Healthy City Fall River
Update - April 22, 2011

Click here for a pdf copy of the 
Spring 2011 CONNECTION Newsletter


The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth brought over two hundred community leaders, faculty, and students together on April 14, 2011, at the Woodland Commons to strengthen the social fabric of Southcoast communities. Organized by the Center for Civic Engagement at UMD, the summit included a keynote address by Alan Khazei, Founder and CEO of Be the Change, Inc. Following a panel discussion and lunch, ten groups gathered to discuss a range of topics including Arts and Engagement, College Access, Cities of Service, Green Citizenship, Literacy and Engagement, Qualities of Good Partnerships, and Service-learning (K-6), Social Capital, Volunteer generation and retention, and Youth Leadership and City Year. Click here for the Herald News article. Click here for a one-hour video of the event and here for more photos and text.
Mayor William Flanagan hosted a Mayoral Roundtable Discussion on Homeless Services in the City on April 19, 2011 to discuss the system of medical and human services in place to assist homeless persons and persons at risk for homelessness. Convened by Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator Perry Long, the meeting brought together representatives of the First Step Inn, the HealthFirst Family Care Center, the Mayor's Task Force to End Homelessness, the Community Development Agency, the Community Resilience and Recovery Initiative (CRRI) and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources. The discussion helped to clarify the system that is currently in place and elicited ideas for improvement. Among a number of ideas expressed was the potential for expanding the Homeless Connect project to provide more opportunities for homeless individuals and families to access services in a "one stop shopping" setting. Click here for more photos and text.
Project leader Pat Bebo of the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program led an interactive session with representatives of local health and human service agencies in Fall River and New Bedford on April 12, 2011 in the classroom at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR). The purpose of the session was to help participants think more critically about the purpose of serving food at agency events for both children and adults. "We tend to think of food separately from the performance of the meeting," states Bebo who made a number of suggestions about how to "change the paradigm" by using these events to introduce people to more nutritious foods rather than serving what's simply expected. Click here for a complete video of the hour-long meeting and here for more photos and text describing the meeting.
The Trustees of Reservations Education Coordinator Linton Harrington led a group on a heart-healthy walk on April 16, 2011 through the Copicut Woods to one of the few remaining stands of cedar trees to plant a dozen new trees. Prized for its lightweight, decay-resistant wood, the Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) was once a common tree in our region but is now quite rare. Because fires are not permitted in the area, few areas receive the sunlight needed to start new saplings. Foresters have cleared an area of red maple trees to give newly-planted trees a chance to grow into mature cedar trees. Click here for the video of the event. Click here for photos of a 2005 Cedar Swamp Walk. Copicut Woods is part of the Southeastern Massachusetts Bioreserve, an area of preserved forest large enough to sustain the native biodiversity of this region. Click here for more photos.
A small group o Fall River Fitness Challenge participants gathered on Saturday morning, April 17th For the eighth Challenge event of the 2011 series. Participants left from Community Development Recreation (CD-REC) headquarters on Bank Street and then headed down to Battleship Cove. From there, the group walked and ran to Bicentennial Park, headed up the Seven Hills to Highland Avenue and then down Rock Street before returning to CD-REC by Bedford Street. Sponsored by the Diabetes Association, Inc. (DAI), CD-REC, the Fall River YMCA, General Fitness and Healthy City Fall River, and supported by grants from the United Way of Greater Fall River and Partners for a Healthier Community, the Challenge offers low cost opportunities to get fit. Click here for the video of the event and here for more photos and text.
YEAH! (Youth Experiencing Artistic Hope), which originated out of the Mission-Vision Committee of the B.O.L.D. (Building Our Lives Drug-free) Coalition, received a grant from the Local Cultural Council Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council to sponsor art classes for students of the Resiliency Preparatory School. The grant pays local artists to work with students several hours a day to inspire and teach them a variety of artistic techniques. "These kids really get into it,' stated Vania Noverca-Viveiros, a local artist connected with the Fall River Art Association. Click here for a one-minute video of the class. YEAH! has sponsored a number of other projects, including a Found Art project, a 2009 Launch Party, and a breakfast fundraiser held at the Eagle Performing Arts Center. Click here for more photos of the art class. 
The Copicut Neighborhood Association, the newest neighborhood association, representing the area of the Copicut Reservoir and the reservation, met for the second time at the home of Linda Buchanan and Kendrick Dias on Copicut Road. Those in attendance included Mayor William Flanagan, Police Chief Daniel Racine, Building Inspector Joseph Biszko, Director of Community Maintenance Kenneth Pacheco, Water Department director John Friar, city forester Michael Labossierre, neighborhood coordinator Perry Long and city administrator Sean Cadime. Neighborhood Association president and Copicut Road resident Sara Riley, presided over the meeting. Open access to the reservoir for passive recreation, fixing potholes, and the condition of nearby dirt roads fueled discussion on the idea of gating portions of some of those isolated problem roads by Mr. Friar. Click here for the video of the meeting and here for more photos.

Mayor Will Flanagan and Fall River City Councilors Ray Mitchell and Eric Poulin announced an initiative to crack down on litter and enhance the Fall River Police Department's enforcement of litter laws at a press conference in the Fall River Government Center lobby on April 11, 2011. The announcement was in response to numerous complaints of littering throughout the city, including complaints of trash dumping in the Copicut Woods section of the City. The Mayor proposed that fines for littering be increased from $100 to $300 per violation, the maximum allowed under current state law for non-criminal penalties. Click here for the video of the announcement and here for more photos and text.

