The Village Common Newsletter - February 2020
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Village Common RI Welcomes New Board Members
By Jo Ellen Mistarz, Executive Director
Photos by Phil West
Photo caption: New board members Lorraine Keeney and Joe Santarlasci 
The Village Common is pleased to introduce two Board of Directors new members, Joe Santarlasci and Lorraine Keeney.

Joe was elected to a three-year term at our December 8 Annual Meeting, and Lorraine was appointed by the Board on January 21 to fill the remaining two years of the seat previously held by retiring Board member Tony Allen. Joe and Lorraine both bring incredible talents and insights to our growing Ocean Village movement. Joe has lived in Rhode Island for 10 years. He grew up in Philadelphia, attended Malvern Prep, and then went to Brown University on a NROTC scholarship. After graduating from Brown as an Officer in the US Navy, Joe served for four years in the Navy and two years in Vietnam. After his military service, Joe attended Darden Business School at University of Virginia. Following business school, Joe worked on Wall Street for 40 years and started his own firm, devoted to corporate turnaround, in 1984.  He also shares his knowledge as an adjunct Professor in Finance at Bryant University. Joe and his wife Betsy, Director of Advancement at Daily Table in Boston, live in Providence, RI. Their two sons live in Brooklyn. One son is a professional bartender and retired professional soccer player who played in Portugal, and the other is a musician who signed with rapper Flo-Rida’s record label. Joe enjoys golfing in his free time. 

Lorraine was born in San Diego, and she attended the University of California, Berkley, as a History major. Lorraine’s career included working as an elementary school teacher, a researcher at the Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, and at Brown University’s Annenburg Institute for School Reform. She also served as a program developer and administrator for URI’s College of the Environment and Life Sciences and at the RI Committee for the Humanities. Her work included being the editor for Connect, a newsletter for K-8 teachers, and co-developer of “Scribing with
Elders,” a series of writings and presentations drawn from conversations with nursing home staff and residents. Lorraine has lived in Little Compton and Barrington for four decades. She has two children, including her son, a physicist/engineer in Moscow, Idaho, and her daughter, a photographer in Charleston, South Carolina. Lorraine enjoys writing, cooking, mahjong, studying Swedish, water aerobics and sitting on a bench at the edge of Narraganset Bay.

We welcome these two new Board members, and look forward to their contributions to our growing Village Common!
Barrington Village Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Village Common of RI
By Laura Young
Photos by Phil West (Seated L to R - Frank Cummings, Judie Knilans, Standing L to R - Allan Kleper, Susan McCalmont, Laura Young, Jo Ellen Mistarz, Cy O'Neil, Mira Meyer-Oertel)
January 6, 2020 was a very special day here in Barrington. The seeds sown by Age-Friendly Barrington bore fruit in the founding of a local village of the Village Common of RI. Papers were signed, chocolate was eaten---a joyful day of celebration!

The Barrington Village Steering Committee is adding new members and is excited for action!
Please save the date of March 22, at 2 PM, when we will introduce the Barrington Village and the Village Common of RI, inviting members and volunteers to join our community of mutual support.
What Is a Service Coordinator? 
And Why Do You Need To Know?

By Sue Bayley
Photos by Phil West
Photo Caption: Jim Maxwell & John Harkey
Have you ever imagined a personal assistant who was there to help you with everyday things not easily done on your own? Things such as: 
  • a ride to a doctor appointment
  • help with weekly shopping
  • you’re sick or injured and need assistance with meds or meals
  • help with changing a hard-to-reach light bulb
  • shoveling snow
  • receive a home safety checkup
  • a friendly conversation with another person
As a member of The Village Common, you are able to request assistance for these and other common situations. Recognizing that a little help can go a long way, your Village offers solutions rendered by VOLUNTEERS, assisted by SERVICE COORDINATORS.

When you dial the Village number, 441-5240, you will reach one of 13 Service Coordinators who will accept your request. Trained by Eliza Sutton and coordinated by Team Leaders Jim Maxwell and John Harkey, the Service Coordinator will assign your request to a volunteer who will then contact you. Afterwards, the SC will confirm that your request was fulfilled. This system has been working successfully for over three years.

This year, The Providence Village has transformed into The Village Common, an umbrella organization that will soon include other local Villages in Rhode Island such as Barrington, East Providence, and — of course — The Providence Village. As the Village Common grows, new volunteers will be welcomed into service. There will be more opportunities for drivers, tech helpers, home helpers offering “handi-help,” with the home safety initiative, healthcare support, social interactions and more. 

To request a service or inquire about becoming a volunteer, please call (401) 441-5240.

The Service Coordinators have regular in-service training to solve problems, share success stories, and be part of a team while enjoying it immensely. “We love our jobs!” says John Harkey. “I relish interaction with members. And the volunteers love the support we Service Coordinators give them.”
Photograph (above) by John Harkey  Photo caption: Jim Maxwell coaches the Service Coordinator team in new Village protocol. (L to R - Mark Lawrence, Sandra Clark, Patrice Moskow, Michelle Le Brun, Joe Fisler, Bobbi Fisler, Jim Maxwell, Feather Sedam, Eliza Sutton (directly under camera))
Read Any Good Books Lately?
By Rosalind Ladd
When the cold winds blow and the forecast is for snow, what is better than curling up with a good book? What is even better is knowing that there are Village people sharing the experience and eager for discussion and exchange of ideas.

