Friday, November 20, 2009

This week on A Lively Experiment (Sunday, Nov 22 at noon)

JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former Television News Director and Anchor
ARLENE VIOLET – Attorney, former R.I. Attorney General
JIM HUMMEL – The Hummel Report
GENERAL TREASURER FRANK CAPRIO – (D) Gubernatorial Candidate

• General Treasurer Frank Caprio discusses his bid for governor
• Roman Catholic politicians at odds with their Church’s view on abortion and stem-cell research

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

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on digital 36.1, on Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08, on DirecTV 36, and on Dish Network 7776. ComCast subscribers should check local listings for the correct local channel number. 

WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2, on Cox 808, on Verizon 478, and on ComCast 294.

Viewers with high definition (HD) capability can receive WSBE Rhode Island PBS HD programming over the air on digital 36.1, on Cox 708, on Verizon 508, and on ComCast 819.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Special Thanksgiving Programming

Before, between, and after all of the meeting, greeting, heating, seating, and eating you may be planning for Thanksgiving Day, WSBE Rhode Island PBS has ideal family entertainment. We're ready when you are!

Wednesday, November 25

8 P.M. AMERICAN MASTERS Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character
(Re-broadcast on Thanksgiving Day at 3:30 P.M.)

9:30 P.M. James Stewart: A Wonderful Life
(re-broadcast on Thanksgiving Day at 2 P.M.)

The program salutes one of Hollywood's best-loved actors. Stewart, who started his career as a magician and accordionist, rose to stardom portraying ordinary men who called on their interior strengths to accomplish extraordinary things. Produced and directed by David Heeley and hosted by Johnny Carson, James Stewart: A Wonderful Life features interviews with Hollywood luminaries and visits to the sets of Stewart's most popular films, creating a moving tribute to a truly unforgettable actor.

Thursday, November 26 (Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!)

2 P.M. Re-broadcast of James Stewart: A Wonderful Life

3:30 P.M. Re-broadcast of AMERICAN MASTERS Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character

5 P.M. Full 6-hour series Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America

Friday, November 27

1 - 6 P.M. Wishbone marathon.  
#201 “Halloween Hound: The Legend of the Creepy Collars" The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Part 1
#202 "Halloween Hound" Part 2
#203 “The Prince of Wags” Henry IV
#204 “Groomed for Greatness” Great Expectations
#205 “A Bone of Contention” The Courtship of Miles Standish
#206 “War of the Noses” The Black Arrow
#207 “Moonbone” The Moonstone
#208 “Barking at Buddha” Monkey
#209 “Pup Fiction” Northanger Abbey
#210 “The Roamin’ Nose” The Aeneid

8:30 P.M. MASTERPIECE CLASSIC Wuthering Heights
The Earnshaw children expect gifts from their father when he returns to Wuthering Heights after a trip, but are instead greeted with the arrival of Heathcliff, a young Gypsy boy who has come to live with them. Quiet and mysterious, Heathcliff is befriended by Cathy Earnshaw, and the two become inseparable. In adulthood, their bond deepens to love, but a forced absence opens Cathy to the affections of a different suitor — Edgar Linton. Given the choice between a life of comfort and a profound love, Cathy's actions have repercussions for multiple generations in this haunting story of turbulent passion and revenge. Tom Hardy (Oliver Twist) stars as Heathcliff, with newcomer Charlotte Riley as Cathy. Watch behind-the-scenes video here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tale of a Monarch

My father passed in March 2006. What my brother and I thought might be a bad cold or even pneumonia was actually a massive coronary that unexpectedly but quite efficiently swept our dad from our lives. Stunned, I remember standing outside the hospital and saying to my brother, "We're orphans." An odd reaction to be sure, especially for a grown woman with 4 college and high school children of her own. Having lost my mother a little more than a year before, the sense of loss and abandonment was overwhelming.

