'Unloved' sign in Portsmouth gets makeover

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PORTSMOUTH — Anne Hutchinson's name just became a little more prominent in town.

Thanks to a volunteer, Carolyn Evans-Carbery of the Portsmouth Garden Club, the sign at the Multi-Purpose Senior Center that bears the outspoken Puritan preacher's name looks better than ever. (The building, at 110 Bristol Ferry Road, was once the location of the former Anne Hutchinson School.)

"The Portsmouth Garden Club plants (at the senior center) several times a year. I got talking to them because the sign looked unloved," said Ms. Evans-Carbery.

She and another woman involved in the plantings, Beth Shimkus, met with Cynthia Koniecki, executive director of the center, to discuss what could be done. Replacing the sign would have been too costly, so Ms. Evans-Carbery decided to fix it up.

"I didn't want the senior center to incur any costs," she said.

The sign then came down for the refurbishing job.

"That's a 15-foot sign and Henry Rodrigues took it down and put it back up by himself," said Ms. Evans-Carbery, whose husband, Neil, and a neighbor, Tyler Wood, helped sand and paint the sign.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.