonlibrary.org.

CCAP Chip for Charity golf tournament

Save the date – CCAP has announced plans to hold its 2021 Chip for Charity golf tournament on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at Harbor Light Golf Club in Warwick. Sponsorships and foursomes are available. For more details, contact CCAP’s Lee Beliveau at 401-562-8353 or lbeliveau@comcap.org.

As a nonprofit community action program, CCAP needs to raise funds to assist families it serves. A large number of families CCAP serves have lost their jobs, suffered an illness, or experienced a different type of crisis, usually through no fault of their own. Last year, CCAP touched the lives of more than 40,000 people and provided over $1.2 million in uncompensated services.

Chip for Charity, presented by Neighborhood Health and Mutual of America, is CCAP’s largest fundraiser during the year to benefit its programs and services.

Focus on mental health

NAMI Rhode Island is the state affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It offers an array of education and training programs and services for individuals living with mental illness, family members, schools, providers, and the general public. These programs draw on the experience of individuals with mental illness and family members who have learned to live well with their illnesses and are eager to help others, as well as the expertise of mental health professionals and educators.

Programs are free and virtual. For more information on programs or becoming a volunteer, visit www.namirhodeisland.org, call (401) 331-3060 or email info@namirhodeisland.org.

Summer jobs with DEM

DEM is recruiting qualified lifeguards for Rhode Island’s state beaches, parks and campgrounds. Full-time lifeguard positions are available at all state swimming areas, including saltwater beaches such as Roger Wheeler and Scarborough, non-surf beaches such as Goddard, and freshwater beaches such as Burlingame Campground and Lincoln Woods State Park. Flexible, 20-hour workweeks are available for lifeguard positions at our busiest swimming areas. Hourly rates for lifeguards range from $13.25 to $16.25 an hour, based on location and position level.

All lifeguard candidates must have successfully completed courses and hold valid cards in lifeguard training, first aid and CPR, including infant, child and adult.

DEM also is seeking park rangers and facilities attendants to work at recreational sites across the state. Park rangers are instrumental to a safe and fun experience at DEM properties. They give directions to beachgoers and park users, help with crowd control, provide security checks for facilities, and are the first responders in the event of emergency.

Hourly rates for park rangers range from $10.50 to $11.60. Applicants for facilities attendant and park ranger I must be 16 years of age or older, and applicants to park ranger positions at levels II and III must be 18 years of age or older.

For a complete list of seasonal employment opportunities and to apply, visit www. riparks.com/employment. Most positions are full-time and include weekend and holiday hours. Applications must be completed online. Paper applications will not be accepted. The state of Rhode Island is an equal www.opportunity/diversity employer.

With 50 percent fewer teens seeking jobs than 20 years ago, DEM is looking to recruit active older Rhode Islanders and retired military personnel who might want to work part-time work to make up for the lack of younger applicants.

For more information, visit www.riparks.com/employment.php.

Rhode Island PBS Scholarship

The Rhode Island PBS Foundation Scholarship offers awards to residents of Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts who demonstrate promise of a successful career in the fields of broadcasting, communications, and/or journalism. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior planning to attend or a student currently enrolled in an accredited 4-year post-secondary institution.

Applicants will be asked to provide a recommendation letter from a teacher or professional in the field who can attest to their merit towards a successful career in the noted fields. Awards of up to $15,000 will be awarded annually and are renewable for an additional three years.

The application deadline is 5 p.m. on April 5. For more information and to apply, visit www. rifoundation.org/grants-scholarships/browse-scholarships/rhode-island-pbs-scholarship.

Free vaccination card lamination at Staples

Rhode Island residents looking to protect their COVID-19 vaccination card can do so for free at Staples. Until April 3, the company is offering free lamination services.

To take advantage of the offer, residents only need to bring their card to a staples store after getting their second dose of the vaccine. The code for the coupon is 81450.

There are Staples stores at 4000 Chapel View Blvd., suite 300, in Cranston, and 1276 Bald Hill Road, Unit 15, in Warwick.

Calling all golfers age 65

Since 1959, The Over 65 Golf League, a nonprofit organization, has worked with the public golf courses in Rhode Island to offer league play for all seniors. The group’s bylaws state, “The purpose of the League is to encourage and promote the Game of Golf and kindred activities through friendly competition among its Members.”

