SNA 2014 Candidate Forums

Summit Neighborhood Association is pleased to announce our 2014 Candidate Forums for the upcoming primary elections!

This election season we will be presenting two evenings of candidate forums featuring the following primary races:

Tuesday, July 22
Providence Mayoral & Rhode Island State Representative

Wednesday, July 30
Rhode Island Gubernatorial

Both evenings will be held at Summit Commons from 7pm to 9pm. Summit Commons is located at 99 Hillside Avenue in Providence.

Come a few minutes early for refreshments and elbow-bumping. We hope to begin the program at 7pm sharp.

Building on our tradition of presenting candidate forums from a uniquely Summit-centric perspective, we ask that you submit your questions that you would like answered at the forums. Please do this ahead of time by emailing questions to SNAProv AT (Please indicate which set of candidates you would like your question presented to – Gubernatorial, Mayoral or RI State Rep.)

This is an opportunity to hear these candidates in a small-group setting and to get answers to the issues that matter to you specifically. We hope that you will join us and participate in these events!

Streets of Summit Photography Contest

Photograph your favorite spots in and around the Summit Neighborhood (including the Mount Hope neighborhood)

Sponsor: the Summit Neighborhood Association

Ground rules:

  • Maximum size: 16 x 20 inches;_ no minimum
  • Mounting on foamcore or mountboard – no frames, no mats, ready for hanging
  • Identification on sheet on back of photograph: Name of photographer, Title (with address of street/park/store/person photographed), e-mail address, phone number

Limit one submission per photographer

Judging: late June at Miriam Hospital

Cash prizes

Drop-off- June 16, 17, 18, at Camera Werks on 766 Hope Street, or at front desk of Miriam Hospital (directed to Monica Anderson)

‘Streets of Summit’ Photography Contest

Photograph your favorite spots in and around the Summit Neighborhood (including the Mount Hope neithborhood)

Sponsor: the  Summit Neighborhood Association

Ground rules: Maximum size: 16 x 20 inches; no minimum

Mounting on foamcore or mountboard – no frames, no mats, ready for hanging

Identification on sheet on back of photograph: Name of photographer, Title (with address of street/park/store/person photographed), e-mail address, phone number

Limit one submission per photographer

Judging: late June at Miriam Hospital

Cash prizes

Drop-off – June 16, 17, 18, at  Camera Werks on 766 Hope Street, or at front desk of Miriam Hospital (directed to Monica Anderson)

Neighbors, elected officials, candidates socialize at SNA’s annual meeting

Nearly 90 people gathered for social and political conversations on the evening of March 3 at the SNA annual meeting.

Held at The Highlands on the East Side, the event featured drinks and snacks with an opportunity for neighbors to socialize with neighbors plus their elected representatives and candidates for office.

House Speaker Gordon Fox, Sen. Gayle Goldin and City Councilman Kevin Jackson were all present as were mayoral candidates Lorne Adrain, Jorge Elorza, Daniel Harrop, Brett Smiley and Michael Solomon, plus gubernatorial hopeful Clay Pell and R.I. Senate candidate Chris Wall.  Representing the Providence Police were Capt. George Stamatakos and Lt. John Ryan.

Members of SNA plus other Summit residents were able to meet with the invited guests face to face to discuss state, neighborhood and individual issues. Many participants praised the rare chance for such personal exchanges.

After SNA President Dean Weinberg introduced Highlands Executive Director Valerie Houshar, who welcomed everyone, he presented a short summary of the organization’s achievements in the past year and a survey of projects for the coming year. Then board of directors member Tom Schmeling presided over the election of the 2014 governing body.

Approved by unanimous voice vote were Weinberg as president, Kerry Kohring as vice president, Anneliese Greenier as treasurer and Schmeling as secretary. New members Vishal Jain, Michael McGlynn, Lee Pichette and Sharon Waldman joined incumbents Jim Barfoot, Sierra Barter, Chris Bull, Joan Retsinas, Daren Bulley, Grant Dulgarian, Daniel MacLellan, Britt Page, Sheila Perlow, Mary Ann Rossoni and Peter Sandby-Thomas.

The rest of the evening was dedicated to one-on-one discussions and getting-to-know-you conversations while enjoying wine and beer provided by Campus Fine Wines, coffee by New Harvest Coffee Roasters, olive-oil tasting by Olive del Mondo, pizza by SNA and desserts from the Highlands own kitchen. There were also free massages by Harmony on Hope.

With the annual meeting concluded on a social note, SNA is planning more formal candidate presentations for future dates.

Councilman Kevin Jackson and a constituent discuss issues.

Mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop presents his case.

Summit residents sit with Senate candidate Chris Wall as mayoral hopeful Michael Solomon, right background, listens to ideas.

