What’s in…What’s out…this week,1-19-18

 

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What’s in…What’s out… this week..1-18-18…State of the State, PawSox Fever, For love of money and more….

 

What’s in….

The State of the state address…by Governor Raimondo painted a rosy picture of Rhode Island’s status on Tuesday night. The Governor highlighted accomplishments such as road repairs, the car tax phase out and education improvements but did not share the credit with local officials or lawmakers. Her speech was upbeat and positive but made no mention of the UHIP crisis, the PawSox bill or possible financial deficits. Maybe she is waiting for her budget address to tell us all just how much the UHIP crisis has cost the state and how much of a backlog there still is. And just maybe we will hear an accurate economic forecast for this year’s budget. The economic engines are running and it seems like it will be a steamy ride into 2018.

The PawSox Bill….has passed the Senate overwhelmingly and is on its way to the House Finance Committee. As I write this, Speaker Mattiello is planning a closed Democratic caucus on Thursday afternoon to discuss the PawSox proposal. Will he or won’t he? Inquiring minds want to know!
Even though the speaker has publicly stated that his constituency is against the proposal, he still has to listen to the opinions of his rank and file legislators. Some unions have decided to boycott Matiello’s fundraiser and other legislators. This being election year, that will not sit well with some legislators who depend on union support. Do not be surprised to see a change of heart and a floor vote on this topic. It’s not over till it’s over, or until the fat lady sings as they say!

The Line item veto bill…got a standing ovation from Senate members when the Governor mentioned it during her State of the State speech.
Many Senators seemed to favor the line item veto even though it is unpopular in the House Chamber. Now we all know the House primarily sets the Budget initiatives and this is not a favorite budget item of theirs.
It seems the Senate and the House are having some power plays over who is in charge or should I say, “Who’s the boss”?

What’s out…

The “Me too” movement has changed its name to #nomore in an effort to show solidarity for women abused. We all applaud the courageous women who stood tall and exposed their sexual harassers and abusers. At the recent golden globe awards, women celebrities wore black to show solidarity. One has to ask where was all this support when some of these women who knew of years of continued abuse remained silent. The power of Hollywood to cover up for the rich and powerful is a long standing tradition. The years of silence and turning the other cheek cannot be dismissed because some of these women chose to wear black. There are still sexual predators there and some of these actresses are still working for them. So, let’s be real everyone and not fall for their act. I won’t be watching these actresses, producers and actors who condoned this behavior and remained silent for the love of money. And I think a lot of people feel that way and Hollywood knows it.

 

Will Tom Brady be sitting this Sunday’s big game on bench? ..he has been placed on the injury list for an injury on his right hand. Say it ain’t so Tom! The Patriots have been on a winning streak and we all have Patriot fever! So let’s wish Tom a speedy recovery and hope for a win! Go Pats!

Shooting at Providence Place Mall…In what appears to be sketchy details, we learned that Providence Police have apprehended a 17 year old involved in the Monday night shooting at the mall. A nineteen year old was shot in the leg outside of Nordstrom’s. It is a shame that we have to be concerned for our safety even in a mall. More security inside and outside in the parking lot is needed. There were young children and families there and shootings like this discourage people from going there. It is bad for the businesses, employees and people who enjoy the mall. Our city cannot endure this violence. It’s dangerous, it’s scary and it isn’t what we hope to achieve as a community.

 

 

 

Joanne Giannini is a former State Representative. She is a freelance journalist, consultant and writer. She has previously written commentary for the Providence journal, Golocal Prov and WPRO radio.

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What’s in….What’s out…1-4-17, Happy New Year, Snowmaggedeon, UHIP…and more…

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What’s in….

2018 came in with a full moon on Sunday night!….Happy New Year! Here’s hoping all your New Year’s wishes come true!

Arctic blast and “Snowmaggedon”…The store shelves are empty and the media hype is on. The Governor has asked everyone to stay home today on Thursday during this snowstorm. Freezing cold temperatures and high winds can make for a dangerous situation.  It looks like the rumors of a mild winter were highly exaggerated. Be safe and stay home!