If you are interested in golfing on Mondays or being a spare in a mixed senior league, please register to come to the group’s annual Open Membership Meeting on Wednesday, April 21, at Harbor Lights, 150 Gray St., Warwick, starting at 9:30 a.m.

Preregistration is required due to COVID-19 restrictions on meeting size. The membership dues for season play, playoffs, TBA tournaments, and a banquet with distribution of prizes are $55 ($30 for spares not attending the banquet). To preregister for the meeting, join, or just get more information, contact Carol Desforges at Desac63@gmail.com or call (401) 738-0319.

Students of the Year

Congratulations to Cranston High School West students Ava Estrella, Maya Fraenza and Rachel Davidson, who participated in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)’s 2021 Students of the Year fundraising competition this spring.

They raised an incredible $20,555 in just seven weeks! A total of 258 students participated in this competition while representing their schools and advocating for cancer patients.

Outdoor Storytime program at library

The Cranston Public Library is piloting an in-person, outdoor Storytime program at William Hall Library beginning on April 5 from 10:30 to 11 a.m. This eight-week Storytime will be limited to pre-registered households and will be best suited to children ages 3-5, though younger and older siblings are welcome to attend.

All attendees will be assigned a spot on the front lawn (bring a blanket for comfort and an umbrella for shade) and will be asked to keep their physical distance from other participants. All adult attendees and children over 2 years of age must wear a mask for the duration of the program. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held virtually on the library's Facebook page with no option to move indoors.

For more information, contact Elise at (401) 781-2450, ext. 204, or epetrarca@cranstonlibrary.org. To register, visit www.cranstonlibrary.org.

Cranston Y to offer Summer Enrichment Camp

The Cranston YMCA will be hosting Summer Enrichment Camp and is looking forward to bringing all of its amazing enrichment opportunities back into the Y. Students will have the opportunity to swim, play outdoors, take part in STEM activities, do arts and crafts, and so much more.

The camp will run for 10 weeks, beginning June 28 to July 2. The final week will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3, pending the return date for Cranston Public Schools.

The cost for YMCA members is $245 per week, while the cost for non-members is $300 per week. Financial assistance is available.

For more information, contact Jess Tate, camp director, at jtate@gpymca.org.

Images of Cranston

On Thursday, April 15, from 3-4 p.m., the Cranston Public Library will explore vintage images of Cranston, including trains and trolleys, businesses, buildings, storms and a trip to the brewery.

This online event is free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit cranstonlibrary.org and check out the “Events” page. Zoom meeting details will be emailed the day before the program.

Rotary scholarships

Once again, the Cranston Rotary Club will award four scholarships to one graduating senior from each of the four Cranston high schools. Students are invited to apply for the scholarship before April 30. The scholarship awards will be announced in May. The financial amount varies each year depending upon the success of the club’s fundraising efforts.

All applications will be reviewed by a committee of Rotarians. To download a scholarship application, visit www.rotaryclubofcranston.org.

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 (401) 467-7013 or visit comcap.org.

RI Housing offers loans

RI Housing’s Hardest Hit Fund Rhode Island (HHFRI) program is offering zero-interest, forgivable loans to eligible Rhode Island homeowners who became unemployed or underemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.

Loan proceeds may provide eligible homeowners with up to six months of mortgage payment assistance and a mortgage will be recorded on the homeowner’s property. Learn more about the loan program and eligibility at www.rihousing.com/hhfri.

Email account creation assistance

The Cranston Public Library will assist community members who do not currently have an email account in obtaining an email address needed to register for COVID-19 vaccination.

This service is available at the Central Library, 140 Sockanosset Cross Road, every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. Librarians will be available to help patrons create their first email account and navigate COVID-19 vaccine information.

Patrons are asked to call the Reference desk at (401) 943-9080, ext. 3, to register.

Patrons must have a cell phone and must bring that phone with them. If they do not have a cell phone, they may use the phone number of a trusted person for the email account creation.

For more information, visit www.cranstonlibrary.org.

