Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who's on A Lively Experiment Thurs., 3/31 at 7 PM (Sun., 4/3 at noon)

This week, A Lively Experiment will be hosted by former WJAR political reporter Dyana Koelsch.

Denise Aiken - Rhode Island Legal Services attorney and former Democratic state representative
Dave Layman - business communications consultant and former news director
Maureen Moakley - URI political science professor
Travis Rowley - Mindsetter contributor and Chairman of RI Young Republicans

  • State workers’ objections to the governor’s proposal to increase their pension contributions 
  • Results from a recent Brown University opinion poll 
  • House Speaker Gordon Fox reconsiders granting pay raises to some legislative aides


WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits 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.

WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; Cox 808; Verizon 478; Full Channel 109; ComCast 294.

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.

Can't get to the TV? Watch the episode online anytime and anywhere on our YouTube channel. Episodes of A Lively Experiment are generally available to watch on the next afternoon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and YouTube will notify you when a new episode is uploaded.

Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society

Behind the Hedgerow: Eileen Slocum and the Meaning of Newport Society takes viewers inside the private world of aristocratic Newport, Rhode Island – a world of privilege that began with the Gilded Age, when Vanderbilts and Astors reigned. WSBE Rhode Island PBS is proud to present the television premiere of the critically-acclaimed film on Wednesday, April 6 at 8 p.m., with re-broadcast as part of the ongoing WSBE series, Rhode Island Stories on Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 11 p.m.

The story's central character is Eileen Gillespie Slocum, descendant of the Nicholas Browns and friend to all of the 20th century Newport (and New York and Philadelphia) elite. When Slocum died on July 27, 2008, at the age of 92, a storied period of American history ended. Slocum was the last of the Newport grand dames – one of the last grand dames anywhere. America had changed, and so had the world; a new moneyed class now ruled, although descendants of the Gilded Age elite continue to live on and near one of America's most exclusive addresses, Bellevue Avenue, Newport.

Slocum's family granted filmmakers G. Wayne Miller and David Bettencourt exclusive access to her archives and private Bellevue Avenue estate, where much of the film was shot. The story is brought to the screen through the use of rare footage and still photographs, through filming of key Newport Society events during the summer of 2009, and through on-camera interviews of people in Eileen Slocum’s set and Slocum’s family. The filmmakers use Slocum’s extensive personal archive of photographs, books, belongings and papers – most notably, the diaries she began keeping at the age of nine as she was growing up in an eight-story mansion at the corner of New York’s 89th Street and Fifth Avenue. She continued to write these diaries into the 1990s. They are an intimate and never-before-seen account of life behind the hedgerow.

While Eileen Slocum is the protagonist of the story, Behind the Hedgerow has an intriguing supporting cast, including such prominent Newporters as Hugh D. Auchincloss III, known as Yusha, and Betty "Boop" Blake, a noted art collector who winters in Texas. Both Yusha and Boop were lifelong friends of Eileen. Both appear for the first time ever in a film.

The narrator of the film is Eileen Slocum herself. Through a newspaper series he wrote about Newport society, G. Wayne Miller, a longtime staff writer at The Providence Journal, became a confidante of Slocum's. During their long relationship, he spent hours recording Slocum as she discussed her life, her world, and her beliefs.

Because of Eileen Slocum’s stature, her relationships with virtually everyone in the world of old money, her long life, and her intelligence and candor, Behind the Hedgerow is uniquely entertaining, informative and, in certain passages, amusing.

Visit the film Web site for more information about Eileen Slocum and Behind the Hedgerow.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits 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.

WSBE Learn transmits over the air on digital 36.2; Cox 808; Verizon 478; Full Channel 109; ComCast 294.

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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Civil War - 150 Years

One hundred and fifty years ago, our country was divided: 
North and South... White and Black... Freedom and Slavery...

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, 
Rhode Island College hosts a symposium

"Rhode Island in the Civil War: 
Public History and Popular Memory" 

on Friday, April 8th 
The event includes reenactments, period music, demonstrations, 
panel discussion with historians, exhibits, 
even a game of baseball as it was played in 1864.
It's the Civil War with a R.I. connection.