The General Assembly is back in session!…With election year in the near future, this will be a very interesting year. Legislators will play it safe and put aside all controversial legislation in an effort to keep their seats.  This will be the “year of the women .”  More women are running across the country and little Rhody will see more women running for General Assembly seats. I predict the amount of women in the General Assembly will increase by 40 percent.

What’s out….

The UHIP crisis….The ACLU is suing the state of Rhode Island for the ongoing UHIP crisis. The most vulnerable of our citizens have been effected by this debacle. Look for another shakeup in this department. It’s been well over a year since this new computer system has been implemented and it hasn’t been successful yet. Meanwhile our seniors and needy are suffering due to mismanagement, poor leadership and apathy.  The shame of it all.

Crossroads has said they are increasingly overcrowded with homeless men, women and children during this cold freeze. This is a disaster in our city of Providence especially. I saw no press conferences addressing this or statement by city or state officials. While everyone is snug and warm in their beds, the homeless continue to roam our streets looking for refuge and a hot meal.  Let’s hope 2018 brings some change in policy that offers more help to them.

What’s in.. What’s out…12-28.. The Freeze,Bumper mania,Big Pharma,The Powermungers…

What’s in…What’s out….

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What’s in….

 

Freezing cold temperatures…have blanketed the Northeast…make sure you take all the safety measures to stay safe. Bundle up your little ones and check on your senior family members and neighbors. Run your faucets a little to prevent freezing pipes. And if needed, there are plenty of community warming centers in each city. Stay warm and be safe!

Bumper cars galore! ….If you remember Rocky Point Park bumper cars, then you probably will get a jolt out of the new bumper car rentals at the Alex and Ani skating ring in Providence….Mayor Elorza was quoted as saying,“ This is the best thing we done”…… I’m glad he’s excited and wish the new venture well but let’s face it 2018 will be a bumpy ride in Providence.

Congratulations to new Council President David Salvatore on his new position! Here’s hoping for an open honest transparent council who listens to the community on a daily basis. That’s all the people really want is to be heard and respected. Kudos to outgoing former Council President Sabina Matos for her graceful transition.

Meghan Markle…rocks…She has broken all the Royal guidelines and has shown that you don’t have to have royal blood to be a “ Royal”. She tamed Harry who was always considered the wild boy of the Royal family and for that the Queen must be grateful. Here’s looking forward to a beautiful May wedding!

The Skyline New Years Eve Party!…Will rock Providence on New year eve with a dropping ball from our beloved Superman building! There are many efforts to demolish the Superman Building, but many of us who consider it to be part of Providence’s history and want it to stay! Our Waterplace Park will be the backdrop for the ball drop! Let’s hope they find a way to televise this for those at home!

What’s out….

Cancer …..In 1971 President Nixon declared war on Cancer…Here we are in 2017 and we still haven’t even won a battle, let alone a war! To the congressman who worry about taking your big donations from “big Pharma”or the “insurers”who won’t pay for “pet scans”,diagnostic tests and certain medications, I won’t be voting for you! I will check every elected official who takes money from these “parasites” who call themselves lobbyist and vote against them! Our family and loved ones are suffering people. Please wake up and vote against those who are keeping these parasites in business! Only then will we begin to see a change in our health system, if we stand against the elected officials who stop change!
It’s coming! I feel it!

The Me too movement! …many have admirably stood up and identified their sexual harassers in the Me too movement and I commend them for it. These were brave individuals who had the guts to accept the consequences for outing their abusers. To those who remain silent and won’t disclose names, I say that is your choice. But don’t expect to be a heroine or example to the millions of young girls watching. You are covering up for a reason! It’s ironic the same who remain silent want disclosure from everyone else but themselves.

Pay Equity and Work Equity…2018 coming and I see no change in our pay Equity and work equality system. How many of you women have had a great job and been let go because your boss didn’t like your political views or who you supported? How many of you have been let go because you knew your boss had a romantic thing with a co-worker and she didn’t like you? How many of you have spoken up and saw an injustice in the way you were treated and were let go? There are many jobs that have no protection or union agents to protect you from this injustice. While everyone is concentrating on the sexual harassment issues, let’s not forget the other underlying problem that exists in employment. That is the power of some individuals to punish you for your beliefs and your voice. And that my friends is a true injustice. Time to out these “ powermungers “ and end the cycle of injustice. Are you ready? Let 2018 be the start of change!