Cranberries bring out crowd at annual cook-off competition and party

Participants sample cranberry-based treats at Stock Culinary Goods on Hope Street during SNA's third annual cook-off.

About 40 people braved a beautiful night Oct. 29 for SNA’s third annual cook-off competition and neighborhood party.

Contrary to the last two years, there was no pouring rain or driving snow at the event, which was held in Stock Culinary Goods on Hope Street.

Cranberries were the unifying ingredient. There were seven entries judged by a panel of local experts, plus a People’s Choice and Halloween costume awards voted on by participants. In addition, there was wine tasting provided by Swan Liquors and olive oil tasting by Olive del Mondo, also Hope Street merchants.

The judges, Jan Faust Dane of Stock, Salvatore Fuccillo of Olive del Mondo and Denise Kammerer of The Sandwich Hut on North Main Street, awarded three prizes: First, to Sandy Kohring for cranberry rollup cookies, a gift certificate to Stock; Second, to Gailia Rutan for cranberry swirl cake, a certificate to Olive del Mondo; Third, to Lizzi Weinberg for cranberry coffee cake, a certificate to Swan.

The People’s Choice award, a gift certificate to Sandwich Hut, went to Anisa Raoof and her sons Dylan and Ethan Itkin for cranberry granola with yogurt. The best costume award, a certificate to Seven Stars bakery, went to three-year-old Bonnie Arrigo, dressed as an owl.

The winning recipes are below.

SNA President Dean Weinberg thanked members Sarah and Anthony Arrigo for organizing the event and encouraged everyone to trick or treat on Hope Street during business hours Thursday, Oct. 31 and to join the Hope Street Holiday Stroll Thursday, Dec. 6, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The evening ended with people lingering to finish off the competition offerings, sip wine or cider and browse the store’s wares. Plans are already afoot to determine next year’s ingredient.


The 3rd Annual Summit Cook-Off

Announcing the 3rd Annual Summit Cook-Off event, featuring Special Guest Secret Ingredient……….CRANBERRIES!

When: Tuesday, October 29, 6:30pm

Where: Stock Culinary Goods, 756 Hope Street

How: Make a cranberry dish, dress the kid in a Halloween costume, and bring em both with you!

Come one, come all, and enter to win one of several prizes for best dishes at this year’s premier cooking competition held in your very own Summit Neighborhood!

The rules are simple: Cook a dish that utilizes the special ingredient of Cranberries and bring it down to Stock Culinary Goods (756 Hope St) on Tuesday, October 29 at 6:30pm.

We will have a panel of “celebrity” judges to award prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd Places.  Also, everyone gets a vote toward the People’s Choice Award, as well as Best Halloween Costume for the kiddies!

Prizes are gift certificates to local Hope Street shops!

Dust off the autumn cookbook and get going on a costume for the little ones, and come enter!

See you there!

Annual yard sale attracts throng

Buyers sort through the offerings in the yard of the Church of the Redeemer.

The SNA-sponsored yard sale this year drew scores of people, with some participants showing up two hours before the opening bell.

The front and side yards of the Church of the Redeemer on Hope Street accommodated at least 24 registered sellers of everything from small household items to baby strollers, boat paddles and clothes. Dozens of buyers made their way through the tables, most of which were provided by SNA for a $5 fee above the $15 space-reservation cost. A few sellers brought their own display platforms for the sale, which ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

One participant said that although she had not yet counted up her total sales this year, she made about $600 last year. Satisfied buyers were seen lugging armloads of discoveries to waiting vehicles.

Father Patrick Campbell of the host church mingled with the crowd and a member of his congregation had set up a computer slide show of events at the church over the last year. They both said they welcomed the opportunity to socialize with their neighbors.

Missing this year was any musical accompaniment, but organizers said they would make every effort to remedy that for next year.

Music festival blows crowd away

By Anthony Arrigo
SNA contributing writer

Bright sunshine, mobs of dancing people, faerie and bee costumes, hula hoops, bubbles, graffiti art, rows of vendors, lines at food trucks five people deep, the mayor, a half-century anniversary party, and, oh yeah, six straight hours of great music, all of which marked this year’s Summit Music Festival Aug. 24 in Lippitt Park as the best one yet in its four-year tenure.

The Extraordinary Rendition Band officially kicked off the day with an animated “When the Saints Go Marching In” procession from the Hope Street Farmer’s Market to the festival’s main stage. They would come back later for a full set on the grass in front of the stage.

Local band Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes then treated the crowd to a preview of the kind of musical day it was going to be with their keyboard-led, hip-shaking alt-rock that had the neighborhood streaming into the park.

