Archive for May, 2009
May 31st, 2009 by billfarrell
Sun, 31 May 2009 17:07:47OVERVIEW
TRADITION HAS IT THAT on a late October’s day in 1884, Commodore Stephen B. Luce, USN, was rowed from the flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron anchored off Newport to Coasters Harbor Island two miles north of the center of Newport, a site designated earlier that month by the Secretary of the Navy for a new kind of college. Once on the island, Luce proceeded to a large stone building, the former Newport Asylum for the Poor, climbed its rickety stairs, and as he opened the front door solemnly announced to his few companions and the empty grounds, “Poor little poorhouse, I christen thee United States Naval War College.”
Today the “little poorhouse” is a well preserved and stately structure, a National Historic Landmark and home to the Naval War College Museum. Named Founders Hall in honor of the founding fathers of the College, it is uniquely suited for its current purpose. In addition to being the original site of the College, it is where Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, USN, second president (1886-1889) and subsequently a renowned naval historian, first delivered his lectures on sea power—lectures which were first published in 1890 as the epochal The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783.
COLLECTION and EXHIBIT THEMES
The Museum’s themes are the history of naval warfare, particularly as studied at the College, and the naval heritage of Narragansett Bay—a tale that begins with the nation’s colonial roots. Its collection consists of items relating to these subjects that are perceived to be of value to scholarship, and it forms the core for exhibits throughout the College and for educational outreach projects. Besides permanent exhibits on the College, the genesis of the Navy in the region, and the evolution of permanent naval installations from the late nineteenth century to the present, the Museum features short-term special exhibits relating to College curriculum and to current naval-related topics. In general, Museum exhibits identify milestones in the evolutionary development of war at sea; explain the significance of the sea as a factor in the formulation and the attainment of national policy objectives; describe the character, educational philosophy, and mission of the College; and chronicle the eventful relationship of the U.S. Navy with Narragansett Bay and its people.
While the Museum is primarily for the education and the edification of the Naval War College community, it is in a larger sense the corporate memory of the Navy in the region, and it serves as a clearinghouse for naval history information in New England. The Museum Director, a subjects-area specialist, and staff answer inquiries, provide guidance and orientation talks to visitors on regional naval history and current exhibits, and assist scholarly researchers in the use of the Museum holdings. You may also access the U.S. Navy 20th Century Ships History Database, available on a kiosk at the museum.
The Museum is open to the public 10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Mondays through Fridays throughout the year, and 12 noon-4:30 P.M. on weekends during June through September. It is closed on holidays. Public access to the Museum with personal vehicle is through Gate 1 of U.S. Naval Station, Newport. Tours and school buses enter through Gate 10 of the Naval Station. For reservations please call (401) 841-4052 at least one working day in advance. Reservations and photo identification are necessary for entry onto the Naval Station. Visitors must stop at the Pass Office before proceeding to Gate 1.
Facilities for the handicapped are available, as is a gift shop operated by the Naval War College Foundation (which partially funds Museum operations). Further information on exhibits and special events is available by writing to: Director, Naval War College Museum, Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841-1207, or telephone (401) 841-4052/2101 (DSN 948-4052/2101). Fax (401) 841-7074 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
May 15th, 2009 by billfarrell
Fri, 15 May 2009 20:00:09May 14, 2009
By Denise Perreault
PBN Staff Writer
NEWPORT – Thanks in large part to state and federal tax credits, the 1831 Aquidneck Mill once again is a functioning center of commerce along the waterfront, housing a visitors center and maritime library for the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS), as well as 10 private businesses, most related to the marine industry.
The IYRS on Thursday morning held an outdoor ceremony, attended by about 100 people, to formally cut the ribbon of the refurbished four-story mill on lower Thames Street. The nonprofit IYRS was in charge of the nearly two-year project to restore the mill, which had been vacant for many years and is located adjacent to the school.
“This is a story of historic preservation and economic development working in tandem,” Terry Nathan, president of the IYRS, told the gathering. With support from neighbors, the community and various funding groups, as well as the benefits of the tax credits, some 40 people now work at the mill, including IYRS employees Nathan said.
The mill, one of only two surviving in Newport, was built between the Revolutionary era and the Gilded Age, when the city “wasn’t sure what it was going to be” and officials thought the city might become a mill center similar to Fall River, according to Edward Sanderson, executive director of the R.I. Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission. Sanderson and his organization oversaw the historic aspects of the project.
