Whats in…What’s out.. By Joanne Giannini


What’s in…What’s out…

What’s in…

Garden City Center redevelopment… This week the Wilder Company, who owns Garden City Shopping Center in Cranston, has requested city ordinances to allow major renovations in Garden City Shopping Center. Their new ordinances would allow as follows: height variances over 100 ft., a hotel, an assisted living center facility, condominiums, apartments, electronic message boards, parking garages and drive through windows. I have always considered Garden City to be a shining jewel in Cranston’s shopping district and wonder how such changes would affect existing businesses and residential owners. A full Cranston City Council meeting is set for this Monday, Feb. 27th at 7:00 PM at Cranston City Hall for all who are interested in these ordinances and zoning changes.

Jeff Britt… Those of us who have worked in the State House or know their way around state government, probably know Jeff Britt. He’s been a political operative for several years now, working for former governors and gubernatorial candidates as well as general assembly candidates. He will now be the lobbyist for the Providence City Council at the State House. He takes with him a vast knowledge of who’s who and how to get the job done.

We may not be alone… Big news for Star Trek fans … Astronomers have recently discovered seven Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star according to the Providence Journal. And these planets could hold life. The cluster of planets, NASA and the Belgian-led team research announced, are less than 40 light years away in the constellation Aquarius. Scientists believe these planets could support some form of life but need to do more studies. Imagine the possibilities if these planets are found to be compatible with life. Beam me up Scottie!

What’s out…

The Transgender bathroom ordinance has been lifted… by the Trumps Administration. The Trump administration has ended the federal guidelines that have been issued by the Obama administration which would allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms in schools that match their gender identity. Instead, this would leave these decisions up to the individual states to decide. This is an emotional national issue and surely will have much opposition. The Trump administration has stated that they feel this should not be decided on a federal level, while advocates for transgender feel this protection in the law is necessary to protect from harassment and bias.

John Hope Settlement Day Care Center… had its daycare license revoked recently, but on Friday a judge allowed it to stay open. Whether this is temporary or permanent, no one seems to know. While many will differ in who, what, where or when this center will be saved or closed, one clear fact remains. At this point it doesn’t matter who is to blame, who is not to blame, or who is a hero here. What matters is that the children have a center they desperately need and depend on. Now some may tell me to mind my business, but I live by the words of the late Eleanor Roosevelt, “I’ve never been one to sit quietly by the fire and watch”. And I’ve felt that way while I was in office and I still feel that way now. So, Mayor Elorza, and state and city elected officials, please put on your thinking caps and save this landmark for the community who needs it.


What’s In…What’s out…by Joanne Giannini



What’s in… What’s out…

What’s in…

A panhandling ordinance proposed by Cranston Mayor Alan Fung  passed with a 5-4 vote on Wednesday night. The ordinance imposes that violations be noncriminal offenses with an $85 fine which will go into effect as soon as the Mayor signs it into law. Under the new ordinance, the law prohibits anyone from entering a street or standing on a median or lane divider of a street to take something from the occupant if a motor vehicle or give something to the occupant. One has to wonder if this will hold water under pressure, but Mayor Fung insists the new ordinance is constitutional because it is meant to prevent distracted driving and promote public safety at busy intersections. This seems a little confusing to me and restrictive to us as we wait to see just how this will be enforced. The Mayor insists it is not “targeting” homeless people. So, I ask who is it targeting?

Actor Ashton Kutcher co-founder of Thorn, an international anti-human trafficking organization, gave the Senators an earful Wednesday about the evils of human trafficking and the importance of using good technology to battle technology that facilitates human trafficking. Kutcher also talked of the preludes to trafficking, which need review including the foster care system and mental health services. Kudos to Ashton Kutcher, who is not only a pretty face but seems to have a brain and caring heart. This issue has been a “thorn” in my side and the world’s side for years. It’s time for Congress to focus more on these issues that are a horrific scourge on our children and young people all over the world. Maybe we should March on Washington to end the scourge of human trafficking and sex slavery in our society. It’s time!
Lincoln Chafee appeared on RT America, a network backed but the Russian government, recently talking about President Trump. Just when you think you’ve seen the last of Chafee,
the former Governor and Presidential candidate pops up. Chafee stated, ” I have many differences with President Trump, but on this one, I applaud what he’s trying to do”, when asked about relations between the United States and Russia. Whether you agree with him or not, he has every right to voice his opinion.

What’s out…

UHIP… certainly is on the out list again this week. After three resignations (or were they) we find ourselves asking, “When will this end”? This is getting close to be reminiscent of the banking crisis, when then Governor Bruce Sundlun lost popularity for closing the credit unions. It really hurt him politically and it could hurt Governor Raimondo too. Not to mention that she is temporarily replacing Health Secretary Roberts with HealthSource RI Ana Rader in a move we often see in RI that I call the RI recycling program. Let’s hope we see a new appointment soon that is experienced in crisis management. With approximately 25,000 effected by this failing computer system, we can certainly call it a crisis.

Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick is blocked off from the public – because there is a “Fetish Fair Flea Market”, hosted by the New England Leather Alliance (NELA)… the largest and lowest cost event for BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, and Submission or Sadomasochism)
community in New England. Event goers and vendors are from the United States and Canada. The group has their own security and the event is private. There are constitutional protections to allow the event there according to the police. Interesting that the timing of the event coincides with the newly released movie, ” Fifty Shades of Darker”.

