Friday, December 28, 2007

New England Folk Network

The New England Folk Network was created in May 2007, out of a desire to connect New England regional folk performers and venues with each other, and to provide the public with a set of resources so that they may better support these artists and venues.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New England United

New England United Regional Mobilization

On Saturday, October 27th, people from all walks of life will gather in Boston for a massive New England regional demonstration, part of a nationally coordinated day of protest against the war in Iraq called by United for Peace and Justice. Regional demonstrations will be held in 11 cities around the country. The New England event will start with a rally at the Boston Common bandstand starting at Noon, followed by a march to Copley Square from 2:00 to 3:00 PM.

Organizations across the region are working to build the October 27th mobilization. Please join us! We the People must end this war! Together we can build a social movement that can stop this war and shift the political agenda in this country to further global justice and fund human needs.

Bring All The Troops Home Now!
End All Funding for the Iraq War Now!
Support Our Communities, Fund Human Needs!
No Attack on Iran!
Stop the Attacks on Civil Liberties, Defend Human Rights!

Friday, October 05, 2007


The Dialects of Northern New England

They examine dialect variation in New Hampshire, Vermont, and the bordering region of Quebec, looking particularly at variation that can be attributed to patterns of migration of various ethnic groups.

Describing the dialects of Northern New England

The Boston accent is among the most well-known in America, and the most frequently mentioned aspects of it are "dropped R's" and the fronted vowel in phrases like park the car. Very little scholarly research about the dialects of Massachusetts and New Hampshire has been published since the Linguistic Atlas of New England in the 1930's.



The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.


New England Algonquian Language Revival
A series of articles by Dr. Frank Waabu O'Brien, Aquidneck Indian Council


The Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas


A List of Words That are Unique to New England


New England phonology


Friday, September 21, 2007

New England Foundation for the Arts

New England Foundation for the Arts

They creatively support the movement of people, ideas, and resources in the arts within New England and beyond, make vital connections between artists and audiences, and build the strength, knowledge, and leadership of the region's creative sector.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cheshire's Freedom Cheese

On this day in 1801, the Berkshire County town of Cheshire in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, made a 1235-pound ball of cheese and shipped it to Washington, D.C. as a gift for the newly-elected President, Thomas Jefferson, who was a popular figure in western Massachusetts. When news of the "mammoth cheese" reached the eastern part of the state, it caused consternation. Jefferson had won the presidency by defeating John Adams, Massachusetts' native son. Westerners were more in sympathy with Jefferson's vision of a nation of independent yeoman farmers than they were with the strong central government advocated by Adams and his supporters in the Federalist Party. Cheshire's cheese was a sign of the tensions over ideology, economics, and politics that long divided the state's eastern and western regions.

As the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities writes:

"When news of the "mammoth cheese" reached the eastern part of the state, it caused consternation. Jefferson had won the presidency by defeating John Adams, Massachusetts' native son. Westerners were more in sympathy with Jefferson's vision of a nation of independent yeoman farmers than they were with the strong central government advocated by Adams and his supporters in the Federalist Party. Cheshire's cheese was a sign of the tensions over ideology, economics, and politics that long divided the state's eastern and western regions."

As Bob from Blue Mass Group writes:

"Strong central government," is an understatement. Adams was locked in a bitter partisan battle to hold on to power. To help win, he supervised passage of some of the most repressive legislation ever approved by the Congress, including the Sedition Act, which said anyone, "opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States," could be imprisoned for up to two years. The Act also made it illegal to, "write, print, utter, or publish," anything critical of the president or Congress. The gambit backfired. Jefferson's campaign slogan was pointed: "Jefferson and Liberty." The repressive legislation was vigorously criticized by the bloggers of the day. When the opposition won the election, many called the event the Revolution of 1800.

A salute to the good people of Cheshire and western Massachusetts and their giant ball of, dare I write it, Freedom Cheese."

Mass Moments

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Faneuil Hall Boston, the Cradle of Liberty.