The mill cost about $40,000 to build in the 1830s, Sanderson said, with its granite quarried from nearby Jamestown. During the 19th century it produced cotton textiles, but by the early 20th century the building had become an electricity-generating plant that provided power to homes and street cars.
The nearly $4 million in combined state and federal historic preservation tax credits for the mill’s restoration are “what makes projects like this possible,” Sanderson said. “As Rhode Island struggles with its future, its past presents a pretty good example of what can be done. Good old buildings can be used for lots of things.”
With a largely brick exterior, the mill had all its windows replaced with “exact duplicates” of the original small-paned ones, Sanderson said. Inside, he noted, the mill is modern, with up-to-date facilities for the latest technology and energy efficiency. But, he said, “you can still tell it’s an old building.”
Most of the wide-planked wood floors are the originals, but some have been replaced due to deterioration caused in part by being so close to the ocean, according to John K. Grosvenor, principal of Newport Collaborative Architects, the architecture firm that worked on the project. White walls and white ceilings throughout provide a stark contrast to what look like hand-hewn wood floors, whether old or new. Window sills on the inside are deep and wide, a hallmark of 19th century mill structures.
“This space is wonderful,” said Harry Dunning of Dunning and Associates Yacht Design LLC, which moved its office from overseas in Spain to the Aquidneck Mill in January. Dunning, whose company does most of its work designing yachts for the America’s Cup races, has a corner office with windows overlooking the ocean on two sides, a clean, bright and airy space.
“It certainly is inspiring,” he said of the vista he can see from his desk. “Sometimes I need to lower the blinds because the sun is so strong, but I’m not complaining.”
“One of the best things” about Dunning’s new office, he said, are the people who work with him in the mill. “We have fantastic neighbors and great management,” he said.
Other businesses in the mill are: Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, The Gowrie Group, Hilltop Motors LLC, Jamestown Distributors, Nautor’s Swan, Newport Yacht Management, Wild Things Inc. and Worldways Social Marketing. The nonprofit Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund also is housed there.
From an architect’s point of view, Grosvenor said, the challenge of renovating the mill was to keep the historic aspects intact while retrofitting the structure for modern use. The tax credits, he said, were “really critical” to getting the project done and are what made the project feasible.
“Otherwise, the mill would have continued to deteriorate,” he said.
Grosvenor said he hopes the General Assembly and state officials “can a find a way to reconfigure” the tax credits so they can stay in place. The Aquidneck Mill received credits of approximately $2.25 million from the state and $1.5 million from the federal government, according to Grosvenor’s calculations.
Due to the state’s budget troubles, the General Assembly last year reduced the tax credit reimbursement rate for existing projects from 27.75 percent to 22 percent, and limited the credits only to those projects submitted before Jan. 1, 2008, effectively ending the program.
Additional information about the Aquidneck Mill Building restoration and International Yacht Restoration School is available at IYRS.org.
May 14th, 2009 by billfarrell
Thu, 14 May 2009 19:44:03
For Immediate Release – January 15, 2009
NINE-TIME GRAND SLAM SINGLES CHAMPION MONICA SELES ELECTED TO INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME
Gimeno, Dell and Johnson Join Seles for Induction this July
Tennis Legend Rod Laver To Be Honored During 2009 Induction Weekend
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND, USA – Christopher Clouser, Chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and Tony Trabert, Hall of Fame President, have announced the names of the newly elected members to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Leading the Induction Class of 2009 is ninetime Grand Slam Singles Champion and former World No.1 Monica Seles.
Joining Seles for Hall of Fame induction is one of Spain’s most prominent tennis players of the 1960s, Andres Gimeno, who has been elected in the Master Player category. In addition, elected in the Contributor category are Donald L. Dell, an industry pioneer and leader in sports marketing, professional sports management and sports television and founder of ProServ; and the late Dr. Robert "Whirlwind" Johnson, founder and director of the American Tennis Association (ATA) Junior Development Program, who worked tirelessly for decades assisting in the development of young African-American tennis players while helping to break the barriers of racial segregation.
"It is our great pleasure to welcome the newest members into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and to honor them for their brilliant careers and significant achievements in the sport of tennis," said Clouser.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009 Induction Ceremony is slated for Saturday, July 11 in Newport, Rhode Island, during the final weekend of the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships (July 6-12), an ATP World Tour event. The International Tennis Hall of Fame, inclusive of the Class of 2009, now honors 211 champions of tennis representing 18 different countries.