More information

WSBE Rhode Island PBS 
marks this milestone anniversary
in United States history with
an encore broadcast of the 
acclaimed documentary by Ken Burns 


Mondays at 9 PM
beginning April 11


Episode 1: THE CAUSE - 1861 (2 hours)
4/11 from 9 PM
4/13 from 1:30 AM 

WSBE Learn (36.2)
4/14 at 8 PM 
4/15 at 3 AM
4/16 at Midnight 

Episode 2: A VERY BLOODY AFFAIR - 1862 and 
Episode 3: FOREVER FREE - 1862 (2 hours 30 minutes) 

WSBE RIPBS (36.1) 
4/18 at 9 PM
4/20 at 1:30 AM 

WSBE Learn (36.2) 
4/21 at 8 PM
4/22 at 3 AM
4/23 at Midnight 

Episode 4: SIMPLY MURDER and 
Episode 5: THE UNIVERSE OF BATTLE - 1863 (2 hours 30 minutes) 
WSBE RIPBS (36.1) 
4/25 at 9 PM
4/27 at 1:30 AM

WSBE Learn (36.2) 
4/28 at 8 PM 
4/29 at 3 AM 
4/30 at Midnight 

Episode 7: MOST HALLOWED GROUND - 1864 (2 hours 30 minutes) 

WSBE RIPBS (36.1) 
5/2 at 9 PM
5/4 at 1:30 AM 
WSBE Learn (36.2) 
5/5 at 8 PM 
5/6 at 3 AM 
5/7 at Midnight 

Episode 9: WAR IS ALL HELL and 
Episode 10: THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE - 1865 (2 hours 30 minutes) 
WSBE RIPBS (36.1) 
5/9 at 9 PM
5/11 at 1:30 AM 
WSBE Learn (36.2) 
5/12 at 8 PM 
5/13 at 3 AM 
5/14 at Midnight 

Friday, March 25, 2011

'A Lively Experiment' Thursday, 3/24 at 7 p.m. (Sunday, 3/27 at noon)

Dave Layman – moderator
Ken McKay – executive director, R.I. Republican Party
Lou Pulner – attorney, WPRO legal analyst
Peter Wells – publisher, The Providence American
Chip Young – senior editor,

  • New state GOP director Ken McKay’s plan for building the party
  • The state’s “good behavior” policy for inmates
  • The Providence fiscal crisis and whether the state should intervene
  • The high number of Providence firefighters receiving accidental disability pensions
  • Providence’s new anti-corruption ordinances
  • Elected vs. appointed school boards
  • The dispute over how the Separation of Powers amendment should be applied to the Coastal Resource Management Council

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Masterpiece Classic presents "Any Human Heart" on Friday

How can a man in the bloom of youth, pursuing writing and sex with equal vigor, end up grizzled, old, and surrounded by piles of boxes and paper, the detritus of a life? 

The answer is the story of Logan Mountstuart, who believes, "Every human being is a collection of selves...we never stay just one person." And the twentieth century provides the perfect backdrop for Logan to live out his lives, drinking absinthe with Ernest Hemingway, initiated into intrigue by Ian Fleming, and embroiled in the arch expat world of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

A novelist, war correspondent, father, spy, prisoner of war, art dealer, husband, and a lover many times over — an Everyman of sorts — Logan is played at three junctures of his life by Sam Claflin, Matthew Macfadyen (Little Dorrit), and Jim Broadbent. 

An intimate take on a sweeping century, Any Human Heart is based on the bestselling book by William Boyd and also stars Kim Cattrall (My Boy Jack), Gillian Anderson (Bleak House) and Hayley Atwell (Mansfield Park).

WSBE Rhode Island PBS presents the three-part Any Human Heart on Fridays, March 25, April 7, and  April 14 at 9 p.m., with re-broadcast the following on Mondays (3/28, 4/4, and 4/11) at 1 p.m.

NOTE: Rating is TV-14 

Encore of Hometown Flood - the film, not the flood

Macy's in Warwick, March 31, 2010.
Photo: micahjesse on twitpic 
We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of the Rhode Island spring floods that made national news. It's been a long year of recovery - just last week, Macy's re-opened at the Warwick Mall, which was devastated by the unprecedented flooding.

To mark this bleak anniversary, WSBE Rhode Island PBS presents the encore of Hometown Flood on Saturday night, April 2 at 7 p.m.

Last year, at the height of the catastrophe, Chris Walsh combined his fascination with weather and film making, and began recording images and interviews that would later become a compelling documentary.

Hometown Flood visits Westerly, Rhode Island, neighbors and businesses, local and state officials, and stunning footage captured at the height of the raging waters. Chris also re-visits some of the same people and locations three months later.