About a year after my dad passed, monarch butterflies started to appear around me in greater frequency than I considered usual, and in places I considered odd. I was not looking for butterflies, mind you - but each seemed to make sure I noticed it, fluttering close enough to demand my attention.

One of the oddest places was right on the beach at Scarborough. Not the grassy area where wildflowers grow, but the breezy sandy beach. I've seen plenty of sea gulls there, but never the elegantly fragile orange and black wings of a monarch butterfly. Yet that summer, it happened a few times.

The other oddest place was right here at work. On the north side of the station building is storage with double garage doors. The "driveway" area is completely paved with aging asphalt, and abuts another commercial property's paved driveway. There is a tall steel microwave tower, a dumpster, and chain link fencing. The only thing remotely green are weeds invading cracks in the pavement.

One pleasant afternoon that summer of 2007, I was outside enjoying the weather as I edited some material. Sitting on a low concrete platform near the door, I was visited by a monarch butterfly. I had never seen butterflies in that area before - moths and other insects, maybe, but not butterflies, and certainly not monarchs. This one didn't just flutter by. It actually landed on my knee! It perched, opened and closed its wings a few times, then fluttered off.

And thoughts of my dad immediately washed over me.

I share this very personal story with you because I just watched the full version of 41, a remarkable story about the Station nightclub fire's youngest victim, Nicholas O'Neill.WSBE Rhode Island PBS airs this documentary tonight at 8 P.M. I invite you to watch the film, too, and hear the way this young man touched - touches - lives of those around him in unexpected and lingering ways.

Your comments about the film and stories of your own experiences are most welcome.

- Lucie Raposo Houle

Monday, November 16, 2009

Solve Your Holiday Gift-Giving Dilemmas

We all have at least one. You know, the one who "has everything" and the one for whom finding a Christmas gift causes a twist of anxiety.

Or maybe you'd like to stuff those stockings with something more interesting than candy canes and extra batteries.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS opens its studios for its first ever Holiday Sale all this week. Click here for my earlier blog. Here are more items I just found for sale when I toured the bustling studio. Please remember that quantities are limited and some items are one-of-a-kind, so I suggest you get here early in the week.

Listed in no particular order:

Music CDs and audio cassettes
John Denver
Andre Rieu
Bob Dylan
Jerry Lee Lewis
Charlotte Church
Hayley Westenra
Three Tenors (Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo)

DVDs and VHS of full programs:
(includes a few from the list above, plus)
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Peter Paul and Mary
Fleetwood Mac
The Clash Live

Broadway's Lost Treasures
Italian Americans
Visions of Greece
Ghost & Vampire Legends of Rhode Island

"Coffee Table" Books (those beautiful, large, hard covered books you like to browse and leave out for others to browse, too)
Mystery of the Ancient Seafarers: Early Maritime Civilizations, by Rhode Island's Bob Ballard
American Passenger Trains
Daniel O'Donnell's Ireland
Great Restaurants and Recipes of Nantucket

Hard- and Soft-Cover Books by
Nicholas Perricone (The Wrinkle Cure, and more)
Suze Orman (Women and Money, and more)
Rick Steves (travel guides for Rome, for Europe, for Italy, and several other destinations)
Ciao Italia cookbooks

There is also unclaimed art from past art auctions. Available pieces are of various shapes, sizes, subjects, and include some photography.

Sale hours:
Monday, November 16th from 1:00-5:00
Tuesday, November 17th from 9:00-5:00
Wednesday, November 18th from 9:00-8:00*
Thursday, November 19th from 9:00-5:00
Friday, November 20th from 9:00-8:00*

*Open late for your convenience

At Times Heartwarming and Heartbreaking, "41" Will Touch You

Yesterday, I had the pleasure to meet the two filmmakers of 41, Christian De Rezendes and Christian O'Neill, at an event at the elegant Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket. It's not surprising that these two talented and charming young men created such a good film as 41.

What is 41?

