Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 09-19-2019

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 THE VALLEY BREEZE SCITUATE – Carrying on a tradi- tion passed down over hundreds of years is precisely the kind of work local historian Tom D'Agostino loves, he said when explaining his position as Foster's appointed fence viewer. Though the role is antiquated, it is a timeless function that's called D'Agostino to duty a handful of times in the past five years since the Town Council appointed him as fence viewer in 2014. As a Foster Preservation Society member, D'Agostino said he learned of the volunteer position during a meeting five years ago and expressed some interest. About two weeks later, and without his knowl- edge, the Town Council appointed him to the position. It wasn't until a few months later when he received a phone call from a resident complaining about a fence that he learned of his appoint- ment. "I said, why the heck are you call- ing me?" D'Agostino recalls. "He said, 'well, you're the fence viewer.'" D'Agostino said he called Town Hall to confirm his appointment and asked if he needed to get sworn in. "They said, 'sure, we'll swear at you,'" D'Agostino said. The rest is history, which is what excites D'Agostino about his role. He and his wife, Arlene Nicholson, are historians as well as paranor- mal experts. Born and raised in Meet Foster's official fence viewer By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD As Foster's official fence viewer, TOM D'AGOSTINO is responsible for citing prop- erty owners for the upkeep of fences and stone walls. He said he offers advice to complainants that complies with state and town law, but most disputes settle themselves in a courteous way. Above, he ensures a fence is 4-and-a-half feet. See D'AGOSTINO, Page 6 From shifting soccer practice times and closing parks earlier to cancel- ing community events and dropping mosquito larvicide into storm drains, local communities are taking varied precautionary measures against Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare but serious mosquito-borne illness. State and local officials have been warning residents to take precautions against the "critical risk" posed by EEE until the first hard frost of the year, which usually occurs in the middle of October or later. The Rhode Island Department of Health is recommending to schools and municipal leaders that games, practices, and outdoor activities sched- uled for the early morning or dusk be rescheduled to earlier in the after- noon or relocated to an indoor venue, according to a press release. Residents are advised to avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, to use bug repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and empty flower pots, bird baths and other containers around homes and yards that can collect water. "As soon as dusk rolls around, it's time to go in," said Todd Manni, director of the Smithfield Emergency Management Agency. Aerial spraying to kill adult mosqui- toes, including in parts of northern Rhode Island, took place last week, and Mike Healey, with the Department Communities taking varied precautions against EEE By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com See EEE, Page 9 SMITHFIELD – In 1902, the Smithfield-based tea merchant John Hathaway divided his large plot of land off Douglas Pike and Ridge Road into 987 tiny lots measuring about 60 feet by 25 feet apiece. People who purchased a pound of tea had the opportunity to purchase a lot, as long as they paid the fee for a $2 warrantee deed. Called the Tea Lots, those parcels will come before the Town Council for a zoning change to allow 76 duplex buildings, for a total of 152 two- bedroom units, and a three-story com- mercial building with 34,800 square feet of space. Plans include an entrance to the development on Douglas Pike at the signalized intersection of Twin River Road. The Town Council will hold a pub- lic hearing on Nov. 5 for a possible zone change from single-family and low-density residential to planned development following hearings with Large development proposed at Tea Lots By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com See TEA LOTS, Page 7 Serving Smithfield, Scituate, Foster and Glocester FREE SEPTEMBER 19-25, 2019 Observer THE VALLEY BREEZE & Wills & Trusts Estate Planning & Settlement The Law Office of George M. 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