220811ind aquarium

Ali Harvey, manager of the OSA Aquarium Superstores & Services location in Wakefield, cleans a tank filled with African cichlids on Tuesday afternoon.

OSA Aquarium Superstore and Services has opened a location at 51 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, to complement its existing stores in Seekonk and Coventry.

Aquatic retailers are essential to the industry, bringing advice, expertise and livestock help to make hobbyists become better fish keepers, according to Jono Rees of NTLabs, researchers in water treatments, medicines, test kits and foods servicing the koi, pond, tropical and marine fish markets.

“Without them, we would struggle to get livestock for our aquariums and ponds, and we would all be forced to find advice online, and we’re all too familiar with the terrible consequences of ‘symptoms,” he said.

This local location reports in a recent announcement that it offers top-of-the-line aquarium servicing and installation for businesses and residential homes.

“It’s important to buy fish because fish are an amazing hobby to have,” said Wakefield store manager Ali Harvey “It is so relaxing. We have a lot of service accounts with organizations where these have a calming effect on clients,”

She said that the store has an “uncountable” number of varieties of fish, numbering over 2,000 fish in the store.

It also carries a wide variety of tropical freshwater and saltwater fish supplies and aquariums, and can help people find affordable options for their homes or businesses, Harvey said.

Headquartered in Coventry, Ocean State Aquatics & Aquarium Services, which operates the superstore, provides complete aquarium installations, service, and maintenance.

In addition, OSA provides expertise and caters to a wide variety of clients at its multiple retail locations.

It also has a design studio that includes an extensive selection of aquariums of all shapes and sizes, as well as a multitude of aqua-scaping supplies to suit a variety of aquarium needs, according to its website.

Materials for tanks include substrate, driftwood, live plants, faux plants, or coral as well as equipment, parts, chemicals, and supplements.

Walter Gaskill, a passionate hobbyist, commented with some humor on Facebook, “Good info. Especially for those of us who can’t afford [air conditioning] cuz we blew all our money on fish tanks.”

On the serious side, Kate Barrington wrote on “Rate My Fish Tank” website, that aquariums also have health benefits for those wanting them.

“It’s no secret that owning a pet has measurable benefits for your health, but these benefits are typically associated with traditional pets like dogs and cats. There’s a reason, however, that doctor’s offices and health clinics all over the world have fish tanks in them,” she said.

“Your home aquarium could be just as beneficial for your health as the family dog,” she added.

It reduces levels of stress because “there’s just something peaceful about it that calms you and those around you. This is part of the reason you’ll find fish tanks in high-stress environments like offices and hospitals.”

It can also improve sleep quality.

“Watching your fish tank before bed may help calm your body and your mind enough to fall asleep, saving you from spending half the night tossing and turning. If your fish tank is in the room you sleep in, it may also provide some white noise to help you fall asleep,” Barrington wrote.

It may help lower blood pressure and heart rate. “According to one study, looking at an empty tank reduced heart rate by 3% while a tank with fish present yielded a 7% reduction,” she pointed out.

Some researchers go so far as to say aquariums can decrease pain and anxiety as well as aid in sharpening focus and creativity. Aquariums also can have a calming effect on children and those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, she noted.

“In one study conducted at Purdue University, the presence of a fish tank at home improved mood, alertness, and appetite in Alzheimer’s patients while reducing aggressive behavior. Children who struggle with behavioral issues may find a fish tank calming. It may improve concentration and sleep, two things which may in turn boost performance at school,” she wrote.

The health benefits of aquariums extend beyond the simple fish tank at home. Studies show that spending time in public aquariums can improve both physical and mental well-being as well, she said.

The Wakefield store is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m., and Sundays until 5 p.m

South Kingstown

Animal Rescue Rhode Island’s (ARRI’s)2022 FurBall gala was a huge success, the organization reported.

Over 250 guests helped ARRI to raise over $210,000 for the pets, an event record. Covid prevented The FurBall from being held for the last two years. A highlight of the evening was presenting the 2022 ARRI Champion Award.