It's a remarkable story of The Station nightclub fire's youngest victim, Nicholas O'Neill (Christian O'Neill's brother). It paints a portrait of Nicky's 18 years - packed full in so short a time with prolific writing, composing, acting... and an obsession with the number 41. But what makes the film so remarkable is the story after the story: what happened - and continues to happen - after the deadly fire took his life on February 20, 2003. Signs are everywhere that Nicky's spirit continues to move among his family and friends. Even strangers.

41 is a story of uplifting hope, insight, and comfort. And it may change the way you think about life and death.

41 airs on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Wednesday, November 18 at 8 P.M.

The Rhode Show (on WPRI-TV 12) did a story this morning about the documentary, including an interview with Nicky's father, broadcaster Dave Kane. Here is the video from

Click the link below to view the documentary trailer. And for more information, go to

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Lively Experiment (Sunday 11/15 at noon)


JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former Television News Director /Anchor
JOHN DEPETRO – The John DePetro Show, 630 WPRO AM
JIM HUMMEL – The Hummel Report
RI Representative JON BRIEN – (D) Woonsocket


• The recently-passed U.S. House health care reform bill

• The clash between Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Thomas Tobin over the abortion issue

• A proposed new corporate tax tied to business revenues rather than profits

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

Find WSBE Rhode Island PBS over the air on digital 36.1; Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08; DirecTV 36; Dish Network 7776; ComCast subscribers, please check local listings for the channel number in your area.

Find WSBE Learn over the air on digital 36.2; Cox 808; Verizon 478; ComCast 294.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Sale Blends Bounty with Bargains

With money as tight as is it, we all need to spend wisely to stretch our dollars during the upcoming holiday gift-giving season. But frugal doesn't have to mean cheap. That creative "just right" gift idea (found at the right price) will bring smiles to the faces of recipients and gift-givers alike! That's where the Rhode Island PBS Holiday Sale steps in.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS – RI's viewer-supported public television station – will open its studios November 16 through 20 for a sale of rare (limited quantity) and one-of-a-kind items, offered at a fraction of their retail value.

The variety of items is wide, but quantities are limited. DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, and audio cassettes of PBS programs feature a variety of subjects, including self-help, finance, lifestyle, inspiration, and humor. Music artists include PBS favorites Andrea Bocelli, Chris Botti, Daniel O'Donnell, Lawrence Welk, and Bruce Springsteen (yes, Bruce Springsteen). Those names alone should provide a pretty clear indication of the wide range of music to suit almost anyone's taste - even the toughest person on your gift list.

Books, books, books! They cover an array of subjects and include some companion books to popular PBS specials.

There are also some children's videos, Ciao Italia cookbooks, gift certificates, and holiday items.

Perhaps the most intriguing items are the unclaimed auction goods and works of art. It's an opportunity to pick up unique items at a bargain price.

Holiday Sale Hours:
Monday, November 16th 1:00-5:00
Tuesday, November 17th 9:00-5:00
Wednesday, November 18th 9:00-8:00 *
Thursday, November 19th 9:00-5:00
Friday, November 20th 9:00-8:00 *

*Open late for your convenience

Rhode Island PBS studios are located at 50 Park Lane in Providence. Cash, checks, and all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, and Discover) are accepted. For more information please call 401-222-3636 x209 or x 204.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Lively Experiment - tonight at 7 PM (and Sunday at noon)


JIM HAGAN – Moderator
DAVE LAYMAN – Former Television News Director /Anchor
MAUREEN MOAKLEY – Political Science Professor, URI
SEN. JAMES SHEEHAN – (D) Narragansett, North Kingstown
REP. ROBERT WATSON – (R) House Minority Leader


• Analysis of this week’s election results
• Whether redistricting should remain a political process
• The General Assembly’s recent two-day session

H1N1 (Swine) Flu: What You Need to Know

Did you miss last night's H1N1 special?