What’s in…What’s out…



What’s in, What’s out!

What’s in…

Snow, Thunder and lightning… You just have to love our New England weather. On Wednesday, it felt like a spring day. But on Thursday, the National Weather Bureau declared we were having blizzard conditions in Rhode Island. The roads were treacherous, but no state of emergency was declared. Many of us were treated to a view of snow, thunder and lightning which is said to be rare. No school announcements and cancellations flooded the news channels. Just think the ground hog has predicted six more weeks of winter!

Town hall meetings…This Sunday our congressional delegation will host a town hall type meeting at East Providence High School at 2:00 PM. The purpose of the meeting is to hear issues and concerns from Rhode Islanders. In attendance will be Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Representative Jim Langevin and Representative David Cicilline. With all the hot issues going on in Washington, this will be a good meeting to attend and ask questions about our state and future.

Tom Brady...Alias “Tom Terrific”, as the Projo dubbed him, is in. There wasn’t a dry eye in New England when he hugged his mother and thanked his family, team and the Kraft family. We all saw him bend down to compose himself after the win. The pressure of deflategate, the suspensions, the injuries of key players and the comeback of all time had to be stressful. Not to mention the illness of his mom, who attended her first game this year at the Super Bowl. All I can say is “You just gotta believe”. Congratulations to the entire Patriot team and organization. What will we do on Sundays now?
What’s out….

Honor roll postings…at Barrington Middle School….Barrington Middle School has decided to no longer post the honor roll of their students. A statement was released in a newsletter by the school principal, Andrew Anderson, “We will no longer be posting honor roll as we have done in the past…to emphasize the learning process and the application of skill and content…not the grade. ” This is a controversial decision because we have been taught the importance of award achievement from a very young age. Everything we have learned from our parents, teachers and elders as we attended school, college or universities included the art of achievement. The achievement of high marks, perfect attendance and good behavior were all the fundamentals of achieving your goals in life. And recognition and encouragement helped us achieve our goals. To take this away is a mistake that will only weaken our children, not help them.
Ivanka Trumps Clothing line no longer at Nordstrom…Nordstrom has decided not to carry the Ivanka Trump clothing line anymore. Big surprise to me, I didn’t know Nordstrom carried the line. I’ve seen some of Ivanka’s things at TJMaxx and Marshalls at discount prices, but never at Nordstroms. Let’s be clear, Nordstrom is a high end store and even their sales are not cheap. So maybe her line is not high end enough. Either way, Kelly Ann Conway got into some trouble today for telling people on television during an interview to buy Ivanka’s clothes and states that she owns some herself. Wow! The news media went crazy. It was all over the news, calling her unethical and saying she should be reprimanded. How fast they are to comment on this but no comments when certain others in government have real ethics problems such as: campaign fraud and violations, tax and IRS problems or sexual misconduct. No she shouldn’t have said it but under this scrutiny, how dare she make a mistake! Just saying.

What’s in…What’s out… By Joanne Giannini

What’s in… What’s  out…

What’s in….

The New England Patriots….New England and Rhode Island has Patriots fever! After a turbulent “inflategate” episode, Brady suspension, and injuries of key players, the Pats have succeeded to the Super Bowl. We are so proud of the stamina and sportsmanship this team has shown. Kudos to Bob Kraft and the whole New England Patriot organization! Go, Pats!

Federal Hill Pizza Co… The old Castle Theater on Chalkstone Avenue has been turned into a new family restaurant. Federal Hill Pizza Co. has renovated the old neighborhood Castle Theatre and made a great new restaurant featuring pizza, dinner entrees, and sandwiches. Restorations such as this are vital to our neighborhoods and needed. The pizza is delicious and the service is great. If you are in the mood for authentic Italian pizza, give it a try!

Go Red For Women… The American Heart Association has declared the month of February as Heart Month to bring awareness to heart disease and stroke. Women throughout the nation are encouraged to wear red on Friday, February 3, 2017, to show support and bring awareness to women about the dangers of heart disease, and that heart disease is the number one cause of death among women. Know the symptoms, get checked, and wear red this Friday!❤

What’s out…..

Sanctuary Cities… President Donald Trump has declared loss of federal funding for sanctuary cities. It now seems that many cities across the nation are now claiming to be “Sanctuary Cities”. Our own Mayor of Providence has decided to call Providence a “Sanctuary City” stating he plans to stay strong to his cause. Whether you agree with Mayor Elorza or not, this remains the key issue as we enter this new year. There are so many questions to be answered. Will Providence lose funding? Do the people of Providence want Providence to be a Sanctuary City? My biggest question is who decides? Do the citizens of Providence have a say in these decisions? Maybe there needs to be a community board of residents from both sides to discuss this. Remember this, folks, the people of Providence have a lot to lose if federal funding is withheld.

The Paolino Plan… The plan by Joe Paolino to build a complex for the homeless at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital may be on the back burner for now, but could other plans be in the works for the south side of Providence. The Providence Journal has reported that Paolino has bought approximately 7 acres of land and a community garden in the Elmwood neighborhood of Providence. This includes more than two dozen lots that stretch along a three block area off Broad Street. According to a Journal article, records show he bought the properties from CharterCare SJHSRI, LLC for $100,000 which is a fraction of what the properties are assessed for. I think the question on everyone’s mind is, “What’s happening on the southside with all this real estate?” What are the plans for these parcels of land? And when will we get the rest of the story?
Pictures taken by a Joanne Giannini