What’s in… What’s out...
Protests are in… America has gone back to the 1960’s where protests, flower children and marching to the Capitol have become a fact of life. It seems a sleepy apathetic nation just woke up and said ” I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” What’s in store for the year ahead?
In my opinion, we will see a more vocal active nation who not only get out and vote but actually run for office, too.
A wall, immigration reform, voter fraud investigation… President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin the building of a wall along the Mexican border. He is implementing a ban on immigrants from seven terror-plagued countries where Muslims are a majority. The aim is to call a halt until stricter visa restrictions are in place. Also on the agenda is an investigation into state voter fraud and a crackdown on federal aid to sanctuary cities. What will all this mean for Rhode Island? Stay tuned as Rhode Island could be in for a bumpy ride.
Providence Restaurant Week… If your taste buds are in for a treat, this is the week to visit Providence’s finest restaurants. Restaurant week offers affordable three course lunches and dinners this week which showcases our city’s finest cuisine. Some favorites include Siena, Zooma, Andino’s, Cassarino’s, Capitol Grille, Old Canteen, Cafe Nuovo, and a new delicious addition to Federal Hill, Anthony’s Italian Restaurant. Enjoy, everyone!
What’s out… Former Mayor Paolino’s latest project to turn the old St. Joseph’s Hospital into proposed housing and services for the homeless got a giant thumbs down from approximately 300 residents who showed up at his press conference. Boos and loud shouting filled the room as Paolino announced his plans to the neighborhood people who knew nothing about the work in progress. Senator Harold Metts, Senator Ana Quesada and Councilwoman Mark Kay Harris spoke against the proposal and stood with the community people. It seems this project has been planned without consulting the neighborhood people first which was a huge mistake. The neighborhood people should have been included in this process which had to be going on a while. Also at the meeting were Providence Mayor Elorza and Governor Gina Raimondo. Unfortunately, the homeless people in our state, and particularly in Providence, really need help and hopefully a solution will arise out of this to satisfy everyone.
Joke Tweets and Remarks….The definition of free speech differs depending who you are – in some eyes. As one East Greenwich councilman found out this week, you now have to watch what you tweet and post. Town Council President Sean Todd tweeted regarding the Women’s March on Saturday: “Definitely a guy came up with the #womensmarch; perfect way to get the wives outta the house.”
The tweet was pulled and Todd tweeted an apology, “I’m deeply sorry for my tweet yesterday. Though it was meant as a joke, it was in poor taste and understandably ended up offending many people I’m honored to represent…” Well this tweet sparked a protest of 200 at the East Greenwich Town Council meeting led by organizer Hilary Levey Friedman who is chair of the Democratic Town Committee. Perhaps a new warning should appear on Twitter or Facebook warning people to be careful what they tweet because it could result in protests or other consequences. Or how about this warning, “Let’s just chill!”, it’s only an opinion”.
What’s in, What’s out…….
The Trump Inauguration is in full bloom for today with an open invitation to all. A Facebook invite was posted by President-Elect Trump inviting everyone to attend. “The Bikers for Trump” have been riding into Washington daily and said that they are hosting the 58th inauguration halftime show. Let’s hope for a peaceful safe day for all who participate in the inauguration festivities.
Free college tuition for two years, a car tax cut and a hike in the minimum wage are all on Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget agenda this year. The Governor released her plans at the “State of the State” address this week and in her appearance at a Cranston school this week. You got to give it to the Governor, she got a jump on these three proposals which have many details to be worked out but could be very beneficial to Rhode Islanders if they are done correctly.
The Women’s March in Washington...This week thousands of women are marching in Washington to make their voices heard on priorities which are important to them and loved ones. Some of the many issues of concern are Healthcare, childcare, pay equity, job opportunities, equal rights,
McCoy stadium….It looks like the PawSox are still looking to leave McCoy stadium. As first reported in the Valley Breeze, the PawSox are in meetings with the Apex Development Co. to discuss the possibility of building a new stadium on the old Apex property in Pawtucket. This location would keep the stadium in Pawtucket in close proximity to McCoy. But the same questions still arise. How much of a state subsidy will the PawSox look for? Also, will the same group that opposed the Providence stadium be in favor of spending state money in this location? And what will happen to the treasured McCoy stadium? Stay tuned as this is an ongoing story.
Chelsea Manning….The President has recently pardoned Chelsea Manning from all but four months of the remaining prison sentence. The Army intelligence analyst was convicted of a 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world by giving the information to Wikileaks. The new release date is May of 2017.
Providence School walkout…. Some students in Providence plan to stage walkouts in protest to the inauguration. It has been reported that Classical High School even postponed exams on Friday because of this walkout. Did I read this right? Are we allowing students to walk out of school with no consequences? Times have changed. One has to ask this important question: “Who’s in charge”?
What’s in… What’s out…..
Blackstone Valley Community Action Program….This time of year there are many who need help with energy costs and staying warm. There is help out there from agencies who offer services to help you if you qualify. Blackstone Valley Community Action program offers assistance to Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, Lincoln, NorthSmithfield, and Woonsocket. For more info call 401-723-0227 or 401-765-3528.
“Little Italy” is the new favored name for Federal Hill…Well it’s been called that unofficially by Bostonians for years. Providence’s Federal Hill will be called “Little Italy” if some of the Federal Hill businessman have their way. But we all know that’s not the only change needed to help Federal Hill bounce back. Extra lighting, security, less nightclubs and more family activities are needed to help businesses there. Not to mention getting rid of the parking meters! They need to go! I look forward to seeing more community festivals, outdoor dining, flower adorned sidewalks and business incentives to bring all of New England in to our beautiful Federal Hill.
I stand with those who look forward to change and to the rejuvenation of our “Little Italy” which is the pride of Rhode Island. We must preserve our pasts but pave the way for our future.
The 2018 Race for Governor…. may be a while away but candidates are already throwing their hints to the press! Amongst the speculated contenders are: Mayor Alan Fung, Ken Block, Giovanni Feroce, Robert Flanders, Rep. Patricia Morgan,and of course Gina Raimondo! It will take a well known established candidate with lots of money to compete! Anyone else in?
2016 is gone and with a good shove too! That was the year of all years. We saw a Presidential race like no other. We have a new President and Washington is getting ready for a huge change. We saw the Olympics grace us with entertainment and beautiful opening and closing ceremonies from Rio. We enter the New Year with wishes for good health, hope and happiness for all!
The Infamous Car Tax…. has hit many a bumpy road in its day but it looks like it’s days may be numbered. A campaign promise by Representative Nick Matiello promises a rebirth of the phase out that was promised to the people of Rhode Island in 1998. And Matiello told Channel 12’s Danielle North that he always keeps his promises. I think the people of Rhode Island deserve this tax cut!
Election Protests and Riots…. No, not everyone was happy with the results of the election, but the time has come for everyone to come together to work for a better nation. We will not always agree on issues, but we can agree that we abest for our country and our children. We want to grow as a nation and protect our homeland and the fundamentals of what this country was built on. Hostility and riots do not factor in this. Let’s hope for a peaceful transition and dream for better things to come! Happy New Year to you and yours!