 

 

My Christmas Wish…

 

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My Christmas Wish

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is here. After months of watching Hallmark Christmas movies, seeing decorations, and buying presents, the day is here. It seems to breeze by each year in a flutter with our hearts barely having time to catch our breath.

As I grow older, I think of Christmas past and all the memories we shared. Gone are the days of my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles sitting around the kitchen table on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Their stories of the way things were when they were younger intrigued us but we never quite understood what they were saying as they shared their memories of childhood days. Now we are the ones sitting around the table with the memories of “the way we were”. We understand the meaning and importance of family and being together. We long for the days of Christmas past where we were carefree children enjoying the season.

It is a much different time when we get older. We realize the loss of our loved ones and have to face the challenges of going on without them. We look at a world that is so different from years past and wonder if our children and their children will ever know what it was really like to share an old fashioned Christmas.

Memories of my aunt and mom cooking seven fishes on Christmas Eve where we all learned to eat fish . There was no saying “I don’t eat that or I won’t try that” at our family table. We grew up learning and sharing customs and embracing our Italian heritage. The feast of “ La Virgilia “On Christmas Eve was truly a feast we all enjoyed. Christmas Eve was magical and exciting because we were all together with my parents, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There was always a special appearance by Santa who carried a pillowcase of gifts for everyone at the table with one condition. Each one of us had to sit on Santa’s lap to get our present.

After dinner we would all play Pokeno for pennies at the table. I can still remember my cousins counting piles of pennies. Desserts would consist of homemade pies and Italian cookies. The night would end with us going to midnight mass and we would walk there because the church was across the street from my aunt’s home.

Christmas morning we would awake to the smell of doughboys and meatballs frying on the stove. My mom’s coffee was like espresso, strong and smooth. After breakfast, we would open all our gifts and then have Christmas dinner and start eating all over again.

My sisters and I have kept our family traditions going all these years since our parents and family members are gone. A new generation of family members exists and they are learning the same family traditions that we were taught.

My Christmas wish is that they never forget their family members who passed on their heritage and that they know how lucky they are to have been part of a family who loved, honored and cherished each other. And I wish the same for all of you and yours. May your loved ones know the magic and love of Christmas!                       Merry Christmas!🎄

 

‘‘Twas the night before Christmas…” At the state house….

 

IMG_0056Twas the Night before Christmas,

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the State House
Not a legislator was stirring..
All were home with their spouse,
The stockings were hung in the State Room with care,
With hopes that Lobbyists would soon be there…
The Employees were nestled all snug in their beds,
With hopes that their pensions would not be dead…
While Gina in her Jeans, and Nick in his cap,
Had just settled down from making a toll both map…
When out on the House lawn there arose such a clatter,
The Capitol police were called to see what was the matter…
Away to the lawn they flew like a flash..
To make sure the Republicans weren’t making a dash…
The moon glowed bright on the new fallen snow…
Which revealed legislators who were in the know..
When what to their sparking eyes did appear,
Speaker Nick and those that were very dear…
More rapid than reindeer, his Faithful came..
The Police knew it was them, when he called them by name.. Now, Edwards, Shekarchi and Slater…
On Hull, On McNamara and Craven came later…
To the third floor, at the end of the hall..
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all …
So up to the third floor…
The team went…
To check out the budget…
And see what was spent….
And then with a twinkling..
They heard a patter…..
The sound of the Republicans to check out this matter…
Twas Morgan, Chippendale and Newberry….
Whose nose was bright as a bing cherry….
They were dressed in red from head to toe…
And with them was Kathy Gregg to check out the show…
The times are a changing Nick said…
We open our doors, no matter what’s said…
With a wink of his eye and nothing to dread…
He opened his doors and put out a spread…
He spoke not a word, but was Joyal….
With team on hand to be ever loyal…
The Christmas Spirit at the State House is alive..
Hope, Loyalty and Truthfulness is what the public will strive…
As we enjoy the season, let’s not lose sight…
Merry Christmas to all, see you election night!