One of the all-time great champions of tennis, "Rocket" Rod Laver, will be in Newport for the Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend, July 10-12. The International Tennis Hall of Fame will honor Laver, naming him a Hall of Fame Life Trustee and will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Laver’s second career Grand Slam triumph. Laver, inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1981, is the only player in the history of tennis to capture two career Grand Slams -1962 and 1969.
Monica Seles, now 35, held the World No.1 ranking for 178 weeks (non-consecutive) and captured nine Grand Slam singles titles – four Australian (1991-1993,1996), three at Roland Garros (1990-1992) and two US Opens (1991-1992). Her win-loss record at the Grand Slams was a staggering 43-4 at the Australian, 54-8 at Roland Garros, 30-9 at Wimbledon and 53-10 at the US Open. In a career spanning 15 years, she captured 53 singles titles and six doubles titles and collected well over $14 million in prize money. She won three consecutive year-end WTA Championships (1990-1992) and finished as the world’s No.1 ranked player in both 1991 and 1992.
A natural lefty, wielding double-handed forehands and backhands, she was a determined competitor. Her footwork was impeccable, her groundstrokes powerful and aggressive, and she constantly attacked her opponents with an arsenal of remarkable weapons.
At age 19, Seles had already won eight of her nine singles slams and was at the top of her game. Then in April 1993, during a changeover of her quarterfinal match against Magdalena Maleeva in Hamburg, a fanatical fan of Steffi Graf came out of nowhere and stabbed her in the back, just below her left shoulder blade. The horror of this event sent shockwaves through the tennis community, and 27 months would pass before Seles played competitively again. When she returned to the courts, she was granted a coNo.1 ranking (shared with Steffi Graf) and won her comeback event at the Canadian Open, reached the US Open final, and followed up with her ninth Grand Slam singles championship at the Australian Open (1996).
Born December 2, 1973 in Novi Sad, in what was then Yugoslavia, she moved with her family to the United States in 1987 at the age of 13 to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. On March 16, 1994, she became a U.S. citizen. Seles would play on the United States Fed Cup team for five years (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002) posting a career 15-2 singles record and a 2-0 doubles record while helping the Americans capture the Cup in 1996, 1999 and 2000. .
Seles remains the youngest champion in history to win at Roland Garros (16 years, 6 months) and was the youngest winner of the Tour Championships (16 years, 11 months) beating Gabriela Sabatini in the first women’s match to extend to five sets since the 1901 U.S. National final. In addition, Seles won the Olympic bronze medal in 2000. Throughout her career, Seles won numerous awards, multiple Player and Athlete of the Year awards, and humanitarian awards. She is currently on the board of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and ICL (Institution for Civil Leadership).
Spain’s Master Player Andres Gimeno won the French Open in 1972 at the age of 34 years, 10 months, the oldest champion to grace the red clay at Roland Garros. In addition, he reached the final at the 1969 Australian Open; the semifinals at the 1968 French Open and at Wimbledon in 1970; and the quarterfinals at the 1958 Australian Championships, and the 1960 and 1969 French Championships. Gimeno captured seven singles titles and four doubles titles (in the Open era) and reached a career high ranking of No.9 in the world. As a member of Spain’s Davis Cup team 1958-60, 1972 and 1973, he posted a playing record of 23-10. As one of Spain’s premier amateur sportsmen, he became incredibly popular, as did the sport of tennis, and he became a national hero. In 1960, Gimeno signed on to the professional tennis tour staged by Jack Kramer and was an immediate sensation in the pro ranks finishing his first series second only to Pancho Gonzalez. Wielding a great overhead smash, strong volleys, a formidable forehand and with exceptional grace and balance, Gimeno’s career is highlighted in the sport’s amateur and professional periods, and then crossed into the Open era of tennis.
Donald L. Dell has spent his life in the forefront of the sport of tennis. As a player, he was a U.S. Davis Cup team member from 1961-64. As a non-playing captain of the 1968 and 1969 U.S. Davis Cup teams, he became the youngest U.S. captain and the first in 20 years to regain and successfully defend the Cup in consecutive years. He reached his highest U.S. singles ranking of No.4 in 1961, and made it to No.1 in doubles in 1962-63. Dell also represented the U.S. State Department on two world tennis tours (1961 and 1965) and was the first American in history to play competitive tennis in the Soviet Union (1961).