Mayor Will Flanagan announced April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month in a news conference at Government Center on April 11, 2011. The Proclamation called for people to weal teal ribbon pins throughout the month and to participate in "Wear Denim Day" on April 27th to continue awareness throughout the month. It was reported that in Bristol County 800 to 1,000 cases of sexual abuse are reported annually. These numbers continue to go up even as the national numbers are declining. The Women's Center, United Neighbors of Fall River, the Bristol County Child Advocacy Center and the Bristol County District Attorney’s office are working together to increase public awareness of the issue and to improve local resources designed to reduce the problem.   Click here for the Herald News article. Click here for more photos and text describing the event.

The  junior class of B.M.C. Durfee High School participated in the second annual Fall River Credit for Life Fair on April 7, 2011 in the school gymnasium. The three-hour event provided students with a highly interactive financial literacy experience, placing them in the position of 25-year-old adults in charge of making their own purchase and daily living decisions. The fair makes students aware of adult daily expenses, including housing, insurance, transportation and saving for retirement. B.M.C. Durfee guidance director Aimee Bronhard and Citizens-Union Savings Bank V-P of Marketing Monica Curhan organized the morning activity. The event is made possible by numerous volunteers from the community, as well as many sponsors. Click here for a video of the event and here for more photos.
Mayor Will Flanagan announced a series of improvements to the City's parks on a windy April 6, 2011 afternoon in the Jose Silva Memorial Park on Locust Street. The park, at the corner of Locust and North Quarry streets, will open June 1 as a playground where dogs can run leash-free. Other parks slated for improvements include Pulaski Park where a new playground will be installed, Kennedy Park where basketball courts will be repaired, Ruggles Park where new playground equipment will be installed, and Maplewood Park where sidewalks, driveways and playgrounds will be repaired. Fall River Park Advocate coordinator Sandy Dennis also announced that the second annual citywide parks cleanup day is scheduled for April 30. Volunteers are needed to help at all city parks. Click here for the Herald News article. Click here for more photos and text. 
Members of the B.M.C. Durfee High School Peaceful Coalition and their advisors put on a student assembly during Violence Prevention Week on March 24, 2011. During the high school’s last two periods, the event kicked off with the unveiling of a Peace Pole that Peaceful Coalition painted for Durfee High School. The performance featured Peaceful Coalition’s public service announcement from Fall River Community TV, the United Neighbors’ community video, a violence prevention panel, true stories of violence live from Peaceful Coalition members, an original rap, and cultural dance presentations. The event was an outstanding assembly that celebrated peace, our similarities, and our differences. Click here for photos of the Coalition meeting with U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. Click here for photos of a Coalition session with the Fall River Police. Click here for photos of a recent teamwork exercise. Click here for more


 Click here to learn more about Groundwork USA

Click here to see pictures of a recent meeting in New Bedford
RSVP:  Call Julianne Kelly, Coordinator Mass in Motion-Fall River , at 508-324-2405 or email at to confirm your attendance.

Mayor Will Flanagan invites you to join him or to send a representative to an important meeting to hear about Groundwork USA and explore the idea of creating a Groundwork South Coast .

 Wednesday, April 27 at 12:00 Noon


The meeting will take place at the Thomas Chew Boys and Girls Club, 803 Bedford St. , Fall River

You will have the opportunity to hear about the formation, growth and accomplishments of Groundwork Lawrence and Groundwork Providence.


Keynote Speaker
Rajiv Kumar
Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Shape Up the Nation

Second Annual Southcoast Worksite Health & Wellness Conference

Worksite Wellness:
The Future is Now!

Friday, May 6, 2011, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 Noon

"Using Social Networks to Engage Employees in Health"

Plus a Provider panel on
Motivating employees toward healthier lifestyles

And mini-workshops on worksite fitness and nutrition!

Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center
151 Martine St., Fall River, MA
$35 Registration includes Continental Breakfast!

Go to
for complete information and to register

Click here for a conference pdf flyer



Click this link to check out the new
Healthy Nutrition Video Web Page

with links to 17 on-line videos, all on one page!

Join Pat Bebo of the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program and Chef Bill Walker of Durfee High School culinary arts as they show you how to set up a basic pantry of cooking ingredients and how to prepare simple but nutritious and low-cost meals in six on-line videos.

Listen to Saint Anne's Hospital's pediatric dietitian Kathleen Bucklin, RD as she speaks on “Weigh Well: the ABCs of  Children's Weight Management”, a six-part series that helps parents encourage better nutrition for their children.

Learn from certified diabetes educator Rose Marie Couto, RN, CDE of Saint Anne's Hospital as she talks about the prevention and management of pre-diabetes and diabetes in a five-part series.


Healthy City Fall River Update is sent to over 500 participants in Healthy City Fall River, a partnership between the City of Fall River and Partners for a Healthier Community with a mission to improve the health status of all those who live or work in the City of Fall River. For further information about Healthy City Fall River, go to To see all of the web pages describing Healthy City activities, go to In order to send announcements of Healthy City events or to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, contact the Coordinator at Agencies: please add this e-mail address or our fax number (508-324-2429) to your standard media notification list so we can cover your event on the Healthy City Update.