Fifteen-year-old Emeline Easton, of Providence, followed, and although it was just her with an acoustic guitar on the large stage, she captivated the audience with her strong-voiced Joni Mitchell-like original songs and singer-songwriter covers. A mark of things to come for young Easton, she transfixed the outdoor crowd with singing that evoked the intimacy of a Soho coffee shop. In a tender moment at the conclusion of her first tune, the resounding roar that leapt from the crowd took Easton aback and left her giggling humbly as she soaked in the cheers.

Nationally known, Brooklyn-based, Marco Benevento soon got the listeners back on their feet. Identifiable by his melding of samples, real-time loops and ragtime-sounding upright piano, Benevento’s stage setup spans decades of technology with his Mac laptop, guitar pedals and electronic keyboard sitting atop a truncated 1920s Gibbs piano originally made for entertaining on train cars.

A strong contingent of 20- and 30-somethings who came out just to see Benevento’s set were quickly up in front, digging every sample and syncopated minor chord. Likely unaware of his signature “TigerFace,” however, the stage was swarmed with giddy, cell phone-wielding, middle-aged parents when Benevento took the giant fuzzy tiger face down off the side of the piano and onto his head during an extended jam in which each member donned the costume piece, eliciting laughs from the crowd and lots of bobbing heads lost in the music of the funky ensemble. Benevento finished up the set with his catchy “Limbs of a Pine” (the tiger head prop also appears in the music video on YouTube) and a song titled simply “RISD,” which was, according to him, written during a sound check at a Rhode Island School of Design gig and “just stuck, because it works.”

The Sugar Honey Iced Tea gave the crowd a short breather with their bluegrass-styled harmonies and instrumentation while the headlining act, The Stooges Brass Band, from New Orleans, was getting set to take the stage. Once again people were up and dancing as the Stooges’ brand of traditional New Orleans brass music infused with humor and rock and hip-hop infected grooves moved even the most genteel East Siders in attendance. The Stooges’ single “Wind It Up” and a cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” highlighted an energetic set that continued right up until the city Parks Department literally pulled the plug on the power at 6:25 p.m.

But music wasn’t the only thing happening. In addition to the craft vendors and food trucks that you’ll find at nearly every event in Providence, the Trinity Brewhouse ran a beer garden that was shoulder-to-shoulder with happy revelers all day long. There were activity tables for children, as well as a body-painting artist. The Avenue Concept, a nonprofit organization that fosters public art opportunities, set up an art wall for anyone to use, an attraction so popular with kids and parents alike that the paint ran out.

And to top it all off, The Sandwich Hut had a tent set up for their 50th anniversary party. Dean Weinberg, president of the Summit Neighborhood Association, arranged for a surprise appearance by Mayor Angel Taveras to give the restaurant an official commemorative citation in recognition of five decades of business and community service on the East Side.

It was a great day in the park, and the only question left now for the SNA is how they’re going to top it next year.

Easter Egg Hunt

The Summit Neighborhood Association is excited to sponsor its first ever Easter Egg hunt on Saturday, March 30th in Lippitt Park. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and egg hunting starts at 10:00 a.m. Cost is $5 and proceeds go to the Neighborhood Association.

The event includes raffles, food vendors, face painting, prizes and toys for the kids, and of course… egg hunting! Our special guest for the event is Ms Rhode Island United States, Cara Lustig.

SNA Easter Egg Hunt Flyer

Annual meeting elects larger board, discusses future of neighborhood, city

The members of the Summit Neighborhood Association, at their annual meeting Monday evening, elected an expanded board of directors, heard reports from elected officials and participated in a wide-ranging discussion of the future of the neighborhood, the city and the state.

Re-elected at the gathering in Summit Commons on Hillside Avenue were directors Dean Weinberg as president, Jesse Polhemus as vice president and Harriet Hemphill as treasurer. Elected as secretary was board member Thomas Schmeling. Also re-elected were Anthony Arrigo, Grant Dulgarian, Howie Gladstone, Claude Goldman, Kerry Kohring, Daniel MacLellan, Britt Page, Sheila Perlow, Mary Ann Rossoni and Peter Sandby-Thomas.

Newcomers approved as a slate were Sierra Barter, Chris Bull, Daren Bulley, Colin Carlton, Martha Fraenkel, Anneliese Greenier, Volkan Gural and Joan Retsinas. Nominated from the floor and elected were Jim Barfoot and Jamal Carvalho.

Providence Mayor Angel Taveres reported that the city is working on improving snow removal, is preparing for a street-repaving project in the spring and is starting on Hope Street with a new city-wide program of recycling for businesses.

Speaker of the House Rep. Gordon Fox said his promise to get a vote on a marriage-equality bill has been fulfilled and that he is continuing to work on economic health in education and housing, transparency in government and gun safety.