Hometown Flood tells a compelling story that will make you want to laugh and cry, cringe and cheer, as it celebrates the indomitable spirit of Rhode Islanders. We discussed the film in a previous blog, complete with video clips.

“Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”

“Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story is the largely unknown story about immigrants from the Cape Verde Islands in the Fox Point neighborhood in Providence, Rhode Island, the second oldest and largest Cape Verdean community in America.

WSBE Rhode Island PBS presents an encore broadcast on Saturday, March 26, at 7 p.m., as part of its ongoing series, Rhode Island Stories.

The one-hour documentary is by local filmmaker, Claire Andrade-Watkins. Dr. Andrade-Watkins is an Associate Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston, MA, a 2010-2011 Visiting Scholar at Brown University in the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America(CSREA), Brown University and a 2010 Swearer Community Fellow. She is the director of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project, which is currently based at CSREA at Brown University. The film combines her personal experiences with more than 20 years of research:

"Cape Verdeans began arriving in large numbers from the tiny archipelago off the coast of western Africa in the ports of Providence, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts in the early 1900s. They crossed the Atlantic aboard packets, small sailing ships to fill the need cheap labor in the waterfronts, textile mills, factories, and cranberry bogs of southeastern New England.
"Urban renewal in the 1960s and 1970s destroyed the tight knit Cape Verdean community bound by family, kinship, language, and seafaring traditions and displaced three generations of Cape Verdeans and their rich culture. The story of this little known community of the African Diaspora addresses many universalities of history, immigration, race relations and urban renewal."*

Costantino's Round Table Launches New Season

Wednesdays at 7 p.m., make your reservation for Costantino's Round Table. The new season begins March 23, with restaurant consultant Tom Wright and Ken Cusson of the Newport Harbor Group as guests.

Each week, Alan Costantino, owner of Venda Ravioli, and Joe Zito, "TV Maitre d'" invite to the table local restaurateurs, vintners, chefs, other professionals in the food and beverage industry, and more, for their inside view into a wide range of topics - from kitchen designs, to how to define and achieve excellent service, to the latest trends in tourism and travel in Rhode Island.

Did you know... Last season's episodes of Costantino's Round Table are now available on YouTube? This is last year's season opener. Follow the links for the other episodes. Subscribe to the WSBE Rhode Island PBS YouTube channel and be notified when a new episode is posted!

Monday, March 21, 2011

'A Lively Experiment' Thursday, 3/17 at 7 p.m. (Sunday 3/20 at noon)

Dave Layman – moderator
Arlene Violet – attorney, former R.I. attorney general
Maureen Moakley – political science professor, URI
Stephen Beale – reporter,
Joseph Paolino– businessman, former mayor of Providence

  • Outcry over Michael Woodmansee's release from prison and the
  • Correctional Department's "good behavior" policy
  • Governor Chafee's budget proposal and his controversial sales tax plan
  • State licensing of three medical marijuana dispensaries
  • Providence's fiscal crisis and the closing of four elementary schools
  • The safety of nuclear power plants in our country

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Who's on 'A Lively Experiment' Thurs., March 10 at 7 PM (Sun., 3/13 at noon)

Jim Hummel – moderator
Dave Layman – business communications consultant, former TV news director
Maureen Moakley – political science professor, URI
Scott MacKay – political analyst, WRNI
Sue Stenhouse – former director of Community Relations for the Office of the Governor, former Warwick councilor

  • Review of the governor’s budget address, including proposals for new sales taxes and the trimming of social service programs
  • Providence fiscal crisis and Rep. David Cicilline’s defense of his record as mayor
  • Changing of the guard at Rhode Island State Police headquarters
  • Former Senate President Joseph Montalbano’s new role as District Court magistrate

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

'A Lively Experiment' Thurs., March 3 at 7 p.m. (Sunday, 3/6 at noon)

Dave Layman – moderator
Denise Aiken – RI Legal Services attorney, former (D) state representative
Representative Laurence Ehrhardt – (R) North Kingstown, House Finance Committee member
Gary Sasse – former executive director, RI Public Expenditure Council 
David Scharfenberg – editor, Providence Phoenix

  • State Police Colonel Brendan Doherty’s sudden resignation
  • The termination of all Providence teachers
  • The looming state pension crisis
  • The administration’s lack of support for Education Commissioner Gist
  • The Narragansetts’ bid to purchase Twin River

Saturday, March 5, 2011

America's Home Cooking: From the Garden

What do you do with all the fresh fruit and produce that comes out of your garden or that you find at the Farmer’s Market?