The ARRI Champion Award is dedicated to an individual or group who exemplifies the true meaning of compassion and dedication through their philanthropic devotion to ARRI, the RI community, and beyond. The ARRI 2022 Champion Award winners are Jozy and Chip Mainelli.

They are well known in the community as caring and generous individuals whose thoughtfulness and giving are known only by the recipients as random acts of kindness, the organization said.

The Mainellis have been involved with ARRI for over 12 years. They played an integral role in the ARRI Capital Campaign for the new shelter, which was built in 2015.

Jozy Mainelli was also on the board for several years and helped create ARRI’s signature event, The FurBall, together with Karen Adams Mauro, Bonnie Considine and Missy Lavallee.

ARRI’s programs, state-of-the-art facility, community education efforts, and more have all been nurtured through the Mainellis’ passion for animals.

“It’s through events such as The FurBall that we’re able to fund our lifesaving work and focus on finding families for animals needing homes”, said Board Chairman Doug Rubinstein.  

The event was held at The Dunes Club and featured music from Blurred Vision. The emcee was Mario Hilario and there was a silent auction and live auction with guest auctioneer Hugh Hildesley.

It also featured a seaside dinner and special treats from Jennifer’s Chocolates.

“ARRI made a significant difference in my life. Covid made it difficult to find dogs to adopt, but with compassion and dedication, ARRI matched me with my wonderful rescue dog Frida”, stated Katie Frost, 2022 FurBall Chair.  

“Thank you to everyone who sponsored a table, participated in the auction, and attended the event. A special thank you to our FurBall Chair Katie Frost and the dedicated event committee who helped to make the night so memorable”, said Liz Skrobisch, executive director.   

The connections that come from uniting homeless animals with families are critical to ARRI’s mission, said organization officials. In 2021, the shelter was able to find loving homes for nearly 650 animals.

Located in Wakefield, RI, Animal Rescue Rhode Island has since 1938 been bringing families and animals together. Visit www.animalrescueri.org for more information.

North Kingstown

  • Twenty employees from Toray Plastics (America), Inc., helped to build a South County Habitat for Humanity home for a South Kingstown family in late June. The family, which was not identified, plans to move into this new home in October.

The Toray team and the new homeowner, who also worked on the construction of the home, raised and secured roof rafters and interior walls, applied house wrap, taped seams, installed blocking for kitchen cabinets, raised and secured roof trusses for a shed and installed exterior sheathing on that building.

“Everyone also ate a lot of pizza! South County Habitat for Humanity is doing terrific work in our backyard,” says Christopher Roy, president and chief operating officer of Toray Plastics (America).

“When John Eustis, the vice president of procurement at Toray, brought this volunteer event to our attention, we knew it was a perfect opportunity for the company to give back in a meaningful way to the community,” Roy said.

“The team had a lot of fun, deepened their bond with each other, and made a personal connection with a new neighbor. And all were amazed at how much was accomplished! I’m very proud of my colleagues,” he added.

Eustis noted that he was drawn to Habitat for Humanity’s mission to make the desire for homeownership a reality for people who may otherwise not be able to afford a home of their own.

“The tangible, long-lasting impact that Habitat has on the community is admirable and I am happy to play a small part in it. I was so pleased that my coworkers were eager to help,” he said.

Eustis and others who volunteered that day plan to volunteer again and do more work on the home.

  • Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty announced that a home at 126-134 Willett Road recently sold for $2,565,000, the second highest multi-family sale statewide at the time, according to Mott & Chase and the Rhode Island Statewide Multiple Listing Service.

It is also the second most expensive home sold in North Kingstown this year, the real estate company said. Kelly Schneider, sales associate at Mott & Chace, represented the buyer. Dana Zangari of Residential Properties LTD. represented the seller.