During the Open era, Dell’s business career took off as he dove into the sports marketing and management arena and became the first person to represent and manage the careers of tennis players, beginning with Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith. Players faced an uncertain future as tennis became a professional sport, and Dell persevered to develop future player opportunities, recognizing an athlete’s need for sound career management and the development of effective sports marketing programs. He is credited with having developed some of the most significant and long-lasting partnerships between sponsors and sports properties and he has negotiated over a billion dollars in sponsorships and endorsements.
In 1970, Dell’s own private law practice evolved into Professional Services Inc., (ProServ) which quickly assumed a leadership role in a new sports marketing industry and was the first-ever management company to represent tennis players. As Founder and Chairman, in 1999 ProServ was acquired by SFX as an integral part of its organization, and today, residing under the corporate umbrella of BEST – Blue Entertainment Sports Television – Dell currently oversees and advises many of the group’s global television properties, including the French Open, the US Open, the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, of which he is also a tournament founder, in addition to 20 ATP World Tour tennis telecasts. After the creation and success of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Dell gave the event to the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation and has assisted in raising over $15 million for children’s tennis programs in the DC area.
In 1972, along with tennis icon Jack Kramer, Dell founded the Association for Tennis Professionals as a players’ union and served as its first General Counsel for eight years. An.active philanthropist, Dell is the Vice Chairman and member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors and a member of both the USTA Public Relations Committee and the U.S. Davis Cup Selection Committee.
Dr. Robert "Whirlwind" Johnson (1899-1971) is considered the man most responsible for launching the careers of world tennis greats Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe, the nation’s first African-American tennis champions. During a time of racial separation, Johnson, through quiet diplomacy, was able to open the doors of tournament competition to young African-Americans barred from mainstream competition. He persevered, despite the racial barriers of that time, and through whispered entreaties and legal challenges he helped pave the way for minorities to gain entrance into tournaments and excel at the highest levels of the game. For more than 20 years, Johnson’s home in Lynchburg, Virginia became the destination for talented black tennis players to receive training and to participate in integrated tournaments and exhibitions with the likes of Pauline Betz Addie and Bobby Riggs. He provided food, equipment, financial support and guidance throughout their development.
Through the American Tennis Association (ATA), which was formed in 1916, Johnson created the ATA Junior Development Program. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sponsored, trained and nurtured hundreds of African-American juniors – and several white juniors – at his Lynchburg home, where he had a tennis court in his backyard. He initiated the integration of black tennis at the junior level, and ultimately at the highest levels of the game, working as coach, trainer, sponsor and fundraiser – and courageously approaching tournament directors and lobbying for his players’ full participation. He was also publisher of the ATA’s annual program, distributed at the national Championships, and his vehicle for informing the membership of the achievements of his junior players.
The names of Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe (both Hall of Famers) and their life achievements will long be remembered in the world of tennis; they were the African-American trailblazers and became champions of the sport through their discipline and perseverance. However it was Johnson’s vision and innovative groundwork that gave Gibson and Ashe – and all future black champions – the training ground and road map to succeed.
A panel of International Tennis Media voted on the Recent Player selectee, where a 75% favorable vote is required for induction. The International Masters Panel, which consists of Hall of Fame inductees and individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history, voted on the Master Player and Contributor selectees. To be inducted as a Master Player or a Contributor, an affirmative vote of 75% is required.
Hall of Fame Eligibility Criteria
Recent Player: Monica Seles
Active as a competitor in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP World Tour or Sony Ericsson WTA Tour within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.
Master Player: Andres Gimeno
Competitor in the sport who has been retired for at least 20 years prior to consideration; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship and character.
Contributors: Donald L. Dell and Dr. Robert Johnson (posthumously)
Exceptional contributions that have furthered the growth, reputation and character of the sport, in categories such as administration, media, coaching and officiating. Contributor candidates do not need to be retired from their activities related to the sport to be considered.
Establishment in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of tennis and its champions. Tickets for the 2009 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships are available online at tennisfame.com or by calling 866-914-FAME. For more information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, the Class of 2009 Induction Weekend, the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, please call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.
Director of Communications
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum 194 Bellevue Ave., Newport, RI 02840
p: 401-849-3990 f: 401-324-4055
May 13th, 2009 by billfarrell
Wed, 13 May 2009 13:45:47
by Bruce Burdett EastBayRI.com
NEWPORT — The International Yacht Restoration School of Newport marks the official opening of the newly restored 1831 Aquidneck Mill building with ceremonies this Thursday, May 14.