The Providence Village boasts a lively book discussion group and welcomes new members from all areas in the Village Common. The books are chosen by vote and cover classics to best sellers, fiction and non-fiction. The group meets the second Monday of the month at 3:30 in private homes. The next meeting will be on February 10 with discussion of Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1921.

A recent offshoot, still in the experimental stage, is a smaller group which has met once so far to read Shakespeare aloud. Parts were assigned by lottery at the meeting, no experience or homework needed, and discussion continued over a simple potluck supper. There is also a third book group which is part of the Oak Hill Neighborhood Circle, for those living in the Pawtucket Oak Hill area.

To indicate interest in either Providence group, please e-mail For those in Pawtucket Oak Hill, please contact Wendy Oliver:


The Social Events Committee will present Pam Steager, on March 15, 2020, at 2:00 pm at the St. Martin's Church in Providence.
Pam Steager is a researcher, trainer, and writer at URI's Media Education Lab. Her extensive experience with media also includes helping to develop media literacy curricula for the schools, writing a newspaper column for the Providence Phoenix, and performing as an actress and stand-up comedian.
She  will be speaking on media literacy -- the ability to receive, send, and evaluate the information we are all surrounded by, whether in old print-based forms or in the ever-changing 21st century media. This is an increasingly important topic, particularly in the current election season.
Providence Village
Group Activities February 2020

Photos by Jane Adler
Thursday, February 6, in the afternoon
Movie Day
Come with us to the Avon. We will let you know what’s playing when they announce it. Dutch treat. Register by February 4.

Monday, February 10th at 3:30 PM
The Providence Village Book Club
We will be reading The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. Next month, in March, we will be reading Beloved, by Toni Morrison. Private home. Register by February 8. Details at registration. Free.

Tuesday, February 11 from 12-1pm
Brown Bag Lunch at Temple Beth-El, Orchard St.
Janine Cavanaugh, a Certified Professional Organizer® will talk about “Conquering Clutter and Organizing Small Spaces.” Learn how to reduce the challenges of organizing small spaces with effective guidelines. Register by February 10 so we can sit together at a reserved table. Free.

Tuesday, February 11th at 2pm
Pianist Adam Bergeron will perform classical
pieces while sharing the history behind them during this interactive musical performance. Free. Register by February 9. Details at registration.

Wednesday, February 19th at 2pm
Experience the dynamic power and passion of Sgt. Daniel M. Clark. His patriotic performance is inspiring. Free. Register by February 17. Details at registration.

Friday, February 21 at 12:15pm
Lunch at the Providence Art Club, Thomas Street
Very reasonable prices. Everyone loves these lovely lunches. Very reasonable prices and delicious, beautifully presented meals. Very friendly group.
Dutch treat. Register by February 17. Details at registration.

Sunday, February 23 at 5pm 
Our Fabulous Dinner Club 
We are going back to Davenports, 1925 Pawtucket Avenue, East Providence; this very popular restaurant has a reputation for having good food, good prices and good service. Check the menu on the website. Register by noon, Wednesday, February 19. Dutch treat. (Providence Village transportation is not available on Sunday. We will try to carpool.)

If you’d like to go to any of these activities, it would be appreciated if you would please register promptly to avoid being put on a wait list. Also, some of us have waited until the last minute to register and discover something we wanted to attend has been cancelled because of a lack of response. Please register as soon as possible so we know how many are coming, and please let us know if you will not be attending after you do register to make room for another person. Thank you. All events are subject to rescheduling. Must register for all events. Please reply to: janevillage56@gmail. com


By Joy Twelves
We all enjoy watching a baby learn how to walk. And we are impressed at how often they fall and so easily get up again. However, when an adult falls it can be a very different story, often leading to broken bones, sprains, and pains. Most of us know someone who has had this experience. It can be a life-style changer, not to mention the cost and inconvenience of recovery.

Staying in our own home which we love and are familiar with is a goal most of us share. Providence Village wants to give you tools to meet that goal. To avoid life-changing falls, we will, in the near future, be offering a voluntary Home Safety Program. This may be a user friendly check list that you can do yourself. And/or it could be a visit by a Physical Therapist who has 20+ years of experience in this area. She will help you identify potential safety issues in your home and offer suggestions to correct them. This is an opportunity for you to take steps toward maintaining the lifestyle you treasure by being safe. Look for more information on the web site and the next newsletter.
Snow Help
Providence Village’s Snow Help program is here to help you arrange dependable snow shoveling at your home. Please call 441-5240 and ask for Snow Help. 
Providence Village
Board of Directors 
Suzanne Francis, President
Jim Maxwell, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
Peter Viner-Brown, Treasurer

Lenore Bunting, Deborah Dunning, David Francis, 
Lorraine Keeney, Pat Mattingly, Bonnie Ryvicker,
Terry Percelay, Joe Santarlasci, Phil West

Providence Village
Advisory Council

Deborah Dunning, Barry Fain, Patricia Gifford, Jay Glasson,
Beverly Ledbetter, Lynette Lopes, Marcus Mitchell, Herbert Rakatansky,
Corinne Calise Russo, Barbara Sokoloff, Bill Twaddell, Phil West

Newsletter Staff
 Wendy Oliver
Design: Josh Kemp   
Writers:  Jane Adler, Sue Bayley, Rosalind Ladd, Vivian Malloy,
Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Eliza Sutton, Phil West 
Photography:  Phil West, Jane Adler
Obituary Assistance: Anne Connor, Phil West
Copyright © 2020 Village Common of RI, All rights reserved.

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