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in…What’s out…12-1: The X- factor, Matt Lauer, Karma, Governor’s race and more….

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What’s in…and out this week...

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The X Factor…the termination of NBC Today host Matt Lauer…is the latest job termination in in a long list of accused sexual harassers. Let’s see, what do we call them sexual harassers or predators? These latest allegations leave us to ask , “Where in the world was Matt Lauer and what in the world was he thinking?” Of course he was not thinking at all because he would have thought of blowing his $25 million a year cushy job that most people would beg for.
News broke Wednesday morning live on the Today show when Savannah Guthrie tearily read a prepared statement from NBC stating the allegations. Savannah and Hoda Kobt were at loss for words, something you rarely see, as they talked about their colleague Matt Lauer. Interestingly enough, Savannah also expressed remorse for her colleague who she said had “ been brave to come forward and that she hopes for the best for her”.., leading me to believe Savannah knows the victim.
NBC has been in the forefront of the “Me too” hashtag campaign to out sexual harassment but in the last few days they have taken a closed attitude toward giving information about their workplace. No one has been off limits to NBC or their anchors but yet Matt Lauer enjoys the privilege of secrecy. In fact the most media coverage detailing any events at all happened to be in a “Vanity Fair article” detailing Lauer’s shenanigans. It’s no secret that Matt Lauer called most of the shots on the Today show. He got all the big time interviews and made the most money.
He certainly had enough clout to send Ann Curry packing in tears after her being there 10 years. In a statement to NBC, Lauer expressed remorse for his embarrassing actions to his loved ones , people he may have offended and to NBC.
Time will tell how many more will join the X factor club with Lauer and crew but know one thing. If you are in a position of power and you have abused Individuals for sex or any other reason, you should be shaking in your boots. None of you predators are safe anymore. It doesn’t matter if you are a star, a politician or a prominent member of society. So think twice before you make your moves or mistreat others. Karma really is a bitch and she is a woman.

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The Political circle….Before we get into who’s in and out of the races for Governor …let’s talk about the money war chest..
Governor Gina Raimondo tops the list with almost $3million dollars. The rest of the contenders are scrambling to raise cash. Rep.Patricia Morgan has gotten off to a good start but still has a lot of catching up to do. Mayor Alan Fung may be raising funds but he will need more money than last election to beat an incumbent Democratic Governor. Joe Trillo is testing the waters to see where his support is and if the Trump factor can help him. Rhode Islanders are pretty independent in their voting habits and you cannot transfer votes. Chafee has an endless pocketbook if he chooses to run and probably the support of some East siders which can cut into Gina’s base. Gio Feroce has given every indication on social media of an intent to run and cannot be ruled out of the mix. I mean let’s face it, in this political climate, anything can happen. It all depends on what the public wants and who they trust. Let the circle of promises and hopes begin! I’m looking forward to a busy campaign cycle with a lot of surprise announcements! Stay tuned, it will be a bumpy ride!

What’s in…What’s out..11-17..The pervert list, Violence in Prov and more…

 

 

IMG_0056What’s in.. What’s out…

What’s in….

The Pervert list continues….The latest people accused are Senator Al Franken Senator Moore and actor Richard Dreyfus. Franken claims he was wrong for doing it and also apologies. He also called for a full investigation of his actions. Well, that’s unique. Meanwhile, Richard Dreyfus cancelled his comic-con appearance here in RI last week. He has said nothing on the issue. Senator Roy Moore has been accused by at least nine women of grouping and making sexual advances. Moore vehemently denies all charges and now his wife will speak out. The beat goes on…

Terror in Providence last Thursday…resulted in the shooting of one man and injury of a woman passenger. The Providence Police and the State Police used deadly force when a man in a white pick up truck would not stop his vehicle and used it to escape in a wild chase. This chase ended with the suspect ramming another vehicle to get away and police shooting for him to stop. The police have a tough job and their job is to protect. They were trying to protect the other vehicles on the scene which were hit.
Unfortunately, the suspect did not stop or get out when police told him to do so. A new councilwoman in Providence is calling for a review of the matter and police practices.