WSBE Rhode Island PBS will rebroadcast “H1N1 Swine Flu: What You Need To Know” on Saturday, November 7 at 7 P.M., and on Sunday, November 8 at 11 A.M. Veteran TV anchor and news director Dave Layman interviews Director of the Department of Health Dr. David Gifford, infectious disease specialists Dr. Robert Crausman and Dr. Nicole Alexander, and pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Lange.

Governor Donald Carcieri, the RI Department of Health, and the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association cooperated to present this special, produced by WSBE Rhode Island PBS at our studios.

Salute to Our Veterans

WSBE Rhode Island PBS presents two special programs next week to commemorate Veterans Day.

On Monday, November 9 at 10 P.M., watch the UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY BAND: A SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS. Filmed locally, this prestigious concert band performs many of the John Philip Sousa's marches, as well as patriotic favorites, like "God Bless America" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," exclusively for this television program. Other featured songs include "Rocky Point Holiday" composed by Ron Nelson, who was inspired to write this song after his visit to Rocky Point Park in Warwick, RI; Glenn Miller's "In the Mood"; and a "Gershwin Fantasy."

The concert was taped on July 2, 2007 at Mount Hope High School in Bristol. Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri, United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, and US Representatives Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin introduce different songs throughout the program.


On Veterans Day, November 11 at 10 P.M*., WSBE Rhode Island PBS premiers NAVY HEROES OF NORMANDY, the latest film from Rhode Island's Tim Gray Media. The one-hour film chronicles the building and dedication of the first ever monument in Normandy honoring the United States Navy’s role on D-Day. The documentary recently made its international debut in Normandy, France during D-Day 65th anniversary ceremonies.

NAVY HEROES OF NORMANDY features the personal stories of navy veterans - many of whom are from Southern New England - who took part in Operation Neptune-Overlord on June 6, 1944. Also included are interviews with French residents of Normandy who lived through D-Day, as well as the son of famous German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Manfred Rommel, who was home with his father in Germany when the call came in that the Allied invasion of France had begun.

The film is a follow-up to Tim Gray Media’s Emmy Award-winning first film, D-Day: The Price of Freedom, released in 2006.  

*Rebroadcast dates and times on WSBE-HD digital 36.1:
Thursday, November 12 at 4 A.M.
Friday, November 13 at 2:30 A.M.
Saturday, November 14 at 7 P.M.
Sunday, November 15 at 11 P.M.

Rebroadcast dates and times on WSBE-Learn digital 36.2:
Tuesday, November 17 at 10 P.M.
Wednesday, November 18 at 5 A.M.
Thursday, November 19 at 2 A.M.

NAVY HEROES OF NORMANDY is the first locally produced full-length High Definition (HD) program aired by WSBE Rhode Island PBS.

  • Find WSBE Rhode Island PBS over the air on digital 36.1; Cox/Verizon/Full Channel 08; DirecTV 36; Dish Network 7776; ComCast subscribers, please check local listings for the channel number in your area. 
  • Viewers with high definition (HD) capability can receive WSBE Rhode Island PBS HD programming over the air on digital 36.1, Cox 708, Verizon 508, ComCast 819.  
  • WSBE Learn broadcasts over the air on digital 36.2; Cox 808; Verizon 478; ComCast 294.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Governor, Department of Health, and RI Broadcasters sponsor H1N1 Q&A tonight

Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island Department of Health are partnering with the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association (RIBA) members, WSBE Rhode Island PBS, WPRI-TV, WJAR-TV, and WLNE-TV to hold a live panel discussion and phone bank to answer questions on the H1N1-Swine Flu virus on Wednesday, November 4, 2009.

From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., medical professionals from the RI Department of Health (DOH) and clinicians will staff a phone bank at the Rhode Island PBS studios to answer questions on H1N1. The phone number for the public to call with questions from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. will be 401-222-8012.

(Please note, the phone bank number will ONLY be operational from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The regular DOH H1N1 Information Line is 401-222-8022, and is operational Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.)