Hosted by Chris Fennimore, AMERICA'S HOME COOKING: FROM THE GARDEN includes a treasure trove of viewers' recipes that turn nature's bounty into delicious and healthy meals.

Making organic dishes from garden ingredients, including zucchini casserole, tomato-garlic-basil soup, corn fritters, grilled asparagus (pictured above), garden-tomato tart, pesto sauce, butternut-squash ravioli, rhubarb crisp, and raspberry vinaigrette.

If you think your mouth is watering now, watch the show on Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.!

"Hit Man Returns: David Foster & Friends" tonight at 7:30 PM

Hit Man Returns: David Foster & Friends chronicles one fantastic star studded live show in Las Vegas featuring Seal, Earth Wind & Fire, Natalie Cole, Chaka Khan, Charice and many more!

Recorded live in performance at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center, Hitman: David Foster & Friends features Foster himself presiding center stage at the keyboard. The evening is a virtual jukebox worth of songs written by and/or produced by him. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and brother Kevon offer “I Swear”; Brian McKnight revisits Earth, Wind and Fire’s “After the Love Has Gone”; former Chicago front man Peter Cetera gets down with “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” “You’re the Inspiration” and “Glory of Love”; while Boz Scaggs reprises “Look What You’ve Done to Me” from Urban Cowboy.

Neatly arcing Foster’s remarkable 35-year career, other highlights range from early hits like St. Elmo’s Fire Love Theme, recalled here by Kenny G; and “Man in Motion,” performed by American Idol's Michael Johns, through foot stompin’ disco with Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to Be Real,” to the neo-jazz swing of Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good.”

Also look for American Idol’s Katharine McPhee soloing on “Somewhere,” then joining Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli for “The Prayer”; Bocelli’s silky “Amapola”; Bublé and country music’s Blake Shelton duet of Bublé’s “Home,” and new Foster discovery William Joseph at the keyboard for “Asturias.” And if Josh Groban brings the house down with signatures “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (in duet with Brian McKnight) and “You Raise Me Up,” the scene-stealer award would have to go to 16-year-old power-house Charice, from the Philippines. Best known in America for her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, she stuns both audience and Foster with the Whitney Houston-by-way-of-Dolly Parton hit “I Will Always Love You.”

WSBE Rhode Island PBS airs this spectacular performance on GREAT PERFORMANCES on Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Perfect Pairings of Food and Wine Amid Lush Flowering Tropical Plants - It's An Evening Uncorked!

MARCH 23 Update: Here's a slideshow of the festivities.

After the latest spate of snowy weather, frigid temperatures, and biting cold winds, a tropical getaway to warmer surroundings sounds pretty inviting, doesn't it?

On March 19, wine lovers are invited to get away to the tropics – without ever leaving Rhode Island.

That's the bonus of attending this year's An Evening Uncorked!, the annual food and wine event to benefit WSBE Rhode Island PBS. This year's gala will take place in New England's largest indoor garden, the Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park, on Saturday, March 19, at 7 p.m.

Amid lush exotic flowers and trees, chefs from some of Rhode Island’s top restaurants will prepare tasting-sized portions of dishes that will be paired with just the right wine to complement the flavors. Participating restaurants include: Blaze, Capital Grille, Fireworks Catering, Harry's Bar & Burger, Nick's on Broadway, The Ocean House, Perro Salado, and Pot au FeuMS Walker will provide the international wines.

An Evening Uncorked! will also feature a silent auction and a traditionally lively live auction of classic and cult wines. [Partial list attached.] The fund raising event is co-chaired by Aldo Cipriano, Gary Light, and Greg Mitrakas. Committee members include Ivan Colon, James Leach, Karla Little, Ann Martini, and Len Penagio. Committee members come from diverse walks of life, but share a common passion for wines and wine collecting. The group is also enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge about various wines. The energy, ideas and discussions – and the donations that come in as a result – set An Evening Uncorked! apart from other local wine auctions. Most of the bottles we offer just can’t be found in your local wine shop.

Donations come from private wine collectors, as well as local retailers, and restaurants. Non-wine auction items include gift baskets, hotel stays, and restaurant gift certificates. Auctioneer Richard J. Conti of Conti Estates, Auctions, & Appraisals in Attleboro, will keep the bidding lively and exciting.