Former Judge Robert Flanders….has announced his candidacy for Senate against (his words) “ silver spoon Sheldon” on Thursday. Claiming to be from the working class, Flanders recalls being a dishwasher as well as other jobs to make a living when growing up. He says he will represent the working class. Flanders will be running as a Republican against Rep.Bob Nardolillo in a primary. The race is on and this will keep Senator Whitehouse on his toes!

What’s out….

More violence in Providence…A woman was killed by her husband this week and found by her children wrapped up in plastic in her house. Another domestic violence incident which sickens us all.
On Chalkstone Avenue there was a stabbing which resulted in death of man who was involved in a family disturbance. Stabbings, murder and beatings have been escalated in our city. Please stop saying they are isolated incidents in Providence because every incident is a tragedy. This needs to stop. And we all need to be aware of our surroundings and report any suspicious behavior.

Sexual abuse, harassment etc… While America listens to all the accusations and reality of the sexual disclosure of some of our most famous and powerful people, let’s not lose sight of another problem. For those who have been harassed and have come forward with your abuser, I say thank you for being courageous while others hid. Covering up your abuser is only letting him free to harm another.
But all this abuse of power for sex is not the only problem. How about the powerful who use their positions to advance themselves while putting down others. Taking credit for someone else’s work or making sure they are kept out of the loop. The powerful can abuse in more ways. In politics, in Hollywood and everywhere else, the people with power can make your life miserable by blackballing you from jobs, putting you down and demeaning your existence. Women have been victims of being in the background for years, while male counterparts have taken credit for their work, got raises, promotions and awards. The real injustice today is that women are still not part of the system in the way they should be. Some may disagree by saying they are. But they are fooling themselves. Equality is still a long way off.

 

 

What’s in…What’s out this week 11-3, “the Graduates”,the “The Flatfoots”, and NYC Terror On Halloween…

Whats in…What’s out…this week 11-3-17

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What’s in…

The Hollywood Sex files ….continues to grow as the latest accusations include Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and film director Brett Ratner.

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Dustin Hoffman, now 80, was accused of groping a 17 year old intern on the set of his movie “Death of a salesman”in 1985. Hoffman issue a statement apologizing for “for anything I might have done that could have out her in an uncomfortable situation”…..
Kevin Spacey has also been accused of making sexual advances by Anthony Rapp when he was 14 years old. Spacey claims he doesn’t remember but apoligized. Film big shot Brett Ratner was accused by six women, including actresses Olivia Mann, of sexual misconduct in a LA Times Report. Mann accused Ratner of masturbating in front of her in his trailer while she visited the set of Ratner’s “ After the Sunset”. You just can’t make this stuff up. What a screen play and movie this would be. Except for the fact that these men are disgusting power hungry men who treat women and young boys like play toys. They can apologize till the end of time and it won’t excuse their behavior. The sad part is that people idolize these actors and directors as though they were gods. And now we see what they really are is very weak men who thrive on vulnerable victims. There are more men on the list of Harvey Weinstein’s school of perverts. And now daily we wait to see who the next “Graduate” is.

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The Storm with no name.…On Sunday night Rhode Islanders experienced the storm that wasn’t. I say that because we certainly didn’t expect the storm we had with winds that reached up to 79 miles an hour in parts of Warwick. The wind and rain were horrendous and caught many of us by surprise. Over 140,000 people were without power and some are still without power as I write. Yes, we all know that the storm caused these outages but many did not expect the aftermath of the storm. For a storm with no name, it certainly did a great deal of damage. The Governor has called for a review of the situation and National Grid’s response effort. She said she wants to see if they were “ flat footed” with this storm. That’s a new term I haven’t heard used to describe inadequacies.( I don’t use it lightly because I was born with flat feet.) But it seems National Grid wasn’t the only one caught “flat footed” as the Governor claims. Where was the emergency management team during all of this? Why didn’t they and the Governor hold a press briefing prior to the storm warning residents of the storm and preventative measures to do to be prepared? They didn’t and should have. I can remember storms that were named as hurricanes and didn’t do as much damage as this storm did. Trees and power lines down everywhere.