The event begins at the school’s 449 Thames Street campus at 11 a.m. Ceremonies will be followed by an open house that runs until 2 p.m. to allow time for visitors to tour the historic building which is one of only two surviving mills in Newport.
Built for textile manufacturing, the mill has been converted to provide space for expansion at IYRS, a maritime research library, the school’s new visitor center, and leased space for 12 companies.
“There are wonderfully layered benefits to this restored mill,” said Terry Nathan, president of IYRS. “It also satisfies the long-term mission of the school to preserve the entire historic campus, and what a beautiful improvement to the quality of life in this neighborhood. The entire mix of benefits is very gratifying.”
Newport Collaborative Architects served as architects of the $7.5 million project and construction was managed by Farrar & Associates of Newport.
Most tenants have involvement in the marine industry and the IYRS campus. One such company is Nautor Swan, builder of semi-custom, ocean-going yachts in Finland.
Other marine businesses now located at the mill include Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, Dunning & Associates naval architects, The Gowrie Group, Jamestown Distributors, and Newport Yacht Management. Additional tenants include Hilltop Motors, The Rhode Island Foundation Newport County Fund, Wild Things, and Worldways Social Marketing.
The upper bay sailing season gets going on Sunday, May 17, when the Barrington Yacht Club hosts the Prett Gladding Memorial Race at 11 a.m.
The pursuit race (staggered start) is a clockwise circumnavigation of Prudence Island from a start near the Ohio Ledge buoy. Like the end-of-season Bud Humphrey Race, it is a family-style, non-spinnaker competition.
The race is the first in the 2009 GMT Boat of the Year competition. For entry details, call the yacht club.
Kiley joins GMT
Jay Kiley has been named director of sales and marketing at GMT Composites, company President David Schwartz has announced.
Mr. Kiley has spent his entire career in the marine industry, including seven years selling superyacht rigging for both Global BSY Rigging Service and OYS Service. He has also run a ship chandelry, sold boats and managed marine finance divisions. He is an avid sailboat racer.
Mr. Kiley is married with two children, one of whom is now completing her first trans-Atlantic crossing under sail.
The great J-Class yachts of the 1930s, some of which were built at the Herreshoff company in Bristol, are staging something of a comeback many decades after America’s Cup contenders moved to smaller, more affordable boats.
Hanuman, the new replica of Endeavour II, was launched recently at the Royal Huisman yard in the Netherlands. In 1937 the original Endeavour II was built of steel at Camper & Nicholson’s yard in England for T.O.M. Sopwith to challenge for the America’s Cup against the defender Ranger.
Meanwhile, the aluminum hull of Atlantis is almost complete in Holland, and work is well along on Lionheart, also in Holland, for a spring 2010 launch.
They join the restored Shamrock V (often seen in Newport), Endeavor I and Velsheda, and replicas of Ranger, Enterprise and Rainbow.
May 12th, 2009 by billfarrell
Tue, 12 May 2009 21:59:37by Ernie Newton
A visit to Howard Newman’s blue-shingled historic home is marked by a dismal, rainy Monday afternoon. A converted garage, steps from his kitchen, contains the studio where he creates the majority of his works. Drops of water sprinkle gently from the sky and the artist adjusts his navy beret over his gray mop of hair, to shield his eyes from the foul weather. Newman sighs and mentions that in his younger days he was creating over 50 sculptures in a year. Even though the thick grey fog settles outside his door, Newman’s spirits are high and he exudes an aura of optimism.
Speaking with a pleasant smile across his face and glasses perched on his nose, his composure creates a sense of calm in the workroom. He scoots up onto a metal stool and rests his hands on his chest. Instinctively wise, even beyond his 65 years, Newman’s astute, yet comforting presence resembles that of a grandfather figure. His wealth of knowledge and success in the realm of art is extensive. Honored as a Fulbright Scholar, he was offered the opportunity to live with his wife in a fifteenth century farmhouse in Italy, where he further pursued his art. Currently the couple dedicates their time to the awe-inspiring restoration of Portsmouth Abbey. A culmination of such experiences has set the groundwork for his solid insight on the realities of life.
