Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 02-11-2021

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 35

SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | FEBRUARY 11-17, 2021 SMITHFIELD 5 at Antioch University. Prior to her post at Rhode Island Audubon, she worked six years for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Asked exactly what her duties entail here in Rhode Island, she replies, "a lot of different things," and she runs through a list that includes field work, wildlife management, teaching, lectur- ing, facility maintenance, speaking before community groups, keeping the trails open, etc. In addition, she oversees the edu- cational raptors that the society uses to teach the public about their behav- iors. Currently, she reports, her latest charge is a peregrine falcon. Returning to her observations about what homeowners and hobbyists new to bird feeding might expect to encounter, she says, "a question we get fairly often is 'where did all the birds go.'" She explains that people will call in bewilderment and ask if maybe they did something wrong or if there is a sickness depleting the flocks. "Usually, it's just that the birds find some other source of food." They are always looking for new supplies, she notes, adding "natural berries are attractive where options exist. Seeds that humans provide might be their second choice. So they go with the berries for a while." She points out that sometimes there could be a temporary displacement caused by a predator such as a neighborhood cat or a Cooper's hawk that is stalking the feed- ing area. Ultimately, though, the disappearance of the bird visitors is almost never a result of any- thing the host is doing. However, Calcagno hastens to add that there are serious concerns about the larger environmental context that cannot be ignored. "Some statistics are pretty terrifying," she declares. In the last 60 to 70 years, she explains that the songbird popula- tion has dropped alarmingly. According to Scientific American, there are some 3 billion fewer song- birds across North America than there were in 1970, a decrease of 29 percent. Calcagno explains that the decima- tion is attributable to a number of factors, many of them due to human behavior such as the use of pesticides, the loss of habitat caused by agricul- tural and land development practices, and climate change. The Audubon Society has been in the forefront of efforts to protect migratory birds. She notes that the organization helped to pass legisla- tion establishing laws that regulate the treatment of affected species, although some of the restrictions were rolled back by the last administration. Calcagno mentions that the work the Audubon Society does is supported by its members and donors. The three major functions of the organization are conservation, education, and advocacy. "One of the myths is that the society is a government agency. It is not," she says, adding "we do need support." Sometimes it comes in the form of material donations as well as monetary contributions and fees. "We have someone that I call the Tool Fairy. If a power drill is needed, it just shows up. There is this person who somehow finds out, and lo and behold there it is." The cost of a family membership is $50. It helps fund activities and pro- grams. Members get first dibs on offer- ings and discounts. Volunteers are also welcome. During this time of COVID-19 access to the building is controlled, but there are outdoor activities, in which, says Calcagno, there is continuing par- ticipation. "The Wednesday morning bird walks are as popular as ever, and the Owl Prowls and hikes attract smaller numbers, but they are holding up." After 16 years, her appetite for the job seems undiminished. She swells with enthusiasm in describing what motivates her. "When I teach folks and I see a transformative moment – it's stop and smell the roses for me. I say to myself 'this is why I do what I do.' I have to have a job where I feel I'm doing something important." (Contact me at smithpublarry@gmail. com) Bottom Lines What Rhode Island institution of higher education kept its mascot at a Smithfield farm once owned by the family which donated the nearby land for the Audubon Society's headquar- ters and Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge in Smithfield? What was the animal? The first reader to respond gets a shout out here. From preceding page CALCAGNO TOWN OF SMITHFIELD PUBLIC NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING DRAFT RIPDES PHASE II STORMWATER ANNUAL REPORT A draft Phase II Stormwater Annual Report, prepared in accordance with the Rhode Island Pollution Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) program general permit for facilities operated by regulated small municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s), will be available for review at the Town Engineer's Office and on the Town's website starting February 19, 2021. A copy of the Stormwater Management Program Plan (SWMPP) will also be available for review at the Town Engineer's Office. RIPDES Permit No.: RIR040034 Copies of the Phase II Stormwater Year Seventeen (17) Annual Report may be obtained at no cost by visiting the Town's website at and follow the links for the RIPDES Small MS4 Annual Report. For any questions, contact: Engineering Department Town of Smithfield 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917 Telephone Number: (401) 233-1041 The administrative record containing all documents is on file and may be inspected by appointment at the Town Engineer's Office mentioned above between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Should public comments be received, in writing on or before 4:00 p.m. February 26, 2021, a public hearing will be scheduled for the March 2, 2021 Town Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Smithfield Town Hall. TOWN OF SMITHFIELD TOWN COUNCIL VIRTUAL MEETING NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER SUBMISSION OF SMITHFIELD SEWER AUTHORITY WASTEWATER FACILITIES PLAN AMENDMENT VIRTUAL MEETING INFORMATION Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also dial in using your phone. United States (Toll Free): 1 877 568 4106 United States: +1 (646) 749-3129 Access Code: 342-830-965 For technical support dial: 401-233-1010 e following application will be considered at the Virtual Town Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Submission of the Sewer Authority Facilities Plan Amendment for the proposed Aerated Grit Removal System at the Smithfield Wastewater Treatment Facility Notice is hereby given of the intent to hold a public hearing on the submission of a wastewater facilities plan amendment to Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. e Smithfield Sewer Authority has undertaken facilities planning in order to modify the existing treatment facility process to include an aerated grit removal system. A facilities plan amendment was submitted to RIDEM on February 5, 2021. is public hearing is intended to inform the public of the intent of the project. e public is welcome to any meeting of the Town Council or its sub-committees. If communication assistance (readers/interpreters/captions) or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation is needed, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. To view the full text of the proposed ordinance and supporting documents, please visit the Town's Web Site at: By order of the Town Council: Lyn Antonuccio Acting Town Clerk FOSTER-GLOCESTER REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT PUBLIC HEARING Meeting to be held via Zoom Join Zoom Meeting Dial by your Location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) Meeting ID: 854 3499 4677 March 2, 2021 | 8:00 P.M. To Discuss the Proposed 2021-2022 School Budget Town of Smithfield Zoning Board of Review PUBLIC HEARINGS e Smithfield Zoning Board of Review will hold virtual public hearings on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 6:00 PM. All persons entitled to be heard will be heard for or against the granting of the following applications: Eric Yeghian as applicant and owner of property located at 453 Farnum Pike, listed as Plat 49, Lot 180 seeks variances to subdivide a lot. New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC (AT & T) as applicant and BAR RI4 LLC as owner of property located at 550 George Washington Highway, listed as Plat 48, Lot 31-1, seek a special use permit to collocate communications equipment on an existing structure. Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can also dial in using your phone. United States (Toll Free): 1 877 309 2073 Access Code: 536-429-301 e application and accompanying documents for these applications are avail- able for public review on the 2020 Meeting Agendas page of the Town's Website: If communication assistance (readers/interpreters/captions) is needed or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's Office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. BY ORDER OF THE ZONING BOARD. S. James Busam, Chairman

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Valley Breeze - The Valley Breeze & Observer 02-11-2021