It’s no secret that we need to start thinking of a better way to protect our power lines. Perhaps underground power lines would help but that would take years. Cities and towns have to be mandated to maintain and trim trees in the neighborhoods especially near the electrical wires. It’s time to do some preventative measures instead of waiting till the damage is done. Lawmakers do your job and mandate this by state law. National Grid needs to be held accountable for not having enough ground crew. You can’t blame the linemen and workers because they have a tough job with little thanks. And if power is out for more than 24 hours, national grid customers should get a refund off their bill. It’s plain and simple.
Let’s see what Lawmakers will take a stand and put these bills in. The power is theirs. Let’s hope they use it.

What’s out…

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New York Terror on Halloween….29 year old Sayfullo Saipov drove a rented truck down the bike path near in Manhattan. And he is proud of it.
Shameful, sick and warped, this poor excuse for a human being was boasting of his deeds in the hospital. He also wanted to hang the Isis flag in his hotel room. He was in this country on a diversity visa program which was supported by Senator Minority leader Chuck Schumer. Well, this visa program needs to be reviewed. It’s broken and needs to be fixed. Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families. How sad it is for America when you can’t be safe even on a bike path. But New Yorkers stood tall and did have their Halloween parade despite the terror attack. We must not let these Isis terrorist to break our spirit because they have none.

The Full Moon…it’s a Harvest Moon and beware! As beautiful as the harvest moon is, it brings out all the weird behavior and anger in people.
Yes, it’s been that kind of a few days when I have been wondering why everyone is so uptight. Well I looked up in the sky and now I know why.
It’s the full moon ! 🌕

 

 

What’s in…What’s out…PawSox Snag, Announcements Galore,Mums the word…and more..

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What’s in…What’s out….

What’s in….

RI Senate Finance Committee Chairman William J. Conley Jr. said Thursday his committee will not vote on the PawSox stadium-financing proposal if it does not get additional financial information from the Triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, which is hoping to build a new stadium in Pawtucket. This could be a deal breaker for the much debated stadium project and the Senate is not known to back down especially during an election year. Stay tuned!

The Assistant Principal at Central High School has resigned after an altercation with a student. A video circulating on Facebook has shown a physical altercation of the vice principal and the student. Sources say the incident is being investigated and the school administration will continue to support students and the community.

Announcement week!…Mayor Alan Fung has announced his intentions to run for Governor again against Gina Raimondo.
Supported by his family and friends on Tuesday night, Mayor Fung stated that “We can do Better!” First out of the box with her announcement was Rep. Patricia Morgan who announced on social media with a video highlighting her commitment to work for the people of Rhode Island. Two more Republican candidates are expected to announce, former Senator Giovanni Feroce and former Rep. Joe Trillo.
Also announcing for Lt. Governor is Rep. Aaron Regunberg who vows to be a watchdog for the people of RI. What’s interesting about this announcement, is the fact that incumbent Democratic Lt.Governor Dan McKee has not announced his intentions yet. Is he running for Lt. Governor or something else? If he runs for re-election for Lt. Governor, he will be running in a Democratic primary against Regunberg. This will be a dilemma for the Democratic State Committee. Will they endorse an incumbent Lt. Governor or the State Representative? Everyone knows that the House of Representatives controls the state Party endorsements. The Democratic State Chair is a State Representative and a colleague of Regunberg. Who knows what will happen but no one can make predictions on this one.

What’s out….

Ashley Judd is the latest actress to join over 60 women to out their sexual predator Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Although this happened twenty years ago, Judd said she kept quiet about the incident because she made a deal with him and got away. Give me a break, ladies! How could you all be so vocal on other subjects and not on sexual abuse. These are sad times. We are witnessing the turning of heads because it suited their careers to remain quiet. It’s called keeping mum to get ahead. And it let this sexual predator be on the loose for over 20 years abusing and allegedly raping other women. This is why women need to come forward! Shame on her and all those who knew but did nothing! Sometimes silence is not golden!

The closing of Pawtucket Memorial Hospital….is devastating to Pawtucket and the state. It’s not only the loss of hundreds of jobs but the loss of a much needed health facility. It seems no one was paying attention. Who will stand up and get the answers that are needed? Who will fight for this hospital the way they are fighting for a ball stadium? Time will tell the story. Let’s hope it’s not too late.