As one of Newport’s master artists, Newman’s expertise ranges from sculptures to paintings to restoration of fine metal and objects, to antique mechanisms. A review by Hilton Kramer of The New York Times, writes that Newman “is something of a phenomenon. His art has the look of something that was born fully matured. All sense of struggle, hesitation and indecision is effectively concealed in its sleek bronze forms … addresses the eye with an unashamed confidence and power-a sculpture secure in a timeless sensibility of its own.”
An assortment of machinery for his silversmith projects lines the walls of his workroom and various knick-knacks are scattered on the counter. “I am absolutely fascinated by materials,” Newman says as he sits back on his seat and dangles a tiny wire item in his fingers. Art requires an enormous amount of concentration. “Patience isn’t even something we talk about here,” Newman said. Despite the tedious work and great amount of labor, Newman most enjoys the problem solving aspect. In terms of working style, his designs are first drawn or modeled and then “things just come out of the fog.” Working through the issues to find a solution thrills him. “A lot of people see art as a social thing,” Newman said. “I do it for my own sensibilities.”
Many are surprised to learn that Newman did not always aspire to be an artist. Instead, he received a background education in architecture, cultural anthropology and classical literature from Miami University and had aspirations of becoming a lawyer after graduation. Wavering between career paths, he decided to take the Johnson O’Connor aptitude test in Boston, Mass. He chuckled while revealing the results, which indicated that he is a man that should be working independently in his garage.
Newman’s countless years of dedication to art have not gone unnoticed; he is both locally and nationally recognized. A critic from the Los Angeles Times said that Newman, “creates figures that combine the geometric precision of Cubism with the more rounded forms of Futurist sculpture.” In addition to the media buzz he has created over the years, museums such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Il Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasana, Italy, as well as others throughout the world, currently display his art. In fact, the Newport Art Museum is proud to have two of Newman’s sculptures situated on their lawn. One was acquired by the museum as a gift of Mrs. John Donnell in 2001 and the other is on loan from the artist. Nancy W. Grinnell, curator of the Museum said, “Howard Newman’s bold, modern bronze sculptures have anchored the grounds and entrances to the Newport Art Museum for over a decade and symbolize our commitment to high quality art of our region.”
In spite of Newman’s respected craftsmanship as a sculptor, he and his wife now fully invest their artistic abilities on long-term projects. He insists that everything he did his whole career all comes together in these larger restorations. For instance, currently they are helping spearhead a $4 million, year and a half restoration on Portsmouth Abbey. Newman expresses that “it has been quite an enormous project,” as indicated by the 20,000 feet of gold wire involved in the process. “Yes it has been a very long project, we are anticipating the finished product this upcoming month,” Newman’s wife said. When questioned about the main difference between his sculpture art and fine metal restoration Newman said, “Many people have a hard time with abstract art because there is no frame of reference involved.” Therefore, Newman has created a multimedia online presentation to create a tangible visual for viewers in understanding the Abbey’s incredible wire ceiling art.
Newman eloquently speaks about what he values in life as well as his understanding of the human experience. Enriching the mind with a solid education is key to shaping a person’s understanding of himself and the world around him. By embracing learning, inevitably vision and judgment become clearer. “When you stop learning, in a sense, you die,” Newman said. While hiring workers for his business, he and his wife first look for a liberal arts education on someone’s resume. The couple can teach someone to work with their hands, yet it is the mental training from an education that allows them to be better suited to adapt to any environment. Newmans Ltd. is a business that incorporates both mental and physical work, so it is helpful when people are multifaceted and open-minded.
An individual has the power to “choose how to spend every minute of their life” on Earth. Newman stresses that when making such decisions, people should keep in mind that “money has no value in ultimate terms.” Human beings don’t count money on their deathbed. Years slip by and old age can creep up on people, so avoid regret and experience all you can while vivacious and young. Regarding his own experience with the aging process, Newman points out that “retiring is a meaningless concept.” He thinks it seems boring and would much rather refer to it as simply “changing the proportion” of his lifestyle.
A piece of advice he offers artists and students alike who are about to graduate college during the current economic crisis, is to take advantage of Obama’s Peace Corps programs. After college Newman and his wife joined the Peace Corps. For several years, the newly weds lived in the jungles of Puerto Rico, where they learned survival skills in the wilderness. He said that after living in such conditions, there is nothing to fear in life. Joining one of these organizations is “the best thing you can do, it pays a stipend and changes your life.” Rather than heading directly into the relatively self- serving work force, Newman says people “need to expand what their idea is of a human being.”
May 10th, 2009 by billfarrell
Sun, 10 May 2009 15:34:26An Historic Perspective of Newport
The following text was graciously provided by the Newport Historical Society.
