Friday, July 31, 2009

"Festa" this weekend!

Every August, hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of the globe descend on New Bedford, Massachusetts, for one of the largest parties on earth - the celebration of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament.

The festival is this weekend - July 30-August 2 - and marks the 95th such celebration of rich Portuguese tradition, culture, food, and music.

If you can't make it to the real thing (or before or after you do attend), WSBE Rhode Island PBS gives you an insider's view during a 30-minute documentary entitled, FESTA on Saturday, August 1 at 7 PM. Two local filmmakers visit with organizers and vendors who return year after year to honor the traditions. The filmmakers then travel beyond the New Bedford feast to explore its origins on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Azores. (Beautiful scenery!)

It's on as part of Rhode Island Stories - the exclusive WSBE program that presents stories about or by Rhode Islanders. At 7:30 PM, stay tuned for the The Home of Rumford Baking Powder: Past, Present, and Future. Archival photos and the reminiscences of former employees tell the history of the manufacturing source of the familiar staple in every cook's kitchen: a tall red tin of Rumford Baking Powder. Once a manufacturing powerhouse that shaped Rumford Village, Rumford Center is now reshaping itself, through adaptive reuse as a community of apartments, offices, and shops.

Here's what's on A Lively Experiment, week of July 30

A Lively Experiment airs on WSBE Rhode Island PBS (36.1) on Thursdays at 7 PM., with re-broadcasts:
WSBE Learn (36.2) on Saturdays at 7 PM
WSBE Rhode Island PBS (36.1) on Sundays at noon

The Panel

JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former TV news anchor and news director
MAUREEN MOAKLEY, Ph.D. – Political science professor, URI
LOUIS PULNER – Attorney, WPRI legal analyst
ARAM GARABEDIAN – Businessman, Cranston City Councilor

The Topics

• The State’s threat to close 1200 tax-delinquent businesses
• Public-employee unions propose lawsuit blocking the State from implementing changes to the pension system
• R.I. Republican Party accuses Attorney General Patrick Lynch of violating the campaign-finance law
• Former Mayor of Providence Joseph Paolino considers another run for mayor

Find WSBE Rhode Island PBS on

  • Over-the-air digital 36.1
  • Cox/Verizon/Fullchannel: 08
  • ComCast: check listings for local channel
  • DirecTV: 36
  • Dish Network: 7776

Find WSBE Learn on
  • Over-the-air digital 36.2
  • Cox: 808
  • Verizon: 478
  • ComCast: 294

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

WSBE "Learn" More

The digital conversion earlier this year was rocky for some, and no sweat for others. But how ever you weathered the revolution, all of your local television stations emerged with new channel choices for your enjoyment. WSBE Rhode Island PBS, for example, broadcasts on two over-the-air channels: its main schedule on 36.1 (formerly known as analog "36"), and WSBE Learn on 36.2. Of course, those channel numbers are only meaningful to you if you watch TV over-the-air, but it's a pure, basic starting point. Cable and satellite TV services have WSBE all over the place channel number-wise. More on that - and a clear Finder's Guide - in an upcoming blog!

The prime time programming on WSBE Learn has evolved nicely since we first started broadcasting almost two years ago. (That's right, two years! But most of that was in obscurity until Cox finally picked up the channel in February.) As for the schedule itself, it's different from WSBE Rhode Island PBS - both in broadcast dates/times as well as content. Learn airs some series that are not broadcast on WSBE Rhode Island PBS: Austin City Limits, NewsHour, plus Tracks Ahead, Africa Trek, and From the Top at Carnegie Hall. Some main channel favorites are featured, of course, but on different days and at different times: American Experience, Scientific American Frontiers, P.O.V, Independent Lens, Great Performances, and a variety of How-To series from This Old House, to Everyday Edisons, to America's Test Kitchen, and more.

Visit and click TV SCHEDULE (your second option from the left on the menu under the welcome banner) for the schedules for both channels!

As always, your comments and questions are always welcome - post it here, or send an email to public @ the station Web site.

Public Information Manager

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Lively Experiment on Sunday, July 19 at noon

Here's what's news with newsmakers and news analysts on the next installment of A Lively Experiment.


JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former TV news anchor
DENISE AIKEN – Former state representative
JIM HUMMEL – Former TV reporter
DAVID CICILLINE – Mayor of Providence (D)


* Proposed Providence city budget
* Mayor’s contract battles with the Providence firefighters union
* Providence police union’s vote of “no confidence” in Chief Dean Esserman

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"PAWTUCKET RISING" July 11 at 7 P.M.