This will be followed by a 60-minute panel discussion on H1N1, prevention tips, symptoms, and with some of the more frequently asked questions answered by the panel of experts. The program, H1N1 – Swine Flu: What You Need to Know, will be moderated by former TV anchor Dave Layman with participation from Dr. David Gifford of the DOH, and other physicians.

The local television stations will report live from the Rhode Island PBS studios throughout the evening broadcasts, and will air the panel discussion live, starting at 7:00 p.m.

In addition, the television stations will stream the panel discussion live on the station websites, including,, and, and replay the program on all channels throughout the next several weeks.

Several radio stations are also supporting this effort by airing promotional spots on where and when to find programming and coverage of the event within their newscasts.

“I want to extend my appreciation for the tremendous support by our media partners in helping to inform the public on how to prevent H1N1, the symptoms to look for, and the vaccination schedule,” said Governor Carcieri. “Providing accurate and up-to-date information is critical in keeping the public informed during what can be a stressful time for many Rhode Islanders, especially parents.”

“Rhode Island Broadcasters Association is proud to partner in this public service to provide information to our viewers and listeners from experts within our medical and health community, helping guide us to wellness protection and safeguard ourselves and our families,” said Lori Needham, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association.

Monday, November 2, 2009


On the night of February 20, 2003, hundreds of rock music fans gathered at a local club in West Warwick, RI, to hear a national band. But ebullience turned to unfathomable grief when indoor fireworks ignited material in the club and the small building burned to the ground.

One hundred souls passed that night. Sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sisters, brothers, friends. "41" tells a remarkable story of the youngest among them: Nicholas O'Neill.

It is a story of uplifting hope, insight, and comfort.

And it may change the way you think about life and death.

"41" has received a number of awards, including Best Documentary-Narrative by the Blue Mountain Film Festival (Ontario), and Best Soundtrack from the Director’s Chair Film Festival (Staten Island, NY). The film also played at the Woods Hole Film Festival in August. Film critic Phil Hall of, has hailed "41" as “a much-needed reminder of all that is good in the world… a soul-enriching experience, one of the year’s finest accomplishments.”

"41" airs on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Wednesday, November 18 at 8 P.M. Click the link below to view the trailer. For more information, go to

Stormtroopers and Jedi Bring "The Force" to Rhode Island PBS

WSBE Rhode Island PBS is proud to present the new documentary, The Making of STAR WARS: IN CONCERT tonight, November 2 at 9:15 P.M., and re-broadcast on Saturday, November 7 at 8:15 P.M.

The documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at the elaborate staging of the critically-acclaimed "Star Wars: In Concert." A unique performance experience, "Star Wars: In Concert" fuses great cinematic moments from the epic Star Wars film series by George Lucas, and the powerful, Oscar-winning film scores composed for the films by John Williams. The event is coming to the Dunkin Donuts Center on Wednesday, November 11.

Premium seats for the event will be available to viewers who make a pledge donation during the live broadcast on November 2, or the rebroadcast on November 7. In addition to prime arena seating, the premium ticket package includes private, pre-show admission to the Star Wars museum exhibit that travels with the musical show, and includes movie props, models, and costumes. Premium tickets also include meet & greet and photo opportunities with the 501st Legion / New England Garrison, each member in authentic regalia.

Joining the hosts live in the WSBE Rhode Island PBS studio will be members of the 501st Legion / New England Garrison, in costume:

Adam Scott - TIE Pilot
Eric Lemay – Stormtrooper
Joe Trask – Stormtrooper
Brian Fong – Stormtrooper
Vivienne Pustell – Stormtrooper
Michael MacLeod – Stormtrooper
Wendy Lemay - Royal Guard
Angela Nieves - Royal Guard
Jim Gillespie – Clonetrooper
Mark Poutenis – Chewbacca
Meredith Bailey - Rebel Fleet Trooper
Erik Larkin – Jedi
Betty Lincoln – Jedi
Jon Alexson - Jedi

Members of the 501st who will appear in the studio are from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts. For photos and information about the 501st, visit