Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 03-18-2021

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

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | MARCH 18-24, 2021 THE VALLEY 5 25 feet of a historic cemetery. The law also dictates that construc- tion halt and an archaeological investigation commence should an unmarked cemetery or human remains be uncovered during con- struction. Such was the case with the Sprague Avenue development, where the archaeological inves- tigation uncovered a grave shaft with pieces of a coffin and a head- stone, but no human remains. Construction on the single-family home was allowed to continue. Preserving Lincoln's history Francine Jackson, chairwoman of Lincoln's Conservation Committee, said the cemeteries appeared on the maps historically, but disappeared at some point. Adding them back was not an affordable option for the commission, she said, so members turned to the town for help. "Thanks to the wonders of Al Ranaldi," she said, cemeteries were added back to the maps, and the town agreed to absorb the cost. "The Conservation Commission and the Blackstone Valley Historical Society are both into the concept of preserving historical cemeteries," she said, noting that the LCC has contributed to BVHS in the past to aid with the effort. Asked whether the town has made changes in its effort to pro- tect historic cemeteries since the Sprague Avenue ordeal, Postle said his main frustration is having to advocate for the protection of his- toric cemeteries in the first place. "Why do we need to discuss whether or not to mark them on the maps? We should take civic pride in protecting these places," he said. "It's a shame people put money over remembering our ancestors who built the town." Things have improved a bit over the years, he said, but "it's a shame we have to pull teeth to honor these people, many of whom are veterans. If we really have the values that built our community, we'd be doing everything we can to honor those folks." Postle volunteers much of his spare time restoring historic cem- eteries throughout the Blackstone Valley, clearing debris and pulling up grave markers that have sunken into the earth. "It's round-robin. I try to focus on the most distressed, or the most endangered," he said. It's worth the effort for Postle, who believes the people buried in town deserve to remain where they intended to, undisturbed. "We shouldn't have to beg or ask that these cemeteries be recognized. We shouldn't have a descendent come in search of their ancestor, only to be shocked that someone built right over or next to where their ancestor was buried," he said. He added that the town's historic cemeteries are also some of the last open spaces to exist, undeveloped for hundreds of years. "You can stand in a spot in a his- toric cemetery and look up at the stars and experience the same exact view that someone saw 300 or 400 years ago," Postle said. Ranaldi said adding cemeteries to the GIS maps will have less of an impact from a development stand- point, because the town's cemeteries would be identified on a class-one survey before construction com- menced. He said there are a few examples in Lincoln of lots that have been, or can be, developed that include a historical cemetery as part of the property. One such lot is in the Lincoln Meadows housing develop- ment off Angell Road. "They showed us enough room to situate a house on the lot while protecting the integrity of the ceme- tery," he said. When purchased, the cemetery would be owned as part of the property, with an easement for access. A concerned citizen recently alerted Ranaldi to the location of a cemetery near a lot slated for devel- opment on Great Road. The town asked the developer to tap its surveyor to locate the cem- etery. "They did, and they demonstrat- ed that it was clearly not part of the lot and that a small section at the tail-end of the lot had contained a 35-foot buffer zone. Because of past incidents with historical cemeteries, I knew I wanted to get in front of the matter," he said. "I asked the developer to show the cemetery on the plans, and we went from there." Ranaldi agreed that the maps may be helpful to people hoping to research their ancestors from Lincoln. "You can locate where they're buried, use our map to find the plot, and go and walk the cem- etery," he said. CEMETERIES From Page 3 PROVIDENCE – Seoyon Kim is Rhode Island's top speller. The Wheeler School senior out- spelled the competition during last Friday's Rhode Island State Spelling Bee, sponsored by The Valley Breeze. Kim went for eight rounds in the bee, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her victo- ry secured her a place in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Kim said she's nervous for the national bee, "but I'm excited to rep- resent Rhode Island. I'll do my best." The competition's youngest com- petitor, 4th-grader Laura Costello of Winsor Elementary School in Smithfield, was the runner-up. Other participants in this year's local competition were Lincoln Middle School 6th-grader Ethan Abreu; Max Ramirez, an 8th-grader at Birchwood Middle School in North Providence; Maiya Robert, a 7th-grader at Deering Middle School in West Warwick; and Daniel Piampiano, a 7th-grader at Scituate Middle School. Due to the virtual setting, students were asked to keep their hands visible as they spelled, and to take a pledge of integrity promising not to give or receive help during the bee. Judges for the competition were former Cumberland Superintendent of Schools Donna Morelle, Martha Correia, of Navigant Credit Union, and Leigh Martin, an English profes- sor at the Community College of Rhode Island. Kim Kalunian, reporter and anchor at WPRI, served as pro- nouncer. All five spellers moved through the first round with ease, but Lincoln's Abreu was eliminated in the following round when he mixed up the place- ment of the letter "u" in the word restaurant. The competition was tight in rounds three and four, with each of the remaining spellers hanging on to move into the fifth, which proved to be more challenging. Before the start of the bee, Ramirez of North Providence asked whether spellers could go back if they made a mistake. For example, he asked if he began to spell the word "diamond" as "D-A-I," could he then retrace his steps. The answer was no. Unfortunately, Ramirez made that mistake in round five, realizing almost immediately that he had. Given the word "thunderbolt," he spelled "THU-D" before saying "N! N!" and finishing the word. Morelle requested a breakout room to confer with the judges, leaving the main Zoom room in silence as spell- ers and their supporters awaited word back. When they returned, Morelle said typically they err on the side of the speller, "but unfortunately that spelling was incorrect due to the rule that the order of spelling cannot be changed." During the same round, Piampiano misspelled the word "vault," bring- ing the competition down to three remaining students. Before the next round, an announcement was made that they'd be switching over to a new section of words, which students had not been given the opportunity to study before the competition. In the sixth round, Robert correctly spelled "calico," Costello the word "butterscotch," and Kim the word "eternity." During the seventh round, Robert tripped up over the word "chard," adding an extra "r." With 4th-grader Costello correctly spelling "pollen" and 8th-grader Kim correctly spell- ing "tinderbox," the bee was down to two. Costello, in round eight, misspelled the word "feral." Next up, Kim aced the spelling of "trilogy." Kim was given the champion- ship word "bout," which she also nailed, securing her spot as the first- place winner in this year's R.I. State Spelling Bee. Runner-up Costello will serve as a backup should Kim be unable to participate in the national bee that she has qualified for. After the competition, Kim told The Breeze, "It felt a little strange to do the Spelling Bee virtually, but I'm really happy about how it turned out. I did better than I thought I would. I tried the Spelling Bee last year as well, but I did much better this year." Breeze Editor Ethan Shorey, mod- erator of the competition, congratu- lated Kim and wished her well in the national competition. This is the newspaper's 15th year supporting the competition, which makes it possible for area spellers to advance to the National Spelling Bee. Sponsors for the bee were Navigant Credit Union, Anchor Subaru/Nissan, Hunter Insurance and Dave's Market. Wheeler's Kim wins 2021 State Spelling Bee By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer SEOYON KIM Cumberland Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union The Annual Meeting of the Cumberland Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union will be held on Thursday, March 25, 2021 at 7 PM at the St. Aidan Parish Hall, 1460 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI 02864. All members are welcome to attend. COVID 19 rules will be applied. Everyone in attendance MUST wear a mask and maintain social distancing rules. AGENDA: • Certification of Quorum • Old Business • New Business • Adjournment Kathryn Desjardins Secretary

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