July 22nd, 2011
SOUTH KINGSTOWNâFor three days at the end of July, families from Rhode Island and beyond come to the athletic fields at URI to participate in an event which typifies nostalgic summer fun. The 33rd annual South County Hot Air Balloon Festival, organized by the Wakefield Rotary Club, is set to begin again.
BOSTON, Mass.âFenway Park is a majestic historical monument which stands brightly lit every evening, hosting the Boston Red Sox as they march on through their season. The Green Monster and Peskyâs Pole are symbols of the parkâs storied past, and disabled war veteran Craig Cascella recently received a unique opportunity to visit the oldest Major League Baseball park in the country.
In order to stay current, teachers across the state have learned through the Rhode Island Teachers of Technology Institute (RITTI) course how to integrate technology into their classroom, according to Michael Sexton, one of the RITTI program coordinators.
The nine-day, 60-hour course was held at the Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School for the teachers in Coventry.
By DAVID PEPIN
Despite the National Weather Serviceâs forecast of 90-degree-plus temperatures today and tomorrow with accompanying humidity that will drive the heat index over 100, it is possible to play it cool in East Greenwich.
The town is making Swift Community Center, 111 Peirce St, available as a cooling center Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through the summer months.
EXETERâSummertime in New York City is nothing compared to summertime in South County. Here, the air is clean, there is space to roam, and the weather is just right. However, some people are not as lucky, and spend the summer months in the shadows of high rises and amidst the sound of screeching car horns.
By LINDSAY OLIVIER
NORTH KINGSTOWN â If you were among the motorists who frequented Route 2 from the Route 4 interchange in East Greenwich this past week, and had to drive through the restriping process by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), youâll be happy to know the project is meant to enhance better and safer driving.
KINGSTON â Under the artistic direction of Natalie Zhu, the Kingston Chamber Musical Festival will present its 23rd season at the University of Rhode Island through July 31.
Founded in 1989 by violinist David Kim, the festival strives to present the finest quality chamber music to the widest possible audience. Musicians from across the country appear annually during the two-week summer festival of six concerts held on the peaceful URI campus.
HOPKINTON - The town council has been operating with only four members since the resignation of council member Jonathan Osborne in April, but a special election held on Tuesday, July 26, will decide who will fill the seat for the remainder of the term, which lasts until November 2012.
The three candidates in the election are Frank T. Landolfi, David Husband and Edward D, Gaul.
With school out and high humidity here for the summer, families may want to take advantage of the local Briar Point Beach for a dip.
The beach has been open on weekends since the beginning of June, according to lifeguard Rebecca Searly.
âWe opened up full-time on June 18,â she said.
By DAVID PEPIN
The featured performer for this yearâs Summerâs End concert can boast of having spent the past 15 years working with a music legendâŠand having received his big break in show business from a boxing legend.
John Pagano, a Providence native whose repertoire ranges from pop chestnuts to rhythm and blues, will be performing with the R.I. Philharmonic at the townâs annual concert, to be held Friday, Sept. 2, at Eldredge Field. Rain date for the show is Saturday, Sept. 3.
Pagano, who began his career in the â80s as an R&B singer, has been a featured vocalist since 1997 with Burt Bacharach, the pianist and songwriter responsible for many entries in the canon of pop music standards over the past 50 years. Along with two female singers and an 11-piece orchestra (including his brother Vinny, its drummer), they have toured throughout much of the world, most recently a six-date swing through Italy.
âThe girls cover many of his hits, and I do all the male songs,â says Pagano, who usually performs âThis Guyâs In Love with You,â âWhat the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love),â âRaindrops Keep Falling on My Head,â âAny Day Nowâ and âGod Give Me Strength.â
Now living in southern California, Pagano returns roughly every three months to visit his family, and tries to work in a shown or two while heâs in the area.
Before meeting Bacharach, and before recording a CD on MCA, however, came his âdiscoveryâ by that noted musical talent scoutâŠMike Tyson (yes, the former world heavyweight champion).
âI played in a band called Xpo around Albany with my brother. Mike trained about a half-hour away, and he came and saw us and took a liking to my band and my voice. He said I ought to sing the national anthem at one of his fights,â Pagano remembers.
In 1989, Pagano stood in the center of the ring as the Las Vegas Hilton and sang âThe Star-Spangled Bannerâ prior to Tysonâs successful title defense against Frank Bruno.
In the audience that night was an assistant to Irving Azoff, one of the recording industryâs giants, then chairman of MCA records.
âShe saw me in the elevator on my way to the afterparty, and I met Azoff two days later,â Pagano says. While he had been discussing a record deal with Warner Brothers at the time, he ended up signing with MCA, which led to his first encounter with Bacharach and his then-wife, songwriter Carole Bayer Sager.
âAzoff took me over to see him because he was looking for material for my album, but Burt didnât have anything that fit,â says Pagano.
The MCA CD, he recalls, was âvery of the times, uptempo,â on which Bacharachâs more ballad-oriented tunes wouldâve been out of place. âI was the only white guy in MCAâs R&B division.â
Plans for a second CD never materialized, but in 1997, âI received a call from Burt out of the blue. He was getting ready to tour, but had never toured with a male vocalist before. I told him I was surprised he remembered me, and he said he had never forgotten my voice.â