Tickets to the gala are $125 per person and must be purchased in advance by calling 401-222-3636, extension 327, or online at The popular event has sold out in past years; guests are encouraged to buy tickets early to avoid disappointment. Guests must be 21 years of age or older to attend. Cocktail attire is appropriate. Support for An Evening Uncorked! is provided by Gencorp Insurance Group, and Adler Pollock & Sheehan, PC. All proceeds benefit programming at WSBE Rhode Island PBS.

Classic Wines
1998 Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Value of this lot: $900)
1998 Beaucastel Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Paul Autard Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Monpertois Chateauneuf-de-Pape Tradition
1998 Pegau Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 Charbonniere Chateauneuf-de-Pape VV
1998 Moulin Tacussel Chateauneuf-de-Pape
1998 La Nerthe Chateauneuf-de-Pape

Silver Oaks Cabernet Vertical (Value of this lot: $700)
1982 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1985 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1988 Silver Oak Napa Valley
1990 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1991 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1996 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
1998 Silver Oak Alexander Valley
2000 Silver Oak Alexander Valley

2 bottles of 1984 Stag's Leap Cabernet Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon (Value of this lot: $400)
Rated 94 points by Robert Parkers Wine Advocate

Cult Wines
8 bottles of 2000 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (Value: $750)

  • 94 points Robert Parker: "The dark ruby-colored 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon has a nose reminiscent of a blackberry-flavored Yoplait yogurt laced with roasted oak and hints of licorice. A full-bodied wine of power and structure, it is crammed with black currants, blackberries, and spices. Its dense fruit is matched blow for blow with a muscular, firm structure. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2020." (12/02)
  • 93 points Wine Spectator: "Announces itself as a serious red from the first whiff of earthy, smoky notes weaving through the licorice-scented dark berry flavors. This firm, chewy wine expands on the long finish under a layer of fine-grained tannins, holding it all together seamlessly. It begs for time in the cellar to develop. Best after 2006." (09/03)
  • 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Bright medium ruby. Aromas of crystallized dark berries, tobacco, mocha, peat, graphite and smoky, spicy oak. Very rich and dense but not overly sweet, with strong oak notes of spice and chocolate along with suggestions of pipe tobacco and fresh herbs. Finishes with ripe, chocolatey tannins and excellent length."

Cult Napa Cabernets (Value: $700)
2 bottles of 1999 Lewis Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
1 bottle of 1999 Forman Cabernet Sauvignon
1 bottle of 1999 Rudd Jericho Canyon Red
1 bottle of 1999 Laird Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
2 bottles of 1999 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon
2 bottles of 2000 Merus Cabernet Sauvignon

Rare California Reds (Value: $700)
4 bottles of 2004 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir Savoy
1 bottle of 2004 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir La Neblina
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Grenache Estate
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Syrah Reva
1 bottle of 2003 Alban Vineyards Syrah Lorraine

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Covered Bridges and Rocky Point - A Little Yesterday Coming Tomorrow

During the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, New England was home to almost 1000 covered bridges. Today, there are less than 200 in the six state region. In Covered Bridges of New England, award-winning cinematographer Jim Karpeichik takes us on a cinematic tour of more than 75 remaining bridges - filmed in all seasons - and takes a look back at many more covered bridges that are now gone from our landscape.

There is an excellent, informative review of Covered Bridges of New England by Michael Janusonis, film critic and arts writer for The Providence Journal.

We're proud to present the Rhode Island television premiere of Covered Bridges of New England on Wednesday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. Jim Karpeichik will be in the studio with WSBE Rhode Island PBS President David Piccerelli, and talk is likely to include some behind the scenes stories about the making of the film.

Then at 9 p.m., "Come with your family, come with your friends - that's the Rocky Point tradition, 'cuz it's summertime again!"

Tune in for documentary that captures the magic - and mourns the loss - of the quintessentially Rhode Island summer landmark for amusement for more than 150 years. You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park uses vintage photographs and first-person accounts of Rocky Point Park, told by those who lived, worked, and played there. Award-winning filmmaker David Bettencourt will be in our studio.

Rumor has it, David is bringing along a couple of secret guests - fans of Rocky Point Park. Just who will these guests be? Tune in to find out!

Meanwhile, backstage at the studio, the folks from B&M Catering Company will keep our volunteers well-fed, with a special dinner menu reminiscent of Rocky Point favorites. (Thank you!)