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As odd as it sounds, I think it’s fair to say that the 15-foot-tall Chinese White Mulberry tree that has successfully established itself in my front yard’s natural garden area informs me each morning as I leave my home in western North Kingstown to head down to Wickford village. The song birds I am trying to attract with this planned “natural” area just love this Mulberry sapling and I’ve got to say this tree, one of the earliest documented “invasive species” in New England, pleases me as well.

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The Oliver Carr Greene Cottage certainly isn’t much to look at, that’s for sure, and with just barely 500 square feet of living space, it definitely would not be anyone’s first choice as the place to “hang one’s hat” each and every evening after a long day at work. But don’t let this tiny cottage with its dowdy exterior fool you. Just like lots of other old but seemingly inconsequential buildings in our fair town, this building, has a story to tell that is much bigger than it is itself.

The story begins in 1855, when 40-year-old farm laborer Oliver Carr Greene purchased a small parcel of land, “fronting on the Boston Post Road” from the family of farmer Benjamin Potter who lived in the large 18th century farmhouse next door.

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The very recent passing of Canon Peter Spencer has really got me reminiscing about him of course, and the church he led, the religious anchor of my childhood and young adult life. Throughout all that time, Peter Spencer was there ministering to his flock, connecting that flock to the greater world through action and outreach, and teaching us all that every individual we encountered was precious and deserving of our attention.

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For a while now, I’ve been pondering on the solution to the question I’ve asked myself for quite some time. “Just who, in the approximately 115 years of its history, is the NK High School graduate that had the largest impact upon the world?” Who really made it to the big time after graduating from good old North Kingstown High School?”  Well, I feel like I’ve finally figured this out and, unless you are an educator, as I once was, or a psychologist, or similar academic, you may have never heard his name.  Be that as it may, I feel pretty confident in my choice; pretty sure that no other NKHS Alumni has impacted the world in a positive way to a greater degree than Class of 1939 member Ogden R. Lindsley Jr.

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You know, I just love a good mystery; especially when it involves the history of our fair town. So, as you can imagine, 12 years ago, when I was approached by Lynette Pohlman and Lea DeLong of the University Museums of Iowa State in Ames Iowa and asked to help them find the enormous bronze panther sculptures created by Danish-American artist Christian Petersen for Charles Davol — well I just couldn’t say no.

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The famed South County weaver Elsie Marie Babcock Rose was always proud to say that she was born on Bunker Hill Day (June 17th) in 1837. Her equally famous brother William Henry Harrison Rose, known by most as weaver Rose or Quaker Billy Rose, was just as happy to point out that he was born just a few weeks after the untimely death of the nation’s ninth president, William Henry Harrison, who served the nation for only 30 days before becoming the first Commander-in-Chief to die in office.

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As those who are familiar readers of this column may know, I take a bit of exception to the idea of constructs such as “Black History Month” or “Women’s History Month”; I hate to narrow it down like that.  As far as I am concerned, every month is black or women’s history month, just like every month is white male history month. But all that said, I still feel like it’s important to contribute something to these times to remember.

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The global formula milk industry is huge and growing rapidly, at about $55 billion and is projected to reach $110 billion by 2026. Aggressive and deceptive marketing by manufacturers is driving this growth. The World Health Organization (WHO) is ringing alarms. It charges the industry with using new digital marketing tactics to target pregnant women and new mothers with “personalized social media content that is often not recognizable as advertising.”

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It’s one of my fondest childhood memories — wandering the rocky coastline of Rhode Island and exploring the tidepools to discover whatever creatures may be in residence. It was always exciting to spot a crab or sea urchin or a few minnows, and even better when a starfish made an appearance.

Yet while those same tidepools remain in the same places, like Brenton Point in Newport, Beavertail in Jamestown or Black Point in Narragansett, the marine life that call those nooks and crannies home have changed dramatically.