* Since its founding by English settlers in 1639, Newport has bustled with diversity. The policy of liberty of conscience and religion embodied in the Newport Town Statutes of 1641 was a result of the religious beliefs of its founders and their frustration over political intervention in their religious life in Boston. This policy was a beacon to settlers with wide-ranging religious beliefs, who came primarily from other colonies at first, and co-existed in the rapidly growing settlement, unaware that their towns religious diversity was a prototype of the America to come.
* The first English settlers arrived on Aquidneck Island in 1636 following a remarkable woman named Anne Hutchinson. She had been driven out of Boston for her religious beliefs which challenged the very foundations of Puritanism. She and her band of supporters followed the path taken by Roger Williams when he, too, was banished from Massachusetts for religious reasons. After consulting with Williams, her group purchased Aquidneck Island (later named Rhode Island) from the native Americans.
* What the English settlers found on their arrival was hardly an empty wilderness. Native people had been in the area for at least 5,000 years, and had established sophisticated land management and fishing practices. Current evidence points to the existence of a large summer settlement in what is now downtown Newport, and the work these native people had done clearing the land was one of the factors that made this area attractive to English settlers.
* Anne Hutchinson’s group settled at the northern end of the island in an area known as Pocasett. In just over a year, however, that settlement split in two. A group lead by William Coddington and Nicholas Easton moved south to form Newport in 1639.
* By the time they arrived in Newport, many of these settlers were becoming Baptists and were embracing a belief that was central for the Baptists of Europe at the time – the separation of church and state. These early settlers founded their new town on the basis of liberty of conscience and religion and Newport became one of the first secular democracies in the Atlantic world. The founder’s commitment to religious freedom had a profound impact on all aspects of the town’s subsequent history.
* Among the religious groups attracted to this haven in a world of threatening intolerance were Quakers and Jews. Together they transformed the town from a small agricultural outpost to one of colonial America’s five leading seaports. The Jews came in the 1650s. Their real contribution to cultural and economic life came in the 1750s. The Quakers also came to Newport in the late 1650s. The Society of Friends flourished and grew, and, by 1700, over half of Newport’s population was members of the Society of Friends. The Quakers became the most influential of Newport’s numerous early congregations and they dominated the political, social and economic life of the town into the 18th century. Their “plain style” of living was reflected in Newport’s architecture, decorative arts and early landscape.
* The Quakers neighborhood on Eastons Point was home to some of the most highly skilled craftsman in colonial America. Among the best known of these were the Townsend and Goddard families, who made extraordinarily fine and beautiful furniture.
* During the 17th century the cornerstones of Newport’s architectural heritage were laid. The buildings that survive from that period – the Old Stone Mill, the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House, and the White Horse Tavern – are part of Newport’s rich, architectural tapestry that also includes the great cottages along Bellevue Avenue.
* Trade and the export of rum, candles, fish, furniture, silver, and other value-added goods were the main engines of economic growth during the 18th century, activities inexorably linked to Newport’s participation in the slave trade and widespread ownership of slaves by families throughout the city.
* During this time the waterfront bustled with activity with over 150 separate wharves and hundreds of shops crowded along the harbor between Long Wharf and the southern end of the harbor. As Newport’s trade throughout the Atlantic basin grew, the city became an epicenter in the development of modern American capitalism.
* By the 1760s Newport had emerged as one of the five leading ports in colonial North America, along with Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston. The economic growth spurred a building boom which included hundreds of houses and many of the internationally important landmarks that survive today, such as Trinity Church, the Colony House, the Redwood Library, and the Brick Market (now home to the Museum of Newport History).
* Newport helped lead the way toward the American Revolution and independence. Because the city was such a well-known hot-bed of revolutionary fervor, and because of its long history of disdain for royal and parliamentary efforts to control its trade, the British occupied Newport from 1776 to 1779, and over half of the towns population fled. The British remained in Newport despite efforts to drive them out by patriot forces in partnership with the French for the first time in the Revolution. Eventually the British did withdraw and the French, under the leadership of Admiral deTiernay and General Rochambeau, began a sojourn in Newport that lasted until 1781 when they left Newport on their historic march to Yorktown to assist in the decisive victory there.