May 25, 1742, the grasshopper weather vane was built by master craftsman Shem Drowne.
Faneuil Hall Boston, the Cradle of Liberty, has a greater historical interest than any other building in the United States, save Independence Hall in Philadelphia. It was built at the expense of Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant of French descent, and given by him to the town. The building was completed in September 1742, with the people voting that it be called 'Faneuil Hall'.
Faneuil Hall, near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well known stop on the Freedom Trail.
In 1768, Thomas Drowne inserts the following note inside a copper container in the grasshopper's vest or stomach area: The headline reads "Food for the Grasshopper" and the note continues "Shem Drowne made it, May 25, 1742. To my brethren and fellow grasshoppers, Fell in ye year 1753 (1755) Nov. 13, early in ye morning by a great earthquake by my old Master above. Again, like to have met with Utter Ruin by Fire, by hopping Timely from my Public Station, came of the broken bones and much Bruised. Cured and Fixed. Old Master's son Thomas Drowne June 28, 1768, and Though I will promise to Discharge my office, yet I shall vary as ye wind."
During the American Revolutionary War, a challenge issued by Colonial soldiers was: "What sits atop Faneuil Hall?" If the swift reply were not, "Why, the grasshopper, of course", there would be trouble.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

Mayflower : A Story of Courage, Community, and War
I thought I knew about the voyage of the Mayflower, But when I started to explore what happened when an old leaky ship arrived off the coast of New England in the fall of 1620, I soon realized that I, along with most Americans, knew nothing at all about the real people with whom the story of our country begins.

The oft-told tale of how the Pilgrims and the Indians celebrated the First Thanksgiving does not do justice to the history of the Plymouth Colony. Instead of an inspiring tableau of tranquil cooperation, the Pilgrims’ first half-century in America was more of a passion play in which vibrant, tragic, self-serving and heroic figures struggled to preserve a precarious peace -- until that peace erupted into one of the deadliest wars ever fought on American soil. The English fatalities were catastrophic, but the rebelling Indians were virtually obliterated as a people. The promise of the First Thanksgiving had given way to the horror of total war.

A hundred years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, this culminating event – King Philip’s War – brought into disturbing focus the issues of race, violence, religious identity, and economic opportunity that came to define America’s inexorable push west. But as the Pilgrims came to understand, war was not inevitable. It would be left to their children and grandchildren to discover the terrifying enormity of what is lost when two peoples give up on the difficult work of living together.

More than 375 years later, in a world that is growing more complicated and dangerous by the day, the story of the Mayflower still has much to teach us

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cornucopia Beverages acquires Moxie Brand

Cornucopia Beverages acquires Moxie Brand, March 21, 2007

Cornucopia Beverages, a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England Inc., has acquired the rights to the Moxie brand from the Monarch Beverage Company for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes all brands, including Moxie Energy Drink, Diet Moxie and the Moxie flagship.

Moxie is one of the oldest continually produced soft drinks in the United States, developed in 1884. In 2005, Moxie became the Official State Soft Drink of Maine. Moxie has entered the American vernacular, coming to mean ÔøΩskillful and spirited.ÔøΩ

While Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England currently sells approximately seventy-five percent of the worldÔøΩs Moxie, Cornucopia is excited about the opportunity to grow and expand with an established brand.


Moxie, same taste, new owner
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff April 6, 2007

Cornucopia Beverages, a unit of Bedford-based Coca-Cola Co. of Northern New England Inc., has acquired the Moxie brand from Atlanta-based Monarch Beverage Co. Terms were undisclosed.
Cornucopia previously bottled Moxie under license from Monarch.

"There's really nothing to compare it to. It's not a cola, and it's not a root beer; it's its own little niche," Moxie brand manager Justin Conroy said in a telephone interview.

Conroy said no immediate changes are planned as a result of the brand purchase.

Last year, the Moxie brand sold about 450,000 192-ounce cases, equivalent to 7.2 million 12-ounce cans.

The drink is bottled in Londonderry, N.H., Worcester, Mass., and Catawissa, Pa. Conroy said 75 percent of production ships from Londonderry.

Tracing its roots to Maine-born Dr. Augustin Thompson, Moxie was first marketed as a carbonated soft drink in 1884. Today, the soft drink is available in regular, diet and energy drink versions. It is Maine's office state soft drink. The Moxie page on the Monarch Beverage Co. Web site states that Moxie was first marketed in 1876 as a medicine.

