Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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©2019 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Breeze THE VALLEY FREE MARCH 21-27, 2019 Serving North Smithfield, Blackstone and Woonsocket It takes a village Troop 1139, residents help Vadenais keep Slatersville maple syrup tradition alive NORTH SMITHFIELD – Since 1995, residents of Slatersville have known spring is on its way when they see Normand Vadenais, the neighborhood's resident sugarmaker, heading out to collect the sap from the area's maple trees. Vadenais, who only has one maple tree on his School Street property, taps close to 100 trees every year by agree- ment with his neighbors, friends and Slatersville Congregational Church. After collecting the clear sap, he heads home to his backyard sugar shack, where he boils the sap into a sweet, sticky syrup to give away to neighbors and friends. When The Valley Breeze first inter- viewed Vadenais about his maple syrup making in 2009, he had only recently moved the operation into the backyard structure built with the help of then-construction teacher Timothy McGee's class at North Smithfield High School. Not much has changed over the past decade. He still uses the evaporator pur- chased in 2004 from Montreal-based manufacturer Dominion and Grimm that runs on wood donated by his neighbors. In the afternoons, he goes out to check his sap pails, and in the evenings returns to the sugar shack to boil the syrup a little bit every night. The only thing that has changed, it seems, is age. Vadenais, 85, admits the process of checking all 81 taps takes a little longer than it used to. Earlier this year, he ran into health problems, and a visit to the doc- tor revealed he had a nasty bout of pneumonia in his right lung. With his frequent trips outside still leaving him out of breath, Vadenais con- sidered taking the season off from By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTO BY LAUREN CLEM GREG FERRA pours sap from Slatersville-area maple trees into a 30-gallon barrel as NORMAND VADENAIS looks on. See MAPLE SYRUP, Page 15 Main Street in jeopardy Woonsocket's historic buildings are disappearing WOONSOCKET – In 1976, the Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission published a report on Woonsocket that included a survey of the city's historical properties. Included on this list were mill build- ings, churches, offices and schools that had already withstood the test of urban development in the 20th century, surviving where many other buildings had been taken down. The report urged residents of Woonsocket to take pride in their city and develop a plan for its future preservation. Over the past 40 years, at least 14 of those properties have been lost to demolition, fire or gradual decay, and many others are in danger of meet- ing the same fate. For proponents of historic preservation, it's an urgent reminder of the ease with which even By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer See HISTORIC, Page 14 NORTH SMITHFIELD – A proposal to establish a community garden on unused public land is up for consideration, and the idea drew both support and pushback when it was recommended to the Town Council Monday night. Megan Staples, a newly appointed member of the town Planning Board, appeared before the council on Monday to pitch the idea for the first time. Staples is involved with a community group called Engage North Smithfield and told councilors the group was interested in leasing land from the town to establish a garden for communal use. While details on parcel allotment and other policies have yet to be hammered out in a formal lease – an agreement Staples said she would be happy to draw up if councilors wish to seri- ously consider the proposal – the Community split on garden proposal By LAUREN CLEM Valley Breeze Staff Writer See GARDEN, Page 8 Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. Prescott Esquire Rhode Island does not have a procedure for the certification or recognition of specialization by lawyers. 300 Front Street, Lincoln, RI 02865 Telephone – 401.726.5577 No fee for initial consultation. "Your One Stop Automotive Center" North Smithfield Auto Body, iNc. 1-401-762-3866 WWW.RIAUTOBODY.COM 1-401-762-3866 WWW.RIAUTOBODY.COM Our Pledge To You… YOU WILL BE SATISFIED! 770 EDDIE DOWLIng hWY. RT 146 nORTh, nORTh SMIThFIELD RhODE ISLAnD 02896

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