* Newport’s history is remarkable in many ways, but perhaps the most unique aspect is that so much of its history is still visible on the landscape in an unparalleled concentration of preserved architecture. Newport continues its commitment to liberty of conscience and religion and Newport’s resilience and creativity in meeting the economic changes that have overtaken it offer strong proof that diversity works in keeping the city alive and vibrant.
May 5th, 2009 by billfarrell
Tue, 05 May 2009 10:29:42
PORTSMOUTH, RI — Hunt Yachts is riding a good wave, despite a $40 billion decline in the U.S. marine industry.
The boat building firm in Melville launched its newest yacht Friday, a luxury 52-footer that comes complete with a 1,000-horsepower engine that can power the yacht up to 35 knots, cherry woodwork and trim, a bamboo interior deck, interior air conditioning and many extras sought by the buyer.
A unique feature of the yacht, called the Hunt 52, is a small garage at the aft boarding deck that houses a 20-horsepower Hunt dinghy.
Peter Van Lancker, president of Hunt Yachts, said the Hunt 52 features three things: high performance, maneuverability and lots of comfort. No two yachts are the same and each is built for a particular person or family.
“That’s what we specialize in,” he said earlier week. “We like it, the customers like it and that’s what’s important.
“We offer choices according to how you want to do your boating. Nobody else does that in the industry.”
The inside and outside deck of the Hunt 52 are on one level so that people are not separated during a party. The aft deck has a couch and table. The doors to the inside cabin are glass.
“It looks like you are going into Macy’s,” Van Lancker said.
Like all Hunt yachts, the new one features the deep-V hull designed about 60 years ago by C. Raymond Hunt Associates. The deep-V hull changed the industry when it was introduced, Van Lancker said.
“You can go faster and point the boat where you want to go, and there isn’t a wall of water in front of you,” he said of the hull. “What we do is put a recreational deck on a Hunt hull and make it look cool and fun to be on it.”
The yacht launched Friday — christened the Godspeed — is one of three Hunt 52s under contract. They were all built in Taiwan.
Van Lancker said the company was fortunate to find three individuals who were willing to help finance the boats before construction started and had faith in the company’s ability to build them.
“We essentially made a partnership with three customers,” he said. “They were involved in the development of their yacht from the beginning. It was a very personal experience for them and they had a lot of fun.”
The firm sent diagrams to the customers, answered their questions and helped them decide what to include in their yacht, he said.
“I was the production manager so I got to know all these people personally and became friends with them,” Van Lancker said. “I traveled to Taiwan with some of them.”
The personalized features aboard the Godspeed include an upgraded washer and dryer in the galley and a massive Niles stereo system. The headboard in the owner’s stateroom is situated so that the foot of the bed faces the bow.
Van Lancker said the boats were built in Taiwan because of the lower labor costs there.
“I can’t change reality, but the cost of labor in Taiwan is significantly less than it is here,” he said. “When you get something with this many man hours in it, there is a value to going over there.”
The second Hunt 52 has been completed and is expected to arrive at Melville within a week or two. A 68-footer also is being built.
Despite the sale of the three yachts, Van Lancker said the firm is feeling the effects of the tough economy.
“A lot of it is managing yourself through this downturn,” he said. “You can’t just accelerate through it. The strategy is to be here on the other side of all of this. It doesn’t mean that you have to go out of business, but it doesn’t let you grow.”
Hunt Yachts was founded in 1998. Van Lancker joined the company in 2000, after being involved with the J24, the J30, the Freedom 40 and the Southern Cross. He is now involved with both Hunt Design Inc. in New Bedford, Mass., and Hunt Yachts in Melville.
“We are engineers and designers by trade,” Van Lancker said. “That’s our passion. And then we are smart enough to run a business as well. That’s mostly my job.”
The company is debt free, he said.
Hunt Yachts grew from less than a million dollars in sales in 2000 to more than $11 million in 2007, he said.
“We built it off our smarts and good will and connections and just good hard work, and never making a really significant mistake,” Van Lancker said. “You can’t afford to when you are trying to be entrepreneurial.”
Newport should be to boating what Switzerland is to skiing, he said.
“We should be that place where everyone comes to boat or to learn to boat,” he said.
The firm moved to Melville in 2006 and that has given it more room to perform its service work. Boat owners need their boats maintained, which provides the firm with work in a slow economy.
“You can come out of this ahead of where you are, if you play it right,” Van Lancker said. “We’re still ticking and have a smile on our face. And we have a lot of customers.”
Send reporter James A. Johnson e-mail at Johnson@NewportRI.com