The word moxie has come to mean energy, or pep, in common usage.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Northern New England Inc. is a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Kirin Brewery Co. Ltd. The firm bottles Coca-Cola brands under authority of the Coca-Cola company and also has license rights for Cadbury Schweppes brands, Dr. Pepper, Sunkist and Canada Dry.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New England's largest indoor botanical center opens in Providence

New England's largest indoor botanical center opens in Providence

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island -- New England's largest indoor public display garden has opened here in a historic park, and officials expect it to become a regional center for learning about plants as well as a top attraction for visitors.
The glass-walled Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, which opened March 2, offers a tropical garden, an orchid garden, and a Mediterranean room with a collection of citrus trees. Fountains and ponds dot the landscape.
But its real draw on a day when cold rain was flooding the streets of Providence was the lush green and warm interior, filled with fragrant and unusual plants.
"It's plush. It's beautiful," said Susan Ainsworth, a retired school teacher. "It's lovely to be in here on this otherwise dreary day."
Her friend, Karen Asher, the president of the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society, described herself as "plant-obsessed."

"It's fun to see all these tropical plants," Asher said. "It's like this little fantasy land in here. You could pretend you're in Hawaii."
The center has 12,000 square feet (1,115 square meters) of space and rotating horticultural displays. The plants are in two glass structures connected by an enclosed hallway. The collection includes 40-year-old cacti, a fragrant jasmine plant and a bog that contains carnivorous plants, such as pitcher plants, some with 6-inch long "pitchers" to trap prey.
"There is one so big that it can trap and consume a rat," said Jo-Ann Bouley, educational program manager at the center.

Roger Williams Park, named for the city's 17th-century founder, also has a zoo and a carousel on its 430 acres (174 hectares). The landscaped Victorian-era park already attracts more than 2 million visitors a year, and Providence Mayor David Cicilline said in a statement that he expects the new botanical center will become a destination on its own and "attract visitors to Providence from throughout the Northeast."
The botanical center also has two classrooms and will offer gardening and composting classes provided by the University of Rhode Island.

The project cost $7.7 million to build, and was funded by state, federal and city government, as well as a $1 million grant from the Champlin Foundations. Keith Lang, executive director of the independent foundation, said it adds to the green space at the park and bolsters its educational offerings.
"I think the thing that really attracted us was the educational component," he said. "This was an aesthetically pleasant place to be. But at the same time, it was going to involve a lot of people in getting to know the environment."
Allison Barrett, a science teacher in Providence, came with her 5-year-old grandson Wilson Jensen. "I was thinking next fall, I'd bring my students," she said.
An educator and artist, Raffini (who goes by just one name), said she also planned to bring her students here as they learn about plants and launch a project to plant a garden they can use to grow their own food. But she said she also wants to come on her own.
"I'm loving it. I'm loving all the tropical plants," she said. "We can come here and chill out." (AP)
March 29, 2007

Roger Williams Park Botanical Center

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

‘North By Northeast’ Exhibit Delivers 500 Years Of New England Maps

Deerfield, Mass.:Historic Deerfield will kick off its 55th season with its first exhibition to focus on maps, titled "North by Northeast: Five Centuries of New England Maps," opening Saturday, March 31. Visitors will gain access to a world-class collection of antique maps and mapmaking equipment spanning the period 1540 to 1918, including 19 important maps on loan from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The show will be on view in the Flynt Center of Early New England Life to August 12.

"Every map tells a story," said David Bosse, Historic Deerfield's librarian and guest curator of the exhibition. "A goal of the exhibition is to provide greater awareness of the biases and perspectives found in most maps, since they are always a product of their time — embodying the political, cultural and economic views of their makers."

The name "New England" was first applied to the region by Captain John Smith in his cornerstone map originally published in A Description of New England (London, 1616). While Smith's may be the most significant map in the exhibition, other cartographic highlights include the so-called "beaver map" by Herman Moll (London, 1735), a rare American map of the seat of war near Boston published during the American Revolution and a unique proof copy of Edward Hitchcock's 1834 geological map of Massachusetts — the first published for any American state.
In addition to approximately 50 printed and manuscript maps, "North by Northeast" will also offer portraits, surveyors' compasses, globes, reverse paintings on glass, powder horns, landscape views, printed diagrams and an orrery — a mechanical device used to illustrate the orbit of the earth and the moon.

"The exhibition is organized around eight themes, including mapmaking and map production," said Bosse. "This allows us to include some very interesting objects in addition to the maps themselves. The other themes include defining New England; geographical literacy and learning; the politics of cartography; thematic and special purpose maps; the manmade landscape; cartography and conflict; and the elements of style: design and iconography."
"The exhibition provides the opportunity to focus programs on maps and mapmaking," said Amanda Rivera Lopez, director of museum education at Historic Deerfield. "On weekends in April and during school vacation week, families will discover hands-on activities related to the use and creation of maps."