Set on nearly two acres, the three-unit dwelling offers views of Narragansett Bay. It is comprised of the original 1924 main home and has a 2012 renovated guest cottage. “A classic multi-family compound with water views is a rare find,” said Schneider.

Agents of Mott & Chace have represented eight clients in the top 12 North Kingstown sales in 2022, according to the company.

  • Bayview Rehabilitation at Scalabrini, a North Kingstown provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, has announced the appointment of Kristina Waters as admissions director and Tressa Gonyea, RN, as director of nursing.

Both Waters and Gonyea bring many years of experience in the health care sector to their respective roles at Bayview. Along with other members of the leadership team, they will help operate the 120-bed center.

“At Bayview, we are committed to providing our residents with the highest quality care,” Kristine Pacheco, administrator of Bayview. “We’re so excited to have Kristina and Tressa join our team, as their years of experience will be a great asset to our center.”

As admissions director, Waters will facilitate admissions from surrounding hospitals and collaborate with residents and their families about Bayview’s long-term care and specialized rehabilitation programs.

Her past roles include leading admissions and intake for other health care providers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and gerontology from Rhode Island College.

As director of nursing, Gonyea will oversee nursing services at the center and her responsibilities include recruitment and development of nursing staff, the oversight of communications with families, residents and staff, and managing the nursing budget.

A registered nurse, Gonyea has 30 years of professional experience, including 16 years in nursing director roles. She holds an associate’s degree in science and nursing.

Bayview Rehabilitation at Scalabrini offers subacute short-term and comprehensive long-term care. For more information, visit www.bayviewrehabhc.com.


Mott & Chace Sotheby’s International Realty recently announced the sale of the historic waterfront home at 352 Ocean Road for $4,995,000.

Offered for the first time in over 60 years, “Twin Gables” is a seaside estate built in 1883 for Charles H. Pope, a wealthy cotton broker from New York. The nearly 6,000 square foot home with nine bedrooms, five-full, and one-half bathrooms offers space for more than 20 guests.

Set on over an acre of waterfront land, the generous L-shaped porch offers vistas clear to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

According to data available from Rhode Island Statewide Multiple Listing Service, the sale of that property was the highest Narragansett sale since May 2021 when Mott & Chace sold the most expensive home in Narragansett on record.

Kylie McCollough and Jennifer Crellin, sales associates represented the seller and facilitated the sale on behalf of the buyer.

“This treasured part of Narragansett history has been extra special to represent,” said Crellin. “We have the utmost gratitude for the owners who trusted us with their multi-generational family home.”

Elsewhere Around South County

The Westerly Community Credit Union (WCCU) plans to award $9,000 in grants in values up to $500 each for the upcoming 2022/23 school year to local teachers, administrators, and staff in the Chariho, Exeter-West Greenwich, Coventry, Narragansett, North Stonington, South Kingstown, Stonington, and Westerly school districts.

The Credit Union awards these grants annually to support creative and experiential educational projects or programs.

“We recognize the enormous responsibility our local teachers, administration, and staff have in meeting learning objectives and keeping students engaged in these challenging times. We are pleased to offer teacher grants that enhance the overall educational experience as well as provide meaningful development opportunities,” said Steve White, WCCU president.

“We want to show our support and appreciation for their innovation and ongoing fortitude to help children succeed,” he added.

Special consideration is given to innovative projects that strengthen the relationship between schools and the community at large, as well as to projects that support student excellence.

All applications are judged on criteria for educational focus, promotion of skills and excellence, creativity and innovation, community connection, and goal clarity and attainability.

Grant applications are available through the WCCU website, westerlyccu.com/teacher-grant.

Completed applications must be submitted to WCCU no later than October 31, 2022.

Awards will be made in early December. For more information about the WCCU Teacher Grant Program, contact Kim Gates, WCCU’s financial education officer, at 401-596-7000 x2124 or kgates@westerlyccu.com.

Write to Bill Seymour, freelance writer covering news and feature stories, at independent.southcountylife@gmail.com.

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