Be Kind RI

Be Kind RI is a new program that connects volunteers to their neighbors across Rhode Island through text alerts to coordinate food deliveries from grocery stores and food pantries. To sign up go to www.BeKindRI.org. Volunteers must be 18 or older and undergo our background check. Be Kind RI is open to those in RI experiencing COVID-19 risk factors including seniors 65, anyone with underlying health conditions, those in quarantine or isolation, anyone experiencing a lack of childcare, and those who would otherwise experience difficulty in obtaining food. For assistance signing up, call 877-958-8785.

Tax time at CCAP

CCAP’s VITA Preparation Assistance Program provides free tax preparation for individuals and families earning less than $60,000.

Last year, CCAP’s VITA program filed over 1,000 federal tax returns, helping Rhode Island families receive $2 million in refunds without any cost. The program’s volunteers are trained and certified by the IRS and will help file federal and state income taxes. IRS e-file is the most accurate, safest and fastest way to file a tax return. Refunds can arrive in as little as 10 days.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, all returns will be done via drop-off. Call (401) 467-7013 for more information.

Mortgage assistance program

Residents of Cranston at risk of losing their home as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive up to six months of mortgage assistance.

The Cranston CDBG Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program assists low-income Cranston families earning under 80 percent of the median income.

For more information, call CCAP’s Social Services at 467-7013.

Pagano Foundation scholarships available

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation, now in its 10th year, will again be offering $6,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors in Cranston.

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation Scholarship is a nonrenewable $1,500 award to be granted to two students from Cranston High School East and two students at Cranston High School West to help defray the costs associated with attending a four-year college.

The awards are meant to assist those students who best represent the values of academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community service and well-rounded individuals with a drive to succeed.

The Lt. Jim Pagano Foundation was established in memory of the late James Pagano, a 17-year veteran of the Cranston Fire Department and a devoted family man, loyal friend and respected gentleman whose life was senselessly cut short by gun violence. The mission of the foundation is to make charitable grants to individuals, groups and organizations that improve the quality of life for children, and foster character building and a strong foundation for their future. Its work is made possible by the generous contributions and involvement from the community.

For information about the scholarship, visit www.jimpaganofoundation.com or follow the foundation on Facebook.

Cranston RSVP seeking volunteers

The RSVP Program at Cranston’s Department of Senior Services is seeking volunteers to help to deliver brown bag lunches to seniors in the community, run errands for seniors and transport local homebound seniors to medical appointments.

You must be 55 years of age or older to volunteer and a BCI is required. Mileage reimbursement is given to cover travel costs. AmeriCorps Seniors will also provide insurance protection with three types of coverage – excess accident medical coverage, excess volunteer liability insurance and excess automobile liability insurance.

If you are interested in becoming an RSVP volunteer, contact Karen Porto at 780-6159 for an interview.

Zero Isolation Program

Are you bored? Lonely? Looking for new experiences? The Zero Isolation Program may be for you.

Cranston RSVP is assisting Dr. Nicholson of Quinnipiac University School of Nursing in offering an online program to enhance social integration.

You will be able to meet new people and learn about psychosocial conditions while taking part in interactive small-group activities. Seniors 60 years of age and older participate for about 90 minutes per week for six weeks.

To express interest in participating or for additional details, contact Dr. Nicholson at (203) 582-6542 or nicholas.nicholsonjr@gmail.com.

April Art Camp

Warwick Center for the Arts, located at 3259 Post Road in Warwick, will host its April Art Camp for students in grades one through six from April 19-23.

The camp will include classes such as “The Art of Movement,” “Printmaking from Nature,” and more. All materials are included. Class sizes are limited to allow for adequate social distancing, and masks and daily COVID screening are required.

Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. The cost is $50 per day for nonmembers and $40 per day for members.

For more information, visit www.warwickcfa.org or call (401) 737-0010.

Did you know?

April Fools’ Day, celebrated on April 1 each year, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, though its exact origins remain a mystery. April Fools’ Day traditions include playing hoaxes or practical jokes on others, often yelling “April Fools!” at the end to clue in the subject of the April Fools’ Day prank. While its exact history is shrouded in mystery, the embrace of April Fools’ Day jokes by the media and major brands has ensured the unofficial holiday’s long life.

Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.

To submit your news from the community, email Meri R. Kennedy at CranstonChatter@aol.com. This includes virtual events which should be submitted two to three weeks ahead of the event. 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.

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