"North by Northeast" draws on the cartographic collections of several institutions. These include the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections, Connecticut Historical Society Library, Harvard Map Collection of Harvard University, Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at Boston Public Library, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association Library, Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College, the Hatfield Historical Society, private collections and Historic Deerfield.
For information, 413-775-7214 or .

Friday, January 26, 2007



Jan. 19, 2007 — NOAA is evaluating Quonset Point/Davisville, R.I., as the future homeport of the Okeanos Explorer—the nation’s first federal ship dedicated solely to ocean exploration—as part of an environmental assessment to be completed this spring.

“Okeanos Explorer will break the mold for the way the nation conducts at-sea research in the future. We have better maps of Mars and the far side of the moon than of the deep and remote regions of Earth,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “Senator Reed and Governor Carcieri have been outspoken champions of the oceans. Their support combined with the wealth of academic and oceanographic institutions in New England would lead to many exciting collaborations in ocean exploration.

The Okeanos Explorer is a former Navy surveillance ship (USS Capable) that was transferred to NOAA in 2004 with the bipartisan support of Congress. The full conversion is expected to be complete in the spring of 2008. The ship will conduct research and discovery expeditions in support of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration. Using sophisticated ocean mapping, deepwater remote-operated vehicles, and real-time data transmission, the ship will unlock clues to the world’s oceans—of which 95 percent remains unexplored.

Quonset Point/Davisville is in close proximity to many labs and universities associated with the ship’s ocean exploration mission. The site was identified as best able to facilitate and enhance critical ocean research partnerships and to spur technological innovation in ocean research. Homeporting Okeanos Explorer at Quonset Point/Davisville also would support NOAA’s efforts to increase regional collaboration, leverage existing resources of NOAA and its partners, and generate an observational capacity greater than the sum of its parts.

Quonset Point/Davisville also is in close proximity to a new telecommunications center to be constructed on the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett campus. Called the Inner Space Center, it will be the ocean equivalent to NASA’s space command center in Houston, Texas. The Inner Space Center would be able to link to Okeanos Explorer via a high bandwidth satellite system and make it possible for scientists and educators to participate in ocean exploration cruises real-time without ever stepping foot on the ship.

“I am pleased NOAA has identified Quonset Point/Davisville as an ideal place to homeport Okeanos Explorer. This is an exciting announcement for Rhode Island and the field of ocean exploration,” said Senator Jack Reed. “Rhode Islanders value the ocean. It shapes our culture, economy and the health of our planet. URI and other local institutions are at the forefront of studying and exploring our oceans. Their unique academic and communications resources will significantly enhance the value of Okeanos.”

"I'm very pleased that NOAA has agreed to seriously consider basing the Okeanos Explorer in the Ocean State," Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri said. "I have long argued that Rhode Island can and should be one of America's leading centers of oceanic research. To further that goal, I worked with Senator Reed and Admiral Lautenbacher to bring the Okeanos Explorer to Rhode Island. Doing so will enable our state to build on the research capacity we've already developed at URI, while also exploiting the potential of Quonset Point/Davisville as a launching point for exploring the ocean's untapped and largely unknown resources. I especially want to thank NOAA and Admiral Lautenbacher for recognizing Rhode Island's potential."

“It would be very fitting for the Ocean State to serve as the homeport for the first NOAA ship focused exclusively on ocean exploration,” said Rear Admiral Samuel P. De Bow Jr., director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which manages the NOAA fleet.

A team of oceanographers from across the country are already helping to plan the ship’s first voyage of exploration that will be launched from Hawaii in 2008 to explore the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest and least explored ocean.

As part of the NOAA fleet, Okeanos Explorer will be operated, managed and maintained by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. Its crew will consist of technical specialists, wage mariners, scientists, and commissioned officers of the NOAA Corps—the nation’s seventh uniformed service. The Corps is composed of scientists and engineers who provide NOAA with an important blend of operational, management and technical skills that support the agency’s environmental programs at sea, in the air and ashore. A NOAA Corps officer will command Okeanos Explorer.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

Relevant Web SitesOkeanos Explorer Conversion

NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps

Media Contact:Jeanne Kouhestani, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, (301) 713-7693