Imagine the nerve. With behemoth Boston to the north, and prominent Providence to the south, could an obscure, small, tired, old mill city – derogatorily known as "The Bucket" – really expect to become an artistic hub?

The answer is, yes. And, after talking to Herbert Weiss, Pawtucket's economic and cultural affairs officer, put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes to live again, so is Pawtucket Rising. In fact, that's the name of the new documentary by local filmmaker Jason Caminiti about the historic city's renaissance. WSBE Rhode Island PBS will air the film on Saturday night, July 11 at 7 P.M. (and on Sunday, July 12 at 11 P.M.) on digital 36.1, Dish 7776, DirecTV 36, and on cable channel 8 in RI (Massachusetts cable subscribers should check their cable listings for the local channel number for WSBE).

The documentary profiles the birth and evolution of Pawtucket's arts district through adaptive reuse of empty century-old factory buildings as an engine of economic revival.
The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution grew in prominence and wealth during the manufacturing decades in the first half of the 20th Century. But decline in domestic manufacturing left numerous structurally sound but unwieldy brick giants abandoned and unused.

Designer Morris Nathanson advocated for preserving and converting the mills – with their wide open spaces and massive windows and natural light – into living and working spaces for artists. He started the community ball rolling in the late 1980s when he acquired one of the city's 17 vacant mill buildings. Located on Exchange Street, across from Tolman High School and behind City Hall, the mill's high profile location on a hill is an inspiring metaphor for Pawtucket.

Officially, this city of just over 72,000 has been incubating visual and performing arts venues for about a decade. Pawtucket Mayor James Doyle and the visionary team he assembled - led by Herb Weiss for the past 9 and a half years – have put real city-side muscle behind the dream. No fruitless and insincere glad-handing; Pawtucket initiated the state and municipal legislation necessary to permit the arts and entertainment district to exist and flourish in its borders, and continues to allocate necessary resources years later.

For the city, the municipal and community partnership spurs purposeful economic development, turning abandoned real estate liabilities into assets. For artists, the partnership enhances art education and awareness, and encourages development of affordable live-work spaces. Finally, the partnership preserves the historic character, architecture, and charm of Pawtucket – that benefits the whole city and even the state.

Although the film focuses on Pawtucket, its valuable message applies to urban cities anywhere. In fact, that's how the film came to be, according to Caminiti. Interested in documenting the history and arts culture of his own adopted city of Fall River, the Newport, RI, native was told about Pawtucket by a friend. What Caminiti found in Pawtucket was a great story with a greater lesson: cities past their manufacturing prime can flourish and grow in new directions - if elected officials sincerely support the effort and collaborate with leaders in the community.

For more information about Pawtucket Rising, visit

Pawtucket Rising is shown as part of Rhode Island Stories, a feature of WSBE Rhode Island PBS Saturday nights at 7 PM. Enjoy independent documentaries by and about Rhode Islanders!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Twice as Nice

Picture it: Red Sox and Yankees. You and three friends. Cheering on the home team along the first base line at Fenway. Don't you just love it?

From now through August 17th, when you make a $100 pledge to WSBE Rhode Island PBS, your name is entered into a drawing to win four tickets to the Boston Red Sox ~ New York Yankees game on Sunday, August 23rd.

As an added bonus, your donation of $100 or more also enters your name into the drawing for tickets to a Red Sox game in September!

Your odds of winning depend on the number of entries, of course. But the value of this ticket package far exceeds your donation. In fact, a quick check of just now shows the cheapest "Standing Room Only" ticket available for this Sox ~ Yankees game selling for $109.99 - that's for ONE ticket! WSBE Rhode Island PBS is offering FOUR field box seats, not SRO tickets.

And now with two chances to win, it's a great time to give. Click here for more information.

A Lively Experiment, Sunday July 12 at noon


JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former TV news anchor
MAUREEN MOAKLEY – Political Science professor, URI
Rep. BOB WATSON (R)– House Minority Leader
Rep. TIM WILLIAMSON (D) – House Senior Deputy Majority Leader


• State pension reform
• Unfinished business in this year’s legislative session

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Lively Experiment Sunday, July 5 at noon


JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former TV news anchor
MAUREEN MOAKLEY – Political science professor, URI
BOB WALSH – Executive Director, NEA/RI
BERNARD JACKVONY – Former Lt. Governor


• Lt. Governor Roberts decides she will not run for governor in 2010
• Review of this year’s legislative session
• Developments to bail out Twin River casino
• Collective bargaining agreements for teachers